Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tell Me More. NPR cancels another Black show.

When asked who is my favorite news person, I don’t hesitate to name Michel Martin. Most times the response is, ‘Who’?

Ms. Martin has hosted National Public Radio’s Tell Me More show for the past seven years and thanks to podcasts and ITunes, I’ve listened to a lot of her programs. Philadelphia’s WHYY carried her show but recently moved it to 9pm which is a rare hour for me to listen to radio.

While messing around on the computer today, I listened to a recent Tell Me More show on ITunes and learned that tomorrow is the last day of the program. It didn’t take long to find many web articles expressing their disappointment. 

The article linked below gives a comprehensive overview of the show, justification for the decision to cancel, and fodder to support why so many our upset. What’s missing from almost all that I read is why the show was so great and why the target audience of blacks and hispanics never rallied amongst themselves to grown the audience in greater numbers.

The bottom line is that NPR is making another business decision according to the lack of support programs like this receives from black listeners. Sure, you can make a case they could have done more to promote the show, but they can easily argue they did more than enough and didn’t see the return on investment to keep it going. 

The angry me will hang my hat on the following statement but the logical me can’t help but to accept NPRs business decision. 
Former and current public radio executives said that stations have failed historically to promote shows with black hosts. Before Tell Me More, there was The Tavis Smiley Show with host Tavis Smiley, then News & Notes with Ed Gordon, who was followed by Farai Chideya and then Tony Cox as hosts. And before that, The Derek McGinty Show aired from 1991-1998. All three shows failed. 

Click HERE for more 

Basketball players getting soft because they won't play outdoors

Chester's 7th Street courts look great
but not the place to find an
old fashioned pick up game
About 6 years ago, back in the Chester Spotlight paper days, I wrote a story about the empty basketball courts I found on a Saturday morning in every part of Chester. When I was a kid, that would have never been the case. 

About three years ago in a conversation with a Chester High School assistant basketball coach, I was asking about the summer tournament they usually attend in Allentown (I think it's Allentown). He said they did play in the tournament but on the bus ride up there it started raining hard and the players were overjoyed. It was because the outside tournament would be forced inside and the kids prefer to play indoors.

I thought that was crazy. Isn't summer league basketball all about blacktop, sun, heat, wind, and mastering the elements? Yes it is, but that's not what the kids are accustomed to anymore. If they can't play inside at the high school or the Boys and Girls Club you won't see too many competitive pickup games being played in the playgrounds of Chester. I thought it was just a Chester thing until I read the following article.

Click HERE to read ESPN's reasons for this change and how it's affecting the overall game of basketball. 


Y'all better hurry up and register for the Douglass reunion.

Click HERE for more

VIDEO: Meet The HistoryMakers founder Julieanna Richardson

The HistoryMakers have been featured on this blog on several occasions. Finally, you get to see and hear from the magnificent woman responsible for capturing black American history like none other. 

FOX 32 News Chicago

Fare & Square Senior Savings Day Wednesday

Chester man cleared of all charges but still looks guilty as hell

I was excited to see that a Chester man was cleared of all charges from yesterday’s Daily Times cover story. My sincere hope was that ‘upon further review’ they realized the wrong guy was arrested and allowed him back into society as a free man. 

Unfortunately, two issues still hang in the air like the stench from Covanta on a hot and humid day. First, the photo on the cover. Instead of seeing a smiling, relieved, appreciative young man, the image is of a pissed guy in handcuffs being escorted by an officer with a bullet proof vest worn on the outside and a belt that would make Batman jealous. The inside photo ain’t much different.

Secondly, the article never explains why he was released other than... 
After a comprehensive review of all of the available evidence, we concluded that there was insufficient evidence to sustain our burden of proof...

We learn a lot about the crime committed but nothing on the details of insufficient evidence. 

Articles like this leave most readers unconvinced of his innocence. Maybe that’s the intent. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Phil Heron is so racial

Often, a headline like the one used on his editorial today would have been phased as a question instead of a statement. Easily, it could have read - ‘Have we lost respect for the office of president?’ That would be the easy way out.

I’ve gotten to know Phil Heron in the past 11 years as a coworker, partner, and mentor, and he’s been consistently professional, honest, compassionate, fair, tough, innovative, and tired of the b.s.

