Single-family home sells in Oakland for $2 million

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:30
686 Mandana Boulevard - Google Street View686 Mandana Boulevard – Google Street View

The spacious historic property located in the 600 block of Mandana Boulevard in Oakland was sold on April 21, 2023. The $1,953,000 purchase price works out to $854 per square foot. The house, built in 1915, has an interior space of 2,287 square feet. The property features five bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a garage. It sits on a 5,300-square-foot lot.

Additional houses have recently been purchased nearby:

  • On Longridge Road, Oakland, in June 2022, a 2,166-square-foot home was sold for $1,910,000, a price per square foot of $882. The home has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.
  • A 1,579-square-foot home on the 700 block of Santa Ray Avenue in Oakland sold in October 2022, for $1,815,000, a price per square foot of $1,149. The home has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
  • In April 2023, a 2,473-square-foot home on Calmar Avenue in Oakland sold for $1,700,000, a price per square foot of $687. The home has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.


Categories: Local News

Oakland gunfire wounds young girl; she’s in stable condition

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:25

OAKLAND — Gunfire in East Oakland on Wednesday night injured a young girl, police said.

Police were tight-lipped about the shooting and its victim, saying only that they were notified about 9 p.m. about the shooting in the 3400 block of 68th Avenue. Media reports indicated the girl was 4 years old and hit in the leg.

Police said the girl was in stable condition at a hospital Thursday.

Officers found the girl down when they arrived, police said. They confirmed she was suffering from a gunshot wound.

Police asked the community to help them find the suspect in the shooting and urged anyone with information to contact 510-238-3426.

Please check back for updates.

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Categories: Local News

Hidden gems in America: 10 cities with affordable homes and great jobs

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:16

Alex Gailey | (TNS)

Omaha, Huntsville, Champaign, Des Moines, Green Bay.

These cities and towns may not be top of mind when deciding where to move to next, but they should be. They offer good-paying jobs, growing cultural scenes and not to mention, affordable real estate prices — making them the perfect hidden gems to put down roots if you’re in the market for a house.

Bankrate’s list of hidden gems in America comes at a time when affordability has become a much bigger hurdle for would-be homeowners. Housing prices are still high and mortgage rates are above 6%. To cope, the majority of Americans are willing to make sacrifices to find affordable housing, with a quarter of Americans (24%) saying they’re willing to move out of their state, according to an April Bankrate housing survey.

Key takeaways

—Homes in the Midwest and South are becoming more desirable due to affordability and strong job markets.

—Affordability issues such as high home prices, income that is too low or not being able to afford the down payment and closing costs are holding back nearly 3 in 4 (73%) aspiring homeowners, according to an April Bankrate survey.

—A recent Bankrate survey found about a quarter of Americans (24%) are willing to leave their state for more affordable housing.

Top 10 hidden gems in America: Metros offering ample job opportunities, affordable homes and growing cultural scenes

To find these hidden gems, Bankrate analyzed the top 150 metro areas with populations less than 1 million across four broad categories: housing prices in relation to local wages, the tightness of the local housing market, the employment picture and wellness and culture. Based on that scoring, these are top 10 hidden gems in America:

1. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

—Median home price: $190,000

—Cost of living: 93.2*

—Household median income: $73,720

—Unemployment rate: 2.2%

—Total employees year-over-year: +1.7%

—Well-being: 66.2 out of 100

—Diversity: 47.7 out of 100

2. Huntsville, AL

—Median home price: $325,000

—Cost of living: 89.6*

—Household median income: $76,963

—Unemployment rate: 1.6%

—Total employees year-over-year: +4%

—Well-being: 65.9 out of 100

—Diversity: 53.5 out of 100

3. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA

—Median home price: $227,375

—Cost of living: 90.2*

—Household median income: $74,208

—Unemployment rate: 2.9%

—Total employees year-over-year: +2.1%

—Well-being: 66.3 out of 100

—Diversity: 40.7 out of 100

4. Green Bay, WI

—Median home price: $230,000

—Cost of living: 90.3*

—Household median income: $66,652

—Unemployment rate: 2.2%

—Total employees year-over-year: +2.6%

—Well-being: 66.2 out of 100

—Diversity: 38.8 out of 100

5. Champaign-Urbana, IL

—Median home price: $179,250

—Cost of living: 86.4*

—Household median income: $59,189

—Unemployment rate: 3.6%

—Total employees year-over-year: +3.4%

—Well-being: 65.2 out of 100

—Diversity: 57.2 out of 100

6. Wichita, KS

—Median home price: $210,000

—Cost of living: 88.5*

—Household median income: $61,131

—Unemployment rate: 3.3%

—Total employees year-over-year: +3.1%

—Well-being: 65.6 out of 100

—Diversity: 51.7 out of 100

7. Amarillo, TX

—Median home price: $239,900

—Cost of living: 82.3*

—Household median income: $58,354

—Unemployment rate: 3.1%

—Total employees year-over-year: +2.8%

—Well-being: 64.6 out of 100

—Diversity: 57.6 out of 100

8. Roanoke, VA

—Median home price: $194,950

—Cost of living: 90.4*

—Household median income: $59,630

—Unemployment rate: 2.8%

—Total employees year-over-year: +3.3%

—Well-being: 65.9 out of 100

—Diversity: 42.6 out of 100

9. Lexington-Fayette, KY

—Median home price: $254,424

—Cost of living: 92*

—Household median income: $62,612

—Unemployment rate: 3%

—Total employees year-over-year: +3.5%

—Well-being: 64.7 out of 100

—Diversity: 46.1 out of 100

10. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR

—Median home price: $364,133

—Cost of living: 90.8*

—Household median income: $55,027

—Unemployment rate: 2%

—Total employees year-over-year: +5.1%

—Well-being: 65.4 out of 100

—Diversity:​ 54.9 out of 100

Note: For the cost of living index, the national average is 100.

