Broadway Theaters to Dim Lights in Honor of Elaine Stritch

first_img “Elaine Stritch’s big personality was matched by her big talent,” Broadway League executive director Charlotte St. Martin said in a statement. “Collaborating with some of Broadway’s greatest playwrights and composers throughout her lengthy career, her signature numbers and singular style created a memorable legacy.” Great White Way theaters will dim their lights to pay tribute to Elaine Stritch, the legendary Tony-winning Broadway performer who died on July 17 at the age of 89. Marquees will go dark on Friday, July 18 at 7:45 PM for one minute. Stritch’s many Broadway credits included Tony-nominated performances in Bus Stop, Sail Away, Company and A delicate Balance. She made her Great White Way debut in 1946 in Loco, and last appeared on its boards in A Little Night Music. In 2002, her one-woman retrospective Elaine Stritch at Liberty won the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. A documentary was made of the show, which brought Stritch her second of three Emmys (the other two for guest appearances in Law and Order and 30 Rock).center_img View Commentslast_img read more

HUD awards $3.6 million to assist homeless programs in Vermont

first_imgUS Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded more than $3.6 million in funding to keep 24 of local homeless assistance programs in Vermont operating in the coming year. The grants announced today form a critical foundation for the Obama Administration’s Opening Doors strategy, the nation’s first comprehensive plan to prevent and end homelessness. For a summary of the Vermont grants announced today, visit HUD’s website.Today’s announcement also comes just a week before thousands of volunteers in nearly every city and county conduct a national one-night count of homeless persons and families. HUD’s Let’s Make Everybody Count! campaign is intended to document trends in homelessness that are crucial to local planners’ efforts to prevent and end homelessness in their areas.‘There is a tremendous need on our streets and in our shelters among those experiencing both long-term homelessness as well as families confronting a sudden economic crisis,’ said Donovan. ‘These grants are the life blood for thousands of local housing and service programs that are doing the heavy lifting to meet President Obama’s goal of ending homelessness.’Barbara Poppe, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director, added, ‘Across federal agencies, we are aligning mainstream programs towards a goal to prevent and end homelessness. While we continue to strengthen public-private partnerships in Washington and across the country to meet this goal, today’s grants provide essential support to continue the progress and meet critical needs of those who experience the crisis of homelessness.’In June, 19 federal agencies and offices that form the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) submitted to the President and Congress the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness. The full report is titled Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. The plan puts the country on a path to end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015; and to ending homelessness among children, family, and youth by 2020.Last September, HUD announced that it would renew funding through HUD’s Continuum of Care programs to existing local programs as quickly as possible to prevent any interruption in federal assistance. HUD will award funds to new projects later in the year.HUD’s Continuum of Care grants provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons as well as services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local programs to meet the needs of their homeless clients. These grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment programs to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families.HUD’s homeless assistance grants are reducing long-term or chronic homelessness in America. Based on the Department’s latest homeless assessment, chronic homelessness has declined since 2005 due to significant investments to produce thousands of units of permanent supportive housing for those who had been living on the streets. While the total number of homeless persons in America dropped slightly between 2008 and 2009, the number of homeless families increased for the second consecutive year, almost certainly due to the ongoing effects of the recession. In the last 10 days of January, volunteers from across the country will attempt to count the number of homeless persons living in shelters and on the streets as part of a national point-in-time count. For more information about HUD’s ‘Let’s Make Everybody Count!’ campaign, visit is external).Based on HUD’s 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), volunteers throughout the nation counted 643,000 homeless people during a given night in January 2009. In addition, HUD found that during 2009, 1.54 million people used emergency or transitional housing programs in 2009. A typical sheltered homeless person is a single, middle-aged man and a member of a minority group. Of all those who sought emergency shelter or transitional housing during 2009, the following characteristics were observed:à 78 percent of all sheltered homeless persons are adults;à 61 percent are male;à 62 percent are members of a minority group;à 38 percent are 31-to-50 years old;à 64 percent are in one-person households, andà 38 percent have a disability.In addition to HUD’s annual grant awards, HUD allocated $1.5 billion through its new Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) Program. Made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, HPRP is intended to prevent persons from falling into homelessness or to rapidly re-house them if they do. To date, more than 750,000 persons have been assisted through HPRP.HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at is external) and read more

