Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gayest Cities in America

Source: Advocate.com

Long ago, gay people settled in our nation’s largest cities. There they spruced up all the property, created every art and fashion movement, and taught entire populations how to dance. They created gayborhoods like WeHo, Chelsea, South Beach—and pretty much queered all of San Francisco until even Laundromats had rainbow flag decals in their windows. About 10 years ago everyone else moved back into these nicely gentrified metropolises, and the lavender diaspora began. Now a slew of secondary cities are becoming gay epicenters.

This admittedly subjective search reveals spots that are much more pink than you might think. Determined by a completely unscientific but accurate statistical equation, these gayest cities may surprise you. Iowa City, Austin, and Asheville have more gays per capita than the biggies. These cities where everyday gays live—towns and boroughs with a mix of baby carriages, gay bars, and B&Bs—signal the continuing movement of gay people into mainstream American life.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Networks Air 43K+ Hours of Sports Event Coverage in 2009

National broadcast and cable TV networks aired over 43,700 hours of sporting events in the U.S. last year, according to new statistics released in Nielsen’s report on “The Changing Face of Sports Media.” Nielsen also found that advertisers spent an estimated $7.6 billion on sports programming alone in 2009.

According to the report, sports fans turned to the computer screen in overwhelming numbers to complement TV viewership. Nielsen estimates that 81 million people in the U.S. visited sports websites each month in 2009. Fans used the internet to track all the major storylines in sports, from A-Rod’s steroid admission, to Tiger’s very public downfall, and everything in between….

Friday, January 29, 2010

2009: Second Warmest Year on Record; End of Warmest Decade

2009 was tied for the second warmest year in the modern record, a new NASA analysis of global surface temperature shows. The analysis, conducted by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, also shows that in the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 was the warmest year since modern records began in 1880.

Although 2008 was the coolest year of the decade — due to strong cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean — 2009 saw a return to near-record global temperatures. The past year was only a fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest year on record, and tied with a cluster of other years –1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007 1998 and 2007 — as the second warmest year since recordkeeping began.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2009 Most Frugal Cities

A Georgia peach tastes especially sweet when purchased with a coupon, if Atlanta residents have anything to say about it.

The Georgia state capital tops the list of Most Frugal U.S. Cities, according to the 2009 Savings Index released today by Coupons.com, the premiere Web destination for coupons and savings. The average Coupons.com user in Atlanta saved over $531 using coupons from the site in 2009. Tampa, Florida follows closely in the number two position.
1. Atlanta
2. Tampa
3. Cincinnati
4. Saint Louis
5. Minneapolis
6. Nashville
7. Charlotte
8. Cleveland
9. Pittsburgh
10. Kansas City
11. Raleigh
12. Boston
13. Oklahoma City
14. Miami
15. Washington, DC
16. Indianapolis
17. Denver
18. Dallas
19. Wichita
20. Columbus

Source: Coupons.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Who Are America's Poor Children?

More than 13 million American children live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level, which is $22,050 a year for a family of four. The number of children living in poverty increased by 21 percent between 2000 and 2008. There are 2.5 million more children living in poverty today than in 2000.

Not only are these numbers troubling, the official poverty measure tells only part of the story. Research consistently shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice the federal poverty level to make ends meet. Children living in families with incomes below this level – for 2009, $44,100 for a family of four – are referred to as low income. Forty-one percent of the nation’s children – more than 29 million in 2008 – live in low-income families.

Nonetheless, eligibility for many public benefits is based on the official poverty measure. This fact sheet – the first in a series focusing on economic and material hardship – details some of the characteristics of American children who are considered poor by the official standard.
***
Also, The Suburbanization of Poverty.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Human Rights — World Report 2010

This 20th annual World Report summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. It reflects extensive investigative work undertaken in 2009 by Human Rights Watch staff, usually in close partnership with human rights activists in the country in question.