Affordability is drawing homebuyers to smaller cities in the Midwest and South

Omaha may have taken the top spot, but several smaller Midwestern and Southern cities rounded out the list. Many Americans are flocking to these regions in droves, and experts chalk it up to housing affordability. Smaller cities, particularly in the Sun Belt and Midwest, can offer a lower cost of living and a better quality of life — particularly at a time when homeownership is moving farther out of reach for many Americans due to elevated home values and high mortgage rates. According to Ostrowski, the average monthly mortgage payment for someone who bought a house in March 2023 is 35% higher than for someone who bought in March 2022.

“The Midwest has really been home to the most resilient, steadiest and most consistent housing markets in the nation,” Zillow home trends expert Amanda Pendleton said, citing recent data that shows the Midwest leads the nation in terms of home value appreciation. “As the housing market has slowed down, these markets in the Midwest have been appreciating, and they’re outperforming superstar cities like San Francisco and Seattle. It really comes down to affordability.”

Pendleton said the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a trend that we were already seeing leading up to 2020: migration from expensive coastal metro areas to the more affordable cities in the Sun Belt. Census data from 2022 shows nine of the nation’s 15 fastest-growing cities were in the South. The reason why: Homebuyers can simply get more home for their dollar in the South, and they’re able to attain homeownership faster.

“You have more affordable mortgage costs, and it’s easier to qualify for a loan because it’s a smaller loan,” Pendleton said. “Another key factor with these metros is that rent is more affordable than elsewhere in the country, so it really shortens that time it takes to save for a down payment. I think that makes these more affordable areas even more desirable.”

How to buy a home in a tough housing market

The combination of high mortgage rates and soaring home prices has left many prospective homebuyers wondering what steps they can take to make their homeownership dreams a reality.

Before starting your search, experts recommend having a solid understanding of your finances and why you want to buy a house, particularly when there are growing concerns about the economy. Consider things like when you intend on moving, what you want in a home and your overall housing budget — including how long it could take you to save for a down payment and how much your all-in costs will be.

When you’re ready, finding an affordable house in a town or city you like is not the only piece of the puzzle. You’ll also likely need a mortgage, or a 15- to 30-year loan to purchase the house now and pay for it over time. Start by getting preapproved for a mortgage, then find a house that you want to put in an offer for, with your preapproval in-hand. Once your offer is accepted, work with your lender of choice to get a mortgage with an interest rate and monthly payment you can afford.

“People have been seeking out lesser-known cities that offer affordability, warmer weather and all the amenities of big city life,” Pendleton said. “When talking about places like Huntsville and Amarillo, they may not be hidden gems for long.”

—Bankrate’s list of hidden gems in America was compiled using data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Labor Department and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Here is a breakdown of each category: Affordability: Bankrate calculated the typical income needed to qualify for a mortgage in each metro area, based on each area’s median home price for January 2023 as reported by Redfin Data Center, with a 10% down payment, a 6% mortgage rate on a 30-year loan and a mortgage debt-to-income ratio of 25%. We compared that number to the Census Bureau’s 2021 estimate of median income for households in each metro area and factored in each metro’s Cost of Living Index, as reported by the Council for Community and Economic Research, from Q2 2022. The index measures the overall cost of living in an area, with a score of 100 representing the national average. This category was given an overall weight of 35%.Job market: Bankrate ranked each metro area based on its unemployment rate as reported by the U.S. Labor Department in March 2023. Also from the U.S. Labor Department, we looked at total employees year-over-year, which shows the percentage change of employed area residents from March 2022 to March 2023. This category also factored in each metro area’s average commute time, per 2021 Census data. This category was given an overall weight of 30%.Wellness and culture: Bankrate used Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index for 2020-2021. The report ranks metro areas on access to healthcare, food and community services, including libraries and houses of worship. We also used the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Diversity Index to measure racial diversity and representation. Lastly, the culture ranking is also based on the number of arts, entertainment and recreation establishments per capita, based on Bankrate’s analysis of 2021 Census data. This category was given an overall weight of 25%.Housing market tightness: Bankrate used’s median days on the market statistic for homes for sale in April 2023 and the year-over-year change in housing inventory through April 2023. This category was given an overall weight of 10%.

©2023 Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Local News

NFL great Tom Brady says he is retired for good: ‘I’m certain I’m not playing again’

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:14

Just in case you needed to hear it again, Tom Brady says he is retired for good.

