Philadelphia Metropolis

May 2010 Archives

City Blocks: Two Frankford Avenue Artists

Profiles of two artists, both graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design, who have a hand in the ongoing transformation of Kensington. (Comments)

City Blocks: Neighborhood Galleries

By Nick Gilewicz The Arts Corridor project on Frankford Avenue is just one example of artists finding new neighborhoods and new venues for their art.  It is happening throughout the city - an organic movement, often centered around the large... (Comments)

Waterfront Dreams

By Jacob Lambert On a recent sunny weekday, I came up with a novel idea: I'd take my son to Penn's Landing.  He's 14 months old, and the thought of what he'd see there for the first time--boats, gulls, the... (Comments)

Sestak Job Offer?

The Republican are continuing to make merry with the job the White House offered (promised? hinted at? ) Joe Sestak to get out of the Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate. Sestak, who defeated Obama administration favorite Arlen Specter in... (Comments)

Transactional Democracy

By Tom Ferrick Jr. In the 1970's, the people of Emmaus, Pa., in their collective wisdom, decided to send a man named Joe Zeller to represent them in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Zeller was a Democrat of a conservative stripe who... (Comments)

Machine Fails to Deliver

Any time you read a story before the election that says "the candidate is relying on the unions and party organizations around the state to deliver the vote" you can be reasonably sure that candidate is in trouble.  (See: Specter,... (Comments)

Bad Idea of the Month

The Navy is considering sinking the Olympia and making it part of a artificial reef in the Atlantic 30 miles off the coast of New Jersey.  The warship, which Admiral Dewey captained during the Spanish-American War has been a fixture... (Comments)

Sugar Tax Blues

Council balked Thursday (May 20) at passing Mayor Nutter's tax on sugary drinks and the mayor was not pleased.  He immediately announced a series of cuts -- fewer police, firemen, shorter library hours -- that seem designed to draw public... (Comments)

From Joker to King

The Times has an interesting piece today (May 20) about how the White House has warmed to Rep. Joe Sestak and now thinks he is the right candidate to win in November.  What a difference a day makes. A few... (Comments)

Arlen Specter's Last Campaign

By Tom Ferrick Jr. Arlen Specter was lucky it rained all day on primary Election Day. Otherwise, he would have lost to Joe Sestak by 10 or 12 points, instead of the official eight-point spread. But it did rain... (Comments)

Specter Loses to Sestak

This will be Arlen Specter's last year in the U.S. Senate. The Philadelphia politician, a fixture in state politics for 40 years, lost to U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak Tuesday (May 18) in a race that didn't turn out to be... (Comments)

An Election Day Message

To: All Wards Leaders From: Chairman Bob Re: Today's Election Today is Election Day, my friends, and it is time to rev up the much vaunted Philadelphia Democratic party machinery to work for our favored candidates. One pointer: bring an... (Comments)

Bad Mojo For Specter

The Washington media, with its hyper-sensitive tendrils, have detected the Obama folks stepping away -- every so slightly -- from Arlen Specter. Is this a surprise? They can read poll results as well as anyone else and can see the... (Comments)

Stormy Weather

The forecast for Primary Election Day (May 18) in most media markets calls for stormy weather. Lots of rain in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and..well, almost everywhere. No one talks much about weather as a factor in elections, but... (Comments)

Election Eve May 2010

Had enough Robocalls? The Arlen Specter campaign unleashed one more over the weekend: a personal plea from President Obama. One of the last polls -- the Muhlenberg/Allentown Morning Call tracking poll -- showed Specter tied with Joe Sestak, his opponent... (Comments)

Welcome to Library Work

By Roz Warren The week I started working at my suburban Philadelphia library, a scruffy-looking man in his twenties sauntered up to the circulation desk wearing a  SHOW ME YOUR BOOBS T shirt.  Although we librarians are expected to strive... (Comments)

Libraries in Distress

Pennsylvania's libraries are being forced to cut back services at exactly the time they are being used more and more. The cause: big cuts in state aid that are likely to continue. (Comments)

School Libraries: A Dispppearing Act

Part Two of Two By Dale Mezzacappa School and library are words that should be inseparable, like reading and books. But not in the School District of Philadelphia. Increasingly, school leaders in the district have come to regard school libraries... (Comments)

