Category: wukcwwib

 

San Francisco Honors Jerry Garcia With Commemorative Plaque At His Childhood Home

first_imgThe city of San Francisco paid tribute to one of its cultural icons today, as a plaque honoring Jerry Garcia was just placed outside his childhood home at Mission and Harrington. Garcia lived at the 87 Harrington address for many years as a child.While news of the planned Garcia tribute was announced months ago, its placement is certainly a significant moment in honoring the legacy of the Grateful Dead. The plaque itself features a quote from Garcia about his influences, “My grandmother listened to country, my mother listened to opera, my father was a musician. I was in the middle of music.”Daughter Trixie Garcia revealed the news through a Facebook post, which you can read below.last_img read more

 

Widespread Panic Delivers Three Sets, Busts Out “Puppy Sleeps” At Red Rocks Night 2 [Videos]

first_imgPhoto: Bill McAlaine Load remaining images Following a glorious first night, Widespread Panic resumed their musical annihilation at Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Morrison, Colorado with an epic evening of heaters throughout a rare three-set show. Everyone approached their instrument with their customary, subtle demeanors and gave no indication of the conflagration that was about to be ignited. Once again, the intense heat from the direct sunlight gave way to a cool, breezy night on the rocks.Jimmy Herring was the first to attack during set one in a lively rendition of “Rebirtha” but it wasn’t long before JoJo Hermann took over on keys for an intoxicating “Blackout Blues”. The band was firing on all cylinders when John Bell commandeered the show with his powerful vocals during “Little Kin”, which segued into an electrifying “Radio Child.” A mellow “C. Brown” was welcomed warmly by the crowd and John Bell continued to mystify vocally.“Tickle the Truth” was performed for the first time since April 2017. John Bell vocalized a sly introduction in his usual dogged manner, but JoJo and Jimmy also had pristine solos. After School’s bass line teased the beginning of “Stop-Go”, the crowd went nuts until he continued to hammer out the well-known bottom notes to this beloved tune from the Panic’s debut album. The entire band gelled beautifully throughout this filthy jam with each musician playing their parts flawlessly, while Schools stood out in the forefront with his relentless assault on bass. The musicians segued seamlessly into a funky “Weight of the World” which featured John Bell on slide guitar. The first set ended in triumphant blues fashion with a dirty version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Taildragger.”After a short set break, the band kept the pedal to the floor with a scorchin’ cover of Jerry Joseph’s “North.” To continue the musical devastation, the boys followed with David Bromberg’s circus tune “Sharon.” The carnival anthem enticed the audience with everyone singing the well-known lyrics “The same rowdy crowd that was here last night, is back again!” The jaunty beat of “Sell Sell” emerged with a smokin’ Herring guitarwork running rampant throughout the jam.JoJo Herrmann’s keys introduced “Good People” to the setlist. Hermann’s keys paired with Herring’s guitar and John Bell got extra provocative with his saucy vocals. The tune featured several tempo and melody breakdowns that the band handled with casual ease. Dave Schools pounded out the beginning of “Second Skin” which culminated into a tremendously energetic jam. Jimmy Herring cast haunted acoustic spells upon the audience and John Bell continued to mystify with his faultless ethereal vocals. This song ended a short 48-minute set which was halted early to give the stage crew time to take down a LED screen that threatened to fly free with the increasingly heavy winds.Coming back strong, the band returned to execute a jamtastic version of “Greta” with all the bells, whistles, and yellow rabbits involved. The drummers segued suavely into the percussive rhythms of “Cease Fire” keeping the intensity at full blast with this eerily, mystical banger from their most recent album Street Dogs. The boys then transitioned into another crowd favorite, “Blue Indian” from Til’ the Medicine Takes. The ravenous audience consumed these treats and reciprocated the band’s energy back towards the stage with their voices and a wide range of dance moves.The folky upswing guitar riffs revealed “Holden Oversoul” as the next song. JoJo’s organ remained omnipresent, while Bell and Herring were on fire. Just as the excitement and energy didn’t seem to be raised any higher, the band busted out a bass-heavy “Puppy Sleeps” for the first time since April 2002 in Asheville, North Carolina. Featured on Brute’s Co-Balt, the song was co-written by Vic Chestnutt and Dave Schools. Schools made it well-known that it was his song with supporting vocals and a stompin’ bass. Jimmy Herring went full-blown electric wizard and the energy became palpable.Slowing it down, the boys delved into another cut from Co-Balt with the sentimental Chestnutt cover “Expiration Date”. To finish off an exultant third set, Panic delivered a frenzied “Flat Footed Flewzy” that left the crowd foaming at the mouth.With a long night of three sets of music, the band presented “Porch Song” as the solo encore to end an extensive second night. The boys scorched through the entire setlist and show no sign of slowing down for the last show of the run tonight. Never miss a Sunday show! Catch y’all on the rocks. Happy birthday Otis, you sonuvabitch.RebirthaNorthPuppy Sleeps[Video: MrTopDogger]Setlist: Widespread Panic | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 6/23/18I: Rebirtha > Blackout Blues, Little Kin > Radio Child, C. Brown, Tickle The Truth, Stop Go > Weight of the World, Tail DraggerII: North, Sharon, Sell Sell, Good People, Second SkinIII: Greta > Cease Fire > Blue Indian, Holden Oversoul, Puppy Sleeps, Expiration Day, Flat Foot FlewzyEncore: Porch SongWidespread Panic | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 6/23/18 | Photos: Bill McAlainelast_img read more

