Dear Administrator Mills, Thank you for the support provided by your agency to Vermont small businesses in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. The SBA was helpful in getting our state on the road to recovery and your assistance was very much appreciated by Vermonters. Based on feedback I have received from businesses harmed by this devastating storm, I am writing today to request that you create a new category of disaster loans for micro businesses that would be more accessible to small businesses like too many in Vermont that were unable to make use of existing SBA programs. While I appreciate your recent efforts to streamline the disaster loan program, creating a microloan category will more directly address the challenges experienced by Vermont businesses. Over the last nine months, I have spoken with many affected business owners. I heard countless, inspiring stories of the community spirit that emerged to help many them recover. I have also heard the heartbreaking stories of businesses shutting their doors and laying off employees. The feedback I received exposed a gap in support the federal government provided to recovering businesses. To illustrate the problem, SBA distributed over 1,900 business disaster loan applications in Vermont in the days and weeks following the storm. Only 234 businesses were ultimately able to submit a completed application, of which only 137 were approved for a loan. Many of our small businesses were besieged in the aftermath of the storm. Employees were working around the clock with a monumental clean up task. They simply were unable to simultaneously compile the paperwork required to apply for a SBA disaster loan. In some cases, the required three years of financial history had just been washed down the river. Others did not have the systems in place to access information in time to meet the deadline. The documentation required for a loan was simply too onerous for too many damaged and distressed small businesses. Importantly, the businesses needed small amounts of cash immediately in order to make necessary repairs to reopen. Their financial needs were far below the maximum loan amount for a SBA disaster loan. The SBA disaster loan process was simply too complicated and too time consuming for the small amount of money they needed to reopen. The Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program for businesses needs to be more accessible to micro businesses in rural states like Vermont. Nearly nine out of ten businesses in Vermont have less than ten employees. These businesses are the backbone of our rural economy. The current program should accommodate their special circumstances with smaller loans, faster turn-around times, and less paperwork. I request that SBA create a new microloan category of disaster loans tailored to meet the needs of businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Small microloans would be a minimal risk to the federal government because of the significantly lower maximum loan amount and would, in a disaster, quickly get cash into the hands of the very small businesses that are essential to the economic health of rural states like Vermont. I would like to discuss this proposal with you at your earliest convenience. You can reach me at (202) 225-4115. Sincerely, PETER WELCHMember of Congress In meetings with Vermont small business owners in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, Representative Peter Welch heard one recurring message: Federal disaster relief programs did not always meet their urgent needs. In response, Welch today proposed a new federal disaster relief program tailored to meet the needs of small businesses affected by natural disasters. In the days and weeks following Irene, SBA distributed over 1,900 business disaster loan applications. Only 234 businesses submitted a completed application, of which only 137 loans were approved. In a letter sent today to the Small Business Administration (SBA), Welch is asking SBA Administrator Karen Mills to create a new microloan category within the existing SBA disaster loan program. Targeting businesses with fewer than 50 employees, this new loan program would provide smaller, expedited loans with reduced paperwork requirements. In his letter, Welch reported to Mills that, â Many of our small businesses were besieged in the aftermath of the storm. Employees were working around the clock with a monumental clean up task. They simply were unable to simultaneously compile the paperwork required to apply for a SBA disaster loan. In some cases, the required three years of financial history had just been washed down the river. Others did not have the systems in place to access information in time to meet the deadline. The documentation required for a loan was simply too onerous for too many damaged and distressed small businesses.â Welch’s proposal grew out of meetings with small businesses throughout Vermont. In addition to visits in the immediate aftermath of Irene, Welch in April conducted a small businesses listening tour to gather feedback on federal disaster relief programs. Welch visited Snowfire Auto and Arvadâ s Grill and Pub in Waterbury, North Star Bowling in Wilmington and WW Building Supply in Newfane. Photo: Kerosene leaks at a mobile home park in Waterbury.Welchâ s full letter to SBA Administrator Mills is copied below.July 9, 2012 The Honorable Karen G. MillsAdministratorUnited States Small Business Administration409 3rd Street, SWWashington, DC 20416
