Villaraigosa won’t step aside with a slip of the Spanish

first_imgGroundbreaking ceremonies last week for the new Children’s Museum of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley drew some laughs – and a complaint in the category of “letting no good deed go unpunished.” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised the Hansen Dam site that officials hope becomes a Valley landmark, but found himself a bit tongue-tied when he offered remarks in Spanish identifying City Council President Alex Padilla as “presidente municipal” – the equivalent of mayor. Quickly catching himself, Villaraigosa said he wasn’t ready to turn over his job to Padilla, who he reidentified as “presidente de consejo.” Padilla, meanwhile, found himself forced to answer questions about whether the ceremonies – held at 10 a.m. Tuesday – violated a provision of the city administrative code that bans any events that conflict with a City Council meeting. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The council is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “We had no choice,” Padilla said. “We were trying to accommodate a lot of officials from all over the country who rearranged their schedule to come here. Besides, the council was able to meet and I arrived a little late …” And Padilla said he also felt the event was worth it. “This is a $20 million project that we have been waiting for a long time to see get started,” Padilla said. For an old union hand, Villaraigosa is talking tough about the unions these days and the potential demands they could place on the city budget. Surprisingly, one of the areas in which he is concerned is how successful the unions have been in organizing all levels of city workers – including managers. It was one of the reasons he said he felt he had no choice but to sign off on a new contract for Department of Water and Power workers: There were not enough nonunion personnel to keep the system operating if there was a strike, the mayor said. The issue came up again last week when the mayor held one of his meetings with general managers. One of the top issues managers raised was reviewing the city’s Civil Service rules for midlevel workers to give managers greater leeway in running their departments. The primary message Villaraigosa has been giving managers in his first months in office is looking for ways to save money and improve efficiencies. The new Scenic Air service out of Palmdale to Las Vegas has a high-profile devotee. Airport Commissioner Valeria Velasco, who represents the area around LAX, ventured to the city-owned airport in Palmdale last week to promote the commuter airline’s new service as well as to try to encourage greater use of the facility. “There are 17,000 acres out here,” Velasco said. “That could put five LAXs out at Palmdale.” The biggest problem the city has had is encouraging airlines to use Palmdale for either passenger or cargo operations, but Velasco said the Palmdale operations remind her of a more congenial time in air travel, when passengers could pull right up to a curb to board an airplane. Scenic Air offers one flight a day to North Las Vegas. MEDIA WATCH: After several weeks of negotiations, all-news radio station KFWB-AM (980) has finally reached an agreement with Villaraigosa to resume its popular “Ask the Mayor” call-in show. The first one will air at 9 a.m. Nov. 1, when the mayor will be questioned by anchor Jack Popejoy and listeners on various issues. The program started with former Mayor Richard Riordan and continued through the four years of former Mayor James Hahn. One difference now, however, is that Villaraigosa said he wants to do the show every three months instead of every month. Daily News Staff Writer Kerry Cavanaugh contributed. Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Statement on Arcelormittal South Africa

first_imgGovernment notes with disappointment the decision of ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA) to retrench nearly 1 000 workers across the company and to close the Saldanha Works.This comes despite significant efforts by Government and public agencies to provide additional support to AMSA over the last few months, and to ensure a solution which would result in the elimination of job losses across the company and the continuation of the Saldanha Works.The recent efforts of Government are additional to extensive trade support which has been provided to the steel industry over the last few years to ensure protection from imports, including safeguards on imported hot rolled steel. In addition, Government has designated the steel industry to ensure that steel procured for infrastructure projects is locally produced.The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ebrahim Patel, met with the management of AMSA on several occasions during the last months to explore opportunities to save jobs and keep all of AMSA’s plants in operation. Most recently, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) together with the Department of Public Enterprises, Eskom and Transnet engaged with AMSA management on additional support which could be provided by Eskom and Transnet to reduce energy and logistics costs for the company and at Saldanha, in particular.In early October, the Ministry of Trade and Industry convened a meeting between AMSA and the leadership of both Solidarity and Numsa (together “organised labour) to expedite a dialogue towards reduced job losses. AMSA agreed to suspend the Section 189 consultation process to allow time for a facilitated engagement with Government and Organised Labour. To ensure appropriate engagement, Mr Patel appointed Mr Glen Cormack, an experienced part-time Commissioner with the CCMA, to meet with the engage the parties towards a viable solution.Minister Patel facilitated meetings with the management of Kumba, which supplies iron ore to AMSA, to obtain further concessional pricing for Arcelor Mittal from Kumba, which would provide additional cost relief.All parties met several times over October and early November, during which time commitment was sought so that AMSA could suspend its retrenchment process completely and keep the Saldanha Works in operation.The consequence of the expedited facilitation and dialogue initiated by National Government, secured commitments of half a billion in annualised savings, in addition to once off savings of more than R200 million and additional commitments from organised labour to fast-track discussions on enhanced productivity arrangements.Speaking on the side lines of the Brics Trade Ministers meeting in Brazil, Mr Patel noted:“The closure of Saldanha Works and retrenchment of workers at AMSA is a harsh blow to industrialisation in the country. This is particularly regrettable given the energy and efforts of National Government, SOEs, organised labour and others to provide support and savings to AMSA. These commitments follow significant tariff protection and localisation initiatives provided to protect the steel industry from the threat of imports.“We recognise the challenges presented to the steel industry globally from over-capacity. Our efforts are directed at maintaining a primary steel production capability in South Africa. We urge AMSA to continue to work with National Government and other social partners to reverse this decision and find solutions which can keep the Saldanha Works in operation, and workers in employment. If no solution is found with Arcelor Mittal, they should consider selling the plant to ensure the country does not lose industrial capacity and workers and communities are not displaced.”Enquiries:Sidwell Medupe-Departmental SpokespersonTel: (012) 394 1650Mobile: 079 492 1774E-mail: [email protected] by: The Department of Trade and IndustryFollow us on Twitter: @the_dtilast_img read more

