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Thera Martin

January - February 2020


Pastor Robert Collier, New President of Black Clergy Group

    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

Remembering Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    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

Need food? Help is on the way

   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

An Attitude of Gratitude for 2020

    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

November - December 2019


A Year End Review 2019

    Another year is coming to a close and this will be my last column for the SCOOP USA Media Newspaper for the year 2019.  Wow, how quickly twelve months go by. As I think back over 2019, unfortunately the evil one, who occupies the White House certainly dominated a lot of the news. I have some hope as we come to the close of this year, that prayerfully in 2020, the man will be tossed out of the White House, as it should be in my opinion. That’s also the opinion of millions of other smart thinking Americans. Enough is enough. Donald Trump has done more to destroy the great name of this country and our nation’s reputation in the three years he’s been president, than did all other presidents of the United States, before him. How his Republican cronies don’t see how unpresidential, racist, nasty and dastardly Donald Trump is, is beyond me. Go figure.  The only thing I can think is that the majority of Republicans are standing behind this “mad man,”  because he’s greasing their palms and making them all kinds of promises about what he’ll do for them if they stand with him? What other reason could there be?

    According to my favorite television network, CNN, the current president has told 99 lies to the American people in just the last two weeks. Here’s some of them: The economy was Trump’s number open subject for falsehoods. He also lied about military affairs, tied all to his appearance at the NATO Summit. He made 15 false statements about NATO itself and he lied about issues related to his Impeachment at least 11 times in the last two weeks. CNN researchers estimate that Donald Trump is currently averaging about 63 false claims a week, and spouting those falsehoods out to the American people or anyone else who might be listening. It seems he just doesn’t care whether he has his facts straight or not. 

Read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, December 27, 2019 - page 3

Jannie L. Blackwell definitely a Super-Hero even though she wears no cape

    Writing about a living legend is an honor and so to write about Jannie L. Blackwell, a public servant for  45, and to proclaim that she is alive and well and looking forward to what steps God has next for her, is an absolute pleasure. 

    I know that was a long sentence I just laid on you, but all of that needed to be said in the first sentence.  Outgoing Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell is a “Shero” to many, beloved by thousands and thousands of Philadelphians, and not just in her 3rd Council District. To know about all the legislation she introduced that became law, for all her work on various City Council Committees as a Chair of said committees, and for all her accessibility to her constituents, she is to be saluted. If you want to know specifics and details on all that about Jannie Blackwell, Google her. It’s all on the internet.

    I am humbled and honored that the long-time very popular City Council woman, who has served since 1992, as an elected official, allowed me to interview her one on one on December 16, 2019, to talk about just some of the things she’s very proud of, that she’s been able to accomplish for the City of Philadelphia over her time as an elected official. 

Read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, December 20, 2019 - page 3

The Scoop on Representative Movita Johnson Harrell

 You know those days when a news story hits and it almost knocks you off your feet? Well that’s how I felt when I heard PA State Attorney General Josh Shapiro announce very serious charges against 190th Legislative District State Representative Motiva Johnson Harrell.  I for one, do not like to rush to judgement when someone, elected official or non-elected official, is charged with a crime or a series of crimes. I like to hold on to the thought that a person is innocent until proven guilty. However, if you confess that you are guilty, at the door, the same day when charges are announced against you, that takes so much air out of my balloon. 

  Mind you, I have never met State Representative Movita Johnson Harrell in person. However, I had the pleasure of interviewing her a few weeks before the special election in March 2019, when she was running to win the 190th District seat vacated by former State Representative Vanessa Lowery Brown.  At that time, Movita was very easy to access and allowed me to interview her. It was a good interview. She sounded very clear and sure about the things she would work on if elected. She talked about the community work she had accomplished over the years before becoming a political candidate. Heck, at one point in her professional career, she worked in the office of the District Attorney. I liked her, sight unseen. I also liked a couple of the other candidates. But Movita Johnson Harrell was the chosen one, by the Democratic City Committee. Usually in Philadelphia, you know how it goes—once the Democratic Committee gives you a nod of approval, you are in. 

Read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, December 13, 2019 - page 2

A quadruple celebration for Tenth Memorial Baptist Church

 Sometimes amazing people come into this world that are truly Blessed. Not to be mistaken with “regular folk.” When I say this, I am referring to Reverend William B. Moore and his wife of fifty years, Pauline Moore.  On Saturday, November 30, 2019, this Christian couple, man and woman of God, observed their golden wedding anniversary. They observed the forty-fifth anniversary of Rev. Dr. William B. Moore being the pastor of the Tenth Memorial Baptist Church at 1328 N. 19th Street in Philadelphia; and they also observed the fifty-eighth year of Pastor Moore, being in pastoral service. 

 Here’s some of what Pastor Moore shared about his years as a pastor. “This year Pauline and I, and our congregation and the greater community helped us to celebrate four very significant events in our lives. I’ve been the pastor of Tenth Memorial Baptist Church for forty-five years. I am celebrating fifty-four years of pastoring and fifty-eight years of preaching. My wife and I are celebrating fifty years of marriage this year as well. Pauline Mills Moore, the most delightful woman to me, in the world. I came to Tenth Memorial Baptist Church as the pastor in nineteen-seventy-four. I had no idea back then that I would be a pastor of a church in Philadelphia until it happened. I also had no idea I’d remain in Philadelphia for all these years. It’s been a great number of years with a wonderful congregation at Tenth Memorial so far.   

 Pastor Moore added, “One of the things we did when I first came to Tenth Memorial was to meet with the congregation. We came up with a list of twenty-four or twenty-five things we wanted to accomplish over time.  One of the things we wanted was to be located in the community and we wanted to be a part of the community. We also wanted to give back to the community. We established two non-profits. One of the things we did, as the result of a study we had conducted, was to get into housing. There was  a great need for affordable apartment housing in North Philadelphia, right in the area where our church sits to this day.  But that’s not what we wanted to do. We wanted to provide an opportunity for people to own their own homes. And then also there was a large senior population. We wanted to provide an opportunity for seniors; a place where they could live out their glory years in a safe environment. We did buy several properties in the neighborhood so we could put our members who needed housing in a place where they could rent. There was a need for that. But we didn’t want that to be our main focus. We cut our teeth on a couple places that we renovated.  In 1991 we started to work on the William B. Moore Manor, that provided an opportunity for sixty-plus seniors to have a place where they could live independently. 

