CVPS rights wrong of holiday grinches

first_imgSt. ALBANS, VT – The work of some holiday grinches was undone today, as Central Vermont Public service donated $10,000 to replace holiday gifts – destroyed by vandals – gifts intended for low-income children.An estimated $20,000 in toys were destroyed in late October, as vandals broke into the former Fonda Container building and discharged fire extinguishers onto the gifts. The Marine Corps League had been storing toys at the former Fonda plant that had been collected throughout Franklin and Chittenden counties, and were destined for families in both of those counties through the Toys for Kids Program.The news hit the St. Albans Messenger Nov. 6, and CVPS employees began to discuss how the company might be able to help. Within days, the company offered a $10,000 donation.”I was just overwhelmed with emotion when I received the call from CVPS,” said Terri O’Shea, interim director of Franklin-Grand Isle United Way, which runs Operation Happiness, which distributes Christmas toys in the region. “They felt so badly for the children who would be affected by the terrible destruction and wanted to make Christmas a little happier for the children and their families. Needless to say, we are delighted by their generosity.”Marilyn Billings, Operation Happiness chairwoman, said she was amazed when she heard of the donation.”We are so grateful for the response to what could have been a devastating set-back for the children and families in all three counties,” Billings said. “It’s amazing and heartwarming. There is great need in our community this year, but the community’s generosity is even greater.”Bob Young, president and CEO of Central Vermont Public Service, said employees take the words “public service” in the company name to heart.”We are strongly committed to supporting the communities in our service territory, and we understand the importance of helping one another in all types of emergencies,” Young said. “When we heard what happened, since we were in a position to help, there was no doubt that we should do something to right the wrong that occurred.”Though the CVPS donation covered only half of the toys there were destroyed, thousands of dollars in toys have been collected thanks to efforts of the St. Albans Messenger and other local businesses and groups.”Vermonters tend to pull together when the chips are down, and this is one more example of that,” CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said.last_img read more

"CVPS rights wrong of holiday grinches"

ADB’s Yoi: Development bank backing away from new coal investments in Indonesia

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Jakarta Post:The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said it is staying away from coal-related projects in Indonesia and continues to open itself to gas and renewable energy investments, joining the wave of diversion by hundreds of financial institutions around the globe.Yuichiro Yoi, unit head for Indonesia at ADB’s private sector operations department, told The Jakarta Post that economic factors and public sentiment were the two reasons to avoid coal investment. “The world’s moving away from coal, that’s the sentiment I can’t change or deny, that is the sentiment in the majority of the world. I just have to play along,” he said on the sidelines of a gas exhibition in Jakarta on Thursday.“If it [coal power plants] becomes a stranded asset, it is a credit risk. Going forward it’ll be more difficult to do a project with coal. Now you not only worry about reputation but also have to worry about the risk of losing money.”Reports from global energy think tank Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) in February showed that over 100 globally significant financial institutions have divested from thermal coal, including 40 percent of the top 40 global banks and 20 globally significant insurers. They are increasingly reluctant to invest in companies related to fossil fuels as the commodities are deemed unsustainable amid rising pressure to limit environmental damage.Yuichiro further said that to date the ADB had yet to issue a written policy against coal, like many other global financiers, but experience has shown him that coal-related projects are hard to be approved by the bank’s system. “If there’s any chance to do a coal-fired power plant, there’s a need to be an extremely good story in terms of impact, that outweighs the negative connotations of doing a project with coal,” he said, adding that the ADB only has gas and renewable energy projects in Indonesia, particularly geothermal power plants.Cumulative investment from the ADB in Indonesia’s energy sector has reached $7.3 billion and disbursed across 102 projects, the bank’s data shows.More: World moves away from coal, and so does ADB ADB’s Yoi: Development bank backing away from new coal investments in Indonesialast_img read more

"ADB’s Yoi: Development bank backing away from new coal investments in Indonesia"