Cambodian man survived H5N1 coinfectionCambodian health officials have identified another H5N1 avian influenza case, in a 58-year-old man who tested positive for flu in January but whose samples revealed co-infection with H5N1 in routine retrospective tests.The man’s infection was announced yesterday in a joint statement from Cambodia and the World Health Organization (WHO). It included news of the recent death of a 6-year-old girl from H5N1 and another retrospective H5N1 case, that of a 5-year-old girl, that was confirmed in early May.The man is from Phnom Penh and was first tested for flu on Jan 9. He had been hospitalized in Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital and has since recovered. The statement didn’t say what other strain the man had along with H5N1.The man’s illness was counted as Cambodia’s 12th H5N1 case so far this year, and his infection and the 6-year-old girl’s death raise the country’s cumulative total to 34 cases, of which 28 were fatal. The two new Cambodian cases raise the global H5N1 count to 632 cases and 376 deaths, according to the WHO.Jul 2 WHO/Cambodia joint statementJul 2 CIDRAP News story “Cambodian girl dies from H5N1 infection” Study: Other factors may explain GI illness in kids after flu shotsThe association that has been observed in some studies between inactivated trivalent influenza vaccination (TIV) and subsequent gastrointestinal (GI) illness in young children may actually be due to factors related to the medical visit itself rather than to the vaccination, according to a case-control study published online yesterday in Vaccine.The authors used electronic health record (EHR) data from six managed-care organizations to find children aged 24 to 59 months who received medical care for a GI illness during the 2002 through 2006 flu seasons. Each of the 2,062 children identified was matched with four controls (total 8,248).The researchers then looked to see whether in the 14 days before the GI visit the children had had a medical encounter for something other than GI problems or TIV. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using conditional logistic regression.Increased odds of GI illness within the 14 days after a medical encounter were observed in children both without and with chronic conditions (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.7-2.2; and OR, 3.9; CI, 2.5-6.2, respectively).These findings, say the authors, may indicate that previously identified associations between TIV and GI illness may actually be due to such factors as exposure to GI pathogens at medical visits; a reaction to treatment for an unrelated condition, such as antibiotics; or overlapping seasonal patterns for TIV and GI illnesses.The authors also comment that their findings demonstrate the importance of considering confounding factors in interpreting results of vaccine safety studies that use EHR data.Jul 2 Vaccine abstract
“My players played very well and we are looking forward for a good outing in the new season. I’m so proud of my boys for defending the charity Cup, even though we won it through penalties.“This is a good start for the season and the new players proved why we signed them, but about the Burundian duo, I cannot talk about them since I have not seen them,” the Ugandan said after the match.To reach the finals, Mathare edged out GOtv winners AFC Leopards 3-2 on post match penalties after a goalless draw in the 90, while Batoto ba Mungu walloped league champions Gor Mahia 3-1.Sofapaka started the match on a high note, coming close in the 11th minute through Anthony Ndolo, but keeper David Mwangi denied him.Edwin Ombasa reacted swiftly 15 minutes later, when he beat defenders but he was too slow to pull the trigger allowing Ochieng to clear the ball.Veteran striker John Baraza, gave Sofapaka the lead after he slotted home a penalty in the 30th, after Mwangi handled Yusuf Juma’s cross in the box forcing referee, Davis Omweno, to point at the spot.The slum boys tried to equalize four minutes later through Noah Abich’s free kick but he blasted wide as the defending champions