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Vol. XVI No.13

Issue 651

March 26, 2020

“The good things we do must be made a part of the public record”





PHILIP’S STEAKS, a family institution in South Philadelphia on W. Passyunk Avenue, has been playing a civic-spirited role in the community during the COVID-19 outbreak. Owner Joe Baldino has been distributing free food to needy seniors who utter the code at his window. And that’s not all! Here, frontline food-service workers, L-R, Joseph Juliani, Nikki B and Jeffrey T posed with a cardboard effigy of the shop’s founder and inspiration, Susan Baldino. Story P. 2. Photo by Wendell Douglas

Panepinto Jewelers 740 Sansom Street, Suite 506 Philadelphia PA, 19106

Store#: 215-923-1980 Cell#: 215-470-7629

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Philip’s Has a ‘Steak’ in South Philly BY TONY WEST or years, this iconic walkup sandwich stand at 23rd Street & Passyunk Avenue has been a popular but lowkey mainstay of South Philadelphia street life. But in a time of terrible civic disruption, Philip’s Steaks has stepped into a new role: feeding those in need and those who serve. With many restaurants closed and supermarkets potentially risky at a time when public crowd sizes are strictly limited, proprietor Joe Baldino finds that his business is ideally suited to provide nourishing food safely and carefully by walkup and delivery. One measure Baldino has tried out is a free meal for any senior citizen who needs one. That senior must know a special password (we’ll leave it to Baldino to share it). His move is appreciated. One customer left a note: “Thank you for letting us get free food from here! We gr8ly appreciate it! If you ever need any volunteers, call me up! I live 3 blocks away!” When the drive-through


COVID-19 testing site at the stadium was opened, Baldino delivered free cheesesteaks to its police officers and health-care workers. Baldino is proud of his line cooks and servers.

“These people are dedicated!” he said. During the pandemic, when most businesses have been ordered closed, food-service workers – particularly those in walkup and

delivery niches – perform a vital function for many people. While they must take special precautions to work safely, they cannot “shelter in place” like the general public; exactly like health-

care workers, they have to meet the public to meet the essential task of keeping the city alive. Our hats are off to Philip’s workers and to all those who serve.

EDITORIAL STAFF PHILIP’S STEAKS, a longstanding feature of South Philadelphia street life, put in extra duty during the coronavirus crisis. Photo by Wendell Douglas

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In Memoriam:James Tayoun, Sr. Editor/Publisher: Greg Salisbury Managing Editor: Anthony West Everyday People Editor: Denise Clay Contributing Editor: Bonnie Squires Photographers: Leona Dixon

Wendell Douglas Jim Jenkins

Harry Leech

Director of Operations:Allison Murphy Production Manager: Sana Muaddi-Dows Sales Director: Melissa Barrett Circulation: Yousef Maaddi JOE BALDINO, L, was joined by his right-hand man Joseph Juliani as they prepared to deliver free lunches to emergency workers at the stadium

THESE police officers were glad to get a hot meal as they did duty at Citizens Bank Park.

sporting and entertainment events are suspended until further notice. The site is also removed from most residential neighborhoods in South Philadelphia and the entire city and the location is easily accessible by highway and S. Broad Street. “After consultation with Managing Director Brian Abernathy and other Kenney Administration leaders, I have been informed that the testing site will be open daily from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. starting today and will be open every day during those hours as long as sup-

will not be permitted access to the site. Due to staffing and supply limitations, people who do not meet the criteria established by the City Health Department be turned away. “Philadelphia Police will be on-scene coordinating traffic. The site will be staffed and run by City of Philadelphia employees and volunteers from the City’s Medical Reserve Corps. The U.S. federal government is providing supplies to the City for this site, and is coordinating the delivery of and payment for the tests, and will notify people of

Johnson Hails New Drive-up Testing Site

hiladelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) issued the following written statement on Friday on the opening of a drive-up coronavirus testing site: “We are experiencing a public health pandemic that has not been seen in the last century of American history. I support the establishment of the testing site outside Citizens Bank Park in the empty Sports Complex site, which is in my district, because it will undoubtedly save lives. “The site is large and vacant at this time, as all

The Philadelphia Public Record (PR-01) (ISSN 1938-856X) (USPS 1450) Published Weekly Requested Publication ($35 per year Optional Subscription) The South Philadelphia Public Record 21 S. 11th Street, Suite 205 Philadelphia, PA 19107 Periodical Postage Paid at Philadelphia, PA and additional mailing office POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: The Public Record 21 S. 11th Street, Suite 205 Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 755-2000 Fax: (215) 525-2818

plies allow. “The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is restricting eligibility for testing at this site to the following groups of people: People who are over 50 years of age and are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 coronavirus and health-care workers who are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 coronavirus. For those in either group eligible for testing, entry into the site is only open to people in four-wheel, closed-top, non-commercial, non-recreational vehicles. Walk-ins

their test results. “The goal of local, state and federal medical professionals right now is to do everything to flatten the curve of the virus so Philadelphians and all Americans can get back to our normal lives as quickly as possible. “I would also urge everyone to stay updated on important information regarding the testing site and other COVID-19 news by texting COVIDPHL to 888777 and by visiting the City’s official coronavirus page at programs/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/.”

The Public Record welcomes news and photographs about your accomplishments and achievements which should be shared with the rest of the community. Contact us by phone, fax, e-mail or by dropping us a note in the mail. If you mail a news item, please include your name, address and daytime telephone number so we can verify the information you provided us, if necessary. The Public Record reserves the right to edit all news items and letters for grammar, clarity and brevity. No reproduction or use of the material herein may be made without the permission of the publisher. City & State will assume no obligation (other than the cancellation of charges for the actual space occupied) for accidental errors in advertisements, but we will be glad to furnish a signed letter to the buying public. The Philadelphia Public Record is a publication owned by:

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Teamsters 628

four transactions totaling $801.96 to AAA Sunflower Florists. Meeting expenses included $13.20 for Ashton Cigar Bar, three meetings at B2 Bluefin for a total of $125.11, Del Frisco’s Grille for $74.00, Iron Hill Brewery for $87.12, $21.21 at McCormick & Schmick's Restaurant, four transactions at Spice 28 for $71.02 and $17.00 at Standing O Restaurant. PhilaDanco-related expenses were $233.50 for tickets to a PhilaDanco show at Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, $97.30 to Tickety Philadelphia for more tickets, and a contribution to the organization for $1,000.00. In addition, the committee spent $122.00 on Amtrak, made another contribution to Citizens for Tammi Forbes for $75.00, and gave $300.00 to Della Volle for NJ Assembly. There was an entry for the City of Philadelphia Board of Ethics for $30,742.23 as a journal entry to reconcile accounts. This is most likely related to her record Ethics Board fine of $48,834 in 2013. Replica Creative was paid $1,000 in three separate transactions for graphic design services, and there was one more transaction to Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. for $390.00. On Dec. 31, 2019, the committee terminated with a balance of $0.00, no debt, and no in-kind contributions. David Lynn is an independent political analyst and occasional creator of delicious baked goods. His occasional blog can be found at, and he has created free software to run political campaigns at

Former City Councilmember Blondell Reynolds Brown.

