Justice Fridays discuss People’s Climate March

first_imgThree Saint Mary’s students who took part in the People’s Climate March in New York on Sept. 21 shared their experiences there at a panel called “Marching for Sustainability and Global Climate Justice” on Friday as part of the Justice Education Department’s Justice Fridays series.Assistant professor of political science and gender and women studies Sonalini Sapra said she was one of two faculty members to walk alongside Saint Mary’s students in Manhattan. The Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) funded the trip, Sapra said.“I heard about the march over the summer through 350.org, and the purpose of this rally … was to get people mobilized and show there are a lot of people who want the government to do a lot more [for the environment],” Sapra said.The rally was purposefully scheduled close to the United Nations Climate Summit called by Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the UN, Sapra said. World leaders, including the President of the United States, attended to prepare for next year’s round of climate change negotiations, Sapra said.Sapra said roughly 400,000 people attended the environmental rally in New York, which was one of 2,600 similar events in more than 150 countries across the globe.Saint Mary’s junior and global studies major Eleanor Jones said she was motivated to attend the march so that the Midwest would be represented among other regions of the country.“I was really interested in joining [and] going to the march because I’ve always been interested in global issues,” Jones said. “I think a lot of the activism is seen on either coast.”Jones said she appreciated connecting with a variety of groups representing different demographics concerned with climate change but especially cherished the concerted moment of silence during the rally.“We happened to be right by the sign that said ‘moment of silence,’” Jones said. “It was really quiet within that minute, and at the end of the minute we just heard this big roar that escalated over the entire march.”The College’s first environmental studies major, sophomore Mikhala Kaseweter said she was also touched by the marchers’ cheers.“My favorite part of the march were the chants we did,” Kaseweter said. “The fact that you could hear literally thousands of voices at the same time [was] just pretty empowering.”Kaseweter said her attendance at the march fulfilled a personal desire to further her environmental activism.“There’s actually more reasons I went than I can articulate,” Kaseweter said. “I follow all sorts of activism pages, [but] I’ve been kind of impersonal with my activism.”Sapra said she and the Saint Mary’s students attended organized supplementary climate justice workshops offered the day before the march.“I went to one about Karl Marx and climate change,” Sapra said. “I also went to one put together by indigenous women.”Associate professor of English Chris Cobb attended the march as well.“I went because the march seemed like the best opportunity that the people of the world have had to make a statement about climate change that would be heard and begin to gain more attention in the media from governmental leaders,” Cobb said. “It’s obviously not something … that is [going away].”Cobb said the size of the march, though unexpected, was a testament to the importance of climate justice.“The size of it … was a kind of wonderful surprise,” Cobb said. “We knew the march was big, but as we got about eight blocks, we gradually gathered ourselves back together and miraculously found a Chinese restaurant. … It was almost two hours until we came out. People were still coming.”Cobb said he was also struck by the number of and diversity in constituents of the march.“The environmental movement has been dealing with the issue of elitism,” Cobb said. “This march really spoke to me that this issue may not be over, but environmental justice has become a centrally accepted idea. There were so many issues being represented, and everyone understood that these issues are bound up together. That was very exciting for me to see that way in which the movement has developed.”Unlike other protests and public displays of activism, the march was not a somber or grim event, Cobb said.“This was not a mean event,” he said. “This was an event that was very joyous, coming out of a deep love for the community, and I think … the call for climate justice is shown to be a very positive call for people who love people.”Tags: 350.org, Climate change, Climate Convergence, Climate Justice, CWIL, environmental movement, Justice Fridays, PCM, People’s Climate March, People’s Climate March 2014, sustainabilitylast_img read more

Tickets Now On Sale For The Greatest Pirate Holiday Spectacularrr!

first_imgNeed even more pirates this holiday season? Off-Broadway’s got you covered. Tickets are available for The Greatest Pirate Holiday Spectacularrr!, a new improvised take on A Christmas Carol, complete with swashbucklers and audience participation. Performances will take place December 20 through January 3, 2015 at the Snapple Theater Center. The comedy is written by Christopher Leidenfrost and directed by Rick Leidenfrost-Wilson. The Greatest Pirate Holiday Spectacularrr! The cast features Leidenfrost-Wilson, Marc Mills, Kevin Maphis, Emily Rouch, Olivia Harding, Asia Lupo, David Anthony and Timothy Allen. Join the crew of the Riley Rose as they attempt to perform their take on A Christmas Carol. However, when all the plot points of their prologue are covered in runny ink, it’s up to audience to fill in the blanks. The pirates-turned-players weave suggestion from the house into songs, scenes and more. Related Shows View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 3, 2015last_img read more

