Friday, October 24, 2014

Kerlin Street Classic 2014

Oops. Actual date was October 18.

Kenny Covert honored by Minaret Court #154

Minaret Court #154 honored Kenny Covert for his work with Chester city youth on Saturday, October18. 
L-R:, Jennie McCartthy, Kathy Jackson, Vivian Covert, Kenny Covert, Cory Long

Kenny Covert gets advice and support from Noble John Goss, P.P., Imperial Deputy for the Desert of Pennsylvania

Kenny Covert makes a point to thank his supporters

VIDEO: Lipstick Lineup Event empowers women on the move

Panelist from the October 12 Lipstick Lineup on Atlanta

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Governor Tom Corbett's "Revictimization" Law Stirs Controversy due to Mumia Abu-Jamal connection

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Days after convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal delivered a taped address at his alma mater at Godard College in Vermont, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed the state's Revictimization Relief Act into law near the site of the 1981 slaying of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner - the crime Abu-Jamal was found guilty of.

Abu-Jamal has maintained his innocence in the murder, and did so again in his recorded remarks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Widener University Art Gallery Hosts Third Annual CareLink Art Exhibition

Chester, Pa. – The Widener University Art Gallery will host the Third Annual CareLink Art Exhibition, highlighting the many gifted artists involved with CareLink programs, from October 25 to November 26.

Documentary Filmmaker Ken Burns to Speak at Widener University Nov 10

Chester, Pa.—Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, renowned for his landmark public television series Baseball and The Civil War, will speak at Widener University at 1 p.m. Monday, November 10 in Kapelski Learning Center Lecture Hall #1. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To reserve seating, call610-499-4112 or e-mail

When did teens stop working at the mall?

While making the point that entry-level retail jobs at the mall are for teens, I was presented with the fact that there aren’t many teens working at the mall. I had to eat my own words. When I quickly considered my last few visits to the mall, I had to agree that there aren’t many teens working at the mall.

Faces of our Fathers Film Festival at Neumann University Friday

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chester Housing Authority Recognized for Managing Safe Properties

Chester Housing Authority Executive Director Steven A. Fischer 
and Director of Housing Operations Norman D. Wise 
proudly display HAI Group awards for safe properties. 
(Chester, PA-October 10, 2014)- There was a time when the Chester Housing Authority (CHA) faced constant lawsuits related to ‘slips & falls.’ But like so many of the legacy issues that once plagued CHA, the non-stop lawsuits have now slowed to a trickle.

HAI Group, an organization that serves the public and affordable housing community with niche insurance programs and other value-added products and services, has presented CHA with its Low Loss Achievement Award; an honor recognizing the relatively small number of personal injuries that occur on CHA property. The award marks the second consecutive three-year period for which CHA was recognized. 

“The safety of our residents is always our top concern,” said CHA Executive Director Steven A. Fischer. “Being safe means protecting our communities from crime but it also means maintaining our properties in a manner that makes accidents less likely.  I want to give special recognition to Director of Housing Operations Norman Wise and the maintenance staff for their diligence in improving site conditions.”

The award covers a three-year period and takes into account the number of claims and how much the claims were settled for. 

“We look at the costs of claims the housing authority received compared to the premiums they paid to arrive at a loss ratio,” said Elizabeth Owens, Director of Risk Control and Consulting at HAI Group. 

HAI Group is a member-owned company, so housing authorities that do a good job of preventing losses earn a dividend, calculated once a year. In effect, this means lower insurance costs for CHA, allowing the agency to use more of its resources for housing. 

“The better CHA performs, the lower the costs they’re going to have on their insurance. The numbers show CHA is taking that responsibility to heart,” Owens said. “Residents should feel reassured that they live at a property where chances are lower they will be injured in an accident.”

Liability insurance covers residents, visitors and vendors injured on CHA sites. (Employee injuries are handled through workers compensation.)

“When you consider all the snow and ice we encountered last winter and our speed in clearing common areas and sidewalks, you get a sense of our priority for keeping people safe – and keeping our insurance costs down,” Fischer said. “The recognition from HAI Group validates our resolve.”  

Rotary Club of Chester Brings Smiles to the Community

Chester Rotarians gathered in front of Chester City Hall
to plant flowers and add some fall colors to the
base of the Chester Rotary Clock.
Pictured left to right are, Warren Sell,
La Tanya Burno, Louise Vitiello Burroughs
and Joe Saunders.
(October 16, 2014) (Chester, Pa) — The Rotary Club of Chester has active and compassionate members that routinely get involved in community service projects that help Chester and other local communities. Each month the Rotarians schedule a service project for the 3rd week of the month that creates an opportunity for the business leaders and community advocates to interact with students of all ages, local business owners, community leaders and/or seniors who could use a helping hand. During September, the Rotarians increased their service events to include three separate outreach activities as smiles were shared from a member’s house to elementary school classrooms to an event in front of Chester’s City Hall.

