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Unsafe tap water

(AP) -- Repairs to a California town's aging water system have tap water flowing again, but authorities say it's not safe to drink.

Residents in the San Joaquin Valley community of Goshen, which is in Tulare County near Visalia, have been using bottled water since a well pump failed last week.

The Fresno Bee said the tap water contains non-fecal coliform found in soil that entered the system through broken well pipes.

West Goshen residents now have running water by they are being told not to drink it until system flushing lowers bacteria levels. About 80 homes in the town of 3,000 are affected.

But the West Goshen Mutual Water Co.'s system is falling apart.

Experts say two 50-year-old wells are at the end of their useful life.

Mold cleanup

(AP) -- New York City is beginning a $15 million program to clean up at least 2,000 homes that became contaminated with mold after they flooded during Superstorm Sandy.

The program, paid for with private donations, comes following months of desperate pleas from storm victims and advocacy groups, who said mold had become a nightmare for many homeowners in flood-ravaged parts of the city.

People enrolled in the program will be able to get their homes treated for mold at no cost by either private contractors or trained volunteers.

Money for the project is being put up by three charities: The American Red Cross, the Robin Hood Foundation and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. No federal, state or city tax dollars are involved.

Settlement documents

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Elijah Cummings have asked banking regulators to produce documents to show what was behind this month's settlements with 13 mortgage servicers for faulty foreclosures.

“It is critical that the OCC and the Federal Reserve disclose additional information about the scope of the harms found to establish confidence in the sufficiency and integrity of the settlement,” the two Democratic lawmakers wrote in a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry dated Thursday.

Warren and Cummings are seeking documents that outline the scope of harm to borrowers in the foreclosure missteps of 2009 and 2010, and for demographic details about the borrowers.

They are also asking for information on the performance and pay of independent consultants that the regulators ordered the servicers to hire in 2011 to review the foreclosures.

The lawmakers are asking that the documents be delivered by Feb. 22.

Tax credit extension

(Bloomberg) -- The extension of a U.S. wind-power tax credit will temper a plunge in demand for turbines over the next two years, according to the chief of General Electric Co.'s renewable energy unit.

Installations in 2013 and 2014 may match the average annual levels that preceded a rush to finish projects by the end of 2012, when the credit was set to expire, said Vic Abate, GE (NYSE: GE) vice president, this past week.

U.S. demand had been about 5,000 megawatts to 6,000 megawatts a year before that surge, he said.

The production tax credit is 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour generated by wind-farm operators.

Without an extension, installations were projected to decline to 1,500 megawatts this year, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast.

Post HQ for sale

(AP) -- The Washington Post is considering selling its 63-year-old downtown headquarters.

The Post reported that Publisher Katharine Weymouth made the announcement in an email to staff Friday morning.

She said the company's goal is to find “a more modern, bright, open and efficient building.”

Weymouth said The Post isn't tied to the location at 15th and L streets, Northwest, because its printing presses have not been located there for more than a decade.

The District of Columbia government assesses The Post's properties at nearly $80 million.

Some other major metropolitan newspapers have moved out of or leased their buildings, driven by industry struggles and the value of urban real estate.

Robo settlements

(AP) -- Utah will get $1.39 million in a national settlement covering improper home foreclosures and Iowa has been awarded $1.1 million.

The settlement deals with a practice known as “robo-signing,” when banks automatically sign off on foreclosures without properly reviewing documents. The settlement targets a company called Lender Processing Services (NYSE: LPS).

Utah and Iowa are twp of more than 40 states to receive money in the estimated $120 million national legal action.

Credit Suisse returning

(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG, the lender that fired 50 people when it closed its commercial mortgage bond unit more than 15 months ago, is approaching borrowers with potential terms on new loans that would be packaged into securities.

While Switzerland's second-biggest bank is seeking to originate larger loans that can be sold off in one deal, it isn’t planning to restart the group that bundled multiple smaller mortgages, according to three people familiar with the talks who asked not to be identified because plans are preliminary.

Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS) is poised to return to the commercial mortgage bond market after about $10.7 billion in new deals were offered last month, the most since November 2007, according to data compiled by Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC).

Investors are seeking higher-yielding assets as the Federal Reserve holds its benchmark interest rate between 0 and 0.25 percent into a fifth year.

BofA, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG, Wells Fargo & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Cantor Fitzgerald LP all offered commercial mortgage bonds in January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Sharp loss up

(Bloomberg) -- Sharp Corp. said its operating loss from manufacturing solar cells narrowed in the third quarter as sales in Japan increased following the introduction of a government subsidy for the technology.

The loss of 1.9 billion yen ($21 million) for the three months through Dec. 31 compared with a shortfall of 5.3 billion yen in the fiscal second quarter and 6.2 billion yen during the third quarter of 2011.

Japan in July started a feed-in tariff guaranteeing above market prices for solar power.

Sharp (PNK: SHCAY), which started in the solar business in 1959 and remains its oldest major manufacturer, relies on Japan for 80 percent of its sales in the business.

It's trimming operations in the U.S. and Europe because of the losses in the face of competition from bigger Chinese panel makers.

Solar sales rose 14 percent worldwide from a year earlier to 55.9 billion yen.

UK moths plunge

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. populations of large, common moths plunged by two-thirds in the past 40 years, potentially threatening plants reliant on the insects for pollination and animals that depend on them for food, Rothamsted Research said.

Thirty-seven percent of U.K. moth species decreased by at least half, the agricultural researcher said this past week in a report, citing an insect survey it conducted with funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

“The dramatic and ongoing loss of moth abundance highlighted in this report signals a potentially catastrophic loss of biodiversity in the British countryside,” said Chris Packham, vice president of Butterfly Conservation.

Two species of moths became extinct in the past 10 years, after 62 other species were wiped out in the last century, Rothamsted said.

Twenty-seven new species of moth have colonized in the country since 2000 as climate change encouraged some moths to migrate from continental Europe, it said.

China leading solar

(Bloomberg) -- Solar photovoltaic demand may rise 18 percent to 38.2 gigawatts in 2013, led by a doubling of sales in China, Maxim Group LLC analysts Aaron Chew and Francesco Citro said this past week in a note to investors.

The uptick in demand, from an estimated 32.3 gigawatts in 2012, is driven by “the severe collapse in module prices since 2011,” a trend that may not reverse, the analysts wrote.

“We foresee little upside to profitability for the solar manufacturers albeit a boon to downstream pure-plays” like Solarcity Corp. (Nasdaq: SCTY), they wrote. “Even if demand upside leads to tight supply, we foresee no sustainable rise in pricing, as this itself would inversely impair demand.”

Germany will fall from the top spot this year for the first time in five years, with demand more than cut in half to 3.8 gigawatts, according to Maxim.

The U.S. market will rise about 40 percent to 4.6 gigawatts, while demand in Japan will more than double to 4.2 gigawatts, the analysts predicted.

India will probably be the fifth biggest market, with demand rising more than a third to 1.9 gigawatts, and Italian demand will more than halve to 1.7 gigawatts, according to the forecast.

Tax removed

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil removed a tax on foreign investment in real estate funds, prompting speculation inflows will sustain this year's biggest rally among the world’s major currencies.

Brazil exempted foreign investment in real estate funds from the so-called IOF tax, according to a decree published this past week in the official gazette, prompting speculation more dollars will enter the country.

“The construction sector is very important to the government and to the growth of the economy,” Francisco Carvalho, the head of foreign-exchange trading at Liquidez DTVM in Sao Paulo, said. “The measure is going to bring more money to the sector.”

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