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miami electronics recycling

Posted on by mcooper

 

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E-Waste Rises Around Holidays, Green Citizen Says

After two decades in the software business with companies such as Oracle Corp. (ORCL) andHewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), James Kao grew disillusioned by the waste created when people ditched the latest technology dreamed up by his industry.

Older incarnations of the Apple iPod media player. Photographer: Steve Finn/Getty Images

iPods on display in the Apple Store in New York in 2005. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

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Angered that old computers, televisions and other gadgets from U.S. consumers were ending up in landfills in ChinaAfrica and other parts of the world, Kao decided to do something. He started Green Citizen, a company that collects and disposes old electronics in the San Francisco Bay area, tracking everything to ensure the gadgets are recycled back into raw material, or refurbished and resold.

The holiday gift-giving season will bring a fresh crop of electronic waste to Green Citizen, part of the 2.4 million tons tossed out each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As consumers buy new gadgets from Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) and trash their old wares, Kao, Green Citizen’s chief executive officer, expects his company to see a 30 percent rise in waste from November to February.

“The holiday period is the biggest buying time for most consumer electronics and it absolutely results in more e- waste,” said Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of theElectronics TakeBack Coalition, an electronics-recycling advocacy group. “Our ferocious appetite for the newest gadget is absolutely contributing to increased amounts of e-waste and holiday buying is a huge driver.”

Avoiding Landfills

Green Citizen’s end-to-end approach is unique, said Kyle. As both the collector and monitor that ensures waste doesn’t end up in dumpsites, Kao’s company only partners with certified recycling companies that can prove material isn’t shipped overseas or put in landfills.

Kao and his team expect to collect about 700,000 pounds (317,500 kilograms) this holiday season. Waste Management Inc. (WM), the biggest U.S. trash hauler, also said it expects a rise in electronic waste.

“When it comes to recycling, it’s an afterthought,” Kao, 55, who has also founded two software companies, said in an interview. “All the energy is going to how do we get the next revenue, from the new best gadget, and there is never a thought in to how to get it back.”

In addition to helping the environment, Green Citizen is also profitable, said Kao, without disclosing the company’s earnings. The company expects about $2.5 million in revenue this year, and double the next. He wants to expand to Los AngelesChicago and New York.

Contaminating Villages

The inspiration to start Green Citizen came while Kao was taking time off after selling Managize, a supply-chain management software company, in 2000. Up late one night watching television, he saw a documentary that showed dump sites in China, Africa and the Philippines overflowing with old computers, televisions and other electronics from the U.S. and Europe. Components containing toxic elements such as lead and mercury were cast into rivers and landfills.

“It was contaminating whole villages,” Kao said.

He spent two years educating himself, traveling to meet with companies and government officials. Limited awareness and lack of convenience keep the general public from doing more, Kao said, while poor accountability and oversight make it difficult to ensure enterprises do their part.

Green Citizen hauls disposed devices to a large warehouse in Burlingame, California, a few miles south of San Francisco’s airport. Technicians determine whether a gadget can be fixed and resold. Repaired devices are put up for sale on Internet marketplace EBay Inc. (EBAY) Kao said about 21 percent of electronics Green Citizen handles can be refurbished, generating about half its revenue.

Breakdown Factory

An old security X-ray machine from a consulate in San Francisco has been among the stranger items collected, along with computers, TVs, printers, phones and other gadgets, Kao said.

For devices that need to be recycled, a team in the warehouse uses drills and screwdrivers to take them apart. Different components are sorted in bins for plastic, circuit boards, glass and other base materials.

Much of Kao’s material goes about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of San Francisco to Sims Recycling Ltd.’s 200,000-square-foot facility in Roseville, California. There, pieces are put through shredders, including one with 4-inch blades driven by a 400-horsepower engine. The broken-down materials are then sold to companies seeking aluminum, plastic, glass or other recycled material.

Latest, Greatest

Cupertino, California-based Apple encourages consumers to recycle their old iPods, iPhones, computers and other products, offering store credit for items with monetary value and discounts for bringing in old iPods. Collected electronic waste is processed locally, Apple said.

