Aqueous Rages In Columbus With Strange Mechanics

first_imgAqueous lit Columbus up last weekend as they came in hot to Woodlands Tavern. With opening support from Cincinnati’s Strange Mechanics, it was a family affair for Ohio jam band fans who traveled from all over to share in the groove.As usual, Aqueous didn’t disappoint on the improv front. With what seemed like millions of teases from Hava Nagila to Weezer, a real gem of a performance was polished with the sit in from guitarist Rory Cooper of Strange Mechanics. He added some serious shreds in tandem with AQ lead guitar Mike Gantzer, and the two put on a real clinic.Another highlight of the show had to be the encore. It’s a tie between the exact moment of realization that the song they were playing that seemed so familiar, was actually from the Legend of Zelda (“Saria’s Song”), and the AQ original tune, “Origami.” As for “Saria’s Song,” with the addition of a full band of improv surrounding the childhood melody we all felt familiar with, it was a nice nod to making something new from what we already know. It was like a similar approach as Phish with their Chilling, Thrilling Sounds set perhaps, and it sounded awesome. As for “Origami,” that song just totally shreds. I think all four members really seem to dig playing that song, and it’s a perfect way to end a really high-octane night of music.Maybe it was something to do with the Saturday factor, or just the superior jams from both bands, but everyone at Woodlands came out hard for Aqueous and Strange Mechanics. Look for Strange Mechanics returning to Columbus on December 10th headlining Bass Jam, and Aqueous in Cincinnati December 30 on a bill with Dopapod, then in Albany on 12/31, with a bunch of dates in between. Tour dates can be found here.Setlist: Aqueous at Woodlands Tavern, Columbus, OH – 11/19/16Set: Aldehyde> Complex Pt I, Band On the Run (Wings/McCartney cover) > All In (W/ Rory from Strange Mechanics), Half in Half Out> SkywayEncore: Saria’s Song (Legend of Zelda) > Origami (contained Weezer’s ‘Hash Pipe’ jam)last_img read more

Organ Freeman & The Turkuaz Horns Announce Brooklyn Show

first_imgWest Coast-based power-jazz/funk trio Organ Freeman is heading east for a special show in New York City, and they’re bringing some funky friends with them. Organ Freeman & The Turkuaz Horns will hold court at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory for one night only on Saturday, April 28th. The night will be opened by local favorites Circus Mind.For those who are unfamiliar, Organ Freeman is one of the most talented young bands in the contemporary funk and jazz scene. Based in Los Angeles, Organ Freeman has been making a name for themselves over the past few years with their slick and impressive live performances. Their tight instrumental sound is created by just three people–Trevor Steer on organ and keyboards, Erik Carlson on guitar, and Rob Humphreys on drums–all of whom are fantastic players in their own right, and, when together on stage, they compliment each other brilliantly to create something groovy and exciting. It should come as no surprise that the band has spent extensive time cutting their teeth on the road with two of the best bands in live music: Umphrey’s McGee and Turkuaz.Turkuaz & Motet Members To Pay Tribute To Musicians We Lost In 2017 During Jazz FestOrgan Freeman has played in New York City several times before, supporting The Main Squeeze, Twiddle, and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, and for an appearance at the 2016 edition of Brooklyn Comes Alive, but this show at Knitting Factory will mark their first-ever headlining performance in NYC. The Turkuaz Horns should help elevate this show to another level, matching the special vibe of the occasion.[Video: Organ Freeman]Circus Mind is a funky rock band that hails from Long Island. They have been playing together for over twenty years, focusing on the funky sounds of the 1970s, and will undoubtedly provide the perfect vibe as they open the night up for Organ Freeman.[Video: Circus Mind]Tickets for this show are on sale NOW at this link. See below for full information on this show, including art designed by Accepted Perspective–Poster Art by Jimmy RectorDate: Saturday, April 28th, 2018Artist: Live For Live Music Presents: Organ Freeman & The Turkuaz Horns w/ Special Guests Circus MindVenue: Knitting Factory – 361 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211Times: Doors – 7:00 PM / Show – 8:00 PMTickets: $12 Advance / $15 Day of show – [Buy Tickets]last_img read more

