LAPD Officer Deon JosephJoseph, 40, of Los Angeles, Calif., is a Senior Lead Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. With 17 years of experience at the LAPD, Joseph has spent the past 14 serving as a liaison between the LAPD and the people who make up the community in the Central City East area of downtown LA, commonly referred to as Skid Row. Joseph has assisted over 150 homeless citizens and has launched a hygiene initiative to help aide those still on the streets. Additionally, he has created programs including ‘Just Like You,’ which mentors the youth of Skid Row to become more than a product of their environment and ‘Ladies Night,’ a program that has reached over 800 women, which teaches self-defense and encourages them to report acts of violence. As part of his commitment to the community and dedication to creating an environment conducive to change, Joseph recently aided in removing 80 drug dealers from the streets of Southern California. If he receives the grand prize, Joseph says, “not only would it put a smile on my face, but I would be able to show my father how he raised me has allowed me to do incredible things. This would be more for him than for me, to thank him for being my hero.” | Click here to vote Select a story below to learn more about these heroes who REIGN ON. Vote for the hero you’d like to honor with naming rights to the Brickyard 400. Voting is allowed once per day and ends June 9. American Widow Project Founder Taryn DavisDavis, 27, of San Marcos, Texas, is founder and executive director of the American Widow Project. Davis was nominated by a friend for her support and encouragement for women and men who have lost loved ones through military combat and non-combat. At the age of 21, she lost her husband of just over a year during his deployment in Iraq, leaving Davis to go on living her life without him. After months of grieving, she contacted other military widows and widowers to learn how they continued living their lives while honoring their husbands’ or wives’ legacies. This began what is now the American Widow Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2007 to provide military widows support by empowering, inspiring and assisting in rebuilding their lives in the face of tragedy through their peer-to-peer and educational programs. Since its founding, Davis and her team have supported more than 1,500 widows on their journeys to carry on the legacy of those they love and reclaim their own lives. Excited to share her first NASCAR experience in Indianapolis with the thousands of military widows across the country, Davis views this nomination as a true honor. | Click here to vote Gunnery Sergeant Samuel DeedsDeeds, 35, of Independence, Ky., is a retired Marine whose selfless actions saved the lives of many fellow Marines in Iraq. During his deployment in 2005, Deeds came across an improvised explosive device (IED) while setting up a vehicle checkpoint on Khandari Market Road near Abu Ghraib Prison. When he saw two of his fellow Marines approaching the area, Deeds exposed himself to the IED to warn them of danger. He was severely injured by the blast, undergoing 30-plus surgeries and procedures since then, and has received awards which include a Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Purple Heart, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Combat Action Ribbon and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. In 2008, Deeds’ heroic instinct again kicked in when his actions saved the lives of three individuals who were caught in a rip tide off the shore of North Carolina. Deeds has been a NASCAR fan his whole life and, when he was younger, dreamed of someday working in the sport. He enjoys sharing his passion for NASCAR with his sons, two-year-old Myles and six-year-old, Micah, who goes to every race with Deeds. He is excited to experience the race weekend in Indianapolis with his wife, April, who he calls his hero for staying by his side throughout everything, and is most looking forward to taking in the rich history of the track. Deeds’ grandfather used to tell him stories about his first race, the Indianapolis 500, so