Brady called it a career — for a second time — on Feb. 1, 2023 and doesn’t expect to touch the playing field ever again.

“I’m certain I’m not playing again,” Brady told Sports Illustrated Thursday as rumors have swirled about a possible comeback. “So, I’ve tried to make that clear and I hate to continue to profess that because I’ve already told people that lots of times, but I’m looking forward to my broadcasting job at Fox next year, I’m looking forward to the opportunity ahead with the Raiders and we’re in the process of that along with the other different things that I’m a part of professionally and in my personal life — just spending as much time with my kids as I can.”

The 45-year-old agreed to a 10-year, $375 million broadcasting deal with Fox in May 2022 that was supposed to kick into place immediately after his playing career. However, Brady will not begin broadcasting until next Fall.

“For me, I want to be great at what I do,” Brady said on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” show in February. “Talking with the people at FOX Sports and the leadership there, allowing me to start my FOX opportunity in the fall of 2024 is something that’s great for me. …

“[I want to] take some time to really learn, be great at what I do, become great at thinking about the opportunity and make sure I don’t rush into anything.”

Brady also bought a minority stake in the Las Vegas Raiders — where his former understudy, Jimmy Garoppolo, will be taking snaps this season — as his involvement in football will continue despite hanging the helmet up.

His first attempt at retirement came on Feb. 1, 2022 before quickly unretiring on March 13 saying that his place is “still on the field and not in the stands.”

His second announcement of riding off into the sunset was less theatrical as he simply posted a video to social media.

“I know the process was a pretty big deal last time so when I woke up this morning I figured I would just press record and let you guys know first,” Brady said in the 2023 video. “I won’t be long-winded, you only get one super emotional video retirement essay and I used mine up last year.”

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The seven-time Super Bowl champion — six with the New England Patriots and a final one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — went out losing an NFC Wild Card matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. In his final season, Brady tossed for 4,694 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Bucs.

Brady finished as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (89,214) and touchdowns (649) with three MVPs and five Super Bowl MVPs. Brady will be honored by the New England Patriots in their home opener for the 2023 season where he won six of his seven Super Bowl’s.


Categories: Local News

Northern California solo car crash kills 2 children and adult, injures 7 other children and another adult

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 10:00

SACRAMENTO — Two children and an adult died and seven other children and another adult were hospitalized after an overnight single-vehicle crash on a Sacramento street, authorities said Thursday.

All of the surviving victims have injuries ranging from serious to critical, the Sacramento Police Department said in a social media post.

The department said a total of nine children involved in the crash ranged in age from 3 to 8 and the two who died were 3 and 7. There was no information about the ages of the adults.

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The crash was reported around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday in the Northgate area about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) north of the state Capitol. One adult died at the scene and the other victims were taken to hospitals, police spokesperson Zach Eaton told reporters.

Preliminary information indicated that the car, a small sedan, struck a tree, Eaton said.

Eaton had no immediate information on the identities of the victims or their relationships.

“We’re hoping for good news coming from our area hospitals,” Eaton said.

Categories: Local News

San Jose Sharks broadcaster going into Hockey Hall of Fame

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:59

Dan Rusanowsky, the radio play-by-play voice of the San Jose Sharks since the team’s inception in 1991, has been named the newest recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

Rusanowsky, who has called over 2,400 Sharks games in his career, will receive his award at the Hockey Hall of Fame NHL Media Awards Luncheon in Toronto on Nov. 13.

“Dan has an insatiable love for radio and has been an integral part of promoting the game of hockey in the Bay area on that medium from day one of the San Joes Sharks’ existence in 1991,” said Chuck Kaiton, President of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, in a statement. “He is extremely worthy of this honor.”

Longtime sports journalist Mark Mulvoy, who went on to become the youngest managing editor in Sports Illustrated’s history, will be the recipient the of Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism.

Rusanowsky’s and Mulvoy’s award plaques will be displayed in the Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto alongside past award recipients.

Recipients of these awards, as selected by their respective associations, are recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame as Media Honorees — a separate distinction from individuals inducted as Honored Members. For instance, former San Jose Sharks player and general manager Doug Wilson was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020 and is an Honored Member.

Rusanowsky directs the Sharks Audio Network, contributes to the team’s official game program, and provides regular columns and broadcast reports for A native of Connecticut, Rusanowsky began his broadcast career as the voice of St. Lawrence University’s NCAA Division I hockey program and the American Hockey League’s New Haven Nighthawks.

The Foster Hewitt Memorial Award is named in honor of the late “Voice of Hockey” in Canada and was first presented in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association in recognition of members of the radio and television industry who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to the game of hockey.

Categories: Local News

The W.G.A. Strike Feels Personal to Me.

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:51
I watched how corporate greed devoured my father’s life. So the writers’ strike feels personal to me.
Categories: Local News

6 LGBTQ+ financial influencers to follow in 2023

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:51

The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments.

People in the LGBTQ+ community experience unique economic disparities that cisgender straight people and heteronormative families do not. According to a 2019 Williams Institute analysis of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data, 22% of LGBTQ+ adults in the United States live in poverty, compared with an estimated 16% of their cisgender straight counterparts.

