Let’s not just talk about it. Let’s be about it. The general election is right around the corner, with everything at stake in America. Some of us just sit on the sidelines and talk about what we don’t like that’s happening with our elected officials. Then some of those very same people, if you look at their track record, you learn they don’t vote at all, or they only vote once in a while.
Now is not the time to sit on the fence of do-nothingness. Now is not the time to act like you want to be a spectator, rather than get in the game. America needs all hands on deck to save this country.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 29, 2020 page 3
Beware Voters across America. Since everything is at stake, this presidential election year, we all had better be aware and beware. A lot of “slickness” is going down. We’re hearing confirmed reports of the Russians still meddling in the U.S. election process this year. Donald Trump is trying to say the Chinese are meddling in this years’ political process, however the confirmed reports that I‘ve read and that have been publicized on national and local news media, indicate it’s the Russians, again.
At the same time, we have a Postmaster General who appears to be very much-so tainted by partisan politics and being a big cheerleader and supporter of Donald Trump.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 22, 2020 page 2
No stranger to hosting a radio talk show, former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes now hosts a talk program called “Here Comes The Judge Show”, every 3rd Sunday of the month, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on radio station WURD which simulcasts the program on 900AM and 96.1/FM. The program can also be heard live online at
www.900amwurd.com and on Judge Tynes Facebook page.
Judge Tynes stated, “About a year before the old WHAT radio station was sold by Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, I hosted a one-hour program there called “Rappin’ With the Judge.” That show was all about traffic court issues and assisting callers with navigating through the Philadelphia Traffic Court System.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 18, 2020 page 3
Everybody has an opinion about a lot of issues. As a columnist, that’s what my publisher and editor expect me to do- share my opinion. I’ve been stewing over the story about the homeless people setting up encampments or tent cities, for months now, weighing all sides of the story. I’ve also been talking to people from Philadelphia to see what they think about the issue. I’ve spoken with a handful of residents who live in the immediate impacted areas. I’ve talked with people who live in various parts of Philadelphia. I’ve spoken with some business owners, and I’ve heard what a number of elected officials are saying about the tent cities.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 15, 2020 page 2
Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity hosted their annual 9/11 Healing and Reconciliation Service Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. The program was held in the parking lot of Mount Airy Church of God In Christ, (GOGIC), located at 6401 Ogontz Avenue. For those who chose to observe social distancing guidelines, this special service was also livestreamed on the Facebook Page of Mount Airy COGIC. Log on at
https://vimeo.com/mtairycogiclive. Even after the event, people can log on at this address and watch the service.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 11, 2020 page 2
I am about sick of writing about all the violence in Philadelphia. Over 300 people have been murdered this year, and it feels like there’s no end in sight. Although I’m sick and tired of writing about the violence, here I go again. Maybe something I say in my columns will stick.
One of the things that greatly confused me as I watched the Democratic National Convention on television recently, was when Joe Biden basically said he would help end violence once he’s President. If I had an opportunity to ask Mr. Biden a question it would be, how do you plan to do that Sir? If I were one of Joe Biden’s handlers, I’d warn him not to make promises that he cannot keep. The problem with violence in Philadelphia, and across America in many cities is way bigger than Joe Biden. It’s bigger than being the President of the United States.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 8, 2020 page 2
Let me first share that I think the NAACP is as important today as ever, and that we need to continue to support the NAACP. For transparencies sake, I would also share that I was a very proud member of the Philadelphia NAACP from the days of the late Alphonso Deal, through the leadership of Thornhill Cosby, through the leadership of J. Wyatt Mondesire, and the leadership of Minister Rodney Muhammad. I was not one of those die-hard, “always at the meeting members,” that is—up until Rodney Muhammad became the president. Under presidents before him, I always felt like, there were a ton of active members, overseeing all the various committees and thus, I only needed to pay my membership dues and show up once in a while, for an event or two. That was my attitude back then.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 4, 2020 page 2
By and large, to tell the truth, I am not a fan of watching political conventions on television, for Democrats or for Republicans. To me, they are kind of boring. However, when Barack Obama addressed the Democratic Convention when he was a Senator, and later when he was a candidate for president, both times, I was transfixed. I could not move. I could only zone in on what Barack Obama was saying. This year during the 2020 Democratic National Convention, again, once I knew that First Lady Michelle Obama and Barack Obama, plus Kamala Harris would be speaking. Of course, I was glued to the television screen. I even felt fired up as I listened to Joe Biden address America from the Democratic National Convention this year.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 1, 2020 page 2
My question is, where’s the assistance for community newspapers during COVID 19? It seems crazy to me, that for all the critical information that community newspapers such as the SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper doles out each week, twice a week, one of these “grant- giving” organizations ought to recognize our worth. For me to get this column passed by publisher and owner, Sherri Darden will be an act of God, a miracle. The SCOOP Publisher is a very proud, determined African American woman who truly has been standing on her own two feet since she purchased the SCOOP Newspaper shortly before the original owner and publisher, R. Sonny Driver passed.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 25, 2020 page 3
By the time I wrote this column, there was one day left before the conclusion of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. This was the most different kind of Democratic National Convention ever, because of the Coronavirus. While Americans who watch political conventions every four years are used to very large gatherings filled to the brim with political supporters holding signs naming the candidate of their choice, this year was a game changer. Those in charge of the DNC opted for safety purposes, to do all their presentations, and campaign infomercials via pre-recorded statements. Truly the DNC convention was like none we’d ever seen before. At the end of next week, I’ll give my take on the Republican National Convention.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 25, 2020 page 2
