May 6, 2015 |
One of five Pennsylvania electricity suppliers charged with deceptive practices after last year's round of wild winter price spikes has agreed to pay nearly $2 million in refunds and penalties. HIKO Energy L.L.C., a New York state supplier, agreed to the payments in a settlement with Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane and acting Consumer Advocate Tanya J. McCloskey. HIKO also agreed to cease accepting any new Pennsylvania customers through June 30, 2016, and to change its marketing practices to fully disclose the risks of variable-rate electricity plans.
May 5, 2015 |
Allie Ilagan usually would have run about 150 training miles before hitting the pavement in the Broad Street Run. But by Sunday, she had covered less than 50. So after some soul-searching, she decided to skip the race and spend the day cheering on her husband, Mikey. "The harsh winter was the biggest culprit," said Ilagan, 26, a veteran runner who lives in South Philadelphia. Some other runners said they felt the same way Sunday, their legs a little underprepared - but their enthusiasm undiminished, the field of 40,000 creating a pageant of color and motion during the 36th Broad Street Run. One man ran in a Superman cape.
April 5, 2015 |
When our daughter, a physical-therapy student, was offered a 10-week clinical experience in Fairbanks, Alaska, my husband and I encouraged her to go for it. "We'll come and visit!" we said. Upon hearing that her assignment was from February through April, though, we had second thoughts. Would we freeze? Would there be enough daylight to enjoy the trip? My husband and I decided to go for it, too. On Jan. 28, the three of us flew to Alaska to spend two days in Anchorage, then drove 360 miles north to Fairbanks.
March 27, 2015 |
As our second cooking class got underway at Roberto Clemente Middle School, I was amazed at how quickly these eighth graders had gotten the hang of things. They filed in, stashed their backpacks, donned their aprons, washed hands, and turned to the recipe. "We're making the winter minestrone today," announced Tatiana Castillo, 13, completely in charge. A new student joined us, our only boy, Raul Camacho, 14, who sports a thick shock of dyed-blue hair and hip black glasses. I wasn't sure what to expect, but he was quiet and serious, and actually a calming addition to our group.
March 23, 2015 |
Pay no attention to all that snow on the lawn or the car roof. Officially, meteorologically, and astronomically, winter truly is over. Given that the region has just been creamed with up to six inches of snow, and in deference to the first full day of spring, we'll hold off on mentioning what happened in April 100 years ago. For now, if you give the spring sun a few hours Saturday, you probably won't have to do much shoveling. Gary Szatkowski, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, has promised it will all be gone by day's end. And although temperatures will stay well below normal for the next few days, no more snow is in the forecast.
March 23, 2015 |
Now that the spring equinox is past, it's a good time to ponder what we've learned from driving during the winter of 2014-15 - a winter to remember. Let's review the material and clip and save it for the future. Then, we can pull this column back out when the snow makes an unwelcome return . . . next year, thankyouverymuch . People drive too fast in bad weather. In good weather, I am a motivated driver. But when the snow starts falling, I find the recommended 45 m.p.h. on most Pennsylvania limited-access highways still far too high.
March 16, 2015 |
For Heather Redfern, a trip to the Target store turned out to be far costlier than she planned. On the way home from the store, near the Neshaminy Mall, in Bucks County, she had an unfortunate encounter with that late-winter nemesis - the pothole. "Some of them you hit, and you just cringe and hope nothing bad happened to your car," said Redfern, who works in SEPTA's media-relations department. In this case, hope wasn't enough. Redfern needed a new tire, wheel, and valve stem - for $550.
March 8, 2015 |
Friday was the first day that NJSIAA baseball teams could begin practice, and we're guessing that not many teams in South Jersey had outdoor workouts. The snowstorm of Thursday wasn't very field-friendly. The season begins April 1, so every day leading up to it is important, but at least in the beginning, those days will be taking place indoors. And that goes to show what people from South Jersey, and really, the entire Northeast have to go through to play baseball or softball.
March 6, 2015 |
Hundreds of Thursday flights were canceled and towns declared emergencies in advance of snowfall likely to be the signature event of a tenacious late-winter spell that has iced the region with record cold and nuisance storms. "It's been horrendous," Steve Lorenz, the Philadelphia Streets Department chief engineer, said Wednesday as he was preparing his crews to do battle yet again, this time with up to eight inches of snow possible by day's end. "In the last month, it feels like it's every other day," he said, adding that winter was making him a stranger in his household.