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  • DMV Road Tests Back On Following COVID-19 Shutdown

    first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) WNY News Now Image.JAMESTOWN – Those looking to get their drivers licenses in New York State will now be able to schedule road tests following the COVID-19 shutdown.Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore in a news release on Tuesday said starting today road tests are being scheduled in the county for CDL, class D and class M licenses.Barmore says the state is first giving preference to those who had a scheduled appointment canceled because of COVID-19.“Albany is contacting those persons at this time,” said Barmore. “The best way to schedule an appointment at this time is online at Once on the website click on Licenses, Permits and IDs. On the drop down box click on Learner’s Permits or CDL and scroll down until you see ‘Schedule a road test.’” The Clerk says on the day of the test residents must arrive with only their driver and no extra passengers.They are also required to wear a mask and be prepared to wipe down the passenger seat with disinfectant for the test monitor.On Monday, the county’s DMVs reopened to some in person services.last_img read more

  • DEC Asking Hunters To Report Deer Sickened With EHD

    first_imgPixabay Stock Image.ALBANY – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is asking hunters to report deer who they think are infected by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease.According to the DEC, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is a viral disease of whitetail deer. It cannot be contracted by humans and cannot be spread from deer to other animals.The disease has been confirmed in portions of the state, with so far around 750 reports of dead deer due to this disease.The DEC says, although the current outbreak seems to be concentrated in the lower Hudson Valley, it may have spread elsewhere. They say the disease is carried by small biting bugs. Symptoms in deer include fever, hemorrhage in muscles or organs and swelling of the head, neck, tongue and lips.A deer that is infected may also look lame or dehydrated. Once infected with the disease, deer usually die within 36 hours. They’re often found near a water source.The DEC advises hunters to not handle or eat any deer that appears sick or acts strangely. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

  • Tix Now Available to See Blythe Danner & More in The Country House on B’way

    first_img Opening night is set for October 2 at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. View Comments Inspired by Chekhov’s pastoral comedies, The Country House follows Anna Patterson (Danner), the matriarch of a brood of famous and longing-to-be-famous artists who have gathered at their Berkshires summerhouse during the Williamstown Theatre Festival. When the weekend takes an unexpected turn, the group is forced to improvise—inciting a series of jealousies, romantic outbursts and passionate soul-searching. The play received its world premiere at Geffen Playhouse in June. Related Shows You’re invited to join Tony winner Blythe Danner, Daniel Sunjata, Kate Jennings Grant, Eric Lange, David Rasche and Sarah Steele at Donald Margulies’ The Country House. Tickets are now on sale to see the Broadway production, directed by Daniel Sullivan, which will begin performances on September 9. The Country House Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 23, 2014last_img read more