Energy storage set to enter the big time in 2019, analysts say

first_imgEnergy storage set to enter the big time in 2019, analysts say FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):By most measures, 2018 was a long-anticipated breakout year for batteries, with record volumes of investment flowing into research, product development and manufacturing as prices plummeted, governments established new policies supporting energy storage and mass markets emerged for electric vehicles and electrochemical energy storage.That progress, though uneven across U.S. and international markets, sets the stage for a new era for energy storage in 2019 and beyond, industry analysts said.While growth faltered in some regions in 2018, global annual energy storage additions more than doubled, to 9 GWh, and are on pace to surge another 78% in 2019, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. U.S. energy storage deployments, on a rated-power basis, jumped 57% to an estimated 338 MW in 2018 following three years of flat to negative growth, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables estimates, while order backlogs point to annual additions of roughly 660 MW in 2019, 1,700 MW in 2020 and more than 3,850 MW by 2023.In the United States, the development pipeline for utility-scale projects doubled in 2018 to about 33 GW, according to a recent report from Wood Mackenzie and the Energy Storage Association. Even that estimate may be low. Roughly 25 GW was in the California Independent System Operator Corp.’s interconnection queue as of Dec. 14, including nearly 6,000 MW hybridized with solar, more than twice the amount listed midway through the year. More than 10,000 MW, or 10 GW, are in the interconnection queues of other grid operators around the country.“I can beat a gas peaker anywhere in the country today with a solar-plus-storage power plant,” Tom Buttgenbach, president and CEO of developer 8minutenergy Renewables LLC, said in an interview. “Who in their right mind today would build a new gas peaker? We are a factor of two cheaper.”More ($): Amid global battery boom, 2019 marks new era for energy storagelast_img read more

Iberdrola CEO promises sharp increase in renewable investments post-pandemic

first_imgIberdrola CEO promises sharp increase in renewable investments post-pandemic FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Spanish power group Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest investors in clean-energy projects, pledged to ramp up its investments in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.Iberdrola’s total investments in 2020 will hit €10 billion ($10.7 billion), up from €8.15 billion last year, as it barrels ahead with its 9-gigawatt portfolio of projects under construction, half of that capacity due for completion before the year’s end.Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday (held remotely), CEO Ignacio Galán offered a glimpse of Iberdrola’s post-pandemic strategy. “As soon as possible, we will speed up our investments in order to contribute to economic activity and prevent…jobs from being lost,” Galán said. “Speeding up investments, once these exceptional circumstances come to an end, is the best — I would venture to say the only — way to get through this situation of crisis and uncertainty. Therefore, in 2020, it is our intention to surpass last year’s investment record and reach €10 billion.”Globally, Iberdrola is currently building 30 solar plants, 50 onshore wind farms and new offshore wind farms in France (Saint-Brieuc), Germany (Baltic Eagle) and the U.S. (Vineyard). Earlier this week, Iberdrola also committed to building up its floating offshore wind investment program.Iberdrola’s renewables investment drive will help “turbo-charge” economies as countries recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Galán said. “In the last few days, we’ve brought forward over €3.8 billion in orders to thousands of suppliers, with purchases in progress for delivery by 2023 standing at more than €20 billion.”[John Parnell]More: Iberdrola plots post-lockdown renewables investment spreelast_img read more

