February 16, 2015 |
When Starnes Walker was a newly minted physicist and Navy electronic-weapons veteran in the 1970s, his job at Phillips Petroleum Corp. included finding ways to replace human oil-refinery operators, who once hand-checked miles of pipes, with digitally networked monitors and switches. "So that, now, valves are controlled by computers," Walker says, from his office in a converted Chrysler factory, where he heads the University of Delaware's new Cybersecurity Initiative. That digital technology had far-reaching results: It's part of the reason the brightly lit refineries that still line the rivers near Houston and Philadelphia now employ hundreds of workers each, not thousands.
February 12, 2015 |
Kat Mittman Kobak planned to design jewelry for this year's Grammy Awards attendees by personalizing her signature silver, sparkling, beaded choker. But then, three days before the pieces were to be shipped off, Kobak's publicist got the names of exactly who would be getting Kat Designs baubles: Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Miranda Lambert, and John Mayer. The dainty necklaces with edgy panther and arrowhead charms weren't quite right anymore - especially now that Mayer was in the mix. Kobak would have to start from scratch.
February 4, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - At Gov. Wolf's inaugural last month, new House Majority Leader Dave Reed was among those seated in the A-list section outside the Capitol. After the ceremony, a state official turned to Reed, looking for a program. Reed told him he did not know where there was an extra one. The official, whom Reed declined to name, responded by saying, "If you want your boss, the governor, to be successful, you'd better know where the programs are. " Without missing a beat, Reed replied, "My apologies, sir. " It happens that way for Reed - a lot. At 36, he more closely resembles the star athlete who just got named president of his college fraternity than a six-term lawmaker just elected leader of the Republican House majority in the nation's sixth most populous state.
February 4, 2015 |
IT IS HERE - the calm after the storm, the teapot without a tempest. Sunday's Super Bowl was one of the more exciting ever, with New England beating Seattle, 28-24. Still, just moments after Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made the worst decision in Super Bowl history, the thought that crossed my mind was - OK, what now? The NFL is done. The Sixers and Flyers are both having seasons that yield little optimism. The Phillies are still 2 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Clearwater, and frankly, considering the last-place projections for them, who much cares?
January 13, 2015 |
FIRST Sony/North Korea joke: 8:01 p.m. First George Clooney joke: 8:05. First Bill Cosby joke: 8:09. Let no one say that Upper Darby's Tina Fey and her pal Amy Poehler kept anyone waiting last night in their third - and, according to them, final - outing as hosts of what's traditionally been one of Hollywood's loosest awards shows. In fact, if the NBC telecast were a drinking game turning on expected targets, much of the audience would have been sloshed by 8:30 p.m. (And if it weren't a drinking game, what were any of us doing there?
January 12, 2015 |
TORONTO - The opening appeared, and Gerald Henderson was through it all night at the Air Canada Centre. It's been like that since the Episcopal Academy graduate hit the starting lineup for the Charlotte Hornets. An opening appeared, at midseason, and he's through it. Although Hornets point guard Kemba Walker had 29 points on Thursday, he said after Charlotte got past Toronto, 103-95: "Tonight, it was Gerald. He was unbelievable at the offensive end. " It's always been very tough to keep Henderson from getting to his spots.
December 1, 2014 |
For the last few years, Day Two of the holiday shopping season - or is it Day Three now? - has been dubbed Small Business Saturday, a day to spotlight independent entrepreneurs and encourage visits to stores not on the mall map. If the holiday traffic at three of the region's shopping destinations was any indication, the strategy might have been working. By noon Saturday, Chestnut Hill's two-lane shopping district along Germantown Avenue began filling up with cars. Shop owners sounded cautiously optimistic and said some customers were specifically trying to patronize local businesses and avoid the malls.
November 17, 2014 |
The early October sell-off created buying opportunities in the industrial sector for companies such as United Technologies (UTX), Eaton Corp. (ETN), and General Electric (GE), says Hank Smith at Haverford Trust, chief investment officer overseeing $6 billion in assets. In particular, he holds and has been buying more of UTX and Eaton since those shares fell roughly 20 percent. UTX has fallen to about $101 a share, Eaton to $60, Smith says. The bear market in crude oil also presents opportunity in major integrated oil companies ExxonMobil (XOM)
October 12, 2014 |
He started his business during the financial crisis, yet Greg Lingo, founder of Cornell Homes, was able to sell the successful building company to Ryland Homes. Today, as Cornell Homes by Ryland Homes, he continues building new projects in the Philadelphia suburbs such as Reserve at Rose Tree in Media. A Delaware County native and graduate of Upper Darby High School, Lingo earned an engineering degree at Cornell University (hence the company's moniker) and an M.B.A. from Villanova.
September 15, 2014 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. Before we pull into Parkesburg on Amtrak's Keystone Service to Harrisburg, here's a trivia question: In what movie did this Chester County borough's train station play a small, but important, role? The answer: Witness (1985). It is there that Amish passengers Rachel Lapp and her son, Samuel, begin an ill-fated train trip to Philadelphia, where the boy witnesses a murder. Although the station is closed, 49,000 travelers a year park in its lot and wait on its sheltered platform for one of the 26 trains that travel daily back and forth from Harrisburg to New York City.