How To Cash In Savings Bond?

Savings bonds are a common form of investment, offering a safe and reliable long-term option for saving money and building wealth. They can serve as a means of financial security, helping individuals and families accumulate funds over time. However, there may come a point when you may wish to cash in your savings bond. In this article, we provide a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to cash in savings bonds to help you efficiently and effectively manage the process.

First, it’s crucial to note that the manner and place you’ll cash in your savings bond will significantly depend on the type of bond you own. For instance, you can cash Series I and EE bonds through financial institutions like banks, while Series H/HH and others typically have to be mailed to the Treasury Retail Securities Services to be cashed. In this respect, knowing the specific details of your savings bonds is step one.

Understanding if Your Bonds Have Matured

Before cashing in your savings bond, ascertain if it has reached maturity. Maturity dates vary and may range from as short as a few years to as long as thirty years, depending on the type of bond. Knowing the maturity period is crucial since cashing your savings bonds too early might lead to penalties or lost interest.

How to Cash in Savings Bond at a Bank?

In general, cashing a paper savings bond is relatively simple. You can cash a bond by visiting your local bank branch with your bond and a valid proof of identity. Note that some banks may require you to be an account holder while others might have restrictions on the amount you can cash if you are not a customer.

Once at the bank, you would need to sign your bond in the bank’s presence and fill the required forms. After verification, the funds from the bond will be deposited into your bank account or handed to you in cash. The exact process may vary based on the specific rules of the financial institution.

How to Cash in Electronic Savings Bond?

Cashing electronic savings bonds is virtually conducted online through the Treasury Direct website. After logging in to your account, navigate to the “ManageDirect” section and select “redeem securities.” Next, input the bond you want to cash and the savings account you’d like the money transferred to.

Processing times can vary, but it typically takes only one business day for the transaction to reflect in your account. This swift process is an example of the ‘Deposit Power‘ of electronic bonds, which are much more efficient and easier to manage compared to paper bonds. The Deposit Power also allows for quicker access to your funds, aiding in better cash flow management for your finances.

Taxes on Cashed-in Savings Bonds

Cashing your savings bonds is considered as income, and hence, it is taxable. It’s critical to understand your tax responsibilities when cashing in your bonds as you would need to report your earnings to the IRS by filing Form 1099-INT. Consider seeking professional tax advice or assistance to accurately manage the tax implications and avoid possible mistakes or penalties.


Consolidating your financial resources is an important move in managing your financial health, and knowing when and how to cash in your savings bond plays a crucial role in doing so effectively. Stick to the steps laid out in this guide to ensure a smooth process when the time is right to cash your bond. Remember, the authority in taking this step is you, and the Deposit Power greatly enhances your control over your financial liquidity.

Kids Modeling Agency Near Me: How To Get Your Child Started

For many parents, recognizing their child’s potential in acting, singing, or modeling can be the beginning of an exciting journey. Nonetheless, finding the right platform for your child to showcase his or her talent can be a bit strenuous a task, particularly when it’s the first attempt. One of the things you might consider is working with a child modeling agency.

The keyword you’re likely to search on numerous search engines is “kids modeling agency near me.” Checked around you yet? If not, it’s time we help get you on track.

There’s an impressive number of top-notch kids modeling agencies worldwide. Whether you’re in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, or any other major city, you will find one within your proximity that could just be the right match for your kid.

But first, what is a child modeling agency? This is a company that represents child models. A credible agency has an extensive network of contacts in various sectors of the entertainment and advertising industries, which helps them secure jobs for their models.

The Perks of Working With a Kids Modeling Agency

Partnering with a reputable child modeling agency can present a great deal of benefits. One major advantage is that the agency will handle all the business aspects of your child’s modeling career. From sourcing out auditions, sending out composite cards, to managing payments, the agency will handle all this, giving you peace of mind. Furthermore, they will guide you and your child through each step of the modeling process, potentially presenting many opportunities for growth and success in the industry.

Finding a ‘Kids Modeling Agency Near Me

Once you have decided that your child has what it takes to be a model, the next most important step is to find a reputable kids’ modeling agency. Your approach should be focused on finding one nearby.

