Entries from June 2006

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Watch Warren Buffet on Charlie Rose Show (Video)

Watch the Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates interview on Charlie Rose for free on Google Video for a limited time.

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Thank You Seattle, With Aloha

A ‘thank you’ shout out goes to Charlotte in Seattle, WA of the Warwick Hotel. Charlotte, the concierge, is going out of her way to help a group of girlfriends have a fabulous vacation. Charlotte is even doing work for us from her home on her days off! How many people will do that for someone they never met before? Charlotte is going above and beyond and we love her for it! She has the true aloha spirit.


Nice Girl — Hilo, Hawaii

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Buffett’s Philanthropy Buffet

As you all have heard by now, the second richest man in the world, Warren Buffett, has made the long awaited decision to give away the bulk of his 44 billion dollars to five different charitable foundations. The biggest beneficiary will be the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which, at $30 billion in assets, is already the largest foundation in the world. So, the two richest men in the world join their tremendous assets to create the most powerful philanthropic machine the world has ever seen.

The Gates Foundation deal was inked earlier today after a television appearance with the three principles on The Charlie Rose Show in New York City. Buffett’s divestiture plan (explained below) will give off approximately 1.5 billion in today’s dollars in July of this year and similarly for a number of years forward to the Gates Foundation. By design, most of Buffett’s annual gifts will be put to use each year on Gates Foundation projects.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focuses approximately 60% of its resources fighting viruses — like malaria and HIV-AIDS — and correcting poverty conditions around the world and another one-third on education reform in the United States. As you can imagine, their approach is well planned, strategic and calculated. Ultimately, it’s one of the best managed and efficient foundations in the world. Along with the fact that he has the highest personal faith in Bill and Melinda to be the shepherds of the “body of his life’s work”, as Melinda Gates put it on today’s Charlie Rose Show, Buffett felt it was a “no brainer” to make this gift.

Buffett will also give a significant amount of his net worth to four other foundations, each associated with a different member of his immediate family.

The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, renamed after Buffett’s late wife, will receive approximately $150 million this year.

The Susan A. Buffett Foundation of Omaha, NE; the Howard G. Buffett Foundation of Decatur, IL; and the NoVo Foundation of New York City will each receive approximately $52.5 million this year.

The Deal

Here’s how this ingenious gift will work.

Buffett will slowly convert his A shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock (symb: BRK/A) — currently trading at $91,600 — into B shares (symb: BRK/B) — trading at $3,048 — roughly a 30:1 conversion. He has made an irrevocable agreement with each of the five foundations to earmark a set amount of B shares to be gifted slowly over the next couple decades.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (10,000,000 B shares)
Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (1,000,000 B shares)
Susan A. Buffett Foundation (350,000 B shares)
Howard G. Buffett Foundation (350,000 B shares)
NoVo Foundation (Peter A. Buffett) (350,000 B shares)

Every year in July, for the next couple of decades, 5% of the remaining earmarked shares of Berkshire Hathaway B will be gifted to the respected foundations. Buffett in all his optimism is confident that the annual gain of Berkshire stock on a year-to-year basis should make-up in dollar value the 5% in lost shares, such that in 20-years the amount of the annual gift remains about the same as it is today (not taking into account, of course, the effects of inflation).

The two main conditions of the Gates Foundation agreement are:

1. Either Bill or Melinda Gates must be alive and running the Foundation during the term of Buffett’s gift; and

2. His gift must be utilized in its entirety every year up to the amount of 5% of the assets of the Foundation plus the value of Buffett’s gift. So, the Foundation at $30 billion must give away 5% ($1.5 billion) of its own money plus the additional $1.5 billion of Buffett’s first year gift — a cool $3 billion of annual giving.

Click here to view copies of the actual letters of agreement sent by Warren Buffett to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others.

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

Job Hunt Thank You


Thanks for all your help with my job search. Your skills are truly masterful, and you always give your time freely (so maybe it’s a good thing to keep amateur employment counselor status under wraps). I’ve no doubt that I’ll eventually find the perfect thing, and it will be in no small part thanks to your tips and ideas.

You’re the best,

G — Chicago, IL

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

India Thank You


Thanks so much for dinner last night. We really appreciate it. Tiki masala all the way!

Thanks too for staying at our place. It’s always awesome to hang and catch up. You better always stay with us in the city, or else….

We’ll see you in Asheville!

Aloha, B & D — NYC

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

Illinois mayor to donate hair to charity

According the Quincy Herald Whig (no, this is not a joke), Mount Sterling, IL mayor Jim Jennings will donate his golden strands to Locks of Love.

The 38-year old mayor has not had a real haircut in 13 years. He will do the dirty deed publicly at (no, this is not a joke) Mount Sterling’s annual Turkey Testicle Festival. Word is Mayor Jennings will be running for county sheriff and feels he needs to do this in preparation for that election. I guess the post of mayor only gets second billing in downstate Illinois.

Gotta love it. Nice people come in all ways.

