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Category: Uncategorized

Can You Be Clean, Green, and Legal?

Posted on January 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

You may have seen something on the news about Spokane, Washington where there is now a ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates. While this may seem to be an isolated case, there are actually several states (including the rest of the state of Washington) that will make dishwashing soap made with phosphates above a very small level illegal in 2010.

What is phosphate anyway and why is it used in dish washing soap?  Phosphate is an inorganic chemical that is a combination of salt and phosphoric acid.  Because it can clean things like hard water stains, and grease, phosphates are used in all kinds of things including dish washing soap. 

Why all the fuss?  Phosphate is a problem when it finds its way to freshwater rivers and lakes.  The phosphate encouraged the growth of algae which depletes the oxygen in these rivers and lakes, killing off fish and other wildlife. 

While there are green alternatives out there, deleting the phosphates from the dish washing soap can leave one unsatisfied with the resulting product-and a lot of dirty dishes.  Plus some of these green alternatives are pricier than their cheaper phosphorous counterparts.  This has caused people to travel outside their state to obtain contraband detergent from other states-which, of course, defeats the purpose of the bank in the first place. 

What should you look for in a green dish washing soap?  Are there green products that work as well?  While there is no direct substitute for phosphorous, but there are other substances that can be used.  How well they will work depends on a number of factors, perhaps the most important being the hardness of the water used for cleaning.

One ingredient that be used is a surfactants.  Surfactants are usually biodegradable and are used to provide cleaning power and increase the ability of the water to separate the soil from the dish. Anionic surfactants work well as detergents, but can be less than effective in hard water. Amphoteric surfactants are used for their foaming power and can often be found with anionic surfactants. There are other substitutes for phosphates, but these can be even more dangerous than the phosphates. They include nitrilotriacatic acid (NTA) and caustic alkaline chemicals (which are particularly dangerous when ingested-as sometimes happens with children).

It may take some trial and error to come up with the phosphate substitute that works best in your water.  It is unlikely that the ban on phosphates is going away, so it is better to start exploring the options now.  In the meantime, the soap manufacturers continue work on the perfect phosphate substitute, but there are some excellent alternatives out there.

The Dish: Hall Of Shadows

Posted on January 4, 2019 in Uncategorized

The BALCO controversy? Just a coupla cowboys, stabbin’ each other in the back.

Yahoo Sports reported this week that the source of the leaks that blew open the BALCO case against Barry Bonds and many others was BALCO defense lawyer Troy Ellerman. Which is already pretty crazy. The San Francisco Chronicle reporters who wrote the book Game Of Shadows, which had details of grand jury testimony which shouldn’t legally have gotten into the public domain, are currently awaiting sentencing of up to 18 months in prison for refusing to reveal their sources. Ellerman, who worked for the defense in the BALCO case, would be one weird hombre to be leaking information about Victor Conte and Bonds to reporters, wouldn’t you say?

Even weirder is the fact that Ellerman’s status as the potential leaker was exposed by private investigator Larry McCormack. Until recently, McCormack (who worked for the BALCO defense team in the first few months of the investigation) was the executive director of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, but was fired about three months ago. Ellerman, meanwhile, in addition to being a BALCO attorney, is the commissioner of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and helped McCormack get his job at the hall of fame. It’s been alleged (and McCormack denies this) that the reason McCormack is now speaking out about Ellerman being the source of the leak is revenge for having lost his job at the hall of fame. Of rodeo.

How ironic is that, people? Bonds may never get to the Baseball Hall of Fame because of some dudes squabbling over the Rodeo Hall of Fame.

What do you think of the Allen Iverson deal? Is Denver a legitimate threat now? And is Philly a lock for the NBA’s worst record?