While Green Citizen is trying to offset gadget waste, Kao said that still isn’t a match for a consumer culture that encourages people to seek the latest and greatest technology. About 80 percent of U.S. electronic waste ends up on container ships and then ditched in developing countries, where companies hire workers to extract the core minerals without any environmental or worker-safety oversight, he said.

“It’s going to get worse and worse,” Kao said. “Initially, I tried to fight it, but you can’t.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Satariano in San Francisco atasatariano1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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who is rich anyways

Posted on by mcooper

Who’s rich, anyway?

Congress and President Barack Obama are struggling with that question as they wrangle over how to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” If they can’t reach a decision, tax rates will increase sharply for most Americans—both rich and not—and draconian spending cuts of $110 billion will kick in.

Hemis/Zuma PressPalm Beach, Fla.

It isn’t as easy as you might think to determine who is rich. There are many different yardsticks devised by Uncle Sam, banks, brokerage firms and other institutions. The thresholds—as low as $44,000 for people receiving Social Security benefits—matter because they determine the taxes you owe, the college aid you receive, the investments you have access to and the fees you pay.

Overall, the top 1% of U.S. households have a net worth above $6.8 million or at least $521,000 in income, according to data from the Federal Reserve and the Tax Policy Center in Washington. The cutoffs for the top 5% are $1.9 million in net worth, or $209,000 in income.

(top row, l-r): Express/Getty Images; Bloomberg News; Getty Images; Associated Press; (bottom row, l-r): Palm Beach Post/Zuma Press ; Bloomberg News; Everett Collection; Bloomberg News

 

Needless to say, these national figures obscure large geographic differences. A prince of income in Danville, Va., is a relative pauper in New York City.

In Danville, the threshold for the top 1% of earners kicked in at $179,000, while it took $588,000 to reach the top 1% in New York City and northern New Jersey, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of U.S. Census Bureau data from 2007 to 2009 collected by the University of Minnesota Population Center.

The income threshold for the top 1% falls midway between Danville and New York in places like Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Atlanta; Rochester, N.Y.; Miami; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; and Peoria, Ill.

Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesMasked guests at Truman Capote’s Black-and-White Ball in New York City, in 1966.

Then there are emotional measures of wealth. H.L. Mencken once quipped that wealth in America means making a little more money than your brother-in-law.

Samuel Johnson was just as shrewd, if less cynical. He wrote: “Every man is rich or poor according to the proportion between his desires and his enjoyments.” So if your wishes align with your purse, the amount of money in it doesn’t much matter.

It is up to the politicians to determine who is rich under 2013 income, capital-gains and estate-tax rules. Here are some important thresholds that won’t change next year—from lowest to highest—plus tips for making them work in your favor.

$44,000 for Couples
($32,000 for Singles)

This is the threshold at which 85% of Social Security benefits begin to be taxed. It isn’t indexed for inflation. (At a lower level, 50% of benefits are taxed.)

Express Newspapers/Getty ImagesMr. Capote in New York in 1966.

For most taxpayers, this threshold is computed by adding tax-free municipal-bond income plus half of Social Security benefits to adjusted gross income, or AGI. That’s right: Muni income won’t help avoid this tax.

What will help is tax-free income from a Roth individual retirement account, which doesn’t count in the calculation. In addition, owners of regular IRAs who are 70½ years or older and charitably minded can usually give up to $100,000 of donations directly from their account to charities and have it count as part of their required annual payout.

There is no tax deduction for those contributions, but neither is there income that swells AGI. This wildly popular provision lapsed at the beginning of 2012, but many believe Congress will restore it retroactively.

$170,000 for Couples
($85,000 for Singles)

This is the level at which Medicare Part B outpatient-services and Part D drug-coverage premiums start to rise based on income for married joint filers.

The Part B premium rises from $105 to $147 a month per person for couples earning above $170,000. It rises as high as $336 for couples with incomes higher than $428,000. The Part D surcharge for couples earning above $170,000 ranges from $12 to more than $65 a month. For more information on income thresholds, go tosocialsecurity.gov.

For many Medicare recipients, the definition of income is similar to the one for determining tax on Social Security benefits: adjusted gross income plus tax-free municipal-bond income. Most 2012 premiums will be determined using information from 2010 tax returns.

Getty ImagesA multimillion-dollar home in Greenwich, Conn.

