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Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company, has become the latest tech firm to sever ties with Alec, the rightwing lobby group with a history of fighting against climate change legislation and other progressive causes.

The company had previously been a sponsor of Alec (American Legislative Exchange Council), a lobby group that promotes conservative legislation at state level across the US. But in an email to advocacy group Common Cause this week the travel firm, which also owns, and trivago among others, confirmed it had severed ties.

It becomes the latest of a series of large corporations to cut ties with Alec. In February Ford ended its relationship with Alec. Other corporations that have severed their connections include the technology companies eBay, Facebook and Google as well as the energy giants BP and Shell.

Scott Swenson, vice-president of communications at Common Cause, said: “Alec is bad for business and democracy. It’s great that Expedia has joined more than 100 companies that decided to leave Alec. Alec skirts tax and ethics laws, while lobbying for extreme policies. Other companies should follow Expedia and travel as far from Alec as possible. When customers realize the companies they patronize are funding such an extreme agenda they recoil and they make their voices heard.”

Expedia’s decision follows another blow for Alec this month. Last week the retirees organization AARP announced it would no longer be making donations to Alec.

The ties between the two organisations were first exposed by the Center for Media and Democracy And led to an online backlash from AARP members. Alec has consistently lobbied to cut government spending on programs that benefit seniors and has close ties to pharmaceutical companies.

“After hearing from many of you, we’ve decided not to renew our membership to Alec. We would never work against the interests of older Americans and our engagement with Alec was NOT an endorsement of the organization’s policies, but an opportunity to engage with state legislators and advance our members’ priorities,” AARP said in a statement.

Los Ángeles (1 de agosto, 2016) – El talento al aire de locutores y disc jockeys trabajadores de las estaciones en español La Raza (KLAX/97.9) y La Mega (KXOL/96.3) en Los Ángeles votaron en su gran mayoría, a favor de elegir a SAG-AFTRA como su representante exclusivo en negociaciones colectivas.

La elección se llevó a cabo hoy lunes 1 de agosto por la Junta Nacional de Relaciones del Trabajo.

La nueva unidad de negociación se compone de 28 empleados que realizan diversas funciones en la radio, incluyendo locutores y disc jockeys, entre otros. Ambas estaciones son propiedad de Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), la principal compañía controlada por hispanos con cotización oficial en el ramo de medios de comunicación y entretenimiento en los Estados Unidos. SBS opera estaciones de radio en español en Los Ángeles, San Francisco, Nueva York, Chicago, Puerto Rico y Miami, y es propietaria de La Mega TV. Los Ángeles es el principal mercado de la radio en español.

“Damos la bienvenida a los profesionales de los medios de La Raza y La Mega y estaremos todos unidos para asegurar que obtengan de sus empleadores mejores términos de compensación y protecciones laborales, similares a los que ya gozan miles de nuestros miembros de la radio y la televisión de todo el país”, dijo SAG-AFTRA Presidente Gabrielle Carteris.

“Los empleados de La Raza y La Mega son personas comprometidas, motivadas y talentosas, que merecen un mejor trato”, afirmó el Director Nacional Ejecutivo de SAG-AFTRA, David White. “La votación para unirse a SAG-AFTRA es sólo el primer paso para asegurarnos de que sean adecuadamente compensados como los profesionales que son.”

SAG-AFTRA representa a locutores y periodistas de habla hispana en todo el país, incluyendo Univisión en Los Ángeles (KMEX), Nueva York (WXTV y Radio WADO) y San Francisco (KDTV), y Telemundo en Nueva York (WNJU/TV), Filadelfia (Wusi / TV) y Chicago (WSNS / TV).

El exitoso voto es el último hito en la campaña de SAG-AFTRA para organizar las industrias de medios en español. Bajo el hashtag #SAGAFTRAUNIDOS, el sindicato ha estado trabajando con muchos de los empleados de la radio y la televisión de habla hispana para promover el trato laboral justo y mejores condiciones de trabajo.

Milwaukee, WI – WTMJ host Charlie Sykes has been nominated for the prestigious National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award for “Large Market Personality of the Year.”    Sykes was recognized for his ratings performance, public service, influence in the community and overall excellence.

