November 12, 2013 |
WHEN RYAN KUCK pulls up in front of the Older Adult Sunshine Center in West Philadelphia in his converted bread truck each Wednesday, he's like the ice-cream man on a 95-degree day. Seniors line up to cradle Kuck's cucumbers, inspect the onions and pore over the potatoes. "These are people who are used to cooking," said Sandi Ramos, the center's director. "They're used to living off the land. They want to get all the parts and pieces that go in it. " Kuck's truck - better known as the West Philly Fresh Food Hub - gives them the opportunity to do that in an area that he and Ramos consider underserved.
February 28, 2014 |
ARTIST James Dupree says that despite the city's "You're gonna love the arts in Philly" slogan, Philadelphia hasn't been showing him any love. Instead, Dupree said, he has been confronted with pain and despair over a continuing legal struggle with the city to keep his studio space in Mantua. The city Redevelopment Authority wants to take his massive, 8,600 square-foot studio building, on Haverford Avenue near 36th Street, to make room for a supermarket and parking lot. His studio is filled with 5,000 works of art - including wildly colorful pieces, mixed-media jewelry boxes with feathers, and a wall installation showing how the city helps developers take property from low-income homeowners.
December 23, 1996 |
There was a time when Franklin Kelly had to sorta bribe kids to stay after school for a little intellectual extracurricular activity. Gave them juice, punch, TastyKakes, an occasional pizza. No more. Now they look forward to it. Look forward to putting a move or two on their opponent. To backing them into a corner with nowhere to turn. Most important, they've developed a deeper interest in school, their studies and themselves. Kelly's kids are members of the McMichael Elementary School chess team, a squad Kelly whipped up almost three years ago to give young boys and girls an opportunity to compete in an activity that doesn't require athletic ability.
March 15, 1991 |
For someone like Rondell Turner, having to absorb elbows and shoves from some of the taller and beefier stars in Public League basketball did not prove very intimidating. Turner has been fighting and scrambling for much of his life. Turner, a 6-6 sophomore from University City, has lived for the past year in Mount Airy, with his foster mother, Peaches Kirkland. Before that, in about a three-year period, he bounced from a group home in South Philly to another in suburban Flourtown to another in Mantua.
June 2, 2014 |
It was a grand and glorious funeral, one that drew hundreds of people onto the streets to honor not a person but a house. There were tears, more than a couple. But also joy, and music and memories, all in celebration of 3711 Melon Street in West Philadelphia. The house began life 142 years ago as a stack of bricks and lumber, and was set to end it on Saturday as a dusty pile of the same, after a ritual demolition. The empty, abandoned home, its roof failing and back wall bulging, was the centerpiece of "Funeral for a Home," an arts project that paid tribute to one home as a way to recognize them all - in a city where demolitions have become commonplace.
February 9, 2014 |
The federal government says a new designation as a "Promise Zone" holds the possibility of transforming a big, ailing chunk of West Philadelphia. Robert Morris Skaler can remember when the area didn't need a zone to have promise. He was born there, grew up there, and forever after remained interested in the place and its potential. As a boy, he lived on the boundary of Mantua and Belmont, an area that in the 1940s held not just a healthy middle-class population but something that to him was more intriguing: a stock of big Victorian and Italianate houses, the envy of any in Philadelphia.
January 15, 1988 |
Luckily for University City's basketball team, Corey Shinholster is better at producing than he is at predicting. "Coming into this season," he said, "I was figuring on getting maybe 11 points and six rebounds a game. " Try approximately doubling that, at least yesterday. Shinholster, a muscular 6-4 forward who patrols the baseline in coach Steve Kane's system, shot 9-for-16 and 8-for-8 for 26 points and swept 13 rebounds as the Jaguars thumped host George Washington, 85-65, to run their overall record to 11-3.
October 18, 1989 |
June Scott went to heroic lengths to keep her grandchildren from harm. A year ago, she traveled to Detroit to fetch two of them after a crack- crazed brute murdered their mother in a park. Then three weeks ago, she rescued three more from another of her daughters, who left her children for days at a time to satisfy her drug habit. Scott fed and clothed them. She put them in school. On Sunday, she bought them a puppy named Roscoe. And for their safety, she got a battery-powered smoke detector on Monday from the Philadelphia Injury and Prevention Program.
September 22, 2012 |
What to make of this week's dueling economic headlines? Somehow, Philadelphia is growing both more impoverished and more competitive. The Pew Philadelphia Research Initiative is out with a new study revealing that the suburbs, not the city, have raised residential taxes most rapidly over the last decade. Philadelphia hasn't achieved tax parity - not by a long shot - but the Pew report suggests strongly the city is moving in the right direction. Encouraging. And yet The Inquirer's Alfred Lubrano reports that Philadelphia's poverty rate jumped 6.4 percent in a year, solidifying Philadelphia's status as one of the nation's poorest big cities.
November 2, 2013 |
SEWELL Buying ghost-shaped cookies Thursday from the Ghost Chasers' Club didn't mean - ha-ha - that you believe in ghosts. But for the students selling those cookies at a table in Gloucester County College's student center, disembodied voices and sourceless shadows and floating lights are no laughing matter. "I started it last fall," founder and club president Justin Leach said shortly after lunch. "I figured a lot of people have had paranormal experiences that they're afraid to talk about or can't explain.