How can you lower your income? As with Social Security benefits, tax-free Roth IRA payouts don’t count as income, and people 70½ and older can help keep AGI down by making charitable donations directly from their IRA, assuming Congress renews this law.

$180,000 for a
Family of Four

This is the informal income threshold for need-based financial aid for undergraduates at many private colleges, says Mark Kantrowitz, the expert behind the financial-aid and scholarship resource websitesFinAid.org and Fastweb.com.

Besides income, the aid formula typically adds in 20% of the student’s assets per year and up to 5.64% of the family’s net assets (including 529 college-savings plans), but it excludes the value of retirement accounts.

A rude shock for many families is that the formula includes the value of parental retirement-plan contributions starting in January of the student’s junior year of high school, so it is a good idea to maximize those contributions until then.

There are many variables, according to Mr. Kantrowitz. Often the most important are unusual financial circumstances—such as volatile income or high medical expenses in one year—and the number of children in college at the same time. With two children at private colleges, for example, the income threshold could be as high as $250,000 or more.

But a school that denies need-based aid to a student also might give a “merit” scholarship to bolster geographic diversity, fill an undersubscribed department or activity, or maximize revenue.

“These days almost everybody struggles to pay for college, regardless of income level,” Mr. Kantrowitz says. “I have seen doctors living from paycheck to paycheck because of these costs.”

$250,000 for Couples
($200,000 for Singles)

This is the threshold for the new 3.8% net investment income tax that kicks in on Jan. 1 to help finance the massive health-care changes. It applies to rents, royalties, net capital gains, interest and dividends, among other income. It doesn’t apply to tax-free municipal-bond income.

The tax is levied only on the amount of investment income above the threshold. So if a couple has $175,000 of wage income plus $50,000 of dividends and net capital gains, they aren’t subject to the tax. If they have $150,000 of wages and $200,000 of net investment income from a windfall, then $100,000 is subject to it.

For most taxpayers, the threshold is adjusted gross income. This means taxpayers will want to reduce AGI as well as time the receipt of investment income when possible.

Charitable donations, mortgage interest and other itemized deductions don’t help with that, but pension and 401(k) contributions can. Tax-free muni-bond income and Roth IRA income won’t swell AGI, either.

$417,000

This is the upper limit for a “conforming” mortgage for a single-family home in the contiguous 48 states and Puerto Rico. This limit is higher—$625,500—in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands and certain high-cost markets, such as the New York metropolitan area, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Conforming loans are mortgages that can be packaged and sold to government-sponsored buyers such as Fannie Mae FNMA -1.54% and Freddie Mac FMCC -3.91% . Home buyers who opt for private mortgages or “jumbo” loans on more expensive properties pay about 0.5 percentage point above the current average of 3.5% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, says Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com, a mortgage-information website.

The best way to stay below the limit, he says, is simply to buy a cheaper house or put more money down up front. With Congress considering scaling back the mortgage-interest deduction, there are tax reasons to be prudent about home mortgages as well.

$1 Million/$200,000

Net worth of $1 million, excluding the value of the primary residence, or $200,000 in income for the past two years are the main requirements for “accredited investor” status, as set by the Securities and Exchange Commission. This designation allows investors to put money into lightly regulated hedge funds or private offerings.

Those sums might not be sufficient, however. Some private offerings and hedge funds require investors to prove $5 million of net worth, and the median minimum for some investments is $1 million, according to eVestment, a research firm that tracks institutional money managers’ performance.

There can be ways around those minimums for accredited investors hungry to get into certain funds. Barclays BARC.LN -1.30% Wealth and Investment Management, for example, allows people with $5 million of investible assets to commit as little as $100,000 to $250,000 to funds normally requiring a $1 million minimum, says David Romhilt, head of manager research at the Barclays unit.

$10 Million

A common threshold defining “ultrahigh-net worth.” With variations, it is used by institutions such as Barclays, Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking & Investments Group and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Even retail giant Vanguard Group has a special category for “relationships with $10 million and more.”

What does this get you? Lower advisory fees, in many cases, and access to certain restricted investments. Also special treatment of large concentrated stock positions, such as hedges and collars, or attention to the execution of large trades.