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Cycle 1 was $25,373.16, and the final total left to spend was $54,685.46. The committee listed no debt, and no in-kind contributions. 2019 Cycle 2 saw one contribution to the committee for a total of $250.00. Available funds were $54,935.46 and the committee spent $13,204.28. Political contributions included $300.00 to Democratic Committee of Philadelphia, $500.00 to Kenney for Mayor, $200.00 to She Can Win, $500.00 to The Green Fund and two more transactions totaling $9,600.00 to Vote For Kathy. We also note $200.00 for Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter DST (Delta Sigma Theta) and $1,500.00 to Laborers' Local 332 for Event Space Rental. She hired a DJ for $100.00. 2019 Cycle 2 ended with $41,731.18 in the bank. Again, the committee listed no debt and no in-kind contributions. 2019 Cycle 3 saw spending of only $3,619.02. Reynolds Brown was reimbursed $373.02 for parking and meals. Contributions to political groups included $75.00 to Citizens for Tammi Forbes and $2,000 to The Green Fund. Saint Bernard Group, LLC was paid an additional $818.00 for consulting related services. The committee ended the period with $38,112.16 in the bank – almost half of the total at the beginning of the year, with no in-kind contributions and no debt. 2019 Cycle 7 was the last report filed by Friends of Blondell Reynolds Brown. The committee was terminated, and the ending balance was $0.00. Expenses included more flowers –

These are difficult times. We’re here to help you.

STATE REP MARY ISAACSON Paid for by Friends of Mary Isaacson 215-503-3245

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BY DAVID LYNN f you had $80,000+ to spend, how would you spend it? This was the situation faced by retiring City Councilmember Blondell Reynolds-Brown (at Large) last year. While some politicians who retire from public office keep their political committees open while holding events and contributing to others, some spend down to nothing, and end them. The latter option was apparently the choice for Reynolds-Brown. Friends of Blondell Reynolds Brown started 2019 with $80,058.62. Today, we explore how she spent her remaining funds before closing her committee. Reynolds-Brown received no contributions in 2019 Cycle 1. She gave to several ward committees and spent $356.40 at AAA Sunflower Florists. She appears to have reimbursed herself a total of $778.51. She spent a total of $1,358.00 on three transactions related to her Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., gave $250.00 to Friends of Darrell Clarke and $1,000.00 to Friends of Maria (Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez.) She also gave $11,900 to Vote For Kathy (Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson) and $85.00 to Williams for Senate. The committee made several expenditures to Saint Bernard Group, LLC for consulting related expenditures, and spent $1,113.92 at The Palm Restaurant. Finally, we note that the committee also spent $1,425.60 for printing. Total spending for 2019


How Blondell Reynolds Brown Spent Down Funds Before Leaving Office

Pa. Primary Kicked Back by Five Weeks

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POLS on the STREET BY JOE SHAHEELI They did it. In an unprecedented move, General Assembly passed legislation that would postpone the spring primary election from April 28 to June 2 because of the stupefying logistical challenges of administering an in-person polling stations at a time when the Commonwealth is under a mandatory social-distancing order. It had taken lawmakers several days to get used to the idea (most of them are, after all, simultaneously running in that election).

But the increasingly desperate pleas from county election officials carried the day. It is hoped this move will buy election officials the time to figure out a host of other solutions for worker training and polling safety. “I am pleased with the action taken in Harrisburg to postpone the primary election. As time goes on, holding an in-person election on April 28 is looking more and more unrealistic,” said City Commission Chair Lisa Deeley. “Some have expressed many different views on how the primary should be conducted, and we will continue to evaluate all of these options as the crisis unfolds,” she continued. “Many in the media have asked about our, or my, views concerning these options. I am not going to rule anything out nor endorse anything. We are just at the beginning of this

courage voting by mail. This procedure was just simplified with the passage of Act 77 last year. Under this measure, a voter can request an absentee ballot for any or no reason at all, up to seven days prior to an election. For this primary, that would be Tuesday, May 26. The drafters of Act 77 did not envisage everyone in the state voting absentee, however. Turning out a mass mailing would be hugely complex and time-consuming. But … so is everything else in the age of coronavirus! It may inspire lawmakers to get creative in a hurry.

How to Campaign Without Groups Meanwhile, political experts are scratching their heads trying to figure out how actually to run campaigns while society is under virtual lockdown. The obvious step is to try

to organize online virtual meetings and to instigate followers to spread their candidates’ message through social media. Most campaigns are doing just that. What is not clear to anyone is how well it will work. There are two schools of thought on its impact on State-office elections. Some observers say the breakdown of traditional face-to-face street engagement, particularly in State-rep races will work to the advantage of incumbents because it will cripple an insurgent’s traditional tool of doorbell ringing and burden them with added costs, for mailing and simply for a longer campaign season. Others argue, however, that progressive insurgents, who tend to be younger and more virtual (if not more virtuous), may be better at using online media to enlist and turn out their base. Philly for Change, a vet-

eran progressive group that for years has held regular live meetings, pioneered a conference call for its members on Tuesday with State Rep. Brian Sims (D-S. Phila.), who is running opposed in his district. Yesterday evening, Liberty City Democratic Club tried out a Virtual General Meeting. In a statement, the LGBTQ action group said, “The health and well-being of our members and supporters is paramount. COVID-19 has permanently changed all of our lives, both in the shortterm and the long-term. “That’s why we’re excited to host Dr. Jake Natalini, a physician with the University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, for an exclusive Q+A livestream to answer your questions about COVID-19.” The live Q&A was held via Zoom/Facebook Live.

Political Directory For information on advertising in The Political Directory, please call Melissa Barrett: 215-755-2000 ext 5; email:

Always Hard At Work for You!

Rep.Maria P.

Donatucci D-185th District 2901 S. 19th St. Phila PA 19145 P: 215-468-1515 F: 215-952-1164

State Senator

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health emergency, therefore Philadelphia will continue to prepare for various election eventualities, from making an in-person election safe, to ordering the necessary paper and envelopes to meet an increased demand for mail-in ballots or an all-mail election. “Thankfully, this legislation allows us to protect our staff. We will be returning the staff who have been preparing the voting system for an April 28 election to non-essential status so they can stay home and practice social distancing. In this difficult time, I would like to thank our dedicated staff who came in without hesitation to complete their duties to the voters of Philadelphia, I am truly impressed by their bravery and commitment.” Momentum seems to be pressing the legislature toward another solution: mass mailing of ballots to all registered voters to en-

Anthony Hardy Williams 8th Senatorial District

2901 ISLAND AVE. STE 100 PHILADELPHIA, PA 19153 (215) 492-2980 FAX: (215) 492-2990 ---419 CHURCH LANE YEADON, PA 19050 (610) 284-7335 FAX: (610) 284-5955 6630 LINDBERGH BLVD.

2103 SNYDER AVENUE PHILADELPHIA, PA 19145 (215) 755-9185 FAX: (215) 952-3375 ---SENATE BOX 203008 HARRISBURG, PA 17120 ROOM: 11 EAST WING (717) 787-5970 FAX: (717) 772-0574

“Paid for with Pennsylvanian taxpayer dollars”




Rep. Rosita

Youngblood 198th District

1st District City Hall Room 332

310 W. Chelten Ave.


P: 215-849-6426

Phila PA 19148

Check Our News & Calendar Daily Updates @

State Rep.

Joanna E.




191st Leg. Dist. 52 S. 60th Street, Phila 19139


T: (215) 748-6712 F: (215) 748-1687 State Senator



1621 W. Jefferson Street Philadelphia, PA 19121

215-227-6161 Paid for with PA Tax Dollars

610 N. SECOND STREET 215.503.3245


Angel Cruz

District Office 3503 ‘B’ St. 215-291-5643 Ready to Serve you

Councilman At-Large

DEREK S. GREEN City Hall, Room 594 Philadelphia, PA 19107


City Councilwoman Cherelle L. Parker 9th District

District Office 1538 E. Wadsworth Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19150 Phone: 215-686-3454 Fax: 215-685-9271.

