Derry’s city centre will be echoing to the sound of some musical festive favourites each weekend in the build up to Christmas, with a series of performances by a number of local bands and choirs taking place each weekend.Mayor of Derry Cllr Brenda Stevenson.The Christmas City Centre Music programme will take place in both the Craft Village and the Guildhall Square, with carols and modern Christmas classics to entertain shoppers provided by some of the city’s most popular groups.Announcing the Christmas City Centre Music Programme, Mayor of Derry Councillor Brenda Stevenson told Derry Daily, “I’m so looking forward to hearing the performances which will bring even more festive cheer to the city centre in the build up to Christmas. “The programme is very much in keeping with our Music City theme for the year, and will allow visitors the opportunity to enjoy some of the city’s finest local talent.“I would encourage people to take time out of their busy shopping schedule to listen to some of the festive music, and spread some Christmas cheer.”Groups taking part in the programme include the Maiden Gospel Choir, Allegri, Strabane Concert Brass Band, the Colmcille Ladies Choir, Encore, the Pink Ladies and Cantamus Choir, who will take to the stage for afternoon performances on Saturday and Sunday, 13th and 14th of December, and 20th and 21st of December.Festival and Events manager with Derry City Council, Karan Leonard told Derry Daily, “The Christmas City Centre Music is the perfect addition to the Festive Time programme, as it will add to the festive atmosphere throughout the city. “I’m delighted that so many popular local groups are taking part and I know that they will be well supported by the public.“There is so much still to come in our Christmas programme with our Festive Frolics taking place in the city centre this weekend, featuring animation, music and family fun for all ages.“We also have all the activities taking place in our Ebrington Christmas Village, including Legenderry on Ice, the Festive Funfair, our Christmas market and the Festive Film Factory, open until December 21.“And I would like to remind people about the city centre Munzee Trail which will take you on a hunt for festive clues and some potential prizes – just go to www.munzee.com/m/festivetime/1.”There are also a whole host of events taking place at a variety of venues accross the city throughout December, including pantomimes in both the Waterside Theatre and Millennium Forum, the Christmas Cinema in St Columb’s Hall on December 13, Christmas movies at the Nerve Centre December 15-19, Oíche Gheimhridh in the Glassworks on December 13 and of course the traditional Mayor’s Christmas Concert in the Guildhall on December 21.For more information on all the events included in the Festive Time programme go to www.festivetime.comDERRY ON SONG WITH CHRISTMAS MUSIC PROGRAMME was last modified: December 8th, 2014 by stephenstephen Tags: ShareTweet christmasEntertainmenteventsFeaturesmusicNews
“I want to thank the public for their patience as we conducted our enquiries and worked to make the scene safe.“I appreciate the disruption that was caused on a busy Saturday afternoon, however, when it comes to keeping people safe we do not take chances.“If you have information which may assist our investigation, please call us on 101, quoting reference 743 of 20/07/19.” Alternatively, information can also be provided by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Latest news: Co Derry security alert ends after object declared ‘nothing untoward’ was last modified: July 21st, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet A security alert in the vicinity of the Moneyrannell Road, Limavady has ended. Inspector McIldowney said: “ATO examined a suspicious object discovered in the area. It has been declared as nothing untoward.“All roads that were closed have now re-opened. Inspector McIldowneyLatest news: Co Derry security alert ends after object declared ‘nothing untoward’limavadyMoneyrannell RoadPSNI
On Monday the RQIA issued a notice of improvement to the trust, requiring it to undertake an urgent review of the information in its Datix system and to take action to address and mitigate specific patients risks.The move came after the RQIA said its concerns about the recording of adverse incidents, some dating back as far as 2016, had not been properly addressed.Meetings between the regulatory body and trust senior officials were held following unannounced inspections of Carrick and Evish wards of Grangewood in September 2017 and Tyrone and Fermanagh’s Beech Ward in September of 2016, .Inspectors had found evidence of under-reporting of serious adverse incidents (SAIs), as well as a failure to debrief and learn from such incidents. Alarm at under-reporting of serious incidents at Derry mental health unitDerrygrangewoodGransha HospitalMental HealthRQIAWESTERN TRUST ShareTweet Despite receiving assurances from senior trust officials at meetings after that inspection, that procedures would be reviewed and robust mechanisms implemented, a further multi-disciplinary inspection across the Western Trust’s acute inpatient wards in June of this year – which included the Lime and Elm wards in Tyrone and Fermanagh – identified concerns with regard to the recognition and management of SAIs and near misses.“We identified incidents which had been incorrectly categorised in the trust’s Datix system and thus had not been appropriately escalated within the trust”, the RQIA report stated.“We discussed our concerns with senior trust representatives at a meeting on July 10, 2019. We received limited assurance regarding the actions in progress by the trust with respect to recognition and management of adverse incidents and near misses.”After receiving additional information following that high-level meeting, the RQIA ruled that the system for identifying and managing adverse incidents and near misses across the Directorate of Adult Mental Health and Disability Services in the Western Trust was “not sufficiently robust”.Sinn Fein’s spokesperson for mental health, Orlaithi Flynn MLA, said she will be seeking a meeting with the trust to discuss the RQIA’s concerns.“It is deeply concerning that the regulator has found the Western Health and Social Care Trust to be failing to meet the minimum standards for ensuring the safe and appropriate management of risk within mental health and learning disability services,” she continued.“The under-reporting of incidents and not escalating incidents as appropriate will cause some distress to patients, their families and carers.“It is vital that systems are in place to support a culture of learning that ensures patients receive the highest possible standards of care.“Unfortunately, it appears this has not been the case within the Western Trust mental health and learning disability services with regards to learning from previous adverse incidents.”Meanwhile, advocacy group NI Patient Voice said it was “unacceptable” that the RQIA should need to “repeatedly flag” such issues to a health trust.“Some of the issues raised by the RQIA, following inspections of the Tyrone and Fermanagh and Grangewood hospitals, were highlighted in 2016 and 2017,” said group spokesperson Aidan Hanna.“It is unacceptable that it takes the RQIA to have to keep reminding a health trust to look at how they manage and record potentially life-threatening incidents. Where is the accountability here?”A spokesman for the RQIA confirmed it had issued the improvement notice to the Western Trust.“This action has been taken with a view to improving the quality and safety of care across the Directorate of Adult Mental Health and Disability Services in the trust. RQIA requires the trust to achieve compliance with this notice by October 22, 2019,” he added.A Western Health and Social Care Trust spokesperson said: “The trust is working with RQIA to address the recommendations. “The trust is fully committed to continuously improving how we recognise and report risks within our services, capture trends and patterns and use this information to improve the services we provide.“Looking at how we record, report, review and evaluate incidents and their trends is fundamental to providing high-quality care going forward.“As a trust we are committed to listening and learning so we can improve our practices… we will use the findings of the independent inspections and take the learning on board to develop an improvement plan to address the issues of incident reporting for adult mental health and disability services in the trust area.”Alarm at under-reporting of serious incidents at Derry mental health unit was last modified: July 29th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: Grangewood Hospital at Gransha.THE WESTERN Trust has been heavily criticised by a watchdog body after it identified failings in the way adverse incidents and ‘near misses’ were recorded at two acute mental health facilities.In response, the Trust said said it would take on board the findings of a report by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) into services at Grangewood in Derry and the Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital in Omagh.
Google+ Mail Twitter Facebook SportsSports FeaturesSports News C. Adam Toney Athlete of the Week – Tristan Coots By Matt DigbyApr 18, 2017, 23:58 pm 1155 0 Home Sports News Sports C. Adam Toney Athlete of the Week – Tristan Coots Next PostHS Baseball/Softball Scoreboard – April 18 Fayetteville, WV (WOAY) – Fayetteville baseball is coming off a busy stretch of seven games in six days, where the Pirates went 5-2 in those matchups.One of the highlights was Tristan Coots’ no-hitter at Midland Trail, as the Pirates won 10-0, bouncing back from a loss to Charleston Catholic the day prior.Fayetteville has been helped this year by a balanced squad, with different players making key plays in different games. Many of the Pirates were on the football state semifinalist team and the boys basketball team which made the Class A quarterfinals. Pinterest Linkedin Previous PostWV Gov. Justice signs bill raising kindergarten, pre-K enrollment age Tumblr Matt Digby Matt Digby is the Sports Director at WOAY-TV. He joined the station in January 2015 – right in the middle of Big Atlantic Classic Week. Read More
In an excellent interview for Cliff Küle’s Notes, legendary speculator Doug Casey reveals the process he used in creating his latest book, Totally Incorrect, why he speaks out with his contrarian, libertarian perspective that often goes against mainstream American currents, and goes into detail on why he’s bearish short term but a long-term optimist for humanity. Learn more about Totally Correct and order your copy today.
