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Vol. II No. 63 (223)

Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia

May 13, 2011

Philadelphia Daily Record

Owls’ Roost

ON STAGE at Liacouras Center for Temple graduation ceremony yesterday was a host of dignitaries, including Dr. Bill Cosby, trustee Dan Polett, board chairman Patrick O’Connor, and honorary doctorate recipient Chris Matthews, of “Hardball” fame. Matthews and his whole family come from N. Phila., and he was pleased to be back once again. More pictures page 6. Photo by Bonnie Squires

Casey Pushes For Training In Children’s Hospitals US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) cosponsored bipartisan legislation yesterday to reauthorize funding to the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program. For over a decade, the CHGME program has provided children’s teaching hospitals with federal support for job training for physicians who care for children. “Children are not just little adults. They have very different medical needs and it is essential that we have a specialized workforce to care for them,” said the Senator. “Each year through this program, over 5,000 residents are trained to care for our youngest patients.” Pennsylvania has three hospitals that would be affected by the cut. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children would be significantly affected by the elimination of the CHGME program, which provides funding to children’s hospitals for job training for physicians who care for children. These three hospitals received approximately $40 million in federal funding in 2010.

“We are grateful to Sen. Casey for introducing legislation to protect the CHGME Program, which is critical to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children’s ability to train the pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists needed to care for our patients,” said Carolyn Jackson, CEO of St. Christopher’s. “Elimination of this vital program would exacerbate the current shortage of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists and hamper the ability of hospitals to meet the needs of the community.” Steven M. Altschuler, MD, CEO of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said, “Sen. Casey’s legislation would provide critical funding necessary for us to train physicians who will provide medical care to children. Without this funding, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and other freestanding children’s hospitals will be less able to fulfill our goal of providing the most appropriate treatment to each child at the right place and time.” The bipartisan bill to reauthorize funding for CHGME is S. 958, the Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2011.

Toomey Presses For Policies To Lower Gas Price, Boost Supply As gas prices skyrocket across Pennsylvania and drivers face supply disruptions, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is fighting for policies that will revamp the United States’ energy policy and lower prices for consumers. Toomey signed a letter May 11 to Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, urging the EPA to study the effect 2|

of the increased use of different types of fuels in different localities on the rising price of gas. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 directed the EPA to undertake a fuel harmonization study in order to assess the effect varying fuel standards might have on the price of gasoline. Six years later, the federal government mandates 17 different types of fuel blends for different parts of the country, and the EPA THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

has never undertaken the study. The bipartisan fuel-harmonization letter was also signed by eight other Senators and a number of House members. In addition, the Senator is also a cosponsor of the Gas Accessibility & Stabilization Act, S. 511, that reduce the probability of gas price spikes by simplifying our coun10 MAY, 2011

try’s complex gasoline system. Current mandates require special blends of gas to be used in different states and cities, complicating the supply chain and causing unexpected price hikes if a particular blend is in short supply. The GAS Act will reduce the number of approved fuels and allow communities more flexibility in times of shortages.

the cost of gasoline down,” Toomey said. “Right now, Pennsylvanians are suffering from sky-high gas prices and supply issues, and the administration is simply ignoring the growing energy crisis. If the GAS Act passed, states would have more flexibility to meet demand and prevent price hikes. This would offer relief to Pennsylvania suppliers and residents right now.”

“It is critical that we pass energy legislation to keep

Jersey Shore House Prices May Be Stabilizing After several years as the most adversely affected area in the MidAtlantic region, the Jersey Shore’s housing market showed continued improvement in its vital signs this past winter. Following a multi-year decline in home values that significantly exceeded that of Philadelphia and its surrounding counties, most Shore communities exhibited either flat or positive price changes, according to the latest quarterly data. In the most recent analysis completed for Prudential Fox & Roach by Econsult and University of Pennsylvania economist Kevin Gillen, the typical Jersey Shore home declined in value by a scant 0.1% on a quality and seasonally adjusted basis in Q1. This further deceleration in house price declines follows a decline of 1.8% in the previous quarter, which came on the heels of a more pronounced decline of 6.2% in Q3 last year. The full report can be accessed at _Q1.htm When this most recent decrease is 10 MAY, 2011

