Related posts:El Niño heat expected to last through May Low rainfall in Central Valley, northern regions; La Niña still a no-show Costa Rica nearing record rainfall for May Transition to dry season in Costa Rica begins this week Rainy season has gotten off to a drier-than-normal start. But that may change tomorrow with humidity levels increase Wednesday evening. The change portends the return of late afternoon thunderstorms, according to the National Meteorological Institute (IMN).An increase in rainfall is expected primarily for the Central Valley, the Northern Zone and both coasts.Current rainfall rates are below average for the country’s rainy season (May through November), especially in the Central Valley and the central and southern Pacific. Costa Rica also had a dry start to the rainy season last year, and the IMN noticed similar conditions in January that foretold of another drier-than-average spring. The situation prompted the Water and Sewers Institute (AyA) to implement emergency measures for areas with low precipitation levels. AyA experts are looking at several areas where they could drill wells to provide water. The institute hopes to avoid daily rationing like the measures the agency applied in recent months.IMN forecasts indicate that rainfall levels in May and June will be within normal figures for the season, however in July and August levels likely will be below average mostly due to the effects of El Niño.At the end of June, in IMN will publish forecasts for El Niño, and recommend guidelines for dealing with the weather phenomenon. Facebook Comments
Former Auditor-General Chrystalla Georghadji ordered that a former MP not be reported to the tax department after he was found to have not filed tax returns, her successor Odysseas Michaelides told parliament on Thursday.Answering questions from MPs during the House watchdog committee on taxation policy regarding politically exposed persons (PEPs), into which the audit service is currently conducting an investigation, Michaelides said such an investigation had never officially been conducted before.“As I have been informed, Mrs Georghadji vaguely reported that some MPs hadn’t filed tax returns but there was never a structured investigation,” he said.“What I can tell you, because I don’t want to be part of a cover-up mentality, is that I am aware of one case where [audit service staff] had spotted a politically exposed individual who hadn’t filed his tax returns yet, and had prepared a letter with his name to the inland revenue department, but Mrs Georghadji hadn’t allowed it. On instructions from Mrs Georghadji, the reference to this person was struck off the letter.”Michaelides confirmed the person was an MP at the time.“This is important because Mrs Georghadji appeared indignant when I said that the service didn’t always work as it should,” he said.Earlier this week, Michaelides had said that the audit service under Georghadji sometimes served as an agency for cover-ups, citing specific examples where no follow-up investigation was done.In a statement of response, Georghadji, who is now governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, rejected the claim and pointed to her annual reports, which included references to Michaelides’ examples.Meanwhile, the audit service continues to investigate the tax department’s handling of tax returns filed by PEPs, Michaelides told the committee.He said that the full report of the probe’s findings would require more time.Last week, he pledged to share with the committee an unprocessed list of the tax returns of 157 PEPs from 2008 to 2016.These are the presidents of the Republic, government ministers, MPs and party leaders during this period.A preliminary analysis of the data, he told committee members, suggests a declining trend in the number of PEPs who file their tax returns late.However, the audit conducted by the service is more diligent, Michaelides said.“We want to see how the tax department has dealt with politically exposed persons,” he said.“The tax department must produce the required data by December 11.”You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoMBA Degrees | Search AdsMBA Programs Online – See For YourselfMBA Degrees | Search AdsUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
