Daylight Saving Time 2013 ends: Get an extra hour of sleep on Nov. 3, at 2 a.m.

04 Avr 2016 
Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the United States and Canada ends on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 2 a.m., so when you go to bed Saturday night on Nov. 2, 2013, you can set your clock back and look forward to getting an extra hour of sleep. While some people try to remember the fall back and spring forward trick to remember whether to set the clock forward or back when Daylight Saving Time ends, an alternative way to remember to set ones clock back is to remember that winter time means more sleep. According to an Oct. 26, 2013, Latin Times report, the reasoning behind daylight savings and the time shifts was to take advantage of the daylight in the mornings and the lighter evenings during the summer.

Since 2007, Daylight Saving Time starts on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November, with all time changes taking place at 2 a.m. local time.

In 2012, Daylight Saving Time began on March 11 and ended on Nov. 4, 2012. This year, Daylight Saving Time began on March 10 and will end on Nov. 3, 2013. For 2014, the scheduled Daylight Saving Time is planned for March 9 until the end of Daylight Saving Time on Nov. 2, 2014.

Historically, Daylight Saving Time in the United States dates back to the Standard Time Act of 1918, which was the first United States federal law implementing standard time and Daylight Saving Time in the United States. While the intent of Daylight Saving Time was to save energy by taking advantage of longer daylight, that intent was not easily accepted throughout the years and throughout all of the states.

After the end of World War I, Congress abolished the idea of saving energy with Daylight Saving Time, but with the beginning of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round DST in the United States, called War Time during World War II from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945. The law was enforced 40 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and during this time, time zones were called Eastern War Time, Central War Time, and Pacific War Time. After the surrender of Japan in mid-August 1945, the time zones were relabeled Peace Time.

According to a report by, Daylight Saving Time (DST) caused widespread confusion from 1945 to 1966 for trains, buses and the broadcasting industry in the US because many states and localities were free to choose when and if they would observe DST.

To end the confusion, Congress established the Uniform Time Act of 1966 which stated that Daylight Saving Time should begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October.

Following the Uniform Time Act of 1966, Daylight Saving Time in the United States was revised several times over the years. From 1987 to 2006, Daylight Saving Time lasted for seven months. Since 2007, the Daylight Saving Time schedule is following the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the period by about one month where DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

Presently, most states are implementing Daylight Saving Time and thus are ending Daylight Saving Time on Nov. 3 at 2 a.m. As of 2012, Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are not following Daylight Saving Time so no extra hour of sleep in any of those states.
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Ways To Care For Your Septic System

13 Oct 2015 

If you reside in a rural area or have holiday property in the middle of nowhere, you're no question familiar with the form and feature of a septic system. Briefly, a septic system is your own onsite sewage therapy establishment. It's used primarily where accessibility to a community sewer and drain system is neither readily available nor financially practical. A septic system is out of view and also is odor free (when appropriately preserved).

A septic system is reasonably maintenance-free. A sound, effectively kept container could possibly last consistently. The leach field (the underground location where all of the sewage drains are situated) will certainly most likely need some therapy or perhaps replacement after regarding 15 to 20 years of service.

Following a few easy rules-- like not making use of way too much water and not transferring materials in the septic tank that microorganisms cannot decompose-- should assist to make a septic tank trouble-free for years. But remember that the septic system does should be cleaned when too many solids accumulate.

Be conscious about just what you and also your family took into your septic tank. It does not take much to disturb the fragile biological balance within the storage tank. You can expand the life of a septic tank by enjoying everything that's presented to the system.

Bear in mind the following recommendations:

Excessive water could distress the delicate biological equilibrium within the storage tank, hence defeating its capacity to job marvels. Discharging more water into the system compared to it could manage can cause it to back up-- not a preferable incident.

Don't make use of extreme amounts of any kind of home chemicals. You can utilize typical amounts of household detergents, bleaches, drainpipe cleaners, and other house chemicals without quiting the microbial activity in the septic tank. For instance, don't unload cleaning water for latex paintbrushes as well as containers right into the property sewer.

Don't deposit coffee grounds, cooking fats, wet-strength towels (paper towels that don't dissolve easily, like the heavy-duty kind), disposable diapers, facial cells, cigarette butts, and other non-decomposable materials into your home sewer and drain. These materials won't decay, will fill up the septic system as well as will certainly plug the system.

