Friday, July 31, 2015

City Hall Protest Against Amnesty International Resolution on Aug. 4

 

Members, Supporters of the "Not On My Watch” Movement to Denounce Plans for the Decriminalization of Pimps, Brothel Owners and Patrons


WHO: The NYC Faith-Based Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence, NYC Council officials, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women(CATW), Sanctuary for Families, NOW-NYC/NYS, The New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, survivors and other advocacy, grassroots, service organizations and global allies taking action in their own respective cities and countries.

WHAT: New York City organizations and public officials will continue to urge Amnesty International to reject its proposed draft policy which calls for the decriminalization of pimps, brothel owners and buyers of sex. Press conferences/actions will take place simultaneously across the globe, including one in Atlanta spearheaded by Dr. Bernice A. King.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 10:00am –11:00am

WHERE: Steps of New York City Hall

WHY: If passed at Amnesty's International Council Meeting in Dublin (Aug. 7-11), this policy would in effect advocate for the decriminalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying — the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry. Given Amnesty’s influence with governments worldwide, the press conference will outline reasons for deep concern about Amnesty’s push for laws that would render pimps profitable "business people" who sell vulnerable individuals — who overwhelmingly have life histories of gender, racial and economic violence and inequalities — to buyers of sex with impunity. 

The open letter to Amnesty International gathered close to 500 signatures from groups and concerned individuals from over 30 countries.

The change.org campaign signatories are in the thousands. Among them are Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep, Rev. Dr. A. R. Bernard, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Rev. Dr. Bernice King, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlen, philanthropists Jennifer and Peter Buffett, poet and human rights activist, Rose Styron and 2008 Amnesty International Human Rights Award winner, Lydia Cacho. Others include: Angela Bassett, Michael Cunningham, Claire Danes, Jonathan Demme, Grace Hightower De Niro, Lena Dunham, Marcia Gay Harden, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Jones, Kevin Kline, Mandy Patinkin, Kyra Sedgwick, Charlize Theron, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and many more. 

The New York City Faith-Based Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence was formed as a call to action to faith-based leaders in the Greater New York area.  The Coalition works to brainstorm ideas, strategize, develop and implement short- and long-term action plans in an effort to yield a decline in fatalities relating to domestic violence and victims of trafficking.  This is accomplished in partnership with government agencies, elected officials, community leaders, law enforcement and service providers as part of their national “Not On My Watch!” movement.

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is a non-governmental organization working to end human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls worldwide. CATW engages in advocacy, education, victim services and prevention programs for victims of trafficking and prostitution in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and North America. www.catwinternational.org

Click here to lend your signature to change.org campaign.

Click here to register for free for National Conference: Combatting Human Trafficking & Domestic Violence.

Charleston Church Shooter Pleads Not Guilty to Hate Crimes


Charleston Church Shooter, Dylann Roof, pleaded not guilty to 33 charges related to hate crimes in federal court Friday.

White House Press Briefing with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz


 
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz joins Spokesman Josh Earnest to brief reporters and respond to their questions on a variety of topics, including the Iran nuclear agreement.

Video link: WH Press Briefing 

Source: C-Span

New York State OGS to Award New Construction Contracts, Announces Bids for 10 Contracts


RoAnn M. Destito, New York State Office of General Services Commissioner, today announced that new construction bids have been awarded in the below counties. The awards are described in the listing below. The contracts are expected to be awarded to the apparent low bidders following review and approval by the State Comptroller's Office.

BROOME COUNTY
 
CONSTRUCTION WORK:

Awarded To W. L. Kline, Inc. of Binghamton, NY
Description Rehabilitate Vertical Shaft, Bldg. 75
Location Greater Binghamton Health Center, Binghamton, NY
Low Bid $668,800
 
HEATING & VENTILATION WORK:

Awarded To J & K Plumbing and Heating Co., Inc. of Binghamton, NY
Description Rehabilitate Vertical Shaft, Bldg. 75
Location Greater Binghamton Health Center, Binghamton, NY
Low Bid $172,687
 
GREENE COUNTY
 
CONSTRUCTION WORK:

Awarded To Arold Construction Co., Inc. of Kingston, NY
Description Rehabilitate Electrical Distribution System
Location Coxsackie Correctional Facility, West Coxsackie, NY
Low Bid $749,820
 
ELECTRICAL WORK:

Awarded To M. Scher & Son, Inc. of Albany, NY
Description Rehabilitate Electrical Distribution System
Location Coxsackie Correctional Facility, West Coxsackie, NY
Low Bid $5,218,000




OGS Announces Upcoming Construction Opportunities

The commissioner also announced bidding for ten construction contracts listed below by county.

