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The Mummers Parade: Can It Stay Alive?

CONGRESSMAN BOB BRADY announces names of contributors to “Save themummers” campaign at Mummers Museum press conference.

by Joe Shaheeli The Mummers Parade, which for more than a century has launched the New Year before generations of Philadelphians, is not so solid a tradition as we natives have been led to believe. The lack of a mere $50,000 could have snuffed out this, such a noble representative of our many traditions. There would not have been a parade up Broad Street to welcome in 2009 had not Congressman Bob Brady, across whose 1st Congressional Dist. live the majority of mummers, stepped in to guarantee he will make up the necessary shortfall if the mummers and their fans could not come up with the funding demanded by the City. Brady, teaming up with 1st Dist. Sen.-Elect Larry Farnese, reached out successfully to local businesses to leap past the needed $50,000. As of press time, their efforts, plus that of the Mummers, who were pleading with their

Vol. III No. 1 (Issue 65)

“Reporting South Philadelphia the way it deserves”

Steak Emporiums Give To Mummers The “save the mummers” fund received a couple of beefy donations this week. Frank Oliveri, of Pat’s Steaks, donated $20,000 to the fund. A day later his close rival, Joey Vento, from Geno’s Steaks, donated $40,000 to the cause. Asked if he was going to match Vento’s pledge, Oliveri shrugged and saying he doesn’t “get into that kind of PR thing.” (Cont. Page 2)

supporters to donate via the internet, have seen contributions reaching over $250,000. What to do with the money left over after the City gets the cut it has demanded remains to be decided. Whether it is to go to prize money, or to a treasury set up to pay City fees, will not be known for some time according to attorney George Badey, a mummer, who became the mummers’ point man through this crisis. But therein lies a new crossroads. For generations before the city got involved in the machinations of the annual tribute to King Momus, the lord of mirth and merriment, comic and fancy-dress brigades were strutting, strumming, and staggering merrily along Broad Street up to City Hall and beyond to Girard Avenue from deep down south at Hog Island. The City first sponsored the mummers, offering prize (Cont. Page 3)

Value 50¢

January 1, 2009

Fly Eagles Fly

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Standish Helps Fix Those On The Mend by Al Boccella Nominated to be recognized as one of South Philadelphia’s “11” outstanding senior-citizen volunteers is candidate Josephine Standish. This worthy effort to honor our senior citizens is targeted at having a day named to commemorate them. On Jan. 29, 2009 an award ceremony will be conducted to recognize our most valuable seniors. Standish is a quiet, unassuming senior volunteer, who would rather work unobtrusively behind the scenes without any recognition. However, Diane Keele, one of the many persons that know of Standish’s accomplishments, felt obligated to send in to the South Philadelphia Public Record a nomination ballot depicting some of the many accomplishments of this worthy person. (Cont. Page 2)

Downtowners Spread Their Wings; Strut Into 50th Year by Rory G. McGlasson The Philadelphia Eagles won’t be the only birds winging their way into the New Year with the glimmer of hope of success in 2009. The Downtown Mummers will be presenting their 50th-anniversary theme: “Spirit of the Eagle” on New Year’s Day. Our Eagles football outfit will be readying themselves to conquer the Minnesota Vikings. The Downtowners on Snyder Avenue are ready to top the Fancy Brigade. They will kick off the year celebrating the native Indians before em (Cont. Page 4) ...Josephine Standish

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page 2

South Philadelphia Business Association

www.phillyrecord.com

The South Philadelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009

Oldest Business Association in South Philadelphia – Chartered in 1897 1505 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19147 (215)-336-1108 (215)-336-1149 (fax) Executive Board President – Louis Lozzi, Sr. Vice President – Barbara Capozzi, Esq. Secretary – Lou Cerino Treasurer – Reggie Lozzi Executive Director – Edward J. Wright, Jr.

To join as a member of the SPBA, please call (215)-336-1108

Growing SPBA Members A.J. Mechanical (John Franklin) Academy of Sacred Arts (Sr. Paula ) Allstate Insurance Agent (Michael Phillips) Allstate Insurance Agent (Frank Genzano) Alpha Realty Group (Joseph Bianco) Angelo’s Tile & Marble Outlet (Angelo Bucci) Cedar Shopping Centers Partnership, LP - Bruce Nobile Armando Rey Jewelers (Armando Rey) Beneficial Savings Bank (Donna Russo) Business Development (Joe Reo) Capozzi Real Estate (Barbara Capozzi) Career Link (Janice Amoroso) Carmana Designs, Ltd (Annamaria Vona) Catch (Ray Pescatore) Century 21 (Stephanie Capocci) Century 21 (Albert Perry) Cheech’s Beef & Ale (Frank Spatocco) Chickie’s Deli (Henry George) Chris Miceli (Christine Miceli) Citizen’s Bank (Darlene Cellucci) Clinical Research Services (Tracy Abraham R.N.) Commerce Bank (Rosaanna Chiappetta) Commerce Dept./OBS (Marge Marziani) Conestoga Bank (Jackie Fitzpatrick) Creative Financial Group (Tom Hayn) DeFino Law Associates (Vince DeFino) DeMarino Chiropractic Ctr. (JamesDeMarino) Dom’s Auto Repairs (Dominic Vitale) DP Construction Mngt. LLC (Mark DeMatteis) Engineer Bldg Supervisor (Phil Filippello) Foundation Investment LLC (Phil Sestito) Galdo’s Catering (Lou Galdo) Gangemi Funeral Home (Vince Gangemi) Goebel Insurance Agency (Chris Goebel) Gold Medal Disposal (Lou Gentile) Goldstein’s Men’s Clothing (Vince Talatta) Home Helpers (Ralph Digneo) JohnDelGaiso,Pediatric Dentist (John DelGaiso) Landmark Prof. Design (Vince Mancini) Leonetti/O’Leary Funeral Home (Katy Logan) Louis Tag Agency (Louis Cerino) Lou Lozzi’s Auto (Lou Lozzi) M & S Garage (Sonny Marino) Maggie Moos (Frank Pantano) Mamma Maria’s (Sante Chiavatti) Mason’s Local #592 (Mike Fera) Mercury Realty (Greg Ferry) Merit Manufacturing (John Ciancaglini) Micolex Pest Control (Michael Busillo) Money Mailer of Philadelphia (Thomas Cimino) Monti-Rago Funeral Home (Mark Rago)

