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Ratings System

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NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | May 16, 1999
LOS ANGELES -- Turning up the heat on Hollywood, President Clinton urged the movie industry yesterday to re-evaluate its film-rating system with an eye toward rooting out "too much gratuitous violence," especially in the PG-13 category. The president also called on the entertainment industry to ban guns in movie ads and previews, and said theaters and video stores must more strictly enforce the ratings system by screening young patrons. "You should check IDs, not turn the other way as a child walks unchaperoned into an R-rated movie," he said.
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NEWS
August 29, 2013
There is little doubt that an informed consumer makes better choices. That's why pharmaceuticals should include information about side effects and drug interactions, why food should carry nutrition labels and why potentially dangerous products carry warnings. Public education has gotten much better about informing taxpayers about its product, too. At the touch of a few buttons, Maryland parents can find out how their child's school performed in standardized tests this year and other years, how much their school system is spending on a per-pupil basis and how many are dropping out or graduating in any given year.
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NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | January 24, 1997
WASHINGTON -- Jack Valenti is one of the least-known important people in Washington.He is one of the figures in the famous 1963 photograph of Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in as president aboard Air Force One in Dallas. He is the figure on the Oscars telecast who every year tells the 50 million viewers how wonderful Hollywood is. He is the man with the Kirk Douglas hair standing next to President Clinton in photographs published last February when the president promised parents a television ratings system to help them control the programs entering their homes.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | August 22, 2013
Some Maryland education officials lauded a presidential plan to make colleges more affordable by assigning them value ratings tied to federal financial aid, yet others feared the state's historically black colleges and universities would suffer. The reactions came Thursday as officials tried to determine what President Barack Obama's proposal might mean for their institutions. "The devil, of course, can be in the details," said Dennis O'Shea, a spokesman for the Johns Hopkins University, in a statement.
FEATURES
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 26, 1997
NEW YORK -- Dissatisfied with the television industry's age-based ratings system, several members of Congress intend to introduce legislation that would effectively force the TV networks to provide content-based TV ratings.Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., planned to introduce a new "safe harbor" bill in the Senate today that would require the television industry -- which includes the major networks, cable stations and syndicators of programs -- to either label shows for violence or move them to "safe harbor" hours when children are less likely to be watching.
FEATURES
By KNIGHT RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | December 3, 1996
The television ratings system being hashed out by industry executives is likely to have five or six categories, similar to those for big-screen movies, according to a published report.Although no final decisions have been made, sources told the Los Angeles Times that the ratings are likely to be G for general audiences and a handful of PG derivatives, which will suggest suitable viewing age. For example, some shows would have a PG-8, representing a show that may be inappropriate for kids under 8.Most programs are expected to be rated either G or PG. Shows such as ABC's "NYPD Blue" and "Walker, Texas Ranger," would get a PG-13 rating, according to the Times.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | June 16, 1997
Under pressure from the White House, the television industry is expected to announce this week that it will revise its controversial age-based ratings system to include information on language, sex and violence.The announcement will most likely be made at a White House meeting late this week or early next week depending on President Clinton's schedule, according to industry sources.The ratings system, which was designed by Hollywood lobbyist Jack Valenti, has been under fire from parents' groups, educators and members of Congress since its introduction in January.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | February 21, 1996
If ABC, NBC and CBS follow Fox's lead in coming days and promise to impose a ratings system for sex and violence on their programs, the word "historic" will be sounded often and loudly from Washington to Hollywood. After all, the networks have resisted calls for a ratings system for more than 25 years.But such self-regulation by the networks may simply be a bad rerun of the movie industry's evasive tactics rather than a watershed development, say media scholars. In their analysis, the proposed ratings system -- which will be modeled on one instituted in 1968 by the Motion Picture Association of America -- is mainly an attempt by the networks to dodge government regulation.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN STAFF | March 1, 1996
WASHINGTON -- The most powerful executives in the television industry promised President Clinton yesterday to start rating programs by January 1997, so parents can use new technology to block out shows they don't want their children to see.But while the president hailed the pledge as a "historic turning point," industry analysts said that the ratings system described yesterday would accomplish little more than getting politicians off the networks' backs...
