PhillyDeals: French Building Firm Chooses Malvern For New U.S. HQ

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Crowe is the top North American executive for Saint-Gobain, the $55 billion- a-year French construction- materials maker that traces its roots to the group that built Versailles for King Louis XIV. Crowe has been looking for a place to build another palace – in Pennsylvania – as Saint-Gobain’s U.S. base and showroom.

To replace the company’s aging U.S. headquarters near Valley Forge, Crowe scouted sites for “an absolutely spectacular building that will incorporate all aspects of what we know as a building-materials company in terms of energy efficiency and a sustainable, open, collaborative workplace,” he tells me. Plus, a research and development center to replace the old labs in Blue Bell.

The search, extended by the recession, took Saint- Gobain six years. The company plans to announce this week that it has picked a potentially spectacular fixer-upper, an $80 million-plus expansion of the once-innovative but now-rusted and vacant complex built in 1969 by the former National Liberty Life Insurance Co. on 65 acres north of Malvern, close to the new State Route 29 ramp from the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140413_PhillyDeals__French_building_firm_chooses_Malvern_for_new_U_S__HQ.html#2pYscMdh5kLGVKze.99

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The Heartbleed Bug: Here’s What You Need To Know

How does local cybersecurity expert James Koons describe the Heartbleed bug?

MASSIVE.

“That’s the theme here,” said Koons, who has worked on IT security for the U.S. military and Amazon.com.

Currently he is chief security officer for Listrak, a Lancaster provider of online marketing services, and a board member of the Online Trust Alliance.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/the-heartbleed-bug-here-s-what-you-need-to-know/article_186a3f04-c0cb-11e3-a09f-001a4bcf6878.html

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Pennsylvania Tax Burden Ranks 10th Nationally

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvanians’ state and local tax burden reached its lowest point in more than a decade in 2011, but it still climbed to rank as the nation’s 10th most onerous, up two spots from the year before, an analysis released this week shows.

The Washington-based Tax Foundation said Pennsylvanians shelled out $4,374 per capita in state and local taxes in 2011, or 10.3 percent of their per-capita income of $42,268. About 10.5 percent of income went toward state and local taxes in 2010, the foundation said.

“This trend was largely driven by the growth of income,” said Tax Foundation economist Liz Malm, explaining the slight decline.

About 27 percent of Pennsylvanians’ tax money went to other states. Aside from sales, excise, income, corporate and other taxes paid in other states, the Tax Foundation factors what it calls tax exporting.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5882443-74/tax-state-taxes#ixzz2y3z5waOg
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Deportation Battle Ignites Rally In Erie

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friends say Alfredo Ramos-Gallegos lived a spotless life for two decades, raising and supporting two children through hard labor, ambition and kindness.

But even his loved ones acknowledge a big complication: Ramos-Gallegos, 40, of Painesville, Ohio, was in America illegally. Deported to Mexico once, after a factory raid, he sneaked back into the country to be with his pregnant wife about 15 years ago.

Busted again and facing possible jail time, Ramos-Gallegos is at the center of an anti-deportation movement arguing that federal prosecutors are too tough on illegal immigrants who commit no other crimes. Advocates for the law insist that undocumented migrants often swipe jobs from American citizens, use taxpayer-backed social services and undermine lawful immigrants.

“It’s really not fair to all the people who are sponsoring family members or employees using our legal immigration system,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the nonprofit Center for Immigration Studies in Washington. “I don’t think it’s wrong for the government to undertake prosecution. I wish they didn’t have to do it so many times.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/5762263-74/gallegos-ramos-immigration#ixzz2wM3eIren
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Staples To Shutter 225 Stores As Sales Move Online

Staples (Canada)

Staples (Canada) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FRAMINGHAM, MA (AP) – Staples will close up to 225 stores in North America by the end of next year as it seeks to trim about $500 million in costs annually by 2015.

