From the Independent • Mt. Airy News Stories

February 17, 2011 • MAI.021711.pdf

In This Issue


  1. Sen. LeAnna Washington Co-Sponsors School Voucher Bill

In a surprising reversal area Senator LeAnna Washington joined area State Senator Anthony Williams and Senator Mike Stack in co-sponsoring SB-1 a newly crafted school voucher bill focused on remedial action for failing schools statewide.


  1. Germantown Book Publisher Celebrates Black History Month with New Collection

Local journalist, editor and long-time Chronicle columnist Victoria Brownworth founded Tiny Satchel Press last February to “help fill the need I saw for a different kind of book for teens and ‘tweens that went beyond vampires, werewolves and mean girls.”


  1. ‘In Their Names’ Offers Remembrance for Victims of Gun Violence

Victoria Greene wiped her eyes as she recalled how her only son Emir, was shot in the back seven times on March 26, 1997 at the “In Their Names: A Remembrance and Call to Action” held at 4 p.m. on February 13, at The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 W. Chelten Ave. Neighborhood Partners to End Gun Violence, an affiliate of the national faith-based organization to prevent gun violence, Heeding God’s Call, sponsored the event.


More...

Sen. LeAnna Washington Co-Sponsors School Voucher Bill

by Jim Foster


In a surprising reversal area Senator LeAnna Washington joined area State Senator Anthony Williams and Senator Mike Stack in co-sponsoring SB-1 a newly crafted school voucher bill focused on remedial action for failing schools statewide.


While voucher bills had been introduced in 1995 and 1999, opposition from Philadelphia Democrats was universal and attempts toward passage failed.  This unexpected coalition of county Republicans and city Democrats adds a new dimension to the bill discussed publicly recently by Senator Anthony Williams, Democrat of Philadelphia, and Senator Jeff Piccola, Republican of Dauphin County (Harrisburg).


Many feel that this bill has the best chance ever of getting enough bi-partisan support to enact a law that would enable parents to use state subsidies from public schools as tuition vouchers at private or parochial schools. Our newly-elected Governor, Tom Corbett, also supports the concept of school choice.


Under the bill, low income students from certain failing schools would get vouchers.


By the third year, all low-income students would be eligible for vouchers regardless of school district.


Energizing the effort to pass this option for parents are the increasing number of “Failed Schools” in Pennsylvania as determined by state standardized (PSSA) test scores.  Those in the bottom 5% are determined to be failing.


A published list of those schools totals 144 in the State, with 91 of them being in Philadelphia.  Most notable in Northwest Philadelphia are Germantown High School, Roxborough High School, and Martin Luther King High School.  Statistically, a full 35% of Philadelphia schools are listed in the category of failing.


This issue is likely to be among the most prominent as we wind our way through an election cycle and the just-convened state senate and house sessions for 2011.


We anticipate an interview with Senator Washington for more details on her decision to take a leadership role in bringing this issue to the forefront.


Germantown Book Publisher Celebrates Black History Month with New Collection

Local journalist, editor and long-time Chronicle columnist Victoria Brownworth founded Tiny Satchel Press last February to “help fill the need I saw for a different kind of book for teens and ‘tweens that went beyond vampires, werewolves and mean girls.”


Brownworth, who has lived in Germantown for the past 20 years, had been an acquisitions editor for a mainstream publisher of young adult novels for several years, but felt that the books were “not addressing kids of color, kids who weren’t middle class and definitely not LGBT kids. I just wanted to see books that reached out to a wider audience of kids, particularly those who don’t have Harry Potters or Belles to identify with.”


While chairing a panel on women and publishing in Center City in December 2009, Brownworth met African-American novelist Leslie Thompson, publisher of Freedom of Love Press in New Jersey, which publishes romances for women of color. Thompson had been frustrated by the lack of romance fiction featuring African-American heroines and heroes and decided to start her own press.


“Leslie’s books were great looking—they could have been from any mainstream publisher. The cover art was stunning, the paper and print were great. The books themselves were really good. And I thought, if she could do it, why can’t I?”

A few months later, after borrowing seed money and talking local editor Judith Redding and local artist Maddy Gold into working with her, Tiny Satchel Press was established.


The first publication was a novel by local mystery writer J.D. Shaw, which debuted in July and was featured at the Chestnut Hill Book Fair. In December, for holiday release, Tiny Satchel published two young adult novels by award-winning New Orleans novelists Greg Herren and Patty Friedmann, neither of whom had ever written for young adults before.


