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Neighbors concerned about noise from Powell River pub

Votes in favor of permanently reducing parking at Wildwood Public House to provide outdoor space were unanimous

Councilors for the Town of Powell River have approved a development permit to facilitate the permanent expansion of a licensed outdoor patio at Wildwood Public House.

At the March 17 council meeting, councilors voted to amend the city’s zoning bylaw to reduce the required number of off-street parking spaces from 22 to 15 to facilitate the patio expansion.

According to a staff report, the pub has been granted a temporary extended service area during the COVID-19 pandemic to expand the patio by an additional 30 seats. The pub has applied for a permanent structural change to the liquor license for the expanded patio space and is pursuing a relaxation of off-street parking requirements to facilitate the expansion, the staff report says.

At the meeting, Glen Hudson, who lives close to the pub, expressed concerns about its operation.

“We’ve been dealing with issues at the pub for 15 or 20 years,” Hudson said. “Noise levels have increased. I sent a letter to the board the other day. I had to call the RCMP quite often to come in at different times of the night to sort out the problem.

Hudson said he went to the Town Hall bylaws control office about the noise bylaws and asked them to tell the pub owners that there was a noise bylaw for amplified music.

“Well, they start their bands at 8 p.m. and they sometimes go on until 2 a.m.,” Hudson said.

He said the patio had big speakers and he was directly affected.

“The sound is coming right across the street, and it’s boom, boom, boom,” Hudson said. “At night, if there is a group, my wife and I put on earplugs. We are over 70 years old. I don’t think it’s a good idea to go to sleep with earplugs on because if there’s a problem you just don’t hear it.

Hudson said her driveway was blocked by pub patrons. He put on cones but they were removed, he added. There were also men and women who urinated in her yard, according to Hudson.

By-law covers noise, councilor says

Councilor Rob Southcott said the noise is definitely covered by a municipal by-law and it is true that it takes at least two complainants to get action on it.

“I would be surprised if you couldn’t find someone else to complain if that was the case,” Southcott said.

Hudson said his neighbor also complained.

Southcott said council was considering the permanent patio expansion, not noise concerns.

“The license has already been granted but it has nothing to do directly with the noise,” Southcott said. “It’s about reducing the number of parking spaces. Perhaps your concerns need to be reconsidered. I suggest that you return to the staff here to address your concerns that you are sharing with us tonight.

Councilor Maggie Hathaway said pub operators had been told the patio would be open no later than 10 p.m.

“I’m sure we could have a word with them through regulations regarding outside speakers and noise levels, and that they have to be inside by 10 p.m.,” Hathaway said. . “They are committed to this and I hope they stick to their commitment.”

Councilor George Doubt said his understanding of the recommendation presented to council is that it makes permanent the temporary arrangement that was put in place during COVID-19. He said the app does not reduce the number of parking spaces from what exists today, nor does it extend the patio to a larger area than before.

“It just makes it permanent,” Doubt said. “All neighbors within the prescribed distance have been notified by mail. I think that’s reasonable.

Doubt said he was prepared to support the recommendation. He said the noise by-law can be enforced at the pub if it is in violation, but he believes the changes to the patio will not be harmful and the pub is a valuable asset to have in the neighbourhood.

Council voted unanimously to permanently reduce parking to make way for the patio.

The board also voted in favor of a recommendation to approve the Wildwood Pub’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulatory Branch structural change application to make the temporarily expanded service area an expanded licensed terrace in permanently with an increase in capacity from 15 to 45 people. The city also chose not to provide comment.

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Car parking rate

Go green: plant a tree in your garden – it could help save the planet

Plant a tree to help the environment (photo: adobe.com)

Angela Terry, green activist and consumer expert, separates climate change fact from fiction and explains how you can take simple, practical steps to help save the planet. Follow @ouronehome and visit https://onehome.org.uk/ for more advice.

Q: Is planting more trees the answer to global warming?

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A: As a complex problem, the climate crisis will require many solutions.

Although there is no silver bullet, it is widely accepted that stopping the burning of fossil fuels is the number one priority.

However, it is essential to plant many more trees.

Plant a tree to help the environment (photo: adobe.com)

Carbon storage

Trees have many benefits. They produce fuel, fiber and food.

They also provide rich habitats and increasingly shade our towns and villages.

Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas causing global overheating and trees are the best way to capture it from the atmosphere. As they grow, they absorb CO2 and release the oxygen we need to breathe.

The world’s forests are a huge store of carbon.

Scientists estimate they hold 861 gigatonnes, equivalent to a century of global fossil fuel emissions at the current rate.

New trees

In this context, planting trees is obviously fantastic.

If you have space in your garden, please plant one, but away from buildings.

Be sure to choose the right species for your locality. Ask an arborist or look online in Forest Research’s

Handbook of Urban Trees – which also highlights threats from pests, diseases and climate change. As temperatures rise, many traditional British species may no longer be suitable.

For those without outdoor space, you can contribute to tree planting through charities such as The National Trust, The National Forest or Just One Tree.

As the great rainforests are vital in the fight against climate change, you could donate to the Rainforest Alliance. You can also use the Ecosia search engine, which plants trees with its profits.

Ancient forests

While new trees are wonderful, it’s even more important to protect existing forests. New trees will take years to grow and capture carbon.

The older the trees, the more valuable they are to the environment. Indeed, The Woodland Trust describes ancient forests as “carbon-consuming machines”.

In the UK, for example, old-growth forests make up only 25% of our remaining forests, but hold 37% of all the carbon stored in trees.

Centuries of undisturbed soil and accumulated decaying wood have not only made them powerful carbon sinks, but also unique habitats for creatures found nowhere else. They need to be protected. It would take centuries to recreate them and we don’t have time for that.

Deforestation

When trees are felled and burned, their stored carbon is released into the atmosphere. This is why deforestation is the second driver of climate change after fossil fuels.

Unfortunately, it has doubled in the past two decades, mainly due to industrial agriculture, such as cattle farming.

celebrity place

A growing number of celebrities are getting involved in the fight for the planet – especially with the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicating that things are much worse than we thought.

Actress Emma Thompson has been a climate activist for years.

Emma Thompson, climate activist (Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

In 2009, she and two Greenpeace supporters bought land to deter construction of Heathrow’s third runway. In 2014, she traveled to the Arctic to highlight the dangers of oil drilling.

She also joined the Extinction Rebellion protests.

green exchange

If you eat takeout a lot, keep portable cutlery in your bag to avoid using plastic cutlery.

A spoon is particularly useful because it can be used for everything from soups to salads.

Try carrying a spoon to use for takeout that you can use again and again (Photo: Nomad Soul adobe.com)

Store cutlery in a case or simply in a reused plastic bag.

Why should you consider buying an electric bike

Riding an electric bike (photo: adobe.com)

Electric bikes – or e-bikes as they are commonly known – are much more environmentally friendly than cars or even public transport.

They do not release harmful exhaust emissions that lead to global warming and air pollution.

Increasingly popular, they are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money while improving your health.

If you live in town or city, they are an extremely convenient alternative to your car for commuting to work or running errands (especially if you invest in panniers to carry your luggage).

Cycling resurgence

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen people flock to bike shops and get on two wheels.

Cycling has seen a resurgence – which is great news, as transport accounts for 27% of the UK’s carbon emissions.

But what do you do when you want to travel further than you can on a standard bike or you’d rather not show up to the office with a burning mess?

How do they work?

They are simply regular bicycles with the addition of an electric motor and battery.

The battery can be charged from a standard outlet.

The stored energy helps power the pedals, which eases the effort required.

That being said, you can choose the level of assistance you want at any time by changing the power mode.

You can save all your charges for the hills!

An electric bike will give you between 25 and 100 miles of assisted travel from a single charge.

Remember, it will still perform like a regular bike if you run out of power.

Savings

E-bikes cost between £500 and £3000, but you’ll soon start saving money on the ride.

As gasoline prices reach record highs, they will reduce – if not eradicate – your fuel costs.

You won’t have to pay any parking fees either.

Health

Although some people might consider them cheating, e-bikes still offer a convenient way to exercise while on the go.

Indeed, a study published in ‘The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity’ showed that they are a better workout than walking.

Remember that you are responsible for when the assist kicks in.

You can therefore choose to do a percentage of your trip without assistance.

Plus, they make cycling much more accessible to beginners or those with mobility or health issues.

fact or fiction

You should never overfill your kettle.

It’s such an easy win for you, but too few of us are doing it.

Boiling excess water wastes energy and money. According to Energy Saving Trust, in the UK alone it costs £68 million a year!

For the previous article, visit:

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Parking space

Where should Oakland build 26,000 homes? you can weigh

Oakland needs to plan for 26,000 new homes over the next eight years, and city officials want your help deciding where all of that housing should go.

Nico Nagle, an East Bay organizer with the Housing Action Coalition, has his eye on the area around the Rockridge BART station. Naomi Schiff of the Oakland Heritage Alliance wants to turn the City Hall parking lot and vacant land in Temescal into housing. James Vann of the Coalition of Advocates for Lake Merritt thinks the city should convert empty downtown storefronts into homes.

They can now share their ideas using a new interactive map that allows people to mark sites they think are suitable for new residential development – ​​and also note where they don’t want to see housing built. Officials will consider this input when drafting their state-mandated plan for new housing. The result will play a big role in shaping Oakland for years to come, as the city and state grapple with an affordable housing shortage that has sent rents skyrocketing and shut out many low-income workers. income.

Residents have until March 7 to speak.

“I think it’s been a great tool,” Nagle said. The site allows the city to collect information from residents who may pass an empty parking lot or vacant building on their way to work each day that could be turned into housing, he said.

Oakland is also in the process of updating its master plan – a plan that will guide the city’s future through 2045.

In order to ensure that everyone is doing their part to produce enough housing, the state requires each city to create a “housing component” which provides for an assigned number of new housing units every eight years. Between 2015 and 2023, Oakland was to plan for 14,765 homes. This number will nearly double over the next eight years.

Cities across the region are grappling with steep increases. The nine-county Bay Area is expected to plan for 441,176 new units by 2031, up from 187,990 in the last cycle. Many local towns fought back and appealed to the ambitious new targets, including Danville, Dublin and Los Altos. Almost all of these requests have been denied.

Other cities have accepted the goals and, like Oakland, are asking residents for input on where new housing will be located. San Jose is one of many cities holding community meetings and soliciting feedback.

These meetings are only the first step in what will be a long process to satisfy the state’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (commonly referred to as RHNA) requirements. Cities are required to set aside space for new housing, update their permitting rules and re-zoning in certain areas as needed to ensure homes can be built. Then it’s up to the developers to build the housing.

The state is cracking down on the process this year after many cities failed to meet their housing needs and others openly flouted state housing mandates. Cities are urged to do more work to prove that housing can actually be built in designated areas, said Mathew Reed, policy manager at [email protected] These strict and complicated state rules can make the process more difficult.

“A lot of community processes need to be integrated into how and where cities plan for growth,” Reed said. “But there are also pretty clear rules and expectations from the state that need to shape this discussion. Sometimes it’s difficult because it becomes a kind of political discussion about certain neighborhoods.

In Oakland, Nagle wants to see the city build more housing near the Rockridge BART station. Close to public transportation, it’s the perfect place to replace one- and two-story buildings with taller, denser apartments that can accommodate more people, he said.

Several other people called a Planning Commission meeting earlier this month to decide on the new housing element. Vann suggested the city consider converting downtown storefronts that had been left vacant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Schiff agreed and also suggested the City Hall Garage and the vacant Pleasant Valley Avenue site.

“Please put accommodations there,” she said.

The housing shortage is hurting our residents, and the city’s new housing plan is one way to get closer to solving that problem, Nagle said.

“We’re doubling the number of houses,” he said, “because that’s what we need.”


Weigh in on new Oakland housing

To access Oakland’s interactive housing map and find out where new homes should go, visit oaklandca.gov/topics/general-plan-update.

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Car parking rate

Tory budget passes as leader says ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’

The budget for 2022-2023 was approved at a full council meeting that extended until 11 p.m. just after Tuesday, February 22.

It explains how WBC will continue to provide key services, such as garbage collection and accommodation, as well as how it will achieve its overall goals in “Platforms for our Places” and its recovery plan after the pandemic known as the name of “And Then”. .

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A net total of £13.7 million is required for the revenue budget.

Worthing Town Hall

In December, a budget report showed a deficit of over £1.1million.

But, since then, £1.1million in savings have been made, meaning the council will be able to balance their books.

Certain measures in the budget – and in the budgets of the years to come – will be based on an increase in the council tax of 2%.

It was due to be approved on Tuesday, but Storm Eunice saw a meeting of West Sussex County Council cancelled, meaning the hike cannot be approved until March 1.

The budget meeting was adjourned to allow for this.

“Our way of living and working has changed”

Council leader Kevin Jenkins (Con, Gaisford) said: “This time last year we were discussing our annual council budget remotely using online technology, tonight is the full lifting of restrictions Covid.

“As we all know, not everything is the same – the way we work and live has changed.

“As we approach the close of the 2021-22 financial year, we still face a number of challenges.

“But our position remains good with a current overshoot of £14,000 – remarkable in the current situation given how far we have come.

“Our planned work has continued and the vast majority of our projects are on track and many have accelerated.”

“Not out of the woods yet”

The leader was quick to add “we’re not out of the woods yet”, with the pandemic impacting the council’s revenue from fees and charges and government programs compensating for lost revenue coming to an end.

The council’s plan is to increase income in future years by investing in real estate and business services.

“The human impact of the covid pandemic is clear, no more so than in our homelessness as the number of cases continues to rise,” the leader added.

“As we all learn to live with covid, we recognize that families and businesses are facing their own cost of living pressures and in this budget we outline how we can help.”

Mr Jenkins said the council would invest in more houses to reduce the cost of emergency and temporary accommodation for the council and provide much needed accommodation.

Meanwhile, a discretionary support fund of £100,000 will provide support on top of that announced by the government to help offset the rising cost of living.

There will also be a total budget of £1.9million for health and wellbeing in recognition of the “continuing impact of the pandemic”.

Almost £300,000 will contribute to the lido’s long-term plans and improvements to Brooklands will continue, the chef said.

The council has lost £187,000 in parking revenue due to the pandemic and fees will be changed between March 28 and the end of the year to help address this and ‘to help short-term visitors and shoppers “.

Mr Jenkins said 8,502 covid grant applications were made last year and the council helped distribute £39.6 million.

The Chief reaffirmed the council’s commitment to developing Union Place and Teville Gate, which he said is driven by “the need to provide affordable housing”.

Protecting the Goring Gap and open spaces at Brooklands remains a priority.

“Value is changing, it’s changing fast, and it’s changing for the better under this conservative administration,” the leader said.

Executive Member for Resources Elizabeth Sparkes said: “Budgeting the board is difficult in normal times, but considering that the better part of the past two years has been spent responding to a global pandemic, the challenge really couldn’t have been greater.

“Despite it being an extremely difficult time, we have been able to continue to provide services to residents while continuing to invest in this council.

“The council must now be self-funding and we have continued to invest in key strategic areas such as marketing and strategic asset management.”

Labor offers alternative budget lines

The council’s Labor group proposed eight amendments to the budget, but they were rejected.

They included an additional £100,000 for the hardship fund; a £20,000 social housing review; a big listening and big cleaning initiative with an increased budget for community events to £81,500; £50,000 for community health education and equality and diversity work; and £30,000 for urban eco-design planning.

Labor leader Beccy Cooper (Lab, Navy) said: “We are confident that the May election will see a historic Labour-led council in Worthing, and that is only a few months away.

“There is tremendous enthusiasm and capacity in our communities to engage with the advice and services it provides and this has been seen at its best during the pandemic.

“But too often residents have told us how difficult it is in practice – they can’t put a bench in their local park, campaign to encourage children to walk to their local school or green their street. local main.

“Where there should be community green spaces, too often we find dirty, concrete walls.”

The opposition leader said an “inequality gap is widening at an alarming and unacceptable rate” and she called for more support for those in need.

Amendments ‘lack detail’, Lib Dems say

The Lib Dems refused to support the amendments and said they were “disappointed” that Labor had not approached them.

“Liberal Democrats, where possible, will not tolerate unnecessary new tax burdens on already beleaguered residents and we will only use our reserves for essential needs or emergencies,” said Hazel Thorpe (LDem, Tarring ).

“We have not made any amendments this year as we have already spoken with the officers and believe that the decisions should have been carefully worked out and the impacts known before submitting them to the full council.

“We have reviewed the amendments on the table – we tend to agree with the philosophy, but find them lacking in detail.”

But Ms Thorpe backed the idea of ​​more hardship funding and called on council to give residents more control.

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Car park management

Bow Valley Parkway cycling offering reduced as part of three-year pilot project

“There was a lot of support for a cycling offering and also a lot of people who wanted to see that balanced with accessibility for others,” said Daniella Rubeling, visitor experience manager for Banff National Park.

BANFF — A vehicle ban on Bow Valley Parkway that has turned the famous scenic route into a cycling mecca every spring and summer throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been reduced.

Following a public comment period that included over 2,300 submissions, Parks Canada is launching a three-year pilot project that restricts vehicles from May 1 to June 25 and September 1 to 30 only along the eastern section of 17 kilometers of promenade to allow cycling.

“There was a lot of support for a cycling offering and also a lot of people who wanted to see that balanced with accessibility for others,” said Daniella Rubeling, visitor experience manager for Banff National Park.

“This decision we have made was informed by feedback from a recent public engagement on cycling and takes into account Parks Canada’s operational requirements and park management priorities.

In 2020 and 2021, vehicle access to the eastern half of the Bow Valley Parkway was restricted, initially to meet public health requirements such as physical distancing at the busy tourist hotspot of Johnston Canyon. The car-free section has turned into a cycling mecca.

A six-mile section between Castle Mountain and Johnston Canyon opened on July 1, 2021 to provide access to the Johnston Canyon resort, canyon trail and campground, with the parkway fully reopening over the long weekend. end of September last year.

Parks Canada then sought public input on two proposed options for providing a vehicle-free cycling experience on the parkway in the future. The first option was Spring and Fall seven days a week and the second option was Spring and Fall, weekends only.

According to the options proposed by Parks Canada, a significant majority of respondents, both public and organizations, indicated a strong preference for a cycling experience seven days a week in the spring and fall.

According to feedback, many preferred more vehicle-free days to extend into summer, while for some there was a desire to have a year-round car-free ride.

“We also heard that a vehicle-free promenade would be appreciated not only by cyclists, but also by people looking for a place to walk, run, roller-skate and roller-skate,” according to a What We Heard document compiled by Parks Canada.

However, Parks Canada indicated that others have raised concerns about the negative effects of vehicle restrictions, such as equitable access for people with disabilities, lack of convenient access to day-use areas in restricted areas, especially for those carrying gear like climbing ropes, and congestion. related to parking or hijacked vehicles elsewhere.

“We have heard that the vehicle restrictions discriminate against people with reduced mobility, the elderly and people with special interests such as photographers, climbers, guides and birdwatchers,” the report said. document.

Several tourism businesses have expressed concerns about the negative impacts on their operations. For example, lack of access for scenic drive tours and transportation of guided clients to sites within the Restricted Zone.

“It was also a concern that the restriction could reduce the attractiveness of tourists to businesses in the area,” according to the What We Heard document.

Visitor experience was one of the main themes of the public consultation.

The majority of respondents indicated that the restriction of vehicles greatly contributes to their experience, noting that it is safer without a car and therefore a much more pleasant cycling experience.

“Others commented on how the car-free experience is like no other and the highlight of their visit to the park,” the document reads.

“A small group of respondents noted how scenic driving is an essential part of their visit to Banff.”

For other visitors, such as hikers and climbers, access to popular locations such as Fireside, Corey Pass and Guides Rock is reduced by the restriction.

“For these individuals, the vehicle restriction has an overall negative impact on their experience and enjoyment of Banff National Park,” the document states.

Environmental impacts were also a key consideration for many.

Parks Canada said many people believe vehicle restrictions would be better for the environment, especially wildlife. For this group, fewer vehicles would be safer for wildlife, promote better movement of wildlife, and result in less air and noise pollution.

However, others felt that a constant stream of cyclists on the promenade would disturb wildlife more than regular motor traffic.

“Concerns have been raised about the potential for close and dangerous encounters between wildlife and cyclists, posing an increased risk to the safety of humans and wildlife,” the document states.

Meanwhile, the parkway’s long-standing seasonal spring closure to protect wildlife remains in place.

The walk passes through critical montane habitat, which is considered especially important in the spring, as it provides animals with much-needed food and a place to raise their young when most of the park is still covered in snow.

Since 2014, vehicles have been prohibited on the eastern part of the parkway from March 1 to June 25 between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. in order to improve the safety of wildlife, including the wolves that regularly nest there.

“This wildlife closure affects all modes of travel, including cyclists,” Rubeling said.

“The cycling offer is really 8am until 8pm to leave that space for wildlife at a critical time of year.”

Vehicle access to Johnston Canyon and campground remains open during the pilot project and seasonal wildlife closure via Castle Junction.

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Parking facilities

Growing Demand of the Global Parking Barriers Market 2022-2029, FAAC, Nice, Came – The Grundy Register

A market study on the global parking barrier market examines the performance of the parking barrier market in 2022. It includes an in-depth analysis of the parking barrier market status and the global competitive landscape. The Global Parking Barrier Gate Market can be obtained through market details such as growth drivers, latest developments, Parking Barrier Gate Market business strategies, regional study, and future status of the market. The report also covers information, including the latest opportunities and challenges in the Parking Barrier Gate industry, as well as historical and future trends in the Parking Barrier Gate market. It focuses on the market dynamics which are constantly changing due to technological advancements and socio-economic status.

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A recent Parking Barrier Gate Market study analyzes crucial factors of the Parking Barrier Gate market based on the current industry situation, market demands, business strategies adopted by Parking Barrier Gate market players, and their scenario of growth. This report isolates the Parking Barrier market based on major players, type, application, and regions. First of all, the Parking Barrier Gate Market report will offer in-depth knowledge about the company profile, its core products and specification, revenue generated, production cost, contact person. The report covers forecast and analysis for the Parking Barrier Gate market on a global and regional level.

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In this report, the pre and post COVID impact on market growth and development is well described for better understanding of the Parking Barrier Gate market on the basis of financial and industrial analysis. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a number of markets and the global parking barrier market is no exception. However, the dominant players in the global Parking Barriers market are determined to adopt new strategies and seek new funding resources to overcome the growing hurdles for market growth.

Key Players Studied in the Parking Barrier Gate Market Report:

FAAC
Pleasant
Came
BFT
Automatic systems
Avon Barrier
TIBA parking lot
Parking facilities
ELKA
Houston system
Pitts border
BOXX car park
AS
Jishun
Hong Men
keytop
FUJICA
Wejoin
ETCP
ANJUBAO
REFORMER
Bluecard
GENVIVT
Smart Door

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Types of Products uploaded in the Parking Barrier Gate Market are:

Right
Crank

The main applications of this report are:

Residential
Commercial
Industrial

Regional Coverage of Parking Barrier Gate Market is:

North American market (United States, North American countries and Mexico),
European market (Germany, Parking Barrier Gate France Market, United Kingdom, Russia and Italy),
Asia-Pacific market (China, Parking Barrier Gate Japan and Korean market, Asian country and Southeast Asia),
South America (Brazil, Argentina, Republic of Colombia, etc.), geographical area
Africa (Saudi Peninsula, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa)

Parking Barrier Gate report provides past, present and future Parking Barrier Gate industry size, trends and forecast information related to Parking Barrier revenue, growth, demand and supply scenario Gate expected. In addition, the opportunities and threats to the development of the Parking Barrier Gate market forecast period from 2022 to 2029 are also covered extensively in this research document.

Get a full report for better understanding : https://calibreresearch.com/report/global-parking-barrier-gate-market-176179

In addition, the Parking Barrier Gate report gives information on the company profile, market share and contact details, along with an analysis of the Parking Barrier Gate industry value chain, rules and methodologies of Parking Barrier Gate industry, circumstances driving market growth and the constraint blocking the growth. . The development scope of the Parking Barrier market and various business strategies are also mentioned in this report.

Parking Barrier Market, Parking Barrier Market Size, Parking Barrier Market Share, Parking Barrier Market Trend, Parking Barrier Market Forecast, Parking Barrier Market 2022

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Parking space

The Day – The building of The Day grew with the newspaper

Inch by inch, the last of the linotype machines, stripped of its small parts, rose slowly with block and hoist until it reached the fourth floor. Then it was tossed inside through a window and back up into the composing room.

With that, The Day, then in its 27th year, was ready for a milestone: the following afternoon, it would be posting for the first time from its own home. As of August 13, 1907, the house was at 47 Main St., New London, a building erected by publisher Theodore Bodenwein with an eye to the future.

This future lasted a long time, but it could not last forever. With his circumstances altered by the internet and the COVID-19 pandemic, The Day plans to leave his 115-year-old home, although he maintains his commitment to downtown New London.

But the building, much larger than at the start, has a story to tell. Its century-long metamorphosis has followed the fortunes of the newspaper, growing with it and reflecting its mission.

In the place where we cover the news, from time to time, news would reach us. The building was the target of an anarchist bomb threat. Hurricanes crippled his presses. Civil rights protesters marched past its gates.

But over the last decade of digital transformation, it gradually emptied out until there was too much space to hold onto. Now, about to go up for sale, the place is more than a building: it’s an artifact of The Day’s history.

* * *

In its first quarter century, The Day bounced around New London, occupying three sites on Bank Street and one on Main Street. Most were inadequate, but in 1893 the paper moved to a spacious new building which it shared with the Boston Furniture Co., occupying two floors and the basement.

It was The Day’s best house so far, but Bodenwein, who had bought the newspaper two years earlier, thought his business needed its own premises.

“The Bank Street surroundings including a lumber yard in the back and a furniture store beside and above us gave me shivers every time the fire alarm sounded”, he later recalled.

Adding to his concerns, the owner asked if The Day would be willing to leave if Frank Munsey, the publisher of a national magazine, decided to move his business there.

“It definitely gave me a pot,” Bodenwein wrote. “Of course, nothing ever came of it, but it gave me some restless nights.” In Munsey’s brief flirtation with New London publishing, he erected his own building, which became the Mohican Hotel.

Bodenwein began looking, and in 1904 purchased the site of a confectionery wholesaler on Main Street. Architect Dudley St. Clair Donnelly designed a “fireproof” four-story building, with arched windows and terracotta lion heads on the facade.

The first stone was laid on July 2, 1906, the day of the 25th anniversary of the first edition of the newspaper. The structure then rose between a plumbing company and a paint shop. The builders did not remove a large boulder when digging the foundation, but instead poured concrete around it. It is still there, crossing the basement like the tip of an iceberg.

The “Day Building”, whose name is carved in stone above the door, became a symbol of the newspaper’s progress, and for a time a picture of it adorned the page’s bear. editorial.

In 1911, when the newspaper launched a campaign to raise $100,000 for the Connecticut College Foundation, the building took center stage. A huge clock face, two stories high, was placed on the facade to track the progress of the campaign. In the days before the radio, crowds gathered outside during championship boxing matches to hear Associated Press updates relayed by megaphone from the third-floor newsroom.

Just seven years after moving in, the newspaper outgrew the space, which included an office rented by a dentist. The press, which printed a maximum of 16 pages, was no longer sufficient, so the company purchased a larger press to double the paper size. A new press room was the first of many expansions, a 60ft by 40ft wing facing Bradley Street, one block behind.

With the addition, on the site of a tailor’s shop, a model began. As The Day grew, his building gradually absorbed the surrounding neighborhood.

* * *

As smoke filled the first-floor business office on December 14, 1921, Bodenwein’s fear of a fire seemed to come true. But the flames were nearby and staff evacuated as firefighters put out the blaze. Bodenwein turned the close call into an opportunity and purchased the damaged building. Other purchases followed, including the BP Learned Mission house on Bradley Street, then renamed North Bank Street.

In 1927 Bodenwein decided to turn its holdings into two major expansions. First, a seven-bay traffic garage at the mission site. Then a team demolished the building where the fire had started.

This paved the way for a complex construction project: a second four-storey Day building was built next to the first, and then the two were designed into a single structure.

Architect Edward L. Scholfield designed a new facade with input from Bodenwein. Made of buff brick and limestone, it faced the two buildings and subtly followed the curve of Main Street. Above the first-floor windows, gothic letters spelled out “The New London Day”.

On May 6, 1929, The Day welcomed 1,000 visitors to the marble-lined lobby when the building opened. Linotype operators inscribed people’s names in keepsake-like slugs, Bodenwein greeted everyone in his wood-panelled second-floor office, and the press churned out copies of an eight-page “New Home” section.

“It seems,” Bodenwein reflected, “as if … we had provided space and facilities for all the growth (and) expansion likely to occur over the next quarter century.” His prediction was correct.

* * *

When Elizabeth Bodenwein Miles sank a golden shovel into the ground of North Bank Street on February 27, 1960, it had been 31 years since the last expansion, just slightly longer than her late father had expected.

“I wish he could be here now to see the beginning of a new construction that he hoped would one day be necessitated by the growth of this region and this newspaper,” said Barnard L. Colby, who will soon be appointed editor, at the inauguration of the works.

Since 1929, The Day’s circulation and staff had doubled. The planned two-story annex, which displaced H. Marcus & Co. and a few other businesses, created space for a new press, a larger typesetting room, and improved circulation facilities. The former composition room on the fourth floor has become a modern newsroom.

At the time, New London was about to launch the Winthrop Urban Renewal Project, which radically changed the city. The Day supported the effort and benefited from it. When the wrecking ball leveled nearly every building on Main Street, The Day and the New London Savings Bank were the only survivors.

The company has reached an agreement to sell the former North Bank Street police station, which it used for storage, to the city. In return, the city widened the street, where the newspaper’s loading docks were located, and provided land for further construction.

“The Day’s expansion in partnership with redevelopment has transformed North Bank Street from an area congested with shops, vacant frame buildings, bars and brothels into a cleaner but desolate service road for the newspaper “, wrote Gregory N. Stone in his book “The Day”. Paper.”

In 1968, after the city evicted the newspaper’s neighbors, the Salvation Army and Bishop Studio, The Day built an advertising wing, with a parking lot in front.

Within the white brick wall was a 400-pound stone rendering of the New London City Seal which formed part of The Day’s logo. It had been salvaged from the police station as a relic of a neighborhood that, by then, The Day had entirely survived.

* * *

In the 1980s, The Day’s fortunes soared when the full effect of Bodenwein’s will, which established trust ownership of the newspaper, took effect with the death of his last heir. With new revenue, the company added staff until each newsroom desk was shared by two people. It was again time to expand the building.

One day in 1986, employees were surprised to see a demolition notice in the front window. But the building wasn’t falling, just the traffic garage. It was replaced with a four-story addition which included a new garage, mailroom, and space for a larger press room and executive offices.

Then came a three-story, 6,000-square-foot building on Eugene O’Neill Drive to house a new press capable of printing color photos. Finally, the parking lot in front was transformed into a park named in honor of the retired Colby.

“This fine young park now bears a fine old New England name,” said publisher Reid MacCluggage at the 1992 grand opening.

That’s where things were when the internet arrived, disrupting the business models of newspapers around the world, including The Day. Broadcast and advertising revenue began to decline, and cost reductions followed. In 2011, the company turned over its printing to the Providence Journal and closed the newsroom. The newer part of the building was suddenly obsolete. Elsewhere, empty desks were increasingly common.

When the pandemic subsided, The Day became a mobile phone company overnight. For 14 months the building sat empty, and it has been only lightly occupied since.

The newspaper is now looking forward to a new chapter in a new home. It’s an unexpected turn, but one person might not have been surprised. In his will, Bodenwein anticipated this possibility, but even earlier, in 1929, it was in his mind.

Although the building then seemed poised to serve the newspaper’s needs indefinitely, Bodenwein, ever a visionary, acknowledged that sooner or later “The Day may have to move again.”

[email protected]

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Parking facilities

Parking Barrier Gate Market: 2021 Market Overview By Growth Rate: – The Oxford Spokesperson

Global Parking Barrier Gate Market: Market research is an intelligence report with meticulous efforts undertaken to study the correct and valuable information. The data that has been reviewed takes into account both existing top players and upcoming competitors. The business strategies of key players and new industries entering the market are studied in detail. A well-explained SWOT analysis, revenue share and contact information are shared in this report analysis. It also provides market information in terms of development and its capabilities.

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According to this survey, the global Parking Barriers market is expected to have reached xx Million USD in 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of xx% to xx Million USD by 2028.

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Chapter 3 Provides Market Analysis by Type and Region

Chapter 4 provides the Market Analysis by Application and Regions

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Chapter 11 analyzes the supply chain, including the introduction of the process diagram, upstream raw material and key cost analysis, downstream distributor and buyer analysis.

Chapter 12 provides the Market Forecast by Type and Application

Chapter 13 provides the market forecast by region

Chapter 14 introduces the global key players with their revenue, market share, profit margin, major product portfolio and SWOT analysis.

Conclusions of Chapter 15

Segmented by type

Right

Crank

Segmented by Application

Residential

Commercial

Industrial

Segmented by country

North America

United States

Canada

Mexico

Europe

Germany

France

UK

Italy

Russia

Spain

Asia Pacific

China

Japan

Korea

South East Asia

India

Australasia

Central and South America

Brazil

Argentina

Colombia

Middle East and Africa

Iran

Israel

Turkey

South Africa

Saudi Arabia

Main manufacturers included in this survey

TIBA parking lot

REFORMER

Parking facilities

BOXX car park

Pleasant

keytop

Jishun

Houston system

Hong Men

GENVIVT

FUJICA

Pitts border

ETCP

ELKA

Smart Door

Came

Bluecard

BFT

Avon Barrier

Automatic systems

ANJUBAO

AS

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MR Accuracy Reports’ well-researched contributions that encompass areas ranging from IT to healthcare enable our valued clients to capitalize on key growth opportunities and protect against credible threats prevailing in the market in the scenario current and those expected in the near future. Our research reports provide our clients with macro-level insights in various key regions of the world that provide them with a broader perspective to align their strategies to take advantage of lucrative growth opportunities in the market.

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Car park management

Residents block UK billionaire’s vineyard plans


Plans for Britain’s largest vineyard have been put on hold due to traffic and badger issues.

An almost three-hour planning committee meeting was held Wednesday evening at Medway Council in Kent, south-east England, to determine the fate of an English wine producer’s proposal to build what would be Britain’s largest vineyard and visitor center.

This expansive and contemporary £ 30million ($ 39.7million) project – named the Kentish Wine Vault (KWV) – would be built on Green Belt land located in a designated Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), surrounding the small village of Cuxton, on the North Downs.

Mark Dixon, billionaire owner of MDCV UK (and its sister company, Vineyard Farms Ltd) wants to build KWV on his 1,200-acre Luddesdown farm.
KWV would have a total area of ​​15,912 square meters – larger than two football fields – and would include a coffee shop, tasting room and parking. It would include an energy center to create biogas, but would not have solar panels. Elegantly designed by Lord Foster, 85% of the facility would be built underground over two floors.

MDCV UK owns the Seddlescome organic estate in Sussex, where it has put its Kingscote estate up for sale to focus its business efforts in Kent. It also owns wineries in Essex. The company, Britain’s largest winery, said it is investing a total of £ 60million in expansion plans, which will double its current wine area to 647 hectares (1,600 acres) in ‘by 2023.

Dixon, a Monaco resident, who also owns several wineries in Provence, including Chateau de Berne, now wants to make five million bottles of English wine at KWV by 2025.

Reflecting the dynamic nature of the English wine market, Dixon turned the classic and sometimes drab world of English wine upside down by focusing production primarily on organic wines of the Prosecco-style Charmat method, rather than the traditional fizz method. His decision to tap into the much larger Prosecco market – around 80 million bottles are sold annually in the UK – rather than the smaller traditional sparkling wine market, has ruffled the feathers of the English wine industry, which largely focuses on more expensive wines. Champagne-inspired wine production. After releasing its first Harlot sparkling sparkling wine this year, MDCV UK plans to release two new Prosecco-style sparkling wines in 2022.

Prior to the multi-stakeholder planning committee meeting, Medway Council planning officer Dylan Campbell recommended approval of KWV’s plans.

Wine vs local government

In contrast, in November of this year, a Gravesham Council planning officer withdrew an application for a winery and visitor center offered by Meophams Vineyard – located just 4.8 miles from Cuxton – due the design of the proposed winery, but also because of its impact on road traffic and badgers.

Campbell said in his planning report that no environmental impact assessment (EIA) would be required for KWV’s plans, which he said would “have little negative impact on the environment. environment, alone or in combination with other developments in terms of the use of natural resources, the production of waste, pollution and nuisances and risks to human health “.

In March of this year, the Evremond de Taittinger Estate in Chilham, Kent – located about 30 miles south of Cuxton – won a case in the High Court of England, which had been brought against him by a local resident on the decision of a local council to grant a building permit to Champagne. Proposal of the producer to build a cellar and a reception center, two-thirds of which will be built underground. Taittinger, aims to produce 400,000 bottles of English sparkling wine in Kent each year.

© KWV
| About 85 percent of the structure would be built underground.

The elegance of the KWV design and plans to increase biodiversity, with meadows, trees and hedges and reduce carbon emissions, ensure energy efficiency and mitigate climate change and plan services electric shuttles from four stations, has so far failed to convince residents and councilors that KWV is beneficial to the local community, many of whom believe the development is being done solely in the business interests of MDCV UK.

Gary Smith, managing director of MDCV UK, however, told Wine-Searcher that the plans would create new jobs, boost tourism, improve biodiversity and environmental management of the land, while providing broader community benefits including points. charging station for electric vehicles and a new café.

“The Kentish Wine Vault will bring a multi-million pound investment in the economy, achieve the highest sustainability standards and put Medway at the heart of the English wine market,” Smith said.

Councilors, however, fear that local roads, already congested at times, could be crowded with heavy-duty trucks, buses and cars.

Although supported by the Environment Agency and Natural England, the KWV plans are not supported by the Cuxton Parish Council or the Kent AONB. Waste of water, landscape and lighting problems and the construction of a new road are among the bones of contention.

At the Cuxton councilor meeting, Matt Fearn described KWV as “a large mixed-use commercial development masquerading as agricultural (wine production) trying to meet the exceptional criteria required for construction in a protected area”.

On Wednesday, Medway’s planning committee ultimately voted unanimously, except one abstention, to postpone the decision on its clearance rather than reject it. Many advisers were concerned about the impact of the winery visitor center, rather than the winery and wine production. Councilor Stephen Hubbard said he was against including the visitor center in the basement due to the subsequent impact of tourist trafficking.

Even if it revises its plans before the next council meeting in 2022, MDCV UK is unlikely to remove its reception center. benefited from local tourism and stays during the Covid pandemic.

In the age of climate change, convincing the local community and regional advisers of the benefits of KWV remains a challenge, but Smith is not deterred by the task. “After the postponement decision, we will now work with the Medway Council to provide detailed answers to the important questions raised by the advisers,” he said.

“A tremendous amount of work has gone into designing a world-class winery and we are confident that the members of the planning committee will be able to approve the plans in the coming months,” he said. added.

On Wednesday evening, Councilor Chris Buckwell, chairman of the Medway board meeting, raised a question about the symbolism of a punnet of grapes, which had been anonymously left on the board table. He brought a touch of humor to a serious debate considered by many to be of crucial importance to the future of the English countryside and its burgeoning wine industry.


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Parking space

With an overflowing emergency department, Yale New Haven Hospital temporarily expands to become a parking lot

In response to unprecedented patient volumes and longer length of stay, Yale New Haven Hospital is temporarily expanding its emergency room to the parking lot.

Brandon wu

23:54, 09 Dec 2021

Contributing journalist


Ryan Chiao, senior photographer

Due to unprecedented patient numbers and longer length of stay, Yale New Haven Hospital is temporarily expanding its emergency room to the hospital parking lot.

With an influx of patients who have delayed hospital care over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic – often resulting in more serious health problems when they seek treatment – YNHH is facing a health crisis. boarding school. Some patients wait in the emergency department for up to a day before a bed opens, while others arrive, receive treatment, and leave – all before entering a patient’s room. . Yet, YNHH is committed not to refuse any patient requiring medical treatment, even if space is limited. The increased demand therefore prompted YNHH executives to temporarily transform the parking lot, especially the turnaround driveway outside the main entrance to Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, into an extended care space. to patients.

“Our non-COVID-19 population has come back faster and sicker than before COVID-19,” said Michael Holmes, director of operations at Yale New Haven Hospital. “A lot of our patients have delayed care, so now that they’re back they’re sicker, have higher acuity and therefore stay longer, which creates capacity issues for us. “

The parking lot is one of five locations on the hospital campuses that is being temporarily converted into a patient care space. Other areas include outpatient clinical areas, such as indoor infusion and ambulatory areas. According to Holmes, three of the temporary York Street campus expansions and one St. Raphael campus expansion are located inside the hospital building. The parking lot is the only exterior extension of the hospital.

