Category: ctcwzolrsqsv

Lawmakers hear farmers demands

first_imgFrom the print editionWaking up before the sun rises is a farmer’s way of life. They work long hours and fight tough climate conditions to earn what some would call meager wages.On Tuesday, an estimated 15,000 producers representing different agricultural organizations and cooperatives from around Costa Rica – many as far as the northwestern province of Guanacaste and the Southern Zone – traveled by bus to the country’s capital to demand from legislators a decrease in property taxes.Coffee farmer William Víquez, a member of CoopeAlajuela, a farm cooperative, attended the march. “Right now, we’re paying too many taxes at too high of a rate. It’s very difficult to work the land, let alone deal with these taxes,” said Víquez, who grows coffee with three members of his family north of San José. Víquez does not own the two-hectare plot of land where he and his family work for up to 16 hours a day, but he pays a monthly fee, along with the cost of seeds, fertilizers and other monthly expenses, leaving him with little money at the end of the day.“I grow my coffee, and I sell what I can to survive,” he said, wearing a striped shirt and green oversized fishing hat in San José’s Central Park. Víquez produces about seven fanegas a year depending on weather conditions. A fanega is the equivalent of about 568 pounds of the cherry-like coffee fruit. Depending on the market, each fanega pays farmers about {100,000 ($200).Many producers trade their crops with other farmers to waive food expenses.Nevertheless, $1,400 a year is “barely enough to make ends meet,” Víquez said.At the center of the dispute is a 2007 property tax reform that reappraised land values at a higher tax rate, including farms. Farmers say the new rates are too high, and have proposed a reform bill to exempt agricultural lands from paying up to 80 percent of property taxes.Although some municipalities have implemented the 2007 tax reform incrementally, Víquez said his municipality has already put into practice the full force of the law. During the last trimester, he paid {50,000 ($100) in property taxes – half of what he earned for a fanega of coffee during the last crop season.Along with Víquez, thousands of Costa Rican farmers marched from Central Park to the Legislative Assembly, wearing traditional cowboy and fedora hats and holding homemade signs requesting lawmakers to discuss and approve bill 18,070, which calls for an 80 percent tax exemption on farmland.“We are here because the current property taxes that are in place today represent a negative and unnecessary burden on farmers, and it is impossible to maintain in the long term,” said Adrián Hernández, board member at CoopeLibertad, a coffee cooperative representing more than 2,000 coffee producers in the Heredia province, north of the capital. “We are not asking to be fully tax-exempt. However, we want to pay what is fair within the agricultural sector.”Rain did not deter those present at the march. Many huddled together, shared umbrellas and listened to some of their sector’s national leaders speak from a stage built in front of the assembly. Among them was Guido Vargas, president of UPA Nacional, an organization of small- and medium-sized producers.Vargas, one of the main organizers of the march, said he hoped not to have to return to San José, as previous marches against the 2007 tax reform ended unsuccessfully. “The spirit among [agricultural] producers is a spirit that will not negotiate,” Vargas said on Wednesday. “An intelligent society should not think it is OK to have rich municipalities and an impoverished countryside.”Also present at the march was legislator José María Villalta, from the Broad Front Party, who said that the current tax reform is drowning a sector that has been battered for the past 30 years.“The towns in this country have shot up property values and not because the agricultural sector is doing well,” Villalta said. “But due to the development of other types of businesses, such as the real-state boom and the development of tourism, land values have increased tremendously.”As a result, Villalta said, this puts small and medium-sized producers in a tight spot by having to pay taxes they can’t afford.Villalta said that several of his colleagues in the assembly support the farmers. Following the daylong demonstration, President Laura Chinchilla called on legislators to hold a special session and prioritize discussion of bill 18,070.Lawmakers agreed to open debate on the bill on Monday.“We will keep fighting from everywhere in the country if bill 18,070 is not passed,” Vargas said. “We have the muscle to fight.” Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Read More

TAT reveals new Thai tourism strategies

first_imgThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced strategies designed to take advantage of emerging opportunities within the ever-changing travel industry. The new campaign strategies were announced following TAT’s annual action plan meeting, where TAT set a target of 22.22 million international tourist arrivals for 2013, in the hopes of generating estimated foreign exchange revenues of 966 billion baht. TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said industry performance will be centred on global economic stability and capitalising on demand. “Tourism is now recognised as Thailand’s most important service industry,” the Governor said. “Its contribution to job creation, income distribution and foreign exchange earnings is well above par. “While the industry has been doing well so far, it cannot rest on its laurels in an unstable and unpredictable world.” TAT has crafted the ‘Thailand and Beyond Strategy’, due to the expansion of the ASEAN community to include China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India and Russia, to be ready by 2015. The TAT 2013 Action Plan was crafted with the theme, ‘Higher Revenue through Thainess’, attempting to attract tourists using Thailand’s natural and cultural charm. Marketing messages will emphasise creative tourism, more effort will be expelled into increasing first-time visitors and high spenders (luxury market) and TAT will try to increase charter and low-cost carrier flights to destinations where there is no direct access, according to a release by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. “We will use the major global media, especially sports and special-interest TV channels… the new digital media will be a special focus of attention… and TAT will also put considerable emphasis on a tourism intelligence unit and a crisis management centre.” The new strategies and action plans are intended to maintain Thailand’s brand image, boost the country’s marketing profile and increase visitor arrivals next year. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