Both books have been nominated for literary awards in the young adult category and Friedmann’s book, “Taken Away,” which takes place during Hurricane Katrina, has been nominated for Book of the Year, young adult division.


“So far I have focused on acquiring books by authors I know who have a proven track record as writers, because the book business is very expensive and getting your books out there is an exhausting and exhaustive process,” Brownworth explained. “Then last summer I was having dinner at The Wine Thief and talking about plans for our press and I realized I really wanted to do a book for Black History Month and started talking about it with my partner. When I got home from the restaurant I emailed some writers I knew, and started the project that is the book we have just released.”


“From Where We Sit: Black Writers Write Black Youth”  is a collection of over 20 stories by African-American writers and Brownworth says the book represents “my dream of what I wanted to do with Tiny Satchel.”


A mix of well-known, award-winning African-American writers as well as emerging writers, “From Where We Sit” was meant, Brownworth said, “to be representative of as many aspects of African-American life as possible. I wanted there to be stories for girls and boys, for straight and gay, for poor, working class and middle class, for younger and older kids. I also wanted the book to be accessible to readers who weren’t of color, because I think it is easy for white people to dismiss work by writers of color as somehow not inclusive, even though writing by white writers is considered to be for everyone. This is a really wonderful collection, with some incredibly good stories that are very thought-provoking as well as entertaining. This is a book that kids who don’t read that much can read and kids who are voracious readers will really love. Parents will really like this book because there’s no ‘dumbing down’ of characters or writing.”


The book’s cover was designed by Lowell Boston, a professor at University of the Arts who is also in the collection. The title is taken from a story by Mount Airy resident Lisa R. Nelson, also a contributor.


 NEA and Pew Fellowship recipient Becky Birtha, has been writing picture books for children in recent years and is another contributor to the book, as is Mecca Sullivan, a doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.


“It’s not just the stories that are important in this collection,” notes Brownworth. “The authors themselves have their own stories, as the bio section of the book reveals to readers, and I think those will inspire young readers, because they are so impressive. Becky Birtha, for example, is the mother of two kids herself and has been a dominant figure in the Philadelphia poetry scene for two decades. Quincy Scott Jones is an emerging writer who just received his master’s degree from Temple University and is writing about what it’s like to be a black man in white academe. There’s a story in the book by award-winning novelist Jewelle Gomez that’s about the Underground Railroad–and vampires. And Leslie Thompson, who inspired me to do this–she has a story that takes place during the Jim Crow era at the beginning of the 20th century with teenagers whose parents might have been slaves. It’s a very compelling collection.”


Brownworth hopes that the book will be picked up by local libraries and that it will “get the attention it deserves” with its debut during Black History Month. 


Brownworth explains, “The range of these writers is vast, yet every one of their characters resonates—these are writers writing about people we know, we love, we admire, we are. I think that ‘From Where We Sit’ tells tales from the vantage point of writers who know what it is to be black and that one racial size does not fit all. Plus, I just love that we were able to spotlight so many local writers in addition to national ones.”


A series of readings and book signings is planned for “From Where We Sit,” including through Philadelphia Futures, Big Blue Marble Bookstore and Giovanni’s Room Bookstore. Tiny Satchel will also be participating in Big Blue Marble Bookstore’s Mt. Airy Kid’s Literary Festival in April.


The next book out from Tiny Satchel is a novel by Jamaican-American novelist Fiona Lewis, “Dreaming in Color.” Brownworth says the book addresses issues of immigration, race and bullying.


Anyone interested in books by Tiny Satchel Press can visit the website at tinysatchelpress.com.  


‘In Their Names’ Offers Remembrance for Victims of Gun Violence

By Sue Ann Rybak

Correspondent


Victoria Greene wiped her eyes as she recalled how her only son Emir, was shot in the back seven times on March 26, 1997 at the “In Their Names: A Remembrance and Call to Action” held at 4 p.m. on February 13, at The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 W. Chelten Ave. Neighborhood Partners to End Gun Violence, an affiliate of the national faith-based organization to prevent gun violence, Heeding God’s Call, sponsored the event.


“The bullet doesn’t stop, if you don’t stop it,” Victoria Greene, founder of Every Murder Is Real (EMIR), said. “We need to support these families to heal-untreated trauma perpetuates violence.”


