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New Study Links Bullying To Violence At Home

A new report issued last week by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, prepared with the assistance of the Department of Health in Massachusetts, suggests that bullying can be linked to violence at home, whether the person is a bully or a victim of bullying. It was found by researchers that amongst middle and high school students across the state, there was more family violence at home amongst those pupils that had been involved in bullying at school, whether as a victim or the bully. Massachusetts regularly surveys the students to keep track of health and behavior trends in the states, but recently involved questions about bullying in the survey. The intentions were to discover the scope of the problem after the 2009 suicide deaths of Phoebe Prince, 15 (South … Read entire article »

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March Housing Shows Gains In Starts and Permits

Housing starts, initially reported to have plunged in February to the lowest level in almost 12 months rebounded in March with gains in both starts and permits, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. February data was revised to also record sharp gains. Single family home construction experienced an even stronger rebound at 7.7 percent from the previous month. Single home construction represents about 75 percent of the market. Building permits increased to 594,000, representing an 11.2 percent jump. However, month to month data is volatile based on weather conditions and the trend shows no significant indication of recovery more than 3 years since prices plummeted. Alexander Miron at Moody’s Analytics stated “Residential construction regained some lost ground in March, but construction starts remain very low from a historical perspective.” The housing sector is a key pillar … Read entire article »

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Real Estate Market Continues to Stabilize – Some Fragility Remains

The US housing market showed signs of continued stabilization in March. The national median list price was at $199,500, only marginally higher than the median list price in February ($199,000) and within (0.25%) of the median list price 12 months earlier. Inventories grew during March by 2.27 percent, contributing to a peak of 9.75 percent above 2010 levels, though reports indicate that the rate of increase year-over-year appears to be slowing down after January and February year-to-year increases in total listings were 13.02 percent and 17.33 percent, respectively. Also reported, the number of households searching for housing is growing substantially. Compared to 2010, the number of searches on the website increased by 15.14 percent. In a sign that demand may be rebounding, the growth in searches exceeded the growth in inventory … Read entire article »

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New Garden Design Promotes Diversity and Sustainability, Helps Earthquake Victims

More than 1000 New Zealand native plants have been sent to London’s Chelsea Flower Show in an effort which should aid conservation of rare and endangered New Zealand Plants. At the end of the show the plants will be auctioned and proceeds given to the Red Cross for earthquake relief in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Japan. Adoption of the exotic specimens and rare New Zealand plants by British Gardeners is hoped to promote diversity and sustainability of the plants, some of which are endangered. More than 157,000 visitors from around the Globe attend the Chelsea Garden Show each year. The show, which runs from 24 – 28 May, attracts Royalty and celebrities. The New Zealand display, organized by garden designer Xanthe White, is the … Read entire article »

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New Flame Retardant for Construction and Consumer Products Addresses Health Concerns

Planned to be available to home-owners in 2011, Dow Global Technologies LLC (DGTL) announced the invention and development of a new, high molecular weight brominated Polymeric Flame Retardant (Polymeric FR) that addresses health concerns associated with other retardants. This is expected to be the ‘next generation industry standard’ flame retardant for use in both extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation applications globally. The development is the result of Dow’s continuing search for more sustainable products – in this case for a flame retardant that can effectively replace hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), against the backdrop of impending regulatory restrictions on HBCD that have been initiated by the European Union and by several countries. HBCD is used in … Read entire article »

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Research Indicates Unexpected Influence on House Value

A new report indicates that investing in “curb appeal,” in the form of landscaping and lawn care, has an unexpectedly large effect on a home market’s value. At a time when house prices have collapsed in many parts of the U.S., the research conducted across 5000 home owners suggests that every dollar invested in the previously underestimated factor of “curb appeal” will return an estimated $1.80 – equating to a national average increase of $39,000. The 2011 report, released by Husqvarna,suggests that well designed landscaping raised the perceived residential property value by as much as 18%. This changes the traditional view of the tactics most effective at increasing the value of a home. Findings also indicated that while homeowners consider their yards an investment, only … Read entire article »

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