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Watt Discusses FHFA’s Progress Toward Goals in Speech

first_img Watt Discusses FHFA’s Progress Toward Goals in Speech  Print This Post Home / Daily Dose / Watt Discusses FHFA’s Progress Toward Goals in Speech Previous: Neugebauer Introduces CFPB Reform Bill Next: Counsel’s Corner: Court System is Biggest Challenge in Foreclosure, Eviction Cases March 5, 2015 1,114 Views Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Tagged with: Conservatorship Scorecard FHFA Goldman Sachs Mel Watt Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt discussed the progress toward the Agency’s three main goals – maintaining, reducing, and building – in a speech he delivered Thursday at the Goldman Sachs Housing Finance Conference in New York.These three goals are being tracked in the FHFA’s annual Conservatorship Scorecard, which was released in early January.”The annual Conservatorship Scorecard is FHFA’s mechanism for laying out our priorities and expectations for the Enterprises and our means of providing transparency to the public about what we expect,” Watt said.Watt said there are “no surprises” in 2015 when it comes to the first goal of maintaining. He outlined the Agency’s two objectives under this goal, which are to maintain, promote, and expand access to credit safely and soundly, and to continue the loss mitigation and foreclosure prevention activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.Two of the actions the FHFA has taken to fulfill the first goal of maintaining are to update and clarify the Representation and Warranty Framework Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac use to make sure that they loans they purchase meet underwriting guidelines and to update and enhance the Enterprises’ counterparty standards for mortgage servicers.”We believe that providing lenders greater certainty about when and under what circumstances they would be required to repurchase or take loans back onto their books and providing servicers updated guidelines about when they would be required to pay compensatory fees has moved the availability of mortgage credit in the right direction,” Watt said. “We expect the Enterprises to continue these efforts in 2015.”Also to fulfill FHFA’s goal of maintaining, Watt said both of the Enterprises planned to reduce the amount of non-performing loans in their portfolios. Earlier this week, Freddie Mac made its first NPL sale of 2015 when it auctioned off 1,975 loans with a UPB totaling $392 million. Last month in its 2014 Financial Summary, Freddie Mac reported that it helped 120,000 distressed borrowers avoid foreclosure through either loan modifications, repayment plans, forbearance agreements, short sales, or deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure – bringing the total number of homeowners the Enterprise has helped with a foreclosure alternative since 2009 up to 1.1 million.Under the goal of reducing risk to taxpayers by increasing private capital’s role in the mortgage market, Watt said 2014 was a “breakthrough year for the Enterprises’ single-family credit risk transfer program.” The Enterprises began a handful of transactions in the second half of 2013 that became programs of regular debt issuances known as STACR for Freddie Mac and CAS for Fannie Mae.”The ability and willingness of the Enterprises to provide historical loan performance data has greatly enhanced the ability of the market to achieve pricing that both serves the interests of investors and allows the Enterprises to meet their financial objectives,” Watt said.According to Watt, FHFA tripled the risk transfer requirement in the 2014 scorecard compared to $2013. Each Enterprise was required to transfer a portion of the single-family mortgage credit risk with a UPB of $90 billion, compared with the 2013 requirement of $30 billion. Both Enterprises executed credit risk transfer transactions on mortgages with a combined UPB of more than $300 million, significantly surpassing last year’s benchmark.On the “build” component of the 2015 scorecard, Watt discussed the objective of building a new securitization infrastructure for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that other secondary market participants would be able to use.”Last year was the first time that FHFA included the development of a Single Security as part of our conservatorship priorities for the Enterprises,” Watt said. “Our objective in adding this multi-year project to the agenda is to improve overall liquidity in the market, which will not only be beneficial to the Enterprises and other market participants, but will also benefit borrowers. It would also benefit taxpayers by reducing Freddie Mac’s costs that result from the trading disparity between Freddie and Fannie’s securities.”Watt said providing increasing levels of detail about the Single Security will be a “high priority” for FHFA in 2015. Conservatorship Scorecard FHFA Goldman Sachs Mel Watt 2015-03-05 Brian Honea Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. center_img Sign up for DS News Daily Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribe in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Secondary Market Related Articles The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honealast_img read more

