September 19, 2021

Letter To The Editor By 3RD Ward City Councilwoman Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley

first_imgThe City’s ability to borrow money and pay it back at the lowest possible interest rate took another hit today. The hotel bond is rated as an A. The highest rating is AAA. There are 3 levels of A ratings and the City is now scraping the bottom of the top category.According to Standard & Poor’s rating definitions, a AA rating differs from the highest rated obligations (AAA) only to a small degree. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the bond is very strong. An A rating is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions. The next level, BBB, indicates that adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the bond. Anything below BBB is regarded as having significant speculative characteristics.The problems with the City’s bond rating began when spending started to outpace revenues, and the City went on a borrowing spree. This started with the borrowing of $127 million for the arena and millions for sewer and water system projects while gambling became more competitive in the state and property tax caps took effect. The City used to hold an AA rating status but was identified by rating agencies as trending from stable to negative last year. This negative trend applies to all bonds or loans taken out by the City except for loans taken out related to the sewer system. Thus far, rate increases have outpaced spending with regards to the sewer system, although that is poised to change as an EPA plan to address combined sewer overflows is approved. Water system bonds and the arena bonds were downgraded from stable to negative.Now the hotel bond rating demonstrates a further deterioration in how investors view the reliability of the City to repay its creditors. An A rating itself is certainly not a crisis, but the negative trend, as the City sets out to borrow $77 million for the hotel and medical school cannot be ignored. This rating will require that the City’s debts be repaid at a higher interest rate than if the City had maintained its AA rating. It can also create problems with any attempts to refinance the loans to lengthen repayment periods or take advantage of historically low interest rates.In high school, getting an A is something to cheer about. In municipal bonding, it is not. It solidifies as fact the downward spiral of the City’s borrowing capacity that began five years ago. At a time when revenues haven’t covered the amount spent for nearly four years, it is hard to accept the extra blow of paying 2 to 3 points more in interest than other communities with better credit. The hotel bond allows up to 7% in an interest rate. AAA bond rated cities are paying 4%. The difference between 4% and 7% on a 20 million loan paid over 20 years is 17.2 million in interest versus 9 million in interest. It matters, and an extra 8 million in interest for a struggling City is a huge problem.Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley3rd Ward City Council MemberFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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GRiZ Comes Out In Inspiring Op-Ed, Reminds LGBT Youths It Gets Better