Why near you? Firstly, staying local means avoiding unnecessary travel expenses – something that can quickly add up with multiple auditions, photoshoots, and gigs. It also ensures accessibility: it’s easier for you and your young model to visit the agency offices for meetings and planning sessions. Lastly, local agencies are likely to have extensive contacts within the local market. This could mean more job opportunities for your child, and the chance to begin building a strong local portfolio before exploring opportunities further afield.

Getting the right “kids modeling agency near me” will vastly depend on your location. For instance, if you’re in major towns like New York or Los Angeles, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The likes of NYMM (New York Model Management) or LA Models are set up specifically to cater to the rising talent in these bustling cities.

For those located outside major cities, don’t worry! Many agencies recognize the spread of talent and are constantly scouting everywhere. A simple internet search could reveal several reputable names on a local level. Remember to look out for genuine reviews and ratings that could help you identify the best fit for you and your kid.

With the number of good ‘kids modeling agency near me‘, finding one should be less daunting now. With the right agency, the dream of your child making it to the screens could come to fruition.

Word of Caution

While the search for the best kids modeling agency progresses, it is also important to be cautious. The industry, unfortunately, has a share of unscrupulous individuals. Look out for any agency that asks for ‘registration fees’ or asks you to use a specific photographer at exorbitant prices, as these are red flags.

Invest in your child’s career as a model wisely. Partner with a trustworthy child modeling agency and see your child blossom in the fashion and entertainment world.

Demolition Contractors Near Me

Whether you are a homeowner looking to tear down an old structure in your backyard or a construction company preparing for a large-scale project, finding reliable demolition contractors near me is essential. Hiring professionals ensures the job is done safely, efficiently, and in compliance with local regulations.

Why Hire Demolition Contractors?

Demolition work involves risks such as structural instability, hazardous materials, and potential damage to surrounding properties. It requires proper planning, expertise, and specialized equipment to ensure a successful outcome. By hiring experienced demolition contractors near me, you:

  • Minimize risks and accidents
  • Stay compliant with legal requirements
  • Save time and effort
  • Receive professional advice and guidance

Qualities of Reliable Demolition Contractors

When searching for demolition contractors near me, consider the following qualities to ensure you make the right choice:

  • Experience: Look for contractors with a proven track record and relevant experience in demolition projects similar to yours.
  • Licenses and Insurance: Ensure the contractors hold all necessary licenses and certifications, and carry adequate insurance coverage to protect both parties in case of accidents.
  • Expertise and Equipment: Verify the contractor’s expertise in handling the specific demolition requirements you have. They should have a wide range of modern equipment, including a tipper truck for hire, to efficiently carry out the job.
  • References and Reviews: Check for customer testimonials and reviews to gauge the reputation and reliability of the contractors you are considering.
  • Safety Measures: Inquire about the safety protocols and procedures the contractors follow to ensure a safe working environment.
  • Cost and Timeline: Obtain detailed quotes, making sure they include the cost of necessary equipment such as a tipper truck for hire, and an estimated timeline for completing the project.
  • Environmental Considerations: Assess the contractor’s approach to waste management and recycling to minimize the impact on the environment.

Finding Demolition Contractors Near Me

There are several ways to find reliable demolition contractors in your local area:

  1. Online Search: Use search engines and online directories to find demolition contractors near me. Read reviews and check their websites for more information about their services.
  2. Ask for Recommendations: Seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have previously hired demolition contractors. Their first-hand experiences can help you make an informed decision.
  3. Consult Building Inspectors or Architects: Local building inspectors or architects often work closely with reputable contractors and can provide valuable recommendations.
  4. Attend Trade Shows: Visit construction-related trade shows or industry events where you can meet contractors in person, discuss your project, and evaluate their capabilities.

Final Thoughts

Hiring reliable demolition contractors near me ensures that your demolition project is handled professionally, efficiently, and safely. Take the time to do thorough research, assess potential contractors’ qualifications, and obtain detailed quotes. By making an informed decision, you can ensure a successful demolition experience and a solid foundation for your future construction projects.