Greater Cross Border cooperation promised in Covid-19 response

first_img Previous articleGardai warn against Covid-19 scamsNext articleDonegal’s libraries participating in Spring storytelling programme News Highland Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Facebook Google+ Facebook Homepage BannerNews Another three people have died from Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.It brings to 73 the number of people who lost their lives to the virus north of the border.97 new cases were reported, bringing the total number of reported cases to 1,255.Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Understanding has been formally agreed to underpin and strengthen North South co-operation on tackling COVID-19.The document focuses on facilitating greater co-operation in areas such as public health messaging, research, and ethics. Other areas such as procurement will also be considered.The text has signed by the two Chief Medical Officers, Dr Tony Holohan and Dr Michael McBride.**************************Memorandum text in full -MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDINGCOVID-19 RESPONSE – PUBLIC HEALTH COOPERATIONON AN ALL-IRELAND BASISBETWEEN:THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, IRELAND (AND ITS AGENCIES);ANDTHE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, NORTHERN IRELAND (AND ITS AGENCIES).1. CONTEXT1.1 This Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) is between the Department ofHealth, Ireland and its Agencies and the Department of Health,Northern Ireland and its Agencies (herein referred to as “the Participants”)who have expressed their mutual willingness to promote cooperation andcollaboration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.1.2 In response to COVID-19 Ministers from the Irish Government and NorthernIreland Executive met on 14 March 2020 to discuss North-South cooperationin dealing with the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic does not respectborders, therefore there is a compelling case for strong cooperation includinginformation-sharing and, where appropriate, a common approach to action inboth jurisdictions.1.3 At that meeting Ministers affirmed that:“Everything possible will be done in co-ordination and cooperation betweenthe Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive and with the activeinvolvement of the health administrations in both jurisdictions to tackle theoutbreak. Protection of the lives and welfare of everyone on the island isparamount, and no effort will be spared in that regard”. 2. COOPERATION2.1 Cooperation on the public health-driven response to COVID-19 will build onexisting and long-established cooperation on the island of Ireland between theParticipants and the health services including across cancer, ambulance andcongenital heart services, and the strong pre-existing cooperation betweenthe respective offices of the Chief Medical Officers in both jurisdictions.3. PRINCIPLES3.1 The principles upon which our cooperation is based are:• Agility – in order to ensure timely and responsive communications anddecisions in a fast moving emergent environment;• Openness – to ensure transparency of approach;• Consistency – to ensure where possible, both governments adopt similarapproaches as guided by the scientific evidence; and• Trust-that information shared is reliable and is shared and managed withinagreed protocols.4. COMMITMENTSThis Memorandum of Understanding records the commitments of theParticipants; it does not create legally binding obligations.The cooperation envisaged by this Memorandum of Understanding may needadditional authority, including legislative, for expenditure, data sharing and forany new action not already within the power of the Ministers.The Memorandum of Understanding will focus primarily on a number of keyareas.4.1 Modelling4.1.1 The Participants are committed to working in partnership to predict the likelyimpact of COVID-19 and to enable evidence-based decisions on how best torespond across the island of Ireland. This may involve using publishedevidence and data from outbreaks elsewhere and international work inmodelling infectious disease. This will be adapted to and informed by the relevant demographics, healthcare structures and health policies of bothjurisdictions.4.2 Public health and non-pharmaceutical measures4.2.1 The Participants will work to develop evidence based public health measurescentral to the response to