March 4, 2016
By Karen Murphy Drug overdose deaths are claiming the lives of more Pennsylvanians today than even motor vehicle accidents. In 2014, 2,500 individuals - seven people a day - succumbed to fatal overdoses from prescription opioids and heroin in the commonwealth, a staggering 20 percent increase over the previous year. Sadly, we expect that number to grow when 2015 statistics are released this summer. Drug addiction is the public health crisis of our time. In fact, it is the worst public health crisis I have seen in more than 30 years as a health professional.
January 20, 2016 |
Short of switching home-heating systems, residential natural-gas customers who are opposed to hydraulic fracturing have few means to express their sentiments in the marketplace. But now the Energy Co-op, the member-owned Philadelphia energy-buying group, has launched a "renewable natural gas" product derived from landfill gas for customers who are willing to pay a premium price for a frack-free alternative. The co-op has devised a "Renewable Natural Gas Credit" modeled after similar credits that reward producers of renewable electricity and motor fuel.
December 30, 2015
ELKINS PARK The Creekside Co-op received a boost this month with a grant from the Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority. The redevelopment authority will provide $151,500 to the co-op, a member-owned community grocery store in Elkins Park. Its opening in 2012 was touted as an opportunity to anchor the revitalization of downtown Elkins Park, but revenue lagged expenses after it opened. The county commissioners unanimously approved the grant at their Dec. 17 meeting. At the meeting, Commissioner Josh Shapiro praised the co-op's efforts to provide local food and support the community.
September 25, 2015 |
Most meals on Temple University's main campus are served by a huge, multinational food-services company, Sodexo. But in a sunny room tucked away in one academic building, students at the Rad Dish Cafe are cooking up something different: salads made with produce from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative and local-food distributor Common Market, sandwiches on bread baked at Philadelphia's Wild Flour Bakery, coffee from local fair-trade roaster Greenstreet,...
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.