Real Estate Taxes Will Rise

Council approved a 9.9 percent hike in the real estate tax on Thursday (May 13), but it balked at Mayor Nutter's pet proposal to tax sugary drinks.  That bill is stuck in committee, even though the administration lowered the tax... (Comments)

Tax and Cut

The Nutter administration is near a deal with City Council on the city budget that looks like a combination of tax increases and job freezes that will add up to the $150 million the mayor says he needs to balance... (Comments)

Obama to the Rescue

With his race against Joe Sestak tightening, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter has rolled out a new TV commercial featuring verbal hugs from President Obama.  The footage is not new. It dates from last year when Specter switched from Republican to... (Comments)

Campaign 2010: The Commercials

Updated May 15 Another Anthony Williams negative ad aimed at Dan Onorato.           Updated May 13 A new Joe Sestak ad, this one comparing his record among various groups with Arlen Specter's.        ... (Comments)

About that Kagan Vote...

Just when Arlen Specter was trying to convince everyone he is a true-blue Democrat, President Obama created a disturbance in the field for the incumbent U.S. Senator by nominating Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.  It turns out that... (Comments)

From Metro To Retro

By Stacy Heenan Biscardi Two mesh body sponges hang side by side in our master bathroom shower; one purple, one blue. Neither one is mine. My Laura Mercier french vanilla body wash is nearly empty, except for a few... (Comments)

Campaign 2010: The Race for Governor

By Craig Dimitri It appears increasingly likely that Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato will win  the Democratic gubernatorial primary on May 18.  With only a week to go, the most recent Rasmussen tracking poll shows Onorato with 34 percent in... (Comments)

Why Philly Counts

With Joe Sestak surging in some polls, it is worry time for the Arlen Specter campaign. The Inquirer has a piece today (Monday, May 10) about how Philadelphia will play a key roll for the U.S. Senate incumbent and freshly... (Comments)

The Case Against Specter

By Craig Dimitri With just over two weeks remaining, the most intriguing race remains the contest for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. The incumbent is Arlen Specter, who has won five terms as a Republican, starting in 1980, but... (Comments)

City Girl, Suburban Exile

By Shannon Frost Greenstein I'll admit it - I'm a transplant from the suburbs.  I grew up surrounded by gated communities, minivans filled with adolescent soccer players and the mothers who chauffeur them, and the strip malls and shopping plazas... (Comments)


As a public service, a demonstration of the effectiveness of Taser guns in bringing down 17-year-olds running around the outfield in the middle of a Phillies game. The kid, Steve Consalvi, fell like a sack of potatoes, but was uninjured.... (Comments)

Don't Blame Me...

blame that fellow behind three. In eight words, that is the gist of former DA Lynne Abraham's testimony Monday (May 3) before a committee looking into the high dismissal rate in Philadelphia courts.  Abraham said it was the fault of judges,... (Comments)

Campaign 2010: Democrats at War

By Dan Hirschhorn With only a few weeks primary voters go to the polls, Pennsylvania Democrats find themselves embroiled in two bitter statewide primaries, as their Republican rivals prepare to cruise through May 18 with hardly a bruise to show... (Comments)

Notes on an Election

 By Tom Ferrick Jr.  Four items about the upcoming May 18th primary election.  One. Maybe we shouldn't be surprised that the Specter-Sestak campaign has devolved into minutiae, with Specter slapping around his challenger over small matters.  That's because when it... (Comments)

In Richness and in Wealth

By Patricia McLaughlin Long skirts seem like a good idea in the spring, when you still haven't gotten around to figuring out the whole fake-tan thing. So the other day, when I came across a long, strikingly pretty skirt... (Comments)

Pants on Fire

The Arlen Specter-Joe Sestak debate Saturday (May 1) got mean quick.  No one actually yelled Liar, liar, pants on fire! but they came close, with the two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate trading charge and counter-charge. You can find details... (Comments)

Campaign 2010: Looking at the Numbers

By Tom Ferrick Jr.    Take with a grain of salt the belief that 2010 will be a big Republican year in Pennsylvania. The Republicans have reason to be optimistic because they are likely to have two strong candidates at... (Comments)

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