The Millstone Times October 2019

The Millstone Times is the premier newspaper in Millstone and the surrounding area of Central NJ.

The Millstone Times Allentown Clarksburg East Windsor Hightstown Millstone Monroe Perrineville Upper Freehold Twin Rivers TM FREE OCTOBER 2019 The Millstone Times Allentown Clarksburg East Windsor Hightstown Millstone Monroe Perrineville Upper Freehold Twin Rivers TM FREE JUNE 2018 More Than Just MillstoneTownship News!

More Than Just MillstoneTownship News!

Speedwell Dam Waterfall, on Whippany River, along Patriots Path, in Morristown, NJ


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IN THIS ISSUE: Real Estate......................................... 14 Health and Wellness........................ 27 Pet Pages............................................. 36 Family Matters. ................................. 42 Food and Dining.................................. 52 Automotive . ....................................... 62 Kids . ................................................... 68 As We Age. ........................................... 77 Home Improvement............................ 82

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Are you a photo buff? Do you love taking pictures everywhere you go? Perhaps you have a favorite one that you would like to share? We want your pictures for our photo of the month section. You can send photos to the following email: Include your name and a description of the photo. If you have a brief story that goes with it, send that too. You may send photos more than one time. If you prefer to send anonymously, we will leave your name out. Make sure you put “Millstone Times Photo” in the subject area when emailing or it won’t be opened. Photo of the Month The Millstone Times

An Osprey in flight taken by Sarita Garner of Hightstown

Hummingbird moth taken this August up in Maine

Hummingbird photo by Sarita Garner of Hightstown

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Governor Signs Dancer Resolution Calling on Congress to Feed Hungry Service Members

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a joint resolution Friday sponsored by Assembly- man Ron Dancer that urges Congress to pass the Military Hunger Preven- tion Act to give service members access to nutritional assistance. The U.S. government estimates as many as 23,000 active-duty U.S. troops receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Pro- gram. Countless more fail to qualify because they live off base and receive a housing allowance that is counted as income for SNAP eligibility. “Some of the young men and women who volunteer to defend our nation are going to sleep hungry and worrying about the next meal for their chil- dren,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Service members shouldn’t have to rely on food pantries to feed their families. It’s sad, and Washington can fix it. Our warriors deserve better.” The joint resolution (SJR73/AJR132) passed the Legislature in June. The Military Hunger Prevention Act excludes housing allowances for uni- formed service members from calculations for determining eligibility for federal nutritional programs. The act was introduced in the Senate and House for the 115th Congress, but has yet to be re-introduced for the cur- rent session.

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October 2019

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Join author, Muriel J. Smith, as she discusses some of the stories featured in her new book, co-authored by Rick Geffken, Hidden History of Monmouth County. These stories include tales that are serious, funny, poignant and personal. Muriel J. Smith is a former newspaper editor, an award winning investigative feature and news reporter and former Editorial Chairman for the NJ Press Association. She is a member of several historical societies and the Monmouth County Historical Commission. She is also a former member of the Freehold Historic Preservation Commission. Space is limited. Registration is required. You may register in person, online or by calling 609-259-7565.

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October 2019

Q: LEADERS IN LEAST INVASIVE PAIN & SPINE PROCEDURES How can Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment Help Shoulder and Knee Pain?


Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy also referred to as PRP Therapy, is a progressive non-surgical treatment to treat a variety of conditions including arthritis, ten- don injuries, and ligament injuries. PRP is part of a group of state-of-the-art treatments collectively referred to as Regenerative Medicine. PRP treats an injured area naturally using your body’s own growth factors to accelerate healing. It has been shown to be safe and effec- tive for numerous joint and soft tissue injuries. It has been extensively researched in numerous medical journals and publications all over the world. Some of the many uses of Platelet Rich Plasma include osteoarthritis (degenera- tive arthritis) of the spine, knee, shoulder, hip, hands, and feet, as well as menis- cus tears, plantar fasciitis, and rotator cuff tears. The procedure is simple and is performed in the office. The PRP process begins when a small amount of the patient’s blood is removed from the arm and placed into a special container. The blood is then placed into a device called a centri- fuge which spins the blood to help the separate the portion of the blood which becomes concentrated with platelets, thereby giving the procedure its name. These platelets are important because they release growth factors to recruit stem cells and to assist in healing an injured area naturally. Once the PRP is isolated, it is injected to the injured area under the guidance of an ultrasound machine to help accelerate healing and reduce pain.

