ETHEL! The Story of Ethel Waters to open at the Walnut Street Theatre February 21st – March 11th

The legendary Chester native is the subject of a new Broadway style play led by Terry Burrell.

Philadelphia, PA: Walnut Street Theatre’s Independence Studio on 3 is proud to bring back the spirit of Philadelphia’s own Ethel Waters with her life stories and memorable songs in Ethel! Written by and starring Broadway’s Terry Burrell, this world premiere begins with previews on February 21st, opens February 23rd and runs through March 11th in the intimate Independence Studio on 3.

She was saucy. She was talented. She was a star. Ethel Waters grew up in difficult circumstances right outside of Philadelphia, in Chester, PA, in the early 1900s. She found a way to make a life for herself. She used colorful language, rough men and good old American street skills to work her way into a career that led to hit records, Broadway shows and even an Academy Award nomination – the second African American actress to ever be nominated. Ethel! entertains with personal stories of Waters’ life and unforgettable songs, including “Dinah,” “Heebie Jeebies,” “Taking a Chance on Love” and “Stormy Weather.” PRESS RELEASE

Corbett’s Budget Proposal 2012: Education, General Assistance, and Business Taxes see deep cuts…

Tom Corbett proposed his resolutions for the PA 2012-2013 budget yesterday.  Highlights include:

– $330.2 million, a 20 percent decrease, for the 14 state-owned universities in the State System of Higher Education.

– $319 million in savings from the proposed elimination of cash payments for about 60,000 participants in the General Assistance program and new minimum work requirements, for about 30,000 General Assistance recipients who are medically needy.

– $168 million in savings from the consolidation of seven existing programs – including community mental health services, behavioral health services and assistance for the homeless – into a proposed Human Services Development Fund Block Grant that allows counties more flexibility in spending the money. Funding for the programs would be set at 80 percent of this year’s level.

READ THE FULL AP ARTICLE. Lengthy budget speech after the jump. Read more…

Deshong Redevelopment Project?

Driving down Edgmont Avenue, I noticed some construction vehicles, a half-demolished car dealership and a new sign: “Deshong Area Redevelopment Project, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, Governor”

What’s this about? Press Release anyone?

Education Rally Planned for Valentine’s Day

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This looks be the biggest effort so far to bring Chester parents and students to the Capitol to continue pressure on Gov. Corbett. I have reserved my seat.

Pennsylvania Re-Districting News: What’s Next?

The PA Supreme Court ruled against the Senator Pillegi-led plan to re-district the State. Why should you care? The way the state is cut-up has dramatic effects on how local elections are won along with how electoral college votes are counted. This could have presidential implications. For the 159th (House) District, the plan would have added parts of Swarthmore into the Chester driven district. I know that with the heavy flight from Chester in the past decade (just look at Census results), there needs to be a change. Democrats and Republicans continue to fight for advantage. THIS JUST IN: Senate Majority Leader Pileggi filing a federal lawsuit claiming that re-districting must take place before 2012 election.

FULL VIDEO: Sara Ferguson on “Ellen”

Self-explanatory. Amazing.

The Interrupters: Bringing an End to Street Violence! 2/14 on PBS Frontline


I first noticed this documentary when it had a stint at the Ritz.  Great to see that it will get national television time.  I hope that many Chester community leaders are taking notice on innovative and courageous practices to bring an end to senseless violence.  Screening anyone??