Debella & De-Future

DebellaIMG_20140416_135926_705Loved listening to John DeBella of WMGK this afternoon hilariously talking about how he got fired years ago because his ratings were too high.  True story.

DeBella today joined Sue Serio of Fox29, Blaise Howard of MoreFM, Matt Delucia of NBC10 and Kristin Long of Tribune Broadcasting (company that owns PHL17) in giving advice to 20 college students who this afternoon received scholarships from the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia.  Lauren HightIMG_20140416_133742_555Lauren Hight (seen to the right) of Cabrini College is one of the recipients.

Insight was the main course served today to these future journalists and broadcasters.  Kristin Long read from obituaries and commencement addresses and you know what, it was good stuff.   All 5 speakers offered solid career advice and glimpses into career paths in the broadcasting business.  The event was  funny, real and thoughtful, and took place at Bala Golf Club in Philadelphia.  Nice job, Broadcast Pioneers.  And, John, you’ll always have Pittsburgh.

This just in…Wendy Wins! Woo-Hoo!

Wendy H IMG_20130604_151906_966Wendy Hamilton has won a significant award and congratulations to her and to all who voted for her.  Here’s the beginning of the press release that just came out.


Wendy Hamilton Honored by 95.7 BEN FM at Woman of the Week Awards Event

PHILADELPHIA — April 14, 2014 — SugarHouse Casino General Manager Wendy Hamilton was honored today with the “Woman Who Empowers Us” award from 95.7 BEN FM at the radio station’s annual Woman of the Week main event.


Tears and Prayers for Weston

Wes2012-12-23_18-53-47_307It’s one of those moments when you wonder what it all means.  I met a little boy and his family a little over a year ago.  His name was Weston Keeton(in the middle),  Mom, Julie, was as kind, patient and gracious as they come; as real as a good, almost overwhelmed mom is.  Julie and her husband, Adam, and their children are from Tennessee, but Julie and Weston had been living in Philadelphia for almost a third of Weston’s life.  He needed a heart transplant.  Waiting and going in and out of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia became the way of life.  Julie talked about how kind and great CHOP and all of Philadelphia had been for her family,  The Gift of Life staff was stellar.  Some Mummers from Fralinger String Band became friends of the Keetons.  Adam had to keep working in Tennessee and take care of the other kids, except for when they could all get away to be with Julie and Weston here, as Weston hoped for a matching heart.  Lots of folks were doing everything they could.  But, now, 7-year-old Weston Keeton has passed away.  I thank Weston for his smile and for the courage a little boy cannot understand but lived everyday.  May Julie, Adam and Weston’s brothers and sisters come to understand their grief and find the answer.

“Guffaw” for Great Cause

Brian Propp Joe RocksimageI had the pleasure of talking with former Philadelphia Flyer Brian Propp and with former State Senator Joe Rocks about NHS Human Services and a fundraising hockey game this Sunday at the Northeast Skate Zone.  The event is Goals for Giving and helps people with a wide range of challenges.  The entire interview airs Saturday morning at 6:30 on PHL17.  The game is Sunday afternoon at 1:30.  Among the Orange and Black greats playing in addition to the Propper: Frank Bialowas,Todd Fedoruk, Joe Watson, Bob Kelly, Andre Faust, Rob MacInnis, Dave Parro, Peter Zingoni and Ray Allison.

Preventing Heroin Addiction

Most drug addicts are good people with a bad problem.  Some of our veterans are trying to deal with this problem and we have to ask whether we are helping.  About 1 in 4 people who use heroin become addicted to it.  Most heroin available today is purer than it was in the 1980′s.  While heroin has been a problem for some time, it has taken on new dimensions in the last decade.  I spoke today for an upcoming show of PHL17′s “In Focus” with Scott Sarafini and Christie Wentz of Drug Free Pennsylvania.image001  The increased used in the last decade of prescription painkillers like Oxycontin have led to an increase in heroin use.  People hooked on painkillers are demanding purer heroin and are going to it because it is available and cheaper, about 8 to 10 dollars a hit.  The death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a reminder that addicts are folks in their 40′s and 50′s, even seniors, as well as young people.  Drug Free Pennsylvania provides free, 90-minute seminars for parents to outline the heroin and overall drug problem and prevention steps.  A place of worship or a school or a community center can arrange a seminar.  They also provide services to employers.  You can contact them at or 1-800-533-3394.  The “In Focus” program on heroin runs Saturday morning, March 8th, at 6:30.


