Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has again turned down the suggestion that Government should allow the establishment of smoking areas in business places, describing such areas as “death chambers”.Dr. Ferguson further informed that the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations 2013 do not allow for the establishment of such spaces.“My answer to that is absolutely not. We cannot allow the establishment of death chambers and this is what a room filled with persons smoking would be,” he told journalists on Monday, July 15, during a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.The Minister argued that in such situations, smokers are essentially inhaling their own smoke, plus the smoke of others around them. “In addition, the ventilation system can carry the smoke to other areas, which will then affect non-smokers,” he said.Dr. Ferguson noted that the regulations stipulate that no smoking can take place within five metres of the entrance or exit of a public place and its ventilation system.[RELATED: Big Fines for Smoking Ban Breaches]In the meantime, the Ministry of Health has embarked on a major public education campaign to sensitise Jamaicans on the newly instituted ban on smoking in specified public spaces.The ban, which falls under sections 14 and 15 of the Public Health Act, becomes effective on July 15.It will see a restriction on smoking in enclosed places accessible to the public; public transportation; work places; government owned and occupied buildings; health facilities, including pharmacies; sports and recreational facilities for use by the public; educational institutions; areas specifically for use by children; and places of collective use, such as bus stops.In this vein, the Ministry has launched campaigns in some major town centres across the island to educate and inform Jamaicans on the regulations.“We will also start a radio public service advertisement today on multiple stations and we are continuing on a sensitisation programme for at least the next eight months, so that persons can be properly educated about their rights and responsibilities under the regulations,” Dr. Ferguson stated.[Special Page: [Special Page: Fact Sheet: Ban on Smoking in Public Places]He said the Ministry has also invited discussions with stakeholders, including the police and the Customs Department.The Minister along with representatives from the Ministry will be part of an outside broadcast on RJR’s Hotline on Wednesday, July 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., to further answer the public’s questions on the matter.“Our doors are open to anyone who wishes to have clarification on the issues and we have begun to send out soft copies of the regulations to the media, government entities and other stakeholders,” Dr. Ferguson said.Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
Amendments were introduced today, March 28, to the Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) Act to remove the Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations representative from the board. “When assessment responsibilities moved from the provincial government to the corporation, the deputy minister was appointed to the board to provide continuity and regular communications through the transition,” said Mark Furey, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “Since the corporation was formed, we have established ongoing communications through regular meetings at the staff levels and those will continue.” The amendments also allow the corporation to appoint a third independent member to the board. “We feel these changes will provide an opportunity to build upon the independence of the board, and create greater representation for Nova Scotia property owners,” said Russell Walker, chair of the corporation’s board of directors. The Property Valuation Services Corporation is a municipally funded corporation that provides property assessment services in the province.
Les gens de la Nouvelle-Écosse peuvent contribuer à la préparation du budget de l’exercice 2019-2020 et aux budgets futurs en soumettant leurs commentaires dans le cadre des consultations prébudgétaires de cette année. Les consultations prébudgétaires de 2019-2020 débutent aujourd’hui 30 novembre et se déroulent jusqu’au 31 décembre. « Je veux connaître les idées et les priorités des gens de la Nouvelle-Écosse pour que le gouvernement soit bien informé en vue de la préparation du prochain budget et des budgets futurs, affirme Karen Casey, ministre des Finances et du Conseil du Trésor. Nous allons continuer d’assurer notre viabilité financière par des investissements dans les programmes, les services et l’infrastructure qui sont des priorités pour les gens de la Nouvelle-Écosse. » Le plan financier prévoit un budget équilibré pour l’exercice financier 2018-2019. Il prévoit également un budget équilibré pour les trois prochaines années financières. Les gens de la Nouvelle-Écosse peuvent participer aux consultations prébudgétaires des façons suivantes : Par courriel en envoyant une soumission à email@example.com Par la poste en envoyant une soumission à : Consultations prébudgétaires de 2019-2020, Ministère des Finances et Conseil du Trésor, C.P. 187, Halifax (N.-É.), B3J 2N3 En communiquant avec un député En envoyant un tweet à @NSFinance Les renseignements sur les consultations prébudgétaires de 2019-2020 se trouvent au http://novascotia.ca/budget/fr. Les gens sont invités à soumettre leurs commentaires en français ou en anglais.
