Press and News http://pressnews.com Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:31:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kids’ Harsh Money Lessons http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/kids-harsh-money-lessons/ http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/kids-harsh-money-lessons/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:31:52 +0000 http://pressnews.com/?guid=9f745db0a8159b6a7b1e8faee6e59a0c After last Christmas, millions of people – including maybe you – returned gifts you didn’t want and either exchanged or just pocketed a refund. The process only increased the pressure that exhausts everyone, especially parents: Rush and spend to the limit of your credit, often to help your kids. Your kids are watching, though, and for their own good you must teach realities about money.

Just before Christmas, I got a haircut. My haircutter talked about her only child, a 22-year-old son. She was a single mom who for 15 years supported him with a day-care service in her house before she started cutting hair.

Once her son turned 20, she asked him to pay a modest $100 monthly rent; he agreed. Then he started having his girlfriend over more often and my haircutter asked him to pay more because of the extra food and utilities. He refused and moved in with his grandparents.

My haircutter claimed the grandparents now spoil her son, an only grandchild they appear to see as capable of no wrong. The son attends the local community college and does not yet have a career.

The issue here is not the son paying $100 or $200 a month, but his learning to live in the real world where most people work hard every day to pay for rent, utilities, food and a car to get to work. If you know anything about the eating habits of a 22-year-old man and his girlfriend, my haircutter’s food bill alone probably hit $400 a month.

Rent for even a studio apartment averages more than $600 a month nationwide, not including utilities. When one adds $400 of food for two who are in their 20s, the minimum cost would be $1,000 per month for food and rent. The grandparents are making a big mistake not charging him rent, not to mention undermining the authority of his mom.

Many of the Greatest Generation (born between 1901 and 1924) or the Silent Generation (born between 1925 through 1945) complain about the money attitudes of boomers and boomers’ kids. Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, benefited from the Great Depression hardships of their parents – moms and dads who vowed to save their children from suffering and who, consequently, often seemed to spoil the boomer kids.

Boomers in turn spoil their kids, so the trend simply accelerates. In this first American generation where most wives worked outside the home, material items sometimes substituted for quality family time. Many boomers’ kids grow up with their own room, television, computer, smartphone and eventually their own car.

A recent survey also showed that Americans largely believe their children know little about finances yet also talk to their kids about money only a handful of days annually: a scary disconnect.

Young-adult millennials must often live at home; those who hold college degrees also often hold jobs unrelated to a chosen career – if employed at all. Between huge student loan debt (more than $28,000, on average, for the recent graduate) and bad job prospects, these kids delay marriage and owning a home.

Serious numbers, serious decisions and no clear solution: Giving too much support to your kids and grandkids usually only fosters unrealistic expectations. Your job, like it or not, is to use money to teach kids about an increasingly harsh real world.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Dr. Harold Wong earned his Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley and passed the CPA exam in 1979. He has appeared on more than 400 television and radio programs and published numerous articles in 1,600 newspapers. He writes the column on money for The Arizona Republic, the largest daily newspaper in Arizona, where this article originally appeared in different form. Dr. Wong is a tax advisor and financial educator. He can be reached at (480) 706-0177, haroldwong1@yahoo.com, or www.drharoldwong.com.You can find much of his archived research at www.DrWongInvestorGuide.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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After last Christmas, millions of people – including maybe you – returned gifts you didn’t want and either exchanged or just pocketed a refund. The process only increased the pressure that exhausts everyone, especially parents: Rush and spend to the limit of your credit, often to help your kids. Your kids are watching, though, and for their own good you must teach realities about money.

Just before Christmas, I got a haircut. My haircutter talked about her only child, a 22-year-old son. She was a single mom who for 15 years supported him with a day-care service in her house before she started cutting hair.

Once her son turned 20, she asked him to pay a modest $100 monthly rent; he agreed. Then he started having his girlfriend over more often and my haircutter asked him to pay more because of the extra food and utilities. He refused and moved in with his grandparents.

My haircutter claimed the grandparents now spoil her son, an only grandchild they appear to see as capable of no wrong. The son attends the local community college and does not yet have a career.

The issue here is not the son paying $100 or $200 a month, but his learning to live in the real world where most people work hard every day to pay for rent, utilities, food and a car to get to work. If you know anything about the eating habits of a 22-year-old man and his girlfriend, my haircutter’s food bill alone probably hit $400 a month.

