March 30, 2015 |
As Philadelphia faces its once-in-15-years franchise renewal talks with Comcast, you may be worried that city officials are just a little too cozy with Philly's 1st Corporate Citizen - a reasonable concern after I reported last week that the mayor's office has been sitting on a report likely to embarrass the company. Well, here's one more reason to fret. Just as complaints about Comcast's customer-service flubs were boiling over publicly this winter, the company quietly won certification from the Federal Communications Commission that all four of its Philadelphia franchises were subject to "effective competition.
March 28, 2015 |
A mysterious benefactor swoops in with a well-timed offer of assistance that, over time, has life-changing consequences. It's a scenario that has long been a staple of literature and mythology, but does it happen in real life? JoAnne Epps is confident it does. Epps is dean of Temple University Law School, and she has no doubt that but for a chance visit by a young Trinity College student years ago, when she was a senior at Cheltenham High School, her life would have gone in a different direction.
March 6, 2015 |
The Flyers have been outshooting and getting better chances than opponents recently, but their inability to finish the scoring opportunities is a major reason they are still five points behind Boston for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot. The Flyers have left some critical points on the table, and they are in virtual must-win situations Thursday against powerful St. Louis at the Wells Fargo Center and Saturday afternoon in Boston, which has two games in hand. In their last five losses - to Columbus, Buffalo, Carolina, Toronto, and Calgary - the Flyers have had a lopsided shots advantage in four of the games.
March 3, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A little more than 5 years ago, Andy Oliver was climbing onto the mound at Turner Field to make his major league debut against a Braves lineup that featured Chipper Jones, Jason Heyward and Brian McCann. He was 22 years old, barely a year removed from college, one of the top prospects in the Tigers' organization. Yesterday, Oliver was climbing onto the mound at Bright House Field to make his Phillies debut against a Division II lineup that featured a bunch of guys who won't get drafted next year.
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 |
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?
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.
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.