Part of the Tongass National Forest in April 2008. (Creative Commons photo by Xa’at)The Tongass Land Management Plan amendment, a 16-year transition toward young-growth logging, was finalized Friday. Tongass Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart signed the record of decision after considering objections from environmental and industry groups. Some have applauded the decision and others are unsatisfied. But regardless of sides, not much has changed in the Forest Service’s move away from old-growth timber.Listen NowThe U.S. Forest Service released the final record of decision for the Tongass amendment without many changes from its earlier draft.The plan offers an average of 46 million board feet each year, the same volume the earlier draft called for, but far below the glory days of the timber industry. More old growth will be offered during the first 10 years, almost three times the projected 12 million feet of young growth.The Tongass National Forest includes most of Southeast Alaska. (Image courtesy U.S. Forest Service.)During the last five, young-growth volumes will more than double and old growth will be almost cut in half. At the end of the 16-year transition, only 5 million feet of old growth will be provided for small sales and specialty products.Some of those objecting to the draft plan called for a full inventory of young, or second growth, trees. Environmental groups argue a completed inventory will show a faster transition is possible. But industry groups argue the exact opposite. Tongass Supervisor Stewart addressed the concern in a press conference, saying 50,000 acres will be inventoried by 2018.“The data collection and everything is being housed will continue to be assessed as we work through this project, and so it certainly could change,” Stewart said. “At this point it’s only partially finished because 2016 was the first year of actual on-the-ground inventory.”Forest Service tree expert Sheila Spores said a large portion of young-growth stands slated for logging were first cut in the 1950s and 1960s. She noted that the agency is aware of how many stands are on the Tongass. She said today’s regulatory standards will be applied to inventory available stands.Stewart explained that any young-growth acreage made unavailable may be swapped for additional lands elsewhere.“There’s an adaptive management strategy that seeks to recognize the ongoing young-growth inventory and seeks to monitor the projected verses the actual harvest over time,” Stewart said. “The result of the adaptive management strategy is reviewing the effectiveness of that adaptive management process in about five or 10 years.”The decision explains that if amounts of timber harvested vary enough from estimations, those issues could be addressed in another amendment.The decision was met with mixed results from environmental groups. Some applauded the decision, saying the plan protected several salmon-producing watersheds referred to as the “Tongass 77.”“The thing the plan did do that was very good for conserving resources on the Tongass is identify the key areas that need to be taken off the table for timber harvest,” said Andrew Thoms, a Tongass Advisory Committee and Sitka Conservation Society member. “Everybody agreed that the top salmon-producing watersheds on the Tongass shouldn’t have any more old-growth harvest.”The committee was made of 15 members from conservation, logging and Native interests. Thoms noted that he would like to see old-growth logging end immediately, but said the amendment is the best compromise.Other environmental groups argued in press releases that the decision’s language didn’t set the old-growth harvest volumes in stone during the transition. Others say they feel comfortable with the plan being finalized prior to President-elect Donald Trump taking office.Shelly Wright of Southeast Conference, an economic development group, argues the decision was made without enough information.“So what we’re asking for is a comprehensive inventory and a financial analysis before the transition accelerates,” Wright said. She disagrees with the accelerated plan and said there’s nothing wrong the 2008 forest plan’s transition. “They are transitioning at a pace that’s economically feasible for the industry in Southeast Alaska.”The Tongass plan decision does say the Forest Service will monitor market demands and make changes through its adaptive management plan. Tongass Supervisor Stewart also mentioned that a study is being developed to examine ways to make young-growth products profitable.The plan will go into effect on January 8.
Warburg Pincus LLC said it amassed $12 billion for its latest private equity fund, its biggest since the 2008 financial crisis and its first generalist fund since ex-US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner became its president last year, on Monday.Dubbed Warburg Pincus Private Equity XII, the new fund completed fundraising in just six months, a relatively short period by industry standards. It was also significantly oversubscribed, the firm said.A number of investors are from outside the United States, it said.Warburg, which manages more than $40 billion in private equity assets, differs from many of its rivals in that, apart from piling debt onto acquired firms in leveraged buyouts, it also makes venture capital and growth equity investments.Such investments require little or no debt and allow it to deploy capital when leveraged buyouts are too expensive, which some private equity executives argue is the case currently, partly due to a run-up in the stock market in the past two years.Investors in Warburg’s latest fund include public and private pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, endowment funds, foundations and wealthy individuals, the private equity firm said in a statement.The fund will invest in the energy, financial services, healthcare and consumer, industrial and business services and technology, media and telecommunications sectors, Warburg said.People familiar with the matter said that New York-based Warburg Pincus was seeking to raise a new $12 billion global fund, just two years after amassing a $11.2 billion fund.Warburg’s successful fundraising defied a challenging environment for private equity firms as investors grow increasingly concerned about these funds’ ability to generate lucrative returns ahead of expected interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.Private equity funds that completed fundraising in the third quarter of 2015 raised $116.9 billion, down from $129.3 billion in the previous quarter, the third consecutive quarterly decline in fundraising, according to market research firm Preqin.Warburg’s previous global private equity fund, Warburg Pincus Private Equity XI, which launched in 2011 and raised $11.2 billion, generated a net internal rate of return 20.8 % as of the end of June, according to New Mexico Educational Retirement Board, a public pension fund investor.By comparison, New Mexico Educational Retirement Board’s entire private equity portfolio averaged a net internal rate of return of 13.4 % over the same period.
