February 21, 2011
THE CENTER FOR Public Integrity is starting an ambitious national project - believed to be the first of its kind - to identify risks of public corruption in each state based on laws on the books and how they're enforced. Pennsylvania will show itself to be at very high risk indeed. Right now we've got two former legislative leaders (Democrats Mike Veon and Vince Fumo) in prison; one former legislative leader (Republican Jane Orie) on trial; and two former legislative leaders (Republican John Perzel and Democrat Bill DeWeese)
August 26, 2010
An outbreak of salmonella poisoning that has sickened hundreds of people who ate bad eggs should prompt the Senate to stop sitting on legislation to give the Food and Drug Administration more clout. But instead of its watered-down version that has been collecting dust, the Senate should adopt a House bill passed a year ago. More than 1,300 recent salmonella cases have been linked to contaminated eggs. FDA officials say those illnesses, and the subsequent voluntary recall of a half-billion eggs, might have been avoided if it had the power to inspect agribusinesses before an outbreak and to order product recalls when necessary.
August 2, 2010 |
ABDUL WASHINGTON spent much of Saturday, June 19, grilling in back of his Logan home for his wife's 36th birthday. And because Father's Day was the next day, he'd planned a big celebration. "I invited the whole block," Lakeisha Kellam, Washington's wife, said at their home on Franklin Street near Rockland. The party began about 4 in the afternoon, said Washington, 31, and several families spilled out of their homes, sharing food and laughs on their stoops as kids played basketball in the street.
July 28, 2010
Four years after industry officials persuaded Congress and the Department of Homeland Security to accept watered-down regulations on securing chemical plants from terrorists, they're urging federal officials to once again kick the can down the road. One proposal in the Senate would even renew these flawed rules for five more years. That's an imprudent strategy, though, for safeguarding millions of Americans from the risks posed by hundreds of plants where dangerous chemicals are processed or in use. Plant safety rules that will expire in October simply aren't doing the job - which is why Congress must strengthen them now. For instance, even the mandated government inspection of high-risk facilities lags far behind schedule.
June 3, 2010 |
Pennsylvania's Insurance Department announced Wednesday that it had submitted a plan to achieve one of the provisions of the new national health-overhaul legislation: creation of a special insurance program for people who can't buy insurance because they're already sick. People with preexisting conditions such as heart disease, cancer, or major mental illness would be able to buy into the proposed high-risk insurance pool for about what healthy people would pay, up to $5,616 a year. The problem is that those payments, plus $160 million in federal funding through 2013, can provide insurance for only about 5,100 people in a state where 800,000 are uninsured.
July 12, 2009 |
Paula Creamer fought throughout the front nine yesterday to keep her golf game together while the wind strengthened and the conditions at Saucon Valley Country Club got tougher during Round 3 of the U.S. Women's Open. Then she arrived at the par-4 10th hole, where U.S. Golf Association officials had moved up the tee to 253 yards to entice players to go for the green. One triple-bogey 7 later, Creamer had all but waved goodbye to her hopes of winning her first career major championship.
August 31, 2008 |
The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that the estimated number of Americans who lack health insurance had dropped to 45.7 million, compared to 47 million in 2006. The slight improvement is entirely due to an increase in the number of people covered by government health insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Even so, the lower number remains a national scandal, yet the Bush administration tends to discount such reports. The president says that many of the uninsured are young and healthy people who don't want to buy insurance, presumably because they think they don't need it. But this flies in the face of a new study by a team of Harvard researchers who report that 11.4 million of the nation's uninsured are working-age adults with one or more chronic illnesses, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and cancer.
October 25, 2007 |
The federal government, in a survey released yesterday, confirmed an elevated number of rare cancer cases in three Northeast Pennsylvania counties but found no link between the disease and environmental factors. The report by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry looked at 38 cases of polycythemia vera - a bone marrow cancer - in Schuylkill, Luzerne and Carbon Counties, including areas near what was one of the worst toxic-waste dumps in the country. "There's an elevation here," said Steve Dearwent, the agency's chief of health investigations.
April 25, 2007 |
Radian Group Inc., a Philadelphia mortgage-insurance provider, said yesterday that its first-quarter earnings had dropped 31 percent, in part because of an operating loss at a partly owned subsidiary that buys distressed home mortgages. Net income at Radian, which in February announced a $4.9 billion merger with MGIC Investment Corp. of Milwaukee, fell to $113.5 million, or $1.42 per share, from $163.7 million, or $1.96 per share, a year earlier. S.A. Ibrahim, chief executive officer, said in a news release that Radian's core business "was not significantly affected by the disruptions in the subprime business in recent months.
July 20, 2006 |
Health departments handled a deluge of calls from residents who lost power. Agencies checked on high-risk clients. Hospitals turned to generators. The fierce storms that tore through the region Tuesday night left thousands without electricity through yesterday and sternly tested the emergency response plans of medical institutions and health and aging departments. All in all, the region appeared to pass without problems. "The good news is that the generators worked" at Paoli Hospital, said Frieda Schmidt, a spokeswoman for Main Line Health, which includes Paoli.