Significant Other Sets Theater & Dates

first_img He may be searching for love, but at least he found a Broadway theater—and just in time for Valentine’s Day. Significant Other, Joshua Harmon’s play about single life in the city, will head to the Booth Theatre beginning February 14, 2017. Opening night is set for March 2.The Trip Cullman-helmed production played an off-Broadway engagement at Roundabout Theatre Company last year; a commercial Broadway transfer was announced in June.Significant Other follows Jordan Berman, who combats single life with nights joined by his trio of girlfriends. But as those friends become coupled off, he learns that guiding and supporting loved ones through their relationships is just as hard as the exhausting quest for Mr. Right.While no official announcement has been made, the production intends to bring the cast of the off-Broadway staging along for the transfer. The Roundabout production starred Gideon Glick, Lindsay Mendez, Barbara Barrie, John Behlmann, Sas Goldberg, Carra Patterson and Luke Smith. View Comments Lindsay Mendez, Carra Patterson, Sas Goldberg & Gideon Glick in ‘Significant Other’ off-BroadwayPhoto: Joan Marcus Show Closed This production ended its run on April 23, 2017center_img Related Shows Significant Otherlast_img read more

Vermont tax revenues continue positive, modest trend

first_imgSecretary of Administration Neale F Lunderville released the November 2010 General Fund Revenues today. November is the fifth month of fiscal year (FY) 2011. General Fund revenues totaled $73.59 million for November 2010, and were +$2.76 million or +3.90% above the $70.83 million consensus revenue forecast for the month. Year-to-date General Fund performance of $447.52 million was +$16.47 million, or +3.82% ahead of year to date target of $431.05 million.The monthly targets reflect the revised Fiscal Year 2011 Consensus Revenue Forecast approved by the Emergency Board at their July 14, 2010 meeting. Statutorily, the State is required to revise the Consensus Revenue Forecast two times per year, in January and July; the Emergency Board may schedule interim revisions if deemed necessary. The next Emergency Board meeting will be scheduled for January 2011.Personal Income Tax (PI) receipts are the largest single state revenue source, and are reported Net-of-Personal Income Tax refunds. Personal Income Tax receipts for November were recorded at $33.00 million, or +$1.61 million or +5.12% above the monthly target of $31.40 million. Secretary Lunderville noted that “While Net Personal Income Tax receipts remain above target, the fact that the withholding tax category has underperformed all year is concerning and merits continued review.”Corporate Income Taxes for November are also reported net-of refunds. The November target for Corporate Taxes was a negative -$0.89 million because November generally experiences more refunds than payments and estimated payments. Actual results were negative -$0.42, million with refunds less than anticipated for the month.The consumption taxes experienced mixed results for November; Sales & Use Tax receipts of $16.51 million fell short of the monthly target by -$0.32 million (-1.87%), while Rooms & Meals Tax receipts of $10.65 million exceeded target by +$0.01 million (+0.11%).The year to date results for the four major General Fund categories are as follows: Personal Income Tax, $214.65 million (+0.73%); Sales & Use Tax, $90.24 million (+0.26%); Meals & Rooms Tax, $55.40 million (-0.01%); and Corporate, $26.28 million (+61.74%).The remaining tax components include Insurance, Inheritance & Estate Tax, Real Property Transfer Tax, and “Other” (which includes: Bank Franchise Tax, Telephone Tax, Liquor Tax, Beverage Tax, Fees, and Other Taxes). The results for the month of November were as follows: Insurance Tax, $7.64 million (+18.54%); Estate Tax, $1.47 million (+19.18%); Property Transfer Tax, $0.63 million (-18.50%); and “Other”, $4.10 million (-6.85%). Year to date results for these categories were: Insurance Tax, $16.13 million (+8.28%); Estate Tax, $5.20 million (-20.60%); Property Transfer Tax, $3.45 million (-12.82%); and “Other”, $36.16 million (+17.11%). The majority of