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 ”Playgrounds: They’re safer but still can be dangerous,” -  USA TODAY

Playgrounds have come a long way from the asphalt jungle gyms of the 1960s and 1970s.

Monkey bars and hot metal slides have virtually disappeared. They’ve been replaced by colorful plastic castles with guardrails and ramps and rounded edges. And instead of blacktop and concrete, many new playgrounds are covered with soft wood mulch or springy rubber chips made from recycled tires.

Yet in spite of these improvements, many playgrounds still fall short on safety, experts say.

Stimulus Law Bolsters Food Bank Offerings,” -  The New York Times

Struggling to meet a demand for food that spiked with the unemployment rate, some food pantries have had to turn away people seeking help. Others are packing a little less food into each shopping bag they give out. But recently the nation’s food banks received a $100 million windfall of extra food, as part of the federal stimulus law.

The grant is a big boost for the food bank program, which usually gets $250 million a year from Washington, and the amount of food it can buy seems supersize, even for a field that routinely measures servings by the millions of pounds.

 ”Bay Area entrepreneur makes plans to open eco-friendly building-supply stores,” - Contra Costa Times

Bay Area entrepreneur aims to square off against big-box hardware stores — and buck a sour economy in the process — by offering green construction materials to builders of all sizes.

San Rafael-based New Home Inc. is planning to open a chain of building-materials stores, including some in the East Bay, that will cater to builders who want to be completely eco-friendly in their construction projects.

Written by Keith Forest

July 31st, 2009 at 5:45 pm