Read More

Mortgage Lenders Experience a Drop in Profits

first_img Share On Thursday, independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks reported a drop in net gains in each loan they originated in Q3 2017, according to the MBA’s Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report. Of the 347 companies reporting, 75 percent reporting were independent mortgage companies and the remaining 25 percent were subsidiaries and other non-depository institutions.The results show that independent mortgage banks reported a net gain of $929 in Q3 2017—representing a decrease from a gain of $1,122 per loan in the Q2 2017. In addition, this is a drop from the study’s Q3 average of $1,197 per loan.“Historically for this study, average production profits in the third quarter of the year have performed slightly below the second quarter,” said Marina Walsh, MBA’s VP of Industry Analysis. “But production profits were also down in relation to historical averages for the third quarter. Walsh added, “Despite rising average production volume, production expenses grew to $8,060 per loan—the second highest level reported since the inception of our study in the third quarter of 2008.”Meanwhile, production revenues remained relatively flat, with a minimal uptick in per-loan production revenues resulting from higher loan balances.“For those mortgage bankers holding mortgage servicing rights (MSR), lower MSR valuation losses helped overall profitability,” Walsh continued.As for production volume, the average was $569 million per company in Q3 of 2017, up from $526 million per company in Q2 of 2017. Meanwhile, the volume count per company averaged 2,341 loans in the Q3 of 2017, an increase from 2,177 loans in the Q2 of 2017.  By dollar volume, the purchase share of total originations was 74 percent in the Q3 2017, down from the study high of 76 percent in the Q2 of 2017. For the mortgage industry as a whole, the report estimates the purchase share at 68 percent in the Q3 of 2017.  Net secondary marketing income decreased to 298 basis points in the Q3 of 2017, down from 302 basis points in the Q2 of 2017.  On a per-loan basis, net secondary marketing income was $7,181 per loan in the Q3 2017—an increase from $7,160 per loan in the Q2 2017.Other key findings of the report include:  The average pre-tax production profit was 40 basis points (bps) in the Q3 of 2017, down from an average net production profit of 46 bps in the Q2 of 2017.The average loan balance for first mortgages reached $251,109 in the Q3 of 2017, up from $248,619 in the Q2 of 2017.The average pull-through rate (loan closings to applications) was 73 percent in the Q3 of 2017, up from 72 percent in the Q2 of 2017.Personnel expenses averaged $5,279 per loan in the Q3 of 2017, up from $5,119 per loan in the Q2 of 2017.Productivity decreased to 2.1 loans originated per production employee per month in the Q3 of 2017, from 2.5 in the Q2 of 2017.  Net servicing financial income was $79 per loan in the Q3 of 2017, up from $27 per loan in the Q2 of 2017. Mortgage Lenders Experience a Drop in Profits in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, journal, Market Studies, News, Servicingcenter_img November 30, 2017 598 Views HOUSING independent mortgage banks Lenders mortgage mortgage subsidiaries 2017-11-30 Nicole Caspersonlast_img read more

Read More

NZ TG Globals profits drop despite revenue

first_img NZ: T&G Global’s profits drop despite revenue … The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) has reduced its European apple crop forecast to 12.5 million metric tons (MT) due to drought conditions caused by high summer temperatures.The drought was mainly an issue in the northern part of the continent, with several countries modifying their initial figures. The original forecast was for 12.6 million MT of apples and 2.3 million MT of pears, the latter of which remains unchanged.”The 2018 EU crop is dominated by the ongoing growth of among other Polish production and the return of the Central European Member States to a normal crop after last years’ frost,” WAPA said.”However, other leading Member States such as France, Italy and Germany are reporting a moderate crop. A more definite forecast with follow end of November, when harvesting season is all but finished.”Germany experienced higher temperatures than normal, with a continuous period of drought, which has impacted the apple crop. The crop forecast from August decreased by 6% to 934,000MT, with some regions more affected than the others.Only Northern Germany had enough water in the orchards by means of sprinkling, whilst the other regions were too dry.The Czech Republic indicated a decrease of 15% compared with their initial forecast to 128,000MT for apple, and a decrease of over 25% compared to July to 8,000MT for pear.The harvest has been affected by the continuous drought since April and high temperatures, which led to small sizes and an increased number of fruits destined for processing: up to 65% for apple and 33% for pear.France has also modified its initial forecast slightly downwards from 1,502,000MT to 1,477,000MT for apple and from 135,000 to 134,000MT for pear.Italy confirms the forecast made at the beginning of August. In general, the quality, sizing, and colouring are good, under influence of good weather conditions during harvest. Certain regions were hit by hail, which could lead to a higher quantity of fruits going to processing.Belgium had already modified its forecast downwards before the publication of the Prognos report in the beginning of August, taking the drought into account.The Netherlands had a high initial forecast and planned to revise its figures downwards. However, precipitation during the harvest led to a crop of good quality and quantity. Figures will most likely be kept of even revised upwards.Poland indicated that the yield for apple might be even higher than the initial forecast, which could even out the slightly lower figures from the other contributors as indicated above. However, a bigger proportion of Polish apples would go to the processing industry. Overall, the final volume harvested could also be influenced by shortage of workforce and storageIn the meantime, US Apple Outlook has forecasted the figure of 4.880.000 tonnes for apple, which is slightly down from the initial forecast of 4.914.000 tonnes. The Canadian forecast is set at 341.249 tonnes. October 16 , 2018 Mexico lifts tariffs on U.S. apples … You might also be interested in T&G apple harvest underway amid expectations … Robotic apple harvester used for commercial crop i … last_img read more