the favorable year to date results in the “Other” category were due to the unanticipated Bank Franchise Taxes settlement that occurred in August.Transportation FundSecretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the non-dedicated Transportation Fund Revenue for November. Total non-dedicated Transportation Fund receipts of $16.49 million for the month were above target by +$1.61 million (+10.83%), against the monthly target of $14.88 million. The year to date non-dedicated Transportation revenue was $89.00 million versus the target of $87.82 million (+$1.18 million, +1.34%).Individual Transportation Fund revenue receipts components for November were: Gasoline Tax, $5.18 million or +5.15% ahead of target; Diesel Tax, $1.37 million or +31.85% above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $3.66 million or +10.53% above target; Motor Vehicle Fees, $5.01 million or +8.33% ahead of target; and Other Fees, $1.28 million or +29.77% in excess of the monthly target. The November year to date Transportation Fund revenue results were: Gasoline Tax, $26.84 million or -0.11% short of target, Diesel Tax, $6.17 million or +4.35% above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $20.40 million or -0.10% below target; Motor Vehicle Fees, $28.62 million or +3.71% above target; and Other Fees, $6.96 million or -0.76% short of target. Secretary Lunderville noted that November was the first month in this fiscal year that all 5 components of the Transportation Fund exceeded the monthly target.Secretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the Transportation Infrastructure Bond Fund (“TIB”). TIB Fund Gas receipts for November were $1.33 million or +5.71% above target; year to date receipts of $7.10 million were +0.20% above target. TIB Fund Diesel receipts were $0.16 million or +29.97% ahead of target for the month; year to date TIB Diesel receipts were $0.72 million or +1.76% above target. TIB Fund receipts are noted below the following table:Education FundThe “non-Property Tax” Education Fund revenues (which constitute approximately 11.9% of the total Education Fund sources) were released today by Secretary Lunderville. The non-Property Tax Education Fund receipts for November totaled $11.94 million, or -$0.05 million (-0.39%) short of the $11.98 million target for the month. Year to date Education Fund revenues were $63.04 million or -0.37% behind the year to date target of $63.27 million.The individual Education Fund revenue component results for November were: Sales & Use Tax, $8.26 million, or -1.87% below target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $1.83 million or +10.53%; Lottery Transfer, $1.85 million or -0.64%; and Education Fund Interest, under $0.01 million against a target of $0.05 million (-101.42%). Year-to-date results were: Sales & Use Tax, $45.12 million or +0.26%; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $10.20 million or -0.10%; Lottery Transfer, $7.70 million or -3.46%; and Education Fund Interest, $0.02 against a target of $0.08 million (-75.28%).Conclusion“The economic recovery continues its struggle to gain momentum both nationally and here in Vermont,” said Secretary Lunderville. “While we see signs of stabilization in the economy and the promise of economic policy results from Washington D.C., housing remains weak and the November labor picture nationally was disappointing.”“Our continued increases over the FY 2010 year to date results in the General Fund (+6.5%) are due in large part to the one-time revenue activity, as noted in previous reports,” continued Lunderville. “Of the +$16.5 million in over-target revenue for the General Fund, approximately +$12.1 million is attributable to one-time activity.”“Compared to FY 2009, General Fund results remain -1.8% below fiscal year 2009 and -1.6% below fiscal year 2008 for the same five-month period,” said Lunderville. “The current forecast does not project a return to fiscal year 2008 revenue levels until fiscal year 2013.”“Although we do not foresee any dramatic improvement near term, we are pleased to see slight improvement over our current Consensus Forecast.”Source: Lundverville’s office. 12.17.2010last_img read more

