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Philadelphia Front Page News Your Top Stories Of The Day (267) 293-9201

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Saying Farewell To Allen Iverson

Saying Farewell To Allen Iverson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – “And finally….the SIX FOOT GUARD from Georgetown—number three—ALLEN IIIIIIVERSOOONNN!”

I can still hear it now. Gives me goosebumps just typing it. In my lifetime, he’s the only guy to ever pack the house for a Sixers game. And boy, did he ever pack it. He captivated us every night—with his tattoos, corn rows, six foot frame, baggy shorts, unrivaled determination, uncanny moves, pre and post game comments, and dominating performances. It’s impossible to explain, although many try, no one does it justice.

For full story go to:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Van Stone, Philadelphia National Writer: Radio Magazine- Creates New Gospel Music Genre Called Gospel Fusion On Internet Radio

Van Stone, Philadelphia National Writer: Radio Magazine- Creates New Gospel Music Genre Called Gospel Fusion On Internet Radio

From Philadelphia, PA. The gospel music show; the best of today’s hottest mainstream, pop and crossover music playlist as well as his commentaries focused on local and international current gospel music.  Van Stone has created a new name for this particular gospel music genre formatted and played on Power WVSR 1360 Radio or elsewhere.  He listens with you to the gospel music style that incorporates elements of diverse spiritual inspirations.  “Join me,” he asks as he shares the music process or result of joining two or more music categories together to form a single gospel music entity.  Van Stone calls this entity of music- “Gospel Fusion.” The infusion fare includes something a bit different from the sound of “standard” hymns. The music is a traditional and contemporary-like style of soulful rhythm and vocals wrapped in harmonized testimony, persuasion, or warning of jazzy praise. Van Stone discusses gospel music which represents the gospel in written and musical forms.  “Makes no difference what religious group you support, you have to listen because its music that’s easy to grasp, sounds like a blend of smooth jazz, and more easily singable, ” says Van Stone.  From the playlist he plays the popular creative work of many signed and unsigned songwriters and composers, and singers and song leaders.  Thursdays: 6pm-9pm.

Phillies Drop Another To Blue Jays, 7-5

Phillies Drop Another To Blue Jays, 7-5

Cliff Lee (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Cliff Lee

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Committee Of Philadelphia Historical Commission Recommends Plan To Convert Boyd Theater

Committee Of Philadelphia Historical Commission Recommends Plan To Convert Boyd Theater

(1956-57 photo courtesy of Friends of the Boyd, Inc.)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A committee of the Philadelphia Historical Commission grappled with a tough question, but recommended that a developer be granted a ‘hardship’ demolition to gut most of the interior of the historic Boyd Theater, to redevelop it.

The full Commission will take up the matter in mid-March.

After lengthy testimony over two days from developers, architects, engineers, consultants – and preservationists – the Hardship Committee of the Historical Commission decided to vote on the financial hardship application.

For full story go to:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Convicted Trenton Mayor Tony Mack Removed From Office

Convicted Trenton Mayor Tony Mack Removed From Office

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS)—Trenton Mayor Tony Mack had little to say entering court on Wednesday.

Mack’s been holding onto office for more than two weeks, despite being found guilty of federal corruption charges.

Wednesday’s hearing was to decide if Mack should be removed from office immediately, or as his lawyer argued, stay in power until final sentencing in May.

The State Attorney General’s office argued that would be unfair to the people of Trenton.

For full story go to:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mosaic From Now-shuttered Restaurant Gets New Home At Philadelphia High School

Mosaic From Now-shuttered Restaurant Gets New Home At Philadelphia High School

Stephen Miotto works on the mosaic. (credit: Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio)
Stephen Miotto works on the mosaic.

 PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The 40-foot abstract mosaic was the focal point of the SoleFood restaurant at the Loews Hotel.

Nancy Frank of the Mosaic Society of Philadelphia took note.