Eleven members of the Rotary Club of Chester
recently gathered at Francy Cross’s home
to label and organize books for local 3
grade classrooms.
Pictured left to right are,
Warren Sell, Bill Atlee, Aubrey Proud,
Faith Holefelder, Michael Cantland,
Joe Saunders, Art Sybrandy,
Kimberly Koterba, La Tanya Burno and
Louise Vitiello Burroughs.
Not pictured, Francy Cross.

Annual Food Drive and Toy Drive at Crozer-Keystone

October 17, 2014 (Springfield, Pa) – Crozer-Keystone Health System employees have a long-standing tradition of helping their neighbors in need through numerous community outreach efforts, including the health system’s annual food drive and toy drive. This year’s food drive is scheduled from Oct. 27 to Nov. 24, with the toy drive immediately following from Nov. 24 to Dec. 19. The Community Action Agency of Delaware County (CAADC) is the primary beneficiary for both the food drive and toy drive, and Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Prospect Park is the beneficiary of the food drive at Taylor Hospital. 

Kent Cook Scholarship deadline Nov 4

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship Program is an undergraduate scholarship program available to high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend and graduate from the nation's best four-year colleges and universities. 

Selected from a nationwide pool of applicants, up to 40 students will become Jack Kent Cooke Scholars and have access to funding for up to four years for undergraduate studies.

Click HERE to apply

Help for High Schoolers - College Common Application

Click to Enlarge
Villanova University is hosting a hands-on workshop for high school seniors to work on and complete their college Common Application on Tuesday, November 4th (Election Day) on Villanova's campus from 1 pm - 3 pm. Computer access for each student will be available. A representative from Villanova's University Admissions Office will be on hand to answer questions.

Please RSVP by October 28th if you plan to attend. Space is limited. RSVP to or call 610.519.4074.

Villanova is easily accessible via Septa. The following routes all have stops on Villanova's campus:
Regional Rail - Paoli/Thorndale Line
Norristown High Speed trolley from 69th street terminal
Route 105 Bus from 69th St. terminal

Chester Community Charter School To Premiere Art and Music Programs with Grand Opening Exhibit

Chester, PA, October 20, 2014 – On Tuesday, October 21, more than 1,000 students, parents and community members of Chester Community Charter School (CCCS), the largest K-8 charter school in Pennsylvania, are expected to attend, on CCCS’ East campus, the school’s first-ever “Night of the Arts,” a red carpet event wherein students and their families participate in a newly created, interactive art and music program. The event will also be presented on Tuesday, October 28 on CCCS’ West campus, and Tuesday, November 4, on the school’s Upland campus. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jimai Springfield inducted to Cheyney University Athletic Hall of Fame

Jimai receives Hall of Fame induction photo for his excellence as a Cheyney University basketball player in the 1990s.

Jimai with his backcourt mate and fellow inductee Anthony Carr 
NBC4 Washington D.C. anchor Jim Vance as Master of Ceremonies

Cheyney University Acting President Dr. Phyliss Worthy-Dawkins

Miss Cheyney 2014-15 Ms. Kristan Justice

VIDEO: Young black lady creates huge Apple App

Thursday, October 16, 2014

REVIEW: Please Stop Helping Us by Jason L. Riley

When I first tried to get my paws on this book it was on backorder. That gave me a clue that it was more popular than I imagined. The little I heard about it was interesting, but after reading it, I totally underestimated its significance.

This is the book all blacks should read and the book most blacks will hate.

The book reminds me of a saying my first boss liked to use. “Don’t confuse me with the facts, I’ve made up my mind.” Other sayings that apply are, “Figures lie and liars figure”, “You are entitled to your opinions, but not your facts”, and “You can’t handle the truth.”

In a nutshell, what ‘Please Stop Helping Us’ describes are many of the practices and policies that keep black people behind. Some of them are obvious like single parent households and inner city schools. But when Riley goes in on affirmative action, black politics, criminal justice, war on poverty, Booker T. Washington versus W.E.B. Dubois, civil rights, and acting white, he brings a perspective rarely articulated with plenty of supporting documentation. As Arsenio Hall says, it’s full of  ‘Things that make you say, hummm!”

One of my current challenges is understanding why so many young adult blacks with much potential have so little ambition. I have gained a valuable awaking to what is causing much of this condition from reading this book.

If you’re looking for an engaging read that will stir your emotions, read ‘Please Stop Helping Us.’