“For 23 years, Charlie has been an influential voice across Wisconsin through his program on WTMJ Radio, and his impacthas been felt around the country, numerous times.” said Vice President and General Manager of WTMJ and WKTI, Tom Langmyer. “Charlie has the relationships to get the story and Charlie knows how to tell a story like few others can.  He is a tremendous broadcaster.”

The NAB Marconi Awards were established in 1989 and named after the inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi.  The Large Market Personality of the Year Award winner will be announced on September 22, 2016 at the NAB Marconi Awards Dinner and Show in Nashville.

Milwaukee radio station WTMJ-AM (620) will remain the home of Milwaukee Brewers game broadcasts, the two organizations announced they extended their radio-rights agreement.

While neither organization released the terms of the agreement, it covers a multi-year period.

WTMJ, which is owned by E.W. Scripps Co. of Cincinnati, has been the flagship station for the Brewers for all but two seasons since the team moved to Milwaukee in 1970 from Seattle.

Bob Uecker continues as the anchor of the broadcasts in his 46th year as voice of the Brewers. Uecker is joined by Jeff Levering, who is in his second year on Brewers broadcasts, and Lane Grindle, who is in his first season.

“WTMJ is a heritage brand in Milwaukee, and they are committed to activating all of their resources to make this a terrific partnership with our organization,” Brewers chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger said in a press release.

Said Steve Wexler, vice president of radio for Scripps: “We’re thrilled to continue this strong, mutually beneficial partnership with the Brewers.”

Scripps also owns country station WKTI-FM (94.5) in Milwaukee.


MILWAUKEE — The owners of the Milwaukee Bucks hope to finalize a naming rights deal for the new arena in downtown Milwaukee by late this year, the Milwaukee Business Journal is reporting.

Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan said they anticipate BMO Harris Bank and Potawatomi Hotel & Casino will join the sponsor group for the new arena.

This new information was learned Tuesday, May 10th during and after the Milwaukee Business Journal’s “Business of Sports” event at the Pfister Hotel.

The Bucks owners said they would rather have a local sponsor for the naming rights deal, according to the Business Journal.

When asked after the panel discussion about the timing of a naming rights agreement, Lasry said: “We’d like to do it in the next six months.”

According to the Business Journal, the naming rights will be an important revenue source for the Bucks, who will receive all the proceeds of a naming rights deal under the terms of their lease with the Wisconsin Center District.

The new arena is scheduled to be complete in time for the 2018-2019 NBA season.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says Treasury investors have overreacted to the U.K.’s shock vote to leave the European Union by sending yields to record lows.

The bank says it would “lean against this recent rally” in bonds on the assumption the local impact of a Brexit will have “a limited or negligible spillover to rest of the world,” and won’t prevent the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates this year. Yields on 30-year Treasuries dropped to an unprecedented level on Tuesday, after 10-year yields reached a record low on July 1 amid a rally in sovereign debt worldwide as the U.K. referendum result clouded the outlook for global growth.

“The U.K. is not a global economic bellwether, and hence any economic activity slowdown should have limited impact,” Rohan Khanna, a London-based interest-rates strategist at Goldman, wrote in an e-mailed research note. With regards to U.S. monetary policy, “we assign a cumulative two-thirds probability of at least one hike by year-end,” according to the note.

Fed fund futures signal 12 percent odds of higher rates this year, and still less than even odds at the end of 2017.

Record Lows

The 10-year Treasury note yield dipped to an unprecedented 1.3784 percent on July 1, before 30-year bond yields slid to a record 2.1777 percent on Tuesday. Yields were at 1.41 percent and 2.18 percent respectively as of 1:57 p.m. in Tokyo. Treasuries didn’t trade Monday because of the Fourth of July holiday in the U.S.

Uncertainty over the When and How of a Brexit adds to concern about the robustness of the U.S. recovery, after employers added just 38,000 jobs in May, the least since 2010. Economists estimate a 175,000 increase in payrolls for June, before the data is released Friday. The average over the past five years is a rise in excess of 200,000 positions per month.

Goldman has had a difficult time predicting markets in 2016, after it was forced to drop five of its six recommended top trades just six weeks into the year, including a wager on a rise in 10-year break-evens.

The bank has stuck all year to its view that yields are poised to jump, and that investors are underestimating the potential for higher U.S. rates and inflation. The bank’s year-end estimate for the 10-year yield is 3 percent, a call it carried over from 2015 after it failed to materialize. The consensus forecast is 1.87 percent.

