Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tuesday Globe Stays Put

Plenty of movement yesterday.

On your front doorstep:

"Is Boston’s Wayfair the next Amazon?" by Janelle Nanos Globe Staff  August 07, 2018

It was high-minded rhetoric for a company that sells couches, lamps, cat condos, and other home furnishings — but it’s hard to argue with success. Wayfair’s stock has made cofounders Steve Conine and Niraj Shah billionaires, but there is one important missing piece: profit.

The more Wayfair sells, the more it loses money. The company reported a net loss of nearly $245 million in 2017, yet is doubling down on a business plan that emphasizes growth over profit.

They are just readying it for offer.

“The company would say that they’re making investments and staffing up for growth,” said Daniel McCarthy, a marketing professor at Emory University who has calculated that Wayfair loses $10 on every new customer it acquires. “The big question is, how is that growth transferring into profitability?”

Maybe free shipping wasn't the way to go.

.   .   .

Now in their mid-40s, Conine and Shah met at a math and engineering camp in high school, then ended up in the same dorm as freshmen at Cornell University. They run the company together as cochairmen, each taking a nominal annual salary of $80,000. Shah is also chief executive and, as a rule, does more of the talking; friends say he fancies himself a bit of a design buff. With untucked shirts and tussled hair, Conine is more laid-back; he plays in bands and paddleboards on the Charles River. Shah has memorized the page numbers of investor presentations, while Conine is at heart a tech nerd and data geek.....

Great guys, okay.


I'm left wondering how they actually stay in bu$ine$$, and I gue$$ it''s the old joke: volume. I will say this for them, they have very catchy advertising commercials, gives me just what I need!

The Globe then takes you out to the ball game to meet old friends you haven't seen for a few days.

(flip below fold)

No need to heckle (especially with your mouth full):

"Margaret M. Heckler, former US health services chief and ambassador to Ireland, dies at 87" by Brian MacQuarrie and Travis Andersen Globe Staff   August 06, 2018

Margaret M. Heckler, a former Republican diplomat, secretary of US Health and Human Services, and eight-term Massachusetts congresswoman who advocated for women’s issues for decades, died Monday at a hospital in Arlington, Va. She was 87.

Ms. Heckler was nominated by President Reagan to be health and human services secretary and received near-unanimous confirmation by the Senate. In that role, she found herself on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic as it ballooned from an overlooked and underreported problem into a national public health crisis.

After eight terms in the House, Ms. Heckler appeared to be a solid favorite in her 1982 race against freshman US Representative Barney Frank. Although both candidates were incumbents, the newly configured Fourth Congressional District appeared to favor Ms. Heckler geographically, but Frank attacked Heckler for being a “Reagan clone,” particularly on tax cuts, despite her record of opposing the president many times. The strategy worked. Frank defeated her, 59 percent to 40 percent, in a startling conclusion to her congressional career.....

And what did Barney bring other than a gay sex ring being run out of his apartment by his chauffeur, a bunch of political patronage jobs for lovers at Fannie and Freddie, and a toothless financial regulation bill that was never finished as we are on the precipice of another correction (just gotta make it to 2019)! Who knew he bullied women?



"Charlotte Rae, 92, star of ‘The Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes’" by David Belcher New York Times  August 06, 2018

NEW YORK — Charlotte Rae, the quavery-voiced redhead who started out on Broadway but was best known as a warmhearted, wisecracking housemother in two hit 1980s sitcoms, died Sunday at home in Los Angeles. She was 92.

Ms. Rae was a fixture on Broadway and television for six decades. But along with other stars from the golden age of Broadway like Betty Garrett and Bea Arthur, she found her greatest success in sitcoms, beginning in the early years of television.

Ms. Rae was known to millions of Americans as Edna Garrett, a part she played on two shows: “Diff’rent Strokes,” where she was the housekeeper to three children, one of them played by Gary Coleman, and “The Facts of Life,” a spinoff in which she looked after a group of teenage girls at a private school.

