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Vol. 5, No. 5, November 6 - 19, 2008
THE BAY CURRENTS PEOPLE SURVEY Page 6
Economic storm hits
Team reporting Pages 3, 5, 10
Bedbugs back at local school HONK to help kids Brooklyn boy ACES homecoming Bay Crossword Bush, Bloomberg the same EXPERIENCED AGENTS HAPPY WITH YOUR INCOME / SPLITS? Have you considered RE/MAX? “Nobody Sells More Real Estate than RE/MAX!
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Barack Obama is our new president -- make sure to pick up the next issue of Bay Currents for some predictions on how the new administration in Washington will affect us here in the Bay area.
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Publisher’s Notebook Save two birds with one stone Barack Obama’s ascension to the presidency has been widely described as historic. It certainly is. But if Obama wants to have a historical impact besides being the first AfricanAmerican to be Chief Executive, he can do so by solving two key crises of the nation -- the economy and the environment -- with one set goal. You might say he can save two birds with one stone. Just as John F. Kennedy successfully declared we would put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, the new
president should proclaim that we will be energy independent by 2018.
Solar panels, wind farms, water power -- all these clean, renewable, domestic alternatives to oil, coal, or nuclear are
November 6 - 19, 2008
quite doable. We have, or soon will have, the technology to do all this on a large scale. It will take the will, and the manpower to manufacture and install solar panels, wind farms, and the like. That means millions -- tens of millions -- of new jobs, at every skill level from manual labor to engineering. I wish I could take credit for this idea, but that goes to the various cleanenergy advocates. President-elect Obama, please Google “clean energy,” “renewable energy,” or other applicable key words, and find out more. Consult with environmental advisors. You don’t even have to reach for the moon.
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Economic crisis strikes Bay area, too By Patrick Hickey Jr. Bay Currents writer The economic storm that has hit the nation may not be officially labeled a recession â€“ yet -- but Bay area merchants and shoppers, as well as college students staring into an uncertain future, can tell you: It sure feels like one. Although many feel â€“ actually, hope -- that the $700 billion bailout will revive the economy and forestall a depression, small businesses, the mainstay of the Bay economy, have already begun to feel the sting. â€œOverall, we have felt things slow up,â€? said Sal Taormina, owner of Pizza Boulevard, a popular eatery at the end of Oriental Boulevard in Manhattan Beach that could be doubly affected by an economic slowdown, since it heavily depends on hungry Kingsborough Community College students. â€œPeople arenâ€™t spending as much money as they used and the cost of food is very high, so that affects things a lot.â€? Taormina believes his business will survive in the long run, but he said that if things continued to get worse, he eventually would have to lay off one or two of his employees. â€œIâ€™d have to let somebody go. Thatâ€™s just the way it is,â€? he said. It may be the way it is for large businesses as well. The coffeehouse giant Starbucks closed 600 stores and sent home more than 10,000 workers in July. Locally, though, the situation may have the opposite effect â€“ perhaps Bay area residents are drowning their worries in caffeine. â€œThe sales at my store in particular have been better this year than the year before,â€? said an employee at a Starbucks outlet in Midwood. â€œPeople come in and complain about the economy, but then they go spend five dollars on a cup of coffee.â€? The Slavyanskiy Bazaar diner at 354 Kings Highway
at East 4th Street opened its doors just last month. â€œWe feel like we have an opportunity to grow, but because of the way things are right now, things have been slower than expected,â€? said manager Dianna Bortnikova. â€œTo counteract this, weâ€™ve had to lower prices.â€? â€œIâ€™m not spending as much as I did before,â€? John Schiavone said while shopping on Kings Highway. â€œI donâ€™t know whatâ€™s going to happen next, so Iâ€™m going to be very careful with my money.â€? The economic crisis has not only affected buying habits, but apparently is influencing, at least in part, young peopleâ€™s decisions about their futures. Some have turned from fields theyâ€™re passionate about, to what they view as more stable. Kingsborough Community College student Olga Privman said she really wants to teach philosophy, but â€œI was told a few years ago that the hiring market was terrible then, and the economic situation has since gotten even worse. I only hope that it improves soon. Otherwise, Iâ€™ll have to get a degree in something dependable -- and
boring, like accounting.â€? Amid all this, one industry seems to remain strong,
mainly because of a dramatic downturn in prices. Asked how the economy was affecting his job, an attendant at the BP gas station on Coney Island Avenue and Lancaster Avenue, said, â€œI really donâ€™t want to say anything. I canâ€™t.â€? He was too busy to talk, anyway. Every pump in the station was being used.
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