New York Bakery (Stephen Candeloro) Olivieri Jewelers (Daniel Olivieri) Oregon Window Co Inc. (Tony Nardy) Pacifico Ford (Rocky DeGregorio) Packer Café Inc. (Ciarrocchi) Pastificio (Frank Sangiuliano) Penna Burial Company Inc. (VictorBaldi Jr.) Petal Pusher Florist (John Vacca) Phila Family Medicine (Joseph Di Renzo) Phila Performing Arts School (Joan Pescatore) Phil’s Excellent Auto Repair (Phillip Rick’s) Pietro Jewelers Inc. (Pietro Pace) Precise Realty (Ray Rizzo) Presto Printing (John Savarese) Professional Custom Tailoring (Pat Scioli) Prudential Savings Bank (Nick DiGianvittorio) Public Record (Jim Tayoun) Ralph & Rickey Inc (Rickey Sciulli) RHG Products (Michael Ristagna) New York Life Insurance (Rosetta Conigliaro) Rizzio’s General Auto Repairs (Mike Rizzio) Ron Donatucci, Reg. of wills (Ron Donatucci) Ron Patterson, Esq. (Ron Patterson) Royal Villa Café (Nella Scafidi) Scaramuzzi Construction Co. (Frank Scaramuzzi) Simonetta’s Italian Deli (Philip Simonetta) South Phila Family Practice (Bill O’Brien DO) South Phila. Orthodontic Assoc.- Steven Cohen Stolfo Funeral Home (Paul Stolfo) Sunoco Oil Refinery (John McCann) Swan Caterer’s (Carmen D’Aquilante) The Cutting Point (Jerry Masciantonio) The Temple Group Inc. (Maceo Cummings) Today’s Styles (John Palella) United Savings Bank (Denise D’Eletto) University Dynamics MRI (Linda A Duffy) Vare Ave. Auto Sales (Todd Coles) Vince Guisini, Esq. (Vince Guisini) South Philly.com (Don Burleson) Weccacoe Development Inc. (Fred Druding Sr.) William Mestichelli, DDS (William Mestichelli) Southern Auto Tags (Anthony Prisco) Southwark Civic Assn. (Karen Brown) South Philly Pretzel Factory (Sam Sklaroff) P.N.C. Bank (Joanne Baccari) P.N.C. Bank (Chad Shank) Your Optimal Health LLc (Freddie Ganno) United Check Cashing (John Shegda) William Festa Realty (Ed LeClair)

Paid for by funding through a DCED Grant, Commonwealth of PA

Senior 11 (Cont. from Page 1) “Standish has been offering a helping hand to people in her community for many years and it speaks volumes about her kind and benevolent willingness to help those in need,” said Keele. Keele added Standish performs an enormous amount of community volunteer services, including but not limited to serving as Board member of Genesis II, a drug rehabilitation program, and CATCH Inc., a program that assists mentally and physically handicapped persons. She is also a member of the Police advisory citizens committee at the 17th Police Dist. On Jan. 31, 2009 the South Philadelphia Public Record and the Philadelphia Consumer Council will honor the “Senior Eleven”. It will be a chance to meet 11 of South Philadelphia’s outstanding, well-loved, popular seniors –

STANDISH Family nominated their matriarch, Josephine, as an outstanding senior in South Phila. community. whom we need you to nomi- fullest. Do you know somenate from your local senior body that makes the Senior centers and church groups. Eleven best? If so, call either Lois We know there are South Philadelphians out there living Bartella (215) 791-5049 or Al their golden years to the Boccella (267) 269-4046.

Is Offering You A Chance To Vote For One South Philadelphia Senior To Be Honored By The South Philadelphia Public Record As One Of South Philadelphia’s Outstanding

(Cont. from Page 1) He said,”If the Mummers need more money, they have my number.” Midnight Mass St. Rita’s Shrine Chapel holds midnight Mass 10 p.m. Dec. 31. at Broad & Ellsworth Streets. A Night with the Geator Stella Maris holds an “Oldies Night with Jerry Blavat” 7 p.m. to midnight Jan. 17. Tickets are $35 and include a hot buffet, dessert and drinks. (215) 463-3410. New Year on Ice Tickets are still available for New Year’s Eve Midnight Party on Ice at the River rink: Dec. 31. Cost is $20-$30. Columbus Boulevard & Market Street. (215) 925-RINK or visit www.riverrink.com.

“Seniors Eleven” ...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

“Seniors Eleven” Trophy And Other Prizes Send your name, address and phone number with the name of the person you are nominating and the reasons for nominating him/her to:

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


The numbers were not there. The City’s Recreation Dept., in an effort to cut down the parade hours to save the City money, began stipulating where the mummers could do their stints and entertain and where they just had to march by, no matter how much the crowds clamored for a show. Factionalization among the four groups that make up the parade — comics, fancy brigades, brigades and string bands — contributed to the City’s ability

to maintain tighter controls. The Department’s efforts to insist on “speeding up the parade to save time” proved to be a failure and contributed to long gaps between the marching groups, as much as four to five blocks. This led viewers to dwindle, especially if the temperatures were frigid. Ignored by the City and the critics of the parade is the fact this institution yearly brings in thousands to watch the parade and visit the city, which they would not otherwise do.

That generates several millions in hotel bookings, in restaurant expenditures and other purchases. These include a hard core of several thousand from the “Diaspora”, Philadelphians who still considered Philly home despite life circumstances that have taken them elsewhere. Other cities with New Year Day festivities, such as the Parade of Roses, do not limit the amount of time those parades need to finish from lead group to the cleanup

OUT B A K AS ULL F R U O AR 30 YE TEE AN GUAR

LICE N INSU SED REGI RED STER FR ED ROO EE ESTIM FIN AT

brigades. But rubbing salt into the wound is the Recreation Dept.’s complaint the parade is too long. It must be limited to six and a half hours, insist these recreation experts. The mummers, with four units, each a fiefdom onto itself, now are at a crossroads. The scare their institution could be ended because of a few thousand dollars should awaken them and all mummers’ fans it is time to get out from under the clutches of the city. What can be bargained down immediately is the actual cost incurred by the City. Questions can be asked as to why there are so many cops on duty, why all that overtime. Few have ever been the incidents that would see the need to generate such manpower. Cleanup is cleanup. There is nothing to stop the City from selling tickets to the viewing stands set up around City Hall. That would easily make up for the costs of bleachers and judges’ viewing stand.

Mummery fans long ago realized the less interference by the City, the better the parade. But can the surge of donations initiated by Brady be maintained by mummers’ pleadings and yield enough income to allow the parade to forgo the City’s handouts? Coming through with the bailout funds were several major Philadelphia entities. Topping contributions was the Delaware Valley Regional Economic Development Fund, whose president Lauri Kavulich said, “When Sen.Elect Farnese approached our board for a grant to support the Mummers Parade, we immediately recognized the importance of the mummers to the city and region. The Mummers Parade is an iconic tradition in Philadelphia, attracting tens of thousands of tourists from around the world and producing $9 million in revenue to the region. It is a worthy investment that pays for itself in revenues and regional stimulus.”

