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Families face tough decisions as cost of elder care soars

NEW YORK — Doris Ranzman had followed the expert advice, planning ahead in case she wound up unable to care for herself one day. But when a nursing-home bill tops $14,000 a month, the best-laid plans get tossed aside. Even with insurance and her Social Security check, Ranzman still had to come up with around […]

Fed survey finds economic growth in all regions of country

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy was expanding in all regions of the country in the late spring, aided by strong sales of autos and other consumer goods. In its latest survey of business conditions, the Federal Reserve said last week that some of its regions reported that lower energy prices were encouraging consumers to shop and […]

Like gym memberships, enthusiasm for fitness trackers drops

NEW YORK — Deepak Jayasimha’s fitness tracker is now with his father-in-law in India, where it sits unused. Annabel Kelly foisted hers off on the kids. Virginia Atkinson took hers off to charge the battery and hasn’t picked it up since February. Although sales of Fitbit and other fitness trackers are strong, many of their […]

Google’s new self-driving cars cruising Silicon Valley roads

SAN FRANCISCO— The latest models of Google’s self-driving cars are now cruising the streets near the Internet company’s Silicon Valley headquarters as an ambitious project to transform the way people get around shifts into its next phase. This marks the first time that the pod-like, two-seat vehicles have been allowed on public roads since Google […]

July 12, 2015 | Posted in Business and Real Estate | Tagged ,

Vibrating, rollicking 4-D seats in theaters growing

LOS ANGELES — Mike Koenig sat back in his seat for a recent screening of “Mad Max: Fury Road.” But this was no ordinary theater chair. As the theater darkened and death machines rumbled across the desert on screen, Koenig’s chair rumbled with them. As bullets whizzed by Furiosa, the movie’s heroine played by Charlize […]

July 12, 2015 | Posted in Business and Real Estate | Tagged ,

Amid Brazil’s economic crisis, consumers struggle with debt

RIO DE JANEIRO — Francisco Xavier emerges from a payday loan shop, his brow more furrowed with worry than when he entered. His loan request was denied, and he has no idea how he is going to pay out-of-control bills, including credit card payments that gobble up nearly half his monthly income. Xavier, a taxi […]

June 28, 2015 | Posted in Business and Real Estate | Tagged ,

Small talk: Marcus Lemonis: There’s hope for every struggling company

Joyce M. Rosenberg NEW YORK — According to Marcus Lemonis every struggling company can be saved. As star the CNBC program “The Profit,” Lemonis invests in troubled businesses and works with his new co-owners to fix every aspect of the companies. That could mean changing every product and service. And it also may require that […]

June 28, 2015 | Posted in Business and Real Estate | Tagged ,

More older Americans are being buried by housing debt

WASHINGTON — Al and Saundra Karp have found an unconventional way to raise money and help save their Miami-area home from foreclosure: They’re lining up gigs for their family jazz band. They enjoy performing. But it isn’t exactly how Al, an 86-year-old Korean War vet, or Saundra, 76, had expected to spend their retirement. Of all […]

June 14, 2015 | Posted in Business and Real Estate | Tagged ,

Top California oilfield permitting regulator resigns

SAN FRANCISCO — A top California oil and gas regulator has resigned amid questions about oilfield contamination of the state’s water supplies. Mark Nechedom, head of the Department of Conservation during an intensifying review of his agency’s oilfield permitting by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, submitted his resignation Wednesday, and the state confirmed it Friday. […]

June 07, 2015 | Posted in Business and Real Estate | Tagged ,

Ready for liquor bottles smart enough to talk smart phones?

The message-in-a-bottle routine is going Wi-Fi. And that means pretty soon you’ll have your very own mini Times Square at the bar, right on the bottle. “Everyone likes to see their name in lights,” says Brandon Laidlaw, president and chief operating officer of Pleasanton, California-based Medea vodka, which recently introduced a liquor bottle equipped with […]

May 31, 2015 | Posted in Business and Real Estate | Tagged ,

Thompson’s father says son ‘on track’ to return for finals

OAKLAND — Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson is feeling better and on track to return for the NBA Finals next week after taking a knee to his head from Trevor Ariza that caused “concussion-like symptoms.” That’s according to Thompson’s father, former NBA player Mychal Thompson. He told The Associated Press on Thursday night that his son’s […]

May 29, 2015 | Posted in Sports | Tagged ,

Traveling with your dog will cost you – sometimes hundreds

LOS ANGELES — Having an 80-pound Labradoodle as a travel buddy means B.L. Ochman can quickly separate the hotels that love dogs from those that just put up with them. A bed-and-breakfast she visited north of New York City wouldn’t let her pooch Benny trot around in the main house, among other troubles. Ochman, a […]

June 07, 2015 | Posted in Business and Real Estate | Tagged ,

Theme parks turning aging coasters into new thrill rides

Bigger, faster and more extreme are what count when it comes to roller coasters. So what’s an amusement park to do with aging coasters when those record-breaking crowd pleasers from years ago are being overshadowed by today’s scream machines? A coaster makeover, of course. A handful of roller coasters are reopening this year after undergoing […]

May 23, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Hawaii’s Waimanalo Bay Beach Park tops Dr. Beach’s list

HONOLULU — As the sun rises over the Pacific Ocean, Waimanalo Bay’s powdery white coral sand glows in the morning light. A few people lounge in the sand as a fisherman casts his line into the turquoise water. On Thursday, Waimanalo Bay Beach Park was named the top beach on an annual top 10 list of […]

May 23, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

When thunder roars, go indoors

June is designated by the National Safety Council as National Safety Month. Part of staying safe is avoiding lightning strikes. I admit that I rarely think twice about lightning, but the National Weather Service maintains an active educational program regarding this potential safety hazard. Lightning is common, striking the Empire State Building 100 times each year. There […]

May 23, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,
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