Utilize a high-grade toilet tissue that breaks up easily when wet. One way to learn if your toilet tissue suits this summary is to place a handful of bathroom tissue in a fruit container half-full of water. Shake the jar, as well as if the cells breaks up conveniently, the item is suitable for the septic tank.

Avoid disposing oil down the drain. It could plug drain and sewer water pipes or develop in the septic system and also connect the inlet. Maintain a different container for waste oil as well as throw it out with the trash.

According to the Epa, due to the visibility of considerable numbers as well as types of bacteria, enzymes, yeasts, and also various other fungi and also microorganisms in typical property and also industrial wastewaters, the use of septic-system additives containing these or other active ingredients is not suggested.

You should have your septic system pumped and cleansed by an expert each to three years. A septic tank in a north climate will should have the solids eliminated often than a container further southern. ( this geographical difference is largely because cooler temperatures hinder bacterial action and supply less decay of the sewage solids.) How usually you have to have your septic tank pumped likewise relies on the dimension of the storage tank, the volume of wastewater, and also the amount of solids enter into it. Consistent foul odor, slow drains, as well as drains that back up are all indicators that your septic tank needs pumping. When unsure, call in a septic pro.

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Mapped: top class university towns for buy-to-let property -

09 Sep 2015 
Durham comes out top of the index, thanks to tough entrance requirements - an average of 547 UCAS points - but relatively cheap property. The average home near the redbrick university in the North East costs 214,735.

The University Property Index created by eMoov awards each university an index score calculated using the average UCAS entry requirement and the local average property price.

Use the map above to explore the rest of the top 100 in the index.

Strathclyde came second to Durham, with an average property near the Glasgow university costing 161,099, compared with an average UCAS requirement of 476 points.

The top ten was dominated by Scotland and northern England. Manchester and Edinburgh came fourth and fifth, while the Midlands got a look in at number five and six, taken by Warwick and Nottingham respectively.

Numbers seven to ten were claimed by Lancaster, Leeds, St Andrews and Aberdeen.

University admissions: Top 12 most competitive universities

Londons institutions fared less well, with only four universities in the capital making it into the top 100. Queen Mary University took 94th place, the London School of Economics 96th, East London University 98th and Kings College London ending the list at number 100.

A further 15 London higher education establishments failed to make the top 100, with the worst performer being Imperial College, owing to eye-watering property prices in South Kensington, where the university is based.

Despite relatively expensive property, Oxford (13) and Cambridge (19) both make the top 20 as a result of the high number of UCAS points required to gain a place.

Parents' guide to student buy-to-let properties

eMoov boss Russell Quirk said the study showed which universities offer the best level of degree, but also an affordable property price, should you want to invest in a house for your child, or even as a uni-let for yourself.

Students are certainly an easy target where the high street letting agent is concerned and it is common practice for agents to strip them of their hefty deposits, for even the most minor of reasons.

Not only does buying a university property avoid this but it also provides a future home should they stay in the chosen city for work, or a great money making opportunity renting to future students.
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$500 million property tax hike 'not enough' to shed Chicago's junk bond rating ... - Chicago Sun-Times

09 Sep 2015 
A $500 million property tax increase will not be enough to solve Chicagos $30 billion pension crisis or rid the city of the junk bond rating that has saddled the taxpayers with tens of millions in penalties and borrowing costs, analysts concluded Tuesday.

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall and Matt Fabian, a partner at Municipal Market Analytics, offered the grim assessment during a lively panel discussion on city finances before a packed house at a City Club of Chicago luncheon.

The title of the discussion was: Fiscal Cliff: Whats Next for Chicago Finances.

Fabians conclusion was that, as tough as it will be for homeowners and their aldermen to swallow a $500 million property tax increase, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council need to bite the bullet even harder.

I would have preferred to see this as the first of several property tax increases and part of a more aggressive plan. Say, $200 million or $300 million every year for the next three or four years as opposed to one large one because one large tax increase can create political volatility, Fabian said.

The political cost of a $500 million raise probably makes this the only revenue raise at least the only significant one that well see in the near term. And thats just not enough. So, either it means much deeper spending cuts or a return to gimmicks, particularly if the economy softens.

Fabian acknowledged that Chicago bonds have been trading up a point or two for the first time in quite a while since the Chicago Sun-Times first disclosed last week that Emanuel is poised to raise property taxes by a record $500 million for police and fire pensions and school construction and impose a first-ever garbage collection fee.

But he argued that it will take a lot more than that to rid Chicago of its costly junk bond rating.