Harvard rolls out plan for the future

first_imgBusinesses, government, and social-sector institutions — including higher education — must incorporate a deeper consideration of human well-being into the evolving approach to sustainable development at all levels, noted Harvard professors William Clark and Jack Spengler in the introduction to the Harvard Sustainability Plan.The plan, released today, builds on this premise by setting a holistic vision and clear priorities for how the University will move toward an even healthier, more sustainable campus community. The five-year operational plan, created with input from hundreds of students, faculty, and staff, targets reductions in energy, water, and waste while also focusing on sustainable operations, culture change, and human health.“This plan recognizes that creating a sustainable campus strengthens our core research and teaching mission, and it acknowledges that the challenges before us are complex and interconnected, demanding an ever-developing approach to sustainability,” Harvard President Drew Faust wrote in the foreword. “It considers the University’s role in the world and recognizes our shared responsibility to build and operate a campus that contributes to the well-being of every member of our community — and ultimately to the health of the planet.”The plan centers around five core topics: emissions and energy, campus operations, nature and ecosystems, health and well-being, and culture and learning. From there it builds on the substantial progress that has already been achieved in reducing energy and emissions, building and running greener, more efficient buildings, and implementing sustainable operations throughout campus. It also encourages students, faculty, and staff to continue piloting sustainability solutions throughout the University by using Harvard’s cutting-edge research and teaching to tackle real-world challenges on campus“What’s exciting about this plan is that it’s spearheading the next steps of the sustainability movement by pushing into new contexts beyond greenhouse-gas emissions and challenging us to think more holistically,” said Michael Popejoy, a fellow in the Department of Philosophy, and member of the University’s Council of Student Sustainability Leaders. “It was a valuable opportunity as a student to be part of something that could have such far-reaching effects, and my hope is that students can be instrumental in carrying the plan forward by implementing it in their lives both on and off campus.”A science-based goal established in 2008 to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 30 percent by 2016, is the University’s most ambitious sustainability commitment to date. Comprehensive Green Building Standards in place since 2009 have made the University a leader in green building, with more LEED-certified projects than any other higher education institution in the world, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.In addition to the existing climate goal, which takes growth into account, three additional sustainability goals are laid out in the plan and set specific targets within a set timeframe:Waste: Reduce waste per capita 50 percent by 2020 from a 2006 baseline, with the goal of becoming a zero-waste campus.Water: Reduce University-wide water use 30 percent by 2020 from a 2006 baseline, including process, irrigation, and potable water use.Landscaping: Maintain at least 75 percent of the University’s landscaped areas organically by 2020.Additionally, Harvard plans to establish and require compliance with operational standards in the areas of green building, green cleaning, green IT, climate preparedness, procurement, and healthful food. The standards were developed to ensure that a consistent approach is being implemented. But because Harvard is a decentralized organization, they were also designed with input from Schools and departments to allow for maximum flexibility in how they are implemented.“Our approach to sustainability is to tap into the creative ideas and innovations that our students, faculty, and staff are generating on the local level and then work to replicate them across the University for greater impact,” said Executive Vice President Katie Lapp. “This plan will align the University’s Schools and departments around common goals, standards, and commitments for moving forward.”The plan also outlines a stronger focus on health and well-being as a core priority in future years. The University pledges to increase participation and access to the Healthy Harvard wellness initiative, and to reduce the Harvard community’s exposure to toxic chemicals, with a special focus on the natural and built environment, indoor air quality, furnishing, and cleaning products. As part of this commitment, Harvard will identify and target at least two significant chemicals of concern for which viable alternatives exist, and develop a plan for eliminating exposure to those chemicals on campus.Finally, Harvard set out 32 commitments and recommendations for future research and action in areas ranging from sustainable procurement requirements for vendors, to governance and engagement programs designed to build a culture of sustainability across the University.The Harvard Office for Sustainability (OFS) led the development of the Sustainability Plan after a multiyear stakeholder engagement process, and has already begun to implement it as part of a University-wide engagement strategy. To ensure transparency and continual improvement, OFS will release an annual University-wide report in meeting the plan’s goals via the online Sustainability Impact Report.Ultimately, those involved with its development say the plan should be viewed as a vehicle for empowering individual action and entrepreneurialism in sustainability at every level of the University. “The creation of Harvard’s first University-wide Sustainability Plan is much more than an exercise in strategic planning,” wrote Clark and Spengler in its introduction. “It is an opportunity for every member of our community to reflect on what role they can play in enhancing our collective well-being for a more sustainable future.”last_img read more

