March 18, 2012 |
Training sessions at Health Partners of Philadelphia Inc. often include a brief, emotional video to instill a customer-centered service mentality at the nonprofit that provides government-paid health insurance for 160,000 people, mostly in Philadelphia. One such true-life video shows how a college senior hits her first home run, then blows out her right knee, leaving her unable to round the bases. Rules prohibited teammates from helping. Two players from the opposing softball team, moved to do what they called "the right thing," picked up their injured opponent and carried her around the bases, allowing her to touch them with her left foot, preserving her home run - and costing their team a win. For William S. George, 60, Health Partners' president and chief executive, that story, which in his words, "tugs at the heartstrings," is an example of doing the right thing no matter what it costs.
February 16, 2012 |
I'VE NEVER been more grateful for my two good feet than I was after attending yesterday's public hearing about the need for more wheelchair-accessible taxicabs. Disabled citizens spoke movingly about how scary it is to be stranded in a bad neighborhood and know that passing cabs aren't equipped to get you off the street. About the tightened eligibility requirements of SEPTA's paratransit service. About the impossibility of being wheelchair-bound in Center City, unable to get to business appointments.
February 6, 2012 |
Philadelphia's latest regulatory idea is to require the modification of all Philadelphia taxis to make them wheelchair accessible. Our taxi companies will have to retrofit existing cabs, making all 1,600 Philadelphia cabs wheelchair accessible over the next few years. While a few people will benefit, a basic analysis shows why this is wrongheaded. It spends wildly to achieve a "social" aim, while imposing onerous costs on small businesses that make it harder to grow and create jobs.
January 29, 2012 |
The Philadelphia Parking Authority's proposal to make every taxi in the city wheelchair-accessible by 2016 would drive cabbies out of business, owners and drivers said last week. The proposal, whose first phase calls for 300 wheelchair-accessible taxis by the end of this year, is nudging operators "more with the stick than with the carrot," said Alex Friedman, owner of Checker Cab Dispatch. Friedman said he was wary of the high costs of the plan, which would mandate that every medallion cab be wheelchair-accessible by 2016.
January 22, 2012 |
To the relief of people in wheelchairs and their advocates, the Philadelphia Parking Authority has plans to make all the city's cabs wheelchair-accessible by 2016. "Wow. That would be amazing," said Lauren DeBruicker, a Center City lawyer who uses a power chair. The Parking Authority on Friday said it would require 300 of the city's 1,600 taxicabs to become wheelchair-accessible this year, with the remainder completed by 2016. The issue has long been a source of complaints in the disabled community.
January 11, 2012 |
HERE'S THE long and short of Shorty Long & the Jersey Horns: While high-energy, horn-driven "party bands" are common on the regional bar and casino lounge circuits, it's doubtful there's another one quite like this. That's because it's unlikely there are any others whose keyboard player does his thing while seated in a wheelchair. The 10-year-old North Jersey combo that performs Jan. 21 at Eden Lounge inside Harrah's Resort Atlantic City was co-founded by 34-year-old Ricky Tisch (a/k/a "Shorty Long")
January 4, 2012 |
A 58-year-old woman in a wheelchair was fatally struck while trying to cross a Wilmington street Tuesday evening, according to Delaware State Police. About 6:35 p.m., Edith McFarland, who lived in the city, was trying to cross South Market Street (southbound Route 13) near the Fairview Inn. The first vehicle that struck her was described as gold truck or SUV, which likely sustained front-end damage. "After the impact, McFarland was ejected from her wheelchair into the southbound lanes of South Market Street, where she was then struck by two additional vehicles," according to a state police news release.
December 11, 2011 |
The smiles were extraordinary. They outshone even the flashing cameras of a dozen volunteer photographers who on Saturday turned Inglis House into a giant studio - offering the severely disabled a holiday gift: the simple dignity of a formal portrait. "It was my first time getting my picture taken," said Shadia Dixon, 22, struggling to speak from her wheelchair. The shoot at the Philadelphia long-term-care facility was part of Help-Portrait, a national project whose concept is both elegant and powerful: Photographers lend their talent to take portraits of people in need - homeless men, single mothers, Army vets, sick kids, the poor, the disabled, the old and the lonely - and then give them the framed picture.
November 21, 2011 |
Henry Gooden's power chair died the other day on South 16th Street, about a half-mile short of his apartment in the Scottish Rite Towers. He'd gone to Holt's for a blend of pipe and cigarette tobacco that lets him roll his own smokes and save money on Newports. When his chair ran out of juice, Gooden was outside the 274 Apartments. He figured he was stuck. Of the nation's 10 biggest cities, only Philadelphia has no taxicab that can give a lift to a person who uses a power chair.