Read More

AP Photo

first_img(AP Photo) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Is your defense maybe underrated nationally?“If you don’t win they’re not. But yeah, statistically, yeah. But we didn’t create the turnovers we had. That to me—disruptive plays and turnovers is where we kind of where we made our name. Looking back at 2015 stats, we started the second half on defense but we got five turnovers and we won all five of those games. That’s the things that you’re looking at. The productively in certain situations. You can be top-5 in this and that but if you’re not top-5 in two-minute, if you’re not top-5 in takeaways, you’re probably not winning games and we dropped so far in takeaways and we gave it away a few more times.”Third down the same thing?“Third down really wasn’t as poor. Red zone offensively was much better. Defensively worse. But, yeah, those situations, ending halves, ending games, getting off the field on third down, those are more important to me than we give up the fewest yards in the league and we’re the No. 1 defense. No you’re not.”Has Nkemdiche done anything that’s surprised you in camp?“No, it’s everything we anticipated him to do and what we expected of him.”How many wins do you think Phil Dawson alone is worth? “You got to wait and see. He’s kicked a lot of game-winners in his day. We play a lot of close games so hopefully we’ll be in a lot of close games and he’s kicking game-winners, not standing over there watching somebody else.”Has alternating holders bothered him at all?“No. He’s got his preference but he’s OK with both.”If you’ve got a good defense would you naturally do well in red zone and third down?“No, you got defenses that bend-don’t-break type thing that give up tons of yards but they don’t get scored on a lot and then you got teams that, they give up a lot of touchdowns but they don’t give up a lot of yards. Those statistics of who the No. 1 defense is in the league sometimes are very skewed.”How anxious is Deone Bucannon to practice?“Yeah, he’s ready to hit somebody, that’s for sure, and hopefully it’s not me. He’s ready. He’s out there running in the heat and doing everything he needs to do; just getting still some of that last bit of stiffness out.”Anything you still need to see from the starters in this third preseason game?“Not as much the starters as the next four or five guys on both sides of the ball. There’s still a lot of competition for those last few spots, in playing positions not just roster positions but the next guy in. Who’s the next guy going in to rush the passer, who’s the next guy going in at nickel, who’s the other corner going in, who’s the other wide receiver going in the four wide receivers, same thing at running back.” Follow Craig Grialou on Twitter GLENDALE, Ariz. – Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media each day during training camp.Here, in this space, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following the morning walk-through.“OK, the only injury yesterday was Robert (Nkemdiche) strained a calf. He’ll be day-to-day. We’ll see how long it takes. He’ll be a boot for a minute. He won’t play this week, for sure. We won’t take any risk with that. (Mike) Iupati will not play this week. We will not take a risk with that either. Those are the only two guys in the last few days. Everybody else is getting healthy. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img “Really, really solid practice yesterday; maybe the best one we’ve had. It’s hard to get good pictures out of your show teams but they were—it was one of those days you say, ‘Whoa! Slow down a little bit.’ That was nice.”What else specifically did you like about the practice?“Well, the speed. It sounded like football practice. A lot of times when you use cards it doesn’t sound like football practice, but there were some good collisions. Just the speed of practice. Guys got hands on balls. They’ve been studying film already. When you see that second practice against a team—the first day, they should complete a lot of balls because it’s all new. Second day we should starting to get our hands on balls. Third day is more as we see and prepare.”With the momentum Nkemdiche had, how big of a setback is this?“It shouldn’t be much. He wouldn’t play next week anyway. He’d miss a half of this game, so it shouldn’t set him back hardly at all.”When you first saw Kerwynn Williams, what made you think he’d be good in his role?         “I didn’t know him until we got our hands on him and all of a sudden we couldn’t touch him in practice. He was on the practice squad. It was like, ‘Were you trying to tackle him? Hell yeah I was trying to tackle him. I missed him.’ Ok, let’s find out if this is real and it turned out to be. When he got his opportunity he was an outstanding player. They come in all sizes. He’s one of those strong small guys that’s hard to tackle.” 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories How much stock do you put into training camp and preseason in trying to determine how good your offense can be?“Very little. Training camp and preseason is about evaluating players. It’s not about where your offense is, where your defense is because you can’t—they’re not out there unless you watch practice every day and even then there’s days it’s designed for younger guys, it’s designed for older guys but it’s never a fluid thing. This game is the most fluid you’ll get in the preseason just because they’ll play a little bit longer.”Do you have an idea where this offense could by?“It should be better than last year, that’s for sure. We should be more explosive and we should run the ball as good or better.”Why do you like John Wetzel rather than Cole Toner to replace Iupati at left guard?“Bigger. Stronger. Cole, he’s done a good job at center but Wetzel has started at tackle and guard. He’s the natural—he’s the sixth guy.”How anxious are your players to break camp?“Not as much this week as last week. This week because the schedule change and how we’re practicing. They understand we could’ve broke camp last week and gone outside and practiced and nobody wanted to do that. Last week was more of the one. It was just same routine the same routine for a month.” Why didn’t he practice yesterday?“He got stepped on. Just got a real sore foot.”Are you surprised he’s so good on punt returns?“That always surprises you. Whoever comes out of nowhere as a punt returner was always a surprise. You see guys do it in college but a guy who hasn’t done it in awhile, the ability to catch left footed punters, right footed punters and gain yards is rare.”Are either of your two punters separating themselves?“Not really. They’re still—day-to-day it’s one versus the other. I’d like to see one of them separate themselves, yeah.”What do you hope to see out of the offensive line this week against the Falcons?“Pass protection because we struggled against them last year, handling their twists and their stunts. That will be the biggest thing. Again, stunting and run-blocking will take a little time as the game goes on and probably by the time they figure it out I’ll take them out so I don’t put a lot of stock in it but pass protection I do.”The Falcons have some good speed, too, will that be a test for your defense?“Yeah. This is a heck of an offense. Matt (Ryan) is planning probably as good as anybody in the league. They got weapons, so yeah this will be a really good test for offense, defense and special teams.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

