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The Buffalo News from Buffalo, New York • 7

The Buffalo Newsi
Buffalo, New York
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BUALO Monday January 31 2000 Page A7 Key Indicators DOW noon today NASDAQ noon today DOLLAR London today GOLD London today BONDS 30 yr treasury vx "Vy i I i ft I Wk 3 1311 1075198 13500 375207 190 yen 10665 $310 $28305 "01 644 1 BUSINESS TODAY Personal income climbs 03 percent in December WASHINGTON (AP) Americans' personal income rose in December and they spent all of it and more giving the retailers one of their fjest holiday seasons in years 'The Commerce Department reported today that personal income which includes wages interest and government benefits increased by 03 percent last month following a 04 percent rise in Novem ber gain the smallest increase since September was weaker than the 05 increase many analysts were anticipating Spending meanwhile rose a brisk 08 percent the biggest increase since August following a solid 07 percent gain in November The increase in spending right on target with expecta tiqns gave merchants their best holiday sales since 1992 'With Americans spending more than they earned in December the personal savings rate sayings as a percentage of after tax income was pulled to a record monthly low of 15 percent In November the savings rate was 2 percent All that spending also pushed the savings rate to an all time annual low of 24 percent in 1999 compared with a 37 percent rate the year before ADVERTISING dot coms gain ground in Super Bowl appearance By SKIP WOLLENBERG Associated Press NEW YORK Internet advertisers making their most ambitious use yet of most expensive commercial showcase ranged from poetic to prosaic in trying to make names for themselves in Super Bowl telecast Monstercom the job site and Super Bowl re peater ran a black and white ad that showed a woman listening to passers by recite poetry by Rob ert rost about how taking the road less traveled had made all the difference Two others poked fun at themselves Online broker Trade showed two men and a monkey in a garage clapping in time to cha cha music just wasted $2 million What are you doing with your one of three ads said Lifeminderscom a Web site that delivers personal ized mail to its members rah an ad that consisted of a typewritten message that started by saying is the worst commercial on the Super But the ad explained that while the company sock puppet made a plea for pet owners to stay home with their pets and use the Web site to get what the animals need say Si Associated Press good at advertising it was good at alerting its sub scribers to items of interest Seventeen dot coms as Internet companies are known were among about three dozen advertisers who paid a record average of $22 million for a 30 second commercial on the ABC telecast Only three dot com advertisers were involved in last Super Bowl telecast and this par ticipation by many more of them helped pushed the ad price up nearly 38 percent from last $16 million average Among the other dot coms the pet supplier Petscom featured its sock puppet singing in a plea for pet owners to stay home with their pets and use the Web site to: get what the animals need But Internet advertisers weren't the only ones" gaining attention with unusual Super Bowl advertis ing Paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve appeared to rise from his chair in an ad for the mutual fund company Nuveen Investments which advised viewers' to well" and possibly bring about the when Reeve and others could be recognized for overcoming spinal cord injuries Norfolk Southern to cut 550 jobs ROANOKE Va (AP) Norfolk Southern Corp is laying off 550 union workers blaming fall ing revenue high diesel fuel prices and a weak ex port coal market Last Wednesday the company announced an early retirement program for 1200 non union em plovees The company has about 35000 employees The layoffs set to take effect riday affect track and machine workers who belong to the 1 Brotherhood of Maintenance ot Way and are scat tercd across the Norfolk based 12 divi I sions 22 states mostly east of the Mississippi I Rivet 1 Diesel fuel prices coupled with problems associ ated with the company's takeover of Conrail last year caused Norfolk fourth quarter profits to plunge 81 percent to $31 million or 8 cents a share Spokeswoman Susan Bland said the layoffs had i more to do with business conditions including a i decline in the export coal market to Asia She said mdre layoffs could follow Knitting company shutting down JOHNSTOWN (AP) Blaming foreign trade I policies and rising costs officials of a knitting com pany that has been making clothes since the late 1800s say they are going out of business The Johnstown Knitting Mill Co which traces it roots tn 1893 and employs 229 people will close by late March company officials announced riday Johnstown Knit as it is locally known is an in dependent line knitwear manufacturer It also sells its clothing everything from socks to shirts to long underwear The business has been in the family of the cur rent president Thomas Easterly for the genera tions company attributes a majority of their loss to US foreign trade policies such as NATA which has encouraged many US companies to manufacture goods offshore This has made it next toimpossible tor most domestic manufacturers to compete in the company officials said in a press release Deere targets Caterpillar market i MOLINE 111 (Bloomberg) Deere Co the world's biggest farm equipment maker plans to re viye its tumbling earnings by taking away a share of the $40 billion market for construction machin ery from cross state rival Caterpillar Inc 1 Deere is eyeing the $217 billion that the federal government will spend on highway projects in the next six years expanding its product line to snatch business from the primary customers of Cat erpillar the largest construction equipment maker based in Peoria Ill This week in business I Here are the major business and economic I events planned for this week: I Tuesday The ederal Reserve's policy pan the ederal Open Market Committee I opens a two day meeting on interest rate targets Wednesday The ederal Open Market Committee concludes its two day meeting on inter est rate targets Thursday The ederal Reserve will release minutes of the December meeting of the ederal Open Market Committee SMALL BUSINESS More firms keeping their batties outside the courtroom Mediation lets both sides see weaknesses strenghts in their respective positions By BRIAN MEYER News Business Reporter veteran employee infuriated that lucrative work assignments have been yanked away goes on leave A small business and one of its val ued vendors are embroiled in a dis pute that threatens to ruin the rela tionship A terminated worker accuses an employer of enforcing disciplinary pro cedures in an inconsistent even dis criminatory fashion