The nation’s largest office-supply retailer said Thursday that nearly half of its sales are now generated online, so it will aggressively cut costs to become more efficient.

Company shares dropped more than 10 percent before markets opened.

The recession did heavy damage to the industry, which is now under increasing pressure from online retailers as well as discount stores.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140306_ap_77eb92fd166d43918b55776a4cd110bf.html#y7MAZEw1cUTxW8ok.99

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McDonald’s Eyes Extending Breakfast Hours

English: An Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich fr...

English: An Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich from McDonald’s, as bought in North America. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) – McDonald’s is in the early stages of looking at whether it can make breakfast available later in the day.

Fans of the Egg McMuffin and Sausage Biscuit have long wanted the option to get breakfast at McDonald’s after 10:30 a.m. But offering both the breakfast and lunch menu was considered logistically impossible, given the tight kitchen spaces of the restaurants.

Still, it’s an option the chain is eyeing more seriously at a time when people’s eating habits are changing – particularly those coveted customers in their 20s and 30s known as Millennials.

“We know, as an example, that breakfast on the weekend cut off at 10:30 doesn’t go very well,” Jeff Stratton, head of McDonald’s USA, said in an interview.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140224_ap_3712c07188854fe899dd44747e6f8a65.html#gCH1TTcZDmOVmBFU.99

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Wealth Gap Is Widest In Some Affluent US Cities

WASHINGTON (AP) – The gap between the wealthy and the poor is most extreme in several of the United States’ most prosperous and largest cities.

The economic divides in Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are significantly greater than the national average, according to a study released Thursday by the Brookings Institution, the Washington-based think tank. It suggests that many sources of both economic growth and income inequality have co-existed near each other for the past 35 years.

These cities may struggle in the future to provide adequate public schooling, basic municipal services because of a narrow tax base and “may fail to produce housing and neighborhoods accessible to middle-class workers and families,” the study said.

“There’s something of a relationship between economic success and inequality,” said Alan Berube, a senior fellow at Brookings. “These cities are home to some of the highest paying industries and jobs in the country.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/20140220_ap_9abeed9da7e24c51a0a078a9ca8c73b9.html#fRdwGmPM2m6ZEQji.99

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Oil Price Above $100 On US Heating Fuel Demand

The price of oil extended gains above $100 a barrel Monday as the cold weather in the United States increased demand for heating fuels and solid Chinese credit numbers eased concerns over the world’s number 2 economy.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 49 cents to $100.79 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the Nymex contract fell 5 cents to close at $100.30.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140217/oil-price-above-100-on-us-heating-fuel-demand

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Economic Slowdown Widespread

INDICATOR: January Industrial Production and Import/Export Prices

KEY DATA: IP: -0.3%; Manufacturing: -0.8%/Imports: +0.1%; Nonfuel: +0.3%; Exports: +0.2%; Farm: -0.5%

IN A NUTSHELL: “The current economic slowdown, that hopefully can be blamed on the weather, is widespread.”

WHAT IT MEANS: January can be a cruel month and this year it is especially so. Job gains were mediocre, unemployment claims are above where we would like to see them, retail sales were pathetic and not surprisingly, manufacturers reacted by cutting back production sharply. Industrial production was off moderately in January but only because utilities had to produce massive amounts to heat our homes, offices and plants. Manufacturing output tanked as fifteen of the nineteen industry groups posted declines.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/economics_in_a_nutshell/Economic-slowdown-widespread.html#BofjoT0tjMWvuhFk.99

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Pittsburgh #2: Top 10 Cities To Achieve The American Dream

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most important lessons from today’s blockbuster social mobility report is that place matters. (And, because your parents choose the place where you’re born and live, parents matter.)

Tucked into the appendix are two colorful maps of America that tell you where social mobility—the chance to move up the income ladder, a.k.a. The American Dream—is living and where it’s not. First, the graphs. Then, five facts. [GlossaryAbsolute upward mobility measures how children stack up to their parents. Relative mobility measures their chances of moving up or down the income ladder relative to their peers. Different measures; similar stories. Lighter colors suggest higher mobility.]

