No related posts. Excessive delays in processing permits for construction or remodeling of gas stations led to the Environment Ministry (MINAE) intervening on Monday at the National Technical Secretariat (SETENA) and the Fuel Administration.Those offices currently accumulate some 30,000 permit and supervision requests according to MINAE.Environment Minister René Castro said the government has not set deadlines for solving the problem, and that the intervention was ordered by his ministry.Castro said the idea is to lower inspection periods – which currently last years – to months. “The current time it takes to inspect gas stations is an average of 2-3 years,” he said.The minister also said there will be no layoffs, but there will be relocations.An intervention team at SETENA will be led by Vice Minister of Energy María Guzmán, who will be in charge for 90 days. Castro’s technical adviser, Ana Lucia Alfaro, will lead the team to intervene the Fuel Administration.MINAE officials will suspend, during the 90-day intervention, the granting of constructing, remodeling and operating permits of gas stations. Facebook Comments read more
The number of properties that changed owners in July rose 18 per cent to 739 compared to the respective month of 2016, the Department of Lands and Surveys said.The increase in property transactions last month reflects an increase in all districts with the exception of Larnaca where they fell an annual 16 per, cent to 103, the department said in a statement on its website. It was Larnaca’s second consecutive drop and the fifth this year.Property transactions increased an annual 22 per cent last month in both Nicosia and Limassol to 124 and 269 respectively, 20 per cent in Paphos to 184 and 119 per cent in the Famagusta district to 59, the department said.In January to July, total transactions, which include also properties acquired by banks as part of loan restructuring agreements, rose 20 per cent to4,349 compared to the respective period last year, the land department said.Nicosia was up 23 per cent, Limassol 31 per cent, Famagusta 20 per cent and Paphos 27 per cent, while Larnaca was down 10 per cent, the department said.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoYahoo SearchResearch Compact SUVs. New SUVs May Make You Want To Trade Yours In Today – See For Yourself!Yahoo SearchUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola read more
Bill ensures retired psych employees returning to work will keep pensionsState Rep. Phil Green, of Millington, has voted in support of a House plan to combat the ongoing shortage of behavioral health professionals in the Thumb area and across Michigan.The issue was brought to the Legislature’s attention last term during the House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force statewide tour, which aimed to find ways to improve Michigan’s mental health system by listening to mental health experts, families of patients and law enforcement officials.The plan allows certain retired mental health professionals to come back to work with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) without forfeiting their pension benefits.“The statewide shortage of psychiatry employees is another factor posing a serious threat to the mental health care our residents desperately need,” Green said. “It is particularly critical in light of the governor’s threat to defund the expansion of the Caro Psychiatric Facility. We must do all we can to ensure residents have access to quality care from experienced professionals. I’m proud to support this measure to encourage retired, experienced experts to return to work in the wake of our worker shortage.”The state already allows retired psychiatrists to continue to keep their pensions during reemployment with the state. Green contends the state should extend that same opportunity to other mental health care professionals such as physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, counselors and therapists to combat serious shortages in such roles.House Bill 4156 was approved unanimous, bipartisan support and now moves to be considered by the state Senate.The vote continues Green’s efforts to improve mental health care access in the Thumb. Green is fighting the governor’s March announcement that she would halt construction of the Caro Center expansion project. Green said he was disgusted by the decision that he believes was politically charged and not in the best interest of Michigan residents.“I came to Lansing to ensure my neighbors in the Thumb are heard and their interests are represented,” Green said. “I will continue to fight for those interests as long as I’m in office.”### 17Apr Rep. Green continues efforts to ensure Thumb residents’ access to psychiatric care Categories: Green News read more
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesMarch 19, 2014; U-T San Diego In the past, the majority of San Diego’s $6 million allotment of Community Development Block Grant money would go to nonprofits. Only around 40 percent would go towards municipal projects. Now, Mayor Kevin Faulconer is floating a plan backed by the city council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee that would reverse the balance of spending so that 60 percent of the funds, or $3.6 million, would be devoted to city-run projects with only 40 percent, or $2.4 million, to be granted to nonprofit run projects.Marti Emerald, the committee chairwoman, said the city has a $1 billion list of infrastructure needs to address. “Some might not see streetlights and sidewalks as a community benefit, but it’s huge,” she said. “Streetlights make a big difference when it comes to safety.”But some representatives of nonprofits are worried about the shift particularly because they use the funds to leverage other money. There is a 30-day public comment period on the plan before final approval.NPQ would love to hear what is going on in other communities with regards to CDBG money. Let us know!—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares read more
