Friday, August 28, 2015

Archive: January, 2012

POSTED: Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 4:57 PM

Got this thoughtful letter from King of Prussia reader Ed Campbell, whose child attends a Philadelphia Archdiocesan elementary school. He wrote in response to my column today about the archdiocese' limiting the school-selection choices of families affected by the school closings and mergers slated for June.

Campbell's letter is on the long side, but he makes such compelling points I don't want to edit it. 

Here it is:

POSTED: Friday, January 27, 2012, 12:42 PM

Gotta scratch my head over the new ban on boots declared by Pottstown Middle School. Administrators have forbidden the wearing, in school, of loose-topped boots (like Uggs) because kids are storing their cell phones inside them (kids aren't allowed to use their cell phones during the school day).

Every school has a problem with this, so Pottstown's frustrations aren't uncommon. But why, pray tell, the ban on loose-topped boots? Cell phones can be smuggled in pockets, snug underwear and bras (which can carry a significant health risk, but that's a separate issue). Will those items be banned, too?

This is just silly.

POSTED: Thursday, January 26, 2012, 10:29 AM

As a dad of ten, John McGeehan has a strong father's intuition. When his son, Joe "Babe" McGeehan disappeared, John wondered if Babe's car had gone off the road at Unruh Ave. and into the Delaware River. He asked nearby Orthodox Auto parts to check video-surveillance footage for the night of Jan. 7th, the last time anyone had seen Babe. This is the image the cameras caught. Babe's vehicle enters the screen at about the 15-second mark.

POSTED: Saturday, January 21, 2012, 10:11 AM

Turns out that poor Kevin Kless wasn't yelling at a cab driver for having his "availability light" turned on. He was yelling at the cabbie for refusing to take Kless and his two female companions on a short ride.

Cabbies, do your goddamn job.

POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012, 9:55 AM

Just got this press release from Fishtown Catholic parent and neighborhood activist A.J. Thompson, about a pep rally today 1:30pm regarding St. Laurentius elementary school, slated to close in June. He included this photo, which shows school supporters "Tebowing" for Catholic Education in Fishtown.

Here's info about the rally:

"The Spirit of the 177-year tradition of Catholic Education in Fishtown takes center stage today as the students of St. Laurentius School rally to demonstrate the heart of the Lion - the school mascot.  After almost 1,000 of their neighbors took to the streets in support of the school, the students have continued to demonstrate how the values of Catholic Education sustain a community.  Last night, the school served 450 neighbors and friends at a free spaghetti dinner, just one of the hundreds of service projects taken on each year by the school community.     

POSTED: Thursday, January 19, 2012, 2:54 PM

Just got this nice e-mail from reader Milton Trachtenburg, a therapist who spent his career helping abused women and who wrote a few books in that field.  Tarchtenburg liked today's column about former state welfare department appointee Robert Patterson, who believes that the best-raised chldren are those with a stay-at-home mom.

Not that there's anything wrong with stay-at-home moms. A woman's choice is no one's business but her own. But what's with the vilification of working moms?

Anyway, with Milton's permission (and with my thanks), here is his Milton's personal perspective on having a wife who worked while their kids were growing up.

POSTED: Friday, January 13, 2012, 4:21 PM

When he posed for "Nation's Bravest," a 2012 firefighter beefcake calendar, Jack Slivinski Jr. wanted the proceeds of his portion of the calendar sales to benefit Philadelphia Firefighters Local 22 Widow's Fund.

After his death by suicide in June, that cause became more important than ever to his mom Gerry, dad Jack Sr. and sister Jennifer Wysocki. So I'm glad to pass along their request that you click here to vote for Jack Jr. in an online contest rating each "Nation's Bravest" firefighter on sexiness. ( Note: The deadline to vote is Jan. 15, so the quicker your click, the better.) The top vote-getter earns a $1,000 prize from Rusk Hair Products, which is sponsoring the "Being Sexy" contest. If Jack wins - so far, he's leading the pack - the money will go to the Widow's Fund.

I know. A contest on "sexiness" is silly. And the website for it is kind of cheesy. But this is good cause and Jack Jr. was a wonderful guy. To meet him in happier days, click here.

POSTED: Friday, January 13, 2012, 9:36 AM
Herb Lusk thanking God in 1977.

Love today's piece by my colleague Stu Bykofsky, about Tebow dropping to a knee in the end zone to give a prayer of thanks - aka "Tebowing."

But this terrific Washington Post story from 2007 shows why the practice should be called Lusking, in honor of Pastor Herb Lusk, former Philadelphia Eagles running back and shepherd of local - and massive- -  Greater Exodus Baptist Church on North Broad St. 

Let's give the man credit that's his to own.

About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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