This healing works on the simple principle that your body is perfectly capable of healing itself. Your blood contains all the essential components that the body produces to repair tissue damage. Each time you have an injury, the platelets in your blood along with growth factors, stem cells, cytokines, and other elements create a scaffolding on the site. The damaged tissues use this framework to regenerate and repair. The entire process takes approximately one hour, and pa- tients are sent home the same day. Patients on average report more than 50% improvement in 6 weeks and up to 100% improvement in 12 weeks. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive and expensive treatment options such as long-term medication or surgery. In a recent study, researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery gave patients with early osteoarthritis an injection of PRP and then monitored them for one year. After one year of the PRP injection, physicians evaluated the knee cartilage with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While previous studies have shown that patients with osteoarthritis can lose roughly five percent of knee cartilage per year, the Hospital for Special Surgery investigators found that a large majority of patients in their study had no further cartilage loss. At minimum PRP also prevented further knee deterioration.

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8 Hidden Gems Explore and find solitude at these National Wildlife Refuges in California, Nevada, Klamath Basinå Going on vacation and need a place to beat the crowds, enjoy the outdoors and see something unusual or out of the ordinary? These hidden gems in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System will get you off the beaten path. Whether you like beaches, deserts or forests, you may be surprised how close these eight marvelous finds are to you. 1. Desert National Wildlife Refuge: Hidden Forest Cabin

Where: The 1.5 million-acre Desert National Wildlife Refuge - the largest refuge in the lower 48 states - is located approximately 20 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada. Deep within the Sheep Range lies Deadman Canyon, where intrepid hikers can trek to a historic cabin fed by a small spring nestled high in the Ponderosa Pine Forest. Reward: The Hidden Forest Cabin, which is on the national register of historic places, is well over 100 years old. Its origins remain murky - some say it was an old bootlegger cabin while others claim a game warden lived here. Either way, the spot is an impressive sight that offers visitors unexpected solitude and a welcome respite. 2. Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge: The Dunes Units Where: Tucked behind the “Redwood Curtain,” the globally rare dunes and dune forest of Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Northern California are juxtaposed between coastal redwood forests and the expansive Pacific Ocean. Reward: Blooming dune flora, which turn the already surreal landscape into an artwork of pastels. 3. Modoc National Wildlife Refuge: Wigeon Pond Trail Where: Located in a region of California that few outside the area know about, Modoc National Wildlife Refuge is found on the extreme northeast corner outside the town of Alturas, at the foot of the Warner Mountains. Reward: A variety of wildlife are readily observable from both the Wigeon Pond Trail and auto tour route. This refuge may also be the best place to see greater sandhill cranes and their colts (young of the year). 4. Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge: Birder’s paradise Where: The Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge lies at the southern end of Ruby Valley in northeast Ne- vada. Flanked on the west by the rugged and scenic Ruby Mountains, it is one of the most remote refuges in the lower 48 states. Reward: Identified as one of the 500 “Globally Important Bird Areas” by the American Bird Conservancy, Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge serves as one of the most critical waterfowl nesting areas in the Great Basin and intermountain West. The South Marsh supports the highest concentration of nesting canvas- backs in North America. 5. Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge: Solitude Where: Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge is 11 miles north of Monterey, California, where the Salinas River empties into the Pacific Ocean. This 365-acre refuge along the Pacific Flyway for migratory birds showcases a variety of habitats from coastal grasslands to salt marsh to coastal sand dunes and a beach. Reward: Enjoy a quiet stroll on the trail or beach and get a glimpse of colorful native plant blooms and rare wildlife, away from crowds. 6. San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge: Pelican Nature Trail Where: Located in Stanislaus County just off of CA-132 and about 20 minutes from Modesto, California, the Pelican Nature Trail at San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge offers visitors a choice of three connected loops; a short, one-mile-walk for the first loop or four-mile-walk if you explore all three loops. Reward: Guests may see an endangered riparian brush rabbit among other wildlife. The first loop leads along a restored wetland that features raised “bunny mounds” that provide refuge for these rabbits during San Joaquin River flood events. Further down the trail, river otters and beavers are known to make guest appearances. 7. Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge: Rock Hill Trail Where: Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge is located at the southeastern edge of the Salton Sea (California’s largest lake) in Imperial County, California, within the Colorado Desert region of the Sonoran Desert. This refuge has some unique natural, geologic and cultural features worth checking out even in the heat of summer. Reward: An early morning or evening walk on the Rock Hill Trail is great for birding and wildlife viewing. Some key species to look out for in the summer are the gull-billed terns and black skimmers that arrive to

