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Sticker Shock

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By RICHARD CHAIT | April 6, 1994
College Park. -- This is the month when the most prestigious colleges and universities mail out those letters that separate the winners from the losers, the accepted from the rejected. As admissions officers will diplomatically explain to the also-rans, there were far more applicants than spaces.Parents of the chosen few will gleefully read the letter of admission and then nervously scan the invoice. Sticker shock will strike again. Facing an annual tab of some $25,000 for the next four years, these parents will gather together, like victims of a natural disaster, to console one another.
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NEWS
April 25, 2013
The Obamacare critics were no doubt gleeful this week when CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield proposed average rate increases of 25 percent for its individual HMO customers next year, when it will be required to follow the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But before we give in to conservatives' "I-told-you-so" moment, it's worth unpacking the details of what's going on in Maryland's newly created insurance exchange. Like the sticker price on a car, CareFirst's proposal is likely not going to be the final word on what Marylanders pay for health insurance.
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NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | September 28, 1997
A month ago, the University System of Maryland was set to hit students with another round of stiff tuition increases, in some cases at more than twice the rate of inflation.But this time, the Board of Regents' express ran into a roadblock when The Sun published a story about the plan the day before the regents were to vote on it.Gov. Parris N. Glendening and other state leaders can read. They also know where the votes are. In one day, they forced the regents to delay action on the increases until their October meeting Friday in Frostburg.
NEWS
March 26, 2013
It was only a matter of time before Gov. Martin O' Malley and his groupies pushed another tax burden upon us ("House approves increase in gas tax," March 23). House Majority leader Kumar Barve estimates that this increase will cost motorists $10.10 a month, based on the example of someone who drives 15,000 miles a year in a car that gets 25 miles to the gallon. That may be the case in his world, but unfortunately not mine. My small business requires a truck that at best gets 13.5 miles to the gallon and an annual mileage exceeding 50,000 miles a year.
NEWS
March 26, 2013
It was only a matter of time before Gov. Martin O' Malley and his groupies pushed another tax burden upon us ("House approves increase in gas tax," March 23). House Majority leader Kumar Barve estimates that this increase will cost motorists $10.10 a month, based on the example of someone who drives 15,000 miles a year in a car that gets 25 miles to the gallon. That may be the case in his world, but unfortunately not mine. My small business requires a truck that at best gets 13.5 miles to the gallon and an annual mileage exceeding 50,000 miles a year.
NEWS
By Charles Perry and Charles Perry,Los Angeles Times | August 6, 2003
Priced vanilla at the supermarket lately? One 4-ounce jar of extract, $9.15 to $17.99. One bean, $11.69. Some brands are selling vanilla in a puny 1-ounce size to reduce the sticker shock (down to $3.89). And everybody agrees prices are headed higher. What's going on? Just four years ago, prices were falling, after the breakup of the cartel that had controlled Madagascar's vanilla production. The trouble started April 3, 2000, when Cyclone Hudah, a Category 4 storm with 140-mph winds, plowed through Madagascar's vanilla-growing region.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock | May 26, 1997
DON'T HATE employers because they're still worrying about health care costs. It's their money, and it's still being blown like a salesman's expense account in Atlantic City.In what other industry is the product:Necessary, at almost any price?Ordered and used by customers who don't have to pay for it?Subject to expensive technological improvements whose benefits often bear little relationship to costs?That's the prescription for profligacy mixed up in the 1950s, with the spread of employer-paid health insurance, and catalyzed in the 1960s, with Medicare and Medicaid.
NEWS
October 18, 1997
Sticker shock about new public housingYour Oct. 7 editorial about public housing reports a unit cost of $310,650 for the houses and apartments in the new Pleasant View Gardens. Talk about sticker shock!That figure will buy a split-level or rancher and a two-car garage on a quarter-acre of land in Harford or Howard counties. Maybe Baltimore Housing Commissioner Daniel P. Henson III might save taxpayers some money by building there. The money left over could be used to build a nice park where the high-rises used to be.Frank NovakBaltimoreSome things in your lead editorial (''Public housing's new look,'' Oct. 6)
NEWS
By Stephanie Desmon and Stephanie Desmon,Sun reporter | April 30, 2008
When food prices rise, the problems are usually of supply - disruptions because of foul weather or violence in war-torn regions meaning people have to pay more for scarce goods. But with the globe coming off the largest grain crop on record, one main culprit for rapid price spikes not seen for a generation is the flip side of the Economics 101 equation: unprecedented demand. The effects of this global food crisis are being felt from the poorest African nations to rich countries such as the United States.
