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first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Turner Construction CEO Peter Davoren (front) and Michael Bloomberg with 120 Park Avenue (left) and 919 Third Avenue, Bloomberg buildings where renovation costs were inflated in exchange for kickbacks, authorities say.A small Queens glass company sent out a letter in 2017, alerting clients that it had fired three of its employees. It did not say why, but that became clear soon enough.Authorities had discovered an alleged bribery scheme centered not on little-known Jonathan Metal & Glass but on Turner Construction and Bloomberg. Executives from the two giant firms were charged with accepting millions of dollars’ worth of payoffs in exchange for inflating interior construction contracts.Federal authorities raided Turner’s offices in October 2017, roughly a week before the glass shop revealed the firings. One of the terminated employees was later accused in the scheme, along with nearly two dozen other subcontractors and vendors.The federal and state criminal cases against former Turner and Bloomberg employees, as well as the subcontractors, are only now nearing a conclusion. Four former executives of the big firms have pleaded guilty to tax evasion, theft and other charges.By marking up construction costs at Bloomberg offices, executives stole at least $15 million from the media and financial information company, authorities said. They now face prison.As for Turner, although its client was ripped off, the firm was not charged, suffered no apparent blow to its reputation and has continued to win large contracts. Which surprised absolutely no one.Large construction companies often emerge from corruption cases relatively unscathed, even when found to be directly involved in wrongdoing. They pay a fine, issue an apologetic statement and continue to bid on work.But the Turner case also underscores how vulnerable construction is to malfeasance and the persistent appetite of industry players to cheat at every level of the process.“You can never be content with the controls that you set up because people who are looking to pad their invoices are vigilant as well, in a negative sense,” said Dennis Walsh, a former prosecutor with the New York attorney general’s Organized Crime Task Force and a consultant with Guidepost Solutions. “Companies need to think in a forward way and be mindful of the tireless efforts of some contractors to exploit opportunities.”The schemeIn September 2017, a project superintendent for Turner, Vito Nigro, sent a cryptic text message to an air conditioning subcontractor.“When u bringing lunch so we’re done. The other guy is getting married,” he wrote, according to state prosecutors.He was referring not to food but to a series of illicit cash payments that were used in part, to help pay for then-Bloomberg construction manager Michael Campana’s wedding photographer, prosecutors allege. Nigro repeatedly referred to bribes in lunch terms, most often as “sandwiches,” according to the 2018 indictment.The two, along with more than a dozen others, were charged with conspiring with various subcontractors and vendors to award work to certain companies, artificially driving up the costs of construction work at Bloomberg’s offices at 120 Park Avenue and 919 Third Avenue.In return, the subcontractors allegedly provided cash bribes and other kickbacks, including vacations and home renovations, to executives at Bloomberg and Turner. This went on for six and a half years.Finally, a month after Nigro’s message about “lunch,” New York State Police officers and investigators crashed the party.Prosecutors said at the time that the graft turned the New Jersey home of Anthony Guzzone, Bloomberg’s head of global construction, into a “palace.”A separate federal indictment slapped tax-evasion charges on the executives, who had not reported the illicit benefits to the IRS. Attorneys for Nigro and Campana did not comment for this story.The scheme was not novel in the annals of construction fraud. In the past three decades, New York’s largest construction managers have paid millions in fines and penalties to settle similar allegations. But the case was notable for a few key reasons.For one, Bloomberg and Turner are huge, sophisticated companies. Bloomberg, founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and headquartered on Lexington Avenue, is worth as much as $60 billion, according to Burton-Taylor International Consulting. Turner bills itself as the country’s largest construction manager. Its global revenue last year was $14.66 billion, according to ENR.Turner is a subsidiary of German engineering giant Hochtief, which acquired the New York–based construction manager in 1999 for $263 million. Since then, Turner has expanded across the U.S. — where it now has more than 40 offices — and internationally.But size can make corruption harder to find. “Rogue actors” can keep misdeeds under the radar for an extended period at a large company, especially when projects are worth tens of millions of dollars, according to Jodie Kane, head of the Manhattan district attorney’s Rackets Bureau.