Hidden Forest Cabin at Desert National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada. Credit: Josh Contois/USFWS

Blooming Dunes Units at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge in California. Credit: Andrea Pickart/USFWS

Sandhill crane and colt at Modoc National Wildlife Refuge in California. Credit: John Kimura/USFWS

Redhead ducks in flight at Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada. Credit: Wendy Malone/USFWS ..continued on page 11

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October 2019

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nest in managed ponds. Also, burrowing owls are easily spotted day and night on the refuge. The trail takes you to the top of one of Califor- nia’s youngest volcanoes and provides stunning views of the Salton Sea set against the Santa Rosa Mountains. 8. Upper Klamath National Wildlife Ref- uge: Canoe Trail Where: The Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge’s Canoe Trail is a marked 9.5 mile jour-

Beach at Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge in California. Credit: Rebecca Fabbri/USFWS

Views from the Rock Hill Trail at Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge in California. Credit: Alicia Thomas/USFWS

ney through a large freshwater marsh surrounded by upland forest accessed from either Rocky Point or Malone Springs boat launch. From Klamath Falls, head west 25 miles on Hwy 140, turn north onto West Side Road and follow the signs to Rocky Point boat launch. Malone Springs boat launch is four miles past the Rocky Point boat launch. Reward: Fully immerse yourself in nature’s solitude as you meander through 15,000 acres of freshwa- ter marsh on the self-guided Canoe Trail tour. The trail has four segments: Recreation Creek, Crystal Creek, Wocus Cut and Malone Springs. Each offer a different and unique view of the Upper Klamath marsh. Float through in canoes or kayaks, and you’ll have a good chance viewing wildlife living their best lives. So whether you’re in the mood for the coast, a desert or a forest, these eight gems have you covered for this summer. For a complete list of refuges in the Pacific Southwest Region, including maps and directions, see:

Wocus Cut is one of the four segments featured within Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge’s Canoe Trail in Oregon. Credit: Laurie Sada/USFWS

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The Logic of Logos and Catchphrases By Pam Teel In business, a slogan is "a catchphrase or small group of words that are combined in a special way to identify a prod- uct or company," In many ways, they are like mini-mission statements. Companies have slogans for the same reason they have logos: advertising. While logos are visual representations of a brand, slogans are audible representations of a brand. Both formats grab consumers' attention more readily than the name a company or product might. Plus, they're simpler to understand and remember. The goal? To leave a key brand message in consumers' minds so that, if they remember nothing else from an adver- tisement, they'll remember the slogan. A great slogan has most or all of the following characteristics: It's memorable. It includes a key benefit. It differentiates the brand. It imparts positive feelings about the brand. Although both "slogan" and "tagline" tend to be used interchangeably, they actually serve two different purposes. A slogan encompasses a company's mission, what it stands for, and even how it's helping customers in the individual campaigns the company might run. A tagline is a catchy quip that evokes an image of your brand in the minds of your customers. Taglines enable people to make lighthearted associations with your business: Taglines are more often next

to the company's logo on official advertisements, and are dedicated more specifically to brand awareness than slogans. Slogans carry a brand's values and promises as the company grows and evolves, and can be promoted under an overarching company tagline. Here are examples of some of the best brand slogans of all time. 1. Dollar Shave Club: "Shave Time. Shave Money." 2. MasterCard: "There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard." 3. M&M: "Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands" 4. De Beers: "A Diamond Is Forever" 5. Meow Mix: "Tastes So Good, Cats Ask for It By Name" 6. Verizon: "Can You Hear Me Now? Good." 7. The U.S. Marine Corps: "Semper Fi" 8. Ronseal: "It Does Exactly What It Says on the Tin." 9. The Mosaic Company: "We Help the World Grow the Food It Needs" 10. Pitney Bowes: "We Power Transactions That Drive Commerce" 11. Nike: "There Is No Finish Line" 12. Nike: "Just Do It." 13. Apple: "Think Different." 14. L'Oréal Paris: "Because You're Worth It." 15. California Milk Processor Board: "Got Milk?" 16. BMW: "Designed for Driving Pleasure." 17. Tesco: "Every Little Helps" 18. Bounty: "The Quicker Picker Upper" 19. Lay's: "Betcha Can't Eat Just One." 20. Audi: "Advancement Through Technology" 21. Dunkin' Donuts: "America Runs on Dunkin'" 22. McDonald's: "I'm Lovin' It" 23. The New York Times: "All the News That's Fit to Print" 24. General Electric: "Imagination at Work." 25. State Farm: "Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There" 26. Maybelline: "Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline." 27. The U.S. Marine Corps: "The Few. The Proud. The Marines"