(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator) Ed. Note: In the economic turmoil of the last five years, a lot has transpired. World markets lost nearly half their value in the panic, but have since recovered – albeit only in nominal value, with a massive lost opportunity cost over that time, and inflation taxing the real worth of those gains. Yet, throughout that time, one market sector has done surprisingly well – rebounding quickly and decisively from market lows, and growing precipitously during the climb out of the hole. That industry? Technology. From market bottom to today’s record-breaking Dow Jones Industrial Average levels, Alex Daley has been seeing us through the maze of high-technology investments – and doing so quite profitably, we might add. Today, we talk with Alex about what’s happening in technology and whether that bull run has the steam to continue. But before we begin, a brief announcement: For liquidity reasons, one of our analysts needs to sell some small positions in Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ISIS) and Curis Inc. (CRIS), but will wait until subscribers first have an option to do the same if they wish. This announcement is to comply with Casey Research ethics and trading policies and does not constitute a change in our recommendation for these companies. L: Alex, it’s been more than two years since we last sat down for one of these conversations, and the world has changed considerably since then. Can you update us on how tech investments look in the current context? Alex: Sure. I agree with the Casey consensus on the macroeconomic picture – that is, the direction the US dollar is headed, the US economy, and that of the Eurozone. Long term, government overspending is a limiting factor on economic growth. It will ultimately reduce savings, increase taxes, and generally continue to be a liability thrust upon society. We can already see the beginnings of that today. However, other than the momentary market panics that will ensue as a result of this, the trend for technology investments is very strong, and for the long term. L: What makes you so sure? Alex: Three reasons. The first is that at a time when companies are afraid to hire – as we’ve had for the last five years – technology tends to advance very quickly. Managers deploy the cash they have on hand in new technologies that reduce their need for human labor, streamline operations, and reduce costs. This has led to several of the explosive growth stories we’ve seen in technology over the last two years, such as Big Data. L: As it happens, I was recently visiting a mine where I saw an elaborate and extensive use of robots and automation in the processing mill. It looked very expensive to me, but the mine manager told me the robots saved them tons of money; they never get tired, take no coffee breaks, and are immune to repetitive motion injuries – the one we were looking at moved 50-pound rock samples 24/7/365. I found it striking to see this use of technology in such a basic industry. I mean, lifting rocks is not something I associate with NASA – unless they’re on another planet. Alex: Absolutely. Robotics is an extremely high-growth field these days. This brings me to the second reason technology is such a robust, long-term trend, and that’s the major investment that has gone on for decades in R&D. One set of companies in today’s economy is hunkering down in the face of economic turmoil, cuts in government spending, and so on. That has investors in another set of companies – those that have been pouring money into R&D – stepping in with innovations that solve problems and cut costs. New approaches to old markets, from the mining robotics you mentioned to advances like software-defined networking and in-memory databases are finding not just acceptance, but rapid adoption, as larger and more established companies in all sectors seek ways to streamline operations. If anything, this has actually accelerated since 2008; you can find dozens and dozens of new startups every day. Many of these are now in intelligent systems, data mining, robotics, and biological technologies like genomics research. All of these areas were previously hard problems to tackle, because of the sheer computational power needed. That has gotten so cheap today, even compared to just ten years ago, we can now do things on a practical – commercial – scale that weren’t even imaginable a decade earlier. That’s driving the best investments today, which lie in intelligent systems and deep analysis (and the discoveries they enable), increasing productivity while reducing labor. L: What about fundamental research? Does basic science suffer at a time like this? Alex: To some degree, of course. Whether it should be or not, the fact is government is one of the major funders of basic scientific research in the modern world, so there have been cuts. However, there are multiple factors still driving significant fundamental R&D spending at the corporate level. For instance, in pharmaceuticals – an industry with approximately $750 billion in annual revenue, the second- or third-largest industry in the world – there is a massive patent cliff now arriving and slated to continue for the next three to five years. Over these coming few years, the big players are set to lose hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues, as the patents on their old chemical drugs expire. That is driving many companies to invest in new technologies. Both the established companies and hungry entrepreneurs have seen this coming, sometimes starting decades ago, and we’ve seen a massive investment in new biotech treatments that has accelerated in recent years. This has spread into genomics, lipidomics, proteomics, and really, a deep study into all the things people are made of in order to find new therapies. I can’t overstate how huge this research effort has been. L: That’s interesting – not just because of the investment opportunities this implies, but because there’s a silver lining: a lot of conventional medicines are about to become much cheaper… a flood of newly available generic drugs from India? Alex: Yes, but it’s not so simple. Not everyone has the knowledge or technical ability to produce these chemicals, especially to the high quality standards required for human use. Japan is a more likely source than China or India, at least in the near term – cheap labor is not the same advantage it would be in other areas. But yes, there will be a shift. However, most of these drugs are not really cures for most diseases, but “maintenance” treatments that address some of their symptoms, such as pain. This is the so-called “small molecule” chemical approach of the 20th century. The 21st century approach is to understand how a disease works and work on its underlying causes. The diseases that cost us the most money are long-term things like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Those three alone account for more than 50% of medical spending today, by some estimates. Thus, this is where the most biotechnology research is focused. L: I understand they are making major advances – not just finding ways to treat cancer symptoms, but to cure the disease? Alex: Well, yes, but bear in mind that cancer is not one disease. There are about 145 ailments that we collectively refer to as cancer or oncological diseases. There are tons of companies working on this. There’s Seattle Genetics, which is working to make chemotherapy more targeted and effective; Curis, which is working on blocking biological pathways for cancer; and countless others. We’ve talked about both of these before, and both have proven not only to be advancing excellent technologies, but have been excellent investments as well. The brute computational force and unique biological techniques needed to crack the genetic codes relevant to cancer has resulted in major advances in other fields of medical research as well. Cancer treatment is a multibillion-dollar–a-year industry. It’s such a big target that the amount of research going on in the field is almost unfathomable. This has produced many breakthroughs, such as reducing the cost of sequencing the genome of a human being from about a billion dollars to about a thousand – while reducing the time needed for the process from ten years to about one day. This is a major improvement in the ability of scientists to study the mechanisms that drive life itself – and what can go wrong – at a core, chemical level. L: Such as? In our most recent issue of Casey Extraordinary Technology, we covered a company that’s working on a disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is the number-one cause of blindness in seniors in the US, and millions of people around the world have it. Its pervasiveness is increasing as our population ages, and really, we have no effective treatment for it. We can slow it, but we can’t stop it, and we certainly can’t reverse it. We’ve picked one company out of dozens in the field that we think has a very good chance of really making a dent, particularly against wet AMD, which is the most common kind, by focusing on the lipids – the fat molecules – that are involved in the onset of AMD. Without the R&D investment into cancer and biologics in general, its work would not have even been possible. But with rapidly improving tools giving birth to new insights by the day, the pipeline of biological treatments like this one is growing dramatically. L: So, despite the economic turmoil of the last few years, the money is still there for research, and progress is still being made – and investments in commercial application of these new technologies are working out? Alex: Yes. What’s interesting about this market, though, is that it’s your big, established players that struggle the most. This is not an environment in which to be jumping into the big companies that have always been there in the past – this is to say you should not be index investing right now. Instead, you have to focus on companies that have demonstrable revenue growth locked in. For example, while Microsoft and Intel have been struggling, Apple, over the past five years, has been a stark contrast. However, as a rule of thumb, the biggest companies suffer the most during hard economic times, as they have the most to lose. And when the markets are at all-time highs, like right now, that poor performance will be reflected more in share prices than when all boats are rising, like in the period following a secular low. So, when investing in the large caps, now is the time to be choosy. Those same hard times, however, are nothing less than great opportunities for the startups that have new, better, faster, cheaper ideas. L: For example? Alex: Oracle is really struggling right now. A slew of new Big Data companies have been very successful selling more economic solutions to the data problems Oracle was handling for decades. These little companies are doing it cheaper, faster, and with a better interface that’s accessible to business people. These products take analytics out of the province of nerds, if you will, and put it into the hands of executives, marketers, and everyone else. Microsoft is struggling with the smartphone revolution, and Dell and Hewlett-Packard are suffering from the shift to tablets and more mobile computing. The personal-computer industry has, for the first time ever, shrunk, as governments, businesses, and individuals have held off on repurchases. Again, we see the big players affected the most; the majority are worse off than they were five years ago. However, at the lower end of the technology food chain, at the startup or junior technology level, there’s much more market opportunity. The amount of venture capital such companies have been able to raise and the amount of research they’ve been able to conduct has been virtually unaffected by the economic downturn. If anything, it has allowed them to grow faster – and given them more reason to. L: I am again struck by the parallels between what you’re describing and the junior resource sector I focus on. Rising costs hurt the big producing companies, but don’t change the enormous addition of value shareholders see when an exploration company goes from having nothing to making a huge, rich mineral discovery. A tech startup also goes from having nothing to having a solution or improvement people need and will pay for – all the more so in hard times. Alex: Yes, precisely. And unlike, say, a company searching for oil or copper, there is no commodity price fluctuation that’s going to drive the stock one way or another. And if a company does “discover” a new technology, it doesn’t run out when they mine or pump it all out; it can continue paying dividends for years and years. At the end of the day, they are turning intellectual capital into a product or service, which, if successful in the market place, returns financial capital on their investment. They are literally inventing value, and that’s largely independent of the vicissitudes of broader markets. That’s how some of the more successful technology companies – Apple, Microsoft, and so on – have returned tens of thousands of percent gains for their early shareholders. L: I hate to admit it, but most tech also has the advantage of being perceived as cool – if not actually necessary and beneficial for society – whereas mining is a dirty business increasingly unwelcome just about everywhere. With the possible exception of military research, tech companies are in greater harmony with the modern ethos pervading society. Alex: Even military research into new technologies can have that same kind of social approval and acceptance. Outside of the big defense contractors like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, the companies that are doing the best in military tech are the ones focused on getting human beings off the battlefields and out of harm’s way. Things like using robots to disarm explosives, survey the sea for submarines, or fly over hostile territory are seeing massive investment from the military these days. But it doesn’t stop there. The military pays for research and may or may not use the results, but there are often commercial applications of the same technology that make our lives better and safer – like the mine robots you saw. The software for self-driving cars is another good example – those self-piloted Google cars use software developed by the military. There is certainly something to be said for the overall positive impact of technological development on society, though, of course, there are always prices to be paid. For example, as we move to more and more automated and robotic systems, there will be less and less need for manual labor. For example, Amazon recently purchased a company that makes robot-operated distribution warehouses – Amazon currently operates dozens of huge warehouses employing many people. For Amazon, it’s the same as with your mining company; robots don’t twist the wrong way and hurt their backs – and if they do, it’s a two-hour service call, not a six-week workman’s comp lost time incident. A social shift is coming, ready or not, when there is no longer a need for blue-collar work. L: The world is changing, that’s for sure. What was the third reason you mentioned when we started, the third factor that’s going to keep the technology sector growing? Alex: The third reason is precisely that change. New mechanisms for productivity help drive existing businesses to be more efficient, and that is always in demand – especially during tough economic times. And, yes, the last 20 or 30 years of R&D is really just starting to peek its head into the markets. Everything from robotics to genetics to artificial intelligence are