If you want to start getting used to the idea of seeing a Sprint logo next to the iPhone, here you go. After staying initially quiet following Tuesday’s iPhone 4S announcement, Sprint has now updated their website with information on the updated phone. As we reported earlier, they are continuing to offer unlimited data plans for the iPhone. The plans don’t appear to have changed from those that Sprint has been recently offering for other smartphones.The carrier’s info about the iPhone 4S is basically identical to that on Apple’s site. Highlighting Siri, the A5 processor, the upgraded camera, iOS 5, and iCloud, it all looks quite familiar.Not surprisingly, they are pitching the uncapped data offering as their network’s biggest perk. Taking a direct stab at Sprint’s rivals, their site highlights both AT&T and Verizon only offering 2GB of data and charging you extra past that limit.The carrier’s plans, as you can see below, are exactly what Sprint customers have been offered for a while now. Packages start at $69.99 for 450 voice minutes, and unlimited data and messaging. A similar plan, but with 900 minutes, can be had for $99.99, and an unlimited everything offer will cost you $109.99.Sprint, of course, will become the third US carrier to sell the iPhone, after AT&T and Sprint. Their network is the only one of the three that still offers unlimited data.All versions of the 4S will be available for online pre-order on this Friday, October 7, at 12:01 am PST. The phone will be available the following Friday, October 14.Sprint via Electronista
Do you love classic arcade games? Well, you can now pre-order the NEOGEO Mini Arcade Cabinet from Amazon for just $109. It also comes with 40 games including various King of Fighters titles, Samurai Showdown, multiple Metal Slug installments, and more. 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Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 7 Nov 2014 – Distributed to about 200 people last night over our Magnetic Media WhatsApp contacts were the sights of the opening dinner from Blue Haven Resort and Marina’s Fire and Ice Restaurant… and it looked marvelous. Ahi Tuna Sashimi and Grilled Mahi Mahi with Fennel, Mango, Lime and Basil for dessert Key Lime Parfait with Graham Cracker Streusel and burnt Meringue as three items in the five course meal… and wines including Benziger Sauvignon Blanc, North Coast 2012 and Benziger Tribute Sonoma Mountain 2011. The Caribbean Food and Wine Festival is officially opened now… the wine makers introducing themselves on Wednesday at the Wine Cellar and last night the opening dinner was the prelude to the Gourmet Safari which is on tonight. Remember, you can always be a part of the Island Street Food Fair with tickets available, contact the Grace Bay Club – that event held Saturday afternoon on the Grace Bay strip … you can dine on as much as you want at the event. Last year’s winner was Mr. Grouper. Recommended for you Related Items:Benziger Sauvignon Blanc, Benziger Tribute Sonoma Mountain 2011, Blue Haven Resort, Caribbean food and wine festival, fire and ice restaurant, gourmet safari, Island Street Food Fair, mr. grouper, North Coast 2012 Caribbean Food and Wine Festival goes to Gourmet Safari Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Delano Williams judges Conch Fest; Kalooki’s, Mr. Grouper & Pavillion big winners What’s on TONIGHT in Providenciales
Emerging markets have become a critical piece of the company’s events strategy—the largest piece, in fact. The segment—comprised primarily of shows in China—now accounts for more than 37 percent of total annual event revenues. At $122 million, emerging markets bypassed North America ($114 million) as the highest-earning geographic region.Across borders, UBM’s annual events posted a 3.3-percent revenue gain, bringing in $324 million. Total square footage (up 8.4 percent to 2.5 million sq. ft.) and attendance (up 11.9 percent to 1.3 million) mirrored the earnings increase.Significant losses in biennial events dragged down the group figures as a whole however. Though biennial shows account for just 3 to 4 percent of total event revenues, a $15 million (53 percent) loss was enough to bring the entire segment into negative territory.UBM notes that it expects a “biennial uplift coming through in the final quarter.”For all business divisions, total revenue for the company fell 1.5 percent to $598 million and adjusted operating profits dropped 9 percent to $123 million.To stay updated on the latest FOLIO: news, become a Facebook fan and follow us on Twitter! UBM events rebounded from a tough first quarter, but still experienced year-over-year losses in the first half of 2013.Revenues for events—the largest of three divisions within the global media conglomerate—dipped 1.1 percent to $336 million, while profits fell more than 14 percent to $96 million.“As highlighted at the [interim management statement] in April, challenging market conditions, particularly in the U.K. construction sector, meant we had a tough first quarter,” says David Levin, CEO of UBM, in a statement. “A good second quarter substantially offset the Q1 performance, thanks in large part to healthy growth at our shows in China. With continued strong forward booking trends for our H2 emerging markets events we feel confident about the second half.”
