Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656 http://www.masleyassociates.com Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:38:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Group wants songbird off threatened species list – Press-Enterprise http://www.masleyassociates.com/riverside-county-group-wants-songbird-off-threatened-species-list-press-enterprise/ http://www.masleyassociates.com/riverside-county-group-wants-songbird-off-threatened-species-list-press-enterprise/#respond Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:00:54 +0000 http://www.masleyassociates.com/riverside-county-group-wants-songbird-off-threatened-species-list-press-enterprise/ A group of Riverside County property owners, builders and others petitioned the federal government Wednesday to remove Endangered Species Act protections for the coastal California gnatcatcher. The groups cite new DNA evidence showing that the blue-gray songbird is not a distinct subspecies as previously thought, but a single species that ranges from Southern California to […]

The post RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Group wants songbird off threatened species list – Press-Enterprise appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>

A group of Riverside County property owners, builders and others petitioned the federal government Wednesday to remove Endangered Species Act protections for the coastal California gnatcatcher.

The groups cite new DNA evidence showing that the blue-gray songbird is not a distinct subspecies as previously thought, but a single species that ranges from Southern California to the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.

“When the entire gnatcatcher population is taken into view, this species is soaring, not struggling,” said Damien Schiff, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento, who filed the request with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The gnatcatcher was listed as threatened with extinction in 1993. Fish and Wildlife designated 197,303 acres in San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Ventura counties as critical habitat, which is land considered essential for the species’ recovery.

At the time, federal officials estimated the economic impact of those restrictions would total $915 million by 2030. That included delays and non-development of property within the habitat area.

Critical habitat doesn’t affect land ownership or create a refuge, but it does require federal agencies that fund or permit activities on the land to consult with Fish and Wildlife to ensure the land is not destroyed or adversely modified.

Gnatcatchers were once plentiful between Southern California’s coast and mountains, but their numbers declined dramatically as most of their coastal sage brush habitat was gobbled up by development.

The petition to delist the insect-eating bird was based on the 2013 work of Robert Zink, a University of Minnesota biology professor. He found that California’s gnatcatchers are genetically the same as those in Mexico, where they are plentiful. The findings were published in the ornithological journal The Auk.

“It’s the same species whether it crosses a geographic boundary or not,” said Bruce Colbert, executive director of the 300-member Property Owners Association of Riverside County, a nonprofit research and lobbying group that represents entities affected by land-use decisions.

Ileene Anderson, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity, which has sued to protect the gnatcatcher, said populations outside the United States cannot be considered under the Endangered Species Act.

“It would be shocking for the Fish and Wildlife Service to consider populations outside the United States,” she said. “The (U.S.) populations are so limited and have been so impacted by development it’s perfectly legitimate for them to be protected.”

Fish and Wildlife has 90 days to respond to the petition, though the agency’s priority is to handle a backlog of cases with court-ordered deadlines resulting from lawsuits, spokeswoman Jane Hendron said.

The petition was filed on behalf of the Property Owners Association of Riverside County, the Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy and Reliability, the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture, and Business, the California Building Industry Association and the National Association of Home Builders.

The groups first petitioned to have the gnatcatcher delisted in 2010, contending that the bird in California was not a distinct subspecies. Fish and Wildlife requested further DNA analysis – on the nucleus of the gnatcatcher cell, which is inherited from both parents.

Lawyers for the groups say the data show that the species expanded its range into Southern California from Mexico.

Contact the writer: 951-368-9586 or jzimmerman@pe.com


Source

The post RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Group wants songbird off threatened species list – Press-Enterprise appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
http://www.masleyassociates.com/riverside-county-group-wants-songbird-off-threatened-species-list-press-enterprise/feed/ 0
7 Things for ASC Leaders to Know for Thursday – Becker’s ASC Review http://www.masleyassociates.com/7-things-for-asc-leaders-to-know-for-thursday-beckers-asc-review/ http://www.masleyassociates.com/7-things-for-asc-leaders-to-know-for-thursday-beckers-asc-review/#respond Wed, 22 Oct 2014 04:04:25 +0000 http://www.masleyassociates.com/7-things-for-asc-leaders-to-know-for-thursday-beckers-asc-review/ <!-- end print and email links --> <span> Written by Carrie Pallardy&nbsp;| June 12, 2014 </span> Here are seven news updates for ambulatory surgery center leaders to know for June 12, 2014. <strong>Administration to overhaul HealthCare.gov.</strong> <br />The Obama administration is in the process of making a number of changes to HealthCare.gov. The changes are […]

The post 7 Things for ASC Leaders to Know for Thursday – Becker’s ASC Review appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>

            <!-- end print and email links -->

<span>
    Written by Carrie Pallardy&nbsp;| June 12, 2014 </span>

Share on Facebook

    Here are seven news updates for ambulatory surgery center leaders to know for June 12, 2014. <strong>Administration to overhaul HealthCare.gov.</strong> <br />The Obama administration is in the process of making a number of changes to HealthCare.gov. The changes are being made to ensure that the problems that affected the exchange website during the fall will not reoccur during the next enrollment period. HealthCare.gov will also being using Amazon's cloud computing services. 

4 ASCs add pricing data to PricingHealthcare.com.
The Orthopedic Surgery Center of Orange County in Los Angeles; Monticello Surgery Center in Charlottesville, Va.; the Surgery Centers of ENT Institute in Atlanta; and St. George (Utah) Surgical Center have listed pricing data on the website PricingHealthcare.com in June.

Restoration Eye Care to open Missouri ASC.
Restoration Eye Care, the practice of Timothy McGarity, MD, has broken ground on a new ambulatory surgery center, LASIK clinic and cataract clinic in Columbia, Mo. The new facility is being built in response to growing patient need.

AmSurg shares rise in value after Sheridan deal announcement.
Raymond James analyst John Ransom set AmSurg’s price target at $60 and upgraded his recommendation to buy. The upgrade was made closely following AmSurg’s announcement of intention to acquire Sheridan Healthcare for $2.35 billion.

Merritt Healthcare advises Connecticut surgery center during transaction.
Merritt Healthcare advised Fairfield (Conn.) Surgery Center during a transaction in which National Surgical Hospitals acquired an ownership stake in the center. Merritt Healthcare advised the surgery center on selection of a purchaser, due diligence and documentation.

U.S. Endoscopy releases new snare.
U.S. Endoscopy, an endoscopy device design and manufacturing company, has released the Lariat snare. The new snare has a multifunctional design that is created to address multiple polyps and resection needs.

i2itive Business Solutions partners with Medical Recovery Services.
Healthcare revenue management and consultation firm in2itive Business Solutions partnered with Medical Recovery Services to develop and manage an exclusive patient estimator tool for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. The patient estimator tool is designed to collect patient payments before or at the time of service.

More Articles on ASC Issues:
11 Joint Venture ASCs Opened or Announced in 2014
Arise Healthcare to Expand: 5 Things to Know
10 Keys to Being a Great ASC Administrator


© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2012. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

To receive the latest hospital and health system business and legal news and analysis from Becker’s Hospital Review, sign-up for the free Becker’s Hospital Review E-weekly by clicking here.

Source

The post 7 Things for ASC Leaders to Know for Thursday – Becker’s ASC Review appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
http://www.masleyassociates.com/7-things-for-asc-leaders-to-know-for-thursday-beckers-asc-review/feed/ 0
A fit Richards might finally reach Kings’ expectations – OCRegister http://www.masleyassociates.com/a-fit-richards-might-finally-reach-kings-expectations-ocregister/ http://www.masleyassociates.com/a-fit-richards-might-finally-reach-kings-expectations-ocregister/#respond Wed, 22 Oct 2014 04:00:22 +0000 http://www.masleyassociates.com/a-fit-richards-might-finally-reach-kings-expectations-ocregister/ A fit Richards might finally reach Kings’ expectations The Kings’ Mike Richards, right, hire a personal trainer when he returned home to Kenora, Ontario this summer, so he could be more than a fourth-line center this season. KEVIN SULLIVAN, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER EL SEGUNDO – Trust but verify. That’s the approach the Kings took with Mike […]

The post A fit Richards might finally reach Kings’ expectations – OCRegister appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>

A fit Richards might finally reach Kings’ expectations

ontario-home-summer-perso

The Kings’ Mike Richards, right, hire a personal trainer when he returned home to Kenora, Ontario this summer, so he could be more than a fourth-line center this season.
KEVIN SULLIVAN, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

EL SEGUNDO – Trust but verify. That’s the approach the Kings took with Mike Richards this summer.

When General Manager Dean Lombardi decided, last June, not to buy out the rest of Richards’ large contract, he did so with a pointed caveat. Richards needed to report to training camp in improved shape.

No longer would mediocrity be tolerated. Lombardi wasn’t going to budget $5.75 million annually for an underachieving fourth-line center, which is what Richards had essentially become by the end of last season. Did it work? Through two days of training camp, Richards has earned solid reviews.

“I know he’s in shape,’’ training-camp linemate Justin Williams said Saturday. “He did quite a few pull-ups in (the weight room). I’m sure he wants to better himself and establish himself as one of the better centers in the league. He’s done all the right talking, and it seems like he’s done a lot of work as well.’’

After a lengthy meeting with Lombardi in June, Richards went home to Kenora, Ontario, for the summer and hired a personal trainer for the first time since his junior-hockey days as a teenager.

