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FREE | NOVEMBER 25 - DECEMBER 2, 2021 | @phillyweekly



What’s behind the ACCT Philly sudden death syndrome for dogs?

There are lies, and damned lies, and then there are Leftwing Democrats. | Page 5



PHILADELPHIAWEEKLY.COM @PHILLYWEEKLY Michael J. Chitwood, with more than 55 years in law enforcement, said curbing car stops takes away police authority to monitor traffic and cars and all the crime that goes with it. Image | Courtesy of Michael J. Chitwood

HANDCUFFING THE POLICE Former chief: Reducing car stops hurts public safety


ack in 1994, I was the first reporter to attend and cover the pilot session of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Civilian Police Academy, and I wrote an 11-part series on police training and operations for a South Philadelphia newspaper. Forty clergy members, lawyers, district advisory council members, town watch volunteers, and community leaders also attended the modified police training every Tuesday night in an effort to show how the police are trained to operate on the streets I recall the evening that a police instructor spoke of low-risk car stops and how probable cause, such as an expired tag or registration, allowed the officers to stop the car. We were shown how proper car stops were performed in the parking lot. “A low-risk stop does not involve a felony, and the occupants do not have a weapon to the best of the officer’s knowledge,” the instructor explained. “But a low-risk stop can quickly elevate into a high risk one.” The instructor introduced a former recruit who spoke of his third day on patrol in South Philly. He told us that he performed what he thought was a low-risk car stop and then discovered that the driver was armed with an illegal firearm.


I reached out to Michael J. Chitwood and I As a crime reporter and a columnist, I’ve asked him for his take on stopping car stops. gone out on numerous “ride-alongs” with poChitwood retired as the Upper Darby, Pennlice officers over the years, and I’ve watched them perform many car stops. I observed how sylvania’s Superintendent of Police in 2019, ending his more than 55 years in law enforcesome of the car stops led to a ticket for a violament. He spent 35 years as a chief tion, while other car stops led to an of police in both urban and suburarrest that took a bad guy off the ban departments, and he served 20 streets. years in the Philadelphia Police DeIn my last column I interviewed partment as a Highway Patrolman, Joseph P. Sullivan, who served as narcotics officer and homicide dethe Philadelphia Deputy Commistective. He was the most decorated sioner for Patrol Operations from police officer in Philadelphia histo2017 to 2000. The retired veteran ry. police executive weighed in on “There are two issues here. One Philadelphia Mayor James Kenis the political issue,” Chitwood ney’s order to stop the police from said. “The bill was introduced by making car stops for minor traffic Councilman Thomas, who claimed violations, the first such ban in the that he was stopped between 10 and country. 30 times. He and others are conAfter City Council passed the cerned about the bridges between Driving Equality Bill, introduced the community and the police, and by Councilman Isaiah Thomas, I understand that.” the mayor issued the executive PAULDAVISONCRIME.COM Chitwood then addressed the order with the goal of healing poother issue, crime. He noted that lice-community relations. The car stop ban is meant to protect minority drivers the city has more than 400 homicides, and shootings and drugs are out of control. With from discrimination. rampant drug and weapons trafficking, he Sullivan said the Philadelphia Police Desaid the city loses much by limiting car stops. partment makes approximately 70 percent of “You lose a lot in Black, Brown and white its seizures of illegally possessed guns during vehicle investigations. Traffic enforcement, he neighborhoods if you take away these police interactions,” Chitwood said. “Police officers said, is connected to crime suppression.


sometimes make these car stops due to reasons as miniscule as registration, broken taillight, and license plates not properly secured, and they wind up discovering a load of drugs and/or guns. “For example, when I was in Highway Patrol, we saw a guy make an improper turn. We stopped the guy and we found numerous handguns in the trunk of the car. We found rope, ski masks and rubber gloves. Now he wasn’t going to church with this stuff in his car. There was a robbery planned and a robbery stopped, as we arrested him. That’s what you lose with this ban.” Chitwood said curbing car stops takes away police authority to monitor traffic and cars and all the crime that goes with it. Felons, he noted, will be driving around freely in cars and this will lead to armed criminals more easily victimizing citizens, especially in the minority communities. “Police officers need probable cause to stop anybody. I don’t believe in arbitrary stops,” Chitwood said. “But to me, a motor vehicle violation, even a minor one, is a violation. Period. Taking away these tools from a police officer is a mistake. I think you’re handcuffing the police.” Paul Davis’ Crime Beat column appears here each week. He can be reached via





House district called on Henon to resign when criminal sits on the Philadelphia City Council. Not an alleged he was first indicted in 2019. Chris Rabb of the 200th district recently added his voice to that criminal (though there are some Solomon’s. of those, too) or even a person That’s it. One of the 14 Democrats on City who is merely indicted (there is Council and two of the Democrats in the state one of those, as well,) but an acHouse of Representatives can see the problem tual convicted criminal. Councilman Bobby Henon was convicted earlier here. The rest don’t have an issue with a convicted felon helping to write the city’s laws this month of conspiracy and honest services or exercise the notoriously corrupt “councilfraud, two federal crimes. A jury of his peers manic prerogative” that shapes city zoning held beyond a reasonable doubt that Henon decisions behind the scenes. committed these crimes. Most council members just fled from reIs he going to resign his seat? Of course porters seeking comment, or said something not! Why start providing honest service now, so weak that no one could tell which after all these years. “My intention side they were on. Council Presiat this time is to continue to serve dent Darrell L. until I see that there is a transition Clarke’s spokesman told the Inplan in place that I can feel comquirer’s Max Marin that “it’s prefortable with,” Henon told the Inmature for us to comment further quirer last week. at this time.” Councilmember Helen Henon is going to sit in his ofGym, usually the first to get in front fice and collect a paycheck for his of a camera, is nowhere to be found $138,890-a-year job until the absoand did not respond to reporters’ lute last minute, resigning only afcalls. The story was the same for ter his sentencing in February 2022 most of Henon’s colleagues in City as state law requires. Henon has Hall. resigned from all of the commitMayor Jim Kenney was more tees on which he sat, so it is unclear confrontational in his answers. what he will be doing to earn that Kenney is an old friend of Henon’s paycheck, but one thing is beyond co-conspirator, Johnny Dougherty, doubt: he will be cashing it. @KYLESAMMIN and questioned the verdict in no Most Philadelphians are barely uncertain terms. “Do you think that surprised at this final act of disevery major corporation in this city and in honesty. After all, who can be surprised that this region doesn’t influence on a legislative a person who betrayed his constituents wants body?” he said after the trial, “That’s naive to to do so for a little while longer? But we should be distrurbed at just how think that that’s not the case.” A city politician is on the take? No big deal, many of our purportedly non-criminal officeholders seem to think this is all fine and according to Kenney. Everybody does it! Kenney, who was recorded in conversations dandy. Many Republicans have called for Hewith Henon and Dougherty that were played non to resign immediately, but that isn’t too surprising: every politician thinks criminals at the trial, pushed back even harder against the idea that he would ever criticize the conin the other party should quit. The real test victed union leader or his dogsbody in City of character is how they respond to wrongdoing among their own. Most of Philadelphia’s Hall. Asked what he would say to Dougherty, Kenney only replied: “None of your business. elected Democrats are failing this test. How’s that?” There are a few lonely standouts who deHow the mayor interacts with notorious serve credit for their integrity. Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, who represents criminals is absolutely the people’s business. Shame on Kenney and his cronies on City the 7th councilmanic district, is the only Council for their silence. Every day they remember of that body to have called for Hefuse to call for Henon’s resignation is further non’s resignation. A few of the Democrats representing the city in Harrisburg have said evidence that they are complicit in Philly’s the same: Jared Solomon of the 202nd state culture of corruption.