Will reform bill be enough for France?144 viewsWill reform bill be enough for France?144 views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00Will reform bill be enough for France?144 viewsBusinessIt’s been a difficult year for France – this week’s desecration of Jewish tombs the latest incident to shock an already battle-scarred public. Three days of violence in Paris last month have had aVentuno Web Player 4.50It’s been a difficult year for France – this week’s desecration of Jewish tombs the latest incident to shock an already battle-scarred public. Three days of violence in Paris last month have had a
The Opposition parties, led by Congress, held a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi to urge him to hold the elections only after the presentation of the Union Budget 2017. However, after the meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad who led the delegation said that the opposition parties have demanded that the Budget be presented after the assembly elections end on March 8.The Opposition is against the Centre’s decision to present the Budget on February 1 — two days before the assembly polls in Punjab and Goa and 10 days before Uttar Pradesh goes to polls.Assembly elections in UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur are scheduled to be held between February 4 and March 8, while the counting of votes will be done on March 11. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be presenting the budget for fiscal year 2018 on February 1.TMC,Congress,DMK,JDU,RLD leaders arrive to meet Election Commission on issue of budget date being too close to polls pic.twitter.com/A6cGVkouYr— ANI (@ANI_news) January 5, 2017Azad, who is the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, represented the Congress Party at the meeting, while other Opposition parties that joined the meeting included Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Trinamool Congress (TMC). The Left, however, has decided to not attend the meeting. They had also not attended the press meet called by the Opposition parties against demonetisation.”Populist measures could be taken in budget. So a just and fair election can’t be held. We demand that budget be presented after March 8, which is when polling for elections will be over,” Azad said after meeting with Zaidi.”It is clear that the Govt will misuse the budget presentation and try to allure the voters just before polls,” Congress leader Anand Sharma told ANI.A few political parties had requested the EC to not allow the presentation of the Budget during the assembly polls since the announcements made during the Budget Session could influence votes. Zaidi had said on Wednesday that the EC was looking into the matter and would take a call in “due course of time.” All major opposition parties — Congress, Left, BSP and Shiv Sena — then demanded that the date on which the Budget will be presented be changed.Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury lashed out at the Centre on Wednesday saying that it was “a short-term political move with an eye on UP and Punjab elections.”However, Jaitley said that he did not understand how the Budget Session would have an imapct on the assembly elections. He also pointed out that an interim Budget was presented before the general elections in 2014 as well.Meanwhile, the EC has asked Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav to respond to the petitions filed by them claiming the party symbol by January 9, ANI quoted EC sources as saying.
Set against the setting sun, an Air India plane makes a landing approach. Modi 2.0 is beginning from where the previous government left off and Air India divestment is a matter of top priority. HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP/Getty ImagesThe government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has resumed where it left off in its previous stint and Air India privatization seems to be at the very top of its priorities. The government may spice up the offer with 100 per cent divestment this time around to lure potential buyers as against the 74 per cent stake sale proposed in 2018. The sale then had to be put on hold after the authorities failed to get any worthwhile offer.The preliminary information memorandum (PIM) which seeks expressions of interest (EoI) from potential buyers for the stake sale is expected soon and the two-stage bidding process could begin as early as July 7, media reports say. “Besides offering 100 per cent stake to private investors, more loans of the airline would be transferred to the special purpose vehicle (SPV) in order to further sweeten the deal,” an IANS report said quoting an unidentified senior official. The government has already transferred debt amounting Rs 29,464 crore along with other non-core assets to the SPV, Air India Assets Holding Ltd that was floated in February last year, to attract more bids for the carrier. “The transaction advisor (Ernst & Young ) has proposed to raise the transferable debt amount,” the report said.The government last year initiated the process to sell the majority 74 per cent stake in the national carrier but the plan did not take off as no private investor responded. It then put the process on hold because of rising fuel price and weak investment climate dampened investor enthusiasm. The Narendra Modi government may spice up the divestment deal with the offer 100 percent stake in Air India.Creative CommonsThe last government had missed the divestment target by a big margin majorly because of the failure on privatising Air India and Modi 2.0 has taken the divestment target seriously. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has directed the Civil Aviation Ministry under Minister of State (independent charge) Hardeep Puri to complete necessary works for Air India’s disinvestment as early as possible, reports say. Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola has instructed the airline to finalize the financials of Air India and its subsidiaries by end of June. “Also, the accounts for FY 2018-19 would form the basis of bidding. Therefore, it is necessary that they are prepared with utmost caution so as to reflect the correct financial status,” Kharola said in a letter to Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani.The national carrier is now the second largest airline of the country after IndiGo. Jet Airways, which used to be the second largest, has now become defunct. The airline, which flies to 93 destinations including international ones, has 125 aircraft and accumulated losses of about Rs 55,000 crore. The government has yet to decide on a request from the airline management to approach the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) for a loan of about Rs 2,500 crore to raise working capital.Rest well, wake up refreshed in the comfort of flatbeds with Air India.#FlyAI #StarAlliance #Airbus #AirIndia #Boeing #FrequentFlyer@staralliance @BoeingAirplanes pic.twitter.com/lEHcUDdBJ1— Air India (@airindiain) May 26, 2019
Source = Adelphi Hotel Adelphi Melbourne, the first hotel to launch LUXE Concierge AppAdelphi Melbourne, the first hotel to launch LUXE Concierge AppAdelphi Hotel have launched a new co-branded LUXE Concierge App – making the property the first in Melbourne to offer the bespoke global travel-app to their guests. The App, which offers unique insider recommendations of the city’s most interesting places, will be a complimentary addition to the Adelphi guest-experience.Adelphi’s custom LUXE Concierge App will include recommendations curated by local insiders, covering Melbourne’s best hidden bars, hottest restaurants and the latest things to do and see. Guests will receive the app free for 12-months following their stay.The LUXE Concierge App is known for delivering highly engaging destination experiences to hotel guests across every single touchpoint of the customer journey – from the planning and booking stages to the pre-arrival email, at check-in and during their stay.Digital-savvy Adelphi guests will have unprecedented access to the LUXE Concierge App on both Android and Apple platforms.All LUXE recommendations are genuine, insider and local resident contributions that have been personally tested and carefully curated by LUXE expert editors in order to deliver the highest quality experiences for users. It covers 30 destinations globally.The LUXE Concierge App joins a host of complimentary benefits for guests of Adelphi Hotel, including mini bar, unlimited new release movies, WIFI and local phone calls.For more information about LUXE City Guides, visit luxecityguides.com
UK has received the highest number of visitors from India ever for the year ending June 2016, as recorded by UK Visa and VisitBritain. The statistics reveal that over 380,000 visit visas were issued, an increase of six percent in arrivals.The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, International Passenger Survey show an eight percent rise in visitors from India from that of 2014.“India is a priority growth market for Britain and is one of the seven markets globally to receive additional funding for tourism promotion. Our partnership with the airlines, travel industry and Indian movie industry has enabled us to reach new customers in the major cities of India. Increasingly, we are seeing demand for British itineraries covering London, Manchester, Oxford, Birmingham and Edinburgh. As the market evolves, we will continue improving and enhancing the travel offer for the Indian visitor,” said Sumathi Ramanathan, VisitBritain Director for Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa.“Over the last two years we’ve seen big increases in the number of Indian nationals apply for Visit visas, and we expect the numbers to keep rising. We continue to make improvements to our visa service to make it quicker and easier for customers to apply for UK visas. This year we launched a new online application form for visitors, Access UK, which is shorter and which allows customers to download a completed Schengen visa form to make it easier to apply for both visas at the same time. The form is now available in Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and Gujarati, so Indian customers can read through the application forms in their own languages for the first time. Other recent improvements to the service include the opening of a new Visa Application Centre in Lucknow and the expansion of the Priority and Super Priority Visa services so that all visitors can use the service,” added Nick Crouch, Regional Director for UK Visas & Immigration for South Asia.
