Archive: February, 2010
Matrix Fights, organized by the Migliarese Brothers of Balance Studios and Jimmy Binns Jr., will host its first card this Saturday night. Headlining: Daddis Fight Camp muay thai trainer Matt Makowski who takes on Levon Maynard of Virginia Beach, VA. But the late addition of Brock Lesners training partner Cole Konrad to the card raises the stakes significantly.
This event is important for a couple of reasons, aside from the fact that any quality fight within city limits maintains Phillys momentum towards a valid local MMA scene. It has the unique distinction of pulling a real fight venue The Arena, formally the New Alhambra, which regularly host boxing and muay thai matches as well as pro-wrestling (which we degrade in high-brow manor with an italicized pro). The card will garner national and possibly international attention because of Konrad's addition to the lineup. The No. 1 unsigned MMA prospect is a lock (baring a spectacular chumping or doping conviction) to move on to more notable promotions (Bellator and Dream have been mentioned). Hell be fighting Brazilian jiu jitsu purple belt Joel Wyatt. This will give Matrix some claim as a local launching pad, although Konrad is neither local he fights out of Minnesota, and this is his second fight he made his pro debut in North Dakota in January. Regardless, developing new talent for higher profile promotions is something many local organizers claim as their role in this still murky middle-world of local MMA. If Brock Lesner shows up to the event, as he did at Konrads debut, you can bet Matrix will be on the national radar, representing Philadelphia MMA.
Matrix doesnt have their distinction yet and still needs to put the show together with professional execution. The risk of having all their attention hobbled by low-rent antics or wise-guy shenanigans- something the local scene has been conspicuously absent of- is still very real.
The event offers some generous pre and post-fight activities. The weighins and press conference will be a free event tonight at Zee Bar, Front and Spring Garden Streets, from 7 to 9 p.m. And the after party will get a little blue at Delilahs, next to Zee Bar at Front and Spring Garden Streets, Saturday night from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.(show your Matrix ticket for free admission).
The fights go down at The Arena, 7 West Ritner Street. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; fights start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets available at the door, $35-$40.
Here is the full card, with links to the fighters official MixedMartialArts.com statistics:
Matt Makowski vs Levon Maynard
Joel Wyatt vs Cole Konrad
Aaron Meisner vs Francios Ambang
Will Martinez, Jr. vs Mitch Lyons
Julio Rosario vs Steven Baker
Aaron Hicks vs Jimmy Cerra
Luis Vasquez vs Nah-Shon Burrell
Daniel Matala vs Michael Piekarski
Joe Difranco vs Ryan Gunning
Matthew Friedeborn vs Mike Manion
A tipster alerted us this evening to the unfortunate fact that the totally super-awesome Big Ass Beer Fest (some 50 craft brews for $35 bucks), scheduled for March 27 at the Sheraton on Race and 17th, has been canceled.
Why, you ask? According to the event's Web site:
We regret to inform you that this event has been canceled. The hotel's bartender's union WILL NOT allow brewery reps to pour their products and they want way too much money to work the event without us raising the ticket prices past what we feel is fair for a selection of beers that we could fit into the space available.
The bartender's union will not allow brewery reps to pour their products, and wanted too much money to work the event. I sent an email to the event organizers, and will try to get a hold of the union reps this weekend/Monday for comment. But yeah, seems pretty ridiculous, no?
The event organizers say they'll be back next year in a more accommodating venue.
Old Foxwoods' new man, Steve Wynn, *thrilled* at proximity of Jews, Italians, and Vietnamese to his casino
Philadelphia, meet Steve Wynn, the new prospective financier of the former, flailing Foxwoods casino.
He's charming; he's funny; he's unnaturally tan; and he's just absolutely, totally thrilled at how close his new casino venture is to "every conceivable stripe of ethnic group that likes to shoot craps and gamble," notably: Jews, Italians, and Vietnamese.
So he remarked in a conference call yesterday, in which he assured stockholders and financial experts that his casino will make money. Wynn seemed to place special emphasis on the proximity (four blocks!) of his casino to a Vietnamese neighborhood.
That might not sit so well with activists for Philadelphia's Asian-American communities, who have highlighted problem and pathological gambling as a particularly serious problem, and who accuse the gambling industry of engaging in the predatory luring of gamblers, especially gamblers of Asian descent.
But hey as a Jew myself, I say it's nice to be in the spotlight or is cross-hairs a better word?
"On the other side of the bridge is Cherry Hill, New Jersey, all full of good ol' ... my old friends Italians and Jews and every conceivable stripe of ethnic group that love to shoot crap and gamble. And they're ten minutes away in their cars or in a bus from my casino on the Delaware river. I love the proximity to these people. I love the proximity to the Vietnamese neighborhood. And I'm gonna put in a beautiful Vietnamese restaurant for them. I'm going to build a very pretty place ... that is perfectly responsive to that market."
