Working for work: Trade skills not money

Forget cash. Forget banks that take a bite out of your dollars every time you head to an ATM machine. What about helping each other, getting something in return? No money needed. So it is with time banks and hour exchanges…Julie Fagan, a Rutgers University professor, recently launched time banks in several states, including Pennsylvania, she said. One is Monroe County PA Strong, a time bank anyone from the area can join. Members will help other members by using their skills, bank their hours and get services in return based on how many hours they invest. "It’s a sharing of talents and skills. We don’t place monetary value on services. Every man is created equal," she said. "Someone can pull weeds or give an elderly person a ride to a doctor’s appointment. The hard part is figuring out what you want to receive in return. It requires reciprocity to work. You have to be able to accept a gift in return."

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NJ Farmers Graduate from Rutgers Annie’s Project Course Focused on Greenhouse Production

Instructors and students in the Annie's Project NJ 2014 Greenhouse Grower Course pose on graduation day.

Instructors and students who participated in the Annie’s Project New Jersey course for greenhouse growers gather on graduation day.

Over the course of several weeks in January and February, Rutgers Cooperative Extension held a new farm business management program focusing on greenhouse production, Annie’s Project New Jersey for Greenhouse Growers, which featured a combination of classroom instruction and webinars. A total of 35 greenhouse growers participated in the program, the first of its kind focused on greenhouse production conducted by Annie’s Project’s New Jersey. Participants graduated in a March 4 ceremony held at the offices of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Burlington County. The guest speaker at the graduation was Matt Pavone, farm loan officer and N.J. Coordinator for Farm Loan Outreach of the USDA Farm Service Agency. [Read more...]

It’s not too late to resolve to fix your finances

If new year’s resolutions were ever so easily accomplished, then there would be little need for the psychological uplift attached to Jan. 1. If they were so easy to stick with, the same resolutions would not appear year after year on our lists. And so, a few weeks after we’ve made (and possibly broken) our resolutions, I’m here to remind you why it’s so important to stick with them…"All things being equal, employers will probably not hire an overweight (or) obese person over others because of the risk of future health care costs. Studies have found that discrimination based on weight in the workplace is more prevalent for women than men, especially white women in professional occupations," says Barbara O’Neill, a professor at Rutgers University and co-author of "Small Steps to Health and Wealth."

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Housing Advocate Claims Sandy Recovery Grants Racially Biased

Black and Latino applicants for Sandy aid in New Jersey are more likely to be rejected for recovery grants than white applicants, according to data released Thursday by a New Jersey housing advocate. The rejection rate for whites who applied for New Jersey’s two main grants for homeowners affected by Sandy was 13 to 14 percent. For Latinos, it was slightly higher – 18 to 20 percent; African Americans had the highest rejection rates at 35 to 38 percent…"I would say, in terms of disaster response, it’s the worst time for governments to really try to get [its programs] right," said Karen O’Neill, a human ecology professor at Rutgers University who’s been following the Sandy response. "Because getting it right with disadvantaged communities is a problem any day of the week for any ongoing programs, [and] these are one-time programs."

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Is growth for cities always a good thing?

The receptivity to innovation has rescued yesterday’s post-industrial city. Can the same spirit build a bridge to a more sustainable tomorrow? His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, visited Pittsburgh in 1988 to chair the first Remaking Cities event…The Remaking Cities Proposition to "cultivate the talent of their people" was crafted during thought-provoking discussions focused on the future. One of the speakers, Paul Gottlieb, Ph.D., of Rutgers, discussed his paper Growth Without Growth, published by the Brookings Institution. Gottlieb’s research confirmed that one type of growth, the growth of local income and wealth, is not improved by another type of growth, population growth.

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