ThinkFest Preview: Taney Dragons Coach Alex Rice on Uniting the City

Coach Alex Rice, left, with members of the team. (

Coach Alex Rice, left, with members of the Dragons. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

Philadelphians were enthralled by a baseball team this summer, but it wasn’t the Phillies. The Taney Dragons advanced all the way to the Little League World Series, with star pitcher Mo’ne Davis capturing the heart of the city — and the nation. (The team’s players reflected on their big moment in the latest issue of Philadelphia magazine.)

Next month at Philly Mag’s ThinkFest, Talk Radio 1210 host Chris Stigall will interview Dragons coach Alex Rice about how his team united the city and the lessons Philadelphians can learn from the sense of togetherness sparked by the team’s incredible run.

Join us on November 14th at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business for a day of the city’s smartest people sharing their biggest ideas. Read all of our ThinkFest 2014 previews here, and buy your tickets today.

10 Reasons Cheyney Alumni Are Suing Pennsylvania and the Federal Government

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A coalition known as “Heeding Cheyney’s Call” (HCC), which consists of Cheyney University alumni, students, professors, staffers, and retirees, as well as community activists, religious leaders, and elected officials, today is suing the Commonwealth (full suit below) for continuing what we believe are decades-long civil rights violations against this great school.

HCC is also suing the federal government, claiming that it’s stood idly by and enabling those violations by doing nothing to stop them. You want proof? Here’s the good, i.e., Cheyney’s greatness, the bad, i.e., racial discrimination, and the ugly, i.e., well, that’s the previously mentioned racial discrimination stuff.

Let me count the ways: All 10 of’ ’em:

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Analysis: What the PGW Flop Means

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Philadelphia’s bid to become the nation’s next great energy hub is a stool built on three legs. The pitch goes a little like this.

“Hey petrochemical and energy behemoths, Philly is the city that loves you back. 1) We’re just 100 miles from the Marcellus Shale, the biggest gas reserve in the nation. 2) We’ve got infrastructure! Ports. Rail lines. Refineries. Proximity to markets. 3) The political climate is warm and welcoming. Come on down. You’re going to get those approvals, you’ve got a political class anxious for jobs and economic development. No undue hassles here!”

On Monday, in rejecting the privatization of the city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works, City Council gave a swift kick to that third leg of the stool.

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Councilman Wants to Outlaw Selling Your Public Parking Space

Monkey Parking A Philadelphia City Councilman wants to outlaw a new app that allows you to sell your public parking space to the next driver. Councilman Bill Greenlee says MonkeyParking, already in service in other cities, should be against the law in Philadelphia.

Here’s how MonkeyParking works: You note your public parking space in the app. When you want to leave, your space goes to the highest bidder. If you’re driving and you need a space, instead of circling around the block a bunch of times, you tell MonkeyParking how much you’re willing to pay for a spot and the app directs you to a user nearby who’s about to leave their spot.

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Charles Barkley, Apparently Suffering From Stockholm Syndrome, Blames Black People for Lack of Success

Charles Barkley at the 2011 T-Mobile NBA All-Star Game, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA 02-20-11

Charles Barkley at the 2011 T-Mobile NBA All-Star Game, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA 02-20-11

Last week, Charles Barkley decided it was a good idea to say the following:

“We as black people are never going to be successful, not because of you white people, but because of other black people. When you are black, you have to deal with so much crap in your life from other black people.

“For some reason we are brainwashed to think, if you’re not a thug or an idiot, you’re not black enough. If you go to school, make good grades, speak intelligent, and don’t break the law, you’re not a good black person. It’s a dirty, dark secret in the black community.

“There are a lot of black people who are unintelligent, who don’t have success. It’s best to knock a successful black person down because they’re intelligent, they speak well, they do well in school, and they’re successful. It’s just typical BS that goes on when you’re black, man.”

My life must be pretty a-typical then. I have never had any experience with this “dirty, dark secret.” In fact, much to the contrary. I’ve always been supported by my community for achieving professionally and obtaining advanced levels of education. My blackness has never been put in question.

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Philly Man Angers New Yorkers With No-Hoodies Signs

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Ah, the hoodie.What was once just a sweatshirt with a hood is now a lightning rod of racial unpleasantries thanks to the 2012 shooting of a hoodied Trayvon Martin in Florida. Who can forget Geraldo Rivera going on Fox News to implore the “black and Latino youths” of the world to STOP WEARING HOODIES? Hoodies were just as responsible for Martin’s death as was the shooter, George Zimmerman, Rivera argued. He was forced to apologize soon thereafter.

But you’ll get no apologies from Philadelphia’s Joe Stark, who is on a mission to put one of his no-hoodies signs in every store in every major city on the East Coast. Read more »

Hurricane Sandy’s Second Anniversary Has Been Harder Than the First

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I took the day off yesterday, putting up an out-of-office message so I could pop the windows out of my Jeep Wrangler and cruise down the shore. I stopped at the Ocean View Wawa for a sandwich and a bag of chips, then parked myself in a chair on the beach in Strathmere.

I spent most of the day reading a book, but I also did a lot of staring at the ocean. I told friends I hit the beach because I’m tapering for a marathon, and I’m full of edgy energy that has no outlet. But really, I was there because today is the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New Jersey, and I wanted to both pay my respects and thanks to the beach that survived, and deliver a giant middle finger to a storm that destroyed large parts of our Jersey Shore.

I’ve had a harder time with the two-year anniversary than the first. When a preview copy of Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy came in the mail, I took it right to my library’s donation bin. It’s more difficult now because we have a clearer picture of how bad things really are, not just in the immediate days after the storm where we could not stop looking at pictures of roads torn apart and houses shattered into splinters, but the inevitable mess that came after.

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