October 9, 2011 |
MANUEL ANTONIO, Costa Rica - The afternoon rains long gone, the beach crowd at Playa Espadilla sits back to watch the liquid golds and purples of the Pacific sunset spread across the sky. Surfers catch the last curls of the day breaking toward the crescent-shaped cove. The snowbirds who flock to this resort along Costa Rica's central Pacific coast won't be here for months. There's plenty of room - and plenty of bargains - in local hotels, inns, and restaurants for travelers who don't mind dodging a shower or two during the region's May-to-December rainy season.
October 2, 2011 |
What happens when a handful of young men rent a fragile 19th-century house and have too many parties? That house is a real bargain when it hits the market. "We got a good deal here," Michael Anderson says of the cottage on Iseminger Street that he and Thomas Scheufele bought in 2001. "Those kids really messed up the house, but as soon as we saw it, I wanted it and knew we could fix it up. " If the 1832 property had not been in such poor condition, adds Anderson, a flight attendant on international routes, he and Scheufele, who teaches economics at a secondary school in Stuttgart, Germany, probably could not have afforded it. Once the couple purchased their bargain, the reality set in: The problems would be enormous - how would they proceed?
October 1, 2011 |
NEW YORK - Friday's make-or-break NBA labor meeting in New York lasted six hours, one of the lockout's longest bargaining sessions, and by all accounts included a spirit of cooperation. The two sides have agreed to meet again on Saturday morning, which is at the very least a sign of positive momentum. Entering Friday's meeting, both sides made it clear that if forward progress was gained, they would negotiate through the weekend. NBA Players Association president Derek Fisher explained that the meeting was an exchange of "ideas, concepts, and system issues.
September 30, 2011 |
The union representing municipal blue-collar workers has sued its employer, saying City Council had no right to alter the DROP pension program. AFSCME District Council 33 argued in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that pensions must be bargained. The union is seeking an injunction from the Common Pleas Court to block changes to the Deferred Retirement Option Plan. In addition, the union has been working without a contract since 2009, and state law requires the city to maintain the status quo of employment until a new contract is negotiated, said Samuel Spear, the attorney for D.C. 33. "DROP is a real important thing for people in our bargaining unit because they're the lowest paid," he said.
September 23, 2011 |
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin will no longer be obligated to bargain with its largest public employee unions after the weakened labor groups decided Thursday against seeking recertification votes in the state at the forefront of this year's fight over union rights. Unions representing about 50,000 workers opted not to file notice of an intention to hold the complicated and expensive votes required by Republican Gov. Scott Walker's sweeping collective-bargaining changes, which lawmakers passed earlier this year.
September 22, 2011
PRESIDENT Obama's call for the richest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes is mostly re-election politics. And that's a good thing. The jobs and deficit-reduction plan that Obama is sending to the congressional "supercommittee," which must come up with $1.2 trillion in budget cuts by Christmas, has no chance of passing. That's a good thing, too, because it signals that Obama finally may have stopped trying to find common ground with Republicans. Maybe he has figured out that they don't intend to do anything but obstruct all attempts to deal with the jobs crisis.
September 21, 2011 |
NOW THAT the National Football League has settled its labor issues, the season has begun and everything appears right about the league. Almost . . . Last week, 28 former NFL players, including Chuck Bednarik, filed a class-action federal lawsuit against the NFL Players Association, seeking at least $5 million in damages. The lawsuit alleges current players interfered with negotiations on the new collective bargaining agreement and kept money from the retirees. NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis said the union had no comment on the lawsuit.
September 18, 2011
For many football fans, a new NFL season means an opportunity to hitch their own fortunes to the outcomes of the games. And while you have to be in Las Vegas to experience the full sweep of sports betting, casinos closer to home in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Atlantic City still find ways to help their customers to get in on the football action with pick 'em contests and sweepstakes. And often, those casino football contests are quite a bargain - entry is free, and some of the potential prizes escalate to thousands of dollars and possibly to seven-figure jackpots.
September 15, 2011 |
TEMPLE HASN'T beaten Penn State since before Pearl Harbor, but the Owls have covered. And really, outside of North Broad Street and Happy Valley, does anything else really matter? We went back to the 1994 Lions, arguably Penn State's finest team and one that was rooked out of a national title, to see how they have fared against the number in their meetings with Temple. The Owls may not have won any of those games, but they covered four of them. * The 1994 point spread was a ridiculous 44 and Temple acquitted itself quite well in the 48-21 loss.
September 12, 2011 |
Democratic Assemblyman Herb Conaway Jr. has been elected seven times in South Jersey's Seventh Legislative District, but a few things are different this year. Remapping of the district, which includes parts of Burlington and Camden Counties, made it slightly more Republican. And the new boundaries exclude Pennsauken, hometown of Conaway's longtime colleague Assemblyman Jack Conners, leading Conners to retire. Conaway drew the ire of state unions over the summer when he joined with just over a dozen other Democratic Assembly members to support Gov. Christie's overhaul of public employee pension and health benefits plans.