Septic Systems Study

first_imgA University of Georgia soil scientist is studying how on-site home septic systems affect the quality and quantity of water in Georgia’s rivers and streams.Waste from most Georgia homes is managed through centralized sewage treatment plants. But 36.8 percent of Georgia homes, and 25 percent of homes in the United States, use septic systems. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, septic systems in the Southeast are used by 43.6 percent of Alabama homes, 48.5 percent of North Carolina homes and 40.6 percent of South Carolina homes.More units added each year“Data for Metro Atlanta shows 525,970 septic systems in 2006, and more than 12,000 units were projected to be added each year,” said Mussie Habeteselassie, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences researcher conducting the wastewater study. His study focuses on determining how septic systems affect water quality in Georgia and the Southeast.“Home septic systems are still very common, and not just in rural areas,” he said. “On-site septic systems drain into drain fields where the soil treats the waste water. The soils filter out the contaminants in the waste water before it reaches the ground water and the streams.”Based on the UGA campus in Griffin, Habteselassie leads the project that is testing the bacteria, nutrient and hormone levels in streams in the Oconee and Ocmulgee river basins in Gwinnett County. Test sites are set up both where a high number of septic tanks are located and in areas where the number of septic tanks is significantly lower, he said. Final year of a three-year studyHabteselassie worked with other scientists at UGA and the Georgia Water Science Center of the United States Geological Survey in Atlanta to complete the study. Habteselassie has taken water samples several times a year for the past two years under both dry and storm conditions. Samples will continue to be taken and tested through 2014 for the three-year study. “We also measure stream flow to determine the impact of septic systems on water quantity,” Habteselassie said. Septic systems appear to increase stream flowsThe streams tested in the study are used for recreational purposes, not as drinking water sources. So far his data show mixed results. Early data shows areas with a high density of septic systems have streams with increased levels of bacteria and nutrients, particularly after storms. However, early data also suggests dry season stream flows are higher in areas with a high density of septic systems. “People have felt septic systems take water away, but it seems that water from septic systems actually increases water flow in streams,” Habteselassie said. “In low-density septic system areas, the stream flow is lower.”The U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Integrated Water Quality Program are funding the project, which will conclude the end of 2014.last_img read more

The Great Eastern Trail: The New A.T.

