In October of 1999, Bill proposed to his now wife while sitting on a bench under their favorite tree at the Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, a huge European beech on the upper slope. The tree was badly damaged about a year later and only the decaying snag remains. But the tree is surrounded by its offspring, a circle of tall, closely spaced trees which had taken root where the original beech's long, pendulous branches had touched the ground. On a recent fall day, the family, now consisting of a 7 and 9 year old were revisiting the special place.
Personable "Flower" accosts passersby for money to get something to eat while sitting on the bench at the bus stop on Evergreen near Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. She lives alone in nearby Mount Airy, has a mental illness, has some social supports and gets some income. Flower would be able to do filing, stock work or security work. She says she would rather not be panhandling. "I gotta do what I gotta do," she says, to not be hungry and stay alive. Watch video interview here.
Through the initiative of one of its members, the Weavers Way Cooperative Association in Mount Airy, Philadelphia mounted a clothing and supplies drive for the victims of Hurricane Sandy which hit New York and the New Jersey coast hard. According to membership coordinator Beau Bibeau, a Weavers Way truck would be packed with the donations that volunteers were just them busily sorting and boxing. Staff would drive the goods early the next morning to a distribution center up in Manahawkin, New Jersey. C.J. Reinhard, who grew up in a Jersey area where 50 homes were destroyed by the hurricane, was busily finishing up stitches on a colorful blanket she was specifically crocheting for some hurricane victim, she wouldn't know who, to keep warm and know people cared and were thinking of them. Watch video here.
A young woman waiting for the bus is reading “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It’s about managing your mind to think in a certain way to accomplish your financial goals and dreams, she says. She describes the book as “awesome” and although she has just started the book, she’s already re-read some pages she has found so worthwhile. As a financial advisor with Primerica Financial Services who handles the gamut of financial products from investments and insurance to debt elimination, she hopes to work her way up RVP and eventually to owning her own branch office one day. Watch video here.
At a polling place on election day in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, voting machine technician Tony Pirrone explains how static electricity can short the voting machine and shut it down when the machine inspector touches the officer control button on the back to enable the voter to vote. After seeing one machine shut down and have to be reset several times, voters at the poll waited in line for the one good machine, not trusting that the finicky one would register their votes. Pirrone assured all who would listen that even though the machine needed to be reset repeatedly, all votes had been accurately recorded and stored on the machine cartridge which would be transported by a police officer to a central location for the official tally. Watch video here.
The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department is giving away two thousand trees this fall at 8 events across the city through its Treephilly organization to residents for planting in their own yards. All the ten different sapling varieties are native to the region and were chosen for their varying sizes and preferences for sun or shade, wet or dry, according to Erica Smith Fichman, manager of the program. The goal, she says,is to increase the city's tree canopy for summer shadefor and for the known beneficial effects of trees on air and water quality. Joe Presley, a first time tree planter, was at the Hunting Park Avenue recreation center pick-up event and hoped he had understood a planting demonstration well to give the eastern redbud he had selected a good start in his mother-in-law's as yet, treeless yard. Watch video here.