first_imgCOUNCIL MEMBERS HARGIS AND ELPERS SHOWS LEADERSHIP SKILLSCITY CONTROLLER RUSS LLOYD JR SIT SILENTLY DURING BUDGET HEARINGSThe City Council meeting on Monday, September 26th was a packed house. It was standing room only in room 301, and well beyond seating capacity and fire code. The hallway was filled from elevator to City Council Chambers with over 150 people.The majority of the crowd comprised of Evansville Police officers, Evansville Fireman, and Representatives of Not-For-Profit groups and taxpayers. All were disapproving of Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s and City Council leadership team (McGinn, Mosby and Weaver) budget proposal, the city’s unpaid Healthcare costs, and/or the sudden change in insurance plans, premiums, and payments.Council Finance Chairman Dan McGinn began the evening with instructions for order, and explained that another insurance plan was introduced the Friday afternoon before the meeting. The last minute proposal came in the late afternoon or evening of that day, leaving the city widely uninformed on the financial extent of tax payers’ responsibility.George Fithian, with Administrative Services in the Human Resources Department explained the new plan to the council and compared the old plan to the new. He stated that the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) had a $1,000 deductible, and that this is reduced by about 35%. Fithian said that his desire was to supply good care at a responsible price… and the crowd broke out in mocking laughter.Fithian went on to claim that the budget this year for Healthcare Services was $24 million in claims. Only 18 claims were reported for a total of only 7.1 million which makes the old plan appear to be obsolete. He went on to claim that the new plan is at no cost to the insured, but the city employees laughed boisterously and shook their heads signifying that that was inaccurate.Council Finance Chairman Dan McGinn explained that the reduction in premiums was achieved by moving a $1 million from the Claims Budget to make the new plan more affordable. Whether “moving money” from one place to another in order to satisfy an immediate need will prove cost effective for the city, or satisfying to city employees, remains to be seen, and might prove to be moot point in the weeks to come.The last ditch effort of McGinn and Fithian seemed irresponsible to Councilman Justin Elpers who asked why nothing was done to change these issues until now when it’s all falling apart, and why there wasn’t a gradual change in coverage. Fithian backpedaled and said that there wasn’t much that could have been done. Elpers then asked Fithian how long he had held his office. The crowd erupted when he said, “16 years.”Council President Missy Mosby alleges that she is now in support of the city employees and their concerns and stated that she received so many calls in opposition to the new insurance plan that she had to cut her vacation short really had eyes rolling.Councilwoman Anna Hargis-CPA asked Fithian a series of questions about the process. She asked why he had not been considering other brokers and Requests For Proposal (RFPs) to save the city more money. She said she doesn’t feel confident that we searched out our options, and that it only takes 10 to 17 days to shop around and find better options. Options must be exhausted for the city to operate under budget instead of over budget. Since the RFP was not done this year, she asked if it could be done next year.  We heard that Mayor Winnecke took her to task during the break about her comments concerning the Requests For Proposal (RFPs).When Councilman Dan Adams commented, he stated that it was clear that Fithian didn’t even ask Anthem or United Healthcare. He also said that we should let the shareholder in on the insurance decisions of next year and look elsewhere for better options.Fithian confessed that he didn’t even check to see what the other cities were doing. Mosby said that people planned families and started families this year and now they are going to have trouble making ends meet because of this change. She said that people are scared.When Fithian stated that it would be a waste of time to get better quotes, the crowd again went wild. Adams said the Teamsters could get better quotes for him. Fithian was laughed to scorn by the crowd in the hall.When it was time for public comment, policemen, firemen, not-for-profits, wives of city employees and everyday taxpayers approached the podium and stated their case. They stated that they put their lives at risk for the city every day, that they put their health at risk more than almost any other job in the city. One policeman said that he just found out that he has a spot on his lung, while the wife of a fireman wept at the podium over all that her family had gone through because of the failed health of her husband. So many others spoke out against this change in healthcare, and against the decrease in funding the city’s much needed not-for-profits.They also explained that they turn down raises every year to save the city money, leaving them on a fixed income, but when the insurance costs get raised, they can’t afford to remain at their jobs or they won’t be able to keep food on the table.  