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares Cheryl Casey / Shutterstock.comOctober 6, 2014; Insurance JournalBP is challenging the settlements that have been made to nonprofits to cover damages they claim they experienced as a result of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill. As readers may know, claims for damages were screened by an administrator acting for BP, but BP now claims that some hundreds of millions of dollars worth of those determinations were based on faulty understandings of what BP agreed to cover.On Monday, BP argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans that the administrator of its settlement program misunderstood the deal, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars going to nonprofits that each claimed they had received fewer grants and donations after the spill than before. BP asserts that this misinterpretation “will impose sweeping liability on BP for claims that it never agreed to compensate.”As a matter of fact, BP has been struggling to reverse its own formula-driven agreement about recompense since early on. As Rick Cohen wrote in mid-2013 when he extensively covered the structure of the formula that drove BP’s awards to nonprofits:“It’s not hard to imagine the reaction in the halls of BP’s corporate headquarters. Who the heck would agree to a formula settlement without requirements of causality or a funding cap? What is going to be the necessary restatement of costs to BP’s bottom line to factor in this potentially massive financial liability? After having inked the deal, BP has been choking on the formula and non-existent cap, fighting the settlement it agreed to as though it were foisted on them in the dead of night by a snake-oil salesman.”Lawyers for victims worry that this is being used as a test case; they warn that successful challenges here could open the door to challenges of hundreds of thousands of individual damage-claim awards. To date, almost every court decision since the deal was approved has gone against BP, but the company has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to review and check the interpretation of the realm of what is to be covered under the settlement. The Supreme court has not decided if it will hear that case.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares read more
Share18TweetShare3Email21 SharesSeptember 4, 2015; The RootSomething tells us that the pressures on nonprofits to edge close to partisan politics will be especially intense this year. Nearly every prominent and not-so-prominent Republican is running for president, leading one to think the GOP presidential debates ought to be structured as bunk daises. The Democratic field is not small either, with an ascending Bernie Sanders, an email-troubled Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley waiting in the wings, Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb doing who knows what, Vice President Joe Biden still (at this writing) pondering a run, and Lawrence Lessig challenging the entire political game.The presidential campaign started early this cycle, and it looks like all funding records for the most money wasted on political tomfoolery will be broken. Even now, a few candidates sound a little tendentious and desperate. Political elbows will be aiming at nonprofits—if not directly from candidates, then from their PACs or from the national party apparatus directly. The challenge will be for nonprofits to stand up for their principles amidst political pressures. That isn’t simply a question of a nonprofit’s 501(c) status, but something more, concerning the values they claim to stand for.In recent months, the Black Lives Matter movement has provoked candidates of both parties to react. On the Republican side, it has been largely a flat-out rejection of the core of the movement, despite acknowledgement among some of the cast that there is an inchoate issue of race to be addressed. For Democrats, there has been for some decades an insouciant assumption that African-Americans will simply support and vote Democratic regardless of the vacuity and pandering of the candidates’ utterings. The Black Lives Matter movement appears to be taking aim at the notion that African-American voters will willingly accept “crumbs” from Democratic operatives.The Root’s Kirsten West Savali describes the interaction between the Democratic National Committee, hoping to coopt the Black Lives Matter movement into mainstream Democratic politics, and the Black Lives Matter activists who seem just as motivated to keep their identity separate from the party of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Apparently, the DNC issued a statement which, after a “whereas” acknowledging the need to address the “vestiges of slavery, Jim Crow and white supremacy” plus the demilitarization of police, racial profiling, and the out-of-control justice system, tried to unite Democrats with the surprisingly and quickly nationally prominent Black Lives Matter movement:Therefore be it resolved that the DNC joins with Americans across the country in affirming “Black lives matter” and the “Say her name” efforts to make visible the pain of our fellow and sister Americans as they condemn extrajudicial killings of unarmed African-American men, women, and children…The DNC statement read much like the statements of sudden self-awareness by white, male progressives who have been prostrating themselves on left-wing blogs and listservs to demonstrate their willingness to acknowledge white supremacy. The response from Black Lives Matter from the BLM Facebook