Brexit “is unlikely to stop the hiking cycle given the cyclical position of the U.S. economy,” Khanna wrote in the most-recent note. “With above trend growth, the U.S. is moving swiftly towards full-employment.”

SHEBOYGAN, WI – Blue Harbor’s Reflections Spa and Salonis proud to announce the addition of award winning; anti-aging skincare, vegan body and nail care, pure mineral cosmetics, and Oil –infused haircare.

The four new product lines that Blue Harbor Resort’s Reflection Spa & Salon have put in place are the following:

• Hydropeptide

Indulge in a skin care collection that allows the power of peptides (proteins that work on a cellular level) to enhance the skin’s natural luminosity, visibly reduce lines and wrinkles, and increase hydration. Reflections Spa & Salon carries the full line of Hydro Peptide daily care and professional collections that offer a targeted customizable results-driven result

• SpaRitual

Slow beauty for a Fast World. Spa Ritual believes what goes on our bodies is as important as what goes in our bodies. Body care products are formulated with vegan ingredients from around the world and nail lacquers are 100% Vegan and formulated without harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde which is common in most other nail polish products. Unique to Spa Ritual is the 4 states of Slow Beauty; each contains a signature scent and color palette to create a multisensory slow beauty experience.

• Jane Iredale

Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetic line is clean makeup with pharmaceutical grade and certified organic vitamins and antioxidants. The Amazing base provides four –in-one functions of: foundations, powder, concealer and broad spectrum sunscreen in one product. Explore an array of cosmetics for the lips, cheeks and eyes to enhance your natural beauty.

• Moroccanoil Treatment

Moroccan Oil pioneered the argan oil innovation that revolutionized hair care. Argan oil is rich in Antioxidants, Omega-3, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E to restore hair strength and hydration, resulting in hair that’s silky, healthy and full of shine. Moroccan Oil hair care line includes Shampoos, conditioners, treatments and styling products for all hair types and textures.

Reflections Spa & Salon has recently introduced Aloxxi hair color into their regime allowing them to be known as one of the few full-service Spa’s along the Lake Michigan Beachfront. The cosmetology team is excited to offer exceptional hair color choices to their clients.

Aloxxi is recognized as an international professional color line that is infused with coconut oil and micro –pigments to ensure 100% color saturation ,while plant based protectants and low ammonia formulas protect the hair and scalp during the color process.    

Blue Harbor Resort is pleased to announce LeeAnn Maniaci as its new Spa Manager. Maniaci joins Blue Harbor Resort with more than 33 years of experience in the spa & salon industry. In the past, her career has included cosmetology, clinical skincare, and salon & spa management.

“My goal is to grow the business to be a wellness and beauty center in Sheboygan and surrounding communities.” said, LeeAnn Maniaci. “It is an exciting opportunity to grow as a team and continue to develop in the Spa & Salon Industry.”

MADISON – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has named Coleman Peiffer business and investment attraction director, a pivotal position focused on attracting business to and growing business in Wisconsin.

Peiffer’s new role at WEDC builds upon his successful experience as a business development manager within the organization, prior to which he served as a senior planner for the North Central Regional Planning Commission.

Reporting to WEDC Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Secretary Tricia Braun, Peiffer will serve as the primary point of contact for commercial real estate decision makers and influencers, including site selection consultants who help companies determine the best locations for new facilities.

Business and investment attraction is one of WEDC’s core economic development priorities, and Peiffer will coordinate his activities with a cross section of WEDC’s operational divisions to ensure the best case for Wisconsin is made to companies making business expansion, relocation and investment decisions.

“Coleman brings a wealth of proven experience promoting Wisconsin’s strong economic assets to business decision makers to WEDC’s investment attraction practice,” said Braun. “I look forward to leveraging his skills and insight to continue to maximize opportunities for business, communities and people to thrive in Wisconsin.”

Peiffer holds master of arts degrees in both urban planning and public administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a bachelor of arts degree in broadcast journalism from Arizona State University. He has received accreditation from the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a member of the American Planners Association, National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP), Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC), Corporate Real Estate Network (CoreNet), Corporate Association of Realtors – Wisconsin (CARW), and the Wisconsin Economic Development Association.

