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Month: January 2017

The City’s New Soda tax Is “REAL!”

The City’s New Soda tax Is “REAL!”

The City’s New Soda tax Is “REAL!”:

Opinioned Editorial.
by Jim Brown.
Email: .

Have you been to your local supermarket, corner store or your favorite breakfast restaurant in West Philly since the New Year? Well, you’re in for a shocker – to your wallet. If you didn’t remember, the City’s new sugar tax on soda and sugary drinks is now in effect as of January 1, 2017.  Last Tuesday, I went to the local Fresh Grocer Supermarket and picked up a quart of Swiss lemonade that cost $1.  I was in for a shocker.  Well, the register rang up $2.12.  I had six of the juices in my cart. I immediately gave five bottles back to the cashier. It was late last year that City Council, with Mayor Jim Kenney’s blessing, voted on the new tax that was supposed to fund the Mayor’s Pre-K initiative, universal day care for toddlers. The tax is also aimed at funding city rec centers and playgrounds. Philadelphia became the country’s first city to pass such a tax on sugary drinks.

Today, the tax is a reality.  I looked at the total for the one juice three times, before another customer told me to ask the young store manager to give me a flyer, reminding others of the new soda tax. I only purchased the one juice but thought about all of those customers that would be surprised at the cash register.  I also thought about who would really benefit from a soda tax that has many more concerned about the distribution of the funds that are raised and what effect it would have on the soda companies and parents who are sending their kids to a Pre-K school not registered with the School District of Philadelphia.

This tax is too high. The Mayor should have really taken into account the incomes of people in his city who can’t afford to spend the money to cover their budgets or reduce dramatically purchasing soda and juice products throughout the supermarkets and corner stores in the city. I understand the noble gesture of providing the ideal program for our young ones that will be entering their very first experience as Pre-Kindergarten students.

But I just have a strong opinion about how that money will be earmarked and the schools and neighborhoods that honestly need the funding.I also understand the health reasoning for the tax. Sugar drinks are partly blamed for the obesity and diabetic epidemic in this country. If the intention of the tax is suppose to promote healthy living, I believe it will do its job.But there’s a curiosity that this money will be diverted at the Mayor’s discretion and not accessible to the public where the money actually suppose to go. It’s my guess that Mayor Jim Kenney will be having another press conference soon to answer questions about his plan because residents are now talking and they “ain’t” happy about the actual tax that has tore into their wallets and pocketbooks. Stay tuned for the back-lash from residents from the City of Brotherly Love.  But many people will be hearing another call to answer this form of tax gouging.  In West Philly, there will be a long line to the markets leading to Upper Darby, Bala Cynwyd, Yeadon… and other places where a quart of Swiss Lemonade cost $1.

A March To Tell Trump “We’re Not Going Back!”

A March To Tell Trump “We’re Not Going Back!”

A March To Tell Trump “We’re Not Going Back!”:

The Rev. Al Sharpton tells this story about a young black conservative who believe there was no need to march for civil rights. “He showed me his resume,” recalled the controversial New York -based civil rights fighter. He came from a good school. He was a member of a prestigious fraternity. He had an excellent education. “He said he felt there was not need to march for civil rights.” Then Sharpton paused and he said he told him, “But it was civil rights that made somebody read your resume.” The crowd roared in agreement with Sharpton as he delivered more than an hour-long speech at Mt Carmel Baptist Church Thursday night (1/05). Sharpton was here to raise support for the January 14th March on Washington that will focus on the need to protect our civil rights under President- elect Donald J. Trump. “Some of you may be guessing about Donald Trump, but I know him,” said Sharpton about his fellow New Yorker. “When he’s joking, he’s not kidding,” began Sharpton, who detailed a troubling history of the man who will become the most powerful leader on earth on January 20.

It was in 1986, Sharpton began when he first encountered a Fred and Donald Trump, a father-son duo that was sued in court for refusing to rent apartments to black folks. Then he recalled how Donald Trump once took out a full-page newspaper ad screaming for the execution of five black and Latino boys who were railroaded into confessing to the rape of a white woman in Central Park. The teens were later found innocent after serving years in prison after. They were freed after the real rapist confessed.
Donald Trump never said he was sorry or even wrong.  Now, Sharpton said Trump is in a position to threaten our voting rights, our economics and our health care.  “We are faced with a blatant threat. “Just think, we had an Eric Holder, a Loretta Lynch (attorney generals) who are being replaced by a racist (Sessions) who voted against the voting rights bill. “And, we have to beg you to march?” he asked. Sharpton implored the names of Medgar Evers, Viola Liuzzo and the trio of Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman, all who gave their lives for black people to vote. These martyrs gave their lives for a nation to elect a black man to become president, he added, in praising President Barack Obama and the first family.