Widener University Hosts Screening of Documentary “1971” about Burglary of Media, Pa. FBI Office

Chester, Pa.—In 1971, Media, Pa. became the focus of an intense FBI manhunt to discover who broke into the bureau’s office there and stole all of the files, leaving only questions that remained unanswered for more than 40 years. Earlier this year, former Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger answered many of the questions in her book “The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI.” Now, the story is also being told in the documentary film “1971” which debuted at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

Widener University will host a screening of “1971” followed by a discussion including Medsger and Chester, Pa. Mayor John Linder at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12 in Founders Hall Room 109. Copies of Medsger’s book will be available for purchase at the event, and she will hold a book signing following the panel discussion. Sponsored by Widener University, the Widener Black Student Union and the Widener Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the event is free and open to the public.

A group calling themselves the “Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI” took responsibility for the burglary and mailed copies of the stolen files to members of the news media, including Medsger, and to the organizations being investigated by the FBI. Among the documents stolen from the FBI office was a file on the bureau’s investigation of the Black Student Union at Widener, then known as PMC Colleges. Linder, a 1976 graduate of Widener, was a member of the Black Student Union at the time of the burglary.

Screening followed by panel discussion with “The Burglary” author Betty Medsger and Chester Mayor John Linder

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Avery Sunshine nominated for Soul Train Award

This year’s Soul Train Awards will air on Sunday, November 30 on BET. Chester’s Avery Sunshine is nominated for her first big award in the Centric Certified Award category reserved for music’s next superstars. 

She shares the category with Kelis, Leela James, Luke James, Robert Glasper, and Shaliek. This diverse collection of nominees makes it tough to compare one to the other unlike those in the normal categories which all share the same musical style, i.e. Hip Hop, R&B, Gospel, etc. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chester Community Charter School Hosts Fourth Youth Summit

Carvin Haggins, Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter, 
and newly hired music production instructor at CCCS, 
spoke to more than 800 students, on both east and west campuses, 
to empower and educate them about the power of music.

Chester, PA, October 10, 2014 – Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter Carvin Haggins recently moderated  “Behavior Behind the Music,” a Youth Summit event hosted by Chester Community Charter School (CCCS), the largest K-8 charter school in Pennsylvania, wherein panelists shared, with more than 800 middle school students, the importance of understanding messaging in music, and adopting positive attitudes and behaviors. The school’s fourth installment was held at CCCS’s east and west campuses, in Chester, PA.

Boys & Girls Club of Chester Receives $25,000 Donation Courtesy of Comcast Foundation

left to right are: Drew Schmidt, BGCC Board Vice-President;  
William Bronson, Comcast Foundation, 
James Turner, BGCC Board;  
Donna Northern, BGCC Policy and Development Coordinator;  
Janet RileyFord, BGCC Executive Director; 
Jimmia Tull-Williams, BGCC Intern;  
Kevin Broadhurst, Comcast Foundation; 
and Tamira Granger, BGCC Intern)
October 8, 2014 (Chester, Pa) – The Boys & Girls Club of Chester recently received a $25,000 donation courtesy of the Comcast Foundation that will enhance educational and mentoring opportunities for Chester youth. This donation occurred as a result of the Club’s support of Club Tech 2014, a digital literacy program through the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) that aims to make technology accessible, intriguing and fun.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chester Teacher uses online fundraising campaign to provide notebook computers

Camelot Education Teacher Kayla Boylen 

A teacher at Chester’s accelerated high school for over-age and under-credited students has successfully conducted an online fundraising campaign to buy ten notebook computers for students in her English classes.

Kayla Boylen teaches at Chester Excel Academy, operated by Camelot Education in partnership with Chester-Upland High School. The school, in its second year of operation, specializes in helping students who are unable to succeed in main stream school advance and graduate.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Grand Hank Presents A Back-To-School Double-Header For Schools And The Community On October 31

Master Scientist Grand Hank continues the mission…this time with the ultimate back-to-school double-header featuring a class field trip event for students and an evening event for the community.

Click Here For Event Highlights:

Event #1: A Harvest Fest Field Trip For The Schools

The Harvest Fest is an interactive event for both students and teachers. This festive learning experience is designed to increase bonding between students and teachers by having them work together in ways that are exciting, entertaining and fun. The event will feature: science, games, music and dancing. See attached flyer for more details and to register your school or organization. Target Audience: PreK – Grade 3

Event #2: A Halloween Event For The Entire Family

This interactive evening is designed for children and parents which, includes: science, music, dancing, games and family bonding. Bring the entire family for a night of fun and learning. The goal is to bring families together to promote unity in safe environment this Halloween. See attached flyer for more details and how to purchase tickets. Target Audience: All Ages

Special Family Event Offer (Only)
Buy 5 tickets get 1 or free or
Buy 10 tickets and get a Grand Hank event t-shirt (a $15 value)


Scholarships for International Study

The Boren Scholarship provides up to $20,000 study-abroad funding to underrepresented areas of the world and for the study of languages deemed critical to US interests.  All currently enrolled undergraduate students at all grade levels are eligible to apply.

