New pesticide to protect against deer
According to an article in the Star Tribune, a Minnesota scientist has developed a pesticide that works its way up through the roots of a plant to protect it from deer and other animals.
Because the pesticide product is weather-resistant, the company that licensed the product calls it a "game-changing" technology, according to the article.
In soft October, builders concerned over financing
Nationwide housing starts declined 11.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 519,000 units in October, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department today. The decline was primarily registered in the more volatile multi-family sector, where starts retreated 43.5% to an 83,000-unit rate, while single-family starts posted a more modest 1.1% decline to 436,000 units.
“Home builders continue to be very cautious about starting new projects at this time,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “That said, in markets where consumer demand for new homes is reviving, builders are finding it almost impossible to obtain construction financing, and this frustrating situation is producing an unnecessary drag on both new-home production and economic growth.”
“October single-family starts and permitting activity remained essentially in line with the third quarter’s trend,” noted NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “What this tells us is that the market is running at a steady, but slow rate following the downturn that took place upon expiration of the home buyer tax credit program and the economic slowdown this summer. Today, builders are just starting to report some improvement in buyer demand, which should gradually translate into more sales activity, and more starts, as the economy strengthens. The great concern is that this positive momentum will be stifled due to builders’ inability to obtain financing for new construction at a time when inventories of completed new homes are very thin.”
OSHA outlines Black Friday precautions
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has encouraged the CEOs of 14 major retailers to look at their crowd-control measures to avoid out-of-control crowd-related injuries during so-called “Black Friday,” the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.
The guidelines include:
• Set up barricades or rope lines for crowd management well in advance of customers arriving at the store. • Move shopping carts and other potential obstacles away from the entrance. • During the sales event, make sure that all employees and crowd-control personnel are aware that the doors are about to open.