Category: mpaad

New agency to serve ‘belief-driven’ brands

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis “The world’s first belief-driven marketing agency” has launched this week in London, aiming to work with brands that are either not-for-profit or not just for profit. Backed by The Involve Marketing Partnership, (formerly the Direct Marketing Group), {united} has been founded by Duncan Gray and Elly Woolston, the founders of BHWG and Proximity London, together with their former BHWG colleague Steven Dodds.{United} will work with organisations that want to combine commercial success with playing a positive role in society and serving customers who “want to live their beliefs”. The agency will be able to call on consultants and the other agencies within the Partnership, including DMS, Whitewater and Millennium, to provide a collaborative approach to clients’ needs.Co-founder and client partner, Elly Woolston, said: “Although many brands talk about social and belief-driven commitment, this is the first time that an agency has been built wholly around these principles… We are really up for a challenge – not only in how we approach briefs but also in terms of the briefs themselves. We recognise that we are now living in a different world in terms of consumer and business behaviour and that brands no longer work within the time, location and channel constraints that they used to”.www.beunited.co.uk Howard Lake | 15 April 2011 | News  21 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis New agency to serve ‘belief-driven’ brands About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Tagged with: Consulting & Agencieslast_img read more

Mere Fact That Crime Is Heinous And That Release Of Prisoner Would Send A Negative Message Not Relevant Factors To Deny Probation :SC

first_imgTop StoriesMere Fact That Crime Is Heinous And That Release Of Prisoner Would Send A Negative Message Not Relevant Factors To Deny Probation :SC LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK5 Aug 2020 7:45 PMShare This – xThe Supreme Court has freed a murder convict who served 28 years 08 months and 21 days in prison.The Uttar Pradesh Government had rejected Shor’s plea for premature release on the ground that he along with 20 co-accused committed the murder of 11 persons with deadly weapons and injured others. The order passed by the Joint Secretary to the UP Government further stated that “premature…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court has freed a murder convict who served 28 years 08 months and 21 days in prison.The Uttar Pradesh Government had rejected Shor’s plea for premature release on the ground that he along with 20 co-accused committed the murder of 11 persons with deadly weapons and injured others. The order passed by the Joint Secretary to the UP Government further stated that “premature release of this kind of prisoner would send a negative message against the justice system in the society”.Taking note of Section 2 of the United Provinces Prisoners Release on Probation Act, 1938, the Court observed that the factors that to be taken into account are (i) antecedents (ii) conduct in the prison and (iii) the person, if released, is likely to abstain from crime and lead a peaceable life. Referring to the reasons stated in the order for refusing remission, the bench comprising Justice RF Nariman and Navin Sinha observed that the order has been passed mechanically and without application of mind to Section 2 of the U.P. Act.”Merely repeating the fact that the crime is heinous and that release of such a person would send a negative message against the justice system in the society are factors de hors Section 2. Conduct in prison has not been referred to at all and the Senior Superintendent of Police and the District Magistrate confirming that the prisoner is not “incapacitated” from committing the crime is not tantamount to stating that he is likely to abstain from crime and lead a peaceable life if released from prison.”Taking note of his long incarceration of 29 years (approx.) without remission, the Court directed his release forthwith. The State Government can impose such conditions as are mentioned in Section 2 of the U.P. Act, the bench said.Click here to Read/Download OrderRead OrderNext Storylast_img read more

Jersey Shore fishermen have ‘once in a lifetime’ encounter with Great White Shark

first_imgAlessandro De Maddalena/iStock(NEW YORK) — While others may have tried to escape in fear, a team of fishermen in New Jersey considered themselves lucky when a Great White Shark approached their boat.The fishermen boating off the coast of Manasquan, which is about 10 miles south of Asbury Park, couldn’t contain their excitement and called the encounter a “once in a lifetime” experience, according to a video posted on Facebook.The shark swam toward the boat, jumped up and ate a bag of ground-up fish bait before turning around, the video shows.Jeff Crilly, who posted the video on his Facebook page and called it the “best day ever on the water.”He estimated the shark, among the most feared predators, may have been 16 feet long.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Prepare a contingency plan now for staff military call-up