The Met Office on Wednesday issued a yellow warning as storms accompanied by hail are expected during the day, as a road in the north partially collapsed from the heavy rain.Rainfall is expected to exceed 35mm per hour the Met Office said, issuing a warning that will remain in place until 10pm.Roads from Karvounas to Troodos and Platres to Troodos were closed because of heavy snowfall, police said, while others in the area where only open to vehicles with snow chains or four-wheel drive.Police urged people to avoid travelling to Troodos as heavy traffic in a relatively small area had created additional problems.Landslides have made the Gerasa to Kalo Chorio road dangerous and roads from Kakopetria to Karvouna and Pedhoulas to Prodromos are reported to be slippery.Police said there are 25 centimetres of snow on the top of Mount Olympus and 15cm on Troodos square.Drivers are urged to be careful and check new announcements regarding the state of the road network.The road linking Trikomo and Karpasia has partially collapsedIn the north, the road linking Trikomo and Karpasia partially collapsed, disrupting traffic in the area. In Lithrangomi, a landslide blocked the road that links Vathilakas with other villages in the area.Average rainfall in December reached 169 per cent of normal for the season, or 178.4mm, according to preliminary data issued by the Met Office.Average rainfall in the past 24 hours reached 20.2mm.The heaviest rainfall was recorded at Paphos airport with 294mm, or 300 per cent, followed by Platania, 267.9mm, or 144 per cent of the normal for the season. You May LikePlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Categories: Johnson News,News 07Sep Rep. Johnson memorializes fallen soldier during Sept. 11 ceremony State Rep. Steven Johnson today took part in the House of Representatives’ Sept. 11 Memorial Service, honoring a soldier from Grand Rapids who died in the line of duty.Johnson, of Wayland, read the name of U.S. Army Sgt. Terrence Hinton, who died May 14 in a military vehicle accident in Hawaii.“On the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, we honor those men and women who died in the line of duty as members of the military and first responders,” Johnson said. “We remember Sgt. Hinton as a dedicated public servant who served his nation to protect our rights and freedom.”Johnson said Hinton, a Grand Rapids native, enlisted in 2009 and served tours deployed in Afghanistan and Kuwait.“It is very fitting that we remember Michigan residents who put their lives on the line for their nation and their communities every day,” Johnson said. We honor them on the anniversary of a day when first responders and military members rushed into danger to help people at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.”Johnson invited Wayland Police Officer Mark Riemersma, Kentwood Fire Deputy Chief Gregg Ginebaugh and Kentwood Firefighter Mike DeMann to the House for the ceremony.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Steven Johnson, of Wayland, today was joined by Wayland Police Officer Mark Riemersma, Kentwood Fire Deputy Chief Gregg Ginebaugh and Kentwood Firefighter Mike DeMann for the Michigan House of Representatives’ annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol. The ceremony remembers first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year.
State Rep. Curt VanderWall welcomes residents to join him for upcoming coffee hours during the month of October.“I am committed to holding coffee hours every month,” said VanderWall of Ludington. “It is important for me to be accessible to people who have questions or concerns about state government.”Rep. VanderWall will be available at the following times and locations:Friday, Oct. 208 to 9 a.m. at Scottville City Hall, 105 Main St. in Scottville;10 to 11 a.m. in the Manistee County Board of Commissioners Room, 415 Third St. in Manistee;Noon to 1 p.m. in the Old Benzie County Board of Commissioners Room, 448 Court Place in Beulah; and3 to 4 p.m. in the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners Room, 8527 E. Government Center Drive in Suttons Bay. Categories: VanderWall News 03Oct Rep. VanderWall invites residents to October coffee hours No appointment is necessary to attend coffee hours. Anyone unable to attend during the scheduled times may contact Rep. VanderWall at his office at (517) 373-0825 or CurtVanderWall@house.mi.gov.
