November 3, 2012 |
The economic optimism of Philadelphia-area holiday shoppers is on the rise, according to research by Deloitte L.L.P., whose findings Thursday echoed a broader surge in consumer confidence nationally. The consulting firm's annual holiday survey of the region's shoppers found that local consumers were cheerier about the national economy and their own personal finances than they were a year ago, though a larger percentage of people said they planned to shop for bargains and sale items.
October 22, 2012 |
Before the final games at Citizens Bank Park in September, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. convened meetings with his cadre of lieutenants and scouts to formulate a winter plan. The Phillies brass knew it would stew for a month because there is nothing to do but wait. Free agency remains weeks away and given more time than ever in October to ponder strategy, Amaro could be ready to pounce. Or not. "I think patience is going to be important throughout this offseason," Amaro said after those meetings.
September 29, 2012 |
Kitchen and bathroom renovations top the list of improvements for increasing the value of a home. But this labor-intensive remodeling can get expensive. Even without changing room layouts, the simple job of replacing finishes and fixtures can cost more than the price of a new car. What builders call "pull-and-replace" remodeling can run $12,000 to $22,000 for the average 5-by-7-foot bathroom and $29,000 to $52,000 for a 12-by-12-foot kitchen, estimates Rick Matus of Case Design/Remodeling Inc. in Bethesda, Md. "As soon as you start moving plumbing, electrical wiring, and walls," he says, "the costs go up substantially from there.
September 18, 2012 |
MADISON, WIS. - Wisconsin school- and government-employee unions on Monday were considering whether to seek new contract talks after a state court threw out a controversial law that restricts public workers' collective-bargaining rights. At least one major union, representing about 4,700 teachers in Madison, said that it will demand new contract negotiations, while others said that they were weighing their options. A Dane County judge ruled Friday that the law, passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2011, violates the school and local employees' constitutional rights to free speech, free association and equal representation.
September 15, 2012 |
MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin judge on Friday struck down nearly all of the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective-bargaining rights for most public workers. Walker's administration immediately vowed to appeal, while unions, which have vigorously fought the law, declared victory. But what the ruling meant for existing public contracts was murky: Unions contended that the ruling meant they could negotiate again, but Walker could seek to keep the law in effect while the legal drama plays out. The law, a crowning achievement for Walker that made him a national conservative star, took away nearly all collective-bargaining rights from most workers and has been in effect for more than a year.
August 30, 2012
Greensgrow LIFE: SNAP benefit recipients can sign up to receive a weekly share of locally grown produce for $13 and earning $4 back in Philly Food Bucks coupons. 12 weeks, July-September. Plus kids' activities, cooking classes. Greensgrow Farm, 2501 E. Cumberland St., 215-427-2702, greensgrow.org. St. Christopher's Foundation Farm to Family Initiative: Works with community-based groups to provide fresh food to people living, working or worshipping in North Philadelphia with weekly boxes of produce, meat and eggs from local farms for $10 to $15 (cash, credit or SNAP benefits)
August 3, 2012 |
By Chris Gibbons One of the greatest pay-per-view events in history — expensive to produce but very affordable for viewers — will begin its broadcast around the globe on Monday. It's not WrestleMania or the long-awaited Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. showdown, and it's not taking place in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or the Superdome. As a matter of fact, it will unfold more than 150 million miles from Earth. NASA's car-sized Curiosity rover will begin its perilous plunge through the atmosphere of Mars early Monday morning, and modern technology will enable millions around the world to anxiously follow the descent and subsequent explorations of the Red Planet's surface.
July 18, 2012 |
In places like Brooklyn and Miami and Los Angeles, fans have been holding their breath as Dwight Howard, Ray Allen, and Steve Nash change uniforms along with the balance of power in the NBA. In Philadelphia, fans were more likely to be holding their noses as the Sixers announced acquisitions such as Kwame Brown and Nick Young. That's understandable, given the history. You hear about Brown, a former No. 1 overall pick joining his seventh team in 10 years, and it's hard not to flash back to Derrick Coleman, to Glenn Robinson, to Chris Webber - all No. 1 overall picks who got to Philadelphia late in their careers and became immediate drags on the team's salary cap. Even recently departed Elton Brand, the No. 1 overall pick two years before Brown, proved more valuable as a contract to amnesty than as an injury-worn veteran who actually contributed to the team's emergence last season.
June 29, 2012 |
FACING ONE of the most important crossroads in the NHL's recent history, one Flyer will have a big say in whether next hockey season starts on time. After a 3-day executive board meeting at the Peninsula hotel in Chicago, the NHL Players' Association announced that 31 players, including Flyers forward Scott Hartnell, will be a part of the negotiating committee with executive director Donald Fehr. Hartnell, 30, spent three seasons as the Flyers' team representative for the NHLPA.
May 18, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Is it really more expensive to eat healthy? An Agriculture Department study released Wednesday found that most fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods cost less than foods high in fat, sugar and salt. That counters a common perception that it's cheaper to eat junk food than a nutritionally balanced meal. The government says it all depends on how you measure the price. If you compare the price per calorie - as some previous researchers have done - then higher-calorie pastries and snacks might seem like a bargain compared with fruits and vegetables.