The PFT Fails Philly’s Students and Teachers

Who is standing up for good teachers and poor children in the School District of Philadelphia? If you guessed “the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers,” you’d be wrong.

That’s why my colleagues and I went into the midst of 3,000 PFT protesters last week to talk about how PFT leaders are keeping millions of dollars from the classroom and have been harming poor children and high-performing teachers for years.

We explained how PFT leaders are blocking education reforms that will dramatically improve the SDP for both educators and kids alike. To say things got heated would be an understatement. Sometimes the truth hurts, but in this case, it could also set Philadelphia free.

Here’s how the PFT hurts good teachers and the city’s neediest children.
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Opening Date for Kensington Quarters


Meat Locker at Kensington Quarters

Kensington Quarters is officially opening on Wednesday, October 29th. The Fishtown restaurant, bar, butcher shop, classroom combo will  offer a selection of the region’s finest meats in its butcher shop, while diners of the restaurant enjoy drinks and dinner by Executive Chef Damon Menapace.

The classroom in the upstairs loft (which will also double as an event space) will host butchering classes as well as guest chef lectures and cooking demos that will acquaint guests with Kensington Quarters’ farm partners. A class schedule will be announced shortly after opening.

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Rich Tech Bro Speaks at Kensington HS, Struggles To GIve Advice

On Wednesday this week, entrepreneur Alex Klein spoke at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School. He went to Yale and Cambridge and is creating a built-it-yourself computer with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Klein’s dad founded Getty Images.

The Inquirer’s Maria Panaritis was there to capture the exchange between Klein and a smart Philadelphia kid with a pointed question.

“Did you have a strong support system while being raised, to get where you are now?” asked senior Joshua Camacho, 18 [...] “What would you tell people,” Camacho added, “who might not have that support system?”

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Philanthropy Friday: Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA)

MANNA headquarters | Photo by Alan Brian Nilsen

MANNA headquarters | Photo by Alan Brian Nilsen

Every Friday Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. This week, the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA), which works to feed people with terminal diseases like HIV in the Philadelphia area.

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Movie Meter: Michael Keaton Makes a Comeback, John Wick Is Surprisingly Good


Birdman: Despite the brilliant devastation of his film Biutiful, Alejandro González Iñárritu has not received quite the same level of fame as other Mexican directors of his generation, like Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro. That likely ends now. His new film is a complex allegory concerning the nature of art, fame, and soulful pursuit, but it’s also just a hell of a lot of fun. Michael Keaton plays a former big-star superhero actor who, many years past his prime, yearns to produce something of significance on the Broadway stage. Edward Norton plays the actor just talented and/or uncontrollable enough to ensure his success or failure. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

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Pearl Art Supply to Become Millennium Dance Complex


The space, in progress. | Photo by Lauren Mame Thomas

Our sweet, beloved Pearl Art & Crafts — another Philly retail stalwart (like Daffy’s and Strawbridge’s and Bonwit’s), whose closure was met with great gnashing of teeth. It seemed like the last vestige of South Street’s artistic, bohemian phase.

But things change and commercial corridors evolve and choreographers who work with Justin Bieber and Beyonce need a place to teach, dammit! Now they have one. Millennium Dance Complex is going to be a massive endeavor entirely devoted to anything and everything related to dance. The 39,000-square-foot space will specialize in workshops and drop-in dance classes that’ll cater to all ages, dance styles and experience level. So even if you think you can’t dance…

Here’s the plan: phase one has a target opening of Nov. 28th. The first floor will have dance studios of various types and windows looking out onto South Street, so that passersby can watch classes. Also:
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Lawyer Who Filed Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” Suit Could Be Disbarred

stairway-to-heaven-lawsuit-led-zeppelin-attorneyRecently, Media, Pennsylvania-based attorney Francis Malofiy scored a small victory against Led Zeppelin in his “Stairway to Heaven” plagiarism lawsuit when a Philadelphia federal judge denied the band’s motion to dismiss the case or transfer it to another jurisdiction. But if a disciplinary panel doesn’t decide in his favor, Malofiy could potentially be disbarred from Philadelphia’s federal court thanks to his actions in another copyright case, one he filed against music mogul Usher.

