Category Archives: Business

CALTRANS WEIGHS OPTIONS ON BAY BRIDGE

imageOakland, California -Facing criticism amid its announcement that the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge will not open by Labor Day as originally scheduled, Caltrans is now considering several options to appease irate commuters who rely on the bridge for their daily trek to and from San Francisco. Earlier, top engineering experts have said that the new span will not withstand even a 5.0 earthquake due to the faulty bolts.

Caltrans said it is re-evaluating whether it is even worth it to continue with the construction of the new span. Apparently, replacing the faulty bolts will cost as much as it has already spent in building the new bridge. Caltrans declined to reveal a dollar amount.

The second option is to retrofit the old span and add rainbow-colored lights to the bridge that would create a spectacular view of the old structure at night and on foggy days.

imageThe third option which is currently being negotiated is to station three Carnival Cruise ships in the Bay Area to ferry passengers between Oakland and San Francisco during heavy commute times.  Carnival Cruises is reportedly very interested in the Caltrans proposal considering problems the shipping lines has had in the past year.  As a result of accidents at sea as well as fire and electrical problems, Carnival Cruises has been losing business. Caltrans said this third option might work well for San Francisco and Oakland commuters given their party and fun-loving nature.

It wasn’t clear whether  the final decision by Caltrans would require approval by Bay Area voters through a ballot initiative.

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PHILIPPINE BEER COMPANY TO BUILD AND MANAGE NEW TOLL ROAD IN MANILA

san migManila, Philippines – Southeast Asia’s largest publicly listed food, beverage and packaging company,  San Miguel Corporation,  is slated in January to start  construction work on a  Fifteen Billion Peso toll road that would connect Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport to existing expressways in the metropolis.  The project , when completed, is expected to greatly ease traffic gridlock which is an everyday occurrence  leading to and from the airport. It will also serve as a short cut to the gambling casinos along Manila Bay.

This project is part of  President Noynoy Aquino Administration’s public-private partnership, where public projects such as these are funded wholly, or in part, by private corporations, with strings attached of course.

Established in 1890 as a brewery, San Miguel Corporation has some 17,000 employees in over 100 major facilities throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It carries many brand names in the Philippine food and beverage industry, including San Miguel Pale Pilsen, Ginebra San Miguel, Monterey, Magnolia, and Purefoods. San Miguel Beer is one of the largest selling beers and among the top ten selling beer brands in the world.express

Return on Investment

As part of the signed agreement, San Miguel Corporation will invest P11 Billion in the project.  The company’s return on investment will come when it starts collecting toll along the completed sky way. It wasn’t clear whether any portion of the toll fees will go to the government.

Almost Botched

Informed sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said that there was one major roadblock to the signing of the agreement. San Miguel Corporation wanted to sell its premiere product, San Miguel Beer, at the toll booths leading up to the expressway.  Initially, the Aquino Administration objected to the idea because this would be in violation of the country’s DUI regulations.  After weeks of negotiation, however, the Aquino Administration relented, on the condition that only San Miguel Lite Beer, not the regular beer, will be sold at the toll booths.  The government also sought a concession from San Miguel Corporation which agreed to share 10% of all beer sales at the toll booths with the government.

HOMELESS NEW YORKER MAKES $250 A DAY CUTTING BAGELS

imageNew York, New York – Cut or  uncut bagels, that is the question. An obscure New York sales tax regulation mandates that the sale of whole bagels isn’t subject to sales tax, but the tax applies to sliced or prepared bagels with cream cheese or other toppings.  The state’s Department of Taxation and Finance also reminds business owners and consumers alike that “if the bagel is eaten in the store, even if it’s never been touched by a knife, it’s also taxed.

For Conrad Smith, a homeless New Yorker who is a veteran of the Vietnam War, this regulation has opened up a lucrative opportunity for him to earn an average of $250 a day.    Smith has set up a makeshift “shop” just outside a popular bagel store on 42nd Street. He invested $50 dollars of his hard-earned cash to purchase  a portable table and chair combo from IKEA, and a stainless bread knife from Crate & Barrel.

Seven days a week, Smith sets up shop and charges fifty cents for every bagel he cuts with his knife and another fifty cents for the use of his portable table and chair. Customers are glad to patronize Smith’s business, saying that they’d rather help a veteran than pay extra in sales tax to add to the state’s already fat coffers.

Although New York, like San Francisco, has a “sit and lie” ordinance, prohibiting homeless and other people from sitting on sidewalks, setting up a table and chair along the sidewalk does not violate the ordinance.

Smith told The Adobo Chronicles that he is saving up his earnings so that one day, he can establish his own bagel shop, and give another homeless veteran the opportunity to make a living cutting whole bagels.