Read More

Rep Bellino discusses overcoming addiction at 2nd annual Unite to Face AddictionMichigan

first_img18May Rep. Bellino discusses overcoming addiction at 2nd annual Unite to Face Addiction-Michigan rally State Rep. Joe Bellino on Thursday spoke to people from across Michigan attending the 2nd annual Unite to Face Addiction rally at the Capitol in Lansing.Rep. Bellino accepted the invitation to speak from Unite to Face Addiction – Michigan to share his personal journey overcoming addiction. The freshman state representative has had over 32 years of sobriety recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. By sharing his past struggles and his life after becoming sober, Bellino hopes to motivate others to get and remain clean.“You never think, ‘I will become a drug addict, get sober sometime after, and then life will go on’ when you’re 25 years old,” Rep. Bellino said. “However, that’s exactly what happened to me. I was just fortunate enough to get sober and then started making some dramatic changes in my life.”Rep. Bellino spent six years working for the Catholic charity at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, owned his own small business in Monroe for nearly 20 years, served over 15 years on the Monroe County Community College Board of Trustees and most recently, was elected to represent Southeast Michigan in the Michigan House of Representatives.State Rep. Joe Bellino discusses overcoming addiction at 2nd annual Unite to Face Addiction-Michigan rally at the Capitol in Lansing. Categories: Bellino News,Bellino Photoslast_img read more

Read More

Rep Griffin Moneysaving car insurance reforms signed into Michigan law

first_img30May Rep. Griffin: Money-saving car insurance reforms signed into Michigan law Categories: Griffin News,News State Rep. Beth Griffin today noted that historic car insurance reforms have been signed into Michigan law, guaranteeing lower rates for drivers in Van Buren and Kalamazoo counties.The reforms – approved earlier by Griffin and the Legislature – give drivers more choice on personal injury protection coverage, combat fraudulent claims and take steps to rein in medical costs. Many Michigan families will save hundreds of dollars or more each year through the reforms.“The high cost of car insurance was a top complaint I heard everywhere I went in Southwest Michigan,” Griffin said. “This is a great example of the Legislature listening to its constituents and delivering a solution – overcoming decades of gridlock to simply do the right thing for Michigan drivers and their families.”Michigan has had the most expensive car insurance in the nation mostly because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The revised law will provide more affordable options while allowing those who currently use the unlimited coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it.Starting in July 2020, many drivers will be able to opt out of personal injury protection altogether, including seniors with retiree health coverage such as Medicare and those with health insurance policies that cover car accident-related injuries. Others will be able to continue with unlimited coverage or choose PIP limits of $250,000 or $500,000. A $50,000 option will be available for drivers on Medicaid.A fee schedule will be established for medical providers, reining in runaway costs that result from medical care providers charging far more to treat car accident victims than other patients.Non-driving factors such as zip codes, educational level, and credit score can’t be used to determine rates.An anti-fraud unit will help crack down on those abusing the system, which should help lower car insurance rates even further.center_img #####last_img read more