He pointed out that for eight years the Obamas were role models of what a black family could be and preside over an administration that was without any scandal.  Yes, he agreed, there seem to be some dark days ahead, but he pointed out: “We are the children of those who survived it all.” And, on the spiritual said, he said, “if you stand up, He will hold you up.” Sharpton was introduced by State Senator Vincent Hughes who encouraged people to get on the bus from Philadelphia for the march to protect civil rights in this “new political environment.” “We’re not going backward,” Hughes implored the church-filled audience. “We’re going forward.
Let’s March!

A short 30-minute documentary

A short 30-minute documentary

Stephanie Monteleone,  Development Director at Saint Francis de Sales School in West Philadelphia.

We are a Catholic K-8 school in University City. Last year, 15 of our 8th grade students worked with a film professor from Villanova University to create a short 30-minute documentary about the relationship between the local law enforcement and their communities. I wanted to extend the event invitation to you and the community to come and see how 8th grade students took on such a timely issue through the medium of film.

The event will be on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 6:00PM at West Catholic Preparatory High School. Parking is available, and light refreshments will be served. The registration fee is $10/person and we ask that you please register in advance at Click Here so that we know how many guests to anticipate.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this celebration of young talent in Philadelphia.

Sincerely, Stephanie E. Monteleone, MSCM Development Director

Nearly 2M in Philly Area Could Lose Health Coverage If ACA Repealed

Nearly 2M in Philly Area Could Lose Health Coverage If ACA Repealed

Nearly 2 Million in Philly Area Could Lose Health Coverage If A C A Repealed.
(Published in November 11-17, 2016)

By Elana Gordon WHYY News Works.

Donald Trump’s election and a Republican majority in Congress have put the Affordable Care Act on shaky ground. A repeal of the law, a signature policy of President Barack Obama, would put nearly 2 million people across Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey in danger of losing their health coverage.

That includes those who have coverage through the online marketplace and through a Medic-aid expansionIt’s unclear what exactly a newly elected Congress will do. Short of repealing the whole thing, income-based subsidies and the individual mandate could be first to go, said Daniel Polsky, head of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. “In terms of things that would be attractive to repeal, those would be two at the top of the list, I would imagine,” said Polsky. Nearly 700,000 people have individual health coverage through the online marketplace in the three states. That includes about 412,000 people in Pennsylvania, 250,000 in New Jersey and 28,258 people in Delaware, according to state and federal numbers. A majority, upwards of 80 percent, receive financial help in the form of federal subsidies to offset the costs.

Repealing those subsidies would directly affect those people, Polsky said, but it would also mean more instability for insurers and for the A C A marketplace as a whole. “It would unravel pretty quickly, would be my guess,” he said. Another key part of the Affordable Care Act that could be reversed is the federally funded expansion of Medicaid.

Since Pennsylvania opted into that program, about 680,000 residents have gained coverage, along with about 473,000 in New Jersey and 10,000 in Delaware. All combined, that’s less than 10 percent of the insured population in those states, said Robert Field, professor of health law at Drexel University. Still, he said, such changes could have a “ripple effect” through-out the health system. “Safety-net hospitals and pediatric hospitals rely on Medicaid for their revenue, and they could be seriously impacted by this,” he said.


Yes I Voted For Donald J. Trump

Yes I Voted For Donald J. Trump

Yes I Voted For Donald J. Trump.
(Published in November 11-17, 2016)

By Napoleon F. Kingcade Westside Reporter.

Last week when I saw the photo of democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine on the front page of the Westside Weekly, I knew I was in a world of trouble with my own weekly paper. I knew in my soul there was no way I was going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Despite the ugly feedback I expected to get, I couldn’t find it in my heart to change my mind. I prepared myself for the worse. I knew the reaction that I was going to get. I knew I was going to lose a number of my friends. I knew I was going to hear a lot of ugly words coming from the mouths of a lot of people. I knew I would have to deal with the consequences and deal with people’s reactions the best way I could. Well, folks…. I never change my mind. On Election Day, I entered a voting booth and pushed button 201 for Republican Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. Yes, I did, folks. I did the unspeakable. Even though I’m a registered democrat, I voted for Donald Trump because of his successful business history, his desire to protect this country and make our people feel safe again. I loved his plan to build a wall and keep all bad immigrants from entering our country. I loved his plan to cut down taxes and bring more jobs to the poor and middle class people. I loved his plan to develop better schools and make our neighborhoods safe again. I loved his plan to destroy ISIS while he seeks to rebuild our country’s military.

Today, I don’t expect people to respect my reasons for voting for Donald Trump. But I’m deeply disappointed with some people’s comments, the same people who are angry at me for voting for Donald Trump, especially those on Facebook who have made their comments known on my Facebook page. “What the f….k, he is going to start wars all over the world. And he will destroy this country.” was one comment left on my Facebook page. In addition to some negative messages, I did have five people who deleted me totally from their Facebook page. That included a man named J.T. Childress who called me an “ignorant” person.