Holmes said the five expansions would ease overcrowding in the emergency department and allow the hospital to see and treat more patients. He explained that YNHH does not refuse any patient and will continue to provide medical treatment to patients even if space is limited. The transformation of the parking lot alone will give the hospital 35 additional bays. The hospital plans to complete the transformation of the lot by mid-January and estimates that it will be in use until June 1, 2022.

The hospital’s decision to increase emergency department capacity was also driven in part by an expected increase in COVID-19 and influenza-related cases in the coming months. According to Holmes, just like last year, the rate of viral transmission increases as the temperature drops and more people stay indoors. He also noted that the advent of the Omicron variant could also contribute to a higher number of cases this year.

Holmes said there are currently around 70 COVID-19 patients hospitalized at YNHH, which represents about 4.5% of the overall YNHH patient census. At the height of the pandemic in April, 450 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, which represented about 27% of the overall patient count. While YNHH does not currently anticipate a spike of a similar magnitude, Holmes said hospital leaders cannot be entirely sure about the future.

Vivek Parwani, medical director of the YNHH Adult Emergency Department, said the emergency department is currently overwhelmed by the number of patients it is seeing. Parwani explained that some patients wait in a hallway for more than a day to be placed in a hospital bed.

“Our emergency department is in crisis, we have 58 beds and frequently treat over 120 patients,” Parwani wrote in an email to News. “A large part of our care ends up being provided in the waiting room and in the hallways. Patients are assessed and released from the waiting room daily.

Parwani noted that the temporary expansions, which the state of Connecticut has approved for six months, will help ease the crisis. According to Parwani, the expansions represent huge multidisciplinary hospital and university efforts to decompress the emergency department.

Mary Ellen Lyon, an instructor and global health researcher who works in hospital emergency medicine, said the entire hospital system is “somewhat overwhelmed” as it is nationally. Lyon added that the current overcrowding is stressful for everyone as it impacts patient care and comfort.

Holmes said community members can help relieve hospital pressure and reduce the number of COVID-19 and flu-related hospitalizations by receiving their COVID-19 and flu shots, as well. as booster shots.

The Yale New Haven York Street Hospital campus is located at 20 York St.

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Car parking rate

Would you pay someone more to park cars or teach kindergarten?


CINCINNATI – Nadine Thompson-Triblett always knew she wanted to be a teacher.

As a student in the State of Cincinnati, she got a summer job as a preschool teacher in 1996. She fell in love with the job and has done so ever since.

“Not only am I like an English teacher, but it’s like a jack of all trades,” said Thompson-Triblett. “I am becoming a musician. I become a cook. I am becoming a scientist. I am becoming a bit like a mathematician. So it’s like all the things I always thought about as a kid, I can do it now and share this love of learning with kids.

But for most of the more than 25 years that Thompson-Triblett has taught, his salary fell far short of his passion for the profession.

“When I started in early childhood I think it was around $ 4.75 an hour,” she said. “It wasn’t until maybe 15 years that I started getting paid in double digits.”

It is finally changing for her.

Lucie May | WCPO

Nadine Thompson-Triblett

Learning Grove, where Thompson-Triblett has worked for almost 15 years, raised the minimum wage it pays to all of its teachers, created a career ladder to help teachers earn more over time, and added a benefit free childcare for the educators who work there.

“Right now, I’m proud to say that no teacher earns less than $ 13 an hour, and we’re on track to hit $ 15 an hour,” said Shannon Starkey-Taylor, CEO from Learning Grove. “Ninety percent of a child’s brain is formed by age five. We believe they are the brain architects that enable the child to be successful throughout their life.”

However, the compensation of early childhood educators has not reflected the importance of this work, said Starkey-Taylor, and Learning Grove is committed to closing that gap.

“We have a long way to go,” she said. “But we are really committed.”

Raising the wages of early childhood educators isn’t just a matter of properly paying brain architects, Starkey-Taylor said, although that would be reason enough.

The COVID 19 pandemic has also made it clear that early childhood educators are the workforce behind the workforce, she said, and working parents need child care. quality with committed and trained professionals who teach their children.

“We must tell the truth”

“It doesn’t feel good to say this, but you know we have to tell the truth,” Starkey-Taylor said. “Some (teachers) were making $ 9 and $ 10 an hour. And then the national average is $ 11.6, $ 11.62. So some weren’t even making $ 12 an hour.

Now, many teachers at Learning Grove are making well over $ 13, based on their education and experience, she said, and many have gotten big raises to get there.

She noted that about half of early childhood educators receive government grants and said teachers at Learning Grove in the past had refused increases because small increases would have resulted in the loss of government benefits worth superior.

Shannon Starkey-Taylor smiles in this portrait.  She has long, straight brown hair and wears a blue top and a silver jewelry necklace.

Courtesy of Learning Grove

Shannon Starkey-Taylor

“They also earn the same amount of money as parking lot attendants,” she said. “We appreciate the parking attendants. But, again, there is this divergence that this is a manpower issue, a brain issue. We believe it is a moral imperative.

Learning Grove is funding the increases, she said, with philanthropic support, funds from the Cincinnati Preschool Pledge and higher reimbursement rates from providers in Ohio and Kentucky for families eligible for child care. government subsidized children.

The organization has also initiated tuition fee increases for parents, Starkey-Taylor said.

“Child care has very thin margins,” she said. “It depends on a number of funding sources, and obviously we can’t pass it all on to parents. “

It’s too early to say whether the higher salary and additional perks will help reduce turnover, Starkey-Taylor said, but she’s betting it will.

The national average for industry turnover is 33%, she said, and that’s not good for child care companies or families.

“We truly believe that with the increase in wages and the increase in recognition comes with an increase in the respect and dignity they will feel,” she said. “I think we’ll have a higher retention rate just because they know it’s at the forefront of our strategic plan, and they actually see us take action and see their paychecks increase and their benefits. to augment.”

‘This is my mission, my ministry’

In addition to providing free childcare, she said, Learning Grove also has coaches to support teachers, give them advice on curriculum and other classroom issues, and help teachers with a additional perspective on how they interact with children and families.

“We need our teacher to feel really good and really engaged and not feel a little bit down,” Starkey-Taylor said. “If you don’t earn a living wage and don’t have enough support, you are probably going to look for another job. And we want to make sure they stay with us and don’t go to Target. “

Thompson-Triblett said she earns over $ 15 an hour now and is grateful to work for an organization that delivers on its commitments to its teachers.

“For me, it’s not about the money. This is a job that I really enjoy doing, ”she said. “I feel like it’s my mission, my ministry to be here for these children and families because they really need it.”

A Learning Grove early childhood educator sits with three students as they play a game.

Lucie May | WCPO

A Learning Grove early childhood educator sits with three students as they play a game.

Still, the bigger salary has been a big help for Thompson-Triblett’s own family, like covering the costs of his son’s wrestling activities in high school or providing his daughter with some extra help in college. when she needs it.

Then there are the big family goals.

“It gives us a little more freedom to think about, you know, like getting a house. We are really planning to do it now, ”she said. “We bought a car a few years ago, so we can almost have it paid off – my husband and I say, ‘Yes! “”

The higher pay came after years of friends urging her off the field for a more lucrative career – advice Thompson-Triblett said she never considered following.

“I stayed in this game because I was dedicated, because I love working with early childhood,” she said. “The salary increase at this point is just a bonus. I just praise God for this because it helps me to have a little more light in my future on what I can do with regard to my family.

Learning Grove, said Starkey-Taylor, hopes these steps will shed more light on the profession as a whole.

More information is available online about Learning Grove and its employment opportunities.

Lucy May writes about the people, places and issues that define our region – to celebrate what makes the tri-state great and highlight the issues we need to address. Poverty is an important goal for Lucy and for WCPO 9. To reach Lucy, email [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @LucyMayCincy.


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Car parking rate

Car thefts and burglaries are on the increase in San Antonio. Here is what is done about it.


Auto thefts and car break-ins are on the rise throughout San Antonio, and local law enforcement authorities are urging residents to be vigilant, especially as the holiday shopping season accelerates.

Vehicle thefts within city limits increased 17% and car break-ins increased 6% in the first 10 months of the year compared to the same period last year, according to data from the San Antonio Police Department.

While car thefts and break-ins occur throughout the city, they are more common in malls, entertainment venues and hotels near shopping malls, the data shows. The first place this year for car break-ins: The Shops at La Cantera.

“Anywhere there is a concentration of unattended vehicles, thieves will be attracted to these areas,” said Sgt. Washington Moscoso, a former auto crime detective who works at San Antonio Fear Free Environment, or SAFFE, Unit. “Theft is a crime of expediency.”

Law enforcement officials say it’s normal for crime to fluctuate from year to year, sometimes for no apparent reason. Nonetheless, many have attributed the recent increase in burglaries and car thefts to changes in shopping habits as concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic fade.

In other words: more and more people are shopping and car thieves are taking advantage.

“During the holidays it absolutely increases,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said. “I think it stands to reason that we’re going to see this crime increase, but that’s why it’s incumbent on us to work together to get organized on this.”

Salazar announced Wednesday that the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with about seven local law enforcement agencies – including SAPD – to increase patrols near shopping malls and set up operations to ‘infiltration to catch thieves.

But Salazar said it’s also incumbent on buyers to be vigilant. He encouraged buyers not to leave valuables in their vehicles – and if they do, to keep them out of sight.

“Be aware of your surroundings when you leave a store,” said Salazar. “Don’t spend too much time in your car reviewing receipts or checking the sizes of the gifts you’ve purchased. If you are sitting in a car in a parking lot, in my opinion you are a sitting duck.

“Not their first time”

Vehicle thefts are on the rise in all parts of the city, although they have been concentrated on the north, west and northwest sides, according to the data.

Vehicle burglaries, meanwhile, are on the rise in most areas of the city, the data shows. Only three areas – on the central, east and south sides – saw a decrease in car break-ins in the first 10 months of the year.

How to prevent burglaries and vehicle theft:

Close all windows and lock the doors.

Remove the keys from the vehicle.

Don’t leave valuables in the car, and if you do, keep them out of sight.

Park in well-lit areas when possible.

Be careful when heading for your car. Don’t linger too long.


Law enforcement officials have said car break-ins are more common – there have been around 13,500 citywide break-ins this year, up from 7,300 thefts – but they are more difficult to characterize. Some suspects have a history of burglary. Others don’t.

“In general, this is not their first time,” said Salazar. “We’ll find out they have a history of this sort of thing. They are creatures of habit.

Car thieves, on the other hand, tend to be linked to larger groups of criminals who exchange vehicle identification numbers and sell the vehicles to unsuspecting customers or drive the vehicles in Mexico, where they are used. by drug and human trafficking cartels. The latter is especially common with trucks and SUVs.

“If it’s a bigger truck that’s stolen, they go straight to the border,” Salazar said. “This is when we call up law enforcement partners and tell them to be on the lookout so we can put a ban in place.”

Live Oak Police Chief Dan Pue said concentrated law enforcement efforts – such as that announced by Sheriff Salazar on Wednesday – were helping deter car thefts and burglaries.

A similar initiative, called Operation Grinch, was launched in Live Oak in 2008 with the aim of deterring criminals.

Each year, cops in Live Oak, Selma and Universal City have apprehended the Grinch and thrown him behind bars to set an example for other criminals: Crime during the holiday season doesn’t pay.

They also set up patrols with uniformed and non-uniformed officers in high-traffic shopping areas, such as the Forum Mall in Selma and the IKEA in Live Oak.

“It drastically reduced the crime rate,” Pue said. “In some years we have had absolutely no car break-ins in the Forum Mall.”

[email protected]


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Parking facilities

The 2021 Holiday Logistics Guide


Halloween is in the rearview mirror and Black Friday is looming on the horizon. As such, retailers and logistics providers are preparing for the annual holiday logistics crisis. The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecast that November and December holiday sales will increase 8.5% to 10.5% from 2020 to between $ 843.4 billion and $ 859 billion. In addition, NRF estimates that online sales will increase by 11-15% to a total of between $ 218.3 billion and $ 226.2 billion in 2020. This increase in e-commerce will put additional pressure on an already existing supply chain. disturbed. Some of the biggest logistics service providers and retailers are trying to hire hundreds of thousands of workers to handle the rush of vacation logistics.

But this rush to hire new workers occurs during what is called “the Great Resignation”. The quit rate – the share of workers who voluntarily quit their jobs – hit a new high of 3% in September 2021, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. A total of 20.2 million workers left their employers from May to September. Many large retailers and logistics service providers are realizing that additional compensation or incentives are needed.

Amazon plans to hire 150,000 seasonal workers, about 50% more than last year. These workers will be used to store, package and ship items from its warehouses. Amazon said the average starting salary for jobs in the United States is $ 18 an hour. And with more competition for entry-level workers, the company is also offering signing bonuses of up to $ 3,000, depending on location, and up to an additional $ 3 per hour for workers willing to work the job. night or weekend.

Amazon also launched “Black Friday-worthy” deals in mid-October with the aim of attracting first-time holiday shoppers. The first Black Friday deals coincided with Amazon’s beauty event called “Holiday Beauty Haul.”

UPS is hiring more than 100,000 workers this holiday season, which is about the same number as last year. The company fills seasonal full-time and part-time positions, primarily parcel handlers, drivers, driver assistants and personal vehicle drivers. UPS is used to transforming seasonal jobs into permanent positions. In the past three years, about one-third of those hired by UPS for seasonal parcel handler jobs were then hired into a permanent position when the vacation ended, and about 138,000 current UPS employees, or nearly a quarter of a mile. ‘one-third of the company’s US workforce started in seasonal positions. Through the company’s Earn and Learn program, eligible seasonal employees who are students can earn up to $ 1,300 for college expenses, in addition to their hourly wages, for three months of continuous employment.

FedEx is bringing in about 90,000 seasonal workers this year, an increase of about 30% from last year. The company is also adding new hubs and sorting centers and improving parcel handling and delivery capabilities to meet demand. FedEx is committed to seven-day residential delivery to get packages where they need to be every day of the week. In addition to seasonal workers to sort and deliver packages, FedEx also hires approximately 500 people to fill computer and data science positions.

The postal service is hiring about 40,000 seasonal workers this year, up from about 35,000 workers last year. Seasonal opportunities include, but are not limited to, urban and rural letter carriers, mail handlers and drivers. In addition to hiring, the Postal Service is preparing for the higher delivery demands of the peak holiday season of 2021 by leasing millions of additional square feet of mail and parcel sorting facilities and installing new equipment. processing to accommodate higher mail and parcel volumes.

Walmart has announced that it is hiring about 150,000 new store workers in the United States, most of them permanent and full-time, in anticipation of the busy holiday season. The company also plans to provide overtime to many of its store workers during the period. Walmart will also hire 20,000 workers at its supply chain facilities in permanent positions as people increasingly embrace curbside pickup and delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, Walmart is also rolling out more fulfillment options for customers. The company is extending in-store delivery hours nationwide to two hours, providing more delivery windows to customers, increasing the variety of products available for in-store delivery, and including more locations for oversized products and l alcohol to pick up. Walmart plans to run Black Friday deals throughout November, with early access for Walmart + members.

Target said it would cut seasonal hiring and instead give more hours to its approximately 300,000 current employees at the store. The company said it would pay an additional $ 2 an hour to employees who take shifts during peak days of the holiday season. The salary supplement will go to employees of stores and service centers who work Saturdays and Sundays from November 20 to December 19, Christmas Eve or Boxing Day. Hourly supply chain workers can get the extra pay for two-week peak periods between October 10 and December 18. Target also unveiled improvements to its Drive Up curbside pickup, adding 18,000 assigned parking spaces. In addition, same day Shipt delivery will be available for a wider range of products in the Target assortment, including clothing and accessories, Ulta Beauty items, electronics, toys and now adult drinks. .

It wouldn’t be the holiday season if people weren’t worried about holiday shipping times. Here are the deadlines to keep in mind for your own logistical vacation planning. UPS, FedEx, and USPS have said you should ship Christmas gifts the week of December 13, but with the continued tightening of capacities, it might be safer to make sure you have shipped the items before the. December 10. The ground limit is December 15 for FedEx and the postal service, while UPS does not give a deadline. However, it is stated that shipping from coast to coast takes about a week, which means it must be shipped no later than December 17th. FedEx and UPS have both removed almost all of their delivery guarantees during the holiday season. The only exception is UPS Next Day Air, which is expensive.

My colleague Chris Cunnane is the primary author of this story.


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Parking space

Drivers say parking in Montreal is difficult. Experts say it should be

Standing in front of empty storefronts, Denis Coderre was clear on what to do with the bike path on rue Bellechasse.

Ensemble Montréal’s mayoral candidate has announced that he will repeal part of the path along the main artery of the Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie borough.

The reason? Bringing life back to approximately 800 parking spaces that were removed when the trail was set up by the Projet Montréal administration of Valérie Plante.

“We need fluidity, to ensure that the bikes can still pass,” he said during a campaign stop in mid-September. “We are able to live together. We are not anti-bicycle, we are pro-mobility.”

The conflict between parking and other street uses, such as bicycle paths, is not unique to rue Bellechasse.

Through the city, companies and residents say that finding on-street parking is already a challenge, and that measures like pedestrian streets and bicycle lanes only exacerbate the problem.

In Côte-Des-Neiges — Notre-Dame-De-Grâce, a bicycle path on rue Terrebonne was strongly contested by citizens who lost their parking. After weeks of back and forth, the borough has finally abrogated the project.

However, many Montrealers wish to restrict car use in the city. Nearly half of Montrealers, or 48%, are in favor of limiting one car per household, according to a recent study CROP survey.

That same poll found that 60 percent of Montrealers were in favor of drastically restricting cars that use fossil fuels from entering downtown.

Flexible poles and painted bike paths lined either side of the street, eliminating all curb parking along Terrebonne Street, until the borough finally repealed the project. (Simon Nakonechny / CBC)

How much parking is there in the city and do Montrealers really need more?

According to the city of Montreal, there are between 475,000 and 515,000 street parking spaces in all the boroughs.

Among them, only 17,367 of them are equipped with meters. Another four percent is reserved for holders of residence permits.

Experts say the way elected officials manage parking policy shapes the streets of a city and has a ripple effect on all other forms of transportation.

Maybe parking shouldn’t be easy

Experts say there is a way to make parking more convenient for drivers, while encouraging Montrealers to adopt greener modes of transportation. (Warning: it may not be popular.)

The idea is to completely eliminate free street parking.

“We call free parking a fertility drug for cars,” said Todd Litman, of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute in British Columbia, noting research showing that free parking makes people buy and drive cars.

He said there is a great “injustice” in putting car storage priority over improving roads for those who walk, cycle or use public transport.

“And then the motorist says, ‘but I need this parking space‘, but they don’t really need it,” he said. “If they really needed it, they would be happy to pay for it.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, several streets, including Mont-Royal Avenue, were transformed into pedestrianized pedestrian zones, to the detriment of on-street parking in the area. (Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press)

The price should be high enough that most people choose other forms of public transportation. In return, Litman said those who are always willing to pay would find it easier to park.

“We’re not saying there shouldn’t be parking,” Litman said. “We’re just saying that parking should be paid for directly by users rather than indirectly by taxpayer dollars.”

Kevin Manaugh, an associate professor in McGill’s geography and environment departments who studies how cities balance environmental and economic priorities, also encouraged the idea of ​​eliminating free parking.

He said the ideal would be to have one or two empty slots on each block, so there is always space available.

“I recognize that some people need to drive cars, and cars will always be part of our multimodal transportation system,” Manaugh said.

“But we all have to recognize that this is one of the most ineffective [forms of transportation] in terms of space, in terms of fuel, in terms of energy, in terms of the danger it poses to others, ”he said.

“Anything that can discourage the use of cars in urban areas should be embraced and celebrated. “

Asked that parking in Montreal is already frustrating for many, Manaugh replied that it was not exactly a flaw in the system.

“[Parking] should be difficult, ”he said. “It shouldn’t be an easy thing to use in an urban setting when there are so many other options for walking, cycling or using public transportation. “

He said suburban areas, which have fewer alternatives to the car, would need a different approach.

European cities make parking difficult

Parking is a source of heated debate and featured prominently in Montreal’s election campaign.

Despite its importance, parking is not something people really pay attention to until it affects them personally, said Natalie Gulsrud, associate professor at the University of Copenhagen who studies urban green infrastructure.

“It’s incredibly boring so most people just don’t get going and then political decisions are made and everyone is upset,” she said.

Montreal would not be the first city to reconsider on-street parking. Gulsrud said that from the 1960s until the mid-2000s, Copenhagen regularly reduced parking in the city center.

“We realized that there were too many parking spaces and that it was stifling public life,” she explained.

Today, paid street parking in downtown Copenhagen can cost between C $ 4.25 and C $ 6.50 per hour during rush hour, depending on the region.

By comparison, paid on-street parking in Ville-Marie costs $ 3.50 an hour in the city center and $ 1.50 in the eastern part of the borough.

While the city has stopped cutting parking spaces in recent years, Gulsrud said some of the city’s local politicians now want to cut up to a third of the remaining on-street parking.

Paris, for its part, is preparing to remove half of its parking in the street, up to 70,000 spaces.

Paris is proposing to eliminate around 70,000 on-street parking spaces, to make way for an expanding cycle network and other road uses. (Michelle Gagnon / CBC)

Instead, the French capital plans to work with underground car parks, to open their spaces to public use at a fixed price.

Gulsrud said this was a “pragmatic compromise” as it leaves the streets open to the public, but with that comes the high cost of building an underground car park.

But she warns cities shouldn’t reduce parking without explaining why some people choose to drive in cities.

“A lot of times once you’ve had that sunk cost of buying the car, it’s the cheapest way to get in and the most easily accessible way to get to a city,” she said. declared.

“If we start to make it more expensive or less accessible, then we need to make sure that we have affordable housing close to where people work and development focused on public transport to get them there. “

What is on offer in Montreal?

None of the main parties in the municipal elections are proposing to eliminate free parking, but the idea has already been launched by members of Projet Montreal, according to a new book.

In Save the city, Daniel Sanger, a staff member of Projet Montréal for nearly a decade, wrote that a coalition of party officials, including the former mayor of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough, Luc Ferrandez, attempted to urge the administration to take bolder measures.

The proposals included “the elimination of all free parking in central areas of the city and higher taxes on private parking”.

However, the proposals received a “cold reception” from Plante and Benoit Dorais, chairman of the city’s executive committee, according to Sanger.

Ferrandez later cited parking taxation as an issue when he publicly resigned from Projet Montreal in 2019.

The former mayor of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough, Luc Ferrandez, called for the elimination of free downtown parking before his resignation, according to a new book. (Ivanoh Demers / Radio-Canada)

In a statement to CBC News, Projet Montreal said that when parking is removed, it is often for safety reasons or to make the streets greener.

“It is really as a last resort that we remove the parking spaces and we always try to compensate for the losses elsewhere in the neighborhood,” said a party spokesperson.

As for cost, the party said it favors the San Francisco model, which is based on supply and demand. If parking is infrequent in one area, the price is lower, while high traffic areas would have a higher price.

Project did not respond to a request for comment on Sanger’s version of events.

Christine Gosselin, former Project Montreal advisor in Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie, told CBC that parts of the city are more suburban made it difficult to govern.

“It is a somewhat schizophrenic city, with a central nucleus having a type of urban organization that predates the car… whereas the suburbs and the semi-suburbs [areas] were built entirely for the car, ”said Gosselin.

“This environment produces different needs and different realities for its citizens, and it is very difficult to reconcile.”

Gulsrud said Copenhagen has the same problem of urban and suburban realities, but that hasn’t stopped the city from moving forward.

“We still have the functional green mobility city that we have,” she said. “What is to say is that these political choices that people make at the polls in Montreal, to come during your election, really matter.”

Mouvement Montreal said the city should maintain the current number of on-street parking. Its platform also offers to make parking free in town on weekends.

“It is of the utmost importance to have a smooth transition to car-free transportation, while recognizing the need for our city to remain universally accessible to all,” Movement said in a statement.

Ensemble Montréal did not respond to CBC’s request for comment on this matter.

In its platform, the party said it would “swap” bike paths and parking, make paid parking free for self-service vehicles (like Communauto) and offer reduced parking rates for those who do. carpooling or using an electric vehicle.

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Car park management

Broad Marsh car park needs £ 1.8million extra budget due to intu collapse and post-Covid usage forecast


The parking lot is scheduled to open on November 1st.

In its decision released on October 25, Nottingham City Council explains that the development of the Broadmarsh Parking Lot (BMCP) is now virtually complete and has been handed over to council.

Adding that “the works of the surrounding public domain being almost finished, we will work on a gradual opening of the installation over the coming months, with the first phase – the opening of the real car park scheduled for November 1”.

BMCP’s initial business case for developing, which was approved at the Board of Directors meeting on December 18, 2018, was based on a number of forecasts for annual revenues, expenses, and debt repayment once development has become operational.

Following a significant change in the operating environment, a review of operating costs and revenue forecasts identified a significant variance from the originally approved operating budget.

– Advertising –

The changes in income and expenses are as follows;

1. The impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and the associated collapse in intu development has led to a reduction in parking revenue forecast from £ 2.6million per year to a 10-year gradual estimate of 1, £ 4million in the first full year to £ 2.7million by the 9th year.

The new assumptions are associated with both the planned redevelopment rate and the recovery from Covid.

2. Revenues from digital screens approved by the Board of Directors in December 2018 amounted to £ 0.2million.

Due to a reduced market for this type of marketing facility, this income was removed from the model and digital displays were removed from the building design so as to retain the possibility of reintroducing them at a later date if the market for this type of advertising recover.

3. The contribution of a partial income model linked to the redevelopment of Angel Row was supposed to generate £ 0.3million.

This development has been scrapped and the building is now in the process of being divested, with £ 5.0million of capital income realized from Angel Row, mitigating this loss by reducing the associated debt within the model.

4. A review of facility management costs identified additional costs related to security and cleaning that were not previously included in the operating model.

This means that the last position in the operating budget is a £ 1.8million deficit for the five months up to March 31, 2022.

The revenue assumptions are based on the best information the board currently has in terms of behavior, requirements and demand for parking in Nottingham after Covid.

Parking Services has already implemented a major marketing program for the opening of the car park both to the public and to potential business customers.

• The new Broadmarsh car park could be ‘used in different ways’ if there are not enough people to park there

• Opening date announced for the new Nottingham Broad Marsh car park

In addition, due to the impact that opening the parking lot is likely to have, the dynamics of the city’s parking supply are expected to change significantly.

This will be closely monitored and will be part of a strategic review of park assets across the city with a view to maximizing council revenue.


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Car parking rate

Car Parking System Market Size and Forecast


New Jersey, United States, – The Car Parking System Market The report focuses on economic developments and consumer spending trends in different countries for the forecast period 2021 to 2028. The research further reveals which countries and regions will have a better reputation in the coming years. Apart from this, the study talks about the growth rate, market share as well as recent developments of the Car Parking System industry worldwide. Besides, the special mention of major market players adds importance to the overall Car Parking System market research.

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The report covers an in-depth analysis of the major market players in the market, along with their business overview, expansion plans, and strategies. The major players studied in the report include:

• IHI
• Rainbow
• TADA
• Klaus multiple parking lot
• Unitronic
• Xinhuayuan
• Westphalia
• LDIGE
• SME Demag
• Tianchen Intelligence
• a Sampu stereo garage
• Park Plus
• FATA automation
• STOPA Anlagenbau

We provide detailed product mapping and survey of various market scenarios. Our expert analysts provide in-depth analysis and breakdown of the market presence of key market leaders. We make an effort to stay up-to-date with recent developments and keep up-to-date with the latest company news related to industry players operating in the Car Parking System market. This helps us to analyze in depth the individual position of companies as well as the competitive landscape. Our Supplier Landscape Analysis offers a comprehensive study to help you set yourself apart from the competition.

Car Parking Systems Market Segmentation

By Product Type, the market is primarily split into:

• Mechanical systems
• Semi-automated systems
• Automated systems

By application, this report covers the following segments:

• Office building
• Mall
• Residential
• Other

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Scope of Car Parking Systems Market Report

ATTRIBUTES DETAILS
ESTIMATED YEAR 2021
YEAR OF REFERENCE 2020
PLANNED YEAR 2028
HISTORICAL YEAR 2019
UNITY Value (million USD / billion)
COVERED SEGMENTS Types, applications, end users, etc.
COVER OF THE REPORT Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
BY REGION North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
CUSTOMIZATION SCOPE Free customization of the report (equivalent to 4 working days for analysts) with purchase. Add or change the scope of country, region and segment.

Geographic segment covered in the report:

The Automotive Parking System report provides information about the market area, which is further further subdivided into sub-regions and countries / regions. In addition to the market share in each country and sub-region, this chapter of this report also contains information on profit opportunities. This chapter of the report mentions the market share and growth rate of each region, country and sub-region during the estimated period.

• North America (United States and Canada)
• Europe (UK, Germany, France and rest of Europe)
• Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region)
• Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and the rest of Latin America)
• Middle East and Africa (GCC and rest of Middle East and Africa)

Key questions answered in the report:

• What is the growth potential of the Car Parking System market?
• Which product segment will take the lion’s share?
• Which regional market will emerge as a pioneer in the years to come?
• Which application segment will experience strong growth?
• What growth opportunities might arise in the car parking systems industry in the years to come?
• What are the most significant challenges facing the Automotive Parking System Market in the future?
• Who are the leading companies in the Parking Systems market?
• What are the main trends that positively impact the growth of the market?
• What growth strategies are players considering to stay in the Parking Systems market?

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Car parking rate

Thrive Outside, a week late | Sports


It’s proof of the marketing prowess of the NFL and NCAA that they can get a large portion of the American public to stay indoors and watch football this time of year. That big, sparkling screen and comfy sofa can’t match the rewards of being outdoors and active when the leaves are blazing and the air crisp.

Many organizations that do not have the media influence of the NFL are trying to provide Americans with outdoor options. One is the Outdoor Foundation (www.outdoorindustry.org), which works to make the outdoors more accessible to people of all races, genders and ages in small towns, rural areas and urban centers.

The Outdoor Foundation proclaimed October 9 as “Thrive Outside Day,” and this column regrets being a week late for reporting it. But it’s never too late to thrive outdoors.

According to the Outdoor Foundation’s 2021 Outdoor Participation Trends Report, more and more Americans are finding their way outside in response to the COVID pandemic. In 2020, 53% of Americans participated in an outdoor experience at least once, the highest participation rate on record. According to the report, new outdoor participants are slightly more likely to be female, younger and more ethnically diverse than existing users. The authors of the report attribute many Americans in search of outdoor recreation to “screen fatigue,” a thirst for the authentic experience after too much dependence on devices and television.

Millions of Americans who crave the outdoors find it difficult to reach even places that offer public outdoor recreation. Herald-Standard readers do not share this obstacle. In the surrounding area, free and low-cost outdoor access for the public is diversified and abundant.

On the occasion of the belated celebration of We Thrive Outside Day, this column offers suggestions for readers who have never been outside or whose outdoor activity has fallen dormant, to get out and s ‘flourish outdoors. The simplest outdoor pursuit, requiring no special equipment, permits, permits, or learning curves, is hiking or walking if that seems less intimidating.

Below are some inviting nearby destinations for a fall stroll. The selected hikes are all ‘loop trails’, meaning they start and end at the same point, eliminating the need for a complicated shuttle, and there is no repetitive return to the car as the “Loop” forms a circle crossing new territory along the entire route.

Ohiopyle State Park, Sproul Trail System

Sproul trails actually include multiple interconnect loops, so there are options for short or long returns to the car. The slopes are moderate, often level, and much of the course traverses old fields with unobstructed views of Laurel Ridge to the east. The alleys are mostly grassy and regularly mowed. Purple flames on the trees show the way. These trails are easily accessed by following signs in State Park to the Kentuck Campground. Take Campground Road just past the campsite entrance to a small gravel parking lot where the Sproul trails begin and end.

Ohio State Park, Sugarloaf Button Loop

This loop is a bit more difficult as it circles the prominent summit of Sugarloaf Knob to the top of Laurel Ridge. To reach the trailhead, from Ohiopyle take the Ohiopyle-Confluence road to the large parking lot, on your right, just west of Laurel Ridge. It is a popular spot, with a heated cabin for skiers and a picnic lodge. The loop begins and ends at the parking lot. You are at the highest point of the trail so whether you hike the loop clockwise or counterclockwise it will be a descent on the outward journey and an uphill climb on the return. If you go counterclockwise, which for some reason seems more natural to do there, your descent will be through old receding fields and the gradually ascending return will be. through the forest. You can see Sugarloaf Knob on the eastern horizon as you cross Summit Mountain on the road. 40, heading east. It’s a satisfying feeling to see the button at this distance and know that you have hiked its volume.

Ohiopyle State Park, Mitchell Loop

The Mitchell Trail offers a pleasant hike through varied terrain on moderate inclines. The loop is just under three miles around, starting and ending at the large parking lot used by Youghiogheny paddlers and outfitters for their vehicles downstream. This loop also goes around a hill but less prominent than Pain de Sucre. Still, if you hike the loop counterclockwise, you’ll face a steep climb just before you return to the car. Walk clockwise and you will be able to do this incline using gravity. This trail passes through more ancient and attractive forest with the roar of the Youghiogheny Rapids far below. It is especially beautiful later in the fall when the beech leaves turn golden and hang longer than most other foliage. The fire markers on this trail can be confusing as some are red and some are yellow. But the path itself is unmistakable. There is only one derivative route, and it is well signposted by a wooden sign for the “Mitchell Loop”. Just stay on the obvious path and you will return to the car. To reach the parking area from Ohiopyle, head south on the Rte. 381 at the first right outside of town (Kentuck Road). Turn right and walk up the mountain to a four-lane intersection at Kentuck Church. Continue straight on Holland Hill Road and follow it to the end of the sidewalk.

Ohiopyle State Park, McCune Trail

This 3.5 mile loop at the top of Laurel Ridge is the most difficult of these hikes. As the leaves fall, however, it offers stunning views of the Youghiogheny Gorge above Ohiopyle. Purple flames mark the path, winding between rocky outcrops and ledges. The trail also passes through an old farmhouse with a 1930s large spruce plantation and spring. The trailhead and parking lot is near the Sugarloaf Knob Loop. From Ohiopyle on Confluence Road, look for the small sign for McCune Trailhead on the left. The small parking lot, with room for about half a dozen cars (if parked with courtesy and consideration for others) is a few hundred yards from the main road.

Ohiopyle State Park, Meadow Run Loop

This is a 3 mile loop with some of the most attractive scenery in the park. Much of the trail follows Meadow Run, passing the “Cascades”, more impressive in some ways than even Ohiopyle Falls on the Yough. Much of the trail is muddy or rocky, and there are a few steep climbs that come back to the car. This trail is also very popular, crowded on fall weekends. Go early in the day if you can. From Ohiopyle, head south on the road. 381 to the Dinnerbell Road intersection. Turn left onto Dinnerbell and you will see the dirt parking lot immediately on the left. The Meadow Run loop starts and ends there, marked with yellow flames.

It’s hunting season and all of these trails run through parts of Ohiopyle State Park, open now or in the coming weeks to hunt bears, deer, turkeys, and small game. Statistically, hunting is one of the safest outdoor activities, but it is safe to wear a neon orange hat or vest to announce your presence as a person. Pick up an excellent map of all the trails in the park, free of charge, at the Visitor Center near Ohiopyle Falls.

Then you can thrive on the outside.


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Parking space

Car-free future: how European cities are experimenting with green transport

A snack in a parking lot can be like something out of Alice in Wonderland.

But views like these, of the parklet countryside in London last month, or of people strolling the middle of the Champs-Elysees in Paris, are increasingly common as we reinvent our city centers.

Greener cities come in many shades, and it’s not just about banning cars, but offering inspiring alternatives.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the travel revolution in some places, with widened gateways and thriving cycling infrastructure. As further proof of the adverse effects of air pollution is emerging, should we regain even more ground?

These are some of the strategies used across Europe to help improve the lives of citizens, as defined by the climate charity Possible.

Redraw the streets

Once you stop taking the presence of cars for granted, many new possibilities open up.

In Oslo, most of the street parking has been replaced with street furniture like benches and mini-parks, as well as larger cycle lanes and sidewalks. While some businesses feared a loss of trade, the city center actually saw its footfall increase by 10% after the reduction measures.

One British man who has taken charge of town planning is Adam Tranter, Mayor of Coventry. When the mini-garden he built in a parking lot was removed by the local council, Adam found a loophole in replant your parklet on top of a truck.

London Parklets Campaign founder Brenda Puech has big ambitions for parklets. On the first “People Parking Day” in September, Londoners requisitioned some of the city’s 1 million parking spaces for fun and games.

“Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a private garden, so providing social spaces near homes is essential,” she said.

With a third of UK carbon emissions coming from travel – and private cars the biggest contributors – the push for parklets is not just a colorful performance but a vital intervention.

Invest in bicycles

The medieval city of Ghent saw its narrow streets submerged in traffic in the 1980s.

After banning cars from its historic center in 1997, the German city invested in cycling exhibitions – resulting in cultural change – and built 300 km of cycle paths and rental bicycles to navigate them.

In many other cities in Europe, e-bike programs are booming. In his sustainable guide “How to Thrive in the Next Economy,” John Thackara writes that an “ecosystem of bikes, some of which are electrically assisted, will meet most of our needs for connecting and dealing with each other using 5 % or less of car and train based systems.

Bicycle and mobility lanes are undoubtedly an important part of future infrastructure, but they are not suitable for everyone. Some people with disabilities need vehicles to get around; as Possible put it, a “car-free city” is free from the dangers, pollution and emissions caused by massive private car ownership. It is not a city without cars at all.

More accessible public transport systems like streetcars are also ripe for expansion.

Better town planning

Reducing the need to travel is another obvious way to reduce our carbon footprint.

Planning new developments for homes and businesses close to public transport like the tram has been an important part of Freiburg’s journey to become Germany’s unofficial “environmental capital”. Nine in ten residents now live in areas where traffic cannot exceed 19 mph – even 5 mph on some streets – a clear sign that public transport has priority.

In Milan, COVID-19 has sparked an “Open Streets” initiative, expanding cycle lanes, sidewalks and places where children can play.

One area has become a low traffic neighborhood (LTN) and is now being considered for a “15 minute neighborhood” pilot, where everything people need is within walking distance.

Although Milan and other Italian cities have a crowded recent past, the famous squares in towns and cities across the country suggest other ways of life. His ‘Open squaresis another key to the traffic-free future of Milan.

Hold on to cars

Either way, reducing the number of cars in city centers is key to meeting national climate goals and improving our health.

In northern Spain, the city of Pontevedra banned cars in its 300,000 square meter medieval center in the early 2000s, and its residents have reaped the economic, social and health benefits ever since. CO2 emissions have fallen by 70%, and the center of Pontevedra attracted some 12,000 new residents.

Things that initially seemed unpopular quickly won over people too. When Stockholm first introduced congestion charges in 2006, it encountered stiff opposition, with around seven in ten people against. Five years later, the numbers have changed to show majority support for the program.

Strasbourg in France was the first city to use an “intelligent traffic management system”, reducing the number of stop-and-go waves along its roads. This reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides and harmful particles from dragging vehicles by 8% and 9% respectively.

During her stay in Paris, Mayor Anne Marie Hidalgo experimented with a series of traffic control measures, including the ban on diesel vehicles manufactured before 2006 in the city during the week.

The capital’s annual car-free day allows pedestrians to walk “face to face” with landmarks like the Arc-de-Triomphe, providing a glimpse of what a larger, cleaner city might look like.

Decontaminating historic cities in Europe 365 days a year is a daunting task, but as more green projects gain public approval, it is a challenge the continent can take on.

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Car park management

‘The blunder constantly stinks’: tenants say it’s ‘horrible’ in Salford apartments where The Circle television is filmed


Residents complained about the “horrible” living conditions in a Salford apartment complex where Netflix’s The Circle is filmed.

People living in Adelphi Wharf have reported issues, including overflowing garbage cans, fly infestations and antisocial behavior.

The apartment complex, next to Adelphi Street, consists of three separate buildings.

READ MORE:Latest infection rates in Greater Manchester: cases down in Manchester but up in seven boroughs

They include Adelphi Wharf Phase 1, Adelphi Wharf Phase 2, and Adelphi Wharf Phase 3.

The hit TV show The Circle is filmed in the Adelphi Wharf Phase 1 building and consists of 206 residential apartments.

Although the hugely popular series was discontinued in the UK earlier this year, the US version continues to stream on Netflix.

A resident, who lives in Adelphi Wharf Phase 1, says he has endured a number of issues since moving into his apartment five months ago.

The 27-year-old, who asked not to be named, says the building “constantly stinks” from overflowing trash cans.

