ahasteve + 2009   1832

Post-fire, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden prevails - latimes.com
Wildfires, as Yosemite's Rim inferno reminds us, take no prisoners. So it was with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, which was charred in May 2009 by the Jesusita fire. That conflagration scorched 8,700 acres of Santa Barbara lands, destroyed 80 homes and left parts of the 78-acre botanic garden and its more than 1,000 plant species in ruins. Its century-old Gane House with garden supplies was lost, as were another building for plant propagation, a deck over Mission Creek and numerous trees and plants. Firefighters were able to save the core areas of the garden, and with some hard work and the healing hands of time, the garden has mostly recovered.
2009  2013  Fall  SantaBarbaraCounty  California  Jesusita  GreenPlanet  USWest  wildfires  SantaBarbaraBotanicGarden  SantaBarbara  notes  September  BWRT  Yosemite  NationalParks 
september 2013 by ahasteve
Half the length of U.S. streams and rivers in poor condition - latimes.com
The results, released Tuesday, found that of the three climatic regions discussed in the report, the West -- with its large swaths of undeveloped land -- was in the best shape: 42% of its river and stream length was in good ecological condition, 27% in fair condition and 30% in poor condition. In the eastern highlands, 63% of river and stream miles were in poor shape, while in the Plains and lowlands regions (roughly the country’s midsection and much of the South), 58% fell into that category. Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus levels, sedimentation and denuded riverbanks were among the leading problems. Unsafe bacteria levels were found in 9% of river and stream miles, and potentially unsafe levels of mercury were detected in fish in more than 13,000 miles of rivers across the country.
2008  water  2009  2013  MainstreamSingles  GreenPlanet  USWest  pollution  Spring  rivers  notes  March 
march 2013 by ahasteve
Rural community colleges face distinct challenges - latimes.com
The Mendocino-Lake Community College District was formed in 1972 to serve most of Mendocino County and about half of Lake County. The college opened on the Ukiah fairgrounds, adding centers in Willits to the north and Lakeport to the east. A permanent campus followed on 127 acres of oak-dotted ranch land. Today, about 5,000 students attend each year, many of them low-income. The district estimates that one-quarter of households with children under 18 within its boundaries are headed by single mothers, compared with one-fifth of such households statewide. Reductions in state funding have had an impact. The annual college budget is 9% smaller than it was five years ago, and positions of departed faculty, staff and administrators have been left unfilled, spurring the elimination of some classes. Like other rural schools, Mendocino College is compelled to keep core courses with thin enrollment that students with nowhere else to go need in order to graduate or transfer, Darnell said.
Fall  2012  November  USWest  California  Ukiah  Lakeport  Willits  MendocinoCounty  Mendocino-LakeCommunityCollegeDistrict  CommunityCollege  rural  2009  bestplaces  notes  NorthCoast  vacation  NorthCoastRegion  MendocinoCoast 
december 2012 by ahasteve
Chris Erskine winds his way up to Newcomb's Ranch on the Angeles Crest Highway - latimes.com
In the mid-1800s, Benjamin Wilson, a rancher in what is now San Marino, went searching for timber for his wine casks, following old Indian trails to the site of Mt. Wilson. By the late 1800s, astronomers were using those trails to set up the observatory. In 1917, astronomers began using the the world's largest telescope, a 100-inch Hooker (no jokes, please; I've seen bigger too). It was a world of geeks and cowboys, many of them housed in the $3-a-night Mt. Wilson Hotel, which finally closed in the late '60s. In 1939, Newcomb's Ranch opened, serving as a general store and watering hole. Mountain man Lynn Newcomb Jr. ran it for many years, before selling it to a La Cañada doctor. Today, Newcomb's Ranch is still owned by the Rundall family, which stuck with it through difficult times after the 2009 Station fire. Open every day of the year, it attracts hikers and bikers to what is one of the finer Sunday drives around. Sure, that stretch north of Malibu, up toward Neptune's Net, offer
Fall  2012  September  USWest  California  SouthernCalifornia  AngelesCrestHighway  AngelesNationalForest  StationFire  2009  NewcombsRanch  MtWilsonHotel  observatory  SanMarino  1800s  BenjaminWilson  MtWilson  mountain  HighCountryEagles  notes 
october 2012 by ahasteve
Trails, other areas closed after Station fire to reopen Friday - latimes.com
More than 40,000 acres of land in the Angeles National Forest that had been closed since the devastating Station fire will be reopened Friday. The plan to open parts of the Big Tujunga watershed won final approval Thursday. The Station fire raged through the area in August 2009. Officials and volunteers had been working to reopen the area by Memorial Day Weekend, the U.S. Forest Service said. The areas to be opened include Stone Canyon Trail, Trail Canyon Trail and the Delta Flat recreation areas.
Spring  2012  May  USWest  California  recreational-area  DeltaFlat  trails  TrailCanyonTrail  StoneCanyonTrail  USForestService  MemorialDay  holiday  2009  August  watershed  BigTujunga  StationFire  AngelesNationalForest  GreenPlanet  wildfires 
may 2012 by ahasteve
Reforestation not taking hold in land burned by Station fire - latimes.com
Last April, U.S. Forest Service crews planted nearly a million pine and fir trees across thousands of acres scorched clean by the devastating 2009 blaze. Most of them shriveled up and died within months, as skeptics had predicted. "When we planted seedlings, conditions were ideal in terms of soil composition and temperature, rainfall and weather trends. Then the ground dried out and there just wasn't enough moisture after we planted." Foresters estimate that just a quarter of the 900,000 seedlings planted across 4,300 acres are thriving. That is far below the 75% to 80% survival rate the agency wanted. On most slopes, instead of small trees, the ground nurtures dense shrubs and grass in the shadows of skeletal dead trees scorched by the 2009 blaze.
Spring  2012  April  USWest  California  2009  SanGabrielMountains  mountain  wildfires  StationFire  trees  wilderness  GreenPlanet 
april 2012 by ahasteve
Inquiry faults Forest Service on Station fire, but leaves questions - latimes.com
Report says officials failed to use all available aircraft in battling the 2009 blaze, but does not attribute blame for lapses. Study also says the agency needs a policy on using craft at night.
Winter  2011  December  2009  USWest  California  GreenPlanet  wilderness  wildfires  StationFire  USForestService  notes  AngelesNationalForest 
december 2011 by ahasteve
Self-help guru settled suits for $3 million in Arizona sweat lodge deaths - latimes.com
A self-help author imprisoned for the deaths of three people after a "Spiritual Warrior" sweat lodge ceremony settled civil lawsuits with the victims' families for more than $3 million, according to court documents.

James Arthur Ray began serving a two-year sentence last month on three negligent homicide convictions. The terms of the settlements reached last year were disclosed recently in court documents filed as exhibits in Ray's criminal case and released Friday at the request of the Associated Press. The families of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman sued Ray after the 2009 ceremony near Sedona, Ariz.
Winter  2011  December  2009  USWest  Arizona  Flagstaff  Sedona  entrepreneurs  lifestylebiz 
december 2011 by ahasteve
Global warming emissions increase by largest amount on record - latimes.com
Total emissions jump 6% between 2009 and 2010 — beyond amounts projected in a worst-case scenario. Extra pollution in China and the U.S. accounts for more than half the increase.
Fall  2011  November  2009  2010  GreenPlanet  global-warming  Climate-Change  US  China  emissions 
november 2011 by ahasteve
Solar-powered community to include 500 homes - Springwise
Comstock's Villages at Heritage Springs will include more than 500 residences set on 54 landscaped acres in Southern California's Santa Fe Springs. Regardless of the size, energy efficiency will be at the heart of each Villages home, with features such as double-pane, low-emissivity (Low-E) windows; energy-efficient lighting, heating and air-conditioning; cool roof tiles; and a tankless water heater. All homes will feature SunPower solar roof tiles to power their lights, appliances, TV and other electronic devices, allowing them to exceed the National Energy Standard by 50 percent. With a wireless monitoring system for energy-use tracking, the SunPower system can save consumers up to 60 percent on their electric bills, including credits for extra energy production.  There is another large, solar-powered development in California already, CoolerPlanet points out—a 650-home community from Lennar Corp. in Roseville.
