Politicians need to show more character

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Stephen Anderson makes a very valid argument in his May 10 letter. As Mr. Anderson describes it, the NRA’s “no-holds-barred shutdown of any thoughtful gun regulation” may backfire on civilian gun owners by failing to seek compromise on sensible gun-control measures. I agree with his conclusion and see it as a very plausible outcome.A key contributor to the NRA’s bold position is the malleable character of our elected officials.The NRA, Planned Parenthood, the National Education Association and other large lobbying groups are emboldened by the behavior of elected officials that adopt these lobbyist’s extreme positions. Compromise and sensible legislation take a back seat to filling re-election campaign coffers. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuscenter_img Most people I speak with agree that there are areas to close gaps in existing gun regulations and also agree that abortion is a painful tragedy and not healthcare.Most people I speak with agree that rules around teacher tenure hamper a school administrator’s ability to remove poorly performing teachers, leaving students to suffer the consequences. While the average citizen can see common sense solutions, our elected officials are unwilling to reach across the aisle for fear of losing lobbyist dollars and ultimately their re-election.Until voters have the courage to elect candidates that are both willing to seek compromise toward the common good and have the ability to resist the temptations of lobbyists money, we will fail to achieve common sense legislation.We must demand higher character and better behavior from our elected officials if we have any hope of breaking out of the malaise that we are in.John McGuinnessGlenvillelast_img read more

An investment lending squeeze hasn’t put investors off Brisbane property

first_imgBrisbane is considered a good location for property investment.PROPERTY investors are most keen to putting their money in the Brisbane market.New research which surveyed property industry professionals found that 44 per cent thought Brisbane had the best investment prospects this year.PIPA chair Ben Kingsley said there were a couple of reasons that Brisbane was considered a good place to invest.“The first one is that we know that the income to value ratio is substantially lower in Brisbane and southeast Queensland than what it is in both the Sydney and Melbourne market at the moment. RBA blames high property prices on states and councils “Your dollar is going to buy you more, you are going to get more bang for your buck.’’More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor8 hours agoMr Kingsley said that coupled with the good yields that were being achieved in Brisbane compared with Sydney and Melbourne made it an appealing prospect.“It is going to steer investors up into that area,’’ he said.He said historically Brisbane and southeast Queensland “arrived to the party a little later’’ than other capital cities, so as things were slowing down in other capitals they weren’t necessarily in Brisbane.He said Brisbane was also considered a good lifestyle area to live, with affordable properties and shorter commutes.The survey found despite uncertainties such as tightening of lending policies, taxation changes and potential interest rate increases, the industry was optimistic about how the market would perform this year.Mr Kingsley said it was encouraging to see property professionals so confidentabout the outlook for their businesses and the sector more broadly.He said the biggest concern for the industry at the moment was the tightening of investor lending followed by rising interest rates.last_img read more

This week’s top five Gold Coast sales surge past $14 million

first_img20 Norseman Court, Paradise Waters sold for $2.2 million. 171 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters sold for $4.6 million in the biggest sale on the Coast this week.THE top five property sales on the Gold Coast this week all fetched more than $2 million each.CoreLogic data reveals a luxury mansion in Broadbeach Waters was the highest sale on the Coast after it sold for $4.6 million.The triple block at 171 Monaco St has 90m water frontage.Bali huts, palm trees, wat­erfalls and a tropical garden give the resort-style look, while the expansive water frontage offers a view of the Surfers Paradise skyline. 171 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters was the biggest sale on the Gold Coast this week.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North10 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoAmong its luxuries are floor-to-ceiling windows, orn­ate ceiling details and marble and granite floors. Isaac and Maria Genc of Genc & Co Bundall negotiated the sale.Two Sovereign Islands mansions came in second and third spots while a skyhome in Coolangatta rounded out the top four. 902/192 Marine Parade, Coolangatta sold for $2.38 million.The Coolangatta apartment at 902/192 Marine Pde changed hands for $2.38 million through Armstrong Real Estate principal John Rankin.A Paradise Waters mansion at 20 Norseman Court, Surfers Paradise came in fifth spot with a sale price of $2.2 million.Joseph Douglas realty agents Elie Fakhri and Paula Fakhri negotiated the sale. 17 King James Court, Sovereign Islands sold for $2.4 million.Professionals Vertullo Real Estate agents negotiated the sales of the Sovereign properties at 18 Brittanic Cres ($2.8 million) and 17 King James Court (2.4 million).The Brittanic Cres property is now on the rental market for $1800 per week.last_img read more