Facebook: CouncilwomanCherelleLParker Twitter: @CherelleParker9


tate Reps. Martina White (R-Northeast) and Jared Solomon (D-Northeast) are introducing legislation to encourage hospitals to purchase the ventilators and other necessary equipment they need to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by letting the State buy back unused equipment at cost. White and Solomon will also introduce legislation to speed up property-tax and rent rebates to qualified recipients. “The federal government is considering a cash stimulus of up to $1,200 or more per individual,” White said. “To complement that, the State should distribute funds from the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program as a way to provide additional liquidity to those in need.” Right now, rebates are scheduled to start July 1. Their legislation would direct the Department of Revenue & Treasury to process 2019 rebate payments for all homeowners and renters who received a 2018 rebate, and to issue those payments immediately. For anyone who became eligible in the past year, rebates would be issued immediately upon receipt of their application instead of waiting until July 1. “The more money we quickly get back to Pennsylvanians, particularly the el-

Solomon Calls for Small-Business Aid

With the changes to daily life and business practices recommended or ordered to slow the spread of COVID-19, many hardworking families and small businesses will be adversely impacted. State Rep. Solomon is working across the aisle with his colleague Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) on legislation directing the Department of Community & Economic Development to administer low- to no-interest emergency loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak. “As an entrepreneur, I know how difficult it can be to operate a small business even under normal circumstances,” Gaydos said. “The extenuating circumstances brought on by the governor’s emergency declaration and statewide mitigation efforts indicate that small businesses across the Commonwealth need our help now more than ever to meet payroll, overhead and other expenses that keep their doors open and their staff employed.” “The damage done to our small businesses by COVID-19 will take a long time to repair, and we in Harrisburg need to bring all our resources to bear to keep business going and workers collecting a paycheck," Solomon said. “Rep. Gaydos and I are proposing a small business support package that

offers three things: emergency no-interest bridge financing to get through the crisis; longer-term low-interest loans to help business ramp back up; and support for technical assistance providers to ensure our businesses get the most out of these programs.” This proposal comes in addition to the $61 million in loan funding to the Small Business First Program authorized by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Tartaglione: Loans Are Available

The Commonwealth Financing Agency has transferred additional funding into the Small Business First program to support low-interest working capital loans. State Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-Kensington) is advising Pennsylvania small businesses

that they may be eligible for low-interest loans of up to $100,000 to fulfill their working-capital needs during the COVID-19/coronavirus emergency. The Commonwealth Financing Agency has transferred $40 million into the Small Business First program administered by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority. This funding will be combined with $21 million from PIDA’s own resources for a total of $61 million in additional SBF funding. “Small businesses are bearing a tremendous burden during the coronavirus emergency as they have been asked to reduce or suspend their non-essential operations and as Pennsylvania consumers have been advised to practice social distancing,” the senator said. “These loans will help small businesses pay their

bills and keep the lights on until this public health crisis subsides.” CFA moved $40 million from PIDA’s Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund to SBF with the support of the four caucuses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Governor Tom Wolf. These funds will be used to award working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses that employ 100 or fewer people. The current interest rate is 3.0% but the PIDA board is empowered to modify the rate. SBF is the most logical program to assist small businesses quickly because this is already its intended purpose. It has the structure and regional infrastructure to help small businesses immediately, including partnerships with local Certified Economic Development Organizations that (Cont. Page 13)


sary equipment during this crisis by providing them the support they need to better care for our impacted populations by allowing the state to buy back the unused equipment. The legislation also allows Pennsylvania to build up a strategic reserve of critical supplies that can then be borrowed or purchased by other states that need it.

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derly, the disabled, and the poor, the better chances our state has of weathering this crisis,” White said. “This virus has completely disrupted the lives of many hard-working Pennsylvanians and small businesses, leaving them both in a whirlwind of financial difficulty and uncertainty,” Solomon said. “Solidarity between the political parties are a must now more than ever because residents are looking to us for solutions.” White and Solomon also want to encourage the purchase of life-saving hospital equipment by creating a state buy-back program for unused devices. “As the number of cases of COVID-19 continue to rise,” White said, “U.S. hospitals are already experiencing increased demand for beds and ventilators. Shortages in Italy and other countries have resulted in selective care and many experts are warning that if the latest projections come true, the U.S. could see as many as 4.8 million hospitalizations due to COVID-19.” The American Hospital Association also projects that 960,000 patients infected with COVID-19 could require mechanical ventilation. “But as the Society for Critical Care Medicine reports, the number of ventilators available to patients is short of what is necessary to respond to these projections which would leave just one serviceable ventilator for every five patients,” Solomon said. As the cost of new ventilators ranges from $25,000 to $50,000 per unit, many hospitals are hesitant to purchase new equipment as they weigh the short-term needs with long-term budgetary concerns. White and Solomon’s legislation will encourage hospitals to purchase neces-

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White, Solomon: Help Buy Ventilators, Release Rebates



Meeting What Is Yet to Come


wouldn’t be pulling out all the stops to close the equity gap by trying to get all students laptops and internet connection for remote learning.) Infection numbers change multiple times a day as we continue to hurtle toward the apex point on the curve. Still, one data point will stand alone for at least the next few days: 540,000. That is the number of Pennsylvanians who filed for unemployment last week. More than half a million residents. Out of work. In a week. In case you were wondering, that is a record. Hopefully, it will never be broken, but considering how almost every new day brings some kind of fresh hell our way, who knows? This abomination has many fathers, first and foremost the COVID-19 itself, whose metastasis across our body politic has led to such unprecedented developments as Gov. Tom Wolf ordering all non-essential businesses closed throughout the state – an order now being backed up

by the Pennsylvania State Police enforcing its parameters. Mayor Jim Kenney’s stay-at-home order has done no favors to business owners and their employees, either. For every urgent call for warm bodies from supermarkets, pharmacies and delivery services, there are countless more layoffs, closures, and furloughs happening. We don’t know where the end point is, and we don’t know when we will reach it. But we do know that there is no way to simultaneously keep mitigation techniques like social distancing in place while also opening up businesses again wholesale, like President Trump endorsed earlier this week. Following such a path would be lunacy followed by catastrophe. Whatever small bump the economy and citizens would receive from a return to normalcy would frighteningly turn to spiking case numbers and deaths with blinding speed. We need a recovery czar, and we need one now.

personal hygiene is practically nonexistent! Since I’ve been self-quarantining under doctor’s orders, I constantly watch the news and up to this point I haven’t seen one story talking about what’s going on in the field that I work in. To my knowledge, nothing much out of the ordinary is being done at our facility to protect the workers or clients from the acquiring or spreading of this deadly virus! Also, instead of being allowed to use our banked sick time, I’m being forced to use PTO time first, which to me is totally unacceptable, especially at a time like this. Please look into my concerns regarding workers

and clients affected in this field generally. Being a recovering addict myself, I know how we forced ourselves to live in active addiction and because of that it’s extremely hard for me to see anyone else to be more at risk. I’m over 60 with diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension as well as COPD, so you see I’m a prime candidate to actually die if I get infected. Informed by my supervisor that we are being considered “essential workers” – okay, but what sort of safeguards are being put in place to protect the workers and clients? So far I’ve gotten no response to that specific question. Name withheld


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ne of the numerous challenges facing a weekly newspaper in the time of coronavirus: How to present information that hasn’t become hopelessly outdated between the time we put the paper to bed and the time you pick it up to read. Mandates and orders are fairly easy, except when they’re not. Gov. Wolf orders gun shops to close because they’re non-essential – until he declares they are, to a certain point. Schools are closed until the end of March – until they’re closed until April 6. (And don’t hold your breath waiting for Philadelphia schools to reopen this academic year; the district