CASAInterviewed Lori Morris and Ernestine Williams of CASA of Mercer and Burlington Counties today.  There are CASA chapters throughout the nation.  More than 900.  They are Court Appointed Special Advocates for children, helping find safe and permanent homes and situations for kids.

They could use some volunteers. They provide the training.

Check out In Focus on February 8th at 6:30 a.m. or go to their web sites, such as for more info.

2014 Fancy Brigade Order of March

The mighty Fancy Brigades tonight have selected the order in which they perform inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center on New Year’s Day.  Meeting at the Mummers Museum this evening, the drawing produced the following results for positions 1 through 11 at both the Noon and 5pm shows.

Going 1st with be the Spartans, followed by Satin Slipper 2nd, then Golden Crown 3rd.

4th will be Saturnalian, followed by Downtowners 5th, and Clevemore 6th. 7th will be S.P.Vikings, 8th will be B. M’s Shooting Stars and then Jokers 9th. Avenuers will be 10th and Second Street Shooters will be 11th.

Tickets for the Noon and 5pm shows for January 1, 2014, are available through ComcastTix.

Happy Mummering!


Let the Chip Fall Where It May

imageA moo-ving experience is underway this afternoon at Murphy Playground, 3rd & Oregon, in South Philadelphia.

The Fancy Brigade Association is holding its annual Cow Chip Bingo Festival in conjunction with the Philadelphia Recreation Department. Proceeds benefit both.

Folks await the moo-vement that will yield a tidy sum for the winner and benefit both the Recreation Department and the Brigades, which put on those great shows inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center on New Year’s Day.   imageThere are other activities for the kids right now while the adults watch a cow more closely than they ever imagined.  Just an “udder” delight on a September afternoon, courtesy your friendly local Mummers.

Grace Kelly Comes Home

Caption: US actress, Grace KELLY, posing for "Life" magazine. 1954. © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos

Caption: US actress, Grace KELLY, posing for “Life” magazine. 1954.
© Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos

James A. Michener Museum Director and CEO, Lisa Tremper Hanover, tells me Prince Albert of Monaco will be coming to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, in late October to open the exclusive Princess Grace exhibit.  The exhibit is called “From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly Beyond the Icon.”  Its only U.S. appearance is at the Michener Museum.

Hanover says the exhibit and its artifacts are “very revealing” of the “arc of a dignified life, a talented  life,”  and that it shows the late Grace Kelly as humanitarian, philanthropist, representing Monaco and as an actress.

The exhibit will run from October 28, 2013, to January 26th, 2014 at the James A. Michener Museum in Doylestown, Bucks County.

Photo provided courtesy of the Michener Museum.


IMG_20130803_132242_313It’s been a stellar weekend for members of the Philadelphia PowerPlay, having fun and working hard this weekend at Neumann University in Aston, Delaware County, just outside of Philadelphia.  This afternoon, they go into the finals of the United States Power Hockey Championships!IMG_20130803_140928_269

Regardless of the outcome, this has been another 3 days providing good entertainment, good power hockey.  There was an exciting win over a team from Michigan Saturday.  Michigan boasts consistently dominating teams every year.

IMG_20130803_142330_107But, it reminds me, too, of the individuals and families, like the Hilferty and Miller families who work hard in the league and who are also great advocates for people living with neuromuscular diseases and conditions.IMG_20130803_142800_424

One aspect of hockey that often seems to excel over other sports is the post-game lineup, in which teams that fought against each other show respect and sportsmanship to their competitors.  I always enjoy seeing that moment.IMG_20130803_141809_995



Go Philadelphia!


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