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Saco-Indonesia.com - Adobe mengumumkan hal yang mungkin mengejutkan pelaku industri desain dan kreatif. Paket software Creative Suite yang berisi sejumlah aplikasi grafis, desain, dan video, di masa mendatang hanya akan tersedia secara "berlangganan" melalui layanan Creative Cloud dari Adobe.
Ini berarti, Creative Suite 6 (CS 6) adalah edisi terakhir yang bisa dibeli dalam bentuk paket installer dengan harga flat (perpetual licensing).
Di masa depan, pengguna Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator dan lain-lain harus membayar biaya bulanan sebesar 30 dollar AS untuk mengakses salah satu software, atau 50 dollar AS untuk mengakses seluruh paket suite dengan jumlah yang sama seperti dalam CS6 Master Collection.
Layanan Creative Cloud sendiri sudah diperkenalkan sejak 2012 lalu dan sejauh ini berhasil mengumpulkan sekitar setengah juta pelanggan.
Langkah Adobe ini disinyalir berkaitan dengan upaya pencegahan pembajakan software, dikarenakan paket software dalam Creative Cloud harus berkomunikasi dengan server tiap kali dijalankan. Sehingga, sangat sulit diakses untuk pengguna yang memperoleh software dengan cara ilegal.
CEO Adobe Shantanu Narayen mengakui bahwa pihaknya akan diuntungkan jika bisa menekan angka pembajakan, dengan memindahkan paket software Adobe sepenuhnya ke platform cloud. Kendati berbasis cloud, Narayen mengatakan bahwa paket software Creative Cloud masih bisa berjalan tanpa koneksi internet karena tetap ter-install secara lokal di komputer pengguna.
"Hal tersebut memungkinkan kami memberi tawaran berbeda di pasar negara berkembang yang berbeda-beda pula, tanpa harus khawatir dengan grey market," ujarnya dalam konferensi tahunan Max di Los Angeles, Senin (6/4/2013), seperti dikutip dari Mashable.
Walau berpotensi mengurangi angka software ilegal, Adobe juga mengatakan bahwa pembajakan bukanlah faktor utama yang mendorong perusahaan mengambil keputusan ini.
Model berlangganan disebut lebih bersahabat dengan konsumen yang tidak bisa menjangkau harga paket Creative Suite tradisional. Harga paket Creative Suite Adobe memang bisa mencapai kisaran Rp 20 juta untuk seri Master Collection.
Insinyur Adobe pun lebih mudah menyalurkan update lewat penggunaan aplikasi dengan model berlangganan.
saco-indonesia.com, Si jago merah telah melahap Pondok Pesantren Al Munawarah, Jalan Imam Munandar, kecamatan Tenayan Raya, Pekanbaru, Riau. 6 Bangunan yang telah dijadikan asrama untuk para santri ludes diamuk kobaran api, Senin (30/12), sekitar pukul 14.30 Wib.
Informasi yang telah berhasil dirangkum di lapangan telah menyebutkan, kebakaran tersebut bermula ketika para santri sedang mengikuti kegiatan belajar mengajar. Tiba-tiba ada kepulan asap hitam dari bangunan asrama. Tak lama beselang, api telah menyambar ke bangunan lain.
"Tak tahu api darimana bang, tiba-tiba saja sudah terbakar," ujar seorang santri histeris.
Beberapa mobil pemadan kebakaran dari Dinas Pemadam Kebakaran Pekanbaru yang datang saat ini melakukan upaya pemadaman.
Kapolsek Tenaya Raya, Kompol Kukuh Yulianto mengatakan, pihaknya belum dapat mengetahui secara persis apa penyebab dari kebakaran tersebut.
"Kita juga baru mendapat laporan adanya kebakaran ini. Nanti akan kita lakukan penyelidikan lebih lanjut, belum tahu ada korban atau tidak," kata Kukuh.
Seorang santri tewas
Noval, seorang santri tewas dalam kondisi terpanggang saat si jago merah yang telah melahap 6 bangunan yang telah dijadikan asrama untuk para santri.