Ask about nonfinancial services as well. Does the hand-holding extend to finding a caterer for your daughter’s wedding, or—in a pinch—walking your dog?

—Julie Steinberg contributed to this article.

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garbage truck accident

Posted on by mcooper

Garbage Truck Accidents

In December, 2010, a Honda, traveling at a high rate of speed, rear-ended a garbage truck in suburban West Palm Beach, Florida. Astruck accident attorneys, we were not surprised to read the report in the Palm Beach Post, which says, “A Honda rear-ended the garbage truck, killing the driver of the Honda…The driver of the garbage truck, James Estimond, 47, of West Palm Beach, was not hurt…”Generally speaking, when a car tangles with a garbage truck, the driver of the car is far likelier to be hurt or killed than the driver of the garbage truck. The car may be demolished, and the garbage truck will likely come out of it looking relatively unscathed.

Typical rear-load garbage trucks – the kind most commonly used in residential neighborhoods – can weigh up to 44,000 pounds fully loaded. And garbage trucks are built like tanks – VERY solidly. They need to be. Garbage trucks have to handle all sorts of things being thrown at them. In order to allow them to pick up more garbage, they compact the garbage as they go, which requires extremely powerful hydraulic systems, and heavy duty metal to withstand the pressure. To accommodate loading and processing, there are all sorts of metal protuberances on a garbage truck, which can cause additional damage to cars or pedestrians in the event of a collision.

There are additional features which make garbage trucks hazardous. Like all large trucks, garbage trucks have large blind spots, areas where the driver cannot see cars or pedestrians from the driver’s seat. Unlike other large trucks, garbage trucks very commonly operate in residential neighborhoods, around kids who may not be aware of the safety issues associated with being around large trucks. Garbage trucks also frequently drive on the wrong side of the road to collect trash (unlike other vehicles, they are allowed to do this), and they often backup, stop suddenly, and otherwise do a lot of maneuvering to complete their tasks.

“Killed by Automobile,” a 1999 report compiled by Charles Komanoff and members of the pedestrian safety group “Right of Way,” shows that garbage trucks were by far the most dangerous vehicles on New York City streets during 1994 to 1997 for pedestrians. Per mile driven, they killed nearly 25 times as many pedestrians as do cars.

Garbage trucks are dangerous. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a garbage truck, you need an experienced truck accident attorney to help you determine your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

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waste garbage truck crash

Posted on by mcooper

COCONUT CREEK (CBSMiami) – Using specialized tools and training, Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue personnel were able to free a man trapped in an overturned garbage truckMonday afternoon.

Firefighters cut through metal and glass to remove the man out of a Waste Services, INC. garbage truck which has flipped over on the Coconut Creek Parkway exit of the Florida Turnpike.

The man entrapped in the garbage truck was conscious and speaking throughout the rescue at the time.

Broward Sheriff Office’s Fire spokesman Mike Jachles said once freed, he was airlifted to Broward Health North Medical Center.  His injuries were said to be non-life threatening.

The off-ramp remained closed while the truck was righted.

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opa locka garbage company

Posted on by mcooper

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/12/23/opa-locka-store-burglary-caught-on-camera/

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miami demolition services

Posted on by mcooper

Scott and Pamela Weiss paid a little under $5 million for a home in Palo Alto, Calif., last year. Come tax time, they expect to get back about $66,000 for tearing it down.

More home buyers who want to tear down an existing home and rebuild on the same lot are doing so without wrecking balls and bulldozers. “Deconstruction” is a growing trend in the West Coast housing market. WSJ’s Monika Vosough reports.

That’s because the Weisses, who are spending more than $4 million to build a new home on the site, took down the original home using a method known as “deconstruction.” In this process, a crew carefully dismantles an older property by hand instead of using bulldozers. The process costs more than a straightforward demolition—the Weisses paid more than $20,000 for the disassembly, roughly double what they would have paid for a wrecking crew. But they were able to donate home materials such as lumber, roof tiles and even lamps to nonprofits for reuse.

The donated materials were appraised by an appraisal-and-consulting firm at $159,000, which the Weisses can apply to their tax bill to receive a deduction. Based on the Weisses’ tax bracket, Ms. Weiss estimates that will ultimately work out to a savings of around $66,000, or more than three times the cost of the deconstruction.

