Category Archives: Uncategorized

April 10 Webinar: Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program: Overview and How to Apply 

webinar-

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program: Overview and How to Apply 

This webinar will provide a brief overview of the PA Department of Revenue’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, eligibility requirements, and information on how to fill out and submit forms for the program.

Presenters:

Chantel Hardaway, PHR, Chief of Outreach and Education, Customer Experience Center, PA Department of Revenue

Donald Bianchi, CPA Director of the Customer Experience Center, Department of Revenue

 

When: Wednesday, April 10th | 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Register here!

“Students with disabilities call college admissions aheating ‘Big slap in the face’” – California HealthLine

Cropped view of group of teenagers taking a test

by Barbara Feder Ostrov and Ana B. Ibarra

“For Savannah Treviño-Casias, this week’s news about the college admissions cheating scandal was galling, considering how much red tape the Arizona State University senior went through to get disability accommodations when she took the SAT.

“‘It felt like such a big slap in the face,’ said Treviño-Casias, 23, who was diagnosed in sixth grade with dyscalculia, a disability that makes it more difficult to learn and do math. ‘I was pretty disgusted. It just makes it harder for people who actually have a diagnosed learning disability to be believed.’

“Federal prosecutors have charged 50 people, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, in a nationwide bribery and fraud scheme to admit underperforming students to elite colleges. Some of the parents charged, the FBI said, paid to have their children diagnosed with bogus learning disabilities so they could get special accommodations on the SAT and ACT college entrance exams.”

Click here to continue reading this article at California Healthline

OPINION: “Mindfulness is not a fad. Try it.” – The Boston Globe

mindfulness

by Andy Puddicombe

Be present, be patient, be gentle, be kind . . . and everything else will take care of itself’ were the words of my teacher as I left behind my life as a Buddhist monk, some 15 years ago, to set out on a very different kind of adventure, one that would eventually lead to me getting married, having children, starting the Headspace meditation app, and moving to America.

“People often ask which I prefer: the simplicity of a monastic life, or the chaos of a working, family life? But life is not like that. Outside of extraordinary or unfortunate circumstances, our happiness is not typically defined by where we live, what we do, or what we possess.

“But instead of looking inward — recognizing that our experience of life is defined by our perception — we chase or hold on to things that we think make us happy, while running away from anything we believe makes us unhappy. This creates a never-ending cycle of hope and fear, leaving us exhausted, stressed, and no closer to the peace of mind we seek. So it’s worth considering how to step out of that cycle.”

Continue reading this opinion piece, click here.

How the 2020 Census will invite everyone to respond.

Download the above as a .pdf file so you can enlarge / share print, click here.

“The soaring cost of US child care, in 5 charts” – The Conversation

childcare costs“Children can get quite expensive. silentalex88/Shutterstock.com”

by Heidi Steinhour

“The cost of having children in the U.S. has climbed exponentially since the 1960s. So it’s no wonder the growing crop of Democratic presidential candidates have been proposing waysto address or bring down the costs tied to raising a family.

“Most recently, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she wants to provide universal access to child care. According to her proposal, the U.S. would partner with local governments and other organizations to provide various child care options, paying for it with revenue from her wealth tax.

“Whether or not Warren’s proposal becomes law, the data show a worsening problem. In 2015, American parents spent, on average, US$233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17, not including college.”

Click here to read this article in its entirety at The Conversation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Works For Me Website no longer affiliated with PA Department of Human Services

dhs logo

Sent on behalf of Lynn A. Kovich:

Dear Department of Human Services Stakeholders,

The Department of Human Services is sending this announcement to inform audiences that the former “Works for Me” website, which was developed as part of a broader “Works for Me” campaign several years ago, is no longer affiliated with the PA Department of Human Services, Department of Labor & Industry, Department of Education or any other commonwealth agencies.

A third party has purchased this domain and created a website that uses terminology and information resembling the previous “Works for Me” website. The site asks for personal data in exchange for information related to employment resources. However, there is no indication of who is collecting this information and how this information is being used.

Individuals should not provide their personal information on the “Contact Us” page, as it does not appear to meet the criteria for a trusted website. Additionally, we ask that you do not refer people you work with to this page. Again, this website no longer represents the former “Works for Me” campaign, nor the state of Pennsylvania.

In addition, we ask that if you have any “Works for Me” posters or other materials displayed, that these be removed. We do not want to put anyone’s information at risk.

We are currently working to revise and republish content that formerly existed on the old “Works for Me” website. We will keep you all appraised as the new page nears completion and is launched as a resource for you and individuals you work with.

Thank you,

Lynn A. Kovich, M.Ed.

Deputy Secretary

“Being 97.”

From an exceptionally well crafted blogsite (Time Goes By: What it’s really like to grow old) comes this fascinating 18 minute video.

Reader Jack Handley sent this video of 97-year-old Herbert Fingarette, a U.S. philosopher who once published a book about death. As the video page notes, in that book

”Fingarette contemplated mortality, bringing him to a conclusion that echoed the Epicureans: in non-existence, there is nothing to fear.

“But as Being 97 makes evident, grappling with death can be quite different when the thoughts are personal rather than theoretical. Filmed during some of the final months of Fingarette’s life, the elegiac short documentary profiles the late philosopher as he reflects on life, loss, the many challenges of old age, and those lingering questions that might just be unanswerable.”

Fingrette died in 2018.

Here is The New York Times obituary for Mr. Fingarette. And here is a comment about that obituary, “Heavy Drinking” and the NYT’s Offensive Obit on Herbert Fingarette.”

Hamilton Relay seeks nominations for 2019 Better Hearing and Speech Month Recognition Award

hamilton relay

Download the questionnaire to nominate an individual, click here.

 

OPINION: “‘Grandmother effect’ helps explain human longevity”

grandma

by Haider Warraich

Not long after our first child was born, my wife and I contacted my mother in Pakistan to see if she could come and stay with us for a while in Durham, N.C., where I was training to be a cardiologist. We were overjoyed when she agreed. But when she arrived at the airport counter to collect her boarding pass, she learned that her valid visa had been unceremoniously cancelled without any reason given.

“That she couldn’t come see her only granddaughter (and help out her parents) was devastating for all of us. But as two recent articles published in Current Biology show, the presence of grandmothers goes far beyond sentimental implications: They may be responsible for the success of the human species.

“First, some background:

“Evolutionary biologists have long been struck by two unique features of humans. The first is that we enjoy some of the longest life spans in the animal kingdom. In just the past 200 years, there has been an unprecedented increase in how long we live, not just in the richest countries but also in the poorest. We have moved so far away from our hunter-gatherer ancestors that their life spans are more similar to those of apes and chimpanzees than to modern human beings.

“This feature is coupled with another.”

Click here to continue reading this STATNews article in its entirety. 

OPINION | “Seema Verma: Americans have the right to know their health care and hospital costs” – STATNews

hospital chargesADOBE

by Seema Varma. Seema Verma currently serves as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Americans are prolific shoppers, constantly on the lookout for the best price for top-quality products and services. If you are searching for a new television, it’s easy to find prices and statistics transparently and prominently displayed at just about every store.

“Yet when it comes to maintaining our health, very few of us ever know price or quality before receiving a health care service. This is true whether it’s a simple visit to the doctor, a cancer screening, or a knee replacement.

“One reason health care costs continue to skyrocket is that the prices and quality of care are largely hidden from patients. That means health care providers don’t compete on cost or quality.”

Click here to read Ms. Varma’s column in its entirety at STATNews.