The Gilman Scholarship is open to students receiving Pell Grants and provides up to $5000 in study-abroad funding.  Gilman’s mission is to increase diversity both in the demographic of students who choose to study abroad and the countries in which they apply to study.  Undergraduate students at any grade level are eligible to apply.

The Critical Language Scholarship provides fully-funded language and culture immersion summer programs in thirteen under-studied languages.  Programs are available in Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu.  For many languages, no previous study is required to participate.  Full-time undergraduate and graduate students at all grade levels are eligible to apply.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Nia Center Open House Friday

​​Nia’s Open House celebration will be held on Friday, October 10, 2014 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 
We welcome you, our community, and all of our supporters to attend this event at the newly restored historic facility. 

The Open House will include:

3:30​ ​pm ~ ​​Welcome ​Speeches and Acknowledgments​

4 pm ~ Live Jazz Music with "Health Spring Band"

​5 ​pm ~ Ribbon Cutting ​with Chester Mayor John ​Linder

Tours, Music, Light Refreshments, Meet & Greet, Learn about Nia

​The Nia Center is located at: ​214 Reaney Street off 2nd Street, Chester, PA 19016

​For more information p​lease call 610-485-2236.​ 
For more information regarding The Nia Center  visit, 
and Ruth L. Bennett, email 

Youth Summit at Chester Community Charter Wednesday

Chester, PA., October 6, 2014 – On Tuesday, October 7, in celebration and acknowledgement of National Bullying Prevention Month, approximately 800 middle school students, from the east and west campus of Chester Community Charter School (CCCS), the largest K-8 charter school in Pennsylvania, will take part in the school’s fourth installment youth summit forum, “Behavior Behind the Music,” where they will hear from guest panelists and discuss their opinions on challenges and social issues faced at school, home and in their community. Grammy Award-nominated producer/songwriter Carvin Haggins will serve as moderator.

The event aims to empower and educate students through music. Panelists include Anthony Martin, founder, Urban Youth Racing School, a nonprofit organization promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs for urban youth; Walt Reeder Jr., CEO and founder, Big Bloc Entertainment, a booking and talent management agency for national and international artists and personalities; and BriaMarie, recording artist and singer, promoting principles of love, respect, ethics and morality.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014.  West Campus: 10:00am. East Campus: 1:15pm.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I don’t understand Cyber schools

A few years ago I attended a Chester-Upland School District presentation on their new cyber learning program. It made sense if the student was being homeschooled by a competent parent although I still couldn’t understand how a 1st grader would benefit.

Since then, cyber schools have popped up that are facilitated by adults who assist students in navigating their Internet teacher but results have proven to be no better than students who have real live teachers.

But what is a cyber school? Not having sat in a cyber classroom, I can only imagine that it’s a bunch of students sitting in front of a computer instead of a book. I’m not sure if there is live instruction or if all lectures are delivered by HP, Dell or Apple.

I can’t imagine how students with special needs are accommodated in cyber schools. That’s got to be a challenge.

Finally, with cyber charters sucking so much money from the school district (among other things), how does the district survive with a nearly $20 million budgeted deficit?

I don’t understand how it all works but I guess that’s why top school district administrators make the big bucks.

Click HERE for more

Sunday, October 5, 2014

VIDEO: Chester Panthers Homecoming 2014

Police need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest

Recently, someone told me that it didn’t seem fair that police can demand you to hand over your cell phone during a routine traffic stop. I told him that I just heard there was a ruling that it was not allowed. He told me to look into it and put it on the blog. 

After a very short search, here’s what I found

In June 2014, the Supreme Court Says Phones Can’t Be Searched Without a Warrant.
The courts have long allowed warrantless searches in connection with arrests, saying they are justified by the need to protect police officers and to prevent the destruction of evidence.
But Chief Justice Roberts said neither justification made much sense in the context of cellphones. While the police may examine a cellphone to see if it contains, say, a razor blade, he wrote, “once an officer has secured a phone and eliminated any potential physical threats, however, data on the phone can endanger no one.”
Click HERE for more

PA Lawmakers Learn More about GMO Foods

HARRISBURG, Pa. - It's on the November ballot in Colorado and Oregon, and today, Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering it too whether to label genetically-modified ingredients in food sold in the state. GMO labeling is the topic of an "informational meeting" of the House Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs in Harrisburg. 

The watchdog group Consumers Union is a national proponent of labeling, and just released a study estimating it would cost consumers about $2.30 per person, per year. That's a stark contrast to food industry-funded studies, which peg the cost at $100 to $200 a year per person. Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives with Consumers Union, sees it as a food-safety issue.