He claims that an entrance to the parking lot was closed due to the filming of The Circle, saying the show “prevails” over residents.

He also claims that the building’s apartments are regularly rented out to guests who party until the early hours of the morning.



A broken fire door

Speaking to Manchester Evening News , he said: “Parking is a plus for everyone else because they sell the apartment on the basis that there will be parking.

“But obviously with the delays, people have to park elsewhere and pay for a supply they don’t get.

“I didn’t receive my permit when I first moved in and was later fined twice for parking in my spot without a permit.

“After parking, it infuriates me to know why The Circle takes priority over residents. They closed the entrance so we have to use the exit for entry and exit now.

“I ignored him until they put up security and barriers.

“The gaff stinks constantly because there is not enough food for the garbage.”

Referring to complaints of partying and noise inside the building, the tenant added, “The noise was almost constant, all day long.

“Parties next to us on a weekday were common.”



Several vehicles were reportedly stolen from the parking lot

Another resident, who lives in Adelphi Wharf Phase 2, who also requested to remain anonymous, told the MEN the building’s overflowing garbage cans contain garbage “stacked halfway up the ceiling”.

He is concerned that they may create a fire hazard.

Dust can be found “everywhere,” according to the resident, with Phase 3 of Adelphi Wharf still under construction.

And he says firefighters visit the building regularly because of the dust alarms.

The resident also claims that the fire doors are broken, which was reported to GMFRS.

He told the MEN the residential parking lot only opened recently despite the building being completed last year, he says he received parking tickets after being forced to park in front of the building.

The man alleges that the parking lot’s security shutters broke just two days after it opened, with residents of the three buildings having vehicles stolen as a result.

He added that the front doors also posed a security risk for weeks as the handles fell off, which meant anyone could get inside, leading to frequent theft of packages. They have since been repaired, he said.

“It’s just awful,” he said.

“When you try to work things out, you feel like things are constantly being ignored.

“Looks like they’re trying to build everything before they fix things.

“There are fly infestations in all the hallways that enter the apartments.

“The apartments are rented for bachelorette parties, etc. and many residents have professional jobs.

“The police are always called. It’s constant. They had to call in security over the weekend.

“When I moved in during confinement, I was working from home. It’s hard to concentrate. There are people who party until three or four in the morning.

In a statement, developers Fortis Group Holdings said, “Adelphi Wharf is a three-block development, with each block being handed over to the management company at different stages over the past two years.

“The third block was only recently handed over to the management company and many issues including comments that the building and parking lot are not completed and the dust around the building are related to the recent handover and keeps Fortis Group Holdings in place. to complete development.



Garbage can be seen almost reaching the ceiling

“In addition, the lack of manpower and materials during the Covid pandemic at times prevented work from being carried out, resulting in delays in the completion of development and necessary repairs.

“I would like to point out that Fortis Group Holdings is actively working alongside the management company to address all of the reported issues.

“A representative of the management company contacted and met with a tenant who expressed his concerns; said person was encouraged to act as a representative for the building and to work alongside Fortis Group Holdings and the management company to resolve any issues on site.

“In addition, the management company has offered on several occasions to meet with tenants on site to discuss their concerns, and we would like to reiterate this proposal.



Residents have filed several complaints

“Reports of overflowing bins can be attributed to several reasons. Significant additional collections were needed as a result of the events of the summer including the Euro 2020 tournament, tenants also placed bins outside the bin store and / or next to the bins.

“To combat the problem, the management company has increased the frequency of garbage collection and will continue to educate tenants on the proper use of garbage stores to ensure that they do not leave garbage outside the building. store.

“Regarding the complaints at Adelphi Wharf, it has been brought to our attention that the roof terraces during the summer period are used for large social gatherings.

“Communications were sent to tenants, reminding that large social gatherings will result in the call of the police. Additionally, additional security was put in place over the weekends to combat the issue.

“Regarding the entrance doors to blocks two and three; after initially asking the original installers to perform the warranty repairs, we have since had our own contractors perform the repairs.

“In case of failure, we have the second option to replace the doors in their entirety.



Dust can be seen around the building

“The security of the front doors is the biggest risk to the building and is taken with the utmost seriousness.

“Security personnel and patrols during key moments have been provided to reduce the risk to the building and its occupants.

“In response to concerns about parking lot entrances; this has failed several times and we are actively engaging with subcontractors to repair the faults. In the meantime, the management company has organized a third party to provide round-the-clock security.

“Regarding the fire safety issues raised by tenants, Fortis Group Holdings has published a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) and recently submitted the report to the management company for review by order. priority.

“In addition to this, the management company liaises with the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services on the issues raised, meeting with them regularly to provide updates on the work in progress.

“I would like to end by reiterating that we are actively working to tackle all of the reported issues to ensure tenants are happy with living in the development. “

A spokesperson for Xenia Estates, the management company of Adelphi Wharf, said: “As managing agent of Adelphi Wharf, Xenia Estates works closely with the development company Fortis Group Holdings to s’ ensure that all issues related to the recent divestiture are addressed. in an appropriate and timely manner.

“The shares of Xenia Estates have been listed in the attached statement of Fortis Group Holdings.

“Xenia Estates would like to point out that we have regularly communicated with leaseholders and tenants who have raised concerns about the outstanding issues since the handover and are committed to making Adelphi Wharf a safe place. , secure and pleasant to live in. “

Netflix has been approached for comment.

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Car parking rate

Why I Carjack; Teens Say It All – CBS Chicago


By Irika Sargent and Carol Thompson

CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago is facing a carjacking crisis.

READ MORE: ‘I am incredibly blessed’: Fulton River shooting victim opens up about his injury

The city is on track to surpass last year’s figures. You have heard from victims of these crimes. You have heard police and community leaders trying to prevent these crimes.

But, for the first time, you hear some of the younger auto thieves committing these crimes. They explain why they do it, how they do it and what it will take to get them to stop.

Three teens sat down with CBS 2’s Irika Sargent for a frank conversation.

We give them a voice, not to boast to take advantage of them, but to understand why they do it. Could what they say help keep you safe?

‘David’ is 14 years old.

“If they fight, I drag them out of the car and get on,” he said.

‘Nicole’ is 16 with a long list of carjackings on her record.

“I would say like six. I do not know. I do not count. (Laughs)”

The crimes

There could be hundreds of teens in Chicago looking for their next victims. We know from Chicago police data CBS 2 received as part of a public record request that police arrested 50 children aged 12 to 17 for auto theft. It was in the first four months of this year.

‘David’ was not arrested when we spoke with him over the summer. He told us he had no regrets after committing his first carjacking.

Anyone, anywhere, can be the victim of auto theft. It happens in dark alleys, busy parking lots, even a few steps from your front door.

The victims described their car thieves: “I could just feel his hands around my neck. And “… I leaned into the car and put the gun to my head.” And “… put a gun to my chest and said, ‘If you move I’ll kill you’.”

We have been following an upsurge in car hijackings over the past two years with many victims shocked by the age of their attackers.

The wife of a man who was gunned down while the teens did not understand how to drive his car said in tears: “I want my husband to come back. It’s the worst day of my life.

The daughter of an army veteran beaten to death by teenagers said: “It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Chicago Police have already expanded their carjacking task force twice this year. However, without much success. At the end of September, the CPD had made arrests in only 73 of the 1,203 car hijackings. That’s an arrest rate of less than 6%.

Data on arrests show that 54% of those arrested for carjackings (January to April) were 17 or younger.

So far, you haven’t heard from young car thieves about what motivates them to commit these crimes, how they choose their targets, and if anything will make them stop.

CBS 2 has set up a room to speak with the three teenagers. CBS 2 set it up in such a way that we couldn’t see them and they couldn’t see each other. Nothing else was on the table.

‘David’ is 14 years old

Sergeant: “What attracted you?

‘David’: “The game. GTA.”

GTA is the long-running popular video game, Grand Theft Auto.

‘David’: “If you don’t have a car there, you can just take people’s cars. It sounded like fun. I wanted to do it.”

Sergeant: “Take me back that first time.” “

‘David’: “Me and my friends, three of us, we were walking and I said to them ‘Let’s take a car.’ We saw a man and we ran and cornered him, got in the car and drove off.

Sergeant: “Did he look scared, shocked to see someone so young doing it?” “

‘David’: “Yes.”

Sergeant: “Would you say it was easy?” “

‘David’: “Yes.”

He says getting the weapon was easy too.

‘David’: “People on Facebook and all that. They sell weapons.

Sergeant: “So you were able to buy a gun on Facebook?” “

‘David’: “Yes.”

Sergeant: “And do you find a lot of kids your age doing that?” “

‘David’: “Yes.”

‘Nicole’ is 16 years old

Carjacks ‘Nicole’ for different reasons.

‘Nicolas’: “I had a place to go and I had no way to get there. Sometimes I even sell a car, like buying a car just to make money.

She says being a girl works in her favor.

‘Nicolas’: “They probably wouldn’t expect a younger woman to do the hijacking.”

Sargent: “What types of weapons do you use when carjacking?”

‘Nicolas’: “A knife.”

Nicole has already been arrested. But, after a short stint in juvenile detention, she was back and forth to the hijacking.

Sergeant: “Is this something you always do?” “

‘Nicolas’: “Yes.”

READ MORE: Legally parked, tagged anyway: Chicagoans get bogus fines for street cleaning

The community

“In my mind, there is no such thing as an unrecoverable child,” says Tyrone Muhammad.

He spent 21 years in prison for murder. And, before that, as a teenager, he said: “I did the drive-by. I did the carjacking, ”Muhammad said.

He now leads a mentoring group called Ex-Cons for Community & Social Change (ECCSC). The goal? To keep teens from ending up behind bars, using her own life as an uplifting tale. Does mentoring work?

“If you don’t replace their activity with something constructive, where they can see themselves earning a living, then you will never fix this problem,” Muhammad said.

And there is a lot of work to be done.

CBS2 tracks down car hijackings in Chicago. With 1,203 carjackings so far in 2021, this year is on track to surpass last year’s number of 1,414.

These two years together have already reported more carjackings than the previous three years combined. 2,617 versus 2,307. Almost all neighborhoods were affected.

The five hardest-hit communities so far this year:

  • Austin, 93
  • Garfield Park, 75
  • North Lawndale, 75
  • Humboldt Park, 47
  • South Shore, 44

“Nicole” often targets the Loop where there have been 11 carjackings this year. That’s two more than last year.

Sergeant: “What about this area that makes it a prime location? “

“Nicole” says it all depends on how people act: “They’ll think it’s safer for them… like they don’t have to worry about nobody pushing them down. “

Sergeant: “Have you ever hurt anyone?” “

‘Nicolas’: “No. No, it didn’t go that far.

However, she admits it can quickly escalate.

Sergeant: “People are losing their lives because of this. People are crippled because of it. Do you think of the victims?

‘Nicolas’: “I mean yes. But like then, you might not think.

Impact of distance learning

With the increase in car hijackings over the past two years, could distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic be partly to blame?

‘Nicole’ says, “Sometimes I went to school and sometimes I didn’t. Whether I feel it or not.

She adds, “If I was like going to school in person, then it would be less of me to think about going carjacking someone.”

“David” says he didn’t take distance learning “… that serious” either. He said he was bored. And, had more free time to commit carjacking.

And, the recently released first-day attendance figures from Chicago Public Schools confirm what “Nicole” and “David” have said.

For the 2020-2021 school year, day one attendance was 84%. Last year, CPS started the distance learning of the school year. The number of participants on the first day has fallen by 10% compared to previous years.

‘Chris’, 19

‘Chris’, now 19, committed his first carjacking when he was 15. It targets areas like the north side and “neighborhoods with low crime rates but who like rich people,” he said.

He also follows the police, looking for gaps in service, “Which area is the slowest for police cars to come.”

Chris said he stole drivers just to drive around town. But there is another fatal reason. What he calls hot cars are often used in drive-by shootings.

Sergeant: “Was there a time when you used a hot car to get revenge on an enemy or a gang?” “

“Chris”: “It’s a delicate subject. I was in a situation where a hot car was involved.

Chris said he recently quit carjacking. His mother found out what he was doing and kicked him out. He also became a father.

“She told me to pull yourself together and you can be there for your son.” That’s what really changed me, ”he said.

The past and the future

“Nicole” and “David” said their families were unfortunate examples.

“Seeing my brothers go in and out of jail for this stuff,” ‘Nicole’ said.

“I have family members who also do the same,” ‘David’ said. He says it played a role in his carjacking.

Muhammad tries to change the paths of teens by finding them jobs on construction sites, partnering with local businesses, pastors and lawmakers. But is it enough for kids like “David” and “Nicole” to be successful?

“Absolutely not. Not without the right mentors being positioned.” Because as soon as these young people are interrupted by feelings, anger, frustration with life, they go back to what they know, “said Muhammad.

While David ‘and’ Nicole ‘haven’t reached a point where they want to quit carjacking, they’re still talking about big dreams.

‘Nicole’ wants to be a doctor. “Work at UIC hospital or something like that. Take care of people or save lives, ”she said. What does she say to skeptical people? How would she show them that she wants to change? “Get your high school diploma and go to college,” she said.

“David” wants to own his own car dealership and thinks he can do it.

Reverend Robin Hood is familiar with stories of children like these. He mentors teenage carjackers and often associates with Muhammad.

“They are not mature enough to see the big picture, like we would like them to. They don’t see that they can kill someone. They can’t see, they can go to jail for the rest of their life, ”said Rev. Hood.

But, at this point, many do not agree with this. They want them locked up and they will have no sympathy for the younger children when they arrive with such a serious threat.

‘David’: “See, I won’t shoot them. If they are fighting, I like to get them out of the car and get in really fast.

Sergeant: It’s just having that thrill again, is that what would make you do it all over again?

‘David’: “Yes.”

This is not the end of the conversation. It’s a multi-layered problem with a lot of opinions. CBS 2 is committed in the coming weeks to explore the intricacies of this wave of carjackings, particularly those committed by teens like “David”, “Nicole” and “Chris”.

NO MORE NEWS: Illinois State Police Soldier Gerald Mason died after being found shot dead in his SUV on the Dan Ryan Freeway

You can also watch an in-depth Facebook chat about this story with CBS News’ Irika Sargent and Erin Moriarty here.


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Parking space

Berkeley to open first secure parking lot, leaves some residents displaced

Berkeley opened the city’s first secure parking lot as part of the Horizon Transition Village on Wednesday to provide 40 secure parking spaces for those living in RVs and other large vehicles for 11 months.

The land will not provide parking spaces for families with children, small vehicles that do not meet size restrictions or unusable vehicles. According to Friends on Wheels organizer Yesica Prado, this leaves few options for residents of vehicles that are not eligible for a Safe Parking shelter.

According to a press release from the National Lawyers Guild, families who will be displaced will be directed to a family shelter bed, while others will return to the streets and continue to struggle with parking restrictions.

“The secure parking lot is quite exclusive,” Prado said. “It’s not really going to prioritize the people who really need it, which is the people who live in smaller vehicles like cars and vans, and then families.”

Residents of the lot will have to return to the street after an 11 month parking lease. This is not suitable for most of the 161 motorhomes and 157 cars and vans serving as housing for residents, according to the press release.

Residents of vehicles that do not obtain parking spaces will be subject to towing and will be required to adhere to parking restrictions starting October 7.

Four-hour parking spaces were imposed on Wednesday as a trial parking restriction on neighborhood streets, according to Berkeley City Council member Rashi Kesarwani. Berkeley City Council also established a vehicle weight restriction in the area, banning vehicles weighing more than three tonnes, the press release added.

“It’s a bit unfair to use this social program to enforce parking. On the contrary, it just throws people back into chaos, as they now have to search every three days for a place to be, ”Prado said. “If you don’t provide help to our neighbors who live in vehicles, at least let us help ourselves. “

Prado said she would prefer the city to provide a map showing safe streets with unlimited parking and provide trash and repair services for vehicles. Instead of taking vehicles off the streets, Prado noted that she would like to see changes that would help these residents find housing if they needed it.

Prado added that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for residents from vehicles to access amenities such as showers, but a temporary disruption in parking restrictions has given many community members a “reprieve” from worry about losing their vehicle.

“People are going to lose their homes and the only property they have in their name are their vehicles,” Prado said. “If they’ve been through the eviction process already, it’s traumatic enough, and then when they take to the streets, there’s all this other harassment.

Contact Emma Taila and Lauren Cho at [email protected].

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Parking facilities

Churchill Downs Incorporated Announces Historic Race


LOUISVILLE, Ky., September 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) today announced its intention to open a new historic racing machine (“ HRM ‘) entertainment venue, Derby City Gaming Downtown, Louisville, Kentucky. The 43,000 square foot entertainment venue will be located at 140 South 4e Street, corner of South 4e and West Market, diagonally from the Kentucky International Convention Center.

Derby City Gaming Downtown will initially feature 500 HRM, an outdoor playground and more than 200 on-site parking spaces. The new entertainment venue will offer guests – including locals, tourists and convention attendees – three unique bar concepts: a main level sports bar with a stage for music and shows, a top bourbon library range and an elegant wine and charcuterie lounge. A retail and merchandise store will be located at street level where customers can purchase Kentucky Derby-themed merchandise. Construction of Derby City Gaming Downtown will begin later this year with an expected opening date of early 2023.

The investment in the new entertainment venue will create 450 jobs for the local economy, including 350 construction jobs and over 100 new permanent jobs. The Company will collaborate with OneWest and other community organizations in an intentional effort to provide employment opportunities in the entertainment venue for those residing in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of Louisville, as well as to provide training and support services. additional social focused on retention, workforce development and career advancement. CDI will intensify its efforts to identify and contract with women-owned and minority-owned businesses for supply chain and contracting needs.

CDI also announced a pledge of $ 1 million to the West End Opportunity Partnership (the “Partnership”), a community-led collaborative initiative that will fund projects to kick-start economic development and improve the quality of society. living in a neighborhood made up of nine West End neighborhoods. : Shawnee, Portland, Russell, Chickasaw, Parkland, California, Park Hill, Park Duvalle and Algonquin. The new Tax Increase Funding District (“TIF”) was created by legislation championed and passed by State Senators Robert Stivers, Julie Raque Adams, Morgan McGarvey and Gerald Neal, and representatives of the State Ken Fleming and Pamela Stevenson. The TIF guarantees that for the next 20 years, 80% of the new tax revenue generated in these neighborhoods will be returned to the Partnership to reinvest in economic development projects and homeowner stabilization in the West End. Seed capital and revenues will be managed by a partnership council made up of neighborhood residents and appointees from community organizations.

“CDI is committed to investing in the city of Louisville and today we are especially excited to announce this new downtown entertainment venue,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “Our expansion of human resource management will be a victory for the entire Louisville area community. and will create an additional $ 10-12 million per year in scholarship for Churchill Downs Racetrack. The West End Opportunity Partnership and our collaboration with OneWest can help us achieve this vision in a responsible and sustainable manner.

“We congratulate Churchill Downs for their continued investment in Louisville hotel infrastructure. Having a downtown point of contact with one of our most iconic brand pillars is a godsend in helping us successfully market our destination, ”said Cleo Battle, President and CEO of Louisville Tourism. “The attraction will meet a need for much-requested evening options for convention delegates and provide locals and visitors with yet another authentic experience in the heart of Bourbon & Derby City.”

“Today, Churchill Downs is becoming an important part of a revitalization of downtown Louisville that has gained momentum in recent years. The downtown area is the center of our community and, as the economic engine of the region, our downtown area is also the center of our region, ”said Mayor Greg Fischer. Derby City Gaming Downtown will bring even more life to Fourth Street with just under an acre of space for more entertainment offerings, another stop for bourbon fans, a store for Kentucky Derby merchandise and permanent jobs downtown. Thank you, Churchill Downs, for your commitment, your investment and for your confidence in our great city. “

“OneWest is extremely excited about this collaboration and what it will mean for minority contractors in Louisville,” said Evon Smith, President and CEO of OneWest. “This initiative represents intentionality around inclusion and diversity and it starts at the top. The Churchill Downs Incorporated management team is leading the action! “

“I applaud the leaders of Churchill Downs for taking this meaningful step to support the West End Opportunity Partnership and for encouraging other local corporate citizens to follow suit,” said State Senator Gerald Neal. “By taking action to address the inequalities and disparities in our local communities, we are helping to make our Commonwealth a better place for all Kentuckians.”

About Churchill Downs Incorporated

Churchill Downs Incorporated is a leading racing, online betting and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event, the Kentucky Derby. We own and operate three betting-mutual gaming entertainment venues with approximately 3,050 historic racing machines in Kentucky. We also own and operate TwinSpires, one of the largest and most profitable online betting platforms for horse racing, sports and iGaming in the United States and we have eight retail sports betting. We are also a leader in physical casino games in eight states with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games. Additional information on the CDI is available online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.

Certain statements made in this press release contain various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the use of terms such as “anticipate” , “Believe”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “could”, “plan”, “foresee”, “plan”, “seek” “,” “” Will “and similar words or expressions (or negative versions of such words or expressions).

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee that these expectations will prove to be correct. Important factors, among others, that may affect actual results or results are: the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and related economic issues on our results of operations, financial conditions and our outlook; the effect of economic conditions on our consumers’ confidence and discretionary spending or our access to credit; additional or increased taxes and fees; public perceptions or lack of confidence in the integrity of our business or any deterioration in our reputation; loss of key or highly qualified personnel; restrictions on our credit facilities limiting our flexibility to operate our business; general risks associated with real estate ownership, including fluctuations in market values ​​and environmental regulations; catastrophic events and system failures disrupting our operations; online security risk, including cybersecurity breaches; failure to recover under our insurance policies for damage sustained to our properties in the event of inclement weather and accidents; increased insurance costs and the inability to obtain similar insurance coverage in the future; failure to identify and complete acquisition, expansion or divestiture projects, on time, on budget or as planned; difficulty in integrating recent or future acquisitions into our operations; the costs and uncertainties associated with the development of new sites and the expansion of existing facilities; risks associated with equity investments, strategic alliances and other agreements with third parties; the inability to respond to rapid technological changes in a timely manner; inadvertent infringement of the intellectual property of others; failure to protect our own intellectual property rights; payment risks, such as the risk associated with the fraudulent use of credit and debit cards; compliance with the law on corrupt practices abroad or applicable money laundering regulations; risks associated with current or future legal proceedings and other actions; the inability to negotiate agreements with representatives of the industry, including riders and other racetracks; work stoppages and manpower problems; changes in consumer preferences, attendance, betting and sponsorship with respect to the Churchill Downs Racetrack and the Kentucky Derby; litigation for bodily injury related to injuries occurring on our racetracks; weather and other conditions affecting our ability to run live races; the occurrence of extraordinary events, such as terrorist attacks and threats to public health; changes in the regulatory environment for our racing operations; increased competition in the horse racing industry; difficulty in attracting a sufficient number of horses and trainers for full horse races; our inability to use and provide aggregation services; changes in the regulatory environment for our online horse betting business; A reduction in the number of people betting on live horse races; increased competition in our online horse betting business; the uncertainty and changes in the legal landscape regarding our online horse betting business; the continued legalization of online sports betting and iGaming in the United States and our ability to anticipate and benefit from such legalization; the inability to expand our sports betting operations and compete effectively; failure to manage the risks associated with sports betting; failure to comply with laws requiring us to block access to certain people could result in penalties or impairment of our mobile and online betting products; increased competition in our casino business; changes in the regulatory environment for our casino business; concentration and evolution of the manufacture of slot machines and other technological conditions which could impose additional costs; and the inability to collect gambling claims from customers to whom we extend credit.

We assume no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Investor contact: Nick Zangari
(502) 394-1157
[email protected]
Media contact: Tonya Abeln
(502) 386-1742
[email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6466005f-8ba1-418c-a24e-86c306f3f112


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Auto thefts and homicides increased in CT during pandemic, FBI data shows


At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, homicides have increased by more than 31%, while car thefts have increased even more dramatically, according to recently released data from the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

A total of 140 people died from homicide in Connecticut in 2020, up from 107 the year before. Last year’s homicide death toll is the highest the state has seen since 2012, the year of the Sandy Hook school shooting, according to data. The spike is also the biggest year-over-year increase in the number of murders since the crime spree of the early 1990s, according to historical FBI data.

But the number is still far below the height of that wave, when annual homicides topped 200 for two consecutive years – 1993 and 1994 – according to FBI data.

The FBI released the data Monday as part of its Unified Annual Crime Report, which collects reports from law enforcement agencies across the country. Almost all Connecticut police departments have submitted information for 2020, according to the FBI.

While the number of homicides has increased, overall violent crime – a category that includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – declined slightly in Connecticut after adjusting for population, contrary to a national trend. At just under 182 incidents per 100,000, the state’s violent crime rate remained less than half that of the country as a whole, at just under 399 violent crimes per 100,000.

Nationally, violent crime has increased in the United States according to the FBI, and homicides have increased by more than 29%.

Mike Lawlor, a professor at the University of New Haven, said the growing number of certain crimes – such as homicides, shootings and auto thefts – belied an overall decline in the violent crime rate in Connecticut over the course of the last decade.

“Other than that, everything is down, including the murders in the suburbs,” said Lawlor, who also served as undersecretary for criminal justice policy in the administration of former governor Dannel Malloy.

A spike in the number of murders across the country last year is proof that the murders are more likely the result of nationwide factors such as the pandemic and a loss of confidence in the police following the murder of George Floyd , Lawlor said, rather than the result of any policies adopted by Connecticut lawmakers.

Lawlor has predicted that homicides in Connecticut will begin to decline over the next year as pandemic-era restrictions are lifted. “They tend to go down a bit from last year anyway,” he said.

The state’s per capita aggravated assault rate declined slightly between 2020 and the previous year and remains well below the national average, according to FBI data. The rate of reported rape by population also declined from 2019 to 2020, reflecting a national trend.

The robbery rate has increased slightly from just under 55 per 100,000 to just over 57. This goes against the national trend, which has seen theft rates drop from almost 82 per 100,000 to just under 74.

Car thefts, property crimes

Motor vehicle thefts increased even more dramatically during the pandemic, with 7,773 incidents reported in 2020, up about 43% from the previous year. Auto thefts fell to 5,452 in 2019, down from the previous three years, according to FBI data.

Connecticut’s motor vehicle theft rate was lower than the national average after adjusting for population. But Connecticut saw a more dramatic increase in motor vehicle theft per capita from 2019 to 2020 than the country as a whole, according to the data.

Residential homes were the most common targets of motor vehicle theft, followed by roads and alleys, parking lots and parking lots and gas stations, according to FBI data.

One factor could be Connecticut’s proximity to New York City to its criminal networks, said Hasan Arslan, associate professor of justice and law administration at Western Connecticut State University. “You can easily take the highway and sell that car and easily get rid of it,” he said.

The pandemic has also increased the value of car sales due to scarcity, he said. “Every chaos creates an opportunity for criminals or criminally minded individuals,” Arslan said in a telephone interview. For many the pandemic is a crisis, but for those with a criminal mindset “they will seek this opportunity and use it for profit,” he said.

Overall, per capita property crime trended upward in Connecticut in 2020 compared to the previous year, despite a decline in property crime nationwide after adjusting for population. The state reported about 1,565 property crimes per 100,000 population, up from about 1,432 the previous year, according to FBI data.

Arson also remained below the national average per capita, with just over 6 reported incidents per 100,000 in the state in 2020, compared to more than 13 nationally.

Republican state lawmakers have called for months for a special session of the state legislature to tackle violent crime and auto theft.

Last week, state Republican leaders blasted Gov. Ned Lamont after the Democratic governor called for a special session only to extend the authorization of his emergency powers in the event of a pandemic.

“Our state is completely overwhelmed by a wave of crimes that Legislative Democrats have willfully ignored despite justifiable outrage from their constituents demanding action,” said a joint statement by Republican Senate Leader Kevin Kelly and Republican Leader of the Senate. Vincent Candelora Room. The statement called the limited special session “shameful” and said “the governor himself has been far too timid in his response to the shocking nature of these serious crimes.”

Editor-in-chief John Moritz contributed reporting.


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An overwhelming number of buyers willing to lease indoor and outdoor space as a side hustle – are you?

Feverpitch / Getty Images / iStockphoto

In the age of sideways turmoil, it’s no surprise that more and more Americans are looking for new ways to generate extra income. For homeowners, that means leasing space from others – and many do.

See: Here are exactly how many savings you need to retire in your state
Find out: Social Security benefits could be cut prematurely – what does this mean for you?

Nearly half of Americans say they would be interested in renting additional space in their home, according to a new survey from Realtor.com. An even higher percentage of recent buyers – 69% – would rent part of their home if it had a separate entrance, kitchen and bathroom.

The vast majority of homeowners (85%) would invest in creating additional space to monetize their home, with half willing to spend $ 30,000 or less. Sixteen percent would rent the space to “anyone” if they really needed the money, regardless of whether they had had any previous tenant relationships.

Homeowners aren’t just looking to rent out living space. Many of them, especially new home buyers, are open to renting out outdoor space for social and recreational purposes. Some are even open to the rental of parking spaces.

SURVEY: Would you rent your house (or part of it) as a side activity?

These ideas all align with the larger sharing economy movement, said George Ratiu, head of economic research at Realtor.com.

“As the next generation of home buyers embrace carpooling and short-term rentals, it’s a natural next step that they start to see their greatest asset – their home – as a potential source of income.” , he said in a press release. “For people looking to take advantage of the sharing economy… it may be worth exploring creative solutions, such as listing your home for vacation rental when you leave town or renting out your space. outside or your swimming pool. Even a small amount of income each month can multiply over a year or more and can turn into bigger returns. “

The HarrisX survey of over 3,000 Americans, conducted in July, found that young people are more comfortable with sharing space than their older peers. About 67% of Millennials and 57% of Gen Zers have expressed an interest in doing so. In addition, owners in urban areas were more open to sharing space than those in suburban or rural areas.

The need for additional income has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left many Americans in financial difficulty. The Realtor.com survey cited a number of reasons homeowners might want to rent parts of a home, including the potential to earn extra money, offset higher monthly expenses, increase their savings or enjoy additional spending income.

See: Here’s How Much You Need to Earn to Be “Rich” in Each State
Find out: What’s the next big cryptocurrency to explode in 2021?

Despite the allure of making extra money by renting or sharing space, Ratiu urged owners to exercise caution.

“It’s important to keep in mind that while today’s sharing economy may seem easy to generate rental income from your home, there are many factors to consider before taking the leap,” a he declared.

He suggested starting with the following steps:

Considering all of these factors, would you be willing to put in the effort if it meant a substantial increase in your additional income?

More from GOBankingTaux

Last updated: September 26, 2021

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Overwhelming Number of Home Buyers Ready to Rent Indoor and Outdoor Space as a Side Business – Are You?

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Car park management

Kent Devereaux was inaugurated Friday 12th President of Goucher College – CBS Baltimore


TOWSON, Maryland (WJZ) РKent Devereaux was inaugurated as 12th president of Coll̬ge Goucher on Friday after assuming the role in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic had delayed the ceremony, according to a statement from Goucher.

More than 30 college presidents and delegates from educational institutions from across the country attended the ceremony, along with government and community leaders.

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Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, delivered the keynote address.

Following Devereaux’s arrival, he oversaw Goucher’s response to the pandemic and worked on his recently launched new strategic plan, “Cultivating Global Change Actors,” to improve student achievement, expand global education and focus on inclusion. He is also leading the year-long process to develop a new campus master plan, focusing on accessibility, sustainability and connectivity to the community.

READ MORE: Maryland’s annual seafood festival ends Sunday at Sandy Point State Park

“It is an honor to lead this prestigious liberal arts institution and to help define its future with rigorous new programs, innovative new partnerships and strategic capital investments,” Devereaux said in a statement. “Goucher’s particular focus on global education and community learning helps our graduates develop the innovative thinking and bold leadership that will be needed to make an impact in our communities and around the world.

Devereaux has over 30 years of hands-on experience in higher education strategic planning, program innovation and enrollment management, as well as fundraising for non-profit higher education institutions. He previously served as president of the New Hampshire Institute of Art. His professional background also includes time as a faculty member and chair of the music department at Cornish College of the Arts, as senior vice president and dean of study programs at Kaplan University, and as as Senior Vice President for Editorial and Product Development at Encyclopedia Britannica.

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“After more than a year of delay due to the pandemic, we are pleased to officially celebrate President Devereaux’s tenure at Goucher,” Lisa Stromberg, chair of the board of trustees of Goucher College, said in the statement. “We are confident that Kent’s vision and leadership for the college will carry on the tradition of academic excellence and graduate achievement that Goucher has built over more than 135 years.


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Parking facilities

State Park Parking Pass Program Generates Less Revenue Than Expected | New


OKLAHOMA CITY – State park officials are adjusting their expectations after their new state parking pass program generated nearly 78% less than expected in the first year.

The parking pass program generated nearly $ 2.2 million, considerably less than the $ 10 million predicted when park officials first unveiled the program, according to records obtained by CNHI Oklahoma through to a request for open files. Three parks – Beavers Bend, Lake Thunderbird and Lake Murray – generated more than half of this revenue.

State records also show that park employees dramatically ramped up their enforcement efforts targeting non-payers starting in March, issuing 12,646 of 14,257 parking tickets in just five months. The majority of offenders visited Beavers Bend, Murray Lake and Thunderbird Lake.

State officials implemented parking fees last year in lieu of entry into 22 Oklahoma state parks in an effort to help the crumbling park facilities and infrastructure of state that have been plagued by decades of neglect of legislative funding.

Oklahoma state parks attracted about 11.5 million visitors last year. Only two states bordering Oklahoma do not charge an admission fee, park officials said. These states – Arkansas and Missouri – pay for their park systems through a tax on sporting goods and related things like boat sales.

Currently, residents have the option of paying $ 60 per year per vehicle for unlimited access to Oklahoma state parks or $ 8 per day for a day pass. Out-of-state visitors pay $ 75 per year for an annual pass or $ 10 for a daily.

State Representative Jim Grego, R-Wilburton, said state park officials have promised the park fees will generate nearly $ 8 million more per year in new revenue. Still, after a year that saw an increase in visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fees only generated around $ 2 million.

“Maybe it was oversold to us,” Grego said.

Grego, who has worked to ensure state parks remain accessible to the public, said he was not necessarily opposed to the parking program as long as residents had a break.

He said, however, that he was concerned his local park – Robbers Cave – made $ 92,740, but park officials spent nothing.

“If they were so strapped for cash that we had to start charging people to use something we’ve already paid for, you’d think as soon as I got $ 1 they’d need it,” Grego mentioned.

David White, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation, said state law requires that all parking fees collected at a park be returned to that park to maintain or add new infrastructure . There may be a lag between income generation and project completion as each park has to wait until it has generated enough funds to complete a debt-free project.

Revenue from parking, for example, will be used to install a new playground at Lake Eufaula State Park. It will pay for disabled entry, bike racks, and parking for the boathouse at Robbers Cave State Park. And, the fees will be used to improve the scuba diving area and to install a new rinse station and lakefront benches at Tenkiller State Park, White said.

“We’re hoping that the park’s revenues will increase so that we can maintain some of these new assets that we are putting in place, either with money for parking passes or with bond money, so that we let’s not end up spending and investing a lot of taxpayer dollars now and then in five to 10 years start to deteriorate badly because we don’t have the capital funding to keep them going, ”White said.

White said the $ 10 million figure is an ideal number, but they re-evaluate after the first year what is realistic in terms of manpower and the ability to generate.

Park workers – not forest rangers – have been instructed to use a cell phone app to scan license plates to locate those who refuse to pay. Sometimes they leave “reminders” before issuing quotes, White said. Some of the larger parks have hired a parking enforcement employee. Others depend on clerical or maintenance staff, depending on location and staff. The number of scanned license plates often depends on the personnel.

“I think we want our people to focus on the park and the parking pass, but we’re not going to take people off park duties and have them scan license plates,” White said.

Still, White said 14,000 violations were not particularly high compared to the $ 2 million already raised.

Parking tickets cost visitors $ 20 and fines are collected by the state seller as part of a civil case, he said.

“I think for the most part people want to do what’s right, especially when they know that money is going back to the park they are visiting,” he said. “And at this point, I don’t know of anyone that we necessarily sued to get the paid citation. At this point we are not trying to sue people, we just want them to be educated about it and then pay for their visit.

However, “repeat and habitual abusers” may be prosecuted.

State Senator James Leewright, R-Bristow, said he continues to work on Senate Bill 804, which stalled earlier this year. This would give state park officials the power to enforce any citation they issue on a do not pay offense. It would also be an offense to physically occupy a campsite already reserved by someone else and to refuse to leave on request.

Violators would be liable to a fine of at least $ 50 but not more than $ 500.

Leewright said people come to the parks days in advance, park for free at a campsite they haven’t booked and refuse to leave even after learning it has been rented by someone else.

Leewright said his constituents understand the need for the fee, especially now that they see new upgrades and changes. He said he supports user fees for state parks because those who use them should be responsible for maintaining the infrastructure.

Keystone State Park, which issued 73 citations and raised $ 43,316 in revenue, is located in the Leewright State Senate District.

“We needed a funding mechanism so that we could not only do deferred maintenance but also perform upgrades, and looking around the state you can see the fruits of that,” Leewright said. .

Janelle Stecklein covers the Oklahoma Statehouse for CNHI newspapers and websites. Contact her at [email protected]


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Parking facilities

Phoenix approves additional $ 10 million for community wireless network


Phoenix City Council voted today at its official public meeting to pass an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Phoenix Union High School District, 13 public elementary schools as well as the Maricopa County Community Colleges District to approve $ 10 million to continue building the Community Wireless Network Project in Districts 4, 5, 7 and 8.

The project was first proposed in May 2020 and was approved for $ 2 million. These funds were intended to help students during the COVID-19 pandemic and their families who are struggling with economic barriers to provide them with Internet access for their schoolwork.


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Online learning was difficult for many students, and several households reportedly struggled to find reliable internet connections during school closings, which made matters even more difficult. The program seeks to support families during the blended learning process as schools slowly reopen this 2021-2022 school year.

Members of the City of Phoenix, Phoenix College, the Phoenix Union High School District, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority have been working together since the schools closed in 2020 to discuss more permanent and long-term solutions for the digital divide. happening in the valley.

“I am very excited about this project and will proudly vote yes to approve the $ 10 million ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding to expand our community wireless network in partnership with Phoenix Union and Maricopa Community Colleges,” said District 7- City Councilor Yassamin Ansari. “The need is urgent in my neighborhood.

Requests to modify the existing IGA to add the $ 10 million in funds will help continue the next phase of the digital divide project to expand the existing Wi-Fi system to an area of ​​4 square miles that will allow access. to the Internet to over 1,000 needy students who normally do not have reliable connections at home to study.

“We know that the digital divide will continue to be a persistent problem even after the pandemic. Whether it’s our local businesses in South Central, our farms and mountainside homes in Laveen, the seniors and parents of West Phoenix, there are many communities that stand to benefit. [project]”Ansari added.” Even though in-person learning is well advanced, we need to make sure that everyone has access to it. “

After the approval of the initial $ 2 million, several beta test sites were successfully installed, collecting useful information during the process that turned out to be positive feedback and user experience data. . The tests included the campus and offices of Phoenix College and the PUHSD. The data collected will be used to move the project forward to its next step of increasing the capacity of the Wi-Fi system and reaching communities in Districts 4, 5, 7 and 8.

“This project started with the elementary school districts of Alhambra and Cartwright and it’s a big deal; I’m really happy to support this, ”said District 8 vice-mayor Carlos Garcia. “I think the use of ARPA and COVID relief funds are some of the best investments we can make, especially with the permanence of this program and the fact that its infrastructure will be there for a long time and for future generations. , so I’m excited to vote yes.

Funding for this project is available through the city’s allowance from the American Rescue Plan Act which was received from the federal government. The project will have no impact on the General Fund and the total funding would not exceed $ 12 million.

“These items will help increase our Wi-Fi accessibility. When the pandemic hit, students were asked to continue their education digitally from their homes and many students did not have access to the Internet and some did not even have access to the Internet. ‘computer for their schoolwork,’ said District 1 Councilor Ann O’Brien. “These are the natural next steps to bridge this digital divide between our students and our residents and turn our municipal government to 21 years old.st technologies of the century and I fully support this article.

Phoenix City Council all appeared to agree with the project, but members of the public also made their voices heard at the meeting.

“I am concerned about the health effects of installing wireless radiation in more places in the city and 24/7 radiation without the ability for them to opt out of this technology,” said Shaina Cinnamon said. “5G towers are already all over the city and just seeing more of them popping up doesn’t seem right when there are other alternatives like fiber optic and other things we can do besides shine people. . “

Jason Paul, who opposes wireless frequencies, explained at the meeting that his wife, who worked in a location where a cell phone tower was present for 10 years, was diagnosed with malignant brain cancer. in August 2020. “The World Health Organization in 2012 declared that radiation from cell phones and towers may be carcinogenic to humans and can cause gliomas, a type of brain cancer. The towers are more dangerous because they emit a greater intensity of radiation 24/7, ”he said.

