Federal crop insurance indemnities paid to farmers for last year’s losses have risen to a record $17 billion for the 2012 crop year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced. Indemnities for 2012, largely the result of the severe drought in the Plains and Midwest, are now $16.99 billion.The previous record of $10.8 billion paid in indemnities was set in 2011. The 2012 number is not unexpected: the Congressional Budget Office had previously forecast $16 billion in expected indemnities.The RMA website shows indemnities from crop years 2012 by county atwww.rma.usda.gov/data/indemnity/.
In comments submitted today to the County Council of Kauai County in Hawaii, ASA urged the rejection of a proposed county ordinance that would, among other things, place a ban on the use and production of products derived from biotechnology, as well as ban the open air testing of pesticides and place stringent restrictions on the use of pesticides in certain settings. While soybeans are not cultivated commercially in Hawaii, the state is a critical research market for seed and technology providers that serve the soybean industry as well as other industries within agriculture.“ASA urges the Council to reject Ordinance 2491 because of the negative impacts its passage would have on the ability of seed and technology companies to develop both conventional and biotechnology crops, and the resultant negative impacts on farmer access to improved seed technologies,” wrote ASA in its comments. “As you know, Kaua’i is an important year-round growing location where many of the world’s leading seed and technology companies develop and grow crops in order to expand elite seed that then is used by farmers. The restrictions in Ordinance 2491 would bring a halt to such activities in Kaua’i, thereby slowing the development of higher-yielding, pest-resistant, and more nutritious crops.”The Kauai County Council will hold a public hearing on the ordinance at 6:30 p.m. CDT on July 31.
ASA congratulates Alexis Taylor on her recent appointment to serve as Deputy Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.ASA growers and staff have worked with Taylor in her previous roles, and look forward to continuing the relationship in her new role.“ASA has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with you, first during your tenure with Congressman Boswell, then when you worked on the 2014 Farm Bill for Senator Baucus, and in your most recent position as Chief of Staff for Under Secretary Scuse,” ASA President Ray Gaesser said in a letter to Taylor. “Your work to promote international trade and to implement programs under the new farm bill has reflected a strong dedication to the interests of soybean farmers, as well as producers of all U.S. agricultural products.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved at least $650,000 worth of TV air time for Denny Heck campaign commercials over the next eight weeks, the committee’s chairman confirmed Wednesday.U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who chairs the DCCC and also serves as assistant House speaker, stopped off in Vancouver during a visit to the Northwest to promote Democratic candidates for Congress. He said the party is committed to spending “tens of millions of dollars” nationwide and to helping Heck defeat Republican Jaime Herrera in the race for the open 3rd Congressional District seat. “We see it as a competitive campaign that’s representative of races we see around the country,” Van Hollen said. “We believe Denny is a terrific candidate. In terms of doing everything we can to support his operation, we’ve reserved some TV time for him.”Van Hollen said it’s important that voters understand who is paying for the political ads they see on TV this election season.For example, he said, the conservative organization Americans for Prosperity, which recently bought $180,000 worth of TV ads supporting Herrera, is backed by Koch Industries, one of the nation’s largest and wealthiest companies, whose owners have benefited greatly from what he called “these perverse tax breaks” that reward companies for shipping American jobs overseas.Voters need to ask candidates if they agree with the political agendas of organizations that spend money independently on behalf of their campaigns, Van Hollen said.
Scot Walstra, director of planning and development for the Port of Camas-Washougal, will leave his post at the end of today under a plan by the port to consolidate its economic-development efforts into a new partnership with the cities of Camas and Washougal.His salary will be routed to a new nonprofit, tentatively named the Camas Washougal Economic Development Association, which will also receive funding from both of those cities.David Ripp, executive director of the Port of Camas-Washougal, said the new group will neither overlap nor conflict with Clark County’s chief economic development agency, the nonprofit Columbia River Economic Development Council.“We’re not taking anything away from CREDC,” Ripp said. “We’re going to continue to support that group as well.”The Camas Washougal Economic Development Association will be expected to promote the east Clark County to employers, recruit companies to the area, create jobs and diversify the region’s economy, Ripp said. A priority will include attracting new industries to Washougal, which has traditionally been dependent on timber.“Our big picture is to create and jobs and have diversification,” Ripp said. One key will be to get a handle on which industries are up-and-coming and should be focused on as soon as possible. “What’s next in line?” Ripp said. “You don’t want to jump in after it’s started.”
