August 2, 2015 |
On Lansdowne Avenue, next to two benches and a bus stop, stands a new historical marker, blue with gold letters, 10 feet tall. "Looks nice," said Robyn Young, 61, the woman responsible, seeing it for the first time this week. "Taller than I thought it would be. " She pushed on the pole, kicked at the fresh dirt. "It's in there nice and firm. " Dedicated to archaeologist Tatiana Proskouriakoff, who "published a paper that revolutionized the world's understanding of Mayan hieroglyphs," the marker culminates years of effort by Young.
August 1, 2015 |
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The big Shakespeare pilgrimage of the summer would seem to be to the Druid Theatre Company's marathon performances of Shakespeare's "second tetralogy," a saga of English monarchs and wars from Richard II to Henry V imported from Ireland to the Lincoln Center Festival. Yet there's an equal impetus to travel the opposite direction, from Philadelphia to DeSales University in Center Valley, where the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival offers Henry V through Sunday: How often is the same play such a thoroughly different experience?
July 20, 2015 |
How "local" is your beer? It used to be that proximity of the brewery and clever references on the label would suffice. But the local quotient has ratcheted higher, lately, as prime ingredients themselves have become sourced regionally, too, in particular grains grown and malted locally by a pair of relatively new malthouses, Deer Creek in Glen Mills and Double Eagle in Huntingdon Valley. The cost is higher than malts imported, say, from Germany. But brewmaster John Wible at 2nd Story Brewing in Old City shows just how rewardingly vivid those fresh local grains can be in his toasty new Pennsylvania Lager, a deep-amber Vienna-style brew made with 95 percent barley and 5 percent rye from Deer Creek.
July 17, 2015 |
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Jordan Spieth wasn't wearing the University of Texas' burnt orange when he met the British Open media Wednesday, but his home-state connections were obvious anyway. The thoughtful answers of the golfing phenom, who beginning Thursday is aiming for a third consecutive major championship after winning the Masters and U.S. Open earlier this year, had a slight Southwest twang, and when the subject of Fort Worth legend Ben Hogan was raised, his tone turned reverent. Yet for all his Lone Star loyalty, it may be the 21-year-old's Pennsylvania roots - less-known but as deep as a St. Andrews pot bunker - that on the eve of his history-making Old Course quest better explain Spieth's rapid rise to golf's summit.
July 9, 2015 |
Harrisburg's budget impasse isn't just a partisan staring contest threatening to hobble the commonwealth and those who count on it. There are principles at stake. Unfortunately, they include the principles that fossil fuels should be tax-free and the government should own all the liquor stores. Such were two of the special-interest-drawn red lines that the Pennsylvania legislature and Gov. Wolf hewed to as they blew last week's deadline to agree on a spending plan. With the state required to continue paying for services that implicate health, welfare, and safety, the stalemate isn't doing much damage for the time being.
July 8, 2015 |
Investigators have finished a probe expected to identify the employees responsible for pervasive problems at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs benefits office, but say they aren't releasing the findings while the agency is considering disciplinary action. VA officials on Monday said the report, completed last Tuesday, is being withheld to protect the due process rights of the employees involved. "Decisions on each issue, including any appropriate disciplinary actions, will be made in accordance with applicable due process procedures," VA spokesman James Hutton said in a statement.
July 3, 2015 |
EDUCATION is front and center as Pennsylvania's budget heads into overtime. A key element in this debate is whether additional school funding should be tied to new accountability measures in the form of House Bill 1225 and Senate Bill 6, both of which would allow a more forceful state hand in governing the state's lowest performing schools. (S.B. 6 passed the Senate on a party-line, 27-22 vote on Sunday evening.) In the abstract, linking increased funding with oversight makes sense; however, this particular proposal deserves careful scrutiny.
June 23, 2015 |
Barbara Butler takes home $250 a week for driving a school bus with blind children to a Catholic day school part time. Her health insurance premiums are $517 a month. She pays 76 cents, and Washington picks up the rest. The Supreme Court is expected to rule within a week on whether that subsidy, a key part of President Obama's health-care law, is legal in 34 states. If it decides not, then the West Philadelphia resident's premiums would swell to half her income. "Fortunately for me, I'm pretty healthy," Butler said.
June 22, 2015 |
HERSHEY, Pa. - Before lightning and heavy rain ended the contest at halftime, Imhotep Charter's D.J. Moore hauled in an 86-yard touchdown catch and Great Valley's Ryan Buchholz applied consistent pressure at defensive end. Their efforts helped Pennsylvania best Maryland, 20-3, Saturday night in the shortened Big 33 Football Classic at HersheyPark Stadium. Weather stopped the 58th annual contest prior to the start of the second half. On a flea-flicker play late in the second quarter, Moore, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound wideout bound for the University of Maryland, caught Brett Brumbaugh's heave at the 50 and easily raced to the end zone.
June 14, 2015 |
From the opening curtain to the final darkening of the lights, exuberant reactions - both subjectively visceral and objectively profound - rippled through the Merriam Theater at the Pennsylvania Ballet's season closer Thursday night. Choreographer William Forsythe has returned to the States after decades helming Ballet Frankfurt and then his own company in Dresden. The Philadelphia premiere of his 1991 The Second Detail is his third work from the Pennsylvania Ballet. These decades-old, neoclassical ballets will appeal to lovers of Balanchine, whom Forsythe most admired, and, to my eye, advanced the Balanchine aesthetic.