page appears to have given the DNC’s statement little truck:A resolution signaling the Democratic National Committee’s endorsement that Black lives matter, in no way implies an endorsement of the DNC by the Black Lives Matter Network, nor was it done in consultation with us. We do not now, nor have we ever, endorsed or affiliated with the Democratic Party, or with any party. The Democratic Party, like the Republican and all political parties, have historically attempted to control or contain Black people’s efforts to liberate ourselves. True change requires real struggle, and that struggle will be in the streets and led by the people, not by a political party.More specifically, the Black Lives Matter Network is clear that a resolution from the Democratic National Committee won’t bring the changes we seek. Resolutions without concrete change are just business as usual. Promises are not policies. We demand freedom for Black bodies, justice for Black lives, safety for Black communities, and rights for Black people. We demand action, not words, from those who purport to stand with us.While the Black Lives Matter Network applauds political change towards making the world safer for Black life, our only endorsement goes to the protest movement we’ve built together with Black people nationwide—not the self-interested candidates, parties, or political machine seeking our vote.Savali spots “election-cycle pandering” in the DNC resolution. Equally important, however, is the BLM statement that suggests awareness of the critique of the Occupy movement. One of the means of disparaging the Occupy movement in the view of many Americans was the suggestion that it was really a component if not paid element of the Democrats. In contemporary politics, which is governed by polls, focus groups, and highly paid PR firms, linking a political movement to one or the other political parties is a highway to inauthenticity—as the Tea Party movement has learned to its distress, as it has been led into a bear hug with the GOP.The lessons for nonprofits more broadly are more than evident. During the last couple of election cycles, a few nonprofit leaders imagined that nonprofit sector dalliances with various candidates here or there could boost the standing and power of nonprofits in general. The power of nonprofits is, in some ways, exactly the opposite and much more in line with the Black Lives Matter statement. Standing apart from the two political parties, both financed by largely the same corporate interests, hoisting them both by their petards, providing critical scrutiny of their electoral pandering and proffered crumbs, appears to protect nonprofits from being compromised and captured to their own detriment.Reactions from NPQ Newswire readers regarding what they plan to do as nonprofits engaged in this electoral cycle would be appreciated.—Rick CohenShare18TweetShare3Email21 Shares read more
Viewing of long-form content now dominates video viewing on connected TVs and games consoles and is increasingly prevalent on tablets and mobile phones, according to online video specialist Ooyala’s latest Video Index.Long-form content made up over half of total online video viewing time in the first quarter. The share taken by long-form content on connected TVs and games consoles grew from 57% in the fourth quarter to 88% by the end of March. About 40% of time spent watching video on tablets and smartphones was of long-form content in the first quarter, compared with 29% for mobiles and 36% for tablets in the fourth quarter of last year.Viewing time is also increasing. Time per play on tablets grew by 58% during the quarter, while time per play on smartphones and PCs grew by 36% and 24% respectively.The amount of video viewing on tablets jumped by 26% following Apple’s launch of the latest version of its iPad in March. iPads currently account for 95% of tablet video viewing, according to Ooyala.While the new iPad boosted tablet viewing, Ooyala found that the overall share of time spent watching videos on smartphones grew by 41% in the last quarter, compared to growth of 32% for tablets.Time watched per play on connected TVs and games consoles jumped by 87% in the quarter, boosting viewing on these devices even though the overall number of video plays remained flat.Ooyala found strong variations in when and where different devices were used to view video. Tablet viewing rises on weekday mornings and then declines during working hours as PC viewing takes off. Tablet viewing recovers at the end of the day, with a third of tablet video plays taking place between 19:00-23:00, compared with only 17% of PC plays during that period.Of viewers that watch video when they visit a specific site or domain, some 55% watch one video over the course of the day, while 17% watch two and 18% watch three to five. About 10% watch more than five videos in the course of the day. read more
UK commercial broadcaster ITV has launched version 2.0 of its ITV Player app. The app is now available to download from the iTunes store to use on iOS devices.According to ITV, the new version of the app includes a number of advanced integrated features including live streaming, AirPlay mirroring support and the ability for users to switch seamlessly between catch-up and live content within the app and the video player component. For the first time viewers will be able to access live streams of ITV1 and ITV2 via WiFi and 3G.
Jane Johnson, the ex tabloid newspaper editor brought in to run Sky Living last year, is leaving her position as director of the female-skewing pay TV channel. Antonia Hurford-Jones has been upped from commissioning editor at the channel to acting director.
Stuart Murphy, director of UK pay TV operator BSkyB’s entertainment channels, told staff about the changes in a memo last Friday.
