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UAE to explore Mars atmosphere with probe named Hope

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “This mission to Mars is really for the hope of the Arab world and will send them a message to say you can be better, you can improve your country,” Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the Emirates’ vice president and prime minister, told reporters after the event.Emirati scientists said they hope the probe, which will not land on the surface of the red planet, will provide a deeper understanding of the Martian atmosphere. That includes charting changes that happen over time and gathering data on how features such as volcanoes, deserts and canyons affect it.The plan is to launch the probe in the summer of 2020 — the year Dubai hosts the World Expo — on a journey of seven to nine months. Engineers expect it to remain in orbit until at least 2023.Some 75 engineers are working on the project, a number that is expected to double by 2020. The project is fully staffed by Emiratis — a rarity in a country where guest workers and other foreigners outnumber locals more than four to one.“This is an important project because of the legacy that this project leaves … to develop the science and technology sector,” deputy project manager Sarah Amiri said. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 treatments for adult scoliosis DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates’ planned 2020 mission to Mars will study the planet’s atmosphere and be appropriately named “Hope,” members of the project team revealed Wednesday.Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced initial plans for the unmanned probe last year. It is the first Mars mission attempted anywhere in the Arab world.An invitation-only event Wednesday in Dubai was a chance for officials to unveil many of the finer details. And they did it with a good dose of Gulf flair — soaring music and computer animations projected onto a movie screen in a chandelier-filled beachside palace. One of the world’s largest yachts, Dubai, was berthed outside. Comments   Share   Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Officials haven’t said how much it will cost.___Follow Adam Schreck on Twitter at www.twitter.com/adamschreck.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

California Housing Market Driving Millennials Back to Parents Doorsteps
California Housing Market Driving Millennials Back to Parents Doorsteps

first_img 2019 Housing Market california Millennials 2019-06-03 Mike Albanese California Housing Market Driving Millennials Back to Parents’ Doorsteps June 3, 2019 1,159 Views More millennials are moving back in with their parents in the San Francisco and San Jose, California, areas, according to a report by The Mercury News. More than a fifth of millennials (ages 23-37) lived with their parents in 2017, according to information from Zillow and U.S. Census Data.The report states that the number of millennials returning to live at home has increased 65% in San Francisco and 56% in San Jose since 2005.“Millennials are facing a double-whammy,” said Matt Regan, a housing and public policy expert for the Bay Area Council. “They are behind a couple of eight balls. They are living through one of the biggest housing crises in history while saddled with the biggest student loans in history. They are often at the bottom of the income ladder and they are getting forced out of the region or moving back to their old rooms at home.”Affordability remains in issue in the Golden State, as a report last month from Trulia found that California had four of the five priciest metros in the nation: San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.The report stated that San Diego, which has a median home value of $569,700 and median income of $75,110, has only 8% of its zip codes with 100% of homes considered affordable.While millennials struggle in California, the rest of the nation is reporting a sense of urgency, and priority from millennials, to get into the housing market. A survey from SunTrust last month stated that among more than 2,000 U.S. adults, nearly half of millennials (48%) who have been married say they, or their spouse, owned a home prior to marriage, compared to 35% of baby boomers (ages 55-73). “People are choosing from many different paths and reaching common life milestones at a wider age span than before, changing when they decide to purchase a home,” said Sherry Graziano, Mortgage Transformation Officer at SunTrust.SunTrust also found an increasing number of couples are entering marriage with both individuals owning a home. The survey stated that 25% of unmarried women and 21% of unmarried men said they would prefer to sell both residences and buy a new one after marriage. center_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

Precise Travel Marketing PTM has been appointed
Precise Travel Marketing PTM has been appointed

first_imgPrecise Travel Marketing (PTM) has been appointed as the new Australia and New Zealand industry marketing representative for Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, effective immediately.PTM will be responsible for all aspects of the national tourist office’s travel industry marketing and related trade activity in both key markets.Headed by Melbourne-based managing director Richard Skewes, PTM has vast experience in the South Pacific where it has been active since 1998 including, most recently, acting in an advisory role and involvement in marketing campaigns for several Pacific Islands’ national tourist offices and resorts.SIVB Chairman Wilson Ne’e said PTM will be heavily involved as the SIVB sharpens its focus on the strategic direction it needs to take to achieve its goals with the travel industry in both countries.IMAGE L-R: – SIVB marketing representative AU/NZ, Richard Skewes; SIVB marketing officer, Stella Lucas and SIVB chairman, Wilson Ne’e SIVBSolomon Islandslast_img read more

