Yearly Archives: 2019

People wait in line at a stand during the Executive Branch Job Fair hosted by the Conservative Partnership Institute at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, U.S., June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Toya Sarno Jordan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than nine years in December as receipts fell across the board, suggesting a sharp slowdown in economic activity at the end of 2018.

The economy’s outlook was further dimmed by other data on Thursday showing an unexpected increase in the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits last week. That pushed the four-week moving average of claims to a one-year high, an indication that job growth was moderating.

There was also little sign of inflation in the economy, with producer prices dropping in January for a second straight month. Moderate inflation and softening domestic demand support the Federal Reserve’s pledge to be “patient” before raising interest rates further this year.

“This suggests that the word ‘patience’ will be in the Fed’s vernacular for some time,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.

The Commerce Department said retail sales tumbled 1.2 percent, the largest decline since September 2009 when the economy was emerging from recession. Data for November was revised slightly down to show retail sales edging up 0.1 percent instead of gaining 0.2 percent as previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales increasing 0.2 percent in December. Retail sales in December rose 2.3 percent from a year ago.

The December retail sales report was delayed by a 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government that ended on Jan. 25. No date has been set for the release of the January retail sales report, which was scheduled for publication on Friday.

The plunge in retail sales came amid a sharp stock market sell-off and drop in consumer confidence in December. The longest government shutdown could also have undercut sales.

Some economists questioned the credibility of the report, arguing that the shutdown could have impacted on the collection of data. But the Commerce Department said the “processing and data quality were monitored throughout and response rates were at or above normal levels for this release.”

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales dropped 1.7 percent last month after an upwardly revised 1.0 percent surge in November. These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product. They were previously reported to have jumped 0.9 percent in November.

December’s sharp drop in core retail sales suggested a moderation in the pace of consumer spending in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the U.S. economy, increased at a 3.5 percent annualized rate in the July-September quarter.

As result of the weak retail sales report, economists slashed their fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth estimates by as much as seven-tenths of a percentage point to as low as a 2.0 percent rate.

Growth estimates could be trimmed further after another report from the Commerce Department showed retail inventories excluding automobiles tumbled 1.0 percent in November, the most since December 2008.

The economy grew at a 3.4 percent pace in the July-September period. U.S. Treasury prices rose on the data, while the dollar fell to session lows against a basket of currencies. Stocks were trading lower.

BROAD WEAKNESS

In December, online and mail-order retail sales dropped 3.9 percent, the biggest drop since November 2008. Receipts at service stations dived 5.1 percent, the biggest fall since February 2016, reflecting cheaper gasoline prices.

There were also declines in receipts at clothing and furniture stores. Americans also cut spending at restaurants and bars. Sales at hobby, musical instrument and book stores plunged 4.9 percent, the biggest drop since September 2008.

But sales at auto dealerships rose 1.0 percent in December and receipts at building material stores gained 0.3 percent.

The outlook for consumer spending, which has been underpinned by a strong labor market and cheaper gasoline, is not encouraging. A report this week from the New York Fed showed the overall debt shouldered by Americans edged up to a record $13.5 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

In a separate report on Thursday, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 239,000 for the week ended Feb. 9.

Economists had forecast claims falling to 225,000 in the latest week. Claims surged to a near 1-1/2-year high of 253,000 in the week ended Jan. 26 and last week’s surprise increase suggested some ebbing in labor market conditions.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose 6,750 to 231,750 last week, the highest level since January 2018.

In another report on Thursday, the Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand dipped 0.1 percent last month as the cost of energy products and food fell. The PPI dipped 0.1 percent in December.

In the 12 months through January, the PPI rose 2.0 percent. That was the smallest gain since July 2017 and followed a 2.5 percent rise in December. Economists had forecast the PPI edging up 0.1 percent in January and increasing 2.1 percent on a year-on-year basis.

