Shumlin applauds Walmart decision to abandon Civil War site for store

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin today applauded a decision by Wal-Mart to abandon plans to build a new store in Virginia on the site of a Civil War battlefield where there were more than 1,200 Vermont casualties and nearly 400 lost their lives in one of the bloodiest battles of that war. Walmart said today that it would abandon that location 60 miles from Washington, DC, and seek another location. A civil case on the matter was scheduled to go to court Thursday.‘Vermont paid a terrible toll on that site on May 5 and 6, 1864, losing so many of our young men in the Battle of the Wilderness,’ the Governor said. ‘Our brave soldiers gave their lives to keep the country together and end slavery. It would have been an awful loss to have that battlefield covered in the shadow of a Walmart store.’The store would have been located near a monument donated by the state and the land on which the 1st Vermont Brigade fought. Remnants of their entrenchment can still be seen at the site.‘There are almost certainly Vermonters buried there,’ the Governor said. That two-day battle is now viewed as the beginning of the end for the Confederate Army.Former US Senator James Jeffords secured an appropriation from Congress to buy the land on which the Vermonters fought ‘ near the site of the proposed Walmart. The 2009 Legislature passed a joint resolution calling for Walmart to relocate the planned store to a more appropriate site.last_img read more

Report: NY State Pension Fund Lost $5.3 Billion by Hanging Onto Coal, Oil and Gas Stocks

first_imgReport: NY State Pension Fund Lost $5.3 Billion by Hanging Onto Coal, Oil and Gas Stocks FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享New York State’s pension fund would have an additional $5.3bn to give to its retired employees if it had divested from fossil fuel companies and put that money into clean energy, according to a new report.The analysis, compiled by research firm Corporate Knights, assessed the fund’s top 100 domestic and international equity holdings, and calculated how much it would have earned over the past three years if it had got rid of its investments in coal, oil and gas companies.The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest pension fund in the country, behind California’s CalPERS and CalSTRS, with $184.5bn held in trust for retirement benefits. According to the report, released this week, a move away from fossil fuels would have made each of the fund’s 1.1 million members more than $4,500 richer, and helped the state cover nearly 12% of the costs following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.Toby Heaps, CEO and co-founder of Corporate Knights, said the numbers show that divestment makes prudent financial sense.“Divestment is good for reducing portfolio risk,” he said. “It’s also a powerful way of sending a message about the expectations investors have of companies and governments to be rational about accelerating the energy transition in a timely manner so that we avoid scenarios of climate chaos, which would make it difficult for anybody to earn returns.”“Government policy, which we think will only strengthen, is beginning to capture the societal costs of burning fossil fuels, enhancing the competitive position of investments in energy efficiency and renewables,” said Stu Dalheim, vice president of shareholder advocacy for Calvert Investments, which invests in socially and environmentally responsible businesses. “The Paris Agreement sent a clear and important signal to the market that we are moving toward a low carbon energy system.”The report comes as New York State Senator Liz Krueger is pushing to pass a bill that would require the state’s pension fund to divest from fossil fuels. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Act would require the fund to sell off its stocks in the top 200 largest fossil fuel companies by 2020.“By divesting from fossil fuels, the [Common Retirement Fund] will send a message that it is unacceptable for any institution to profit from activities that threaten the future of society, and will begin the process of delegitimizing a business model that, while financially profitable in the short run, is socially and morally bankrupt,” wrote Krueger in her announcement of the bill.Full article: New York pension fund could have made billions by divesting from fossil fuels – reportlast_img read more