Just hours after the Arizona Cardinals announced t
Just hours after the Arizona Cardinals announced t

first_imgJust hours after the Arizona Cardinals announced that they had fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves, names started surfacing for the job openings.At a Monday press conference, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill confirmed three candidates that will be interviewed for the head coaching position: Arizona defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, who was also fired Monday morning. Comments   Share   The news of McCoy’s interview was broken earlier in the day by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.“We’ve reached out to Mike McCoy and I’ll be speaking to him in the next several days,” Bidwill said. “I’ve also reached out and gotten permission to speak with Andy Reid, so we’ll be speaking to Coach Reid in the next few days as well.”Reid coached 14 years in Philadelphia, racking up a .583 winning percentage, guiding the Eagles to five NFC Championship games and one trip to the Super Bowl.But after the Eagles spent big money in free agency prior to the 2011 season, expectations galore were heaped on the team and they failed to respond. Philly went 12-20 over the next two seasons which led to Reid’s departure.Bidwill failed to give any other names that are being considered by the Cardinals at this point.“There will be further updates, I’m sure, as we get through the next couple days. We are dealing with the holiday and some of the other limitations such as playoffs and things along those lines,” Bidwill said. Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

Top Stories
Top Stories

first_img Top Stories There’s nothing wrong with being the second choice.Harrison Ford wasn’t the first choice to play Indiana Jones; Tom Selleck was. Both Tom Hanks and Kevin Costner turned down the role of Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption. Thank you very much, says Tim Robbins. Keanu Reeves can also send a thank you note to Will Smith for turning down the role of Neo in The Matrix.By now, we all know that Pete Carroll wasn’t the first or even second choice to be the USC coach. I’d say that one worked out ok for everyone involved…well right up until all those pesky sanctions anyway. But if this continues to stretch out, you can’t help but wonder if the Cards are set on hiring an offensive-minded coach. One who can keep up with ever-evolving offenses. One who can do what Whiz couldn’t; select and develop a quarterback. And one who keeps Ray Horton right where he is — in charge of one of the best defenses in the NFL. There is some logic to it — fix what is actually broken and leave Ray and the defense alone, don’t take a chance that his promotion weakens the defense and hire a head coach that can fix what is broken.And after news broke of the Cardinals’ interest in Seattle O.C. Darrell Bevell, the evidence is mounting that is precisely the direction they are leaning. Either way, what a weird trip it’s been for the Cards. Getting played by Andy Reid and getting beat by San Diego. Safe to say it’s led to some unrest among the fans and it looks from here like the Cardinals can relate to that feeling of not being somebody’s first choice. But like I say, being someone’s first choice isn’t always the best choice. Maybe that will turn out for Ray Horton and the Cardinals. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires This is being written under the assumption that Mike McCoy was the first choice of the Arizona Cardinals to be their head coach. It is not a known fact but rather speculation based on their reported desire to interview him again. But after the Chargers sent a jet to pick up McCoy for his interview (with the contract waiting for him inside the cabin) the Cardinals were never going to get that chance. Besides, San Diego has a quarterback, Arizona doesn’t. Seems like a no-brainer from here.So now it just feels like it’s time for Plan B, which could very well end up being the guy many figured would get the job before Ken Whisenhunt was even fired: Ray Horton. If that happens, I wouldn’t expect him to be miffed that he had to endure this process; at the end of the day he wants to be a head coach in the NFL and that’s exactly what he’ll be. That’s my point about Indiana Jones and Shawshank. There is nothing wrong with being Plan B — Unless you think you’re never going to be picked at all. Again…more on that in a sec. If you really think about it, it’s the lack of interest in Horton that has allowed the Cardinals to pursue this at their pace. No rush. No pressure. No panic. It’s a different story if there is tremendous demand for Horton. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Potvin welcomes Cadillac mayor to Capitol for State of the State address
Potvin welcomes Cadillac mayor to Capitol for State of the State address

first_img16Jan Potvin welcomes Cadillac mayor to Capitol for State of the State address Categories: State of the State Lawmaker looks forward to working hard for Michigan’s hard-working familiesState Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac, tonight made the following statement after Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address:“The governor’s speech outlined what has been accomplished the first three years and what is left to do in order to reinvent Michigan. While we have worked hard at growing jobs and eliminating government waste, I still believe there is more we can do to make Michigan a better place for our hard-working families.“Northern Michigan has always felt the ups and downs of the economy because tourism and small businesses are first to feel the effects of its successes and failures. Our goal in the Michigan legislature is to continue to fight for the hard-working people of Michigan. We aim to provide a better quality of life for everyone and make Michigan a place where our children and grandchildren want to stay, work, raise their families, and retire.“The great people of this state deserve not only an accountable and efficient government, but one that works to clear pathways to prosperity and success. Our legislature is determined to remove government barriers for individuals and businesses by finding find common-sense ways to make Michigan a place of opportunity and progress.”-30-last_img read more