 

Help from Shore

first_imgYasuko Nagasaka sees a future where ambulances are equipped with tanks of a gas that, when inhaled during heart attacks, will dramatically cut the nearly 50 percent death rate.In that future, the tanks would contain nitric oxide, found widely today everywhere from automobile exhaust pipes to the human body. Not to be confused with nitrous oxide — the familiar laughing gas of dental-surgery lore — nitric oxide is chemically simpler, with just one nitrogen atom, and very reactive. It lasts under a second in the body before it combines with other atoms, including the potentially harmful oxygen compounds that arise during a heart attack.Nagasaka’s vision will take enormous amounts of hard work: She will need to conduct research as a principal investigator even as she takes on teaching duties and juggles responsibilities at home, where she is a single mother to two children, ages 11 and 7.“It has been challenging for me to work as a researcher on a full-time basis, in a foreign country where there is no family or friends to help,” said Nagasaka, who came to Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) from Japan in 2005 and who is now an instructor in anesthesia at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and in MGH’s Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care. “My work requires a considerable amount of time being physically present in the laboratory.”The crushing squeeze of work and family is a familiar one in the medical research field. Young faculty members not only have to prove themselves in the laboratory during these years, but also have to juggle teaching, patient care, grant-writing, publication, and family duties. In 1995, Harvard Medical School began a special fellowship program aimed at easing these difficult years, especially for women, who often bear a greater share of responsibilities at home.The Eleanor and Miles Shore 50th Anniversary Fellowship Program for Scholars in Medicine awarded 61 fellowships of at least $25,000 this year to lend a hand to Nagasaka and to others like her.The fellowships don’t convey the ability to be in two places at once, but they can be used to hire help — in the lab or at home — to ease the need to be so. They also can be used to opt out of clinical responsibilities to gain time for research or grant-writing, to help a new lab get its footing, or for other purposes.Nagasaka, who received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Tokyo Women’s Medical College, will use the fellowship for her science, where the grant will help her begin to gain independence as a researcher at MGH.If Nagasaka can fully unearth nitric oxide’s heart-helping effects, in coming years emergency workers might administer the gas to heart-attack sufferers, letting the compound traverse the lungs and travel to the heart. Once there, it would reduce the damage. However, the precise downstream effects of inhaled nitric oxide on the injured heart remain to be elucidated. Nagasaka will tackle this question with her laboratory team and the aid of a Shore fellowship.There’s real reason to think this future could become a reality. Nagasaka is researching nitric oxide’s effects in a pioneering MGH lab that has made other strides with this gas. Headed by Warren Zapol, the Reginald Jenney Professor of Anaesthesia, and Kenneth Bloch, William Thomas Green Morton Professor of Anaesthesia, the lab has already documented the gas’ beneficial effect by selectively dilating the lung’s blood vessels and has developed life-saving treatments for hypoxic term infants, treatments that the Food and Drug Administration approved in 1999.Though the gas is already used widely to help improve lung function, Nagasaka said that its short lifespan made people think it didn’t last long enough to penetrate into other organs. More recent research, however, showed that its benefits can extend to preserving the heart, intestines, and liver from injury.Nagasaka’s work has begun to pay off. In 2008, she was the lead author on a paper that appeared as a featured article in the journal Anesthesiology showing that brief periods of nitric oxide inhalation by mice can protect against heart damage from the restriction of coronary artery blood flow and its subsequent resumption. The next step would be clinical trials.