星期四, 10月 23, 2014

Social Security Announces 1.7 Percent Benefit Increase for 2015

Social Security Announces 1.7 Percent Benefit Increase for 2015
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 64 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2015, the Social Security Administration announced today.
The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 58 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2015. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2014. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $118,500 from $117,000. Of the estimated 168 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2015, about 10 million will pay higher taxes because of the increase in the taxable maximum.
Information about Medicare changes for 2015 is available at www.Medicare.gov.
The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

BTBA seminar onTwo-neuron microculture 10/25

We are pleased to invite Dr. Chia-Ling Chang (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Center for Neurological disease (CND)) as a speaker in BTBA academic seminar on Oct 25 (Sat). Dr. Chang will speak on the topic of “Two-neuron microculture: An in vitro model to study synapse formation and function.” She will present her work on performing electrophysiological, pharmacological and morphological techniques from two-neuron microculture preparations of mouse hippocampal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons to investigate the input and output of cells in a developing circuit.
Speaker: Dr. Chia-Ling Chang, Postdoc at Brigham and Women Hospital, Center for Neurological disease (CND)

Title: Two-neuron microculture: An in vitro model to study synapse formation and function

Time: 2pm on Oct 25 (Sat), 2014

Location: MIT Building 5, Room 134

Background of Speaker:

Dr. Chang is a postdoc in Dr. Jie Shen's lab at Brigham and Women Hospital, Center for Neurological disease (CND). Her research goal is to study the role of Presenilin in the regulation of synaptic function. She started her PhD in Dr. Christian Rosenmund's lab at Baylor College of Medicine Neuroscience Program and transferred with lab to Charite University Berlin. Her PhD work is to study synapse formation and function using two-neuron microcircuit. Before her PhD study, Dr. Chang worked as a project intern in Baylor College of Medicine and got her master degree in National Yang-Ming University.


Neural circuits are composed of mainly glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, which operate excitation and inhibition signals in the central nervous system. Precise balance between excitation and inhibition through synapse connections is crucial for normal brain function. Development of synaptic connectivity is governed by both activity-independent and activity dependent mechanisms. It has been found that neuronal activity modulates GABAergic synapse formation and function using slice or mass cultures. However, it is difficult to dissect the contribution of intrinsic programs from extrinsic environmental effects in an intact network to this process. Here, we perform electrophysiological, pharmacological and morphological techniques from two-neuron microculture preparations of mouse hippocampal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons to investigate the input and output of cells in a developing circuit. In our reduced preparation where extrinsic effects are minimal, we find that glutamatergic neurons show no change in output or input regardless of partner neuron cell type or neuronal activity level. In contrast, we find that glutamatergic input causes the GABAergic neuron to modify its output, by way of an increase in synapse formation and a decrease in synaptic release efficiency. These findings are consistent with GABAergic synapse maturation observed in many brain regions. Additionally, changes in GABAergic output are cell wide and not target cell specific. We also find that glutamatergic neuronal activity determined the AMPA receptor properties of synapses on the partner GABAergic neuron. All modifications of GABAergic input and output required activity of the glutamatergic neuron. As our system has reduced extrinsic factors, the changes we see in the GABAergic neuron due to glutamatergic input may reflect initiation of maturation programs that underlie the formation and function of in vivo neural circuits. 

Look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

Committee of BTBA Academic Seminar 
BTBA committee

星期三, 10月 22, 2014

台商會高爾夫球俱樂部 10/26 練球

You are invited to join us at the Southborough Golf Learning and Fitting Center to hone your golf skills. Our club meets every other Sundays from 10 AM to 12 PM. There will be experienced golfers at the driving range during our practice to go over practice tips and correct bad habits. The practice area is indoors and heated during colder weathers. All are welcome.
時間 When: Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 10 AM to 12 PM
地點 Where: Southborough Golf Learning and Fitting Center
Open year round (heated tee’s)
20 Turnpike Road, Southborough (Rt. 9 East, Southborough/Framingham Line)
Te: (508) 480-9992
費用 Costs: We don’t collect member dues. But the cost of the golf balls are on you. The Center charges $7.50 for a small basket; $11 medium and $13 Jumbo.
報名 Registration: 胡美惠 Meihuei Hu 617-278-3955 or email: meihueihu@rcn.com 
RSVP three days before the event
TCCNE golfers: Been Wang, Ping Hsu, Ming Tsai, David Tsai, Roger Tsai, K.S. Tsay
Club Chair: 胡美惠 Meihuei Hu