LGBTQ+ financial pros are uniquely positioned to share their knowledge and relate it to their individual experiences of queerness because of these disparities and the political climate affecting their communities.

We talked to some financial influencers from the LGBTQ+ community about tips on finding affordable housing, starting a business, building generational wealth and finding resources for family planning.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Learn more about each financial pro below, following the questions.

Are there specific resources available for people in the LGBTQ+ community who are on an entrepreneurial path or interested in starting a business?

Bitches Get Riches: “Yes! Here’s the thing: Queer people are so damn good at taking care of their own. If there are two coffee shops on the same street, and one hangs a rainbow flag in the window, guess which one gets my business? Queer entrepreneurs start with a built-in base of extremely loyal potential customers, supporters, mentors and investors.

“A lot of cities host first-time business owner classes through their public libraries and state universities. Take a class, find a mentor, develop your business ideas like everybody else — then leverage your queer community to support you.”

Bitches Get Riches

Travers Johnson (Queerency): “When I first became interested in starting a business, it was hard to find queer possibility models. I didn’t see much LGBTQ+ representation in business media, and I didn’t know where to begin to find support to help me as a queer founder. Here are some of the organizations and resources I’ve come across along my entrepreneurial journey:

  • NGLCC, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and its affiliated chapters work to certify and support LGBTQ-owned businesses on the national, state and local levels.
  • Queer Business Alliance is a nonprofit that equips LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs with resources to start, grow and thrive in business.
  • Pride Fund, Gaingels, Backstage Capital, and LGBT+ VC are resources for funding and venture capital.”

Travers Johnson, founder & CEO of Queerency.

Travers Johnson

What is your advice for LGBTQ+ people who are looking for affordable, inclusive places to move and/or retire? Any practical advice for balancing safety with a high cost of living?

Debt-Free Guys: “Unfortunately, most of the ‘Best Places for LGBTQ+ People to Live’ lists are the most expensive, top-tier cities in the world, and are often too weighted on the quality of the nightlife. When it comes to coupling affordability with LGBTQ+-friendliness, LGBTQ+ people should be as open-minded about cities and towns as we want people to be about us.

“We suggest looking at the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index or the Movement Advancement Project Data on LGBTQ+ inclusion and protection in local policies and bumping them up with general affordability metrics, including but not limited to the cost of living, housing affordability and incomes. Even giving equal weighting to all metrics, most will find that the cities of refuge for many LGBTQ+ people will be priced out.

“On the ‘Queer Money®’ podcast, we’re publishing a bonus episode each Thursday that shares the most affordable LGBTQ+-friendly city in each state and its runner-up. The findings, so far, have been interesting, but with a little open-mindedness, we think there are more options for LGBTQ+ people than we tend to believe.”

David and John Auten-Schneider (Debt-Free Guys)

K. Kenneth Davis (The Trans Capitalist): “I feel this is a classist question, as most of the queer community, especially queer people of color, do not have access to or the means to move and/or retire.

“In this recession and with high mortgage rates, I advise people to move only if their lives are in danger. Sadly, most inclusive spaces are in expensive states and cities. For example, California and New York are very inclusive, but the rent and mortgages for these states are through the roof. Still, you have affordable housing in states like Georgia and Texas, but your safety is at risk. It’s a catch-22. Don’t beat yourself up, but give yourself a timeline for saving the necessary money to move so you are not solely relying on your savings.”

K. Kenneth Davis

Daniella Flores (I Like to Dabble): “My wife and I moved from Missouri to Washington, and while there was a considerable increase in the price of housing, everything else actually ended up either being the same or a little less. For instance, our housing expenses increased by 100% but our utilities decreased by 50% (and no state income tax). When we were researching areas to move to, we looked at states that were LGBTQ+- friendly and found the Movement Advancement Project helpful.

“We also planned for about a year up to the actual move and spent a lot of time researching how we were going to swing the difference in the cost of living. Our side hustles helped us save up for it, and once we got here, things equalized. However, it won’t be the same for everyone. I would advise diving into deep research on not just the housing costs, but the overall cost of living, and trying to find people in those areas to talk to about what to expect.”

Daniella Flores

What is your advice for people in the LGBTQ+ community looking to build generational wealth?

Carmen Perez (Make Real Cents): “Build up an emergency fund. Having a soft cushion to land on should a medical emergency arise, you’re laid off or it’s taking longer than expected to land that next gig, is crucial. An emergency fund can not only alleviate financial stress but also help combat taking on unnecessary debt, which pushes out your ability to build wealth.

“Start investing early and often, adding assets that will appreciate and add to your net worth. You don’t need a lot of money to get started with investing. You have to prioritize it and do it consistently as soon as possible. The more time (and money) you have in the market, the better.”

Carmen Perez

Debt-Free Guys: “Too much of LGBTQ+ people’s wealth eventually ends up in the hands of our non-LGBTQ+ family members, and too often family members who weren’t totally supportive of us. The first step is that we need to start talking about it, and then we need to start taking the steps to do it. Marrying our partners is one such step. Whether we get married to our partner or not, and whether we’re partnered or not, all LGBTQ+ people should create a will and estate.”