“I would eat in the restaurant, I would see this gorgeous thing. I’d be staring at it, thinking to myself, ‘My God, there’s so much work that went into that,’” she recalls.

For full story go to:

Mayor, DC 47 Reach Contract Agreement, Ending Five-Year Stalemate

Mayor, DC 47 Reach Contract Agreement, Ending Five-Year Stalemate

(credit: Tim Jimenez/KYW)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter and District Council Union 47 Chief Fred Wright signed an eight-year-contract for the city’s white collar union workers, who have been working without a deal since 2009.

“The overall five-year plan cost of the agreement is an estimated $122 million which presents a substantial challenge for our budget but one we believe is warranted,” Mayor Nutter said.

This is an eight year deal, running retroactively, starting in 2009 and ending in 2017.

For full story go to:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Drexel University Opens Its New Cybersecurity Institute

Drexel University Opens Its New Cybersecurity Institute

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local university is helping wage the war against cyberattacks on our nation’s infrastructure, which the FBI warns is a serious and growing threat, as well as on criminals who take aim at your personal information.

As head of Drexel’s new Cybersecurity and Policy Institute, in the unversity’s “ExCITe Center,” at 34th and Market Streets, retired US Air Force colonel Norm Balchunas is pushing students and faculty to solve problems facing industry, government, and the rest of us.

For evidence of cybercrime, Balchunas noted today, he doesn’t have to look far:

For full story go to:

Low-Income LGBT Senior Housing Opens In Center City Philadelphia

Low-Income LGBT Senior Housing Opens In Center City Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The first housing development designed specifically for low-income seniors in the LGBT community had its “official” opening today in center city Philadelphia.

The John C. Anderson Apartments, at 249 South 13th Street, was temporarily swathed in rainbow-colored banners for today’s ribbon-cutting, but LGBT seniors have actually been living here since January.

Among them is Denise Samen.

“Oh, it’s like heaven,” she said today of the housing project.

For full story go to:

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Archdiocese Of Philadelphia Removes Two Priests Over Sex Abuse Allegations

Archdiocese Of Philadelphia Removes Two Priests Over Sex Abuse Allegations

(credit: CBS)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has removed two more priests from ministry following an investigation into sexual abuse claims involving minors for incidents that took place over four decades ago.

In a written statement, Archbishop Charles Chaput says that separate investigations found that 75-year-old Reverend James Collins and 67-year-old Reverend John Paul “unfit for ministry.”
Both men had been placed on administrative leave last year. They were both accused of sexually abusing 17-year-old minors in 1974 in separate incidents.

For full story go to:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Volunteers Spend Day Sewing, Knitting Blankets For Good Cause

Volunteers Spend Day Sewing, Knitting Blankets For Good Cause
8th annual "Make a Blanket" day at the Kennedy center in Voorhees, New Jersey. (Credit: Mike Dougherty)
8th annual “Make a Blanket” day at the Kennedy center in Voorhees, New Jersey.

VOORHEES, N.J. (CBS) – Dozens of volunteers turned out for “make a blanket” day at the Kennedy Center in Voorhees, New Jersey Saturday morning.

Tables were covered in fleece and yarn as part of the sewing circle to benefit Project Linus.

“Project Linus is a charity that provides blankets for comfort for children who have been traumatized, who are sick, or in otherwise in need of a hug. We call our blankets ‘hugs’,” Chapter president Marianne McCarthy tells KYW Newsradio.

For full story go to:

Friday, February 21, 2014

How to Survive your Late 20's: As Forwarded By Janet Powell, Associate Writer Janet Warm Wind Powell@Facebook

How to Survive your Late 20's: As Forwarded By Janet Powell, Associate Writer Janet Warm Wind Powell@Facebook

Forget that horrifyingly painful thesis. Don't even think about your bar exam. School as you know it is over. And now it's time to start that adult life you've been talking about, right? Well, before you get started, here are some tips to help you avoid the seldom talked about quarter life crisis.

