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November 04, 2015

ICYMI in November: Philly's popular pop-ups, the region's best prep gridders and school violence

While Philadelphia's sports teams are pretty much on life support as we head into December, there are plenty of opportunities for fun and enjoyment in and around the city.  

In November, we met a woman who turned tragedy into a blessing, donating 92 gallons of breast milk that would have nourished the son she lost in pregnancy. We also dreamed a little bit with news that a high-speed train may one day take us from our city to the Big Apple or Washington in just minutes. And it's home for holidays as our double-barreled Gift Guide showcases local creations that would look great under the Christmas tree, menorah or kinara.

Here is a sampling of some of November's must-read stories at PhillyVoice: 

Karma’s a bitch for lowlife Jerry Jones and his vile Dallas Cowboys

In the end, the Eagles didn’t just win a game they desperately needed; they also killed the dark forces represented by Jerry Jones and his players. The Birds kicked a bully named Greg Hardy right in the teeth. They finally silenced the incessant chatter of loudmouth Dez Bryant. And – best of all – they made Jones himself run from view.

Children’s Book World, a Haverford mainstay, endures in face of industry changes

Heather Hebert, owner of Children's Book World located at 17 Haverford Station Road in Haverford. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

Heather Hebert, manager of Haverford's Children's Book World, remembers feeling a shift in the air.

“Slowly, Borders moved in 2 miles to the east, Barnes & Noble moved in to the west, and a mile beyond that a second Borders moved in, a Zany Brainy moved in and, in a seven-year period, because of all that and Amazon, all of the independent bookstores closed," Hebert told PhillyVoice. "We were – knock on wood – the last people standing."

Proposed train would make Philly to NYC, D.C. just minutes

The federal government has awarded $27.8 million to Maryland for a potential bullet train that would get commuters from Baltimore to Washington D.C. in just 15 minutes.

But the full line proposed by the company developing the train would include Philadelphia, and mean getting from the City of Brotherly Love to the capital and New York in just double that time.

Conversations with kids: When bullying turns sexual

There’s really no way to prepare a little girl for the day when one of her peers will look at her and say, “I’m going to rape you” as though it was well …normal.

A recent incident concerning an elementary-aged loved one of mine at her after-school program served as a wake-up call for me. A peer from school who also attends the program said they were going to rape her. Although the offending child was subsequently removed from the after-school program (after some hell was raised) there hasn’t been much of an update since.

Films shot in Philadelphia fade to black amid state budget standoff

There was a time, a mere few years ago, when celebrity sightings in Center City were common.

Jeff Daniels, Megan Fox, Mark Wahlberg and Terrance Howard could be seen around town, strolling the sidewalks, sipping coffee, firing blanks at the street from atop a building at 17th and Walnut. Movies were being made in the City of Brotherly Love, and many of them weren’t even the work of hometown director M. Night Shyamalan.

This year, however, the number of major Hollywood movies filmed in Philadelphia can be counted on one hand.

Philadelphia has the worst sports teams in North America

Cheer up, Chip. You lead the franchise in Philly with the best winning percentage. (Michael Perez/AP)

The Philadelphia Phillies are an abomination that won't be good for a long time, the Sixers are in year three of tank mode, the Flyers are a disappointment, and the Eagles just lost... at home... to one of the worst teams in the NFL. None of the four Philly teams have a winning record, and two of them are arguably the worst teams in their respective sports. Of the cities with at least three franchises in the four major sports, Philadelphia has the worst teams in North America.

Does violence go unreported at Washington High? parents ask

What's going on at George Washington High School?

That's what parents want to know.

The school on Bustleton Avenue near Verree Road in the city's Bustleton neighborhood has been plagued by violence for years, but there are indications the situation has worsened since the beginning of the school year in September.

Parents say that violent assaults between students are commonplace, and their children are afraid to go to school, yet there are no Philadelphia schools on the state's list of persistently dangerous schools – a first since 2001.