“It’s easy to skim off what would still be a considerable amount of money for many of us but, in the larger view of the project, is a small fraction,” she said. The alleged involvement of top Bloomberg executives likely made the scheme even harder to stop.“I think it’s easy to go undetected for a long time, even with very rigorous internal compliance and especially when it’s the gatekeeper, who’s supposed to be identifying the compliance, who ends up being a bad actor,” Kane said. “Really, that’s the worst of all possible worlds.”Some elements of a construction contract can be readily inflated if they have no fixed value, such as responding to conditions on a site that emerge during the building process.“If there was a stock that you could buy for a dollar, and someone paid $1.10, you’d know something was up,” said Ronald Goldstock, a private, independent inspector general and construction integrity monitor who was once director of the New York State Organized Crime Task Force. “The construction industry by its very nature is rife with the possibilities of bribery and extortion.”Diana Florence, who spent 25 years at the Manhattan district attorney’s office and headed its Construction Fraud Task Force, said looking at a company’s culture is key in determining its culpability.“There also has to be fairness,” she said. “You can’t indict an entire company, and you shouldn’t, based on a rogue employee.”But some believe Bloomberg should have been prepared for this kind of scheme. Bloomberg’s previous construction manager, Structure Tone, was also accused of overbilling the firm, as well as other clients. Structure Tone pleaded guilty in 2014 to falsifying business records.Also, Nastasi & Associates, a carpentry subcontractor, had warned Bloomberg and Turner of problems with their bidding processes, according to lawsuits filed after the criminal federal and state cases were revealed.The company’s owner, Anthony Nastasi, claims in the suits that after he raised questions, his company was abruptly fired from a Bloomberg project and then blocked from bidding on others, which destroyed his company.“This is how Turner runs its business,” the lawsuit states. “Everyone knows the risk of crossing Turner, and Turner does not hesitate to impose its enormous market power on subcontractors that depend on Turner for work.”The suit, which a Turner spokesperson said has “no merit” and was dismissed in March in a decision now being appealed, also contends that both companies ignored “red flags” that the schemes “reached the highest levels of these companies, permeating through many departments and levels of employees in different areas of the construction business.”“Not only should their compliance programs have caught this scheme, based on the breadth and brazenness of the conduct by their highest-level executives,” the lawsuit claims, “but these companies have long been on alert that their employees, including their highest-level executives, were susceptible to it.”Moving on Three years after being revealed, the federal and state cases against the Turner and Bloomberg executives are coming to a close.Guzzone, whom prosecutors referred to as the scheme’s mastermind, faces up to five years in prison on the federal tax evasion charge and three to nine years for grand larceny in the state case. Ronald Olson, former Turner vice president and deputy operation manager, faces the same sentences. Campana was sentenced to 24 months in prison in the federal case and faces one year in the state case, after pleading guilty to tax evasion and money laundering, respectively.An attorney for Guzzone, Alex Spiro, said in a statement that his client has “accepted responsibility for accepting gratuities and not disclosing certain matters on his taxes and will further explain the circumstances in court.” A lawyer for Olson did not comment.One employee of Jonathan Metal & Glass, Frank Zustovich, pleaded guilty to stealing $50,000 from Bloomberg and agreed to provide authorities with the names of Bloomberg and Turner executives, according to the New York Times. Zustovich, along with at least one other employee fired from Jonathan Metal, now work for another company, GFC Ornamental Metal & Glass, according to LinkedIn.Turner, meanwhile, seems to have emerged with nary a scratch. In New York, the company is serving as construction manager for the Spiral, Tishman Speyer’s Bjarke Ingels–designed office tower. In May it was selected to build out the interiors of Ernst & Young’s offices spanning 18 floors at One Manhattan West. Vornado Realty Trust recently tapped the company to oversee the redevelopment of 2 Penn Plaza.