and help us make it.








Vesper Center City has announced Deceptions: A Magical Night of Mystery and Deception featuring the many talents of Mervant the Deceptionist. After pivoting during the pandemic, Mervant has become a top celebrity on AirBnb where he booked over 700 virtual performances. Now, he will take his show live and in-person with help from Glu Hospitality and producers Smoke and Mirrors. This new performance experience will take place in Vesper’s hidden speakeasy every Thursday and every Saturday night at 6:30pm. Audiences should come ready to be dazzled with a combination of illusion, deception and mentalism. For tickets and more information about the show, visit For more about Vesper, visit



Image | John Costello

Image | Courtesy of Art in the Age


This holiday season, shop locally, give the gift of stamping out cocktail illiteracy and indulge in a complimentary cocktail along the way! In celebration of the recent launch of quintessential cocktail literature “The Cocktail Workshop: An Essential Guide to Classic Drinks and How to Make Them Your Own,” co-authored by Philly local and Art in the Age founder Steven Grasse alongside esteemed travel writer Adam Erace, Art in the Age will be offering an exciting Black Friday Pop-Up Cocktail Giveaway at several independent retailers across the city: On Black Friday, Nov. 26, guests over 21 who pursue a better future for cocktail edification by purchasing a copy of “The Cocktail Workshop” will be gifted one complimentary bottled Oaxacan Negroni at Herman’s Coffee, Open House and both the East Passyunk and Collingswood, New Jersey locations of Occasionette. The same offering will also be available at Riverwards Produce Market on Nov. 27.

Craftsman’s annual Christmas Pop-up

Image | Society Hill Films

Craftsman Row Saloon has announced the debut of its annual Christmas Pop-up that is bigger, brighter and has even more bling for the 2021 season. The Jewelers’ Row restaurant and bar is known as Philadelphia’s most festive sit-down restaurant. After a break in 2020 due to the pandemic, owners and operators brother-sister duo George and Vasiliki Tsiouris are thrilled to welcome back all the holiday merry-makers into the Christmas wonderland that features over 5,000 feet of garland, thousands of twinkling lights, thousands of sparkling, shiny and colorful ornaments, hundreds of vintage and unique tree trimmings, hundreds of bows, stockings, santas, and of course an Elf on the Shelf hidden among the festive decor.

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There are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are Leftwing Democrats BY MICHAEL P. TREMOGLIE


nglish statesman Edmund Burke, in 1770, wrote, “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” On November 19, 2021, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, 251 years after Burke’s apothegm, 12 average American citizens associated to resist the lies of an evil, conniving, unscrupulous, detestable combination of politicians, journalists, civil libertarians, lawyers, thugs, racists, and bigots. They were egregious, bald-faced lies. How bad were these lies and the people who told them? Consider this, not long after the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict was announced, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democratic Party congressman from New York State issued the following statement: It is disgusting and disturbing that someone was able to carry a loaded assault rifle into a protest against the unjust killing of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man. Just in this one sentence, a Democratic Party leader told several falsehoods. Jacob Blake was not killed. Jacob Blake was not unarmed. Kyle Rittenhouse did not have an assault rifle. Kenosha was a riot by a violent mob, not a protest. Fortunately, the jurors were more diligent than the Leftwing Democrats. The reaction by Maloney illustrates how willing the Left is to lie to obtain their objectives. Indeed, the whole premise of the Kenosha riots – that an innocent unarmed Black man was shot and killed by police – was a lie. A lie that to this day is still repeated by journalists, politicians, and college professors. If one listened to the Leftwing lynch mob led by Joe Biden and MSNBC (the only news organization ever to be banned from attending a trial), you would believe that a peaceful protest was invaded by a teenage white supremacist boy, who illegally crossed state lines with the specific intent to kill Black people. But none of this was true. Still, the Leftist Lynch Mob desperately tried to make a racial incident of a white person shooting white people! What does this tell any sentient American, any common sense person, about all of these

claims of “racially motivated shootings?” It is not about race! It is about ideology! It is about politics! The Kenosha riots, like the Ferguson riots, taught Americans – at least those capable of rational thought – many things. One is that the mainstream media lies. Two is that Leftwing politicians will stop at nothing to exploit an incident regardless of who suffers. Another is that rioters are recruited from the criminal classes. Still, another is that there are many wealthy elites both here and abroad who will pay any amount to foment discontent and divide Americans.

For example, judging from the criminal records of those who Rittenhouse shot and the one guy who kicked Rittenhouse, it is obvious the Left recruits thugs to stage these riots. One had been charged with raping boys. Another convicted for intoxicated use of a firearm. Another had a felony conviction for domestic abuse. Still, another had a lengthy criminal history including violent offenses. During the trial, the prosecutor tried to put forth the concept that since Rittenhouse had been warned by rioters not to leave his current location, this was tantamount to a legal

command and Rittenhouse was provoking trouble when he walked the streets. So a government official is saying that rioters' commands have the force of law. But the Democratic Party-led governments of Kenosha and Wisconsin had abdicated their responsibility to protect the innocent from the beginning. Law-abiding people were abandoned to the whims of looters and rioters. This was not just a mob. This was a violent bloodthirsty mob. This was an organized violent mob that had the sympathy of the elite media and the Democratic Party. They thought they were above the law. The reaction to the verdict from these same quarters proves this. Condemnations like those from Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris, MSNBC’s Joy Reid and Joe Scarborough. CNN’s Don Lemon, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, substantiate this. California Governor Gavin Newsom, another Democrat, said Americans can “break the law, carry around weapons built for a military, shoot and kill people, and get away with it.” Governor Newsom, is that not what happened in Portland and Seattle? Is this not what happens in Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, and elsewhere on a daily basis? That none of these solons of justice mentioned or condemned defense witnesses receiving death threats, defense attorneys receiving death threats, the judge receiving death threats, and jurors being intimidated says a lot about the Democratic Party leadership, the social justice movement, and organizations like Black Lives Matter and Antifa. The Leftwing mobsters tried to intimidate the jury who courageously resisted them. What more does the average American need to know to understand the nature of the alliance of communists, the Democratic Party, wealthy elitists, the media, and gangsters? They have, they can, and they will use every means at their disposal to make America a communist totalitarian state. Subterfuge, propaganda, deception, intimidation, violence, arson are just some of their tools. Edmund Burke was right and the Kenosha 12 proved it.