Depending on what school district you live in, things can still be a toss-up, just weeks before schools normally would open. It’s so hard to plan and my heart goes out to parents, children, teachers and administrators. Everyone wants to do what’s best for the children and all others involved. However, the Coronavirus is an ever-changing moving situation. One week things may look good in city “A” and lawmakers and other decision-makers are thinking, “good.’ We’ll reopen the schools for regular session like normal. Then out of nowhere there will be a pocket of new Coronavirus cases reported and that will be the game changer.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 21, 2020 page 3
What a life story Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris has to tell. And the best is still yet to come. On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden made history when he announced his choice of a running mate for the upcoming November 3rd General Election. He announced his choice is United States Senator and former Presidential contender herself, Kamala Harris.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 18, 2020 page 2
Kwame Bradley photo
Over this past weekend, 7 year-old Zamar Jones was buried. He’s the little boy who was shot in the head while playing outside on his parents’ porch, with one of his favorite toys, at their home in West Philadelphia. Just a few days later, a 6-yearold girl was shot in the chest at 42nd and Mantua. She was outside with family members while they were barbequing. She was released from Saint Christopher’s Hospital for children, amazingly.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 14, 2020 page 3
PA State Senator Vincent Hughes hosted a Zoom meeting Thursday, August 6th to discuss what’s ahead for our Philadelphia public school students in light of the fact they will be learning online, rather than in person, for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic. On the same evening in the same time frame, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity hosted a virtual town hall meeting on Facebook and on Zoom, to discuss “Educating Children Virtually, What Will It Look Like,” starting the new Fall school semester of 2020. The good news is that the city of Philadelphia does have a new plan on how to ensure that our youth, even low income youth, will have all the tools they need, to learn from home, online. The concerning news is, will all the students who need online access the most, get it in a timely fashion.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 11, 2020 page 2
It’s taking everything in me to write this SCOOP column today. My heart is heavy. My brain hurts. My fingers feel like lead as I try to write this column. I can barely see the keys on my keypad because of the tears flowing from my eyes. As a Christian woman, I keep reminding myself that we are not supposed to question God. God is in control and He is all powerful. But I just do not understand why another innocent, precious child is dead today, dead because someone or more than one someone was shooting guns. A seven year old little boy, who should be playing with his family of friends right now, is laying in a morgue.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 7, 2020 page 2
It always amazes me when some people say, “America is not racist anymore. I never experienced racism personally. People don’t act like that anymore.” People who think that racism is not still alive and well in the United States are living in a bubble. They’re living in some dream world. They are as naïve as they come.
Silly me, I would like to think that racism Is not flourishing inside the First Judicial District, (FJD), amongst some staff and Judges. But it seems, racism is still a reality within the FJD. Mind you, I have believed all along that unfortunately there are some white Judges—who as they sit on the bench, and look at Black defendants, and all they see is color. They see nothing but the color of a person’s skin. These same Judges then make harsh judgements against these defendants, sending them away for years, when some perhaps, did not deserve a sentence at all, but should have been found innocent. Some staff that work for the FJD who are not judges, but nonetheless are employed by the First Judicial District, are also racists.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 4, 2020 page 2
It’s a shame it’s taken the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis; the murder of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky; and a number of other murders for America to get angry and fed-up enough about racial injustices that finally, some change is taking place.
Some might say, “These are baby steps.” However for people going through racism and being mistreated every day, just because of the color of their skin, what seems like baby steps to others are giant steps to those going through the disrespect.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 31, 2020 page 3
Sometimes it feels as if there are two different rule books to govern by, in the city of Philadelphia. One book of rules is largely for white people and a handful of others. The second book is for poor Black people. Case in point, the homeless people’s encampment or tent city that has sprung up along historic Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and a homeless center/cafe, in the mix, at 63rd Street & W. Girard Avenue in West Philadelphia. The homeless peoples’ tent city on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, I am told, is largely made up of white people, with some Blacks scattered in the scenario. The homeless center/cafe at 63rd & Girard Avenue housed only African Americans up until the wee hours of Saturday morning, July18th.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 28, 2020 page 4
I feel overwhelmed. I don’t know about you, but to see so many of our Black History and American History icons making transition, some of us are getting a feeling of being bombarded with death. To make matters worse, these icons since the advent of COVID-19, can’t even get the true kind of send-off, or celebration of their lives that they so deserve. The most recent African American icon to now make transition is the Honorable Congressman John Lewis.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 24, 2020 page 3
Philadelphia Magazine reported in a July 15, 2020 article, 'Chaka Fattah, Sr. has been mysteriously released from Federal prison way early.' The Philadelphia Inquirer in a published report dated July 15, 2020 stated, 'Federal prison officials sent former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah home early to Philly, won't say why.' To me, it sounds as if some people who sit high and look low are judging again. Who gives anyone, other than actual judges who sit on the bench, the right to look down on someone else and think they have all the answers.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 21, 2020 page 3
As I write the last of a three-part series on African Americans running for Congress in 2020, I am impressed, proud and very pleased to inform our SCOOP readers that there are so many seeking seats in the United States Congress or in the United States Senate.