Fe En Colombia Program to be Implemented Throughout the Country

first_imgBy Marcos Ommati/Diálogo June 23, 2016 The Fe en Colombia program began in 2014 as a campaign for inter-institutional coordination among public and private entities and international cooperation in Colombia. It aims to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable populations in the southwestern part of the country, within the framework of full security. The national government, along with the Army and other armed forces, now wants to expand the program to the rest of the country.To find out more about Fe en Colombia, Diálogo spoke with one of the leaders of the program, Major General Mario Augusto Valencia Valencia, who presently heads the 5th Department of the Army and is a member of the 5th Committee on Strategic Revision and Innovation, responsible for restructuring the Army at all levels, including major and minor operating units.Diálogo: What groups did the program focus on initially?Major General Mario Augusto Valencia Valencia: People who were dedicated to [illegal] coca cultivation and those tied to the guerrillas, such as militias responsible for blocking the Pan-American Highway, for example, which connects Cali to Popayán. These blockades have been very violent and have caused a lot of harm. There have been deaths of police officers, deaths among our civil population, and much damage to the infrastructure. In that area, the Pan-American Highway is the only link between southwest Colombia, especially between Cali, Popayán, and Paso, in Nariño. So, the National Army proposed that the community replace their illegal crops, which built a bond of communication and trust and brought together the institutions responsible for managing these programs. Two projects were implemented: one in a rural community and one in an indigenous community. In the indigenous community, for example, coffee replaced coca with very good results. Those communities began to bring about change together with the Army and all the other institutions, because in addition to offering them legal crop options, infrastructure projects were carried out, bridges and schools were built… That is when institution building began to take part in the process. Today, that community has planted more than 77 million coffee plants, and the leaders who previously aided or were members of militias of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are completely on board with the civil institutions.Diálogo: I understand that growing coffee does not produce as much income as growing coca. So, how were you able to get them to make the shift from illegal to legal crops?General Valencia: Because culturally, growing coca is not deeply rooted in the soul of the indigenous person, the rural resident. You have to understand that before coca, they had been growing other crops for generations, and these have become more recognized. Coca is an imposition that some guerrillas made; they told them to change their traditional crops for coca for thier convenience. But they feel that they should go back to their traditional crops, and this is an opportunity being given to them. For this reason, when we propose replacing their crops, we first study what types of crops we can offer. We have studied the thermal soil, we have evaluated which crops will give them even more profitability than coca itself, because, within the narcotrafficking chain, the rural grower continues to receive very little money. The money, the big profits go to the guerrillas from the traffickers. The growers receive very little from what they produce.Diálogo: And when there are illegal crops, the whole environment is marked by violence. Isn’t that right?General Valencia: Yes. Legal crops allow the communities to recover their autonomy, recover security. And if they have strong institutional partnerships, they get away from the guerrillas. They push them away themselves. So, those communities are encouraged to follow this process. In 2008, even though the communities didn’t trust the troops due to the [negative] propaganda from the guerrillas, the Army established an office of ethnic affairs in the city of Popayán. We must remember that we were in a very violent stage in that area, such that the office of technical affairs was not opened within a military compound. It was opened outside, in a government building. And that is when we began to hear of the needs, the complaints, the claims, the opinions, everything that the indigenous people, the Afro-Colombians, the rural workers wanted to communicate. We took careful note of everything, and we began to call on the institutions, and we told them: “These communities need us to bring them a school, and a health center, to improve their roads, and build them a bridge.” We began to respond to everything that the ethnic communities had asked for.Diálogo: And this also reestablished a bridge of communication…General Valencia: Exactly. To me, communication is one of the most valuable steps that we have taken, reestablishing that bridge of communication and once again building trust. In 2012, in view of the success that this process was showing, we were able to establish a productive projects office inside a military installation. Even though there are already government offices that have these protocols and programs for productive projects, we understand that their coverage is insufficient. The office of productive projects did not reach into the most distant areas where there are Soldiers, and along with the Soldiers, those communities. That office was able to construct 77 very important productive projects, and this converted us into recognized leaders, not only by the communities, but by the institutions themselves. The institutions have very good programs, good budgets, and capable people who lead them, but each institution does what it can in isolation. The military commander has the great advantage that his men are active throughout the