page 2-b friday, may 14, 2010
students learn the moves at eagles chess tourney
nathaniel lee tribune correspondent philadelphia eagles offensive linemen todd herremans and winston justice along with safeties quintin demps and quintin mikell joined 225 students, including an entourage from west, south and southwest philadelphia, to participate in a grueling, day-long chess tournament may 5. students in grades five to 12 from across the city met at the west club at lincoln financial field to square off for the championship trophy. students also faced against members of the eagles between rounds during pickup matches during breaks. "chess has taught me to think before i make decisions," said anthony upsey, a student at bok high school who participates in chess club. "it forces me to think of outcomes. it has also kept me out of trouble," it is for this reason that after-school programs such as chess and debate clubs are so highly emphasized by the nonprofit group, after school activities partnerships (asap). melissa s. treacy tribune correspondent in times of war, those at home worry about their loved ones here in america and overseas. those in the armed forces give their full focus, and sometimes their lives, to protect our country, so it is only natural for the country to want to show its thanks. so, many montgomery county residents spent a weekend supporting the troops in their own unique way. the huntingdon valley-based veterans of foreign wars (vfw) post 3612 of willow grove hosted its third annual 5k run for troops. the post held its annual "freedom steps," a fundraising 5k run and walk for the soldiers, held at mason's mill park on sunday, may 2. the event is organized each year by the willow grove vfw to show the troops how much the community cares, according to heather salazar, event director of freedom steps. "this event was created to bring awareness to the community for our soldiers deployed overseas, and to raise money to purchase needed supplies during their deployments," salazar said. she said that even the most basic of home comforts are a huge need for those fighting in war. troops miss the advantages those at home often take for granted, such as basic toiletries,
from page 1b and the shame of his family, and that doesn't bother me a bit. what does bother me, though, is that ralston, who has been suspended with intent to dismiss, faces no further consequences than the loss of his job, pension and good name. police commissioner charles "our mission is to keep at-risk philadelphia youth safe and active after school," said asap executive director, maria walker who noted that it is between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. when juvenile crime typically occurs. "we don't do traditional stuff," said walker. "we don't do basketball or soccer. we do positive, alternative activities like debate and chess which aren't necessarily funded in the inner-city." the chess tournament was the culmination of a year-long project in which students were required to qualify by competing in a number of contests prior to their participation in the eagles chess tournament. while programs such as basketball continue to receive funding, activities such as chess have not been so lucky. many of these programs, have been cut, according to walker. asap, a non profit organization, has joined with the eagles youth partnership (eyp) to fill the gap, and the results have been an explosion of student participation in chess clubs throughout the city. with 250 students who attended local after- games, snacks and reading materials. "we have to remember that these men and women do not have the comforts of home in iraq and afghanistan," said salazar. "freedom steps' goal is to provide them with that 'taste of home' that they long for and to bring a smile to their faces as they realize people here in the states do care about them." the freedom steps event was supported by other area veterans' organizations. local military and military families came out to the run, including organizations such as the army and air national guard, a hero's welcome and warriors' watch riders. ramsey, while visibly shaken and ashamed of ralston's actions, said he wouldn't be charged, since ralston had been offered immunity from prosecution in exchange for his full confession. sounds reasonable, until you ask yourself if you would get the same deal. try misusing the 911 system, falsifying a police report, discharging a firearm, recklessly endangering oth- school chess clubs, there are now over 4,000; the number of chess clubs themselves have gone from 28 in 2004 to more than 3,500 today. "we picked chess because chess teaches children to think about risks and consequences," said sarah martina-helfman, executive director of eyp. "if you move this way this might happen, if you move that way that might happen." the children served by eyp come from at-risk communities, and helfman believes that it is for this reason that critical thinking and decisionmaking might have life-changing consequences. "we wanted kids to think about risks and consequences and to learn that on a chessboard in a way that they could translate into their daily lives," added helfman, who has been with eyp for 15 years. the highlight of the day was the trophy awards ceremony in the philadelphia eagles locker room. a number of trophies were given multiple categories. masterman high school walked away with a first place trophy for "top team performance" after receiving the highest number of match points.