Johnson will leave at end-August and will set up a media consultancy that will work across TV, print and digital media.Murphy’s role at Sky was expanded earlier this year to cover a wider range of channels, including Sky Living with Jones and other channel bosses reporting directly to him.Speaking about the changes at the Sky Living Murphy told staff: “In only nine months at Sky, Antonia has become a vital part of our success, exec producing Got To Dance, A League of Their Own, and Love Machine, and working closely with the entertainment and channel teams on our entertainment slate. She’s commissioned Sing Date, Adam Buxton’s BUG and Don’t Sit in the Front Row with Jack Dee, among many other shows – all programmes which feel exactly where we need to be going – high quality, big talent, smart and effortlessly contemporary.” He added: “This is a bit of a break for her but we are all about backing people we believe in, and I have absolutely no doubt she will fantastic in the role.”Phil Edgar-Jones, head of entertainment, Sky, will look for an acting commissioning editor, entertainment to cover Hurford-Jones’ position for the period she is running Sky Living. read more
A+E Networks UK is looking to differentiate its European offering with more distinct channel feeds in central Europe, and is also planning to open offices in Poland and Romania.Speaking to DTVE, Tom Davidson, managing director of A+E Networks UK said that the firm was “very bullish in central Europe” and named Poland and Romania as its two “hotspots” with Hungary close behind.“We’ve already opened up separate [channel] feeds for Poland and Romania just in the last 12 months; we started in Poland with Crime and Investigation as a separate feed, and then Romania was the first central European separate History feed. We’ll be doing a Polish History feed this fall,” said Davidson.He said that A+E Networks was also “heavily investigating Hungary” as another potential market for a separate History feed to replace the pan-European version of the channel that already airs in the country.Davidson added that while A+E Networks UK – the joint venture between A+E Networks and BSkyB – does not yet have channels live in Russia, it has “been on our radar for a while.” He said “we’re in heavy, discussions there,” without giving further details.Referring to A+E Networks UK’s plans to open offices in Poland and Romania, Davidson said: “If you think about how we’re structured now, everything is centralised out of London. Of course we have local representatives on the ground, but we want to get closer to our customers and in the markets that have the consumer potential and a large operator base, we want to be sensitive to the culture, we want to be sensitive to the viewing habits, we want to be sensitive to the negotiation styles. We feel that the way to do that is really to have local talent on the ground.” read more
Transmission services provider TDF is looking at two offers for the sale of its French business, according to press reports.According to Reuters, TDF is examining offers from Canadian pension fund PSP Investments and investment fund Dering Capital, with the former offering around €3.5 billion and Dering offering €3.6 billion.TDF, which began looking for a sale earlier this year, has been hoping to secure around €4 billion for the sale, enabling it to pay off debts amounting to €3.8 billion. The company’s owners are expected to try to convince the two leading bidders to raise their offers, with a possibility that the sale may be pulled if this doesn’t happen, according to the report.
Liberty Global has agreed to buy Ziggo, in a deal that values the Dutch cable operator at roughly €10 billion. The stock and cash deal will see Liberty offer roughly €34.53 per Ziggo share, based on its own current share price. This marks a premium of 22% on Ziggo’s closing share price of €29.24 on October 15, 2013 – the day before Ziggo first announced it had received a preliminary takeover proposal from Liberty.The deal combines two regional networks – Ziggo and Liberty Global’s UPC Netherlands – with Ziggo to become the brand for Liberty’s Dutch business.Liberty, which bought a preliminary 28.5% stake in Ziggo last year, said that the combined business would reach 7 million Dutch homes and will provide some 10 million video, broadband internet and telephony services to more than 4 million customers through a “fiber-rich cable network.”“This transaction creates a nationwide cable champion that will drive investment and innovation for the benefit of Dutch consumers and businesses alike,” said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries.“Our combined operations will reach over 90% of all Dutch households allowing us to compete more effectively with the other national telecommunications and satellite platforms in the Netherlands, and at the same time generate significant revenue and operating efficiencies.”Strategically, the firms said that the combination of their businesses would enhance their ability to invest in “cutting edge products and services” and create a leading challenger in the mobile and enterprise businesses.The combined company will be based in Ziggo’s Utrecht headquarters.The deal was unanimously recommended by Ziggo’s supervisory and management boards and is expected to close in the second half of 2014.At the same time, Liberty announced today that its board of directors has approved a US$1.0 billion increase to its two-year US$3.5 billion stock repurchase program, bringing its total program to $4.5 billion.Ziggo has made an exchange offer of up to €934 million of its outstanding €1,208,850,000 senior notes due in 2018 for an equal aount of new 8% senior notes. Ziggo has also launched a cash offer for its outstanding €750 million 3.625% notes due in 2020, and has said it will redeem or retire any and all of its oustanding €150 million 2017 notes. read more