Colombia Fights Environmental Damage of Drug Trade

first_img The damage caused by illegal crops is “frighteningly large, because one hectare of illicit crops can destroy three hectares of rain forest in Colombia, for example,” an official at Colombia’s Ministry of Environmental Affairs, Housing and Development said. “Additionally, the raw chemical materials that are used in processing cocaine hydrochloride destroy indigenous plant cover, ecological niches, and food chains, the microflora and microfauna, and they dramatically alter the rain and climate patterns.” Cocaine hydrochloride is a fine, crystalline powder similar in appearance to confectioner’s sugar. According to estimates by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “one hectare yields enough cocaine to produce 4,600 grams of cocaine hydrochloride. This means that in order to produce one gram of cocaine hydrochloride, drug traffickers destroy approximately 6.5 square meters (70 square feet) of forest area.” An official with the Ministry of Environmental Affairs emphasized, however, that “the impact of illicit crops on the environment cannot be measured only in terms of how many hectares or square kilometers are affected.” “Processing drugs like cocaine and heroin has a significant impact on the environment, that is, both coca and poppies are heavily cultivated in a process that involves deforestation, planting the crops and the use of pesticides against weeds, insects and disease causing organisms,” said the official, who did not want to be named in the article. The same source said that “all of these activities can have a considerable adverse effect on human health and the environment, as well as a significant impact on biodiversity, similar to the impact caused by deforestation.” “Although the total surface area of the land used for these activities is relatively small, a high portion of the illicit crop cultivation and drug production occurs in remote areas that are close by or part of critical biodiversity areas, such as the Andean zone,” the source said. Processing damage Colombian officials defended the practice of crop dusting to destroy illegal coca plants. “At this time, the likelihood of accidentally crop dusting unintended sites is low, since we estimate that this only happens in 1% of the eradication efforts,” said an official at the Ministry of Environmental Affairs. “Specifically, the glysophate used in eradication programs is stationary in the environment, and it quickly becomes strongly fixed when it comes into contact with soil and aquatic sediments,” the official said. “It is also biologically active for only a short time in the soil and the water, and does not become biomagnified. It does not move through the food chain and does not filter down the underground water.” Scientifically speaking, according to experts at the Ministry of Environmental Affairs, “land where coca is cultivated has a tendency towards erosion because perennial plants are not as effective as a rain forest in absorbing water and keeping soil in place. “In addition, the tree canopy lessens the impact of raindrops that would otherwise remove particulates from the soil, which would increase the probability of erosion,” said the official at the Ministry of Environmental Affairs. “The practice of repeatedly planting in such fragile soil could quickly lead to deterioration in the environment and depletion of natural resources, especially soil erosion and the loss of topsoil and sediment downstream,” the Ministry official said. “The very process of refining coca leaves into cocaine causes serious environmental damage due to irresponsible disposal of the toxic chemicals that are used in the process,” officials at the Ministry of Environmental Affairs said in a written statement. “The disposal of chemicals used in cultivating and manufacturing narcotics also has devastating effects on rain forest ecosystems.” “Usually, when drug manufacturers dispose of toxic waste, they indiscriminately dump it into the nearest stream of water, where the damage increases significantly,” the official at the Ministry of Environmental Affairs told Diálogo. Likewise, “they dump these chemicals on the soil, and the chemicals can then filter through to underground water. Substances used to excess in the fields can also be washed away by the rain to the local water basin,” the official said. At several recent gatherings, scientists have demonstrated that the global drug problem ─ in particular drug processing and manufacturing ─ is damaging the flora and fauna of some of the world’s most environmentally