“Clients recognize that the actions of two former employees do not reflect Turner’s true character of honesty and integrity,” the Turner spokesperson said about the Bloomberg case. “Turner actively cooperated with law enforcement throughout the investigation and applauds their efforts in prosecuting these individuals.”Kane said larger companies are typically better equipped to weather bad press and reputational damage that accompanies criminal convictions. Smaller companies will sometimes shut down and reopen under a new name, she said.But the government rarely tries to put firms out of business, a lesson learned when the conviction of Arthur Andersen in the 2001 Enron scandal triggered the disintegration of the accounting giant, costing thousands of employees their jobs.In determining whether to go after the company itself, prosecutors consider how many people it employs and if there is a way to remedy criminal activity while keeping it in business, according to Kane.“Many of these companies, despite criminal wrongdoing, they do good work in the construction industry,” she said. “So if you can find a way to clean up the culture of the company, but to keep the workers employed, that’s one of the things that we try to do.”Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers Association, called the cases against Turner — a member of his group — and Bloomberg employees an “aberration.”“At the end of the day, human beings will try to take advantage of any system,” he said. “We do all we can to prevent it, but if anybody goes asunder, rest assured they will be terminated and have been terminated.”Indeed, executives were caught. But by the government, not by the companies. And given the weaknesses inherent in construction contracting, it appears certain such crimes will happen again.In addition to increased corporate vigilance, Florence said, the government needs to make clear it is continuously watching for fraud. Otherwise, companies and their employees will continue to think the risk of getting caught is outweighed by potential rewards. “It’s like Groundhog Day over and over,” she said. Share via Shortlinkcenter_img TagsTurner Constructionlast_img read more

first_imgThis paper is a review of the literature on turbulent transfer processes over snow and ice surfaces. Current techniques for modelling these transfers for hydrological purposes are discussed.last_img

first_imgPalaeoclimate changes, such as the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age, are well-defined in the Northern Hemisphere during the past 2000 years. In contrast, these anomalies appear to be either absent, or less well-defined, in high-latitude regions of the Southern Hemisphere. Here, we inferred environmental changes during the past two millennia from proxies in a sediment core from Mago Ike, an East Antarctic lake in Skarvsnes (Lützow Holm Bay). Variations in lake primary production were inferred from fossil pigments, sedimentological and geochemical proxies and combined with absolute diatom counts to infer past diatom productivity and community changes. Three distinct stratigraphic zones were recognized, resulting from a shift from marine to lacustrine conditions with a clear transition zone in between. The presence of open-water marine diatoms indicates a coastal zone seasonally free of sea ice between c. 2120–1500 cal yr bp. Subsequently, the lake became isolated from the ocean due to isostatic uplift. Freshwater conditions were established from c. 1120 cal yr bp onwards after which the proxies are considered highly sensitive to temperature changes. There is no evidence for a Medieval Climate Anomaly, Little Ice Age or twentieth century warming in our lake sediment record suggesting that studies that have imposed Northern Hemisphere climate anomalies onto Southern Hemisphere palaeoclimate records should be treated with caution.last_img read more

first_img Written by April 19, 2018 /Sports News – National Yankees players go to bat for bullied fourth-grader after heartbreaking plea Beau Lundcenter_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailNew York Yankees/Twitter(NEW YORK) — Members of the New York Yankees stood up in support of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl on Wednesday after the fourth-grader made a public plea to end bullying.Cassidy Slater bared her heart to the world in a Facebook video shared on April 4, holding up a series of handwritten signs that explained what she felt like after being bullied for more than three years.“One day during recess, a group of kids grabbed my purse off a teacher, and spit on it and me,” one sign read. “The group of kids always come up to me during recess, trying to fight me.”“Kids don’t even want to go near me,” she added.The video, shared on her mother’s Facebook page, had racked up thousands of shares and reactions as of Wednesday night, when the Yankees responded.“Hey Cassidy — we saw the video you made and from all of us here at the New York Yankees, we want you to know that you are not alone. We have your back,” the team wrote on Twitter.The team also shared a nearly two-minute video featuring several players holding handwritten signs.