Sky CEO Jeremy DarrochSky reported strong customer growth in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Austria in its first set of results since the newly expanded company bought out Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.For its fiscal second quarter, ending December 31, Sky reported “significant outperformance” in the UK and Ireland, adding 204,000 new customers – its highest growth in nine years.In Germany and Austria, Sky added a record 214,000 subscribers in the quarter, up 55% year-on-year, taking its total retail customer base past the 4 million mark to 4.12 million.In Italy, Sky also reported a strong performance with 30,000 new customers, its highest growth in 12 quarters.“Six months into the year, we’ve seen a good performance right across the new Sky. We have world-class capability within the expanded business and a strong set of plans that mean we are well placed to deliver growth and returns for shareholders,” said Sky group CEO Jeremy Darroch.He added that integration is “progressing well” across Sky’s UK, Irish, German, Austrian and Italian businesses and that the simultaneous launch of new original drama, Fortitude, to 20 million customers across all five markets “shows the potential we now have to operate at greater scale.”“This is just the first of many opportunities we have to launch new products and services for customers in the months ahead,” said Darroch.Across its combined business Sky said it added 1.5 million paid-for subscription products in Q2, a 25% year-on-year increase, taking this total to 52.03 million.In the UK and Ireland, TV growth more than doubled with 202,000 new customers. Sky reported 6.5 million connected customers at the end of December, driving on-demand downloads to a record 520 million in Q2, 40% up year on year.In Italy, Sky said that 30% of its customers have now connected their boxes to the internet, helped by the popularity of ‘Restart’, which lets connected customers go back to the beginning of a film.Sky said that in Germany, its online service Sky Go also took a big step forward in Q2 with its launch on Android devices.For the six months to December 31, Sky reported 5% year-on-year revenue growth to £5.6 billion, driven by strong performances in the UK and Ireland and in Germany, which grew 6% and 9% respectively, and a resilient performance in Italy in “what remains a challenging environment.”Group EBITDA increased 7% to £993 million and group operating profit increased by 16% to £675 million.Sky completed its acquisition of Sky Italia and an 89.7% stake in Sky Deutschland in November. It later bought additional Sky Deutschland shares and now holds 95.8% of Sky Deutschland. read more
Discovery has promoted Karen Leever to president of US digital products and marketing.Karen LeeverIn the role, Leever – who was most recently executive VP and GM of digital media at Discovery – will oversee the company’s suite of 18 TV Everywhere Go apps, and manage the development, engineering, analytics, operations and monetisation of Discovery’s digital businesses Stateside.She will also spearhead Discovery’s domestic direct-to-consumer endeavours.Leever will be based at global headquarters in New York, and report into Peter Faricy, CEO of global direct-to-consumer.In her previous role, she was responsible for extending the reach of Discovery’s digital brands and businesses in the US, launching the company’s mobile-first suite of TV Everywhere Go apps, which now generate more than 40m streams per month.Leever also led strategy, design and development for the Go apps and was responsible for driving design and development of Discovery’s network websites.Prior to joining Discovery, Leever spent 10 years at DirecTV, where she served most recently as senior VP of digital and direct sales.While at DirecTV, she also drove new subscription acquisition growth, digital product strategy and all cross-platform digital efforts.David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery, said: “Over the past three years, Karen has brought us where we are today with Go, building an incredibly successful, mobile-first TV everywhere business that our super-fans love and helping to attract new, younger audiences to our brands and programs.”Leever added: “It has been wonderful to collaborate with Discovery’s iconic portfolio of networks to expand their reach and bring their world-class content to superfans on new platforms and devices anytime, anywhere.” read more
French commercial broadcaster TF1’s Newen production outfit has acquired a majority stake in Belgian production company De Mensen.Newen has taken a 60% stake in the company, which produced Flemish-language recurring and live shows for broadcasters and platforms including Netflix. Founders Raf Uten and Maurits Lemmens will retain a minority stake in the venture.Newen Group president Bibiane Godfroid said that the acquisition was in line with the company’s strategy of developing European fiction programming and noted that De Mensen was recongiaed as having strong potential in this area as well as in live programming.She said that within Newen, De Mensen would create value from its know-how in creating internationally successful shows such as Team Chocolat, Beaku Séjour and Undercover. read more
Pinterest Local NewsNewsWatchState News Deadline arrives for severe weather assistance applications By Daniella HankeySep 10, 2018, 07:12 am 288 0 Tumblr The assistance is for physical damage caused by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides from May 28 to June 3.Eligible counties are Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton. Linkedin Previous PostAre you the next American Idol? Home NewsWatch Local News Deadline arrives for severe weather assistance applications Google+ CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The deadline has arrived to apply for disaster loan applications for eligible private, nonprofit organizations in seven West Virginia counties affected by severe storms in May and June.The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says Monday is the last day for such organizations to apply. Facebook Mail Organizations should contact their county’s emergency manager for information.Some private, nonprofit organizations that don’t provide critical services may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans.The deadline to submit economic injury applications is April 12. Twitter Next PostFlight 93 chime tower an ‘everlasting concert by our heroes’ Daniella Hankey read more
