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Graffiti restored

(AP) -- The National Park Service has restored graffiti on Alcatraz that was painted during the island's occupation by Native Americans in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The graffiti on a water tower reads “Peace and Freedom Welcome Home of the Free Indian Land.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that it had faded and was barely visible before the National Park Service undertook the restoration.

The work was completed six weeks ago by a Ute Indian who was among the island's occupiers.

The occupation lasted from 1969 to 1971 after the island's prison closed.

The activists wanted to turn Alcatraz into an Indian cultural center or university devoted to native studies.

The National Park Service's site supervisor for Alcatraz, Marcus Koenen, said the words have social significance and help tell the island's Indian story.

Tahoe garbage fine

(AP) -- Another Lake Tahoe-area community is cracking down on people who allow easy access to garbage for bears, dogs, raccoons and other animals.

The town of Truckee, Calif., has adopted new rules designed to prevent careless handling of trash and the critters that often come with it.

Similar to regulations at California's nearby Tahoe Donner subdivision and Lake Tahoe's Incline Village, Truckee's trash ordinance comes with teeth.

Now, the first verified complaint of animals getting into trash in Truckee earns a warning letter and the potential requirement to replace a trash container if badly damaged.

A second complaint within a year can come with a $235 fine.

A third can result in a $1,000 fine and an order to install an animal-resistant garbage container, the last part constituting the “end regulation.”

If an animal-resistant garbage container is installed within a month, the $1,000 fine can be waived.

The enclosures often cost about that much and would be paid for by the violator.

Oswald apartment being razed

(AP) -- The walls have started coming down at a Dallas apartment building where Lee Harvey Oswald lived a few months before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

A bulldozer on Monday began knocking down the 10-unit structure erected in 1925.

The residence was one of several in the area where Oswald lived after returning to the United States from Russia in June 1962.

He lived in the apartment from November 1962 to March 1963. The president was slain Nov. 22, 1963.

The demolition comes after the dilapidated, uninhabited two-story apartment complex was declared a nuisance.

Duke goes for wind

(Bloomberg) -- A unit of Duke Energy Corp., the largest U.S. utility owner by market value, has started producing power at wind farms in Texas with 402 megawatts of combined capacity.

The 200-megawatt Los Vientos I project in Willacy County is selling power to CPS Energy Products Inc. and the 202-megawatt Los Vientos II project in Wilacy and Cameron Counties is selling power to Austin Energy, Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy Renewables said Monday.

Duke's (NYSE: DUK) unit, with enough capacity to power half a million homes, now has more than 1,700 megawatts of wind and solar capacity, Wolf said.

Taylor Wimpey profit

(Bloomberg) -- Taylor Wimpey Plc, the United Kingdom's second-largest homebuilder by volume, said its 2012 operating profit rose by more than 40 percent, at the upper end of the company’s expectations, as margins widened.

Taylor Wimpey completed 10,886 homes in 2012, up from 10,180 a year earlier, and the average selling price rose 6 percent to 181,000 pounds ($292,000), the London-based company said Monday.

Lower mortgage rates will help homebuyers this year, even though loans are still difficult to obtain, the company said.

“We are delivering on the strategy that we set out in 2011, including a return to U.K. double-digit operating margin ahead of schedule,” Chief Executive Officer Pete Redfern said.

The operating margin for all of 2012 exceeded the first-half figure of 11.1 percent, Taylor Wimpey said.

Home sales growth by volume will probably slow this year from the 7 percent increase seen in 2012, Redfern said. He predicted a “low single digit” gain.

Non-efficient targets

(AP) -- The European Union's auditor said that some (euro) 5 billion ($6.7 billion) in funds specifically targeted at energy efficiency projects over the past dozen years were largely ill-spent.

Harald Woegerbauer, who compiled a report for the European Court of Auditors, said Monday that funds often went to general refurbishment of public buildings “while energy efficiency was, at best, a secondary concern.”

Returns on the investments were expected only after about 50 years, and sometimes as much as 150 years. The ECA said "these funds were not spent in a sensible way.”

EU spending is coming under increasing criticism as member nations have to tighten their belts to keep debt within acceptable limits.

EU leaders are expected to decide on a new 7-year EU budget next month.

Chinese solar

(Bloomberg) -- Trina Solar Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of solar panels, received approval from China's Gansu Province for 50-megawatt solar power project.

The project, to be located in the municipality of Wuwei, was approved by the Gansu Provincial Development and Reform Commission and will benefit from abundant sunlight, Changzhou, China-based Trina (NYSE: TSL) said Monday. Financial terms and project details weren't disclosed.

Singapore room boost

(Bloomberg) -- Pan Pacific Hotels Group Ltd., the hospitality company controlled by billionaire Wee Cho Yaw, will boost the number of rooms in Singapore's Raffles Place financial district by 57 percent with its latest property.

The Singapore-based company's 367-room Parkroyal on Pickering, located at the edge of Raffles Place, opens Tuesday in the area where banks including Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Wee’s United Overseas Bank Ltd. and BNP Paribas SA have their key offices.

Occupancy rates in Singapore averaged 86 percent in the past three years, as a record number of visitors were lured to new attractions such as two casino resorts and a S$1 billion ($815 million) downtown park.

The number of conferences hosted in the island-state jumped 46 percent in 2011, based on the latest figures available, particularly around events including the world's first Formula One night race.

Lithuanian surge block

(Bloomberg) -- Lithuania's government, seeking to block a surge in subsidized renewable energy, approved draft legislation to limit permits for installing new capacity.

Producers opposed the change, saying they would sue for damages.

“The amendments are intended to protect the interests of all electricity consumers by preventing a surge in electricity prices,” the government in the capital, Vilnius, said Monday.

The size and pace of expansion, especially of small solar installations, was unsustainable, it said.

The Baltic nation's Energy Ministry issued about 5,300 permits to install or expand wind, solar, hydroelectric and biomass power plants in 2011 and 2012.

It has received another 10,000 requests for permits, mostly to build solar plants with capacity of 30 kilowatts or less, according to the statement.

The legislation would halt the issuance of permits when national capacity targets are reached -- 500 megawatts for wind turbines, 10 megawatts for solar plants, 141 megawatts for hydroelectric generation and 355 megawatts for biomass power plants.

It would also put on hold already issued permits for small solar plants that aren't operating yet.

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