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Ron Panepinto Jewelers


700 Sansom St. 215-923-1980

PHILADELPHIA, PA 215-331-6600 Jim Stevenson Union Member Sales Representative We Buy Gold & Diamonds

Serving Citywide Political, Labor, Legal and School Communities of Philadelphia

Vol. X. No. 48 (Issue 461)

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

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November 27, 2008

Sheriff Makes Cell Phones Into Crime Fighters by Rory G. McGlasson The Philadelphia’s Sheriff’s Office wants your old cell phones so they can be refurbished and then used to fight crime. To show how it can be done, Sheriff John Green’s office distributed 80 of its new 9-1-1 cell phones to two victim-service agencies: Women Against Abuse and Northwest Victim Services. Under Operation ICE (In Case of Emergency) and Project CELL (Communications in Emergencies to Save Life and Limb) programs are combined that will allow cell phones to report crimes as well as to summon help.

Sheriff John Green ...seeks cell phones

The 911 Cell Phone Bank is a nationwide program designed to maximize community cell-phone donations. In cooperation with The Cell Phone Bank, endorsed by Sheriff John Green and the National Sheriff’s Association, cell phones are issued to the public which will enable them to contact help at no cost. In addition, this enables quick response not only by law enforcement and medical aid, but allows for the notification of loved ones. The Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office is the only lawenforcement agency in the City and County of Philadelphia that partners with the National 911 Cell Phone Bank. (Cont. on Page 2)

Waters Adds Goals As PLCB Chair

Every Hungry Belly Gets A Turkey Fill by Tony West As dark clouds of recession cast a gloomy shadow over the approaching holidays, civic leaders pulled together to ensure no family would go without a joyous Thanksgiving meal. One large effort was led by Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition. This agency, which specializes in linking neighborhood nonprofits to major corporate supporters, marshaled Thanksgiving meal fixings for more than 1,000 low-income families across the city. GPUAC itself provided the turkeys. Brown’s Family ShopRite, a chain with a strong tradition of charitable giving, rounded up the other dinner ingredients from its vendors, among them Pepsi and Glory Foods. The ShopRite handled storage challenges. A horde of volunteers from corporate sponsors gathered at the ShopRite on Oregon Avenue in South Philadelphia Saturday to pack (Cont. on Page 4)

TOBACCO EXPRESS Claymont, Delaware


(302) 798-7079 5 Minutes from Comm. Barry Bridge, Naaman’s Rd, Turn Left, Next to K-Mart

































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(Prices Subject to Change) • SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks To Your Health

...crime fighters

BOB BRADY …Hill’s ‘Mayor For Life’

Brady Still ‘Mayor On The Hill Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Congressman Robert A. Brady has been re-elected Chair of the Committee on House Administration. At a Democratic Caucus meeting Congressman Brady was nominated as Chair by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and unanimously approved by the Democratic Caucus. Congressman Brady is the first Philadelphian to chair either a full or subcommittee since then-Congressman Bill Gray was Chairman of the Budget Committee in the 99th and 100th Congresses. (Cont. on Page 2)

Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus have elected State Rep. Ronald G. Waters as its chairman. Other officers chosen include State Rep. Jake Wheatley, vice chairman; Rep.-elect Kenyatta Johnson, secretary; and Rep.-elect Vanessa Brown, treasurer. Waters, a House member since 1999, previously held the positions of PLBC treasurer and, most recently, vice chairman. Waters said members of the PLBC have accomplished many legislative initiatives under the direction of former chairman, State Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, such as passing legislation to increase the minimum wage and supporting a Committee of the Whole legislative session focusing on gun violence. "There is still more work to be done to pass legislation that will decrease health disparities, lower the crime rate, create more economic opportunities, promote increased funding for education and help senior citizens and children," Waters said.


Boys Towns Of Italy Fetes DeBenedictis Philadelphia’s labor community continues to be one of the main fundraisers for the Boys Town of Italy, now marking its 63rd year from the day a group of orphaned young Italians were transported to a seaside villa near Rome in August 1945 by the US Army. From that inception to now, the Boys’ Towns of Italy have provided, (Cont. on Page 3)

page 2 The Public Record • November 27, 2008

Brady Heads Key Committee (Cont. from Page 1) The position, often referred to as the Mayor of Capitol Hill, includes oversight of the Committee's close to $1 billion budget including oversight of the newly finished Capitol Visitor Center, and the Smithsonian Institution, including the National Zoo. As CHA Chairman, Brady's

accomplishments include President Bush’s signing into law, The Capitol Visitor Center Act of 2008. Authored by Brady, the legislation defines the duties, responsibilities and roles for a variety of administrative and executive offices in the Capitol Visitor Center. It also establishes the Office of Congressional Accessibility Serv-

Bass Helps NW Families Cindy Bass, founder and honorary chair of The Northwest Fund, was honored by City Council with a certificate presentation at Keeping it Warm, a fundraiser for the Fund for Families, a new energy assistance program for northwest Philadelphia residents started by Bass. The reception was held at the beautiful Gathering Place, 6755 Germantown Avenue. Bass founded the Fund in 2005 to help reduce and pre-

vent crime and improve the quality of life in Northwest Philly. The Fund for Families is the latest in a series of quality of life initiatives championed by the Northwest Fund. Bass said,“The Fund will provide emergency financial assistance to avert heating shut-offs and will provide important energy conservation information.” To receive funding a family must prove they are unable to pay their utility bill(s).

ices, which will coordinate accessibility services for individuals with disabilities, including Capitol Complex visitors, Members of Congress and House and Senate employees. Brady said the bill is the first legislation passed by the House to deal with the internal operations and organization of the CVC. Brady also was able to secure passage of legislation to facilitate the merger of the US Capitol Police force and the Library of Congress police. The US Capitol Police and Library of Congress Police Merger Implementation Act of 2007 will create a coordinated safety and security force to effectively protect Members, staff and the millions of annual visitors. "I am pleased, after more than four years, we have finally developed a plan that is overwhelmingly supported by the US Capitol Police and the Library of Congress," said Brady.

The Sheriff Needs Old Cell Phones (Cont. from Page 1) “We are excited about this initiative because once again this is another opportunity for Philadelphia’s Sheriff Office to assist our communities and help make Philadelphia a safer place to live,” said Deputy Paris Washington. Patricia Payne of NWVS said her group would apply its 40 phones to its senior-outreach program “How To Live A Victim-Free Life”, which involves all the senior day services in Northwest Philadelphia. The senior centers will distribute them to recipients who lack a cell phone. These phones are programmed to permit phone calls only to 911 and to one next of kin. WAA’s cell phones will be given to clients who are leaving its emergency shelter, liv-

DEPUTY Sheriff Paris Washington, Sheriff’s Media Communications Director Wanda Davis and Under-Sheriff Connie Little hand out 9-1-1 cell phones to Molly Callahan and Heather Keafer from Women Against Abuse, and Patricia Payne and Alfreda Strand of Northwest Victim Services at Land Title Building. ing in its transitional housing cations with the world outside or working with its legal-ser- the troubled family. “Cell phones are a great resource to vices bureau. This agency works with take with them,” noted Youngfamilies that are experiencing Wildes. If you have an old cell problems with domestic violence, its spokeswoman Katie phone, please contact Deputy Young-Wildes said. The na- Paris Washington, program ture of domestic violence coordinator, at (215) 686-3538 often leads its victims to be- to make a donation. come cut off from communi-

They’re Doing Something Right At Variety It was a night of surprises at the annual installation dinner for Variety – The Children’s Charity of Philadelphia. During the night’s festivities, Variety’s Greater Philadelphia Tent was awarded the US Variety Fiscal Excellence Award, recognizing Tent 13 as the top chapter in the country, capturing the honor for the third year in a row. The Fiscal Excellence Award is given to the one of the 30 Variety Chapters which achieves the greatest financial and programmatic excellence during the fiscal year. Philadelphia’s Chapter 13 spent 90 cents of every dollar raised by Variety in direct programs supporting children with special needs. Donating is catchy at Variety’s Tent 13. During the Installation Dinner at Cescaphé, Everett Abitbol drew the winning raffle ticket for $20,000 in cash. Abitbol, who founded Money Max Funding, Inc. in 2003, won the impressive

grand prize, immediately took the microphone and announced he was donating the money back to the charity. The 27-year-old Abitbol, who also operates PHL Taxi, which has the largest fleet of owner-operated cabs in the city, serves on Young Variety’s Board. He stood alongside his wife Valerie as he made the announcement. “My wife and I have been able to participate in so many events and have seen the positive impact this charity has on children with special needs. We wanted to return what we won to the charity to send the message to others that even during these tough times, we should always think about giving back to those who need our support.” Variety – The Children’s Charity began in 1926, growing into an international charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for children. The Philadelphia Chapter was established in 1935 and provides various programs for chil-

Now Is Your Chance To Vote For One Of Your Own Seniors To Be Honored By The South Philadelphia Public Record As One Of South Philadelphia’s Outstanding

“Seniors Eleven” VARIETY President Joe Sweeney and Variety Executive Director Andrew Pack flank Mr. & Mrs. Everette Abitbol, who donated their $20,000 raffle winnings back to Variety. dren with physical and developmental disabilities throughout the Delaware Valley, including South Jersey and parts of Delaware. It set revenue-raising records under the two-term presidency of IBEW Local 98 Business Mgr. John J.