The arguments for and against the community wireless network project were heard and taken into account when making the final decision on the program. The article was put to a vote and was reduced from 8 to 0. For more information on where to find locations offering free Wi-Fi in Phoenix, just visit the https://www.phoenix.gov/its/wireless-network website. According to the site, the city of Phoenix has extended its wireless network coverage outside of nearly 50 libraries, community centers, senior citizens’ centers and recreation centers to ensure that every student can access the Internet for complete schoolwork. This public service is offered to residents who can sit in car parks and public spaces outside participating establishments to connect their devices from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Phoenix City Council has approved this installation of Wi-Fi antennas on municipal and public facilities through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.


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Car park management

Nation’s longest-running Bay Area Park Service ranger celebrates 100th birthday


Betty Reid Soskin, the nation’s oldest active ranger with the National Park Service, turned 100 on Wednesday.

The centennial ranger leads tours and public programs, sharing her experiences and observations at Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Park in Richmond. For the past fifteen years, Soskin has educated park visitors about the efforts and sacrifices of women from diverse backgrounds, who lived and worked in factories on the home front of WWII.

To celebrate its milestone anniversary, the Passport for your national parks program at East National – a non-profit organization that supports the educational and science programs of the National Park Service – has created a special ink stamp in her honor, available at the Richmond Park Visitor Center.

Soskin celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday in a ceremony for the new Betty Reid Soskin Middle School in El Sobrante, renamed in her honor on her 100th birthday.

Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest full-time National Park Service ranger in the United States, looks at a birthday cake during a ceremony for the new Betty Reid Soskin Middle School on September 22, 2021 in El Sobrante, California. Soskin had the school renamed in his honor on the occasion of his 100th birthday. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Soskin grew up in an African-American Cajun-Creole family who moved to Oakland after a 1927 flood that devastated New Orleans, she says Biography. His family “followed the pattern set by the Black Railroaders who discovered the West Coast by serving as sleeper carriers, waiters, and chefs for the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads: they settled in the western end of their course where life might be less affected by hostility from the south.

In a interview 2015 with the US Department of the Interior, Soskin said his great-grandmother was born into slavery in 1846 and lived to be 102 years old.

During World War II, Soskin worked in a separate union room as a records clerk. In 1945, she and her husband, Mel Reid, founded one of the first black-owned music stores, Reid’s Records, which closed in 2019.

Soskin has also served as a staff member for a member of the Berkeley City Council and as a field representative serving West Contra Costa County for two members of the California State Assembly. .

In the early 2000s, she participated in scoping meetings with the City of Richmond and the National Park Service to develop the overall management plan for Rosie the Riveter / WWII Home Front National Historic Park. She worked with the Parks Department on a grant funded by Pacific Gas & Electric to uncover untold stories of African Americans on the Home Front during World War II, which led to a temporary position working with the department. at the age of 84.

National Park Service Ranger Betty Reid Soskin poses for a portrait at Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historic Park on October 24, 2013, in Richmond, California. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

In 2011, Betty became a permanent employee of the National Park Service and has since directed public programs and shares her personal memories and observations at the park visitor center.

Later, in 2015, she was selected by the parks service to participate in a national tree-lighting ceremony at the White House and to feature President Barack Obama in the national television broadcast.

Soskin suffered a stroke in 2019 and spent months in physiotherapy. She returned to work in 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She has worked intermittently throughout the pandemic and recently started weekly hour-long virtual tours.

Soskin says she hopes to return to regular programming at the reception center when conditions permit.


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Car parking rate

The global smart mobility market is growing at a phenomenal rate to reach $ 148.91 billion by 2028 with a CAGR of over 18.74% from 2021 to 2028


NEW YORK, September 20, 2021 / PRNewswire / – According to analysts at Zion Market Research, the smart mobility market represented $ 38.21 billion in 2020 and should reach $ 148.91 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of over 18.74% from 2021 to 2028.

Some of the major players in the smart mobility market are Cisco, Toyota Motor Corporation, TomTom International, Siemens, Robert Bosch GmbH, QuaLIX Information System, MAAS Global Oy, Innoviz Technologies Inc., Ford Motor Company, and Excelfore Corporation, among others. These players should support the development of the smart mobility market.

Smart City initiatives and demand for transport solutions to drive growth

The global smart mobility market is growing at a rapid pace. Factors such as increase in smart city projects, increasing use of digital platforms to manage end-to-end travelers’ journeys, growing need for smart mobility due to increasing traffic congestion are driving the market growth global. In addition, the mode of transport is either the public transport system or individual cars. With increasing population and urbanization, in cities around the world, road traffic has become a huge problem. It was reported that in 2017, economically United States lost 305 billion dollars just because of traffic jams and on average an American spends almost 34 hours a year in traffic, which is also a waste of time. In such cases, intelligent mobility offers a revolutionary new way of thinking with a new vision of zero property, zero accidents and zero emissions in an efficient, safer and cleaner way.

Get a sample PDF of this research report for more information with a table of contents, research methodology and graphics – https://www.zionmarketresearch.com/sample/smart-mobility-market

It also helps reduce the number of fatalities, reduce traffic congestion and be a game-changer in the economy. All these factors have led to an increase in the adoption of smart mobility which in turn is promoting the growth of the global smart mobility market. In addition to this, the growth of the network infrastructure and the increase in the adoption of intelligent mobility for fleet management are also contributing to the overall growth of the market.

In addition, the advancement of technologies to develop cutting-edge intelligent mobility solutions and the workforce to be delivered in a customer-centric and responsive manner may provide ample opportunities for the growth of the global intelligent mobility market in the United States. during the forecast period. . However, the low penetration of the Internet and smart mobility market in low- and middle-income countries and growing concerns over data security and privacy are some of the factors that may hamper the growth of the market. world of smart mobility.

The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the growth of the global smart mobility market. Movement restrictions and strict lockdowns imposed by most country governments have placed constraints on transportation. Thus, a decrease in demand for carpooling, carsharing and on-demand ride services has been observed. In addition to this, an impact on fleet management has also been observed as the transport sector has been affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. However, the implementation of security measures and the constraint on the number of passengers when traveling in the different modes of alternative mobility may result in a sustained growth rate during the forecast period.

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The presence of major players in the region supports North American domination

At the regional level, North America is expected to dominate the global smart mobility market and is expected to continue to dominate during the forecast period. Factors such as the growing adoption of smart mobility, growing concerns about traffic congestion, and the presence of well-established network infrastructure supporting smart mobility are propelling the market growth in this region. On the other hand, Asia Pacific region is considered to be the fastest growing region. This is attributed to the increase in demand for carpooling and carsharing, the expansion of transportation activities and the growing need for traffic management.

Browse the “Smart mobility market by element (carpooling, car sharing and bike trips), by solution (traffic management, parking management, mobility management and others), by technology (RFID, GPS, on-board system, Wi- Fi, 3G and 4G and Others): Global Industry Outlook, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2020-2028. “

Educate yourself before purchasing this research report – https://www.zionmarketresearch.com/inquiry/smart-mobility-market

The smart mobility market is segmented as follows:

By element

  • Carpooling
  • Car sharing
  • Cycling trips

By solution

  • Road traffic management
  • Parking management
  • Mobility management
  • Others

By technology

  • RFID
  • GPS
  • Embedded system
  • Wireless
  • 3G and 4G
  • Others

By region

  • North America
  • Europe
    • France
    • Great Britain
    • Spain
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • South East Asia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • CCG
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

Browse other related research reports from Zion Market Research

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Parking space

Rochester Street Café, the parklet policy to review

Rochester City Council will discuss a potential policy outlining when and where patios can extend onto the street, for both private business and public use.

“I think the pandemic and the use of the streets for outdoor seating has helped us see what kind of atmosphere we can create if we work more in that direction,” said Molly Patterson-Lungren, coordinator of the preservation of the city’s heritage and urban development.

RELATED: Go and Sit in the Street; New patio spaces lead customers to cafes

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city implemented a temporary program allowing bars and restaurants to expand outdoor seating to meet operating requirements established by the state. The program has been extended until October of this year.

The new proposal will ask city council if they want to expand the practice and establish more defined parameters, including requiring extended patios in parking lots to have floors built at sidewalk level to ensure a smooth transition.

While no fee is expected for Monday’s review, the report to council suggests setting a cost for businesses that wish to have dedicated patios that will occupy parking spaces.

Sidewalk decks are subject to permit fees, but Will Forsman, owner of Cafe Steam, said the costs of using parking spaces have been high in the past.

“They are very expensive to rent even for a month,” he said, acknowledging that the city had to recoup some of the lost parking fees.

Matt Monsoor, of La Crosse, performs on the downtown terrace of Cafe Steam on Saturday, July 24, 2021 in Rochester.  (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

Matt Monsoor, of La Crosse, performs on the downtown terrace of Cafe Steam on Saturday, July 24, 2021 in Rochester. (Joe Ahlquist / [email protected])

At the same time, he said the past two months have shown the benefits of downtown spaces when businesses can set them up without heavy expense.

Raelynn Chase, chief executive of Potbelly, also said the price could determine whether additional outdoor seating goes to the First Avenue Southwest restaurant.

“It would depend on what kind of cost we are looking at,” she said.

The city’s proposal offers the possibility of creating public spaces on the street at no additional cost, but the site would have to be public, which means that the sponsoring company or organization would not have exclusive rights to the space.

Holly Masek, executive director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance, said the organization, along with Destination Medical Center, had already started adding new downtown seating options, Peace Plaza chairs and tables to the new benches. in the redevelopment of the heart of the city.

She said it was part of an ongoing effort to make the downtown area more attractive to residents, downtown workers and visiting patients.

“I just think it adds so much for the community,” she said.

The city council will discuss the proposed program at its meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the council chamber of the city-county government center, 151 Fourth St. SE. The in-person meeting will have a limited number of seats due to distance requirements, but it will also be webcast online at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas and will be available on the Spectrum 180 or 188 cable channel and the Metronet 80 channel.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

Meetings scheduled for the week of August 30 include:

Rochester

• Study session of the City Council, 3:30 p.m. on Monday. The meeting will be webcast live at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas and will be available on cable channel Spectrum 180 or 188 and Metronet channel 80.

• City Council, Monday at 6 pm in the City Council Chamber of the City-County Government Center. The meeting will be webcast live at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas and will be available on cable channel Spectrum 180 or 188 and Metronet channel 80.

• Régie des services publics, Tuesday 4 pm. The meeting will be webcast live on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD1h89VmL-E

• Council on Ethical Practices, Wednesday at 10 am. Login information is available at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas. Video of the meeting will be posted the next day.

• Police Public Service Commission, Thursday at 3 pm. Access information for the online meeting is available at www.rochetermn.gov/agendas

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Parking facilities

The city center sees development migrate to its east; the Catalyst Campus plans major expansion | New


Started barely six years ago, the Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation is jam-packed, triggering an ambitious expansion plan that will cost $ 68 million for infrastructure and redesign of part of the downtown area.

While the American Olympic and Paralympic Museum and Weidner Field sprang up in the southwestern part of downtown, and bars and restaurants lined Tejon Street with apartments popping up all over the heart of the city , not much happened on the east side of the heart.

But this sector could soon take off with hundreds of apartments under construction or in the pipeline, a parking lot under construction and plans taking shape for vacant housing. Gazette building and the former Saint-François hospital.

Now, a proposal from the Catalyst Campus, located in the historic Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe rail depot and related buildings, will further strengthen the east and southeast sides of downtown, said its founder Kevin O’Neil.

Owner of The O’Neil Group Co., O’Neil is an entrepreneur with interests in residential and commercial real estate development and aerospace and cyberspace technology. He also says he is trying to integrate a community development component into his projects, and the Campus Catalyst expansion will do just that.

“We are a community builder instead of a developer,” O’Neil tells the India. “We are trying to improve and clean up the neighborhood. We see a lot of transient behavior there.

The city council was to be informed on August 23, the day the India went to press, but City Council Chairman Tom Strand is excited about the project, and Councilor Bill Murray says via email: “This proposal could help the city expand its technological footprint, which is still weak by compared to most cities.

Catalyst Campus features program areas, executive offices, research and development facilities and meeting spaces. These include the Catalyst Space Accelerator, sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directorate of Space Vehicles, which promotes commercially augmented technological progress. It has hosted nearly 50 companies around the world and secured more than $ 48 million in follow-up funding from government and private investors. Another is Space CAMP, a software factory focused on the development and deployment of Space Force mission applications for the fighter.

Nestled at the confluence of Pikes Peak and Colorado Avenues on the east side of downtown, the campus has gradually overtaken its facilities, leading O’Neil to propose the creation of two metropolitan districts and a business improvement district. totaling 15 acres.

If approved, the Catalyst BID would be one of the city’s 16 business improvement districts; two more are awaiting approval, according to city records. The city has about 46 metropolitan districts and approvals for 16 more are pending.

Catalyst Districts would tax up to 50 vintages on property tax bills to fund expansion and 10 mills for operations and administration. Districts could also adopt a public improvement charge, which is essentially a sales tax.

O’Neil plans to add executive office suites, research and development labs, residential units and, perhaps, a parking garage, increasing the footprint from 220,000 to 1 million square feet.

The work includes upgrading utilities and high-speed fiber to the east side of downtown, an initiative that would benefit surrounding properties, he said, as well as the continuation of the Legacy Loop public trail.

O’Neil said former President Donald Trump’s decision to locate the headquarters of the new space force at Peterson Air Force Base in Huntsville, Ala. – a decision contested by businessmen and local officials – did not will not hinder the development of the aerospace contingent in Colorado. Springs, and the Catalyst Campus plays a key role in this regard.

“We see new programs evolving every day,” he says. “You can’t all go to Huntsville when we’re the space capital. We have the industrial base. With the current workforce working under Space Force that would be redirected to Huntsville, we believe 75 percent of those employees will not be leaving Colorado Springs. We’re fine anyway.

It is because the demand is so great. “We are full and our request is to build something new for customers here and others who want to settle here. “

While the proposal asks for permission to issue up to $ 90 million in bonds to fund the project, it estimates the actual cost to be around $ 68 million. O’Neil says that, assuming Council approves the service plan and the creation of the districts in mid-September, he hopes to market the bonds in November and begin construction next year. (O’Neil admitted he would buy some, if not all of the bonds, although he expected other investors to step in.)

The districts would cut a strip through the old rail yard and stretch from Colorado and Pikes Peak Avenues in the north to Costilla Street in the south, and from Wahsatch Avenue in the west to Shooks Run in the east. It wouldn’t immediately integrate into the adjacent Transit Mix site, although O’Neil says he’s working on buying it. O’Neil’s project would lead to the old Gazette St. Francis Building and Hospital, which are located in the 23-acre GSF Business Improvement District and GSF Metropolitan Districts 1 and 2, controlled by Norwood Development Group.

These three districts plan to issue up to $ 100 million in debt to fund utilities, two parking garages, improved drainage, parks, streetscapes, landscaping and public art. . The redevelopment would bring in townhouses, apartments, a hotel, retail and office space and other commercial uses. Districts have formed and an election is slated for this fall to exempt BID income caps imposed by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Chairman of the Strand Board says the formation of subways and business districts has been an effective tool across the state, in terms of funding, as they create a source of income that allows development to be self-financing.

He notes that the Catalyst campus is “exploding,” so an expansion makes sense and would provide space for defense contractors and create jobs for local college graduates with technical degrees.

UCCS and Pikes Peak Community College recently adopted programs to nurture graduates of the high-tech and aerospace industries, and on August 20, the US Space Force and the University of Colorado announced a new partnership program.

City Councilor Murray said that regardless of the location of the Space Force, O’Neil’s plans could help the city expand its technological profile while, combined with Norwood’s plans, “help anchor that side.” from the city “.

But the project won’t necessarily solve the city-wide lack of cheap broadband, which has made the city a “postal mail destination,” says Murray. That said, he is in favor of the creation of neighborhoods.

Strand says the project and other new developments will force the city to further study its ability to provide municipal services, from transit to police protection.

“In terms of public safety, I am concerned about the Colorado Springs Police Department as we are about 100 less sworn officers than we need,” he says, adding that 80 recruits will be starting an academy this month. this.

“It’s going to create more demand, more businesses, more people, more business, and I’m very worried about that,” he says. While the fire department is “well positioned” in the city center, Strand questions transportation, from the suitability of roads to public transit.

“That’s a good question,” he said. “We’ll have to look at this. ”

From the City of Champions The sightseeing package has started to take hold in recent years, bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Museum to the southwest side, along with Colorado College’s nearly completed football stadium and Robson Arena, the downtown area has seen a boom.

Several new tax districts have been created, particularly near the museum, to finance offices and apartments in height. The city renovated Vermijo Avenue to encourage pedestrian traffic, and the city recently won a $ 1.6 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation that is intended for Phase 1 of a project to beautify the street. Tejon Street from Colorado Avenue to Boulder Street. The first phase will focus on two blocks going from Colorado to Kiowa.

Despite the closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants have opened, bars are buzzing and apartments are growing like weed. Multi-story apartment buildings have been built or are underway throughout the city center, bringing thousands of units to what was once a housing shortage, despite the Citywalk built in 1962 at 417 E. Kiowa St .

333 ECO Apartments in Colorado and Wahsatch have opened in the past two years, while Pikes Peak Plaza Apartments are under construction on three acres at the northwest corner of Prospect Street and Pikes Peak Avenue, including a multi-story parking lot. .

Now, O’Neil’s plans will advance development in this neighborhood.

“We have been following the plans of the O’Neil Group company closely for a long time,” Downtown Partnership CEO Susan Edmondson said via email.

“With O’Neil Group, it’s a win-win because not only are existing properties going to be improved and new spaces built, but with it all comes a highly talented workforce – high paying jobs and growing businesses. growth. This is an incredible opportunity for Downtown, ”she said.

Edmondson adds that his agency planned the transformation a few years ago, thanks to O’Neil’s investment. She says some 1,500 apartments in the downtown southeast quadrant – all east of Nevada Avenue – have recently been completed, under construction, or about to open. She estimates that 3,000 units are completed, under construction or under construction next year across the city center.

Greg Dingrando, public information officer for the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, said at least 1,000 apartments have been built or licensed since 2016.

“What we see now is the east side of Colorado Springs [Downtown] becomes the cool place, ”says O’Neil. “The number of vertical apartments is more than anywhere else in the city center. The [Catalyst Campus] is doing its part to bring that economy, those jobs and the quality of the streets there. If you go there and see what we’ve been up to over the past five years, you would be amazed.


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Parking space

The VLT parody piece, First Friday ArtWalk

Forecasters are predicting fiery weather to subside a bit and just in time for weekend events. The county’s cultural institutions are going all out with outdoor events across the city. COVID-19 conditions encourage social distancing, but with music, food and fun in the sun, there is plenty of space to celebrate during this time.

Below are some highlights that are following a strong civic impetus. For a list of all events, visit registerguard.com/things-to-do/events.

“Ministers of Grace”, a Shakespearean parody of “Ghostbusters”

For its return (outdoors) to its live performances this weekend, the Very Little Theater asks audiences, “Who are you going to call?”

“Ministers of Grace” will parody the classic 1984 film “Ghostbusters” as part of the VLT’s theatrical comeback on stage since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of appearing under rafters, the show will take place under blue skies and green leaves as the venue continues to reshape its historic 70-year-old building. With wider seats, a bigger stage and new lighting rig set to debut in January 2022, “Minister” will be one of the company’s only performances in the sun and possibly the first of 92 years of VLT history.

Following:Eugene’s Very Little Theater is delighted to receive a $ 200,000 building grant

The piece, according to development and marketing coordinator Jessica Ruth Baker, is unique outside of the VLT regular season. The performance will be free in part to thank the community for support during the theater’s extended closure. The cast, Baker said in an email, are delighted to be back in front of live faces.

“Every person in our cast is thrilled,” Baker said. “A lot of us have enjoyed doing virtual theater over the past year and a half, both pre-recorded and live, but it’s hard to match the feeling you get when you’re in the same physical space as members of the public. “

“Minister” characters like Russell Dyball (Peter Venkman) and Kari Welch (Dana Barrett) will fight a spiritual infestation with a twist: Dialogue was adapted into Elizabethan English from the Shakespearean era. The VLT combines the memorable characters and lines from the movie with low-tech effects and silly antics.

“Ministers of Grace” is a work published by playwright Jordan Monsell, who has received readings around the world. VLT will most likely be the play’s first staged performance, Baker said. To support the local arts, Monsell allowed the VLT to perform “Ministers” for free instead of possibly attending the show.

“Ministers of Grace” will take place Saturday and Sunday at 7 pm in the parking lot of the VLT, 2350 Hilyard St. Free and donations welcome; tickets and information at 541-344-7751 or facebook.com/theVLT.

#instaballet will perform during the First Friday ArtWalk at Capitello Wines, 540 Charnelton St.

Strong points

  • United Way of Lane County 75th Anniversary Kicks Off in the Park“will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at Alton Baker Park, 100 Day Island Road. Free ice cream, food trucks, a family magic show, story time and more will accompany the unveiling of the initiatives. Unitedway’s anniversary year of cultivating just and resilient South Willamette communities More information at unitedwaylane.org/events-calendar/75kickoff.
  • Lane Arts Council First Friday ArtWalk returns just in time to kick off Eugene Cultural Services Visual Arts Week at the Park Blocks, south of Eighth Avenue, east and west of Oak Street. At 5:30 pm, Mayor Lucy Vinis will deliver an opening address, poet Jorah LaFleur will present his oral piece on the theme “Emergence” and UP UP UP Inc. will follow with a “Crane Truck Circus Show” at 6 pm . Free, with at least 20 additional artistic and creative events running until 8:30 p.m. More information at eugene-or.gov/4394/Visual-Arts-Week-Events.
  • Eugene’s ballet dancers and live musicians will bring #performance instaballet 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Lane Arts Council’s first ArtWalk Friday at Capitello Wines, 540 Charnelton St. Free with food and drink to buy at Capitello Wines and Pizzeria DOP food truck. Details at lanearts.org/first-friday-artwalk.
  • the “Pop-Up Pentecost Block Party 2021” bounces from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday along Third Avenue West. Music and merriment throughout Pentecost will be provided by local traders and neighborhood residents with festivities surrounding the main stage of Ninkasi Brewery, “G-Spot” at 272 Van Buren Street. Groups include Gold Casio, Camp Crush, Laundry, Beat Crunchers, Sam & Courtesy Clerks and many more. Free. Learn more at whiteakerblock.party.

Follow Matt on Instagram @ CAFE_541. Questions or comments? Email him at [email protected] Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.

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Car park management

Biff-Burger has a new owner, the ICOT Center offices have been acquired • St Pete Catalyst


The iconic Biff-Burger joint is acquired by a local investor. The Clearwater ICOT center, among other offices, is taken over by a single entity. The property across from Derby Lane where the greyhound races were held could be used for multi-family development. A home in Clearwater Beach sells for $ 10.5 million, making it the highest home sale in Pinellas County. The home of a former St. Pete mayor hits the market.

Here is this week’s roundup of local real estate offers:

Property across Derby Lane may be used for multi-family development

Two vacant commercial plots opposite the Derby Lane site have been purchased.

10491, boulevard Gandy N. in Saint-Pierre. Google Maps.

St. Tropez Investment Co. LLC has sold two lots at 10491 Gandy Blvd. N. in a $ 2.3 million agreement with MD Gandy LLC, which is related to Clearwater-based HC JV LLC, managed by Loci Capital Management Co. LLC.

The acquired lots are directly across from the Tortuga Point apartments and are described as an ideal location to build a multi-family development.

The area surrounding the Derby Lane track is one place the developers are keeping a close eye on.

Since the Derby Lane track closed in 2020, due to the passage of an amendment banning greyhound racing, local officials have said they could potentially see the Tampa Bay Rays build a new stadium on the site.

However, no effort has been reported to move the conversation forward on the Rays potentially occupying the stadium, and although greyhound racing has ended inside the stadium, the popular Derby Lane poker room remains open.

Biff-Burger and Buffy’s BBQ have a new owner

The nostalgic Biff-Burger and Buffy’s BBQ adjoining St. Pete are new owners.

Biff-Burger. Photo by Bill DeYoung.

Justin Basil, director of Tampa-based Rockwell Investments, purchased the two plots at 3939 49th St. N. in a $ 1.4 million deal.

He was interested in the property because of its frontage on 49th Street. Basil’s wife Lauren Basil operates the Mosh Posh consignment store in Tampa, which has closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Basil told the St. Pete Catalyst that restaurant operations will continue.

The Biff-Burger restaurant in St. Pete first opened in the 1950s and has had several different owners over the years, but has remained mostly the same.

Biff-Burger. Photo by Bill DeYoung.Today, only two known locations of the former Punch-The burger chain still exists – one in Greensboro, NC, renamed Beef Burger, and the other in St. Pete.

This location also has many elements of the “classic” Punch-Architecture and characteristics of the burger, with an existing original road sign, as described by the company.

Next to Biff-Burger is Buffy’s Southern Pit BBQ, recognizable by the pink Chevrolet 57 on the roof.

Buffy’s BBQ next to Biff-Burger. Google Maps.

California company takes over office complexes, including ICOT Center in Clearwater

A California-based management company has acquired several offices at the ICOT Center in Clearwater, a 262-acre business park on Ulmerton Road in Clearwater, as well as several others for a total of approximately $ 42.18 million.

Offices of the ICOT Center. Loopnet.

The procuring entity is related to Birtcher Anderson Realty Management Inc., a property management services company that acquires and sells office, industrial and commercial buildings.

The largest purchases included: five packages within the ICOT Center for $ 8.22 million; the Turtle Creek Office complex in Clearwater for approximately $ 11.26 million; and three plots in the Starkey Business Center for about $ 18.1 million, according to Pinellas County public records.

Pasadena Mall Sells To Big Shopping Buyer

In New York acquired a shopping center anchored in the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 6818 Gulfport Blvd. in southern Pasadena.

It was sold from Branch South Pasadena Associates LLC to South Pasadena RG2 in a $ 32.65 million deal.

South Pasadena RG2 is linked to RPT Realty, which is the same company that recently purchased plots in and around the Walmart Neighborhood Market anchored plaza in the East Lake Woodlands neighborhood.

RPT has dozens of shopping centers across the country.

The mall consists of eight buildings totaling 166,188 square feet and has over 30 tenants, including Anytime Fitness and Ace Hardware.

Mandalay Point house sells for $ 10.5 million, making it the most expensive sale in the county

A house in Mandalay Point, a closed subdivision of Clearwater Beach, sold for $ 10.5 million, making it the most expensive sale in Pinellas County this year.

House at 1150 Mandalay Point in Clearwater. Loopnet.

Beach Investment Holdings LLC, which is linked to a Florida-based law firm, sold ta waterfront home at 1150 Manadaly Point to Michael and Allyson Hyer.

House at 1150 Mandalay Point in Clearwater. Loopnet.

The 3,338 square foot home, built in 1949, offers views of the bay that stretches to Caladesi Island.

It has four bedrooms and five bathrooms as well as a veranda and a swimming pool.

House at 1150 Mandalay Point in Clearwater. Loopnet.

Tech exec sells its Tarpon Springs home located on a finger of land

Shereef Moawad, owner of Tarpon Springs-based ChatLead.com Inc., sold his Tarpon Springs home for approximately $ 2.43 million.

156 George St. S., Tarpon Springs. Zillow.

His business, which includes CarChat24, helps car dealers sell more vehicles by converting a higher percentage of their website visitors into quality leads.

The 5,521 square foot home located at 156 George Street S. sits on a piece of land that juts out onto Tarpon Lake and is surrounded by water on three sides.

The house has four bedrooms which each open onto the roof terrace.

156 George St. S., Tarpon Springs. Zillow.

Outside is a swimming pool, an infinity spa, an outdoor kitchen and a private dock with two slides.

A 2,600 square foot humidity controlled garage is also unique to the house.

The old house of St. Pete Mayor comes to the market

The home of St. Petersburg mayor Randolph Wedding is back on the market and awaiting sale.

The Snell Isle Estate at 990 31st Ave. NE, is a 5,878 square foot home built in 1968. The asking price is $ 2.5 million.

The house, whose design was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, has five bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms and overlooks a canal.

990 31st Ave. NE, St. Pete. Zillow.

The home has floor to ceiling windows and sits on half an acre with lush landscaping, a pool, and an outdoor kitchen.

990 31st Ave. NE, St. Pete. Zillow.

The listing agent is Emil Suileman of EXP Realty LLC.

Wedding, who died in 2012, was mayor from 1973 to 1975 and helped persuade the state to build highways 375 and 175 and connect them to the city center.

He was also known by his architectural firm, which designed the original Busch Gardens theme park.

990 31st Ave. NE, St. Pete. Zillow.


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Car park management

Prevatte’s Home Sales becomes Oakwood Homes of Lumberton



LUMBERTON – The name of a local family who have played a vital role in regional health care for decades rose on a tower on Monday.

The UNC Health Southeastern Board of Trustees dedicated the healthcare system’s seven-story patient bed tower as the Rust Tower in an unveiling ceremony at the main entrance to the medical center. Board Chairman Wayland Lennon unveiled a sign with the new name in front of an audience of the Rust family, board members and healthcare system leaders in a ceremony broadcast live on Facebook.

“The Rust family have an extreme sense of volunteerism and commitment to Robeson County and our health care system,” said Lennon. “Their guidance and leadership has helped UNC Health Southeastern overcome triumphs and challenges, never straying from their true mission of providing the citizens of our service area with the best of health care. “

UNC Health Southeastern President / CEO Joann Anderson recalled former board member James “Randy” Rust and his influence during his early days as CEO in her remarks.

“Having worked with the Rust family for 14 years, I have appreciated their commitment to doing what is right for the greatest number,” said Anderson. “They have worked collectively to ensure that health care is always available in our region. The name of the tower is representative of their desire to make health care accessible to all.

To conclude the ceremony, Lisa and Kenneth Rust responded on behalf of the family.

“It is indeed a great privilege to be here today and with the greatest humility we thank you for this honor,” said Lisa Rust. “As much as you honor us today, as much we recognize that you could put a number of names on the outside of this building and it would still be a shell without the men and women inside the building who practice ubuntu ( I am, because we are) love every day. If our name is associated with this kind of love, then you have indeed done us a great honor, and I thank you for that.

Kenneth Rust reflected on the importance of his service and that of his father on the health system board.

“Over the past ten or twenty years, many rural hospitals have struggled, many are downsizing and even more closing their doors,” he said. “Yet in the face of this trend, this institution is thriving. Local access to quality health care, especially in any rural county, such as Robeson County, is a fragile privilege. This is one of the first truths generations of board members quickly learn when they begin their service. “

For the past 35 years, three members of the Rust family have served on the board of directors of the health care system or the Foundation.

James “Randy” Rust served on the health care board for 27 years, from 1986 to 2013. During his tenure, Rust served as chairman of the board in 1991-1992 and again in 1999-2003. He was awarded Director Emeritus status in 2014 to honor his commitment and dedication to the Southeast and the patients served throughout the Southeast region.

Randy Rust also served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors from 1990 to 1998. During his tenure on the Health System Board, he saw significant growth in outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, and drop-in centers. in shape, emergency and oncology departments, and the addition of the La tour patient bed. He also supported and helped with the Take it to the Top! Capital Campaign, which has raised more than $ 4.6 million for projects to improve emergency care and cancer treatment and to provide private rooms to virtually all hospital patients. Rust has demonstrated unwavering support and faith in the open heart surgery center offered in cooperation with Duke Health despite many setbacks during the five-year approval process, during which he visited many cities. of North Carolina to speak on behalf of the citizens of the community he represented.

Randy Rust and his wife, Mary Anne, served on several Foundation Gala committees. He was recognized statewide for his healthcare leadership and advocacy efforts by receiving the North Carolina Hospital Association Trustee Service Award for 2002 and his election to the NCHA Board of Directors in 2003 for a three-year term.

Kenneth Rust has served on the board of directors of UNC Health Southeastern since 2015, most notably as president for the period 2017-2020. During his tenure as President, he led numerous projects, including the Partnership Exploration Initiative, which began in August 2018 and ended with the announcement on December 3, 2020 that the Board administration had signed a management services agreement with UNC Health. He served during the early days and uncertain days of the COVID-19 pandemic until a vaccine became available in December 2020. Other projects he led include the transition of the NICU from the medical center towards classification as a Level II unit, upgrading the medical system from the centre’s operating rooms to a state-of-the-art operating theater, Hurricane Florence and all the devastation that followed, and the first promotion of resident physicians from Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Lisa Rust began her term on the Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2000, as President for the period 2009-2011. During her tenure as President, she oversaw numerous fundraising efforts for UNC Health Southeastern affiliates including Southeastern Hospice and Southeastern Hospice House; Gibson Cancer Center, WoodHaven Nursing, Alzheimer’s and Rehabilitation Center; short-term rehabilitation of WoodHaven; Emergency services; Behavioral health; and the University Endowment Fund. Her support and expertise were instrumental in the success of the Southeast Heart Center’s campaign, which raised $ 1.6 million, where she served as co-vice-president.

Lisa and Kenneth have served on a number of Foundation Gala Committees and served as Co-Chairs in 2002. Lisa Rust continues to serve on the Board of Trustees to raise awareness and fundraise for the UNC Health Southeastern Foundation.


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Car park management

Vontier Acquires DRB Systems, LLC for Approximately $ 965 Million, Provides Second Quarter 2021 Financial Performance Update


RALEIGH, NC – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Vontier Corporation (“Vontier”) (NYSE: VNT) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire DRB Systems, LLC (“DRB”), a leading supplier of point of sale, workflow software and control solutions to the car wash industry, subsidiaries of New Mountain Capital LLC for approximately $ 965 million in cash. The acquisition will be subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and will be funded with available cash and proceeds from borrowings under Vontier’s credit facilities. Vontier expects the acquisition to be completed in the third quarter of 2021.

Based in Akron, OH, DRB was founded in 1984 and employs over 500 people in North America. The company’s portfolio of trusted brands includes DRB Tunnel Solutions, DRB In-Bay Solutions (formerly Unitec®), Suds Creative â„¢, eGenuity®, Washify®, InvoMax â„¢, Auto Data â„¢ and Sage Microsystems â„¢. DRB is owned by New Mountain Capital, a New York-based investment firm.

Mark Morelli, President and CEO of Vontier, said: “The acquisition of DRB should accelerate our strategy of portfolio diversification towards long-term growth drivers in attractive markets and establish a portfolio of sales solutions in the region. retail $ 500 million. DRB’s focus on technology and software solutions complements our existing point-of-sale and payment offerings and improves our growth and recurring revenue profile, profitability and free cash flow generation.

The DRB acquisition aligns with our goal of smart infrastructure and offers compelling opportunities for expansion beyond its current end markets. In addition, its entry into the high value-added segment of the car wash industry allows Vontier to increasingly benefit from the growing demand for clean and efficient mobility solutions and key trends, including autonomous vehicles and water conservation. We look forward to working with the DRB team to provide an extensive suite of solutions to meet the industry’s growing needs for workflow technology and expertise.

Vontier expects DRB to generate around $ 170 million in revenue in 2021 with average operating margins of 20% and is expected to have a long-term single-digit growth rate. The purchase price of the acquisition is approximately $ 965 million and includes a deferred tax asset of approximately $ 130 million, which we expect to be able to use over the next 15 years.

Peter Masucci, Managing Director of New Mountain Capital, said: “We are proud of the successful partnership with DRB and the tremendous business development that has taken place since our investment in October 2017. Under the ownership of New Mountain Capital, DRB has experienced a significant growth while tripling the dollars. dedicated to product development and innovation. We thank the management team and the employees of DRB and wish Vontier continued success with DRB in the years to come.

VONTIER’S SECOND QUARTER 2021 PRELIMINARY RESULTS

Vontier also announced today that it expects second quarter 2021 basic revenue growth and adjusted diluted net income per share to be higher than previously announced by the company, primarily due to a increased demand for retail solutions and auto repair offerings.

ABOUT VONTIER

Vontier is a global industrial technology company focused on transportation and mobility solutions. The company’s portfolio of trusted brands includes leading expertise in mobility technologies, commercial and commercial refueling, fleet management, telematics, vehicle diagnostics and repair and smart city end markets. Vontier’s innovative products, services and software improve efficiency, safety, security and environmental compliance around the world.

Guided by Vontier’s proven business system and unwavering commitment to continuous improvement and customer success, Vontier maintains traffic through over 90,000 intersections, serves over 260,000 customer refueling sites, monitors more than 480,000 commercial vehicles and equips more than 600,000 automotive technicians worldwide. . Vontier’s innovation history, margin profile and cash flow characteristics should support continued investment in a range of compelling organic growth and capital deployment opportunities. Vontier mobilizes the future to create a better world.

ABOUT THE NEW MOUNTAIN CAPITAL

New Mountain Capital is a New York-based investment firm that emphasizes business development and growth, rather than leverage, as it seeks long-term capital appreciation. The company currently manages private equity, credit, net rental real estate and public equity funds with more than $ 30 billion in assets under management. New Mountain Capital seeks out what it believes to be the highest quality growth leaders in carefully selected industry sectors, then works intensely with management to create value in these companies. Additional information on New Mountain Capital is available at www.newmountaincapital.com.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws regarding Vontier, DRB and the acquisition of DRB by Vontier. Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical, including statements regarding the proposed acquisition, the expected timing and conditions of the acquisition, future product solutions, the future financial and operational impact, or the results of acquisition, expected financial performance for Vontier, prospects for DRB or the industry following the acquisition, future growth opportunities following the acquisition, future synergy and any other statements regarding events or developments that Vontier expects or anticipates will occur or may occur in the future, are “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. These statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the business and acquisition opportunities and anticipated profits of Vontier Corporation (the “Company”), as well as any other statement identified by the use of words such as ” anticipate ”,“ expect ”,“ believe ”,“ prospect ”,“ direction ”or“ will ”or other words having a similar meaning. There are a number of important risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those suggested or indicated by these forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on such statements. prospective. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, the duration and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deterioration or instability of the economy, the markets we serve, international trade policies and financial markets, contractions or declining growth rates and cyclicality of the markets we serve, competition, changes in industry standards and government regulations that may have a negative impact on demand for our products or our costs, our ability to identify, consume, integrate and successfully realize the anticipated value of appropriate acquisitions and complete divestitures and other divestitures; our ability to successfully develop and market new products, software and services and to grow over time. new markets, potential for inappropriate conduct by our employees, agents or business partners, impact of divestitures, contingent liabilities related to acquisitions and divestitures, the impact of changes in tax laws, our compliance with applicable laws and regulations and changes in applicable laws and regulations, risks related to international economic, political, legal, compliance and trade factors , risks related to the potential impairment of goodwill and other intangible assets, exchange rates, tax audits and changes in our tax rate and income taxes, the impact of our debts on our operations, litigation and other contingent liabilities, including intellectual property and environmental, health and safety matters, our ability to adequately protect our intellectual property rights, risks associated with product, service or software defects , product liability and recalls, risks associated with product manufacturing, our relationships with and the performance of our partners s distribution, commodity costs and supplements, our ability to adjust purchasing and manufacturing capacity to reflect market conditions, reliance on single sources of supply, security breaches or others disruptions to our information systems, the adverse effects of restructuring activities, the impact of changes to US GAAP, labor issues and disruptions related to natural and man-made disasters. Additional information regarding factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements can be found in our filings with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020. These forward-looking statements represent Vontier’s beliefs and assumptions only as of the date of this release and Vontier assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events and developments. or otherwise.


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Publix to anchor East San Marco Mall in Jacksonville

Residents waited about 18 years for the first shovelful to be turned on the construction of the East San Marco shopping center anchored by a new Publix supermarket built on top of a parking lot.

The project – which also includes a separate Publix liquor store, Orangetheory fitness center, and other retail stores – is well underway at the corner of Hendricks Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard in historic San Marco in Jacksonville.

“The provisional opening date is scheduled for the end of the second quarter [second quarter] of 2022, ”Chris Norberg, community relations manager for the Jacksonville division of Publix, said in an email to The Times-Union.

Dirt moves in East San Marco: Beginning of the first work on the project after 18 years of waiting

Publix is ​​coming: Supermarket, parking structure in East San Marco

Norberg declined to comment on the supermarket’s planned amenities.

Previously released plans show the 38,294-square-foot supermarket will be above a first-floor parking garage. Escalators will take shoppers to the grocery store.

Construction is well advanced on Publix which will anchor the East San Marco shopping center at the corner of Hendricks Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard.

Publix officials said in 2019 that the East San Marco store would be the first in Jacksonville built above a parking structure. But there are several with a similar design in the supermarket chain’s multi-state service area, they said.

Eric Davidson, a spokesperson for developer Regency Centers, told The Times-Union that construction on the project is going well.

