American Soybean Association (ASA) CEO Steve Censky announced today that Patrick Delaney has joined ASA as Communications Director, effective Dec. 15. Delaney is based in Washington, D.C. within ASA’s Washington Policy Representative Office of Gordley Associates.”ASA is pleased to welcome Patrick to our team,” Censky said. “His experience in ag policy communications will serve him well in his role with ASA, where he will craft timely communications on policy decisions and issues happening in Washington, as well as talking points and analysis to keep ASA’s farmer-leaders and state affiliates informed.”Delaney comes to ASA from the United Fresh Produce Association, where he managed staff, advised leadership and communicated to key audiences and stakeholders on all publicity matters, including advocacy and crisis communications on nutrition, labor, food safety, immigration, trade, sustainability and farm policy. He has worked in various public relations roles with agencies and the radio broadcast industry.Delaney is from the Kansas City area. He has a bachelor’s degree in Persuasive and Political Communication from George Mason University and is working toward a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University.Bob Callanan, who has served as ASA Communications Director based in St. Louis, moves into a new position as ASA’s Project Development Director, where he’ll develop program concepts and proposals to be presented to state soybean affiliates, qualified state soybean boards, and industry partners.Communications Coordinator Cassandra Langley will have an expanded role at ASA’s headquarters in St. Louis, assisting Delaney in the implementation of communications developed there.
More than 60 members of the House signed a letter this week to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, urging they advise Japan to eliminate tariff and non-tariff trade barriers for U.S. agricultural products as part of the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks.In the letter, congress expressed concern that Japan has yet to make a comprehensive offer on market access.“TPP negotiations set an important standard for future trade agreements, and a positive outcome on agriculture products could mean billions in future exports and hundreds of thousands of jobs. This success will only be realized, however, if Japan and other U.S. trading partners agree to address trade barriers comprehensively, without broad exclusions for sensitive products such as those submitted by Japan,” the letter states.The letter also emphasizes that if Japan is allowed exemptions, this could lead to other TPP countries making similar demands and jeopardize the entire agreement.“Not only would special treatment for sensitive agriculture products be inconsistent with U.S. requests in previous trade agreements and assurances provided when Japan was invited to join TPP, but also could undermine the careful balance of concessions the other eleven economies have achieved,” Congress members say in the letter. “We commend previous efforts to expand market access with Japan, including completion of a revised export agreement for certain agriculture products last year. We now seek assurances from you that the U.S. will not close TPP negotiations with Japan’s participation unless Japan has agreed to eliminate tariff and non-tariff trade barriers to agriculture.”To read the entire letter, click here.
A new provision included in the 2014 Farm Bill has the potential to be a “lifeline” for farmers following crop losses due to severe weather events and natural disasters, according to the American Soybean Association. The Actual Production History Yield Exclusion, or APH, allows farmers to exclude yields from exceptionally bad years, such as those brought on by severe weather or natural disasters from their production history when calculating yields used to establish their crop insurance coverage.”The rollout of the APH program is a lifesaver for soybean farmers in so many parts of the country. It quite literally means the difference between continuing to farm following disastrous years, and being forced out of business,” said ASA First Vice President Wade Cowan, who farms in Brownfield, Texas, and has experienced significant drought in each of the last four growing seasons. “Weather is the single biggest external factor in soybean farming. We have no control over its effects, but with the APH program, we can better respond to its impacts.”The APH program is significant given the formula used to calculate crop insurance coverage. Producers are able to purchase coverage based on that farmer’s average recent yields. Formerly, a year of bad yields due to severe weather would reduce the yield coverage levels available in future years. Under the APH program included in the Farm Bill and announced yesterday by USDA, yields can be excluded from farm actual production history when the county average yield for that crop year is at least 50 percent below the 10 previous consecutive crop years’ average yield. By excluding exceptionally unusual years, a farmer’s overall yield average avoids a disproportionate reduction.The APH exclusion, according to Cowan, takes on additional significance this year, given the decline in prices for many commodities. “Without the APH program, producers who have suffered severe weather would face the double-whammy of low prices and low yield protection,” Cowan said.According to USDA, spring crops eligible for APH Yield Exclusion include corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, barley, canola, sunflowers, peanuts, and popcorn. Nearly three-fourths of all acres and liability in the federal crop insurance program will be covered under APH Yield Exclusion.”Much credit should be given to the Agriculture Committees for including this provision in the Farm Bill, and then to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and the team at USDA for rolling out this program for 2015 spring plantings,” added Cowan. “The positive effects it will have for farmers, not only in the Southwest but nationwide, will be great evidence of its success.”
