September 23, 2016 |
Foreign travel to Philadelphia increased by 3 percent in 2015, due in small part to a bump the week Pope Francis came to town. Last year, 638,300 overseas visitors came to Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), which tracks international tourism patterns through the U.S. Department of Commerce. About 620,000 foreign visitors came in 2014. The increase follows a large decline in 2014, when international visits decreased by 8 percent.
September 13, 2016
Like death and taxes, there are two guarantees when it comes to driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike: potholes and toll increases. But despite nine years of annual toll hikes, the Turnpike Commission's finances have crumbled worse than the 360-mile road. In fact, the commission has amassed a debt level that is "potentially unsustainable," according to a recent audit by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. The audit found the commission's net position - assets minus liabilities - has ballooned from $1.76 billion in 2007 to a negative $4.11 billion in 2015.
August 31, 2016
Not since Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign has there been such widespread public disavowal by Republicans of their party's nominee. The Hillary Clinton Republicans will be one of the most important legacies of the 2016 campaigns. The question is whether they will constitute the forward end of a political realignment, or just a one-time reaction to the unsuitability of Donald Trump for the presidency. Reasons for skepticism about long-term change are rooted in the differences between today's polarized politics and the more tempered partisanship surrounding the big-bang elections of 1964 and 1980.
August 30, 2016
ISSUE | HEALTH CARE Insurance unaffordable I am worried about proposed health-insurance rate hikes proposed for next year. Aetna has requested an 18 percent increase for its HMO, and Independence Blue Cross's Keystone Health Plan East, also an HMO, has proposed a 13 percent increase. Medical treatments are getting pricier every year, and a recent study by the University of Michigan found that patients are bearing a much larger share of that cost. According to the four-year study, deductibles rose 86 percent and coinsurance costs increased 33 percent.
August 11, 2016 |
The city of Philadelphia is officially a sellers' real estate market, as a continued shortage of inventory has pushed up prices for properties listed for sale. Economist Kevin Gillen, senior research fellow at Drexel University's Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, said the second quarter of 2016, which ended June 30, saw median prices 13 percent higher than April-through-June 2015. The increase pushed the city's median price for single-family homes to a record $145,000, he said - even as homes sell in an average of just three months, a pace that meets the industry standard for a sellers' market.
July 15, 2016 |
Shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries rose nearly 4 percent Wednesday after the drugmaker said its $40 billion deal to buy Allergan P.L.C.'s generics business is expected to close shortly. On a call with analysts, Teva chief executive officer Erez Vigodman said the acquisition - for $33.5 billion in cash and about 100 million of Teva's shares - should close "at any time now. " He said he knew of nothing that would hold up the purchase, which awaits final clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
July 1, 2016 |
AT THE 2011 Masters, Australian Jason Day closed with two birdies to finish tied for second, two behind South Africa's Charl Schwartzel, who birdied the last four holes. And two months later he got another second at the U.S. Open, eight in back of runaway winner Rory McIlroy. The previous August, Day had tied for 10th at the PGA Championship in his second major. But that April in Augusta, most people still didn't really know who the then-23-year-old was or what he might have in him. Golf is littered with guys who do something and are mostly never heard from again.
June 30, 2016 |
Liana Roadcloud lives in a town where homeowners pay some of the region's highest property tax rates, where the schools struggle academically, and where the fiscal year that begins Friday will bring exactly what she doesn't want: another tax hike. The William Penn School District insists it has squeezed every nickel to keep the increase on her tax bill at just under 2 percent. For Roadcloud, that means a $58 bump next year, to $3,091 for a Lansdowne home valued around $70,000. "People don't mind paying for something if they're getting something in return," said Roadcloud, whose son is a sophomore at Penn Wood High School.
June 27, 2016 |
Big-name Republicans aren't exactly jostling each other for the chance to be Donald Trump's apprentice. Democrats are watching as Hillary Clinton goes on the road Monday in pivotal Ohio with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), the progressive icon. It sure seems like a tryout. After a bruising primary fight with Bernie Sanders, Clinton does need help with her party's disappointed left and young voters, analysts point out. And Trump, after two bumpy months as presumptive GOP nominee in which he has wallowed in gaffes and failed to raise much money, could use political and policy heft in a running mate - somebody soothing to anxious party leaders and donors.
June 24, 2016 |
It was hard for me to watch the first episode of USA's Queen of the South and not think of what Donald Trump might say about Teresa Mendoza. Queen is adapted from Arturo Pérez-Reverte's novel La Reina Del Sur , whose 2011 telenovela version broke ratings records for Telemundo. Premiering Thursday, it's the story of Teresa (Alice Braga, I Am Legend ), and her rise from humble Mexican roots to riches on the U.S. side of the very border on which Trump has proposed to build a wall.