Posted in home improvement cast

We answer your questions about voting and Election Day 2020

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This story was published in partnership with The 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy.

Long lines due to expected record voter turnout amid a global pandemic. Ongoing concerns about online misinformation. Hundreds of lawsuits over voting. Poll workers facing changing election rules. An incumbent president who won’t guarantee a peaceful transfer of power.

In the lead-up to the November 3 election, there is an unprecedented onslaught of election-related news. At the center is President Donald Trump, who continues to lie about the overall security of mail-in voting and preemptively cast doubt on election results. He claimed without evidence during the first presidential debate that there could be rampant voter fraud during the election.

“He’s gaslighting and lying for a reason,” said Jena Griswold, the Democratic secretary of state in Colorado, about the president. “He’s trying to tilt the election in his favor by either

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Posted in home

Google Home: 5 questions you never knew you could ask

nest-audio-3

The new Nest Audio is the latest addition to the Google Home family.


Chris Monroe/CNET

Almost any thought that pops into your head can be turned into a Google Home trick. Need to crunch some numbers and too lazy to find your phone? Google Home can calculate it way faster. Not sure how to spell a word? Google Home knows how. The list of problems you can solve with Google Home is as nearly endless as Google’s search results.

After you’ve mastered the basics — playing musicchecking the weather, playing games — it’s time to expand your repertoire. Here are some of the best not-so-obvious questions and commands you can (and should) ask Google Home:

Restaurant reservations are surprisingly easy

Just say, “OK, Google, reserve a table for two at Spago for 7 o’clock tonight.” Google Home will then walk you through booking a reservation. It’s

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Posted in home improvement cast

Biddeford voters to consider bond questions on Election Day

The Biddeford City Hall clock tower is one of the structures that would be eligible for repairs if a bond for upgrades to city buildings is approved Nov. 3. Journal Tribune file photo

BIDDEFORD — City voters will cast ballots on two Biddeford bond questions in the Nov. 3 election that address the condition of some of the city’s residential streets and sidewalks, continues mandated upgrades to the storm and sanitary sewers, and sets aside money to repair some city-owned buildings.

Question 1 asks voters to approve $10 million in bonds, over 20 years, for further work to separate the city’s storm and sanitary sewers and related work.

Question 2 asks voters to approve a $7.5 million bond, also over 20 years, for a myriad of projects. Within the $7.5 million total is $3.75 million for improvements to city streets and roads, sidewalks, and drainage systems, and up to $3.75

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Posted in home

Who pays for the toilet paper? The big questions of the work-from-home era

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – As the world convulses in crisis, and tens of millions of us dig in for the long haul of working from home, one question looms large: who pays for the tea and toilet paper?

A man works in his kitchen while workers are forced to work from home and demand payback for extra home office costs during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sassenheim, Netherlands October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

The answer, according to the Dutch, is your bosses.

And how much? About two euros ($2.40) per working day, on average.

That’s meant to cover not only coffee, tea and toilet paper used in work hours, but also the extra gas, electricity and water, plus the depreciation costs of a desk and a chair – all essentials that you’d never dream of paying for in the office.

“We have literally calculated down to how many teaspoons there

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Posted in home repair

16 Questions To Ask a Home Inspector Before, During, and After a Home Inspection

If you’re buying a house, you know that your home inspector will check it out and make sure it’s in decent shape. But if you want to get to know your home beyond its pretty facade, you should pepper your inspector with questions—a whole lot of them, in fact!

But when you ask those home inspector questions is as important as what you ask. To ensure you get the most out of your home inspection, here’s a timeline of queries to hit before the inspection even starts, during the actual home inspection, and well after it’s over.

Questions to ask a home inspector before the inspection begins

So, how do you separate a great home contractor from a merely good one? It boils down to interviewing home inspectors to gauge how thorough a job they’ll do. To help, here are some of the best questions to ask.

Bonus: This’ll also

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Posted in renovation

Kettering costs for police headquarters renovation rise $550K, draw questions

The “additional funds related to furniture, fixtures and equipment, as well as the actual renovation or construction,” Schwieterman told council last week. “During the construction Phase I, we encountered additional existing conditions that needed to be remedied” for the two-phase project.

ExploreEDUCATION: Deadline nears to fill longtime Kettering school board member’s seat

Kettering City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night for the $550,000 in supplemental appropriations in an approval that came without questioning Schwieterman’s explanation. That money will come from the city’s reserve fund, officials said.

The city “made the decision to spend additional dollars to make those necessary repairs for the renovation,” Schwieterman told council. “We also had items related to furniture, fixtures and equipment – a couple of major items being the decision to go ahead and reconstruct and remodel the detective section as opposed to utilizing the pre-existing facility.”

However, resident Sterling Abernathy told council members he

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Posted in home improvement loans

More PPP loan questions after companies paid dividends, bought their own stock

Under the Small Business Administration rules, a PPP loan could be used only to meet payroll and pay mortgage interest, leases or utility bills. PPP loan recipients weren’t prohibited from paying investors with other funds, as long as the PPP funds were kept separate.

Still, some advocacy groups believe companies that had enough cash on hand to pay millions in dividends and stock purchases were unlikely to qualify for the PPP program, which was designed to assist troubled companies in keeping employees on the payroll during weeks when they were unable to do business because of pandemic-related lockdowns.

“The Trump administration wrote the PPP rules and sent billions of dollars to the well-resourced and well-connected rather than actual small businesses struggling during this public health and economic crisis,” said Kyle Herrig, president of an advocacy group called Accountable.US. “The fact that there was little transparency or accountability under this program

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