Kebakaran tersebut bermula ketika para santri sedang mengikuti kegiatan belajar mengajar. Tiba-tiba kepulan asap hitam dari bangunan asrama. Tak lama beselang, api telah menyambar ke bangunan lain.
Kapolsek Tenaya Raya, Kompol Kukuh Yulianto juga mengatakan, pihaknya belum dapat mengetahui secara persis apa penyebab dari kebakaran tersebut.
"Seorang santri berjenis kelamin pria meninggal dunia dalam kondisi hangus, nanti kita kabari lagi ya," kata Kukuh.
> PONDOK PESANTREN DI PEKANBARU TERBAKAR
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
JAKARTA, Saco-Indonesia.com — Politisi PDI Perjuangan, Eva Kusuma Sundari, mengatakan, digunakannya foto Joko Widodo alias Jokowi dalam baliho kampanye calon anggota legislatif dari partai lain menunjukkan bahwa popularitas Gubernur DKI Jakarta itu lintas partai politik. Partainya, kata Eva, tak mempermasalahkan soal itu.
"Mau enggak mau, kita enggak bisa melawan zaman bahwa Jokowi paling populer dan lintas parpol," kata Eva, di Kompleks Gedung Parlemen, Jakarta, Kamis (30/1/2014).
Anggota Komisi III DPR itu mengatakan, sosok Jokowi memang telah sangat dicintai oleh masyarakat, termasuk politisi dari partai politik lain. Hal itu, lanjut Eva, terlihat saat ia menyosialisasikan diri sebagai calon anggota legislatif (caleg) DPR periode 2014-2019 di daerah pemilihannya.
Eva mengungkapkan, dalam alat peraga kampanyenya, ia hanya memasang foto Ketua Umum PDI Perjuangan Megawati Soekarnoputri dan foto Soekarno. Akan tetapi, ia mengaku terpaksa membuat alat peraga kampanye baru yang juga memuat foto Jokowi karena besarnya permintaan dari konstituen di daerah pemilihan.
"Dipasangnya foto Jokowi itu bukan urusan PDI-P, tapi urusan masing-masing caleg, ini kan strategi pemasaran. Di dapil saya banyak caleg dari partai lain yang terang-terangan dukung Jokowi maju sebagai calon presiden," kata Eva.
Seperti diberitakan sebelumnya, caleg DPR dari Partai Nasdem di Daerah Pemilihan (Dapil) Sumatera Barat II Nomor urut 1, Erizal Effendi, memasang foto Jokowi pada baliho kampanyenya. Yose Hendra, warga Padang, Sumatera Barat, mengatakan, dirinya melihat setidaknya dua baliho di pinggir ruas jalan di wilayah Padang Pariaman, Sumatera Barat, yaitu di Simpang Duku dan di depan pasar Lubuk Alung. Kedua baliho itu dipasang di Jalan Lintas Padang-Bukit Tinggi.
Dia mengatakan, baliho tersebut sudah dipasang selama sekitar 15 hari. Di baliho tersebut terpajang gambar Erizal, Jokowi, dan Ketua Umum Partai Nasdem Surya Paloh. Selain itu, di baliho itu juga tertulis slogan Partai Nasdem, "Gerakan Perubahan" dan slogan yang sering dikaitkan dengan Jokowi, "Indonesia Baru".
Editor : Maulana Lee> "Sudah bukan Rahasia Umum Popularitas Jokowi Memang Lintas Partai"
Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Daerah (BPBD) Kabupaten Purbalingga, Jawa Tengah, telah mengimbau warga yang bermukim di lereng Gunung Slamet tetap tenang meskipun status aktivitas vulkanik gunung itu naik menjadi waspada.
"Teman-teman SAR (Search and Rescue) yang juga merupakan mitra kami, telah menyampaikan kepada masyarakat untuk tetap tenang," kata Kepala Pelaksana Harian BPBD Purbalingga Priyo Satmoko di Purbalingga, Selasa pagi (11/3). Demikian dikutip antara.