The PPI report came on the heels of data on Wednesday showing consumer prices were unchanged in January for a third straight month.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci

    A Border Patrol agent stands on a ranch fence line with children taken into custody in South Texas brush country north of Laredo, Texas, Tuesday, June 6, 2006. According to agents, the children were separated from their families after the Border Patrol apprehended a large group of immigrants that crossed into the U.S. illegally. They spent the next 11 hours in the brush until agents found them. This came a few hours before President Bush visited the Laredo Border Patrol Sector. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    HOMESTEAD, Fla., SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Reuters) – For a growing number of migrant children, this is their first home in America: a sprawling campus dotted with beige buildings, massive white tents and metal trailers, next door to a U.S. Air Force base.

    General view of the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, which is the Trump administration’s largest shelter for migrant children, in Homestead, Florida, U.S, February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

    The federal government is holding nearly 1,600 migrant children here, at what it calls a “temporary influx” shelter. It has added 250 beds in the last two months and could soon house 2,350 children who crossed the nation’s southern border on their own.

    It is the country’s only such temporary quarters for migrant children, after the closure last month of a similar facility in south Texas, and the only shelter for migrant youths that is run by a for-profit company.

    The site is a topic of heated debate, as immigration advocates and Democratic legislators complain many traumatized children who fled violence and poverty in their home countries are held in an institutionalized setting for too long before being released to sponsoring families who can better care for them.

    Government officials say they are trying to safely release children to family members as fast as they can, and that the facility provides the first experience of stability that the children have had after long and often perilous journeys northward.

    Their arduous journeys are not necessarily over: Some of the children will gain asylum, which can take years; others will be deported.

    As the government seeks to rapidly expand the site’s capacity, it has waived a federal requirement at Homestead meant to ensure children receive sufficient health care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which cares for the children, previously required Homestead to maintain a clinician-to-child ratio of 1 to 12 to provide mental health services, according to a November 2018 report. But that requirement has been relaxed to 1 to 20, a Homestead program director said on Wednesday.

    The facility sits on federal property, and unlike established children’s shelters, such as smaller group or foster homes that hold migrant children across the country, is not governed by state child welfare regulations designed to protect youngsters from harm.

    On this day, as a steady rain poured down, children wearing clear plastic ponchos walked in single file lines around the grounds, attended by shelter staff. Some waved and yelled greetings in English and Spanish to visiting reporters.

    The Trump administration opened the Homestead site’s doors to media on condition that reporters not interact with children or photograph or record them inside, which they said was to protect children’s privacy.

    For these youths, aged 13-17, school is held in large white tents divided into small classrooms. Their instructors are not required to be certified teachers but must have a bachelor’s degree and speak English and Spanish.

    The younger children sleep in rooms with six sets of bunk beds each. Seventeen-year-olds, who are housed separately, sleep in large, long “bays” with 144 beds each. The older children use toilet stalls in an attached tent.

    In recreation areas near the beds were games of dominoes, Jenga, and Parcheesi. Outside, kids can play soccer, volleyball and basketball on the palm-dotted campus.

    Inspirational slogans and other art work by the children decorate building walls, including a drawing of Martin Luther King, Jr. with the words “I have a dream” written in Spanish. Another sign atop a doorway says, “Through These Doors Walk the Greatest People in the World!” in English.

    The facility was first opened during the Obama administration, but immigration rights advocates say the Trump administration has stranded children there for longer periods by making it more difficult for them to be released to sponsors, usually parents or close relatives.

    They say youngsters have been there for months, one of them for more than eight.

    Officials say the children spend an average of 67 days at Homestead before they are released.

    $750 A DAY

    About 35 miles south of Miami, the facility is run by Comprehensive Health Services, Inc., a private, for-profit company with a growing line of business in housing immigrant children. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last year, the firm’s parent company, Caliburn International Corp., noted President Donald Trump’s immigration policies were driving “significant growth.”