Clergy, Religious leaders, and lay people from Germantown, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill gathered together to remember those who lost their lives to gun violence and commit themselves to taking action publicly by pressuring local gun shops to adopt a Code of Conduct.


“Neighborhood Partners To End Gun Violence is a nationwide grassroots faith based organization that works with local communities to seek to persuade gun shop owners to adopt a code of conduct,” Bryan Miller, Director of Public Advocacy for Heeding God’s Call said. “Our goal is to reduce the flow of guns from legal sale to illegal street sale.”


“There are more gun related deaths in the northwest section of Philadelphia than any other part of Philadelphia,” Rev. Linda Noonan of Chestnut Hill United Church and Co-Coordinator of Neighborhood Partners to End Gun Violence said. “The goal is to reduce gun violence. It’s not surprising. It’s predictable -when guns are so easily accessible. People can buy them on the street like candy.”


Noonan called on Philadelphians to hold local gun shop owners accountable for “straw purchases.” (A straw purchase is when a buyer uses an intermediary to purchase a gun from a licensed firearms dealer.


Rabbi Linda Holtzman of Mishkan Shalom Synagogue recalled the story of Cain and Abel from the bible. When God called Cain to ask him where his brother was. He said I don’t know I am not my brother’s keeper.


“The truth is we are our brother’s keepers,” Holtzman said.


As God’s children, we are still responsible for our neighbor said Holtzman. The community must unite and take a stand against seedy gun dealers, she said.


During the remembrance ceremony, Sixty names were read as each member of the assembly stood for a victim, each of whom died in northwest Philadelphia from gun violence. It wasn’t long before almost the entire room was standing.


Neighborhood Partners To End Gun Violence will hold a prayer vigil and public action at Delia’s Gun Shop, The first vigil will be held Tuesday, February 22 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm. Subsequent vigils will be held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month until Mr. Delia signs the Code of Conduct.


For more information go to and find NPEG under chapters or e-mail Linda Noonan at lindanoonan@mac.com.


Verna Tyner Kicks Off Campaign for 8th District City Council Seat

Verna Tyner has officially announced that she is a candidate in the 2011 Democratic Primary for Philadelphia City Council in the diverse 8th District.


Tyner is a well-known neighborhood activist and the former Chief of Staff to the late At-Large Councilman David Cohen and At-Large Councilman Bill Greenlee.


Tyner launched her campaign with a series of news conferences in the northwest before formally announcing her campaign in Tioga, her home for 40 years.


She started her appearances at J.S. Jenks School in the heart of Chestnut Hill. “We cannot tolerate any cuts in funding for our schools,” Tyner said. “While we fight for the necessary resources for our students, we can pick up the slack by pushing for more community involvement in our schools.”


Tyner also called for a district wide youth summit, to get high school and college students and young workers to discuss issues of safety, recreation, after school educational opportunities and partnerships with the private, public and non-profit sectors to advance an environment conducive to a healthy community for our youth.


Community approved economic development is a plank of Tyner’s platform. She stressed the importance of thriving small businesses, responsible development, and ending the property neglect, sweetheart deals and abuse of power that has resulted in rampant abandoned lots and neglected properties.


“On my watch,” said Tyner, “We will help and support new businesses like CAMA throughout the district and will not tolerate any more debacles like the now bankrupt Germantown Settlement."

“We must sell unused City-owned property to responsible individuals, investors and non-profit developers,” said Tyner.  “And there must be a community-approved plan to renovate the properties.”


Tyner said other cities and communities in the Commonwealth must work together to keep state funding cutbacks to a minimum.


“We cannot afford more cuts to vital social services,” said Tyner.


Tyner said that revenue begins with fairness and that we must begin with large corporations that do business in the City, but that are located elsewhere, paying their fair share.  Tyner also wants to see City agencies and departments working more efficiently and effectively. 


Tyner wants to fill the gaps in the City budget and services with more institutions like the St. Catherine Laboure Medical Clinic where she held a news conference in Germantown.  The clinic is funded entirely by individuals, corporations and grants from foundations and religious organizations.


“We also can’t let precious City dollars go to elected officials,” said Tyner.  “I am not supportive of elected officials taking advantage of DROP. The program was designed for hard-working public workers and City efforts to anticipate their retirement. It is wrong, fiscally irresponsible and unethical for our elected officials to join DROP while running for another term.”


