April 21, 2014 |
J. Matthew Wolfe was part of an insurgency that spent three years trying to overthrow the leadership of Philadelphia's feckless Republican Party in the hopes of building a viable alternative to Democratic dominance. Last year, the GOP ended the fight by naming State Rep. John Taylor, a respected legislator, chairman. The party also hired a young, aggressive operative as executive director. "We have a stronger Republican Party than we did a year ago," Wolfe said, before adding: "We have a long way to go. " Just how far the party has traveled toward relevance will be tested May 20, when Wolfe, a lawyer in University City, runs for City Council in a special election.
April 18, 2014 |
SOMETIMES criminals evade detection by police and the media, even when they commit a series of savage assaults. That was the case with Matthew Jones, 30, who pleaded guilty in July to raping and battering four women in Frankford between May 2007 and his arrest in August 2012. Yesterday, Common Pleas Judge Donna Woelpper sentenced Jones to 35 to 100 years in state prison, noting the violence he had inflicted on his victims and calling him a danger to society and a poor candidate for rehabilitation.
April 17, 2014 |
They wallowed in luxury at Philadelphia University this week: Hermes, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Rolls-Royce. As academics are want to do, they wrestled with what it is, how it is acquired, what makes it stand apart. Its very definition was knocked about until international fitting guru Edward Gribbin put a humorous end to the debate. "I like to say that the definitions of luxury are like speed limits in Italy," said the St. Joseph's University graduate, who is president of Alvanon, a firm that helps apparel-makers establish sizing standards for their brands.
April 17, 2014 |
One significant voice will be absent Friday at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra's Minimalist Jukebox festival: Jeffrey Dinsmore, 42, a tenor with the Philadelphia choir the Crossing. He died Monday, April 14, of an apparent heart attack at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, just before a rehearsal for the prestigious engagement he had helped arrange. "Observing Jeff's endlessly practical and pragmatic approach to life, Rebecca Siler, Jeff's partner, who is here with us, has asked us to stay with this project and sing Louis Andriessen's De Materie here on Friday," Crossing artistic director Donald Nally said Tuesday.
April 16, 2014 |
HE'S RESTED. He's ready. He still owes a boatload of taxes. That could be the new campaign slogan for one the city's most unconventional political candidates, T. Milton Street Sr. Street, the 73-year-old former state senator who served time in federal prison for unpaid taxes, says he will run for mayor in 2015. Street, who took 24 percent of the vote in the 2011 Democratic primary for mayor, announced his candidacy in a 200-word Facebook post on Sunday. In that post, Street was very critical of state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, expected to be a candidate for mayor next year.
April 14, 2014 |
It is fair to say that Charles Plosser hardly draws a crowd when he strolls about Center City. Few but the cognoscenti know who he is - perhaps Philadelphia's most influential resident, if you measure influence by national and international impact. Oh sure, Comcast's Brian L. Roberts can raise your cable bill and Democratic fund-raiser David L. Cohen might have a say in his party's presidential nomination. Neither, however, can match Plosser's ability to move the world's financial markets with an offhand remark.
April 11, 2014 |
MAYBE IT was the phony penises. After years of escalating tensions between the Philadelphia Gun Club and the animal-rights activists who object to the club's semiannual pigeon shoots, club members have filed a federal lawsuit accusing the activists of stalking, harassment, trespass, intimidation, defamation, libel and privacy invasion. In a 21-page complaint filed last Friday, eight club members claim that activists from Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) harassed and blocked them as they drove in and out of the club's Bensalem grounds, spied on them both at the club and elsewhere, posted their pictures and other personal information online and even glued rubber penises along the club's fence.
April 8, 2014 |
Charles Sumner "Chuck" Stone Jr., an outspoken former Philadelphia newspaper columnist so trusted that more than 70 criminal suspects surrendered to him first rather than to police, died Sunday in an assisted-living facility in North Carolina. He was 89. The first black columnist at the Philadelphia Daily News, Mr. Stone was a writer and editor there for nearly two decades before leaving in 1991 to teach at the University of North Carolina. He retired from teaching in 2004. Mr. Stone had a lifetime of service and accomplishment, serving as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II, and working overseas for an international relief organization in 1956.
April 7, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA Six years after a Northeast Philadelphia charter school was roiled by allegations of financial mismanagement and nepotism, it is in turmoil again. Five board members at Philadelphia Academy Charter School have resigned since three new parent-members joined last summer. Reports that new board members do not plan to renew the contract of chief executive Larry Sperling - whom many credit with helping save the school in 2008 - prompted supporters to create a "Keep Larry Sperling" Facebook page and distribute fliers, and stirred high school students at the K-12 school to circulate petitions on his behalf.
April 7, 2014
The rusty Philadelphia Democratic machine is stuck. Its leaders say they don't know what to do in the wake of an abandoned sting that allegedly recorded four state representatives taking cash from a lobbyist turned informant. But there is plenty they can do. First of all, the four state representatives implicated in the sting should be removed from the official party ballot distributed to voters on the day of the primary election, May 20. That would send a message that the party won't support candidates who face such serious allegations.