波士頓亞美電影節 10/23 晚開幕

BAAFF opening night screening "Revenge of the Green Dragons"
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Buy your tickets before they sell out! 
Revenge of the Green Dragons

Thursday, OCTOBER 23, 7:30PM

Brattle Theater 
40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA (Harvard Square)

Special guests: Directors
 Andrew Lau, whose Internal Affairs was remade into the Oscar-winning movie The Departed, and Andrew Loo.
Cast members: 
Shing Ka, Celia Au, Carl Li, Geoff Pierson, Tak Wah, and Richard Lam.
In the vein of crime classics like MEAN STREETS and INFERNAL AFFAIRS, REVENGE OF THE GREEN DRAGONS follows two immigrant brothers Sonny (Justin Chon) and Steven (Kevin Wu) who survive the impoverished despair of New York in the 1980s by joining Chinatown gang, "The Green Dragons". From acclaimed Director Andrew Lau and Andrew Loo, and legendary Executive Producer Martin Scorsese comes a brilliant mix between a Hong Kong action film and a New York City crime thriller, portraying the never-before-told true story of "The Green Dragons". > READ MORE
Opening Night co-presented by:
Visit baaff.org for more info.
Festival Highlights Include:
9-MAN A streetball battle in the heart of Chinatown featuring a chaotic, Chinese-only game played in parking lots and streets. Q&A with Director Ursula Liang, Executive Producer Melanie Riley-Green, Co-producer Theresa Navarro. >>> Read More 
A LEADING MAN When a young and talented Chinese American actor is fired from a starring role in a television show, he attempts to salvage his career by entering into a romantic relationship with a successful casting director. East Coast Premiere and Q&A with Director Steven J. Kung. >>> Read More
TO BE TAKEI Over seven decades, actor and activist George Takei boldly journeyed from a WWII internment camp, to the helm of the starship Enterprise, to the daily news feeds of five million Facebook fans. Join George and his husband Brad on this star's playful and profound trek for life, liberty, and love. Q&A with George Takei. 
>>> Read More 

R visions for Chinatown updates

Due to a forecast of pouring rain on Wednesday, Oct. 22, please see this update in R Visions Programming:

STILL ON: 11:00 am: "We Are Here" JQUS Drama Class performance - STILL ON! Meet JQUS Drama Class at the China Trade Center at 2 Boylston Street at 11:00 am!The performance will be roving around Chinatown so feel free to follow the performers or watch them pop up in Chinatown!

CANCELLED: 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm: "Open Library - Open Minds" will NOT be set up tomorrow at Chinatown Park! 

CANCELLED: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: "Home: We Live Here" will NOT be exhibited tomorrow at 290 Tremont Street.

"Under Pressure" and "We Are Here" are still on display at Parcel R1 (Tyler Street and Harvard. Street and at China Trade Center's Libery Plaza at 2 Boylston Street. Please make your way to this other sites!
Please join us on Thursday, Oct. 23rd, 5:30 - 7:00 pm at Chinese Progressive Association (28 Ash Street, Boston MA 02111) for the R Visions Reception, fundraising for Right to the City Boston! A guided walking tour of all of the installations and performances will happen that night at 6:00 pm! Please join us!
Below is the R Visions WALKING GUIDE! The Walking Guide brochure includes a map with the art interventions sites, descriptions of the interventions, as well as installation and performance times! Please do not refer to Walking Guide schedule for Wednesday, 10/22!
R Visions Walking Guide Here!
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our R Visions Facebook event to stay up to date!