Fleeting foodies: why Philly’s pop-up obsession is good for business

Philly loves food pop-ups. From bagels to beer gardens, it’s now easy to find one taking place on any given week. And it’s become blatantly evident that you needn’t be part of an exclusive underground world to attend. Now, within warehouses and shuttered schools, less orthodox dining opportunities rival the traditional brick and mortar citywide.

The top 10 high school football players in the region right now

Philadelphia and the surrounding area, including South Jersey, are bubbling with some of the best high school talent in the country. Ask anyone across the United States with a deep knowledge of sports what Philadelphia and the surrounding area is most noted for producing. They’ll most likely tell you basketball players. But over the last 10 years, that’s been changing over to the football side. And it’s beginning at the high school level.

Camden County school is first in nation to enact medical marijuana policy

Days after Governor Chris Christie signed a bill regulating medical marijuana for students with developmental disabilities, a South Jersey school at the center of a lengthy legal dispute has approved a policy providing guidelines for eligible students to consume edible medical marijuana on school grounds.

The policy, approved by the Larc School Board of Directors on Wednesday night, represents the first of its kind in the United States as proponents of medical marijuana continue to seek solutions within the larger criminal framework surrounding possession and use of cannabis. The school is in Bellmawr, Camden County.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Part 1 | Part 2

The "Christmas Creep" gets closer and closer to Halloween and Black Friday steadily becomes a maelstrom of good sales and bad behavior, shopping for gifts that your loved ones actually want gets harder and harder. The average shopper is inundated with holiday picks from major retailers, but smaller brands and more thoughtful gifts often get lost in the shuffle.

Thus, for our first Philadelphia gift guide we'll be highlighting some of our favorite local creations – books from area authors, crafts by local artisans and knick-knacks that straight up remind us of home.

Riley Cooper and Miles Austin can't be gone soon enough

On the season, Miles Austin has been targeted 28 times. He has 12 catches for 212 yards, and a TD. He will not be an Eagle in 2016, and shouldn't be one for the remainder of 2015. As for Riley Cooper, this upcoming offseason the Eagles can save $2.9 million if they cut their losses with him, which is the no-braineriest of no-brainers from the perspective of the fan base.

It's as dangerous as ever to walk Philly streets and, mostly, victims are to blame

A pedestrian crosses four lanes of moving traffic to catch the Eastbound Route 15 trolley at the intersection of Broad Street and Girard Avenue. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

While the death of a tourist hit by a Duck Boat stands among the most notable pedestrian crashes this year, it was just one of more than 1,100 reported so far this year, including 24 that resulted in fatalities.

City officials have been working for years to reduce pedestrian crashes, which surpass 1,000 reportable incidents each year. This year has been no different. The 2015 totals mark slight declines from recent figures, but they hardly constitute anomalies. Dating back to 2002, at least 30 pedestrians have been killed annually in a city routinely listed among the most walkable in the country.

High-profile, pedestrian-death cases like the duck boat accident often bring much attention to the driver, whose speed and awareness are appropriately called into question. But a Philadelphia police accident investigator says pedestrians, more often than not, bear greater responsibility in accidents by placing themselves in danger through poor decisions or simple inattention.

The Jahlil Okafor-Nerlens Noel pairing isn’t working

The Jahlil Okafor-Nerlens Noel pairing has started off, to put it bluntly, disastrously. One more time, it’s still early and bricky shooting/lack of playmaking from the perimeter players aren’t helping matters at all, but the spacing issues are apparent when you watch those two share the court. It’s awfully crowded in the paint, and the numbers back it up

On gratitude & grief: mother donates 92 gallons of breast milk following pregnancy loss

“I decided to donate Bryson’s milk and turn my tragedy into a blessing,” states Amy Anderson, from Caribou, Maine. In the fall of 2010, Anderson lost her son Bryson at 20 weeks gestation. Trusting her intuition, she disregarded her physician’s advice to “bind your breasts and take Sudafed.” Instead, she began to pump the breast milk that would have nourished Bryson.