Archive for March 27, 2009

Mt. Redoubt’s March 26, eruption plume as seen from space. The Plume was estimated at 65,000 ft.
Photo: Alaska Volcano Observatory”]Image courtesy of the National Weather Service Image Creator: Dehn, Jonathan
Image courtesy of the National Weather Service Image Creator: Dehn, Jonathan[More on Image above: Ash cloud seen in the geostationary MTSAT data, courtesy of the National Weather Service. We are at the extreme edge of the view for the satellite which is over the equator in Asia. Image Date: March 26, 2009 17:30:00 UTC


Mt. Redoubt’s continued eruptions have many in the region on alert. Ash from the volcano has dusted communities surrounding the volcano and Seismic signals have been indicating “discrete earthquakes” since the latest large eruption began at roughly 09:24 AKDT (17:24 UTC).

Environmentalists are becoming increasingly concerned regarding the condition of a near-by Chevron oil storage facility. Chevron was at first reluctant to divulge the volume of oil held in the facility’s tanks but after pressure from concerned parties the company announced that over 6 million gallons of oil remained in the tanks according to Environment News Service. The latest information regarding the most recent eruption:

A large eruption of the Mt. Redoubt volcano occurred at 9:24 this morning local time, shooting a plume of ash and gas 65,000 feet into the air, according to National Weather Service reports and the observations of aircraft pilots.

The eruption sent a mudflow down the Drift River valley that was detected by seismic instruments at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

An evacuated Chevron oil storage facility containing six million gallons of Cook Inlet crude is situated near the mouth of the Drift River where it empties into Cook Inlet. Official reports have not clarified whether or not the Drift River oil storage facility has sustained any damage.

Mt. Redoubt is still at Aviation Color Code – RED
Volcano Alert Level is at ” WARNING”

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 Have you or someone you know ever been burned by ATM/Debit fees you don’t understand? Turns out there is a reason for that.

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Source: the Center for Responsible Lending
Prevailing overdraft practices artificially drive up fees

Banks and credit unions now enroll many of their account holders into the most expensive option for covering overdrafts—an option customers generally don’t want and didn’t ask for—and leave them without the information they need to protect their funds. Under these systems, financial institutions routinely approve uncovered transactions without warning their customers of a deficit in their accounts, and charge an average $34 fee for each incident, even when the uncovered purchase is for just a few dollars.

Fees vastly outweigh shortfalls

Almost half of all overdrafts (46%) are triggered by debit cards at the ATM or the point of sale. These overdrafts could be easily prevented with a warning or denial. Most debit point-of-sale overdrafts are small, averaging less than half this $34 fee, meaning that these overdraft loans cost nearly $2 for every dollar advanced to cover the shortfall.

Unfair practices

Unfair practices include holding deposits longer than necessary and clearing daily transactions from the highest to the lowest, which often allows the bank to charge more fees than are warranted. Banks and credit unions are collecting $17.5 billion per year in abusive overdraft fees, higher even than the $15.8 billion extended in funds to cover the overdrafts.

Weigh in on the issue here and Say “No” to Gotcha Bank Fees.
Visit CRL for more consumer protection information.

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