“I hired someone who knew what they were doing,’’ Richards said. “I’ve (trained) for a long time, but you don’t necessarily know the logistics of what you’re doing or why you’re doing it.’’

Richards got a visitor in August, when Lombardi traveled to his hometown.

“We had a workout and a lunch,’’ said Richards, who then added with a grin, “He watched me work out. I think it took him longer to get to Kenora than he actually stayed in Kenora.’’

Rural, scenic Kenora is 130 miles from Winnipeg, the nearest major city, but Lombardi considered it time well spent. He wanted to get a first-hand look at whether he could count on Richards.

When the Kings traded for Richards, in the summer of 2011, they believed he would be the perfect No. 2 center to line up behind Anze Kopitar, an in-his-prime 30-goal scorer who could also tenaciously defend.

It hasn’t really worked out. In 204 regular-season games with the Kings, Richards has 117 points. Last season, he scored only 11 goals, his lowest full-season output since he was a rookie in Philadelphia.

“It was just one of those things that started snowballing, and I couldn’t stop it,’’ Richards said. “I’m glad that it ended with a win, because you don’t want to waste a full season.’’

Privately, Kings executives groused about Richards’ conditioning. After the most recent lockout, teams had the option to use compliance buyouts and drop players from their roster. Even as the Kings lifted the Stanley Cup last June, Lombardi hadn’t yet decided whether to keep Richards or buy out his final six years.

Did Richards fear that the Kings might cut him loose?

“A little bit,’’ Richards said. “I like it here. My family likes it here. My girlfriend likes it here. So I wanted to be here. Obviously, on the ice speaks for itself, but just everything about it, I want to be here. Whether I thought it would happen, I don’t know if I ever did, but there was always that possibility that made me nervous.’’



Source

The post A fit Richards might finally reach Kings’ expectations – OCRegister appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
http://www.masleyassociates.com/a-fit-richards-might-finally-reach-kings-expectations-ocregister/feed/ 0
The Two Elk Saga Part 6: “Shame on them” – WyoFile http://www.masleyassociates.com/the-two-elk-saga-part-6-shame-on-them-wyofile/ http://www.masleyassociates.com/the-two-elk-saga-part-6-shame-on-them-wyofile/#respond Wed, 22 Oct 2014 03:09:04 +0000 http://www.masleyassociates.com/the-two-elk-saga-part-6-shame-on-them-wyofile/ National Energy Technology Laboratory, Pittsburgh, PA “To have some jokers take that money and put it in their pocket and to have them be totally incompetent, shame on them.” — Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer by Rone Tempest— June 10, 2014 Just when things looked bleakest for his Two Elk power plant project, Mike Ruffatto […]

The post The Two Elk Saga Part 6: “Shame on them” – WyoFile appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
2elk-part-6National Energy Technology Laboratory, Pittsburgh, PA

“To have some jokers take that money and put it in their pocket and to have them be totally incompetent, shame on them.”Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer

by Rone Tempest
— June 10, 2014

re-cap-part6

Just when things looked bleakest for his Two Elk power plant project, Mike Ruffatto got an unexpected helping hand from President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the administration’s $787-billion stimulus program to create jobs and revive the moribund economy.

In the first half of 2009, the problems facing Ruffatto and Two Elk had looked overwhelming.

The project had nearly tripled in cost, from $330 million to over $900 million, in the nearly 14 years since it was first proposed.

Relations had deteriorated with the major Powder River Basin coal companies that were supposed to supply the “waste coal” to burn in the Two Elk plant. And there was no sign anywhere of a power supply transmission agreement, essential to Ruffatto’s plans.

The tax-exempt industrial development bonds that had been one of Ruffatto’s main selling points to investors were being audited by the Internal Revenue Service to see if they still complied with federal laws, which, it turned out, they didn’t.

And if the IRS audit were not bad enough, the bond market itself had collapsed in the 2008 economic crisis. NAPG had been forced to buy back the $445 million bonds from the bankers who held them, and place them in escrow.

Mike RuffattoMike Ruffatto

“Obviously, the entire municipal bond market totally fell apart,” Ruffatto recounted in a September 2011 interview with WyoFile. “We bought them and are holding them on our balance sheet to be used later for the project.”

Meanwhile, Ruffatto had some unanticipated expenses in his California operations. In 2008, he had to finance half of a $14 million refit of the Rocklin biomass plant he co-owned with Constellation Energy.

Faced with all these financial challenges, Ruffatto in the summer of 2009 put his California luxury beach home in Corona del Mar on the market and shortly after that put his four prized California power plants — in Bakersfield, Fresno and Rocklin — up for sale.

According to state real estate records, Ruffatto and his first wife Joan in 2004 had bought the Bayside Place house — a stunning, two-story, four-bedroom, four-bathroom, Mediterranean-style structure with its own private pier and giant boat slip for their motor yacht — for $7.8 million. Joan died in 2007 from complications of lupus. In July 2009, according to the Orange County Business Journal, Ruffatto sold the house to Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno for $12.1 million.

Mike Ruffatto bought this waterfront home at 105 Bayside Place, Corona del Mar, California, in 2004 for $7.8 million.Mike Ruffatto bought this waterfront home at 105 Bayside Place, Corona del Mar, California, in 2004 for $7.8 million.

In an even more significant effort to raise capital, Ruffatto then put his 50 percent share of the four California power plants — the plants that had been the core of his North American Power Group since he acquired them out of bankruptcy court in 1992 — up for sale for an undisclosed price. The sale was to be handled by New Harbor, a boutique New York investment bank.

According to a former business associate, Ruffatto received at least one attractive offer for the four power plants.

But thanks to the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Ruffatto did not have to sell.

“He left money on the table,” said the former business associate, who spoke with WyoFile on the condition that he not be named in the article.

In early September 2009, Ruffatto was notified by the federal Department of Energy that North American Power Group had been selected as one of 10 recipients of stimulus grants to study “promising geologic formations for CO2 storage.”

Ruffatto’s successful proposal to the DOE National Energy & Technology Laboratory  (NETL) was to study the carbon sequestration potential of his 880-acre Two Elk site. The Powder River Basin, along with the Rock Springs Uplift in southwest Wyoming, had long been considered possible sites for CO2 storage.

NAPG got a $4.9 million grant from the DOE in 2009 and another $5 million grant for the same project in 2010.

The stimulus program was not designed to rescue private companies facing financial difficulties. Its purpose was to stimulate new business and create new jobs.

Overnight, however, the DOE grants allowed Ruffatto to meet his existing company payroll and possibly even enhance his Wyoming property, while waiting to resurrect his dream of an energy empire in the Wyoming high plains south of Gillette.

This is what the Two Elk location looked like after more than a decade of supposed power plant construction activity. Yet Mike Ruffatto was able to win $10 million in a DOE stimulus program to conduct a carbon sequestration characterization study. (click to enlarge)This is what the Two Elk location looked like after more than a decade of supposed power plant construction activity. Yet Mike Ruffatto was able to win $10 million in a DOE stimulus program to conduct a carbon sequestration characterization study. (click to enlarge)

But NAPG was not the only applicant for stimulus funds to study underground carbon storage in the Powder River Basin. In fact, a number of scientists and engineers interviewed for this story did not think NAPG was even the best candidate.

“The shame of it was that there was another, worthy project up on the Crow reservation in southern Montana that got edged out by NAPG for the stimulus grant,” said an engineer familiar with both projects.

Montana State University submitted an application on behalf of the Crow Nation to study carbon storage on the tribe’s reservation, which straddles the Powder River Basin in southeastern Montana.

The Montana State team, directed by Dr. Lee Spangler, a physical chemist who heads the university’s Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership, assembled an impressive team of participants in the project — called “Many Stars Site Characterization Study” — including the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and sequestration industry leader Schlumberger Carbon Services.

The Many Stars proposal predicted that the stimulus grant would create jobs for nearly 100 people on the reservation during the seismic and drilling phases.

Linked to the Crow Tribe’s proposed $7 billion Many Stars coal-to-liquids effort, the sequestration grant was viewed by tribal leaders, including then-chairman Cedric Black Eagle, as a step toward lifting the reservation out of its wrenching poverty while simultaneously protecting the environment.

“We were very cognizant of the effects of CO2. We were concerned and we wanted to be good stewards of the earth,” said Black Eagle. “When they told us that we didn’t get it we were disappointed, but we assumed our grant proposal wasn’t written well enough.”

Former Crow tribal chairman Cedric Black Eagle was perplexed by the Many Stars rejection in favor of Two Elk.Former Crow tribal chairman Cedric Black Eagle was perplexed by the Many Stars rejection in favor of Two Elk.

Why NAPG’s Two Elk proposal was chosen over the Crow Nation project is not clear. Federal agencies generally do not release details of decision-making processes involving competing proposals. Since January 2012, when the DOE suspended the Two Elk carbon project for accounting irregularities, all questions about the project have been referred to the U.S. Attorney office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

DOE denied WyoFile’s June 2013 Freedom of Information Act request because of what the Department stated are ongoing, concurrent investigations by the DOE Inspector General and the Department of Justice.

There seems to be no obvious political explanation for the award to Ruffatto, nor evidence of his having any inside track to the Obama administration. The Montana State Many Stars effort was part of a package that had the full and vocal support of Montana’s Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a prominent Democrat.