first_imgEmployers must put forward some forward planning to cover key skills ifemployees who are reservists receive the call to arms in IraqIf Tony Blair and George Bush launch military action against Iraq,businesses could be among the first casualties. Prudent employers up and down the country should be checking the potential impactsof military activity on their organisations. Some employers will face the callup of hundreds of reservists and they need to understand their rights andobligations. The armed services rely on significant numbers of former service people whostill have a ‘reserve liability’, together with 46,000 Territorial Armyreservists. An MOD notice requiring attendance will be used to call up members of thereserve forces, and a copy of the letter will be sent to affected employers. Failure to comply with the order will be a criminal offence. Call up mayresult from potential warlike operations or when the MoD plans to use the UK’sarmed forces outside the country for the protection of life, property or thealleviation of distress. The Government may require certain specialist skills as a result of mountingpressures on the armed forces from military action abroad and threats ofindustrial action at home. Many employers will be unaware of exactly which members of staff are on thereserve lists and who may be called up. This will depend on the needs of theforces and the employee’s military skills and expertise. It is less likely thata former infantryman will be called up for example, than a signals operator, alanguage specialist or medical officer. Unfortunately these people skills translate well into the world of work –skills which are difficult to replace at short notice. Employers should make a list of those who may be called up and undertake arisk assessment of the potential impact of the absence of those most likely tobe away. Employees will be sent a call up notice either in person or by post. Thereare grounds upon which individuals may object but only one of these relatesdirectly to employment or to circumstances where an offer of employment hasbeen made but which has not yet started. Employers must object by applying to an adjudication officer within sevendays of receipt of the call up notice (and late applications may, on occasion,be accepted). The grounds of objection include impairment of the ability toproduce goods or services and financial harm. Naturally, the more cogent the case, the easier it will be to reverse thecall-up and it may be to engineer a deferral if a total exemption isimpossible. It will also help to have a good understanding of the statutorygrounds for the case when preparing the request and to provide supportingevidence. On the completion of military service, the employer must allow the employeeto return to their previous occupation or, if that is impracticable, into thebest occupation available. If the job differs on return it is important thatthe employer follows a detailed procedure. Further, the employer should beaware that dismissal during the period of military leave is an offence. This is an ideal opportunity to test succession planning and organisationalflexibility. Who will step in if one of your employees is called up? Are therecontingencies to cover the loss of a number of staff members? Will this requirecommunication with customers requesting their understanding? Such plans are, in any event, a useful tool in the management of potentiallydamaging business issues and can act as a catalyst for wider contingencyplanning. Since many businesses benefit from the skills of staff gained through militarytraining, perhaps these are the people to entrust with the development of adetailed plan of action for such emergencies. By Richard Smith, Corporate and training manager at Croner Consulting Features list 2021 – submitting content to Personnel TodayOn this page you will find details of how to submit content to Personnel Today. We do not publish a… Comments are closed. Prepare a contingency plan now for staff military call-upOn 19 Nov 2002 in Military, Personnel Todaycenter_img Related posts: Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Cutting a deal