Drivers on the Northeast 112th Avenue corridor near 18th Street can expect another change in traffic patterns and possible construction delays starting Wednesday. Weather permitting, traffic along 112th Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction, the city said. Drivers should be prepared for delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes. The shift is part of the first segment of the city of Vancouver’s 18th Street Northeast Improvement Project, which began in the fall. For additional information, visit http://www.cityofvancouver.us/18thStreet.
Kim Bennett, president and CEO of the Vancouver USA Regional Tourism Office, is optimistic Southwest Washington will weather the closure of the state’s tourism office smoothly.“While we’re disappointed the state tourism office is closing, we’re also looking at the opportunity to restructure the state tourism efforts into the hands of the private sector,” Bennett said.Thanks to the recent inception of a private committee — called Washington Tourism Alliance — made up of hotels, restaurants, ports and industry officials throughout the state, there should be a resurgence in marketing efforts, she said.Vancouver’s tourism office is part of that committee, Bennett said.“It’s not going to be the end of Washington state tourism,” she added.OLYMPIA — Like a business trying to sell a product, Washington state has for years attracted visitors by promoting stunning images of some of the nation’s most majestic scenery — from the snowcapped peaks of the Cascades to the rainforests and thundering waterfalls of the Olympic Peninsula.That marketing is now coming to an abrupt end.By the end of this week, Washington will close its official tourism agency and become the only state to cease all state funding for self-promotion. It’s just one example of how states are coping with budget deficits brought on by slumping tax revenue.
Four-year-old Carter Harris, who was named Clark County Honorary Sheriff earlier this month, will cut the ribbon for the opening ceremony of the Portland Rose Festival today.Carter, son of Dennison and Robin Harris of Vancouver, began participation in the Washington State “Chief for a Day program”on May 16 following a leukemia diagnosis in December 2010. The program is intended to inspire and motivate others to build partnerships and realize their dreams through celebrating the lives of children diagnosed with a life-threatening or chronic illness, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.Versie Meyer, a 21-year Rose Festival volunteer, heard about Carter’s story during a presentation to her organization. Meyer suggested to the festival committee that Carter take part in the ceremony. The committee gave Carter the honor of cutting the ribbon.Carter will join the Rose Festival Court, members of the Rose Festival Character Clown Corps, Royal Rosarians and other directors and staff at about 5 p.m. at the City Fair sign on the waterfront in downtown Portland.The Rose Festival will be “Sheriff” Carter’s second parade appearance in several days. He rode in the sheriff’s office boat Saturday in the Hazel Dell Parade and will also be the grand marshal of a children’ parade July 4 in Felida.
When the tsunami hit the northern coast of Japan last year, the waves ripped four dock floats the size of freight train boxcars from their pilings in the fishing port of Misawa and turned them over to the whims of wind and currents.One floated up on a nearby island. Two have not been seen again. But one made an incredible journey across 5,000 miles of ocean that ended this week on a popular Oregon beach.Along for the ride were hundreds of millions of individual organisms, including a tiny species of crab, a species of algae, and a little starfish all native to Japan that have scientists concerned if they get a chance to spread out on the West Coast.“This is a very clear threat,” said John Chapman, a research scientist at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Ore., where the dock washed up early Tuesday. “It’s incredibly difficult to predict what will happen next.”State officials were considering plans to scrape all the living organisms off the dock and bury them in the sand, so they would not spread, Chapman said.
Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) celebrates his game-winning field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in the closing seconds of Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game at the Georgia Dome. ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons called on a pair of Matty Ices to turn back the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL playoff history.After the top-seeded Falcons squandered a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, Matt Ryan completed two long passes and Matt Bryant kicked a 49-yard field goal with 8 seconds to give Atlanta a stunning 30-28 victory over Russell Wilson and the gutty Seattle Seahawks in an NFC divisional playoff game Sunday.The Falcons (14-3) overcame their reputation for choking in the playoffs, winning their first postseason game since 2004. They’ll host San Francisco in the NFC championship game next Sunday with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.Wilson threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, doing all he could to make the Seahawks (12-6) the first playoff team ever to rally from such a daunting deficit in the final period. Marshawn Lynch appeared to have locked it up for Seattle when he scored on a 2-yard run with 31 seconds left for a 28-27 lead.But the Seahawks’ defense, which is one of the NFL’s best and had totally stymied the Falcons in the fourth, went to a softer coverage and got burned. The Falcons had just enough time to pull off a comeback of their own.Ryan, shaking off the struggles in his first three playoff appearances, hooked up with Harry Douglas on a 29-yard pass in front of the Falcons bench, and coach Mike Smith quickly signaled a timeout. Then, Ryan went down the middle to his favorite target, tight end Tony Gonzalez, a Hall of Famer-to-be playing what could’ve been his final game.
The cold front that moved through our local area Wednesday was my kind of storm. Only a brief period of rain, and not much was falling at that. Most areas around Vancouver picked up only a tenth of an inch or less while the coast and mountains received much more.Abundant sunshine followed the fast-moving storm, along with breezy conditions, but that sun sure felt nice. Today we have only a chance of showers, and skies should clear by nightfall, allowing overnight lows dipping into the 30s. There could be some frost in the colder outlying areas, so factor that in for any tender plants outside. We may get a blanket of fog to temper the cooling in some areas.A brief break ends later Friday as a stronger cold front moves in for more moderate rain and blustery conditions all weekend. Another good round of snow in the mountains as cold air aloft moves, in making our highs struggling to top 50 degrees this weekend, so it will feel quite chilly. Snow falls down to very low levels. Another weekend such as the last one, so maybe plan indoor activities.It was very mild Tuesday night and Wednesday morning; our low dipped only to 52 degrees, and our high was 59 at 5 p.m. Could be worse; did you see the big snowstorm that moved out of the Rockies? Temperatures fell from the 80s into the 20s, and snow fell all the way to Texas.In Sunday’s column, I will share rainfall reports from your friends and neighbors for March, so stay tuned.A severe thunderstorm moved through Walla Walla last Thursday and hovered right over the Washington State Penitentiary. A funnel cloud was also sighted. To see a photo, go to University of Washington professor Cliff Mass’ weather blog and scroll down to his April 6 entry.Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at Weather Systems.
The Vancouver Police Department signed a partnership agreement Thursday with a Latino civil rights organization that aims to bridge potential cultural barriers. Interim Chief Chris Sutter worked on the agreement with Diana Perez, president of the Southwest Washington League of United Latin American Citizens No. 47013, and the organization’s chair of law enforcement relations, Wilfredo Collins. According to the agreement’s philosophy statement: “The department recognizes potential barriers in our community which include language, cultural differences, cultural misunderstandings, mistrust, and fear.”“The signing of this partnership agreement is a result of an ongoing relationship and mutual commitment to enhance communication, strengthen relationships, and reduce cultural barriers.” Sutter said in a news release. “We look forward to establishing similar partnership agreements with other interested diversity groups within our community.”A group of community members and a group of Vancouver police officers will be involved in the partnership. The agreement will be reviewed annually to track progress and objectives.
