Thursday, November 27, 2014

Toy Drop-Off Locations for Homeless Children

MEDIA- The Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc. (CAADC) is conducting a Holiday Toy Drive for over 1,000 needy children including from their shelter and transitional housing facilities.  CAADC is collecting new, unwrapped toys until December 19th to be distributed to the homeless children.  The following local businesses have generously agreed to serve as drop-off locations for toy donations:

  • Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Lobby & North Campus on 15th Street, Chester, PA 19013 
  • Crozer-Chester Medical Center/Community Hospital, 2600 W. 9th Street, Chester, PA 19013
  • Delaware Co. Office of Services for the Aging, 206 Eddystone Ave., Eddystone, PA 19022
  • Aston Sunoco, 3355 Market Street, Twin Oaks, PA 19014

Widener Partnership Charter School Names April Thomas as Principal

Chester, Pa.—The Widener Partnership Charter School, Pennsylvania’s first university-based charter school, appointed April Thomas of Chesterbrook, Pa. as principal/CEO effective February 27. Thomas replaces Dr. Darlene Davis who is stepping down to address family medical issues.

Thomas joined Widener as assistant principal last August after serving most of the last seven years as assistant principal for school culture for Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia. During that period, she also served eight months as a turnaround assistant principal at Germantown High School.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Crozer-Keystone Focus Attention on the Danger of Driving Under the Influence

Marcin Jankowski, D.O., medical director of the
 Trauma Program at Crozer-Chester 
Medical Center, City of Chester Mayor John Linder, 
 press safety officer Brad Rudolph, 
and police and security representing Pennsylvania 
State Police, Upland Borough, City of 
Chester and Crozer-Chester Medical Center.
November 21, 2014 (Upland, Pa) – Crozer-Keystone Health System, together with the Delaware County Transportation Management Association (DCTMA) and PennDOT, held a press conference at Crozer-Chester Medical Center’s Emergency Department to focus attention on the dangers of driving under the influence. This message is especially timely as the festive season around the holidays approaches. A consistent message of recommending public transportation or a designated driver when alcohol is involved, along with the fact that significant resources are available for those seeking help with dependency, was shared by Delaware County leaders.  

Kids Stuff at Salvation Army Chester

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chester unveils new basketball courts in Chester Park

CHESTER, PA- Chester City Department of Parks, Public Property, and Recreation, Director, Councilwoman Elizabeth Williams will introduce the newest installment to Chester Park, basketball courts made possible through CDBG funds allotted for the City of Chester.

Ribbon cutting will take place Monday, November 24th, 4P at Chester Park, Houston and Elkinton Streets Chester PA. All media are welcomed. For additional questions and concerns, contact the Department of Parks, Public Property, & Recreation at 610.447.7728. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

VIDEO: Chester Panthers Championships 2014

Chester City Recognized for Achievements in Preventing Childhood Obesity

Chester, PA- The National League of Cities (NLC) recognized Chester for achieving gold medals in all five Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) goal areas, which are based on achievements made to improve access to healthy, affordable food and promote physical activity for children and adults. This is the highest distinction a community can receive from the LMCTC initiative. 

In addition, Ms Rosetta Carter/Community Health Education Coordinator received an award for Most Dedicated City Staff. These awards were made at NLC’s annual conference in Austin, Texas on November 20, 2014. 

“We applaud Chester for being at the forefront of a growing national movement to improve the health of children and families,” said NLC President Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minn. “States and cities across the country have recently reported declines in childhood obesity rates. We are hopeful that these types of dedicated efforts will spread and allow us to make continued progress in reversing America’s epidemic of childhood obesity.”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chester Charter School for the Arts Posts Huge Improvement in Academic Results; Charter is Renewed for Five Years

Akosua Watts, Principal and
Chief Executive Officer at CCSA
November 14, 2014 – On Friday, November 7, the Pennsylvania Department of Education released its 2013-2014 school performance data for all Pennsylvania schools. Schools are ranked according to their School Performance Profile Academic score (SPP). 

Chester Charter School for the Arts (CCSA), a non-profit, arts-enriched, public charter school recorded an SPP score of 71.7 on a scale of 100. 

CCSA ranked number one for growth and academic achievement in the Chester Upland School District and achieved the 3rd largest year over year improvement among 800 peer schools in the five-county Philadelphia region. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Does Harrah's Philadelphia care more about them or us?

This may be the only legal
gambling in Delaware County soon
I can’t help but to notice all the local politicians recent urging that no new casino license is awarded in Philadelphia. 