COVID-19 in both jurisdictions, including measuressuch as, but not limited to case detection, testing regimens and contacttracing recognising that the introduction of such measures may differ as aconsequence of variation in COVID-19 transmission, local outbreaks andhealth consequences at different stages of the public health response. Suchdecisions will be informed by the advice of the offices of the Chief MedicalOfficers in both jurisdictions4.2.2 The Participants will share information and discuss appropriate socialdistancing measures being considered, including public health-mandatedtravel restrictions.4.2.3 Consideration will be given to the potential impact of measures adopted inone jurisdiction on the other recognising that the introduction of suchmeasures may differ reflecting differences in COVID-19 transmission atdifferent stages of the public health response.4.3 Common public messages4.3.1 Where appropriate the Participants will adopt consistent public messaging tobuild and reinforce core communications around handwashing, respiratoryhygiene, no handshaking and other social distancing measures.4.3.2 Communications may be targeted to support particular vulnerable groups,including older people.4.4 Behavioural change4.4.1 The Participants will work together on relevant programmes of behaviouralchange. As part of the Participants’ commitment to social outreach andengagement, civil society organisations, many of whom already work in both jurisdictions, will be encouraged and assisted in their important work thatsupports public health priorities.4.5 Research4.5.1 The Institute of Public Health, established by the Participants, will considerwhat practical research it could conduct in the context of strengthening theCOVID-19 response. In addition, the Participants and their agencies willexplore opportunities for cooperation and collaboration in any identifiedpriority research areas, such as research calls, clinical trials and sharing ofsamples and data.4.6 Ethics4.6.1 The Participants will collaborate on frameworks which can be drawn on tohelp inform an ethical approach to respective decision-making, and research.4.7 Supporting Cooperation4.7.1 The Participants will work together in appropriate areas that may arise, suchas procurement, to support the response to COVID-19, where it is of mutualbenefit to do so.5. ENGAGEMENTWhile regular agile arrangements for communication will be the modusoperandi between the Participants, a weekly teleconference will be heldbetween the respective Offices of the Chief Medical Officers to ensure mutualongoing understanding.6. REPORTINGGiven that the response to COVID-19 requires a whole government approach,the Participants will provide an agreed regular update report to our respectiveadministrations.7. VARIABILITYWhile the Participants will seek to ensure consistency where possible, forjustifiable reasons the public health approach and measures adopted in the respective jurisdictions may not always mirror each other in identical fashion.However, strong collaborative arrangements, including good informationsharing, should help to mitigate possible negative consequences.8. NON-BINDINGThis MoU represents the common understanding of the Participants upon thematters referred to therein. It is not of itself intended to create legally bindingrights or obligations on any Participant. Further it does not constitute aninternational agreement and does not create rights and obligations governedby international law.It has been agreed that this Memorandum of Understanding shall come into effect bythe exchange of emails between the Participants confirming agreement to its termsand that the date of the last of the said emails shall be the date on which theMemorandum of Understanding comes into operation.Signatories:__________________________ ___________________________Dr Tony HolohanChief Medical OfficerDepartment of Health (Ireland)On behalf of the Minister for HealthSimon Harris TDDr Michael McBrideChief Medical OfficerDepartment of Health (Northern Ireland)On behalf of the Minister for HealthRobin Swann MLA By News Highland – April 7, 2020 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Google+ Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA center_img Pinterest Greater Cross Border cooperation promised in Covid-19 response Twitter Pinterest Twitter News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme WhatsApp WhatsApp DL Debate – 24/05/21 last_img read more