 I bet you thought that you wouldn't have to deal with roommates after college. Well, not exactly. As you will soon find out, living on your own is still very expensive. And if you've left your small college town for a major city like NYC/SF/CHI etc you will be SHOCKED with how much more expensive housing can be. We recommend that you stick it out with roommates for a least a year. You need more time to establish better credit, and save up enough rainy day money to get you through three months of living, should something happen to your job. It's much easier to do all of this while sharing your cost of living.

 College is about experimenting. Playing the field. Having inappropriate sex with inappropriate people. Your 20's are about applying what you learned from those experiences to solid/healthy relationships. If you don't use your time in college to better yourself as an adult, then what's the point?

 How you look the rest of your life will depend on how well you take care of your body during your 20's. Do future you a favor and work out and eat healthy. Your metabolism will inevitably slow down and you will get fat. So get up, get out, and get in shape.

 Like most healthy 20 somethings, you will undoubtedly be invited to brunch at some point or another. WARNING: Champagne is still booze. It can still get you drunk. And you can still black out. So keep that in mind before you end up puking all over your nice Sunday dress.

 If you've ever thought about building up a savings account, this is the time. It's just something that has to happen, something big kids do. In a few years when you're engaged or looking to buy a house, you'll be glad you did. Contact a financial planner and see what kind of commitment you need to get started.

 Music festivals are a major staple of the average 20something. If you're lucky enough to live in a music heavy region, we urge you to take advantage of these weekend trips with your closest friends. In a few years, you wont have the time or freedom to get drunk off your ass while listening to some sweet tunes.

 Happy Hour is one of the greatest pleasures in the 9-5 world. The booze is cheap and you get to hang out with your co-workers outside of the office. However, we urge you all to be careful, don't be surprised if your boss makes a random cameo in the happiest of hours. It doesn't matter if it's 2pm or 8, you never want to look like a fool in front of your boss.

 Remember when you use to wear your pj's to class? Ok, now never do that again. In fact, never wear them outside of your house, ever. This is also a good time to let you know that your frat t-shirts and screen tees have to go. It's time you start dressing like the successful adult you want to be.

 Because you never know when you'll be back. And you might. While most of us go into adulthood thinking this is the beginning of a new life, setbacks do happen. In the event that you have to move back in with your parents, you want to make sure that your relationship is as strong as ever. It'll make things easier on everyone.

At 11th-Hour, Anonymous Donor Offers To Purchase Boyd Theater

At 11th-Hour, Anonymous Donor Offers To Purchase Boyd Theater

(1956-57 photo courtesy of Friends of the Boyd, Inc.)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An unnamed “charitable foundation” has pledged a willingness to buy the historic Boyd Theater, with the intent of preserving the old movie palace.

It comes as the Philadelphia Historical Commission considers a developer’s plan to demolish most of the interior.

The founder of the Friends of the Boyd, Howard Haas, says the anonymous donor wants to help efforts to save the old theater at 1910 Chestnut Street.

For full story go to:

9-Year-Old Girl Speaks Out About Attempted Abduction In Hunting Park

9-Year-Old Girl Speaks Out About Attempted Abduction In Hunting Park

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police have charged a suspect in the attempted abduction of a nine-year-old girl Thursday night.

CBS 3′s Steve Patterson talked to the young victim.
The incident happened at about 5:50 p.m. in the 3700 block of N. 5th Street in the city’s Hunting Park neighborhood.

“All he said was ‘come here,’” the young girl said.

For full story go to:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Police: 5-Year-Old Boy Left On School Bus For 4 Hours

Police: 5-Year-Old Boy Left On School Bus For 4 Hours

file photo (Getty Images)

NEWARK, Del., (CBS) – Delaware State Police say a five-year-old boy did not get off his school bus Wednesday morning.

He was then found more than four hours later asleep.

Police say the Newark boy was picked up around 8:30 a.m. by a Christina School District school bus for school at the Christiana Early Education Center.