Tax dips

first_imgGATE is a two-year-old program, created by Georgia House Bill 386, that offers qualified agricultural producers a sales tax exemption on agricultural equipment and production inputs. The program refined and replaced the Agricultural Certification of Exemption (ST-A1).The truth is that several tax changes went into effect in Georgia in 2013. Perhaps the biggest changes were to the ad valorem and sales taxes for automobiles, and tax exemptions for energy. To help identify the root of the decline, economists at the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development conducted an analysis to determine the causes of the tax collection decreases that local communities are facing. Here are the findings of that analysis: In looking at the Georgia Department of Revenue’s published commodity reports of sales tax distributions by county, broken down by business type as defined by North American Industry Classification System codes, it’s clear that shifts occurred over the two-year period since the tax changes went into effect. The classification system divides the state’s tax collections into sectors: accommodations, automotive, construction, food and bar, general merchandise, home furnishings, manufacturing, miscellaneous, other retail, other services, utilities and wholesale.When comparing 2011-2012 tax distributions to 2013-2014 tax distributions, the sector changing the most dramatically (as a fraction of the entire sales tax distribution made to counties) was automotive (-7 percent), while gains were made in food and bar (+2 percent), general merchandise (+2 percent), other retail (+2 percent) and construction (+1 percent) sectors. All other sectors essentially stayed the same in terms of proportion of the whole. Items allowed under the GATE program fall into several of these categories, including those that saw increases. Looking at the 24-month period before and after tax changes in terms of counties, the average Georgia county sales tax distribution declined by 7.9 percent. There were 134 counties that showed decline. After removing data for the automotive sector, only 73 counties showed decline. The average change, without automotive, for all counties becomes a decline of only 0.31 percent.Average Georgia county sales tax distributions actually went up by 5.9 percent over the time period when including the Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) distributions (from another Georgia Department of Revenue report) with sales tax distributions. But 20.8 percent, or 33 counties, did show negative growth in the time period compared once TAVT distributions are included.These reports help shed light on sales and TAVT tax distributions to Georgia localities before and after the tax changes. However, exact causation of the decline cannot be pinned down to one specific tax or tax exemption because sales taxes can be affected by a wide variety of national, state and local economic conditions. By Kent Wolfe and Sharon KaneUGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic DevelopmentBeginning in 2013, many of Georgia’s local governments started seeing downward trends in tax collections, causing local budget-makers some concern. The causes of local tax dips are hard to pinpoint, but some are pointing to the GATE, or Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption.last_img read more

SylvanSport: 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

first_img Learn more at SylvanSport.com GO Easy Gear Trailer starting at $1,995.00 Regardless of who you’re shopping for this holiday season, SylvanSport has something for everyone on your list! Hanging around camp, on a fun road trip, or hustling through the airport, our collection of adventure gear will be the coolest gift under the tree (or in the driveway). WayLight Hiking Pole $59.95 The Cloud Layer™ Double Sleeping Bag (larger than a queen bed!) offers home-like comfort for you…and a friend. From a 20° night or a 60° summer evening, the multiple layers make the Cloud Layer system as versatile as it is comfortable. Cloud Layer Single Sleeping Bag $199.99 GO Camper $9,995.00 “This mattress is the bomb for camping! Self-inflating feature works great! It is roomy enough to roll over, rather than the typical “slide and scoot” method of my other pads. Extremely comfortable. Slept on it for a week in the woods and never missed my home mattress!” – Chris B. Cloud Layer Air Mattress $199.99 With 3 light modes (spot, lantern, both), WayLight offers a variety of lighting options and the height adjustment is easy to use and secure. There are even slots in the basket for bamboo skewers to roast marshmallows around the campfire! WayLight is your light-up companion while finding your way down the trail, hanging out around the campfire, or taking Fido on his evening walk. The Hacky Pack Daypack is THE perfect ‘everything’ bag. At only 4oz and stowable into a 4” stuff sack/ball, the Hacky Pack is right at home on the trail, at the grocery store, or traveling on a plane. “I love this pop up kitchen. I couldn’t believe how this huge, sturdy kitchen popped up from such a small carry case. I bought it to use when I go glamping, but now I keep it and my small grill in the back of my truck at all times. I love that it has a lot of prep and storage space. I’m definitely a happy camper!” – Linda B. Over Easy Camp Kitchen $349.99 “A truly great design, clearly engineered with great thought & detail and quality materials. The versatility seems limitless. I really appreciate the waterproof storage, cargo space, size, and the optional long tow bar. I also really value how easy it is to remove the tongue to maximize my garage space. A job/product extremely well done!” – Mr. F. Hacky Pack Daypack $39.99 Cloud Layer Double Sleeping Bag $299.99 “Love it! We have had our GO for over a year now…2 successful camping summers. Made us fall in love with camping again! Makes planning easier, set up is easy, and just a fun unit!” – Judy S. The Cloud Layer™ Single Sleeping Bag offers home-like comfort, whether it’s a 20° night or a 60° summer evening. Its spacious design, organic cotton sheet, multiple layer configurations, and compatible mattress makes you feel right at home. last_img read more