Rigid office hours and branches are NOT the future of estate agency

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Rigid office hours and branches are NOT the future of estate agency previous nextAgencies & PeopleRigid office hours and branches are NOT the future of estate agencyTwo high street agents who recently started up a hybrid agency have also claimed that vendors and landlords’ busy lives mean the traditional model is obsolete.Nigel Lewis9th October 20192 Comments2,947 Views Two former John D Wood employees who set up a hybrid estate agency specialising in prime London property have claimed that high street branches are ‘dead’ and that the industry will eventually have to embrace more flexible working patterns.Rollo Miles and Bob Crowley (pictured, above) co-founded Agent & Homes last year and in January said the Notting Hill based business was growing quickly and had 18 staff.They now claim that London vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants lead such busy and time-pressured lives that most are only available during the evenings or weekends.“It therefore makes logical sense for agents to make themselves available at these times, rather than being chained to rigid traditional office hours,” says Crowley.Consequently the traditional estate agency branch and it’s 8.30am to 6.30pm hours is no longer relevant to many potential clients, he claims.“We believe there is no point in agents sitting around in dead high street offices all day when they could be providing a more pro-active, hands-on, efficient service at the times that suit their clients.”More motivatedFellow co-founder Rollo Miles says this approach also has benefits for estate agency employees because allowing staff to work more autonomously and to their own targets makes them more motivated.“These days, it’s increasingly recognised that it’s important for people to have a good work/life balance with the opportunity to take holidays and time off,” he says.“In order to remain profitable and meet the changing needs of modern consumers, agents need to embrace the flexible working structures adopted by many other sectors.“Providing a professional and expert service which isn’t constrained by a high street office or traditional working hours really is the future of estate agency in this country.”  John D Wood Rollo Miles agent & homes Bob Crowley October 9, 2019Nigel Lewis2 commentsSam Samuel, Edward Ashdale Edward Ashdale 9th October 2019 at 10:03 amI suppose it differs from area to area. Central London is a very different market.In the suburb of London we have found that people are viewing properties during working hours in the week, taking time out from work to secure that property if they are serious. Saturdays viewing demand is usually into the morning because it would seem people want to balance their own work and personal life commitments.Agree it’s important to offer flexible working hours to accommodate the modern demands of a buyer or tenant and your team, but if you have a lettings and property management department those services are carried out during the day. There is a lot of administration necessary and liaison with other companies can only be done during office hours. Certainly my sales team are not sitting around doing nothing between usual office hours. Solicitor firms do not work outside of office hours.As the time passes most certainly a flexible approach to staff hours and the needs of the customer need to be met, but businesses that provide a range of services, not just residential sales will be the reason why a branch will always be necessary.Log in to ReplyAndrew Stanton, CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist 9th October 2019 at 7:13 amThe way people work is changing in all industries and professions, and the explosion of Proptech is certainly changing the role of estate agents.But, from my experience having clients outside the London bubble, many of them ‘traditional’ style agencies who return profits of £400,000 per office year after year, this outcome always seems to be based on a solid team of property professionals with 10 or more years experience, working a 8.30 to 6.0 pm working pattern.The ‘dead time’ – which I assume Rollo and Bob allude to is the non-reactive time when there are no viewers or tenants around to physically service, but, standout agents I have found use the ‘dead time’ to be pro-active, develop their marketing strategy and push forward the fortunes of their agency.With clients able to access their ‘agent’ 24-7 via numerous avenues of contact, in some ways agents are far more accessible and so have a need to be more attentive than back when I started, when you put the office answer phone on and came in the next day to deal with things, now at the ping of a button.We are all super connected, and if making substantial profit is your aim, then utilising the ‘dead time’ should perhaps be the focus point, which of course negates the concept of putting your feet up and enjoying more time off.If anything with the rise of the millennials – to stay ahead of the pack – more customer contact is the new watchword, involving more hours at the office – be it the office in the high street, in your car, or the coffee shop, or the hotel foyer, or the study or the bedroom that you trade out of.Only 4% of clients may be walking into offices, but 100% of them want service and unfortunately from my experience they can connect at any time, not just from 4pm onwards and at week ends.Thoughts anyone?Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

