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To the Editor: I want to respond directly to the misleading and misinformed statements in your coverage of Peace Not Guns. First, Peace Not Guns is a legitimate non-profit organization. It is properly registered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong, and it is shocking that you could fail […]
In the last AxisPhilly podcast Julia Bergman revisits a Catholic school in Germantown to evaluate an experiment in learning they started this school year. The podcast also includes a CityJournal entry, a personal essay by Erin Corona.
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson set up a nonprofit group called Peace Not Guns years ago to combat gun violence. It turns out that records of the organization are nonexistent and so is its nonprofit status. Carla Robinson reports on a phantom nonprofit.
Gov. Corbett’s hopes for a gentle spring are being dashed by a dose of reality. State revenues are falling. A deficit looms. He may have to make deep cuts in the state budget. Tom Ferrick examines the governor’s dilemma.
Philadelphia is becoming a hub for shale oil shipped from the west, but many of the tankers used are outdated and prone to puncture in accidents and derailments. Isaiah Thompson reports on the tankers known as DOT-111s.
Remember when fracking was a bad name? Now, mainstream politicians are embracing the idea of gas drilling because it can be a tax bonanza for the state. Tom Ferrick explains the sea change in thinking about drilling.
Temple University has ambitious plans to increase its profile, not only locally but also across the nation. Joseph Cranney and Evan Cross report on the school’s plans and how they impact the surrounding neighborhoods.
The new Land Bank offers the opportunity for Philadelphia to reverse neighborhood decline by assembling land into tracts suitable for development. Tom Ferrick looks at the history — and the possible future — of abandoned property in the city.
It wasn’t the final buzzer in the 2006 Philadelphia Public League championship that signaled the game was over. It was over moments after the first tip-off. The Simon Gratz Bulldogs came out of the gate firing, going up 14-4 over the Communications Technology High School. By halftime, Gratz was ahead by nine points. It began […]
The ATF has confirmed it is leading a joint task force investigating the Suit Corner fire. Initial estimates indicated more than $1 million in damage. The Suit Corner was the companion store to the recently collapsed Shirt Corner Plus. Solomon Jones reports.
March 2014 Staffing Guidelines Changes to Support Action Plan Implementation DRAFT RELEASE School District of Philadelphia Announces New Staffing Guidelines for 2014-2015 School Year Consistent with The School District of Philadelphia’s Action Plan being implemented to prepare every student to graduate, the School District announced new staffing guidelines for the 2014-2015 academic year. This step […]
New documents disclose that checks written as donations to the local NAACP were deposited instead into the bank account of a defunct non-profit founded by Jerry Mondesire, the organization’s president. Isaiah Thompson reports on the latest developments.
Our latest Podcast features a conversation with AxisPhilly editor Tom Ferrick on the slow economic recovery, a piece about a Catholic school that took in Chinese students and CityJournal essay called Waffles for Neil.
The battle among owners of the Inquirer and Daily News has gotten most of the ink, but what about life in the newsrooms? Media critic and Chicago journalist Charles Madigan talks with Inquirer reporters and editors about how they cope amidst the turmoil.
New firings and more FBI searches at the Sheriff’s Office. Isaiah Thompson writes about the latest developments, including a practice that involved some cases where payment for properties bought at sheriff sales was delayed for months.
The Ironworkers indicted for using violence and sabotage to secure jobs represent an extreme version of how local building trade unions handle those who dare to hire non-union workers. Tom Ferrick explains how it works.
Dear Governor Corbett, Please accept by resignation as chair and member of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission. At the age of 78, I no longer have the energy it takes to deal with any administration which cannot make decisions that are in the best interested of the industry. Neither do I have the patience to […]
Will someone please step forward and help Jerry Jordan out of his misery? The head of the teachers union is in an impossible position when it comes to contract talks with the school district. The only way out is for the district to impose terms on his union. Tom Ferrick explains Jordan’s dilemma.
AxisPhilly Senior Editor Solomon Jones and Al Dia reporter Ana Gamboa will be members of a panel to discuss black and Latino media issues in Philadelphia. The discussion is an off-shoot of an article Jones and Gamboa did about relations between the Latino and African-Americans. Details inside.
In our new podcast, blogger Jim McMillan talks about the latest tool used to reduce violence. Editor Tom Ferrick talks about the grand jury report on a factory fire in Kensington that claimed the life of two firefighters. Our CityJournal piece is by Taylor Burke.
When it comes to getting women on the boards of directors of public companies, Philadelphia has been in a freeze frame for the last decade. The numbers began low and stay low. Julie Bergman reports on a new study.
Latino political and educational leaders in North Philadelphia are trying to end charter vs. public school infighting and unite to bolster all schools in the area. Carla Robinson reports on this ambitious plan.
Linda Reid desperately needed health insurance for her ill daughter. Help was supposed to be there, if only they would answer her phone calls. Solomon Jones writes about one case from the new world of health care.
Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in Philadelphia. Yet, they still have little political power. Patrick Kerkstra looks at the potential of Latino political emergence in the city and the barriers they face.