The city could have $1.5 billion [worth] of increases and it would still be [just] almost enough. Were still very far from [the solution] because the full cost of the pensions for the city and the school district are enormous, Fabian said.

A $500 million increase helps the markets take comfort that theres some positive momentum that the city is working on the problem and isnt continuing to make it worse. But the citys cost of borrowing wont see a material [drop] until it loses the non-investment grade rating. And its not going to lose that rating until it makes much more progress than this, he said.

Msall agreed that a $500 million increase that would be Chicagos largest in modern history is not the full answer and its not going to be enough because weve dug the hole so deeply by underfunding pensions and granting benefits that taxpayers cannot afford.

We are going to have raise taxes very significantly just to pay the interest on the debt we have built up and its not going to be enough to save the city of Chicago, he said.

Msall noted that Emanuel has made three rosy and risky assumptions that may turn out to be incorrect.

The first is that an Illinois Supreme Court that has already overturned state pension reforms will uphold the mayors plan to save the Municipal and Laborers pension funds.

The second is that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner will sign legislation approved by the Illinois House and Senate, but not yet on the governors desk giving Chicago 15 more years to ramp up to 90 percent funding levels for the police and fire pension funds.

And the third is that the Chicago Public Schools will get $480 million in pension help from a dysfunctional Illinois General Assembly that doesnt want to help because Democratic leaders are embroiled in a state budget stalemate with Rauner over Rauners demand for pro-business, anti-union reforms.

Thats the unit of government we are most frightened for: the Chicago Public Schools. To pass a budget with a half a billion hope . . . and then start spending as if that relief is already here makes us very nervous. It makes us wonder what happens if theres any hiccup economically how the Chicago Public Schools will go on, Msall said.

Unlike Fabian, who reiterated his four-month-old claim that Chicago has a revenue problem, Msall argued that Emanuel has not been nearly as aggressive as he needs to be in cutting costs.

He talked about Chicago having too many pension funds and too many firehouses that both need to be consolidated.

Hes driven some efficiencies, some reductions in spending. But, its not enough. More needs to be done. The public is not convinced that weve rung the inefficiencies out of our local government, Msall said.

We have a big problem. And one of the biggest problems is not the tax increase, but its the reaction to the tax increase. If businesses and people do not think that theres hope at the end of the tunnel, that this thing is going to work, that were going to stabilize our government, that weve done enough, that were going to change our bad practices, theyre going to leave.

Chicagos Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown, who was also on the panel, countered that the mayors budget will include $170 million in budget cuts, reforms and efficiencies.

Brown also reiterated Emanuels promise to raise property taxes, only for police and fire pensions and soften the blow with fair and progressive relief for seniors and working families.

We would not ask those who can least afford to bear the cost of a potential property tax increase, she said.

Pressed on how City Hall would go about protecting those who can least afford to pay, Brown said, Its one of the principles of the mayor. Its something were still working on and will have for his budget address.
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Rising Property Prices: The Downside of a Weaker Australian Dollar - Daily Reckoning - Australian Edition

07 Sep 2015 

Economists like to remind you that a weak Australian dollar is good for the economy.

Its constantly drilled into you that a weak dollar is good for exports. And whats good for exports is good for the economy. The Reserve Bank is particularly guilty of promoting this view. It reminds us of this at every given opportunity.

But as it spruiks this line, it overlooks the effects a weaker dollar has on property prices. Rather, it ignores the downside this has on house prices, incomes, and the broader economy.

Ill touch on all these shortly. But I want to begin by looking at property prices first.

Truth is, a weak dollar impacts negatively on housing affordability. Why? Because it makes Australian property cheaper to foreign buyers.

The value of the dollar influences the cost of entry. It can make buying real estate from overseas more, or less, affordable. It depends on whether it trends higher or lower.

If the value of the dollar falls, it can lead to increasing foreign demand. If demand rises, then property prices surge too.

If youre an existing owner, or investor, youll no doubt see few downsides to this. No one begrudges you for wanting higher property prices. But there are also clear downsides to rising prices. And these disadvantages can affect you in equal measure. Let me explain.

Rising propertyprices and the economy

As weve seen, rising property prices affect housing affordability. First time home buyers find it particularly tough. Property price growth is putting affordability out of reach for many first buyers.

Yet just as important is the effect rising prices have on disposable incomes.