WASHINGTON – The president of the United States is tweeting more often, more angrily and more frequently against members of his own political family, in a political spectacle revealing fault lines within America’s governing party.Donald Trump began the day with trash-talking tweets against the Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell. “Get back to work,” Trump said in one, urging the senator to end his holiday and start passing bills on health reform, tax cuts and infrastructure.He lamented in another social-media screed that McConnell spent seven years promising to repeal Barack Obama’s health law — and that when the moment finally came, “he couldn’t get it done.”Then came a warning shot.Trump inched close to demanding the resignation of his party’s senior lawmaker — who happens to be married to Trump’s transportation secretary. When a reporter asked whether McConnell should step down, the president replied, “If he doesn’t get (those bills) done, then you can ask me that question.”Tensions between the president and his party are not new.Few senior Republicans supported his campaign. Some even urged him to resign a few weeks before the election, over an old tape scandal. Those differences were papered over in the first few months of Trump’s presidency, but are being exposed again.By firing chief of staff Reince Priebus and forcing out spokesman Sean Spicer, Trump’s White House cut off rare links to the party establishment. That’s been followed with the commander-in-chief publicly slapping around members of his political family.For a few days, his ire was directed at Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his hands-off approach to the Russia probe. Now Trump’s allies are seeking to squeeze Trump-skeptical Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake out in a primary next year.Trump is getting angrier in social media and he’s using it more.In the first four full months of his presidency, he used Twitter to tweet or retweet messages 150 times or less, in a relatively stable pattern; it then ramped up to 208 messages in June, 242 in July, and he’s on track to hit 260 this month if he keeps up this current pace of 8.4 per day.In addition, the newer messages are increasingly angry, according to an analysis of word-sentiments run through the R computer-programming language. The sentiment analysis shows that messages with predominantly positive words easily outnumbered negative ones as recently as May, but it’s changed: negative messages have been running neck-and-neck or even surpassing positive ones in recent weeks.Now he’s topped it off by publicly belittling his party’s leadership online.One Obama-era official expressed incredulity at the president’s choice of target. McConnell not only controls the fate of Trump’s legislative agenda, but also potentially Trump’s entire political destiny, said former Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller.“Fast forward months/years,” Miller tweeted.“If (special counsel Robert) Mueller ever makes an impeachment referral, probably no one more important to Trump’s fate than McConnell.”On Capitol Hill, a number of Republicans have been grumbling about life under President Trump. McConnell himself may have triggered the president’s opprobrium with a speech in his home state, where he said Trump was new to politics and might have had unrealistic hopes of what he might achieve.“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before,” McConnell told a Kentucky gathering.“I think (he) had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”But some Republicans interjected to say the president may have a point. A member of the House of Representatives said he was right to be annoyed at the Senate, where a bill to repeal Obamacare failed by one vote.“I really do believe this was a congressional failure. This was not a presidential failure. And Republicans of all stripes need to look in the mirror and recognize that,” lawmaker Tom Cole told CNN.“We made this commitment for seven years.”But a Democratic rival offered another take on the source of frustration that Trump, a former Democrat from left-leaning New York City, might be feeling with his party. The problem, said Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, is that the party’s conservative priorities on health care and taxes don’t align with the country’s and keep bumping into resistance.“We are watching them sort of take potshots at each other here,” Van Hollen told MSNBC. “The real issue is that they don’t have an agenda that brings the country together. The (Obamacare) repeal got maybe 12 per cent support throughout the country.“And when that failed, you have people pointing fingers at each other. You know, this was the president who said he was going to bring to Washington the art of the deal. Clearly he was not able to do that.”
OTTAWA – Newly released documents to Canada’s finance minister suggest traditional hotels in two of Canada’s biggest cities have not fared badly as they face rising competition from online platforms like Airbnb.The April 18 memo to Finance Minister Bill Morneau says that average hotel occupancy rates in Vancouver and Toronto were higher than Airbnb listings between 2015 and 2017.Officials estimated that Airbnb’s share of total demand for rooms in the two cities roughly doubled since 2015. And while hotel occupancy rates didn’t decline over the same period, “it is possible they could have risen more than they actually did” if Airbnb and other platforms weren’t around.But “despite the rising occupancy rates,” Morneau was told in the briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press under the access to information law that the hotel industry still sees an unlevel playing field with Airbnb “as there is no tax” on the service.Pressure from domestic businesses had been building on the Trudeau government to apply sales taxes to online services providers like Airbnb and Netflix when Morneau was provided a breakdown on the situation between hotels and short-term rentals.Any recommendations to Morneau have been withheld from release because officials say it is sensitive ministerial advice.In April, a Liberal-dominated Commons committee urged Ottawa to make online service providers based outside the country collect and remit sales taxes as part of a series of recommendations to help Canada’s small businesses compete online.The platforms themselves have told federal officials they are open to applying sales taxes, but the Liberals have shied away from implementing the idea so far.On Tuesday, Airbnb announced it would provide the City of Ottawa with revenues from a four per cent hotel tax on its listings in the national capital starting Aug. 1, marking the second such tax agreement the online platform has finalized in Canada.Airbnb already collects and pays a 3.5 per cent lodging tax in Quebec that the company says totalled $2.8 million in fees to the province over the first six months of its tax agreement.The online company says the City of Ottawa could have received about $850,000 in tax revenue last year if a deal had been in place to collect the levy from 2,700 hosts.The briefing note to Morneau says that annual revenue from Airbnb was greater than that earned from long-term rental units, even though the short-term rentals were occupied on average for only half the year. Morneau was told listings in the west end and downtown Vancouver earned almost double the rental rates for a two-bedroom apartment.— With files from Andy Blatchford
John Veerman — PhD in Biological SciencesJohn Veerman will present his thesis defence on Friday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. in TH 315. The title of his thesis is “Competing Demands for a Complex System: Photosystem II Repair, Photoprotection and Quantum Yield.” Examining committee members are Joffre Mercier, chair; Douglas Campbell, Mount Allison University, external examiner; Douglas Bruce, supervisor; Ed Sternin, internal examiner; Gary Pickering and Jeffrey Atkinson, committee members. All are welcome to attend.Glynnis Fleming — Master of EducationGlynnis Fleming will present her thesis defence on Monday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. in WH 147. The title of the thesis is “Teachers’ Development and Negotiation of Meaning About Mathematics-for-Teaching Through the Use of Ontario Bansho Within Communities of Practice.” External examiner: Marian Small, professor emerita, University of New Brunswick; supervisor: Coral Mitchell; committee members: Renee Kuchapski and Ralph Connelly; chair of the examining committee: Susan Drake. All are welcome to attend but seating is limited.Cathy VanderVliet — Master of EducationCathy VanderVliet will present her thesis defence on Tuesday, March 1 at 2 p.m. in WH 147. The title of the thesis is “Teachers’ Processes of Negotiating Meaning of New Curriculum.” External examiner: Arlene Grierson, Nipissing University; supervisor: Coral Mitchell; committee members: Camille Rutherford and Alice Schutz; chair of the examining committee: Sheila Bennett. All are welcome to attend but seating is limited.
