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New-Home Sales Down in March

News Releases from NAHB - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 6:46am
Press Release

Kline, Walberg Statement on Respirable Coal Dust

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:00am

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI) today released the following joint statement after the Department of Labor announced a final rule concerning respirable coal dust: 

For too long a flawed regulatory process has stymied efforts to provide stronger black lung protections. No miner should go to work without the best standards in place to guard against this deadly disease. And there is no good reason why industry, labor, and MSHA can’t come together to find agreement on what those safety standards should be. 

While we intend to carefully review the regulation, today’s announcement should not be the end of this important discussion. No doubt stakeholders will continue to raise concerns with the new rules and offer ideas for improvement. We strongly urge the administration to engage those affected by the regulation, to guarantee the best tools, technologies, and practices are present in every mine. Only then can we ensure every miner is safe from the threat of black lung.  

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Conflict Minerals, COOL, and Compelled Commercial Speech at the D.C. Circuit

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:29pm
Two decisions issued a little over two weeks apart by separate U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit three-judge panels have created significant uncertainty on a critically important First Amendment issue. The court’s forthcoming actions in these cases will have a major impact on government regulation and on regulated industries as diverse as livestock, […]
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Monday Morning Mojo: The Sea Otter

InteroMojo - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 7:45am

After putting on full body armor and getting on a bike that resembles something from a Sci-Fi movie, he took off out of the starting gate.  My 16 year old son, Tommy, takes off attacking the track, flying through the air, going over boulders and around turns like they don’t even exist. He is FEARLESS and does it EFFORTLESSLY.  This past weekend I took Tommy to race his downhill mountain bike at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.  It is a huge biking event attended by over 60,000 people from around the world.   It is pretty amazing to see all of those biking enthusiasts and vendors in one place.

Downhill mountain biking for those of you who have not done it before is gnarly to say the least.  I have done it a couple of times with Tommy up in Tahoe, but when I did it, unlike Tommy, I was everything but fearless and effortless.  I squeezed the hand grips like I was trying to strangle them and the only thing that was going through my head was my mortality. “Just don’t crash.”  Fortunately, with the exception of a few sore muscles and minor crashes, I am happy to say I have not experienced any major wipe outs or broken bones downhilling. The funny thing is my son very rarely ever crashes.  And when he does, he brushes himself off, gets right back on the bike and lets it rip again.

So what is the lesson of this extreme sport? Attack whatever you do with Passion, Fearlessly and Effortlessly. If you do, you will do better, go faster, suffer fewer setbacks and reach your full potential. When we are young our lives are all about growing and going for it. It is all about new unfamiliar experiences. Every day you wake up as a kid you are being pushed and encouraged by your parents, teachers, coaches and mentors to go for it. However, at some point in life, society puts the brakes on all of this growing and going for it. It plants the “play it safe, don’t go for it, what if you can’t” in our brains. All too often as we get older we let our fears and caution hold us back from CRUSHING IT! Unlike a kid we get too worried about what happens if things don’t work out instead of focusing on what will happen if they do.

As we know, what we focus on expands.  So if we hold back and worry about what will happen if things don’t work out, we will experience major wipe outs and broken bones. On the other hand if we attack with fearlessness and do it effortlessly, we will fly and CRUSH IT!  The million dollar question is how do we do go back to having the mindset of a kid? How do we go back to being FEARLESS?   Start with spending more time with kids and with people who go against the status quo. Spend time with risk takers, people that go for it and attack life. Remember we are the average of the people we spend the majority of our time with. Be aware of who you are spending your time with. Make it a great week as you attack the downhill mountain biking tracks of your life.

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Weekend Wellness: Moving Closer To The Edge

InteroMojo - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 9:15am

How often have you wanted to do or try something, only to stand back in your safety zone and simply think “what if”?  We all do it.  We stand 10 feet from the “edge” (metaphorically speaking) and wish we could inch our way a little closer, just to peek over the edge and see the other side, but yet we somehow talk ourselves out of all the reasons why we shouldn’t test the waters.  We get scared.

Is it that we are afraid of something that will harm us, or something that will help us grow?

Growth is, in itself, uncomfortable.  It’s new, it’s unknown and it could mean that if we grow, we might leave behind something which we’ve come to know that is familiar.  That familiarity, at times, however well it might have served us at one point…might be our biggest chain now.

The conundrum here is when we do go to our edge, we then know.  We know what it’s like to push ourselves.  We know what we are capable of and we know what boundaries we no longer need to limit ourselves by.