“We know sharing your story must have been difficult, but you showed courage and strength and inspired us to reach out to you,” the team wrote in the video. “We may be older than you, we may be taller than you, but we want you to know that we look up to you. You are not alone!”“Count the New York Yankees among your friends! You can sit next to us at lunch anytime.”Cassidy’s father, James Warner, told ABC News that the video “devastated” him.“I don’t know how to explain how it made me feel,” he said, adding, “Even talking about it I get choked up.”Cassidy’s mother, Jenn Slater, reposted the video to her own Facebook page after it was removed from Cassidy’s account because of age restrictions.“I will be my daughter’s voice. I will share her story and I hope others will share too,” Slater wrote in a post. “Her story reached 22k views before the Scranton School District contacted Facebook and her Facebook got shut down.”“This isn’t about the shares or views or if it goes viral. It’s about spreading awareness,” she added.Alexis T. Kirijan, superintendent of the Scranton School District, told ABC News in an email that “the district cannot share student personal information. Please understand you are hearing only one side of this story. The school is and has been working very closely with this young lady and her father.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

first_imgA protest took place on Cornmarket last Sunday in support of the demonstrators in Turkey. About 100 protestors attended the Oxford rally, which was organised by Oxford students.The Oxford protest was held in solidarity with the thousands of people who took to Istanbul’s Taksim Square in criticism of the Turkish government. There have been similar supportive protests across the globe.Taksim’s last remaining public park, Gezi Park, was set to be demolished by the Turkish government and replaced by a luxury residence and shopping centre. The protests in Istanbul began with a peaceful demonstration against the demolition but the excessive police suppression of the campaigners has led to a national movement against the government, exacerbated by the lack of coverage of the issue in the Turkish media. However on Wednesday the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Bulent Arinc, apologised for the “use of excessive force” against the original protests at the demolition of Gezi Park.One member of Oxford University Turkish Socciety told Cherwell, “We think it is important to protest these incidents since basic human rights and political rights have been violated in Turkey. The lack of objective news coverage in the media is also another reason why we think it is important to raise awareness.”They added, “The turnout in the Oxford protests was higher than we expected. Our aim was to inform especially non-Turkish people about the situation in Turkey and raise awareness. I think it served the purpose and people were quite keen to talk to us and seek more information.She continued, “We are trying to inform the university at the moment but there has not been any response from any of the governing bodies or the colleges. Expression of support and dissemination of the news about the real situation in Turkey is all we ask for.”At the time of going to print, Oxford University was unavailable to comment.Anil Kirmizitas, another Turkish student who took part in the protest, emphasised the ways in which protests have the potential to influence events around the world.She explained to Cherwell, “After I posted a picture of the protest in Oxford on the Occupy Gezi-Oxford website I got a response from a protester in Ankara thanking us for the support. I have not even heard the name of this person in my life before.”She also commented on the situation in Turkey, adding, “I lived in Turkey for 9 months last year and could not believe that it was worse than I thought.“I was being warned by people not to post anything on Facebook against the Prime Minister or talk about him because it could mean losing my job.” An OUSU spokesperson told Cherwell, “At present, OUSU Council has no policy relating to the Gezi protests, although students are of course welcome to submit an emergency motion on the subject to OUSU Council.”last_img read more

first_imgState Fair Opens With A Salute To Indiana’s Circus HistoryAugust 3, 2018  |   Filed under: Across Indiana,Top stories  |   Posted by: Janet WilliamsBy Brynna SentelTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—Take a trip to the Big Top Circus as Indiana’s annual summer celebration of all things agriculture salutes the state’s circus history. The 2018 Indiana State Fair opens Friday at the state fairgrounds and runs through Aug. 19. In addition to the usual agriculture exhibits, deep-friend foods and state pride, the fair celebrates the state’s rich circus history. The Big Top Circus will offer three shows a day. But if the circus isn’t your thing, you can take in scores of other events that change every day. Concerts at the Chevrolet Free Stage, free with admission to the fair, will feature