In a Capitol Wire piece published earlier this week, State Rep. Dwight Evans makes a fairly scary prediction about the future lack of state funding for state-related universities, including Temple University and Lincoln University:
After Penn State President Dr. Graham Spanier, University of Pittsburgh President Mark Nordenberg, Temple President Ann Weaver Hart and Lincoln President Dr. Ivory Nelson expressed mostly gratitude for what they received from the state this fiscal year and what theyre proposed to get next year, [House Appropriations] Committee Chairman Dwight Evans, D-Philadelphia, told them to prepare for a complete cut in the future. Although Evans did not indicate university funding would be affected next fiscal year, he said state funding could be eliminated entirely in subsequent years.
Im surprised youre receiving any funding at this particular point, he said. The state system has always been there. Not that I want to be gloom and doom, but I think its a matter of time. Its a matter of time that you may not be receiving any appropriation from this state.
Evans said its not anybodys particular fault, its where we are today.
(He thinks schools are safe for now because of stimulus dollars.) As it stands, Temple will get $165 million from Gov. Rendell's budget for the next fiscal year, and Lincoln will get $14 million.
If you missed yesterday's health care "Summit," you missed quite a show.
Tuning in at any one point, the summit might have sounded intolerably, mind-bogglingly boring but that was part of what made it so fascinating. President Obama presiding, Democrats and, more importantly, Republicans were forced to discuss the president's health care bill on its merits, rather than being able to spit half-truths (or outright falsehoods, a la "death panels") in private.
And whatever you think of the president's proposal, I think the pres gets a nod for what was nothing less than a herculean display of endurance, fielding (and, often, swatting down like flies) Republican attacks on his plan and their claims to have something better to offer.
I'm putting on my columnists hat: they don't. Republican leadership (I won't be so rash as to write off the entire party) does not care about covering the uninsured.
They don't care now, they didn't care for the last ten years, and they aren't going to care six months from now if, as they propose, the congress scraps the health care bill and starts anew.
The president's bill like the bills proposed in the House and Senate is insufficient and problematic. But it's better than what we have now, and it opens the door to more and better reform in the future. Most importantly, it will make coverage possible for millions of people who can't get it now, among them the unlucky and sick and we the healthy have a special responsibility to those people.
The Democrats should proceed with "reconciliation," - the rather slyly-named procedure that would allow them to pass the president's bill, or something like it, with a simple majority.
And in anticipation of the hue and cry that this is somehow a travesty of democracy (so, by that token, is the fact that another mere procedure - the filibuster - has held the legislative process hostage), I'd point out that:
- COBRA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which allows employees who lose coverage the right to continue group benefits for a limited time . . . was enacted through reconciliation.
- A Major expansion of Medicaid in 1997 was done through reconciliation.
- CHIP, the very popular Children's Health Insurance Program was passed through reconciliation.
- And it's not just the Democrats who've used it: Republicans used reconciliation to pass . . . the Bush tax cuts.
Lara Coleman here with your morning fix:
New York Governor David Paterson is facing pressure to resign after revelations of his involvement in a domestic assault case involving an aide.
A luxury Costa Europa cruise ship crashed into a pier this morning as it attempted to dock in Al-Arish, Egypt. So far, at least three crew deaths have been confirmed.
California wants to declare the first week of March a "cuss free week." This resolution is sponsored by the Los Angeles-area Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino and was passed by voice vote today - the state Senate vote will vote on it Monday. It's not like California has any more pressing problems to attend to.
Yardley, Pa. police busted a party organized by teenagers at a local community center because it was too crowded. However, the teens believe it was the party's theme and dress - Playboy bunnies - that made The Man angry.
An iceberg the size of Luxembourg hit another glacier off Antarctica, which loosened another massive block of ice - these two drifting icebergs could lower the levels of oxygen in the oceans, endangering ocean life. Global warming is still a fraud, because it's snowing outside. Duh.
An Amtrak train hit and killed two teenage girls just nine miles from 30th Street Station yesterday morning, as they tried to cross the tracks. Police are investigating whether the deaths were accidents or suicides.
France's National Assembly approved a proposal to add "psychological violence" to a law against physical violence and abuse, despite questions of the new addition's specifications.
Stephen Wynn, a Las Vegas casino developer, has signed a letter of intent to take over the Foxwoods casino project.
More than 700,000 homes in the Northeast have lost power.
I've found myself thinking quite a bit lately about the Senate and its arcane and undemocratic rules, and how a super-minority is essentially able to hold up and stymie any substantive progressive. For instance, health care. Scott Brown wins an election in Massachusetts, and suddenly it takes a herculean task to even bring a much-needed, long-overdue up-or-down vote to the Senate floor. Or there's that son of a bitch Richard Shelby of Alabama, who placed a hold on hundreds of appointments to try to score his home state some sweet, sweet pork.
And now, another example: Sen. Jim Bunning, a former baseball player who is so incredily stupid that even the Republicans of Kentucky don't want him any more, is single-handedly blocking a 30-day extension of unemployment benefits for 1.2 million Americans.
All. By. Himself.
Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky, is single-handedly blocking Senate action needed to prevent an estimated 1.2 million American workers from suddenly losing their unemployment benefits next month.
As Democratic senators asked again and again for unanimous consent for a vote on a 30-day extension Thursday night, Bunning refused to go along.