LETTER to the EDITOR Tough on Workers


work at a drug and alcohol inpatient facility. We have 100 new admits come into our facility on a weekly basis. Our clients are active addicts coming straight off of the streets, where, as you can imagine,

The News in Black & White

LOCAL 252 GLAZIERS presented its annual top member awards: Jim Steiner is the Member of the Year, while Brandon Grant is the Apprentice of the Year. Joe Wojtkielewicz won the Apprentice Leadership Award. The local is located on Southampton Road. Joe Ashdale serves as President. Photo courtesy of Local 252 Facebook page

MARK your CALENDAR Caution: Check with all events to make sure they have not been canceled during the coronavirus lockdown. Mar. 28- Councilmember Bobby Henon hosts n”2020 Bike Rodeo” at Roosevelt Plg., 6455 Walker St., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Fun activities, door prizes, giveaways, register your bike with Project 529, food. Free. Bring bike & helmet. Parents must accompany children. For info: (215) 686-3444. Apr. 1- Mayor Jim Kenney hosts Census Day

Celebration at LOVE Park, 12-2 p.m. Apr. 4- State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler hosts S. Philly Health & Job Fair at EOM, 144 Moore St., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For info: (215) 2719190. Apr. 8- State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler & Congressman Dwight Evans host Mobile Office Hours at S. Phila. Library, 1700 S. Broad St., 1-4 p.m. Assistance with State & federal issues, SEPTA ID processing. For info: (215) 2719190. Apr. 9- State Sen. Larry Farnese hosts Senior Expo at S. Phila. H.S., 2101 S. Broad St., 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free health screenings, exhibits, refreshments, light lunch. Seating is limited; RSVP: (215) 952-3121. Apr. 13- Phila. Democratic Committee hosts Jefferson-jackson Day Celebration at Sheet Metal Workers Ha., 1301 S. Columbus Blvd., 5:30-7:30

p.m. Tickets: $150. RSVP by Apr. 8: (215) 2417800. May 1- Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Committee hosts Annual Contest & Open House at 10401 Decatur Rd., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Competition in 5 categories: general carpenter, interior finish, floor layer, mill/cabinetmaker & millwright. Trade exhibits. Complimentary refreshments. For info: Charles Brock (215) 824-2300. Jun. 5- 42nd Ward Democratic Committee hosts Fish Fry at Cooper’s Sports Bar/Grill, 100 Wyoming Ave. 5-9 p.m. Tickets $10. For info: (215) 313-7019.


Despite the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania’s 2020 Complete Count Commission and Philly Counts 2020 want you to know that the 2020 Census has begun and will continue throughout the crisis. If you haven’t received your form, or if you have any questions about the census, please visit

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COVID-19: Assessment, Action and Mindset

Coronavirus FAQs Compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Health What is coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals, including camels, cats and bats. The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. What are the symptoms of coronavirus? Symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever Cough Shortness of breath The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. How can the coronavirus spread? Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold: Through the air by coughing or sneezing; Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; Touching an object or surface with the virus on it; Occasionally, fecal contamination. How can I protect myself? One word: Prevention. Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands! Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items. Contain: if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling

better. Should I wear a mask or respirator in public? The CDC does not recommend wearing masks or respirators outside of workplaces settings (in the community). A respirator is a personal protective device that is worn on the face or head and covers at least the nose and mouth. Most often, spread of respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens among close contacts (within 6 feet). It is important that these devices are readily available to health care workers and others who need them. Should I cancel my trip to a country with a level 3 travel advisory? Yes. The CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to countries with a level 3 travel advisory at this time. Should I cancel my international travel because of COVID-19? The CDC recommends ​ avoiding all nonessential travel to a country with a level 3 travel advisory. For travel advice for other countries, please visit that country’s information resource website. What about animals or animal products imported from China? ​The CDC does not have evidence to suggest that animals or animal products imported from China pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

Prepping for Before, During and After COVID-19 Courtesy of the CDC

A COVID-19 outbreak could last for a long time in your community. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, public health officials may recommend community

actions designed to help keep people healthy, reduce exposures to COVID-19, and slow the spread of the disease. Local public health officials may make recommendations appropriate to your local situation. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community. You should base the details of your household plan on the needs and daily routine of your household members. Create a household plan of action Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan. Meet with household members, other relatives, and friends to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community and what the needs of each person will be. Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications. There is limited information about who may be at risk for severe complications from COVID-19 illness. From the data that are available for COVID-19 patients, and from data for related coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, it is possible that older adults and persons who have underlying chronic medical conditions may be at risk for more serious complications. Early data suggest older people are more likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. If you or your household members are at increased risk for COVID-19 complications, please consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. CDC will recommend actions to help keep people at high risk for complications healthy if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community. Get to know your neighbors.

Hospital staff gear up before working with COVIC-19 patients. Courtesy of City of Philadelphia.

Talk with your neighbors about emergency planning. If your neighborhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to maintain access to neighbors, information, and resources. Identify aid organizations in your community. Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support, and resources. Consider including organizations that provide mental health or counseling services, food, and other supplies. Create an emergency contact list. Ensure your household has a current list of emergency contacts for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources. Practice good personal health habits and plan for home-based actions Practice everyday preventive actions now. Remind everyone in your household of the importance of practicing everyday preventive actions that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home when you are

sick, except to get medical care. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water. If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to disinfection. For disinfection, a list of products with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved emerging viral pathogens claims, maintained by the American Chemistry Council Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC), is available at pdf. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty. Have a quarantine room.

Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick. Learn how to care for someone with COVID-19 at home. Plan for potential changes at your workplace Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan. Discuss sick-leave policies and telework options for workers who are sick or who need to stay home to care for sick household members. Learn how businesses and employers can plan for and respond to COVID-19. During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, protect yourself and others by: Staying home from work, school, and all activities when you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, which may include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Keep away from sick people. Limiting close contact with others as much as possible (about 6 feet). Put your household plan into action Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation. Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from (Cont. Next Page)

face masks to wear at home, if available, to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others. Clean the sick room and bathroom, as needed, to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person. If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to disinfection. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. Stay in touch with others by phone or email. If you live alone and become sick during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may need help. If you have a chronic medical condition and live alone, ask family, friends, and health care providers to check on you during an outbreak. Stay in touch with family and friends with chronic medical conditions. Take care of the emotional health of your household members. Outbreaks can be stressful for adults and children. Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults. Talk with your children about the outbreak, try to stay calm, and reassure them that they are safe. Inform your workplace if you need to change your regular

work schedule Notify your workplace as soon as possible if your schedule changes. Ask to work from home or take leave if you or someone in your household gets sick with COVID-19 symptoms, or if your child’s school is dismissed temporarily. Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places while school is dismissed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. After a COVID-19 outbreak has ended in your community Remember, a COVID-19 outbreak could last a long time. The impact on individuals, households, and communities might be great. When public health officials determine the outbreak has ended in your community, take time to improve your household’s plan. As public health officials continue to plan for COVID-19 and other disease outbreaks, you and your household also have an important role to play in ongoing planning efforts. Evaluate the effectiveness of your household’s plan of action Discuss and note lessons learned. Were your COVID-19 preparedness actions effective

at home, school, and work? Talk about problems found in your plan and effective solutions. Identify additional resources needed for you and your household. Participate in community discussions about emergency planning. Let others know about what readiness actions worked for you and your household. Maintain communication lines with your community (e.g., social media and email lists). Promote the importance of practicing good personal health habits.