Kolkata: In a minor reshuffle in the IAS cadre in Bengal, V Lalithalakshmi has been made joint secretary of the Industries, Commerce and Enterprises department.An IAS officer of the 2008 batch, Lalithalakshmi was the joint secretary of the Land and Land Reforms department. She has now been transferred to the post of joint secretary of the Industries, Commerce and Enterprises department.Meanwhile, Rajeev Kumar, an IAS officer of 1997 batch, has been sent on compulsory waiting. He was the secretary of the Industries, Commerce and Enterprises department.
July 25, 2012 Search engine optimization (SEO) can sometimes focus too much on metrics, resulting in a complex series of measurements and calculations that provide little meaningful data about a website’s success.Measuring your conversion rate or number of top 10 rankings can tell you a lot about how well your website is performing. Obsessing over your social influence, on the other hand, isn’t as productive.The following five commonly-tracked SEO metrics, for instance, don’t tell you that much about how your website is performing. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of metrics you’re tracking, consider cutting them out of your data collection process entirely.1. Toolbar PageRankMany website owners who live and die by toolbar PageRank — the score that appears in toolbar plugins and extensions designed to provide SEO data — even though Google spokesman Matt Cutts has all but deemed this metric irrelevant.Although Google’s servers run PageRank update algorithms that determine how much authority sites should receive in relation to one another, they only push these scores out to the general public a few times a year. As a result, the number displayed by toolbar SEO tools may be woefully out of date, rendering the metric meaningless.By all means, check your toolbar PageRank from time to time. A significant decrease could be an indication that Google has detected and penalized unsavory activity on your website. But when it comes to regular management of common SEO metrics, you can leave this one off the list.Related: 5 Common SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them2. Top 30 rankingsSome webmasters measure their SEO success by how many times their websites appear in the first 30 Google results for their target search phrases. But the percentage of natural search users who ever navigate past the first page of results is so small that this metric is nearly meaningless.Instead, focus on top 10 rankings. Getting on the first search engine results page is really the only way to build exposure for your company.3. Social media sharesSocial media signals play a role in your site’s SEO because both Google’s and Bing’s ranking algorithms currently factor in link shares and the relative authority of the sharers. But there’s a big difference between publishing content that will attract these social signals and obsessing day after day over exactly how many Facebook “likes” or Twitter “re-tweets” you’ve attracted.Realistically, whether your website has 50 “likes” or 500 isn’t as important to your natural search performance as focusing on other aspects of your marketing strategy — such as how well your social media referral traffic is converting into buyers or email newsletter subscribers. Check your site’s social shares every so often to ensure that they’re trending in the right direction, but don’t waste time worrying about minute changes in your numbers.Related: How Google Measures ‘High Quality’ Content (Video)4. Daily visitorsOf course website traffic is important, but knowing the number of daily visitors arriving on your site at any given point doesn’t make much of a difference.Think about it: It doesn’t matter if your website receives 100 or 100 million visitors a day unless you have a method for determining how many are converting into subscribers or buyers. If you haven’t put a conversion rate optimization strategy in place, there’s no reason to worry about attracting more subscribers because you can’t guarantee that your efforts will pay off in increased revenue.Instead of determining whether you attracted a few more visitors to your website today than you did yesterday, focus on how and when conversions are occurring. Then, feel free to track traffic flow — and conversions — to your heart’s content.5. Social influence Sites such as Klout and PeerIndex have been popping up recently in an attempt to quantify the relative authority of individuals and brands in any given industry. Some people get wrapped up in tracking this metric and trying to increase their scores, but I can’t think of a worse way to waste your time.While services like these might have potential in the future, they currently are nothing more than online popularity contests. Rather than spending time trying to win these superficial contests, focus on the areas of your business that will actually enhance your bottom line.Related: Google’s 10-Minute Guide to SEO Basics Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 4 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more The Radiation Oncology Team of FUCAM. Technology | Mammography Reporting Software | July 25, 2019 Hologic Partners With MagView to Develop Unifi EQUIP Solution Hologic announced a partnership with mammography information solutions provider MagView to develop Unifi EQUIP, an… read more Case study supplied by Accuray. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Sponsored Content | Case Study | Women’s Health | July 06, 2016 Enhancing Precision, Growing Patient Volume, Fighting a Growing Public Health Threat How the Fundacion de Cancer de Mama (FUCAM) is using the TomoTherapy System to provide critical breast cancer treatment to underserved populations Related Content FUCAM, the first non-profit institution established in Mexico and in Latin America with services, equipment and highly specialized personnel fully trained on the treatment of diseases of the breast. 12PreviousNext News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more Image courtesy of Imago Systems News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more Feature | Artificial Intelligence | July 19, 2019 | Michal Chorev AI Models Predict Breast Cancer With Radiologist-level Accuracy Breast cancer is the global leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, and the most commonly diagnosed cancer… read more FUCAM, the first non-profit institution established in Mexico and in Latin America with services, equipment and highly specialized personnel fully trained on the treatment of diseases of the breast.Following the global trend, cancer rates in Mexico continue to rise — and breast cancer is now the number-one killer of Mexican women. Unfortunately, only around half of Mexican women have access to mammography screening, and one in four women are diagnosed at advanced stages of breast cancer. Extending screening is a critical first step to reducing breast cancer deaths. But with fewer than 250 radiation oncologists for its 100 million-plus population, high