Behind the high price of peanut butter is a tale worth spreading

Quit fretting over Twinkies that you can’t buy and the Thanksgiving groceries that you have to purchase.

Take a look at the crazy-high shelf price of a Georgia-grown staple – peanut butter.

Paying well over $3 per 18-ounce jar – more than a buck more than a year ago — made this choosy mother ask what was going on in peanut country a hundred miles south.

Big swings in peanut production are causing price increases — and future price cuts — for this pantry staple. And a closer look at the peanut’s powerful simplicity is quite inspiring.

In a nutshell, behind the high price of peanut butter is a story worth spreading.

Atlanta’s NYC Marathoners: It’s the journey, not the storm cancellation

For Atlanta’s sizable community of runners, the first Sunday in November belongs to the New York City Marathon. First there’s the luck of getting in via a lottery of hundreds of thousands of applicants. Then there’s hours of training that can feel like a part-time job. Finish the 26.2 miles through the five boroughs, and chalk a big one off the bucket list.

After a week of mixed messages from New York race organizers, Hurricane Sandy ultimately led to canceling the race and detouring the disappointed runners. While disaster response is of course more important than a big athletic event, the following Atlanta marathoners illustrate the trait that will fuel New York’s recovery: endurance, resilience, optimism and more.

For working parents, new childcare solutions sprout like Bean

Amid the Presidential debate chatter of workplace inequality and “binders full of women” catchphrase is the real bind that working parents find themselves in every day: how to succeed at work and childcare.

Adela Yelton is in the middle of that daily juggle herself as an entrepreneur serving working families. Her business is a novel answer to that need for working families. Bean Work Play Café near the Agnes Scott area of Decatur offers a portal into how these moms and dads are making ends meet, and seeking more flexibility, in the Great Recession.

At Bean, a parent can plug in down the hall from the childcare area. No rush to leave the office to beat traffic and late pick-up fees. Since Bean opened in March 2011, and began offering a flexible preschool a few months ago, about 200 “co-working” families have dropped in.

Replica of D-Day cemetery asks: Who is the hero of your story?

For the past nine years, at the end of May, one man’s yard in northeast Atlanta quietly turns into a replica of a World War II cemetery in France. He covers his immaculately trimmed zoysia lawn on Ridgewood Drive with carefully-place white crosses in honor of D-Day.

David T. Maddlone, who works at nearby Emory University, always sets up in time for Memorial Day. He wants people not to forget 10,000 men who died on June 6, 1944. When asked to give everything to a cause much bigger than themselves, they answered yes.

Their answer poses this question today: What does it take for someone to be a hero like that — to risk one’s life for a greater good?

Forums aim to help small firms win work as Legislature debates “small businesses”

Two upcoming forums will provide information to small and minority companies seeking contracts to design and build projects in Atlanta to be funded with proceeds of the proposed 1 percent sales tax for transportation.

Presenters will talk about the procurement processes to be used to award contracts for planned transportation projects in Atlanta, MARTA, DeKalb and Fulton counties. Registration for the session Wednesday is closed, but openings remain for the March 6 event.

The forums occur as the state Legislature debates a proposal to redefine small business as it relates to state purchasing contracts. House Bill 863 would change the size of a small business, for purposes of competing for a state contract, from 100 employees to 500 employees.