first_imgToday, the DJ and producer Grant Kwiecinski, known to fans as GRiZ, issued a statement via Huffington Post coming out to the world as gay. Kwiecinski’s piece is a celebratory and triumphant coming out statement, but more importantly, a highly necessary one. In his statement, the DJ talks about the lack of role models when he was growing up and how that played into him hiding his sexual orientation during his adolescent, noting, “There was so much pressure to fit in, I tried to force myself to be like everyone else. The last thing any teen wants is to be ‘uncool.’ Hell, the typical lingo for things that were lame was ‘gay’ and someone who wasn’t cool ‘fag’ or ‘faggot.’ Every day those words are so casually tossed into conversation as if it were true. And, I started to believe they were. There were no openly gay role models in culture for me to look up to at the time to dispel that myth.”Read GRiZ’s full article, “My name is GRiZ and . . .” on Huffington PostHe also touches on how music and culture has a heteronormative slant, dissecting how the common social and cultural norms only amplified his desire to keep his true sexual orientation a secret and heightened his sense of loneliness. GRiZ makes palpable “the struggle of coming to grips with your sexuality” and how it “can dominate your world,” noting that he would frequently find himself “laying in bed late every night depressed, stressing, losing sleep, praying to God” that he wasn’t gay, and later touching on his subsequent anxiety and the ill effects of using medication to control his anxiety. These secrets are heavy, with their ability to “drive you crazy and make you think, feel, and do crazy, sometimes harmful, shit,” and for a long time, Kwiecinski carried his alone.However, GRiZ’s coming out statement is ultimately crafted as a positive message to others, particularly to younger kids who may struggle themselves with the same problems he faced. He tells his readers, “If at this point you are telling yourself this sounds even mildly familiar, and you have so perfectly and with great pain kept your secret to yourself, I have one thing to tell you. It gets better,” co-opting the namesake catch phrase from the It Gets Better Foundation, which serves to empower and give hope to LGBT youths. After detailing his upbringing, which was filled with AP classes, beer pong, and the other savory and less savory aspects of slowly heading toward adulthood, Kwiecinski notes that college is “when things started to turn around,” finding a “small group of gay friends and with their help, combined with newly found courage, . . . [an ability] to feel more comfortable with who I was.”Despite coming out to those close to him in college and being “surprised how supportive my family and friends were in my coming out,” he explains that the experience “gave and still gives [him] hope,” buoyed by the fact that “people are gonna love you either way. If they don’t then they weren’t actually your friends in the first place.” In reference to this public coming out, he ends with this: “I believe in the goodness of people. Yes, there is a lot of negativity and hate. Instead of giving into that fear and sadness, we need to shine. Shine so brightly that it inspires your community to do the same. It won’t always be easy, but the battle is worth it. Never ever give up on yourself. It might not be cool to love Britney Spears, study AP physics or play saxophone but, it’s totally cool to be gay.”Kwiecinski’s statement comes at the start of LGBT Pride Month, which is celebrated every June with numerous events worldwide that attract millions of LGBTQIA+ participants and their allies. These bountiful pride parades, seminars, workshops, picnics, parties, concerts, and more are meant to honor and celebrate the diversity across gender and sexual orientation identities and to commemorate the lives lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS. While increasingly, American society becomes more open to LGBTQIA+ individuals, Pride Month falls in June in honor of the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous and violent demonstrations in 1969 by members of the LGBT community that are widely considered one of the largest pivotal moments in gay liberation, which paved the way for the modern LGBT rights movement of today.Since then, we’ve come a long way, with 2015’s landmark 5-4 Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges ruling guaranteeing same-sex couples the right to marriage being one of many in the push toward true equality. As we as a country continue to make strides legally toward an egalitarian society, culturally we are catching up too, with GRiZ’s coming out statement identifying him as a role model for today’s LGBT youth who makes it totally cool to be gay. Congratulations, much love, and great thanks to GRiZ today, we’ll be seeing you on tour this summer.last_img read more

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McPhee steps down as chief executive at Sweden’s SPP

first_imgHe began his career at Pohjola Bank, a former owner of Finnish pension mutual Ilmarinen, and has worked as head of bond trading and head of fixed income at Alfred Berg.Before joining SPP’s life insurance business in 2006, Hansén spent close to three years as head of government and covered bond trading at Svenska Handelsbanken.Hansén’s promotion will not see McPhee depart SPP immediately.Instead, the American will stay on as a senior adviser before retiring in 2016.McPhee has worked for the UN Development Programme, PwC and Svenska Hanselsbanken over the course of her career.She also spent nearly three years as AP4’s head of performance and risk control before being hired by AMF – experience she put to use during her time as a member of the Buffer Fund Inquiry that has recommended the closure of two of Sweden’s AP funds. Sarah McPhee is to step down as chief executive at SPP after seven years at the Swedish pension insurer.McPhee, who joined in 2008 after four years as CIO at AMF Pension, is to be succeeded by the current chief executive of Storebrand Asset Management, Staffan Hansén, in July.He said his emphasis would be on offering customers easy, affordable and sustainable ways of saving for retirement.Hansén was CIO at Storebrand Life for two years before assuming overall responsibility for its asset management division.last_img read more

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NWS Predicts Stormy, Windy Weekend for Palm Beach County

