Senior Democrats have urged the Obama administration to declassify information related to Russia’s involvement in the election. Members of Congress in both parties have indicated they plan to conduct further oversight on the issue next year, after Donald Trump takes office.Trump has maintained that he does not see signs of Russian interference in the election, saying this week that politics were at play in prompting U.S. intelligence agencies’ public warning about a Moscow-led hacking operation aimed at influencing the election. The son of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, whom Trump tapped as national security adviser, was removed from a role on the president-elect’s transition after he shared fake news about the pizza-restaurant hoax.Clinton took the opposite tone, calling fake news “a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly.” She praised tech companies for “starting to grapple with the challenge and the threat of fake news.”Facebook has begun examining how to more quickly flag false information spread on its platform, but COO Sheryl Sandberg said Thursday that the company does not see evidence that fake news influenced the election.“It’s imperative that leaders in both the private sector and the public sector step up to protect both our democracy and innocent lives,” Clinton said.Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, was in attendance for the Reid tribute alongside her longtime aide Huma Abedin, whose estranged husband Anthony Weiner propelled fresh negative coverage of Clinton’s email server that bogged down her campaign in its final weeks. “There is no one, no one, no one better to have in your corner than Harry Reid,” Schumer said.Reid himself didn’t hold back in his own speech, thanking retired Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) for casting a pivotal vote for Obamacare in 2010 that sparked Republican fury over the so-called “Cornhusker Kickback.”Reid also made a controversial recommendation: “Bring back earmarks,” largely banned since 2011. Gesturing to McConnell, sitting at the far end of the dais, Reid added that “one of the great earmarkers of all time is right down there.” Hillary Clinton on Thursday called for a bipartisan fight against an “epidemic” of fake news, sounding the alarm one month after she lost an election buffeted by the public spread of misinformation.“This is not about politics or partisanship,” Clinton said during remarks at a tribute to retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). “Lives are at risk.”Clinton’s reference to the “real-world consequences” of fake news comes days after a gunman briefly occupied a Washington pizza restaurant mentioned in false reports of a child sex trafficking ring linked to the former secretary of state. But Clinton went beyond domestic sources of fake news to decry “foreign propaganda,” touting a bipartisan effort in Congress to “boost the government’s response” to it. Clinton’s remarks were not all serious. She kicked off with a self-deprecating reference to the viral photo she took with a woman who ran into her on a hike the day after she conceded to Trump.“This is not exactly the speech at the Capitol I hoped to be giving after the election,” Clinton told an audience that included more than a dozen current and former members of Congress. “But after a few weeks of taking selfies in the woods, I thought it would be a good idea to come out.”Beyond Clinton, the Reid tribute was dominated by fond remembrances of the famously blunt Nevadan. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warmly recalled Reid’s tendency to hang up the phone just as his friends and associates were about to “to say nice things about him.”Vice President Joe Biden was characteristically emotional in his remarks, telling Reid, “I love you, pal. I know that embarrasses you, but I do.”Biden told reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday that he plans to eat at the Washington pizzeria targeted by fake news as a show of support. A Clinton aide told CNN that the Democratic presidential nominee has also contacted the owners of the restaurant, Comet Ping Pong.Reid’s successor as minority leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), teared up at the end of his own heartfelt speech. Schumer thanked Reid for serving as his mentor and remaining authentic throughout.
The state of Vermont is calliing into question a national review of state business development tax incentives. Vermont, according to a report released Wednesday by the Pew Center on the States, is one of several states that is not looking hard enough at the results of tax incentives used for economic development. Vermont is among half the states “trailing behind” in its review of these incentive policies. However, that study did not include Vermont’s principal incentive program.The Vermont Agency of Commerce issued a statement Friday saying that while it appreciates the work done by the Pew Center for the States, including their recently released report, â Evidence Counts,’an evaluation of State tax incentives for jobs and growth, it is missing a key element in its evaluation of Vermont. The Pew report did not include Vermontâ s current and active business incentive program, the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) program. According to Josh Goodman of the Pew Center on the States, â While [the Center] was intrigued by the design of VEGI (and, in particular, your approach to “but for”), we concluded that VEGI is a cash incentive, rather than a tax incentive–it does not reduce companies’ tax liabilities. Therefore, we didn’t include the VEGI evaluation in our rating for Vermont.’ Pew cited the Vermont Economic Advancement Tax Incentive program, which ran through 2006. SEE APPENDIX D for all sources used by Pew.The Pew rating in the report does not include the many evaluations that have been done by the State of Vermont and others of the VEGI program because the program did not fit the profile of the programs Pew was evaluating, according to the Vermont statement sent by Deputy Secretary Pat Moulton Powden. Therefore, the Agency determined, it is incorrect to assign their rating to the current business incentive program. In fact, VEGI is one of the most studied state programs in existence, undergoing an audit every other year, several studies by Legislative committees, and most recently, a comprehensive evaluation by the Secretary of Commerce. The program was also recently rated among the top incentive programs in the country by Good Jobs First, a Washington, DC-based national policy resource center for grassroots groups and public officials, promoting corporate and government accountability in economic development.The Pew report said policy makers across the country spend billions of dollars annually on tax incentives for economic development. But no state ensures that policy makers rely on good evidence about whether these investments deliver a strong return, the Pew study concludes. Often, states that have conducted rigorous evaluations of some incentives virtually ignore others or assess them infrequently. Other states regularly examine these investments, but not thoroughly enough. The Pew study did not say exactly what incentives it did look at if it was not looking at the VEGI program.Pew said the use of these investments appears to have grown substantially. Today, every state has at least one tax incentive program, and most have at least several. Tax incentives are policy choices with significant implications, especially at a time when most states are trying to rebuild their budgets and many have not regained the private-sector jobs lost during the Great Recession. If states do not base decisions on evidence, they could have less money to spend on other critical services. By not using effective incentives, states could miss opportunities to create jobs and support businesses.A report by the Pew Center on the States concludes that 13 states are leading the way in generating much-needed answers about tax incentives’effectiveness. Twelve states have mixed results. Half the states have not taken the basic steps needed to know whether their incentives are effective. The study highlights a wealth of promising approaches states have taken to help lawmakers find those answers. Report AssetsPress Release Executive SummaryFull ReportSource DocumentsState Documents Reviewed for This ReportPEW April 12, 2012
Junior quarterback Will Schneider plunged across the goal line for a SM North touchdown. All photos by Andrew Poland.SM North’s football team — which got off to an exciting start with a week one win over SM South — saw its fortunes tumble as the 2015 season wore on, losing five straight to Sunflower League opponents.But for the second year in a row, the Indians injected a sense of momentum into their season by taking care of business against Wyandotte and Harmon in district play, securing a berth in the 6A state playoffs in the process.Coming off a 49-30 win over Wyandotte last week, the Indians easily handled Harmon on Thursday night at SM North District Stadium, walking away with a 64-14 victory, their third of the season.The Indians will face stiffer competition against SM East next week — though with both teams having punched their tickets to the playoffs, there won’t be much to play for.(Big thanks to photographer Andrew Poland for shooting last night’s game).A festive atmosphere permeated the crowd. The evening ended with the marching band’s annual light show.A high-scoring offense gave SM North fans plenty to cheer about.SM North coach Ben Bartlett saw his Indians notch their third win of the season.
Johnson County Community College.Just weeks after receiving a $10 million commitment from the Sunderland Foundation, Johnson County Community College’s campus transformation efforts have gotten another major boost.Register to continue
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Nicholas BallasyThe $40.3 million County & Municipal Employees Credit Union in Edinburg, Texas, was liquidated by the Texas Credit Union Department Friday. The NCUA was named liquidating agent.“The Texas Credit Union Department made the decision to liquidate County & Municipal Employees Credit Union and discontinue operations after determining the credit union was insolvent with no prospect for restoring viable operations on its own,” an NCUA press release said.According to the NCUA, the $2.1 billion Navy Army Community Credit Union of Corpus Christi, Texas, assumed the credit union’s assets, shares, 7,173 members and selected loans. Navy Army currently has 131,990 members, according to its most recent call report. continue reading »
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr What role should public relations play?by: Megan FortThe prevalence of widespread, nonrelated data breaches in the last year continues to spawn conversations about proper cybersecurity technology defenses, risk mitigation tactics and compliance mandates. For credit unions, these events have brought additional attention to the proactive protection of members’ information as well as to their own preparedness to react and respond. In August, the National Credit Union Administration suggested 10 cybersecurity areas for credit unions to keep in mind when it comes to examinations. Under the final recommendation, Incident Response and Crisis Management, was the mention of public relations.Hopefully very few, if any, credit unions today are without a crisis management plan. However, truly comprehensive plans span incidences beyond natural disasters, such as cybersecurity breaches, and also zero in on the credit union’s response protocol, which should comply with NCUA’s Rules and Regulations Part 748 Appendix B.A recent study sponsored by IBM reveals the average cost of a data breach is $3.5 million, a more than 15 percent increase over the year prior. This number does not take into account the impact on intangibles, such as the effect on the credit union’s reputation or depletion of loyal members, which do eventually hinder the credit union’s performance longer term.As part of updating CU response policies and risk assessments, NCUA recommends that credit unions also check their insurance coverage “to ensure they have adequate protection in place to reimburse them for costs associated with such things as business interruptions, legal fees and public relations initiatives to protect or rebuild the credit union’s reputation.” This language implies that a credit union can be subject to regulatory scrutiny for not properly preparing, documenting and – if necessary– executing an effective and clear communication response following an incidence such as a breach. In most cases, an efficient response means minimal cost and optimal containment of damages. continue reading »
