Should Toronto Maple Leafs Lock Up Nazem Kadri to Long-Term Deal This Offseason

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ search for a No. 1 center took a step in the right direction last season with the emergence of Nazem Kadri, but is it too early to make a long-term financial commitment to the former first-round pick?

Before anyone pencils Kadri’s name onto the lineup sheet for next year, his agent and Leafs general manager Dave Nonis must work out a new contract for the 21-year-old restricted free agent, a situation that will become a growing distraction if it isn’t solved by the start of training camp next month.

At the moment, there is no report of the two sides being close to a deal, with Toronto having just under $4.9 million in salary cap space, per Capgeek.

When players’ entry-level contracts expire, GMs are often forced to pay for potential rather than performance. It’s a tough gamble to make, and the results over last few years have been mixed.

The Los Angeles Kings paid young star Drew Doughty $56 million over eight years after the 23-year-old’s third NHL season. This contract, so far, has paid dividends for the Kings because Doughty played an integral part of the team’s Stanley Cup championship two years ago and has become a legitimate No. 1 defenseman.

But for every successful Doughty-type deal, there are others that look like mistakes. Here are a few examples.

Obesity classification could spike workers’ comp costs

A recent American Medical Association (AMA) classification of obesity as a disease may significantly increase workers’ compensation claims costs, research released Aug. 8 by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) suggests.

Workers’ comp claimant obesity historically has been viewed as a co-morbidity issue that is largely unreported and often has not required medical attention before treatment of most work-related injuries and illnesses, according to the CWCI report, “Obesity as a Medical Disease: Potential Implications for Workers’ Compensation.”

Medical providers typically document only the medical issues they intend to treat and seek reimbursement for, according to the CWCI study.

“That may change, however, now that obesity has been reclassified as a disease, if medical providers feel a greater responsibility to counsel obese patients about their weight — especially if there is a greater likelihood that they will be reimbursed for doing so — or if treatment for a compensable injury causes significant weight gain,” the Oakland-based CWCI said.

That could result in more claims that include obesity as a co-morbidity and an increase in cases where obesity “is claimed as a compensable consequence of injury,” the CWCI said.

Meanwhile, the CWCI’s research of California claims shows that workers’ comp cases with obesity as a co-morbidity experience significantly more lost time from work, permanent disability ratings and attorney involvement, along with other expense-driving factors.

Lightning strikes spark more Washington wildfires

A Chelan County community just now recovering from a fast-moving wildfire is being threatened once again.

A weekend lightning storm sparked more than 60 new fires in Washington, and the largest of them is now forcing evacuations in a community near Malaga.

Firefighter Roy Varney’s crew is standing guard in case the Mile Post 10 fire makes a run at any area homes. They’re safe for now, but that could change in a moment’s notice.

“Prevention is the name of the game,” Varney said.

Don Kasel and his wife were able to safely get out of the area Saturday night. They grabbed their family photos and their two dogs when it looked like the entire ridge was burning.

“We’ve got a mess out here,” Kasel said. “We’re evacuated right now. A level three, the highest evacuation that they have.”

The fire is threatening roughly 80 homes, and Kasel is grateful for the men and women who have stepped up to fight it.

“It’s just amazing the people that are parked in our driveway,” he said. “There’s three fire trucks.”

Nearly an hour’s drive away in the town of Cashmere, a helicopter spent Sunday dropping water on what appears to be another spot fire caused by lightning.

Varney said the half-inch of rain that fell with the thunder storms isn’t enough to help prevent the fire from spreading further.

“It’s enough rain to soak the grass,” he said. “When sun comes out, the grass dries like that. Two hours later you’re right back to where you were before the rain.”

StatcanCanada Jun Trade Deficit Shrinks To C$469M vs C$781M

OTTAWA(MNI) – Canada’s goods trade deficit narrowed to C$469 million in June from C$781 million in May, largely due to a gain in export volumes. Despite the shrinkage, June marked the the 18th consecutive deficit, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.

The May deficit was revised from C$303 million and was pulled lower mainly due to further weakening of exports.

Canadian exports rose for the first time in three months, rising 1.4% to C$39.6 billion, led by gains in metal and non-metallic mineral products (+11.6% to C$4.8 billion), aircraft and other transportation equipment (+24.2% to C$ 1.7 billion) and motor vehicles and parts (+5.5% to C$5.8 billion).

An increase in volumes of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys (+32.0%) was the primary reason for exports growing in metal and non-metallic mineral products. Additional upward support was provided by unwrought nickel and nickel alloys (+47.6%) as well.

The increase in exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment was largely a result of higher volumes, led by exports of aircraft (+59.6% to C$825 million), the agency said.

In the motor vehicles and parts sector, the increase was led by strengthening volumes and prices of passenger cars and light trucks, up 4.5% and 0.9% respectively.

The overall export growth was moderated by declines in exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products (-9.4% to C$2.1 billion) and forestry products and building and packaging materials (-7.3% to C$2.6 billion).

Canadian imports grew 0.6% to C$40.0 billion after retreating 2.7% to C$39.8 billion in May, and were higher mainly due to increase in imports of energy products (+20.1% to C$3.8 billion) and aircraft and other transportation equipment (+27.3% to C$1.3 billion).