singers such as Rick Springfield and Hunter Hayes as well as bands like Dirty Deeds USA, Extreme AC/DC and HANSON. Other events include harness racing, a cheerleading competition, tractor pulls, a watermelon seed spitting contest, rodeos, demolition derbys and much more.Livestock competitions such as the rabbit ambassador and rooster crowing contests as well as  the dairy goat olympics will also take place throughout the fair.A crowd favorite is Animal Town, which will include eight different species of barnyard animals every day of the fair.The fair offers promotional days such as $2 Tuesdays where admission fees are $2, along with concession food and midway rides. Wednesdays are free with a ticket that will be printed in The Indianapolis Star the day before. Wednesdays also offer free shuttle rides to seniors age 55 and older.On Thursday, Aug. 16, AAA members can present their card for free admission.Introduction of royalty such as crowning Miss, and Jr. and Little Miss Indiana, will take place on Sunday Aug. 12 at 4:30 p.m.Last year 906,732 fairgoers attended the fair, a 24 percent increase from the year before. The all time highest attendance at the fair was in 978,296 in 2013.Almost a million fairgoers are expected this year so safety has been revamped to ensure a safe day for all attendees. Hoosiers can expect metal detectors at all pedestrian entrances along with bag checks, so plan ahead and only take the necessities.General Admission is $13 at the gate, children 5 years and younger get in free. Parking is $5 during the fair.FOOTNOTE: Brynna Sentel is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.Print Friendly, PDF & EmailFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Indiana, known more for its corn and soybeans, became famous for its circus connection in the late 1800s when many traveling shows established winter headquarters near Peru, Indiana.By the 1940s, the shows began wintering in Florida, but to keep the circus spirit alive Peru launched its Circus City Days in the 1950s. After that a circus tent was rented for the inaugural Peru Amateur Circus for children age 7-21 to participate in.State fair officials hope to encompass the spirit of the circus with this year’s theme while keeping the typical fair festivities alive.It wouldn’t be a state fair without some new fried foods unveiled each year. In past years, fairgoers were introduced to deep-fried Snickers and other concoctions, while this year’s event has its own unique creations designed to test the palate.For example, ever wonder how you deep fry a sugar cream pie? To find out how that mixture of sugar, butter and cream holds up in a deep fryer you might have to go to the fairgrounds and check it out for yourself.Other treats that take rich or fattening foods and load them up with sugar are the carmel apple elephant ear and piggy popcorn with sweet yum yum sauce. And if your taste runs to plain popcorn, that is available for free every day from noon to 5 p.m.last_img read more

first_imgWHY I OPPOSE THE CHANGE IN CHAPTER 17 OF THE TOWN ORDINANCEby: Dan Barton, Publisher, of The New Harmony GazetteJanuary 14, 2018It has been speculated by some in New Harmony that as publisher of the New Harmony Gazette, my opposition to the new amendment to Chapter 17 of the Town Ordinance is entirely personal. Nothing could be further from the truth. Certainly the new amendment does adversely effect my property at 505 Main Street, the same as it does all other property in the Business Historic District. However, even if I did not own the building, I would still be opposed to this onerous law and it’s accompanying extreme penalties. I will explain why.I have always passionately supported and sometimes opposed other ideas proposed by Council people. In the past I have written on such issues as; how to best reopen the Harmony Way Bridge, the tactics and purposes proposed by WMI for the re-use of the New Harmony School, or whether the course taken by our Town Council regarding the use of the old fairground property was or was not in the best interest of our town. My concern is always the same; what is good for New Harmony, both economically and politically.Over the last six months I have written ongoing critiques about the New Harmony Plan Commission’s proposal to change Chapter 17 of the Town Ordinance. An ordinance that would deny certain property rights to New Harmony’s Commercial property owners in the Business Historic District, now and in the future. As this is being written it awaits a vote by the Town Council. I am still opposed to its passage. Why is this bad law?One of the Plan Commission’s supposed rationales has been based on a comparison of two unrelated elements of zoning regulation. They pit the principals of a business moving into a residential community versus a residence moving into the business community. We all must know that residential communities are concerned about businesses opening in their neighborhoods for very basic and long established reasons. There