Continue to practice everyday preventive actions. Stay home when you are sick; cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue; wash your hands often with soap and water; and clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily. Take care of the emotional health of your household members. Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories about COVID-19. Connect with

family and friends. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with others. Help your child/children cope after the outbreak. Provide children with opportunities to talk about what they went through or what they think about it. Encourage them to share concerns and ask questions. Because parents, teachers, and other adults see children in different situations, it is important for them to work together to share information about how each child is coping after the outbreak.

exercise discretion in order to mitigate the spread of illness. Businesses Governor Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. March 19, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations began Monday, March 23, at 8:00 AM. The governor also required restaurants and bars to stop all dine-in services. Enforcement for establishments with a liquor license began at 8 p.m. March 18, and enforcement for all other food establishments

began at 8 p.m. March 19. Food establishments can offer carry-out, delivery, and drivethrough food and beverage service, including alcohol. To request a waiver to keep your location open, please submit this form. All decisions will be communicated by email and will balance public health, safety, and the security of our industry supply chains supporting life-sustaining businesses. Care Facilities Restricted visitors in state centers to ensure health and safety for individuals with an intellectual disability. Restricted visitors in assist-

ed living and personal care homes to minimize exposure to our seniors and individuals with disabilities. All child care centers licensed by the commonwealth closed as of Tuesday, March 17 and will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the 14-day statewide closures. Philadelphia County families should check with their child care facilities to determine status of business operations. Adult day care centers, adult training facilities, Provocations facilities, LIFE centers and Senior Community Centers closed beginning Tuesday, March 17,

and will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the 14-day statewide closures. Government Services Essential state, county, and municipal services will be open: police, fire, emergency medical services, sanitation, and essential services for vulnerable populations. A no-visitor policy for correctional facilities and nursing homes has been implemented and will be evaluated for other facilities. STAY AT HOME ORDER This order is effective until April 6, 2020. All individuals in counties subject to this policy

must STAY AT HOME except for certain essential activities and work to provide life-sustaining business and government services. Individuals may leave their residence ONLY to perform any of the following allowable individual activities and allowable essential travel: Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home.

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway and virtually every other major thoroughfare have seen greatly reduced vehicular traffic since Gov. Wolf and Mayor Kenney have ordered non-essential businesses to close and for citizens to remain inside when possible. Photo courtesy Drexel University

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(Cont. From Page 8) public health officials. Be aware of temporary school dismissals in your area, as this may affect your household’s daily routine. Stay home if you are sick. Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms. If a member of your household is sick, stay home from school and work to avoid spreading COVID-19 to others. If your children are in the care of others, urge caregivers to watch for COVID-19 symptoms. Continue practicing everyday preventive actions. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily using a regular household detergent and water. Use the separate room and bathroom you prepared for sick household members (if possible). Learn how to care for someone with COVID-19 at home. Avoid sharing personal items like food and drinks. Provide your sick household member with clean, disposable


What Philadelphia Needs to Know About the Virus



he entire commonwealth is now under statewide COVID-19 mitigation. Here is what statewide mitigation means. General Guidance Freedom of travel will remain, but all Pennsylvanians are asked to refrain from non-essential travel. The Wolf Administration strongly encourages the suspension of large gatherings, events, conferences of more than 10 people, and per White House guidelines, ask that individuals and groups cancel any gatherings planned over the next eight weeks. The Wolf Administration encourages religious leaders to

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Understanding the COVID-19 Mitigation Orders




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hile there is not denying that COVID-19 is a serious disease and fatal for the frailer members of our society, I believe that our response in some respects is problematic. Governor Wolf, like other governors, has required that all people within their confines remain at home, unless they are performing necessary activity for necessary businesses. Gov. Wolf initially deemed gun stores non-essential. There may be a US Constitutional issue

EVERYDAY PEOPLE BY DENISE CLAY n the day I’m writing this column, which is Tuesday, there are 252 Philadelphians currently battling the COVID-19, or the Coronavirus. Of that 252, 23 people are in the hospital, including some under the age of 20 and 25 of the 252 are health care workers. In fact, when I attended the virtual press briefing that City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley held on Tuesday in the Mayor’s Conversation Room at City Hall, he announced that 77 people had tested pos-

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here in limiting people’s 2nd Amendment rights, but on a practical level, these closures may have been short-sighted. It calls to mind a recent case in Montgomery where a man was angry with fellow basketball player after a game at a local gym. The angry man pulled a gun on his sports opponent in the gym’s parking lot. The other man according to bystanders tried to defuse the situation to no avail and was forced to defend him self with his own gun. The Montgomery County District Attorney Office deemed the surviving man’s actions to be “in self defense.” As tempers are probably raising owing to being ordered to not go to work or school, situations like this will arise. I am sure someone will point out that we are all supposed to stay home. However, as I am writing this piece I can hear a ball bouncing off a basketball backboard near my

house. Philadelphia is suspending the review and approval of requests for gun carry licenses. The police in Philadelphia are going to selectively arrest criminals during this period for certain crimes. According to new Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, officers will use their discretion to determine if a criminal’s acts are material and exhibit behavior indicating that the perpetrator is violent. The police will then decide whether to arrest that person. I understand that the jails are already crowded and with the closing of the courts cases are not being heard and the innocents or non-violent offenders being released as trials are not happening. Of course the closing of the courts brings up another constitutional issue – the right to a speedy trial, but that is a topic of another op-ed. (Cont. Next Page)

itive for the coronavirus. Now that doesn’t look like a lot of folks in a city of 1.3 million, but like I said, I’m writing this on Tuesday. By the time this column hits the streets today, it will likely be exponentially larger than that thanks to the myriad of test results that come in every day. For the last week or so, Philadelphia has been one of the counties under a stay at home order, meaning that unless you work at a grocery store, drug store, a take-out restaurant, or some other life sustaining business, you’re a city or state employee performing an essential service, or, like me, you’re a reporter trying to tell the story of how we got to a point where the liquor stores have been shut down for a week, you’re not supposed to be on the street. This is in addition to the social distancing – standing six feet apart from each other – that we’ve all been (hopefully) doing.

Now to be honest, it’s not been a total drag. I’ve caught up on a bit of my episodic television because night meetings aren’t a part of my life at the moment. I recommend the show “Hunters” on Amazon Prime, by the way. But it has kinda shown us the importance of voting, as most crises do. On Tuesday, the day that I’m writing this, President Donald Trump, the person who is supposed to be leading us through this crisis, has announced that he wants to relax the social distancing and get people back in large groups again if the name of the getting the economy back up and running. Everyone who has been paying attention to how the disease has manifested itself in places like China, where whole provinces were on lockdown for months to Italy, where it’s been running amok, was stunned. Now the dirty little secret of this crisis is that the (Cont. Next Page)

WALKING the BEAT BY JOE SHAY STIVALA ETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE: You hear so much about kind deeds during this time of crises. People helping people who cannot help themselves. It more evident since we live in times of dissent. A refreshing note amid the turbulence. It is America coming together. We read about SEPTA and AMTRAK top executives taking a 10% pay cut. After our national crunch time passes – make the cuts PERMANENT! When I read about Mayor




oronavirus mania continues. GOV. TOM WOLF has essentially proclaimed martial law in seven Pennsylvania counties including Southeastern Pennsylvania. It’s hard to imagine the PSP and local police officers arresting their fellow Pennsylvanians for walking in parks or on streets for failure to keep a safe distance, but that’s what is expected. Unlike our neighbors to the north in New York State, the Pennsylvania National Guard has not been activated. Although the National