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We’re bullish on your goals

Gold Wealth Management Shawn Gold, CIMA ® Senior Financial Advisor 609.243.7837 Merrill Lynch Wealth Management 7 Roszel Road 4th floor Princeton, NJ 08540

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. Investment products: Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value The Bull Symbol and Merrill Lynch are trademarks of Bank of America Corporation. CIMA® is a registered service mark of the Investment Management Consultants Association dba Investments & Wealth Institute. © 2019 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. | ARQ54MR7 | AD-06-19-0875 | 470944PM-0519 | 06/2019

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Budgeting For Homeownership

Buying or selling your home is one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.

Budgeting is important when considering homeownership! You, as the owner, will need to be able to cover any sudden house-related expenses that come up in addition to your regular monthly expenses. When creat- ing your new monthly budget, remember to add the following new costs: • Property taxes and special assessments

• Home/hazard insurance • Property maintenance • Association and membership fees

(if applicable, for condominiums, townhomes and some developments) Some of the above listed fees will be included as part of your monthly mortgage payment, while others are not. Be sure to ask about how these fees are to be paid. CREDIT AND CREDIT HISTORY It’s no secret. Your credit history will affect your ability to obtain a mort- gage for your home purchase. Lenders want to see a record of how you borrowed, and when and how you repaid, money in the past. These money management habits are reflected in your FICO score. FICO scores range from 300 to 850 and lenders believe that borrowers with higher scores are more likely to repay their loan. Homebuyers should obtain a copy of their credit report by contacting:

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REAL ESTATE The Impact of the Tech. Boom on Housing Combining Census Bureau and Zillow Housing Data Show Rise in Rental Prices and Home Values in Tech-Rich Areas By: EARLENE K.P. DOWELL You’ve heard of the “Amazon Effect.” Now you can see it. By combining U.S. Census Bureau data and their own housing listings, economists from Zillow, an online real estate search engine, have been able to show just how much rental prices and home values have skyrocketed in areas across the country that are experiencing a tech boom. Zillow combines housing data and Census Bureau data to help understand the link between housing prices and the tech boom. During a recent Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Webinar Series, “Housing and the Tech Boom,” Aaron Terrazas, a former Zillow senior economist who is now director of economic research for a Seattle startup, showed how Zillow combines housing data and Census Bureau data to help understand the link between housing prices and the tech boom. The Amazon Effect South Lake Union, once an industrial area adjacent to downtown Seattle, underwent an urban transformation with the development of skyscrapers, fancy restaurants and coffee shops. Although Amazon is the major contributor to the area’s tech rise, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, REI and more also have offices in the same neighborhood. To see how the Amazon headquarters affected Seattle’s housing market, Zillow economists looked at the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-House- hold Dynamics (LEHD) data, specifically the LEHDOrigin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) data set. LODES shows the relationship between where people work and where they live. By merging Zillow rent data with the LODES data, the group found that rent around the Seattle metro area had increased 17 percent from 2011 to 2015, triggering a supply and demand challenge. This housing shortage was dubbed the “Amazon Effect” in an article by Gene Balk, a columnist at The Seattle Times. The IPO Effect Zillow took a similar approach, using LEHD data, to see what happens to housing prices when a tech company goes public, which often creates a wave of instant millionaires. The study by Zillow economist Jeff Tucker, “Post-IPO, Home Values Grew Faster in Areas Home to Lots of Facebook Employees,” shows the impact of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) on housing in the San Francisco Bay area. Tucker identified 1,360 census tracts as home to Facebook employees within four census blocks of the company’s headquarters. Between March 2012 and 2013, Facebook employees’ home values jumped 21 percent compared to 17 percent in other parts of the Bay Area. According to Tucker’s study, homes appreciated $29,800 in neighborhoods near Facebook headquarters. More IPOs Lyft recently went public, and other tech companies including Uber, Airbnb and Pinterest are also on the verge of going public. Because of that, Zillow decided to look at price elasticity and the California Exodus. California housing has become so expensive that some data suggest people are moving out of California and moving to adjacent metropolitan areas, such as Dallas, Phoenix and Las Vegas where housing is cheaper. Zillow researchers looked into worker reallocation (inflows and outflows), using the LEHD Job-to-Job Flows (J2J) data set. “People moving from one part of the country to another is a very important fundamental concept in real estate economics,” Terrazas said. By connecting J2J and areas adjacent to the state of California, Zillow could study mortgage affordability — the share of household income that goes to pay the mortgage. The study found that during last decade’s housing boom in Southern California, home values increased and other areas became even more affordable by comparison. In 2006, Dallas was 46 percent more affordable and Vegas and Phoenix were 25 percent more affordable then Southern California. By 2014, as more people moved into these more affordable areas, the affordability gap narrowed: 20 percent more affordable in Dallas and 15 percent more affordable in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Zillow continues to use the LEHD data to examine the impact of 50,000 new jobs when Amazon opens a second headquarters in northern Virginia. It is also studying housing costs of homes 15 to 30 minutes of downtown metro areas.

