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Vol. II No. 68 (228)

Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia

May 20, 2011

Philadelphia Daily Record

Art Is Jumping

PHILLY BLOGGERS show their love for Philadelphia arts icons in a “Rocky” moment at Phila. Museum of Art on Friday, Mar. 25, promoting Phila. International Festival of the Arts. New survey shows ordinary Philadelphians – particularly Black and Hispanics – are more engaged with arts and culture than ever. See story page 6.

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The Philadelphia Public Record Calendar May 19Citizens Crime Commission Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Luncheon, Grand Ballroom., Park Hyatt at Bellevue, 200 SD. Broad St. Gov. Thomas Corbett to speak. May 19Phila. FIGHT opens public computing center for young adults at 112 N. Broad St., 9th fl., 3 p.m. Councilman Darrell Clarke will attend. May 21ACPS Church hosts Health Fair at 28th & Girard, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For info Eileen Mitchell (302) 438-5593. Free admission. May 21Local 57 Business Mgr. Stanley Sanders hosts annual dinner/scholarship dance honor-

ing Mike Daniels at 500-506 N. 6th St., 7 p.m.-12 a.m. For info (215) 768-3856. May 24Phoenix Salon & Spa hosts Women Empowering Women benefit for Project H.O.M.E., 1600 Arch St., 6-9 p.m. Tickets $60 advance, $75 at door. For info Lauren Millner (215) 2327272, ext. 3045. May 27Free Clothing and Items Giveaway at Mt. Hebron Baptist Ch., 1415-19 Wharton St. Bring your own shopping bags/carts. Items for men, kids, babies, ladies, home. For info (215) 336-8163. Rev. R. Johnson Waller, Jr., Pastor, Sister CP Love, Missionaries Director.


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20 MAY, 2011

Casey: GOP Plan Means Major New Out-Of-Pocket Costs For Medicare Recipients US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, held a roundtable discussion this morning to unveil a new JEC report showing the Republican budget plan passed by the House in April will increase out-ofpocket health-care costs for prescriptions and benefits for older Americans.

voucher won’t keep pace with healthcare costs. In my state of Pennsylvania, someone turning 65 in 2022 would face a $6,300 increase in their health-care expenses. Our elderly Americans cannot afford to have their health-care expenses double, but that’s exactly what the Republican plan delivers.”

The report finds that in each state in the country, out-of-pocket health-care costs will more than double for residents turning 65 in 2022 under the Republican plan.

The increased out-of-pocket costs result from older Americans bearing a larger share of health care costs under the Republican plan and the increase in total health-care costs that results from shifting from traditional Medicare to a lessefficient, more-expensive voucher program.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that a typical 65-year-old Medicare beneficiary in 2022 would see their out-ofpocket health care costs increase from $6,154 to $12,513 under the Republican budget. While the increase varies by state, residents n all states will see their out-of-pocket expenses more than double when they turn 65 in 2022. The report also shows current Medicare beneficiaries will be harmed by the GOP budget, immediately losing preventive services such as mammograms and facing higher prescription drug costs. “This new JEC analysis helps to fill in the picture on just how disastrous and costly the Republican Medicare plan is for our older Americans,” said Case. “If Republicans have their way, traditional Medicare will no longer exist in 2022. Instead, our elderly will get a voucher to purchase private insurance, but the 20 MAY, 2011


Continued Casey, “Under the Republican plan, current beneficiaries will suffer and the next generation will face retirement without Medicare and without the peace of mind it offers.” Current Medicare beneficiaries will also lose key benefits under the GOP budget, the report notes. The Republican plan reopens the doughnut hole - the gap in Medicare Part D that had forced beneficiaries to pay 100% of their drug costs after they exceeded an initial coverage limit and until they qualified for catastrophic coverage. Additionally, the Republican plan eliminates the free annual wellness exam beneficiaries currently receive and forces older citizens to pay for preventive services such as mammograms. The Senator was joined in Scranton, Pa. by advocates for aging Americans and Pennsylvanians concerned about rising health-care costs and how changes to Medicare will affect them. |


Sen. Washington Goes To Market

STATE SEN. LeANNA WASHINGTON poses with local farmer at Farmers’ Market in her District. Market is held on Fridays on Wadsworth Avenue.