mountains and the jungles where their work is already recognized by all the communities. For this reason, the military commander calls on all the institutions and tells them: “Together we can all have a decisive impact on these communities that have so many needs, but we cannot do it alone. We need to unite, to share leadership, to see a vision in which we all have to come in with the best the state has to offer these communities and begin to build.”Diálogo: When you saw that everything was moving along well, did you withdraw from any regions where the Army and other forces had been active?General Valencia: We made a gradual transfer [to governmental institutions]. Thanks to our past experiences, we do that only when we are sure that it is no longer necessary to maintain permanent physical security in order to operate because the community can regulate itself. We have some very valid examples of that. We transfer responsibility to the mayor, to indigenous leaders, to the chairs of community councils, and boards of community action in those very conflictive areas only when we have completed our work. We have already tried this and received very good results.Diálogo: What specific objectives are you seeking?General Valencia: The first thing is to make an assessment of the basic needs of those most vulnerable populations within our borders. We collaborate with institutions to generate trust and develop public policies in those communities. We present the government offer to create space and opportunity, but ultimately, we organize the dispersed communities. We bring them together and convert their members into community entrepreneurs. We seek to build credible and continuously strengthening community support for the government institutions and to make those institutions more transparent. That is to say, this process is leading the institutions to continue to improve, because they become more committed to the communities, and they have to be sure that they fulfill what we have promised them. We monitor this. We have already organized the communities, and they are observers of their own communities’ improvement processes. Then, we create productive products or spaces that are sustainable so that these communities that were dependent on the support of the state, private enterprises, and others, can finally become self-sustaining. They begin to work, offer employment, and pay taxes to the government. That can be achieved.Diálogo: And how is the program articulated?General Valencia: The program is articulated by locating zones and communities; we have already said that the building and recovery of trust is fundamental. The state offer has to reach the farthest corner, and then the question is, “how can a government offer get to a community where there is no electricity, no cellular service, no roads? How can that community have the opportunity to know what the State can provide?” We show them the productive projects in infrastructure, in the environment, in all sorts of things so that the communities feel confident that they can trust the state more than the enemy. We understand that there is a variety of communities: indigenous, rural workers, Afro-Colombian, students, victims, religious devotees, and others that are organized territorially, by ethnicity and culture, or economically, who are submerged in vulnerability. We greatly respect the organization of the communities; we do not change anything about their traditions, their world view. We respect it all. The communities put forth the terms we must abide by in offering them help; this is very important. We can’t alter their traditions, their culture, the way in which they govern themselves, or anything of the sort. And the organizational process begins with the individual, whom we soon convert into a team. We associate with the person, and finally we distinguish the person as a community entrepreneur. We are talking about communities where the educational level is very low; there are communities in which the leaders are not academically prepared. We undertake this effort in conjunction with our institutional partners so that we can prepare that leader in all senses. We bring in a lot of recreational tools, and we carry out different events. For example, minga is a community exercise that the indigenous rural populations practice so that they can carry out a project together for the benefit of the community. For example, if winter has damaged a road, they plan a minga and everyone goes out to fix the road to make it passable. If a bridge has broken, they organize a minga, and they all join together to work and bring together other resources to fix the bridge. For us it is very important to empower the leaders.Diálogo: How do you decide what areas to work in?General Valencia: We bring together military strength and military planning to that which all the institutions have focused on. That’s why I said that when we come to agreement with the institutions, and they joint that effort, all areas become part of the institutional approach. It is logical that the military strength is supported by consolidation in a way that allows the state institutions to come into an area immediately after it has been cleared of the presence of illegal armed groups to support those communities. As members of the Military, we cannot make a difference in areas that the institutions are not going to reach.Diálogo: Up to now, this has been a National Army program. Are there any plans to expand it to the other Armed Forces?General Valencia: At this time, the Committee on Strategic Revision and Innovation has made the decision to include it in their plans. All of the Military branches will incorporate the program in their planning to become integrated with all the institutions, including the private enterprises and the international community’s support, to achieve this process in the whole country in a coordinated, joint, and inter-agency manner.last_img read more