Digital Marketer The Key To Online Success

A digital marketer plays a vital role in today’s business landscape. With the rapid advancement of technology and the widespread use of the internet, businesses need to establish a strong online presence to stay ahead in the competitive market. This is where a digital marketer comes in.

A digital marketer is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing marketing campaigns that promote a company’s products or services online. Their goal is to drive traffic, increase brand visibility, and generate leads or conversions for their clients. They utilize various strategies and techniques to achieve these objectives.

One of the first steps a digital marketer takes is to understand their client’s business, target audience, and goals. This helps them create a tailored marketing strategy that aligns with the client’s objectives. By conducting thorough market research, they identify the best channels to reach their target audience and craft engaging content that resonates with them.

In recent years, businesses in Newcastle have recognized the importance of digital marketing and the value it brings to their overall growth. As a result, the demand for the best digital agency Newcastle has been on the rise.

The best digital agencies in Newcastle combine their expertise in online marketing strategies with the latest technology and tools to deliver measurable results for their clients. They have a team of skilled professionals who are well-versed in various aspects of digital marketing, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and more.

Partnering with the best digital agency Newcastle offers several advantages for businesses. Firstly, it allows them to tap into the vast online market and reach a wider audience. With the help of digital marketers, businesses can create compelling campaigns that attract, engage, and retain potential customers.

Secondly, digital marketers closely track the performance of campaigns and provide detailed reports on key metrics. This enables businesses to make data-driven decisions and optimize their marketing strategies for better results. They can identify what works and what doesn’t, allowing them to make adjustments in real-time to maximize the return on investment (ROI).

The best digital agency Newcastle also stays updated with the latest trends and technologies in the digital marketing industry. They monitor the ever-changing algorithms of search engines, social media platforms, and other online channels, ensuring their clients’ marketing efforts are always in line with the latest best practices.

Moreover, a digital marketer understands the importance of targeting the right audience. They use advanced targeting techniques to identify and engage with potential customers who are more likely to convert. This not only saves businesses time and resources but also increases their chances of success.

In conclusion, a digital marketer is an essential asset for any business looking to thrive in the online world. By partnering with the best digital agency Newcastle, businesses can leverage their expertise to create effective marketing campaigns that drive results. With their knowledge, skills, and dedication, digital marketers can take businesses to new heights of online success.

Dr Horton: Building Custom Granny Flats

Dr Horton is a reputable homebuilder known for their exceptional craftsmanship and innovative designs. With a focus on creating quality homes that meet the diverse needs of homeowners, Dr Horton offers a range of housing options, including custom granny flats. These additional living spaces provide a flexible and efficient solution for various purposes.

The Rise of Granny Flats

In recent years, the popularity of granny flats has soared as homeowners seek to expand their living spaces without the need for major renovations or extensive construction projects. A granny flat is a self-contained living area that is typically built in the backyard of an existing property. It serves as an independent living space, offering privacy and comfort for a variety of uses.

Customizing Your Granny Flat

Dr Horton understands that every homeowner has unique needs and preferences when it comes to their living space. That’s why they offer customizable options for their granny flats. Whether you are looking to create a small guest house, a home office, or an additional dwelling for aging parents, Dr Horton can work with you to design a custom granny flat that meets your specific requirements.

With Dr Horton‘s expertise in home construction and design, you can expect a high level of quality and attention to detail in every aspect of your granny flat. From the layout and floor plan to the choice of materials and finishes, their team of professionals will guide you through the customization process, ensuring that your granny flat not only meets your functional needs but also reflects your personal style and preferences.

Benefits of Custom Granny Flats

Investing in a custom granny flat offers numerous benefits for homeowners. Here are a few reasons why custom granny flats have become increasingly popular:

1. Flexibility and Versatility

Custom granny flats can be designed to serve various purposes. Whether you need extra living space for extended family members, an independent home office, a rental unit for additional income, or even a personal retreat, a custom granny flat can be tailored to suit your specific needs.

2. Affordable Alternative

Compared to traditional home additions or renovations, granny flats offer a more cost-effective solution. Building a custom granny flat is generally more affordable and time-efficient than expanding your existing home or constructing a separate building from scratch.