Ayanna Pressley is a Democratic incumbent Congresswoman who hails from the state of Massachusetts. She is an advocate, a policy maker, an activist, and a survivor. Congresswoman Ayanna believes that the people closet to the pain should be closest to the power and that a diversity of voices in the political process is essential to crafting more effective public policy.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 17, 2020 page 3
I mistakenly thought that when one retires or becomes semi-retired, the days of the week, the date and the time of day become a little less important. Oh how wrong I was. I find myself tracking the date and days every day, even moreso since the advent of COVID-19 and with a major presidential election looming on the horizon. Timing is everything. I take nothing for granted and neither should you, whether retired, semi-retired, or working at a full-time job or career. Everyone old enough to know right from wrong, be that a pre-teen, a full pledged teenager, a young adult, a yuppie, a millennial, a middle aged person, or a seasoned citizen should be checking, in every day with the news or health department, on the internet, by phone or even with neighbors to get the latest updates on the pandemic.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 14, 2020 page 3
Last week for our SCOOP Online Newspaper, I wrote about 19 of the African American leaders across our nation who are running for Congress. And guess what, that wasn’t the total list. Today I’ll share with you the names and a little of the background on the rest of those who are running for Congress in an upcoming primary or in the General Election come November 3rd.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 10, 2020 page 3
Yes, the Coronavirus Pandemic has not ended, but guess what? Life must go on, perhaps not the way we were used to life being, but we must carry on. To that end, things such as filling out a census form for all those who live in your household is critical.
Here is some basic information about the U.S. Census. The Census happens once every ten years. The U.S. Constitution requires that everyone living in the entire country is counted every decade. The first Census was taken in the year 1790. The census form itself is a short questionnaire that asks about who you are, and where you live. It is a way to count everyone living in the United States. It matters in a very critical way.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 3, 2020 page 3
Across the nation, there’s an impressive list of African Americans running for U.S. Congress. Quiet as its kept, the ScoopUSA Media Community Newspaper wants to be one of the media outlets to inform you of the qualified African American candidates who want to help turn the tide of politics from the way #45 has been running things for the last almost four years. Political insiders declare, “It’s not just about focusing on who is running for President. We have to be vigilant about helping good candidates who are qualified to win seats in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, actually get there.”
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 29, 2020 page 3
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity has come out in full support of the District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office at a time when Philadelphia City Council is recommending slashing their budgets. They held a press conference Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. outside in front of the O.V. Catto statue on the South side of City Hall. According to Rev. Robert Collier, President of Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, “The purpose of this press conference was to demonstrate support to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, and the Public Defender’s office, at a time when Philadelphia City Council is recommending that their budgets be slashed by 20%. If these recommended cuts actually go through, the District Attorney’s office could possibly face having to lay off 120 staff members, during the time of this ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Currently, largely due to the health crisis, the Philadelphia court system has a great deal of backlog, therefore it will make it even more difficult, for people who are languishing in jail, to be able to get their trial, get a fair trial, and be able to possibly have an opportunity to be released from incarceration.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 26, 2020 page 3
There’s a new internet radio station in Philadelphia. It’s African American owned and their focus is Gospel Music. The station is Philly’s Favor 100.7/FM. Rev. Jonathan A. Mason, pastor of the Northeast Baptist Church located at Lackawanna street in the Frankford section of Philadelphia, is the proud owner and visionary of Philly’s Favor.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 23, 2020 page 3
To the very best of my ability, over the years I’ve been proud to write for the SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper. I’ve always tried to write articles or columns that were relevant to the times we are living in. I feel that my column today is definitely right on point with the times we are living in, recognizing why it’s important that African Americans observe and celebrate Juneteenth. It is supposed to be observed on June 19th, however just as we celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday for almost a whole week, for example. We can do the same with Juneteenth.
This year, Juneteenth, (June 19th falls on Friday). If these were normal times we were living in, Kenny Gamble and his Juneteenth group, and Cornelia Swinson and her Juneteenth group in Germantown, more than likely, would have held their parades and other Juneteenth observances on Saturday, June 20th. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the Juneteenth celebrations that normally would have taken place in Philadelphia, are on ice for this year.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 19, 2020 page 3
For me, the “paper trail” are all the envelopes mailed in late to the Philadelphia City Commissioner’s Office and across Pennsylvania. Vote by Mail ballots that did not get counted in the Tuesday, June 2, 2020 Primary Election. I have a sinking feeling in my gut that something’s not right. I recognize that this was the first time ever, that Pennsylvania offered a vote by mail option, or a vote online option. Finally, we’ve made it to the big times. But the question is, did we fail miserably with our first effort?
From where I sit, it feels like enough work was not done in advance of the primary election in Pennsylvania, to really get would-be voters revved up and prepared to vote using the new vote by mail system or voting online. We don’t have any time for dropping the ball, for pointing fingers, for using the COVID-19 pandemic or the rioting in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd as sorry excuses. The days for excuses and blame is over.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 16, 2020 page 3
I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard some mixed results in terms of what people thought about voting in person, in Philadelphia on Primary Election Day, Tuesday, June 2. I also heard some mixed reviews on how the vote by mail concept unfolded. There seems to have been some confusion on both levels. Granted nothing is always going to go perfectly, and this being the first time ever that we’ve had vote by mail in Pennsylvania, I can imagine there were some hiccups, if you will.
I have heard reports that there were some polling places where some of the machines were not working and these are new machines mind you. There were some polling places I am told where election day workers never showed up. Then I am told there were some polling locations where the lines were just long.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 12, 2020 page 3
I’ve always been told the best medicine for when you get knocked down, is to get back up, to rise again to see another day. That’s the kind of fighting spirit Jeff Brown, the owner of more than ten Shop Rite Supermarkets in Philadelphia has done. Despite the fact that two of his stores were broken into during the height of the looting a week ago, rather than throw his arms up in despair and declare, “I’m done with this city,” Jeff Brown and his team put their heads together, got to cleaning and disinfecting and restocking, and on Friday, June 5th, he reopened his store at Fox and Hunting Park Avenue.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 9, 2020 page 3
My heart is so heavy. My soul is down in my feet. I feel as if I can't breathe. To say that I am shocked that another Black person has been murdered in America, unjustly so, would be a lie. Because I am a Black woman, a Black mother, a Black Grandmother, a Black wife, a Black Aunt and I have been Black all my life. I know what it is to be concerned every time your son or husband or nephew or cousin leaves the house to go to the store on some errand or trip. Equally, to tell you the truth, when my granddaughter, (the college level one in particular), goes to events and things that take her out of the home, I get concerned for her safety. Why? Because she's Black, living in America.