to have his name on that venue would mean the world to him. | Click here to vote Deputy Marshal Stephen BradyBrady, 48, of Pleasant Lake, Ind., has humbly served the state as an EMT, firefighter and police dispatcher and is currently a deputy marshal of the Waterloo Police Department. In December 2011, while responding to an early morning call about a couple in need of help, Brady spotted a man and woman walking and called out to them. As he was standing next to his patrol car trying to converse with the couple, the man pulled out a gun and shot Brady in the face. The bullet entered the left side of his face between his eye and ear, it and exited behind his right ear. After miraculously surviving the gunshot wound, Brady was back on the streets serving his community just 11 months later and received a Purple Heart from the Police Officers Hall of Fame. Brady says of the program, “Just to be affiliated is a prestigious honor,” and looks forward to attending his home state’s NASCAR race. | Click here to vote Vote for a deserving hero Firefighter & EMT Kenneth KurthKurth, 26, of Debary, Fla., is a firefighter and paramedic for the Kissimmee Fire Department. An avid NASCAR fan, Kurth works as an EMT for every race held at Daytona International Speedway and was one of the first medical responders to report to the scene of the crash that took place at the end of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Race on February 23, 2013. After crawling through the wrecked fence, Kurth began initiating patient care by identifying those who were injured in the grandstands, assessing their needs and helping to transport them to nearby medical facilities. During his childhood, Kurth visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum with his grandfather, who he considers his hero and looks forward to returning to the famed track in his honor. | Click here to vote
Later this month, the Boston-based jamtronica band Wobblesauce will be joined by a series of very special guest drummers! After releasing two new singles earlier this year, “Highway Hypnosis” and “Grawlix”, the band kicks off the release of the next two tracks off their upcoming “Obstacle Illusions: Part 1” EP with a hometown throw-down and very special “Wobble Wednesday” event at Brighton Music Hall on July 20th.For that July 20th show, as well as at F.A.R.M Fest in New Jersey on July 23rd, Mike Greenfield (drummer for such notable bands as Lotus, Electron, and Conspirator) will be playing with Wobblesauce – which oddly enough will make bassist Jake Boynton the only performer on stage not named Mike!For the other shows on the run, Dan Lyons of Horizon Wireless will be joining the band on stage on Thursday, July 21st in New Haven, CT at Pacific Standard Tavern, and Scotty Zwang of Dopapod will be joining them on July 24th in Brooklyn, NY at The Knitting Factory.Don’t miss out! More information can be found on the poster below.
Read Full Story A year after Christopher Columbus Langdell assumed the deanship of Harvard Law School in 1870 with the promise of making the school competitive and meritocratic, the first woman applied for admission.Helen Sawyer, a 27-year-old New Hampshire resident, wrote: “I trust that under the present liberal tone of Harvard, my sex will post no misfortune for me.” The Harvard Corporation debated her request over two meetings, but ultimately rejected her. For 80 years the Law School continued to bar women applicants, until, in 1950, 13 women were granted admission to Harvard Law School.In September, Harvard Law School hosted more than 600 alumnae back to campus, including several members of the pioneer class of 1953, as part of “Celebration 60,” a reunion event to mark the 60th anniversary of the first women graduates of Harvard Law School.The three-day event, which was held Sept. 27 to 29, celebrated what Dean Martha Minow described as “the smashing of the Harvard Law School tradition of exclusion.” The event was part of a worldwide women’s leadership summit of Harvard Law School alumnae, titled “Leaders for Change—Women Transforming our Communities and the World.”Read more on the Harvard Law School website.