Danish roundup: ATP, PensionDanmark

first_imgDanish statutory pensions institution ATP is increasing its key pension – the ATP Lifelong Pension – by 1.5% from the beginning of next year, reflecting good investment results.However, it said returns on its bonus reserves had not been high enough to warrant distributing a general bonus to all pension scheme members.The 1.5% increase, for pensioners only, matches the uprating given this year and that of the year before. ATP’s chief executive Carsten Stendevad said: “Based on many years of good investment results, ATP can now increase the guarantees for pensioners for the third year in a row.” He said this meant the pension fund had given pensioners a rise of 4.5% since 2013.Explaining its bonus policy, ATP said it was able to increase pensions for all members, both current and future pensioners, when its free reserves amounted to at least 20% of provisions for the pensions it promised.If those reserves were between 15% and 20% of that amount, then pensions could be increased by 1.5% just for members above pensionable age.At the end of the third quarter of this year, free reserves were 16.4% of provisions.It said bonus distribution depended particularly on the development of longevity and the financial markets, as well as how well ATP invests.Meanwhile, labour-market pension scheme PensionDanmark said it was buying a retail property in the North-Zealand town of Lyngby, incorporating around 16,000sqm of space.The property – currently leased to the firm Johannes Fog and housing its DIY and home furnishings shop Fog Bolig & Designhuset – consists of 8,807sqm of retail space and 7,400sqm of parking including 265 spaces.PensionDanmark did not disclose the value of the deal.Johannes Fog said it was selling the property to focus on core activities.It said it was making a big financial profit from the sale, which gave it room to develop its main activities further.Torben Möger Pedersen, chief executive at PensionDanmark, said: “With its location in the centre of Lyngby, the property and the carpark are very attractive.”At the same time, the pension fund will have a good and stable tenant in Fog, he said.The pension fund, which managed DKK171bn (€22.9bn) in assets overall at the end of 2014, said it now had a real estate portfolio of DKK15bn divided among commercial, residential, retail and public/private partnership projects.last_img read more

UK regulator seeks to stem flow of exits from DB schemes

first_img“Deciding whether to transfer out of a DB scheme is one of the most complex financial decisions a consumer may have to make and it is vital customers get high quality advice. Our ambition is for pension transfer advice to reach the same standard as that of the rest of the financial advice market.” “The sooner that action is taken against those who are not doing a proper job, the more confidence consumers can have when they seek transfer advice”Sir Steve Webb, Royal LondonSir Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London and the UK pensions minister when so-called ‘pension freedoms’ were introduced, said: “Good advisers are rigorously screening out people who should not transfer and make clear the advantages of staying in a DB scheme. But some are relying on unregulated introducers to drum up business and seem to be leaning much too far towards recommending transfers.“The sooner that action is taken against those who are not doing a proper job, the more confidence consumers can have when they seek transfer advice.”Bob Scott, senior partner at LCP, added that greater flexibility regarding access to DB savings could help reduce the number of inappropriate transfers, but acknowledged that “there are no signs the government intends to act on this”.“As long as DB flexibilities aren’t directly available, trustees and employers might consider whether to offer partial transfers,” he said. “Such arrangements can enable members to access some of their DB pension flexibly while not giving up all of the security that a DB pension brings.”Ford’s UK pension scheme announced plans to introduce partial transfers last year.LCP’s Scott added that employers and pension scheme trustees “should consider whether to appoint a dedicated IFA to their scheme and offer paid-for or subsidised advice to members on certain occasions that would help members understand all their options better, and would guard against people taking inappropriate decisions on the basis of bad advice”.The FCA’s DB transfer advice survey in numbers2,426 Advice firms polled by the FCA that worked on DB transfer cases234,951 Scheme members who received advice162,047 Scheme members who were recommended to transfer out of their DB scheme£82.8bn Total value of DB pensions on which transfer advice was given£352,303 Average value of DB pot per member Megan Butler, FCAMore than 1,400 advice companies – out of 3,015 surveyed by the regulator – recommended a transfer out of a DB scheme for more than 75% of their clients. However, when the FCA factored in advisers’ “triage” processes, the figure fell to 55%.While the FCA acknowledged that the data did not reflect the “suitability” of advice, it gave the regulator “the information it needs to focus its supervision work to drive up the quality of advice”.The regulator said it would write to “all firms where the potential for harm has been identified in the data the firm has supplied”.Transfers from DB schemes to defined contribution (DC) arrangements have increased in recent years following a 2015 rule change that opened up greater flexibilities for DC savers at retirement.center_img The UK’s financial regulator has issued a damning report on advice relating to transfers out of defined benefit (DB) schemes, declaring that “too much advice… is still not of an acceptable standard”.The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been conducting an in-depth review of the UK’s financial advice market for several years, redoubling its efforts since the restructuring of the British Steel Pension Scheme highlighted the vulnerability of DB pension savers to inappropriate or fraudulent advice.It reviewed cases for 235,000 DB members who received advice about moving their pensions out of DB schemes and into other arrangements. Of those, 69% were recommended a transfer, despite the FCA and the Pensions Regulator repeatedly warning that doing so was rarely in scheme members’ best interests.Announcing the findings today, Megan Butler, executive director of supervision, wholesale and specialists at the FCA, said: “We have said repeatedly that, when advising on DB transfers, advisers should start from the position that a transfer is not suitable. It is deeply concerning and disappointing to see that transfers are still being recommended at the levels we have seen.last_img read more