3. Increased Property Value

Adding a custom granny flat to your property can significantly increase its market value. The additional living space can make your property more appealing to potential buyers or serve as a source of rental income – both of which can contribute to a higher overall property value.

4. Multigenerational Living

As families look for ways to accommodate multiple generations under one roof, the demand for granny flats has grown. Custom granny flats provide an ideal solution for aging parents who desire independence while remaining close to their loved ones.


Dr Horton offers homeowners the opportunity to unlock the full potential of their properties with custom granny flats. With their expertise in homebuilding, customization options, and commitment to quality, Dr Horton can help you create a functional and stylish living space that meets your unique needs. If you are considering expanding your living space, exploring the benefits of a custom granny flat may be the perfect solution for you.

Panic Alarm Can Be Important For Your Home And Business Security

By Le Tuan Anh

Current info about panic alarms for security is not always the easiest thing to locate. Fortunately, this report includes the latest panic alarms for security info available.

Silent alarms are often thought of as something that is only suitable for banks. The truth is that almost any home or business would do well to have a panic button alarm system in the event of an intrusion, fire, or weather related emergency. Panic alarms come in many shapes and sizes as well as styles. Consider carefully the type of business you operate or the situation within your home before deciding whether or not to incorporate a panic alarm into the security plans for your home or business.

Some are simply a means of emitting a powerful and ear piercing alarm. While these are not what this article is recommending to protect a home or business, they can be vital protection devices for personal security while walking, hiking, or biking. They deter criminals if noticed because most criminals do not want to draw attention to themselves and often frighten them away when committing a crime because they do make a spectacle of everyone involved. This is a situation that is bad for business for most purse-snatchers or people snatchers and will often frighten them away.

Silent panic alarms as a security protocol for business are especially helpful for businesses that do a heavy amount of work with cash or businesses that sell to those who may become unruly on a regular basis. They are also considered quite valuable in businesses that sell firearms. In truth however, in this day and age, any business would do well to have a silent panic button that goes straight to a monitored service. The reason for this is quite simply-you just never know. We live in a world where we simply do not know from one day to the next who the next person will be to do the unthinkable. While we do not want to admit to ourselves that he or she could be in the next cubicle the chances are just as good as any that they may be.

You may not consider everything you just read to be crucial information about panic alarms for security. But don’t be surprised if you find yourself recalling and using this very information in the next few days.

In our homes, a panic button can be a life saving device, literally. Panic devices exist that have live monitoring through speakers on the other end for elderly people who have fallen and cannot make it to the telephone in order to call emergency services. The unfortunate truth is that more often than not falls of this sort do not happen within easy access of the telephone. These devices can help those in need get the assistance they need no matter where in the home they may be. They work by having a remote device that is worn around the neck. In the event of disaster the panic button can be pressed and the monitoring agent on the other end can render assistance. If you have a loved one that is elderly and living alone this is a device that is an absolute must.

That is not the only option that is available for home security panic button needs however. Most security systems have codes that can be punched into the keypad that will automatically call the authorities. As an added benefit many security companies are offering the added benefit of wristwatch devices as well as key chains that allow a remote access panic button to interact with the monitoring device in a panic situation without requiring that you be in the room with the device in order to key in the code.

The decision to add security to your home or business is never one to be taken lightly. There are so many variables and we all want the places where we live and work to be as safe as they can possibly be. At the same time we do not want to wallow in fear of what may happen. These panic button security devices, whether for use in the home or office, allow an added layer of security and comfort without serving as a constant reminder of all the many things that may happen and let us get about the process of all the things that are happening each and every day.

There’s a lot to understand about panic alarms for security. We were able to provide you with some of the facts above, but there is still plenty more to write about in subsequent articles.

Copyright Le Tuan Anh

About the Author: To find the best home based business ideas and opportunities so you can work at home visit:


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A Perspective Of Rewards And Recognition Survey

By Adriana J. Noton

It is a fact that among the biggest concerns of employers today is the issue of employee turnover, not only in terms of its high and hidden costs, its toll on the reputation of an organization, but as well as its impact on operation. Is staff turnover controllable? A valid question asked, hence the willingness of organizations to invest in human resource platforms such as rewards and recognition survey.