Facebook Anna Saunders Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter. Previous PostMom Sues West Virginia City Police For Fatally Shooting Son Tumblr Pinterest Mail Google+ Home NewsWatch Education Lengthy Day in House of Delegates Leads to Bill Passage Twitter Linkedin CHARLESTON, W.Va (WOAY) – It was a long day at the Capitol that started at 8 a.m and went on into the night, all centered around education reform.“I got here at 7 a.m. today it’s now 7:35 p.m, so I’ve been here 12 and a half hours. I’m tired. I’m frustrated. I’m pretty angry,” Kanawha County teacher Jay O’Neal said.A public hearing on the bill was the first thing on the agenda. Many teachers took to the floor to have their voices heard concerning parts of the bill about charter schools and Education Savings Accounts.“My point being made was we’re having things like charter schools, the ESAs, things like that pushed on us,” Cabell County teacher Amanda Vaughn said. “But the thing is, they’re not doing a lot of research to show how they’re going to implement them, how they’re going to help. They keep saying we’re the only places that doesn’t have it. Well, that doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing for us.”The House reconvened at 11 to have a third reading and listen to all amendments proposed. Meanwhile, teachers were outside of the chambers and they could be heard from inside. Republicans and Democrats in the House went back and forth for hours on the issues brought up.“I know when I talk to my colleagues in other states, strong Democratic states, and they ask me, ‘What’s the hot issue in West Virginia?’ And we say we’re trying to get some school choice, some education choice,” Republican Delegate Paul Espinsosa said on the floor. “And they said, ‘Really? You all don’t have that?’”After 12 hours in session, the House passed the bill 51 to 47. Despite raising their voices, the teachers say they still felt like they weren’t being heard.“All these representatives and their constituents are speaking out and saying, ‘Hey, we don’t want these things,’ and yet they’re pushing them through anyway,” O’Neal said. “So it makes you wonder who they are really listening to. Is it the lobbyists? Is it these out-of-state groups? Because it’s clearly not their constituents.” Next PostWest Virginia House Passes Education Reform Bill EducationLocal NewsNewsNewsWatchPolitical NewsTop Stories Lengthy Day in House of Delegates Leads to Bill Passage By Anna SaundersJun 19, 2019, 23:38 pm 271 0 read more
Here in Florida, summer is the time to exercise indoors. From the middle of May through September, I take my routine morning walk on a treadmill looking out over the pond behind our house. I get to watch the cardinals and blue jays find the feeding block my wife Jo hung next to a tree outside the window. A menagerie of animals follow, picking up scraps below the bird block. Late in the afternoon, Jo will cut up a piece of bread and walk toward the pond. Almost on cue, 10-15 turtles will pop up and swim toward her. As the sun goes down, these animals disappear to their hiding places, and the nocturnal creatures—raccoons, armadillos, and possums—go through a similar routine. Wake up, search for food, repeat, repeat, repeat. Not too long ago that was the routine we all followed from childhood until death. After all, having enough independent wealth to opt out of that routine is no more natural to people than it is to the blue jays and raccoons I see most days. When my grandmother remarried, she chose a farmer, and I spent several summers on a dairy farm. As a young lad I had chores, mostly cleaning up, tending a garden, and helping out. They were not optional. His mother lived with them, and she too had chores—even into her mid-90s. I spent many an hour helping her shuck lima beans and snap peas for canning so they’d have food for the long Midwestern winters. As I got a bit older, my duties expanded to cleaning the barn after milking the cattle and to building giant haystacks with a pitchfork so the animals would have food over the winter, too. Every day was the same: eat, sleep, go to work… repeat, repeat, repeat!Wealth Buys Independence For those who want the option to retire (in the post-modern Western world, that includes pretty much everyone), they trade their time, knowledge, and skills for money with the hope that someday they will have saved enough so that their money itself produces a healthy income and thereby, they can slowly trade their money for time. It’s no longer a must to repeat, repeat, repeat… Ideally, you have a couple of decades of true independence where you choose how to spend your time. Financial independence gives you choices. You don’t need to work a job you hate just to survive or to support your family. And for women in particular, it provides freedom from unhealthy relationships they would rather not be in. You know all of this already. The million-dollar question is: How can you get there?Pillar #1—Acquire Wealth Put yourself in the position to be able to acquire wealth. It’s no secret that some educational fields lead to higher wages than others. Focus on a field with high earning potential that suits your interests and talents. Then, become the best at your chosen trade or profession. For many folks, that means running their own business. Whatever your job, be prepared to work smarter and probably longer hours than the guy next to you and to keep learning and honing your professional skills. Still, the ability to earn a good income is only the first step.Pillar #2 – Accumulate Wealth This is the part most people don’t like: to accumulate wealth, you have to live below your means. Otherwise, there’s nothing left to save and invest. In The Millionaire Next Door, authors Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Dank cite many examples of high wage earners like doctors and lawyers who spend every penny they make. Others think they’re rich because of their fancy cars and country club memberships. Sad to say, their wealth is an illusion. Financial independence doesn’t come from how much money you make—it comes from how much you accumulate. Until you save enough so that your money is doing all the work, you cannot be completely financially independent. Stanly and Dank mention in their book that nearly 90% of top of the line Lexuses and Mercedes are financed. Each time I see a nice luxury automobile at a stoplight, I wonder if the guy driving the old Ford is the wealthiest one waiting for the light to change. From the minute you start making