February 24, 2014 |
In the run-up to tax day, April 15, when returns are due to the IRS, you may have to unwind some of the complicated new tax rules - and fend off a few tax scams. Here is some help. The IRS last week issued its annual list of "dirty dozen tax scams" and said identity theft and phone scams lead the list. Many of the scams are perpetrated by tax filers, for example, claiming false expenses or exemptions. In the case of fraud-by-phone, the IRS says, "scams include many variations, ranging from instances where callers say the victims owe money or are entitled to a huge refund.
February 12, 2014 |
TRENTONA South Jersey Democratic organization has filed a federal complaint against a Republican campaign group working to reelect U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, saying it had co-opted his Democratic challenger's name on a "deceptive" website to solicit donations. Republicans countered Monday by attacking the challenger, Democrat Bill Hughes Jr., for his association with retiring U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.). The website complaint, brought by Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Jim Schroeder, asks the Federal Election Commission to investigate "fraudulent" activity by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)
February 10, 2014 |
In a power outage, utilities can't charge you for electricity they didn't deliver. But what responsibilities do they have in providing service, and what are your rights - and responsibilities - as a consumer? The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission displays the "PA Energy Consumer Bill of Rights" in this document. There's nothing specific about how your utility should respond to an outage, but it notes that utilities "are required to make necessary repairs and improvements to service and facilities.
February 3, 2014 |
Four months ago, the healthcare.gov website wasn't looking so dandy to Ted Trevorrow. The insurance veteran and freshly certified Affordable Care Act navigator was shaken by the exchange's disastrous rollout and the cascade of Web errors that followed. "It took some luster off the ACA," said Trevorrow, speaking at Resources for Human Development's office in Roxborough. But these days much of that luster has returned to the site's bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plans. The website has rallied.
January 12, 2014 |
'Information is now a core of our business," says Kim Scott Heinle. He is assistant general manager of customer service at SEPTA. You'd think he'd be talking about snow and ice, bus detours, dead equipment, backward-rippling train delays. But here he is, talking like some IT guy: "It used to be just running buses, trains, and trolleys, but now it's information, too. " "Our riders want it," says Ron Hopkins, assistant general manager of operations. And they want it "in real time.
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.
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.
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.