sensitive areas. Colombia is one of the countries most affected by the drug trade, but it also treasures its biodiversity more than almost any other country in the world, Colombian military officials said. “An essential element of this war is our common and shared responsibilities, which means that we must focus our attention on the link in the production chain where the impact will be the greatest, whether that is the production, trafficking or use of the drugs,” said a source at the Ministry of Defense. “In order to deal with this problem, we must have clearly defined comprehensive and balanced strategies that attack each and every part of this phenomenon, and put a stop to its adverse impact on the environment,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous. To that end, the government of Colombia “has sponsored specific initiatives on this subject, and seeks to show the rest of the world the negative effects that drugs have on the environment and on our nation’s communities where these drugs are grown,” the source said. “Online and print pamphlets, photo exhibits, and children’s ad campaigns have been developed to raise the target audience’s awareness about the impact drug use has on the environment, and about the damage suffered by the communities located in the production areas,” the source at the Ministry of Defense said. The Colombian government is also taking the message to the region’s political leaders. At the 12th Summit of the Tuxtla Mechanism for Dialogue and Cooperation held Oct. 24-26 at Cartagena de Indias, President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón called for “a consistent response in the war on drugs and the war against climate change.” In addition to Colombia’s leader, the gathering included heads of state and government officials from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno attended the meeting, along with other representatives of international organizations. Created in 1991, the Tuxtla Mechanism holds annual summits that address political, economic, trade, and other issues. Fixing the mess center_img By Dialogo December 28, 2010 Planting damage Drug damage It’s not going to be easy or quick to fix the damage caused by illicit drug production in Colombia’s forests and jungles. “Because their actions involve indiscriminate use of pesticides, fertilizers and corrective measures by those cultivating the crops, these actions alter the physiochemical properties of the soil. On top of that, we must consider the practice of burning rain forest to gain land for crops, and reductions in the flora and microfauna in the soil such as symbiotic bacteria, larvae, etc. Based on this, we can say that it takes a very long time to recover from and repair the damages caused by these processes,” the environmental official said. “In addition,” the expert continued, “the soil is a source of nutrients and as such it is intimately related to the vegetation. Therefore, there will be similar delays, possibly for years, in recovery for the vegetation and later, successive processes if we do not take action to restore the ecological balance and speed up the recovery in the affected areas.” In a report on the impact of drug chemicals in the environment, the Ministry of Environment listed four major concerns: 1. Toxicity, because the effects of the compounds on humans and mammals can range from allergies to acute pain to death. 2. Bioaccumulation, because many pesticides that are used in cultivating illicit crops can accumulate in one type of tissue or another. Lymphophilic pesticides remain in fishes’ fatty tissues, while other pesticides are digested and excreted as waste. 3. Affinity, because the compounds may be attracted to the solid materials in the soil, to the liquids in bodies of water, or they may be volatile. 4. Lastly we have persistence, because a compound may biodegrade in just a few months or it may take years. Most modern pesticides have a half life as long as the amount of time it takes to control the pests. The Ministry of Environmental Affairs added, in conclusion, that “the most difficult type of damage to repair is the ecological imbalance created by contamination in different ecosystems.” “Furthermore, the emissions from refineries used to process the illicit crops increase the concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouses gases in the atmosphere…Consequently, we have identified deforestation, burning of forests, and displacement of natural flora and fauna as the greatest environmental dangers caused by the presence of illicit crops.”last_img read more