The countdown is on for Brock graduate students to register for Brock’s 2015 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition.The deadline is Friday, Jan. 23. Information about the contest and the online registration form is posted on the 3MT® website.The contest is open to registered graduate students who are in their final stages of research in:• a master’s by thesis• a master’s by research project• a PhD programEligibility is also extended to graduate students who have successfully defended their thesis, but have not yet graduated.Contest participants have three minutes, and not a second more, to talk about their research and why it matters in a way that will inform and captivate a non-specialist audience. Along with keeping to the three-minute timeframe, the contestants are limited to using only one static PowerPoint slide for the duration of the presentation.A coaching session for participants is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 7 (time and location to be determined). The session is presented by Vitae Essential Skills for Graduate Students and will be facilitated by Julia Course, actor and performance coach. Participants will learn strategies on how to: relax and prepare mind and body for a presentation, connect voice and gestures, hook the audience with a compelling opener, and rehearse techniques to minimize performance anxiety.The contest will kick off in late February with a preliminary round from which the top presenters will advance to Brock’s 3MT® final held during the annual Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference on Thursday, April 9.The winner of Brock’s contest will receive $500 and the runner-up $250. The winner will also advance to the provincial 3MT® competition hosted by Western University on Thursday, April 23, 2015. The top finishers in Ontario move on to a 2015 national competition that is sponsored by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) and held in May.Last year, Brock’s Leslie Nash, a master’s student in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, placed second in the province and was one of the finalists for the national contest.“I decided to take part in the 3MT because it’s very different from presenting at conferences,” says Nash who is a doctoral student at the University of Ottawa. “I changed my 3MT® script many times as I prepared for the contest. I had to think carefully about how to explain my research in a clear and concise message and how to break down the science in a way that a general audience could understand. The 3MT® is a great opportunity for graduate students to work on communication skills.”The 3MT® concept has had widespread international popularity since the University of Queensland launched it in 2008. In Canada, UBC ran the first university-based competition in 2011.This year participants in the 3MT® and MNK conference events will earn credit toward a Vitae Essential Skills certificate awarded by the Dean of Graduate Studies. To find out more about this certificate, please visit Vitae Essential Skills.Continue to watch Brock’s 3MT® website for updates about the contest.
Ohio State redshirt senior first baseman Zach Ratcliff at bat during the Scarlet and Gray World Series in October 2016. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe Ohio State baseball team (12-16, 1-5) found themselves down in a massive 7-0 hole early in its inter-state matchup against Kent State (17-10, 5-1), but came all the way back to win 9-8 before the game ended in the seventh due to weather.The Golden Flashes produced seven runs over their first three innings, but a grand slam from redshirt senior designated hitter Zach Ratcliff and nine walks from Kent State pitching helped OSU overcome the early deficit.OSU coach and Kent State alumna Greg Beals said he believes a win that required a substantial comeback can help the team believe in themselves and develop some confidence in their game.“A win like today, I think can really mean a lot more than just one win because it gives them that believing, it should rekindle that believing factor that we certainly need to finish strong,” Beals said. “And with a team that’s been struggling — 11-16 coming in and struggling on some weekend series — may start to question themselves.”Beals, who graduated from Kent State in 1995, said that playing against his alma mater did not greater affect his desire to get a win, but it was a motivator nonetheless.“Between my wife and I, we’ve got four diplomas from that school. So it is a place that is fond to us, but it also doesn’t mean anything come competition time,” Beals said. “I told the guys before the game, I said, ‘It’s my alma mater, and I love it, but it’s kinda like playing your brother in the backyard, I want to kick his butt too.’”Back-to-back hits gave the Golden Flashes’ No. 3 hitter and senior second baseman Dom Iero a pair of runners in scoring position in the top of the first inning. Iero doubled to deep center field, scoring both runners and giving Kent State the 2-0 lead.Two outs later, redshirt junior left fielder Reilly Hawkins singled to right center field and drove in Iero from third.The following inning, redshirt sophomore starting pitcher Austin Woodby again found himself in some trouble. He allowed back-to-back-to-back singles, the latter of which drove in the Golden Flashes’ fourth run of the day.Iero again stepped up to the plate with runners on second and third and drilled a hard groundball that scored both runners, giving Kent State the 6-0 lead. The Golden Flashes scored again in the top of the third on an RBI single from redshirt junior center fielder Mason Mamarella.With the bases load and two down in the bottom of the third inning, Buckeyes’ freshman right fielder Dominic Canzone lined a bases-clearing double into the right-center field gap, bringing the score to 7-3.The Golden Flashes responded in the top half of the fourth inning to extend their lead to 8-3.The Flashes starter lost control in the bottom of the fourth inning. He walked four batters, loading the bases and walking in a single run before redshirt senior designated hitter Zach Ratcliff crushed a 1-0 pitch over the left-field wall for a game-tying grand slam.Ratcliff said that moment was one of the highlights of his career, “Probably No. 1.”“I’ve been slumping a little bit and to get a good pitch to handle in that situation and tie the game,” Ratcliff said. “That one definitely felt pretty good.”In the bottom of the fifth, junior center fielder Tre’ Gantt was picked off at first and caught in a rundown, but he managed to avoid the tag long enough to allow junior first baseman Bo Coolen to score from third and give the Buckeyes the 9-8 lead.The Golden Flashes again took control of the game, but it was the golden flashes of lightning and not the Kent State batters, as the game officially entered a rain delay, and would later be called.During the game, the Buckeyes were the beneficiary of a total of nine walks, five of which came in the fourth inning when the team tied it up.Down by seven runs and demonstrating patience to lay off all those pitches, the team showed that they believed in their approach and in themselves, Beals said.“That believing factor, it’s critical because if you stop believing and maybe you start trying to do too much and you start trying to swing, you get out of the zone, you do some more things,” Beals said. “And I thought some balls that were definitely balls, but I thought they weren’t awful. I thought our guys did a good job of not chasing.”Next up, the Buckeyes travel to University Park on Friday to begin a three-game series against Penn State (10-17, 0-3). And with a 1-5 record in conference play, the Buckeyes will be looking to carry some of this momentum into next weekend.“Last weekend against Purdue, and even against Minnesota we were hitting balls hard and guys were definitely starting to get frustrated,” Ratcliff said. “Then to finally have some balls drop and get some momentum into Big Ten play, we can definitely go on a run.”