The central theme of Tyner’s campaign was repeated throughout the day. “When I become Councilperson,“ said Tyner, “I intend to lead the district in an unprecedented organizing effort to achieve community unity and use the power of people to come up with creative ideas to solve problems.”


To learn more, go to tynerforcouncil.com.


Cheri Honkala Announces Bid for Philadelphia Sheriff Post

Formerly homeless mother and National Director of the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign Cheri Honkala said she is is challenging the banks and the way in which the Office of the Sheriff runs by joining the race to become the next Sheriff of Philadelphia.


“I’m running for Sheriff because something needs to be done to address the plague of home evictions being faced by too many poor and working families in Philadelphia.” Honkala said. The official tagline for the Honkala campaign for Sheriff is: “Keeping Families In Their Homes.”


Honkala is an advocate for the nation’s poor and homeless. She founded the local Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) and the national Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC), who work to help people who cannot get help through bureaucratic channels find solutions to their housing crises. Honkala was included in Philadelphia Magazine’s list of 100 Most Powerful Philadelphians and was named Philadelphia Weekly’s “Woman of the Year” in 1997.


Honkala announced her run as a Green Party candidate on Feb. 17.


She said her run for Sheriff comes as a last resort to help people and families who have nowhere to turn after a corrupt Sheriff’s Office still can’t come up with millions of dollars worth of real-estate auction receipts. It has been reported that the current Office of the Sheriff has kept an unknown amount of money from Philadelphia residents after their foreclosed homes were sold and back taxes and utility bills were paid. Honkala vows to fight for the working class homeowner who has been left to live in the streets after the Wall Street financial class was bailed out.


Honkala is also the mother of writer/director/actor/activist Mark Webber (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Snow Day) who grew up surviving the harsh Philadelphia winters in abandoned houses and buildings while his mother began to organize with other impoverished and homeless families. Webber shot his film that put a spotlight on poverty and the failure of the healthcare system entitled “Explicit Ills” (Rosario Dawson, Francisco Burgos) in Philadelphia. The film was released in 2008, and won several awards at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival.


“Our politicians aren’t doing anything about the foreclosure issue. There isn’t a moratorium, and there needs to be, so I have no other choice than to step forward and to choose to stop throwing families out of their homes by becoming the Philadelphia Sheriff.” Honkala said. “When one in five families is at risk of foreclosure in this country, something is really wrong.”


“I want to encourage people across the country that can’t keep families in homes to run for Sheriff as well and refuse to throw families out on the street.”


To learn more about the Cheri Honkala for Sheriff Campaign, please visit CheriHonkala.com.


Find the Cheri Honkala for Sheriff Campaign on Twitter @Cheri4Sheriff.


Ingrid Wynn Catlin: A Commitment for Social Justice

Hidden from history is Ingrid Wynn Catlin, born on October 6, 1941 in Liberia, West Africa. Her beginning life was unique. Her biological father was a German Jewish Holocaust escapee who fled to West Africa to avoid the gas chambers in Bremen, Germany. Her mother was a native Liberian from the Vai tribe. In 1946, Reverend and Mrs. Walter C. Wynn went from the United States to the Booker T. Washington Institute in Kakata, Liberia as American Missionaries through the Phelps Stokes Fund.  The Wynns were childless and felt compassion and love for two small sisters that they brought to the United States from Africa.  In 1949, the Wynns legally adopted Ingrid and Margarette in Boston, Massachusetts.


Ingrid and her sister became US citizens in 1952 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ingrid many times reflects on how she was raised and how her parent’s teachings influenced her to be morally obligated responsible and committed to fairness, equality, and social justice for all mankind.


After graduating in 1959 from Germantown High School, Philadelphia, PA., she attended Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina from 1959-1963 earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education.  She brought to Bennett her moral obligation to create change for justice and equality through non-violent actions.  Her long walks were the historic moment of the Civil Rights Movement in which she stepped forward to insist on the integration of public accommodations in Greensboro, NC. What occurred on February 1, 1960 was a result of a well planned and rigorously thought through in dormitory meetings with her classmate, Sharon Mizelle and her colleague (Ezell Blair) Jibreel Khazan.  Historically, we should all know now that he was one of “The Greensboro Four” from North Carolina A&T State University who culminated the “Sit-In” Movement.  All of us young Black Students on campus were courageous in learning about Social Activism.  We worked hand in hand with Ezell passing out flyers about rallies, meetings and the strategies for pickets at F.W. Woolworth’s 5&10 in down-town, Greensboro.


