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Energy Industry Eyes U.S. East Coast For Offshore Drilling

By EMERY P. DALESIO

NORTH CAROLINA COAST

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Fossil fuel and wind power companies are focusing on America’s East Coast as a coming energy hub and industry representatives said Thursday they want politicians to ease up regulatory restraints in return for the promise of jobs and tax revenues.

Oil companies looking for new sources are blocked from West Coast drilling due to political opposition, while politicians in the Southeast are welcoming, said API offshore policy adviser Andy Radford.

The Democratic governors of California, Oregon and Washington this summer stressed to Interior Secretary Sally Jewel that they oppose drilling off their coasts. The federal agency is updating which federal waters would be open for companies to explore and drill for oil and gas starting in 2017. Drilling was not worth the risk of another disaster like the 1969 oil spill off Santa Barbara, California, the West Coast governors said.

“The political realities are that there’s going to be no opportunities for drilling in that area in the near future,” Radford said at an energy conference in Wilmington. “Here on the Atlantic coast, the reason for industry interest is because the elected officials in these states, it’s bipartisan up and down the coast.”

A coalition of governors along the Gulf Coast and Southeast who support offshore drilling is chaired by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. McCrory said besides the prospect of good jobs and business profits, more states should contribute to building American energy independence from foreign imports by allowing drilling.

“We are hypocrites in North Carolina if we expect to get all our energy from somewhere else and just expect that our hands are clean in this whole thing,” he said.

American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said big increases in fossil fuel production in recent years already have lowered U.S. gasoline prices despite wars and instability in the Middle East. He wants favorable regulations, permission to drill on federal land, undersea seismic testing to find promising oil and gas deposits and the inclusion of underwater fields off the Southeast in the Interior Department’s coming five-year offshore leasing plan.

“Will we invest out there? Won’t we invest out there? How big is the resource? Today we don’t know,” Gerard said.

Outside the convention center, protesters demonstrated against the pollution risk of oil drilling. Comments by Gerard and McCrory inside were interrupted by protesters.

The petroleum industry’s promise that it can operate alongside existing tourism and fishing industries is undercut by the continuing effects of the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, said Andrew Menaquale, an energy analyst for the conservation group Oceana in Washington, D.C.

“I think they should take a trip down to the Gulf Cost and talk to people who were employed in fishing, who were employed in tourism, and see how that oil spill is affecting them four-plus-years later,” he said. “The fact of the matter is it only takes one accident to cost a lot of people jobs and billions of dollars in damages.”

He thinks politicians should encourage offshore clusters of wind farms. Waters more than 10 miles off the North Carolina coast are projected to have among the country’s highest potential for profitable wind energy generation. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management two months ago identified one ocean tract off Kitty Hawk and two others off Wilmington where wind turbines can be built.

 

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Obama’s ‘myRA’ Accounts This Fall May Alter Your Retirement Plans


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3 Factors to Consider When Planning for an IRA

Important changes are coming this fall for what’s become one of the biggest concerns of the era: affording retirement.

Those who are saving for retirement and meticulously troubleshooting tax obstacles may want to restructure their plans. While members of Congress continue to battle over the budget, the Obama administration is preparing to roll out “myRA” savings accounts – IRA accounts – for those who do not currently have access to one.

When the “myRA” account reaches a certain amount, fledgling savers can roll it into a regular IRA account; different states will have their own guidelines. However, some of the benefits of existing savings options could be in peril, says financial advisor Jake Lowrey, president of Lowrey Financial Group, (www.lowreyfinancial.com).

Those include some of the tax advantages of retirement accounts currently enjoyed by higher-income workers. Some Roth IRA owners may also lose their exemption from required minimum distributions, or RMDs, while IRAs totaling less than six figures could see RMDs disappear.  

“There will be many people who’ll be unhappy about the changes and that’s understandable, but some may help our country avoid an avalanche of retirees facing poverty,” Lowrey says.

In just 15 years – 2030 – the last of the baby boomers will have reached 65. That means one of every five Americans will be of retirement age, according to the Pew Research Center’s population projections.

“Most people simply don’t know how to plan for retirement, and that’s made even more challenging with the changing government policies,” says Lowrey.

He offers guidance on choosing between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA as a retirement savings vehicle.