As prices rise, a larger percentage of household incomes go towards mortgage repayments. Thats not an issue in an economy where wages are growing. But in Australia, wage growth is at its worst level in two decades. Incomes grew by meagre 2% in the past year.

So at present there is a major disconnect between wages and propertyprices. And you cant underestimate the effect of that on the economy.

The economy needs consumer spending to offset declining export revenues. We saw the urgency of this just yesterday. Falling mining revenues left economic growth at just 0.2% in Q2.

That puts the onus back on consumers to spend. But if consumers hold back on spending, where will growth come from? Nowhere.

Whats more, consumers are clearly feeling hamstrung. This was highlighted in yesterdays retail figures. Retail trade declined 0.1% in July, the first drop in 14 months.

Yet a recovery in consumer spending hinges on rising disposable incomes. But the likelihood of that happening is slim. Disposable incomes rose 3.3% in the year to June. Thats half the 6.2% long term annual average.

Households not only have less money, but more of its going towards mortgage repayments.

All this leads us back to a weaker dollar. As the Aussie falls further, itll make investing in Australia more attractive. That threatens to put upward pressure on house prices.

Now, if property prices keep rising, itll divert more disposable income to mortgages. That, more than anything, will weigh on consumer spending.

The outcome of this domino effect is twofold. On the one hand, housing affordability will worsen. As it does, it puts the entire economy on shakier ground.

Chinese investment into Australian property to rise

Weve briefly looked at how rising property prices impact the economy. But how do we know that prices will continue rising? And how can we be sure that foreign investors are any threat at all?

Truth is, the effect of Chinese investors on the Aussie property market is overblown. The scare campaign foreshadowing a Chinese invasion is incorrect.

A recent study found Chinese investments amounted to just $5.4 billion. Thats not much in the context of Australias $270 billion residential market.

Equally, there are signs that house prices are cooling. Median dwelling prices in Sydney grew just 1.1% in August. In Melbourne, prices remained flat for the month.

In light of this, do Chinese investors pose any real concerns? Not yet, but they could.

House prices rose rapidly over the last year. Growth may be slowing, but its in the backdrop of record growth. Both Sydney and Melbourne had growth rates of over 10%.

At the same time, Chinese investments levels reflect a strong dollar. The $5.4 billion figure is in the context of a dollar trading well above $0.70.

For how much longer will that stay true?

If Deutsche Bank is correct, the dollar is set for a steep decline. It predicts the Aussie dollar bottoming out at $0.50 by the end of 2016. That should make investing in Australia much more attractive. That $5.4billion figure could grow much larger as the dollar weakens.

Secondly, concentrated price growth may be an even bigger problem. Foreign investors are geographically sensitive. In other words, theyre targeting inner-core suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne. We know this because domestic buyers are losing out foreign competition.

But thats not the worst of it.

Developers are building projects aimed squarely at foreign investors. But consider what would happen in the event of a market crash.

Foreign buyers would be first to dump their investments onto the market. Prices would crash even quicker as supply went up. Aussie households would find mortgage repayments a nightmare. And thats to say nothing of what that would do to consumer spending.

At least, thats one potential outcome of a weakening dollar.

But foreign investors may find a $0.50 dollar too tempting to resist. In the long run, that poses challenges for housing affordability. And weve seen how that might snowball into other areas of the economy. With disposable incomes strained, consumer spending and growth would drag on the economy.

All of a sudden, a weaker dollar looks less like a saviour, and more like a noose. Lets not pin all our hopes on a $0.50 dollar just yet.

Mat Spasic,

Contributor, The Daily Reckoning

PS: The Aussie property is still growing. Median property prices in Sydney rose almost 18% over the past year. Meanwhile, Melbourne saw prices rise 10% on average. Elsewhere, price growth was much weaker.

We may be living in a two-speed property market. But its still enough to keep the national market growing. The Daily Reckonings property expert, Phillip J. Anderson, remains bullish on the markets future.

Phil says that the national housing market is only set to continue growing. He says that Aussie real estate will boom for the next decade.

Phils 20 years of experience as a property analyst and advisor has given him a keen sense for where the property market is, and where its going. He correctly predicted the 2008 housing market crash. He also went against the trend in 2009, saying that house prices would go on to boom this decade.

He was right on both accounts.

In his latest free report Why Australian Property is on the Verge of a Decade Long Boom, Phil guides you through this coming decade. Hell show you the right time to buy property at its cheapest, and how you can use this to time your investments. To find out how to download his free report, click here.

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