Wisconsin.-  El gobernador de Wisconsin se encuentra en México en una misión comercial.

Scott Walker sostuvo diversas reuniones en la Ciudad de México al iniciar un viaje de una semana con fines económicos, anunció el lunes su oficina.

Walker se reunió con funcionarios gubernamentales en la agencia mexicana de comercio exterior e inversión, así como en la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores.

Al gobernador lo acompañan miembros de la Corporación de Desarrollo Económico de Wisconsin y del Departamento de Agricultura, Comercio y Protección al Consumidor.

El gobierno de Walker dice que el propósito de la misión comercial es fortalecer los vínculos comerciales y de inversión entre Wisconsin y México. El año pasado, el estado exportó casi 3.000 millones de dólares en productos al país del sur.

MILWAUKEE – Teens at the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club in Milwaukee learned today about the dangers of smartphone activities while driving and had the chance to experience the hazards firsthand when the AT&T It Can Wait virtual reality driving simulator visited the Club.

AT&T, AAA and the Wisconsin State Patrol brought the virtual reality driving simulator to the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club as part of the It Can Wait® campaign to remind students that smartphone activity should wait until after driving.  Teens were also encouraged to sign a pledge to keep their eyes on the road and not on their phones.

“Many of today’s young drivers are texting or looking down at their phones when their eyes should be on the road,” said Vincent Lyles, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.  “Here at the Clubs, one of our primary goals is to keep our kids safe, and that includes helping them make good choices when they are behind the wheel.  We hope our young people take the It Can Wait message to heart.”

The AT&T virtual reality driving simulator is visiting Milwaukee as part of AT&T’s nationwide tour to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.  The simulator gives students the chance to virtually experience what happens when you text and drive.

The effort is part of AT&T’s It Can Wait® campaign, which has expanded from a focus on texting while driving to include other smartphone activities now common behind the wheel. 

“When we launched the It Can Wait campaign five years ago, our message was simple – no text is worth a life,” said Scott T. VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin.  “The same applies to other smartphone activities.  We are urging drivers, especially teens, to keep their eyes on the road and not on their phones.”

In December of 2015, Wisconsin marked the 5 year anniversary of its ban on texting while driving.

“Even though it’s against the law and extremely dangerous, we know some people are still texting on their phones while driving when they shouldn’t be,” said State Representative Evan Goyke.  “Campaigns like It Can Wait are a great way to spread awareness about the dangers and encourage drivers of all ages to put down their phones when they are behind the wheel.”

“If you text while driving, your hands are not on the steering wheel, your eyes are not on the road, and your attention is not on the traffic and road conditions around you,” said Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent Stephen Fitzgerald.  “Texting while driving will, without a doubt, increase your risk of causing a crash or failing to avoid one. You are putting yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the road in grave danger.”

Research from AT&T shows 7 in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving.  Texting and emailing are still the most prevalent, but 4 in 10 drivers also tap into social media.  Over 25 percent are on Facebook, 1 in 7 are on Twitter, almost 3 in 10 surf the net, and surprisingly, 1 in 10 video chat.

“Advancements in technology have led to a growth in the number and type of smartphone distractions for drivers.  Not only are drivers texting, but they are also emailing, posting on social media and even taking videos when they should be focused on driving,” said Alderman Khalif Rainey.  “All drivers need to understand that any type of smartphone activity is dangerous and should not happen when they are operating a vehicle.”

AT&T first launched the It Can Wait® campaign in 2010 to educate the public about the dangers of texting while driving and encourage people to take the pledge to not text and drive at 

The campaign has now expanded and turned into a national social movement with support from organizations all over the country, including the Wisconsin State Patrol and AAA.  Since 2010, AT&T, AAA and the State Patrol have partnered together to hold events in 99 cities throughout Wisconsin, reaching over 40,000 high school students.       

Madison – Governor Scott Walker announced will lead a business development mission to Mexico in June as a part of the state’s ongoing efforts to increase exports and encourage international companies to invest in Wisconsin. Governor Walker made this announcement at the 52nd Annual International Trade Conference of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) World Trade Association (WTA) in Milwaukee.

“We will promote Wisconsin’s strong business climate, outstanding workforce, and key industry sectors as compelling assets for successful business operations in Wisconsin during our trip to Mexico, just as we did during our trips to Europe, Canada, and the United Kingdom last year,” Governor Walker said. “The state of our state is strong, and this is the perfect time for businesses in Mexico to consider investing in Wisconsin.”