A battle of the bagels commenced on Jan. 22 when popular chain Einstein Bros. opened a location on South Bend Avenue, just a few doors down from local establishment Studebagels. Merry Smith, owner of Studebagels, said business has held steady since Einstein Bros. opened. “It’s only been a month or so, but we really haven’t seen a difference yet,” she said. “We looked at last year’s numbers from the same time and we’re about identical.” Smith said this is not the first challenge Studebagels has experienced in 18 years of business. She said the company continues to focus on producing the best product. “There actually have been a couple of different bagel shops around, and a lot of places offer bagels, but nothing has opened this close,” Smith said. “We just roll with what we know. We try to do the best we can.” Smith said rather than view Einstein Bros. as detrimental to Studebagels’ business, she sees a chance to improve her restaurant. “I think it will make us even better. Competition is always good,” she said. “We may have to step up our game a little bit, and do some different things.” Business has started strong for Einstein Bros., owner Michael Newton said. “[Business has been] good, very good,” he said. “We have been fortunate so far. … [Notre Dame students] are a big part of our business. We look for everyone in the community, including Notre Dame students and local college students.” Einstein Bros has offered coupons on campus in addition to giving away free breakfast sandwiches for a year to their first 100 customers, Newton said. He said these promotions have helped draw students to the restaurant. “The redemption rate has been quite impressive,” Newton said. “It definitely has been nice to see the kids come in and use those coupons. I think they have been quite happy so far.” College students will remain a big part of business once the coupons expire, Newton said. He said drawing in customers initially was important to introducing the Einstein Bros. experience. “I think this was a great way to introduce ourselves to the community and say, ‘Hey, we’re in town. Why don’t you come in and let us take care of you,’” Newton said. “Hopefully they like the product and they’ll come in again, with or without a coupon.” Smith said she estimates 30 percent of Studebagels customers are Notre Dame students. In addition to a 10 percent student discount, she said the warm atmosphere of Studebagels draws the college crowd. “Some of the kids who come by at night to see the bagels made, I have become sort of their mother. I think we offer them more than just food. We bake them with love,” Smith said. “It’s not like some place else. There is only one of us.” Smith said she appreciates the interaction the Studebagels staff has with students. “We like to have them come in because we learn from them everyday,” she said. Newton said one of Einstein Bros. strongest facets is the level of commitment he and his wife Melissa, co-owner and operator, bring to the business. “I think the [goal] of every restaurant is to execute well. Not everyone does that, but we have consistent, excellent service,” he said. “We do it with a personal touch. My wife and I are in the store pretty much from open to close.” Health-conscious food is also part of Einstein Bros. appeal to college students, Newton said. “When you come into Einstein Bros., you’ll see we’re more health-oriented. We use fresh products and we bake everything on site,” he said. “We have a lot of good stuff.” Studebagels focuses on providing fresh food, with homemade bagels, cream cheese, and original recipes, Smith said. She said Studebagels is able to offer a wider variety of specialty items than Einstein Bros. “We offer a lot of things they cannot do because they are a chain,” Smith said. “We make heart bagels on Valentines Day, different colored bagels for different sporting events and different schools, some things that are just unique.” Senior Sarah Weiler, a regular Studebagels customer, said it is important to support local businesses. “As long as we have local businesses, why not support them, especially because they were here first,” she said. “It’s not the most important thing students can do, but it is probably for the better.” Senior Jessica Spiewak, who received a ticket booklet for 52 free breakfast sandwiches as one of Einstein Bros. first 100 customers, said she remains a loyal Studebagels customer. “It’s definitely a temporary thing,” she said. “I never spend any money when I go to Einstein Bros., and as soon as I run out of these coupons I will start going back to Studebagels again.” The friendly atmosphere of Studebagels is what draws college students, Weiler said. “It’s more like a coffee shop where you can sit with friends. I wouldn’t think of a chain restaurant in that way as much,” she said. “I go to Studebagels because it is fun to go and chat about the weekend and what everyone is up to.” Spiewak said as a local business, Studebagels is unparalleled in the attention to detail they bring to their food, such as the variety of bagels and rotating coffee flavors. “I think it is all the extra little touches that local businesses can add to things, unlike corporate chain-type of atmosphere,” she said. Despite what Studebagels offers, Spiewak said Einstein Bros. poses a difficult challenge for the locally owned business. “I’m kind of worried about them actually. Einstein Bros. has been pretty crowded,” she said. Spiewak said since Einstein Bros. offers free wireless Internet, many students see the restaurant as a place to enjoy a meal while working on schoolwork. “I have noticed from going to Einstein Bros. that people have been doing their homework there,” she said. “They have been hanging out, eating snacks with their computers out. I don’t feel like they do that at Studebagels.” Weiler said she is confident Studebagels’ long-standing reputation will allow its business to remain strong. “The novelty of Einstein Bros. might attract students,” she said. “Studebagels has been so popular with students for so long that they will keep going.”