Winter  2009  December  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  USWest  California  SantaFeSprings  Comstock  VillagesatHeritageSprings  greenhomelife  SunPower  Roseville  LennarHomes  CoolerPlanet 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Peer-to-peer platform for trading frequent flier miles - Springwise
Points International already gives consumers a way to manage their reward miles and points from a variety of airline, travel and retail partners, as well as a way to move airline points and miles from one carrier to another. Global Points Exchange differs in that it lets users set the exchange rate for their trades. Through GPX, users of the platform can seek out other members who are interested in trading points and miles, either by posting a trade offer or responding to another user's posting. Either way, it's the users—not the airlines—who decide how many points and miles they get in one program, and how many points or miles in another program they must give up in return. Current airline partners include Delta SkyMiles, American Airlines AAdvantage and Continental Airlines OnePass, among others. Posting a trade offer is free, but once the trade is made participants must pay a fee assessed by the reward programs along with Points.com's processing fee of USD 6.95.
Winter  2009  December  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  frequent-flyer  rewards  exchange  GlobalPointsExchange  PointsInternational  airline  travel 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Magazine publishing service now offers group shipping - Springwise
MagCloud was restricted to the United States and shipping was arranged on an order-by-order basis. The magazine publishing service has since expanded to cover the U.K. and Canada. It's also made it easier for self-publishers to serve large groups of readers. MagCloud lets anyone with content upload a PDF and order a proof of the resulting paper magazine. After reviewing and finalizing the proof, they set a price and make the magazine available for orders via the MagCloud site. Single issues are then printed on demand and mailed out to individual readers. Now, with the service's new Ship to Group feature, publishers can mail their magazines to multiple recipients with a simple click. They need only create a group in their MagCloud address book—for clients, friends, family or subscribers. They then select that group in their magazine shipping options and MagCloud will take care of the rest, printing and shipping the magazine order to everyone in that custom address group.
Winter  2009  December  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  Magazine  knowledgeatm  publishing  magcloud 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Online portal gathers wedding photos from guests - Springwise
Olapic is a Columbia Business School startup that allows users to easily gather, share and print guests' pictures from their special day. Couples begin by creating a profile on Olapic and uploading the email addresses of their guests; Olapic then reminds everyone to bring their cameras to the wedding. After the big event, the site will stay in touch with guests via emails and cards to remind them to upload their pictures. Once they do, the pictures remain private until the happy couple decides to make them public, whether on Olapic or on their Facebook, Flickr or Picasa accounts. Olapic allows not just those strict privacy controls but also bulk downloads of high-quality pictures; it also offers printing services to generate albums and prints. Couples can try Olapic for free for up to 100 photos. After that, a flat fee of USD 99 includes unlimited photo storage for a year (annual renewals are USD 25) along with 100 high-quality reminder cards to give to guests.
Winter  2009  December  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  weddings  picture  Olapic  Facebook  Flickr  Picasa 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Cheap & simple credit card processing for every entrepreneur - Springwise
Cofounded with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Square lets small business owners begin accepting payment cards immediately without the contracts, expensive hardware, monthly fees or hidden costs that are typically required. Using Square's intuitive app and a small plastic device that plugs into a mobile phone's audio input jack, payment cards can be swiped and read anywhere. Customers can have receipts sent to them via email or mobile phone and then access them securely online; they can also use text messaging to authorize every payment in real-time. For those who create a Square account, meanwhile, there's faster transaction processing and the option of photo verification. Now in limited beta, Square will donate a penny from every transaction to the cause of the user's choice. It will be widely available in early 2010. The reader devices will likely be free, while the app will cost about USD 1, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. Similar in many ways to ProcessAway
Winter  2009  December  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  MobileKnowCo  smartphone  iPhone  credit-card  Square  ProcessAway 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Business model book follows its own advice - Springwise
 "Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers," was co-authored and independently published by no fewer than 470 practitioners of the model it espouses. The market for business and management books is a crowded one, to put it mildly, but it's not often one sees a book created through the very innovation processes it recommends. Led by Swiss business model guru Alexander Osterwalder, however, a team of users of Osterwalder's Business Model Canvas methodology in 45 countries together created the 280-page book on business model design and innovation. Design was done by The Movement; co-creation took place via the online Business Model Hub community, and publication was partially financed through participants' access fees to that community. Pre-sales through the Issuu-powered Business Model Generation website, meanwhile, helped finance the first print run. A 72-page pdf preview of Business Model Generation is available for free.
Fall  2009  November  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  book  issuu  BusinessModelGeneration  BusinessModelHub  community 
may 2011 by ahasteve
The wisdom of the crowds, tailored to expecting parents - Springwise
WiserPregnancy, which focuses specifically on all the many decisions that must be made by expecting parents to help users make informed decisions by showing them what others have done in their own situation. The searchable site includes data from thousands of women about more than 600 choices that can be faced while pregnant from back pain treatments to nausea remedies to the question of getting an epidural, and are collected via a medically approved questionnaire. Respondents include a prescreened panel of randomized participants as well as visitors to the WiserTogether site, who are asked to contribute their own, anonymized input for aggregated inclusion. Users of WiserPregnancy can search for information on topics relevant to them, even filtering data so that they see only decisions made by people similar to themselves based on age, education, number of pregnancies and more. Most features on the site can be used anonymously and for free.
Fall  2009  November  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  couples  baby  pregnant  families  WiserPregnancy 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Site helps neighbours share tools & equipment - Springwise
NeighborGoods, a brand-new site that helps consumers borrow, lend, rent, sell and buy stuff in their community. Focusing for now on Southern California, NeighborGoods is an online community that lets consumers save and earn money by sharing with their neighbours and friends any of the assorted tools, ladders and other things they use only occasionally. Users of the site can decide how they want to share their stuff. They can allow their friends to borrow an item for free while charging others a rental fee or they can decide to make the item available only to friends. NeighborGoods helps facilitate transactions with a reservation calendar, automated reminders, wish-list alerts and private messaging. It also tracks and shares the transaction history of each member. Neighbours can rate each other and even flag another member's account if something goes wrong. Borrowing and lending items on NeighborGoods is free of charge.
Fall  2009  November  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  socialnetworking  tools  P2P  NeighborGoods  neighborhoods  USWest  California  SouthernCalifornia 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Retail chain for brain games targets aging population - Springwise
In 2006, the US counted 37.3 million aged 65 or older. By 2030, the US Administration on Aging expects the number will have increased to 71.5 million. With this burgeoning market clearly in mind, Marbles: The Brain Store is urging the residents of Chicago to "outsmart their age" with a range of products to help maintain mental agility. The company has launched four retail outlets in the region in just over a year. The stores offer over 200 products categorized by the brain function they target: memory, critical thinking, coordination, visual perception and word skills. Products range from books and board games, to puzzles and computer software, all of which, claims Marbles, are reviewed by a board of scientists, physicians, psychologists and therapists. The website bolsters their scientific pedigree with independent research showing ongoing mental activity can help prevent Alzheimers and a 'Brain Health Barometer' that customers can use to assess the state of their brain.
Fall  2009  November  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  Alzheimers  retail  BrainStore  brain  games  55+Boomer  65+SustainingSeniors  Marbles 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Twitter for entrepreneurs - Springwise
Toronto-based Sprouter is an online community that allows small business owners and entrepreneurs to share links, ask questions and share expertise with their peers. Whereas most social networks focus on connecting users with people they already know, the premise behind Sprouter is that it's often the people one hasn't yet connected with—but who share common goals and interests—that can be the most valuable resources--those who are discussing a topic of common interest. Members of the site can create profiles and start real-time discussions around any concept, company, association or event. Entrepreneurs face struggles on a daily basis—from how to get funding to the best business tools to use. Sprouter can provide the forum for real-time networking and collaboration so everyone can benefit from mistakes and successes. Sprouter is free, and hopes to generate income through partnerships with venture funding agencies and small business associations.