“We are still on schedule to complete our construction after the summer of next year,” he said. “At this point, we will then hand over our spaces to our new tenants, who can then update how long their construction will take. ”

New movie theaters:Cinemark 14 takes center stage in Jacksonville’s new mall

Update:Aging and obsolete Roosevelt Square turns into modern Ortega Park

Update:RH Jacksonville Brings Luxury Home Goods and Rooftop Restaurants to Downtown St. Johns

Right now, the concrete block is rising, but there is still a lot of work to be done, Davidson said, noting that despite the weather and the COVID-19 pandemic “we are still on schedule.”

Davidson said Regency Centers is in talks with potential tenants and concepts to join Publix and Orangetheory in East San Marco, but nothing has been finalized and ready to announce.

Construction of the new East San Marco shopping center anchored by the Publix supermarket is well underway at the corner of Hendricks Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard.

The project has been in operation since the early 2000s. The recession as well as the withdrawal of a residential development partner were among the factors cited over the years for the repeated delays.

Finally, a groundbreaking ceremony held on February 16 kicked off construction.

In addition to the supermarket, the project also includes a 1,430 square foot Publix liquor store and another 18,800 square foot “shell” retail or restaurant space for other tenants, according to building permits. and project plans.

An architectural drawing shows the East San Marco shopping center project on Hendricks Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard.

Publix East of San Marco

  • Address: 2039 avenue Hendricks, at the intersection of avenue Hendricks and boulevard Atlantic
  • Publix Planned Completion: Second Quarter 2022
  • Estimated overall completion of the shopping center: summer 2022
  • Total estimated initial cost: $ 9.7 million
  • Site area: 3.25 acres
  • Tenants with signed leases: Publix and Orangetheory Fitness
  • State of construction: exterior concrete block walls are in place and infrastructure work is underway
  • Developer: Regency Centers
  • Contractor: Construction J. Raymond
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Car park management

GM ships 30,000 pickup trucks, but will slow down factories that make midsize SUVs


Just as General Motors advances in one area, it must sacrifice in another as the auto industry continues to grapple with a global shortage of semiconductor chips used in many auto parts.

GM has met its production target to complete building and shipping nearly 30,000 mid-size Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, which were waiting for chip parts, to dealerships this week.

But starting Monday, GM must slow down four of its North American factories that make midsize SUVs – including Lansing Delta Township Assembly – for two weeks due to the chip shortage.

GM plant workers say there are tens of thousands of midsize SUVs parked, waiting for chips to complete production and ship to dealers, but a GM spokesperson declined to comment on specific numbers indicating that the situation was changing daily.

In an internal notice to GM workers obtained by Free Press Thursday and confirmed by GM, the automaker will idle the following factories from Monday to July 26:

  • San Luis Potosi, Mexico: builds mid-size Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain SUVs
  • Ramos Assembly, Mexico: Builds Equinox and GMC Blazer midsize SUVs
  • Township of Lansing Delta: builds mid-size Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse SUVs
  • Spring Hill Assembly, Tennessee: builds Cadillac XT5, XT6 and GMC Acadia midsize SUVs

Additionally, at the CAMI Assembly in Ontario, where GM is building Equinox, GM will extend the downtime until August 16. CAMI was due to resume production next week after its planned two-week summer shutdown.

GM has confirmed its full-size pickup plants to Flint; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Silao, Mexico, as well as full-size SUV production in Arlington, Texas, are all in regular production, making up three teams.

A worker at the Lansing Delta Township factory told the Free Press that there were around 15,000 parked vehicles, waiting for chip parts to complete production and ship to dealers. The worker asked not to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

After:MSU gets bargain from GM as automaker parks unfinished cars

Abandoned quarters, disappointment

The news surprised and disappointed some workers at Spring Hill Assembly.

“We worked nine hours a day and on weekends we just came back to eight this week and canceled Saturday and Sunday,” said a Spring Hill assembly line worker. “We will end this week with over 10,000 cars under repair awaiting chips.”

The worker requested that his name not be used because he is not authorized to speak to the media and fears retaliation.

“The three SUVs we’ve built here are having increasing sales, so it’s a bit of a letdown,” the worker said.

Pictured is the 2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport.

In the second quarter, sales of the XT5 were up 83% from the previous year quarter, those of the XT6 by 73% and those of the Acadia by 72%. GM followed a strategy of directing the chips it could get to the best-selling vehicles and the biggest profits, and these are mostly full-size SUVs and full-size pickups.

“The global semiconductor shortage remains complex and very fluid,” GM spokesman David Barnas said. “But GM’s global purchasing and supply chain, engineering and manufacturing teams continue to find creative solutions and make progress in working with the supply base to maximize the production of our most valuable products. plus – on-demand and limited-capacity vehicles, including full-size trucks and SUVs. “

Barnas said GM expects this to be “a short-term problem.” GM CEO Mary Barra said the automaker expects the chip shortage to start improving before the end of the year.

But last month, GM’s chief financial officer said the chip shortage and rising inflation would push GM’s spending in the second half of the year up to $ 3 billion.

Achieve the production target

Since the start of this year, the auto industry has had to either slow down assembly plants or build vehicles without all the parts and then park them while waiting for the chips to arrive. The result is relatively empty dealer lots.

The chips, made mainly in Taiwan, are used in various electronic devices. They are in tight numbers after demand for them increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as people bought laptops and other personal electronics that also use them. Chips go into a variety of auto parts.

After:Everything you need to know about the auto manufacturer’s chip shortage

At Wentzville Assembly, Missouri, where GM makes its mid-size pickup trucks and mid-size Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon vans, GM has about 30,000 unfinished pickup trucks parked in various locations waiting for parts since late April.

At Bedrock Quarry in Troy, Missouri.  General Motors is stocking several hundred Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickup trucks and vans while they wait for parts to complete production at the assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri.  Then they will be shipped to dealers.  The industry is facing a massive shortage of semiconductor chips used in auto parts, forcing automakers to build and stock vehicles in some cases.

In early June, GM promised its dealers that “help is on the way” by forgoing the typical summer shutdown of most factories and redirecting parts from chips to vehicles in demand and waiting for parts. At that time, GM said Colorado and Canyon shipments would increase by about 30,000 units in total during the week of July 5.

GM approached. Mid-size pickup truck shipments “increased by about 30,000 from mid-May to July 14, as the team performed dynamic vehicle tests on units held at the plant due to disruptions to semi. -conductors, ”Barnas said.

He called it “the incredible work of the Wentzville team to achieve the targeted engagement of 30,000 and prepare the plant for the launch change at the same time.”

He said production of the vehicles at Wentzville will resume on schedule Monday after its scheduled downtime to retool the plant to build the next-generation midsize pickup trucks.

Missing features

In addition to building vehicles without parts and parking them to wait for parts, GM also builds vehicles without certain parts and takes money out of the sticker price. GM said earlier this week that it would make SUVs without a wireless phone charging feature or following a timid construction strategy.

In March, GM announced that it would build certain 2021 lightweight full-size pickup trucks without a fuel management module until the end of the model year in late summer. The result is that the affected vans will not achieve the best fuel economy performance.

In June, GM said some full-size SUVs and pickup trucks will not contain automatic stop / start, the feature that turns the engine off when a driver stops at an intersection and then automatically restarts it when the driver presses the button. ‘accelerator.

After:GM’s timid construction strategy has tens of thousands of vehicles parked waiting for chip parts

Contact Jamie L. LaReau at 313-222-2149 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and subscribe to our automotive newsletter. Become a subscriber.



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Parking space

City of Billings leaders move closer to purchase of Stillwater Building

BILLINGS – With a 10-1 vote on Monday night, Billings City Council gave the mayor the power to sign a buy / sell agreement, signaling the city’s intention to purchase the Stillwater building with possible plans to build the space of a center of law and justice.

“This idea is a long-term investment. It’s not just about kick-starting another problem that another board will have to address in 10 or 15 years,” said Kendra Shaw, member. of the council, which represents district 1.

Alaska-based WC Commercial LLC currently owns the building, walkway, and nearby parking across North 26th Street.

Once Mayor Bill Cole officially signs the document, the city will have 60 days to do their due diligence to inspect the building for any issues that may cause city staff or council to reconsider their decision. . September 15 is the date scheduled for the city to close the deal.

MTN News / Mitch Lagge

Members of Billings City Council are discussing the possible purchase of the Stillwater building to add more room to city services at their Monday night meeting.

The city negotiated a price of $ 17 million for the building and its land. Construction was estimated at an additional $ 10 million and could take between three and four years. The construction price does not include the cost of furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Part of the money to buy the building would come from $ 20 million of money freed up from the general fund. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city paid for part of its public safety services using federal COVID-19 relief dollars from the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, freeing up money from the general fund to spend on other things.

The Stillwater Building was originally built in 1960 and was once a federal courthouse. The building has five floors, a basement with parking and an underground access for the transport of prisoners.

The idea of ​​the purchase is to have a central location for all of the City of Billings services. The Planning and Community Development Department, Zoning Department, Code Enforcement Department, Building Division, Public Works, City Court, and Police Department could all be located under the roof of the Stillwater Building at over the next few years if the city agrees to buy the property.

City services are currently spread over three sites in the city center. After a tour of the current city hall, council member Mike Boyett said everyone was too crowded for space.

“It is not (handicapped accessible). When I broke my ankle, I had a hard time walking through this building. There are people in the cupboards. There are people in the boiler room. Yes, there’s another building in Billings, but let’s let all the kids play in one place. Let’s make room for expansion, “Boyett said.

City administrator Chris Kukulski said the plan would first be to address the immediate need for a legal and judicial center. Then other departments could move in as leases expire on their current spaces over the next two years.

“We are also renting out several different spaces in the city center. We are tenants today of several of our office services and this is money that taxpayers are paying and will not pay anymore,” Kukulski said. .

071221 STILLWATER EXO.jpg

MTN News / Mitch Lagge

The front side of the Stillwater Building in downtown Billings which is connected to the Stillwater Parking Garage across North 26th Street via an overhead bridge.

The city would occupy only about two floors of the Stillwater Building and would have the option of leasing the remaining space. Kukulski said the goal would be to get state or federal law-related services located in the building.

“My interest is not to go out and compete per se and try to book retail operations or other operations in this building. It is to put other local government departments or state departments or federal services that complement the local government services we provide, ”Kukulski mentioned.

The Yellowstone County government already occupies 7,000 square feet of office space on the third floor of the building. The county pays approximately $ 365,000 per year to lease space at WC Commercial. The lease ends in 2025.

Kukulski mentioned that the Yellowstone County Council of Commissioners recently took a 2-1 vote to sign a buy / sell agreement to purchase the Miller Building at 301 N 29th St.

“They are one of our most likely tenants. If they determine that they are going to move out after 2025, long before we know that answer,” Kukulski said.

The need for more space for municipal government was first identified after the completion of a facilities master plan in 2015. Over the past 18 months, the city has entered into negotiations regarding the Stillwater Building. As a price was not agreed, negotiations turned to evaluations.

Jessica Iverson, City Construction Manager and Facilities Manager, provided the background to the assessments. Elkhorn Appraisal valued the building at $ 22 million and NVC Appraisal at $ 12 million, Iverson said. An evaluator-reviser was then called upon to analyze the methods of the other evaluators. Review appraiser Dave Thomas valued the building at $ 13.5 million.

“What determination of market value the review appraiser seeks to find is based on a typical buyer or investor in the market. This does not take into account the value of the specific benefits that the city has. The negotiating committee took this into account during negotiations to determine the price with the seller and concluded that the building has greater value to the city than the review’s assessment suggests, which is why a price The higher purchase price was offered to the seller, ”Iverson said.

With the price tag of $ 17 million, the city would purchase the building for $ 85 / square foot. Much less than the $ 375 / square foot it would cost to build a new building.

Council member Shaun Brown said he was concerned that the city was paying more than appraised value and disliked the possibility that a majority of the building would remain vacant if the city could not find space. tenants.

“Is this going to sit empty for years? I’m struggling with this, but I’m working really hard to support this as an opportunity we wouldn’t have had otherwise, but it’s still $ 4 million So I’m fighting with that, but I will support it, ”Brown said.

Ward 4 representative Penny Ronning, a council member, was the only one to vote against approving the buy / sell agreement. Ronning said she supported the move to the Stillwater Building, that there was not enough public commentary on how the city should spend the money freed up thanks to the federal government.

“I don’t think that’s good government the way this process has worked,” Ronning said.

071221 Penny Ronning.jpg

MTN News / Mitch Lagge

Penny Ronning, a member of Billings City Council, who represents Ward 4, shares her position on the Stillwater Building buy / sell agreement with council.

“Not a single request to the public on how the public wants to use this money. Not a single presentation on our options for using this money. Could we build an 8 fire station, where 40,000 Billings Heights members could actually be? served with additional fire departments? What else could we use this money for in terms of public safety services where our crime is so high it’s unbelievable. I don’t dispute that we need it? ‘additional space for the town hall. I do not dispute that we need the space of the center of law and justice, I do not disagree with that at all, but I do not agree with the fact that it is the only option that is even given to us and presented by our municipal administration for the use of these funds, ”Ronning added.

RELATED: Billings Could Buy $ 17 Million Stillwater Building for Law and Justice Center.

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Parking facilities

Pandemic, real estate prices are forcing charter schools to delay openings


Five new Las Vegas charter schools were scheduled to open in August. Now only two will.

The other three – Sage Collegiate Public Charter School, Eagle Charter Schools of Nevada, and Las Vegas Collegiate Charter School – have delayed their openings until fall 2022.

Schools, all of which plan to serve students throughout the Las Vegas Valley, struggle to find a facility or land within their budget in a competitive real estate market.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also significantly affected several schools that initially planned to open for the next school year, said Rebecca Feiden, executive director of the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority.

“It includes everything from community outreach to supply chains and facilities,” she said via email. “SPCSA looks forward to working with the governing bodies and principals of these approved schools to ensure a successful launch in fall 2022.”

Sage Collegiate received state approval in June to extend its opening date to August 2022 due to low enrollment numbers and a delay in securing a first-year facility.

Sandra Kinne, senior founder and executive director of the small independent school, said postponing the opening date was the most prudent and financially sound decision.

“We thought it was better to postpone to really focus on finalizing a really solid setup for the opening rather than trying to scramble to meet even the minimum sign-up goals,” Kinne said. . “It was not an easy decision.”

It “really stinks” for families who were excited about school and planned for their kids to start in August, she admitted.

Long waiting lists

With three schools no longer opening this year, two new ones remain: TEACH Las Vegas and CIVICA Nevada Career & Collegiate Academy.

The state legislature authorized the creation of public charter schools in 1997. Since then, the number of campuses has grown rapidly and many schools have long waiting lists.

Today, the state’s charter authority oversees 67 school campuses – about 80% of which are in southern Nevada – and more than 53,000 students.

Over the past five years, the state has approved zero to five new charter schools per year. There is no limit on the number of new schools the charter board can approve, although legislation passed in 2019 is required to have a growth management plan.

New schools proposed must show how they meet an academic or demographic need. Many of the new applicants to the school, and those approved by the state, aim to serve areas of high poverty.

New schools are licensed to operate in one or more zip codes and must find a facility within those boundaries, unless they seek state permission to survey neighboring areas.

Finding land to build on or a facility to rent or buy that fits the budget of a start-up charter school can be a challenge.

Petra Latch, president of Commercial Alliance Las Vegas, the commercial arm of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, said it doesn’t surprise her that new charter schools are having problems building or finding a facility.

Latch said school officials would be better off working with local municipalities to see if they have any properties available for redevelopment.

Seeking to open a school without having already identified a site is putting the “cart before the horse,” said Latch, an assessor.

“The market in which you compete for land is not good for a school,” she said.

Charter schools often require a joint venture where schools need someone to build a facility and then lease it with an option to buy, Latch said.

“It’s the most common way to do these things,” she said, noting that schools are expensive to build and require a large initial investment.

New charter schools, however, have a choice of different types of buildings – such as old office buildings, churches, retail stores, and commercial areas – although some facilities may require a special use permit to be used. like schools.

Church buildings are a popular option, Latch said, because they tend to be easier to convert into schools as many already have classrooms and parking lots.

As for downtown and downtown Las Vegas in particular, there will be no vacant lots available unless it is a site demolished or assembled from smaller plots, Latch said. Plus, she said, the plots tend to be smaller and probably aren’t big enough for a school.

Construction costs are also on the rise and unpredictable, she said.

Here’s a look at the obstacles faced by three new Las Vegas charter schools that caused them to push back their opening dates:

Collegiate sage

Sage Collegiate applied to the state in 2019, but its application for a new school was denied. The charter authority expressed concerns about the academic, organizational and financial plans offered by the school, and the lack of evidence of local community engagement.

After submitting a revised application, the school was approved in November.

It plans to serve up to 168 kindergarten to grade two students in its first year and gradually expand through college.

With less than two months to go before school starts in August, however, Sage Collegiate was within 50 percent of its first-year enrollment goal.

Sage Collegiate’s board of directors approved a user agreement in May with the Lied Memorial Boys & Girls Club for the 2021-22 school year. But the school is now looking for another establishment since it will finally not open this fall.

The school was granted the building space just a month before a state enrollment audit, Kinne, the school’s executive director, told the Review-Journal. “One month was not enough to get us the enrollment numbers where they needed to be.

“We understand that families do not want to go to school without an address,” he added.

There were also not as many community events and opportunities to engage with potential families beyond social media, Kinne said.

Sage Collegiate executives are now considering a “different set of options” for its first school year, such as seeking state permission to open with more students and grade levels, Kinne said.

But first, “you absolutely have to find a facility,” she said. “It has become the number one priority”.

Securing land or a building is difficult because the school does not have a credit history or the capital to immediately build a new facility, Kinne said, and construction and renovation costs have increased during the pandemic.

Another challenge: Sage Collegiate doesn’t need as much building space in its first year as it does later, like sixth year.

Despite the hurdles, Sage Collegiate remains committed to serving students in its three approved zip codes – 89107, 89108 and 89146, Kinne said.

That’s because there’s a need, she said, noting that 60% of the existing campuses in those zip codes are one or two star schools. And there is only one other charter school in this region and it uses a hybrid model with in-person and online classes.

Las Vegas College

Las Vegas Collegiate is pushing back its opening date for the second time due to the pandemic and issues with facilities, Feiden told the charter authority’s board of directors in May, calling the situation unprecedented.

In December 2019, the board of trustees approved the new elementary school for Las Vegas’ Historic Westside. It was initially scheduled to open last August.

Last year, the school was granted a facility on West Bartlet Avenue, but is now back in search of premises after postponing its opening due to uncertainties surrounding the pandemic.

In January, the chartered authority’s board approved a request by the school to expand its search to less than 1.5 miles beyond its approved zip code. But it didn’t work.

The school’s founder and executive director, Bianté Gainous, told the chartered authority’s board in May that the school had exhausted all available options in its approved 89106 zip code or within a 1½ radius. miles in time to open this fall.

“Registration was certainly not a challenge for us,” said Gainous, noting that there were many families interested.

Gainous said the school wants to serve low-income communities and must expect challenges in finding a building in its approved area.

The school looked at options such as churches, old retail stores, a former pavilion, business and corporate centers, a school that has closed, and a boys and girls club.

Gainous said school leaders wanted to keep fighting to open the school. “Unfortunately, this is the time when we are in a rush.”

In June, the board approved another request from the school – this time, to allow it to search for a facility up to 4 miles from its approved zip code.

Las Vegas Collegiate officials did not respond to a request for comment from the Review-Journal.

Eagle Charter Schools

The charter authority’s board of directors voted in January to approve Eagle Charter Schools of Nevada, which originally planned to open a campus in August.

But in February, Nick Fleege, a member of the school’s training committee, told the board that the school intended to seek permission to extend its opening date to 2022.

“I think we have recognized the short track” between an approval in January and the need to have a fully ready school facility by August, he said.

In March, the board approved the school’s request to postpone its opening. The school plans to initially serve students from Kindergarten to Grade 5 and then expand through Grade 8.

Fleege said in an email that postponing the school was a “simple decision based primarily on when the charter is approved coupled with the amount of time it takes to secure a facility.”

“While Eagle is extremely eager and enthusiastic to serve students, the team recognizes that seizing the opportunity to defer to 2022 is the responsible and measured approach that will give us the opportunity to secure and improve a more secure facility. appropriate, ”he said.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at [email protected] or 702-387-2921. To pursue
@julieswootton on Twitter.



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Boise, Id envisions the future of an expanded dining room on 8th Street

Boise restaurants have taken to the streets – literally – at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but what’s next?

Last summer, Boise City Council and the Ada County Road District relaxed regulations around the right-of-way to allow restaurants and bars to take over. parking spaces in the city center to allow more socially distant meals. The city also closed 8th Street to vehicular traffic, and restaurants moved their patios to the curb to make more room for outdoor tables when indoor capacity was limited.

[Portion of Boise’s 8th Street will get a makeover: bikes, sidewalks, patios]

Ongoing improvements to come

Customers and 8th Street businesses have widely embraced the change, reveling in the increased space to sit outside and space to stroll around the two blocks of Restaurant Row. from 8th street. But now that the pandemic is abating, Boise’s director of economic development Sean Keithly said the city was considering how to move forward with the downtown area filling up.

“Going back to how it happened, it was done quickly and in a somewhat organic fashion and we don’t want to lose any of those benefits, but since this was an emergency response, we didn’t have time to really dig deep with stakeholders and companies and think about how we would do it in a way that could consider longer term implementation, ”Keithly said.” C ‘what we want to do is think about what we have learned and be more intentional. “

Visitors stroll 8th Street in July 2021. Photo: Margaret Carmel / BoiseDev

Keithly said Mayor Lauren McLean and other city leaders have yet to decide what the next phase of 8th Street will look like. The city is currently taking the feedback into account and examining its options, including how to plan for traffic in the area, accessibility for deliveries, pedestrian and cyclist safety, and access to lanes.

8th Street is currently bordered by temporary bright orange traffic barriers to ensure traffic stays off the closed street and visually impaired pedestrians know where the pedestrian street ends. The city is currently looking for a company to offer permanent ADA improvements at intersections.

What about parklets?

The expanded restoration has occurred in more places than 8th Street.

Around Boise, restaurants and bars have been granted permission under a new ordinance to place diners in parking lots or on sidewalks outside their restaurants to make more room. Idaho’s Alcohol Beverage Control also gave them permission to serve drinks in these new right-of-way dining rooms.

This ordinance allowing the changes will expire in April 2022, but in the meantime, companies that have grown to trust it are wondering what will happen when the rule is renewed.

Molly Leadbetter, one of the co-owners of Meriwether Cider Company, said the extra space gave her the boost she needed to get through the pandemic. But, she said, until the city and CDHA make a firmer decision on what to do next, her company is reluctant to invest a lot of money in improvements.

A parklet outside Barbarian Brewing. Photo: Margaret Carmel / BoiseDev

“If we could make these parking spaces ours all the time or just for the hot weather, we could invest in real construction so that we can build parklets and make it really nice,” Leadbetter said. “For that, it’s like we don’t want to spend too much, too much money because when that is done, we’ll have all the material, but if we can get some direction, maybe we can make it really pretty. . “

Nearby Barbarian Brewing also benefited from three parking spaces for a parklet, but co-owner BreAnne Hovley said she was not counting on that option in the future.

“People love the extra seats downtown and the fact that it’s in a parking spot doesn’t deter people from sitting down and enjoying the action,” Hovely said. “But, we know that our park situation is not a viable option in the long term due to the orange barriers and the need to rent the equipment to block them.”

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Pitman’s Independence Day Parade features a calm zone for sensory issues

PITMAN – The 2021 Independence Day Parade came here with the equivalent of a mute button, creating for a single block along North Broadway a comfort zone for spectators for whom loud noises can be painful.

Problems with sudden and / or loud noises are a common problem for those somewhere on the autism spectrum. And for those who experience it, “strong” is also a relative term.

Thomas and Gina Bright, residents of Pittsgrove Township, drove to Pitman on Monday with their son Thomas and daughter Ryder precisely because they had heard about the creation of a “quiet zone”.

“Fantastic, by the way,” said Gina Bright, who also appreciated the fact that the locals were also scattered around.

The couple were recently diagnosed that their son, now 2.5 years old, has autism with hearing sensitivity. Monday’s parade was her first since being diagnosed, they said.

Thomas Bright said his son had seen a fireworks display the night before and had behaved well.

“We have hearing protection,” said Thomas Bright. “We try to see how it goes, first. He will be fine. We usually put it in our earmuffs. And if that doesn’t work, we’ve got a stroller for him. We usually put it in there. It’s like a safe area for him.

Pitman Police Detective Nick Barbetta touches the hand of 2-year-old Thomas Buzby Bright at the start of the 2021 Borough's Independence Day Parade on Broadway.  The Bright family came to enjoy a little

The July 4th parade here is traditionally long, if not particularly loud, with beauty pageant participants, active and historic firefighters, music, and walkers.

Mayor Michael Razze, one of the protesters on Monday, said the Quiet Zone was supposed to have debuted in 2020. This parade has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Razze said some local mothers came to apply to him two years ago, having heard about the idea being tested elsewhere.

“So I keep it in mind,” Razze said. “2021 is coming and I said, ‘We’re going to have the calm zone. So, again, we had the signs done. We have the police here. Just to make sure everyone, no matter where you’re from, whatever your problem, whatever, you have the option to come and enjoy the parade.

Razze said the location of the area, between Arbutus and Myrtle avenues, was chosen in part because of its parking availability.

“Because we also thought that people from out of town might want to come in,” the mayor said. “It’s not just for residents. It’s for people from everywhere they can’t enjoy a parade somewhere else that has a space like this. Where they can be comfortable.

The selected block is not heavily residential but there are a few residents. Gwendolyn Lowe lives and works there and was surprised by the experience. Lowe and her daughter, Amanda Silvia, said they would have appreciated notice.

Silvia, who drove from Rhode Island for the vacation, said that in most years about 20 people gather at her mother’s house for the vacation.

“And the city never mentioned to her that we had a quiet area,” Silvia said. “We are all for it. Our children are sometimes afraid of mermaids and the like. But for us to have to move to another area, when we physically live here, it is an inconvenience.

“And I saw the sign this morning and I didn’t know what it meant,” Lowe said. – Because the bank is not open. … And most of these apartments, there are no children here.

Other spectators were also unaware of the reason for the different environment this year and just found the area convenient.

Pitman Borough's Independence Day Parade on Monday was preceded by the annual Pitman Freedom 4 Miler Run which ends at Pitman Avenue and Broadway.

Ben Abrams, a resident of Plattsburgh, New York, grew up in Washington Township. He is ready to be with his family.

“It was a place close to our parking space,” Abrams said, adding. “I walk on crutches.

Carlo and Susan Gonzalez live right off Broadway, so it made sense to walk there with their picnic chairs.

“I had read it briefly, but we’re not here for some reason just because we live there,” he said. “But I think it’s a good idea.”

“It’s a great idea,” said Susan Gonzalez.

Joe Smith is a native of NE Philly who transplanted to South Jersey over 30 years ago, now keeping an eye on the South Jersey government. He is a former editor and current editor of the Vineland Daily Journal, the Cherry Hill Courier-Post and the Burlington County Times.

Do you have any advice? Contact us at (856) 563-5252 or [email protected] or follow me on Twitter, @ jpsmith-dj. Help support local journalism with a subscription.

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North Carolina could cut taxes on income, cigars, cemeteries and vaccines


  • Funeral land offered for sale or rental would be exempt from property taxes.
  • Excise duties on cigars would be capped at 30 cents per cigar.
  • Millions would be spent on museums in Cumberland and Onslow counties.

Do North Carolinians want a tax cut for cemetery owners and cigar shops? Do they want tax increases for other cigar sellers and for certain car rentals that were previously tax-free?

What about canceling corporate income tax when workers are still expected to pay 3.99%? And do voters want the state to spend nearly $ 765 million on special projects and groups such as museums, water and sewer systems, dams, airport facilities, and private organizations? non-profit ?

These are some of the things Republicans who control the state Senate said would be good for the state of North Carolina when they voted in late June to spend $ 25.7 billion of public money during over the next 12 months and $ 26.6 billion over the next 12 months. .

The Senate sent the budget to the GOP-controlled State House, which reviewed the Senate’s plan and drafted its own vision for how the government should spend taxpayer dollars over the next two years.

In addition to doing allowances for public education, courts, public safety, parks and recreation and other typical government spending, here is some important or interesting things on the Senate’s draft budget:

Income tax cuts

A North Carolina personal income tax form.  The North Carolina Senate voted in June to exempt corporations from paying income tax by 2028. Individuals would benefit from a tax cut in the next few years, but would still have to remit to the state 3.99% on their taxable income.

â–º Corporate taxes eliminated – The GOP’s long plan to eliminate corporate tax would unfold in stages by 2028. Corporations have paid 2.5% since 2019. The Senate wants to lower the corporate rate to 2% in 2024 and the gradually reduce to 0% in 2028.

â–º Personal income taxes – While corporations would see their income taxes eventually repealed, their employees would still have to pay. The personal income tax rate, currently 5.25%, would drop to 4.99% on January 1 and drop in stages to 3.99% in 2026.

Individuals would also see their tax bill reduced because the standard deduction would be increased, as would the amount of the deduction for children. In addition, more taxpayers would qualify for the child deduction, according to a report from legislative staff.

Cigars, cemeteries, rental cars and vaccines

â–º Cigar tax reduction – North Carolina has a 12.8% wholesale excise tax on cigars. While a box of 20 cigars retail for $ 141 and retail for $ 282, the cigars are subject to an excise tax of $ 18.05 (just over 90 cents per cigar). The Senate budget would cap the excise tax on cigars at 30 cents per cigar, so the excise tax on that $ 282 box would be $ 6 instead of $ 18.05.

â–º Cigar tax increase – Out-of-state cigar sellers who ship cigars to customers in North Carolina have not paid the North Carolina cigar excise tax. The Senate budget would begin to charge them.

â–º Reduction of cemetery taxes – Commercial properties for sale for use as burial grounds would be exempt from paying local property taxes under the Senate budget. The owners of other commercial properties for sale would still have to pay. And if the cemetery owners eventually used it for anything other than burial grounds, they would have to pay the equivalent of five years in taxes.

Owners of cemeteries with burial grounds available for sale or rental would no longer have to pay property taxes on them, under a provision the North Carolina Senate included in its version in June. proposed North Carolina Biennial Budget 2021-2023.

â–º New tax for shared car rentals – Just as services like Airbnb and VRBO have made it easy for people to rent their homes, services like Turo have sprung up in recent years to help car owners lease their vehicles to other drivers looking for short-term rentals. It’s called peer-to-peer car sharing or peer-to-peer vehicle sharing.

Car owners use the Turo app and similar services to rent their cars to other drivers.  This is called peer-to-peer vehicle sharing.  The North Carolina Senate voted in June to begin collecting a sales tax on peer-to-peer vehicle rentals.  The tax varies by county, from 6.75% to 7.5%.

Traditional healthcare rental companies like Hertz, Avis and Enterprise have been required to charge 9.5% to 16% taxes on their sales (based on locally imposed taxes), according to a legislative report, while rentals between individuals were taxed. free.

The Senate budget imposes local sales taxes on car rentals that are shared between individuals. Local sales tax varies from county to county, and is 6.75% to 7.50%.

â–º Reduction of vaccine taxes – North Carolina laws require private medical facilities and medical offices to pay local property taxes on their vaccine stocks. The budget proposed by the North Carolina Senate would exempt their vaccines from property taxes.

The North Carolina Senate wants to exempt vaccines from property taxes.  Current law requires private medical facilities and medical practices to pay property taxes on their vaccine stocks.

Pet projects

The Senate budget has nearly $ 765 million in allocations – allocations for specific projects across the state – based on an analysis of The initiate, a political bulletin that closely covers the state capital.

For example, the biggest special project item in the budget is $ 31 million for the repair and renovation of the Hoke County Courthouse in Raeford, a town near Fayetteville. The Hoke courthouse and prison are in such disrepair that a judge in 2019 asked a grand jury to investigate. The grand jury concluded that the county should replace its courthouse and jail.

Read all about it:Judge calls on Hoke County to replace decrepit courthouse

Some other elements:

â–º $ 15 million this year for College of Montreal, a private college about 30 miles east of Asheville, for cybersecurity programs. And he would receive an additional $ 15 million next year.

â–º $ 10.5 million to build a parking lot at Mountain health education center in Asheville.

The State Senate voted to allocate $ 31 million to repair and renovate Hoke County court facilities in Raeford.  A grand jury inspected the property in 2019. It discovered serious issues with the county courthouse and jail and said Hoke County needed a new court complex.

â–º Gastonia, west of Charlotte, would get $ 10 million for water and sewer infrastructure, while Shelby would get $ 7.4 million. And Burlington, between Greensboro and Raleigh, would get $ 15.9 million.

â–º Projects for the Fayetteville region include $ 5 million to renovate the Cape Fear Regional Theater, $ 3 million for updates and additions to the US Army Airborne and Special Operations Museum, $ 10 million for a new fire training center in Fayetteville Technical Community College, $ 15 million for a medical education and research center in Cape Fear Valley Health System, and $ 2.5 million for the Martin Luther King Jr. Park

â–º $ 12.5 million to build an aircraft hangar for Lenoir Community College, which offers aviation and aerospace training at Kinston Airport. In Onslow County on the coast, $ 13 million would be used to build the Caroline Marine Museum near the Lejeune Marine Corps base camp. The Marine Museum would get an additional $ 13 million in the second year of the budget.

Previous effort:Veto in 2019 prevented the Marine Museum from getting $ 26 million

Lawmakers are late

The Cape Fear Regional Theater in Fayetteville is reportedly getting $ 5 million in state taxes for its ongoing renovation, as part of a state budget proposal approved by the North Carolina Senate in June.

The state budget is supposed to enter into force on July 1 for the start of the new fiscal year and the start of the 2021-2023 biennium. It’s late.

The legislature has fallen behind this year because Republicans who control the Senate and Republicans who control the House have been slow to decide how much to spend over the next two years. They announced a deal on June 8. That left little time before the June 30 deadline to figure out how to spend the nearly $ 52 billion over the next two years.

Unlike the federal government, the North Carolina government is unlikely to close its doors when its leaders fail to pass a budget on time. Instead, the state continues to use the previously approved spending plan.

In 2019 and 2020, the legislature and governor failed to adopt a comprehensive budget for the 2019-2021 biennium. The governor vetoed the budget approved by the legislature and a compromise was never found on issues such as public health services, teacher increases and tax cuts.

But some decisions had to be taken to ensure the proper functioning of the state in the future and then in response in 2020 to the COVID pandemic. Instead of a single budget, a number of smaller spending plans, “mini-budgets” have been adopted.

And after?

The State House has received the Senate budget and is drafting an alternative proposal.

Then the House and Senate budget drafters will work together and work out a compromise to send to the governor.

Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, will sign the budget, let it become law without his signature, or veto it. If his fellow Democrats in the legislature stick with Cooper on a veto, his veto will stand and he and lawmakers will find a compromise or allow the state to go two more years without a full spending plan.

North Carolina senior reporter Paul Woolverton can be reached at [email protected] and 910-261-4710.


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Shad Khan’s Iguana Investment Considering Jacksonville Fairgrounds Land


The development company of Jaguars owner Shad Khan is interested in purchasing the land that the Jacksonville Fairgrounds may vacate for a future move to the Westside.

Preliminary budget documents released this week show the city could set aside $ 27.2 million over two years to help move the exhibition center from the downtown sports complex to an area around the equestrian center of Jacksonville off Normandy Boulevard.

Meanwhile, the Greater Jacksonville Fair Association will work over the next few months to negotiate the sale of the land it owns in the sports complex where the fair has drawn crowds for farm shows and halfway rides since 1955.

“There are still a few hurdles we need to overcome, but in all the years we’ve been talking about this and dealing with a possible move, this is the closest we’ve come to getting there,” said Bill Olson. , CEO of the association of non-profit fairs.

Previous coverage:Jacksonville Fairgrounds relocation finds support in $ 430 million capital improvement plan

Nate monroe: Rinse with money, Jacksonville can pass the course. If it’s ready

The Greater Jacksonville Fair Association is considering offers to sell its land in the sports complex and move the fairgrounds to the Westside.  The annual fair, pictured here in this archive photo with one of the rides halfway through, would continue at his longtime downtown residence until a new site is built.

He said the current site was “somewhat enclosed” by the Arlington Freeway, the sports complex parking lots and the stadium. The Westside site would not have these constraints.

“I think the move is going to be great for the fair,” Olson said. “We can grow up, we can get bigger, we can do a lot more things that we want to do.”

Iguana Investments, the company Khan uses for his development, said in a statement that the potential for a “private purchase of fairground property is, and has been, of interest to Iguana.”

“Iguana will continue to speak with representatives of the fair and explore a potential transaction, which would represent an additional investment by Shad and Iguana in the future of downtown Jacksonville,” the company said in a statement.

Iguana said a sale transaction would allow for the creation of more parking lots for people going to sports complex events and “much needed flexibility” for carpooling for major events.

Iguana said relocating the fair would lead to a better experience for those attending football games in the fall, because when the annual fair is in action, Lot P is closed to the parking lot so it can be used. half-way.

“It would also provide additional options as we consider what is potentially possible for the sports complex and bring benefits to the fair and the constituencies it serves,” the Iguana statement said.

Hosting participation in the fair, which is one of the most important in the country, on the same days the Jaguars play at home, is a topic of discussion between the team, the city and the fair association. since the 1990s.

Olson said for the fair’s association, a move to the Westside would benefit the annual fair by giving it additional space in a more rural part of town and fitting into the agricultural education mission of the association.

Future Farmers of America Councilor Karyn Chester (right) photographs Camden County College members Janaya Bradford (left), 14, Ashlyn Moore, 12, and Kiyah Morris, 11, with their rabbits on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Show in Jacksonville, Florida.  [Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union]

He said the compromise of a decision is that the fair association should find a way to replace rental income from events using the fairground facilities the rest of the year, as well as parking income from people using the exhibition grounds when attending games and concerts. .

He said the association had received “a few offers” for his property. He declined to comment on who made the offers. He said the association might be able within a few months to have an agreement in principle with a buyer.

If that comes to fruition and city council agrees to spend money on the relocation, the fairground could relocate whenever new construction is done in the Westside. Until then, the annual fair will continue to take place at the sports complex.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a cancellation last year for the first time in the history of the Greater Jacksonville Fair, but this year’s fair is scheduled from November 4 to 14.

Jacksonville could move Veterans Memorial Wall

The Jacksonville Fairgrounds isn’t the only long-standing part of the sports complex that could move to another location.

The city is also examining the possibility of relocating the veterans memorial wall by moving it to a new park that could be located on the downtown riverside.

The relocation of the Veterans Memorial Wall, located between the football stadium and the baseball park, is only in the first phase of study. The Downtown Investment Authority is working with the Jessie Ball duPont fund on a plan for what a new park would look like in a vacant strip of city-owned land known as The Shipyards.

The Veterans Memorial Wall, located in the sports complex, is the second largest memorial wall in the country.  The city is considering whether plans for a new city park on the downtown shores could include a relocated memorial wall.

The idea is “purely conceptual” at this point, Lori Boyer, CEO of Downtown Investment Authority, said at a recent DIA board meeting.

She said the idea of ​​placing the monument in the park was whether this riverside site would be “more respectful or more appropriate” for the memorial.

The Veterans Memorial Wall was built in 1995 and honors more than 1,700 service members who had ties to Jacksonville.

The duPont Fund’s study on the shipyard is part of a larger examination of how the city can bring more activity to the downtown riverside. The study has solicited public comment and will have a meeting via Zoom on July 13.

The study “conceptually examined” the creation of space for a range of memorials and the duPont Fund has discussed these concepts with groups who have an interest in it, spokeswoman Melanie Cost said.

She said “the details of the actual design of the park” will be defined later by the owners of the waterfront land.


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Marshall County Residents Get Out and Have Fun | News, Sports, Jobs


A vibrant atmosphere was everywhere in Marshall County during the week. Numerous events, attracting dozens of people, took place.

One of those events was the beloved Rose Festival at State Center. Hundreds of people took the hike outside in warm weather for the annual event sorely missed by residents of its host city in 2020.

The Rose Festival made a comeback on Thursday, with a varying number of events each day. This was the 63rd annual festival.

Buffi Honeck, the festival director, said it was a relief to be able to host the festival at its traditional location after missing the event in 2020 due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When the national anthem was playing at the start of the parade, I had tears in my eyes” Honeck said. “Thinking of all the hard work that everyone on the board puts into this, and just the time and effort and the chaos. Just for everyone to benefit, it’s going really well.

One of the festival’s flagship events is the Rose Queen, a pageant tradition that is one of the most popular in central Iowa. Event 2020 winner Sadie Clark drove a few cars behind 2021 winner Kalyn Polley in the Rose Festival parade on Saturday morning.

