Live: Rebel numbers creep up ahead of critical Brexit vote

first_imgTuesday 3 September 2019 7:54 pm Several of his Conservative colleagues stood to back him, alongside opposition MPs. But Jacob Rees-Mogg accused him of “stunning arrogance”. Catherine Neilan Live: Rebel numbers creep up ahead of critical Brexit vote Earlier today, Johnson’s spokesman told journalists he stood by earlier threats to deselect MPs if they go against the government tonight, including abstentions, saying it would be “handing power to Jeremy Corbyn”. The number of Conservative MPs willing to rebel and go against the government in tonight’s critical vote are creeping up, with a swathe of resignations, defections and rejections of the Prime Minister’s position. whatsapp Ken Clarke, former chancellor and father of the House, echoed that sentiment, calling for more MPs to “come to the middle” and agree on a soft Brexit “where you keep the current economic ties… which British Conservative governments took a role in creating”. whatsapp But it is not all in one direction: Kate Hoey, a prominent Leave supporter, has also said she will not stand as a Labour MP at the next election, freeing her to vote with the government tonight. Many MPs have pre-empted Johnson. This morning former ministers including Justine Greening and Alistair Burt both confirmed they would not stand at the next election, while fellow Tory Phillip Lee crossed the floor to join the Liberal Democrats just as the Prime Minister stood at the dispatch box. He added: “To vote against the government would be to lose the whip.” Letwin added: “The Prime Minister is much in the position of someone on one side of a canyon shouting to the people on the other side of the canyon that, unless they do as he says, he will throw himself into the abyss. This does not strike me as a credible negotiating strategy.” Former Conservative minister Nick Boles, who now sits as an independent MP, told rebel Tories: “Your country needs you. Do what you know to be right. Join me on these benches and together let’s build a new force in British politics.” “The aim is to create a marionette government,” he added, telling them they must not “bind [Johnson] hand and foot” to go to Brussels. Sir Nicholas Soames has said he would “with a heavy heart” defy the whip and vote for the motion enabling backbenchers to take control of the order paper tomorrow. This in turn will allow MPs to debate and vote on a more critical bill, which seeks to prevent a no-deal Brexit. center_img Soames, who is Sir Winston Churchill’s grandson, now risks having the whip withdrawn and effectively being sacked as a Conservative MP by Boris Johnson, biographer and self-confessed idol of his wartime predecessor. Main image: Getty A demonstrator holds up a smoke bomb during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on September 3, 2019, at a gathering hosted by The People’s Assembly Against Austerity. – The fate of Brexit hung in the balance on Tuesday as parliament prepared for an explosive showdown with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s that could end in a snap election. Members of Johnson’s own Conservative party, including Philip Hammond, are preparing to join opposition lawmakers in a vote to try to force a delay to Britain’s exit from the European Union if he cannot secure a divorce deal with Brussels in the next few weeks. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images) More From Our Partners Texas governor said he plans to strip the Legislature’s But Tory MP Bernard Jenkin told colleagues that “unless we are to abandon referendums, then this house should be ready to implement popular decisions it does not like… If we refuse to do so… that will have consequences for the credibilty of parliament in the eyes of our electors.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told MPs the bill did not “close off other options” but gave “vital breathing space to find an alternative way through the Brexit mess this and the previous government have created”.  He added: “Today is another historic day in Parliament. It is our chance to seize this last opportunity to stand up to a bullying government, that has shown itself ready to dodge scrutiny and silence debate. If we do not act today we may never get another chance.” Tags: Brexit Share They were speaking after former Cabinet minister Sir Oliver Letwin told MPs he was bringing the motion forward to make more time to strike a deal. The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Brexit talks under the current regime were “a complete sham” and pressed other Scottish MPs to “stand up” for Scotland and block a no-deal Brexit. He said the Conservative party “has been taken over by a cult”, comparing Johnson to a dictator. The Leader of the House urged backbenchers not to vote for the bill tomorrow, saying it would lead to “indefinite vassalage”. They join others, including Ken Clarke, in being able to vote without having to follow party lines. last_img read more