•  Traditional IRAs and Deductibility: For either traditional or Roth IRAs, it’s all a matter of how one prefers to be taxed. Generally speaking, the money you deposit in a traditional IRA isn’t taxed that year, and whatever earnings you have on your contributions won’t be taxed until you withdraw that money as a retiree.  So, if you earn $40,000 in one year and put $3,000 of it in an IRA, your taxable income drops to $37,000. The deposit will grow tax-free through the years. If you withdraw any before age 59½, you’ll face a penalty. After that, you can withdraw and the money will be taxed as earned income.

•  Roth IRAs, Exemptions and No RMDs: Roth IRA contributions are never deductible. You pay taxes on the money when you earn it, just like any other income. The benefit of a Roth is that when the owners decide to withdraw from it after age 59½, they will not be faced with any taxes. In other words, the Roth offers tax-exempt rather than tax-deferred savings. Also, traditional IRA rules include required minimum distributions (RMDs). With a traditional IRA, you must begin to take RMDs by April 1 of the year following the year you reach age 70.5, but that isn’t the case with a Roth IRA.

•  The Best of Both Worlds? Naturally, IRA owners want to chart a path in which they’re penalized with taxes the least. It may be possible to cushion one’s retirement savings against future tax increases by converting some of an IRA to a Roth and earn tax-free gains going forward.

“Converting to a Roth will make sense for many people, and if you’re eligible to contribute to both types of IRAs, you may divide contributions between a Roth and traditional IRA,” Lowrey says. “But the total contributions to both must not surpass the limit for that tax year.”

About Jake Lowrey

Jake Lowrey is a financial consultant and president of Lowery Financial Group, (www.lowreyfinancial.com), an ethical and professional firm that guides clients to retirement success, including planning for long-term care needs. As a relationship-driven organization, Lowrey and his team educate clients about the newest, most progressive retirement and long-term care planning strategies to assure a brighter financial future.

 

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Wanelo founder got rejected 40 times before success of her mobile mall service

The UpTake: Imagine going through your startup pitch 40 times for potential investors, without a penny to show for it. Deena Varshavskaya, whose addictive shopping app Wanelo stands for “want, need, love,” doesn’t have to, but rejection didn’t stop her from building an immensely popular shopping experience.
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by Teresa Novellino -

W anelo founder Deena Varshavskaya has gotten a lot of cold shoulders from investors, but that hasn’t stopped her.
Two years ago, using her own money, she launched mobile shopping app and website Wanelo — a word that stands for “want,” “need,” and “love” — which aims to make shopping social. It’s now the fastest growing social network dedicated to shopping, with 11 million mostly young women posting favorite items to Wanelo’s app or website. Without selling a thing, the San Francisco-based startup gets affiliate fees as a platform for 14 million products in 350,000 stores.
Sounds like easy money but investors must either not have bought the concept or the Siberian native behind it.
“When I went out to raise funding, it took more than 40 rejections to even close my very first seed round,” Varshavskaya told CBSNews.com Monday. “It was hard, for sure, but that’s part of what I really love about what I do, is that the start-up essentially is my foundation for personal growth, and I absolutely love that I’m being pushed to the limit.”
Wanelo recently announced a deal with Nordstrom, which is putting Wanelo content in 117 of its stores where it will be featured on screens in the junior’s sections.
It’s now got $14 million in venture capital backing, including an $11 million round last March from undisclosed investors.
After getting an MA in journalism from Syracuse University, Teresa worked as a general assignment newspaper reporter—general on purpose because besides the usual city hall and police articles, there was the chance to fly an F-18 with the Blue Angels and tag along with bounty hunters on a stakeout—all good preparation for covering entrepreneurs.

 

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HOW THE HECK DO YOU SELL TO STARBUCKS?

0a799000d67844ffa039b5cf8e71466b       I have  been working with a start-up company now for about a year and a half.

Eco-Distribution, Inc.   Among our other offerings we have a line of truly Green Cleaning products that work better than their caustic counterparts, and are just as economical.

We have been successful in winning evaluations, and been escalated to corporate procurement in several very large and notable companies, and the orders are coming in.  There is one enigma, I truly could use some help with.  We have demonstrated these cleaning products to several local Starbucks, and the managers all get very excited.  I just talked to a regional manager in California and she agreed that they absolutely fit the Ethical, Sustainable, and Green goals of the Starbucks corporation.

