Mayor’s Update – March 23, 2018

first_imgMayor Jay Gillian Dear Friends,We endured yet another nor’easter this week, and if you’re like me, you’re ready for some spring weather.The Cape May County project replacing the West 17th Street Bridge blocked a major outfall pipe before the storm. This caused extensive flooding in the area from the bridge all the way to West Avenue. This is a county project, not a city project, and the county contractor did not follow approved plans. The city team took immediate action when the issue was discovered and required the county’s contractor to find a way to drain the flooded area. This is not acceptable, and I can assure you all that the county contractor will be working late into the evening to install a diversion pipe to fully correct the problem until the bridge project is complete.At last night’s City Council meeting, Business Administrator Jim Mallon provided an update on the city’s efforts to acquire 903 Bay Avenue, the former Exxon gas station property. A judge in our condemnation proceeding conducted a settlement conference to try to see if we could resolve the litigation without more attorney’s fees and court costs. But the property owner wanted far more than the appraised value of the property, and we were unable to reach an agreement.In light of what the City would have to pay in combined litigation and acquisition costs, the city voluntarily withdrew its condemnation complaint. We will continue to pursue more cost-effective opportunities for using taxpayer dollars to acquire open space. The owner is now free to pursue whatever plans he has for the property.All floors of Gardens Plaza have reopened and residents are allowed to return following water damage from a standpipe that burst during the extreme cold of early January. I want to thank our construction code team for expediting permit applications and inspections to aid these residents.A planned Atlantic City Electric power outage is now scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday (March 28). The interruption of service had been postponed a couple times due to the weather. The outage will affect the area between North Street and 13th Street and is expected to last no more than 15 minutes. We will send reminders to residents of the affected area as March 28 approaches.I want to remind everybody that the Boardwalk Merchants Association will hold the first of two egg hunts on the beach between 11th Street and 14th Street at 2:30 p.m. Saturday (March 24). The event is free for children ages 7 and under, but be sure to arrive early to make sure you don’t miss the action. All parking on streets and municipal lots is free at this time of year, and remember that the 34th Street Bridge is still limited to one lane. The second egg hunt is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. March 31.I hope you all have a great weekend.Warm regards,Jay A. GillianMayorlast_img read more