Read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, December 6, 2019 - page 3

Simply being thankful

 Happy Thanksgiving Weekend SCOOP Readers. I’m taking a guess that by the time many of our faithful SCOOP Readers check out this week’s edition of the newspaper, you may have already observed the Thanksgiving Holiday. That’s okay, because the real deal is, we all should be Thankful everyday, not just around Thanksgiving. Every day, when we wake up amongst the land of the living, we need to be Thankful.  Every meal that we eat, every bit of clothing that we wear, every class we might need to attend to learn something, be Thankful. Or at least we should be Thankful. 

In this life, some of us seem to always want to stand in line at the complaint window. “Somebody on my job doesn’t like me,” so I complain.  A girl at school got the part in the play I wanted, so I’m highly upset. Get over it.  PGW comes to turn off your gas service and you haven’t paid a dime on the bill in over nine months. Don’t get mad. Get some money together, and get down to the PGW office in person to make an agreement. Also see what emergency utility service organizations might can help. Six months, and seven months, and eight months and up, is too long not to pay a dime on a bill. I’m not judging, I’m just speaking truth. Be thankful the utility company didn’t come and shut off your service sooner, I guess? 

Read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, November 29, 2019 - page 2

One-On-One with outgoing City Councilwoman At-Large Blondell Reynolds Brown

For full transparency sake, let me start this week’s column by admitting that my subject for this week, City Councilwoman At-Large, Blondell Reynolds Brown is my friend. I’ve known her for over 35 years. As I look back over her political career, I’m amazed at what she’s been able to accomplish. 

The day I interviewed Councilwoman Brown for this column, she had 45 days left to serve, from a 20 year career as a council person in Philadelphia. She stated, “I’m not quite in the headspace yet of retirement because there’s still a couple of legislative items that I must complete by the end of this month. Because of the way I operate, we’re not ready yet to tie anything into a little bow until those final two legislative matters are passed.  That said, intellectually I think I made the decision after the Christmas of 2018, that I would retire this year. It’s an emotional roller coaster to tackle the question of should I continue with this work, or do something else. Once you get past the emotional attachment to the work, intellectually I had to think about what does this mean for me.  

Councilwoman Brown commented, “After I returned from a beach rest, four days away by myself, doing a lot of self-reflection and self- assessment of who I am, where I am, and what time it is;  when I announced on January 21, 2019, that I would retire, I had completely resolved that career decision.  As of January 21, 2019,  I was completely okay with my major decision for this career change. Now quite frankly, we’re at the end of the actual reality which will be effective December 31, 2019. I have no regrets at all about my decision. At the end of my career and certainly at the end of my life, whenever God determines that to be, I do not want to have lived just the length of it. It’s not just about living long. It’s about also living the width of your life, for whatever that looks like. This represents me also wanting to live the width of my life as well.” 

Read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, November 22, 2019 - page 3

City Councilman At Large Bill Greenlee, A Gentleman Politician

The face of Philadelphia City Council is changing. Actually I should say, some of the faces on city council will certainly be new faces come January of 2020. There’s Kendra Brooks, who defied all the odds and soundly won herself a seat as a City Council person at large, doing so from what many consider a “non-traditional political party, The Working Families Party. Isaiah Thomas is joining city council, as is Katherine Richardson Gilmore and Jamie Gauthier.

But what of the people who are leaving Philadelphia City Council, two of them by choice and the third who did not win reelection?

Over the next three weeks, I will spotlight the city council people who will not return in January, three people whom I feel did a very good job while in office. In this week’s column, I am starting with William (Bill) Greenlee, a Democrat.

I always found City Councilman Greenlee to be kind, available and sincere about representing the people of Philadelphia. I never felt like he was in his position as a council person for self-gratification. He truly cares.  I would describe him as a gentleman and an all-around good guy who never forgot from whence he came and who always displayed that he wanted to make for positive change in our city. Bill Greenlee was an accessible leader and someone not afraid to meet people where the rubber hits the road, as the late Rev. Henry T. Wells would say.

Read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, November 15, 2019 - page 3

Black Women Reigned in Philly Elections

The Tuesday, November 5, 2019 General Election day results will have political watchers buzzing for years to come. Newcomer to elected office Rochelle Bilal soundly won the Philadelphia Sheriff’s seat. Tracey Gordon who has run for political office a couple times in the past, is essentially still a newcomer to politics and she won her race for Registrar of Wills on Tuesday.  And then shocker of shocker, a group called the Working Families PAC put a strong female candidate in the City Council at Large race and Kendra Brooks truly rocked the political boat of Philadelphia as she took one of two City Council At Large seats that normally are taken by Republicans. Kendra Brooks captured a Council At Large seat in what has been described as a historic win for the Working Families Party and Philadelphia Progressives. 

Kendra Brooks has become the first candidate from an outside party to win a seat in the 100 years since City Council adopted a modern legislative structure. Brooks commented,” For the first time in seven decades, we broke the GOP. We beat the Democratic establishment. They said a black single mom from North Philly wasn’t the right person, but we have shown them that we are bigger than them.”

Read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, November 8, 2019 - page 3

In My Opinion Two Great Black Congressman Now Gone

To lose two great African American Congressmen in less than two weeks is almost just too much to bare. In the last two weeks, we have lost Congressman Elijah Cummings and Congressman John Conyers.

I officially became a registered voter in Maryland a little over a year ago, and so last Fall, I voted to reelect Congressman Elijah Cummings. It felt good to do that because I actually knew who I was voting for. I had met the man on a number of occasions, interviewed him back in the day when I was still working for WDAS AM/FM.  Even when I went on to work at WHAT Radio and at WURD radio, our paths used to cross in Washington, D.C.  I liked him so much that from the time of his election to Congress, I followed him in the news. 

Elijah Cummings was my “new” Congressman at my new home in the state of Maryland and I was proud to vote for him. Over my years of working in broadcast radio, I covered the annual Congressional Black Caucus event at least twenty-five times, if not more. One of the many Congressmen I’ve had the opportunity to interview, even before he became my Congressman, was Elijah Cummings.  I recall observing him walking through the Congressional Black Caucus Expo area. I recall watching him as he sat on various Braintrust and workshop panels during Congressional Black Caucus week. I knew without the question of a doubt that he was a committed, focused, sincere and caring elected official who was not there on Capitol Hill for form or fashion, but for work and carrying out the business of the people.

Read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, November 1, 2019 - page 3

October 2019

Donald Trump must GO!

   By the time our SCOOP USA Media readers get this edition of the newspaper, it is my sincerest prayer that some of the information I am about to share, will be dated. By that I mean, I pray that by the end of this business week, (when the SCOOP is distributed), things will have changed drastically for the man who currently occupies the White House. Some call him the President of the United States, but he’s never been my president.  From the day the Russian government assisted Donald Trump in stealing the 2016 Presidential Election so he could be declared the “winner,” until this day, I have been certain of several things: Donald Trump is a liar. Donald Trump is a racist. Donald Trump must not complete his first four year term of office as president because he is unfit.  