  • Independence panel explores the JNC process

    first_img Independence panel explores the JNC process Gary Blankenship Senior Editor The Judicial Independence Committee heard a range of sometimes contradictory testimony about the operation of Florida’s 26 judicial nominating commissions when it took comments during the Bar’s Annual Meeting.Panel members also discussed the committee’s broader charge of protecting the independence of the judiciary and the challenges it will face.“This issue will never go away; it comes up at different times in our history,” said committee Chair Jesse Diner. “There is always a tension among the three branches of government.”Most of the meeting was devoted to hearing from witnesses, mostly past members of JNCs, but also some lawyers and judges who had applied for judicial appointments. Those testifying generally agreed that there was no pervasive political pressure in the system either before or after the 2000 legislature changed the process for appointing JNC members.But they did agree that it was known that Gov. Jeb Bush’s office preferred JNCs to send at least six candidates for each vacancy, even if that meant some candidates were not the “best of the best.” The state constitution requires the JNCs submit between three and six names for each vacancy.Prior to 2000, the Bar appointed three JNC members; the governor chose three; and those six picked three nonlawyer members. In 2000, the legislature gave the governor all nine appointments, although four seats are picked from slates submitted by the Bar.Some committee members and witnesses said that change creates the perception, if not the reality, that political connections are important, if not paramount, in appointments.The first two speakers set the tone for the day. Eleventh Circuit Judge Scott Silverman said he had been through the JNC process both under the old and new systems. The only problem, he said, was when a commissioner during his first interview — under the old system — asked what he considered an inappropriate question.“I think JNC members are like a jury. When you pick a jury, you wonder how they are going to do their job. But when they go back and deliberate, they do their job,” Silverman said. “It’s like anything else. The vast majority of people in this system really care about this system.”Jacksonville attorney Buddy Schultz said he served on the Fourth Circuit JNC and covered the old and new methods. He said he liked the old procedure in which the Bar and gubernatorial appointees picked three public members, saying that added diversity.He also agreed most JNC members past and present are dedicated. But he added, “It was clear to me in the last year of my term that one of the members appointed by the governor’s office had an agenda.”That member asked what Schultz considered to be inappropriate questions of three candidates that appeared designed to attack their credibility and appropriateness for judicial office. Schultz said he later called all three candidates and apologized.Schultz said he also knew of an apparent attempt by the governor’s office to influence a JNC nomination for a favored candidate for a district court of appeal vacancy. He said although he was not involved with the First DCA JNC’s operations, he did get a call from the governor’s office about the candidate.“It became clear to me that his appointment was attempted to be orchestrated,” Schultz said. And after the candidate was not nominated by the JNC following some tough questioning, “It was clear to me there was also an orchestrated attempt to not only discredit the process, but the people involved in the process.”And so it went as the committee heard from several commentators, including:• Joseph “Scooter” Kinman, a former member and chair of the 13th JNC, whose service bridged the old and new JNC systems. He said the old system was susceptible to pressures from local sources, including a former chief judge, while the new system resulted in improper questions being asked.“What’s your religion? Do you go to church? What religious things are important to you? How do you feel about the death penalty?” Kinman recalled the questions. “Not, ‘would you follow the law, whatever the law is,’ but ‘what are your personal feelings on the death penalty?’”He also said one gubernatorial appointee continually mentioned the governor’s name, told other commissioners he had just had dinner with the governor, and sprinkled JNC discussions with claims of what the governor wanted.“I don’t know if this person was just name-dropping or the person really had such conversations with the governor, but the impression I had as the chair was that it was an attempt to exert influence that was not proper,” he said.Kinman also gave what became the catchphrase for the meeting, when he said, “As chair, it was my opinion that we were looking not for good qualified nominees, but that we were looking for the best of the best.”He also said that while the Bush administration was always pushing for six nominees for each vacancy, he found it rare that more than three or four were the “best of the best.”• Carol McGuire, former member and chair of the Second DCA JNC, said she was appointed by Gov. Bush right after the new system was instituted. During her term, she said the majority of that JNC probably went from being Democrats to Republicans, but she saw no change in the quality of its work.“I felt everyone did a good job on what our obligations are. . . to bring to the governor the most qualified candidates,” McGuire said. “They all had a belief in judicial independence and, number two, to send the best of the best.”She conceded, though, the JNC felt it had to send six names for each vacancy, which included more than just the “best of the best.”• Jacksonville attorney A. Wellington Barlow, who has both been interviewed in the JNC process and served on the Fourth Circuit JNC from 1991-95, said he saw problems with the old JNC system. He said it could be manipulated by raising a last-minute claim against an applicant during JNC deliberations, when the applicant had no chance to respond.He also said the process should not be used to end elections for judges, and said judicial canons appear more lenient on what judges seeking a merit retention vote can do than those running in contested elections.“Realistically, merit selection is often filled with hidden agendas, sandbagging, and introduction of derogatory information when the applicant cannot respond,” Barlow said. “It’s very, very important that the citizens maintain some degree of influence in these people [judges] who control our lives.”• Ray Abadin, a member of the Third DCA JNC, said he was proud of the way that commission recently tackled the filling of three vacancies at once, culling through a list of more than 60 applicants, conducting about three dozen interviews, and nominating 18 candidates to the governor.He noted that there was one candidate who was touted to be the governor’s choice for one of the vacancies, and that candidate wasn’t even invited for an interview. The only politics in the process, he added, were local people who wrote or called with derogatory information about individual candidates — information the panel had no trouble checking as part of its review.“Everyone who left our interview process thought they were going to be picked because it was so pleasant,” Abadin said.The only pressure was to pick 18 candidates and not fewer. In response to a question, Abadin said the JNC decided to submit the 18 finalists as a group, rather than try to set slates of six for each vacancy.“We just thought it was too cumbersome for us, and we decided to do 18 and let the governor figure it out,” he said.• West Palm Beach attorney Sherry Hyman went through the JNC process in 2001 and 2002 when she applied for county judge vacancies. Although the interview process was good, she said the overall result seemed to hinge on partisan politics.“I do feel going through the JNC, especially now where you have more and more people selected because they belong to a particular political party, is political,” she said.Allowing the governor to name all of the JNC members is “definitely a chilling effect,” Hyman added, saying she’s not willing to apply again, even though she was nominated but not appointed on her second attempt.Among other judicial independence issues discussed, the committee heard from Rick Levinstein, president of the Martin County Bar. Levinstein said he is working to share a Martin County bar program of reaching out to the public to explain the importance of judicial independence, including showing jury pools a videotape of local judges talking about that issue.“We don’t see this as a political issue,” Levinstein said. “This is a government issue, not a political issue. I think these attacks are an attack on the great foundation of this country. . . and if we don’t respond to them, we harm the soul of the system.”Diner, the committee’s chair, said the Bar is having increasing difficulty in finding people to apply for the JNC seats in which the Bar nominates a slate from which the governor makes the final appointment. He said some candidates have been repeatedly nominated, but not appointed, and now believe it is for political reasons.Diner said from letters the committee has received there is at least a perception of less fairness in the judicial selection process because the governor selects all JNC members, instead of having the membership split among gubernatorial, Bar, and public members.Immediate past Bar President Kelly Overstreet Johnson, who created the committee and is serving on it, agreed, saying, “People are not willing to put themselves out to have their names go up for the JNCs. People can say, ‘Look, here’s what happened for the last three or four years.’”Members also discussed their concerns about attacks on the judiciary, adding that is part of their task.“I’m glad that our mission is not just the judicial nominating process; I’m glad it’s broad. I’m glad that it incorporates that our judiciary has been attacked unfairly,” said committee member Jay Cohen.Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Pariente, in a brief appearance, encouraged the committee to seek out coalitions with other groups. She noted that in the recent court funding debates at the legislature, the business community provided strong support for the courts. Likewise, she said, businesses realize the need for accessible, fair, and independent courts in which to resolve their disputes. Independence panel explores the JNC process August 1, 2005 Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