Pihaknya telah berkoordinasi dengan Dinas Kebudayaan, Pariwisata, Pemuda, dan Olahraga Purbalingga untuk menutup sementara jalur pendakian ke puncak Gunung Slamet melalui Pos Bambangan di Desa Kutabawa.
Disinggung mengenai 21 pendaki yang telah melakukan pendakian ke puncak Gunung Slamet sejak Senin (10/3) kemarin pagi, kata dia, seluruhnya telah turun dalam kondisi selamat.
"Berdasarkan informasi yang telah kami terima, saat para pendaki itu berada di atas, mereka telah mendengar suara dentuman. Oleh karena itu, mereka segera kembali turun dengan dibantu teman-teman SAR," katanya.
Dia juga mengatakan para pendaki itu tiba di Pos Bambangan pada Senin (10/3) kemarin malam.
Pada kesempatan sebelumnya, Kepala Bidang Pariwisata Disbudparpora Purbalingga Prayitno juga mengatakan berdasarkan data pos pendakian Gunung Slamet di Dukuh Bambangan (Pos Bambangan) telah tercatat 21 pendaki yang berangkat ke puncak Gunung Slamet pada Senin (10/3) kemarin pagi.
"Petugas di Pos Bambangan juga sudah mencoba untuk dapat menghubungi melalui nomor telepon seluler yang dicatatkan di pos sebelum naik. Kami telah meminta mereka untuk turun kembali," katanya di Purbalingga, Senin (10/3) kemarin malam.
Selain itu, kata dia, ada sembilan pendaki dari Pekalongan yang hendak melakukan pendakian pada Senin (10/3) kemarin sore.
Akan tetapi, pihaknya juga telah melarang sembilan pendaki asal Pekalongan itu melakukan pendakian ke puncak Gunung Slamet.
Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) Badan Geologi meningkatkan status aktivitas vulkanik Gunung Slamet, Jawa Tengah, dari Normal (level I) menjadi Waspada (level II).
Kepala Badan Geologi Surono melalui siaran pers yang diterima Antara, di Purbalingga, Senin (10/3) malam mengatakan Gunung Slamet yang berada di antara Kabupaten Purbalingga, Banyumas, Brebes, Tegal, dan Pemalang mengalami peningkatan kegempaan.
"Dengan adanya peningkatan kegempaan tersebut, maka sejak Senin (10/3) pukul 21.00 WIB, status Gunung Slamet ditingkatkan dari Normal (level I) menjadi Waspada (level II)," katanya.
Pihaknya merekomendasikan masyarakat atau wisatawan tidak beraktivitas dalam radius dua kilometer dari kawah Gunung Slamet.
Para ilmuwan terus mengeksplorasi kemampuan tanaman mariyuana alias ganja dalam
pengobatan. Studi teranyar menyebutkan, ganja mengandung komponen yang bisa membantu mengontrol
Daun ganja juga memiliki kaitan yang kuat dengan berat badan. Selain meningkatkan nafsu makan, daun ganja ternyata bisa membantu seseorang untuk tetap langsing.
Tiga studi terakhir menunjukkan, para pengguna mariyuana mempunyai risiko lebih kecil mengalami kegemukan. Selain itu, mereka juga memiliki risiko diabetes lebih rendah dan nilai indeks massa tubuhnya lebih kecil. Ketiga manfaat tersebut didapatkan meski para pengguna ganja mengasup lebih banyak kalori.
Bagaimana hal tersebut terjadi? Salah satu alasannya adalah karena pengguna mariyuana memiliki metabolisme karbohidrat lebih baik.
"Level insulin puasa mereka juga lebih rendah dan mereka juga memiliki risiko lebih rendah mengalami resistensi insulin (kondisi yang memicu diabetes) akibat kemampuan tubuh mereka dalam menjaga kadar gula darah normal," kata Murray Mittleman, peneliti dari Harvard Medical School.
Penelitian yang dilakukan Mittleman itu meliputi 4.600 pria dan wanita yang berpartisipasi dalam National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey antara tahun 2005-2010.