Every government is at times tempted to violate human rights, but the global human rights movement has made sure that abuse carries a price. Still, some governments cannot resist trying to minimize that price by attacking human rights defenders, organizations, and institutions. The aim is to silence the messenger, to deflect pressure, to lessen the cost of committing human rights violations.

These efforts have yet to succeed, but the campaign is dangerous. Human Rights Watch calls on governmental supporters of human rights to help defend the defenders by identifying and countering these reactionary efforts. A strong defense of human rights depends on the vitality of the human rights movement now under assault.

Monday, January 25, 2010

2009 HHS Poverty Guidelines Extended Until March 1, 2010

In case you work with these numbers:
The 2009 Health and Human Services (HHS) poverty guidelines will remain in effect until updated 2010 poverty guidelines are published, which shall not take place before March 1, 2010. See Federal Register Notice listed below:

NOTICE
2009 HHS Poverty Guidelines (Extended Until March 1, 2010), 3734–3735 [2010–1234]

Friday, January 22, 2010

E-mail scam misappropriates BBB's name, lies about Census

When a “warning” from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) about how to avoid census scammers started circulating on the Internet, many educated and otherwise savvy people bought the message and passed it along. Several well-meaning friends sent the missive to me, asking in an innocent effort to be helpful (and maybe to impress their census-crazed friend), “Is there anything we should add before sending to our e-mail list?”

My answer: TRASH IT, before this doctored message hoodwinks more unsuspecting readers!


More here.

2010 Census Posters to be displayed in Post Offices Nationally


The USPS will be displaying this poster nationwide from Feb 19 - May 31, 2010.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Save up to 80% of penalty, interest on NYS tax debts

From the state tax department:

The Penalty and Interest Discount (PAID) program gives taxpayers with older unpaid bills the chance to save up to 80% of the penalty and interest they owe.

You can save:
- 80% of accrued penalty and interest on unpaid bills issued on or before December 31, 2003
- 50% of accrued penalty and interest on unpaid bills issued after December 31, 2003 and on or before December 31, 2006.

To take advantage of the program's savings, you must make all payments by March 15, 2010. If you don't pay in full by that date:
- your opportunity for these savings will be lost forever
- any unpaid tax debts will continue to accrue interest at the full statutory rate.

Eligible taxpayers who don't receive a notice because we can't reach them through the mail can still participate. See the Web site to learn how to get PAID up.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Information Guide

Mary Climes, Head of Reference at the Middletown (NY) Thrall Library, and Thrall reference librarian Robert Tiess have created (and continue to update) a resource guide concerning the earthquake crisis in Haiti.

They have done so, as they have done "in the past with other guides in our Special Coverage Center, for the dual benefit of our local library system members and the larger world of online users."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Census Road Show

The 2010 Census Road Tour vehicle "Liberty" is moving around the New York Regional Office's 19 county area. Please take a look at the places Census has visited as well as a photo of the vehicle.


There is a similar blog for the Boston Regional Office's "Democracy" 2010 Census Road Tour vehicle, as well as other vehicles around the country.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Hill Library recommends:

Use the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) to identify state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. DSIRE is actually two databases - one on renewable energy and one on energy efficiency - that you can search individually or simultaneously. There's also a section with information on federal incentives.

You can find incentives using an interactive map, or use DSIRE's summary maps or summary tables. Summary maps include grant programs for renewables, loan programs for renewables, rebate programs for renewables, PACE financing, and more. Summary tables include financial incentives for renewable energy, financial incentives for energy efficiency, and rules, regulations and policies for both.

There is also a library of reports, technical papers, and articles authored by DSIRE staff.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two New Surveys From the Census Bureau

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

+ 2008 Service Annual Survey: Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation Services

The Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation sector includes a wide range of establishments that operate facilities or provide services to meet varied cultural, entertainment, and recreational interests of their patrons. This sector comprises (1) establishments that are involved in producing, promoting, or participating in live performances, events, or exhibits intended for public viewing; (2) establishments that preserve and exhibit objects and sites of historical, cultural, or educational interest; and (3) establishments that operate facilities or provide services that enable patrons to participate in recreational activities or pursue amusement, hobby, and leisure-time interests.

