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Blog Entries from 2009

NOAA Submits Proposed Recovery Plan to Congress to Help Create Jobs, Improve Coastal Communities and Protect Habitat

ARRA logo. Click to go to Commerce.gov/Recovery.

Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) submitted to Congress its proposed Recovery plan to create jobs, strengthen the economy, and restore our environment. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, NOAA was provided $830 million. NOAA estimates its planned expenditures will create a significant number of new jobs and strengthen the economy, spurring the creation of additional jobs.NOAA’s investments in weather forecasting and research, fisheries, ocean and coastal management are aimed at safeguarding lives and putting Americans to work. (More)

Locke Statement on President Obama's Intent to Nominate Groves as Census Director

Bureau of the Census seal.

President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Robert Groves as the new Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke released the following statement: “The decennial Census faces significant challenges, but I am confident that Robert’s leadership will help us meet those challenges. He is a respected social scientist who will run the Census Bureau with integrity and independence.” As Census Director, Groves will report to Secretary Locke. (Statement) (White House Release)

Secretary Locke Addresses Importance of Broadband to Nation's Economic Recovery and Growth

Locke holding microphone. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke highlighted the importance of broadband to the nation’s economic recovery and growth at the opening of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association’s 2009 National Cable Show. Locke highlighted the Broadband Initiatives funded in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which are critical for building a 21st century information infrastructure and creating jobs in unserved, underserved and rural communities across the country. ”Access to high-speed Internet networks opens doors to the world. . . and is fundamental to this country’s economic growth,” Locke said.

Secretary Locke Encourages U.S. Latinos To Be Counted in Census 2010

Secretary Locke speaking from podium.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke participated in the kick off of an historic national campaign at the National Press Club to urge the nearly 50 million U.S. Latinos to fully participate in the 2010 Census. Locke joined the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) and other partners at the launch of the ya es hora !HAGASE CONTAR! (It’s Time, Make Yourself Count!) campaign. “Bringing the right numbers to your communities means bringing economic empowerment. And you have not left the work to the Census Bureau alone,” Locke said. “You are leading the way and taking charge of your destiny. Yes. It is time.” (Remarks)

NOAA: Early Warning System Forecasts Deadly Mudslides

Image of van trapped in debris. Click for larger image.

Scientists from Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey have developed a prototype debris flow warning system using weather forecasts and precipitation measurements along with regional USGS rainfall rate thresholds to determine the probability of debris flows. In the United States, approximately 25 to 50 deaths a year can be attributed to the phenomenon of debris flow—or mudslides as they are more commonly known—with monetary losses exceeding $2 billion annually. (More)

Secretary Locke Kicks Off 2010 Census 'One Year Out' Activities in First Public Event

Commer Secretary Locke gesturing on podium. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined 250 national partners from around the country today in launching outreach efforts for Census 2010 in his first public event. Locke stressed the importance of the national partners in the 2010 Census. “Today is my first day on the job, my first day at Commerce, and it’s a measure of the priority the Census is for me and my department, not to mention my appreciation of the work you do, that I’m here this morning,” Locke said. “I’m going to make sure the Census Bureau has the independent leadership it deserves and the professional oversight the American people demand.” (Remarks)

USPTO Seeks Nominees to Public Advisory Committees

USPTO seal.

The Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking nominations for the Patent Public Advisory Committee and the Trademark Public Advisory Committee. The committees advise the agency on a wide variety of policy and budgetary issues. Members are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Secretary of Commerce. Member’s terms run for three years. Those appointed must have “substantial backgrounds and achievement in finance, management, labor relations, science, and technology and office automation.” (More)

U.S. Senate Confirms Gary Locke as Commerce Secretary

Photo of Gary Locke.

File Photo

The United States Senate confirmed Gary Locke as the nation’s 36th Commerce Secretary by unanimous consent. Secretary Locke will be a key member of President Obama’s economic team and will work to foster and promote American economic development at home, and will be an influential ambassador for American business and industry abroad. Locke is the first Chinese American to serve as Commerce Secretary. “I’m honored to take on this challenge and will work every day to make the Commerce Department an engine for improving our competitiveness, encouraging innovation and creating jobs,” Locke said. (More)

TV Converter Box Program Now Accepting Requests to Replace Expired Coupons for Transition to Digital TV

TV Converter Box Coupon Program logo. Click to visit DTV2009 Web site.

As the June 12 deadline for the nationwide conversion to digital TV approaches, the TV Converter Box Coupon Program has begun to accept replacement requests from eligible households whose coupons expired without being redeemed. Meanwhile, money allocated to the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has allowed NTIA to clear the digital converter box coupon waiting list. (More)

NIST Improves Microscope's Stability for Nanomanufacturing Biology

Ian an atomic force microscope (AFM), force is measured by a laser beam, yellow in this artist's rendition. AFM photo.

Photo: G. Kuebler/JILA/CU

A research team from the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado has improved by 100 times the stability of a workhorse tool in nanotechnology, known as the atomic force microscope, potentially improving a wide range of areas from nanomanufacturing to biology, where sensitive, atom-scale measurements must be made at room temperature in liquids. (More)