first_imgFrom monsoon rains to the norovirus, this year’s Appalachian Trail thru-hiking season was one for the records. The stories of struggle and success have swept across the Blue Ridge, from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Mount Katahdin in Maine. But while these sagas were still in the making, one hike in particular was setting a new record: the first thru-hike of the Great Eastern Trail.Meet Joanna Swanson and Bart Houck, or Someday and Hillbilly Bart if you encounter them on the trail. They are the first thru-hikers of the roughly 1,600-mile long Great Eastern Trail, which connects a series of preexisting trails and stretches from Flag Mountain, Ala. to the Finger Lakes of New York. With a lesser overall gain in elevation and a shorter length than the Appalachian Trail, the Great Eastern Trail rivals its Appalachian counterpart with a different set of challenges which, for Swanson and Houck, began even before they set foot on Alabama soil.I said ‘Hell No’Despite growing up in Willow River, Minn., Swanson was well acquainted with the opportunities for adventure on the East Coast. During two separate hikes in 2009 and 2010, Swanson successfully completed a southbound section hike of the Appalachian Trail. When she returned home, she realized those months on the trail had fostered a gnawing restlessness within her that could only be satisfied by embarking on another adventure.“I was looking for a trail experience,” Swanson says. “I came across the AmeriCorps website and they were looking for an AmeriCorps Vista volunteer in Mullens, W.Va. working for the Great Eastern Trail. I’d never heard of it,” she says, but that fact didn’t seem to faze her. She applied, was accepted, and moved to West Virginia in November of 2011.Mullens, W.Va., is home to just over 1,500 people including Houck, who was born and raised in the small coal-mining town. Houck always considered himself an outdoorsman, although he came to know West Virginia’s mountains and forests through a different lens than Swanson.“I’ve always hunted,” Houck says, “or, I’ve always ‘hiked with a gun.’”Swanson and Houck met through their involvement with the local TuGuNu Hiking Club, a relatively new group of outdoor enthusiasts who wanted to bring more than ATVs and hunters to West Virginia.“One day I showed up at his house with bacon and a case of beer and he let me stay,” Swanson says, nudging Houck.The idea to thru-hike the Great Eastern Trail did not occur to Swanson until she was nearly a year into her service with AmeriCorps. Her duties primarily involved building official miles of the trail in West Virginia which, when she arrived, were nonexistent. In July 2012, Swanson realized that West Virginia was the part of the Great Eastern Trail that was logistically the most difficult, but for her was the section she knew best.“I knew it wasn’t a trail I wanted to do alone,” she says. “So, I asked Bart if he would come with me.”“And I said ‘Hell no. You’re crazy,’” Houck says. “When I had done all the planning,” Swanson continues, “when I had all the resources, bought all the guidebooks, he decided that was a good time to reconsider.”After nearly 10 months of planning and hundreds of hours of collaboration with the Great Eastern Trail’s board of directors, Swanson and Houck finally set out on their journey in January of 2013. Unlike either of the Appalachian Trail’s terminals, the trailhead for Flag Mountain, Ala., is not nearly as well-established, tucked away in a one-horse-town known as Weogufka (wa-guf-kah): population, 282. Houck’s brother drove the two to the trailhead, and though both Houck and Swanson came from humble hometowns, the Alabama backwoods proved to be a far cry from home.“Along the way we stopped in this little town that had absolutely nothing but one convenience store,” Houck says. “We walked inside and asked the lady, ‘Can you tell us where Weogufka is?’ She said, ‘Weogufka? Honey, that’s way back in the sticks.’ I said, ‘Honey, we are in the sticks. How much stickier is it gonna get?’”Fortunately, Swanson had arranged to meet up with two trail angels who would help them find their way to the Pinhoti Trail, the first built trail of the journey. These two hiking enthusiasts would prove to be the first of many supportive followers that Swanson and Houck would encounter during their five-month trek.“Our experience really snowballed as we went along,” Swanson says. “In Alabama and Georgia, we were mostly flying under the radar.”“But the further we went, the more legitimate we became and the more we decided that this trail is bigger than both of us,” Houck says. “We decided to slow our trip down and become ambassadors for the trail.”Almost Dead in an Alabama SnowstormAlthough Swanson and Houck began their thru-hike in the middle of winter, the weather in the South remained relatively mild. As they approached the northern parts of Alabama though, the once-pleasant rain took a dangerous turn.“It had been raining for days and everything we had was wet,” Houck says. “We had 13 miles to go in order to make it to Cheaha State Park. The further we went up, the more it started sleeting.”Houck decided they should put on rain gear for some added protection, although by now he and Swanson were both completely soaked and still wearing shorts. They continued hiking, thinking the weather would break, but as their body temperatures continued to drop so too did any hopes of sunshine and clear skies.