Monthly Archives: May 2011

Increased business travel could boost Ruby Tuesday

 

Ruby Tuesday’s stock price has been on a downward spiral since the first of the year as the recovery has slowed and higher gasoline prices have taken a bite out of consumer budgets.

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday

But there is reason to expect better times ahead for the Maryville, Tenn.-based company.

“Chains like The Cheesecake Factory Inc., Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. and Ruby Tuesday Inc. could benefit from the return of business travel,” the Associated Press reported today, citing two Keybanc analysts.

 

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Will gas prices fall as fast as they went up?


After watching gasoline prices rise sharply for most of the spring, drivers are finally getting a little relief.


gas03_SY.jpg
Gasoline prices fell again on Friday and some analysts expect fuel costs to drop even more in the coming weeks. But will pump prices fall as fast as they went up?

I doubt it.

In Knoxville, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded on Friday fell 1.5 cents to $3.606, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Thats more than 8 cents lower than a week ago. However, this time last year the average was $2.579.

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Can you afford a vacation this year?

A recent survey by CareerBuilder, an online job site, found that a growing number of U.S. workers are finding it difficult to get away from work. Twenty-four percent of workers surveyed said they don’t have the money for a vacation this year, up from 21 percent in 2010.Beach+Pollution.jpg

Another 12 percent of the more than 5,000 full-time workers surveyed said they have the money, but still aren’t planning to take a vacation.

The good news is that with the economy improving, 36 percent of workers said “they feel more comfortable taking a vacation than they did in 2010,” CareerBuilder reported.

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Educators in the Workplace registration deadline Saturday

Knoxville area teachers interested in learning more about local businesses have until Saturday to apply for this year’s Educators in the Workplace program.

Since 2009 the Knoxville Chamber has sponsored a summer program that connects teachers across the Innovation Valley with local companies.

Teachers can learn first-hand about the skills their students will need when they enter the work force,” said Garrett Wagley, the chamber’s vice president of policy and public relations.

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High gas prices a matter of perspective

Just got back from a few days in San Francisco visiting my daughter, Julia. Beautiful weather, lots of fun and too much rich food. But glad to be home and not paying California gasoline prices.sutro.jpg

Even though Knoxville pump prices are high — today’s average for a gallon of regular unleaded is about $3.65, up more than a $1 gallon from this time last year — I saw prices as high as $4.29 in San Francisco over the weekend.

muir woods.jpgHigh fuel prices are a matter of perspective, but four bucks a gallon is high no matter where you live. Which probably explains the large number of hybrids on SF streets.

Photos: (right) View from a cave at Sutro Baths ruins,  San Francisco Bay; (left) Coastal Redwoods in Muir Woods, north of San Francisco.

A truly moving movie experience

With ticket sales declining, movie theaters are investing in new technologies to enhance the movie watching experience. The newest gimmick — motion-enhanced theater seats.

D-Box Technologies Inc., a Canadian company, is marketing a new seat that moves forward, backward and side to side in sync with the action on the screen. Does that sound cool, or what?

Check out this Wall Street Journal story: Gyrating at a Theater Near You: D-Box’s Moving Movie Seats

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Haslam whiffs on Amazon tax issue

Missed opportunities can haunt us all of our lives. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam had one of those moments yesterday.Amazon+Sales+Tax.jpg

Haslam had a chance Tuesday to come out in favor of legislation that would require Amazon.com to collect state sales taxes on Tennessee purchases after it opens a pair fullfillment centers near Chattanooga.

But he whiffed.

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Tennessee chambers blast Wall Street Journal

In response to a stinging Wall Street Journal editorial, the Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville chambers of commerce have sent a letter to the Journal editor to set the record straight regarding the chambers’ position on the controversial school voucher issue.

The Journal accused the chambers of “joining with the teachers unions to kill education vouchers” in an editorial published on May 13 under the headline: “Tennessee’s Chamber Maids”.

The conspiracy charge is “unfounded” and the Journal opinion piece completely misses the need to ensure that school voucher legislation includes public accountability, the chambers’ letter says.

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Trump is so byspelt

From the “Forgotten English” desk calendar, today’s word is Byspelt: “strange, awkward GOP+Presidential+Field.jpgfigure … acting contrary to reason or propriety; as if labouring under the influence of a spell.”

I’m sure it’s a coincidence, but does this sound like Donald Trump?

It was so sad to hear that The Donald had dropped his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. The primary is going to be so boring now.

MSNBC: Trump not running for president

Donald Trump website

Photo: Donald Trump (Associated Press)

Column on Reagan tax legacy draws fire and support

News Sentinel readers posted some interesting comments on my Sunday column looking at
RONALD+REAGAN.jpghow President Ronald Reagan raised taxes to solve the budget crisis of the 1980s.

For a change, no one directly questioned my sanity.

I appreciate all of those who shared their opinion, although obviously not everyone agreed with my assertion that it will take both spending cuts and tax increases to solve the current budget crisis.

In case you missed it, here’s a link to the column. The comments are definitely worth reading.

 

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