Archive for July, 2012

NC Official Probes Utility Merger After CEO Change


text size A A A

RALEIGH, N.C. July 6, 2012, 08:10 pm ET

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The sudden decision to replace the chief executive tapped to run America’s largest electric company has prompted North Carolina’s attorney general and regulators to launch investigations into whether consumers were misled.

Attorney General Roy Cooper on Friday demanded that the new Duke Energy Corp. provide all information and communications from top company officials and directors leading up to and just after the merger that was concluded on Monday. The North Carolina Utilities Commission said it’s launching an investigation and is ordering the new Duke Energy CEO, Jim Rogers, to appear at a hearing Tuesday

Cooper last year opposed a Duke Energy rate increase, which the Charlotte-based company said it needed to protect its credit rating.

“Now this significant management change within hours after the merger has put the company on credit watch, so we need to get to the bottom of this to make sure we protect consumers,” Cooper said in a statement.

Standard & Poor’s placed its ratings for Duke Energy on watch for a possible downgrade in response to the sudden leadership change. Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson had been scheduled to lead the combined company as chief executive, but hours after the merger closed Monday, the new company announced he had decided to leave by “mutual agreement.” Instead, Rogers was remaining to run the expanded company.

The company has refused to disclose the reason for the last-minute change.

Duke Energy spokesman Tom Williams said Rogers would appear at Tuesday’s utilities commission hearing and that the company was reviewing Cooper’s request.

State law allows the utilities commission to rescind or alter its prior decision approving the merger. Duke Energy and Raleigh, N.C.-based Progress Energy said in company documents describing their merger and in sworn testimony by Johnson and Rogers that Johnson would be CEO of the combined company.

One stipulation of North Carolina regulators was that shareholders, not rate-payers, would pay the costs associated with the corporate merger. It’s not clear if Johnson’s severance package was included among those merger costs.

Johnson last week signed a three-year employment contract that was supposed to take effect Tuesday. Duke Energy reported in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week that Johnson is entitled to a severance, bonus and other payments of up to $10.3 million. On Friday, Williams confirmed news reports that Johnson’s combined package, including pensions and stock awards, could be worth nearly $45 million.

The combined company will serve more than 7 million customers in North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Florida and South Carolina. Duke Energy’s more than $100 billion in assets include power plants in Central America and South America and a portfolio of wind and solar renewable energy projects in the U.S.

The state investigations come after former Progress Energy board members Alfred Tollison Jr. and John Mullin III said they felt misled about the merger plans.

Mullin wrote the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, stating: “I do not believe that a single director of Progress would have voted for this transaction as structured with the knowledge that the CEO of Duke, Jim Rogers, would remain as the CEO of the combined company.”


Emery Dalesio can be reached at


Don’t Feed Wild Dolphins (Even if They Beg)


This time, our dolphins – a 28-year-old female named Lightning and her male calf, Boomer – took us to the very shallow waters at Bean Point on the northern tip of Anna Maria Island. Tourists and Sarasota Bay residents lay on the beach, and fishing boats languidly floated by mere meters from our boat. While the beachgoers didn’t seem to notice the dolphins, the fishermen certainly did; thankfully, they limited their interactions with the animals to mere observation from a distance. Human feeding of dolphins is a major problem around Sarasota, which is a popular tourist and recreation spot for its well-groomed beaches and scenic drives. In 2011, Katie observed 6,000 boats potentially interacting with dolphins over 100 hours of observation. During this time, an adult male named Beggar was fed at least 520 items, including human snack foods, beer, hot dogs and fruit. Beggar doesn’t make things any easier – he has developed a habit of approaching boats and trying to solicit food and attention from people on them.

Comments Off

Company Bliss


My mom and sister came out for a couple of weeks over summer break in their women’s flip flops and Brazilian flip flops, which is wonderful for me because it means I have some helpers with the kids.  For example, I had the kids get in their swimsuits and white flip flops yesterday and I wore my Oka b. flip flops to the pool.  My mom didn’t feel like swimming, so she stayed home.  While we were at the pool, my little sister (who is fifteen and able to wear women’s flip flops like me) was able to help me with the kids (particularly in watching my four year old son who can’t yet swim), and when we got home to toss our beach flip flops into a pile by the door, my mom had dinner waiting for us.  I can’t tell you the indescribable joy of having dinner already prepared so that the kids are wailing while I try to make it because they are starving after swimming.  