Read More

Cracking and Packing Reluctant Supreme Court Takes Up Gerrymandering Again

first_imgShare59Tweet18Share11Email88 SharesBy Steven Nass (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia CommonsOctober 3, 2017; New York Times and Pittsburgh Post-GazetteGerrymandering comes with baggage. It can be defined as the manipulation of the boundaries of an electoral constituency so as to favor one party or class. It matters little which party does the manipulation, and both parties are a part of gerrymandering efforts. As the Supreme Court heard the case of Gill v. Whitford on October 3, 2017, Justice Samuel Alito called gerrymandering “distasteful.” This is not the first time a reluctant Supreme Court has addressed this issue. And each time, the Court divides between those who feel the Court should not even weigh in and those who feel the Court is the only government body that should.In May, NPQ wrote about the Supreme Court decision in a race-centered gerrymandering case from North Carolina, finding that race, when used as a factor to draw voting districts, was grounds for disqualifying those districts. Now, Gill v. Whitford, a case that focuses on Wisconsin, has brought the issue of partisan gerrymandering forward. The Justices are clearly divided as to whether this case falls in the Supreme Court’s wheelhouse. The four more conservative justices (Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch) see it as a slippery slope for the reputation of the courts and the public’s confidence in them. The four more liberal justices (Ginsburg, Kagan, Breyer, and Sotomayor) see this as a must for a court decision in dealing with a crisis for democracy and upholding voting rights. The swing vote will fall to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has long been troubled by extreme partisan gerrymandering—that is, if this case can show that Wisconsin’s voting maps have crossed a constitutional line.Differing from the North Carolina case, with its focus on race as the means of drawing political districts, the Wisconsin case is about politics and party. Such gerrymandering can entrench a party in control of legislative seats for years even when that party does not represent the majority of the voters in that state. This is where the terms “cracking” and “packing” come into play:The plaintiffs say the Wisconsin Legislature used “cracking” and “packing” in 2011 to give Republicans an advantage. “Cracking” divides registered voters of one party among several districts to dilute their voting power. “Packing” groups them into a single district so their voting power is reduced in neighboring districts.State legislatures have long used those techniques to the advantage of the controlling political party, and the effects have become more pronounced.Resolving this issue requires a reasonable standard by which the impact of how the districts are drawn can be measured. This “measure” has been missing since the Court decided Vieth v. Jubelirer 13 years ago. In that case, the justices could not agree on when partisan redistricting diluted voting power because there was no test to prove it one way or the other. That test may now be available, and this Wisconsin case may prove to be the one to satisfy Justice Kennedy’s desire for such a measure, as his deciding vote in Vieth kept the door open.In Gill v. Whitford, the court must first rule on whether the nine plaintiffs have standing when the court has previously ruled that plaintiffs in racial gerrymandering claims have standing only in cases challenging the individual district in which they live, not the whole state. Their case challenges the division of the state’s 99 legislative districts seven years ago in Republicans’ first chance to lead redistricting after 40 years of Democratic control.In the first election after redistricting, the GOP won 60 out of 99 seats even though only 49 percent of voters statewide voted Republican in 2012. In the next election, Republicans won 63 seats with 52 percent of the vote.“This is the product of better map-drawing technology utilizing more sophisticated data about an increasingly polarized electorate. The result, in too many states, has been a subversion of democracy as officeholders have wrested power from voters,” plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote in a court filing. They noted that the problem has become “more common, more severe and more durable” since the Vieth case.The reluctance of the conservative justices to rule in this case was clear in Chief Justice Roberts’s extended remarks, expressing worry that the court would be viewed as partisan. “That is going to cause very serious harm to the status and integrity of the decisions of this court,” he said. Countering his concern was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who stated, “What’s really behind all of this? The precious right to vote.” She indicated that if voters believe that the district maps have been drawn to favor one party over another, no matter how many people vote, then why will they bother to vote?A lot is at stake in this decision—so much so that other elected officials have weighed in and offered their positions. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senator John McCain both stated their support for districts being drawn by independent commissions rather than by politicians. Both parties have used political gerrymandering to their advantage.The decision in this case could rest with the vote of Justice Kennedy, if he can be satisfied that a “workable standard” has actually been devised to show when political gerrymandering has crossed a constitutional line.Perhaps among all of the arguments offered in this case, the most fundamental question came from Justice Sonia Sotomayor when she asked, “Could you tell what the value is to democracy from political gerrymandering? How does that help our system of government?” The answer given—that it is about who is and who is not in power—did not seem to satisfy Sotomayor. It may not satisfy Justice Kennedy, either. And his vote seems to be the one that hangs in the balance.—Carole LevineShare59Tweet18Share11Email88 Shareslast_img read more