Dougherty, Jr. Its programs are designed to foster greater independence and to challenge children with disabilities to reach beyond their restrictions. For more information, visit or call (215) 735 0803.

...Your vote will name your candidate to a list of Eleven Seniors who will be honored in the January 8th, 2009 edition of the popular South Philadelphia Public Record. Your nominee will receive a special

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The Public Record 1323 S. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19147

provided. Each year the Boys Towns of Italy Philadelphia Committee hosts its annual fundraiser, this year naming Nicholas

DeBenedictis as its Man Of The Year. DeBenedictis is chairman of Aqua America, formerly Philadelphia Suburban Corp.

DeBenedictis joins a prominent list of honorees many of them outstanding Philadelphia labor leaders, especially those drawn from the Building Trades.

IRONWORKERS Local 405 Business Mgr. Sam Malone and Laborers Local 135 Business Mgr. Dan “Tiger” Woodall congratulate Boys’ Town of Italy “Man Of The Year” Nick DeBenedictis on his honor.

BOYS TOWNS of Italy’s 63rd Anniversary “Man Of The Year” Nick DeBenedictis, top left, is congratulated by Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, master of ceremonies Mario Mele and Brother Anthony D’Adamo at Sheraton Hotel dinner gala.

MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER salutes “Man of the Year” Nick DeBenedictis at award ceremony as Mario Mele looks on.

The Public Record • November 27, 2008

(Cont. from Page 1) with s t r ong Am e r i ca n support, schools, daycare centers a n d r e h a b i l ita tion f ac il it ie s f o r t h e handica ppe d a n d u n d er-

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Italian Charity Touts DeBenedictis

BOYS’ Town of Italy Man Of The Year Nick DeBenedictis is joined by Mrs. Mario Mele and Dan “Tiger” Woodall at 2008 award gala.

THE WHOLESALE SEAFOOD DEALERS OF PHILADELPHIA Whether It Is Fish Or Fowl The Member of the Wholesale Seafood Dealers wishes everyone A

“Happy Thanksgiving”

3425 S. Lawrence St. Food Distribution Center Philadelphia, PA 19148

“Eat Seafood - It’s Good For Your Health!” From the members of the Wholesale Seafood Dealers of Philadelphia. EMIL BUCCERONI, CHIEF OF SECURITY

Phone: 215-336-1051,52 Fax: 215-336-8908

page 4 The Public Record • November 27, 2008

Many Get Turkeys (Cont. from Page 1) age the dinners. On Tuesday, activists from 110 community organizations descended on the store to pick up the goods, which they in turn passed out everywhere. One of them was Shirley Mandleman of the 52nd Street Business Association. “It’s a very good thing to do this, especially in these declining economic times. Jobs have been lost,” she emphasized. In North Philadelphia, Councilmen Darrell Clarke, assisted by his cohort Bill Greenlee, coordinated another giveaway of 600 turkeys at Lutheran Settlement Home, M. L. King Older Adult Center and Hartranft Community Center. The turkeys were donated by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In West Philadelphia, Thanksgiving supplies showed up in time for hundreds more families. At Park West Town Center, the new shopping center in Parkside, the shopping center’s developer, WesGold, LLC, gave out 50 dinners to each of four community groups: Parkside Association of Philadelphia, Cathedral Park Association CDC, Carroll Park Community Council and The Men of Millcreek. At the same site, State Sen. Vincent Hughes hooked up with the Brown family – this time handing out special grocery gift cards rather than the food itself. The Browns have a supermarket in that shopping center. ACME Markets, The Capital Grille Restaurant and The Rittenhouse Hotel delivered 235 turkeys and all the trimmings to support District Attorney Lynne Abraham’s 14th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. This year, 32 neighborhood organizations, a record number, received dinners for Philadelphia families. Early reports had indicated charitale organizations expected giving to be down this year as the effects of the stockmarket crash make major corporate and individual donors feel poorer. But the strong turnout this Thanksgiving gives us all reason to hope goodwill, at least, may not yet have crashed.

The Public Record State Rep.

State Rep.

Dennis O’Brien 169th District 9811 Academy Rd Phila. PA 19114


R EP. A NGEL C RUZ DISTRICT OFFICE 2749 N. 5th St. • 215-291-5643 Staffed by

Joe Evangelista Debbie Toro Ready to Serve you

State Rep.

BROWN’S FAMILY ShopRite owner Sandy Brown thanks Greater Phila. Urban Affairs Coalition’s Gerald Wright for coordinating turkey giveaway across city as State Rep. Ron Waters and Glory Foods’ David Patterson look on.

Frank Oliver 195th District 2839 W. Girard Ave. Phila. PA 19130


JOHN SABATINA JR. 174th District State Representative 8100 Castor Ave Phila, PA 19152 Hours: 9am to 5pm Telephone: 215-342-6204

Senator Tina

ROBERT C. DONATUCCI 185th District

Tartaglione 2nd District 1059-61-63 Bridge St

1809 Oregon Ave, Phila., PA 19145



Councilman Wm.


127 W. Susquehanna Ave.




1555-D Wadsworth Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19150 (215) 242-0472 Fax: (215) 753-4538

Room 580 City Hall P. 215-686-3446/7 F. 215-686-1927

COUNCILMEN Bill Greenlee, left, and Darrell Clarke stand poised to give out turkeys at King Older Adult Center.


State Rep.

State Representative

William Keller 184th District

RONALD G. WATERS 191st Leg. District

1531 S. 2nd Street


6027 Ludlow Street, Unit A


State Sen. Shirley M.

Kitchen 3rd Sen. District 1701 W. Lehigh Ave.Ste 104 Philadelphia, PA 19132 215-227-6161

BETTY MOODY is all happy as she collects $50 voucher from Kim Everett and Tamika Tanksley on behalf of State Sen. Vince Hughes, who joined Brown Family ShopRite to give 100 W. Phila. families a treat for Thanksgiving holiday.

Elected Official Place Your Ad Here 215-755-2000

Best Wishes for a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving! Parkwood Shopping Center 12361 Academy Road, Phila., PA 19154, 215-281-2539 8016 Bustleton Avenue Philadelphia PA 19152 215-695-1020 Open Mon. - Fri. 9:00 AM - 5 PM

HAVING loaded hatchback with eight Thanksgiving dinners, State Sen. LeAnna Washington’s aides Carlette Bailey and Matthew Myles prepare to head home to N.W. Phila. where they will be passed out by churches to needy neighbors.


(USPS PP 109) Weekly Publication Published by:

The Phila. Public Record The South Phila Public Record

1323 S. Broad Street Phila., PA 19147 ISSN 1938-8551 (Application to Mail At Periodicals Postage Rates Is Pending At Philadelphia PA and Bellmawr NJ) Postmaster: send address change to: The Public Record 1323 S. Broad Street Phila. PA 19147 215-755-2000 Fax: 215-689-4099 Subscription Rate: $ 30.00/Year EDITORIAL STAFF Editor & Publisher: James Tayoun Sr. Managing Editor: Anthony West Associate Editor: Rory G. McGlasson Medical Editor: Paul Tayoun M.D. CitiLife Editor: Ruth R. Russell Editorial Staff: Joe Sbaraglia Out & About Editor: Denise Clay Entert.Columnist Bob Pantano Creative Director & Editorial Cartoonist: R. William Taylor Photographers: Donald Terry Donna DiPaolo Production Manager: William J. Hanna Bookkeeping: Haifa Hanna Webmaster: Sana Muaddi-Dows Advert. Director: John David Controller: John David Circulation: Steve Marsico 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. (C) 1999-2008 by the Philadelphia Public Record. No reproduction or use of the material herein may be made without the permission of the publisher. The Philadelphia Public Record 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.

Page 5

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page 6 The Public Record • November 27, 2008

LDC HEALTH AND SAFETY FUND Laborers’ District Council Health and Safety Fund Of

Philadelphia and Vicinity 319 N. 11th Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 Tel: 215-925-5327 • Fax: 215-925-5329 UNION LABORERS WE DON’T JUST DO IT WE DO IT SAFE Our mission is to promote and enhance Contractor competitiveness And to protect the occupational health And safety of Laborers and their families. Laborers District Council sponsors LDC Health and Safety Fund Local 135, Daniel L.Woodall, Jr., Business Manager; Local 332, Samuel Staten, Jr., Business Manager; Local 413, James Harper, Business Manager; Local 57, Richard A. McCurdy, Jr. Business Manager; Laborers’ District Council, Building Better and Safer Communities in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. Laborers’ District Council of the Metropolitan area of Philadelphia and Vicinity, Business Manager; Laborers’ District Council; Business Manager; Ryan N. Boyer

Samuel Staten, Sr. Business Manager Emeritus Of Laborers’ District Council and Local 332

Remember – Do It right, Do It Safe, Do It Union Administrator, Richard Legree, Sr. Director, Juan Bacote Management Trustees: James Vail and Steve Whiney