Ingrid remembers vividly the picket lines of perhaps 6-8 students at a time walking forward in line. The others were double the amount. They were hecklers and KKK folks walking towards us “colored students“. Each of us had signs held high. Our signs read “equal rights, “justice”, “peace”, and “integrate now”.  Their signs were the opposite. They read, “Go Home Nigger”, “Coon”, and “Keep Segregation”.


We courageously walked the sidewalk in front of the F.W. Woolworth 5&10 in downtown, Greensboro for hours daily taking turns during the non-violent protest. Why couldn’t we, who were not white, be served?  We didn’t know why, but we did know it wasn’t right. After all, Ingrid says, she spent her good money at Woolworth’s to purchase stockings and gloves, which was a wardrobe must for a “Bennett Belle”. So why were we not the right color to go in there to buy an old fashion fountain soda or an ice-cream sundae? She still kept her dignity and kept walking. As she paced her steps, she held her head and sign up high despite being purposely stepped on. She even turned her cheek when being spat upon.


Looking back on being young, I didn’t realize that my walk, my sitting at the F.W. Woolworth’s 5&10 stools and counter would ever be of any kind of significance in American History.  Now I realize the importance of the small dent made towards change for Civil Rights in the United States of America.


She would like to thank the Creator for giving her parents who had an unconditional acceptance of people of all races and backgrounds. Her expressed wish is for everyone to blind themselves of any differences. This would make a sweeter world for all mankind.


She is elated, honored, and humbled for being chosen to be a candidate for the 2011 “Unsung Hero” Award as a Bennett College Student participant in the “1960 Greensboro “Sit-Ins”.  It has been fifty-one years of progress towards social justice.  Ingrid continues to dedicate her life in teaching children at Khepera, an African/American Charter School in Philadelphia, PA, the importance of cultural awareness.  The students are taught to follow the principals of truth, justice, and righteousness. Ingrid is a positive role model especially for the children and the youth.  Her attributes are being honest in all she does, fair in judgment, and exemplary in character.  She thanks her Creator and North Carolina A&T State University for this recognition.


Free Wireless Phones, Service  for Eligible Customers

Assurance Wireless, a cell phone service from Virgin Mobile that provides a free wireless phone and 250 free minutes of wireless voice service monthly to eligible customers, launches in Pennsylvania.


More than 5.5 million Pennsylvania residents are currently without a job and more than 17.5 percent are living below the federal poverty line. Assurance Wireless gives eligible customers the ability to provide a contact number and return calls to a prospective employer, which, studies show, can improve the chances of securing employment as well as provide a simple way to stay connected to family in case of emergencies.


“As a Pennsylvania resident myself, I know the tough times that many in the state continue to face,” said Dave Trimble, vice president for Assurance Wireless.  “With unemployment still such a challenge, I am so glad that we are able to now help eligible customers with Assurance Wireless in Pennsylvania,


In addition to voice mail, Airtime charges apply when accessing voice mail via an Assurance Wireless phone once free minutes have been depleted. and call waiting, Assurance Wireless provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of emergency. Beyond the free 250 voice minutes, customers can pay for additional 10-cent-per-minute domestic calling, 10-cent text, e-mail or instant messages, international calling at competitive rates, and more. When purchasing additional minutes or features, standard taxes and surcharges will apply.


Customers eligible for Assurance Wireless include those who participate inMedicaid, Food Stamps/SNAP, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), General Assistance, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program. Customers may also qualify based on low household income.  Eligibility varies by state.


Eligible residents can apply for Assurance Wireless by calling (toll-free) 800-395-2171, or visiting www.assurancewireless.com. To learn more about Assurance Wireless, including eligibility requirements, call (toll-free) 800-395-2171 or visit assurancewireless.com. Information is available in English and Spanish.


Follow Assurance news on Twitter www.twitter.com/assurancecell, YouTube, youtube.com/assurancewireless, or facebook.com/assurancecell.


Holy Hot Dog Becomes Holy Hot Dish

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lafayette Hill has teamed-up with its sister church, St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Mt. Airy to serve homemade meals to its local residents.  Congregtation members from both churches volunteer to cook and serve the community meals from St. Michael’s every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.


