Occupy Philly – Please

Occupy Philly started their occupation of city hall yesterday. Anyone that’s bringing attention to the huge inequity in wealth distribution needs to be listened to.

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I thought it amusing and ironic that right after I took that picture, I see a guy riding around in a rare Ford GT ($200k new) so close to where I see people sleeping in doorways.

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Where are the Philly police

I recently returned to work for a non-profit in Center City Philadelphia. It’s great to be back in the city, it makes me feel more a part of things. Because of the cold, my walk has been limited to about seven blocks. What’s crazy is what I haven’t seen in this time.

It’s been a little more than 3 weeks and I’ve yet to see my first police officer aside from those whizzing by in their cars. Not one policeman or woman walking a beat. No directing of traffic, no standing on the corner making sure there’s no trouble.

It’s not like there isn’t a need – there is a total disregard for traffic laws by drivers, bikers, and pedestrians. There are intersections where blocking the box is the rule. And what happened to the blitz on renegade bicyclists? Seems like it lasted a day. And while they’re at it, there are too many pedestrians that could use a jaywalking ticket. And maybe a visible presence on the streets would prevent the bank robberies that happened downtown recently.

It seems to me that policing shouldn’t be limited to cars, subways, airports, and ghettos. It seems that the Philadelphia Police are only focused on anyone carrying a gun or selling drugs. That’s all well and good, but for the other 99% of situations that deserve their attention, it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves.

Protesting at the Valley Swim Club

IMG_0349Today I went to the Valley Swim Club to protest the very egregious statements of their president and how they have treated the children of the Creative Steps daycare. In the morning we had 4 people and reporters from CNN, ABC, NBC, and the Inquirer and Daily News. In the afternoon they were joined by every national news outlet and the story had blown up.

It all started with a tweet last night. The power of twitter. There were only 4 of us out there this morning, but we were enough to shut down the club. And by the time 5:30 rolled around, there was a renewed protest with many more people and a lot more vigor. I feel like we did something. But we still don’t have an apology – and there needs to be one.

The club changed it’s website tonight – and let it’s members do the talking instead of having an official come out and make a statement. It was an amazing show of poor crisis communication and showed amazing cowardice. And the statement they made doesn’t address the comments of the president. I am tired of apologies that are not apologies. The president made insulting comments and those need to be addressed. You say the reaction had nothing to do with racism – and that there were other camps that were barred – but the comments were made about the minority camp and the barring happened the day after they were at the club.

BTW – Thanks to the Preston and Steve show for talking about this on their morning show on late notice. Their help was surely felt in the later hours as this story built momentum.

I hate Boston

First off, let me apologize in advance for my friends that live and/or grew up in Boston – you can’t help it; I still love you guys.

Anyway – after watching the umpteenth ESPN report on Bill Belichick and the New England Patriot I’ve finally had it.   Actually I probably had it this past summer when the Yankees vs. Red Sox reduced the rest of the civilized world to afterthoughts; or maybe when the Minnesota Timberwolves decided to save Danny Ainge’s job.   Yes the Boston sports teams are good, but do I have to hear about them every waking moment?   It seems that we went from the Boston media whining about “The Curse” to being totally inundated with Boston is great sports stories 24/7.   Yes, the adulation is deserved, their teams are on a run that is ridiculous, but the national media too often seems like national means New York and Boston and some other cities.

Take this weekend’s game versus the Jets.   The Patriots are 3 touchdown plus favorites to win   This is a game that no one should be paying attention to.   But add a little spygate redux and the game is dominating the NFL coverage on ESPN.   It’s a game that no one should care about, but ESPN tells us we should.   Wait until the Patriots play the Dolphins – undefeated vs. winless – we’ll be hearing about that all week.   It’s just too much.

I think part of the problem is that too many of the writers, editors, researchers, etc. come from the Boston area and are fans of the teams there.   They have succeeded in making Boston the center of the known universe (or at least broadcasting their belief that that is so).   So essentially we get incomplete sports coverage shoved down our throats.   I remember when ESPN was actually good;   when it wasn’t just slam dunk, “booya”, touchdown, “jacked up”,   HR, “en fuego”.   Now it’s just about creating stories and whoring products.   And if the stories just happen to showcase a Boston team – then all the better.

Yes some of this is sour grapes.   I live here in Philadelphia where our sports teams basically suck.   We’re in a streak that makes the Red Sox curse a non-story .   25 years without one of 4 teams winning a championship – multiply that out and you get a 100 seasons of futility. Yet I don’t see Will Smith producing a documentary whining about it like Ben Afleck did.

Anyway, I guess it could be worse; the Bruins could win something.