Are credit unions at risk of losing their biggest competitive advantage?

first_img 23SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dave Adams Dave Adams is  President / Chief Executive Officer of CU Solutions Group. The  CUSG office is located in Livonia, Michigan.Mr. Adams joined the Michigan Credit Union League in August of … Web: www.CUSolutionsGroup.com Details “Service aptitude is a big idea. Customer service is an investment, not an expense – the new marketing is here and it looks like this.” – Seth Godin, New York Times bestselling author of Linchpin.For almost every conference we attend these days, we see presentations about disruptors, mobile-first strategies and customer/member centricity. And on most surveys of credit union executive priorities, improving the member experience ranks near the top. So, how are credit unions doing at managing this so-called “service revolution” taking place in almost every business sector, including financial services?I think the answer may be similar to the readiness on other major priorities: it depends on credit union size, resources and bandwidth for taking on change.  Larger credit unions are making great progress, and most smaller ones are struggling to do so. Sounds like a familiar refrain. But no credit union should give up on this important priority because even small steps can make a big difference.In its September 2018 report on bank customer-experience transformation, McKinsey & Company reports that 75 percent of the 50 largest global banks now pledge themselves to some form of customer experience transformation.  And this means billions of dollars are being invested in improving customer service, something that has always been a key differentiator for credit unions.In the most recent American Consumer Satisfaction Index ratings, ACSI found that, after leading for the past 10 years, credit unions’ satisfaction score is now dead-even with banks overall at a score of 81, and as compared to regional and community banks, credit unions now rank below the bank score of 84. Even among the money-center big banks, Chase scores a respectable score of 80 while the worst big bank score goes to media-hammered Wells Fargo with 74.So, they say that there are lies, damn lies and statistics, but perhaps this reputable ACSI index that our industry has long touted as evidence of our service advantage is trying to tell us something. Banks are indeed pouring lots of money into improving the customer experience as pointed out by McKinsey.That report is helpful in suggesting some “dos” and “don’ts” for credit unions’ work on improving member service. Here are three common mistakes pointed out by the report:First, banks and credit unions can be too comprehensive and miss opportunities for early, quick wins while trying to take on too much. For instance, rather than trying to transform the whole mortgage lending experience, implementing a simple document management API will lessen borrower frustrations in a critical area needing improvement.Another common mistake is the failure to make member input part of the process. McKinsey points out that in one case, a bank set out to transform its lending technology without realizing that the major pain point for borrowers was in not getting timely status updates. By better understanding the true pain points through member communication, quick and affordable solutions can be implemented.A third common misstep in improving the member journey is the failure to coordinate across departments vs. allowing individual silos to improve service without sharing best practices. For instance, if status updates are an important member request, methods for improving this should be shared across other service areas.McKinsey also points out that for a member-experience program to really work, it requires a top-down push from the CEO and c-suite, conviction from top management, implementation of prioritized meaningful changes and a feedback loop system to measure, act and involve all employees. And with all facets of operations, including transaction accounts, branch operations, call centers, mobile, lending and insurance services, a common taxonomy of the member journey combines improvement in products and the member path.  So, for every product, pain points need to be identified for onboarding, transacting, administering and resolving problems.When it comes to improving member experience, I often tell the story of how a credit union that I am a member of, Zeal, has wowed me on several fronts. Its rebrand from Co-op Services Credit Union to Zeal Credit Union, with its bright orange and white colors, a brand slogan that focuses on hardworking Americans, its new headquarters and its branch reinvention, is impressive. This all culminated with my recent service experience that included mobile, phone, branch and card services excellence.I lost my debit card one day at a car wash. Checking my mobile app, I quickly saw the number to call for service. The friendly call center rep didn’t just send me a new card, she very efficiently told me that I could get an instant-issue replacement at a branch near my work. The member service rep at the branch helped me quickly with an instant-issue card replacement for a modest $5 fee. At every step of the way, there was little wait time and I was directed to a fast, convenient, low-cost solution so I could get the Zeal debit card back in my wallet. In his book The Customer Service Revolution, John R. DiJulius suggests that, as his firm consults with clients regarding the customer experience, the first step is to create a day-in-the-life-of-a-customer video. The power of this concept is that, when trying to change a credit union’s culture to be more member centric, a video like this helps employees be more empathetic and compassionate about the members they are serving.One way that CU Solutions Group is helping credit unions do this is with its Just Getting By campaign. At justgettingby.org, credit unions can see well-produced short videos regarding the many financial challenges facing everyday Americans. Now, credit unions like Christian Financial and Service 1 Federal CU in Michigan are tying their own member service experience videos into this campaign, and they are posting these day-in-the-life videos on Facebook to showcase their credit union difference.DiJulius also suggests that businesses create a customer service vision statement, like Starbucks did with this statement: “We create inspired moments in each customer’s day.” They added to their statement the four pillars of anticipate, connect, personalize and own. This statement and pillars are then used to reinforce the most important features of the Starbucks customer service journey.At Michigan-based Genisys Credit Union, CEO Jackie Buchanan and her team adopted a member service vision statement that they call the Genisys Experience. They then take this statement and the associated pillars and reinforce it with all employees on a regular basis with a hard-bound book and lots of communication.Their statement says, “Being member focused means that we strive to have a personal understanding of our members. We listen to hear and understand how we can best meet their needs.”The four pillars in the Genisys Experience are Care, Accuracy, Partnership and Ownership. They describe the pillars like this:Care – We care about the well-being of our members.Accuracy – We promise to provide accurate and dependable service.Partnership – We work with our members to provide solutions.Ownership – We accept and act on the responsibility to address problems and meet member needs.These very simple and clear statements are then internalized in the Genisys culture, and all employees know that they are empowered to surprise and delight their members at all service pain points. It’s no wonder that Genisys is one of the fastest growing and most respected credit unions in their market.Big banks and other competitors are pouring billions of dollars into improving the customer experience, and credit unions cannot afford to think they will always have a service advantage without similar ongoing commitments to improving the member experience.The good news is that simple steps, like a day-in-the-life-of-a-member video and member service vision statements, do not take significant financial resources. Credit unions of all sizes can make important incremental steps to continuously improve member service. Future success requires that this be a top priority for every credit union. CU Solutions Group’s CUBE TV Studios and our Strategic Advisory Services are committed to helping credit unions of all sizes develop and implement cost-effective ways to address the member service revolution.last_img read more