“I believe the excitement of this scientific development will be fully justified if it produces a dramatic impact on clinical medicine,” Nagasaka said.Yasuko Nagasaka sees a future where ambulances are equipped with tanks of a gas that, when inhaled during heart attacks, will dramatically cut the nearly 50 percent death rate.In that future, the tanks would contain nitric oxide, found widely today everywhere from automobile exhaust pipes to the human body. Not to be confused with nitrous oxide — the familiar laughing gas of dental-surgery lore — nitric oxide is chemically simpler, with just one nitrogen atom, and very reactive. It lasts under a second in the body before it combines with other atoms, including the potentially harmful oxygen compounds that arise during a heart attack.Nagasaka’s vision will take enormous amounts of hard work: She will need to conduct research as a principal investigator even as she takes on teaching duties and juggles responsibilities at home, where she is a single mother to two children, ages 11 and 7.“It has been challenging for me to work as a researcher on a full-time basis, in a foreign country where there is no family or friends to help,” said Nagasaka, who came to Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) from Japan in 2005 and who is now an instructor in anesthesia at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and in MGH’s Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care. “My work requires a considerable amount of time being physically present in the laboratory.”The crushing squeeze of work and family is a familiar one in the medical research field. Young faculty members not only have to prove themselves in the laboratory during these years, but also have to juggle teaching, patient care, grant-writing, publication, and family duties. In 1995, Harvard Medical School began a special fellowship program aimed at easing these difficult years, especially for women, who often bear a greater share of responsibilities at home.The Eleanor and Miles Shore 50th Anniversary Fellowship Program for Scholars in Medicine awarded 81 fellowships of  $25,000 to $50,000 this year to lend a hand to Nagasaka and to others like her.The fellowships don’t convey the ability to be in two places at once, but they can be used to hire help — in the lab or at home — to ease the need to be so. They also can be used to opt out of clinical responsibilities to gain time for research or grant-writing, to help a new lab get its footing, or for other purposes.Nagasaka, who received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Tokyo Women’s Medical College, will use the fellowship for her science, where the grant will help her begin to gain independence as a researcher at MGH.If Nagasaka can fully unearth nitric oxide’s heart-helping effects, in coming years emergency workers might administer the gas to heart-attack sufferers, letting the compound traverse the lungs and travel to the heart. Once there, it would reduce the damage. However, the precise downstream effects of inhaled nitric oxide on the injured heart remain to be elucidated. Nagasaka will tackle this question with her laboratory team and the aid of a Shore fellowship.There’s real reason to think this future could become a reality. Nagasaka is researching nitric oxide’s effects in a pioneering MGH lab that has made other strides with this gas. Headed by Warren Zapol, the Reginald Jenney Professor of Anaesthesia, and Kenneth Bloch, William Thomas Green Morton Professor of Anaesthesia, the lab has already documented the gas’ beneficial effect by selectively dilating the lung’s blood vessels and has developed life-saving treatments for hypoxic term infants, treatments that the Food and Drug Administration approved in 1999.Though the gas is already used widely to help improve lung function, Nagasaka said that its short lifespan made people think it didn’t last long enough to penetrate into other organs. More recent research, however, showed that its benefits can extend to preserving the heart, intestines, and liver from injury.Nagasaka’s work has begun to pay off. In 2008, she was the lead author on a paper that appeared as a featured article in the journal Anesthesiology showing that brief periods of nitric oxide inhalation by mice can protect against heart damage from the restriction of coronary artery blood flow and its subsequent resumption. The next step would be clinical trials.“I believe the excitement of this scientific development will be fully justified if it produces a dramatic impact on clinical medicine,” Nagasaka said.The Nov. 18 presentation and reception will be held at the Tosteson Medical Education Center Atrium, 260 Longwood Ave., Boston, from 4 to 6 p.m. The awards presentation (4:30 p.m.) will be held in the Carl E. Walter Amphitheater. To download a pdf of the recipients.last_img read more