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:An electricity-supply crisis is looming in South Africa that could make intermittent outages in the past few months seem trivial by comparison.Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which supplies almost all the nation’s power, will lose more than one-quarter of its current generating capacity over the next decade as it shuts aging coal-fired plants. Replacing that output and adding capacity needed to meet rising demand will take years and cost more than 1 trillion rand ($71 billion), according to government estimates. The problem is likely to worsen exponentially after 2030 as more plants reach retirement age.While Eskom is building two new plants, Medupi and Kusile, they are running years behind schedule and billions of rand over budget, and won’t be enough to plug the supply gap. The utility has limited scope to invest in more projects because it isn’t making enough money to cover its operating costs and service its debt, which had ballooned to 419 billion rand at the end of its last financial year.The government has said it will look to private investors to help fund new plants and step up purchases of renewable energy from independent producers, which have added 3,876 megawatts of capacity to the national grid since 2011. However, those plans are being implemented too slowly and on an insufficient scale, according to Jesse Burton, a researcher at the University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Center.“There’s this inaction by the state,” Burton said by phone. “We should be procuring immediately.”Eskom has said its immediate focus will be to keep blackouts to a minimum by addressing maintenance backlogs, securing enough diesel to run turbines used at times of peak-power demand and fixing defects at its new units.More: Power shortages in South Africa could get a whole lot worse South Africa’s power woes likely to get even worse in the years ahead
Australia’s Northern Territory backs big battery, residential storage rebates in renewables push FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The Northern Territory government has announced plans to spend $30 million on a big battery for the Darwin-Katherine grid, a move it says will pay for itself within five years because of reduced gas costs and help expand solar power and meet the 50 per cent renewables [target] by 2030.The announcement over the weekend follows an intense debate in NT energy circles over the past year about the need for a big battery in the main Darwin grid, which was supported by the government-appointed task force and Territory Generation, and frustration over the slow response by the government to those calls.That was finally endorsed by chief minister Michael Gunter and renewables and energy minister Dale Wakefield on Saturday, who said a big battery would likely generate savings of around $6.4 million because it would mean less gas is burned as it would remove the need for much of the territory’s “spinning reserve.”That would deliver a pay-back of less than five years, around the same pay-back time that Alinta has achieved with its big battery at Mt. Newman, which has also delivered significant savings from the reduction of spinning reserve (gas generators that run in the case that other gas generators may trip), and increased reliability.The NT government says it has not yet decided on the exact size of the battery, as this will be subject to future study. T-Gen had recommended a size of around 35MW with some 35 minutes of storage – similar to Alinta’s highly successful Mt. Newman battery in the Pilbara.The announcement came as the government also announced a $6,000 grant for households and businesses to install a battery of at least 7kWh in size to help smooth the output of rooftop solar and provide grid security. It is also changing its one-for-one feed-in tariff to help pay for this.[Giles Parkinson]More: NT plans big battery in Darwin to cut gas costs and accelerate solar
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Federal and state officials have yet to find a compromise to allow New Yorkers back into federal trusted travelers programs even as a Department of Homeland Security official said Thursday that the governor’s latest offer looks “promising.” Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said his agency is in talks with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office on his proposal to allow federal immigration and border officials to access state Department of Motor Vehicles data without social security numbers. New York argues Department of Homeland Security’s move is meant to punish the state for enacting a law that lets immigrants in the country illegally get driver’s licenses and bars federal immigration agents from state motor vehicle records.