Vancouver police are hoping someone will recognize a man seen on a security video, who allegedly robbed Sun Kiss Tanning at 5000 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.The robbery was reported at 3:42 p.m. Thursday.An employee said the man handed over a note demanding money and displayed a gun. The man walked away with the store’s cash and escaped despite the efforts of police and a K-9 team.The robber was described as white, and 5 feet 11 inches tall with a medium build. He wore a green hooded sweatshirt or jacket.Anyone who recognizes or sees him is asked to call 911.
A 33-year-old Vancouver man suffered a minor injury Tuesday evening after he fell asleep at the wheel and hit a utility pole on Northeast 82nd Avenue in Battle Ground, authorities reported.The man was driving his dump truck north on Northeast 82nd Avenue near Northeast 276th Street at 6:11 p.m. when he fell asleep and drifted into the left lane, said Sgt. Linda Hayes with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. He over-corrected, hitting a utility pole and causing power lines to snap.The man drove to an area hospital in his own vehicle for a shoulder injury. His name was not released.
SALEM — The Oregon House on Monday approved $450 million in bonds to help pay for new Interstate 5 and light-rail bridges connecting Portland and Vancouver across the Columbia River.Lawmakers approved the funding despite complaints that it lacks a definitive revenue source to repay the bonds at a cost of about $28 million a year for three decades. Proponents say they’ll use a federal highway fund windfall to cover the cost in the first three years and may seek a dedicated revenue source — such a hike in gas taxes or vehicle fees — as part of a large transportation package in 2015. The House’s 45-11 vote sends the measure to the Senate. Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber is a strong supporter of the project and his spokesman, Tim Raphael, said the governor would sign the bill.Oregon will be able to sell bonds only if Washington state comes up with its own $450 million share, the federal government puts up more than $1 billion and the U.S. Coast Guard issues a permit. The $3.4 billion project would include two new bridges for vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and light rail trains, along with new freeway interchanges on both sides of the river. Project designs call for two double-decker bridges with 10 highway travel lanes in each direction, up from six. Portland’s MAX light-rail trains would be extended to downtown Vancouver.
Listen to deer hunters talk and the consensus often is: 30 years ago were the good old days in Southwest Washington.There was more logging in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and, as a result, deer numbers were better in places like the Siouxon, Lewis River, Wind River and Packwood units.Residential cabins had not yet encroached into backwoods habitat. Hairloss syndrome had not yet arrived.The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, in its latest “Game Status and Trend Report,” agrees with that consensus.“Anecdotal reports consistently state that there were many more deer in Region 5 (South west Washington) during those years,” said Eric Holman, a state wildlife biologist and author of the local deer section of the annual report. “Given the changes inhabitat condition in the years that have followed, it is likely that these sentiments are correct.” Holman said information compiled by the agency suggests a slow decline in the deer population of Southwest Washington.To wit:o Hunter success rates over the past 11 years have declined from approximately 19 percent to 16 percent.o Hunter days per kill has edged upwards from roughly 32 to 35 days during the same period.o Total deer harvest has also declined from roughly 7,000 to 4,500 annually duringthe same period. Holman also said there are fewer hunters.“The reduced harvest in recent years can be partially explained by a concurrent reduction in hunters,” he said. “In the past 11 years deer hunters in the six Southwest Washington counties have declined from approximately 34,000 to 28,000.”Monitoring methods have changed over time and meaningful comparisons of the current deer population and those of the past are not possible, he said.But he has no doubt there are fewer deer.And, not only are the numbers down, the distribution of deer has shifted with more in the low-elevation units like Washougal, Coweeman and Ryderwood and fewer in high-elevation units in the Cascade Mountains. Click to enlarge
Employee Benefits poll: Half (50%) of respondents think that collective defined contribution (DC) pension schemes are not a suitable replacement for defined benefit (DB) arrangements.A straw poll of www.employeebenefits.co.uk readers, which received 26 responses, also found that 27% of respondents believe that collective DC schemes can work as a replacement for DB pensions, while 23% feel that more information is needed before they can make a decision.Last month, The Work and Pension Committee launched an inquiry into the possibility of introducing collective DC pension schemes to the UK pensions market. The deadline for contributing written feedback is 8 January 2018.Collective DC pension schemes, which are common in countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Canada and are also known as defined ambition schemes, are not currently offered in the UK. Collective DC schemes have a target or ambition amount that they will pay out based on a long-term, mixed-risk investment plan. The aim of a collective DC scheme is to provide an adequate level of index-linked pension for life, but it does not have a contractual guarantee. Collective DC pension schemes can redefine the benefits they offer subject to circumstances, for example, adverse economic conditions.Collective DC pensions also do not produce an individual pension pot, but invest members’ savings into a larger collective pot that then provides a retirement income. This can, therefore, influence decision making around pension freedoms, and alters the pension’s risk profile.The government’s inquiry is investigating whether collective DC arrangements can benefit UK savers and whether this type of scheme will work cohesively alongside the existing pension freedoms. The inquiry will also explore whether underfunded DB schemes could be replaced by collective DC schemes and address how potential collective DC arrangements could be legislated for and regulated.