St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and St. Michael’s launched the food program last summer with “Holy Hot Dogs!” “We knew we wanted to provide community meals but weren’t really sure how to do it.” St. Peter’s Social Ministry leader, Ellen Daneke said laughing.  “We just got a handful of volunteers together and with food donated by church members, bread donated by Amoroso’s and lots of prayers, we served our first meal last June to about 10 people.”


Holy Hotdogs is now “Holy Hot Dish!” In eight months, St. Peter’s and St. Michael’s together have served almost 1,500 meals. 


Thanks to weekly food donations from Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting, this joint ministry is now serving pasta, casseroles, soups, vegetables, salads and desserts. 


“We are so grateful to Whole Foods for helping us to provide healthy, hearty, tasty food,” Daneke said. Amoroso’s continues to support our ministry with donations of fresh bread.”


In addition, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is supporting Holy Hot Dish with a matching grant program where they will match dollar for dollar for donations that are made to our outreach ministry.  All money will be used in our local community.  American Bible has donated 150 Bibles that are available to the visitors to the Community Meals.


St. Michael’s Pastor Ingram concludes, “Without local support from the community, we would not be able to provide meals for our community.  Holy Hot Dish is so much more than just giving people food…we offer faith, fellowship and friendship.” 


St. Michael’s Lutheran Church s located at 6671 Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy; stmichaelsgermantown.org/. St. Peter’s Lutheran Church is on 3025 Church Road in Lafayette Hill,  stpeterslh.org.  For more information or to make a donation, contact the church office at 610.828.3098; Ellen Daneke.


Rep. Parker Plans Town Hall Meeting

Please join 50th Ward Leaders Marian B. Tasco and Howard Walker, at Rep. Cherelle L. Parker’s annual town hall meetings in the 50th Ward from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17 at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2169 74th Ave. and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 19 at the Dorothy Emanuel Recreation Center, Provident Street and Gowen Avenue.


The meetings help you to gain valuable information regarding various services provided by state, local and federal government agencies and other public entities. This meeting will also provide an opportunity for you to ask questions and voice your concerns regarding quality-of-life issues in your neighborhood. There will also be plenty of opportunity to learn about services provided by my office.


If you don’t live in the 50th Ward, here are the town hall meetings to be held throughout the 200th District:

• 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 3, 9th Ward – rescheduled from Jan. 27.

• 10 a.m. to noon March 5, 21st Ward;

• 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 10, 22nd Ward;

For more information, call Parker’s constituent service office at 215-242-7300. The office is at 1536 E. Wadsworth Ave.


East Falls Open House at The Eye Institute’s Newest Location

The Eye Institute at Falls Center, 3300 Henry Avenue, will host an open house Thursday, February 17, 2011 from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. to celebrate the opening of their newest location.


After 10 years of serving the community at 29th and Dauphin streets, The Eye Institute moved the Strawberry Mansion satellite practice in early December 2010 to the Falls Center campus at 3300 Henry Avenue, One Falls Center. The Falls Center campus is the former site of the Woman’s Medical College and Hospital. This location is easily accessible from the Roosevelt Boulevard (Route 1), City Avenue, Route 76, Septa bus routes and provides free parking to visitors and patients.


All are invited to visit the practice with its state-of-the-art technology and expanded eye wear center. Light refreshments will be served.  


For more information on The Eye Institute’s services, visit www.TEIvision.com.


Since opening its doors in 1978, The Eye Institute has acted as a valuable vision care resource for Philadelphia and its surrounding communities.


In addition to providing multi-disciplinary vision care to the community it serves, TEI is also the main clinical educational facility of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University.


Each year, TEI’s nearly 50 doctors, along with the interns that they mentor, provide the highest quality care during nearly 50,000 patient visits.


Development Grant to CIP

Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the recipients of the 2011 Neighborhood Economic Development grants, which are funded by $1 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The grants support the completion of community development corporation capital projects. The Commerce Department awarded grants to nine organizations with the goal of supporting economic development projects in neighborhoods throughout the city. The selected projects are in areas that meet CDBG funding eligibility requirements targeting low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. This event is part of Jobs Week—a series of jobs-related economic opportunity events held throughout the city announcing the development, retention and expansion of businesses in Philadelphia.

In the Northwest, Center in the Park earned redevelopment resources to support engagement of a consultant(s) to establish a community internet café and performance venue business along the Germantown-Chelten commercial corridor. The project will provide five (5) full and part time positions.