“Then it started snowing,” says Houck. “Then it started really snowing. Then it started blowing snow. The blazes on the trees were covered. Thirteen miles doesn’t seem very far until you’re stopping at every tree.”Despite their slow pace, Swanson and Houck had only one option and continued on, trudging through deep snowdrifts and squinting against the wind for any trace of a blaze. Houck periodically lost sight of Swanson and would wait for her to catch up before carrying on, but he remembers one time in particular when it took her longer than usual to make an appearance.“I couldn’t wait long because I had to keep moving,” he says, so he walked back, hoping to find her a short distance behind. She was not close, however, and when Houck came upon her, she was nearly naked with her shirt stuck up above her head.“I was kinda like the Tinman in the Wizard of Oz,” says Swanson, “except I was frozen solid. I couldn’t move.”In an effort to replace her drenched clothes with warmer layers, Swanson says the freezing cold had quickly sapped any remnants of mobility. Her skin began to redden and chap from the icy air, and Houck knew that their situation was quickly worsening.“I helped her get dressed and told her we had to keep moving,” he says. “We played mind games to keep our mental clarity.”“I led us off the trail, downhill,” says Swanson.“Twice,” reminds Houck, “but you never heard me complain.”Finally, the two arrived at Cheaha State Park to find that the situation there was equally as dire: the park was closing and its employees were being sent to a nearby hotel to wait out the storm.“I slapped my credit card down so fast,” Swanson says, “I didn’t care. I was just thankful there was still one room left.”After shedding their soggy clothes and devouring a hot meal, Houck took to humor to relieve some of the tension.“I turned to Jo and said, ‘You realize that you’re from Minnesota, you lived in Alaska, and you just about died in an Alabama snowstorm? That’s the only reason I kept you alive. Nobody would have believed me.’”Although Swanson and Houck were not injured from their prolonged hike through the miserably wet and bitterly cold, the two decided to take a zero day to regroup and relax.“You know what we did on our day off?” Houck says. “We went for a hike.”Wash, Rinse, Repeat“One of the biggest challenges was putting up with each other,” Swanson says.Unlike the social scene that accompanies the thousands of Appalachian Trail hikers, Swanson and Houck were alone on their thru-hike of the Great Eastern Trail.“It’s a lot to handle, being with one person for five months,” says Swanson.“The monotony of everyday living is hard, too,” says Houck. “You pack up your stuff in the morning, hike for 10 hours, unpack…”“Wash, rinse, repeat,” says Swanson.Although both have extensive experience living with and off the land, they opted for the quick and easy when it came to backcountry meals.“Who was the cook? Let’s see, Food Lion, StarKist, Peter Pan,” Houck says. “At first I had made a beer can burner that was really lightweight, but it didn’t work very well in the wind. I abandoned that idea pretty quick.”With cool weather on their side, Swanson and Houck packed everything from cheese to meat. Because of their frequent road walks and town crossings, the two were resupplying every three to four days.“My luxury item was beer,” Houck says. “Cheap beer.”By the time Swanson and Houck arrived near the Great Eastern Trail’s terminus in Finger Lakes, N.Y., they had grown from two individuals with a common interest to a well-oiled hiking machine. The thru-hiking duo had acquired a number of fans through their GET Hiking blog, which they updated throughout their trip with photographs and thoughts from the trail. All eyes were on Someday and Hillbilly Bart as they embarked on the final miles of their hike.“We knew there would be some friends and different media outlets who would join us for the last mile of the hike,” says Swanson. “On the last day, we hiked about five miles before we came to the road crossing where everyone was waiting.”“We sat there in the woods alone and listened to car doors slam,” says Houck. “We ate our lunch alone, which was very fitting.”“We needed that time before sharing it with other people,” says Swanson.Radio stations, television reporters, friends, and trail volunteers joined Swanson and Houck at the endpoint, a shelter in New York known as the Moss Hill Lean-To. After an hour of socializing and taking pictures, the two were left alone again for their final night in the woods.“We could have gone somewhere to take a shower and everything, but we decided no, the last night on the trail was going to be spent on the trail,” says Houck.Bringing Back the FutureBeing the first to accomplish something is never an easy task, especially when it involves being the trailblazers for a trail that’s not even technically complete. According to Swanson, the Great Eastern Trail is currently over 70% finished with fewer miles of road walking than what Earl Shaffer encountered when he first hiked the Appalachian Trail.Swanson and Houck agree that the real challenge of the trail will be getting it finished, particularly in West Virginia. Mullens, Houck’s hometown, is located in Wyoming County and is conveniently the halfway point along the trail. Though the hiking community in Wyoming County is growing, Swanson and Houck say it’s not enough to get the Great Eastern Trail established in its entirety through the wild and wonderful state.