Our reality is that Black men and Black women and Black boys and girls are getting murdered in America. Yes, there's the Black on Black crime that needs to be dealt with, but that's not what I'm talking about this time. I'm talking about the murders of Black people at the hands of bad apples in police departments across the nation, (who are white), and the murders of Blacks at the hands of racist white supremacist types, who may or may not be police officers.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 5, 2020 page 3
In the 190th Legislative District, which takes in a large part of West Philadelphia, and a piece of North Philadelphia is like a déjà vu situation. Here we go again. This is one of the districts in Philadelphia that is truly begging for some stability in leadership. Currently PA State Representative Roni Green is the sitting Representative for this district. She won the seat during a special election earlier this year just before the COVID-19 Pandemic became a reality for us in America. Roni Green got the nod of support from the Democratic City Committee for her special election and she has their support again in this June 2nd Primary. Roni Green also has the support of a powerful and popular union, SEIU Union, of which she was a proud member for over two decades of her professional career.
Prior to becoming an elected official, Roni Green was a business agent for SEIU Local 668. Roni Green explained how it came to be that she is a candidate for PA State Representative in the first place.” It actually came through my union, I work for SEIU Local 668, which is The Service Employees International Union. I was having a conversation with my Legislative Director for our Union, shortly after the news of what happened with State Rep. Movita Johnson Harrell. After that discussion, we decided this was the right time for me to run for political office.”
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 2, 2020 page 2
The Democratic incumbent PA State representative who leads the 188th legislative district has been in office from 1985 until now. If you ask some, "How's he done as an elected official," they will answer, "He's done a great job."
If you ask some other people that same question, the response might not be as favorable. One thing is for sure, you can never please all of the people all of the time. To be an elected official is a daunting task. The truth of the matter is, while you may give fifteen thousand people over here what they want, another pocket of three thousand people will be miffed because they didn't get what they wanted from their elected official.
There are four people running for the 188th district seat, one of them being the incumbent, PA State Representative James Roebuck. He was first elected to office in 1985 during a special election. He's a graduate of Central High School, Virginia Union University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree and the University of Virginia where he earned his master's degree.
Rep. Roebuck is the Chair of the Education Committee. He is the Community College Caucus Co-Chairman. He sits on the Arts & Culture Caucus, as well as the Bio-Technology/Life Science Caucus. He sits on the Diabetes Caucus and Early Childhood Education caucus. He sits on the LGBTQ Equality Caucus and the Women's Health Caucus as well, in addition to several other caucuses.
Roebuck fought for and got $110K in grants awarded to fund the Clark Park project. He got $44K in grants awarded to the Woodland Trust for Historic Preservation and the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. He's known for fighting for funding to fix toxic schools in PA and there are many other things that State Rep. Roebuck has done to uplift Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. The question remains however how long, is too long to hold a public office.
Gregory Benjamin, a longtime community activist and committeeman from the Southwest area of Philadelphia says he wants the state representative seat now held by Jim Roebuck. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. He is a husband of 29 years, a father and a grandfather. He holds a master's degree in Human Services and has dedicated his career to helping people with intellectual disabilities.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, May 29, 2020 page 3
In the case of Mel Wells, the President of One Day At A Time, (ODAAT), the saying “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, is so true. Just like his father before him, (Rev. Henry T. Wells, the Founder of ODAAT), Mel Wells works tirelessly, 24/7 to make a positive difference in the city of Philadelphia and most particularly, for people in drug and alcohol recovery , for people living with HIV or AIDS and for people who are trying to help stop the violence on our streets. Mel Wells day in and day out, continues to carry on the legacy and the mission of his father.
Just this week officially, One Day At A Time has opened a Drop-In Center for people in need at 2646 Kensington Avenue, (Kensington and Leigh Avenue). It’s called “Drop- In At Bevilacqua and its open 24/7. They offer COVID-19 testing there Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. The testing is administered by an organization known as Philadelphia Fight. They offer 3 meals a day there for people in need, access to bathrooms and showers, a safe place to sleep for a limited number of individuals both male and female and recovery support resources.
Mel Wells commented, ”People have to keep in mind that for those who need a place to sleep overnight, its on a first come, first serve basis, daily, because space is limited. We did a soft open last week and a full pledged open this week. By the end of this week, we’ll have up to 38 people living in the facility. This is not just a place for people with addictions, its for people who need help. We’re bumping to people out on the street who are just homeless. They’re down on their luck and they need a place to stay. Some of the emergency is because of the coronavirus pandemic and again, people not having a place to stay.”
To Read more Thera Martin, visit ScoopUSA Media, May 26, 2020 page 3
In last week's column, I shared about how small Black-owned businesses are hurting in some of Philadelphia's poorest communities Lancaster Avenue, 52nd Street, 63rd Street, in West Philadelphia; North 22nd Street in North Philadelphia; Germantown Avenue; Point Breeze Avenue and Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia, are many of the business corridors where there is an abundance of small business owners, quite a few of them being owned by African Americans. I would also note that by far, the majority of these businesses along our business corridors in low-income neighborhoods only have one two or maybe three people on staff. It seems that because of that, these businesses are being overlooked when it comes to the supposed emergency stimulus funding from the Federal Government.