That's where I learned them, and one can only wonder about the horrors #NotThem Please of abuse they had to put up with. 

Is that why many of them had substance abuse issues?

Her first television success came in the early 1960s with “Car 54, Where Are You?,” in which she played Sylvia Schnauser, the wife of an irascible police officer played by Al Lewis. She also appeared on numerous other shows, including “The Phil Silvers Show,” “The Defenders,” “Barney Miller,” and “Good Times,” and played Molly the Mail Lady in early episodes of “Sesame Street.”

That would be the same Al Lewis of Munsters fame.

Charlotte Rae Lubotsky was born April 22, 1926, in Milwaukee to Jewish immigrants from Russia, Meyer Lubotsky and the former Esther Ottenstein. She was married from 1951 to 1975 to composer and sound editor John Strauss, who often accompanied her on piano. Strauss died in 2011.

Along with her son Larry Strauss, she leaves three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.....


Anytime I see shark attacks on the front page I wonder what false flag evil is lurking out there because it triggers memories of late summer 2001.

Maybe it is already here:

"Twin California fires now are, combined, largest in state’s history" by the Associated PressAugust 06, 2018

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Twin Northern California blazes fueled by dry vegetation and hot, windy weather grew Monday to become the largest wildfire in state history, as climate change makes the fire season longer and more severe.

Climate change, yeah, that's all it is.

Could be lots of things like lightning, downed power lines, neglect of fire prevention measures, and gasp, even arson. 

One thing it isn't is controlled burns that got out of control. 

Of course, would government admit that at this stage?

Maybe if that sanctuary city money had been spent on fire prevention, 'eh? 

Hotter weather attributed to climate change is drying out vegetation, creating more intense fires that spread quickly from rural areas to city subdivisions, climate and fire experts say, but they also blame cities and towns that are expanding housing into previously undeveloped areas.

Except it is humid here and lots of other places, meaning more moisture in air and plants wet, etc, and no one was complaining at time of development by real estate guys as the economic numbers came in. 

More than 14,000 firefighters are battling over a dozen major blazes throughout California, state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean said.

‘‘I can remember a couple of years ago when we saw 10 to 12,000 firefighters in the states of California, Oregon and Washington and never the 14,000 we see now,’’ he said.

Crews did make progress over the weekend against one of the two blazes in the Mendocino Complex with help from water-dropping aircraft, Cal Fire operations chief Charlie Blankenheim said in a video on Facebook, but the other one is growing after spreading into the Mendocino National Forest.

Officials say the twin fires threaten 11,300 buildings and some new evacuations were ordered over the weekend as the flames spread. Farther north, crews gained ground against a deadly blaze that has destroyed more than 1,000 homes in and around Redding. It was nearly halfway contained, Cal Fire said.

The wildfire about 225 miles north of San Francisco started more than two weeks ago by sparks from the steel wheel of a towed-trailer’s flat tire. It killed two firefighters and four residents and displaced more than 38,000 people. Officials began allowing some residents to return to their neighborhoods, but tens of thousands of others were still evacuated.

I suppose.

Another blaze that ignited last week has damaged a historic Northern California resort in the Stanislaus National Forest. The nearly century-old Dardanelle Resort has sustained massive structural damage, though the details were unclear, the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported.

Fires are just flaring up in the National Forests, huh? 


The rustic lodge 180 miles east of San Francisco is nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains and offers cabin and motel rentals along with RV sites, a store and restaurant.

The US Forest Service reported that the fire crossed a highway Sunday evening, forcing crews to retreat from the fire’s edge.

The resort owners said in a Facebook post that ‘‘at this point it has been confirmed that there is ‘massive structural damage.’ We are heartbroken and struggling with this news.’’

It is, and it is starting to look like deliberate arson by higher forces with an agenda piggybacking atop of the natural disaster. They do it all the time to either advance an agenda or just sow chaos. Harder for people to organize around anything when they have fled and been dispersed to points unknown. It's how the elites rule, and this generation has had centuries to perfect the science of societal management.


