July 20, 1998 |
One speaker likened it to apartheid and segregation. Another called it unfair and un-American. A third warned that his people's very citizenship was at stake. Outside the meeting room, young men handed out flyers calling for marches on Washington and the United Nations. Inside, the crowd of more than 300 cheered and applauded some statements, only to abruptly shake heads in disgust at others. Should Puerto Rico become a state? Should it retain commonwealth status? Or should it chance independence?
October 26, 1997 |
You could say Pat Montgomery has put her love for Chester County's Highland Township on the wall - of the township building on Gum Tree Road, that is. Montgomery, the township's secretary and a 30-year resident, is painting "the four seasons of Highland" in Grandma Moses style on the supervisors' meeting room wall. The township's offices are in the converted Highland School, which was built in 1937 and is in the process of being refurbished. "I have no artistic talent at all," Montgomery said with a big smile as she pointed to her version of autumn for this 25-square-mile municipality in the county's western reaches.
January 5, 1997 |
There were passionate speeches and heated emotions. A developer's history of code violations was recited. Zealous grassroots tactics were denounced. A police escort was summoned. In the end, Whitpain Township supervisors unanimously voted down a zoning change that would have allowed townhouses to be built on 14 acres along Skippack Pike in Whitpain Hills. But the drama of the event won't easily be forgotten. Some locals say the hearing last month was the finest democratic forum this township has held in recent years.
October 6, 1996 |
Quien es mas macho? Isaac Cruz, 41, opinionated and proudly traditional, seemed to be the answer. Sitting restlessly in a second floor meeting room at Aspira, a North Philadelphia advocacy group, Puerto Rico-born Cruz insisted that while he is a man of tradition, he is not a machista, an adherent of that centuries-old code of male dominance called machismo. "The problem is that ladies are always trying to control the men," said Cruz, a member of Aspira Corps, a community-service project run by Aspira.
September 25, 1996 |
It took a phalanx of federal marshals to ensure order, but school crossing guards held a union meeting last night without the jeering, screaming or hostility that erupted the last time they tried this. The marshals were one difference. Another was the presence of U.S. District Judge Norma L. Shapiro, who shed her robes, left her courtroom, and ventured to District Council 33 headquarters at 30th and Walnut Streets to make sure this meeting - unlike the one held three weeks ago - stayed calm.
September 16, 1996 |
Children's story hours and summer reading clubs haven't brought enough borrowers to the J. Lewis Crozer Library here, so the library's management is employing a new tactic to attract residents: offering free meeting space. The library, the third oldest in the state, houses 90,000 books. It is housed in a 20-year-old building at 620 Engle St. and is the only public library in a city with a population of about 40,000. Yet it is underused; it has only 10,000 members and only about 25,000 books were checked out last year.
May 21, 1995 |
The governing board of the Chester County Intermediate Unit has voted to spend $6,000 to send a public-relations specialist and three colleagues to a conference in Seattle this summer. John K. Baillie, executive director of the agency, said the group has won the Golden Medallion award presented by the National School Public Relations Association for a project improving relations among workers at the agency. Baillie said all four workers would attend "because they worked together as a customer- service team, they mounted this effort, and they won the award.
May 7, 1995 |
After more than 30 years in the workforce, Carmine DeSopo has built up quite a varied work sheet, including jobs as a gas station operator, international tour director, janitorial service supervisor, jailhouse teacher, and horticulture expert. That's in addition to his duties as superintendent of the Burlington County Special Services School District, which he has led since 1972. This year, he added another job to the list: marketing director, and chief booster, of the school district's new meeting and conference center.
April 6, 1995 |
They're back. Two years ago, officials of the William Jeanes Library on Joshua Road launched a campaign to raise $265,000 to repair the roof and install a new heating and air-conditioning system. Now library officials have started a new drive, this time to raise $350,000 for a 2,500-square-foot children's wing to be built on the back of the 24- year-old building. The need for space is compelling, said Diana V. Smartt, the library's director. There aren't enough tables, she said - just five for adults and five more for children.
March 30, 1995 |
The raucousness was supposed to start May 6, when students at the University of Delaware plan to hold their 22d annual music festival here. Instead, it began Monday night at a supervisors' meeting when Judy Porta, the vice chairwoman, resigned, cursing the residents as she exited. "I'd like to say to those people who used alcohol as an excuse - that was just a sham, wasn't it? I am formally resigning," Porta said as she packed up her books and papers from the front table. "I don't care if this township goes to hell in a handbasket.