Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cooler weather gives Minn. farmers a break

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Cooler weather has given Minnesota farmers a break from the heat.

In its weekly crops and weather report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that statewide, temperatures for the week averaged 6.7 degrees below average.

Despite the cooler weather, 5.9 days were suitable for field work last week.

Drier than normal weather in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota reduced topsoil and subsoil moisture to 26 percent short and 21 percent very short.

North-central Minnesota was the only district in the state with significantly above-average moisture, with more than 2 inches of rain.

Corn conditions declined slightly, to 62 percent good or excellent. Sixty percent of corn was at or beyond the silking stage while corn stalks grew 12 inches to an average height of 71 inches.


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Tax Changes Spark Profit-Sharing Dispute Between China and Hollywood

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A dispute over a new Chinese tax has led to a growing profit drain for exported blockbusters.


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#Flossie creates buzz on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

While Flossie didn?t hit the Islands with the severe weather some were prepared for, the downgraded tropical depression created its own kind of storm on social media.

Twitter?s #Flossie report generated on Tuesday morning shows more than 4,000 tweets were made by 2,169 contributors with 1,988 followers per user. The buzz reached a potential audience of 4.3 million viewers. Check out the breakdown of Flossie tweets here.

People were talking, and not just from Hawaii. Read PBN Editor-in-Chief Kevin Bumgarner?s take on how national media covered the approaching tropical storm.

The conversation extended beyond media coverage and 140-character tweets and into people?s Facebook status reports, Instagram photos, and mobile apps like KITV?s Hurricane Tracker App, which I personally downloaded and quickly became obsessed with checking for hourly updates.

While this level of engagement may seem like overkill to some, others argue it?s better to be safe than sorry. Coralie Matayoshi, CEO of the American Red Cross of Hawaii, talked story with me yesterday as the local chapter was opening emergency shelters statewide and recruiting hundreds of volunteers to ?prepare for the worst, and hope for the best,? as Mayor Kirk Caldwell publicly emphasized on Monday.

Matayoshi pointed out that the role of social media in general is literally life-saving when it comes to natural disasters. Take the deadly tornadoes that hit Oklahoma recently, she said.

?In Oklahoma, people only had 16 minutes to get out of the tornado?s [path]. We have Red Cross apps that you can download, and those saved lives because people were able to get instant notification that a tornado was coming,? she said. ?We?ve had people tell us that their grandma was saved because they were able to get out in time.?


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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Weiner speaks out in new ad: 'Quit isn't the way we roll in New York City'

NEW YORK?Anthony Weiner is out with a new ad addressing the sexting scandal that threatens to sink his mayoral campaign in which he reaffirms he has no plans to ?quit? the race.

The minute-long spot, posted Tuesday evening on Weiner?s campaign site, features the former congressman speaking directly to the camera about the state of his mayoral bid.?

You know, sometimes people say to me, 'This campaign is pretty rough. You may want to quit.' I know there are newspaper editors and other politicians that say, ?Boy, I wish that guy Weiner would quit,?? the Democratic mayoral hopeful says in the spot.? ?You don?t know New York. You certainly don?t know me. Quit isn?t the way we roll in New York City. We fight through tough things. We are a tough city.?

The spot was released exactly one week after Weiner admitted that he continued to send sexual messages to women he met online even after he was forced out of Congress for similar online dalliances. His wife, Huma, who joined him in his other campaign ad, is not featured in his latest spot.

Weiner, who looks visibly tired in the ad, insists the race is not about him but ?helping New Yorkers.?

?If someone wants to come out with something embarrassing about you in your private life, you have to talk about that for a little while,? Weiner says. ?But it?s also reminded me that citizens, when they come up to ya, and they want to talk to you about a situation on their block or at their child?s school or something going on at their job site, that?s what this campaign is all about, and I?ll never forget that."

It?s unclear if the campaign is reserving television airtime for the spot. A spokeswoman for Weiner did not respond to a request for comment.


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The final word on coffee, eggs, salt and oil

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Source: --- Sunday, July 28, 2013


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Kevin Walthers Settles into Dream Job as New Allan Hancock College President

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

Allan Hancock College was on a list of the top five places in the country where Kevin Walthers wanted to work.

The Texas native had heard about the school?s stellar reputation, and over the years he actually had visited the Santa Maria Valley on several occasions to catch up with friends, who also thought highly of the community college.

Walthers remembered the cool ocean breeze and ? even more noticeable ? the welcoming, friendly people he had met.

On a recent afternoon while sitting in the college?s office of the president, Walthers expressed deep gratitude for having been able to circle back to Hancock?s campus earlier this year when he was selected to lead it.

?The whole culture here is nice,? Walthers told Noozhawk. ?It?s a place I wanted to be. I?m only the fifth president. That?s good.?

Walthers, who most recently served as president of Las Positas College in Livermore, has officially been at the Hancock helm since July 8, after the Board of Trustees sang his praises and finalized his contract in June.

Since then, it?s been a flurry of meet-and-greet with faculty, staff and students, and familiarization with the 93-year-old institution?s four campuses in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Solvang and at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Remembering a person?s name upon a second meeting is considered a small victory as Walthers prepares for the arrival of 11,500 students for fall classes, which begin Aug. 19.

?I?m excited for the students to come back,? he said. ?There?s so much energy.?

Walthers set his sights on Santa Maria after a career that began in Texas as a high school government and economics teacher. His career journey took him to Utah in 1996 and then West Virginia for two years before arriving on the West Coast in the summer of 2011 to lead Las Positas in the East Bay Area.

He said he and his wife, Shannon, have always considered themselves ?Westerners? because she grew up in Colorado and he just outside Dallas before moving from state to state while his father was in the Air Force.

Walthers said he?s just another first-generation college student who decided to pursue a career in education.

His r?sum? includes vice chancellor for administration for the West Virginia Community and Technical College System and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, as well as executive roles with the Utah State Board of Regents and the College of Eastern Utah.

Having been a community college student himself, Walthers said he wants to ensure students are aware that they have access to any career they desire.

?It?s kind of a pay it forward kind of thing,? he said, noting his grandmother?s emphasis on the importance of getting an education. ?It?s a fun job. We teach them how to learn using specific skills. It?s invigorating to be a part of that.?

Walthers said he hopes to focus attention on strategic planning and student success. What time and attention is left will go toward sharing hobbies with his 10-year-old son, Trey, at their Orcutt home.

The new president?s orientation appears to be finishing up as first-year students begin arriving for an orientation of their own this week.

? Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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