The Leonard Lopate Show

How the War on Drugs Criminalizes Entire Neighborhoods

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Alice Goffman spent six years living in a neighborhood in Philadelphia marked by the pervasive police state from The War on Drugs, revealing its pernicious effects.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Reusing, Recycling, and Reinventing Art

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

At a 3.5 acre construction, demolition, and manufacturing waste recycling facility in Philadelphia, an artist-in-residence program was born. 

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The Takeaway

DOJ: Philly Police Shoot Locals Nearly Once a Week

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The results of a DOJ investigation into the Philadelphia Police Department found that officers are shooting at citizens frequently and not receiving adequate training. 


The Sporkful

This Is Your Brain On Cheesesteak

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sporkful host Dan Pashman feasts on Philly's most iconic foods, then brings samples to a scientist to find out what makes greasy treats like cheesesteak and scrapple so irresistible.


The Reason in the Riot

Friday, September 19, 2014

With the American History Guys


The Takeaway

Philly Mayor: America is Broken & Needs Fixing

Monday, June 23, 2014

This past weekend, Dallas played host to hundreds of mayors from around the nation. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was among those in attendance. He weighs in on the challenges facing his city, and the troubling divides plaguing the nation.


Life of the Law

A Criminal Debt

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

It’s not unusual at all to leave prison anywhere across the country owing fees, fines, or other costs to the local court. The city of Philadelphia alone is trying to collect some $1.5 billion in judicial debt owed back to days of the Nixon Administrati...


The Leonard Lopate Show

“Let the Fire Burn”

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Filmmaker Jason Osder talks about his documentary “Let the Fire Burn,” about the catastrophic 1985 police bombing of the radical group MOVE in Philadelphia. The bomb set off a fire, and as men, women, and children fled the building, a spectacular firefight with the police ensued — broadcast on live TV. Eleven people died and 61 homes burned to the ground. “Let the Fire Burn” is playing at Film Forum through October 15.

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The Takeaway

Back To School in Philadelphia, Minus the Budget

Monday, September 09, 2013

Today is the first day of school in Philadelphia, which is facing some of the nation's worst educational budget cuts. Karen Thomas is principal of Cook-Wissahickon Elementary, which has lost four full-time staff members. Robin Dominick is the parent of two children at Powell Elementary, which will see its student body increase by nearly 20 percent. Charles Zogby, Budget Secretary for Pennsylvania Gov.Tom Corbett, weighs in on what the government is doing amidst the budgetary crisis.

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The Takeaway

Philadelphia Schools to Open On Schedule Despite Financial Woes

Monday, August 19, 2013

Until recently, it was unclear whether the Philadelphia school system would be able to open its doors in September. The superintendent of Philadelphia city schools said he would need $50 million to meet the minimum staff requirements needed to safely operate schools. Education reporter for our partner WHYY in Philadelphia, Kevin McCorry, joins The Takeaway to explain the school's financial crisis and how the city got there. 


The Takeaway

Philadelphia Building Collapse: 6 Dead, 14 Injured

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Six people were killed and 14 injured an after a Salvation Army thrift store building collapsed in central Philadelphia yesterday. A neighboring building was in the process of being demolished, when one of its walls suddenly gave way, sending bricks, wood, concrete, and cinder blocks onto the Salvation Army store. Elizabeth Fiedler, WHYY reporter, explains.



Planet Opera: Philadelphia for Operavores

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

If you stroll down Philadelphia’s Broad Street, one of the city’s grand thoroughfares, you will notice that one prime section, not far from City Hall, is known as the Walk of Fame. It honors illustrious Philadelphians in the arts with their names in stars on the pavement. This is a positive indication of the values of this historic cradle of the American Republic.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

That Changing Philly Accent

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Do people make fun of you for how you say "water"? You may be from Philly! William Labov, professor of linguistics at University of Pennsylvania, and Josef Fruehwald, PhD candidate, discuss the study they co-authored on how Philadelphians' speech patterns and accents have changed over the past century, titled One Hundred Years of Sound Change in Philadelphia: Linear Incrementation, Reversal, and Reanalysis


Years of Sound Change in Philadelphia: Linear Incrementation, Reversal, and 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Rutgers Update; Support for Sick Friends; Hillary Last Week

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Rutgers officials have announced that the school will be reviewing tapes of team practice sessions looking for other incidents of coaching abuse. Hear about the latest developments in the athletics scandal. Plus: reading into Hillary Clinton’s speeches looking for 2016; Reverend Erick Salgado on his bid to be the Democratic candidate for mayor; Letty Cottin Pogrebin talks about her new book about how to be a good friend to a friend who is ill, and what her experience with breast cancer taught her; and a new study on the evolution of the Philadelphia accent.