Honeck said the parade had fewer attendees than usual, but it was something she expected given the circumstances. She said there was concern that it was too short, but the parade still lasted almost 40 minutes.

After the parade, a number of vintage cars made their way to Main Street and the surrounding adjacent streets for the Rose Festival Car Show. The auto show was a popular attraction, allowing people to walk around and talk with car owners about their common passions.

The Bloody Mary Bar and Beer Tents were opened outside Road Hog’s Bar, where many revelers were found throughout the afternoon, having drinks and chatting with friends and family.

Across from the bar were various food vendors which included Maria’s Tacos, Appleberry Farms, Happi Lao and more. Funnel cakes were sold a few streets away by Kiwanis to support the Trojan Tots, while a pork burger lunch was served at the fire department. The main street was busy and Honeck said many festival visitors had compliments on how things turned out.

“Everyone was ready, they were ready to come back” Honeck said. “The different activities, the food, a lot of different compliments that we’ve heard so far and I think it’s been a success. I’m just glad everyone is stuck with us after not having last year, and people figured out, but it’s just nice to pick up this routine and get back to it.

While West Marshall’s baseball and softball played in the afternoon, another big event in downtown State Center was the KCBS BBQ competition. This was the 20th edition of the event, making it the longest-running KCBS competition in the state.

Two State Center natives attended the event – No Clue BBQ was entered by friends Kevin Dehner and Aaron Shipley, both 2005 West Marshall graduates. They said they entered it just for fun, to try and prove themselves against professional competitors. They got sixth place in the rib category, one of four categories by which the participants were judged.

The Bone-A-Fide BBQ was presented by Tim Kelley, another West Marshall graduate, and Pat Cahalan, Marshalltown graduate. The duo is a traveling BBQ team.

The Grand Champion of the competition was Darty-Q, an Ottumwa-based duo led by Dusty Ware and Sam Heinrichs. Hot Daddy’s BBQ of Minnesota has been named Reserve Champion. Both barbecues will be eligible for the KCBS World Invitational which will take place in November.

After a difficult year in which many traditions in the region were put on hold, the abundance of people attending the Rose Festival has brought the tradition of the state center back into the spotlight every year.

While the Rose Festival was going on, the annual Gladbrook Corn Carnival made a comeback. It lasted from Thursday to Sunday as well. Attendees were kept busy with the firefighters’ waterball contest, live music, fireworks, tractor rides, a parade, the coronation of Katy Thompson as queen of the corn on the cob and more.

Within the Marshalltown limits, there was a lot of activity on Saturday.

The much missed Kids Fishing Derby, hosted by the Izaak Walton League, took place at Riverside Cemetery. The purpose of the event is to reduce the number of fish in Riverside Pond.

Izaak Walton vice chairman Ed Moore said around 150 bullheads were captured an hour before the event ended.

Riverside Cemetery General Manager Dorie Tammen said she bought 200 hot dogs, but fewer than 50 children attended. She said this was because the event was on the same weekend as two nearby festivals.

Moore said the event normally attracts 70 to 80 young anglers, but this year has not been so lucky.

The festival activities haven’t stopped 8-year-old Andrew Ratte of Marshalltown, a lifelong fishing enthusiast. In fact, according to members of Izaak Walton, Ratte attracted fish at a much higher rate than most other anglers. His mother, Linda Ratte, said she thought it was because he baited them with bread before throwing in the worm and hook.

“They [her children] ask to do it every year ”, said Ratte. “They were very excited. We spend a lot of time fishing.

As the fishing tournament rolled on Saturday, the Marshalltown Rotary Club hosted the second annual food drive in the south parking lot of the Fisher Community Center. People could deliver non-perishable food or buy pre-assembled bags from grocery stores.

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Vizag Airport can now operate 120 flights per day with new N5 taxiway ready – The New Indian Express


Express news service

VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakhapatnam Airport is ready to accommodate additional slots, as the N5 taxi runway is ready to operate after security clearance and airport authority approval.

With this, the airport can witness an increase of two flight movements per hour and a total of 25 to 30 flight movements, bringing the total movements per day to over 120.

The lack of slots has been a major obstacle to introducing more flights from Vizag and with the new taxi runway ready, Vizag will now be more connected, according to airport manager Raj Kishore.

Talk to TNIERaj Kishore said the commissioning of the new taxiway, which has been on hold for nearly four years, will meet the long-standing demand for increased slots for flights at the airport. The linear expansion, which was undertaken at a cost of Rs 70 crore, was nearing completion and only 10 percent of the work remains. State-of-the-art facilities and equipment will be provided to passengers after the expansion, giving the airport terminal a new face.

“The capacity to handle peak passenger traffic will increase from the current 700 to 1,050,” said Raj Kishore, adding that 10 more check-in counters would be set up and customs and immigration offices would be expanded. A main pastry shop will be open at the terminal, which will facilitate outlets for brands such as KFC and McDonalds. In addition to more carts, toilets and other basic equipment will also be provided. He said that only the integration of old and new buildings was on hold due to the lack of workers for the demolition of the wall.

Even during the Covid pandemic, the inspection of the N5 taxi runway by the investigation team was completed. “There are now six new parking spaces for A320 flights in addition to the six old parking spaces. They are in addition to the four parking spaces in the old terminal. There are three aero-bridges and three parking spaces. With the increase in parking capacity, more flights can be operated from the airport. In addition to five taxi lanes, including the new N5 taxi lane, the airport can handle more than 120 flight movements in a day. Vizag airport will now be well connected to all cities, ” he said.

In addition, early morning departure flights can be started from Vizag. At least 12 flights can land and take off at the airport every hour, he said. There are more early morning slots at the airport, and overnight parking can be allocated for four to five flights. Development on the city side of the airport has been completed. On the national road to the airport, a light panel was being installed. But, there was a delay in lighting the painting due to the Covid situation.

The erection of an awning at the front of the airport has now made it easier for passengers to arrive in all weather conditions. To prevent the overflow of water from the Kondageda and Meghadri Gedda canals during the rainy season, the authorities have installed valves to prevent the flow of backwaters in Kondagedda. The canal diversion proposals have been finalized, but due to the Covid, work could not start. Work should start as soon as the situation improves.


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PMC plans to appoint single contractor for payment and parking facilities across city


For the first time, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) decided to appoint a single contractor to manage 30 payment and park facilities erected by the civic body across the city.

Although some entrepreneurs opposed the appointment of a single contractor, the court ruled in favor of PMC to appoint a single contractor for the whole city.

There are a lot of complaints about wages and parking in the city. Many times, contractors charge more for citizens despite the fact that the civic body sets the rates for each category of vehicle. Even some parking lots are badly used. Many entrepreneurs did not pay their dues on time to the civic organization.

Many times there are fights between citizens and contractors over the parking of vehicles in the parking spaces.

In view of these challenges, the civic organization initially decided to launch a single call for tenders and appoint a single pan-city entrepreneur.

PMC’s additional municipal engineer, Srinivas Bonala, said: “We have launched the tender for 30 payment and parking facilities for the first time. We have made many changes in the tender. The contractor shall install CCTV cameras in all parking lots for the safety of citizens and vehicles, there should be uniform rates for parking, PMC is expected to obtain real time information for vehicles parked in the ‘installation.

Bonala said: “We even expected PMC or the contractor to develop the app for the parking lot. Once real-time entries began, citizens would be able to obtain information online as to whether parking is available at a particular parking site. This would help them plan their trip in advance.

Another PMC official said on condition of anonymity: “Some entrepreneurs are opposed to the launch of the single offer for the 30 main car parks. Even some of them approached the civil court but the court had ruled in favor of the PMC. ”

Another PMC officer said on condition of anonymity: “While this is a good proposal, it came between the Covid -19 pandemic. We are a little worried about whether professional contractors would give a response to this proposal immediately or not, but this proposal is good for the citizens and the PMC.


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Credit card debt and the COVID-19 pandemic Pushing BC

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sands & Associates, British Columbia’s largest licensed insolvency trustee firm serving individuals and small businesses, today released results from the 2020 BC Consumer Debt Study. This unique annual study surveyed more than 1,800 consumers across the province who have declared bankruptcy or consolidated their debts through a consumer proposal.

In addition to examining the causes of debt and the often serious repercussions for British Columbians struggling with debt, the 2020 BC Consumer Debt Study found that:

  • More than 55% of BC residents surveyed who eventually consolidated their debts with a consumer proposal or filed bankruptcy for debt relief said credit card debt was the main type of debt they had – well ahead of other types of debt such as lines of credit (11%) and tax debt (10%).
  • the The COVID-19 pandemic was a contributing factor for more than half (54%) of plan members who have filed for insolvency since BC’s major lockdown in March 2020. 58% of these consumers noted that the pandemic has caused a loss of income, making unmanageable pre-existing debts.

Other notable findings from the 2020 BC Consumer Debt Study include:

  • Debt problems may disproportionately impact BC renterswith less than 6% of respondents describing their housing situation as “owner”.
  • More … than two-thirds (66%) of people worried about meeting their basic needs before formally settling their debt.
  • Despite the severe repercussions of uncontrollable debt, 95% of participants did not immediately seek professional help.

The complete and detailed study report and infographic of the main results can be viewed here.

PDFs are available here: http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/165d78e8-278d-4b73-a667-51bc8ee9f440

http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/3a00653f-9727-4034-94ac-0e60e407e402

Perhaps one of the most important insights uncovered in the 2020 British Columbia Consumer Debt Study highlights some alarming realities for consumers in debt. Some critical highlights include:

  • More than 3 in 4 respondents said their debt-related stress had led to anxiety or depression.
  • About 1 in 6 people said the stress of debt caused them to have suicidal thoughts.
  • More than 3 in 5 participants said “overwhelming stress” was the indicator of how they knew their debts were a problem.
  • More than two-thirds of study participants said their self-esteem had suffered because of their debt, and 65% said their health had suffered.
  • Nearly 70% of respondents indicated that their relationships with family and others were negatively affected by being in debt.

According to Sands & Associates Senior Vice President and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin, “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit some already vulnerable consumers like a freight train. Although payment deferrals and income replacements like CERB mitigated the initial impact, it was surprising to learn that the pandemic was a factor in more than half of the insolvencies filed since March 2020. Unfortunately, one should not not much to push people into financial crisis where they can no longer repay their debts, or into situations where they feel they have to choose between paying their debt or meeting basic living expenses. As the deferrals come to an end and government income replacements are made more restrictive, we expect to see a wave of consumers who are barely hanging on now take the necessary step to restructure their debts in 2021.”

“Too often people focus on the numbers and not enough on the issues that cause and accompany debt. We want consumers to know they have support, where qualified solutions are, and most importantly, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Highlighting the emotional and psychological impacts of debt, he notes:

“This study is in its eighth year, and every year we hear that people simply didn’t know what their options were – or where or how to get help without fear of judgment or shame. Debt still brings a lot of shame and confusion for consumers. If a friend came to you and told you that he was suffering from anxiety and depression, that he was having trouble paying a credit card he used to make ends meet, or because his partner or his child was sick, or that he had lost his job, would you react? with judgment or criticism? No of course not.

Normalizing the conversation around debt and its impacts is essential here. Accepted silence allows negative self-talk to overwhelm people, and on top of that, confusion allows noise from the unregulated debt industry to clutter access to legitimate legal debt solutions. We have to keep trying to get the message out, we have to do a lot better for British Columbians.

He urges consumers, “Don’t wait until you’re constantly in debt and anxious about your financial situation to seek advice. I really encourage everyone to explore their legal debt options with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee – and above all know that you are not alone.

Click here to read the full report of the 2020 British Columbia Consumer Debt Study in PDF format.

PDFs are available here: http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/165d78e8-278d-4b73-a667-51bc8ee9f440

http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/3a00653f-9727-4034-94ac-0e60e407e402

Sands & Associates is British Columbia’s largest licensed insolvency trustee firm focused exclusively on debt relief services for individuals and small businesses. A multi-year Consumer Choice Award recipient and industry leader, Sands & Associates takes a caring and caring approach to debt relief services, with a focus on improving the knowledge and personal empowerment of consumers.

Sands & Associates’ Annual studies of consumer debt in British Columbia aim to provide insight into the financial challenges faced by people across the province and highlight the human elements of a debt problem, which are too often overshadowed by numbers and statistics. The annual studies continue to aim to dismantle misconceptions of “who has a debt problem” and work to de-stigmatize conversations about debt and financial literacy.

Blair Mantin, Licensed Insolvency Trustee
778-735-0498
[email protected]

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US Treasury to push COVID stimulus, Chinese debt attendance at IMF meeting – official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury will urge countries to keep the coronavirus stimulus going at annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank next week and will urge China to participate fully in debt relief for poor countries , said a senior Treasury official.

Brent McIntosh, general counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury, speaks at the 2019 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files

In a video interview recorded Tuesday and released Friday, Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs Brent McIntosh said a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic depended on continued political support.

“We can’t declare victory at this point, we have to keep pushing for reactive measures,” McIntosh said. here Mark Sobel, US Chairman of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, a London-based think tank. “So I think our first message at the meetings will be that countries should not withdraw their support prematurely.”

McIntosh said in Tuesday’s interview that he hopes U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi can reach an agreement on a new U.S. coronavirus aid package.

Finance officials from the 189 IMF and World Bank member countries will meet virtually next week to discuss the global response to the pandemic and prospects for economic recovery. They will also try to negotiate new measures to strengthen debt relief in order to avoid default crises in poor and highly indebted countries.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said $12 trillion in fiscal stimulus, along with massive monetary easing, made the outlook “less dire” than in June, but the global economy is still facing a difficult exit from a pandemic-induced recession.

CHINA’S DEBT RELIEF

McIntosh said he would pressure Chinese officials to “fully, faithfully and transparently respect” the G20 freeze on official bilateral debt service for the world’s poorest countries implemented this year. .

“China is the biggest bilateral lender here. And so what we need to see from official bilateral lenders is transparency, not imposing non-disclosure agreements, not using secured funding.

He said China should adhere to mutually agreed definitions of official bilateral creditors to include any entity “working at the request of the government”, including government ministries, development finance institutions and credit agencies. export, among others.

McIntosh said the Trump administration still opposes a blanket allocation of new IMF special drawing rights — a move akin to “printing” hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves for all members — because it is not a “targeted or temporary” measure.

But he said the Treasury was encouraging wealthier countries to contribute unused SDRs to an IMF fund to help poorer countries. The Treasury is working with the White House Office of Management and Budget to determine what U.S. assistance package might be offered in this area, he said.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Andrea Ricci and David Gregorio

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G20 to discuss post-pandemic world and support debt relief

Leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies (G20) will debate this weekend how to deal with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that has caused a global recession and how to handle the recovery once the coronavirus is under control. control.

Top of the list is the procurement and global distribution of vaccines, drugs and tests for low-income countries that cannot afford such expenses themselves. The European Union will ask the G20 on Saturday to invest $4.5 billion to help.

“The main theme will be to intensify global cooperation to deal with the pandemic,” said a senior G20 official taking part in preparations for the two-day summit, chaired by Saudi Arabia and held virtually due to the pandemic.

To prepare for the future, the EU will propose a treaty on pandemics.

“An international treaty would help us react faster and in a more coordinated way,” EU leaders Chairman Charles Michel told the G20 on Sunday.

As the global economy recovers from the depths of the crisis earlier this year, momentum is slowing in countries where infection rates are resurfacing, the recovery is uneven and the pandemic is likely to leave deep scars, said the International Monetary Fund in a report for the G20 Summit.

Poor and heavily indebted countries in the developing world, which are “on the brink of financial ruin and escalating poverty, hunger and untold suffering”, are particularly vulnerable, the UN Secretary General said on Friday. United, Antonio Guterres.

To address this, the G20 will approve a plan to extend the moratorium on debt servicing for developing countries by six months until mid-2021, with the possibility of a further extension, according to a draft communiqué from the G20 seen by Reuters.

European members of the G20 are likely to push for more.

“Additional debt relief is needed,” Michel told reporters on Friday.

Debt relief for Africa will be a major theme of Italy’s G20 Presidency in 2021.

Europe’s G20 nations will also seek to inject new momentum into the stalled reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO), hoping to capitalize on the upcoming change in the US administration. Outgoing President Donald Trump preferred bilateral trade agreements rather than going through international bodies.

The change in American leadership also gives hope for a more concerted effort at the G20 level to fight climate change.

Like the European Union, already half of the G20 members, including Japan, China, South Korea and South Africa, plan to become climate or at least carbon neutral by 2050. or soon after.

Under Trump, the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement to fight climate change, but the decision is expected to be reversed by President-elect Joe Biden.

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Why Student Debt Will Continue to Rise Despite Loan Forgiveness Programs Proposed by Lawmakers in Congress

A graduate student wears a silver lei, a necklace made of US dollar bills, during Pasadena City College’s graduation ceremony on June 14, 2019, in Pasadena, California. ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

  • US lawmakers are debating student debt relief proposals, seeking help for people struggling with loans.

  • But the proposals on the table right now aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, experts say.

  • The problem is a cycle of student loan accumulation and little education about how that debt works.

  • Visit Insider’s Business section for more stories.

It’s a familiar sight every year: a sea of ​​future college graduates, seated in their caps and gowns, with families and friends watching proudly as they parade, one by one, onto the stage to receive their awards. hard earned. degrees.

But for many of the 35 million student borrowers in the United States, the celebration is short-lived. Months after college, their debts become due and payable, and for some this will be a heavy burden.

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has come under immense pressure to aggressively tackle the student loan crisis.

Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer announced in February a plan to eliminate up to $50,000 in student loans per borrower. But Biden rejected him.

“I’m not going to make that happen,” he said. “I’m ready to write off $10,000 in debt, but not $50,” he said. “I don’t think I have the power to do that.”

Student debt relief is supported by all parties. According to a national survey conducted by the Harris Poll in December, 55% of Americans are in favor of the total cancellation of student loans. And about 64% of respondents said they were in favor of writing off a fixed amount, like $10,000.

Education debt has been rising steadily for about a decade, experts told Insider. It also held people back.

“Students who graduate with debt may postpone important life milestones such as buying a car, owning a home, getting married, or entering certain low-paying professions like teaching. or social work”, a 2006 report of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities says.

The problem persists and only escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shuttered businesses across the United States and eliminated millions of jobs over the past year.

“Former students have been unable to get out of debt,” said Andrew Pentis, Certified Student Loan Counselor at Student Loan Hero by LendingTree. “So it grows with interest, sometimes multiplying over the years, even decades.”

Bad education on the dangers of debt

Too often, first-generation American families who review college and university financial aid programs fail to realize that the loans they see offered must be repaid with interest.

Other times, families view student loans as “good debt.” They see it as “the price of investing in one’s future, sometimes graduating from a prestigious but more expensive school in order to move up the social ladder,” Pentis said.

The government also doesn’t do enough to explain its federal student loan options. “A large cohort of borrowers leave school without fully understanding their debt burden or their options for paying it off,” Pentis said. “The government needs to take a more direct role in educating students on how to avoid federal student loans, not just offering them without explanation.”

High schools also tend to gloss over the subject, he said.

“The family who are determined to pay six figures to send their child to the prestigious university,” he said, “may not have considered spending two years at a community college before moving on to this best four-year school could reduce his costs and borrowing significantly.”

Student debt is rising because college education is an industry in the United States, experts tell Insider.

“Higher education operates like a free market,” said Chris Mullin, strategic director of data and measurement at the Lumina Foundation, an organization committed to expanding access to higher education.

“As a result,” Mullins said, “the cost a student pays can be set at what the market will bear.”

student

Peter Cade/Getty Images

The cost of schooling depends on several factors

College tuition fees are not federally regulated, and there are distinctions between how private and public universities set them, which directly affects how much students and their families will pay. Private university tuition fees are decided by the institutions themselves, student debt experts told Insider.

“Private schools obviously have more leeway when it comes to setting tuition and fees,” Pentis said.

This is one of the reasons why private institutions like New York University set much higher “sticker prices” on their tuition than public colleges. The price displayed is the cost of tuition a student can expect to pay before grants, loans, and other types of financial aid kick in, which means not everyone not pay the full amount or the same amount for higher education.

And because private institutions have more say in setting tuition fees, the underlying decision-making process varies from institution to institution. This can cause differences between the listed price and the net tuition price, with the net price being what a student ultimately pays for their education after financial aid is applied.

Donna Desrochers, senior researcher for the American Research Institutes Education Program, says higher-cost private universities may simply set these prices in an effort to subsidize tuition for students receiving financial aid.

“It is possible that [for] NYU, or any other school, the higher price takes some of those full-salary dollars from full-salary students and tries to reallocate them to provide aid to other students,” Desrochers said.

Meanwhile, public university tuition, which is generally more affordable, is set by the states.

“Maybe they have a lower sticker price, and maybe they don’t reallocate as much aid to students,” Desrochers said.

Thumbnail prices are a type of ‘complex marketing’, says Desrochers

“It’s kind of like an airline, isn’t it? And people compare it to that, sometimes. You pay different prices for different seats, depending on when you bought it. And so, it’s pretty similar,” she said. “They try to attract the class they want.”

Sticker prices also help institutions maintain operating costs, Desrochers said. Public colleges benefit from rising sticker prices, especially when states contribute less money to higher education budgets.

“It pays less for the establishment,” Desrochers explained. “It actually ends up shifting those costs onto the students.” Due to the recession caused by the coronavirus, Desrochers expects states to invest less in higher education, which will cause institutions to pass these costs on to students instead of trying to minimize their expenses.

“We see it every time after a recession,” she said.

A good portion of students do not pay the full sticker price for tuition. According to a National Association of College and University Business Officers studytuition fees were reduced by an average of 46.3% for all undergraduate students from 2018 to 2019.

This means that, overall, the institutions are “making substantial grants,” said Mullin, director of strategy for the Lumina Foundation.

Student debt relief measures are still needed

Collectively, student borrowers in the United States owe more than $1.7 trillion. Billion with a T. So the conversations about how to deal with this debt will continue.

They will go a long way to helping borrowers “who don’t have much luck ending their debt on their own,” Pentis said.

But no relief measures will tackle the source of the problem: the newest student loans.

Unless students and their family members recognize the dangers of racking up large amounts of debt at high interest rates, the upward trend in student debt will continue, experts warn.

Although tuition is not a federal decision, the government has two levers to pull to encourage colleges to change tuition rates, Mullin said.

The government can change the amount of money it makes available to a single student or change who is eligible for financial aid. This way, students will have fewer restrictions like part-time or full-time status to receive federal aid. Schools could then give greater aid to students, Mullin said.

Additionally, the government may “provide consumer information” for the purpose of disclosing data and providing benchmarks to help students make informed decisions about their college education.

“He can inform the public by effectively placing a warning on institutions, like the United States Surgeon General’s warning on a cigarette pack,” Mullin said.

“This type of ‘warning’ can take the form of a requirement, for example, that institutions make public the results of their programs in the labor market,” he said, effectively showing students the type return on investment they can expect after graduating from college.

Read the original article at Business Intern

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Global debt expected to reach nearly 100% in 2021 amid COVID-19 crisis, says International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Global public debt is expected to fall from 98% of GDP in 2020 to 100% of GDP in 2021

Global public debt is expected to hit 98% of GDP by the end of 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest fiscal monitor update on Thursday, saying public debt in India is expected to remain high at 83% percent. of GDP. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a severe challenge to public finances, the report said, noting that the resulting contraction in output and lower incomes, as well as emergency lifelines, have pushed up deficits and public debts beyond the levels recorded during the global financial crisis.

Vitor Gaspar, director of the IMF’s fiscal affairs department, told reporters that government revenue had fallen everywhere, government debt had climbed to 98% from 84% before COVID-19. “From 2021, debt stabilizes at a high level and remains well above pre-COVID-19 levels until the end of the forecast horizon,” he said.

According to the Fiscal Monitor report, public debt is expected to remain high at 83% of GDP, underscoring the need for a credible medium-term fiscal framework to build confidence, anchored on revised fiscal targets and revenue mobilization.

Noting that global public debt is expected to increase further – from 98% of GDP in 2020 to almost 100% of GDP in 2021 – driven by advanced and emerging market economies, Paolo Mauro, Deputy Director of the Department of Public Finances of the IMF said with the pandemic still out of control and economies growing below potential, additional fiscal support will be needed in 2021, to protect livelihoods.

“High public debt need not raise immediate concerns about debt sustainability, but highly indebted emerging markets and developing economies may find it difficult to borrow more. market are good, but short-term debt vulnerabilities remain elevated in some developing countries,” he said in response to a question.

To cope with a sharp increase in public debt in developing countries, the international community – including the IMF – provided grants, concessional loans and debt relief in 2020, including for 38 countries considered as “high risk”.

Fiscal adjustment and, in a few cases, debt restructuring should contribute to debt reduction. Almost everywhere, credible medium-term strategies must be developed, with the aim of stabilizing and gradually reducing debt to safer levels over time, supported by pro-growth and inclusive policies, he said. declared.

Gasper said low-income developing countries urgently need funding for social services, health and education, COVID-19 control measures and support for food programs in countries facing the risk of COVID-19. malnutrition. The IMF, he said, is helping and remains committed to providing additional support. Since the start of the pandemic, it has provided financing totaling approximately $105 billion to more than 80 countries, five of which are low-income developing countries. More than $285 billion is committed in total out of a lending capacity of $1 trillion.

Many poor countries need additional support in the form of grants, concessional loans and debt relief. This includes the debt service suspension initiative, but on a case-by-case basis, deeper debt treatments may be needed, including restructuring, Gasper said.

Affirming that the international community must act together to foster inclusive growth, Gasper called for the universal availability of effective vaccines. “Health must come first, and the lifeline must be targeted when needed. COVID-19 will not be under control anywhere until it is under control everywhere. The sooner that happens, the sooner the economic activity will pick up, the sooner the jobs will come back,” Gaspar told reporters.

“Making effective vaccines universally available is the number one priority, Lifeline should be targeted to the most vulnerable and maintained based on developments in the spread of the virus,” he said. In releasing the annual budget monitor update, Gasper called for facilitating the transition to a smart, green, resilient and inclusive growth model. “This applies to support today and becomes even more important as the recovery takes hold,” he said.

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Direct Relief to get a slice of MacKenzie Scott’s billions

From its warehouse near the Santa Barbara airport, Direct Relief distributes COVID-19 medicine and other supplies around the world. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

When MacKenzie Scott announced recently that she had donated nearly $4.2 billion to charities in the United States, one of the 384 recipients on her list was Direct Relief, the non-profit organization based in Santa Barbara which distributes medical aid all over the world.

Direct Relief plans to disclose both the exact amount of the donation and the specific program it will fund in the coming weeks. Tony Morain, the nonprofit’s vice president of communications, said it was “a historic amount for Direct Relief”, one of the largest cash donations in the organization’s history.

Direct Relief learned of Scott’s gift like the rest of the world, Morain said, when the Amazon billionaire posted “384 ways to help” on Medium.

“It was a surprise, and we were grateful and humbled,” Morain said. “She did her due diligence; she researched each of the organizations independently. For Direct Relief, it was a good surprise in a difficult year. … The manner in which she made the donation was inspiring, that someone would choose to give an unprecedented amount of philanthropic dollars at a rate that had never been done before, without asking for anything in return.

Since divorcing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos last year, Scott has become one of the world’s biggest philanthropists. The new $4.2 billion round comes on top of the $1.7 billion she gave in July to 116 organizations, including major gifts to historically black colleges and universities.

Scott’s new round of donations is focused on helping those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and “long-term systemic inequalities that have been deepened by the crisis,” she wrote on Medium. Beneficiaries include healthcare providers, food banks, civil and legal advocacy funds, as well as groups that provide debt relief, education, job training and financial services to underserved communities. .

Scott wrote that she used a team of advisors this time around, and they took “a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership and results teams, with a focus on those operating in communities facing high food insecurity, high measures of racism, inequality, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.

Direct Relief is the largest non-profit organization in the tri-county area and one of the largest in the country. A recent Forbes report placed it third nationally with $2 billion in private donations, behind only United Way and Feeding America.

Most of this income comes from donations of medicines and other supplies. Cash donations like Scott’s accounted for $171 million in the 2019-20 fiscal year, while goods and services donated to Direct Relief were worth $1.82 billion.

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IMF extends debt relief for 28 countries

ANKARA

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday evening approved a second six-month tranche of debt service relief for 28 low-income member countries under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT).

This approval follows the first six-month tranche from April to October “and allows the disbursement of CCRT grants for the payment of IMF eligible debt service from October 14, 2020 to April 13, 2021” estimated at 227 million. dollars, read a statement from the IMF.

“Subject to the availability of sufficient resources within the CCRT, debt service relief could be provided for a total period of two years, until April 13, 2022, estimated at nearly $959 million,” did he declare.

According to the IMF, debt service relief will help countries use “scarce financial resources for life-saving emergency medical and other relief efforts… [to] combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global economy on the rise

On Tuesday, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said the global economy was coming back from the depths of the coronavirus crisis.

“But this calamity is far from over,” she warned, saying all countries now face “the long climb – a difficult climb that will be long, uneven and uncertain.” And prone to setbacks.

According to Georgieva, many countries have become more vulnerable as risks remain high, particularly due to rising bankruptcies and stretched valuations in financial markets.

“Their debt levels have increased due to their fiscal response to the crisis and the heavy losses in production and income,” she said.

“We estimate that global public debt will reach an all-time high of around 100% of GDP in 2020.”


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Africa must beware of the consequences of a debt moratorium — Quartz Africa

Africa is home to 41 of the 59 countries of the International Monetary Fund Low-income countries. These are structurally more vulnerable to external shocks such as Covid-19. The pandemic is affecting economies as governments implement increasingly aggressive lockdown procedures to stem the rate of spread of the virus. It is also straining the continent’s generally weak national health systems.

At the same time, the global economic slowdown triggered by the pandemic is weighing heavily on key commodity sectors and tourism. These are significant income for many countries in the region.

As a result, the economic impact of Covid-19 has triggered calls various stakeholders for a general moratorium (or moratorium) on all debt service owed to African creditors, whether bilateral, multilateral or commercial. In a letter to the international community, African finance ministers have called for an immediate waiver of all interest payments on public debt and sovereign bonds. In the case of the private sector, ministers identified immediate relief from all interest payments on trade credits, corporate bonds and lease payments. They also called for the activation of liquidity lines for African central banks.

For a continent with a young population, taking measures that increase the cost of financing businesses or infrastructure can be very costly.

These requests formed the basis of a growing story for a general moratorium on Africa’s debt. The IMF and World Bank have so far not publicly supported this call. Instead, they called on bilateral and multilateral creditors of International Development Association countries to provide debt waiver. These initiatives resulted in a statement from the G-20 announcing a debt suspension initiative jointly agreed with the Paris Club. This position provided a measure of assurance to commercial and private lenders. Like the IMF and the World Bank, commercial and private lenders recognize the unintended consequences that a general debt moratorium could have. However, commercial creditors know they must play a role due to the unprecedented scale and nature of the phenomenon we are currently facing.

But if the debt suspension initiative is applied as a blanket solution, it risks costing African countries much of the hard-won gains many have made over the past 15 years. These gains are linked to access to international capital markets and relatively lower cost of borrowing. Many African countries were able to access international trade finance for the first time during this period. This has not only expanded the pool of capital they can tap into, but has also helped build a credit history in international financial markets. As a result, some governments have seen their cost of debt decrease (for example, Ghana has successfully lowered interest rates on its Eurobond issues since 2015).

Nor would the proposed general moratorium be a victimless action. A significant portion of the international capital pool comes from private and public pension plans, educational endowments, charitable foundations and trusts. These institutions have a fiduciary duty to make investment decisions for the benefit of their beneficiaries. These include some of the most vulnerable members of society in both developed and developing economies, such as the elderly, as well as a wide range of employees (some of whom are poorly paid) who save for their retirement. The losses of their investments will affect many in a material way.

What was won

The gains of the last 15 years have not only been in terms of price. Some governments (such as Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya) have even managed to issue bonds with much longer deadlines in the Eurobond markets.

In addition, international business investors have helped develop and deepen local currency credit markets. The development of local currency bond markets has enabled African governments to borrow locally. This reduced their dependence on bilateral and multilateral lenders or the use of short-term paper instruments. Short-term paper instruments must be redeemed within one year from the date of issue.

African governments’ access to domestic bond markets as well as global financial markets is very important for the continued and sustainable development of African economies. The pool of capital that these markets provide is significantly larger than development finance or multilateral resources. In other words, the size of global debt capital markets dwarves the importance of the resources of multilateral organizations.

Even if market access were maintained after a general debt moratorium for Africa, this would likely result in a higher cost of borrowing.

Additionally, since most hard currency debt for the private sector is benchmarked off-sovereign, this has the potential to significantly increase funding costs for growing businesses in the region. Therefore, the repercussions of this action are not only for governments, but also for businesses. For a continent with such a young population, taking steps that could increase the cost of much-needed financing for business expansion or infrastructure investment can be very costly. Business expansion and infrastructure investment are the engines of growth and job creation.

Answers to a solution

In crafting workable solutions, there must be a clear recognition of the critical role that commercial creditors will play in helping Africa emerge from the current crisis and beyond.

The obvious question is to know where the capital will come from to finance public deficits. A rough estimate puts the cost of the pandemic above the $4 trillion mark. Even at $1 trillion, the IMF’s balance sheet is unlikely to be sufficient to help all African countries achieve a more sustainable trajectory.

In this context, it would be ideal to mobilize commercial lenders and investors to help fill the financing gap that many low-income countries, especially those in Africa, are likely to face.

It is rational to expect lenders and investors to understand that time is running out and it takes time to breathe. So, in these unprecedented times, lenders and investors must join the dialogue and be part of the solution to prevent unintended consequences that can be costly for Africa.

Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal, Professor of Banking and Financial Law, Queen Mary University of London

This article is republished from The conversation under Creative Commons license. Read it original article.

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Zambia seeks debt restructuring under common G20 framework

Zambia’s debts include $ 3 billion owed to China and Chinese entities

Zambia, now Africa’s first sovereign default in the era of the pandemic At the end of last year, said Friday (February 5), it had asked for a restructuring of its debt in a new framework supported by the Group of 20 major economies.

The precarious debt burden of a number of African countries has worsened due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Zambia did not pay a coupon on one of its dollar bonds in November, putting it in default.

The G20 initially offered the world’s poorest countries temporary relief of payments on debt to official creditors as part of its Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). In November, it is also launched a new framework designed to tackle unsustainable debt stocks.

Zambia is due to start negotiations to establish an aid package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next week. And in its statement, the Ministry of Finance said that the treatment of debt under the framework would be based on the debt sustainability analysis prepared in collaboration with the IMF.

All G20 and Paris Club creditors are expected to coordinate their engagement with Zambia through the common framework, the statement said.

Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu reiterated his country’s commitment to transparency and equal treatment of all creditors during the restructuring process.

“Our request to benefit from the G20 common framework will hopefully reassure all creditors of our commitment to such treatment,” he said.

Analysts said the request was expected and it was a positive move.

“The key remains to move towards resolving the default and moving towards an IMF program with a credible macro framework,” said Raza Agha, head of emerging markets credit strategy at Legal & General Investment Management.

Zambia’s sovereign dollar bonds were little changed at just over 50 cents on the dollar.

Last week, Chad became the first country to seek debt restructuring under the new framework. Ethiopia has said it will also use the G20 initiative.

Investors tried to assess how use of the framework, which provides for the participation of private creditors, might affect access to international capital markets.

Credit rating agencies have warned that even delaying the payment of coupons on Eurobonds would constitute default.

But some accused private creditors not to do their part in debt relief efforts. World Bank chief David Malpass criticized them for hitchhiking on DSSI relief.

“As the G20 develops this process, it is essential that it compels the private sector to participate,” said Eric LeCompte of Jubilee USA, who advocates for debt relief for poor countries.

Zambia’s $ 3 billion Eurobonds outstanding are not its only debt. It owes $ 3.5 billion in bilateral debt, $ 2.1 billion to multilateral agencies and $ 2.9 billion to other commercial lenders.

He owes around $ 3 billion to China and Chinese entities.

Some private creditors in Zambia have said that a lack of transparency regarding debt to China created an obstacle to their talks with the government.

China has agreed to participate in the G20 common framework, which observers say will require creditors and countries looking to restructure to be more open to information. – Rappler.com

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Kenya to save $ 245 million with Chinese debt service suspension deal

China is one of Kenya’s largest foreign creditors, having loaned it billions of dollars to build railways, roads and other infrastructure projects over the past decade.

Kenya obtained a moratorium on debt repayment from China which will save him 27 billion shillings (245.23 million dollars) by June, his finance minister said on Wednesday (January 20).

The East African nation last week won a debt relief deal with the Paris Club of international lenders and is seeking deals with non-Paris Club bilateral creditors like China.

China is one of the country’s largest foreign creditors, having loaned it billions of dollars to build railways, roads and other infrastructure projects over the past decade.

Ukur Yatani, the finance minister, said the deal had already been reached, although China said on Monday (January 18) that it was ready to help Kenya get into debt, without giving further details.

“We are not going to pay now, but we are going to pay in the future,” Yatani said in an interview with private radio station Spice FM, referring to the figure of 27 billion shillings which was due.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt Kenya’s tax revenue collection at a time when more of its debts are falling due and it is still grappling with yawning budget deficits.

China has signed debt service suspension agreements with 12 African countries and granted waivers of interest-free loan due to 15 African countries as part of the G20 debt service suspension initiative , its embassy in Nairobi announced on Monday.

Kenya’s total debt jumped to 65.6% of gross domestic product in June 2020, from 62.4% a year earlier, the World Bank said in November. – Rappler.com

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World Bank and IMF advocate for debt relief for the poorest countries

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a joint statement on Wednesday called on all official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from countries of the International Development Association (IDA) which request the abstention following the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

Pakistan is also on the list of 76 countries eligible to receive IDA resources under concessional loans. Pakistan owed about $ 11 billion to official bilateral creditors of the Paris Club countries and Islamabad had already obtained debt relief in 2002-2003 for 10 years when Pakistan decided to support the United States in its war against terrorism in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. During this period, Pakistan had benefited from a tax cushion on the debt repayment front of official bilateral Paris Club donors. Pakistan had to sign an agreement with each country separately after making an agreement to get a Paris Club concession. It is not yet clear whether Islamabad would seek debt relief from official donors or not at this point, as this correspondent made an effort to contract Federal Minister of Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar to get the version and also sent him a message. but received no response until this report was tabled. .

However, the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund issued a joint statement to the G20 regarding debt relief for the poorest countries and said the coronavirus outbreak is likely to have serious economic consequences. and social for the IDA countries, which are home to a quarter of the world’s population and two-thirds of the world’s population live in extreme poverty.

He said that with immediate effect – and in accordance with the national laws of creditor countries – the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund are calling on all official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from IDA countries seeking forbearance. . “This will help meet the immediate liquidity needs of IDA countries to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus epidemic and will allow time for an assessment of the impact of the crisis and the financing needs for each country,” added the joint press release.

“We invite the leaders of the G20 to instruct the World Bank Group and the IMF to carry out these assessments, in particular by identifying the countries with unsustainable debt, and to prepare a proposal for comprehensive action by the” bilateral creditors ” We will seek approval of the proposal from the Development Committee at spring meetings (April 16 and 17).

“The World Bank Group and the IMF believe it is imperative at this time to provide a sense of global relief to developing countries as well as a strong signal to financial markets. The international community would welcome the support of the G20 to this call to action, ”he added. concluded.

Meanwhile, Federal Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar said, “We welcome the joint WB and IMF statement calling on G20 countries to suspend debt payments from dev [developing] countries. Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged this since the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that it will be accepted, and we also urge the multilaterals to reduce their debts. “

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Senator Jeff Smith: Time to Act on Student Debt | Column







BRANDON RAYGO ILLUSTRATION


By Jeff Smith | Democratic Member, Wisconsin Senate

Over the past four months, I have had the honor of participating in the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt, created by Governor Tony Evers to address the student debt crisis affecting over 700,000 residents. of Wisconsin. Latest Board of Governors Statistics Show Student Debt Level Has Staggered $ 1.7 Trillion; Wisconsin alone has more than $ 24 billion in student loan debt, according to the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

After learning of the extent of the student debt crisis, the task force prepared to develop a strategy on how to bring needed relief to families in Wisconsin. Last month, the task force released its final report to Governor Evers outlining the crisis and providing eight recommendations to help resolve it.

For all the work we’ve done, one thing is clear: the time to act on student debt relief is now. As a state, we must embrace these policy recommendations and resolve this crisis to strengthen Wisconsin’s future.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the task force was able to hold eight virtual meetings. This format allowed us to hear testimonials from current and former students, parents, borrowers, lenders, and officials from other states. Some of the information was familiar to those of us who have navigated the system with our own children; other information highlighted the urgency of addressing this growing threat to our way of life.

