March 26, 2013
By Steve Frank Enjoying a fine meal in good company is one of life's great pleasures. But it turned out to be a slender reed on which to hang any hopes for a "grand bargain" to end the impasse over fiscal policy in Washington. It seemed like such good news when a group of Republican senators dined with President Obama recently at the Jefferson Hotel, near the White House. Everyone pushed away from the table more optimistic about being able to reach an agreement to solve the country's financial difficulties.
January 4, 2013
Buzz: Hey, Marnie, how come young people these days drink such weird stuff? Marnie: Like what, Buzz? Buzz: I went to a holiday dinner hosted by nieces and nephews and there was no respect for tradition. The turkey came with bacon jam instead of cranberry sauce. The wine was from Argentina instead of California. Even the eggnog was made with tequila instead of brandy. Marnie: Well, there's a natural urge for each new generation to experiment and try new things. I bet you'd have liked the wine if you tried it. Argentine wines are terrific, and a Mexican spin on eggnog might be tasty too. Buzz: Why go south of the border?
November 28, 2012 |
HISTORY MIGHT show that Andy Reid's Eagles hit rock bottom at 2:15 p.m. Thanksgiving Eve, when Jeff Maile, of Lansdale, went on Craigslist and offered a "great trade" for fans who couldn't stand to watch the team take the field again: His leftover Halloween candy in exchange for tickets to the Monday night game against the Carolina Panthers. "I have 23 Snickers bars (fun size), 5 Snickers Almond bars (fun size), and an unopened bag of Charms Blow Pops (assorted flavors)," wrote Maile, 44, who runs a company that does Internet marketing.
November 8, 2012 |
For the second time in four days, representatives from the NHL and the players union had a lengthy meeting as they attempted to end their labor feud and take a step toward a new collective bargaining agreement. The meeting in New York, attended by 13 players, including Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, lasted more than seven hours Tuesday night. Neither side would disclose what occurred at the meeting. They planned to meet again Wednesday. "The players' view has always been that we ought to keep negotiating until we find a way to get an agreement," Donald Fehr, the NHL Players' Association's executive director, told reporters before the sides met. "You sort of stay at it day by day, so it's very good to be getting back to the table.
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)