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Parched: Drought issues ripple out to consumers, growers, small businesses
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Parched: Drought issues ripple out to consumers, growers, small businesses

With dry conditions or outright drought  plaguing a significant section of the United States,  it beats me why TV weather people still pull gloomy faces when they’re reporting impending storms;  you’d think they would be leading the dance of joy. Financial writers know that water issues – from crop hydration to the marketing of bottled […]

Quicktips:  Manure expos, funky funerals and travel deals for single parents
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Quicktips: Manure expos, funky funerals and travel deals for single parents

Maybe this column should be called “quirky tips” instead of “quick tips,” because I can’t resist sharing some of the interesting and offbeat jottings from my notebook.  Hopefully you can embrace the oddities and spin an idea or two into a colorful summertime business feature. First off, my ears perked up the other day when […]

Fourth of July stories sparkle on any business beat
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Fourth of July stories sparkle on any business beat

Already 2014 is about half over and the Fourth of July holiday is speeding toward us like a runaway locomotive.  It’s the make-it or break-it bellwether for many summer tourism businesses and particularly interesting this year because the Fourth falls on a Friday, making for an automatic three-day-weekend for many workers. According to Orbitz, many […]

Big beef recall and other woes kick off food-safety season
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Big beef recall and other woes kick off food-safety season

Well, it’s rather a downer for the industry-led National Hamburger Month that there have been a couple of major ground beef fiascos in the past few days, including the news that meat tainted with the e. coli bacteria may be linked to illnesses in four states, as the Los Angeles Times reported.   When 1.8 […]

As World Cup excitement mounts, find local ties to Brazil’s economy
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As World Cup excitement mounts, find local ties to Brazil’s economy

Only a few weeks remain until the kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil – and the much-watched football (or soccer, to those of us in the United States) tournament will bring all eyes to South America’s largest economy. FIFA, by the way, stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association and the league, […]

Restaurants, retailers and consumers react to food price hikes
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Restaurants, retailers and consumers react to food price hikes

Consumers may want to savor their Cinco de Mayo margaritas and guacamole a bit more than usual this year, because reports of pending food price hikes and shortages include the avocado and lime along with other fruits and vegetables.  A platter of fajitas might strain the budget more, too, with beef prices at the highest […]

So just why is 4/20 a day to celebrate pot .. and other marijuana stories ideas
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So just why is 4/20 a day to celebrate pot .. and other marijuana stories ideas

Not all of the grass enjoyed this coming weekend will be that bright green stuff cushioning dyed hard-boiled eggs. In an interesting confluence of events, Easter Sunday shares April 20 with what’s come to be known as National Weed Day, when marijuana is smoked and publicly celebrated in parks and plazas nationwide; Wikipedia calls it […]

Kick off spring by digging into lawn and garden industry trends
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Kick off spring by digging into lawn and garden industry trends

March 20 marks what might just be the most eagerly anticipated first full day of spring in memory, as the majority of consumers nationwide look forward to the end of a very rough winter.  So in a nod to the season of fresh starts, you might want to find some facet of the lawn and […]

Massive beef recall prompts a look at local food-safety concerns
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Massive beef recall prompts a look at local food-safety concerns

News that a staggering 9 million pounds of beef are being recalled by Northern California processing plant, apparently due to incomplete inspection, is the sort of stomach-churning headline that catches readers’ eyes. It follows last month’s tainted-chicken problem, also in California, that eventually sickened prison inmates in Tennessee, according to CorrectionsOne.com, a site with news […]

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