As I am writing this, I am thinking of all the people in my life who have accomplished a variety of athletic endeavors, business benchmarks, family achievements and overcome personal challenges.  Each of these individuals in their own right have grown exponentially from pushing themselves to their personal and private edge at different points.  They’ve not only blossomed, but helped others reach towards their own potential.

Think to times when you’ve kept moving forward.  Was your life enriched by it?  Did you discover something new within yourself?  Were you safe?  Did moving forward help get you to a better place?

Maybe it’s time to get “unstuck”.  Maybe look at ways to push your boundaries, to get a little uncomfortable and to peek over the edge.

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Intero Cool Apps: Work Smarter Not Longer

InteroMojo - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 9:15am

You’re constantly on the go and we know that.  That’s why having work accessible from anywhere is so important, especially as a Realtor.  Running from meeting to meeting, house to house can make any type of actual so called “office work” a challenge.  That’s where today’s app comes in.

GoConnect was built by real estate agents for real estate agents.  That’s right, I’m taking about an app specifically for us.  The goal of the app is to help you manage your checklists on the go.  Its super simple design is surprisingly powerful.

To get started, enter your transactions using the [+] button, fill in some simple information and the app will create a whole schedule for you regarding that specific listing. It even works with the address book on your phone so you don’t have to re-enter contacts.

To keep on schedule, each morning GoConnect will send you a list of tasks that are scheduled to be accomplished that day for all of your transactions. Not quite ready to complete one of the tasks? Swipe it to the left and schedule it for later in the day or even later in the week.  Just completed a task? Swipe it to the right and watch your list get shorter and shorter.  To see further into the future, just turn your phone on its side and the next few days will appear.

GoConnect is so intuitive and easy to use you just might find yourself working less hours.  On their website, they even offer step by step videos on how to initially set everything up, add transactions and so much more!

It’s the perfect way to start working smarter on the go.

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FDA’s Proposed Regulation of Brewers’ Spent Grains is All Wet

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 11:51am
During his February 5, 2014 appearance at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor stated that “the whole goal of [the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)] is to achieve the food safety goal without imposing regulations, just for the sake of regulation.” Dr. Taylor must have […]
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Thursday’s Thoughts on Leadership: More Great Questions For Every Entrepreneur

InteroMojo - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 9:15am

Today, I’m sharing with you numbers 11-20 of the 100 great questions every entrepreneur should ask from the article.

  1. What prevents me from making the changes I know will make me a more effective leader? -Marshall Goldsmith, leadership coach and author
  2. What are the implications of this decision 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years from now? -Suzy Welch, author
  3. Do I make eye contact 100 percent of the time? -Tom Peters, author and management expert
  4. What is the smallest subset of the problem we can usefully solve? -Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator
  5. Are we changing as fast as the world around us? -Gary Hamel, author and management consultant
  6. If no one would ever find out about my accomplishments, how would I lead differently? -Adam Grant, author and professor at Wharton
  7. Which customers can’t participate in our market because they lack skills, wealth, or convenient access to existing solutions? -Clayton Christensen, author, Harvard Business School professor, and co-founder of Innosight
  8. Who uses our product in ways we never expected? -Kevin P. Coyne and Shawn T. Coyne, authors and strategy consultants
  9. How likely is it that a customer would recommend our company to a friend or colleague? -Andrew Taylor, executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings 
    “Taylor’s use of this question at Enterprise Rent-A-Car inspired Fred Reichheld to create the Net Promoter Score, a widely used metric for customer loyalty.
  10. Is this an issue for analysis or intuition? -Tom Davenport, author and professor at Babson College
    Davenport explains, “If it’s a decision that’s important, recurring, and amenable to improvement, you should invest in gathering data, doing analysis, and examining failure factors. If it’s a decision you will only make once, or if for some reason you can’t get data or improve the decision-making process, you might as well go with your experience and intuition.”
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We Are ONE

NAWBO National - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 2:31am

As women business owners, change is a constant. We’ve learned to embrace it in all its uncertainty. We’ve used it to learn valuable life and business lessons and grow stronger. We’ve even become change agents in our own lives and organizations.

As a few of the world’s greatest change agents have so eloquently put it:

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” —Maya Angelou

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” —George Bernard Shaw

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” —Steve Jobs

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” —Margaret Mead

In this spirit of embracing change and strengthening and growing, NAWBO National is proud to launch an exciting change in our communications. In recent years, we have seen a shift for women in business. This is not our grandmother’s era, or even our mother’s. Today’s women entrepreneurs have real role models. We believe we can do it our own way. We have experience and confidence. We see entrepreneurism as a preferred way of life. We are trailblazing new leadership styles and workplace appearances. And we want to use our success to speak out and give back.