'freedom steps' raises $2,000 for troop gifts
on may 2, 145 participants took off in the 5k run for troops dubbed the "freedom steps" to raise money for troops overseas. the freedom steps, organized by the willow grove vfw, raised over $2,000. - photo courtesy of heather salazar, event coordinator the local groups came out to show support for "their comrades and family of deployed troops," according to salazar. wayne lutz, the founder of warriors' watch riders, was a guest speaker during the day's festivities. "[lutz] inspired the crowd, reminding them of the need for troop support, as the men and women dedicate their lives to do so much for us," salazar said. salazar said that the day met the vfw's goal. "overall, the day was a huge success with 145 participants, and raising over $2,000 in one day alone," she said. ers and wasting hundreds of manhours of taxpayer-funded police resources, and watch what happens. you're going to spend the next couple of years locked in a very small room with a very ugly person, that's what - shot up shoulder and all. at least ralston gets to go home to his wife and kids, even if they aren't speaking to him. the other reason i found ralston's boneheaded plan more amusing than infuriating is that i had just relistened, via youtube, to a comedy routine from a few years ago by paul mooney. mooney, if you're not familiar with his work, was richard pryor's joke writer and is a very funny brother in his own right, although some black folks i know are turned off by his vulgarity and frequent use of the n-word. anyway, in this routine, mooney announces his new business, 1-900- blame-a-(n-word), where white folks can call when they've committed a crime and need a black person to take the blame. since they're going to do it anyway, mooney jokes, he might as well turn a profit. it's a hilarious bit, and like all good comedy, exposes the big picture to closer scrutiny. white criminals have been using the "random black man defense" to cover their own misdeeds since the first slave ship landed. it's now become a tired cliché straight out of "to kill a mockingbird," but there's a reason they still do it. it still works. you can only name the five or six who famously didn't get away with it - there's no way to historically measure the number who have. robert ralston didn't get away with it. he's unemployable, a world-class schmuck and the laughingstock of an entire city. plus, for the rest of his life, his shoulder will throb like a toothache every time it rains. it may not be justice, but at least it's better than nothing. eagles player quintin mikell congratulates a philadelphia youth chess challenge participant from west philadelphia at the 7th annual eagles chess tournament. -submitted photo
ambler café customers vie for culinary honors
tony morisset tribune correspondent the owners of sweet bytes internet café in ambler allowed their customers to duke it out with them in their third annual "wings & things challenge" saturday, may 8. the owners, donna mitchell and lorraine cuffey, invited customers to compete with them with not only a cash prize on the line, but bragging rights also. the rules were straightforward. four judges tasted all the entries and votes were tallied. whoever received the highest score was crowned champion. if mitchell and cuffey's sample happened to win, then the secondplace contestant would get the prize. it cost $15 to enter. the number of contestants determined how much money went to the winner in each category. after the contest, people gather around to eat a sample of every entry. there were no losers, because everyone would go home happy. "it is exciting when you first bite into the food," said sonya reynolds, a judge from bryn mawr. "there are so many different tastes. everyone has their own little spin on their food."