The South Philadelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009

(Cont. from Page 1) money and picking up the tab to police the route and clean up afterwards, in 1901. To purist mummer historians, that marked the beginning of a slow turn from the event’s truly being a people’s parade to a steadily more institutionalized role. In recent years, City administrations have used the parade to placate businesses, rerouting the parade along Market Street for what proved to be three years of disastrous parade viewing.

Page 3

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page 4 The South Philadelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009

A ‘Green’ Resolution The tradition of “dropping the ball” on New Year’s Eve, at 11:59 p.m., began in 1907 in New York City’s Times Square. Coincidentally, that’s the time most of us make our New Year’s Resolutions. Then the ball gets dropped on these promises within a week. The more popular resolutions include shedding excess pounds, getting out of debt, finding a better-paying job, working out, giving up junk food and maybe controlling a vice or two. I know of a plan to “go green” this year. I never actually met anyone who, in the passion of a Mummers kiss, actually said that, but, Hey! I’m a maverick. You can save money and live more healthily by taking action. One to three (or more) changes per household can make a great difference in decreasing energy consumption, eliminating or minimizing toxins, reducing waste and offsetting your carbon footprint. The plastic supermarket bags are high on the list of nonos for the “greenies”. Did

you know the Environmental Protection Agency states somewhere between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed per year? I happen to like plastic shopping bags. Not because I carry stuff in them, but because I love to cut them up into ribbons and use the plastic “yarn” to crochet more bags! It takes 25 plastic bags to crochet one

Recycled plastic bags into “yarn”. great-looking and reusable sack. OK, it takes me all afternoon to make one, but I do my part to save the environment. I’m going to reduce my water consumption this year by spending no more than three minutes in the shower. A shower is about getting clean, not standing there singing “Fly Eagles Fly”, brushing your teeth and shav-

ing. Every extra minute is wasting water and gas heat. Multiply that by 30 showers a month and the pennies do add up. Of course, you could shut the water off when you’re not actually rinsing and save more resources that way. Or you could shower with a friend. No more falling asleep with the TV on. I’ll unplug all my electronic gadgets before hitting the rack every night. The Dept. of Energy estimates in the average home, 40% of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Add that all up, and it equals the annual output of 17 power plants. The easiest way to do this is to buy a power strip and plug everything into that gizmo. Just don’t unplug your roommate’s humidifier unless you like the sound of wheezing. I’ve got way too many possessions. Most old clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics and other household items donated to charity must be in “good used condition or better” to qualify for a tax deduction under new Federal legislation.

www.phillyrecord.com

Downtowners Strut Into 50th Year

(Cont. Page 4) barking on a 50th celebration that will climax in May at their three-day celebration. “We have been planning our 50-year anniversary for three years,” said Bob Galvin, second Captain of the club. It’s a monumental event for us this year. “To be in existence for 50 years is something really special.” On May 1 the Downtowners will dress their clubhouse at 148-50 Snyder Avenue as a “Downtowners Museum.” They will show memorabilia on both floors from the ‘50s to present day. Galvin said the club has been in contact with 275 past members and their families. On May 2 the club will host a black-tie reception at the Crystal Tea Room. Then on the Sunday, May 3 the Downtowners will host a “Family Day” at the club. It all started in 1959 for the 10-time Fancy Brigade champions.

After taking 1st prize in a special-mention category, a Brigade led by their now legendary Hall of Fame Capt. Bill Isaacs was accepted into the Fancy Brigade Division of the Mummers Parade. The name chosen for this new Brigade was “Downtowners”. The Brigade’s first three years of competition failed to produce a top-10 showing. Even without achieving success in the early years, an attitude and character was forming which would be the foundation of one of the most innovative and successful Brigades on Broad Street. The Downtowners won their first championship in 1964 with “Coronation”. The Downtowners are the only Brigade to win multiple championships in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. The Downtowners have gained a reputation not only for winning, but for innovation as well. The Brigade was the first to use floats in their

presentations. While the past is something the Downtowners take pride in, their future looks brighter! Hoping to have the remedy for success this year is Bob Galvin. Galvin, 71, will play the “Medicine Man” as the Downtowners Fancy Brigade strut down Broad Street as Indians and Chiefs. Galvin, from 11th & Wolf Street, has seen 58 New Year parades. This year will be Galvin’s 45th as a Downtowner. Many Brigades, including the Downtowners, have experienced problems due to escalating costs driven by increased competition. Despite cuts in prize money and threats of cancelation, Galvin sees 2009 as one of the best years yet for his club. Galvin said, “We understand the financial situation, but it’s a parade, a tradition, a happy time. I have no idea what New Year’s would be like if I wasn’t a mummer.”

The Public Record State Rep.

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LEANNA M. WASHINGTON DISTRICT OFFICE

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

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page 6 The Public Record • January 1, 2009

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

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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

Web: www.ldc-phila-vic.org

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: www.ldc-phila-vic.org Administrator, Richard Legree


Page 7 Snooper’s Regrets: Hey, I just met a bunch of wonderful people who invited me to their annual “EMPLOYEES CHRISTMAS PARTY”. Naturally, I could not accept. However, Frank Talent offered to represent me at this special event. ALL those people who work over in Courtroom 408, Criminal Justice Center, put together one heckuva party. The ringleaders of this jolly crew are “The Lady”, JANET DiTOMASSO; “No. 1”, ALICE FLAMER; “No. 2”, CYNTHIA GREGG; SAMANTHA RIEBOW; MARLENE BOROWSKI and Mr. NICK KUSHEVICH. KEN SNYDER was unable to come. I will admit I would have loved to been there myself, but couldn’t. Happy Holiday Ladies. Snooper’s Special Football Picks: Catholic League - CURTIS DRAKE of West Catholic. Public League - TIM FREILING of Northeast High School. College - BRADSHAW of Oklahoma. Pro Football: PEYTON MANNING of the Indianapolis Colts. The M.V.P.: ADRIAN PETERSON of The Minnesota Vikings. Superbowl: Indianapolis Colts vs. Carolina Panthers – we’d better all forget The New York Giants, not this year. Let’s go locally. Soccer: TEAM OF THE YEAR, coached by Joseph McDermott, “THE OUTLAWS” of the Philadelphia Soccer Club. Snooper’s Special News Dept.: BURHOLME PARK lovers can start to rejoice, because they WON their battle against Fox Chase Cancer Center. Yes, it has happened, and once again, it proves what I have always told you – fight them. HON. JOHN HERRON ruled in favor to “SAVE BURHOLME PARK” and against Fox Chase Cancer Center. Again, The Snooper congratulates you! Snooper Scooper Files: I want Judge Kevin Dougherty, Administrative Judge - Family Court, to know how the scum are able to break out of your temporary facilities. This place was originally designed to house those who were mentally challenged, so naturally, they weren’t worried about any escapees. Judge, your problems are the SCREENS. They were not designed (Cont. Page 20)