Coming off three starts as a true freshman, sophomore outside linebacker Ryan Shazier enters his second season firmly entrenched as a starter on the Ohio State football team’s defense.Shazier is one of many young linebackers who will play for the Buckeyes this season. Along with middle linebacker Curtis Grant, Shazier is one of two starting sophomore linebackers, while four of the seven linebackers listed on Monday’s depth chart are freshmen.First-year coach Urban Meyer admitted that Shazier is “real young,” but he has high expectations for him.“I’m biased because I love the guy,” Meyer said. “His God-given skill level is really high, so our expectation level is an all-Big Ten type player, at some point. He has that skill level.”Shazier’s own expectations are even higher.“One of my goals since I was little was to be an All-American,” Shazier said. “I’m just going to work my butt off to be an All-American or one of the top linebackers in the nation, so I’m just going to keep working hard, being a leader and just try to do the best I can.”Shazier made an immediate impact last season once he cracked the starting lineup. He finished the year with 57 total tackles, five tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a blocked punt. Meyer said his work ethic is a major factor in his success.“He gives everything he’s got,” Meyer said. “He’s so sincere about what he does.”Shazier said he recognizes that his team will be relying on him more than it did last year, and is ready for the added responsibility.“This year’s a lot different than last year,” Shazier said. “I have to be a leader a lot more than last year. I’m just working on my ability to try and be a lot better than I was, and work on my footwork, my technique and helping the young guys out a lot.”In addition to being a starting outside linebacker in the 4-3 defensive scheme, the Buckeyes’ base alignment, defensive coordinator Everett Withers said Shazier will also start in the team’s nickel defensive package, along with senior linebacker Etienne Sabino.Withers said the nickel package will be a very important aspect of the team’s defense this year.“I think we’ll be in (the nickel defense) a fair amount,” Withers said. “The offense, at times, dictates how much nickel you play.”In the base defense, Withers said Grant will be the “quarterback” and lead play-caller of the defense, but with Grant off the field in the nickel package, some of that responsibility might shift to Shazier.Shazier addressed the possibility of having to assume that leadership responsibility.“It’s going to be important for me to make a lot of play calls in the nickel and everything, but we also have Sabino, so he’s going to help me out,” Shazier said. “I feel that my role is going to be about the same (in the nickel) as it is in (the base defense). I’m just going to have (to) come in, help make tackles, help lead the defense and just stop the offense from scoring and stop them from gaining yards and getting the offense in great field position.”While Meyer inherited Shazier as a player on the roster when he was hired at OSU, Shazier had been on Meyer’s radar long before either became a Buckeye. Meyer recruited Shazier, a native of Plantation, Fla., while he was still the head coach at the University of Florida.“I’ve known him for several years now, because I recruited him when I was at Florida,” Meyer said. “You can’t help but like Ryan Shazier.”Shazier said that Meyer’s name was “legendary” while he was still a high school recruit in Florida, but playing for Meyer has opened up his eyes to a different side of the famous coach.“He’s intense when he’s recruiting you, but when it’s on the field, he’s another level, He doesn’t play around,” Shazier said. “He’s really serious, and I really like it about him, but he’s really intense and he’s really going to push us to the next level.”