“We need an organization that can make deals with landowners and represent the cause,” says Swanson. “One new hiking club is not old enough, strong enough, to do something like that.”Pocahontas Land Corporation, a company that manages natural resource properties, owns most of the land in Wyoming County but has shown support of outdoor recreation through its interactions with the Hatfield-McCoy ATV Trail system.“The Hatfield-McCoy Trail Authority is a pretty big organization with a very strong board of directors and strong leadership and a very good insurance policy,” says Swanson, “and that is what the hiking community is lacking. We don’t have the funds to do it.”“We have to garner a state authority to serve as a go-between the hiking club and the Pocahontas Land Corporation,” says Houck. “Their concerns need to be on the table as well.”Though the development of full-fledged state parks seems highly unrealistic, Swanson says that many trails along the Great Eastern Trail are, in and of themselves, considered linear state parks.“That’s not a foreign concept,” she says. “We’re trying to work with the Wyoming County Commission to see if we can get a pilot section of trail built where there’s a gap. West Virginia will continue to be the hardest state logistically for at least the next decade, but that doesn’t make it impossible. It can be done.”West Virginia has had a long history of economic success fueled by natural resources, but according to Houck, its coal-mining towns are withering and their economies struggling to stay afloat.“If you want to create an environment of economic growth, you can’t depend on something that’s going to die,” he says. “Beauty in the mountains is never going to die unless you outright kill it. I think the natural beauty of trails and recreation can bring West Virginia into the future.”The future for West Virginia’s acceptance of the trail seems positive thus far. Pocahontas Land Corporation has expressed interest in opening the dialogue between hikers and landowners. Should the Great Eastern Trail be officially established in West Virginia, its route would go through five different communities. Four of those five communities have already signed a town agreement in support of the trail.“This trail has the potential to bring in so many tourism dollars,” says Swanson.“If West Virginia lets this go, it will be a very big disappointment,” Houck says. “That’s one of the reasons I hiked this: to show that it can be done.”The board of directors for the Great Eastern Trail has backup plans to reroute the trail through Virginia, bypassing West Virginia entirely save for a small section near the northern end. This, says Swanson, would be a great setback, since one thing that makes the Great Eastern Trail different from the Appalachian Trail is its route through the Mountain State.“There’s such a great hiking culture in the East that another long trail should be welcomed by everyone,” she says. “We’re not trying to take away the glory of the A.T. It’s its own unique trail.”“I think the Great Eastern Trail is also different in that it links a lot of trails that already exist,” says Houck. “They are smaller in and of themselves, but linked together they make a ‘great’ trail.”Swanson and Houck say the overall highlights during their experience was not any particular view or wildlife sighting; it was the overwhelming support they received from the various trail volunteers, club presidents, and trail angels.“These people are active all the time,” says Houck. “They aren’t just a name in a pamphlet.”What words of wisdom and knowledge can Someday and Hillbilly Bart provide?“Know your limits,” says Houck. “Start out small. Plan, but be flexible. You can create and accomplish goals so easily out there. Each day is a goal, each state is a goal.”Houck said the best part of the journey was waking up everyday to go hiking.“It’s also really cool to be yourself,” he says. “To be able to enjoy yourself by yourself is really important.”Swanson agrees. “I think people have gotten disconnected from their natural world,” says Swanson, “so it was nice to feel the miles and know the miles.”Hillbilly Bart & SomedaySomeday: I got my trail name on the A.T. I was in New Hampshire hiking southbound and I still hadn’t received a trail name. I was complaining to the guy at the hostel saying, “someday I’ll climb up these mountains without huffing and puffing, someday I’ll do this, someday I’ll do that…” I had a whole list. He looked at me and said, ‘I think you have your trail name.’Hillbilly Bart: I took the alternative route and named myself. It seemed appropriate. Everyone at home calls me that. It was good too, even to bust a lot of stereotypes about what a hillbilly is.What is its geographic coverage?The 1,600-mile trail passes through nine states: Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York.Which preexisting trails are connected to form the GET?Alabama-Georgia Pinhoti Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail, Cumberland Trail, Pine Mountain Trail, Allegheny Trail, Bluestone Turnpike Trail, Mary Draper Ingles Trail, Tuscarora Trail, Headwaters Section, Green Ridge State Forest, Standing Stone Trail, Mid State Trail, Crystal Hills TrailHow long will it take to hike? 4 to 6 monthsWho thought of the idea?Earl Shaffer, the first Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, wrote of the idea in a letter to his brother, circa 1948. Originally referred to as the Western Appalachian Alternative, the trail finally received its rightful name in 2007 when the Great Eastern Trail Association was formed.Is there a guidebook? Yes, but it is a work in progress. Consult greateasterntrail.net or Swanson and Houck’s blog, GEThiking.net, for more information.last_img read more