What’s going on at

LEFT: Sarah Barnett, director of development and communications at ACCT, is a part of a new leadership team at the shelter. Image | ACCT

Tear down the wall between the shelter and the public


Velazquez. The city’s co-chair of the board, Joanna Otero-Cruz, left in October. Co-chair Marsha Perelman, a long-time animal advocate, is joined as co-chair by Charlotte Castle, a deputy director in the managing director’s office with no experience in shelter operations. Velazquez’s job is temporarily being filled by long-time ACCT staffer Tara Schernecke, director of field services, and Sarah Barnett, director of development and communications. about 85%.) They are co-executive directors. That is very good news, but it ends there. Velazquez’s departure followed Since operation of the shelter was the unwarranted, mysterious and transferred from the Pennsylvania probably illegal death of a 5-year-old SPCA to the newly formed ACCT BY: STU pit bull mix named Saint, who had Philly in 2012, executive directors BYKOFSKY been in a loving home. have lasted about two years. It is Saint was dead within 12 hours afalmost impossible to create a wellter he hit ACCT Philly. oiled operation when a new boss, with new Saint lived with guardian Tiffany Lavelle ideas about how things should run, comes in every two years. The executive directors have and her son, who was devoted to the dog. Tiffabeen the model of diversity – male, female, ny’s ex-boyfriend, Bryan Landis, was driving with Saint in his car on August 4 when he was Black, white, Latina. stopped by Philadelphia police, who found he The latest leader, Aurora Velazquez, left Nov. 12 under a cloud that neither she nor the had a parole violation. Cops took him into custody and sent a happy, healthy Saint to ACCT board of directors who hired her would disPhilly for safekeeping – they thought. In less cuss. I will – and more about that in a minute. than 12 hours, Saint was euthanized – after Velazquez’s director of operations, Summer Dolder, left ACCT Philly two weeks before suffering a broken jaw.


irst, the good news: Over the years, the number of animals being euthanized at the city animal shelter has dropped dramatically. The ACCT Philly “save rate” has increased from the 20% when it was known as PACCA 20 years ago, to (briefly) 92% for dogs and cats in January. (It has since declined to



How the injury happened is a mystery. Lavelle is planning to sue ACCT, and her attorney did not make her available before deadline. Barnett denies reports that ACCT claimed police broke Saint’s jaw. An informed source said the animal control officer who removed Saint from the police car with a metal control pole was Terrell Walton. ACCT would not make Walton available to me for an interview. Both police and PSPCA are investigating, and have received surveillance video. Perelman says she can’t comment until those investigations are complete. After viewing the video, Barnett says it appeared Saint’s jaw was hurt while he was being removed from the police car, and the dog might have broken his jaw by biting on the control pole. “That’s impossible,” says Stuart Goldman, former head of the Monmouth County (N.J.) SPCA shelter, a dentist and private eye who investigates animal abuse cases, including this one. Saint’s injuries, he says, were caused by blunt force trauma, like being hit with the control pole. If so, that would call for criminal charges of animal abuse. The ACCT Philly sudden death syndrome for dogs is nothing new. Back in 2004, as part of an expose about the city animal shelter, then called PACCA, I reported on a family pet named Sheea, who had run out of her home without her collar, and was found by a well-meaning stranger. He turned her into the shelter, and the Shetland sheepdog was dead 9 minutes later. Ten years later, the same scenario brought Rhonda to ACCT, where she was put down 15 minutes after arrival. She was microchipped, but no one scanned her. I heard of many other cases, but as a Daily News columnist, there was a limit to how many of these similar tragedies I could write about. But it is an obvious ongoing problem. Here’s another problem – the board that oversees ACCT Philly. Who oversees the board? On paper, the managing director’s office. But the managing director’s office sits as co-chair on the board. Critics say co-conspirator. People with an objective view of operations work in, and with, ACCT. By that I mean ACCT staff members, volunteers who work in the shelter, and rescue groups that take animals from the shelter to find them homes, and sometimes get stuck with medical bills for sick animals. Although the board should be answerable to the public, which provides tax funding for the shelter, the public is shut out. Give us your money, but shut up and go away, the board tells the taxpayers. It was not always so. The public once was welcome.

After a contentious March 2017 board meeting attended by 60 people – mostly volunteers and rescue people with complaints about operations – the board responded by cutting the number of public meetings in half. In the current pandemic era, only five meetings are held, they are conducted by Zoom, and no outsiders are permitted, board co-chair Perelman tells me. Additionally, until 2018, the board published its minutes on the ACCT website. It no longer does, and has removed the earlier minutes. Welcome to “1984,” where Big Brother has a memory hole to dispose of unwelcome facts. Why the changes?, I asked Perelman. “As a 501(c)3 organization, [a tax-exempt nonprofit] ACCT revised its governance policies in 2019 to align with current thinking on best practices,” she says. Who changed the “governance policies”? The board. Why? Because it can. It writes its own rules, then rewrites them. A Brick Wall has been built between the high-handed ACCT board and the taxpaying public. Without the minutes we have no idea how many of the members listed on the website attend meetings. We don’t know if the list of members on the ACCT website is accurate. As I write this, Otero-Cruz is listed as cochair, but she’s gone. There’s a confidence builder. To be fair, the board headed by Perelman raised about $1 million to replace the city’s pandemic-caused 21% budget cut. Applause for that, and other efforts, but not for autocracy. Minutes also would reveal the plans the board has for the shelter, and report on how efficiently it is being operated. The public has an absolute right to this information. I asked the two “public citizens” on the board – former Mayor Ed Rendell and City Councilman Alan Domb – how they could justify the complete lockout of taxpayers, the people who pay the bills. Domb evaded by saying he forwarded my question to the board. Rendell did not respond, as he sometimes does when he doesn’t like the question. Finally, I asked new co-executive director Barnett if ACCT will release the investigatory reports from PSPCA and the police department. “I don’t know,” she says. Now would be a good time to start tearing down the Brick Wall. Stu Bykofsky served the Philadelphia Daily News as an editor, reporter and columnist for nearly 50 years before retiring in 2019. He now publishes at the centrist Follow him on Twitter @ StuBykofsky.


