Robert Benincasa en Banks Come Under Fire For Filling In The Payday Loan Gap A payday loan is a costly form of credit operating on the fringes of the economy. That's why the target of a new crackdown by federal regulators may surprise you: Instead of a forlorn-looking storefront with a garish neon sign, it's your familiar neighborhood bank.<p>A small but growing number of banks, including some major players, have been offering the equivalent of payday loans, calling them "deposit advances."<p>That is, at least, until bank regulators stepped in Nov. Thu, 05 Dec 2013 10:03:00 +0000 Robert Benincasa 26914 at Banks Come Under Fire For Filling In The Payday Loan Gap New Accessible Playground Rules May Not Go Far Enough Last year, the federal government made accessibility standards at playgrounds mandatory under the Americans with Disabilities Act so that children with disabilities can more easily play alongside typical kids.<p>But whether children with disabilities are able to enjoy their new civil rights to play may depend on where they live, and the design decisions their cities and towns made when they built local playgrounds.<p>For 3-year-old Emmanuel Soto, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, the local playground's design doesn't work.<p>On a recent afternoon, his parents, Teresa and Juan Soto, w Wed, 28 Aug 2013 07:32:00 +0000 Robert Benincasa 22588 at New Accessible Playground Rules May Not Go Far Enough For Kids With Special Needs, More Places To Play Remember running around the playground when you were a kid? Maybe hanging from the monkey bars or seeing who could swing the highest?<p>It wasn't just a mindless energy burn. Many have called play the work of childhood. Tue, 27 Aug 2013 16:00:00 +0000 Robert Benincasa 22553 at For Kids With Special Needs, More Places To Play Where Dollars Are Born DALTON, Mass. – If you were driving through this small town along the Housatonic River in the Berkshires, here's something you might not think about: All the bills in your wallet are visiting their birthplace.<br /> <br />The paper for U.S. currency, the substrate of everyday commerce, has been made here since 1879 by the Crane family.<br /> <br />Crane & Co. vice president Doug Crane represents the eighth generation descended from Stephen Crane, who was making paper before the American Revolution.<br /> Wed, 23 May 2012 18:24:00 +0000 Robert Benincasa 1728 at Where Dollars Are Born Should We Kill The Dollar Bill? Our story begins last month inside a busy Washington, D.C. subway station plastered with posters of giant dollar bills. One of them says: "Tell Congress to stop wasting time trying to eliminate the dollar bill." Another asks: "Do you heart the dollar?"<p>Political fights in the nation's capital normally involve billions or even trillions, not single dollars. What's going on here?<p>This being Washington, there's a back story. The $70,000 ad blitz was part of a small lobbying war over the fate of the dollar bill. Thu, 19 Apr 2012 19:53:00 +0000 Robert Benincasa 303 at Should We Kill The Dollar Bill?