Firms interested in additional information or to acquire bid documents should visit the OGS website at http://www.ogs.ny.gov and click on the Design & Construction link or call 1-877-OGS-PLAN (1-877-647-7526) or 518-474-0203.

CLINTON COUNTY

CONSTRUCTION WORK:
Contract No. 45006-C
Description Replace Windows, Truck Trap Tower A-60
Location Clinton Correctional Facility, Dannemora, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate $100,000 - $250,000

NEW YORK COUNTY

CONSULTANT TERM WORK:
Contract No. 44002
Description Provide Fit-Out of Shell Space, 4th Floor, Building No. 5
Location New York PI, New York, NY
Bid Date 9/2/2015

CONSTRUCTION WORK:
Contract No. 44002-C
Description Provide Fit-Out of Shell Space, 4th Floor, Building No. 5
Location New York PI, New York, NY
Bid Date 9/2/2015
Estimate $1,000,000 - $2,000,000
  
Contract No. 44578-C
Description Major Building Renovations for the Manhattan Forensic Relocation
Location Manhattan Psychiatric Center, Wards Island, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate Over $20,000,000

ONONDAGA COUNTY

CONSTRUCTION WORK:
Contract No. 45133-C
Description Remove / Replace Cooling Towers
Location Hughes State Office Building, Syracuse, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate $100,000 - $250,000

ELECTRICAL WORK:
Contract No. 45133-E
Description Remove / Replace Cooling Towers
Location Hughes State Office Building, Syracuse, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate $50,000 - $100,000

HVAC WORK:
Contract No. 45133-H
Description Remove / Replace Cooling Towers
Location Hughes State Office Building, Syracuse, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate $250,000 - $500,000

PLUMBING WORK:
Contract No. 45133-P
Description Remove / Replace Cooling Towers
Location Hughes State Office Building, Syracuse, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate $25,000 - $50,000

SULLIVAN COUNTY

ELECTRICAL WORK:
Contract No. 44803-E
Description Replace Perimeter Fences, Perimeter Systems & Redirect Drainage
Location Sullivan Correctional Facility, Fallsburg, NY
Bid Date 9/23/2015
Estimate $8,000,000 - $9,000,000

TOMPKINS COUNTY

CONSTRUCTION WORK:
Contract No. Q1617-C
Description Demolish Trailers
Location MacCormick Secure Center, Brooktondale, NY
Bid Date 8/19/2015
Estimate $50,000 - $100,000

The Office of General Services requires the participation of minority and women-owned businesses in its procurement and construction programs and requires that minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) and minority and women employees be given the opportunity to participate.

Additional information about OGS construction and consulting opportunities is available on the OGS website at www.ogs.ny.gov under the Empire State Builder Newsletter link. The Empire State Builder Newsletter is the Design and Construction Group's public information service. It provides information on construction and consultant contract bidding opportunities, including: construction plans and specifications currently available for purchase; consultant procurement documents available for downloading; a listing of plan purchasers for contracts to be bid or procured; a listing of interested subcontractors, suppliers, and sub-consultants, and bid and procurement results.  

Source:  New York State Office of General Services

West Wing Week: 07/31/15


2020 Vision: Addressing AIDS/HIV in America


Presidential Candidates Speak at the National Urban League Conference


Presidential candidates Dr. Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, former Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) speak at the National Urban League conference in Fort Lauderdale.


Source: C-Span

Defense Department Briefing on Military Operations in Iraq and Syria

 

Marine Corps Brigadier General Kevin Kilea briefs reporters and responds to their questions about U.S.-led military operations in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).


Source: C-Span

Defense Secretary on Issues Facing Military Families


Defense Secretary Ashton Carter delivered remarks on challenges facing children in military and veterans' families. The Military Child Education Coalition hosted the event.


Source: C-Span

"Look Before You Lock" Warning on National Heatstroke Prevention Day


Babies, Toddlers, and Young Children are Injured
or Killed Each Year after Being Left in Hot Vehicles 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today reminded parents and caregivers to “look before you lock” and remain aware of the dangers of leaving children in hot vehicles this summer. As part of National Heatstroke Prevention Day, the Governor and several New York State agencies are raising awareness about the deadly consequences of leaving babies, toddlers, and young kids in cars, and encouraging all New Yorkers to play a role in keeping children safe from heatstroke.

