December 11, 2014 |
As intense heat and smoke poured from the blazing basement of a house in West Oak Lane early Tuesday, the firefighters attacking the flames with a hose were ordered to get out. The woman who lived there had been rescued. Another company was poised to go in through a back entrance to fight the flames. With conditions deteriorating, a commanding officer had said over the radio around 2:30 a.m. that that would be safer. The firefighters began to retreat as directed, battling disorienting heat and blinding smoke.
December 5, 2014 |
Two strip clubs, a bar, and a fraternal organization are seeking indoor smoking permits - a request health and tourism officials have implored City Council to deny. Smoking at bars and restaurants has not been allowed in Philadelphia since 2007, when the city passed the Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law. At that time, several bars applied for and received exemptions during a 90-day waiver period. On Wednesday, Council members held a hearing on whether to grant waivers to four establishments that either missed the deadline or did not qualify at the time due to tax issues.
October 25, 2014 |
Looking to better manage health-care costs, the Nutter administration is taking two big swings at tobacco. Come Jan. 1, Philadelphia will add a $500 annual premium to benefits costs for nonunion employees who use tobacco products, and a $15 surcharge for prescriptions filled at pharmacies that sell tobacco products. The charge on prescription co-pays is part of a plan being launched by the city in partnership with CVS Caremark, a pharmacy benefits provider owned by the parent company of CVS drug stores.
October 20, 2014 |
The signs went up a bit over a week ago on the little stretch that is the Monmouth Street Business District in proudly blue-collar Gloucester City. They took most folks by surprise: The no-smoking symbol and the "100% Smoke Free Public Property" sign. By late last week, the police had yet to issue a ticket, but on sidewalks known for a fair yield of butts, the stubs were few and far between. But if the smokes have been extinguished at least on those few blocks, the furor smolders on. Mayor William James says the ban is part of an effort to clean up and revitalize the three-block commercial strip - an endeavor that has included acquiring three properties with about $540,000 in state and federal funds.
October 17, 2014 |
THE KEYSTONED State struck close to home for Gov. Corbett. In fact, it was the Governor's Residence, the Harrisburg mansion in which he has lived since 2011. Corbett, speaking yesterday to the PennLive editorial board in Harrisburg, repeated his oft-maligned claim that Pennsylvania companies can't fill jobs because they can't find applicants willing or able to pass drug tests. One big problem: The business group Corbett cites when making that claim released an employer survey this summer that raised serious questions about his facts.
October 3, 2014
ISSUE | SCHOOLS Shoulder to shoulder but learning well The article on Philadelphia school crowding might have mentioned that in 1840, when America and Scotland were the two most literate nations on earth, the average one-room schoolhouse consisted of 250 kids headed up by one teacher and two assistants, who taught the oldest, who taught the younger, and so on down the line ("Rotating teachers and oversize classes," Sept. 26). But then we decided to prepare scared, passive, and obedient children to man the assembly lines of the industrial revolution.
September 15, 2014 |
The seven patients all had had successful surgery to prop open a blocked coronary artery with a stent. Yet more than five years later, all seven developed dangerous blood clots and came to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital with heart attacks. The common thread? All of them either had stopped taking aspirin, were actively smoking, or both, according to a new report by Jefferson physicians. Not a good idea, the doctors wrote in September's Journal of Invasive Cardiology.
September 12, 2014 |
Gov. Christie vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have restricted smoking in public parks and beaches, saying he opposes a "one-size-fits-all" approach to such regulation. Christie acted on several other bills Wednesday evening, signing one measure that requires more police officers to wear video cameras or mount them on their vehicles, and another that changes the state's alimony law. The Republican governor had until Thursday to act on the bills. The bill he vetoed would have completely banned smoking in state, county, and municipal parks, and restricted it to designated areas on public beaches.
July 11, 2014 |
THE MARLBORO Man and Joe Camel helped push into legislative limbo a new $2-per-pack tobacco tax in Philly that would help to fund the city's public schools. Harrisburg lobbyists for the nation's largest cigarette company, the Altria Group - maker of the Marlboro, Parliament and Virginia Slims brands - initially had opposed the tax altogether. A lobbyist for the nation's second-largest cigarette company, R.J. Reynolds - maker of Camel, Pall Mall and Kool brands - also was involved in the effort.
July 8, 2014
AFTER THE Legislature passed a bill last week giving Philadelphia the right to impose a $2-a-pack cigarette tax to raise money for the city's schools, Gov. Corbett took a moment to congratulate himself. "We have worked for over a year, above the partisan politics, to put the students of Philadelphia first," Corbett told reporters. We don't know whether to laugh or to cry. In fairness, we don't know exactly what the governor means by putting the students of Philadelphia first.