Fall  2009  november  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  online-community  collaboration  Knowledge-creation  KnowledgeLabs  Sprouter  E2E 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Eco-drywall made of recycled materials - Springwise
While recent interest in sustainable building has spurred the creation of eco-minded materials like Greensulate and Cow Dung Bricks, drywall is one building component that has remained essentially the same over the past 100 or so years. EcoRock, a new drywall material that's made of 80 percent recycled materials is due to become available from California-based Serious Materials next year. EcoRock is used the same way as traditional gypsum-based drywall, but it's made of recycled industrial materials and uses 80 percent less energy to produce. The termite-resistant material also generates 60 percent less dust than traditional drywall and is 50 percent more resistant to mold. Perhaps best of all, EcoRock is fully recyclable, and can be used as a pH additive for soil or as a raw material in the production of new EcoRock and other building materials. Using EcoRock in a building project can contribute up to 8 LEED credits; priced about the same as high-end drywall
Fall  2009  October  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  greenproducts  InnovationGreenSpots  EcoRock  drywall  USWest  California  SeriousMaterials  LEED-certified  Greensulate  CowDungBricks 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Mobile app connects volunteers with opportunities - Springwise
Volunteerism in the US has declined by 27 percent since 2001, according to app developer Catalista. Hoping to combat that trend, the San Francisco company has created mobile apps for Android and iPhone that make it easy for potential volunteers to find opportunities across the country. Users begin by downloading the free Catalista application onto their mobile phone--versions are available for both the Android-based T-Mobile G1 and myTouch and Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch. The application uses All for Good's open API to connect users with more than 200,000 real-time, local opportunities across the US, offering them numerous chances to give back that day, weekend or month in an effort taking place nearby. Catalista also lets users invite their friends on Facebook to join them in a volunteer effort; in addition, it provides a way for users to track their cumulative impact and rate their volunteering experience once they've done a good deed.
Fall  2009  October  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  USWest  California  SanFrancisco  app  Catalista  volunteers  non-profit  smartphone  iPhone  IPod 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Thin, flexible solar paneling - Springwise
SRS Energy's dual-purpose roof tiles. Another comes in the form of thin, flexible solar sheets that can be integrated with architectural building materials. Iowa-based PowerFilm makes low-cost foldable and rollable solar panels in which the solar technology is monolithically integrated in a polyimide substrate that's flexible and durable, yet as thin as 0.025mm. With an absorber layer made of amorphous silicon, PowerFilm solar panels use as little as 1 percent of the amount of silicon used in traditional solar panels; they're also cadmium-free. Since 2005 the company has been using its technology to manufacture solar field shelter tarps for military applications, and now it's developed the ability to combine it with standard building materials as well. The electricity generated by the solar panels is stored in local batteries and converted to 110 AC for general wall outlet use or used directly for low-voltage lighting systems. The buildings can be either off-grid or grid-connected.
Fall  2009  October  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  SolarPanels  PowerFilmSolar  SRSEnergy  mobile  MobileKnowCo  camping  solar-cells  InnovationGreenSpots 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Smarter transportation: iPhone app combines maps & reviews to find best meeting points - Springwise
MeetMe is the first one to integrate both Google Maps and Yelp reviews. Users input Point A and Point B, and the type of venue they'd like to meet at. Users can pinpoint a romantic hotel halfway between Boston and Philadelphia. The USD 1.99 app then provides a list of suitable locations complete with Yelp recommendations. Once a location is selected, MeetMe emails both parties a map complete with driving directions. If users prefer to meet closer to one point or the other, the distances can be adjusted. MeetMe points out that the app can also help plan road trip stopping points. MeetMe works worldwide and, according to reviews, has fewer accuracy problems than most mapping apps. It's also ad-free, so users can be sure the recommendations they're receiving aren't promos in disguise. Mobile applications like MeetMe aren't just convenient tools for consumers—if widely adopted, smart navigation can reduce miles travelled and hours spent on the road.
Fall  2009  October  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  iPhone  app  MeetMe  GoogleMaps  Yelp  hyperlocal  maps  travel  tourist  tourism  vacation  MobileKnowCo  KnowledgeATM 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Vacation homes, rented and traded with Facebook friends - Springwise
Vacation rentals require a certain degree of trust, which is why it makes sense for house-swapping services like Creative Caravan to target their offerings at consumers who work in the same industry. Second Porch is a Facebook app that lets users list and rent vacation homes through the popular social network. Facebook members can list or trade and control whether their ad is visible to everyone on the network, or just their friends. Listing is free, and those looking for a place can search by map, location, amenities, price or relationship. They able to see the "face behind the place," as Second Porch puts it.  They can view detailed descriptions and photos along with comments from past guests. In addition, they can "follow" properties they like and see the recommendations of friends anywhere in the world. Currently there are some 600 listings on the site. Second Porch plans to introduce a paid service for USD 99 per year that gives owners additional ways to promote their listings.
Fall  2009  October  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  SecondPorch  Facebook  app  CreativeCaravan  vacation-home  Secondhome  rentals  vacation  travel 
may 2011 by ahasteve
New platform for micropayments to news publishers - Springwise
Instant publishing, access to a global audience, hyperlinks, multimedia, etc. Bitcents offers an easy to integrate micropayment system. Readers will be able pay once to access paid content—archived articles, in-depth stories and other types of (premium) material—from all publishers working with bitcents. Developers create subscriber networks. Each network recruits its own readers, who will have access to content from all of bitcents' publishers. Subscriber networks create their own methods of content curation to differentiate themselves and to attract their own audiences. In return, they receive a cut of the revenues created by sending readers to publishers' paid content. (A sample network can be found here: tppnce.) For bitcents to work, it will need to attract enough publishers who produce content that readers are willing to pay for. Meanwhile, other ventures—like the soon-to-be-launched Journalism Online—are also working to create a new economic model for the news industry.
Fall  2009  October  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  KnowledgeBank  knowledgeatm  bitcents  micro-payments  digitalmedia 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Jobs site focuses on finding & reviewing 'great bosses' - Springwise
"People join companies, but they leave bosses," GetaGreatBoss facilitates reviews of managers by the people who work for them. Both HR departments and managers themselves can initiate such reviews through the site. Employees are then emailed for their evaluation of the boss's managerial style, and all feedback is kept anonymous; there's even a way for managers to conduct a subsequent anonymous online conversation with the employees. The cost to initiate a review is USD 220, while for an extra USD 10 per month managers can keep an active link to the results for use with their resume. Potential employees, meanwhile, can search GetaGreatBoss's online job listings, each of which contains a link to the results of the review of the boss in question. There's no doubt managerial style plays a key role in the employment equation—as do corporate culture, lifestyle preferences and countless other considerations.
Fall  2009  September  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  GetaGreatBoss  Bestfit  careers  jobhunt 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Brainstorming service uses Twitter to crowdsource ideas overnight - Springwise
Ideas Culture, an Australian firm that puts creative thinkers around the globe to work via Twitter to solve a client's problem by morning. Businesses with a challenge to solve can enlist Ideas Culture's "Ideas While You Sleep Service" to get a pack of ideas along with an evaluation matrix and implementation plan by 10 a.m. the next morning. After registering, they need only submit their challenge online by 4 p.m. By 6 p.m., Ideas Culture gets the challenge out to its Twitter-based Ideas Agents, who spend 15 to 30 minutes each on the problem. There are more than 200 agents from eight countries on the books, and each earns AUD 100 for four sessions, according to a report in the Age. Problems tackled so far have included recruiting more male customers for a singles matching service and increasing attendance for professional development events, The Age reported. Pricing—normally AUD 880—is now AUD 495 through a special trial offer.
Fall  2009  September  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  Twitter  ideas  innovation  IdeasCulture 
may 2011 by ahasteve
A web-to-print tool creates personalized magazines - Springwise
Zinepal lets any user convert their favourite online content into ebooks and printable, magazine-style PDFs. Users select content they like from blogs, Atom/RSS feeds and other websites. Zinepal then reformats that content into a printable PDF and ebook format for use with the Amazon Kindle and other electronic readers. Users can preview and edit or reformat the resulting "zine," even adding a title and logo of their own to customize the publication. Advertising images can also be included at the bottom of each page. Users can print it or request an e-mailed copy; they can also request that new zines be automatically created each day or week from the content they choose. Zines can be made public on the site for sharing and searchability; zine feeds, meanwhile, provide a way for users to offer subscriptions to their publications. There is currently no charge for using Zinepal. A video on blip.tv explains how the process works.
