Walk on by

People with business to conduct in Philadelphia Community Court wait on Arch Street for it to open. Though instructed to show up at 8:30 a.m., they could not enter until after 8:50. New rules will tell them to show up at 9.

Seven years, I'd say, I've walked by the downbeat line that begins forming before 8 a.m. at Broad and Arch., and looked the other way. The line grows, wrapping around the McDonald's at the corner, and fanning up Broad Street. The subpoenas say show up at 8:30 a.m. They say nothing about the fact that the doors don't open until 8:50 a.m. at the earliest. They say nothing about bring warm clothes, because you'll likely be out there in the cold and rain and snow more than a half hour if you follow the letter of the letter, so to speak.

Why does Community Court, a progressive approach to lesser crimes, give its clients the Cold Treatment?

In line you'll find those charged with summary offenses, felons paying fines, witnesses in animal cruelty cases.


That's today's metro column, spurred by a series of challenging, annoying and most-of-all spot-on e-mails from Tommy Massaro, a former housing director who hasn't lost his ability to be outraged.

Outrageous it is.

And Tommy's nagging did some good, it seems.

That doesn't make him satisfied of course.