June 17, 2013 |
The most difficult task for young pitchers is to have command of the strike zone, and failure to do so keeps so many in the minor leagues. Lehigh Valley righthander Phillippe Aumont is a classic example. The Phillies rave about his stuff, but his inability to throw strikes consistently caused his demotion to the IronPigs. He averaged 6.9 walks per nine innings this season when the Phillies sent him down. "He is like a lot of others in that they are a work in progress," Lehigh Valley manager Dave Brundage said.
May 31, 2013 |
CHARLIE MANUEL saw a lot of things that will stick in the darker recesses of his mind even after the Phillies muted them with a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox that sounded plenty of uplifting notes. There was Ben Revere breaking in on a line drive that ended up sailing well over his head for a triple, there was Domonic Brown colliding with Jimmy Rollins on a shallow pop fly, there were runners left standing like middle school dancers along a gymnasium wall. Manuel does not like these things, and he has bemoaned them throughout this stop-and-start Phillies season.
May 20, 2013 |
This is a war story told by an eyewitness. Kevin Purcell does the driving - in a Prius, no less - as we visit the battlefields of his youth, familiar places he hadn't set foot on in decades. Here's where somebody got shot, here's where somebody got stabbed. And here, he tells me, is where "grown white men were swinging baseball bats at grown black men who were swinging back with their belts and broom handles. " For a boy of 10, as Purcell was in 1969 when these events took place in his Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood, it all seemed unreal.
May 8, 2013 |
After a young woman in her neighborhood committed suicide in April, Pamela Robb vowed to attend the Camden Trauma Summit. "If one of us is hurting, we're all hurting," said Robb, 58, the tenant association president at the Northgate II high-rise in North Camden. A Camden resident for a half-century, Robb was among 150 citizens, clergy, and public health and safety professionals who gathered Monday at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. The relentless toll that violence exacts on Camden, a big small town that's been called America's most dangerous city, was the focus of the summit.
May 4, 2013 |
What makes Philadelphia's new zoning code such a landmark policy is that it embraces the modern view of cities first articulated by such urbanists as Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte. They understood that cities couldn't survive with fortified streets and blank ground floors. In the spirit of that movement, the code took the bold step of banning a particular local scourge: garage-fronted rowhouses. Apparently, the Zoning Board of Adjustment never got the memo. The new rules went into effect eight months ago, and yet the board continues to conduct business as usual, handing out variances that allow rowhouse developers to install garages where the living rooms are supposed to be. Last week, it was a pair of houses at 19th and Catharine Streets.
May 1, 2013 |
MAYOR NUTTER appointed Julia Chapman, legislative director for the first two years of his administration, to chair the Zoning Board of Adjustment yesterday. Chapman, Nutter's longtime chief of staff during his City Council days, will replace Lynette Brown-Sow, who became chairwoman of the Philadelphia Housing Authority on Friday. "Throughout my many years of public service, I have been keenly aware of the critical role the Zoning Board of Adjustment plays in balancing neighborhood preservation and the economic growth of the city while insuring the integrity of the zoning code," Chapman said in a statement.
April 20, 2013 |
Mount Laurel Township, long synonymous with landmark court cases mandating affordable housing, can also lay claim as a town that pushed back against billboards. On Monday, the national beautification group Scenic America will honor the town's leaders and residents for successfully defending the right of municipalities to restrict billboards within their borders. The national organization's president, Mary Tracy, is to present its Stafford Award to the township at Monday's council meeting.
April 19, 2013 |
A meeting of the Conshohocken Borough Council erupted in applause Wednesday night after the council voted, 6-1, against a zoning amendment that would have allowed a Wawa store and service station on Fayette Street. Wawa requested the amendment to allow a convenience store and 10-pump station in an area zoned for residential and office uses. The company can push forward, but will now have to argue before the zoning board. The proposal generated heated debate over the last few months, with community groups forming to lobby for and against the store.
April 18, 2013
A decision on whether to grant a zoning variance for Patterson Farm in Lower Makefield Township to allow a veterinary facility on the grounds will be delayed until May 20, after testimony at Tuesday's zoning hearing lasted until the meeting's conclusion at 10 p.m. A husband and wife want to build a hospital for horses in a farmhouse on the site. The township bought the 234-acre farm, with two homes, in 1998 for $7.2 million. Several township officials have said they are concerned about the cost of maintaining the property.
April 18, 2013
THE ACTUAL Value Initiative shouldn't be treated like the only item in Mayor Nutter's proposed $3.75 billion budget. It's time to give serious thought to the budget for the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation department. Nutter has pitched spending $51 million on parks, which is roughly how much the department is getting this year after a midyear boost of $2.7 million. It's not much more than the parks have gotten for decades. A recent City Controller report found that 40 percent of the recreation centers that they visited had expired or empty fire extinguishers.