The fog of peace

first_imgIt was going to be the end of war. Now Colombians wonder whether peace is possible.On Sept. 26, President Juan Manuel Santos and the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC for its acronym in Spanish, signed a historic peace agreement after four years of negotiations to end Latin America’s longest-running conflict. It was to bring closure to 52 years of a civil war that has claimed more than 200,000 casualties and displaced nearly 6 million people.On Oct. 2, in a shocking result, Colombians rejected the deal in a referendum, 50 to 49 percent, with a 60 percent abstention rate. A few days later, the Nobel Committee awarded Santos the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize partly in hope of reviving talks. To make sense of these developments and what they mean for the country’s future, the Gazette sat down with political anthropologist Jennifer Schirmer, visiting scholar at the Religions and the Practice of Peace Initiative at Harvard Divinity School (HDS). Schirmer spent 14 years working on peace negotiations in Colombia.GAZETTE: Why was there such a huge abstention rate?SCHIRMER: One of the factors was the hurricane that hit the coast on voting day, forcing thousands of people to stay home. Many others didn’t vote because they thought it was unnecessary. Polls were predicting the yes vote was going to win. As to why many Colombians voted no, there are various reasons. The yes campaign started late, and their supporters underestimated former President Álvaro Uribe, who led the no campaign. Uribe called the peace talks “a pact of impunity” that would lead to violent chaos. With the 297-page final accord released only a month before, many voters depended on social networks. Disinformation by Uribe’s tweets was difficult to correct in time. The more conservative elements of the Catholic Church and the evangelicals joined the no campaign. The most interesting aspect of the cartography of voting shows that those who suffered direct effects of the conflict in some of the poorest parts of the country with extreme concentrations of land were the most willing to vote yes. Overall, victims have been the most willing to forgive, to accept the FARC’s pardon, and to end the war.GAZETTE: What were the most controversial aspects of the peace accord?SCHIRMER: One element was disarmament. The FARC said they would not hand over their weapons to the armed forces but to a third party, United Nations monitoring teams. This was significant for the FARC because they didn’t want to be seen as capitulating. The other element was transitional justice. In a negotiation seeking to put an end to a war, alternative and reduced sanctions are permitted as long as they are combined with measures of truth, reparation, and no repetition of crimes. With the FARC unwilling to negotiate an accord “that means we end up in jail,” a system of truth and justice was agreed upon that places victims front and center. The accord creates a peace tribunal with two options: Those who refuse to accept responsibility for their crimes will be sent to jail for 15 to 20 years, and those who accept responsibility receive five to eight years of “effective restrictive freedom,” the place and conditions to be determined by the tribunal. These options apply equally to the FARC, armed forces, and civilians who have had significant participation in crimes.GAZETTE: What about reparations to victims?SCHIRMER: The accord included reparations to victims by building schools and work with affected communities on humanitarian de-mining, and they’re deemed critical. With a yes vote, the FARC would have been far more likely to disarm, tell the truth, be held accountable and provide reparations.GAZETTE: Who are the FARC?SCHIRMER: It’s a Marxist insurgent group that controls territory, has considerable funds and weapons and despite a severe bombing campaign by the Uribe and Santos governments between 2007 and 2012, has remained capable of continuing the war. Surrender was not an option and there was a need for concession and compromise on both sides. In this case, the FARC made the political decision to find a dignified exit to the war. Most peace processes are successful when this occurs.GAZETTE: Why did they start the civil war? What were they fighting against?SCHIRMER: Guerrilla groups arose primarily because of political exclusion and serious land inequity. Back in the 1940s, Colombia went through a terrible period of violence between the liberals and conservatives. A pact was agreed upon to alternate the presidency every four years, excluding all other parties. Political exclusion is a ferocious fault line of Colombian democracy, and it operated that way until 2004, with the rise of a left party. Between 1964 and today, eight guerrilla groups appeared on the scene fighting such political exclusion and seeking land redistribution.GAZETTE: Why did the FARC decide to negotiate?SCHIRMER: Social justice and land reform are still the central issues, but over the last decade, the FARC came to realize this was a conflict of the past that is barely justified today. What they say now is that there is a new way to seek change, but not through armed struggle. They saw other Latin American countries elect more progressive leaders, and realized revolutionary movements belong to the past. This change of mentality opened the door to negotiations.GAZETTE: What role do you think the decision to award 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to President Santos will play in the peace process?SCHIRMER: President Santos deserves great credit for pushing for peace, and for breaking this historical cycle of war. We can only hope Santos will show the same resolve in finalizing and implementing the peace that he did in negotiating it. I am optimistic they can find a way forward.GAZETTE: What was your personal involvement in the peace negotiations in Colombia?SCHIRMER: I organized and facilitated peace-building dialogues in Colombia for the past 14 years between different sectors from the political class to the economic elite, from the armed forces to former guerrillas, and from academics to journalists. For the past four years, I was asked to hold seminars for the technical subcommission in their design of a Colombian model of ceasefire and disarmament. What is extraordinary is that the traditional adversaries in this conflict — military officers and guerrillas who have taken the brunt of the combat with high casualty rates — have been, for the past year, jointly writing and delineating the coordinates of the cease-fire and disarmament protocols to end this long and bloody war, while right-wing politicians, led by two past presidents, serve as obstacles to peace.GAZETTE: Did you find any parallels between the Colombian referendum and the one in Britain where people voted to leave the European Union?SCHIRMER: The huge difference in Colombia is that this is a difference between peace and a return to war. Nonetheless, the comparison is useful as it forces us to ask whether a referendum is the solution for these sorts of very complex political decisions. Both [former British Prime Minister David] Cameron and Santos decided to hold a referendum for their own political reasons, and both were warned not to. Santos was re-elected in 2014 on a peace platform. His own attorney general told him it was not necessary constitutionally. Finally, it seems neither leader had a Plan B, which is quite extraordinary.GAZETTE: What risks do this failed peace accord pose to Colombia?SCHIRMER: It’s a gray zone between war and peace. No war. No peace. It’s a limbo, and my fear is that, if violence were to return, the internal cohesion of the FARC may falter. This is Latin America’s and one of the world’s longest-running conflicts, with one of the largest insurgent groups. A bilateral cease-fire has been agreed upon and extended until Oct. 31. But if there is a confrontation and a loss of security, would the FARC leadership be able to control its troops? That’s the biggest risk in these processes: how to maintain the trust on both sides and how to maintain cohesion internally.The interview has been edited for clarity and length.last_img read more