Being a woman business owner today is no longer just about business, but about a combination and delicate balance of:

Your Business + Your Lifestyle + Your Community = The Whole Professional You

We’ve begun to introduce this new “whole” approach in our Women’s Business Conference (September 8-9, 2014, in Indianapolis) communications. Now, you will find it in this premier issue of our new monthly e-publication: NAWBO ONE (which replaces NAWBO Focus and Happening Now for chapters and members). You will also see ONE MORE eblasts that link back to fresh content later in the month—one for everyone and one exclusively for NAWBO chapter leaders.

As part of this shift, we are inviting our community to submit timely, well-written articles, or ideas for articles, for consideration (to After all, we are one strong community of women entrepreneurs and our supporters, and we want your e-publication to reflect that. We are open to articles about anything of interest and value to women entrepreneurs right now. These might include, but are not limited to, access to capital, managing cash flow, tax planning, business logistics, legislation and advocacy, health care, print and digital marketing, personal branding, business health and lifestyle, strategic planning, environmental concerns/efforts, next generation entrepreneurship, managing different generations, mentoring, hiring, recruiting and more.

We hope you will spend a little extra time this month reading through this premier issue. It has something for everyone, and something of value for your business, your lifestyle and your community…the whole professional you!



—Billie Dragoo, NAWBO National Chair and Interim CEO


Categories: Latest News

Eighth Circuit Creates New Class Action Fairness Act Requirement, Sends Case to State Court

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 4:23pm
Featured Expert Contributor – Civil Justice/Class Actions Frank Cruz-Alvarez, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P. (co-authored with Talia Zucker, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P.) On April 4, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit breathed new life into a proposed consumer class action lawsuit that was previously—and properly—dismissed with prejudice by the U.S. District […]
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Does FTC Glass Settlement Break the Efficiencies Mold?

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 5:13pm
Featured Expert Column – Antitrust/Federal Trade Commission Andrea Agathoklis Murino,Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (Editors note: The Legal Pulse would like to (belatedly) congratulate Andrea on her promotion to partner, the announcement for which at the end of last year escaped our discovery) As expected, on April 11, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced […]
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Monday Morning Mojo: Five And A Half Inches

InteroMojo - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 2:23pm

If you’re a golf fan, yesterday was the best day of the year to watch golf.  There is no other tournament more important and fun to watch than The Masters…especially the final round on Sunday.  Congratulation to Bubba Watson on winning his second green jacket in 3 years.

It is truly amazing to me what these guys can do – especially with thousands of people watching them live and millions more watching them on TV. If you are a golfer you know just how amazing it really is. I remember a commercial during the tournament a few years ago that summed it all up great in just a few words from the late great golfer Bobby Jones who said “Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course, the space between your ears.” I had heard it before but it had been a long time so I scrambled for a piece of paper and wrote it down knowing that it had the makings of a great MOJO.

Think about it – the average golf course on the PGA tour plays about 7,000 yards…4 miles. As big and daunting as it can seem with water, bunkers, trees, wind, lightning fast greens and competition…at the end of the day winning is not really about conquering the course, but more about conquering your thoughts. It is our ability to remain focused, disciplined and remain under control in the face of stress, obstacles and competition that makes winners. Everyone has to play on the same course whether it is golf, business, or life. Like golf, to win at anything in life the challenge is mastering the five-and-a-half-inch course. There are just some who know how to play five-and-a-half-inch courses better than others.

So next time you are trying to figure out how to cut some strokes from your game at golf, business, or life perhaps we should look at hitting a few less proverbial golf balls at the range and look at doing things to help us conquer the five-and-a-half-inch course between our ears.

Check out the Top 10 Masters Moments:  CLICK HERE

Grip it and Rip it in life this week!

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Federal Workplace Police Have a Tough Week in Court

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:31pm
If anyone doubts our democracy’s need for an independent judiciary to check the executive and legislative branches, consider two federal court opinions issued last week. Federal workplace police at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor (DOL) each received a thorough (and richly deserved) judicial slapdown for arrogantly flouting the rule […]
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Weekend Wellness: Salt

InteroMojo - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 9:15am

The subject of salt is somewhat controversial.  We need salt to live, to thrive…but do we really know what we are getting with the salt added to most of our foods?  I found this article while prepping for today’s detox group, I thought I’d share…

Mineral Salt VS Table Salt

Most people buy iodized salt from the grocery store and don’t think a thing about it. They don’t realize that good salt can help give them good health, while refined salt can create some health risks.