Rent for even a studio apartment averages more than $600 a month nationwide, not including utilities. When one adds $400 of food for two who are in their 20s, the minimum cost would be $1,000 per month for food and rent. The grandparents are making a big mistake not charging him rent, not to mention undermining the authority of his mom.

Many of the Greatest Generation (born between 1901 and 1924) or the Silent Generation (born between 1925 through 1945) complain about the money attitudes of boomers and boomers’ kids. Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, benefited from the Great Depression hardships of their parents – moms and dads who vowed to save their children from suffering and who, consequently, often seemed to spoil the boomer kids.

Boomers in turn spoil their kids, so the trend simply accelerates. In this first American generation where most wives worked outside the home, material items sometimes substituted for quality family time. Many boomers’ kids grow up with their own room, television, computer, smartphone and eventually their own car.

A recent survey also showed that Americans largely believe their children know little about finances yet also talk to their kids about money only a handful of days annually: a scary disconnect.

Young-adult millennials must often live at home; those who hold college degrees also often hold jobs unrelated to a chosen career – if employed at all. Between huge student loan debt (more than $28,000, on average, for the recent graduate) and bad job prospects, these kids delay marriage and owning a home.

Serious numbers, serious decisions and no clear solution: Giving too much support to your kids and grandkids usually only fosters unrealistic expectations. Your job, like it or not, is to use money to teach kids about an increasingly harsh real world.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Dr. Harold Wong earned his Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley and passed the CPA exam in 1979. He has appeared on more than 400 television and radio programs and published numerous articles in 1,600 newspapers. He writes the column on money for The Arizona Republic, the largest daily newspaper in Arizona, where this article originally appeared in different form. Dr. Wong is a tax advisor and financial educator. He can be reached at (480) 706-0177, haroldwong1@yahoo.com, or www.drharoldwong.com.You can find much of his archived research at www.DrWongInvestorGuide.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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3 Financial Must-Dos http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/3-financial-must-dos/ http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/3-financial-must-dos/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:31:45 +0000 http://pressnews.com/?guid=b10c1320633bcab0d8168de5c563a7de Winter is a good time to improve your financial life, making good moves for the rest of the year. Here is a trio of things to get done:

Investigate 401(k) matching contributions from your employer. Most 401(k) plans provide for employer matching contributions, often around 5% of your pay, though percentages can vary.

The match consists of your employer contributing a certain dollar amount to your 401(k) account based on the sum you contribute. Let’s say your plan has a dollar-for-dollar employer match up to $1,500. For every dollar you contribute to your account, your employer will also kick in the same amount. Once you contribute the whole $1,500, your employer stops contributing.

Think about it: You and your employer both put in $1,500 and now your 401(k) account is worth $3,000 more – half of it free money from your employer. Plans differ widely; check with your human resources department or supervisor to determine your company’s matches.

Start a savings account. Problems putting money aside? One good solution: Have a set amount automatically taken from your paycheck and deposited into a separate account, such as a savings, money market (MMA) or mutual fund account. MMAs and mutual fund accounts often require higher opening balances but pay more interest.

Start slow, socking away $25, $50 or $100 each month. Double the amount after about six months. If you deposit $25 a month and double it in half a year to $50 a month, by this time next year you will have $450 extra.

Put away $50 a month, double it to $100 in half a year and after 12 months you sock away $900. Start with $100 a month and double in six months and in a year you save $1,800. You get the idea.

Another option might be an online savings account, easy to establish and link to your checking account for movement back and forth. Some carry no fees or minimum balance, and they also tend to pay slightly more interest than the types of accounts above.

Track expenses. Not sure what you and your family spend? Having trouble staying on those day-to-day budgets? Try this over four days:

Taking no more than 30 minutes, write down all your monthly fixed expenses such as mortgage or rent, internet access fees and car payments. Include what dollar amount you spent on each. Do this first step from your memory and put your list aside for a day.

On the second day, again in no more than 30 minutes, look through your checkbook and see what monthly expenses you forgot to write down and correct any amounts you misquoted. Add in monthly variable expenses, such as clothing, groceries, car maintenance and fuel, as well as utilities such as electricity, gas, oil and water.