GUEST BLOG: “Addiction Was Not My Choice, But It Became My Journey” Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all the support that was extended to my family from our community after the loss of Lisa. To know that Governor Wolf is bringing the deadly epidemic of opioid abuse to the forefront in Pennsylvania makes me hopeful that many other families and individuals will soon be saved from the tragedy of addiction. May 13, 2016 By: Joette Dudeck, Advocate Substance Use Disorder, The Blog Addiction was not my choice, but it became my journey. My daughter, Lisa, died of a heroin overdose on May 14, 2015. She was 31 years old.I became an advocate for my daughter and pledge to continue to be an advocate for those who suffer with addiction. When I learned that Governor Wolf had declared the fight against opioid abuse a top priority for his administration, I felt encouraged to reach out and share Lisa’s story.Lisa became addicted to painkillers after they were prescribed to her as a result of a 2014 car accident. Her addiction then turned from painkillers to heroin. After six months of heroin use, Lisa made the decision to check into a 30 day inpatient detox and rehabilitation program. While my daughter made the decision on her own, not everyone has that strength or option. I applaud Governor Wolf’s initiative to move forward with what is known as “warm handoffs.” Warm Handoff policies allow healthcare professionals to transfer individuals who have been in a physician’s care for opioid abuse to specialized drug and alcohol treatment facilities to continue their recovery.Once Lisa completed her program, it was recommended that she enter a recovery home. These residences are for individuals who are looking to live in a sober environment after leaving rehab. The facilities that were recommended for Lisa were independent from the court system, all-female, and, to reside there, the women were required to sign a contract stating that they must be employed, must pay rent, and must stay drug free. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
A KPMG survey has found that unhedged defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors in the UK are at risk of major losses from a future market shock.The key findings of the survey are that gross assets and liabilities at a historic high, leaving deficits highly geared, and that any future market turmoil could leave plan sponsors without hedging strategies in place nursing significant losses losses.The survey also points to a substantial herd effect in the selection of key assumptions.The report’s author, Narayan Peralta, a director at KPMG, told IPE: “KPMG has been analysing this market for 10 years now, and each year’s survey brings something different. “But rather than significant trend changes in the assumptions themselves, this year we have seen the influence of IAS19R’s new disclosure requirements, which has led to a tighter pack of assumptions.”He added that increasing pension liability to market cap ratios had heightened interest among corporates about the impact of pensions on their accounts.The KPMG survey looks at trends in accounting assumptions across 295 KPMG clients with UK DB obligations.The report takes in companies reporting under IFRS, UK GAAP and US GAAP at the 31 December 2013 year-end. The sample also reflects practice among major players in the UK actuarial consulting market.According to the report: “Many UK companies will have seen balance sheets improve over 2013 as strong asset growth offset slightly tighter real discount rate assumptions.“Despite these improvements, balance sheets remain significantly exposed to pension risk, highlighted by the volatility seen across the year. Therefore, adopting the right risk-mitigation strategies, on both asset and liability sides, is key.“The choice of assumptions remains as important as ever and influences not simply the company balance sheet but also pension strategy such as the impact of implementing benefit changes or member options.”KPMG also warned that pension liabilities in the UK remain highly geared, with recent windfall equity returns masking the risk of heavy losses for unhedged liabilities in the event of a market shock.“Real discount rates, based on the difference between AA corporate bond yields and assumed RPI inflation, reached a new low over 2013, hitting as low as 0.5% in April 2013 and finishing the year at closer to 1.1%. The corresponding rate just before the financial crisis was 3.3%.”One the asset side, stellar returns from equities – UK equities pulled in gains of 20% during 2013 while globally returns hit 25% – have counterbalanced the negative outlook on the liability side.KPMG said: “Since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, a typical pension fund portfolio invested in a combination of equities (UK and overseas) and bonds (both government and corporate bonds) is likely to have returned closer to 45% including reinvestment of dividends and coupons.”It also warned that changes to UK GAAP in 2015 – largely aligning it with