The Takeaway

A City's Comeback: Lessons from Philadelphia

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

As Detroit grapples with financial instability, what lessons can the Michigan metropolis learn from other American cities that have dealt with insolvency? Beset by a declining tax base, sky-high union contracts and rampant financial mismanagement, the City of Brotherly Love barely escaped bankruptcy in the early 1990s. Dave Davies, senior reporter for WHYY, discusses the city's fiscal demise and recovery. 


Transportation Nation

Philadelphia Aggressively Removes Abandoned Bikes

Friday, August 03, 2012

Abandoned bike removal in Philadelphia. (Photo by Emma Lee for WHYY's NewsWorks)

In stark contrast to bike removal tactics in New York City, Philadelphia just completed an annual proactive sweep of abandoned bicycles this week. As WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports from his bike snipping ride-along with city authorities:

"A power grinder can slide through a bike lock like a hot knife through butter. It takes about 30 seconds to liberate an abandoned bike and throw it in the back of a truck."

The sweep netted 65 bikes that were donated to local charities. New York City, despite its larger size and cycling population, has removed just 62 bicycles in 2012. Those bikes are recycled as scrap metal generally. TN readers photographed and mapped more than 500 allegedly abandoned bikes in NYC.

Maybe the difference is a champion in city hall. Aaron Ritz of the Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities just happens to be a bike lover who knows how to wield his power tools. He tells WHYY:

"When there's a wheel stolen, or it's vandalized, that ticks me off," said Ritz, an amateur bike racer and former mechanic. "But when it's abandoned, it's good to get them off the street. It's pleasing to have tidy space. Like cleaning up your room."

Read the full piece about Philadelphia's removal program at WHYY's NewsWorks including a short slideshow of great pics and follow up on how bikes are recycled then sold. There's even one pic of Crimmins taking a turn at the grinder, sparks flying and all.

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The Takeaway

Trayvon Martin Story Echoed in New Play

Friday, April 13, 2012

The new play Slip/Shot opens tonight in Philadelphia. The play is set in 1962, at Florida State University in Tallahassee, and centers on the case of a 17-year-old African-American boy. The boy is unarmed, walking home from his girlfriend's late at night, when he is shot and killed by a white security guard. The local sheriff declines to press charges, and the security guard walks free. The story of Slip/Shot directly parallels the Trayvon Martin case, but playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger started working on the play months before the world had ever heard of Trayvon or George Zimmerman. And while Slip/Shot is set in the midst of the civil rights movement, its themes easily resonate today.

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Dr. Dog: In Studio

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog is poised to release a brand new record of folk-inspired psychedelic rock, called “Be The Void.” The band joins us live in studio with a preview.

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The Takeaway

Death Sentence Dropped for Former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal

Thursday, December 08, 2011

He has been described as "the world's most famous death-row inmate," but that description is no longer true. On Wednesday, prosecutors in Philadelphia said they were dropping the state's efforts to execute former Black Panther and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. His sentence will be converted to life in prison, without parole. District Attorney Seth Williams said it was "time to put the case to rest" for the city of Philadelphia. It was 30 years ago this week that Mumia Abu-Jamal, former journalist, was arrested for shooting a police officer Daniel Faulkner.

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The Takeaway

Irene Leaves Cities Flooded In Its Wake

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene left neighborhoods, towns and cities flooded along the eastern seaboard. Philadelphia was one of the worst hit in terms of floods, with bodies of water like the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers climbing to ten feet or more above normal levels. States like New Jersey and Vermont are also experiencing Irene-triggered floods.