20 MAY, 2011

EPA Funds Prison System For Food-Waste Composting Pilot Project PRISONS’ GREEN PROGRAM TEAM with, from left of check, Program Administrator Laura Cassidy, Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison, Phila. Prison Commissioner Louis Giorla and EPA Mid-Atlantic Deputy Director Wayne Naylor. Wayne Naylor, Deputy Director, US EPA mid-Atlantic region, Land and Chemicals Division, joined officials at the Philadelphia Prison System to mark the beginning of a new Green initiative: composting food waste from the prison facilities, and training inmates in the management of composting procedures. Composting food scraps will reduce landfill charges – and thereby save the City money – and produce a useful product for urban gardens. As a unique feature of this project, inmates will be trained and employed in the management of the composting operation. The EPA’s Solid Waste Management Assistance Grant Program provided $15,000 in funding for the startup. 20 MAY, 2011

The Prison System provides over 23,000 meals a day. At the end of the meal, whatever isn’t consumed is discarded as rubbish into landfills at $77 a ton. Commissioner Giorla promised, “We can begin to redirect some of the food waste that is generated on site into a composting program that will reduce our reliance on landfills, reduce costs, train inmates in the successful management of the operation, and create a high-quality product that will help our horticultural program.” The pilot project will be based at Riverside Correctional Facility. With an average population of 650 inmates, RCF is estimated to produce about 150 lb. a day of food waste. The goal here is to capture that 150 lb. a day, divert it from landfills, and convert it into highTHE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

quality topsoil or organic fertilizer. In the process, PPS grounds crews and gardeners will contribute organic materials, leaves, grass, brush, and cuttings from the maintenance of over 100 acres of grounds on the prison campus. Finally the compost will be utilized in the Prisons’ Roots 2 Reentry Program, which produces vegetables for local food banks – about 4,000 lb. a year – in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. This funding will help the PPS bring a consultant on board to advise it in the proper management of such a program, and to help design an Aerated Static Pile Composting System, that it can later replicate as it expands its capacity.



Philadelphians Look More ‘Culturally Engaged’ If a leading lobbyist for the arts is to be believed, Philadelphians are more passionate about their artistic scene than ever. Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance has released the results of the second Cultural Engagement Index survey, which finds an 11% increase in cultural engagement since the last survey in 2008. Overall CEI scores went up in 8 of the 9 components surveyed. The exception was the consumption of popular media, which remained flat. Particularly high CEI scores were seen for younger respondents (18-34), families with children; African American and Hispanic respondents; and those active in theater, visual arts and online creative activities. “Clearly residents care deeply about arts and culture,” said Tom Kaiden, president of GPCA. “During tough times, we reevaluate what matters most. Culture provides us with the insight and creative outlet to envision a better future.” Unlike other studies of arts participation, the CEI surveys the general population of Greater Philadelphia, not just current arts attendees. The CEI score factors in both frequency of participation and the importance of the activity to the respondent. Overall, frequency was stable for most activities from 2008 to 2010 but the importance that respondents attach to some cultural activities increased signifi6|

cantly, helping to drive the index from 100 in 2008 (the baseline year) to 111 in 2010. Over 3,000 residents in 220 zip codes in Greater Philadelphia completed the survey, answering detailed questions on 52 different creative activities. The CEI asks questions about audience-based attendance in traditional cultural activities (including attendance at live performing arts, museums, and community events), as well as questions about personal practice activities (including creating music or dance, painting or drawing, writing in journals or blogs, and sharing photos, music or videos online). This year’s results provide additional insight on the different patterns of cultural engagement between subsets of survey respondents, based on factors such as age, lifestyle groups, race and education. For example, engagement was highest for Hispanic and younger audiences 18-34, and both groups also had the highest scores for personal creative practice such as composing music, dancing, and taking photography. “This research suggests multiple avenues for increasing cultural participation, “said Alan Brown, the study’s principal investigator. “Making connections between different groupings of activities – for example, between museum attendance and taking photographs – is key to engaging the community THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

and increasing participation. This research affords Philadelphia’s arts, culture and heritage organizations with a rare opportunity to more fully understand their place in the larger ecosystem, and to see new opportunities.” Significant gains were reported for dance, theatre, visual arts and online activities.