"Fe En Colombia Program to be Implemented Throughout the Country"

Fall Hike the Hill season picks up pace

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr With Washington, D.C., serving as the home of the federal government, credit union Hike the Hills offer a unique opportunity to present the credit union difference to legislators and regulators. This week, the Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL) was one of 6 leagues in Washington, D.C., and had a packed schedule that included congressional meetings, as well as meetings with the leadership of the NCUA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).“Advocacy is job one for the league/CUNA system, and we were proud to lead a group of 50 credit union leaders representing 30 credit unions to Washington to advocate for meaningful regulatory relief,” said Patrick Harris, OCUL vice president for government affairs. “Our message was infused with credit union philosophy, which allowed us to collectively differentiate ourselves from big banks and expose the flaws in the ‘one-size-fits-all’ regulatory approach.”On Tuesday, the group dined at Credit Union House, and flew in Ohio State Rep. Rob McColley for dinner. They discussed key races in the state of Ohio and ways to keep credit union priorities on legislators’ minds going forward. continue reading »last_img read more

"Fall Hike the Hill season picks up pace"

Quel avenir pour Trump? L’entreprise familiale attend son retour.

first_img– Advertisement – L’entreprise nie toute malversation, mais elle pourrait rechigner à fournir aux enquêteurs de nouveaux contrats à passer au peigne fin. Eric Trump, qui dirige l’entreprise avec son frère Donald Jr., a dénoncé l’année dernière les enquêtes des Démocrates et des médias comme étant l’une des raisons principales de la suspension du projet d’ouverture d’une nouvelle chaîne d’hôtels.De telles enquêtes pourraient également donner une publicité négative à l’entreprise alors qu’elle cherche à se développer.Une nouvelle série de partenaires pourrait émerger maintenant que M. Trump n’est plus sous les projecteurs.- Advertisement – Ces quatre dernières années, Bobby R. Burchfield, un avocat de Washington, a servi de conseiller éthique pour la Trump Organization, passant en revue les contrats et partenaires potentiels. Ces examens ont rendu difficile la réussite de certains d’entre eux, alors que d’autres étaient dissuadés par le fait d’être sous le feu des projecteurs.Cette surveillance va maintenant se relâcher, ouvrant la voie à de nouveaux partenaires.Et avec plus de $300 millions de dettes à rembourser pour lesquelles le Président s’est porté personnellement garant, il y a urgence à trouver de nouveaux contrats pour la Trump Organization. Par ailleurs, une décision négative dans la bataille qui l’oppose au IRS, le service des impôts américain, concernant un audit, pourrait lui coûter plus de $100 millions, selon des informations du New York Times datant de septembre.Un pays divisé et la pandémie pourraient entraver un possible rebond.- Advertisement –center_img Certaines des propriétés les plus rentables de M. Trump se situent dans des fiefs démocrates comme New York et Chicago, où il reste extrêmement impopulaire. Et son club de Golf à Doral en Floride, qui lui rapporte le plus, subit de grosses pertes car bon nombre d’entreprises et organisations renoncent à y organiser leurs conférences en raison de l’aspect clivant de son personnage.Au cours de sa présidence, M. Trump a tenté de combler le vide, au moins en partie, par des événements organisés à ses propriétés par des groupes liés à lui et au parti Républicain. L’hôtel Trump International près de la Maison Blanche grouille souvent d’alliés du président.Il est difficile de savoir si cette clientèle va continuer à affluer, ou si les détracteurs de M. Trump reviendront dans ses propriétés une fois qu’il aura quitté le pouvoir. Par ailleurs, cette année a été dure pour l’industrie hôtelière en raison de la pandémie, tout comme pour l’immobilier commercial. Les deux secteurs sont centraux au portefeuille d’activités de M. Trump.- Advertisement –last_img read more

"Quel avenir pour Trump? L’entreprise familiale attend son retour."