Rock bottom bank savings account rates? There’s a better way

first_imgby: Brian O’ConnellPity the poor bank savers. They are saddled with a seven-year-old Federal Reserve policy that keeps interest rates at rock-bottom levels.This week, bank savings rates were down to 0.066%, according to the BankingMyWay weekly bank rate tracker. That’s barely ahead of the rate of inflation, which stands at -0.04%.But there are better deals out there if you don’t mind doing some digging. According to the most recent GoBankingRates survey of top U.S. bank savings rates, going smaller and going digital is the fastest path to higher rates of return.“According to our data, the average savings account rate is only 0.18% APY nationwide,” says Casey Bond, GoBankingRates’ editor-in-chief. “However, online banks and local financial institutions stand out as consistently offering the best returns.” continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

WHO declares global pandemic due to coronavirus

first_imgMedia briefing on # COVID19 With .DrTedros. #coronavirus World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 11th 2020 A pandemic is not related to disease severity or mortality rate, but to geographical spread. According to the World Health Organization, a pandemic is declared when a new disease, for which the population has not developed immunity, begins to spread rapidly around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global pandemic due to coronavirus.center_img In order for the epidemic to turn into a pandemic, there must be a second wave of infection, which occurred in Italy, reports

Telehousing market hits choppy waters

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Brisbane’s Queens Wharf development accused of anti-homeless architecture