Rep Bizon applauds state incentive for hotel in downtown Albion
Rep Bizon applauds state incentive for hotel in downtown Albion

first_img Categories: Bizon News A new hotel set to be built in downtown Albion is drawing the praise of state Rep. John Bizon.“This project is a huge boost for Albion and the great downtown area of the city,” said Rep. Bizon, R-Battle Creek. “Both the private investment and state incentive for this project will help the new hotel and conference center come together so more people can see all that Albion has to offer.”The Downtown Albion Hotel has received a $1 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant. The project is expected to generate more than $8 million in capital investment while creating 20 jobs.The city of Albion and Albion College are also providing support for the project.The hotel and conference center will encompass nearly an entire city block in downtown Albion, with the conference center being available for both public and private events.### 29Jul Rep. Bizon applauds state incentive for hotel in downtown Albionlast_img read more

Rep Roberts unveils bill to keep streetlegal ORVs on Michigan roads
Rep Roberts unveils bill to keep streetlegal ORVs on Michigan roads

first_img29Oct Rep. Roberts unveils bill to keep street-legal ORVs on Michigan roads Categories: News,Roberts News State Rep. Brett Roberts has introduced legislation that will ensure off-road vehicles (ORVs) that meet state safety requirements can be titled as street-legal.In the past, the Michigan Secretary of State issued titles to assembled vehicles and ORVs that utilized certain safety accessories, such as windshields, turning signals and horns. However, the department has since disallowed ORVs from being considered in the application process for road-worthiness.“These department changes don’t make sense, especially for those of us in areas where ORVs are a part of daily life,” said Rep. Roberts, R-Eaton Township. “I’ve listened to concerns from residents in my home district as well as other communities; barring their ORVs from becoming street-legal is nothing other than detrimental.”House Bill 5037 codifies previous Department of State practices by allowing ORVs to be registered and titled as street-legal. Under the legislation, any ORVs that meet criteria required of other assembled vehicles to obtain a road-worthy status would be allowed to drive on Michigan roads.“There are plenty of people who have spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on safety modifications in hopes of being able to drive their ORVs on the roads. We can’t leave them in the red because of bureaucratic changes,” Rep. Roberts said. “If these vehicles are safe for riders and safe for other drivers that share roads with them, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be street-legal.”HB 5037 has been referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for further consideration.###last_img read more

Rep Roberts encourages free fishing on Feb 13 and 14
Rep Roberts encourages free fishing on Feb 13 and 14

first_img State Rep. Brett Roberts encourages anglers to get out to the nearest lake to participate in Free Fishing Weekend, which will take place on Feb. 13 and 14.Free Fishing Weekend is an event hosted twice each year by Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources – once in February, and again in June. On Feb. 13 and 14, fishermen and women are not required to carry a license while fishing. As most Michigan lakes are frozen solid in February, the winter weekend event is traditionally used for ice fishing.“This event is always a great opportunity to show your family’s newest fishermen and women how much fun it is to get out and enjoy ‘Pure Michigan’,” said Rep. Roberts, R-Eaton Township.Because Michigan temperatures were generally mild until mid-January, Rep. Roberts encourages anglers to take extra safety precautions when venturing out onto the ice to drop a line.A full listing of current and upcoming Free Fishing Weekend activities can be found online at www.michigan.gov/freefishing.### 01Feb Rep. Roberts encourages free fishing on Feb. 13 and 14 Categories: News,Roberts Newslast_img read more

House committee approves Rep Bellinos transparency bill
House committee approves Rep Bellinos transparency bill

first_img Categories: Bellino News,News 09Mar House committee approves Rep. Bellino’s transparency bill Legislation introduced by state Rep. Joe Bellino placing elected state government officials under open records laws was approved today by the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee.Bellino, of Monroe, said he is proud to have a role in the 11-bill package subjecting the governor and lieutenant governor to the Freedom of Information Act and create the Legislative Open Records Act that places the Legislature under public disclosure laws.“There is absolutely no reason that state officials should get a pass on being transparent to the people they serve when local governments and school boards must comply with transparency laws,” Bellino said. “We are public figures and should be accountable to families in our communities.”The bills are similar to a package of legislation introduced last session and passed overwhelmingly by the House. The bills did not make it to the governor for signature.#####last_img read more

