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San Francisco leads top 10 eco-friendly list

BY HBSDEALER Staff

California cities dominate the top-ten Eco-Friendliest Cities list assembled by small business-oriented web site thumbtack.com

San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose rank one, two and three on the list, which measures the per capita prevalence of a representative group of ten types of green services. More details about the data are here.

Here are the top ten eco-friendly cities from the list:

1. San Francisco
2. Oakland, Calif.
3. San Jose, Calif.
4. Las Vegas
5. Raleigh, N.C.
6. Columbus, Ohio
7. Seattle, Wash.
8. Kansas City, Mo.
9. Denver, Colo.
10. San Diego, Calif.

 

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Improving markets list shortens

BY Brae Canlen

The list of U.S. housing markets that showed measurable and sustained improvement dropped by four, from 84 to 80, in August 2012, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). This number includes representatives from 32 states plus the District of Columbia.

Shifting home prices caused nine markets to fall from the list, while 75 markets that retained their places and five new ones were added.

The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. The five metros that were added to the list this month include Miami and Palm Bay, Fla.; Hinesville, Ga.; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Lubbock, Texas. 

"The list of improving housing markets in August includes metros across every region of the country, all of which have distinctly different characteristics in terms of their economic and employment bases as well as other factors," noted Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "One thing that most markets have in common, however, is the tight lending environment for both builders and buyers that continues to drag on their positive momentum."

"The fact that we continue to see a strong core of metros showing up on the improving list each month adds to the growing evidence that the emerging housing recovery has a solid foundation on which to build as housing returns to its traditional role of driving economic growth," observed NAHB chief economist David Crowe. 

For a complete list of all 84 metropolitan areas currently on the NAHB/IMI index, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in August, click here.

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Friendly Batman or Dark Knight? Man arrested at big box

BY Brae Canlen

A man wearing a Batman-like mask cape and body armor was arrested outside a Mansfield, N.J.-area Home Depot after scaring a number of shoppers by approaching them to ask if he could help in any way.

According to an article in the Express Times, Matthew Argintar, 23, is part of a members-only group called Real Life Super Heroes (Reallifesuperheroes.org) that provides content on crime fighting, equipment and police scanner feeds.

Several Home Depot customers called 911 after Argintar began waving at children and offering assistance to people entering or exiting the store. Police speculated that last month’s movie theater shooting on the opening night of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Denver may have helped cause the panic.

Argintar told reporters at the scene that he normally only comes out in costume at night; this was his first public venture during daylight hours. His mission, he said, is to “inspire hope.”

Police charged Argintar with being disorderly and unlawful possession of handcuffs. He was taken to Hackettstown Regional Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation and was then released, pending an appearance Aug. 21 in Mansfield Township Municipal Court.

Mansfield Township police Lt. Michael Reilly said the charges were justified.

"The officers on scene determined why there were charges based on his behavior," Reilly told the newspaper. "He scared the heck out of the citizens."

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