Go back to the enewsletterThe Ritz-Carlton Abama, on the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, Tenerife, is honestly the most unusual of that brand that this gal has ever seen. After a 90-minute drive diagonally from north-east to south-west of Tenerife, I entered the top of what is a massive green bed quilt – 400 acres in all – flung over an undulating slope that goes down to the ocean, or at least to a clifftop 100 feet above it. The 465-key hotel occupies just some of this acreage. You enter what looks like a low-rise terracotta fortress and look straight through to an impressive view of the green ‘quilt’, and on and on. This is the entrance to the main block of the hotel, comprising a zig-zag building and villages of seperate or semi-detached terracotta houses that stretch down the ‘quilt’.The Ritz-Carlton Abama | Citadel Koi Carp PondI met with the hotel’s newly-arrived GM Gregory De Clerck, who first took me on a walk around the campus. First stop was the kids’ club, a large garden with every plaything you could think of including a wooden version of Louise Bourgeois’ famous metal spider sculpture. Inside, the club has various rooms for eating, sleeping, watching movies and – in all of them – for making NOISE. (How do the 40 nannies, numbering one for every eight kids, retain their hearing?) Next, we took the tarmac road that forms one side of the whole: it runs from the entrance building down to the clifftop. As we walked down we passed some villages and pools that are family-friendly. We passed others that are for adults only.The Ritz-Carlton Abama | Abama BeachAt the end of the road is the top of a funicular that works non-stop, taking hotel guests down to a secluded beach that is miraculously hotel only. We lunched at the closest of 12 eating places, dining on magnificently sweet Santona anchovies from the north of the Bay of Biscay, followed by today’s catch, an enormous sea bass cooked in salt crust and cracked table-side. I heard how the hotel is going after a ‘five Gs’ market: golf, grey, gay, group and gourmet. On the ‘golf’ front, the course immediately above the main resort is still owned by the entire Abama complex and the Spanish media group, Polanco – the hotel is now part of Blackstone’s empire. And on the ‘group’ front, Dom Pérignon is about to host two back-to-back getaways to launch a new vintage – 70 lucky recipients at each. Another upcoming booking is an incentive for 800.The Ritz-Carlton Abama | Restaurant El Mirador – TerraceHow do they manage this when such invitees obviously want their own bedrooms? Simple, said Gregory De Clerck. It will be a buy-out of the hotel and he is renting the required number of time-share golf villas that are still owned by Polanco. Having walked down to lunch, we took the delightful toy town-like shuttle train back up to the main building. My car was waiting, and several of the dispatch team made sure its Wi-Fi would work for a scheduled Skype call (it did). After promising to come back for more – including hopefully dinner at MB, the two-star Michelin overseen by Martin Berasategui (who has three stars for Restaurante Martin Berasategui at Lasarte-Oria, 15 minutes’ drive south of San Sebastián on the Spanish mainland) – I sadly left this very friendly and eventful luxury resort.The Ritz-Carlton Abama | Club Level Deluxe – OceanviewWhy did I have to leave? I was cruising on Regent Seven Seas Explorer, from Lisbon to Barcelona via Madeira, the Canary Islands, with ports of call in Morocco and mainland Spain. The Canaries – named for dogs rather than birds – also included the unusual Lanzarote, an island more or less exclusively formed by volcanic lava and ash. A highlight was a Disney-like tour through lava fields around Timanfaya volcano. Lanzarote was named for an Italian, Lanzarotto (or Lancelotto) Malocello, who discovered the island in the early 14th century. Its activities today include production of aloe vera, and also wine, from vines individually bedded right down into the ash to reach the fertile soil beneath.Seven Seas ExplorerIn between sightseeing and constant education in local history and geography, I was back on board. Regent Seven Seas Explorer, built in 2016, is the perfect example of today’s maxim that luxury requires space. The ship has 750 passengers in an overall space that could likely accommodate twice that number. Cabins, called suites (technically correct as there are curtains to separate bedroom from living area), have big terraces with loungers as well as upright chairs.Seven Seas Explorer Concierge SuiteThere are so many bars you never have to rush to get an at-the-counter stool. Other than the sailing part, the whole operation was run by a GM, Michael Coghlan, who unlike his land-based colleagues works seven days a week from about 7 am through dinner with a few hours off in the afternoon. (After three months on, he does have two months’ leave.)Seven Seas Explorer | Explorer LoungeThe food on board was superb, with copious buffets at breakfast and lunch for those – like me – who prefer helping themselves at those meals. Of the many dining choices my favourites were, rather surprisingly, the general-menu Compass Rose, with its superlative service and exquisite food of Chartreuse (the French fine-dining). This could, possibly, have been labelled a ‘foodie cruise’. We had father and son Michel Roux and Alain Roux on board (the Explorer has a fully professional cooking class kitchen, thoughtfully with glass walls to allow others to see what’s going on).Seven Seas Explorer | ChartreuseIn Cadiz, the fish section of the main covered market, held daily Mondays to Saturdays from dawn to about 2 pm, was a true educational eye-opener. I loved Cadiz (pronounce it as near to ‘Cardiff’ as you can): it has narrow streets and a plethora of narrow shops that specialise in hams and ladies’ shoes. The cathedral has a cavernous catacomb beneath that still has masses of space for saints to come. This is a highly religious city and just before Easter, religious groups parade every night carrying mighty treasures from the cathedral through those eight-foot wide streets. One of the best viewing places must surely be a luxury hotel I discovered purely by accident, the 14-room Hotel La Catedral, directly opposite the cathedral. From its fourth-floor rooftop, take 20 steps up to its glass-sided pool. What a clever feature. I am lucky enough to come across memorable hotels, everywhere.Go back to the enewsletter