INS Kalvari fires her first torpedo

first_img Share this article Indian diesel-electric submarine INS Kalvari fires her first torpedo View post tag: Indian Navy View post tag: Kalvari-class May 30, 2017 Back to overview,Home naval-today Indian diesel-electric submarine INS Kalvari fires her first torpedo View post tag: DCNS View post tag: INS Kalvari View post tag: MDL Authorities In another step towards becoming a commissioned unit of the Indian Navy, the lead ship of a new class of submarines fired her first torpedo this month.The indigenously built INS Kalvari carried out the torpedo firing on May 26, an Indian Navy announcement said.Prior to the torpedo firings, INS Kalvari tested her Exocet SM39 anti-ship missile in a test in March this year.INS Kalvari was initially set to be commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2016 but delays in sea trials postponed the boat’s entry into service.Kalvari is to be handed over to the Indian Navy only after she completes all trials, including sensors and weapon fitment, navy officials reportedly told the Indian shipbuilder Mazagon Dockyards Limited and the French designer DCNS.Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd Mumbai (MDL) will build a total of six Scorpene-class submarines for the Indian Navy through a ‘transfer of technology’ agreement with French shipbuilder DCNS. The second Kalvari-class submarine, INS Khanderi, was launched on January 12 this year.last_img read more

City Council Meeting May 21, 2018

first_imgIV.SPECIAL ORDERS OF THE DAY R-2018-13 Attachment: IX.MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS C.ORDINANCE F-2018-03 An Ordinance Regarding City of Evansville Funds Allocated to ECHO Housing Corp. Sponsor(s): Elpers, Weaver Discussion Led By: Finance Chair Weaver 5/21/2018 F.ORDINANCE R-2018-12 AMENDED An Ordinance to Rezone Certain Real Estate in the City of Evansville, State of Indiana, More Commonly Known as 812 Lincoln Avenue Petitioner: Ruperto Burrows Owner: Ruperto Burrows Requested Change: C1 to C4 w/ UDC Ward: 4 Robinson Representative: Shawn M. Sullivan, Esq., Terrell, Baugh, Salmon & Born, LLP XI.ADJOURNMENT I.INTRODUCTION E.ORDINANCE F-2018-08 An Ordinance of the Evansville Common Council Authorizing the City of Evansville, Indiana, to Issue One or More Series of its “Economic Development Revenue Bonds (SP Evansville, LLC Project)”, and Approving and Authorizing Other Actions in Respect Thereto Sponsor(s): Weaver Discussion Led By: Finance Chair Weaver 5/21/2018 F-2018-09 Attachment: F-2018-09 AMENDED Attachment: C.ADDITIONAL MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS B.ORDINANCE F-2018-09 AMENDED An Ordinance of the Common Council of the City of Evansville Authorizing Repeals and Re-Appropriations within the Department of Metropolitan Development Sponsor(s): Weaver Discussion Led By: Finance Chair Weaver 6/11/2018 A.ORDINANCE G-2018-16 An Ordinance Granting a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for the Operation of Black Car Vehicles for the Year 2018 – Peach Street LLC Sponsor(s): Adams Discussion Led By: ASD Chair Adams 6/11/2018 F-2018-08 Attachment: V.CONSENT AGENDA:  FIRST READING OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS AGENDA Attachment: G-2018-13 Attachment: D.ORDINANCE F-2018-06 An Ordinance of the Common Council of the City of Evansville Authorizing Transfers of Appropriations, Additional Appropriations and Repeal and Re-Appropriation of Funds for Various City Funds Sponsor(s): Weaver Discussion Led By: Finance Chair Weaver 5/21/2018 R-2018-17 Attachment: B.BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS E.ORDINANCE R-2018-17 An Ordinance to Rezone Certain Real Estate in the City of Evansville, State of Indiana, More Commonly Known as 428 – 514 Jefferson Avenue Petitioner: NRP Holdings LLC Owner: Evansville Land Bank Corp. Requested Change: R2 to R3 Ward: 4 Robinson Representative: Aaron Pechota, NRP Holdings LLC X.COMMITTEE REPORTS VIII.RESOLUTION DOCKETcenter_img G-2018-16 Attachment: G-2018-15 Attachment: B.ORDINANCE G-2018-15 An Ordinance to Vacate a Public Right of Way in Evansville, Indiana on the Property Commonly Known as All of the Alleyway Northwesterly of 706-718 Court Street and Being that Alleyway as Plated Within Stockwell’s Enlargement to the City of Evansville as Per the Plat Thereof, Recorded in Plat Book E, Page 31 the Office of the Recorder of Vanderburgh County, Indiana Sponsor(s): Robinson Discussion Led By: Public Works Chair Mosby 5/21/2018 F-2018-03 Attachment: MEMO Attachment: G.ORDINANCE R-2018-13 An Ordinance to Rezone Certain Real Estate in the City of Evansville, State of Indiana, More Commonly Known as Part of 1000 W. Illinois Street, 1025, 1029, and 1033 W. Indiana Street Petitioner: Mike Stevens Owner: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church Requested Change: R4 to M1 w/ UDC Ward: 6 Brinkmeyer Representative: James Morley, Morley Corp. R-2018-16 Attachment: D.ORDINANCE R-2018-16 An Ordinance to Rezone Certain Real Estate in the City of Evansville, State of Indiana, More Commonly Known as Part of 535 Lincoln Avenue Petitioner: Memorial Community Development Corporation Owner: Memorial Community Development Corporation Requested Change: C4 to C2 Ward: 4 Robinson Representative: Bret Sermersheim, Morley Corp. CITY COUNCILMAY 21, 2018 at 5:30 P.M. in room 301 at the Civic CenterAGENDA R-2018-12 AttachmentR-2018-12 AMENDED Attachment: VI.COMMITTEE REPORTS R-2018-15 Attachment: II.APPROVAL OF MEETING MEMORANDA C.ORDINANCE R-2018-15 An Ordinance to Rezone Certain Real Estate in the City of Evansville, State of Indiana, More Commonly Known as 100 – 108 E. Louisiana Street Petitioner: Betty J. Hammer Owner: Betty J. Hammer Requested Change: R2 to C4 w/ UDC Ward: 3 Hayden Representative: Krista Lockyear, Lockyear Law III.REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS A.ORDINANCE G-2018-13 An Ordinance Amending Chapter 3.110 (Accounts and Transfers) of the Evansville Municipal Code Sponsor(s): Weaver, Mosby Discussion Led By: Finance Chair Weaver 5/21/2018 VII.REGULAR AGENDA:  SECOND READING OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS A.THE NEXT MEETING of the Common Council will be Monday, June 11, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare F-2018-06 Attachment:last_img read more

