December 8, 2006 |
"We kept driving by, not sure if this was the house," the woman said as she arrived for our holiday party last year. "Well, it is," I said brightly, taking her coat, noting the Marc Jacobs label. Hmmph. "We were looking for lights or something," her husband said. "All your neighbors have lights," she added - as if I didn't know that. "Well, you would think," I said, laughing but feeling guilty, again, for not having more outdoor spirit. "We just didn't get around to lights this year.
September 1, 2006 |
Thomas F. Bitto, 55, of Tacony, a captain in the Philadelphia Fire Department who specialized in handling hazardous materials, died of colon cancer Monday at Frankford Hospital-Torresdale Campus. "I've known Tom Bitto for more than 20 years. There was not a day that he did not give 150 percent. He had an eye for doing things right," said Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers. "He kept the department on the cutting edge with technology to handle hazardous materials. He did everything he could for the citizens and fellow firefighters.
August 27, 2006 |
With a little chair, her easel, and box of paints, Lauren Litwa Holden will often trek down the mountain from an old cabin in Lycoming County and sit right in the creek. Inspired by the big boulders, waterfall and foliage, she'll paint. What she creates won't be that actual scene; she'll put her own spin on it. She'll add some colors, perhaps magenta or burnt sienna, and a few symbolic twists and make it her own. That style - simple yet mysterious, with rich colors and precise execution - earned her a first-place award in the 39th annual Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2006 exhibition.
April 25, 2006 |
Four firefighters and a battalion chief were rushed to the hospital after they were shocked, likely by downed electrical wires, as they were fighting a three-alarm blaze in West Philadelphia early yesterday. Two of the injured were admitted for overnight treatment. The other three were treated and released, Executive Fire Chief Daniel Williams said. Authorities ruled out lightning as the cause and said they believed the shock was caused by live wires that had fallen during the fire and came in contact with a ladder truck.
January 28, 2006 |
A Philadelphia jury awarded a laborer $9 million this week for injuries sustained when he fell off a ladder at Sunoco's South Philadelphia refinery. John T. Dooley, the attorney for plaintiff Patrick Brown, said they had originally demanded $3 million in compensation for the October 2002 accident, but negotiated down to $1 million. "The only offer" Sunoco "ever made was $25,000," Dooley said. "They ended up with a $9 million verdict against them. " The award would rank as the third-highest to a single plaintiff in a Pennsylvania civil case last year, according to PaLAW 2005, an annual report on the state's legal profession.
April 27, 2005
IN ITS REPORT, "The Price is Wrong: Getting the Market Right for Working Families in Philadelphia," the Brookings Institution said the city must increase its middle class by "making the market work for low-income families. " Efforts to do that aren't new - from the state banking secretary's push for financial literacy and education, to the Food Bank's drive to bring more supermarkets into urban neighborhoods, to attempts to raise the minimum wage. What the report helps do is change the contextual backdrop of discussions about the poor.
March 11, 2005 |
Given that Ladder 49 is pretty predictable, the script lacks punch, and most of the film's score is entirely too dramatic (even for a movie about battling fires), this film about the everyday lives of firefighters still works. It captures the essence of what kind of people it takes to go into a burning building when everyone else is running out. While not particularly deep, Ladder 49 is a tribute to those men and women, and the DVD release furthers the admiration. The film begins at a huge, four-alarm blaze where the central character, Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix)
January 14, 2005 |
In the new corporate order of In Good Company, Dan Foreman, 51, back-slapping ad director for Sports America, is a dinosaur. And Carter Duryea, 26, product-pusher of kiddie cell phones shaped like dinosaurs, is the predator who spells Dan's extinction. Consider, though, that the elder man is a father of daughters who is secretly pining for a son. And that the younger is an insufficiently parented young man secretly pining for a father figure. The first twist of In Good Company is that the callow, younger workaholic, Carter (Topher Grace)
October 1, 2004 |
A heartfelt tribute to those who heroically risk their lives to save others, Ladder 49 fails as drama but succeeds as a "when bad things happen to good firemen" procedural. It's sensitivity training for civilians. Director Jay Russell drops us smack into the firefighter furnace. We feel the flesh-melting heat, lung-searing smoke, and eye-scorching flames. We agonize over triage decisions and ponder the cosmic irony of a job in which a worker saves families while he risks destroying his own. Despite this, Ladder 49 is a series of Hallmark-card platitudes, not a human portrait.
September 15, 2004 |
Heeding complaints that a request for proposals to install the city's first red-light camera-enforcement system unfairly favored a Texas company, the Philadelphia Parking Authority has modified its proposal. No longer are bidders required to maintain the cameras without using a ladder - a requirement that some potential bidders said favored Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services. ACS uses a pole device that allows film to be loaded and unloaded without the use of ladders. Instead, bidders must now ensure that camera maintenance and film loading and unloading be done "with minimal traffic lane obstruction.