   Around the world, I believe, America is the butt of every joke told. World leaders, enemies and allies alike, are laughing their hearts out, as this person, Donald Trump continues to embarrass America on the world stage, and enrage many of us here in the United States.   

   Even while on vacation for a week, I kept my eyes on CNN and other news channels to stay abreast of what was developing in our nation’s Capitol. I have such great concerns for our country, with a person in the White House that has shown himself a thousand times over, to be unstable, unprepared, uneducated enough and just way too stupid to run this country.

To read more, view SCOOP USA MEDIA, October 4, 2019 - page 2


Domestic Violence is Wrong

    It’s time to get out. If someone in your home is beating on you, giving you black eyes, telling you when you can eat, when you can use the bathroom, when you can step outside to get fresh air, it’s time to leave. If you are living with someone who is constantly berating you, not allowing you to be in touch with family or friends, always accusing you of cheating when you are faithful and leaving bruises all over your body after kicking your butt, leave now. 

    I recognize its easy to simply say, just leave. Get out. But reality is another story. Perhaps you have no money. Perhaps you have no idea of where to go. Maybe you are truly afraid of your abuser because they’re threatened to kill you or family members if you run. I still say, leave. 

As long as you’re not locked in a cage, I have some solutions to share. If you live with an abuser who goes to work, soon as they leave, pack up a few bags of your most important items and go. Leave while their back is turned. If you live with an abuser who does not work, but is up under your foot day and night, they still have to go to sleep at some point. That’s when you get up and get out. Even if it means you cannot pack a bag, or take anything but your identification, birth certificate, things like that, do it. 

    If all else fails, go to the nearest police station to where you live to ask for help, use a phone, etc. Often abusers will not allow the person they are abusing to have a phone or to have money, but still when there’s a will, there’s a way. Me personally, I would not suggest you simply go to a next door neighbor. I would try to put some distance between you and the one beating on you. Next door is to close for comfort. 

To read more, view SCOOP USA MEDIA,October 11, 2019, page 3


New school has opened in N. Philly that rivals “School of The Future”

    North Philadelphia has a brand new high school that rivals the likes of the School of the Future at 42nd and Parkside Avenue, built with Microsoft funding from owner Bill Gates. The new school I’m referring to is the Cristo Rey School at the corner of 17th and W. Allegheny Avenue. More recently at that corner was an ugly eyesore of a vacant building for too many years and prior to that, it was a thriving bicycle factory. That was in the 1920s.

    Today it’s alive with students who come from low income families, who dream of a solid education and going on to college.

Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School is an independent Catholic college preparatory school for students of all faiths, who cannot otherwise afford a private education. Cristo Rey offers an amazing opportunity for students who come from families that seem like they’re stuck in a generational grasp of poverty, to break those stereotypes and move on to preparation for twenty-first century careers. At Cristo Rey, students gain a top quality, college preparatory education. They experience a professional work setting, affordable access to college and support through college graduation. What more could a parent ask for, for their child?  

    When Cristo Rey first came to Philadelphia in 2012, they were located at 5218 North Broad Street, the former home of the Holy Child School of Our Lady of Hope Parish. That school was built in the early 19th century as an elementary school building. But truth be told, the school on North Broad Street did not have the facilities our young people of the 21st century deserve. 

    In 2016 school leaders found what they knew would be the perfect new home for Cristo Rey at 1717 West Allegheny Avenue. 

To read more, view SCOOP USA MEDIA,October 18, 2019, page 3


Tracey Gordon Set To Make History As First Female Register of Wills Unbought and Unbossed

    I had the opportunity to write about Tracey Gordon who ran as Democrat, just before the May 2019 Primary Election. At that point in time, I think there were probably a few people who thought, “Tracey Gordon can’t win the Democratic Primary Election. The Democratic Party’s not supporting her. They chose to support the longtime incumbent Register of Wills. She has no big money backers to help fuel her campaign war chest. Heck, she doesn’t even have a large amount of professionally printed campaign literature to circulate and she’s running in a city-wide race.” 

    The good news is that Tracey Gordon defied the odds, defied the naysayers and on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, she blew away everyone else who was running for Register of Wills. She shocked the Democratic party and others who thought she couldn’t pull it off. What some people didn’t count on, was her fiery, energetic spirit. Her feisty attitude and high level of intelligence and true desire to be a public servant for the people of Philadelphia. When you come up without a silver spoon in your mouth, when you raise your family, (four children), as a single Mom living in the heart of an inner city neighborhood, (Southwest Philadelphia) and pretty much have had to fight for everything you’ve earned all your life, you become astute at how to win and that’s exactly what Tracey did. During her primary campaign, Tracey Gordon left no stone unturned. That woman was everywhere.  She made sure her message and agenda were heard and at the end of the day, she was able to convince voters to push her button on election day so she could move on to the November 5th, General Election.  

     As a result of Philadelphia being a large majority Democratic city, when a candidate wins in the primary election in the Spring, they are a shoe-in to win the general election in the Fall. From May 21, 2019 until now, Tracey Gordon says she has been preparing herself for the day she is sworn in as the Register of Wills for Philadelphia and she plans to hit the ground running. 

Read more Thera Martin, SCOOP USA Media, October 25, 2019, page 2

September 2019


Will the Sheriff’s Office, Registrar of Wills and City Commissioners be here in Four Years?

Allow me to start my column this week, with transparency. I am a person who sometimes struggles with change. However, the reality is that sometimes change can be a good thing, or a bad thing.  In the discussion of whether to keep the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office, the Registrar of Wills Office and the City Commissioners Office, I say these offices are worthy of staying in place. Should the offices become more streamlined and more efficient? Absolutely. But should the baby be thrown out with the dirty bathwater? No!

This discussion, or the thought of a discussion actually became public information March 16, 2009 when the Committee of Seventy released a report they commissioned, called “Needless Jobs Report.” Under that title are the words, “Why six elected city positions should die, road map to reform. The Committee of Seventy, a not-for-profit organization that is a political watchdog group, seems to strongly feel none of Philadelphia’s Row Offices should remain in existence. That was in 2009 and in 2019, the Committee of Seventy is saying the same thing. At the time of the 2009 report the row offices listed included the Clerk of Quarter Sessions, Registrar of Wills, the Sheriff and the three City Commissioners.  