When the bus arrived at the school on the 600 block of East Chestnut Hill Road, police say the five-year-old did not get off the bus.

For full story go to:

UPDATE: Body Found Outside 30th Street Station ID’d As Missing Delaware County Woman

UPDATE: Body Found Outside 30th Street Station ID’d As Missing Delaware County Woman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The body of a women discovered inside a car near 30th Street Station on Thursday has been officially identified as that of a missing woman from Delaware County.

“She was found on the passenger side, there is a book bag with stuff that is dumped out and placed on top of her,” Lt. John Walker, of the Philadelphia Police Department, said.

Police had been looking for the Nissan Altima in connection to the disappearance of a woman, Nadia Malik, who was reported missing to Marple Township Police on February 10th. Days later, the car she was driving was found.

For full story go to:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Senior Airman At Dover Air Force Base Dies In Crash Along I-95

Senior Airman At Dover Air Force Base Dies In Crash Along I-95


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Senior Airman At Dover Air Force Base Dies In Crash Along I-95

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Fatal Accident Graphic

DOVER, Del. (CBS) – A senior airman was killed in a crash in Philadelphia on Tuesday morning.

Around 4 a.m., 26-year-old Victor Quach died in a vehicle accident on I-95 North near Girard Avenue in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia.

For full story go to:

Just How Dangerous Is A Giant Comcast?

Just How Dangerous Is A Giant Comcast?

It's been more than 100 years since the U.S. Supreme Court determined that one of the biggest companies in the world, Standard Oil, was an illegal monopoly and would have to be broken apart.

The size of the company didn't automatically violate antitrust law, the court ruled. Rather, it was the way it wielded that size that was a problem. The oil behemoth forced railroads to slash prices and agree to preferential deals to ship its products, driving smaller competitors out of business. Standard Oil came to control 90 percent of U.S. oil production through these methods, and the court determined that this led to higher prices and less oil, harming the overall market.

The antitrust laws the court used to decide the century-old case will be tested again in coming months, as regulators take a close look at Comcast's $45 billion offer to acquire its smaller rival Time Warner Cable. The deal would make Comcast, the largest cable company in the country, even bigger. The new communications giant would also control broadcast and cable television networks, movie studios and theme parks that Comcast has swept up in past acquisitions.

"It just creates this massive player -- this one entity that sits at the crossroads of everything," Michael Weinberg, a vice president at Public Knowledge, said in an interview last week. "They don't just dabble in it. They dominate it."

Comcast is not Standard Oil -- it isn't accused of sending thugs to intimidate rivals, for example, as Standard Oil's founder John D. Rockefeller is alleged to have done -- but there are enough similarities between the companies to give consumer activists, and potentially regulators, cause for concern.

Like Standard Oil, which began as a small Ohio concern, Comcast emerged from obscurity to dominate its industry. In 1990, Comcast was a Pennsylvania company with $657 million in annual revenue. In the years since, under the leadership of CEO Brian Roberts, the company has swallowed cable providers and TV networks, among other businesses, around the country, and revenue has swelled to more than $64 billion.

In some of the markets in which it operates, Comcast is the only entity that offers cable and broadband service, to the great frustration of many customers who say this veritable monopoly starves them of choice, and leads to higher prices. The Time Warner Cable acquisition would further expand the company's reach -- Comcast would have about a third of broadband subscribers and 30 million pay TV subscribers in the U.S.

