March 10, 2015 |
Lots of labor news in the last three weeks - and in some ways, the 21,000-member union local led by Wendell Young 4th has been at the heart of all of it. On Feb. 19, for example, Walmart announced it would raise minimum wages for its workers to $9 an hour starting in April. In Philadelphia, and across the nation, the United Food and Commercial Workers union has spent at least the last two decades pressuring Walmart on its wage policies. On Feb. 26, the Pennsylvania House voted to privatize the state's liquor stores.
February 22, 2015 |
Organizers of Pope Francis' expected visit to Philadelphia in September said Friday that they had raised $30 million of a $45 million goal. The World Meeting of Families, the nonprofit that is planning and staging the papal visit along with a weeklong Catholic convention, said it brought in $30 million in cash and in-kind donations. Fund-raising started in February 2014. "Wonderful generosity and great enthusiasm for the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis have defined our initial fund-raising efforts," said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput in a news release.
February 17, 2015 |
Education may well be the issue that gets Philadelphia's next mayor elected. That fact is not lost on Stephanie Conaghan, a kindergarten teacher at Ziegler Elementary, a public school in Oxford Circle. So for the last several months, in addition to teaching 30 children, she's been learning about politics: volunteering at phone banks, signing her colleagues up to canvass neighborhoods for candidates she believes support education, and distributing voter-registration forms to parents.
February 7, 2015 |
Michael Hollinger's Under the Skin , a world premiere at the Arden Theatre, is a surprise. Hollinger's plays are sometimes smart and elegant ( Opus ), smart and funny ( Incorruptible ), or smart and sad ( Ghost Writer ). This new play is none of the above, but rather a shallow soap opera full of cheap laughs about such hilarious topics as organ donation and deep, painful family grudges. It's all very well to talk about life imitating art, but when the lead actor in a play moves from his onstage hospital bed to a real hospital bed, highfalutin theories seem to matter less.
January 29, 2015 |
WING BOWL's key component may be a piece of chicken, but a duck is a much better poultry metaphor for the testosterone-fueled annual bacchanal staged by sports-gabber WIP-FM (94.1). That's because while everything will likely go as smoothly as a duck gliding across a pond - if you ignore the audience's booze-fueled grabbling, puking and general misbehavior - just beneath the surface, parts will be moving constantly to make things look effortless. Friday's Wing Bowl 23 at the Wells Fargo Center will be the result of a year's worth of planning and plotting by about a half-dozen WIP staffers charged with staging what has become a civic touchstone of near-mythic status.
January 28, 2015 |
It was March 25, 2010, and Andrew McIntyre had just become a father. His mind was on his newborn girl, but he was also thinking about his own dad, who died of complications from emphysema when McIntyre was 4. "It brought my father back to me in a way I had not anticipated," McIntyre said. "I wanted him in the waiting room, more so than when I got married or graduated. " Having his own child inspired McIntyre, a West Chester native, to help bereaved children in the area. Last fall, he launched the W.H. McIntyre Foundation.
January 27, 2015 |
The Rev. Mark Tyler awoke before dawn Tuesday, invigorated by the giant protest that had shut down Center City the previous day - and ready to confront the question on everyone's mind: What's next? Through weeks of planning, he and other organizers promised the Martin Luther King's Birthday march would be just the start, the public launch of a new movement to bring concrete change to Philadelphia. But protest can be a limited tactic, and even the best-led social movements can fizzle.
January 18, 2015 |
At some city public schools, there is no recess at all - deep budget cuts mean there are not enough adults to monitor students' playtime. But at McMichael Elementary in Mantua, children troop out onto the schoolyard in orderly lines, pledge to be respectful and kind, then break out into orderly but joyous games of football, dodgeball and foursquare - blowing off steam with a genial man known as Coach Steve. McMichael is one of 13 Philadelphia School District schools and three city charters that use Playworks, a nonprofit that places a full-time staffer in schools to structure recess.
January 7, 2015 |
M om's Organic Market , a Maryland-based chain, is planning a new Center City grocery at 34 S. 11th St. in Philadelphia's new East Market development. Like a more intimate Whole Foods fit into a Trader Joe's -sized 16,000 square-foot space, Mom's is designed to help draw the young and retired professionals to the four-acre block of planned new and renovated stores, apartments, offices, bars and restaurants bounded by Market, Chestnut, 11th, and 12th Streets. East Market's investors include National Real Estate Advisors L.L.C.
December 26, 2014 |
MUSLIMS Mobilized Against Police Brutality, a new organization in Philadelphia, expects hundreds of participants at a march and rally tomorrow in Center City. The event, organized by the Muslim Wellness Foundation, the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative and United Muslim Masjid, will begin at noon at 15th Street and JFK Boulevard. Kameelah Mu'Min Rashad, a coordinator, said the demonstration is designed to address police brutality directed against the black community. "Over the course of the last few weeks, we've been talking pointedly and having discussions about the political and social and legal implications of the events around Ferguson and New York and the psychological trauma evident in the black community as a result," she said.