Friday, August 26, 2016

County Business Patterns (CBP) website has moved

The County Business Patterns (CBP) website has migrated to a new link. The new link is http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/cbp.html.

The old link will no longer work. If you have any old links to the website bookmarked, please update your bookmarks.

CBP is an annual series that provides subnational economic data by industry. This series includes the number of establishments, employment during the week of March 12, first quarter payroll, and annual payroll.

Please feel free to contact the Census Bureau by email at ewd.county.business.patterns@census.gov, or by phone at 301-763-2580 if you have any questions.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The 10 most Influential Poets in History

Most of us are inspired by someone when it comes to our job, or any hobbies we engage in. There is always an individual that we look up to, who inspired us to get involved in something, or whom we have studied to get where we are. So, have you ever wondered who inspired some of the most famous poets? What poets did Sylvia Plath study? Where did Jane Austen get her inspiration? Did Allen Ginsberg adopt techniques or styles used from any former poets? We decided to find the answers to these questions.

We conducted extensive research to find out who the top poetry influencers were and studied approximately 250 poets to determine whether they were influenced by any other poets, and, if so, who. We entered more than 1000 influences into our database to come up with our top ten.

Read more at: The 10 most Influential Poets in History - My poetic side

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Choosing a New Church or House of Worship

From Pew Research Center

About half of U.S. adults have looked for a new religious congregation at some point in their lives, most commonly because they have moved. And when they search for a new house of worship, a new Pew Research Center study shows, Americans look first and foremost for a place where they like the preaching and the tone set by the congregation’s leaders.

Fully 83% of Americans who have looked for a new place of worship say the quality of preaching played an important role in their choice of congregation. Nearly as many say it was important to feel welcomed by clergy and lay leaders, and about three-quarters say the style of worship services influenced their decision about which congregation to join. Location also factored prominently in many people’s choice of congregation, with seven-in-ten saying it was an important factor. Smaller numbers cite the quality of children’s programs, having friends or family in the congregation or the availability of volunteering opportunities as key to their decision.

Perhaps as a result of the value they place on good sermons, church leadership and the style of worship services, many people – even in this age of technology – find there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction when seeking information about a new religious home. Fully 85% of those who have looked for a new house of worship say they attended worship services at a church they were considering, and seven-in-ten say they spoke with members of the congregation or to friends or colleagues about their decision. Looking for information online may be growing more common, especially among young people and those who have looked for a congregation recently. But online information still appears to be far less important to potential congregants than experiencing the atmosphere of the congregation firsthand.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Clinton, Trump Supporters Have Starkly Different Views of a Changing Nation

From Pew Research Center

Supporters of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump disagree on a range of policy issues, from terrorism to free trade. Yet they also have more fundamental differences over long-term changes in the country and the next generation’s future prospects.

A new national survey finds that Trump supporters overwhelmingly believe that life in America is worse than it was 50 years ago “for people like them.” Fully 81% of registered voters who support Trump say life has gotten worse, compared with just 11% who say it has gotten better (6% say it is about the same).

Most Clinton supporters take the opposite view: 59% say life for people like them has gotten better over the past half-century, while 19% think it has gotten worse and 18% see little change.

The candidates’ supporters have contrasting expectations for the nation’s future. Trump backers are broadly pessimistic – 68% say life for the next generation will be worse than today. Clinton supporters have mixed assessments. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) say life will be better, 28% say it will be about the same and just 30% say it will be worse.

The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted August 9-16 among 2,010 adults, including 1,567 registered voters, finds little change overall in voters’ views of how the nation has changed and its future prospects since March, during the presidential primaries. But the divisions evident in that survey are striking in the context of the general election.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Monitoring of Contract Prisons

From the US Department of Justice

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), which is the component of the Department of Justice (Department) responsible for incarcerating all federal defendants sentenced to prison, was operating at 20 percent over its rated capacity as of December 2015. To help alleviate overcrowding and respond to congressional mandates, in 1997 the BOP had begun contracting with privately operated institutions (often referred to as “contract prisons”), at first on a smaller scale and later more extensively, to confine federal inmates who are primarily low security, criminal alien adult males with 90 months or less remaining to serve on their sentences. As of December 2015, contract prisons housed roughly 22,660 of these federal inmates, or about 12 percent of the BOP’s total inmate population...

