Newsfeed 5.6.09

Flynn’s Last Stand? (Style Weekly)
Controversial community planner Rachel Flynn has battled developers for three years. Now some people call for her resignation. The brouhaha started when, during an April 20 Planning Commission meeting, members asked Flynn to look at new language offered by the developers of Echo Harbour, a proposed condo development along the river below Church Hill. She rejected their proposal, just as she had for the last three years.

Donnelly set to plead in $11 million Ponzi scheme (Daily Progress)
The Charlottesville man arrested in March in connection with an $11 million Ponzi scheme is scheduled to enter a guilty plea Monday in U.S. District Court, according to court records and officials. John M. Donnelly, 52, was charged with operating the scheme through three companies, Tower Analysis Inc., Nasco Tang Corp. and Nadia Capital Corp. The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission made the charges.

Swine flu fears take a bite out of Smithfield Foods’ sales (Virginian-Pilot)
Hurt by falling sales of fresh pork because of fears about swine flu, Smithfield Foods Inc. has cut production at its slaughtering plants by about 10 percent and reduced workers’ hours, its CEO said Tuesday. Consumers remain confused about pork’s safety despite repeated assurances by federal and state officials that the meat isn’t affected by the recent outbreak of swine flu.

U.S. Says Bank of America Needs Cushion of $33.9 Billion (NY Times)
The government has told Bank of America it needs $33.9 billion in capital to withstand any worsening of the economic downturn, according to an executive at the bank. If the bank is unable to raise the capital cushion by selling assets or stock, it would have to rely on the government, which has provided $45 billion in capital through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Small-Business Credit Sees Thaw (WSJ)
Many small-business lenders are seeing signs of a thaw in the secondary market for loans backed by the Small Business Administration. That is spurring more lenders to originate new loans — and more small companies to apply for them. In February, the latest month for which figures are available, 35% of newly approved 7(a) loans sold on the secondary market, according to the Government Accounting Office. That was up from 24% in January.

Rebel Yelp (The Big Money)
While the online presentation of news has made tremendous leaps, ingenuity has not carried over to the business side. Online readers see (and ignore) the same lame online display ads they did 10 years ago, just more of them, and bigger. The truth is, there has been progress in monetizing the Internet, beyond the display ads most people ignore. But that progress isn’t coming from newspaper companies. It’s coming from companies like Yelp.

Health-Care Debate: Issues for Small Business (Business Week)
Cost tops the list of concerns for small business owners as Congress prepares to debate health-care reform legislation. Here’s a look at the big issues at stake for small businesses in the coming health-care debate.

Flynn’s Last Stand? (Style Weekly)
Controversial community planner Rachel Flynn has battled developers for three years. Now some people call for her resignation. The brouhaha started when, during an April 20 Planning Commission meeting, members asked Flynn to look at new language offered by the developers of Echo Harbour, a proposed condo development along the river below Church Hill. She rejected their proposal, just as she had for the last three years.

Donnelly set to plead in $11 million Ponzi scheme (Daily Progress)
The Charlottesville man arrested in March in connection with an $11 million Ponzi scheme is scheduled to enter a guilty plea Monday in U.S. District Court, according to court records and officials. John M. Donnelly, 52, was charged with operating the scheme through three companies, Tower Analysis Inc., Nasco Tang Corp. and Nadia Capital Corp. The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission made the charges.

Swine flu fears take a bite out of Smithfield Foods’ sales (Virginian-Pilot)
Hurt by falling sales of fresh pork because of fears about swine flu, Smithfield Foods Inc. has cut production at its slaughtering plants by about 10 percent and reduced workers’ hours, its CEO said Tuesday. Consumers remain confused about pork’s safety despite repeated assurances by federal and state officials that the meat isn’t affected by the recent outbreak of swine flu.

U.S. Says Bank of America Needs Cushion of $33.9 Billion (NY Times)
The government has told Bank of America it needs $33.9 billion in capital to withstand any worsening of the economic downturn, according to an executive at the bank. If the bank is unable to raise the capital cushion by selling assets or stock, it would have to rely on the government, which has provided $45 billion in capital through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Small-Business Credit Sees Thaw (WSJ)
Many small-business lenders are seeing signs of a thaw in the secondary market for loans backed by the Small Business Administration. That is spurring more lenders to originate new loans — and more small companies to apply for them. In February, the latest month for which figures are available, 35% of newly approved 7(a) loans sold on the secondary market, according to the Government Accounting Office. That was up from 24% in January.

Rebel Yelp (The Big Money)
While the online presentation of news has made tremendous leaps, ingenuity has not carried over to the business side. Online readers see (and ignore) the same lame online display ads they did 10 years ago, just more of them, and bigger. The truth is, there has been progress in monetizing the Internet, beyond the display ads most people ignore. But that progress isn’t coming from newspaper companies. It’s coming from companies like Yelp.

Health-Care Debate: Issues for Small Business (Business Week)
Cost tops the list of concerns for small business owners as Congress prepares to debate health-care reform legislation. Here’s a look at the big issues at stake for small businesses in the coming health-care debate.

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