While the reported frequency of doing dance activities did not gain in frequency between 2008 and 2010, significantly more respondents in 2010 attach importance to a range of dance activities. The percentage of respondents who said “dancing socially at night clubs or parties” is “very important” to them jumped from 20% in 2008 to 28% in 2010, a year-overyear increase of 27%. Similarly large increases in importance were reported for “attend plays or musicals with professional actors,” “visit art museums or art galleries,” “make crafts of any kind,” and for all of the online creative activities tested, which also gained significantly in frequency. Cultural engagement is highest for younger adults in the 18-34 age cohort.

Across lifestage groups, adults with children have more active creative lives than those without children. Cultural engagement increased for all ethnic and racial groups; however engagement levels for African Americans and Hispanics increased more, and continue to be consistently higher than those for whites. 20 MAY, 2011

Active cultural participants place tremendous importance on the value of cultural activity – and they vote! Higher civic

engagement is directly correlated with higher cultural engagement. Respondents who participated in all five civic activities examined in the CEI (“socialize with neighbors”, “attend religious services”, “do volunteer work”, “have a library card” and “have voted in the last year”) scored three times higher for cultural engagement than those who reported no civic

engagement activities. Men are more active making original videos or film, composing music, and remixing material found online. Women are more engaged in painting and other original art creation, writing about their lives in journals or blogs, and attending professional dance performances. Despite the economic crisis, the CEI suggests that Philadelphia is more culturally vibrant than the nation as a whole. The

11% CEI increase, coupled with recent data from The Pew Charitable Trusts Philadelphia Research Initiative (Philadelphia 2011: State of the City) documenting a 7% increase in attendance at Philadelphia county nonprofit cultural organizations from 2005 to 2009, demonstrate an increase in Philadelphia’s vibrancy. Elsewhere, national studies have shown general declines.

Andy Kahn Casts New Light On Classic American Songwriters The Great American Songbook, a Heritage Series production at the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley, Delaware Co., featuring pianist/singer Andy Kahn (also a songwriter and record producer), is on stage this weekend for the final three performances of its three-weekend/nine-performance engagement.

ANDY KAHN says piano was key to developing the greatest era of American popular song.

20 MAY, 2011

Part of Kahn’s “Music by Intention” concert series, the program is described on the Hedgerow’s own website as presenting “American composers Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and many others, like you’ve never heard them before.” The performances promise to offer “anecdotes about those songwriters who helped shape American ideals and attitudes during the first half of the 20th century,” as well as to include “well-known standards, many of which evolved into Swing and Jazz, America’s enduring, unique contribution to music THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

and the arts.” Each of the nine shows has focused or will focus on a different composer. As for this weekend, the featured composers will be Johnny Mercer [“That Old Black Magic,” “Summer Wind,” lyrics for “Moon River,” Seven Brides for Seven Brothers] for tonight’s 7:30 p.m. performance, Irving Berlin [“God Bless America,” “White Christmas,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” Annie Get Your Gun] for tomorrow starting at 7:30 p.m, and Sammy Cahn [“High Hopes” [which is featured at Citizens Bank Park after Phillies wins], “Love and Marriage,” “My Kind of Town (Chicago Is),” “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”] for Sunday starting at 2 p.m. While not yet able to assess the actual show (due to plans to see it for the first time at this Sunday afternoon’s final performance), I did find a chat with Kahn was quite il|