 

Here she is, Miss Massachusetts

You know the story: Harvard graduate, poised for success, becomes a doctor, lawyer, president, CEO.But here’s something you don’t see every day.Loren Galler Rabinowitz ’10, a former English concentrator just a month out of Harvard, has been crowned Miss Massachusetts.Galler Rabinowitz, a former professional figure skater, poet (under the mentorship of Pulitzer Prize-winning Jorie Graham), and future medical student, said she decided to enter the Miss Massachusetts competition at the urging of Michelle Hantman, Miss Massachusetts 2000.Hantman “suggested that the Miss America Organization would be a good fit for me, given my commitment to academics and public service,” recalled Galler Rabinowitz, who will head to Las Vegas in January to compete for the national title. “Additionally, the scholarship opportunities available through the program are extraordinary — particularly through the Allman Scholarship, which is specifically for students accepted at or attending medical school.”The Miss America Organization is the largest provider of academic scholarships to young women in the world. As Miss Massachusetts, Galler Rabinowitz received $8,000 in scholarships, and another $250 for winning the talent portion of the competition. (She is also a classically trained pianist.) The winner of the Miss America title receives a $50,000 academic scholarship.“As Miss Massachusetts, I have committed my year to charity work and public service,” said Galler Rabinowitz, who as a Harvard undergrad often woke at 5 a.m. to give youth skating lessons and tutor college-bound students. “In addition to doing appearances at events across the state, I’ll also be working to promote Miss America’s national platform, the Children’s Miracle Network, which raises funds for the medical treatment of nearly 17 million children annually.”Galler Rabinowitz, who was raised in Brookline, Mass., and in Barbados, will return to the island country where her mother runs a malnutrition center for children “to promote my personal platform, fighting childhood hunger, based on the research work I have done at my mother’s center.”As part of her time in Barbados, Galler Rabinowitz, who was awarded one of the English Department’s Le Baron Briggs Traveling Prizes for her humanitarian work and poetry, plans on furthering her writing and working at the Barbados Nutrition Center.“I’m also hoping to once again teach creative writing in a shelter for abused women and children, where I volunteered last summer.”“Thinking big,” Galler Rabinowitz said, was the most important thing she learned at Harvard.“This is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use my voice to effect social change,” she said. “I’m looking forward to raising funds and awareness for children in need and talking to students across the state about what it means to be successful. To me, it’s getting to do something you’re passionate about every single day, and making the world around you a better place in the process.” read more

 

Mexican drug lord Arellano Félix to be jailed for 25 years in U.S.

first_img [AFP, 02/04/2012; Justice.gov, 02/04/2012] SAN DIEGO, U.S.A. – Mexican drug kingpin Benjamín Arellano Félix, former leader of the notorious Arellano Félix Organization (AFO), was sent to jail for 25 years and ordered to pay back US$100 million in a U.S. court on April 2, after pleading guilty to racketeering and money-laundering. Arellano Félix caused “chaos and violence on both sides of the (U.S.-Mexican) border,” said Judge Larry Burns in San Diego. Arellano Félix was extradited from Mexico to the United States last April, to face charges of narco-trafficking, criminal association, money laundering and organized crime. He admitted to racketeering and conspiracy to money-laundering charges in January, agreeing to a plea deal that included a 25-year sentence and forfeiture of US$100 million in criminal proceeds. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele M. Leonhart hailed the sentencing as “a major victory” for the DEA and the government of Mexican President Felipe Calderón. “The Tijuana Cartel was one of the world’s most brutal drug-trafficking networks, but has now met its demise with leader Benjamin Arellano Félix’s sentencing today,” she said. “Together, we will continue our pressure on the Mexican cartels whose leaders, members and facilitators will be prosecuted and face the justice they fear.” The drug gang leader, who was detained in Mexico in 2002, led the Tijuana Cartel, or Arellano Félix Organization, with his brothers and was considered the “financial and operative brain” of the gang, according to Mexican officials. He was extradited to the United States in 2007. By Dialogo April 03, 2012last_img read more

