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Favorite Links Friday Week of September 9, 2016

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Pink salmon fishermen can apply for state loan forgiveness; update on disaster declaration


Wheels are still in motion to provide some relief to Alaska’s pink salmon industry after the worst harvest since the late 1970’s. The catch to date is below 40 million out of a forecast of 90 million pinks. That compares to a catch of 190 million humpies last year.
Representative Louise Stutes of Kodiak says the Walker administration is still compiling data on the fishery bust.

Moving more quickly is Stutes’ request for state loan forgiveness for this year for those hurt by the humpy no show.
First, it’s absolutely imperative if anyone is going to ask for a waiver of their payment this year they need to contact the Division of Economic Development at 1-800-478-5626 prior to the due date of the loan. They will then send the appropriate application or forms to that individual for them to apply.

Feedback from fishermen who have already contacted the division said the process includes a complex 16 page application.
I told them this isn’t working well. It’s too cumbersome. This is a loan application and these individuals already have a loan. They are only asking for a waiver in the provision of the existing loan.

Now, applicants will still get the 16 pages but not all of them need to be filled out. Stutes says staff at the Division of Economic Development is standing by to help.
They have staffing available, they are anticipating fishermen calling and they will walk them through to help them put in only the pertinent, required information. So that streamlines it somewhat until we can fine tune it a bit further. [Full Source]


WA man charged with defrauding $2.7M from Alaskans


The U.S. Attorney’s office in Alaska is charging Floyd Jay Mann, Jr., 55, with 11 counts of wire fraud and eight counts of money laundering.

Mann allegedly told his victims that he was going to receive millions of dollars from a class action lawsuit with a pharmaceutical company. He promised the victims that if they helped pay his medical expenses and his legal fees, he would give them a substantial portion of the settlement. Instead Mann gambled with the money at a casino and won over $1 million.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward said concerned family and friends alerted law enforcement to the scheme. The investigation involved the IRS, the FBI, and the Social Security administration. She said this type of scheme is fairly common, this one was just more successful than most. [Full Source]
Well, those aren't very good friends! Sheesh....

Male chemistry primes females for reproduction—but at a cost


A research team led by a Northwestern University scientist has discovered that male animals, through their invisible chemical "essence," prime female animals for reproduction but with the unfortunate side effect of also hastening females' aging process.

Using the tiny transparent roundworm C. elegans, a well-established model for biomedical research, Ruvinsky and Erin Z. Aprison identified two distinct signals produced by males that affect female reproduction. The females sense the signals and respond by altering their physiology.

"We were investigating how animals reproduce under conditions that are closer to natural environments than the cushy life in the laboratory when we found this," Ruvinsky said. "One signal causes an earlier onset of puberty in juvenile females. The other slows down aging of the reproductive system in mature females, keeping them fertile longer. However, it also speeds up aging of the body."

Ruvinsky and Aprison used genetics and imaging to characterize female responses to male signals, including prolonged fertility and decreased longevity. They also demonstrated that steroid hormones, which are involved in a wide variety of developmental and physiological processes in all animal species, play a key role in converting a male signal into faster sexual maturation in females. [Full Source]

The Biggest Strike in World History? No Thanks, We’re Focusing on the New iPhone


When tens of millions of workers go out on strike in the second-largest country in the world—and the third-largest economy in the world—resulting in what may be the biggest labor action in world history (AlterNet, 9/7/16), you’d think that would merit some kind of news coverage, right?

A coalition of trade unions in India representing some 180 million workers staged a one-day general strike on Friday, September 2, in protest of what they called the “anti-worker and anti-people” policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an advocate of neoliberal policies and increased foreign investment (Democracy Now!, 9/2/16). Assocham, India’s chamber of commerce, estimated that the economic impact of the strike was $2.4 billion–$2.7 billion (Hindustan Today, 9/3/16).

And yet there was virtually no coverage of the strike in commercial US media, according to searches of the Nexis news database. Not a word on ABC, CBS or NBC. No mention on the main cable news networks—CNN, Fox and MSNBC—either. (The Intercept‘s Zaid Jilani—9/6/16—noted that there was one mention on CNN International, when “the CEO of the human resources consulting firm ManpowerGroup cited the Indian strike as part of global concerns about technology suppressing wages.”) Neither the PBS NewsHour nor NPR touched the story.

A hundred million or more workers striking for their rights hold no interest for the news managers in US corporate media. But a new gadget from a prominent advertiser? Now, that’s the news that’s fit to print. [Full Source]

‘I’d rather be in jail’: Kansas man robs a bank to flee ‘situation’ with his wife


It all started with a fight between Lawrence John Ripple, 70, and his wife Remedios Ripple on Friday, when the man reportedly said that he would “rather be in jail than at home” with her.

He said and he did. Ripple decided to rob a local bank, a felony which would definitely land him in prison.

Ripple wrote a note, right in front of his wife, in which he stated that he was armed.

“I have a gun, give me money,” he wrote in the note, according to the court affidavit.

He then walked into the Bank of Labor and handed the note to a teller, who complied with the demand, handing over nearly $3,000.

“Bank surveillance video showed that the suspect approached the teller counter, produced a demand note and demanded cash. The teller turned over approximately $2,924.00 in US currency,” the state wrote.

However, after receiving the cash, the distressed husband did not go on the run, but instead “sat down in the bank lobby” until a bank security guard approached him.

“I’m the guy you’re looking for,” Ripple reportedly told the guard before returning the money.

When questioned by police, the man explained that he and his wife had an argument before he robbed the bank. The motive for his crime, he said, was that he “no longer wanted to be in that situation.” [Source]

Historical Anecdote  


When the Marx Brothers made Duck Soup (1933), a satiric comedy about a zany utopia called Fredonia, they didn’t realize there was a little town in New York pronounced the same way. To their surprise, shortly after the picture’s release, the mayor of the New York town wrote an angry letter to Paramount to complain. “The name of Fredonia has been without blot since 1817,” he declared. “I feel it is my duty as Mayor to question your intentions in using the name of our city in your picture.”

Groucho took it upon himself to write back. “Your Excellency,” he said, “our advice is that you change the name of your town. It is hurting our picture. Anyhow, what makes you think you’re the Mayor of Fredonia? Do you wear a black moustache, play a harp, speak with an Italian accent, or chase girls like Harpo? We are certain you do not. Therefore, we must be Mayor of Fredonia, not you. The old gray Mayor ain’t what he used to be.” (Source: Boller, Paul F., and Ronald L. Davis. "Comedy." Hollywood Anecdotes. New York: Morrow, 1987. 251-52. Print.)

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