March 13, 2013 |
Emanuel "Manny" Ortiz, 63, a longtime advocate and political organizer in Philadelphia's Puerto Rican community, died Friday, March 8, at Pennsylvania Hospital of complications following heart surgery. For two decades, Mr. Ortiz served as executive director of the Hispanic educational organization ASPIRA Inc. of Pennsylvania. He also was a founder of Taller Puertorriqueño, a group for activists and artists. He served as deputy mayor under Mayor Ed Rendell. He was a key supporter for former City Councilman Angel Ortiz and the coalition that elected Mayor W. Wilson Goode.
March 7, 2013 |
OLIVER "ALI" Robinson had an imposing family legacy to live up to. His mother, Frances "Mom" Williams, was a legendary community leader and civil-rights icon. His older brother, the late Hardy Williams, was a state senator whose run for Philadelphia mayor in 1971, although unsuccessful, paved the way for other African-Americans to seek public office. Ali made his own reputation as a civic leader, political activist, and founder and leader of organizations devoted to providing services to often-neglected young people.
March 6, 2013 |
The voluminous archives of the late U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter are heading west. Philadelphia University, which has custody, has struck a deal with the University of Pittsburgh to process, preserve, and digitize significant portions of Specter's material, officials announced Monday. The job is huge. Imagine 2,700 boxes of papers, photographs, audio and video materials, and memorabilia. That's enough to fill 337 four-drawer filing cabinets, notes Michael Dabrishus, Pitt's assistant university librarian.
March 2, 2013
PITTSBURGH - Officials overseeing a closed Roman Catholic church say someone, somehow, stole the building's organ - and the 200 massive pipes required to play it. Skip Hary, business manager of St. Justin's Church, said he was baffled that anyone could get the organ out of the building. He said it would either have to be maneuvered down narrow flights of steps or lowered over a balcony. The pipes could only be accessed by a ladder into the ceiling. There were no signs of forced entry, police said.
March 1, 2013 |
LONDON - Two years after Japan's nuclear plant disaster, an international team of experts said Thursday that residents of areas hit by the highest doses of radiation face an increased cancer risk so small it probably won't be detectable. In fact, experts calculated that increase at about 1 extra percentage point added to a Japanese infant's lifetime cancer risk. "The additional risk is quite small and will probably be hidden by the noise of other [cancer] risks like people's lifestyle choices and statistical fluctuations," said Richard Wakeford of the University of Manchester, one of the authors of the report.
January 24, 2013 |
MANAGERS of the famous Philadelphia International Cycling Championship owe the city big bucks from last year's race, including costs for cops and cleanup, according to the event's founder and city officials. Pro Cycling Tour announced Monday that it was canceling the annual race in Manayunk - initially scheduled for June 2 - due to rising costs and a loss in sponsorship. The group still owes $321,000 for the 2012 race, for traffic control, sanitation, police and emergency management, Fairmount Park event support and food-service inspection, said mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald.
January 7, 2013 |
NEWTOWN, Conn. - Chris Kelsey is the tax assessor in Newtown, but for the better part of three weeks, his job has been setting up and organizing a warehouse to hold the toys, school supplies, and other gifts donated in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Despite the town's pleas to stop sending gifts, Kelsey said trucks have been arriving daily with tokens of support from across the world, some for the families of those killed, others for the children of Sandy Hook, still others for the town.
December 31, 2012
THURSDAY I was at the Walnut Room, in Center City, for a charity bartending event for Project H.O.M.E. Local exec and event organizer Sharief El was behind the bar, serving cocktails and beer to the friends who came out to support him in raising money for the foundation. Philadelphia Y.U.P ("young urban professionals") from law, real-estate and medicine were in the house and stylish as always, giving to the cause. Project H.O.M.E. empowers people to break the cycle of homelessness, address the structural causes of poverty and attain their fullest potential as members of society.
December 12, 2012 |
Word arrived by mail Monday that Philadelphia did indeed set a new Soul Train Dance world record. Writer Sheila Simmons, the principal organizer, got a congratulatory letter Guinness World Records along with the official certificate, which declares: "The largest Soul Train Dance consisted of 291 participants and was achieved by the Philadelphia Soul Train Line Dancers in Philadelphia, Pa., USA, on 13 February 2012. " The previous record - which lingered, but not for long, on the Guinness website this morning - was set by 211 dancers in November 2011 at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, Calif.
November 30, 2012
By Phil Goldsmith Marvin Miller, who died this week at the age of 95, was one of the most important figures in the history of Major League Baseball. He made its players' union into a force that radically changed the balance of power between the owners and the athletes. Before Miller took over the union in 1966, players were tethered to their ball clubs unless they were fired, retired, or traded; they had no say on where they played. And the average annual salary was $19,000, with the minimum set at $6,000.