The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 21, 1996 · Page 17
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 17

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 21, 1996
Page 17
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, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL Money PERSONALS / C2 CLASSIFIED / C2 c BRIEFLY Pronto Print wins in regional competition Pronto Print Salina has been recognized for printing excellence in a regional industry competition. The business at 627 E. Crawford received six awards for first place, nine for second, four for third and four international honors for print quality at the 16th Annual Heart of America Printing Competition recently in Wichita. Among its first-place awards were a postcard for the Salina Journal, the Smoky Hill Museum's annual report and newsletter and the Catalpa literary jour' nal for Kansas Wesleyan University. Pronto Print also earned first place for labels and certificates. Accountant opens office in bank building Vogel Tax & Accounting has opened at 200 S. Ninth Suite D in the Bennington State Bank building. Christopher Vogel is starting his own firm after working the past six years for the Salina accounting firm Kennedy & Coe. Besides being an accountant, Vogel also has a law degree. Vogel offers a variety of tax and accounting services, including tax return preparation, monthly accounting services and income and estate planning. Business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment. The telephone number is 827-7310. Simms builds studio for dance school Peggy Simms is building a new dance studio to house her Peggy Simms School of Dance business. The building, at the corner of Ninth and Elm, is scheduled to be completed by early February. Morton Building Construction of Salina is the contractor. Simms said she didn't know how much construction would cost until the building was completed. "We're at the mercy of the weather now," Simms said. Her classes will be in her old office space, at 128 N. Santa Fe, until the building is completed. Delivery service opens office at Salina Airport An Arkansas delivery service is opening a Salina office to better serve its growing business in north-central Kansas. H&H Delivery is renting a building at the Salina Airport beginning in February to serve as a Salina terminal for its fleet of 15 trucks in this area, company president Marion Hendrix said. If business continues to grow, the office could eventually have a dispatcher and walk-in counter. H&H is a subcontractor of Airborne Express, the national air delivery company. The company ships freight from Wichita to Salina, where it is distributed to route drivers, Hendrix said. Hendrix started his company in 1991 with three drivers and now has 75 trucks and 80 employees in several south-central states. Vote planned on wool, sheep assessments The U.S. Department of Agriculture will conduct a referendum Feb. 6 on a plan to make assessments on sheep and wool to fund promotion, research and education. Producers, feeders and importers can register and vote at their local Extension office or request an absentee ballot until Friday. Absentee ballots must be received in county offices by Feb. 2. If approved, domestic producers and feeders would be assessed 1 cent a pound on sales of live sheep and 2 cents a pound on sales of greasy wool. Importers would be assessed 1 cent a pound or the equivalent on imported decreased wool and wool products. From Staff Reports - Airfare comparison AT THE WATERCOOLER Co/rf enough for you? In the cold, dark winter, most of us would rather be someplace warm and sunny, so we'd consider Iceland just about the last place to go. But Icelandair says the Gulf Stream makes Iceland wanner than many U.S. cities. Outdoor swimming pools are used year-round. And snowmobiling across a glacier is fun, too. Damnation From Salina From Wichita Orlando 238 245 San Francisco , \ 235- ?45 Boston 329 317 Atlanta 326 '30? Miami 256 265 Philadelphia 356 344 All fares are USAir and show the cheapest prices if tickets are bought three weeks In advance. Fares from Kansas City to these cities are $40 less (han fares from Salina. Destinations are the most popu- ^ lar ones for Sallnans flying USAir. Woof Fads in dogs, like fads in cars and clothes, come and go. According to Sky magazine, the pooch of the moment is the Jack Russell terrier, the small, scrappy dog bred to hunt foxes. Eddie, the.continual thorn in Kelsey Grammer's side on "Frasier," is a Jack Russell. So is Chipper, the pup who watches TV in RCA ads. Wrapping the globe Consumer products are being wrapped in more environment- and user-friendly packaging worldwide, finds Euromonitor, a research firm. It says less packaging is being used, and it is recyclable or biodegradable. Consumers are demanding packages that are reusable. Downsizing shrinks dreams Immigrant fights to keep jobs amidst bank consolidations By JULIA PRODIS The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO — Romulo Valencia is 35 years old and getting pimples like a schoolboy and high blood pressure like an old man. His hair is falling out and he feels sick. He worries a lot. His "so-called career," as he puts