May 21, 2013
K ENNY GRONO and his wife, Bronwyn Reice, both 36, of Northern Liberties, founded Buckminster Green, a green remodeling firm, in 2005. The North Philly company was inspired by the author and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller, who taught at Penn, Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore. It installs high-efficiency windows, doors and appliances; uses no-formaldehyde insulation; designs for limited waste; and recycles wood, drywall, shingles, cardboard and metal. I spoke with Grono. Q: How did you come up with the idea for the business?
May 12, 2013 |
PHOENIX - Jimmy Rollins never shed his batting gloves. With the tying run 90 feet away, he tapped one to first base that sealed a 3-2 Phillies loss. Rollins retreated to the clubhouse with the rest of his downtrodden teammates and went straight to one of the five laptops in the middle of the room. For 16 minutes, Rollins watched. Dressed in full uniform, he moved the mouse with his right glove. He tapped on the keyboard with his left glove. He stood up, pretended to swing, and pulled off his No. 11 jersey.
April 26, 2013 |
Synagro Technologies Inc., one of the largest contractors working with city government, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday as part of its planned sale to a European private equity group. Synagro president and chief executive officer Eric Zimmer said the Chapter 11 filing in Delaware would not affect the firm's South Philadelphia plant, which turns human waste into fertilizer and fuel. Houston-based Synagro, which has long been financially squeezed, is owned by another equity firm, Carlyle Group.
April 22, 2013
By Don Lewis When I meet with customers, vendors, or leaders of other organizations, I am often asked a great question: How much work is involved in earning a reputation as a "sustainable" company? They ask me because they know SCA is a global leader in sustainability practices. This takes a serious commitment, and the best results come from organizations where sustainability efforts are both top-down and bottom-up. Here's what I mean. Top-down is the organization taking the lead on creating a vision with its sustainability ambitions.
April 12, 2013 |
THE LUSTROUS beauty of a Terrence Malick movie reminds us that life on our compromised Eden is a precious thing. Too precious to spend in a Terrence Malick movie? In the case of "To the Wonder," I'd say yes. Malick's latest finds him retreating further from conventional character, story and dialogue, more determined than ever to indulge in his chosen aesthetic of collage, disembodied voiceovers and the barest suggestion of story. His subject in "To The Wonder" appears to be romantic love, although also on display are familiar Malick themes of a despoiled paradise presided over by a hidden and possibly indifferent God. His movies have made a slow march from the rural and the past to the urban/suburban and the present, and "To The Wonder" continues that process - it's the story of an American man (Ben Affleck)
April 1, 2013 |
Two weeks ago, on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war, I wrote a column that laid out the losers in the conflict. I argued there were still no clear winners. One reader responded that there are obvious winners: the private civilian contractors who provided security and supplies for the war effort, and were paid tens of billions of dollars by the U.S. government. A hefty chunk of those billions was wasted due to overbilling, shoddy work, and fraud. The reader was correct (although I disagree with his assertion that we began the war in order to fuel the military-industrial complex)
March 31, 2013 |
It's good to know that if you can't rely on the federal government, you can always rely on your state government. I say this because I recently saw a news article that reported a certain state government had enacted a law that permitted its citizens to eat any roadkill they found, without fear of penalty. Gee, thanks! If Marie Antoinette said, "Let them eat cake," there's always a politician around to say, "Let them eat raccoon. " I hasten to point out that the state in question isn't my own, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
March 25, 2013 |
Look no further than Steven Brill's "Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us," in the March 4 issue of Time, to see why there is little role, if any, for the marketplace in health care. Simply put, government must be a key player if we are ever to rein in runaway health-care costs. Brill presents a bill-by-bill description of the staggering costs associated with hospital care: An uninsured patient billed $7,997.54 for a stress test using a radioactive dye (Medicare reimbursement rate for this procedure is $554)
March 18, 2013 |
The body of a 60-year-old man was found about noon Saturday at a Waste Management facility in the city's Holmesburg section, police said. The man, who was not identified by investigators, was discovered by two workers at the facility at 5201 Bleigh Ave., by the waterfront. He was pronounced dead at 12:08 p.m. when medics arrived, authorities said. The man was in a pile of "paper recyclables," according to preliminary police reports. He had facial injuries and his right leg was broken.
March 9, 2013
By Charles Lane As I reported in January, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal and others are suing to gain detailed access to Medicare billing records through the Freedom of Information Act. Off-limits to the public since 1979, such data could hold the key to billions of dollars in savings, once journalists armed with modern technology sift through it for evidence of waste, fraud, and abuse. Doctors are fighting the lawsuit, claiming that their taxpayer-funded earnings are none of the public's business.