ABOVE: Long-time ACCT staffer Tara Schernecke, director of field services, is one of two temporary leaders at ACCT. Image | ACCT




‘I’m just a girl from Philly’ Crystal Lee Brown talks growing up in Philly, her career and more


She also starred as Bernie, one of the mathere you watching the crime dramaticians known as a “human computer” in ma “Hightown” on Starz? If so, you’re seeing a local actress in the award-winning “Hidden Figures” alongside Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer. a major role. If not, you’ve no PW recently caught up with Brown to talk doubt already seen Crystal Lee Brown in one of the many roles about her career and how the city has impacted her career. she has played in a number of How did you first become interested in hit shows and movies. acting? Growing up, did you participate in Daytime Emmy-nominated any Philly theater groups? actress Brown is a proud PhilaI became interested in acting as a young delphia native who earned a degree in sports child when my mother and I would watch CBS journalism and theater from Temple. She is now playing Janelle, a no-nonsense Sunday Matinee movies. This is where I was introduced to classic movies, such as “Imiprison physical therapist who forms a romantation of Life,” “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad tic relationship with a patient, on “Hightown.” World,” “The Bad Seed,” “Silkwood” The series follows a woman’s jourstarring Meryl Streep, and “The ney to sobriety that is overshadGeorge McKenna Story” starring owed when she is pulled into the BY: EUGENE ZENYATTA Denzel Washington. Watching these middle of a murder investigation. films ignited a love of artistic expresBrown is no stranger to the small sion. I would watch television and screen. She was nominated for her immerse myself in the world of imagination; first Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supportthis was the beginning of learning the craft ing Actress in a Digital Drama Series for her of acting. My mother started enrolling me in role as Tamara in “Giants,” which streams on classes at Philadelphia Freedom Theater and Issa Rae’s YouTube Channel. In addition, she community arts programs. is known for her three-season run as Sergeant How has Philadelphia, its culture, etc., King on the hit CW series “Black Lightning.” Brown also recurred on season 2 of Netflix’s impacted your career? The city of Philadelphia and its culture “Mindhunter,” which was executive produced have impacted my career in monumental by Charlize Theron and David Fincher. Her memorable role on Showtime’s “The Good ways. The city is built on heart, grit, and authenticity. From its diverse communities to Lord Bird” earned praise from The New York Times and Time Magazine. Brown’s niche as our diehard sports fans, it’s all love! And that’s the hip and witty charmer with an east coast how I approach my craft, my career, and my flare has also landed her roles on numerous life – with an openness of love and abundance. If I ever feel disconnected or need a boost of other networks, including HBO, ABC, CBS assurance, I remember my fondest memories and TNT. growing up in Philadelphia and how it shaped Brown made her mark on the world of film me, how it pushed me to go harder. I’m just a in the Academy Award-winning “Judas and the Black Messiah” as well as “Uncle Drew.” girl from Philly who stepped out on faith and



Catch Philly native Crystal Lee Brown in “Hightown” on Starz. Image | Bobby Quillard Photography



Image | STARZ

ARE YOU READING THIS? GOOD. SO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS. Are your customers under 40? Engaged in the city? Chances are they read PW, and we want to help you get more of them. Our marketing team will help you build a multi-channel campaign that delivers REAL RESULTS, and new customers in the door.

NO MATTER THE PLATFORM, chased my dreams. What’s been your favorite role and why? My favorite role has been the role of Sibonia in Showtime’s “The Good Lord Bird” (Episode 2- “A Wicked Plot”) starring Academy Award Nominee Ethan Hawke as the abolitionist John Brown. Sibonia is a wise and courageous enslaved leader organizing a slave insurrection, but remains calm and resolved when confronted with torture and death. Playing Sibonia allowed me to tell the story of one of my beloved ancestors, to give a voice to the voiceless, and authentically portray her grace and humanity. I’m grateful to have been the vessel that brought her story to the screen, she will forever live in my heart. You’re now playing Janelle on the Starz crime drama “Hightown.” Can you talk a little about the role and the show? Why should people tune in? On Starz’s “Hightown” I play Janelle, a smart, no-nonsense physical therapist in a correctional facility that gains trust with her patients, one with whom she forms a romantic relationship with (Osito played by Atkins Estimond). Viewers should tune into “Hightown” because it’s gritty and compelling. It’s a contemporary crime drama set against the backdrop of the opioid epidemic following one woman’s journey to sobriety, intertwined with an unfolding murder investigation. The show is centered on fiercely flawed people and explores themes of addiction, recovery, and the possibility of redemption. It’s a story I know viewers will enjoy. Beyond “Hightown,” what’s ahead for you? I’m so excited about my future. I’ve been riding the momentum of booking incredible roles these last few years, coupled with working behind the camera as an on-set Dialogue/ Acting Coach for multi-cam television shows. My next goal behind the camera is to direct, as I’m often told I’m a director’s actor. I also own and operate ITAPE LA, an audition coaching and self-tape company specializing in in-person or virtual on-camera audition coaching

for television, film, and commercial castings. It’s a safe space I created to help actors gain control of their auditions by releasing fear and having fun. I look forward to continuing to give back to my fellow artists in this way. Any advice for those who want to get into acting? Study Your Craft: The craft of acting is essential to approaching the work. Enroll in acting classes, study the greats, perfect your technique. Learn the different acting methods from the likes of Stanislavski, Meisner, and Chekov. Fill your actor toolbelt with skills such as audition technique, character building, emotional prep, and self-taping. Remember preparation is key! Learn the Business: This industry is the business of show. In this industry you are a brand, so it’s imperative that you treat yourself as a business. This allows longevity in your career. Lead with Confidence Not Fear: Leading with and having confidence in your talent and what you authentically bring to the table, will take you further in this industry. Don’t allow fear and doubt to stop you from living your dreams. Surround Yourself with Positive People: Who you choose to share, dream ,and grow with is essential to your well-being as an artist. Surrounding yourself with a core tribe that listens, loves, and supports you – makes all the difference. Enjoy The Journey: Go out and live your life! The journey as an artist is only rewarding if you bring your full self to it. What are the best ways for your fans to stay current with what you’re doing? Fans can follow my journey across all social media platforms: IG: @crystalleebrown Twitter: @crystalleebrown Facebook; @crystalleebrown ITAPELA: IG: @i_tape_la Facebook: @itapelosangeles