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | December 19, 1996
The television industry will unveil today a ratings system that contains more specific warnings about sex and violence than originally planned, but that is unlikely to silence critics who say it is too vague to be useful.Initial plans, which leaked out last week, called for rating shows in six categories based solely on age. That provoked an outpouring of criticism from child advocates who say parents need much more specific information to control the messages coming into their homes.While the ratings will continue to be based on age, information about language, violence, themes and sexual content will now ++ be included, according to sources involved in drafting the plan, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
ENTERTAINMENT
by Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | September 5, 2012
A new information box will accompany this Sunday's review of Family Meal, Bryan Volaggio's new Frederick restaurant. At a glance, you'll be able to see, along with the information we've always provided about hours of operation, prices and location, some additional context that readers have been encouraging us to provide. We are now including notes about parking and reservations as well as, when applicable, about dietary considerations and accommodations for children. We'll also let you know about the noise level.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2012
For 35 years, Maryland has enjoyed a unique exemption from the federal government that allowed it to regulate hospital rates so that patients are charged the same no matter where they seek care. But the system that state health officials say has created an egalitarian way of charging for health care now faces an unprecedented challenge. The state has come dangerously close to failing a test it must meet every three months to keep the exemption, under which the federal government gives Maryland larger Medicare payments than other states.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | March 8, 2012
As Baltimore's Public Works Department issues more than $4.2 million in water bill refunds, Howard County officials say they will likely avoid similar issues because of recent upgrades to the county billing system. "We just finished a total upgrade of our water billing system in the last two years; we do not use the same system Baltimore uses," county spokesman Kevin Enright wrote in an email. He said the error rates are now at 1 percent. Water meters are read and transferred electronically using a radio interface.
NEWS
By James Drew and James Drew,james.drew@baltsun.com | February 13, 2009
Maryland law should be changed so that hospitals are required to provide charity care to more people and give financial-assistance information to all patients, according to the state agency that sets hospital rates. In a report to Gov. Martin O'Malley that will be released today, the Health Services Cost Review Commission recommends several changes to the state's unique rate-setting system, which was designed in part to guarantee all Marylanders hospital care whether they could afford it or not. The commission also recommended that hospitals be required to provide written notice about the availability of financial assistance to all patients before or as they are discharged, and that hospitals and their collection agencies be barred from adding interest and penalties on bills to uninsured patients for periods before court judgments are entered against them.
NEWS
By James Drew and James Drew,Sun reporter | June 19, 2008
Nursing homes will get a "star rating" from the federal government to help consumers pick the best facilities, a sweeping initiative that a Maryland regulator predicted will create "peer pressure" among owners to improve care. The ratings, from a low of one star to a high of five, will be posted starting in December on the Nursing Home Compare Web site of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the federal agency's acting administrator, Kerry Weems. "I don't think we'll see very many people who are going to be anxious to put a loved one into a one-star home," Weems told reporters yesterday during a conference call.
FEATURES
By James Bates and James Bates,Los Angeles Times | April 27, 2007
Jack Valenti, the urbane Washington lobbyist who served as Hollywood's public face for nearly four decades and was best known for creating the film rating system, died yesterday afternoon at age 85, according to Warren Cowan, his longtime friend and publicist for the MPAA. Mr. Valenti had been in ill health since suffering a stroke in March. He was treated for several weeks at the Johns Hopkins Hospital but was released Tuesday and returned to his home in Washington, where he died. For 38 years until retiring in 2004, Mr. Valenti headed the Motion Picture Association of America, guiding the trade organization from a clubby group of movie studios led by autocratic moguls into a collection of global media conglomerates involved in television, the Internet and an array of other media businesses.
FEATURES
By Lorenza Munoz and Lorenza Munoz,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 7, 2003
LAS VEGAS - The price of making a movie soared substantially last year, with the average major studio production costing nearly $59 million, a 23 percent increase from 2001, the Motion Picture Association of America announced this week. It was the biggest percentage increase since 1997 and a little more than double the $29 million of 10 years ago. In his address to theater owners at the annual ShoWest convention, MPAA president Jack Valenti lamented the skyrocketing costs of making movies and attributed the increase to the special effects and high technology now used throughout the filmmaking process in many movies.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | December 29, 1996
The season of joy has passed, and the more somber season of review is upon us. In arts and entertainment, 1996 was marked by many a going (Horn & Horn lunchroom, Shakespeare on Wheels, the announcement of David Zinman's departure) and an important staying (the Lucas Collection). Bad guys (Jack Valenti with his Hollywood-friendly TV ratings system) were as likely to make news as angels (John Travolta in "Michael"), and personalities (the Michael Jackson marriage saga) got more attention than performances (Alanis Morissette's best-selling album)
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critic | January 19, 2007
The Motion Picture Association of America is finally showing some give with regard to its movie ratings system, agreeing to open up the process a bit more and to give filmmakers more leeway in appealing its decisions. Good move. Little is known about the ratings board, except that its decisions are frequently indefensible. How, for instance, could it slap an NC-17 rating on a thought-provoking examination of adult relationships like The Cooler, but give an exploitative mess like Basic Instinct an R?
NEWS
By FRANK D. ROYLANCE, [SUN REPORTER ] | December 16, 2005
Meteorologists have invented a mathematical system for scoring Northeast snowstorms on a five-step scale -- like hurricanes. The system threatens to end generations of barstool debates over which half-remembered storms really were the worst. Someday, it might even give forecasters a way to telegraph the severity of storms before the snow flies. The new rankings -- Categories 1 through 5 -- could appear in post-storm assessments as early as this winter, according to Tom Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. That's the nation's repository for weather statistics.
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