Archive for April, 2012

Summer Youth Program

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Philadelphia, PA – During the British American Business Council (BABC) Breakfast with His Royal Highness The Prince Edward in attendance, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that pharmaceutical and healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and The Philadelphia Foundation will provide $1 million in grants to support WorkReady Philadelphia programs.

“This grant will make a tremendous difference in the lives of young Philadelphians that benefit from the programming offered by WorkReady, and it will also create an employee pipeline for area businesses,” said Mayor Nutter. “I appreciate the commitment GlaxoSmithKline has shown to our city and region, and I challenge other area businesses to follow its lead so that even more youth can be served. It costs only $1,600 to provide a summer opportunity for a young person. There is no better investment that we can make in our future than to help our young people achieve success.”

The money will fund 515 educationally-enriched employment opportunities for young people through the WorkReady Philadelphia summer programs and help launch a new bio-medical employment training program. WorkReady Philadelphia is the city’s system of youth workforce preparation programs that is managed by the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN).

The $1 million includes $750,000 from the $5 million GlaxoSmithKline Inspiring Youth Endowment Fund and $250,000 from the Fund for Children. Both funds are administered through The Philadelphia Foundation, which has undertaken a comprehensive study of the out-of-school time needs of older youth to inform future allocations.

Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II, visited Philadelphia Thursday and Friday to honor Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year and to support the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award youth development program in the city. The BABC breakfast recognized GlaxoSmithKline for the creation of the $5 million fund benefiting youth in the City of Philadelphia, including a $500,000 designation to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Philadelphia Program.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program was established in 1956 by HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who is the husband of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Edward’s father. The program mentors 14- to 25-year-olds through self-selected activities in community service, physical recreation, skill development and an adventurous journey that includes outdoor experiences.

To be funded through the $1 million grant announced today are:
WorkReady Summer programs, which provide valuable exposure to workplaces across the city as well as weekly professional development seminars. The programs challenge youth to understand the correlations between work experience, skill attainment and high school completion and how those variables impact their potential for college and career success. Participants also can attain credits through the School District of Philadelphia.

WorkReady’s Industry Pipeline Model, which provides multi-year training for 11th and 12th grade students in industry-identified skills. The funding will allow for development of a new bio-medical employment training program that will prepare young Philadelphians to enter high-wage, high-demand positions in that industry.

Applicants interested in applying for the programs may visit PYN’s youth website at

About GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. For further information go to, follow GSK on or visit the GSK blog: (

About The Philadelphia Foundation
Since 1918, The Philadelphia Foundation has linked those with financial resources to those who serve societal needs. It is the region’s community foundation, serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. For more information, visit

About The Philadelphia Youth Network
A nationally recognized leader in youth workforce development, the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) is a non-profit intermediary organization that brings stakeholders together to change systems and improve educational and economic outcomes for the city’s youth. For more information, visit

About The British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia
Since 1991, the British American Business Council (BABC) of Greater Philadelphia has promoted increased trade and investment between the United Kingdom and the Greater Philadelphia region. The BABC of Greater Philadelphia is an affiliate of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit

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Philadelphia Open Data Policy

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed an executive order to establish an Open Data policy, which will provide increased access and will enhance the transparency of City data sets. The Executive Order creates a Chief Data Officer (CDO) position, which will oversee and enforce the Open Data Policy and will report to the Chief Information Officer (CIO). The policy provides for the City to publish data online and expands opportunities for the public to participate in the City agency decision-making process by creating the Open Government Portal, which will house departments’ open data catalogue as well as a mechanism for public to offer feedback and assessments of the data sets.

“Transparency is a cornerstone of good governance, and it is vital for the City to be open and available to our citizens,” said Mayor Nutter. “Philadelphia was recently named at the seventh most social media savvy city in the nation. The Open Data policy furthers many of the policies and initiatives already put in place by the City.”

The executive order establishes the Open Data Working Group, which will focus on enhancing internal transparency, accountability, participation and collaboration through the Open Data policy and will develop the Open Government Portal—the City’s forum for public feedback. Following the establishment of the policy and assumption of duties by the CDO, the Mayor will appoint a Data Governance Advisory Board—consisting of nine members—who will oversee the ongoing implementation of the Open Data policy.
“The Open Data Policy puts in place the necessary framework, structure and governance that will increase collaboration among City departments and bring citizens closer to their government,” said Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid. “This policy is the first installment in Mayor Nutter’s vision for Philadelphia to become a model for increasing transparency and removing barriers to information sharing and collaboration.”