“The beauty of Many Stars,” recalled Schweitzer, now out of office and chairman of a Montana mining company, “is that you were in a place that has 50 percent unemployment and the youngest population in Montana, and it’s rural. ‘Needy’ is one way of putting it. But they also have 3 billion tons of coal on the Crow reservation. All the numbers are aligned and, frankly, shame on anybody who took the money and didn’t move the ball in terms of carbon sequestration.”

 Former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer was a leading proponent of the Many Stars projectFormer Montana governor Brian Schweitzer was a leading proponent of the Many Stars project.

Judging only by contributions to political candidates, Ruffatto does not appear strongly affiliated with either major party, and certainly not with Obama. Over the years, he has given money to candidates and committees for both parties, Democrat and Republican. Before the 2008 presidential primary campaign, Mike and Joan Ruffatto each gave $2,300 to Obama’s strongest opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Similarly, although his son worked for North American Power Group, no record has surfaced of any effort by Wyoming U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi (R) to influence the awards of carbon sequestration stimulus grants, although the senator did write letters supporting other, unrelated stimulus proposals in Wyoming.

Another mystery surrounding the choice of North American is the unusual decision by DOE to extend by one week the application deadline for the stimulus grant — a decision that appears to have primarily benefited one applicant, Ruffatto’s North American Power Group.

Without the extension, said two men who worked on the proposal,  North American’s last-minute application likely would not have been completed in time.

John Talbott, who was then managing director and project manager for the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership, through his position at Montana State was involved in both the Many Stars and North American Power Group proposals. The Many Stars bid, Talbott said, was completed well ahead of the deadline.

“But it was late in the game when North American contacted us, relatively close to the deadline,” Talbott recalled in an interview with WyoFile. “I can remember doing a lot of work on the weekend trying to get that one turned around and then it was subsequently extended which gave us more time to work on it.”

Former Montana State University carbon specialist John Talbott worked on both Two Elk and Many Stars.Former Montana State University carbon specialist John Talbott worked on both Two Elk and Many Stars.

A drilling engineer who also worked on the hurried North American bid agreed.

“It literally takes months and months to do a proper proposal like this,” said the engineer, whose company was involved in several similar projects. “I was contacted by Mike (Ruffatto) less than a week before the application was due. He kept calling me over the weekend for more cost estimates. Without the extension they wouldn’t have made it in time.”

“After all of the applications were finally in,” the engineer continued, “we did a kind of handicapping around the office  about the possibilities. I remember saying ‘This one doesn’t have a chance in hell.’”

John Talbott, who is currently at Oregon State University in Corvallis, said “I have to admit I was surprised when Two Elk (NAPG) got the grant. Many Stars seemed like a better proposal to us, primarily because we had time to work on it and the Two Elk project was a kind of ‘hurry up’ thing. Like I said, we cranked that thing out in a matter of a week or less.”

Responding to WyoFile requests for more information about the extraordinary deadline extension that allowed Mike Ruffatto and North American Power Group into the competition, National Energy Technology Laboratory chief counsel Paul Detwiler said the laboratory could find no records explaining why the extension was granted nor who requested it. Such extensions are considered very rare and and are usually well documented.

In addition to its last-minute nature, NAPG’s proposal was in several other ways a conspicuous anomaly among the 10 projects that received the carbon sequestration stimulus grants. The rejected Montana State-Crow Nation proposal, in fact, was much more like the other successful candidates.

Seven of the other recipients were universities — including the University of Wyoming — with project leadership, almost all scientists or engineers, already working in the field of carbon sequestration. The two other private companies that won stimulus grants to look at CO2 storage, Sandia Technologies in Houston and Geomechanics Technologies in Monrovia, California, were scientific and engineering consulting firms that already had broad experience in sequestration technology.

Unlike Two Elk, UW successfully drilled the deep site characterization well that was the centerpiece of  the federal stimulus grant (courtesy University of Wyoming — click to enlarge)Unlike Two Elk, UW successfully drilled the deep site characterization well that was the centerpiece of the federal stimulus grant (courtesy University of Wyoming — click to enlarge)

In all of the other cases, the stimulus grant manager, called the “chief investigator,” was a scientist or an engineer with established credentials in the field. In the case of the “Two Elk Energy Park Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage Applications Project,” the chief investigator was Mike Ruffatto, a Stanford political science major and a graduate of the University of South Carolina law school.

Moreover, all of the other projects specified the new jobs they would add to the economy, almost all of them scientific or technical positions. The University of Utah, for example, listed some 11 new jobs created by its sequestration project, including positions as “research scientist,” “geologist,” “geological technician,” “physical science researcher,” and “drilling manager.”

Geomechanics Technologies reported that it added “staff geologist and research engineer” positions to study offshore sequestration potential not far from Los Angeles.

The University of Wyoming reported hiring “four research scientist associates” for its successful proposal to study sequestration potential in the Rock Springs Uplift. The UW project’s chief investigator was Prof. Ronald C. Surdam, the former state geologist and a nationally recognized expert on carbon sequestration geology.

Surdam, who at the time received a $210,000 annual salary from the University of Wyoming, took no compensation from the stimulus grant.

Renowned geologist Ronald Surdam led the successful UW project while drawing no salary from the federal stimulus grantRenowned geologist Ronald Surdam led the successful UW project while drawing no salary from the federal stimulus grant

In contrast, the Two Elk sequestration project added no new jobs. Instead, Ruffatto paid himself and five employees from his own company to do stimulus grant work, although much of that work was never clearly defined.

Ruffatto, at $214.30 an hour, was the most highly paid. Vice President Brad Enzi, who majored in communications at the University of Wyoming, earned $80.29 an hour. Matt Munford, a former UW strength and conditioning coach, was paid $57.69 an hour.

By putting himself and his existing staff on the stimulus grant payroll, Ruffatto added a layer to the Two Elk project that did not exist in any of the other grants.

Pay vouchers obtained by WyoFile under a 2011 Freedom of Information Act request showed that from September 16, 2009, through July 31, 2011, Ruffatto was paid $955,343.29; Enzi $128,394.73;  and Munford $44,050.32, all from public stimulus grant funds.

The stimulus money, in fact, accounted for a significant amount of the total compensation that Enzi, Munford and other employees received from 2010 until early 2012, when the federal grant was suspended for accounting irregularities. In separate interviews with WyoFile both Enzi and Munford said their regular salaries remained unchanged despite the additional stimulus grant work.

“I received a paycheck from North American Power every two weeks,” said Munford, who is no longer with the company and now works as a real estate salesman in Cheyenne. “My paycheck was the same amount every time, except when the health insurance switched around and that is what I received from North American. Now anything after that or anything further or deeper than that Mike Ruffatto’s going to have to provide that information to you.

“Mike Ruffatto is ultimately accountable,” said Munford, who was in charge of finding transmission for the Two Elk power plant. “He’s like a head coach.”

Brad Enzi, vice president of North American Power Group is a 1997 University of Wyoming journalism-communications graduateBrad Enzi, vice president of North American Power Group is a 1997 University of Wyoming journalism-communications graduate

In a September 2013 divorce filing in Laramie County Court, Brad Enzi reported his annual income as $146,520. Federal pay vouchers show that before the stimulus grant was suspended, most of this amount was paid with taxpayer funds. In fact, during the life of the federal grant, Ruffatto used stimulus funds to pay most of the regular salaries of Enzi and several other employees at North American Power Group.

However, these payments represent only part of the full amount of salaries and benefits paid to NAPG employees from public funds. The Freedom of Information Act materials released to WyoFile did not show the salaries and benefits paid in the second half of the year, from July 31, 2011, until January 2012, when DOE suspended the grant.

In a September 20, 2011, interview with WyoFile, Ruffatto described his work on the stimulus grant as “labor intensive” and said that to do the work he took a pay cut.

“It (his stimulus grant income) was deeply discounted from my salary to arrive at what we thought would be fair for the DOE and approved by them,” Ruffatto said. In one month alone — October 2010 — he charged the federal government $76,369.52 for his efforts, claiming that he had put 76 hours a week into the project.

In interviews with WyoFile, both Brad Enzi and Matt Munford said they were unsure how the pay they received from the stimulus grant was calculated, since they continued to get what had been their regular NAPG salary.

Brad Enzi, who has played in the band Bell Diablos, earned $80.29 per hour while working on the DOE stimulus project. (click to enlarge)Brad Enzi, who has played in the band Bell Diablos, earned $80.29 per hour while working on the DOE stimulus project. (click to enlarge)

“All the accounting is handled out of Denver, I just don’t know,” said Enzi.

Both Enzi and Munford were equally vague about what, exactly, they did for the stimulus project, and what percentage of time they spent on the federal payroll compared to their other, primary duties working on the Two Elk power plant project.

“I don’t mean to be obtuse, but I have no idea how the bills back out,” said Enzi. “I just turn in my time sheet to Denver.”

“Ruffatto had brought in some supposedly big guns from different places,” said Munford. “We spent a lot of time wearing a lot of different hats, but for whatever reason I don’t know. For me to speculate on any of that would be out of my context. It’s not my place.”