“Warm temperatures and children in parked cars can be a deadly combination and has caused far too many preventable tragedies in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “As outside temperatures continue to rise, we are urging New Yorkers to take extra precautions and remain aware and alert so we can keep our children safe and out of harm's way.”


More than 30 children, including one in New York State, died from heatstroke after being left in hot vehicles in 2014. Nationally, eight children have already died this year. 

More than 630 children in the United States have died from heatstroke since 1998. 

More than half of those children were forgotten in vehicles; nearly 30 percent gained access by themselves and became trapped; and 17 percent were left by adults not fully aware of the dangers.  

In just ten minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees, and rolling down windows often does little to cool the car down. 

Heatstroke can happen on a cloudy day, and can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees. 
  
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said, “There is no safe length of time, or any good reason, to leave a child in a parked car, especially in the summer when the risks are so high. Drivers across the state should take every precaution to prevent injuries and deaths to our most vulnerable New Yorkers. It is critical that anyone transporting a child takes precautionary measures that may save a life this summer.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “No child should ever die from heatstroke as a result of being left in a hot car. Simple precautionary steps can prevent these tragedies from ever happening. But busy parents and caretakers may require routine reminders to remove small children from parked vehicles.”

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recently released a video, which can be viewed here, titled, “Keep kids out of hot cars!” to raise awareness of the issue.

Health officials recommend that parents and caregivers follow these tips to keep their children safe from heatstroke, and from being left alone in a hot vehicle: 

Ask your child care provider to call you if your child doesn’t show up as expected, especially if there is a change of routine. 

Set a reminder or alarm on your cell phone to remind you to drop your child off at school, or have a loved one call you to confirm that your child was dropped off or picked up. This is especially important if your routine changes, or if you are tired or overwhelmed.

Put a “sticky” note where you will see it while in your car – on your dash or another spot. It will remind you where your children are and when to pick them up or drop them off. 

New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Acting Commissioner Sheila Poole said, “It’s important to look before you lock. Make a habit of checking the back seat before walking away from your car. Infants and little children are particularly sensitive to extreme heat and their body temperatures can increase three to five times as quickly as an adult’s if they are left in a hot vehicle. Put an item you need at your final destination – such as a purse, wallet or briefcase – next to your child so you’ll have to check the back seat when you park the car.”

Anyone who sees a child alone in a hot car should not wait more than a few minutes for the driver to return, and should

Call 911, get the child out of the car, and spray the child with cool water if possible.

Stay with the child until help arrives, and have someone else search for the driver or ask the facility to page them.

Be aware of the signs of heatstroke: Red, hot, and moist or dry skin, no sweating, abnormal pulse, nausea and confusion or strange behavior.
 
New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor/Inspector General Patricia E. Gunning said, “When temperatures soar we are often reminded of the dangers of leaving children alone in cars, but people may not realize that adults with disabilities or special needs who are left in a vehicle under the same conditions may not be able to seek help for themselves.”

The Justice Center developed a new resource to raise awareness of this warm weather danger. Its Spotlight on Prevention toolkit includes a poster and video gallery on heatstroke dangers, a hang tag and vehicle inspection safety tips that can be used by drivers, transport aides, and the public to prevent an accidental tragedy from occurring.

In addition, a nationwide social media campaign, organized by NHTSA to highlight the importance of heatstroke prevention, is currently running on all major social media channels utilizing the hashtags #heatstrokekills and #checkforbaby. 

Source: Press Office, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The Power of the Pen: S. 971, S.984 Signed into Law


Statement by the Press Secretary on S. 971 and S.984

On Thursday, July 30, 2015, the President signed into law:
 
S. 971, the "Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act of 2015," which extends the period of time that a project may operate under an existing Medicare demonstration program that tests incentive payments for teams of medical providers; and
 
S. 984, the "Steve Gleason Act of 2015," which revises Medicare payments for speech-generating devices that supplement or replace speech for individuals who can no longer speak or are severely speech-impaired.

The following was received at the From The G-Man office on July 31, at 1:05 p.m. 

On Friday, July 31, 2015, the President signed into law:
 
H.R. 3236, the "Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015," which extends through October 29, 2015, authority and funding for the Department of Transportation's surface transportation programs and transfers $8.1 billion from the Treasury General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund; and provides resource flexibility to the Department of Veterans Affairs for health care services and makes a number of changes to the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act.