Kenney’s easing of parking enforcement, it felt like 100 pounds had lifted from my soldiers. It was 1776 all over again! Dear Mayor: Let’s try to make some of your changes PERMANENT after the pinch we are in passes us. HIGH-SPEED REBOUND will occur after the troubles end. The economy will soar so fast that applying the BRAKES will be a concern. The Economist wrote that a “reasonably well-understood basic biology of the virus (27 proteins) makes it possible to learn which existing drugs have some chance of success.” ACTEMRA is approved for use in China this month. Trials are ready for KEVZARA and a number of other known drugs. A treatment saved a coronavirus patient. In Israel, an Arab bus driver, who was critically ill from the coronavirus, is out of danger. He caught the virus from a

group of Greek tourists and was treated with antiviral medications. Chloroquine, Remdesivir and several experimental medications being used in severe cases. The Economist, in an article called “Dropping the Ball,” outlines how the USA is not ready to lead us out of the emergency. Dr. Tony FAUCI, presidential medical advisor to Trump, has disagreed with the president over treatment. Will Trump send him to ITALY to help out? He could become president there – as their leadership BUMBLES along. ICE agents have cut immigration activity ostensibly to halt coronavirus spread. Hmmm. I want to shout out CONGRATS to Stacy WRIGHT for 17 years in the State House of Representatives. She is chief of staff to State Rep. Stephen KINSEY! Philly magazine has an (Cont. Page 15)

Guard has been a key player in rescue missions during Hurricane Katrina and Haiti and also the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…. It’s such a strange time in Pennsylvania and America. And once again we are reminded that one can never be prepared enough. Clearly, in this instance, we are far from prepared sufficiently. And the country is divided so the whole issue has been politicized. City Hall Sam is no fan of DONALD TRUMP but believes that sometimes you just have to back up the president in times of emergency if he pushes sane, rational policies. It was the same story with GEORGE W BUSH post-9/11. The responsible thing for Democrats and Republicans to do is keep politics out of the issue and protect the health of our nation. As politics go, if you are not a member of Congress, all activity is shut down. Sometimes this is the

dream come true of incumbents who are running for re-election. They don’t have to campaign or have community meetings and no one can blame them for it. In fact that’s the job of the incumbent … getting blamed. Democratic U.S. SEN. BOB CASEY wants to spend less on coronavirus economic stimulus than Republican SEN. PAT TOOMEY. It’s interesting that the Republicans like stimulus when it affects wealthy people who have significant investments in the stock market or own gigantic businesses. In those cases, it’s time to bring on massive government spending. They don’t get so excited about it when it is helping to feed poor people or give low-income workers money to pay their rent or utility bills. But Trump has been emphatic that average workers should benefit from the stimulus. Money should go into their pockets. (Cont. Page 15)

(Cont. From Prev. Page) governors of the places hardest hit, people like California’s Gavin Newsom, Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf and especially New York’s Mario Cuomo, have been the ones making the effort to keep their citizens from

being needlessly infected. The mayors of cities hardest hit have also been on the front lines. Mayor Jim Kenney joined a group of 303 mayors from around the country in requesting $250 million from the federal government to help with coronavirus response. The President’s desire to have the nation’s churches

packed on Easter despite the virus being nowhere close to under control here in America rankled the mayor. “This is unacceptable,” Kenney said. “We recognize that our Stay at Home order will create serious disruptions and economic hardships for tens of thousands of people. But our Health Department and other ex-

perts are absolutely certain 11 that ignoring the restrictions will further the spread of this virus. To lift restrictions at this time is the ultimate example of short-sightedness. While doing so may help some businesses stay afloat, the cost in lives and the cost to society will be far greater.” Especially since there’s no cure, and no vaccine. T HE P UB L I C R E CO R D


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People are concerned about the potential of insufficient police protection (whether concerns are warranted or not) as was evident to the lines at gun stores immediately proceeding Wolf’s shutdown of those businesses. What suspension of gun permits and the closure of gun stores ensure is that law-abiding citizens cannot exercise their 2nd Amendment right. However, be assured bad actors can still find their illegal guns. Once again Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) has shown that he is one of the adults in Washington. A true fiscal conservative who balks at excess government spending came to the conclusion that the economic situation in which we now find ourselves requires significant fiscal stimulus. Toomey has been one of the leading sponsors of the more than $1 trillion economic rescue package pending in the Senate in response to the coronavirus crisis. He used his profound knowledge of finance and

economics to craft a major piece of the plan. Toomey a member of the Senate Banking Committee drafted several key provisions, including $425 billion in loans to help larger businesses weather an economy that has ground to a halt. Toomey, who was critical of the 2008 bailout of the banks said, “This crisis that we’re facing is not the fault of a business that didn’t plan well or didn’t run its business well. I don’t think of this as bailouts in the sense that someone is getting rewarded for their bad behavior. This is more akin to an invasion and our society going on a war footing to fight off this pathogen.” The loan program Toomey has helped write would backstop loans to support businesses with more than 500 employees to help pay their expenses. These loans would be open to nearly all types businesses and would be publicly disclosed. Toomey also worked on provisions to aid small businesses and expand unemployment benefits. All of these policies will put money in the hands of everyday people.

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ELEPHANT CORNER (Cont. From Prev. Page)




MARCH 26, 2020



(215) 236-6700

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Alan Parham, Adminstrator

Local 57 - Esteban Vera, Jr., Business Manager Local 135 - Daniel L. Woodall, Jr.,, Business Manager Local 332 - Samuel Staten, Jr., Business Manager Local 413 - James Harper, Jr., Business Manager Laborers’ District Council - Ryan Boyer Business Manager Building better and safer communities in Philadlephia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties

Do it Right, Do It Safe, Do It Union.

o! Here we go again with some facts – or alleged facts – about the 1500s from the internet. Call it “graveyard humor” – appropriate, perhaps, for the time we are living in today. They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive, you were “piss poor.” But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot. They “didn’t have a pot to piss in.” Most people got married in June because they

took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor – hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children – last of all the babies. By then, the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying,“Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!” The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt; hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on,

they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entryway. Hence: a thresh hold. Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust. England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be “saved by the bell” – or was considered a “dead ringer.”

Gym, Brooks Seek Broad Protections

Councilmember Helen Gym (at Large) is talking about the need to secure workers’ rights during the COVID-19 shutdown. “Economic security is fundamental to public health,” Gym said in her first response to the pandemic. “In the midst of a public-health crisis, the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must prioritize and provide for comprehensive protections so that everyone can put food on their table, and stay home when they are sick or at risk due to this global pandemic. I stand with workers’-rights groups and labor unions in demanding a comprehensive assistance package for workers that includes expanded and more flexible paid sick leave and an emergency fund for impacted families. “That policy should include job protection and pay for workers who must stay home, emergency healthcare coverage for all currently uncovered workers, direct payments to workers who have lost income as a result of the pandemic, and clear guidance on how we will protect the workers who are doing critical work in the hospitals, grocery stores, and other public spaces we

and safe and providing protocols and protections for others. Gym was joined by her colleague Kendra Brooks (at Large) and Helen Gym in introducing two resolutions urging the City to protect Philadelphia’s most-vulnerable populations in the COVID-19 health emergency. Brooks’ resolution calls on the City to develop an action plan to support and protect service and health-care workers from the potentially devastating impacts of a COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. “Nannies, house cleaners, food service employees, healthcare professionals, janitorial staff, and others are already feeling the impact of this public health crisis,” said Brooks. “Not only are service and healthcare workers at a high-risk of contracting the virus because their work requires regular contact with the public, but many can’t afford to have their hours cut or stay home when they are ill. They can’t just work from home.” Brooks’ resolution calls on the City to develop a plan that will ensure protections and support for Philadelphia workers, including, but not limited to, a continuity of health and paid time off benefits for current employees, earmarking funds for emergency cash grants, extending paid sick day laws, and clarification from the Mayor’s Office of Labor asserting the rights of workers and enforcement of complaints. Gym’s resolution calls for responsible agencies to protect residents at risk of eviction or foreclosure and/ or at risk of having essential utilities cut off in the event of sudden income loss as a result of work stoppages, illness, and possible quarantine. It calls on the Phil-