“We’re not the kind of people who just come in with a bulldozer and clear a house out,” says Ms. Weiss, whose husband is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. And since deconstruction ended up paying for itself, it was “not a hard decision” to pursue it. The Weisses are now building a five-bedroom, 7½-bathroom, 6,000-square-foot modern Mediterranean home that they expect to be completed late next year.

Thoughtful Teardowns

Ethan Pines for The Wall Street JournalRobert and Monica Fortunato in Hermosa Beach, Calif., net a $38,000 tax deduction by disassembling their old house and donating its parts. Their new home is pictured.

 

Deconstruction is a growing trend, as more homeowners try to avoid the wrecking ball when they remodel or tear down and instead find a way to reuse everything from doors to windows to light switches. Spurring the movement is growing awareness of “green” building, as well as more laws restricting the dumping of building materials into landfills. It doesn’t hurt that there’s typically a big fat tax break attached, either.

While the tax break has been around for decades, deconstruction had mostly occurred in fits and starts in pockets across the country, including a wave in the 1990s. This current surge is centered in wealthy enclaves along the West Coast, in areas such as Silicon Valley and cities including San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., and Seattle. Many of those locales share a distinctive set of features: populations with eco-friendly mind-sets; an older housing stock ripe for tear downs; strict environmental laws and moneyed residents eager for a substantial tax credit.

Steve Simpson, an architect based in Redwood City, Calif., who often works with Silicon Valley technology executives on multimillion-dollar homes, says about 50% of the projects he does now involve a deconstruction, up from only 10% in 2007.

“Five or six years ago, it was a novel thing,” he says. Now it has reached “more of a critical mass,” with the value of tax deductions from the process routinely starting at $40,000 to $50,000 and going north of $100,000, he says.

The ReUse People of America, a nonprofit building-materials salvage and reuse organization with 13 offices nationwide, says it has done 250 deconstructions this year, up 25% from 2008. The largest slice of the deconstructions—about a fifth—took place in California, says ReUse People’s president, Ted Reiff. Outside the West Coast, cities such as Chicago and Durham, N.C., also had a sprinkling of deconstructions, he says.

During deconstructions, people donate a wide range of goods. While the chief material that comes out of the process is lumber, Mr. Reiff says clients also toss in appliances, toilets, lighting fixtures—even cactuses.

Some people who do deconstructions have never lived in the home they bought, so sometimes brand-new doors, windows and kitchen cabinets also get recycled, he says.

“In one house, there was $100,000 of just lighting fixtures,” Mr. Reiff recalls of one deconstruction.

Roderick Cooper, a deconstruction specialist in Palo Alto, says he recycles nails, carpet, copper wire, toilets, tubs, faucets, switch boxes and more. The only materials that defy deconstruction are generally a home’s insulation, which can’t be reused, and stucco, which ends up in the landfill.

After a home is disassembled, the building materials typically go to nonprofit building centers, which aggregate the goods and then sell them to nonprofits and directly to the public. At least several West Coast metropolitan areas, including the San Francisco Bay area and Portland, have such centers, like the ReUse People in Oakland, Calif. and the Rebuilding Center in Portland. Owners or their contractors bring the materials to the centers, which confirm receipt. Ms. Weiss says that she followed the trail of what happened to the roof barrel tiles from her home and found that they eventually were procured by the Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley in Oakland.

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley says it aims to use deconstructed materials in the homes it builds, and that it also resells used building materials, which nets the organization $250,000 a year. Bryan Kilgore, a procurement coordinator at the nonprofit, says he later sold the Weisses’ roof barrel tiles to a contractor in Concord, Calif.

Deconstructions may not initially appear to offer much of a financial or time advantage over demolition. In 2010, Adrienne Leigh and her husband bought a nearly $900,000 home to tear down in Burlingame, Calif., as part of their decision to downsize as their sons grew older. When Ms. Leigh priced out a straightforward “smash and haul” demolition, she got bids for around $12,000 for what would be a one-week job. A deconstruction, she discovered, would cost $25,000 and take at least two weeks.