She then told me that I had to go to Corporate, and there were no names she could give me to help.  I spent an hour on their website, and found all sorts of documents on Corporate Responsibility, Vendor Practices, Shipping Procedures… you get the idea.  Nothing on how to become a vendor.

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I tried customer service, and was on hold for a half hour to be told to call Corporate.  I called Corporate and was referred back to the customer service number.   Has anyone out there any knowledge of what the process REALLY is.  I mean, they have to buy cleaning materials from somewhere?   This stuff is a perfect fit, its new technology, and I know they can’t make it for themselves in China.

Help!!!!!

 

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Carl Icahn: PayPal must eat or be eaten to survive in payments

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by Cromwell Shubarth – Carl Icahn: PayPal must eat or be eaten to survive in payments. Carl Icahn, the activist shareholder who earlier this year pushed eBay to split off PayPal, called the company’s decision to do so, announced today, a “no brainer” — and said more must be done.

“The payments industry, of which PayPal is an important part, must be consolidated — either through acquisitions made by PayPal or a merger between PayPal and another strong player in the industry,” Icahn said in a statement on his blog .
Icahn and eBay CEO John Donahoe fought for months over the proposal to split off PayPal, which the investor said came “perhaps a little later than they should have, but earlier than we expected.”

Apple Inc.’s plans to get into the payments industry make the split — and additional strategic moves by PayPal — imperative, Icahn said Tuesday.
“In light of the development of strong competition such as the advent of Apple Pay, the sooner these consolidations take place, the better,” he wrote.
As a major shareholder in eBay, Icahn said he plans to discuss the situation with Donahoe. “As I have said in the past and continue to believe, (he) has the interest of enhancing value for all shareholders as his major concern.”
San Jose-based EBay’s stock rose nearly 8 percent at around $57 on Tuesday after news of the pending split-off of PayPal, but was trading short of its 52-week high of $59.20 earlier this year.

 

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Risky Business: 6 Tips Helping Professionals Take Those Leaps of Faith

Scott Petinga HI

By Scott Petinga

As a former Marine, cancer survivor and highly successful serial entrepreneur, I’ve learned a thing or two about risk. If you’re happy languishing in a gelatinous pool of indifference and stagnation then, by all means, keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re ready to take a leap and change things for the better, here’s some wisdom to get you started:

  1. Realize you take risks every day. Getting up, answering the phone, and heading out the door are all risks, albeit minor ones. However, every time you do those things you’re putting yourself out there—you’re even risking rejection daily in your professional and personal life. You do these things every day and survive. Trust me, it won’t kill you. You are very capable of risk taking. Now it’s time to ramp it up. You’ve already got a toe in the water so jumping in the rest of the way isn’t as big a shock. Taking risks is a state of mind. Knowing you can do it on a small scale makes it a lot easier to start taking risks on a larger one.

  2. Find comfort in the uncomfortable.
    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. You don’t have to go sky diving or base jumping—although you certainly can if you want—but you do have to go beyond doing what you’re used to doing and stretch out into new territory. Learn where you’re most comfortable, most skilled, and most proficient – and then step right past that to a place where you feel the most uncomfortable, the most uncertain, and the most unsure of yourself. That’s where the real progress begins. Consider any world class athlete, artist, or entrepreneur. No matter what their area of expertise, they put in the hours and continually push the limits to achieve beyond what anyone thought possible. You don’t break world records – or break out of ruts – without making that push.

  3. Risk it right now.
    At this very moment you have everything you need. Sound impossible? It happens to be true, you just may not appreciate it. Do you have food, clothing and shelter? Then you have everything you need and, once you live by this simple philosophy, taking risks becomes far easier.  The most important part of this notion is that most business opportunities don’t wait around, so take action now. Don’t make the mistake of waiting on someone or something to come along to make taking that leap of faith more viable. “Perfect timing” is a fallacy—there are few if any such moments in life. Don’t wait so long that you can’t take a risk even when you want to, only to be consumed with remorse for what “could have been.”  Now is the time to capitalize on opportunities that present.  Make it so.