Categories: News,Noble News 29Jan Rep. Noble: It’s time to give hard-working Michigan residents and seniors tax relief Over the last several weeks, I have been working hard to provide tax relief to the residents of Michigan. I, along with Reps. Jim Tedder of Clarkston and Roger Hauck of Union Township, have introduced a package of bills that will put more of your hard-earned dollars back in your pocket.Since the federal government’s passage of their tax relief plan in late December, we have noticed some unintended consequences affecting our state. House Bills 5420-5422 aim to fix these issues while providing additional tax relief, particularly for our seniors.House Bill 5420 ensures that a tax filer can continue to claim the Michigan personal exemption. Further, it will gradually increase the exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,800 in tax year 2020. This will put taxpayer dollars back into taxpayer’s hands, one of my priorities I am proud to take part in.My bill, House Bill 5421, fixes a technicality amending the City Income Tax Act. It replaces references to the federal tax code with references to the state Income Tax Act, determining the personal exemption. This allows people who live and work in a city with a city income tax to still qualify for the personal exemption.House Bill 5422 allows individuals age 62 or older to claim a $100 tax credit on Michigan income tax returns. I believe it is time we give seniors back some of their hard-earned money. The beauty of this portion of our tax plan is that any senior, regardless of income, will qualify for this senior tax credit.The bills were voted out of the Michigan House last week, and now move to the Senate for consideration. I am very proud to be a part of this bill package and have the opportunity to give some taxpayer dollars back to the hard-working citizens of Michigan.(State Rep. Jeff Noble of Northville represents the 20th District in the Michigan House.)###
28Jun Rep. Kelly: Record K-12 funding will help Michigan students succeed Rep. Tim Kelly said a new education budget signed into law today will help Michigan students at every grade level prepare for future success.“We are providing more resources and targeting key areas to help students succeed in everything from learning to read at an early age to preparing for a career in skilled trades,” said Kelly, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and a key architect of the bill signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. “This budget has something to help every student in the state grow and learn the skills they will need to build a better future.”The budget provides a record-high $14.8 billion for K-12 education. That includes $120 to $240 more per student for the 2018-19 school year, providing schools the largest single-year budget increase in 15 years.Michigan’s local school districts will receive $7,871 to $8,409 for each student in the basic foundation allowance, which increases by a total of $312 million.Resources also will be targeted to specific areas, with increased investments for special education and early grade literacy programs. The budget includes $499 million to help financially and academically challenged students improve their abilities in reading and math.The legislation – House Bill 5579, which Kelly sponsored – also helps pay off debt in the public school employee retirement system to maintain its benefits and improve its finances.Earlier this week, the governor signed into law a $100 million investment in the Marshall Plan for Talent to advance skilled trades opportunities for Michigan students.“These are the types of investments that will continue to pay dividends for years to come,” said Kelly, of Saginaw Township. “It will create new opportunities for students and help Michigan’s economy continue to grow.” ### Categories: Kelly News,News
A plan introduced by state Rep. Beau LaFave with bipartisan support would require Michigan judges to fully inform jurors of their authority to set aside unjust laws.LaFave, of Iron Mountain, said many people who serve on juries do not realize they have the right to acquit someone who has technically broken the law if they feel a guilty verdict would have an unfair result.“Jurors have every right to judge the quality of the law, they just don’t realize it,” LaFave said. “We must fully inform the people serving on our juries so they understand their authority to analyze the facts of the case before them and vote their conscience.”For example, LaFave said juries in the 1850s used this practice to protest the Fugitive Slave Act by refusing to convict runaway slaves and the people who were charged for assisting them. In modern times, a jury might go this route in instances of domestic abuse or self-defense.House Bill 6277 requires a judge to clearly instruct the jury that even if the state has proven all of the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury may find the defendant not guilty if a guilty verdict would yield an unjust result.The legislation was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.### Categories: LaFave News 06Aug LaFave plan ensures Michigan juries are completely informed of rights