Ken Curry, president of the North 22nd Street Business Association stated," Along the official North 22nd Street business corridor, we have 110 businesses. Since COVID-19 hit, only essential businesses were allowed to open, which includes the Save-A-Lot Supermarket; Dave's Meat Market; Country Cooking, Take Out Restaurant; A Mom and Pop Corner Store at 22nd and Somerset Street, and several Chinese Food take-out Restaurants along our corridor. We also have one Jamaican Food Restaurant that does take out. That's it. All the other businesses along the corridor had to close and to date, we're not back up and running yet. So yes, its' impacted our corridor greatly in a negative way.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, April 24, 2020 - page 3
Depending on your industry, a small business could be defined as a business with a maximum of 250 employees or a maximum of 1,500 employees. They're privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have less revenue than larger businesses. That's one definition of what a "small business" is. Then I went directly to the U.S. Small Business Administration's website to get their definition of a small business.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration standards, a small business, depending on your industry, could be defined as a business with a maximum of 250 employees or a maximum of 1,500 employees. They're privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have less revenue than larger businesses. With 28 million small businesses making up 99.7% of all U.S. firms, small business is big business for the United States economy.
Even as I was reading what the Small Business Administration, (SBA) has to say about "small businesses," all I could think about was the small businesses that I know of in Philadelphia such as beauty salons and barbershops, Mom and Pop corner stores, and even boutiques where you see maybe two or three workers on staff. What about those small businesses? I would think, aren't they the first ones who should get some stimulus money to help them survive through the coronavirus pandemic. In a perfect world, the smallest of businesses should be the first on the list to get assistance, but hey, who said the world was perfect right?
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, April 24, 2020 - page 3
Imagine listening to Governor Wolf on TV and Radio declaring that all non-essential workers in PA must stay inside and keep your children inside. No one should go out except to replenish food and health care supplies if needed. Then as an Operator of a Licensed Personal Care Home, you get a message from the very agency that says whether you can keep a license or not, tells you, "Let your residents go out if they want to. Let them go to see their doctors, etc. By law, you cannot force them to stay inside."
These have been some trying times at Licensed Personal Care Homes in Philadelphia, but it seems like nobody in a position of power, cares. Personal Care Homeowners in Philadelphia are crying out for help. Due to concerns of retaliation or trumped-up fines from the PA Bureau of Human Services Licensing Department, (BHSL), the Personal Care Homeowners who have shared this vital information do not want to be named in this column. As a journalist however I accept their charges of inequity in terms of how they're treated by PA State decision-makers when it comes to who gets funding and who does not. I've been interviewing personal care homeowners for a year before the pandemic hit.
(Wednesday, April 8, 2020) Governor Tom Wolf was on television giving an update on how the state is working to address COVID-19. Secretary of Health for the state of Pennsylvania Dr. Rachel Levine stated during that Covid-19 update, "There was some recent CMS guidance about nursing homes and long-term care living facilities. One option would be that one facility or even more likely, maybe a wing on a facility could be for patients with COVID-19. We would cohort those patients and then separate other residents and the staff from the patients who are positive for COVOID-19. We are looking at that to see how we might operationalize that in consultation with long-term care living facilities themselves."
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, April 17, 2020 - page 3
Everybody at Solid Rock Baptist Church at 1836 Federal Street in South Philadelphia knows that the Pastor's wife, Debra Busby can sew and that she can sew well. Everybody at the church also knows that Church Deaconess Dawn Wilson sews very well, and she does it as a business. Her business name is Dawn To Dusk, Inc. Little did anyone know that these two women would be stepping up to the plate of help, to create face masks for children hospitalized at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, or for a couple of Ambulance businesses. But that is exactly what has happened.
"I've been making dresses, baby blankets and jackets, and curtains and cushions for our church pews and all other sorts of items over the years. I never knew that the talent God gave me for sewing would one day, become an essential service during a pandemic," Debra Busby commented. "For me, once this coronavirus really hit home in Philadelphia, my first thought was, I need to make some face masks for my family members. By the time the coronavirus became a reality for us, it was already too late to run to Walmart or Lowe's, or Home Depot or CVS, to try and purchase face masks. So, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to make them.
. "Busby added," Personally, I've been wearing the face masks from the very beginning of this thing. When I heard news coverage where it was being reported, "The general public doesn't need to wear face masks", I said to myself, no, no, no. The government just doesn't want us to buy them all out. Especially when the news reports said people age 60 and over or people with underlying health issues, I knew I needed to start wearing a mask immediately. I'm over 60 and I have a health concern. I have Sarcoidosis, which is a lung disease and I've had that health issue since 1999. I've been in remission and I'm not trying to flair it up."
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, April 10, 2020 - page 3
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity takes very seriously safeguarding the health and welfare of the members of its community, including those remanded to the custody of the criminal justice system. According to Rev. Robert Collier, President of Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, “The current rates of infection of the coronavirus place incarcerated persons (along with those that oversee them) at particular risk due to the problem of overcrowded jails and the inability to house inmates in a way that maintains safe social distancing guidelines.”
Collier says that controlling infection rates in the prison system can only be done effectively through the isolation of inmates (one per cell). The maximum number of persons that can be housed in the Philadelphia prison system while maintaining safe levels of isolation is approximately 2,500. Currently there are over 4,400 inmates incarcerated. The way things stand right now in Pennsylvania for example, this is a formula for disaster, not only for the inmates, who would be literal “sitting ducks” should an outbreak occur in the prisons; but also for corrections officers, attorneys and social workers, who risk bringing the virus home and furthering its spread throughout their communities. Efforts to flatten the curve of rates of infection will be inevitably frustrated by the lack of ability to control its spread throughout the prison system.”