An Evansville fireman said that his daughter wanted to be a firefighter when she grew up, and that she wanted to work in his same firehouse… so that she would be able see her daddy. He wept at the podium as he explained that they sacrifice time with family, birthdays, holidays, and now they are being slighted for all that they do for the city with this insurance change. He, and others stated that now officers and fireman are beginning to look elsewhere for employment, and that city employees will indeed leave.Only one man, a long time zoo supporter showed up in support of spending millions of dollars on the Mesker Zoo Penguin exhibit, while the police officers and fireman still have unpaid healthcare bills and increasing payments. He said that he hopes that the city will continue to fund Mesker Zoo and its proposed attractions.Meanwhile, in the hallway, someone in a penguin costume showed up on behalf of the city employees, making a mockery of the city’s apparent agenda to support Mesker Zoo’s penguins over public safety. Upon arrival, the crowd in the hall burst out in laughter over the ridiculousness of the situation.Representatives from SWIRCA (Southwestern Indiana Regional Council on Aging) also questioned the budget proposal, and the 25% cut to funding of the Not-For-Profits, which the city plans on cutting completely out of the annual budget in the next few years. Evansville City Council’s best answer for the Not-For-Profits is, “Get out there and fundraise.” SWIRCA reps stated that they are out there fundraising every single day, and the finances just aren’t coming in. They said that without the funding there won’t be any money to help the 28,000 citizens of Evansville who, by the way, are all “voting seniors.” Council Vice-President Jonathan Weaver maintained his position, asking why we bother continuing to fund the not-for-profits. McGinn agreed.Mayor Lloyd Winnecke stated that this budget and all that is involved is one of the most difficult decisions he has ever had to make as a Mayor in this city.One curious citizen asked how much is in the “Rainy Day Fund” in hopes of finding some answers to the current dilemma. Anna Hargis’ answer was around $2.5 million. Silence filled the room. Then a shout from one upset city employee in the audience rang out… Well, it’s raining!”Several Council members suggested that the vote be delayed until the next session. McGinn concurred and set the date for the budget vote in two weeks. Hargis said we now have enough time to  ask for “Request For Proposals” and Connie Robinson agreed emphatically. The proposal for a budget vote was tabled till Oct. 10th.  First Ward Councilman and Finance Chairman Dan McGinn stunned the audience when he stated that the vote will take place on Oct. 10 “without public comment.”  We doubt that the Fire and Police rank and file will allow Dan McGinn to let that happen!FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

first_imgLast evening, the Brooklyn Bowl hosted a unique array of musicianship from Brooklyn-based bands: Gowanus, Sprocket, and Escaper. Billed as the “Brooklyn Bowl Jam Jar,” the night held a few surprises for those in attendance.Escaper kicked things off with their signature space funk, which pleasantly interlaced with soaring melodies. The band performed at Brooklyn Bowl for the 20th anniversary celebration of Phish’s record Billy Breathes last fall, sharing the bill with Aqueous, Jimkata, and Teddy Midnight, so their return was worthy of celebration.Sprocket started their set with a lighthearted gag: the band were playfully still looking for their keyboardist, Angelo, who left their January Brooklyn Bowl show early. Miraculously he appeared, and they completed their January version of “Super Mario 2.” The crowd’s energy began heating up as Sprocket delved into a jam of Phish‘s “The Lizards”, which was executed beautifully. Afterwards, the band decided to perform an older cut, “The Glen”, that covered plenty of ground as it shifted from heavy rock to jazzy piano to electric shredding. Sprocket tactfully segued into a lengthy version of The Who‘s “Eminence Front,” which included a lyrical tease of Scott McKenzie‘s “San Francisco” from