A Comcast-Time Warner Cable behemoth could use its muscle -- not unlike Standard Oil -- to wield power over related industries, potentially starving competitors of resources, antitrust experts said.
A stronger Comcast could charge higher rates to deliver streaming video from companies like Apple, Netflix, YouTube or Amazon, though it pledged to hold off on doing so until at least 2018 under its agreement to acquire NBCUniversal. TV networks may also be afraid to strike deals to sell their shows to online streaming services out of fear Comcast would retaliate by giving them unfavorable positions in Comcast's TV channel lineup.
Content creators just couldn't afford not to do business with a company as powerful and far-reaching as a Comcast-Time Warner Cable giant, Weinberg said.
Antitrust lawyers say the Comcast buyout poses a deep challenge for the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission, the two federal agencies that enforce antitrust law and will decide if the deal can proceed.
The Standard Oil case, by today's standards, was cut and dry. In the early years of the 20th century, a muckraking journalist wrote an exposé on how the company used its massive clout to bully railroads and pipeline companies into lowering prices, then undercut competitors to such a degree they were forced to sell out, or go under. In one instance, Rockefeller used the threat of a secret alliance with railroads to intimidate more than 20 Cleveland refiners to sell out to Standard Oil at bargain prices, an event known as the "Cleveland massacre."

The Justice Department then launched an investigation under newfound authority granted by the Sherman Act, an antitrust law passed in 1890 to broad acclaim.

Antitrust reviews have expanded over the years to include deals that would combine two or more existing companies, with the goal stopping monopolies before they happen. The measuring stick authorities use is whether the formation of the new company would "substantially lessen competition."

This is something of a soothsaying exercise, said antitrust experts.

"They are trying to predict the likely effect of something that hasn't happened yet," said Spencer Waller, the head of the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies at Loyola University in Chicago.

This task is made more difficult by the special circumstances posed by the Comcast deal. Unlike most mergers and buyouts, such as the proposed takeover of T-Mobile by Sprint that the Justice Department has signaled it will oppose, Comcast and Time Warner Cable don't compete head-to-head in any market.

Comcast has also said that the combined company's cable TV customers will represent 30 percent or less of the market. That is the maximum market share allowed under an older Federal Communications Commission rule, which is no longer in place. In 2009, it was struck down by an appeals court, which declared it "arbitrary and capricious."

Sena Fitzmaurice, a vice president of government affairs at Comcast, said that existing Time Warner Cable customers would benefit from Comcast's innovations. As examples of past efforts, she cited the company's robust video-on-demand service and said Comcast has increased broadband internet speed 12 times in as many years.

"Additional consumers would get to benefit from these innovations as a result of the transaction," she said in an email to The Huffington Post.

A new megacompany would have powerful control over the cable grid and over content providers, Waller said. "This is very troubling," he said -- but also very difficult for federal authorities to evaluate.

Comcast is certain to argue that its competitors encompass far more entities than traditional cable providers. As evidence of that, the company can point to the national trend of declining cable subscriber rates, which many attribute to increased competition from satellite providers like DirectTV, from streaming video companies and even from Internet portals like Google.

This is boilerplate merger and acquisitions strategy, Waller said. Companies that seek to expand their holdings typically argue that they face competition from as wide array of entities as possible.

But that argument is not airtight. The companies Comcast mentions as potential competitors do not yet offer near the breadth of services sold by the company, even in its present form. Sports coverage is a prime example. Comcast owns NBC, which paid $4.4 billion to broadcast the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi and three subsequent Olympics. By way of comparison, that is a significantly greater sum than Netflix plans to allocate for its entire 2014 programming budget.

It will be up to the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission to determine whether given these market realities, existing competitors offer services that are reasonable substitutes, said Herbert Hovenkamp, an antitrust law professor at the University of Iowa. "Substitutes have to be sufficiently robust to keep services down near cost," he said.

In Comcast's favor, as it makes its case, is an unbroken track record of success before regulators, most notably its 2009 acquisition of NBC Universal. "I think their experience with getting previous deals through, particularly the NBCU takeover, has to be helpful," Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Kaut told the Wall Street Journal last week. "They know the ropes. And they seem to do a good job of getting out in front of some of the antitrust/regulatory objections by offering commitments that soften up the resistance."