Source: The White House Press Office

"Flashback Friday": 220 U.S. Marines, 21 Service Members Killed in Beirut Bombing (1983)


The Navy's 1983 report on the Beirut Marine Barracks bombing, including homecoming for the wounded, and a memorial for those killed.

Source: Navy Marine Corps News

Trailblazers in Black History: Jim Brown, NFL Runnning Back


Today in History: July 31st


Donald Trump Leading the Way in New Poll


Just as he arrives in Scotland at his golf course which is hosting the women's British Open, Donald Trump finds himself atop a new poll amongst 2016 GOP candidates.

James Woods Sues Twitter Troll for $10 Million Over 'Cocaine Addict' Tweet


The actor is taking a stand against a Twitter troll for allegedly tweeting malicious and false accusations.

This 19-Year-Old Will Spend 25 Years on Sex Offender Registry


Zach Anderson had sex with a girl he met on a dating app who he later learned had lied about her age.

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Could Stop Virus


 
An experimental vaccine tested on thousands of people in Guinea exposed to Ebola seems to work and might help shut down the ongoing epidemic in West Africa, according to interim results from a study published Friday. 

There is currently no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola, which has so far killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa since the world's biggest outbreak began in the forest region of Guinea last year.

"If proven effective, this is going to be a game-changer," said Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, which sponsored the study. "It will change the management of the current outbreak and future outbreaks." 

Full article and accompanying video available here: Experimental Vaccine

Source: NBC News 

Cecil the Lion's Killer Should Be Extradited: Zimbabwe Minister


Zimbabwe plans to seek extradition of the American dentist who killed Cecil the lion during a hunting expedition earlier this month, a Cabinet minister said Friday.

Oppah Muchinguri — Zimbabwe's environment, water and climate minister — told a news conference that officials there are "appealing to the responsible authorities for his extradition to Zimbabwe so that he can be held accountable for his illegal action."

A spokesman for Zimbabwe's embassy in Washington told NBC News on Friday that a formal extradition request had yet to be received asking for 55-year-old Water James Palmer to be sent back to the African nation to face justice.

US: St. Louis County Family Court Discriminates Against Blacks



A Justice Department investigation has concluded that the St. Louis County Family Court discriminates against black children and falls short in providing required legal protections to children in general.

The court "fails to provide constitutionally required due process to children appearing for delinquency proceedings," the department's Civil Rights Division said in a report after analyzing nearly 33,000 juvenile cases in the court between 2010 and 2013.

The report said the court failed to ensure that young defendants have adequate legal representation, failed to make required findings of probable cause that a child committed the charged offense, and failed to ensure that a child's guilty plea was voluntarily. 

Full article available here: St. Louis Family Court.... 

Source: NBC News

IAEA Chief ‘Positively’ Mulling U.S. Senate Invite to Speak on Iran

General (Yukiya) Amano

Reuters, 31/07 16:04 CET

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief is “positively considering” a U.S. Senate invitation to speak about his agency’s monitoring role in Iran following the country’s deal with world powers on curbing its atomic activity, a diplomatic source said.

Some members of the U.S. Congress, which will consider whether to approve the deal, have asked for more information to be made public relating to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s part in verifying Iran’s implementation of the pact.

“I understand that Director General (Yukiya) Amano overnight (Vienna time) received an invitation letter from the members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I also understand that he is positively considering the invitation,” the source, who is familiar with the matter, told Reuters.

Amano has the delicate task to assess Iran’s past and future nuclear programme. He has no political mandate and never tires of stressing the IAEA’s technical role. 

Full article available here: IAEA Chief ....

Source: Euronews

Palestinian Toddler Killed in ‘Terrorist’ Arson Attack, Says Israel


Source: Euronews

Families of MH370 Victims Renew Talk of Compensation After Debris Find


Source: Euronews

Venezuela Opposition Group Favourite to Win December Vote


Source: Euronews

Migrant Crisis Becomes Hot Political Issue in Britain and France


Source: Euronews

Syriza Faces Internal Battle as Tsipras Requests Party Vote


Source: Euronews

Civilians Killed in Shelling Amid Fragile Truce in Ukraine


Source: Euronews

Russia ‘Involved’ in Litvinenko Death, Says Scotland Yard


Source: Euronews

Over 7,000 Prisoners Released in Mass Pardon in Myanmar


Source: Euronews

Chinese Artist and Activist Denied Six-Month Visa to Britain


Source: Euronews

Thursday, July 30, 2015

White House Press Briefing



White House Spokesman Josh Earnest briefs reporters and responds to their questions on a variety of topics, including lobbying members of Congress on the Iran nuclear deal, efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and the fate of the Export-Import Bank.
 