guitarist Tom Tompkins. After “Womp,” a Sprocket original, the band covered The New Mastersounds‘ “Make Me Proud” before closing out their set with “Showtime.”Experimental rock outfit Gowanus finished off the evening with a slew of originals. Halfway through their set, Sprocket’s guitarist Tom Tompkins sat in on the tune “Grass.” This band kept the crowd moving into the night with their heavy hitting jams.Gowanus is continuing on the road, playing in Boston, MA tomorrow night (4/6) at The Middle East. Sprocket will be playing a late night show in Manhattan at The Bitter End on April 22nd. Next month, Escaper has a gig in Manhattan at the Rockwood Music Hall on May 12th.Thanks to taper Matt Moricle, you can listen to full audio of Sprocket’s set below:[photo by Arielle Bendory]last_img read more

first_imgRobert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters will hit this road for a number of dates this fall.The former Led Zeppelin frontman’s brief North American tour will include a trio of previously announced festival performances at Canada’s Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival (9/13), the Indianapolis stop on Willie Nelson‘s traveling Outlaw Music Festival (9/20), and Louisville, KY’s Bourbon & Beyond Festival (9/21) in addition to a co-headlining performance with Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats at Philadelphia, PA’s Mann Center on September 17th.The tour will continue from there with performances in Clear Lake, IA (9/23); Moorhead, MN (9/25); Missoula, MT (9/27); Spokane, WA (9/29); Salt Lake City, UT (10/1); and Bend, OR (10/3). Each of the tour’s non-festival performances will feature support from Lillie Mae.Fan ticket pre-sales will begin tomorrow, Wednesday, May 8th at 10 a.m. local time. You can sign up for access to the fan pre-sale here. Local pre-sales will follow on Thursday, May 9th at 10 a.m. local, with all pre-sales concluding that day at 10 p.m. local. All remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 10th at 10 a.m. local time.See below for a list of upcoming North American Robert Plant tour dates. For complete details and ticket availability, head to Plant’s website here.Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters – North American Tour 2019SEPTEMBER13 – Fredericton, NB – Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival *17 – Philadelphia, PA – The Mann Center #20 – Indianapolis, IN – Outlaw Music Festival *21 – Louisville, KY – Bourbon & Beyond Festival *23 – Clear Lake, IA – Surf Ballroom25 – Moorhead, MN – Bluestem Center For The Arts Amphitheatre27 – Missoula, MT – KettleHouse Amphitheater29 – Spokane, WA – First Interstate Center For The ArtsOCTOBER1 – Salt Lake City, UT – Eccles Theater3 – Bend, OR – Les Schwab Amphitheater* FESTIVAL PERFORMANCE# CO-HEADLINE WITH NATHANIEL RATELIFF AND THE NIGHT SWEATSView Tour Dateslast_img read more

first_img Broadway alum Heidi Armbruster and more will join the previously reported Tony winner Reed Birney in the New York premiere of Tracy Letts’ Man From Nebraska. The Second Stage Theatre production, helmed by David Cromer, is scheduled to begin performances on January 26, 2017 at off-Broadway’s Tony Kiser Theatre; opening night is set for February 15.Along with Armbruster (Time Stands Still) as Pat Monday, the cast will also include Tom Bloom (Henry IV) as Bud Todd, Annika Boras (The Prodigal Son) as Ashley Kohl, Nana Menash (An African City) as Tamyra, Max Gordon Moore (Relatively Speaking) as Harry Brown, Kathleen Peirce (Our Town) as Cammie Carpenter, William Ragsdale (Getting Away with Murder) as Reverend Todd and J. Smith-Cameron (Rectify) as Nancy Carpenter.The play, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2004, follows Ken, a middle aged man from Nebraska (as the title suggests), who embarks on a quest for a meaningful existence after losing his faith and sense of purpose.Man From Nebraska will feature scenic design by Takeshi Kata, costume design by Sarah Laux, lighting design by Keith Parham, and original music and sound design by Daniel Kluger. View Comments Heidi Armbruster(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Related Showscenter_img Man From Nebraska Show Closed This production ended its run on March 26, 2017last_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greensboro News & Record:North Carolina environmental officials have denied a key permit that would allow a proposed natural gas pipeline to be built along the Triad’s eastern border.In a letter that was posted online by N.C. Policy Watch on Tuesday, the director of N.C. Division of Water Resources said the division has determined that the proposed MVP Southgate project “is inextricably linked to, and dependent upon, completion of the under-construction Mountain Valley Pipeline,” which has several federal permits suspended or pending, with some in litigation.