Once again in just half an hour, pull out your credit card bills on the third day and come to terms with what and how much you charge and still owe. Note all finance charges and late fees. Finally, on the last day pull all your expenses together.

Any revelations? At this point, you have good information and the perfect chance to improve your spending habits.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kimberly J. Howard, CFP, CRPC, ADPA, is a Certified Financial Planner and the owner of KJH Financial Services, a Fee-Only practice located in Newton, Mass. and Denver (781-413-4879). Please visit us at www.kjhfinancialservices.com or email Kim at kim@kjhfinancialservices.com. Follow on Twitter at @kimhowardcfp.
 
AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Winter is a good time to improve your financial life, making good moves for the rest of the year. Here is a trio of things to get done:

Investigate 401(k) matching contributions from your employer. Most 401(k) plans provide for employer matching contributions, often around 5% of your pay, though percentages can vary.

The match consists of your employer contributing a certain dollar amount to your 401(k) account based on the sum you contribute. Let’s say your plan has a dollar-for-dollar employer match up to $1,500. For every dollar you contribute to your account, your employer will also kick in the same amount. Once you contribute the whole $1,500, your employer stops contributing.

Think about it: You and your employer both put in $1,500 and now your 401(k) account is worth $3,000 more – half of it free money from your employer. Plans differ widely; check with your human resources department or supervisor to determine your company’s matches.

Start a savings account. Problems putting money aside? One good solution: Have a set amount automatically taken from your paycheck and deposited into a separate account, such as a savings, money market (MMA) or mutual fund account. MMAs and mutual fund accounts often require higher opening balances but pay more interest.

Start slow, socking away $25, $50 or $100 each month. Double the amount after about six months. If you deposit $25 a month and double it in half a year to $50 a month, by this time next year you will have $450 extra.

Put away $50 a month, double it to $100 in half a year and after 12 months you sock away $900. Start with $100 a month and double in six months and in a year you save $1,800. You get the idea.

Another option might be an online savings account, easy to establish and link to your checking account for movement back and forth. Some carry no fees or minimum balance, and they also tend to pay slightly more interest than the types of accounts above.

Track expenses. Not sure what you and your family spend? Having trouble staying on those day-to-day budgets? Try this over four days:

Taking no more than 30 minutes, write down all your monthly fixed expenses such as mortgage or rent, internet access fees and car payments. Include what dollar amount you spent on each. Do this first step from your memory and put your list aside for a day.

On the second day, again in no more than 30 minutes, look through your checkbook and see what monthly expenses you forgot to write down and correct any amounts you misquoted. Add in monthly variable expenses, such as clothing, groceries, car maintenance and fuel, as well as utilities such as electricity, gas, oil and water.

Once again in just half an hour, pull out your credit card bills on the third day and come to terms with what and how much you charge and still owe. Note all finance charges and late fees. Finally, on the last day pull all your expenses together.

Any revelations? At this point, you have good information and the perfect chance to improve your spending habits.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kimberly J. Howard, CFP, CRPC, ADPA, is a Certified Financial Planner and the owner of KJH Financial Services, a Fee-Only practice located in Newton, Mass. and Denver (781-413-4879). Please visit us at www.kjhfinancialservices.com or email Kim at kim@kjhfinancialservices.com. Follow on Twitter at @kimhowardcfp.
 
AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Champlin Park Nordic skiers going strong into section meet http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/champlin-park-nordic-skiers-going-strong-into-section-meet/ http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/champlin-park-nordic-skiers-going-strong-into-section-meet/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:31:53 +0000 http://pressnews.com/?p=135522  By Matthew Davis

Sun Post Newspapers

Champlin Park’s Nordic ski teams have posted strong finishes in the final weeks leading up to the section meet.

Rebecca Kolstad serves as the team captain for the Champlin Park Nordic girls ski team. (Photo by Craig Crandall)

Rebecca Kolstad serves as the team captain for the Champlin Park Nordic girls ski team. (Photo by Craig Crandall)

The Rebels boys teams may have a lot of youth, but they have a lot of talent and could make some noise at the Section 5 meet on Wednesday, Feb. 4.