Information technology business Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has introduced a new paid parental leave policy and work-life balance benefits for its 60,000 global employees.The parental leave policy, implemented as part of a new work-life balance and family-friendly benefits strategy, will enable new parents to take up to six months of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child after 30 April 2019.Alan May, chief people officer at HPE, said: “Our culture at HPE is one that values employees’ lives inside and outside of the office. Offering benefits that promote wellbeing for the whole person, like giving mums and dads the opportunity to be at home with their new child for a longer period of time, provides the security and balance needed for our people to be able to build long-term careers with us.”In addition to the parental leave provision, HPE launched wellness Fridays, encouraging employees to leave the office three hours early on a designated Friday each month. This aims to help staff focus on their physical or emotional health, or spend time on their personal and career development. Employees will still be paid for the three hours they are out of the office.HPE has additionally implemented parental and retirement transition support schemes. The parental transition support programme will enable new parents to work part-time for up to 36 months following the birth or adoption of their child, while the retirement transition support initiative will allow staff within one year of retirement to also work part-time, to help ease their transition out of the workforce.The organisation has further introduced a career reboot programme; this provides job opportunities at HPE to individuals, such as stay-at-home parents, who have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time and are ready to re-enter the workforce.The new programmes and benefits were communicated to employees in April 2019 by HPE’s chief executive officer, in conjunction with the opening of the organisation’s new headquarters in San Jose, California.Antonio Neri, chief executive officer at HPE, said: “Innovation is our top priority at HPE and that is made possible by the culture we build. We will retain and attract the best talent because of who we are, how we work and how we treat our people, which in turn will help our customers and partners thrive.”
Engineering organisation Rolls-Royce has completed a pensioner buy-in transaction with Legal and General Assurance Society, totalling £4.1 billion.The policy insures the pension liabilities, worth around £4.1 billion, for 33,000 pensioner members of the Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund, which has a total of 76,000 members. In addition, approximately £4.6 billion of pension assets will be transferred to Legal and General, and Rolls-Royce will also make a £30 million exceptional cash contribution to the scheme.The transaction has been designed to fully insure the payable benefits from the pension fund to provide permanent security for pensioner members, while reducing the organisation’s post-retirement obligations; the residual obligations will therefore be smaller and lower risk for the pension scheme trustees and Rolls-Royce to manage in the future.Funding levels for the scheme will remain unchanged, but there will be a reduction in net assets of around £0.5 billion. Free cash flow guidance for the full year will also stay the same.Joel Griffin, head of global pensions and benefits at Rolls-Royce, said: “This agreement will result in increased security for Rolls-Royce pensioners and reduced risk for our business. Legal and General is one of the world’s leading insurance [organisations] and as a result of this deal, the provision of benefits will be governed by stringent funding requirements, resulting in a secure pension environment for our pensioners.”Stephen Daintith, chief financial officer at Rolls-Royce, added: “This is a significant transaction which represents another step on our journey to simplify, de-risk and strengthen the [organisation]. Rolls-Royce and the trustees of the Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund have worked intensely to ensure that the fund continues to have the resources it requires to meet its obligations. This agreement is a further step towards ensuring benefits for our pensioners.”