BoDog Bookmakers, BoDog.ws: The deal was probably the best deal Billy King could receive, given the circumstances. Firstly, he was able to get two more first-round picks that can be traded or used to bring in some young talent. In addition, Andre Miller is a solid player, and he should help keep the 76ers from looking much worse than they already do. After Carmelo was suspended, Denver needed to make this deal more than anyone. How do you replace the NBA’s leading scorer? Get the NBA’s second-leading scorer. Iverson never takes a game off, and for the first time he has a legitimate, All-Star-caliber teammate. His scoring may drop, but his assists-per-game could go through the roof now that he has someone to pass the rock to. George Karl is a winner; he’ll get the better end of the deal with his new Nuggets team. On the other end, Philadelphia has all but assured themselves Greg Oden or Texas phenom Kevin Durrant.

The Jets, Jaguars, Bengals or Broncos: which teams will win the AFC Wild Cards, and why?

BDB, BoDog.ws: The remainder of the Jags’ schedule is tough, considering they have to play the Pats and Chiefs to finish the season. The Jets are lacking in overall talent, but are well-coached and have an easier schedule ahead of them. The winner of the Denver/Cincy game will squeeze through, but other than that, it’s too tough to call.

And do a little NFC Wild Card analysis for us: Eagles, Giants or Falcons? How come?

BDB, BoDog.ws: Eagles QB Jeff Garcia has come in and played some very effective football. Remember his taunting penalty against the Giants? It just goes to show how fired up he is, and how much this team is driven to win. Along with having to deal with an inconsistent quarterback, player dissent toward the coach, and numerous injuries, the Giants have also had to cope with Tiki’s pre-retirement announcement. They’re lucky to have a somewhat easier schedule to finish with. First up, they have the Saints at home, and then travel to Washington to finish against the Redskins. The Falcons are another team in disarray. Jim Mora is coaching to save his job after damaging comments by both him and his father. I’m not sure if the players will even play well enough for him to keep it.

Bodog’s current odds on winning the Super Bowl include a few teams between 5:1 and 10:1. These teams obviously aren’t the favorites, but they might be a place to find some value. Which wager do you like best out of: Dallas (8-1), Indianapolis (11-2), New England (10-1) and New Orleans (5-1), and why?

BDB, BoDog.ws: New England at 10-1 looks very good. The team is 10-4, with an outside chance of getting a bye. Tom Brady and coach Belichick are both winners. I think the loss against the Dolphins really reignited the fire within them.

Employee Bonus Agreements – Behind the Legal Jargon

Posted on January 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

Chances are, if you had never heard of an Employee Bonus Agreement before the beginning of 2009, you have now. The infamous bonus agreements dished out by AIG have been front page news, but what exactly is an employee bonus agreement and why are they sometimes so controversial?

The root of that explanation lies in the fact that bonus agreements are created, issued and signed at the time an employee is hired. In the case of AIG, a government bailout like the one that occurred was not foreseen so language specifically related to an outcome such as that was never written into the contract. AIG had their legal hands tied and the bonuses were, for the most part, still paid, although some were later returned by good-hearted employees.

In general, an employee bonus agreement is a straight forward and very brief document. They begin by stating the name of the company and the name of the individual employee (or group of employees) that the document covers. The first proper section of the agreement spells out what the bonuses are and under what circumstance they can be earned. This section can either be quite short, if the bonuses are straight forward and automatic, or it can be quite lengthy if there are several strings attached.

Some bonus contracts than have sections that spell out how the bonuses are paid (cash, stock, other assets) and when they are paid. One section that every agreement like this has is a part on termination. In some cases, termination prior to the completion of the requirements to receive a bonus can result in a complete forfeit of any bonus monies, but other contracts are pro-rated and you receive a percentage of your bonus based on what percentage of your goal you obtained before your dismissal. There is also a separate section stating how the company in question is obligated to notify you of your termination.

The final part of the contract often spells out what sort of tax obligation the employee would have for their bonuses, what kind of severance package a terminated employee would receive and if amendments to the initial agreement are allowed or not. Overall, an agreement such as this is very straight forward and quite simple to write, read and follow. However, as was seen in the recent AIG bailout, these simple documents can make a huge impact on the way a company does business.

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