To read more, view SCOOP USA MEDIA, September 13, 2019

We’ll have new voting machines in Philly come November 5th

On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, General Election Day in PA, in Philadelphia voters will be using the new and controversial voting machines that were ordered for our city, for the first time. Did you know that? Were you paying attention? Don’t be shocked when you walk into your polling place on November 5th, and things just don’t look the same. Thirty-eight hundred (3,800) new machines will replace the ones the city already owned. The new voting machines have large, computerized touch screens on which voters tap their choices and also include a paper slip that records each ballot cast. These are the first new voting machines for Philly in almost 20 years. 

There was a big debate about the new machines before everything was finalized. The concern was over their security, accessibility and the very process by which they were chosen. After all the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election lawmakers in PA decided to make it a law requiring all counties across the state to get new, more efficient voting machines up and operating before the 2020 presidential election. Over the summer of 2019, the new machines were unveiled in several communities, giving some would-be voters a shot at seeing how they operate. However the concern is that the general population of dedicated voters in Philadelphia might just get a shock when they enter their polling place come November 5th.

To read more, view SCOOP USA MEDIA, September 20, 2019 - page 3



A Day of Absence from Facebook

Lawd, Lawd, Lawd, me stay off Facebook and Instagram too, for a whole 24 hours? Are you crazy? Are you kidding? But yes, that is what I determined I would do on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 in support of my NAACP. Surely I’ll die before the day is out.

I had no idea my addiction, (Yes I said it. My addiction), to Facebook and Instagram was so intense. To get on Facebook and Instagram every day, 5 to 10 times a day, is just like breathing, to me.  

Don’t forget about the Paul Robeson House and Museum

There are so many wonderful treasures in Philadelphia and one of them is the Paul Robeson House and Museum. Operated by the nonprofit called the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Paul Robeson House is a location where this great man Paul Robeson once lived. Yes he actually lived there. The executive Director of the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is Vernoca L. Michael and she works smart and hard every day to see to it that people do not forget about the Robeson House in all its glory. I always wonder how many young people know the name Paul Robeson and what he was all about, in our Black History.

  Read more... check on the December 7th edition of Scoop. 

The Philadelphia King Association Still Doing Good Deeds Year Round

I am proud to share that the Philadelphia Martin Luther King, Jr. Association for Nonviolence is still up to throwing a Holiday Celebration for underprivileged children in Philadelphia.  Because many of the children who are invited to attend the events come from area homeless shelters and from low income homes, I won’t give the location for these events in this column.   These programs are invitation only. The worst thing that could happen is that I write about these events in my column and then readers of the SCOOP spread the word, and a ton of children show up who were not invited and the King Association doesn’t have enough toys for everyone. That would be awful.

To read more, view Scoop USA Media, December 14, 2018

Saluting Congressman Bob Brady

I don’t care what the Washington Post, or any other news media outlet has to say about Philadelphia’s own, United States Congressman Robert P. Brady. 

In my book, he’s been a great elected official, for eleven terms as a Congressman representing Pennsylvania. He’s always been a champion of the people, and guess what? Even in his elevation/election to Congress, he never forgot from whence he came. The Bob Brady you would see on the steps of the capitol in D.C. was the same Bob Brady you’d see heading off to a Philadelphia Eagles game. In my head, Bob Brady was like the guy next door, just regular. He didn’t say a lot of hundred dollar words. He wasn’t about a lot of fashion, pomp and circumstance. With Bob Brady, what you see, is what you get.

Read more on Scoop USA Media, December 28, 2018. 

From my heart to yours

Thank God, we’ve made it to another year. Happy New Year to all our SCOOP Readers, Advertisers, SCOOP Columnist, Staff and owner/ publisher, Sheri Darden. Peace and Blessings to each of you.

As I pondered what would be the subject of my first column for the year 2019, I quickly came to the conclusion that it is my duty to share several critical things with you.

Number one, in this 2019 and beyond, please support the SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper. The SCOOP has been in existence for over 55 years. Our founder and first publisher, R. Sonny Driver passed away on December 28, 2017 at the age of 91. He was the lightening force behind this community newspaper, which for years, some thought of as only “a bar paper.” But the truth of the matter is that the SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper, over the years, under the leadership of one R. Sonny Driver, transformed into a community newspaper that al lof  those “in the know,” sought out, every Friday, once the SCOOP was delivered to all points Delaware Valley

Read more on Scoop USA Media, January 4, 2019.

A One On One With Dr. William Tucker

On January 15, 2019, had Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. still been alive, he would have been ninety years old. He was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. The late Dr. C. Delores Tucker and her husband Dr. William Tucker, worked and marched side by side with Dr. King on many occasion. Hon. Dr. C. Delores Tucker and a group of community leaders held the first Philadelphia luncheon is 1984, as a way to raise funds for the establishment of Martin Luther King’s birthday as a federal holiday, which was first celebrated in 1986.  Dr. Tucker officially formed the King Association in 1983 at the request of Mr. Coretta Scott King.  Mrs. King knew that Philadelphia held a special place in her husband’s heart and thought it fitting to have a permanent organization dedicated to his ideals of peace and freedom here in the city.

Read more on Scoop USA Media January 18, 2019.

January - February 2019


Doing What Dr.King Would Have Done

The 39th Philadelphia Police District, Philadelphia Police Clergy and the Community Advisory Group for the 39th Police District gave away 30 thousand pounds of free food Saturday, January 19, 2019  outside in front of the 39th Police District Headquarters. Over 500 people came out to get that special assistance, including some, who are Federal Government Workers who haven’t gotten a paycheck in our 30 days, thanks to the Donald Trump Federal Government partial shut down.  According to Bishop R.T. Jones, a member of the Police Clergy organization, anyone from around the city who is low on food and who can get to the 39th Police District Headquarters, are welcome to come. 

Read more on Scoop USA , January 25, 2019

"Super-Bowl" Not concern for Federal Workers put federal Government Shutdown On Hold

Hey everybody, don’t get it twisted. President Donald Trump, who I’d rather refer to as number forty-five, didn’t get a sudden bout of concern or caring for some eight hundred thousand plus, federal workers and their families who haven’t been able to work for more than thirty days because he wants a border wall built and has been fighting with the Democrats over that.  The Trump Federal Government partial shut-down ended last Friday, January 25, 2019 because some big money boys, namely NFL Team Owners got a hold of number forty-five and told him, “Hey man, are you crazy? We’ve got billions of dollars pending on the Super-Bowl Game and we can’t have the Atlanta Airport or any other airports jammed up and not running smoothly because we need all the fans to be able to travel smoothly by air to and from their destinations to get to the Super-Bowl.”  