“If all our skiers race to their ability we can be a top five team,” Rebels coach Charlie Rietschel said. “No matter how well the boys do, the future is looking very bright. Out of the top seven boy skiers, one is a senior, five are sophomores, and one is a freshman.”

In the ABC relays at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis on Jan. 17, the Rebels had a couple of relay teams finish in the top five. The skiers raced in a 4×3 kilometer relay with the first two relay team members skiing classic and then the last two on the team skiing skate ski.

Rebels boys team A finished third among the 36 relay teams at the meet. Sophomores Ian Ivens, Drew Carlson, Peter Scheller and Luke Crandall raced for the team A.

Ian Ivens helped Champlin Park have a strong showing in last final meets of the regular season. (Photo by Craig Crandall)

Ian Ivens helped Champlin Park have a strong showing in last final meets of the regular season. (Photo by Craig Crandall)

Crandall, who had a third-best time for skate skiers in the meet, won a meet individually earlier that week on Jan. 15. Ivens finished at the relays with the third-fastest overall time among classic skiers.

At the Elm Creek meet on Jan. 15, the Rebels won the meet as a team led by Crandall’s first-place finish. The girls team fared well at that meet in second place behind the state’s No. 2-ranked team, Robbinsdale Armstrong.

“The team is skiing well right now, and it should be fun to see them race,” Rietschel said of the girls team. “Our number one skier all year long is sophomore Diana Glebova, and she has been putting up good race times as of late.”

In the ABC relays, the Rebels girls A team finished fifth among the 35 girls relay teams in the meet. Glebova had the second-fastest classic time overall, and Rebecca Kolstad had the eighth-best overall skate time. Sydney Crandall and Jennifer Omann also raced for the Rebels A team.

The Rebels Nordic teams will ski at Theodore Wirth Park on Wednesday, Feb. 4 for the Section 5 meet with state entrant spots on the line.

 

Contact Matthew Davis at matthew.davis@ecm-inc.com

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Closing the Gap http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/closing-the-gap/ http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/closing-the-gap/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:27:18 +0000 http://pressnews.com/?p=135514 Champlin Park boys hockey players celebrate a goal against Centennial in a 4-3 loss on Tuesday, Jan. 20. The Rebels have played each conference opponent closer a second time around. It led to the navy-and-silver’s first conference victory against Andover 3-1 Saturday, Jan. 24. (Sun Post staff photo by Matthew Davis)

Champlin Park boys hockey players celebrate a goal against Centennial in a 4-3 loss on Tuesday, Jan. 20. The Rebels have played each conference opponent closer a second time around. It led to the navy-and-silver’s first conference victory against Andover 3-1 Saturday, Jan. 24. (Sun Post staff photo by Matthew Davis)

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Rebels down Crimson in girls hoops http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/rebels-down-crimson-in-girls-hoops/ http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/rebels-down-crimson-in-girls-hoops/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:20:12 +0000 http://pressnews.com/?p=135506 Allison Gerads had a team-high 21 points for Champlin Park as the Rebels girls basketball team beat Maple Grove 66-55 in teh first game of a boys-girls doubleheader with the Crimson Tuesday, Jan. 20. (Photo by Rich Moll - richmollphotography.com)

Allison Gerads had a team-high 21 points for Champlin Park as the Rebels girls basketball team beat Maple Grove 66-55 in teh first game of a boys-girls doubleheader with the Crimson Tuesday, Jan. 20. (Photo by Rich Moll – richmollphotography.com)

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Clean sweep of top-five schedule complete for Rebels http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/clean-sweep-of-top-five-schedule-complete-for-rebels/ http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/clean-sweep-of-top-five-schedule-complete-for-rebels/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:17:13 +0000 http://pressnews.com/?p=135437  By Matthew Davis

Sun Post Newspapers

Champlin Park, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A boys basketball, won’t look past any opponent but may have to practice extra-focused to get ready for the postseason.

The Rebels complete a 7-0 sweep of top-ten ranked teams on their schedule with five of those games coming against top-five teams. A comeback win over Maple Grove, ranked No. 6 at the time, sealed the perfect mark on Tuesday, Jan. 20 in a 73-58 victory.

