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Loebsack Statement on President Obama’s Speech at the University of Iowa PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 30 April 2012 09:51

Washington, D.C. Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the President spoke at the University of Iowa about the need to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, on July 1st.  Loebsack is a cosponsor of H.R. 3826, which would ensure the increase does not occur.  Loebsack welcomed the President to Iowa at the Eastern Iowa Airport and attended his speech at the University of Iowa Field House.

“I was pleased President Obama chose the University of Iowa to highlight the looming rate increase if Congress does not take action.  This issue truly impacts many Iowans.  In fact, over the past year more than 3,900 people have contacted me with their concerns about the cost of college and student loans.  This is not all that surprising given that college grads in Iowa leave school with some of the highest debt load in the country.  They cannot afford a rate increase.

“I grew up in poverty, worked my way through college and relied on financial aid to pay for tuition.   I know firsthand the difference that a college education can make in a student’s life.  No student should be turned away or lose out on attending college because their family can’t afford to pay tuition.  Congress must act to avoid this rate increase.”

During his time with the President, Loebsack also raised the need for bipartisan support in passing a long-term transportation bill.

“I talked with the President about an issue central to job creation and economic development in Iowa – transportation.  Iowans are sick of the bickering and partisan politics and are demanding that the work get done, which is why I have crossed party lines time and again to try and pass a Highway Bill.  I strongly urged the President to engage on a bipartisan basis to finally move a long-term transportation bill so projects critical to Iowa’s families, businesses and farmers can move forward.”

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Royal Neighbors of America reports strong results in insurance sales in 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lynnette Meincke   
Monday, 30 April 2012 09:46

April 25, 2011

(Rock Island, IL) – Royal Neighbors of America reported strong financial results for 2011. It generated revenue in excess of $100 million; grew its assets by $26 million to $792 million; and has a surplus of $211 million, resulting in a surplus ratio of 27%, significantly above the estimated industry benchmark of less than 8%.  These results highlight the strength and stability of the organization.

A.M. Best, an internationally respected insurance industry rating agency, continues to rate Royal Neighbors an A- (Excellent) for its overall financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to certificateholders. The agency recognizes Royal Neighbors’ strong level of risk-adjusted capitalization, well-established fraternal presence, and large membership base.

“Our 2011 financial report once again demonstrates that we remain among the most financially secure insurance carriers in the industry,” said Cynthia Tidwell, President/CEO. “With these results, we are positioned to empower women to achieve financial protection and healthy lifestyles. It is estimated that 50 percent of women today are expected to live past 85, and many are not financially prepared. We have the opportunity and responsibility to offer them life insurance protection and financial education to help them make appropriate decisions.”

She continued, “Our success also is driven by our independent agents who sell our products nationwide. Their level of experience and professionalism and their commitment to supporting our community-based initiatives show a deep understanding of our Insurance with a DifferenceSM philosophy.”

Royal Neighbors of America, one of the nation’s largest women-led life insurance companies, exists for the benefit of its members. It offers insurance and annuity products to fulfill financial needs of growth, savings, and protection. Members receive valuable benefits and can participate in volunteer activities through the organization's local chapters to help make a difference in their communities. The organization's philanthropic efforts are dedicated to changing women's lives through its national programs, including the Nation of NeighborsSM Program, and through the Royal Neighbors Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Headquartered in Rock Island, IL, with branch offices in Mesa, AZ, and Austin, TX, Royal Neighbors serves more than 215,000 members and is licensed to do business in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, call (800) 627-4762, or visit www.royalneighbors.org.

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Americans for Prosperity to Host Rally During President Obama’s Speech PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Mark Lucas   
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 14:51

President Should Stop Obstructing Job Creation for America’s College Graduates

Iowa City, IA - When President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa campus today, Americans for Prosperity – Iowa (AFP-IA) will be on campus to rally in support of job creation and economic freedom. Americans for Prosperity – Iowa state director Mark Lucas believes the White House should change its policies to make it easier for companies to grow and create jobs.

“A college degree doesn’t matter much when there are no jobs available in the economy,” says Lucas.

Recent employment data shows that one in two college graduates are unemployed or underemployed and the unemployment rate for 21 to 24 year-olds is over 13 percent.