Practice Management

first_img A file management system for lawyers September 15, 2003 Regular News Practice Managementcenter_img James W. MartinNow that you have a fancy scanner, you can’t resist digitizing every scrap of paper that arrives or departs your office daily. Your mounds of paper are quickly turning into mounds of computer files. So, you’re faced with the same problem you always had: how to organize it.Well, I’ve looked at a lot of software solutions: Amicus, TimeMatters, Worldox, Summation. Some simple, some complex. Some expensive, some very expensive. They all had one thing in common: they take control of your documents.That’s fine if you’re in a big firm, but if you’re a sole practitioner or small firm lawyer, then it makes sense to keep using Windows Explorer as your document file manager for as long as you can. It comes free as part of Windows; it’s simple to use; and you get to control where your documents go.So, here’s a simple, hierarchical computer file management system for lawyers that just use Windows Explorer:• Create a Work Folder. Create a folder (directory) on your hard drive named Work to hold all current client work. In Windows Explorer, click File/New/Folder then hit F2 and rename it Work. The path to this folder looks like this: c:Work.• Create Client Folders. Within the Work folder, create folders for every active client using just their last name or corporate name. Then your Work folder will be filled with subfolders named Adams, Jones, Smith, etc. The path to each folder looks like this: c:WorkAdams.• Create Specific Subfolders for Each Client. Within each active client’s folder, create subfolders for each type of paper folder you maintain for that client. In my office, litigation files have the following types of files so each client’s computer folder has the following subfolders: Pleadings, Evidence, Research, Correspondence, General. The path to each folder looks like this: c:WorkAdamsPleadings.• File Document Files in Specific Subfolders. When you draft a new pleading using Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect, place the computer file in the Pleadings subfolder. Letters are created in the Correspondence subfolder. Research is downloaded from Westlaw or LexisNexis as Word documents and filed in the Research subfolder.• File Image Files in Specific Subfolders. When documents are scanned, we save the digital image as a single multi-page TIFF file or a single multi-page PDF file. It gets filed in the specific subfolder. If the document is evidence, it gets filed in the Evidence subfolder; if a pleading, in the Pleadings subfolder; if a letter to or from me, in the Correspondence subfolder.• Name Files with Title and Date. To help find the file later, it is best to give it a long file name that includes significant words from its title as well as its date and other information. The following is our naming protocol:A. Pleadings: 23 Motion Dismiss 6.13.03.doc 23 Motion Dismiss 6.13.03.tif (pleading #, pleading, date, file type extension)B. Correspondence: Letter frm client 6.1.03.pdf (letter, to/frm, person, date, file type extension)C. Research: Res juris Jones 223 So.2d 33.doc (research, issue, case, cite, file type extension) • Use Allowed Characters in File Names. Many Windows users do not know that they can use the following characters in file names, which makes the file contents more recognizable: # &. ; $ % – _ @ ~ ‘ ! ( ) [ ] { }^. But it is important that the file name not use the following: / | : * ? “ < >. (The period at the end of the preceding sentence was for proper grammar; you may use a period within file names.)This system works fine for most legal matters that sole practitioners and small law firms handle, but for complex litigation and transactional work that have hundreds of each type of document, you may need to upgrade to a relational database system that one of the fine legal software purveyors provide. Until then, maximize your existing technology using these simple file management techniques with Windows Explorer. James W. Martin is a contracts, probate and real estate lawyer in St. Petersburg, author of forms book for Thomson/West Publishing, past chair of The Florida Bar Coordinating Committee on Technology, and present chair of the St. Petersburg Bar Technology Section. Additional publications appear on his Web site at www.jamesmartinpa.com.last_img read more