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REAL ESTATE DOE Releases New Study Highlighting the Untapped Potential of Geothermal Energy in the United States

Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy released a ground- breaking analysis detailing how the United States can benefit from the vast potential of geothermal energy. The analysis culminated in a report, GeoVision: Harnessing the Heat Beneath Our Feet, which summarizes findings showing that geothermal electricity generation could increase more than 26-fold from today—reaching 60 gigawatts (GW) of installed ca- pacity by 2050. In addition to describing electricity-generation opportunities, the GeoVision analysis also shows how geother- mal can enhance heating and cooling solutions for American residential and commercial consumers through direct-use and heat-pump technologies. “There is enormous untapped potential for geothermal energy in the United States,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “Making geothermal more affordable can increase our energy options for a more diverse electricity generation mix and for in- novative heating and cooling solutions for all Americans.”

The GeoVision analysis represents a multiyear collaboration among industry, academia, the National Laboratories, and fed- eral agencies to evaluate the potential for different geothermal resources. The effort assessed opportunities to expand nationwide geothermal energy deployment through 2050 by improving technologies, reducing costs, and addressing project development barriers such as long permitting timelines. In the electric sector, under business as usual, geothermal generation capacity will grow to 6 GW by 2050. By accelerating geothermal development time- lines, geothermal capacity could more than double from business as usual, to 13 GW. Geothermal capacity could increase even further—to 60 GW—by combining faster development timelines with technology improvements. In the non-electric sector, technology improvements could enable more than 17,500 geothermal district-heating installations nationwide, and 28 million U.S. households could realize cost-effective heating and cooling solutions through the use of geothermal heat pumps. The analysis also examined economic benefits to the U.S. geothermal industry; investigated opportunities for desalination, mineral recovery, and hybrid- ization with other energy technologies for greater efficiencies and lower costs; and quantified potential environmental impacts of increased geothermal deployment. In addition to summarizing opportunities for geothermal energy in the United States, the GeoVision analysis includes a roadmap of actionable items for stakeholders to reduce technology costs and speed up project-development timelines. For more information on the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or the Geothermal Technologies Office, visit the EERE website. To learn more about the GeoVision report, visit the Energy Department’s GeoVisionanalysis webpage.

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18 The Millstone Times

October 2019


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©2019 Smart Carpet Inc. Sale ends one week from publication date. Excludes prior sales. *On approved credit. 25% down and minimum purchase of $500 on financed orders only.This credit card is issued with approved credit byWells Fargo Bank,N.A.Equal Housing Lender. Finance charges accrue on the purchase from the date of installation. IF THE SALES PRICE IS PAID IN FULL BY PROMOTION EXPIRATION DATE,NO FINANCE CHARGESWILL BE OWED ONTHE PURCHASE.Otherwise,all accrued finance charges willbeowed.Minimummonthlypaymentrequired.WithintheUnitedStates:StandardAPR28.99%.SeeSMARTCarpetRepresentative fordetails.Excludespriorsales¤tcontracts.Not tobecombinedwithanyothercoupons,offersor third partydiscounts.**G.D. is forglueddownapplications.Floorprepadditional (ifneeded).Free furnituremovingdoesnot includepool tables,pianos,electronics or furniture requiringdisassembly.Small fee forserviceavailable.†Yoursavingsmayvary. NYCHIC#1442735 • NJHIC#13VH01833100 • PAHIC#PA087742 Call today to schedule a FREE estimate! 1-800-526-RUGS or visit