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Josh’s Wonderland Who needs Disney when PA’s attorney general has created his own fantasy world?


f you’ve ever been to Disney World, you know the suspension of disbelief that descends the moment you enter. Main Street, U.S.A. has not a speck of dirt, talking mice are the norm, and, as Disney’s website promises, “fantasy becomes reality.” Well, you needn’t visit Florida for such an experience. We have our own fantasy world here in Pennsylvania in the form of Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s campaign for governor. In Josh’s Wonderland, realty bends to imagination, and Shapiro is the hero who single handedly saves the day. But while Disney World is filled with eager visitors having a great time, Josh’s Wonderland sells a fantasy while Pennsylvanians suffer. Take the opioid crisis for an example. Shapiro gave himself a Disney-worthy spotlight for his $1 billion settlement with three major opioid distributors and one manufacturer (part of a $26 billion nationwide settlement). You know who didn’t applaud? District attorneys – and fellow Democrats – Larry Krasner of Philadelphia and Stephen Zappala, Jr. of Allegheny County. Instead, these DAs sued Shapiro. They accused him of selling out Pa. residents who could get much more through separate lawsuits their offices had brought against drug companies. But even as members of his own party cried foul, in Josh’s Wonderland, he was the hero of the story. Then, there’s Shapiro’s elaborately staged press conference touting his sweeping Grand Jury investigation that discovered more than 300 pedophile priests in the Catholic Church. Yet, only two of those priests could be pros-




ecuted under the statute of limitations. And when Shapiro had the chance to go beyond his self-congratulations to give victims recourse by letting voters approve a constitutional amendment expanding the window for victims to sue, he failed. As the AG, he is, by law, supposed to provide a statement on the amendment that appears on the ballot. But, being too focused on grandstanding, it seems he neglected to follow through with former Sec. of State Boockvar, and the amendment never made it to the ballot. In Josh’s Wonderland, he helps victims. In reality, he forgets them. Then, there’s taking down drug dealers, which seems pretty appropriate for an attorney general, right? In Josh’s Wonderland, Hero-Shapiro took more than 40 drug dealers off the street in a major drug bust. In the real world? Almost half of them – including the accused ringleader – walked free after Shapiro’s office bungled the case. And who can forget Shapiro shining the limelight on himself over a $5.3 million settlement with Chesapeake Energy, whom he accused of cheating natural gas royalty owners out of payments. In Josh’s Wonderland, this was a win. In the real world, it was a multi-million-dollar loss for the landowners, who had already reached a $30 million settlement of their own with Chesapeake in separate lawsuits. That settlement, however, was contingent on Shapiro settling his case. Shapiro refused. And while he was pursuing his case, Chesapeake declared bankruptcy and the company settled with landowners for about $6.25 million. As the Oklahoman reported, “In 2018, they [Chesapeake] had agreed to settlements for far more, before those were held up by an objection filed by Shapiro.”


And we can’t ignore Shapiro’s latest game when it comes to Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Trades unions oppose RGGI, so Shapiro – in pursuit of union contributions – recently told the unions he can’t support RGGI in its current form. This is after he suggested his support for RGGI to environmentalists, who back it. In Josh’s Wonderland, he can hold multiple positions at once, and Pennsylvanians will never know. Now, in Josh’s Wonderland, Shapiro thinks he can run for governor while keeping his taxpayer-funded job as attorney general of the fifth-largest state. He recently said there’s “not a chance” he’ll resign his post to run. Of course, he’ll readily resign if he wins. After all, he’s resigned every political office he’s held mid-term for another office. He bolted from the state House mid-term in 2012 to become a Montgomery County commissioner. Then, he exited that role mid-term in 2017 for attorney general. If he’s elected governor in 2022, he’ll ditch his AG job. And, of course, no one questions his presidential ambitions, so he’d likely jump ship on Pennsylvania for the national stage at the first chance, too. Visiting Disney World is fun, but ultimately, we know fantasy and reality are different. In his self-constructed wonderland, Josh Shapiro has yet to recognize this truth. Instead, he continues to lavish praise on himself and fantasize about holding higher and higher office. That’s one fantasy we should all hope never becomes reality. Jeremy Baker is the political director for Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs. This article was originally published at Broad + Liberty. Follow them on Twitter @BroadAndLiberty.





mage | Johann Walter Bantz



Philly boxers are making a statement


o matter what you think is off, fights biz, and his new, exacting, data-filled wrong, coarse or messy about autobiography Thirty Dollars and a Cut Eye? the entirety of your 2021, there is Well, since then, Philadelphia boxing has been plenty to be truly thankful for this on a similar trajectory as a hard uppercut. Thanksgiving. Like no matter how First, South Philadelphia heavyweight Sonny wrong they often look while doing Conto was again the victor during last week’s so, live and on the field against opfirst-ever fights card at the Sports Complex’s ponents such as this week’s Saints, Live! Casino & Hotel, courtesy Joe Hand Prothe Philadelphia Eagles actually keep managductions (Live! also helped Philly’s Joe Hand ing to win games. Sr. celebrate his 50th anniversary in the biz Or like how, despite the rise of violent and with local concert promoting legend Larry non-violent crime in Philadelphia, our police Magid as its visiting dignitary). Then Philly commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, is under the light heavyweight boxing sensation Atif Obermost serious consideration to head up New lton headlined an eight-bout boxing card on York City’s finest when the Big Apple’s new Saturday night at South Philly’s 2300 Arena mayor gets sworn in for 2022. Or like how, in where he took down his opponent in round its need to strike for better pay during two of a scheduled six-round light the still ongoing pandemic, the workheavyweight bout. Enjoy this glory, ers at the locally-based GoPuff and all gents. BY A.D. of its satellite munchies shops have Zoning change AMOROSI created a truly original and thoroughTalk about getting ready to rumble: ly Philadelphian motto for its strike Now that Frank DiCicco decided to signage in “Go Puff Yourself.” Or how everymove on after serving more than four years, one in the decade-plus Phillies Phanatic lawMayor Kenney announced the appointment suit – original past creators and team owners of William “Wild Bill” Bergman as chair of alike – finally get a win in the mascot rights the Zoning Board of Adjustment, who will hearings. Or like how even though IBEW Lostart chairing and serving over a five-member cal 98 boss John Dougherty has been found board with a first meeting Tuesday, Nov. 30. guilty in his corruption trial, I’m pretty sure All of those sensational zoning and rezoning he’ll still gift anyone in need with Thanksgivadjustment questions? Wild Bill has you coving turkeys and Christmas cheer on the Robin ered. Hood tip. So, thanks to them. New eatery All this being said, for all my joviality and Talk about wild: After months of waiting, dumb jokiness, I know there are local families working and pop-ups, Juana Tamale – wild and neighbors out there this week – those of Philly chef Jennifer Zavala’s latest concocFanta Bility and Christian Hall – wondering tion – has finally opened its brick-and-mortar where their thanks are, and what good could home in South Philadelphia’s East Passyunk lie ahead. For those without hope, we send Avenue block for her signature birria tacos. prayers this and every Thanksgiving. Hope, New-look restaurant with a positive solution for all, is the greatest Way back at pandemic’s start, when we gift and best sort of thanks we could have and spoke to Philly-to-the-world restaurateur share this season. Stephen Starr about what he was doing with Philly boxing several of his still-closed-for-COVID dining Remember how I penned that banner Philspaces, he promised prominent and pertinent adelphia Weekly cover story a few weeks ago re-dos at several of his hot pot spots. First up, on Philly’s legendary boxing promoter, J RusPod. Starr and Chef Peter Serpico (of South sell Peltz, his 50th anniversary in the local Street Serpico and its Chicken Scratch fame)


