December 8, 2013 |
Without fanfare, the Philadelphia Police Department has begun posting data on its website about officer-involved shootings - the focus of a U.S. Justice Department study requested by Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey. In May, Ramsey asked the Justice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to review the police department's handling of cases when officers shoot at civilians. Lt. John Stanford, a spokesman for Ramsey, said the posting of the information was not a result of the COPS review, which also covers all use of force by officers.
December 8, 2013 |
On Monday night, precisely at 10 p.m., I logged on to a site where many have unhappily gone before - HealthCare.gov - to see whether the fixes touted by the Obama administration had taken hold. I chose the late hour because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said people might have better luck buying health insurance during off-peak hours. The site's welcome screen popped up quickly. So far, so good, I thought. And then: "Healthcare.gov has a lot of visitors right now. We need you to wait here so we can make sure there's room for you to have a good experience on our site.
November 24, 2013 |
Almost two months after its inglorious rollout, the healthcare.gov website appears to be slowly recuperating. But even if it is 80 percent healed by November's end, as some public statements suggest, it likely won't be the promised seamless shopping experience where consumers can compare plans and prices and see if they qualify for premium and cost-sharing subsidies. Several websites have stepped into the breach and are helping consumers unravel the differences among the various health insurance policies.
November 15, 2013 |
THE MAKE-A-WISH Foundation grants wishes to children diagnosed with a life-threatening medical conditions. Tomorrow, in San Francisco, it will top anything it has done in its 33-year history when it fulfills the wish of a 5-year-old boy named Miles, who has leukemia. When asked what his wish was, Miles said he wanted to be a superhero. Batkid to be exact. The good people at the foundation went to work, asking for volunteers on its website. The response was overwhelming as over 10,000 people - some who said they are flying in - agreed to take part in the elaborate wish-granting plan.
November 14, 2013 |
A hat with too many feathers, too many sequins, or too many ribbons is just too much drama. But the right chapeau? The perfectly perched little pillbox? That's the epitome of chic. So you can imagine how excited socialites-turned-entrepreneurs Chelsea Irwin and Natalie Mackey were two months ago when they stumbled upon boxes and boxes of vintage brimmed beauties. Not only was the sheer number of the trendy head-toppers gasp-worthy, the designer names made those fashionistas' hearts hum: Halston, Ralph Lauren, Chanel.
November 12, 2013 |
You see something. You hear something. You want to tell the cops. But you don't want to be seen, heard, or traced calling 911? In Philadelphia, you can use your phone keyboard to text PPDTIP, then a message. Anonymously. That's at least one fewer step than in, say, New York, where people are asked to type both a text code (TIP577) and a destination code (CRIMES), then answer questions. Other towns have smartphone apps you have to download. You don't need that in Philly.
November 12, 2013 |
IT WAS about 3 1/2 years ago that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said famously that "we have to pass the [health-care bill] so that you can find out what's in it. " The remark was ridiculed at the time, but Pelosi appears to have been on to something. In 2013, the core provisions of the Affordable Care Act - a/k/a "Obamacare" - are finally taking effect, and it appears as if Americans are just now learning what's in the bill. Some like what they're finding, while many particularly vocal folks do not. What's really going on with Obamacare?
November 9, 2013 |
Philadelphia police and prosecutors are investigating an anonymous Instagram account with thousands of followers that for months has been identifying witnesses in violent crimes across the city - aiming, in its creator's words, to "expose rats. " The account, called rats215, has outed more than 30 witnesses since February, posting photos, police statements, and testimony on the photo-sharing website. Because many of the statements posted aren't public records, authorities are investigating the page as a potential act of mass witness intimidation - in a city where police and prosecutors struggle daily to find witnesses willing to testify.
November 8, 2013 |
A COALITION of district, charter and parochial schools introduced a new website yesterday where Philadelphia students can download 2014-15 applications for all three types of high schools. It will be the first time district, charter and Catholic high schools will share the same deadline, Dec. 6, said Lori Shorr, the chief education officer in Mayor Nutter's administration. The website launched by the Great Schools Compact, PhillySchoolApp.org, has color-coded applications by school type and can be used for 11 charter schools, eight Catholic schools and more than 50 district schools, including three Renaissance schools.
October 28, 2013 |
Holly Phares was a mouse click away from becoming the first, and she was psyched. "I want to 'confirm,' " she proclaimed to the three people gathered at the Resources for Human Development office in Roxborough. Everyone stared at the screen bearing the words "Confirm and Save Your Health Care Plan" as Phares positioned the cursor and clicked. Since the health-insurance marketplace opened Oct. 1, RHD has not enrolled one client using the federal Healthcare.gov website. It wasn't for a lack of trying.