The City of Philadelphia has been implementing new digital access programming to increase transparency and provide citizens with greater opportunities to be civically engaged. Mayor Nutter added, “Change By Us Philly facilitates the sharing of ideas and projects among the City and citizens. Digital On-Ramps will provide Philadelphians access to anytime, anywhere learning. Freedom Rings Partnerships KEYSPOTS creates computer centers in neighborhoods throughout the city. My Administration is working hard to bridge the digital divide and to be completely accessible to citizens whether in person, on the phone, or on the internet.”

Also adopted in this Executive Order is the City’s internal social media policy, which outlines the acceptable use of social media by City employees overseen by the CIO and Mayor’s Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships.
Executive Order 1-12

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Attorney General Warns of Weather Scams

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

HARRISBURG, PA — Attorney General Linda Kelly today cautioned Pennsylvania consumers and businesses about price gouging and scams following an unusual Spring storm that dumped heavy snowfall on parts of western and northern Pennsylvania.

“Our price-gouging law was designed to guard consumers and businesses against sudden, unwarranted price increases during emergency situations,” Kelly said. “The price gouging restrictions apply to anyone involved in the distribution or sale of consumer goods or services, prohibiting ‘unconscionably excessive’ increases above the average prices observed during the week prior to the emergency.”

Kelly said the Governor’s April 23rd declaration of a statewide disaster emergency triggered the price gouging restrictions, which will extend for 30 days after the expiration of the disaster declaration.

“It is important for everyone – consumers and businesses alike – to understand exactly what constitutes price gouging,” Kelly said. “Price increases for consumer goods or services that are 20% or more above the average prices before this storm are not allowed, except in some very limited situations.”

Kelly said the price gouging law gives the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection the authority to investigate price gouging complaints and allows for penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.

She noted that the emergency price restrictions not only apply to businesses involved in direct consumer sales, but also to manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and distributors of consumer products and services.

“I encourage any Pennsylvania consumer or business who feels they are the victims of price-gouging to contact our office so we can thoroughly investigate the situation,” Kelly said.

Kelly said consumers can report potential price-gouging by calling the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline, toll-free, at 1-800-441-2555 or by filing an online consumer complaint using the Attorney General’s website, at (Click on the “Complaints” button on the front page of the website and select “Consumer Complaint Form” from the menu that appears).

Additionally, Kelly urged consumers in storm struck communities to be watchful for scams related to home repair.

“It is natural for homeowners to look for speedy repairs for any storm damage,” Kelly said.  “Still, the desire for immediate repairs should not cloud your judgment or research regarding contractors.”

Kelly explained that all home improvement contractors who do more than $5,000 worth of business per year in Pennsylvania are required to register with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.  Registration is not an endorsement of the contractor’s honesty or quality of work.

All home improvement and home repair contractors are required to provide consumers with specific information before proceeding with any project, including:

  • The contractor’s registration number, which must be included in all contracts, estimates and advertisements.
  • A written contract for any project costing more than $500.
  • Information about the consumer’s three-day right to cancel a home improvement contract.
  • Details about the materials and labor included in the project.
  • Total cost of the work.
  • An approximate start-date and end-date for the project.

Additionally, Kelly explained that Pennsylvania’s Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act limits the amount of any up-front payments that contractors can collect.  For projects costing more than $5,000, contractors may not accept advance payment of more than one-third of the total price of the contract.

Kelly also encouraged consumers to get multiple estimates for any major project, to check references for recent work before committing to a project and to be wary of individuals who approach you with stories of “just being in the neighborhood” or other unsolicited offers that seem “too good to be true.”

Warning signs for potential home repair scams include:

  • Unsolicited door-to-door sales pitches.
  • Requests for large up-front payments.
  • No written estimates or contracts.
  • Offers to perform work using “left over” or “discount” materials from other jobs.
  • High-pressure sales pitches.

“When consumers understand their rights, they are much better prepared to identify and avoid potential scams,” Kelly said. “If you encounter a contractor who is not providing the information required by Pennsylvania law, we encourage you to file a complaint with our office and consider using another business for your project.”

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Find A Deck Builder

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Everything you need to know about Decks, Railings and Outdoor Living Projects. Please check back often!

Gallery of Deck Pictures
Browse Pictures of Decks, Railings, Decking Accessories and Outdoor Structures

Find Deck Builders and Contractors
Search For Contractors For Decks and Outdoor Living Construction Projects

Deck and Outdoor Structure Building Materials Guide
Useful Information To Help With Your Outdoor Projects

Deck Safety Program
NADRA’s Leadership Role in Deck Safety Has Been Unparalleled. May is Deck Safety Month® Find Out How to Stay Safe!