As an educated person who knows his politics, I know Donald Trump is not a politician, but I do respect this man because he is a rich man and a successful entrepreneur. Donald Trump owns hundreds of businesses around the world which includes the Trump Towers Apartments, Trump Towers Hotels, Trump World Towers Building in New York City and Trump Towers Condominiums in Chicago. Despite a few business failures, Donald Trump has a great track record of running businesses across the world.Many people may not respect him because of his crazy behavior and his crazy ways, but I feel he will start being a better person because of the new people he will have around him.

Mike Pence, his Vice President, will teach Donald Trump how to respect woman and how to keep good values. Pence will teach Trump how to be a great President. Donald Trump will hire new people in his cabinet who will also help him to be a respectable President. There’s no way Trump will remain the same person. He will change his image and become a better man. Everybody who voted for Donald Trump is not a racist or an ignorant person. Everybody who voted for Trump is not poor or uneducated.

Today, I’m a person who is concerned about my job, my bills, my health care benefits and my monthly rent. There are people like me who voted for Donald Trump who are just regular people who want to earn a good living in a good economy. We want a President who will fight for us and battle Congress for the things we need. One thing we all know about Donald Trump, he is not the kind of person who will allow anybody to push him around. He’s a man who will fight back and battle his opponent face-to-face at the table. Today, it’s time for us to put our Big Boy pants on and accept that Donald Trump is our President.

If you don’t like Donald Trump as our President then pack your bags and move to another country. Today, we must stop these riots and protests in our cities because it makes our country look real bad. One day after the election, thousands and thousands of people have gathered to protest Donald Trump’s Presidential victory. Where were all these people on Election Day? Today, we must stop all this nonsense and start acting like a country and work together to make America great again.

Baking 50 Flavors Of Cupcakes

Baking 50 Flavors Of Cupcakes

Jennifer Morris stands next to a new batch of cupcakes

Baking 50 Flavors Of Cupcakes
By Vicki Riley. (Published in 2012)

A moist cupcake can easily satisfy a craving for something sweet. But instead of the typical vanilla or chocolate, how about a “French Toast Delight” cupcake? Or, what would a  “Cookie Monster” cupcake taste like? And what could possibly be in a “What’s Up Doc” cupcake? The next time you’re traveling down MacDade Boulevard in Collingdale stop by “Cupcakeology” to find out.

Owners Jennifer and Robert Morris say they named the business “Cupcakeology” because for them, it’s the study of cupcakes.  And with more than 50 different flavors to choose from, they deserve summa cum laude recognition.

All the cupcakes are baked from scratch at their facility, in small bunches so that they’re always fresh. Her “secret” ingredient? Buttermilk and pure vanilla.

Jennifer has been baking since she was nine years old. It started with her selling pound cakes to neighbors and her aunt’s co-workers. “I have a major sweet tooth and there were no bakeries in the area so I decided to give it a try,” says Jennifer.

So why the switch from cakes to cupcakes?  “Cupcakes allow me to experiment with many different flavors,” says Jennifer. “I like to cook and I have a unique palate. I can taste every ingredient in a cupcake. So I like to throw different things into a mixture and see what comes out.”

That experimental side of her led her to use a wide variety of flavor combinations including cinnamon, honey, bananas, lemon, peanut butter, coconuts, bacon (yes bacon!), maple, apples, Oreo cookies, cherries, Snickers and even alcohol for those over 21 years of age. However, according to Jennifer, Red Velvet is still her best-selling cupcake. And not to leave out the canine members of the family, they even offer a dog-friendly “pup-cake” treat.

Not all 50 varieties are available each day. When you arrive at the building where they’re housed, a board lists those flavors that available for that day. It’s usually a selection of about 20-23 different flavors. But if you really want that “Apple Martini” cupcake you can always place an order for it.

“People love food,” adds Jennifer. “No matter the economy people will spend money on good food and something different. We offer them something different.”

Currently Cupcakeology has the one location but they are regular contributors to the Lansdowne Farmers Market along with doing private events. Soon that will change. Plans are underway to expand into Center City Philadelphia during the first quarter of 2013. The Center City location will be a food truck and they will add gourmet hot dogs to their menu. Never to be content with what she has now, Jennifer plans to experiment with even more “crazier” flavors such as basil and ginger.

With so many flavors should you get the Pina Colada, the Prima Ballerina or the Rise and Shine? Try them all! And if you’re not up to experimenting with different flavors, vanilla and chocolate are still available.


320 Macdade Blvd

Collingdale, PA 19023


Hours of Operation:

Tuesday – Wednesday:

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Thursday – Saturday:

10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Sunday -Monday: Close