Asked to look at the Two Elk carbon project hours and rates, engineers and managers from other, similar, stimulus grants were puzzled about how it would have been possible to log the number of hours reported by Ruffatto and his team, when the true work of the project, the actual science and research, were out of their domain.

“It’s not about the pay rate,” said one experienced engineer after going over Ruffatto’s NAPG pay vouchers. “It’s the number of hours. That’s the key. What was he doing during those hours?”

In interviews, Ruffatto is defensive about his qualifications to direct and manage what was essentially a scientific and engineering project.

“I don’t have the background in the sense of formal training,” Ruffatto told WyoFile. “But I was involved in oil and gas operations for a number of years in the 1970s, and on the exploration side, too.”

Nowhere is it clear what Ruffatto was doing. In a September 2010 interview with Colorado journalist Allen Best, Ruffatto compared his company’s carbon sequestration research to mass production of ships in World War II. To get the stimulus grant, Ruffatto had proposed drilling a deep characterization well; but now, he claimed to be working on a design for … something. Something grand, grandiose, of worldwide significance.

“You need the equivalent of a Henry Kaiser Victory Ship,” Ruffatto said. “That is what we are trying to do in our project, not just showing how carbon capture works but designing something that can be easily replicated, not just in the United States, but around the world.”

Mike Ruffatto compared carbon sequestration research to the WWII victory ships program. (click to enlarge)]Mike Ruffatto compared carbon sequestration research to the WWII victory ships program. (click to enlarge)

In his stimulus grant proposal to the Department of Energy, Ruffatto said he had contracted with two universities and several leading engineering firms to conduct the geological research and drilling.

His alma mater, Stanford University, Ruffatto said would receive $625,943 to analyze existing data from the area around the Two Elk site, and also interpret the results of a 15,000-foot “deep characterization well” that would be the centerpiece of the stimulus project.

Montana State University, which lost out for the same stimulus grant in its bid on behalf of the Crow Nation, would be paid $255,379 to do some of the same kind of research.

International energy giant Schlumberger Technology Corp., Ruffatto reported, “will assume responsibility for the drilling contractor and overall completion of the well.” Ruffatto said that Petrotek Engineering Corp., a leading Colorado-based underground injection consulting firm, would handle “injection control and permitting” for the project.

On paper, at least, it looked like Ruffatto had lined up an impressive team.

By the time the DOE pulled the plug on the Two Elk stimulus grant in January 2012, however, it was clear that none of these sub-contractor relationships had worked out as Ruffatto had advertised, mainly because the “deep characterization well,” on which the whole project was based, was never drilled.

Without a deep well to study the underground geology, said Stanford’s Dr. Sally Benson, an internationally recognized ground water hydrologist, the university ran out of things to do. Stanford terminated its participation in 2011 after receiving only $99,917.03 — about 15 percent — of its sub-contract with NAPG.

“I’ve thought a lot about this and I simply do not know what motivated the project to turn out like it did,” Benson told WyoFile. “It would be unfair to speculate.”

Montana State’s participation ended in September 2011, after it received $124.913.08, less than half of its NAPG sub-contract. “By that time,” said Talbott, then at Montana State, “everyone decided that this was not what we thought it was going to be so let’s cut and run.”

Petrotek engineer Hal Demuth said his company “did some work on the project but, in the end, the underground injection was never permitted by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.”

A deep characterization well — the centerpiece of the DOE stimulus project — was never drilled at the Two Elk site in northeast Wyoming (click to enlarge)

Schlumberger’s chief carbon sequestration engineer, meanwhile, said his company’s relationship with NAPG never got past the informal stage.

“There were initial discussions regarding Schlumberger supervising the drilling, but negotiations never started,” said Wayne Rowe, Western U.S. Program Manager for Schlumberger Carbon Services. “And no contract to do so was ever offered or signed.”

Other than a recent statement that “Two Elk is a very complex project with significant challenges for science, technology, finance and oversight,” Ruffatto has never publicly explained why the deep well was never drilled in the Two Elk stimulus project.

The two most similar stimulus projects in the Rocky Mountain region, one by the University of Wyoming near Rock Springs and another by the University of Utah near Craig, Colorado, both were successful in drilling their deep characterization wells, on time and on budget.

As early as March 2011, subcontractors involved with the Two Elk carbon project were already becoming concerned about the lack of progress, particularly Ruffatto’s failure to sign contracts for some preliminary procedures, such as drilling a series of shallow “monitor wells” to test seismic levels at the site.

“We kept thinking, why can’t he get a simple contract to drill a well?” said one of the participants in a March 24 meeting with Ruffatto at his Greenwood Village, Colorado, headquarters. “Ruffatto was supposed to get a contract, but it went on forever. No contract. No contract. No contract.”

One of those attending the March 2011 meeting was Scott Heimer, co-owner of Water System Drilling in Gillette, the company that was supposed to drill the monitor wells.

“We were in a way fancy conference room. Schlumberger, myself, Petrotek, Tom Dea (of TZA Water Engineers, Lakewood, Colorado), Brad Enzi and Matt Munford, all talking about the plan to move forward and the depth they wanted me to go,” said Heimer. “They wanted me to put up a bond. I said I’d have to have a signed contract, but I never got one. After that, I kind of pulled the plug on Two Elk. I figured I had already put in a couple of hundred hours on that project, and never got a dime.”

It is unclear when the DOE, and its National Energy Technology Laboratory that was supposedly overseeing the stimulus grants, became alarmed about accounting irregularities and lack of progress on the Two Elk stimulus project.

According to a March 2013 report by the DOE Inspector General’s office, the agency was already concerned about the lack of detailed documentation from NAPG for the $4.9 million grant the company had received in September 2009, but despite this, the agency gave another $5 million to the company a year later, in September 2010.

The WyoFile story detailing the large salaries paid to Ruffatto, Enzi, and other NAPG employees also appeared in September 2011.

For that story, National Energy Technology Laboratory chief counsel R. Paul Detwiler told WyoFile that the Two Elk project had been reviewed and audited for 2009 and 2010, and that “no issues were identified during the audits.”

Deputy DOE Inspector General Rickey Hass audited the suspended Two Elk stimulus grantDeputy DOE Inspector General Rickey Hass audited the suspended Two Elk stimulus grant

In his March 2013 report, the DOE inspector general did not identify NAPG by name, but the facts of the case described — including dates, award percentages, amounts of money, suspension by the DOE — perfectly match NAPG and no other project. Rickey Hass, the DOE deputy inspector general for audits and inspections, declined to comment. However, a spokesman for his office said “we stand by our report.”

The IG report said that after the company received the additional $5 million in 2010, “the recipient did not respond to numerous requests from program officials for documentation or questions related to the scope of the work.”

The inspector general reported that “officials suspended the award in January 2012 because the project was behind schedule, and the recipient failed to meet key deliverables.” The inspector general’s office said it continues to question approximately “$3.7 million in costs reimbursed by the Department.”

Following the DOE’s suspension of the Two Elk stimulus grant in 2012, all questions about the project have been referred to Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Skirtich in Pittsburgh, which has jurisdiction over the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Skirtich is an expert on prosecutions of fraud under federal False Claims Act. In September 2012, for example, he spoke before the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Inspectors on the subject, “Proving Fraud and Recovering Assets.”

Citing ongoing concurrent investigations by his office and the DOE inspector general, Skirtich has declined to comment on the case. In his most recent statement to WyoFile,  Ruffatto said “North American Power Group is cooperating with the U.S. government in determining where problems may have occurred and the best course to follow going forward.”

At some point, however, the focus of the federal probe into the Two Elk stimulus project shifted from what Mike Ruffatto did not spend money doing — namely, drilling the deep characterization well that was to be the focus of the research — to what he actually billed the government for reimbursement from public funds.

One invoice in particular stands out.

According to Ruffatto’s last quarterly report on the project, he billed the government — and received — $2,791,103 to pay one of his subsidiaries, North American Land & Livestock for “heavy equipment mobilization; drilling pad and mud pit construction; drilling water procurement and layout area preparation.” North American Land & Livestock did not do the work, but hired it out.

According to engineers on other similar sequestration projects in Wyoming and Colorado, the kind of work described is a routine first stage before the actual drilling of a deep well.

The only problem, said one engineer involved in the University of Utah sequestration grant in Craig, Colorado, is that such work should never cost more than $150,000. “And that’s if you have to build a road into the site,” he added. “You could have drilled a deep well for that amount of money.”

The Two Elk project did not have to build a road into the site. That had already been done in 2005 as part of the old Two Elk power plant project.

Meanwhile, the owner of the Gillette company that performed the site preparation work described in Ruffatto’s voucher for North American Land & Livestock, told WyoFile that he was paid much less than $2.7 million.

Looking through documents in his office, Tyler Miller, owner of Earth Work Solutions, found e-mail exchanges with NAPG vice president Brad Enzi and vouchers for work his company did at the site in February and March 2011, billed to North American Land & Livestock.

“Looks like we did some leveling, layout, and three different water well pads. It was a pretty big footprint,” Miller said.

Miller said he found only three records of payment – for $51,000; $23,000 and $12,000.”

“There was a lot more planned, but we were paid in full for what we did,”  Miller said.

The total: $86,000.

