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.

'All Riders Up' Hosts 2nd Annual Summer Camp for Boys and Girls Club of Chester

July 11, 2014 (Garnet Valley, Pa) – All Riders Up (ARU), a non-profit charitable organization based on 12 acres in a neighborhood setting in Garnet Valley, will host the Boys and Girls Club of Chester for the next two weeks to provide equine education and awareness.  The camp schedule includes three ½ day sessions each week, and the 70 children from Chester will receive an introduction to horsemanship while also learning to ride with the help of ARU staff, instructors, and a crew of dedicated volunteers. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bike Safety biking event in Chester

I think this is so cool. As a biker, it's amazing seeing how many others don't wear helmets, don't have lights at night, and are way to adult to be riding the kiddie bikes. And, cars seem to not see us bikers so we have to wear stuff that is very visible. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

David wins this bout with Goliath in Chester trash wars with Covanta

Chester is home to the largest trash to energy facility in the United States. The owners struck a deal to bring trash from New York before getting the okay from Chester city planners. It appears the deal may be heading toward a no-go as city planners voted not to recommend construction of facilities to accommodate the new trash, leaving the owners to find somewhere else to burn New York’s rubbish. 

But, not so fast with popping the bubbly. According to the Daily Times article, I can still see the owners bringing New York’s trash to Chester.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chester Residents Up in Arms over New York City Trash Trains to be Burned in Chester

CHESTER - The Chester City Planning Commission will be considering a proposal at their 5pm meeting on Wed, July 9th which will pave the way for 30 years of trash trains from New York City coming to be burned in Covanta's trash incinerator on Chester's waterfront -- the largest trash incinerator in the nation.

The proposal on is "to construct a 15,000 sq. ft. Rail Box Building, 1,000 Sq. ft. Office Building and a Truck Scale" at the Covanta facility on Highland Ave in Chester.

This is one step in the process to enable delivery by rail of trash from New York City, according to a contract that Covanta made with the NYC Department of Sanitation in July 2013.  The contract runs for 20 years with two 5-year renewal options, and splits 1,000,000 tons of waste per year between Covanta incinerators in Chester, PA and Niagara Falls, NY. [NOTE: we mistakenly used an old figure of 800,000 tons last month, but learned that the contract calls for one million tons, half to go to Chester.] Niagara Falls residents first brought this to the attention of Chester residents last year, and have set up a as part of their effort to block a rail spur for the trash trains from New York City.

The meeting starts at 5pm Wed, July 9th on the second floor of Chester City Hall (1 Fourth St, Chester, PA 19013).  The Covanta proposal was postponed from last month's Planning Commission meeting after residents raised concerns.

Chester teen makes international news

Brother Leroy Karriem
It’s so rare to meet a young man in Chester that I can tell right away has that something special going on. 

While sitting on my porch, I spotted Brother Leroy with his Final Call papers under his arm and asked him to come over. I purchased a paper and asked him to leave the latest issue in my door and paid him in advance. Between Leroy and his older brother Elijah, I always get my Final Call.

Whenever I see either of them around town I usually stop and chat. They are always so positive, pleasant, and respectful. 

I saw Leroy a couple nights back with a group of his partners from The Nation. He dropped the July 8th issue in my passenger seat and said that his picture is in the paper with Minister Louis Farrakhan from his recent visit to Philadelphia. When I read the story, it blew me away.

I don’t want to steal any thunder from this fabulous story that has gone worldwide about a young man from Chester innocently doing his duty and receiving the ultimate blessing for his faith. 

Read it for yourself HERE

Previous blog post on Leroy and Elijah HERE

Ledisi wears Veta Roots at Essence Fest

Of the four costume changes Ledisi wore during her Essence Fest performance last weekend, two of them were made by Veta Roots (#chaidesignstudio)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

VIDEO: How social media could sink your job search

'Hey world. I'm on vacation in Colorado' is acceptable
Obviously, a bunch of 'turnt up' photos on Facebook isn't a good look if you're searching for a job. One bikini shot while on vacation may be fine, but more than a few may be crossing the line. Writing skills, bad grammar, foul language, incomplete sentences or posting bad reviews on restaurants and retailers are all being considered by potential employers.

Click How social media could sink your job search: If you are job-hunting right now, you need to hear this. More and more what you put on social media, could come back to haunt you.