The American Soybean Association (ASA) and other agriculture groups this week urged the House to pass legislation reauthorizing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC has been operating without authorizing legislation since Sept. 30, 2013. The House is considering H.R. 238, the “Commodity End-User Relief Act,” this week.Among other benefits, the Commodity End-User Relief Act would provide a permanent solution to the residual interest problem that would have put more customer funds at risk – and potentially driven farmers, ranchers and small hedgers out of futures markets – by forcing pre-margining of their hedge accounts. It would also requires the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to conduct a study and issue a rule before reducing the de minimis threshold for swap dealer registration in order to make sure that doing so would not harm market liquidity and end-user access to markets.Click here to read the entire letter.
Under collective bargaining agreements approved Tuesday for 460 Clark County employees, wages will be frozen for two years. And, for the first time, full-time county employees will pay a portion of their health care premiums starting in January 2012.Francine Reis, the county’s human resources director, said negotiations are ongoing with unions that represent other county employees. The agreements unanimously approved Tuesday by Clark County commissioners were with Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 11, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 17 and Laborers International Union of North America Local 335.The unions represent engineers, appraisers, office staff and other employees, and the agreements were worked out over 16 months, Reis said. The previous contracts had expired in June 2009, so the wage freeze applies to 2010 and 2011.In 2012, the employees will receive a 2 percent raise. They had been receiving, on average, a 3 percent raise every year.Responding to criticism from residents who testified that public employees get a much sweeter deal than private-sector employees, Commissioner Tom Mielke said it all averages out. “Our CEO makes a fraction of what the CEO of G.E. makes, while our truck drivers might make a little more,” Mielke said. County Administrator Bill Barron earns $170,000 a year. His salary, along with the wages of 280 management employees, has been frozen for two years.To Mielke’s point, the CEO of General Electric has a base salary of $3.3 million and total compensation package of $9.8 million in 2009, according to Forbes magazine.
Should we, or should we not?The Vancouver City Council took audience comments Monday night about whether to accept a $2.3 million federal grant to reopen and staff Fire Station 6 — but they postponed a decision until Tuesday, Aug. 30. That would be two days before the Sept. 1 deadline.Numerous neighborhood association members are urging city officials to accept the two-year grant, but the issue has several snags for Vancouver’s budget makers.For one thing, the firefighter’s union, which has asked for a wage increase of 8.2 percent, apparently has not reached agreement with the city.“Until the contract is settled or an arbitration decision is issued, the city does not know what the costs will be to continue to provide fire services at current or desired levels,” according to a city staff report dated Monday and issued at the meeting.And there’s another catch: The grant mandates that the city must keep its fire department staff at the same level as when the grant, if accepted, goes into effect for the entire two-year period. That means that, if more layoffs of city employees are necessary in the continuing economic downturn, other departments would shoulder the burden.
Legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler to help small businesses compete for government contracts was sent to the president’s desk for a signature Friday.Language from the Camas Republican’s small-business proposal was folded into the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed in the House on Thursday evening and in the Senate on Friday. Herrera Beutler was invited to join negotiations between the House and the Senate while they came to an agreement on the defense spending bill, according to a Friday news release by her office.The bill would make changes within the Small Business Administration and allow small-business advocates to get involved earlier in the federal contracting process. Herrera Beutler’s spokesman, Casey Bowman, said, “the bill would expand opportunities for more than 900 Southwest Washington small businesses who wish to compete for federal contracts.”Additionally, the bill would require federal contract plans to address how small businesses could be used for the job.It would also take some duties away from the Small Business Administration’s advocates, freeing up time for them to help small businesses compete for federal government contracts. The duties removed, such as training classes, are covered by other agencies.“This is a win for small businesses and jobs in Southwest Washington and throughout the country,” Herrera Beutler said. “I’m honored to be part of a group in Congress that is compromising and working to get things done for families and job-seekers back home.”