Union Labor... Building it right for a better and stronger community! Laborers’ District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and vicinity is comprised of four unions: Local 135, Daniel L. Woodall, Jr., James Vail Business Manager L.E.C.E.T. Management Trustee Local 332, Samuel Staten, Jr., Vincent Primavera, Sr. Business Manager L.E.C.E.T. Management Trustee Local 413, James Harper,Sr., Fred Chiarlanza Business Manager L.E.C.E.T. Management Trustee Local 57, Richard McCurdy, Jr., Harry Hopkins Business Manager L.E.C.E.T. Management Trustee Laborers District Council, Ryan N. Boyer, Business Manager. Samuel Staten, Sr., Business Manager Emeritus of the Laborers’ District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity and Local 332. Laborers’ District Council promotes a safe work environment, jobs completed on time and on budget, and represents union members, who are well trained, productive, professional, and take pride in their work. Union labor…building better and safer communities in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. This ad is presented by LECET The Laborers Employers Cooperation and Education Trust 319 N. 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 Telephone: 215-922-6139 Fax: 215-922-6109 Web: Administrator, Richard Legree

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Yo! Here we go again with this question: “Did you ever read those personal ads and wonder what the advertiser was really saying?” Well here is something that I found on the internet that might help: the Handy Dictionary to Decipher Personals Ads. WOMEN’S ADS: 40-ish = 49. Adventurer = Slept with all your friends. Average looking = Has a face like a basset hound. Beautiful = Pathological liar. Contagious Smile = Does a lot of Ecstasy. Emotionally secure = Medicated. Free spirit = Junkie. Fun = Annoying. Gentle = Comatose. Good listener = Borderline autistic. New-Age = All body hair, all the time. Old-fashioned = Lights out, missionary position only. Open-minded = Desperate. Outgoing = Loud and embarrassing. Passionate = Sloppy drunk. Poet = Depressive schizophrenic. Redhead = Bad dye-job. Romantic = Looks better by candlelight. Sociable = Has been passed around like an hors d’oeuvres tray. Chubby = Fat. Voluptuous = Very fat. Weight is proportional to height = Hugely fat. Wants soul mate = Stalker. Widow = Drove first husband to shoot himself. Young at heart = Old bat. Sad they are so deceptive, isn’t it? But wait; men also advertise in the personals and here is their dictionary. MEN’S ADS: 40-ish = 52 and looking for 25-year-old. Athletic = Watches a lot of NASCAR. Average looking = Unusual hair growth on ears, nose, and back. Friendship first = As long as friendship involves nookie. Fun = Good with a remote and a six-pack. Good looking = Arrogant. Very good looking = Dumb as a board. Honest = Pathological liar. Huggable = Overweight, more body hair than a bear. Likes to cuddle = Insecure mama’s boy. Mature = Older than your father. Openminded = Wants to sleep with your roommate but she’s not interested. Physically fit = Does a lot of “12-ounce curls”. Poet = Wrote ex-girlfriend’s # on a bathroom stall. Sensitive = Cries at chick flicks. Very sensitive = Gay. Stable = Arrested for stalking, but not convicted. So the next time you read the personal ads, just remember these translations. If you write a personal, be careful – for now your readers will know how to interpret those “little white lies” of yours.

The turnout for Chief Federal Defender MAUREEN KEARNEY ROWLEY’S retirement party held at the Oceanaire Restaurant was most impressive. It was a “who’s who” of Federal and State judiciary, Federal and State defenders, Federal criminal-law practitioners, Federal prosecutors, local law-school faculty and national-defender program representatives, along with a good assortment of family and friends. Guest speakers included Chief US District Court JUDGE HARVEY BARTLE, 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals SENIOR JUDGE FRANKLIN VAN ANTWERPEN, leader of the Defender Association of Philadelphia ELLEN GREENLEE and DAVID McCOLGIN, the appellate chief in the Federal Defender’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. JOE MILLER, 1st assistant Federal Defender, served as master of ceremonies. Two out-of-town speakers from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts in Washington, D.C. were TED LITZ and STEVE ASIN. The planning committee for the event was Magistrate JUDGE FELIPE RESTREPO, PATRICK EGAN, ESQ., Assistant Federal Defenders DINA CHAVAR and CATHERINE HENRY, and KIM CAMPOLI, paralegal in the Federal Defender office. The room was wall-to-wall people. The atmosphere was lively and upbeat, and the circulated appetizers delicious! Among the guests were her sister, Municipal Court JUDGE FAY STACK; niece TEESA NARDI; Teesa’s children TOM (he recently completed a successful campaign as a staffer for CONGRESSMAN PATRICK MURPHY) and the lovely MEGAN NARDI, a junior at Nazareth Academy. Maureen’s brother MIKE ROWLEY, senior general counsel for Crown Cork & Seal, and her nephews, STATE SEN. MIKE STACK (recently reelected by a 3-1 margin) and Bail Commissioner PATRICK STACK with wife BETH, were also in attendance. Other family members at the celebration were Maureen’s nieces, CAROL STACK POGGIO and her husband MARK POGGIO, chief of security at 1801 Vine Street; MOLLY ROWLEY, currently a speechwriter for US SEN. DICK DURBIN from Illinois, and EILEEN STACK MIRSCH of Chalfont, Pa. Rowley’s long-time partner JUDGE PAT McINERNEY and daughters KATE and MAURA were an essential part of the evening’s festivities. The elegantly attired Kate was accompanied by the (Cont. Page 18)

Snooper’s “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”: Here we go again. Yes, another fine Police Officer killed in the ‘line of duty’. Now the dreadful fate has befallen SGT. TIMOTHY SIMPSON of the 24th Police Dist. He is the second one to be killed from this District. Think about this: He is the third sergeant in a row to be killed. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. The Public Record sympathizes with all of you. Snooper “Update” Bureau: I told you about the NEW President Judge elected by The Board of Judges, Court of Common Pleas. The new President Judge is HON. PAMELA PRYOR DEMBE, and, she’s already begun to initiate some programs to help bring her Court System into the 21st century. She is the second female to head up The 1st Judicial District. The first was HON. FREDERICA MASSIAH JACKSON. Good Luck PAMELA! Snooper Scooper: My BIG CONTEST will be coming up very soon; I’ll let you know when and where. Remember, in order to win, you must know the winning ‘saying’, “ARE YOU THE REAL SNOOPER?” Coming! Snooper’s POLITICAL NEWS bureau: There is great SADNESS in the Democratic Party this week, due to the death of HON. CAROL ANN CAMPBELL, former Councilwoman, and also the Treasurer of The Democratic City Committee. This young woman will be absolutely missed by all, because she was definitely a SERVICE-oriented person. She was also a dedicated WARD LEADER and, I was told, she took care of her constituents no matter what time, or what they needed. Carol was truly a very much ‘loved’ person. JUDGE JIM DeLEON stated, “She was a person, I might add, that didn’t care what COLOR, RACE or CREED you were. It never bothered her.” Snooper’s Wrestling News: Hey, did all you know that “The Nature Boy” RIC FLAIR was in town last week at Chickie’s & Pete’s? He is actually ‘retired’, but he’ll always be ‘the leader’ of The Four Horsemen. I’LL bet you can’t name them. Blanchard, Olie and Arn Anderson, and “the Man” Ric Flair, they were the originals! Remember The N.W.A. Snooper ‘Sightings’: Hey Chief, I got invited to a BOXING MATCH up at Front Street Gym, where I met FRED DRUDING, along with Brian McGinley, Billy Abel, Jimmy Binns, Larry McDonald, (he’s the Father of Patrick McDonald, the slain Police Sergeant), Charlie Fuller, Mr. Frank Kuback, Earl ‘The Pearl’ Hargrove and the big guy, BUSTER DRAYTON. Check photos. They were holding a Charity Boxing Show.

The Public Record • November 27, 2008

The economy sucks. The country is still at war with more than a few people. We’re cutting libraries here in Philadelphia and the Mummers have been defunded by the City. Doesn’t sound like there’s a lot to be thankful for, does it? Actually, that depends on whether or not you see the glass as half empty, half full, or broken in pieces on the floor. When you look at all of the stuff I just mentioned, there’s a temptation to see everything as bad. I do it sometimes. In fact, I had a space last month where it seemed like every headline said, “Be an optimist. I dare you!” But, I’ve got a lot of stuff to be thankful for as Thanksgiving 2008 rolls into the station, as I’m sure we all do. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and here’s my list, in no particular order: I’m thankful Christmas is around the corner and South Philly will soon be the best place to see Christmas lighting displays in the country. Whenever I’m feeling down, I take a ride around the neighborhoods and see all the decorations. I especially like the lights that entire blocks string across to make up a joint light show. That’s community building in a nutshell. I’m thankful there will be much more literate press conferences at the White House for the next four years. While I didn’t mind seeing a live production of “Bush-isms, the Musical” every time the President took the microphone because it was just plain funny, it did make the United States look like a nation where the primary language (namely English) was the President’s second. I’m thankful my family is doing okay. My mom is getting on in years now and has had a health issue or two. She’s doing all right now and I look forward to having some of her world-famous macaroni and cheese today. I’m thankful this semester of graduate school is coming to a close because, and I never thought that I’d say this, I’m tired of reading. I’m thankful the Phillies are “World #@& Champions.” (You can’t hear that enough!) I’m thankful for the life of Kendall Wilson, who was laid to rest this past Saturday. When it came to covering Black people and the political process here in Philly, Kendall Wilson had no equal. He had forgotten more people, places and things than I could ever hope to know. One of the last things that we talked about was his covering the Inauguration. I was hoping (Cont. Page 18)

page 8 The Public Record • November 27, 2008

Tina Backs Footballers For Spinal Research State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione joined Eagles’ rookie sensation DeSean Jackson and former Penn State cornerback Adam Taliaferro last week to raise money and awareness for spinal-injury research. Tartaglione, who was paralyzed in a 2003 boating accident, and Taliaferro, whose miraculous recovery from a paralyzing neck injury was documented in a popular

book, discussed advances in research with Jackson at a fundraiser sponsored by the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis and Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. “Nearly every college or professional football player has experienced that frightening moment when they see another player lying motionless on the field,” Tartaglione said. “I’m grateful DeSean took the time to

join Adam and me in the fight to find better treatment options and, eventually, a cure for paralysis.” Tartaglione, Taliaferro and Jackson were guests at “Raise a Glass for a Cure,” a Citizens Bank Park fundraiser that was expected to raise more than $300,000 for spinal-cord research. The Buoniconti Fund is the fundraising arm of The Miami Project, founded by Dr. Barth A. Green and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti, after Nick’s son, Marc, sustained a spinal-cord injury during a college football game. Since then, The Miami Project has

become the world’s largest, most comprehensive spinalcord injury research center. Taliaferro has been a leader in the effort to raise money for spine-injury research since he walked out of Magee eight months after suffering what was originally thought to be a permanent injury in a football game. “Adam was a great football player, but he’s been an even greater inspiration and partner in the cause,” Tartaglione said. “Although his football career ended, he’s become one of the region’s finest role models.”