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Fort Lauderdale Police discovered a man’s body, Tuesday morning.According to police, they said the 60-year-old was found at around 8:21 a.m., in a pool of blood near Southwest 25th Avenue and Davie Boulevard.Police are continuing their investigation.If you have any information on this death, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Patients @Nicklaus4Kids were overjoyed to meet soccer stars from @PSG_inside today. Thank you for bringing smiles to so many families! pic.twitter.com/M2f2jV9v3b— Nicklaus Children’s (@Nicklaus4Kids) July 20, 2017“For us, it’s a nice opportunity to give them a nice day and make them happy, spend some time with them, and hopefully make them happier,” said Saint-Germain player Kevin Trapp. What a great moment with the children of the @Nicklaus4Kids ! @FondationPSG #ParisLovesUS pic.twitter.com/AWn8B9b4o4 SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – An international soccer team made the play of the day at a South Florida children’s hospital.Players from the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club showed up at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for a soccer-themed celebration, Thursday afternoon.The young patients received autographs and some even showed off their soccer skills. — PSG Officiel (@PSG_inside) July 20, 2017The team is set to play Juventus at Hard Rock Stadium next Wednesday as part of the International Champions Cup.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
(WSVN) – A driver in Washington captured an adorable moment between a mother deer and her baby fawn.The mama deer comes to the rescue to help the fawn cross the road, encouraging her little one as they go off into the bushes.As they say, there’s nothing like a mother’s love.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The resolution states, the borough prioritizes accessibility for all voters to be able to exercise private and independent voting. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Peninsula Borough is looking at establishing an election stakeholders group in order to work towards implementing new election models to help voters who may need additional assistance. The borough assembly will be introducing a resolution at their meeting on Tuesday in order to ratify a complaint filed with the State of Alaska Commision for human rights. The conciliation agreement made with ASCHR, following the complaint, requires a stakeholders group be formed to evaluate election methodologies which includes a member representing the visually impaired community. According to Blankenship the KPB ‘s accommodations are similar to those of municipalities throughout the state, which allows for election workers to assist voters who need it. However, in October of 2018 the ASCHR investigation resulted in a finding of probable cause of discrimination. In a letter from Borough clerk Johni Blankenship, in 2015 a complaint was filed with the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights regarding the accommodations offered to visually impaired voters. The assembly will vote on the resolution at their meeting on January 8.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough approved an ordinance at their last meeting appropriating $50,000 in interest income from the Spruce Bark Beetle Program to Supplement the Community Wildfire Protection Plans Update Project. Spruce bark beetles have attacking trees along the Kenai and Russian Rivers for decades. Check out the sawdust at the base of this tree along the angler trail. It’s from beetles boring into the trunk. The Chugach National Forest is working with entomologists to understand this current spruce bark beetle epidemic and to keep the public safe as these trees start to die over the next 1-2 years. If a beetle damaged tree is in a city right-of-way, contact you local borough or city maintenance department. If a tree is threatening powerlines, please contact HEA member services at 283-5831. Trees on private property are the individual property owner’s responsibility. Several private contractors in the area offer tree removal services. The Alaska Cooperative Extension has a publication about managing spruce bark beetle damage and protecting healthy trees. View the publication here: https://soldotna.org/Spruce-Beetles-UAF_CES-Publication. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Spruce bark beetles are back and are making their presence known in the Kenai Peninsula. Dead and dying trees can be found throughout our community, and can be a real hazard, according to a release from the City of Soldotna. Protect your house and property by removing dead trees that can topple over; and also become a fire hazard.
People magazine is running an ad this month from Welch’s 100% grape juice which encourages readers to lick it. It tastes, I’m told, like Welch’s 100% grape juice.It’s an historic acid test—the ad represents the final frontier of sensory marketing in magazines to be attempted by Madison Avenue.We’ve seen ‘em try sight (remember the ad embedding LEDs a couple years back), sound (People once accepted an ad that played Elvis’ “Hound Dog” to annoying effect), touch and, of course, smell (see “Scent Strips Stink,” a post by FOLIO:’s resident perfume critic, John Brady). How long before we see these in magazines ads? My guess—they’re already on their way.What I’d really like to see, though, is a magazine’s editorial team embrace the available sensory technology. For example, what if you were, say, reading a 29-page Vanity Fair article on, say, the war in Iraq in which you could open a flap and actually smell Baghdad? Or how about lathering Sports Illustrated’s baseball preview in pine tar? Or … what do you think? [NOTE: Leave your best idea for an editorial sensory project in the comments section below.]