Counting Our Blessings for Thanksgiving

first_imgThanksgiving, that quintessential American holiday provides the opportunity to reflect on our many blessings.  The ritual turkey feasts, family gatherings, football rivalries are trappings of the day.  But the essence of Thanksgiving is to pause and consider all that we are so fortunate to have and enjoy.That is no different here at OCNJ Daily. For the better part of the last year, the site’s new ownership group is so very thankful for the opportunity to serve you, the reader, and to tell some of the many amazing stories surrounding America’s Greatest Family Resort.Tom Tumelty. left, and Tom Kennedy as they raise the American Flag at dawn in honor of Capt. Brian T. Kennedy. Recalled as a ‘Special’ MarineHere are just a few of the things for which we are grateful:Some of America’s -and the world’s-  best beaches, and the majestic Atlantic OceanA thriving downtown shopping districtA Boardwalk brimming with unique shops and amusementsOur American Legion and VFW Posts that support our Vets, Active Duty Soldiers, and their familiesJohnson’s popcorn, Brown’s doughnuts, Ward’s pastries, Mallon’s Sticky Buns, and all of the other uniquely Ocean City delicaciesA public safety department, Police, Fire and EMS professionals dedicated to keeping us safePublic schools and a Board of Education dedicated to preparing our young people for an increasingly complex futureA Mayor and Council that, despite any political differences, ultimately have the best interests of the town in mindOne of New Jersey’s newest, best and safest skateboard parks One of nations top surf communitiesA full schedule of special events such as First Night, Block Party, Indian Summer Weekend, Night in Venice, etc.One of the nation’s best and most active Community CentersLocal communities of runners, surfers, bike enthusiasts and almost every other recreational group imaginableThe historic Music Pier and its many concerts, shows, exhibits, and our resident orchestra, the Ocean City PopsMunicipal Airport and Golf CourseA bay thriving with recreational sailors, kayakers and paddle boardersCivic clubs and organizations which strive to make Ocean City even betterCharitable organizations such as the Clothes Closet, Food Cupboard and many others helping the less fortunateWacky events such as the Doo Dah Parade, Businessperson’s Plunge, and Martin Z. Mollusk DayA pet-friendly environment featuring a dog park, Humane Society, Veterinarian Clinic and no-kill Animal ShelterA Causeway Bridge that also serves as a welcome center, fishing pier, jogging trail, and birder’s paradise A state-of-the -art turf field at Carey Stadium that will allow us to host many eventsOf course, beyond these specifics, there is the big picture of living in or visiting a world class resort town that is also a full-service year-round city with enough products and services that allows us to stay in town.  Traveling offshore is usually an optional activity.Constantine Beseris catches some serious air at the Cape May County Skate Park in OCNJ.Just another day in paradise for two young menThese are but a few things we are thankful for this holiday season.  Please feel free to add to the list on our facebook page when you are giving thanks this year.last_img read more