Energy product imports surged 20.1% to C$3.8 billion largely due to a 16.7% increase in volumes. Crude oil and crude bitumen imports advanced 53.0% after declining 33.5% in May, while imports of refined petroleum energy products retreated 15.1%, holding back the overall increase.

An increase in imports of aircraft, ships, locomotives, railway rolling stock and rapid transit equipment contributed the most to the gain in aircraft and other transportation equipment.

Declines in imports of consumer goods (-2.9% to C$8.0 billion), basic and industrial, chemical, plastic and rubber products (-6.7% to C$3.2 billion) and electronic and electrical equipment and parts (-3.5% to C$4.8 billion) moderated the overall increase in imports.

Imports from the U.S. fell 0.8% to C$25.6 billion, while exports rose 1.5% to C$29.4 billion, lifting Canada’s trade surplus with the U.S. to C$3.8 billion from C$3.2 billion in May. Despite the slide in imports, year-to-date totals for U.S. imports reached C$153.3 billion, its highest value on record, the agency said.

Imports from countries other than the U.S. increased 3.3% to C$14.5 billion while exports grew 1.4% to C$10.2, billion, as a result Canada’s trade deficit with non-U.S. countries widened to C$4.3 billion from C$3.9 billion in May.

‘US will fight for its farmers biz in global trading system’

Expressing jubilation over its WTO victory on China over poultry issue, the Barack Obama Administration has sent a strong message to developing countries like India, saying the US will fight for its farmers’ businesses and workers in the global trading system.

The remark came after the US scored an important victory on Friday for American farmers on the issue of fair play in international trade in a World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute against China’s use of its trade laws to block exports of US chicken products into Chinese market.

“This decision sends a clear message that the Obama administration will fight and win for American farmers, businesses, and workers in the global trading system.

“It will ensure that America gets the benefit of the rules and market access we’ve negotiated in our International Trade Agreements,” US Trade Representative, Mike Froman, told reporters here yesterday.

The press conference was jointly addressed by Froman, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, after a WTO dispute settlement panel ruled that China breached numerous procedural and substantive WTO obligations when it imposed these high duties.

“For years, we’ve been concerned about other countries rejecting costs based on US producers’ books and records and instead using the weight of a product to allocate production costs.

“This methodology artificially inflates and creates anti-dumping margins. China had adopted this flawed approach, and the WTO panel found that China breached WTO rules. This is a significant win for American chicken producers,” Froman said.

“I also hope that these WTO reports build momentum to help end the behaviours that have required us and other trading partners to bring these kinds of cases,” he said.

Pritzker said the Commerce Department will continue to support America’s entrepreneurs and businesses as they compete in the global economy and create good jobs here at home.

Barbara Boxer pushes ahead on chemical safety law

Washington — Sen. Barbara Boxer seized control of a major overhaul of chemical safety law Wednesday, putting Republicans and moderate Democrats on the defensive and demanding tougher regulation of thousands of industrial chemicals blamed for rising rates of cancer, asthma, early puberty and other maladies.

The California Democrat rejected a deal brokered by the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat who died in June, with ranking committee Republican David Vitter of Louisiana, whose state is home to more than 100 chemical plants.

The two sought to reform a 1976 law that continues, largely unbeknownst to the public, to allow tens of thousands of chemicals used in everyday products to escape scrutiny for their effects on human health and the environment.

The legislation has the potential to become the most significant environmental law in a generation, posing a critical test of Boxer’s leadership. The liberal Boxer, who wrote a novel whose heroine tangled with chemical companies, must find a way to draw support from Republicans and the chemical industry or risk repeating almost a decade of fruitless efforts to muscle through legislation the industry opposed.
Demanding safeguards

Asked if she could draw support from Republicans, Boxer replied, “Why wouldn’t they want to protect people?”

Boxer said she will not permit legislation that usurps the ability of California and other states to regulate chemicals. She also demanded special protections for pregnant women, children and workers, deadlines for the Environmental Protection Agency to act, and protection of the right to sue. “If we don’t fix these problems, we’re not going to have a bill,” she said.

At the same time, she said she wants to fast-track a rewritten bill.

Lautenberg and Boxer led failed efforts to reform the law until spring, when Lautenberg, seeking a breakthrough at age 89, brokered a deal with Vitter that alarmed California officials and many public health and environmental activists.

The deal drew backing from moderate Democrats, especially from smaller states that lack the capacity of California and New York to regulate chemicals on their own in the four-decade void left by federal inaction.

Boxer, who was blindsided by the backroom negotiations, called Wednesday’s hearing to showcase opposition to the Lautenberg deal from state attorneys general and activist groups, applying pressure on the industry and Republicans to move her way.

The industry, facing a tide of new rules by states, big retailers and foreign governments banning various chemicals in consumer products, has abandoned the old regime and now wants federal regulation.
DuPont’s optimism

Linda Fisher, chief sustainability officer for DuPont, told the committee the industry faces state-by-state and chemical-by-chemical rules that “create tremendous uncertainty for businesses.” She said afterward that she saw significant commonality on both sides and is “very optimistic” that a new deal could be reached.

