Wednesday, July 8, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 2:35 AM
In its first venture into Fairmount Park, the Mural Arts Program plans a pair of 100-foot-long scenes of rowers on the concrete supports of the Girard Avenue Bridge. (Michael S. Wirtz/Staff Photographer)

As board chair of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, I am among those who are excited to see Jon Laidacker’s beautiful work of art, honoring a significant and valued aspect of the city’s culture, installed on the Girard Avenue Bridge.

Philadelphia is a rowing city, as much today as it was in the 1800’s and this is a distinction worthy of a mural and something we Philadelphians should be proud of. In fact if you have ever taken the train out of Philadelphia or walked or biked along the river, you’ve seen Boathouse Row, a section of the city comprised of 15 Victorian boat-houses on the banks of the Schuylkill . These buildings and our wonderful river have been the center of rowing in the United States for generations. Evidence of the sport’s long connection with the city include paintings by our beloved Thomas Eakins who featured rowers on the river in some of his most widely known works of art. Today, the community of rowers is as broad and diverse as our city, from high school students to senior rowers, the river is continually alive with the grace and beauty of people cutting dramatically through the water.

At Mural Arts we realize that not all art is for everyone, that taste is subjective, but in spite of that the scale and scope of what Mural Arts accomplishes in Philadelphia is truly remarkable. The organization has led projects in every part of the city, involving thousands of residents from all socio-economic backgrounds. Its process is open and inclusive, and designed to produce high quality artwork that carries great meaning for those who experience it.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 2:35 AM  Permalink |
POSTED: Monday, March 24, 2014, 10:34 AM

Your recent article on a study of patient-centered medical homes in Pennsylvania was a balanced report about the success of this innovative, fast growing model of primary care (“Mixed messages from 'medical home’ study,” February 26).

We were not surprised that this study of medical home practices did not find an overall lessening in health care use or costs across all patients, many of whom are healthy, needing little or no care.

In contrast, we are pleased that studies we conducted of the medical home model showed very encouraging results. Our studies focused specifically on the health of the people for whom the medical home model was designed: high-risk patients and patients with chronic illnesses. Studying the treatment received by these less healthy patients from their primary care physicians, we saw a very positive picture: fewer hospitalizations, fewer emergency room visits, and better health outcomes—more patients with well-controlled diabetes and a 21 percent reduction in costs for diabetic patients.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 10:34 AM  Permalink |
POSTED: Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 10:52 PM

I am a woman who is disabled, having been born with cerebral palsy which has brought increasing setbacks over time. However, two years ago I had a very bad experience in a hospital; the memories still linger and are very painful.

Nurses blamed me for physical things I couldn’t help doing because of my muscular disability and they threatened to punish me. I was even told that they had the doctor’s permission to do that.

Perhaps, if they had talked with us - my husband and I - things might have been different. They did not. I have since talked with other people who have similar experiences; some, I learned, are afraid to go back to the hospital.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 10:52 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Sunday, March 16, 2014, 10:50 AM

I have been stunned to learn of the plight of many Pennsylvania electric consumers with variable rate plans who have been gouged by their providers as prices escalated to unconscionable levels.

Many consumers followed the Commonwealth's lead, availing themselves of electricity deregulation in an effort to save money. For their efforts, those that chose variable rate plans have been subjected to bills that have escalated to $1000, $2000 for one month's service, and the Public Utility Commission tells us that there is no immediate fix, that the companies have the right to quadruple the cost per kilowatt hour (or more) with no notice and no approval.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 10:50 AM  Permalink |
POSTED: Friday, March 14, 2014, 10:25 AM
The art-deco auditorium at the Boyd Theater. IPic, a Florida entertainment company, plans to raze the auditorium, but maintain the building's facade. (AP)

As a city resident and talent manager, executive producer/co-producer of film, radio, television, and theater, I oppose iPic's application to demolish most of the Boyd Theatre to construct a new multiplex.

I have requested that the city work for the survival of the Boyd Theatre, not its near total destruction. 

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 10:25 AM  Permalink |
POSTED: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 2:02 PM

I am not surprised by all the complaints about the recent rates of alternate electric suppliers.

Is it any wonder that all those companies with variable rates had to pay through the nose for electric supply to distribute. What else could anyone expect from the word variable?

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 2:02 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 12:14 PM
C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson (right) training Tuskegee Airman Erwin B. Lawrence, who died in combat over Germany in 1944. Insert: The U.S. Postal Service stamp honoring Anderson. Anderson Legacy Foundation / U.S. Postal Service

It’s always good to see unsung heroes recognized. That will happen Thursday when the U.S. Postal Service reveals a new stamp honoring C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, chief flight instructor of World War II's Tuskegee Airmen, who was often referred to as the “Father of Black Aviation.”

Anderson, who grew up in Bryn Mawr, Pa., saved enough money to buy his own plane to learn to fly because flight schools wouldn’t accept a black man. In 1932, he became the only African-American in the nation certified to serve as a flight instructor. After Tuskegee Institute won a government contract to establish a civilian pilot training program, it hired Anderson to be its chief flight instructor in 1940.

The next year, Anderson took first lady Eleanor Roosevelt on a ride so she could help prove that a black man could fly a plane. Anderson’s trainees at Tuskegee’s Moton Field in Alabama became the 99th Fighter Squadron, which flew combat missions during World War II in North Africa and Europe. Anderson died in 1996 at his home in Tuskegee. He was 89. The stamps with his image will help keep his story alive.

Harold Jackson @ 12:14 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 2:44 PM



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Inquirer Editorial Board @ 2:44 PM  Permalink |
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