Here it is just two weeks in 2014 and already I have to break one of my New Year’s resolutions. I promised myself that I would not write a word about the mayor’s race until at least the first day of summer. But, then along comes…
As the only Republican in the city’s delegation in Harrisburg, John Taylor plays an important role as a liaison between the city on matters and the Republican-controlled legislature. Peter Durantine profiles this little known, but important lawmaker from Northeast Philly.
In our latest AxisPhilly podcast, Connie Langland talks about the troubles at Ben Franklin High School. Marcus Pendleton offers an essay about a surprise encounter at a bus stop. Tom Ferrick talks about something he calls the “Dumb Idea of the Week.”
For Philadelphia, 2013 was filled with crushing lows and euphoric highs, but the biggest stories shaped us, made us better, and united us in ways we could never have imagined. Solomon Jones looks at the events that shaped the year.
Isaiah Thompson talks about Philadelphia’s new land bank law. Patrick Kerkstra discusses the major rise in campaign spending by City Council members. Our CityJournal entry features the tale of a woman who suffers a tragic loss and how the city helped her heal.
Alexander Cintro was cool with Ben Franklin High. He had friends, his niche in ROTC and his goals. Then came a wave of new students, loss of staff due to budget cuts, turmoil in the halls and fights outside the lunchroom. Connie Langland reports on a school transformed.
Experts have identified two great stresses we must face in the winter: (a) the weather, and (b) weather forecasts. Not necessarily in that order. To help you avoid stress, I have consulted experts – psychologists, psychiatrists, priests, ministers, personal trainers and one guru – and have come up with a list. (Experts and journalists always […]
When school opened in September, officials at the Philadelphia School District expected 135,000 students to walk in the doors. Only 131,000 did. Where did those 4,000 missing students go? Two months later answers have emerged.
Research showing that 70 percent of college students who have paid internships get fulltime jobs after graduation has prompted Campus Philly to shift it’s emphasis. Carla Robinson reports on the change.
On the eve of a deadline to pass a land bank bill before Council recesses for the holidays, Council President Clarke is enlisting groups to oppose a bill he’s said he supported for the better part of a year. His office is busy assembling a small army to come to Council tomorrow and testify against the land bank bill as it stands now.
When Council convenes for its second-to-last session for the year tomorrow, all eyes will be on Council President Darrell Clarke, who faces his most direct public challenge since he took leadership of the city’s legislative body. The challenge is this: The President has spent the better part of a year pledging support for a land […]
The property tax bills for 2013 are being mailed out by the city of Philadelphia. This is the first time the tax will be based on market value as determined by AVI. Find out what your tax bill will be using our interactive map and read about details of the new system.
Why is Council President Darrell Clarke so insistent on having his way on the land bank bill? It may be simply a power thing, driven by ego and a desire to control. Tom Ferrick examines the man behind the mask.
Solomon Jones explored charges of racism and sexism leveled against the Carpenter’s Union by four black women in “Where There’s Smoke.” In Part Two, Jones reveals how ugly the discrimination allegedly became for one woman who worked at the Philadelphia Housing Authority.
Axis Philly plans to build on the work of the last year by offering occasional stories about open data and public information resources in Philadelphia — both the resources that public offices do make available and the information they don’t.
The stories are so eerily similar that they could very well describe the same incident. A wary cab driver casts a sidelong glance at a passenger in the rearview mirror. The driver is directed to turn onto an unfamiliar street. A gun is drawn. The driver’s life hangs in the balance.
No wonder Philadelphia’s big non-profits get jittery over talk about them giving money to help the public schools. Read about the Supreme Court ruling that gives new powers to local government to tax non-profits.
AxisPhilly polls neighborhood leaders across the city and finds them pessimistic about the city, lukewarm about Mayor Nutter’s performance and critical of the performance of some city agencies. Read the details…
Our newest interactive tool and map tells the story of violence in Philadelphia, revealing information on every shooting and murder in the city since 2003. The numbers do add up: more than 3,400 killed and 15,000 shot during the period we analyzed.
The who and where are revealed by the map. The why often involves the code of the street, the rise of gangs and retaliation.
By Frank Rubino The downtrodden commercial strip on North 60th Street between Market and Arch Streets includes a barber shop, a check-cashing joint, a hole-in-the-wall Chinese takeout and a bar. The Market Street end is marked by a prominent, three-foot-high metallic “60” that overlooks the block from its perch on a SEPTA El stop. To passersby, unfamiliar with this West Philly […]
AxisPhilly offers a new tool for interested citizens to track down the millions of campaign funds that flow to City Council members. The interactive tool shows both where the money came from and who gave, information not available through other public sources.
City officials said Town Watch volunteers would be present the first day of the new school year, to ease the concerns of parents whose children were attending new schools for the first time. We have a report from West Philadelphia.
CityJournal is a regular feature that runs in AxisPhilly, a news and information website for the Philadelphia region. It is a personal essay, ranging from 750-800 words. Payment is $50 for the first essay accepted and $75 for the second and all subsequent essays. AxisPhilly is strictly a local site. We run the work of Philadelphia-area writers […]
As students get ready to go back to school, one father worries about the effect the cutbacks and the continuing turmoil in the Philadelphia School District will have on his daughter, a sixth grader in one of the city’s public schools.
