January 28, 2015 |
THE MEN with the bad legs - the one in the rickety wheelchair and the one with the cane that looks as if it might snap under his weight - are the first to be counted. Dewey Flynn, with the cane, doesn't mind the well-intentioned volunteer canvassers counting him as one of the city's homeless. He thanks them for the toiletries and the gift card for free pizza at Rosa's, the pizza joint at 11th and Chestnut that's gotten a lot of buzz for feeding the homeless. But Flynn issues a stern warning from the red metal bench where he sits in his socks near the 18th Street entrance of Suburban Station, his work boots placed neatly in front of him. "I'm not going to no shelter.
January 26, 2015 |
I LIKE PLUGGERS. My favorite plugger these days is pint-sized charmer Melissa Shang. Not because she sparred with American Girl, maker of dolls that bankrupt you, and lost. But because she's gonna make a believer out of those who told her no. Melissa is 11 years old, has a super-best friend named Cassidy, carefully observes what the "the cool girls" wear at school, makes fun of her dad's cellphone ineptitude and sings a heart-melting rendition of "Let it Go. " So she's practically indistinguishable from a million other sixth-grade girls in America.
November 23, 2014 |
Four years ago, Patricia Crebase went out to the Broad Street Run to cheer for a friend competing in the 10-mile race. "I got out on the route extra early, and I saw the wheelchair athletes go by," she said. "I just had that moment of, well, it's put up or shut up. " Crebase, an underwriter from Philadelphia, will be competing in the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday. It is her first full marathon. Crebase, 43, has MS, which was diagnosed in 1995, and she has been in a wheelchair for 10 years.
September 24, 2014 |
Uber, the ride-sharing company that matches riders with drivers by smartphone app, will now provide connections to wheelchair-accessible vehicles in Philadelphia, it said Monday. Uber has contracted with licensed paratransit drivers who have accessible vehicles, and customers can begin using the service immediately, Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said Monday. The announcement came one day before a legislative committee is to meet in Harrisburg to consider legislation that would permit Uber and other ride-share services to operate in Philadelphia and around the state.
September 22, 2014 |
The abstract expressionist painter Anthe Zacharias hasn't shown her work in 40 years. But she's never stopped creating it. "I even paint here," she says from her wheelchair outside Riverview Estates, an assisted-living facility in Riverton, Burlington County. At 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 - Zacharias' 80th birthday - a limited but eclectic selection of her paintings, watercolors, and sketches will be exhibited at YogaTree in downtown Riverton. The public is welcome. The artist's last gallery show was mounted in 1974 in Manhattan, where she was a rising talent in the 1950s and '60s.
September 18, 2014 |
In 2007, Erica Barker went to a Haddonfield cafe to attend the first exhibit of her paintings. The show was especially meaningful because, born without use of her arms, she had worked only with pencils and brushes held between her teeth. "Painting," she told an Inquirer interviewer at the time, "probably kept me from going crazy. " On Monday, Sept. 15, Ms. Barker, 39, of Cherry Hill, who was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, died at home. The cause of death has not been determined, her brother, Tony, said.
September 1, 2014 |
As the photo essay opens, a 44-year-old man with a shaved head lies shirtless on his back in bed. The merciless morning light reveals two prescription drug containers on the night table, a medical alert tag around his neck, and a catheter tube snaking out from under the sheets. The man is Fred Schwartz, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1994. His nearly deadweight legs and steadily weakening left arm render mundane tasks - such as getting up in the morning - a challenge.
August 17, 2014 |
After Javier Barraza fell off a roof five years ago and broke his back, there were days he wished he was dead. "But you know what? Doing sports helped," he said while watching quad rugby Friday at the 34th National Veterans Wheelchair Games at the Convention Center. "It brings back a lot of self-confidence. And it helps from getting depressed. " The Special Forces veteran suffered some injuries while serving, but none were as life-changing as the one he sustained as a civilian.
August 13, 2014 |
Some saw combat. Some did not. Some were wounded in war. Some were not. Yet all 650 men and women streaming into Philadelphia this week to race one another along the banks of the Schuylkill, or shoot targets, swing bats, swim, or compete for medals at rugby, table tennis, basketball, and soccer have served in the military. And - like Bruce Husted of Marlton, who was thrown from a motorcycle while on active duty in the Navy in 1978 - they all compete in wheelchairs. Their numbers promise to make the 2014 National Veterans Wheelchair Games, which begin Tuesday in Philadelphia and three South Jersey towns, the largest in the Olympic-style games' 34-year history.
June 15, 2014 |
Philadelphia could have dozens of wheelchair-accessible taxicabs by the end of the year, thanks in part to a federal court order signed Friday. The order was a compromise between the Philadelphia Parking Authority and Disabled in Action of Pennsylvania, and was reached after a three-year court battle. The settlement is contingent on the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission's approving necessary regulations next week. In the five-page decision, U.S. District Judge C. Darnell Jones III states that the Parking Authority will have to issue 150 taxicab medallions in the next 10 years exclusively for wheelchair-accessible vehicles.