first_imgPalm Beach County can expect wet weather through the weekend before we dry out as Christmas approaches, according to the National Weather Service.A low-pressure system that is developing in the Gulf of Mexico could cause storms and tornadoes in South Florida beginning on Saturday. The NWS in Miami predicts we will see severe storms, heavy rain and flooding through Sunday.East winds of 15 mph are expected throughout weekend, with high gusts into the low 30s on Saturday night. Wind speeds should fall on Sunday morning to a high between 10 and 15 mph.Marine conditions will include wind speeds as high as 35 knots all weekend. The weather service issued a gale watch for the Atlantic that began Thursday night, and advises that the risk of rip currents in the ocean will remain high into next week.NWS meteorologist Larry Kelly says waves will remain in the range of 7 to 9 feet during the weekend, before subsiding early next week.Graphic courtesy: WPEC/CBS12Another cold front is forecast to reach our region Monday morning, with temperatures dropping into the upper 50s and low 60s near Lake Okeechobee. Temperatures along the Atlantic coast should be warmer, with the high Monday expected to be in the 70s.The cold front will extend into Tuesday. Morning temperatures are predicted to be in the upper 50s and low 60s, rising to the 70s as the day progresses. Both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day should remain sunny.last_img read more

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Genting Bet renews platform partnership with FSB Tech

first_img Submit David McDowell – FSB TechUpdating the market, industry sports betting platform provider FSB Tech (FSB) has confirmed that it has secured a multi-year platform renewal deal with Genting UK, its longest serving partner to date.Genting UK signed as an FSB client in 2013, integrating an FSB fully-managed sports betting solution. Renewing terms, the operator will now continue to work with FSB as lead betting services provider for the foreseeable future.Andy Bentley, Operations Director of Genting UK, backed FSB as platform provider as the operator seeks to expand its footprint within the UK online betting sector“Extending the relationship with FSB was an easy decision. Their platform, team and attitude are among the best in the industry. FSB are quickly establishing themselves as a major supplier and we are looking forward to our ongoing cooperation.”FSB continue its strong 2017 commercial momentum, in which the platform provider has secured new contracts within the UK and African betting market.A pleased David McDowell CEO of FSB Tech, commented: “Genting was the first client to believe that we could build and launch a sport betting service. Renewing the contract after four years speaks volumes about the relationship we have built together. I’m particularly happy to be extending our relationship with one of the biggest names in the business.” Related Articles GentingBet secures North American racing boost with XB Net July 22, 2020 Share Mark Wilson: How FSB is meeting the recreational cricket punter’s demands August 20, 2020 FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020 Share StumbleUponlast_img read more

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A’s top prospect gets first big league taste in Bay Bridge Series

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Jesús Luzardo’s shoulder injury prevented him from making the trip for the Bay Bridge Series. But there’s another top A’s prospect getting his first taste of big league action this week.The A’s included 2017 first-round pick Austin Beck, who spent most of spring training in minor league camp, on their active roster for the final three exhibition games of spring against the San Francisco Giants. Bringing along top prospects for the final series before the regular season is a …last_img read more

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The State of the You Address

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now Each year the President of the United States reports to Congress—and the American people—on how the nation is doing. The President starts by doing some level-setting, reporting on our financial condition and risks and threats to the Union (lately, one in the same). Then he makes his case for his goals, his initatives, and his big ideas.What if you had to do the same? What if you had to walk into a room of people and make the State of the You Address?Level-SettingYou might think this is a fun intellectual exercise. Maybe it is. But you are accountable to you, and it’s likely you have a lot of other people counting on you, too. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to get caught up. From time to time, you have to stop and take a look out how you’re doing.If you had to report in, how would your financial condition look? Are you where you want to be? Has your financial condition improved? Or has it worsened?How about your personal relationships? Are you investing in those relationships, ensuring that get stronger and more meaningful over time? Or have you let the most important relationships in your life fall through the cracks lately?What about your health and fitness? How about your spiritual well-being? Are you gettting stronger and more fit? Is your energy improving? Or is your body just something you use to transport your brain between your home and your office?Are things tracking the right direction? Or are their storm clouds threatening your horizons?What the Future HoldsOne of the problems I have with our political class here in the States is that they’ve stolen our mojo. They’re not optimisitc enough. Partisan bickering and doomsaying doesn’t provide an optimistic vision. Everything isn’t a burning platform. And it isn’t for you either. The state of our union has less to do with you, your results, and your life than you might believe. The State of You is far more important.You have the power to set your own goals, start your own initiatives, and chase your own big ideas.Where are you going now? What are your goals?What are the initiatives you want to pursue? Unlike the President, you don’t need an Act of Congresss to get what you want. You just need to act.What are your big ideas, the dreams you’re pursuing? What will your life look like when you get there?You can choose to make this an intellectual exercise if you want to. Or you can answer these questions (and all of the others that come to mind as you do) and start making changes you promised yourself you’d make a few weeks ago.last_img read more