first_imgCity employers are finally getting to grips with ADR as an alternative tocostly, time-wasting litigation. But could other sectors catch the bug? BySimon Kent Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques are gaining a foothold amongfinancial and City firms in the UK. The City Disputes Panel (CDP), a non-profitorganisation which has specialised in commercial disputes, has recentlylaunched a bespoke employment support service to offer employment disputeresolution to members. Karl Davies, chief executive of the CDP, said the move came as a response togrowing interest in ADR and mediation techniques to settle employment disputes,avoiding the huge cost and reputational damage which can occur. Terry Jones, a director at the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution(CEDR), confirms this trend, noting banks and financial organisations aredeveloping ADR techniques, sometimes in collaboration with UNIFI, the bankingunion. Whether this development has the potential to lead other industry sectorsaway from the courts has yet to be proved. You only have to look at recentcases such as that of Louise Barton and Investec Henderson Crosthwaite (News,May), which have incurred high costs both financially and timewise, to see thatthe City of London is the ideal environment for proving the worth ofconfidential and relatively swift resolution techniques. Jones, a veteran of the Square Mile himself with 35 years experience incommercial banking – including 17 at Barclays – believes the technique hasaspects in common with the City’s dealing/trading culture. “The culture isabout looking for cost effectiveness,” he says. “Every firm isconcerned about profits, but that’s about being cost-effective and managingtime productively. You don’t want to devote excessive management time to adispute. There’s also a deal-making culture,” he adds. “So thoseaspects work in favour of ADR techniques.” “The message we received from employers is that they are desperatelytrying not to be combative,” adds Davies. The CDP has created a panel of22 specialists, including HR practitioners and employment lawyers, to handleemployment disputes in a similar way. This is a result of companies wishing totransfer their positive experience of mediation in dispute resolution into theemployment arena. ADR’s proponents are, however, faced with something of a Catch-22 situation.Those who experience ADR usually have a positive experience and will use itagain – the general view is that 85 per cent of cases are resolved to thesatisfaction of both parties. But it can be difficult to get employers to take thatfirst step because it is practically impossible to publish any positiveresults. To do so compromises one of the most valuable aspects of ADR –complete confidentiality. “Board-level disputes have been handled through ADR,” says AllanConnarty, director of operations at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.”The press frequently challenge issues such as levels of pay or questionshow such figures were arrived at, and sometimes the answer is mediation.Therefore you cannot disclose exactly how and why that figure was agreed. Whilethe figure agreed could seem high, it may have been worth it to avoid certainother issues being made public at a tribunal.” As in the Barton case, matters such as how a bonus scheme operates are oftenregarded as commercially sensitive information. Indeed, Jones suggestsdiscussing such information can lead to entire teams being poached bycompetitors, while ongoing disputes undoubtedly undermine morale andconsequently the performance of top employees. Mark Mansell, employment partner at Allen and Overy, notes theconfidentiality of ADR also works in favour of the individual. “At themoment, Louise Barton is not known primarily for her skills, she’s known as theperson making this claim,” he says. “Mediation has been used toresolve bonus issues in the City precisely because it protects bothparties.” Connarty agrees: “There may be employees who decide they know what themarket is for their skills, but realise if they push for that amount and refuseto compromise, they may never work again,” he says. “That gives themfurther impetus to go for broke. Alternatively, they may decide to negotiate,take a lower financial award and recognise that they will work again.” However, practitioners recognise that ADR is not always the way forward.”The Barton case is a justice issue,” says Jones. “To someextent it argues against mediation, because if it were resolved in that way,how would anyone else know justice had been done?” “ADR doesn’t work if you have a case where the law hasn’t really beentested,” says Kathryn Britten, a forensic accounting partner at BDO StoyHayward. “In some cases, unless you go to court, you have no certainty andit can be difficult to reach any agreement. One of the ways you mediate is torefer to previous cases and to points of law as tested.” Britten is still quite a rarity as a non-legal professional with mediatortraining, but it is precisely the combination of her specialist knowledge andmediation skills that makes her so useful. “Mediation works well withcomplex financial issues when the mediator has been briefed in advance by bothparties and can help them reach a negotiated settlement,” she says.”The whole process focuses on the future, whereas litigation looks at whathappened in the past. That offers far more creative options forresolution.” Davies echoes the need for mediator knowledge of the culture or industry inwhich the dispute occurs. “There is far more interest in getting afacilitator who understands the business and pressures the parties are under,and so can frame a resolution in that context,” he says. “That is ofmore worth than someone who takes a ‘vanilla’ approach to every situation andsays they don’t need to know the details to help resolve the problem.” Thisgives mediation another advantage over tribunals – it is less likely a courtwill fully appreciate the working culture in which a dispute has occurred. Though many ADR practitioners are frustrated at the apparent tardiness intaking up these techniques, not all favour introducing legislation to forcethem on employers. “I think legislation would be useful because the morepeople go through the process, the more they will recognise the benefit,”says Britten. “It would create a learning curve for all involved.” “I’m not a fan of legal compulsion,” says Davies.”Essentially, mediation works because it is voluntary. Both parties havechosen to invest time and effort in finding a solution – they have bought intothe process and the outcome is going to be consensual. There is always a riskwith legislation that it just becomes a process.” That said, ADR has been the subject of legislation in parts of the US, andexperience suggests it has played an integral part in organisations adoptingADR as part of their grievance procedures. Having been compelled to explore ADRbefore going to court, firms now consider it at an earlier stage in disputes. “Since being exposed to ADR, people have found it works,” saysDavies. “So it is used long before legal proceedings trigger the requirement.”The same pattern has been seen at some US firms where the initial introductionof ADR policy (usually a clause to simply consider/explore ADR techniques foreach individual grievance) has removed the knee-jerk reaction to start legalproceedings. The HR director as mediatorSarah Jones is head of HR at WWF UK(formerly the World Wildlife Fund). She ‘stumbled across’ a course on mediationthrough Peter Shore, an HR consultant and mediator on the CDP. “Since thetechnique requires the individual’s agreement, we have used mediation toresolve disputes where appropriate rather than creating a definitepolicy,” says Jones.Having undertaken training, Jones acts as mediator within thecompany to handle disputes and issues when they arise. While appreciating thevalue of external mediators, at this point there has been no clash of interestsin the cases she has handled. Indeed, Jones feels she has been welcomed as aninternal resource for resolving disputes: “We have a good reputation as anHR department and so we can be objective and neutral,” she says. “Thetechnique is empowering because it means the individuals concerned decide theoutcome, rather than me. At the same time, the process is completelyconfidential and nothing goes on the employee’s record.”An intensive CEDR five-day training course will give Jonesofficial accreditation as a mediator and offer her the chance to work as anexternal mediator in the future. While looking forward to this, Jones does notbelieve legislation is a constructive way to increase the use of ADR: “Thedanger is that it would just become accepted practice and therefore lose itsuniqueness,” she says. “It’s far better if it remains outsideemployment law.”City firms count the cost2003 Investec Henderson Crosthwaite continues its legal battle withformer media analyst Louise Barton over claims it discriminated by paying her asmaller bonus than two of her male colleagues (£300,000 compared with £1m and£600,000). The EAT has sent the firm back to the employment tribunal for thesecond time in a year to prove it did not discriminate against her.Compensation could run into seven figures, not to mention the legal bill forsuch a protracted case. 2002Cantor Fitzgerald and ICAP emerged from a lengthy legal spatwith reputations in tatters following press reports of senior executives’ lapdancing R&R, aggressive bully-boy tactics, obscene language and generally,as one judge put it, “disgraceful behaviour” during ICAP’s attemptsto poach three brokers and Cantor’s efforts to keep them. But can anyoneremember the verdict?2002Schroder Securities paid a whopping £1.4m compensation to JulieBower after she left her £120,000 job claiming male managers were trying towreck her career. She received a ‘lousy’ £25,000 annual bonus while malecolleagues received between £440,000 and £650,000. Cutting a dealOn 1 Jun 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. 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Olympic Spirit Track League results