Lack of runs and lack of wins Robert MewsApril 10, 2006Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintThe ongoing offensive problems that have plagued Minnesota’s baseball team for much of the season continued to do harm this weekend in a four-game set against Michigan at the Metrodome.The Gophers (14-13, 3-5 Big Ten) were blanked 2-0 in Sunday’s and Saturday’s second game to the Wolverines (16-11, 4-4 Big Ten).The only win in the series came in a come-from-behind 6-5 win Saturday. Minnesota lost 8-6 after leading early Friday.With the three losses, the Gophers now sit at second to last in the Big Ten standings.Sunday’s game looked like anybody’s game until Michigan’s Nate Recknagel broke a scoreless tie in the top of the ninth with a two-run double to center field.Starter Cole DeVries, who pitched a complete game, said he still was upset after the game about the pitch Recknagel hit.“That kid had been hitting inside pitches on me all day long,” DeVries said about Recknagel. “And (I) just wasn’t thinking at the time.”DeVries said catcher Chris Herbert, who made his first start of the season, made a suggestion to him, and he went with it anyway.Before that pitch, DeVries was pitching what looked like his fourth shutout performance at the Dome.He struck out nine batters and got out of many early jams by striking out batters.“It was just one of those days where I felt locked in and in the zone,” DeVries said. “Pretty much felt like any pitch that I threw out there I knew was either going to be right at the glove or somewhere close around it.”DeVries possibly could be sitting with a win if it wasn’t for the lack of offense. Minnesota managed to get only four hits. The story was the same in Saturday’s second game.The Gophers’ bats were silent as the Wolverines were able to squeeze out a 2-0 win off just five hits.“Our Achilles’ heel all year has been our inability to score consistently,” coach John Anderson said. “I mean, until we do and until we can be more consistent on offense, I’m not sure we are going to win at a higher rate than we are right now.”However, the Gophers were able to manage more offensive production in the first two games of the series.In Saturday’s first game, Minnesota won with strong hitting up and down the lineup. Every starter got at least one hit except for outfielder Sean Kommerstad, catcher Jeff DeSmidt and third-baseman Jeremy Chlan.And it was Dan Lyons’ bat that ended the game in extra innings.With two outs and Michigan leading 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Lyons took a Chris Fetter pitch into left field for a two-run, game-winning double.“In the whole at bat I was getting all fastballs, and he threw me a slider,” Lyons said. “I just saw something different in his hand when he threw it and knew it was off-speed and just got the bat on the ball.”Lyons’ bat was alive in the first game of the series as well.He was to get things started for the Gophers in the third inning with a two-run scoring double in left field.However, his error with no outs and Minnesota leading 6-4 in the eighth inning helped put another run on the base paths for Michigan to complete a comeback after being down 6-0.“I was just having some problems with balls in the hole,” Lyons said of the balls hit between the shortstop and third base area. “I’ve been working on that with Rob (Fornasiere) in practice.”
Three years after purchasing the 805-acre residential master plan of Sanders Grove, Randy Bury, president of Randall Martin is partnering once again with Soundview Real Estate Partners to make investments in southern Arizona. The recent purchase includes four additional land parcels totaling 23.5 acres in Marana, Ariz. The all equity deal closed on Friday, March 28, for just over $1M.All four parcels were previously owned and entitled by Meritage Homes. 17.5 acres of the 23.5-acre deal are located within the Sanders Grove master plan, which includes 2,500 lots located on Marana Road west of Interstate 10 in Pima County. The remaining six acres consist of three two-acre commercial corners adjacent to the Meritage master plan community in Rancho Marana, located near Tangerine Farms Road and Clark Farms Boulevard. Will White of Land Advisors Organization was the broker on the transaction.Greey Picket“It made sense to purchase the additional acreage within Sanders Grove. It is an ideal location for a shopping center for the community or the land can also be used for residential building,” explained Bury. “When we learned Meritage was also looking to sell the three commercial corners, we knew it would be a good investment.”Randall Martin and Soundview also partnered on a $2.2M real estate investment in Las Vegas earlier this year. In February, they closed on Shadow Ranch, a residential community of 105 lots on 20 acres in North Las Vegas. The property was purchased from an entity created by a joint venture between Rialto Capital and the FDIC.Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., Randall Martin is a real estate investment firm that specializes in purchasing raw land for development and sale in the southwest.
The Guardian:Perhaps safety helmets should carry a health warning. Wearing them, it appears, encourages dangerous risk-taking. In an extraordinary study, Dr Tim Gamble and Dr Ian Walker, from the University of Bath’s department of psychology, have shown that wearing a helmet is likely to increase sensation-seeking and make people less safe – even in situations where headgear is not required.The academics believe that their findings, published in the journal Psychological Science, call into question the effectiveness of safety advice, notably about the wearing of helmets for leisure activities such as cycling. But they also suggest that their conclusions help shed light on far wider issues, such as decision-making in conflict zones.Read the whole story: The Guardian
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