Rep LaSatas water beautification program legislation making waves
Rep LaSatas water beautification program legislation making waves

first_imgRep. Kim LaSata delivers testimony in support of her legislation to assign administrative duties of state water beatification projects to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources during the Nov. 27 House Tourism and Recreation Committee meeting.Legislation introduced by state Rep. Kim LaSata to streamline rules regulating Michigan’s Adopt-a-River and Adopt-a-Shoreline programs was approved today by the House Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee.In 2009, then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed Executive Order 45, which combined the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) into the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. In 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder signed Executive Order 1, which split the two departments back into separate agencies. Confusion caused by these two orders impacted various departmental functions, and a lack of clarity in the law created a situation where the Adopt-a-River and Adopt-a-Shoreline programs were not being administered by any state agency.“It’s unfortunate because many Michiganders are interested in helping out with our state’s rivers and shorelines, but they don’t know it’s an option to do so at Michigan state parks,” said LaSata, of Bainbridge Township. “The programs give people a chance to do their part to clean up litter from the places they love, but before anyone can utilize the programs, we must first clean up the laws that govern them.”After working with the DNR and the DEQ to determine a solution, LaSata’s bills call on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to administer the programs and offer information to the public about how to become involved.“I want to see these programs prosper,” LaSata said. “Not only keeping our rivers and shorelines clean, but also fostering an appreciation for nature.”House Bills 5155 and 5156 now move to the House floor for further consideration.### Categories: LaSata News 06Dec Rep. LaSata’s water beautification program legislation making waveslast_img read more

Perennial Park Senior Center Benefits from Rep Leutheuser Sen Shirkey Concert
Perennial Park Senior Center Benefits from Rep Leutheuser Sen Shirkey Concert

first_img23Jul Perennial Park Senior Center Benefits from Rep. Leutheuser & Sen. Shirkey Concert HILLSDALE, Mich. — State Representative Eric Leutheuser and Senator Mike Shirkey recently hosted a benefit concert at Tibbits Opera House for the Perennial Park Senior Center, raising over $2,500 with your help.“I was incredibly happy to partner with Sen. Shirkey and our community to make this event possible for our seniors,” Leutheuser said. “The sponsors, volunteers, and the Tibbits Opera House staff worked hard to put on a great show with an excellent turnout.”People from Branch and Hillsdale came to hear songs from The Carpenters, with the event drawing an enthusiastic crowd of over 150 to the Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater. The recent Tibbits renovations set a beautiful tone for the evening.“I’m always happy to find ways to give back to our community’s seniors,” Shirkey said. “This was a great cause and a great event. My sincere thanks to everyone who helped put it together and everyone who showed up to support our seniors.”All of the ticket proceeds went directly to the Burnside Senior Center in Coldwater and Perennial Park in Hillsdale.Terry Vear, Executive Director for Perennial Park, shared thanks: “We are grateful to Senator Shirkey and Representative Leutheuser for approaching Perennial Park with this unique and creative way to support older adults in both Hillsdale County and Branch County. The Helen Welch concert raised much-needed funds that will help us continue providing programs and services such as home-delivered meals, housekeeping and personal care assistance, respite care services, and so much more – all with the goal of helping keep older adults safe, healthy, independent in their own homes. On behalf of the staff of Perennial Park and the many older adults we serve, I want to thank Sen. Shirkey, Rep. Leutheuser, and the many sponsors that made this event possible. The generosity of our community never ceases to amaze me.”The concert featured singer Helen Welch, an internationally acclaimed vocalist, entertainer, producer, and band-leader. Her most recent tour is a tribute to the music of The Carpenters.For more information on other local events in our area, contact Rep. Leutheuser’s office at 517-373-1794 or at EricLeutheuser@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Leutheuser News,Newslast_img read more

Organizational Culture Lessons for Nonprofits from the NY Fed
Organizational Culture Lessons for Nonprofits from the NY Fed

