Saturday, August 29, 2015

Archive: January, 2013

POSTED: Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 12:05 PM

This story on today's Huffington Post reminded me of the wanna-be fraudulent voter I spoke with last fall, who wanted to see if he could get away with voting in someone else's name. And he invited me to document him doing it - as a way to prove that voter fraud is rampant. 

I never took him up on his offer. The HuffPo story illustrates why.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 9:33 AM

I'd already filed today's column about my desire to blood-dope for extra pep when I received an official comment about my quest from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.  I had shared with the USADA spokesman that I was a pooped working mom and was searching for an energy-boosting alternative to caffeine to get me through the day.

Here's what USADA had to say about it:

“The improper and non-medically necessary use of blood transfusions, oxygen enhancement drugs, and hormones has the potential to cause serious harm, a chief reason for its prohibition. This potential for harm exists regardless of a person’s athletic status.”

POSTED: Monday, January 21, 2013, 9:29 AM

We could all use a visual reminder of how many lives are lost to guns in Philadelphia. This one is a stunner. It depicts, in T-shirts, each gun murder of 2012. You can see it on the front lawn on the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. It was erected on Saturday.

Here's info about the memorial, from a press release distributed by Heeding God's Call:

This project, intended to demonstrate to passersby on heavily trafficked Germantown Avenue, was the vision of Rev. Jarrett Kerbel, Rector of St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill.  The plan is to move the memorial every few weeks to another faith community, so many Philadelphians can get a graphic idea of the enormity of the destruction visited upon the city by rampant gun violence.

POSTED: Friday, January 18, 2013, 12:27 PM

Let's call it Backpedal Thursday!

Yesterday, a 9-year-old West Philly student claimed to have been the victim of an attempted kidnapping. When cops came to interview her, she recanted her story. A source told the Daily News that the child lied to avoid getting in trouble for being late to school. 

Meantime, in a Center City courtroom across town, defrocked Catholic priest  Edward Avery, who pled guilty last year to the sexual assault of an altar boy, recanted his plea. Word is, he had pled guilty to avoid a longer prison sentence.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 4:43 PM

I know that Lance Armstrong's mea-culpa appearance on Oprah's show this week will make headlines. But it'll be stomach-turning. That's why I think the better athlete-on-TV appearance this week is Caroline Pla's, who was a guest on today's Ellen show.  

Pla is the fierce 11-year-old who desperately wants to continue playing football in the Philadelphia Archdiocese Catholic Youth Organization's football league. The league is boys only, which Pla's coaches didn't know until Pla was into her second year with the team. Someone dimed her out to the Philadelphia Archdiocese, and she was ordered off the team. Her coach made the case to let her finish out her second season. Now, she'd like to stay for a third, but nada, says the archdicoese.

That's a shame for Pla, who's been an outstanding player.

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POSTED: Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 11:55 AM

My column today about Suhaila Teran Ponce describes the accident that almost killed the 5-year-old imp from Cajamarca, Peru. This video footage actually shows what my words failed to describe accurately. The accident killed a pedestrian and maimed Suhaila, her mother and her older sister.

The audio is in Spanish, but you don't need to understand the language to marvel that anyone survived the carnage, which can be seen 0:16 into the video.

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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