April 9, 2011 |
Something was out of sorts with "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the gala opening of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts on Thursday. Odd, foreign notes played like unwanted grit amid the inner working of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Harmonies imposed themselves not from the bottom up but from the top down. A musical flu bug? In fact, this was the Igor Stravinsky version - appropriate, since he's one of the festival focal points - that supposedly upset a 1944 Boston audience so much that the composer was arrested (In truth, he was only warned.)
April 3, 2011 |
With its vast array of 145 events, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts has one admission requirement for nearly everyone on and off stage: faith that highly touted collaborations - many of which are unprecedented, some of which weren't likely to happen under any other circumstances - will live up to the festival's exterior glitz. Even those intimately involved with some of these high-profile joint efforts of the festival, which begins Thursday night and runs through May 1, can't predict what will happen, if only because the individual pieces often will be assembled quickly before the first performance.
September 1, 2010 |
A lot has happened in the 12 years since Sebastian McCall opened Charlie's Jeans in Old City. Cuffed boyfriends have replaced the boot-cut, while skinnies have morphed into the wildly popular jeggings. Darker indigos eclipsed whisker washes, rises have inched back up, and trouser cuts are the latest in tailored britches nirvana. And then there are the labels: Sevens, Citizens, AG's, Rich & Skinnies, Cookies. The list is endless. But whatever the style, shade, or signature, fit rules - and a good one remains super-hard to come by. Hence McCall's latest endeavor, his own line of specialty denim aptly named Sebastian McCall.
June 3, 2010 |
A ruling by the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board on Wednesday will boost annual payments to struggling Pennsylvania dairy farmers by an estimated $6.7 million, according to Gov. Rendell. "As one of the few states with the ability to affect pricing, Pennsylvania is taking decisive action to help its dairy producers," Rendell said Thursday. The projected payments are small in Pennsylvania's $1.5 billion industry, but given the industry's difficulties, "any revenue that's out there that can be returned to the farmer is positive, no matter how small," said John Frey, executive director of the state's Center for Dairy Excellence.
March 14, 2010
Health-insurance companies are spending $1 million on ads to explain to Americans why their premiums keep going up and up. But the fact that they have a big stash of cash on hand to pay for the expensive ads answers the question. With so much profit sloshing around, the insurance industry can dig into its treasure chest at any time. And it's doing just that to respond to President Obama's recent criticism of the largely unjustified climb in the cost of health insurance. The insurers' ad campaign coincides with the White House's final push toward a vote in Congress on health reforms that would expand access to care and at least moderate the expected doubling of insurance premiums over the next decade.
March 10, 2010 |
South Philadelphia resident Kathy Chavis, 63, broke down in tears last month when she opened the letter announcing a 92 percent increase in her health-insurance premiums. The hike amounts to almost half her monthly Social Security income of $1,383. Chavis is a spunky, outspoken woman who worked her entire adult life, including more than 20 years at Western Union, before she became disabled. She has a life-threatening blocked artery in her kidney and myriad other conditions, including chronic pain, asthma, high blood pressure, and severe depression.
March 9, 2010 |
Leslie Banks writes novels about vampires and werewolves. So far, she hasn't cast any health insurers as villains. But Banks is tempted, she acknowledged yesterday, after a brief trip into the national spotlight pointed at health-insurance reform. The West Philadelphia author introduced President Obama at Arcadia University with a story about a choice she recently faced when her health insurer, Independence Blue Cross, notified her that her premium would double if she wanted to maintain similar insurance coverage.
February 26, 2010 |
As recalls and manufacturer defects continue to raise questions about Toyota vehicle safety, owners may worry that auto-insurance premiums may be affected, too. Not necessarily, experts say. Yes, insurance companies are closely monitoring the developments that led Toyota's chief global executive to testify before Congress on Wednesday. But experts say the ongoing drama may not result in either markedly higher, or lower, insurance premiums for Toyota owners. There is still too little known about the true extent of problems afflicting the vehicles, including popular versions of the Camry, Lexus, and Prius.
December 25, 2009 |
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett's continuing investigation into insurance fraud has resulted in another round of arrests - 24 people accused of falsely claiming to be state residents in order to obtain lower rates on their automobiles. The practice, known as rate evasion, annually leads to $12 million to $15 million in claims on Pennsylvania policies that should not have been written, Corbett said yesterday in a statement announcing the arrests. "That money is not coming out of the pockets of the insurance companies," Corbett spokesman Nils Frederiksen said.
December 24, 2009 |
In what may be a precedent, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will charge premium ticket prices for its forthcoming show "Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris. " Such pricing generally is reserved for large exhibits involving loans from other museums. But the great majority of the nearly 200 works in the Picasso show are from the museum's own collection; a few pieces will come from private holdings. The museum has seldom, if ever, used special ticketing for an in-house show, though that is standard practice at some other institutions.