The South Philadelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009

Happy New Year everyone, and welcome to the first day of 2009. For anyone with a 401K, in need of a business or personal loan, or working for an American automaker, this is probably the happiest day of your life because it means 2008 is finally over. (In fact, I’m guessing that last group, the automakers in general, and their unionized workers in particular, is happiest of all because it can now count the hours of Republican rule in Washington with an egg timer.) Let’s be honest with ourselves, kids. The year 2008 was not for the faint of heart. In fact, it was a roller coaster that probably led to a lot of us losing our lunches. It went really high, plunged really low, and by the time this roller coaster lurched to a halt, we had a new President, saw 11 local libraries get shutdown notices, saw a powerful local lawmaker get his day in court, and watched as thousands of us took to the streets because Philadelphia finally got its World F*$#@ing Champion. Also, the good, the bad, and the ugly slipped from this mortal coil as Oscar-winning actors, anti-war chanteuses and one of the Senate’s foremost racists left us this year. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is my assessment of a year that still has many of us saying, “I still can’t believe he actually won!” The Local Section, Page 1: After The Love Is Gone Last year this time, we were all getting ready to celebrate the election of Michael Nutter as the City of Philadelphia’s new Big Kahuna. Nutter walked to his Inaugural, people were annoying their friends with cries of “A New (Cont. Page 20)

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When BARACK OBAMA takes over, he has indicated his first priority will be the economy. Part of the problem with our economy is our dependence on Middle East oil. The OPEC cartel rigs the price of oil and the amount produced. If private companies in the United States tried to do this, it would be a violation of the antitrust laws. Obama should take the following steps. Begin massive public spending for repair of the 450 bridges around the country that need to be repaired and replaced; building the new roads which are on the plan; and constructing more public buildings – as opposed to leasing space from private landlords, the government should own the buildings where its offices are located. A national policy should be announced from the White House urging people to use public transportation. If the commuter system in the big cities were to be expanded, that would reduce the number of cars on the road, which in turn would reduce the consumption of gasoline. The rail system on the East Coast should be expanded and high-speed trains obtained for the Northeast Corridor from Boston to Richmond, Va. You can travel faster by rail than you can by air if your destination fits in with this category. That would reduce the amount of gasoline and aviation fuel currently used to fly between these destinations. There would be no need to go through the burdensome security at the airport if the traveler were going by train. Get us out of Iraq. The estimate is we are spending $12-15 billion a month to keep a country of ingrates from being at each other’s throats. That money could be diverted to pay for adequate health programs for every citizen, new housing, and expanded governmental services. The White House should promulgate another new national policy encouraging the purchase (Cont. Page 20)

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Yo! Here we go again with these thoughts sent to me by my Air Force buddy Bernie A. He thinks the review of the headlines of the year that is almost over is great. But what about looking into the future? Here are some of his ideas of the headlines that might be reviewed at the end of the year 2028. Ready? Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh-largest country in the world. / In Mexifornia, formally known as California, the citizens, primarily the older residents, are still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia’s third language. / Baby conceived naturally; scientists are stumped and wonder why it happened. / Couples again petition the Supreme Court to reinstate heterosexual marriage. / Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels. / Florida voters are still having trouble with voting machines. France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica. / Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking anywhere in the United States. / George Z. Bush says he plans to run for President in the next election. / Postal Service raises price of first-class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only. / There will be a 25-year, $75.8 billion study on diet and exercise: Is it the key to weight loss? / IRS sets the new lowest tax rate at 75%. Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs. / Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut. (Ladies, I just reported it, I didn’t write it!) / Massachusetts executes the last remaining conservative. / Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights. / Average height of NBA players now 8 feet, 2 inches. / New Federal law requires all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by Jan. 1, 2029. / Capitol Hill intern indicted for refusing to have sex with a congressman. I wonder how many will be real headlines in 2028? Bernie and I plan to be here to see for ourselves – how about you?

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page 8 The South Philadelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009

Medical Record

Health Partners Challenges Loyal Donor To Duel Braving the bitter cold and intermittent snow flurries, Health Partners’ President and CEO William S. George

and local business leader, Glenn Miller, CEO, Interphase Medical Equipment, “pushed” the need for

CAIR Briefs Press

COUNCIL on American Muslim Relations Philadelphia Chapter launched outreach campaign to inform media about civil-rights issues that affect Muslims. From left are Civil Rights Director Marwa el-Turky, Executive Director Justin Peyton and volunteer Rugiatu Conteh.

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Thanksgiving donations to underserved Philadelphia families by challenging each other to a “Turkey Push” on the Friday before Thanksgiving. Urged along by the Murrell Dobbins HS cheerleaders, the two pushed decorated, Thanksgivingthemed shopping carts full of frozen turkeys in a 15-meter uphill race at Abbotsford Homes in Germantown. Ending in a photo finish, the race was too close to call. Through this entertaining public competition, the two CEOs sought to challenge other organizations to get involved and make donations in the community. Each year, Interphase Medical Equip-

ment supplies residents at Abbottsford Homes with free turkeys to support the Health Partners Foundation annual Thanksgiving basket drive. This year, Miller donated 125 on behalf of Interphase Medical Equipment. Following the “Turkey Push,” Health Partners distributed baskets, loaded with employee-donated Thanksgiving food items and a gift certificate for a free turkey, courtesy of the Health Partners Foundation, to Abbottsford Homes, Mothers In Charge, Lutheran Settlement House, the Salvation Army, State Sen. Shirley Kitchen’s office, and several other locations throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.

Question: Can my employer fire me if I file for Bankruptcy? Answer: Absolutely not. You have a right to file for bankruptcy protection and unless your employer is one of your creditors, or if you have authorized your employer to pull your credit report, in all likelihood they will never know. Again, it is a matter of public record so if they had reason to research the issue and find out if you filed, they legally can. However, under 11USC 525, you are specifically protected from being discriminated against and terminated from employment. Legally, your employer also

cannot discriminate against you if you are applying for a position and not hire you just because you filed for bankruptcy protection. If you feel you have been discriminated against, you need to contact an attorney specializing in employment law to understand potential recourse. Furthermore, given the number of employers who have filed for corporate-bankruptcy protection, it would be like “the pot calling the kettle black” for an employer to discriminate against an individual filer. Next week’s question: Can I get credit after filing personal bankruptcy? Attorneys are both board certified by the American Bankruptcy Certification Board. Chapters 7/13 & Stop foreclosures, creditors harassments, lawsuits, garnishments, and sheriff sales.