Colombian Army neutralizes FARC explosives to protect civilians

first_img In recent weeks, vigilant Army units have been discovering and disabling FARC explosives on an almost daily basis. For example, on May 29, troops from the Army’s 4th Division discovered and disabled 10 IEDs in the Meta department. Authorities believe the devices were constructed by the FARC. The IEDs were constructed with pentolite, a highly explosive compound that includes TNT. It wasn’t long before soldiers found more explosives. On May 27, troops attached to the Army’s Task Force Apollo found a FARC minefield composed of six explosive devices in the department of Cauca. EXDE troops destroyed the explosives. Protecting the civilian population FARC land mines and IEDs have killed more than 10,000 Colombians since 1990 according to Colombia’s Presidential Program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (PAICMA). The victims included about 4,000 civilians, including 1,000 children and young people. The explosives killed about 6,000 members of the military. Worldwide, only Afghanistan has more land mine victims than Colombia. The Colombian government is engaged with ongoing peace talks with the FARC. Despite the talks, deaths and injuries attributed to FARC land mines and IEDs have continued to occur. Among the recent deaths and injuries attributed to FARC explosives: • On May 29, two children were wounded after one of them picked up an improvised explosive device that had been placed at the gate of a school in the southwestern department of Putumayo. One of the children lost three fingers while the other suffered hearing loss. • On Feb. 25, an improvised bomb exploded in a supermarket in the city of Quid, capital of the department of Choco, killing five people and injuring many others. FARC terrorists were suspected for the blast, police said. Security forces arrested six alleged FARC members. • On January 16, an improvised explosive concealed in a motorcycle killed one person and injured 61 others in the city of Pradera, in the department of Valle Del Cauca. The motorcycle had been parked outside the mayor’s office and caused extensive damage to the building. A FARC group took responsibility for the bombing. Army forces later killed two FARC rebels and wounded and captured three others believed responsible for the bombing, according to press reports. • On Dec. 17, 2013, nine people were killed by an improvised bomb that exploded at a farmer’s market in the town of Inza in the department of Cauca. The dead included five soldiers, a police officer and three civilians, according to press reports. By Dialogo June 18, 2014 Soldiers find FARC explosivescenter_img The Colombian Army is conducting an aggressive and effective campaign to locate and disable improvised explosive devices (IEDs), land mines and other weapons used by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to terrorize the civilian population, including women and children. IEDs and other explosives placed by the FARC have killed and injured at least 1,000 children and adolescents, and tens of thousands of civilians, according to government statistics. The weapons also kill livestock animals, such as cows and horses which step on landmines which FARC terrorists buried in fields and pastures. Since January 1, Colombian Army soldiers in the departments of Meta and Guaviare have located and neutralized more than 300 IEDs, 11 minefields, 2,000 kilos of handmade explosives and 14,000 detonators that were planted or produced by the Eastern Bloc of the FARC, according to an Army press release. The soldiers seized explosives and detonators that could have been used to produce 14,000 anti-personnel mines and other terrorist weapons, according to military authorities. Army forces have also neutralized hundreds of other landmines and IEDs in other parts of the country. The Army’s elite Explosives and Demolition unit (EXDE) performs most of the dangerous work of neutralizing IEDs and other explosives. FARC terrorists have made extensive use of landmines and other explosive devices during its fifty-year war against the Colombian government. FARC operative placed tens of thousands of mines to protect their bases and coca fields they controlled. When the terrorists left certain areas, they left land mines behind, with often deadly results. The Army is continuing to show its capabilities when it comes to finding and disabling IEDs and other explosives to protect the civilian population, livestock, and security forces, said Yadira Gálvez, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). “The Army has (repeatedly) demonstrated its ability to identify multiple types of explosives,” Gálvez said. “The IEDs are explosives that can have large and destructive impact. Clearly, the (civilian) population is affected the most because the FARC is confronting the state but also the population.” Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article Deadly FARC explosiveslast_img read more

5 standard reports your outsourced collections partner should provide

first_imgIf your financial institution works with a third-party vendor for your collections efforts, you know how important it is to ensure your partners perform at an optimal level. To properly evaluate whether your outsourced partner is performing at a high level, it’s wise to understand their company procedures and establish agreed upon benchmarks to measure their performance.One way to do this is to make sure that you’re getting enough information in their reports to give you a full 360-degree view of their performance.An outsourced collections provider is only as valuable as the reporting they provide. After all, if they aren’t providing robust reporting to demonstrate to you how many calls they’re making, their cure rates, queue averages, payment activity, etc., how can you fully understand how well your portfolio is performing?To ensure that your outsourced collections partner is performing at a high level, it’s a good idea to insist that they provide the following standard reports: ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Avian flu reported in Japan; WHO assesses Asian outbreaks