Friday, June 9th, 2006

Riley G. Horgan Medical Trust Fund

Campaign Start: June 7, 2006
Campaign End: July 7, 2007
Campaign Goal: $1,500

Riley Horgan is a 10-year old vibrant, loving and active young lady who was born prematurely and has struggled with health issues since she was born. Though years of steroid treatment has held off her disease, Riley is in need of a double lung transplant in order to overcome her medical condition known as Bronchiolitis Obliterans, a rare lung disease similar to cystic fibrosis.

Riley is strong, and unrelenting in her ongoing fight for life and yet is very aware that she will die at a very young age should she not receive a viable organ donation soon. Her doctors at UCLA have put her at the top of the organ donation list. At anytime her mother Erynn Horgan will have to relocate to Los Angeles from Las Vegas and sustain overwhelming medical bills and living expenses in Los Angeles while continuing to sustaining a home in Las Vegas, Nevada for her son Jack. Her husband Jon, though a hard working truck driver, does not make a salary to support such a lifestyle.

Erynn, a professional working mother up until recently, has been instructed by the doctors that she is not to work, is to spend time with her daughter, and be ready to get to the airport at a moments notice to be air lifted to Los Angeles for Riley’s operation. Erynn has been informed that after approximately 1.5 months, the insurance will cut off.

Jon’s work offers only a PPO health program, and though they pay exorbitant costs for Riley’s high risk situation, insurance will only pay approximately 40-50% of the medical costs during the coverage period. It has been estimated that the Horgan family will have to cover close to $500,000 in medical and living costs during Riley’s hospital stay and up to one year following the surgery while she and her mother reside in Los Angeles, while sustaining a permanent residence in Las Vegas for her son Jack.

Knowing Riley personally since birth has motivated me to do whatever possible to save her life. She is a loving, considerate, artistic, funny, and worthy child, worthy of a second chance to be everything that she possibly can. Without the generosity, kindness, and support of strangers and those that know and love Riley, her future is a short one. She will not be able to do many things that she wants.

I asked Riley once if she was scared about going into the hospital, she said, “I’m not scared, but it will be lonely”. She will be isolated for up to four months following the transplant and her small, 80 pound frame will be pumped full of immune suppressant drugs to assist with anti-rejection.

Won’t you please help to save her life? The smallest financial donation to her medical trust fund can mean a lot.

We will be setting up a non-profit fundraising campaign with the National Transplant Assistance Fund in the near future, so that all contributions will be tax deductible. At this time, the non-profit is not in place, however, should you wish to donate now, please send all funds to:

Riley G. Horgan
Medical Trust Fund
Bank of America
Acct #004967384551
Write “IN HONOR OF RILEY HORGAN” in the memo field

Should you require additional information about Riley and the Horgan’s situation, I can be contacted at ms.speer@cox.net, (619) 990-8392.

Your generosity will not go unnoticed.

Samantha Speer — Lemon Grove, CA

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The above appeal was submitted by and is intended for the benefit of the indicated NICE Magazine reader. NICE Magazine may have made minor edits to the above appeal as a matter of aesthetics and format and not for content. NICE Magazine does not in any way claim responsibility for the above individual and / or organization in this appeal. Please take caution and perform due diligence when making any contribution to an organization or individual. Thanks for being nice.

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

Teenager wins car for being nice

According to the Press Republican, Amanda Palmer, a senior at Franklin Academy in upstate New York, held the winning key to a 1991 Ford Probe at an award ceremony for nice people held yesterday.

Area teachers and staff members submitted 10,000 entries of students who they felt exhibited qualities of kindness. Twelve names were plucked out of the pool of entries and twelve car keys were given to the lucky kids. But only one of the keys would actually turn the engine of the Ford Probe, donated to the cause by Bailey Ford Motor Co.

Palmer was nominated by her chemistry and homeroom teacher, Carole Raymonda. Raymonda made the entry because Palmer helps out with attendance, watering plants and for just being helpful to other students. Very nice to be nice. We hope the car helps Amanda as she leaves high school and enters adult life. We hope too that she continues to be nice.

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

West Virginia boy starts giving at age six

According to the Charleston Daily Mail, six-year old Jeremy Frampton has been giving one dollar a week (half his allowance) to the local animal shelter after making a visit late last year. Frampton was there to perhaps take home a kitten for Christmas, but alas the shelter did not have any at that time. No matter, because after seeing how the animals had to sometimes sleep on the cold concrete, he decided then to give all he could to the shelter to help make things better.

And now he has been honored by the Putnam County commissioner, Joe Haynes, for his early commitment to philanthropy. And, by the way, Frampton finally received his kitten. He named him Luigi.

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Corporate philanthropy up

A Reuters wire story indicates that philanthropy amongst America’s largest corporations was up in 2005.

Citing a survey of 91 of the largest U.S. firms by the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy, corporate philanthropy was up 14% in 2005 over 2004. This is close to the reported 15% increase in pre-tax profits from many of the same companies responding to this survey. Employee giving was also reported to have increased from $670 to $685 per employee in the same period.

The surveyed corporations indicated a combined $10 billion in philanthropic giving last year. A sure $300 million of that went toward relief efforts in the Gulf Coast.