IAS19R – could see “some companies facing issues around distributable reserves or dividend payments”.UK pension liabilities have increased by 65% on an IFRS basis since the financial crisis hit in 2008. Change to IAS19R (2011)For companies reporting under IAS19, the 2013 year-end marks the first full year of reporting under the new standard.KPMG found that most of these companies “will have seen a jump up in P&L charges for 2013 due to the new requirements”.Under changes to IAS19 unveiled in 2011, DB plan sponsors must disaggregate or split pension costs on the face of the income statement into service cost, net interest on the net DB liability or asset and remeasurements of the net DB liability or asset.The changes also removed the corridor option, the opportunity to report in net income a credit for an expected return on plan assets and the ability to present pension items in a separate statement of recognised income and expense (SORIE).They also mean that companies must now disclose more information about the risk and uncertainty caused by pensions on the sponsor, together with more detailed sensitivity requirements about the key assumptions. Assumptions As for the application of the big-three reporting assumptions under the new standard, KPMG found that “the market is more closely packed around the median than it was in our survey last year”.In particular:61% of sponsors used a discount rate within 15 basis points of the 2012 median, with the figure climbing to 81% this year75% of companies used an inflation assumption that falls within 15bps of the median in 2013 rather than 65% in 201280% of companies used a longevity assumption within a three-year range, marking an increase of 4%KPMG said: “Part of this apparent trend may be linked to the increased size of pension liabilities versus market capitalisations, and therefore increased scrutiny from auditors, shareholders and analysts on the disclosures.”
The scheme’s 19% equity allocation, including share options, generated 2.8%, leading to a year-to-date result of 11.8%, according to the pension fund.It said that equity emerging markets produced the best results, chiefly thanks to its currency component.“The euro depreciated compared to almost all other currencies, in particular the US dollar, resulting in negative results of the currency hedge,” it explained.The Pensioenfonds PostNL further said that the Japanese equity markets performed relatively well, while European equity fell short of expectations.The pension fund further reported a 0.7% yield of its 7.1% property portfolio. However, it incurred a 13% loss on its 3.1% commodities holdings.In other news, the €2.9bn scheme of technical research institute TNO announced a quarterly result of 4.6%, leading to a year-to-date return of almost 14%.It said during the first nine months, all asset classes generated positive results. However, during the most recent quarter it lost more than 1.4 percentage points due to the complete hedging of the currency risk on its liquid investments in US dollars, British pound and Japanese yen.In contrast, declining swap rates during the first three quarters resulted in a positive contribution of more than 3.8 percentage points to its year-to-date result, it added.The TNO scheme said that its fixed income holdings returned 4.4% during the third quarter. It said that following “undiminished strong demand” for secure German government bonds, ten-year interest rates had dropped to 0.75% mid-October, compared with 1.93% at year-end.The pension fund further announced yields of 4.6%, 3.5% and 3.3% on its equity, property and private equity investments respectively. It closed the third quarter with a funding of 110.7%.Elsewhere, the €18bn pension fund for private road transport, Vervoer, and the €6.4bn scheme of chemicals manufacturer DSM, PDN, reported quarterly results of 5.8% and 3.2% respectively, with coverage ratios of 110.7% and 108.4% respectively at September-end.Dutch schemes have been warned to expect a decline of at least 3 percentage points in funding due to falling interest rates. The country’s largest pension funds, including ABP, PMT and PME, recently confirmed a further decline in their coverage ratios. The €6.8bn pension fund PostNL saw its funding drop 2.9 percentage points to 110.5% in the third quarter, despite a quarterly result of 3.3%, which took its year-to-date return to 12.4%.A funding drop of 6.7 percentage points directly caused by the sharp decline of interest rates – the criterion for discounting liabilities – was in part offset by the combination of a 2.2% result on the interest hedge on its liabilities and returns on investments of 1.1% during the past three months, it said.The Pensioenfonds PostNL, which reported a 1.7% result on its 65.5% fixed income portfolio, noted that returns and risk premiums of the various fixed income categories had varied strongly.“Credit performed better than German government bonds,” it said, adding that risk premiums for high yield and emerging markets debt rose during the third quarter.