added to the continuous price declines since the market’s peak in 2006, the typical Shore dwelling has now dropped in value by an average of 32%. Although the average change in house prices this past winter was essentially zero, there was significant variation across communities. In particular, Margate exhibited a large decrease, while Atlantic City showed a large increase. This is in contrast to most of the previous quarters last year, when all communities were showing continued declines in average house prices, often in the double digits. From smallest to largest, the average change in house values by community in Q1 were: Margate (20.3%), Somers Point (-6.5%), Cape May* (-6.5%), Ocean City (5.3%), Longport (-3.4%), Ventnor (+1.1%), Brigantine (+1.6%), Avalon/Stone Harbor (+2.3%), Wildwood (+3.2%), Sea Isle City/Strathmere (+4.9%) and Atlantic City (+24.2%). Although price declines may be moderating, home sales continue to run well below average levels, THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

even for this time of year. According to the data, 295 homes transacted between Brigantine and Cape May in Q1. This is 33% below the quarterly average of about 430 homes, but up slightly from the winters of the past two years. According to the federal government agency FHFA, the average US home has fallen in value since 2006 by 21%, while the average Philadelphia and New Jersey homes have declined by 16% and 14%, respectively.

Sen. Williams Hosts Conference For ‘Grands-As-Parents’ This Weekend Nationwide, more than 7 million children live with grandparents, and some one in five of those grandparents serve as primary caretakers – an increase of more than 30% within the last 20 years. And these tallies don’t include the countless uncles, aunts, cousins and older siblings who, despite considerable additional financial and emotional burdens, choose to |


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The Philadelphia Public Record Calendar May 12State Rep. Mike O’Brien hosts Community Mtg. on small-business development for 175th State House Dist. at Old Pine Community Ctr., 401 Lombard St., 6-8 p.m. May 13Dem. 13th Ward Fish Fry at Lou & Choo’s, 21st & Hunting Park Ave., 5-10 p.m. Donation $10. For info Mike Pender (267) 973-0193. May 13Committeepersons Special for judicial candidate Jim DiVergilis at Finnigan’s Wake, 3rd & Spring Garden Sts., 5-8 p.m. Tickets at door $40. May 13Sid Booker hosts Shrimp Rally for Mayor Michael Nutter outside Stinger La Pointe Restaurant, 4600 N. Broad St., 6-8:30 p.m. All invited. May 13-15 Phila. Chapter of National Congress of Black Women kicks off Black Splendor Weekend at Friday formal at 1st Dist. Plaza, 7 p.m. honoring Onah C. Weldon. May 14Mayfair Fallen Heroes 5K Run & Walk at Lincoln HS, Ryan & Rowland Aves., 8:30-10:30 a.m. $25 proceeds support education of police/fire survivors. For info May 14E. Mount Airy Neighbors hosts Swing Into Spring dance party fundraiser from 7 to 11 p.m. Music by Doc Gibbs. Open wine/beer bar, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Tickets $90, tax deductible. Benbow Hall on Lutheran Seminary Campus, 7301 Germantown Ave., 7-11 p.m. Free THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

Parking. For more info May 14State Sen. Anthony H. Williams, with Grands As Parents and Turning Points for Children, hosts daylong workshop for kinship caregivers from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the McNeil STC Building at Univ. of Sciences, 42nd & Woodland Ave., 8:30 a.m.-3 Free public event. Lunch. Registration needed. Call Brenda Rich (215) 875-4955 or May 14Fundraiser for 8th Dist. Council candidate Robin Tasco at 7165 Germantown Ave., 7 p.m.-12 a.m. Buffet dinner and dancing. Donations $100-$1,000. For info Ros (267) 593-1571 or May 14E. Mt. Airy Neighbors hosts Swing Into Spring at Lutheran Theological, Brossman Bldg., Benbow Ha., 7301 Germantown Ave., 7-11 p.m. Tickets $90, under age 35 $60. For info (215) 2424170. May 15Democrats of Oak Lane Team present Marion Wimbush’s annual Breakfast and Meet & Greet candidates at Oak Lane Diner, 6528 N. Broad St., 9 a.m.-12 m. Broadcast over WURD 900 AM. May 15Friends of Marian Tasco present Jazz Brunch at View, 800 N. Broad St., 8th fl., 1-4 p.m. Entrance on Brown Street. Featuring Sherry Wilson Butler. $65 person. No tickets will be sold at door. Contact Jalila Brown or Nedia Ralston (215) 437-3294. 13 MAY, 2011