Comcast, for its part, has cast the combination of the two companies as favoring consumers. "It will provide exciting consumer benefits" and "deliver better services and technology to Time Warner Cable’s subscribers," the company said.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts even deemed the acquisition "pro-consumer," "pro-competitive," and "in the public's interest."

But to many current subscribers, these claims are hard to swallow. The company charged roughly $156 per month per customer last year, and cable companies consistently rank at the bottom of customer satisfaction surveys. The average cable TV bill -- not including taxes, fees or promotions -- has increased 97 percent over the past 14 years, according to SNL Kagan, a media research firm.

High prices, ultimately, are what led to Standard Oil's demise. The movement that led to the investigation was sparked by farmers, who were outraged by the huge cost they had to pay to get their crops to market.
Antitrust experts said regulators will try to gauge whether a combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable would face enough competition to keep prices in check.

Last week, in a conference call with reporters, Comcast Vice President David Cohen fielded a question about what the Time Warner Cable buyout might mean for cable and Internet bills. "The impact on customer bills is always hard to quantify," he responded. "We're certainly not promising that customer bills are going to go down or even increase less rapidly."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Developer Describes Luxury Hotel For Old Philadelphia Family Court Building

Developer Describes Luxury Hotel For Old Philadelphia Family Court Building

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With a new Family Court under construction in Philadelphia, a developer has grand plans for the old court building on Logan Circle:  it will be renovated into a luxury hotel.

The nearly 75-year-old court building at 18th and Vine Streets is get a new lease on life.   Developer Don Peebles says the structure will be converted into a Kimpton Hotel.

“We see this as a tremendous opportunity to be given custody of this landmark building, and turn it into an economic engine,” Peebles said today.

Peebles said he will purchase the building from the city for $4.5 million and will spend another $85 million renovating it.

The hotel will feature nearly 200 rooms, a massive ballroom, a spa, and a restaurant.
Completion is expected in 2017.

For full story go to:

Ten Members of Phila. Ironworkers’ Union Charged With Racketeering, Arson

Ten Members of Phila. Ironworkers’ Union Charged With Racketeering, Arson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –  In an indictment that takes a legal crowbar to the leadership of Ironworkers Local 401, the US attorney in Philadelphia says the local union strongarmed construction contractors in the city to hire workers from that local.

Business manager Joe Dougherty,  business agents Ed Sweeney, Sean O’Donnell, Christopher Prophet, and William O’Donnell, and five others charged with conspiracy, extortion, arson, destruction of property, and assault under federal racketeering statutes.

For full story go to:

Wise wins on halfpipe for another American gold

Wise wins on halfpipe for another American gold 

AP Photo
Gold medalist David Wise of the United States, center, celebrates with silver medalist Mike Riddle of Canada, left, and bronze medalist Kevin Rolland of France, after the men's ski halfpipe final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) -- David Wise considers himself a dad and husband first, a freestyle skier second.

That might be why he also became an Olympic champion.

Soaring through sloppy snow and sleet, Wise won the first gold medal in the young sport of halfpipe skiing Tuesday, outclassing a field in Sochi that had trouble with the slow, waterlogged conditions.

Sightlines were less than perfect on the first true soaker of a night at the action-sports venue, but not so bad that Wise couldn't look down from the top and see his wife, Lexi, and the rest of his family members cheering at the base of the halfpipe.

Many of them were holding big pop-out pictures of his 2-year-old daughter, Nayeli, stapled to wooden sticks.

"To see that face looking back up at me was cool," Wise said.

After placing a heart-shaped rock Lexi gave him into one pocket, the 23-year-old from Reno, Nev., dropped into the halfpipe and scored a 92 - a mark that held up to beat Canada's Mike Riddle by 1.4 points.

Kevin Rolland of France took bronze.

That podium pretty much went to form, a fact not lost on Wise or any of the others, who have watched expected results in other action sports at these games get shuffled - partly because of conditions and maybe because of pressure. Shaun White never got comfortable with the tough halfpipe a week ago and finished fourth. Kelly Clark struggled and ended up with bronze, not gold.