Bidders have been working on their proposals for well over a year putting in a lot of time and money trying to convince the casino gods that they have a better gambling concept than the other guy. Aren’t they too far along in the process to consider stopping the casino license from going through? Where were our politicians when the bidding wars were first announced? Wouldn’t that have been a better time to protest?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Report Promotes "Two Generation" Approach to Fight Poverty

HARRISBURG, Pa. - New research shows the best way to help lower-income families become stronger is to provide programs that focus on both children and their parents.

The new Annie E. Casey Foundation report called it a "two-generation" approach to fighting poverty. Patrice Cromwell, the foundation's director of strategic initiatives, explained the two-fold goal as "supporting parents in their ability to get and keep a job and be a strong parent, the same time as supporting kids to get a good start early in learning, as well as a good start in school."

Cromwell said programs designed to help children or parents have the best intentions, but often are too narrowly focused. She said a more family-centered approach just works better.

Mayor John Linder concerned about new Philadelphia casino

CHESTER, PA - Chester City Mayor John Linder expressed concern today about a pending Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) decision on a second Philadelphia casino speaking on the possible impacts to the city.  

Linder said the city has received $82 million from Harrah’s Philadelphia located in Chester since it opened. Revenue from the casino pays for essential services that benefit all residents and the casino provides good paying jobs. 

The mayor was speaking out because the PGCB is expected to approve a second casino soon and speculation is that it will be located near the Philadelphia sports stadiums. 

“New casinos in this market create greater competition for revenue, but that location in particular could potentially have an adverse affect on Chester’s allocation of those gaming revenues,” he said. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Charlie B’s Texas Bar-B-Que Grand Opening Friday

Finally, the wrapping paper will be removed
and Bar-B-Que will be served
CHESTER, Pa.— A new restaurant is coming to Chester that promises to bring something different to the city. 

Owner Carl Everett, a longtime Chester resident, will officially open Charlie B’s Texas Bar-B-Que Jazz and Blues Café with a special grand opening event on November 14 at 11 a.m. 

Chester property on leading haunted house list

Click HERE to see the others

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Anthony Davis breaks Widener football record

Wide receiver Anthony Davis from Chester High School became Widener University program leader in career receiving yards with 5,525. The undefeated Widener football team play in the Middle Atlantic Conference Championship next Saturday in what could be Davis's last home game at Widener U.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Chester native featured on Tom Joyner Show

We Chester folk know Fredia Gibbs isn't a little known Black History Fact, but for those of you not current on our former Chester High School track and field phenom, she was featured on the Tom Joyner Morning Show this morning. 

Click HERE to get the latest on Fredia.

Wellness Open House in Upland

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Progress Stalls Connecting More Pennsylvania Children to Health Care

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new report demonstrates efforts to connect more children to health care coverage seems to have stalled in Pennsylvania, as well as across the nation.

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, is one of the authors of the study Children's Coverage at a Crossroads. While more and more children had been gaining health insurance coverage over the last several years, she says five million children across the U.S. remain uninsured. Alker says in many states - including Pennsylvania - progress appears to have stalled.

"The other interesting finding is children in working families living on the brink of poverty are those that have the highest rate of 'un-insurance,' compared to other income groups," says Alker.

Art Show and Dance November 14

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Media – The Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc.’s (CAADC) Building Trades Training Program still has slots open for its employment program for out-of-school youth.  CAADC is still accepting applications but eligible and interested youth from Delaware County should contact them immediately as all slots will be filled soon.  The Building Trades Training Program is designed to help out-of-school youth gain the skills for a rewarding career.  The program helps the youth develop skill sets including free training in plumbing basics, construction/drywall and electrical maintenance.  Participants receive industry recognized certifications in OSHA Construction, Lead Safety and Forklifting. 

There are a limited number of available slots though and applicants must meet the following requirements:
·         Be between the ages of 17 and 21
·         Currently reside in Delaware County
·         Not enrolled in High School

Income eligibility guidelines do apply.  Call today to see if you are eligible.  Contact Carla Gordy at CAADC’s Employment and Training Department at (610) 874-8451 x 1047.

Chester has a new magazine thanks to Widener students

Chester, Pa.—The inaugural issue of Chester magazine, an online and print publication about the city produced by Widener University students, will be released this month and celebrated on the university’s campus.

Members of the university community and residents of the city of Chester are invited to an informal reception to launch the magazine on the first floor of Freedom Hall at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20.