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SHARING personal notes on their efforts to combat spine injuries are, from left, Penn State’s Adam Taliaferro, State Sen. Christine Tartaglione and Eagles’ DeSean Jackson.

Chapters 7/13 & Stop foreclosures, creditors harassments, lawsuits, garnishments, and sheriff sales.

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215-735-1060 by Michael A. Cibik, Esq. American Bankruptcy Board Certified Question: What should I consider to rebuild my credit? Answer: 1. Consider opening a checking and savings account. Some lenders look at this to determine if you can responsibly handle money. Being able to pay bills from a checking account is also much more convenient than paying with money orders. 2. Consider applying for store and gas credit cards for purchases for which you would normally pay cash.

These cards usually have small limits and can help you restore you credit, but only if you have the discipline to set aside the money to pay the bill each month. 3. Consider applying for a secured card where you deposit cash and charge against it. If you borrow money for short periods of time and pay it back, this will reflect positively on your credit report and your credit card limit will be eventually extended. Next week’s question: What else should I consider to rebuild my credit?

Sheriff Green’s Important Steps to Saving Your Home Step 1: Assemble your current financial information, and call your lender.

Step 2: Visit to learn more about borrowers’ rights, loss mitigation and abusive servicing practices. Contact the Sheriff’s Office at 215-686-3525 for more information

Step 3: If you feel uncomfortable handling mortgage negotiations, consult a professional housing Counselor

Step 4: Take time to carefully investigate the offers you receive to avoid becoming a fraud victim Sheriff John D. Green Philadelphia

Page 9

The Public Record • November 27, 2008

page 10 The Public Record • November 27, 2008

Pioneers Honored Kitchen Swings Networkers At Work

KAL RUDMAN congratulates Broadcast Pioneer Hall Of Fame inductee Bob Pantano at 2008 ceremony held at Bala Country Club this week. Joining them here are Pantano’s nephews, Joe and Michael Acello.

BROADCAST PIONEER Person Of The Year Bill Campbell hangs out with 2007 Person Of The Year Kal Rudman.

State Sen. Shirley Kitchen joined with officials from the City of Philadelphia to honor five Philadelphia musical artists who were just inducted into the Philadelphia Walk of Fame. “Many Philadelphia artists have made significant contributions to the music industry, and we are so honored to have so many stars who represent our city,” Kitchen said. “The Walk of Fame is just one way that we can immortalize these gifted men and women.” Grammy Award-winning singer Billy Paul, jazz musician Clifford Brown, R&B singer Dee Dee Sharp, Motown singer Tammi Terell and

rock pioneer Charlie Gracie were inducted. For more than five years, Kitchen has worked on behalf of and supported the ongoing effort to present Billy Paul with a plaque on the Walk of Fame for his contribution to the music scene in Philadelphia, as well as nationally and internationally. Kitchen joined with the Avenue of the Arts, Inc., Philadelphia International Records, the Philadelphia Music Alliance, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, University of the Arts, the City of Philadelphia and various celebrities and dignitaries to induct this year’s honorees. STATE SEN. Shirley Kitchen listens to speaker Kenny Gamble, founder of Philadelphia International Records, at Philadelphia Walk of Fame ceremony as MC Jerry Blavat looks on.

COUNCILWOMAN María Quiñones Sánchez chats with noted activist Marc Stier at well attended Neighborhood Networks forum at Unitarian Church in Rittenhouse Square.

27TH WARD Democratic Leader Carol Jenkins chews fat with progressive Larry Flood. They were among more than 100 to show up to hear hot political discussions by Councilwoman María Quiñones Sánchez and DA aspirant Seth Williams, among others.

Page 11

Our Opinion ... The Poor Man’s Holiday

The Public Record • November 27, 2008

Another Opinion Automatic Spending Caps A Disaster by William George, Pres. Pennsylvania AFL-CIO As Pennsylvania prepares to commence the New Year by grappling with an overwhelming budget deficit. It is a safe bet both House and Senate will see a fresh attempt to ram through legislation that would require the Commonwealth to limit spending automatically without deliberation, debate or discussion. Automatic spending caps are an old idea – and a bad one. Among other things, if enacted, they would: Force the legislature to make deep cuts year after year in the most fundamental public services, such as K-12 education, higher education, senior citizen programs, transportation and health care. Make it harder for the legislature to roll back tax breaks for corporations that haven’t created promised jobs. Do nothing to create more accountability in the legislature or guarantee that the priorities set by the legislature are the right ones for Pennsylvania’s working families. So far the House and Senate have not held a single public hearing on any spending cap proposal. In previous years they have taken votes on these important legislative proposals without a single opportunity for the public to comment on

or question the cap proposals! Hearings would allow the Administration and citizens affected by State programs to discuss the impact that caps could have on the State’s goals to increase educational attainment, accelerate economic growth, enhance environmental protection, and protect public health. Please contact your State legislators today and tell them you are opposed to spending caps and want a full public hearing on the issue. Spending caps have done great harm in other jurisdictions around the nation. About 12 years ago Colorado adopted spending caps in a so-called "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" (also known as TABOR). On Nov. 2, 2005, the voters of Colorado voted in a statewide referendum to suspend TABOR 52% to 48. Why? In 1992, Colorado spent close to the national average on higher education, but by 2004 it spent just 57% of the national average, forcing double-digit tuition hikes for students at the University of Colorado this fall. Under TABOR, Colorado declined from 35th to 49th in the nation in K-12 spending as a share of personal income. Colorado now ranks 48th in high-school dropouts (in other words, more students drop out

than in all but two other states). Under TABOR, Colorado dropped from 24th to 43rd in the nation in the share of children receiving their full vaccinations, fell to last place in the number of poor children without health insurance, and now ranks 48th in pre-natal care. Crime prevention has suffered as caseloads for Colorado parole officers now stand at nearly twice the national average. Colorado business and community leaders view TABOR as deeply flawed. As Neil Westergaard, editor of the Denver Business Journal, recently noted, “[Business leaders] have figured out that no business would survive if it

were run like the TABOR faithful say Colorado should be run – with withering tax support for college and universities, under funded public schools and a future of crumbling roads and bridges.” In California, voters soundly rejected a proposal to set state spending caps in their state referendum of November 8, 2005. The proposal failed by a margin of 62% to 38%. To learn more about the potential impact on automatic spending caps in Pennsylvania, take a look at 17 Questions and Answers About Spending Caps in Pennsylvania, or visit The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's website.

Nov. 26- State Rep. Cherelle Parker and Kitchen of Love host pre-Thanksgiving Day dinner for families at Upper Room Baptist Ch., 7236 Ogontz Ave., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. All community members are welcome to attend. Nov. 29- Union tradesmen will join host Rich Mancini of Mancini Productions to familystyle beef and beer in Northern Liberties. The gala is to raise money for the Veterans Comfort House and for the families of our fallen Fire and Police officers. runs 4-7 p.m. at Finni-