NEW YORK — For Grammy-winning producer-songwriter Alexander Shuckburgh, the Academy Awards are so close and yet so far.Shuckburgh should be celebrating as an Oscar nominee since a song he co-wrote — “All the Stars” from the “Black Panther” soundtrack — is competing for best original song on Sunday.But he isn’t.That’s because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences limits the number of nominees in the best original song category to four, forcing one of the song’s five writers to take a backseat. Shuckburgh shares writing credit with Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Anthony Tiffith and Mark Spears.Some feel that Shuckburgh should be able to call himself “an Oscar-nominated songwriter.”Linda Moran, the president of Songwriters Hall of Fame, says “it is definitely not fair to limit the number of writers.”Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press Posted Feb 21, 2019 11:21 am PDT At the Oscars, some songwriters are left in the dark FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2015 file photo, Common, left, and John Legend pose in the press room with the award for best original song for “Glory” from the film, “Selma” at the Oscars in Los Angeles. Che “RhymeFest” Smith earned credit from the Grammys for his songwriting work on “Glory,” but not at the Oscars because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences limits the number of nominees in the best original song category to four. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
State Rep. Ray Franz read the final roll call for Custer Fire Chief John Allison during a special 9/11 Memorial Service in the Michigan House of Representatives on Thursday as part of a ceremony that also honors first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty in Michigan the past year.Allison died Oct. 8, 2013, from a cardiac event following a personal injury auto accident mutual aid response in Mason County the previous day. “I spent 30 years as a medical first responder, so I’m familiar with seeing people who realize that help is there, and the calming, soothing effect that it has on helping people get through their crisis,” said Franz, R-Onekama. “During his many years of service, I am certain Chief Allison provided that comfort to countless people in emergency situations. Chief Allison’s legacy is a model for all to follow, and we can’t thank these local heroes enough.”The ceremony included the ringing of a fire bell for Chief Allison and three additional Michigan first responders who died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2013, special music by a fire department bagpiper and “Taps” played by two members of the Grand Ledge High School Marching Band. House ceremony marks 9/11 anniversary, honors first responders State Rep. Ray Franz and special guests Command Sgt. Major Dan Lincoln (left), and Steve Kozera of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (right), took part in the annual Michigan House of Representatives 9/11 memorial service that also honors first responders. 11Sep Franz announces tribute to Custer Fire Chief Allison Categories: News
29Sep Rep. Rendon storage facility insurance passes through House Categories: Rendon News Lawmaker: We’ve eliminated over-regulated procedures for businesses, customersA bill introduced by state Rep. Bruce Rendon to revise the requirements necessary for storage facility owners to sell their customers insurance was passed by the Michigan House today.House Bill 4636 addresses issues when a person’s property in storage is not covered by their home owner insurance policy, either because the policy is too weak or the value of the goods is too low.“Many times, students, soldiers and seasonal employees store their items without any property insurance,” said Rep. Rendon, R-Lake City. “This bill will streamline the rental insurance process for self-storage facilities, making it easier for businesses to offer insurance to rental customers.”Under current law, an occupational license is required to sell insurance. The bill exempts businesses from the current occupational licensure requirement in instances where the insurance is only for property stored at a storage facility.“Self-storage businesses will legally be able to provide and sell insurance to rental customers for the storage of their personal property,” said Rep. Rendon.HB 4636 moves to the Senate for further consideration.###
Tags: #SB, Cole, HB5163, MI open for business, no greater than the feds, regulatory climate 07Jun Rep. Cole’s ‘no greater than the feds’ legislation clears House Categories: Cole News,Featured news,News The Michigan House of Representatives today approved state Rep. Triston Cole’s legislation to limit the state government’s ability to adopt a rule that is more stringent than the federal government’s regulations.House Bill 5613 will further solidify the fact Michigan is open for business.“This legislation does not prohibit greater rules from ultimately being implemented, but does require greater justification,” Rep. Cole said. “It also does not prohibit the Legislature from enacting laws greater than the federal government. This is rock-solid policy, a positive move forward and works to keep the separation of powers in check.”House Bill 5613, also nicknamed ‘no greater than the feds,’ will increase and protect Michigan’s competitiveness by stabilizing our state’s regulatory climate.“Bureaucrats do not make policy, the Legislature does. This bill will strengthen that separation and distinction, something my constituents have repeatedly asked for,” said Rep. Cole, R-Mancelona. “Moreover, such burdensome rules put Michigan at a competitive disadvantage with other states.“Overregulation is debilitating to Michigan’s economy and with this legislation implemented we can effectively prevent the burdensome regulations that hinder local growth for businesses within communities across the state.“Prospective clients from out-of-state will be more inclined to consider developing a business in Michigan if we cut the red tape and allow people to build their businesses without government interference.”HB 5613 will now move to the Senate for consideration.######
25Apr Rep. Hornberger welcomes local deacon to lead House invocation Categories: Hornberger News PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Pamela Hornberger of Chesterfield Township welcomed Deacon John Fitzmaurice to the state Capitol to lead Tuesday’s invocation for the Michigan House of Representatives. Fitzmaurice is a deacon of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in St. Clair. House tradition calls for a representative or a clergy member to begin each day’s session with a prayer. Speaker of the House Tom Leonard joined them at the rostrum.