But Ms. Leigh decided to do a deconstruction after further calculation—and she was rewarded when the materials from the deconstruction translated to a $34,000 tax benefit. “It was more men and took two weeks instead of one,” says the 56 year old. “But I still came out ahead by $10,000.” Ms. Leigh and her husband last month moved into their newly rebuilt 2,770-square-foot Normandy-style home.

Some cities are now aiming to incentivize homeowners to try deconstruction. In Palo Alto, homeowners don’t need to wait for a building permit to be approved before they can proceed with a deconstruction, whereas they must obtain a permit before moving ahead with a regular demolition. The city’s ordinances now also require that 90% of “inert debris” such as asphalt and concrete from a construction project, plus 80% of the remaining construction and demolition debris such as metal and wood, be diverted away from landfills, says Scott McKay, an associate planner in the Palo Alto Department of Planning.

All of that has pushed Palo Alto developer James Witt, who has been building homes for more than three decades, to try the process last year. He has now done two home deconstructions, including one of a two-bedroom bungalow this past week. Mr. Witt says he looked into doing deconstructions in the past, but they were generally five to six times the cost of a regular demolition. Now prices for deconstruction are becoming more competitive with demolitions, so “I’m pretty sure we’ll do it going forward,” he says.

For Robert and Monica Fortunato in Hermosa Beach, Calif., deconstruction was one piece of a larger project to renovate their 1959 contemporary home to become a net-zero-energy and zero-carbon house, meaning the home would ideally harvest as much energy as it used on an annualized basis. Through a deconstruction last year that cost $11,000, the couple saved French doors, toilets and lumber and netted a $38,000 tax deduction.

“We wanted to save as much as we could,” says Mr. Fortunato, a 49-year-old strategy consultant.

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swisher still in trouble due to choice purchase

Posted on by mcooper

Swisher Hygiene is getting confidential treatment from the Securities and Exchange Commission on an exhibit it excluded from an 8-K filing on Nov. 1.

The filing involved Swisher’s sale of Pompano Beach-based Choice Environmental Services to Waste Services of Florida and some other matters.

“Based on representations by Swisher Hygiene Inc. that this information qualifies as confidential commercial or financial information under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), the Division of Corporation Finance has determined not to publicly disclose it,” according to an SEC order issued last week.

Exhibit 10.1 would remain secret to the public until July 31.

The website for the law firm of Qashu & Schoenthaler LLP says there are nine exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act under Rule 24-b2 cited by Swisher. The most common is “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged and confidential.”

The 8-K also announced the departure of Senior VP Hugh Cooper, who will receive $225,000 in severance, paid out over 52 weeks. According to Forbes, Cooper was Swisher’s treasurer.

Cooper’s LinkedIn page says he started in August as an executive VP and CFO at VinKing Marine Enterprises in Canada. Cooper has registered VinKing.us as the website for the St. Johns, Newfoundland-based company, but it didn’t appear operational.

Swisher Senior VP and CFO Brian Krass resigned in September after less than four months on the job. William T. Nanovsky is the interim senior VP and CFO. Nanovsky is a founding partner at SCA Group LLC in Boca Raton.

In early December, I reported that Swisher said it doesn’t expect restatements for the first three quarters of 2011 will be more than the previously announced $4.6 million.

Swisher (NASDAQ: SWSH) traded at $1.56 after that news broke, and was down 5 cents, or 2.69 percent, $1.81 in Monday midmorning trading. The 52-week high was $3.89 on Jan. 26. The 52-week low was $1.10 on Nov. 15.

Swisher is based in Charlotte, N.C., but its chairman is H. Wayne Huizenga of Fort Lauderdale, and it has many South Florida shareholders. Huizenga and former Swisher CEO Steven R. Berrard previously teamed at Blockbuster and AutoNation (NSYE: AN).

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miami electronics recycling

Posted on by mcooper

Courtesy, Basel Action NetworkVarious televisions and monitors are pictured in this shipping container that the Basel Action Network investigators took before it went overseas.

An electronics recycler and its two top executives were convicted of lying to customers, saying they were recycling hazardous components responsibly while they sent items to developing countries.

Englewood, Colo.-based Executive Recycling and its former CEO Brandon Ritcher, 38, and former vice president of operations Tor Olson, 37, were convicted of several charges, and acquitted of several wire fraud charges.