Salt comes from the sea. It may have been laid down centuries ago in salt deposits, or it may have been dehydrated from pure seawater. Grocery store salt is different from salt from natural sources. It has been heated—up to 1200° F.! And refined to remove most of the natural elements. Grocery store salt is mostly chemical sodium chloride, while natural salt has up to 84 natural minerals in it.

Your body craves salt. In fact, your blood actually contains 0.9% salt, which maintains the delicate balance of sodium throughout your body. Just about every system in your body needs salt to make it work. It is especially important for your nervous system, but every body structure absolutely requires it. The National Academy of Sciences advises that we consume at least 500 mg. of sodium a day to maintain good health. How much a person actually needs varies quite a bit, depending on their genetics and daily routine.

The Healing Effect of Salt

For thousands of years salt has been known as a panacea. Alchemists called it “the fifth element” – adding to the standard water, earth, air and fire – because its qualities were comparable only to ether, the actual fifth element. Why are we so drawn to the ocean? Because our subconscious mind instinctively wants to return to the specific vibrational state of the ocean from which we once emerged. This is where we can return to recharge our batteries and regenerate. It was only two-hundred-fifty years ago, with the advent of industrialization, that we initiated our disconnection from nature and her ways.

Fortunately, we are witnessing a trend back to natural, holistic methods for living and caring for our body, including a shift to utilizing natural salts in this process. People everywhere are reconsidering the healing effects of natural crystal salt. We can find it in skin care lotions and for use as bath salts, and it is even used in inhalation or cleansing treatments for illnesses of the respiratory system and for a variety of other indications.

How Salt Became Sodium Chloride

With the advent of industrial development, natural salt was “chemically cleaned” and reduced to the combination of sodium and chloride. Essential minerals and trace elements were removed as impurities. However, sodium chloride is an unnatural, isolated, unwholesome substance having nothing in common with salt. Similar to white, refined sugar, salt, once regarded as white gold, was converted into white poison. However, there is a higher reason for salt having been endowed with all the natural elements found in our bodies.

Sodium chloride is an aggressive substance, which biochemically, is perpetually seeking an equalizing counterpart so that the body’s pH can always remain neutral. Sodium chloride needs its natural counterpart in order for it to produce its effect. The natural counterparts, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and other minerals and trace elements, demonstrate, from a biophysical standpoint, specific frequency patterns.

These patterns ensure the geometric structures in our body. When these structures are missing, we are without energy and are lifeless. Salt should not be used just to add flavor to our food, but for its vibration pattern, which is similar to our bodies!

The Consequences of Consuming Table Salt

The result of consuming common table salt is the formation of overly acidic edema, or excess fluid in the body tissue, which is also the cause of cellulite. That’s why doctors tell us to avoid salt. For every .035 ounces of sodium chloride that cannot be eliminated, the body uses 23 times (23x) the amount of its own cell water to neutralize the salt.

If the sodium chloride is still too high, re-crystallization of the table salt occurs as the body uses available non-degradable animal proteins (as those found in milk), which also have no value and cannot be broken down and eliminated. The body uses these proteins to produce uric acid in order to get rid of the excess salt.

As the body cannot dispose of uric acid, it binds itself with the sodium chloride to form new crystals that are deposited directly in the bones and joints. This is the cause of different kinds of rheumatism such as arthritis, gout, and kidney and gall bladder stones.

This re-crystallization is the body’s band-aid solution for the cells and organs in order to protect the body from irreparable damage of irresponsible food intake. But in the long run, it poisons the system because those substances cannot be disposed of. Popular diets say you should reduce or even eliminate dietary salt for good health, especially for cardiovascular disease. Perhaps refined table salt, which can act like a poison in your body, can be more of a risk. But the research is undeniable: reducing or eliminating dietary salt is basically wrong. Your body absolutely requires salt, but it has to be the right kind.

Natural health practitioners are convinced that good Original Himalayan crystal sea salt can improve your health. It keeps you safe and healthy during exercise; in fact, high-altitude hikers make sure they get enough so they don’t go into hyperthermia. Taking adequate dietary salt has improved and even eliminated Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Hypertension and stomach cancer have been linked to salt imbalance from improper dietary intake. Cystic fibrosis has been linked to improper salt metabolism as well.

Expectant mothers are always advised to take enough salt in order to help create a healthy infant.

If you’ve never tried good salt, you are going to be amazed at how good it tastes and how affordable it is. You may also be surprised at how quickly your health improves from using good, natural, organic Himalayan salt.

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