gan’s Wake. Live band, open bar, good food, and all the trimmings for a $25. For more information, please call Mancini at (610) 505-0842 or contact Doug Baron at (267) 718-2472. You can also contact them by email at Nov. 29- 1st annual Glen Foerd Leadership Award Dinner honors Al Taubenberger at Glen Foerd, 5001 Grant Ave., 7 p.m. Donation $100. For info call (215) 632-5330.Dec. 6State Sen. Shirley Kitchen hosts free Mortgage Foreclosure & Public Utility Clinic at Holy Trinity Bethlehem Presbyterian Ch., 1100 W. Rockland St., 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Thanksgiving has many virtues, as holidays go. Polls consistently show most Americans regard it as one of their two or three favorite communal celebrations. It does entail a fair bit of cooking and traveling for many, and that can be a hassle. But it is a hassle gladly undergone, for the most part, and the peace and security most people find around the dining-room table is real. Commercialism increasingly dominates the public square on holidays. In part this is due to increasing pressures to refrain from mentioning famous religious holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan or Yule. In a society ever more sensitive to religious diversity, it is becoming a dubious act to wish your neighbor a “Merry Christmas.” While we understand the reasons for this caution, it means the spiritual dimension to the holiday season is more easily drowned out by the bray of marketing messages, which apparently are not construed as an offense against anyone’s freedom of religion. That’s a pity, because most Americans of all faiths, no matter how much they like to spend money, don’t really think simply spending money is the essence of their own soul’s desire, of social well-being, or of the republic we live in. Still, the jingle of advertising and the glitter of window displays are already everywhere as marketers try to persuade us to avoid peace of mind and fling ourselves instead into a frenzy of shopping. Indeed, some commentators seem to think it’s a public duty for us all to go shopping. Amid all the talk about the economic downturn, which is leading us into the unknown of 2009 with a vengeance, is the worry that if Americans don’t buy lots of stuff this December, a catastrophe will result. That may be true. Still, the downturn has already started and it ensures many ordinary folks will not buy lots of stuff this December, like it or not. That’s why, in such a time, we give sincere thanks for Thanksgiving. This is one holiday whose spiritual underpinnings are both inescapable and ecumenical enough to offend no one. So the focus remains on the ritual of coming together – of communion. Nobody wants to starve on Thanksgiving. But the basic foods of this ritual are affordable, and even hard to overspend on. You’re welcome to order a side of filet mignon with truffles if you want, but the main dish for most is the turkey and that turkey is good enough. You can go to a show if you want; but oozing onto the couch after dinner and watching television is all most people want anyway. Fly to Aruba if you have the means; but most people are happier spending the day with their grandparents in Upper Darby. Gifts? Hallelujah, there aren’t any. Just bring a dish, if you must. As a result, Thanksgiving is a weekend beyond corruption by materialism and greed. We wish all our readers humble contentment, and harmony both with those they love and with the wider world that encompasses us all.

page 12 The Public Record • November 27, 2008

School Bag Giveaway Kids Gain With CORA And Army STATE Sen. Anthony H. Williams capped off his school-supply giveaway with book bags filled with school supplies and educational materials at VILLA on 52nd Street and at Lakeview ES in Ridley Park, Delaware Co. Williams partnered with SEPTA, Minsec and Greentree Education to sponsor the giveaway.

CORA Services staff met with Army Experience Center staff at Franklin Mills Mall to get first batch of toys for their Holiday Fund. CORA and Army Experience Center will collect unwrapped toys at both sites until Dec. 12, and soldiers will assist CORA in wrapping and distributing toys, food and other gift certificates to families that CORA serves. Pictured from left are Joyce Millar, Al Flood, Pat Storrele, Major Larry Dillard, Jane Millar and Ev Bold from CORA. To contribute toys call CORA at (215) 342-7660 or the Army Experience Center (215) 612-7630 to get drop-off times.

Senators Join With NFL Moms In Food Drive FOODSTUFFS going to Philabundance as result of work of students from Community Academy of Phila. Charter School and NFL Moms.

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à{x c{|ÄtwxÄÑ{|t VtÜÜ|tzx VÉÅÑtÇç Never been in a one horse open sleigh? Neither have we, but we have plenty of one horse open carriages! Cuddle and snuggle under blankets and stars by reserving a carriage or stopping by Independence Hall and looking for the Philadelphia or Independence Carriage Company.

STATE SENS. Tina Tartaglione, seated, and Shirley Kitchen, far right, joined NFL Mothers who are tackling hunger with Chunky Soup food drive. They teamed up at community Academy of Phila. Charter School. In photo are Deputy CEO Priscella Fuentes, CEO Joe Proietta, Linda Harrison (Marvin Harrison’s mom), Debbie Hall, Wendy Blackson and Zelda Westbrook (Brian Westbrook’s mom).

The Christmas Creche Commiee Cordially Invites You To Celebrate

Team Blackwell Bands Together

The 12th Annual Blessing of the Navity Scene At Independence Naonal Historical Park

EMBRACING Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, right, at huge W. Phila. multiple ward meeting is Clerk of Quarter Sessions Vivian Miller.

Tavern Aids Police

On Market Street Between Fih & Sixth Streets On Monday, December 15 at 4:00 p.m.

Bring Family, Friends 'Tis the season for romance and family fun and we can provide memories that will last a lifetime. Call us, we'll pick you up!


Show Your Support With A Salutatory Adversment in Our Christmas Creche Issue of Dec. 9th Call John David 215-755-2000

CANNONBALL TAVERN in Bridesburg threw a benefit for family of slain Police Officer Isabel Nazario. From left are Traffic Court Judge Michael Lowry, State Rep. Mike McGeehan, tavernkeep Bill Hird, James Keith of Police Strike Force, Traffic Court Judge Bob Mulgrew and Municipal Court Judge Patrick Dugan. Photo by Donna DiPaolo

PHA Executive Director Carl Greene and HUD Secretary Steve Preston meet during grand opening of Nellie Reynolds Gardens. Both men say relationship between PHA and HUD is strong and productive. prevents it from running off can spend free time in a suninto an already overtaxed City drenched 3,000-square-foot sewer system. The green roof community room. Those also retains heat during win- needing a framework of daily ter and has a cooling effect in activities can take advantage the summer, reducing energy of the older-adult daily-living usage by about 15%. The center, scheduled to open in complex also includes “Green early 2009. Label” carpet (for better in“Locating services and door air quality), environ- housing in the same complex mentally friendly paints and has proven to be a great sucprimers, and Energy Star ap- cess in the two other locations pliances and fixtures. where we have used this The low-income seniors model. Working with the lucky enough to be moving in Pennsylvania Dept. of Public

Specter Gets Eagles Game On Tube US Sen. Arlen Specter announced the NFL has agreed to let cable companies carry

Baum Honored At Blondell Event

Specter continued, “I urge the NFL to adopt a similar policy with respect to the Thanksgiving Day game between the Eagles and the Cardinals and for the other four remaining NFL Network games.” In a letter dated Oct. 28, Specter, along with 12 other Senators, raised the issue with Commissioner Goodell by protesting the NFL Network’s exclusive coverage of football games, which precludes many fans from watching their area or local football teams. “That the NFL would choose to have fewer viewers for select games again this year is an indication of its interest in moving toward a pay television model,” the Senators wrote. The Senators noted the NFL enjoys an antitrust exemption, conferred by Congress, and they are concerned “the NFL is now leveraging the success of its over-the-air broadcasts to move games to pay television, to the detriment of NFL fans across the country.”

PHA COMMISSIONER Nellie Reynolds is joined by HUD Secretary Steve Preston, left, PHA Executive Director Carl Greene, and Holly Glauser-Abel of the Penna. Housing Finance Agency at ribbon-cutting for new senior development. and the public infrastructure – fresh look at the issues. He including the green roof – kept his word and showed cost $3 million. strong, principled leadership The rare appearance of a in resolving our differences. HUD secretary at a PHA cer- We are grateful he accepted emony was especially mean- our invitation to help dediingful to the leaders of PHA, cate this wonderful new who had engaged in an almost place.” two-year battle with the FedPHA, the nation’s 4th eral agency over a number of largest housing authority, issues that threatened PHA’s serving almost 84,000 resifunding. dents, is an innovator in the Said Greene, “Secretary financing, construction, and Preston came into office this management of affordable year promising to take a housing.

Pay Tribute To Carol Ann Campbell Dear Friends, We have received several inquiries from colleagues and friends as to whether or not the Philadelphia Public Record will be putting out a special edition commemorating and honoring the achievements of our newly departed former Councilwoman Carol Ann Campbell.

The answer is yes! To those of you who already have in mind what it is you want to say in your salutatory commemoration and advertisement, fax it to (215) 6894099 or e-mail Prices are available upon request.* Funeral services for Councilwoman Campbell will take place Dec. 1 at St. Matthew’s AME Church, 57th & Vine, starting at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 12 noon. Our special edition will come out the 4th. Deadline is the 2nd of Dec. Thank you, Jimmy Tayoun

E. Harris Baum, Esq., honorary Consul General of the Republic of Korea and member of the Fairmount Park Commission, was honored at the 4th annual Men of Distinction reception on Oct. 30. The event, sponsored by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown, recognizes distinguished gentlemen in the Philadelphia community. “I was sincerely honored,” said Baum, “not only to be selected, but doubly honored to be in the company of all who have dedicated themselves to making meaningful changes for our illustrious city.” Sharing the honors were labor leader Sam Staten, Sr., housing activist Anthony Lewis and State Sen. Vincent Hughes. Baum is also Philadelphia’s liaison with the Korean Embassy in New York.

the Thanksgiving game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Arizona Cardinals. Originally, the Thursday game was only to be available to fans in the immediate Philadelphia area; now fans from Central and Eastern Pennsylvania will also have access. The NFL made its decision known to the cable companies on Friday night. Specter advocated for this change in a series of letters to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. In a letter dated Nov. 21, the Senator commended the Commissioner for his recent decision to the allow cable companies to carry the broadcast of Thursday’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears so that fans outside the immediate Pittsburgh area could watch the game: “This decision appears to represent a step toward a reasonable policy that will benefit the NFL and respect the bond between the teams and their regional fan bases.”