They smoked them out in New Mexico, too.

"Portugal tames wildfire amid heat wave" Associated Press  August 06, 2018

LISBON — Firefighters in Portugal were close to bringing a major, four-day wildfire near a popular tourist area under control Monday as sweltering weather gripped much of Europe.

The blaze erupted amid a heat wave caused by a mass of hot air from North Africa. Over the weekend, Lisbon broke a 37-year-old record to notch its hottest temperature ever.

That extreme heat was easing a bit Monday but parts of south and northeast Portugal remained at ‘‘extreme risk’’ of wildfires, according to the national weather agency.....


At least the earth isn't shaking:

"At least 98 dead, 20,000 homeless in Indonesia earthquake" by Richard C. Paddock New York Times  August 06, 2018

MATARAM, Indonesia — A day after an earthquake devastated an Indonesian resort island, hundreds of tourists remained stranded and rescuers continued to dig through rubble in a search for survivors.

The 7.0-magnitude temblor on Lombok island killed at least 98 people and injured another 236. It left at least 20,000 people homeless and sent thousands of tourists fleeing.

No tourists were reported killed, but the earthquake Sunday, which struck at 6:46 p.m. local time, was felt as far away as the neighboring island of Bali, where two people died, and it was followed by more than a dozen aftershocks, including one Monday morning that registered a magnitude of 5.4.

Long lines formed at the airport of Lombok’s main town, Mataram, as tourists cut short their holidays. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said 18 extra flights had been added for departing tourists.

“I was at the rooftop of my hotel and the building started swaying very hard,” Gino Poggiali, a 43-year-old Frenchman who was with his wife and two children at the airport, told The Associated Press. “I could not stand up.”

Search and rescue teams continued to comb through the debris of thousands of buildings and homes looking for survivors and victims, as the government dispatched medical support teams to the island.

After the earthquake and dozens of aftershocks, many people are unwilling to stay indoors. In Mataram, the main city on Lombok, which is just east of Bali, many hundreds of people slept in fields or their cars Monday evening.

Some slept in tents that are usually used by hikers who climb Mt. Rinjani, which was hit hard by a 6.4-magnitude quake on July 29. That quake killed 17 people.

Hotels in Mataram that were not damaged were filled to capacity Monday evening. Many people who were unable to get rooms slept in the lobbies of the larger hotels.

At Lombok International Airport, hundreds of stranded tourists slept on the terminal floor. At one point, many of them jumped up and ran for the exits when they thought an aftershock had struck, but it was a false alarm and they returned to their sleeping areas.

Many residents found their houses reduced to rubble, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency. “People were allowed to return home since last night, but some refused because they were still traumatized,” Sutopo said.

Among the displaced residents were inhabitants of a northern village called Mentigi, who fled to nearby hills. Blue tarpaulins filled the landscape as people prepared to spend the night outdoors because of aftershocks or because their homes had been destroyed.

“We are getting some aid from volunteers, but we don’t have proper tents yet,” a 50-year-old villager sheltering with his wife and children, who gave his name only as Marhun, told the Associated Press.

Sengiggi, a normally busy seaside tourist strip on Lombok, looked abandoned. Most hotels seemed to have shut and beaches were deserted. The few restaurants left open were rationing food.

Indonesia straddles the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire, which is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Given the eruptions in Hawaii, it looks like the rim will be shaking, rattling, and rolling this year.



"The epicenter of a tiny earthquake Monday night was in a wooded area near the Wolf Swamp conservation area in Boxborough, the US Geological Survey said. Its only impact may have been to make a few swamp creatures pause in their nocturnal rounds. The government agency said the 1.6-magnitude quake occurred about 3.6 miles underground at about 8:48 p.m. The area where the earth trembled was just off Interstate 495 northwest of Boston. Earthquakes with such small magnitudes are typically not felt, except by a very few people under especially favorable conditions, the USGS says. Police dispatchers in Boxborough and nearby Acton and Harvard said they hadn’t fielded any reports of a temblor. Boxborough police posted a tweet asking if anyone had felt it, but no one said they did."