The other fun thing about having visitors is that it spurs us to go out on fun outings more often than we would otherwise.  Today, we are going to put on our Dupe flip flops and the kids will get in their blue flip flops (maybe I should wear my Brazilian flag flip flops, those are always popular) and go to the beach at the lake near our house.  I’ll have my sister to play in the sand with the older kids while I keep an eye on the baby.  And it is always fun to have some other adults to talk to.  

Then, on Monday, we’ll shed our swimsuits and get dressed in something a little bit nicer (like my Oka b. wedge flip flops) for a trip to Chicago.  I like my Oka b. flip flops for big city visits because their massage beads keep my feet feeling comfortable, and these fashion flip flops are classy enough for the big city.  I love having company.

Comments Off

Nikes Air Jordan Ray Allen Player Unique Tennis shoes


Of all the players who have been to the group Jordan model and gotten custom sneakers developed just for them and their team, I do not believe I have ever any of them get as a lot of PEs as Ray Allen has over the years. No matter what team he is on, they seem to constantly take care of him more than at Nikes.

It is at all times very good news for the Basketball followers when they see their preferred sports activities idol in action. Every single sports activities character has his own fan base, and this fan base could be the driving force for the running shoe manufacturers to design the players exclusive edition for their shoe collection. The followers get themselves enthralled whenever there is a launching in the signature collection inside the name of their preferred sports activities personality, and the correct footwear product to match like kicks. Having said that, the scenario changes when we get to see a players unique edition created in another players exclusive edition. That is what precisely happened in case of Jordan XII (12) Ray Allen Sonics House PE from Nikes. In this series, they marked the homecoming of Ray Allen Sonics back again to Nike, and to celebrate his return to Nikes, they launched this collection.

Ray Allen has his personal fan base, but when the collection is designed within the staple and flagship model of Nikes known as Air Jordans version, the craze goes on a high like never before. AJ is still the leading model around the planet, and inclusions of Ray Allen PE version in it truly is just the one particular you might be were eagerly looking for this season. Green is the signature color for Ray Allen, thus you’ll get the patch of inexperienced proper over the upper and on the heel portion too. Green patches are incredibly perfectly counter-balanced with the white around the remainder of this running shoe collection, and golden yellow marks 23, the magic number for your Magic MJ variety.

Personally I am not sure what I would wear with a pair of white and inexperienced greedy genius, but when I assume again to the Jordan IVs I utilized to have again from the day, they at all times seemed to go properly with a pair of jeans and a plain white tshirt. Despite the fact that that was some years ago, and I do not definitely dress like that anymore, I just may be interested in getting these sneaks; despite the fact that I am a single of your biggest Lakers fans inside the planet. What do you think about these sneakers released in behalf of sir Ray Allen, yes. Let us know.

Comments Off

Hope for clever nation


A SURGE in the value of the nations human capital – the knowledge and expertise of its people – has helped offset flagging national income growth from falling commodity prices, boosting Australias wellbeing at an even faster rate than suggested by this weeks national accounts.

The Herald/Lateral Economics index of wellbeing, which measures improvements in human welfare across a range of indicators, not just economic output, grew 2 per cent in the March quarter, compared to growth in gross domestic product of 1.3 per cent.

The biggest contributors to the human capital surge were a rise in the number of adults with formal qualifications, an increase in children in early schooling – thanks mostly to a baby boomlet – and increasing retention rates at high schools. However, rising income inequality continues to detract from wellbeing, as did a slight rise in long-term unemployment.

Its interesting – and laudable – that weve been able to increase the retention rate while unemployment has been relatively low as its easier for kids to get a job rather than go on if there are lots of jobs around, said Nicholas Gruen, chief executive of Lateral Economics and lead author of the index.

Dr Gruen said the growth in human capital was Australias best long-term defence against declining economic growth.

These things are invisible in the national accounts but are the foundation of the productivity dividends of the future. Theyre money in the bank – and one hopes a happier, more intelligent society as well.

A fall in commodity prices meant national disposable income – the biggest contributor to wellbeing – remained flat for the quarter at $285 billion, in contrast to robust growth in GDP. This is because foreigners were paying us less for the increased production. However, offsetting this weak performance, the value of the nations accumulation of human capital is estimated to have grown 7.6 per cent in the March quarter to $102 billion.