Video link: WH Press Briefing

Source: C-Span 

State Department Briefing

 
Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner briefs reporters and responds to their questions on a variety of international topics.


Source: C-Span

Senate Democrats News Conference on Legislative Priorities


Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speak to reporters to review the past seven months of Republican control of the Senate and outline their party’s legislative priorities.


Source: C-Span

Senator Bernie Sanders Remarks on the Economy


Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivered remarks on the U.S. economy at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 


Source: C-Span

House Minority Leader Weekly Briefing


House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) briefs reporters and responds to questions on her party’s agenda when the House returns from its August recess.

Video link: HML Weekly Briefing

Source: C-Span

Hearing on the Iran Nuclear Agreement


Former administration officials Juan Zarate, with the Financial Integrity Network, and Richard Nephew, with the Center on Global Energy Policy, testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the nuclear agreement with Iran.


Source: C-Span 

Senator Mitch McConnell News Conference on Highway Funding

 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other senators hold a news conference on highway funding legislation currently being considered by the Senate. Current funding is set to expire Friday.


Source: C-Span

Trailblazers in Black History: The Negro Leagues


Today in History: July 30th


Statement on the Advance Estimate of GDP for the Second Quarter of 2015



WASHINGTON, DC – Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, issued the following statement today on the advance estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2015.

Posted by Jason Furman on July 30, 2015 at 09:30 AM EDT

Real GDP rose faster in the second quarter than in the first, even after a large upward revision to first-quarter growth. Strong personal consumption led the rebound as consumers spent more of the windfall gains from lower oil prices that they had saved in the first quarter, and many of the temporary factors that restrained growth in the first quarter faded. The President is committed to pushing Congress to increase investments in infrastructure as part of a long-term transportation reauthorization, to open our exports to new markets with new high-standards free trade agreements, and to ensure that fiscal brinksmanship or the sequester does not return in the next fiscal year as outlined in the President’s FY2016 Budget.


1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 2.3 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter according to the BEA’s advance estimate, while first-quarter GDP growth was revised up from a 0.2 percent decline to a 0.6 percent increase. The revision to first-quarter GDP growth is mostly accounted for by higher fixed investment growth than previously estimated, in both the business and residential sectors. In the second quarter, the rise in GDP growth was led by a faster pace of personal consumption growth than the first quarter and a shift from negative to positive net export growth. The drag from declining structures investment was also much less negative for overall growth in the second quarter than in the first. Incorporating the effects of the annual GDP revision released today (see point 2), real GDP has now risen 2.3 percent over the past four quarters.

(Click on graphs to increase their size.)

2. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced revisions to historical GDP figures based on a number of technical factors including new and revised source data, updated seasonal adjustment factors, and methodological changes. The revisions occurred primarily in 2012, 2013, and 2014. On average, real GDP growth increased 2.0 percent per year from 2011:Q4 to 2015:Q1—a downward revision of 0.2 percentage point. Most of that revision is accounted for by slower personal consumption growth than previously estimated. The consumption revision largely reflects a new methodology for calculating the price of financial services spending and revisions to source data on services. Government spending growth was also revised downward, mostly reflecting lower-than-estimated State and local spending, but also lower-than-estimated Federal defense spending. Faster-than-estimated private investment growth, mostly concentrated in the first quarter of 2015, partially offset these shifts. Most of the downward revision was concentrated in the first two years subject to revision—2012 and 2013—while real GDP growth over the four quarters of 2014 was revised up, from 2.4 percent to 2.5 percent.

 

3. Today’s release marks the BEA’s first publication of the “average of GDP and GDI,” which CEA terms “Gross Domestic Output (GDO).” Output is traditionally measured either by tracking all expenditures on final goods and services produced domestically (GDP) or by tracking all the income received by producers of that output (Gross Domestic Income, or “GDI”). GDP and GDI are conceptually identical, but they differ due to measurement error. GDO is the arithmetic average of GDP and GDI. It can be a more accurate measure of economic activity because averaging across the two metrics reduces that measurement error. The first estimate of GDO growth for the second quarter of 2015 will be released next month.