Dollar drivers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A number of recent trading sessions have been marked by a frustrating pattern. Overnight, grains will start a brave little rally based on fundamental production worries like rained-out planting or flooded, sprouting wheat. At 7:00 a.m., they’ll be gaining a few cents to counteract the brutish losses of previous days, and then — wham! Something will happen to douse the bullish optimism and drive prices back down.That something has been a skyrocketing U.S. dollar index. The dollar index itself is just a number with no units, derived from a mathematical calculation to describe the value, at any point in time, of a complex idea — that the paper printed by the government of the largest economy on Earth represents that economy’s overall worth, can be traded efficiently for goods and services, and will always be honored by that government.The grain futures contracts used to track the value of corn, soybeans and wheat are denominated in U.S. dollars, so any time the dollar itself becomes stronger (i.e., a 1 dollar bill becomes worth relatively more in the global economy) then it takes fewer of those strong dollars to buy a bushel basket of corn or soybeans or wheat.A year ago, the dollar was still roughly as weak as it was in 2012. The U.S. dollar index was valued at 80.35 in late May 2014. If the nominal price tag for a bushel of corn was the same then as it is now, then an ocean vessel loaded with 58,000 metric tons of corn would have carried the rough equivalent of $6.69 million worth of cargo. The U.S. dollar index has strengthened 21% since then and is now at 97.35. To a foreign buyer in this theoretical scenario where corn prices have been perfectly flat from one year to the next and the only thing that changed was the strengthening of the dollar, that ocean vessel’s cargo would now cost the equivalent of $8.10 million. It’s clear why a stronger dollar dampens foreign buyers’ enthusiasm for our grain.It can seem that any attempt to analyze or understand or — dare we say it? — predict the movements of grain prices needs to involve analyzing and understanding and predicting what will happen to the U.S. dollar. On the most extreme days, we have less need for agronomic expertise about the yield effects from late planting and more need of geopolitical expertise about global investor activity. So what does make the dollar move one way or another on any given day?First of all, the U.S. dollar index isn’t actually the same thing as the value of a dollar bill. How can it be, as it has no units? A dollar bill today is worth 0.91 euro in Berlin, or 0.65 pound in London, or C$1.24 in Toronto, or 28 gumballs at your local American candy store, or 16 pounds of corn at your local ethanol plant. The price at any given place at any given time is determined by supply and demand, of course, with demand dictated by traders’ judgment of complex factors. Typically, investors determine the dollar’s value from the following three main elements. Interest ratesU.S. dollars and U.S. Treasury notes are both kind of debt instruments issued by the U.S. government, and are therefore closely related. The United States is the safest bet around these days, especially with the euro plummeting recently, so that’s one reason we see strong demand for Treasuries and the dollar strengthening. There can be a direct relationship between interest rates and the value of the currency. Even without investment money getting spooked out of Europe and into the U.S., the outlook for the dollar would still be bullish based on the near-inevitability of interest rate increases from the Fed sometime this year. Economic healthAn investor’s outlook for a currency can involve a more subjective analysis of the country’s stability and prosperity, taking into account its debt levels (U.S. debt is currently over $18 trillion), its trade surplus or deficit (a $51.4 billion deficit in the most recent report, 5.2% worse than the same period in 2014), its unemployment (5.4 percent, a seven-year low), its GDP (in Q1 2015, the U.S. GDP did grow but slowly at only 0.2 percent), and any number of other metrics. Stock market indices can be a proxy for this analysis, showing the investment environment’s overall optimism, or lack thereof. For the U.S. in mid-2015, these economic health factors generally point to continued improvement, and are therefore bullish to the dollar. Foreign reservesLooking at official foreign exchange reserves is a direct measure of demand for any given currency. Foreign governments can choose to hold their wealth in any instrument or currency, and although they diversify into euros and yen and francs and Australian dollars and whatever else, the U.S. dollar is still the vastly preferred global wealth-storage device. At the end of 2014, $3.8 trillion in U.S. dollars were held by the rest of the world — 32% of total foreign exchange holdings.Valuing the dollar is more complex than even these three factors describe. On any given day as financial instruments are bought and sold, there is also intangible trader sentiment to consider, not to mention unreadable computer codes triggering buy and sell orders during each fraction of each second.Also keep in mind that as complex as the overall dollar market’s motivations are, the U.S. dollar index itself is calculated from the values of six other countries’ currencies, each moving with their own independent complexities on any given day. More than half of the dollar index’s mathematical weighting comes from the euro, followed by the Japanese yen, the Great British pound sterling, the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona, and the Swiss franc. For example, when Greek and German negotiations about a default broke down and made headlines during a recent European afternoon, sudden negativity for the euro directly and immediately resulted in a higher U.S. dollar index during the American morning.When grain prices start doing something crazy that seems to defy the expectations of their own fundamental factors, these are the outside sources where we can look for direction in the instants before a grain market’s momentum changes. Elaine Kub is the author of “Mastering the Grain Markets: How Profits Are Really Made” and a contributing analyst for DTN. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @elainekub.last_img read more