first_imgQueensland’s $3 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane casino is just one of a spate of developments accused of promoting hostile architecture.An artist’s impression of the planned casino and lifestyle complex, Queen’s Wharf Brisbane. Picture: Queen’s Wharf BrisbaneThe planned casino and lifestyle complex came under fire late last year after putting forward designs that prevent people experiencing homelessness from sleeping on benches and seats.The development’s Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Report submitted to the state government stated that “furniture installed in the area should have features that minimise anti-social behaviour.”“This may include discreet solutions on seating and low walls that minimise use for skateboard tricks, and fixed armrests that prevent sleeping on the furniture.”The Queen’s Wharf Casino development has come under fire for putting forward designs that prevent people experiencing homelessness from sleeping on benches. Picture: GettyGreens councillor, Jonathan Sri, called the furniture design “disgusting” stating that “public spaces should be for everyone – not just the mega-rich,” and called upon Brisbane Central MP Grace Grace to ensure no development on state government land included hostile architecture.“Rough sleepers are extremely vulnerable and are among the most likely members of our society to be victims of crime,” Sri told the Brisbane Times.“When councils and governments discourage them from using highly visible public spaces, they end up sleeping in unsafe areas on the margins.”The new development will occupy 12 hectares of government-owned land and potentially reclaim 15.3 hectares of the Brisbane River.Brisbane Central MP Grace Grace responded to the allegations by holding a public information session about Queens Wharf where local resident expressed overwhelming support for the project.“This emphasis on public space helped to set the winning consortium’s bid apart, and I know that it’s something that local residents find hugely exciting,” she told The Brisbane Times.A spokesman from Destination Brisbane Consortium said: “The development seeks to cater for all user groups, with landscaping and features at the river edge including places for people to sit and enjoy this part of the city.”The sprawling Queen’s Wharf development will be spread over 12 hectares of government-owned land and potentially reclaim 15.3 hectares of the Brisbane River. Picture: Queen’s Wharf BrisbaneThe concept of “hostile architecture” – designs that aim to prohibit certain behaviours and exclude groups of people – isn’t new. The coercive design of public spaces has always been a point of contention for architects, local councils and human rights organisations.James Petty, who recently completed a PhD in Criminology that looked at how homelessness is regulated and criminalised in Melbourne, believes that the design features described in Queens Wharf’s development application are problematic.“Anything that targets specific uses that are characterised by marginalised groups, like people who lie down on benches – yes, I would say that definitely constitutes hostile architecture,” Petty told ArchitectureAU.The Queen’s Wharf development isn’t the first instance of hostile architecture in Australia.In 2015, Western Australia’s Department of Culture and Arts was forced to turn off a controversial sprinkler system used to prevent homeless people bedding down in the inner city.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours agoAnd in 2013, NSW’s RailCorp was forced to abandon their idea of using Mosquitos – devices that emit a high-frequency buzzing noise only people aged 13 to 24 can hear – to deter graffiti artists.One of the most visible examples of hostile architecture are spikes which are used in front of apartment buildings and on public benches to deter rough sleepers.The local Bournemouth Borough Council in England recently removed its anti-homeless bars on its town centre benches after a public outcry.British rapper Professor Green, who presented a BBC Three documentary, Hidden and Homeless, which focuses on youth homelessness, took pictures of the benches and shared them on social media, sparking a petition signed by more than 20,000 people who accused the council of “turning their back on the homeless.” He said: “What’s the message here? ‘Hey you poor sods with no safety net … you won’t have the ‘comfort’ of this bench to sleep on! Ha!”“Again, nothing done to tackle the problem, just something to make it more invisible so we can pretend it isn’t happening.”Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:24Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:24 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenRapid Rehousing Fund – Game Changer01:24last_img read more

Cairns’ Goldsborough gives families and retirees the Aussie dream

first_imgThe Mulgrave River at Upper Goldsborough is just one of the suburb’s drawcards.GOLDSBOROUGH is the perfect southern suburb for families and couples wanting to live the acreage dream. Cairns Property Office South principal Robyn Hawley-Whitton said the suburb had been rolled out stage by stage, and each stage was snapped up by owners with a vision for their lifestyles. “It’s the big Australian country dream,” Ms Hawley-Whitton said. “People want more space to get away from the small blocks of town. People who live here have a dream to move onto acreage. “The men want their sheds, and they know that you need a fairly large block of land to have a fairly large shed on it.” Ms Hawley-Whitton said there were two distinct buyers in the area. “It’s highly sought after by people who are looking for more room,” she said. “There are a lot of people who own here who work away from Cairns and want to retire to Goldsborough in a few years. A lot of people use it as an investment in the time in between. “There are also owners who are onto their second or third homes and are looking for a sizeable acreage. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago“The properties here sell very quickly and the median price has risen very quickly.” She said Goldsborough’s proximity to Gordonvale meant it was very easy to get into town. “It takes about 35 minutes to get to the Cairns CBD,” she said. “There will be an upgrade to the Bruce Highway so that it’s four lanes outside of Goldsborough, which will make it an even faster journey into town.” Ms Hawley-Whitton said the views were “absolutely spectacular” over the surrounding hills and land, which was once covered in cane. “It’s a fairly affordable area compared to other parts of Cairns,” she said. “It’s close to very good schools and the area is prepared for a lot more infrastructure, including a Woolworths at Gordonvale, very shortly. “Compared to other parts of Cairns it has a very low crime rate, which is something people are looking for increasingly.”last_img read more