Recent developments

With the stimulus grant under investigation by the U.S. attorney and DOE Inspector General and his ambitious plans for a Wyoming electricity empire continuing to flounder, Mike Ruffatto then turned back to California — the site of his impressive early business successes — for his two newest ventures. But both projects, a solar facility and a natural gas power plant, have suffered serious setbacks recently that threaten their futures.

In November 2011, Ruffatto’s North American Power Group won a bid to build a 15-megawatt solar energy facility for the Marin Energy Authority in Northern California.

However, according to Marin Energy executive director Dawn Weisz, that contract was cancelled in late 2012 because of  North American’s failure to meet several project milestones, including a commencement-of-construction deadline of February 2012. Another issue was that Ruffatto had changed the site of the proposed solar facility from Placer County in northern California to property he owned in Kern County in southern California.

Marin Energy's Dawn Weisz cancelled NAPG solar contract for failure to meet deadlinesMarin Energy’s Dawn Weisz cancelled NAPG solar contract for failure to meet deadlines.

Marin declared North American in breach of contract and confiscated $500,000 Ruffatto had put up as a construction bond.

Ruffatto, meanwhile, told the Marin Independent Journal newspaper in March 2013 that it was all a misunderstanding.

“We don’t think we are in default nor that it was an effective cancellation of the contract,” Ruffatto said. “We ran into an unexpected problem last fall that may have led to some misunderstandings with Marin Energy Authority. We have the financing, project permits, regulatory approvals and are ready to go ahead and complete the project.”

No way, said executive director Weisz in an interview with WyoFile.

“We terminated the contract and that’s the end of it,” said Weisz.

Late last month, another California power project in which North American Power Group has a 49 percent interest suffered a potentially fatal blow when a southern California utility that had agreed to buy the power withdrew its support.

The project was a partnership with a newly formed company called Native American Energy Resources to build a 56-megawatt natural gas power plant, named Jasmin III, for San Diego Gas & Electric Company on the site near Bakersfield where North American Power Group jointly owns two coal-fired power with Japan’s IHI Power Services Corporation.

Native American Energy Resources’ president is Eric Hoffman, a member of the northern California Karuk Indian tribe. Although Hoffman lives in northern California, the company’s headquarters is in the North American Power Group office suite in Irvine, Ca.

In an interview, Hoffman said the company is not sponsored by the Karuk tribe. However, because he is Native American, the company qualifies under California law as a “Diverse Business Enterprise” which gives it certain preferential advantages before the California Public Utilities Commission, the industry regulator.

In a July 3, 2013, letter San Diego Gas & Electric urged the California PUC to approve a power purchase agreement it had executed with Native American Resources.

However, North American Power Group’s Japanese partner claimed in a series of letters that Ruffatto did not have the authority to offer the Bakersfield site for a new power plant.

In an April 4, 2014, letter to the state utility commission,  IHI Power corporate counsel Matthew Adams informed the commission that the Native American Resources-North American Power Group proposal contained a critical “material misstatement” related to greenhouse gas reduction credits that the applicants claimed to have under their control.

“On behalf of IHI power,” Adams wrote, “we write to advise you that NAER does not have the right to use or allocate any greenhouse gas/CO2 reduction benefits” related to the proposed Jasmin III plant. Any such decisions, Adams wrote, would require “IHI Power’s consent.”

Then in an April 22, 2014, letter to the PUC the San Diego utility withdrew its request for approval, leaving this project, like the solar project to the north, in the lurch.

ButtonRuffatto has since told associates that he plans once again to put his interest in the four California power plants — in Rocklin, Fresno and the two in Bakersfield — up for sale.

— Rone Tempest was a longtime national and foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. One of the co-founders of WyoFile, he served as its editor from 2008 to 2011. His first story on the Two Elk power plant project appeared in February, 2008. Tempest lives in Lander.

Sources & Acknowledgements

EDITOR’S NOTE: This Two Elk series, supported by grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism and WyoFile founder Christopher Findlater, is an extensive case study of one troubled project; its audacious Colorado-based promoter, and the state and federal officials who kept the project alive despite numerous warning signs that it was a scheme beyond saving. This is the final installment of WyoFile’s Two Elk Saga series. Click here for a complete catalogue of this series, including the Introduction and Parts 1-6.

SUPPORT: If you find this report valuable, please consider making a donation to WyoFile so that we can continue to bring you in-depth, uncompromising journalism in Wyoming. Your donations are what make a series like the Two Elk Saga possible.

REPUBLISH THIS STORY: WyoFile encourages all news outlets to republish its original content for free, while strictly insisting that proper credit is given to the author and to WyoFile. Please include a link to WyoFile.com for all online republications. Click here for details on how to republish WyoFile stories. WyoFile cannot authorize reuse of some photos, so please contact the owner of the image directly for permissions.

Print Friendly

Written by | Published on June 10, 2014 | Filed under: Featured,Two Elk,Two Elk Saga 2014

Keywords: , ,
Published on June 10, 2014
Source

The post The Two Elk Saga Part 6: “Shame on them” – WyoFile appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
http://www.masleyassociates.com/the-two-elk-saga-part-6-shame-on-them-wyofile/feed/ 0
Researcher on the trail of desert ‘monsters’ – Las Vegas Review-Journal http://www.masleyassociates.com/researcher-on-the-trail-of-desert-monsters-las-vegas-review-journal/ http://www.masleyassociates.com/researcher-on-the-trail-of-desert-monsters-las-vegas-review-journal/#respond Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:00:55 +0000 http://www.masleyassociates.com/researcher-on-the-trail-of-desert-monsters-las-vegas-review-journal/ The sun is up and the heat is building, so Jason Jones heads out to look for monsters. With a hand-held radio and what looks like an old rooftop TV antenna, he walks through a pocket of desert south of Las Vegas, listening for the tell-tale pulses that will lead him to his research subjects. […]

The post Researcher on the trail of desert ‘monsters’ – Las Vegas Review-Journal appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
The sun is up and the heat is building, so Jason Jones heads out to look for monsters.

With a hand-held radio and what looks like an old rooftop TV antenna, he walks through a pocket of desert south of Las Vegas, listening for the tell-tale pulses that will lead him to his research subjects.

Jones is the state reptile biologist for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, and for a little more than a year he’s been tracking Gila monsters across four square-miles of rocks and cactus in hopes of learning more about this easily recognizable but little understood creature.

“There’s a lot of folklore about monsters, but there’s a lot that’s not known about their ecology,” Jones said. “That’s part of the mystique.”

So far, he has six of the large lizards fitted with tracking devices — two with small temporary units attached to their backs, the other four with surgically implanted transmitters the size and shape of cocktail wieners.

Each device emits pulses on a unique frequency so Jones can search for a specific lizard and tell whether it is out and about based on its body temperature. The pulses get louder the closer he gets to each animal, but that doesn’t make them easy to find.

On this day, Jones comes up empty. His transceiver leads him to three of his monsters, but none are above ground. The best he can do is zero in on the holes where they’re hiding, try to look inside with a small mirror, and mark down their probable locations and other basic information in his notebook. Each entry on this Wednesday will go down as “signal” only.

“That’s how it goes when you study the secret lives of monsters. You’re not always guaranteed an observation,” Jones said.

ONLY A MONSTER TO ITS PREY

He began his research project in the spring 2013. He hopes to continue the work for at least another two years, assuming his tracking devices and his funding hold out.

Gila monsters are known for their broad heads, stocky frames and beaded armor, which comes in various shades of orange and black. Each monster wears a unique pattern on its skin as distinct and identifiable as a human fingerprint.

They are also known as the only venomous lizard in the U.S. and one of only two found anywhere in the world. But like other creatures with poisonous bites, Gila monsters “get a bad rap,” Jones said.

Though big among desert reptiles, they still only measure about 18 inches long and weigh little more than a pound. They feed on small mammal babies and the eggs of other reptiles and ground-nesting birds. They pose no real threat to people.

“I think if you were a small (kangaroo) rat kid, it would definitely be the thing that lives under your bed,” Jones said. “For humans, they’re the furthest thing from a monster.”

He has never been bitten, but he has heard the experience is like cutting yourself with a knife and then setting fire to the wound. Still, Jones said, there has never been a single confirmed case of someone dying from a Gila monster bite.

He is studying a specific subspecies known as the banded Gila monster, which is only found in small portions of Southern Nevada, Southern Utah, Northern Arizona and, in rare cases, eastern California. Unlike its better-known cousin, the Sonoran Desert’s reticulated Gila monster, pretty much everything that scientists know about the banded variety comes from two studies. Jones’ would be the third.

“We’re still trying to understand their range and distribution,” he said.

He hopes his work will shed new light on everything from their behavior — what conditions cause them to emerge from the ground and move around — to why they live where they do. The answers to some of those questions could help expand the understanding of fellow reptiles such as the desert tortoise and the rattlesnake and of the desert ecosystem at large.

It could also help shed some light on the impacts of climate change. If, for example, shifting climate patterns result in less monsoonal rain in the northern Mojave Desert, it could spell trouble for the Gila monster and other native species, Jones said.

The species is also worthy of study because it has managed to survive for roughly 80 million years. “And really when you look at the fossil record, they haven’t changed at all. Their body plan works really well,” Jones said.

A LIFE SPENT OUT OF VIEW

Ideally, research like his would involve at least 30 test subjects, “but with something that’s so hard to find, we’re pretty happy to have six,” he said.