    It costs approximately $250 per day to house a migrant child at a standard, permanent shelter, said Mark Weber, an HHS spokesman. But at an influx facility like Homestead, the cost is triple that – around $750 per day. It is covered by American taxpayers.

    Democrats in Congress introduced a bill in December that would ban the use of unlicensed temporary emergency shelters for unaccompanied minors, arguing that stays at the shelters can re-traumatize children.

    In 2014, record numbers of children crossed the border and were held at Border Patrol stations in the southwest for days longer than the 72 hours allowed by law, he said. (That limit applies to how long children can be kept in Border Patrol custody – not HHS custody, as at Homestead.)

    A lawsuit filed in January on behalf of migrant children by immigrant rights groups accuses HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement of instituting “opaque and arbitrary” bureaucratic hurdles as it processes the release of the children.

    One Guatemalan boy, identified only as E.A.R.R., entered the United States in July 2018 and was held at Homestead for five months, according to the suit. His father applied to be his sponsor in July, and fulfilled myriad requirements set by caseworkers, such as giving the boy a separate room and even moving at one caseworker’s request, the suit alleges. His son was released shortly after the lawsuit was filed.

    “At one point, E.A.R.R. suffered from a headache so severe that he broke out in screams, and was taken to a hospital,” the suit said. “He has become anxious and depressed and has begun mental health treatment and medication.”

    While some of the children detained in federal facilities over the past year were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration, most crossed alone, often planning to reunite with a parent or close relative.

    The number of unaccompanied children crossing the border is not out of line with previous years, but children are spending far longer in federal custody, government data show. The average length of stay for migrant children in HHS custody for the first four months fiscal 2019 was 89 days, compared to 60 days in fiscal 2018 and 41 days in fiscal 2017, according to HHS data.

    As of Feb. 13, 11,500 children were in HHS custody, down from a record of nearly 15,000 in mid-December, partly because of a change in fingerprinting policy — but still it was nearly 80 percent higher than a year ago, the data show.

    “We don’t think most of these kids need to be detained at all,” said Mary Bauer, deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project. “These are kids who have for the most part loving family members who want them.”

    Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati in Homestead, Fla., and Kristina Cooke in San Francisco; Editing by Julie Marquis and Marla Dickerson

    El presidente Miguel Díaz Canel-Bermúdez denuncia presiones y acciones del gobierno de Estados Unidos a través de Puerto Rico y otras islas del Caribe.

    El gobierno de Cuba emitió hoy una declaración oficial en la que critica el uso de Puerto Rico para realizar una intervención militar en Venezuela.

    El presidente cubano Miguel Díaz Canel-Bermúdez, denunció en un tuit que el gobierno de Estados Unidos “prepara una aventura militar disfrazada de ‘intervención humanitaria’ en la República Bolivariana de Venezuela”. Mientras, la Cancillería cubana expresó que se usa el aeropuerto de Aguadilla para tales fines.

    Explicaron que se trata de una “escalada de presiones y acciones” para emprender una acción militar contra Venezuela.

    Específicamente, la Cancillería de Cuba expresó que los “movimientos de fuerzas de operaciones especiales de Estados Unidos hacia aeropuertos de Puerto Rico, República Dominicana y otras islas del Caribe sin conocimiento de sus gobiernos. Continúa la preparación de una agresión militar contra Venezuela con pretexto humanitario”.

    “Entre el 6 y el 10 de febrero de 2019, se han realizado vuelos de aviones de transporte militar hacia el aeropuerto Rafael Miranda de Puerto Rico; la Base Aérea de San Isidro, en República Dominicana, y hacia otras islas del Caribe estratégicamente ubicadas, seguramente sin conocimiento de los gobiernos de esas naciones, que se originaron en instalaciones militares estadounidenses desde las cuales operan unidades de Fuerzas de Operaciones Especiales y de la Infantería de Marina que se utilizan para acciones encubiertas, incluso contra líderes de otros países”, dice el comunicado.

