PW: Did Philadelphia ambulance response time kill a woman?

In yesterday’s Philadelphia Weekly I shared the story of Vlad Glikman, who blames a failure in Philadelphia’s ambulatory system for the death of his mother.

Jan. 20, 2008: Glikman receives a frantic call from his 81-year-old father telling him that his mother, Adalina, is unconscious in their Somerton apartment in the Northeast. His father says a private ambulance company, Century, is on the way. Twenty minutes later, Glikman arrives at his parents’ home and finds his mother on the ground, still unconscious, with no ambulance in sight. His father calls Century again, but according to Glikman, the ambulance driver says he can’t get his engine started due to the blistering cold. Desperate to save his mother, Glikman dials 911. Fifteen minutes later—far too late by most national standards—a city-dispatched ambulance arrives just in time to pronounce her dead. Read the rest here.

While it focuses on Glikman, the story serves as an update from a May 2006 story by Mike Newall on Philadelphia’s poor ambulance response times.

Read the story, comment, then com on back, as always, and see what didn’t make it into the final story.

Continue reading PW: Did Philadelphia ambulance response time kill a woman?

Inquirer: Why are there so many aspiring librarians?

Susan Davis teaches a library-science class at Drexel, where enrollment in the program has grown more than threefold since 2000. Retirements are opening jobs for librarians. Photo by DAVID M WARREN.
Susan Davis teaches a library-science class at Drexel, where enrollment in the program has grown more than threefold since 2000. Retirements are opening jobs for librarians. Photo by DAVID M WARREN.

I try to tackle the contrast between contracting libraries in Philadelphia and a surge in library-sciences programs at regional colleges in a story for today’s Style & Soul section of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

You might think librarians are going the way of card catalogs.

After all, many of Philadelphia’s Free Library branches are on the chopping block come summer, and the number of public school librarians have dropped by half in the past 15 years.Yet local colleges tell a different story.

At a time when free access to Internet, books, movies and lectures is more important than ever, libraries across the country — where many librarians are graying and retiring — are seeking skilled information specialists, trained and college-educated in the library sciences. Library science programs here are filling the need. Read the rest here.

Go there, check out the story, comment and then come back here for the extras that didn’t make it into the full story.

Continue reading Inquirer: Why are there so many aspiring librarians?

The cost of the phone interview for freelance journalsits: how do you charge, what do you use?

Updated: 3/9/09 at 8:56 p.m.

Newspapers and many magazines don’t cover freelance expenses, like telephone calls.

What gives? Doing some quick math – and the 15 cents per minute phone call I use from my cell-phone plan to charge those publications that do accept my charges – I expect to spend at the very least more than one hour on the phone per story. Yeah, that’s about $10.

Ten bucks isn’t a chunk of change in the eyes of even the most crippled newspaper, but that does mean I spent more than $100 in additional phone charges last month.

Continue reading The cost of the phone interview for freelance journalsits: how do you charge, what do you use?

Seven habits of highly effective freelance journalists

I have difficulty finding time to relax, freelancer Chris Hardwick says. (Photo by Sian Kennedy)
"I'll be honest: I have difficulty finding time to relax", freelancer Chris Hardwick says. (Photo by Sian Kennedy)

Chris Hardwick, a freelancer and contributor to Wired magazine, rocked out two popular self-help, time-management guides – the Four Hour Work Week and Never Check Your E-mail in the Morning – and broke it down for the average freelance journalist or writer.

Well, as a freelancer myself, I am often looking for better methods to save time and accomplish more. So, when I saw another noted self-help guide, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, was giving away a free audio-book, I nabbed it and put it on my Zune.

I thought I could break down Stephen R. W. Covey’s 1988 cult hit for you freelancers out there.

Continue reading Seven habits of highly effective freelance journalists

Blogging at Uwishunu.com: See me

If you peeked at my Blogging clips on this Web site recently, you may have noticed that I have begun contributing to uwishunu.com, a very cool arts and entertainment blog in Philadelphia.

If you have managed some RSS feed for my Disclosures on this site, you may also have seen that uwishunu is a product of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corp., which means I am currently receiving small funds from a public relations organization.

I’m over it and hope you are, too. If it causes a conflict, we’ll cross that bridge when we have to. Because, right now, I enjoy the work and love the product – I was subscribing to uwishunu long before I became involved.

Below check some of my work and extras from those assignments.

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How valuable are your skills?: newspapers weren't ready for their deserted island

You ever wonder just how valuable your skills are?

So much of what we do and learn is designed for something we manufactured and to which we subscribe ourselves.

If you were deserted on an island, what would your professional skills or personal interests do for your survival?

Continue reading How valuable are your skills?: newspapers weren't ready for their deserted island

Philacon Valley: The surging technology communities of Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley

The older streets of Philadelphia with the Center City-skyscraping Liberty Towers peering over.

Wipe clean the rust.

Philadelphia, Pa., the first great and longest-lasting great American city, which fell on long-hard, embarrassing times for much of the second-half of the 20th century, has every reason to take on the future of urban existence — innovation.

I’m using the opportunity to also introduce a new venture, Technically Philly, a blog covering the community of people using technology in Philadelphia.

And that community is growing. If it’s green development or technology, Philadelphia has a thriving underground version of it. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Philacon Valley.

Continue reading Philacon Valley: The surging technology communities of Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley

Phila. fine-arts scene goes where youth are (Philadelphia Inquirer: 2/24/09)

By Christopher Wink | Tue, Feb. 24, 2009 | Philadelphia Inquirer

inquirer-cover-2-24-09On Valentine’s Day, Pennsylvania Ballet staff members stood in the Merriam Theater’s lobby handing out coasters that bore what might have seemed a strange suggestion coming from an arts organization: Go to our YouTube channel.

What the mostly graying matinee audience made of the invitation to an online video-sharing site is unclear. What is clear is that the Pennsylvania Ballet is not alone in lusting after online social-network users.

The Kimmel Center has a Flickr photostream. The Curtis Institute of Music is on LinkedIn. The Arden Theatre and the Franklin Institute use Twitter. The Philadelphia Orchestra has a MySpace page.

The Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and just about every other arts organization in the city has a Facebook page. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has an RSS feed of its exhibitions on its Web site, and the Academy of Natural Sciences shares exhibit-construction videos.

The Philadelphia fine-arts scene has gone viral, and no one is hiding the reason.

Continue reading Phila. fine-arts scene goes where youth are (Philadelphia Inquirer: 2/24/09)

Inquirer: Philadelphia's fine arts and social media

social-networking

I was interested to cover the convergence of social networks and fine arts institutions in a story running in today’s Inquirer. While it focuses on Philadelphia examples, there are broader implications, I think.

On Valentine’s Day, Pennsylvania Ballet staff members stood in the Merriam Theater’s lobby handing out coasters that bore what might have seemed a strange suggestion coming from an arts organization: Go to our YouTube channel.

What the mostly graying matinee audience made of the invitation to an online video-sharing site is unclear. What is clear is that the Pennsylvania Ballet is not alone in lusting after online social-network users.

The Kimmel Center has a Flickr photostream. The Curtis Institute of Music is on LinkedIn. The Arden Theatre and the Franklin Institute use Twitter. The Philadelphia Orchestra has a MySpace page. Read the rest here.

Go read the story and comment, Digg it here, and then come back and see the extras that didn’t make it into print.

Continue reading Inquirer: Philadelphia's fine arts and social media