PHILADELPHIAWEEKLY.COM @PHILLYWEEKLY are remaking the University City Japanese fusion and sashimi/sushi salon into something more Korean-inspired for KPod. OK. Questlove happenings Did you know that on top of everything else he did beyond making his directorial debut, “Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” which won six Critics Choice documentary awards last week, as well as do his day (night) job on Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show,” Questlove squoze in a long-ass video directed montage for the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for Jay-Z’s induction before Halloween? The private ceremony’s footage dropped on Monday Nov 22. Catch it on YouTube. One of the best Get out of Dodge: My neighborhood’s Sicilian-inspired Italian restaurant, Irwin’s Upstairs, just got a national nod for its homey handmade pastas, fresh inventive seafood and natural wine list curation at Esquire’s 2021 list of the “Best New Restaurants in America.” Masked Philly: John DeBella In Icepack’s way too-long, way overly complex and continuing saga of asking mask-donning local celebrities what they’ve been up to, beyond the pale, during C-19 – from lockdown to the current reopening, present-day unmasking and re-masking, worrying about Delta variants, freaking out about Fauci’s call for a potential third round of vax shots mere five months after the last, new mask and vax card mandates, ignored or not ignored (I mean why did I wait in line at the Convention Center if you’re not asking to see my card?), and the possibility of mix-and-matching vaccines which is weird, right? – I reached out this week to John DeBella. A local radio legend since the ‘80s, and a 102.9 WMGK-FM on-air personality since 2002, DeBella has a run most of his annual charitable events – his Dog-Walk in Green Lane Park, PA for Philly shelters, his Veterans Radiothon for the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service Center, his Turkey Drop – virtually during the pandemic, save for Nov. 23’s Turkey Drop, which is a must-be-in-person event for DeBella (see below). During COVID’s slowdown, DeBella learned how to woodwork like he’s never woodworked before. In fact, DeBella was on his way to a lumber mill (“not a lumber yard”) in Marcus Hook while we spoke. Yes, he’s always had

woodworking up his sleeve, “little tables or a fence for our backyard garden.” But, when his artist wife Lisa needed a floating frame for one of her works, and asked John to craft one, he nailed it, no pun intended, and kept going until he discovered the art of cutting boards. Real, rustic, hardcore, rare hardwood cutting boards of true ebony or purpleheart. “True hardwood is not the sort you pick up at Home Depot,” he notes. With that, DeBella has become a serious woodworker – doing genuinely gorgeous and highly individualistic live edged, intricate charcuterie boards, bread-cutting boards with lattice work (“so that you don’t have crumbs Image | Courtesy of John DeBella all over the place”) wine racks, children’s step stools and more. Go to Instagram’s “John DeBella Woodworking” for magnificent proof. “Six months ago, I didn’t know how to do that. I spent months in my basement perfecting this.” DeBella makes these pieces for the hell of making them. Buying them? Make him an offer. “My degree is in scenic, lighting and costume design – I’m a man who can sew – and I’ve always been a design junkie.” Along with having to make sure he’s scrubbed down and ultra-sanitized when home due to his wife Lisa’s pulmonary issues, (“For the first year, I had to strip down in our foyer, put clothes in wash, shower, then greet my wife”), DeBella is all about masking, vaxxing and is ready for his third booster. He’s wearing a regulation black mask, even though the radio station made up white “John DeBella Show” masks with his signature mustache painted onto it. “I am always wearing that mask. I am the John DeBella Show. Besides, people always recognize me with the mask. It must be the bald head and the cow eyes.” As for Nov. 23’s 20th Annual live Turkey Drop in front of the Kimmel Center Building on Broad Street – the largest, single-day food gathering event in Philadelphia – he’s looking to best 2020’s 12,000 turkey offerings for families in need. Along with ACME Markets around the Delaware Valley (where you can drop off stuff) and frozen turkeys, “free turkey” coupons, gift cards, cash donations and checks, made payable to “City Team Philadelphia,” you can make a secure, tax-deductible donation online at


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THE RUNDOWN Image | Nathan Ansell


The holidays are here, and the Betsy Ross House has a number of events you’ll want to catch. Head over to for more information, but here are a few highlights.

Community Menorah Lighting

At 4:30 pm on Nov. 28, the Betsy Ross House will join the Old City Jewish Arts Center to host a community menorah lighting celebrating the first night of Hanukkah. In addition to the lighting, traditional Hanukkah gifts and treats will be offered for guests to take home. Free.

Old City Holiday Tree Lighting

Join for a virtual lighting ceremony Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. to get the first peek at this year’s tree designed by Old City’s Petit Jardin en Ville, then be sure to visit in person during the holiday season to enjoy all the seasonal sights, sounds, and shopping the neighborhood has to offer. Stay tuned for details on a limited number of free tickets for the event that will be offered to the public. Betsy Ross will be onsite to greet guests from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Festivities kick off at 6 p.m. with a musical performance. The program will be streamed on Old City District’s Facebook page at Old City District | Facebook. Free.


Holiday Shopping

Shop local this holiday season. On Black Friday, Nov. 26 and Museum Store Sunday, Nov. 28, the Betsy Ross House Museum Shop will offer 20 percent off any one non-sale item; restrictions may apply.