01Jun Rep. Sheppard invites residents to local office hours State Rep. Jason Sheppard of Temperance invites residents to join him for local office hours throughout June.“I enjoy these opportunities to meet with people and hear about the issues that matter most to them,” Rep. Sheppard said. “I look forward to listening to our neighbors, addressing their concerns and working through solutions for the 56th District.”Rep. Sheppard will hold office hours at the following times and locations:Monday, June 4 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Dean’s Family Restaurant, 15391 S. Dixie Hwy. in Monroe;Thursday, June 21 from 4 to 5 p.m. at Forest View Lanes Recreation Bar and Grill, 2345 W. Dean Rd. in Temperance;Tuesday, June 26 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Great Lakes Eatery, 123 Cabelas Blvd. E. in Dundee; andWednesday, June 27 from8 to 9 a.m. at Old 23 Grill, 3168 Lewis Ave. in Ida.No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Sheppard’s office at (517) 373-2617 or JasonSheppard@house.mi.gov. Categories: Sheppard News
Share21Tweet8Share13Email42 SharesBy Ipankonin [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsJune 19, 2017; NPR, “The Two-Way”The question of whether gerrymandering, the drawing of political districts and boundaries to advantage a particular party or group, is constitutional has been a subject of lower federal court decisions since near the founding of this country. Both lower federal courts and the Supreme Court have ruled on cases of gerrymandering, but all have made determinations based on the disenfranchisement of voters based on race. This could all change with the case of Gill v. Whitford. This case addresses the redistricting in Wisconsin and turns on the issue of political party, not race. The implications are many and will have big ramifications for all states as they redistrict following the upcoming 2020 census.NPQ has reported before on the issues of gerrymandering and the Supreme Court. In January 2017, Erin Rubin wrote,Every ten years, new census results in hand, states redraw the boundaries of their political districts. These districts elect state and local representatives for themselves, and their votes are tallied in groups for larger elections. Ever since Patrick Henry first tried to deny James Madison a Congressional seat, it has been the practice of politicians to draw districts that favor their own parties. After their significant loss in 2008, Republicans have been winning local elections and drawing boundaries that help them keep a hold on power.Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that two districts in North Carolina were unconstitutionally drawn, based on race. The arguments coming from the state were that these districts were drawn based on party, not race, and that the courts, including the Supreme Court, had allowed this as valid. NPQ reported on this in May 2017, following this Supreme Court decision.The states in past cases contended their efforts were partisan attempts to protect their majorities, which the Supreme Court in the past has allowed, rather than attempts to diminish the impact of minority voters, which is forbidden. The drawing of state and congressional districts is a state function and in most states is led by whichever political party is in power. In the North Carolina case, the justices felt that too much emphasis was put on jamming African American voters into a limited number of districts, thus limiting their voting power and influence in other districts in the state.The Court has not ruled on purely on the issue of party as opposed to race, as the two are often viewed as commingled. The contention that race and party are not synonymous is part of what will be before the Court in the fall of 2017 when this case is heard.At the core of the problem is a lack of a measurable standard for determining if the districts are drawn on a purely partisan basis. That measure may now exist: The defendants in this case, Gill v. Whitford, claim to have come up with such a standard. Here’s how Shawn Johnson of Wisconsin Public Radio explained it.The metric that they came up with, they called the efficiency gap, and it measures what they call wasted votes. Let’s say you have a strongly Democratic district. And if a Democrat got a lot of votes there, but they only get one seat, they’re saying that they wasted a lot of votes to get those seats. If Democrats come up just short in a lot of other districts, they’re saying they wasted those votes as well.So they compare that district-by-district to the statewide total, and that gives them this efficiency gap measure. And by that metric, plaintiffs looked back at redistricting plans throughout the U.S., going back to 1972, and Wisconsin’s redistricting plan was one of the most strongly political gerrymandered in history.The “efficiency gap” was critical in the lower federal court’s decision, which will now be heard by the Supreme Court.The importance of this measure is not lost on those who are advocating for voter rights and the elimination of such voter suppression measures as strict voter ID laws. This case is also significant because it is Wisconsin, and not a southern state, before the Court. The plaintiffs in this case are focused on voter rights.“I’m grateful the Supreme Court will hear our case and listen to our stories of how we are harmed,” said Wendy Sue Johnson, one of the 12 plaintiffs challenging the Wisconsin State Assembly Districts in Whitford, in a statement.