And when Sen. Jeff Merkely (D-Ore.) begged him to drop his objection, Politico reports, Bunning replied: "Tough shit."
Bunning says he doesn't oppose extending benefits -- he just doesn't want the money that's required added to the deficit. He proposes paying for the 30-day extension with stimulus funds. The Senate's GOP leadership did not support him in his objections.
And at one point during the debate, which dragged on till nearly midnight, Bunning complained of missing a basketball game.
It's one thing to debate the propriety of the filibuster. Indeed, perhaps some changes should require extraordinary measures (but hell, even Robert Bork got an up or down vote; he just lost). But the fact that one guy a backbencher on a minority party, no less is able to fuck over more than 1 million Americans by himself, when even his own party doesn't agree to his objections that's just nuts.
In this week's A Million Stories, we explored the messy Webcam scandal that's going down at Lower Merion School District. The district insists that it only peered through students' Webcams in order to find lost or stolen laptops, and did so using a security software called LANrev. Insanely enough, Douglas Young, the district's spokesperson, told us that it wasn't the only school district using such software: "The software feature isn't just utilized in this school district," says Young. "It's utilized by other school districts and organizations." (He said he couldn't name any offhand.)
Dude wasn't kidding. Young might be onto something. In the thoroughly creepy clip above from the PBS documentary Digital Nation, the assistant principal of Bronx's middle school IS 339, Daniel Ackerman, shows exactly how he can watch kids through their Webcams what software or application he does it with, though, is unclear. Just wait for the part where he says, "They don't even realize that we're watching." Oy. Also: "I always like to mess with them and take their [Photo Booth] picture."
Now, it's unclear if Ackerman watches students from their homes, which is what Lower Merion is accused of doing, but still the students don't even realize he's watching them? Seriously, he thought that was OK? Be sure to watch this clip on PBS' site, too (it's under part four). Not only is the doc great in general, but the reporter (whose face is obscured in the YouTube video) has an absolutely stunned, unamused look on her face as Ackerman is laughing about the whole thing.
UPDATE: I wasn't clear enough earlier about whether or not Ackerman was using LANrev to view these students indeed, from this clip, it's impossible to know.
RELATED: Inky: Laptop family lives in Main Line mansion, doesnt like to pay the power bill
RELATED: So, um, did the kid make it up?
RELATED: Breaking: Lower Merion School District admits it's used Webcam "security feature" more than once
Right there, in the pizza sauce!
When Mary Louise Salerno saw Jesus Christ in a bucket of pizza sauce, her instinct was not to alert the media or even to tell many friends.
She did not want people descending on her family's West Scranton pizzeria, and she did not want to invite critics or doubters of what she felt was a clear sign.
"To us, it was something special," Ms. Salerno, 65, of Old Forge said. "God smiled on us that day."
(h/t to Phawker)
- Ask A Man-About-Town
- Award Tour
- Bad Idea Factory
- Below the Curve
- Brian Hickey
- Budget Fuss
- City Council
- City Hall
- CP Abroad
- CP in the Community
- Criminal Justice System
- Day Tripper
- Death and Taxes
- Delaware River
- Dubious Distinction
- End of Days
- Film Fest
- Financial Meltdown
- Free Library
- Gay Stuff
- Get Lit
- Hall Monitor
- Health Care
- Hello, Kitty
- Ice Cubes
- In Memoriam
- Marcellus Shale
- MUST READ
- Mysterious Mysteries
- Non Sequitur
- PA politics 2010
- Parking Wars
- Parks and Recreation
- People Send Us This Stuff
- Philadelphia Police
- Philadelphia Union
- Philly From Scratch
- philly madness
- President Obama
- Print Edition
- Readers Write
- Real Estate
- Rock Bottom
- Screwing Philly
- So Lush
- Sporting Life
- Sports Complex
- State Politicians
- State Politics
- Street Art
- Stuff We Like
- Taxi Drivers
- Tech Fetish
- The Budget Crisis
- The City Paper
- The CLOG
- The Human Condition
- The Mayor
- The Phightin Phils
- The World
- Things that make you go hm
- Tinfoil Hats Off
- Under the Table
- Under the Tables
- Urban Development
- Urban Planning
- urban wildlife
- Video Poker
- We Call Shenanigans
- Web Junk
- Weekend Omnibus
- White House
- What We've Found
- Women's Issues
- Flyered Up!
- How 'Bout That Weather?
- it's always sunny in philadelphia
- get out
- 10-track mind
- Bruce Being Bruce
- Gigantic Surprises
- Hello Canary
- Hello Puppy
- get lost
- Inside The Fishbowl
- Library Closings
- Local Support
- Night Moves
- Skeeze Police
- State Politicians Screwing Philly
- That's a cool stencil!
- Things We See
- This Week
- This Week in Oates
- University City
- What we don't heart
- what we heart
- Feeling Guilty
- Broke in Philly
- Dear Paper Doll
- Do A Good Thing
- Film Fest Schism
- G20-20 Vision
- Great American Heroes
- Pearl Jam Week
- Stars of the Photostream
- Lower Merion Webcam-Gate
- The Cycle
- Equality Forum
- Bureaucrat of the Week