June 16, 2013
Orlando R. Barone is a freelance writer in Doylestown As a Catholic schoolboy, when I thought "pope," words that came to mind were thin , chilly , stern , distant , and sin at your own risk . That was Pius XII, the only pope I knew until my teens, when, with no warning, pope began to mean fat, smiling, warm, and, of all things, friendly. That could be none other than John XXIII. A lot of years and a few pontiffs later comes Francis, a curious blend of my first two popes.
June 7, 2013
Seek out a modern-day Girard With Girard College planning to shut its doors to high school students and end its boarding program, the ruling Board of City Trusts should go to every Forbes 500 individual and have each walk the grounds of this magnificent school. Surely, there is another Stephen Girard - if not two or three - among today's wealthiest who might have grown up in a single-parent household and who would be willing to sustain Girard's legacy. Marjorie R. Wilhite, Philadelphia Probe before deal's court approval Orphans' Court should order an investigation of Girard College finances because Stephen Girard's money, buildings, and school are very much connected to politics in Philadelphia.
May 28, 2013
Remember when moving to the suburbs meant you were fulfilling the American dream of a life of plenty in greener pastures? That's less true today, with poverty showing up in communities where many Americans would least expect it. The Philadelphia suburbs, on both sides of the Delaware River, have become home to a growing segment of the region's poor. That disturbing national trend is being seen in communities across the country. The population of poor residents in America's suburbs jumped 64 percent between 2000 and 2010, which was twice as fast as the urban rate, according to a new book recently released by the Brookings Institution.
May 27, 2013 |
At Roxborough High School in Philadelphia, teachers and staff use a school washer and dryer to clean the clothes of needy students. Learning and laundry, in fact, get done in several area schools, where teachers and staff also buy food, prom clothes, toilet paper, eyeglasses, and countless other items for children from families with meager means. This is on top of the hundreds, even thousands, of dollars that teachers spend each year on basic classroom supplies. In the Philadelphia area, teachers see themselves as first responders in the ongoing emergency of poverty.
May 24, 2013
FOR THE SECOND time in two weeks, educators have joked that I was scaring them about retiring. In the end, these readers felt that they would be OK, but the steady news of retirement woes have them thinking of plans A, B and C. I'm a long way from retirement. But as time passes, I've become more aware of the challenges of leaving the workforce and trying to live off my savings. It's hard to stay optimistic, even if you've done well for yourself, when report after report lays out facts that make getting older seem forbidden.
May 21, 2013 |
Say poverty in the Philadelphia area, and it conjures images of North Philadelphia or Kensington, not the suburbs. But the suburbs on both sides of the Delaware River are becoming steadily poorer, part of a national trend that confounds long-held beliefs that life is always better in greener pastures beyond urban limits. "People have this cliched notion of poverty being based in the inner city," said Adele LaTourette, director of the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, which has offices in Trenton and North Jersey.
April 26, 2013
D EAR HARRY: I live in Australia, and just read on the Internet your column on gambling. The casino scourge that is hitting the United States is intolerable. We often see pictures and read articles here about the large number of Americans who live in dire poverty. Some of the people live in abandoned cars in the richest country in the world. The crazy illogic that says casinos are good for society because they create new jobs ignores the fact that most of the patrons are poor to begin with and then fall into dire straits hoping to win back enough to break even.
April 23, 2013 |
Poverty isn't just one thing. It's hunger, and it's falling behind on the rent, and it's the inability to pay the electric bill, among 100 other difficulties. Poverty fighters are realizing that the entangled nature of poverty - think of hopelessly entwined plant roots underground - makes it hard to attack just one problem without addressing the others. This holistic approach helps the 30-year-old Utility Emergency Services Fund run, with financial backing from federal block-grant money distributed by the city, along with funding from sources such as United Way and the Philadelphia Foundation.
April 19, 2013 |
We are delighted that the Coalition for Effective Teaching (CET) in Philadelphia wants to improve public education. However, we think a more responsible approach would have been to consult with teacher leaders before publishing a position statement. As practicing teachers, we have a few suggestions about how CET can truly enrich public education: First, change the group's name to Coalition for Effective Education, as the current title implicates teachers. Philadelphia has thousands of effective teachers who struggle with ineffective working conditions and who passionately support children who are not necessarily "learning-ready.
March 25, 2013
It is unconscionable that Philadelphia has more people in what's called deep poverty than any other city among the nation's 10 largest. Almost 13 percent of city residents earn less than $5,700 a year for individuals, or $11,700 for a family of four, according to an analysis by The Inquirer and Temple University sociologist David Elesh. Poverty-line earners are paid twice as much, making these 200,000 Philadelphians the poorest of the poor. Unfortunately for them, the Corbett administration's disturbing economic policies have made it even harder for the poor to provide for their families.