Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Archive: February, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 3:46 PM

Not that we needed hard data to prove any of this, but the Bicycle Coalition reports today that cycling in the city is way up. If it keeps growing the way it's been growing, we'll soon be indistinguishable from Amsterdam.

The jewel city of the Netherlands has a lot of bikes; we have a lot of bikes. Amsterdam has a museum devoted to native son Vincent Van Gogh; we have the current Van Gogh exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Amsterdam has delicious Belgian beers; so does Philly.

All we need are a few canals (excellent!), and we can all pretend we're Dutch (insert jokes about marijuana cafes and legal prostitution here.)

POSTED: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 2:51 PM

Just got a jubilant phone call from A.J. Thomson, a parent advocate from Fishtown whose daughter attends St. Laurentius School, which the Philadelphia Archdiocese had slated for closure come June.

A.J. tells me that an archdiocesan official notified St Laurentius officials just now with news that the school had succesfully appealed the closure and will remain open. A prayer service of thanks will be held at the school tonight at 7pm. It's located at 16th and Berks.

"In all my years as a community advocate, this is the most important thing I've ever been involved in," says A.J., an attorney and lifelong Fishtowner. "I am as excited as I have ever been and very grateful."

POSTED: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 4:08 PM
Chrissy and Joe Rivera with daughter Mia.

Just got this press release, released jointly by Children's Hopsital of Philadelphia and the family of Mia Rivera. She's the three-year-old whose need for a kidney transplant was denied, her family alleged in my column last month, because of her severe mental disability. No reason was given for the release of the statement, but it's good to know that CHOP plans to take a good luck at its organ-transplant policies and how they're communicated to patients' families. Stay tuned.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             

Wednesday, February 15, 2012                         

POSTED: Tuesday, February 7, 2012, 2:52 PM
Tyler Tritt, 18-year-old Philly trumpeter extraordinaire, is doing Grammy gigs this week in L.A.

How cool is it to be Tyler Tritt this week?

The 18-year-old senior at Philly's Julia R. Masterman High School is one of only 30 high-school musicians from across the country selected to participate in this week’s Grammy Jazz Camp. Held in Los Angeles in the week preceding the annual Grammy awards (the 2012 telecast is this Sunday, Feb.12th), the camp is hosted by the Grammy in the Schools Foundation, which promotes music education and performance.

Tyler and his fellow campers comprise a 30-piece jazz band – he plays lead trumpet – that has formed for this week only. So they’ve been rehearsing like crazy since they arrived in L.A. last Friday. They will perform with past Grammy winners and nominees, at jazz venues and at Grammy Week events – including the official Post-Grammy Celebration. Before returning home on the 13th, the group will also record an album for Capitol Records and, yes, attend the Grammy Awards.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 7, 2012, 1:21 PM

Argh! Due to a production glitch, my column today about the Philadelphia Police Department's surveillance camera system was accompanied by a photo that is NOT a Philly police camera. Rather, it is a red-light camera located on Roosevelt Boulevard. The systems are entirely different, and the red-light cameras are working just fine (as anyone who has gotten a red-light-generated ticket will attest!)

I hate when this happens. I apologize for such an embarassing error.

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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