There’s an interesting backstory to the visit of Gov. Corbett to Philadelphia last week (Jan. 12, 2013) to tout the state’s expanded voucher program for non-public schools. Of course, they are not called vouchers, but scholarships, and the money does not come directly out of the state treasury. Instead, Pennsylvania businesses get to deduct from their state taxes money donated […]
By Morgan Zalot As Catholic schools throughout Philadelphia close their doors for good, one school in the heart of Germantown has found a way to flourish and last week was named as one of the 13 so-called mission schools in Philadelphia. In 2003, the DePaul Catholic School, known then as St. Martin DePorres, had a problem – enrollment had dwindled to just […]
The only conspicuous thing about Courtroom 478, located along a dark stretch of hallway in an obscure corner of Philadelphia’s City Hall, is the knot of people you’re likely to find standing outside of it, crying.
By Frank Rubino It’s sunny but cold on this first Tuesday of the year, but the arctic air hasn’t chilled under-the-El street commerce at Philadelphia’s seamiest intersection. More than a dozen men, most of them with soiled clothes and vacant expressions, mill around the Somerset El station on either side of Kensington Avenue yelling “Works!” and “Sub!” […]
Community leaders expressed cautious optimism after Wednesday’s private meeting with Councilwoman Cindy Bass and state Rep. Stephen Kinsey about for-profit Camelot Schools’ plan to bring alternative education to Germantown High School. The private meeting, which occurred after representatives from Camelot further detailed the company’s plan to consolidate its three locations at Germantown High School, took place […]
“This action comes as a complete surprise to the Center, which has been acting in a good faith effort to generate increased work opportunities for union members by attracting more shows and conventions to our facility.”
Education Name Title Organization Susanna Greenberg Clinical Superviser and Lecturer UPenn Law School Lea Kleinman Teacher Mastery Charter School Niel McDowell Associate Director of Academic Advising and Assistant Dean for Advising UPenn Claire Robertson-Kraft Board Chair PhillyCORE Leaders Claire Robertson-Kraft Education Policy Consultant Operation Public Education Finance Name Title Organization Dasanj Aberdeen Investment Manager KPMG […]
Robert McGrogan, head of Philadelphia’s principals’ union, confirmed that almost all the 160 assistant principals in his bargaining unit will be receiving notices, effective July 1. Plus, all principals are at emergency meetings with District personnel to receive instructions on what to tell employees who receive the notices regarding health coverage and other issues.
“Never has so much money had so little accountability,” said Helen Gym, founder of Parents United for Public Education, during the hearing before Council’s Committee on Education. She was spurred on by a crowd of about 50 with shouts and applause.
The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, a nonprofit that promotes the region, is taking applications for its 2013 Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange. The program, which consists of “regional explorations and stories of cooperation … that are moving Greater Philadelphia forward” is for local business and nonprofit leaders and promises the opportunity “to expand your understanding […]
The Philadelphia office of the Social Security Administration is running a pilot program to screen for applicants who have committed serious crimes, and prevent them from serving as a “representative” payee.
A Q & A on parking signs with Michael Bierut of Pentagram, an international graphic design firm. Bierut led the team that redesigned parking signs in New York. What prompted the redesign of the signs in New York? The NYC Department of Transportation has done a whole series of projects to make the streets safer […]
NewsWorks and the Public School Notebook teamed up during Azavea’s Summer of Maps to examine the “transformed educational landscape” created by the School District of Philadelphia’s Renaissance Schools turnaround initiative, which has outsourced management of 17 struggling public schools over the past three years. They noted:
A hat tip to Next American City, which reported on the new Community Investment Index map from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Ryan Briggs describes it as “a free, online mapping program designed to make tracking the flow of government and non-profit dollars throughout the region much easier.” DVRPC notes: “Community Investment Index maps […]
PolicyMap is a great web-based mapping tool developed by The Reinvestment Fund, a nonprofit community development financial institution that works across the Mid-Atlantic. A recent update email noted how you can embed maps in a site, so we thought we’d give it a try. Here’s a look at where creative and cultural businesses are located […]
A hat tip to CurbedPhilly for calling attention to Bike Share Philly, which created a crowdsourced map to let bikers in Philadelphia vote on where they’d most like to see bike-sharing stations. Click on the map below to go and cast your vote.
The city’s Licenses & Inspections Department now offers maps that show zoning permits, code violations, rental licenses and more. L&I data has long been sought by civic hackers, so in addition to its own map, the department plans to offer APIs for some of the data.
Up until now, we’ve highlight maps we developed, but we hope this feature can also look at other maps that illuminate critical issues in Philadelphia. This week: an analysis done by the Philly-based geospatial technologies firm Azavea to understand how the Voter ID law impacts different ethnic groups.
This week’s map examines the percentage of residential property that is occupied by the property owner (as opposed to rental property). Can you guess which areas have the highest rate of owner occupancy?
The past five years have brought a lot of change to some Philadelphia neighborhoods. One measure of that change is the level of home sales in a neighborhood. To get a sense of what areas are changing the most, we decided to map the city based on the percentage of residential properties that have sold […]