With many publishers facing broken covenants with lenders (even as they company itself may be profitable), it’s going to be a while before many employees can breathe easily again, even if we start to see an uptick in print and online that some observers are predicting for 2010 (events however, which many publishers made the core of their business in recent years, will still be down). It may not feel like it but magazines may be a relatively safer gig compared to other journalist jobs. According to Unity’s 2009 Lay-off Tracker Report, a survey from Unity Journalists of Color, there has been a 22 percent increase in the number of journalist jobs lost every month from September 2008 through August 2009. That’s three times more than the national average, in which jobs were lost at an 8 percent rate each month. The report says the news industry has lost 35,885 jobs since Sept. 15, 2008 and 46,599 jobs since Unity began tracking journalist cuts since January 1, 2008. While much of the report pertains to the newspaper industry, no sector is immune. Since September 2008, cuts include 24,511 jobs in print (primarily newspapers), 8,333 jobs in broadcast and 1,172 jobs in magazines.E-media is no safe haven either, as evidenced by Conde Nast’s purge of more than three dozen online staffers last fall and multiple lay-offs within the last couple weeks at Reader’s Digest’s e-media group, including several editors.
Scherzer: The quality of the apps, no matter which category, and the ease of use of the storefront/app store will shape the future of mobile platforms. It is not only about the device; it is very much about the content and usability. Each category has very successful examples: services like Pandora, FourSquare, Redlaser or Siri are very popular. Productivity apps like Instapaper, GoodReader, Tweety or Evernote add a ton of value and apps like AllThingsD, NewsPro from Reuters or the USA Today content app have very high usage rates—and everyone loves games like Labyrinth or PaperToss. FOLIO:: What mobile platforms should you focus on? What can you afford to ignore for now? Scherzer: IDG has operations in over 90 countries and each market is different. Symbian-based systems, for example, still play a very important role in Europe, as Windows Mobile does. In Japan the iPhone plays no role and most of the services are subscription-based. In the U.S. we focus on the iPhone/iPad and spend time and resources with Android and Blackberry. But we monitor all other platforms carefully. For example, Palm had a great mobile OS, but it had no impact on the market. The combination which HP has changed the story significantly. Microsoft‘s Windows Mobile 7 is also on the radar. Media companies need to be able to present on all mobile platforms and develop a system that is scalable. Our content needs to be available for consumption if the user switches from his computer to his smart phone, a tablet or e-reader. For now Apple, RIM and Google are the pacemakers in the U.S. for mobile traffic and audience growth. Media companies need to come up with efficient workflows and spend development and design time to optimize internal production tools and set up a modern, agile project management process, so they can keep up with the very fast moving digital-only companies. At PCWorld and Macworld, we took the last year to set up a Scrum-based project management style and did a lot of database back-end work and optimized our digital production tools to be able to scale and grow into new platforms. FOLIO:: Do you need specialized designers for mobile? Sherzer: We have one interactive design team, which is responsible for our Web sites, the mobile experience on all Web-friendly devices and the user experience on tablets and e-readers. They also work very closely with our external app development partners. They really understand the different user experience on different screen sizes. We didn’t hire mobile designers and developers but we have specialists on each team who spend more time on mobile platforms than on the Web. We don’t develop platform-specific apps ourselves, we work with partners. But our team is able to manage those apps later in the process. Native apps leverage the relationship between the user and the device in a way that mobile Web apps probably can’t. We will find out if native apps create higher brand loyalty, better user metrics and deeper engagement. It’s very important that design and development teams work seamlessly together and that we put the user front and center. FOLIO:: What kind of analytics can you get with mobile and how do you obtain them? Scherzer: We use Omniture to measure Web site traffic and also traffic from mobile devices and mobile platforms. So we know how much traffic iPhone, iPad or Blackberry users generate per day and we see how important Webkit-optimized versions of our Web sites are for the user experience. We have also developed mobile-friendly versions for phones with simpler browsers like Blackberry and Windows Mobile. We get data and analytics for our apps from companies like Fleurry and Pinch Media. They are specialized on the major app platforms and are able to deliver very interesting insights about your apps. Key metrics for us are unique users, how much time they spent with our brands and how deeply they engage with us. FOLIO:: How do you market a mobile app? Scherzer: We are using all our media channels: we run editorial stories in the magazine and online, promote new apps in print and on our Web sites. We use our list and newsletters, we’ve done search engine marketing and promoted our apps at events and shows. It