Fall  2009  September  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  KnowledgeATM  Zinepal  ebooks  Magazine  RSS  iPad  Kindle 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Social recruiting site bridges Facebook and LinkedIn - Springwise
KODA allows emerging talent and smart companies to get to know each other. Free to use during its beta period, the site allows users to post photos, PDFs and videos along with the information about their education, skills and experience that would normally be part of a hiring profile. KODA focuses instead on matching talent with the right career and the right organization. It uses a recommendation engine to suggest connections that may be worth exploring. Specific opportunities get pulled from employers' internal career pages for highlighting on the site, and companies can also give prospective employees a "look inside" their organization. Illustrative "compatibility bars," meanwhile, indicate the compatibility based on historical information, profile content and other criteria. Users can send messages or bookmark profiles for future viewing. They can “wave” at a particular organization that they would like to stay in contact with, causing a notification to be sent to that employer.
Summer  2009  August  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  KODA  LinkedIn  Facebook  careers  jobs  jobhunt  bestfit  recommendations 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Firefox add-on helps plan trips and find travel deals - Springwise
 TripIt, Offbeat Guides and Tripwolf— Focusing more on travellers' own search process—comes Gliider, a Firefox plug-in organizing all the best results in a single, online place. Now in invitation-only beta, Gliider is a digital file that lets travellers keep track of all the interesting ideas while researching and planning a trip. Users download the application, causing the Gliider icon to appear in their Firefox browser bar. When they're surfing the web and come across a hotel, restaurant or photo they want to remember as they make their plans, they need only click the icon and Gliider drops down on the right-hand side of the browser. Into that window they can then simply drag and drop whatever it was they wanted to save, creating a neater, more organized alternative to a list of bookmarks. Users can share their trip files with up to four other users, and they can also create a summary travel document PDF for emailing and printing.
Summer  2009  August  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  travel  tourism  tourist  vacation  Gliider  Firefox  Tripit  OffbeatGuides  Tripwolf  MobileKnowCo  KnowledgeATM 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Referral program helps landlords find tenants on Facebook - Springwise
RentMineOnline added Facebook to the mix, property managers send bulk messages to their tenants informing them of a new campaign. Tenants send notifications via their social network of choice: Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter or email, and property managers monitor the reach of each referral campaign. It's a win-win service on all sides. Current residents have the opportunity to help out friends and earn some extra cash (typically from USD 50 to USD 1500). Referred tenants have the security of signing with a vouched-for landlord, and possibly moving in next door to a friend. RentMineOnline takes a sales fee for each campaign from property managers, while the managers themselves benefit from a massive catchment pool of potential tenants, most of whom will be related by both demographic and location to current tenants. The last point is key. As the presence of social media continues to grow, the question is increasingly becoming not whether, but how companies are going to harness it.
Summer  2009  August  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  rentals  RentMineOnline  Facebook  Twitter  property-management 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Via web video, coaches provide athletes with frame-by-frame tips - Springwise
The online community at Upmygame helps athletes gain advice from professional coaches and other users. Participants specify whether they're an ‘athlete’ or a ‘coach’, although both can give and receive advice. Critiquing takes place via short videos uploaded by athletes, containing footage of them practising their chosen sport. Frame-by-frame playback allows for precise commentary in the form of diagrams and text. Bringing an authentic coaching experience to the web, any coach with a mic on their computer can also upload a recording of their advice. Although the site places an emphasis on its ability to help athletes improve, it also acts as a money-making platform for coaches who wish to charge for their insight. Upmygame acts as a broker for advice, turning it into a P2P marketplace—an Etsy for coaching. Now that services can be sold online as easily as products, what gaps can you benefit from bridging? (Related: Sell what you say — Hair salon offers Skype consultations.)
Summer  2009  August  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  Etsy  Upmygame  video-streaming  P2P  MobileKnowCo  KnowledgeATM  Coaches  Brand-as-Experts 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Financial calendar predicts next month's bank balance - Springwise
Through integration with Google Calendar, iCal and Outlook, PocketSmith calculates all incoming and outgoing transactions to generate a six or twelve month forecast. Users can pick any given date and receive a predicted bank balance for that day. So there's no more wondering what will be left one week before (or after) Christmas. If users are unhappy with their predicted balance, they can adjust their scheduled 'financial events' and immediately see the changes reflected in their projected cashflow, helping them set and aim for long-term goals. Subscribers can easily upload electronic bank statements; there's no need to supply confidential information. While PocketSmith has joined a competitive arena—Mint seems to be the current leader of the webbased personal finance pack—its predictive powers could draw in a new crowd of consumers seeking to get a better grasp on their financial future. The basic version of PocketSmith is free, and subscribers can sign up for more premium versions.
Summer  2009  August  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  Mint  PocketSmith  financial  predictions  budgets 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Suggestion box lets staff members buy shares in ideas - Springwise
Idea Exchange is an online tool created to help companies make the most of their employees' collective wisdom. It's basically a virtual suggestion box where users can publish their own suggestions, large or small, and browse ideas submitted by their colleagues. Besides better sharing, there's another big difference between Idea Exchange and a shoebox with a hole in the top—the software lets users support other's ideas by purchasing shares in them. With the incentive of earning 'money', the idea is that employees will more carefully and thoughtfully offer their contributions. Employers can quickly identify favoured ideas by seeing which are being traded and which have the highest stock value. Besides ad hoc submissions to an 'idea bank', Idea Exchange also makes it easy for companies to run competitions to motivate people, and to focus their participation on specific topics or goals. Provided as hosted software, Idea Exchange was developed by Nosco.
Summer  2009  August  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  IdeaExchange  Nosco  collaboration  innovation  KnowledgeBank  Knowledge-creation 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Community of peers gives early feedback on marketing concepts - Springwise
Concept Feedback is designed specifically for marketers, graphic designers and web developers to provide a simple tool for getting free, sincere feedback from like-minded professionals. Website designs, ads, logos, videos, presentations and more can all be uploaded to the site and submitted for review by other members; the person posting the material keeps all rights. Using a standard review template for consistency, professionals can then offer their constructive advice, which gets automatically collected and archived for the submitting member. A system of reputation scores keeps members honest and helps interpret their advice. The result can be that any design problems are caught earlier, ensuring that only high-quality ideas make it into launch. "Most small business marketers and freelancers lack the budget and resources. A third-party point of view can be critical to launching a website, advertising campaign or concept that is clear, concise and effective."
Summer  2009  July  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  ConceptFeeback 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Putting a smile on household energy bills - Springwise
US-based Positive Energy, which compares households' energy consumption, adding a social twist to being green. The company works with local utility companies, which use its software to add persuasive information to customer bills. Instead of just listing their own energy use, it adds information for households on the same street or block, showing how the consumer measures up in comparison to all of their neighbours, as well as to the energy efficient ones. Households with low energy use are encouraged with smiley faces beside their usage. Positive Energy's approach combines technology, marketing and behavioural science, based on the idea that social pressure is more effective than enforced pressure from far-off governments and regulatory agencies. By changing the customer's mindset, long-term changes in consumer behaviour are likely to be brought about, saving both energy and money.
Summer  2009  July  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  PositiveEnergy  neighborhoods  InnovationGreenSpots 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Energy meters get tweeting - Springwise
German utility company Yello Strom is clearly into accessible tech: it manages its meters directly via households’ broadband connections, and offers access to Google's PowerMeter. Now, it's keeping its customers informed by enabling meters to tweet about energy use. Each "Yello Sparzähler" smart meter (designed by IDEO) is allocated its own Twitter account, which is automatically updated with energy consumption data. The owner can follow the account to receive regular updates, leading to greater awareness and hopefully lower energy use. DIY power monitors such as Tweet-a-Watt are also capable of tweeting, but Yello Strom seems to be the first utility company to offer the service as an integral part of their smart meters. While adding Twitter to their mix will undoubtedly give Yello Strom a PR-boost, the larger goal is to feed energy data into any tool customers may be using.
