AxisPhilly

AxisPhilly AxisPhilly is an award winning non-profit news and information organization. We produce investigative, data-driven journalism in the public interest.

Our work seeks to ensure the citizens of the Greater Philadelphia region have high quality, multidimensional news and information, transparent and accountable civic leadership and engaged communities.

Operating as usual

Former CFO of what is known today as Visit Philly used more than $200K in organization funds for personal expenses
06/05/2014
Answers emerge about a quiet exit

Former CFO of what is known today as Visit Philly used more than $200K in organization funds for personal expenses

When the chief financial officer of the nonprofit that gets tax money to promote the city left her post in 2012, there was no fanfare. Only later did the real reasons for her exit emerge, in a few lines on the group's federal tax form. Julia Bergman reports on the facts in the case.

"The problems we see with Philadelphia's teens aren't just about unemployment." Read the full commentary at AxisPhilly.o...
06/04/2014
Summertime crime

"The problems we see with Philadelphia's teens aren't just about unemployment." Read the full commentary at AxisPhilly.org

Summer is the time for property crime and Solomon Jones looks at the causes and cures of this blight on neighborhoods.

The SRC bought time when it extended its budget deadline, but did it change the real problem the School District faces?
06/03/2014
Buying time

The SRC bought time when it extended its budget deadline, but did it change the real problem the School District faces?

The School Reform Commission bought some time by delaying a vote on the district's budget. But did it change the fundamental problems the district faces. Tom Ferrick writes about the hurdles that still must be overcome.

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson set up a nonprofit organization called Peace Not Guns years ago to combat gun violence. It t...
06/02/2014
The Phantom Nonprofit

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson set up a nonprofit organization called Peace Not Guns years ago to combat gun violence. It turns out that records of the organization are nonexistent and so is it nonprofit status.

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson set up a nonprofit group called Peace Not Guns years ago to combat gun violence. It turns out that records of the organization are nonexistent and so is it nonprofit status. Carla Robinson reports on a phantom nonprofit.

Senior Writer Solomon Jones explains why #Philly's problems won't - and shouldn't be - fixed by a PA governor
05/29/2014
The limits of power

Senior Writer Solomon Jones explains why #Philly's problems won't - and shouldn't be - fixed by a PA governor

Tom Corbett and Tom Wolf will face each other in November in the race for governor. Which one is best for Philadelphia? Solomon Jones outlines the obstacles facing each man in dealing with the state's largest city.

Work-study: How an independent Catholic school in #Philly gets its students into and prepared for college
05/28/2014
How Cristo Rey makes it work

Work-study: How an independent Catholic school in #Philly gets its students into and prepared for college

Cristo Rey is an independent Catholic school new to Philadelphia, but its mix of work and school has proven successful in other cities. Andrew Zaleski reports on the local Cristo Rey experiment.

Corbett's access to money, combined w this strategy, could resurrect his chances for re-election. Find out what it is
05/27/2014
Attack of the Giant Cockroaches

Corbett's access to money, combined w this strategy, could resurrect his chances for re-election. Find out what it is

Gov. Corbett has a problem. He is disliked by three out of four voters. What can he do to save himself? Bring on the cockroaches. Tom Ferrick on the power of negative ads.

Tom Buckley and Alfred Zaher bought a house, adopted two children, Liam, 12, and Andrew, 14. Now, after 33 years of bein...
05/23/2014
Gay marriage comes to Pennsylvania

Tom Buckley and Alfred Zaher bought a house, adopted two children, Liam, 12, and Andrew, 14. Now, after 33 years of being together, they are getting married.

Gay marriage became legal in Pennsylvania this week, thanks to a ruling by a federal judge. Julia Bergman writes about a same-sex couple who were among the first in line to get a license at City Hall.

Is the city making it easy for voters who do not speak English to vote?
05/21/2014
Immigrants and voting

Is the city making it easy for voters who do not speak English to vote?

Is the city making it easy for voters who do not speak English to vote? An Asian-American group has complained it does not. Julia Bergman visited a polling place in Chinatown on Election Day that does have bilingual poll workers.

New day at the Convention Center: How the center's board faced down Ed Coryell
05/20/2014
New day at the Convention Center

New day at the Convention Center: How the center's board faced down Ed Coryell

The most amazing thing about what happened this month at the Convention Center is that it happened at all. Tom Ferrick writes about the surprising turn of events.

Los nuevos Americanos: Contributing reporter Natalie Pompillio examines the lives of Mexican Americans in South #Philly
05/19/2014
Los nuevos Americanos

Los nuevos Americanos: Contributing reporter Natalie Pompillio examines the lives of Mexican Americans in South #Philly

Work, family and religion are the touchstones for a family of Mexicans who live in South Philadelphia, which is now home to most of the city's Mexicans. These immigrants are settling in to their neighborhood, raising families and opening businesses. Natalie Pompillio reports on these new Americans.