Davis: “To build generational wealth, you must focus on financial literacy! It would be best to learn money rules or principles to manage your money, save and pay off debt properly, or else you will have an impossible and challenging road to generational wealth. When you take the time to learn financial literacy in the areas where you want to grow your wealth, it leaves room for fewer mistakes or money mismanagement.”

Johnson: “So much of generational wealth is about estate planning. Where or to whom do you want your money and assets to go when you’re no longer here? But for LGBTQ+ people, there are unique hurdles to navigate in the estate planning process. Legal inequalities, non-traditional family structures and other factors can make an already daunting process especially difficult.

“I recommend partnering with an attorney who specializes in LGBTQ+ estate planning. They can help you create documents like a will, a living trust, a power of attorney and other legal documents that will help ensure that the wealth you acquire while you’re alive is seamlessly passed on to your successors and beneficiaries.”

What are some of the financial hurdles LGBTQ+ couples may face as they’re planning to grow their families? How would you advise preparing for those hurdles?

Bitches Get Riches: “Having children is heckin’ expensive in the U.S., especially if you’re adopting, using a surrogate or going through in vitro fertilization, as many LGBTQ+ couples do. On top of that, many states require that these couples take extra legal precautions to ensure the security of their family units (imagine having to “adopt” your own child!).

“The first thing you should do is build a network of people you can turn to for advice and help. Find groups and subreddits where you can lurk and start to gain insights. When the time is right, invest in good legal help from a family lawyer who understands the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. Family law is complicated and subject to change, and we still don’t have the rights that all cishet couples are granted automatically, but you can’t fuck around with your legal rights to your own children.”

Perez: “Healthcare costs, childcare costs and delaying retirement savings or purchasing a home are some hurdles couples often face. My wife and I had to deal with the cost of fertility and the trade-off of eventually buying another home. We sold our first home and moved back into an apartment to try to save a little money to prepare for our fertility journey that came with its own set of hurdles since insurance wouldn’t cover a lot of things because we are a same-sex couple.

“Understanding what areas you can save money in now in terms of your household budget and finding an employer offering inclusive healthcare benefits can help ease costs. Creating a separate savings account for your family journey can also be helpful because it enables you to prioritize it.”

More about the influencers

K. Kenneth Davis, also known as “The Trans Capitalist,” is a financial literacy activist and financial coach. Kenneth is committed to educating and empowering the LGBTQ+ community and is heavily focused on serving trans people of color to help end systemic poverty and economic discrimination in these communities.

Daniella Flores is the founder and creator of an award-winning money, career and side-hustle resource platform. They help neurodivergent and LGBTQ+ folks get paid what they want, work how they want and build the life they deserve.

Carmen Perez is the creator of Make Real Cents, an online money platform dedicated to teaching individuals personal finance. She is also the founder and CEO of Much, a social money management platform for individuals needing extra help getting on track with their finances.

David and John Auten-Schneider are the Debt Free Guys and hosts of the Queer Money® podcast. They help queer people (and allies) live fabulously not fabulously broke. They’ve worked with some of the leading LGBTQ+ non-profits, from The Trevor Project to Out & Equal.

Travers Johnson is the founder and CEO of Queerency, an LGBTQ+ business media startup. He spills the tea on the queer economy each week in his newsletter “The Balance Sheet,” and is the creator of LGBTQ+ Business Week, an annual seven-day celebration of queer-owned businesses (Nov. 1-7).

Piggy and Kitty are the reclusive geniuses behind the popular blog and podcast, Bitches Get Riches. They are optimistic, financially solvent, 30-something feminist killjoys who are teaching young people how to become competent adults in their finances, careers and personal lives.

More From NerdWallet


Cara Smith writes for NerdWallet. Email: Twitter: @ Caitlin Mims writes for NerdWallet. Email: Funto Omojola writes for NerdWallet. Email: Stephanie Harris writes for NerdWallet. Email:


Categories: Local News

Debt Limit Fight Moves to the Senate as Default Date Nears

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:32
Leaders of both parties urged quick action to avoid a default, but some senators want to consider changes.
Categories: Local News

Eric Adams Loves to Tell a Good Story. It Might Even Be True.

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:31
The New York City mayor has made an art form of telling stories about himself that are nearly impossible to verify, adding fresh details to often-told anecdotes.
Categories: Local News

Minnesota plans rewrite of rules for copper-nickel mining near popular wilderness

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:30

Minnesota regulators have concluded that state rules governing where copper-nickel mines can be built are insufficient to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from noise and light pollution.
Categories: Local News

Supreme Court Backs Employer in Suit Over Strike Losses

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:28
The justices ruled that federal labor law did not block state courts from ruling on a case regarding damage caused when workers walked off the job.
Categories: Local News

Families sue to block Idaho law barring gender-affirming care for minors

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:20

The families of two transgender teenagers are suing Idaho officials to block enforcement of a ban on gender-affirming medical care for minors.
Categories: Local News

Whitney Museum Sells Breuer Building to Sotheby’s

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:18
The auction house will make the Brutalist icon on Madison Avenue its flagship in 2025.
Categories: Local News

Move Disney World to Colorado if Nuggets beat the Heat, Gov. Polis proposes to Ron DeSantis

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:13

On the verge of the NBA finals, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has proposed a “friendly wager” with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with a happy Disney ending should the Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat.