are concerns about possible air and water pollution, noise, increased traffic, parking, garbage, trash, and large numbers of customers traveling through the residential area to get to the businesses. The things that threaten the health, happiness and property values of those who must live and raise their families in those neighborhoods. There are, at this writing, far more businesses operating in the residential community than residents living in the Business Historic District. If any community is under threat it is not the Business Historic District but the residential district.What are the reasons that have been sited by the supporters of this amendment for not allowing residential use in storefronts? From a historical viewpoint there have been none given. The reasons that have been offered have been vague. The prime example brought up over and over has been: because residents get the right to keep businesses in check through the use of a Variance Appeal Board. But, they say, businesses are denied that same right for keeping FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare would seem, is flying. How about New Harmony? What do we really know? I asked Lynn Clark, President of the New Harmony Business Associates at the November Plan Commission meeting if anyone that she knew keeps a GDP on New Harmony, like they do on Posey County. Her answer: “I have no idea!”The new zoning law requiring the prohibition of first floor use of commercial property as a residence in the Business Historic District is totally unnecessary. It is a heavy-handed remedy for a problem that doesn’t exist. Zoning laws are a method of increasing power in the hands of bureaucrats. They are a direct violation of property rights. This one more than any I have ever seen or heard.It is through the use of force, heavy fines and imprisonment, that the supporters of this change in Chapter 17, can specify how people can or cannot use their property. Having a residence in the Business Historic District does not in any way disrupt the business of its commercial neighbors. In fact, in some cases, it has been argued, it would enhance business in the district by increasing it’s resident population.I specifically asked Plan Commission Chair Flanders in the August meeting to explain to me which business or businesses were most adversely affected by the Gosh’s allowing their granddaughter to use the first floor of their commercial building on Main Street as her residence. Flanders’ answer: “I don’t know that there was any!” So here we have proof that the complaint that the use of commercial property for residence is an invalid complaint.This Re-Zoning is unnecessarily arbitrary. It is non-objective arbitrary power held in the hands of a few. Eventually the power gets abused. The abuse occurs through bureaucrats deciding that they can better our lives through their own attempts at amateur urban planning. They zone and re-zone and violate the Rights of citizens, disrupting the lives of anyone who doesn’t fit into their scheme.Citizens Rights are tightly bound into the concept of Property Rights. Property Rights were on the minds of our Nation’s founders when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and declared that “We the People” had a Right to the “Pursuit of Happiness.” The Right to own and use our property as we saw fit, so long as it did not infringe on the Rights of our fellow citizens. There has not been any objective proof offered by the Plan Commission or its supporters that any person’s Rights have been violated in New Harmony by the use of first floor storefronts for residential purposes, not since the inception of our town.I have personally fought to keep this new ordinance change measure from becoming law. I do not believe that any American Right should be given up voluntarily without questioning the basis for the change or not having indisputable proof of its necessity. Though it may seem to be just a small Right, it is small as a small cog in the much larger clockwork of our Liberty is small. This amendment is bad law and a poor choice for the Town of New Harmony. Too many of our fellow citizens have given too much in our country to protect our Rights, just for us to acquiesce to the passage of bad laws, such as this one.This law leaves itself open to political abuse. I was reading an article by writer Alan Ehrenhalt recently concerning the abuse of zoning laws. In the article Ehrenhalt describes his meeting with a county supervisor in Tucson, Arizona. Ehrenhaldt said, “Many years ago, I spent a morning in the Pima County Courthouse in Tucson, Arizona, talking politics with Conrad Joyner,center_img residents out of the Business District. This is a form of a misplaced doctrine of egalitarianism, meant to be applied to human equality with respect to social and political civil rights, not business versus residential zones. Certainly the argument is not valid for the regulation of business versus residential property rights. A fallacious argument!Zoning