Governor Walker joins representatives of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) for the trade mission, which runs from June 12-17. Together, they will meet with business and agriculture leaders regarding opportunities in new markets or to establish new operations in Wisconsin.

Governor Walker’s first stop will be in Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world with 22 million people. Partnering with SelectUSA, Wisconsin will host meetings with targeted Mexican companies interested in expanding in the United States. The delegation will also meet with companies with existing facilities in Wisconsin to discuss the possibility of increasing their investments in the state.

Governor Walker will also participate in the 2016 CIGAL Dairy Trade Show, which focuses on the dairy production sector and draws exhibitors from throughout Mexico and the United States. The Dairy Trade Show will be held in Guadalajara from June 15-17, and Governor Walker will be joined by a Wisconsin delegation including DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel, Wisconsin businesses, UW-River Falls, and UW-Madison.

Guadalajara is a major city in Jalisco, Mexico, which has been a Wisconsin sister state since 1990.  While in Jalisco, Governor Walker will meet Jalisco Governor Aristóteles Sandoval to strengthen this relationship.

Mexico is Wisconsin’s second largest export destination, with state companies sending nearly $3 billion in goods to the country in 2015. Exports to Mexico increased by 4.6 percent last year, representing 13 percent of Wisconsin’s total exports. Mexico is also Wisconsin’s second largest agriculture export destination, accounting for $289 million in 2015.

The June business development mission will build on Wisconsin’s foreign direct investment strategy, which focuses on attracting foreign companies, operations, and investments that best fit into Wisconsin’s key industry sectors, such as manufacturing, agriculture, energy, water technology, bioscience, medical devices, and food processing.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is awarding $31.5 million in federal funding to 21 grant recipients as part of its MBDA Business Center Program (29). The program is designed to help minority-owned firms create jobs, compete in the global economy and grow their businesses.

“For more than 40 years, MBDA has led efforts to support minority firms and provide them with the tools and technical expertise they need to excel. This is the very foundation on which this Agency was founded back in 1969. It’s the core of who we are and what we represent,” said MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This funding goes far beyond just the monetary aspect. This is a long-term investment in our community and in our nation.”

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, minority-owned firms in the U.S. increased from 5.8 million in 2007 to 8 million in 2012, and employed 7.2 million people in 2012.

Since 2009, MBDA Business Centers have assisted minority firms with gaining access to more than $31 billion in capital and contracts, while creating and retaining nearly 142,000 jobs.

The grant recipients will join an established network of MBDA Business Centers across the United States and Puerto Rico.  Federal funding will support MBDA Business Centers across the Nation

The recipients will receive the federal funds during a five-year period with a start date of April 1, 2016. MBDA will make additional announcements regarding grant winners and future grant opportunities. For the latest information visit .

051116businessTo Career Independence

Career stability isn’t what it once was.

That’s why many workers frustrated with today’s corporate climate are venturing out on their own, offering their skills and experience to those very same corporations, but on a consulting rather than fulltime basis.

Certainly, there’s a lot to be said for going independent, says Aaron Zwas, a consultant and author of “Transition to Independence” (, a book that serves as a guide to making such a change.

“You have more freedom and a healthier balance between work and family,” Zwas says. “It’s the be-your-own-boss opportunity many people crave.”

But not so fast.

Before you take the plunge, there are drawbacks worth knowing about.

“When I made the transition about 15 years ago, I didn’t have a lot of guidance,” Zwas says. “I didn’t really understand what I was getting into, so there was a bit of trial and error. The good news is that others can learn from my mistakes.”

If you’re considering going it alone, Zwas lists at least four pitfalls you’ll want to avoid:

• Prepare yourself financially. The transition from working for someone else to being independent almost certainly will require you to dip into savings. Take every precaution as you prepare yourself financially. A conversation with an accountant is a good start and so is reviewing your monthly budget to see if you can cut spending. Build up savings – preferably enough to sustain you through one year of expenses – before ending fulltime employment.

• Set your social calendar. When you’re independent, you have no co-workers to chat with, bounce ideas off of or play tennis with on the weekend. If you’re not careful, it can be a lonely existence. To compensate, Zwas recommends setting up regular dates with friends and family. You can also take up new interests or hobbies. “Get out of the house and be with other people,” he says.

• Stay focused on your expertise. Being a one-person team has its advantages, but it can also be a double-edged sword because many independents get pulled in too many directions by spending time on activities unrelated to their expertise. There’s no problem in admitting you don’t want to take on certain activities, Zwas says. For example, bookkeeping could be a chore you despise or aren’t suited for. You might want to contract out and let someone else handle it.

• Spend time on your personal brand. Some independents thrive without any branding efforts, but most need to do at least a little branding. A logo, a website, business cards, a presentation template, social-media accounts and a blog can help you create a professional image.

“A little advance preparation can go a long way in helping you become a successful independent,” Zwas says. “The most important lesson I’ve learned is that consulting is more than a job – it’s a lifestyle. Even on my worst days, I’m grateful for the freedom I have.”

042016-business-pix-1Target: Customers can use restrooms that “correspond with their gender identity”

NEW YORK — Target is taking a stand on the debate around what type of bathrooms transgenders can use.

In a statement posted on its company website the discounter, based in Minneapolis, said transgender employees and customers can use the restroom or fitting room facility that “corresponds with their gender identity.”

The statement comes as a national debate is heating up over whether to restrict transgender people from using public bathrooms that only match their gender at birth. North Carolina is facing backlash for its recent ban on local anti-discrimination ordinances. And other states are considering legislation similar to that adopted by North Carolina.

Target Corp. says it regularly assesses issues and considers many factors that would impact business, customers and workers.

41316-business-pix-1Bolsa Mexicana de Valores gana 0.59%

Ciudad de México.- La Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV) gana 266.88 puntos, es decir 0.59 por ciento más respecto a su nivel previo, al colocar a su Índice de Precios y Cotizaciones (IPC) en 45 mil 758.33 unidades.

El mercado accionario mexicano opera en línea con los indicadores bursátiles en Estados Unidos, los cuales registran ganancias generalizadas encabezadas por el tecnológico Nasdaq que sube 0.84 por ciento, el Dow Jones que avanza 0.77 y el Standard & Poor´s 500 incrementa 0.67 por ciento.

Grupo Financiero Monex explicó que los mercados en el mundo presentan movimientos positivos, después de conocer que las cifras asociadas a la balanza comercial en China resultaron mejor a lo estimado.

En la BMV se negocia un volumen de 9.7 millones de títulos por un importe de 335.8 millones de pesos, con la participación de 70 emisoras, de las cuales 52 ganan, 13 retroceden y cinco se mantienen sin cambio.

Las emisoras con mayores ganancias son GCARSO serie A1 con 4.44 por ciento y CITIGRUP con 3.63 por ciento, en tanto que los descensos son para LAB serie B con 2.28 por ciento y TERRA serie 13 con 1.18 por ciento.

040616-Business-pix-1Milwaukee’s Global Youth Service Day Expected to Reach 7000 Participants

MILWAUKEE — This year’sGlobal Youth Service Day (GYSD) weekend will be held April 15-17 in more than 135 countries on six continents. GYSD, the largest community service event in the world, celebrates and mobilizes the millions of children and youth who improve their communities each day of the year through service.

Here in Milwaukee, over 60 service projects will occur throughout the city with a projected 7,000 participants. Some projects are open to the public, while others are for members of specific schools/organizations.    To see a detailed list of all the projects that have been registered for GYSD 2016, check

There will also be a collective celebration event on April 16th called Celebrate YOU(th)!  GYSD project participants across the city are invited to attend this event to celebrate their project successes.  For people who aren’t already involved with one of the GYSD projects happening throughout town, there will also be an opportunity to do service projects at the Celebrate YOU(th)! event.

Celebrate YOU(th)! Event Details

When: April 16th, 2016

Service Projects – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Celebration Event – 1:00 to 3:00 pm

Where: Highland Community School (1706 W Highland Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53233)

Why: GYSD mobilizes and celebrates youth in service.  It’s a time to recognize the positive contributions youth make to the City of Milwaukee 365 days a year.

Who: All GYSD project participants from across the city are invited. Nearly 7000 GYSD project participants are projected to date.  Any other youth who’d like to participate in the event are welcome to attend as well.

What: Service Projects, Music, Dancing, Food, and Fun!

