Brian Banmiller's blog

Giving Back the Green


A golf legend is gone, but long lived for the good of the game.

Sandy Tatum is revered in golf circles for a lifetime dedicated to the betterment of golf. He was the first American Rhodes Scholar to play at Oxford, then succeeded as a corporate attorney in Silicon Valley. But when not doing business deals, he was promoting the game he loved, serving as President of the U.S. Golf Association and raising money to renovate public courses.

When I interviewed Tatum in 2011 he was recovering from an operation on his vocal cords that left him with a raspy voice, but he still played three times a week.  read more »

Underage Cell Phone Use


It's hard to find a teenager without a cell phone, now one Colorado man is working to make sure the two stay disconnected.

Tim Farnum is the founder of the nonprofit group “Parents Against Underage Smartphones.” He is leading the charge on a ballot initiative in Colorado that would be the first of its kind in the country. If passed it would ban the sale of smartphones to children under the age of 13 and yes that would include parents looking to do the purchasing for their tweens.

It would work by requiring retailers to submit reports to the state government verifying that they had inquired about who each smartphone sold was going to be used by. Any retailer that repeatedly sold a smartphone with an under 13 user would be fined.  read more »

Grand Theft Avocado


Three California produce workers are facing charges in what police are calling grand theft avocado.

Over the past couple of months a shortage of avocados from Mexico has caused prices of the super fruit to almost double. In addition to that, the heat wave and drought in California also hurt production adding to the increase in prices.

According to Bloomberg the wholesale price of a box of avocados is more than double what it was a year ago and prices are expected to remain high until later this year.  read more »

High Flying Chicken


KFC is unveiling a new sandwich, and it's literally out of this world.

Right now the zinger chicken sandwich is hovering at the edge of space somewhere between seven and 30 miles off the ground. The sandwich space flight is a joint experiment between KFC and the private spaceflight company World View. The sandwich is housed in a KFC shaped container and will be on the trip for four days. During that time it will take a selfie, gather information about the environment before returning to Earth.  read more »

Amazon and Whole Foods


Amazon is getting into the grocery business and your next shopping list could be a lot more high tech.

The online retail giant Amazon has announced its intention to buy the health food chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Now, you can imagine a world where a drone delivers your organic sugar so you can whip up some treats for your child's class or provide you with all the ingredients you need for dinner while Alexa reads you the recipe.  read more »

The Diamond Business


The economy is improving, and the evidence is in the accessories.

Marc Fink is CEO and Chairman of Fink's Jewelers which currently has 15 locations on the East Coast. He says the sale of diamonds and jewelry is on the uptick, which means a lot of competition for him and a lot of choices for you.

“I'd say the most important thing is to deal with people that you think are reputable, that have been in business for a long time, that you can trust, that have a good reputation in your community, people that look you in the eye, people that sell quality brands.”

Fink says with so many ways to buy jewelry, profit margins in the industry have shrunk over the past twenty five years to keep up with competition. But more stones on the market does not mean all quality is the same.  read more »

Obama in Pictures


Trying to sell a book about president Obama? How about a little help from president Obama.

Pete Souza is the former white house photographer credited for capturing some of the most iconic moments of Mr. Obama's presidency and preserving them on his popular Instagram account. Now president Obama is returning the favor with a little plug of his own.

The former president has agreed to write the foreword for Souza’s new book called “Obama: An Intimate Portrait.” The book of photos will contain 300 images taken during Mr. Obama's time in the white house. Souza says they show him in all parts of life from tense moments in the situation room surrounded by staff to laughing and having fun with his two daughters.  read more »

Toxic Coworkers


Feeling a little under the weather? Turns out your co-worker could be to blame, even if they're perfectly healthy.

According to a joint study by the University of Calgary’s School of Business and The London School of Economics toxic co-workers can have a negative reaction on your health. These are people who are rude, make unfair demands of you and make the workplace an uncomfortable place to be.

The study found that people who have to deal with toxic coworkers on a daily basis reported symptoms that included headaches, stomach problems and sleepless nights. In one case, a woman named Cari said the endless demands from her supervisor caused her hair to fall out in clumps.  read more »

Robo-Cop Car


Robo cop has a new ride and you can own it.

OR3 is the world's first robotic security car. It was created by a startup company in Singapore for companies to use to keep projects and employees safe. The car weighs 176 pounds and is about the size of a golf cart. It comes with 3D sensors and GPS and other instruments designed to detect unattended bags.

If a bag is left for more than five minutes the car will send out an alarm. It can also tell the difference between people the company marks as employees and intruders. If an unknown person is detected it will send a drone after him, for about three hundred feet.  read more »

Dual Citizenship Home


Not sure if you should stick it out here in the United States or head for another country? How about a house where you can do both.

There is a large building for sale built in 1782 with thick granite walls, 1950's decor and 24 hour armed guards provided by both the U.S. and Canada. The house, which has been converted into five apartments straddles the border between Vermont and Quebec, Canada. It's on the market for just over $100,000 and needs about $600,000 in renovations.  read more »