 

7 things Pokémon Go can teach credit unions

first_img 79SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Tyler Atwell Web: www.cuinsight.com Details It has been a few weeks now since Pokémon Go has been made its public release in the United States. Even while it is still not available in all countries, it has been breaking records across the board. If you haven’t heard of this augmented reality game by now, let me share with you some the the accolades it has received in such a short time. It only took six days to become the most active mobile game in the US, blowing past Candy Crush Saga which peaked at 20 million users. The average daily usage on Android devices is now higher than Snapchat, Tinder, Instagram, and Facebook. Every day on iOS Pokémon Go is making an estimated $1.3 million dollars.After the release of Pokémon Go, Nintendo saw a 25% rise in its stock price. People who have never heard of Pokémon understandably are confused at its popularity, while those like myself who were raised on it have been busy reveling in nostalgia to try and explain it. Sparing you my childhood dreams of being the very best Pokémon trainer in the world, let’s look at what your credit union can learn from this cultural phenomenon.1. Bold take on marketingProbably the most incredible part of this game is the unfathomable success achieved when there was no advertising for it. Not a single commercial run, not a banner on a website, nothing. It reached its peak number one status with nothing more than good ol’ word of mouth advertising, proving once again that is the most effective form. I believe I personally am responsible for nearly a dozen other people downloading the game and that is just the power of social influence any other advertisement cannot achieve.2. Pairing a solid brand with a groundbreaking technologyThis is not the first game the company behind Pokémon Go, Niantic, have made. Their first game, Ingress, uses much of the system Pokémon Go is currently running on. Both use your phones physical location to allow you to interact with parts of the digital world. In all fairness the games are quite similar, except for one thing; the brand behind it. Nintendo has a very recognizable image and solid track record of quality, but without adopting new technologies they would not have been able to do this on their own. When an established brand adopts new innovative technology, both can profit greatly.3. Using data the right wayWhen you are trying to catch these Pokémon around town, in the office or at the park, there are quite a few things going on behind the scene determining what you will find. Niantic uses not only data from your physical location, but takes into account what temperature it is outside, the humidity level, time of day, precipitation, overall climate region, terrain and much more to determine which type of Pokémon you are going to see. They are able to use the data that they have available to them to create a more engaging experience for the user, something we can all learn from.4. It has brought people togetherChances are you have seen more people walking around than usual lately. Of course they were all looking at their phones no more than usual, but if you have gone out in search of Pokémon chances are you have interacted with others on the same search. Flooding social media are pictures of people from all walks of life who probably would have never had reason to start a conversation together, enjoying each others company while sharing and experience. Unlike credit unions, this game is positioned solely in the digital space, but both have the opportunity to bring the community together in their own way.5. There is no learning curve to playI mentioned earlier how much data Niantic uses to determine how the game works, which all sounds very confusing, but playing the game, you would never know. There is no real tutorial or how-to play guide built into the game itself to, all because it doesn’t need one. It is extremely intuitive and simple to pick up. Just like any existing mobile platform should be, there is a lot you can do but you are able to figure it out all on your own.6. Rewards an ongoing investmentThe more Pokémon you catch, the higher you level is, when you are a higher level, you can catch more and stronger Pokémon, with stronger Pokémon you can take on harder gym battles, and you get excited at the prospect of doing all o it. No one is forced to stay out late trying to catch a Pikachu, they honestly want to. Finding a way to create a service that will reward a member for continued use not only can be very profitable like in Nintendo’s case, but also builds a brand advocate with little work.7. Already have a plan to scaleWhile they knew this was going to be a success, I don’t think either Nintendo, nor Niantic knew just how much of one, which is evident from the servers crashing from the shear number of users trying to play. While they are upgrading and optimizing their ability to handle more users, they already have plans in place moving into the future. From talks of new features, to allowing businesses to apply to be Pokéstops or Gym locations, they never once stop thinking of the future and how to handle even more traffic. It is important to never get comfortable with the services that you offer. There is always more you can do, and more people you can serve.last_img read more