Kayakers paddle across a calm Vancouver Lake. Ridgefield’s Big Paddle invites the community to explore the water and wildlife by kayak, paddleboard or canoe during a two-hour adventure along Lake River. The event begins with a ceremony, a Chinook drumming and blessing, along with a scavenger hunt and information booths. Boat rentals are available at Ridgefield Kayak.When: 9 a.m. ceremony, 10 a.m. start today.Where: Public Boat Launch, Port of Ridgefield, 5 W. Mill St., Ridgefield.Admission: Free, $25 for kayak rentals.Telephone: 360-727-4520.Web: http://ridgefieldkayak.comThe Vancouver Lake Crew will host a free community event to learn more about rowing for National Learn to Row Day. The event includes lessons for ages 8 and older from coaches and rowers, demonstrations on how to use a rowing machine, a barbecue and boathouse tours.When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.Where: Vancouver Lake Crew, 8612 N.W. Erwin O. Rieger Memorial Highway, Vancouver.Admission: Free.Telephone: 360-600-6408.Web: http://vancouverlakecrew.comThe water activities are among many options for getting out and about this weekend.2) Rescuing happy endingsJourney Theater presents “Grimm Fairytales,” a theatrical twist on familiar storybook characters. When the Grimm Brothers’ sacred scroll, pen and inkwell are stolen to rewrite the happy endings of fairy tales, a girl from another world must retrieve the items before “happily ever after” disappears for good.When: 7 tonight and 2 p.m. Sunday.Where: Washburn Performing Arts Center, 1201 39th St., Washougal.Admission: $12 to $15, $10 to $13 for children and seniors.Telephone: 360-750-8550.Web: http://journeytheater.org3) Hands-on natureFamily Field Trip Day offers a variety of activities for families to explore nature. Visitors can explore the 100-acre urban natural area and working hatchery. Activities include guided sensory and animal habitat walks, nature crafts, and hands-on science.When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.Where: Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway, Vancouver.Admission: $5 per child, free for adults.Telephone: 360-882-0936.Web: www.columbiasprings.org4) Grand Floral ParadeThe Grand Floral Parade kicks off today, traveling from the Memorial Coliseum to Lincoln High School in downtown Portland. Local groups participating in the parade include the Battle Ground Rose Float, the Clark County Fair Court, Miss Vancouver Rodeo Queen, the Llamas of Southwest Washington and Pearson Field Education Center’s Douglas World Cruiser. Local high school marching bands — including Columbia River, Union, Hockinson, Battle Ground and Heritage high schools — will perform. The parade will be broadcast on Fox 12.
RelatedPosts Guest numbers in Macau’s hotels up 5% in February Macau’s casino-linked hotel rooms close to fully booked for upcoming Golden Week Load More Macau’s hotels and guest houses saw total receipts rise 14.7% year-on-year in 2017 to MOP$32.59 billion, according to figures releases by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).Buoyed by the addition of four new operational hotels – boosting the number Macau-wide to 113 – the rise included an 11.7% increase in receipts of 5-star hotels to MOP$24.48 billion, comprising MOP$10.86 billion in room sales, MOP$6.45 billion from the rental of space and MOP$5.27 billion from the provision of Food & Beverages. Receipts of 4-star hotels increased 2.2% to MOP$4.21 billion, while 3-star and 2-star hotels enjoyed a 64.8% increase to MOP$3.86 billion.The expenditure of the sector totalled MOP$28.98 billion, up 8.8% year-on-year, with compensation of employees rising 9.1% to MOP$13.02 billion, operating expenses 8.5% to MOP$12.77 billion and the purchase of goods & commission paid up 8.9% to MOP$3.19 billion.Gross Value Added, a measurement of the sectoral contribution to the economy, rose by 17.3% year-on-year to MOP$16.59 billion, with the Average Value Added per person engaged growing 14.0% to MOP$0.33 million.As the growth in receipts outpaced that in expenditure, Gross Surplus of the sector surged by 62.1% to MOP$3.57 billion.
Load More Hard Rock Japan has opened the Hard Rock Japan Tomakomai Branch as its base in the Hokkaido Area.Hard Rock Japan is the Japanese entity of Hard Rock International, the American corporation that has opened 200 hotels, resorts and casinos in 75 countries globally. Lack of premium mass strategy begs questions of SJM’s Grand Lisboa Palace launch: analysts RelatedPosts Genting’s Resorts World Las Vegas names five key additions to executive team Huawei Japan joins Kansai Economic Federation with eye on World Expo 2025 and Osaka IR Tomakomai city is hoping to be certified for one of Japan’s IR facilities, and Hard Rock is clearly hoping to secure their presence in the region.Hard Rock Japan says it wants to develop an IR that can appeal to multiple generations, where “Music becomes DNA” as part of the “Hard Rock Experience.”