laws were never meant to equalize the two elements of business versus residential rights. In other words, the rationale of the Chapter 17 amendment supporters is, “No Rationale.” Whimsy!Zoning laws are government regulated restrictions on how a particular piece of land can be used. The zones can be of any type, including housing, financial and industry. These laws are a partial attempt to solve a real problem. If people buy a house in a residential area, they do not want a loud or polluting factory or business to be opened next door to them. The problem is not the creation of the factory so much as it is the damage it does to the home owners. A house becomes unsalable and unusable if the sound, smell, or air quality around it is suddenly changed. This same reasoning does not apply to residents in a business district.Zoning laws are not necessary for residences moving into the business area. The reasons suggested by supporters of the Chapter 17 amendment aren’t the same reasons as for residential zone restrictions. One imaginary issue that has been conjured up by the amendment supporters is that the business district could be taken over by residences. They believe that even one retail storefront converted to residential use could cause other businesses to suffer by losing customers. This fanciful image just hasn’t met the litmus test of time.Historically, in 200 years it has never happened. It’s not happening presently, nor has it been proven that it will happen in the foreseeable future. A point of fact regarding that fear; during the Plan Commission sessions from June to the present, no one ever factually demonstrated that the very few examples of the residential use of storefronts, two that were brought to the public’s attention, ever caused any disruption or loss of business to any retailer in the Business Historic District. The two isolated incidents, both legal, were the only two occurrences mentioned by the Commission in the entire history of New Harmony. Are there people lining up at the gates of New Harmony waiting to get in and spend thousands of dollars to convert storefronts into residences? You have two out of twenty-five business properties in use as a residence in the Business Historic District, according to Commission Chair Flanders.Instead of focusing on the real issues that may be causing business losses in New Harmony, the closing of the Harmony Way Bridge, which caused a loss of 300,000 vehicles a year driving into or through our community, and the issue of too many part-time second-hand retail shops. They are caught up in a delusion of false fear. They’ve caught that most dangerous of all diseases, “Chicken Little Syndrome.”We don’t really know what the condition of New Harmony’s businesses are. No one has been keeping or has ever developed a method of recording New Harmony’s Gross Domestic Product, the true measure of a community’s business health. Both Moody’s and The Posey County Economic Development Partnership have released the GDP numbers for 2010 to 2016 changes for Indiana, but nothing for New Harmony can be gleaned from those numbers. Interestingly, these GDP reports show Posey County with an increase in GDP of 19.5% from 2010 to 2016, 15.7% for Indiana, 16.9% for the U.S. and a dismal 9.5% for SW Indiana. So! Posey County, it one of the County Supervisors. Joyner was running for Congress. I asked him if he expected to have any trouble raising money for his campaign. Joyner looked at me as if I had been born yesterday. “Are you kidding?” he said. “With all the zoning cases I’ve got coming up on the County Board? “ Zoning laws are rife with abuse and should be avoided whenever possible. Use nuisance laws if necessary or establish guidelines inside the Business Association, but avoid unnecessary zoning laws.Once again, I urge the New Harmony Town Council to reject the change in the current Chapter 17 Ordinances. Let’s not go down this path!FOOTNOTE: This letter is posted by the City County Observer without bias, opinion or editing.last_img read more

first_imgScott Malpass, vice president and chief investment officer at Notre Dame, was recently elected to the board of The Investment Fund for Foundations (TIFF), according to a University press release. The foundation’s goal is to enhance investment returns of U.S. non-profit organizations, the release stated. TIFF currently manages more than $9.5 billion for more than 750 endowed charities. TIFF Chief Investment Officer Richard Flannery said Malpass’s work at Notre Dame made him highly qualified for a position on the foundation’s board. “The Notre Dame Investment Office has a long and distinguished record as one of the premier endowment management organizations in the country,” Flannery said. “We are honored to have the leader of that office join our board. We are delighted that Scott answered our call to service and grateful to the University of Notre Dame for sharing him with us.” Malpass will serve on the board of directors of TIFF Advisory Services, Inc. (TAS), the