The Big and Small Moments of 2011

By Michael Alan Goldberg, Randy LoBasso and Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Dec. 27, 2011

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Big moment: Philadelphia’s gun violence epidemic hits a new low when six people are killed and 32 others shot in separate incidents over one June weekend.

Small moment: The National Rifle Association objects to proposed Pa. legislation that would, in part, establish a Violence Prevention Fund to help steer youth away from gun violence, saying that such a program “would just help establish funds for further anti-gun programs in the name of stopping inner-city violence.”

Big moment: In January, the D.A’s office published a grand jury report on Kermit Gosnell, accusing the alleged drug trafficker and murderer of running a butcher shop he called a clinic. The grand jury concluded that the death toll was “literally incalculable.” The report referred to the dead babies by letters of the alphabet in order to identify where the bodies were found, which included frozen spring water bottles, a plastic shoe box and a cat-food container. Gosnell was able to operate in wide-open darkness because the clinic had not been inspected since 1993.

Small moment: Operation Rescue, a radical domestic terrorist organization—senior policy advisor Cheryl Sullenger served time for conspiring to blow up a San Diego abortion clinic and admitted advising murderer Scott Roeder on George Tiller’s court dates—gather in the basement of St. Agnes in the Philly suburb of West Chester. Leader Troy Newman recast Kermit Gosnell as a golden political opportunity and invited an audience of elderly Christians to salivate at the possibilities. It worked. Some audience members volunteered to act as operatives, calling clinics and pretending to need help in order to gather intel on local doctor’s schedules and addresses.


Big moment: After a few years of serious “flash mob” incidents in outlying Philly neighborhoods, the city finally takes the violence seriously—and responds with a show of PPD force—after a handful of brazen youth mob attacks in Center City over the summer threaten businesses and tourism.

Small moment: As part of his strategy to combat youth mob violence, Mayor Nutter announces extended hours for rec centers—something that already should have been done proactively instead of reactively.

Big moment: Mayor Nutter gives the “blacks need to control their kids” sermon at his church with regard to flash mobs, telling parents, “You have damaged your own race.”

Small moment: Airwave conspiracist Glenn Beck praises Nutter: “If he’s sincere about what he’s saying here on the pulpit, if he’s sincere about that, he might get my vote in Philadelphia, if I were living in Philadelphia.”

Big moment: This summer, “Wanted” posters of young hipster dude with a penchant for tiger sweaters named Michael Calamari pop up on telephone posts all around town after allegedly punching a Barbary DJ woman in the face. The poster read: “Michael Calamari has violently assaulted multiple women.” After the posters went up, local media collectively crowed about libel lawsuits and the dangers of mob mentality while the DIY DJ community discussed sexism in their community. Calamari ducked out of the scene, and victim filed charges and vowed to leave town.

Small moment: Philebrity commenter waxes philosophical: “It’s Hipster Profiling … Everyone wants to hate this guy because he looks like a douchebag. He probably is a douchebag. But being a douchebag doesn’t make you a rapist or an assailant.”


Big moment: Fight for Philly and other city job advocates, like the Philadelphia Unemployment Project and concerned citizens, hold several protests outside Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey’s office over his votes against the American Jobs Act and its individual components.

Small moment: A group of Temple University Republicans hold silent counter-protests behind a wall of bicycle cops. One brings a sign reading, “Go Occupy a Bathtub while I pay for your welfare.” The protesters, many of whom are elderly and unemployed, are not impressed.

Big moment: The Northern Liberties grocery store finally opens, as a SuperFresh, therein apparently completing the Bart Blatstein NoLibs utopian urbania.

Small moment: How many failing storefronts can we count between Liberties Walk and the Piazza, again?

Big moment: Philadelphia Parking Association announces customer service initiatives and LGBT sensitivity training.

Small moment: PPA still hated, by everyone.

Big moment: The Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility releases an official inquiry regarding the New Black Panthers’ alleged intimidation at a Fairmount Avenue voting site—and found no intimidation actually took place.

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1. Reasonable Solutions said... on Dec 28, 2011 at 09:44PM

“We are honored to be mentioned in one of the big moments of 2011. It was brought to our attention at tonight's RS meeting... We were tickled to read it. Ahhh... Memories :)



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