Read more, Scoop USA Media, February 1, 2019

Go after money for college right now

For parents and caretakers of teenagers who are seniors in high school, now and right now is the time to start seriously applying for grants and scholarships for your young people, to help pay their college bills, for the Fall of 2019. Do not wait until April and May to get started. Right now is the time. Leave no stone unturned as you seek out funding sources to help your young person obtain money for their higher education. And even if they were not an A+ student, or a student who had only a mixture of A’s and B’s on their report cards, they need to know they can and should still apply for grants and scholarship money. In other words what I’m trying to tell you is that your child can be a student who perhaps had a lot of C’s on their report cards, or maybe who did not have high SAT scores, but guess what? They can still get accepted into certain colleges and universities and they can still qualify for certain financial aid. The secret is to apply early and apply for everything you can. Do not give up!

Read more, Scoop USA Media, February 8, 2019

Celebrate the Scoop Black History Month

It’s African American History Month and it’s time to get real. Ask not and you get not. The SCOOP USA Media Community Newsmaker is at a new Era in history if you will. However let us not forget that we stand on the shoulders of a legend, the late R. Sonny Driver, who led this awe-mazing newspaper for over 50 years.  He had a vision to create a newspaper for and about the Black community and he spoke it into reality. He wanted a newspaper that would be affordable and that would spotlight entertainment venues initially and then as the paper grew in popularity, he started including news and community events, columns and more. Many a time if the truth be told, Sonny Driver in the early years of the SCOOP would offer super discount rates just to make sure that certain small business owners could get some space in the SCOOP and for sure, Sonny would bend over backwards for elected officials and wannabe elected officials to help them tell their stories, whether they could afford to purchase an ad or not. 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, February 15, 2019

The politics of running for office

Guess what SCOOP Readers? Another Political election cycle is upon us an it is as important as the next presidential election in 2020. Forget about that race for just a moment, so you can think about what’s at stake right here in our own backyard. That’s right. Here in Philadelphia and in Pennsylvania, we have a Primary election coming up on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Some may say to you, “Oh that is way too soon to be talking about the election.” In reality, now is the time to start to get to know who these people are, that are asking for our votes on election day. Also now is the time, when these man and women who say they want to run, are walking around town. Or, they have others on their behalf walking around town, asking for you to sign your name of their petition sheets, so they can in fact get their name on the ballot to officially run for office in Philadelphia.

Read more, Scoop USA Media, February  22, 2019

Philadelphia Council of Clergy makes history installing first Woman President at Bright Hope Baptist

The Philadelphia Council of Clergy will make history on Saturday, March 16, at 12 noon when they Install their first woman Presiding Prelate, Bishop Mary Floyd Palmer, Founding Pastor of The Samaritan Temple. The event will take place at Bright Hope Baptist Church located at 1601 N. 12th Street, (12th and Cecil B. Moore Avenue). Archbishop Anthony Floyd, Sr., Founding CEO and Presiding Bishop of The Philadelphia Council of Clergy, Inc. stated, “I am pleased to announce that this historic occasion will happen during Women’s History Month. Bishop Mary Floyd Palmer is well trained, well prepared and more than ready to pick up the torch I am handing her. I am also proud to say that she is my brother’s daughter and my niece. Some of us in the family knew many years ago that Bishop Mary had a special calling on her life and I believe everything that she has done has led her to this moment in time. I did what God told me to do and I could not be any happier.”

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 1, 2019

March - April 2019


Residents of the 190th Legislative District Vote In Special Election March 12th

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 there will be a special election in the 190th Legislative District of West Philadelphia to fill the now vacant seat left by former PA State Representative Vanessa Lowery Brown.  This special election will  decide who will fill that vacant seat in the PA State House.  

As always in cases like this, the Democratic party has the right to nominate a candidate of their choice that they want to push for the seat; and, other people who qualify are also allowed to run. 

In this case, there are three Democrats running for the seat and one Republican. The Democrats are Movita Johnson Harrell, (the nominated candidate by the Democratic City Committee), Amen Brown and Pamela K. Williams, who has the Working Families Party behind her candidacy; and the Republican candidate is Michael Harvey.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 8, 2019

The New State Rep. in 190th Legislative District is (D) Movita Johnson Harrell

At the end of the day on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, Special Election Day in the 190th Legislative District, Movita Johnson Harrell came out the winner and is now the Pa State Representative-Elect.

Thank you PA State Representative Johanna Mc Clinton, for sharing her private cell phone number with me, so I could catch up with the new State Representative the day after her win, to congratulate her and to give her a chance to thank those she wanted to thank.

Read more, Scoop USA Media, March 15, 2019

It’s our duty to help save Cheyney

Are your customers raving about you on social media? Share their great stories to help turn potential customers into loyal ones.Cheyney University needs our help again. Some might dare to say they have a problem with that. To them I say, I don’t care how many times our nation’s first Black college might need help, all of us who are Black, need to step up to the plate and help. Cheyney University is a historic Black University and the first in the United States.

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is a public, co-educational university, founded in 1837. The university is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Cheyney University sits on 275-acres of land. Land. Don’t forget that word, land. Land is so valuable. So as I share the story of financial hurdles that Cheyney has undergone for years and years, and from time to time, under threat of doors closing, remember the words, valuable land.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 22, 2019

Get your score cards ready on political candidates

In a little less than fifty days, believe it or not, Philadelphia voters will be heading to the polls to participate in the primary election, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Based on the names on the city of Philadelphia, city commissioners website,, there’s a heck of a lot of people running in the upcoming election. Whew! People have the right to run, as long as they are qualified, certified, and turn in all the required paperwork, in order and on time, as they are supposed to. So as it turns out for example in the May 21st primary election, there’s fourteen people running for City Commissioner as Democrats, and one person running as a Republican and he’s an incumbent, Al Schmidt. The Democratic incumbent is Lisa Deeley. Anthony Clark is also currently a city commissioner, however he has chosen not to run for re-election. 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 29, 2019

Who Will Be Left Standing In Three-Way Race For Register of Wills Race?

We have a primary election coming up in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, May 21 and every able-bodied registered voter, in their right mind, needs to get ready to vote. We at the SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper will not tell you who to vote for, but we are here to let you know about some of the key races where incumbents have opponents running against them. One such race is the race for the Register of Wills Office. Before I even get into the names of who’s on the ballot for Register of Wills, what happens out of this office? The Register of Wills Office, administers the probate of wills and related matters such as marriage licenses. They grant letters of administration when persons die who have not prepared a will before they die. The office also keeps records of wills, inventories of estates and other such documents and they serve as an overseer if you will, for the state of Pennsylvania, for filing and payment of inheritance taxes.