adelphia Sheriff’s Office, the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, and area utility companies to explore temporary moratoriums on evictions, residential foreclosures, tax liens on residential properties, and utility shutoffs. “In a public-health emergency, we are only as healthy as those most vulnerable, least economically secure, and least covered by our social services,” Gym. “We must do all we can to keep people secure enough to take care of themselves and endure a quarantine or treatment if required. That’s why we’re calling for efforts that keep people in stable housing in the event of a public-health emergency.” The Philadelphia Sheriff’s office supports exploring the moratorium on mortgage foreclosures, evictions, and tax liens which fall under the Sheriff’s jurisdiction. “The Sheriff’s Office supports a thoughtful exploration of this moratorium as it is clear the potential hardship posed to our residents would be severe to those who are already in the midst of one of life’s most traumatic moments — losing their homes,” said Sheriff Rochelle Bilal. “It is essential that when we come to a solution, we go into this effort together for the betterment of our communities.” Gym’s resolution is co-sponsored by Councilmembers Brooks, Jamie Gauthier (3rd District), Katherine Gilmore Richardson (at Large), Bobby Henon (6th District), Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), Maria Quiñones-Sánchez (7th District) and Isaiah Thomas (At-Large). Brooks’ resolution is co-sponsored by Gym, Jamie Gauthier (3rd District), Gilmore Richardson Thomas and Derek Green (At-

Large). “As the virus spreads and cancellations halt business in our airports, stadiums and hotels, we must ensure that service industry workers have the training, staffing, healthcare and paid time off to properly protect themselves and the public from the virus,” stated Rosslyn Wuchinich, president of UNITE HERE Local 274. “If we do not take action now, the people who are already at the frontlines of this crisis will be in tremendous physical and financial danger.” Matthew Yarnell, president of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, which represents 45,000 health-care workers and caregivers across the state, expressed strong support for the resolutions: “We live in a broken society where too many working people are often forced to make the impossible decision of paying for life-saving medications, paying their bills, or paying their rent. We applaud these resolutions, which put the health of working people and the entire community first and foremost.”

Cephas, Roebuck Urge Loan Relief State Rep. Morgan Cephas is introducing legislation with her colleague James Roebuck (both D-W. Phila.) that would give Pennsylvanians who are paying off their student loans and home loans a break on interest during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Cephas said the goal of her legislation is to protect people in need during the crisis – especially those who struggled to buy their first home or go to college. “In the span of three months, COVID-19 has infected more than 207,000 people worldwide and counting. In Pennsylvania alone, there are 185 con-

firmed cases – and that number will most likely continue to grow in the coming weeks,” said Cephas. “Not only does this virus heavily impact our day-to-day lives, it also affects our futures. Hardworking Pennsylvanians and their families are finding themselves out of a job, or with fewer hours. With limited access to income, they are unable to pay their rent, bills, loans, and many other expenses accrued over time. We must do all we can to give working people a break during this unexpected time which proves to be more and more challenging.” Cephas said student loans and home loans take large amounts from a person’s paycheck, which is why she is focusing on those borrowers. She is introducing two bills, one that would waive interest on student loans through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and one that would waive interest on loans issued by the Pennsylvania Housing Financing Agency. The interest would be waived indefinitely and until the nation and world can get a better handle on containing the virus. “This seems to be the least we can do to help individuals meet the challenges of the current situation.” Roebuck said.


depend on. “The health and stability of Philadelphia’s economy relies on the ability of everyday Philadelphians to meet their needs in this moment. It is heartbreaking to hear from Philadelphia workers how devastating it has been for them to suddenly lose their income in the wake of restaurant closures and hotel vacancies. Whole families are struggling to pay rent, keep their health care, and avoid predatory loans. “The City is preparing to implement Fair Workweek on April 1 and – while the predictability pay element of the law will be delayed due to the currently declared state of emergency – this will extend an important package of new rights to many service workers. At the same time we welcome the coming implementation of Fair Workweek, we must keep fighting for the rights of workers and their families. “Our neighbors need comprehensive assistance from local, State and federal governments to ensure that every worker can take care of themselves and their communities. We are only as safe as our most vulnerable neighbor is healthy.” Gym has also called to win a full moratorium on evictions, foreclosures and utility shutoffs and to make clear that housing is a human right. “I was honored that our work was picked up by leaders in New Mexico, Texas, and Pittsburgh, and is now part of the federal relief dialogue,” she said. Gym is pushing to expand Philadelphia’s paid sick-leave policy and enact a city family-leave policy. I’m joining the call for Congress to follow suit. The councilmember is lobbying to protect juveniles in institutionalized facilities – releasing young people when deemed appropriate

Hughes Backs AWFRAP In Virus Crisis

State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-W. Phila.) issued the following statement, expressing his support for the American Working Families Relief Action Plan to aid working Pennsylvanians in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis and subsequent statewide closings. The proposal is endorsed by a number of organizations representing more than 1 (Cont. Next Page)

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(Cont. From Page 5) help businesses prepare and submit applications to PIDA. As these loans have a maximum amount of $100,000, they can be approved by PIDA staff in a timely fashion providing that all application requirements are satisfied. Information about Small Business First and other PIDA programs is available via

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Tartaglione Steers Small Businesses to Loans


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Lawmakers Point to Need for Added Sick Pay (Cont. From Prev. Page) million workers who are fighting to improve wages, working conditions, health care and other issues workers face. “As we follow guidance from public-health officials to limit further spread of the coronavirus, it is important we protect our people who have been hit the hardest hit by schools closing, businesses shutting their doors, and growing health care concerns as our system becomes strained,” Hughes said. “This pandemic has exposed the fact that we are not prepared to quickly or comprehensively help people in the midst of an immediate crisis. I fully support this plan and believe we must broadly adopt policy of this nature so that we are prepared for a public-health crisis of this magnitude, as well as providing workers and families with the safety they need.”

Farnese, Hohenstein: Sick Pay Needed

With the federal response still clouded by politics, State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-

S. Phila.) and State Rep. Joe Hohenstein (D-Northeast) will introduce State legislation to provide emergency paid sick leave for Pennsylvania workers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and response. “While drastic action was necessary to stem the spread of this dangerous virus, equally aggressive action must be taken to help those who are suffering the economic consequences of our mitigation policies,” Farnese said. “We must recognize their sacrifice to public health.” The bills are designed to enhance and further the provisions of the U.S. Housepassed Families First Coronavirus Response Act. “It’s time to recognize paid sick and family leave not only as sound and humane economic policy, but also as fundamental public health policy,” Hohenstein said. “While we have known this for years, this pandemic should drive home for long-time opponents the need to motivate workers to stay home when sick.” The lawmakers have begun circulating co-sponsor-

Schools Closed Statewide Through April 6

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ov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Education have announced that all schools in the commonwealth will remain closed through at least April 6 as a result of the COVID-19 response efforts. The closure order could be extended beyond April 6 if necessary to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19. When it’s determined that students can return to school, administrators, teachers and other staff will be given two days to prepare classrooms, set up cafeterias, schedule

transportation and arrange other business operations. Students would return on the third day. To assist schools during the extended closure, Education Secretary Pedro Rivera said the state’s 29 intermediate units are ready to provide technical assistance to help develop continuity of education plans for all students. The department has been providing ongoing guidance to school communities in the form of FAQs. The guidance information is available at

ship memos for companion legislation in each chamber that will provide emergency paid sick leave for all employees not covered by the federal bill. They also want extended paid sick leave for an additional four days to cover the full two-week quarantine period as the federal bill only covers 10 days. They call for extended leave for those laid off or whose workplaces have closed. Furthermore, they seek additional 1/3 pay rate for those who must take leave to care for a child whose school has closed, so employees receive 100% of pay. The legislators support extended family medical leave to all employees at 100% wage rate immediately upon starting leave to cover the unpaid time under the federal bill and then the additional 1/3 pay to fill the gap to 100% pay rate though the term covered by the Family Medical Leave Act. And the want guarantees for re-employment for workers returning from leave. “Now is the opportunity for our nation to get it right and provide hardworking men and women a chance

to receive emergency paid sick leave in this time of uncertainty.” said Gabe Morgan, 32BJ SEIU Vice President for Pennsylvania and Delaware. “We applaud Sen. Farnese and Rep. Hohenstein for jumping in and taking action to make sure working Pennsylvanians can be paid and take the leave they need.”