Dari para responden tersebut, 48 persen pernah mengisap mariyuana paling tidak sekali dalam hidup mereka dan 12 persen masih mengisap sampai sekarang.
Para peneliti mengontrol faktor risiko lain yang berpengaruh pada risiko diabetes, seperti usia, jenis kelamin, penggunaan akohol, kebiasaan merokok, dan aktivitas fisik.
Kendati faktor-faktor risiko itu diperhitungkan, para pengguna mariyuana sampai sekarang memiliki level insulin puasa 16 persen lebih rendah dibanding orang yang tidak pernah mengisap atau sudah tidak mengisap lagi. Para pengisap ganja itu juga mendapatkan penurunan kadar resistensi insulin sekitar 17 persen.
Level insulin puasa dan juga kadar resistensi insulin terkait erat dengan terjadinya diabetes tipe dua serta obesitas.
Para pengguna mariyuana ternyata juga memiliki kadar kolesterol baik lebih tinggi, yang bisa melindungi tubuh dari penyakit jantung. Secara umum, mereka juga memiliki lingkar pinggang lebih kecil.
Para peneliti belum memahami dengan jelas kaitan tersebut karena penelitian ini bukanlah studi kontrol. Belum diketahui pula apakah mariyuana atau faktor gaya hidup lain yang dimiliki para responden yang menyebabkan mereka mendapat sejumlah keuntungan kesehatan tersebut.
Salah satu dugaan adalah pengaruh mariyuana pada reseptor tertentu di otak yang berkaitan dengan nafsu makan dan metabolisme.
Ms. Turner and her twin sister founded the Love Kitchen in 1986 in a church basement in Knoxville, Tenn., and it continues to provide clothing and meals.Ellen Turner Dies at 87; Opened Kitchen to Feed the Needy of Knoxville | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
A lapsed seminarian, Mr. Chambers succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of the social justice umbrella group Industrial Areas Foundation.Edward Chambers, Early Leader in Community Organizing, Dies at 85 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Public perceptions of race relations in America have grown substantially more negative in the aftermath of the death of a young black man who was injured while in police custody in Baltimore and the subsequent unrest, far eclipsing the sentiment recorded in the wake of turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.
Americans are also increasingly likely to say that the police are more apt to use deadly force against a black person, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds.
The poll findings highlight the challenges for local leaders and police officials in trying to maintain order while sustaining faith in the criminal justice system in a racially polarized nation.
Sixty-one percent of Americans now say race relations in this country are generally bad. That figure is up sharply from 44 percent after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed in Ferguson in August, and 43 percent in December. In a CBS News poll just two months ago, 38 percent said race relations were generally bad. Current views are by far the worst of Barack Obama’s presidency.
The negative sentiment is echoed by broad majorities of blacks and whites alike, a stark change from earlier this year, when 58 percent of blacks thought race relations were bad, but just 35 percent of whites agreed. In August, 48 percent of blacks and 41 percent of whites said they felt that way.
Looking ahead, 44 percent of Americans think race relations are worsening, up from 36 percent in December. Forty-one percent of blacks and 46 percent of whites think so. Pessimism among whites has increased 10 points since December.
The poll finds that profound racial divisions in views of how the police use deadly force remain. Blacks are more than twice as likely to say police in most communities are more apt to use deadly force against a black person — 79 percent of blacks say so compared with 37 percent of whites. A slim majority of whites say race is not a factor in a police officer’s decision to use deadly force.
Overall, 44 percent of Americans say deadly force is more likely to be used against a black person, up from 37 percent in August and 40 percent in December.
Blacks also remain far more likely than whites to say they feel mostly anxious about the police in their community. Forty-two percent say so, while 51 percent feel mostly safe. Among whites, 8 in 10 feel mostly safe.
One proposal to address the matter — having on-duty police officers wear body cameras — receives overwhelming support. More than 9 in 10 whites and blacks alike favor it.
