February 23, 2013 |
As the push to modernize Philadelphia's property-tax assessments moves forward, City Council on Thursday introduced bills that would provide tax relief to people who cannot afford big hikes and one that would tax nonprofits on any properties used for commercial purposes. The new system, known as Actual Value Initiative (AVI), aims to align assessed values with market values. Under AVI, some people's tax bills will fall, but others will be much higher. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, whose district includes Graduate Hospital and other neighborhoods where tax bills are expected to soar in 2014, introduced a bill that would limit increases for households whose income does not exceed 160 percent of an area's median income.
February 21, 2013 |
Yannick Nézet-Séguin announced his second Philadelphia Orchestra season Wednesday in a climate of acclaim so intense that a less sturdy musician might be braced for the cyclical backlash that the likes of Lang Lang and Gustavo Dudamel have experienced before him. But he says he's just happy word is circulating that the Philadelphia Orchestra is back. "It's so important that what's happening in our city gets quickly spread around," the new music director said. As for backlash?
February 15, 2013
THERE'S no question that the region's theater scene has undergone many changes during the past decade or so, especially the increase in the number of professional companies. But one constant remains: The demographic makeup of the audience. There are no hard numbers available, but anecdotal evidence paints a picture of a customer base with a median age on the far side of 40. At least one local group is hoping to change that with events like Wednesday night's "UMAMI" at the Power Plant Basement in Old City.
January 28, 2013 |
When did we become what we, on our worst days, seem to be? This nation trampled by poor compromise and misplaced screech, this drowning swell of hyper-caffeinated opinion, this landscape of the random and the ruined. We are increasingly disinclined toward rational debate. We rage about the inconsequential. We want to be heard, but we don't want to listen. We're quick to deplore the mess we're in, and tragically ill-equipped to fix it. Impotence has never been my thing. I believe in the kids I teach, the small heroics of neighbors, quantum generosity, anonymous kindness, in doing something, making something, being something.
January 23, 2013 |
FIFTY YEARS AGO, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech on the National Mall, an unforgettable moment in America's history. But what many forget is the full purpose of that demonstration, "The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. " "It's important to realize that Dr. King was not just a champion of civil rights, but he was very much an advocate for economic justice," said Todd Bernstein, who organizes the Martin Luther King Day of Service activities in Philadelphia, where the now-national event began in 1996.
January 13, 2013
Sheldon Bonovitz is a board member of the Free Library of Philadelphia If a resident of Philadelphia were asked what services the Free Library provides, the likely answer would be, "Books and other reading materials. " That's true, in part. But the Free Library does so much more. In fact, one can say the Free Library of Philadelphia has morphed into a community service organization, with 54 locations throughout the city and a staff that speaks more than 30 languages. Let's look at the city's demographics.
December 23, 2012
Philadelphia was rated by a website the ninth most "bikeable" city in the United States and tops among cities with populations of more than a million, city officials said Friday. Walkscore.com's rankings were based on bike lanes, hills, destinations, and road connectivity, among other criteria, city officials said. Census Bureau data show that more than 2 percent of Philadelphians bike to work. The data also rank Center City and South Philadelphia as among the top 25 biking neighborhoods in the nation.
December 19, 2012
PHILADELPHIA is beautiful, clean, safe and tolerant. Stop laughing! I'm not saying it and probably neither are you. Philadelphians often are the burr under their own saddles. In the '70s, adman Elliott Curson crafted the following words for a sardonic billboard overlooking the Schuylkill Expressway near Conshohocken: "Philadelphia Isn't As Bad As Philadelphians Say It Is. " It was paid for by a group called Action Philadelphia (RIP). The billboard reflected a commonly held addytude among Philadelphians, who divide their time between bragging about Philly and trashing it. Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote of the gift "to see ourselves as others see us," to get a truer view of who and what we are. Philadelphians see ourselves through a filter of our experience.
December 6, 2012
On Friday, Oct. 26, 1,800 photos were submitted by Philadelphians to Philly Photo Day 2012. In its third year, "Philly Photo Day is designed to give every Philadelphian the opportunity to take charge of how they want to represent themselves and their city," said Sarah Stolfa, executive director of the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. "The level of skill and the subject matter are far less important than the simple act of participating in this community-building project. " The photographs represent a range of artistic expression and serve as a diverse record of the city through the eyes of its community members, at one moment in history.
November 29, 2012 |
When Joan Verratti lost her son - her only child - "I lost my way in life," she said. To cope, she threw herself into baking old-fashioned Italian cookies in her South Philadelphia home, giving everything away. That led to a plan to open a bakery, but it fizzled. In 2005, on a whim, she decided to make a batch of limoncello, the lemon liqueur that's an after-dinner staple in Italian cucinas. "It needed tweaking," she said last week, puckering at the memory. Too sour for her taste.