just now making their way to true commercial viability. The last five years of economic fear have created an innovation vacuum at the top of the tech stratosphere. This has opened opportunities for startup companies to seize upon the reticence of their much larger competitors – a gap early-stage venture investors pounced on aggressively. That is just now starting to show in public markets. These three forces together have conspired to make an excellent environment for the more aggressive technology investor. Large corporations are either scrambling to find their footing or scrambling to buy companies that already have. Gone are the days, for the moment, of mega-mergers and goliaths stomping out the little guys. For the time being, nimble little mice are running circles around the scared majority of elephants. You can see it with the emergence of software-defined networking, which is threatening the Internet’s big plumbing providers. You can see it with tablets wreaking havoc on the PC makers. And with Big Data. L: You keep mentioning this “Big Data” phrase – which I hear a lot in the news lately too. Can you elaborate? Alex: It’s about mining the enormous quantities of information companies and organizations collect all the time. Traditional “row-based” databases have been the standard since E.F. Codd invented the relational database in the 1970s. That technology hasn’t changed in a major way since that time – until recently. The explosion in processing speeds and implosion of data storage and retrieval costs have completely changed the way we can do data calculations now. It’s not actually one technology, but several that have come together, driven by companies like Google with mind-bogglingly huge datasets. Formerly proprietary stuff that Google used to keep behind closed doors has turned into open-source code that enables many businesses to harness the richness of the data they have accumulated, for the first time, really. We’re talking truly in-depth analytics that enables companies to more fully understand just about any trend or problem facing their business. This is, again, bad for the likes of Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft, but it’s been a boon for startups. Technologies like Hadoom, column-oriented databases, and in-memory databases, among many others, are all shrinking the time and skill required to garner insights from massively large databases. L: Example? Alex: The most important applications are on the fundamental level of analyzing and understanding a business. For example, if you’re an accountant trying to go through millions and millions of reimbursement receipts looking for fraud – or suppose you’re a research scientist trying to go through the gigabytes and gigabytes of data generated by taking even a handful of human genomes, looking for similarities among people in order to pinpoint the causes of certain diseases. Either of these tasks is incredibly data-intensive – the sort of thing that used to require a supercomputer to be able to tackle. Today, those searches are much, much faster, and can be done with relatively cheap, off-the shelf hardware bolted to a rack. We can now take on almost any kind of question. Retailers are looking for patterns in what kind of products to put next to each other on the shelves of their stores to increase sales. Zara, for example, has been a smashing international success in the clothing retail business, based partly on its sense of fashion, but also on the use of a fantastic inventory-management system. This has made Zara’s founder one of the richest men in the world, rivaling even Carlos Slim. This is what Big Data can do for you, and as data analytics get faster and cheaper, we’re going to see more and more mining of this data to drive productivity, marketing, etc. L: This may be an aside, but isn’t there a Big Brotherish side to this? You couple Big Data with the proliferation of cameras throughout the world, and it’s a bit frightening. Alex: You know, people said the same thing about the advent of the automobile, which was very bad for the horse industry… and airplanes – people were never meant to fly! L: [Laughs] I’ve been called many things, but never a Luddite! Alex: [Chuckles] We all become Luddites in our own time. That may be the one lesson the steady march of technological progress has for us, despite all objections. But yes, you’re right; as the ability to process massive quantities of data in real time increases, the ability of people to apply that to spy on others increases dramatically. In the last election, both the Obama and Romney camps were talking up their use of Big Data approaches to analyzing and managing their campaigns. We’re just going to have to get used to the fact that modern life produces reams of data about us each, individually, and that is going to be analyzed and made use of. On the plus side, it also means we’ll have smarter systems – better traffic management, for instance – and more individualized products and services. Imagine if TV became as relevant to us as Google search results. There is nothing technological stopping cable companies from delivering targeted ads via all those millions of set-top boxes. If they can use your data to show ads you’re more likely to respond to, then they can show fewer ads and charge more for them. In that scenario, the cable company can make four times as much money with half the ads, which improves its bottom line, produces better results for advertisers, and results in a better viewing experience for the viewer. Win–win-win. Retailers, restaurants, car companies, doctors, and so on will know our individual needs and be able to serve us better. Good with the bad. L: I just hope I won’t have to have my eyes surgically replaced to avoid unwanted advertisements or invasive government interference, like in the movie Minority Report. But okay, I get it. So, with all of this going on, what are your favorite tech investments today? Alex: With the S&P 500 having reached the level it has today, the most important thing to remember is to cherry-pick the best companies. Contrarian investments work very well these days, such as companies with strong fundamentals that are out of favor with the market. For instance, we recently opened and closed a position in Hewlett-Packard in six months, a very successful investment in our new BIG TECH newsletter. With so many stock prices at multiyear highs and breaking through to higher levels, you have to be very careful. You can’t just buy the index and hope to come out well. By being a contrarian in a market this frothy – which tends to overreact to both positive and negative news – you can make a lot of money. L: With so many stocks riding high and so many business models becoming obsolete, do you ever recommend taking short positions? Alex: We don’t have any short positions in our letters today, but I think we’re on the cusp of doing so again. We’ve had success with such plays in the past when we’ve seen bubbles form. But back to my point: you have to be a contrarian regarding the big companies, thanks to the bubble forming in large-cap investments, but not so much for the smaller ones. There are so many, no Wall Street analyst can follow them all, so there are many that have escaped the hype. By being intrepid detectives, we can find great companies before the big guys have caught on. You want to be there before their revenues start to rise. That’s where we make our biggest wins, the 100%, 200%, or 300% gains. L: Sounds like what I do, applied in a different world. Alex: It really is quite similar, in many ways. Any investor who finds himself or herself at home with the junior resource sector should do well in the tech sector. In any speculative market like that, it’s all about separating signal from noise. That’s what we do here at Casey Research, in all our different divisions. L: Very well, then. Makes sense to me – thanks for the update. As I mentioned in Monday’s Daily Dispatch, investing in more of your picks is definitely on my to-do list this year. Alex: You’re welcome. I’ll do my best for you. L: I’m sure you will.
Pus from a cowpox sore. Gross? Yes. But it also played the starring role in a brilliant science experiment more than 200 years ago, the results of which would ultimately save millions of lives. Scholars believe the disease called smallpox first appeared around 10,000 BCE, in the early agricultural settlements of northeastern Africa. It then spread throughout the developing world via merchants and trade routes and military conquests, devastating our species for many centuries thereafter. In 18th century Europe, smallpox killed approximately 400,000 people annually. That’s equivalent to wiping out the entire population of Atlanta every year. Those who did survive the scourge were left with disfiguring scars and often without sight. It was common knowledge for hundreds of years that survivors of smallpox were subsequently immune to the disease. And the process of inoculation (also known as “variolation”)—which involved the risky subcutaneous delivery of the smallpox virus into an arm or leg of a nonimmune individual—was well known in Europe by the 1720s. But it was not until a man named Edward Jenner came along in 1796 that the fight against smallpox would take a giant leap forward. Jenner hypothesized that cowpox—a much less dangerous disease than smallpox—could induce immunity to smallpox. To test his idea, Jenner scraped pus from a milkmaid’s cowpox blisters and used it to inoculate an eight-year-old boy named James Phipps (after obtaining his parents’ permission, of course). A far cry from the elaborate clinical trials of today, isn’t it? But it worked. Phipps developed a mild fever and some discomfort from the injection but recovered quickly and was subsequently shown to be immune to smallpox. Jenner’s work marked the beginning of the modern practice of vaccination. And vaccines have saved millions of lives since. Normally, when we refer to these types of traditional vaccines, we’re talking about killed or weakened microbes (or parts of microbes), i.e., pathogens that stimulate an immune response without causing the disease (hopefully). According to the National Cancer Institute: When the immune system encounters these substances through vaccination, it responds to them, eliminates them from the body, and develops a memory of them. This vaccine-induced memory enables the immune system to act quickly to protect the body if it becomes infected by the same microbes in the future. In other words, the vaccines that we know today are preventative. They are meant to keep you from getting a disease. But scientists are developing new types of vaccines called therapeutic vaccines; and as the name implies, these vaccines are intended to actually cure diseases. One of the diseases scientists hope to treat with these new types of vaccines is cancer. Cancer drug development today is focused on targeted therapies that go beyond the traditional crude mix of “slash, burn, and poison” (surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy) to deliver therapeutic effects with reduced toxicity. On paper, cancer vaccines are the perfect addition to the more targeted, less toxic drug arsenal. Simply “train” a patient’s immune system to recognize and destroy tumor cells, and let nature do the rest. The notion of using the immune system to launch an attack on cancer has actually been around for some time. The basic idea is to rouse the immune system by presenting it with antigens associated with tumor cells. Ideally, the immune system would not only seek out and destroy the tumor cells, but it would remember the abnormal antigens and be ready to mount a new attack if the tumor were to recur. It’d be great if it were just that simple. In practice, however, it’s been far more complicated. The most difficult challenge is the fact that a tumor is not really a pathogen; at its core, it’s a collection of aggressively growing cells that can’t stop dividing. It’s not a foreign invader, nor does it “infect” healthy cells, as do bacteria and viruses. So launching the immune system against cancer cells essentially involves turning the body’s defense mechanisms against a part of itself. And that’s not the only practical problem with cancer vaccines. For instance, there’s also the relatively recent discovery that tumors can somehow actively induce local immunosuppression. Thus, the annals of biotech R&D are littered with more than a decade’s worth of promising therapeutic cancer vaccines that failed to show clinical efficacy. To date, in fact, only one such vaccine has come to market to help treat cancer in humans, Dendreon’s Provenge. Provenge became the first FDA-approved therapeutic cancer vaccine in April of 2010. While the drug represents a breakthrough technology (and remains the only such drug in use today), it’s a completely uneconomic solution to the problem. Here’s why: The vaccine is created by isolating white blood cells from a patient’s blood through a procedure called “leukapheresis.” These cells are shipped off to the company’s lab, where they are exposed to chemicals that turn them into special cells called dendritic cells, then cultured with certain proteins designed to trigger an immune response against prostate cancer. Finally, the dendritic cells are shipped back to the physician and intravenously administered to the patient. In other words, the drug is customized to each patient. Not only that, Dendreon can only produce a single patient-specific dose at a time. Needless to say, manufacturing costs of Provenge—and thus the cost to the end user—are extremely high. Improvements are on the horizon, however. A company called ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (IMUC) is also developing a patient-specific therapeutic cancer vaccine that has shown great promise in clinical trials. The difference is that it can manufacture approximately 20 doses at once for the patient, compared to Dendreon’s one. It doesn’t stop there. Most of the therapeutic cancer vaccines now in development are designed to be off the shelf rather than produced for each patient, and are tailored to groups with perhaps multiple tumor types rather than individuals. Canada-based Immunovaccine, for example, has a drug in development that combines seven antigens found in breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers in a sustained-release formulation. Meanwhile, over at Harvard, researchers are attempting to overcome the logistical challenges of therapeutic cancer vaccines in a whole different way—by creating an implantable device designed to recruit and reprogram immune cells to attack tumors. If this is successful, there would be no need to extract cells from the patient and ship them off to a lab to be primed for tumor targeting, as is the case with Provenge. Phase I safety data for this approach are not due for a couple of years, but it’s another exciting avenue being explored. Of course, we can still expect to see big failures on the road to a robust pipeline of safe and effective therapeutic cancer vaccines (the widely hyped GlaxoSmithKline melanoma vaccine candidate MAGE-A3 just went bust in late-stage trials), but the future is still bright. Citigroup analyst Andrew Baum reckons that oncology immunotherapies, which include vaccines and therapeutic antibodies, will generate sales of up to $35 billion a year within the next decade and in the process will create the biggest drug class in history, according to Reuters. If you are wondering which company in this space we at Casey Extraordinary Technology have hitched our wagon to, sign up for a risk-free test drive of CET, and you’ll have access to our entire current portfolio and archives.