Your ATMs are dispensing miracles #ATMS4CMN

first_imgWherever summer travels take you and your members, chances are you’ll be near one of CO-OP’s nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs. To remind everyone just how convenient a go-everywhere ATM network is, CO-OP is launching a new social campaign benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Between now and August 31, encourage your members to post a photo next to a CO-OP ATM on social media using the hashtag #ATMs4CMN. For every post, CO-OP will donate $10to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, up to a total donation of $10,000.The contribution from even a single posted photo does a world of good. Just one example: It can purchase a package of preemie diapers. But the benefits of raising awareness about the credit union movement’s vast surcharge-free ATM Network – and its multimillion-dollar cooperative support for CMNH – are equally impactful. Through the CO-OP ATM Network, credit union members have access to more surcharge-free ATMs than they would at just about any bank. At the same time, 77% of American consumers say they feel a stronger emotional connection to purpose-driven brands, according to the 2018 Purpose Study by Cone Communications.So get ready to inspire some miracles and encourage your members to do the same. It’s easy: continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Bay Shore Motorcycle Crash Leaves Man Dead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 31-year-old man was killed in a motorcycle crash in the victim’s hometown of Bay Shore over the weekend.Suffolk County police said Kenneth Boos was riding a Suzuki northbound on Pine Acres Boulevard when his motorcycle collided with a westbound Toyota at the corner of Huron Drive at 11:53 a.m. SaturdayThe victim was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was pronounced dead. The other driver was not injured.Third Squad detectives impounded the vehicles, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on this crash to call them at 631-854-8352.last_img

