Friday, August 22, 2014

Ferguson. A faux controversy over race.

I love when journalist speak their mind as opposed to feeding us what the publishers want us to read. Christine Flowers never pulls any punches and doesn’t mind mixing it up on the topic of race relations in America.

I think a big part of the race relation divide in America is that people don’t talk about race enough with each other, especially between the races. As a black blogger committed to a black community, I bring up race often. I figure someone has to speak on our behalf, why not me (us).

I don’t totally agree with all of Ms. Flowers statements regarding the Faux Controversy particularly her claims of this being a media-driven mess. I think the folks in Ferguson would have taken to the streets even if TV and social media wasn’t invented yet. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Frightening new study should keep you out of the corner stores

When Philabundance was planning to bring the Fare & Square grocery store to Chester, our location was justified because we are a food desert. Mayor Wendell Butler said he doesn’t see anyone starving and I said there are multiple grocery stores within a 3 mile radius. So how do you define ‘Food Desert’?

It’s loosely defined as a low income, highly populated area that doesn’t have a grocery store within a stone’s throw. In its place are fast food, Chinese food, steak and hoagie shops, pizza, and corner stores that encourage bad eating habits and don’t provide fresh fruit and veggies.

Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer published a first ever study that highlights frightening dangers in food deserts that is the most convincing argument to the importance of access to ‘real’ grocery stores. Chester is in a much better position now that Fare & Square and Bottom Dollar came to the city. 

Here’s a few quotes from the article:
  • Corner stores and small supermarkets that feed vast swaths of impoverished Philadelphia offer bacteria-laced foods in unhealthy conditions that can lead to foodborne illness
  • "Potatoes and baby food are moldy, lettuce is rotten, and the mice are having a good time in boxes of noodles,"
  • It wasn't uncommon to see mice in stores, which is why many corner stores keep cats, who carry their own germs
  • When they are stuck with bad food, poor people will wash slime off lunch meats, cut mold from cheese and bread, slice off rotten parts of fruit, then simply eat what's left
 Click HERE for the full article

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cabela's ad disturbs mother of murdered son

I recently paid a visit to a friend who lost her son to gun violence in March. It’s the first time I’ve seen her since then and I was curious how she’s coping. It took all of 3 seconds to see she wasn’t coping well. Sympathy cards were stacked in three tall piles on the coffee table and other remnants and reminders of her son surrounded the living room.

After watching a little pre-season football and catching up on each other’s lives, she picked up a Daily Times from the table and told me what set her back today. It was the Cabela’s weekly advertising circular inserted in the paper.

She had never heard of Cabela’s so I told her who they were and why they’re so popular among the outdoorsy type. She flipped a few pages and asked if advertising five pages of guns is appropriate. With all the gun violence in the area, how is Cabela’s permitted to put these ads in a paper widely distributed in Chester?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Report Finds Young Athletes Pressured to Play While Injured

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - As young Pennsylvania athletes prepare to take the field for football and other sports this fall, a new survey finds a growing number will likely face an injury during the season.

According to research from Safe Kids Worldwide, an alarming number of young people are hurt as a result of aggressive play, hiding injuries to stay in games, and parents who pressure coaches to keep their kids on the field.

Safe Kids' president and CEO Kate Carr says parents, coaches, and players should come together before the season starts and set ground rules to prevent injuries.

"You can discuss dirty play, hard fouls, and how you're going to deal with them," says Carr. "You can discuss the training of a coach. You can discuss parental behavior on the sidelines. You can talk to athletes about the importance of speaking up."

It's Wednesday - Fare & Square Day

Monday, August 18, 2014

Is Covanta’s New York trash new trash or repackaged trash?

Every time I think I have the answer, I get stumped. Covanta already burns NYC trash in Chester and recently signed on to burn it for 20 more years. Or, did they recently sign to burn additional NYC trash for 20 more years? 

At least some of the trash from NYC is coming in on rail car. Or, is all of the trash from NYC coming in on rail car? 

These simple questions have never been answered in anything I've read or heard.