  • Credit unions asked to help protect seniors from financial exploitation

    first_imgFinancial exploitation costs America’s seniors billions of dollars per year, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wants banks and credit unions to play a bigger role in detecting and responding to it.The agency today issued an advisory for financial institutions that is supposed to help them be more proactive in protecting older consumers from the most common form of elder abuse.“This action gives financial institutions best practices and tools to protect older consumers from financial abuse,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “When seniors fall prey to a scam by a stranger or to theft by a family member, they may be too embarrassed or too frail to report it. Banks and credit unions are uniquely positioned to look out for older Americans and take action to protect them.”Seniors are common targets of financial abuse, often by family members. They tend to have significant assets and often have a regular source of income such as Social Security. They may also be vulnerable becauase of cognitive decline, physical disability, and isolation. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

  • Former credit union VP sentenced for $3 million embezzlement

    first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » A Kentucky federal judge sentenced former credit union executive Josephine M. Crowe Monday to 11 years in prison for stealing more than $3 million from the Louisville Metro Police Officer’s Credit Union that led to its liquidation.U.S. District Court Judge Joseph McKinley also ordered Crowe to pay restitution of $3,049,025. Reportedly, however, the NCUA wrote off 247 member accounts for a total loss of $3.8 million.The 46-year-old former vice president and loan officer pleaded guilty in July to one felony count of financial institution fraud and one felony count of aggravated identity theft.Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Zimdahl noted in a sentencing memo to the court that the staggering loss of the credit union failed to capture the full impact of the emotional distress and hardship that Crowe’s crime caused to members and the local community.last_img read more

  • FairBnB is being launched, a “fairer” alternative to Airbnb

    first_img“The other difference is that 50 percent of the commission will be used to fund community projects.” FairBnB prices will be similar to Airbnb, but commissions will be lower and the structure different. Only 50 percent of the commissions will go to the management of the platform. Over time, FairBnB will probably reach the Croatian market and it will be very interesting to see how it will affect the image of tourism in private accommodation and whether it will create healthy competition for the titanic Airbnb. The first difference FairBnB makes is transparency and legality. “We want to work with governments. That is why we are very strict with the rule “one host – one home”. We also want to pay taxes at the local level and be completely transparent, “Veracruz said. But perhaps the biggest difference is in the cooperation. “The platform is owned by a group of people participating in the project, the salaries in the cooperative are limited and everything is very transparent,” explains Veracruz. “Over time, the plan is to expand the cooperative and thus give investors and renters the opportunity to participate in the business of the platform.” Airbnb was launched almost 11 years ago and during that period has established itself as one of the leading services for renting private accommodation. In terms of entrepreneurship and innovation, Airbnb is an exceptional company. The idea of ​​the service is very simple – to provide tourists with a very fast, efficient and intuitive way of renting accommodation. The company is worth over $ 2 billion today and the service is available in almost every country in the world, reports The Next Web. But Airbnb’s huge popularity brings a number of problems. Many cities cite Airbnb as an important factor in rising rents, lack of accommodation, gentrification and similar disruptive effects on tourism. For these reasons, Sito Veracruz and his partners decided to launch a “fairer” and better alternative – FairBnB. “I was very optimistic about Airbnb at first because I saw the tourism potential of such platforms for smaller communities,” explains Veracruz. “But what I did not anticipate is the extent to which such platforms will be based on profit. “When you realize that 20 percent of service users make 80 percent of the profits, you know something is wrong.” Veracruz is very optimistic and predicts a bigger expansion of FairBnB within two years, with the help of communities. “Our development strategy is based on local communities – in business, marketing and everything else.”last_img read more