patient volume is a challenge for all Mexico cancer treatment facilities. First-of-its-Kind Breast Cancer Treatment CenterTo address the growing public health threat posed by breast cancer, in 2008 the Mexican government helped launch a new non-profit institution dedicated exclusively to breast cancer treatment. The Fundacion de Cancer de Mama (FUCAM), in Mexico City, is the first of its kind in both Mexico and throughout Latin America. FUCAM gives particular focus to reaching those most vulnerable and marginalized populations of women in Mexico, providing screening, diagnosis and a wide range of treatments for breast cancer, as well as promoting public education about the importance of early detection. FUCAM’s six mobile units connect with women around the country, providing screening and referring women to its central operations for treatment. This drives a huge daily patient volume at FUCAM. The center provides around 100 medical consultations, 70 mammograms, 75 breast ultrasounds, 40 surgeries and nearly 50 radiation therapy treatments every day.Complex Cases Create Need for New Precision Treatment SolutionBecause of the high percentage of late-stage diagnoses, one in five treatment cases at FUCAM are highly complex, including bilateral breast cancer and palliative cases where patients have lesions in the central nervous system, spine, pelvis and other complicated areas. “Because of this complexity, we obviously have the need for a precise system that allows us to do very detailed planning,” said Judith Huerta Bahena, M.D., head of radiotherapy, Institute of Diseases of the Breast, FUCAM.In 2014, FUCAM began looking to invest in new radiation therapy to deliver this precise treatment capability. “We needed high-quality technology that could deliver conventional radiation therapy in addition to extreme hypo-fractionation to address a variety of patient needs,” said Huerta.Top Priority: High-volume EfficiencyThe ability to handle FUCAM’s high patient volume was a top priority. “We are a reference center for breast cancer patients, receiving about 1,000 new cases per year, so it was critical that we select a versatile and efficient radiation therapy system that yielded lower treatment planning and treatment delivery times,” said Huerta.Patient Volume Ramps Up QuicklyFUCAM deployed the TomoTherapy System at the end of 2014. The institution immediately began leveraging the technology for treatment planning. “We were able to start treatment planning even before we had permits to begin treatment,” said Huerta. This enabled quick ramp-up of treatment volume, as FUCAM went from treating 15 patients in its first week with the TomoTherapy System up to a full schedule of 40+ patients/day by just the third week.FUCAM uses both the TomoHelical and TomoDirect delivery modes. Parameters established by FUCAM dosimetrists define maximum doses and help define which delivery mode is optimal per patient case. “If [we] can do it with TomoDirect, that will be our first option; if not, we will use TomoHelical,” Huerta said.As of March 2016, FUCAM was averaging treatment of 54 patients every day, and had already treated nearly 900 patients through the public system, in addition to private patients.Efficient Planning Increases Patient VolumeThe TomoTherapy System is improving clinical outcomes at FUCAM, driving patient volume. “The advantage that I see with the TomoTherapy System is that planning is very friendly, simple and fast compared to other systems,” said Huerta. This faster planning complements the TomoTherapy System’s highly efficient treatment delivery, enabling FUCAM to treat more patients in less time. Patient treatment slots at FUCAM are now just eight minutes long, with the simplest cases treated in half that time. The efficient planning and treatment delivery of the TomoTherapy System will enable FUCAM to treat nearly twice as many patients as it did before deploying the solution.Comfortable Equipment Improves Patient ExperienceThe TomoTherapy System is also enhancing patient experiences at FUCAM. Huerta notes that patient positioning is easier and more comfortable with the new technology. Patients immediately recognize the comfort, and experience fewer issues with claustrophobia or other treatment anxieties. “Many patients still arrive with treatment anxieties, but once they see the equipment and how other patients come out of the treatment, they become excited, they get treated, and they are very satisfied,” said Huerta. In fact, since deploying the TomoTherapy System, FUCAM has not had a single patient refuse treatment based on such anxieties. Patients from other facilities are now requesting treatment at FUCAM, as word of the TomoTherapy System has spread quickly within the patient community.A Clear Business Impact — A Satisfied CustomerThe clinical and business impact of the TomoTherapy System is unmistakable for FUCAM. Huerta was confident in the potential of the TomoTherapy System to increase patient volume, but said “we are actually doing better than what we planned for.” Before installation, FUCAM was treating around 500 patients annually. The institution estimates that treatment volume will surpass 1,000 patients for 2015 — nearly doubling their previous volume and exceeding their initial goal by 50 percent. read more Technology | Artificial Intelligence | July 18, 2019 Paragon Biosciences Launches Qlarity Imaging to Advance FDA-cleared AI Breast Cancer Diagnosis System Paragon Biosciences LLC announced the launch of its seventh portfolio company, Qlarity Imaging LLC, which was founded… read more Technology | Breast Biopsy Systems | July 24, 2019 Fujifilm Releases Tomosynthesis Biopsy Option for Aspire Cristalle Mammography System Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. recently expanded its breast imaging solutions with the launch of its… read more News | Ultrasound Women’s Health | July 11, 2019 FDA Clears Koios DS Breast 2.0 AI-based Software Koios Medical announced its second 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). IBM collected a dataset of 52,936 images from 13,234 women who underwent at least one mammogram between 2013 and 2017, and who had health records for at least one year prior to the mammogram. The algorithm was trained on 9,611 mammograms. Image courtesy of Radiology. The team of professionals at FUCAM pictured with their TomoTherapy system. Qlarity Imaging’s software is used to assist radiologists in the assessment and characterization of breast lesions. Imaging features are synthesized by an artificial intelligence algorithm into a single value, the QI score, which is analyzed relative to a database of reference abnormalities with known ground truth. Image courtesy of Business Wire. The team of professionals at FUCAM pictured with their TomoTherapy system. News | Mammography Reporting Software | July 26, 2019 Ikonopedia Releases Automated Combined Reporting Package at AHRA Ikonopedia showcased its recently released Automated Combined Reporting package and its entire suite of structured… read more News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2019 Volpara to Distribute Screenpoint Medical’s Transpara AI Solution Volpara Solutions and ScreenPoint Medical BV signed an agreement under which Volpara will sell ScreenPoint’s Transpara… read more