The championship matchup starts on Thursday and Polis suggests that the Walt Disney World Resort pull up stakes from the Sunshine State and land in colorful Colorado should the Nuggets beat the Heat.

In the wager, posted at 1:50 p.m. Tuesday on Twitter, Polis refers to Colorado as “the ACTUAL happiest place on earth to do business, have fun, and be free!”

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It’s not the first time Polis has envisioned Disney in Colorado.

In April 2022, Polis offered Mickey and Minnie Mouse “full asylum in Colorado” after DeSantis, now a presidential candidate, was critical of Disney as part of a long, ongoing battle with the entertainment company.

Last month, Disney filed a lawsuit against DeSantis alleging the governor waged a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” after the company opposed a law critics call “Don’t Say Gay.”

The Tuesday wager by Polis did not include how the bet would play out should the Heat beat the Nuggets. As of about 2:50 p.m. Mountain Time, DeSantis had no response on Twitter.

Calling @GovRonDeSantis and @Disney on a friendly wager. If the @nuggets win the finals against the @MiamiHEAT, Disney World will move to Colorado, the ACTUAL happiest place on earth to do business, have fun, and be free! #ColoradoForAll

— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) May 30, 2023


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Democrats Want Trump? They’re Out of Their Minds

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:10
Do not underestimate his chances against Biden — or the damage he’d do with a second term.
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Author R.F. Kuang says she wanted ‘Yellowface’ to feel like ‘an anxiety attack’

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:08

When Athena Liu, a bright Asian American literary star suddenly dies after choking on a pancake, her friend June Hayward sees a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

June, a White woman who admires and envies Liu in equal measures, swipes Athena’s latest manuscript and sets out to claim it as her own.

“Yellowface,” the new literary thriller from R.F. Kuang, is an unusual page-turner, using the theft of a historical novel about Chinese laborers to fuel plot twists that revolve around publishing, marketing and social media. The story builds suspense while exploring ideas about artistic ethics, cultural appropriation, and the way the book world and the American marketplace fetishize the exotic while also trying to whitewash it.

Kuang, who was born in China but came here at age four, shares some autobiographical elements with Athena: She’s just turned 27 but is already on her fifth novel – and her previous one, “Babel,” was an acclaimed best-seller – and she too has had to overcome preconceived notions about ethnicity and gender. For example, her first name is Rebecca, but she says she was told when she selling her fantasy debut, “The Poppy War,” that she should use her initials “so people will think you’re a man.”

“We all know that people have conversations in-house at publishers about how attractive an author is and that affects the size of the advance,” Kuang said in a recent video interview. “You have to sell a story about yourself and that’s uncomfortable because we’re all raced and gendered in very different ways.” 

Kuang, who has two masters and is pursuing a Ph.D. at Yale, is definitively not Athena, however, and has a “deep resentment” of audiences psychoanalyzing her or presuming they know her from her writing.

“People think I had Athena’s life but the first few years were more like June’s,” she says. “When “The Poppy War” came out, it didn’t do so well. I’ve done bookstore events where nobody came and the bookstore manager intimated that I should just pack up and go home. It was terribly awkward. So I felt anxiety and worried if I’d get another opportunity.”

Unlike the endlessly needy June, Kuang learned to write solely for herself. “You can’t tie your creative drive to external validation,” she says, though June’s desire for that is what makes her book hard to put down.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q. For June, writing is essential to her very being. Is that true for you?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. We started binge-watching the “Star Wars” movies right when I moved to the U.S. and it’s where I learned a lot of English. After the scene “Luke, I am your father,” I was zooming around the house chanting “father, father, father.” A few years later, I would get printing paper from my dad’s office and staple them together and write fan fiction stories where 7-year-old Luke Skywalker and I were zooming around the planets and having adventures. 

Writing was about imagining other identities and imagining my way into English. But I didn’t let myself believe being a writer was a possible dream until it happened.

Q. Athena collects people’s stories – about June’s date rape trauma and strangers’ war stories – and turns them into fiction. Is that art or theft?

I don’t think there are clear ethical standards about what it means to steal someone else’s life experience as a writer. I don’t think there is creation without collecting. I overhear dialogue between friends or my dad tells a story about growing up in China and they get saved for a future story or book idea. But Athena does it in a way that makes her particularly an [expletive]. There are things you just don’t do to your friends unless you’re being a jerk. That’s not about creative ethics that’s about how you handle interpersonal relationships. 

Q. Your previous books involved fantasy or alternative history. Was this a conscious effort to move away from that?

This idea came to me all at once, but I was also ready to change gears and write a contemporary thriller, especially after “Babel,” which was this big Dickensian epic with all that detail about Victorian history. I had fun mucking around in all that detail but when you have to do hours of research just to type a single sentence about the kind of carriage they were riding, it becomes exhausting. It’s fun to write something where you can draw on the environment you’re already in. 