It’s hard to find a white man in the crosshairs of racial issues on a daily basis than Phil. He sees it from the journalist side with the news of the day and from a grassroots side with the comments that people make on the news of the day. I’ve seen Phil fight against his bosses policy to let all reader comments remain on the site no matter how vicious, foul, angry, and cowardly they are. (Oh, and Phil won the fight to delete comments).

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fare & Square concept being considered at Philadelphia hospital

 "Doctors are directly linking families to fresh food in a way that's not been done before,"...

The facility is the first children's hospital in the region to screen for food insecurity, Kersten said. That's defined as the lack of enough food to live a healthy life. 

"It's so surprising how incredibly prevalent hunger is in North Philadelphia."

Lately, Kersten has been considering bringing a version of Fare & Square, the nonprofit supermarket in Chester, to St. Christopher's. The only one in America, the store was created by Philabundance, the region's largest antihunger agency.

"It's exciting to use the hospital as the front line against hunger," he said. "The traditional model of medical care hasn't got as much influence as originally thought.

Click HERE for more

Friday, July 25, 2014

BOOK: 'The GateKeepers are Gone. Hustle+Technology=Success' by Lamar Tyler

I met Lamar Tyler three years ago at the Blogging While Brown conference in Philadelphia. With so few guys in attendance, we all sort of gravitated to one another. 

Being new to blogging, I was fascinated at what was being presented regarding the business of blogging. Many of the presenters were 'eating' as a result of their blogs earning significant income with corporate sponsorships and advertising due to their large audiences and Lamar was among one of the giants. He gave me great advice on which camera to purchase since I was interested in upping my video game.

VIDEO: Must see video on the Chester school funding crisis

Chester: Where you live should not determine whether you learn from Samantha Mason on Vimeo.

This excellent video is a little dated, going back to when the district was threatening to close, but it makes the claim that it could signify the beginning of the end of the school district.

Back then, the district was $9 million in debt. Today, it's reported that the district is $18 million underfunded. In this week's WURD 900AM interview with Mayor John Linder, the question was asked whether the $18 million is just the 'get by' figure or the 'fully funded' figure. The answer was never provided but it makes me wonder why the community outrage and protests haven't continued over adequate school funding. 

Emoticons turned Black

The static bright yellow round smiley face you see at the end of a Facebook post or email is probably the most famous emoticon on the web. That simple pictorial representation of a facial expression has inspired thousands of other emotion depictions you see used on social media all the time.

More recently, emoticons are designed with motion animation and audio to provide short expressions you can hear as well as see. 

My daughter’s best friend assembled a team that has been working on an urban version of the animated emoticon for over a year and the site has just launched in the Apple Store. When I first heard of the concept, all I could say was: 1) Why didn’t I think of that, and 2) How can I get in on that.

If you have an I-Phone, check it out in the Apple Store under Eboticon (like black emoticon). It's $0.99.

What a genius idea! Go Tracey and team. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chester Spirit paper changes name again

Me and Paul A. Bennett, Publisher/Editor of Spirit. 
(No, it's not my paper for those of you still wondering)
It started as the Chester Spirit. Then they branched outside of Chester and started another paper, the Community Spirit. Then they combined the two papers in one with the Chester Spirit read from front to back and the Community Spirit read from back to front (awkward to say the least). Then, they just combined the name and it became the Chester/Community Spirit.

I always referred to it as the Community Spirit. My logic suggests that Chester is part of the larger community and shouldn't be singled out, therefore if the paper has two names, I'm going for the Community.

Covanta's trash plan made simple

According to the Delco Times, folks were up in arms about Covanta’s proposal to build a couple more buildings on their property at last night’s city council meeting in anticipation of a council vote that had been tabled the day before. It didn’t seem to stop folks from using the pubic comment time to voice their opinions.

Let’s take a moment and help some people understand the issues at hand. 

Crozer-Chester and nurses union still divided on "major sticking points"

The average salary for a full-time Crozer-Chester nurse is about $103,000, according to the health system. Cruice disputes that figure saying PASNAP's review of its members W-2 forms put the average full-time salary at about $84,000. He also said many nurses at the hospital work part-time.