Related posts:What not to miss at Costa Rica’s National Arts Festival PHOTOS: The annual Oxcart Parade in Atenas, Alajuela Boruca masks bring indigenous awareness to San José This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments You don’t have to be fluent in Spanish to enjoy the 14th annual Storytelling Festival in Alajuela. It started Jan. 24 and is going on until Feb. 2. The festival will include music, art, and activities in the central park and more than 60 storytellers from Costa Rica and 14 other countries.The festival started with stories in the park but there is more to see and hear. Each day, except for Sunday, will start with a Cimarrona band, the tinny traditional music played to call people together. There will be art and drawings in the park and at the Casa de Cultura, which was built in 1914.Most stories are interactive, meaning that the audience joins in with gestures and motions. They can also dance to a rhythm or be part of the action on stage.Occasionally a storyteller scolds the audience for a lackluster response, but it’s all fun, even if you’re just watching. Check the schedule for story times and place, either the museum across from the park or the municipal theater, one block south of the central park. There will be art, music and other activities during the storytelling festival. (Mitzi Stark / The Tico Times)Several storytelling groups practice their craft at weekly sessions – some open to the public. This year’s festival is dedicated to oral traditions in the electronic era.Storytelling goes back as far as human language and is a part of all countries. It was a form of mass communications before the written word. It was how legends and traditions passed from one generation to the next. Some tales, like Little Red Riding Hood, are known around the world.Storytelling became an integral part of Alajuela 35 years ago when Juan Madrigal took his talent to the stage as Juan Cuentacuentos (Juan Storyteller). He now performs around the country and has participated in storytelling events in other countries.His career actually began as a catechism teacher, but he discovered that hamming up Bible stories kept the kids’ attention. Then more kids started coming to his class. He still heads up the festival each year and tells his own stories.Here is the schedule for the festival:
New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments Share In addition, the AP recently found more foreign migrants desperate to go home during a visit to the provincial capital of Ambon. The International Organization for Migration suspects thousands of others are stranded on boats or surrounding islands.At least two more chartered flights are planned from Indonesia to Myanmar to bring the stranded men home.____Associated Press Writer Aye Aye Win contributed to this report from Yangon, Myanmar.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — More than 100 Burmese men who worked as slave fishermen in Indonesia have arrived home and were waiting Friday to return to their villages to be reunited with families many have been separated from for years.A chartered plane from Ambon, in eastern Indonesia, carried 125 men to Yangon on Thursday evening. It was the biggest group repatriated following an Associated Press investigation that exposed labor abuses in the fishing industry involving hundreds of men being tricked or sold onto Thai boats and brought to Indonesian waters where they were forced to work nearly nonstop under brutal conditions. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The men wore new matching white shirts and hats as they streamed out of the airport where they were greeted by flashing cameras from local reporters. Some smiled and waved at AP journalists they recognized, while others had a look of uncertainty on their faces as they boarded buses to spend the night at a social services compound. A few family members and friends also were there to meet loved ones they thought they might never see again.“We are so happy that we are finally seeing our son for the first time in nearly four years,” said mother Tin Tin Mya, who met her son, Nan Lu, at the airport. “We can’t express how happy we are to see him alive. As a mother, my only wish was to have my son back home safe and sound.”Last month, the Indonesian Fisheries Ministry evacuated more than 300 men from the remote island village of Benjina. The number of foreign fishermen rescued or identified by authorities has risen steadily in the past month to nearly 600, reflecting how widespread and deep-rooted the problem of forced labor is on the boats that bring them from Thailand.On Monday, 59 Cambodians became the first rescued slaves from that country to fly home. Before their departure, more than 360 former slaves were gathered on the island of Tual, including some who got word of the rescue by cell phone messages and traveled hundreds of kilometers (miles) by boat to join the others. Another 230 Burmese and Cambodians have been identified and are waiting to leave Benjina, while hundreds of Thai nationals still have not been processed there. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Check your body, save your life Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Myanmar fishermen arrive at Yangon International Airport, Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Altogether 125 fishermen who returned home to Myanmar were from among the 535 fishermen rescued in the course of an Associated Press investigation into slavery in the seafood industry. All the rescued fishermen will be brought back to Myanmar in separate batches in a chartered flight. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win) Top Stories
Image Source: buzz law Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Low cost carrier Jetstar (JQ) has filed a notice of opposition against Toyota’s request to trademark its signature ‘Oh, What a Feeling!’ “jump”.Toyota has used actors jumping in the air at the end of its advertisements since the mid-1980s while Jetstar has used actors doing a star jump since it was launched in 2004, according to SmartCompany.Toyota spokesperson Glenn Campbell said the car manufacturer filed the trademark application earlier in the year with government intellectual property authority IP Australia.“The jump and ‘Oh, What a Feeling!’ is synonymous with Toyota and we have been using it for almost 30 years,” Mr Campbell said.The trademark was accepted for registration by IP Australia on February 28, 2012.Jetstar claims the star jump has been an iconic symbol of the airline’s brand since its formation in 2004.“It has been used in campaigns across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, China and Vietnam and will be used as Jetstar further expands through Asia,” a Jetstar spokesperson said.