Thomas Releases School District Plan

Councilmember Isaiah Thomas (at Large) has been advocating for youth and young people since before he assumed office. In addition to serving in City Council, Thomas continues to coach basketball and assist several schools from an education and programmatic standpoint. Thomas has spent time in the classroom and in school administration; he knows firsthand the importance of the health and safety of our young people. As a mentor to young people, Thomas is concerned for the preparedness of Philadelphia schools to handle COVID-19. He has released the following statement and action plan to express his proposal for stu-

dents, parents and school faculty. “After watching President Trump’s address to the nation on the coronavirus, I am disappointed and concerned with his lack of leadership. When our President constantly lies and sows distrust in the media, it is difficult to look to him for leadership on emergency readiness,” commented Thomas. “But this is not about Trump or politics; this is about the health and safety of our nation. “I believe that we need to be prioritizing Philadelphia schools. Our young people are required to be in school – this is a place for them to learn and grow. But these students, their faculty and their parents are concerned. While I want to remind everyone to remain calm during this time, I understand the concerns and have a plan. “I take none of this lightly. I understand that the situation is changing by the minute – families are confused and concerned. But this is not a time to panic. This is a time to put a plan together and keep our city safe.” Thomas proposes the following measures to keep

students, faculty and families healthy. He supports the closure of all Philadelphia public schools, creating an extended three-day weekend to aggressively implement a comprehensive deep clean of all public schools. While administrators take this time to implement a plan, the facilities would undergo an extensive cleaning and sanitation. He would announce that the Philadelphia School District plans to extend Spring Break. This would allow for a two-week period to allow for teachers to plan for the potential of a prolonged quarantine; time for families to assess and address their child-care options; and time for employers to craft and implement strategic plans regarding workplace protocols. The exact duration of the extension of the Spring Break should be assessed as additional information comes in. Thomas’s preliminary recommendation is two weeks. Thomas welcomes conversations with students, faculty and parents of Philadelphia school students to work through implementation of his proposed strategy.

For information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health website: responding-to-covid-19/

DA Larry KRASNER was elected by the people of Philadelphia. It is too soon to tell if he will be re-elected, since his critics have been effective. But police and old-head prosecutors cannot GLOAT if Krasner loses, since Krasner won't be hurt by it.... Meanwhile, citizens are suggesting to Chuck PERUTO that he run for DA. Peruto is listening without comment. ACE political consultant Joe RUSSO has

offered wisdom to Peruto on this. Stay tuned! There are a lot of articles on Joe BIDEN for president. I saw none that caught my heart – until a newsletter feature about Wilmington, Del. RABBI Michael BEALS, who feels that Biden is the MENSCH that the nation needs in these times. In a divided nation, he is GUTTENA NESHUMA – a “good soul.” Our nation needs restoration of the soul.


ring Charles Laughton as a mean Republican senator. 2. The Contender, starring Jeff Bridges as the president and Joan Allen as his embattled nominee for VP. 3. The Candidate, starring Robert Redford. 4. Seven Days in May, starring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. 5. A Face in the Crowd, starring Andy Griffith. Readers may disagree. but these are Sam‘s top five. And since we are all going to have the extra time, please check them out. Stay safe, stay calm and hug your loved ones; but make sure you wash your hands and are taking all other sanitary precautions.

(Cont. From Page 10) City Hall Sam is also reminded that in our wealthy nation and state, most workers only get paid if they work. A lot of folks are very close to the margins and something like this crisis can send families over the cliff. That’s why it’s important to keep politics out of this issue and look out for the well-being of all citizens, whether they be Democrat or Republican. A lot of folks are working from home, and most folks have more time at home. To help pass the time, here are CHS's top five political movies to watch. 1. Advise and Consent, star-

understanding BANKRUPTCY BY MICHAEL A.CIBIK AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY BOARD CERTIFIED uestion: Can I keep any of my credit cards once I have filed for bankruptcy? Answer: Ultimately it will be up to the credit-card company if you can keep your credit card after filing for bankruptcy. If you have a balance on the card that you are trying to eliminate with bankruptcy, the company will cancel your card. They will know of your bankruptcy filing because you will have to disclose all of your debts on your bankruptcy filing, meaning you will have to list them as a creditor. If you have a card that does not have a balance, then technically it is not a debt and does not need to be listed on your filing. However, bankruptcy is public


record and is reported to 15 credit reporting agencies. Therefore the company will probably find out and is able to terminate your account even if you have no balance prior to filing for bankruptcy. You may also be able to keep a credit card by reaffirming it after your bankruptcy case is filed. When you reaffirm, you are signing a new contract with the credit-card company that makes you personally liable on the debt again, meaning you lose the benefit of the bankruptcy discharge for that debt. Since bankruptcies are commonly filed to wipe out credit-card debt, it is normally not a good idea to reaffirm a credit card. Next week’s question: How much debt do I have to have before filing for bankruptcy? T HE S O U T H PHIIL A D EL PHI A P UB L I C R E CO R D

(Cont. From Page 10) article on how Councilwoman Helen GYM is the MOST POPULAR POL in Philly. Who took it? Where was the sample? Do you smoke Merit or Newports? During this intensely difficult period, TRUMP has been deprived of his mass-rallies tool, and fewer pay attention to his TWEETS. $18 million into Democratic COFFERS from Michael BLOOMBERG helps the DEMS combat against massive GOP money inflow. The U.S. Attorney will initiate an investigation into prison misconduct in a specific matter. But why not give it a broader scope?... And let’s have NO interference with the local Bail Advocate Program when it is reactivated!! The future of education will be changed as a result of stay-at-home study. Technology will be spotlighted. Some parents say that the kids are doing better with personal attention. A hearty WELL DONE to the daily press on their upside of news coverage –

featuring a puppy section. Dogs are your best companions during our tinderbox times. KEEP YOUR DOG after travails pass! During these worst of times, it was completely UNNECESSARY for local U.S. Attorney McSWAIN to blast that DA Larry KRASNER bears blame for the death of Officer McConnell. It is now time for McSwain to SIGN A PLEDGE that he will not seek elective office! If he keeps up the hectoring, MOTIVE could gain an audience…. FOP President John McNESBY called for police to exercise respectable dissent over the McConnell issue. Yet powerful posts appeared on Facebook, including a F-KRASNER t-shirt.... Krasner has called for minimal arrests for some offenses, which unleashed a firestorm of critics – until the Police Commissioner issued her directive for arrest limitation. We need to know that no one in military of police work wants to lose a comrade in arms. When you enlist in such work, you sign a BLANK CHECK to the people. The payment could be your life. You know the type of dangerous work that you enter.

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