it, just isn't turning out the way he planned. Over the past six years, he has lost his bank job once and barely managed to hang on twice as corporate merger mania sweeps through the banking industry. Every time he gets settled with one bank, a new one takes over and either-lays him off or makes him reapply for his job. "It hasn't gotten me anywhere," Romulo said. "I haven't moved up since '92." At a furious pace, U.S. industries are consolidating and downsizing to become more competitive and profitable. And in no industry is it as rapid as banking, where the dollar value of mergers and acquisitions has more than tripled since a previous record was set in 1991. In the process, employees are being laid off or bounced from company to company. Those who survive aren't so much grateful as they are cynical and insecure. 'No such thing as job security' For workers who thought they could stay with a company for a whole career if they got to work on time and did a good job, their worlds are in chaos. Romulo's future is so uncertain, he's afraid to have children. "It's like I don't want to have kids if I have to go through sales (mergers) and things like that," said Romulo, "How am I going to support my kid until he goes to college?" Merger mania is so pervasive, most of Romulo's friends have gone through at least one and some have lived through four. Even Romulo's girlfriend fears she will be one of 850 employees marked for layoffs when, her employer, Mitsubishi Bank, merges with Bank of Tokyo to become the world's largest bank. "There is no such thing as job security anymore," said Sherri Barfield-Bersonda, a colleague who worked with Romulo at Bankers Trust before First Bank Systems bought their corporate trust division. "It's like starting all over again. If some- 1 ,The Associated Press Romulo Valencia, shown In San Francisco's financial district, has lost his bank job once and barely managed to hang on twice. one tells you this is a good, stable job, there's no such thing." Reality crushes dream Romulo knew he would face challenges when he fled the civil war in'El Salvador with his mother and brother 15 years ago. But at age 20, he dreamed of one day having a steady job, a family and a house. He started working as a janitor while taking English classes at night. Then he went to a local business training school and became a bank teller. He had temporary jobs as office assistants for six years before he got a permanent job at Bank of California — an entry level job, but he figured he was on his way. That's until 1989 — when his hair started falling out. His employer, the corporate trust division of Bank of California, was being purchased by Bankers Trust. The new bank said it would absorb all the old employees, but Romulo suspected it wouldn't last long. Bank, broadcasting upheaval Facing competition from oth- er institutions providing lending services and burdened with overcapacity, banks are consolidating, cutting costs and getting rid of redundant employees. From the pre-recession late 1980s to the present, the number of U.S. banks has dropped by 4,000, from 14,000 to 10,000. And there is some speculation that only 5,000 will be left by the turn of the century. Through mid-December, 587 U.S. banks were targets of mergers • and acquisitions. The amount paid for those banks reached nearly $70 billion through mid-December of 1995 — a threefold increase from 1991 — and 15.5 percent of the total value of U.S. mergers and acquisitions in 1995. Ranking second is mergers and acquisitions involving radio and television broadcast stations, worth $54 billion — most notably Disney's takeover of Capital Cities-ABC for $19 billion last summer. In August, September and October, 9,677 people were laid off because of mergers, making up 18.3 percent of total job cuts for that period, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement company. Romulo's been there. In 1992, his career stopped dead. His blood pressure sky$,. rocketed — a symptom, he knew/ of another corporate purchase. His employer, the corporate trust division of Bankers Trust, was sold to First Bank Systems. He was told to reapply for his job. Although he had just been promoted, the new bank said they didn't want him because he didn't have enough experience in his new job. He was laid off with three months severance pay. Going through an employment agency, Romulo got a temporary job as a data processor at Bank of America — a demotion. He was eventually hired full time and promoted to the level he had attained two years earlier. "Oh, no, not again!" By the third time his employer was acquired by another bank, in November, Romulo had almost resigned himself to a life of uncertainty. But that hasn't stopped his hair from thinning or his face from breaking out. "When they announced the sale of this department, I thought, 'Oh, no, not again!' I felt comfortable and thought I was going to get somewhere here." Looking on the bright side, he thought maybe this was his chance to ditch banking and try desktop publishing. The new bank, First Bank Systems, was the same bank that laid him off three years ago. Romulo didn't apply to keep his job. He figured he'd take the severance pay. But .the new bank