May 18, 2008 |
As a crackdown on crime continues in Philadelphia, city officials are concerned it will only exacerbate a crisis in city prisons. Driven, in part, by a growing backlog of criminal cases, the daily jail count on April 19 reached 9,334 - a record in the city prison system's 320 years. And there's fear that a surge in arrests will put the city on a fast track to surpassing 10,000. The influx of inmates is expensive, draining tax dollars away from recreation programs, pothole repairs, and other general city services.
December 23, 2007 |
They had reasons for breaking curfew: They wanted to grab a late-night snack, visit a friend, or hang out on a street corner. But in Camden, one of America's most violent and crime-plagued cities, a simple trip to a convenience store can land them in harm's way or put them with the wrong crowd, and officials want to change that. To protect its youngest residents, the city is enforcing a decades-old curfew law with a new tactic. Rather than punish youths, authorities try to find out why they are loitering late at night, warn them about the dangers they could encounter on the streets, and offer solutions to help them follow the rules.
December 8, 2007 |
Here we go again. Another Irish play about another bunch of drunks. And another Conor McPherson play about spooky events and divine intervention. Another kind of intervention might be in order here, but The Seafarer, sometimes funny and sometimes sad, features a fine cast that can knock it back with the best of them. The production has transferred from London's National Theatre. Beneath all the crashing around and the unprintable-here language, this is a Christmas play, intending to warm the cockles of our hearts.
August 17, 2007 |
Notre Dame defensive end Derrell Hand, who was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of propositioning a prostitute, entered a pretrial diversion program yesterday. Charges will be dismissed against the West Catholic product on Aug. 16, 2008, if he meets such requirements as staying out of trouble and undergoing testing for HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. Hand had not played for the Irish in his first two seasons but was expected to contribute this season. He was arrested during a prostitution sting by South Bend police on Aug. 2, 4 days before the start of practice.
May 28, 2007 |
In a few months, a new 10-foot statue of Bill Clinton will take its place overlooking Bill Clinton Boulevard - in the city of Pristina, capital of the breakaway province of Kosovo. Remember Kosovo? For a few months, it captured our attention. Now, while the American public looks elsewhere, the province is again becoming a test case for how much say the international community will have within the borders of a sovereign nation. The surprising answer - in Kosovo as in Darfur, and perhaps elsewhere - is that this community can and must have a say. Kosovo may be the turning point that lays noninterventionism down to a quiet sleep.
November 19, 2006 |
"Deconstructionist" Jim Primdahl has evolved a philosophy about dismantling and reusing buildings, and he has no doubt that a structure has a soul. But even Primdahl admits being a little shaken after a worker brought a 26-year-old black-and-white portable TV down from a room in the old Divine Lorraine Hotel at Broad Street and Fairmount Avenue in North Philadelphia. Primdahl turned on the TV to see whether it worked. The picture "flatlined," but the audio came through loud and clear: a preacher railing against sin and for salvation through Jesus Christ.
October 31, 2006 |
EVERYONE sitting in the waiting room at Family Court was being deliberately civilized for the sake of the child whose future was to be decided that day. Was he to return to his negligent mother or remain permanently in the custody of his paternal grandparents? The only unrelated witness there was the boy's second-grade teacher. The teacher had been asked to testify to his nearly perfect attendance and academic progress while living with his grandparents, compared to his prior year with Mom. The waiting continued.
August 11, 2006
Psychological grilling Re: "Policy divides psychologists," Aug. 9: Psychologists have many professional roles. We are observers. We are interpersonal strategists. We are healers. These roles, like this great nation, should be treated as inseparable. And so must we be on this issue. The interrogation room is not a venue of therapeutic intervention. In the psychologist's office, the therapist has a great deal of responsibility and a great deal of power. We are trained to see clearly and to make interventions in the best interests of the person who has come to us for help.
July 3, 2006
James Alcorn Elementary School is tucked away in a tough corner of South Philadelphia. The first thing you see when you enter the building is a banner proudly proclaiming, "We made AYP. " The students and staff of Alcorn, run by Edison Schools Inc., have cause to be proud. It's not easy to have test scores and other measures rise to the prized status of Adequate Yearly Progress, a standard set by the federal No Child Left Behind law. Alcorn has done so two years in a row. The school had another designation after the state of Pennsylvania took over the district in 2001.
April 26, 2006
Amachi is a West African word whose meaning is swaddled in wisdom: "Who knows but what God has brought us through this child. " That saying is all about the potential of children, the possibilities of their lives if offered the chance to grow, to learn, to live moral lives - and to have children who give to their communities in a positive way. Amachi is also the name of a mentoring program that has had a big impact on the children of incarcerated...