May 15, 2015 |
YOUNG PEOPLE are disaffected with the political process and lack any interest in running for office, a new book by Jennifer Lawless, of American University, and Richard Fox, of Loyola Marymount University, demonstrates. Yet the book itself perhaps unintentionally underscores one of the key reasons why: We know too much about our politicians. There are 519,682 elected officials in the U.S., the authors note, the vast majority of whom hold local jobs; they are mayors, city councillors, school-board members, coroners or recorders of deeds.
April 14, 2015 |
A FUNNY THING happened on the way out of the forum. Not ha-ha funny, but stay with me for a moment. It happened Thursday, after yet another mayoral forum - this one hosted by the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, at Community College of Philadelphia. When all six candidates were offstage, where they posed for photos, I had a chance to pose one final question, so I asked: What didn't we ask you tonight that you wish we had? During the next 12 minutes, we had chest-pounding, insinuations and even a little drama.
March 27, 2015 |
When the Camden Supper Club convenes, optimism is on the menu. The informal monthly dinner is a chance for young city residents, students, entrepreneurs, and others to break bread together - and enjoy a night out in a town they believe is on the rise. "This is amazing," Web designer Joseph Russell, 30, says, sampling stewed oxtail over rice Tuesday at the Reggae Grill on the 2100 block of Federal Street, where 15 people are sharing the table. Like Russell, a Collingswood resident, some live outside the city.
March 13, 2015 |
ON MARCH 6, I attended the funeral of one of my cousins. It was the day after the young officer, Robert Wilson, was shot while attempting to buy his son a birthday gift. As I lay in bed, I reminisced about my cousin and how we both had our struggles in life growing up and how, like me, he had come to peace with himself. Just as my cousin was making peace with himself, an incident happened where he lived, at the Safe Haven Veterans Home. He was found dead, mysteriously. His struggles were over.
March 12, 2015 |
It should be no secret by now that having guns in the home increases the chances that a member of the family will kill himself or herself. But the extent of the increase may surprise some people. In a study of adults, epidemiologist Douglas Wiebe found that the risk of suicide is three times higher for people who have a gun in the home than for people without guns. Guns in the home also raise the risk of homicide and accidental deaths. "The bottom line is that people with a gun in the home are more likely to die by suicide than other people," said Wiebe, who studies risks associated with gun ownership at the University of Pennsylvania.
January 21, 2015 |
IT WAS ALMOST one big bucket of buttery popcorn all for me at Riverview Cinemas on Sunday. The nasty weather that wreaked havoc on Philly roads over the weekend also forced most of the young people I invited to see "Selma" to cancel. Sixteen-year-old Zoie Thomas rescued me and my waistline. After her doll of a mother dropped her off and I gave away the other tickets to people in line - pay it forward, or backward in this case - we headed in. Turns out Thomas had seen the movie already.
November 28, 2014 |
PERRY FENNELL had this peculiar habit. A dedicated runner, he always searched the ground ahead for a penny. He probably wouldn't have turned down something with a larger value, but it was a penny he coveted. "He always felt it was a special day when he found a penny," his family said. Perry, a prominent dentist and longtime community leader, ran the annual Broad Street Run, a number of other races, and one marathon. What did he do with the pennies? He collected them in jars, and, knowing what kind of a man he was, he probably ended up using them in some worthy cause or other.
November 21, 2014 |
I HAVE A POSTER hanging in my house advertising a panel discussion at my old newspaper. The title of the panel? "Twenty-somethings Tell Us Why The Paper Sucks. " When I pass by that poster these days, I mostly wonder one thing: "How did no one slap the smug snot out of us?" But the other night, as I listened to a panel of millennials at an event that was part of Young Involved Philadelphia's State of Young Philly, I started to wonder - maybe reminisce is the word - about other things.
November 4, 2014 |
I WENT ON an informal meet-and-greet of young leaders in the city this summer. First stop was a dynamic group of young black men who were doing all kinds of grassroots work in their neighborhoods. Among them, Anton Moore, who founded a local nonprofit called Unity in the Community to help unify his South Philadelphia neighborhood, and Alex Peay, who heads another nonprofit called Rising Sons, an after-school program to help young black men succeed. Next were the irrepressible Doley sisters, Emaleigh and Aine.
November 1, 2014 |
Parents simultaneously applaud and cry each year as their children make their way down a runway at a small fashion show for charity. For the children, who have various disabilities, the show is a chance to dress up and forget any struggles they may have off the catwalk. For their families, it is a chance to see their children, who might not be able to score a winning goal or compete in a spelling bee, shine in public. "It doesn't happen as easily with our kids, so these moments are really special," Suzanne Borio of Plymouth Meeting said.