Facility Solutions: Getting the most from realtor relationships

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr When a credit union decides to purchase or lease property for a new office, the search can be exciting. But the commercial real estate market is a bit like the Wild West: The rules are different in each market, and the players exhibit different abilities and alliances. In many cases, those players know each other from working in the same offices, partnering in development, and representing buyers and sellers over the years.When your credit union is planning to buy, sell or lease, you are entering their world, so be certain to select the right guide. You need a realtor with the skills, reputation, history and connections to represent your credit union. Consider these questions when forging a realtor relationship to maximize the performance of your real estate portfolio and ROI:Is the realtor you’ve worked with previously the right person for your next project? If you want to sell your $12 million headquarters, for example, can this realtor maximize the price? Does he or she have experience in assembling a comprehensive presentation package that puts your property in the best light for three primary groups of possible buyers: investors, developers and owner/occupants? In selling buildings of this size? In presenting property to investment groups, via multiple listings, in contacting developers and in advertising? How will the market price be determined? How will the realtor go to market with your building? What fee for these services has the realtor proposed? continue reading »last_img read more

Perdue’s re-election race goes to a runoff in Georgia, leaving the Senate majority in limbo.

first_img– Advertisement – Senator David Perdue, Republican of Georgia, was fighting for his political life on Saturday in a contest that could determine which party controls the Senate, as his re-election bid headed to a January runoff against Jon Ossoff, his Democratic challenger.Mr. Perdue had a razor-thin lead over Mr. Ossoff in a contest that demonstrated Democrats’ emerging strength in what was once a Republican stronghold in the Deep South. Neither candidate claimed a majority of votes amid a protracted count, according to The Associated Press.- Advertisement – If Mr. Biden wins the White House and Democrats take both of Georgia’s seats, they would draw the Senate to a 50-50 tie, effectively taking control of the chamber, given the vice president’s power to cast tiebreaking votes. But that is a tall order in a state with deep conservative roots, and Republicans felt reasonably confident they could hang onto at least one of the seats needed to deny Democrats the majority.- Advertisement – Two other Senate races, in North Carolina and in Alaska, had not yet been called. But Republicans were leading in both and expected to win, putting them at 50 seats to the Democrats’ 48. The inconclusive result set up a drastic rematch between Mr. Perdue and Mr. Ossoff on Jan. 5, and thrust Georgia into the center of the nation’s political fray as Joseph R. Biden Jr. appeared on track to win the White House. The state had already been scheduled to decide the fate of its other Senate seat in a special-election runoff between the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, and Senator Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, on the same day. That makes it nearly certain that the twin Georgia races will determine which party controls the chamber just two weeks before the next presidential inauguration.“Change has come to Georgia,” Mr. Ossoff said at a rally on Friday, “and Georgia is a part of the change coming to America.”last_img read more

‘Home Alone’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

first_imgThree years later, the Schitt’s Creek alum told InStyle that “from November through December ‘tis the season for Home Alone!” She also opened up about a run-in she had with her movie son a few years prior.“I ran into Macaulay once, and he said, ‘Mom!’ and I said, ‘Baby!’” O’Hara told the outlet in January 2018. “He looked great and was doing well, and I was happy to see him.”The film also stars the late John Heard as Kevin’s dad, Peter McCallister and features a cameo by the late John Candy as the Polka King of the Midwest, Gus Polinski.Scroll down to see what the cast of Home Alone has been up to the last 30 years — even grumpy Uncle Frank!- Advertisement – Buzz, your girlfriend, woof! Home Alone launched the career of Macaulay Culkin and created a holiday classic that fans watch religiously every holiday season.Three decades later, viewers still quote the iconic 1990’s Christmas film that follows 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Culkin) after he is accidentally left home alone when his parents go to Florida for the holidays.- Advertisement – The former child star noted that the worst aspect of the festive season is that he’s “on TV every two seconds,” which he explained is a “beautiful curse/a tricky blessing.”Culkin isn’t the only actor from the ‘90s movie and it’s 1992 sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, that gets recognized.Catherine O’Hara, who plays Kevin’s mom, Kate McCallister, told the Star in November 2015 that she is “grateful to be a part of someone’s Christmas ritual.”- Advertisement –center_img Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern play the other leading roles as the two robbers, Harry and Marv, respectively, who try — and epically fail — to steal from the McCallister home under Kevin’s watch.Quotes including, “Keep the change, you filthy animal” and “Look what you did you little jerk!” resonate with audiences of all ages. The memorable lines are part of the reason Culkin can’t escape his childhood fame.“Christmas is my time of year,” the My Girl actor exclusively told Us Weekly in November 2019. “I get recognized 10 times more between the months of November and January. I have no idea why.”- Advertisement –last_img read more