The UNWTO has launched an initiative to draft an international code aimed at protecting tourists in the first place

first_imgRecommendations to help international tourists in emergency situations Establishing a set of minimum standards of consumer protection for tourists will help people feel safer on international travel, the UNWTO said, adding that the recommendations are addressed to countries and are designed to ensure that responsibility for tourists in emergencies is shared fairly throughout the value chain of tourism. 5 Addressing the effective repatriation of tourists. (repatriation means the return of the passenger to the place of departure or to another place agreed by the contracting parties) Restoring trust and security is a key priority of the tourism sector, and one of them is certainly the legal protection of tourists, so that tourists can “carefree” plan a trip. The International Code for the Protection of Tourists, which the UNWTO is working on with the support of almost 100 member states, will make support for tourists affected by emergencies clearer and more consistent globally. At its first meeting, the Committee for the Development of an International Code for the Protection of Tourists actively participated in 92 UNWTO member states. As they point out from the UNWTO, they jointly adopted a concrete action plan to restore the trust of tourists through a common and harmonized framework. In the coming weeks, international organizations, the European Commission, as well as private stakeholders, will be invited to join this initiative to achieve a fairer and more balanced share of responsibility among all tourism stakeholders in the world after COVID-19. 2 Providing real-time information for tourists. Tourists as consumers should be provided with greater legal protection, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) concluded. To this end, the UNWTO has launched an initiative for an international code aimed at the legal protection of tourists. 4 Encourage close cooperation between governments and travel and accommodation providers. UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili he said insecurity and a lack of confidence in travel are among the biggest challenges they face with the goal of relaunching global tourism. “The International Code for the Protection of Tourists will be an important step towards resolving this problem. Establishing a standard minimum standard of consumer protection for tourists will help people feel safer on international travel. It will also ensure that the responsibility for managing the crisis situation caused by this pandemic is shared fairly throughout our sector”, Concluded Pololikashvili. On the eve of today’s meeting, the UNWTO announced Recommendations for assistance to international tourists in emergency situations, laying the groundwork for the International Code for the Protection of Tourists. 3 Addressing cross-border cooperation between governments and tourism service providers. 1. Prevention of possible disruptions in travel in the context of developing concrete plans, ie coordination protocols and training of tourism stakeholders to help tourists in emergency situations. The report on the development of the International Code for the Protection of Tourists is expected to be presented at the next UNWTO General Assembly (end of 2021 in Marrakesh, Morocco) for approval by all member states.last_img read more

"The UNWTO has launched an initiative to draft an international code aimed at protecting tourists in the first place"

No justification for personal attack ads

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I’m a lifelong resident of Niskayuna and also a social studies teacher at Schenectady High school who teaches civics. A basic lesson in all classes is that during a campaign, you attack policy positions, not people. The recent Democratic committee flyer I received for Niskayuna Town Board is disgraceful. Supervisor Joe Landry owes us an explanation.I’m a registered Democrat, but in my job, I work with an ideologically diverse group of colleagues. Politics is an area that is often debated, respectfully. My Republican colleagues and I get passionate; it’s part of our job. We never devolve into name calling and hateful rhetoric. We challenge policy; we don’t attack each other personally. Then we go get a cup of coffee or lunch together, and we always remain friends.For the Niskayuna Democratic Committee to mail an attack ad that likens the Republican candidates to hate mongers like Bannon and Limbaugh is shameful and dishonest. Candidates should run on, and win, elections based on their record or positions. This is especially true for incumbents like Joe Landry. To date, Supervisor Landry has been silent on this issue. It’s deafening.National politics has devolved into name calling, demagoguery and Twitter attacks, Niskayuna can do better.Chris OgnibeneNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectlast_img read more

"No justification for personal attack ads"

