December 6, 2014 |
Karon Smith, 28, used to sell drugs, a means of making ends meet in his impoverished North Philadelphia neighborhood. These days, he's got a different kind of corner hustle. His new gig is at the People's Paper Co-op, a social enterprise start-up that coordinates with volunteer lawyers to run clinics expunging criminal records, then turns the shredded records into handmade paper, journals, and note cards for sale. For people like Smith, that means a fresh start - and the chance to generate income while helping others in his community.
November 6, 2014
YOUR PAPER recently published an oped by Chad Dion Lassiter, the President of Black Men at Penn School of Social Work, that called real-estate development company Templetown Realty and Temple University, "the new Jim Crow. " The objective of Mr. Lassiter's letter is to raise awareness of the allegedly heavy-handed tactics used by the realty company and Temple to displace the poor African-American community that surrounds the campus, and to call for a campaign of civil disobedience against the university's expansion efforts.
October 27, 2014 |
For as long as she can remember, Susan Stapler Davis has loved fabric. Actually, it's in her DNA. When you come of age in the Stapler family, longtime owners of Stapler Fabric at 1222 Walnut St. until it closed in 2007, that sort of predilection is predictable. "I loved the store, and I loved being there. I spent most of my adult years working there in sales and design after the kids were grown," Davis fondly recalls in her cooperative apartment on JFK Boulevard, where lush fabrics are everywhere.
September 3, 2014 |
Obamacare, organic soy milk, and birth control pills have proven to be a volatile mix for Eden Foods, a small, highly regarded natural foods company. Last year, the Clinton, Mich., company's owner, Michael Potter, sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, objecting to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires company health insurance plans to cover preventive medicine - including contraception. Citing his Catholic beliefs, Potter said he should not be forced to help his employees obtain birth control, or any other "lifestyle drugs" such as Viagra and hair-loss remedies.
June 30, 2014 |
LENA HELEN, of East Kensington, could barely contain her excitement upon learning that her dream of a member-owned grocery store, filled to the brim with healthy products, was finally coming to fruition. "It's going to be huge!" she exclaimed. Helen, the president of the Kensington Community Food Co-op (KCFC), dreamed up the idea for a neighborhood food co-op back in 2008. But the organization was only able to secure space for a permanent home in April, she said. The co-op will be at Frankford and Lehigh avenues in what was formerly O'Reilly's Pub. Renovations on the property are expected to begin next year in preparation for a 2016 opening.
February 19, 2014
I AM a 28-year-old recovering heroin addict. Having said that, Ms. Flowers, I now need to address your perceptions of addiction and specifically Philip Seymour Hoffman's death. Being educated in this field, both academically and personally, I am blessed with a unique insight into the disease of addiction. And, make no mistake about it, it is a disease. However, it is not a disease like cancer or diabetes, as some like to compare it to. It is a disease not like any other. It is threefold in nature: a mental obsession, like obsessive-compulsive disorder; a physical allergy, like one would have to peanut butter; and a spiritual malady, which I have no words to explain.
February 6, 2014 |
DOYLESTOWN Lisa White and John LaSala have spent their adult lives in the corporate world. They had no idea how to open a grocery store. But after years of planning - and with lots of help - White, board president of the Doylestown Food Co-op and a management consultant, and LaSala, a fellow board member and a former Johnson & Johnson executive, are days away from celebrating the grand opening of the co-op's 1,400-square-foot store on West...
January 18, 2014 |
ELKINS PARK The Creekside Co-Op in Elkins Park has eliminated employee health insurance and outsourced its payroll, sparking some consternation among employees of the struggling community-owned grocery. Some employees said morale dropped in mid-December when they were told they would have to find their own health insurance, and were ordered to fill out "new hire" paperwork that included a detailed medical history and waivers for random drug tests. Jeff Rotter, president of the co-op board, said the moves were necessary because, a year after opening, the store still isn't profitable, and costs for worker compensation and employee health insurance were going to rise significantly.
October 14, 2013 |
DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP Loren Dann began class Tuesday the way many children would like school to start: by handing out candy. Before her students could unwrap the treats, though, they found out they had been baited into an ethics lesson. Should the 7- and 8-year-olds keep the candy or give it to a sick friend, who could surely use a pick-me-up? Perhaps more important, do they have a duty to do so? "Today," Dann declared, "we are going to talk about charity. " Soon, the students were debating whether people had a right to health care, an education, home ownership.
August 27, 2013 |
By most measures, the CreekSide Co-op in Elkins Park can be called a runaway success. But the most important metric, revenue, is lagging to such an extent operators fear they won't make it to the one-year mark in November. The store, part of a growing movement of community-owned and -operated grocers, has anchored a revival of the downtown area that includes three new restaurants, a renovated park, and a community development project at the nearby train station. The co-op has attracted 2,150 member households, nearly double the target.