“The President had an opportunity to support the Keystone Pipeline which would have created thousands of much-needed jobs,” said Lucas. “The White House claims they want to lower unemployment. This administration is content to see half a billion dollars wasted on failed companies like Solyndra, while blocking job growth that would come with the Keystone pipeline.”

The rally will be held along Grande Avenue on the President’s motorcade route. Americans for Prosperity – Iowa will watch the President's speech and discuss it over a pizza lunch at the Wig & Pen restaurant on 1220 Hwy 6 West at 1:00PM. The President is scheduled to speak at the University of Iowa campus today as part of his effort to get Congress to extend an interest rate cap on the federally subsidized Stafford college student loan program.

 
Partners in Love and Business Travel Road to Success PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 14:40
Couple Offers Tips for Love and Happiness
(Hint: Fun Matters)

Barack and Michelle do it. Brad and Angelina do it. John and Yoko did it. How?

As the divorce rate hovers near an estimated 50 percent in the United States, many blame career stress as a major cause of separations. But somehow some couples grow stronger, especially when they work together.

One couple who have worked together for nearly a decade in the stressful world of theater, producing Off-Broadway plays, has decided to share their secrets.

“In part, it is because we work together that our bond has strengthened after 10 years of marriage,” says Jamillah Lamb, co-author along with her husband, David, of Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients to Happily Living & Loving Together (www.acoupleoflambs.com).

The couple has worked together professionally in their stage company, Between The Lines Productions, Inc., for nine years. But the Lambs say even couples who aren’t business partners are working together every day; because being in any relationship requires negotiating, compromising, and decision-making. Just think about the last time you had to decide whose mother’s house you were going to for Christmas or where you were going to go for vacation or even which movie you were going to see last weekend.

“We get more opportunity to grow together because, between home and work, we’re making 100 decisions a day instead of 10,” Jamillah says.

The couple live by their guiding rule, “Love like kids, act like adults.”

“That means to love freely and completely, without a fortress around your heart, and behave responsibly,” David says.

A crucial ingredient for any successful marriage is friendship, the Lambs say. Here are some of their tips:

• Enjoy life: Some couples won’t go to theme parks until they have children. But letting one’s inner child out to play with their partner’s inner child strengthens a relationship’s bond.

• Forgive the small stuff: No one is always right, and no one wants to be around someone who always needs to be right.

• Appreciate individuality: Everyone needs to have their own identity, including those in a long-term relationship and couples who work together. David enjoys his comic book collection, while Jamillah keeps a library of romance novels.

• Do not misdirect anger: In psychology, it’s called transference; dumping your bad day on someone else. It is poison for any relationship.

• Remember your love: Couples may fight, but guard what you say. There’s no need for ugliness even when you disagree.

Couples need to remember relationships take work, but they can also be a blast of fun, David says.

“Love is worth the sacrifice,” they agree. “Today, with stories of celebrity couples walking away after only days of marriage and even more people living as though sacrifice is nearly a curse word, we say: ‘It’s worth the sacrifice.’ For us, it means that we are willing to give up something that we thought was valuable or important for something even more important: love and our happiness.”

Love is, in part, the acknowledgement and deep appreciation for another human being, Jamillah says.

“Couples should never take each other for granted,” she advises. “In love, as in business, everyone wants to be appreciated. The simplest gesture can go a long way to help your significant other feel like they are making a significant contribution to your life, your family, or your business.”

About David & Jamillah Lamb

David and Jamillah Lamb have been married for 10 years. They founded and have run Between The Lines Productions, Inc. since 2003. Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., David attended the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and New York University School of Law. He is the playwright of “Platanos y Collard Greens.” Jamillah Lamb grew up in the same Chicago neighborhood as first lady Michelle Obama. She earned her master’s degree in public policy at Harvard. Together they wrote Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients to Happily Living & Loving to share what they have learned as successful partners in love and in business.They live in Brooklyn with their daughter.

 
Top Tips for National Home Improvement Month PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kathy Ziprik   
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 13:36

AMBLER, PA – Springtime has arrived and it’s time to dust off the “to do” list. But, how does a homeowner decide which projects should take priority? According to Mark Clement, host of MyFixItUpLife home improvement radio show, start by selecting those projects that are the most important for enhancing the functionality of the home.