Summer  2009  July  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  InnovationGreenSpots  Google  Twitter  IDEO  smartmeter  YelloStrom 
may 2011 by ahasteve
More household carbon credit sales - Springwise
Much like MyEex, Earth Aid begins by establishing a baseline for a consumer's household from its utility bills over the preceding 12 months—consumers give Earth Aid direct access to their utility accounts, so it can not only see their past usage data but also monitor their current usage over time. (It can't, however, see any sensitive payment information, it stresses.) Earth Aid then provides the consumer with customised energy-saving tips along with information about rebates, tax incentives and discounts that can help. It monitors that user's energy usage over one full year, and then compares it with the original baseline; if energy was saved, Earth Aid calculates the corresponding carbon credits and sells them in the voluntary carbon market, sending the user a check for the result. Its own revenue, meanwhile, comes in part from advertising from companies that sell energy-efficient products and in part from commissions for bundling and selling users' carbon credits.
Summer  2009  July  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  EarthAid  MyEex 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Consumers get paid to reduce their emissions - Springwise
MyEex was launched information exchange lowering carbon footprints, and expanded into a worldwide personal carbon exchange. Consumers create a profile on the free site and then using historical data on their utility bill to enter their household electric and heat usage for the past 12 months. Taking seasonal variation into account, MyEex uses that data to calculate the household's baseline usage. Consumers reduce their footprint, with help from MyEex's community section, tips, blogs and other sources of advice. Each month they enter their current usage amounts, and the site certifies those reductions and awards members carbon credits similar to those currently granted to companies, states and countries. Through its partnership with OceanConnect, it then sells those Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) on the Voluntary Carbon Market—one CER is equivalent to one ton reduced, with prices varying between USD 10 and USD 25 per CER, it says—and returns the earnings to consumers via PayPal.
Summer  2009  July  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  MyEex  carbon-footprint  carbon-credits  OceanConnect  CertifiedEmissionsReductions  CER  VoluntaryCarbonMarket  PayPal  InnovationGreenSpots 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Free car charging at new, green(er) McDonald's - Springwise
The new restaurant in Cary will be North Carolina's first "green" McDonald's, and it aims to become gold-certified under the LEED standard. Both the interior and exterior of the restaurant have been designed with sustainability in mind. More than 95 percent of the wood used in construction, for example, comes from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, while tables and decor incorporate rapidly renewable materials such as sunflower seed board, wheat board, bamboo and kirei board. Solatubes inside provide quality natural light, while lighting fixtures automatically adjust to changing light conditions. All components used inside are free of urea and formaldehyde, while vinyl is PVC-free and all paints, adhesives, coatings and sealants are low-VOC. The kitchen and bathrooms, meanwhile, are designed to minimize the use of water. Preferred parking spaces for hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles, along with ChargePoint stations offering free electricity for plug-in cars.
Summer  2009  July  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  McDonald's  LEED-certified  ForestStewardshipCertified  hybrid-vehicles  plug-in-hybrids  ChargePoint 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Email a photo to send prints to friends & family - Springwise
We've covered several examples of services that help online consumers stay in touch with their offline friends, including Postful, PeggyMail and Presto. Zeroing in on photos, Picwing now offers a service that automatically sends prints of consumers' photos to their loved ones once or twice a month.
Users of San Francisco-based Picwing begin by giving the service the names and addresses of the people they'd like their photos to be sent to on a regular basis, along with how often. Then, as they take photos they'd like to share, they either email them to their personal @picwing.com address, or they simply upload them. At that point there's nothing more the user need do; Picwing takes over and automatically prints out the latest bunch of photos, sending them to the recipients the user requested. Prints are made on 4-by-6-inch glossy Kodak paper, and a personal message can be added to the back of each.
Summer  2009  July  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  Picwing  On=Off  65+SustainingSeniors 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Bumper stickers recruit Twitter followers in traffic - Springwise
Tweet My Bumper helps Twitterers recruit new followers by targeting one of life's few remaining captive audiences: drivers in traffic. Twitterers seeking followers need only visit Tweet My Bumper, enter their Twitter user name along with the usual other basic information, and Tweet My Bumper will print and ship them a bumper sticker that shows their Twitter name along with the tag line, "Follow me in traffic. Follow me on Twitter." A standard bumper sticker—which also shows the Tweet My Bumper URL—is priced at USD 5; without the promotional URL it costs USD 6. Offroad, Twitter users already have StickyTwits; now, courtesy of BlakeMakes.com's Blake Killian, Tweet My Bumper makes the most of onroad audiences as well. It's all part of the OFF=ON melding of the offline and online worlds.
Summer  2009  July  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Springwise  Off=On  Twitter  TweetMyBumper 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Free mags for hotel guests via digital newsstand - Springwise
Digital publisher Zinio has teamed up with Starwood to offer guests free digital copies of their favourite magazines. A variety of well-known titles can be downloaded at Starwood's Element hotels, with Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton joining. Zinio's 'digital newsstand' can be accessed on guests' laptops in their rooms, or via a kiosk in the lobby. After logging on guests can select as many single titles as they wish, choosing from a wide range of popular publications like Caribbean Travel & Life, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Field & Stream and Ski Magazine. (Prices for magazines purchased through Zinio are normally similar to those paid for paper copies.) Travellers are freed from schlepping around a bag full of paper. Zinio gets the chance to demo its service to new users, and Starwood can offer its guests magazines they actually want to read, instead of a standard selection. There's an environmental benefit too which is fitting since Element is Starwood's new 'green' brand.
Summer  2009  June  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  zinio  Magazine  digitalmedia  StarwoodHotelsResorts  green  hotel  travel  tourism  tourist  vacation  springwise 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Magazine produced in 24 hours - Springwise
The clock began at 3 pm Central European time on June 27, when an all-volunteer team of designers, photographers, writers and others began to work nonstop on 24Hour Magazine, beginning from scratch with no design and no content. Twenty-four hours later—at 3 pm on June 28—the magazine was ready for the printing press, featuring articles, photos and illustrations on topics including lifestyle, fashion, music and design. The point was not just to create a product, however. Rather, the concept focused heavily on the experience of the process as well. With that in mind, the Kortrijk, Belgium-based team meticulously shared the day’s experience with the world through a variety of social media and other online avenues, including live video feeds, Twitter updates, continuous blog posts and a behind-the-scenes Flickr stream. The 47-page magazine itself was produced using Issuu—the publishing platform we covered last year—and is now available online.
Summer  2009  June  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  24HourMagazine  issuu  social-media  Twitter  video-streaming  blog  Flickr  knowledgeatm  MobileKnowCo  digitalmedia  springwise 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Europcar lists CO2 emissions on customer invoices - Springwise
Showing customers the environmental impact of driving, French car rental company Europcar now lists CO2 emissions for its rental cars on the company’s website, and on customer invoices, allowing conscientious drivers to take emissions into account when choosing a rental car. Customers are also offered the chance to offset their emissions via a collaboration with Climate Care. Instead of planting trees, Climate Care assists with the development of renewable fuel sources and more efficient systems—arguably a more effective way of tackling carbon emissions than planting trees. Europcar’s CO2 information is currently available to customers in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, with Australia to follow soon. As consumers become more aware of their impact on the environment, they’ll increasingly demand information that will help them make better choices --trendwatching.com—check out their thoughts on eco intel.
Summer  2009  June  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  Eurocar  ClimateCare  CO2  emissions-reduction  auto-industry  car-rentals  EcoIntel  springwise 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Marketplace for home-cooked meals - Springwise
Consumers who lack the time, energy or skills to prepare delicious home-cooked meals themselves already have semi-cooking options to help them along—including shopping and delivery services such as I Love Mother—as well as meal prep stores, with or without instruction. BookOfCooks is a new online marketplace that can help consumers find local foodies who are willing to cook for them. Professional and amateur chefs around the world can use BookOfCooks to set up an online restaurant or bakery that showcases their cooking talents with menus, prices, licenses and videos. Using BookOfCooks is free both for those in search of food and for those who prepare it. Search BookOfCooks by city for the dish or food type they're craving, or they can browse the site's online Google maps and archives for links to local cooks and food aficionados, including ratings and reviews. When they find one that sounds good, they can place an order with the cook for pickup, delivery or even in-home preparation.