BUSINESS
By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest and Nancy Jones-Bonbrest,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 23, 2001
Eastport is often referred to as the other side of Annapolis. But if you ask a group of Eastporters, they will tell you Annapolis is the other side of Eastport. That's because while Eastport may not be as well known as its famous neighbor, anyone who lives on the peninsula knows Eastport has it all and more. "If life had not changed at all after the first day of living in Eastport, I would have been perfectly happy. But the longer I live here, the better and better it gets," said Carey Kirk, who moved to Eastport in 1997.
NEWS
February 22, 2012
One can hardly blame the boating public for feeling a bit of sticker shock at news that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources wants to triple registration fees for most boaters. The recession has hit the boating industry hard, gas prices are up, and the General Assembly is already considering a number of taxes and fees to balance the state's budget next year. But there's only one thing the legislature could do to Maryland boaters to make life on the water even worse, and that would be to do nothing at all. Like Odysseus, the DNR is trapped between Scylla and Charybdis with no pain-free choices available.
NEWS
By Stephanie Desmon and Stephanie Desmon,Sun reporter | April 30, 2008
When food prices rise, the problems are usually of supply - disruptions because of foul weather or violence in war-torn regions meaning people have to pay more for scarce goods. But with the globe coming off the largest grain crop on record, one main culprit for rapid price spikes not seen for a generation is the flip side of the Economics 101 equation: unprecedented demand. The effects of this global food crisis are being felt from the poorest African nations to rich countries such as the United States.
BUSINESS
By Allison Connolly and Allison Connolly,Sun reporter | August 26, 2007
BERLIN-- --Standing before the majestic Brandenburg Gate on cobblestoned Pariser Platz, where President Reagan gave his famous "Tear Down This Wall" speech at the former divide between East and West Berlin, the Reed family from Atlanta had lunch on their minds. Only they weren't thinking about what they would eat; they were searching for a restaurant that would sustain the family of five for more sightseeing without breaking the bank. With the value of the dollar at historical lows against the euro -- the euro is worth about $1.37 as of Friday -- the Reeds are some of the many American tourists feeling the price pinch while traveling across Europe this summer.
NEWS
By David Nitkin and David Nitkin,SUN STAFF | September 1, 2005
With gas prices breaking the $3-per-gallon threshold at many Maryland service stations yesterday, Gioia Sawchuk was among many motorists wondering whether daily price jumps at the pumps are justified. "I feel that the rate of increase is faster than it should be," said Sawchuk, a dental office manager from Parkville who drives a relatively fuel-efficient Honda Accord. "I think they're doing it too quickly, and it's not really reflecting the true increase in cost." But Maryland officials are ill-equipped to investigate allegations of gasoline price-gouging that have accompanied the rapid increase since Hurricane Katrina knifed through the heart of the nation's oil refinery operations this week.
NEWS
By Laura Barnhardt and Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF | August 19, 2005
Patricia Bentz is paying big money, already, to stay warm this winter. Her most recent bill to fill the oil tank that heats her Monkton home and provides hot water: $1,000. "There's nothing I can do about it," she said. Across the region, people have been watching the price of gasoline creep up nearly every time they pass a service station. But many are only now receiving their first shipments of heating oil for the coming winter. "There's going to be sticker shock," said Ray Henry, a managing member of Husky Heating, an Ellicott City-based fuel company.
NEWS
By Charles Perry and Charles Perry,Los Angeles Times | August 6, 2003
Priced vanilla at the supermarket lately? One 4-ounce jar of extract, $9.15 to $17.99. One bean, $11.69. Some brands are selling vanilla in a puny 1-ounce size to reduce the sticker shock (down to $3.89). And everybody agrees prices are headed higher. What's going on? Just four years ago, prices were falling, after the breakup of the cartel that had controlled Madagascar's vanilla production. The trouble started April 3, 2000, when Cyclone Hudah, a Category 4 storm with 140-mph winds, plowed through Madagascar's vanilla-growing region.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | June 10, 2002
NOTICED IN my travels: A beat-up Chevy station wagon at the Giant in Baynesville - out Joppa Road past the last of the Pep Boys stores with actual Manny, Moe and Jack figurines. You know the one? Anyway, this Chevy must have been 12 years old, rusted badly, needing a paint job. The car had one wheel in the junkyard. The explanation for its dilapidated state was on the rear window: decals of Gilman, Bryn Mawr, Princeton, Swarthmore and Harvard Law. Surprised there was money left to buy groceries after tuition.
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