Brazil: Security Forces Seize Three Tons of Marijuana

first_img Mexican officials to try alleged teenage killer as a minor Panama: Police seize more than two tons of cocaine Colombia: Police seize 105 kilograms of cocaine BOGOTÁ, Colombia – President Juan Manuel Santos’ administration scored a victory in its fight against narcotics when police recently seized 105 kilograms (231 pounds) of cocaine hidden in a shipment of fruit bound for the United States. The narcotic was discovered in the cargo area of the Alfonso Bonilla Aragón airport in the city of Cali in the department of Valle del Cauca, said Col. Carlos Alfonso Aguirre, the head of the Department of Ports and Airports of the Narcotics Division. Aguirre said the cocaine, which had a street value of about US$4.2 million, was initially headed for the island of San Andrés but “had as transit places countries in Central America, and the final destination would have been the United States.” No arrests were made, but police have launched an investigation to determine who owned the cocaine, according to the Colombian websites El Colombiano.com and El Espectador.com. CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico – The Federal Police have apprehended seven suspected gunmen who allegedly are members of the Gente Nueva, a group that works on behalf of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Federal Police officers confiscated five AK-47 assault rifles, about 300 rounds of ammunition and two vehicles from the suspects in the city that has become the country’s murder capital, the Public Safety Secretariat said, according to EFE. Police arrested José Ángel Juárez, Héctor Triana Aldaba, Gilberto Román Arguijo Rosales, Ángel Horacio Valles Peña, Juan Carlos Ramírez Rodríguez, Cristian Raymundo Miranda Juárez and Julian Ernesto Ordoñez Oliva during the operation, the secretariat said, according to EFE. José Ángel Juárez, Ángel Horacio Valles Peña, Juan Carlos Ramírez Rodríguez and Julian Ernesto Ordoñez Oliva have criminal records – for robbery and drug trafficking – according to the Federal Police’s Intelligence Center. The arrests were carried out after Federal Police received an anonymous phone call about two vehicles with armed men in the neighborhood of Praderas de la Sierra, in the southern section of Ciudad Juárez, according to EFE. The suspects, who range from 18 to 39, are mainly from the state of Chihuahua, home to Ciudad Juárez. Gente Nueva has been locked in a turf war with La Línea, which has partnered with the Juárez cartel in the fight to possess the state’s lucrative smuggling routes into the United States. The operation resulted in the apprehension of 11 Colombians, nine Spaniards, three Algerians and a Romanian national, and authorities are pursuing at least five more suspects in connection with the case. The Civil Guard seized a kilo of cocaine, €13,000 (US$17,227) in cash, and €40,000 (US$53,009) in property during the operation, according to the Colombian website El Colombiano. By Dialogo December 09, 2010 Spain: Police arrest 24 suspected narcotics traffickerscenter_img CUERNAVACA, Mexico – A 14-year-old boy who allegedly had a role in four beheadings on behalf of a drug cartel will be tried under a state juvenile law that carries a maximum three-year prison sentence if found guilty. The juvenile court judge in the state of Morelos could have ruled the boy, known only has “Edgar,” be tried in federal court because of the severity of his alleged crimes. The judge said national law allows him to take cases involving minors facing federal charges. Edgar, who goes by the alias “El Ponchis,” is facing murder, organized crime and other charges in the state of Morelos. RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Security forces recently confiscated three tons of marijuana in a housing complex in the Complexo do Alemão a week after about 2,500 police officers had descended into the slum to quell an uprising by suspected narcotics traffickers. The marijuana had been stashed in a hidden room behind a fake wall in a residence in the area known as Fasendinha, one of the 15 slums comprising Complexo do Alemão. The bust came after police and soldiers confiscated 33.8 tons of marijuana, 313.9 kilograms (692 pounds) of cocaine, 54 kilograms (119 pounds) of crack, and about two kilograms of hashish (4.4 pounds), as well as an array of assault rifles and grenades during a recent seven-day period that ended on Dec. 5, according to EFE. Edgar was apprehended last week along with his 19-year-old sister at an airport south of the nation’s capital. Officials allege he works on behalf of the Cartel of the South Pacific, an organization comprised of members who left the Beltrán Leyva cartel. “I participated in four executions, but I did it drugged and under threat that if I didn’t, they would kill me,” the boy told federal prosecutors, according to The Associated Press. PANAMA CITY, Panama – Police arrested three suspects in connection with the confiscation of 2,030 kilos (4,471 pounds) of cocaine, a senior prosecutor said on Dec. 5. Nataniel Murgas said the narcotic was seized during a traffic stop, when police discovered it hidden in a tank with a double bottom that was being towed by a van on Dec. 4. The police learned of the vehicle’s location because of a tip, he added. The bust occurred at a checkpoint in Guabala, in the province of Chiriquí, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) west of the nation’s capital, Murgas said. Police arrested a Panamanian and a Mexican who were escorting the van in a pickup truck, as well as a Honduran national who was driving the van, EFE reported. Law enforcement officials also confiscated three guns discovered inside the truck, according to a police report. Panama’s security forces have seized 71 tons of narcotics, mostly cocaine, so far this year, according to the Public Safety Ministry. Mexico: Federal Police arrest seven suspected cartel hitmen PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain – Eleven Colombians and nine Spaniards were among 24 suspected narcotics traffickers who were arrested during a nearly two-week operation carried out by the Civil Guard, officials said. Authorities said the suspects allegedly worked for an organization that trafficked cocaine in the Formentera in the Balearic Islands in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. last_img read more