Q. Yet the novel that June steals from Athena is historical fiction. That must have required research, too.

Yes, but the book is mostly about publishing, which I already know about. I did read a lot about practices of yellowface and Asian American literary and film representation, the ways in which race and identity and creativity have intersected over the years, and how that intersects with how art is marketed and capitalized on. So there’s still a lot of scholarship that goes into what I’m writing.

Q. How do you balance that Ph.D. side of you with the desire to write a page-turner?

I’m writing about what I’m studying, but putting it in a commercial novel makes me think very hard about how you make these ideas digestible and how you strip away the jargon and get to the heart of what the problem is. Scholarship should help people rethink things they’ve taken for granted but it should be readable. 

Q. Beyond the thievery and the drama that ensues, what did you hope readers glean from June’s rewriting of Athena’s novel, “The Last Front”?

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It’s about how historical fiction is marketed to an audience. There is this genre of historical fiction that presents history as a story of suffering but with a happy ending, a feel-good story that convinces readers that things were bad in the past but we’ve gotten over that now. Publishing has less patience for history that proves there’s a persistent problem – they want a book that’s palatable and is predicted to be a best-seller. Those books don’t talk about the present but just indulge in the spectacle of the past. 

There are conversations about how to make Athena’s draft more accessible. They take out everything that’s radical or troubling and leave a story about racial tolerance and all sides coming together during World War II, which was not the intention of her original novel.

Q. “Yellowface” is fast-paced and has a frantic energy, like when you’re hitting refresh, hoping for that dopamine rush you get when a new text, email or social media like comes in.

That was very deliberate. Reading the book is supposed to make you feel like you’re having an anxiety attack in the way scrolling through Twitter literally does for me. I don’t think it’s healthy to feel the way the novel makes you feel all the time but I did want to see if I could capture it.

June picks at an open wound on social media and gets a masochistic pleasure from that. I have very firm boundaries about when I go online when I stay offline, what I look at on the internet, what I respond to, what I say and don’t say. I really try to stay calm and to preserve that sense of peace and focus that is necessary to write anything. 


Categories: Local News

Bay Area loses longtime women’s tennis event as WTA moves to Washington D.C.

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:08

After a nearly continuous run of over 50 years, the Bay Area will no longer have a major women’s tennis tournament.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced on Thursday that the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is moving from San Jose to Washington D.C.

The move brings an end to an iconic part of women’s tennis history, as the Bay Area’s event was the first U.S.-based event held on the groundbreaking Virginia Slims tour in 1971. Billie Jean King won the initial event and became a three-time champion.

It’s been held every year but two (1978, 2020) since then, making it the oldest and longest-running women’s-only tennis event in the world. Other major tennis names to win multiple Bay Area tournaments include Chris Evert (three times), Martina Navratilova (five times), Kim Clijsters (four times).

And that’s also true for the biggest names in the sport, the Williams sisters of Serena (three times) and Venus (twice). But perhaps most noteworthy is that a then-14-year-old Venus made her professional debut in Oakland in 1994 and won her first match, something that was highlighted in the recent movie King Richard.

The move to Washington D.C. pairs up the women’s 500-level event with the men’s Associated of Tennis Professionals (ATP) in the same city and makes that event the only combined 500-level event on tour.

“The Bay Area has played host to so many unforgettable moments as one of the Hologic WTA Tour’s longest-running tournaments,” Steve Simon, WTA Chairman & CEO, said in a statement. “The legacy of this much-loved event will live on in its new home, in Washington, D.C., where I am excited to see WTA and ATP stars competing together for the first time at the 500 level, creating new memories for many more years to come.”

The event was played on San Jose State’s campus for the last five years (with the 2020 tournament canceled because of coronavirus). Before that, it was held in the San Francisco Civic Auditorium (1971-77), the Oakland Coliseum Arena (1979-95), the Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland (1996) and at Stanford University’s Taube Tennis Center (1997-2017).

The 2022 event saw Daria Kasatkina defeat Shelby Rogers 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-2 in the single’s final, making the Russian native the final winner in the Bay Area. Perhaps the highlight of the final Bay Area tournament was a matchup between Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff, which Gauff won 6-4, 6-4.

In the press release announcing the decision, tournament owner and operator IMG says the move will create a more convenient tour schedule for players and will allow for “larger audiences” in the nation’s capital to watch both men’s and women’s action.

“We’d like to thank the Bay Area for over 50 years of support, enthusiasm and passion. We’ve loved bringing the best in women’s tennis to your doorstep year after year,” Josh Ripple, SVP of Tennis Events at IMG, said in a statement. “While we’re sad to go, we are also very excited about this new chapter in the event’s history as the only 500-level combined event on the tours in the U.S. We hope that by bringing this event to D.C. we can start new traditions and bring that same passion for women’s tennis we saw in San Jose to the capital.”

The newly named Mubadala Citi DC Open will be held from July 29-Aug. 6 in Washington D.C.