Comments Off

You Can’t Have Healthy Businesses Without Strong Government


You Cant Have Healthy Businesses Without Strong Government

— by Dave Johnson

As much as conservatives want to pretend otherwise, you cant have strong, healthy, prospering businesses without a big, strong government. The kinds of businesses that dont want a big, strong government are exactly the kinds of businesses that We, the People dont want.

Government Provides The Soil For Businesses To Thrive

Government creates the public structures that support smaller, innovative business. Government defines the playing field for business, right down to defining and regulating the money itself. Government creates the laws that define what business even is, and the police and courts to enforce that law. Government provides the infrastructure that is the soil in which businesses thrive — or whither and die. Government educates the employees and innovators. Government negotiates the trade agreements that let businesses sell outside our country, and is supposed to protect our businesses from being undercut by those in other countries.

Government keeps larger, ultra-wealthy businesses from dominating, monopolizing and destroying the newer, innovative, disruptive, creative businesses that rise up out of We, the People.

But government can only do those things for us when it is big and strong. And that is why the very people and businesses — and countries — that want to dominate, monopolize, cheat, scam and take everything for themselves at the expense of the rest of us dont want our government to be big and strong enough to stop them.

Government Protects

Imagine this, though it might be difficult: some people are greedy and want more for themselves, at the expense of the rest of us. Yes, this is shocking, but true!

Government protects us from those who would take advantage and take too much. Government does this both domestically and internationally. At home it protects us from criminals and exploiters. Government also protects us from physical and economic threats from other countries. As I discussed last week in Why Cant Apple Make Your IPhone In America? we as a country face an updated, economic-attack version of these threats to our national security,

China sees itself as a country, and we no longer do. China competes with us as a country. But our businesses see themselves as GLOBALIZED, not as part of a country.

So since we – at least our businesses – no longer see themselves as part of a country we are not responding to this competition. We are not mobilizing to fight back.

In fact, China has essentially recruited our own business leaders to fight against our own government.

Government Keeps The System Going

Our system generally works when it is in balance; consumers with jobs and money are customers for our businesses. When customers are coming in the door, companies hire more people to serve them. However, in a system the things that each individual wants to do can be bad if too many of them do those things at the same time.

An example of an unbalanced system: if every driver decided to drive on the same road at the same time no one would be able to move. This is where government is absolutely necessary to regulate the larger system and make sure it maintains balance.

Am economy example: all businesses want to reduce costs, and one way to do this is to cut the number of employees they have, increase the workload of the rest and do what they can to cut their pay and benefits. This is an example of something that each player in a system does that might be good for that individual player, but is really bad for the larger system if they all do it. When too many business reduce costs by cutting employees or paying less, the system collapses from lack of demand. Government is needed to keep businesses from laying off too many people or cutting pay. Sometimes government does this by stepping in and hiring people (or just giving them money like unemployment benefits), or buying things, thereby creating demand, causing businesses to hire. (See Actually, The Rich Dont Create Jobs, We Do.)

Another example: When a business becomes powerful it uses that power to monopolize, to keep competition from being able to compete. Pretty soon there are just a few large businesses that can charge whatever they want. Without strong government to keep this from happening the system breaks down.


Taxes are the payback We, the People receive from our investment in creating the public structures that protect and empower us and enable our business to thrive. Taxes pay for the protections, courts, infrastructure, education and all the rest of the system that creates the prosperity and redistributes that prosperity to all of us, thereby balancing the system.

These diagrams are from Tax Cuts Are Theft, (please click through for more.)

The American Social Contract is supposed to work like this:

A beneficial cycle: We invest in infrastructure and public structures that create the conditions for enterprise to form and prosper. We prepare the ground for business to thrive. When enterprise prospers we share the bounty, with good wages and benefits for the people who work in the businesses and taxes that provide for the general welfare and for reinvestment in the infrastructure and public structures that keep the system going.

We fought hard to develop this system and it worked for us. We, the People fought and built our government to empower and protect us providing social services for the general welfare. We, through our government built up infrastructure and public structures like courts, laws, schools, roads, bridges. That investment creates the conditions that enable commerce to prosper – the bounty of democracy. In return we ask those who benefit most from the enterprise we enabled to share the return on our investment with all of us – through good wages, benefits and taxes.