At credit unions, focus on customer experience

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Ashley BinderConsider your worst customer service experience. Perhaps it began by waiting in a needlessly long line, leaving you aggravated before you reach the front. Then a seemingly simple request to make an exchange devolves into a customer service representative’s dramatic change in demeanor because they, too, have just had enough of this never-ending line. Tempers flare and you are seeing red.Once you’ve shaken yourself out of that unpleasant memory, consider your best customer service experience. You approach the rep with a request and they are genuinely happy to help you solve the issue. They thank you for your business. You comment on their kindness and thank them for helping you. Gold star earned.Great customer service is not to be underestimated, particularly at a financial institution. It instills loyalty in current clients, spreads word of mouth to attract new ones, and eases the transition for those newly acquired. As a consumer, there’s some degree of anxiety to be faced when trusting your hard-earned money to various entities, and that anxiety only grows as the number does. A credit union with an excellent reputation for customer service can bridge the gap and ease the worries that come along with having to entrust your money to an outside party. continue reading »last_img read more

PREMIUMInvestment priority a threat to civil liberties: Experts

first_imgGoogle Jokowi-second-term Joko-Widodo human-rights civil-liberties infrastructure investment Speakers at an Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) seminar on Monday warned that free speech may be in peril as the government pushed for more foreign and domestic investment in its pursuit of high growth – which Jokowi says is necessary to create jobs and increase incomes.“Freedom of expression is essential, as it is key for us to achieve our other rights,” said YLBHI chair Asfinawati at the seminar.But the writing was already on the wall that civil liberties were under threat when two violent protests erupted just weeks before the end of Jokowi’s first term.Tens of thousands of people took to Jakarta’s streets in September to protest the government and the House of Representatives’ move to pass two controversial bills: One deemed to “muzzle” the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the other on… LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Topics : Forgot Password ? Linkedin Facebook Log in with your social accountlast_img read more

These are the homes potential buyers were keener on than any others this week

first_img63 Agnes St, Auchenflower. Picture: realestate.com.auA five-bedroom home at 63 Agnes St, Auchenflower was the property more potential buyers looked at on realestate.com.au than any other in Queensland this week.The two-level colonial home has undergone a contemporary renovation. The property has a swimming pool and a flat backyard, plus the house has a front and side veranda. 63 Agnes St, Auchenflower. Picture: realestate.com.auMore from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoThe second most popular listing in Queensland was a two-bedroom home set for removal at 98 Payne St, Indooroopilly. It is listed for $94,500 which includes moving the home to your own block of land and installing it on new foundations. 1 Wallum Court Buderim. Picture: realestate.com.auThe kitchen has a breakfast bar and there are open plan living and dining areas plus a fireplace.It is listed through Gail Robertson of McGrath – Buderim. 3 Double Bar Court, Arana Hills. Picture: realestate.com.auIt is listed through Tamika Kent and Sam Scott of Coronis – Arana Hills.The fourth most viewed Queensland listing was at Elanora on the Gold Coast.The three-bedroom home at 7 Capano Court, is listed for offers of more than $619,000.It is in a cul-de-sac. It has a purpose built bar and the kitchen has been updated with stone benchtops and gas appliances. 98 Payne St, Indooroopilly. Picture: realestate.com.auIt has a bay window in the main bedroom, polished pine floors and an open front veranda. There are VJ timber walls and timber windows.A brick home at 3 Double Bar Court, Arana Hills was the third most popular listing on realetate.com.au this week.The renovated four-bedroom home is listed for offers of more than $589,000. It has floating floorboards, and an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area. The kitchen has stone benchtops and a large pullout pantry.center_img 63 Agnes St, Auchenflower. Picture: realestate.com.auMany of the character features have been retained, including polished timber floors, intricate vents over the doors and high ceilings. The main bedroom has an ensuite with a bathtub. 7 Capano Court Elanora. Picture: realestate.com.auIt is listed through Daniel Tavener and Ken Jacob of Ray White – Tugun.Rounding out the top five most viewed properties this week is a four-bedroom house at 1 Wallum Court, Buderim which is listed with a price guide of more than $665,000.The home has leafy views toward the coast. It has a wrap around verandas and swimming pool, plus indoor and outdoor living areas. 63 Agnes St, Auchenflower. Picture: realestate.com.auIt is listed through Tim Douglas and Sacha Hennessy of Place – Paddington.last_img read more