Read the next few statements. Let me know if it’s clear to you how this deal works.
For the next 20 years, up to 500,000 tons of waste will be coming to Chester from New York City, so Covanta wants to bring it to the area on trains in sealed rail boxes.
Those against the plan said that “New York Trash train” would increase the plant’s intake by hundreds of thousands of tons per year for the next 40 years.Covanta did not make an application to increase its capacity and representatives stated numerous times that no more trash would be burned as a result of this request. Covanta executives explained that the plant operates as close to capacity as possible at all times for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is economics.
Click HERE for more 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

VIDEO: The Charm of Chester

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson visits Chester Panthers Football

Phiiladelphia Union Soccer practice fields under construction

Last I heard, the city and the folks down at PPL Park were at odds about the Philadelphia Union practice fields they wanted to plant next to the stadium. There have been hints that the two sides have smoothed out there differences but all talks must have been behind closed doors.

Click HERE for an update on the fields

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tyreke Evans brings VSP Vision back to Chester

Click to Enlarge

Yes, that's my photo taken his rookie year during VSP's first visit to Chester. Sure, y'all can use it. It's not the first time one of my photos was swiped. 

In the next few weeks, all the photos I've taken around Chester will be available for purchase. Stay tuned. 

The Zain Shaw basketball camp

I Can I Will Art Show supports Chester Children Art Center

Concord Road between Tilghman and Central will be blocked off Saturday August 16 at noon to accommodate the I Can I Will Youth Gardening Program art show. The art show is free and proceeds from all art and food purchased will contribute to the building of the Chester Children Art Center.

All purchases over $25 will net you an exclusive black and white Andrew Turner print, suitable for framing (I own 6 of those - come get yours).

Introducing Chester High School Football 2014

Check out this great post by my fellow Chester Blogger, Ms. B: The Good News, featuring the 2014 version of the Chester High School football team which includes the complete schedule. (Click HERE)

Below is an introduction of the new coach from the Chester Panther's banquet earlier this year.

‘House of Lies’ joins ‘House of Cards’ in Chester City Council decision on Covanta

Two of my favorite TV shows are House of Lies and House of Cards. ‘Lies’ stars Don Cheadle who leads a group of management consultants that does whatever it takes to get business deals done for their clients. ‘Cards’ stars Kevin Spacey as a ruthless and powerful Washington politician who uses his power and manipulation to promote policy and himself. Both shows are primarily dramas sprinkled with just enough comedy to make me think and laugh at the same time. 

Yesterday’s Chester City Council took a page from both shows. If it were a TV episode they’d name it ‘Covanta Trumps Murder’. 

Covanta proposal approved

Wednesday, August 13, 2014. City Council and Mayor voted unanimously in favor of Covanta's proposition to send 500,000 tons of trash by rail with an additional 15,000 sq ft rail box building to store trash in steel box cars.Many people came to the meeting to voice their opinion on why council should say no, but the council were in a rush and did not allow any one who were not a Covanta representative or Chester City resident speak. Many folks were angry about the council's decision. If you are angry and you live in Chester or in the area, mark you calendars and come out to the Chester Environmental Justice meeting next Thursday, August 21, 2014. Stay tuned for more details on time and location!

-Kaya Banton

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Covanta Confusion

I’d like to think the Chester City Blog has contributed to Covanta helping us better understand the impact of their proposal. Today’s Daily Times article presents a lot of detail missing from earlier published reports. 

The only thing I’m still confused about is how they’re going to accommodate new trash from New York without any ‘expected increase in the amount of trash received’ in Chester. If they could explain that to me, I’d be okay.

Maybe they’re diverting trash elsewhere to take the new New York trash. If so, say so. 

Railboxes 60 (new)
Trailers 192 vs 137 (reduced by 55)
Trash Trucks 38 (unchanged)

You do the math. I’m not that smart.

Chester City Council to vote on Covanta expansion today?

Please show up at Chester City Hall if you can... in case the vote on the Covanta's NYC Trash-by-Train plan is actually on the city council agenda.  An article in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer indicated that there would be a final vote this week.  The regularly-schedule meeting would be 10am this Wednesday, August 13.

This is a surprise to us, since there was no notice and we were under the impression that city council was going to respect the requests not to make the decision at one of their 10am meetings (every other meeting is at 7pm), and that they'd wait until they researched the issue and heard both sides, including our groups' presentation, which only two of five council members have seen so far (though they got to hear Covanta's side).