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Larry Nassar’s former boss arrested over nude pictures of female students

first_imgA Michigan State University official who oversaw a clinic that employed Larry Nassar was charged on Tuesday with sexually harassment and compiling nude student selfies on his work computer, in the first charges to spring from an investigation into how complaints against the disgraced former sports doctor were handled.William Strampel, who until December was dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, was also charged with failing to enforce or monitor protocols set for Nassar after a female patient complained of inappropriate sexual contact.The 70-year-old Strampel, who has been jailed, was scheduled for arraignment in the afternoon. His attorney, John Dakmak, declined to comment.The complaint, which alleges Strampel solicited nude photos from at least one female medical student, said he used his office to “harass, discriminate, demean, sexually proposition, and sexually assault female students in violation of his statutory duty as a public officer.” Topics Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn Support The Guardian Gymnastics Share on Twitter Read more Share on Messenger … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share via Email Share on WhatsApp news His computer contained approximately 50 photos of female genitalia, nude and semi-nude women, sex toys and pornography. “Many of these photos are of what appear to be ‘selfies’ of female MSU students, as evidence by the MSU clothing and piercings featured in multiple photos,” according to the complaint. He is also accused of grabbing students’ buttocks on the dance floor at the college’s annual ball and at a scholarship dinner. The maximum penalty for the charges ranges from one year in jail to five years in prison.Nassar pleaded guilty to molesting patients and possessing child pornography and is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison. Strampel took a leave of absence for medical reasons in December. He told police last year that he failed to follow up an order for Nassar in 2014 to have a third person present when providing treatment to “anything close to a sensitive area.” In letting Nassar resume seeing patients, he also said any skin-to-skin contact should be minimal and needed to be explained in detail.Nassar was fired in 2016 for violating the rule. More than 250 girls and women have sued Michigan State, Strampel and other current and former university officials, as well as USA Gymnastics where Nassar also worked.John Manly, a lawyer for many of the victims, said his clients were encouraged by the development. “It demonstrates that [the Michigan attorney general] is serious about investigating the systemic misconduct at MSU that led to the largest child sex abuse scandal in history and holding the responsible parties accountable,” he said.A Michigan State spokeswoman said the university would continue cooperating with any investigations and pointed to Engler’s past statements. “William Strampel did not act with the level of professionalism we expect from individuals who hold senior leadership positions, particularly in a position that involves student and patient safety,” Engler said last month. Michigan ‘I was molested by Dr Larry Nassar’: how the gymnastics sexual abuse scandal unfolded Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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Turks and Caicos company to computerize Work Permit process announces Ministry

first_img TCI Company Contracted for Work Permit upgrade Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#DataworxSystemsLtd, #magneticmedianews, #workpermitprocesscomputerized Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, March 31, 2017 – Providenciales – Announced today by the Ministry of Border Control and Employment; a plan agreed to since 2016 and now finally just about ready for roll out and the Minister and Permanent Secretary both say it will revolutionize speed and ease of service at the department.Work Permits are evolving to an electronically generated and more secure document.  Minister and Deputy Premier, Sean Astwood said:  “It is my government’s intention to demonstrate our full commitment to improving service delivery in all areas of my Ministry.   This new system will address some of the longstanding complaints that the business community express on a regular basis, more notably, the lack of feedback, lengthy delays in the process, and the absence of identification for family members who are permitted to reside in the Islands with permit holders.”Dataworx Systems Ltd is responsible for installing the software which will now require electronic data entry, be able to give electronic approvals and instantly communicate decisions.  Outgoing PS, Clara Gardiner said there will be public engagement, with the business sector in particular to inform more directly about what this change will mean.Gardiner also noted that this launch of the work permit database is the first of a multi-faceted IT modernization that is taking place across all departments with the Ministry of Border Control and Employment.  There will also be a go live feature once the system is completely set up. #MagneticMediaNews#workpermitprocesscomputerized#DataworxSystemsLtdlast_img read more

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