Stories in the magazine include a photo essay about the city, profiles of the Chester Children’s Chorus, the Laran Bronze Inc. foundry, a fertility doctor at the Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Phatso’s Bakery and other Chester eateries, and a story about the city’s plans for a cultural corridor.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The greatness of Coach Fred Pickett

It's hard to think about the passing of Coach Fred Pickett and not get a little chocked up. 

His overwhelming success as the boys basketball coach at Chester High School is the legacy he's left behind but his impact on our community goes so much further than wins and loses on the court. 

Is there ever a time you've seen Fred without a smile on his face? In the midst of the most stressful, intense, competitive, and unfair situations on the court, Fred's gentlemanly demeanor was totally counter to other coaches you see perform in similar situations (including his assistant coaches).

They say players win games and coaches lose them and guys like me as spectators and fans took our shots at Fred from the stands for some of the decisions he made, but he just kept smiling and winning. 

Even these past couple years as Fred became increasingly gaunt and distressed, he still came out to games to show support, greeted his friends and acquaintances warmly, and kept smiling. 

I realized how much I missed Fred during the last Chester High football game I attended this year. It just wasn't the same not hearing his voice over the PA system from the press box. I had a few words with him as he sat in the car watching the football game besides the bleachers near the end zone. With all his buddies standing around the car yucking it up as usual, none of us imagined a time when Fred wouldn't be around to enjoy some good high school competition with us.

Along with all the State Championship banners, 1000 point scorers, retired jerseys, Harlem Globe Trotters and NBA player photos that hang on the walls of the 'Clip-Joint', I can't wait to see the tribute we bestow for the greatest of Fred Pickett.

Guys like him come along once in a lifetime. 

ELECTION 2014: Is party loyalty wrong?

People are less judgmental about different lifestyles, but they are more judgmental about policy labels.

More people are building their communal and social identities around political labels. Your political label becomes the prerequisite for membership in your social set.

Those who are not members of the right party are deemed to lack basic compassion, or basic loyalty to country.

Click HERE for entire article

Boys & Girls Club of Chester Focused on Career Development with $1.4 Million Grant

October 28, 2014 (Chester, Pa) – The Boys & Girls Club of Chester recently received a $1.4 million Face-Forward 2 sub-grant from Connection Training Services of Philadelphia. This three year Department of Labor grant creates the opportunity for a new program to be developed in Chester that is focused on addressing the employment barriers of court-involved young people between the ages of 14-24, while helping these young people to develop the employment skills needed to obtain lucrative employment.  

With a goal of more than 200 young people to receive this impactful level of assistance, the Boys & Girls Club realizes that this must be a local and County-wide integrated partnership to ensure future success for the young people and the community. 

CHA Staff team with community children, Urban Tree Connection and Swarthmore students at Community Garden

The Chester Housing Authority’s community garden underwent major preparation for next year’s harvest over the weekend.

Children from the community joined with CHA staff, the Urban Tree Connection and students from Swarthmore College’s Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility to build the final of 50 raised planting beds in the community garden at Ruth L. Bennett Homes. 

Helpers included very young residents of Bennett Homes.

“Aside from not needing to stoop when planting, caring for and harvesting, the beds will allow us to get a head start on the planting season because in the spring the elevated soil heats up sooner than the ground,” said CHA Executive Director Steven Fischer.  “We have moved gradually over the past five years with our garden but we think building and seeding additional beds is going to take us to a new higher level in the spring and summer.”

This is all part of a long-term plan to teach children how to garden, produce food right here in the community, and to market.   

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Photos from Unity Center Banquet

Cocktail Hour

Cory Long rockin' the mic as usual

Della Beaver striking a pose

The Gifts

The ubiquitous Kenny Covert and Dr. Dexter Davis 

My first cheerleader in Biddy League.
Look, we still wear the same uniform - crazy. Kim LeCato.

A unique yet beautiful space for a banquet. Neumann University

Dray Clark and I agreeing that he'll do the talking while I'll do the writing

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chester's Unity Center celebrates with banquet

Unity Center Inc. at 9th and Kerlin/Butler Streets, has been serving the Chester community since 1987 beginning with transitional housing and now focused on youth and community development. They celebrated last night at Neumann University with a grand banquet honoring supporters and featuring Dray Clark as keynote speaker. 

Dray Clark put it down as usual. If you want to see his entire speech, request it in a comment below. 
Gene Foehl, Unity Center head.
Cheryl Stevens

Amber Stevens

Nancy M. Foehl Service Award recipient, Janet Jones

Nieshaia Williamson and son Nazir Williamson