July 14, 2014 |
The shoemaker explained what made his lasts last, and the tavern public room was set up for a congenial checkers match. But when we saw the tavern owner's wife sitting at a table practicing the art known as fraktur and when we spotted the ceramic tile stoves that heated 200-year-old buildings, we realized that Old Salem in Winston-Salem, N.C., is a living history town unlike Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, or...
July 12, 2014 |
On Saturday, get ready for the invasion. Bring your swim attire and old shoes, play games, and get chased by pirates during Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation's Pirate Splash Day. Beginning at noon, do all things pirate. Foot races include running through a maze grabbing coins while avoiding getting sprayed by water-wielding pirates. Learn how to bob for apples with your feet. Display your might playing tug-o'-war and engage in water-pistol fighting, rubber ducky races, and other aquatic fun. Craft activities include candle making, coloring, and papermaking.
June 23, 2014 |
Pennsylvania, we can do so much better. A new academic study ranks the commonwealth as the nation's fifth most corrupt state based on convictions of elected public officials and misappropriation of public funds for private gain, a Harrisburg specialty. (New Jersey secured amateur status at 20th most corrupt.) Granted, we're below Illinois, where four of the last seven governors graduated to prison (with one doing a reality-television pit stop in between) but, still, fifth ?
June 18, 2014
OK, I FEEL the need to defend my native state. Pennsylvania's earned reputation for public corruption is being besmirched. A new study of states ranks us fifth-most-corrupt behind Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Illinois. I'm here to tell you we've been wronged. We're more corrupt than that. For starters, we have Philadelphia, described more than a century ago by muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens in The Shame of the Cities as "the most corrupt and the most contented" of all American municipalities.
June 17, 2014
MISS PENNSYLVANIA Valerie Gatto was 6 when her mother told her: "Something bad happened to me. A very bad man hurt me, but God gave me you. " That was Gatto's first hint that she was the product of rape. Gatto, a semifinalist during last week's Miss USA pageant, has since made it her life's mission to teach women to protect themselves from sexual assault. She also is intent on "showing people that your circumstances do not define your life. " Out of the darkness, comes light.
June 15, 2014 |
Pennsylvania Ballet closes its 50th anniversary season as a company in transition. Artistic director Roy Kaiser will leave once a new director can be found. Executive director Michael Scolamiero is off to a new job. The ballet's 50th anniversary finale program, which opened Thursday night at the Merriam, is a rather serious celebration, but the dancing - much of it duets set to piano music played by Martha Koeneman - impressed. The cast of dancers has changed more than usual in the last year or two, as well, and presumably will change even more under a new director.
June 2, 2014 |
In 1984, after five years of marriage and the birth of two daughters, Clemente Pascarella came out, moved in with a man in Northeast Philadelphia, and sought visitation with his girls, ages 2 and 5. AIDS was becoming rampant, many homosexuals were closeted, and Pascarella's estranged wife was concerned for the physical and emotional well-being of the children. She opposed unrestricted visitation. Pascarella lost his court battle, but in so doing unknowingly planted a beacon in the public record that would flash decades later.
May 23, 2014 |
Moments after a federal judge cleared the way for gay marriage in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Tim Sabol was sitting with a financial-planning client. Suddenly, his smartphone buzzed. And then it went off again. And then, it just wouldn't pipe down. "My phone was vibrating nonstop in my pocket," said Sabol, 32, from Center City, who has been dating his partner and fiance, Judd Flesch, for 11 years. "But I couldn't check it. " As he walked from a conference room, though, Sabol's assistant rushed up. "Did you hear the good news?"
May 16, 2014 |
Pennsylvania Ballet's administrative leader is leaving. Michael G. Scolamiero, the ballet's executive director since 1997, has accepted the same post with Miami City Ballet. The announcement comes two weeks after artistic director Roy Kaiser said he would step down as soon as a replacement is found. Both changes come as the ballet puts in place a strategic plan prepared by Michael M. Kaiser (not related to Roy) to bring the company, in Scolamiero's words, "back to the top ranks of American ballet companies.
May 14, 2014 |
PENNSYLVANIA'S Democrats will select their nominee for governor one week from today. But front-runner Tom Wolf is already being targeted by Gov. Corbett and his Republican allies as the likely general-election challenger. Corbett is running TV ads critical of Wolf's 18 months as state revenue secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell. The state Republican Party sent campaign mailers to Democrats, accusing Wolf - without providing proof - of dodging taxes with his family's business. Pollster G. Terry Madonna of Franklin & Marshall College says the singular Republican focus on a Democrat - before primary election ballots are even cast - is a first for a statewide race here.