Click HERE for more 

Harrah's Casino an economic boost, but not a cure, for ailing Chester

Harrah's held job fairs and spent $500,000 teaching residents of Delaware County hospitality industry skills. The casino also offers free training for dealers. Still, out of the casino's more than 1,600 employees, only about 130 live in Chester, he says. Nearly 400 live outside the state.
Click HERE for more 

Chester Street Festival Saturday

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chester in the middle of the energy debate with trash and oil

The waste-to-energy behemoth in Chester that welcomes anyone’s trash and converts it to steam that runs turbines for electric production has found a new customer and needs to tweak a few things to make it easy to get their new fuel source to the incinerator. 

In order for that to happen, Chester City Council must say it’s okay. The city’s planning commission said it’s not okay earlier this month. Could we have a situation where two city agencies are at odds with each other? Based on reports that city council isn’t expected to vote on the new tweaks, it appears so. They probably need more time to study the proposal. We do a lot of studying in Chester.

Down the road, the Monroe Energy refinery has already met with 20 Chester folks to go over their plans to run an oil pipeline through the city to connect Eddystone with Trainer. Honestly, I don’t recall an announcement for the Chester meeting. I certainly didn’t get a press release to share with you. But, at least 20 people knew about it. I wonder what they concluded?

A musical in Deshong Park Saturday

Congress Looks to Cut Cost of Child Care

HARRISBURG, Pa. - As the cost of child care in this country continues to grow, so does the chorus of voices calling on Congress to take action. For many working families, the cost of child care is one of their biggest monthly expenses and legislation to help ease that burden has been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate.

Among those urging passage is Carla Moquin, president of the Parenting in the Workplace Institute.

"A lot of parents are in a position where child care is so expensive that it makes it almost impractical for them to even work, especially for minimum-wage, low-income employees," she said, "And so I think it's really critical on a societal scale and on an individual family scale to provide more options to these families."

The cost of center-based day care varies widely from state to state, but the U.S. average is now nearly $12,000 per year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Brain-Inspired Ways to Understand and Respond to Poverty

Beyond Poverty: Brain-Inspired Ways to Understand and Respond to Poverty, presented by Frank Kros, MSW, JD from the Upside Down Organization.  

Poverty has a synergistic and pervasive impact on children's brains.  In this workshop, participants will learn about the specific differences developing brains exposed to poverty have, the impact of those differences in the classroom and the unique interventions that can be used to overcome poverty's effects. 

TeamChildren is hosting an incredible workshop on poverty and the brain and would like to know if you would be interested in attending. We are committed to having 50-100 participants and would love for you to be one of them.  

Chester-Upland Soccer for Success Holding Raffle to Raise Funds

Chester, Pa.—The Chester-Upland Soccer for Success program is holding a raffle for a chance to win 20 suite tickets to the Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls match on September 13. Raffle tickets are one for $25 or five for $100 and can be purchased at with all proceeds going to the Soccer for Success program.

The deadline to purchase tickets is August 29, with the drawing scheduled for September 5. Runner-up prizes – five $200 gift cards to Angelo’s Soccer Corner – will also be awarded.

Widener University began the Chester-Upland Soccer for Success program in 2012 with a grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation and has partnered with the Philadelphia Union, Crozer-Chester Medical Center and others to expand the reach of the program to more than 400 children at seven different sites in the Chester and Upland communities.

Mayor John Linder’s box score from radio interview

Mayor John Linder was interviewed today by Phil Allen for nearly an hour on WURD 900 AM black talk radio. Since we’re in the middle of the dog days of summer, why not review the mayor’s performance like a softball box score (softball because those were the type of questioned asked).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Franklin Lodge Corn & Crab Feast Saturday July 26

Senior Picnic Saturday July 26

This Saturday, July 26, 2014 from noon to 6 p.m., the Seniors and many other Chester residents will come together for the 2nd Annual Senior Picnic “FUN DAY @ DESHONG PARK” located at 11th & Avenue of the States in Deshong Park, Chester, PA.

There will be Food, Games, and “FUN” for all who attend.  

Other guest and supporters include Hedgerow Theater, NIA CENTER, Salvation Army, and Chester Arts Alive! 

For more Info. Contact: Helen Whittington 484.483.9621 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chester Children's Chorus Presents Free Summer Concert Series

The Chester Children’s Chorus will be presenting three summer concerts and a dance performance all at Lang Concert Hall, Swarthmore College. 