The Usher suit has been winding its way through the federal court system since back in 2011, when Malofiy, seen here in a publicity photo from his website, sued Usher and others on behalf of a no-name Philadelphia songwriter named Dan Marino, who claimed that he never received proper credit for the R&B star’s perfectly unmemorable 2004 song “Bad Girl.” Here is Usher performing the tune with Beyonce.

Earlier this year, the judge in the Usher case, Paul S. Diamond, ripped — and we do mean ripped — Malofiy for his unusual antics, the type of behavior that you might see from some $3,000-suit-wearing defense attorney on Law & Order and then later in the episode you learn that the lawyer was in the middle of a massive coke binge. (Not that we are in any way suggesting that Malofiy has any kind of substance abuse issues. He’s probably just zealous and easily excitable.)

In his 22-page memorandum, the judge accuses Malofiy of being “sexist” and “abusive” and describes his behavior as “flagrantly unprofessional and offensive,” noting that it was “difficult to convey the poisonous atmosphere created by Malofiy’s continual belligerence to opposing counsel.”

Amusingly, and demonstrating Malofiy’s flair for the dramatic (also well-evidenced in his complaint against Led Zeppelin, which he wrote using fonts inspired by Led Zeppelin albums) he also at one point channeled Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, declaring, “You can’t handle the truth.” And he titled one of his filings “Response in Opposition Re: Joint Motion for Sanctions by Moving Defendants Who are Cry Babies.”

In addition to his rude remarks, Malofiy has been accused of deceptively obtaining an affidavit, resulting in an order that he reimburse some defendants’ costs in the case to the tune of more than $25,000. Judge Diamond later ordered Malofiy to submit to interrogatories to determine whether he can pay up. Malofiy has insisted that he has the cash.

The judge also granted a summary judgment in the case in favor of Usher, and Malofiy has said he will appeal both the sanctions and the judgment.

All of this has culminated in disciplinary proceedings against Malofiy, and the matter has turned up in the federal courtroom of Judge John R. Padova, with Padova and two other federal judges tapped to make a final recommendation as to Malofiy’s future. Suspension or disbarment from Philadelphia’s federal court are among the options.

The documents in the disciplinary case have all been filed under seal — standard operating procedure in a disciplinary case, according to the federal court clerk’s office — but Padova’s staff confirms that the proceedings are ongoing. As recently as Wednesday, Malofiy filed a sealed document in that case.

Malofiy’s attorney, Sam Stratton, insists that his client won’t be disbarred but could face other discipline, and he contends that Diamond was wrong to issue the memorandum blasting Malofiy.

“I’ve known Fran a long time,” says Stratton. “He’s a very impressive young attorney, and he’s certainly dedicated to his clients. Yes, he’s got some rough edges here and there, but the legal profession could use a few more eccentrics.”

For Malofiy’s sake, we hope that the judges aren’t huge “Stairway to Heaven” fans.

Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on …

Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.

Your Weekend Workout Playlist: Radio Hits You Love to Hate (But Really Love)



Confession: I am happiest when I’m alone in my car, shamelessly belting out every single lyric to the latest Iggy Azalea song—or Nick Jonas song (so embarrassing, I know), or any other number of Top 40 hits I’m ashamed to know every single word to. And the great thing about running is that is kind of like being in the car: You can listen to all the music you love to hate (but really just love) as loud as you want without fear of your roommate/boyfriend/wife/landlord/boss walking in on you and staring at you like you’ve completely lost it.

So for this week’s playlist, I bring you just that: A playlist packed with 90-minutes worth of radio hits we all love to hate. Plug in your headphones, turn the volume up and get ready to sweat—and sing—shame-free.

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