“No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, we should all be able to agree on one thing: as voters in a democracy we should have the right to freely choose our representatives rather than endure a system where politicians manipulate our district lines, dilute our votes, and choose their own constituents,” Johnson said. “The Supreme Court’s ruling could give us back our right to have our vote count.”Once again, all eyes will be on Justice Kennedy, who will most likely be the swing vote in this case. In past cases, he has voted to uphold partisan voter ID laws, but he has expressed willingness to consider a challenge to a partisan gerrymander. His positioning in this case will be key. It should be noted that the Supreme Court also issued a stay on the lower court ruling that Wisconsin should immediately begin redrawing its maps. This could leave the current districts intact for the 2018 election. Justice Kennedy voted for the stay.Short- and medium-term implications of this case could favor one party over the other, but much more is at stake in the long term. As election law expert Rick Hasen stated, “If the Supreme Court actually decides to rein in partisan gerrymandering, I think it would have the effect of helping Democrats in the short term, because there are more legislatures that are controlled by Republicans. In the long term, it would help to assure that districting as a whole would be more likely to represent the interest of the voters and the jurisdiction as a whole.”—Carole LevineShare21Tweet8Share13Email42 Shares
Share1KTweet11Share348Email2K SharesJune 28th, 2017; Minneapolis Star TribuneThe W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) initiative to fight racism recently announced $24 million in grants to 14 organizations in communities throughout the U.S. While this is not the first time Kellogg has forayed into the subject of race, when it started the design phase of its current initiative in January of last year, the election of Donald Trump to the presidency still seemed far-fetched to many. Now we are fighting (or, in some cases, cheering) a government-sanctioned travel ban based on religion, demonization of immigrants, and an increase in white-supremacist hate crimes.The TRHT offers a framework that attempts to change the narrative about race by building relationships and finding ways to help victims of racially motivated actions to heal. It also is seeking ways to “address segregation, colonization and concentrated poverty in neighborhoods to ultimately ensure equitable access to health, education, and jobs.”One of the grantee organizations, the St. Paul Foundation in Minnesota, received a $2 million grant to work on changing the racial narrative in its communities. The need for this was brought into stark relief by the killing of Philando Castile last year by a police officer during a routine traffic stop. Castile’s murder attracted national attention and protests when Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, captured the police shooting (with her four-year-old daughter in the backseat) and the aftermath on her cell phone. Earlier this month, despite that Facebook recording and corresponding police video, the officer was acquitted of manslaughter, sparking more protests and soul-searching.In its press release announcing the grants, the Kellogg foundation said Castile’s death “unmasked the racial bias in the Twin Cities area.”Castile’s death “is certainly a flash point in this community,” Nadege Souvenir, associate vice president of community impact for the St. Paul Foundation, said in an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. “Really, this Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation work is bigger than that.”In the Kellogg press release, the Saint Paul Foundation said, “The wounds of racism run deep and are intricately woven into the backbone of our everyday lives. The historic trauma of racism affects our children in school, colleagues at work and the way we interact—or don’t—with our neighbors.”Souvenir said that the $1 million of the grant would go toward “narrative change” work and $1 million toward an endowment.The other recipients of TRHT grants are the First Alaskans Institute (covering the state of Alaska); Foundation for Louisiana (covering the Baton Rouge and New Orleans communities); the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo in New York; the Woods Fund of Chicago and The Chicago Community Trust (covering the greater Chicago area); the Communities Foundation of Texas in Dallas; Southern California Grantmakers in Los Angeles; Initiatives of Change, Inc. in Richmond, VA; the Black Belt Community Foundation in Selma, Alabama; and the Council of Michigan Foundations (covering the communities of Battle Creek, Flint, Kalamazoo, and Lansing). —Nancy YoungShare1KTweet11Share348Email2K Shares