'Like' us on Facebook and 'Attend' our Facebook Event Page 
Follow up on Twitter: @CPAJustice


Massachusetts Leads the Nation in Energy Efficiency for Fourth Consecutive Year
BOSTON – Wednesday, October 22, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced that for the fourth year in a row, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has ranked Massachusetts first in the nation for energy efficiency policies and programs. Governor Patrick joined ACEEE on a nationwide conference call as it announced the annual state-by-state scorecard
“Massachusetts is proud to lead the nation in energy efficiency for the fourth straight year,” said Governor Patrick. “We have treated efficiency as our first fuel because saving energy, managing costs and reducing environmental impacts while building a stronger cleantech economy helps fulfill our responsibility to future generations to leave a strong Commonwealth than we found.” 
The Patrick Administration continues to expand on proven strategies and create new approaches to help businesses, cities and towns, institutions, homeowners, renters and low-income residents save energy and manage costs. Investments made by the Patrick Administration have created clean energy jobs, reduced reliance on foreign sources of energy and cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The Commonwealth's energy efficiency and clean energy goals were outlined when Governor Patrick signed the Green Communities Act, the Green Jobs Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2008. ACEEE continues to highlight the Green Communities Act as a central component to Massachusetts’ achievements as it requires the state’s investor owned electric and natural gas utilities to prepare energy efficiency plans and pursue “all cost effective energy efficiency.”
“This recognition is a direct result of Governor Patrick’s leadership, in collaboration with the Legislature, to develop programs investing in all cost-effective energy efficiency,” said Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett. “Across state government, municipalities and in our businesses and homes – Massachusetts has made reducing our energy use a priority.” 
According to the Scorecard, “Massachusetts retained the top spot in the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard rankings for the fourth year in a row, having overtaken California in 2011, based on its continued commitment to energy efficiency under its Green Communities Act of 2008. Among other things, the legislation spurred greater investments in energy efficiency programs by requiring utilities to save a large and growing percentage of energy every year through efficiency measures.”
“For the last four years, under the leadership of Governor Patrick, Massachusetts has set the energy efficiency gold standard for states,” said Maggie Molina, ACEEE Utilities, State and Local Policy Program Director. “Massachusetts has proven that it is possible to save more energy each year while creating jobs, boosting the economy, and ensuring a cleaner environment for years to come. ”

Massachusetts earned a perfect score in the Utility & Public Benefits Programs and Policies category of the Scorecard, which accounts for 20 of the Scorecard’s 50 points. Massachusetts’ successful programs are the result of collaboration between the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, energy efficiency Program Administrators and sponsors of Mass Save®.
“This fourth #1 ranking is a great source of pride for Massachusetts, where we have made energy efficiency a top resource,” said DOER Acting Commissioner Meg Lusardi. “We lead by example and work with all stakeholders to create opportunities for residents and businesses to reduce their energy use and costs through new technology as well as tried and true techniques.”
"Energy efficiency's benefits go beyond greenhouse gas reductions and lower energy costs - it has become a true economic driver in the Commonwealth," said CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Alicia Barton. "Because of the investments Massachusetts has made, there are more than 4,000 companies with over 65,000 workers inventing, delivering, and exporting energy efficiency technologies to national and global markets. "

The Green Communities Act required investor-owned utilities to pursue all cost-effective energy efficiency – making energy efficiency Massachusetts’ “first fuel” for meeting energy demand. The 2013-2015 Statewide Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plans, credited in the report, are expected to deliver energy benefits of nearly $9 billion to residents, businesses, and state and local governments based on an investment of $2.8 billion. ACEEE’s state scores are calculated based on utility efficiency programs and policy, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power projects, state government initiatives and appliance efficiency standards.
Further reducing the use of fossil fuels and securing the Commonwealth’s energy future, the Patrick Administration has made investments in renewable energy. In 2007, Massachusetts had just over 3 megawatts each of solar and wind capacity installed. Today there are more than 650 megawatts of solar installed, with a goal of 1,600 megawatts by 2020. The Commonwealth has installed 106 megawatts of land-based wind and are poised to be home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm.
In September 2014, the Governor Patrick announced the 2014 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, showing that clean energy sector now includes more than 88,000 employees and nearly 6,000 businesses. The clean energy sector in Massachusetts grew by 10.5 percent, the fourth year of double digit growth. Energy efficiency is now the job of more than 65,000 workers in Massachusetts.