NewsWorks Tonight: talking, SEPTA’s TransitView and OPA Data Liberator

NewsWorks Tonight, the daily, local, drive-time news radio program on NPR-affiliate WHYY in Philadelphia, invited me on for a segment that aired Monday about the launch of and other new data initiatives.

Though I was sure to note during my interview that OpenDataPhilly was built by development shop Azavea, unfortunately that was cut in the tight finalized product.

Listen to the entire show here. Below, listen to my short segment with host Dave Heller.

In addition to, Heller asks me about the OPA Data Liberator project and SEPTA’s new TransitView initiative. To be clear, while related in audience and now included in ODP, those projects were not specifically created by using the data catalog’s information.


I was recently interviewed for WHYY on eBay’s acquisition of regional e-commerce powerhouse GSI Commerce, but this was the first time I appeared on the new local radio program, which launched in May.

Knight Arts Challenge in Philadelphia: my seven submissions

Today is the deadline to put 150 words together that could help change the direction of arts in Philadelphia.

The Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia is a three-year, $9 million initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. We’re seeking the best ideas in the arts. We’re investing $9 million, to be matched by other funders, to impact the arts in your hometown. We are seeking the most innovative ideas in the arts to inspire and enrich Philadelphia’s communities. [Source]

Philadelphia is just the second city in which Knight is running this arts challenge, following the foundation’s home of Miami. Get your questions answered here or submit here.

On a train ride home, I brainstormed a dozen ideas for the arts challenge, seven of which I thought were clear and concise enough that they’d be worth submitting. While only a couple directly relate to my work with technology community news site Technically Philly, as venture capitalist Fred Wilson recently wrote (H/T Karl Martino), there is great cross over between a maturing creative economy and an aged arts world.

So, I find it relevant to share what I’ve submitted, which I will do below.

Continue reading Knight Arts Challenge in Philadelphia: my seven submissions

The Temple News: An open letter to President Ann Weaver Hart

My final column after four years writing for The Temple News:

An open letter to President Ann Weaver Hart

By Christopher Wink | May 12, 2008 | The Temple News

I am graduating. After four years on North Broad Street – two more than you – I have plenty I want to share with you. Space is limited, so forgive my suddenness.

Throw your students into the surrounding communities.

For 45 years, this university has tried to figure out how to trick middle-class students into studying amid one of this country’s densest collections of black people, many of them poor and uneducated. So we built walls and took publicity shots facing south. We closed North Park Avenue, tried to close 13th Street and turned inward.

So, each year, a portion of accepted students confuse Temple with shootings at the Norris Apartments and confuse Philadelphia with an abandoned row home at 20th and Diamond streets.

That’s backwards. Have Provost Lisa Staiano-Coico amend our new general education requirements to involve 10-credit hours of “community education.” The engineering students can take a class on the most efficient means of backfilling condemned buildings, architecture students can figure out what’s wrong with the North Philadelphia subway stop, and students of the social sciences can work with the nonprofits that are trying to help our neighbors.

Leverage our intellectual capital and market it as the most unique academic experience in the world.

Continue reading The Temple News: An open letter to President Ann Weaver Hart

Mass transit makes us warm, development assures it won't matter

A handful of suburban communities are working on offering more dependence on mass transit, as SEPTA Watch first reported back in February.

But, despite grumbling about the cost of gasoline, there isn’t any real conversation about reversing suburban development, which, as anyone can see with a drive through one of these communities, are horribly inefficient lifestyle.

We must be decades away from a different form of development, which means this country will have built that many more developments, private drives and shopping malls that offer no solution for people other than to drive.

Continue reading Mass transit makes us warm, development assures it won't matter

Shooting at my Philadelphia subway stop


Sadly, yesterday a man was shot by two SEPTA officers at the Allegeny Ave. stop on the Broad Street Line, my stop.allegheny-subway-shooting-feb-21-2008-stretcher.jpgThis comes after reports of increases of SEPTA and city officers riding the subways, often derided as dangerous. I’ve never had a problem myself, but reports of teenage violence, particularly directed at younger riders, have been on the rise.The man was apparently smoking in the stop when the officers approached him. He tried to run and at least four shots were fired.I have video from CBS 3, but I haven’t been able to upload it on YouTube.(Photos by Greg Bezanis, a staff photographer of The Temple News) allegheny-subway-shooting-feb-21-2008-platform.jpg