Read More

Texas May Lead the Way Back to More Segregated Housing

first_imgShare5TweetShareEmail5 SharesNovember 19, 2018; Texas TribuneFederal promises to enable low-income renters to find quality affordable housing and escape neighborhoods of concentrated poverty continue to go largely unfulfilled. Almost 50 years ago, Congress recognized that public housing often concentrated and isolated low-income residents and added Section 8 vouchers to the affordable housing mix. The federal government saw vouchers as “a critical tool that helps to meet the…central mission of providing decent, safe, and affordable housing.” The idea behind this policy was to promote greater residential integration. To be sure, the federal government has largely failed to achieve this. And, if the Trump administration has its way, Texas may end up modeling yet another great step backward.The Texas Tribune recently examined the unfulfilled promise of the voucher program, focusing on implementation in Texas. In concept, vouchers would eliminate “the expense of building and maintaining public housing developments—which fell out of political favor as they grew to symbolize the dangers of concentrated poverty and government neglect.”In Dallas, for example, the local housing authority in 1955 built 3,500 public housing units in a high-crime neighborhood across the street from a lead smelter. Originally, the project had white and [Latinx] residents, but by the 1970s almost everyone living there was black. Public housing meant for white residents was scattered across the city in more desirable areas.Section 8, according to Mike Daniel, a lawyer for the Inclusive Communities Project who was interviewed by the Atlantic, was “going to allow people to get out of the ghetto.” However, Daniel says, “there’s tremendous political pressure on housing authorities and HUD to not let it become an instrument of desegregation.”Inadequate funding for housing vouchers creates long waiting lists for those who are otherwise eligible, and that’s only the first part of the problem. While the program guarantees a landlord full payment for apartments whose rents meet the program’s assessment of the average actual cost of housing rental in each area, biases against people in poverty and families of color remain significant barriers. To combat these biases, many jurisdictions have barred landlords from discriminating against voucher holders, and several Texas cities were considering enacting discrimination bans. That is, until the Texas legislature stepped in and forbid municipalities from enacting such ordinances:In 2015, Texas passed a law that ensured landlords cannot be punished for discriminating against families with vouchers. The law essentially legalized a long-standing practice among landlords that blocked voucher holders, who are overwhelmingly black and [Latinx], from moving to better neighborhoods.[…]Sen. Don Huffines, a Republican real estate developer from Dallas who co-authored the bill…said that [such ordinances] could “trample the liberties of the business community or their citizens. To me, tyranny from your neighbor or your local government or from a dictator in a foreign country is still tyranny.”In other words, in Texas, the desire to separate rich from poor and black from white was stronger than the hope of helping improve lives.The benefits of moving out neighborhoods of concentrated poverty are demonstrable:The benefits for families that managed to move proved to be substantial. Researchers found women were less likely to suffer from extreme obesity, diabetes and depression. A subsequent study found that their children—particularly those who could move before age 13—were more likely to attend college. Researchers also analyzed tax records and projected that those children would earn about $302,000 more over their lifetimes than children who remained in public housing—and would pay enough additional income taxes to offset the cost of the program.According to David Mintz, head lobbyist for the Texas Apartment Association, these positive outcomes have not changed the minds of most property owners, who think it is wrong to be forced “to take housing vouchers and participate in a federal program whether they chose to or not, even though the program was designed to be voluntary.” As a result, most voucher holders in Texas find difficulty in finding apartments to rent, and when they do, most remain in low-income, racially segregated neighborhoods.Even when nonprofits step forward to take on some of the administrative burden cited by some landlords as a barrier to voucher acceptance, resistance remains. Ann Lott, who runs a Dallas-based program, described her efforts to the Texas Tribune: “Typically, the response I get [from landlords] is silence. Terrible, deafening silence. They don’t respond to letters, they don’t respond to emails. They just don’t respond…it’s just discrimination. Discrimination against a population that’s predominantly African American. If the program was predominantly a different complexion, I don’t know that we would have these kinds of issues with the Section 8 program.”Federal policymakers are poised to act and make Texas less of an outlier. Not only can landlords discriminate against low-income renters, the level of federal support might be slashed. US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson “has said he wants to reduce reliance on the federal housing program and has proposed tripling voucher-holders’ minimum monthly rent payments. He has rolled back the Obama-era rules requiring local governments to prioritize desegregation in their housing policies and has delayed a federal program that would increase voucher payments to help tenants move to high-opportunity neighborhoods.”What’s needed here are more resources, not less, and a willingness to realize the potential of the Section 8 initiative, not limit it. We cannot follow Texas’s lead. As the Atlantic concluded before the 2016 election changed the political landscape, “If Section 8 can be fixed, it’ll be money well spent. The government spends billions of dollars each year creating a program that, for some families, is akin to winning the lottery. But what’s the point of winning the lottery if there’s nowhere safe to spend it?”—Martin LevineShare5TweetShareEmail5 Shareslast_img read more

Read More

Orange and online video platform Dailymotion are l

first_imgOrange and online video platform Dailymotion are launching a 3D channel.Most of the content will come from Orange’s 3D channel available via its pay TV platforms in France, including Mag3D, a 26-minute monthly magazine programme airing 3D features.  The channel will be available in anaglyph for use with 3D glasses as well as on 3D compatible computers.Users will also be able to use the channel to upload videos in 3D.The platform will be available to mobile users from February 2012.last_img

Read More

LG and Philips have united to create the Smart TV

first_imgLG and Philips have united to create the Smart TV Alliance, a group that aims to create a set of open HTML-based standards that will enable app developers to create apps that work across connected TV brands.The Smart TV Alliance said its mission is to create a large and productive ecosystem for Smart TV application development that gives manufacturers a faster path to more and better TV applications, enables developers to write applications once for many different platforms and provides consumers with a rich source of content and services.Founding members LG and TP Vision, a company that manufactures TVs under the Philips brand, said SDK 2.0 software would be released on the Alliance’s website for developers to use to create apps for members’ 2013 TV sets. The Alliance will be open to any relevant organisations.“Before today, the Smart TV industry was a very difficult market for both TV manufacturers and application developers as TV’s from different brands used different platforms and technologies,” said Bong-seok Kwon of LG Electronics and president of the Smart TV Alliance. “The Smart TV Alliance creates a larger playing field which encourages developers to create more and better TV applications at the same time giving manufacturers and consumers the richest source of movies-on-demand, music services, games, social networking and more.”last_img read more

Read More

This Wednesday will see the launch of six new free

first_imgThis Wednesday will see the launch of six new free-to-air HD channels on the French digital-terrestrial platform – HD1, L’Equipe 21, 6Ter, Numéro 23, RMC Découverte and Chérie 25. The new additions will take the number of national free-to-air services to 25.The channels will be formally launched at an event organised by media regulator the CSA. Their entry into the market comes at a time when the French advertising market is in trouble and the new French culture minister, Aurélie Filippetti, has admitted that their presence could have a negative effect on the overall TV advertising business.TF1-backed HD1 and M6-backed 6Ter are expected to be the strongest performers commercially.About 25.6% of French DTT households will be able to receive the new channels initially, with coverage rising to 97.3% by 2015. The channels will also be available via the country’s IPTV providers as well as via satellite and cable.The new channels recently collectively lodged a protest with telecom regulator ARCEP about the transmission charges levied by TDF to distribute the services, despite the latter’s claim to have reduced them by, on average, 15%.last_img read more

Read More

Scripps Networks Interactive has rolled out Food N

first_imgScripps Networks Interactive has rolled out Food Network in Greece for the first time, with the network available on the Hellas Online IPTV network.Jon Sichel, managing director of Scripps EMEA said: “This deal is another key milestone in Scripps’ strategy to expand the European footprint of our unique lifestyle channels.”Scripps Networks Interactive’s Travel Channel already broadcasts on Nova and OTE in Greece, while its lifestyle network Fine Living is also available in Greece via the On Telecoms platform and in Cyprus on Cablenet.The new channel launch follows Scripps’ recent rollout of Food Network and Fine Living on the Canal Digital Kabel TV platform in Norway.last_img read more

Read More

AE Networks UK has named Izabella Wiley in the ne

first_imgA+E Networks UK has named Izabella Wiley in the new role of general manager for Poland and has opened an office in Warsaw.Wiley, who will report to A+E Networks UK Managing Director, Tom Davidson, will oversee A+E Networks brands within the Polish market, managing relationships with platforms and cable operators across the country.She will be charged with driving new business, programming and communications initiatives for A+E Networks channels including History and Crime & Investigation Network Polsat.last_img read more

Read More

Amazonowned videoondemand and DVD rental servic

first_imgAmazon-owned video-on-demand and DVD rental service Lovefilm has launched a competition inviting users to create their own trailers for its show The Vikings using its new Instagram app. Fans of the show, which is available in the UK exclusively on the Lovefilm Instant VOD service, have been asked to create 15-second trailers and to submit their entries via Twitter, with the winning entry receiving a year’s free subscription to Lovefilm.Instagram allows users to create and share 15-second videos via their social networks.last_img read more

Read More

Barb the official source of TV viewing figures in

first_imgBarb, the official source of TV viewing figures in the UK, has started reporting timeshift data for the first time. The new reporting format will allow Barb to measure how TV viewing builds in the four weeks following broadcast, and is available in addition to the current Barb figures, which comprise viewing in the seven days after broadcast.Barb said that 8-28 days timeshifted viewing data for all programmes and commercials broadcast during July reveals an additional 1.5% in total viewing – though seven-day consolidated viewing still represents over 98%.“Change is all around us. Watching what we want, when we want has never been easier. Barb continues to innovate so that we can reflect all elements of modern day behaviour,” said Justin Sampson, chief executive of Barb.last_img read more