Summer  2009  June  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  SellSumers  BookofCooks  springwise 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Springwise: June 2009 Archives
No-frills chic hotels have been around for years, offering guests a stylish stay without the bills to match. More recently, hotels and restaurants have been experimenting with pay-what-you-want schemes to attract budget conscious customers. Rancho Bernardo Inn asks cash-strapped guests "How low will you go?", letting them set their price by excluding the amenities they can live without. The hotel's Survivor Package, valid through June 15th and promoted on Twitter by General Manager John Gates (@GMGoneMad), is presented as follows: Deluxe accommodations with breakfast for two for USD 219 per night. Or....• $199 without breakfast• $179 without honor bar• $159 without A/C or heat• $139 without pillows• $109 without sheets• $89 without lights• $59 without linens• $39 without toiletries• $19 without bedNo word yet on whether anyone has been willing to pay USD 19 to sleep on the floor, but it definitely makes for an eye-catching price strategy.
Summer  2009  June  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  USWest  California  SanDiego  RanchoBernardo  RanchoBernardoInn  vacation  travel  tourist  tourism  springwise 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Springwise: June 2009 Archives
RunMyErrand's network of pre-qualified "runners" is then alerted immediately via email and text message. Within 10 minutes a runner accepts the errand, proceeding from there to coordinate with the "sender" and complete the errand within the specified timeframe. When the errand is complete, the sender confirms online; RunMyErrand then transfers payment into the runner's account. To ensure quality, ratings, reviews, profiles and background checks for selected runners are all available. In addition to serving individuals, RunMyErrand also acts as an outsourcing delivery partner for locally owned retail businesses. Besides simply helping busy people get things done, RunMyErrand promises environmental benefits by aggregating errands more efficiently and also offers sellsumers a flexible way to earn a little extra money as runners. Founded in early 2008, RunMyErrand was recently named by Facebook as a winner in its fbFund REV incubation program. It currently serves only the Boston area.
Summer  2009  June  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  RunMyErrand  DoMyStuff  California  Boston  SellSumers  springwise 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Austrian village asks tourists to set their price - Springwise
Längenfeld, an idyllic village in Austria’s Alps, is inviting 200 people to visit for three days during the first week of July. Visitors will perform a Live Quality Check, testing the village’s hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities. When it’s time to leave, they’ll fill out a survey and pay what they think their stay was worth. When signing up for the Live Quality Check, people were asked to select their preferred type of accommodation, as well indicate the holiday activities they enjoy—rafting, hiking, climbing, swimming, biking, culture and a spa are on offer. Sixteen accommodation providers, four restaurants and seven leisure facilities are participating in the endeavour, and over 400 people applied for a testing slot. “Längenfeld is a place of energy, both for locals and our guests, and it has become a thriving tourist resort; a place we’re very proud of. With Live Quality Check, we’re showing our pride by letting guests determine how much they pay.”
Summer  2009  June  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  travel  tourism  vacation  rafting  hiking  climbing  swimming  biking  LiveQualityCheck  Langenfeld  springwise  tourist 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Canon hosts workshops in national parks - Springwise
Sessions are hosted outdoors twice daily by professional photographers, giving participants the opportunity to try a variety of Canon cameras and lenses. There are also indoor evening workshops that focus on technical aspects of the equipment. Sessions will run at Yosemite in June, the Grand Canyon in July and Yellowstone and Acadia in August. The workshops are designed to be useful both to amateurs and more advanced photographers, and the idea is that those participating in the sessions will submit their photographs to the competition. By letting potential customers try out cameras in the most relevant setting and helping them build their photography skills, Canon combines two of our favourite, enduring consumer trends: tryvertising and status skills.
Summer  2009  June  SpringWise  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  StartUp  consumer-demand  canon  nationalparks  Yosemite  GrandCanyon  Yellowstone  wildlife  tryvertising  travel  tourism  vacation  tourist 
may 2011 by ahasteve
Welcome to Banham's Los Angeles - latimes.com
The architect of this structure, who Banham, in 1971, was already comparing to the great Schindler, was Frank Gehry. There's little in the way of sociology here, nothing about the ways in which boosterism and civic corruption dictated the city's growth. Banham's typically quirky bibliography doesn't include Carey McWilliams' "Southern California: An Island on the Land," a book that would surely have darkened his vision had he allowed it. Most likely Banham didn't want to go there. The organization of his book -- the "ecologies" he writes about are beach, basin, foothills, freeways -- still provides a template with which to start thinking about what sort of space Los Angeles actually is. More important, Banham captured something, the sense of excitement, of change, of possibility, that was, and still is, a part of the city's DNA. "Los Angeles looked naturally to the sunset, which can be stunningly handsome, and named one if its great boulevards after that favorite evening view."
Spring  2011  April  1971  USWest  California  SouthernCalifornia  regional  beaches  Summer  June  2009 
april 2011 by ahasteve
A visit to 1959 Palm Springs - Travel - LATimes.com
Video, Map and Photo Slideshow: The year was a seminal one for the desert resort town; 50 years on, it's still a swingin' time.
Spring  2011  April  2009  1959  USWest  California  PalmSprings  celebrities  vacation  travel  tourism  tourist  video  maps  photos 
april 2011 by ahasteve
The Review: Reservoir restaurant in Silver Lake - latimes.com
The restaurant on Silver Lake Boulevard is popular, but chef Gloria Felix's menu is regrettably static.
Spring  2011  2009  March  USWest  California  LosAngelesCounty  SilverLake  restaurant  Reservoir 
march 2011 by ahasteve
The Review: Reservoir restaurant in Silver Lake - latimes.com
The restaurant on Silver Lake Boulevard is popular, but chef Gloria Felix's menu is regrettably static.
Spring  2011  2009  March  USWest  California  LosAngelesCounty  SilverLake  restaurant  Reservoir 
march 2011 by ahasteve
Executives at health insurance giants cash in as firms plan fee hikes - latimes.com
Leaders of Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth, WellPoint and Aetna received nearly $200 million in compensation in 2009, according to a report, while the companies sought rate increases as high as 39%.
Summer  2010  August  healthcare  insurance  Cigna  Humana  UnitedHealth  WellPoint  Aetna  2009 
august 2010 by ahasteve
Executives at health insurance giants cash in as firms plan fee hikes - latimes.com
Leaders of Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth, WellPoint and Aetna received nearly $200 million in compensation in 2009, according to a report, while the companies sought rate increases as high as 39%.
Summer  2010  August  healthcare  insurance  Cigna  Humana  UnitedHealth  WellPoint  Aetna  2009 
august 2010 by ahasteve
Federal inspector general launches probe of Station fire - latimes.com
The Obama administration has invited Congress to order a broad inquiry into last summer's disastrous Station fire after learning that dispatch recordings had been withheld from a U.S. Forest Service review team. The Station blaze, which broke out Aug. 26, blackened 250 square miles of the forest, destroyed scores of homes and other structures, and killed two Los Angeles County firefighters. It was the largest fire in county history. Forest Service had deployed the earliest available air tankers on the second morning, when the blaze covered just a few acres. Other tankers were available sooner, but the Forest Service failed to complete an order for them made by its own commander on the ground. Dispatch records show that a Forest Service officer again asked for tankers about 7 a.m. Aug. 27, six hours after the initial request. Three Forest Service tankers were subsequently deployed, but did not reach the fire until after it began racing through the forest.
Summer  2010  August  2009  USWest  California  GreenPlanet  Wilderness  wildfires  USForestService  StationFire  notes 
august 2010 by ahasteve
Federal inspector general launches probe of Station fire - latimes.com
The Obama administration has invited Congress to order a broad inquiry into last summer's disastrous Station fire after learning that dispatch recordings had been withheld from a U.S. Forest Service review team. The Station blaze, which broke out Aug. 26, blackened 250 square miles of the forest, destroyed scores of homes and other structures, and killed two Los Angeles County firefighters. It was the largest fire in county history. Forest Service had deployed the earliest available air tankers on the second morning, when the blaze covered just a few acres. Other tankers were available sooner, but the Forest Service failed to complete an order for them made by its own commander on the ground. Dispatch records show that a Forest Service officer again asked for tankers about 7 a.m. Aug. 27, six hours after the initial request. Three Forest Service tankers were subsequently deployed, but did not reach the fire until after it began racing through the forest.