    La expresión fue errónea, dado a que el único aeropuerto boricua con nombre Rafael es Hernández, no Miranda. El mismo se encuentra en Aguadilla. De ahí fue que despegó el avión que envió el gobierno de Puerto Rico con ayuda humanitaria hacia Venezuela la semana pasada. No fue hasta hoy que se confirma que la nave llegó a Bogotá, Colombia, para que se traslade la carga, vía carretera, hacia el centro de acopio de Ayuda Humanitaria Internacional en Cúcuta, ciudad fronteriza de Colombia con Venezuela.

    Según Cuba, “Estados Unidos pretende fabricar un pretexto humanitario para iniciar una agresión militar contra Venezuela y se ha propuesto introducir en el territorio de esa nación soberana, mediante la intimidación, la presión y la fuerza, una supuesta ayuda humanitaria, que es mil veces inferior a los daños económicos que provoca la política de cerco, impuesta desde Washington”.

    La expresión cubana finaliza con un espaldarazo al gobierno de “Nicolás Maduro Moros, la Revolución bolivariana y chavista, y la unión cívico-militar de su pueblo y hace un llamado a todos los pueblos y gobiernos del mundo a defender la paz y a oponerse unidos, por encima de diferencias políticas o ideológicas, para detener una nueva intervención militar imperialista en la América Latina y el Caribe que dañará la independencia, la soberanía y los intereses de los pueblos del Río Bravo a la Patagonia”.

     

    After alluding to it in his State of the City message last month, Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas today announced his intention to seek re-election during an appearance on WDOE’s Viewpoint program. In making the announcement to run for a second term, Rosas says he gave it a lot of thought before reaching a decision.  He also conferred with his family before deciding to run for another four-year term…

    The retired State trooper began his political career when he was appointed Councilman at Large following the resignation of Stephanie Kayak in 2014. Rosas became the first Hispanic elected mayor in New York State in 2016.

     

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Immediate opening

    Community Development Block Grant Administrator

    The City of Dunkirk is seeking an experienced professional to be responsible for the Community Development Block Grant and Housing Program. Work is performed under general direction of the Director of Planning and Development.  Requirements for the position include knowledge of the purposes, principles and terminology and practices employed in municipal community development planning decisions.  Bachelor’s Degree in urban studies, planning, business administration, public administration, political science or related field; six months paid experience in planning, urban design, municipal development, and grant administration. Competitive salary/benefits.

    Send resume and professional references to:

    David Campola, Director Human Resources

    City of Dunkirk

    342 Central Avenue,

    Dunkirk, New York 14048

    Email: dcampola@cityofdunkirk.com

     

    The City of Dunkirk is an equal opportunity employer.

    State of the Union Fact Check: What Trump Got Right and Wrong
    By:THE NEW YORK TIMES
    President Trump leaned hard on the strength of the American economy during his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, but with a blend of precise statistics and gauzy superlatives that are much more difficult to measure.He also returned to a theme that dominated the second year of his presidency — a quest for a border wall with Mexico to cope with what he said is a crisis of crime and drugs in the United States caused by illegal immigration.

    The two issues dominated his address, which in tone was more measured than his biting Twitter feed, but in substance contained numerous claims that were false or misleading.

    Here is what Mr. Trump said and how it stacked up against the facts.

    “The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.”

    This is false.

    The American economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018. Growth in Latvia and Poland was almost twice as fast. Same for China and India. Even the troubled Greek economy posted stronger growth. And a wide range of economic analysts estimate that the growth of the American economy slowed in the fourth quarter, and slowed even further in the first month of 2019.

    “We recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods — and now our Treasury is receiving billions and billions of dollars.”

    This is true.

    Since Mr. Trump imposed tariffs on certain imports from China — and imported steel and aluminum from around the world — federal tariff revenues have increased. Revenues from customs duties, which include tariffs, rose by $13 billion in the third quarter of 2018 compared with a year earlier, the Commerce Department reported. Technically, that money is paid by Americans who bring the goods across the border, and it is often passed on to American consumers in the form of higher prices.

    “My administration has cut more regulations in a short period of time than any other administration during its entire tenure.”

    This is false.

    The Trump administration has slowed the pace of adopting new rules, and it has moved to roll back some existing or proposed federal regulations, particularly in the area of environmental protection. The White House claimed that as of October, a total of $33 billion worth of future regulator costs had been eliminated. But experts say the scale of the rollbacks in the Trump era still does not exceed extensive cuts in federal rules during the Carter and Reagan administrations, when rules governing airline, truck and rail transportation were wiped off the books, among other changes.

    “We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs — something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is, we are just getting started.”

    This is false.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that since January 2017, when Mr. Trump took office, the economy has added 4.9 million jobs, including 454,000 jobs manufacturing jobs. Far from being “impossible,” that is closely comparable to the pace of job creation during some two-year periods during the Obama administration, and significantly slower than the pace of job creation in manufacturing in the 1990s.

    Wages were “growing for blue-collar workers, who I promised to fight for. They are growing faster than anyone thought possible.”

    This is true.

    Wages are rising faster for construction and manufacturing workers than workers in service occupations, according to the Labor Department.

    “More people are working now than at any time in our history.”

    This is misleading.

    While the total number of people working in the United States is higher than ever, it is not because of the president’s policies. It is because more people than ever live in the United States.

    ______

    Immigration

    “The border city of El Paso, Tex., used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the entire country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country.”

    This is false.

    El Paso was never one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, and crime has been declining in cities across the country — not just El Paso — for reasons that have nothing to do with border fencing. In 2008, before border barriers had been completed in El Paso, the city had the second-lowest violent crime rate among more than 20 similarly sized cities. In 2010, after the fencing went up, it held that place.

    “San Diego used to have the most illegal border crossings in our country. In response, a strong security wall was put in place. This powerful barrier almost completely ended illegal crossings.”

    This is misleading.

    Border apprehensions decreased by 91 percent in the San Diego sector between the 1994 fiscal year, right after the original border fencing was completed, to the 2018 fiscal year. But, according to the Congressional Research Service, that fence alone “did not have a discernible impact” on the number of immigrants crossing the border into the United States illegally.

    “As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States.”

    This is exaggerated.

    At the end of January, a new caravan of thousands of migrants from Central America was headed north, and some of the travelers said they intended to try to cross into the United States. But many in the caravan have said they plan to remain in Mexico, thanks in part to policies put in place by the new Mexican government. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has made it easier for Central Americans to get visas and work in Mexico. President Trump’s warnings of an imminent invasion from new caravans is overstated.

    “I hope you can pass the U.S.M.C.A. into law, so we can bring back our manufacturing jobs in even greater numbers, expanding American agriculture, protecting intellectual property, and ensuring that more cars are proudly stamped with the four beautiful words: Made in the U.S.A.”

    This is exaggerated.

    The revised trade deal with Canada and Mexico, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, does include provisions that are intended to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States — like minimum wage provisions for some auto manufacturing. But some economists have said those provisions could ultimately push more manufacturing — and jobs — outside North America. The deal does allow American farmers to sell more dairy products to Canada. But the trade pact has yet to be approved by Congress, and both Democrats and Republicans say that is unlikely to happen without significant changes.

    Foreign policy

    “When I took office, ISIS controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria. Just two years ago. Today, we have liberated virtually all of the territory from the grip of these bloodthirsty monsters.”

    This is true.

    The Defense Department reports that the Islamic State now controls only around 20 square miles of territory in Syria, down from 34,000 in 2014. But many of the gains against the Sunni extremist caliphate began under President Barack Obama, with the Trump administration continuing Obama administration policy. And the top American military commander in the Middle East told a Senate hearing on Tuesday that the Islamic State could return if the United States and its allies abandoned the fight. In December, Mr. Trump announced he was withdrawing American troops from Syria.

    “We condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair.”

    This is misleading.

    This has become a popular talking point among American conservatives. It is true that the rule of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela has brought that country to economic ruin. Inflation is at astronomical rates, and ordinary people are struggling to get basic food and health supplies. Three million citizens have fled. Some of the collapse can be traced to Mr. Maduro’s economic policies, which do fall under the broad label of socialism. But analysts say that corruption, the lack of rule of law and the absence of democracy — all the hallmarks of a dictatorship — have played just as big or larger roles.

    “If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.”

    There is no evidence.

    In 2016, at the end of the Obama administration, there was no sign that the United States and North Korea were about to go to war, though Pyongyang had been conducting nuclear tests and Mr. Obama had continued economic sanctions. In Mr. Trump’s first year in office, he increased tensions with North Korea by attacking its leader, Kim Jong-un, in a series of Twitter posts, which prompted hostile statements from Pyongyang. Mr. Trump wrote that North Korea’s actions would be met with “fire and fury” and called Mr. Kim “Little Rocket Man.” Analysts said at the time that the chances of war between the two nations had grown because of these exchanges.

    ______

    Abortion

    “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth.”

    This is misleading.

    On Jan. 22, the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision Roe v. Wade, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Democrat of New York, signed the Reproductive Health Act. The new law ensures a woman’s right to an abortion in New York if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned. It does not broadly allow abortions until shortly before birth, as Mr. Trump suggested. Instead, it will allow for an abortion after 24 weeks to protect the mother’s health or if the fetus is not viable. Under the prior law, abortions were allowed after 24 weeks only if the woman’s life was in jeopardy.

    “We had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.”

    This is false.

    In an interview last month, Gov. Ralph Northam said that he supported a late-term abortion bill that would loosen restrictions on the procedure, and allow women to consult with a doctor on an abortion up to, but not including, the time of birth.

    The governor, a pediatric neurologist, also talked about some of the dangerous medical emergencies that pregnant women could face, such as carrying a nonviable fetus. He said that in such a case, the mother would deliver the infant and then, “the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.” While Mr. Northam was talking about an end-of-life care discussion in the case of a child that would not live, Republicans seized on his remarks as evidence that Mr. Northam supported killing babies after their birth.

    Reporting was contributed by Eileen Sullivan, Michael Tackett, Linda Qiu, Edward Wong, Eric Lipton, Eric Schmitt, Adam Liptak, Binyamin Appelbaum, Caitlin Dickerson, Charlie Savage, Coral Davenport, Glenn Thrush, Helene Cooper, Jim Tankersley, Julian E. Barnes, Katie Benner, Matt Phillips, Robert Pear and Thomas Gibbons-Neff.

    Curious about the accuracy of a claim? Email factcheck@nytimes.com

    El Batey will be holding open auditions for their Bomba ensamble Grupo Herencia.

     Looking for lead Singers

    •Candidates can be boy or girls
    •Between the ages of 8 and 18
    •Please know this is a cultural group
    •Songs will all be in Spanish
    •Please come with a song of your choosing
    •Candidates may be asked to join instructor in singing a Bomba and or Plena chorus (song lyrics will be provided)

    SHARE • Comparte • Dale like

    To schedule your appointment please call or text Beatriz 716-348-0156
    Serious inquiries only please !!!

    Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown announced today that the application process for his 2019 Summer Youth Internship Program is now underway. The program provides six weeks of employment and work-readiness training to youth in the city of Buffalo during the summer months. Students will work 20 hours per week over the course of the 6 week program, which begins July 8th and ends August 15th. Applying is easy, you can submit applications online at www.buffalony.gov. Completed applications are due by Friday, March 29, 2019.

    “My administration remains committed to preparing our city youth to enter the workforce,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “Through this pioneering program, the City has provided employment opportunities to nearly 24,000 young residents since 2006. My Administration continues to invest in shaping the workforce of tomorrow. This past year we invested $1.7 million in funding for my Summer Youth Internship Program, providing learn and earn opportunities to more than 1,700 youth. I’m looking forward to building on this success for another season.”

    Youth can download an application to the program by going to www.buffalony.gov and return the completed application to the Department of Community Services. Applications are also available in Room 1701 at Buffalo City Hall. Incomplete applications and late applications will not be accepted. Completed applications can be mailed or brought to the Department of Community Services, located at Buffalo City Hall, 65 Niagara Square -Room 1701, Buffalo, New York, 14202. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.

    To be eligible for this Mayor Brown’s Summer Youth Internship Program, youth must be a City of Buffalo resident, between the ages of 14 and 21, and must turn age 14 by March 29, 2019. Each participant will be screened, assessed and receive job readiness, life skills and financial literacy training. The City of Buffalo’s Division for Youth will provide youth counselors who will serve as monitors and provide program support for everyone participating in the program. College Students are encouraged to apply.

    In order to determine your eligibility for the Mayor’s Summer Youth Internship Program, copies of the below items must be returned with your completed application:

    1. Working Papers (obtained from your school’s counselor) for all youth under age 18

    • Ages 14-15 (Blue Card)

    • Ages 16-17 (Green Card).

    2. Birth Certificate

    3. Proof of Buffalo Residency (Utility Bills, Lease Agreement)

    4. Family Income

    5. Social Security Card

    6. Attending School (Most recent School Report Card or Transcript)

    Private sector businesses are encouraged to participate in Mayor Brown’s Summer Youth Internship Program by hiring youth who have submitted applications with the Mayor’s Program. Those businesses that hire city youth may also be eligible for tax credits. Not-for-profit and Community based organizations can also participate by providing a structured and supervised work environment for the summer and, through sponsorship and donations, the City of Buffalo will subsidize the wages of youth employed in these areas. For more information, email fcarter@city-buffalo.com.

    If you have any questions regarding Mayor Brown’s Summer Youth Internship Program application process, please contact us at (716) 851-5887.

      WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Google and Facebook have made their quarterly case for a watchdog. The search engine’s parent, Alphabet, reported soaring sales and profit just days after Facebook’s blowout earnings. Concerns about fake news and the wanton commercialization of consumer data have done little to clip their dominance of online advertising. It’s all the more reason for regulatory oversight.

      Alphabet’s revenue rose 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 from the same period the previous year. The company’s digital advertising business continues to go gangbusters. Revenue from that part of the business rose 20 percent year over year, and accounted for over 80 percent of the company’s total revenue.

      This mirrors the results at Facebook, where notwithstanding an astonishing amount of public and press ire against the company and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, revenue increased 30 percent in the fourth quarter, to $16.9 billion, and monthly active users increased 9 percent, to 2.3 billion people. Furthermore, both companies continued to throw off astonishing amounts of cash even as they increased spending on futuristic ventures ranging from therapies to defeat aging-related illnesses to virtual reality.

      It’s telling to contrast the replicating, machine-like growth of these firms and their profitability with the increasingly dire public perception. Stories emerge nearly weekly about Google and Facebook’s efforts to strip-mine personal information to sell advertising.

      Yet market forces to topple the twin powers seem futile, or at least a long way from succeeding. Consider that fellow FAANG Amazon, which also has a fast-growing ad business, is nowhere near sapping their strength. Canaccord Genuity figures only 1 percent of Google’s search revenue is vulnerable to the competitive risk from Jeff Bezos’ firm. The idea of a startup eclipsing the two giants seems even more far-fetched in light of recent jobs cuts at Vice Media, BuzzFeed and Verizon Media, all of which depend on online ad sales.

      Google and Facebook’s domination of search and social media, their profits from internet advertising, the data they have collected, and the infrastructure they have created make it hard to see anything – outside regulation – curbing either company over the next several years. Given their deep wells of consumer information, this also sets them up nicely to rule the next wave of internet things to come.

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