step into that breach when parents walk away. A distinguished panel from academia, the judicial system as well as municipal and civic associations will discuss this important and timely issue tomorrow. Despite the daunting statistics, the tools to make these efforts easier too often are not apparent. This conference changes that by offering caregivers legal, financial, educational and behavioral health workshops and a resource pavilion all in one place. The conference will run Saturday, May 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m; opening session at 9:15 am. It will be held at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, McNeil STC Center, 43rd & Woodland Avenue.

Workshops run 10 a.m.-12:15 p.m. The keynote lunch speaker at 1 p.m. will be Daily News columnist Elmer Smith. There will be a panel discussion 1:30-2:30 p.m., moderated by Trudy Haynes, pioneering broadcaster. Panelists include Dr. Arthur Evans, Philadelphia Behavioral Health Commissioner; Hon. Kevin Dougherty, Administrative Judge, Family Court; Anne Marie Ambrose, Human Services Commissioner; Karren Dunkley, executive director, Parent, Family, Community Engagement & Faith Based Partnership, Philadelphia School District; and Robin Mekonnen, project director, Penn State and CHOP studies.

Curry: Gov. Corbett Has Declared War On Seniors State Rep. Lawrence Curry (D-Northeast) today said Gov. Corbett has “declared war on seniors.” “The Governor’s proposal to slash $1 billion in education funding will force an increase in local property taxes,” Curry said. “The House Republican version of the budget does not do much to make that better. They propose cuts of more than $900 million.”

Jenkintown plans a 4.96 mill increase and a pay freeze for administrative and teaching staff; and in order to avoid a tax increase, Cheltenham has announced a pay freeze but will also eliminate administrative, support and teaching staff.” HB 1485 is slated for floor debate in the House on May 23.

The House Republican version of the Governor’s budget (HB 1485) was reported out of the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday. “In order to restore that small portion to education, House Republicans steal from the Dept. of Public Welfare,” Curry said, “eliminating services for seniors, women and children. This is not acceptable.” Curry is Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Aging and Older Adult Services. “Already our local school boards have announced their responses to the loss of State dollars,” Curry said. Springfield will increase its millage rate by 1.4; 13 MAY, 2011




Temple Sends Off Another Class

TEMPLE TRUSTEES, from left, Bob Rovner, Esq., Dr. Bill Cosby and Pat Eiding gather before Temple’s Commencement on Thursday at Liacouras Center.

STATE SEN. Mike Stack greets Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” daily show, before Matthews received an honorary doctorate from Temple at Commencement.

BILL COSBY regaled thousands of graduates, their families, and faculty and staff, by telling them he had invited FEMA to come distribute water, blankets and checks for those graduates who had no idea where to go after receiving their diplomas. 6|


13 MAY, 2011

Sen. Kitchen: Hip Hop Artists to Surprise Dobbins HS Students With Concert Local hip hop artists will encourage Dobbins Technical HS to reach for the STAARS with a concert this afternoon at1:30 p.m. The Senator will join Principal Charles Whiting and the STAARS music

program to encourage students to reach for the stars through a free concert featuring Philadelphia rap artists Young Chris and Neef of the popular hip hop duo Young Gunz, Freeway and other new up and

coming artists. STAARS stands for STressing Academics through ARtS. Dobbins is located at 2150 W. Lehigh Avenue.

