April 19, 2019
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Generation Z will have to pinch pennies to buy a home

Ken Teegardin | Flickr
Ken Teegardin | Flickr
Some 80 percent of Generation Z wants to own a home before turning 30, but they will have to pinch pennies for more than a decade to reach their goal, a realtor.com study finds.

Nearly 80 percent of Generation Z wants to buy a home before they turn 30, but they’ll have to save a bundle over the next decade to realize their dream, a realtor.com study released Thursday found.

The generation following millennials, whose oldest member is about 23, on average nationally will have to save $304 each month for the next 12 years to put down even 10 percent and pay closing costs on a median priced home.

According to the analysis, a median priced home in the United States is projected to cost $386,310 in 2031, when today’s 18-year-old members of Generation Z turn 30. The median price for a home in 2019 is $265,000.

In the Portland-South Portland metropolitan area, the median home price in 2031 is estimated to reach $426,310. That would mean an 18-year-old would have to save $335 over the next 144 months until their 30th birthday to be able to afford a 10 percent down payment and closing costs on a home.

Generation Z will need to save the most to purchase a home in San Jose, California, where they will need to sock away $1,962 per month.

“Choosing to live in one of the larger and more expensive [U.S.] metros, especially on the West Coast, is going to make homeownership a difficult task, but that doesn’t mean that Gen Z should give up on their dreams,” said Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s chief economist.

“The most important thing they can do is start saving as much as possible early on and let compound interest do the heavy lifting for them,” Hale said.

Maine AG signs petition to closely monitor asbestos imports

Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey joined attorneys general from 14 other states and the District of Columbia on Thursday in petitioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to require the asbestos industry to file detailed reports on imports of asbestos and products that contain the substance.

The petition also asks the EPA to require the industry to file reports on how and where the products are used.

“Each year, tens of thousands die from exposure to asbestos,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said. “We urge [EPA] acting Administrator [Andrew] Wheeler to issue a rule that will protect the lives of thousands of workers, families and children in Massachusetts and across the country.”

A statement issued by the attorneys general said asbestos is a carcinogen that takes 15,000 lives per year and is linked to diseases that are life-threatening or cause substantial pain and suffering, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. They said there is no safe level of exposure to the material.

Maine had 2,003 asbestos-related deaths between 1999 and 2013, according to numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiled by asbestosnation .org. York County had the most deaths with 300 during the time period, followed by Cumberland with 264 deaths. Penobscot County was seventh with 142 deaths.

The attorneys general contend that the the EPA does not possess, and is not currently collecting, comprehensive data of the importing, processing and use of asbestos and asbestos-containing articles in the United States.

The petition calls for the EPA to issue a new asbestos reporting rule that would:

— Eliminate “naturally occurring substance” as an exemption for asbestos reporting.

— Require processors of asbestos, as well as manufacturers, including importers, of the chemical substance to adhere to reporting requirements.

— Ensure that the impurities exemption in the Chemical Data Reporting rule does not apply to asbestos.

— Require reporting of imported articles that contain asbestos.

Asbestos imports have been rising quickly, according to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, an asbestos victim group, and the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C., think tank.

The two groups said that federal data showed asbestos imports to the United States soared by nearly 2,000 percent between July and August 2018.

Asbestos is one of the first substances under review by the EPA to assess its safety, but the Environmental Working Group said the asbestos industry is still strongly advocating for its use and safety.

The group said the U.S. Geological Survey has found that the only remaining user of raw asbestos in the nation is the chlor-alkali industry, which makes the semipermeable asbestos diaphragms needed to manufacture chlorine and sodium chloride. There are, however, alternatives on the market to replace asbestos.

According to the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce, in August 2018 alone the United States imported 272 metric tons of asbestos compared with 13 metric tons in July.

Floating lighthouse could be yours for $5.2 million

The auctions of Halfway Rock Light in Harpswell and Boon Island Light off York drew a lot of attention in 2014, but lighthouse afficianadoes have a new property to ogle in a former floating lighthouse that just went up for sale in Boston for $5.2 million.

“Out of 179 lightships, there are only 12 left,” the ship’s owner, former Massachusetts state Sen. Bill Golden, told WBZ, Boston’s CBS television affiliate.

Golden and his wife, Kristen, bought the ship on eBay in 2000 for about $126,000 with the aim to restore it.

The ship, which is being used as a houseboat, has a custom interior with nautical appointments.

Named Nantucket Lightship WLB 612, it is 128 feet long and 30 feet wide. It is docked at Boston’s Commercial Wharf.

The ship has a 4,000 square foot, handcrafted, exotic hardwood interior; six bedrooms; and six-and-one-half baths.

“This ship was a dead ship when we bought it. It was going to be sold to scrappers,” Golden told WBZ.

But with master craftsmen, they turned it into a gem that they either lived aboard or mostly chartered for nearly 20 years.

“People from the owner of the red violin, to [singer] Janelle Monae have chartered the ship,” Golden said.

The Goldens also own a second lightship. They intend to use the proceeds from this sale to restore the other lightship.

Sears has sold almost everything, from craft homes to heroin

At the turn of the 20th century, Americans could place a $1.50 order through a Sears, Roebuck catalog and receive a syringe, two needles and two vials of heroin in a handsome carrying case.

That’s according to the new book “ Ten Drugs: How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine” by Thomas Hager, which was excerpted in the March issue of The Atlantic.

Heroin was considered a better alternative to morphine, whose use had grown to epidemic proportions following the Civil War in the 1860s, when it was used to treat battlefield pain.

Long after the war ended, thousands of veterans with lifelong wounds had been taught how to self-administer morphine with syringes, both sold by mail order and over the counter at drug stores. Surgeons and others also spread the use of morphine.

German pharmaceutical company Bayer sold the new drug, heroin, claiming it was five times stronger than morphine but less addictive.

Sears was among the companies that sold the drug in the United States.

Heroin initially was used to open airways in the body and help breathing.



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