Joe Biden in 2020? It’s not as crazy as it might sound

first_imgBiden was a terrible candidate – twice! – when he ran for president in 1987 and 2007.A half-century in politics doesn’t usually produce new ideas.He can be a gaffe machine, unable to keep ill-considered first thoughts to himself.From Day One he would be the oldest person to occupy the office.But there are reasons to think these shortcomings might not weigh so heavily this time.Presumably, his experience running with President Barack Obama and serving as an influential vice president (a job that absolutely requires people to learn to hold their tongues) will make him a better candidate.He’ll commit gaffes – otherwise it wouldn’t be Joe – but occasional loose talk will seem benign measured against Trump’s mean spirit and contempt for the truth.  And he’d have to be running against President Donald Trump.Most of my expert friends dismiss the viability of a Biden run, but Biden doesn’t.He and his political advisers take the prospect seriously.To see why they’re not crazy, start with this fact of political life: When an incumbent runs for re-election, the contest is a referendum on him.A challenger, to be successful, must offer an appealing alternative that better addresses whatever’s bothering people.Jimmy Carter, the outsider, beat President Gerald Ford in 1976 in the shadow of the Watergate scandals.Ronald Reagan defeated Carter four years later by showing resolve that resonated during the Iranian hostage crisis. Categories: Editorial, OpinionIn reporting on politics all my adult life, I’ve enjoyed indulging in candidate scenarios, especially thinking unconventionally about what might happen if somebody runs for president.If people I respect dismiss one of my story lines as a dumb idea, it’s usually better to move on.This time, I’m going to ignore them.My latest scenario, derided by Democratic and Republican sources alike, imagines a 2020 Democratic presidential run by … Joe Biden.I think it could work, with caveats.Biden would have to pick a special type of running mate well in advance, plan only to serve one term and release all his health records. Bill Clinton’s domestic focus had broad appeal in 1992, the first presidential contest after the end of the Cold War, against the veteran cold warrior President George H.W. Bush.After 3 1/2 years of Trump, what will swing voters be looking for?A grown-up who is committed to getting things done by trying to bridge the bitter partisan divide.A person with experience in governing, savvy about the ways of Washington and wary of national-security booby traps.A reputation for incorruptibility to drain the ethical swamp of the Trump years.More than most outsiders, new faces or ideological purists, the 74-year-old former senator and vice president could fit that bill.To be sure, those who tell me I’m daffy have compelling reasons. Normally, promising to serve only one term is a bad idea; it turns a leader into a lame duck on the first day in office.There’s never been a great one-term president.But Biden could change the way candidates look at the selection of a running mate.Instead of waiting until the eve of the nominating convention, he should pick a running mate over a year in advance, and run as a team.That would be good politics and good policy.Remember that there’s nothing sacrosanct about the present system, which has produced Spiro T. Agnew, John Edwards and Sarah Palin.Biden should select a woman, in her 40s or 50s, who has won elective office and demonstrated the capacity to step into the president’s shoes. A politician first elected in 1970 is not going to be the face of the future. But after the exhaustion, trauma and incompetence of the Trump years, voters will look for stability, solidity, maturity, global experience, civility and integrity. Biden checks all the boxes.He’s a part of the moderate Obama-Clinton wing of the Democratic Party (though there’s no love lost between Biden and Bill and Hillary Clinton).But progressives acknowledge his genuine empathy for working-class Americans, and he’s liberal enough for them on social issues – it was Biden who forced Obama’s hand on supporting gay marriage.There’s still the issue of age.If elected he’d be 78, three years older than Trump though probably in better shape.But even if 78 is the new 68, the notion of serving two terms, well into his mid-80s, won’t cut it. His case to voters would be direct: I’m the most experienced man to ever run for president, and by the end of the first term I will have developed a partner with stellar credentials to succeed me.OK, it’s a long shot.My insider friends who think it’s a crazy idea, including a couple of Republicans who said they’d vote for Biden over Trump, are probably right. The odds may be better for a fresh-faced change agent or a left winger representing the new heart of the Democratic Party.But consider the political merits. What’s a better antidote to the poison of Trumpism than the buoyant maturity of Joe Biden?Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the executive editor of Bloomberg News, before which he was a reporter, bureau chief and executive Washington editor at the Wall Street Journal.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

Three coast suburbs hit the most expensive Queensland suburb list

first_img1153/1 Lennie Ave, Main BeachMAIN Beach has been crowned the most expensive suburb on the Gold Coast, according to the latest data from Corelogic. Main Beach, Mermaid Beach and Surfers Paradise are among a list of ten Queensland suburbs that now have multi-million dollar median prices in 2017. The prestigious Brisbane suburb of Teneriffe topped the list at a median house price of $2.05 million. The CoreLogic Market Trend figures showed Main Beach came in as the third most expensive suburb in the state with a median house price of $1.75 million. While 11 houses have sold in the past 12 months, units proved most popular with 252 sold in the past year, according to the data. Mermaid Beach was the sixth most expensive suburb at $1.41 million, with Surfers Paradise following at seventh place at $1.325 million. 1153/1 Lennie Ave, Main Beach is on the market QUEENSLAND’S MOST EXPENSIVE SUBURBS: Teneriffe $2.05M South Brisbane $1.781M Main Beach $1.75M New Farm $1.605M Ascot $1.425M Mermaid Beach $1.41M Surfers Paradise $1.325M Hamilton $1.275M Hawthorne $1.2M Bulimba $1.17M Main Beach is home to luxury apartmentsLucy Cole from Lucy Cole Prestige Properties has recently sold two multi-million dollar apartments in the suburb.The data shows that more than half of the residents moved to the suburb five years ago.“The market slowed down for a few years in Main Beach but the area is really coming to life again,” Ms Cole said. Ms Cole said interstate buyers and young couples were contributed to the market. “The pace has really picked up with a lot of families discovering the area.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North8 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“Over the past year we have seen the market pick up in price, especially with people moving from interstate and buying the units unseen.“They usually pay full price on the spot too.”last_img read more

