December 27, 2012 |
REV. ADAN MAIRENA is not your typical Santa. He wears jeans and sneakers, has a pit bull named Shadow and uses a red Dodge Durango as his sleigh. Mairena, of West Kensington Ministry at Norris Square Presbytery of Philadelphia, has been making his rounds throughout the North Philadelphia neighborhood and Camden since Sunday delivering toys to those most in need. "I'm just going to put [the toys] in my truck and be the North Philly Pancho Claus," Mairena said. "I know there are children in this neighborhood that this will bring a little joy. " The Episcopal Academy and the Matarazzo & Milici Group, a dental office in South Philly, donated 500 toys, blankets and clothes this year.
December 19, 2012
EVEN WITH one week left until Christmas, I refuse to panic like those other parents. You know the ones. They're at Toys "R" Us right now, having sneaked out of work to buy little Johnny that Lego set he demanded. I've seen such parents engage their shopping rivals in WWE-style matches. It's the same every time. The toys run out, the coats come off, and a teenage temp with a Justin Bieber face tattoo gets on the P.A. system. "Security to aisle three," she says in a disinterested tone.
December 15, 2012 |
Dan Weiss is a trusting guy. For more than 20 years during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, he has put a bin outside his Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop to collect toys for the Marine Corps charity Toys for Tots. Many nights, he left it out for after-hours donations. "I guess I was looking for the brighter side of humanity," said Weiss, whose father started the business in 1962. Until last weekend, humanity had never let him down. Every morning, Weiss would arrive to open his store and the bin would be right outside the front door where he'd left it the night before, usually piled higher with toys.
December 6, 2012 |
IT IS NO SECRET the 76ers struggle with teams that possess strong inside games. That was evident once again Saturday in a tough loss in Chicago. The fear Tuesday was a repeat performance as the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves own the game's best rebounder in Kevin Love and surround him with rugged Nikola Pekovic in the starting lineup. That backup guards Jose Barea and Alexey Shved were the dynamics in Minnesota's lopsided, 105-88 victory was as unexpected as it is concerning. The tiny Barea, generously listed at 6-foot, sped off the bench and contributed 11 points and 10 assists, while rookie Shved scored 17. Barea simply got wherever he wanted all night.
December 2, 2012 |
In a campaign-style visit to a Montgomery County toy factory Friday, President Obama warned that Republicans in Congress were on the verge of giving millions of Americans a "lump of coal . . . a Scrooge Christmas" by refusing to renew the lower Bush-era tax rates for those making less than $250,000 a year. The GOP is holding tax cuts for the middle class "hostage" to preserve them for the rich, he argued, adding that as far as he is concerned, any negotiated deal to avoid the fiscal cliff must increase tax rates on the wealthy.
December 1, 2012 |
President Obama is making history this afternoon, becoming the first U.S. President to speak in front of an American flag made of 49,000 K'nex pieces. At 11:30 a.m., Marine One landed at the Rodon Group plant, in Hatfield, Montgomery County, and a crowd of about 350, including company employees, awaited his arrival at the toy factory. "Its'a once-in-lifetime experience for the people here," said company designer Rob Simon, 52, of Plumsteadville, Bucks County. He said that while he didn't vote for the President, "You've got to respect his position regardless of party affiliation.
November 30, 2012 |
When President Obama comes to Montgomery County on Friday, he will speak in front of a two-foot-tall toy helicopter, a toy roller coaster, a toy grandfather clock, a motorized toy carousel, and an American flag made of 49,000 K'Nex pieces. The Hatfield plastics factory that makes Tinkertoys and Lincoln Logs as well as K'Nex will provide a colorful holiday backdrop for the president to talk about the advantages of extending middle-class tax cuts and the dangers of the fiscal cliff.
November 30, 2012
AROUND THIS time of year, some people like to celebrate the season the same way they have in years gone by. They see "The Nutcracker," attend a tree-lighting, admire the lights in Rittenhouse Square or window shop on Walnut Street. And those traditions are wonderful ways to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. But some of us are - shall we say - nonconformists. Some observe "Buy Nothing Day" instead of Black Friday and would rather not endure a concert of Christmas carols. It's for those rebels that we've searched through holiday performances, exhibits, and events to find the most interesting, unusual, and under-the-radar happenings.