Free Acting Classes at Cedar Park

If you have a penchant for performing and are inclined to dramatic deeds, then, the new acting classes at Cedar Park Church are likely to meet your needs.


Beginning February 25, 2001 Cedar Park Presbyterian, located at Upsal & Limekiln Pike, will offer free acting classes for children and teens.  Classes for adults will be added at a later date.


Revered for their skill,these fun and exciting classes will be taught by Barrymore nominated actresses Kayla Moses and Karen Vick.


Both are professional artists who have appeared nationally, locally and also in film.  Children and youth, no matter how shy, can register on February 25th at 4:00 P.M.  Acting is a socially engaging art that helps to develop and bolster confidence.  The 45 minute workshops will run for 10 weeks on Wednesdays and/or Fridays after 4:00 P.M.  Students will be taught voice projection, expressive movement, character conveyance and other elements indigenous to the theatrical experience in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.  Additionally, an original play has been written . Committed aspirants may wish to apply. Call the church office at 215 549-9775 to pre-register or come out for the merriment on the 25th at 4:00 P.M. for registration and orientation.


NELI Offers Advanced Certificate Program for Nonprofit Leaders

Nonprofit senior level executives have faced difficult challenges in recent years, as their organizations experienced funding cuts.  Fortunately, the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute (NELI) offers a certificate program that is specially designed to give executive leaders the support, tools and tangible resources they need to become more effective leaders despite challenging times. 


NELI is now accepting applications for their 2011 Executive Leadership Certificate Program for nonprofit leaders who want to develop advanced skills to deal with their organizational needs.  Executive leaders, who would like to learn more about the program, can register on the NELI website to attend the next open house, which is scheduled for February 17, 2011 at The Business Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise in Elders Hall, Suite 113 at 7500 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119.


 Participants can expect a series of advanced seminars on topics such as strategic thinking, financial management and fundraising; a thorough 360-degree leadership style assessment; peer networking; assignments for strategic planning and problem solving; and one-on-one executive coaching.


“Many executive leaders feel stretched in their roles,” says Margie DuBrow, NELI Director.  “NELI offers a certificate program that provides leaders the time and opportunity to work with other nonprofit executives to form a network of support, and receive helpful feedback and priceless tools they can implement in their organizations immediately.”


The Executive Leadership Certificate Program is targeted towards Executive Directors, CEOs, COOs, VPS, Deputy Directors, and other top-level leaders at nonprofit organizations.  Candidates seeking scholarships should submit their applications by February 28, 2011.  The final application deadline is March 14th, and can be submitted online at brynmawr.edu/neli.


The Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program is located on the campus of Bryn Mawr College as part of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.


For more information about the Nonprofit Executive Certificate program, go to brynmawr.edu/neli/ or email mdubrow@brynmawr.com   or call (610) 520-2650.


Obituary: Josephine Johnson Sanders

Our hearts were saddened when our loved one was called to eternal rest. Josephine was born November 4, 1941 in Philadelphia, PA and departed this life on February 6, 2011.

She was educated in the Philadelphia Public School System and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Mental Health from Hahnemann University.


Thorough out her life Josephine held several jobs. Most of which were positions that allowed her to help others.  Whether it was working with the elderly or with the inmates during her employment as a Philadelphia Correctional Officer, “Mom Saunders” always was ready and willing to give suggestions and advice.  Josephine retired from the City of Philadelphia, in 1995.


Josephine accepted the Lord Jesus Christ, as her Savior at an early age. She loved the LORD and worked hard to teach His love to her children and others she encountered. Over the years Josephine held membership at several churches in the Philadelphia area. These included New Gethsemane Baptist Church and Charity Baptist Church. As a Church member she served on several committees including the Ushers Board and Pastors Aide.  Josephine loved singing hymns.  Even as she struggled with her own health issues she was able to praise the Lord and share special moments with her sister Ruth, as they sang the hymns they learned as children in the church together. Praising The Lord always provided Josephine with a special comfort. “Blessed Assurance” was one of her favorites. Her testimony even to the end was that the Lord was in the Blessing Business.


Josephine had a very strong and determined spirit. She had no problem In letting you know what was on her mind. Josephine loved flowers and reading.