Mike Ginter helps collect pieces of his father’, barn after a tornado-like wind tore the roof off, sending peices approximately 600 feet away and in to a field in Hockinson on Thursday. A small tornado tore through a barn in Hockinson on Thursday afternoon as dark skies, hail and heavy rain swept through Clark County. Irene Ginter was going to get a glass of water just after 4 p.m. at her home off Northeast 189th Street when she heard a loud crack. Looking out the kitchen window, she saw a rotating funnel touch down on top of the barn. Within 10-15 seconds, the funnel took most of the corrugated metal roof and half of the wooden barn with it.“I looked out the window and there was this twirl, something rotating … and the roof was just flying all over the place,” she said. “I’m still kind of in shock.”Mike Ginter was parking a tractor in his barn, south of his parents’ home, when he saw the roof fly up about 50 feet into the air and toss debris across the field to the southeast and northeast. “I was wondering, ‘Where’s Dorothy?’ ” he said. Nine black Angus cattle, spooked by the weather, ran south of the barn toward a wooded area. Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service in Portland classified the tornado’s strength as an EF0 on the Fujita scale, with winds estimated at 60 to 85 mph. Fire District 3 was dispatched to the home at 4:14 p.m. It assessed the structure and assisted the family in salvaging the contents of the barn spread out over a 10-acre area, said Deputy Chief Scott Sorenson.
An apparent domestic disturbance led to a report of a child being shot at in the Hazel Dell area Thursday morning, but Clark County sheriff’s deputies quickly determined the report was likely unfounded.The initial report indicated that a gunman had shot at a child during a possible traffic-related incident around 9 a.m. in the 9800 block of Northeast Tenny Creek Drive in north Hazel Dell. The incident occurred on a residential street not far off the Highway 99 strip.Deputies arrived but found no victim, and in the first few minutes, discovered no evidence of a shooting, said sheriff’s Sgt. Fred Neiman. A man was detained for questioning at a nearby shopping center in the 1200 block of Northeast 99th Street, near Interstate 5, deputies said.So far, Neiman said, it doesn’t appear a gun was involved. “It appears to be a domestic disturbance with adults,” he said. A witness had reported the incident.Because deputies never identified a victim, they wrote a report and suspended the investigation. There is nothing more to go on, Neiman said, but the information is on file in case a victim comes forward or another incident is reported at the location. Neiman said that when someone calls 911, the information they give dispatchers is occasionally off base.When these reports come in with misinformation, Neiman said, “a lot of times, (the reporting person’s) perception of something might not be completely accurate. It doesn’t mean they’re being untruthful or exaggerating or anything.”
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced steps to improve the safety of shipping crude oil by rail, but unlike its Canadian counterpart, it is taking a voluntary approach to the phase-out of older tank cars long known to be vulnerable in derailments.The department recommended that petroleum producers that ship by rail discontinue the use of older DOT-111 model tank cars. The National Transportation Safety Board has warned for years that the cars punctured easily in derailments, leading to spills and fires with flammable liquids.The cars have performed poorly in the past several years in derailments involving ethanol, and more recently crude oil.But like other efforts since the beginning of this year involving train speeds, track inspections and routing decisions, DOT’s tank car recommendations are not mandatory. In contrast, Transport Canada two weeks ago required a three-year phase-out of older tank cars.The department did match Canada’s requirement that railroads disclose to state and county emergency management officials the routing, volume and frequency of crude oil shipments.After a CSX train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire in Lynchburg, Va., last week, the city’s mayor said he wasn’t aware that the shipments had been passing through his community every day since December.
The Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation will hold a sale of used children’s books from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.The sale will be in Library Hall, downstairs at the regional headquarters, 1007 E. Mill Plain Blvd. — formerly the downtown Vancouver library building. Free parking is available.The sale features surplus library books. More than 10,000 books will be available, all priced at $1.There will be material for pre-readers, including infant board books and picture books.For older readers, there will be fiction and nonfiction, classics, adventure, graphic novels, science fiction and many popular series.Proceeds will support the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District’s summer reading program.For more information, call the foundation at 360-906-4700 or go to www.fvrlf.org.
Authorities have identified the man who was crushed by his vehicle Tuesday at 2423 Rossiter Lane in Vancouver. Emergency responders found Torrie E. Bliss, 42, of Vancouver dead under the vehicle Tuesday evening after they were dispatched to the home in the Fourth Plain Village neighborhood.The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office said Bliss died of multiple blunt-force injuries and ruled his death an accident.Bliss was visiting his son at the time of the accident.The Vancouver Police Department’s major crimes unit is investigating the incident.