 

4. GDO is a more accurate measure of output in real-time than either GDP or GDI alone. The BEA publishes an estimate of GDP growth nearly one month after each quarter’s end, and revises it in each of the next two months. Three months after each quarter’s end, we have estimates of output growth from both the product side (GDP) and income side (GDI)—but those estimates are based on preliminary and incomplete data and are still subject to further revision years later. CEA finds that the “after three months” reading of GDO is a better predictor of the “years later” revisions to GDP than either GDP or GDI alone. This result illustrates the value of combining GDP and GDI to improve our understanding of economic activity in a given quarter.  Another way to see the benefits of GDO is how it reduces the “error variance”—the average squared difference between the “after three months” GDP growth and “years later” GDP growth in our sample. The simple average of GDP and GDI is quite close to the weighted average that minimizes the error variance—that is, the average that gets us closest to the “years later” GDP growth.


5. Real private domestic final purchases (PDFP)—the sum of consumption and fixed investment—rose 2.5 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter, slightly faster than overall GDP but below the pace observed over the past year. Real PDFP—which excludes noisy components like net exports, inventories, and government spending—is generally a more reliable measure of future GDP growth than current GDP. While GDO aims to more accurately measure output growth in a given quarter by minimizing measurement error, PDFP aims to measure signals of future economic growth by eliminating some of the noise in GDP. Over the past four quarters, PDFP grew 3.2 percent, a faster rate than overall GDP. Beginning with today’s release, BEA will begin publishing PDFP (under the name “final sales to private domestic purchasers”) as part of the normal monthly GDP release.


As the Administration stresses every quarter, GDP figures can be volatile and are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one single report, and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.

Source: The White House Press Office

Low Cost Power Awarded to 15 New York Businesses

 
Power Awards to Help Create Over
700 New Jobs and Retain 1,637 More

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees has approved low-cost power allocations under the ReCharge NY program. The power awards approved by the board today will help 15 businesses retain 1,637 jobs while creating 735 new jobs.

“Through innovative programs like ReCharge NY, we are supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs across the state—a number that only grows as more businesses and nonprofit organizations apply for low-cost power,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new round of power allocations will allow businesses to grow and develop here in New York, leveraging clean power to support real jobs and economic success.”

The 10.4 megawatts of low-cost power will be distributed among 15 business operations and are expected to leverage more than $340 million in capital investments. Amazon LLC in New York City, Bausch & Lomb in Rochester and RUI Management Services on Long Island were among the recipients in this round of allocations. Enterprises in the Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier and Western New York also received ReCharge NY power. A full list can be viewed here.

ReChargeNY is a program proposed and signed by Governor Cuomo in 2011 that allows businesses to purchase low cost power, and spend that savings on retaining and creating jobs. It is administered by the New York Power Authority. Including today’s allocations, the Governor’s program has provided more than 778 megawatts to 679 business operations and 72 nonprofit organizations over the last two-and-a-half years. (One megawatt is enough power to meet the needs of 800 to 1,000 typical homes.)

John R. Koelmel, New York Power Authority Chairman, said, “Today’s vote brings 15 new businesses under the ReCharge NY umbrella. Step by step, the Power Authority is growing its list of customers and the amount of New Yorkers being supported by this impactful economic development program.”

Gil C. Quiniones, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority, said, “The Power Authority trustees have now acted on the 12th round of power allocations under ReCharge NY, matching low-cost power with businesses that need it. New York Power Authority has now allocated more than 85 percent of the available pool of power for the program, bolstering the economic growth of every region in the state.”

In addition to jobs and capital investment commitments, other evaluation criteria for ReCharge NY include the significance of the cost of electricity to the overall cost of doing business, the applicant’s risk of closure or curtailing operations, how important the facility is to the local economy and its commitment to energy efficiency.

ReCharge NY offers up to seven-year power contracts. Half of the power under the program—455 megawatts—is from the Niagara and St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt hydroelectric power plants, which provide some of the lowest-cost electricity in the state. The remaining 455 megawatts is economical power bought by the New York Power Authority on the wholesale market.

Assembly Energy Committee Chair Amy Paulin said, “ReCharge NY helps businesses create or retain jobs. The latest round of funding will support 2,422 jobs in a wide range of manufacturing and service industries. And because awardees must demonstrate a commitment to energy efficiency, the program is good for our environment as well as for economic development.”

Senator Joseph Griffo, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy & Telecommunications, said, “Each round of these allocations continues to provide the incentive for businesses to invest in their operations and expand their labor force. New York has so many sustainable energy resources that can be harnessed to help lessen the cost of doing business in our state, while creating thousands of jobs. Programs like ReCharge NY fuel opportunities that can only make our state stronger.”

Source, Press Office, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo