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Saco-Indonesia.com — Minimnya sistem deteksi dan sterilisasi di pintu-pintu masuk menuju wilayah Indonesia menyebabkan negeri ini rentan terhadap serangan virus, termasuk virus H7N9 yang saat ini menginfeksi ratusan orang di China atau virus baru corona di Arab Saudi.

Masuknya virus H7N9 ke Indonesia hanya masalah waktu mengingat intensitas kegiatan China dengan Indonesia sangat sering. Kegiatan perdagangan, pariwisata, atau lainnya bisa berfungsi sebagai ”pembawa” virus ini.  

Menurut Dr CA Nidom, pakar biologi molekuler bidang avian influenza dari Universitas Airlangga Surabaya, seharusnya di tiap bandara atau pelabuhan tersedia sistem sterilisasi atau disinfektan untuk barang dan orang.

Diperlukan pula pintu masuk terpisah untuk pesawat dari dan ke China. Sesorang yang baru pulang dari China sebaiknya juga tidak langsung berada di sekitar hewan yang peka virus influenza seperti unggas, babi, dan kucing.

"Dengan sistem pengamanan ala laboratorium, setiap barang atau orang yang dicurigai sakit akan disterilisasi. Semua ini perlu dilakukan karena kita belum aman dari virus H7N9 atau virus baru corona," katanya dalam acara seminar Celebrating 60 Years DNA Discovery di Jakarta (4/6/2013).

Khusus untuk virus H7N9, menurutnya, belum diketahui apakah virus berasal dari wabah atau hasil seleksi. Virus ini juga melahirkan varian baru yang berbeda dengan sebelumnya sehingga vaksin tidak mungkin lagi dipakai karena jenis virusnya sudah berbeda.

"Yang lebih mengherankan virus H7N9 ditemukan dalam jumlah sedikit di negara endemik. Idealnya jumlah burung yang terkena virus lebih banyak dari manusia. karena itu kita harus lebih waspada," kata Nidom.

Masker dapat menjadi alat pertahanan terhadap serangan virus. Kain yang melindungi hidung dan mulut ini menutup dua akses virus masuk ke dalam tubuh.

"Bahkan pertahanan yang minimal saja tidak dianjurkan pemerintah. Sebaiknya bagi yang hendak ke Arab Saudi atau Asia timur gunakan masker untuk perlindungan," kata Nidom.

Seperti yang diketahui, saat ini Arab Saudi dan Eropa sedang dalam ancaman novel virus sebagai penyebab corona. Adapun Asia timur belum lepas dari cengkraman virus flu burung.

 

Editor :Liwon Maulana
Sumber:Kompas.com
Kita Harus Cegah Virus H7N9, Pengamanan di Bandara Perlu Diperketat

KOMPAS.com - Perhelatan Jakarta Fashion and Food Festival (JFFF) memasuki perhelatan ke-10 tahun ini. Usia satu dekade menandakan kalau perhelatan pekan fashion yang digelar Summarecon Kelapa Gading ini mendapat perhatian cukup besar dan diperhitungkan. Apa saja peragaan busana yang menjanjikan untuk disimak?

Peragaan busana "Sinergy" yang menampilkan tujuh desainer muda berbakat telah membuka parade peragaan busana pada Sabtu (11/5/2013). Dalam peragaan tersebut, Gede Yudi, Erdan, Rasyid Salim, Rini Suwardy, Paula Meliana, Soko Wijanto, dan Wira Krisna, mencoba mengeksplorasi busana wanita dari sisi warna, aplikasi, dan bahan yang digunakan.

Selain "Sinergy", masih ada sembilan peragaan busana lain yang akan berlangsung di JFFF sampai 26 Mei 2013. Selain merayakan kuliner Nusantara, fashion adalah suguhan utama dalam festival ini. Di antara peragaan busana yang dijadwalkan berjalan di runway utama di Ballroom Hotel Harris, berikut 9 di antaranya yang sayang untuk dilewatkan.

1. Mini show APPMI karya desainer Anastasia, Formalhaut Zamel, Lisa Fitria, dan Melia Wijaya, dalam sesi “Fairy Tales”, Minggu (12/5/2013) pukul 15.00.
2. Parade koleksi Nusa Tenggara Barat to Nusa Tenggara Timur oleh Stephanus Hamy, Minggu (12/5/2013) pukul 17.00.
3. Parade desainer IPMI dalam sesi “Kain Negeri”, yang terdiri atas desainer Barli Asmara, Carmanita, Denny Wirawan, Didi Budiardjo, Era Soekamto, Kanaya Tabitha, Liliana Lim, Tri Handoko, Tuty Cholid, Yongki Budisutisna, Senin (13/5/2013) pukul 19.00.
4. JFFF Awards 2013 Feat Cita Tenun Indonesia (CTI) dengan desainer Ari Seputra, Denny Wirawan, Didi Budiardjo, Priyo Oktaviano, dan Sebastian Gunawan, Rabu (15/5/2013), pukul 19.00.
5. Mini show APPMI  kedua dalam “Inorganic Ethnicity”, dengan desainer Misan, Philip Iswardono, Sugeng Waskito, Zainal Songket. Kamis (16/5/2013), pukul 15.00. Mini show APPMI  ketiga dalam “Inmost Mozaic” dengan desainer Elok Rege Napio, Handy Hartono, Jimmy Fei Fei, dan Poppy Dharsono, Kamis (16/5/2013) pukul 17.00.
6. Peragaan Universal (Poetry) M oleh Musa Widyatmodjo. Kamis (16/5/2013) pukul 19.00.
7. Peragaan busana muslim APPMI bertema “Treasure of the Sea”, dengan para desainer Alisa Listiawaty, Dian Pelangi, Jeny Tjahyawati, Lia Afif, Tuty Adib, Jumat (17/5/2013) pukul 15.00.
8. Peragaan koleksi ”Classic Blossom” oleh Defrico Audy dan Malik Moestaram. Jumat (17/5/2013) pukul 17.00.
9. Desainer Anne Avantie akan membawakan “Ramli dalam Kenangan” pada Jumat (17/5/2013) pukul 19.00.

Editor :Liwon Maulana
Sumber:Kompas.com
9 Peragaan Busana Penting di JFFF

Seringkali kita mendengar dari banyak teman, sahabat, saudara bahkan kita sendiri mengenai pengalaman dikecewakan oleh jasa sewa mobil di Semarang. Dan mungkin, sebagian besar informasi mengenai jasa rental mobil di Semarang tersebut diperoleh dari media online, atau iklan surat kabar. Melalui kedua media tersebut kemungkinan besar Anda tidak dapat mengetahui dengan pasti bagaimana track record pemberi jasa sewa mobil di Semarang yang Anda pesan. Ada sebagian yang mengeluh kondisi mobilnya jelek, AC tidak dingin, mobil sudah tua, jok nya banyak kecoa atau semutnya, dan sebagainya. Supaya itu tidak terjadi pada Anda, baca tips bagaimana memilih sewa mobil di Semarang.

Pada dasarnya, masing-masing konsumen telah memiliki standar yang berbeda dalam menilai kualitas jasa rental mobil di Semarang. Tingkat toleransi masing-masing penyewa mobil terhadap suatu ketidaknyamanan memang berbeda-beda. Hal ini telah menyebabkan penilaian akan harga sewa mobil di semarang menjadi relatif.

Tetapi apabila Anda termasuk salah satu konsumen yang mengharapkan layanan prima dari suatu jasa sewa mobil di Semarang, ada baiknya Anda tidak hanya mengutamakan harga yang murah. Mengapa? Karena meskipun tidak selalu, tetapi harga berkorelasi erat dengan pelayanan. Dengan kata lain, jangan mengharapkan Anda memperoleh pelayanan memuaskan bila Anda mengutamakan harga rental mobil di semarang yang paling murah. Silahkan cek teori berikut dalam dunia penjualan produk, “ono rego ono rupo”.

Owner jasa sewa mobil di semarang yang bertahan dengan harga menengah ke atas, bukannya tidak khawatir mereka kehilangan konsumen karena banyaknya persaingan harga dari perusahaan jasa sewa mobil lain. Tetapi biasanya mereka memilih bersikap demikian karena biaya yang dibutuhkan oleh owner jasa rental mobil di Semarang untuk melayani Anda dengan standar tinggi memang lebih mahal. Perawatan mobil yang lebih baik, uang jasa driver yang lebih baik, type mobil yang lebih tinggi, dan periode renew mobil yang lebih pendek.

Sehingga yang akan Anda peroleh dari jasa sewa mobil di semarang tersebut adalah: mobil-mobil dengan type menengah ke atas (Jika Toyota Avanza mulai dari type G, jika Old Xenia mulai dari type LI 1300 cc, jika New Xenia mulai dari type R deluxe 1300 cc, Ertiga mulai dari type GL, dan sebagainya), Full AC dingin, Full music dengan tape yang baik, tahun mobil maksimal 3 tahun ke belakang, dan driver-driver yang akan melayani Anda dengan baik karena mereka menyayangi pekerjaannya yang memberikan pendapatan yang baik bagi mereka. Untuk hal-hal tersebut lah Anda sudah selayaknya membayar lebih untuk jasa sewa mobil di semarang. Semestinya, rental mobil yang profesional akan bertanggung jawab apabila ada komplain dari customer/ penyewa. Apapun bentuk pertanggung jawaban tersebut dapat dikompromikan dengan penyewa.

Apabila anda membutuhkan jasa rental mobil untuk melayani dengan standar DIJAMIN memuaskan, Anda dapat menghubungi kontak JAWA Rental Mobil Semarang.

*Maaf, judul artikel ini telah dibuat sedemikian rupa supaya Anda tertarik membacanya. Terimakasih.

 

BAHAYA MENGGUNAKAN JASA RENTAL MOBIL MURAHAN!!!

saco-indonesia.com, Telah terjadi baku tembak di Poso, Sulawesi Tengah. Namun belum dapat diketahui identitas antar kelompok mana yang telah melakukan kontak senjata tersebut.

Kepala Bidang Humas Polda Sulawesi Tengah AKBP Soemarno juga telah membenarkan adanya peristiwa tersebut. Namun pihaknya juga belum memastikan secara pasti tentang adanya insiden itu.

"Iya benar, informasinya memang seperti itu. Ada baku tembak di Poso," kata Soemarno saat dihubungi wartawan, Rabu (6/2).

Menurut informasi yang telah dihimpun, baku tembak tersebut telah terjadi hari ini di Desa Padalembara, Poso.

Namun belum dapat diketahui secara pasti apakah penembakan tersebut telah melibatkan warga biasa ataupun militer.

Soemarno juga belum bisa memastikan apakah baku tembak itu terkait dengan jaringan teroris yang disinyalir masih bersembunyi di Poso.

"Iya ini masih kita lakukan pengecekan," ujarnya singkat.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

BAKU TEMBAK TELAH KEMBALI TERJADI DI POSO

Alloh menjanjikan Surga bagi umatnya yang taat padaNya dan Rasul namun Alloh juga  mengancam bagi umatnya yang melalaikan perintah dan larangannya.

 

Bagi yang tidak tahu atau tidak mengerti tetap dikatan melanggar atau bersalah, kenapa bersalah? Kita sebagai umat islam jangan asal islam harus belajar mencari ilmu akherat, bahkan walaupun untuk mendapatkan ilmu akherat harus menyebrangi lautan api sekalipun, ada hadist Nabi yang bunyinya “Tolabul ilmi paridotun ala kuli muslim” artinya diwajibkan kepada orang islam untuk mencari ilmu akherat”.

 

Sedangkan bagi orang-orang sudah mengerti harus mengamalkannya, mengajarkan kepada orang-orang yang belum tahu, tentu saja dengan cara yang baik sopansantun bijaksana tidak emosional atau pemarah, karna Nabi Muhamad pun mencontohkan kepada kita prilaku yang sangan baik ada sahabat Nabi yang tinggal bersama Nabi -/+ 23 tihun belum pernah Nabi berkata Hust! Apalagi kasar, kita sebagai umatnya Nabi Muhamad kalau harus sama ya tidak mungkin tetapi paling tidak menuju kearah kebaikanlah.

 

Jadi apabila kita melanggar atau mengabaikan perintah Alloh dan Rasulnya maka Alloh akan memasukan mereka kedalam nerakanya Alloh, seperti firman Alloh pada surat Annisa ayat 14 yang berbunyi :

 

 

 

وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَارًا

 

 

Sumber Al'Quaran & Al'Hadist

oleh:

Liwon Maulana (galipat)

QS. Anisa ayat 14

From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.

In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge.

Ten miles away, in Lower Manhattan, Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on accusations of far more conventional political larceny, involving a job with a sewer company for the son and commissions on title insurance and bond work.

The younger man managed to receive a 150 percent pay increase from the sewer company even though, as he said on tape, he “literally knew nothing about water or, you know, any of that stuff,” according to a criminal complaint the United States attorney’s office filed.

The success of Adam Skelos, 32, was attributed by prosecutors to his father’s influence as the leader of the Senate and as a potentate among state Republicans. The indictment can also be read as one of those unfailingly sad tales of a father who cannot stop indulging a grown son. The senator himself is not alleged to have profited from the schemes, except by being relieved of the burden of underwriting Adam.

The bridge traffic caper is its own species of crazy; what distinguishes the charges against the two Skeloses is the apparent absence of a survival instinct. It is one thing not to know anything about water or that stuff. More remarkable, if true, is the fact that the sewer machinations continued even after the former New York Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was charged in January with taking bribes disguised as fees.

It was by then common gossip in political and news media circles that Senator Skelos, a Republican, the counterpart in the Senate to Mr. Silver, a Democrat, in the Assembly, could be next in line for the criminal dock. “Stay tuned,” the United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, leaving not much to the imagination.

Even though the cat had been unmistakably belled, Skelos father and son continued to talk about how to advance the interests of the sewer company, though the son did begin to use a burner cellphone, the kind people pay for in cash, with no traceable contracts.

That was indeed prudent, as prosecutors had been wiretapping the cellphones of both men. But it would seem that the burner was of limited value, because by then the prosecutors had managed to secure the help of a business executive who agreed to record calls with the Skeloses. It would further seem that the business executive was more attentive to the perils of pending investigations than the politician.

Through the end of the New York State budget negotiations in March, the hopes of the younger Skelos rested on his father’s ability to devise legislation that would benefit the sewer company. That did not pan out. But Senator Skelos did boast that he had haggled with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, in a successful effort to raise a $150 million allocation for Long Island to $550 million, for what the budget called “transformative economic development projects.” It included money for the kind of work done by the sewer company.

The lawyer for Adam Skelos said he was not guilty and would win in court. Senator Skelos issued a ringing declaration that he was unequivocally innocent.

THIS was also the approach taken in New Jersey by Bill Baroni, a man of great presence and eloquence who stopped outside the federal courthouse to note that he had taken risks as a Republican by bucking his party to support paid family leave, medical marijuana and marriage equality. “I would never risk my career, my job, my reputation for something like this,” Mr. Baroni said. “I am an innocent man.”

The lawyer for his co-defendant, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that she would strongly rebut the charges.

Perhaps they had nothing to do with the lane closings. But neither Mr. Baroni nor Ms. Kelly addressed the question of why they did not return repeated calls from the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., begging them to stop the traffic tie-ups, over three days.

That silence was a low moment. But perhaps New York hit bottom faster. Senator Skelos, the prosecutors charged, arranged to meet Long Island politicians at the wake of Wenjian Liu, a New York City police officer shot dead in December, to press for payments to the company employing his son.

Sometimes it seems as though for some people, the only thing to be ashamed of is shame itself.

Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame

Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.

Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.

Photo
 
Credit Peter Arkle

Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.

“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”

Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.

The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.

They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.

A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.

Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.

What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.

It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)

A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.

The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.

It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.

High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.

But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.

In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters

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.

Continue reading the main story
 

Document: The Formaldehyde Fight

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can also cause respiratory ailments like asthma, but the potential of long-term exposure to cause cancers like myeloid leukemia is less well understood.

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.”

Continue reading the main story

Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring

In laminate flooring, formaldehyde is used as a bonding agent in the fiberboard (or other composite wood) core layer and may also be used in glues that bind layers together. Concerns were raised in March when certain laminate flooring imported from China was reported to contain levels of formaldehyde far exceeding the limit permitted by California.

Typical

laminate

flooring

CLEAR FINISH LAYER

Often made of melamine resin

PATTERN LAYER

Paper printed to resemble wood,

or a thin wood veneer

GLUE

Layers may be bound using

formaldehyde-based glues

CORE LAYER

Fiberboard or other

composite, formed using

formaldehyde-based adhesives

BASE LAYER

Moisture-resistant vapor barrier

What is formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a common chemical used in many industrial and household products as an adhesive, bonding agent or preservative. It is classified as a volatile organic compound. The term volatile means that, at room temperature, formaldehyde will vaporize, or become a gas. Products made with formaldehyde tend to release this gas into the air. If breathed in large quantities, it may cause health problems.

WHERE IT IS COMMONLY FOUND

POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS

Pressed-wood and composite wood products

Wallpaper and paints

Spray foam insulation used in construction

Commercial wood floor finishes

Crease-resistant fabrics

In cigarette smoke, or in the fumes from combustion of other materials, including wood, oil and gasoline.

Exposure to formaldehyde in sufficient amounts may cause eye, throat or skin irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems like coughing, wheezing or asthma.

Long-term exposure to high levels has been associated with cancer in humans and laboratory animals.

Exposure to formaldehyde may affect some people more severely than others.

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.

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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.”

Photo
 
Becky Gillette wants strong regulation of formaldehyde. Credit Beth Hall for The New York Times

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

Mr. Alger, who served five terms from Texas, led Republican women in a confrontation with Lyndon B. Johnson that may have cost Richard M. Nixon the 1960 presidential election.

Bruce Alger, 96, Dies; Led ‘Mink Coat’ Protest Against Lyndon Johnson

At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Suzman’s signature accomplishment was the central role he played in creating a global network of surveys on aging.

Richard Suzman, 72, Dies; Researcher Influenced Global Surveys on Aging

Hockey is not exactly known as a city game, but played on roller skates, it once held sway as the sport of choice in many New York neighborhoods.

“City kids had no rinks, no ice, but they would do anything to play hockey,” said Edward Moffett, former director of the Long Island City Y.M.C.A. Roller Hockey League, in Queens, whose games were played in city playgrounds going back to the 1940s.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the league had more than 60 teams, he said. Players included the Mullen brothers of Hell’s Kitchen and Dan Dorion of Astoria, Queens, who would later play on ice for the National Hockey League.

One street legend from the heyday of New York roller hockey was Craig Allen, who lived in the Woodside Houses projects and became one of the city’s hardest hitters and top scorers.

“Craig was a warrior, one of the best roller hockey players in the city in the ’70s,” said Dave Garmendia, 60, a retired New York police officer who grew up playing with Mr. Allen. “His teammates loved him and his opponents feared him.”

Young Craig took up hockey on the streets of Queens in the 1960s, playing pickup games between sewer covers, wearing steel-wheeled skates clamped onto school shoes and using a roll of electrical tape as the puck.

His skill and ferocity drew attention, Mr. Garmendia said, but so did his skin color. He was black, in a sport made up almost entirely by white players.

“Roller hockey was a white kid’s game, plain and simple, but Craig broke the color barrier,” Mr. Garmendia said. “We used to say Craig did more for race relations than the N.A.A.C.P.”