first_imgLast week was the Championship Meet for the Olympic Spirit Track League Cross Country season held in Gregg/Hudson County Park. Co-directors John Hnath and Al Long were ably assisted by coaches Sharon Nadrowski, Mercedes Alvarez; Justin Enes, Lauren Enes, Jose Bustamonte, Hans Parrado , Danny Hernandez ,Melissa Ingrassia. Congratulations to all participants.Participating school:OLC – Our Lady of Czestochowa, Jersey CitySAS -Saint Augustine School, Union CityOLM – Our Lady Mercy, Jersey CitySt. Al’s-Saint Aloysius, Jersey CityAll Saints Academy, BayonneSt. Henry, BayonneSt. Francis Academy, Union City Girls:500 yards: 5 year old and under time (1:52)1) Lea Guardiola, Saint Francis; 2) Catarina Rubies, OLC; 3) Ryleigh Lynn, St. Henry; 4) Anna Laura Cupido Carlorossi, OLC; 5) Sophia Z Amos, All Saints; 6) Mikenna Raftery, St. Henry; 7) Caitlin Connolly, OLC; 8) Isabella Silvera, SAS; 9) Madison McCrossen, All Saints; 10) Joelle Stuart, OLC1/2 mile: 6 & 7 year olds Time (2:43)1) MiKaela Ciarlandini, St. Henry; 2)Mara Ellerson, St. Henry; 3)Rose Arroyo, St. Henry;4) Amanda Thomas, St. Henry ; 5)Emily Dempsey , St.Frances; 6) Emily Palomino, St. Henry; 7) Annabelle Samuelsen, OLC; 8) Isabel Aolon, All Saints; 9)Amelia Bonifaz, St. Al’s1/2 mile: 8 & 9 year olds Time (3:31)1) Livia B. Diakogiannis, All Saints; 2) Mariana Puzycki, All Saints; 3) Jazlynn Gonzalez, St. Henry; 4) Julia Hester, All Saints; 5) Leyla Ziemba, St. Francis; 6) Miranda Shepard, All Saints; 7) Rowan Quintan, St. Al’s; 8) Kristina Munoz; St. Al’s; 9) Tatiana Sirna, St. Henry; 10) Alyssa Palomino, St. Henry1 mile: 10 and 11 years old1) Victoria Okonwo, St. Henry; 2) Kelly Hester, All Saints; 3) Sophia Morales, All Saints; 4) Caitlin Quintos; OLM; 5) Jaylyn Orefice, SAS; 6) Gianna Puzycki, All Saints; 7) Natalia Sirna, St. Henry; 8) Ava Farulla, All Saints; 8) Sophia Rodriguez, St, Henry1 mile: 12 and 13 years old1) Madison Cortes, St. Francis 2) Kaitlyn Arroya, St. Henry; 3) Elena Hernandez, St. Francis; 4) Christis Shepard, St. Henry; 5) Alyssa Gonzalez, St. Henry; 6) Alanna Ciarlandini, St. Henry; 7) Kyra Moss, St. Al’sBoys:500 yards 5 and under (1:48)1) Ben Cuttruff, St. Henry; 2) Ryan Fersha, St. Henry; 3) Joshua Cinque, St. Henry; 4) Ethan Lavin, OLC; 5) Matthew Gurvich, OLC; 6) Ayush Thatte, OLC; 7) Michael Gurba, SAS; 8) Lucas Kirschner, OLC; 9) Robert Pinzon, SAS; 10) Ian Kutney, St. Henry1/2mile: 6 & 7 year olds (3:37)1) Sam Geiger, All Saints; 2) Marc Becker, St. Henry; 3) Anthony Scott, St. Al’s; 4) William Wang, OLC; 5) Adrian Navarro, SAS; 6) Michael Gurvich, OLC; 7) Jacob Cuttruff, St. Henry; 8) Darous Montecastro, OLM; 9) Alessandro Cupido, OLC; 10) Daniel McCarthy, St. Al’s1/2 mile: 8 & 9 year olds (3:28)1) Lucas Hernandez, St. Francis; 2) Gabriel Becker, St. Henry; 3) Kyan Melendez, OLC; 4) Otavio Rubies, OLC; 5) Luke Gurba, SAS; 6) Brian Ellerson, St. Henry; 7) Jasper Schwamberger, OLC; 8) Nicholas Martinez, St. Francis; 9) Jacob Vazquez, St. Al’s; 10) Ryan Halligan, St. Francis1 mile: 10 and 11 years old (6:45)1) Colin Rutan St. Henry; 2) Dominic OkonKwo, St. Henry; 3) Hayden Rutan, St. Henry; 4) Jack Halligan, St. Francis; 5) Jayce Aguilar, St. Al’s; 6) Nicholas Gurba, SAS; 7) Shawn Orefice, SAS; 8) Ryan Cotter, St. Henry; 9) Johnathan R. St, Henry; 10) Ciro Ingrassia, St. Al’s1 mile: 12 and 13 years old (6:38)1) Joshua Tauriello, St. Francis; 2) Alexandrer Zinvverily, St. Henry; 3) Daniel Halligan, St. Francis; 4) Aidan Mancha, St. Francis; 5) Joaquin Cepeda, St. Al’s; 6) Diego Pena, St. Francislast_img read more

Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament Announces New Side Project, Shares First Single With Angel Olsen [Listen]

first_imgBassist, songwriter, and founding Pearl Jam member Jeff Ament has announced launched a brand-new solo project named Ament. According to a new listing on the Pearl Jam website, Ament’s debut album, dubbed Heaven/Hell, will be released in the near future, though an exact release date has yet to be specified.For now, he has shared the first track from the album: distortion-driven alt-rock jaunt “Safe In The Car” featuring backing vocals from Angel Olsen and guitar and drum work from Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and Matt Cameron. With an ominous-yet-elegant croon, Ament’s “Safe In The Car” evokes a similar sonic space similar to the one occupied by Jack White on his most recent release.We’ll keep you updated as more details about Ament surface. For now, you can give a listen to Ament’s impressive first track below:Ament (Ft. Angel Olsen, Mike McCready, Matt Cameron) – “Safe In The Car”[Audio: Spotify]Jeff Ament’s other band, Pearl Jam, is also working on recording a new album. They recently debuted the defiant protest anthem “You Can’t Deny Me”, which you can hear here. Pearl Jam also announced a string of U.S. stadium dates dubbed “The Home Shows” (a pair of performances at the Seattle Mariners‘s stadium in the band’s native Washington city) and “The Away Shows” (a run of performances at Boston’s Fenway Park, Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Missoula, Montana’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium. See below for a full list of upcoming Pearl Jam dates.Pearl Jam Upcoming Tour Dates06/12 – Amsterdam, NL @ Ziggo Dome06/15 – Landgraaf, NL @ Pinkpop Festival06/18 – London, UK @ O2 Arena06/19 – London, UK @ O2 Arena06/22 – Milan, IT @ I-Days Festival at Area Expo06/24 – Padova, IT @ Stadio Euganeo06/26 – Rome, IT @ Stadio Olimpico07/01 – Prague, CZ @ O2 Arena07/03 – Krakow, PL @ Tauron Arena07/05 – Berlin, DE @ Waldbuhne07/07 – Werchter, BE @ Rock Werchter07/10 – Barcelona, ES @ Palau St. Jordi07/12 – Madrid, ES @ Mad Cool Festival07/14 – Lisbon PT @ NOS Alive Festival08/08 – Seattle, WA @ Safeco Field08/10 – Seattle, WA @ Safeco Field08/13 – Missoula, MT @ Washington Grizzly Stadium08/18 – Chicago, IL @ Wrigley Field08/20 – Chicago, IL @ Wrigley Field09/02 – Boston, MA @ Fenway Park09/04 – Boston, MA @ Fenway ParkExpandlast_img read more

