Caretaker Gazette, Working Assets, and Other News Items

The Caretaker Gazette and Working Assets long distance service are among the news items covered in this edition of a continuing feature.

| June/July 1994

The following news items originated from multiple sources.

The Caretaker Gazette

If you ever wanted to learn more about property caretaking opportunities, have we got the newsletter for you. The Caretaker Gazette, published since 1983, features job listings, profiles of fellow caretakers, and letters to the editor. Most jobs are in the United States, but recently there have been international listings in Central America and Spain. Written and researched for landowners, interested readers, and job seekers, the newsletter is privately owned and is published bimonthly.

The circulation of The Caretaker Gazette is about 1,000 and is the only newsletter offering exclusive caretaking opportunities. In addition to career caretakers, publisher Gary Dunn sees an audience in college students. He has just issued two subscriptions to forestry and agricultural libraries at Bennington College in Vermont and Penn State. "The newsletter provides a good source of information for students who have always wanted to be caretakers and are not sure about where they are going professionally," Gary reports.

Working Assets: A Long-Distance Alternative

If you turn your ear to the wind you can hear it, no matter how far into the country you may live...we're all living next to the information highway. That roadway you travel upon whenever you turn on the TV or pick up the phone costs consumers billions every year. But as consumers, what kind of real choice have we had in choosing our phone service? Despite deregulation of the long-distance industry in 1987, there is still precious little price difference between the current three major carriers (AT&T, MCI, and Sprint) for small-scale users. We are a captive audience, forced to pay an arbitrary rate for a required service.

In 1988, Peter Barnes and Laura Scher decided to offer an alternative. Their company, called Working Assets, was able to start renting space from one of the big three long-distance companies in 1988. Its company premise was that Working Assets would offer basic interstate rates guaranteed to be cheaper than any of the big three as well as devote part of its total revenues to nonprofit organizations. Those revenues are distributed each year among 36 nonprofit groups working in one or more of four issue areas: economic justice, peace building, the environment, and human rights. All groups given donations are selected by the company's customers and professionally screened by the Tides Foundation.

Currently, Working Assets has 150,000 members. It generated $1 million for nonprofit organizations in 1993 and projects $1.2 million for 1994. By printing all bills on recycled paper, and planting 17 trees for every ton of paper they use, they appear to be practicing what they preach about responsible industry.

12/15/2013 10:53:56 PM

I have used The Caretaker Gazette to find rent-free living opportunities for decades, and have saved thousands of dollars on the rent I used to pay. I recommend the Gazette to anyone who can take care of homes as a housesitter or property caretaker. Sincerely. Karen Wright

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