These touchy scenarios may sound like lawsuits waiting to happen In re ality all are recent examples of situa tions that were handled out of court using impartial outsiders peer review panels or some other form of "alter native dispute The experts call it and they say a growing number of businesses are recognizing the benefits of keeping their battles outside the courtroom makes a lol of sense for smaller businesses because going to court is a lot more expensive" said Janice Rob ertson associate executive director of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution in Washington DC the process can be much more adver sarial in a courtroom because there's always a winner and a Lindy Korn a Williamsville attor ney who heads Diversity Train ingWorkplace Solutions Inc puts it another way: Airing a dispute before a mediator can be less threatening more private and allow for what she calls more solutions is really an outside the box approach to conflict said Korn of the valuable things that happens with mediation is that the process lets both sides see the weaknesses and the strengths in their respective HARRY SCULL Buttalo New I is really an outside the box approach to conflict Lindy Korn president of Diversity' TrainingWorkplace Solutions Inc Alternative Dispute Resolution ADR employs strategies for handling workplace conflicts outside the courtroom: Early case evaluation An outside evaluator assesses both arguments and predicts the likely outcome should the parties continue the process Mediation A mediator meets with both sides together or separately to try to reach a settlement Can be binding or non binding Arbitration Similar to a trial without a jury The arbitrator is more like a judge than a facilitator and the process typically produces clear winners and losers Can be binding or non binding Peer review panels Disputes are reviewed by a panel of in house adjudicators that is typically comprised of rank and file employees and supervisors SOURCES: Diversity Trainingworkplace Solutions Inc Society ot Professionals in Dispute Resoluton The American Arbitration Assoc Brail war ST 'w" Korn a former commissioner of Compensation for the state and past counsel to the New York State Liquor Authority founded Di versity Training nearly three years ago as a full service agency that helps companies and their employees to fos ter healthy communication and resolve work place conflicts She works with more than a dozen independent contractors who also em brace what is known as the le gal approach" where lawyers and psy chologists team up to create a legally based and emotional understanding of issues that allow a hostile environ ment Korn has clients throughout the country and is currently working on cases in California Texas and New Mexico zXlternative dispute resolution is one of Korn's six main areas of focus including mediation services Media tion is when an impartial outsider is brought in to listen to arguments from all parties There are many mediation models but a common approach in volves the facilitator meeting with each side separately in hopes of reach ing a settlement While it doesn't have to be binding a party who is dissatisified with the outcome can still opt to go to court national figures indicate that medi ation generally results in a settlement in four out of every five employment cases There are other forms of ADR in cluding arbitration which can either be binding or non binding and is very much like a trial without a jury An i arbitrator is more like a judge than a facilitator and in arbitration there are often clear winners and losers A growing number of businesses are using peer review systems to re i solve workplace conflicts including disciplinary actions Often the panel of in house reviewers is comprised of' I three rank and file employees and I supervisors all of whom are picked i from a list by the individual who lodged the complaint Amherst business owner Kathryn A i has never used mediation to resolve workplace issues but she said she is big believer in peer review and what she calls method" ap 1 See Mediation Page A9 DEVELOPMENT 3 rwt yy Sy': counting Percent of shoppers who count change after a cash transaction according to a recent poll: Knight HiddfirTnbunp News 'VSV 'a ftfe 20 Always 1 46 IL' Neverrarely A ormer Como 8 theaters to reopen as AppleTree 6 next month By SHARON LINSTEDT News Business Reporter The former AMC Como 8 Theatres at Appletree Business Park will come back to life next month offering a fresh combination of new ownership discount movies and less expensive concessions The AppleTree 6 Theatres will make its debut on eb 18 as an inde pendently run movie house operated by two long time AMC managers who see a lot of promise in their new ven ture Gary Haak president of newly formed JGM Entertainment said when the Como 8's screens went dark in September it left that area without a second run cinema think this place has a lot of life in it It's the only discount house to the south of Buffalo so we can draw from a wide Haak said The AppleTree 6 will be one of just two discount movie houses in the Buffalo market the other is North Super Saver Cinema The re opened theater will also help fill any movie gap created by the December closing of the eight screen General Cinema complex at Cheektowaga's Thruway Plaza Haak who managed the Como 8 for AMC from 1975 through 1986' is teaming with Jim Maisano who ran the complex from 1990 through its tall closing the two of us we have 20 years experience running this facility and over 50 years in the theater busi ness working for AMC We feel we're really in a great position to make this he added AMC shuttered the Como 8 four months ago as part of a corporate strategy to get out of the second run movie business while reducing its sta ble of theaters The company targeted some 450 of its eight to 16 screen complexes for closing so it can concentrate on development and oper ation of so called theaters offering movies on as many as 25 screens Haak said attendence figures at the Cheektowaga theater were never an is sue for AMC near the end when they were paving less attention to what movies they were booking at the Co mo movie givers were still coming in pretty good numbers If we can main tain similar counts we're in a great position to build the Haak said i In addition to $2 screenings of sec ond run films movies which have i come off the screens of first run hous 1 es but not yet entered the realm of video the AppleTree 6 will offer tasty deals on concessions or exam 1 pie: small servings of soda and pop com will be priced at $125 compared to the $209 AMC had formerly charged I you go to a first run theatef you'll end up paying at least $1050 for the ticket and the smallest drink i and popcorn at AppleTree 6 you can get all that for Haak said Ciminelli Development Co which See AppleTree Page A9 I 1.

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