‘Wonderful Indonesia’ just concluded a 3-days mall promotion campaign at the Select Citywalk, Saket, New Delhi from October 30 to November 1, 2015. The objective of the promotion was to directly connect with the consumers and know their wants, their needs. The intention of the campaign was to promote Indonesia as a destination, its culture, its culinary delights, the scenic beauty and visa free entry for Indians and to target the consumers visiting the mall and capitalise on their wanderlust during the festive season into enhanced foot traffic from India to Indonesia.During the promotion, there were dance performances from the land of Indonesia like Tari Lenso from Manado, Tarinjot–Njotan from Betawi, Tari Cendrawasih from Bali and Amore Dance Carnivals from Malang. All the four dance performances were appreciated by the visitors. Amore Dance Carnivals, a dance form describing the beauty of the city of Malang with beautiful and colourful flowers. The beauty of the city of Malang known as MAKOBU (Malang city flower) was reflected in the beauty of the carnival costume design and in collaboration with the beautiful dance movements had attracted the visitors most. The quiz contest was also enjoyed by the visitors and the winners won branded caps, t-shirts, paper holders, umbrellas etc. At the end of each of the three days, there was a lucky draw and the winner won a 2 nights/3 days package to Bali.Rita Sophia, Deputy Director, Marketing Development for Asia Pacific from the Ministry of Tourism, was overwhelmed at the response of the consumers all throughout. Shelly Chandhok, Country Manager, Visit Indonesia Tourist Office (India) was very happy with the initiative during the festive season; she said that the right effort was made at the right time. She opined that this was the perfect platform to promote the destination as the holidays and wedding seasons are almost about to start and also that Visa Free Travel to Indonesia for Indians has just been announced.
Discrimination HUD Settlements Wells Fargo 2014-10-09 Seth Welborn Wells Fargo Settles Over Maternity Discrimination Claims October 9, 2014 498 Views HUD has reached a $5 million settlement with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the largest provider of residential mortgage loans in the nation, to resolve allegations that Wells Fargo discriminated against women who were either pregnant or on maternity leave, the agency announced Thursday.HUD reported that 190 discrimination complaints related to maternity leave have been filed since 2010, which had resulted in 40 settlements for a combined total of about $1.5 million prior to Thursday’s settlement. The complainants say their respective lenders are in violation of the Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status for any real estate transaction.The complaints covered in Thursday’s settlement were filed by six families from five states (Nevada, Nebraska, Texas, Arizona, and California). As part of the settlement, Wells Fargo agreed to distribute $165,000 to the six families and create a fund with at least $3.5 million to compensate other Wells Fargo applicants who claim to have experienced maternity leave-related discrimination at the time they applied for a loan. Wells Fargo also agreed to pay up to 175 claimants $20,000 each; if there are more than 175 claimants, Wells Fargo will replenish the fund with $1.5 million and pay the next 75 claimants $20,000 each. If there are more than 250 claimants, claimants after 250 will receive a pro-rated share of the $5 million.”The settlement is significant for the six families who had the courage to file complaints, and for countless other families who will no longer fear losing out on a home simply because they are expecting a baby,” said HUD Secretary Julian Castro said. “I’m committed to leveling the playing field for all families when it comes to mortgage lending. These types of settlements get us closer to ensuring that no qualified family will be singled out for discrimination.”Wells Fargo will also change its underwriting policies to ensure they are not discriminatory as part of the settlement. The lender agreed to implement new Temporary Leave Guidelines and issue instructions to their staff on how to implement them. Also as part of the settlement, Wells Fargo did not admit to any violation of the Fair Housing Act.The six complaints allege that Wells Fargo made loans unavailable to families based on familial status, forced women to give up their maternity leave and return to work before their loans closed, and made discriminatory statements toward women applicants who were either pregnant or had recently given birth.”We resolved these claims to avoid a lengthy legal dispute so we can continue to serve the needs of our customers,” said Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda. “Our underwriting is consistent with longstanding fair and responsible lending practices and our policies do not require that applicants on temporary leave return to work before being approved. HUD found no violation of the Fair Housing Act or any other law by Wells Fargo. The agreement resolves claims related to only five loan applications from a period when Wells Fargo processed a total of approximately 3 million applications from female customers.”Several lenders have settled with HUD over maternity leave-based discrimination complaints since 2010. In November 2013, Bank of America settled with HUD for $45,000 to resolve such complaints, and Cornerstone Bank settled for $750,000 in 2011, according to HUD. in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Share
Categories: News 03Jul Franz co-sponsors new law to create Michigan National Guard tuition program Active-service Michigan National Guard members can receive tuition assistance at in-state educational institutions under legislation signed into law this week by Gov. Rick Snyder.House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee vice chair Ray Franz, second from left, and Rep. Nancy Jenkins, talk with Patrick Lafferty, American Legion Department of Michigan adjutant, and Jason Allen from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, prior to Gov. Rick Snyder signing House Bill 5451 into Public Act 259 of 2014 to create the tuition assistance program for Michigan National Guard members.As vice chair of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, state Rep. Ray Franz co-sponsored House Bill 5451, now Public Act 259 of 2014, to assist students pursuing vocational or technical training, a certificate, associate degree, bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. On Thursday, he attended the bill signing ceremony at the Michigan Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters in Lansing.“This program is needed to help members of the Michigan National Guard pay for higher education and is a way we can say thanks for their service to our country,” said Franz, R-Onekama. “We are one of the few states that wasn’t offering the benefit and it put us at a competitive disadvantage. Now, more service people will be able to stay here and call Michigan home.”Also attending the bill signing was Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.“Tuition assistance is a tremendous tool for our team and will assist in our efforts to recruit and retain the best and brightest soldiers and airmen,” Vadnais said. “For the Michigan National Guard, this boils down to readiness.”Eligible educational institutions include public and private colleges, universities, vocational schools, technical schools or trade schools that are located in Michigan. The tuition assistance could also be used for instructional fees, laboratory fees, computer fees and other fees directly related to course work, but does not include the cost of books or study materials.The program will be administered through the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs by the adjutant general, who would have jurisdiction to approve applications based on eligibility and available funding resources.###For a video from the bill signing, click here.