More than anything, Josephine loved her children. She leaves to mourn her passing her sister Ruth Rogers. Her children: Rita Puriefoy, Vincent Cross, Howard Cross , Tyrone Jefferson, Norman Cross, James Hill and Joseph Sanders; Daughter-in-laws Danielle, Bernadette, Sylvia and Johnetta. A special niece Lenore; Fifteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren, a host of nieces, Nephews, Cousins and friends.


Her memorial service was Saturday, February 19, at 11:00 AM at Deliverance Sheep Keepers Ministries. Bishop Harold Johnson, presiding.


The location is 1317-21 W. Nedro Avenue (Broad  & Nedro), Philadelphia.


Interment is private.


Germantown Community Meeting

The Germantown Chapter of Action United is now calling all neighbors to come and be part of the exciting changes being working on. Join the community meeting on February 24 at 7:30 p.m. Waterview Recreation Center located on 5826 McMahon St. at Haines and two blocks south of Chew Ave.


All over Pennsylvania, ACTION United members have made their communities better. Here in Germantown

• We had L&I Commissioner Fran Burns, and Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller visit the neighborhood.

• Graffiti has been cleaned from 5838 Crittenden and 5805 Crittenden.

• 5805 Crittenden and 1201 Stafford have been cleaned and sealed

• Squatters removed from Ada Lewis Middle School, then the school was sealed.

• Two water leaks in the street repaired & a sink hole filled in.

• 1248 Stafford ready to be demolished.


Call GCA at 215-839-3390 if you have any questions or are able to attend. There will also be transportation available upon request.


New Black History Month Happenings

The newest addition to Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation shows off structural fragments of the home where Presidents Washington and Adams lived during their terms and where nine enslaved people served the first president as he led the country in pursuit of freedom and equality. On February 19, the National Park Service, Independence Visitor Center and philly360.com team up to present a program led by historian Joe Becton. The day starts with a video and performance at the Independence Visitor Center and then moves to the open-air President’s House, located just steps from the Liberty Bell Center, for a National Park Service Ranger-led tour. 6th & Market Streets, (215) 597-0060, phila.gov/presidentshouse.


On February 24, the city’s acclaimed Mural Arts Program, in partnership with The African American Museum in Philadelphia, debuts The Albert M. Greenfield African American Iconic Images Collection, including about 50 murals throughout the city honoring many themes and figures of significance to Philadelphia’s African-American history: Jackie Robinson, Patti LaBelle, Malcom X and many others. Art lovers and history buffs can download a free audio tour, or hop on a guided group or public tour. (215) 685-0754, muralarts.org.


Museums & History Go Hand In Hand:

Every Saturday throughout the month of February, The African American Museum in Philadelphia offers special learning workshops that are free with admission. Visitors experience history through the words of a historic re-enactor, musician and storyteller, learn historic African bookbinding technique, explore traditional African-American quilting methods and more. They can also admire the works in Patience to Raise the Sun, an exhibition of artisan quilts designed and created by Haitian women, on view January 26-March 27. 701 Arch Street, 215-574-0380, aampmuseum.org


The National Constitution Center celebrates Black History Month daily with a self-guided tour of The Story of We the People that highlights 10 exhibition elements featuring African-American contributions to history. Also taking place daily: Breaking Barriers, an inspirational storytelling program that examines the lives of Thurgood Marshall, Bessie Coleman, Jackie Robinson and others; and Decoding the Document: Emancipation Proclamation, a program that reveals the many secrets of a nearly 150-year-old artifact. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org


Science is always the name of the game at The Franklin Institute, and it’s exactly the focus of a special Black History Month event entitled The Color of Science, offering a rare opportunity to meet some of today’s most intriguing African-American scientists. Taking place on February 11, the evening includes one-on-one interviews, followed by a panel discussion moderated by The Franklin Institute’s chief astronomer Derrick Pitts. 222 N. 20th Street, 215-448-1200, fi.edu

At Bucks County’s Mercer Museum, speaker and award-winning storyteller Linda Goss takes the stage on February 13 for Can’t Tell a Lie, Peach Cobbler Pie, complete with oral histories, family narratives, folktales and songs from the African-American tradition. 84 S. Pine Street, Doylestown, (215) 345-0210, mercermuseum.org


On February 19, it’s Seafarin’ Saturday at the Independence Seaport Museum on Penn’s Landing. Kids hear about the life of Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist movement leader, and learn how to caulk a ship just like the one-time ship caulker himself did. 211 S. Columbus Boulevard, 215-413-8655, phillyseaport.org.



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