first_imgAug 18, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – An outbreak of a mild form of avian influenza was reported in Japan today, as the World Health Organization (WHO) voiced concern about the recent spread of H5N1 avian flu to Russia and Kazakhstan.Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture reported that chickens at a farm in Konosu, near Tokyo, had tested positive for avian flu, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua. “The virus detected is of the H5 variety but is considered to be a weaker type because no mass deaths occurred at the farm,” the story said.The local government has decided to kill the 98,300 chickens on the farm and ban the movement of chickens and eggs within 5 kilometers of the site, the report said.An outbreak of H5N2 avian flu was reported on one farm elsewhere in Japan in June. H5N2 avian flu has not been known to infect humans, unlike the H5N1 virus, which has killed close to 60 people in Southeast Asia since late 2003. Japan had several poultry outbreaks of H5N1 early in 2004.The WHO today released an assessment of the recent spread of H5N1 outbreaks to Russia, Kazakhstan, and the Tibetan region of China. “The expanding geographical presence of the virus is of concern as it creates further opportunities for human exposure,” the agency said.”Each additional human case increases opportunities for the virus to improve its transmissibility, through either adaptive mutation or reassortment. The emergence of an H5N1 strain that is readily transmitted among humans would mark the start of a pandemic.”The outbreaks in Russia and Kazakhstan are the first appearances of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu in the two countries, the agency said. It said deaths in migratory birds as well as domestic birds have been reported.The flu virus that recently killed 89 migratory birds at two lakes in northern Mongolia has not yet been fully identified, though it is known to be type A, the WHO said.”The outbreaks in Russia and Kazakhstan provide evidence that H5N1 viruses have spread beyond their initial focus in south-east Asian countries, where outbreaks are now known to have begun in mid-2003,” the WHO said. The virus continues to crop up in many areas of Vietnam and Indonesia and in some areas of Cambodia, China, Thailand, and possibly Laos, the statement added.The WHO suggested that the Qinghai Lake wildlife refuge in central China may be a link between the outbreaks in Southeast Asia and those in Russia. More than 6,000 migratory birds at the refuge died of avian flu in late spring and early summer.Research published in July indicated that the H5N1 viruses found in the Qinghai Lake outbreak resembled those that have been circulating in Southeast Asia, the agency said. It added, “Analyses of viruses from the Russian outbreak, recently published on the OIE [World Organization for Animal Health] Website, show apparent similarity to viruses isolated from migratory birds during the Qinghai Lake outbreak.”The WHO warned that the virus could spread to still more countries. The agency called for careful surveillance for cases in poultry and migratory birds and quick efforts to contain any outbreaks.Meanwhile, it remained unclear today whether some bird deaths in southern Russia, near the Caspian Sea, were due to avian flu. The Moscow Times quoted Sergei Dankvert, a top Russian veterinary official, as saying that the birds on a farm in Kalmykia might have died of an infection caused by parasitic worms. If the illness turned out to be H5N1 avian flu, it could mark the first outbreak of that strain in Europe, the story said.See also:Aug 18 WHO statement read more

Foreign agents for health tourism in Naftalan

first_imgRepresentatives of foreign tour operators and health tourism agencies from seven countries visited the Naftalan Special Hospital in Ivanić Grad, where they expressed great interest in the naphthalene treatment of patients with psoriasis, SB Naftalan reported.The study trip, during which Naftalan was visited by representatives of tour operators and agencies specializing in health tourism from Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Lithuania, Russia and the Czech Republic, was organized by the Croatian Tourist Board through its business project Buy Croatia. “We are satisfied with the positive reactions of the representatives of foreign tour operators to Naftalan and naftalanotherapy, which makes us unique in the world. All expressed interest in cooperating, and four of them expressed readiness to sign a contract to send psoriasis patients from their countries to Naftalan. Namely, they are interested in putting naphthalene treatment as a counterbalance to the Dead Sea in Israel, where most psoriatics go for climate treatment.”, They said from SB Naftalan.Thanks to naphthalene therapy, the Ivanićgrad hospital is recognized especially in the Scandinavian countries and Russia. Patients from Denmark, Norway and Finland are increasingly coming to Naftalan for psoriasis treatment, and a visit by representatives of Swedish agencies specializing in health tourism is now opening the door for Naftalan to Swedish tourists as well.Russian tourist representatives believe that an increase in the number of patients from that country can be expected, who have been welcome guests of Naftalan for some time. At the same time, representatives of German tour operators are interested in starting cooperation with Naftalan.An association of Naftalan lovers is founded in SloveniaThey consider the Buy Croatia workshop in Naftalan as an excellent opportunity for the hospital to take a further step towards health tourism, because it enabled them to present themselves as a unique destination that helps people with psoriasis and inflammatory rheumatic diseases with the help of natural naphthalene and thermal water.Naftalan’s better positioning in the field of health tourism should be contributed by an investment of 53 million kuna in the construction of a complex of outdoor and indoor swimming pools, a new kitchen, a restaurant, a gym, and a multipurpose gym. Completion of works and opening of the pool complex is expected in the first quarter of 2019. “We are currently in treatment a group of Slovenian guests who are enthusiastic about the construction of the new project and announced the establishment of an association of Naftalan fans in Slovenia. They are especially happy with the new water facilities, because of which they will come to Naftalan with their families in the future”, They point out from Naftalan. Naftalan believes that this investment project should contribute to the development of health tourism in Ivanić Grad and Zagreb County, with a stronger development of catering, private accommodation and the provision of medical tourism services. Naphthalene is, let us remind you, a mineral oil that is obtained by distillation of naphthenic oil and is incorporated into natural healing factors. There are ONLY TWO naphthalene deposits in the world: in the eponymous city of Naftalan in Azerbaijan and this one of ours, close to the Croatian capital.</p>
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New pensions system ‘not what we need’, says €8.7bn KLM pilot scheme

