May 17, 2009 |
Barri Pepe was 15 when she accepted a ride home from three young men she thought she could trust. They drove past her house and took her instead to a parking lot, where one of them raped her. The next 20 years were a blur of drug use and self-loathing. PCP made Pepe forget her feelings, but it also made her forget her family. Her older daughter began using drugs, too, and Pepe's younger daughter couldn't stand when her mother disappeared into strange apartments for days. "It scares me when you don't come home," the younger girl, Nichole, then 6, told Pepe.
February 8, 2009 |
Tessie Bregman Okin, 89, an emeritus professor of social administration at Temple University, died of Alzheimer's disease last Sunday at the Quadrangle, the retirement community in Haverford where she lived. Born in Philadelphia, she was the salutatorian for the Class of 1936 at South Philadelphia High School, which inducted her into its Cultural Hall of Fame in 1977. Within five years of her high school graduation, her daughter Judy Wertheimer said, Mrs. Okin had earned both a bachelor's degree in education and a master's in social work at Temple.
December 3, 2008 |
At first glance, President-elect Barack Obama's new national-security team of experienced heavyweights may not look like a change-oriented bunch. Look again. Robert Gates, the current and future defense secretary, and former NATO commander Gen. James L. Jones, Obama's pick for national security adviser, advocate sweeping change in the way America pursues its security interests. Their thinking syncs with Obama's core vision. Gates and Jones want to bolster our capacity to project "soft power" - diplomacy, and foreign aid for development and reconstruction.
November 19, 2008 |
Joan Bonner Conway, 88, of Haverford, retired director of the department of social work at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, died of a blood clot Saturday at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood. Dr. Conway began her career during World War II as a caseworker in military hospitals, including Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington and the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia. After the war, she was a caseworker in hospitals in the Philadelphia area. She shared memories of those early years with an Inquirer reporter in 1998.
August 12, 2008 |
Eugene C. Barbera, 74, patriarch of the Barbera car dealership family in Northeast Philadelphia, died of cancer Saturday at his home in Longport, N.J. From 1969 to 1979, his son Gary Barbera said, Mr. Barbera owned and operated Gene's Bar at Front and Norris Streets in Kensington. In the same era, Gary Barbera said, his father bought the former Palm Theater on Frankford Avenue near Norris, which he converted into a car wash. His daughter, Rosemary Barbera-Villegas, recalled: "My father, because he was a vet, went to Lincoln Tech to become a mechanic, and then bought a church that became Palm Automotive," a car-repair firm across the street from the car wash.
August 7, 2008
WHAT CAN be done to reduce the chances of another Danieal Kelly case? We asked some interested parties - and here's what they had to say: Chad Lassiter, president, Black Men at Penn School of Social Work: We need committed, compassionate workers who will go to any length to protect our most vulnerable population. That entails ongoing training to help prevent burnout. We have lots of workers working in DHS for extended periods of time who don't have the interest of young families at heart - and there are times when the old guard is threatened by a new infusion of energy.
August 6, 2008
AS A Philadelphian, I'm horrified at what happened to Danieal Kelly. But I strongly disagree with the headline "How We Failed Danieal. " It should have been "DHS Causes Death of Danieal. " We did not fail that child, the city government did. If I did something wrong, I'd take the blame, but I had nothing to do with the child's death. Ronald Moskovitz, Philadelphia I'm a DHS social worker, but I never met the two workers who've been indicted. From the indictment, it seems the two DHS workers did not do their job to the best of their ability.
June 1, 2008 |
In high school, everyone could see Rebecca Dewar's challenges. A drunken-driving accident at age 7 left her quadriplegic, able to move only her mouth, chin and eyelids. Her wheelchair marked her as different, but she said it also let her travel through various high school cliques. "I didn't really fall into that peer pressure, and it didn't bother me. I could be friends with anybody," Dewar said. As a peer counselor at Interboro High School, she would talk to students about their problems, including having suicidal thoughts and pressure to have sex. "A few of the worst kids in my school - or so they were called - would really open up to me. " Now 26, Dewar wants to spend her working life helping people with their problems.
March 6, 2008 |
In May 1966, John D'Amico was ordained a Roman Catholic priest and then spent most of his brief priesthood at St. Patrick's parish in Kennett Square. But, he said in a recent interview, he realized that he needed "a new route to becoming myself. " Next January will mark 30 years since D'Amico left the priesthood. But that hasn't prevented Immaculata, a Catholic university, from hosting an annual evening for his jazz trio, the latest happening tomorrow. In the years since he left St. Patrick's, it might be said, D'Amico has continued tending to those wearied of the world.
February 15, 2008 |
Marie E. Costello, 97, who had a prominent career as a social-services administrator despite physical handicaps, died Sunday at Stapeley, a retirement residence in Germantown. The cause of death was listed as failure to thrive. Born with cerebral palsy, Dr. Costello had limited mobility on her right side and a speech impediment. Her Irish-immigrant mother made her hang clothes to strengthen her arms and taught her self-reliance, her family said. It worked. She lived independently, mostly in Center City, until she was 93, when she moved to Stapeley.