David Raya to push for Arsenal transfer as Emiliano Martinez nears exit

first_imgDavid Raya to push for Arsenal transfer as Emiliano Martinez nears exit Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterFriday 11 Sep 2020 8:35 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.7kShares Raya helped Brentford to the Championship Playoff final, though they were beaten by Fulham (Getty)Martinez, meanwhile, looks set to be granted his wish to play regular first-team football by moving to Aston Villa after Dean Smith’s side lodged a £15million offer.The Gunners are still holding out for a bigger fee – closer to £20m – and would hope to spend less than half of that on signing Raya as his replacement, allowing the rest of the funds to be used to strengthen other areas of the pitch.MORE: Edu sends honest transfer message to Arsenal fans amid Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey rumoursMORE: Nigel Winterburn warns Arsenal they should only sell Emiliano Martinez on one conditionFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisementcenter_img The Gunners want to sign the Brentford keeper as Bernd Leno’s backup (Picture: Getty Images)Brentford goalkeeper David Raya is eager to join Arsenal this summer and his agent has made it clear they will do everything possible to try and secure a move to the Emirates.With the Gunners set to cash in on the impressive Emiliano Martinez – who is on the verge of joining Aston Villa – that leaves Mikel Arteta in need of a new backup option behind number one keeper Bernd Leno.Arsenal have set their sights on Raya, who has impressed in the Championship for Brentford, though the Bees have no desire to sell. Comment Arsenal will cash in on Martinez and want Raya as his replacement (Picture: Getty)But the Spanish shot-stopper is desperate to make the step up to the Premier League with Arsenal and is even prepared to hand in a transfer request to secure a move.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTRaya’s agent, Jaume Monell, confirmed to Spanish newspaper Sport that Arsenal have lodged a proposal for the keeper, but Brentford are refusing to negotiate and feel they hold all the cards with the 24-year-old contracted until 2023.If they continue to play hardball, Raya will try and force the move with Monell saying they ‘will do what is necessary’ to secure a move to Arsenal.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalArteta is a big fan of compatriot Raya, who counts as a homegrown player having left Spain at the age of 16 to join Blackburn Rovers.Arsenal’s goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana also knows Raya well, having worked with him at Brentford before being poached by the Gunners, and he would be keen on a reunion in north London.last_img read more