Indonesian airlines carry out layoffs to cope with COVID-19 pressures

first_imgTopics : “Such crisis has also hit supporting industries, such as aircraft maintenance, ground handling and travel agents. Therefore, INACA is really hoping for a positive response from the government to avoid more job cuts,” the chairman said.A drastic drop in flight frequency and vast flight cancellations have been reported since January. Angkasa Pura I (AP I), for example, saw massive flight cancellations between January and February at its 15 airports across the country due to decreasing demand.During the period, AP I reported that as many as 12,703 flights with about 1.67 million passengers had been canceled – 11,680 of which were domestic.  “If there is more uncertainty about when COVID-19 can be contained, this will worsen the aviation industry [situation] and may even lead to operational termination due to bankruptcy,” Denon said in an official statement.He added that airlines had been halting operations and laying off employees to reduce financial loss.Denon went on to say that the industry needed help in the form of fiscal incentives, such as corporate income tax payment postponement and spare part import duty suspension, as well as stimulus from the government through discounts on several fees to keep the industry alive during the pandemic and recovery period.Moreover, the industry hopes state-owned enterprises (SOEs) provide assistance, including with a reduction in airport and navigation fees.  If the government and SOEs did not immediately respond to such demands, Denon said there would be more massive layoffs to ensure the airlines’ survival.center_img A number of Indonesian airlines have started taking efficiency measures amid challenging times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by laying off employees, ranging from pilots, flight attendants, technicians to other supporting crew, as reported by the Indonesia National Air Carrier Association (INACA).The pandemic has hit the airline industry hard, with many airlines forced to cut both international and domestic flights due to travel bans and restrictions to several countries. Virus fears have also held people back from traveling by air.INACA chairman Denon Prawiratmadja said on Thursday that there had been a drastic decline in the number of air passengers since early March, causing all airlines to cut flight frequency and routes by 50 percent or more.last_img read more

"Indonesian airlines carry out layoffs to cope with COVID-19 pressures"

London Stock Exchange in merger talks with Deutsche Boerse

first_img“The boards,” LSE said, “believe the potential merger would represent a compelling opportunity for both companies to strengthen each other in an industry-defining combination, creating a leading European-based global markets infrastructure group.”Shares in LSE reportedly rose by more than 17% after the news of merger talks was confirmed, while Deutsche Boerse’s gained some 7%. London Stock Exchange (LSE) is in “detailed discussions” about a merger with Deutsche Boerse, it confirmed today.It made the announcement after media reports about a merger led to “movement in LSE’s share price”. The potential merger would be structured as an all-share merger of equals under a new holding company, according to the LSE statement.Based on the exchange ratio proposed, Deutsche Boerse shareholders would hold 54.4% of the combined group’s share capital and LSE shareholders 45.6%.last_img read more

"London Stock Exchange in merger talks with Deutsche Boerse"

Essex pension fund tenders global property mandate

first_imgApplicants must manage at least £1.5bn of real estate globally, with at least £500m invested in each of Europe and North America, and £300m in Asia Pacific. At least three experienced real estate professionals must be based in each of these regions.The pension fund already invests in UK property via Aviva Investors. According to its most recent annual report the market value of this portfolio stood at £618m as at the end of March 2018.Essex is part of the ACCESS asset pool that has been set up by 11 pension funds in the UK’s local government pension scheme (LGPS).Brunel Pension Partnership, another of the eight LGPS pools, recently announced £340m of commitments to two UK long-lease property funds.Essex’s procurement is managed by Hymans Robertson. The details are available here. Essex Pension Fund, part of the UK’s local authority pension system, is looking for a global property manager for a £250m (€282m) mandate.The £6bn fund said it would consider separate accounts, open-ended funds and closed-ended solutions.It was not necessarily looking to allocate to real estate debt or listed real estate, but said it may allow an allocation of no more than 20% of the mandate.The successful manager must be able to “demonstrate a global perspective on real estate and be able to give objective advice on global real estate markets (private and public) and on investment timing”, it said.last_img read more

"Essex pension fund tenders global property mandate"