“Approving construction activities and thereby allowing the most adverse environmental impacts — without certainty of the project’s utility upon completion — is inconsistent with principles of minimization,” division director S. Daniel Smith wrote. “In addition, the project would unnecessarily risk impacting high-quality waters and protected and critical drinking water supplies of North Carolinians,” he said.N.C. Division of Water Resources denied both a Water Quality Certification and Jordan Lake Riparian Buffer Authorization. MVP has 60 days to appeal the decision.The $468 million Southgate project would be a 75-mile extension of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The “mainline” project originates in West Virginia and then crosses Virginia on a 303.5-mile route, before its Southgate spur enters North Carolina near Eden. The Southgate extension would follow a southeasterly course through the Dan River and Haw River basins to an endpoint near Graham.Southgate developer Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC is a Delaware-based partnership led by five energy companies that include Con Edison Transmission, EQM Midstream Partners, NextEra Energy, RGC Midstream and WGL Midstream. Much of its mainline project already has been built. But the remainder is blocked by lawsuits and regulatory actions that so far have prevented it from going through Jefferson National Forest in Virginia and West Virginia, traversing certain areas where endangered species live and making a number of stream crossings.More: N.C. denies key water permit for MVP Southgate gas pipeline that would go through Rockingham, Alamance counties North Carolina denies key water permit for planned southern extension of Mountain Valley Pipelinelast_img read more

first_imgRecreational opportunities at the Knob’s overlook and the George Washington National Forest attract thousands of visitors to the Shenandoah Valley every year. In addition to attracting tourists to the region, the land also provides habitat for rare species including the timber rattlesnake and peregrine falcons.  The Conservation Fund has announced that a 91-acre tract of land in the Shenandoah Valley has been permanently protected and preserved. In a press release, the organization announced that the newly protected property is the rock-topped end of Short Mountain, known as the Knob. The land will be managed as part of the George Washington National Forest. Facebook group in Asheville, NC starts petition asking Amazon to stop the sale of bear traps “The use of leg hold/ foot hold traps for bears is illegal in the United States,” the petition says. “Bear traps are illegal to use but are not illegal to sell… selling items illegal for bears is propagating illegal acts and causes horrific impacts on bears along with all wildlife.”  Read the full story here: More than 90 acres of the Knob conserved in the Shenandoah Valley A Facebook group in Asheville, NC called “Help Asheville Bears” has opened a petition on asking Jeff Bezons, CEO of, to stop the sale of steel-jaw leg hold/foot hold traps, snare traps, and attractants on Amazon. In Asheville, more than 10 bears with missing limbs have recently been spotted in the area. center_img Read the full story here: Read the full story here:  Teen hiker used cell phone alarm to keep him alert and alive while lost in Utah mountains Stacy-Alcantara found a spot beneath a tree and built a snow cave as protection from the wind. He set his phone timer to go off every 30 minutes to keep him awake and hit his hands to his chest to keep blood flowing. In the morning he set out again, shoeless, and eventually came upon hikers with a satellite phone. A rescue chopper was called, and the teen was taken to the hospital where he was treated for frostbite. “I’m very lucky,” he told the Salt Lake Tribune. “I shouldn’t even be alive right now.” A California teen visiting Utah survived 30 hours in the mountains after the weather turned while he was out for a day-long hike. Nicolas Stacy-Alcantara, 17, says he took an Uber up a canyon outside of Salt Lake City so he could spend the day hiking. The teen carried six peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and 40 ounces of water and planned to return from his hike by dinnertime. In the late afternoon, the relatively mild temperatures he’d been enjoying began to drop and snow started falling. His cell phone didn’t work and he realized he’d have to stop hiking and hunker down.last_img read more