But the “Reagan Revolution” broke the contract. Since Reagan the system is working like this:

Since the Reagan Revolution with its tax cuts for the rich, its anti-government policies, and its deregulation of the big corporations our democracy is increasingly defunded (and that was the plan), infrastructure is crumbling, our schools are falling behind, factories and supply chains are being dismantled, those still at work are working longer hours for fewer benefits and falling wages, our pensions are gone, wealth and income are increasing concentrating at the very top, our country is declining.

All Of Us Or Just A Few Of Us?

We, the People are the first three words of our Constitution. The writers of the Constitution were making a point, and to drive that point home they also made those three words the only words you can see from any distance:

Comments Off

An Individual Expenditure: Safeguarding Your Living Tools With A Guarantee


Your life style aids are there to protect you. They require safeguarding also, though, if they’re likely to give you the longest and best service they can. A manufacturer’s warranty helps to ensure that the items you purchase to help make life easier for you continue doing that. Without the protection your warranty offers, any issue you could have with your motor scooter, or your new self raising sofa or stair lift, may negate the purpose of buying it to start with.

Be sure to confirm that the dealer you buy from delivers your equipment with the manufacturer’s warranty along with a guarantee of its own. For anyone who is investing in a scooter consider insurance policies and breakdown recovery at the same time.

Securing Your Shopping with the Appropriate Form of Coverage

Talk to an independent dealer about mobility scooter insurance as you buy. There’s no good sense in paying all of that money and leaving your item unguaranteed.

Even though there is actually no regulation that claims you need to insure your motor scooter, all decent sellers advise it. All your mobility aids are valuable devices with regards to cost alone. Insurance policies will cover you against unintentional damage plus unforeseen incidents such as fire and burglary.

An average policy is going to protect your mobility aids irrespective of who makes use of them. It’ll insure you for fire, storm and flood damage in addition to theft. You’ll also obtain public liability insurance cover to the tune of £2m.

The Importance of Obtaining Quality Solutions and Services

Equip yourself with the data you need to make an informed lace underwear acquisition. It’s crucial that you spend your money prudently.

It may sound obvious – yet lots of people fall foul of the urge to cut corners, pay out less, buy something that’s virtually suitable for the job taking place but not quite. With all the Net right here when you need it there’s no need to do anything of the sort. A little shopping around will do more than merely supplying you with the knowledge you’ll want to make the investment you need. It provides you with the widest selection of price tags and deals for similar equipment or solutions.

Look after your choice. Cover it where applicable. Choose prolonged warranties when the service you get is guarding an item of worth or anything which is vital for your convenience or peace of mind.

Types of Mobility Policies and Examples of Affordable Warranties

One of the most popular ways to fall foul of your mobility aid is to obtain a warranty with no knowledge of its boundaries. Make sure that your product is backed up with a distributor’s warranty as well as the manufacturer’s coverage.

Apply identical guidelines you would for any insurance policy or cover purchase decision. Don’t ever sign on the marked line without ever familiarising yourself with all the small print of your plan. There is no point, for example, in purchasing insurance or a guarantee to protect against a particular form of incident (third party injuries, for instance) in case your policy features exceptions that negate payout in these conditions.

The exceptions are often the most important part of any sort of extended warranty simply because they let you know everything you can’t get. Be sure that you understand the limits of yours before you buy. Research the various kinds of plan accessible to you as a mobility product owner, so you can make the best decision concerning the protection you select.

Comments Off

The Swiss Stock Market Closed Solidly Lower After Returning From Holiday


The Swiss Stock Market Closed Solidly Lower After Returning From Holiday

( – The Swiss stock market finished weaker on Friday, after returning from Thursdays holiday. The market began the session to the downside, but managed to recover some ground before turning solidly negative again. The SMI turned in a negative performance for the overall trading week and dropped below the 5,800 point level.

The announcement that Moodys downgraded its ratings on 16 Spanish banks weighed on investors Friday. This was also the Swiss markets first opportunity to react to Thursdays weaker than expected economic reports from the US and the news that Fitch downgraded the creditworthiness of Greece to CCC.

The Swiss Market Index declined by 1.28 percent on Friday and closed at 5,797.76. The Swiss Leader Index fell by 1.73 percent and the Swiss Performance Index lost 1.26 percent.