Earthquake jolts Mid-Atlantic

Also see:

People displaced by tornadoes uncertain about next steps

Get ready for another sweltering summer day

Time to chill under the bridge:

"Man charged in 1988 Boston killings dies after hiding in restaurant freezer" by Aimee Ortiz Globe Staff  August 07, 2018

An Arizona man accused of killing two people in Boston in 1988 died Sunday after jumping out of a walk-in freezer in a New York City restaurant and attacking employees with a knife, authorities said.

Investigators don’t know how long Carlton Henderson, 54, had been inside the freezer at Sarabeth’s Restaurant, a popular New York City chain on the Upper West Side, but when a worker opened the door, Henderson grabbed a knife and began an attack.

“Away, Satan!” he shouted before he was wrestled to the ground by workers, police said.

During the struggle, Henderson lost consciousness. He was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

In June 2017, Henderson was indicted on murder charges for the May 7, 1988, shooting deaths of William Medina, 26, and Antonio Dos Reis, 22, but last week, Henderson was released on personal recognizance after a judge granted a motion to suppress statements he had made in July 1993 to Boston police and a federal prosecutor.

Massachusetts Superior Court Justice Janet L. Sanders ruled that Henderson had reached an agreement with prosecutors to provide information about crimes on the assurance that it not be used against him.

After a seven-day evidentiary hearing, Sanders held “that there was indeed such an agreement and that pursuant to its terms, the statements cannot be used against the defendant.”

In 1993, Henderson “provided information about drug, trafficking, illegal gun trafficking, and homicides. It was understood by all those participating in the interviews that the proffer agreement applied,” Sanders wrote...... 

Looks like he was drugged somehow and then conveniently silenced. Weird.


Some guys never have to worry about jails:

"Homeowners have more equity than ever but don’t want to tap it" by Claire Boston Bloomberg News  August 07, 2018

Homeowners are sitting on a record amount of equity, but are stubbornly reluctant to borrow against it.

Strong home price appreciation has handed Americans more than $5.8 trillion of equity they could be tapping but aren’t, according to data provider Black Knight Inc.

Last decade’s mortgage crisis has likely made consumers hesitant. Home prices fell 35 percent after the bubble burst, leaving many borrowers owing more than their house was worth. People who tapped their equity to pay off credit cards ended up struggling to meet their obligations, said Dan Alpert, managing partner at Westwood Capital, a New York-based investment bank focusing on real estate. “There’s a long-memory issue,” Alpert said.

And the fact that so many banks fraudulently foreclosed on houses without the proper paperwork, remember?!!

The banking industry is now encouraging homeowners to take a little more risk. Lenders jacked up the number of direct-mail solicitations for home equity products by 30 percent in the first quarter compared to a year earlier, according to market research firm Mintel.

They never learn. Must be the greed and the fact that they operate with impunity and get to keep the loot they "make" playing both sides.

Some banks have had success growing their client base. Citizens Financial Group Inc. has boosted its volume by a double-digit percentage this year thanks in part to a data and analytics program that helps it find customers based on factors such as credit scores, home values and incomes, said Brendan Coughlin, president of consumer deposits and lending.

So nice and good for us all, the debt-$laving banks! 

Yup, using all that data collection to figure out how to market you some scheme!

“It’s time to see home equity lending come back,” Coughlin said. “Each year we’re investing more.”

Other bank executives say the same, and it’s easy to see why: total homeowner equity has surged in recent years, up 150 percent from 2009’s $6 trillion, according to Federal Reserve data. That’s partly because US home prices have on average risen around 7 percent annually since 2012, and partly because Americans have been paying down their home loans in aggregate after gorging on mortgage debt last decade.