BLOG: Failure to Fund Schools Would Result in the Loss of 23,000 Educators

first_imgBLOG: Failure to Fund Schools Would Result in the Loss of 23,000 Educators By: Megan Healey, Deputy Press Secretary SHARE Email Facebook Twitter February 22, 2016center_img Budget News,  Education,  Schools That Teach,  The Blog Pennsylvania is at a crossroads. We can fund our schools and fix our deficit or we will be faced with an additional $1 billion in cuts to education funding. This $1 billion cut will lead to the immediate layoff of 23,000 educators in Pennsylvania.In January of 2011, Gov. Corbett was inaugurated. Around this time, schools began to plan for the coming 2011/2012 school year, not anticipating there would be a budget cut. Governor Corbett’s budget cuts passed in late June of 2011 – after many schools had passed their 2011 budgets. They had prior year appropriations and were budgeting for the next school year. For the 2012 school year, they had to account for the new appropriations and cuts. Between July of 2011 and December of 2012, 23,000 educators were lost in Pennsylvania. For budgeting purposes, this is immediate. They were baked into the next school budget cycle – the cycle when the appropriation cut hit. A 2014 survey by PASA and PASBO says “data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics documents the loss of more than 23,000 education jobs in Pennsylvania through the end of 2012.”Most importantly, while it is very useful to have a historic comparison to make when we estimate the impact of a $1 billion cut to education, that estimation and its impact – whether by size of the layoffs or timing – is much different today than it was in 2011.There are three areas where local school districts can make decisions. They can cut programs. They can raise property taxes. They can reduce personnel. But the environment is significantly different today than 2011/2012.First:There are fewer programs to cut today than there were in 2011 and 2012. Since 2010/11, there have been 783 programs eliminated at schools in addition to 370 academic programs schools slated to eliminate according to a 2014 survey by PASA and PASBO. According to the survey, “the cumulative number of program eliminations and reductions is estimated to be well over 1,100 within the next school year.” Further, schools said 220 sports or extracurricular programs would either be eliminated or face a fee. This survey even adds that they might have underestimated the program cuts in schools, “This analysis may understate the depth of academic program cuts and reductions in two ways. First, substantial impacts were felt in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis and in the first years of the recession, while this report documents program reductions only since 2010. Second, districts were asked to indicate cuts at the ‘program’ or category level—for example, ‘music/theater programs.’ Since a district could have made multiple cuts within a single program—such as marching band AND jazz band AND chorus for this example—the number of eliminations and reductions should be treated as a floor, not a ceiling.”Schools are cut to the bone and there are fewer available options for schools to cut programs in order to make up for an additional $1 billion state education cut.Second:Legislation restricted local school districts’ ability to raise property taxes to make up for cuts. This means that state level cuts are more harmful today than five years ago. There simply is not the ability to compensate. School districts that were able to replace revenue and keep teachers in 2011 and 2012 do not have that option.Act 25 of 2011 made several changes to the Taxpayer Relief Act, including reducing the number of referendum exceptions that could be requested from PDE. Exceptions that were removed were for new construction projects (academic and nonacademic projects), maintenance of local and state tax revenues, school improvement plans and health care-related benefits.In 2011-12, there were seven referendum exception. Now, there are only three – pensions, special ed and school construction. (For this, all the school construction categories are counted as one.)Third:Even before these changes, schools identified staff reductions as a preferred means – of their limited means – of balancing their budgets. According to the 2014 survey, “ninety percent of responding school districts have reduced staff, and more than 40 percent of districts have, or will, furlough classroom teachers. Reductions continue to occur among all categories of school employees.” In 2014, with balanced funding – never mind a $1 billion cut – more than one quarter of districts anticipated furloughs.Fourth:The financial environment for schools is significantly different than 2011-2012. Pennsylvania’s credit has been downgraded many times, and the school district intercept program has faced similar downgrades. This limits a school’s ability to go to the market and issue debt to make up shortfalls.July 17, 2012 – The programmatic rating of the Pennsylvania Act 150 School District Intercept Program was downgraded to A1 with a stable outlook from Aa3 with a negative outlook; the programmatic rating of the Pennsylvania School District Fiscal Agent Agreement Intercept Program was downgraded to Aa3 with a stable outlook from Aa2 with a negative outlook; and the programmatic rating on the Pennsylvania State Public School Building Authority Lease Revenue Intercept Program was downgraded to Aa3 with a stable outlook from Aa2 with a negative outlook.November 4, 2015 – Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s (Aa3 negative) pre-default intercept programs for school districts to A3 from A2. This action affects the State Public School Building Authority Lease Revenue Intercept Program (Sec. 785) and the Pennsylvania School District Fiscal Agent Agreement Intercept Program (Sec. 633). For districts enhanced by the commonwealth’s post-default intercept program (Pennsylvania Act 150 Program), Moody’s confirms the cap, or the highest rating districts can receive due to the post-default enhancement, at A3.December 22, 2015 – Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the school district enhancement programs of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Aa3 negative) to Baa1, and changed our approach to rating pre-default enhancement programs in the commonwealth. All enhanced ratings in Pennsylvania carry a negative outlook. The negative outlook is based both on the outlook for the commonwealth and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding its ability to fund the intercept programs during budget stalemates.After years of harsh and disproportionate cuts, there are districts that may be forced to close their doors before the end of this school year without the additional funding provided for in the bipartisan budget agreement and the 2016/17 proposed budget.For example, the Erie school district is facing bankruptcy right now.Put simply, 23,000 educators were lost the last time there was a $1 billion cut to education and this time there are far fewer tools in schools’ toolboxes to stave off those cuts for even an additional school year budgeting cycle.Schools – already stretched thin by years of underfunding – are at their limits. You can find updates and behind-the-scenes content on the 2016-2017 budget announcement on our Facebook and Twitter.Read more posts about Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 budget.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

