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REAL_ESTATE
April 6, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
At age 77, Mark Semerjian says, his father, George, is winding down a long career as a custom builder on the Main Line that began in the 1970s. "He had a piece of land in Villanova and is building a spec house on it," said Mark, 41, of Semerjian Builders in Devon. He credits his father with teaching him many things about the business, especially the importance of being a "hands-on" builder. "He has always been hands-on, and everything was done in-house," including, after 1990, the drawings, "which he then would pass to a structural engineer," the younger Semerjian said.
REAL_ESTATE
July 17, 1987 | By Sheila Dyan, Special to The Inquirer
Peachtree Point Moorestown (609) 235-1950 Finely detailed, custom-built houses, with the accent on custom woodwork, are offered at Peachtree Point in Moorestown. Maines & Simpson Inc. (Steward "Gub" Maines 3d and Paul Simpson) and Robert Maines are building houses that exceed 3,000 square feet of living space and $350,000 in price. Forty houses on two- to five-acre lots are planned for the site, which includes a section of the Rancocas Creek. To date, the largest house is close to 5,000 square feet, and the most expensive cost about $425,000.
REAL_ESTATE
January 24, 1986 | By Sheila Dyan, Special to The Inquirer
Longview Lane, Marlborough Township, Chester County 459-5500. In the midst of the historic Brandywine area of Chester County, custom, single-family houses are under construction at Longview Lane. The 44-acre development is adjacent to, and takes its name from, the renowned Longwood Gardens. The site plan calls for the 23 houses of Longview Lane to be located along one slightly curving lane that ends in a cul-de-sac. Surrounding the site are horse farms, other single houses and about 108 acres of Longwood Gardens, including a bird sanctuary.
REAL_ESTATE
July 19, 1998 | By Sheila Dyan, FOR THE INQUIRER
Estates at Stone Ridge, Buckingham Township, Bucks County To say that 12 standard designs are offered by DeLuca Enterprises Inc. at the Estates at Stone Ridge is misleading. In fact, calling any home at Stone Ridge "standard" is understatement at the least. Priced well above a half-million dollars each, the homes in this new community are really custom designed - even the "standard" ones are being completely customized to each buyer's needs and desires. For example, the Aspen design proved to be but a starting point for the home of Chanchal Khanna, a pathologist, and her husband, Om, a surgeon.
NEWS
March 21, 2013
M ELISSA D'AGOSTINO, 32, of Germantown, uses hand-dyeing techniques to create her artsy women's-wear line. D'Agostino Fashion Textile Design also custom-made Philadelphia first lady Lisa Nutter's formal dress for President Obama's inaugural ball. Q: What's your background? A:I'm a graduate of Moore College of Art & Design. I was formerly a hand-block fabric printer at a textile-and-lighting studio. My textiles started as works of art and wall hangings, and the fabrics evolved into products I could sell.
NEWS
April 27, 1990 | Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
When Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr. looks for clues, he usually looks under the rug. In his latest case, he examined the rug itself. Such diligent detective work was what helped break The Case of the Tricky Toupe, in which an establishment selling hair replacements called The Hairmakers wasn't, well, making hair. Preate's office said yesterday that The Hairmakers, with stores in Center City and King of Prussia, stated in sales contracts that its hairpieces were "custom-made" when in fact they were stock hairpieces previously manufactured to standard sizes.
SPORTS
October 17, 1992 | by Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
Steve Behrle will some day work for his father. Yesterday, he went to work on Malvern Prep's offense. Behrle, a 5-10, 185-pound senior linebacker, collected eight tackles and two sacks and forced a fumble - recovered by lineman Mark Muraglia and converted into the game's final touchdown - as Episcopal Academy, the heavy preseason favorite, muffled the host Friars, 24-0, in an Inter-Ac League opener. Actually, Behrle - it rhymes with Merrill - already works for his father.
NEWS
February 21, 1996 | By Herb Drill, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Robert A. Hopf, 75, a retired custom-home builder who had a great interest in sports, died Saturday at his home in Jenkintown after a long illness. Mr. Hopf founded Robert A. Hopf Builders in 1950, and built customized houses in the Somerton and Bustleton sections of Philadelphia, Huntingdon Valley in Montgomery County, and Newtown Township and Washington Crossing in Bucks County. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was a member of the Jenkintown Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Hopf was born in New York City and reared in Philadelphia, graduating from Frankford High School in 1940.
NEWS
August 12, 1987 | BY DAVE BARRY
As a widely respected foreign correspondent, I recently felt the need to travel to Germany so I could observe firsthand the front lines of this dangerous all-dominating worldwide struggle we have come to know as the Cold War. At least that's what I'm going to tell the Internal Revenue Service. The truth is, I went to Germany because this is the year I turn 40, and I felt the need to be surrounded by the largest possible quantity of beer. They are very good at beer, the Germans, and what is more, they tend to serve it in vessels the size of municipal stadiums.