luminating, especially when it comes to appreciating American musical history. Performing for over 40 years, since he was 12 or 13 years old, Kahn is doing, in his words, a “whole bunch of things” with the concerts at the Hedgerow. One goal of his is to remind his audiences, or simply initially make them aware of America’s rich heritage of popular song, mostly from the first half of the 20th century. According to the performer, the Golden Age which The Great American Songbook seeks to capture goes a “little bit beyond 1950 and a little bit before 1910, but the really fertile period was between 1915 and 1945. It really has a lot to do with the time period for music in this country between the two World Wars. Between 1920 and 1945, these guys tripled the amount of sing-able songs in the world. It remains, even to this day, our unique contribution to the arts.” During his performances, Kahn reaches back to the middle of the 19th century in order to emphasize the influence of songwriter Stephen Foster [“Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races,” “Old Folks at Home [Swanee River],” “My Old Kentucky Home”], who only lived to the age of 37. Kahn says, “We’re talking 160 years ago, and these songs are still around today. They were the forerunners to these standards. They are the songs that Irving Berlin first picked up in the early 1900s and Jerome Kern picked up around that time. They were the inspiration for the beginning of the Golden Age of Song in 8|


this country.” Kahn also emphasizes the unique role of the piano in the development of the Great American Songbook. He says, “It had a lot to do with the wars. Remember, this was before we had computers and televisions and home entertainment centers. People gathered around the pianos. The status symbol in those days was to have a piano in your house. Everybody had to have a piano, especially in New York and Philadelphia and that sort of melting pot where all the immigrants came in. “That was the focus of family entertainment. A lot of people didn’t have radios then either; this was a way for them to control their own programming. They’d collect [player] piano rolls like we collect CDs today … or we don’t even do that; we share it or download it for free. But in those days, they’d throw the piano rolls up and have sing-alongs at their houses.” Kahn prefers the collaborations of composer Richard Rodgers with Lorenz Hart to those with Oscar Hammerstein. According to Kahn, “I think that Lorenz Hart’s music was cleverer, if that’s a word. It was more like Cole Porter’s work. There were twists in his rhyme schemes and in his images that I think were more sophisticated to a hipper audience. Oscar Hammerstein was a little more down-toearth, a little more countrified.” Kahn’s own “showbiz career started at synagogue.” According to him, “The very first thing I ever did was, when I was at the age of 9, my mother put on a production 20 MAY, 2011

at Beth David synagogue which used to be in Wynnefield before they moved to Gladwyne … a children’s version of The Music Man, and I played Professor Harold Hill.” While not particularly religious himself, Kahn is keenly aware of the disproportionate Jewish contributions to the Great American Songbook. According to him, “Of the big ten songwriters, with the exception of Cole Porter [“Love For Sale,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” Kiss Me, Kate, Anything Goes] and Harry Warren [“That’s Amore”, “I Only Have Eyes for You”, “At Last”, 42nd Street], they were all Jewish. Out of the top 20 or 30, there were only like four or five who were not Jewish. They just seem to have grown out of that Tin Pan Alley mentality in New York which was that whole immigrant-based thing, where it all came from.” Kahn encourages members of the public, in contemplating whether to make a trip to the Hedgerow

this weekend, to keep in mind much of what was motivating the composers. He says, “I actually call my concert series ‘Music By Intention.’ I explain in my show what I mean by that. It was really the intention of the composers in that time to try to get people to – and I’m quoting here – ‘forget their troubles and go and get happy.’ It was in that period after World War I, then we had that great expansion in the Roaring Twenties, then all of a sudden we had the Depression in ’29, leading up to World War II. “It was a very bleak and terrible time in this country where people were looking for ways to try to drown their sorrows. And this music gave them the opportunity to escape that. Therefore, it was really the intention of these composers to try to have an influence on our lifestyles, our psychology and the whole attitudes that we had. They wove their stories into the fabric of our lives. That’s why it’s such important music, and I think it’s one of the reasons the music has survived, because it is so integrated into our American psyche of the whole 20th Century.” Note; a slightly different version of this article also appears in the author’s “Philadelphia Jewish Culture Examiner” column on

20 MAY, 2011




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