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budget? It was driven by the need to get tough on crime after a horrendous wave of violent crime that began to rock the city in 2005. That year homicides soared to 380 from 330 the year before. The numbers got even worse, spiking to 406 in 2006 as the public demanded thenMayor John Street and his Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson do something, anything to regain control. Nutter rode that wave of outrage, taking one of the harshest anti-violence, pro-enforcement lines in the five-way primary race. In January 2008, shortly after his pro-forma anointing in the General Election, Nutter appointed a new Police Commissioner, Charles Ramsey. Police officers, who were initially leery of Ramsey’s reputation, came to appreciate the new administration’s unflinching support as the violence struck down five of their own. The new Commissioner boosted surveillance in high-crime areas and instituted a “stop-andfrisk” policy Nutter had campaigned on. As of Dec. 30, 2008, homi-

cides for the year had plunged to 331, their lowest level since 2004. That’s great news for Philadelphia, and credit will go to Nutter and his appointee … rightly or wrongly. Probably wrongly. In fact, street violence crested in 2006 and was on its way down from about the moment Nutter won the 2007 primary. From May through December of that year, five out of eight months saw fewer homicides than the year before. Street and Johnson were still in charge then. And they had been taking action. They had increased surveillance; they had instituted weapons crackdowns and curfew crackdowns; they had marshaled a host of City departments and private partners to roll out a kitchen sink of interventions. Crime prevention is not a task that is quickly rewarded. It takes months for patterns to be identified, forces to be deployed, high-rate offenders to be removed from the streets and lowrate offenders to be diverted into healthier habits. So most results the Police got in 2008 were the

fruit of work in 2007. Even that claim is more than cautious professionals will assert. “It is a basic fact of crimefighting,” Commissioner Johnson reminded listeners as

the crime wave was peaking, “that crime rates go up and down over time. It is not always possible to say why.” Nutter will gladly take the credit for this current decline in

murders. Because concern over crime goes up swiftly but declines slowly, he is blessed with bright stats on the public’s number-one worry as he comes to grips with the budget crisis.

Laborers 135 Brings Santa To Hundreds DAN “TIGER” Woodall, right, business manager of Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 135, played Santa Claus to hundreds of kids in Norristown last week. Union hosted Toys for Tots drive at their in Norristown headquarters on Christmas Eve. Woodall and administrative staff, led by Janet Suber, left, collected bikes, games and all trimmings for area youngsters.

PAINTING Faces is “Katherine the Clown” as Norristown kids enjoy Christmas party at Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 135 in Norristown.

The South Philadelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009

by Tony West Michael Nutter likes to plan ahead. The meticulous and measured Nutter began to lay out the elements of his inaugural 2008-09 City budget shortly after he quit City Council to run for Mayor at the beginning of the 2006-07 budget cycle. Times were flush then and Nutter saw a chance to implement a classic guns-and-butter budget, stuffed with new spending for every user group and voter group in the City – while simultaneously reducing taxes. Nutter’s promises delivered him a historic landslide in the primary election of May 2007. Alas for well-laid plans! The ’08-’09 budget into effect just in time for the meltdown of international financial markets to lay waste to the City’s revenue stream that had looked so dependable two years earlier. Out the window went the budget, and in blew the furies of a frustrated and disenchanted citizenry. Tough luck, some might say. Luck has also been a lady to the Mayor, though. Remember the “guns” part of that first

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Mayor Nutter’s Luck — It’s Really Not All Bad

LOCAL 135 staffers and volunteers who gave out hundreds of Christmas gifts to Norristown youngsters. They are Billy McLean, organizer Tiffany Carter, Business Mgr. Dan Woodall, Vernon Woodall, Guiffre Glover, Recording Secretary Janet Suber, Joe Whaley, Roy Brown, Derek Waters, Andres Gaivis, and Mia Howell with her baby boy.

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page 10 The South Phioladelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009

Fruit Season Brightens Port Stats Thanks to the “fruit season”, the Port of Philadelphia will see a rise in shipping despite the fact most of the world’s major ports have shown dramatic declines in tonnage received or exported. Kicking off the fruit season here was the arrival of Francisco Camps, president of the province of Valencia in Spain, who visited Holt’s Gloucester Terminal recently. With him were Francisca M. Hernandez, Valencia’s secretary of agriculture, and Marta Valsangiacomo, director of agriculture, who observed 1.6 million boxes of clementines from their home country being unloaded. Known as the “Christmas fruit,” hundreds of boxes of clementines were donated during the event to Philabundance, the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, which reports it is currently experiencing a serious shortage of food to meet the growing need in the community. Valencia is the largest exporter of clementines in the world. More than 50,000 tons

of the popular fruit will be shipped to Gloucester City, N.J. between November and February when clementines are in season. The fruit is extremely popular at Christmastime because that’s when the fruit reaches its peak sweetness. From the Holt facility, the clementines will be shipped to distribution centers for importers who sell the fruit to local fruit stands, supermarkets, and restaurants. Signaling the fact import levels will be steady was Robert Palaima, president of Delaware River Stevedores, operators of Tioga Pier. His pier is the major fruit terminal for all the fruit exported to this country from Chile. “We expect a bumper crop in the various fruits imported yearly from Chile and that means more ships, more frequent arrivals, and a longer season,” he stated. “That translates into more work at the piers we manage along the Port.” The projected increase in fruit shipments will offset some of the dropoff seen with other

products and commodities that make their way to Port quays. Steel slabs, which normally found their way aboard ships bound for China within hours of their arrival at the piers, are “growing rusty” as they await shipment orders. “Steel shipments have been among our hottest exports,” said one Port Official. “But now they are not, taking down our tonnage numbers for the year.”

Electricians Skate Up Funds

ANNUAL IBEW Local #98 Ice Skating Party at Penn's Landing Blue Cross River Rink raised $50,000 for American Red Cross. Business Mgr. John Dougherty, 2nd from right, and President Brian Burroughs presented check to Tom Foley, Red Cross president, and Julie Appolloni, senior financial director.

PROUDLY MANAGING PENNSYLVANIAʼS INTERNATIONAL SEAPORT SINCE 1990

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

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Not waiting for the world recession in shipping to end, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority’s Marketing Division has been working the lists of past and present and potential future shippers and operators, reaching around the world to cultivate additional business. Said one of its staffers, “We are getting interest and feel new business coming our way with the slightest uptick in shipping.”