Asked specifically about the situation in Baltimore, most Americans expressed at least some confidence that the investigation by local authorities would be conducted fairly. But while nearly two-thirds of whites think so, fewer than half of blacks agree. Still, more blacks are confident now than were in August regarding the investigation in Ferguson. On Friday, six members of the police force involved in the arrest of Mr. Gray were charged with serious offenses, including manslaughter. The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday; results from before charges were announced are similar to those from after.
Reaction to the recent turmoil in Baltimore, however, is similar among blacks and whites. Most Americans, 61 percent, say the unrest after Mr. Gray’s death was not justified. That includes 64 percent of whites and 57 percent of blacks.
The nationwide poll was conducted from April 30 to May 3 on landlines and cellphones with 1,027 adults, including 793 whites and 128 blacks. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points for all adults, four percentage points for whites and nine percentage points for blacks. See the full poll here.
Ms. Meadows was the older sister of Audrey Meadows, who played Alice Kramden on “The Honeymooners.”Jayne Meadows, Actress and Steve Allenâ€™s Wife and Co-Star, Dies at 95 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Mr. Lechleider helped invent DSL technology, which enabled phone companies to offer high-speed web access over their infrastructure of copper wires.Joseph Lechleider, a Father of the DSL Internet Technology, Dies at 82 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Baltimore residents prepared to resume the more familiar rhythms of their lives as days passed without new bouts of widespread rioting and as the National Guard began to pull its troops from the city.In Baltimore, National Guard Pullout Begins as Citywide Curfew Is Lifted | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Mr. Pfaff was an international affairs columnist and author who found Washington’s intervention in world affairs often misguided.William Pfaff, Critic of American Foreign Policy, Dies at 86 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Gagne wrestled professionally from the late 1940s until the 1980s and was a transitional figure between the early 20th century barnstormers and the steroidal sideshows of todayVerne Gagne, Wrestler Who Grappled Through Two Eras, Dies at 89 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
As he reflected on the festering wounds deepened by race and grievance that have been on painful display in America’s cities lately, President Obama on Monday found himself thinking about a young man he had just met named Malachi.
A few minutes before, in a closed-door round-table discussion at Lehman College in the Bronx, Mr. Obama had asked a group of black and Hispanic students from disadvantaged backgrounds what could be done to help them reach their goals. Several talked about counseling and guidance programs.
“Malachi, he just talked about — we should talk about love,” Mr. Obama told a crowd afterward, drifting away from his prepared remarks. “Because Malachi and I shared the fact that our dad wasn’t around and that sometimes we wondered why he wasn’t around and what had happened. But really, that’s what this comes down to is: Do we love these kids?”
Many presidents have governed during times of racial tension, but Mr. Obama is the first to see in the mirror a face that looks like those on the other side of history’s ledger. While his first term was consumed with the economy, war and health care, his second keeps coming back to the societal divide that was not bridged by his election. A president who eschewed focusing on race now seems to have found his voice again as he thinks about how to use his remaining time in office and beyond.
In the aftermath of racially charged unrest in places like Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and New York, Mr. Obama came to the Bronx on Monday for the announcement of a new nonprofit organization that is being spun off from his White House initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. Staked by more than $80 million in commitments from corporations and other donors, the new group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will in effect provide the nucleus for Mr. Obama’s post-presidency, which will begin in January 2017.
“This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency but for the rest of my life,” Mr. Obama said. “And the reason is simple,” he added. Referring to some of the youths he had just met, he said: “We see ourselves in these young men. I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path. The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”
Organizers said the new alliance already had financial pledges from companies like American Express, Deloitte, Discovery Communications and News Corporation. The money will be used to help companies address obstacles facing young black and Hispanic men, provide grants to programs for disadvantaged youths, and help communities aid their populations.
Joe Echevarria, a former chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, will lead the alliance, and among those on its leadership team or advisory group are executives at PepsiCo, News Corporation, Sprint, BET and Prudential Group Insurance; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; the music star John Legend; the retired athletes Alonzo Mourning, Jerome Bettis and Shaquille O’Neal; and the mayors of Indianapolis, Sacramento and Philadelphia.