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20 The Millstone Times

October 2019


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5 WAYS TO CURATE RETAIL IN MIXED USE PROPERTY BY JOHN BURKE Savvy owners of retail properties understand the importance of achieving the perfect tenant mix. After all, the success of their shopping center may depend on it. That’s because a good tenant mix creates synergies that ben- efit both tenants and landlord. Now that concept is being extended to mixed-use projects, where devel- opers are carefully curating the tenant mix to ensure that retailers comple- ment one another and ultimately benefit the tenants as well as themselves. Here are five tips for curating retail at your mixed-use property: 1. Understand your market and your project. Remember that retail is viewed by tenants as an amenity, so be sure to select retailers that meet the needs of your tenants as well as the neighborhood. Re- tailers should help create a sense of community at the property. One example: a coffee shop, where residents gather. 2. Seek out experiential retailers —fun, hip stores that attract vis- itors because they provide them with experiences or entertainment. One example: Sur La Table, which not only sells cooking supplies but offers cooking classes. 3. Start early. The days of building a project and then leasing it up are over. Evaluate tenants during development or construction, and sign them on early. 4. Mix it up. People who choose to live in a mixed-use project are seek- ing a live/work/play lifestyle. Make sure that retail tenants provide for all needs of residents wanting convenience. 5. Curate tenants in offices too. Some owners of large office buildings are already adding curated retail on the ground floor as the line between work and home dissolves for many hardworking employ- ees. Businesses may consider it a benefit to offer employees easy access to a dry cleaner or hair salon, for example. COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ADVICE

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22 The Millstone Times

October 2019



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SHHH.. I make more than my husband Spouses Report Earnings Differently When Wives Earn More When wives earn more than their husbands do, a puzzling thing can happen: Husbands say they earn more than they are and wives underreport their income.

New Census Bureau research shows that the incomes couples report on Census Bureau surveys do not always match their IRS filings. The Census Bureau is working to improve the quality of re- ported earnings by comparing an individual’s survey response with their reported response from another source. When a wife earns more, both husbands and wives exaggerate the husband’s earnings and dimin- ish the wife’s.

“Wage and earnings data underlie a majority of federal statistics on income, inequality and pov- erty, and are critical for understanding the pulse of the nation and overall well-being of individ- uals in society,” said Bruce Meyer, economist at the Census Bureau and McCormick Foundation Professor at the University of Chicago Harris Public Policy School. Social Norms Shape Answers According to this research, societal expectations about the roles played in married-couple rela- tionships may be a factor in what people report for their earnings. Social norms can drive expectations and behavior, including how we report information about ourselves to others. “We made a critical finding that adds to the understanding of gender norms and the quality of income statistics, in particular wage gaps among differ- ent-sex married couples,” said Marta Murray-Close, economist at the Census Bureau and coauthor of the study. Researchers used survey responses from the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement. They found that when wives earn more than their husbands, husbands report earnings that are 2.9 percentage points higher when they respond to surveys compared to what’s in their tax filings. Who Really Earns More? Take a husband in Fargo, N.D., who lives in a household where the wife earns more. If he reported annual earnings of $30,000, he would tell the Census Bureau he earned more -- an average $30,870 during that same year. That’s $870 more than his earnings as reported by his employer(s). The gap is 1.5 percentage points lower for wives who make more than their husbands. Let us say, for example, that the same man’s wife earns $40,000. On average, her reported earnings would be equivalent to $39,400, around $600 less than she actually earned. The overall impact on family earnings for this household is about $300 more than their employer-reported earnings. Different Answers From Husbands And Wives Does it matter whether the husband or wife responds to the survey? The answer is yes. We analyzed survey reported earnings based on whether the response came directly from the survey respondent or a proxy, such as their spouse an- swering the question for them. When a wife earns more, both husbands and wives exaggerate the husband’s earnings and diminish the wife’s. But, husbands overstate their own earnings less than wives do, and wives devalue their own earnings less than husbands do. In other words, survey reports of earnings are more heavily influenced by gender norms when earnings are reported by a person’s spouse. How Society Influences Earnings Data These differences can impact our understanding of national statistics on income, inequality and poverty. In this analytical sample, around 1 in 4 couples (22.9 percent) live in nontraditional marriages where the wife earns more than the husband does. As nontraditional marriages become more common, self-reported earnings data could become less reliable if individuals continue to be influenced by social norms in their reporting. The findings demonstrate the importance of understanding societal norms and their influence on data collection and survey responses. Using alternative sources of data helps confirm the accuracy of surveys. The world of big data and administrative records is becoming more important. The research also provides evidence that building systems and structures that rely on alternative data sources and mechanisms — rather than just self-reported survey responses — should continue.

24 The Millstone Times

October 2019

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