The House Commerce and Economic Development Committee, joined by members of the Senate Economic Development and Finance Committees, will hold a FairPoint Communications briefing and update on Thursday, September 24. The hearing will be an opportunity for legislators to gain a fuller understanding of the challenges facing FairPoint and explore ways in which the legislature can ensure Vermonters’ interests are protected. The House and Senate Committees will hear from the President of FairPoint Communications, the Department of Public Service, the Vermont Telecommunications Authority, and Labor representatives.The agenda for the hearing is pasted below and attached to this advisory.What: FairPoint Communications HearingWhen: Thursday, September 24. 1:00-4:30 pmWho: House Commerce and Economic Development, Senate Economic Development and Senate Finance CommitteesWhere: Room 11, State HouseAGENDARoom 11, State HouseThursday, September 24, 20091:00 p.m. FairPoint Communications Briefing and UpdateHouse Commerce and Economic Development Committee joined by Members of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee Peter Nixon, President, Fairpoint Communications David O’Brien, Commissioner, Department of Public Service Charles King, Principal, Liberty Consulting William Shuttleworth, Executive Director, Vermont Telecommunications Authority Mike Spillane, Business Manager, Local 2326, IBEW.Source: Senator Shumlin’s office. 9.18.2009
Strathclyde Pension Fund (SPF), the UK’s largest local government pension scheme, with £15.8bn (€22.1bn) in assets, made a 13.4% investment return for the year to 31 March.This compares with 13% for the benchmark and 8% for the previous year, and brings average annualised returns for the past five years to 8.6%.Within the equity allocation, the best performers were Japanese stocks, which returned 31%, and North American (23.7%) and Pacific ex Japan (18.6%) equities.The private equity portfolio made gains of 14.8%. The best-performing fixed income class was UK index-linked Gilts, which made 21.1%, compared with UK Gilts (13.9%) and UK corporate bonds (13.1%).Absolute return strategies within fixed income returned 3.3%, while the property portfolio made a return of 17.9%.At end-March 2015, equities made up 74.6% of the portfolio (compared with a strategic benchmark of 72.5%), while 12.2% was in bonds (underweight the 15% benchmark), 10.6% in property (compared with the 12.5% benchmark) and 2.5% in cash.The report on short to medium-term investment performance said: “Global equity markets have performed well relative to bond markets in recent years, so the fund’s equity bias has helped performance, and absolute performance over all periods has been strong. Property markets have also seen a period of recovery.”But it added: “Underperformance by some equity managers and the cost of turnaround and build-up of the fund’s property portfolio has detracted from returns over the five-year period.”SPF, administered by Glasgow City Council, is 94.3% funded, according to the latest triennial revaluation.The Council’s pensions committee is currently reviewing the fund’s investment strategy.Four alternative strategies are under consideration to improve downside risk, produce more efficiency and improve confidence in reaching the funding target.In the interim, SPF is working towards a target allocation of 5% for its new opportunities portfolio, which includes infrastructure, finance and alternatives.Four new commitments approved in June include two wind funds, and private debt and trade credit funds.
The Boston Celtics were clearly in “rebuild mode” after the days of Doc Rivers, and many questioned president Danny Ainge’s ability to erase that label. As of last year, the Celtics had come a long way, led by 5-foot-9 point guard Isaiah Thomas and appearing to be the second best team in the East. But there was something missing when the C’s fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.The Celtics, who were a playoff-caliber team built on stingy defense, had an undersized prolific playmaker in Thomas. He was an obvious hindrance on the defensive end at times, and there was little he could do about it. When he was limited offensively versus better squads, the Celts would have their backs against the wall if no one filled his void. Against what looked like a very determined team in the Cavaliers, Thomas and the Celtics didn’t have much of a chance.This offseason, Ainge isn’t going quiet into the night. He’s shaking up the roster big time after acquiring All-Star Gordon Hayward in July. And recently, the wildest occurrence is the arrival of Kyrie Irving via a trade that sent Thomas, Jae Crowder, 2017 first-rounder Ante Zizic and Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick to Cleveland.Anyone who says Crowder and Thomas were integral to the Celtics in last season is right. But the C’s still have the services of Al Horford, an improved Marcus Morris and promising youngsters Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. With Hayward, Irving and head coach Brad Stevens, the Celtics squad could’ve lost Horford or never signed Morris and would remain a main contender in the East. I’m saying this because Hayward and Irving alone should change the game for Stevens, a one-of-a-kind coach with a knack for competing regardless of the talent at his disposal.The question I ask myself is, how much simpler do Irving and Hayward make Stevens’ job? He can win with a rag tag group, but that isn’t to say he can contend for a crown without high-caliber ballers like Irving and Hayward. Stevens needs someone to shoulder the burden of scoring and playmaking, and Irving wants to be that guy. Stevens coached Hayward at Butler University, and is probably very familiar with the former Utah Jazz standout’s evolution from college to present day. The main drawbacks of this trade could be a) in the long term — Zizic turns out to be one of the best big men in the NBA, or b) in the short term — Thomas and Crowder perfectly supplement Kevin Love and an aging LeBron James to win the East. While the first possibility is somewhat of an unknown value given the unpredictability of NBA first rounders, the second option is not entirely out of the question.But the bottom line is the highest expectations will have to trump the reality of the Golden State Warriors’ existence. Somehow, the Warriors will have to crash and burn for a title to be within the Celtics’ grasp. The primary way I can see that happening is through injuries. But the same thing can happen to the Celtics and Cavs as well, and it would probably hit them harder than the depth-heavy Warriors. The Warriors, though, are a bit weaker than you think. Teams can shut down Steph Curry and Klay Thompson on the perimeter. But with the long-armed, multi-skilled Durant, most defenders are at a significant disadvantage when matching up with him. So for me, Durant is that one player on the Warriors that matters the most to their championship desires.Due to the defensive liability aspect, I would rather lose Thomas to injury than Irving. However, that means if the Celtics were to lose Irving to injury in playoff time, their ability to win would very noticeably diminish. After all, Irving was the man who delivered magnificent performances game after game when the headlines read that James had brought the title home. The 2017-18 season is Irving’s extended moment to show the world how gifted he is without James.I don’t think you can say the Cavaliers drop off the map with this trade, although they are most definitely not any closer to beating the Warriors. LeBron James’ opportunity to win another championship with the Cavaliers should be finished. But it’s not, really, because although he was mortal versus the Warriors in the 2017 finals, he’s one of the best of all time. So it’s tough to rule him and his team out, even though many would agree that he’s out of his prime as he approaches his mid-30’s.It’s under these circumstances that lofty predictions exist for the C’s with Irving and Hayward taking over, and all signs point to a much awaited Cavs-Celtics rematch in the playoffs, where Irving can show LeBron James who’s boss.Duncan Day is a senior studying print and digital journalism. His column, Day’s Den, runs on Thursdays.