Thank you Veterans and to the Fallen and the their families

 U.S. FlagThis weekend we should pause to honor the men and women who have died in service to our nation.  A few days ago at Philadelphia City Hall, I took part in a ceremony to thank all veterans. Here’s a brief comment on all who have served.

http://phl17.com/2014/05/24/its-time-steve-highsmith-at-philadelphia-city-hall-on-veterans/#axzz32d4iTLQt

Less Government, More Jobs and College Opportunity

JoshShapiroimageI speak with Montgomery County Commission Chair Josh Shapiro Saturday morning at 6:30 on PHL17 about  a new plan to help businesses grow in Montco.Ann-Thereseimage

And, I talk with Ann-Therese Ortiz, of Philadelphia Futures, about their programs to prepare young people for success in college.

“In Focus” is a long-running public affairs show on PHL17.

“First Sunday” today at Mummers Museum

TheIMG_6035 1st “First Sunday” event takes place this afternoon at the Mummers Museum. It all starts at 1pm. There’s an historical lecture and then the great big sounds of the New Sound Brass Band!

Schools and Personal Courage

On tomorrow (Saturday) morning’s “In Focus” at 6:30 a.m. on PHL17, we hear fromHelenGymimage Helen Gym, one of the leading grass roots advocates for quality public education, as she assesses where the Philadelphia School District is now and where it is headed.KarenandKathyimage

Plus, we hear the story of Karen Delaney Shideleff, who is living with ALS and fighting for every person who lives with the disease.

“In Focus” is a long-running, 30-minute public affairs program airing on PHl17, Philadelphia.

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.

SUGARHOUSE CASINO GENERAL MANAGER WINS “WOMAN WHO EMPOWERS US” AWARD

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 straighttalkforparents.org or 1-800-533-3394.  The “In Focus” program on heroin runs Saturday morning, March 8th, at 6:30.

CASA

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 http://www.casamercer.org for more info.

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