BY AMY Z. QUINN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right, these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. That’s why every week, PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you. We pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey center. Why? Because we love you!
ON THE COVER
CITY PAPER: Tom Namako on the 10,000 Men “movement,” which seems to have come and gone with the last gasps of Sylvester Johnson’s stewardship of the city police department.
More than five months after Johnson’s announcement, why can’t Mark Ensley find the 10,000 Men? Simple: The movement has been marred by declining momentum, poor communication and shoddy organization. It’s not that they’ve given up; they haven’t. But the difference between the movement at the Liacouras Center and the movement today is drastic. As Ensley said, “This is too important not to do right.”
Welcome to Philadelphia, where the “vanguards” of the program get merit badges and certificates and learn how to drill, but won’t be patrolling the streets until the weather gets better. Because nobody gets shot in the street when it’s cold out, right? So far, the entire 10,000 Men program seems to consist of plans for some kind of paramilitary Town Watch, but there’s not a lot of watching of the town. Yet they’re bragging to other cities?
About 50 people gathered at a community center on Penn Street in Chester to hear Certaine explain how Philly’s street patrols operate. He ran through an elaborate hierarchy, involving squads of 10 men, and platoons of four to five squads, and how some high-crime areas need three to four platoons to establish a presence. There are men, he said, who wait back at a home base, like a recreation center, in case the cops need to be called.
Most men nodded their heads. A few, like Walter Tomlinson, president of community group Black Men in Motion, seemed confused. It became obvious that Certaine was talking about what Philly hoped to do, but not what’s being done. Tomlinson stood up. “I thought you were going to come here and tell us what’s worked in Philly, what you guys have done that has worked in the community?”
Certaine hedged. Every community is different, he said, and Chester’s men would have to figure out their own way to flood the streets with men. Tomlinson pushed. What have the 10,000 Men done so far?
“Look,” Certaine said, “I tell my men that we’re building this airplane as we’re flying it. We don’t have all the answers.”
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: Buy a man a beer and he’ll get loaded and throw up on your carpet. Feed a man a beer — and get involved in his neighborhood — and he’ll embrace you as a member of the family and sing your praises in PW. Such is the case with Kensington’s Philadelphia Brewing Company, which is retooling itself and brewing again after the departure of Yards at the end of last year.
“All the businesses have done a lot to make this neighborhood better,” says Frank Wilson, a 38-year-old lifelong Kensington resident and happy hour fixture. “But Bill and Nancy have done more for this neighborhood than any other business could.”
“You just love us ’cause we feed you beer,” Nancy jokes to Wilson, who’s vice president of the East Kensington Neighbors Association. . . .
He stares into space for a moment before citing some of the Bartons’ accomplishments in the neighborhood: The brewery hosts the monthly East Kensington Neighbors Association meetings, they sponsor the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival, and they invite volunteers to the brewery after frequent neighborhood cleanup days.
“We feed them beer,” Nancy reiterates, downplaying their impact.
They’ve also donated beer to the Fishtown Neighbors Association, the Orianna Hill dog park, the Music Fest at Liberty Lands Park and numerous other charitable causes. They brewed pink beer for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness events, and they donated $10 from every keg to the foundation.
Woohoo! Beer For Boobies? Now that’s cause for sainthood in our book. G.W. Miller, aka Phawker’s favorite journalism prof, tells the tale of what began as a promising partnership that took Yards out of Manayunk and into prominence in the city’s once-again burgeoning brewery business. Enter the old creative/professional differences, a sniping war the likes of which usually reserved for feuding bloggers, and Yards has moved on but the Martha street brewery building is growing, changing and at once staying the same. Kinda like the Kenz, no? PBC beer should be on area taps by the end of the month.
INSIDE THE BOOK
CP: Patricio’s The Italian saves Italy from the wrath of Rodney Anonymous; gathering seeds at Bartram’s Garden; readers react to “The Terrorist and the Baby Killer,” with appropriate response from the author.
WINNER: Barack Obama! Heh-heh, just practicing.