In addition to rising rates and borrowers’ fears, a tax law shift may be weighing on demand, too: homeowners now can deduct interest on their home equity lines of credit only if they use the proceeds to renovate or otherwise invest in their homes. The declining rate of homeownership — down to about 64 percent of US households, from a pre-crisis high of 69 percent — may also be to blame: People who tended to be aggressive in borrowing against their homes before are probably renting now, said Christopher Mayer, a professor of real estate at Columbia Business School.....


Lost the house, huh?


Yeah, “homeowners now understand that the equity in their house may vanish quickly, and they definitely think twice.”

Flip to next page to find:

"HSBC Securities has agreed to pay $26.8 million to settle allegations that the investment banking firm purchased and securitized residential mortgage loans in Massachusetts that violated state law. Attorney General Maura Healey said Monday that HSBC will pay $5 million to the state as well as compensate cities and towns that faced extra expenses due to home foreclosures caused by the unfair loans. Those municipalities include Brockton, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Springfield, and Worcester. The majority of the settlement money — about $20 million — will be made available to affected homeowners, including those who faced foreclosure because of the subprime loans, Healey said. “HSBC’s securitization practices contributed to a financial crisis that deeply harmed Massachusetts communities and caused families to lose their homes,” she said. Loans HSBC purchased from subprime lenders and securitized were found to be unfair under Massachusetts law because they had debt-to-income ratios over 50 percent and included high prepayment penalties, among other reasons. The attorney general’s office said it has now recovered more than $375 million from big banks such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, and Citibank for their role in the 2008 mortgage crisis." 

I hope they weren't expecting applause for the allowing this to happen before getting a kickback from the banks. I mean, are you getting your home back with the chump change you will be getting in the mail? Or are you renting?

Really, what is there left to talk about? The rest of the section is $h*t and I just don't want to hear it anymore.

"Vermont Yankee has moved its remaining spent nuclear fuel into storage. Vermont Public Radio reports the fuel will be stored in steel and concrete casks near the Connecticut River. Officials say the process is ahead of schedule. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan says the commission has allowed Entergy to downsize the area where it's maintaining a high-level security program. Sheehan says the country doesn't have a long-term storage site for nuclear waste. Vermont Yankee closed in 2014 after operating for 42 years. NorthStar plans to buy the plant."

They have been leaking cesium into the river for years.


"The leaking of groundwater into the radioactive turbine building at the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is creating a multimillion dollar headache for the owners. Entergy spokesman Joe Lynch says efforts to seal the foundation appear to be paying off because the rate of infiltration had dropped to 200 to 300 gallons a day. That compares to 2,500 to 3,000 gallons a day after Vermont Yankee shut down in December 2014. The Rutland Herald reports that Lynch told the Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel that the problem has cost Entergy $3.2 million so far. The water leaking into the building is collected from by series of sumps. Lynch says more than 623,000 gallons of water have been shipped to Tennessee for treatment and disposal."

Could be worse:

"Hiroshima remembers atomic bombing on 73rd anniversary" Associated Press  August 06, 2018

TOKYO — Hiroshima marked the anniversary of the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of the city with a somber ceremony Monday to remember those killed and injured and a call to eliminate nuclear weapons amid hopes of denuclearizing North Korea.

I'm only for eliminating them if Israel gives up all of theirs. No sense the rest of us doing it and letting them blackmail the planet. 

Beyond, that, the Japanese have my sincerest and deepest heart-felt apologies for what my nation did to yours some 73 years ago.  The single greatest war criminal acts in all of human history.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui opened his speech by describing the hellish scene of the blast that morning 73 years ago and the agony of the victims, telling the audience to listen “as if you and your loved ones were there.” Then he raised concerns about the global rise of egocentrism and tensions, and urged Japan’s government to take more leadership toward achieving a truly nuclear-free world.

“Certain countries are blatantly proclaiming self-centered nationalism and modernizing their nuclear arsenals, rekindling tensions that had eased with the end of the Cold War,” Matsui said, without identifying the nations. Nuclear deterrence and nuclear umbrellas are “inherently unstable and extremely dangerous” approaches that seek to maintain international order by only generating fear in rival countries, he said, urging world leaders to negotiate in good faith to eliminate nuclear arsenals instead.