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity leadership, having considered concerns previously expressed by the Philadelphia Police Department, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office and the Philadelphia Public Defender’s office, are calling for the immediate release of all inmates in Philadelphia prisons who:
• Have already served their minimum sentences and are worthy of parole
• Are within six months of their minimum sentences for non-violent offenses and are worthy of early parole
• Are elderly, ill, and/or infirm
• Are being held pre-trial for non-violent and misdemeanor offenses simply because they could not afford bail
• Are being detained on parole violations that do not involve new crimes
• Are good candidates for alternative detention, such as house arrest or GPS monitoring, or
• Are Juvenile offenders who are deemed to pose no safety threat to the public
The degree of danger that this virus poses risks sentencing inmates, some of whom have not been convicted of a crime, and others who have not committed “heinous” crimes, to what could become a death sentence. Rev. Collier stated, “We must act on this quickly, as the infections among the general population are climbing exponentially. We call upon the Philadelphia judiciary to ACT IMMEDIATELY”.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, April 3, 2020 - page 3
Senator Bernie Sanders, please consider getting out of the race now and I mean right now.
There were twenty-nine major Democratic candidates in the race at the beginning of the 2020 Democratic Primary Elections. The nominee would go on to face-off against Donald Trump during the General Election Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Over the month of July 2019, twenty-five of these candidates actually had active campaigns unfolding simultaneously. By October 15, 2019 when there was a debate in Westerville, Ohio, only twelve Democratic candidates were featured. That in and of itself set a record for the highest number of candidates appearing for one presidential debate.
Six women were a part of the initial crew of Democratic Candidates vying for the White House, which also made history because that’s the first time so many women were running for the nation’s top job. It’s also important to note that there were seven major Democratic candidates in the race for the White House, at the beginning of this 2020 presidential election year who were of African, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry.
To read more Thera Martin, view SCOOP USA Media, March 27, 2020 - page 3
We have so many outstanding African American women in Philadelphia and beyond who deserve to have their stories told. Women’s History Month is just not enough time to celebrate all of them. Having said that, this week we are shinning the spotlight on Keir Bradford-Grey, who is the first African American woman to hold the position of Chief Defender with the Defender Association in Philadelphia.
Keir Bradford-Grey began her tenure as Chief Defender in September 2015, following service as Chief Defender of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. At the Defender Association, Ms. Bradford-Grey focuses on serving the citizens of Philadelphia through innovative programs that empower communities and ensure that justice is fair and final. Ms. Bradford-Grey has spearheaded initiatives to help clients develop skills to successfully re-enter their communities after serving their time in the justice system.
Ms. Bradford-Grey has established partnerships with others in the community – from judges to prosecutors to nonprofits – to advance client-centered representation, empower individuals to advocate for themselves at every stage of the system, and make communities stronger and safer. These efforts include bringing participatory defense – a dynamic community-driven criminal justice reform program – to both Montgomery County and Philadelphia. She also devotes time and resources toward “pre-entry” so that people facing charges receive critical assistance and services to support fair and just outcomes over routinely incarcerating people before trial.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, March 20, 2020 - page 3
Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes has made history. She is the first woman president of Philadelphia O.I.C. and we celebrate her today. Here’s some of what she had to say about her new position.
“It is an incredible honor to have the opportunity to carry the mission of Rev. Leon Sullivan forward. I felt that way from the moment I was invited to submit my name for consideration. This legacy, this work is so important. In some ways I feel, given that what’s going on in our communities, its even more important now than it was in 1964.”
In terms of the work ahead to be accomplished Judge Hughes shared, “I think the most important thing for me to focus on right now is, that I have a wonderful team. However, the need is extraordinary. And to begin to put a dent in the 26% poverty rate in our city, I have to expand the programs. First and foremost in my mind is looking for new partnerships to collaborate with to develop the jobs that not only exist in Philadelphia today, but the jobs that will exist tomorrow. I’m really active in the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the African American Chamber of Commerce.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, March 13, 2020 - page 3
It’s Women’s History Month once again and time to celebrate some outstanding African American women from Philadelphia in particular.
The first woman we are celebrating is a young woman who is making great strides. She’s making her mark. She takes her position as an elected official very seriously and she keeps her ear to the ground and her staff and herself well connected to the community. I’m referring to Pennsylvania State Representative Joanna McClinton. She came into the position during a special election at a time when many in the African American community were rocked with shock, disappointment, hurt and understanding, as very popular PA State Representative Ron Waters had to resign from office because he got caught up in a sting that many feel was a set-up for a let-down.
There’s a saying I’ve often heard in churches where I have worshipped, “Be Yea Ever ready”, and Joanna McClinton was ready to step into the cast-away shoes of PA State Representative Ron Waters. Most importantly Joanna McClinton was already a woman of God. She came from good stock, a strong family with a strong family background. She was already a smart worker and a hard worker. She had already earned her undergraduate degree as well as her law degree and she was on staff as legal counsel in the office of PA State Senator Anthony H. Williams, (the son of powerful late PA State Senator Hardy Williams, Esq.Thus Joanna McClinton came to the job of being a State Representative, already well-versed, primed, knowledgeable and more than prepared to take up the leadership mantel of the 191st legislative district.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, March 6, 2020 - page 3
So any and everyone who pays even half attention to the news, has heard about this new deadly illness called The Coronavirus. Where did it come from and how did it start? In my column today I’ll share what I’ve researched about this “out of nowhere” illness. I’ll also share, the most recent health precautions I can find, to keep you as safe as possible from the Coronavirus. Bottom line is, be careful.
Let me start with my wonderful neighbor Mi Tu who shared an excerpt from a book her husband read, that ironically, even though written in 1981, zeroes-in on the Coronavirus scare we’re all witnessing right now. Hmmm.