Categories: Bellino News,Bellino Photos,News 07Jun Rep. Bellino’s bill to help police and fire retirees approved by House panel A Michigan House committee today approved Rep. Joe Bellino’s bill providing income tax relief to younger retired police and firefighters not covered by Social Security.Bellino’s bill affects Michigan public safety professionals who were born after 1952 and retired before 2013, bringing their tax structure more in line with many other retirees.“This is a fairness issue for our retired police and fire department personnel,” Bellino, of Monroe, said after the House Tax Policy Committee approved his legislation. “They should not be forced to pay higher income taxes just because their employer happened to be outside the Social Security system, or just because they happened to born later than some of their peers. I’m happy the committee took this action today, and I look forward to continuing the fight for this proposal to become state law.”The legislation would provide an increased tax deduction for retirement or pension benefits from government employment that was not covered by Social Security. The bill would allow these retirees to claim the same sort of income tax deductions already allowed for retirees covered by Social Security.A similar fix for retirees born before 1953 and not covered by Social Security became part of state law several years ago.The difference in taxation has been an issue since Michigan adopted broad tax reforms in 2011.Bellino’s bill would benefit retirees from public safety departments across the state, including hundreds of members of the Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association.The legislation advances to the House floor.###The legislation is House Bill 4396.
26Nov Rep. Hauck set to help shape policy planning with new committee position Assignment will formulate direction for Republican-led Michigan HouseMichigan House Speaker-elect Lee Chatfield recently announced that state Rep. Roger Hauck, of Union Township, will serve on the newly created Policy Action Plan Committee.The temporary, 14-member panel will work with incoming Republican members to develop policy ideas for the upcoming legislative term and construct an updated House Republican action plan.“I thank Speaker-elect Chatfield and my colleagues for entrusting me with a role on this important committee,” Hauck said. “It’s important that we craft policy that will help continue Michigan’s progress – progress that has seen an economic revival, record-low unemployment and more money going into roads and schools than ever before. I’m committed to helping in that effort so we can keep making this state a great place to work and live.”Hauck was recently re-elected to a second term in the Michigan House, representing Isabella County and 10 townships in Midland County. Categories: Hauck News,News
Measure allows the operation of a mobility device without a driver’s license State Rep. Beau LaFave testifying before the Transportation Committee on HB 5834. He explained to the committee why his bill was necessary. Under the old law people with battery-powered prosthetic legs would have needed a driver’s license.State Rep. Beau LaFave’s plan to ensure people with disabilities can operate powered wheelchairs, electric scooters and similar devices without a driver’s license is now law.LaFave’s law allows people with disabilities to use assistance mobility devices freely in Michigan. However, when operating on a road, a person must follow pertinent traffic laws and must have a driver’s license.“People with disabilities will no longer have to fear receiving a ticket for using a powered wheelchair on a sidewalk,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “Allowing people with restricted mobility to live their lives with less government intrusion is a good thing.”House Bill 5834 is now Public Act 428 of 2018.#### Categories: LaFave News,News 07Jan Rep. LaFave’s new law helps assist people with disabilities
06May Rep. Johnson announces May office hours State Representative Steve Johnson invites residents of the 72nd House District to join him during local office hours:Friday, May 17, 2019Allegan CountyColonial Kitchen1825 142nd Ave. in Door8:30 – 9:30 a.m.Kent CountyChick-fil-A1545 Edgeknoll Drive in Gaines Twp.10:30 – 11:30 a.m.“Open and honest communication with residents is instrumental in holding state government accountable,” said Johnson, R-Wayland. “I invite all residents to attend a local office hour gathering to share their concerns and ideas.”No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend. Those unable to attend are encouraged to call Rep. Johnson’s office at 517-373-0840, email StevenJohnson@house.mi.gov or visit his website at www.RepJohnson.com. Categories: Steven Johnson News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 6, 2014; Phys.orgIf I had a nickel for the number of patently absurd and insulting theories for the amelioration of poverty…Even though single-parent households are much more likely to live in poverty than two parent households, Kristi Williams, associate professor of sociology at The Ohio State University, says that the federal Healthy Marriage Initiative that was part of the 1996 GOP-promoted welfare reform legislation did not work. The initiative promoted marriage as an answer to poverty largely through faith-based efforts. “If the goal of marriage promotion efforts was truly to lower poverty rates and improve the well-being of unmarried parents and their children, then it is time to take a different approach,” Williams said.According to an article from 2012 in Mother Jones, whose description of some of the “Oprah-style” relationship workshops that were funded for a pretty penny is a distressing testament to a denial of reality, the marriage initiative was championed by such noteworthies as Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and current Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, but Obama has continued to support it in a slightly toned-down form. In “Promoting Marriage among Single Mothers: An Ineffective Weapon in the War on Poverty?” a report written for The Council on Contemporary Families Williams writes:How can we improve the lives of the growing numbers of unmarried mothers and their children? So far, a dominant approach has been to encourage their mothers to marry. At first glance, the logic makes sense. If growing up in a two-parent home is best for children, then adding a second parent to a single-mother home should at least partially address the problem. The 1996 welfare reform legislation and its subsequent reauthorization institutionalized this focus on marriage by allowing states to spend welfare funds on a range of marriage promotion efforts.The flaw in this argument is the assumption that all marriages are equally beneficial. In fact, however, the pool of potential marriage partners for single mothers in impoverished communities does not include many men with good prospects for becoming stable and helpful partners. Single mothers are especially likely to marry men who have children from other