To check out the rankings and maps, click here: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/01/the-geography-of-the-american-dream/283308/

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Unemployment Benefits End For 86,900 In Pennsylvania

The year is starting with a social safety net disappearing for 86,900 unemployed Pennsylvanians.

Congress allowed the legislation authorizing emergency unemployment compensation, the federal extension of unemployment benefits, to expire as of Monday.

That means that the unemployment compensation debit cards issued by the state department of Labor and Industry will not be reloaded for people who have exhausted their original six months of unemployment payments.

According to the National Employment Law Project in New York City, the cuts will affect 1.3 million Americans immediately, 86,900 of them from Pennsylvania, which has the fourth-highest total of unemployed workers collecting the emergency long-term benefits.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2014/01/01/Unemployment-benefits-end-for-86-900-in-state/stories/201401010094#ixzz2pAS5blvw

7 Ways To Protect Yourself Against Credit Card Fraud

NEW YORKMainStreet) — You shopped at Target this holiday season. Bad news: your credit card is now one of the 40 million that may have been subject to a data breach that could cost consumers $4 billion.

What now?

There’s no panacea. “If you’re going to use a card there’s always this risk that the system could be compromised,” said Robert Heath, a consumer protection attorney in Pensacola, Fla.

But there are ways to mitigate your risk. Here are seven things you can do to protect yourself against fraud.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/philly/story/7-ways-protect-yourself-against-credit-card-fraud/1

Forget Obamacare: One In Four Americans Say They’ll Pay The Fine

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The law of the land now goes as follows: either have healthcare insurance or pay a fine. Yet more than one in four Americans say they would rather pony up the penalty. A new Gallup poll reveals that 28% of those surveyed have no intention of signing up for health insurance, as required by the Affordable Care Act and will pay the fine instead.

The penalty in 2014 for remaining uninsured is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child or 1% of taxable income (up to $285 for a family), whichever is greater.

Fully 17% of U.S. adults currently do not have health insurance, according to Gallup. With the self-proclaimed holdouts who say they will refuse coverage, at least 5% of all U.S. adults will remain uninsured.

According to the nearly 4,000 interviews conducted with uninsured Americans since September, more than one quarter (26%) under the age of 30 say they are more likely to pay the fine, compared with 30% of those aged 30 and older.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/philly/story/forget-obamacare-one-four-americans-say-theyll-pay-the-fine/1

US Manufacturing Grows At Fastest Pace In 2½ Years

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing grew in November at the fastest pace in 2½ years as factories ramped up production, stepped up hiring and received orders at a healthy clip.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to 57.3. That was up from 56.4 in October and was the highest since April 2011. A reading above 50 signals growth.

One component of the index, a measure of hiring, rose to its highest level in nearly 18 months. And a gauge of export orders reached its highest level in nearly two years. Overseas demand is benefiting from modest recoveries in Europe, Japan and China.

Manufacturing activity has now expanded for six straight months after hitting a rough patch in the spring. The steady gains suggest that growth is remaining healthy in the current October-December quarter.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131202_ap_4978c48d3b504648b48b0acc2f267984.html#flx0Btf732s7obLS.99

Report: Traffic Deaths Rose In Pennsylvania And U.S. In 2012

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania’s increase in traffic deaths in 2012 was smaller than the rise nationwide — the first increase in U.S. fatalities since 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported today.

The NHTSA reported a 3.3 percent increase in U.S. traffic fatalities for the year to 33,561 people killed, an increase of 1,082 from 2011.