Vermont tax revenues exceed targets for GF, Transpo and Education

first_imgVermont tax revenues exceeded their adjusted targets in September in the three major categories and in nearly all sub-categories. The most promising of which was the personal income tax, which was down in August. The fiscal year-to-date numbers also exceeded targets, but more modestly. The General Fund was up 5.09 percent in September and 2.37 percent YTD ($263 million). Of this, personal income, by far the single largest component, was up .57 percent YTD ($129.85 million total). The Transportation Fund was up 3.87 percent YTD ($55.05 million total), with all components exceeding targets. And the Education Fund was ahead .52 percent YTD ($36.09 total). The most notable component that failed to exceed its YTD target was the sales and use tax, which came in below target by .18 percent YTD ($51.32 million total). However, its September number did exceed its target by .14 percent.The September General Fund Revenues were released by Secretary of Administration Neale F Lunderville on Friday. September marks the end of the first quarter of FY 2010. General Fund revenues totaled $105.64 million for September 2009, +$5.09 million or +5.06% above the $100.55 million consensus revenue forecast for the month. Year to date, General Fund revenues of $263.00 million were +$6.09 million and +2.37% above the year to date FY 2010 target.The monthly targets reflect the recently revised Fiscal Year 2010 Consensus Revenue Forecast that was adjusted downward by the Emergency Board on July 16, 2009. The State s Consensus Revenue Forecast is normally updated two times per year in January and July. However, with the continuation of this recession, the Emergency Board has been scheduling interim quarterly revenue reviews. The next consensus forecast is scheduled to be reviewed by the Emergency Board on November 12, 2009.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 September were $52.65 million, +$0.32 million or +0.61% ahead of the monthly target. Sales & Use Tax, at $16.69 million was +$0.02 million or +0.14% above target. Rooms & Meals Tax was $12.64 million, +$1.06 million or +9.13% above target for September. The largest favorable result was in Corporate Income Tax receipts, which are also reported net-of refunds. Corporate Tax receipts for September were $12.43 million or +$2.90 million (+30.36%) above the target for the month. However, as the September Corporate increase is based on estimated taxes, we will not know if the above target results are subject to refund until the actual tax returns are filed. The year to date results for the four major General Fund categories are as follows: Personal Income Tax, $129.85 million (+0.57%); Sales & Use Tax, $51.32 million (-0.18%); Corporate, $14.64 million (+21.87%); and Meals & Rooms, $33.05 million (+4.34%).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 September were as follows: Insurance Tax, $0.71 million (-39.51%); Estate Tax, $2.51 million (+96.43%); Property Transfer Tax, $0.81 million (+21.44%); and other, $7.21 million (-1.66%). Year to date results for these categories were: Insurance Tax, $8.41 million (+7.87%); Estate Tax, $4.94 million (+43.32%); Property Transfer Tax, $2.16 million (+12.74%); and Other, $18.63 million (-4.61%).Transportation FundSecretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the non-dedicated Transportation Fund Revenue, revenue of $20.16 million for the month or +$1.67 million (+9.05%), above the monthly target for September. The year to date non-dedicated Transportation revenue was $55.05 million versus the target of $53.00 million (+$2.05 million, +3.87%).Revenue from the Gasoline Tax, Diesel Tax, Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, Motor Vehicle Fees, and Other were all above the September monthly target. The Transportation Fund revenue results for September were: Gasoline, $5.75 million or +0.36% above target; Diesel Tax, $2.01 million or +68.81% above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $4.64 million or +9.09% above target; Motor Vehicle Fees, $5.94 million or +0.87% above target; and Other Fees, $1.83 million or +27.62% above the monthly target. Looking at the national vehicle sales for September, we see that the number of units sold has fallen back to the rate of sales that existed before the Cash for Clunkers program . We are not yet certain that the increased number of vehicles sold in July and August were in fact additional sales or merely a compression of sales that would have occurred over the next several months anyway, said Secretary Lunderville.The September year to date Transportation Fund revenue results were: Gasoline, $16.57 million or +3.11% above target; Diesel Tax, $3.95 million or +31.07% above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $12.07 million or +4.52% above target; Motor Vehicle Fees, $17.70 million or +0.01% above target; and Other Fees, $4.75 million or +1.88% above target.Secretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the Transportation Infrastructure Bond Fund ( TIB ) (see Act 50 of the 2009 session). Receipts in the TIB Fund are generated by a motor fuel (gas and diesel) assessment on distributors. The TIB Fund receipts are dedicated first to pay 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. These potential remaining monies could be used to offset any unforeseen non-dedicated Transportation Fund Revenue shortfalls. TIB Fund receipts for September were $1.06 million or -15.23%; year to date, TIB Fund receipts were $3.12 million or -12.17%. The TIB Fund receipts are noted at the bottom of 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). Education Fund receipts for September totaled $12.59 million, or +$0.33 million (+2.66%) above the $18.49 million consensus revenue target for the month.The individual Education Fund revenue component results for September were: Sales & Use Tax, $8.34 or +0.14%; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $2.32 million or +9.09%; Lottery Transfer, $1.90 million or +4.61%; and Education Fund Interest, $0.02 million or -279.57%. Year-to-date results were: Sales & Use Tax, $25.66 or -0.18%; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $6.04 million or +4.52%; Lottery Transfer, $4.37 million or -1.43%; and Education Fund Interest, $0.02 million or -305.37%. We are hopeful that our current consensus revenue forecast appears to be holding up, commented Secretary Lunderville. Although September s numbers were better than expected, it is important to remember these revenues are compared against significantly downgraded expectations. The economists continue to remind us that even when the recession is over it will take many years to regain the jobs and revenue lost during this downturn.Lunderville concluded: As I ve noted before, with a projected budget shortfall of over $200 million over the next two fiscal years, our budget situation remains very difficult. For FY 2010, the general fund receipts are $31.0 million or 10.6% below the same period for FY 2009, and 3.4% below the same period for FY 2006.Source: Administration office. 10.16.2009last_img read more