“National Home Improvement Month in May is the ideal time to shine the spotlight on annual home projects that should never be overlooked,” says Clement, a professional contractor in Pennsylvania. “Sure it’s great to work outside in the garden this time of year, but that task should take second place behind evaluating and fixing major components of the house.

“A home’s curb appeal is important, but working on the structural aspects of the home should always take priority. For example, every year homeowners should be evaluating the condition of their roof, siding, windows, gutters and other exterior products that they rely on daily to keep their family safe and secure.”

Clement, who is currently renovating his own 100-year-old home, understands that all products in and on the house will eventually need to be replaced. “We just replaced the original wood door on our home with a fiberglass door,” says Clement. “That old door should have been removed a decade ago because it lost its functionality and was an energy drain on our home. The new Therma-Tru fiberglass door is energy-efficient, stylish and helps secure our home.”

According to Clement, there is a “must do” list of five items that homeowners should review every year during National Home Improvement Month. “May is the ideal time weatherwise to do these checkups and replacement work for the home,” says Clement. “It makes sense economically to make any needed changes to the roof, windows or doors when such work will have the least impact on energy bills.”

The list recommended by Clement includes:

Item #1 – Check the roof. Using either a ladder or binoculars from across the street, look for problem areas, such as missing or broken shingles, along with roofing tiles that may be “flapping” in the wind. These are all indications that a new roof may be in your future. If that’s the case, research the newer products on the market, such as polymer shake and slate roofing tiles. These impact-resistant tiles are man-made in a wide variety of colors. Some roofing tiles, like those from DaVinci Roofscapes® that Clement chose for his home, are fire- and hail-resistant. They also have a 50-year limited warranty.

Item #2 – Clean and assess the home’s siding. Pressure-washing works well for many homes to remove dirt and algae that can grow on siding, but remember never to pressure-wash windows or their screens. The extreme high pressure could crack or destroy the caulking around the units. While cleaning the siding, make sure to check for changes in the exterior from the previous year and be alert to buckling, warping or insect damage that may need to be fixed.

Item #3 – Evaluate the windows. If you find that windows in the home don’t operate easily, there’s air leaking in or out of the units, or there’s condensation between the glass panes, then it may be time to seriously consider replacement windows.

Vinyl framed windows have the highest growth rate in the country due to their energy-efficiency, aesthetic appeal and durability. Some of the best have fusion-welded corners and multi-chambered construction. Plus, maintenance hassles are so low you’ll forget the horrors of rotting frames, scraping and repainting that come with wood windows. For his renovation project, Clement selected Simonton vinyl windows. The award-winning company impressed him with its 65-year history, strong product warranty and return-on-investment with their quality ENERGY STAR® qualified windows.

Item #4 – Check on the gutters. Don’t underestimate the importance of the gutter system on the home. Each year homeowners should check to make sure their gutters are unclogged and remain sloped for proper drainage. Plus, make sure the water running off the roof doesn’t cause damage to the building structure, landscaping or property below the roof.

The Gutter Installers Association (GIA) recommends using GIA-certified contractors to perform a physical inspection of your existing gutters to check for leaks, ensure proper slope for good drainage and offer advice on a variety of gutter protection systems.

Item #5 – Spend time with the main entry door. If homeowners can see light around the door from the inside, the door is hard to close or lock, or the door itself is warped, it’s time to consider a new door. Even if you can’t see light, air may be moving through gaps in the weather stripping at a surprising rate.

Think about the weather conditions that a home’s door faces along with the energy bills. If either run to the extreme, consider replacing an entryway with a high-performance fiberglass door (which can have up to four times more insulation value than wood doors). Homeowners can also request features such as the Tru-Defense® Door System* from Therma-Tru Doors that features enhanced weatherstripping, corner seal pad, door bottom sweep and profiled sill that all work together to provide strength and stability in the entry door.

For more home improvement tips, visit www.myfixituplife.com.

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*See www.thermatru.com for complete details on the Tru-Defense® Door Systems.

ENERGY STAR is a government program that helps consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency and is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

 

 

Web Site Resources:

·       www.davinciroofscapes.com

·       www.simonton.com

·       www.thermatru.com

·       www.myfixituplife.com

 

 
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