That’s because the Gila monster spends the bulk of its life — 80 to as much as 95 percent of it — hiding underground, where the cold-blooded creature can better regulate its temperature and keep itself safe from predators and the elements.

Jones hopes to add at least a few more monsters to his test group, but he knows it won’t be easy.

Once he finds and catches a new lizard, he must arrange to have the state’s only wildlife veterinarian travel down from Reno to implant a tracking device. Jones doesn’t want to keep any of his test subjects out of the wild for more than a day or two, so if the veterinarian isn’t available he will tape or glue an external transmitter to the monster’s back and hope it doesn’t get knocked off before he can find the animal again.

“That’s the tough thing about monsters. They can move a kilometer in a day, or they can hunker down for two weeks,” he said.

Implanting a device requires anesthesia followed by minor surgery and about 12 hours of recovery time. To help the tiny patients along, they are fed water and farm-laid quail eggs like the ones served at gourmet restaurants on the Strip. “Nothing but the best for these monsters,” Jones said. “Hopefully they’re as pissed off (when we release them) as they were when we caught them.”

The lizards are typically set free within about a meter of where they are caught, if not right back “in the same hole we got them from.”

Even this small crop of monsters can be a handful. Jones said he walks the study area about once a week, but his research wouldn’t be possible if not for a pair of dedicated volunteers making more frequent visits to the site.

Jones closely guards the location of his research area. Even photos showing prominent nearby features could lead the wrong kind of people to his monsters.

Though the lizard is not federally listed as threatened or endangered, it is considered a sensitive species. Taking one from the wild is against the law.

Jones said the banded Gila monster is especially prized among some collectors because it is rare, its markings are bright and distinct, and it doesn’t breed well in captivity.

“People poach them,” he said. “It’s easier.”

Contact Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350. Find him on Twitter: @RefriedBrean.
Source

The post Researcher on the trail of desert ‘monsters’ – Las Vegas Review-Journal appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
http://www.masleyassociates.com/researcher-on-the-trail-of-desert-monsters-las-vegas-review-journal/feed/ 0
Starfish Dying Off Malibu Coast – Malibu Times http://www.masleyassociates.com/starfish-dying-off-malibu-coast-malibu-times/ http://www.masleyassociates.com/starfish-dying-off-malibu-coast-malibu-times/#respond Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:03:03 +0000 http://www.masleyassociates.com/starfish-dying-off-malibu-coast-malibu-times/ From Alaska to Malibu to the Mexican border, the starfish population has been nearly obliterated.  The epidemic was first observed in Washington last June and attributed to a mysterious “wasting” disease in which an organism’s tissue wastes away. The crisis has wiped out starfish, or sea-stars, along most of the west coast over the past year.  […]

The post Starfish Dying Off Malibu Coast – Malibu Times appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>

From Alaska to Malibu to the Mexican border, the starfish population has been nearly obliterated. 

The epidemic was first observed in Washington last June and attributed to a mysterious “wasting” disease in which an organism’s tissue wastes away. The crisis has wiped out starfish, or sea-stars, along most of the west coast over the past year. 

As a result, it could be quite a while before Malibu residents or tourists see big starfish again in the tidepools at Leo Carrillo State Beach, Point Dume and other rocky outcroppings along the shore.

Scientists are working quickly to figure out what’s causing the starfish to waste away into a pile of “goo,” as one called it, but there seems to be no cure in sight.

Carol Blanchette, research biologist at UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute, is monitoring intertidal sea-stars all across Southern California, including the sites in Malibu. 

“We’ve lost most of the sea-stars at most sites across Southern California, including Malibu, but we’re seeing some juvenile stars at several sites,” she wrote in an email. “I’m at a conference in Oregon now discussing what might be causing the disease, but we still don’t know what the pathogen is, and we don’t know much about the role of environmental stress.”

The disease, dubbed “sea-star wasting syndrome,” is the most extensive sea-star wasting event on record, covering a larger geographic area and affecting more species of starfish than any other such event. Sea-stars afflicted with the disease become soft, develop lesions, start losing limbs and fall apart. Some describe them as “melting…turning to slime.” Starfish generally have the ability to grow new arms, but not in these cases.

“Wasting syndrome has been known for decades, but usually occurs in small numbers in southern California, and is linked to warmer ocean temperatures, which is not the case this time,” Pete Raimondi, leader of the Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Program told the Orange County Register last month. “The disease is typically isolated to one or two starfish among hundreds in a rocky tide pool. And even in bad cases, it rarely stretches beyond a single population. The extent of this is unprecedented.”

The disease has worked its way down the coast, first wiping out large colonies of starfish in Northern California, entering Southern California by November. Studies show that starfish in the rocky intertidal zones (tidepools), are just as hard hit as those living on the ocean floor.

The spread has even reached the state’s aquariums, with die-offs reported in both Monterey Bay Aquarium and Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific.

A UC Santa Cruz statement issued in May said, “One of the top priorities is to confirm that an infectious agent is involved. DNA sequencing to identify possible viruses or bacteria is underway at Cornell University… [In addition], there’s no evidence that links the current wasting event to the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan.”

PBS News Hour reported just last week that scientists now believe a pathogen spreads through the water and by physical contact, since starfish often clump together. Another theory is that the pathogen is in mussels and clams that starfish consume.

With scientists predicting an El Niño event this year, Raimondi fears that the warmer ocean water could cause a pathogen to become more virulent and kill off more starfish.

At this point, scientists at least hope to make the best of a bad situation – they’ll either be able to study the ability of starfish to recover from the massive die-off, or else learn what effect the disappearance of starfish have on ocean and intertidal ecosystems.

Sea-stars are an apex predator in the intertidal zone. 

“Voracious eaters and a keystone species. Losing a predator like that is bound to have some pretty serious ecological consequences and…we’re quite certain it’s going to have an impact,” said Blanchette.


Source

The post Starfish Dying Off Malibu Coast – Malibu Times appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
http://www.masleyassociates.com/starfish-dying-off-malibu-coast-malibu-times/feed/ 0
Fire clouds Latex Foam’s future – CT Post http://www.masleyassociates.com/fire-clouds-latex-foams-future-ct-post/ http://www.masleyassociates.com/fire-clouds-latex-foams-future-ct-post/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:01:08 +0000 http://www.masleyassociates.com/fire-clouds-latex-foams-future-ct-post/ SHELTON — Fires, embezzlement and bankruptcy. Black clouds continue to hover over Latex Foam International Holdings. Early Thursday morning they formed again from black, acidic smoke as fire ravaged the company’s drying equipment and duct work and threatened to send 200 workers onto unemployment lines. As of late afternoon, Fire Marshal James Tortora was still […]

The post Fire clouds Latex Foam’s future – CT Post appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
SHELTON — Fires, embezzlement and bankruptcy. Black clouds continue to hover over Latex Foam International Holdings.

Early Thursday morning they formed again from black, acidic smoke as fire ravaged the company’s drying equipment and duct work and threatened to send 200 workers onto unemployment lines.

As of late afternoon, Fire Marshal James Tortora was still at the site, overseeing the pumping of water from the site.

“We haven’t even gone in yet to investigate,” said Tortora. “Hopefully, we’ll get in Friday.”

For now crews are pumping as much as 300,000 gallons of water into collection tanks.

The fire comes less than a month after the company, which bills itself as the “world’s leading manufacturer of latex mattresses and pillows” filed for reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The company is seeking protection from $29 million in debt, which includes $2.5 million owed the state Department of Economic and Community Development as it struggles to recover from the embezzlement of $3.5 million by two now-former executives.

“This makes things a little more complicated,” said DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. “I’ll never say never, and we certainly have helped them in the past.”

But she added that the first step after a fire is always insurance.

“It’s too early to tell,” added state Rep. Jason Perillo, as to whether he’ll ask Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to pour any more money into the company.

“There are a lot of moving parts here,” Perillo said, referring to the bankruptcy filing and the money owed. “It’s not as easy as it would be for a company just suffering a fire.”

Potential hazards

Meanwhile, Mayor Mark Lauretti said he has been told much of the damage is to machinery, rather than the building’s steel-and-concrete structure.

“Machinery can be replaced,” he said. “I’m willing to help if Latex needs it, but we need a little more time to evaluate everything before making a final judgment … We need to give the company time to assess the situation.”

This fire broke out in a basement industrial dryer and quickly spread into the ventilation system and duct work before bursting through the roof shortly before 1 a.m.

“We had about 150 firefighters on the scene battling the fire,” said Assistant Fire Chief Nick Verdicchio. “We immediately called for mutual aid.”

Volunteers from Derby were the first to arrive, followed by Ansonia, Orange, Trumbull and Stratford firefighters. Monroe and Seymour provided coverage for any other calls in Shelton.

One firefighter suffered a broken arm battling the blaze, while three others suffered heat exhaustion.

“It was hot and smoky inside,” Verdicchio said. “Visibility was almost non-existent. Then we had to deal with the humidity outside.”

Flaming debris falling from the roof forced firefighters to evacuate the interior at one point.

“We had it out by 4 a.m., but we were continuing to chase hot spots mostly in the duct work,” Verdicchio said. “We will continue to have a standby crew on the scene for the next day or so just in case it continues to flare up.”

