April 10, 2015
THE CHILDREN'S Scholarship Fund of Philadelphia (CSFP) receives donations from businesses that are using Educational Improvement Tax Credit programs. I am a parent whose children have benefited from these scholarship programs. I have witnessed the difference in the quality of education they are receiving. Your editorial stated that there is no proof that there are any measurable benefits from these type of scholarship programs. However, the National Center for Education Statistics study reports that students attending private and parochial schools have significantly higher standardized test scores, more challenging curriculum and graduation requirements, and more college graduates than their public-school peers.
March 11, 2015 |
THE PROSE of best-selling author James Patterson is probably never going to be analyzed in literature classes, but the man knows how to spin a yarn and churn out books perfect for airplanes, beaches, armchairs and the john. Now the author of the Alex Cross and Women's Murder Club series for adults, the Maximum Ride series for teens and oodles of other novels either written solo or with a co-author, has decided to give some of his money to school libraries. (Patterson has already handed out more than $1 million to independent bookstores.)
January 11, 2015 |
Twenty years ago, I wrote a story for Inquirer Magazine about the last days of my grandfather. It was a story about a man reckoning with his mortality and reflecting on his life. I was privileged to watch, from an intimate vantage, as this family patriarch of 96 years gracefully surrendered and began anticipating a reunion with his loved ones in the afterlife in which he believed. Belief was a sub-theme, his faith that God would recognize his efforts to lead a good life versus my skepticism about the very existence of a merciful Supreme Being.
November 28, 2014
IT'S ALWAYS CUTE when the little kid at the table says Grace before the Thanksgiving meal. The child will recite the usual blessings of health, family and togetherness. It's a shame they don't ask fantasy leaguers to come up with the annual prayer. We would give thanks for such things as Emmanuel Sanders shaking off a violent hit to register nine catches for 125 yards last week. Or we might thank Golden Tate for taking advantage of Calvin Johnson's injury to post a pair of 150-yard games in Weeks 7 and 8. Remember that Andrew Luck garbage-time touchdown at about 11:30 on Sunday night of Week 1?
November 19, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA's fave pitcher, Mo'ne Davis , the first girl to win a Little League World Series game, is writing her memoir. Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name will be released next March by HarperCollins Children's Books, the publisher told the Associated Press yesterday. Even though Mo'ne is an honor-roll student, she will get some help with the book from Hilary Beard , whose previous collaborations include Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life . Mo'ne became a sensation this summer after leading the Taney Dragons to a 4-0 victory over Nashville in the LLWS, when she was just 13. Known for her long braids and uncommon poise, she has since appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated , thrown out the first pitch at a major league World Series game and starred in a car commercial directed by Spike Lee . In September, she donated her jersey to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and a week from Thursday she and her fellow Taney Dragons will help kick off the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
November 14, 2014
I'VE BEEN INVITING readers to let me share their family financial feuds and offer my advice. The following is a dilemma one reader, who wrote to me during an online discussion, had with a sibling. The family background : "I am helping my niece pay for college," the person wrote. "I'm glad to do it, and she is doing terrifically well - nearly straight A's in a demanding program, got selected to a prestigious honor society, and is volunteering some time to a worthwhile cause - all the right things.
October 29, 2014
WHEN FOLKS ask me for advice, I have a standard line: "To be clear, you asked me, right?" I preface my answer with this line because it's my way of warning them that they may not like what I have to say. Then there are readers who weren't asked for their opinion but nonetheless feel compelled to offer their thoughts. OK, so from time to time I'll let them weigh in for a feature I'm calling "Money Back Talk. " Let me start with an inheritance question I received during a recent online discussion: "My father, who was extremely wealthy, rewrote his will after my mother died 11 years ago," a reader wrote.
August 31, 2014 |
Where have you gone, Joe Di Maggio? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you, woo woo woo. What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson? "Joltin' Joe has left and gone away. " Hey hey hey, hey hey hey. - Paul Simon, 1968 I recently wrote a piece about the continuing departure of the once-ubiquitous manual transmission, which now accounts for only 5 percent of U.S. new-vehicle sales. The reader response - 29 e-mails - was interesting and often nostalgic.
August 7, 2014
RE: Stu Bykofsky's column on the Philadelphia Parking Authority: I wanted to let you know that a similar thing happened to me in March 2013 as happened to the person in your story. I parked my car on 10th or 11th Street in Chinatown, got out of the car and walked to the kiosk, which was two cars away from my spot. I got my ticket from the kiosk in a few seconds, turned and found a PPA person finishing up processing a ticket. He told me he didn't see me and gave me the same story as the person in your story got. I had to go through the hearing process and did get the ticket cleared after mailing in a copy of the receipt from the kiosk, which matched the time of the "violation.
July 22, 2014
RE: "FOP prez and reporter's ethics" story: Stop crying, you big baby! You're saying the Daily News reporters brought diapers, food and paid utility bills for their sources. When the cops pay their "confidential informants" - yes, pay them - what do you think they do with the money? I bet most of them buy drugs! You can't do it and then bitch when other people do it to get info. They are doing their jobs, like you cops do yours. Bobby LaVelle Philadelphia No lesson plan Just can't understand how executives, like the school superintendent, can use their knowledge and expertise to to further their careers but develop amnesia when they actually get the position.