Categories: Filler News State Rep. Graham Filler has announced his next set of local coffee hours. Continuing Filler’s goal of holding them on the second Friday of each month, the in-district meetings will be held on Friday, March 8 at the following times and locations:8 to 9:30 a.m. at Big Boy, 1408 Old U.S. 27 in St. Johns; and10 to 11 a.m. at Hearthstone Oven Bakery and Café, 126 S. Pine River St. in Ithaca.“My first set of coffee hours in February featured productive discussion and a great opportunity to connect with residents of our community,” Filler said. “I look forward to continuing these meetings throughout the year. Remaining open and accessible to you is one of my top priorities as your state representative.”No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those unable to attend can contact Rep. Filler by phone at (517) 373-1778 or by email at GrahamFiller@house.mi.gov. 27Feb Rep. Filler sets local coffee hours
On Tuesday, I testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of my legislation to better protect medical personnel from abuse. Sadly, Michigan hospitals have reported a significant increase in the number of violent encounters with patients and visitors, and my plan would stiffen penalties for those who assault health care workers, which is something already practiced by 32 other states. Workplace violence is a real and growing threat to health care providers, and it’s important we take it seriously. Categories: Vaupel News According to a recent report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, health care workers in the United States suffer more than 15,000 injuries each year due to workplace violence. 21 percent reported being physically assaulted while more than 50 percent reported verbal abuse. House Bills 4327-28 simply add health care workers and volunteers to a protected group of workers which already includes police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel. Like our first responders, these professionals often put their own safety on the line, and we must do more to ensure it is taken seriously.***Monday was Earth Day, and to celebrate, local students submitted artwork highlighting the importance of protecting our state and natural resources. The two winners were Fowlerville elementary students Molly Aldred and Jayce Milke, who visited Lansing on Wednesday for a special recognition program. I had the privilege of presenting them tributes and laminated copies of last week’s News and Views front page, which featured their photos. It is great to see young people caring so much about the future of our state and world. Congratulations, Molly and Jayce!***It was a pleasure to have students from the Innovation Academy high school of Howell visit my office on Wednesday. They are part of the Michigan Student Caucus and were in Lansing to learn more about the Legislature. The future of our state depends on the involvement of the next generation, so it is always exciting to see young people taking an active interest in their state government!***Livingston County is being well represented on the world stage this week as multiple local student robotics teams are participating at the FIRST robotics world championship in Detroit! The event features more than 15,000 students from 25 states and 40 countries who pit their robots in timed competitions. It is a tremendous display of technological education and teamwork. The Electro Eagles from Hartland High School, S.C.O.T.S. Bots from Howell High School, and the Gems from Charyl Stockwell Academy are all competing on the world stage. Congratulations on a great season, and best wishes!***If you have any ideas, comments or questions for my office, please do not hesitate to call us at 517-373-8835 or send an email to HankVaupel@house.mi.gov. We are happy to hear from you!PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Hank Vaupel testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in support of his legislation to better protect medical personnel from abuse. 29Apr Rep. Hank Vaupel Weekly Column: April 29, 2019
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJune 6, 2014; Charlotte ObserverIn a recent story, the Charlotte Observer reports that the nonprofit Carolina Actors Studio Theatre based in Charlotte, North Carolina will close along with its current production at the end of this week. In a message to supporters on the organization’s website, the CAST board of directors explain, “Despite an award-winning and critically-acclaimed slate of productions, CAST has faced a diminishing audience over the past year as well as difficulties securing charitable contributions.” The closing is notable not just because of what some viewed as the “innovative” artistic work of the theatrical company, but because it is an example of a small organization that rebounded after the recession and planned to expand, but then wasn’t able to sustain its targeted rate of growth.According to the Observer, for the past eight years CAST was viewed in Charlotte, a city with a well-known arts community, as a “major company” that stood out for its “eclectic” approach. As an indication of the local niche that the organization successfully carved out for itself, for the past two years the organization, which has an annual budget of $438,600, has received $25,000 general operating support from Charlotte’s nonprofit Arts and Science Council. During the past year, the Arts and Science Council also provided CAST with supplementary support for development consulting.In 2011, with backing from the Arts and Science Council and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, CAST