Read More

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has promoted head of fact

first_imgUK broadcaster Channel 4 has promoted head of factual Ralph Lee to deputy chief creative officer, working next in line to Channel 4 boss and chief creative officer Jay Hunt. Lee takes on the role in addition to his existing head of factual duties and will deputise for Hunt on creative decision-making across all of the corporation’s channels and platforms.He will also lead on the development of major programme seasons and provide the strategic direction for short form content for Channel 4’s new 4Shorts brand – working closely with head of online, Richard Davidson Houston who will commission the content.“Ralph is an exceptional commissioner and creative leader, running a team that has delivered hits like Education Yorkshire and Gogglebox. We have been talking for some months about a new role for him at 4 and I am excited he will be working with me as deputy chief creative officer,” said Hunt.Lee has been Channel 4’s head of factual since 2011 and has been responsible for series and programmes including The King in the Car Park, 24 Hours in A&E, Cutting Edge, and the controversial Benefits Street.He was previously deputy, then head of specialist factual at Channel 4, with a spell as head of factual at Channel Five in 2007.last_img read more

Read More

Production company FremantleMedia has tapped YouTu

first_imgProduction company FremantleMedia has tapped YouTube multichannel network (MCN) provider BroadbandTV to track and manage fan-uploaded content for over 200 of its shows including American Idol, The Price is Right, Got Talent, Baywatch and The X Factor.FremantleMedia will use BroadbandTV’s content management team and Viso Novi technology platform to manage fan-produced content.BroadbandTV operates what it says is the third largest MCN globally, with over 1.6 billion monthly views. FremantleMedia last year launched a digital and branded entertainment division to build and grow revenues from its digital offering.“The viewer path has fundamentally evolved, we remain committed to producing fantastic content in formats that support the business and effectively serve our fans,” said Cécile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia.Olivier Delfosse, American cable and satellite television channels, SVP Digital, FremantleMedia, said, “We’re seeing more fan-uploaded content than ever before and this relationship will help us to more effectively manage our premium assets and deliver against our broader digital strategy objectives. Ultimately, we want brand-safe content to be consumed by our fans and BroadbandTV’s rich digital video expertise will enable us to optimise this part of our business.”last_img read more

Read More

Stefano Hatfield has left his position as editoria

first_imgStefano Hatfield has left his position as editorial director of London Live, just weeks after the local TV station launched.The channel is run by ESI Media, the commercial arm of the free London newspaper the Evening Standard national title The Independent.Following UK press reports late last week Hatfield confirmed his departure on Twitter with the message: “Am leaving wonderful ESI Media for yet another launch elsewhere.” He did not give any details of the launch, but said he hoped to be able to make an announcement soon.London Live has generated low ratings since launch with some of its flagship shows attracting viewers in the hundreds or low thousands. A report in The Guardian stated that on eight occasions it has broadcast to an audience measured at zero.The digital terrestrial channel launched at the end of March and reaches nine million Londoners. It has original programming as well as acquired scripted shows including Misfits, The Shadow Line and London’s Burning.last_img read more

Read More

Spanish TV reception technology provider Televes h

first_imgSpanish TV reception technology provider Televes has chosen to deploy content security and identification specialist Civolution’s NexGuard system to protect its multi-dwelling unit broadcasting and signal distribution systems. Televes has developed live encoders and modulators that are deployed and used in headends of MDU broadcasting signal distribution systems to distribute original satellite signals over QAM/COFDM/ISDB-T/IP networks. To ensure that its T.0X distribution system offers content protection, Televes has integrated Civolution’s forensic watermarking technology NexGuard into the processors of the chipsets used in Televes’ Clear QAM encoder modules.“The television landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade, and one of the issues caused by developments such as multiscreen are increasingly complex security challenges. Deploying Civolution’s forensic marking solution enables us to gain access to the highest quality content and therefore provide the best possible experience for our customers,” said Manuel Martínez, general commercial manager of Televes.“The addition of Civolution’s NexGuard to our MDU distribution system tackles the risk of unauthorized redistribution of content, ensuring that premium channels, content providers and rights owners can rest assured that their most valuable content is protected as it is distributed through our head-ends.”Separately, Civolution, along with Deltatre, Ex Machina, Piksel, Triple IT and Vast media, is co-hosting Multiscreen Salon, an event at IBC produced in association with the Second Screen Society.The event will provide a networking and information gathering opportunity for content and production companies looking to use the second screen and will be sponsored by Microsoft.Multiscreen Salon will take place at De Rode Hoed, Keizergracht 102, 1015 CV Amsterdam on Saturday September 13, between 13:30 and 17:15. The event will feature apps for shows including Game of Thrones, What Do I know and Utopia, along with discussion featuring speakers such as Jacob Shwirtz, chief social media officer at Endemol Beyond USA and Erik Bretas, executive director, global media at Globo. Civolution will be exhibiting at IBC on stand 2.B41last_img read more

Read More