James T. McDermott, Jr. Executive Director

Robert C. Blackburn

Senior Deputy 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 www.philaport.com

Nutter Invites Minority Firms As part of its process for developing final recommendations to improve the levels of minority and female inclusion on Philadelphia’s construction worksites, the Mayor’s Commission on Construction Industry Diversity is developing a comprehensive listing of Philadelphia construction and construction-related firms owned by minorities, females, and the disabled. The Commission invites interested business owners to complete a brief questionnaire describing their business, and their interest in local contract participation. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Jan. 16, 2009 at 5 p.m. “All minority-, female-, and disabled-owned firms related to the construction industry should be sure to complete and return this form,” said Bruce Crawley, co-chair of the Contracting Committee. “This will be the

best possible way for those with private- or public-sector construction contracts to identify and consider minorityowned firms for inclusion in upcoming projects.” According to the most recent US Economic Census, there are about 6,900 minority- and female-owned construction firms operating in the Philadelphia-CamdenVineland statistical area. Of those, about 1,500 have employees and those are firms probably best-suited for cityrelated contract opportunities. Due to the fact these data are based on a 2002 Economic Census, the Commission strongly believes there is a need to create a more current list for planning and market outreach. The list will be a critically important tool for setting attainable goals for minority and female participation on publicand private-sector projects.


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Our Opinion ... We’re Excited About …

The South Philadelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009

…the fact the incoming President has been studying mistakes made by his predecessor and should be able to break out of the box and innovate changes that will benefit all of us. …the fact the recession has forced all government administrations – Federal, State and municipal – to reassess their budgets, scale back spending and to do it all – we trust – without having to raise taxes. …the fact the Public Record newspapers are celebrating milestones. The Philadelphia Public Record is now entering its 11th year and the South Philadelphia Public Record its second, which leads us to … …reminding you it is time for you to send in your nominations as to whom you would like to see named the Public Record’s Public Servant of the Year. Send your thoughts to John David. …the coming primary for DA, which should prove to be exciting. This race was triggered by the decision of DA Lynne Abraham not to seek reelection and our coverage will provide you with the meatiest of morsels. …the leadership provided by Congressman Bob Brady to the Democratic Party and attorneys Vito Canuso and Michael Meehan to the Republican Party. It will continue to produce candidates who will handle their offices extremely well. …the loyalty of our advertisers, who continue to be appreciated by our growing numbers of dedicated readers.

Another Opinion

A New Museum For The New Year tial four-car collection to more than 60 of the most consequential high-performance automobiles of the 20th century. The collection’s breadth and depth, ranging from Mercer and Stutz Bearcats, 1920’s Bugatti and Duesenberg racers, 1930s Alfa Romeos and BMWs and Cords, Jaguars, to NASCAR race cars from the ‘50s and ‘60s, distinguishes the collection for design and engineering. For design, the Museum presents the evolution from motorized carriage, through Art Deco, to aerodynamic, postwar modern esthetics. For engineering, the Museum enables visitors to grasp technological innovations in

automobile engineering. By presenting design and engineering innovations across varieties of racing events, the Simeone Museum drives home its theme of competition. For instance, a Bonneville Salt Flats display of a Cord, Austin Healey and Cobra Daytona Coupe showcases speed against a clock. The driver and car that went the fastest along a 10-mile-long straight black line or around a circle with 12-mile circumference won the race. Other dioramas of Le Mans, Sebring and NASCAR present competition among drivers starting at the same time, vying to complete a course the fastest.

Gorgeous sports cars comprise a grace note. A 1926 Kessel, a brand owned by aviatrix Amelia Earhart and actor Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., defines Roaring-Twenties elegance. A 1953 Mercedes Gullwing conveys sleek postwar aerodynamic modernity. A 1953 Hudson Hornet captures ‘50s rocket design and shows double-barrel carburetion, still the envy of many drivers. These combinations of beauty and engineering, design and performance, to achieve speed conveys the importance of velocity as one of the major determinants of success, power and competitive achievement in the 20th cen-

tury. Velocity enables mastery over more space in less time, as the collection makes vivid. The Simeone Museum recalls another great museum, the Barnes Foundation, also founded by a physician. For Alfa Romeos, for instance, beauty reaches to each component and part, and engineering excellence sets performance standards not so unlike a beautifully composed, masterfully executed painting. The Simeone Foundation Museum also constitutes significant cultural capital, because Philadelphia innovations are more often associated with pharmaceuticals, legal and financial services, early electronic computing and video program-

ming than automotive engineering. Consider, though, Sunoco in gasoline refining and nearby Dupont in automotive paints. Function rooms make the Museum a resource for event planners, particularly for meetings and conferences focusing on competition, achievement and performance. The rooms work well for parties and receptions. The Simeone Foundation Museum (www.simeonefoundation.org) is open TuesdaySunday and is located at Norwitch Drive parallel the Philadelphia Auto Mall nearby the Airport. Hugh Carter Donahue is Adjunct Professor of History, Rowan University, Glassboro, N.J.

www.phillyrecord.com

by Hugh Carter Donahue, PhD Of Philadelphia’s historic treasures, the Simeone Foundation Museum adds an invaluable collection of vintage, high performance race and sports cars as an important destination. The Museum’s opening this past June constitutes a keystone event for city and region for 2008. In the decades following the Second World War, Dr. Anthony Simeone, a Philadelphia physician, began collecting vintage race cars. Upon his death in 1972, his son Dr. Fred Simeone, a well respected neurosurgeon, who retired recently from the Pennsylvania Hospital, built his father’s ini-


www.phillyrecord.com

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page 18 The South Philadelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009

CitiLife Start a new year with Poe, Amahl, Please Touch & good cheer by Ruth R. Russell ‘Quoth the Raven’ is the thought-provoking title of the current exhibition in the Rare Book Department at the Central Library, 1901 Vine St. This is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the famed author who spent part of his life living in Philadelphia. If you have ever shivered through The Murders in the Rue Morgue or The Masque of the Red Death (my favorite), you will want to take a look at the display of various autographed manuscripts, first editions and Poe family heirlooms. Also shown is ‘Grip,’ the pet raven of Charles Dickens and the inspiration for Poe’s most famous poem, The Raven. Although the department is open Mondays through Fri-

days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with tours at 11, this show will welcome the public during special Saturday hours on January 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit continues through February 13. To learn more, call 215-6855416 or visit www.freelibrary.org. (The Edgar Allan Poe National Historical Site, at Seventh and Spring Garden Streets, will launch a special series starting on January 17. More on that later.) Amahl & Night Visitors Gian Carlo Menotti, an Italian-born American composer, wrote an opera in 1951 for Epiphany — the Christian festival that celebrates the arrival of the Magi (or Three Kings) to see the infant Jesus. Amahl and the Night Visitors, now one of the most per-