In total, the company was convicted of nine of the 15 charges it faced. Ritcher was convicted of nine of the 16 charges he faced and Olson was convicted of eight of the 16 charges he faced.

The charges they were convicted on included mail and wire fraud, obstruction and environmentalcrimes related to the illegal disposal of electric waste.

The convictions came after an 11-day trial and more than two days of jury deliberations. The group was indicted in the fall of 2011.

The government alleged that the company exported cathode ray tubes to foreign countries, including China. The company exported over 300 containers between 2005 and 2008 and approximately half of those containers contained a total of 100,000 CRTs.

The exports were happening while the company claimed they were recycling the items domestically and responsibly.

The Basel Action Network originally exposed the company for sending items overseas and worked with CBS’ “60 Minutes” on a piece about the exporting issue.

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city of doral garbage services gets trumped

Posted on by mcooper

Air travel, it is well documented, has been difficult during this holiday season.

Just not for everybody.

During the Doral Publix Junior Classic this week on Doral’s famed Blue Monster course, startled players and spectators gaped and then started pointing out toward the course as a helicopter landed on the ninth fairway.

Once people got a glimpse of the helicopter, they quickly became aware what was happening.

The Donald had landed.

Donald Trump, who recently purchased the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, was visiting one of his acquisitons, which included the golf courses on the property. So, if he wants to make the course his own private landing strip, he certainly can.

It should be noted that the players in the tournament had long played past the ninth hole and the area was completely clear when the chopper landed. People watching the ongoings realized quickly who was arriving. It was difficult not to, as the helicopter had TRUMP in huge letters painted on its side.

Since Trump’s purchase of the property, the official name of the golf courses and spa is no longer Doral Golf Resort & Spa. It is now Trump National Doral.

In the future, Trump, who now owns 13 golf courses, plans to revamp the courses at Doral, including toughening up the Blue Monster (once feared but in recent years playing much tamer). In recent years and into the foreseeable future, Doral has been the host to a World Golf Championship event in March, one of golf’s top tournaments behind the four majors.

Trump bought the Doral Golf Resort & Spa (buildings, land, four golf courses, etc.) for approximately $150 million and is expected to sink $200 million into revamping the courses and property.

• The Doral Junior Classic, run by Charlie DeLucca, is the biggest of all the amateur tournaments that dominate the South Florida golf scene during the holiday season. The tournament, which has more than 700 entrants, is dedicated to emphasizing academics and ethical values in addition to golf shots being hit by some of the best juniors in the world.

Here are the younger and smaller players who won their divisions during the tournament: Boys —Adrien Pendaries, France (12-13); Rasmus Bofill, Denmark (10-11); Nicklas Staub, Boynton Beach (8-9); Alejandro Fierro, France (7-under). Girls — Sara Garcia Real, Spain (12-13); Brittany Shin, Boynton Beach (10-11); Elle Nachmann, Boca Raton (8-9); Chloe Kovelesky, Boca Raton (7-under).

JR. ORANGE BOWL

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/25/3156593/donald-trump-big-plans-for-doral.html#storylink=cpy
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even japan dumps in our landfills

Posted on by mcooper

Courtesy, Oregon Department of Parks and RecreatioResidents look at a dock that washed ashore in Oregon earlier this year. Officials in Washington said they believe a similar dock has come ashore there.

Another dock likely washed into the Pacific Ocean following a devastating tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 has shown up on the West Coast.

Officials in Washington said they have been unable to reach the dock, which has washed ashore on a remote beach near LaPush, only accessible by primitive trails in Olympic National Park. That area of the coast has been hit hard by high winds and high tide, and a ground crew is likely going to attempt to reach the dock today, the Washington State Marine Debris Task Force announced.

“We’re extremely grateful for the support and expertise of our federal and Washington state partners,” said Sarah Creachbaum, Olympic National Park superintendent in a statement. “As we move forward as a team, our first concerns will be safety in this rugged stretch of coastline and assessment and containment of any invasive species.”

A massive dock washed ashore earlier this year in Oregon and officials there dismantled the structure and landfilled it.

In November, officials in Japan announced a $5 million gift to the United States through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program to help in the cost of cleanup of debris.

NOAA has received 1,432 official debris reports, of which 17 have been confirmed as definite tsunami debris.

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