Read More Community News with Thera Martin, Scoop USA Media, April 5, 2019

Countdown ‘Til Primary Election Day

Every week between now and Primary Election Day, Tuesday, May 21, SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper is committed to sharing information about the election itself and or about the various candidates that are running for election or for reelection. The challenge is, there’s so many people running for City Council At Large, for City Commissioner and even for judicial seats, that for our once a week newspaper, the challenge will be daunting to try and shed the light on everyone who has tossed their hat in the ring, for various races. Nonetheless we shall do our best.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 12, 2019

APRIL - MAY 2019


Fourteen running for City Commissioner

Every week between now and Primary Election Day, Tuesday, May 21, SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper is committed to sharing information about the election itself and or about the various candidates that are running for election or for reelection. The challenge is, there’s so many people running for City Council At Large, for City Commissioner and even for judicial seats, that for our once a week newspaper, the challenge will be daunting to try and shed the light on everyone who has tossed their hat in the ring, for various races. Nonetheless we shall do our best.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 19,2019

City Commissioner Candidates, Part 2

Every week between now and Primary Election Day, Tuesday, May 21, SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper is committed to sharing information about the election itself and or about the various candidates that are running for election or for reelection. The challenge is, there’s so many people running for City Council At Large, for City Commissioner and even for judicial seats, that for our once a week newspaper, the challenge will be daunting to try and shed the light on everyone who has tossed their hat in the ring, for various races. Nonetheless we shall do our best.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 26, 2019

Introducing the first of 35 Council At Large Candidates

Every week between now and Primary Election Day, Tuesday, May 21, SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper is committed to sharing information about the election itself and or about the various candidates that are running for election or for reelection. The challenge is, there’s so many people running for City Council At Large, for City Commissioner and even for judicial seats, that for our once a week newspaper, the challenge will be daunting to try and shed the light on everyone who has tossed their hat in the ring, for various races. Nonetheless we shall do our best.

There are 28 people who are Democrats, running for City Council at Large. On the Republican side there are seven people running for City Council at Large. Due to the large number of individuals running, we’ll only be able to give you a snapshot of the folk asking for your votes on election day for a council at large seats. Here goes.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 3, 2019

Candidates At Large, Part II

Every week between now and Primary Election Day,

Tuesday, May 21, SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper is committed to sharing information about the election itself and or about the various candidates that are running for election or for reelection. The challenge is, there are so many people running for City Council At Large, for City Commissioner and even for judicial seats, that for our once a week newspaper, the challenge will be daunting to try and shed the light on everyone who has tossed their hat in the ring, for various races. Nonetheless we shall do our best.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 10, 2019

Do the Darn thing! VOTE!

It’s that time once again Philadelphia. For everyone who is a registered voter, you have the opportunity to go to your polling place on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 and vote for the candidates of your choice. The offices that are up for grabs are as follows: There’s only one statewide office that will appear on ballots across Pennsylvania in the May 21st Primary Election. Registered Republicans and Democrats can vote in primary elections for Judge of the Superior Court. In Philadelphia, registered Democrats and Republicans can vote in primary elections for Mayor, all 17 seats on City Council (10 district and seven at-large), Register of Wills, Sheriff and the three City Commissioner slots, as well as judgeships on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 17, 2019

We Can Now Call Archbishop Mary Floyd Palmer

Archbishop Mary Floyd Palmer was honored at a Mayoral Reception at City Hall  last Thursday, May 16th for having achieved yet another Philadelphia first: the first female Archbishop in the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and notably, the first African-American female Archbishop in the United States.  Archbishop Mary is the eldest daughter of Philly legend, the Rev. Dr. Melvin Floyd, the Urban Missionary known as the “Dean of Evangelism” who is credited with stopping Philly’s gang wars in the early 1970’s and equally admired for his unique van with the coffin affixed on top which showed  the deadly reality and promoted  healing and unity.  Affectionately called “Bishop Mary”, she made history on Saturday, March 16, 2019 when the Philadelphia Council of Clergy installed her as the first woman Presiding Prelate at the prestigious Bright Hope Baptist Church located in North Philadelphia. 

The Philadelphia Council of Clergy, Inc. (PCC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1994 by Archbishop Anthony Floyd, Sr. PCC is an ecumenical group of multi-cultural faith-based leaders around the world who desire to alleviate suffering, overcome oppression, foster justice and peace in communities where they work and live. This organization has impacted over 600,000 people locally and internationally.   As religious leaders, their network promotes a unified relationship with government officials and the social and economic advancement of Bishops, pastors and members, and continues to foster a great working and respectful relationship with law enforcement and community leaders.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 24, 2019

may -july 2019


World Renowned Boxing Judge Lynne Carter Inducted Into PA Boxing Hall of Fame

Lynne Suzette Carter, a world renowned boxing judge and historic figure in her own right, got a very distinct honor recently.  She was inducted on May 19, 2019 into the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame, the only woman, to have that honor to date.  She is very deserving of the honor and in front of a heavy boxing affiliated audience of friends, supporters and admirers, she accepted the honor graciously. Back in 2012, Ms. Carter was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame. While the New Jersey honor was a tremendous occasion for her, there’s nothing like when you get recognition in your own home state. 

In fact, this Spring season has been a busy time for the ever beautiful and highly capable and intelligent Lynne Carter. She was honored during Philadelphia City Council’s regularly scheduled session Thursday, April 4, 2019.  Third Councilmanic District Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell introduced the resolution to honor Carter and was accompanied by all council members as the citation was read and presented.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 31, 2019

PA Women Leaders Gearing Up for 2020 International Women’s Conference at the United Nations

Something very positive and international will happen in New York City for Women, March 9-March 20, 2020. I’m sharing this information with you now, so you can learn how you might be one of the women in the room, soto- speak, at the United Nations during this historic upcoming conference. The reason I want Philadelphia women to have such an “in advance heads-up,” is because in Philadelphia we have awe-mazing women leaders and developing women leaders who need to be there.

In 2020, the global community will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). A five-year milestone will be reached toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 2020 is therefore a pivotal year for the accelerated realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, everywhere.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 7, 2019

We should honor ‘Good Fathers’ every day

Father’s Day is being observed this Sunday, June 16and prayerfully it will be a wonderful day for all deserving Fathers across America. By “deserving Fathers,” I mean Fathers who have been stand-up men and who have been there for their children to the very best of their ability. That does not mean you had to have been a millionaire or a Father who was always handing out one hundred dollar bills and purchasing you the latest pair of sneakers that all young people were raving about. A standup Father is a man who works hard at whatever job he has, and who then takes a portion of his earned money to go towards taking care of his child or children.