Then-Temple-forward Anthony Lee (3) shields the ball from a defender during a game against Louisville at the Liacouras Center Feb. 14. Temple lost, 82-58.Courtesy of MCTAfter taking multiple hits to his roster, it appears as if Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta has started filling the void left by four players who are no longer with the program.Per a Saturday report by ESPN College Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman, Matta has received a commitment from Temple transfer redshirt-junior forward Anthony Lee. Lee can as early as next season per NCAA transfer rules, as he is set to graduate in May.An OSU athletic spokesman did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment Saturday.Lee — who posted a video to his personal Twitter and Instagram accounts — @AntLee_3, of his tour at Ohio Stadium Friday, averaged 13.6 points per game last season while collecting an American Athletic Conference best 8.6 rebounds per game.Lee also sent a tweet from that account at 2:24 p.m. Saturday, saying how he is looking forward to playing at OSU.“Buckeye Nation! Too blessed, been thru 2 much an Coach Matta and the Buckeye family knows what I need for this last year. Blessed! !!!” the tweet read.Listed at 6-feet-9 inches tall and 230 pounds, Lee is likely to bring stability to OSU’s post game. Junior centers Amir Williams and Trey McDonald only tallied averages of 9.8 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game between them last season, as OSU went 25-10 and bowed out to Dayton, 60-59, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament March 20.The report comes one day after forward LaQuinton Ross announced his intentions to leave OSU one year early to pursue a professional career. Guard Amedeo Della Valle also decided to leave the program March 22, to head back home to Europe and pursue a professional career of his own. OSU is also having to replace guards Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Aaron Craft, who it loses to graduation.The addition of Lee brings OSU’s scholarship players count to 11, two below the maximum 13 allotted by NCAA rules.
USB Hubs, $99At $99, there are much, much cheaper USB hubs in the world, but none are half as cool as these Star Wars models. The hubs come in R2D2 and Darth Vader varieties, both of which feature “authentic” character movie sounds: beeping and heavy breathing, respectively.R2D2 Motorola Droid 2, $249This may well be the hot Star Wars gift of the year–well, at least amongst Verizon subscribers. Motorola finally took proper advantage of its Droid licensing deal with Lucas Arts by souping up the already great Droid 2 with cool Star Wars extras, such as the sweet R2D2 skin and ringtones.Mimobots, $29.95 to $89.95Mimibot keeps expanding its ever popular line of Star Wars character thumb drives. This time out, the company is going all Empire by adding Yoda, Hoth Luke, a snowtrooper, and a Wampa. The flash drives range in capacity from 2GB to 16GB and come pre-loaded with wallpaper, screen savers, and other Star Wars goodies–a perfect little stocking stuffer. Swim Suitts, $85Want to turn heads at the beach? How about the heads of a very specific subset of geeks? Ladies, Australian designer Jame Lillis has got the swimsuit for you. These suits come in two models–the Darth Vader-esque “Darkside,” and the R2-D2 tribute, “Artoo.”RCX4 Star Striker, $399For $400, you’d hope you’d at least to get the official Lucas Arts seal of approval. Sadly, this “Star Striker” is about as unofficial as it gets. Still, the lightweight, crash-ready RC craft is pretty darn cool.geek-cetera Mini Lightsaber Tech Lab, $14.99This light saber themed “lab” is the latest addition to Uncle Milton’s educational line of Star Wars products. The geek-cetera Mini Lightsaber Tech Lab teaches kids principles of optics and light, while letting them build their own mini lightsabers. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.Wampa Rug, $99.99Those clever kids at Think Geek follow up their hit Tauntaun sleeping bag with another trip to Hoth. This time out, the company has turned the bone chilling Wampa snow monster into a cuddly bear rug. Stretch out in fronf of the fire with one of these things–just make sure that you keep a lightsaber handy in case you’ve got to lop off an arm or two. It’s already November, which means it’s time start giving someserious thought to holiday gift giving. Over the next few months, Gearlogwill be offering up plenty of gift suggestions with roundups tailored to everykind of geek.What better place to start than with that old favorite: the Star Wars fan? Thirty-three years after the release of ANew Hope, the film franchise is still a giant money maker withcountless new branded products coming out on a regular basis.After the jump, check out our top holiday picks from a galaxy far,far away.
A Greek Australian man has been found dead at a house in Springvale, Melbourne, last week.Police say it was alleged that the 42-year-old father of two was killed in Bundoora before his alleged killer transported the body to his residence in Springvale. Last week, homicide detectives charged Damien Van Zoelen, 31, of Springvale was charged with one count of murder. The name of the victim has not been revealed as his parents were overseas and they are expected back in Australia this weekend. The accused remains in custody after appearing at the Melbourne Magistrates court. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
A stock market crash much closer to home than Greece, has sparked an emergency response from the government and warnings of “monstrous” public disorder.In just three weeks, $3.2 trillion have been wiped from the value of Chinese shares endangering key commodity exports in Australia and sparking the beginning of a period of recession-like conditions.“State-owned newspapers have used their strongest language yet, telling people ‘not to lose their minds’ and ‘not to bury themselves in horror and anxiety’. [Our] positive measures will take time to produce results,” writes IG Markets.“If China does not find support today, the disorder could be monstrous.”In an extraordinary move, the People’s Bank of China has begun lending money to investors to buy shares in the flailing market. This is in deed the first time funds from the central bank have been directed anywhere other than the banks, signalling serious concern from authorities about the crisis.The Wall Street Journal reports a “liquidity assistance” being provided to the regulator-owned China Securities Finance Corp, which will lend the money to brokerages, which will in turn lend to investors.For Australia, the market crash in China is likely to impact earnings on key exports iron ore and coal, further slashing government revenue, while also putting downward pressure on the Australian dollar.Jordan Eliseo, chief economist with ABC Bullion, said it was important to remember that the amount of wealth Chinese citizens have tied up in the stock market is relatively minor compared with western investors.Stocks only make up about 8 per cent of household wealth in China, compared with around 20 per cent in developed nations.“The market crash there is generating headlines, but it’s not going to have the same impact as a comparable crash would in a developed market,” he said.“What it means for Australia, though, is it’s very clear there are some serious imbalances in the Chinese economy, and the rate of growth they’ve enjoyed in the past is over. There’s no question our export earnings are going to take another hit.”Mr Eliseo predicts Australia is likely to experience “recession-like” conditions such as negative wage growth for many years to come. “I believe that’s going to be the new norm,” he said.source: News Australia Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