was able to make the leap to a bigger home (the Observer points out that the same space last served as the home of another nonprofit theater that closed in 2005) and enjoyed a successful first year with increased attendance rates. As added perspective on the theater’s current situation, however, CAST board member Lisa Walker told the Observer, “As with all nonprofits—particularly arts organization—in the last five years things have gotten very, very tight.” Walker added, “We had some motivation around the move and got some good (contributed) revenues that year as people were excited about what we were doing…but it was one-time energy, and that has dissipated.”As an indication of the broader challenges nationally that nonprofit performing arts organizations are experiencing at the present time, just last week NPQ reported on the closing of the San Jose Rep Theater. While in San Jose’s case the theater’s closing will precede a bankruptcy filing, Charlotte’s board expects to be able to avoid that last painful step. The board’s message on its website includes a request for supporters to come to the current play and “make a donation to help with the wind down expenses and production costs of our last production.” Determined to highlight the organization’s accomplishments as part of this closing, Lisa Walker of the CAST board told the Observer, “At least we can try to focus on the positive—all the awards we won, all the amazing shows we’ve put on, and the diversity we’ve brought to the Charlotte theater community.”—Anne EigemanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares October 29, 2014;ProPublicaToday, ProPublica and NPR launched a series about the Red Cross response to Supertorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac. It is a devastating exposé indeed, revealing a lackluster direct aid response disturbingly coupled with a well-organized publicity campaign. We encourage everyone to read today’s installment for themselves, because it contains many cautionary notes. (At time of publication, the ProPublica site was down; the Google cached version of the story can be found here.)The performance of the Red Cross during and in the wake of the storms left behind “a trail of unmet needs and acrimony” according to the investigation, which made use of confidential reports and internal emails, the recountings of local people, and experts in disaster response.The exposé charges the Red Cross with “diverting assets for public relations purposes,” citing an internal report, and distributing aid in a way that was “politically driven.” From the article:“During Isaac, Red Cross supervisors ordered dozens of trucks usually deployed to deliver aid to be driven around nearly empty instead, ‘just to be seen,’ one of the drivers, Jim Dunham, recalls.“‘We were sent way down on the Gulf with nothing to give,’ Dunham says. The Red Cross’ relief effort was ‘worse than the storm.’“During Sandy, emergency vehicles were taken away from relief work and assigned to serve as backdrops for press conferences, angering disaster responders on the ground.”We will not try to summarize the article in depth here, but remind readers that these kinds of concerns about the Red Cross are not entirely new. This article references promises made and not kept, as well as inadequate management in shelters that left children vulnerable and wheelchair users sleeping for days in their chairs.Richard Rieckenberg, who organized some of the Red Cross’s efforts to deliver food, shelter, and supplies, said that the direct aid work was repeatedly undercut by its leadership. Officials were concerned “about the appearance of aid, not actually delivering it,” Rieckenberg says. “They were not interested in solving the problem—they were interested in looking good. That was incredibly demoralizing.”When asked whether people should give money to the Red Cross, Rieckenberg’s response was, “I don’t donate to the Red Cross. People should do what they think is best for them.”—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share55Tweet4Share18Email77 SharesSeptember 13, 2016, New York TimesU.S. household incomes surged 5.2 percent in 2015, the first gain since 2007. The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 annual report on income, poverty, and health insurance in the United States brought this good news to the nation. This announcement is both of great importance to the nonprofit sector and fraught with implications for the presidential campaign.The data is based on information collected in the 2016 and earlier Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC). The gains for the middle class and poor were both broad and deep.The White House website sums up the report this way: “In 2015, household income grew at the fastest rate on record, the poverty rate fell faster than at any point since 1968, and the uninsured rate continued to fall.”