CARICOM head makes plea for equal rights for women

first_img Share 8 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Secretary General says the development of rural women in the Caribbean threatened by gender-based violence.ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – The CARICOM Secretariat will soon publish the findings of the report Youth, Masculinities and Violence in the Caribbean.This was disclosed by CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque during his message to mark International Women’s Day, under the theme Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty, yesterday.The report was prepared by CARICOM Advocate for Gender Justice, Dr. Rosina Wiltshire, who has co-ordinated research in several Member States to gather the data.LaRocque said the development of rural women in the Caribbean was threatened by gender-based violence. “There is a pressing need to engage young women and men, girls and boys in advancing gender equality and eliminating and preventing all forms of violence against women and girls,” he said.He added that rural women constituted one-fourth of the world’s population, and stressed that if they were granted equal access to productive resources, agricultural yields, the number of chronically hungry people could be reduced between 100 and 150 million.The Secretary-General said rural women accounted for a great portion of the agricultural labour force, and produced the majority of the food grown.He added the Secretariat also launched its public campaign products produced during a workshop in Suriname last year. That will see 15 artists from Belize, Guyana and Suriname blending their voices to the global campaign led by the United Nations Secretary-General to end violence against women.“They produced public service announcements, jingles, a calypso and a documentary on sexual, psychological and physical violence and we are pleased to share these with Member States of the Community,” he said, noting the project was sponsored by UN Women. Caribbean 360 News Sharecenter_img NewsRegional CARICOM head makes plea for equal rights for women by: – March 10, 2012 Tweet Sharelast_img read more

Pjanic: Joining Barcelona is a dream come true

first_imgRead Also: La Liga: Barcelona suffer title blow in Atletico Madrid draw“I am happy and proud, not only for myself but also for my parents and for all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I never forget where I came from.“I really can’t wait to step out at the Camp Nou,” he admitted.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Advertisement “Barcelona are one of the biggest clubs in the world, and becoming a part of them is the highest step for any footballer,” he told the Bosnian Football Federation. “For me, it is a dream come true. Loading… Miralem Pjanic is delighted to have signed for Barcelona and is desperate to step out onto the Camp Nou turf. The Bosnian completed his long awaited move from Juventus, and has spoken of his pride at joining the Catalan giants.last_img read more