Because of fear that the nearly four feet pool of water that filled the basement might contain hazardous materials, Verdicchio said the Fairfield County Hazardous Incident Response Team and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were called to the scene.

“We set up booms in the (nearby) Housatonic River to contain any water flowing from the plant, just in case it contained hazardous waste,” said Dwayne Gardner, a DEEP spokesman. “That doesn’t appear to be the case.”

Prior disasters

Thursday’s fire is another in a series of setbacks that have plagued the company.

Latex Foam arose from the ashes of the March 1, 1975, arson that destroyed the Sponge Rubber Products Co. in downtown Shelton, throwing 4,000 people out of work and devastating the Housatonic Valley’s economy.

It led to the largest arson investigation in U.S. history and the conviction of eight people. It also led to the creation of Latex Foam. In 1985, the company moved to a former Farrell Corp. site in downtown Ansonia.

But disaster struck again on May 14, 2001, when fire broke out on a conveyor belt in a huge drying oven. Wind fanned the flames, which burned for nearly five days, destroying the 10-acre, 284,000-square-foot factory, costing 250 people their jobs and leaving Ansonia with a huge hole in its tax base.

The following year, Latex moved into the current 208,000-square-foot site on 510 River Road.

But its troubles continued.

In 2012, Kevin Coleman, then the company’s chief executive officer, and Joanne Osmolik, its vice president for human resources, pleaded guilty to embezzling at least $3.5 million.

Coleman, 54, was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and ordered to repay about $1.8 million to the company and $1.4 million in taxes. He is serving his time in Duluth, Minn., with an Oct. 8, 2017, expected release.

But Coleman was hired despite having been caught stealing $14,000 from another company. He was never charged criminally in that case because he made restitution.

Osmolik, a 54-year old Newtown resident, was sentenced to four years in federal prison and ordered to repay nearly $1.8 million. She is serving her sentence at the federal correctional institution in Marianna, Fla., and has an Oct. 18, 2015, release date.

Their actions led to 43 employees losing their job and the closing of their factory in England. It also kept the company struggling financially. On May 30, it filed a series of petitions in U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking reorganization.

David Fisher, current president and CEO, then said the filing and “a new infusion of capital will strengthen our current business and position the company for dynamic future growth.”

mmayko@ctpost.com; 203-330-6286
Source

The post Fire clouds Latex Foam’s future – CT Post appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
http://www.masleyassociates.com/fire-clouds-latex-foams-future-ct-post/feed/ 0
There Is No Title To Be Found http://www.masleyassociates.com/there-is-no-title-to-be-found-11/ http://www.masleyassociates.com/there-is-no-title-to-be-found-11/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:38:31 +0000 http://www.masleyassociates.com/?p=22207 [Flickr:Thumb:Small]Today, there are many options to accomplish computer repair for your PC. Whether you have a bank of computers that stretches a mile long or just a single PC in your home office, the need for repair is no less important. Fortunately you can get your repairs done online for many issues. You can also […]

The post There Is No Title To Be Found appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
[Flickr:Thumb:Small]Today, there are many options to accomplish computer repair for your PC. Whether you have a bank of computers that stretches a mile long or just a single PC in your home office, the need for repair is no less important. Fortunately you can get your repairs done online for many issues. You can also choose from computer repair agents who can come to your location and repair your PC on the spot for you.

Training in IT applications is a treasure they will surely help you getting computer repair jobs. Before applying for job, you should explore close similarity between your efficiency in operating system software applications and business environment. In case of having a little relationship with advanced IT skills, job applicants should not worry about that. They can improve their capabilities while performing formal tasks in an IT based firm. A number of companies look for computer repair experts who have edge over Internet troubleshooting, System maintenance, Virus Removal, Hardware troubleshooting, Software installation and basic functions.

If you reside in Los Angeles or any of its adjoining areas then you need not worry at all if yours PC or laptop starts acting up as you can count on Los Angeles Computer Repair service. We are one of the trusted PC repair providers in Los Angeles. We understand the pain our customers undergo when their PC begins to malfunction and therefore we extend round O clock services to them. Computer repair Los Angeles specializes in giving you the quickest and hassle-free services in the most affordable rates.

One computer repair company that has an ever growing reputation is Masley And Associates. Masley And Associates are based in Los Angeles, and provide an excellent computer repair service. They have a huge list of satisfied clients, and always over deliver on their promises. You are guaranteed to have a fully working, quirky and quick computer after Masley And Associates have been through with it. They are by far the quickest and most effective computer technicians around, and there isn’t an issue they can’t fix. When it comes to Computer Repair Los Angeles, Masley And Associates are the best choice for your computer needs.

[Flickr:Image:Large]

We believe in providing the optimum level of satisfaction to our customers and committed to provide them hassle free, 24X7 service. Our staff is always ready and happy to serve you. There are many other computer repair services in Los Angeles which can leave you at lurch or can rob you out of your wits. Computer Repair Los Angeles is distinct from others by being the most trustworthy yet cost-effective service. Our technical staff fixes prior appointment before reaching to your place. When you call us, we make it a point to reach you in the shortest possible time.

Apart from fixing your PC and Laptop, we also extend Mac repair service. Los Angeles Computer Repair is committed to provide you the best value of your money. We have a team of trained professionals who are technical experts and can fix any of the issues of your computer in the quickest possible time. Moreover, you may never experience the problem that once gets resolved by our technical experts. Whenever, your PC breaks down, all you have to do is to just call us or drop us a mail. Computer repair Los Angeles specializes in recovery of data so you can be rest assured that your important files would not be lost when your Pc breaks down.

Apart from providing you the best and the quickest computer repair services, Computer repair Los Angeles provides you the best PC maintenance services to assure that your computer remains free from virus and safe to use. Stop worrying and just call us at any moment your PC starts acting up.

Taking part into computer repair marketing, you can serve upcoming generation that is crazy for smart IT based technology. Fortunate computer repair jobs give you a chance to establish your professional reputation and it will be rewarding career too. As skilled computer repair technician, you will not only serve your nation but also receive considerable cash amount to make your life more luxurious than ever before. Of course, you perform as doctor of computer who makes lifeline smoothly running and no one can deny praiseworthy contribution of computer repair technicians. This is the only business you can establish without capital investment involving cherished assistance of IT experts.

When applying for computer repair jobs or IT jobs in the current market, or any market, competition is often steep. There are many well qualified and experienced technicians out there that you will be competing with. You don’t always have to have the most qualifications or the most experience to beat out your competition. Believe it or not, most human resource managers and employers are looking for someone who can do the computer repair job, can be trusted as an employee and who will fit in to the over culture of the company and not provide any headaches, over and above qualifications. Hiring and firing is a costly exercise for an employer.

With the advent of the computer technology the world has become a global village, everybody is dependent on the computer in day to day life. This increase in the use of computer has lead to increase in the requirement of the computer technicians in the world over. Computer technicians are the people that repair the computers, networks and servers. They are not only needed in the field of information technology but also in all the other institutes like offices, banks, colleges and universities. Many institutes are now providing certified courses in computer repairs. While employing a person or getting your computer repaired you should always check that you take services from a well reputed personComputer repair technicians may specialize in any of the fields of their choice. The two broad fields in this regard are the hardware and software repair. Hardware of the computer includes all the parts that we can touch and see. There are many input devices like the keyboard, mouse, scanner, joystick etc. also there are many output devices like monitor, printer etc. all these parts develop certain problems that can be handled only by the technician. Many companies employ these technicians to manage and install this hardware as well to check the frequently occurring problems. They also maintain large servers and check that these servers are properly working and do not crash frequently. Different technicians specialize in different forms of hardware like desktops, laptops, mobile devices and smart phones. All of them are somewhat similar to each other but unique in certain regardsSimilarly the operating system of the computer and the software may troubleshoot. Computer technicians may repair, install new software and uninstall unnecessary software from the computers. If the operating system of the computer has crashed the computer repair technicians will help you repair your computer without losing your data. This is known as the data recovery. Many of the software tools and applications have been designed to prevent the loss of the data. Even if the operating system is working the technicians can see that they fix the problem without letting the consumer lose any data. Also they have command over the settings of the various programs. This means that if the software has been installed properly you may still find problems in working with it due to problems in the settings. The software technicians may fix these problems by doing the preferred settings in the computer. Restoring the data is specialized skill that is needed in addressing the software issues. In restoration the software technician will first save your data by a data recovery tool and then format the whole hard drive. The initial settings of the operating system and the software will then be reapplied on the computer A large number of the computer technicians are working in the public and the private sectors. More jobs are being employed daily because of growing needs of computers in various fields. Thus becoming a computer repair technician will be a worthwhile profession in future.

The post There Is No Title To Be Found appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
http://www.masleyassociates.com/there-is-no-title-to-be-found-11/feed/ 0
There Is No Title To Be Found http://www.masleyassociates.com/there-is-no-title-to-be-found-10/ http://www.masleyassociates.com/there-is-no-title-to-be-found-10/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:06:47 +0000 http://www.masleyassociates.com/?p=22205 [Flickr:Thumb:Small]Ha, I laughed when I read this because my dad’s computer repair guy, or “wire head” as he likes to call him, is also named Andrew! That man has saved my father’s and my computers many times in the past. I am sad that I don’t live in the same town as my dad anymore […]

The post There Is No Title To Be Found appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
[Flickr:Thumb:Small]Ha, I laughed when I read this because my dad’s computer repair guy, or “wire head” as he likes to call him, is also named Andrew! That man has saved my father’s and my computers many times in the past. I am sad that I don’t live in the same town as my dad anymore so I can’t call on Andrew for my problems, but luckily there are plenty of other wire heads around to help!