Baldi MS Partnership Boosts Arts Education ARTSEE OPEN HOUSE at C.C.A. Baldi Middle School celebrated school’s new arts residency partnership with Abington Art Center and local artists. Here, Mr. Brian Bernardini’s music class experiences the Peace Train Residency with Sharon Katz. From left, Kristina Colon, Khakiza Ibrogimova, Kaitlin Summers, Hailey Iovino, Aimee Papadopolous, Ashley Ryan and Somya Vats. PARTNERSHIP, fostered by ArtsRising, will help expand equitable access to highquality arts education for children in Greater Phila. Here, Ms. Jennifer Mazzuca’s class experiences Literacy Through Photography with Liz Gilly of Moore College of Art. From left, Pedro Palmer, Tamia Scott, Nathaniel Carroll and Elizabeth Merrigan.

IN MS. PATRICIA ELDER’S art classroom, Abington Art Center’s Mosaic Mural Making Residency with Carol StirtonBroad enlisted, from left, Ms. Elder, Stanley Kanevsky, George Kurudimov and Mr. Stuart Friedberg, art teacher. 13 MAY, 2011




Better Act Quickly If You Hope To Go To ‘Hell’ Set in a Paris boarding-house room, the play enables audiences to ponder issues of loneliness, sexuality, vulnerability and aging through the prism of The Man, who is not particularly connected to any other humans or to his work. Any audience member should be able to identify with at least a few of the issues with which The Man struggles in his mind (perhaps in particular those of us who are almost 40, unmarried, childless and not employed in a conventional-office way). The device used to develop the play’s story and themes is a mysterious hole in the wall which enables peeping on the boarding house’s other guests. One imagines that things would be a lot different had The Man then had available certain technologies we today take for granted, but the protagonist becomes quite absorbed by the other guests’ lives and own struggles, reconsidering himself in the process. ROSS BESCHLER plays “The Man” in EgoPo’s PIFA production. by Adam Taxin EgoPo’s world-premiere production of Hell, with three performances remaining (tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 5 PM), offers a relatively gripping, proto-existentialist study of solitude versus attachment to other human beings. The play, performed in the venerable, if unorthodox, venue of the library of the German Society of Philadelphia (611 Spring Garden Street), is based on a widely-read French novel by Henri Barbusse which was considered extremely scandalous upon its 1908 release. The novel has been adapted for stage by Lane Savadove, EgoPo’s producing artistic director, and Ross Beschler, who plays “The Man,” the play’s 30something, World War I-veteran narrator/central character. 8|

Beschler, a veteran of EgoPo’s Waiting for Godot and Marat/Sade, as well as productions at Peoples Light & Theatre, Lantern Theater and Theatre Exile, absorbs the audience from the start, although his constantly-extremely-dramatic delivery becomes slightly tiresome toward the latter part of the production of over two hours. (One may get tempted during the performance to speculate for analogies … in this reviewer’s case, it was that of Howard Cosell trying to squeeze drama out of a meaningless mid-1980s preseason Monday Night Football game involving the Detroit Lions and Houston Oilers.) But on the whole, Beschler provided a very engaging performance, as were those given by, among others, Ed Swidey (recently, Angus in Macbeth at the Wilma) and Mary Lee Bednarek (several roles in Lantern’s Henry IV, Part I). Audiences probably should be made aware in advance that at one late point in the play the costuming


13 MAY, 2011

for one particular actress is minimized to an extent that does not even officially take place a few blocks down Spring Garden Street at Delilah’s Gentlemen’s Club & Steakhouse. (It should be noted that, aesthetically speaking, that particular visual earns a heartily positive review). EgoPo, whose name means “the physical self,” relocated to Philadelphia from New Orleans in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. Savadove, the company’s artistic director, has a long history of directing and adapting classic French theater for the stage.

themed Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), Hell is the finale to EgoPo’s 2010-2011 season. The season, devoted to French Avant Garde and Theater of Cruelty, has included Marat/Sade and Artaud Unbound. EgoPo’s 2011-2012 season theme will be “Festival of Jewish Theater” and will feature The Diary of Anne Frank, The Golem and The Dybbuk. -----------------Note: a slightly different version of this review article appears today in the author’s “Philadelphia Jewish Culture Examiner” page on

Performed in conjunction with the Paris-in-1911-

13 MAY, 2011




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