Alaskan Crab Fishermen Ask Federal Government to Consider Financial Impact of Illegal Crab Fishing

Mar 31, 15 Alaskan Crab Fishermen Ask Federal Government to Consider Financial Impact of Illegal Crab Fishing

Posted by in Featured, Legal

To reduce illegal fishing, the United States is currently considering a federal plan that would establish a program to trace at-risk species from harvest to market. Supporters claim that this will allow regulators to determine which species are suffering the most from illegal activity. Surprisingly, Alaskan crabbers have requested that crab be among the first species studied, citing concerns that illegal fishing in Russia could be financially harming their trade.   Alaskan and Russian crab fisherman catch many of the same varieties, including red crab, blue crab, brown king crab, snow crab and tanner crab. However, American fisherman say that illegal fishing in Russia is responsible for a large chunk of the product that makes its way to American consumers. Some studies suggest that this phenomenon could have cost Alaska as much as $600 million since 2000. As a result, Alaskan crabbers are hoping that regulators will consider this species as they draw up new standards for tracing seafood. While crab may not be endangered, unlike other species, fisherman say that the economic impact of illegal fishing on this industry is enough reason to include it. Moreover, crabbers claim that they are responsible for most of the data the federal government has collected on the issue of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, giving them a vested stake in the program. Illegal fishing currently threatens the global stock of a number of species, including bluefin tuna, one potential candidate for the traceability program. In contrast, crab is so plentiful that legal quotas are on the rise for most species. This is just one of several healthy aspects about the American fishing industry: likewise, nearly all groundfish caught in California, Oregon and Washington are now ranked either yellow/good alternative or green/best choice by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program. The task force is being coordinated in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Russell Smith, a deputy assistant secretary for international fisheries at the organization, says he isn’t sure if crab will make the initial traceability list....

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Commercial Mortgage Lending Continues to Grow, Experts Say

Mar 26, 15 Commercial Mortgage Lending Continues to Grow, Experts Say

Posted by in Featured, Lifestyle

Commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) have been doing very well in 2015 as their volume and ultimate popularity go up. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that although interest rates have gone up slightly, CMBS are growing at an impressive rate, surpassing quarter volumes from the past two years. Interest rates did increase, although that hasn’t stopped the issuance of CMBS. The rates for five- and 10-year loans rose from 3.3% to 3.9%, respectively. The 10-year maximum leverage conduit loans now have 4.3% rates. Still, the first-quarter volume of CMBS is predicted to supercede its first-quarter volume from last year. The FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile indicates that CMBS lending rose $17 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the third quarter, and rose $41 billion altogether from the fourth quarter of 2013. CMBS are popular due to their relatively low interest rates, which, unlike other loan deals, can be locked in for up to 10 years. Still, borrowers who want to pay off their CMBS before the 10-year period may face large prepayment penalties. Given that the interest rates of CMBSs are currently lower than they were 10 years ago, the risk of a large penalty is prominent. The popularity of CMBS reflects a growing trend throughout the country of investing in large commercial property values. Since the economic downturn of 2007-2008, investors have been more reluctant to invest in large lending deals. However, property values of commercial real estate have gone up in many cities throughout the country. Central business district office properties, in particular, have done quite well. Their property value has increased a staggering 135% since 2009 and are now 19% above the peak property values of 2007, according to a JP Morgan report that referenced data from Moody’s/RCA. There are an estimated 35 lender/conduit financial institutions that offer CMBS. Given the growth of CMBS and similar investments, financial experts predict there will be even more institutions that offer CMBS in the years to...

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Fugitive, Pot Smoker, and Sex Offender All Caught During Department of Transportation Sting Operation

Mar 25, 15 Fugitive, Pot Smoker, and Sex Offender All Caught During Department of Transportation Sting Operation