The book was published in 1981 entitled, “The Eyes of Darkness,” written by Dean Koontz. (Google the book online. It’s accessible). Here’s the excerpt that kind of put a chill over me: “To understand that,” Dombey said, “you have to go back twenty months. It was around then that a Chinese scientist named Li Chen defected to the United States, carrying a newest biological weapon in a decade. They call the stuff ”Wuhan-400” because it was developed at their RDNA labs outside the city of Wuhan, and it was the four-hundredth viable strain of man-made micro-organisms created at that research center. “Wuhan-400 is a perfect weapon. It afflicts only human beings. No other living creature can carry it. Like syphilis, Wuhan-400 can’t survive outside a living human body for longer than a minute, which means it can’t permanently contaminate objects or entire places the way anthrax and other virulent micro-organisms can. And when the host expires, the Wuhan-400 within him perishes a short while later, as soon as the temperature of the corpse drops below six degrees Fahrenheit.”
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, February 28 2020 - page 3
For many years, (over fifteen), me and my family were residents of the 190th Legislative District. The district includes the majority of West Philadelphia, Overbrook, Wynnfield and even a slice of North Philadelphia in more recent years. We used to live in the 100 block of North Wilton Street. I used to vote in the 190th legislative district and I always considered myself a cheerleader for West Philadelphia and surrounding areas because I am a loyalist. Even when things go sour, my first move is not to condemn and say throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The 190th Legislative District is large with a diverse population. I would even dare to say there’s a great mix of income levels. Yes, you have people who live there who are low-come. You have people of middle-class income, and you even have some residents of the district who have a stash full of cash and so they would be considered well-off.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, February 21, 2020 - page 3
Everybody who pays attention knows that there are a lot of problems within the Philadelphia Police Department, ranging from dealing with criminals on the street, to dealing with the “bad apples” that wear a badge and a police uniform. There’s certainly been cases and some still in litigation about white police officers for example, who do or say racist things in the workplace. There’s been reports from some Black police officers in recent years, where they found nooses hanging in lockers, the word niggers, written on pieces of paper and places where officers of color could find those racist words in the workplace. There’s been allegations of police officers with senior ranking, who have touched the behinds of female officers or touched them in appropriately in other place on their bodies. This has happened to both black and white female officers.
Mind you, since none of this type of obscene activities happened this year, I‘m referring to these events happening in recent past years.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, February 14, 2020 - page 3
For the purpose of complete transparency, let me first let my SCOOP USA Media Readers know that I consider Dawn Chavous a friend. We’re not the kind of friends where I can tell you, I hung out at her house, or that we’ve ever gone out together for lunch. But she’s the kind of friend that has just always been steady, always been there for me, in the background if I need someone to listen to me talk about my failed second marriage, or challenges of being in the public relations business, or just talking about our love for our mothers. We never went shopping together at the mall. I wasn’t a guest at her wedding to City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. Sidebar: For my first and second marriages, everybody and Lottie Dottie wanted to attend my wedding. People would stop me on the street and say stuff like, “I heard you were getting married. Where’s my invitation?” As one plans their wedding, you cannot invite the whole world, so to be clear, I was not offended by not getting an invite to my friend Dawn’s wedding). I still feel like Dawn Chavous is a friend and when a friend is under attack, if you really care about that friend, you speak up.
In my own words, here’s what I know of Dawn Chavous. First of all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Dawn Chavous’ mother is Barbara Chavous. She was the right hand to the late Pennsylvania State Senator Hardy Williams for many years. Barbara Chavous has a stellar reputation and record, as does her daughter Dawn. It was no surprise to many, to see Dawn Chavous follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a consultant to a number of wanna-be elected officials and to some successful political candidates who did in fact become elected officials. Also like her mother, Dawn Chavous has become a stellar, very professional, on-point and on-time public relations person in Pennsylvania. By her own merits because of the very excellent PR work she does, her name and the name of her business, Chavous Consulting has spread like wild fire. Anyone with good sense and the budget to afford Dawn Chavous, has hired her.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, February 7, 2020 - page 3
Chances that Kobe Bryant and Heshimu Jaramogi ever met are probably pretty slim. However both these African American men made a major difference in this world while they lived and both passed, when none of us saw it coming. Basketball star Kobe Bryant at the age of forty-one, was killed, along with his thirteen year old daughter and seven other people in a horrible helicopter crash Sunday, January 26, 2020. Heshimu Jaramogi, passed away on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at the age of sixty-seven. In both cases, their deaths rocked many. Heshimu was not nearly as well known as Kobe, but nonetheless, where Heshimu worked and lived, he made a positive contribution to those around him and was loved and admired by countless numbers.
Kobe Bryant being a super basketball star, was of course internationally known. His demeanor, behavior, lifestyle and character are what gave him so much respect, not to leave out the fact that he was all that on the basketball court. Equally important, he was all that, off the basketball court. Which is not to say Kobe was perfect or a Saint. Let the one amongst us who is perfect, cast the first stone. More than anything I think, the life Kobe Bryant led was exemplary and a life to be proud of. Yes, to pass away at the age of forty-one we can all say, that was too short a life. He had so much to give and so much more to live for. He and his wife Vanessa, just recently had their fourth child, a precious baby girl. Now she and her other two surviving sisters will have top grow up the rest of their lives, without their father. At the end of the day however, we cannot question God or His Will.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, January 31, 2020 - page 2
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity installed a new president on Sunday, January 19, 2020 at Mount Airy Church of God In Christ at 6401 Ogontz Avenue in Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane section. For the last four years, (two terms), Rev. Jay Broadnax led the clergy group. Rev. Robert Collier was elected president in December of 2019. He says he considers his greatest accomplishment in life to be called to serve on the battlefield for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ as an under-shepherd.