partnerships, who have few economic resources, who lack a high-school diploma, or who have been incarcerated or have substance abuse problems. The new unions that single mothers form tend to have low levels of relationship quality and high rates of instability. A nationally representative study of more than 7,000 women found that approximately 64 percent of the single mothers who married were divorced by the time they reached age 35-44. More importantly, single mothers who marry and later divorce are worse off economically than single mothers who never marry. Even marriages that endure appear to offer few health benefits to single mothers unless they are to the biological father of their first child.The hope of the marriage promotion campaign was that marriages in low-income communities could be made more stable and beneficial through skills training and support. Although one program in Oklahoma City slightly increased relationship stability, the most rigorous evaluation of the programs in eight cities found that, overall, they created no long-term improvements in new unwed parents’ relationship quality, marriage rates, or children’s economic wellbeing, and they actually resulted in modest decreases in fathers’ financial support and parental involvement.Oops!Williams concludes, “It makes more sense to provide women with the resources and knowledge to prevent births that are not planned, which seems to be the most helpful in the long term. We can do that with comprehensive and early sex education and expansive and affordable access to birth control and family planning services.”A recent study indicates that study the poverty rate of single-parent families in the United States is nearly twice the average of 16 comparable countries. The difference? “Paid parental leave and publicly funded child care for children under age 3 appear to be especially helpful in reducing poverty among single mothers,” Williams said.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 2, 2014; Washington Post, “Monkey Cage”NPQ thinks that some of the newer forms of journalism are providing unanticipated depth to reporting on world events. For instance, a blog at the Washington Post dubbed “The Monkey Cage” has surveyed participants in the recent Ukrainian “Euromaiden” protests. This is a part of the blog’s attempt to publish political science research for popular consumption. And in this vein, political scientist Olga Onuch surveyed participants at the protest sites at Kiev to determine who was protesting and what the role of social media and Internet news was. The surveys were conducted by 20 interviewers; at the point that this blog post was written, 1203 had been done.She reports:“The preliminary findings from [the] study are surprising and incongruent with reports from news media outlets:Protesters are older than expected.Protesters are more diverse than expected.Social media are important, but not simply as a provider of information about existence of protests.Social networks—both within and outside of social media—seem to be highly influential in bring people out into the streets.Social media and Internet news sites seem to have been successfully used as key framing devices for protest themes.”The importance of this work cannot be overstated. For instance, Onuch says that much has been made of the fact that these protests have been made up overwhelmingly of students and youth, but the reality is that 69 percent of participants are over the age of thirty, with the average age being 36. Onuch writes that 24 percent of participants are over the age of 55 and 8 percent are between 65 and 75, “thus making up a surprising, interesting and under discussed group.” She goes on to look at the motivations of each of those age groups, which vary.She then turns her attention to the ways in which people found out about the protest they were attending, and she provides the following chart. Finally, Onuch writes that “first impressions point to an ‘Internet-to-the-streets’ directionality of claims and framing of demands. In interviews protesters admitted to seeing signs and statements on Facebook, which inspired their own version (such as the famous UKRAINEUKRAINE sign). Thus, activists, journalists and politicians should note that these new technologies…social media, and Internet sites seem to be crucial in providing new information about, as well as the language of, protest, which protest participants can employ and make their own once they join their friends and family members in the streets.”Dr. Onuch is a Shklar Research Fellow (2013-2014) at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her research focus is on the comparative study of protest politics, political behaviour, and institutions in democratizing states in Latin American and Eastern Europe.—Ruth McCambridge ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 13, 2015; New York TimesEarlier this week, crowds of hundreds gathered to sign up for New York City’s municipal ID card program at enrollment centers across the city. The largest of its kind in the county, the city’s ID program will be open to anyone residing in New York over the age of 13 who is able to prove identity and city residency. Allowable documents for this process include passports, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, and other documents from the United States or other countries. Unless otherwise arranged, applicants will receive their new IDNYC identification cards from the administration through the mail. Mayor Bill de Blasio said, speaking of the program, that “for New Yorkers who couldn’t have an official ID, this card is the key to a fuller life.” Such is especially true for the city’s undocumented immigrants, who without proper identification have trouble with many aspects of everyday life. Obtaining prescriptions, renting apartments and compiling with police officer requests all prove extremely difficult without a means of legally verifying identity. Mr. de Blasio also sought to ensure undocumented immigrants that “no one will be asked their immigration status in applying…for an ID because it’s not pertinent. If you’re a New Yorker, that’s all we care about.” The identification will not, however, provide access to federal, state, or city benefits and will not qualify as a work authorization permit.In a city where half of residents over 16 years of age do not have a driver’s license, the IDNYC card will help other groups as well, particularly homeless individuals and others who have difficulty receiving access to various services due to lack of a fixed address. Opportunities to pick up IDNYC cards from administration-specified locations will be afforded to such individuals. In order to entice individuals to join the program, no enrollment fees will be charged in 2015, though this may change in subsequent years. Additionally, individuals with an IDNYC card will receive prescription drug discounts, access to city buildings, and the opportunity to open financial accounts at participating banks and credit unions. Opportunities will also be available for cardholders to obtain