Olympic swimmer Janet Blood puts her home into the property pool

first_img12 Cheval Court, Benowa Waters.WITH a waterfront lifestyle, pool, spa and gym, this house is fit for an elite swimmer.So it’s no surprise retired Olympic swimmer Janet Blood and her husband Paul Blood bought the five-bedroom house that sprawls over 1073sq m in Benowa Waters just over a decade ago.There is of course a swimming pool. Picture: Realestate.com.auMrs Blood said her husband coupled his building and plumbing skills together to create a family house to channel the “perfect Queensland lifestyle”.“We are both swimmers and we always feel a calming sense when we’re around water,” Mrs Blood said.“My husband and I have been gradually renovating the house over the years.“Paul won the Master Builders award in 2008 for his work on the Mudgeeraba Industrial Park and he was confident when it came to the house.”Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:45Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:45 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Summer Dream Home: Currumbin01:45 Related videos 01:45Summer Dream Home: Currumbin01:34Paradise for sale…01:16Dream home: Broadbeach Waters01:33Dream Home: New Farm01:36Dream Home: Brookfield01:00Mermaid BeachMore from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North4 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa23 hours agoThe mother-of-two said the bathroom has been retiled and re-piped.“Most people wouldn’t go to that extreme of redesigning a bathroom to the extent we did, but we love the house and felt it was worth it,” she said.The couple also meticulously landscaped the backyard.The kitchen is new-looking and modern. Picture: Realestate.com.auThe two-storey home has many luxury features including a media room.“The media room has two sliding doors that when closed it is a soundproof room which is great for the kids when they watch movies, the rest of the house is still peaceful.”“My favourite part now is sitting out on the deck and watching the water … in about three seconds I am relaxed,” she said.last_img read more

PME, PMT use surplus contributions to mitigate pensions rights cuts

first_imgPME and PMT, the pension funds for the Dutch metal industry, have said they intend to use their surplus contributions to try to avoid making rights cuts resulting from funding shortfalls.In its annual report, the €42bn PME said it transferred 2.8 percentage points of its 23.6% premium into a deposit for smoothing out contributions, as the current premium exceeds the cost-covering level.It will use any remainder to mitigate future discounts, it said.As of the end of April, PME reported a funding of 92.4%, whereas PMT’s coverage stood at 89.6% at the end of February. In the Netherlands, pension funds must begin cutting pension rights if their year-end funding falls is below 90% or thereabout.Last year, PME transferred €111m into its equalisation fund, while both schemes, which share MN as their provider, introduced a uniform contribution of 23.6% of the pensionable salary for a five-year period.PMT, the €63bn scheme for the mechanical engineering industry, was able to place €267m into the equalisation reserve thanks to a premium surplus of 3.9%.In its annual report, it also said it would draw on the buffer as soon it had to discount pension rights.The initial purpose of the reserve was to supplement the contribution, if the paid premium was lower than the cost-covering level for an annual pensions accrual of 1.875%.PME and PME estimate that their surplus contributions will be 0.2% and 1.25%, respectively, this year.Since the start of 2015, PME has used expected returns to determine its cost-covering premium, as it thinks this aligns its investment policy through matching and return portfolios best.Until then, it drew its premium from interest rates.last_img read more