Interview with former Philadelphia Mayor John Street

Early this morning I interviewed former Philadelphia Mayor John Street, now an adjunct professor of political science at Temple University. I was speaking to him for my honors thesis, which is focusing on the viability of the Republican Party in urban America, particularly Philadelphia.

I’ll post some of my notes later, but for now, check out this video of Street discussing some of the challenges his successor, Michael Nutter, will face.

Number of Views:2959

You know Chelsea Clinton is super hot

Yo, seriously, how is there any debate? Chelsea Clinton is hot.

Check out this video by The Temple News on a recent appearance Hillary’s daughter made in Philadelphia, and try to tell me differently.

That’s a far cry from her early days as the first child in White House.

Chelsea has been used a great deal by the Clinton campaign.

Yet, there has been lots of talk about Chelsea being used for the Hillary campaign. The junior Senator from New York addressed attacks of her “pimping out” Chelsea.

Check out others taking up the debate.

Number of Views:2789

Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies show holiday spirit

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Never posted this, thought it as good as time as any, at this point, to celebrate the marketability of professional athletes giving back. -cgw

Interview and article prepared for the Philadelphia Business Journal, as filed, without edits, to run in the Jan. 11, 2008 edition.

Two Eagles lent their significant star power to brighten the holidays for a group of Philadelphia kids, last month.

Through a partnership with the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, running back Brian Westbrook and free safety Brian Dawkins met individually with 70 Philadelphia children on Dec. 18, giving each a present at GPAUC’s Center City office.

“This was all the generosity of Brian Westbrook and Brian Dawkins,” said Bonnie Grant, spokesperson for the GPUAC, a business-community partnership that unites a handful of regional non-profits. “They wanted to make it a very special holiday for children with need.”

It was a particularly special day for Westbrook, who got word of his most recent selection to the Pro Bowl less than an hour before his appearance. GPUAC president Sharmain Matlock-Turner made an announcement during the event. The children cheered, even if some weren’t old enough to know much about Westbrook’s running game.

“The kids were thrilled,” Grant said. “It was as if there were in the presence of magic.”

Not to be outdone, the Phillies had their holiday spirit in full force.

A handful of front office personnel unloaded more than 7,000 pounds of food the very same day, all donated to feed the hungry of Philadelphia’s growing Latino community.

Among those of the Phillies top brass who were on hand to bring the canned foods, collected at a Sept. 7 game against the Florida Marlins, were Ruben Amaro, Jr., Phillies assistant general manager, and broadcaster Scott Franzke. The donations, which also included a check for $25,000, were given to the region’s largest food bank, Philabundance, which has partnered each holiday season with the Phillies since 2005 when then-Phillies first baseman Jim Thome took interest.

The day before, Phillies President Dave Montgomery, General Manager Pat Gillick and several former players served dinner at the Our Brother’s Place Homeless Facility in North Philadelphia. It was the 8th year such an event has taken place and part of a week of philanthropy.

“As an organization, we recognize how important it is to give back,” said Gene Dias, the Phillies director of community relations. “Particularly at this time of year and particularly to those in the most desperate need.”

Number of Views:4065

Philadelphia is getting taller

The tallest building in Philadelphia – the Comcast Tower – fully opened this month, just in time to meet plans for it to be surpassed.

Earlier this month, plans for the American Commerce Center, planned to be the second tallest building in the country behind only the Sears Tower in Chicago, were announced, exciting everyone, and the talk is spreading.

Number of Views:1905

Philadelphia's second Ronald McDonald House

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Interview and article prepared for the Philadelphia Business Journal, as filed, without edits, to run in a previous edition.

On. Oct. 15, 1974, the world’s first Ronald McDonald House opened on Spruce Street, before moving to Chestnut near 39th Street. More than 30 years later, Philadelphia’s second, a 15 room, 27,000 square foot home for families whose children must travel more than 25 miles for medical care in the city, has opened at N. Front St. and E. Erie Ave. near St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.

“There are hundreds of families that are being served through St. Christopher’s community that otherwise wouldn’t have a place to stay,” said Susan Campbell, executive director of the new house (depicted at left).

Though it’s next to St. Christopher’s, it services many pediatric care facilities in the city, including Shriners Hospital For Children and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. More than 200 donations helped the construction, which began in November 2006, including nearly fifty in-kind awards from area businesses. Lead sponsors Hahnemann University Hospital and Dallas-based Tenent Healthcare gave over $1 million each, helped by the likes of IBM, the Comcast Corporation and Wisconsin-based Ashley Furniture, which donated all of the home’s furniture.

A night’s stay costs just $15 a night, though no one is turned away. The house welcomed two families on its opening day Jan. 7, had seven within a week and intends on reaching capacity and staying there soon.

“We would not have been able to build without the community support,” said Campbell, 35.

See other reporting by Christopher Wink here.

Picture above, from left: Susan Campbell, Executive Director, Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House at Front and Erie; Marlene Weinberg, Capital Campaign Chairperson and McDonald’s Owner/Operator, McDonald’s

Number of Views:6794

Francoise Gilot donation to Ursinus College outside of Philadelphia

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The Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, in Collegeville, has been named a major recipient of work from Francoise Gilot. The French-born artist will donate a number of portraits of artistic, political and literary leaders. Since the museum was founded in 1987, Gilot’s work has been a large part of its permanent collection. The gift includes her earliest self-portrait in oil, which she painted in 1939.

Number of Views:3761