FANNIE MAE PREFERS COMMUTING
The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) has begun offering bigger mortgages to homeowners living near train stations and bus stops and agreeing to limit the number of cars they own. It’s an attempt to ease traffic jams and revive older suburbs, it says.
A modest program was started in Philadelphia, PA, with plans to expand it to Washington, DC; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; and Louisville, KY.
The program is based on studies showing that homeowners who commute using public transportation can save $200 to $250 a month on owning, maintaining and insuring an automobile and, therefore, can afford more house.
TAKE THIS JOB . . .
AND HAVE SOME FUN
A little bit of fun never seems to hurt. Some workplace consultants say when employees have fun they are more likely to take their jobs seriously. Building workplace camaraderie with a dose of fun can boost job productivity and employee creativity, experts add.
Some suggestions for having fun at work include:
• Free lunch Thursdays
• Instead of sick days, offer I-feel-too-good-to-come-to-work days
• Turning a normal task into a challenge by pitting teams against each other for prizes
The National Association of Letter Carriers has named Paul Wagoner, Short Gap, WV, its Hero of the Year. Wagoner is a mail carrier in LaVale, MD, who decided to donate a kidney to one of the customers on his route after hearing of the customer’s longtime illness. The successful transplant was performed in May 2001.
The postal union also has selected mail carrier Jeff Krahn, Montgomery, IL, as Humanitarian of the Year. Krahn has been the motivating force behind many of the area’s charitable programs including blood drives, food drives, winter coat projects and an adopt-a-school program.
LOW COST LEGAL AID? IT COULD HAPPEN
Everyone needs a lawyer these days, but retaining one can be scary—new or small business owners especially don’t like the idea of hefty legal bills. But another option may be available: small business opportunity centers are opening at many university law schools.
Schools such as Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, are freeing students from classroom training and offering them real world experience through centers that provide small business owners access to low-cost, hourly legal advice.
Students at these centers can help area businesses with a range of legal issues including securing a trademark, drawing up confidentiality agreements and deciding whether to become incorporated, form a limited liability company or create another legal structure.
Ray Crist is not your typical employee. At age 102—that’s right, 102—he is officially America’s Oldest Worker so named by Experience Works, a national non-profit organization providing training and employment services to mature workers.
Crist was one of the scientists who originally worked on separating isotopes of uranium for use in the atomic bomb. He retired early at age 63, but went to work as an environmental scientist at Messiah College, Grantham, PA, where he devotes his time to environmentally friendly research and study.