These surveys primarily aim to assess what beneficial advantages instituting such programs are in building retention rich organizations. It is always frustrating to have to invest in training employees, especially the highly skilled only to lose them a year or maybe less because they fail to see how they are given importance. After all, money is not all that matters, especially to those who value principles and integrity, who have been proven to be amongst the best employees to keep.

Along these lines, what constitute prevailing surveys in the market today? Depends. There are service oriented companies providing expertise on such programs on consulting basis. They range from small, mid-sized, to those with global presence who caters to the conglomerates. Big companies maintaining full-sized human resource undertake their own surveys.

Staffing requirement vary by industry. Staff retention strategies that work well for one may not be effective in another, or it could work the other way around. This is one of the reasons some businesses engage outside experts to develop their human resource platforms, reason being that they are exposed to various strategies employed by organizations and therefore in a better position to adapt and structure what fits well given their experiences.

What types of strategies are employed by such surveys? Both monetary and non-monetary. They include motivation and morale booster, employee satisfaction improvement, fostering healthy work relationships, reinforcing culture of recognition, confidence building, loyalty rewards and statements. Areas covered include typical bonuses and commission schemes, incentives, rewards statements, health cover, company cars, childcare, employee communications, and etc.

One particular observation made about these surveys mention that amidst decades of surveys conducted proving otherwise, companies continue to employ same old carrots and sticks. These miss on human behavior factors like respect and sincere appreciation, which are paramount in achieving longer term engagement of employees, especially the highly qualified.

While greener pasture a. K. A. Monetary benefit issues appear to be the most common official reasons employees write on their post employment exit questionnaires, this apparently does not hold 100% true. Unofficial claims point to lack of motivation as the culprit. Real reasons range from feelings of neglect, unrecognized efforts, lack of trust, unfair treatment, policies for career growth, hazy corporate vision, effective information, leadership, and hostile work environment, and so on.

Another observation noted in terms of approaching rewards and recognition survey is the apparent focus on the use of industry benchmarks in structuring programs instead of directly asking feed backs from the employees. What motivates them to stay in the company, what are they dissatisfied most, what improvements they want to see implemented, and so forth are questions that would tell a lot about what is needed to focus or refocus on. After all such surveys are basically intended to develop a program of rewarding employees for behavior or recognizing them for results.

About the Author: To enhance your business’s functions, consider the resources offered by research groups. They can provide the insight needed for improved functions such as

employee engagement


IT support

to enhance the key areas of IT or HR.


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Improvement Location Surveys

By Charles Lee Iner

Improvement location surveys are intended to depict on-site property improvements that have been proposed or to record existing or recent improvements that have been made on a property. These surveys ensure that improvements are within the boundary lines of the property and are not lying in setbacks or other rights-of way or easements. The need for land surveying is because of a need for accurate property records and assurance of compliance within building regulations and land use, as well as to confirm zoning requirements are met within a building project. Any time that improvements are made to a property, it is typical to get a survey performed so that the property can be verified for accuracy and regulated use. These survey drawings may be required by local zoning authorities or by mortgage companies. It is also useful to have an improvement location survey completed before purchasing a home to be sure that you are not buying a property with encroachment issues.

There are a variety of different types of equipment that can be used in land surveying for improvements on a property, and these tools make it easy for surveyors to get the information that they need much quicker than ever before. Identifying property improvements through a survey is necessary for many renovations or modifications that are made to a property for legal reasons. Keep in mind that improvement surveys are NOT the same as Improvement Location Certificates (ILCs), and that a certificate is not for the use of a property owner.

A certificate of improvement locations is simply for the title insurance company and/or the mortgage broker, and people need to be certain that they are actually getting a survey when they request one. Certificates will be cheaper and require less time to complete, but they are not going to provide what most land owners need when they are seeking improvement location surveys. Home owners and land owners need to be cautious in seeking this type of survey and ensure that they are actually getting a survey done on the property that is useable for their needs.

Improvement location surveys are ideal for property owners to have proof that their improvements are within regulations and approved by regulating authorities. They help to keep the property deed record updated so that the county can track the property exactly as it is and ensure that its use falls within legal allowance. Getting land and building surveys done can be a complicated process for some people, but taking the time to understand what you are getting involved with will often make it easier than you might realize. In order to know whether an improvement location survey is necessary for you, check with your regulating authorities to see what they require or call your local professional land survey company.