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New York doctor fights coronavirus and student debt

A nurse receives help putting on her personal protective equipment before providing care to a Covid-19 patient at the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center in Chula Vista, Calif., April 10, 2020.

Photo: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

These last weeks, healthcare workers have been touted as heroes in the national response to the coronavirus pandemic. Wartime analogies circulate freely: UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called the Covid-19 pandemic the most difficult global crisis since World War II. In a recent press briefing, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made calls to “support our troops”, referring to healthcare workers as “the soldiers in this fight”.

In many ways, the comparison is relevant. Doctors, nurses and support staff find themselves in a war against a virus that has infected thousands and killed hundreds of their colleagues around the world. Public expressions of support for health professionals are significant. But they are also insufficient to quell the deafening silence on Capitol Hill in response to growing calls for relief measures – foremost among them the cancellation of educational debt.

Each Covid-19 patient admitted to hospital will be cared for by a team of professionals who, theoretically, have over $ 1 million in combined student debt.

I am a doctor and, unsurprisingly, have a large student loan. You can’t become a doctor in America without paying for years of graduate school, so I started my medical career with over $ 200,000 in student debt – the mean for graduates of medical schools. In the United States, the average salary for new doctors in training is about $ 57,000 per year. After four years of residency and about $ 20,000 in loan repayments later, I’m still scratching the interest. I owe more than when I graduated.

Now, as a resident in psychiatry in the national epicenter of this crisis, I am responsible for responding to mental health emergencies, including for patients positive for Covid-19. When I am not in the hospital, I will provide outpatient coverage for colleagues called to work shifts in emergency rooms and intensive care units. Many interns in junior psychiatry have already been “redeployed” to internal medicine teams overwhelmed by the tidal wave of Covid-19 patients. We are extended far beyond our initial job description. Even so, compared to my nursing, ER and intensive care colleagues, it’s easy.

Among the indebted health workers, young doctors are not alone. Almost 70 percent of all nurses – who are the real front line in this pandemic – training graduate with $ 40,000 to $ 150,000 in debt. My sister, a family medicine nurse practitioner who oversees the clinic at her local homeless shelter, has dutifully paid the interest on nursing school loans for 10 years without making a dent in the capital. Now she reuses the same paper gown every day to examine patients with symptoms of Covid-19. The average debt of a graduate student is about $ 30,000 – on par with the average annual salary of certified drug technicians, paramedics and ambulance crew members.

Imagine: Every Covid-19 patient admitted to hospital will be cared for by a team of professionals who, theoretically, have over $ 1 million in student debt combined. So of course you can call us heroes. But we would prefer debt relief.

Critics will say that an economic crisis is not the time to talk about student debt reform. Some see in such a reform the fact of placing a excessive load on US taxpayers. Others will remind us that we signed up for these jobs and, hey, at least we have jobs. But, in the age of Covid-19, the reality facing healthcare workers is more akin to a military deployment than a day’s work. We are now talking about front lines, redeployments, isolation zones, tours of duty. For many, these are no longer the jobs we signed up for, but they require skills that we have taken on debt to acquire.

A lot has been made of shortage personal protective equipment that plagues our country during this crisis. This shortage has already cost and will continue to cost healthcare workers their health and, for many, their lives. From concierge staff to respiratory therapists to treating physicians, we are filling the gaps in a system that is not designed for a global pandemic. And when the dust settles, many will have to rebuild their health while dealing with the very real trauma of working amidst an onslaught of sick, dying and grieving patients and their families.

Covid-19 healthcare veterans deserve better than the six-month suspension of loan repayments for all borrowers as part of the recently passed stimulus. Certainly we deserve better than the public service loan forgiveness program, for which many of us do not qualify and which – having rejected 99% of all applicants in 2018 – has been called “fundamentally broken” by the very government officials hired to manage it. If healthcare workers were to do our job as badly as the Department of Education handles student loans, patients would die at an alarming rate.

And yet, with impressive reliability, healthcare workers rise to the occasion, demonstrating their commitment to the ethics of the field. I am proud to be part of this community, proud to have skills that alleviate the suffering of patients. So what is a reasonable way for our government to repay this burden?

A look at the GI Bills of WWII can be instructive. Those GI invoices included immediate financial rewards for almost all veterans. Additional benefits included low cost mortgages, dedicated loans, dedicated unemployment compensation, and tuition allowances. The benefits were provided to all active veterinarians for at least 90 days within an allocated time period.

Like all systems of wealth, knowledge and power, the American health care system has its own discourse. What is said out loud works alongside what is silent. The word “hero” carries a loaded story. It originally referred to a person – a man, often of semi-divine origin – who displayed superhuman strength. Champion Heroes chat through thick and thin, sacrificing their well-being to the pursuit. Healthcare workers have been given the Herculean task of tackling Covid-19.

But we live in the real world, where we juggle this task with the same demands as any American: child care, mortgages, health insurance, rent, student loan repayment, etc. When nurses are called in soldiers and invited to war, we should ask ourselves what is being overlooked. When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Rejects Student Loan Plans forgiveness as “crazy”, we should ask who serves their language. And when Congress speaks on behalf of business, while remaining silent on an issue affecting 42 million graduates in debt, we should hear that silence out loud.

Speak, Uncle Sam. Support the troops.

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ANALYSIS: Are the IMF and the World Bank responsible for Africa’s external debt burden?

As the continent weighs in the economic havoc caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been increasing regional calls for debt relief, more recently through African Union President Cyril Ramaphosa on Africa Day on May 25, 2020.

Why many African countries flare up in debt? They can blame international lenders according to Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao, former AU Ambassador to the United States.

“[The] IMF, World Bank, all the other institutions. They make African countries jump through hoops. Loans that we will never be able to pay, ”she told an American broadcaster. Voice of America in a broad interview in April 2020.

“The United States, when they borrow money, get it at 1.5, 1.9[%] interest rate. Africans, when they get the same amount of money, they pay 9, 10%. People who don’t need a break, they have a break, those who need a break, they don’t have a break ”.

Chihombori-Quao stepped down in October 2019. The AU took the unusual step of deny it had pushed her away because she was too frank.

But does Africa borrow internationally at rates five times higher than other countries? We have examined this claim.

Loan terms based on country income status

Africa Check contacted Chihombori-Quao to get evidence of her claim and ask what other institutions she was talking about. We will update this report with his response.

We asked Dr Charles Adjasi, professor of development finance to Stellenbosch University School of Business in South Africa, on how African countries are borrowing International Monetary Fund and the world Bank.

A country that accesses a typical World Bank loan “will access it based on its income status and the corresponding interest rate,” Adjasi said.

Income status indicates whether the country borrows from two of the banks five units. These are:

Most African countries are only eligible for loans from the IDA, the World Bank told Africa Check. These are low-income countries and “get very concessional financing in the form of loans without subsidies and without interest rates that charge only 0.75% service fees”.

Since April 2020, 68 countries were only eligible for IBRD loans and 14 of these were in Africa. 59 other countries qualified only for IDA loans, including 33 Africans. Of 17 “mixed” countries, which could borrow from both units, six belonged to the region.

Interest rates below 9-10%

The loans currently given by the World Bank and the IMF do not have an interest rate of 9 to 10%, Adjasi told Africa Check. They are anchored to the “Libor”, the London Interbank Offered Rate, a benchmark lending rate largely used in the international bank.

Adjasi told Africa Check that loans from international lenders generally attract an interest rate of Libor plus “+/- 0.5%”.

“The Libor is about 0.4 to 0.9%”, which would give a rate of 0.9 to 1.4%. “So 9 to 10% is definitely too high for the interest rates. This is even higher than lending rates in some developing countries and defeats the purpose of IBRD, IDA or IMF facilities, ”he said.

An IMF spokesperson told Africa Check that it was impossible to know which loans the former ambassador was describing because her comments were in “very general terms”.

However, “the bulk of our loans to low-income countries are set at 0% or on concessional terms”.

The United States cannot borrow from the World Bank

Chihombori-Quao referred to the United States borrowing money at lower rates. But the world Bank and IMF The websites show that the country currently has no loans from either lender. The World Bank spokesman said developed economies like the United States were not eligible to borrow.

Adjasi told Africa Check that a high-income country like the United States is not eligible and technically cannot borrow from the World Bank. However, it can borrow in international capital markets.

Higher interest rates in the 1980s

Until the end of fiscal 2018, IBRD loans to eligible members did not vary based on individual country circumstances, the World Bank said. Members were “subject to the same pricing, regardless of their region of origin and depending on the market conditions prevailing at the time of issuance of the loans.”

The bank said it currently offers a flexible loan, the IBRD flexible loan, which takes into account the financing or debt repayment needs of a country.

Have African countries in the past taken out loans at interest rates of up to 10%?

According to historical data on IBRD loans, a number of countries, including Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe has always taken out loans with interest rates of up to 12%, especially in the 1980s.

A rate query on the IMF website shows that adjusted royalty rates, which are drawn on outstanding loans, were 9% or more around 1990.

These rates were in line with prevailing interest rates, as Libor was a factor in interest rates, Adjasi told Africa Check.

“So from this perspective, it’s clear that facilities during times of high Libor will attract higher rates for everyone, including African countries.”

“Graduate”, “reverse graduate” countries between IDA and IBRD

A number of African countries which had progressed or “graduates” from IDA to IBRD are now back in IDA, a process called “reverse graduation”. These are Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Zimbabwe. Egypt returned to IDA in 1991, but switched to IBRD again in 1999.

The bank has in the past given a number of reasons why IBRD countries returned to IDA status. These include “sharp swings in commodity prices coupled with exuberant excessive borrowing during the boom years” and “an abundance of commercial bank lending in the 1980s”.

The bank notes that “with hindsight”, there was also “an overly optimistic view of the macroeconomic prospects of many developing countries” leading them to become “over-indebted”.

It is possible that African countries that have reverted to IDA status may still owe IBRD loans, although some that have not paid have benefited from debt relief, Adjasi said.

“The main challenge here is that an unsustainable debt profile, or high debt burden, can revert a middle-income country to low-income status. “

The conclusion that African countries have been singled out has not been substantiated as the IBRD and IDA awards affect all eligible countries, Adjasi said.

“So in the case where the rates are 9-10%, that will apply to everyone. We also have no evidence to suggest that [higher income] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries receive facilities at lower interest rates.

Countries have “loan portfolios,” says development studies expert

Dr Morten Jerven is professor of development studies to Norwegian University of Life Sciences and wrote books on economic development statistics in Africa.

It is not easy to directly judge whether the assertion of the envoy is correct or not, he told Africa Check.

“The quote is imprecise because it does not claim that IMF and World Bank loans are specifically 9-10%,” Jerven said, echoing the World Bank and IMF.

“Countries have a loan portfolio. It is very possible that one country has one IMF loan at a concessional rate and another at a higher than market rate, ”Jerven said. The same country could also “borrow in private markets, such as Treasury bonds, where rates could be higher again.”

Was a former emissary barking the wrong tree?

Dr. Misheck Mutize, who teaches finance at the University of Cape Town Business School, told Africa Check that it was “unlikely that African countries would be taxed more in a discriminatory manner.” The “claims and statements of the former ambassador have a political context and dimension”.

As loans from multilateral institutions were low and on concessional terms, their interest rates were not the problem, Mutize said. His search for interests including credit ratings, financial markets and African economic policy.

Rather, it was “the conditions that accompany multilateral loans”. He said it could include austerity measures and structural adjustment programs, which include cutting public spending, cutting social assistance and cutting the public wage bill. He also noted the increase in commercial loan rates to contain inflation and currency devaluation.

As loans must be repaid in foreign currencies, their cost increases when local currencies lose value, Mutize said. “This is another huge cost source, and the net cost of devalued currency could be much higher than free market interest rates,” he said. To escape lending requirements, African countries have started borrowing in the Eurobond market, where interest rates differ from country to country due to credit ratings.

“African countries pay more because they have bad credit scores or a high risk of default,” Mutize said.

All these factors therefore make Africa’s indebtedness more complicated than the interest claims made by Chihombori-Quao.

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VA Debt Management Center to resume sending notification letters in January 2021

The VA Debt Management Center (DMC) is sending a letter to veterans with benefit debts this month, advising them that due process notification letters will resume after January 1, 2021.

The November letter reads as follows:

Dear veteran / beneficiary,

We hope this letter finds you well. You are receiving this letter because you may have unpaid VA benefit debts, and we want you to be aware of the actions VA will take after January 1, 2021 and your options.

To alleviate financial hardship during the pandemic, the VA Debt Management Center (DMC) has suspended issuance of debt notification letters and suspended collection actions on debts established after April 3, 2020 until January 1, 2021. DMC has also offered suspensions or extended repayment plans for the debts. established before April 3, 2020.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN 2021

If your debt was established after April 3, 2020, DMC will issue your debt notification letter (s) from January 2021. If you have a debt established before April 3, When collections have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your suspension will end on January 1, 2021 and the DMC will resume withholding from your VA benefits to pay the debt upon your benefit payment on February 1, 2021. If you do not receive VA benefits, your payment will be due to DMC by February 1, 2021.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

If you anticipate payment difficulties, you don’t have to wait until after January 1, 2021 to seek help. Please see the information found on our website: https://www.va.gov/debtman; or contact the DMC for assistance with https://iris.custhelp.va.gov/app/ask/ or call us at 1-800-827-0648.

We can work with you to determine your debt relief options, which may include:

  • Establish a repayment plan.
  • Request a waiver.
  • Debt challenge.
  • Submit an offer in compromise.
  • Request a temporary suspension of tests.

WHO TO CONTACT

  • For any questions about your VA benefit debt, including information on how to enter into voluntary repayment agreements or request a waiver, dispute, or offer in compromise, submit your request online at https://iris.custhelp.va.gov/app/ask/ or call 1-800-827-0648 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.
  • If you have a question about your VA benefits or the status of a claim, please call:
    • Educational Benefits – VA Education Contact Center at 1-888-442-4551.
    • Other VA Benefits – VA Regional Office at 1-800-827-1000.
  • For any questions about your VA health care debt, call the Health Resource Center at 1-866-400-1238.
  • If your debt has been submitted to the US Treasury Department, the debt will remain under their jurisdiction. The treasury can be reached at the following address:
    • Cross Service Program at 1-888-826-3127.
    • Treasury Compensation Program at 1-800-304-3107.

We are here to support you during this COVID-19 pandemic. Please follow national and local guidelines to stay healthy and safe.


The VA Debt Management Center (DMC) provides veterans and recipients with compassionate advice on their VA benefit debts. DMC manages the debt collection process and provides assistance with debt resolution options, such as payment plans and waivers.

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Will the G20 step up debt relief for the poorest countries? | Business and Economy

The G20 is set to discuss going beyond the initial debt relief efforts agreed to in April as the pandemic continues to ravage poor economies.

The Group of 20 major economies this weekend may have to consider expanding aid to the world’s poorest countries, three months after agreeing to provide temporary debt relief amid the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the nations.

G-20 central bankers and finance ministers will hold a virtual meeting on Saturday to discuss and coordinate phased efforts to spur a global economic recovery. Looking beyond debt relief efforts would be part of it.

The Covid-19 pandemic is now spreading faster in the Americas and Africa compared to the previous meeting in April, when the bulk of infections were in Asia and Europe. The rate of infections is rising in many countries, with the cost of debt outweighing health and social spending.

Unprecedented stimulus measures from the world’s largest central banks have helped most emerging markets regain access to international capital markets, but some smaller economies that typically do not benefit from large-scale borrowing will still need help.

“The focus on debt is important, but we shouldn’t focus on it to the exclusion of everything else,” said Anna Gelpern, professor of law at Georgetown University, at a conference July 9. “The goal must be essential funding. needs in response to a public health shock. How to get there is a second-rate question.

Since the April G-20 agreement that aims to waive around $ 12 billion in bilateral debt payments from countries particularly vulnerable to the pandemic, 41 of 73 eligible countries have asked for help. The Paris Club waived $ 1.3 billion in repayments and the International Monetary Fund made $ 100 billion in emergency funding available for low-income and emerging countries.

Middle income countries

However, charities, including Oxfam, have said that the aid given to the world’s poorest countries so far is “woefully insufficient”. Saturday’s talks could focus on extending the debt break beyond 2020 and adding middle-income countries, said Eric LeCompte of Jubilee USA Network, a non-profit group that advocates for the debt relief for small economies.

France’s main priorities for the meeting will be to extend the moratorium on the debt service of the poorest countries until 2021 and to encourage international negotiations for digital and minimum taxation, the finance minister said. Bruno Le Maire. Discussion of a new allocation of special drawing rights to the IMF will likely remain on the table, according to a finance ministry official.

A proposal to increase these reserve assets, which would increase the IMF’s lending power, was blocked by the United States at the lender’s meeting in April. However, the governor of China’s central bank on Thursday called on the IMF to use a new issuance of SDRs to help developing countries.

In a letter to G-20 finance ministers released on Friday, a group of economists including former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Vera Songwe, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, urged the meeting to extend the debt moratorium and consider new SDR allocations. Summers is a Bloomberg News contributor.

“It will take more than a six-month suspension of debt service on existing bilateral debts to help the poorest countries finance the necessary fiscal and health response,” said Brad Setser, senior researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations and former economist in the US Treasury Department. “We also need more financial flows. “

Private creditors have so far backed away from efforts to stop payments on Eurobonds as countries feared triggering default clauses.

Another sticking point is China, which has been slow to join the debt suspension initiative. The participation of the world’s second largest economy is essential for the debt cancellation campaign to work, World Bank President David Malpass said last week.

“The persistent lack of clarity on which Chinese creditors will participate, coupled with the resistance of private sector creditors to voluntary participation suggest that the actual relief will be far less than originally expected,” Alicia Garcia Herrero, Chief Economist for Asia-Pacific at Natixis SA, says in a note.

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The IMF Executive Board approves a disbursement of $ 43.4 million to Djibouti under the rapid credit facility and debt relief under the Containment and Development Trust Fund. disaster relief to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic

IMF Executive Board approves US $ 43.4 million disbursement to Djibouti under the Rapid Credit Facility and Debt Relief under the Containment Trust Fund and disaster relief to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic

May 8, 2020

  • The IMF Executive Board approved a $ 43.4 million loan to Djibouti to support the authorities’ response to the COVID-19 crisis, as well as debt relief under the CCRT, which will generate additional resources of $ 2.3 million over the next five months. , and potentially up to US $ 8.2 million over the next 23 months.
  • IMF support will provide additional resources for essential health and other emergency spending, including social safety nets. It will also help catalyze additional donor support.
  • The authorities are committed to using the additional IMF resources in a transparent manner and to ensuring that spending is well targeted and cost effective.

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a rapid credit facility (RCF) disbursement equivalent to SDR 31.8 million (approximately $ 43.4 million, 100% of Djibouti’s quota) to help Djibouti cope with the urgent balance of payments. needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also approved grants under the IMF Containment and Disaster Relief Trust Fund (CCRT) to cover Djibouti’s debt service due to the IMF today as of October 13, 2020, i.e. ‘equivalent of SDR 1.692 million or $ 2.3 million. Additional relief covering the period from October 14, 2020 to April 13, 2022 will be granted subject to the availability of CCRT resources, potentially bringing the total debt service relief to the equivalent of SDR 6.03 million; approximately $ 8.2 million.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly weakened Djibouti’s short-term macroeconomic outlook. The country is facing a significant negative external demand shock due to the global recession. Nationally, virus prevention and containment measures further affect demand and supply. Production is expected to contract by 1% in 2020 and the decline in services exports and foreign direct investment has created an urgent need for balance of payments financing in the order of 164 million dollars. The pandemic has also created urgent spending needs, including in the health sector, and is expected to negatively affect government revenues.

Following the discussion by the Board of Directors. Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Director General and Acting President, made the following statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a severe impact on Djibouti, creating an urgent balance of payments and budgetary financing needs. Authorities acted quickly to contain and mitigate the spread and impact of the virus. Their prevention and containment measures and their decisions to increase health and other emergency spending to protect households and businesses affected by the crisis will help limit the economic and social consequences.

“The crisis and the political response will lead to a widening of the budget deficit this year. IMF emergency financing under the Rapid Credit Facility and debt service relief under the Containment and Disaster Relief Trust Fund will provide much-needed liquidity to support the authorities’ response to the crisis. crisis and could catalyze further assistance from the international community, preferably in the form of grants. The authorities are committed to using the additional resources in a transparent manner and to ensuring that spending is well targeted and cost effective.

“Once the crisis subsides, temporary measures should be lifted, with policies refocusing on promoting a strong and inclusive recovery and maintaining medium-term debt sustainability. Addressing and preventing the recurrence of external arrears, speeding up key project operations and reducing public sector borrowing will be essential. Reducing tax expenditures will also be important in creating space for poverty reduction spending. Efforts to strengthen bank balance sheets, improve the business environment, and improve governance and the efficiency of state-owned enterprises will be key to fostering strong and inclusive growth.

More information:

IMF Lending Tracker (request for emergency financing approved by the IMF Executive Board)

https://www.imf.org/en/Topics/imf-and-covid19/COVID-Lending-Tracker

IMF Executive Board Calendar

https://www.imf.org/external/NP/SEC/bc/eng/index.aspx

IMF Communications Department
MEDIA RELATIONS

PRESS OFFICER: Wafa Amr

Telephone: +1 202 623-7100E-mail: [email protected]

@ IMFSpeaker


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A good start to debt relief but incomplete by Paola Subacchi

After initially responding to the pandemic-induced economic crisis with an initiative to postpone paying developing country debt, the G20 has now returned to the table to come up with a more plausible solution. But the new common framework for sovereign debt restructuring should only be the first step in a longer process.

LONDON – A global collapse in economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the risk of debt distress in many countries, pushing the poorest to the brink. In response, various international organizations have unveiled a number of initiatives to prevent circumstances requiring between an adequate response to the public health crisis and the servicing of existing debts.

More specifically, the G20 has established a Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), which allows the world’s poorest countries to suspend official bilateral debt service payments until next year. And this month, the leaders of the G20 adopted a new common framework to meet the needs of sovereign debt restructuring on a case-by-case basis.

For poorer countries struggling with the pandemic, debt not only limits their fiscal space to respond to the crisis, but also hinders future development. Faced with the sudden costs of the COVID-19 crisis, many countries that are already struggling to service existing debt have needed new financing, only to find it too difficult or too expensive to borrow more . And even if they do, the additional debt burden will weigh on them for years, limiting their prospects for growth and development.

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The Holy See at the UN calls for debt relief for poor countries

Bishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, underlines the importance of developing economic and financial policies that truly serve the common good of all.

By the editor of Vatican News

“Every decision and policy on economic or financial matters has an impact on the lives of individuals, families and the well-being of society as a whole.” With this premise, the Holy See encourages debt restructuring, and ultimately debt cancellation of the most vulnerable countries, to cope with the growing economic imbalances and other crises they face as a result of the pandemic. of Covid-19.

The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Mgr Gabriele Caccia, launched this appeal on Thursday during the 75e Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He said in a statement that due to the demands placed on the poorest countries by the debt service and the economic impact of the pandemic, many of them are forced to “divert scarce national resources from basic programs. education, health and infrastructure towards debt payment. . “

Archbishop Caccia reminded the UN, specifically addressing the Commission on Macroeconomic Policy, that his work should reflect on “ethical implications for achieving economic prosperity for all in order to enable every person to prosper and countries to live in peace and stability “. As such, decisions and policies on economic or financial matters which have an impact on the lives of individuals, families and the well-being of society as a whole “must be viewed in a much broader perspective than the only immediate financial gain or success ”.

Covid-19 and the economy

Bishop Caccia stressed that financial inclusion and sustainable development have been affected by the Covid-19 health crisis due to its devastating impact on employment, production and international and national trade. No one, he notes – from states to families and individuals – has escaped the economic hardships caused by the pandemic.

However, some felt the impact more than others. Developing countries, he said, are being hit by “a triple economic shock of collapsing export demand, falling commodity prices and unprecedented capital flight”, in addition to managing the pandemic with often inadequate health systems.

Recover together

To face these difficulties, Bishop Caccia proposes to work together to ensure that the economic “recovery packages” and “regeneration packages” serve the common good. In particular, it highlights two areas that require special attention in turnaround efforts.

The first, according to the Archbishop, are micro, small and medium enterprises. He points out that to revive the economy, funding would have to reach a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises that “are the backbone of economies” in developed and developing countries.

The second sector concerns workers in “informal” employment. He explained that we have a “special responsibility” to those people – men and women – who are made redundant in fields like construction, catering, hospitality, domestic services and retail, among others, and in as such, find it difficult to provide for themselves and their families. Many of them, he notes, turn to charities and religious institutions for help. Others, especially migrants and those without proper documentation, cannot apply for benefits.

Debt restructuring / cancellation

Bishop Caccia said that there is ample evidence that developing countries, faced with the obligation to divert scarce resources towards debt repayment, risk undermining “integrated development, weakening health systems and education, as well as reducing the capacity of states to create the conditions for the realization of basic human rights.

The Archbishop therefore urged the international community to address the economic imbalances between nations by restructuring and ultimately debt “in recognition of the severe impacts of medical, social and economic crises” facing the most vulnerable countries due to of the current crisis. pandemic.

He also called on the international community to fight illicit financial flows (IFFs) which, by diverting resources from public spending and reducing the capital available for private investment, “deprive countries of the resources they desperately need to provide. public services, finance poverty reduction programs. and improve infrastructure.

In conclusion, Bishop Caccia encouraged the UN to “find ways to highlight the broader and ethical implications of economic activity in the years to come” and stressed the need to transform the economy for it to be ” truly at the service of the human person “.

Pope Francis

The Pope has repeatedly stressed the need for a new economic model, especially as countries restart after the Covid-19 pandemic. He has often said that “the only way out of the current crisis is together”.

During his Urbi and orbi for Easter, he specifically addressed the topic of debt relief. “In light of the current circumstances,” Pope Francis said, “that international sanctions be relaxed, as they prevent the countries on which they have been imposed from providing adequate support to their citizens, and that all nations be brought into line. position to meet the greatest needs of the moment by reducing, if not canceling, the debt weighing on the balance sheets of the poorest nations. “

In his last encyclical Fratelli tutti, he spoke about debt relief in the context of the fundamental right of peoples to survive and grow. This right, he said, is sometimes “severely restricted by the pressure created by the external debt”. This debt stifles and severely limits development, he continued. “While respecting the principle that any legitimately acquired debt must be repaid, the way in which many poor countries fulfill this obligation must not end up jeopardizing their very existence and their growth.”

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Somalia Debt Relief, Government Efforts to Combat COVID-19, and Further Boko Haram Attacks

Debt relief in Somalia and other African countries

On Wednesday, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) jointly announced that Somalia is now eligible for debt relief as part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. The success of the HIPC program reduce Somalia’s external debt from the current $ 5.2 billion to $ 557 million in about three years. Somalia will also be eligible to receive new international financing for the first time in 30 years, including access to IMF emergency aid grants to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Thursday the European Union announced $ 47 million grant to help Somalia clear its debt arrears. A number of Somalia’s bilateral creditors will also meet on March 31 to discuss debt relief, Somali Finance Minister Abdirahman Duale Beileh hoping 75 to 80% debt relief and a multi-year repayment program. Find out more about debt relief and economic adjustments in conflict-affected states, see the October 2019 event where the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative hosted Minister Beileh to discuss his country’s efforts for debt relief.

In related news, the IMF and World Bank jointly called on bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments of 76 poorest countries in the world to enable them to channel additional resources to fight the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in coordination with other African leaders, called on the G-20 to provide $ 150 billion for the continent’s response to the coronavirus. Abiy’s proposal calls for additional funding for African health systems, partial debt relief and support for struggling businesses, among others.

African governments respond to the spread of COVID-19

Like the rest of the world, Africa continues to face the devastating effects of the spread of COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at the time of this writing, the disease is confirmed in 39 countries in the WHO Africa region with over 2,500 cases.

In response, governments have adopted a wide variety of strategies to contain the disease and mitigate its impact on their economies. South Africa, where the the highest number of cases have been confirmed (over 1,100 to date), implemented a 21 days of national confinement from midnight on March 26. In particular, the WHO has adopted a WhatsApp platform by the South African nonprofit Praekelt.org to provide free automated responses with symptom information, travel tips and number updates to its users. The platform had already in use by the country’s health department.

Sunday March 22, Maurice forbids all entry—Including that of foreigners and Mauritian nationals and citizens — in the country for 14 days. That same day, Tunisia announced a 14-day lockdown period, with the exception of persons carrying out certain essential activities. The next day, Uganda has banned all inbound flights. Later in the week it prohibits all public transport. Monday also, Ethiopia closes land borders. Nigeria banned all interstate travel.

From Friday March 27, Kenya implemented a curfew between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Senegal, Ivory Coast and Sudan announced similar curfews. Also in Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto announced a 80 percent voluntary pay cut. Kenyatta’s ministers also take cuts between 20 and 30 percent; Kenya’s parliament will also take 30 percent over the next three months. The The Kenyan government has also offered tax relief for the general population: 100% for those earning less than $ 240 per month, and an income tax cut of 5% for everyone else. Interestingly, an aversion to fish imports from China caused the The booming Kenyan fishing sub-sector.

In the positive news, Senegal announced that researchers at its Institut Pasteur have started validation trials on a $ 1, home COVID-19 diagnostic test which can produce results in as little as 10 minutes. In Cameroon, one of the rebel groups, the Southern Cameroons Defense Forces (Socadef), has temporarily called for a ceasefire in its efforts to break away from largely French-speaking Cameroon and create an English-speaking state, although others groups continue to fight.

On Thursday, the African Development Bank also sold $ 3 billion in three years “Fighting COVID-19 Social Obligations”. In the meantime, the African Import-Export Bank announced the creation of a $ 3 billion credit facility to help African countries fight the effects of the pandemic.

You can find more Brookings comments on the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Nigeria and Chad affected by terrorist attacks by Boko Haram

Two attacks from jihadist groups Boko Haram and the Islamic State in the province of West Africa (ISWAP) – a Boko Haram splinter group – killed more than 140 soldiers this week in Chad and Nigeria. In Chad, 92 soldiers were killed by Boko Haram on Sunday March 22 in the Boma peninsula near Lake Chad. The attack was the Boko Haram’s deadliest attack on the Chadian military forces. In Nigeria, 50 soldiers were killed by ISWAP in an ambush in eastern Borno state on March 23. The attack occurred after an attempted offensive against ISWAP by the Nigerian military which started this weekend.

Boko Haram was active in northeast Nigeria since 2009, and over the past decade, with ISWAP, has also spread to neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. According to the United Nations, approximately 36,000 people were killed and nearly 2 million displaced in northeastern Nigeria since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency. Despite regional efforts to defeat jihadist groups, the attacks have multiplied in recent months.

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SL-PAK will work on Debt Relief, Connectivity: Khan

  • PAK PM Says Developed Countries Must Support Poor In Poor Countries
  • Khan supports stronger business relationship, note via PAK, SL can achieve connectivity with Central Asia
  • SL-PAK signs five memoranda of understanding, cooperation in multiple areas, including tourism
  • Invite MR to visit PAK

Prime Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa and Imran Khan at the signing of the MoU at Temple Trees yesterday – Photo by Ruwan Walpola

Sri Lanka (SL) and Pakistan (PAK) have agreed to work jointly on negotiating debt relief, PAK Prime Minister Imran Khan said yesterday, calling on international organizations to help poor countries to meet the economic challenges made worse by the pandemic.

Khan, who arrived in SL last afternoon for a two-day visit, was greeted by his SL counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa. The two prime ministers held bilateral talks at Temple Trees and issued a joint statement to the media after their meeting. Khan also invited Rajapaksa to visit PAK.

“We discussed how developed countries can help the developing world. The developed world must not be an island, it must realize that this is a problem that has affected everyone, but in particular, it has affected poor countries more and the poor in poor countries much more. So we discussed how we can work together so that poor countries get debt relief, ”Khan told reporters.

He pointed out that although PAK offered the largest stimulus package in its history of $ 8 billion, it was tiny compared to the US plan of almost $ 3 trillion.

“So that’s the gap. The coronavirus has exposed this huge disparity in the world and that’s why I think global organizations like the UN should step in and deal with countries that have been really beaten because of COVID-19. ”

Pointing out that SL and PAK were part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Khan encouraged stronger trade between the two countries, as this would give SL connectivity to Central Asia through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC ).

“This visit aims to strengthen our bilateral relations; it is to strengthen our commercial ties. Pakistan is part of the BRI of China and that means connectivity so I have asked my delegation here to find ways to improve trade and connectivity, and through CPEC, connectivity to Asia. Central for Sri Lanka. Our trade ties also mean that our countries will come closer. “

SL and PAK also signed five memoranda of understanding yesterday. The memoranda of understanding were aimed at improving bilateral economic and social cooperation.

“Mr. Prime Minister, you are no stranger to the people of Sri Lanka. There are millions in this country who have admired you, your leadership on the cricket pitch as captain of the Pakistan national team. Your country continues to be a valuable bilateral partner and Sri Lanka regards Pakistan as a close and genuine friend. Our people hold Pakistan in the highest regard. Pakistan is a country that has supported Sri Lanka in times of great need, ”Rajapaksa said during the joint statement.

“During our bilateral discussions, Prime Minister Khan and I agreed to work closely together to strengthen our bilateral cooperation in the economic sector and several other areas, including trade, investment, science and technology , defense and education.

“We also agreed to seek opportunities under the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Our talks also covered important regional and international issues as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also agreed to continue our engagement in the tourism and aviation sectors. Sri Lanka is grateful to Pakistan for opening travel lanes to visit ancient Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan, ”he added.

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Borrowing costs after debt relief

The Covid-19 pandemic is straining the public finances of many developing countries (Djankov and Panizza 2020). In response, a series of proposals and calls to action have been launched by experts and policy makers (Bolton et al. 2020a, 2020b, Bulow et al. 2020; Horn et al. 2020; Landers et al. 2020). In a short time, the international community – under the leadership of the G20 – agreed to help poor countries by proposing a suspension of debt service due in the second half of 2020. As part of the Suspension of Service Initiative debt (DSSI), participating countries can ask their bilateral lenders to defer debt service repayments for three years without affecting the net present value (NPV) of public debt. The size of the liquidity provision under the DSSI is not negligible. For all eligible countries, it stands at $ 10.2 billion and represents around one-fifth of the budget deficit due to the Covid-19 shock. However, many eligible countries have so far been reluctant or refused to participate in DSSI. It may seem like a confusing answer to what at first glance is free money in times of great need. Yet these countries fear that participation in the DSSI may signal debt sustainability issues that could trigger sovereign ratings downgrades and higher sovereign borrowing costs.1

In a recent article (Lang et al. 2020), we provide a first assessment of the short-term impact of DSSI on sovereign bond spreads. In particular, we test whether the potential benefits of providing short-term liquidity outweigh the stigma effects that may be associated with participating in the debt relief initiative. Estimating the effect of debt relief on sovereign bond spreads is generally difficult, as debt relief initiatives are generally not attributed to chance. Comparing debt relief recipients to other countries is therefore not instructive. However, the case of the DSSI makes it possible to construct plausible counterfactuals. Unlike most debt restructurings, the DSSI was announced simultaneously for the 73 eligible countries and, therefore, was not tailored to the needs of each country. In addition, the eligibility criteria were based on pre-existing income thresholds rather than financing needs or the severity of the shock, which crucially influence borrowing costs.

Sovereign borrowing costs fell by around 300 basis points

We use this event to analyze its impact on the spreads of sovereign bonds of the 16 countries eligible for DSSI with access to the international market and daily data available. We have used the Synthetic Control Method (SCM) developed by Abadie and Gardeazabal (2003) and now increasingly used in similar contexts (see Marchesi and Masi 2020). For each country eligible for DSSI, we build a synthetic control (or “doppelganger”) combining countries from a pool of middle-income countries not eligible for DSSI.2

Figure 1 shows our main result. The comparison of the spreads of the sovereign bonds of the countries eligible for the DSSI with their synthetic controls shows that the sovereign spreads decreased considerably after the debt relief. Several days after the DSSI announcement, spreads in eligible countries were down about 300 basis points (bps) more than in comparable untreated doppelganger countries. This average effect differs from country to country, but it is negative for all borrowers eligible for debt relief. This result is robust to the different specifications of the model, including the generalized synthetic control method (Xu 2017). In addition, a set of placebo tests in space and time shows that the effect on spreads is due to the DSSI and cannot be explained by the (contemporary) demand of an IMF program.

Figure 1 Spreads of sovereign bonds in DSSI-eligible countries compared to their synthetic controls

Remarks: The figure represents the difference between the real spreads of sovereign bonds and those of the synthetic control (spread gap) for the countries eligible for the DSSI. The solid red line is the average of the country specific spreads. Solid gray lines refer to countries that joined the DSSI on September 17, 2020, while dotted gray lines refer to countries that have not officially applied to join the initiative (Ghana, Honduras, Kenya, Mongolia, Nigeria and Uzbekistan). The vertical lines indicate the announcement of the DSSI on April 15, 2020 (solid line) and the first participation in the DSSI on May 1, 2020 (dotted line). The dots indicate the participation of each country in the DSSI. See description in main text. Source: Bloomberg, Our World in Data and IMF World Economic Outlook.

The fall in spreads seems to be due to the provision of liquidity

To discriminate between two mechanisms that could drive the results, we test the heterogeneous effects of debt relief. We focus on two sources of heterogeneity – the size of DSSI relief and the share of private creditors in debt service – and estimate their effects in a difference-in-differences framework using the projection method. local. This analysis shows that the decline in bond spreads for DSSI-eligible countries is greater for countries that have a higher share of debt service due during the eligibility period (between May and December 2020, graph 2, part A). On the other hand, the fall in spreads does not depend on the size of private creditors (Chart 2, Panel B). As there is no increase in spreads, not even for countries that owe a large portion of repayments to private creditors, these results do not support the presence of a stigma effect. On the contrary, the results are consistent with a positive liquidity effect due to the postponement of debt service due in 2020.

Figure 2 Cash flow versus stigma

A) Size of DSSI relief

B) Share of private creditors

Remarks: The figures plot the impulse response functions of the differential effect of the DSSI announcement (t = 0) between eligible and non-eligible countries on sovereign bond spreads. Panels A and B divide the sample between eligible countries that have benefited from DSSI relief greater or less than 0.5% of GDP and those whose debt service due to private creditors is greater or less than 60% of the total debt service due under the DSSI (the two thresholds are median values). See description in main text. Data source: Bloomberg and IMF World Economic Outlook.

Discussion

The international community is currently discussing the possibility of extending the current initiative to suspend debt service in developing countries until 2021. Our results suggest that this simple moratorium on neutral NPV debt – involving no discount for creditors – can effectively help countries overcome the crisis.

Our findings also add to the larger literature on debt restructuring. They show that rapid and unconditional debt rescheduling to countries facing short-term liquidity shocks can be an effective instrument of financial support that can help avoid severe defaults (Trebesch and Zabel 2017). In addition, our results support the design and adoption of simple conditional government debt instruments with floating grace periods to help poor countries mitigate their exposure to negative shocks (Cohen et al. 2008).

Two final qualifications are important. First, our results could be generalized to other situations where countries face a short-term crisis. In the presence of severe negative shocks, only the deferral of debt service could help reduce borrowing costs. However, this does not mean that the suspension of debt service will be the optimal response to the Covid-19 crisis in the months to come. If the shock persists, the liquidity crisis could evolve into a solvency crisis, as a change in the long-term growth rate of the economy would affect debt sustainability. In such a scenario, a reduction in the debt stock might be necessary to reduce debt distress and restore debt sustainability. Second, our analysis focuses on NPV neutral debt relief provided by the public sector. How the markets would react if private creditors also joined the initiative (as requested by the G20 and major international financial institutions) remains an open question.

The references

Abadie A and J Gardeazabal (2003), “The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country”, American Economic Review 93 (1): 113-132.

Bolton P, L Buchheit, PO Gourinchas, M Gulati, CT Hsieh, U Panizza and B Weder di Mauro (2020a), “Born of Necessity: A Debt Stop for COVID-19”, CEPR Policy Insight n ° 103.

Bolton P, M Gulati and U Panizza (2020b), “Legal air coverage», VoxEU.org, October 13.

Bulow J, C Reinhart, K ​​Rogoff and C Trebesch (2020), “The debt pandemic», IMF Finance and Development, Fall.

Cohen, D, H Djoufelkit-Cottenet, P Jacquet and C Valadier (2008), “Lending to the Poorest Countries: A New Counter-Cyclical Debt Instrument”, Working Paper 269, OECD Development Center.

Djankov S and U Panizza (2020), “COVID-19 in Developing Economies: A New eBook», VoxEU.org, June 22.

Cor S, C Reinhart and C Trebesch (2020), “China’s foreign lending and the looming developing country debt crisis», VoxEU.org, May 4.

Landers C, N Lee and S Morris (2020), “Over $ 1 trillion in MDB firepower exists as COVID-19 ‘shattering glass’ moment approaches”, Center for Global Development.