access to social, educational, and cultural services. Within the first year, IDNYC cardholding individuals will receive free memberships to zoos and museums within the city and access to the city’s three public library systems. The library systems alone will provide valuable resources to individuals—computer and Internet access, career services, learning materials, financial guidance, and more. Such library services are highly regarded by the public as important to community development and are essential to those with fewer personal resources at their disposal. In providing individuals with a recognized proof of identity, the IDNYC card will also give nonprofits in New York City the ability to provide service to many more individuals, greatly increasing the sector’s impact in one of the country’s largest metropolitan areas. As a city with millions of people, New York is a relatively easy place for people to become invisible, especially without a means of identification. An IDNYC will help to curb that invisibility for all of the city’s residents. As said by New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, “The launch of IDNYC marks the beginning of a new time in our great City. The significance of the IDNYC, however, is far larger than the creation of another form of identification. The real victory of this program is the way that it will make the lived experiences of New Yorkers—from all walks of life—more full and dignified.”—Michele BittnerShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share27TweetShare1Email28 Shares Image from UNCF.orgMarch 22, 2017; Washington Post“Black people have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies…just permanent interests.” This quote by Congressman William L. Clay, Sr. announced the no-nonsense stance of the Congressional Black Caucus in a document they left with the president yesterday.The president finally met with the six-member executive committee of the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday, but there were no photo ops in it for Trump. Present at the event were Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), the CBC’s chairman, along with Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), James E. Clyburn (D-SC), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), André Carson (D-IN) and Anthony G. Brown (D-MD). All purposefully sat safely out of camera range as he intoned, “They’ve lifted up the conscience of our nation in the march toward civil rights, enriched the soul of America in their faith and courage, and they’ve advanced our country in the fields of science, arts and medicine.”Readers may remember the heads of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities did stand behind a grinning Trump at their meeting a month ago. The event became an object lesson of sorts. “The Congressional Black Caucus is not going to be a potted plant or a photo opportunity,” said Rep. Donald A. McEachin, a Democrat from Virginia and a CBC member. “He did a photo op with the presidents of historically black colleges, and they got nothing.”The CBC committee brought with them a policy memo titled “We Have a Lot to Lose: Solutions to Advance Black Families in the 21st Century,” which was delivered to the president during the meeting. “We honor this opportunity to enlighten President Trump on the history and diversity of African Americans and offer bold policy solutions to advance our communities, and all Americans, in the 21st century,” reads the document. “If President Trump is sincere in his interest in advancing the Black community, this document should be the guiding post of his Administration.”The committee also delivered to the president letters written by other CBC members and addressed to various members of his cabinet. Mother Jones reports:In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Richmond and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) write that “the first several weeks under your tenure have given us many causes for concern.” The congressmen note that they are particularly worried about the fate of criminal justice reform, racial profiling, voting rights, and policing under a Sessions’ Justice Department. In January, Richmond and other members of the CBC testified against Sessions’ nomination for attorney general, citing his history on racial controversies.In a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Richmond and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) cite their concerns with the administration’s focus on school choice vouchers, arguing that diverting funds to private schools will further endanger public schools and leave “the most disadvantaged students with the fewest resources.” The letter also notes that despite a highly publicized meeting between the Trump administration and the leaders of historically black colleges and universities, the president’s proposed budget offers little insight into how it will address educational institutions specifically aimed at helping minorities.“We never thought we’d agree on everything in this meeting, but the one thing we did ask is for both sides to be candid,” said Richmond. “He listened, and we talked, and we proposed a lot of solutions, many of which I think he had not heard before, and we’re going to keep advocating.”That the Caucus gave him that much was an act of grace. Readers may remember that during a brutally long and tempestuous press conference, April Ryan, a black reporter with the American Urban Radio Networks, asked Trump when he might meet with the caucus. “Are they friends of yours?” Trump asked, suggesting that maybe she would go ahead and set one up for him. Was he being provocative or ignorant or both?Other examples of his racial attitudes have followed. The Washington Post reports:At an event he held to mark the outset of Black History Month, Trump rambled about his 80-point defeat among black voters, hypothesized about what could get him to a majority of the black vote in 2020, and mentioned the abolitionist Frederick Douglass as “an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.” Douglass died in 1895.In an optimistic act of faith, the policy memo ends with a remarkable reading list on all of the major issues to which they want to draw Trump’s attention—including environmental justice, education, workforce, economic justice, criminal justice, and voting rights, among other things—and where they need for him to shift his frame. The list is, by the way, chock-full of publications from nonprofits and an excellent reading list on race and policy for our readers as well.In the end, press secretary Sean Spicer did tweet a photo of CBC members and Trump sitting in the same space, but that will be unlikely to earn any points from black voters, many of whom will by now know this story for what it is.Brenda Lawrence summed up the intention of the meeting in realistic terms: “Our objective is to walk away having given the president an opportunity to hear, to be enlightened, and to start a dialogue for the next four years—if he stays in office.”—Ruth McCambridgeShare27TweetShare1Email28 Shares