Although professional land survey companies that do improvement location surveys are not hard to find, a home owner should do background research and keep in mind though that not all land survey companies provide the same level of service.

About the Author: We at Point to Point Land Surveyors pride ourselves on accuracy, customer service and quality work delivered on time, guaranteed. Commercial, Residential and Telecommunication land surveys are our specialties.


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My Basic Herb Garden Tips Talkin Dirt On Planting An Herb Garden With Chives Plants

Submitted by: PA Cloar

You can dive into planting a basic herb garden in sublime blissful ignorance. Especially if you choose chives plants as your path into herb gardening. I speak from earthy experience. Despite a bucketful of blunders and missteps, my chives plants were thriving and bountiful.

I admit a happy chance landed chives plants into my life some years ago. Yes, I stumbled into beginning my basic herb garden by planting chives plants aplenty! Usually people are led into planting an herb garden by their love of cooking with herbs. Nope. Not in my case. Although an avid novice gardener, herbs were totally lacking from my cooking. But, an encounter with chives plants in my herb garden changed all that. The entire experience drew me to introduce you to chives as an herb plant for your garden and share my tips and discoveries gardening with chives herbs taught me.

Typically people think of chives as these dried up little green pieces that look like cuttings from your lawn. Sadly little taste survives in this dried version. Most of us get introduced to using chives as an herb simply as a condiment for a baked potato…sour cream with chives. Due to its past classification as a common household herb, the fascinating features of chives as a plant and herb have been much maligned. Here’s what I unearthed as a beginner planting an herb garden when I somehow mistakenly ordered 9 chives plants, but intended to get only 1.

The Basics -Chives Plants In Your Herb Garden

Chives are part of the onion family but the flavor is much milder and more subtle. Until you’ve tasted fresh chives you won’t believe the difference in taste from those dried up commercial counterparts you buy at the store! Chives grow in clumps, which is why they’re always referred to as plural. The upright green shoots that grow from the clumps are really called the leaves of the plant.

Growing chives is a dream for beginners in basic herb gardening. I’m prime proof of how easy it is. In fact, for ease of growing I put them in the category of daylilies because they’re so indestructible no matter the amount of rain or scorching heat. I was clueless how to plant my chives plants (or any herb) in the garden when they arrived. Somehow they’ve survived in the clay soil of hot Kentucky summers for almost a decade now. You can even dig up their roots (actually little onion-like bulbs), divide them, and replant them just like daylilies! Although chives plants are best planted in a healthy mixture of soil, peat, sand and compost, my ignorance proves chives plants do well as long as they have plenty of sun and some water now and then.

In my accidental adventure in herb garden planting, I discovered chives plants are perennial! That means, the plant dies back through the winter and sprouts new leaves in the spring. Perennials make a gardener’s life far easier simply because they DO automatically emerge every year without my help. Also in the spring, the chives plant produces a bounty of beautiful purple “pom-pom” flowers that sprout up on tall stems. Who knew growing chives produced beautiful flowers as well? The flowers, similar in shape to the flowers in clover but bigger, can be used in dried ornamental bouquets, too. The bees happen to love those flowers. Just by growing my chives plants, there’s this added benefit of attracting the bees for pollinating some of my other garden plantings. The flowers are edible, but frankly I haven’t given that a try.

Another side benefit for my outdoor garden is the chives plants actually protect my other plants and flowers from unwanted insects–like aphids. Insects apparently find chives to be repulsive. You can also use the juice of the leaves as a repellant. The juice is equally repugnant to pests. The chives plants themselves are very hardy and don’t seem to be prone to diseases (or pests).

Chives Herb Garden Basics – Culinary Captions

Chives are chock full of vitamin A and C, plus calcium and iron. A great choice to flavor foods, cut chives are fat free and combine well with more than sour cream and cream cheese. I found them a winning alternative to salt seasoning. Harvesting chives is a simple task. Simply snip some of those leaves (the soft green shoots) down to the base. The chives plants will continue replenishing itself by regrowing the leaves continuously during its growing season.