Deck For A Soldier
A community effort to express appreciation for the service & dedication of the men & women of our armed forces.

Articles , News and Info
Keep Up On the Latest Information in the Deck and Railing Industry

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Enter the Philadelphia Recycling Contest

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Win free groceries for a year.
Win a trip to Florida.

Philadelphia Recycling Rewards Sweepstakes
The Philadelphia Recycling Rewards Sweepstakes (the “Philly Sweepstakes” or “Sweepstakes”) begins at 12:01 a.m. EST on April 1, 2012 (the “Philly Sweepstakes Start Date”) and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on June 30, 2012 (the “Philly Sweepstakes End Date”) (such period referred to herein as the “Philly Sweepstakes Period”). The Philly Sweepstakes is sponsored by
Recyclebank, LLC (“Recyclebank”, or the “Sponsor”).
To enter the Philly Sweepstakes, participants must take any of four (4) actions available on Recyclebank’s website, Participants will receive one (1) entry for every action taken:
 Register for a Recyclebank account.
 Refer-a-friend who becomes a member of Recyclebank (referred friends must become members of the Recyclebank website during the Philly Sweepstakes Period in order for the referral to count as an entry).
 Earn points for recycling or through other actions made available on Recyclebank’s website.
 Redeem points for rewards on Recyclebank’s website. You may also redeem points for rewards via the Recyclebank Customer Care Center.
To enter the Philly Sweepstakes by mail, print your first and last name, complete address, city, state, zip code, daytime telephone number, date of birth, and e-mail address (if available) on a three-by-five-inch card. Put the card in an envelope, affix first-class postage, and send it to Recyclebank at the address provided under Section 7. No illegible, incomplete, forged or altered
entries will be accepted.  All entries must be received by Recyclebank. Sweepstakes entry limited to one (1) entry per post-card. Multiple Sweepstakes entries through multiple post-cards or multiple actions as described above are permitted. Mechanically reproduced entries not accepted.
All entries become the property of Recyclebank and will not be returned.
Participation in the Philly Sweepstakes is voluntary and does not require you to purchase anything from Recyclebank. All entries are subject to Recyclebank’s Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
Grand Prize: One (1) grand prize winner will receive one (1) year of free groceries from one of the following grocery stores: Whole Foods, Shop Rite and Fresh Grocer. Maximum prize value is $5,000.
First Prize: Ten (10) first prize winners will receive twelve (12) monthly Septa transit passes.  Approximate retail value of each pass is $83. Total approximate retail value of each first prize is $996.
Alternatively, first prize winners may opt to receive $500 cash, in lieu of the Septa transit passes.
Second Prize: Twenty (20) winners will receive a $100 Gift Card from Target to be provided either via email or hard copy. Total approximate retail value of each second prize is $100.
The odds of winning are affected by the number of eligible entries received by Recyclebank during the Philly Sweepstakes Period. Total approximate retail value of all Philly Sweepstakes
prizes: $16,960 (actual value may vary). Allow 3-4 weeks after validation of arrangement for receipt of prize. The actual number of prizes awarded is based on the number of eligible entries received. There is no substitution, cash equivalent or transfer of prizes allowed except where specified. Winners will be solely responsible for all other expenses not specifically set forth herein. Recyclebank reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value. No other substitution or transfer of prizes permitted. Recyclebank is responsible only for prize delivery; not responsible for prize utility, quality or otherwise. In order to receive a prize, winner may be required to provide proof of identification. Any and all taxes on any prize, including income and/or sales taxes, are the sole responsibility of the winners. However, Recyclebank may elect to cover all or a portion of such tax liability, in Recyclebank’s sole and absolute discretion.

The Sweepstakes is only open to legal residents of the United States who reside within the city limits of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and who are at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry. Entries are limited to individuals only; commercial enterprises and business entities are not eligible. By participating in the Sweepstakes, each participant accepts the conditions stated in these Official Rules, agrees to be bound by the decisions of the Sponsor and warrants that she/he is eligible to participate in the Philly Sweepstakes, as applicable. Employees, independent contractors, officers, and directors of the Sponsor, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion, and fulfillment agencies, legal advisors, and their immediate family members and persons living
in the same household, are not eligible to participate in the Sweepstakes.

