NEW YORK, Nov 16 (Reuters) – With superstorm Sandy causing
an estimated $50 billion in damages, residents of the U.S.
Northeast region face untold months of home repair and
rebuilding. Even home improvement experts like Tom Kraeutler
were affected, although the New Jersey shore resident fared much
better than his neighbors.
“Thankfully, we had installed a natural gas-powered standby
generator years ago,” says Kraeutler, an author and co-host of
“The Money Pit” radio program. “It ran for seven days straight
and kept most of the home’s essential circuits going.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leave it to a financial adviser like Christopher Clayton of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, to keep a running tab on how much Superstorm Sandy has cost him out of his own pocket — money that no insurance company or federal emergency agency is going to cover.
Clayton says he is looking at close to $7,500 in expenses, and he’s still counting. He paid $2,000 to clear the cracked portion of a 100-year-old tree from his yard; his homeowner’s insurance only covers removal if the tree hit his house. There was the $700 in extra child care and close to $5,000 in lost business, in part because he’s been without a personal assistant for close to a week — she got stranded on Long Island during the storm and wasn’t able to get into the office for days.
By Lou Carlozo
(Reuters) – Bernhard Kappe, the chief executive officer of Chicago’s Pathfinder Software, steps up to a dry erase board and draws a crude graph, its slope curves upward. Then he plots a point in the middle to show where the city’s web entrepreneurs stand in terms of growth and progress.
“These things take 20 years to get to maturity, and they’re not linear,” says Kappe, who’s also an executive director of the Chicago Lean Startup Circle, a group that fosters local website development. “But we’re six to seven years in, and definitely in an acceleration stage.”
(The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)
By Lou Carlozo
(Reuters) – This past New Year’s Eve, any impulse I had to ring in 2012 on a high note was drowned out by alarm bells from Uncle Sam.
On that day, my wife and I received separate eight-page letters from the Internal Revenue Service informing us that we were being audited for the 2009 tax year. It was, to say the least, no cause for breaking out champagne and noisemakers. In fact, it seemed like a cruel twist: 2009 was the year I was laid off by the Chicago Tribune after 16 years of full-time employment. I then entered the freelance ranks, where I’ve remained ever since.
NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters) – At 68, Barbara Miller Elegbede
is living proof that flower children need not grow up.
A self-described hippie, she attended a San Francisco
college at psychedelia’s height and remembers friends constantly
crashing on the couch of her apartment, just a block away from
Janis Joplin’s pad in the hip Castro neighborhood.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Ask Macy Gray about her net worth, and the Grammy-winning R&B singer and songwriter is not sure – though she is perfectly willing to help out with a little online research. She stops the interview to trawl celebritynetworth.com, where she plugs her name into a search engine and pulls up a number. A very large number.
“Wow!” exclaims Gray, 45, an Ohio native who calls Los Angeles home. “It says here I’m worth $38 million. But I don’t know where they got that figure from, because I don’t even know how to figure that out. But if it’s right, I’d go cash that in right now and go shopping.”