Who do you think he means?

The US attack on Hiroshima killed 140,000 people, and the bombing of Nagasaki killed more than 70,000 three days later, leading to Japan’s surrender and ending World War II.

About 50,000 people, including Hiroshima residents and representatives from 58 countries, including US Ambassador William Hagerty, attended this year’s ceremony.....


Not to frighten anyone, but the U.S. has a history of attacking Asia in August (1942), especially under false pretenses (1964).



I take one look at the above fold on the front page and have already lost my appetite

You can read the fine print while in traffic.

"Biggest blaze in California history challenges firefighters" Associated Press  August 07, 2018

SACRAMENTO — Firefighters struggled against rugged terrain, high winds, and an August heat wave Tuesday to slow the spread of the biggest wildfire ever recorded in California, an inferno that exploded to be nearly the size of Los Angeles in just 11 days because of what officials said was a perfect combination of weather, topography, and abundant vegetation turned into highly flammable fuel by years of drought. 


They had floods last spring when the dam was threatening to collapse, remember?

Firefighting efforts were also initially hampered by stretched resources, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire, said. When the fire started July 27, thousands of firefighters were hundreds of miles north battling a massive blaze that spread into the city of Redding.

Oh, neglected the fire prevention programs, did they?

Its rapid growth at the same time firefighters were battling more than a dozen other major blazes around the state fanned fears that 2018 could become the worst wildfire season in California history.....

Meanwhile, the fire chief said ‘‘for whatever reason, fires are burning much more intensely, much more quickly than they were before,’’ and Governor Jerry Brown warned last week that, ‘‘We’re in uncharted territory.’’


RelatedCalifornia strikes back against Trump’s rollback of auto-pollution rules

He just granted you disaster declaration status to open the spigot of federal aid and they do that? 

Ungrateful is too mild a word!

"Facing an onslaught of debris in the Chesapeake, Maryland’s governor asks other states to do more" by Erin Cox Washington Post  August 08, 2018

WASHINGTON — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday escalated pressure on neighboring states to reduce the amount of trash and pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay, accusing other jurisdictions of not doing their fair share to clean up the nation’s largest estuary.

He pressed Pennsylvania in particular to help clear the blanket of debris unleashed into the Chesapeake after last month’s historic rain. Tree trunks, trash, tires, and other flotsam have poured down the Susquehanna River through the Conowingo Dam’s open floodgates and into the bay.

The detritus from upstream states has clogged navigation channels, closed beaches, and cluttered shorelines, giving Hogan, a Republican, ammunition to lean on other states in the watershed to accelerate broader cleanup efforts.

‘‘When it comes to the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland honestly has more to lose than any other state,’’ Hogan said Tuesday at an annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council, which he chairs. ‘‘We cannot and we should not have to address this issue alone.’’

The executive council includes governors of Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat. It coordinates the 15-year, $19 billion Chesapeake Bay Program cleanup effort ordered by the Obama administration and overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Leaders from other states pushed back against Hogan’s assertion they should help clear the bay of debris.....

And then there is that giant plastic garbage patch four times the size of California is floating in the Pacific. 


I know the plant is operating safely, but it might be a good idea to test the wells for chemicals. Several congressmen have raised concerns about the safety of drinking water even as Americans are split as to whether to take a sip.

An Indonesia quake buried him in a mosque. He dug out with a chunk of debris

At least "no foreigners were believed to have died in the quake."

They were not so lucky in Italy.

IMHO, there was nothing left to read after that, and I simply flipped through the $econd $ection. I'm sure some of the items fit in with the theme of this post. Enjoy!


USC president steps down in wake of sex-abuse scandal

Must have been feeling the heat.

Deadly pesticide use increases at illegal pot farms

You know what it has done to the bees.