offered to keep him. Romulo begrudgingly took the job. He knew he should feel lucky. Now he's busier than ever, doing some of the work the two women across the aisle used to do before they were laid off. Over the years, Romulo's kept in touch with former co-workers. Every few months, they meet to catch up. Invariably, Romulo says, one question is asked more than any other: "Where are you now?" T STAYING AHEAD New law helps ward off telemarketing fraud Source: USAir Journal Graphic Law restricts calling hours, makes it illegal for them to call again if you tell them not to NEW YORK — Tough new federal regulations aimed at telemarketing fraud took effect on the last day of 1995. This vicious, multi-billion dollar business knows * how to victimize anyone with needs to fill: the unemployed seeking business opportunities; the compassionate, who want to help hurricane or earthquake victims; shoppers seeking bargains; people denied credit cards or bank loans; investors dreaming of big hits; believers in luck, who think they might win a $1 million prize. We're all quick to protect ourselves from street crime • but rarely think about telephone crime. "Being curious" about what a telephone pitchman might say is the functional equivalent of walking down a dark alley in a bad neighborhood, in the opinion of Princeton Survey Research As- JANE BRYANT QUINN The Washington Post sociates, which studied the issue for the American Association of Retired Persons. The new regulations, from the Federal Trade Commission, won't stop crooks. But they'll slow them a bit, and help law-enforcement officials put more of them away.. The regs should also help consumers distinguish between a fraud and an honest sale's call. Here's how salespeople are now supposed to behave on the phone. If they don't, assume that you're talking to a crook and get off the line as fast as you can: • In the very first part of the call, you have to be told the company's name, the fact that this is a sales call-and what's being sold. The caller can't pretend to be doing a poll or conducting market research. If a prize is offered, you have to be told immediately that no purchase or payment is needed to win it. • If you've supposedly won a prize, you cannot be asked to pay anything for it. It's illegal to make you buy something or say that a purchase will improve your chance to win. You can't even be required to pay "shipping charges." The caller must tell you how to enter without making a purchase. Prize promotions ("you have been specialty selected to win a boat, a car, $25,000") are hugely popular among crooks. So watch out. • You cannot be asked to pay in advance for certain dubious services. These include cleansing your credit report of damaging credit information, finding you a loan or a credit line, recovering money scammed from you by someone else or acquiring a prize that some telemarketer falsely said you'd won. Under the new rules, you pay for these services only if they're actually delivered. (Chances are, they won't be.) • You shouldn't be called before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night, local time. Telemarketers are breaking the law if they call you repeatedly, intimidate you, or use profane or threatening language. • Telemarketers have to take you off their list if you say you don't want to be called any more. If they do call again, they've broken the Jaw. • Be especially wary of telemarketers who want your bank-account number. That lets them execute "demand drafts," which take money from your bank account to buy the product or service they sell. They generally get to keep that money, even when they .diddle you. By contrast, if you pay by credit card, you can tell the card-issuer to reverse the purchase and give you your money back. The FTC has put new limits on paying by demand draft. The telemarketer has to get "verifiable authorization" for the draft — defined as your written permission, your consent recorded on tape or a letter sent to you, disclosing the terms (including the refund terms), before the money is taken out of your account. If you get that letter and the terms are wrong, you can call the bank and stop payment, says Eileen Harrington, associate director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. But if the crook has your money already, you might as well kiss it goodbye. Best advice: never pay by demand draft. • If you're guaranteed a refund, the caller has to reel off all the limitations and particulars. If no refund is mentioned, however, the caller needn't tell you a thing, so be sure you ask. If no refunds are allowed, telemarketers must disclose that fact. There's one big hole in the telemarketing law. It applies only to for-profit organizations, not to charities. How do you tell the difference between an honest and a dishonest sale? "Usually, by the high pressure sales tactics," says Linda Golodner, president of the National Consumers League in Washington, D.C. "They want the money sent upfront. They want your credit-card or bank-account number. They want that money today." SUGGESTIONS? CALL MARY JO PROCHAZKA, MONEY EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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