Greece Rolls Over Georgia, 79-68

first_imgZAGREB, Croatia – Greece remained unbeaten with its third straight win in the European basketball tourney, whomping Georgia, 79-68 on Sept. 8.The Greeks rolled up an unbeatable 50-22 halftime lead with near-flawless execution against the outgunned Georgian team.Coach Fotis Katsikaris rested his big guns in the second half as the Greeks coasted to an easy win over opening with victories over FYROM and a nail-biter to beat host Croatia.Nick Calathes was Greece’s top scorer with 19 points, while NBA players Giannis Antetokounmpo and Costas Koufos had 12 each.Greece is alone on top of the group staged in Croatia and on Sept. 9 will play a much-tougher Slovenian team.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

Rep Howrylak joins applauds creation of new Asian Pacific American caucus

first_img This week legislators came together to form the bipartisan Asian Pacific American caucus, which is composed of members of the Michigan Legislature who identify as Asian Pacific American and members with districts that have large concentrations of Asian Pacific American residents, announced State Rep. Martin Howrylak.“Those who identify as Asian Pacific Americans are the fastest growing population in Michigan,” said Howrylak, R-Troy. “Asian Pacific Americans are contributing to the cultural diversity of our district, the fine reputation of our public schools and to the vitality of our region’s economy.”As part of its mission, the caucus will work to educate other members of the Legislature about the contributions and concerns of the Asian Pacific American community in Michigan.Members of the Legislature participating in the new caucus include Sens. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, Patrick Colbeck, Mike Kowall, Marty Knollenberg, Rebekah Warren and Reps. Martin Howrylak, Kristy Pagan, Stephanie Chang, Christine Greig, Jeff Irwin, Adam Zemke and Sam Singh.### Categories: Howrylak News 30Jan Rep. Howrylak joins, applauds creation of new Asian Pacific American caucuslast_img read more

Tech Tops Glassdoors Best Jobs of 2017

first_img Stephanie Mlot The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Data scientist, DevOps engineer and data engineer are this year’s winners. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Add to Queue January 25, 2017 Do you have one of the 50 Best Jobs in America for 2017? If you’re a data scientist, the answer is yes, according to Glassdoor.The company studies the top employment opportunities based on earning potential from median annual base salary, job satisfaction rating and number of current openings. For the second year in a row, data scientist lands at number one with a total score of 4.8 out of five. The job — which Harvard Business Review dubbed “The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” — has one of the highest annual incomes ($110,000) and more than 4,000 openings across the U.S.Not into analysing and interpreting complex digital data? Try your hand at DevOps (a compound of “software DEVelopment” and “information technology OPerationS”) engineering — the second-best job of 2017. With a focus on collaboration and communication between software developers and IT professionals, DevOps averaged a 4.7 job score, $110,000 median base salary and 2,700-plus opportunities.Data engineers, meanwhile, work closely with data scientists, but don’t seem as satisfied with their positions: The number three career path offers less money ($106,000 on average) and fewer job openings (less than 3,000).”This report reinforces that the best jobs are highly skilled and are staying ahead of the growing trend toward workplace automation,” Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist, said in a statement.Technology is the clear winner this year, claiming more occupations (see all 14 below) than any other specialty on this year’s Glassdoor list.”In particular for tech jobs, companies across all industries are hiring workers for these needed positions, including employers in healthcare, finance, manufacturing, retail and more,” Chamberlain said. “Any organization today with a mobile app, web presence or digitized data are struggling to fill jobs like data scientists, software engineers and mobile developers.”Data scientist (1)DevOps engineer (2)Data engineer (3)Database administrator (7)UX designer (9)Solutions architect (10)QA manager (22)Mobile developer (26)Systems administrator (27)Technical account manager (29)Product manager (32)UI designer (43)Business intelligence developer (47) Image credit: Shutterstock Tech Tops Glassdoor’s Best Jobs of 2017center_img –shares This story originally appeared on PCMag Apply Now » Reporter at PCMag Next Article Jobs 2 min readlast_img read more