  • Unigestion targets Canadian institutional investors with new office

    first_imgUnigestion has opened a new office in Toronto to increase its institutional business in Canada.The Swiss asset manager already has two institutional mandates in the country – the pension plan of the Desjardins group, which awarded a mandate in 2012, and an unnamed institutional client that mandated Unigestion in 2013.For both institutions, Unigestion is running global equity mandates with a combined value of CAD500m (€330m).Through its new office in Toronto, it will also be offering its other products, including “risk-managed equities, private assets, alternative investments and cross asset solutions”, a spokesman confirmed to IPE. Heather Cooke has been named director institutional clients for the new office.She joins from Mercer Canada, where, since 2010, she was partner and leader of Implemented Consulting and Dynamic De-Risking.The Swiss asset manager said its services were “ideally suited” to the institutional investor segment in Canada, where pension funds, endowments and foundations are keen to diversify their manager pool and are open to new solutions.Unigestion said the Canadian pension fund market had been growing every year for the last 10 years, and that the company aimed to “go where the clients are”.“The opening of the Toronto office is a major development in the expansion of Unigestion’s footprint beyond its traditional European markets,” the Swiss asset manager said.In total, Unigestion has €10.9bn in assets under management, with more than half in segregated mandates.last_img read more

  • Dutch pension funds’ ‘search for yield’ cancels out cost-cutting efforts

    first_imgDutch pension funds managed to cut asset management costs in 2014 by 0.3 percentage points to approximately 0.60% of total assets, according to survey by LCP Netherlands in co-operation with the Dutch Pensions Federation.LCP, which looked at the annual reports of more than 240 schemes, found that actual asset management costs fell from 0.54% to 0.52% over the same period, while transaction costs dropped from 0.09% to 0.08%.Jeroen Koopmans, a partner at LCP, said cost-cutting had been “limited” and questioned why pension funds, particularly the larger ones, had failed to exploit the benefits of scale, as combined assets under management increased by €115bn last year.In recent years, many Dutch pension funds have striven to cut costs by streamlining their investment processes,  increasing their focus on passive management or abandoning relatively expensive assets classes such as hedge funds. Anne Laning, chair of the Dutch Pensions Federation’s reporting committee, attributed the slowdown in cost-cutting to pension funds’ ongoing “search for yield”.“Pension funds have increased their investments in asset classes such as infrastructure, mortgages, credit, direct loans and emerging market equities, which require more work and are therefore more expensive,” he said.Laning, who is also CFO at TKP Investments, said the trend towards sustainable investment could also increase costs.“If an asset manager must attend all shareholder meetings to monitor sustainability, costs are inevitable,” he added.According to the survey, pensions administration costs remained at €122 per participant on average. The researchers said that, for the third consecutive year, they could not find a correlation between costs and total returns. Koopmans suggested that additional cost benefits could be achieved through intensified negotiations – possibly through co-operation with other pension funds – as well as scrutinising contracts.last_img read more

  • Gold Coast property with wicked theme-park backyard sells in million-dollar deal

    first_img The property at 6-8 Parma Court, Mount Nathan, featured a theme-park style backyard. It sold for $1.18 million.LJ Hooker Nerang agent Julie Morgan-Kemp, who marketed the property at 6-8 Parma Court, said the buyers, a father with his three young boys and parents, were looking to take advantage of the dual living opportunity the home offered. The property also allowed the family to work from home and look after the children. MORE NEWS: Coast property prices tipped to soar A Gold Coast house with a wicked backyard has sold in a million-dollar deal.AN interstate family have scored the keys to a Gold Coast property that is home to what could be Australia’s coolest backyard. The theme park-style backyard features a skate park, basketball ring, tree fort, carousel swing, giant dinosaur and pool. The Mount Nathan home was one wicked offering and changed hands in a $1.18 million deal. RELATED: Wicked backyard wows with custom theme park An interstate family scored the keys. The dinosaur was an added bonus.“With the property the parents can help look after the children and all the family can meet together at Christmas time and the kids will have such a good time enjoying the property,” Ms Morgan-Kemp said. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago“They are so excited. It turned out to be the perfect buyers for the perfect property.“It will be a lovely thing to see the kids there enjoying it.” The main house was one of two residences on the 1.1ha site. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:20Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:20 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen6 Australian wow homes that have just sold01:20 The 1.1ha property featured two residences — the main home and a guesthouse — as well as an office and shed with two shipping containers, one of which is storage, the other a man cave. The professionally designed and built skate park with a viewing deck, shade sails, flood lighting and basketball ring was a highlight of the property. The sellers, who created the family-friendly haven, sold the home to travel around Australia for the next three to five years with their three children. MORE NEWS: Mansion listed with eye-watering pricelast_img read more