May 29, 2013 |
Standing on Hancock Avenue, Terry Jones easily imagines what happened that hot summer afternoon 150 years ago. The smoke from an artillery bombardment lifts like a curtain, and 12,000 gray-clad soldiers march across an open field as if on parade. Red battle flags with the blue St. Andrew's cross flutter overhead, officers' swords rise skyward, and a forest of musket barrels and bayonets gleams in the sun. The objective: a small clump of trees on Cemetery Ridge, the center of the federal line where a native Philadelphian, Brig.
May 17, 2013 |
FOR MORE THAN 70 years, Anna Henderson witnessed the transitions on her Powelton block, a few of many changes she has seen in her 113 years. Henderson now lives with her daughter in another section of West Philadelphia, but the few remaining longtime residents of her old block remember her as a stalwart of the community. Philadelphia's oldest resident, Henderson was one of more than 100 centenarians honored yesterday by Mayor Nutter and others at the 13th annual Mayor's Centenarian Celebration.
May 13, 2013 |
Philadelphians were clearly tired of the Civil War in the days leading up to the invasion. They read regular newspaper accounts of Union setbacks and horrific battlefield losses while wounded soldiers filled their hospitals and fresh military units clogged the streets. To escape, some attended the stage adaptation of Uncle Tom's Cabin at the Continental Theatre; others took in the play Peep O'Day at the New Chestnut Street Theatre or caught a concert by Birgfeld's popular German military band in Fairmount Park.
April 23, 2013
Mean streets, even with full jails It is disheartening to see that Pennsylvania legislators again are looking to harsh mandatory-minimum sentencing laws as an answer to gun violence in Philadelphia ("Proposed gun law targets city," April 5). Mandatory sentencing dramatically increases the number of people in prison, even as countless studies have shown it does nothing to deter crime. Lawmakers should know better. In 2007, the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, an entity funded by the state specifically to guide sentencing policy, released a report that showed mandatory sentencing has no impact on recidivism.
April 14, 2013 |
SEQUESTRATION. It's an ugly word, one that only Washington could come up with. But for many in Philadelphia, it will be an even uglier reality. The across-the-board federal cuts that resulted from the inability of Congress and the White House to compromise during the 2011 debt-limit standoff officially began last month. Now, city departments are starting to figure out what the cuts will mean for Philly, and it doesn't look good - especially for schools and for programs that help poor people with housing and health services.
April 13, 2013
By Rochelle Keyhan For months, on my walk to work I passed a VisitPhilly.com billboard on Broad Street that read: "Dear Walking This Way, I like the way you move it move it. Love, Philadelphia, XOXO. " On the mornings when I had already been harassed, the advertisement only reinforced how pervasive, accepted, and inevitable our city's street harassment problem is. On the nights I was spared catcalls and whistles on the way home, this billboard reminded me to still be on guard and ready.
April 12, 2013 |
There is a specter haunting Philadelphia; it is the specter of job loss. In each economic cycle in the last four decades, the number of jobs attained at the top of expansion was less than what we had at the prior peak. There are 264,240 fewer jobs today than in 1970 - a decline of 25 percent. At the rate we are going, there will be 60,000 fewer opportunities for Philadelphians by 2023. Mayor Nutter's Five-Year Plan put it out there for all to see: We have the second-highest poverty rate among the 20 largest American cities, behind only Detroit.
April 8, 2013 |
Like most Philadelphia natives, I know the sound of a Philadelphia accent: "So I tollum straight up, 'Yo, Paulie, your sister's wit me. And we're gawna ride widges down-ashore or this car don't make it past Pashunk Avenue!' " And like most Philadelphia natives, I don't hear any accent in my voice when ordering kawfee at the Melrose or wooder ice at Rita's. Yanohwaddamean? Seriously, me? An accent? Fuhgeddaboudit. Nevertheless, I was disturbed by the recent headline "The Strange Decline of the Philly Accent" in the Atlantic magazine's online site, theatlanticcities.com.
March 29, 2013
By Grant Calder Inquirer columnist Karen Heller wrote recently on the revival of interest in Thaddeus Stevens, the Pennsylvania congressman who led the Radical Republicans during and after the Civil War. "For a state with few legends among our elected politicians," she noted, "Stevens is a giant. " My students decided she was right. Other than Stevens, whose legendary status is well deserved, not many names from Pennsylvania's political past come to mind. And we wondered why. Pennsylvania played a pivotal role in early American history.
March 28, 2013 |
ACCESS TO healthy food for low-income Philadelphians improved by 17 percent in a two-year period, according to a report released Wednesday by the city's Public Health Department. The report, Walkable Access to Healthy Food in Philadelphia, shows that the number of Philadelphians living in high-poverty neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food dropped by 61,000 between 2010 and 2012. As part of the 2010 Get Healthy Philly initiative, the Food Trust and the health department offered corner stores an annual $100 incentive to encourage the sale of healthy food, said Giridhar Mallya, director of policy and planning for the health department.