Private equity, real estate boost Q2 returns at Finland’s Ilmarinen

first_img“Regional yield differences between the stock markets were unusually large,” he added. “The stock indices of the United States and emerging economies ended up in clearly positive territory.“Meanwhile, the European market, weighed down by growth and Brexit-related concerns, closed H1 clearly in the red.”Mursula said he was convinced equity market volatility would continue to the end of the year, due to continued geopolitical uncertainty and the “rough estimates and guesses” as to the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.“Both phenomena increase the markets’ uneasiness and are certainly not going to raise any hopes of a recovery in economic growth,” he said.However, away from equity markets, Ilmarinen’s sizeable fixed income portfolio – accounting for nearly 45% of assets – returned 0.3%, within which loans returned 1.9%, and bonds issued by public corporations 2.7%.Real estate, 11.3% of assets, returned 1.7%, while the mutual’s portfolio of ‘other’ investments – including hedge fund holdings and commodities – returned 10.6%.Despite the lower overall returns for the first six months of 2016, Ilmarinen still reported an average return of 4.3% over the course of the last decade, translating to a 2.6% real return averaged over the last 10 years. Finland’s Ilmarinen has closed out the first half of the year with investment losses, albeit with returns from the three months to June mitigating losses of 1.4% from the first quarter.Ending June with €35.7bn in assets, the pensions mutual said its holdings returned 0.8% over the second quarter, resulting in first-half results of -0.6%.While its equity portfolio overall generated losses of 3.6%, owing to the 5.8% loss on its listed equity holdings, Ilmarinen’s private equity portfolio produced a stronger performance, returning 5.5%.Mikko Mursula, the mutual’s CIO, noted equity markets had continued to be volatile throughout the first six months of the year.last_img read more

Matt & Emma-Lisa’s story: “At 15 weeks, Levi was very much a human”

first_imgAt a routine scan, Matt & Emma-Lisa sadly found that their unborn child had died in the womb at 15 weeks. Emma-Lisa miscarried their son Levi at 20 weeks.As they held Levi, they got to see how perfectly developed he was. He was just the size of the palm of their hand but perfectly formed. He had little fingernails, toenails, eyebrows. He had arms and legs – he was a perfectly formed human being. Perfectly developed.“He was just a tiny one – just starting. He was part of our family.”“We don’t want to be part of a society that jeopardises and puts at risk our most vulnerable.”As far as humanity goes, and having lived only 15 weeks, he was still very much a human.#LoveThemBothlast_img read more

Grant opportunities for youth-led projects available in Ripley County

first_imgBatesville, In. — The Ripley County Community Foundation, Inc. (RCCF), through its Ripley Youth Outreach program, will administer a $10,000 Change Ripley County Grant.Ripley Youth Outreach was established in 2015 by the RCCF Board of Directors to engage local high school students in the work of the community foundation. Its membership is composed of students from five local high schools, Batesville, Jac Cen Del, Milan, Oldenburg Academy and South Ripley.Ripley Youth Outreach members developed the Change Ripley County Grant to provide local youth, ages 14-23, with the resources needed to bring their ideas for enhancing the quality of life in their communities to reality. “Over the past three years, local youth and youth organizations have consistently identified a “lack of funding” as a major hurdle in their ability to address the needs important to them, and their peers,” stated Amy Streator, RCCF Executive Director.  “This grant opportunity was designed to fill the funding gap which is stymieing young people’s community development efforts,” stated Streator.This is a competitive grant process designed to support youth-led projects and programs within Ripley County.  One grant in the sum of $10,000 shall be awarded to a local non-profit organization which is guiding the youth through the project development process.  Grant applications are due May 1, 2019 at 4:00 pm.  Information about this grant and the grant applications are available online here.   The Ripley County Community Foundation is located at 13 E. George St, Suite B, Batesville, IN and can be reached via telephone (812) 933-1098 or via email office@rccfonline.org.last_img read more