The dance performance will be held on Tuesday, July 29 at 2:00 p.m. The choral concerts will be held on Thursday, July 31 at 2:00 p.m., Friday, August 1 and Saturday, August 2 beginning at 7:30 p.m. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Chester Housing Authority Stresses Nutrition with Launch of Summer Food Program

Children from Enrichment Academy day care enjoyed lunch
at the opening day of the Chester Housing Authority’s
 first-ever summer food program. Program coordinator
Sharon Young (right) and Enrichment Academy
day care teacher Khadesha Thomas said everything
went smoothly at both breakfast and lunch on day one.
(Chester, PA - July 16, 2014) - For the past several years, the Chester Housing Authority has focused on encouraging residents to eat healthier - so to Executive Director Steven Fischer, it just made sense to begin a summer food program for the agency’s low-income children during the summer.

“Providing a summer food program for the kids is consistent with our philosophy of helping kids and adults eat properly throughout the year,” Fischer said.  “When we learned that USDA made funds available for this kind of program we jumped at the opportunity.”

Free breakfast and lunch are available to all CHA residents age 18 and under Monday through Friday. All meals include milk and at least one serving of fruit or vegetables.

In addition to providing the meals, the program has also created seven part-time jobs for CHA residents.

The Chester Quiz

Here are the most asked issues people think I know the answers to (like my name is Herb Denenburg). Here's your chance to provide answers and get these folks off my case.

  1. Where are we with the Chester cop shown beating on the woman at the gas station?
  2. Where are we with the missing/reappearing rifle scope from the Chester police evidence room?
  3. Will every household get a recycle container?
  4. What's the plan for repairing the Lloyd Street bridge?
  5. Has a new director of CEDA been found?
  6. Who is the contact person for the Riverfront Ramble vendors?
  7. What recreation programs does the city sponsor for children? 
  8. What is the city's plan for Pulaski school?
  9. Why doesn't the city broadcast city council meetings on the public access channel?
  10. Instead of spending money for free concerts, why doesn't the city have concerts to make money?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chester Housing Authority partners with Fare & Square

City of Chester, Pa- July 14, 2014 - The Chester (City) Housing Authority has partnered with Fare & Square, the nation’s first non-profit grocery store to provide seniors with transportation to the grocery store.  

The shuttle service will run from 10:00 – 12:00 every Wednesday from Chatam Senior Village to Fare & Square.  

Wednesdays are designated as Senior Day at Fare & Square, and all seniors who are Carrot Club members will receive additional discounts off their purchases. 

Seniors, 55 of age and up are eligible to receive Carrot Cash benefits, to help stretch their dollars. Seniors shopping on Wednesday’s will receive an additional 2% discount which can be applied to purchases that day.  Fare & Square staff will be on hand to sign-up new members and welcome them to the store.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chester's Tommy Smith one of Philly's top keyboardist

Tommy Smith on keyboard sitting in with
the 61st Street Band (not all shown)
Tommy Smith is the guy I consider my longest running classmate as we met at the Wilson Nursery School as mere tots. 

After losing his sight at around the age of 8, Tommy spent most of his time at the School for the Blind in Philadelphia which is why most Chester folks may not know him, but you may know his brothers Howard (Arizona), Jeffery (heading to Seattle), or Derrick.

Still residing in Philly, Tommy has long been considered one of the premier jazz keyboardist in the area. How he gets from gig to gig is still a mystery to me but Tommy plays in many of the live spots in Philly and a ton of private events when he's not working with his own band, Plan B, which had won the WJJZ Best Jazz Band contest in 2008. (Click HERE for more on Plan B)

Yesterday, I joined him at BQ's Spot on Baltimore Ave in Landsdowne, where we had our usual crazy time laughing, joking and knocking down a few between sets. 

Sneaker Giveaway to Encourage the Youth

Daylan Rice is the winner of the Strive Every Day for Greatness Foundation Sneaker Giveaway. Daylan was chosen based on his outstanding report card and great character.

SEFG was Co-Founded by Rob Pittman and Ted Miller. Rob and Ted who are 2012 High School graduates, current college students, and childhood friends have started the foundation as a way to give back to their community and encourage young people to be great.