Chop the leaves into smaller pieces and use them fresh. The oils of the plants are its seasoning source. By chopping the leaves, the oils are released to flavor your food along with an arresting aroma. Store what you don’t use in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for about a week. Postpone washing the chives until you use them. The extra moisture will make them wilt and decay rapidly.

Add them for flavoring to perk up your soups, sandwiches, fish, vegetable dishes, sauces, and salads. The vast variety of culinary uses can ignite those creative juices and rock your recipes. For instance, I have a friend whose family loves to enjoy ‘chives sandwiches’ every spring. Avoid the mistake of growing chives as a basic garden herb simply for a garnish…it’s so much more versatile. Try using them to make an herb vinegar. A low cost gift exhibiting your new talents in herb garden planting without revealing you’re a beginner!

About the Author: Don’t waste an abundant harvest of chives plantings from your herb garden. They can be dry-frozen and will keep for months using my 3 short steps explained for both outdoor and

indoor vegetable gardening

to reap year round enjoyment. Or get more discoveries in the dirt at my blog on

indoor vegetable and herb gardening



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Addressing The Black Experience And The Impact Of Credit Checks And Ratings

By Meta J. Mereday

People of color are often accused of being hypersensitive when it comes to ‘perceived discriminations’ and there is little recourse when there are issues that they feel they are being specifically singled out.

A case in point is credit checks that many Blacks feel are used against them because of their historically low scores in comparison to their White counterparts. As credit rating checks are being used more and more for housing and even employment, the question is clear as to whether there is something to this belief and, if that is the case, what can Black people who have low scores do.

First, here are some facts. According to a new report by the Woodstock Institute based on statewide scores for Illinois, over 54 percent of the population in highly African American communities had scores below 620 and only over 16 percent of those in largely White communities were below 620.

The 620 score is significant because it is the common boundary for prime credit, or a good score. The report entitled, ‘Bridging the Gap: Credit Scores and Economic Opportunity in Illinois Communities of Color’ further states that there are sharp disparities in credit characteristics in Illinois between the Black and White communities.

These findings do reflect a national model that has fostered a sense of foreboding for Black people who believe the credit rating checks are the newest ‘profiling’ strategy to keep them not only from securing affordable housing, but also from gaining employment.

According to an article in, in addition to employers checking out the Facebook and other social media accounts of prospective hires, they are also doing credit rating checks along with the criminal record searches. Blacks are the hardest hit by these credit rating checks.

The article highlights an organization – The Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights Under Law – that is providing information about the proper uses and abuses of background checks because the impact of credits rating checks on Blacks, many of whom are already unemployed can be detrimental to them getting back on track.

Now, experts say many who have the negative credit checks often lack the economic opportunities of their counterparts to recover from the setback and repair their credit history.

The ‘Bridging the Gap’ report identifies the key players who need to come together to address this situation and to provide support for Blacks in jeopardy of a negative credit check. They also identify the need to improve access to economic opportunities to build good credit and repair bad credit with a better understanding of the role that credit plays and the resources to maintain it, particularly in the area of lending.

From a community development perspective, the recommendations include having policy makers, neighborhood planners and financial institutions taking a different approach in areas where there are large pools of people with low credit scores.

Some of the strategies outlined are: support efforts to build credit for credit-underserved populations and to use additional data to build credit. For those with personal credit problems, credit counseling is key to the repair process.

Budgeting and monetary controls are crucial and, like the old adage, honesty is the best policy. The current economic crisis has caused people from all ethnic backgrounds to have low credit scores, so there is more understanding.

The impact of credit rating checks on Black people is rooted in the lack of economic opportunity and negative stereotypes, but with a renewed community outreach approach and improved communications and direct involvement from lenders, the stigma attached to them can be addressed. Cash and carry is still the best policy. If you have credit, use it wisely!

About the Author: Meta J. Mereday is a writer for

; Regal Black Mens Magazine

The publication focuses on

; African American Community News Politics Sports Health

The magazine features a

; Local Online Classifieds & Job Classified Black Business Directory

Visit to read about

; credit rating check


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