Sarah Mitteldorf's physical theater ensemble, Kaleid ("As in Kaleidoscope. As in Collide") had a work in progress last fall and then, as she tells it, "November 8th happened" and they had to scrap the piece. In response to the nasty and violent rhetoric directed against women, people of color, and the LGBT community that led up to President Trump's election and in response to what Mitteldorf calls a developing "national narrative" of disconnect and exclusion, they are using the tools available to them as creative artists. In her director role, Mitteldorf asks her actors to express the emotions that the current social climate triggers, such as disbelief and anger, through layered text and movement. Kaleid Theater will perform "Scape-ing" at the First United Church of Germantown on April 27, 28 and 29. Watch video interview here.
John Kromer, Philadelphia Housing Director under former Mayor Ed Rendell is out gathering signatures on petitions in support of Rich Negrin, City Managing Director under former Mayor Nutter, for Philadelphia District Attorney. Kromer, who ran for Philadelphia Sherrif in 2011 on the platform of abolishing the office, personally attests to Negrin's integrity and is confident Negrin would not support local law enforcement cooperation with ongoing U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) roundups of illegal aliens absent warrants for their arrest. Watch video here.
Each day, Lisa Backe, "Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator" of the Goose Squad, LLC travels 100 miles and opens the door to her car at 28 different sites to allow her dog to chase away unwanted Canada geese. Your correspondent ran into Lisa and her small, friendly, rescue dog, Rita, on their second trip that day to the Morris Arboretum in Northwest Philadelphia, zipping around in a small car to the geese hotspots. It's a matter of harnessing the dog's natural instincts to chase the birds, Backe says. Goose Squad owner Joe Rocco estimates that seventy percent of the geese in our area reside here year round. Grazing on plentiful open grassy, areas each bird can leave a pound and a half or more of droppings a day. "We get the flock out of here" is the company's motto. Alas for your correspondent on this particular afternoon, the flock had already gotten out of there so there are no action shots in the video. Watch video interview here.
On a business trip 30 years ago to the west coast, Kim Neubauer's desire to go Israeli folk dancing prevailed over her wariness that it might be a meat market. Now with two grown children, she jokes how she approached her Israeli husband Avram of nearly 30 years now to dance and how, despite his stepping on her toes with his two left feet, she was drawn by the fun he was clearly having. Their fun continues at Israeli folk dancing at the Germantown Jewish Center in Philadelphia. Watch video here.
Ken Roberts of Kilian's Hardware Store gives a hands-on demonstration of the various snow shovels the store has leaning outside the store. There are ergonomic ones, some with bends in the handle, and another with a straight handle and an extra handle-mounted grip. Wide curved ones for clearing large areas of light snow. A narrower feed shovel type for digging out deeper snows without breaking your back. Steel edged blades for strength. Hard plastics and aluminum for lightness. Car shovels and, most useful of all kid-sized shovels. If you get the kids to shovel, you're halfway done, Roberts jokes. Watch demonstration here.
James drives for Lyft so he has the time to talk to his passengers about credit and pitch his company's services (FES Protection Plan) for credit restoration for a monthly payment of $87, and to pitch identity protection through Lifelock and to hook people up for trust/will attorney services and insurance products. Watch video here.
Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, PA supported by a coalition of community partners including AmeriCorps National Community Service members along with sweat equity put in by the Thompson family made a home of their own in Pottstown, PA a reality for the Thompsons. This is a short video collage of the dedication celebration.
In 2013, Kim Hyunh got so tired of hearing about fantasy football from the guy she was then dating that she joined his league. He was the league commissioner and she went from on to beat him - and perhaps, not coincidentally, break up with him. Now she's a league commissioner herself. Her teammates,all guys, liked her idea of having a rubber ducky race to determine draft order and of having a weekly challenge. And how could they veto the "Kim"missioner? She wishes more girls would play. Watch video here. And in this video she explains how fantasy football works and her current role as commissioner of her own fantasy league, the "Ducking Awesome League."
Bryan Kravitz, retired from repairing typewriters for 22 years, recently got back into the business when he heard Edward Snowden say that you can't keep secrets on a computer but you can using a typewriter. Now he collects and repairs vintage machines like the 1924 Underwood on which he banged out, "Now is the time for all good men..." Kravitz was out at the Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival with many of his typewriters set up at tables for the public to try. The many children tapping keys and swinging the return handle bore out his point that children like to typewriters. He says kids are naturally drawn to them because of their size, physicality and musicality. Writers are also drawn to typewriters, Kravitz says. A storehouse of typewriter history, he operates under the handle, "Philly Typewriter." Watch video here.
Lynn Landes, founder of the Wild Foodies of Philadelphia joins with Chef Jeff Miller of the eponymous catering company to forage for wild plants in the fields of the Weavers Way Coop farm at Awbury Arboretum. The plants, which Lynn doesn't like to call weeds although they are generally considered so, were to appear in the salad of a dinner that very evening to benefit the arboretum. Miller sampled some succulent-like purslane which he describes being crunchy and also some carpet weed which your correspond concurs has a strong, mushroomy flavor. These, wood sorrel other "weeds" were all competing for purchase in the fertile soil where the farmers had planted onions for harvest months later. Landes takes the zealot's stance that only wild plants and animals, free for the taking are a sustainable source of food because agriculture of any kind requires ongoing maintenance. Watch video here.