Posted by in Featured, Legal

A sting operation coordinated by the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Better Business Bureau to investigate moving companies actually also caught a fugitive, a pot smoker, and a sex offender. Oregon has been making efforts to investigate unlicensed moving companies for some time. According to KOIN 6 News, the state has issued 90 citations since 2009. This particular sting asked nine local moving companies to help someone move out of a home on Southeast Salmon Street in Portland. In Oregon, moving companies are required to be registered with the state, but many of them aren’t. KATU News reports that in the case of this sting, five of the companies were unlicensed. The Oregon Department of Transportation also checked that the mover’s vehicle was properly registered and that all of the vehicles were safe. In addition to the fact that the companies were unlicensed, all of them were found to have other violations. An employee of one moving company, Portland Movers Ready, showed up to the sting operation minutes after having smoked marijuana. The employee, Jeff Rackley, said that he was embarrassed and that he didn’t think that homeowners would want someone who was under the influence of drugs in their home. Authorities ran a background check on the passenger of the truck Rackley was driving, Ruben Rael, and discovered that he was a registered sex offender. According to officials, if a person has a felony or certain misdemeanor charges in the last five years, he or she cannot work as a mover. The fugitive who was discovered worked for a different moving company. Tyler William Gilbert had an outstanding warrant for his arrest and was also found to be driving without a license. About one in four Americans reported moving from the city or area where they lived in the last five years, and it’s essential to make sure that moving companies are legitimate and reputable before hiring. “Any company or person offering transportation of household goods services must be certified by ODOT,”...

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Recent Study Reveals That Replacement Teeth May Not Be Necessary In Order To Maintain Overall Health

Mar 24, 15 Recent Study Reveals That Replacement Teeth May Not Be Necessary In Order To Maintain Overall Health

Posted by in Featured, Health

According to new research from the Australian Research Center for Population Oral Health and the University of Adelaide in Australia, people missing a few teeth may not have to get replacement teeth in order to ensure a high quality of life. Researchers collected data from over 2,700 Australians for the study, analyzing the oral health of participants as well as each individual’s overall health. The study found that individuals missing teeth are likely to develop “shortened dental arches,” which allows for the maximum use of remaining teeth. According to the Digital Journal, the research study is due to be published in the Journal Community Dentistry and Epidemiology, and the research team believes that it will have a significant impact on Australia’s dental industry, as well as the global dental community. Contradictory to this finding, dental professionals have argued for many years that a person’s overall health will necessarily decline if he/she is missing any teeth, causing many people to splurge on dental implants, dentures, and other expensive preventative dental procedures. Canadians, for example, spend about $12 billion on dental procedures each year, and the country’s dental implant industry is valued at an estimated $80 billion currently. In the U.S., the cost of dental care is substantially higher — Americans paid approximately $111 billion in 2012 for dental care, according to the American Dental Association. If more research can corroborate the findings of the University of Adelaide, it’s very possible that dental costs could drop substantially in the future. Researchers from the University state that an individual’s overall quality of life still largely depends on dental health despite these findings; the number of missing teeth and the health and placement of remaining teeth still play a large role in determining whether an individual needs to receive replacement teeth in order to stay healthy. According to these findings, good dental health relies on a balance between front teeth that bite/cut and back teeth that chew; as long as the proper balance is kept (and remaining teeth...

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Builders Donate Time to Families in Need

Mar 24, 15 Builders Donate Time to Families in Need

Posted by in Home Living

Home renovations are a necessary part of house ownership for many people, but they are often expensive, intrusive, and time consuming. For many homeowners, obtaining the renovations they desperately need seems out of reach, even though their quality of life may decrease without the renovations. Fortunately, many home remodeling companies try to give back to their communities by donating time, supplies, and labor to families in need. One such company is T ‘N G Plumbing, of Austin, Texas. Each year, T ‘N G Plumbing holds a Pay It Forward contest and remodels the bathrooms of families in need. This year’s recipients, Gary and Marsha Wilde, were nominated by their daughter, Katie. Over the past several years, the Wildes have seen more than their share of tragedy, with two children committing suicide in the past, and losing a daughter-in-law to cancer in 2014. When T ‘N G Plumbing stepped in to help, they found the Wildes’ bathroom in rough condition. The floor was in danger of collapse due to severe water damage, and was described as “spongey.” A staggering 36% of remodeling jobs are undertaken to repair property damage. Partnering with other local companies such as Y Waste, Wagner Construction, Austin Electric, and many more, the T ‘N G team completely remodeled the bathroom. They then went above and beyond to replace the home’s plumbing, install a new water softener and furnace, and even paint some of the walls. In addition, they transformed the Wildes’ son’s bedroom into a play area for their grandchildren, re-framed family photos in the living room, and installed three memorial plaques beside the house for lost family members. Other companies are able to help even more people through the power of television. Many shows exist that follow builders through various remodels for needy families, but a new show will be airing soon with a little extra celebrity flair. Called “I Pity the Tool,” the new show airing on the DIY Network will follow demolition worker-turned-actor Mr. T as he moves...

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