Braithwaite: I won’t wash my jersey after Messi hug

first_imgRelatedPosts Barca president Bartomeu says he won’t go to war anymore with Messi Messi scores twice in Barca friendly Messi becomes football’s second billionaire + Top 10 Martin Braithwaite joked he won’t wash his Barcelona kit after getting a hug from new teammate Lionel Messi during a 5-0 win against Eibar on Saturday. Braithwaite, who signed for Barca from Leganes on Thursday for €18 million, was introduced for the final 20 minutes and made an immediate impact with a cross for Messi’s fourth goal of the game. The Danish international was also involved in his new club’s fifth: Braithwaite’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic but Arthur Melo netted the rebound. “Messi congratulated me [for the pass],” Braithwaite told reporters when asked what the Argentine said during their embrace. “He’s a great guy. He tried to make me feel comfortable and looked to find me with his passes. “I won’t wash my kit after the hug he gave me [laughs]. Honestly, I am really happy to have been able to set him up for a goal.” Barca were given special dispensation by La Liga to sign Braithwaite this week as a replacement for Ousmane Dembele, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season. The former Middlesbrough forward, who will only be allowed to play in league matches, was given a warm welcome by home supporters when he replaced Antoine Griezmann. “The ovation was really special,” Braithwaite said. “It’s something that I saw on television when I was little, how they treat the new players [here], and suddenly to be here and experience that from the fans is incredible. I am really proud. “I feel really good here, surrounded by fantastic players. I tried to run and move, which is what I have to do, and my teammates found me. It’s been amazing. I am really happy.” Barca’s newest signing Martin Braithwaite struggled to string any sort of juggling sequence together. Barcelona coach Quique Setien was impressed with what he saw from his new signing and tipped him to make a contribution in the final phase of the campaign. “Braithwaite did more than I expected, much more,” Setien said in a news conference. “Honestly, I think we have made an extraordinary signing. He’s going to adapt perfectly to what we need. “We’ve seen he has good movement, but beyond the goals he was involved in, he’s good in space and he understands the game so well. He is an extraordinary player and he’s going to help us a lot.”Tags: Antoine GriezmannArthur MeloEibarLionel MessiMarko DmitrovicMartin Braithwaitelast_img read more

Snodgrass: Blame players for form

first_img Press Association Norwich on Tuesday confirmed they had rejected a transfer request from unsettled midfielder Wes Hoolahan, a reported target for Aston Villa, managed by former Canaries boss Paul Lambert. Hughton is himself on the lookout for reinforcements, having last week brought in midfielder Jonas Gutierrez on loan from Newcastle and has now been linked with a £2million move for French defender Mickael Ciani from Lazio. Norwich, meanwhile, are set to subsidise £10 off tickets for the away match at West Ham on February 11. “It is the players’ fault – it is not lack of effort, it is putting the ball in the net and that is the only thing that has been lacking,” Snodgrass told the Eastern Daily Press. “We have got so much determination and we want to do well, but you need to score – that is what wins the game. It is not through lack of chances or trying. “If we had gone off 0-0 at full-time on Saturday, we would have the fans against us saying we had not done enough.” Norwich lost their FA Cup third-round replay 3-0 at Fulham in what was another abject display from Hughton’s men, meaning the next fixture will not now be until Newcastle come to Carrow Road on January 28. Snodgrass maintains the players will be itching to get back into action. “You could say it (the break) is handy, but you want to keep playing and keep that momentum going,” he said. “I think the manager would want the games to come thick and fast. “We will be full of confidence and if we keep showing enthusiasm and take momentum into it, we won’t be far off.” The Canaries beat Hull 1-0 on Saturday to record a first win in seven Barclays Premier League matches which moved them five points clear of the relegation zone into 12th place and eased the growing pressure on Hughton. Despite calls for the former Newcastle and Birmingham boss to be shown the exit door at Carrow Road following a £20million summer spending spree which so far has failed to bring about consistent results, Snodgrass insists the manager can only do so much once the players have gone out on to the pitch. Norwich players should take responsibility for their own failings this season and not manager Chris Hughton, according to Scotland winger Robert Snodgrass.last_img read more