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Senate races to wrap up debt ceiling deal before default deadline

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:05


WASHINGTON (AP) — Days away from a default crisis, the U.S. Senate dashed on Thursday to wrap up work on a debt ceiling and budget cuts package that overwhelmingly cleared a House vote, aiming to send it to President Joe Biden’s desk to become law before the fast-approaching deadline.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the chamber was digging into the bill that Biden negotiated with Speaker Kevin McCarthy and would “keep working until the job is done.”

He warned of a crush of ideas from senators anxious to revise the bill’s budget cuts and environmental policy changes, but said, “There is no good reason, none, to bring this process down to the wire.”

Passage in the Senate will require cooperation between Democrats and Republicans, much the way the narrowly divided House was able to approve the compromise late Wednesday night. Fast action is vital if Washington is to meet next Monday’s deadline when Treasury has said the U.S. will start running short of cash to pay its bills, risking a devastating default.

Having remained largely on the sidelines during much of the Biden-McCarthy negotiations, several senators are insisting on debate over their ideas to reshape the package. But making any changes at this stage seemed unlikely, and even opponents of the final deal say they will not hold it up.

Like Schumer, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell signaled he wanted to waste no time.

Touting the House package with its budget cuts, McConnell said Thursday, “The Senate has a chance to make that important progress a reality.”

The hard-fought compromise pleased few in its entirety, but lawmakers assessed it was better than the alternative — economic upheaval at home and abroad if Congress failed to act. Tensions had run high in the House as hard-right Republicans refused the deal, but Biden and McCarthy assembled a bipartisan coalition to push to passage on a robust 314-117 vote.

“We did pretty dang good,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said afterward.

As for discontent from Republicans who said the spending restrictions did not go far enough, McCarthy said it was only a “first step.”

Biden, watching the tally from Colorado Springs where Thursday he is scheduled to deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Air Force Academy, phoned McCarthy and the other congressional leaders after the vote. In a statement, he called the outcome “good news for the American people and the American economy.”

Overall, the 99-page bill would make some progress in curbing the nation’s annual budget deficits as Republicans demanded, without rolling back Trump-era tax breaks as Biden had wanted. To pass it, Biden and McCarthy counted on support from the political center, a rarity in divided Washington.

The compromise package restricts spending for the next two years, suspends the debt ceiling into January 2025 and changes some policies, including imposing new work requirements for older Americans receiving food aid and greenlighting an Appalachian natural gas line that many Democrats oppose. It bolsters funds for defense and veterans, and cuts back new money for Internal Revenue Service agents.

Raising the nation’s debt limit, now $31.4 trillion, ensures Treasury can borrow to pay already incurred U.S. debts.

Top GOP deal negotiator Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana said Republicans had fought for budget cuts after the past years of extra spending, first during the COVID-19 crisis and later from Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, with its historic investment to fight climate change paid for with revenues elsewhere.

But Republican Rep. Chip Roy, a member of the Freedom Caucus helping to lead the opposition, said, “My beef is that you cut a deal that shouldn’t have been cut.”

For weeks negotiators labored late into the night to strike the deal with the White House, and for days McCarthy had worked to build support among skeptics. Aides wheeled in pizza at the Capitol the night before the vote as he walked Republicans through the details, fielded questions and encouraged them not to lose sight of the bill’s budget savings.

The speaker faced a tough crowd. Cheered on by conservative senators and outside groups, the hard-right House Freedom Caucus lambasted the compromise as falling well short of the needed spending cuts, and they tried to halt passage.

Ominously, the conservatives warned of possibly trying to oust McCarthy over the issue.

One influential Republican, former President Donald Trump, held his fire: “It is what it is,” he said of the deal in an interview with Iowa radio host Simon Conway.

Before the House vote, Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said it was up to McCarthy to turn out Republican votes in the 435-member chamber, where 218 votes were needed for approval.

As the tally faltered on an afternoon procedural vote, Jeffries stood silently and raised his green voting card, signaling that the Democrats would fill in the gap to ensure passage. They did.

“Once again, House Democrats to the rescue to avoid a dangerous default,” said Jeffries, D-N.Y. “What does that say about this extreme MAGA Republican majority?” he said about the party aligned with Trump’s ”Make America Great Again” political stance.

On the final vote hours later, Democrats again ensured passage, leading the tally as 71 Republicans bucked their majority and voted against the bill.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the spending restrictions in the package would reduce deficits by $1.5 trillion over the decade, a top goal for the Republicans trying to curb the debt load.

In a surprise that complicated Republicans’ support, however, the CBO said their drive to impose work requirements on older Americans receiving food stamps would end up boosting spending by $2.1 billion over the time period. That’s because the final deal exempts veterans and homeless people, expanding the food stamp rolls by 78,000 people monthly, the CBO said.

Liberal discontent ran strong, too, as nearly four dozen Democrats broke away, decrying the new work requirements for older Americans, those 50-54, in the food aid program.

Some Democrats were also incensed that the White House negotiated into the deal changes to the landmark National Environmental Policy Act and approval of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline natural gas project. The energy development is important to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., but many others oppose it as unhelpful in fighting climate change.


AP White House Correspondent Zeke Miller, AP writers Mary Clare Jalonick, Seung Min Kim and Jill Colvin and video journalist Nathan Ellgren contributed to this report.

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