Theo John blocked a shot late in Champlin Park’s game against Maple Grove on Tuesday, Jan. 20. (Photo by Rich Moll – richmollphotography.com)

Theo John blocked a shot late in Champlin Park’s game against Maple Grove on Tuesday, Jan. 20. (Photo by Rich Moll – richmollphotography.com)

Champlin Park had gone back-and-forth with the No. 6 Crimson but pulled away for a 73-58 victory at CPHS. With aggressiveness to the basket by the Rebels, the Crimson ended up in foul trouble during the second half, including top-scorer Brad Davison fouling out.

“By attacking defenses, you’re going to draw those fouls,” Rebels coach Mark Tuchscherer said. “Our guys have a knack for that.”

Maple Grove last held the lead at 52-51 with 7:38 left in the game on a basket by Tywhon Pickford from a back door pass. Pickford capitalized on that play several times en route to a team-high 19 points.

“We were talking about it, but our guys just kind of got caught watching the paint dry as they say,” Tuchscherer said.

Jeremy Johnson provided a spark on offense in the second half for Champlin Park in a 73-58 win over Maple Grove. (Photo by Rich Moll - richmollphotography.com)

Jeremy Johnson provided a spark on offense in the second half for Champlin Park in a 73-58 win over Maple Grove. (Photo by Rich Moll – richmollphotography.com)

Champlin Park responded with 12-0 run after Pickford’s basket to pull away. Aaron Kloeppner stole the ball on the next Crimson possession, which led to the start of the Rebels run. Jeremy Johnson buried a three-pointer at 4:55 for a 58-52 lead, and he later grabbed a defensive rebound that led to a JT Gibson lay-up for a ten-point cushion.

With the win, the Rebels achieved their longest win streak in school history with a 17-0 start to the season. Ultimately, the navy-and-silver want to lift the first state championship trophy in school history when March arrives.

Champlin Park’s Theo John throws down a dunk for two of his nine points in the Rebels’ victory over Maple Grove on Tuesday, Jan. 20. (Photo by Rich Moll - richmollphotography.com)

Champlin Park’s Theo John throws down a dunk for two of his nine points in the Rebels’ victory over Maple Grove on Tuesday, Jan. 20. (Photo by Rich Moll – richmollphotography.com)

 

But until the postseason arrives, Champlin Park’s biggest challenge may be testing themselves. Only four teams remain on their schedule with winning records, and the Rebels have beaten most them once already by large margins.

Edina (13-5) out of the Lake Conference may pose the biggest challenge left on Monday, Feb. 9. The Hornets go up against top teams Hopkins, Eden Prairie and Minnetonka twice each in the Lake.

Contact Matthew Davis at matthew.davis@ecm-inc.com

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Maple Grove hears concern regarding dispensary http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/maple-grove-hears-concern-regarding-dispensary/ http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/maple-grove-hears-concern-regarding-dispensary/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:12:11 +0000 http://pressnews.com/?p=135495 The Maple Grove City Council heard from a resident expressing concern about the potential future medical cannabis dispensary in the city during its Tuesday, Jan. 20 meeting.

Resident Teresa Lunt came before the council during open forum to follow up with the council regarding an email she sent earlier. “To refresh your memory, in that email I had forwarded you information I had received from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Medical Cannabis, under the direction of Michelle Larson, asking her if there was any way that a city can prevent a cannabis distribution site from being located within its boundaries,” she said. “I received a response that basically, as you know, cities have the authority to zone their property and allow certain uses in each zone.”

Lunt added that four cities in the state currently have passed moratoria on allowing medical cannabis distribution sites within those city limits. This allows the cities to study if is an allowable use or how it should be defined under zoning ordinances for that particular city.

“Those moratoria have the affect of stopping a distribution site from being within the city limits because the moratoria would be in affect passed the time at which the manufactures have to make a siding decision,” Lunt said.

City Administrator Al Madsen addressed Lunt. He said, “We’re looking a variety of options, one could certainly be a moratorium, but we are looking at other items as well. The perspective cannabis dispensary business has not entered into any lease agreements with any of our multi-tenant buildings and not has entered into purchase agreement or lease agreement with any free-standing buildings at this time.”

Lunt added, “And I just want to make sure that doesn’t happen. So that is the reason for my request.”

Also during the meeting, the council dealt with a business that violated its liquor license. The council also approved plans for maintenance on the East Fish Water Tower.