Welfare, we have put PHA on track to cost-effectively meet the demand of the growing number of aging seniors in Philadelphia,” Greene said. The building’s name is a natural. Long-time publichousing resident leader and advocate Nellie Reynolds managed a community garden on the land for many years. When PHA decided to build the new facility on the site of Nellie Reynolds’ garden, the agency named the building as a tribute to Reynolds’ 40 years of leadership in the movement for public-housing residents’ rights and responsibilities. Like virtually all of PHA’s newly built developments, Nellie Reynolds Gardens represents a combination of federal funding and private investment. Wachovia Bank and MMA Financial provided the private investment. The residential portion of the building cost $15.7 million. The commercial portion – including the adult daily living center – cost $2.5 million,

The Public Record • November 27, 2008

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has ushered in a new era of environmentally friendly public housing with the opening of Nellie Reynolds Gardens, a 64-apartment building for seniors with an adult daily living center in North Philadelphia. Ceremonies were held in the building’s indoor “garden” under a large glass atrium, where new residents were joined by the US Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Steve Preston, who came to help celebrate PHA’s latest public-private partnership, costing $21.2 million. “This facility exemplifies PHA’s commitment to help our senior residents live with the kind of dignity they’ve earned. It also underscores how seriously we take our role as custodians of the environment,” said PHA Executive Director Carl Greene. The building features a 20,000-square-foot “green” roof with natural vegetation that absorbs rainwater and

Page 13

PHA’s Senior Housing Goes Green

page 14 The Public Record • November 27, 2008


Holidays feature a visit from Snow Queen, music and art by Ruth R. Russell My father used to say that we should not reminisce. That observation was usually made before he shared his recollection of an event with great detail and much enthusiasm. I am inclined to do as he did (not as he said) and reminisce about an experience of mine. When I was a community newspaper editor a number of years ago I interviewed Landis Smith, a promising young theatrical entrepreneur. His ensemble staged live productions, using life-sized puppets, character masks, pantomime, original music and magic in small local settings. Over the last 20 plus years his group has enjoyed growing success, touring the world and performing with major symphony orchestras. I am pleased that his troupe, now called the Enchantment Theatre Company, is based at home and is once again presenting a holiday show. This

year it will be The Snow Queen, based on a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson and adapted by Landis Smith, with Jennifer Blatchley Smith and Leslie Reidel. The adventures of the boy (Kai), the girl he loves (Gerda), his grandmother, and the cold but beautiful Snow Queen is portrayed with drama and a happy ending. The show, at the Prince Music Theater at 1412 Chestnut St., December 2-January 4, is suitable for all ages. Admission is charged. Visit Thanksgiving parade Obviously, in Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day means a major parade, the 6ABC/IKEA Parade. Now in its 89th year, this city’s march is the oldest annual Thanksgiving parade in the country. There will be wonderful bands, floats, and appearances by Hollywood celebrities and, of course, Santa Claus, all

Ruth Russell along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 8:30 a.m. to noon. To learn more, call 215636-3300. Then, after the parade and a fabulous turkey dinner, there will be many things to do this weekend, November 28-30. Some were described here last week: (Christmas Village on Dilworth Plaza, 215-627-2332; Franklin Institute’s ‘Narnia’ exhibit opening, 215-4481200; the Please Touch Museum’s Enchanted Colonial

Village, 215-581-3181; the Dino Weekend at the Academy of Natural Sciences, 215-2991000, and the National Constitution Center’s presidential Thanksgiving dinners, 215409-6600.) Check with your favorite museum. Most are open and eager to welcome you. Holiday Garden Railway At the Morris Arboretum, the popular garden railway returns for the holiday season. There will be a gala celebration on Saturday, November 29, from 1 to 3 p.m., with costumed carolers, holiday storytelling and refreshments. Kids and adults will have a chance to make an ornament from natural materials to take home. Of course there is always the remarkable railway itself, with a quarter mile of track, seven loops and tunnels, two cable cars, nine bridges and the Gscale model trains wending their way through a display of

buildings all made of natural materials such as bark, leaves, mosses and dried flowers. This event is free after entry fee. Call 215-247-5777 for directions and information. Handel’s ‘Messiah’ The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the Germantown Oratorio Choir, conducted by David C. Daugherty, will perform George Frederic Handel’s Messiah on Sunday, November 30, at 3 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 W. Chelten Ave. This is one in a series of free concerts; contributions are accepted. For complete details, call 215-843-8811 or visit Keepers of Culture A program of poetry, songs and historical interpretations centering on personalities and major events before and during the Civil War will be presented by Keepers of the Culture —

Souls of Freedom: A Living History of Africans in America, on Sunday, November 30, at 2 p.m., in Montgomery Auditorium of the Central Library, 1901 Vine St. Seating at these Sundays on Stage programs for all ages is on a first-come, firstseated basis and admission is free. Call 215-686-5415 to learn more. Clay cartoon sculptures Parents and kids are invited to develop a drawing of a cartoon character (inspired by Peter Saul artwork on display) and transform the sketch into a clay figurine, at a family workshop at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Broad and Cherry Streets, on Saturday, November 29, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lance Hanson is the instructor. This session is free to members and free with Academy admission for non-members. For further details, call 215-972-2061. Email news for CitiLife to

Page 15

The Public Record • November 27, 2008

page 16 The Public Record • November 27, 2008


Despite economy, free turkey for hundreds from Ralph by Len Lear “I don’t have to tell you how the economy is hurting us as well as many other restaurants,” said Ralph Berarducci, owner of Portofino, 1227 Walnut St., “but there is no way in the world that I can stop our Thanksgiving tradition. People look forward to it for months, so I will find a way to get it done. We will provide free dinners for hundreds of needy and homeless people, just as we always do. “I’m over 70, and it’s getting harder physically to get this done, but I have no family in the US, so the customers are my family.” The odds of a Center City restaurant lasting for more than 35 years are not quite as great as the odds that poodles will be seen flying over City Hall, but they’re close. Yet, Berarducci, who came to Philadelphia in 1963 in his mid-20s from Italy’s Abruzzi region, has made a career of defying the odds. After a brief stint at Geno’s, 1613 Walnut St., Ralph began to work as a breakfast waiter at the Barclay Hotel, having to work tirelessly just to prove he was qualified to work lunches. After one year his travel visa was running out and his father pleaded with him to return home to Italy, but instead Ralph walked out on the high wire and opened his own restaurant, Pinocchio’s, at 15th and Latimer Streets. After rave reviews in local publications, Berarducci suddenly found lines outside the door waiting to fill his 65 seats and sample his sophisticated Northern Italian cuisine. (Remember, this was before the city’s restaurant renaissance when Italian restaurants were almost all of the red gravy and checkerboard tablecloth variety.) Tiring of turning away customers because of his limited seating, Ralph sold the sixyear-old Pinocchio’s in 1971 and proceeded to open Portofino (named for a region of Italy that holds happy mem-

long. You can’t imagine how good it makes me feel to see all of those people eating a great Thanksgiving dinner. I only wish I could do more” Portofino is open for dinner seven nights a week and lunch Monday to Friday. For more information, call 215-215-923-8208 or visit www.por tofino -

Len Lear ories for him) at 1227 Walnut St. in a building that once housed a brothel. The larger main dining room and balcony seating enabled Ralph to accommodate twice as many customers as Pinocchio’s. Recently there was also an extensive interior makeover. In a business where success often has the longevity of a flea’s adolescence, Portofino has consistently offered fine food and service at reasonable prices. In addition to turning out great Italian food for more than 35 years at Portofino, he also has one of the biggest hearts in the Delaware Valley. For 20 years he has been providing hundreds of free turkey dinners annually at Thanksgiving time to many of the city’s most destitute individuals. Every year Ralph contacts local shelters and churches that serve the poor and homeless, and he invites those neediest of Philadelphians to come to the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day for a free turkey dinner. Last November Ralph set a personal record when Portofino fed 650 Thanksgiving dinners to the poor. “There is no charge,” he said. “The hardest thing for me is finding the staff to come in on Thanksgiving Day to do all of the work and provide all of the service. But this is a service I owe to God. He told us that if we have a loaf of bread, we must share it with those who have nothing. The least I can do is share what I have with those who have no family. I am blessed to be able to do it. I look forward to it all year Tanking lobster prices Along with the price of crude and other once heavenbound commodities, the crustacean market, at least in the case of lobsters, has crashed. And with that crash comes a silver lining — lower prices. So Seafood Unlimited at 270 S. 20th St. is ask-

ing diners to save a lobster fisherman this season and come in for an affordable lobster dinner. Every night through the end of the year, guests can enjoy a 1 1/8 lb. [$19.75], 1 1/2 lb [$27.75] or 2 lb. jumbo lobster [$37] served with two side dishes. On Tuesdays, lobster prices tank even further with a 1 1/2 lb. lobster

served with two sides, for $24.95 all night. Seafood Unlimited’s Nightly Lobster Special is available in the dining room or to take home, and they will also deliver. Seafood Unlimited has been in business since 1971. For more information, call 215-732-3663.

Page 17

LDC Grants $20,000

The Public Record • November 27, 2008

The union with a heart made its presence known this past week with the contribution of $20,000 to the Jenkintown Day Nursery. LDC 332 hosted its annual golf classic earlier in the year. The check was presented by Perry Blackman, LDC’s Auditor and Chairman of the Laborers’ District Council Charity Fund Golf Classic Committee. Receiving the grant for the Nursery were Lori O’Donnell and Nancy Deibert.

