Road money is still just a trickle - Vancouver Business Journal Road money is still just a trickle - Vancouver Business Journal

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Road money is still just a trickle - Vancouver Business Journal

Road money is still just a trickle - Vancouver Business Journal
JAMES CITY — With road money reduced to a trickle, look for no new projects in the next six years. Officials project $1.14 million, with just $227,377 starting July 1.

The six-year plan released this week reflects last year’s priorities since nothing has changed.

Someday: Olde Towne Road will be straightened at the sharp turn in front of The Colonies at Williamsburg. When the timeshares were developed, VDOT gave up surplus right-of-way for buffers and The Colonies gave up land to fix the curve. The project will cost $2.66 million.

Croaker Road will be widened to four lanes from Richmond Road to the James City County Library. The project includes replacing a new two-lane bridge over the train tracks. The total project cost is $12.67 million, of which $984,211 is already funded.

Longhill Road will expand to four lanes between Route 199 and Olde Towne Road and get sidewalks. The road is already over capacity. The project will cost $11.8 million, with about $135,000 in hand.

County officials consider this project the most urgent, but Olde Towne and Croaker will likely reach the construction phase beforehand.

Racefield Drive would be paved under a project that sets aside money annually until enough has accrued to complete a project. So far, the county has $69,000 toward $177,600 needed.

Hicks Island Bridge over Diascund Creek will be replaced under a similar funding scheme. The bridge has a low sufficiency rating and has been pinpointed by VDOT as priority for replacement. The project will cost $726,000, of which $280,800 is funded.

The Board of Supervisors will review the priorities next week.

Want to go?The supervisors will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, in Building F of the County Government Complex, off Mounts Bay Road.

Police discloses money laundering scheme - Focus Infomation

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Police discloses money laundering scheme
Sofia. Bulgarias General Directorate for Fight against Organised Crime and DEA realised a special operation dubbed The Launderers, the press office of the Interior Ministry announced.
Authorities neutralised an organised crime group that used to operate on the territory of Bulgaria, which was part of an international organisation, which secured part of the process of the laundering of money passing through the country and which is acquired through drugs trafficking from Latin America to Europe.
The investigation revealed that the money used to come from destinations such as the Antilles, Venezuela, Panama and other countries. After the money was transferred to controlled bank accounts in Bulgaria, the sums were immediately redirected to China, Hong Kong, Spain and the USA.
It was also ascertained that the money flow was passing through the bank accounts of the members of the group and controlled juridical persons.
According to initial data, the laundered sum since the turn of the year is estimated at more than BGN 5 million.
Authorities raided three addresses in Sofia, where they found bank, company and tax documents, personal computers, cell phones.
Three people were arrested, aged 25 and 37.

Europe worries keep stocks down -

It’s going to take more than Facebook’s initial public offering to push the stock market higher.

Facebook shares rose 23 cents above their $38 offering price. It seemed like everything else fell.

The Dow Jones industrial average has been in a slump over the past two weeks as traders saw an escalating risk that Greece could leave the euro, causing more disruptions in markets. Remember the go-go days of May 1, 2012? The Dow was up 8.7 percent for the year. After Friday, it’s up just 1.2 percent.

On Friday the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 73.11 points, to close at 12,369.38. It fell 3.5 percent for the week. The Dow has now declined on 12 of the last 13 trading days.

Nine of the 10 industry groups in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell. Financials dropped the most, 1.1 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 9.64 points to close at 1,295.22.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 34.90 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 2,778.79.

Europe was the big worry for investors. The Fitch ratings agency dropped Greece to the lowest possible grade for a country not in default Thursday. Also, ratings agency Moody’s downgraded 16 Spanish banks late Thursday, three days after downgrading Italy’s, noting they are vulnerable to huge losses on government debt.

Representatives of the G-8 are meeting this weekend at Camp David, looking for assurances that leaders in Europe can contain damage if Greece leaves the euro.

“Despite all the attention on the Facebook IPO, I think there’s still lots of underlying uncertainty surrounding this European debt situation,” said Scott Wren, senior equity strategist for Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis. “This Greek situation isn’t good. I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Probably the same with Spain.”

