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Why solar is seeing a boost during California's wildfires

Business / Business News /

Widespread power shutoffs across the Golden State during peak wildfire season have spurred demand for what's called "solar-plus-storage" as a way for customers to keep their lights on.

"Calling it an 'uptick' would be an understatement," said Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Cinnamon Energy Systems, a Silicon Valley-based solar company. Cinnamon said the...Read more

Under the Hood: Indicator-based maintenance recommendation systems are not ideal

Business / Business News /

Q: Honda doesn't offer maintenance schedules in their manuals. You're supposed to use the letter codes as they pop up. Unfortunately, the minder keeps getting reset at 5,000 miles for oil changes, and I don't have a chance to see it. It's a 2010 Fit with 96,000 miles. Have I passed the time for tune-up?

--Paul

A: I agree, an indicator-based ...Read more

The Week Ahead: The hearing you may not hear about

Business / Business News /

The U.S. House Intelligence Committee begins holding public hearings as part of the House impeachment inquiry in the week ahead. Four long blocks away from the epicenter of impeachment politics, the most powerful man in global finance will also be talking.

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Jerome Powell is scheduled to testify before the Joint ...Read more

As Chicago considers minimum wage proposal, a new study finds that black female tipped workers are struggling to make ends meet

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO --As Chicago considers a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021, a new study shows that black female workers in tipped positions in the city struggle to make ends meet.

One Fair Wage, a New York-based nonprofit that advocates for ending the subminimum wage, the lower wage that tipped workers collect, released a report...Read more

Those classic Shelby race cars in 'Ford v Ferrari' aren't what they seem

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When director James Mangold's new movie "Ford v Ferrari" hits theaters Nov. 15, car nuts may find themselves asking where the filmmakers found all those classic Carroll Shelby race cars from the 1960s, which sell for millions of dollars when they become available.

They didn't. The filmmakers borrowed modern versions of those vehicles from ...Read more

As LA ports automate, some workers are cheering on the robots

Business / Business News /

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Day after day, Walter Diaz, an immigrant truck driver from El Salvador, steers his 18-wheeler toward the giant ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Will it take him a half hour to pick up his cargo? Or will it be as long as seven hours? He never knows.

Diaz is paid by the load, so he applauds the arrival of more waterfront...Read more

Company that bought Bite Squad signals it paid way too much

Business / Business News /

The company that in January bought Bite Squad, the Minneapolis food delivery firm, on Thursday wrote off much of that deal.

It had been the most valuable acquisition involving a Twin Cities tech startup this decade.

Waitr Holdings Inc. disclosed a $192 million write-off as it announced quarterly results Thursday, contributing to a $220 million...Read more

Sears, Kmart to close 96 stores, including 2 in Illinois

Business / Business News /

The parent company of Sears and Kmart plans to close 96 stores by February, including two in Illinois.

That will leave Sears and Kmart with just 182 stores, fewer than half the number remaining when Transformco bought the retailer out of bankruptcy earlier this year. Transformco is controlled by Sears' former CEO Edward Lampert and his hedge ...Read more

GM sells its Lordstown Assembly plant to electric truck start-up

Business / Business News /

General Motors said it has sold its Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio after idling the plant in March.

GM sold the 6.2 million-square-foot facility to an investment group called Lordstown Motors, which is backed by electric truck maker Workhorse Group.

The amount of the sale is not being disclosed nor is a start-up date for production.

...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: Trump's attack on lightbulb standards is his flimsiest environmental rollback yet

Business / Business News /

Consider the lightbulb.

One of the lowliest electric devices in our homes and offices, the lightbulb revolutionized daily life after it was improved through Thomas Edison's innovations. It became so ubiquitous as to be barely noticeable, except when it burned out and had to be replaced.

Or when rules requiring bulbs to be more energy-efficient...Read more

PG&E reports $1.6 billion loss, expects wildfire, blackout issues to cost $6.3 billion

Business / Business News /

PG&E Corp. reported Thursday $1.6 billion in shareholder losses for the third quarter of 2019, resulting primarily from insurance claims associated with the 2018 Camp Fire and 2017 Northern California wildfires for which the utility company's equipment has been blamed.

And PG&E estimates that those claims -- combined with factors including ...Read more

US fraud prosecutors demand Ford Focus, Fiesta documents

Business / Business News /

U.S. Department of Justice criminal fraud investigators have demanded documents related to the transmission used in about 2 million Ford Fiesta and Focus vehicles sold throughout this decade, the Free Press has learned.

The Free Press obtained a subpoena issued in April in Case No. 126 before a District of Columbia grand jury requesting "all ...Read more

Disney profits top Wall Street estimates as streaming wars begin

Business / Business News /

Walt Disney Co. reported fourth-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street expectations, capping a year of dramatic change for the company ahead of the launch of its all-important new streaming service.

The Burbank entertainment company posted profit of $1.07 a share for the three months that ended in September. While that was down 28% from the ...Read more

States try to ferret out unnamed landlords

Business / Business News /

NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- This small Hudson Valley city features sweeping river and mountain views, charming rowhouses and Victorian homes that are drawing young professionals looking for a break from high housing costs downriver.

But the sight of abandoned or dilapidated houses next to renovated ones is a reminder that the city's revival still faces ...Read more

UPS launches holiday rewards program for use of Access Point delivery locations

Business / Business News /

ATLANTA -- UPS is launching a holiday rewards program to encourage customers to pick up packages at alternate locations through its Access Point network, which include Michaels stores, UPS Stores and local businesses like delis, dry cleaners and flower shops.

The shipping giant has been looking for ways to increase the "density" of its ...Read more

SeaWorld names hotel industry executive as new CEO

Business / Business News /

SeaWorld Entertainment announced Thursday it has appointed Sergio "Serge" Rivera, an executive in the vacation ownership industry, to replace its recently departed CEO, who left following disagreements with the board over decision-making.

Rivera, 57, who most recently served as president of Ocean Reef Club, a private residential club, and had ...Read more

'I just wanted to have it over.' Auction stalls for 350-year-old Connecticut homestead after 9 minutes

Business / Business News /

FARMINGTON, Conn. -- The historic farmhouse in Farmington passed down by the Wadsworths for 350 years will be staying in the family, at least a little bit longer.

An auction in the backyard of the house at 107 Main St. Wednesday afternoon broke off after just nine minutes, after bidding stalled at $125,000, with just two bidders upping the ante...Read more

Matt Kempner: Georgia farm troubles lead to spike in bankruptcy action

Business / Business News /

The number of Georgia farm bankruptcies has surged in recent months to among the highest in the nation, as growers grappled with poor prices, burdensome tariffs and lingering effects from brutal weather.

But the level is still lower than it was in some other recent years.

Though millions of dollars in assistance have begun to roll out, many ...Read more

Mattel finance team and auditor reportedly obscured accounting error

Business / Business News /

Mattel Inc.'s finance team and its outside auditor effectively buried an accounting error that affected its financial results in the latter half of 2017, according to a published report.

Finance executives and employees of the auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, discovered the error in early 2018 but it wasn't accurately reflected in Mattel's ...Read more