The alliance, while nominally independent of the White House, may face some of the same questions confronting former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins another presidential campaign. Some of those donating to the alliance may have interests in government action, and skeptics may wonder whether they are trying to curry favor with the president by contributing.
“The Obama administration will have no role in deciding how donations are screened and what criteria they’ll set at the alliance for donor policies, because it’s an entirely separate entity,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One en route to New York. But he added, “I’m confident that the members of the board are well aware of the president’s commitment to transparency.”
The alliance was in the works before the disturbances last week after the death of Freddie Gray, the black man who suffered fatal injuries while in police custody in Baltimore, but it reflected the evolution of Mr. Obama’s presidency. For him, in a way, it is coming back to issues that animated him as a young community organizer and politician. It was his own struggle with race and identity, captured in his youthful memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” that stood him apart from other presidential aspirants.
But that was a side of him that he kept largely to himself through the first years of his presidency while he focused on other priorities like turning the economy around, expanding government-subsidized health care and avoiding electoral land mines en route to re-election.
After securing a second term, Mr. Obama appeared more emboldened. Just a month after his 2013 inauguration, he talked passionately about opportunity and race with a group of teenage boys in Chicago, a moment aides point to as perhaps the first time he had spoken about these issues in such a personal, powerful way as president. A few months later, he publicly lamented the death of Trayvon Martin, a black Florida teenager, saying that “could have been me 35 years ago.”
That case, along with public ruptures of anger over police shootings in Ferguson and elsewhere, have pushed the issue of race and law enforcement onto the public agenda. Aides said they imagined that with his presidency in its final stages, Mr. Obama might be thinking more about what comes next and causes he can advance as a private citizen.
That is not to say that his public discussion of these issues has been universally welcomed. Some conservatives said he had made matters worse by seeming in their view to blame police officers in some of the disputed cases.
“President Obama, when he was elected, could have been a unifying leader,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for president, said at a forum last week. “He has made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions.”
On the other side of the ideological spectrum, some liberal African-American activists have complained that Mr. Obama has not done enough to help downtrodden communities. While he is speaking out more, these critics argue, he has hardly used the power of the presidency to make the sort of radical change they say is necessary.
The line Mr. Obama has tried to straddle has been a serrated one. He condemns police brutality as he defends most officers as honorable. He condemns “criminals and thugs” who looted in Baltimore while expressing empathy with those trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.
In the Bronx on Monday, Mr. Obama bemoaned the death of Brian Moore, a plainclothes New York police officer who had died earlier in the day after being shot in the head Saturday on a Queens street. Most police officers are “good and honest and fair and care deeply about their communities,” even as they put their lives on the line, Mr. Obama said.
“Which is why in addressing the issues in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York, the point I made was that if we’re just looking at policing, we’re looking at it too narrowly,” he added. “If we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve, that’s not fair to the communities, it’s not fair to the police.”
Moreover, if society writes off some people, he said, “that’s not the kind of country I want to live in; that’s not what America is about.”
His message to young men like Malachi Hernandez, who attends Boston Latin Academy in Massachusetts, is not to give up.
“I want you to know you matter,” he said. “You matter to us.”Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
As governor, Mr. Walker alienated Republicans and his fellow Democrats, particularly the Democratic powerhouse Richard J. Daley, the mayor of Chicago.Dan Walker, 92, Dies; Illinois Governor and Later a U.S. Prisoner | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.
But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the E.P.A. proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.
The E.P.A.’s five-year effort to adopt this rule offers another example of how industry opposition can delay and hamper attempts by the federal government to issue regulations, even to control substances known to be harmful to human health.
The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.
“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”
The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.
What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.
Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.
“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.
Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.
Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.
Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”
By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.
Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.
White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.
The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.
As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.
“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”
Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.
“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.
The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)
But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.
Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.
“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”
Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.
Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.
The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.
The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”
Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.
Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”
Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.
While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.
An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.
“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”
An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.
“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.
But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.
“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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