European shares edged lower, following several days of big losses. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent, Germany’s DAX lost 0.6 percent and France’s CAC-40 fell 0.1 percent.

In other news:

MEDIA GENERAL: Billionaire Warren Buffett’s company is making another foray into newspapers, agreeing to buy 63 newspapers from Media General Inc. for $142 million. “In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper,” Buffett said in a statement Thursday.

HEWLETT-PACKARD: It fell 2.7 percent — the biggest decline among the Dow’s 30 stocks — after it said it might eliminate up to 30,000 jobs because of dwindling demand for personal computers.

GAP: It fell 2.3 percent even though it issued higher guidance for the year.

SALESFORCE.COM: It jumped 8.8 percent after the maker of web-based business software reported better-than-expected earnings and raised its guidance for the year.

FOOT LOCKER: It rose 8.3 percent after its quarterly profit jumped 36 percent, sprinting past Wall Street predictions and setting a company record for quarterly earnings.

YAHOO: It rose 3.7 percent after Dow Jones’ tech website reported that the web portal is close to a deal to sell a large part of its stake in China’s Alibaba Group. Many investors view the Alibaba stake as Yahoo’s most valuable asset.

Save money and help the environment by checking on your water quality - WMI Central

Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:00 pm | Updated: 12:21 am, Sat May 19, 2012.

(ARA) - Bruce Farrar didn't like what hard water was doing to his home.

"Our dishes in the dishwasher were terrible," says Farrar, who lives in Newport Beach, Calif. "The inside of the dishwasher was just covered with calcium. Also, our showers had glass doors and I had to put a special cleaner on them because of the calcium buildup."

But the problems didn't end there. Hard water was also preventing the family's clothes washer from functioning properly, requiring the use of more soap and hotter water, which increased Farrar's grocery bill and energy costs. The added energy needs were also putting more wear and tear on his hot water heater, decreasing its lifespan.

Nearly 90 percent of American homes have hard water - water containing high levels of calcium and magnesium, according to The U.S. Geological Survey. The hardest water is commonly found in the states that run from Kansas to Texas as well as in Southern California. How can you tell if you have hard water? If your shampoo and soap don't lather up like they should, if you see scaling on your pipes and showerheads or if you have nasty brown rings in your sinks and toilets, your water is probably hard.

To know exactly how hard, and what to do about it, you should have your water diagnosed by a water quality professional. The Water Quality Association has several resources on its website to help you locate a reputable company, and many offer this service for free.

In order to make hard water into soft water, you have to remove the calcium and magnesium and the only way to do that effectively is with a salt-regenerated water softener. These work by running the incoming hard water through a resin filter that traps the calcium and magnesium in the water, as well as any iron, manganese or radium ions by replacing them with sodium ions, which must be occasionally recharged.

There are other products that claim to condition water using an electro-magnetic charge instead of salt ions, but they do not really soften water. These devices cause the hard minerals in the water to attract and form into an amorphous sludge which remains in the water.

According to the Water Quality Research Foundation, there are many benefits of true salt regenerated water softening including cutting detergent use by as much as 50 percent and allowing washers to clean clothes with cold instead of hot water. Soft water also helps dishwashers clean better, sometimes allowing you to use half the detergent. Finally, water heaters that don't have to work as hard retain their factory efficiency standards for a full 15 years as opposed to those subjected to hard water which lose almost half their efficiency over the same time period.

With ever-increasing household and energy costs facing American consumers, many are looking for ways to save money. A water softener that helps homeowners use less energy not only saves money, but also benefits the environment by allowing you to use fewer fossil fuels. Washers that use less detergent because of soft water also end up dumping fewer chemicals down drains. Finally, water softening keeps appliances out of landfills.

Eventually, and like many other Americans, Farrar made the decision that enough was enough and decided to invest in a water softener and saw immediate results. Speaking of the issues he was experiencing in the past, "All of that is fine now," says Farrar. "The water softener works well." For more information on the benefits of water softening, visit

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