first_imgShare10Tweet6Share12Email28 Shares September 26, 2014; ProPublica  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is not a nonprofit organization, but this ProPublica article about a confidential report about the Fed has lessons for nonprofits. Leading up to the Great Recession, the New York Fed was the expected central player in developing protections for the nation’s financial system. According to ProPublica’s Jake Bernstein, the Fed “failed miserably in catching the meltdown.” The president of the New York Fed, William Dudley, recruited Columbia University finance professor David Beim to investigate why the Fed failed.As in many nonprofits, the problem was found to be the Fed’s culture. “The New York Fed had become too risk-averse and deferential to the banks it supervised,” as Bernstein summarized Beim’s conclusions. “Its examiners feared contradicting bosses, who too often forced their findings into an institutional consensus that watered down much of what they did.”Beim’s findings were validated by the events surrounding the firing of a new examiner, Carmen Segarra, who had issued a negative report about Goldman Sachs. Segarra sued to challenge her firing, charging that she had been the victim of retaliation because she had refused to back down from her Goldman Sachs finding. In a fascinating turn, Segarra had been concerned about what was happening with her, so she purchased a tiny recorder at the Spy Store to record what would become 46 hours of conversations with her Fed colleagues.Segarra’s recordings constituted an amazing case study of the cultural obstacles at the New York Fed that Beim had found in his study. In Bernstein’s words, Beim’s report “laid bare a culture ruled by groupthink, where managers used consensus decision-making and layers of vetting to water down findings. Examiners feared to speak up lest they make a mistake or contradict higher-ups. Excessive secrecy stymied action and empowered gatekeepers, who used their authority to protect the banks they supervised.”“Our review of lessons learned from the crisis reveals a culture that is too risk-averse to respond quickly and flexibly to new challenges,” the report concluded. “A number of people believe that supervisors paid excessive deference to banks, and as a result they were less aggressive in finding issues or in following up on them in a forceful way.”Beim’s report called for “hiring ‘out-of-the-box thinkers,’ even at the risk of getting ‘disruptive personalities’…expert examiners who would be contrarian, ask difficult questions, and challenge the prevailing orthodoxy.”While the details of the Segarra story are compelling reading, the organizational elements of Fed culture revelations have broad application to the nonprofit sector. How many nonprofit watchdogs end up soft-pedaling their critiques, captured by the entities they were supposed to monitor much like the banks having captured the New York Fed? How many organizations find themselves unable to break out of pernicious, narrowing cultures that frustrate attempts to do the right thing? Nonprofit Quarterly has often written about the stultifying, hard-to-change dimensions of organizational culture overcoming the efforts of new leadership and new policies. Organizational culture won at the New York Fed too—and contributed to a devastating national economic recession in the process.—Rick Cohen Share10Tweet6Share12Email28 Shareslast_img read more

Eviction Court Needs More Attention from Communities
Eviction Court Needs More Attention from Communities

