February 16, 2015 |
'Excuse me, Miss. Excuse me!" The New York City police officer down on Ludlow Street was tapping my window with the insistence of the law. "Oh boy," I thought. "Here we go again. " I had been idling for way too long, talking on the phone in what definitely could not be considered a parking spot - could not even really be considered a loading spot, if I were honest. I rolled down the window. "Yes, officer?" I asked. "This is the best looking car I have ever seen," he told me, smiling.
February 9, 2015 |
With lagging student test scores and only about 120 students in grades K-4, Spring City Elementary School three years ago looked more like a candidate for closure than for an extreme makeover. But with the boldness of a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, the Spring-Ford Area School District gambled on a radically different approach to fixing the struggling school near the border of Montgomery and Chester Counties. It spent roughly $300,000 over three years to arm students and their classrooms - even kindergartners - with the latest desktops, iPads, Apple TVs, and smartboards.
January 30, 2015 |
Years before anyone cared about kale and way before Brussels sprouts went viral, Tozer Seeds, the largest family-owned vegetable-breeding company in England, started playing around with the idea of producing a hybrid combination of the two. Called Flower Sprouts, they debuted in 2010 at a single department store, Marks & Spencer in London. By late 2014, the market had spread elsewhere in the U.K., Scandinavia and Europe, where sprouts' popularity dwarfs kale's. Now the American version from Tozer - under the brand name Kalettes, to cash in on our continuing obsession with all things kale - is available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and other select supermarkets.
September 29, 2014 |
The same week Mr. Driver's Seat had his first-ever chance to get behind the wheel of the all-electric, new-for-2015 Volkswagen e-Golf, a message arrived in my inbox noting that electrified car sales - meaning electric vehicles and hybrids - are essentially flat for 2013 to 2014. Volkswagen will not be the only manufacturer joining the all-electric car race for this model year. Kia plans the Soul EV and Fiat the 500e for select markets in the near future, and Tesla is adding the Model X to the Model S. These new models join the Smart electric drive, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, and Mitsubishi I-Miev.
May 30, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - With billions at stake, the standoff over how to resolve Pennsylvania's pension crisis has loomed large as budget negotiations begin this spring. A decision Thursday by the Public Employee Retirement Commission may signal a break. The bipartisan panel backed legislation to create a hybrid pension system for state and school employees, and Gov. Corbett said he would support it. "The governor has called on the commonwealth to address pension issues, the spiraling year-over-year costs to the commonwealth - and school district costs - as well as addressing the risk to the taxpayers," Corbett spokesman Jay Pagni said.
February 28, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA Even after a five-year impasse, the tentative contract agreement between the city and AFSCME District Council 47 looks like a classic labor compromise, with both sides gaining and giving ground on different issues. That makes it a political godsend for Mayor Nutter, who had become the favorite whipping boy for the city labor movement and is still in a standoff with the biggest municipal union, District Council 33. The city is set to resume negotiations Friday with D.C. 33 and its president, Pete Matthews.
June 16, 2013 |
The new-for-2013 Lexus ES 300h is the automaker's first resident in the entry-level luxury hybrid subdivision, a growing community. To do this, it substituted a four-cylinder gas engine, two electric motors and a 36-module battery pack for the V-6 in the conventional ES 350. In the process, it came up with a midsize entry-level luxury sedan with an EPA city mileage estimate of 40 m.p.g. - almost twice what the ES 350 gets. In addition to the hybridization, the 300h benefits from two significant changes in the ES for 2013.
June 13, 2013 |
Two-hundred-plus yards short of the sixth green Wednesday morning, Merion's unforgiving rough clutched Hideki Matsuyama's ball and wasn't going to yield it easily. If this had been practice for the 1971 or 1981 U.S. Opens, the Japanese youngster would have reached for a 5-iron and hoped for the best. He might have hit it cleanly enough to get there. More likely, he'd have popped it up far short. But this was 2013 and Matsuyama had an advantage all those golfers who played in previous Merion Opens did not. He reached for his hybrid.
May 24, 2013 |
IT'S LATE MAY and we're bored and impatient. The Monday night season opener against the Redskins still is 3 1/2 months away, but we want answers. Now. We want to know who the Eagles' starting quarterback will be. We want to know when the hotshot first-round offensive tackle will start taking snaps with the first team. We want to know how much they will run the ball and how much they will pass it. We want to know what Chip Kelly is putting in those damn smoothies. We want to know whether Danny Watkins is a dead man walking.
March 6, 2013
PERSONALLY, I'M GLAD that at least a couple of Philly state lawmakers appear to focus on goals higher and nobler than usually seen in your Legislature. Democratic Rep. Dwight Evans, for example, is out to save the planet. Democratic Sen. Mike Stack seems driven to cleanliness, which, as you know, is next to godliness. So, good for them. And I hope you admire their aspirations because, well, you're paying for them. These factoids about this pair emerge following a comprehensive review of lawmakers' expenses published in Monday's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review . Evans, of course, is a two-decades-plus North Philly House member who once ran for governor (and lieutenant governor and mayor)