Ramsey Orta was indicted in the choking death of Eric Garner. Mr. Orta was not the one who did the choking… that was Officer Daniel Pantaleo. No, Mr. Orta was not one of the handful of cops who subdued the untaxed-cigarette-selling Garner. Ramsey Orta shot the video that we have all been watching… the video that a Staten Island grand jury evidently didn’t watch very closely or simply ignored. A different grand jury in Staten Island indicted Orta in August, a month after he shot the Garner video, on a weapons charge. Orta, police allege, slipped a .25-caliber handgun into a teenage accomplice’s waistband outside a New York hotel. Mr. Orta testified before the grand jury that the police falsely brought the charges in retaliation for documenting Garner’s death. The grand jury rejected his testimony and charged him with single felony counts of third-degree criminal weapon possession and criminal firearm possession. “They got the shooter … of the video,” Jon Stewart quipped on The Daily Show. “Let that be a lesson to you kids out there. Photographing crime does not pay.” The protection of government agents and buildings of the criminal justice industrial state is nothing new. Among the crimes perpetrated by the British Crown listed by Thomas Jefferson and the other founders in the Declaration of Independence was: For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States What’s old is new again. Create something grand-sounding like “grand jury” to allow government to protect its own from punishment. For citizens the state doesn’t like, there’s always some opaque law to ensnare the poor rubes government wants punished. Meanwhile government can always pin something on anyone. Everyone’s breaking the law, as Harvey Silverglate writes in Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent. Silverglate tells of Justice Robert Jackson who, in 1940, told a gathering, “If the prosecutor is obliged to choose his cases, it follows that he can choose his defendants.” This is the dark heart of government: “[T]he most dangerous power of the prosecutor: that he will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted.” Prosecutors can succumb to “picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him.” Silverglate explains that the average busy professional goes to sleep “unaware that he or she likely committed several federal crimes that day.” Prosecutors pursue with impunity, as Radley Balko writes in the Huffington Post: Prosecutors and their advocates say complete and absolute immunity from civil liability is critical to the performance of their jobs. They argue that self-regulation and professional sanctions from state bar associations are sufficient to deter misconduct. Yet there’s little evidence that state bar associations are doing anything to police prosecutors, and numerous studies have shown that those who misbehave are rarely if ever professionally disciplined. … In the end, one of the most powerful positions in public service—a position that carries with it the authority not only to ruin lives, but in many cases the power to end them—is one of the positions most shielded from liability and accountability. And the freedom to push ahead free of consequences has created a zealous conviction culture. While prosecutors prosecute arbitrarily, at least 1,034 people have been killed by US police since January 1, 2014, according to the Killed By Police Facebook page. Meanwhile, 108 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty during that same period, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. So the odds against the public are 10 to 1. How many of the police shootings were justified? It’s hard to know. Because as obsessed as the government is with statistics, the state doesn’t see the need to keep track of justified vs. unjustified shootings. “We don’t have a mandate to do that,” William Carr, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which collects crime data from every corner of the country, told the Las Vegas Review Journal. The paper did a five-part exposé on police shootings in Las Vegas and found that all were deemed justified, even in cases where cops were clearly in the wrong. Clarence Darrow anticipated America’s prison nation of today in his 1902 book, Resist Not Evil. He explained that all areas of life become part of the penal code, with armies of people operating as police, legislators, and the court system, to enforce these laws through force and violence. The state is set up not to administer justice, but to punish. No victims are compensated, while the state gets its pound of flesh and spends billions of dollars doing it. America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. One in 100 of its citizens is behind bars, judged by a monstrosity created only to mete out vengeance. Unfortunately, the citizenry is all too happy to cheer while people they don’t know are sent away for years and decades for what may have been one mistake or violation of a government made-up crime. The fact is, violent crime is decreasing rapidly. The FBI recorded 1.16 million violent crimes in the US in 2013, a 4.4% decline from 2012 and a 37.4% decline from 1994. Adjusting for population growth, the numbers look even better; per-capita violent crime was down 5.1% from 2012, and 48.4% from 1994. Despite the decrease in violent crime, there are 4,575 prisons in operation in the US, more than four times the number of second-place Russia at 1,029. And states must keep their prisons full. “The profit driven prisons put pressure on law enforcement and prosecutors to try to charge and convict individuals of more serious crimes, just to fill prison beds,” reports StoryLeak. A report by In The Public Interest found that two-thirds of states guarantee prison operators high occupancy rates. Three Arizona contracts require 100% occupancy, and three contracts in Oklahoma guarantee 98% occupancy. Two Louisiana contracts guarantee 96% of prison beds will be filled. Meanwhile, the state of Colorado paid $2 million more to prison operators than it would have cost the state to house them in state-run facilities, despite the fact that the rate of crime and the number of convicts in the state fell by a third over the last decade (likely due to medical marijuana being legalized in 2000). What Eric Garner was doing to attract the force of six policemen was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. It’s hard to imagine making any money that way, but as A. Barton Hinkle writes in Reason, Thanks to New York’s laughably high cigarette taxes ($4.35 state plus another $1.60 in the city) and higher prices generally, a pack of smokes in New York City costs $14 or more. That creates a powerful incentive to smuggle smokes in from states such as Virginia, where you can buy a pack for a third of that price. Fill a Ford Econoline van with a few hundred cartons and you can make a nice five-figure profit in a weekend. Some people do. The prison state is fully supported by a self-righteous public who want to feel safe and believe it’s always somebody else doing something wrong. We don’t get to know the perpetrators, and once locked away, these men and women (many of whom are moms and dads) become less like people we might like or identify with. This makes it easy for the public to allow the state to judge, convict, and punish for the most trifling offense. “Garner died because he dared interfere with government reach and government muscle that didn’t want to lose tax revenue to independent operators,” Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass writes. “It’s unlikely that the New York legislature, in creating the crime of selling untaxed cigarettes, imagined that anyone would die for violating it,” Stephen Carter, a Yale University law professor, wrote in the Chicago Tribune. It’s even less likely the legislature would rescind its law. Taxing, convicting, and punishing is the state’s business, and this time it was caught on video.
— — Justin’s note: Yesterday, Doug Casey, Rick Rule, and Nick Giambruno showed us the massive potential of gold-backed cryptos. If you missed it, catch up here.Today, in part two of their discussion, the guys take a closer look at this new digital asset…Nick Giambruno: Doug, I personally believe there will never be a gold-backed crypto that can completely stand in for gold. There is simply no substitute for owning physical gold that you can readily hold in your hand.However, owning large amounts of physical gold presents its own challenges. It’s hard to store securely, move long distances, and break down into smaller amounts. A gold-backed crypto can help address these drawbacks.That said, any gold-backed crypto will inevitably have some counterparty risk. Physical gold in your direct possession does not.Instead of being a substitute for owning physical gold in your own possession, I believe gold-backed cryptos are a complementary tool for individuals all around the world to access sound money.What’s your take?Doug Casey: I agree, Nick. You want both. The reasons why cryptos are catching on in the developed world are pretty obvious. We don’t need to go on about that here. I think the real future for cryptos, and this is especially true of gold-backed cryptos, is going to be in the Third World, because 75% of the people on the planet have to use toilet paper currencies – like the Zambian kwacha, the Argentine peso, or the Venezuelan bolívar – that have little value within their countries of issuance and no value at all outside of the borders.Third World people tend to understand gold. It’s tangible, it’s more understandable than just the idea of a cryptocurrency. If they see a crypto that represents gold, in addition to its other advantages, it’s likely to catch fire. People in Third World countries desperately need a currency that allows them to save and transfer wealth reliably. Something of real value, as opposed to just some locally issued government toilet paper. Cryptos in general, and gold-backed cryptos in particular, are a wonderful innovation not just for us but for the impoverished 75% of the world’s people who live in blocked currency countries. Recommended Link Grocery Stores to Start Selling “America’s Oil?”America’s awash in a new oil, and it’s not the shale revolution of the last decade. It’s not natural gas either. This new oil flows from a plant. And in five years, it’s expected to boom into a $100 billion industry. Making it bigger than the snack food, video gaming, and online gambling industries combined. This will be the next mega industry of the decade. Whole Foods declares it’ll be a top seller. Inc. magazine says, “This is the #1 Industry You Need to Be Paying Attention to.” And MSN Money calls this, “The Fastest Growing Industry.” Soon, almost every home in America will have this oil. You get to be one of the first in America to see what this oil is and why it’s going to make lots of investors rich. Our chief analyst Nick Giambruno is going to demonstrate it LIVE on camera. Plus, he’ll give you the chance to see two ways it could hand you the biggest payday of your life. Nick Giambruno: Exactly… why would anyone abandon their wealth to a constantly depreciating government fiat currency, sitting in an insolvent fractional reserve bank when they can easily save a gold-backed crypto?On that note, how does a gold-backed crypto help one with political diversification? Is it a new tool in the toolkit?Doug Casey: I want to emphasize, especially for Americans, that it’s not just a question of what you have and what you’re doing in the market, but where you’re keeping these things. Everyone, not just Americans, should try to have half of their gold, cash, and investments outside of their countries of citizenship and/or residence. You don’t want all of your assets within easy reach of whatever government considers you its milk cow.Nick Giambruno: Rick, what features does a gold-backed crypto need to be credible… redemption, reputable partners, auditability?Rick Rule: The answer to your question is, “yes, all of that is important.”The first thing is that there will be and there have been numerous crypto scams where the promoters of the crypto either caused or paid to cause rapid price escalation in a token that had no intrinsic value, and whose price ultimately fell to its intrinsic value, which is zero.It’s important that investments are made in the architecture of the distributed ledger product, and in the maintenance of the distributed ledger product.The distributed ledger does not – contrary to popular opinion – maintain itself.Bitcoin is an example. That whole process is sustained by miners who are rewarded with Bitcoin. In the absence of something like that, a system crashes.I think it’s important that crypto gold be redeemable and be audited.In the case of Sprott, I think one of the reasons why we were chosen as a partner is because we already manage well over $4 billion in exchange-traded gold products, and we have 20 years of experience with people who want to trade their certificates for physical precious metals and get delivery. We do it every day.Doug will hate me for this, but our gold is stored at the Royal Canadian Mint. We joke that our security is provided by NATO.So I would suggest you examine the architecture of the system, the reliability of the sponsors, and the redeemability and security of the gold behind gold-backed cryptos very carefully.One of the things that’s given me personally great comfort is that of the three-dozen some odd entrants to the market that we’re