Showing posts from March, 2013

Good Luck to the LaSalle Explorers

I have not followed college basketball much this season.  At this stage in my life, I have become more of a fan during the NCAA tournament.  When I was in high school and college it was a different story.  Watching Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Chris Mullin, Keith Lee, Patrick Ewing and Alonzo McFarlan was worthy of my time.  Derrick Coleman, Keith Smart, Wayman Tisdale and Dwayne the Pearl Washington were some of my other favorite players.  Recently, Villanova has fallen off and Temple hasn't been the same since John Chaney left.

I was surprised when three Philadelphia area teams were chosen for the NCAA tournament.  Neither one of them won their conference tournament.  In fact, I heard that the Big East was disbanding and many of those teams were heading elsewhere.  What in the name of Providence, Syracuse and Louisville is going on?  Jay Writght's lustre seems to have worn off.  He was a constant threat to lead his team at least to the Sweet 16.  His teams are a one and do…

Environmental Concerns in South Philadelphia

I just participated in a focus group discussion about potential environmental issues in South Philadelphia.  The discussion was moderated by Dr. Michelle Kondo of the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Science and Policy and the United States Forest Service.  It was a small group that also included former State Representative Harold James.  We were given a map of South Philadelphia and asked to outline our neighborhood.  We were also asked to highlight positive and negative locations in the neighborhood. 

I indicated that my neighborhood consisted of the boundaries for Point Breeze.  In my estimation, this would include Broad Street to 25th Street and Washington Avenue to Moore Street.  Everyone who participated had a different perspective on what their neighborhood was.  Working as a Coordinator for South Philadelphia EPIC now, my perspective is that I represent all of South Philadelphia.  The meeting took place at 2600 Morris Street in the Grays Ferry section of South Phi…

Why Do Popes Have to Be So Old?

Although I am no longer Catholic, I watched with anticipation as the Cardinals made their recent selection of Pope Francis.  I was happy that they made a selection but at the same time I was sad that Pope Francis is 76 years old.  Pope Benedict made history by becoming the first Pope to voluntarily step down from the Papacy in almost 900 years.  He was 77 when he began his reign and I though he looked kind of frail at the time.  Pope Francis looks strong and hearty for 76 but it is well past retirement age for most working adults.

I am surprised that the Catholic Church is the largest organized religion in the world.  I thought for sure it would have been Islam.  It seems like Muslims and their faithful are growing at a rapid rate.  I am Baptist which is considered a Protestant religion by the Catholic Church but nonetheless, we all believe in Jesus Christ.  The new Pope will have challenges in leading his flock.  The church is becoming increasingly Hispanic and more liberal.  How lo…

The Scourge of Gun Violence Continues in Philadelphia

The recent murder of Tony Martin adds to a litany of Philadelphians felled by the scourge of guns.  Tony Martin was an idle of mine when he was known as the 'Punching Postman'.  His largesse at dual careers allowed him to meet Julio Cesar Chavez in 1997 for a welterweight title fight.  It was his last fight and he lost.  He will live on in my memory as a dedicated professional.  How sad to have his life ended purportedly by a visitor to one of his tenants.  He was collecting rent and living his life.  Recently, a young man was murdered outside of the bus of French Montana, another outside of Club Onyx and yet another long time community advocate at the hands of a relative.  The list can go on and on but most of the victims are minority males probably at the hand of another minority male.

I wonder why Commissioner Ramsey was called to attend the assault gun ban hearings conducted by Vice President Joe Biden.  It would seem like our city would have better numbers to present to …

My 100th Post: A Time To Reflect

I was new to the Blogger scene two years ago.  My first post last about 60 words and referenced my purchase of a Tee Time Book.  I haven't bought a Tee Time book yet this year.  Golf is for guys with disposable income.  I will have some in the upcoming months.  Right now, it is grind time.  I have written about the Firing of Joe Paterno, Scandal in the Catholic Church, the NBA lockout, the effects of NFL concussions and the deaths of people close to me.  I have also realized that a solid blog entry is at least five paragraphs long.

Sometimes, death comes in threes.  I posted about Al Brown earlier this week.  I went to his viewing at St. Thomas Aquinas Church on Tuesday.  Immediately afterwards, I went to a funeral for Bryant Washington at Enon Baptist Church.  Bryant was the older brother of Kajet Washington who is a close friend of mine.  Yesterday, I found out that one of my former students from the Performance Learning Center, Sabir Bryant-Sanford, was shot and killed over th…

7th Street Clean Up Effort was Awesome

I am working on a Saturday.  United Communities Southeast Philadelphia is providing free income tax preparation for community residents until April 15th, 2013.  In addition to this duty, I helped to organize a community cleanup on South 7th Street from Oregon Avenue to Snyder Avenue.  We received cooperation from the Managing Director's Office, the Streets Department and the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia.  I have been volunteering in Philadelphia for many years and I will admit that it was the best cleanup I have ever participated in. 

The cleanup was supposed to begin at 10:00 AM.  By the time I arrived at 9:50 AM more than 100 participants were lined up on 7th Street.  Individuals performing community service under the auspices of the Community Life Improvement Program had already bagged a large amount of trash.  By 10:50 AM, the trash was picked up and bagged and volunteers were on to Mifflin Square park for additional duties.  I stopped by the Cambodian Assoc…

Al Brown: Rest in Peace

I was informed of the death of Al Brown via Facebook on Thursday morning.  I was shocked.  Al Brown was a long time advocate for the residents of South Philadelphia.  He and his wife, Donna Brown, operated the Point Breeze Performing Arts Center.  My daughter attended classes there from approximately 1998 to 2003.  I enjoyed the performances and the interaction with other parents.  I first met Al when the members of the Point Breeze Federation, Inc. were trying to renovate Landreth School. 

One of the best times I had while volunteering with the Parent's association was when Point Breeze Avenue was blocked off for a Black Tie event/fundraiser.  A heated tent was erected right in front of the center and a group called Bloodstone, if I'm not mistaken, performed.  The parents and students were dressed to the nines.  Some of the performances while Shoshonna, Michelle and Artie were there were legendary.  Al and Donna Brown were catalysts for social progress through Art!  Alonna …