Cardinal Speedway opens this weekend with inaugural Black Gold Showdown

first_imgEUNICE, N.M. – The first annual Black Gold Showdown brings four IMCA divisions to Cardinal Speedway for season-opening Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 shows. IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds vie for $600 to win on Friday and $700 to win on Saturday. Top prize for Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMods and IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars is $500 each night. IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks vie for $300 top prizes.A $500 bonus will be paid to the driver with the top two-day point total in each division. Also at stake both nights are IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Regional, Allstar Performance State and local track points. Hard chargers earn $50 in all main events. Tow money is $25 for all drivers making the trip to Eunice from at least 70 miles away and finishing in a $25 paying position. There is no entry fee. A one-time $25 registration fee will be good for the entire 2015 season. Pit gates and the grandstand open at 5 p.m. both days. Hot laps are at 7:15 p.m. and racing starts at 8 p.m.Grandstand admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, and free for kids five and under. Car and driver is $40. Pit passes are $24. Pit gates open at 5 p.m. for an open practice session on Thursday, March 12. Hot laps start that evening at 7 p.m. Pit passes are $20 and grandstand admission is free. More information is available by calling promoters Chris Meyers at 806 392-3902 or Toby Herring at 575 441-1941, and at the www.cardinalspeedway.com website. The Black Gold Showdown will be broadcast on XSAN.last_img read more

Mayor makes proclamation for Prostate Awareness Month

first_imgBatesville, IN—FROM THE OFFICE OF THE MAYORExecutive OrderPROCLAMATIONTo All To Whom These Presents May Come, Greetings: WHEREAS, Prostate cancer is the number one cancer among men, and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men in the United States; andWHEREAS, Approximately 180,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and over 26,000 will die from it; andWHEREAS, Prostate cancer not only affects men but also affects their family and friends; andWHEREAS, Prostate cancer is usually treatable if detected early; andWHEREAS, Early-stage prostate cancer usually has no symptoms; andWHEREAS, Education regarding prostate cancer and early detection strategies is critical to saving lives and preserving and protecting our families and friends; andWHEREAS, all men are at risk for prostate cancer, I encourage the citizens of Batesville to increase the importance of prostate screenings.NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Bettice, do hereby proclaim September 2019 as:PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTHin the City of Batesville and urge all citizens along with all agencies and organizations to duly note this occasion.IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the City of Batesville, on this 9th day of September.last_img read more

Lloyd Davidson, age 88 of Brookville

first_imgLloyd B. Davidson, of Brookville, was born on April 3, 1932 in Owsley County, Kentucky, a son to Elisha and Oda McDaniel Davidson. He served his country in the United States Army and later married Zola F. Reese on May 24, 1952 in Connersville. Lloyd worked for 43 years at Philco Ford and was a member of Pipe Creek Freewill Baptist Church. He loved gardening, bird-watching, fishing and playing bluegrass music. On Monday, August 10, 2020 at the age of 88, Lloyd passed away at Our Hospice of South Central Indiana in Columbus.Survivors include; one daughter, Jane (James) Henson of Brookville, and one son, Steve (Levan) Davidson of Dillsboro; 4 grandchildren, Marky Browning, Cathi (Tom) McNees, Themmy Nguyen, and Michelle Davidson; 3 great-grandchildren, Shawn and Tori Browning and Stephen Davidson; 8 step great-grandchildren; one great, great-grandchild, and one brother, Logan (Phyllis) Davidson of Brookville. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife; siblings, Jay, Elmer, and Harley as well as an infant sister, Ruth.Friends may visit with the family on Friday, August 14, 2020 from 11 a.m. until time of service at 1 p.m. at Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery.Due to the COVID-19 precautions and state mandates, all attending will be asked to follow proper social distancing protocol, including wearing a mask. If you are not feeling well, or if you have compromised immune system, you are encouraged to stay home.Memorial contributions can be directed to the family. To sign the online guestbook or to leave a personal memory please visit www.cookrosenberger.com. The staff of Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home is honored to care for the family of Lloyd Davidson.last_img read more