aware of, we are the ones that have had the broadest adoption from the gold mining community.So if you look at our shareholders registered – Goldcorp, Wheaton Precious Metals, Iamgold, Agnico Eagle – we’ve already done transactions where Goldcorp transferred 3,000 ounces of gold to us in return for ledgers because it saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars in transaction fees. Click here to cash in on America’s new oil boom 3X LARGER than Social Security, it’s YOUR American Right to Collect This CashThanks to Trump’s New “Payout Plan,” you can collect up to $7,980 more this year. The New York Times is saying you can “enjoy a windfall under the plan,” but you must act quickly in order to get your hands on the next check. Click here and see why you could be entitled to this money Recommended Link Nick Giambruno: A gold-backed crypto needs one foot in the real world and one foot in the digital world. Unfortunately, that real world foot is susceptible to government coercion.There are plenty of examples of crypto projects and precious metals initiatives thinking they could flout regulations, no matter how ridiculous they may be. What inevitably happens is they end up painting a big, red target on their backs. The government eventually shuts them down.How could a gold-backed crypto avoid a similar fate today?Rick Rule: Well, when we began in conjunction with our partners developing our own product, we were very aggressive in communicating what we were doing and soliciting feedback from various regulators in both the United States and Canada.While in an ideal world that wouldn’t be a requirement, that’s not the world that Sprott, as a regulated entity, inhabits. The consequence is that we didn’t surprise the regulatory authorities with anything, and we didn’t make any claims whatsoever that we were exempt from regulations that would become proposed.With our product – because it isn’t a token, it’s really a deposit receipt or commodity receipt on the distributed ledger rather than a token – and because we were unsure of the way that the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] would regulate the product, we decided to comply with Know Your Customer regulations.I won’t bore your readers with the arcane details, but it’s important that people understand that this distributed ledger receipt represents actual gold stored by us at the Royal Canadian Mint. It’s redeemable for gold and it’s exchangeable.We have chosen internally to believe that gold-backed cryptos will ultimately attempt to be regulated by the CFTC or by the SEC or one of the banking regulators, and the consequence is that to participate in our offering, you do need to open an account with a participating financial services firm.The lesson that we’ve learned managing institutional money, managing ETFs, is that if you are going to play in investment markets and financial services markets, and think you’re going to circumvent regulation, you’re mistaken. That may or may not sit well with all your readers, but it’s the truth, nonetheless.Nick Giambruno: The value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be wildly volatile. This is a problem for anyone looking to use cryptos in the regular course of business.Gold-backed cryptos, on other hand, should have relatively stable prices. They also allow people to send and receive gold as easily as they send an email.This should make them appealing to merchants, lenders, businesses, investors, escrow services and the like… anyone who wants to conduct business in gold – but also wants the convenience of cryptocurrencies.Businesses could use gold-backed cryptos to pay rent, salaries, or other ordinary expenses. The possibilities are enormous. I think that could open a huge new ecosystem.That’s why I think gold-backed cryptos could create a genuine revolution in finance and why I’m so excited about them in general.The demand for gold-backed cryptos – which is really the demand for sound and convenient money – is potentially enormous. It can be useful to anyone.Do you see this evolution in the gold-backed crypto space playing out?Rick Rule: I absolutely do. If you look at the trading volume and liquidity that gold enjoys today and you add that to that the incredible economic efficiency of the distributed ledger, the ultimate applications that you’re talking about as a transfer mechanism, as a store of wealth, as collateral, an entirely new ecosystem, really are limitless.Nick Giambruno: Doug and Rick, thank you for your time. If readers would like more information about VaultChain they can send an email to TradeWind@sprottglobal.comJustin’s note: As the guys discussed, this is a revolutionary way to make money. To see just how much upside gold-backed cryptos have… and how you can start profiting from specific names today… click here.
Reported by WVUA 23 Reporter Jack KaneHabitat for Humanity has been helping families across Tuscaloosa County become homeowners since 1987. Now, they’re asking for the community’s help.Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa builds homes for qualifying homeowners, along with doing household repairs for elderly and disabled residents. One thing they need to accomplish these tasks is volunteers.“Right now, we have two new homes under construction,” Ellen Potts, executive director for Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa, said. “We have more upcoming. We also have several repair projects. One that we’re doing right now is for Mr. Washington, who is an 88-year-old Korean War veteran, whose house we’re making handicap accessible.”The volunteer process is a great way to have a good influence on those in need and can teach participants repair skills of their own. To help, participants only need to be old enough to volunteer.“The qualification is that the person is at least 16 years of age and, other than that, we teach people to do everything they need to know how to do,” Potts said. “We have a skilled construction staff that is on-site all the time and they love to teach. They love to teach new skills to volunteers.”Joining this volunteer group could help people meet others from all around the community, the country and even the world.“We’ve had 25,000 (volunteers) since the (April 27, 2011) tornado from 50 states and six continents as well as the local area,” Potts said. “We have groups; we have a group from Northern Ireland that has come back eight times to Tuscaloosa. We’ve had a group from Frederick, Maryland, that has been back 16 times.”For those interested in volunteering, call Habitat Tuscaloosa at 205-349-4629 or visit habitattuscaloosa.org/volunteer.
Reporting by WVUA 23 Reporter Ashlee DavisIt may not come as a surprise to learn that a lot of kids only eat one nutritious meal a day. The more shocking fact is they get that meal at school.The problem gets even bigger when school is out for the summer. That is why the Boys and Girls Club of West Alabama is stepping up to help kids in need while they enjoy their summer break.The Boys and Girls Club’s Summer Feeding program is for kids age 6 to 18. Thanks to a federal grant, kids are able to come to the Boys and Girls Club and enjoy a delicious meal throughout the day. To accommodate more kids, meals are served at different times of the day.“It’s part of the child nutrition program out of the state of Alabama and the child nutrition program that is a federally-funded initiative through the U.S. government that allows us to provide a free breakfast and a free lunch for every child who comes throughout the club through the summer,” Kim Turner of the Boys and Girls Club said. “Plus, in reality, anyone in the area.”And for parents or guardians, this program is said to be heaven-sent, especially in the mornings.“Working mom is trying to get the kids out the door, get them ready, get herself ready,” Turner said. “We have a lot of grandparents responsible for their children and so they do not have to worry about food. They know those kids are going to get a good breakfast and a healthy lunch. They don’t even have to think about it. Especially during the summer when they have been up and moving during school and now they are having to get up and move for summer as well and they want that break. That is just one less thing for a parent to worry about.”For more information on the program, call the Boys and Girls Club at 205-553-3838.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant had 38 points and 13 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors beat the Utah Jazz 102-91 on Saturday night to take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were a combined 7 for 29 from the field and 3 for 15 from 3-point range, leaving Durant to lead the Warriors.The Jazz led 75-74 early in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors went on a 10-4 run and never trailed again. Curry and Durant hit back to back 3ss to give Golden State a 92-84 lead with 3:04 left.Curry finished with 23 points on 6-for-20 shooting.Gordon Hayward led Utah with 29 points. Rudy Gobert added 21 points and 15 rebounds.Game 4 is Monday night in Utah.The Warriors got out to a quick start, again, and led by 10 after the first quarter.Utah survived the first-half onslaught by Durant, who had 22 points and six rebounds at the break. There wasn’t much the Jazz could do to contend a flurry of turnaround fadeaways, drives to the basket and a pair of 3s. Golden State, however, didn’t get much help otherwise and Draymond Green dealt with foul trouble.The Jazz took a 50-49 lead into halftime after closing the second quarter on a 12-5 run highlighted by Rodney Hood’s 3-pointer triple that gave the Jazz their first lead of the series at 48-47.Green picked up a technical arguing from the bench late in the second quarter after being whistled for his third foul of the half. As the crowd roared, he gave a 2-0 hand gesture to indicate the series record.The Jazz led by nine in the third quarter, but Curry began to warm up and hit his first 3-pointer of the game on a pull-up in transition. Golden State closed the quarter on a 19-8 stretch to take a 72-70 lead.TweetPinShare0 Shares
Grains are the bedrock of civilization. They led humans from hunting and gathering to city-building. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the fruits of three grasses provide the world with 60 percent of its total food: corn, wheat and rice. Aside from energy-rich carbohydrates, grains feed us protein, zinc, iron and essential B vitamins.But rice as we know it is at risk.As humans expel billions of metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere and raze vast swaths of forests, the concentration of carbon dioxide in our air hurries ever higher. That has the potential to severely diminish the nutritional value of rice, according to a new study published on Wednesday in Science Advances. For people who depend heavily on rice as a staple in their diets, such a nutritional loss would be devastating, says Kristie Ebi, a professor at the University of Washington and an author on the study. “When you look at a country like Bangladesh, three out of every four calories comes from rice. Obviously, that means any decline in nutritional value is very significant.”To study how rice responds to different concentrations of carbon dioxide, the researchers grew several varieties of rice in experimental fields in Japan and China. For each variety, they set aside one rice paddy as a control, and one neighboring enclosed rice paddy with tubing running through the field. They blew carbon dioxide out of the tubing, raising the ambient carbon dioxide inside the enclosure to some 580 parts per million, the expected carbon dioxide concentration in the next half century if there are no further attempt to curb emissions or deforestation. “The fields have the same sunshine, same water, same characteristics,” Ebi says. “So the experiment sees what happens to the same rice under different carbon dioxide concentrations.”Ebi says that the rice grown under the elevated carbon scenario lost substantial amounts of protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins per grain. Iron, zinc and protein losses ranged from 5 percent to 20 percent. Vitamins B1 and B5 dropped up to 30 percent, depending on the variety. “Folate [vitamin B9] declines across the nine rice varieties ranged from 10 percent to 45 percent. So, it’s a lot,” she says.Of course, many foods can be a rich source of these essential nutrients, but Ebi says food other than rice is not always available to people. Among the poorest in the world, the grain can make up an overwhelming portion of their diet, Ebi says. “In the paper, we looked at the most rice-dependent countries in Asia. Using a weighting scheme focusing on those with the fewest resources, we estimate this decline in nutrient quality will affect about 600 million people.”A mass deficiency in vitamin B9, also known as folate or folic acid, would have particularly severe public health consequences. The nutrient is critical to fetus development, and a lack of vitamin B9 can result in defects of the brain, spine or spinal cord at birth. “It can be a catastrophic birth anomaly,” Ebi says.The study’s finding is disheartening, if not surprising, to researchers in the field. Scientists already knew that higher carbon dioxide concentrations can decrease protein, zinc and iron levels in important crops, and this study shows a similar effect for B vitamins, says Camilo Mora, a climate change scientist at the University of Hawaii Manoa who was not involved with the new work. “It’s just another piece of evidence to show how bad climate change is,” he says.For non-experts, the phenomenon may seem a little odd, considering carbon dioxide is food for plants. Plants that share the same photosynthesis pathway as rice and wheat do indeed grow larger and produce greater yields in higher carbon dioxide concentrations by creating more carbohydrates, says Lisa Ainsworth, a biologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the U.S. Department of. Agriculture who did not work on the study. But they don’t increase the amount of other nutrients in their grains relative to that yield gain. “They’re basically getting a dilution effect of the nutrients in the grains,” she says.Some varieties of rice may not experience as severe of a nutrient loss as carbon dioxide levels go up. For instance, the rice variety Liang You 84 (a hybrid style grown in China) lost around 45 percent of its vitamin B9 content whereas the Koshihikari rice (a short-grained sushi rice from Japan) lost roughly 30 percent of its B9 content in the elevated carbon scenarios. That knowledge gives researchers an opportunity, given enough funding, to breed climate change-resistant strains of rice.But getting people to switch to new grains is not always easy, Ainsworth says. “I think culturally it is difficult. People eat different rice for different meals and events.”Other strategies are available, too. Investing in ways to increase access to different kinds of food beyond rice would help, for instance, she points out.Or, Mora says, humanity could always work together to mitigate climate change and carbon emissions so the problem doesn’t arise in the first place.Angus Chen is a journalist in New York. He’s on Twitter @angrchen. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Money makes the world go ’round. And Fiserv Inc. moves that money. The Brookfield-based financial technology developer, which provides back-end processing for banks and credit unions, has quietly built itself into a global powerhouse and is poised to become the most valuable publicly-traded company in Wisconsin.Fiserv was born out of an acquisition in 1984, and it has continued to grow by buying new technologies – about 180 small acquisitions over the past 35 years. But with its recent announcement that it would acquire New York City-based point-of-sale transaction giant First Data Corp., Fiserv made its biggest, boldest move by far. The $22 billion all-stock deal, which is pending regulatory approval, would be the largest ever in the fintech industry, and create the No. 1 global card issuer and merchant processor. It would bring together two leading Fortune 500 firms with an expected $15 billion in annual revenue. Fiserv’s market capitalization would nearly double to about $60 billion.“The number of acquisitions that I’ve done in my … 14 years here has slowed down dramatically, but the quantum is much larger. We’re looking to take fewer and larger steps. Ways to help our clients keep up and jump ahead of the change that’s going on in the market,” said Jeffery Yabuki, president and chief executive officer of Fiserv. Integrating two giantsThe First Data acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2019, most likely in the third quarter. Yabuki declined to point to a more specific completion date.More than one-third of U.S. banks and credit unions use Fiserv core account processing. The company processes more than $75 trillion per year.YabukiFirst Data specializes in commerce-enabling technology for merchants, securing and processing more than 3,000 transactions per second worldwide. Its Clover point-of-sale platform is used on more than 1 million devices globally.Combining the companies gives Fiserv an end-to-end solution in the payments space – from the point when the customer inserts the chip card in a terminal, to the backend processing of the transaction.Fiserv will also be able to offer the Clover merchant system through its bank customers in a cross-selling opportunity, said David Koning, a senior research analyst at Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. covering Fiserv.And while the legacy Fiserv customers – financial institutions – are a loyal and reliable recurring revenue stream, the card transactions coming through Clover provide a fast-growing new segment, Koning said. As a result, Fiserv can up its earnings-per-share from 10 percent to 15 percent per year.Terence Ow, associate professor of information technology in the management department at Marquette University, said the merger offers economies of scale, and the opportunity for Fiserv to enter a new market. It also smooths out the flow of the transaction from the moment a card is swiped to the moment the funds leave a bank account.“If you can smooth out the flow, how much cost reduction will there be?” Ow asked.While the transaction is massive, it will not likely have a long-term impact on the fintech industry, Koning said. The most serious impact will be the synergies gained via the combination – the cost savings from eliminating duplicative structures and employees, he said.“You think about what typically happens in acquisitions. The management layer of the seller often gets displaced,” Koning said.Fiserv has 24,000 employees worldwide, and First Data has 22,000 employees.Because Fiserv is still in the planning phases of the companies’ integration, Yabuki declined to say how many employees will be eliminated in the transaction, or which offices may be closed. He also hasn’t guaranteed Fiserv will keep its headquarters in the Milwaukee area.“The beauty of this transaction is there’s not that much crossover,” Yabuki said. “We like the fact that it doesn’t rough and tumble the whole company.”He pointed out the $500 million of revenue synergies Fiserv plans to gain from the transaction, which it will reinvest in product innovation and growth acceleration.But Fiserv is also expecting $900 million of cost savings over five years following the acquisition, “driven primarily by the elimination of duplicative corporate structures, streamlined technology infrastructure, increased operational efficiencies, process improvements and footprint optimization,” the company said when it announced the deal.“It’s a normal part of putting things together,” Yabuki said. “We won’t need duplicative CRM systems and we won’t need separate ERP systems, so there’s a lot of systemic opportunity there. We believe that we’ll be a larger purchaser, we’ll be a much larger company, we’ll be able to get more out of how we manage and negotiate with our vendors. And in some situations, we’ll absolutely have duplicative headcount.”The company has created an Office of Mobility to identify new positions for affected employees within the company, Yabuki said.Ow said the layoffs may not be too drastic because the companies have been operating in different segments and didn’t have a lot of overlap on clients.“Redundancy usually happens when both companies are competing on the same scale,” he said. “It’s like saying if Amazon does Amazon Prime, does that affect Amazon Marketplace or Amazon Web Services? It’s quite different.”Yabuki will continue to lead the combined company as CEO and chairman of the board. Frank Bisignano, chairman and CEO of First Data, will become president and chief operating officer.Bisignano declined to comment for this article.Reconfiguring the businessAside from the technical aspects of bringing the companies together, the less tangible aspects, such as culture, can be crucial in a merger.Fiserv emphasized its newly revamped aspiration (to move money in a way that moves the world), purpose and values, which it has displayed on a prominent wall in its Brookfield headquarters. The company prizes striving for excellence, has an internal company pride campaign called “I am orange,” and encourages volunteerism via Fiserv Gives Back.The Fiserv headquarters in Brookfield.“But let’s remember that First Data’s been around for 50 years. They’re not a fly-by-night company,” Yabuki said. “Frank Bisignano, the CEO, and I are going to operate as partners; we’re going to bring the company together and we’re completely confident and we’ve seen it already in the integration – the people are well aligned. We have big pockets of employment in Nebraska and Georgia … and other areas of the country.”Because of the massive size of the companies, The Strawhecker Group, a payments industry consulting firm, estimated the Fiserv-First Data integration could take as long as 10 years.“The integration of two companies of this scale will undoubtedly be a challenge – the short-term shock will take more than 18 months to recover from, with longer implications (culture, systems, etc.) possibly resulting in friction for a decade,” according to the report.Yabuki pushed back on that characterization, saying the companies’ commitment to excellence means “it better not take 10 years.”“We’re going to be very focused on getting it done as quickly as possible,” he said. “But I will say in fairness if we’re doing our job, we’ll continue to identify opportunities that exist between the two companies. So I’m hopeful that in 2045, we’re still talking about how the coming together of the companies has created something special.”While they now pale in comparison to the First Data deal, Fiserv has been making some significant changes to its businesses in recent years. The company last year acquired the debit card processing, ATM managed services and MoneyPass unit of U.S. Bancorp division Elan Financial Services for $690 million. MoneyPass is the second-largest fee-free network in the U.S., encompassing 33,000 ATMs. And in February 2018, Fiserv sold its Lending Solutions business to private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC for $395 million.The combination of two giants in the fintech industry could result in competitors seeking to do their own acquisitions, Ow said.“There may be an increase in M&A activity due to both this as well as the continued pressure of nimble fintechs like Square, Adyen, etc.,” the Strawhecker Group report said.Indeed, just after Ow’s prediction, Fiserv competitor FIS announced plans to acquire WorldPay in a $43 billion deal.Headquarters searchIt was a coin toss that brought Fiserv to Milwaukee when it was formed from the merger of a Milwaukee and a Tampa, Florida company in 1984.Fiserv in recent years has been hunting for a new corporate headquarters and in August 2017 had narrowed the search to three locations in the Milwaukee area, but had not ruled out other states. Wisconsin offered $10 million in tax credits for the company to keep its headquarters in the state. Fiserv has not given an update on the headquarters search for months.And a $10 million incentive isn’t likely to sway a company as large as Fiserv, Koning said.Asked about the headquarters decision in an interview, Yabuki said the First Data deal has pushed that conversation to the back burner. “I feel quite confident that we’ll continue to have a presence in Milwaukee,” he said. “It’s a big job to decide to pick up and put your toys away and go to another city and we’re busy building value for clients, associates and shareholders and that’s our No. 1 priority. We will, over time, make determinations on where the right place is for us to be and when those decisions come up, we’ll do our best to make the best possible decision.”National visibilityIn July, Fiserv announced it would be the naming rights sponsor for the new $524 million Milwaukee Bucks arena in downtown Milwaukee. With the 25-year deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, the arena became known as Fiserv Forum.Fiserv is not a consumer facing business, so its decision to become the naming rights sponsor for the downtown Milwaukee arena surprised some.Fiserv CEO Jeffery Yabuki speaks at the opening of the Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee in August 2018.Yabuki said he was chuckling to himself as he watched the reaction to the announcement in the Twitterverse. Many consumers had never heard of Fiserv.“The fact that a brand is not a consumer brand isn’t the reason why you do things,” he said. “For us, we thought it was the right time in our evolution to elevate our brand, to signify that we were different than the other companies that were out there, and that we were willing to invest in communicating that to the local communities, as well as the country and the world overall. “We also believe in what’s going on in Milwaukee. We’re highly committed to Milwaukee. We like what the Bucks and their ownership are doing, and we thought it was a good partnership.”It doesn’t hurt that the Bucks have the best record in the NBA, led by superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. The arena has been selling out night after night, and Fiserv Forum has quickly become part of the local vernacular.And now, the Democratic National Convention is coming to Milwaukee and will host its mainstage events at Fiserv Forum. The city, the arena and therefore the Fiserv brand will get national and international attention.Yabuki said the arena is also a chance to show off Fiserv’s technology offerings, particularly for point-of-sale transactions. The naming rights deal would seem to indicate Fiserv has a stake in Milwaukee, and may keep its headquarters here. On the other hand, Fiserv and First Data both have major operations in the Atlanta area.