first_imgShare114Tweet3Share10Email127 SharesMarch 30, 2016; National Public Radio (1, 2, 3)This week, National Public Radio (NPR) featured three linked stories about D.C.’s Housing Court which drive home the point that lack of affordability can propel households into a downward cycle that begins in eviction court and has consequences that ripple through society as a whole. According to a new study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition called “The Gap,” the rapid rise in rents at a time of income stagnation continues to be a national problem. While the study captures the data, the NPR series captures the stories in the microcosm of the District of Columbia.In “Low-Income Renters Squeezed Between Too-High Rents And Subpar Housing,” NPR documents the problem of substandard living conditions as a feature of rent-burdened households. In order to cover their heads in a place they can call “home,” many households end up accepting dangerous physical conditions and overcrowding. The subject of the story is Terrell Walker, whose home is beset by drafty windows, bedbugs, and too many people in too small a space. Unspoken in the story is the specter of possible lead poisoning in the 50-year-old property. Lead was not outlawed until 1978 and could be lurking beneath layers of chipping paint around the faulty windows. NPQ reported earlier this month on an initiative in Cleveland to address lead poisoning in residences and its continuing harm to children in poverty.In “Living From Rent To Rent: Tenants On The Edge Of Eviction,” NPR shows how tenants who have a family emergency can end up being thrown out of their homes. The Limes family profiled in the story is portrayed as typical of many who end up in eviction court.She’s a single mother, juggling things on her own. She says the father of one of her children is in prison and the other is a deadbeat dad. She lost a full-time job last October; her new job is only 20 hours a week. At $10.50 an hour, that’s not nearly enough to cover her $1,275 monthly rent.Later, the story notes that she had been caring for her father, who recently passed away. The loss of his income may have been the trigger that pushed household finances out of whack.The NPR story that aired on March 28th, “Welcome To Rent Court, Where Tenants Can Face A Tenuous Fate,” recounts the operations of D.C.’s Rent Court. Several themes emerge.The workload is enormous. Disposing of cases rather than administering justice is a goal. “In an effort to help lighten the caseload, the judges encourage tenants and landlords to try to work out a settlement before they’re called into the courtroom.”The scene is racially polarized. “Almost every single tenant here—day after day after day—is black. The white people are usually attorneys.”The stories can be heartrending. “Judges rotate weekly through the Landlord and Tenant Branch, in part because the workload can be so draining. Still, [Judge] Bartnoff says the court tries to be as fair as possible.”Tenants are at a disadvantage. “‘Tenants often don’t know what their rights are. They enter into agreements that settle the cases that are very unfavorable to them,’ says Rebecca Lindhurst from Bread for the City, one of several groups that provide pro bono legal aid to tenants. But Lindhurst says they can handle only a small number of cases, which is unfortunate for all the others.”If eviction court is place where the affordability crisis is most clearly encountered, it may be a place where some simple reforms can mitigate the problems of household instability and involuntary displacement until larger solutions to the problem of affordability can be found.Previous Nonprofit Quarterly stories have already chronicled Baltimore’s rent court and efforts by community organizations to demand reforms to the court system. (NPQ has also covered the challenge of affordability, in small towns in Pennsylvania and big coastal cities.) While court reform would not solve the affordability crisis, it could go some way towards reducing involuntary displacement and restore some faith in the judicial system. In Matthew Desmond’s ground breaking study of eviction, the Harvard sociologist recommends universal representation for tenants in eviction courts as a fundamental step to redress the imbalance that is inherent is a system where most landlords have legal representation or have developed an in depth knowledge of eviction court proceedings from years of experience. Besides providing legal services to tenants in eviction court, some other steps that could be implemented:Providing pro se forms for tenants without legal representation could provide a way to balance the power in eviction court. Tenants with legitimate defenses could have a simple way to make a claim at the time of the hearing.Appointing (or electing) a single judge to handle the eviction court. In Cleveland, the establishment of a housing court with a single elected judge and a staff of housing court specialists has resulted in a reduction of court-ordered evictions over the last several years while courts elsewhere have seen dramatic increases. Choosing to run for a seat that specializes in housing issues means accepting the challenges of the field.Offering pre-filing mediation to head off cases that could be easily settled before a tenant faces eviction and its consequences.Legal reforms like “pay to stay” would create a statutory grace period during which a tenant could find funds to prevent an eviction. In Ohio, for instance, the limited emergency funds are often used to facilitate relocation instead of staying in place because Ohio, like many states, doesn’t permit tenants any time to correct a non-payment situation. Landlords are under no obligation to accept a late payment after issuing a “notice to vacate.” Another solution would involve reworking HUD’s “Rapid Rehousing” funds into support for preventing eviction could save many households from disruption due to temporary financial crises.While eviction reform is not the answer to the affordability crisis, it can be an interim intervention that contributes to household stability. But there are other remedies that need to be reclaimed from the history books of social policy.Revive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (formerly known as General Relief) for dealing with household financial emergencies. When Bill Clinton announced the end of “welfare as we know it,” emergency assistance was dramatically curtailed in many states, with the consequence that the social safety net under working families was removed. A recent Marketplace story highlighted the fragility of most U.S. households to financial emergencies. African American households were the least resilient.Increase the minimum wage in order to reduce “rent burden” on the lowest income families. If the U.S. can’t provide enough rent assistance, then maybe increasing take-home pay could offset rising rents.Dramatically expand housing vouchers. HUD studies have shown that using housing choice vouchers is the single most important tool in homelessness prevention, better than all the counseling and social service supports in the country.Eviction is the beginning of the downward cycle that Desmond describes:Losing your home and possessions and often your job; being stamped with an eviction record and denied government housing assistance; relocating to degrading housing in poor and dangerous neighborhoods; and suffering from increased material hardship, homelessness, depression and illness—this is eviction’s fallout. (Evicted, p. 298)Nonprofit leaders are urged to visit the eviction courts in their communities and then apply their compassion and their ingenuity to the problem of this system. For too long, eviction court has been the sole domain of lawyers and judges.—Spencer WellsShare114Tweet3Share10Email127 Shareslast_img read more