is great to have multiple channels to communicate with your audience. The combined reach of print, online and mobile creates a nice, strong momentum. We use the same tools and techniques we use for our advertising partners to drive value and connect buyers and sellers in an efficient, lasting and engaging way. Mobile is great fun and opens awesome opportunities for integrated media companies. Every day, a different magazine introduces a new mobile app. For PCWorld, mobile platforms aren’t just the flavor of the month but a way to create new business opportunities (as well as give new life to established channels). Here, PCWorld and Macworld executive vice president and general manager Stephan Scherzer [pictured] talks about making mobile a daily part of the publishing workflow and building a scalable business, rather than a series of one-offs. FOLIO:: How is mobile making money for publishers? Can it be monetized at this point or does it need to be value-added? Scherzer: IDG is in the business of information about information technology. If a brand is able to deeply engage an audience with buying power and decision making potential, money will follow the eyeballs. Right now we are focusing on growing our mobile footprint to deliver a great user experience and useful content across the relevant mobile platforms. We sell mobile campaigns, but also have integrated buys, using the Web site and our mobile versions of the site. We create additional value for users and advertisers but we sell it and don’t give it away. It’s still early days for mobile but as a media company you need to be all over it and give users what they want so brands stay relevant in the future. FOLIO:: What is the opportunity for reader-generated revenues? Sherzer: Mobile offers a great opportunity for additional reader revenues. In Japan, for example, a lot of mobile services such as games and content offerings are subscription-based. Users are willing to pay for convenience, for being part of a special community, for ideas and tools helping them to become more productive or if they know more than their friends because they have access to specific information. As a media company we need to make sure we have direct access to our customers, grow our databases and turn our users into loyal subscribers. We sell our Macworld super guides as iPhone apps, turn PCWorld super guides into Android apps and sell AppGems, an app which helps you to discover new and interesting apps. FOLIO:: What type of apps are most popular?
Network Communications Inc. has reached an agreement with 100 percent of its revolving loan lenders and 100 percent of its term loan lenders on a balance sheet restructuring that will cut debt from $300 million to $115 million. The company says it has support from approximately 89 percent of its bondholders and will continue to seek additional support for the restructuring in the coming weeks. “Obtaining the support of our creditors on the terms of our balance sheet restructuring is a huge step forward for the company,” said CEO Dan McCarthy in a statement. “We look forward to implementing the restructuring over the course of the next several weeks and providing the company with a de-leveraged balance sheet to provide us with the operating flexibility to take advantage of improving market conditions.” In June, NCI defaulted on its interest payment on its 10-3/4 senior notes due 2013, which prompted the restructuring negotiations. According to the company’s most recent financial statement filed with the SEC, NCI reported a net loss of $10.5 million through its fiscal third quarter (period ended December 6), compared to a loss of $83.4 during the same period the prior year. Revenues were $105.1 million, a decline of 24.2 percent.
Pour one out for New Jersey’s incarcerated wine aficionados.Staffers at Wine Spectator were surprised last week to learn that the 42-year-old Shanken publication chronicling the winemaking industry has apparently been banned in New Jersey state prisons, alongside venerable titles like Buttman, D Cup, and Hustler, according to information made available through an ACLU Open Public Records Act request.The purported ban came to light after the ACLU challenged a New Jersey Department of Corrections policy which disallowed inmates from possessing Michelle Alexander’s 2012 book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” in at least two penitentiaries in the Garden State (that particular ban has since been lifted).In response, the NJDOC provided the ACLU with multiple lists of banned publications, consisting mostly of books and magazines focused on drugs, gang culture, scantily clad women, or all of the above, with the curious inclusion of something called “Wine Spectacular” at the bottom of the list. Since no such publication exists (much to this reporter’s disappointment), the folks at Wine Spectator assumed it must be a reference to their own magazine. The publication’s outreach to the NJDOC provided no answers to the obvious questions (for example, why it’s necessary to prevent inmates from reading about the wine cellar in Diane Keaton’s rustic new L.A. home) but the department did say that it’s now in the process of reviewing its written materials policy, including any lists of banned publications.Another list of banned titles, dated 2014, includes usual suspects like FHM, Maxim, and Stuff, but also Parents magazine, Popular Science, Wired, and George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones.”Regardless of what changes are made to the policy, one can reasonably assume that Buttman will still be out of luck.