Share10Tweet13Share1Email24 SharesBy Kelly M. Grow/ California Department of Water Resources – California Department of Water Resources, Public Domain, LinkSeptember 21, 2017; Scientific AmericanWho is responsible for climate change? Oakland and San Francisco intend to pin at least some of the blame on large fossil fuel companies, including BP PLC, Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., ExxonMobil Corp., and Royal Dutch Shell PLC. The California cities have filed lawsuits claiming damages related to climate change they say the companies caused. In a savvy move, both engaged activist lawyer Matt Pawa to argue their case, tying their efforts to the #ExxonKnew movement.San Francisco’s lawsuit explains the line of reasoning for the suit: Fossil fuels cause global warming, the oil companies refined and extracted “massive amounts of fossil fuels despite having full knowledge…that fossil fuels would cause global warming,” and San Francisco and Oakland “will incur serious climate change injuries that will require billions in expenditures to abate the global warming nuisance.” The lawsuit describes the impending floods as “an unlawful public nuisance of the first order,” for which it claims oil companies are responsible.A 2015 investigation by InsideClimate News about Exxon’s failure to publicize its research about climate change forms the basis of the #ExxonKnew movement, which calls for a federal investigation to determine whether Exxon “intentionally misled the public about climate change and fossil fuels.” Pawa has previously briefed attorneys general and others on Exxon’s activities, and is on the board of the Center for International Environmental Law.Greenpeace’s Climate Liability Campaigner, Naomi Ages, said, “It’s time to hold these climate deadbeats accountable. Greenpeace applauds San Francisco and Oakland.”As NPQ recently noted, the costs of dealing with the increased flooding from climate change and related disastrous weather are enormous, and cities are struggling with how to protect themselves. As Jeff Stein of Vox explained, FEMA funding is both insufficient and difficult to obtain and administer. Larry Larson, senior policy adviser at the Association of State Floodplain Managers, told Stein, “I would venture to say that a lot of the facilities damaged in Harvey have been rebuilt at least once, if not twice, with taxpayer dollars.”Oakland and San Francisco, along with a few other cities that have filed similar suits, aim to change that. They want fossil fuel companies, not taxpayers, to pay for raising buildings, constructing sea walls, and implementing other programs to help protect them from flooding.According to Scientific American, “A spokesman for Royal Dutch Shell called climate change a ‘complex societal challenge’ to be addressed by governments, ‘not by the courts.’” Of course, that would work out pretty well for Royal Dutch Shell and its competitors, since President Trump’s government has made it plain they have no intention of taking action on climate change. Instead, municipalities have stepped up to implement the Paris accords and other programs that protect their citizens and infrastructure.If Oakland and San Francisco are to be successful, Pawa and the other plaintiff representatives will need to overturn a precedent set in 2012 in Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp. Kivalina was a small, 97-percent-Native Alaskan town whose “survival has been threatened by erosion resulting from wave action and sea storms for several decades.” (NPQ has described in the past how climate change especially threatens native Alaskans’ villages and way of life.) The Ninth Circuit ruled in Kivalina that the claims of climate change damage were viable, but were addressed by the Clean Air Act and EPA action that could not be overruled by common law litigation. Perhaps EPA’s recent backtracking on climate change will affect the opinion of the courts this time.Pawa is not one to be discouraged. “Tobacco litigation took 30 years or more before the courts were ready and before the correct legal theories were there to make it all work,” he told VICE News. “We gotta keep filing case after case before we get it right.”According to Politico,Pawa’s central role in the escalating bombardment of Exxon has made him a target, as the company’s allies liken him to a puppet master orchestrating the campaign behind the scenes. But he told Politico that he is not formally involved in any state investigations, even as he suggested that more AGs could jump into the fray.Many activists and organizations, including Greenpeace and #ExxonKnew, are using this municipal challenge to push California’s attorney general Xavier Becerra to join New York’s Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts’s Maura Healey in launching a statewide investigation of Exxon’s actions.Should fossil fuel companies be held responsible for global warming, and if so, to what degree do they owe liability? Will the deep coffers of Exxon Mobil and BP fund the salvation of coastal cities? Are the companies that extract and refine fossil fuels as culpable as the people that consume them or the government that fails to regulate them? All of these questions and more will be debated in the coming months, as the water levels rise.—Erin RubinShare10Tweet13Share1Email24 Shares
BSkyB has promoted Stuart Murphy to director of its entertainment channels.Murphy was previously director of Sky’s flagship entertainment channel Sky 1. In his new role he will oversee all of the News Corp-backed pay TV operator’s entertainment channels, which include Sky Atlantic HD, Sky Arts HD and Sky Living HD.Murphy will continue to report to Sophie Turner Laing, managing director of entertainment. “Over the past three years, under Stuart’s leadership, we have seen Sky 1 become a true destination channel,” she said. “I have no doubt that in his new role, he’ll bring the same vision and drive to the rest of the portfolio.”