Betsy’s Birthday Bash

Join on Dec. 31 to celebrate the 270th anniversary of Betsy Ross’ birth on January 1, 1752. Special events are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include storytelling, a make a birthday card for Betsy Ross craft, and free goodie bags for all paying guests. Free with admission.

Old City Shopping Stroll

If you are out and about with your gift list during the Shopping Stroll in Old City from 5-7 p.m. on Dec. 16, stop in at the Betsy Ross House to pick up unique gift items, including American Heritage Chocolate. Tour the House and enjoy a pop up performance by the Mendelssohn Chorus in the courtyard.

The details

The Betsy Ross House is closed Thanksgiving day. The House will close at 3pm on Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission to the Betsy Ross House is $7 for adults; $6 for children/ seniors/students. Masks are required inside the House for all visitors.




Fit for an Autopsy

Fit for an Autopsy is embarking on a headline tour that will bring some metal heat to the doldrums of winter. The New Jersey band will be delivering hefty doses of death metal at The Foundry on Feb. 9. Support comes from Enterprise Earth, Ingested, Signs of the Swarm, and Great American Ghost.

If you’re in the mood for some great live music, you’re in luck. Here are a few of the many live shows headed our way in the coming days and weeks.

Image | Courtesy of Fit for an Autopsy

Music and more music ahead for Philly Mini Trees

Mini Trees, the solo musical project of Lexi Vega, released her debut album “Always In Motion” earlier this fall, and will be heading out on tour, making a stop in Philadelphia at PhilaMOCA with TASHA + S. Raekwon on Dec. 4. “Always In Motion” is the result of a lifetime of reflection for Vega. Tickets:

Steve Gunn

Steve Gunn will co-headline a show with Jeff Parker on Dec. 17 at Ardmore Music Hall. This past August, Steve released his outstanding sixth studio album “Other You” on Matador Records. Recorded during two visits to Los Angeles in late 2020 and early 2021, the album was made with veteran producer Rob Schnapf at his Mant Studios alongside musician and longtime friend and collaborator Justin Tripp, whose credits include appearances on Gunn’s “Time Off” and “Way Out Weather.”

Maddie Poppe

Maddie Poppe is a 23-year-old singersongwriter from Clarksville, Iowa, and Season 16 winner of “American Idol.” Maddie’s sophomore album “Whirlwind” reached No. 2 on the iTunes Pop Charts and her hit single “Made You Miss” earned No. 19 on the Hot AC Radio Charts. Her sentimental ballad “Not Losing You” also swept radio charts, reaching No. 17. Catch her at World Cafe Live on Nov. 30. Tickets:

Jake Xerxes Fussell

Jake Xerxes Fussell is playing PhilaMOCA on Jan. 25 to support his forthcoming album, “Good and Green Again,” out Jan. 21 on Paradise of Bachelors. A curator of traditional folk songs, Jake is masterful at re-contextualizing ancient vernacular songs and sources of the American South.


In August, mazie released her debut EP “the rainbow cassette” via Good Boy/Virgin, encapsulating her penchant and skill for making music that mixes modern malaise with vintage psychedelia. She recently released a one-off single, “spinnin,” and will be on tour with Coin, making a stop in Philadelphia at the TLA on Dec. 15.

Image | Courtesy of mazie







at 26

REACH OUT TO US. Carry PW’s at your spot.

Q: I’m a 26 year old woman and I’ve nev- identity. Hopefully you’re finding new reer had sex. For a long time, it was because sources and people you can trust to help you of my beliefs. I was raised in a very Chris- through this time. tian family, and I was planning to wait And because a lot of our sex education is until marriage. After my dad died 3 years informal discussions with each other, it might ago, I had a crisis of faith and had to re- also be incredibly useful to have friends who think everything I believe about have had sex. You probably have God, and whether he’s real, much married/partnered friends you can less why he would care about ask, but if you’re looking to just people having sex. I’m ready to hook up, there’s a lot to learn from experiment, date casually and be confidants who have tread that open to potentially hooking up ground recently too. Hopefully they with someone. are compassionate and willing to But now dating is even harder. talk openly about their experiencWhen I tell guys I meet that I’ve es. There’s a lot of critical detail never had sex, they get weirded left out by the sex scenes in TV and out. I assume they don’t want movies and even porn. the pressure of being the first or Friends won’t be able to offer they’re worried I’ll be too clingy? you a play-by-play about how your I sometimes wonder if I should DR. TIMAREE sexual debut will go, because that just leave out that information varies dramatically by person and with the next guy, it’s not like it situation, but they can share their @TIMAREE_LEIGH would be lying exactly. But since feelings and demystify some occludI don’t know how sex ed facets. And most imwill feel, I’m worried portantly: normalize the that I’ll be weird or not idea that no matter what know how something you do, it’s just gonna be should go, and it’ll be a little awkward. That’s so awkward that I’ll part of sex. have to like “come out” If you talk to enough as a virgin in the midpeople about their sex dle of it, which sounds lives, what you’ll learn mortifying. What is that sex can be a lot should I do? of things: arousing, hiFirst, my condolences larious, uncomfortable, on your loss. I mean that overwhelming, powerful, not only in the context romantic, fun, traumatof your father’s death, ic, and yes: mortifyingly but also in regard to the awkward. We’re talking often-painful process of about an activity that is changing your entire life objectively ridiculous: view. Even though it may some of the silliest lookbe for the best, any change is difficult. In your ing parts of human bodies slapping together case, it may mean leaving communities where in a steamy, wet mess. The goal is to make that you previously found support and a sense of sloppy mess enjoyable for all parties involved.


