James M. Williams was a former supervisor for the United States Postal Service.
Williams died on Monday, April 1, 2013 at Cliveden Nursing Home. He was 92.
He was born Nov. 8, 1920 to Frederick Douglas Williams and Naomi Wilson Williams in Cleveland, Ohio.
He attended Reynolds Grammar School and Central High School when the family moved to Philadelphia He entered the United States Army in March 1942 and served in the 92nd Infantry until 1945. Reaching the rank of corporal, he was honorably discharged in October 1945.
Williams began his Postal Service career in the Rail Mail Service division and was promoted to supervisor at the Chestnut Hill Postal Station, where he retired in 1979. He received numerous commendations for his commitment and exceptional customer service during his employment with the Postal Service.
Upon retiring, Williams started his own maintenance business, providing cleaning and repair services for small offices and apartment buildings.
He married Wilhelmina Pennington in 1950 in Philadelphia. They were married for 53 years until she passed in April 2004. They enjoyed traveling to exotic places including Colombia, Brazil, Aruba, Jamaica, Bahamas, St. Martin, Mexico, Bermuda, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Williams was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church.
His family said he was known as the neighborhood handyman and consummate gentleman in his Germantown community.
Williams was also an avid jazz lover. He played the saxophone for his own pleasure and attended concerts with his closest friends, the late Gilbert Ridgley and Tom Payne.
In addition to his wife and parents, Williams was predeceased by his brother, Frederick, and granddaughter, Sheryl Williams.
He is survived by his children, Craig, Joette and Kimberly; daughters-in-law, Debbie and Josephine; son-in-law, Herman; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held April 9 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 500 E. Mount Pleasant Ave. Viewing is at 10 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Ivy Hill Cemetery.
Mary E. Whitehead was a founding member of Mount Sinai Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Whitehead died Tuesday, March 26, 2013. She was 86.
She was born May 15, 1926 to the late Rev. Lester Cavadus Smith and Willie London Smith.
Educated in the School District of Philadelphia, she graduated from Gratz High School and later attended Berean Institute, where she received specialized training in stenography, bookkeeping and business practices. After spending more than 20 years as a health administrator for Comprehensive Health, she worked at the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS), where she retired after 10 years of service.
In 1946, she married John William Whitehead. The couple had six children.
Whitehead’s Christian experience began at the Mount Sinai Tabernacle Baptist Church. She was baptized there at a young age under the pastorate of her father who was the founder of the church. She served for more than 60 years. She worked faithfully as a member of the Flower Club and served in numerous other functions within the church.
Whitehead was an avid pinochle player and was a member of the PSC Pinochle Club for many years, serving as treasurer. She was also a member of the Alpha Pi Chi Sorority, Beta Sigma Chapter, where she was the historian.
“Mary will not only be remembered as a hard worker who kept things together, but also as one of the best cooks in Philadelphia and her church,” her family said.
Her family said she was a woman of character, humor and had a loving spirit. Her son, the late John Whitehead of the legendary singing and songwriting duo McFadden & Whitehead wrote a song about her, “I’ll Always Love My Mama.”
She was preceded in death by her son, John C. Whitehead; daughter, Wanda Stokes; and siblings, Robert L. Smith and John C. Smith.
She is survived by her children, Sylvia Adrienne Faltz (Glenn), Frank B. Whitehead (Kate) and Kevin W. Whitehead (Denise); her grandchildren, John, Dawn, Kenny, Kareema, Sean, Cayia, Jaron, Kia, Karen Brown (Kristian), Keith Butler, Alfred Goode, Sharron Lowry, Frank (Bianca), Fahemah, Kevina, Kavonna Pringles, Adream Bailey, Katiya Jackson, Markeetia Jackson, John Stokes (Tiffany), Sabrina Stokes and Frank Stokes; great-grandchildren, Marcus, Eric, David, Kayla, Jayden, Alona, Terrell, Darrell, Tanisha, Nashay, Nydyah, Chris, Cameron, Dylan, Nasir, Love, Paris, John, Sabrina, Johnna, Curtis and Wanda; sisters, Arlee McNeill (James) and Elaine Webster (John); brother, Marvin Bonaparte; devoted “sister,” Juanita Smith; sister-in-law, Vivienne Smith; special girlfriend, M. Ruth Heyward and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held April 6 at Mount Sinai Tabernacle Baptist Church, 28th St and Lehigh Ave. Burial will be in Northwood Cemetery.