Seventy-two percent of the increase — 778 of the 1,082 deaths — came in the first quarter of the year, and over half of those deaths were motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians and other people not in vehicles, NHTSA reported. The agency noted that the first quarter of the year was also the warmest on record.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2013/11/14/Report-Traffic-deaths-rose-in-Pennsylvania-and-U-S-in-2012/stories/201311140293#ixzz2kfoIVzGT

Veterans Day: Events And Ceremonies Around Nation

Across the nation, Americans are commemorating Veterans Day with parades, wreath-laying ceremonies, monument dedications and other events.

___

NEW YORK: WOMEN IN SERVICE

The U.S. military’s first female four-star general will be a grand marshal at New York City’s Veterans Day Parade.

Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody retired last year after a 37-year Army career.

Organizers of the parade up Fifth Avenue have renamed it America’s Parade. The commemoration will include a wreath-laying ceremony at the Eternal Light Monument in Madison Square Park.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131111/veterans-day-events-and-ceremonies-around-nation

U.S. Added Surprisingly Strong 204,000 Jobs In October

The U.S. added a surprising 204,000 jobs in October, meaning private-employer hiring much more than offset the effect on jobs from the 16-day government shutdown.

“Maybe the government should be shut down more often,” said Kenneth Mayland, economist at Clearview Economics, Pepper Pike, Ohio.

The Labor Department on Friday also revised September and August job gains by a combined 60,000.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent last month from 7.2 percent in September, said the agency.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5031098-74/jobs-added-government#ixzz2k4vUYkAe 
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What’s Lost In Gaining An Hour

Time change at the end of Daylight Saving Time...

Time change at the end of Daylight Saving Time Nederlands: Tijdsverandering aan het eind van de zomertijd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At 2 a.m. Sunday, by arbitrary human decree, time will stand still for one hour.

While this rare interstice of being and nothingness offers great opportunities for philosophical musing – Who knows where the time goes? Does anybody really know what time it is? And is time really on our side? – a price must be paid for messing with the universe.

For with this annual lapsing of daylight saving time comes a constellation of ill health effects, from the mildly uncomfortable to the nearly nightmarish.

Studies have found that on the Monday after the time changes, more people kill themselves, hurt themselves on the job, and lose money in the stock market.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131102_What_s_lost_in_gaining_an_hour.html#lcw8rvcBfCelIK9p.99

5 Cities Where The Housing Bust Won’t Let Go

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Allentown also made the list :(

No. 4 lagging market: Philadelphia
Score:
 82.7

Homebuyers aren’t showing the Philadelphia metro area much brotherly love, with the market trailing U.S. averages in almost every metric that RealtyTrac looked at.

Blomquist says Philadelphia housing is doing a particularly bad job of attracting institutional investors, defined in the study as any company or individual who buys 10 or more properties a year anywhere in America.

RealtyTrac found that such buyers account for just 3% of property deals in Philadelphia, compared with 9% nationwide. “Philadelphia is a market that institutional investors are just not very interested in.”

Philly has also seen a sub-par 32% decline in foreclosure filings, while median home prices have rebounded only a below-average 16% from their March 2012 bottom.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/philly/story/5-cities-where-the-housing-bust-wont-let-go-0/1

Crisis Averted, Obama Says Americans ‘Completely Fed Up’ With Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama scolded congressional Republicans on Thursday, hours after a fiscal crisis was narrowly averted and called on his opponents to help repair the economic damage caused by a 16-day U.S. government shutdown and a close brush with a debt default.

Obama stressed that he is willing to work with lawmakers wherever they can agree, but the tone he struck amounted to a rebuke of Republicans, whom Americans largely blame for pushing the United States to the brink of an economic calamity.

“The American people are completely fed up with Washington,” said Obama in a White House speech attended by many of the aides who worked day and night through the various stages of the latest fiscal stalemate.

“The American people are completely fed up with Washington,” said Obama in a White House speech attended by many of the aides who worked day and night through the various stages of the latest fiscal stalemate.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-rt-us-usa-fiscal-obama-20130915,0,5894864.story#ixzz2i0gCYjlb
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