  4. Do your own thing and do it your way.
    The concept of going your own way and doing your own thing is not new. The problem is, most people don’t do it because it bucks tradition and goes against the grain, and frankly, it scares the s#%! out of most people. But on the other hand, it can provide you with a hell of a lot of freedom, and provide you a life-long exemption from blindly or reluctantly following protocol. Mavericks live according to their own agenda and goals and, even in the corporate world, there is more latitude to blaze new trails in business than you might think. The key is to look at each task for the opportunities they present. Sure, there may be a “perfectly fine” or traditional way of doing something to achieve a good result. But, when you have a better approach or process in mind that can achieve an even more desirable result, it may just be time to go rogue. In today’s cut-throat culture, originality is perhaps your greatest gift. Use it.

  5. Fail. Don’t just give yourself permission to fail. Actually fail. Go out there and fall on your face. It’s the only way you’re really going to learn anything. The lessons you learn from those failures will be the ones that propel you to success. Here’s an idea: try living life like a two year old. In other words, fall down often, screw up repeatedly and occasionally be defiant. Children are extremely resilient and, as adults, we lose this enviable quality. Throughout our career we proverbially fall down, get bruised and even skin our knees. We might even literally shed a few tears. But, perseverance and tenacity, honed with hindsight-based perspective so as to not repeat the same mistakes, are key to staying the course up the ladder of achievement.

  6. Repeat.
    Taking risks is not a “one and done” proposition. It takes tenacity, the ability to keep forging ahead, trying new things, and pushing past obstacles to achieve results. Tenacity determines how hard we fight for our dreams. A tenacious person never has to look back at all the missed opportunities. Once you take that first dive off the edge of the cliff, subsequent dives become a lot easier. In fact, they become a way of life. After experiencing the exhilaration and ROI of risk taking, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

 

Scott Petinga is Chairman and CEO of The Scott Petinga Group. He is a pioneer in developing businesses with lasting impact in the fields of communications, sustainable real estate, business acceleration and philanthropy. Through his flagship company AKQURACY—a full-service, data-fueled communications agency—he earned a spot on the prestigious 2012 Inc. magazine list of fastest-growing private companies. He may be reached online at www.ScottPetinga.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When a dog “hugs” you, they might just be trying to stay alive.

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A few weeks ago we noticed irregular breathing, and certain listlessness when our Lab puppy is playing.  I happen to suffer from an occasional bout of Atrial Fibrillation, ( a form of arrhythmia)   so was convinced that it might be the case in our pup.  My wife and I grew very concerned and had her “Lexie” checked out.  Nurse couldn’t hear anything.

Last night, we heard it again. Wife was freaked out, and I sat down and really listened.  “A-fib” is an almost random contraction of the Atria of a human heart and can yield some pretty wild syncopated rhythms .  That is not what I heard last night.  The beat was irregular, but it was ON beat.  What they call Serial in heart terms. I did some research and found this posting:

Q. My 1-year-old dog has an odd heart rhythm. It goes thump… thump, thump, thump…thump. I am so very worried. What should I do?

A. You have done an excellent job of recording your dog’s heart rhythm. Your description of the thumping almost perfectly describes a sinus arrhythmia, a normal heart rhythm which can sound alarming at first. During sinus arrhythmia, the heart rate increases when your dog breathes in, and then slows down while he is breathing out. As long as this variation is regular, it is completely normal. You may want to listen a little longer to make sure this is true.

Did you know that an EKG (heart rhythm test) will change if there is another heart within 10 inches of the one being measured? The energy put out by one heart will affect the energy of the other heart. This is the reason you should hug your loved ones often, human or dog. Let them feel your love.

This explains lots.  When Lexie sleeps in our bed, she always nuzzles her back into my chest so that she can feel my heart.  In the morning , when I first sit down on my easy chair to begin working on my laptop, she will stand up on it and drape herself over me so that our chests are pressing against each other.  I never knew this, but she is feeling my heart beat.  The first time she  did that, I WAS in A-FIB and I swear she picked up on it.  That was the first time my wife noticed her irregular heart beat.

When i am “normal” or sinus, now, I think she uses my heart to help regulate her own, much like they do their mothers hearts when they are in the pack as little ones.  I wont be so quick to push her away because I am busy, or have to pee and she is standing on my bladder.  A little human time might just be what she needs to keep her heart healthy!

 

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