July 21, 2010
You know things are bad at the Delaware River Port Authority when union leader John J. "Doc" Dougherty is the person leading the fight for good governance. Dougherty has long been a backroom political operator. But he is on the side of the angels in his fight to bring more openness to a longtime patronage pit. As a DRPA commissioner, Dougherty wants to improve some of the dubious business practices at the bistate agency that operates four toll bridges over the Delaware River and runs the PATCO commuter rail service between Philadelphia and South Jersey.
June 6, 2010 |
Soybeans grow where the people once lived and trees shade where they buried their dead in Brotherton, New Jersey's first and only Indian reservation. Two centuries after the community disbanded, and its inhabitants were relocated and 3,000-plus acres sold off, courts continue to consider history-based claims to what the Leni-Lenape called edgepillock , or "place of pure clear water. " Brotherton, now a substantially developed part of Shamong Township, was at the center of a May 25 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.
March 4, 2010
MANY Americans are too young to remember the days when an American river really did catch on fire, when many waterways were like open sewers and lakes nearly died from pollution. They are too young to remember the dirty days before the 1972 Clean Water Act, signed by that radical environmentalist Richard M. Nixon, led the government to begin the massive task of protecting all "waters of the United States. " The Clean Water Act is a prime example of how prudent government regulation can make a huge difference in the health of the nation's environment and its people.
April 24, 2009 |
Like James Brown, Sam & Dave made great records, but they were even more dynamic on stage, where their galvanic showmanship revealed another, essential dimension of their artistry. That's what makes Sam & Dave: The Original Soul Men such a treat. This two-hour documentary tells the story of Sam Moore and Dave Prater through interviews with Moore himself (Prater was killed in a 1988 car crash), former Stax Records chief Al Bell, and bandleader Paul Shaffer, who notes, "Sam and Dave were two preachers on stage, preaching the gospel of soul.
March 9, 2009 |
There's a Muddy Waters song that goes "the blues had a baby and they named it rock and roll. " All that was fine until that baby had a slew of grandchildren and somehow spawned the garage rock wrecking crew that is the Black Lips. This all-boy Atlanta quartet - capable of mashing-up blues, doo-wop, country, and psychedelic noise within their rough-hewn punk at the drop of a dime - is notoriously messy. They're famous for on-stage nudity, barfing, and the discharging of other fluids.
December 5, 2008 |
In 1950, as the blues, gospel and jazz cross-pollinated but before Detroit's Motown, before Memphis' Sun and Stax - and well before Philadelphia International Records - there was Chicago's Chess label. Those of a certain age fondly remember its logo, a silhouette of a king chess piece flanked by those of bishop and knight. Martin, who made her film debut in 1994 with the raucously funny I Like It Like That , wrote and directed this ensemble drama with music and narrative enough for five features.
December 18, 2005 |
It would seem obvious: Democratic Senate candidate Robert P. Casey Jr., who opposes abortion, believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned. "You can't say you have the position I have and not believe that," Casey said in a recent interview about the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made legal abortions available nationwide. But some antiabortion Democrats - including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Ron Klink, the party's nominee in the 2000 Pennsylvania Senate race - have parsed their position when confronted with the question: Do you believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned?
August 13, 2005
Long live rock-and-roll Re: "Rock-and-roll is dead; let it be," Currents, Aug. 7: The comments by music executive Thane Tierney typify problems with the music industry today. He lumped together two different and wholly unrelated phenomena: money and art. The amount of revenue earned by rock music is not a barometer for rock's popularity or the creativity of new rock musicians. In recent years, fewer companies own a larger share of the mainstream music market. Most of these companies get most of their revenue from nonmusical enterprises.
January 5, 2005 |
They took a bucket of muddy, bacteria-laden water. Added a bit of white powder. Stirred. And within minutes, standing amid 100 refugees in war-torn Liberia, researchers from Johns Hopkins University had produced what seemed like a magic trick: Clear, drinkable water. "I couldn't believe it when I saw it," Hopkins researcher Shannon Doocy said of her work last year. "The people in Liberia couldn't believe it. " The powder, developed by Procter & Gamble Co. with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is now headed for its biggest test yet: the tsunami zone.
April 19, 2002 |
The Band, a quintet of four Canadians and one self-described Southern cracker, initially won fame in the '60s as Bob Dylan's backup musicians. After the 1968 release of its debut album, Music From Big Pink, The Band enjoyed an eight-year run as the mighty Mississippi of rock, its music a confluence of rockabilly, rootsy, bluesy and bluegrassy backwaters that converged to overflow the riverbanks with its brand of folksy romanticism. Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz (1978), along with Woodstock one of the great rockumentaries ever, celebrates The Band's 1976 farewell concert in San Francisco.