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 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 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.
October 11, 2013 |
¿No habla Inglés? That could make a big difference in obtaining relief money for some Hurricane Sandy victims, according to a Latino-rights group. In the latest controversy over aid for those affected by the storm that ravaged the Shore last October, a complaint filed this week by the Latino Action Network charges that people who speak only Spanish were not given access to crucial information. The Spanish-language version of the state website created for residents to apply for assistance programs provided incorrect deadlines and hours of operations, according to the network, which represents a coalition of Latino advocacy groups.
October 5, 2013 |
Accessing Healthcare.gov was better Thursday - but not for everyone. "Nothing" was what Kate Kozeniewski found when she logged on to the government's new website for purchasing health insurance. "When I log on, I make it to the point where it asks the security questions, and then it says there is an error in the system," said Kozeniewski, program coordinator with the Philadelphia-based Resources for Human Development (RHD), which is providing health insurance enrollment assistance in 10 counties in Pennsylvania.
October 5, 2013 |
Philadelphia high school students are eligible for a year's free admission to 12 of the city's most prominent and popular art and cultural institutions, thanks to a new program to be launched Friday afternoon at a special ceremony at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Dubbed STAMP, Students at Museums in Philly, the program began as a $75,000 Knight Foundation challenge grant two years ago. "STAMP reflects the cultural community's collective effort to invest in the youth of Philadelphia," Michael Norris, interim executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, said in a statement.
October 3, 2013 |
As millions clogged the government's new website for purchasing low-cost health insurance Tuesday - with many unable to get through - Alfred Chavis filled out an application the old-fashioned way: On paper. Chavis, 55, who works part time at a McDonald's restaurant and is taking classes at Community College of Philadelphia, applied for coverage at the Rising Sun Health Center in Olney. He was happy to learn he might pay as little as $290 a year for a midlevel "silver" insurance plan, after receiving a government subsidy that could amount to thousands of dollars.
October 1, 2013 |
On the 1500 block of Walnut Street, a culinary story is unfolding. Telling this tale of the gastronomic venture that will emerge where the once-regal, now-retired Le Bec-Fin thrilled so many palates will fall to a small business in the midst of its own reinvention of sorts. Since its launch in April 2011, HyLo Boutiques (for hyperlocal ) has been primarily promoting fashions created in Philadelphia using an unconventional marketing approach - one premised on the idea that consumers will buy local if they get to know the person or people behind the designs.