Certainly I’m old enough to understand that many times, there are men and women who get together, date and become a couple, and then there is a pregnancy. In some cases, after the pregnancy the relationship stays solid. In other cases, after pregnancy some relationships fail. I have always been of the thought that if you help make a baby, then you need to help take care of that baby once it gets here, and up until they are at least 18 years of age.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 14, 2019

Getting a grip on Philly

Last week as we were observing Fathers Day, I chose to write about what I think it takes to deserve the title “good father.” I was in an upbeat frame of mind as I wrote my column last week, and included information about the annual Father’s Day Rally Committee series of events they host each year, a few days leading into Father’s Day. Everything culminates on Fathers Day with a very peaceful and love-filled free cookout for any and all families and fathers, who decide to participate. All this positivity happens under the leadership of one Bilal Qayyum, president of the Fathers Day Rally Committee and one of its founders. 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 21, 2019

The Nightmare Called Immigration Under Trump

 When I think about how I was, when I was seven and eight years old, heck, even eleven years old, I was very much a Momma’s Baby and a Daddy’s Baby. My sister and I were both very sheltered in many ways. In other ways we had to grow up quickly. When we were just five and six years old, because both our parents worked two jobs each, the decision was made that we girls would have to travel by public transportation on a bus and then a trolley, to get to Quarter Masters, a small U.S. Army Base in South Philadelphia. We were covered. Nothing bad ever happened to us, as two little girls, (my sister and I), traveled from S.W. Philadelphia, down to South Philadelphia unescorted, five days a week, after school. Once there, our Father would be there to greet us. To tell you the truth though, I can recall being just a little frightened, on each and every one of those trips. I recall feeling vulnerable. That was in the 1960’s.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 28, 2019

97 year old man, Ordained as a Deacon in South Philly

Sunday, July 30, 2019 was the day, a 97 year old man from South Philadelphia became an ordained Deacon at the Rising Sun Baptist Church at 745 South 12th Street in Philadelphia. Pastor of Rising Sun Baptist Church, Rev. Harry Bronson, fondly known as the “Godfather” of Black Baptist Churches in South Philadelphia shared the good news. ”I first asked my Uncle, Thomas James Bronson, known as “Uncle T,” to consider studying to become an ordained Deacon over three decades ago. In fact, I asked him more than once, but every time I did, he seemed to have a different reason for not doing it at that time. But all glory to God, he came to me not so long ago and told me, “he was ready,” and I was thrilled. Thomas James Bronson has been a faithful and loyal and longtime member of Rising Sun Baptist Church, and I will be glad to officially call him a Deacon of the church after the ordination service. It’s not every day, that you can witness a 97 year old being ordained.  I Praise God and I Bless Him, for this day coming to fruition.” 

I thank God so very much for keeping my Uncle T with us for so many years. Sunday was a never before heard of experience, witnessing a 97 year old be ordained. I wanted some constructive responses from people who have been pastors for many years, if they had ever heard of a “combined” ordination. All that I spoke to said they never heard of it, but we did it for the first time at Rising Sun on June 30, 2019.

Read More Scoop USA Media Digital July 5, 2019

July 2019


Making A Difference in Ghana, West Africa...with Bamboo Bikes

Who would ever expect that a little black boy, who grew up in a housing project in North Philadelphia called the Richard Allen Homes, would ever grow up to be a well-respected, sought-after, successful businessman and owner of his own communications firm? 

Further, who would have thought that, that same young black boy, would one day grow to become a philanthropist, who is very serious about giving back in the local and global community, and making a difference?

The man I am referring to is A. Bruce Crawley, the owner of Millennium 3 Management, a communications and digital marketing firm, located in Center City Philadelphia.

Crawley has taken one of his passions and turned it into a wonderful opportunity for him and others to give back, to the larger “community,” in the Motherland Africa, more specifically, in Ghana.

He is the first to proclaim, “I am an avid bike rider. I enjoy riding. It’s healthy and it keeps me fit. In 2016, however, we decided that we wanted to do something charitable that had to do with bikes. We wanted to give back in the community so we started looking around to see where we could do the most good, with bikes. We wound up with a concept to give away free bikes in Africa. 

From that vision, the African Bicycle Contribution Foundation (ABCF) was born, with a special focus on providing support in Ghana, in West Africa. Crawley is chairman of the board; his wife, Patricia M. Harris, is the organization’s executive director. ABCF was drawn to support Ghana’s students and small farmers for two primary reasons: In rural areas, there is poor access to motorized vehicles or bicycles and it is common for children to have to walk fifteen or twenty miles every day, to and from their school.

Read more, July 12, 2019, page 3


Nurses from Hahnemann Hospital held a so-called funeral march Tuesday, July 16, 2019, walking from the hospital to City Hall, carrying signs and a coffin. There were no smiling faces, no laughter, no joy in this march. This march was about saving the hospital from closure, saving people’s jobs and helping Philadelphians who utilize Hahnemann as their main point of health care.  Its kind of like a death of another Philadelphia Hospital if the owners of the hospital have their way.  If things go the way the owners of Hahnemann Hospital want them to go, this historic hospital will be closed officially in September, which is right around the corner. Hahnemann Hospital is owned by Philadelphia Academic Health System, which also owns Saint Christopher’s Hospital for Children. (For now its seems, St. Christopher’s Hospital is safe, but who knows what will happen down the line). 

Despite the fact that Hahnemann takes care of more than 40,000 patients a year, the powers that be at Philadelphia Academic Health System, seem to think its too costly to keep the hospital open. 

Nurses from Hahnemann are calling upon Mayor Kenney and Governor Wolf to take every action they can, to keep the hospital from closure. 

Congressman Dwight Evans has weighed in on the subject with presidential candidate Bernie Sanders who held his own rally to save Hahnemann July 15th, outside in front of the building. Congressman Evans, in a letter he wrote to the fiery U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, encouraged him to do all he can to help Philadelphia save this hospital. Congressman Evans letter reads as follows: “Thank you for your concern regarding the financial challenges that Hahnemann Hospital and Saint Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia are facing. The Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation is certainly worried about this ongoing challenge, especially given the potential impact to patients, nurses and doctors. I agree with you that CEO Joel Freedman must honor his commitment to our communities by keeping the facility open. Over the past several weeks, members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation have engaged in meetings with constituents and engaged with stakeholders at the local, state and federal levels to find remedies for this situation. While we continue to do our part in looking for remedies, I urge you to work with your Senate colleagues to investigate what has happened here and find a financially responsible way to route federal resources to these hospitals to keep them open. I appreciate your partnership and look forward to working with you.”