In recent years, disturbances in several federal contract prisons resulted in extensive property damage, bodily injury, and the death of a Correctional Officer. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) initiated this review to examine how the BOP monitors these facilities. We also assessed whether contractor performance meets certain inmate safety and security requirements and analyzed how contract prisons and similar BOP institutions compare with regard to inmate safety and security data. We found that, in most key areas, contract prisons incurred more safety and security incidents per capita than comparable BOP institutions and that the BOP needs to improve how it monitors contract prisons in several areas.

From Think Progress

For the most part, however, the report lays out a much more mundane case against private prisons. The private facilities failed, in large part, not because of high profile incidents — but because, compared to their government-run counterparts, they simply weren’t good at running a correctional facility. In this battle between socialism and the free market, socialism clearly won.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Will Your Prescription Meds Be Covered Next Year? Better Check!

From NPR:

The battle continues to rage between drug companies that are trying to make as much money as possible and insurers trying to drive down drug prices. And consumers are squarely in the middle.

That's because, increasingly, prescription insurers are threatening to kick drugs off their lists of approved medications if the manufacturers won't give them big discounts.

CVS Caremark and Express Scripts, the biggest prescription insurers, released their 2017 lists of approved drugs this month, and each also has long lists of excluded medications. Some of the drugs newly excluded are prescribed to treat diabetes and hepatitis. The CVS list also excludes some cancer drugs, along with Proventil and Ventolin, commonly prescribed brands of asthma inhalers, while Express Scripts has dropped Orencia, a drug for rheumatoid arthritis.

Such exclusions can take customers by surprise, says Lisa Gill, an editor at Consumer Reports' "Best Buy Drugs."

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Health and Wellbeing of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth

Today, CDC released the first nationally representative data on the health risks faced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) high school students. These data highlight the need for accelerated action to protect the health and wellbeing of our vulnerable youth.
Findings from the report Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Related Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12 – United States and Selected Sites, 2015 show that LGB students experience physical and sexual violence and bullying at levels multiple times higher than that of their heterosexual peers. For example, LGB students are significantly more likely to report:
  • Being forced to have sex (18% LGB vs. 5% heterosexual)
  • Sexual dating violence (23% LGB vs. 9% heterosexual)
  • Physical dating violence (18% LGB vs. 8% heterosexual)
  • Being bullied at school or online (at school: 34% LGB vs. 19% heterosexual; online: 28% LGB vs. 14% heterosexual)
These experiences can place LGB students at substantial risk for serious outcomes:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Highest, Lowest Property New York State Tax Rankings Updated

The Empire Center has updated its June report that ranked 2014 property taxes with 2015 data recently released by the state comptroller's office. The report examined effective tax rates that combined school, county, town, city and village taxes.
The highest (and lowest) effective tax rates and tax bills on median-value homes may vary within the communities based on the school district in which they are located. The full details are given in the report.
Users can see the components of their local property taxes and compare property taxes in multiple communities using the Empire Center’s Property Tax Calculator, a tool on SeeThroughNY.net, the Center’s transparency website.
Benchmarking NY uses data from the Office of the State Comptroller to calculate effective tax rates–combined county, municipal and school taxes as a percent of market value–for thousands of localities across the state during 2015, excluding only New York City and Nassau County. The complete report, posted here, includes a list of the top and bottom 20 effective tax rates and the top and bottom 20 tax bills on a locality’s median-value home in each of nine regions.
The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies to make New York a better place to live, work and do business.