November 17, 1988
Philadelphia is the only city on Amtrak's Northeast corridor that gives riders two options to disembark, but pity the hapless soul who chooses the North Philadelphia Station. The decrepit, stinking, rubble-strewn station, which stands amid a bleak urban wasteland, is every unsuspecting traveler's nightmare. All that's about to change, however. A vigorous public-private partnership has been formed to renovate the station and build a shopping complex around it. The federal, state and city governments will contribute $6 million toward the project, and Kode Development Associates of Philadelphia will spend $8 million.
August 24, 1988
It's never been easy to get legislators from around Pennsylvania to help Philadelphia solve the gritty problems of city life - unemployment, violent crime, drugs, child neglect and lack of adequate health care. One of the common raps is that Philadelphia doesn't do enough for itself, that it would rather approach the state for a handout. The thing is, that just isn't so. Consider a few snippets of statistical reality: Point One. City Hall spending on social problems - the kind of troubles, by the way, that no city alone can be expected to solve - is growing faster as a percentage of the city operating budget than the cost of police and fire protection, sanitation and culture and recreation.
June 13, 1988 |
Who is this person with a crazy name like Cushing Dolbeare? Should we really take her seriously when she suggests that we spend an additional $500 million annually to subsidize the housing costs of the poor in Philadelphia? Dolbeare must be taken seriously. She's an acknowledged national expert on the problems of housing for the poor. Her study for the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) is probably the most detailed analysis ever undertaken of the city's housing programs.
November 4, 1987 |
If you look up the statistics on Oxford Circle's 62nd Ward, you'll find that the majority of voters are Democrats, led by ward leader Marge Tartaglione, a combative, tough-talking city election official who reacted to recent heart problems by telling reporters, "At least, now people know I have a heart. " But to judge from the sample ballots that were most prevalent in the 62nd Ward yesterday, the ward organization's heart belongs to a Republican - Frank L. Rizzo, the former mayor whose picture still hangs in Tartaglione's City Hall office.
January 9, 1987 |
One afternoon while walking home from work, I noticed a woman stretched out on the corner of 18th and Walnut, between a mailbox and traffic light, posing as if she were on the beach in Atlantic City. As passersby approached her, I could see she would mumble something to them. Each person would either shake their heads no, ignore her completely, or drop something shiny in her hand. "Another one!" I thought to myself. "Another beggar!" To avoid becoming her next victim, I attempted to cross on the other side of the street.
December 15, 1986 |
Nothing tells as much about the present as its view of the past. And it's a good sign when Booker T. Washington makes a comeback in black historiography. For decades, he was pilloried as some kind of Uncle Tom because he emphasized economic rather than political gains. But now that the political gains have been made and formal equality established, something seems to be missing, namely equality. What's missing is the kind of equality that flows from economic power, the kind that Booker T. Washington spent a lifetime advocating.
March 21, 1986 |
USHERING IN SPRING with a snack, Kelly Rizzo hands out free ice cream sandwiches at Broad and Chestnut Streets. Yesterday's handouts were provided by the makers of Jack & Jill ice cream to celebrate the first day of spring; the season officially began at 5:03 p.m., although you might not have guessed it from the falling temperatures.
March 13, 1986 |
Wilson Goode's Monday press conference on "where we go from here with MOVE" didn't go anywhere. The Goode Administration is stalled to its hubcaps in a welter of paper. The press conference was lousy with it - announcements of new "crisis management committees," "communications committees," "leadership committees. " There was so much paper that when you picked at a page to get it out of the "Philadelphia, Get to Know Us" press kit, the stuff slid out in hunks and thudded to the floor.