Load More The impending closure of the Canidrome follows an ultimatum from the Macau SAR government in 2016 that the Canidrome must either shut down or relocate by this July and that it needed to vastly improve its animal welfare standards should it choose to continue operations at a new location. Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co Ltd’s owner, SJM Co-Chairman and Executive Director Angela Leong, confirmed in January this year that the venue would close down permanently come 20 July rather than seek a new home.In a Wednesday statement, the DICJ said that because the 120-day extension request did not involve holding any further races at the Canidrome, any decision on the request no longer came under its jurisdiction. It has instead forwarded Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co Ltd’s documents to the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau for consideration.“As for the application of the Canidrome to use Macau Jockey Club as a temporary home, the application must be made by Macau Jockey Club to the authority for the supervision of land use and must be approved by the authority responsible for animal protection and management,” the DICJ said.According to the Canidrome, only 127 adoption requests for its greyhounds have been received so far. RelatedPosts Suncity Group looking to develop new resort hotel in Okinawa, Japan after US$10 million land purchase 300-seat cap revealed for 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 Gala Dinner at Galaxy Macau Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co Ltd has asked Macau’s gaming regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), to approve a 120-day extension for the use of facilities at its controversial dog racing track after the 20 July deadline for closure.The request forms part of the company’s official plan for the re-homing of 650 greyhounds submitted to the government this week. Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co Ltd has also proposed a back-up plan that would see it use empty stables at Macau Jockey Club for the temporary housing of greyhounds. Solving the problem
Strong VIP growth sees Okada Manila GGR climb 72% in August RelatedPosts “Gaming is evolving and growing more than ever, and it’s crucial that the industry embraces the diverse and unique people who contribute to the gaming world,” said Scientific Games Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Katharine Anderson. “Scientific Games is proud to be a founding partner of this trailblazing project and celebrates the efforts being made to create an inclusive environment with opportunities for all.”Scientific Games said it will work closely with other members of the All-In Diversity Project, reference the benchmarks created to track the industry’s progress and reflect on its own current state in order to enhance areas of diversity and inclusion.The All-In Diversity Project aims to be a central data resource offering impactful tools that create inclusive products, policies and teams. Load More Scientific Games Corporation is set to become a founding member of the All-In Diversity Project, a non-profit organization creating tools to advance the industry’s diversity, inclusion and workplace equality.As part of its involvement, Scientific Games will work collaboratively with additional partners to determine diversity, equity and inclusion expectations and standards for the gaming industry, while driving a conversation to establish global standards, the company said in an announcement. New Chief Executive vows to protect Macau’s gaming and tourism industry from harm Lack of premium mass strategy begs questions of SJM’s Grand Lisboa Palace launch: analysts
Two thirds (66%) of respondents believe they are most productive when based in the office, compared to 26% who feel they are most productive when working from home, according to research by office interior design organisation Peldon Rose.Its survey of 611 UK employees also found that 45% of respondents feel disconnected from their organisation when working from home.The research also found:40% of respondents feel less motivated when working remotely.50% of respondents find that working remotely can make them feel stressed.43% of respondents believe that working remotely can cause them to feel isolated or lonely, and 53% can feel disconnected from colleagues.69% of respondents believe that having quiet zones to concentrate are important for increasing productivity in the workplace, and 67% find informal break-out areas helpful.Jitesh Patel (pictured), chief executive at Peldon Rose, said: “The survey findings reveal that the remote working trend has come full circle. Office workers are clearly seeing the personal and professional benefits of working alongside colleagues and the drawbacks of isolated working, and they are virtually and physically returning to the office.”
Read the full Employee Benefits/Staffcare Benefits research 2017. EXCLUSIVE: Two-thirds (66%) of employer respondents use the annual employee survey to measure engagement levels among staff, according to research by Employee Benefits and Staffcare.The Employee Benefits/Staffcare Benefits research 2017, which surveyed 271 employer respondents in February-March 2017, also found that 23% of respondents measure employee engagement through pulse-style research.The proportion of respondents that do not measure employee engagement levels has remained relatively static year on year. Some 16% of this year’s respondents said this is the case, compared to 18% in 2016.Respondents’ main barriers to improving engagement in their organisations also remain consistent year on year. Perhaps unsurprisingly budget remains the top impediment in 2017, cited by more than half (53%) of respondents, followed by time or resource (43%). This compares to 47% and 44%, respectively, in 2016.Engagement levels continue to vary greatly across respondents’ organisations. More than half (54%) believe that staff are moderately engaged with benefits within their organisation, while just under a fifth (18%) say that staff are very engaged with benefits. However, the research also shows that nearly a quarter (23%) of staff are only partially engaged with their organisation’s benefits, and 3% believe their staff are not engaged at all.