 

3 ways to better market your auto loans

first_imgRising competition in the auto lending industry and interest rates that continue to nose dive make it more and more challenging for lenders to stand out to new—and sometimes even existing—borrowers. While some things are beyond our control, like industry trends and economic cycles that impact interest rates and consumer demand, credit unions can find creative and grassroots methods to promote their auto loan program.Social media advertisingSocial media has become a necessary part of the marketing mix for many companies because more and more often, organizations understand that from Millennials to Boomers, consumers are utilizing social media. According to an article written by CU Times, 40% of Baby Boomers regularly use Facebook and 31% use Twitter. As you can imagine, those numbers increase exponentially for their younger counterparts, the Millennials and Gen Xers. So, the moral of the story is, if your credit union isn’t already on social media, it’s time to get serious about adding it to your marketing strategy, and if you are involved in social media already, consider social media ads as a resourceful way to reach your auto lending target audience.Unlike traditional print advertising, social media ads allow you to get very granular and specific about who is served your ads. You can target by specific location, age, gender, interests, etc. It’s also easy to set and adjust your budget based on how your ads are performing. You have complete control over who sees your ad and can increase your budget or disable a campaign with the click of a button.Offer complimentary products or servicesQuite frankly, low-rate auto loans are a dime a dozen. Consumers can drive down the street and see dozens of advertisements for low-rate loans from pretty much any lender of their choosing. To make your loan program stand out from the sea of competitors, consider bundling complimentary products with the loan. A few examples include:A year of free car washes from a local vendorPaintless dent coverageTire and wheel repairRoadside assistanceOffering complimentary products is simply another way to create a compelling auto loan offer for borrowers that are, no doubt, being bombarded by dozens of offers on a regular basis.Create a sales and service cultureYour employees are your best advocates. Create a culture that encourages them to get behind your loan program, taking every opportunity to let all members know about the benefits of your auto loan. A sales and service culture encourages all employees at your credit union to treat all products and services as personalized opportunities that can serve members. A sales and service culture trains employees to effectively build relationships with their members to better equip them to recognize life events, such as the birth of a child, as opportunities to offer products and services that are a good fit for their changing needs.To learn even more ways that you can market your loan program to existing and new auto loan borrowers, check out our free ebook, Stand Out from the Auto Lending Crowd! 41SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Victoria Penn Victoria Penn is the Content Manager for SWBC. She manages the content marketing strategies for the company by producing and maintaining fresh digital and print content across multiple platforms such … Web: www.swbc.com Detailslast_img read more

 

3 tips for how to stop doing your colleague’s work

first_imgEven if we don’t admit it, we all want to be liked. Some of us will even go above and beyond the call of duty to get on a coworker’s good side. Remember, there is a difference between establishing rapport and overextending yourself, and as a result giving much, but receiving little. Now is the time to find the strength to stop doing others’ work for them and truly start focusing on yourself. Here’s how…Give them proper creditIf you’re a people-pleaser, you don’t want to run the risk of damaging a work relationship if you summon the strength to say “no.” Although you want to offer assistance or agree to help if asked, let them do the job they were hired to do. When they complete a project, give them the credit they deserve to boost their confidence in their abilities. This will help them learn to be more independent in the future.Respect yourselfIt’s admirable to want to be there for your peers, but to get ahead in the workplace, it’s vital you remember to respect yourself. It’s not fair to you if you’re stuck doing more than you’re able. This will only leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Stop letting others take advantage of your flexibility. Professionals are far more resilient than we often give them credit for. So, stop worrying about how saying “no” will affect them and instead learn to hold yourself in higher regard.Establish boundariesIt is quite alright to help out others in the workplace, as being there for each other is important to overall office productivity. But, remember that you have your own tasks to focus on and they will surely suffer if you keep piling on your coworker’s work. Learn to set proper boundaries for yourself and gauge how much time you have (after your work is done) to help those around you. 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Detailslast_img read more

