December 2, 2014 |
Last month, a dozen workers walked through Philadelphia International Airport just before 5 a.m., wondering whether they still had jobs. The repercussions of their walkout the day before - a protest over pay and conditions - would be seen when they tried to clock in. Standing among the anxious group were three members of City Council. The pre-dawn escort was only the latest wage-equality crusade to draw Council's attention. Some want Council's next step to be radical - passing a $15 citywide minimum wage, despite state law that seems to say it can't.
December 1, 2014 |
Hitler's secret plot to blow up trains, factories, and bridges in the Northeast was dubbed Operation Pastorius, after the founder of Germantown. The local reference was appropriate. When the two four-man teams of Nazi saboteurs traveled by submarine to America in 1942, they carried the name of their U.S. contact written on a handkerchief - a man quite familiar with Philadelphia. "Pas. Krepper," as he was called, was to provide money and lodging while they prepared to attack sites including a cryolite metals plant in Philadelphia, the Horseshoe Curve railroad pass near Altoona, and Pennsylvania Station in Newark, N.J. "Pas" stood for pastor.
November 28, 2014 |
IF YOU SAW Teair Tart-Spencer play football this season for West Philadelphia High you might not believe last season was his first as a gridder. At 6-4 and 285 pounds, the senior two-way lineman grew up playing basketball. And when asked about the toughest adjustment, the Northern Liberties resident wasn't able to narrow his focus, at all. "I guess it was learning how to do everything because I couldn't even get into the offensive tackle's stance!" he laughed. "It looked terrible, it looked terrible.
November 25, 2014 |
As a crucible, the act of guest conductor meeting orchestra may be uniquely tricky. The conductor's path to self-actualization lies rather deceptively in coaxing the ensemble to become the highest form of itself. It's not a spiritual exercise but a practical one when an ensemble's identity is as strong as the Philadelphia Orchestra's, which is why Susanna Mälkki's debut with the Philadelphians on Friday afternoon was remarkable. She seamlessly handed off woodwind timbres into strings in Respighi's Botticelli Triptych . If Brahms' Symphony No. 4 's first movement seemed curiously bloodless in its stepped-down tempo, she revealed good reasons.
November 25, 2014 |
Newly arrived Iraqi refugee Razan Alkasey struggled Sunday to find the right words to explain the meaning of Thanksgiving. After recounting a harrowing escape from Baghdad with her four sons and a daughter and only a few belongings, Alkasey, 48, easily embraced the American holiday tradition and ticked off a list. "I thank God for freedom," she said. "I thank God we are all together. I thank God for everything, for giving me this opportunity to come here for a new life. " Alkasey was among about 200 refugees who attended a festive gathering to share a Thanksgiving meal at the Old Pine Community Center in South Philadelphia.
November 24, 2014 |
A former Philadelphia School District administrator who was fired after exposing a $7.5 million no-bid contract for security cameras has scored a major victory in his federal whistleblower suit against the district. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit resoundingly affirmed on Friday a lower court ruling that Francis X. Dougherty was exercising his rights to free speech as a citizen when he told The Inquirer about the contract four years ago. Dougherty told the newspaper that former School Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman had steered the no-bid contract to IBS Communications Inc., a small minority firm that had little district experience and was not on a state list of vendors approved for emergency work.
November 23, 2014 |
More than 30,000 racers, and twice as many people cheering them on, are expected to converge on the city this weekend for the Philadelphia Marathon. The main attraction, Sunday's 26.2-mile run, starts at 7 a.m. at the Art Museum and follows a route that takes runners past some of the city's most scenic and historic points. An 8K race will be Saturday. "The marathon has showcased the unique history, exceptional hospitality, cultural riches, and remarkable beauty of Philadelphia," Desiree Peterkin-Bell, city representative and the race director, said at a kickoff event Friday at the Convention Center.
November 23, 2014 |
As a grand jury wraps up its investigation in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., dozens of demonstrations have been planned across the nation, including marches and vigils in the Philadelphia area. The grand jury is considering whether to indict Darren Wilson, 28, the white Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9, setting off unrest, including riots and looting, and drawing international attention. Wilson reportedly told the grand jury he feared for his life as Brown, 6-foot-4 and weighing nearly 300 pounds, came at him. Some witnesses said Brown was trying to surrender and had his hands in the air. The grand jury met Friday, but a prosecutor's spokesman could not be reached Saturday to say whether the panel was still deliberating.
November 19, 2014 |
The NCAA has awarded the 2016 East Regional for men's basketball to Philadelphia, marking the fifth time the Wells Fargo Center will host the event. The announcement came Monday, when the NCAA Division I men's basketball committee disclosed the sites for preliminary rounds and regionals from 2016 through 2018. The 2016 regional semifinals and finals, which will be played on March 25 and 27, will be hosted by La Salle. The Philadelphia Sports Congress estimated that about 5,000 room nights and $10 million in economic impact would be generated for the city.
November 17, 2014
Steve Hynes has been named CEO at MRO Corp. , King of Prussia, operator of a disclosure-management and health-information exchange. Hynes, a co-founder of the company, most recently held the position of president. Spirit of Philadelphia has hired Terrance Clarke as the ship's new executive chef. He had been executive chef at Relish in Philadelphia. Cancer Treatment Centers of America has promoted Wendell Scanterbury to director of pastoral care at Eastern Regional Medical Center.