+ 2008 Service Annual Survey: Other Services (Except Public Administration, Religious, Labor, and Political Organizations, and Private Households)

The Other Services (except Public Administration) sector comprises establishments engaged in providing services not specifically provided for elsewhere in the classification system. Establishments in this sector are primarily engaged in activities, such as equipment and machinery repairing, promoting or administering religious activities, grantmaking, advocacy, and providing drycleaning and laundry services, personal care services, death care services, pet care services, photofinishing services, temporary parking services, and dating services.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Tax Guide Features Recovery Tax Breaks; Helps People Save on their 2009 Taxes

Taxpayers can get the most out of new recovery tax breaks and get a jump on preparing their 2009 federal income tax returns by consulting a newly revised comprehensive tax guide now available on IRS.gov.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Capital Punishment, 2008 – Statistical Tables Released

Presents characteristics of persons under sentence of death on December 31, 2008, and persons executed in 2008. Preliminary data on executions by states during 2009 are included. Tables present state-by-state information on the movement of prisoners into and out of death sentence status during 2008, status of capital statutes, and methods of execution. Numerical tables also summarize data on offender characteristics such as gender, race, Hispanic origin, age at time of arrest for capital offense, legal status at time of capital offense, and time between imposition of death sentence and execution. Data are from the National Prisoner Statistics (NPS-8) series.

Phony BBB E-mail Spreads Fiction about 2010 Census; Get the Facts

An e-mail which falsely claims to be from the Better Business Bureau about the upcoming 2010 Census is inaccurate and BBB is advising consumers to get the facts.

Friday, January 8, 2010

FAQs (Ask Dr. NAICS)

Regular users of NAICS codes might find the information here occasionally useful for their own use. Where I think it shines is as a point of reference for less regular users. For instance:

How do the NAICS codes affect federal procurement and regulatory activities, such as those carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Defense, and the General Services Administration?

NAICS was developed for use in the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of statistical data that show the economic status of the United States. The NAICS categories and definitions were not developed to meet the needs of procurement or regulatory applications. However, other Federal agencies, trade associations, and regulation boards have adopted NAICS to use for procurement and regulatory purposes even though it is not well suited to meet their specific needs. The U.S. Census Bureau has no formal role as an arbitrator of classification decisions outside of Census Bureau programs. For questions regarding other agencies' uses of the NAICS system, contact the specific agency. For access to a list of Federal government agencies, visit www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/All_Agencies/index.shtml.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hmm, Why Has Michele Bachmann Stopped Bashing The Census?

Minnesota may lose a house seat if the Census determines the population had dropped enough. And guess whose seat would probably be eliminated?

Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online

The Federal Trade Commission is offering a FREE publication, "Net Cetera," to help parents talk to their kids about safely navigating the online world. Available in English and Spanish. Visit USA.gov to request a copy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

World Trade Center Cases in the New York Workers' Compensation System

The New York State Workers' Compensation Board released a report entitled, "World Trade Center Cases in the New York Workers' Compensation System" in September 2009.

The report points out that, so far, "As a result of the World Trade Center disaster, 11,627 workers' compensation claims were filed with the New York State Workers' Compensation Board."

Nearly half of claims were from rescue, recovery, and clean-up workers while over half of claims were for respiratory related issues. Twenty-six tables compare data on a variety of details including the nature of injuries, demographics, and attorney fees by claim type.

This analysis is available from the Worker's Compensation Board web site.

The deadline to register World Trade Center rescue, recovery and/or clean-up service in order for the extended claim filing period to apply is September 11, 2010. A registration form can also be found at the WCB web site.

This notice is one in a series of regular announcements that the New York State Library is posting to NYLINE to improve access to New York State government information. These messages contain a brief description of a New York State document of interest and links to related online information.