 

Inviting family favourite in Brisbane’s north hits the market

first_img3 Jessica Court, Eatons HillJESS Cartwright did not want to move too far away when it came time to take the home ownership plunge four years ago. She had grown up in Albany Creek, and had always stayed close to the area when she rented. So, when she came across the three-bedroom home in the aptly named Jessica Court, it ticked all the right boxes. “It is close to my parents which is good,” Mrs Cartwright said. “And it had to have an entertaining area and open plan living.”The backyard, with its inground pool and covered patio was ideal for the young family as they made themselves comfortable in their new home.The contemporary home sits on an 890sq m block in a quiet cul-de-sac in the heart of Eatons Hill.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours ago“It is a really decent sized house with decent sized bedrooms,” Mrs Cartwright said. The front of the home has a smaller front deck and a double lockup garage under the home.There is an open plan design in the living area of the house, with the kitchen and dining room overlooking the lounge room, which Mrs Cartwright said was ideal as the mother of a young baby boy.“It is good that the kitchen overlooks the entire living area, so I can always keep an eye on him when I am in the kitchen,” she said.They have made a few minor changes to the home in the last few years, including a new stove in the kitchen, and installing a watertank and landscaping the front yard to make it more manageable. With her husband’s business taking up more and more time they have decided to move to a smaller home with a smaller yard.“It is really a good home for family living and there are a lot of young families around, it is quite a good community,” she said. 3 Jessica Court is on the market now through LJ Hooker Albany Creek with a listed price of $549,000+last_img read more

 