money, wealth accumulation should be high on your priority list.Pillar #3 – Wealth Retention The financial acumen necessary to retain wealth is the most overlooked pillar of financial independence. Sure, you know the others even if you don’t practice them, but learning how to manage, invest, and make your money grow is just as essential. Otherwise, your wealth can’t fund your lifestyle and sustain your financial independence. Think of the all-too-common stories of a generation earning an exceptional amount of money, only to have the second or third generation of the family squander it. They had wealth, but not the skills to keep it. In long-term marriages, it’s not uncommon for the husband and wife to work as a team to achieve their financial dreams, but then the spouse who handled all the finances dies and the other is left vulnerable. Jo and I see it all the time. That’s when the wolves move in, often disguised as stockbrokers, money managers, “gold diggers” of either sex, or uneducated children. What level of financial expertise should each spouse have? That’s a tough one. Not everyone is going to be an active options trader or interested in trading stocks, trying to time the market. And that’s just fine. It shouldn’t be the goal anyway. However, learning the basics, making trades, understanding things like portfolio diversification, position limits, stop losses, and different types of investment vehicles is not that difficult. It just takes a bit of time and a good mentor. Many of our friends use managers. The good ones do more than invest your money. They educate you every step of the way. For every investment they make with your money, you should understand what they’re doing and agree with the decision. Don’t ever invest in anything you don’t understand or are uncomfortable with. A good money manager will explain investment decisions in terms you can understand. If he can’t, perhaps looking for one who can is in order.The Three-Legged Stool Most people never achieve financial independence. Instead, they worry about money until the day they die. As far as I know, we only get one trip through the journey of life, and it’s hard work no matter what. We might as well strive to be the oddball… part of the minority that figures it out. Financial independence isn’t about hitting a net worth of $500,000 or $50 million. There is no magic number. It’s the process of accumulation, living below your means, and having enough financial acumen to make your money work so you don’t have to work. Most people never get there. You don’t have to accumulate millions to be rich. A rich life is one where you have enough money to choose how you spend your time. If you live a middle class lifestyle during your working years, make sure you can fund it during retirement, too. Financial independence is like a three-legged stool: accumulate, grow, retain. All three legs need to be sturdy for the stool to support you throughout life. And it’s what allows you to choose whether to look outside at those who are working from the comfort of an air-conditioned home or to be outside sweating under the hot Florida sun. As you move through life, which side of the window do you want to be on?On the Lighter Side First, congratulations to our chief analyst, Andrey Dashkov for passing the Level II CFA exam with flying colors! That’s no small feat. Daughter Holly, her husband Casey, and the two little guys, Brock (5) and Braidyn (10) are here for the week. Boy, it’s hard to diet when the family arrives! Grandma Jo (so far) has baked two pies, cupcakes, and cookies—and breakfasts have featured chocolate-chip pancakes. What I fail to understand is I can put on five pounds in a week, but it takes a month to lose it. It is sure fun to sit down and enjoy a family meal together. I generally turn off the television and we actually get really old-fashioned and talk to each other. Speaking of home life, the latest issue of BIG TECH includes a phenomenal look at the future of light bulbs. Here’s how my colleagues at BIG TECH make money for their subscribers: The best approach is a pick-and-shovel play, a term coined during the California gold rush, when it seemed the only ones making any money were the guys selling picks and shovels and other supplies to miners (including those new-fangled dungarees; in the end, Levi Strauss’ enduring denim clothing was one of the most valuable things to come out of the gold rush). Unlike the technology letter devoted to new start-ups and speculative issues, BIG TECHfocuses on the type of companies a conservative investor would be more inclined to add to the portfolio. Not only did I buy the stock recommended in the latest issue, Jo and I headed to Home Depot to check out some of these new LED lights. I read a lot, and these old eyes get tired at the end of the day. The new LED bulbs are much better for reading at night. Jo and I had lunch with a group of retirees a couple days later, and I shared what I’d learned. The bulb came with a 10-year warranty. They estimate if you use it three hours a day, it will use $1.69 in yearly energy cost and last 22.8 years. Gosh! Then I’d be set until almost 97. We agreed that our goal is to outlive our new light bulbs…. I urge all of our readers to learn more about these light bulbs and all the exciting investments in BIG TECH’s portfolio by signing up for a no-risk, 90-day trial subscription here. We should all have a new goal: to outlive our new light bulbs! And finally… A couple of cute sayings about aging: I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one. Aspire to inspire before you expire. Until next week… read more
A request for a liquor license at a proposed package store on Stillman Boulevard in West Tuscaloosa is causing some controversy.Several organizations and community leaders spent their weekend going door-to-door in their neighborhood, getting signatures from residents who don’t want a package store near their homes.“This is one business that the residents are not happy with,” said Tuscaloosa City Councilwoman Phyllis Odom. “They feel like it’s too close to the schools to the residents and they don’t think it’s a good fit for our neighborhood.”More than 400 West Tuscaloosa residents have already signed the petition, but the Tuscaloosa City Council is making their decision Tuesday.