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formed works of the Christmas season, is the tale of young Amahl and his mother who open their modest house to the Magi who are on their way to visit the Christ child and witness a miracle while staying there. Members of the Keystone State Boychoir and the Germantown Oratorio Choir, conducted by David C. Daugherty, will present this delightful selection on Sunday, January 4, at 3 p.m., in the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 W. Chelten Ave. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and donations are accepted. For information, call 215-8438811 or visit www.fpcgermantown.org. World for young kids On the day after Christmas we took our youngest grandson, his mother and father to visit the Please Touch Museum at its new home in Memorial Hall. We had been advised that young children were still likely to be enjoying their new gifts and therefore the 26th should be a good day to go. What an interesting thought! The parking lot was filled to overflowing and the museum was truly Little Girl and Boy Land, full of kids and parents pushing empty

Ruth Russell strollers as their offspring took off to enjoy varied activities including a walk through the Enchanted Colonial Village and a ride on the Dentzel carousel. We ate lunch at the Please Taste Café, a nice option that enables parents to plan a day that includes something to eat. Starting in January there will be interactive plays, story hours and musical programs. Museum admission is charged and there are group rates. However, after you see how much fun your kid has at Please Touch you might consider a family membership. To learn more, call 215-581-3181 or visit www.pleasetouchmuseum.org. Seaport Slumbers For the adventurous sea-

loving youngster, the Independence Seaport Museum (ISM) is offering Seaport Slumbers during January, February and March. Boys and girls ages 5-12 are able to stay overnight, enjoy an evening focusing on the world of shipwrecks, then in the morning tour the Submarine Becuna and the SpanishAmerican Cruiser Olympia. ISM is at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard and Walnut Street. Entrance is generally by Museum admission or membership. For this program, however, the cost is $45 and reservations are needed. Call 215-413-8630 or visit www.phillyseaport.org for complete details. GustaferYellowgold Dodge Caravan Peanut Butter and Jams will present the remarkable Gustafer Yellowgold on Saturday, January 3, at World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St. The show starts at 11:30 a.m.; doors open at 11. Gustafer is described as a golden alien who comes from the sun, bringing creatures such as the Blue Star, the Pterodactyl and the dragon for a show for kids and adults by illustrator/singer/songwriter Morgan Taylor. Admission is charged and a

kid-friendly buffet is available (not included in ticket price). For complete details, call 215-222-1400 or visit www.worldcafelive.com. New Year at the Kimmel Last but not least, if your plans for New Year’s Day include being in Center City for the parade, consider spending part of the time at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce Streets. There will be entertainment from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., including performances for kids by Yosi, Steve Pullara and His Cool Beans and the Hardly Able String Band. Snacks will be available on the ground level and a family brunch on Tier One. Cadence will be open on Tier 2, where patrons can dine and watch the Mummers strut. In the New Year, Miss Amy will offer her free Kids’ Fitness Rock & Roll on Saturday, January 3, at 11 a.m., in the Commonwealth Plaza as part of PNC Grow Up Great. This performer draws in her audiences with own original songs that include “health & fitness movements.” Visit www.kimmelcenter.org to learn about all programs. Email news for CitiLife to ruth@phillyrecord.com.


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CitiLife

Mémé is a memorably busy new Center City restaurant kills daffodils? The location can take some credit. The previous tenant, Melograno, was also filled almost every night of the week and has since moved to larger quarters at 20th and Sansom Streets. The main attraction, though, at the 42-seat BYOB (they hope to get a liquor license in the new year) is undoubtedly the minimalist “new American” menu from the open kitchen of owner/chef David Katz, 31-year-old veteran of other area restaurants such as Salt, “M,” Lula, Avenue B and Pollo Rosso. Despite his youth, Katz already has more than 18 years of experience in the restaurant business. His first job was washing dishes at a restaurant in Cape May, New Jersey, as age 13. Katz has definitely developed a following among foodies with his elemental but bold flavors. There are Center City residents who practically

worship Katz for his whole chicken for two ($28) with roasted shiitake mushrooms, sweet onion grits and Madeira wine. We have not had the pleasure to indulge in it, but aficionados insist the freerange bird that Katz roasts in duck fat is like no other. The only dish we found less than stellar was the bitter-tasting mixed chicories salad with Roquefort cheese, walnut and pear slices ($10). A grilled flatbread appetizer was a wonderful combination of creamy goat cheese and bold olive and prosciutto flavors ($13). A catch of the day was a glorious swordfish with green olives and fingerling potatoes. A skirt steak was not served hot, but it had a rich, muscular flavor redolent of Asian spices and was accompanied by freshtasting asparagus and mushrooms and a sublime brandy-peppercorn sauce

Len Lear ($25). And there was such an ample amount that half of it went home for reheating the next night. For dessert, a rich, chocolate pot de crème ($7) was heavenly, as was a plate of four cheeses ($14), especially the sensual parmigiano reggiano. The name Mémé, by the way, is a colloquial Moroccan expression for “grandmother” and is a tribute to David’s Mo-

roccan Jewish grandmother, who was born and raised in Casablanca. The new restaurant has bistro chairs with solid cherrywood tabletops, big picture windows which are good for pedestrian-watching, blackboard menus and mustard-colored walls covered with food photography by Katz’ friend, Brett Thomas, a prominent Center City photographer. Katz’ menu, which inspires sharing, is divided into “smallish” dishes (from $9 to $18), “larger” dishes (from $14 to $25), dishes “for two” (from $28 to $30) and “desserts and cheeses” (from $7 to $14). Why the dishes are not referred to simply as appetizers, entrees and desserts is a mystery since the portion sizes are not substantially different from those of most other area restaurants. The tables are almost as close together at Mémé as a

fingernail and a finger, so you are probably going to hear your neighbors’ conversations, whether you want to or not. If you’re lucky, you may hear some salacious gossip. Also, the noise level is deafening, but after being in so many nearly empty restaurants lately, we were delighted to see enough customers to actually create a loud din. And our tall, young server was knowledgeable, friendly and efficient. Mémé is open for dinner every night but Tuesday and for Sunday brunch. You are not likely to find an available parking space on a nearby street, but there is a littleknown indoor garage on the south side of Rittenhouse Street, halfway between 20th and 21st Street, just two blocks from the restaurant, for a reasonable $9. For more information, call 215-735-4900 or visit www.memerestaurant.com.