"I've been watching a lot of favorites lose this Olympics ... seeing how much pressure it can be and how you have to perform, regardless of the conditions or how you're feeling that day," Wise said. "It's kind of sobering, to say the least."

He had a couple new tricks he wanted to bust out for the Olympics, but because of the conditions, those will have to wait.

Instead, he went with his most dependable jumps: 2 1/2 spins; two flips with 3 1/2 spins; back-to-back 720-degree spins; then another two-flip, 1260-degree move. Some went 14-15 feet above the halfpipe. Most had fancy grabs of the skis that the judges love. All had rock-solid landings that win gold medals.

"Dave is, right now, on top of the sport," said his 17-year-old American teammate, Aaron Blunck. "He's the best. He's proven it multiple times. He comes out in any condition and has amazing fun. He's the dad out of the group. So, no matter what he does, we're proud of him"

Wise is the winner of three straight Winter X Games titles, which, until now, were the biggest prizes in his trophy case.

All these major victories have come since he got married and became a dad.

He's a family man - the regular dude in a counter-culture sport - and he's sure he wouldn't be this good if it were different.

"I can go and ski my heart out, but that doesn't necessarily define who I am," he said. "Being a good husband and father is more important. I can have passion with both things and it provides balance."

Riddle's silver continued a sparkling stretch of freestyle skiing for Canada. Including the 1-2 moguls finish by the Dufour-Lapointe sisters, a 1-2 finish in men's moguls and some other strong results, the Canadians have won seven medals in the action sports, three of them gold.

This one means a little more, given that it came in the sport the late Sarah Burke of Canada pushed hardest to include in the Olympics. Burke was the freeskiing star who died two years ago after a training accident in the halfpipe.

"Without Sarah, I don't think ski halfpipe or slopestyle would be anywhere near what it is right now," Riddle said. "It wouldn't be in the Olympics. She had a massive impact and she's been on my mind a lot this week."

Though the weather prevented the show from being the best the skiers have ever put on, certainly Burke 
would've appreciated the effort - and all those smiles.

"The whole thing is to just go out there and try to have some fun," said Blunck, who finished seventh.
Wise had the most fun.

He brought America's medal total at the Sochi Games to 20 overall, with six golds. Eleven of the medals and five of those golds have come from the action sports, where Wise considers himself a role model.

"I just want people to be excited about freeskiing," he said.

Soon, he'll collect that gold medal and bring it home to Reno, where Nayeli stayed back with her grandma and watched her dad on TV.

The new champion understands, of course, that the medal belongs to a great, big family.

"You represent everyone who believed in you along the way - teachers, trainers, coaches, sponsors," he said. "Everyone who thought you had a chance of being great at something is in that halfpipe with you."

Monday, February 17, 2014

Superintendent Hite Introduces New Action Plan To Turn Around Philadelphia Public Schools

Superintendent Hite Introduces New Action Plan To Turn Around Philadelphia Public Schools

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –”It’s bigger, it’s bolder and it’s meant to be aspirational in scope and urgent in

For Dr. William Hite, the goals are researched, proven and interconnected, at the top 100 percent of college or career readiness.

“To do that, we have to have 100 percent of students reading on grade level, by the time they’re eight. In order to do that, we need to make sure that every since student has the best teachers and the best principals, and in order to do that we need to make sure we get 100 percent of the money we need in order to do this work.”

For full story go to:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Change: Red Caps are White by Janet Powell, FPN Associate Writer, Janet Warm Wind Powell@facebook

Change: Red Caps are White by Janet Powell, FPN Associate Writer; Janet Warm Wind Powell@facebook

"FINAL CALL, train 1082, route to New York and Boston", I'd heard from the loudspeaker 20 minutes before I heard,"ALL ABOARD", track 3, stairway 3, route to Wilmington, Baltimore, New Carrollton, Washington and Virginia".