Who can fire up the black community in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race this year?
05/15/2014
Who can light the fire?

Who can fire up the black community in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race this year?

Who can fire up the black community in this year's gubernatorial race? Solomon Jones covers a debate among the four Democrats seeking to run against Gov. Corbett and comes away wondering if any of them can.

"If money talks in politics, then Tom Wolf has been shouting for the last four months."
05/14/2014
The money games

"If money talks in politics, then Tom Wolf has been shouting for the last four months."

The four Democratic candidate for governor have spent $30 million so far during the primary campaign, with nearly 60 percent of the dollars going to buy TV time for their political ads. Tom Ferrick examines the spending -- and the big givers -- in advance of the May 20 Primary Election.

Instead of in the black, Pennsylvania will likely end its fiscal year w a deficit around $800 million. Here's why
05/12/2014
Storm clouds gather

Instead of in the black, Pennsylvania will likely end its fiscal year w a deficit around $800 million. Here's why

Gov. Corbett's hopes for a gentle spring are being dashed by a dose of reality. State revenues are falling. A deficit looms. He may have to make deep cuts in the state budget. Tom Ferrick examines the governor's dilemma.

Was Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf's failure to take public stand against racism when given the opportunity...
05/07/2014
Race and politics

Was Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf's failure to take public stand against racism when given the opportunity a failure in leadership?

Rob McCord has aired an ad criticizing Tom Wolf, his opponent for the Democratic nomination for governor, of acting improperly by supporting a man who was a racist. Solomon Jones examines the case and says that Wolf should stand up and address the issues raised by the ad.

Would a Democratic-controlled Senate and a Republican-controlled House serve PA well?
05/06/2014
Getting to “yes” in Harrisburg

Would a Democratic-controlled Senate and a Republican-controlled House serve PA well?

If a Democrat beats Gov. Tom Corbett, how will he or she get their agenda through a conservative, Republican-controlled legislature? As Peter Durantine writes, it won't be easy but it will help if the governor uses the playbook written by Gov. Ed Rendell. A

The Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania governor have promised to deliver more funds for #Philly schools. Why it's ea...
05/05/2014
A promising situation

The Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania governor have promised to deliver more funds for #Philly schools. Why it's easier said than done

The four Democratic candidates for governor outdid themselves in promising more, more, more for public education if they are elected. As Tom Ferrick explains, promising is the easy part when it comes to the difficult and expensive issues surrounding state support for education.

Contributing reporter Carla Robinson explores big changes in Northeast Philadelphia and its burgeoning immigrant communi...
05/03/2014
Eight miles

Contributing reporter Carla Robinson explores big changes in Northeast Philadelphia and its burgeoning immigrant community

With Roosevelt Boulevard as its spine, an eight-mile stretch of Northeast Philadelphia from Oxford Circle to Somerton is home to an increasing number of immigrants. Carla Robinson explores the changes brought by this influx of new residents to the city.

Did Pennsylvania NAACP branch president, Jerry Mondesire, mishandle the local chapter's finances?
05/02/2014
NAACP members sue for records

Did Pennsylvania NAACP branch president, Jerry Mondesire, mishandle the local chapter's finances?

The board members have gone to court to get details of spending by the Next Generation CDC, a nonprofit that is at the center of the dispute involving NAACP President Jerry Mondesire.

Why Allyson Schwartz’s dependence on the #AffordableCareAct as a campaign linchpin is so risky
05/01/2014
The ups and down of Obamacare

Why Allyson Schwartz’s dependence on the #AffordableCareAct as a campaign linchpin is so risky

Beware of politicians taking credit for Obamacare. As Solomon Jones reports, many support the new health care system, but some are getting tangled in its red tape.

On education, Corbett and his administration has a “pro-choice” agenda while punishing districts that pursue that path b...
04/29/2014
Ending the hypocrisy on charters

On education, Corbett and his administration has a “pro-choice” agenda while punishing districts that pursue that path by choosing charters

The Corbett administration is

#Philly has become a hub for shale oil shipped from the west. Are the tankers used to transport the oil safe?
04/23/2014
Danger on the rails: outdated tankers carrying crude oil

#Philly has become a hub for shale oil shipped from the west. Are the tankers used to transport the oil safe?

Philadelphia is becoming a hub for shale oil shipped from the west, but many of the tankers used are outdated and prone to puncture in accidents and derailments. Isaiah Thompson reports on the tankers known as DOT-111s.

Frack, baby, frack: PA politicians have rushed to embrace gas drilling to extract tax revenue for the state
04/22/2014
Frack, baby, frack

Frack, baby, frack: PA politicians have rushed to embrace gas drilling to extract tax revenue for the state

Remember when fracking was a bad name? Now, mainstream politicians are embraced the idea of gas drilling because it can be a tax bonanza for the state. Tom Ferrick explains the sea change in thinking about drilling.