THE SWEEPSTAKES IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW and is subject to applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
Twice during the Philly Sweepstakes Period, and once after the Philly Sweepstakes End Date, the Sponsor will randomly select the winners. Winners will be selected from all eligible entries received at the time of the drawing. Drawings for the prizes will occur as follows:
 Drawing #1: Based on entries received through April 30, 2012
 Two (2) first prize winners
 Five (5) second prize winners
Drawing #1 winners will be announced by May 20, 2012.
 Drawing #2: Based on entries received through May 31, 2012
 Two (2) first prize winners
 Five (5) second prize winners
Drawing #2 winners will be announced by June 20, 2012.
 Grand Prize Drawing: Based on entries received through June 30, 2012
 One (1) grand prize winner
 Six (6) first prize winners
 Ten (10) second prize winners
Grand Prize winners will be announced by July 20, 2012.
The winners for the Philly Sweepstakes will be notified by e-mail using the information provided when the participant entered the Philly Sweepstakes. Such notification shall include instructions for proper acceptance of the prizes by the winners. In the event a winner does not accept a prize, a winner is ineligible, or the prize or prize notification is not deliverable, an alternate winner may
be selected. The Sponsor is not responsible for and shall not be liable for late, lost, misdirected or unsuccessful efforts to notify a winner. The winners agree to Sponsor’s use of their name, address, likeness, and/or prize information for promotional purposes in any medium without additional compensation to the extent permitted by law. Where lawful, the winners may be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, Release of Liability, and Publicity Release (the “Release”). If the winner is a minor, the Release must be completed by the minor’s parent or legal guardian. Upon a Sweepstakes entry being selected, all other entries submitted by that
participant shall be disqualified for any further prizes other than the Grand Prize.
5. CONDITIONS: The Sponsor, and its respective agents, directors, officers, shareholders, employees, insurers, servants, parents, subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, predecessors, successors, representatives, advertising, promotion, and fulfillment agencies, and legal advisors (the “Released Entities”), are not responsible for, shall not be liable for, and hereby disclaim all liability arising from or relating to: (i) late, lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected, misaddressed, incomplete, or unintelligible entries; (ii) telephone, electronic, hardware or software program, network, Internet, computer or other malfunctions, failures, or difficulties of any kind, whether human or technical; (iii) failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer or e-mail transmissions; (iv) any condition caused by events beyond the control of the Sponsor; (v) any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising in connection with or as a result of any prize, or any portion thereof that may have been awarded, or acceptance, possession, or use of any prize, or any portion thereof that may have been awarded, or from participation in the Sweepstakes; or (vi) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Sweepstakes. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to suspend, modify or cancel the Sweepstakes or any component of the Sweepstakes should any unauthorized human intervention or other causes beyond the Sponsor’s control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes. In the event that proper administration of the Sweepstakes is prevented by such causes as contemplated above, the Sponsor will pick the winners from all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to such action. By participating in the Sweepstakes, participants and winners agree to release, discharge and hold harmless the Released Entities, and all others associated with the development and execution of the Sweepstakes, from any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind arising out of or relating to the Sweepstakes, participation in the Sweepstakes, any prize, or any portion thereof that may have been awarded, and/or acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize, or any portion thereof that may have been awarded, including but not limited to statutory and common law claims for misappropriation or participant’s right of publicity. This Sweepstakes shall be governed by New York law. By participating in this Sweepstakes, participants agree that New York courts shall have jurisdiction over any dispute or litigation arising from or relating to this Sweepstakes and that venue shall be only in New York, New York.
6. WINNERS LIST: To obtain the first name, last initial, city and state of the Philly Sweepstakes winners after the Philly Sweepstakes End Date, send a separate self-addressed, stamped envelope marked “Philly Recycling Rewards Sweepstakes Winners List” to the
Sponsor. Requests for the winners list must be received no later than ninety (90) days from the Sweepstakes End Date (residents of Vermont and Washington need not include return postage).

7. SPONSOR: Recyclebank LLC
Philly Sweepstakes
95 Morton Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10014
8. NOTICE: The Sponsor reserves the right to prosecute and seek damages against any individual who attempts to deliberately undermine the proper operation of the Sweepstakes in violation of these Official Rules and/or criminal and/or civil law.

Copyright © 2011 Recyclebank, LLC. All rights reserved. Recyclebank and the associated logos are trademarks of Recyclebank, LLC. Any other trademarks in these Official Rules are used for prize identification purposes ONLY and are the properties of their respective owners.

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Come To Pennypack Park to I.D. & Sample Plants!

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012 2:00 PM

Peter Kurtz, Pennypack’s Environmental Education Specialist, will lead this tour: Herbs & Greens from Field, Forest, Lawn & Garden

More About Edible Plants

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