November 28, 2013 |
Subscribers to low-income Special Care health insurance plans issued by Pennsylvania's Blue Cross companies will be able to continue coverage into next year, state Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine said Tuesday in the first of what is likely to be several announcements in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to avoid a wave of policy cancellations. "We are trying to at least give [current subscribers] some certainty," he said in an interview, so that by the end of the year nobody in the individual market is left without coverage.
November 7, 2013
PENNSYLVANIA the Merciless. That's how one juvenile-justice advocate describes the state's criminal-justice system. The label seemed well earned last week when Pennsylvania's Supreme Court issued a ruling denying review to juvenile offenders whose mandatory life sentences have been ruled unconstitutional. There are nearly 500 prisoners in Pennsylvania serving mandatory life sentences for murders and other crimes committed when they were teenagers - the country's highest number.
October 29, 2013 |
A reader at a New York firm where they study bond documents for a living - hey, it's easier than breaking rocks - called a couple of weeks ago to ask about a boldface warning tucked amid the hundreds of pages supporting Pennsylvania's current attempt to borrow $750 million to keep the government going. The language concerned the Convention Center, whose debt the state took over from the city in 2010 so its taxpayers could pay for its expansion over the next 30 years. To pay this, the bond prospectus noted, the state depends on "the City to make an annual payment of $15 million plus a percentage of its Hotel Room Rental Tax and Hospitality Promotion Tax revenues to support operations" of the Convention Center, and for the state to cover the center's operating deficits and capital reserves.
October 24, 2013 |
Another day, another map in which Pennsylvania sits within the Northeast as an emphatic rectangle of red surrounded by a sea of regional blue. The issue is same-sex marriage, but it hardly matters, nor does the hue, olive, brown, whatever. In the Northeast, Pennsylvania is the state of a different color, consistently and almost exclusively apart on vital issues: gay rights, access to reproductive health, Medicaid expansion, voter ID. The message tends to be anywhere but here. Looking at those maps, I am reminded of that great Sesame Street ditty: "One of these things is not like the others.
October 20, 2013 |
Pennsylvania Ballet opened its 50th anniversary season with a celebration of pure, luxurious beauty with the company premiere of George Balanchine's Jewels Thursday night at the Academy of Music. It is a plotless ballet in three acts - "Emeralds," set to music by Faure; "Rubies" to Stravinsky; and "Diamonds" to Tchaikovsky - but the dancers conveyed bits of story. Lauren Fadeley and Ian Hussey darted playfully through formations of corps dancers in puffs of green tulle while performing swirling arm movements, grand developees, and luscious port de bras.
October 15, 2013 |
In 1961, George Balanchine summoned some of the nation's top ballet teachers to a seminar in New York, hub of the U.S. dance world and one of the few cities where professional ballet was being performed at the time. "Something has to happen," said the great choreographer and founder of the New York City Ballet and its School of American Ballet. "You're turning out more and more dancers. Where are they going to dance?" "If you really are serious, Mr. B.," said Barbara Weisberger, who had been his first child student (at age 8)
October 8, 2013 |
Enrollment at Pennsylvania's 14 state universities has dropped more than 6 percent since its peak in 2010, setting off a flurry of proposed faculty layoffs, program eliminations, and increased recruitment at many of the schools. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education enrolled just over 112,100 students this year, down from its all-time high of 119,513 in 2010. Enrollment dropped 2 percent in the last year alone, with 12 of the 14 universities noting decreases. Only Bloomsburg and West Chester Universities recorded increases.
September 24, 2013 |
WHEN PARX management moved the Pennsylvania Derby off Labor Day a few years ago and, then last year raised the purse of its second biggest race, the Cotillion Stakes, and put them both on the same day, they were trying to create an "event. " They officially have an event. Attendance is an irrelevant horse racing statistic in 2013 as 90 percent off all the money is bet away from the race track - online with an account, at an OTB or over the phone. But when you offer something special, you would like to see a big crowd and lots of wagering.
September 14, 2013 |
As Philadelphia's public schools grapple with a devastating fiscal crisis, a new report from a national group says most states - including Pennsylvania and New Jersey - are spending less to educate each student than they did in 2008. In a report issued Thursday, officials at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said the cuts had caused districts to eliminate 324,000 positions nationwide, scale back programs, and increase class sizes. The center, a liberal-leaning think tank based in Washington, warned that the cuts made to K-12 spending could "limit or stymie education reform efforts by limiting the funds generally available to improve schools.
September 14, 2013 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Though she's from Western Pennsylvania - sorry, folks, she's a Steelers fan - Miss Pennsylvania, Annie Rosellini, knows her way around a cheesesteak and Philly's best places to shop. After spending her freshman year of college in Philadelphia studying lyrical dance at the University of the Arts, Rosellini fell in love with Philly. Her dorm was in Center City and she loved walking around and window-shopping along Walnut Street - the shoes, the sweaters, the dresses, with a few art galleries thrown in. It was an artsy girly-girl's dream come true.