LIQUOR LICENSE VIOLATION

Another topic of discussion during the meeting, was a liquor license violation by Mt. Fuji Restaurant. This is the restaurant’s first violation.

The Maple Grove Police Department conducted compliance checks for liquor license holders within the city on Dec. 2. Alcohol was served to a minor undercover/decoy at Mt. Fuji.

The council directed the city attorney to prepare appropriate findings of fact and conclusion in support of the decision to suspend the on-sale/Sunday sale intoxicating liquor license for Mt. Fuji for two consecutive days for a first violation and impose a civil penalty of $2,000 for consideration at the next council meeting.

WATER TOWER MAINTENANCE

Also the council approved plans and specifications for the East Fish Water Tower maintenance project and authorized for the advertisement for bids.

City staff has prepared specifications for painting the East Fish water tower structure, making minor structural repairs and updating the facility to current safety standards. The project will include removing and repainting the entire interior coating system, which was last done in 1973. Also the project will include removing and repainting the entire exterior coat, which was last done in 1998. The painting will maintain the existing color scheme and logo.

Work is expected to take about 13 weeks to complete. The project will take place between April and July.

Bids are scheduled to be opened Feb. 18 and the bid should be awarded at the first City Council meeting in March.

OTHER

In other action, the council:

APPROVED the hiring of Mark Getty to the position of Probationary Paid-on-Call Firefighter effective Jan. 21, subject to an 18-month probationary period.

ACCEPTED the hiring of Jolene Nelson to the position of Office Clerk-Public Works effective Feb. 9, subject to a 12-month probationary period.

APPROVED the hiring of Cassandra Boser to the position of Animal Containment Coordinator in the Police Department effective Feb. 9, subject to a 12-month probationary period.

 
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Dollar’s Rise: a Good Sign http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/dollars-rise-a-good-sign/ http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/dollars-rise-a-good-sign/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:30:56 +0000 http://pressnews.com/?guid=00f6594d019be687cd70edd2a24ea9f2 The dollar serves as an excellent prognosticator for the U.S. economy. Its remarkable strengthening lately serves as very positive signal. With the help of low interest rates and an improving economy, the dollar’s dominance should continue for a good while.

In late 2007 with a weak dollar it took roughly $1.57 to buy a euro. Now with a stronger dollar, it only takes a little less than $1.14 to buy one euro. Economic trends are cyclical, and we are in a cycle of dollar strengthening as foreign central banks weaken currencies to attack economic ills. What does that tell you as an investor?

As a dedicated traveler, this writer recalls the pain when the euro was north of $1.50. Europe was expensive. U.S. national parks and ski resorts were full of European tourists as America, even with airfare thrown in, was on sale.

Now the dollar buys more all over the world. That’s good news if you are planning a bucket list trip abroad. Pundits see the euro dropping further. Goldman Sachs predicts parity to the dollar by 2017, a level not seen since 2002 when the euro debuted. What’s behind these moves?

The global credit crunch, which induced recession and the 2008 market crash, introduced a new term to investors – quantitative easing (QE). In response to the financial crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sought to stimulate lending and economic activity by depressing interest rates. He also “created money,” by buying mortgage bonds and government bonds.

By July 2012, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rate hit a multi-decade low of 1.38%. After trending upward a bit, the 10-year has headed back down again, lately hitting 1.83%. Lower interest rates decrease the cost of government and consumer borrowing, and supposedly prod businesses and households to invest. QE can boost asset prices like stocks and real estate, something Bernanke wanted to bolster confidence.

When central banks engage in QE and other forms of stimulus, including money creation, currency weakens. The Fed has ended QE, signaling that policy will return to normal at some point, perhaps this year with an increase in interest rates. The Kiplinger newsletter sees the 10-year Treasury rate at 3.1% by yearend 2015.

Central banks also use QE to boost inflationary expectations. The theory is that, if consumers expect money to be worth less in the future, they will buy now and boost demand. Low interest rates penalize savers, and reward borrowers and spenders. The U.S. Fed has set 2% as an inflation target. Kiplinger forecasts inflation at 2% by the end of 2015, with gross domestic product growth at over 3% annually.

The current Fed chairwoman, Janet Yellen, will not surprise markets with rapid interest rate boosts in 2015. Trained as a labor economist, she watches wages and unemployment and underemployment as an indicator. Job numbers are improving, but wage growth remains weak. Combined with lower gas prices, consumer spending should get a boost.