New York State Suit Alleges Sacklers Shifted Assets to Offshore Companies
New York State Suit Alleges Sacklers Shifted Assets to Offshore Companies

first_imgShare89Tweet8ShareEmail97 SharesFerdinand Knab (1834-1902) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsMarch 28, 2019; New York TimesYesterday, New York State, led by state attorney general Letitia Jones, amended its legal complaint, explicitly adding as defendants eight members of the Sackler family who had served on the board of Purdue Pharma, the family-owned firm that developed, produced and marketed OxyContin. The suit also names as defendants a wide range of drug manufacturing and distribution companies.New York’s action comes after a dizzying set of events involving the Sacklers and the family-owned company Purdue Pharma. In the last two weeks alone, three museums—the National Portrait Gallery in London, London’s Tate Modern, and New York’s Guggenheim Museum—refused Sackler donations; Tufts University opened an investigation into a Sackler-financed medical program alleged to have promoted prescription opioids; a $270-million settlement was announced in Oklahoma; and more than “600 cities, counties and Native American tribes from 28 states” filed a joint suit in federal court naming the Sacklers as defendants.Roni Caryn Rabin in the New York Times reports this key allegation in the New York state attorney general’s office claim: “As investigators closed in on Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, more than a decade ago, members of the family that owns the company began shifting hundreds of millions of dollars from the business to themselves through offshore entities.”Rabin adds that, “The suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court in Suffolk County, names eight Sacklers: Richard, Jonathan, Mortimer, Kathe, David, Beverly and Theresa Sackler, as well as Ilene Sackler Lefcourt. It seeks to claw back funds that it alleges were transferred from Purdue Pharma to private or offshore accounts held by family members in an effort to shield the assets from litigation; to order the Sacklers to return any transferred assets; and to restrain them from disposing of any property.”Specifically, the 269-page amended complaint alleges that:Purdue and the Sackler defendants distributed hundreds of millions of Purdue’s opioid profits to the Sackler Families each year. Purdue has been involved in two decades of litigation for its misconduct vis-à-vis the sale and marketing of OxyContin. Purdue and the Sacklers thus always understood and were aware of the catastrophic effect of investigations and lawsuits relating to the opioids litigation… Purdue, at the direction of the Sacklers, fraudulently conveyed hundreds of millions of dollars of Purdue’s profits from opioids to the Sackler Families.The lawsuit further alleges that in 2007, while Purdue was being investigated by federal prosecutors, the family created a new company to sell opioids, called Rhodes, which, Rabin explains, was “set up as a ‘landing pad’ for the Sacklers because of the crisis surrounding OxyContin, according to the lawsuit.” As Jared Hopkins and Sara Randazzo remark in the Wall Street Journal, “The billionaire Sackler family allegedly transferred funds from Purdue and an affiliated generic drugmaker called Rhodes Pharmaceuticals LP into various entities that family members control through trusts, according to the amended lawsuit.”“Rhodes,” Rabin adds, “is owned by trusts benefiting the Sacklers and,” according to the lawsuit, “is overseen by members of the family.” By 2016, Rhodes had a far greater share of the opioid market than did Purdue, according to a Financial Times article quoted by the lawsuit. “Whereas the Sacklers have reduced Purdue’s operations and size, Rhodes continues to grow and sell opioids for the benefit of the Sackler families,” the legal complaint adds.A key thread in the New York suit is its emphasis on shifting funds from Purdue Pharma to the Sacklers and other Sackler-controlled entities such as Rhodes. Obviously, the less money Purdue has, the less able it is to pay court judgments. In Oklahoma, fear that Purdue Pharma might go bankrupt help motivate the state to settle with Purdue out of court.The New York suit contends that, “Despite knowing that Purdue faces certain liabilities to the states, including New York State, Purdue—at the Sackler Defendants’ direction—continued to pay the Sackler Families hundreds of millions of dollars each year in distributions during the relevant time period for no consideration and in bad faith. As a result of Defendants’ unlawful distributions to the Sackler Families, assets are no longer available to satisfy Purdue’s future creditor, the State of New York.” If the lawsuit succeeds, then the state may be able to get a court to compel the Sackler family to make good on covering judgment claims.—Steve DubbShare89Tweet8ShareEmail97 Shareslast_img read more

Cyfra Plus has launched new iPhone and iPad apps g
Cyfra Plus has launched new iPhone and iPad apps g

first_imgCyfra Plus has launched new iPhone and iPad apps giving access to the Polish pay TV service on those devices.The apps offer all of Cyfra Plus’s channels along with the country’s free-to-air channels available via Eutelsat’s Hot Bird satellite. Users can set favourite lists, search for content and set reminders.last_img