The Public Record • January 1, 2009

by Len Lear In recent weeks we have been to several Center City restaurants that are obvious victims of the current economic recession/depression. Half-full and quarter-full dining rooms have become the rule rather than the exception, even during the holiday season, but one new restaurant that doesn’t seem to have been affected in the least is Mémé (pronounced “May-may”), which opened September 29 at 2201 Spruce St. in Fitler Square. When we visited on a cold Thursday night in mid-December, every table at Mémé was occupied, and as soon as a table became available, it was quickly filled by two or four more diners, most of the earlyand mid-20-ish variety. How is the new kid on the block able to buck the lugubrious trend that is killing businesses faster than a cold spell

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page 20 The Public Record • January 1, 2009

Out & About

(Cont. From Page 7) Day, A New Way” and it seemed as if he could get a free latte at Whole Foods for the rest of his life if he wanted to. Now, if he were to take that walk from his office to the Academy of Music, Nutter wouldn’t get the same reception. In fact, it might be a little closer to the reception George W. Bush got during his first inauguration parade. While Philadelphians can accept the fact you’re new and you’re trying when stuff happens like cops being shot or a little girl becoming the new face of all that is wrong with the Dept. of Human Services, there are two things you just shouldn’t mess with here: Mummers and Libraries. Unfortunately, Nutter decided to go after both. There’s no money for the Mummers in the budget for next year and if it weren’t for Cong. Bob “The Builder” Brady, there wouldn’t be a parade this year either. But having to make these cuts wasn’t why the honeymoon is over for the City and the Mayor. This is a city that understands broke. Now the City is broke. We get that.

What’s ending the honeymoon is Nutter’s attitude toward the anger of city residents and even some members of City Council. When you tell Philadelphians you’ve made a decision that impacts their lives and then tell them they have no say in it, they’re going to remind you they put you in this office and they will take you out. Mr. Mayor, reconsider the libraries. Not doing that makes you look small, churlish and uncaring about the poorest among us. Somehow, I don’t think that’s the image your media brain trust wants to have to spin you out of … especially since there ain’t that much spin in the world. Besides, City Council and Commonwealth Court are probably going to make you do it anyway. Beating them to it saves you some embarrassment. The Local Section, Page 2: Not A Mensa Move I have always believed if the contest is between intelligence and ambition, ambition is always going to take the prize. That’s because while smart people are, well, smart, they’re not always the most ambitious in the world. Or if they are ambitious, their ruthlessness makes

it impossible for most of their ambitions to be realized. When former State Sen. Vince Fumo got indicted this year on misappropriation of funds charges, it was the latest example of my theory. Fumo, a member of Mensa with a genius IQ, used his intelligence like a samurai warrior against those who stood in his way, much to the benefit of his friends. But when he ran up against former US Attorney (and Governor-Wannabe) Patrick Mee-

han, the jig was up. The trial is still going on, but it doesn’t look good for Fumo. But despite the loss of his seat, Fumo did get one for the “smart” column this year. He somehow got his choice to fill his seat, Larry Farnese, in the promised land of Harrisburg over Electricians Union official John Dougherty. I’m still trying to figure out how Dougherty lost that race. I guess it’ll take someone smarter than me to solve that mystery.

Snooper

There will be a CASINO built here in Philadelphia; where, we don’t know as of yet, but it will happen. Someone from City Council will be leaving; whether it’ll be on their own, that’ll be up to them. Mayor Nutter will be involved in a very controversial matter, and this will be very serious for him. The Courts – they will definitely be in all the news and, for a change, it will be very good. The Police will really enjoy this year; about time. Yes, there will even be a CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM this year, and one that may surprise all of you. All right Boss, enough is enough – ain’t NO MORE!

(Cont. From Page 7) for security reasons, and this is how they’ve been able to ESCAPE. Snooper’s Holiday Message: Well, here we go with another NEW YEAR, and it’s my sincere hope, it will be a great year for all of you. This year 2009 will definitely be one that we’ll all remember because of all that is happening. Yes, we even have a new President, and hopefully, one that can really change this world around – for the better. My wish for this NEW YEAR is for PEACE and HAPPINESS for all of you. Amen! Snooper’s Predictions:

City Hall Sam

(Cont. From Page 7) of new housing. New housing means washers, dryers, stoves, ovens, hot-water heaters, air conditioners and related heavy industry. Getting the companies that manufacture these items to expand or become new startups will be an additional stimulus to the economy. To encourage building tax breaks under the Federal tax code should be part of the plan for this industry. The government should make loans and purchase stock in the Big Three motor industry, if needed, to insure American vehicles can compete with the heavily subsi-

2400 E. Somerset Street Philadelphia, PA 19134

dized Japanese, German, French and Korean motor vehicles. This program should not only act as a stimulus to the American economy but at the same time to the world economy. If all the economists in the world were laid end to end, they would still point in different directions. All the economic indicators in the world can be scraped in favor of what the one superpower of the world – the United States – is doing. With absolute action like that described above, the rest of the world will see the American economy is leading the way out of recession and the rest of the world will undoubtedly will follow it.

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Page 21 The South Philadelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009

Jan. 6, 2009 • Jan. 13, 2009 Jan. 20, 2009 • Jan. 27, 2009

Thursday 6801 Essington Ave. Jan. 8, 2009 • Jan. 15, 2009 Jan. 22, 2009 • Jan. 29, 2009

Saturday 3201 N. Delaware Ave Jan. 3, 2009 • Jan. 10, 2009 Jan. 17, 2009 • Jan. 24, 2009 Jan. 31, 2009

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Tuesday 2535 S. Swanson St.


page 22 The South Philadelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009 www.phillyrecord.com

Judge Lynn’s In! by Joe Shaheeli The affable and very popular Common Pleas Judge Jimmy Lynn will be on the ballot for the Democratic nomination as Judge of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. It looks like the judge’s popular monthly Friday luncheons will soon become a thing of the past from now until primary day. Lynn said he is bringing 36 years’ experience as a

lawyer and as a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Giving him an edge is the fact he has engaged in other statewide races and has established a network of support. Judge Lynn cites the Commonwealth Court as the “Peoples’ Court” for the people of Pennsylvania, noting it is the Court of last resort and final decision for any issue involving our State and local governments.

BEING PASSED out by hundreds is this palm card promoting Judge Jimmy Lynn for Commonwealth Court. Campaign announcement will temporarily end Lynn’s monthly Friday luncheons.


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The Public Record • January 1, 2009

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Page 23

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The South Philadelphia Public Record • January 1, 2009

page 24


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South Philadelphia Public Record

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