December 8, 2013 |
Standing at the pulpit, Mariah Loper recalled, in a small shaking voice, the day she went to the airport to greet her older cousin, a Marine fighting in Afghanistan. Her hero was finally home. "I still remember holding up the 'Welcome Home Timmy' sign," Mariah Loper said Friday, looking down at the casket draped in an American flag. "I cherished every moment we spent together. . . . He made us so proud, and he will always be our Marine. " Timothy Loper Jr. was laid to rest Friday after a packed funeral attended by family, friends, community members, and fellow servicemen.
December 7, 2013 |
We've heard a lot over the last year about how special interests keep trying to sabotage Philadelphia's new zoning code. First in line, of course, would be City Council, whose members often behave as if their office gave them the right to exact tribute from development projects. Then there are the developers who bring in legal wizards to jiggle the locks on the system. Now, add one more interest group: neighborhood associations. You might expect this constituency to eagerly embrace the code's progressive urban ideas, but that's not the case when it comes to the emotional hot-button of parking.
December 7, 2013 |
Villanova professor Paul Rosier, the chair of the university's history department, sent a friendly e-mail this week asking if it was possible to stop referring to the Villanova-St. Joseph's basketball game as the Holy War. Just ahead of Saturday's big game at Hagan Arena, I called Rosier, admittedly with an "aren't there bigger things for us to worry about?" mentality. "I'm sure there are bigger issues," Rosier said Thursday afternoon. "Certainly Villanova is tackling bigger issues.
November 26, 2013 |
Erik Prince , who ran Blackwater , the war contractor that became a target for outrage over the death and wreckage of the Iraq war, says he wants "to make sure I'm not sounding whiny. The nonsense I've dealt with pales to the tens of thousands of Americans, soldiers and contractors, who have lost lives, limbs, spouses through serving their country. " Still, it's unfair, Prince says: "Because our men carried weapons to defend themselves, we've been a target. " Lawyers who sued him over Blackwater men killed in action are "vipers.
November 22, 2013 |
AFTER FOUR days of testimony - and 3 1/2 hours of fruitless mediation yesterday - the fate of fired Inquirer editor Bill Marimow remains in the hands of a judge. Two of the six investors who bought the Daily News , the Inquirer and Philly.com in April 2012 filed suit against their partners last month, three days after publisher Robert J. Hall fired Marimow. Lewis Katz and H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest have asked Common Pleas Judge Patricia McInerney to reinstate Marimow. They say Katz and another investor, George Norcross III, serve as a two-man management committee that hired Marimow last year, and only they can jointly approve his termination.
November 22, 2013 |
Joe Sacco's new book is an epic comic that depicts the horror of trench warfare during World War I. It's an accordion-style volume that opens into a single 24-foot-long panoramic drawing. Called The Great War: July 1, 1916, The First Day of the Battle of the Somme (W.W. Norton, 54 pages, $35), its origins go back to the author and artist's boyhood in Australia. Sacco, who will read at the Free Library of Philadelphia Thursday night, was born on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. When he was an infant, his parents emigrated to Australia, where every April 25 is Anzac Day, commemorating the casualties suffered by Australian and New Zealand soldiers during the invasion of Gallipoli in WWI. "They sacrificed so much blood there that it really entered the Australian national psyche," says Sacco, 53, author of masterful books of empathetic war-zone comic journalism, including Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde . "When I was a boy, they would stop class and play stories about World War I servicemen," he says, talking from New York this week.
November 22, 2013 |
Could a central command center for all my family's home entertainment turn a Call of Duty killjoy into the owner of the latest in video gaming? Maybe so, if Microsoft comes through on the promise of its $500 Xbox One, which goes on sale at 12:01 a.m. Friday - the second new system in a week from two companies, Microsoft and Sony, fighting out 2013's Console Wars. A test run this week demonstrated just a slice of what the Xbox One has to offer, but that was plenty to impress.
November 21, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA As City Council's 2013 calendar nears its end, the bill that was supposed to create a land bank to dispose of Philadelphia's bloated inventory of abandoned and vacant properties is caught in a tug-of-war. The fight between land bank supporters and some forces on Council seems to be boiling down to two words: shall and may . In the amended version of the land bank bill that its primary sponsor, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez, plans to introduce Thursday, may replaces shall . And if that version doesn't fly, the bill may be doomed for the year.
November 20, 2013 |
THE LITTLE GIRL could coax a smile from Tim Gill even when he had none left. She'd seen Gill, a Philadelphia firefighter who served in Iraq with the Pennsylvania National Guard, sprint to the sink, doubled over with nausea. She whispered when Gill's headaches came and tiptoed during his bad dreams, but he remained the man she adored most. A few days before the funeral, she drew a picture of Gill, a stick figure sticking out its tongue, smiling for her one last time. "DADDY," 4-year-old Amanda Gill wrote above the figure's head.
November 18, 2013 |
In this month's issue, to be released Wednesday, Neshaminy High School's student newspaper will publish a full-page advertisement simply stating a section of Pennsylvania's school code. Known as the "freedom of expression" clause, it begins: "The right of public school students to freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United states and the Constitution of the Commonwealth . . . " The ad is a swift rebuke to the school's principal, who recently asked the paper to lift its three-week ban of the word Redskins , the long-held name of the school's sports teams.