Rev. Collier has served God’s people as the pastor of Galilee Baptist Church of Philadelphia, for over 28 years. Prior to being called to Galilee, he served as the Interim Pastor of Philadelphia National Baptist Church for seven years. He’s a son of Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia where he served as an associate minister under the pastorates of Rev. Dr. Leon H. Sullivan and Rev. Dr. Gus Roman. He was also an associated minister at the Christian Memorial Mission, in North Wales, PA and hosted their radio broadcast for over five years.
As a member for over 17 years, Pastor Collier values his membership in Black Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity. He first joined under the presidency of Rev. Dr. Robert P. Shine. He has held several positions including assistant secretary, assistant treasurer, treasurer, third vice president, second vice president and most recently, first vice president.
All past presidents of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity who were available were in attendance including, Rev. Dr. James Allen, the first president of this body; Rev. William B. Moore; Rev. Jay Broadnax; Rev. Terrence Griffith and Rev. Dr. Robert P. Shine. Ministers participating during the program included Rev. Clarence E. Wright, president of the PA Progressive Baptist Ministers Alliance; Rev. Dr. Joseph Connor, president of Hampton, VA Minister’s Conference; Rev. Dr. Wayne Weathers, president of PEKBA; Archbishop Mary Floyd Palmer, Presiding Prelate, Philadelphia Council of Clergy, Inc. and Minister Rodney Muhammad, Leader of the Nation of Islam, Mosque #12 in Philadelphia and president of the Philadelphia Branch, NAACP.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, January 24, 2020 - page 3
Even though I was born in 1958, I always refer to myself as a “child of the sixties.” I am proud to say that my parents went to the historic “March on Washington;” they stood at the Lincoln Memorial as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous speech, “I Have A Dream.” They traveled by bus from Philadelphia to our nation’s capital for that great day in Black History. They also watched the news of the civil rights and human rights movement as it played itself out on television. I was just a young child, however, I recall the day that Dr. King was assassinated.
On the day Dr. King was murdered, my parents had a few married couples over at our home. My father and mother had prepared a lavish meal for their friends like they always did, sharing pig feet, chitlings, fried chicken and other soul food delights spread out on our dining room table like a feast fit for a King and his court. The day started out as a jovial occasion. As we always did, we children played nicely and quietly with the children of the other adults who’d come to visit, in the room delegated for the little ones.
Then all of a sudden…it seemed as if the world stood still. Everything became dead quiet and even us children, we noticed immediately that something was very wrong. The women in the kitchen and the men in the living room, went from laughing and having a good time, to screaming, moaning and crying, and saying, “No! No! No!” The men began to console the women, as they rushed from the kitchen into the living room area to be comforted. Both the men and women, had giant tears welled up in their eyes. The room grew eerily quiet as all ears and eyes turned to the television in disbelief.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, January 17, 2020 - page 2
Every so often in Philadelphia, you’ll hear about a massive food give away, where all people need to do is show up and bring grocery bags or boxes with them. Depending on which organization is sponsoring the event, they may or may not ask for identification from you, but truly organizers make things as easy as possible. For the most part groups only require I.D. so they can clearly indicate who they assisted and how many people they helped for their own records. One of the groups I’ve witnessed, host these free food give-aways, three or four times a year, is the 39th Police District Clergy, and the 39th Police District Advisory Council. More recently, the Allegheny West Foundation and the Allegheny West Civic Association of Philadelphia, have teamed up with the 39th Police District Clergy and Advisory Council, to give away free food to those who really need it.
But the question is, where does all this free food come from?
The food comes from the Alternative Resource Network, (ARN) located at 309 N. Sumneytown Pike in North Wales, PA. Tyshaan Williams is the founder and president of ARN and he shared with me some of his story on how he’s able (with a core group of volunteers) to do what he does.
Tyshaan Williams stated, “Formally, we were just incorporated about a year ago as a non-profit, however, we’ve been operating for over eight years. The food is actually free. But there is a handling charge for the organizations who give the food away. We have to rent the trucks we use to deliver the food and we have to pay for the fuel for the trucks and for tolls on the highway. I have a license to drive a commercial truck and everyone who drives trucks for us of course has a commercial drivers license. It’s a volunteer effort however. Our drivers do not get paid.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, January 10, 2020 - page 2
Making promises about what you will do differently or better in a new year is something that many of us do every year. It’s called a New Year’s Resolution. As I have matured, I found myself backing away from the usual list, such as, “I’m going to lose twenty pounds in the New Year.” Or “I’m not going to say one cuss word this year.” Or, “I won’t be fake about things I don’t like. If I don’t like something, I’m saying it.” I am tired of making promises to myself that I don’t, or won’t keep. So now that I’ve gotten to this point in my life, the fourth quarter, I simply want to keep it real. As I plan to eat healthier and actually do it, pounds will begin to drop. However, I’m not announcing, “I’m going to loose twenty pounds or more in 2020.” “Just do it,” as that famous slogan says.
Reality is, a lot of the things we want to do to make ourselves better or stronger, takes work. Some of us don’t want to do the work. One thing for sure about me, I’ve never been afraid of work. Heck all of my adult life until two years ago, I’ve always held down one full time and at least one part time job simultaneously. I always wanted to be able to take care of myself and my children.
But what about you? Have you decided to do some things differently in the new year. You know when you keep doing the same old things, you keep getting the same old results. So isn’t it time to get it right this time.? Failure is not a word in my personal vocabulary and I think we should all get rid of the words failure, I’m afraid to, and thoughts like “I’m not good enough.” For me, even at the age where God has Blessed me to be, “Failure is not an option.” Staying focused, being determined, being willing to put in the work, will continue to be how I carry myself and live out my life.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, January 3, 2020 - page 2