Julius Baer was one of the largest decliners on Friday, with a loss of 4.1 percent. UBS declined by 2.4 percent and Credit Suisse dropped by 1.3 percent. Swiss Re finished with a loss of 2.9 percent and Baloise fell by 0.8 percent.

Shares of Syngenta dropped by 3.7 percent. Luxury goods companies Richemont and Swatch suffered losses of 2.8 percent and 3.7 percent respectively. Nobel Biocare fell by 2.8 percent and SGS lost 2.7 percent. Actelion declined by 3.1 percent and ABB decreased by 2.8 percent.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial

Comments Off

Buy High Quality Cheap Frameless Shower Doors


Frameless shower doors can help you add both style and capability to your bathroom regardless if you are building from the ground-up or giving your bathroom that upgrade you desperately wanted. There are plenty of explanations why these shower doors increase in popularity among people looking to remodel their bathrooms. You can choose to get your door customized exactly the way you want no matter the amount of space you have for your shower or tub area. However, you need to take into consideration various factors when choosing the right doors.

As you are customizing your frameless shower doors, you will probably be actually creating your doors almost from zero. One of the most important aspects to consider could be the sort of glass that is to get used. Because producers are likely to offer a variety of safety tampered glass anyway, your focus ought to be on the style and the design. You might settle for a standard clear glass until you want anything fancy, however you can look at the selection of other kinds.

For example, many times a grey or bronze tinted glass that goes well with your general decor. Antique glass could render that classic or traditional style amongst contemporary utilities that you might fancy. Rain style glass happens to be generally popular, but you could also consider the similar coral glass. The storm style is just like rain while an ice design has finer details than the coral design. Glacier, crepe and starfire make up even more choices and after you decide on the frameless shower doors company, it’s likely you will have some more.

Hardware Selections for Frameless Shower Doors

You may not have contemplated the importance of the hardware you utilize to work frameless shower doors, but this aspect is simply as important in regards to style as well as to the operation. Among the first things you will likely take a look at may be the door pull. You will find acrylic pull handles, solid pull handles or tubular pull handles in several finishes like white, red and black on top of antique, copper, nickel, chrome, brass and plated styles.

Should you have traditional or protruding ring less shower doors, you can look at contemporary, crystal shower door knobs, Euro, flush ring, junior contemporary, new bulb, protruding ring and traditional styles. You might even accent your doors with towel bars such as acrylic, back to back, single sided, Victorian style and wall mount towel bars and also towel bar and pull handle combinations that you could possibly like.

One of the key attractions of frameless shower door is that it is relatively easy to put in. Actually, you will get your doors installed usually within two days of the customized order when you approach the best manufacturer. However, the cost will depend upon a great deal of factors like the height and width of the doors and how much room you will need to cover, so you’ve to make sure you think about these things.

Comments Off

Can I Search a Person’s Criminal History 100% Free Online


Criminal background checks are executed due to quite a few reasons among but not limited to include confirming if a partner is telling the truth about his or her past, researching a co-worker or next door neighbor and sometimes as a pre-requisite to employing someone. If you ever want to do run background checks on someone it can be done in a matter of minutes with relative ease.

You need to have an internet connection and also data about someone you are checking on.

The initial step is actually visiting the criminal searches website, and then entering the first and last name of the person in the right boxes, ensuring that you do not put a middle initial in the first name box. Then proceed to include the state of your search and you can leave the state box empty if you are not sure then click on search.

If there’s a criminal history identified, you will see a code that could reveal what offence or crime the person committed: something of this nature Behavioral related- Bv, Business related-Bu, Drug or relating to alcohol -D, regarding sex-S, Theft or Robbery related-T, and for traffic or other violations you will see an O.

Simply by clicking on (View Details), the information with regards to case number offence type, code, description, disposition of the said case and the day it was reported will be made available to you.

Make use of the state-of-the-art search option if your initial lookup turned up basically no results, this will likely narrow your search down and enable you to incorporate a middle initial, city and Zip code. It is also possible to search by county, the age range as well as the date of birth.

You can also utilize the law enforcement web page to get a criminal record check.

You visit the public records online directory to make search by state.

You must choose the state where the person you are looking for has resided or possibly living, then go ahead to select the county from the top left menu part of the page, after selecting the website that you want to visit, you will find a link that reads public records, enter the data of the person whose background you are searching. If you can’t find the information you need contact the law enforcement to find out if you can access the information of public records online.