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Mosquito Squad truck
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Consumers itch and businesess profit as mosquitos swarm

By on Jun 20, 2014

As one of those lucky people generally ignored by stinging and biting insects, it was dismaying a week or two ago to be covered in itchy red welts after just a little while outdoors planting flower pots.  A few days later the graveside rites at a funeral I attended were actually cut short as mourners […]

self publishing books
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Self-publishing industry empowers local authors, service providers

Several of the best new books I’ve read lately have had one thing in common: They’ve lacked any sort of publisher’s imprint on the inside cover or title pages. Self-publishing, in either hardcopy or e-book format, is a fast-growing sector, driven by authors too impatient to wait for a traditional publisher’s verdict on their work, or […]

Auto repair school
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Spotlight auto repair as a career path and a local economic indicator

Today kicks off Automotive Service Professionals Week, an industry observance that runs June 9-15, according to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). In light of last week’s monthly report on U.S. car sales – which in May reflected a sales pace not seen since before the recession, after nearly a decade of consumers […]

Campers seeking posh digs drive a boom in the business of 'glamping'
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Campers seeking posh digs drive a boom in the business of ‘glamping’

You know that phenomenon when a certain word or phrase suddenly starts cropping up everywhere you turn?  Sometimes such a buzz can mean that a topic is ripe for a business or financial feature, and for me lately the term has been “glamping.” The trend of luxury camping is not new but for some reason […]

Checking out Pride London 2013 photos
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Around the U.S., June means LGBT pride and profit

One of June’s most widespread observances is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, which as this Library of Congress history page notes, commemorates the Stonewall riots in Manhattan which were a milestone in the gay liberation movement in the 1960s. Celebrations in the form of parades, parties, rallies and so on will be […]

Lifeguards
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Help readers explore ideas for money-making summer service businesses

Headlines say “Teens still face a tough jobs market,” and other reports over the past couple of months have advised high school & college students – and anyone seeking seasonal employment this year – to apply early and often. I’ve seen more “Now Hiring” signs this spring than in several years, but some procrastinators may […]

Man on bile with scrap metal in grocery basket
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New crime data prompts new look at multi-billion scrap metal business

We all have our quirks and one that I’ll admit to involves a rather odd fascination good trash-to-treasure stories. No, you won’t find me peering into neighbor’s bins under cover of darkness, but the industries surrounding solid waste, recycling and scrap always seem to be under-the-rader-screen sources of interesting story nuggets. The notion of scrap […]

Coupons Living Social images
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Online promos: What’s working, what’s not for your local merchants?

With Groupon Inc. set to release earnings May 6, it’s a good opportunity to take a look at the evolution of the daily deals / couponing craze several years after it peaked. (And Mother’s Day, coming up May 11, likely will drive even more than the usual number of promos, which will help you find […]

fresh fruit market in spain
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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 […]