Summer  2010  August  2009  USWest  California  GreenPlanet  Wilderness  wildfires  USForestService  StationFire  notes 
august 2010 by ahasteve
Hidden gems: America's 20 least-visited National Monuments - latimes.com
Looking for some peace and quiet during your travels this summer? We give you America's 20 least-visited National Monuments, taken from 2009 National Park Service data. From the thousands of petroglyphs at the El Morro monument in New Mexico to prehistoric caves at Tonto in Arizona, these hidden gems offer scenic views and a journey back in history. Before you visit, research each destination carefully. Some of these parks are remote and may be difficult to access. 3. Alibates Flint Quarries, Texas 4. Ft. Union, New Mexico 6. Fossil Butte, Wyoming 9. Hagerman Fossil Beds, Idaho 10. Hovenweep, Utah/Colorado 11. Salinas Pueblo Missions, New Mexico 12. Aztec Ruins, New Mexico 14. Gila Cliff Dwellings, New Mexico 15. Buck Island Reef, U.S. Virgin Islands 16. El Morro, New Mexico 17. Pipe Spring, Arizona 18. Capulin Volcano, New Mexico 19. Tonto, Arizona 20. Chiricahua, Arizona
Spring  2010  May  nationalparks  NationalParkService  2009  NationalMonument  GreenPlanet  outdoors  HighCountryEagles  USWest  photos  HawaiiTropical  Arizona  Chiricahaua  Tonto  PipeSpring  NewMexico  CapulinVolcano  Volcanoes  ElMoro  GilaCliffDwellings  AztecRuins  Salinas  PuebloMissions  FtUnion  VirginIslands  BuckIsland  Reef  Colorado  Hovenweep  Idaho  Hagerman  Wyoming  FossilButte  Texas  Alibates  travel  tourism  tourist  vacation 
may 2010 by ahasteve
Clean Edge - 2010 Trend Report Update
The newly adjusted numbers reflect an upward revision of 2009 installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity – a response to Germany’s late announcement that a staggering 1.34 gigawatts (GW) of PV was installed in December. The German Federal Network Agency revealed that Germany installed a total of 3.8 GW of solar PV in 2009, with approximately 40 percent of this capacity being installed in December alone. Clean Edge expected Germany's December installed capacity to eclipse that of November, the magnitude of this trend exceeded initial estimates. Clean Edge has updated its solar market projections.
2009 global PV installations reached just more than 7 GW and global revenue in 2009 has been adjusted to $36.1 billion.
Projected 2019 global PV revenue has also been upwardly revised to $116.5 billion.
Total clean-energy growth projection – including biofuels, wind power, and solar power – growing from $144.5 billion in 2009 to $343.4 billion in 2019.
Spring  2010  April  Green  GreenEnergy  biofuels  ethanol  biodiesel  wind  windpower  Germany  Solar-photovoltaic  2008  2009  2019  CleanEdge  energy  report  updates 
april 2010 by ahasteve
Cleanedge Trends 2010 Report
Clean Energy trends 2010
Table of Contents

U.S. Venture and Global Clean-Energy Investments
NASDAQ® Clean Edge® Stock Index Performance
The Decade of Ubiquitous and Cheap
The China Card
Clean Energy Jobs Expansion
The End of Climate
The Road Ahead
Five trends to watch (with recent headlines and selected companies to watch)
1. Carbon as a Feedstock: Win-Win or Pipe Dream?
3. Biomass Fires up Utilities and District Heating
4. Clean-Tech Megaprojects See Big Advances – and Big Challenges
5. High Speed Rail Surges Ahead – But at What Cost?
Spring  2010  April  Green  GreenEnergy  biofuels  ethanol  biodiesel  wind  windpower  China  Solar-photovoltaic  2008  2009  2019  CleanEdge  energy  report  filetype:pdf  media:document 
april 2010 by ahasteve
Reports - Clean Edge - Clean Energy Trends 2010
Biofuels reached $44.9 billion in 2009 and are projected to grow to $112.5 B by 2019. In 2009 the biofuels market consisted of more than 23.6 B gallons of ethanol and biodiesel production worldwide. Wind power is projected to expand from $63.5 B in 2009 to $114.5 B in 2019. Last year’s global wind power installations reached a record 37,500 MW. China, the global leader in new installations, accounted for more than a third of new installations, or 13,000 MW. Solar photovoltaics will grow from a $36.1 B industry in 2009 to $116.5 B by 2019. New installations reached just more than 7 GW worldwide in 2009, a sevenfold increase from five years earlier, when the solar PV market reached the gigawatt milestone for the first time. But because of rapidly declining solar PV prices, industry revenue between 2008 and 2009 was down about 6 percent – from a revised $38.5 B in 2008 – as solar prices dropped from an average $7 peak watt installed in 2008 to $5.12 peak watt installed last year.
Spring  2010  April  Green  GreenEnergy  biofuels  ethanol  biodiesel  wind  windpower  China  Solar-photovoltaic  2008  2009  2019  CleanEdge  energy  report 
april 2010 by ahasteve
Ski Area Citizens Coalition- Why ski at ski areas with a positive environmental grade?
Skiers consider the environment a higher policy priority than the general public does. The Scorecard differentiates between ski areas that are engaging in environmentally sound practices vs. those that merely claim to do so. While there will always be environmental impacts from creating and operating a ski resort, the intent of the Scorecard is to rate resorts on the environmental performance of their current management, not on the impacts from the time of the creation of the resort. Criteria are clearly defined so that ski resorts can choose to improve their environmental performance, and thus their grade. The ski industry needs to be a good land steward; the Scorecard holds them accountable to preserve the mountain environments that draw skiers in the first place. Ski areas concentrate recreational use, permitting tremendous numbers of people to enjoy and learn about delicate mountain environments. Ski resorts can minimize their land impacts and provide memorable experiences.
Fall  2009  November  USWest  Colorado  Durango  SkiAreaCitizensCoalition  environmentally-friendly  GreenCitizen  ski-towns  snowboarding  GreenPlanet  HighCountryEagles  resort  notes  wikitravel  SouthwesternColorado  regional 
january 2010 by ahasteve
Ski Area Citizens Coalition
Ski Area Environmental Report Card
updated 11/23/2009

In celebration of our 10 year Anniversary, the Scorecard got a long-overdue makeover! Instead of focusing on one general score, the new Report Card has been broken down into four individual categories and an overall score. The four new categories are:

Habitat Protection
Protecting Watersheds
Addressing Global Climate Change
Environmental Practices and Policies.
The new categories will help skiers and snowboarders get a more accurate and easy to understand picture of the environmental impacts of their favorite ski area's operations.

The Ski Area Environmental Report Card is a non-industry, independent mechanism that gives all outdoor and mountain recreational users, a way to assess the environmental performance and policies of their favorite ski areas and resorts. By making eco-friendly business choices, you can encourage the improvement of environmental business policies and practices.
Fall  2009  November  USWest  Colorado  Durango  SkiAreaCitizensCoalition  environmentally-friendly  GreenCitizen  ski-towns  snowboarding  GreenPlanet  HighCountryEagles  resort  notes  wikitravel  SouthwesternColorado  regional 
january 2010 by ahasteve
prize-winning-retirees-help-veterans-at-risk-kids-family-farmers: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
Broder is one of five people over age 60 to win a $100,000 Purpose Prize awarded by Civic Ventures, a San Francisco-based research and advocacy group that seeks to support and encourage older people who start a second career that benefits society. Another five people won $50,000 prizes.