regulated investment advisor that, along with its affiliates, administers investment vehicles bearing the TIFF name. Malpass, the University’s chief investment officer since 1989, manages the investment of the University’s endowment, working capital and pension and life income assets of $7 billion. Under Malpass’s leadership, that endowment has become the 14th largest in American higher education and the largest at a Catholic university. Through the work of the Investment Office, Notre Dame has experienced a 12.1 percent annualized return on the endowment pool, the release stated. The University has been recognized as an innovator in international, private capital and alternative investing. Also elected to the TIFF board were Ashvin Chhabra, chief investment officer for the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and Sandra Robertson, chief investment officer and chief executive officer of Oxford University Endowment Management Ltd., in Oxford, U.K.last_img read more

first_imgRecreational DemandGeorgia hunting preserves buy about 5 million quail annually, Dozier said. There is also a market for quail in Alabama and South Carolina.”In the past several years, it seems like our hunting and recreation demand keeps increasing,” he said. “There could be increased demand in the future.”Quail BusinessTucker’s quail operation would be considered large, Dozier said.”For someone just starting in the business, I’d recommend buying about 5,000 quail — no more than 10,000 — to really learn the business,” he said. “Learn how to grow quail before you really increase your production up to, say, 40,000 or 50,000.”Tucker said he respects quail and is thankful to make a career out of growing them. But he doesn’t get attached to them. He knows what awaits some of the birds. Some will fall to hunters. Some will fall to natural predators, like house cats, he said.”Cats are very skillful night hunters, and a quail doesn’t have a very good chance at night against them,” he said. “Anyone that has a quail operation can tell you how elusive they can be.”But some of the quail will survive and multiply.”Those birds will turn wild, hatch new babies and continue to grow,” he said.Quail-hunting season begins Oct. 1 and runs through March 31 on Georgia hunting preserves. A decline in certain natural habitats has severely decreased the wild population of one of Georgia’s primary game birds: the bobwhite quail.Though a state initiative has been funded to save and restore quail habitats, there is still a need to meet the demand for hunting. That’s where someone like J. Todd Tucker steps in.Tucker owns and operates Southern Star Quail Farm in Moultrie, Ga. The quail he raises and sells will be used on the estimated 175 quail hunting preserves in Georgia.”I’ve been in livestock all my life. I started raising cattle with my family,” said 29-year-old Tucker. “But we didn’t have enough land to do it with cattle.”So Tucker downsized, so to speak. With six acres of land, Tucker takes care of about 10,000 laying hens and sells about 750,000 day-old chicks annually.”I stayed with it and made a living,” he said. “It just so happens I’m doing it raising quail.” The decline has been blamed, in part, on changes in the way farm land is managed in Georgia. Many farmers are working larger fields. To get those larger fields, farmers often clear out the brush, weeds and trees between small fields.But quail need insects and heavy brush like the area between fields, Dozier said, to nest and thrive. With four consecutive years of drought and unstable prices, quail production could be an excellent alternative enterprise for Georgia farmers, said Bill Dozier, an Extension Service poultry scientist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.On the DeclineSince the early 1960s, the wild quail population has fallen 70 percent in Georgia, Dozier said. In 1960, 4 million wild quail were harvested. That figure dropped by 1996 to only 630,000.last_img read more

first_img continue reading » The most cannabis-friendly Congress in history is back from its August recess, and lawmakers are already making key moves to advance marijuana reform legislation. The immediate focus is on a proposal to let banks serve cannabis companies without fear of being punished by federal regulators—with House leaders announcing that a floor vote is expected by the end of the month.On Monday, the Senate version of the marijuana financial services bill got its 33rd cosponsor—Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN)—meaning that virtually a third of the chamber is now formally signed onto the legislation, counting its main sponsor Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR).Not to be outdone by movement in the House, where the cannabis banking legislation was approved in committee back in March, Senate Banking Committee Chairman announced last week that he plans a vote on the issue in his panel by the end of the year. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more