“When they did the Bucks stadium (naming rights deal), it just seems much more likely, at least for a while, that they stay here,” Koning said. “I think it would be a little surprising if you have a big Milwaukee stadium and then move your headquarters to Atlanta, near term.”While it wasn’t some grand plan to make all these big moves at once, Yabuki said Fiserv is capitalizing on this moment.“It’s a combination of how the world is evolving, how Fiserv the company is growing. And as those forces intersect, looking for ways to make sure that we can cement and build a reputation as an industry leader, as a great employer and as a place that shareholders want to put capital,” he said.Over the years, Fiserv has certainly performed well for shareholders, with 33 consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth. Its stock price is up nearly 17 percent year-over-year.Splashing its name across an arena presents an opportunity for Fiserv to get in front of a lot of potential eyeballs. Yabuki said that’s key for the company’s talent attraction efforts in the competitive technology field.“I think everyone knows that Milwaukee can be a challenge to recruit to,” he said. “For people who want to be in the Midwest, this is a great location for that. We’re close to Chicago, we’re close to Madison, we’ve got three universities that basically border downtown. So from that standpoint, it’s all great. It is a challenge, though, because there are so many pockets of technological capability around the U.S. and the world, so when you compare us to the Silicon Valley or you compare us to what’s going on in Massachusetts, I mean, that makes it a little bit more difficult.”If a technology professional sees Fiserv’s name on the arena during news coverage of the DNC convention or a televised Milwaukee Bucks game, and then three years down the road is searching for a job, Yabuki wants the name to sound familiar.A 2007 study by Michael Leeds at Temple University found naming rights do not have a long-term impact on the profitability of the firms that buy them. But Yabuki feels confident in the decision.“We’re a pretty quantitatively based firm. We took a look at all of these things when we made our decision and we believe that the combination of the brand value, the partnership that we have with the team and ownership, and where we think the transformation of financial services is going, all of that together makes this a good return for our clients, associates and shareholders,” he said.“Well the Bucks have the best record in the NBA. Milwaukee just won the DNC. So everything that Jeff Yabuki touches turns to gold,” Koning said. “I don’t know how you justify it but my guess, some of the stuff that’s come out later’s been they went through a long-term discussion it sounds like and Fiserv probably got a pretty good deal.”A long-term leaderAt 14 years, Yabuki is well beyond the average 7.2-year tenure for CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.He joined Fiserv in 2005 from H&R Block, where he was chief operating officer and worked for six years. Earlier in his career, Yabuki was a public accountant at Ernst & Young/KL & Co. and held various positions over 12 years at American Express.Fiserv Forum sign.“This is nowhere near a job for me. It’s something that I’m excited to get up in the morning, I don’t like to go to bed at night when I’m thinking about this, but it is an industry that is in the midst of change,” Yabuki said. Fiserv keeps a deep bench of leaders on hand for its succession planning, he said, joking that he doesn’t plan to leave for 40 or 50 years.“Back in the days of George Dalton and the founders of the company…I was blessed to be handed a company at the end of 2005 that had done really well,” Yabuki said. “And we try every day to keep up with the legacy that we were offered and we also get a lot of energy knowing that when we eventually hand it off to the next generation of leaders, we hope that the company will be even better than it was when we got it and on a good road to continued future success.” In 2017, Yabuki earned a base salary of $840,000 and total compensation of $10.4 million. His employment agreement has been in place since 2008.Bisignano earned a $1.3 million base salary and $13 million in total compensation in 2017.Future technologiesAmong the next wave of technologies Fiserv will integrate are blockchain and artificial intelligence.Blockchain has proven to be the most secure way to move high-value transactions, so Yabuki expects it will continue to play a role in cross-border or large-dollar-value transactions in the next decade.“We were actually one of the first companies to move money from banks using a blockchain, and so we’re quite familiar with it,” he said. “And we’re watching. But for the technology to work, it has to proliferate across a number of institutions. And as that happens, we’ll continue to stay involved.”“This blockchain technology or Bitcoin… has been around for a while already,” Ow said. “But that’s only one technology. There could be other technologies coming in and with a full integration from end to end (in payments), this is where the savings come in.”Artificial intelligence is already an integral part of Fiserv’s platforms, but the company is always looking for new ways to use it, Yabuki said. Right now, that’s through Robotic Process Automation for billers and financial institutions. Harnessing big data is a key part of the merger, with Fiserv now gaining access to the data at the front and back ends of millions of transactions.“They get to see both sides of payment transactions now in a way that almost nobody else can,” Koning said. “They’re getting to see a lot of data that others don’t see.”“One of the things that we’ve talked about in the context of the First Data transaction is we together have an incredibly robust set of data,” Yabuki said. “And so the ability to use the artificial intelligence and deep learning to create new tools and new ways for our clients to operate, we see as being in the nearer term horizon given where technology has advanced over the last few years and where we believe it’s going.” Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribe
This work, as an immersive staged reading, was featured this past spring at the Charlestown Working Theater as part of the Theater on Fire’s Cabinet of Curiosities. http://www.wbur.org/artery/2017/05/08/cabinet-of-curiosities-theatre-on-fireWhile in the Twin Cities, “Sadie Mae, 1969”’s cast will be meeting with a group of local high school students. This mutually beneficial opportunity will give our actors the chance to connect with young artists on a national level, and will afford the high school students the unique experience of working with our talented actors. We are very lucky that Ms. Ingrid, with her impressive resume of experience, shares her talents with our students and families in the North End.Boston Community Collaborative was incorporated in 2013 and is an organization based in Boston’s historic North End. Our goal is to build community through arts, events, and unique opportunities. Each year, we offer a variety of classes, host several annual community events, and produce a theatrical season. Our theatrical season invites professional actors to work with us and give back to our youth performers. BCC is thrilled to be able to foster innovation in the Boston Theater scene through its involvement in the Twin City’s Horror Festival, and by providing this amazing opportunity to a community of artists striving to make daring, bold and meaningful work. If you see Ms Ingrid, congratulate her on this undertaking, and accomplishment. This play is appropriate for ages 18 and up and will play five shows at the Twin City’s Horror Festival. Festival website and ticketing: http://www.tchorrorfestival.com/sadie-mae-1969.html • Upcoming Events:October 27, 5th Annual Halloween FUNraiser costume party for Adults – great food, live band, costume contest. Free event – contributions accepted. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to rsvp.October 31, ? Annual post trick or treat event for kids, 8 pm ish at Filippo’s. Meant to provide a fun, safe, warm spot for kids who have aged out of other neighborhood events. Free – contributions accepted.December 10, 2 pm End of Fall session production of “The Snow Queen and the 12 Months”. This performance brings together all of our drama and dance students (4 classes of SJS students, 1 class of neighborhood students) to showcase and celebrate their talents and awesomeness. This upcoming Halloween weekend, Boston Community Collaborative’s lead dance and drama instructor, Ingrid Oslund is traveling to Minneapolis to present her original play, “Sadie Mae, 1969” in the Twin City’s Horror Festival.The nationally recognized Twin Cities Horror Theater Festival is a professional theatrical festival that has been gathering an audience for 6 years. It is the only festival to produce solely horror theater. Patrons gather from all over the county to see the work produced here. BCC will be one of twelve acts featured in the festival – one of two out of town acts. Ingrid’s play, “Sadie Mae, 1969” tells the story of the infamous Manson Murders from the perspective of Susan Atkins. Susan is the Manson family member best known for her chilling jailhouse confession, leading to the arrest of the infamous Charlie Manson. This play explores her state of mind, her dependence on her leader, and how violence and love are so closely connected. *Advertisement*
Mayor Walsh, MassDOT, A Better City representing Greenway abutters, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy announced the establishment of a Greenway Business Improvement District (BID) following approval of the petition by Boston City Council today.The BID designation allows for the implementation of a sustainable, long-term foundational funding plan for the Rose Kennedy Greenway in the spirit of shared responsibility between both public and private sectors.*Advertisement* The Greenway BID will contribute $1.5 million to The Greenway each year. With support from Mayor Walsh, it is poised to become the second BID in Boston and the seventh in Massachusetts when signed into law in the upcoming days.“The Greenway is a beloved open space in the center of our city, providing a place for families and visitors to gather year-round; and our community stepped up to keep it that way,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.“The City Council’s public process revealed how deeply Bostonians from all backgrounds treasure the Rose Kennedy Greenway and respect the Greenway Conservancy’s stewardship of the park. Establishing a BID will add stability to the Conservancy’s funding and will support even greater leadership from the Greenway in equitable access to cultural programming, beautiful open space, and vibrant place-making.” – Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu“This is an important day for the Rose Kennedy Greenway,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The vote by the Boston City Council sets the Greenway on a path to being financially sustainable and allows MassDOT to focus on capital needs in the future.“The establishment of a BID is an important next step in the history of the Greenway,” said A Better City President and CEO Richard A. Dimino. “We are deeply grateful to the Greenway property owners who stepped up and worked diligently to make the vision of shared responsibility a reality, and for the engagement and support of the Boston City Council, particularly Councilors Wu, Edwards, and Flynn.”“The Rose Kennedy Greenway plays a vital role as an accessible signature park that brings people together. The Greenway Business Improvement District will create a strong foundation for funding; the BID, in tandem with the continued generosity of our members and donors, will help ensure that we continue to serve the community through programming, public art, and outstanding park care.” – Rose Kennedy Greenway Executive Director Jesse BrackenburyHow does a Business Improvement District work?A Business Improvement District is governed under Massachusetts General Law as a district in which property owners vote to finance supplemental services or enhancements for public spaces. Before reaching a city council or other local governing board, a BID effort must generate support from at least 60% of property owners representing at least 51% of the total asset value within a proposed BID district. The Greenway BID exceeded these legal thresholds by a significant margin, securing support of 82% of owners representing 89% of total asset value.A Better City led a comprehensive BID outreach campaign that included close to two dozen meetings with a standing Abutter Committee and individual outreach to each of the 61 owners representing the 50 buildings within the BID district. Over the course of the campaign, A Better City and its abutter partners also drew BID boundary lines, developed a BID Management Plan and funding formula, and fundraised for BID start-up costs.The initiation of a BID campaign came together through a June 2017 memorandum of understanding facilitated by public sector leaders and A Better City representing the abutter community. That agreement also put in place a framework for contributions to support the Greenway from MassDOT, the City of Boston, and The Conservancy, whose own-source revenue will continue to make up a majority of future Greenway funds.Once Mayor Walsh signs the BID into law, assessments will be collected from property owners as part of routine property tax collection beginning in July 2018.