But with too many people in part-time jobs and a dearth of full-time opportunities, labor force participation rates remain low at levels not seen since the late 1970s, increasing Yellen’s cautious approach.

On the surface, America is the shining star in the global economic sky, reflected in rising stock prices. Yet when governments in other economies apply stimulus, that signals the beginning of a recovery cycle. Investors who bought stock and selected real estate in 2009-2011 as the U.S. central bank applied stimulus were financially prescient and have profited.

Increased volatility notwithstanding, don’t abandon global asset allocations. As bankers in Europe, Japan, China and elsewhere depreciate currency and apply stimulus, sharp-eyed money managers are trolling for bargains. Bargain seekers also are eying depressed natural resource stocks relative to the next cycle. Money goes where it is best treated, and the U.S. stock market still is the deepest and most liquid on the planet.

Even with wage growth, inflation is not likely to accelerate near term over Federal Reserve targets. With bargain conscious consumers armed with smartphones trolling for bargains, it is difficult for companies to raise prices. Black Friday saw increased competition from Cyber Monday.

Lending has been anemic in the U.S. but that is changing. Commercial and industrial lending is picking up—a positive. In short, equity investors should retain a good balance between American and international equities. And plan that long-delayed trip to Europe. A good house wine in France (cuvée du patron), Italy (vino della casa) or Spain (vino de la casa) is a much better deal than it was not long ago. Santé.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Lewis Walker, CFP, is president of Walker Capital Management, LCC in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Securities and certain advisory services offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc. (SFA). Lewis Walker is a registered representative of The SFA, which is otherwise unaffiliated with Walker Capital Management. 770-441-2603. lewisw@theinvestmentcoach.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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The dollar serves as an excellent prognosticator for the U.S. economy. Its remarkable strengthening lately serves as very positive signal. With the help of low interest rates and an improving economy, the dollar’s dominance should continue for a good while.

In late 2007 with a weak dollar it took roughly $1.57 to buy a euro. Now with a stronger dollar, it only takes a little less than $1.14 to buy one euro. Economic trends are cyclical, and we are in a cycle of dollar strengthening as foreign central banks weaken currencies to attack economic ills. What does that tell you as an investor?

As a dedicated traveler, this writer recalls the pain when the euro was north of $1.50. Europe was expensive. U.S. national parks and ski resorts were full of European tourists as America, even with airfare thrown in, was on sale.

Now the dollar buys more all over the world. That’s good news if you are planning a bucket list trip abroad. Pundits see the euro dropping further. Goldman Sachs predicts parity to the dollar by 2017, a level not seen since 2002 when the euro debuted. What’s behind these moves?

The global credit crunch, which induced recession and the 2008 market crash, introduced a new term to investors – quantitative easing (QE). In response to the financial crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sought to stimulate lending and economic activity by depressing interest rates. He also “created money,” by buying mortgage bonds and government bonds.

By July 2012, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rate hit a multi-decade low of 1.38%. After trending upward a bit, the 10-year has headed back down again, lately hitting 1.83%. Lower interest rates decrease the cost of government and consumer borrowing, and supposedly prod businesses and households to invest. QE can boost asset prices like stocks and real estate, something Bernanke wanted to bolster confidence.

When central banks engage in QE and other forms of stimulus, including money creation, currency weakens. The Fed has ended QE, signaling that policy will return to normal at some point, perhaps this year with an increase in interest rates. The Kiplinger newsletter sees the 10-year Treasury rate at 3.1% by yearend 2015.

Central banks also use QE to boost inflationary expectations. The theory is that, if consumers expect money to be worth less in the future, they will buy now and boost demand. Low interest rates penalize savers, and reward borrowers and spenders. The U.S. Fed has set 2% as an inflation target. Kiplinger forecasts inflation at 2% by the end of 2015, with gross domestic product growth at over 3% annually.

The current Fed chairwoman, Janet Yellen, will not surprise markets with rapid interest rate boosts in 2015. Trained as a labor economist, she watches wages and unemployment and underemployment as an indicator. Job numbers are improving, but wage growth remains weak. Combined with lower gas prices, consumer spending should get a boost.