Onion Crop

first_imgDespite a frigid, rain-filled winter, Vidalia onion farmers expect a good, quality crop this season.The cold temperatures forced some onion farmers to replant. Cliff Riner, coordinator of UGA’s Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center, estimates 600 of the state’s 12,000 acres had to be replanted. Those plants are taking longer to grow, and the size of those onions may be affected.UGA vegetable horticulturist Tim Coolong says onions that were planted prior to Dec. 4 or 5 had time to get established before January’s cold snap hit. “Those plants were able to keep rolling right along. The plants that were planted later, closer to Christmas, were really small and just sat there for a long time after that cold snap,” he said. “The plants look okay, they’re just behind everything else.”Vidalia onion farmers’ biggest concern now is the rain that saturated their fields. Impassable conditions have made harvesting onions almost impossible in some areas.“The rain has been kind of inclement, in terms of harvesting. We’ve had significant amounts of rain in production areas,” Riner said. “That can delay us in harvesting and delay us in undercutting the onions. We can clip the onions once they’re dug. To actually get them dug up is the problem.”Most onion farmers set a timeline of around May 20 to harvest their crops, he said. This timeframe decreases the possibility of disease, which increases with warmer temperatures. A late-May harvest this year could be a challenge if wet weather persists.“We’ve got a timeline to get everything in, and every day it rains and sets us back, there’s more stress on that timeline,” Riner said.Mark Shuman of Shuman Produce in Reidsville makes farming decisions 12 to 15 months in advance. “It’s like driving a speeding train. You don’t turn it on a dime,” said Shuman. Shuman Produce accounts for approximately 20 percent of the Vidalia industry’s total volume.Like all farmers, Shuman has no control over the weather, but his farm has survived much worse.“In 1983, the mercury plummeted to 8 degrees on Christmas Day. That crop was almost a total loss,” said Shuman, whose family has grown Vidalia onions for more than 30 years. “We received some significant cold weather this year with temps around 15 degrees, but are fortunate there will be good quality Vidalia onions on retail shelves this summer.”Vidalia onion growers have a short harvest window of just four to six weeks, depending on the weather. “Our ability to harvest in a timely manner is essential. Your army can’t be big enough come harvest time. You have to get that crop out of the row and under the roof to have a great summer market,” he said.The Vidalia onion industry in Georgia generates more than $100 million annually in farm gate value and surpassed $150 million in 2011 and 2012. Of the 12,000 acres grown, 75 percent are produced in Toombs and Tattnall counties.“As an industry we have to do a good job proving to the retail world that they can count on us. If we don’t, we are encouraging other regions, like Texas and New Mexico, to prey on our market share,” Shuman said. “We want to keep the jobs here and keep the product coming out of Georgia.”last_img read more