MORE STORIESnewsinfo4.0 quake shakes Davao Oriental townnewsinfoLOOK: MMDA conducts 2nd round of clearing ops in Pasig, PaterosnewsinfoDemocrats fight over health care, immigration at debateMORE STORIESnewsinfo4.0 quake shakes Davao Oriental townnewsinfoLOOK: MMDA conducts 2nd round of clearing ops in Pasig, PaterosnewsinfoDemocrats fight over health care, immigration at debate In coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the local government of Buenavista through Mayor Ronald Lowell Tirol, the barangay of Puting Bato, Buenavista with 117 affected families was identified as recipient of Alegre’s relief assistance.“We want to help and we want to learn more on how else we can help” said Cronin. She and her team handed out plastic bags overflowing with items mothers need to run a household – rice, assorted canned goods, biscuits, milk, cereal, soap, shampoo, water and some over the counter medicines such as Paracetamol for both kids and adults. Each household received an Alegre Resort towel.FEATURED STORIESNEWSINFOSenate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreementsNEWSINFOLocsin wants to drop ‘visas upon arrival’ privilegeNEWSINFOTolentino: No more debate with Drilon on China deal LOOK: MMDA conducts 2nd round of clearing ops in Pasig, Pateros SMC bags Bulacan airport project Read Next LATEST STORIES PCSO to focus on improving transparency of gaming activities PLAY LIST 03:26PCSO to focus on improving transparency of gaming activities01:39Sotto open to discuss, listen to pros and cons of divorce bill06:02Senate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreements01:50Palace open to make Dengvaxia usable again as dengue cases spike01:49House seeks probe on ‘massive corruption’ in PCSO01:37PCSO estimates P250M in Lotto revenue loss due to suspension 4.0 quake shakes Davao Oriental town Bodjie Pascua slams Palace stance on making Dengvaxia usable again Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Bodjie Pascua slams Palace stance on making Dengvaxia usable again Fake cop accosts real cops, is arrested in Pateros Taipei to offer migrant workers free medical checks, haircuts ALEGRE Beach Resort of Sogod, Cebu answered Boholanos’ call for help.Shedding off their corporate coats, a 12-man team headed by Dottie Wurgler-Cronin, general manager, went to Buenavista, Bohol, one of the areas that were badly affected by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake.ADVERTISEMENT Tolentino: No more debate with Drilon on China deal View comments
Fake cop accosts real cops, is arrested in Pateros Former Cebu city mayor Tomas Osmeña yesterday warned the City Council against any “unauthorized” selling of the 300-hectare South Road Properties (SRP) while his former city administrator said not heeding this would “antagonize” Japanese loan funders.For the first time since he lost the May election, Osmeña showed up in City Hall for a public hearing to oppose a plan by allies of Mayor Michael Rama to repeal a city ordinance that restricts the mayor’s ability to sell SRP lots by requiring council approval.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Angara: Investigate DOH’s ‘constipated’ medicine distribution system LATEST STORIES PCSO to focus on improving transparency of gaming activities PLAY LIST 03:26PCSO to focus on improving transparency of gaming activities01:39Sotto open to discuss, listen to pros and cons of divorce bill06:02Senate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreements01:50Palace open to make Dengvaxia usable again as dengue cases spike01:49House seeks probe on ‘massive corruption’ in PCSO01:37PCSO estimates P250M in Lotto revenue loss due to suspension Quake disturbs Itbayat, Batanes anew MOST READ The Osmeña administration, Villarete said, convinced Neda and Japan to authorize the disposal of some parcels of land to address a “shortfall” which resulted from loan payments.Villarete said the city had a shortfall of P225 million to P500 million in its loan payments from 2005 to 2010 because of minimal earnings from the SRP.SRP lot sales were already made to Filinvest Land Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc. Villarete said payment for both sales was spread over six years to make sure the city government could meet its loan amortization during the period.“It’s fortunate that this administration is not hemorrhaging to pay its amortization because we made sure that there is enough money until (the lapse of the SRP loan in) 2030,” said Yu of CIPC.Yu asked city officials to “respect” the SRP loan agreement with Japan.“Read the loan agreement and have some respect for it,” he told the council.Towards the end, Yu urged the city to consider the need for a “meeting of minds” with mayor Rama. He also said the SRP also needs a highly-qualified manager. “We cannot just have ordinary people manage the SRP. It’s too valuable a property,” he added.Read Next Villarete was head of the infrastructure division of the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) when the SRP was being planned.He said the reputation of the Philippine government was at stake for any violation of loan terms.“We have to be cautious because the Japanese government has been very generous especially to Cebuanos and we do not want to antagonize the Japanese government,” said Villarete.He said Neda and the Japanese government only authorized the city under the Osmeña administration then to sell about 80 hectares of the property take of loan amortization payments.“The SRP is now a real estate project. It is a development project funded by ODA (official development assistance),” he said.Osmeña’s allies said the Ordinance 2332 passed last year is aimed to “protect the SRP from unauthorized transactions.”The former congressman who considers the SRP his centerpiece project as mayor said, the city “will not have an opportunity like this again” if the 300-hectare reclamation site is not properly managed.A position paper by Mayor Rama’s executive assistant Jose Daluz III and city legal officer Jerone Castillo to the council also oppose a repeal. They said seeking a repeal would only recognize the legality of the ordinance.The loan for the SRP, formerly known as the South Reclamation Project (SRP) was approved by Japan in 1996 based on a design like the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ), which currently employs workers with a payroll of P1.3 billion a month or a total of P15 billion a year.Yu, meanwhile, said Japan signed the loan on March 1996 “because the Japanese government knows that the Japanese will directly benefit (from it) and they knew Cebu was running out of land” for manufacturing firms as MEPZ is at full capacity. Senate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreements Tolentino: No more debate with Drilon on China deal SMC bags Bulacan airport project BPI nets P13.74B in H1 “The council is the last bastion of protecting the wealth of the City of Cebu,” he said.He said it was a misconception that City Ordinance O2332 prohibits the mayor from making any new sale.FEATURED STORIESNEWSINFOSenate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreementsNEWSINFOLocsin wants to drop ‘visas upon arrival’ privilegeNEWSINFOPalace open to make Dengvaxia usable again as dengue cases spike“The ordinance has not amended the mayor’s freedom of speech. He is free to entertain any SRP buyers. He can even sing and dance to them. The ordinance simply states that he cannot engage in any formal transactions without council approval,” said the former mayor and congressman.Other speakers were former city administrator Nigel Paul Villarete, Joel Marie Yu of the Cebu Investment Promotions Center (CIPC), and Eduardo Ong Vaño of the Cebu Real Estate Brokers Association, Yu said the ordinance should only be refined, not scrapped. Carpio gets nominated as CJ for 4th time Only Ong expressed support for a repeal.MORE STORIESnewsinfoFake cop accosts real cops, is arrested in PaterosnewsinfoAngara: Investigate DOH’s ‘constipated’ medicine distribution systemnewsinfoQuake disturbs Itbayat, Batanes anewMORE STORIESnewsinfoFake cop accosts real cops, is arrested in PaterosnewsinfoAngara: Investigate DOH’s ‘constipated’ medicine distribution systemnewsinfoQuake disturbs Itbayat, Batanes anew“We believe that it’s time that the mayor should be allowed to sell, enter into a joint venture or lease so future generations can enjoy the income from the property,” said the real estate broker.Villarete, who was privy to loan negotiations with the Japanese government in the 1990s for the loan to develop the reclamation project, said it would be contrary to the SRP loan agreement if Cebu City sells the reclaimed lots and uses its proceeds to fund City Hall operations.The project was aimed to create more space for manufacturing companies to spur economic growth, said Villarete, the current general manager of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority.“If we deviate from the ODA (official development assistance) concept and try to sell and sell and sell to finance the release of allowances, Christmas parties, we will have an issue at hand. I’m sure that the people of Japan will not agree,” Villarete told the council.ADVERTISEMENT View comments
HIGHLIGHTS! Watch PVZ Strut Her Stuff Latest From Our Partners Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight legends Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir came to blows last night (Sept. 5, 2015) at UFC 191 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.Arlovski’s career turnaround has been incredible to watch, and his three UFC victories have gotten him back into the the title mix. If he managed to finish Mir, he’d likely be next in line for a title shot.Similarly, Mir was written off by just about everyone following a four fight slide. Since then, he’s come back to the cage with renewed vigor and scored a pair of first round knockouts. Last night, the former champion was looking to continue that streak.Instead, both of them lost a bit of momentum in this slow battle.Both men made their game plans clear immediately. Arlovski was throwing his right hand at every opportunity, while Mir looked to slip the shot and move into the clinch.Overall, the first was a very competitive round. Mir may have had a slight edge in volume, but Arloski landed the heavier shots. Additionally, Mir was not able to accomplish much when he did work his way into the clinch.Thanks to a few crisp right hands, Arlovski likely won the opening five minutes.Mir switched it up to open the next round, dropping down and landing a single leg takedown. He landed a few nice shots from within Arlovski’s guard, but the Sambo specialist managed to stall until the referee stood them up.With the fight back on the feet, it became clear how much both veterans had slowed down. Neither man threw all that much in the final two minutes, but Arlovski did land the better punches.In short, it was anyone’s round.Both fighters were incredibly tired heading into the final frame. The fight continually moved into the clinch, where absolutely nothing happened and Big John McCarthy had to separate them a few times.However, at about the halfway point, Mir landed a big punch and dropped/took down Arlovski. Just as he appeared to be setting up a submission hold, Arlovski exploded and scrambled back to his feet.Where both men did a whole lot of nothing, largely waiting for the final bell to ring. After 15 minutes of combat, either man could earn the decision.In the end, all three of the judges scored it for Andrei Arlovski.This was not Arlovski’s best performance. When his opponent planned for the right hand, Arlovski had very few other weapons. He landed with some kicks and elbows, but for the most part Arlovski simply bounced in with his overhand right, the majority of which were deflected.When Arlovski did switch up his offense, he largely landed. In the third round, Arlovski began ending combinations with a stiff left jab, which snapped Mir’s head back a few times. If he had adjusted earlier and stuck with, perhaps he could’ve finished the American.Nonetheless, Arlovski earned the victory, and his win streak continues. It’s hard to see him earning a title shot off this performance, but it’s definitely a possibility. There’s also the Fedor Emelianenko rumor going around, which would be fantastic.Mir also fought an odd fight. His game plan of avoiding the right hand and looking for the clinch was smart, but he completely failed to do anything at all from there. Plus, his weight and supposed strength advance did nothing for him in most exchanges, instead slowing him down for much of the fight.That said, Mir did have some opportunities on the mat. However, he failed to capitalize on any of them. Mir has relied on his opportunistic ability to snatch submissions throughout his career, and this time he came up short.Despite this loss, there are a number of interesting fights that he could still end up in. For example, a rematch with the loser of Josh Barnett vs Roy Nelson would make sense.For complete UFC 191: “Johnson vs Dodson” results and play-by-play click HERE! 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