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March 27, 2009

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Mar 27,2009
This was a dream assignment, following the sweet, burnt-caramel aromas that waft through the hills and valleys of America's Whiskey Trail.   Jimmy Russell, bourbon legend and creator of Wild Turkey 101, greets visitors to the Wild Turkey distillery in Barton, Ky. Photo by John Blanchette.    You'll find a whole slew of rollicking live-music clubs, record shops, Western-wear stores, barbecue joints, and more along Honky-tonk Row in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by John Blanchette.    The serene rural road leading ... [full story]
3208 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
Paris is one of those cities, or rather THE city, where you can't avoid love or lovers kissing, even if you wanted to. And who would want to? It's all around you — it's life at its best.   A couple kiss with the Pont Neuf, the oldest standing bridge crossing the River Seine in Paris, in the background. Photo by Karen Kenyon.    "The Kiss" by Auguste Rodin is on display at the Musee Rodin, formerly the ... [full story]
2587 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
In the midst of all the bad news about mortgages and home foreclosures, there is really some very good news for qualified borrowers. If you're purchasing a new home, or if you've decided to refinance, you can now lock in some enticing low rates, thanks to the Federal Reserve's determination to bring mortgage rates down and get the economy growing. According to Bankrate.com, the national average for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage has fallen to 5.06 ... [full story]
1813 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: I have had to spend a lot of money to refurbish my office. I tried to borrow about $42,000 from my bank of 16 years (I have a 675 credit score) but they hemmed and hawed and sort of let me know they did not want to make me a loan, especially when they said my loan could cost me 14 percent. I considered a home equity loan, but our home is ... [full story]
1979 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: I have $61,000 to invest and would like to buy a portfolio of six preferred stocks with yields of 8 percent to 10 percent — but no banks, please. I know there's lots of high-yielding junk, but I want the best quality you can come up with. And if they all fall to the Devil I won't blame you for the possible losses. But I think the economy will begin to recover ... [full story]
2271 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: Please tell me about TIPS, or Treasury Inflation Protected Securities. Please tell me how they work and if you think they will be a good hedge against inflation due to the huge pile of money that the government is spending on the stimulus package and the TARP. I have an independent retirement account that has lost nearly 60 percent in the past 12 months. At age 57, I'm considering liquidating the remaining ... [full story]
1626 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
What is a "green-collar" job? "A green-collar job is, in essence, a blue-collar job that has been upgraded to address the environmental challenges of our country," according to Lucy Blake of the Apollo Alliance, which is helping to transition the economy from fossil fuels to renewable energy.   An energy auditor performs a blower door test to measure a home's energy efficiency. Many people looking for jobs are training for green jobs like this one. Find ... [full story]
2298 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
Rachael Flatt was 3. She and her father went to the mall to buy a birthday present for her grandfather when they wandered past the mall's ice-skating rink. Rachael was transfixed, and they came home with a package of introductory skating lessons instead. Grandpa didn't get a gift. Skating did. Flatt is one of two U.S. women's singles skaters at the World Figure Skating Championships this week at Staples Center in Los Angeles, and she ... [full story]
1658 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
Tots may wonder what "being green" means. These new environmentally-friendly books and DVDs introduce the youngest children to basic "green" topics including recycling, conserving and protecting Mother Earth. "We are Extremely Very Good Recyclers" by Lauren Child; Dial/Penguin; 32 pages; $16.99.   "We are Extremely Very Good Recyclers" by Lauren Child; Dial/Penguin; 32 pages; $16.99.  "Easy to Be Green" by Ellie O'Ryan; illustrated by Ivanke & Lola; Little Green Books/Simon & Schuster; 32 pages; $4.99.    "True Green Kids: ... [full story]
1778 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
"Crossing Over" crashes to the screen like "Crash," the 2006 Oscar winner that intertwined stories set in post-9/11 Los Angeles touching on themes of racism, suspicion and alienation.   RATINGS GUIDE: 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.)  With its rich, complex characters, "Crash" did a better job capturing the ethnicity and turbulent life of an unwieldy and dangerous city than the ... [full story]
6170 times read - No comment posted

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