Mark’s Musings – March 5, 2014

| March 4, 2014
Mark Fortune

Mark Fortune

It’s coming in like a lion – will it go out like a lamb?

No, we’re not talking about March – I’m talking about the Russians and Ukraine. As you know from the major media outlets – unless you kept your eyes glued to the Oscars last night – no, I didn’t, you know that the Ukraine has some problems and the Russians are not making anything better with troops taking over the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine on the Black Sea. Naval bases are prevalent there so I will let you ponder the significance of that action. And by the time you read this on Wednesday who knows? A late breaking story from the AP early Monday afternoon reported that the Russians were blocking a key port and asking that the Ukraine turn over two naval ships. The Ukraine is an agricultural wonder in Europe and also home to much industry in the east. Many European leaders are calling this crisis the most significant since the Berlin wall.

What’ going on with the Buckeyes? A loss on Sunday to Indiana and the final Big 10 game of the regular season this Sunday against struggling Michigan State means the Buckeyes need to get retuned for the Big 10 tournament and March Madness. The Buckeyes should make the big dance but I would not predict them to go very far. But the Buckeyes lack consistency. However, the toughness of the conference could help the Buckeyes in key matchups. Problem is – once you win a game or two – the other power conferences also have a large number of teams in the tourney. The ACC in particular with teams like Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, Virginia and more will be the odds on favorites to make the final four. Don’t count Michigan out. Yeh, I know.

And of course, gas prices surged on the news coming out of Russia and Ukraine. Do a Google search and you will come up with some interesting results. In particular, a story on the CNBC website reports that several refineries on the east coast will be down for maintenance this spring – which could push gas prices even higher – yet – analysts are reporting that 2014 will be lower overall than 2013. And while a few pennies per gallon really does not make much difference when the average American family is spending several hundred dollars per month on fuel costs it does add up over time. And that does not include heating costs during this brutally cold winter, with many families spending hundreds more per month than last winter. All of these trends will help determine vehicles with higher mileage and more efficient ways to heat our homes. The market dictates that it will happen.

The typical American family has to get that money from somewhere – whether that be less eating out, lower clothing purchases, less money (if any) to invest and others. Track what you spend per month on gasoline – I triple dog dare ya!

Congrats to all of our area wrestlers on a terrific season and a successful weekend at the state tournament.

Category: Mark's Musings

About the Author ()

Mark Fortune, along with his wife Nancy, is the former owner and founder of The Coshocton County Beacon, the highest circulated newspaper in Coshocton County. He has over 40 years in the publishing business with sales, marketing, and journalism experience. After selling The Beacon to the AloNovus Corp., in January 2020, Mark has been a Business Development Strategist with the company. They publish a network of weekly news publications with almost a half million distribution weekly, a quarterly tourism magazine and a digital division. Mark enjoys history, and has a passion for genealogy, currently researching and discovering his Fortune ancestry. He and his wife Nancy live on a small farm outside of Coshocton.

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