If you can show up, please urge them to hold off on the vote until they hold a public meeting on this issue, as they promised, and have a final vote on an evening meeting with plenty of notice -- AFTER all council members and the mayor have a chance to see our presentation.

Click HERE for the Inquirer article.

The article is very confused.  It pretends that there is a split in the community and that "many" residents who once opposed the incinerator now support the incinerator's current NYC trash-by-train scheme.  In fact, it's only Rev. Strand (who hasn't lived in Chester for many years), who has been taking the Covanta incinerator's money since 2006 (Click HERE for details) and is speaking in favor of it.  All of the other Chester residents who have packed city hall twice last month on this issue, are adamantly opposed to it.

Mike Ewall


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Douglass Reunion CANCELLED!

Greetings Douglass Alumni Friends and Family

On behalf of the Douglass Reunion Committee, I regret to inform you that the 2014 Douglass Reunion has been cancelled. I wish to apologize for the cancellation of this event at the last minute as we were looking forward to this opportunity to come together again to celebrate the legacy of our alma mater.

For those of you, who have supported the event with a reservation and/or advertisement, please be advised that your monies will be returned expeditiously.

For any additional questions or concerns regarding your refund, please contact Ms. Beverly Taylor at 610-876-4651/610-800-6002-cell.

Thanks in advance for your understanding.

Ruth E. White

Event Coordinator

Youth Empowerment Day Saturday Crozer Library

Click to Enlarge

Buddy Guy performs at SunCenter Studios

The legendary Buddy Guy, along with his 15 year old protégée Quinn Sullivan, turned SunCenter Studios into a blues oasis reminiscent of Chicago’s Grant Park last night.

The Show
When the baby faced 15 year old white kid wearing jeans and a tee shirt was introduced  to open the show, a few folks applauded while I was surprised there was an opening at all. After about the 3rd note, I gave him permission to stay. Quinn Sullivan was discovered as an 8 year old coming on stage at a Buddy Guy’s show. He was so good, Buddy has had him on the road with him since. 

Buddy Guy wasted no time showing off his guitar chops. The distinctive cacophony of electric guitar distortion pierced the gorgeous night air and reminded all within earshot why his style influenced many of the great rock bands. For a 78 year old to stand and play as he did, and to sing so many songs ranging from soft ballets to grimy blues, justifies why he’s in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Covanta taking case to the people of Chester

Covanta has recently purchased full page ads in the Daily Times to make their case to the people of Chester that they are trying to bring ‘A more modern and efficient way to receive waste’ to their electric generation plant in Chester. 

Before the new ramps on the Barry Bridge were constructed, there was a daily parade of brightly lit idling trucks lined up for blocks down 2nd street waiting to offload at Covanta in the pre dawn hours. It reminded me of the staging area for floats at the Macy’s Day Parade in NYC. 

No only did those trucks emit plumes of exhaust in the air, they often leaked their contents like a trash bag with a pin hole.

Covanta’s latest ad displays the new closed container they want to transport trash with. Just looking at the photos convinces me that it's a good idea. But, in order to receive the containers, they need a new building which the planning commission refuse to approve. It’s up to city council now.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


CHESTER, PA- Mayor John A. Linder and the City of Chester will host the 10th Annual Riverfront Ramble, Saturday, September 6th, 12PM-10PM at the Wharf at Rivertown, 2501 Seaport Drive on the city waterfront.  This year featured artists are 9 time platinum with 10 #1 hits internationally renowned artists, The O’Jays, plus 7 time Grammy nominated, 13 Stellar Awards, 2 Image and Dove Awards winner gospel sensation, Vickie Winans, music icon Ms. Avery Sunshine, and a host of outstanding regional artist. The day will also feature regional cuisine and craft vendors, children’s carnival play area, antique car show, health, education, and community pavilions with a grand finale fireworks show. For more information, or to obtain a vending application or sponsorship package, call 610-499-7528 or visit our website at

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Vote for Phatso's Bakery for Best of Delco 2014 with a Selfie

It's Best of Delco time again as Delaware County selects their best 'everythings' in the Delaware County Daily Times annual reader's poll.

Chester's Phatso's Bakery has won the contest for best bakery and/or best doughnut many times over the past 10 years but it doesn't happen automatically. It happens as a result of your vote.