first_imgRELATED NEWS: “So far this year, we have achieved a 20 percent increase in arrivals and overnight stays from the US market. They are also predicting double-digit growth for Croatia in Virtuos, a prestigious association of agencies specializing in luxury travel “, said the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić, adding that the recent opening of a new CNTB office in Los Angeles, for which a total of 20 candidates applied, will also contribute to the positive trends.     During the coming weekend, the Croatian National Tourist Board in New York will present Croatia’s tourist offer at the “Dallas Travel and Adventure Show”, a general tourism fair held in Texas at the Dallas Market Hall, according to the CNTB. It is a fair that will be visited by about 15.000 visitors, including representatives of tourist companies and numerous specialized media.  “Along the east and west coasts, Texas is the area with the highest average income, ie it is an area that is a significant generator of tourist demand. This is confirmed by the data on visitors to this fair, among which a large number of those who earn an annual income of more than 150 thousand US dollars”, Said Ina Rodin, Director of the CNTB Representation in New York, adding that Croatia was also represented by numerous American agents as part of the Virtuoso workshops held in Los Angeles and New Orleans.  The introduction of a new direct seasonal flight from the USA to Croatia also supports the positive projections. Namely, from June 7 to September 27 this year, American Airlines will fly three times a week on the Philadelphia-Dubrovnik route. INTERCONTINENTAL LJUBLJANA BECAME A MEMBER OF THE VIRTUOSO NETWORK. HOW IS CROATIA? VIRTUOSO CLASSIFIES CROATIA AMONG TOP 10 WORLD DESTINATIONS IN THREE CATEGORIESlast_img read more

first_img“The central government rejected calls for a lockdown but the call for people to stay at home has become coercive. This is evident from the use of the police force to disband gatherings and the announcement that those who break the [gathering] prohibition could be prosecuted,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.  The vague policy had disadvantaged the Indonesian people, particularly blue collar workers, online taxi drivers and traditional sellers who still have to work every day, it said. The government, it argued, should legally declare a lockdown and subsidize those affected by the policy so everyone could stay at home. “The 2018 Health Quarantine Law stipulated that the basic needs of the people […] affected by the quarantine policy are the responsibility of the central government in cooperation with the regional governments and other stakeholders,” it said.The NGOs said they feared the government was deliberately refusing to formally impose a lockdown to evade responsibility.  A coalition of civil society groups is calling on the House of Representatives to perform its checks and balances function during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the government’s policies are on the right track.  The government has yet to formulate clear policies to address the pandemic, said the coalition, which comprised a number of NGOs, including Amnesty International Indonesia, Transparency International Indonesia and the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute.  The coalition, for instance, questioned why the government had not yet declared a lockdown even as it has been asking members of the public to be disciplined in practicing physical distancing.   President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said that Indonesian people’s cultural characteristics and discipline are the two main reasons why the government had ruled out a lockdown, adding that the decision was also made after evaluating policies enacted by other countries during the pandemic.“I have gathered data about countries that have imposed lockdowns and, after analyzing them, I don’t think we should go that way,” Jokowi said during a meeting at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.The President, however, has taken some measures to protect those affected by the outbreak. On Wednesday, Jokowi announced the government would increase the allowance for the Staple Food Card holders from Rp 150,000 (about US$9) to Rp 200,000.  The government also plans to speed up the preemployment card program and has allocated Rp 10 trillion to ensure that participants of the program would get Rp 1 million per month, the President said on his official Instagram account. (glh)  Topics :last_img read more