Insurance Rates Set to Surge amid Heightened Tensions in the Middle East

first_imgThe recent tensions in the Middle East are expected to result in draconian conditions in maritime insurance policies, and surging of insurance costs, according to Jonathan Moss, head of marine and trade at Machester-based law firm DWF.The comments come amid growing fears of Iranian retaliation on commercial vessels in the region following the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian military commander, by the United States on January 3, 2020.Companies have already started pulling their vessels from the region, such as the Brazilian state oil giant Petrobras. What is more, governments are sending their naval troops to the region to protect their assets and avoid similar scenarios to the Stena Impero from last year.“The latest chapter of turbulence in the Middle East will undoubtedly lead to insurers and reinsurers particularly in lines such as hull, war, piracy, terrorism, cargo and construction raising premiums, renegotiating terms of cover and introducing riders and endorsements to policies to reflect the increased risks of trading in the region,” Jonathan said.“Insurers and reinsurers have been looking for a marked correction to the downward pressure on rates. The recent tensions, however, will lead to insurers and reinsurers imposing draconian conditions in policies, significantly increasing the costs of specialist insurance and pulling out of underwriting certain lines of business. Insurance rates are set to increase exponentially in the coming months.Due to the heightened risk in the regions, ships are advised to alter their courses and navigate longer routes to avoid dangerous areas. Furthermore, ships’ crew wages will rise owing to the heightened risks of attacks to vessels in the Strait of Hormuz adding costs to end consumers.“Following the 12 May attacks on two Saudi tankers, a Norwegian and a UAE flagged vessel, the Joint War Committee made up of representatives from the Lloyd’s and company markets added the Gulf to its list of high risk waters. Insureds were instructed to notify underwriters before vessels entered the region and additional premiums started to be levied. The attacks have transformed the region for insurers,” he added.“Insurers have not withdrawn completely from writing risks but each international insurer is taking a close interest in how events unfold. Underwriters are used to factoring in geopolitical instability into pricing, but the events of last year created a perfect storm for companies trading in the region, increasing insurance premiums by an average of 10% in six to seven months.”Jonathan concluded that a new period of potential disorder and unrest would bring more uncertainty and inevitably insurers and reinsurers will choose to exit insurance lines and/or adopt pricing models which will have an adverse impact on the passage of trade, increasing costs for the end consumer.last_img read more

Chip and seal work planned in Switzerland County

first_imgSwitzerland County, In. — The Indiana Department of Transportation will begin chip and seal operations on State Road 156 in Switzerland County next week. Beginning Wednesday, August 9 crews will begin work between Vevay and Patriot. The project includes 34-lane miles between State Roads 56 and 250 along the Ohio River.Chip and seal applications protect roads from moisture intrusion and ultraviolet rays. The process also increases traction and extends service life.Officials urge the public to slow down through work zones and watch for workers.last_img

David C. Abplanalp

first_imgDavid retired from Cummins after 35 years of service.  He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greensburg and of the Knights of Columbus.  He was an avid golfer who also enjoyed playing cards, especially Solo or Oldenburg Rummy.  David liked to spend time shooting his guns at the Oldenburg Conservation Club with friends so he could ‘bring home the bacon.’  Most of all he loved spending time and being with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.He will be dearly missed by his wife Pamela; son, Jeff (Darlene) Abplanalp of Columbus, IN, daughter, Jan (Greg) Moody of Columbus, IN; 5 grandchildren, Jeremiah (Laurie) Abplanalp, Eric (Hannah) Moody, Matthew (Samantha) Abplanalp, Kyle (Brittaney) Moody, and Rachel (Travis) Wiley; 6 great grandchildren, Marshall, Cheyanne, Austin, Natalie, Meredith and Wade; siblings Ronald Abplanalp and Patricia Woolf. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Marjorie White.A memorial mass will be Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 12:00PM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greensburg.  Fr. John Meyer officiating. David was a big supporter of Right to Life, so in lieu of flowers his family suggests donations be made to organizations supporting that cause. Online condolences David C. Abplanalp, age 75 of Hartsville, Indiana passed away on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at Franciscan Health in Indianapolis.  The son of Harry and Norma Abplanalp (nee: Fristch) was born on July 16, 1942 in Batesville, IN.  On August 2, 1960 he married Pamela Westerfeld in Batesville.last_img read more