September 19, 2016 |
Trulia, the real estate search engine, does some interesting studies off the news. One of the latest focused on homeownership, and the fact that the percentage of American adults owning houses has fallen to a 51-year low. The reasons for the decline to 62.9 percent homeownership, from about 70 percent during the housing boom of the early 2000s, are easy to understand. The bursting of the housing bubble in, depending on your location, 2006 to 2008 soured many Americans on homeownership.
August 20, 2016 |
When an influential federal panel recommended in 2012 that doctors omit prostate cancer screening from routine health care, it set off a firestorm. Many men and their doctors seem to have heeded the advice, though the long-term implications won't be clear for a while, a new analysis suggests. The advice of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force appears to have led to a sizable drop in screening with the PSA blood test, and in diagnosis of early-stage prostate cancer, according to American Cancer Society researchers who have been monitoring the trends.
August 14, 2016 |
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane chose not to testify at her perjury trial Friday, and her lawyers rested their case without presenting any evidence or witnesses. A Montgomery County Court jury is to begin deliberating Kane's fate Monday after hearing closing arguments from both sides. "I don't believe it's necessary for me to testify on my own behalf," Kane told Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy. The abrupt end to the witness stage of the trial came after prosecutors presented the last of their 14 witnesses over four days.
July 10, 2016 |
The Philadelphia Historical Commission declined Friday to place the ground beneath a pair of Frankford Avenue garages on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. The unusual application for historic designation asserted that the Mutual Burial Ground of Kensington, an old graveyard actively used from the 1820s to the late 1860s, lay partially beneath 1834-48 Frankford Avenue - the location where developer Ori Feibush plans to knock down garages that stand there and build about 41 residential units.
May 16, 2016 |
YOU WILL FIND this hard to believe. Despite the rhapsody of glowing media about bicycling, including reports of never-ending increases in the nation's most bike-happy city (that's us), bicycle commuting actually has declined. I was shocked when I learned this, because I thought we were Amsterdam without canals. Commuters biking to work was a puny 1.9 percent in 2015, the same as 2014, down from the high-water mark of 2.3 percent in 2013. I remember in 2010, the city set a goal - maybe "made a wish" is more accurate - of 5 percent bike commuters by 2020.
April 1, 2016 |
All that remains for Daniel Dougherty are the lawyers' closing arguments and the decision of the jury. After that, he'll either be set free after 16 years, or returned to prison, condemned again for the 1985 arson murder of his two young sons. Dougherty, 56, told the judge on Wednesday that he would not testify in his own defense. He said he did not know if he had ever been diagnosed with a mental illness, but had sought treatment after the deaths of 3-year-old John and 4-year-old Daniel Jr. Questioned by Common Pleas Court Judge J. Scott O'Keefe, Dougherty said he understood all that occurred during his trial.
February 25, 2016 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - In order for Ryan Howard and the Phillies to make it through 2016 with anything close to a functional relationship, the first baseman will need to be more honest with himself than he was with the media on Tuesday afternoon. That's not an impossibility, even after a news conference in which the onetime superstar sounded incredulous that somebody might harbor doubts about his role with the club moving forward. Even back when he was hitting 50 home runs per season as one of the most productive cleanup men in the game, Howard's sensitivity to criticism sometimes led him to react to questions in a way that suggested he was living in a different reality from the rest of the world.
February 18, 2016
THE PHILADELPHIA Police Department has all but quit enforcing traffic laws on Philadelphia streets. That's an exaggeration, but the number of tickets written to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians all took a nosedive in 2015. It was the third straight year of decline for motorists, the second for bicyclists, and the first for pedestrians. Enforcement is as low as a snail's belly. This year, I'm adding tickets written for skateboarding. Two were written in 2013, 14 in 2014, and a lonely one in 2015.
February 1, 2016
The stock market slide has been dizzying. Since the start of the year, stock prices have plunged by more than 10 percent, their worst start to any year on record. There is increasingly ominous talk among investors that the troubled stock market is signaling, or may even precipitate, a recession. Ignore the talk. While the stock market decline is disconcerting to watch, as the late economics Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson once quipped, "Wall Street indexes predicted nine out of the last five recessions.
January 11, 2016 |
The world was much wider in 1960. And because 90-second casts and parochial newspapers offered few glimpses beyond our hometown and home state, we were bound more tightly to both locales. Back then I was certain Philadelphia was the world's sports capital. I proudly pointed out the fact that three fellow Pennsylvanians - Wilt Chamberlain, Johnny Unitas, and Arnold Palmer - ruled their respective games. And, in baseball, Stan Musial wasn't far behind. Pennsylvania's sports stars were as tough, gritty, and abundant as the state's other great resources - steel and coal - the production of which was likely to have employed these athletes' fathers.