Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Francisville Folly

The story behind the story of the Francisville column (6/10/13)

Francisville Folly

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New(er) Francisville

So here's where journalism's limits are tested.

Today's column tells the story of a couple of Francisville business owners who felt an executive of the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation was calling L&I to harass them.

Well, she did call L&I, but she says it was because complaints had been registered by neighbors.

Most commenters had no sympathy for Harold Fisher and Juan Padilla, the business owners. Some commenters thought I sympathized with them, when in fact I just gave their side of the story, and then the other sides provided by L&I, FNDC executive director Penelope Giles and former FNDC corrider manager Barbara Kelley.

There were other allegations against Kelley, and for that matter against Padilla, too, but the limitation is this: I can only print what I can prove, or at least what I firmly believe to be the truth.

This story was like "Rashomon," with different peope seeing events through their own perspective. Do I think Kelley pushed a little too hard to get the old out and the new in? I think so. Giles practically said as much. But did Kelley justify that as part of her job? Likely, she did and it wasn't in me to beat her up for that. She took my call and answered my questions.

Something that FNDC exec director Giles told me, that I didn't use because it fell outside the theme and the space I was given, was that racial tensions are high in Francisville, between the long-time (black) neigborbors an the recent (white) arrivals.

But I didn't want this to be a "race" story, because it is more a story of clashes between different economic groups.

This kind of friction exists in most transitional neighborhoods, I would bet.

Daily News Columnist
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About this blog
Stu Bykofsky has been a columnist with the Philadelphia Daily News since 1987. Prior to the column, his assignments included theater critic, TV critic, copy editor, general assignment features reporter. He supports civil-rights and animal causes, he opposes political correctness, bicycles on the sidewalk and most other forms of selfishness and stupidity.
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Reach Stu at stubyko@phillynews.com.

Stu Bykofsky Daily News Columnist
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