Something for the weekend: Retail marketing organisation Shopper Media Group (SMG) decided to roll out the red carpet for its latest staff motivation strategy, as it gave four new employees a treat-laden first day in the office, including a helicopter tour of Liverpool.SMG designed what it felt would be the ‘best first day ever’ to celebrate reaching the 100-employee milestone. With four employees scheduled to start on the same day, all four were jointly awarded the title of being the 100th employee recruited to the organisation.The four new joiners, who started at the organisation’s Liverpool office on 22 January 2018, began their first day at SMG in style, as they were picked up by a luxurious, white Hummer limousine. The non-typical, stress-free commute enabled the new employees to share breakfast and Bucks Fizz with their colleagues while they were driven to work.After a red-carpet arrival at the office, the lucky new starters were handed their favourite coffees before being shown to their new desks that had been decorated with balloons and welcome greetings. Packed lunches could also be stowed away as the organisation founders took the four new employees to a nearby restaurant, Elephant, for a three-course lunch.During the afternoon, the new joiners were able to attend their own pop-up café for numerous rounds of tea and cake, which were served by management. A bingo-style scavenger hunt also enabled the new starters to explore the office in order to find and meet key organisation names. The new employee who was first to finish also won a bottle of champagne.Home-time continued the first day extravaganza as the four new employees were treated to a private helicopter tour of Liverpool to enjoy a bird-eye view of their working location.Although the new employees were enjoying their first day at Liverpool, SMG’s offices in Manchester and London also celebrated the organisation’s 100th employee milestone with a celebratory breakfast, group lunch, goody bags and a bottle of champagne for every employee.Matt Lee, co-founder at SMG, said: “When my co-founder and I started the [organisation] nine years ago in my bedroom with just £1,000 that we spent on business cards, we dreamt of creating [an organisation] that would give others the career growth opportunities we had enjoyed. Reaching 100 employees is such an exciting milestone for the [organisation], and we wanted to celebrate this achievement by giving our new starters the ultimate first day at work, and I think we’ve pulled it off.”Joel Hopwood, co-founder at SMG, added: “Building SMG to this scale and size is a result of the creativity, courage and drive to succeed among everyone we have working here today. We always knew reaching this milestone would be a huge occasion for us and everyone who works for the group, so it was natural for us to do something different to mark such a momentous day.“It was important for us to not only do something for those new joiners who have helped us reach the triple digits, but for everyone to be a part of the celebration and for us to come together, take in everything we’ve achieved, and truly feel part of something special and unique. We’ve built our workplace culture around three core values, be hungry, be foolish, be honest, and I like to think [these] activities are a reflection of our foolish yet fun ethos.”Here at Employee Benefits, we think this sounds like an incredible first day, and it certainly tops the list of exciting ice-breaking activities. We wonder if we could swap the tube for a private helicopter ride home…
Four-fifths (80%) of respondents state that feeling appreciated is important for their happiness at work, according to research by workplace consultants Peldon Rose.Its Happy office survey, which polled 1,800 UK office staff in February 2019, also found that 58% believe salary is important for their happiness at work, compared to 55% who say feeling trusted makes them happy.Around two-thirds (67%) of UK office-based employees believe they are happy at work, despite the fact that only 45% feel appreciated and 22% think they have a good organisational culture.The research found that construction and manufacturing sector employees are the happiest, as 78% state they are happy at work, compared to 72% of media and communications staff and a further 72% who work in hospitality and leisure.Retail employees have been found to be the least happy, with 54% of respondents working in this sector saying they are happy at work, below IT and telecoms staff (66%) and those in education (67%).Nearly two-thirds (59%) of respondents believe that full kitchen facilities are important, while other factors that improve the working experience include training and development opportunities (80%), tools and technology to perform work efficiently (79%) and quiet zones to aid concentration (59%).Although being provided with the right tools and technology is important for respondents, only 55% state that they currently receive this.Friendships at work are considered a positive at work by 63% of UK-based office staff, while 43% who list flexible working and 36% who value rewarding work. Furthermore, 67% think that communal social spaces are important in building workplace friendships, while 64% say informal breakout areas aid this.Jitesh Patel (pictured), chief executive officer at Peldon Rose, said: “Happiness is not only crucial to the mental wellbeing of employees, it is also good for business. Happy [employees] will be more productive and creative and more likely to be loyal to their employees.“To improve happiness levels, it is vital that employers demonstrate their appreciation to their employees by investing in training and development, tools and technology and the right office environment.”