from page 1b rent campus space. the plan would replace six parking lots with structured parking, green space, academic and residential space. "by redesigning the footprint and by increasing green space and going up as we remodel, we will be able to achieve every goal in the academic plan and the 20/20 framework without any new property," hart stated. however, she said temple would be open to the possibility to purchasing additional property without encroaching on the neighborhood. "buying property when people put it up for sale, is not the same as pushing people out and taking over," hart said. hart noted that temple regards residents in the surrounding areas as neighbors. "we are in this together and if our neighbors would like us to increase business opportunities for them and to increase the number of shops and commercial space in their immediate surrounding neighborhoods, while moving our kids back on campus and keeping that vibrancy going to hiring folks from the neighborhood, then that's what we will do." a highlight of the development plan includes the building of a new 17-story facility on north broad street that would offer 1,700 residential beds, dining and retail space. "the idea is we pull the students back into campus and we focus them on broad street so this whole corridor has more energy, more life," hart said. the expansion of on-campus housing comes at a time when the number of students living on and around campus has expanded from 2,000 to 12,000 within a decade. the development includes adding an additional floor to the existing pearson and mcgonigle structures that would increase intramural athletic facilities. the university also proposes to build a 21st century library on broad street across from baptist temple, which will be regarded as a beacon. while temple officials are constantly approached by private developers, the hart said the university plans to focus on its own plans. "a lot of the developers want us to ambler native blanche butler won the potato salad competition. butler is a frequent visitor of the café and she said she was already up for the challenge. "i was very nervous," said butler after her victory. "i have been nervous since last week. it is nice to cook for your family, but if you're cooking for a bunch of people you don't know, you have to cook your best stuff. my husband told me this morning when i was peeling the potatoes, 'you are going to win.' even then i wasn't that confident." "most of the contestants are people from ambler," said cuffey. "the community does come out to these events. we like the community to come, enjoy themselves, and have a good time." "it is so much fun because people get into the judging," said mitchell. "the judges really enjoy the food and they have all kinds of wonderful comments." on saturday the samples the judges had to chow down were wings, potato salads and brownies. contestants waited patiently as each judge took a bite of their samples. each just guarantee their development's economic flow," hart said. "we believe that we have to have a core set of facilities for our students so we are building our own housing." hart noted that the university is not going to guarantee the plans of developers. "we're willing to help them in anyway that's useful but if they truly want to do their own private development, we'll be good neighbors but we won't subsidize," she added. as the director of the west popular advisory neighborhood committee, margie pierce has seen the impact that off-campus housing for students can have on a community. pierce was happy to hear that temple would be bringing additional housing to their campus. "the developers are keying in on all these vacant (homes) down here, building homes and renting them to temple students," pierce said, noting that she received complaints from neighbors about students partying late into the night. "this is hard on people who have been here for years, who have to deal with this kind of behavior. they have no consideration for the people who have already been here." on may 13, temple will graduate the largest class in its history when 8,000 students receive their degrees. the university has seen a doubling of the graduation rate among its african- judge had a comment each time they bit into the food. unfortunately, only one sample could win. "we try to switch judges around," said cuffey. "we already have a list of people that want to be judges in october. we try to keep it pretty even with gender and race. we want to get all cultures as judges." the café owners were pleased with saturday's turnout. they are used to the number varying at their various events according to the time of the year and the weather. this past winter season's severe snowstorms kept the turnout was lighter than originally anticipated at a similar event. yet the earlier competitions were well attended. "the first one, the room was packed, and we couldn't fit anymore people through the door," mitchell said. the next challenge is in october during october fest. mitchell is already looking forward to a strong turnout then. "it is always amazing how much passion people put into their food. at the end of the day it is awesome. people meet people that they would never have met if they didn't come," she said. temple's new 20/20 framework plan under president ann weaver hart calls for new academic and recreational facilities, the addition of 2,000 residential beds, the creation of a signature building on broad street and increased green space on campus. - photo by abdul sulayman/tribune staff photographer american students. hart attributes this upsurge to the university's focus on graduation and success and getting students academic counseling early on in their academic careers. "the advantage in one's career doesn't come from some college education, it comes from a bachelor's degree," she said.
from page 1b increase occurred in just five states: pennsylvania (2,122), florida (1,527), indiana (1,496), louisiana (1,399) and alabama (1,053). "our badly broken justice system is in desperate need of an overhaul and the national criminal justice commission act will put a mechanism in place that can address that need. our current criminal justice system is both unfair and unsustainable," said laura w. murphy, director of the aclu washington legislative office. "america's minorities have been suffering under our unbalanced criminal justice system due to unfair statutes, including our disparate crack powder sentencing guidelines. judges are forced to use mandatory minimums as a one-size-fits-all solution to complex cases, forcing too many americans to spend too much time behind bars."