“We lifted three and a half million people out of poverty, the largest one-year drop in poverty since 1968,” President Obama said on Tuesday at a rally in Philadelphia for Mrs. Clinton. “The uninsured rate is the lowest since they began keeping records. The pay gap between men and women shrank to the lowest level on record.”The Census Bureau annual report offers these specifics:This is the first annual increase in median household income since 2007.The number of full-time, year-round workers increased by 2.4 million in 2015.The official poverty rate decreased by 1.2 percentage points between 2014 and 2015.The number of people in poverty fell by 3.5 million between 2014 and 2015.For most demographic groups, the 2015 income estimates were statistically higher than the 2014 estimates.America still has greater wealth and income inequality than any major developed country, a gap wider today than at any time since the 1920s. Even though the nation’s labor force participation rate is near its lowest point since the late 1970s, the gains in this report came mostly from job growth rather than wage growth. More people may be working, but many of them are still struggling. As we in the nonprofit sector know from daily experience, the household income gains are welcome but fragile. And we are especially aware of the pockets of persistent poverty that are so deeply rooted that only the kind of profound change that arises out of populist movements can address it. The New York Times adds these finer points to areas of the economy that this annual report shows our work remains incomplete.The median household income was still 1.6 percent lower than in 2007, adjusting for inflation. It also remained 2.4 percent lower than the peak reached during the boom of the late 1990s. The number of people living in poverty also remained elevated, although it shrank last year by about 3.5 million, or roughly 8 percent.Democrats praise and Republicans deride the news, and both parties need to contend with the enduring burden of the national debt rising to nearly 80 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). But no one can dismiss the good news facts in this report. Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, called the income report the strongest he had ever seen from the Census Bureau: “The news here is the growth rates. I’ve read the last 21 reports, including this one. I have never seen one like this, in terms of, everything you look at is what you’d want to see or better.”“You know the old saying, ‘When the economy sniffles, the least advantaged catch pneumonia?’” said Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington research organization, and a former adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. “Well, that works the other way, too. The benefits of closing in on full employment disproportionately flow to the least advantaged.”—James SchafferShare55Tweet4Share18Email77 Shares
Share31Tweet1Share36Email68 Shares“jobs.” Credit: Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!July 11, 2017; Chicago TribuneConcerns about lost jobs, stagnant wages, economic insecurity, and the growing wealth gap have been front and center for policymakers and our nation’s political leadership. Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research has just published a meta-study that should be high on their reading lists.Drawing on a wide dataset, the study draws a disconcerting picture of the future of the American job market, one that shows a significant impact on American workers.Roughly one in four American jobs, across the income and educational spectrum, are at risk of foreign competition in the coming years. Much more critically, approximately half of the jobs are at risk for automation. Thus, considerable additional labor market turbulence is likely in the coming generation.For government-sponsored and private human service organizations, this amount of dislocation will be challenging. For political leaders, the challenge is to limit the potential for “increasing political polarization and divergent regional economic outcomes.”The negative effects, particularly of automation, will not affect all parts of the population equally. According to the Chicago Tribune’s coverage of the study, while the risk of losing one’s job to trade pressures or overseas labor competition is spread evenly across income and education, the risk of being replaced by automation is highest among people making less than $38,000 a year. “Low levels of automation risk are associated with much higher wages. Indeed, occupations in the lowest automation risk decile averages more than $80,000 in annual salary, while occupations in the highest decile of automation risk have incomes less than $40,000 per year.”Those who are currently struggling will face the biggest challenges. From the authors’ perspective:There is reasonable worry that economic instability makes it more difficult for already disadvantaged families to provide necessities, like education fees, transportation, food and safe housing. This, in turn, will manifest itself in increased negative educational outcomes and risk to children and families, with damages accruing to populations already at greater risk.