NEWS
July 14, 1994 | By S. Joseph Hagenmayer, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Guido B. Muscelli, 101, one of the owners and operators of Muscelli Brothers Clothing Manufacturers, in South Philadelphia, for 70 years, died Sunday at Zurbrugg Hospital, Willingboro. Mr. Muscelli died on his birthday and had enjoyed sound health until about a month ago. He had lived in South Jersey for the last 10 years and at the Burlington Woods Convalescent Center, in Burlington Township, for the last five years. Mr. Muscelli was born in Italy, where he learned to sew. He came to the United States at age 16. He entered the country through Ellis Island and settled in the Philadelphia area.
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NEWS
April 12, 2014
Cable and Internet customers should hope that Comcast Corp. can deliver on its prediction before Congress this week that consumers would be the "big winners" under any terms federal officials set for the Philadelphia company's planned $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Certainly no one who has spent hours waiting for the cable guy wants to be at the mercy of a combined Comcast/Time Warner whose "massive tentacles," in the words of a former Justice Department official, have strangled what little competition exists in pay-TV and broadband services.
BUSINESS
April 10, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Peco Energy Co. says it will surpass the 500,000 mark for natural gas customers this month, up about 20,000 customers, or 4 percent, since 2008. The new growth is attributed to a combination of new construction and conversions of customers along existing Peco gas mains, said Cathy Engel Menendez, the utility's spokeswoman. Gas utilities like Peco typically offer incentives to induce customers to convert, but one of the principal marketing pitches for the last five years has been the relatively low cost of natural gas compared to heating oil, propane and electricity.
NEWS
April 7, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
For Barbara Baals of Gloucester Township, the closer was when a favorite Wawa cashier at the Washington Township store serenaded her with a rendition of Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately. " Ken Kropp was taken by the unsolicited care packages that arrived at his Aston home when the staff at his local Wawa learned he was ill. Lisa R. Bachart can't say enough about the over-the-top gift basket her Sellersville Wawa donated for a fund-raiser to aid her 10-year-old daughter, who is fighting a rare eye disease.
REAL_ESTATE
April 6, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
At age 77, Mark Semerjian says, his father, George, is winding down a long career as a custom builder on the Main Line that began in the 1970s. "He had a piece of land in Villanova and is building a spec house on it," said Mark, 41, of Semerjian Builders in Devon. He credits his father with teaching him many things about the business, especially the importance of being a "hands-on" builder. "He has always been hands-on, and everything was done in-house," including, after 1990, the drawings, "which he then would pass to a structural engineer," the younger Semerjian said.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
At the behest of low-income advocates, a Commonwealth Court judge has blocked competitive electricity suppliers from targeting Peco's 140,000 customers who are enrolled in a subsidized program. Judge Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter stopped implementation of a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission order to allow Peco's low-income customers to shop for power until a lawsuit challenging the PUC order is heard. Advocates argued that the PUC's order might make low-income customers susceptible to the kinds of wild price spikes that have roiled electricity markets in recent months, said Harry S. Geller, a lawyer with the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
With such a hard winter, Thad Kirk wasn't surprised that he had to pay more than usual to refill his propane tank early this month. But he was still shocked by the price AmeriGas charged him: nearly $5.09 per gallon, more than 50 percent higher than three competitors he called immediately after the delivery. Kirk was angry enough to complain to the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office. The bureau and the Public Utility Commission are already investigating nearly 6,000 complaints each from electric customers, mostly from those stunned by variable rates more than twice as high as usual - in some cases, more than four times as high.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, under siege from record customer backlash over high winter electricity prices, is moving to force power suppliers to fully disclose the details of their deals. The commission proposed Wednesday regulation changes that will require supplier disclosure statements to provide greater uniform detail in plain English, especially pertaining to variable-rate deals, which have generated the most complaints. The new rulemaking measure follows a PUC announcement Tuesday that it would dramatically speed up the time it takes for customers to switch suppliers.
REAL_ESTATE
March 16, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
If you subtract January and February, 2014 promises to be a better year for the area's small builders - the ones who build a few spec and custom homes annually, often with one or two full-time employees and a handful of subcontractors. Though they stand in line behind the big guys for building lots and financing, they make a go of things just the same. "I just wish this winter had happened three years ago, when I was doing nothing," said Camden County builder Charles Kojeski, champing at an icy bit to finish five houses he has under construction.
BUSINESS
March 14, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia Gas Works, whose sale to a private buyer is now being considered by City Council, ranked last among 54 natural gas utilities whose business customers were surveyed about customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power. Peco Energy Co. ranked second among 11 eastern utilities, Public Service Electric & Gas Co. ranked fifth and UGI Utilities ranked sixth, according to the rankings released Wednesday by J.D. Power. The firm ranked utilities with at least 25,000 business customers and examined six factors: billing and payment; corporate citizenship; price; communications; customer service; and field service.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pam Clifton, the property manager of the Ellington condominiums at 1500 Chestnut St., opened her mail last week and got a kind of triple-play utility deal - not one she wanted. The monthly steam bill from Veolia Energy to heat the 21-story building she manages was $54,860 - triple the previous month's. "We've never had anything like this before," she said. "It's brutal. " Veolia said Tuesday that it was sending letters to many of its 300 customers on the Center City steam loop blaming the bills on unprecedented volatility in natural gas markets, caused by January's extremely cold weather.
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