WILMINGTON, MA — It may have been a long time in the making, but members of the town’s new Economic Development Committee have hit the ground running, with two productive summer meetings now under their belts.BackgroundIn April 2018, Selectman Greg Bendel asked his colleagues to consider creating a committee dedicated to spurring economic development in Wilmington.“However it’s assembled, and whatever it’s called, this group would look at the best economic development practices of our neighboring communities, and also what tools we can avail ourselves to, such as the North Suburban Planning Council,” said Bendel. Selectmen were supportive of the idea, in particular Selectman Mike Champoux, who had long been a proponent of such a group.“The Town hasn’t been in the business of attracting specific businesses, like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, but maybe we could be a little bit; maybe that’s an activity that the Economic Development Committee could be a part of, working in collaboration with some of the other regional associations and Chamber of Commerce to construct a way to communicate the awesomeness of Wilmington to the greater business community, help full some of our vacancies, and help improve the quality of life for residents,” said Selectman Champoux. “The Committee would be [identify and recommend] ways in which the town can be more proactive in economic development…. It’s about a marketing message – we all know how awesome our town is, we just need to get the word out.”In January 2019, Selectmen unanimously approved the creation of an Economic Development Committee.“The Economic Development Committee will be an advisory committee making recommendations to the Board of Selectmen and Town Manager,” explained Town Manager Jeff Hull.Hull outlined the committee’s five major purposes:Gain an understanding of what economic development means to residents, the degree to which residents are seeking more businesses or expansion of existing business, and the types of businesses residents would like to see in Wilmington.Gain an understanding of Wilmington’s strengths and vulnerabilities as a host community to businesses currently operating, businesses considering Wilmington as a potential place to relocate, and for individuals seeking to start a business.Facilitate communication with members of the Wilmington/Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce and other business in Wilmington and the area to understand their short and long term plans, opportunities and challenges.Create an informational tool that presents Wilmington “in a nut shell,” providing statistics about the population, demographics workforce, and the attributes that make Wilmington the place to conduct business.Serve as an educational forum for committee members and the public by hosting guest speakers to cover different elements of economic development.In March 2019, the Town Manager made his appointments to the committee — Mike Champoux (now a former Selectman, local businessman), Patrick Giroux (works for a commercial real estate firm), Lilia Maselli (runs a small business — Dandi-Lyons Ice Cream in North Reading — with her husband and works as an executive assistant at Analog Devices), Nancy Vallee (Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce), and Planning Director Valerie Gingrich. Selectman Greg Bendel was named the Board of Selectmen’s designee.In April 2019, Selectmen made their appointment — Selectman Mike McCoy appointed former Selectwoman Suzanne Sullivan; Selectman Greg Bendel appointed retired U.S. Army Major Robert Olveira; Selectman Jonathan Eaton appointed Carol Boisvert, a long-time resident and HR Director for Heilind Electronics in town; and Selectman Kevin Caira appointed Dan Gibbons, a businessman and owner of Benjamin Moore Hardware Store at the Wilmington Plaza. In May 2019, the committee’s membership was finalized once newly elected Selectwoman Jomarie O’Mahony appointed Tom Card, a business owner and former business analyst, to the committee. Selectmen emphasized that 10 of the 11 committee members were Wilmington residents.In June 2019, the Committee held its first meeting. Mike Champoux was elected Chair; Tom Card was elected Vice Chair; and Lilia Maselli was elected Secretary. The Committee spent the bulk of its meeting holding initial discussions surrounding its mission and goals.The Committee recently held its second meeting on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, for which the Wilmington Apple was in attendance.Mission StatementThe Committee approved its mission statement after much wordsmithing. The final version reads as follows:“The Wilmington Economic Development Committee’s (WEDC) mission is to be the proactive arm of the Town of Wilmington to the business community. We seek to collaborate with residents, property owners and businesses to help promote an atmosphere conducive to smart economic growth, by thoughtfully identifying and targeting key business sectors that compliment the fabric our community, are beneficial to the residents, and create jobs.The Wilmington Economic Development Committee (WEDC) will serve as an advisory board and liaison between businesses and municipal government providing recommendations for planning and permitting processes that best serve the business and resident communities, while being consistent with the town’s master plan and being respectful of environmental and traffic considerations.”Committee Description SummaryThe Committee made great strides in finalizing a summary of how it will operate. Members determined that all 11 members will having voting privileges, including Planning Director Valerie Gingrich, who was first thought to be a non-voting member. The Committee, like some of the other committees in town, including the Yentile Farm Recreational Facility and Facilities Master Plan Committee, is not subject to term limits. If a member was to step off, a replacement would be selected either by the Selectmen or the Town Manager, depending on who made the original appointment. Selectman Greg Bendel emphasized that the Committee has no budget, and that it is an advisory committee to the Selectmen and Town Manager, with no real authority. The Committee will vote on its description as its next meeting.Committee Website & Email AddressThe Committee established a page on the town’s website where the public can review meeting minutes and agendas, plus any other documents produced. A list of committee members and future meeting dates are also posted. A committee email account was also established — firstname.lastname@example.org — to provide an avenue for the public to contact the group, ask questions, and offer suggestions.Database Of Vacant PropertiesThe Committee divided up the town geographically and located dozens of vacant commercial spaces in between meetings. Committee member Nancy Vallee, of the Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce, is spearheading the effort to merge the individual lists into a master database, which will be used as a future tool in the committee’s work. Vallee is also consulting lists available to her through her office and lists from various Town Departments, including the Planning Department and Assessors Office.Letters To Owners/Leasing Agents Of High Profile VacanciesWith the support of the committee, Patrick Giroux is drafting a