April 16, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania residents will have an extra day to file their state personal income-tax returns because the Department of Revenue website - as well as the websites of many other state agencies - went dark for several hours Monday afternoon due to a technical breakdown. State officials had not pinpointed the cause of the problem as of late Monday afternoon, but had ruled out any foul play. Residents will be able to file their returns until midnight Tuesday without penalty, Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser said.
April 8, 2013 |
Cars have been selling well in the economic recovery. And if you find yourself in the market for new wheels, it'll be good to review the rules of the road for financing the purchase of a new or used vehicle. The car site Edmunds.com has a section devoted to auto financing. A current featured article there describes the dangers of "yo-yo financing. " That's when you drive off with the car, but the dealer calls later to say your financing fell through and you need to come sign for a more expensive loan, or make a bigger down payment, or both.
April 6, 2013 |
Social media: to embrace or not embrace. That's the dilemma faced by high school teachers as they try to keep abreast of an ever-changing world spurred on, in part, by technological advances. Two English teachers at Constitution High School in Center City are taking different approaches on using social media in the classroom. Kathleen Melville, who also teaches Spanish, is using social media in her journalism classes to show how the phenomenon has impacted the reporting and dissemination of news.
April 6, 2013 |
It is not your typical five-minute wait. With each second ticking by, your Facebook page stays the same. Then the red notification flag flashes on your blue screen. Congratulations, you have received your first like on your post. As people post their status, photos, or videos, competition begins with the number of likes or comments they receive. Whether that competition is healthy for teenagers is an open question. For some teens, the problem arises when they realize that their friends get way more likes or comments than they do. Many people have argued that social media websites enhance a person's self-esteem instead of deflating it. Others disagree, saying that social media websites are not a good place for people with low self-esteem.
April 1, 2013 |
Ann Richards is stalking me. Yes, I'm referring to the silver-tongued former governor of Texas. The politician who once said about women: "If you give us the chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels. " She once said of fellow Texan George H.W. Bush: "Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth. " I know what you're thinking. Didn't she pass? Indeed she did, back in 2006, but that doesn't seem to be stopping her. She's been after me since March 4, when I was in New York City and thought I'd check on ticket price and availability for a new, one-woman Broadway show called Ann , starring Holland Taylor, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.
March 24, 2013 |
Ever tried to find out something about your municipality quickly online: the mayor's e-mail address, the next trash pickup, details on pet licensing? If you live in Cherry Hill, it was probably pretty easy, according to a new report from the Monmouth University Polling Institute and Graduate Program in Public Policy, which listed the township's website as the 15th-best in the state. Your experience may be different in Pemberton Borough or Mansfield Township, which ranked 535th and 538th among the 540 municipal websites studied.
March 23, 2013 |
The City and Philadelphia Gas Works set up a website Friday that officials said will track the effort to sell the city-owned utility. The site, www.exploringasale.com , has sections on how a sale would affect PGW customers, employees and the business community, background material and an FAQ. Over objections of unionized gas workers and the city's public advocate, the commission that oversees PGW voted in January to hire a team of lawyers,...
March 18, 2013
As efforts to rate hospitals have expanded, patients must struggle to make sense of seemingly contradictory assessments. Many of the following organizations measure different things in different ways, even though their sources of data are similar. When choosing a hospital, it's important to understand what went into the rating and not to rely on any single group's judgment as gospel. Medicare's Hospital Compare www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare This government site publishes dozens of quality measures that private ratings groups use for their rankings.
March 11, 2013 |
Taxes complicate our lives every year, but changes in the rules may be making this year especially difficult. These sites explain the changes and tell you how to plan and how to cope with tax stress. Higher taxes on dividends, capital gains, and estates didn't turn out to be as steep as feared by some, but there are many changes for 2013. Tax "must-knows" for 2013, detailed by the investment site Morningstar, include reminders about the changing contribution limits to IRA accounts.