Savin Funeral Home, Inc. handled the arrangements.
Women’s health organizations involved with the Pennsylvanians for Choice coalition are opposing proposed legislation that restricts access to abortion services.
The bills – Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 818 — would prohibit health insurers from providing coverage for abortions in the plans they will sell in the health insurance exchange that allows people with federal subsidies to buy coverage starting January 1. The bills would allow an insurance company to cover an abortion only if a woman was a victim of rape or incest, or if she was in immediate risk of death.
During a meeting with the Tribune editorial board, members of the coalition expressed their opposition to the proposed legislation.
“Interestingly enough, it’s estimated that about 80 percent of insurance plans do cover abortion procedures now — and this would be a dramatic department from the coverage,” said Maggie Leigh Groff, vice president for external affairs, Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania.
“These bills impact just the providers in insurance health-care exchanges, so we have the potential for setting up this kind a two-tiered system. For those people who have insurance through their employer that doesn’t go through the exchange, that insurer could continue to provide abortion coverage.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, the Nelson provision allows states to determine whether or not abortion coverage will be offered in plans sold through the state insurance exchange.
Senate Bill 3 was introduced by Republican state Sen. Don White. It passed with an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the last legislative session.
“Currently in Pennsylvania, the Medical Assistance program does not permit coverage of elective abortions for recipients of Medicaid. Senate Bill 3 simply ensures that the taxpayer-subsidized coverage within the insurance exchanges operates in consistent policy with the Medical Assistance program,” said White’s chief of staff, Joe Pittman.
Susan Schewel, executive director of the Women’s Medical Fund, referred to the potential ban on coverage as another barrier to abortions.
“We know that women who want to terminate a pregnan
cy or must terminate a pregnancy for health reasons will do what it takes. We know that legal and accessible abortions save women’s lives, so restricting abortion access doesn’t decrease the number of abortions, it increases the number of unsafe abortions,” said Schewel.
The Pennsylvanians for Choice coalition is pushing for a health exemption to be added to the proposed legislation. The coalition says an exemption would protect women for whom continuing a pregnancy that poses a serious threat to their health.
Groff said proponents of the legislation are concerned that state funding is not used for abortion procedures. She noted there are already safeguards in place that ensure that state and federal funding is not used for abortion services. For instance, the Hyde Amendment prohibits nearly all public funding of abortion. The Affordable Care Act requires that women make a separate payment for the proportion of abortion coverage in an insurance plan.
According to the National Women’s Law Center there are 21 states were women cannot use their own money to purchase an exchange-based plan that covers abortion services and also may not be able to purchase a plan that provides insurance coverage for abortion at all. Six of the states, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Oklahoma, prohibit all private insurance plans from offering coverage of abortion to women.
Today marks the official launch of a two year campaign designed to encourage tourists to venture into city neighborhoods.
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Tourism (GPTMC) has launched the Philadelphia Neighborhoods campaign which spotlights 14 of the visitor-ready areas that surround Center City through social media presence and advertising. The project encourages tourists and locals to explore the neighborhoods’ storied streets, restaurants, emerging art galleries, independent shops, music venues, parks and annual festivals.
“People want to explore the neighborhoods of a city in addition to the downtown to fully immerse themselves in the destination and to really get to know it – repeat visitors especially,” said GPTMC President and CEO Meryl Levitz.
“We want visitors to go one more block and this campaign is a win for visitors, a win for neighborhood visitors and a win for the city’s cool factor.”
The 14 neighborhoods include Bella Vista, Callowhill, Cedar Park, East Passyunk, Fairmount, Fishtown, Graduate Hospital, Northern Liberties, Pennsport, Powelton Village, Queen Village, Spring Garden, Spruce Hill and University City.
Levitz said these neighborhoods were identified based on their proximity to Center City and their amenities.
The campaign is being funded by an $800,000 grant from the William Penn Foundation.
“Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct personality and attractions from museums and music to restaurants and historical venues, not to mention great shopping,” said Mayor Michael Nutter.
“Our goal is to encourage visitors and residents alike to look at what all of Philadelphia has to offer, beginning with these 14 vibrant neighborhoods surrounding Center City.”
The campaign uses the website visitphilly.com/neighborhoods, which offers insight into the each neighborhood by providing more than 600 new attraction listings, descriptions, itineraries, maps, videos and photos.
GPTMC will use social media to spread the campaign’s message. User generated content will feed into the site via Instagram and FourSquare, enabling people to see what other visitors are experiencing in the city’s neighborhoods.
Michael Harris, executive director of the South Street Headhouse District, which represents more than 400 businesses, hailed the new initiative.
“This is an economic development tool,” Harris said in reference to the campaign.
“We’re in the business of keeping businesses and attracting businesses, filling vacant storefronts, getting new people here and getting people excited about all of the possibilities of opening a retail or restaurant in our neighborhood,” said Harris.
Prior to launching the initiative, GPTMC conducted a year of research and planning to determine which neighborhoods would work best for the campaign.
The American Cancer Society seeks to boost local enrollment in the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).
The national Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) seeks to recruit 300,000 men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 from various ethnic backgrounds who have never been diagnosed with cancer. The historic 20-year study will help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.
“Many individuals diagnosed with cancer struggle to answer the question, ‘What caused my cancer?’ In many cases, we don’t know the answer,” said Alpa V. Patel, Ph.D., principal investigator of CPS-3.
“CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer.”
“Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk. CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks, and we can only do this if members of the community are willing to become involved,” said Patel.
This month, the ACS is ramping up enrollment efforts throughout the Philadelphia metro area. The opportunity for local residents to enroll in CPS-3 is being made possible in partnership with Independence Blue Cross at eight different enrollment sites throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding suburban communities. Local enrollment will start April 24 at the Independence Blue Cross Walk at Lunch and continue through May 9.
Alesia Mitchell, an ACS Health Initiatives representative, said the society’s goal is to recruit 1,500 throughout the eight enrollment sites.
“I think people don’t understand that the American Cancer Society is a part of major research like this and its happening right in people’s backyard,” said Mitchell.
“It’s a great effort to be a part of and to actually know that you are one of 300,000 people that are in this fight together.”
The ACS seeks to have at least 25 percent representation of minorities.
Mitchell said that the organization has made an effort to have diverse representation in the CPS-3 study by having local enrollment sites at locations such as Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, West Philadelphia YMCA and Fortaleza Fitness Center.
The push to encourage more minorities to enroll comes as National Minority Cancer Awareness Week is being observed in April 15-21. National Minority Cancer Awareness Week promotes increased awareness of prevention and treatment among those segments of the populations that are at greater risk of developing cancer. The ACS notes that African Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival rate of any racial and ethnic group in the U.S. for most cancers.
Veronica Hill-Milbourne, IBC’s director of operations, is supporting the ACS’ efforts to enroll study participants at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. She said it’s important for African Americans become involved in this research effort.
“For African Americans we have a high incident of cancer. It’s so critically important for this research to be done so to understand if it’s our health habits, is it environment factor, is it genetics. What is it that causes us to be so susceptible as a race to this disease?” she questioned.
Hill-Milbourne said information about the CPS-3 study was dissimilated during Enon’s Easter service which draws thousands. Enon is hosting an enrollment event on April 28 from 12 to 5 p.m. at 2800 West Cheltenham Avenue.
For Hill-Milbourne, cancer hits close to home. She recently lost her mother-in-law to cancer.
“Cancer impacted my family significantly on my husband’s side and as a mother I have a very personal interest in helping to understand what causes cancer and how to treat it and if we eradicate this disease, I am all for it,” she said.
Participants must be willing to make a long-term commitment to the study, which involves completing periodic follow-up surveys at home. Study participation involves signed a consent form, completing a survey packet that asks for information on lifestyle, behavior and other health-related factors, having the waist circumference measure and giving a small blood sample.
The study was launched last year. December 31 marks the end of enrollment nationwide.
For enrollment information visit www.PhillyCPS3.org or call toll free at 1 (888) 604-5888.