I've been told that this year you can vote with a selfie, that popular self photo of yourself. If you send in a selfie standing in, or in front of Phatso's Bakery, your vote is multiplied by 10. 

Voting ends August 15

Click HERE to vote

Riverfront Ramble 2014 announcement

Monday, August 4, 2014

Widener University gets an 'A' credit rating

We haven't heard anything out of City Hall since the city's credit rating was suspended, but it's great to note that our university still gets an 'A'.

Click HERE for more

Sunday, August 3, 2014

John Legend LIGHTS up the Mann Music Center

 In one of the most flawless performances I’ve ever attended, John Legend gave a great show at the Mann last night. With no opening act and no introduction, he and his musicians walked on stage and entertained a near full house of extremely diverse fans, both in age and race.  

It’s rare that a live act, especially outdoors, hits all the concert elements perfectly. His stage was beautiful, the music clear- not too loud, not too soft - and you could hear every syllable coming out of his mic. The stage lighting was amazing.

I’m not one of John Legends biggest fans but I can’t hate on his show. If you are a fan, he certainly didn’t disappoint as the crowd cheered his every breath. To my surprise, he did perform my favorite Legend song, Again, which I didn’t think rated to be included in his show, but he gave a back story and a beautiful arrangement.  

For me, his song selection was more suited for a piano bar or lounge and not the big stage. Even the fast songs got ‘loungey’. Green Light followed by Michael Jackson’s Rock with Me didn’t have the dance tune pop I thought the show needed to step away from ballads for a while. The absence of background singers made me tire of hearing him all night but John Legend gave a John Legend show and his fans loved it. That’s all that matters, right?

I do think John Legend is a brilliant song writer but I’ve heard others do his songs more to my liking than him. And my favorite Legend album, Wake Up, didn’t garner a single song. 

If you like John Legend, check out his live show. It’s great. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Photographer Patricia Wagner featured at I Can I Will art show

On Saturday, August 16, Concord Road between Tilghman and Central will be graced with creations from local artists. Portions of each purchased made at this year’s ‘I Can I Will’ art show will be donated to the future Chester Children Art Center.

One of the Chester artists displaying her work is photographer Patricia Wagner. She has the unique talent to turn her photographs into large framed pieces of art. 

Not all photographers are the same, especially in this digital age. There are four distinct skills to photography today, and Pat has mastered them all.

All artists are blessed with an ability to see things that many of us take for granted. Pat’s subjects are normally very common objects which she captures on camera to work her magic.

To be a great artist, you need great equipment. Sure, you can take a good photo with an IPhone, but there’s a reason good cameras cost over $500 and lenses cost 3 times that much. She has mastered her equipment and it reflects in her art.

In the digital age, the post production is what separates the amateur from the professional. This is the step that makes Pat the great artist she is. Taking a photo is relativity easy. Making that photo stand out can take hours of detailed work on a computer adding color correction, impressionist strokes, depth of field, lighting, etc., using tools like PhotoShop, Lightroom, their plugins, or other high end software. If you don’t know what ‘in the raw’ means in digital photography, you are not editing like a professional. 

What you do with your finished photography is called presentation. Patricia can produce a simple 4x6 photo which takes little effort, to creating billboard sized prints at the highest of resolutions. She frames some of her work and the hard cover photo books she creates are amazing.

Come see Patricia Wagner’s amazing photography on display at the I Can I Will art show August 16. Don’t forget your check book. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Chester schools give Dr. Dre Beats headphones to new students

As an incentive to entice charter school students to transfer into the public school system, the Chester-Upland school district is promising to provide students a laptop computer and a pair of Dr. Dre’s, as if the laptop wasn’t enough.

No one is complaining about the laptop but the Dr. Dre’s are raising a few eyebrows. This program may not be practical, but I think it’s a genius concept.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why the Spirit paper is 25 cents

I've named Chester 'The Community that Won't Comment' because, once again, a simple question goes unanswered on our blog. Maybe we should be renamed 'The No Snitch Blog'.

Yet, with great investigative work, my people on the street told me why the Spirit lists a 25 cent price tag on its papers.

Have you noticed the beautiful green newspaper boxes scattered around in strategic locations? You must insert a quarter if you expect to get a Spirit paper out of them. 

I'm going to continue to get mine from that store who sells them for free.