Bob Dylan’s ‘Americanarama’ Tour Comes to Hoboken

July 29th, 2013

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Hoboken’s Pier A hosted the traveling Americanarama tour this past Friday night.  The 6-hour show featured performances by Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Ryan Bingham. The evening also boasted a series of surprise guest appearances, including Allman Brothers Band/Gov’t Mule guitarist Warren Haynes, The J. Geils Band singer Peter Wolf, Mott The Hoople’s Ian Hunter and Hoboken musical hero and The Bongos member James Mastro.

But there was no star bigger than Pier A Park. The slip of Hudson riverfront greenery once again proved itself a terrific place to catch a live show — particularly on a gorgeous summer evening with the reflection of the cumulus clouds visible in the paneled glass of the tall buildings in Manhattan. The sound was good, the sun danced off of the black plastic that lined the back of the stage and the western face of the Empire State Building, a breeze blew across the river, and the vibes were overwhelmingly positive.

More shows here please!!!

Mortgage rates set new 2-year high, up dramatically in past 10 weeks

July 12th, 2013

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The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to 4.51%, a two-year high. Just two months ago, it was 3.40% — barely above the record low of 3.31%.

Rates have jumped up on speculation that the federal government may slow its stimulus spending. That has some people wondering if rates will continue rising throughout the rest of the year. Even with the gains, mortgage rates remain low by historical standards.

Normally, a rise in interest rates would be expected to slow home sales, but in this case, the rise in interest rates could actually spur short term housing sales as buyers move to secure mortgages before rates rise any higher.

And speculation is that the interest rates will not continue to rise at such an accelerated rate and will likely settle between 4-5%, which will keep housing at affordable levels – which is good news for everyone!

Protect Pets From Summer Scorchers

July 11th, 2013

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Temperatures are soaring into the 90s and 100s and such intense heat is not only dangerous for humans but for pets as well. Here are a few tips to protect pets during summer heat waves:

• Overheating (heat prostration) can kill an animal. Never leave an animal alone in a vehicle, since even with the windows open, a parked car, truck or van can quickly become a furnace. Parking in shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day. When traveling, carry a gallon thermos filled with fresh, cold water.
• Don’t force your animal to exercise after a meal in hot, humid weather. Always exercise him or her in the cool of the early morning or evening.
• In extremely hot weather, don’t leave your dog standing on the street, and keep walks to a minimum. He is much closer to the hot asphalt and his body can heat up quickly. His paws can burn since they are not protected by shoes.
• Never take an animal to the beach unless you can provide a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for her to drink. Rinse her off after she has been in salt water.
• Always provide plenty of shade for an animal staying outside the house. A properly constructed dog house serves best. Bring your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day and let her rest in a cool part of your house. Always provide plenty of cool, clean water for your animal.
• Please be sensitive to old and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs (especially bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus) and those with heart or lung diseases should be kept indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible.
• Keep a current license and identification tag on your dog or cat and consider tattooing or microchipping as a means of permanent identification.
• Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals, as poisonings increase during the summer when gardens, lawns and trees are sprayed. These chemicals can sicken or kill an animal. Call your veterinarian or The ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA/NAPCC) if you suspect your animal has been poisoned.
• Be alert for coolant leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste of coolant and ingesting just a small amount can cause an animal’s death. Consider using animal-friendly products that use propylene glycol rather than those containing ethylene glycol.
• A clean coat can help to prevent summer skin problems, so keep your dog or cat well groomed. If he has a heavy coat, shaving your dog’s hair to a 1-inch length will help prevent overheating. Don’t shave a dog’s hair down to the skin; this robs him of protection from the sun. A cat should be brushed frequently to keep his coat tangle-free.
• Take your companion animal to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer checkup, including a test for heartworm if your dog isn’t on year-round preventative medication. Have the doctor recommend a safe, effective flea and tick control program.
• Never tie an animal outside on a correction collar. He can choke to death. If you must tether him, use a buckle collar with identification tags instead. (This applies in any season.)
• Never let your animal run loose. This is how an animal can contract a fatal disease, including rabies, or be injured, killed or stolen. Be sure there are no open, unscreened windows or doors through which your animal can fall or jump.