ABOUT 65 motorcyclists, most from Sons Of God MC and Latin Riders MC, made brisk ride from Brian's HarleyDavidson/Buell bike shop in Langhorne to House of Correction to donate toys in the 6th annual toy run, providing toys to the children of incarcerated parents at Philadelphia Prison System.

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page 18

City Hall Sam (Cont. From Page 7) dashing DAN FITZGERALD. Her radiant sister Maura, a high-school senior, was escorted by the dapper MATT TAUSCH. Common Pleas Judges at the Oceanaire included GENE MAIER and his wife LANA; BEN LERNER; SHEILA WOODS-SKIPPER; and FLORA WOLF. From the 3rd Circuit bench were CHIEF JUDGE ANTHONY SCIRICA, JUDGE TED McKEE and former CHIEF JUDGE DELORES SLOVITER. From the US District Court bench were JUDGES TIM SAVAGE, LAWRENCE STENGEL, NORMA SHAPIRO, MICHAEL BAYLSON, RONALD BUCKWALTER, STEWART DALZELL and, newly appointed to the Federal bench, JUDGES DARNELL JONES and MITCH GOLDBERG. Magistrate Judges were TOM REUTER, FAITH ANGELL, TIM RICE and Phil Restrepo. Former US Attorney PAT MEEHAN was also there. Rumor is he may be a candidate for Governor in 2010. Also present was the acting US Attorney LAURIE MAGID and LINDA HOFFA, who is chief of the US Attorney Criminal Division. A number of former and

current assistant Federal Defenders and assistant US Attorneys and supervisors attended; other attorneys representing many of the big firms in Philadelphia, leading members of the criminal-defense bar and Federal Defender colleagues from areas as far away as Seattle, Washington and Sacramento, Cal. also joined in the celebration. 3rd Circuit Federal Public Defenders RICH COUGHLIN from New Jersey, JIM WADE from Harrisburg and EDSON BOSTIC from Delaware stopped by. Others in attendance were 1st Assistant Defender CHARLES CUNNINGHAM; Dean of Temple Law School JOANN EPPS; lawschool professors ED OHLBAUM and LOU NATALI; Federal Defender supervisors LEIGH SKIPPER, FELICIA SARNER, MICHAEL WISEMAN, MATTHEW LAUREY, BILLY NOLAS, SHAWN NOLAN, REBECCA BLASKEY, TERESA RAUSCHER and SHAWN ISERN; Clerk of Court MIKE KUNZ; PAT CARDELLA and her cousin DEBBIE OWENS. The Brehon Law Society will hold its annual Christmas Party at the Vesper Club. Honored guest of the evening will be Speaker of the House DENNIS M. O’BRIEN. JOHN J. O’MALLEY is the

president of the Society. JUDGE SANDRA MAZER MOSS was honored by the Brandeis Law Society at a portrait-unveiling celebrating her 25 years of judicial service. All this took place on Nov. 25. Among those in attendance were Judge Gene Maier and his wife, Lana, MC Judge Fay Stack and her husband, Mike, well-known trial lawyer AL DRAGON and his wife BARBARA, Sandy’s husband BILL, JERRY SCHANE and his wife BETTY. Cora Services had a donor appreciation reception last week in the form of an Open House and breakfast to thank the many donors to its worthwhile cause. COUNCILWOMAN BLONDELL REYNOLDS BROWN has completed the first session in her 3rd term. Reynolds Brown recently held a celebration of Grandparents Brunch to commemorate the fact over 50,000 children in Philadelphia are being raised by the grandparents. For the past eight years, her “Warmth in Winter” project has provided new hats, gloves and scarves to children in need. JUSTIN CARDINAL RIGALI will host an annual Christmas Party for children of all faiths served by Catholic Social Services at the Sheridan Philadelphia Center City Hotel at 17th & Race

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Sts. on Dec. 16 at 2:30. This heartwarming occasion is open to the public. Among those on the committee is ROSE ANITA COFFEE, who has long been active with St. Agatha’s Home. CONGRESSMAN JOHN MURTHA is the guest of honor at a luncheon Reception to be held on Dec. 15 from

noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Westin Philadelphia Hotel at Liberty Place. Murtha is renowned for his political courage in opposing the war in Iraq. He is a former Marine Corps officer. The Law Alumni of St. Joseph University honored JUDGE FRANK T. HAZEL with the McClanaghan, in

recognition of his distinguished accomplishments in the field of law. Also honored was PATRICIA McELWEE MAHONEY with the Sheehan Award, in appreciation of her steadfast loyalty and dedication to St. Joseph’s University. This transpired at a dinner at the Union League last week.

Out & About

self, for making sure I eat and I take a nap every once in awhile, for worrying about me when it seems like I’ve made your doing so a fulltime job, and for giving me a hug … often without my asking for it. I love you all. And lastly, but certainly not least, I’m thankful for the folks here at the Public Record. The editors here are kind enough to put up with my weekly musings and I appreciate the fact they give me the space. I hope I occasionally make the most of it. I’m also thankful for you, the readers of the Public Record. I’ve met a few of you in my travels around the city and you are always kind, considerate, and filled with nice things to say about this col-

umn and the paper itself. Without you, we’re nothing, so I’m glad to have this space to say thanks for reading. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to go and watch the one thing I’m not thankful for this year: Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid. It’s really time for him to go.

(Cont. From Page 7) to help him find a news organization that would send him to Washington. Now, Kendall has possibly the best seat in the house — in Heaven. God rest your soul, Kendall. You will be terribly missed. I’m thankful for the people I love and for those who love me. To say I have a wildly eclectic group of friends and family would be the understatement of the year and I like it that way. I learn so much from these folks it’s ridiculous. I thank you for teaching me, letting me teach you, for letting me cry, for yelling at me when it seems like I’m feeling sorry for my-

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PHEEA Aid Guide Available The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency has made its annual Guide to Student Aid available online, according to State Rep. Cherelle Parker. The free guide is available at and is a comprehensive document outlining the financial aid process and providing information on all student financial aid programs available to Pennsylvania students. The guide offers information on financial aid options, determining financial need, the

application for aid and a program description. "This information contained in this guide is critical to all Pennsylvania students applying to or planning on going to college," Parker said. "The guide and the Education Planner are great tools for getting potential college students what they need from financing to career and school choice. I urge everyone in my district to go online and look at the information that is available." The Education Planner is an award-winning college

planning Web site created for students in grades 8 through 12 to assist with career choice, school choice, applying for admission and financial aid. The site is home to one of the world's largest free scholarship databases, offering more than 1.8 million awards worth nearly $8 billion. For more info, individuals can contact Parker's constituent service office at (215) 242-7300 or email her through her Web site at

Airport Gets Good Eats Awards Since the Philadelphia Marketplace at Philadelphia International Airport opened a decade ago, giving customers a variety of quality food and beverage choices from a nice mix of national and local merchants, the Airport’s concessions program has earned numerous industry awards for quality, service and innovation. The Airports Council International-North America (ACINA) added to the long list of accolades on Nov. 12 when it named The Philadelphia Marketplace Food and Shops in the B/C Terminal Complex the “Best Food and Beverage Program” among large airports in North America at the ACI-NA Excellence in Airport Concessions annual contest. This is the highest honor bestowed upon the Airport’s concessions program since it received the Richard A. Griesbach Award for “Best Overall Concessions Program” from ACI-NA in

2002-2003. The specialty retail program in the B/C Terminal Complex placed third in the large airports category. The ACI-NA Excellence in Airport Concessions contest, which recognizes the best in airport food, beverage and retail shops in a variety of categories, received more than 120 entries from large, medium and small airports in this year’s competition. Entries were evaluated on concessions goals, use of concepts/branding, design/layout, customer service and revenue performance. “Customer service is a priority in this administration, and offering Airport patrons top-quality food, beverages and retail merchandise fits nicely with that initiative,” noted Rina Cutler, deputy mayor for transportation and utilities. “Philadelphia Marketplace and the Airport are to be commended in their collaborative efforts to achieve high

customer satisfaction.”

We Invite You To Capitalize On The 20 Years Of Experience And Skill Of Attorney

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The Public Record • November 27, 2008

SEPTA General Mgr. Joseph Casey saluted City Year Corps members on their 20th Anniversary 4 at Municipal Services Plaza. With Corps members are, from left, Francis Kelly and Casey of SEPTA, Casey, Rex Carney and Meghan Poperowitz of City Year, and Frances Jones of SEPTA.

Page 19

SEPTA Again Propels City

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Philadelphia Regional Port Authority A Promising Future By Championing the Channel-Deepening Project And Substantial Port Expansion

Once Again, We Thank Gov. Ed Rendell For Giving Our Port A Great Opportunity And

John H. Estey, Esq. Chairman

James T. McDermott, Jr. Executive Director

John F. Dempsey

Deputy Executive Director Administrative Offices: 3460 N. Delaware Ave. 2nd Fl., Phila., PA 19134 (215) 426-2600 • Fax (215) 426-6800

Robert C. Blackburn

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page 20 The Public Record • November 27, 2008

Tuesday: 2535 S. Swanson St.