[…]The consequence is that job displacement or involuntary job loss due to non-performance-based reasons, such as automation or offshoring, not only has direct impacts on the economic wellbeing of people, families, and communities, but also indirectly impacts health and mortality, childhood wellbeing, educational attainment, community integration and upward mobility.Michael Hicks, one of the study’s authors, told the Chicago Tribune that “the transition period could be extraordinarily nasty, exacerbating existing trends that have driven much of the nation’s political and social discontent.” A successful response will require an openness to reexamining the current national, state, and local strategies for responding to job dislocation, approaches which have proven to have limited success.National efforts provide individual workers with help in learning skills needed for their next job and some limited economic support to help them bridge the gap between their old and new career. Local state efforts are focused on attracting new jobs, often by enticing employers to relocate to new areas. Neither approach seems sufficient to respond to the large-scale changes we are facing.The broad focus of policy, especially in the most at-risk counties, has been on attracting footloose employers, which have comprised a vanishingly small share of job creation over the past half century. We argue here, as we have elsewhere, that state and local economic development policies largely misapprehend the challenges, and misapply resources to address employment and population declines.Finding a way to retrain, relocate, and support a large segment of the workforce during a period of change is the challenge before us. The future calls for a more comprehensive approach that addresses this challenge on a national level. However, we also must seriously consider whether the changing economy can provide enough jobs to allow full employment at living wages? What kind of social safety net will be required? As NPQ has covered, some governments are piloting universal basic income programs.—Martin LevineShare31Tweet1Share36Email68 Shares
Google TV has introduced voice commands and swipe gestures to a new Able Remote app that allows users to convert their Android smartphones and tablets into remote controls.Viewers can use voice commands and swipe gestures to change channels and bring up other apps, as well as create one-touch buttons to launch Google TV apps, bring up websites or access channels. The Able Remote app also allows viewers to create their own remote button layout and decide on the colour.Other features enabled by Google on Android devices via Able Remote include the ability to send photos and videos from the device to the TV and to access caller ID on TV.Viewers can download Able Remote to their Google TV devices and then use a QR reader app to scan a code displayed on the screen, allowing them to click on the line for the code to install the app on their Android device.
TV recommendation specialist ThinkAnalytics has joined the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV partner programme. The move means ThinkAnalytics will offer content recommendations to Microsoft Mediaroom for live, recorded, and on demand programming across devices.“With today’s announcement, we’re bringing the power and versatility of ThinkAnalytics to Mediaroom for the first time,” said Peter Docherty, founder and chief technology officer, ThinkAnalytics. “Our ability to build multiple profiles per set-top box allows us to have unique recommendations for each person in a household. Bringing together live TV metadata with set-top box viewing histories, combined with Mediaroom TV services, delivers very compelling and richer discovery and recommendations results for any video-enabled device.”
Fox International Channels has struck a carriage deal with cable operator UPC Poland for the Fox and Fox HD channels.Fox and Fox HD will be included as part of UPC Poland’s Max Extra HD package, which comprises 148 channels including 27 in HD. The deal will bring series including the fifth season of Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Family Guy, Glee, Modern Family and Homeland to UPC Poland subscribers.
Russian service provider VimpelCom’s Urals region unit has named Vladimir Kokurin as technical director, in charge of mobile and fixed network technology.Kokurin was previously deputy director of rival service provider MegaFon’s Caucasus region unit.
English-language teaching channel English Club TV has launched on Bouygues Telecom’s platform in France.The deal is the first for English Club TV in France, and covers both standard and HD versions of the channel. The channel is distributed in France by Gorse & Co.“I know that the French government decided to carry out an educational reform and make English classes obligatory at schools along with French and maths. All of our team appreciates the decision of Bouygues Telecom – choosing English Club TV and English Club TV HD as the means of learning English in France. Being a multinational company, we intend to make English a powerful tool in order to open new horizons for more people all over the world, saving their cultural identity,” said Andrew Semchenko, managing director of English Club TV Group.
Video processing technology provider Envivio has integrated its Halo network media processor with Google Widevine digital rights management using MPEG-DASH adaptive bit-rate technology and common encryption for the delivery of video services on Android and Chrome devices. Google Widevine DRM is supported natively on Google Chromecast and Chromebook devices as well as Android devices, allowing video playback without an prior software installation.“As more people use more devices to watch more video, it is critical that operators are able to protect that content and also deliver it using a converged, flexible platform,” said Julien Signes, Envivio president and CEO. “We are continuously enhancing the capabilities of our Halo platform to offer the latest and most advanced functionality, including support for Widevine and MPEG-DASH common encryption.”