Lake Garda, Two days in Paradise;The Northern Italy diaries, Part III

This was our 3rd trip to the Italian Lake District; our previous trips to lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano were in the summer. The crowds were overwhelming, the narrow, winding streets clogged with traffic. In late September, the tourist season was almost over and the roads far less crowded ....more

Verona’s Magical Old Town: The Northern Italy diaries, Part II

Piazza dei SignoriGothic spires of the Scaliger TombsWe now try to do no more than 2 hours driving per day, so we took several days to drive from Venice to Fiesole where we had rented an apartment. Our first stop was Verona. We were there in the 1980’s and it was one of my all time favorite travel experiences ....more

When we returned

When we returned from our trip to Italy in October, I had so much garden work and election work to do that I decided to postpone posting my notes and photos, figuring that I’d really enjoy reliving this trip in the cold, miserable days of winter. My husband and I both want to spend our last travel years in Europe; however, we're drawn to different parts of Europe. For Rick, it’s central and eastern Europe; for me it’s southern Europe ....more

After this miserable cold winter, I so enjoyed the Philadelphia Flower Show

After this miserable cold winter, I so enjoyed the Philadelphia Flower Show. I went to Friday afternoon’s Members’ Preview which was surprisingly uncrowded. (I have been to Members’ Previews that were more crowded than the regular Flower Show.)My husband who has accompanied me to the Flower Show for many years, this year refused to go ....more

I recently learned

I recently learned that in many (perhaps most) counties in Pennsylvania committeepeople vote on all endorsements in Democratic Primaries at regularly held county conventions open to the public. This is in sharp contrast to the Phila Democratic Party's down model where decisions are made by a small group, the Party Executive Committee, and ward leaders are expected to rubber stamp the decisions.The Counties that hold nominating conventions include:Montgomery County, held on Feb. 19, 2015.Delaware County, to be held on Feb 22, 2015.Bucks County, to be held on Feb ....more

Democracy is Alive and well—in the Montgomery County Democratic Party!

The Montgomery County Democratic Committee will hold its 2015 MCDC Nominating Convention on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 7:30 PM.Montgomery County committeepeople have a vote on endorsements--unlike the Philadelphia Democratic Party where the Party Chair and other members of the executive committtee decide endorsements and expect ward leaders and committeepeople to rubber stamp their decisions. Also the Montgomery County Nominating Convention is open to the public—unlike the Philadelphia Democratic Party where decisions are made behind closed doors.In the Philadelphia Democratic Party rules, both the old rules and the 2014 rules posted at Philadelphia Democratic Committee Facebook group provide for a County Convention: ARTICLE 4 County Convention The County Convention shall consist of the officers of the County Committee, and County Committeemen from the various wards in the City and County of Philadelphia. In my almost 3 decades as a Democratic committeeperson, I have no recollection of such a convention ever being held ....more

Jim Kenney for Mayor

The field for the Democratic nomination for mayor appears settled and for me the choice is clear—former councilman Jim Kenney. I’ve always liked Jim Kenney, an intelligent guy with good policy positions, who cares about ordinary Philadelphians, and who would probably be a very good mayor. He is the candidate mostly likely to build the broad based, cross-racial coalition necessary to win and to govern ....more

The first flower of 2015!

When I trudged out to the garage today to get birdseed and a bag of icemelt, I got a wonderful surprise—-my witch hazel was in bloom! This really lifted my spirits—the start of the first serious snowfall of the year and first flower of the year on the same day. Witch Hazel can start blooming any time from mid-January to mid February ....more

The theme of today’s Reclaim MLK Canpaign really resonated with me.

TThe theme of today’s Reclaim MLK Canpaign really resonated with me. The Martin Luther King “Day of Service” always struck me as a distortion of King’s legacy. I don’t mean to denigrate traditional service oriented volunteerism—it plays an important role in our society, but King’s legacy was primarily about social change, not individual charity.I wanted to support a march that sought to reclaim King’s true legacy but I had that coming down with a cold feeling and wasn’t sure I wanted to drag my 70 year old body out into the cold ....more

Florence Cohen, Social Justice Activist and Committed Feminist

We lost Florence Cohen on January 10, 2014. Her obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer described her as a life-long civil rights and community activist. I would have added “and committed feminist.” Although the obituary cited her work as project director of the Pennsylvania Program for Women and Girl Offenders, her passionate commitment to women’s rights was not mentioned ....more