Temple University has ambitious plans to become a more attractive destination school. How will the expansion impact the ...
04/21/2014
Overlooked no more

Temple University has ambitious plans to become a more attractive destination school. How will the expansion impact the surrounding neighborhoods?

Temple University has ambitious plans to increase its profile, not only locally but also across the nation. The school on North Board Street is in the midst of an expansion and remake of its campus -- and its image. Joseph Cranney and Evan Cross report on the school's plans and how they impact the s…

04/18/2014

City of Philadelphia releases detailed information on all of the firms it had professional services contracts w last year. Read the full story at http://axs.ph/Qq0JKe

A look at per pupil spending in Pennsylvania finds a wide gap between those at the top and bottom
04/17/2014
The haves vs. the have nots

A look at per pupil spending in Pennsylvania finds a wide gap between those at the top and bottom

An examination of per pupil spending in Pennsylvania finds a wide gap between those at the top and those at the bottom. One surprise: Philadelphia is not anywhere near the bottom. Julia Bergman has the details.

04/16/2014
The Land Bank

#Philly's Land Bank aims to streamline development, while creating affordable housing. Will those goals be met? Watch the video, and read the full commentary at http://axisphilly.org/article/enter-the-land-bank/

Constance Morrow was priced out of Northern Liberties. Now she's working with Jill Feldstein and the Women's Community Revitalization Project to make sure th...

#Philly has 26,000 properties that have racked up 10 yrs+ of delinquent tax bills. Is this a problem or opportunity?
04/15/2014
The art of the possible

#Philly has 26,000 properties that have racked up 10 yrs+ of delinquent tax bills. Is this a problem or opportunity?

The new Land Bank offers the opportunity for Philadelphia to reverse neighborhood decline by assembling land into tracts suitable for development. Tom Ferrick looks at the history -- and the possible future -- of abandoned property in the city.

Gratz High School was out of control when it was handed over to Mastery Charter to operate. How are its students doing n...
04/14/2014
Making peace at Gratz

Gratz High School was out of control when it was handed over to Mastery Charter to operate. How are its students doing now?

Gratz High School was out of control when the School District handed it over to Mastery Charter to operate. Since Mastery took over the climate at the school has improved, so has academic performance. Connie Langland examines how Mastery made it work Gratz.

#BREAKINGNEWS: The Suit Corner, at 300 Market St., engulfed in flames
04/09/2014
Breaking News: The Suit Corner Fire

#BREAKINGNEWS: The Suit Corner, at 300 Market St., engulfed in flames

Store employees were whisked away to be interviewed at the ATF in what some are already calling a suspicious fire at The Suit Corner, companion store to the recently collapsed Shirt Corner Plus. Solomon Jones reports.

Here are all the reasons why Democratic nomination frontrunner, Tom Wolf, has a good chance in beating Governor Corbett
04/08/2014
Over before it starts

Here are all the reasons why Democratic nomination frontrunner, Tom Wolf, has a good chance in beating Governor Corbett

It’s odd how the race for the Democratic nomination for governor has ended before it ever really began. Tom Ferrick examines the contest as of today and how it impacts Gov. Corbett.

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One week from today, the Ronstadt Generations return to the Trinity Spotlight Concert Series in Berwyn, PA. Join us on Saturday, July 8th from 7-9 PM, for a tribute concert to the life and music of founding band member Michael J. Ronstadt (younger brother of musician Linda Ronstadt). Representing five generations in North America, Ronstadt Generations (now called Ronstadt Brothers) continues the family’s musical traditions. Started by Michael J. and his sons, Michael Gilbert and Petie (multi-instrumentalists and solo performers in their own right), they present an exciting repertoire that preserves the traditional Southwestern and Mexican songs of their heritage while offering innovative original material that stretches the boundaries of folk, blues, jazz and beyond. Local friends and musicians joining the Generations on stage include singer-songwriter Craig Bickhardt and more. There is no charge for admission but a free will offering is recommended. All are welcome. Please join us for a show not to be missed! Trinity Presbyterian Church is located on Berwyn Avenue, 1 block south of Route 30 (Lancaster Pike) in Berwyn, PA. Parking is free. The GPS address for the main church parking lot is 51 Waterloo Ave, Berwyn PA, 19312. The church is one block from the Berwyn train station (Septa's Paoli-Thorndale line). Like us at https://www.facebook.com/TrinitySpotlightConcerts and sign up for our mailing list at http://eepurl.com/bXAeUD #ronstadtgenerations #livemusic #chestercountypa #berwynpa #trinityspotlightconcerts #trinityberwyn #ronstadtbrothers