Personal income drags down Vermont tax revenues

first_imgSecretary of Administration Neale F. Lunderville released the January 2010 General Fund Revenues today. January is the 7th month of FY 2010. General Fund revenues totaled $114.25 million for January 2010, -$5.41 million or -4.52% below the $119.66 million consensus revenue forecast for the month. Year to date, General Fund revenues of $628.66 million were -$5.41 million and -0.85% below the year to date FY 2010 target of $634.07 million.Although one month’s results following the adoption of the revised Consensus Revenue Forecast are insufficient to indicate a trend, I am concerned that the shortfall occurred in Personal Income Taxes.January’s are the first monthly results utilizing the recently revised FY 2010 Consensus Revenue Forecast, approved by the Emergency Board at their January 13, 2010 meeting. Normally, statute requires the State’s Consensus Revenue Forecast to be updated two times per year, in January and July. In order to stay current with the economic situation, the Emergency Board adopted a quarterly review schedule for the last fiscal year and to date for the current fiscal year. The next Consensus Revenue Forecast review by the Emergency Board, as yet unscheduled, will be held in July 2010.Personal Income Tax receipts are the largest single state revenue source, and are reported Net-of-Personal Income Tax refunds. Personal Income Tax receipts for January were $65.34 million, -$6.42 million or -8.95% behind the monthly target. Secretary Lunderville said: “Although one month’s results following the adoption of the revised Consensus Revenue Forecast are insufficient to indicate a trend, I am concerned that the shortfall occurred in Personal Income Taxes. Of the -$6.42 million shortfall in personal Income Taxes, -$3.5 million of the shortfall was in Withholding Taxes paid and -$1.97 million was in Estimated Payments. This is consistent with the weaker December employment numbers recently released, and that bonuses paid December do not appear to have been as robust as estimated.”Corporate Income Tax receipts are also reported net-of refunds. Corporate Tax was also below the new target for January with receipts of $1.28 million against a target of $1.41 million or -0.13%. The consumption taxes, however, were slightly above target for the month. Sales & Use Tax, at $25.19 million exceeded target by +$0.23 million (+0.93%), as did Rooms & Meals Tax at $10.30 million exceeding target by +$0.17 million (+1.70%) for January.The year to date results for the four major General Fund categories are as follows: Personal Income Tax, $320.66 million (-1.96%); Sales & Use Tax, $128.44 million (+0.18%); Corporate, $30.94 million (-0.42%); and Meals & Rooms Tax, $71.30 million (+0.24%).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). Results for the month of January were as follows: Insurance Tax, $0.71 million (-11.95%); Estate Tax, $1.15 million (-35.10%); Property Transfer Tax, $0.62 million (+14.24%); and “Other”, $9.67 million (+16.60%). Year to date results for these categories were: Insurance Tax, $17.60 million (-0.54%); Estate Tax, $9.16 million (-6.34%); Property Transfer Tax, $4.96 million (+1.58%); and “Other”, $45.59 million (+3.11%).Transportation FundSecretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the non-dedicated Transportation Fund Revenue, revenue of $15.01 million for the month or -$0.14 million (-0.95%), below the monthly target for January of $15.15 million. The year to date non-dedicated Transportation revenue was $118.51 million versus the target of $118.66 million (-$0.14 million, -0.12%).January results showed above target receipts for both Gas Taxes and Diesel Taxes, while Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use, Motor Vehicle Fees and Other were below the monthly target. The Transportation Fund revenue results for January were: Gasoline, $5.15 million or +2.97% above target; Diesel Tax, $1.31 million or +11.71% above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $2.83 million or -3.17% below target; Motor Vehicle Fees, $4.44 million or -2.17% under target; and Other Fees, $1.27 million or -15.85% below the monthly target. The January year to date Transportation Fund revenue results were: Gasoline, $37.20 million or +0.40% and Diesel Tax, $8.64 million or +1.61%, both above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $25.37 million or -0.36%; Motor Vehicle Fees, $37.50 million or -0.26%; and Other Fees, $9.81 million or -2.38%, all three short of target. “Bolstered by revenue from the “Cash for Clunkers” program and some increased fees, the Transportation Fund appears to have stabilized at levels slightlyabove the prior year. However, vehicle miles traveled continue to be well below the historic levels when you consider that gas is less than $3.00 per gallon. This may indicate a permanent reduction in driving patterns regardless of gas prices,” said Secretary Lunderville.Secretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the Transportation Infrastructure Bond Fund (“TIB”). Act 50 of the 2009 session provided that receipts in the TIB Fund that are generated by a motor fuel (gas and diesel) assessment on distributors would first be dedicated to paying the principal, interest and related costs on any Transportation Infrastructure Bonds. After payment of the related bond costs, any remaining TIB monies may be used to fund qualifying Transportation capital projects. TIB Fund Gas receipts for January were $1.24 million or -1.09% below target; year to date, TIB Fund Gas receipts were $7.39 million or -0.18% short of target. The TIB Fund Diesel receipts began in December 2009, and were $0.08 million or -41.86% below target for the month; year to date TIB Diesel receipts were $0.26 million or -18.23% behind target. The TIB Fund receipts are noted below the following table:Education FundSecretary Lunderville released revenue results for the “the non-Property Tax” Education Fund revenues (which constitute approximately 11% of the total Education Fund sources). The non-Property Tax Education Fund receipts for January totaled $15.73 million, or -$0.10 million (-0.66%) below the $15.83 million revised Consensus Revenue target for the month. Year to date, Education Fund revenues were $87.81 million or -0.12% below target.The individual Education Fund revenue component results for January were: Sales & Use Tax, $12.59 or +0.18%; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $1.42 million or -3.16%; Lottery Transfer, $1.71 million or -8.89%; and Education Fund Interest, $0.01 million or -36.37% . Year-to-date results were: Sales & Use Tax, $64.22 or +0.18%; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $12.68 million or -0.36%; Lottery Transfer, $10.84 million or –1.51%; and Education Fund Interest, $0.07 million or -8.80%.ConclusionSecretary Lunderville commented that “Key economic indicators continue to show mixed results. There continues to be softness in the housing market as well as the December downturn in the labor market, both nationally and in Vermont. Vermont’s unemployment rate rose to 6.9% in December up from 6.4% in the prior month. Employers continue to slowly add hours for existing employees and temporary workers but have not begun to replace the job losses. Consumer confidence remains both flat and significantly below the high point of 2006 though early 2008.”Lunderville concluded: “With the below target performance in the General Fund, we must guard against complacency and realize that there remains a good deal of downside risk. There are no signs that indicate a return to pre-recession levels for more than two years and we must not forget that general fund receipts year to date are $46.3 million or 6.86% below the same period for FY 2009.” Source: Lunderville’s office. 2.12.2010last_img read more