Lang V, D Mihalyi and AF Presbitero (2020), “Debt relief, liquidity provision and sovereign bond spreads”.

Marchesi S and T Masi (2020), “Debt restructuring during COVID-19: private and official agreements», VoxEU.org, May 4.

Trebesch C and M Zabel (2017), “The output cost of hard and soft sovereign default”, European Economic Review 92: 416-432.

Xu Y (2017), “Generalized synthetic control method for causal inference with cross-sectional time series data”, Policy Analysis 25: 57-76.

End Notes

1 See reports from international institutions (IMF 2020, World Bank 2020), Think Tanks (ODI 2020) and press articles in The Economist and Reuters, among others. More details on DSSI can be found here and on the World Bank website.

2 Since the dynamics of sovereign spreads depend on fiscal and economic performance, we take the growth of real GDP, the current account, the fiscal balance and the public debt (all in shares of GDP) as macroeconomic variables to construct the synthetic control. . Additionally, to compare countries with similar bond spread dynamics before DSSI, we match the spread levels to specific dates. Finally, to take into account the differences in the intensity of the Covid-19 crisis, we use the number of cases per inhabitant. See Lang et al. (2020) for more details.

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Poorest countries to save $ 12 billion in debt relief in 2020 (World Bank)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The world’s poorest countries could save more than $ 12 billion owed to sovereign and other creditors this year thanks to their participation in a debt relief program, with Angola alone saving some $ 3.4 billion, according to estimates released Friday in a new World Bank database.

Savings from the COVID-19 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) will be short-term, as the initiative only provides for the suspension of debt payments until the end of the period. the year. It defers these payments to a later date but does not cancel them outright.

The second saver among DSSI-eligible countries would be Pakistan, with $ 2.4 billion, followed by Kenya with $ 802 million, the data shows. here.

In terms of savings relative to gross domestic product, Bhutan would reap the most benefits from the plan with 7.3% savings on GDP, followed by Angola at 3.7% and Djibouti at 2, 5%.

In addition to the estimated savings of each country, the database includes details on debt to multilaterals like the International Monetary Fund as well as official and unofficial bilateral debt disbursed and debt service owed per year.

IMF and World Bank officials have warned that the COVID-19 pandemic will hit developing and emerging markets particularly hard given high debt levels, sharp drops in the prices of oil and other commodities and inadequate health systems.

The DSSI is supported by the G-20, the World Bank, the IMF and the Paris Club of sovereign lenders. The database offers a new level of transparency on debts and creditors, including China, which has emerged as one of the largest creditors in Africa and elsewhere over the past two decades.

The Jubilee Debt campaign estimated that canceling debt payments from poor countries, including to private creditors, would free up more than $ 25 billion for countries this year, or $ 50 billion if extended until in 2021.

The United Nations, many African countries and civil society groups have called for debt relief to be extended for two years to allow countries to recover more fully from the economic shock of the pandemic.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos and Andrea Shalal; edited by Jonathan Oatis

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Banks urged to grant debt relief as part of COVID-19 response, temporary ‘disinfection’ jobs offered

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s central bank, has advised Philippine banks to offer debt relief to their borrowers to help them cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Labor and Employment (DOLE) now offering a temporary “disinfection”. “Jobs for workers who have been affected by the virus.

BSP governor Benjamin Diokno, who is currently in self-quarantine, said cable news broadcast ANC today that they will ask banks to extend debt relief to their customers “to help the country’s banking and financial institutions survive the impact of this COVID-19.”

Diokno said the debt relief will be temporary and is expected to last for one year, from President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision declaration of health emergency March 9. The industries that will benefit are those that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, such as bars, restaurants, airlines and shopping malls, among others.

Several establishments in the city, including Metro Manila malls have been forced to close due to the city’s so-called “community quarantine”, the city-wide lockdown that went into effect yesterday.

Diokno said banks are urged to seek debt relief from their customers and the BSP will “consider them favorably”. Banks may also have a moratorium on personal, auto and home loans, and may request relief from the BSP.

The BSP has already asked banks to remove fees for online transactions, as many people work from home, and the suspension of online transaction fees will encourage them to stay indoors.

“We will have to take into account the severe spread of COVID-19. The consensus is that things will get worse before they get better, ”Diokno said.

Read: Actress Bela Padilla Launches Fundraiser to Help Metro Manila Street Vendors Affected by Lockdown

Meanwhile, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) secretary Silvestre Bello said workers affected by business closures due to the month-long lockdown can get a temporary work with the agency as cleaners of schools and government buildings.

Bello said in an interview with DZMM radio station today that applicants willing to accept minimum wage can visit any of DOLE’s regional offices. “We are going to give them a job to get paid,” he said.

This afternoon alone, President Rodrigo Duterte would have put the whole island of Luçon on “reinforced community quarantine”, a reinforced measure beyond permanent confinement that could mean nearly 50 million people are confined to their homes, with security forces deployed to ensure compliance.

However, since Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo first made the announcement via text message to local media, he has since publicly stated that the details need to be worked out and that the president himself will address the matter shortly. .

To subscribe to The Coconuts podcast for new trends and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!

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Rwanda secures over $ 16 million in debt relief from IMF

Rwanda is expected to receive debt service relief of $ 16.9 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an initial period of six months, the Fund said.

This is the second debt service relief granted to Rwanda by the IMF. This is part of the Fund’s efforts to suspend debt collection from a number of countries to help them cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

By not servicing its debt for several months, Rwanda will have more capital to invest in affected sectors of the economy and improve its ability to respond to the pandemic.

The $ 16.9 million would have been paid in debt service to the IMF for six months, from October 14, 2020 to April 13, 2021.

Subject to the availability of resources, debt service relief could be granted for a total period of two years, until April 13, 2022, estimated at nearly $ 959 million.

The move aims to free up limited financial resources for essential emergency medical assistance and other relief efforts.

Samba Mbaye, the IMF’s resident representative in Rwanda, told the New Times that the organization was raising funds to further expand debt relief.

“The IMF will continue its fundraising efforts and provide additional debt service relief for a period of up to 24 months depending on the availability of resources,” he said.

Rwanda has also received $ 220.46 million from the International Monetary Fund under the Rapid Credit Facility (FCR) to support recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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G20 agrees on debt framework to help poor countries affected by COVID

PARIS / TOKYO: G20 finance ministers first agreed on a new common framework for public debt restructuring, anticipating that the coronavirus crisis will leave some poor countries in need of a deep relief.

The COVID-19 pandemic is straining the finances of some developing countries and G20 ministers said on Friday they recognize that more should be done to help them than a current temporary debt freeze, which will be extended until June 30, 2021.

Major creditors, including China, will need to follow common guidelines on how a debt deemed unsustainable can be reduced or rescheduled.

The new framework presented on Friday borrows heavily from the rules of the Paris Club, an informal grouping of governments of mostly wealthy countries that has so far been the only common forum for negotiating debt restructuring.

In the new framework, the creditor countries will negotiate with a debtor country, which will have to ask the same conditions of treatment of the creditors of the private sector.

G20 finance ministers said in a joint statement that the framework aims to “facilitate swift and orderly debt processing” for countries eligible for a debt payment freeze put in place in April, but failing to do so. included that private sector creditors on a voluntary basis.

“The fact that we, including non-Paris Club members, agree on such an issue is historic,” Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said, adding that private sector creditors should also stick to the new framework.

“Now all interested parties must ensure that the common framework is implemented. Debt transparency is extremely important, ”Aso told reporters after a G20 conference call.

The new framework also goes beyond a debt freeze by requiring the participation of all public creditors, after China was criticized by G20 partners for not including debt to its state-owned banks.

China has emerged as one of the major creditors of developing countries in recent years, often lending through institutions such as the Development Bank of China and China EXIM.

But China is wary of debt cancellations, and Beijing has defined the state-owned Development Bank of China as a private institution, resisting calls for full participation in debt relief.

The Paris Club, organized by the French finance ministry, and the G20 countries already agreed last month to extend this year’s debt freeze under which they deferred $ 5 billion in debt service for help the world’s poorest countries cope with the coronavirus crisis.

G20 leaders are expected to endorse the common framework at a virtual summit next week.

Disclaimer: This article was posted automatically from an agency feed without any text changes and has not been reviewed by an editor

Read all Latest news, latest news and Coronavirus news here

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Los Angeles leads in reducing consumer utility debt

Co-written by Yeshi Lemma, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)

The city of Los Angeles is taking action to address crippling debt accumulated by low-income utility customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It plans to pay $ 50 million in COVID relief funds to some customers to cover debts incurred during COVID.

Energy load in Los Angeles

While the city’s moratorium on water and power cuts was a critical first step in maintaining Angelenos’ access to water and electricity during this public health and economic crisis, it this is only a temporary measure. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Angelenos are out of work and unable to pay their bills. Los Angeles County Unemployment Rate peaked at 20.6 percent in May, and although it has since declined to 15.1%, people of color in California disproportionately affected by COVID 19 layoffs.

While 27% of white workers in the state have filed for unemployment insurance since March, 28% of Latinx workers and 31% of Asian workers have done the same. For black workers, the number was a staggering 46 percent. With such disparate unemployment, low-income communities and communities of color will likely bear the heaviest burden from high utility bills and unpaid balances.

But Los Angeles is trying to provide relief. The city will use funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) to fund a utility subsidy program that will provide cash assistance that up to 100,000 low-income customers can use to pay their water and electricity bills.

The RePower THE Coalition, (over 30 community, labor, environmental and environmental justice organizations) have called on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Electricity (LADWP) to start planning when the moratorium is lifted. Without a plan, a wave of disconnections and indebtedness would be imminent for many low-income Angelenos at a time when water and ar electricitye more important than ever.

LADWP’s Council of Commissioners and staff understood the unprecedented opportunity to give Angelenos a fresh start by providing much-needed relief to low-income clients.

Long-term energy load

Although the grant program is a direct response to the pandemic, Angelenos needs more innovative solutions to address the long-standing problem of utility debt and the “energy burden” for Angelenos. Energy load, which refers to the total share of income a household spends on electricity bills, is a racial and economic justice issue that has disproportionately impacted low-income communities and communities of color before even the pandemic.

A study found that the median household energy load in Los Angeles was 2.75%, but 40% of black households and 30% of Latinx households paid more than double that amount. During the pandemic, these inequalities were exacerbated, with 28 percent of Angelenos facing serious problems paying their utility bills.

How is the City taking additional steps to settle the debt?

Until recently, there were no plans to offer debt relief to low-income customers, many of whom have accumulated more since the start of the pandemic and they have had to choose between paying for utilities or for food. and drugs.

The Low Income Discount Program (LIDP) and LADWP’s Lifeline programs, both of which offer discounts on bills to eligible customers, will not be enough to help households whose financial situation has worsened during the pandemic. Information on how debt affects customers is not readily available, but there is currently a proposal at the National Water Board that would require some water utilities, including DWP, to report total arrears. customers and individual customer debt ranges to the government in November. Assuming that new unemployed low-income customers couldn’t make their payments in the five months, LIDP and Lifeline participants likely racked up at least $ 18 million in unpaid bills (based on LA County Unemployment Rate March-September 2020 and the average costs of LIDP / Lifeline invoices as estimated by the LA City Controller).

Concerned about the situation, the city council adopted by an overwhelming majority a movement through Chairman of the Board Nury Martinez ask LADWP to report on a debt relief and cancellation program for low income clients.

His motion also included bill stabilization measures for low-income customers, where payments will be based on a percentage of monthly income, helping to prevent debt from increasing on their utility bills.

Utility Subsidy Program

The city of Los Angeles has received more than $ 694 million from the CARES Act, which Congress passed in response to economic hardship caused by COVID-19. To direct the funds, the Council created an ad hoc committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment, which has allocated $ 50 million for LADWP client bill relief. Due to federal restrictions, CARES Act funds cannot be used to make up for lost income and can only be used for direct relief. Therefore, the utility subsidy program will provide cash assistance directly to clients. Eligible customers who register for the program will be entered into a lottery. Those selected will receive a check for $ 500 to cover their debt. Customers will have to receive these funds by the end of the year or the funds will disappear.

While this program would provide much needed relief, the LADWP Board of Directors recognizes that more is needed, we look forward to hearing how DWP will rise to the challenge.

Give the example

Municipal electric utilities don’t have as many tools and resources to manage debt as their investor-owned counterparts. As such, municipal utilities across the country are struggling to find creative ways to deal with the growing debt created by customers facing unprecedented financial hardship due to COVID-19. Managing municipal utility debt means leadership must think outside the box and create new ways of dealing with it.

There are approximately 3,300 electric utilities in the country. Through courageous and creative leadership, we hope the biggest in the country can lead the way and show other utilities how to put customers first and find more innovative ways to deal with customer debt than they do. they serve.

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It’s Time to Cancel Student Debt and Make Higher Education Free | Education

The COVID-19 epidemic is about to devastate the economy of the United States. It has already led to unprecedented levels of poverty and unemployment. At this rate, the economic fallout from the pandemic will likely be the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. To truly cope with the looming economic crisis, the US government will need to provide tremendous relief that puts people first, not people. profit.

A major step in that direction could be the cancellation of the $ 1.56 trillion in student loans, which would help millions recover once the pandemic is over. Making public colleges, universities and trade schools free would also help those hard hit by the crisis rebuild their futures and prevent another student debt crisis from emerging.

For marginalized communities of color, who will bear the brunt of the social and economic devastation the pandemic will leave behind, and for those who were already financially precarious before the outbreak, the need for such measures is more urgent than ever.

Crush Debt and Inequality

Over the past 15 years, student debt has more than quadrupled, from $ 345 billion in 2004 to nearly $ 1.56 trillion in 2020. That’s half a trillion more than credit card debt, which now stands at $ 1,000 billion.

Across the country 69 percent of students take out loans to pay for tuition and other school expenses, and by the time they graduate, they owe an average of nearly $ 30,000.

Today, even though women make up 56% of university graduates, they hold almost two-thirds of all student loan debt amounting to $ 929 billion.

Student debt also weighs disproportionately on students of color, whose communities have historically encountered many barriers to pursuing higher education. Some 85 percent of black high school graduates have loans to pay after graduation, compared to 69 percent of their white counterparts. Black students have an average of $ 34,000 in student debt, which is $ 4,000 more than white students.

On average, white and Asian students graduate from college at a rate of about 20 percentage points more than Hispanic and black students.

Black communities and other marginalized communities of color are disproportionately impacted also by predatory lenders. Private loans for colleges tend to be the last resort when federal scholarships, grants, and loans can no longer cover expenses. These particular loans often come with high interest rates and rigid payment plans. Students then leave college debt-ridden and without a degree to provide them with a pay raise to help them pay off their loans.

According to American Association of University Women (AAUW), 57% of black women paying off student loans were unable to afford essential expenses.

So instead of being an equalizer that helps close the wealth gap between rich and poor, higher education in the United States breeds inequality. It increases the indebtedness of communities which already suffer from high levels of income insecurity and economic precariousness.

It reinforces the cycle of poverty and the paycheck-to-paycheck life that many marginalized families are forced to experience, even though they are more educated. Parents with a university degree and heavily in debt are unlikely to be able to afford higher education for their own children.

The economic fallout from the pandemic threatens to worsen this situation.

Free education

Some student debt relief measures have already been taken.

On March 19, Senate Democrats proposed a plan to write off $ 10,000 federal student loan debt for all borrowers, which was backed by alleged Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

On March 23, House Democrats, led by Congressmen Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, introduced the Emergency Student Debt Relief Act, which proposes to write off $ 30,000 in student loans. all borrowers and requires the US Department of Education to pay all remaining federal loan payments for the remainder. of the outbreak.

In addition to the House and Senate bills, which are yet to be voted on, Congress passed the CARES Act on March 27, which effectively froze student loan payments and accrued interest rates on federal loans. .

But the measures must go further. Freezing payments and even canceling $ 30,000 in loans per person would still leave millions of Americans indebted, including many medical workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.

The CARES law also does not apply to students who have taken out loans from private lenders (which total $ 124 billion) and some companies are suing for debt collection amid the pandemic.

To truly cope with the current crisis in higher education, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, student debt needs to be wiped out completely. And to ensure that another student debt crisis does not emerge in the future, all public colleges and trade schools must be free from tuition and debt.

This is not a far-fetched idea and in fact, many colleges in the United States were tuition-free in the past. In California, for example, students from the state did not have to pay tuition fees at public universities until the 1970s.

Student loan debt cancellation and free tuition have already been gain public support in large part because of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign.

Some states have piloted tuition-free programs, but among these, eligibility criteria exclude large numbers of students. In 2017, New York State established SUNY and CUNY Schools for families earning less than $ 125,000 in tuition. In 2018, New Jersey also made community colleges free, but only 13,000 people qualified according to the program’s eligibility criteria.

But the struggle to create a just higher education system should not end with debt cancellation and free tuition. To ensure that students can eat, pay rent, buy books, and navigate life outside of the classroom, federal Pell Grants, which provide funds to students in need, must be increased and their eligibility expanded. Pell grants, scholarships and tuition-free education should also be extended to those currently and formerly incarcerated.

Banks and private lenders have been allowed to benefit from this abusive and unfair system of financing education for far too long. In 2008, when the Great Recession hit, President George W Bush enacted the Troubled Asset Relief Program, allowing the US Treasury to spend taxpayer dollars to buy failed bank assets to bail out the financial system, paving the way for a bailout valued at $ 16.8. and $ 29 trillion.

A total student loan forgiveness would cost between 5-9% of that amount and can easily include the wiping out of the $ 124 billion owed to private lenders. Free tuition at public post-secondary institutions is estimated to be around $ 79 billion a year, which is affordable. In addition, increased access to higher education would lead to increased tax revenues generated by a larger population of better paid university graduates. With the advantages it generates, free education would end up pay for himself.

As the US government prepares to bail out big business again, the time has come to demand real education reform – one that makes it free.

The cancellation of all federal student loans will help alleviate already existing economic stressors. Free education will help society as a whole – and in particular the most disadvantaged – to recover from centuries of inequality that will only get worse because of the coronavirus epidemic.

Everyone deserves to live a life of dignity and the opportunity to realize their full potential. It is time for the US government to invest in the American people, not in financial institutions that concentrate wealth and contribute to national and global inequalities.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.

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The Need for Debt-Climate Swaps by Shamshad Akhtar, et al

With developing countries facing a debt crisis that will only worsen as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is already inevitable that massive debt relief will be needed. The only question is whether it will be designed to deal with the even bigger climate crisis that is approaching.

ISLAMABAD – A global debt crisis is looming. Even before COVID-19 hit the world, the International Monetary Fund had Posted a warning on the public debt burden of developing countries, noting that half of all low-income countries were “at high risk or already in debt”. As the economic crisis deepens, these countries are experiencing sharp contractions in production at the same time as COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts demand a massive increase in spending.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the repayment of the external public debt of developing countries will cost $ 2.6 to $ 3.4 trillion in 2020 and 2021 alone.Therefore, market analysts now to suggest that nearly 40% of the sovereign external debt of emerging and frontier markets could be in default next year.

Worse, measures to deal with this debt crisis will clash head-on with global efforts to tackle climate change, inequality and other worsening global crises. So we need some creative thinking on how to advance multiple goals at the same time. We must both achieve a solid recovery from the pandemic-induced crisis and mobilize trillions of dollars for the transition to a more financially stable, socially inclusive and low carbon economy.

In April, G20 finance ministers approved a debt service suspension initiative to temporarily suspend the debt service of the world’s poorest countries as they deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Unfortunately, few debtor countries accepted this offer, fearing what it could give to markets and rating agencies. Moreover, private sector lenders have largely refused to offer significant forbearance on their part, thus undermining government efforts.

In the absence of new forms of liquidity support and major debt relief, the global economy cannot return to pre-pandemic growth levels without risking serious climate unrest and social unrest.Climatologists tell us that to meet the targets set in the Paris climate agreement, net global carbon dioxide emissions must fall by around 45% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Given that the effects of the As climate change is already being felt around the world, countries urgently need to increase their investments in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

But that won’t be possible if governments get bogged down in a debt crisis. On the contrary, debt servicing demands will push countries to seek export income at all costs, including by reducing climate-resilient infrastructure and increasing their own use of fossil fuels and resource extraction. This course of events would further depress commodity prices, creating a catastrophic loop for producing countries.

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Faced with these concerns, the G20 has called on the IMF “to explore additional tools that could meet the needs of its members as the crisis evolves, building on relevant experiences from previous crises”. One of these tools that should be considered is a “climate debt swap” facility. In the 1980s and 1990s, developing countries and their creditors engaged in “debt-for-nature swapsWhere debt relief was linked to investments in reforestation, biodiversity and the protection of indigenous peoples.

This concept should now be broadened to include people-centered investments that tackle both climate change and inequality. Developing countries will need additional resources if they are to have any chance of leaving fossil fuels in the ground, investing enough in climate adaptation and creating job opportunities in the 21st century. One source of these resources is debt relief conditional on such investments.

Such a policy tool would not only put us on the path to recovery, but could also help prevent future debt sustainability issues that could arise as more stocks of fossil fuels and unresilient infrastructure become. “blocked assets. “In addition, the dramatic drop in the cost of renewable energy represents an opportunity for a surge in investment in zero-carbon energy infrastructure, which in itself would help alleviate energy poverty and unsustainable growth.

Some economists estimate that putting the global economy on the path necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C would generate around 150 million jobs worldwide. At the same time, the United Nations Environment Program Production variance report showed that current production plans would push air emissions far beyond the limit of what is sustainable. To meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, more than 80% of all proven reserves of fossil fuels will therefore need to remain in the ground.

Given the realities of the climate crisis, it would be foolish to include high-risk investments in fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure as part of any recovery strategy. Fortunately, with climate debt swaps, we could actively drive the transition to a low-carbon economy while stabilizing commodity prices and providing fiscal space for developing countries to invest in resilience and sustainability. sustainable development.

There is no doubt that many countries will need debt relief to respond effectively to the COVID-19 crisis and then to protect their climate economies in a socially inclusive manner. For many people in countries most vulnerable to climate change, finding the resources to make such investments is a matter of survival.

The G20 called on the IMF to develop new tools and strategies to present to its summits this fall. An ambitious global deal to swap debt for climate action and social equity should be high on the agenda.

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Has the architecture of international debt failed the COVID-19 pandemic test?

By Yuefen Li, United Nations Independent Expert on Debt and Human Rights

For the first time in history, the world economy is facing a severe synchronized economic recession, affecting both developed and developing economies on all continents. COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns and social distancing measures to contain the spread of the virus have led to a sharp economic downturn, accompanied by unanticipated economic and social costs due to the widespread collapse of nearly all income generation channels for many governments, including falling commodity prices, drastic cuts in foreign direct investment and trade, sudden stops in tourism, free drops in remittances and collapsing tax systems. The World Bank has estimated that COVID-19 will push 71 million people into extreme poverty by 2020, measured at the international poverty line of $ 1.90 per day.1Daniel Gerszon Mahler, “Updated Estimates of the Impact of COVID-19 on Global Poverty,” World Bank Blogs, June 8, 2020.

The current cumulative crises exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic have put the debt problems of developing countries in the spotlight. Many developing countries have entered the pandemic with unprecedented levels of public and private debt.2UNCTAD, “The shock of Covid-19 in developing countries”, March 2020. More than 40% of low-income countries were already over-indebted or at high risk of debt distress before the pandemic.3IMF, “The Changing Public Debt Vulnerabilities in Low-Income Economies,” February 2020. The economic contraction, the need for a pandemic response and the unsustainability of debt have fed each other, creating a dark vicious cycle that spirals down to the bottomless hole. The tight fiscal space for the pandemic response exacerbated the economic and social impacts of the pandemic, which in turn resulted in an increased need for borrowing, increased debt, and a debt service burden.

The changing debt landscape of developing countries has increased the debt service burden. Many developing countries, including some without an investment grade rating, have turned to riskier debt, including debt on commercial or near-commercial terms, thereby increasing their interest-to-revenue ratios on their external debt.4World Bank, “Debt Service Suspension and COVID-19,” Backgrounder, May 11, 2020. Among low-income countries, more than half of public debt is on non-concessional terms.5M. Ayhan Kose et al., “Caught by a cresting debt wave: past debt crises can teach developing economies to cope with COVID-19 financing shocks”, Finance and Development, Vol. 57, n ° 2, June 2020. Recent analysis indicates that in 2019, 64 low-income governments spent more on paying external debt than on health care.6Jubilee Debt Campaign, “Sixty-four countries spend more on debt payments than on health,” April 12, 2020. With their weaker health and social protection systems, a heavy debt burden, and deteriorating economic buffers, developing countries, especially those that are poor and over-indebted, have little room to provide support. response to the pandemic and need massive liquidity and funding. support to deal with the immediate fallout from the pandemic and its repercussions on economic and human rights. Unlike developed countries, they cannot put in place huge fiscal and monetary stimulus packages.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global government support stood at around $ 9 trillion in May 2020,7Bryn Battersby, W. Raphael Lam and Elif Ture, “Tracking the $ 9 trillion global fiscal support to fight COVID-19,” IMF Blog, May 20, 2020. most of them from advanced countries, which have a wide range of instruments. It is concerning that while advanced economies have used 8.6% of their gross domestic product (GDP) to respond to the pandemic, emerging and low-income economies have used 2.8% and 1.4% respectively of their GDP for expenses and taxes related to the pandemic. reductions.8Martin Mühleisen, Vladimir Klyuev and Sarah Sanya, “Courage Under Fire: Policy Responses from Emerging Markets and Developing Economies to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” IMF Blog, June 3, 2020. Some developing governments face difficult choices between saving lives or paying off debts.

Whether effective and timely measures can be deployed to alleviate the debt problems of developing countries and enable them to put in place appropriate responses to the pandemic is an important test for the international debt architecture. It is interesting to note that while the composition of the debt and the actors have changed considerably in recent years, the tools for preventing and resolving debt crises have remained more or less the same since the 1980s, with the exception of a certain tightening of bond contracts. This mismatch has made the policy proposals created in response to the COVID-19 crisis appear, to some extent, to lack both power and sophistication.

Three counterfactual scenarios could have helped developing countries avoid sovereign and private defaults and focus limited financial resources on combating the pandemic: the first is to have a comprehensive debt moratorium for as long as the pandemic lasts; the second is to provide massive amounts of liquidity to countries facing debt problems and hard hit by the pandemic in an “all it takes” way; and the third is to quickly benefit from large and meaningful debt relief, including debt restructuring and cancellation, which would be particularly useful for countries already facing solvency problems, as their debt is unsustainable and their financial capacity insufficient to pay this debt, even if transition money is provided.

But the architecture of international debt has gaps, constraints and constraints. So, we had too little of all three: a limited debt status quo, insufficient liquidity provision, and little debt relief. The criticism is that the answer is far from sufficient. As a result, we could face a lot of debt restructurings in the years to come.

For the debt status quo: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Group of 20 (G20) have announced the freezing of the debt of poor countries in April 2020. They are welcome. However, the coverage in duration, country and debt instruments of the G20 is far too restrictive. One problem that seems to escape the G20’s radar is that some low-income debtors have access to international capital markets and fear possible rating downgrades. Therefore, a number of eligible countries have not requested the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The landscape has changed, but policymakers still use old formulas, such as GDP per capita, to decide on eligibility for debt relief. Private sector participation is a problem, as so far they have not responded to the invitation to join DSSI voluntarily. State-subordinated debt instruments that allow governments to suspend their debt when necessary are still not common.

For the provision of liquidity: IMF emergency facilities are welcome and adopted by many countries due to their severe shortage of liquidity. However, this is not enough. The IMF has a total of $ 1 trillion in these funds. Developed countries have had over $ 9 trillion for stimulus packages. To increase the provision of liquidity, a new issuance of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and the voluntary reallocation of existing and unused SDRs from developed countries to countries in need were proposed. However, the IMF board could not reach an agreement, reflecting the need to reform the IMF quota system. The current situation is that the countries that need SDRs the most have the least, and the countries that need the dollars the most do not have access to the US Federal Reserve’s swap line. Thus, proposals are made to develop regional exchanges and specialized facilities, which take time to reach significant size.

For debt relief and restructuring: After decades of debate, there is no debt restructuring or insolvency regime for sovereign states, although there are such systems for businesses. The document recently released by the IMF 9IMF, “The International Architecture for Sovereign Debt Resolution Involving Private Sector Creditors – Recent Developments, Challenges and Options for Reform”, October 2020 recognizes this gap in the current debt architecture. It is an encouraging step forward. People would come back to the issue with each crisis, demonstrating the desire for a framework that would allow for faster and more equitable debt restructuring. But in the past, the IFIs (international financial institutions) have insisted that the current system is efficient and sufficient. Debt relief and restructuring can be a long and expensive process. Patchwork and ad hoc sovereign debt restructuring agreements still prevail. Debt relief instruments such as debt buybacks and different types of debt swaps should always be handled with care to avoid legal complications and credit downgrades. However, if the country is insolvent, restructuring and debt cancellation would still be necessary.

After a major economic crisis, the global financial architecture has always undergone significant changes. I think this pandemic will be no exception. The gaps and imperfections in the international debt architecture make it difficult for the system to cope with a crisis of such depth and magnitude, including the lack of a rights-based approach to debt. man in the prevention and resolution of debt crises.

The references

1Daniel Gerszon Mahler, “Updated Estimates of the Impact of COVID-19 on Global Poverty,” World Bank Blogs, June 8, 2020.

2UNCTAD, “The shock of Covid-19 in developing countries”, March 2020.

3 IMF, “The Changing Public Debt Vulnerabilities in Low-Income Economies,” February 2020.

4World Bank, “Debt Service Suspension and COVID-19,” Backgrounder, May 11, 2020.

5M. Ayhan Kose et al., “Caught in a Debt Wave: Past Debt Crises Can Teach Developing Economies to Cope with COVID-19 Financing Shocks”, Finance and Development, flight. 57, n ° 2, June 2020.

6Jubilee Debt Campaign, “Sixty-four countries spend more on debt payments than on health,” April 12, 2020.

7Bryn Battersby, W. Raphael Lam and Elif Ture, “Tracking the $ 9 trillion global fiscal support to fight COVID-19,” IMF Blog, May 20, 2020.

8Martin Mühleisen, Vladimir Klyuev and Sarah Sanya, “Courage Under Fire: Policy Responses from Emerging Markets and Developing Economies to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” IMF Blog, June 3, 2020.

9IMF, “The International Architecture for Sovereign Debt Resolution Involving Private Sector Creditors – Recent Developments, Challenges and Options for Reform”, October 2020

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A good but incomplete start to debt relief

A good but incomplete start to debt relief

Paola Subacchi

LONDON – A global collapse in economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the risk of debt distress in many countries, pushing the poorest to the brink. In response, various international organizations have unveiled a number of initiatives to prevent circumstances requiring between an adequate response to the public health crisis and the servicing of existing debts.

Most notably, the G20 has put in place a Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), which allows the world’s poorest countries to suspend official bilateral debt service payments until next year. And this month, G20 leaders adopted a new common framework to address sovereign debt restructuring needs on a case-by-case basis.

For poorer countries struggling with the pandemic, debt not only limits their fiscal space to respond to the crisis, but also hinders future development. Faced with the sudden costs of the COVID-19 crisis, many countries that are already struggling to service existing debt have needed new financing, only to find it too difficult or too expensive to borrow more . And even if they do, the additional debt burden will weigh on them for years, limiting their prospects for growth and development. Check more debt relief options here at Consolidationnow’s site.

Far from implicating a few unhappy countries at the margin, the current sovereign debt distress poses a potentially systemic risk. Since 2014, total sovereign debt as a percentage of GDP has not only increased substantially; it has also become more fragmented, owing to the use of more diversified debt instruments among a wider range of creditors.

In view of these circumstances, the global financial safety net urgently needs to be widened beyond the support currently offered by international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. To this end, the DSSI has taken a first step by suspending payments of principal and interest on debt maturing between May 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 (having been extended from December 31, 2020), thereby expanding the safety net of at least 77 developing countries.

But while DSSI offers some respite, it also only speeds up debt repayment, leaving deferred payments to be repaid in full between 2022 and 2024. Debtor countries will therefore have to make up the difference with larger repayments, and could even need to borrow more to service their frozen debt, on top of any other debt incurred during the COVID-19 crisis. The 46 countries that have requested debt suspension so far will eventually have to cover $ 5.3 billion in deferred payments, in addition to the $ 71.54 billion in pre-existing commitments; and any other debt incurred since the COVID-19 outbreak will add to the burden.

While the latest G20 debt initiative misses the mark in many ways (especially when it comes to addressing debtor-creditor asymmetries), it has at least enshrined a common framework for debt reduction in the pipeline. the international agenda. The new initiative has two distinct merits. First, by allowing for a case-by-case approach, it addresses a specific concern raised by private sector creditors, a key group that was not included in the DSSI.

Second, the new framework incorporates China, after overcoming some initial resistance stemming from the definition of a state bank (which raised concerns that the Development Bank of China and the Export-Import Bank of China themselves exposed to debt restructuring). Since China holds around 63% of total debt to G20 member states, its participation is critical to the initiative’s success.

The common framework is an important first step in the right direction. But the G20 cannot stop there; the initiative should be extended to a common sovereign debt restructuring program. Sovereign debt is the only category of debt without a bankruptcy mechanism. While individuals and businesses can file for bankruptcy, a country cannot.

So far, the international community has relied on a contractual approach to prevent and resolve sovereign debt problems. But this method often involves deep asymmetries between the treatment of debtors and creditors, resulting in an inequitable distribution of losses among different types of creditors. We need a multilateral agency specifically tasked with coordinating creditors, sharing information and reducing the scope of information arbitration.

In addition, the new framework should help debtor countries throughout the restructuring process. For example, as the IMF has already suggested, the G20 should task international financial institutions with providing limited financing in order to give debtors a negotiating space to secure a lasting debt restructuring deal.

To tie it all together, the G20 should build on its Sustainable Financing Guidelines to promote responsible lending and borrowing alongside orderly and multilateral debt restructuring. It should also promote debt transparency and provide the necessary technical assistance, so that countries can strengthen their debt management capacity before they get into debt distress.

Clear procedures, transparency, oversight and accountability for sovereign debt management are public goods in the broad sense. Everyone deserves to be fully informed about the actions their respective countries take when borrowing abroad, just as they should be aware of their country’s debts and commitments. A framework that clarifies every step of the process of taking on debt – including the necessary checks and balances – is essential to securing responsible borrowing (and lending) more broadly.

Paola Subacchi, professor of international economics at the Queen Mary Global Policy Institute at the University of London, is the author, most recently of The cost of free money (Yale University Press, 2020).

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2020.
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ONE ups campaigns for total debt relief for poor countries

ONE ups campaigns for total debt relief for poor countries

A global campaign movement is pushing for debt relief for African countries and other poor countries due to the COVID 19 pandemic to be extended throughout 2021.

The movement called ONE claims that debt relief is one of the fastest and most effective ways to free money in developing country budgets.

He says the recent G20 agreement to suspend debt repayments for the poorest countries for the remainder of 2020 will free up much-needed cash. But it’s not enough.

In its campaign titled Ask the G20 to Suspend Debt to Fight Coronavirus, ONE says: “The current deal only covers bilateral debt (loans from other governments), which is roughly half of total debt service. of these countries. Debt to multilateral institutions and private debt, to bondholders and commercial banks, represent an additional $ 24 billion. ”

“Releasing the rest of the debt service is crucial to give governments the most flexibility and to ensure that the money saved through bilateral debt relief is not used to finance debt payments to multilateral creditors.” or private.

No country should be faced with the impossible choice of saving lives or paying off debt during this pandemic, ”ONE said.

ONE said the current G20 deal only covers the remaining eight months of 2020, but it’s clear things won’t get back to normal anytime soon.

On April 15, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors agreed to suspend debt repayments for the world’s poorest countries for the remainder of 2020 as part of their COVID-19 action plan. These included supporting a time-limited suspension of public debt and calling on private creditors and multilateral development banks to do the same.

Welcoming the move, Gayle Smith, CEO of The ONE Campaign, said: “The G20’s decision to suspend debt repayments from the world’s most vulnerable countries is a vital first step in this ongoing crisis and will allow these countries to prioritize the fight. COVID-19 and resist the first wave of economic impact of this global pandemic.

“We won’t beat this virus until we beat it everywhere. And we will not limit the economic impact of this pandemic unless we ensure a true global recovery that leaves no one behind.

“It is now essential that the world builds on this important first step, and we are now looking to private creditors, the IMF and the World Bank to do their part.”

But now ONE says the relief must be extended to the whole of 2021 to give greater security and a greater ability to plan the use of funds.

“For the 73 countries covered by the current G20 deal, that means an additional $ 22 billion available for the bilateral debt suspension crisis for 2021.”

“The crisis will affect all countries equally, regardless of their income level. No country in the world foresaw this kind of shock.

“Solidarity should therefore extend to all African countries that may be in difficulty, as requested by African leaders. Extending the bilateral debt suspension to all of Africa would free up an additional US $ 7.6 billion in 2020 and at least US $ 6 billion in 2021. ”

Edwin Ikhouria, Executive Director for Africa of The ONE Campaign, said: “As Africa faces the danger of slipping into a new debt crisis, we urge the G20 to expand not only the suspension of debt to the poorest countries, but also to all African countries. until 2021. Many of those not included – South Africa, Egypt and others – face tremendous economic pressure as they battle the virus.

“At the end of the day, suspending debt repayment is a short-term solution, as many of these countries will struggle to cope with the rising costs of debt. We will also need a longer term plan to restructure the debt, ”he added.

The G20 also called on multilateral lenders to provide comparable debt relief. The total multilateral debt of countries eligible for G20 debt relief stood at US $ 12 billion for 2020, of which about a third is owed to the World Bank.

At least US $ 13 billion is owed multilaterally in 2021. And expanding that to cover all African countries would add around US $ 6.5 billion in 2020 and US $ 5.8 billion in 2021 to previous totals.

So far, only the IMF has approved six-month debt cancellation for the 25 poorest countries through its Containment and Disaster Relief Trust Fund (CCRT), worth about $ 214 million, but the World Bank does not have a comparable debt relief fund.

Multilaterals are reluctant to participate in a debt stop because of concerns about their cash flow and credit ratings. In the short term, the World Bank fears that without the money from debt repayments, it will not be able to advance new loans and grants.

In the long term, the Bank is concerned about how a suspension might affect its credit rating, and therefore its ability to borrow money in the markets at the lowest available rates, and to lend that money to developing countries. development.

ONE is a global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, so that everyone, everywhere, can lead a life of dignity and opportunity.

Whether it’s lobbying political leaders in global capitals or leading cutting-edge local campaigns, ONE is lobbying governments to do more to tackle extreme poverty and preventable disease, especially in Africa, and enables citizens to hold their governments to account.

Part of ONE’s successes is helping to secure at least $ 37.5 billion in funding for historic health initiatives, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, helping to secure legislation in the US, Canada and the EU on transparency in the extractive sector to help fight corruption and ensure that more money from oil and gas revenues gas in Africa is used to fight poverty, successfully advocating for official development assistance, which grew by $ 35.7 billion globally between 2005 and 2014, and helping push through new U.S. legislation on fuel poverty:; the Electrify Africa Act 2016.

BY ODINDO AYIEKO

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Kenya avoids debt reorganization in common G20 framework

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By Duncan Miriri

NAIROBI, March 10 (Reuters) – Kenya will not seek to review its debt under a G20 initiative because it fears it will reduce its ability to raise funds in global capital markets, a senior official said on Wednesday. responsible for the Treasury.

The G20 group of major economies introduced a “common framework” to help developing countries cope with the financial pressure of COVID-19 by allowing them to suspend bilateral debt service and then restructure their debts.

“We are not,” Haron Sirima, head of the Treasury’s debt management office, told reporters when asked if the government would seek to restructure its debt under the framework, which also involves private creditors. . He did not give more details.

Neighboring Ethiopia, which said it would go through “debt processing” through the common framework in January, suffered downgrades as a result.

Kenya could raise funds in international financial markets later this year if it does not get enough cheap funds from lenders like the World Bank, Sirima said.

The government will also use new issuance of sovereign bonds to refinance maturing debt and manage its liquidity and liabilities, he said.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has weighed on Kenya’s tax revenues at a time when more of its debt is falling due and while it is still grappling with yawning budget deficits.

In January, it reached debt service suspension agreements with the Paris Club and other creditors, including China, covering the six months through the end of June this year.

Under the agreements, which are part of the G20 initiative to offer debt relief to poor countries, Kenya is deferring payments worth $ 600 million due during the period.

The deferred amount, which includes $ 378 million for China alone, will be paid over five years after a one-year grace period. (Edited by Larry King) (([email protected]; Tel: +254 20 4991239; Reuters messaging: [email protected])) Keywords: KENYA DEBT / (UPDATE 1, PIX )

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