Taking part into computer repair marketing, you can serve upcoming generation that is crazy for smart IT based technology. Fortunate computer repair jobs give you a chance to establish your professional reputation and it will be rewarding career too. As skilled computer repair technician, you will not only serve your nation but also receive considerable cash amount to make your life more luxurious than ever before. Of course, you perform as doctor of computer who makes lifeline smoothly running and no one can deny praiseworthy contribution of computer repair technicians. This is the only business you can establish without capital investment involving cherished assistance of IT experts.

If you have a computer, you should be careful as your digital display unit can be damaged in different ways. There are many computer repairing centers in the city, however you must decide to opt for the particular computer rebuilding/repairing center which provides best quality repairing service and backup at affordable prices. Computer repair Los Angeles is good and cost effective.

Once computer repair technicians accepted your computer for repair, they hold the responsibility of resolving the problem and giving you the highest possible level of service needed to meet your requirements. Technicians can offer you onsite and remote services providing you with a more convenient service. Whether you are in need of assistance for the removal of viruses or software upgrading, technicians can ease your burdens. If your computer runs very slow and causes you much headache, contact the most reliable computer repair technicians in your location. This is necessary before all of your files get damaged and eventually turn into system failure. For technicians aiming to engage with computer repair jobs in the business environment, there are some factors to be considered to achieve success in this career.

[Flickr:Image:Large]

One computer repair company that has an ever growing reputation is Masley And Associates. Masley And Associates are based in Los Angeles, and provide an excellent computer repair service. They have a huge list of satisfied clients, and always over deliver on their promises. You are guaranteed to have a fully working, quirky and quick computer after Masley And Associates have been through with it. They are by far the quickest and most effective computer technicians around, and there isn’t an issue they can’t fix. When it comes to Computer Repair Los Angeles, Masley And Associates are the best choice for your computer needs.

Training in IT applications is a treasure they will surely help you getting computer repair jobs. Before applying for job, you should explore close similarity between your efficiency in operating system software applications and business environment. In case of having a little relationship with advanced IT skills, job applicants should not worry about that. They can improve their capabilities while performing formal tasks in an IT based firm. A number of companies look for computer repair experts who have edge over Internet troubleshooting, System maintenance, Virus Removal, Hardware troubleshooting, Software installation and basic functions.

To save your computer from crashing down is one of the major computer repair jobs of computer repair technicians. Immediate hiring of computer technicians should be done so that your business operations and other activities will not be interrupted by system failures. Computer repair jobs include hardware and software servicing to ensure that your personal computer would work well.

If you are a small business, time is money and sometimes it’s just not worth trying to disconnect your computer and related hardware to take it somewhere to have it fixed, especially of you are using your computer for business. At this point it is usually very well worth the money to have an experienced person come in to help you solve your problems. I was fortunate enough to find a very reputable computer guy for business that actually would call me back right away when I had problems, would come to my house or business to help me, and had a wealth of knowledge about networking, installing printers, so and so forth. He saved my butt time and time again, and every dime I ever paid him was money very well spent. If you are considering having someone come to your business or home to help I would definitely recommend someone like Andrew to help you keep your sanity. Service of this nature can vary but you can usually expect to pay anywhere from $50 – $85 dollars an hour, but remember- what might take you days to fix might only take an experienced computer repair man a few hours, if even that (it’s money well spent plus you won’t turn grey in the process!)

Today, there are many options to accomplish computer repair for your PC. Whether you have a bank of computers that stretches a mile long or just a single PC in your home office, the need for repair is no less important. Fortunately you can get your repairs done online for many issues. You can also choose from computer repair agents who can come to your location and repair your PC on the spot for you.

The post There Is No Title To Be Found appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
http://www.masleyassociates.com/there-is-no-title-to-be-found-10/feed/ 0
Arthur Laffer: Good old days of JFK, Clinton – OCRegister http://www.masleyassociates.com/arthur-laffer-good-old-days-of-jfk-clinton-ocregister/ http://www.masleyassociates.com/arthur-laffer-good-old-days-of-jfk-clinton-ocregister/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:01:47 +0000 http://www.masleyassociates.com/arthur-laffer-good-old-days-of-jfk-clinton-ocregister/ Arthur Laffer: Good old days of JFK, Clinton Every day seems to bring a new crisis or failure for President Obama. There is the misuse of the IRS for partisan politics, followed by the mysterious disappearance of all of the emails of the central player in the scandal, Lois Lerner. Obamacare had a dreadful rollout, […]

The post Arthur Laffer: Good old days of JFK, Clinton – OCRegister appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>

Arthur Laffer: Good old days of JFK, Clinton

image0-Arthur Laffer: Good old days of JFK, Clinton

Every day seems to bring a new crisis or failure for President Obama. There is the misuse of the IRS for partisan politics, followed by the mysterious disappearance of all of the emails of the central player in the scandal, Lois Lerner. Obamacare had a dreadful rollout, then the Department of Veterans Affairs was found to torment sick veterans.

Children from South and Central America are being abandoned by the thousands at U.S. border towns. We’re losing wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and then the administration trades five senior Taliban leaders with ties to al-Qaida for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Attorney General Eric Holder’s Fast & Furious fiasco, as well as the Benghazi consulate attack, remain sore issues. The Russian bear is on the prowl in Eastern Europe while Russia harbors NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Last, but not least, the U.S. economy remains mired in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Is all of this just a case of bad luck? Not a chance!

While it’s true that no administration is above adversity nor below serendipity, this U.S. collapse is not a case of mere contingency. Bad policies – especially bad economic policies – have led to bad results everywhere.

And what is the cumulative effect of these blunders, failures and policy disasters? President Obama’s approval rating for foreign policy is at an all-time low, 37 percent, with foreign policy disapproval at an all-time high, 57 percent, and his overall approval rating is tied for its low, 41 percent.

Since its outset, the Obama administration has been hell-bent on raising tax rates and the minimum wage, demonizing the 1 percent, attacking businesses, increasing regulations, blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and continuing the misguided stimulus spending policies of the Geroge W. Bush administration. And the consequences couldn’t have been worse.

In the chart accompanying this piece, I have plotted U.S. employment as a share of U.S. adult population from the very tail end of the Clinton administration to the present. By using employment as a share of population, both the unemployment rate (which has fallen of late) and the labor-force participation rate (which also has fallen) are combined to provide an aggregate clear picture of the totality of U.S. employment.

What is fascinating in this chart is that there has been no recovery whatsoever in the jobs market. For virtually every person who has left the rolls of the unemployed, there has also been a discouraged person who has dropped out of the labor force. The only growth in employment comes solely as a result of U.S. population growth.

While the bulk of the collapse in employment occurred on Obama’s watch, the Bush years also were terrible. The two presidents, while it is popular to point out their differences, really are very much alike. What’s needed is a sharp return to the economic policies of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton.

President Kennedy was far more of a tax-cutter than Clinton. Clinton nonetheless cut taxes a lot. Clinton cut the capital gains tax by the largest amount in U.S. history. He, and he alone, among U.S. presidents, virtually eliminated the capital gains tax on owner-occupied homes.

President Clinton also cut the income tax rate on elderly workers by removing the “retirement” test on Social Security benefits and, through the North American Free Trade Agreement, cut taxes on traded products. He was almost as famous for signing comprehensive welfare reform, where recipients are required to show that they have sought employment as a condition of eligibility.

Kennedy cut tax rates on corporate income as well as on all personal incomes. Kennedy also cut taxes on traded products (the Kennedy Round tariff reductions), adopted accelerated depreciation schedules for business capital and instituted the 7 percent investment tax credit in order to stimulate business investment.

As good as these Kennedy/Clinton pro-growth policies were – and they were good – where both Presidents Kennedy and Clinton shone above all others was in controlling government spending. In the eight years of President Clinton, total government spending as a share of GDP fell by just under five percentage points, and federal government spending fell by more than four percentage points, resulting in a budget surplus in his last year in office. President Kennedy also cut government spending and turned a budget deficit into a surplus. It doesn’t get any better.

Under both President Kennedy and President Clinton, the economy soared. The U.S. stature in the world rose dramatically, putting the U.S. once again as the undisputed leader of the world. Domestic harmony among all major American groups was the order of the day, and individual Americans prospered as never before.

It’s time to get back to basics.

Arthur B. Laffer, a member of the Register’s Editorial Board, is founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, was an adviser to President Reagan and is a co-author of “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States” (Wiley, 2014).

WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Letters to the Editor: E-mail to letters@ocregister.com.
Please provide your name, city and telephone number (telephone numbers will not be published).
Letters of about 200 words or videos of 30-seconds
each will be given preference. Letters will be edited for length, grammar and clarity.
Source

The post Arthur Laffer: Good old days of JFK, Clinton – OCRegister appeared first on Computer Repair Orange County CA (714)975-3656.

]]>
http://www.masleyassociates.com/arthur-laffer-good-old-days-of-jfk-clinton-ocregister/feed/ 0