Mr. Allen went on to coach and referee roller hockey in New York before moving several years ago to South Carolina. But he continued to organize an annual alumni game at Dutch Kills Playground in Long Island City, the same site that held the local championship games.

The reunion this year was on Saturday, but Mr. Allen never made it. On April 26, just before boarding the bus to New York, he died of an asthma attack at age 61.

Word of his death spread rapidly among hundreds of his old hockey colleagues who resolved to continue with the event, now renamed the Craig Allen Memorial Roller Hockey Reunion.

The turnout on Saturday was the largest ever, with players pulling on their old equipment, choosing sides and taking once again to the rink of cracked blacktop with faded lines and circles. They wore no helmets, although one player wore a fedora.

Another, Vinnie Juliano, 77, of Long Island City, wore his hearing aids, along with his 50-year-old taped-up quads, or four-wheeled skates with a leather boot. Many players here never converted to in-line skates, and neither did Mr. Allen, whose photograph appeared on a poster hanging behind the players’ bench.

“I’m seeing people walking by wondering why all these rusty, grizzly old guys are here playing hockey,” one player, Tommy Dominguez, said. “We’re here for Craig, and let me tell you, these old guys still play hard.”

Everyone seemed to have a Craig Allen story, from his earliest teams at Public School 151 to the Bryant Rangers, the Woodside Wings, the Woodside Blues and more.

Mr. Allen, who became a yellow-cab driver, was always recruiting new talent. He gained the nickname Cabby for his habit of stopping at playgrounds all over the city to scout players.

Teams were organized around neighborhoods and churches, and often sponsored by local bars. Mr. Allen, for one, played for bars, including Garry Owen’s and on the Fiddler’s Green Jokers team in Inwood, Manhattan.

Play was tough and fights were frequent.

“We were basically street gangs on skates,” said Steve Rogg, 56, a mail clerk who grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, and who on Saturday wore his Riedell Classic quads from 1972. “If another team caught up with you the night before a game, they tossed you a beating so you couldn’t play the next day.”

Mr. Garmendia said Mr. Allen’s skin color provoked many fights.

“When we’d go to some ignorant neighborhoods, a lot of players would use slurs,” Mr. Garmendia said, recalling a game in Ozone Park, Queens, where local fans parked motorcycles in a lineup next to the blacktop and taunted Mr. Allen. Mr. Garmendia said he checked a player into the motorcycles, “and the bikes went down like dominoes, which started a serious brawl.”

A group of fans at a game in Brooklyn once stuck a pole through the rink fence as Mr. Allen skated by and broke his jaw, Mr. Garmendia said, adding that carloads of reinforcements soon arrived to defend Mr. Allen.

And at another racially incited brawl, the police responded with six patrol cars and a helicopter.

Before play began on Saturday, the players gathered at center rink to honor Mr. Allen. Billy Barnwell, 59, of Woodside, recalled once how an all-white, all-star squad snubbed Mr. Allen by playing him third string. He scored seven goals in the first game and made first string immediately.

“He’d always hear racial stuff before the game, and I’d ask him, ‘How do you put up with that?’” Mr. Barnwell recalled. “Craig would say, ‘We’ll take care of it,’ and by the end of the game, he’d win guys over. They’d say, ‘This guy’s good.’”

Tribute for a Roller Hockey Warrior

Mr. Mankiewicz, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for “I Want to Live!,” also wrote episodes of television shows such as “Star Trek” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.”

Don Mankiewicz, Screenwriter in a Family Film Tradition, Dies at 93

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

Hired in 1968, a year before their first season, Mr. Fanning spent 25 years with the team, managing them to their only playoff appearance in Canada.

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Frontline  An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.
Frontline

Frontline An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.

The program traces the outbreak to its origin, thought to be a tree full of bats in Guinea.

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A variation of volleyball with nine men on each side is profiled Tuesday night on the World Channel in an absorbing documentary called “9-Man.”

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Ms. Crough played the youngest daughter on the hit ’70s sitcom starring David Cassidy and Shirley Jones.

Suzanne Crough, Actress in ‘The Partridge Family,’ Dies at 52

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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.

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