Benteke out for up to six weeks

first_img Benteke suffered the problem at Norwich on Saturday but, speaking after Tuesday night’s 4-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Tottenham, Lambert acknowledged the damage was not as extensive as he originally thought. “It is not as bad as we feared it was going to be,” said Lambert. “Maybe four, five, six weeks or so.” Lambert confirmed Benteke would not be fit for his country’s World Cup qualifiers next month. Indeed, if the player is out for a full six weeks, he will not be available until the beginning of November. “The medical people give you the best and worst-case scenario,” added Lambert. “You are never quite sure until you hear from the professor. “Thankfully it is not too serious. “It has got a lot better and he is feeling a lot better, and the international break certainly helps us.” Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has confirmed Christian Benteke will be out for up to six weeks with a hip injury.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Title hopes not over – Moyes

first_imgDavid Moyes rejected Jose Mourinho’s claim that Manchester United’s title hopes are effectively over despite Sunday’s damaging defeat at Stamford Bridge. Press Association United are 14 points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal after a 3-1 defeat to Mourinho’s title hopefuls. Phil Jones backed off Samuel Eto’o, allowing the Cameroon international to score a deflected opener, and the striker took advantage of shoddy marking from two set-pieces to complete his hat-trick on what was a sorry afternoon for the Red Devils. United never looked like mounting a comeback from 3-0 down like they did here two years ago and Javier Hernandez’s 78th-minute goal was a consolation they barely deserved. Mourinho said after the game that United’s rivals would have to suffer dramatic collapses for Moyes’ team to reclaim the title, but the Scot disagrees. “We won’t throw the towel in until we can’t get there,” the United manager said. “The job is to try and finish first. I will keep trying to do that. “Before today we’d lost one in six in the league, and I didn’t think there was a big difference between the teams, not at all. “The difference was our defending to set-pieces. Nothing else.” Moyes always knew succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson, who enjoyed 26 years of success at Old Trafford, would not be easy. But he conceded the performances of his team have not been up to scratch so far. United looked ordinary at times on Sunday. Mourinho’s men were more compact, they looked far more incisive on the attack and unlike United, their defensive stability never seemed in doubt. The table does not look pretty for Moyes. United sit in seventh, just one point ahead of Newcastle. They are six points adrift of the top four and that margin will increase by one more point if Everton beat West Brom on Monday. One reporter put it to Moyes that his team were in crisis. Again, the Scot disagreed: “That’s your opinion. Crisis is your word, not my word.” Moyes admitted he knew he was embarking on a “massive challenge” when he took the giant step up from Everton to United last summer. Some United fans wanted the man who was in the home dugout to succeed Ferguson due to his experience on the biggest stage. But Moyes still feels he is the man to turn things around. When asked how his confidence was holding up following the latest defeat to a rival, Moyes said: “Fine. It’s a difficult task, but (it’s about) perseverance and keeping doing what’s right. “I thought we did a lot of good things. We have players to come back, and this is a project I know that I’m going to improve as it goes along. “I was hoping to win more and be competing a bit more than we’ve been, but that’ll come.” Just as was the case in the 4-1 Manchester derby defeat in September, United’s marking – particularly at set-pieces – was poor. A weak clearance allowed Ramires to work the ball to Gary Cahill and he picked out the unmarked Eto’o for Chelsea’s second. Cahill was allowed a free header in the run up to the third goal, which Eto’o poked home after escaping the clutches of Antonio Valencia, who man handled the striker on the line before allowing him to spin and finish. “The game came down to two set-pieces and we didn’t defend them well. That was probably the difference,” Moyes added. “While we were 1-0 down we still had a chance. We were still in it but we gave away a free-kick that led to a corner kick and we were terrible at defending the corner kick. “We headed it out, we got rid of it and we didn’t defend it well enough in the second phase and we found ourselves 2-0 down at half-time.” Moyes’ afternoon went from bad to worse towards the end of the match when Nemanja Vidic was sent off for a bad challenge on Eden Hazard. Rafael was guilty of an even worse two-footed challenge on Cahill moments later, although the full-back connected with the ball rather than the player. Luckily for the Brazilian, and Moyes, referee Phil Dowd gave the right-back only a yellow card. “I thought Vidic wasn’t a sending-off, but I’ve seen Rafa’s and I think that could have been a sending off,” Moyes said. The only crumb of comfort for Moyes was that Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney are set to return to training next week. “I hope so,” Moyes said when asked if they would return to the fold on Monday. last_img read more