enjoyed a 1-0 lead at the breather.On resumption, Mathare went about laying siege on the Sofapaka goal with Ochieng, putting on a man-of-the-match shift, denied Kenneth Wendo when he aimed at the target unmarked.New sighing, Hussein Zzinda, proved to be a nuisance, working the Sofapaka defence and soon, the 2008 league winners got just reward when Enock Agwanda equalised in the 77th through a well taken free-kick that beat Ochieng at the far post.Youngster, Erick Johana forced, Ochieng to punch the ball inside the box in the dying minutes, but his defenders cleared for a fruitless corner as the match headed to penalties.Felly Mulumba and Thomas Wanyama scored for Sofapaka as Agwanda, Juma, Johnson Bagole and Haevener Maloba wasted theirs.Erich Johana scored the lone penalty for Mathare as Abich, Gabriel, Isaac Otieno, Joseph Njuguna and Erick Mata missed.Earlier, despite fielding all their new signings, Leopards failed to find the back of the net and coach James Nandwa, said it was a wake up call for his charges ahead of the Confederations Cup clasha against Ethiopian side Defence in Nairobi.“We need to go back to the drawing board, at least I don’t have a problem with defence and in midfield I have seen where to work on then we finish with the attack. We need to work extra.“The players have not yet gelled so this week we are going to work on that, it’s a good training, let the players see the other side of it they can work on their weakness but it was a good moment for us because we lost in the penalties which is a no one game.On his part K’Ogalo tactician Bobby Williamson, said he was disappointed with the result and is going to work on the new comers whom he said have to cope with the team.“We played very well in the first half, we got many chances but Sofapaka only got one opportunity through set pieces. I’m disappointed the players don’t put to practice what we teach them, but hopefully they will learn quickly.“George Odhiambo and Rama Salim have been here before so they know what is expected of them. I’m not going to be harsh on them since they have played few build up matches.“I’m just concerned that the continental match stands before us and we need to play a competitive match. We will work on our weakness throughout the week,” the Scottish said.In the first semi-final, Leopards dominated the better part of the match, starting with their best forwards including Jacob Keli, Allan wanga and Noah Wafula, but could not break through the slum boys defence that was manned by newcomer Noah Abich.Wanga was stretched off minutes to half time when he picked a knee injury, to be replaced by Nigerian Austin Emeka.Ingwe came closer in the dying minutes when Emeka got a chance to slot home after Mathare defenders failed to clear the ball in the box, to force the match end to a barren draw and head straight into spot kicks.Abich, Gabriel Nduru and Bernard Omondi converted their kicks for Mathare while Wycliff Kasaya saved Vincent Omondi’s penalty as Peter Odhiambo blasted his wide.Emeka and James Situma scored for Ingwe while Bernard Mang’oli, Abdalla Juma hit the cross bar as David Mwangi stoped Wafula’s kick.K’Ogalo could have opened the scores in the second minute when George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo had the chance in the box, but the player who is making a comeback to the team blasted wide.He was at it again in the 20th with his long range shot, that keeper Duncan Ochieng saved.Harambee stars forward Clifton Miheso, broke the deadlock in the 30th with his far left cracker that beat custodian Jerim Onyango far post to give Sofapaka the first goal.The match was stopped for over 30 minutes after Gor and Leopards fans erupted chaos, to force police to lobe teargas canisters, but the officers calmed the situation.Former Sony Sugar striker Enock Agwanda, doubled the scores in the 58th after receiving a pass from Anthony Kimani, where he took his sweet time to beat defenders and place the ball far post.Nine minutes later, Miheso found the back of the net to notch his brace after connecting Humpry Mieno’s pass.David ‘Calabar’ Owino scored the lone goal for Gor in injury time, heading Innocent Mutiso’s corner.Sofapaka received Sh1m (USD 11,574) while Mathare took home Sh600, 000 (USD 6,944.4).Leopards and Gor walked away with Sh 300,000 each (USD 3,472.2).0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, February 2 – Captain, Duncan Ochieng, saved in sudden death as Sofapaka successfully defended the Kenya Power Charity Cup 2-1 on post-match penalties over Mathare united, after the match ended 1-1 in regulation time at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.Batoto ba Mungu coach Sam Timbe, was pleased with the win and said he was using the one day tournament to prepare his charges for the league.