Thursday: 6801 Essington Avenue

December 2, 2008 • December 9, 2008 December 16, 2008 • December 23, 2008 December 30, 2008

December 4, 2008 • December 11, 2008 December 18, 2008 Friday, December 26, 2008

Saturday: 3201 N. Delaware Avenue December 6, 2008 • December 13, 2008 December 20, 2008 • December 27, 2008

Mike Stack was elected. “Sen. Stack has made a powerful impact on important Senate issues, so I’m confident he will be a great Vice Chairman,” said Costa. “We have a great working relationship and he will be an integral partner for Philadelphia and the rest of the state. I am excited to join with Sen. Stack in

facing those challenges in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania.” State Sen. Vincent Hughes is minority Caucus Chair and Sen. Christine Tartaglione is minority caucus Administrator. The Senate leadership now includes State Sen. Joseph Scarnati as Majority President Pro Tempore, State

Sen. Dominic Pileggi (who weathered a tough battle with the help of PAPA, an association of doctors fighting for tort reform) as Majority Floor Leader; State Sen. Jake Corman, Majority Appropriations Chair; State Sen. Jane Clare Orie, Majority Whip; State Sen. Mike Waugh, Majority Caucus Chair; and

State Sen. Robert Robbins, Majority Caucus Secretary. State Sen. Robert Mellow leads the Democrats as Minority Floor Leader; State Sen. Michael A. O’Pake as Minority Policy Committee Chair; Sen. Richard A. Kasunic as Minority Caucus Chair; and Sen. Sean Logan as Minority Caucus Secretary.

First elected in 1970, Mellow has served longer than any current Senator. He has been the Democratic leader since 1988. Mellow also served as Senate President Pro Tempore between 1992 and 1994. Tartaglione was first elected to the Senate in 1994. She is the fifth woman in history to become a Pennsylvania State Senator.

Student TransPass Program Needs More Controls House GOP Bypasses City’s Two Legislators

The School District’s continued need to find additional revenue while it weans searches for ways to reduce its own expenditures has found a friend in City Controller Alan Butkovitz, who belies savings are to be found in the way it operates its TransPass SEPTA program that provides eligible students with free school transportation. Butkovitz’s audit found a number of deficiencies that resulted in inadequate safeguards and weak controls at both the central administrative office and individual schools. According to Butkovitz, “The School District’s Transportation Division did not establish procedures designed to control and report TransPass activity at individual schools. We found evidence District officials provided general training and guidance, but failed to ade-


quately address distribution procedures, records retention and reporting requirements. As a result, each school was left to determine its own procedures for distribution and accountability.” Butkovitz’s suggestions can initiate major savings to the program initiated the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and SEPTA. Approximately 57,000 students participate in the TransPass program, 60% of which attend public schools and the remainder attending nonpublic and charter schools. The District pays SEPTA $15.65 for each weekly TransPass. The total cost for the TransPass program for the 2007/2008 school year was approximately $28.9 million. The Commonwealth provided a $9.1 million subsidy and SEPTA added $3 million for administrative costs.

used its centralized database to produce eligibility distribution listings, while others inappropriately used home-room rosters and other manually prepared lists. This led the Controller to find 22 students who received TransPasses that were not on the School District’s computer eligibility lists. Some schools required students to sign or initial the distribution list when given a TransPass, while other schools simply checked off or crossed off the student’s name. The Controller’s one-week test at the 13 schools that retained distribution records identified 360 passes that could not be accounted for. The cost of these passes was $5,634.

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Robert A. Gleason, Jr. applauded the newly elected Republican leadership team in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives this week, saying, “I am excited about the work that will get accomplished by the members of our House Republican Caucus under the leadership of House Republican Leader Sam Smith, House Republican Whip Mike Turzai, House Republican Appropriations Chairman Mario Civera and the other members

of the House Republican leadership team.” Elected to Republican leadership were House Republican Leader State Rep. Sam Smith, House Republican Whip State Rep. Mike Turzai, House Republican Appropriations Chairman State Rep. Mario Civera, House Republican Caucus Chairwoman State Rep. Sandra Major, Policy Committee Chair State Rep. Stan Saylor, Caucus Administrator State Rep. Merle Phillips and Caucus Secretary State Rep. Jerry Stern.

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Butkovitz said key to the problem was “The District did not know the actual number of students who take advantage of the free TransPass, yet it incurs the cost for every student who picked up a TransPass.” He believes, “Because there was no way to determine actual usage by each student, the School District could be overpaying SEPTA for transit rides never taken by these students.” Butkovitz’s audit found Operations officers distributed and accounted for TransPass activity at some schools, while at others, these functions were performed by teachers and non-teaching aides. This practice fails to assure only personnel with appropriate training are performing these duties. In some schools the District

The Public Record • November 27, 2008

Though the GOP firmly controls the State Senate 29-20, three of this city’s Democratic Senators havebeen niched more deeply into leadership roles. A new post was created in the Minority Appropriations Committee now led by State Sen. Jay Costa, Jr. It is that of Minority Appropriations Vice Chair, to which State Sen.

Page 21

Locals Entrenched In Key Senate Roles

page 22 The Public Record • November 27, 2008

Catholic Scholarship Donations Total $117,500 Bridge Educational Foundation announced awards totaling $117,500 of EITC scholarship donations at St. Cecilia School. The donors responsible for the generous gifts included awards to local families included Enterprise Rent-A-Car; RBC Capital Markets and Penn Jersey Paper. Lawmakers on hand included State Sen. Christine Tartaglione and State Reps. George Kenney, Dennis O'Brien, Tony Payton, John Perzel, John Taylor, John Sabatina and Curtis Thomas. All showed their support for the families and the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program. Tartaglione remarked, "New strategies in education are the best tools we have to fix the problems we face in Philadelphia and across the nation. These scholarships will help make sure fabulous minds can reach their potential. It's not just important for the students; it's important to the community, the state and the country." Sister Lisa Ann Golden, IHM, Principal of St. Cecilia School, "Our families at St. Ce-

cilia School are most grateful to the Bridge Educational Foundation, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and RBC Capital Markets for their financial support. Families are able to choose Catholic education because of this assistance. May God bless these corporations for their generosity!" The following local schools will be receiving EITC scholarships from the donation: Archbishop Ryan, Father Judge, St. Cecelia, St. Matthew, Little Flower, Nazareth, Our Lady Port Richmond, Our Lady of Ransom, Resurrection of our Lord, St. Christopher, St. Hubert, St. Jerome, St. Timothy, St. Timothy Christian, Timothy Academy, Visitation BVM and St. Martin of Tours. Joe Gerdes, Bridge Educational Foundation Board Member, explained, "Bridge Educational Foundation is pleased to be back again in Northeast Philadelphia. We are thankful to our generous donors for allowing our Foundation to serve as their bridge to help hundreds of families in this corner of Pennsylvania

with scholarships. Our Foundation is proud to be a part this very successful and innovative program and we appreciate the strong support of the lawmakers gathered here today." Perzel said, "I want to thank Enterprise Rent-A-Car, RBC Capital Markets and Penn Jersey Paper for giving our children the chance at a

brighter, more fulfilling future. On behalf of the families of Northeast Philadelphia, I want to thank the Bridge Educational Foundation for encouraging the business community to play an invaluable role in the educational lives of our children." The scholarship donations announced today are part of the Pennsylvania Pre-Kindergarten

and K-12 EITC programs. The Pre-Kindergarten initiative provides companies with a tax credit equal to 100% of the first $10,000 contributed to a prekindergarten scholarship organization during the taxable year, and may receive a tax credit equal to 90% of any additional amount contributed during the year, up to a maximum of

$150,000 per year though the Pre-K program. The K-12 EITC tuition program provides companies with a 75% tax credit – 90% for a two-year commitment – for funds donated to approved, nonprofit scholarship or educational-improvement organizations. Businesses may donate up to $300,000 per year.

Enhanced VA Mortgage For Veterans Veterans with conventional home loans now have new options for refinancing to a Dept. of Veterans Affairs guaranteed home loan. These new options are available as a result of the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008, which the President signed into law on Oct. 10, 2008. "These changes will allow VA to assist a substantial number of veterans with subprime mortgages refinance into a safer, more affordable, VA guaranteed loan," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. "Veterans in financial distress due to high-rate sub-

prime mortgages are potentially the greatest beneficiaries." VA has never guaranteed subprime loans. However, as a result of the new law VA can now help many more veterans who currently have subprime loans. The new law makes changes to VA's home loan refinancing program. Veterans who wish to refinance their subprime or conventional mortgage may now do so for up to 100% of the value of the property. These types of loans were previously limited to 90% of the value. Additionally, Congress raised VA's maximum loan amount for these types of refi-

nancing loans. Previously, these refinancing loans were capped at $144,000. With the new legislation, such loans may be made up to $729,750 depending on where the property is located. Increasing the loan-to-value ratio and raising the maximum loan amount will allow more qualified veterans to refinance through VA, allowing for savings on interest costs or even potentially avoiding foreclosure. Originally set to expire at the end of this month, VA's authority to guarantee Adjustable Rate Mortgages and Hybrid ARMs was also extended under this new law

through Sep. 30, 2012. Unlike conventional ARMs and hybrid ARMs, VA limits interestrate increases on these loans from year to year, as well as over the life of the loans. Since 1944, when homeloan guaranties were offered with the original GI Bill, VA has guaranteed more than 18 million home loans worth over $911 billion. This year, about 180,000 veterans, active-duty service members, and survivors received loans valued at about $36 billion. For info call (877) 8273702 or visit

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Philadelphia Public Record


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