letter that will be customized and sent to owners and/or leasing agents of high profile vacant commercial spaces in town, such as SRS Real Estate Partners, the commercial real estate firm actively trying to sublease both the vacant Rite Aid and Walgreens buildings on Main Street.Snapshot Of Wilmington’s Current Economic Development ProjectsWilmington Planning Director Valerie Gingrich gave the committee an overview of some of the town’s current major economic development projects:Projects In Construction:Analog Devices expansion on Analog WayHeilind Electronics expansion on Jonspin RoadConstruction of retail plaza at 196 Ballardvale Street, across from Target, where Habit Burger will be locatedConstruction of car wash at 220 Main Street (old Sonic location)Renovations (raising of roof and installation of 10 new truck loading docks) by Fordham Park LLC at 100-110 Fordham RoadGingrich also mentioned housing projects on Murray Hill Circle (36 homes), Green Meadow Drive (26 homes), Spruce Farm (27 condos), and North Wilmington Estates (26 homes).Projects Recently Given Permits:Construction of 4 new warehouses at 36-38 Upton DriveConstruction of a commercial flex building (19,900 sf) at 100 Research DriveProjects Currently Going Through The Permitting Process:Redevelopment of the existing building and addition of 41 new loading docks at 613 Main Street (old Xpedx location)Construction of 15 industrial garages at 225 Andover StreetSome work is also being done to 44 Concord Street and 65 Industrial WayConstruction of 50 apartments, 7 retail spaces & a bank at 203 Lowell Street (Woburn/Lowell Street intersection)Construction of 49 condos at 635 Main Street (near Butters Row Bridge)Gingrich also mentioned housing projects on Nichols Street (5 homes right next to the Middlesex Canal) and Highland Estate on Hopkins Street, near Sarafina Way (17 homes, with 7 acres of open space along Lubbers Brook)Gingrich anticipates the permitting process for a housing project of sorts at 168 Lowell Street (former Walpole Woodworkers location) to be begin shortly, but is still waiting on detailed plansGingrich also noted her department is trying to streamline the permitting process for business owners.“Once they file, we have a Community Development Technical Review Team, where representatives from the applicable town departments get together and offer preliminary comments on the development before they go to in front of the Planning Board,” explained Gingrich. “This way, developers get a heads up on what types of things may come up and they can get talked out in advance. Those meetings are really helpful for developers.”Gingrich pointed out that the Planning Board, through Town Meeting votes, have made several business-friendly zoning changes over the past couple of years.“We changed the Research & Development Use by making it a right in the Highway Industrial District, places like Ballardvale Street and Fordham Road, so there’s now less obstacles with permitting,” said Gingrich. “We finally implemented a multi-family mixed use district at Perry’s Corner at Lowell Street and Woburn Street, something the Master Plan called for 20 years ago.”Gingrich also touted her department’s involvement with the town’s current transportation projects, which go hand-in-hand with economic development. She noted Wilmington’s two bridge projects — the Butters Row bridge replacement and the Route 38 reconstruction project up to the Miceli bridge — are on the state’s construction lists and progress is being made. Meanwhile, the traffic improvement project to the Woburn Street/Lowell Street intersection continues to move up in the MassDOT queue.Packed Agenda For Next MeetingThe Committee will next meet on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 in Room 9 of Town Hall. At that time, the Committee will discuss regional members and resources potentially available to them, including the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and North Suburban Planning Council (NSPC). State Representative Dave Robertson may attend the meeting to speak with the Committee about various state resources and how he can help. The Committee will also conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) flip chart exercise as it relates to the business climate in town, plus begin developing a marketing campaign to attract desirable businesses to town.Meetings are open to the public. Feedback is welcome. No resident chose to attend the Committee’s first two meetings.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedFilling The Vacant Walgreens Property Is A Top Priority For Town’s New Economic Development CommitteeIn “Business”Selectmen Wants Town To Do A Better Job Attracting New BusinessesIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Appointments To Town’s New Economic Development Committee Gets ComplicatedIn “Government”
A view of Ketchikan from the top of the Edmonds Street stairs. (Photo courtesy of the state)Like many industries in the city, the story of Ketchikan’s housing market is closely tied to the shutdown of Ketchikan Pulp Company in 1997.Listen nowGateway City Realty broker Bill Bolling said the local market is quite healthy now. He said the robust local economy is in part due to the closing of the mill.“If there was any silver lining in the loss of our mill, it was the diversification of our economy,” Bolling said.Ketchikan’s economy suffered in the years following the shuttering of the mill. The Great Recession of the late aughts affected Ketchikan just like it did the rest of the country. But the city bounced back, and so did the housing market.“And then somewhere around 2012, 2013, things seemed to change for us, so far as activity and the number of sales, and prices started rising again,” Bolling said.Bolling said real estate companies have seen Ketchikan become more of a seller’s market in recent years.“There’s not a lot of product out there for people to look at or buy,” Bolling said. “And so, it’s a macro-economic love affair. There’s a lot of demand and not as much supply.”Mary Wanzer, a broker for Coastal Real Estate Group, agreed.“We’re seeing homes going on the market and selling within two or three days and getting multiple offers,” Wanzer said.The average price of a single-family home in Ketchikan in 2016 was about $320,000. This is more than the national average price, which in June 2016 sat just above $290,000.“It stayed the same for quite awhile, but I’d say definitely in the last three years, the average home price has increased,” Wanzer said. “Probably five to 10 percent in the last year would be my guess, without actually looking at all the data.”Wanzer said companies are seeing more people coming to Ketchikan and building new houses.“What we are seeing are [sic] more new construction,” Wanzer said. “So we’re seeing build-outs in areas like Emerald Forest, Ravenwood, White Rock. So we’re getting new construction, so more of a housing development that we haven’t seen in the past.”Bolling attributed the market’s strength to the people of Ketchikan.“Ketchikan has really been, kinda, this little engine that could,” Bolling said. “And people here are tough. I mean, I think I’ve seen more businesses opened up since the mill shut down in Ketchikan than I remember ever opening up before. So, I think people have a good spirit here, and they have a can-do attitude, and they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is.”Wanzer added that people of all kinds come to live in Ketchikan – people with the Coast Guard, the Forest Service and the hospital, especially. And they all need a place to live.