Where ALL GUYS come together Visit today to join the action NOVEMBER 25 - DECEMBER 2, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY

“Friends won’t be able to offer you a play-by-play about how your sexual debut will go, because that varies dramatically by person and situation, but they can share their feelings and demystify some occluded facets.”



learn more and sign up for early access at

And that enjoyment usually comes with trust and practice. As far as what to do with dudes, you have a few options. You can definitely find a random and omit the detail about how you’ve never hooked up before and everyone will (more than likely) be fine. But do you want your first foray into partnered sex to be one where you’re concealing relevant details and you don’t feel free to be truly communicative about how things are going? Will that set a precedent for holding back in the future, maybe making it harder to share what you want and what you don’t? Plus, when we fail to mention things that – if the other person knew – would change their decision-making process, there are legitimate questions about whether it’s truly informed consent. Plus, even among the sexually experienced, it’s useful to know if someone has ever tried a specific sexual act before. I want to know if a partner has already figured out their wants/ needs/limits or if we’re figuring that out as we go. Help me help you, you know? Personally, I feel like if you’ve waited this

long, you can wait until you find a person who is not only genuinely attractive to you but also adult enough to handle the situation with grace. Find someone you connect with and just be frank that you’ve never had sex but are interested in trying it out with them. Be honest that you’re nervous, but down. Be real if you want romance or commitment to be a part of the deal. An emotionally intelligent partner will hear you, share their feelings about being your first and work WITH you on having a fun, mutually satisfactory time. The worst part of modern dating is the normalization of a jaded façade and lack of caring. But sex can still be an intimate, connective experience – if we approach it with a willingness to be vulnerable and communicative. There’s no correct way to have your sexual debut, but you have the fantastic opportunity to be intentional and set the tone for all your future experiences. Best of luck! Have a question for Dr. Timaree? Send an email to

“We’re talking about an activity that is objectively ridiculous: some of the silliest looking parts of human bodies slapping together in a steamy, wet mess. The goal is to make that sloppy mess enjoyable for all parties involved.”

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SIMMS SHOULD SPONSOR BILL TO MAKE CONTRACEPTIVES CHEAPER I am a current 12th-grade student and one of Brian Sims’ constituents. I am writing to encourage Sims to sponsor a bill that would make contraceptives cheaper or more easily covered by insurance. Since he is an avid supporter of women’s health issues, I believe he would be pleased to sponsor this type of bill. I have thoroughly reviewed the details of HB 617, a bill to require health insurance policies to cover pre-exposure prophylaxis HIV medication. I am in strong support of this bill because it emphasizes the importance of sexual health and protecting yourself. By making this medication cheaper, more people are incentivized to take this medication. I believe this same idea can be applied to contraceptives used by women. Birth control and emergency contraceptives are not cheap and not always covered by insurance.



Furthermore, I have reviewed the details of HB 1415, a bill to require LGBTQ+ history instruction, and HB 1931 which would provide for African American and Latino studies in public schools. I am also in full support of both bills, but I have noticed that Sims has voted “Nay” on many bills involving online education. I hope in the future he would consider amending these bills to include students at home because these are important topics that all adolescents should learn about. Furthermore, the pandemic has caused many students to prefer online learning or have put students in positions where they need to be in online school. I believe that it would be unfair to not provide for all of these students’ education. I appreciate all the work Brian Sims is doing in the House and I hope he will take my opinions into consideration.

Giuliana Alleva | Philadelphia

HELP TO SLOW DOWN PHILLY’S GUN VIOLENCE Urban Navigation is a community organization developed to help slow down our city of Philadelphia’s gun violence. The methods served are for the youth to build successful and productive violence-free lives. We connect with our youth through their interests to engage them toward better lives, while also reducing crime, and improving environments. There is a self-destructive ideology among the youth. Some of this destruction comes from social media. But social media is not the full problem. In order to change the destructive path that many youth face, we have to fully understand the next plus new generational culture. Urban Navigation provides experiences and training within the youths’ culture, leading to technical skills, entrepreneurial mentorship, life skills training, additionally providing mentorship and guidance to ATV/ dirt bike riders. Experiences through Urban Navigation are going on to local streets giving information to all youth about their lives not being in jeopardy. Showcasing ATV riders just riding

cautiously with no guns or criminal activity actions being involved. Training and mentorship can be provided at studio 210 inside Billy Penn Studios. This studio accommodates a platform for creative minds such as having podcasts, office space, media/music studio, virtual reality facility, or rest area. Enhancing technical skills can be supplied at Philadelphia Technical Training Institute. There will also be events/conventions hosted in the near future for all citizens to attend for informational purposes. The essence of Urban Navigation is people who want to make changes. For more information, visit along with Facebook page @urbannav. Head Nerds In Charge are one of the great creative partners of Urban Navigation. HNIC’s focus is giving a platform to the deserving content creators, curators, and artists with a focus on people of color. For information look up Facebook page @Headnerdsincharge and visit

Community Activist/Advocate Alim Howell


Image | freestocks

Experts say the average American will spend about $1,000 on holiday gifts this year.

Your turn: How does that number compare to your plans? Are you spending more or less, and why? Send your thoughts to




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Offer requires enrollment in both automatic payments and paperless billing. Without enrollment, the monthly service charge automatically increases by $10. The discount will appear on your bill within 30 days of enrolling in automatic payments and paperless billing. If either automatic payments or paperless billing are subsequently cancelled, the $10 monthly discount will be removed automatically. Offer ends 12/6/21. Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. New residential customers only. Limited to Performance Pro Internet. Early termination fee applies if all Xfinity services (other than Xfinity Mobile) are cancelled during the contract term. Equipment, installation, taxes and fees and other applicable charges extra, and subject to change during and after the term contract. After term contract, regular charges apply. After 24 months, service charge for Performance Pro Internet increases to $95.95/mo. and Blast Internet is $100.95/mo. Service limited to a single outlet. May not be combined with other offers. Internet: Actual speeds vary and not guaranteed. For factors affecting speed visit 2x speed comparison based on monthly recurring charge for Performance Pro Internet 200 Mbps and Blast Internet 400 Mbps with discount for adding new Xfinity Mobile line for a year. Must sign up for Xfinity Mobile and activate a new line within 90 days of Internet order and maintain the line to receive mobile discount for 24 months. Discount will appear on your Internet bill within 30 days of Xfinity Mobile activation. Must keep Xfinity Mobile and Blast Internet service for 24 months to receive $30/mo. discount. If either Xfinity Mobile or Blast Internet are cancelled, or Blast Internet is downgraded within 24 months, you will no longer receive the Xfinity Mobile discount. Includes free standard installation on up to four outlets. Xfinity Mobile: Requires residential post-pay Xfinity Internet. Line limitations may apply. In times of congestion, your data may be temporarily slower than other traffic. After 20 GB monthly data use, speeds reduced to a maximum of 1.5Mbps download/750 Kbps upload. For Xfinity Mobile Broadband Disclosures visit: $200 Prepaid Card Offer: Ends 12/6/21. Limited to new Gigabit Internet customers. One-year term agreement required. Early termination fee applies. Visa Prepaid Cards are issued by MetaBank®, National Association, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa® U.S.A. Inc. This card can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Prepaid card mailed to Xfinity account holder within 16-18 weeks of activation of all required services and expires in 180 days. Limited to one $200 card per account. Call for restrictions and complete details. © 2021 Comcast. All rights reserved. NPA238679 NED LQBTQ BF V3

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