Winter  2009  December  PermanentTemporaries  retirement  65+SustainingSeniors  55+Boomer  CivicVentures  purpose  passion  careers  USWest  California  SanFrancisco  notes 
december 2009 by ahasteve
Springwise newsletter | 3 December 2009
Since free information is abundant, finding a way to sell knowledge or monetize content can be a challenge. Los Angeles start-up Knowledge Genie aims to offer a solution, allowing users to centralize their knowledge on a particular topic and present it in a customizable, tutorial-style package—a 'Knowledge Genie'—that can be shared for free or sold. Genies can be quickly set up through a wizard-style process which aids users in creating a learning-oriented structure, enabling them to break down their chosen subject matter into a series of steps and append downloadable resources and links. Creators can also build in checklists for learners to help keep tabs on their progress. One (ad-supported) Knowledge Genie can be created free, but if users want to sell it they'll have to subscribe, with prices ranging from USD 5 per month for one Genie, to USD 99 per month for 20 Genies. Social sharing options and PayPal / Google Checkout payments are all integrated. www.myknowledgegenie.com
Winter  2009  December  trends  business-models  entrepreneurs  KnowledgeATM  MobileKnowCo  infopreneur  KnowledgeGenie 
december 2009 by ahasteve
A climate change dust-up - latimes.com
One side sees hacked e-mail as a sign of a 'Warmist Conspiracy.' The other says it's being taken out of context. Analysts don't expect it to have much effect on the Senate greenhouse gas bill. Conservative bloggers have seized on a series of e-mails between leading climate scientists, which were obtained by computer hackers and posted online last week, as evidence of a scientific conspiracy to push claims about human-caused global warming. But advocates of action to curb global warming dismiss those claims, and political leaders and analysts say the Senate bill to limit greenhouse gas emissions will sink or swim based on economics, not science. "The scientists are going to fight about this for decades," said Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of several Senate Republicans who say they are open to some form of a climate bill. "We should be doing something to curb our emissions that would not harm the economy, and could in fact boost the economy," he said.
Fall  2009  November  green  GreenGov  GreenPlanet  ClimateChange  republicans  politics  boomersaurs  senate  JamesInhofe  notes 
december 2009 by ahasteve
Golf courses suffer as recession deals a bogey - latimes.com
Hundreds of courses have closed, and once-exclusive country clubs have slashed fees or let in the public. Often linked to housing tracts, the greens and fairways have slumped along with real estate. Joseph Leggett used to look out over the green, manicured fairways of the Palm Desert Country Club golf course. Lately, what he saw looked like weedy vacant lots. Swaths of the championship course, deemed best designed in the desert, turned brown as its owners searched for hundreds of thousands of dollars to reseed, reopen and rebound from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. He estimated his home of 30 years lost half its value because of the ruined view. "My wife is beside herself." Most golf courses have lost 30% to 50% of their worth in the last two years. Several have been forced into bankruptcy Chevy Chase Country Club in Glendale, which dates to 1925 and was designed by noted golf architect William P. Bell, who also designed the Bel Air Country Club and the Newport Beach Country Club.
Fall  2009  November  USWest  California  CoachellaValley  desert-cities  PalmDesert  92211  92260  WealthyInfluentials  AffluentlyElite  WIAE  DigitallyMobiles  WIDM  WirelessResorters  PremierResorts  WRPR  MaturingResorts  WRMR  ResortSuburbans  WRRS  PermanentTemporaries  InterimMiddleManagers  PTIMM  HighCountryEagles  SatelliteCity-zens  HCESC  SmallTownBorders  HCESTB  notes  golfcourses  golf  recession  bankruptcy  PalmDesertCountryClub  realestate  Ripple-Effects  Implication  Indicator  Consequences 
december 2009 by ahasteve
Ranching, recreation collide in the great outdoors - latimes.com
The mountain biker was excited about her big race in Colorado's wilderness. And nothing irked the sheepherder like the sports crowd. It was a disaster waiting to happen. But as Colorado has become an adventure sports destination, the once-empty valley has filled with hikers, campers and mountain bikers like Legro, and she was about to tragically embody the collision of the old West with the new. Shortly after she rolled down a hill and came upon the sheep, a dog leaped at her, locked its jaws on her hip and yanked her off her bike. A second dog pounced as she fell. The two enormous canines, powerful enough to fend off bears, tore at her until her cries drew two campers who drove them off. The emergency-room doctor lost count of how many stitches she required. One of a dwindling number of sheepherders in Colorado's mountains, Robinson, 54, turned to guard dogs a decade ago, after the state banned the use of traps to prevent mountain lions, coyotes and bears from destroying herds.
Fall  2009  November  USWest  Colorado  HighCountryEagles  outdoors  EagleCounty  notes  GreenPlanet  wilderness  mountainbiking  ranches  ContinentalDivide  CampHale  25-54  families 
december 2009 by ahasteve
A climate change dust-up - latimes.com
One side sees hacked e-mail as a sign of a 'Warmist Conspiracy.' The other says it's being taken out of context. Analysts don't expect it to have much effect on the Senate greenhouse gas bill. Conservative bloggers have seized on a series of e-mails between leading climate scientists, which were obtained by computer hackers and posted online last week, as evidence of a scientific conspiracy to push claims about human-caused global warming. But advocates of action to curb global warming dismiss those claims, and political leaders and analysts say the Senate bill to limit greenhouse gas emissions will sink or swim based on economics, not science. "The scientists are going to fight about this for decades," said Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of several Senate Republicans who say they are open to some form of a climate bill. "We should be doing something to curb our emissions that would not harm the economy, and could in fact boost the economy," he said.
Fall  2009  November  green  GreenGov  GreenPlanet  ClimateChange  republicans  politics  boomersaurs  senate  JamesInhofe  notes 
december 2009 by ahasteve
Catalina bison going on birth control - latimes.com
The Catalina Island Conservancy has been rounding up the herd so females can get a reversible contraceptive vaccine. The goal: Control the size of the herd to keep it and the environment healthier. The goal: reduce herd size -- which increases by 15% or more each calving season -- to a manageable, healthier, less environmentally damaging and constant 150 or so. It is also reversible after about a year. "Bison will continue to be bison," De la Rosa said. "Males will continue to compete for females, and females will continue to go into heat. The only difference is that we can control how many calves they have. "For bison in love," he added with a laugh, "this means romance without responsibilities." The Catalina Island Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that owns 88% of the island and is charged with preserving its wild state, believes the program will be a cost-effective, socially acceptable and humane method of controlling the herd.
Fall  2009  November  Green  GreenPlanet  wildlife  wilderness  USWest  California  LosAngelesCounty  SantaCatalinaIsland  CatalinaIsland  Catalina  Avalon  90704  WRPR  WRMR  WRDE  notes  bison  CatalinaIslandConservancy  islands 
december 2009 by ahasteve
9-ways-spending-changes-in-retirement: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
Expensive trips are one of the biggest contributors. More dining at home. Retirees spent about 9 percent of their budget on food eaten at home in 2008. Higher housing costs - than working Americans. Many retirees have finished paying off their mortgage, they still face property taxes and devote a bigger share of their income to home maintenance and repairs than those who are still working. Fewer clothing expenses. Lower transportation costs. Keeping entertained. Giving to grandchildren. Less saving. Soaring healthcare costs. Workers who retire before age 65 must pay their own health insurance premiums. Retirees spent almost three times as much of their income on health insurance, medical services, drugs, and medical supplies. And even after qualifying for Medicare at 65, many seniors still face high out-of-pocket costs. And you may find new coverage gaps when you leave your group health insurance policy behind. "A lot of times, plans don't cover dental expenses or eyeglasses," he says.
Winter  2009  December  retirement  boomersaurs  PermanentTemporaries  discount  bargain  notes  65+SustainingSeniors  55+Boomer 
december 2009 by ahasteve
Green jobs in state getting little stimulus help - latimes.com
Few of the positions created or saved so far in California through the $787-billion program appear to have anything to do with renewable energy or clean technology.
Fall  2009  November  green  green-collar-jobs  USWest  California  stimulus  notes  renewable-energy  clean-tech  GreenEnergy 
december 2009 by ahasteve
'Googled: The End of the World as We Know It' - latimes.com
Larry Page and Sergey Brin certainly took advantage of the possibilities. This is a duo with a passion for disruption. The whole Google story stands in opposition to any business-as-usual sensibility. The company started in a California garage with an innovative idea for a new kind of search engine but didn't figure out how to make money until 2001, with the development of a radical new way of charging per click for small ads run next to search results. This would have major ramifications for a long-established industry. Putting other companies out of business by beating them at their own game is what capitalism is all about. Google's founders see themselves as do-gooders; early on, they concocted a core motto, "Don't be evil." Still, as it's become more of a behemoth, Google has accumulated more and more "frenemies," as Auletta incongruously puts it: Companies, as varied as old media and Microsoft, that fear or resent the online giant even as they find it necessary to cooperate.
Fall  2009  November  USWest  California  NorthernCalifornia  Google  CRO  disruptive  paradoxy-morons  business-models  LarryPage  SergeyBrin  TalentCultures  lifestage  lifecycle  OrganizationDNA 
december 2009 by ahasteve
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