February 11, 2016
By N. Aaron Troodler Pennsylvania has long been a pioneer in school choice, providing tax-credit programs that enable tens of thousands of low- and middle-income families to place their children in the most appropriate educational settings. But the state's budget stalemate threw these crucial programs into a dangerous limbo. Ultimately, Gov. Wolf took the necessary steps to free up the $150 million in scholarship funding from Pennsylvania's unique tax-credit programs, which give pre-K-to-12th-grade students the ability to attend the nonpublic schools best suited to their needs and beliefs.
January 31, 2016 |
Tens of thousands of Philadelphia's poorest citizens leave millions of dollars in federal tax credits on the table each tax season. This year, the city is making a new effort to see that money claimed. The city announced Friday that it will provide free tax preparation services at nearly 30 locations for many who are eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), part of an outreach program called "You Earned It. " An estimated 40,000 Philadelphians eligible for the tax credit have not taken it, leaving about $100 million in tax credits unclaimed, according to the city's revenue department.
January 17, 2016 |
Timber Creek senior Randy Bell cuts the fat when talking about the earlier portion of his basketball career. "In ninth grade I was chubby," he said, chuckling, a thought even more laughable when one looks at the 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior. Timber Creek coach Rich Bolds has known Bell since he was 8 years old and admits in those days the youngster wasn't particularly fluid on the court. Still, Bolds even then forecast that Bell could be a special player. "Even when he was a little kid and chubby, his vision was off the charts," Bolds said.
January 8, 2016
ISSUE | GUN CONTROL Give Obama credit I applaud President Obama for taking concrete action to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in America ("A tearful Obama acts on guns," Wednesday). His executive actions will make a significant contribution to reducing the estimated 40 percent of gun sales that don't involve background checks - especially at gun shows and online. I'm also pleased that the president is adding federal resources to improve gun safety technology (smart guns)
December 28, 2015 |
On his first full day as mayor, Michael Nutter flung open City Hall's doors to thousands of Philadelphians who waited hours to shake the hand of someone they believed could become one of the city's finest mayors. By many measures, Nutter did not disappoint. After eight years of his leadership, the city has its lowest homicide rate since 1967, its highest credit rating ever from Standard & Poor's, and the rewards of a well-run government. It was frustrating to see Nutter too often choose taxation to stave off the impact of the 2008 recession, but his strategy kept the city on its feet and allowed it to hit its stride, as Center City's energy and prosperity began spilling into nearby neighborhoods.
November 21, 2015 |
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput on Thursday called on Catholics to urge Gov. Wolf to release approval letters for corporate tax credits that help pay for scholarships for low-income K-8 students who will attend Catholic and private schools next fall. Chaput, who oversees the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said the tax credits were vital because they "assist many thousands of needy children. They do it by enabling Pennsylvania businesses to donate to qualified scholarship organizations.
November 5, 2015 |
NEW YORK - Attending the Accessories Council's annual ACE Awards - with its bottomless bellinis and butlered caviar hors d'oeuvres - is like spending the evening inside a luxe jewelry box lined with burgundy crushed velvet. Look, there's designer Carolina Herrera. And did you see Ivanka Trump? Oh, snap - Alexander Wang (I just love his hair). And, clutch my Judith Leiber, there is actress Taraji P. Henson, better known as Cookie Lyon on Fox's hit TV series Empire , clutching a Judith Leiber.
November 4, 2015 |
A pilot program to expand federal financial aid to high school students taking college courses will make college more affordable and accessible for low-income students, local community college officials said. The U.S. Department of Education announced Friday that it would put up to $20 million in the Pell Grant program for up to 10,000 high school "dual enrollment" students in the 2016-17 school year. High school enrollment in specialized programs has fallen at some local colleges as costs have gone up. Pell grants would essentially subsidize those credits for low-income students, potentially boosting the number of high school students who take the college courses and then pursue college degrees.
October 28, 2015 |
Peco Energy Co. and its parent company, Exelon Corp., have arranged credit lines totaling $41.8 million with nine minority and community-owned banks located in Peco's service area, part of a broader Exelon effort to secure a more diverse supply for $123 million in credit lines. United Bank of Philadelphia served as a lead arranger for Peco's $34 million credit facility, of which the nine local banks contributed $19.8 million, said Ben Armstrong, a Peco spokesman. Exelon says its minority and community banking program, which is administered by JPMorgan Chase, has more than tripled in credit-facility size and quadrupled the number of participating banks since it began in 2003.
October 19, 2015 |
Byron Maxwell often can be found sitting in front of his locker with his legs crossed in a yoga pose. Amid the hubbub of the Eagles' locker room, Maxwell finds moments to stretch. He does yoga whenever he can - when he wakes up in the morning, in the hotel room on the night before games, in the idle moments between practice and meetings. He finds classes after the workday. During his four years with the Seattle Seahawks, Maxwell spent time at a local yoga studio that partnered with the team.