The conservative Vitter struck a compromising tone, repeatedly referencing his closeness to the liberal Lautenberg. He said he never intended to neuter California laws and is open to protecting pregnant women and children from chemical exposure.

Why You Shouldn’t Listen To Music While Curling Your Hair

We’d be lying if we said we’d never performed amateur concerts (for ourselves) in our living rooms/bedrooms/bathrooms. There’s just something about being home alone, with the music cranked up, that makes you feel like a rock star — suddenly you can sing, dance, and even twerk with the best of ’em. So what if your only audience is your mirror and/or your cat?

Well, we’re here to tell you about the hidden dangers that come with at-home lip-synching. Especially if you’re getting your groove on while, say, doing your hair. One minute you’re harmlessly rapping Kreayshawn while you curl your locks, and the next you’re on your way to the ER. Don’t believe us? Just watch the Vine below from user Brittany Furlan. As she put it, “That moment you’re so into a song, you forget your curling iron isn’t a mic.” Let’s all learn from her mistakes, and drop the hot objects before we drop the beat.

The band is wrapping up work on its eighth CD, but Boatwright places more emphasis on its live shows than on recording. He said that because CD sales are down and sales of reggae music are always low (with the exception of Bob Marley’s “Legend,” which has sold millions of copies) The Equalites are realistic about recording ventures.

The band will launch a new website this fall, which will have information about purchasing music, including the back catalog.

Boatwright is not surprised by the band’s longevity, as he said music is something he has always done and will always continue to do. But he is a bit surprised that 25 years into The Equalites run, the summer of 2013 is proving to be its busiest ever.

Wis July 30, 2013

Wis July 30, 2013; Schneider National, Inc., announced today it is significantly reducing the purchase price on more than 450 tractors available to owner-operators, small to medium fleets, farmers, oil field operators and dealers/exporters. During the companya€?s Summer Clearance Sale, these dependable trucks are available at prices up to 40 percent lower than Schneidera€?s regularly listed prices.

Schneider’s Used Fleet Truck Sales offers trucks just coming off the road. The trucks currently for sale are 2005-2007 model-year Freightliner C120s with Detroit Diesel engines. Mileage ranges between 400,000-1 million; prices range from $14,000-$27,000. All trucks for sale have been serviced and maintained to Schneider’s high standards for preventive maintenance and have a history of excellent fuel mileage. Units have 10-speed and automatic transmissions. Options include 70-inch raised roof, 58-inch mid-roof, 70 XT and day cabs.
We know the news of this reduced pricing will excite many people who are in the market for well-maintained, carefully spec’d, comfortable tractors,” said Rob Reich, vice president of maintenance at Schneider National. “These trucks are solid values at their normal pricing levels, so the sale we are running this summer provides an even better opportunity to buy.”

In addition to its Schneider Finance division, which provides options to current and prospective Schneider National owner-operators on premium new and gently used trucks, Schneider began offering used fleet trucks to selected buyers last year. Owner-operators and fleets that purchase used fleet trucks are not required to lease the units with Schneider National.

The current inventory is available at 17 Schneider locations across the U.S. and Canada: Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Fontana, Calif.; Sacramento, Calif.; Gary, Ind.; Harrisburg, Penn.; Houston; Indianapolis; Laredo, Texas; New Orleans; Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; St. Louis; Toronto and West Memphis, Ark.

Staffer who helped probe collapse of MF Global joins law firm

A staffer who managed the House Financial Serices investigation into the collapse of MF Global has set up shop in the private sector.

Anne Marie Turner, an adviser to the watchdog committee in Congress, has been hired by McDermott Will & Emery to work as a partner in its government strategies practice in Washington.

Turner is excited to combine her skills as an investigator and policy expert into one role, she said.

“I can do advocacy for clients, but I can also work on litigation,” she told The Hill. “That sets us apart from other lobbying shops because we can service our clients in two ways. That’s not always an option at other places in DC.”

“I thought I was going to have to pick which way my career went,” she added, referring to the law and lobbying world, “and now I don’t have to.”

Steve Ryan, partner and head of McDermott’s government strategies practice group, called Turner a “seasoned” congressional investigation counsel in a statement on Monday.

“We will be even stronger with Anne Marie’s deep congressional investigations background,” Ryan said.Prior to her hire, Turner worked as a senior counsel for the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. In that role, she managed the committee’s report on the failure of MF Global, a hedge fund that had been managed by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D).

Turner worked on Capitol Hill for about a decade, beginning as counsel for former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) while he served as chairman of the House Oversight Committee and later becoming lead committee staff on the investigation into steroid use in professional sports.

After that, she worked in the office of former Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.), working on telecom, transportation and consumer protection policy.

“For the majority of my government career, I’ve handled investigations,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to helping clients on the other side of investigations,” whether it be an investigated entity or a witness called to testify before Congress.

Getting a phone call or letter from a committee can be “equally as stressful” as being the subject of an investigation, she says. She plans to “[guide] them through the process and [help] them navigate the waters.”