ZURICH — Sepp Blatter had a good day at the office on Monday, even if a prankster tried to spoil it by showering the FIFA president with fake dollar bills at a news conference.Nothing could spoil Blatter’s day after he outwitted some of his FIFA opponents to earn precious extra time as their president and enjoy more such days in 2016.Mastering FIFA politics yet again, amid calls to step down immediately, Blatter is set to stay atop world soccer for seven more months after FIFA agreed Monday on a Feb. 26 election to replace him.Blatter was in such a good and defiant mood that he quickly shrugged off a chaotic start to his first major public appearance since a stunning resignation statement last month.A British comedian who gatecrashed the news conference at FIFA’s headquarters threw the fake bills in the air after making a spoof statement about supporting North Korea to host the 2026 World Cup.The image of Blatter cowering under a spray of money was powerful amid ongoing American and Swiss federal investigations of FIFA corruption, yet he regained his poise.“I just called my late mother,” he quipped on returning to the room minutes later, “and she said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s just a lack of education.’”Still, it made for an uneasy start with international networks and FIFA’s own YouTube channel broadcasting the news conference live.“Where is my security?” Blatter had shouted.The interruption provided an awkward reminder of a far more serious incident for FIFA in May, when the arrest of soccer and sports marketing officials plunged the game’s ruling body into its deepest crisis.Jolted by the dual criminal investigations into bribery and money laundering, Blatter announced four days after being elected for a fifth term that he would leave FIFA.“It was not only the pressure of any authorities … it was also the pressure of political interference and also the pressure of you, media,” said Blatter, who is a target of the U.S. investigation. “I had to do something very special and I did it. In footballing terms, I kicked the ball out of the field to stop something.”FIFA’s executive committee decided the election date and Blatter ended weeks of uncertainty by insisting he would not perform one of his renowned about-turns by in fact being a candidate.“On the 26th of February FIFA will have a new president,” Blatter said. “I cannot be the new president because I am the old president.”The 79-year-old Blatter, who first joined FIFA 40 years ago, has held onto the most powerful job in world soccer since 1998.Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who lost to Blatter in May, had told The Associated Press earlier Monday: “President Blatter’s resignation cannot be dragged out any longer. He must leave now.”But while Blatter said he felt “regret” about the crises, he insisted he would not be “abandoning” the presidency until a successor is elected by the 209 member associations.The Feb. 26 date was a political victory for Blatter over European governing body UEFA and its supporters in other continents, who wanted a December ballot and thought they had a compromise agreement on Sunday for Jan. 15.Instead, Blatter and senior vice president Issa Hayatou held sway with a late tactic. They cited not clashing with the second-tier African Nations Championship — a tournament for little-known home-based players — hosted in Rwanda from Jan. 16-Feb. 7.Late-February has personal significance to Blatter. It will mark exactly 40 years since Blatter’s first major duty for FIFA — a development conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that is featured in scenes from the much-derided $27 million movie flop ‘United Passions.’Earlier Monday, UEFA President Michel Platini had seemed ready to launch his election campaign as front-runner when his officials confirmed he has support to run from four of the six FIFA continents.Instead, there is an Oct. 26 deadline for would-be candidates to gain five nominations from FIFA’s 209 member associations.Prince Ali did not commit to a second campaign Monday, and only former Brazil great Zico and Liberia football federation president Musa Bility have expressed their intention to stand.“He loves the fact that UEFA is associated with football on a daily basis and the thousands of matches we organize,” Platini’s spokesman, Pedro Pinto, said outside FIFA headquarters. “FIFA is a more political organization and he is a man of football. He’s not a man of politics.”In a statement Platini welcomed the creation of a FIFA reforms task force — a second one after a 2012-13 version — which will reconsider introducing term limits, integrity checks for senior officials and pay details.Blatter declined repeatedly on Monday to reveal his salary, and insisted this and any other proposals must also apply to all 209 FIFA members who should vote on them in February.But Blatter did respond to calls from World Cup sponsor Coca-Cola and former FIFA advisers Transparency International to appoint an independent person to oversee possible changes to shape the damaged organization’s future.Still, the “eminent leader” requested by Coca-Cola will be chosen by Blatter, Platini and other confederation presidents to lead a panel made up of 10 appointees from within those continental bodies.There seemed little to attract a respected figure from outside the sport to oversee the next election and reforms of FIFA.Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general from Ghana, has been mentioned for the role.“The rumors linking Mr. Annan to the FIFA job are just that: rumors,” Annan’s foundation office told the AP, stressing that he is currently “fully committed” to other roles.Bility, the Liberian federation head, said he was “very disappointed” with the Feb. 26 election date.“It does not reflect the urgency of the situation,” he told the AP by telephone, adding he expected to get on the ballot. “I am very encouraged. I don’t see any new faces.”On Monday, Blatter remained the face of FIFA, insisting he wants to rebuild its reputation.Speaking in his fifth language of the news conference, the veteran Swiss said in German that he wanted to “say goodbye when you have realized something good.”GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports WritersROB HARRIS, AP Sports Writers TweetPinShare0 Shares read more