But with too many people in part-time jobs and a dearth of full-time opportunities, labor force participation rates remain low at levels not seen since the late 1970s, increasing Yellen’s cautious approach.

On the surface, America is the shining star in the global economic sky, reflected in rising stock prices. Yet when governments in other economies apply stimulus, that signals the beginning of a recovery cycle. Investors who bought stock and selected real estate in 2009-2011 as the U.S. central bank applied stimulus were financially prescient and have profited.

Increased volatility notwithstanding, don’t abandon global asset allocations. As bankers in Europe, Japan, China and elsewhere depreciate currency and apply stimulus, sharp-eyed money managers are trolling for bargains. Bargain seekers also are eying depressed natural resource stocks relative to the next cycle. Money goes where it is best treated, and the U.S. stock market still is the deepest and most liquid on the planet.

Even with wage growth, inflation is not likely to accelerate near term over Federal Reserve targets. With bargain conscious consumers armed with smartphones trolling for bargains, it is difficult for companies to raise prices. Black Friday saw increased competition from Cyber Monday.

Lending has been anemic in the U.S. but that is changing. Commercial and industrial lending is picking up—a positive. In short, equity investors should retain a good balance between American and international equities. And plan that long-delayed trip to Europe. A good house wine in France (cuvée du patron), Italy (vino della casa) or Spain (vino de la casa) is a much better deal than it was not long ago. Santé.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Lewis Walker, CFP, is president of Walker Capital Management, LCC in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Securities and certain advisory services offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc. (SFA). Lewis Walker is a registered representative of The SFA, which is otherwise unaffiliated with Walker Capital Management. 770-441-2603. lewisw@theinvestmentcoach.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Huang emerged into key Alpine skier for Rebels http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/135425/ http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/135425/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:43:31 +0000 http://pressnews.com/?p=135425 By Matthew Davis

Sun Post Newspapers

Belinda Huang’s experience of a school ski trip in the sixth grade turned out to mean more for her than just a fun field trip day.

Huang, who had never skied before, now could help the Champlin Park Rebels girls Alpine ski team have a big day at the upcoming Section 7 meet on Feb. 3.

Belinda Huang has made stride from a being a beginning skier as a ninth-grader to being a section meet participant.

Belinda Huang has made stride from a being a beginning skier as a ninth-grader to being a section meet participant.

“She’s gone from somebody who can barely stand on the hills to arguably our fourth or fifth-fastest skier,” Rebels coach Gary Phleger said.

Huang met Phleger’s daughter, Allison, who skis for the Rebels in a science class during the ninth grade. Huang learned about the ski team from Allison and wanted to give it a try since she enjoyed the sixth-grade ski trip. Since the ninth-grade, Huang has skied for the Rebels and has made strides from being a beginner on the slopes to a section meet participant.

“She’s a hard worker,” Gary said. “She has a lot of discipline.”

Her off-the-slopes activities complement her improved skiing. Huang excels academically and is a candidate for the IB diploma in the spring, and she’s won several science fair competitions. The Rebels senior has strong musical ability as a piano player and member of the school’s orchestra.

Belinda Huang

Belinda Huang

 

“She’s very analytical,” Gary said. “She really tries to listen to her coaches, watch her teammates and then constantly challenge herself to use that information to improve her skiing.”

Huang also gives the Rebels additional points for meets, which could make a difference at the Section 7 meet in Giants Ridge. Champlin Park has talented top skiers in Allison Phleger, Lisa Dalman and Terra Dalman; they could compete in the 20-plus team field for a section title with powerhouses such as Mounds View and Stillwater. Zoey Rugel has also been contributing significant points for the Rebels in meets this season.

Contact Matthew Davis at matthew.davis@ecm-inc.com

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New mayor, council take oath in Rogers http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/new-mayor-council-take-oath-in-rogers/ http://pressnews.com/2015/01/28/new-mayor-council-take-oath-in-rogers/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:29:05 +0000 http://pressnews.com/?p=135418 RogOaths RogOaths_2Rogers Mayor Rick Ihli takes the oath of office from assistant city administrator/clerk Stacy Scharber. Also taking the oath administered by Scharber are councilors Mark Eiden, left, and Bruce Gorecki. (Photos by Sue Webber)

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