Puerto Rico Electricity-Recovery Contract: $319-Per-Hour Line Workers

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Washington Post:For the sprawling effort to restore Puerto Rico’s crippled electrical grid, the territory’s state-owned utility has turned to a two-year-old company from Montana that had just two full-time employees on the day Hurricane Maria made landfall.The company, Whitefish Energy, said last week that it had signed a $300 million contract with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to repair and reconstruct large portions of the island’s electrical infrastructure. The contract is the biggest yet issued in the troubled relief effort.Whitefish said Monday that it has 280 workers in the territory, using linemen from across the country, most of them as subcontractors, and that the number grows on average from 10 to 20 people a day. It said it was close to completing infrastructure work that will energize some of the key industrial facilities that are critical to restarting the local economy.The power authority, also known as PREPA, opted to hire Whitefish rather than activate the “mutual aid” arrangements it has with other utilities. For many years, such agreements have helped U.S. utilities — including those in Florida and Texas recently — to recover quickly after natural disasters.The unusual decision to instead hire a tiny for-profit company is drawing scrutiny from Congress and comes amid concerns about bankrupt Puerto Rico’s spending as it seeks to provide relief to its 3.4 million residents, the great majority of whom remain without power a month after the storm.“The fact that there are so many utilities with experience in this and a huge track record of helping each other out, it is at least odd why [the utility] would go to Whitefish,” said Susan F. Tierney, a former senior official at the Energy Department and state regulatory agencies. “I’m scratching my head wondering how it all adds up.”The House Committee on Natural Resources is examining Whitefish’s role in Puerto Rico, said Parish Braden, a spokesman for the committee. The hiring of the little-known company has been noted by the trade publications Utility Dive and E&E News.Under the contract, the hourly rate was set at $330 for a site supervisor, and at $227.88 for a “journeyman lineman.” The cost for subcontractors, which make up the bulk of Whitefish’s workforce, is $462 per hour for a supervisor and $319.04 for a lineman. Whitefish also charges nightly accommodation fees of $332 per worker and almost $80 per day for food.Only eight contracts larger than $20 million have been approved for Puerto Rico by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, with half of those for shipments of food and bottled water. Whitefish’s contract surpasses the $240 million contract the Army Corps awarded to engineering giant Fluor to “augment ongoing efforts” to repair the power grid.The commonwealth, strapped for funds before Hurricane Maria hit, is expected to run out of cash as early as the end of the month, according to people familiar with the island’s finances. And even if the Senate and the president approve the House’s $4.9 billion aid package for Puerto Rico, the island might need more money in as little as three months.PREPA did not reach its agreement with Whitefish until Sept. 26, six days after the storm swept through. By comparison, the Florida utility FPL requested mutual aid before Hurricane Irma hit. The result was an army of nearly 20,000 restoration workers, including FPL employees, from 30 states and Canada at work on the first day.On Oct. 1, FPL had teams assembled to assess damage in Puerto Rico. It posted notices in Spanish and English on its Facebook page: “FPL is ready to help Puerto Rico.” Florida Gov. Rick Scott mentioned the offer in a news release.The Florida utility says it never received a reply. The Puerto Rican utility has not replied to offers of assistance from mutual-aid partners, according to the American Public Power Association, which coordinates such operations.More:  Small Montana firm lands Puerto Rico’s biggest contract to get the power back on Puerto Rico Electricity-Recovery Contract: $319-Per-Hour Line Workerslast_img read more