Almost two-thirds (65%) of employees who do not currently have access to flexible working arrangements feel they would be more motivated and productive if they could choose their own hours, according to research by co-working organisation The Brew by rent24.The survey of 1,000 professionals also found that 65% believe that choosing their own working hours would help them achieve a better work-life balance. A further 60% felt that this would enable them to work during the times of day when they had the most energy and concentration, rising to 68% of those aged between 18 and 34.More than a quarter (27%) of respondents felt that flexibility would empower staff to better manage their mental health in order to improve motivation and productivity, while 30% stated that it would make them feel more trusted and appreciated.An additional 26% noted that flexible working hours would enable them to more easily manage responsibilities outside of work, such as childcare or dog walking, ensuring that these do not become distractions.More than half (53%) of overall respondents, and 72% of those aged between 18 and 24, agreed that flexible hours would help them get a better night’s sleep or be less tired at work.Only 18% of professionals at small and medium-sized businesses already have access to flexible working arrangements, compared to 14% of respondents aged between 18 and 34 years-old.Andrew Clough (pictured), chief executive officer at The Brew by rent24, said: “How people want to work is changing and our survey highlights that many employers are overlooking the benefits of flexible working, such as employee motivation and productivity.“Not only can it help create a better work-life balance and allow for increased feelings of being trusted and appreciated, but allowing employees to work when it suits their needs could also have a significant impact on their alertness and have important mental health and sleep benefits, which in turn yield a happier and better performing workforce.”
MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Police have arrested a young woman accused of robbing several men on Miami Beach.Police have arrested 21-year-old Yomna Fouad, after one of her alleged victims spotted her out in Miami Beach, over the weekend.He says they met at Dream nightclub last week before going back to his home. The next morning, the man said he awoke to find more than $30,000 worth of jewelry, cash and clothing missing.Fouad now faces multiple charges, including grand theft.Police believe there may be more victims.If you think you may be a victim, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) – A fire broke out near an animal hospital, Friday morning, in Pembroke Pines.SkyForce flew over the scene just before 7:30 a.m., at Southwest 184th Avenue, where fire rescue crews were seen ventilating the animal hospital. According to a witness, the fire broke out at a restaurant next to the animal hospital in the strip mall plaza. Pembroke Pines Fire Dept. is on scene at a restaurant off of Pines Blvd. Things appear to be wrapping up.@wsvn pic.twitter.com/XkM2ZsDMDQ— Andrew Scheinthal (@AScheinthalWSVN) May 19, 2017Due to the fire, the employees at the hospital evacuated with the animals.No injuries were reported due to the fire and smoke.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
COCONUT CREEK, FLA. (WSVN) – A car struck a building, Tuesday morning, in Coconut Creek, which shut down traffic along State Road 7.According to Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Rescue, fire rescue crews responded at around 10 a.m. to the scene, near the intersection of Coconut Creek Parkway and SR-7.Crews said two vehicles crashed into each other before one was sent into the building near the intersection, damaging a window.Officials added that the vehicles sustained moderate to heavy damage as a result of the crash.The drivers of both vehicles have been transported to nearby hospitals in unknown condition.Traffic was shut down along the southbound lanes of SR-7, but lanes have since re-opened.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
#Update: 10th Street/West Ave remains closed. Driver of vehicle transported to JMH and is stable. No children injured. #Traffic pic.twitter.com/JeuaDxNmvB— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) February 8, 2018One student was on board the bus but wasn’t hurt.The driver of the car was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital and is expected to be OK. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A crash involving a car and a school bus in Miami Beach sent one person to the hospital, Thursday afternoon.The car collided with the school bus, near 10th Street and West Avenue.Miami Beach Police tweeted a picture of the collision.