EXCLUSIVE: More than four-fifths (82%) of respondents believe their benefits package should change as their personal circumstances and priorities do, according to research by Davidson Asset Management (DAM).Its survey of 439 employees, directors and business owners, which is featured in its Employee benefits: 2035 report, also found that 87% of staff think it is their employer’s responsibility to explain how they can get the most out of their benefits package.The survey also found:71% of respondents value benefits highly when deciding where to work.Almost half (48%) view mortgage advice as a useful benefit for employers to provide.41% say buying a house is a greater priority than saving for the future, falling to 22% for respondents over 50 but rising to 58% among those based in London.86% of respondents value pensions as a benefit, with 90% of those aged 30 and over and 79% of those under 30 putting it in their top four most valued benefits.Just under three-quarters (71%) would like their employer to provide them with a pot of money to be spent on employee benefits.22% of millenials would like pension contributions to increase over the next 20 years, compared to 45% of over 30s. A fifth (20%) of respondents would like their benefits package to include ’entrepreneur time’, and 24% would like their employer to reimburse them for their degrees.Russell Davidson (pictured), chief executive officer at DAM, said: “Our study shows that age and location are important factors in defining employees’ preferences and opinions but, while confidence in the future of pensions varies, this is a benefit that has risen in importance in the minds of our respondents.“As the retirement, and arguably health, benefits from the state look set to wane, savvy employers of choice have an opportunity and a duty to recognise this need and reward their people with not just what they want now, but what they need for a lifetime.”
More than half (54%) of employee respondents are not offered health benefits, such as counselling, health screening, and subsidised gym membership, by their organisation, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).Its survey of 2,000 full and part-time employees in the UK also found that 23% of respondents think their organisation does not take employee wellbeing seriously.The research also found:39% of respondents have taken time off work or reduced their responsibilities because of their health.39% of respondents who have taken time off or reduced their responsibilities due to ill health did not feel comfortable telling their employer about the issue.83% of respondents believe their wellbeing influences how productive they are.47% of respondents would be open to using an app to improve their wellbeing.Jo Salter (pictured), director in people and organisations business at PWC, said: “It’s becoming increasingly important for organisations to provide employees with support for their emotional and physical health at work. Healthier and happier staff perform better, stay in their business longer and reduce costs and risks for organisations. Understanding and addressing the root causes of employee wellbeing is the first step to resolving the underlying issues.”“Data analytics can also support and help resolve wellbeing issues by gathering team data and trends that affect wellbeing. Going through and pin-pointing insights can help bring targeted and effective change. To do so, employers will need to overcome the issue of trust with less than half of employees saying they would willingly accept a free piece of wearable tech if their information is shared within their organisation.”
Employee Benefits has been shortlisted in the HR and Benefits Publication of the Year category at the Willis Towers Watson Media Awards 2019.The winner of this category is decided by public vote among readers in the HR and benefits industry. We would be delighted to receive your vote before the voting deadline on 19 June 2019.We are very glad to have won the Pensions/Benefits Publication of the Year accolade at the Willis Towers Watson Media Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017.The Willis Towers Watson Media Awards will take place on Wednesday 26 June 2019.In addition to recognising the leading publications serving the HR, benefits and pensions industries, the awards also celebrate individual journalists in categories such as trade HR journalist of the year and trade pensions journalist of the year. The award winners in the individual categories are decided by an expert judging panel.Cast your vote today.
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A car crook was captured on surveillance video trying to make his way into parked cars in Southwest Miami-Dade.The video captured the scene as the man made his way into parked SUV vehicles near Southwest 31st Street and 144th Avenue, on Jan. 22.He could be seen going inside of each vehicle and leaving with several items.“They should go to jail,” said robbery victim Macaria Gonzalez. “If they did it to me, they will do it to any other person.”Police said the crook managed to steal cigarettes, flashlights and more than $2,400.If you have any information on this theft, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MARATHON, FLA. (WSVN) – A 175-pound loggerhead sea turtle has been released back into the wild.The giant loggerhead was rescued just off of the Florida Keys in December and spent the last three months recovering from intestinal problems at a Marathon animal hospital.Caretakers said she is well enough to go back to the wild and has even gained about 20 pounds.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.