​The case for a European Pensions Union

first_imgThe pension problem is one facing Europe as a whole and requires an integrated European approach. This also presents opportunities for member states that have a complex and well-developed pension sector, such as, for example, the UK and the Netherlands, with extensive funding-based pension schemes. Major UK and Dutch asset management organisations and pension providers, as well as insurance companies, could very well offer their services and know-how abroad. With greater efficiency and economies of scale, the strengthening and further development of fund entities and the provision of pension services could also benefit the European pension market and those participating in it.  Furthermore, an increasing number of employees within the EU market work in cross-border situations and stand to gain from a better integration of pension accrual in the European employment market. A lack of European integration is keeping the markets closed off, and, as a result, opportunities for growth and improvement in European pension and employment market are not being sufficiently harnessed.Brussels to lead the way?The European Pension Fund Directive, which has been in force since 2003, is designed to facilitate the provision of a European cross-border pension scheme. On the basis of this directive, some member states have over the previous years pro-actively implemented specific legislation to stimulate the establishment of dedicated cross-border pension service providers from their jurisdiction, such as the Premium Pension Institution (PPI) in the Netherlands, the Pension Savings Association (ASSEP) and Pension Savings Company with Variable Capital (SEPCAV) in Luxembourg, and the Organisation for the Financing of Pensions (OFP) in Belgium. There is a fear, however, that achievements in the traditional funded (defined benefit) pension systems may be eroded by further European integration of the pension sector, that Brussels may for instance introduce legislation ‘Europeanising’ the pension reserves held by the local pension entities of the member states.Banks and insurers must adhere to basic European norms that promote the stability of the banking and insurance sectors and thereby the European economy. The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) aims to subject European pension entities to a similar regime by revising the current Pension Fund Directive. In our opinion, this would ultimately serve to protect members of pension schemes and, for example, to prevent pension funds from allowing a lack of clarity to exist about their ability to meet their obligations towards their members. However, there are those in the pension sector – as well as, for example, certain Dutch politicians who see such a European norm as unnecessary meddling – that “Europe should keep its hands off our pension reserves”. These representatives evidently prefer to keep decision-making powers in their own hands. In recent years, however, many members of Dutch pension schemes have had to adjust their expectations regarding Dutch retirement provisions considerably. With a European framework, Brussels could lead the way and thereby prevent such disappointments.The Hogan CaseMore generally, it must not be forgotten that the European Union is more than just an economic partnership. Consider, for example, the respect of the rights of the elderly to lead a life of dignity and independence anchored in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. A retirement provision forms part of preserving this dignity and independence. And in the Hogan case, the European Court of Justice ruled, for instance, that, if an employer becomes insolvent, there must be a certain minimum guarantee for members of the company’s pension schemes.Given the above, we put the case that consideration should be given, within Europe, to forming a European ‘Pensions Union’ that underpins pension law with a stronger European framework and clear (basic) norms.This could prevent retirement provisions from being insufficiently facilitated or even carelessly managed in another member state, with the attendant negative socio-political consequences in that particular state. In such a case, any (socio-)economic problems would also entail risks for the state budget in question, which, in turn, could have consequences on the European financial system as a whole. A ‘pension crisis’ in, for example, Germany could also have a direct or an indirect impact on the economy of other member states.As an accompaniment to a European framework, the goal of further integrating the European pension market could be achieved by putting into place common (basic) rules regarding the accrual and payment of retirement provisions that could at least be provided, in part, by local or cross-border pension entities, as an alternative to local pension rules in each member state.In our opinion, a scheme that in any case establishes legally clear, individual rights for members could be a good starting point. For that matter, experts in the pension sector have long been pondering these solutions and EIOPA, too, is now investigating the possibility of taking the first step in this direction.Right to self-determinationWould such a Pensions Union be a step towards losing the right to self-determination or even the local pension participants ceding sovereignty over their own pension system and reserves? We do not believe that either the current European pension legislation or the development of a European Pensions Union would impair any Member State’s sovereignty. They merely provide better protection for members of pension schemes which, in some cases, can never be provided by national policy makers, e.g. in the case of cross-border situations.Since as far back as the 1960s, it has been established that European cooperation (among sovereign states) under European treaties requires a collective exercise of powers (as held by the European Court of Justice in the Van Gend & Loos judgment). But this European cooperation is voluntary and, like any international cooperation, can also be voluntarily terminated – the EU Treaty contains a specific ‘exit’ clause for this. In that sense, the member state still have full sovereignty.Leaving the European Union would obviously have so many practical and economic implications that the decision to do so would not be taken easily. As it happens, the small group of European countries that do not belong to the European Union, e.g. Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, have, for the sake of their economic interests, fully integrated the most important European laws and regulations, including the provisions of the aforementioned Pension Fund Directive, into their own national legislation. However, these countries were unable to play a role in drafting the directive, and the specific exceptions that the Netherlands was able to stipulate for its own pension system were unavailable to them.The common framework provided by a European Pensions Union and a European basic pension scheme would, in fact, protect members of pension schemes across Europe in the accrual and enjoyment of their pension entitlements. It would also support the complex and developed UK and Dutch pension sector, as well as international companies that have cross-border operations. Furthermore, it would provide a general boost to European economic stability and the accomplishment of social objectives. The pension issue, therefore, requires a European approach.Pascal Borsjé and Hans Van Meerten are both lawyers at Clifford Chance Amsterda Pascal Borsjé and Hans Van Meerten of Clifford Chance Amsterdam make the case for ‘Brussels meddling’The strengthening of European financial supervision raises questions about the sovereignty of national governments and the desirability of transferring powers to ‘Brussels’. Some people are even calling for integration to be reversed (at least partially). The pension issue does, however, require a European approach.The sustainability of pension systems in the EU cannot be viewed separately from the stability of the European financial system. At the same time, social unrest, due to uncertainty about retirement provision combined with the fact populations of the EU member states are aging, has implications for the European economy as a whole.In addition, in the European employment market, pension schemes in cross-border situations are often beset with practical problems. If, for example, a person accrues a pension in one member state and receives pension payments in another, this pension can be subject to double taxation, i.e. pension contributions that are not initially subject to tax relief in the member state where the person works (and are thus taxed) are taxed again in another member state (where the person receives retirement benefits).last_img read more