The station, 30th street, Philadelphia is bustling on this Thanksgiving Day weekend. It's Saturday, crisp and bright outside. Inside, shadowed with lines of travelers at the ticket counter and quiet conversations.  A "Black" woman asking me for a dollar after a dissertation about being short fare to get on the regional train to somewhere. Upon my "No!" response, she sucked her teeth and dismissed me with 'Bitch", audibly spoken as she walked to her next prospect. Waiting are those too old to meet the challenges of online ticket purchase and those who are young enough but racing for time to maneuver all of their young obstacles.

Late for the 11:30 AM departure, I lined up with a myriad of folks being served by two agents probably working vacation time. My direct line of vision, upon entering the line space was a young white woman holding a 4 month old to her breast. It's a rather cold day for such public exposure. As she held her son, she spoke a language to a foreign speaking Black male. She interpreted, signed a voucher, maneuvered her wallet back into her larger bag, all the while speaking and holding her child. I was impressed. A young White female recruit in uniform was behind me. Too young for service or war.

Finally, sitting after purchasing hoagies from a Philly hoagie vendor for my Maryland relatives  I reflected. I'd just purchased Philly hoagies from two men of East Indian dissent. I was raised in the neighborhood that housed the original Pats Cheesteaks. "They can't possibly make a good hoagie', was my first thought but, the ingredients were authentic. I watched. "So why not?" I complain about grits prepared by Asian restaurateurs. Not because they're Asian but because they don't prepare them to my liking.

Two days ago, there was the execution of terror in Bumbai, India. I watched the news accounts as most did.. This country, so far away. Languages intertwined, spoken quickly, fearfully exhibiting the first stages of grief. Two days later, the reality has not set in for those outside. We in Philadelphia, as close as we are to New York, couldn't touch or feel 9/11 as those who lived it. Don't misunderstand, there are those among us who feel everyone's pain. Some other's must emotionally or intellectually process circumstances. Others only care about their own survival. As long as they are not directly hit, there is no hit.

The train ride is going well. A train is my memory of day's quite unlike today, Today on the train is ethnic diversity and it's cool. As I travel south, I'm reminded of the slow ride, every pit stop and fear.

We, a middle class family with southern roots. We, an educated bunch of professional Black folks, working hard, owning business's, teaching and gathering, each Thanksgiving for the connection that only family has. We, proud of each others accomplishments. In the family, these accomplishments are expected. Outside the circle however, we were maligned, segregated against and disgraced by virtue of a color line.

I remember the train station then. I see vividly, the separate water fountains and bathrooms and train cars. I experienced standing on the side of the street in Danville, VA. that was for colored people only. At the Thanksgiving Day parade, as Santa's carriage rolled down the street, Santa looked and waved to the 'other' side.

The history is written by  colonists. Movies of the day showed us "Darkies" as immigrants from somewhere in Tarzan land. "Darkies" dwelled and worked and lived on American soil long before we were told we were immigrants. Those were the politics to benefit those seeking free land and economic resources.
On this train as I remember those horrific days, I think about those who killed and maimed in Bumbai, India.That the hatred was so severe for those who were declared wealthy.

Here in the US, riots occurred in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Chicago. The wrath of the disenfranchised in the '60's, exploded in cities across this country. It was the buildings that housed the rioters that were destroyed. It was the communities of those who set the fires that were leveled. There is still sadly, the inerrant need to turn on those close to living the problems not the creators of the problems.

Among Americans, the fight for empowerment becomes clouded with parallel shame. We must begin the process to govern for balance. We must recognize that inner city communities, Native American reservations and the expanding prison industrial complex may turn emotions and anger outside. That if we don't recognize soon that we, here in America, no matter what we are or where we are have value for the strength of the collective.

As we witness the dawn of a new day as a train rides out of Philadelphia towards a  House built for Whites only, my dream too is to see a new Washington, surrounding a  House that will symbolize liberty and justice for all.

Janet Powell

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