first_imgSurabaya and the neighboring regencies of Sidoarjo and Gresik in East Java are to impose a two-week partial lockdown starting Tuesday to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa recently issued a gubernatorial regulation on the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) for the provincial capital and the two regencies following approval from the Health Ministry.”The dissemination of the regulation to the public will take three days and, Insya Allah [God willing], the PSBB will be effective starting Tuesday,” Khofifah told a press conference on Thursday evening. Read also: ‘Severe red zone’: East Java scrambles to contain COVID-19 spread at Islamic boarding schoolAccording to the government’s tally, East Java recorded 690 positive cases and 67 deaths linked to COVID-19 as of Friday.While Surabaya and Sidoarjo would impose the PSBB policy throughout their jurisdictions, Gresik was set to implement the partial lockdown in only eight of its 18 districts, Qosim said.”We will impose PSBB only in the districts identified as [COVID-19] red zones,” Qosim said.Kusnadi said the decision to enforce PSBB measures in the three regions had won full support from East Java’s DPRD. He went on to remind the local administrations to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the PSBB in flattening the curve of coronavirus transmission, adding that they should take into account Jakarta’s experience in implementing a partial lockdown.The capital city, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Indonesia, has put in place PSBB restrictions for two weeks now and is set to continue imposing strong restrictions to limit people’s mobility for another 28 days.Kusnadi reminded authorities that the partial lockdown should be strictly enforced, lest the effort be fruitless.”Dealing with mass prayers during Ramadan will be the hardest challenge,” he said.Topics : Khofifah announced the decision following a meeting with officials from the city and the two regencies, including Surabaya administration secretary Hendro Gunawan, acting Sidoarjo regent Nur Ahmad and Gresik deputy regent Moh Qosim.Also present at the meeting were East Java Legislative Council (DPRD) speaker Kusnadi, East Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Luki Hermawan and Brawijaya Military commander Maj. Gen. Widodo Iryansyah. The governor asserted that the partial lockdown, which is scheduled to end on May 11, could be extended by another 14 days.Surabaya is the hardest-hit region in East Java with 326 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 40 fatalities, followed by Sidoarjo with at least 71 cases and six fatalities. Meanwhile, Gresik recorded 21 confirmed cases and two fatalities.last_img read more

first_img Share Sharing is caring! Lester GuyeThe HIV/AIDS Response Unit is concerned about the incidence of HIV among young people under 30.Acting Coordinator of the Unit, Lester Guye spoke with Dominica Vibes radio on Monday.He said that data for 2019 shows that less people than normal have tested positive for HIV/AIDS but Hurricane Maria had caused the unit to scale back on its rapid testing services so the two could be linked.Numbers for previous years, however, are alarming especially among the vulnerable groups.“Between 2016 and 2018, we had 61 cases and one our greatest challenges is that a great percentage of that was young people including young women under the age of 20 and young men between 20-30 who are what we consider our vulnerable population,” Guye says.“Men who have sex with men are at a greater risk of transmitting the disease or any Sexually Transmitted Infection based on their sexual practices, and that has always been a challenge for us across the world. The same challenges exist everywhere.”He adds, “There is still the aspect of discrimination of those people so a lot of them of them are still in the closet and don’t have the opportunity to get the information that they want as it relates to safer sexual practices.”He believes that the population may have become indifferent to the impacts of the disease.“Although, there has been major strides made in HIV/AIDS management, and HIV is no longer a death sentence, you are still at risk,” Guye emphasizes. “It will affect your quality of life at some point. If you get a new partner, you will have to explain that you are HIV positive and then will the person be willing to accept you and so on.”He adds, “What I think has happened over the past decade is that because people are familiar with the fact the HIV is no longer a death sentence, people have become a bit lackadaisical as it relates to their sexual and reproductive health.”The Unit tests about 60 people a month of which about 75% are less than 40 years old. 99 Views   no discussions Tweetcenter_img LifestyleLocalNews HIV/AIDS Response Unit Concerned for Young People Under 30 by: – December 16, 2019 Share Sharelast_img read more