August 31, 2014 |
The Philadelphia Bar Association will host bar leaders from London, Beijing, Frankfurt, and other major cities at a conference from Sept. 10 to 13 aimed at showcasing the city's attributes as a crossroads of cultural and economic activity. Association chancellor William Fedullo said a focus of the World City Bar Leaders conference will be discussions on expanding legal representation for low-income people in civil litigation. Besides other legal discussions and cultural events, the conference will have a presentation by Kenneth Feinberg on responding to catastrophes.
August 31, 2014 |
The fallout from the Philadelphia School District's dismal financial situation continues: 17 central-office employees were issued layoff notices Friday. Overall, 81 positions were eliminated, said Fernando Gallard, spokesman for the school system, but among those were 64 vacant jobs. The laid-off workers come mostly from the district's facilities and capital improvements offices. One employee from the Office of Family and Community Engagement was also issued a pink slip. Shedding the 81 jobs saves the district $5.4 million, Gallard said.
August 30, 2014 |
The scene at the Loft District's new Goldtex building couldn't have been more tranquil. Workers were wrapping up construction, patching cracks in the concrete and nestling shrubs into planters. A notice on the window of the retail space heralded the opening of a restaurant. Residents skipped down the front steps, off to their Center City jobs. It's hard to believe that only two years ago, the corner of 12th and Wood was Philadelphia's most notorious construction site. A dispute between powerful building-trades unions and two young, maverick developers escalated into an old-style, head-busting labor war that became a symbol of the divide between old Philadelphia and new Philadelphia.
August 29, 2014 |
In the summer of 1776, as 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson was writing the first draft of what became the Declaration of Independence, he solicited the thoughts of some colleagues. He was anxious to hear from Benjamin Franklin, for instance, because of the much older man's "more enlarged view of the subject. " Franklin made minor suggestions, which is why "we hold these truths to be self-evident," as opposed to holding them "sacred and undeniable. " Jefferson could write like a demon; Franklin was a devil of concision.
August 28, 2014 |
Hello there Monica was a junior at Tyler School of Art when she landed her first internship at Iris Creative. Iris' president, Beth, was so impressed that she brought her back the next year, then hired Monica after she graduated in 2011. Part of getting to know her boss was learning about Beth's family, including son James, then a rising junior enrolled in Navy ROTC while earning a mechanical engineering degree from Drexel. "She showed me a picture of him once, and I thought he was really cute," Monica said.
August 27, 2014 |
At 18, Andrew "Pop" Wansel made a promise to himself. Before he died, he'd work with both Kanye West and Alicia Keys. He did, all before his 30th birthday. The 26-year-old two-time Grammy-winning songwriter/producer sits in his new Old City apartment. His jovial demeanor warms the room, as his arms drape his plush couch. Wansel has just moved in, but the dining room table is topped with enough tableware to be the envy of the next issue of Good Housekeeping. He admits he wasn't the interior designer, but a painting of Jimi Hendrix, one of his earliest influences, at the head of the table reveals Wansel's touch.
August 27, 2014 |
Civic leaders have stepped in with a provisional plan to bring Philadelphia Theatre Company back from the brink of financial collapse, and, possibly, secure its long-term viability. The rescue plan, which ties new financial support to a re-organization of the company, was instigated by philanthropist Suzanne Roberts, mother of Comcast chairman Brian Roberts and a longtime patron of the company, and was fleshed out with help from Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen. It calls for arts consultant Michael M. Kaiser, departing president of Washington's Kennedy Center, to develop a new business plan that is more detailed than the analysis he has already provided at the behest of the Roberts family.
August 26, 2014 |
ERNIE MONTELLA attended his first Philadelphia Athletics game in 1943. It was the start of a love affair that continues today. Montella was co-founder of the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society, which closed its museum and gift shop in Hatboro in April of last year after a 15-year run. Former players were known to pop into the place from time to time. They'd also showed up at the society's annual breakfast to relive glory days with each other and fans. Sadly, said Montella, the players are dying off, or are simply too old to commit to personal appearances.
August 25, 2014 |
It started over nothing - a police call about a maroon Buick blocking an intersection in North Philadelphia. Frustrated drivers leaned on their horns as traffic backed up around 22d Street and Columbia Avenue. When motorcycle officer Robert Wells arrived, he found Rush Bradford standing in the street, arguing through the driver's side window with his wife, Odessa Bradford. She pressed one foot on the gas and the other on the brake, making the engine roar. "Lady," the cop told her, "let the man park this car on the side.
August 25, 2014 |
A child struggling for breath after a nerve-gas attack; a nurse attending to victims of barrel bombs; the tears of a Syrian doctor after a missile destroyed his hospital. Such are the images that haunt the days and nights of Rim Albezem, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), a humanitarian-aid group of medical professionals of Syrian descent. "People have the capacity to be very, very monstrous," Albezem said Tuesday, the same day Islamic State extremists released a video depicting the decapitation of American journalist James Foley, who was abducted in Syria two years ago. SAMS wants to be an antidote, said Albezem, 46. "It shows the capacity for good.