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The three-legged frog that ate Nutley

For the past 80 years, Nutley, NJ has been a company town. For as long as anyone can remember, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Hoffman-La Roche has loomed over the local landscape and served up thousands of jobs along with thousands of little blue and yellow pills. The creator of valium and librium probably saw a spike in sales for the popular sedatives in Northern New Jersey late last month, when it sprung ...

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LEED Gets A Makeover! Americans Get Bored?

Yesterday, I received a press release from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announcing the new certification bodies for the LEED Green Building Rating System. These organizations are: ABS Quality Evaluations, Inc. BSI Management Systems American, Inc. Bureau Veritas North America, Inc. DNV Certification Interek KEMA-Registered Quality, Inc. Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance, Inc. NSF-International S ...

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Spittin’ in the wind

When we last left Rex Tillerson, chief executive of Exxon Mobil, the $479 billion fossil fuel empire he commands was proudly announcing a 29 percent increase in his annual compensation package. Well, Rex must have finished counting all that moolah, because he took the time last week to submit to a Q & A from The New York Times. In the interview, published in Sunday's Business section and adorned with a ...

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Hottest ticket in town

A rather bizarre sight greeted tax attorney Mark Vulcan when he arrived for work at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) in Baltimore earlier this month. Stretched out in front of the DBED office were a bunch of rumpled executives, several of whom had slept on the sidewalk all night, waiting for Vulcan to arrive. No, they weren't trying to purchase seats on the 50-yard-line fo ...

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Fannie Moe, Larry and Curly

As panicked depositors lined up in sweltering heat out West to bang on the doors of the shuttered IndyMac banking giant, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission emerged over the weekend to announce a major crackdown. The SEC usually doesn't work on weekends, because they are so tired from doing almost nothing during the work week, at least for the past seven years. So this figured to be a momentous anno ...

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Retail: Open for Business!

Back in May, Business Facilities ran a special advertising article on the retail industry, which highlighted a couple of U.S. retail hot spots. It also discussed the resilience of the industry, as it struggles to cope with and rebound from a shaky economy. Fortunately, the retail realm got a long-awaited boost thanks to the first round of federal economic stimulus checks reaching millions of Americans eager ...

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“Coal” is the New “Casino”

As I posted in April, Native Americans continue to push past stereotypes that peg their economic development efforts as nothing more than roulette wheels on reservation land. In fact, such casinos don't always find success, as was the case with the Crow Indians' Res-a-Vegas in south-central Montana. Fortunately, with an emphasis on fortune, the struggling Crow tribe has announced a new vision that will shif ...

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Selling ice to the Eskimos

There is a classic scene in the Simpsons movie when Homer and his family—arriving in Alaska to hide out from the EPA after Homer slimes Springfield by dumping a container of pig dung into the local lake—pull up at a toll booth and immediately are handed a $1,000 share of Alaskan oil revenue. The scene typifies the stereotype of Alaska as a state that sold its environmental soul to the oil industry in exchan ...

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New Camrys equipped with cable TV, dirty dishes

Does all the talk about the coming wave of electric cars have you thinking about extension cords? Or, to be more specific, do you toss and turn at night and wonder how you are going to maneuver the lawn mower around the extension cord while your new electric car is charging itself on the driveway? Not to worry. The great minds at Toyota already have given a lot of thought to these concerns, and they have a ...

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Ahnold terminates the competition at BIO

About two dozen state economic development programs were showcased at last week's BIO conference in San Diego, but for at least one afternoon the show floor belonged to a megastar from the host state. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took center stage at the huge international biotech meeting, first during a laugh-laden keynote address and then at a walk-through and press conference in the California booth. In hi ...

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