Blackstone Bets Big on Low Natural Gas Prices for the Long Term

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:Blackstone Group LP has a deal to buy Harvest Fund Advisors LLC, an investment-management firm with more than $10 billion in assets under management that focuses on midstream energy assets.The move is part of a large Blackstone bet that it can profit on rising natural-gas production, even if gas prices remain stuck at depressed levels. The New York private-equity firm has built a roughly $7 billion bet on natural gas by investing in drilling fields, pipelines and a gas export terminal, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.Wall Street Journal:Blackstone Group BX -0.48% LP is making one of its biggest bets on the growth of natural gas production, wagering that even if gas prices remain stuck at depressed levels, it can profit.The New York private-equity firm has built a roughly $7 billion bet on natural gas by investing in drilling fields, pipelines and a gas export terminal. The latest piece came last month, when it agreed to pay $1.57 billion for a 32.4% stake in the Rover Pipeline, a 710-mile tube being built across Ohio.Natural gas investments have been popular in recent years among private-equity firms. Many investments count on prices rising to turn profits—and have been doomed by low prices.Blackstone says its wager is generally more dependent on production volumes increasing than on prices climbing. Most of the $7 billion has been put toward moving gas out of areas where drilling has increased despite low prices. The remainder has been invested in exploration and production in those regions.“We’re betting on which basins are going to be the winners,” said David Foley, who leads the firm’s energy investing. He’s put Blackstone’s money down in West Texas, Appalachia and Louisiana.Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and others say that abundant supply, and production that can be ramped up quickly, should keep U.S. natural gas prices at an average of around $3 per million British thermal units for the next couple of years. Futures contracts for gas to be delivered in the winter, when demand and prices tend to be highest, don’t exceed $3.50 per mmBtu until late 2027, according to FactSet.Blackstone joins a crowded field of private-equity firms that have barreled into gas investments since the combination of horizontal drilling and a rock-cracking process called hydraulic fracturing unlocked new drilling fields across the country. These firms’ cash helped feed a drilling frenzy that has produced a flood of the heating and power-generation fuel.More: ($) Why Blackstone Is Betting $7 Billion on Natural Gas Blackstone Bets Big on Low Natural Gas Prices for the Long Termlast_img read more

Second Combat Camera Exchange

first_imgColombia, Mexico, and the United States got together for the Second Combat Camera Exchange at Colombia’s Integral Action and International Missions School (Esmai) under the framework of the “Cooperation Plan on Integral Action between the U.S. Southern Command, the Colombian Ministry of Defense, and the Joint Staff of the Colombian Armed Forces.” The meeting was held April 20-24, 2015, and was led by Dr. Benjamin P. Gochman and Lieutenant Colonel David Jenkins, both from the Information Operations Office (J39) of the U.S. Northern Command, and Major Eduardo José Larumbe, Information Operations Program Coordinator at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). The event was also attended by camera operators and photographers from the National Defense Department of Mexico, the Mexican Department of the Navy and experts and instructors in Combat Cameras from Colombia’s National Army, National Navy, Air Force and National Police. Lastly, authorities hope to be able to continue these combat camera expert exchanges, so as to continue sharing best practices between the countries and militaries, and thereby strengthen their ties against transnational organized crime. The closing ceremony for this second exchange was led by Colonel Juvenal Díaz Mateus, Director of the Military Education Center, who highlighted the importance and need for combat cameras in the Colombian Armed Forces, who have strengthened their work through the experiences they have gained during more than 50 years of conflict. By Dialogo July 06, 2015 For that purpose, they conducted a practical field exercise at the Facatativa Communications School, where participants were exposed to various scenarios and developed their skills and knowledge as combat cameras, in order to fulfill the mission assigned on the training grounds. Through exhibitions and real-life experiences, the participants shared knowledge, tactics and procedures to integrate combat camera capabilities into Integral Action and information operations, establishing recommendations aimed at strengthening its capabilities and effectiveness. Additionally, they covered dissemination of doctrine in the region (Central America and the Caribbean). last_img read more

5 ways to entertain yourself without breaking the bank

first_imgLook for discounts: My local Regal Cinemas has a Value Day where movies are $5.09 all day long. Have a Regal Cinemas nearby? Find out when your Value Day is here. Don’t have a Regal around? Look for a coupon code here.Head to the library: Books are free to check out (as long as your return them on time) and there’s no better price than $0. Find something exciting to read and your weekend is planned. Don’t feel like reading? Check out your library’s DVD section and watch one of those summer blockbusters you never got around to seeing.Volunteer: When was the last time you spent your weekend doing something for someone else? Head down to the local food bank or find out if Habitat for Humanity is doing anything nearby. Not only will you feel good when you’re done volunteering your Saturday, but you may pick up some skills that you can use in your own home.Find free events: Somewhere in your town there’s something free to do. Grab a newspaper or check the window at your local coffee shop and I bet you’ll find something to do almost every night of the week.Go visit Mother Nature: Last time I checked, going outside was free, so take advantage. Hike a nature trail, head to the mountains, or throw a worm in a pond and catch a fish. These are relatively cheap (if not free) options. Don’t know where to go hike? Check out 57SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: Detailslast_img read more