Read More Thera Martin, Scoop USA Media, July 19, 2019, page 3


Didn’t think I’d be writing about Hahnemann Hospital for two weeks in a row, but that’s exactly what’s happening. Before the ink could dry on last week’s SCOOP column that I wrote, things began to unravel even more for the staff and patients of this historic hospital. 

No sooner than I submitted my column for the week, a notification was sent to the media, a detailed timeline for its impending closure. It was too late to “stop the printing” of last week’s SCOOP Newspaper, thus I owe it to our readers to give you more specifics about the reality of what’s unfolding at Hahnemann whether we like it or not.


Admissions from the emergency department ended at 7am July 17, 2019

Elective surgical cases requiring inpatient care ceased on July 17, 2019

The inpatient operating room closed for non-emergency cases July 17, 2019

Direct inpatient admissions ceased July 19, 2019

Endoscopy and colonoscopy services will end this Friday, July 26th. 

Same day surgeries will end  this Friday, July 26th. 

The Infusion center and aphaeresis services will end this Friday, July 26th; as well as the Sleep Lab will close as of this Friday, July 26th.

The Hahnemann Hospital Emergency Room is set to close officially as of Friday, August 16th.

Hospital services such as lab, radiology, blood bank and pharmacy will close Friday, August 23rd. 

The Drexel outpatient oncology suite located in Hahnemann will cease operations on or before Friday, September 6th.

The hospital building is planned to closer on or about Friday, September 6th.

Read More Thera, ScoopUSA Media, July 26, 2019 page 2

North Philly Record Shop Owner Inspired by The Late Bruce Webb

These days it’s so much easier to just write about crime and violence, not just in Philadelphia but around the nation. I am thrilled that my Publisher and owner doesn’t require that we submit columns on “hard news” every week. I’d be in the pits of depression.

That being said, I’m delighted to shine the spotlight on a daring small business owner in the heart of North Philadelphia’s Brewery Town community. Let me introduce our SCOOP Readers to the owner of The Brewery Town Beats record store. His name is Maxwell. His family moved to Philadelphia in 1980 and they’ve been rooted here ever since. Maxwell says he loves music and he believes there’s a lot of people in Philadelphia and from other locations across the country who are music lovers like him. The reality is, not everyone wants to listen to music on a computer or a cell phone.   

Maxwell Ochester shared a bit of his story. ”The original Brewery Town Beats record store was on 29th Street and Girard Avenue, but now we’re located at 2710 W. Girard Avenue.  I love music maybe a little too much, if there is such a thing,” he said laughing. Then he got serious and went on with his story. “My life is consumed by music. We were at the 2900 block of W. Girard Avenue for about a year and a half. Late 2015, I moved over to the 2700 block of W. Girard Avenue.  The physical product of actually selling vinyl is modest at best. It’s become much more difficult as you can imagine to sell records these days. It’s a much smaller audience.  However what we’ve been doing, which is somewhat unique, we’ve researched the history, specifically of Philadelphia music.  We have been trying to preserve and shine some lights on the lesser known bands who came through Philadelphia. It’s starting to catch on and people are starting to look to our store, for that knowledge. That part has been really good.”

Read More Thera, Scoop USA Media, August 2, 2019, page 3

Are you ready for Back to School Time?

This time every year I dedicate one of my SCOOP columns to do my part to help parents and other caretakers of children, be on point with back to school time. It is so important that our children are prepared and ready to start each new school year out, on the right foot.  Like Malcolm X stated, “Education is the Passport to the future.” Thus we as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and other caretakers of some of the most vulnerable people on earth, it is our duty to make sure children understand how important education is and to take school seriously. In my head, children should have the benefit of attending pre-school or nursery school. Some call that Head Start, and then Kindergarten before they hit elementary school In cases when children are afforded the opportunity to start their education in a pore-school setting, when they arrive at Kindergarten, they should know their alphabets, be able to count to 100 if not 200 and they should be able to read back sentences such as “See the Dog” “Hug the cat” I love you.” Yes I’m saying when you allow your child to have an early childhood education you can end up with a child who can handle reading basic sentences at age five and six. 

If you have a school age child, and you really want to be on point with everything that the Philadelphia Public School District has to offer, then save the date, August 22, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Make plans to come to The School of the Future at 4021 Parkside Avenue in West Philadelphia. It is there that officials from The School District of Philadelphia will unfold its annual  Back 2 School Event. The event  is designed to help Philadelphia area students and their families as they prepare to return to school. With the help of many great partners and sponsors, backpacks, school supplies, health screenings, and social service resources are provided to thousands of students, free of charge!

Read more Thera, ScoopUSA Media, August 9, 2019

Fresh Start for Meek Mill

As a single Mother, the majority of my adult life, and having raised a young Black man in a major city like Philadelphia, where so very many things can go wrong, I was thrilled to hear the news Tuesday, August 27, 2019, that Meek Mill’s criminal case is now officially over.  At the court proceedings, Meek pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for a firearms possession gun charge and all the other charges against him were dropped. The charges go back to the year 2007 and those charges kept the successful young rapper from Philly, under the foot of the American legal system up until August 27, 2019. 

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Genece Brinkley is the Judge who’s held the fate of Meek Mill in her hands for quite a few years. Last month however, Brinkley was removed from the case by the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Quite a number of people including Meek himself have stated repeatedly that Judge Brinkley was over the top with her punishments and strict probation she had placed over him, but finally with her removal from his case, justice now seems more fair. Meek Mill no longer has to get permission from a probation officer to go across the bridge to New Jersey for example, to spend time with his son. He no longer has to get approval from anyone, to accept tour dates around the world. He’s a free man and he is off probation for the first time in twelve years.

I detest the fact that Meek Mill and so many other untold numbers of male and female African American people in particular, have had to be a witness to a failed justice system. Too often people go to jail and prison for minor crimes, or are first time offenders and deserve to be mandated to a program that will help them. But not to be incarceration.  

Lucky for Meek, God, his fame, good fortune and friends; his nightmare, we believe is over. But how many more young men and women are still locked up, when they too should be seeing their freedom. Having said that, while I feel for Meek for what he’s gone through, I do believe God is using him to help others who are incarcerated, to have a voice through him. I am cheering Jay Z, Meek Mill and others, on, who have created a criminal justice reform project that I believe can help make a positive change for other people caught up in the system.  

Read more Thera, ScoopUSA Media, August 30, 2019, page 3