first_imgIt said it intended to switch the emphasis from regional to global investments and also improve the balance between its currently overweighted holdings in Europe and its underweighted stake in the US.It added that it also wanted to review its fixed income portfolio.The KLM scheme posted an overall result of 7% for 2017, in particular thanks to a 14.7% gain on its equity investments, which it attributed to active managers in both Europe and Asia Pacific.Fixed income generated 2.5%, largely due to the performance of high yield investments, it said.Its property investments yielded 8.7%. The pilot scheme said it had merged European real estate in its matching and return portfolios in order to achieve a less complex and more efficient European private property portfolio.The pension fund incurred administration costs of €912 per participant and spent 0.48% and 0.20% on asset management and transactions, respectively.It said it was seeking to reduce costs by abolishing the options of a part-time pension as well as additional pension saving. It would also deploy fewer investment pools, it added.The pension fund closed last year with funding of 127.1%, enabling it to grant its participants full inflation compensation. The board of the €8.7bn pilot scheme of KLM is not keen on a new pensions system, its vice chair has confirmed.Evert van Zwol told IPE that the pension fund considers itself ready for the future because of its new collective defined contribution (DC) arrangements as well as its individual DC plan for pensions accrual above the tax-facilitated limit of €105,000.In its annual report for 2017, the board said that “not much needed to change”, and that it would resist “pension adjustments that didn’t fit the scheme and its participants”.Last year, the pension fund agreed with the employer to switch from defined benefit (DB) to collective defined contribution (CDC) arrangements, with KLM paying €194m into the scheme’s indexation pot as a one-off additional contribution. It also introduced a variable investment pension, as the last missing piece in its individual DC plan.“This way we are well prepared for a future with possibly individual pensions accrual and further limits to the tax-facilitated accrual,” the board said.Van Zwol said: “We now have a complete range of pension plans that will be sufficient for a number of years”.“Although we are ready for the pensions contract that employers and trade unions will come up with, it’s not what we need,” he added.“Our participants are satisfied with our current arrangements, and it would be nice if we would be left alone for some time.”Portfolio reorganisation in the pipelineIn its annual report, the pension fund indicated it wanted to reorganise its equity portfolio.last_img read more

New York’s Glen Ridge Motorsports Park puts IMCA Modifieds on Friday programs

first_imgFULTONVILLE, N.Y. – A perfect little track in eastern New York puts IMCA Modifieds on its Friday night programs beginning this season.Opening night for the sanctioned division at ¼-mile clay Glen Ridge Motorsports Park is now planned for April 14.“I have commitments from 15 guys now and that’s good enough for us to get the class started,” said Promoter Pete Demitraszek. “This is a perfect little track for them, I’ll tell you that. It’s a pretty quick little track.”IMCA Modifieds have made one previous appearance on the Fultonville oval, about four years ago.Demitraszek believes the economy of the division and the rules it brings with it, notably the crate engine option, will make it a success at the newest sanctioned track in IMCA’s Dirt Works Eastern Region.“I really like the rules package and the way IMCA enforces it,” he said. “Keeping the cost of racing down is important. The IMCA Modified is an economical race car and I think the crate engine is going to save the class in this area.”IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, regional, Allstar Performance State and track points will be awarded at Glen Ridge through August.A special event may be added to the schedule in September.last_img read more