Thailand is battling the environmental impacts of mass tourism, and is investing 13 billion to attract even more tourists

first_imgThailand has been battling the negative environmental impacts of tourism for some time. As many as 40 million tourists are expected this year, and within ten years the inflow could increase by another 25 million, reports Bloomberg. Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy plans to invest about $ 13 billion in expanding airport capacity and connecting large terminals to high-speed rail. As a result, the number of foreign tourists could jump by more than 60 percent by 2029 and equal the population of the United Kingdom, according to estimates by the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC). Tourism is the lifeblood of Thailand’s economy, and visitor numbers are one of the reasons why the Thai baht is the strongest currency in Asia this year. Yet the challenges the country faces, such as floods, have long-term consequences for its environment. For example, the iconic Maya Bay beach, known for the cult film “Beach” with Leonard DiCaprio, has been permanently closed to visitors to help the ecosystem recover. Current and capacity after the expansion of Thai airports Source: Bloomberg / Photo: Pexels.com But the difference is that tourism makes up a fifth of Thailand’s economy, which is why managing the sector is a key issue for the country’s prosperity. Arrivals have moderated in recent months which is presumably a temporary occurrence due to the weakening global economy. Thailand is not the only destination facing the negative consequences of mass tourism, from damage to coral reefs, to pollution of the sea with plastic, garbage and sewage. Neighboring countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia, face similar challenges. This would, by 2025, expand the capacity of all three facilities to 190 million passengers from the current 78 million. National airports manage many more passengers than the capacity for which they are intended. “We need to work to improve water and energy efficiency and reduce the use of plastics and recycle more”, He concluded. “The country cannot tolerate such a sudden increase in the number of touristsSaid Somprawin Manprasert, chief economist at Ayudhya PCL, a Thai subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. “We need to introduce a better system for managing destinations and tourists, which can help with congestion and environmental problems. Still not enough is being done.” Plans to upgrade Thai infrastructure include adding new terminals to two international airports in Bangkok, as well as expanding the one near the Pattaya resort. Officials have been trying for years to attract tourists to less visited parts of the country to ease pressure on traditional destinations such as Bangkok and the Phuket resort. But these initiatives have only partially succeeded. But traffic improvements are not enough to ensure the sustainability of tourism, said Weerasak Kowsurat, a former Thai tourism minister currently serving in the Senate.last_img read more

Danish pension fund PFA poaches chief executive from asset manager

first_img“So Allan has a lot of experience with both pensions and investment,” Askær said.For his part, Polack described the new role as a dream job.“PFA has shown great strength over many years recently,” he said, adding that, at the same time, the company had the potential to achieve more.“PFA stands on a solid foundation and is in the process of exciting developments in a range of areas, and I am pleased to be allowed to be involved in the process and hopefully contribute to it with my knowledge and experience.”Polack started as chief executive at Nordea Asset Management in 2007.Before that, he was group director at Nordea Life & Pensions from 2002, having previously had many positions within the Nordea group.He holds various directorships within the Nordea group, as well as being on the boards of EFAMA (the European Fund and Asset Management Association) and SEI (the Stockholm Environment Institute), but is set to leave all Nordea directorships by the beginning of April, according to PFA.Heideby led PFA for 13 years.In October, the company said he had resigned to take on more directorships and give strategic advice.Askær praised him in December for having made a real difference at the company, having taken on the top role in 2001 – a time when PFA had serious economic problems.However, in the previous few months, Heideby had come in for harsh public criticism over a potential conflict of interest.Askær had subsequently called on him to explain how and why PFA was using an advertising agency partly owned by Heideby’s son. Denmark’s largest commercial pension fund PFA has ended uncertainty over its future leadership by appointing Nordea Asset Management chief executive Allan Polack to take the helm at the beginning of April.The current chief executive of the DKK417bn (€56n) mutual pensions provider Henrik Heideby officially left his job on 22 December and was replaced temporarily by Jon Johnsen while the company set about appointing a permanent leader.PFA’s chairman Svend Askær said: “Allan’s professional background, experience and the set of values he comes with suit PFA really well.”He pointed out that Polack had been both chief executive of Nordea Life & Pensions as well as most recently being the overall chief of Nordea Asset Management.last_img read more