Polish cable operator Vectra plans to increase the

first_imgPolish cable operator Vectra plans to increase the number of live channels it offers on its online TV service and will launch VOD this autumn, according to CEO Tomasz Zuranski. Speaking at Arris-Motorola’s Video Leadership Forum event in Berlin, Zuranski said that currently Vectra offers 25 live TV channels online, the HBO Go OTT offering, music on-demand, as well as 44 HD TV channels.However, he said that the operator planned to up this, in response to visitor growth to its online TV offering.“This autumn we will launch VOD, we will also launch OTT services via set-top boxes and we will increase the number of live channels on our TV online service. We will also increase our HD channels [offering] up to 50,” said Zuranski.He added that despite viewers moving online, television viewing in Poland remains strong with viewers watching around 4 hours and 40 minutes per day.Vectra, by Zuranski’s own admission, is a fairly small player in terms of the broader European operator market, but is second or third in the Polish market, depending on what measurement is taken.The firm recently launched a new HD set-top box provided by Arris. The Motorola HMC3021 box is capable of supporting advanced services such as video-on-demand, and is being used to transition analogue subscribers to digital, paving the way for multiscreen and IP-based services.Separately, Miroslaw Godlewski, CEO of Polish IPTV service provider Netia said at the same event that it is planning to launch programme recommendations in roughly 12 months, building on its existing smart search tool.However, Godlewski added: “Unlike many operators, we’re not thinking about our own VOD service.“There’s so much out there that the job on its own is to aggregate it and make it easier to access,” he said, claiming that Netia is working to make it possible for its customers to access its video content freely from its public WiFi hotspots, which it offers in partnership with Fon.“It is just the beginning, but now in 250,000 places, if you’re a Netia subscriber, you can watch streamed content the same way, free of charge, as you would be watching it at home on your main screen,” said Godlewski.last_img read more

German cable giant Kabel Deutschland has licensed
German cable giant Kabel Deutschland has licensed

first_imgGerman cable giant Kabel Deutschland has licensed the Comcast-supported Reference Design Kit (RDK) for in-home devices from RDK Management. The RDK is a pre-integrated software bundle developed and licensed to create a common framework for IP and hybrid set-top boxes and gateways.A number of device manufacturers and chipset vendors have already licensed the RDK software stack. RDK Management is a joint venture between Comcast Cable and Time Warner Cable, and Comcast’s vice-president of licensing and strategic development, Steve Heeb, was appointed president and general manager of the unit in September last year.“The RDK provides a unified technological foundation for pay-TV operators and our ecosystem of partners,” said Lorenz Glatz, Chief Technical Officer of Kabel Deutschland. “Kabel Deutschland licensed the RDK because it is one of the most positive and promising developments in terms of standardization across device platforms. Not only will we benefit from global economies of scale, but it provides the basis necessary for innovation across our products and applications.”“Kabel Deutschland is a leading pioneer in the industry, and we’re extremely proud that they have licensed the RDK for use in their product roadmap,” said RDK Management’s Heeb. “It is further testament to the growing interest among global pay TV operators to accelerate new product launch cycles. The RDK provides MVPDs [Multichannel Video Programming Distributors] with the underlying software layer needed to create more nimble and advanced services across STB, gateway, and SoC platforms.”last_img read more

Swiss operator Sunrise said that its TV subscriber

first_imgSwiss operator Sunrise said that its TV subscriber base grew by 32,800 people, or 65.5% year-on-year, in Q1 2014, with 8,500 of those new customers. The firm ended the quarter with 82,800 TV customers and said that a 7.1% increase in landline internet revenue to CHF51.3 million was also “primarily attributable to the growth of the IPTV customer base.”Overall in the quarter, Sunrise said that revenues decline 3.4% to CHF 470.2 million following a 2012 price reduction. EBITDA was down 6.6% year-on-year to CHF 132.0 million, which the firm attributed to “investment in higher marketing communications and a market environment with aggressive mobile subsidies.”last_img

BBC iPlayer the UK public broadcasters catchup
BBC iPlayer the UK public broadcasters catchup

first_imgBBC iPlayer, the UK public broadcaster’s catch-up service, saw a record 343 million requests in January, a month in which usage has habitually increased sharply, with requests from mobiles and tablets growing to almost half the total requests.January was the iPlayer’s best month ever for TV viewing, with TV requests numbering 264 million. Overall, requests were up 3% month-on-month and 9% year-on-year.Mobiles and tablets accounted for 48% of TV and radio requests in January, while TV platform operators accounted for 12% and internet-connected TVs and connected devices accounting for 8%. Computers accounted for 29%, the same proportion as in December.For TV requests mobiles and tablets accounted for 51% of all requests in January.Soap opera Eastenders was the most requested programme on iPlayer in January, with 1.928 million views, followed by an episode of Top Gear with 1.822 million and a special episode of comedy series Miranda with 1.773 million.iPlayer users in January were 50:50 split between men and women, while 38% were between the ages of 16 and 34, 38% between 35 and 54 and 24% over 55. The comparable age-related figures for all TV viewers were 31%, 34% and 35% respectively.last_img read more