GYSD 2016 Collaborative Planning Committee Includes Representation From:Non-Profit Center of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Public Library, United Way, UW-Milwaukee Institute of World Affairs, Public Allies, Pearls for Teen Girls, Urban Underground, the Center for Youth Engagement, City Year, and more!

033016-business-pix-1Moratorium ends: We Energies customers behind on bills at risk of disconnection starting April 18th

MILWAUKEE — We Energies officials are urging customers who are behind on their energy bills to catch up before the end of the moratorium on winter shut-offs.

Customers in significant arrears are at risk of disconnection starting April 18.

We Energies is using phone calls and bill inserts to alert customers who are behind on their energy bills.

Customers having problems paying their bills are encouraged to contact We Energies as soon as possible at 800-842-4565. A minimum payment option and flexible payment plans may be available.

Some customers also may qualify for energy assistance through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). There is no charge to determine eligibility or to apply for assistance. Customers can learn more about energy assistance at or by calling 1-866-HEAT-WIS.

Unfortunately, scammers have been known to prey on customers during this time of the year. A common ploy demands immediate payment via prepaid debit card.

We Energies does not solicit payments in this manner.

Customers who receive suspicious phone calls or emails should contact We Energies directly to verify the status of their account.

Industry Critics Fall Silent on Oil Profits

By Robert L. Bradley, Jr.

Just a few short years ago, the shrillest environmentalist voices targeted oil companies’ “obscene” profits. Today, American energy producers are swallowing big losses. Yet rather than celebrating, those same environmentalists have gone silent.

The reason: Their protestation about profits was disingenuous from the beginning. And now, they’ve moved on to other anti-oil arguments such as divestment and ‘keep it in the ground.’

It’s worth recalling just how frenzied the attacks on oil companies’ profits were. Back in 2012, back-to-nature ecologist Bill McKibben, noting the $1 trillion profit made by the top five oil firms, stated that “having found a profitable vein, they’re compelled to keep mining it, more like efficient automatons than people with free will.” Oil Change International, meanwhile, bemoaned how oil companies were “making ridiculous profits in the billions, raking in more money than most of us can even fathom.”

Anti-energy politicians were even more aggressive. House Democrats proposed establishing a Reasonable Profits Board, which would have the power to confiscate up to 100 percent of so-called “excess” profits.

What do we hear now that BP has reported a $3.3 billion loss in just three months? Shell’s income is 87 percent below 2014 levels — and Chevron posted a quarterly loss for the first time in 13 years?


For some companies, this is nothing short of a struggle for survival. Last year, almost 70 U.S. oil and natural gas companies filed for bankruptcy — up nearly 400 percent from the year before.  The sector also lost over 258,000 jobs worldwide — and expects to cut even more workers this year.

What’s more, by the end of 2016, one out of three oil companies could be bankrupt.

The point isn’t that anyone should feel bad for oil companies. But the magnitude of the oil-price cycle — artificially engendered in part from quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve Bank — should not have happened. The least able drillers got subsidized loans, which allowed them to overdrill and drive prices down for the better-capitalized producers. That amount of capital was employed to nobody’s benefit.

The price cycle has been driven by new technology that has permanently revolutionized American energy production. A year and a half ago, we overtook Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil-producing nation on the planet. And during November of 2015, the last month on record, the United States produced its highest monthly production since 1986.

This boom has been a major factor in declining energy prices worldwide. And while that price decline has caused oil companies’ profits to sink, it’s fattened the pocketbooks of families across America. Last year, consumers enjoyed $130 billion in savings — more than $1,000 for each two-driver household.

So far from the nefarious greedy automatons of green fever dreams, oil companies are also subject to market caprices. But artificial stimuli from easy money policy is a boom that has a day of reckoning.

Today’s silence on the subject exposes the environmentalists’ anti-profit obsession for what it was: an opportunistic drive-by hit on Big Oil, not a legitimate critique of industry economics.

The truth is, these fossil fuel opponents wouldn’t be satisfied no matter how low profits drop. They simply hate the oil industry. Full stop. But when companies’ bottom lines begin to grow again, will the critics remain silent rather than fuss about high profits? Here’s a prediction: The answer will be a hypocritical no.

Robert L. Bradley Jr. is the founder and CEO of the Institute for Energy Research.