New Delhi : The New Delhi Municipal Council has asked event organisers in the vicinity of India Gate and National War Memorial to ensure no loud music or sound is played half an hour before the sunset as it causes “avoidable disturbance” during the daily retreat ceremony. The retreat ceremony is carried out every evening just before the sunset and it is witnessed by a large number of visitors. The entire ceremony lasts for less than 15 minutes. Also Read – Kamal Nath states that there is no struggle over leader’s post in MP Advertise With Us “Any music or loud sounds in the vicinity of the monument at the time of bugle call during the retreat ceremony causes avoidable disturbance,” the civic body said. “lt is therefore requested that organisers of various events in the vicinity of lndia Gate and National War Memorial be sensitised to avoid playing any music for about half an hour before the sunset,” it said in its guidelines. Also Read – Amrapali case: List of aggrieved homebuyers submitted to Supreme Court Advertise With Us The municipal council said the timings can be further coordinated by the respective functionaries on ground with the National War Memorial staff. The memorial, spread over 40 acres, is an iconic monument set up by the Defence Ministry and was dedicated to the armed forces by the prime minister in February this year. The average daily footfall at the India Gate area on weekdays is over 10,000, which swells beyond 20,000 during the weekends, NDMC said. Being a national monument, not only the footfall will increase, the monument will routinely be visited by various delegations and visiting heads of state, it added.
Oil fell on Wednesday as the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that a global supply glut continued to weigh on prices and data showed an unexpected weekly gain in U.S. crude stocks.The IEA, which advises industrialized nations on energy policies, said crude inventories kept rising last month and pushed floating storage, one of the most expensive methods of stockpiling, to the highest level in seven years.”(Stocks) are at such elevated levels, especially for products for which demand growth is slackening, that they remain a major dampener on oil prices,” the Paris-based IEA said in its latest report.Stocks of U.S. crude and refined products rose unexpectedly last week by 2.2 million barrels, data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, showed late on Tuesday.This provided further bearish impetus to the market a day after prices had risen 5 percent, giving investors a chance to lock in gains.The U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases official weekly inventory data at 1430 GMT on Wednesday.Global benchmark Brent oil LCOc1 was down 76 cents at $47.71 a barrel at 0850 GMT after settling up $2.22, or 4.8 percent, in the previous session.U.S. crude CLc1 traded at $46.20 a barrel, down 60 cents on Tuesday’s close.The U.S. dollar .DXY rose, making dollar-denominated oil less attractive for holders of other currencies.The IEA also raised its forecasts for 2016 and 2017 oil demand growth by 0.1 million barrels per day to 1.4 million bpd and 1.3 million bpd, respectively.”Therefore any weakness based on the IEA report should be short-lived,” said Tamas Varga, oil analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.Credit Suisse raised its 2016 oil price forecasts on Wednesday. The bank forecast U.S. crude would average $43.59 per barrel this year versus $36.91 in its earlier forecast, and $55.00 for 2017, versus $52.88 earlier.Brent will average $44.53 a barrel this year, up from $37.77, and average $56.25 in 2017, up from $54.25 earlier.
TOMS RIVER, N.J. — A former boyfriend of a “Jersey Shore” cast member is accused of seeking $25,000 for not divulging secrets to the media.Toms River police on Wednesday charged Thomas Lippolis with third-degree extortion.Police say Lippolis had dated cast member Jenni “JWoww” Farley for close to a year 10 years ago. Police say Farley’s publicist had received a call from Lippolis demanding money in exchange for his silence.It could not be determined if Lippolis has a lawyer.Farley is seeking a divorce from her husband, Roger Matthews, whom she married in October 2015.The Associated Press This undated photo provided by the Toms River, N.J., Police Department shows Thomas Lippolis, former boyfriend of “Jersey Shore” cast member Jenni “JWoww” Farley, who is accused of seeking $25,000 from her for not divulging secrets to the media. Police on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, charged Lippolis with third-degree extortion. (Toms River Police Department via AP) by The Associated Press Posted Dec 20, 2018 7:17 am PDT Ex accused of trying to extort of ‘Jersey Shore’ cast member AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email