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The Commerce Blog

Secretary Locke Urges Americans to Prepare for June 12 Switch to Digital Television

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www.DTV2009.gov logo. Click to go to Web site.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke is urging Americans to prepare for the national switch to digital television (DTV) before the June 12 deadline—just 30 days from today. In the final month before the national switch, the Commerce Department is increasing its outreach efforts into communities that have been identified as the least prepared for the transition. “With just 30 days to go, Americans who haven’t prepared for the transition to digital need to act now to ensure they will be able to continue to receive the television programming they count on,” said Secretary Locke. (More)

Over 7,000 Attend Two-Day National Trademark Expo

(Posing left to right): Dennis the Menace, Congressman Jim Moran, Debbie Cohn, John Doll and Curious George officially open the 2009 National Trademark Expo. Click for larger image.

It began on Friday morning with a parade of 25 trademark characters, music from the Air Force Band’s Ceremonial Quintet, speeches and a ribbon cutting. It ended on Saturday when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s normally quiet weekend campus sprang to life with thousands of kids and their parents flocking to the National Trademark Expo. Attendees enjoyed and interacted with such iconic trademark costume characters as Popeye, Olive Oyl, Dennis the Menace, Betty Boop, Curious George and Sprout. Expo visitors also learned more about the vital role trademarks play in the global economy at 15 exhibit booths and by attending educational workshops. (More) (Photo Gallery)

NOAA Researchers: Blue Whales Re-establishing Former Migration Patterns

Blue whale spouting. Click for larger image.

Scientists have documented the first known migration of blue whales from the coast of California to areas off British Columbia and the Gulf of Alaska since the end of commercial whaling in 1965. In the scientific journal Marine Mammal Science, researchers from Cascadia Research Collective in Washington state, NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in California, and Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans identified 15 separate cases where blue whales were seen off British Columbia and the Gulf of Alaska. (More)

Secretary Locke to Meet with Supply Chain Industry Leaders, Keynote Conference

International Trade Administration logo.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will deliver keynote remarks at the Game Changers in the Supply Chain Infrastructure: Are We Ready to Play? Conference on Monday, May 11. The conference, jointly hosted by the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Transportation, is the first meeting between supply chain industry leaders and key Administration officials to discuss how America’s freight infrastructure must be improved to boost the competitiveness of U.S. firms in the global economy. A live webcast of the keynote address will be available beginning Monday, at 9:00 a.m. EDT. (Webcast) (Remarks)

New Study: Home Energy Savings Are Made in the Shade

Image of house and garage shaded by trees. Click for larger image.

Trees positioned to shade the west and south sides of a house may decrease summertime electric bills by 5 percent on average, according to a recent study of California homes by researchers from Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The first large-scale study of its kind, the research paper considers the effects of shade on 460 single-family homes in Sacramento during the summer of 2007 and provides hard statistics showing how well-placed shade trees can reduce energy costs and atmospheric carbon as well. (More)

Secretary Locke Meets with Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry

Minister of Trade and Secretary of Commerce with other attendees of meeting. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a meeting with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Toshihiro Nikai, the first meeting between Minister Nikai and Secretary Locke. In their meeting, Locke and Nikai recognized the progress made by the Commerce Department and METI under the Joint Initiative for Enhanced U.S.-Japan Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights and other global issues and expressed support for continuing to deepen cooperation on trade and investment issues. “It is important for the United States and Japan, as the two largest economies in the world, to show strong leadership during these challenging economic times,” Locke said. (More)

NOAA, U.S. Coast Guard: New Ocean Current Data to Improve Search and Rescue Activities

Image of helicopter with responder hovering over water rescuing a victim. Click for larger image.

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

A new set of ocean observing data that enhances the ability to track probable paths of victims and drifting survivor craft should improve search and rescue efforts along the U.S. coast. The data comes from the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), part of a joint effort among Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security. The new data sets include surface current maps from high frequency radar systems. (More)

Secretary Locke Sworn in at White House Ceremony by Vice President Biden

Image of Scretary Locke.

File Photo

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius were sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden in ceremonies at the White House. President Barack Obama also attended the ceremonial swearing-in event in the East Room. “My Cabinet is now full of energetic innovators like Kathleen and Gary. . . I am thrilled to have them by my side as we continue the work of turning our economy around and laying a new foundation for growth that delivers on the change the American people asked for, and the promise of a new and better day ahead,” President Obama said. Locke, a key member of the President’s economic team, is the department’s 36th Secretary, leading its 12 agencies and bureaus and more than 52,000 employees. (President’s Remarks)

Secretary Locke Discusses Trade Promotion Agreement with Colombian Minister for Trade

Minister Plata and Secretary Locke talk while seated in chairs. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a meeting with Colombia’s Minister for Trade, Industry and Tourism, Luis Guillermo Plata, at the Commerce Department today. This was the first meeting between Minister Plata and Secretary Locke. The Secretary and Minister Plata reaffirmed the commitment of both governments to move forward on progress towards the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement. The two leaders also underscored the importance of building stronger business ties through activities like joint cooperation in trade capacity-building for small- and medium-sized enterprises and good governance programs. (More)

Secretary Locke, Governor O'Malley Urge Americans to Get Ready for TV Transition

Residents of Liberty Senior Center listen as Secretary Locke addresses the group. Click for larger image.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley encouraged Americans to prepare for the June 12 switch to digital television at a community gathering at Liberty Senior Center in Randallstown, Maryland. Secretary Locke commended local volunteers who are assisting senior citizens who rely on over-the-air television in their community with the upcoming digital transition. “The national switch to digital television is just around the corner, and there won’t be another delay,” said Secretary Locke. (More)