February 4, 2015 |
Philadelphia City Councilman Dennis O'Brien announced plans Monday to close gaps in services for growing populations of people with autism - shortcomings that have long frustrated parents as well as service providers nationwide. At a hearing before a Council subcommittee, leaders in autism services spoke about a range of needs, including smoother transitions across the life span and improved access to care for underserved populations. O'Brien said his plans will address many of their concerns.
January 31, 2015 |
Philadelphians are more skeptical of snow forecasts for Friday after Tuesday's blizzard-that-wasn't. AccuWeather was calling for one to three inches of snow and a wintry mix for Philadelphia, and even more to the northeast of the city and in New England starting late Thursday and continuing through Friday. But after the storm left Philadelphia mostly untouched this week despite meteorologists' expectations of a foot or more, many people don't quite believe it. "With all this technology, you think they'd predict it right," said Michael Smith, 25, whose Tuesday history class at Community College of Philadelphia was canceled - along with just about everything else in the region.
January 21, 2015 |
FOR THE MOTHER of Brandon Tate Brown, a young man gunned down by police last month, yesterday's re-creation of Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington was especially meaningful. Brown, 26, was shot dead Dec. 15 during a traffic stop in the city's Mayfair section after a scuffle with police. Tanya Brown was one of almost a dozen speakers who took to the microphone to address about 6,000 people on Independence Mall and call for change. "I am extremely grateful to be part of an imitation of Martin Luther King's walk," Brown said.
January 5, 2015 |
SAN FRANCISCO - I am sitting in a friend's home high in the hills of nearby Tiburon, Calif., thinking how very fortunate I am to be here. From the wall of windows in the rear of the house, I see the garden sloping up to the top of Mount Tiburon. Turning my attention to the windows lining the front rooms, I am met with a fog so dense that not a thing is visible. At times like these, there is such a quiet, mysterious quality to the fog that it is easy to imagine that nothing else exists in the world.
October 29, 2014 |
AFTER LIVING since 1968 in the Logan house owned by her mother and her stepfather, and raising her children there, Deborah Sharper nearly lost it in a sheriff's sale last year because of a tangled title. Her mother died shortly before her stepfather in 1998, so even though Sharper lived in the house and paid the bills, the only legal heir was her stepfather's natural daughter, who had a house of her own. "I was scared to death because I've lived here since I was 13," said Sharper, 60, whose name has never been on the title.
October 20, 2014 |
I lifted my backpack to my knees, shuffling everything inside it until I found my headphones and sketch pad. I needed these objects to distract me from hearing the man in front of me, belting out the Portuguese song playing on his iPod. Along with the other bewildered passengers at my sides, I couldn't resist releasing a giggle and smiling in the direction of my feet. I could catch a glimpse of the singing man through his reflection in the window. He appeared to be energized, and he sang with his eyes tightly shut.
October 20, 2014 |
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. - Unknown That comment, often wrongly attributed to Winston Churchill, sums up quite a few responses when an elected school board is suggested for Philadelphia. That's understandable. One need spend only a few minutes thinking about the boss-driven, corruption-generating political system that democracy has produced in this city to decide it doesn't need any more of that. But such pessimism suggests that Philadelphians are incapable of what people in other cities and towns across America are doing, which is finding a way to maneuver through their own political cesspools to provide for the education of their children.
September 19, 2014 |
Take 100 Philadelphians drawn from every age group, ethnicity, and neighborhood, put them on a theater stage, and have them share stories about their lives. Sheer madness? Pure cacophony? Try a piece of cutting-edge theater. And a fascinating one at that. Called 100% Philadelphia , the FringeArts production will stage three performances, Friday through Sunday, at Temple Performing Arts Center. And yes, each will be an evening of storytelling, show-and-tells, and audience Q&As featuring 100 ordinary Philadelphians ranging in age from 2 months to 81 years.
September 8, 2014 |
Pennsylvania law is clear: Defendants must be jailed for at least two months if caught driving after their license has been suspended for a DUI conviction. But that's not what happens most of the time in Philadelphia. While city police issue about 800 tickets for driving on so-called DUI-suspended licenses every year, fewer than one in five sticks. The rest of the defendants have their cases dismissed or they simply flee, court records show, taking advantage of years of Traffic Court disarray.
July 15, 2014 |
DONNY SMITH, president of the Mayfair Civic Association, wants to split the sprawling 15th Police District into two districts, with a guaranteed number of officers patrolling each neighborhood. Right now, Smith said, the quieter neighborhoods like his suffer quality-of-life crimes, such as theft when cops are busy responding to the 15th's high-crime areas. "We're a blue-collar neighborhood," Smith said. "People are at work all day. They don't want to come home to find their house was broken into because there aren't enough police patrolling the streets here.