Brand Veep: Kamala Harris could be exactly what Biden needs to secure the White House

first_img whatsapp Share Kamala Harris could prove a very smart pick come November. In other words, Trump’s approval rating has plummeted, rather than Biden’s likeability ratings rising. Joe Biden hopes that Kamala Harris can inject some serious energy and passion into his campaign (Getty Images) Also Read: Brand Veep: Kamala Harris could be exactly what Biden needs to secure the White House whatsapp Joe Biden hopes that Kamala Harris can inject some serious energy and passion into his campaign (Getty Images) That’s why the reaction to Biden’s vice president pick and running mate, California senator Kamala Harris, which he announced yesterday, will be so fascinating to watch — and potentially so important in this election.   Biden had some strong options for his VP pick. He could have cemented his link with Barack Obama by picking Susan Rice, the legacy option. He could have chosen the person best qualified for actually standing in for him if the worst ever happened, who most people felt was Elizabeth Warren. And who knows, maybe he could have tried to create a “dream ticket”, by persuading Michael Obama to be his running mate (a non-starter, apparently, as she says she has no interest in going into politics).   But Biden has looked at what his brand needs the most: a sharp-thinking, capable figure, who offers something different to him and can engage a younger audience, add energy and passion, and tap into the cultural movements and energy of the moment.  Joe Biden hopes that Kamala Harris can inject some serious energy and passion into his campaign (Getty Images) Also Read: Brand Veep: Kamala Harris could be exactly what Biden needs to secure the White House In marketing terms, Biden seems a rational choice, but not an emotional or exciting one. Main image credit: Getty So while watching Trump implode, Biden would be wise to consider his campaign and his brand, looking at his potential weaknesses in the knowledge that future events before November may change public opinion again, and some form of economic recovery may give his Republican rival a real boost. Anything can still happen. Jamie WilliamsJamie Williams is planning partner at the advertising agency isobel Show Comments ▼ Biden had already confirmed that he would pick a woman to run on the ticket with him, but it’s still important to note the history of this selection. Harris is the first black woman and the first Asian American (her mother came from India) to be a general election candidate for President or vice president for either of the two main political parties. Putting her on the ticket is a big deal. Ultimately, the question was: how could the right choice make his brand stronger? Could it add a challenger mentality into the mix with more emotional charged enthusiasm? And who could best improve and refresh his brand and help secure him the White House?  center_img This makes Biden’s campaign planning slightly tricky, especially as he isn’t the usual “challenger brand” taking on the incumbent. Everyone knows vice president Biden already.  Refreshing his image isn’t easy. Critics of Harris on the left of the Democratic party may view her record as a prosecutor with suspicion, especially given protesters’ calls to “defund the police”. But as a former state attorney general, she could also help to push back on Trump’s law and order campaign messaging, mitigating accusations from the Republicans that Biden is “weak on crime”.  Even the most passionate of mainstream Democrats must realise that their nominee is not the perfect candidate for 2020. At 78, he’d be the oldest ever President to enter the White House, and, understandably, he doesn’t seem as energetic as he used to be. He’s prone to the odd gaff, and there are also questions about his relevance and popularity among the youthful and energetic liberal wing of the party, best symbolised by the meteoric rise of New York congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that swept the country.  Wednesday 12 August 2020 11:34 am Biden hopes that Harris can inject serious energy and passion into his campaign. Many Democrats were screaming for the party to better harness the momentum of the BLM movement, and as someone who speaks so personally about racial issues, she has great potential to do this.  As a former vice president himself, you’d expect Biden to understand the impact of this selection better than anyone. It was a hard decision to make for the frontrunner — to stick or to twist?  Joe Biden has pulled away from Donald Trump and is now the favourite to win the US presidential election in November, leading nationally by around eight percentage points in most polls.  But it’s far more likely that he’s winning because the majority of Americans are outraged at President Trump’s shambolic handling of the Covid-19 crisis, and may also believe that he’s botched his response to the anti-racism protests across America. While we are still almost three months away from polling day in possibly the most unpredictable of election years (and we should all remember what happened to Hillary Clinton), that is a sizeable gap.   Brand Veep: Kamala Harris could be exactly what Biden needs to secure the White House Opinion City A.M.’s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M. Biden’s team would probably argue that he’s currently leading the polls because he offers what many believe Trump doesn’t: a sensible and steady approach to government that is less divisive and polarising than the last four whirlwind years.  So while his brand is built from a solid base and has many positive “average joe”, “soul of the nation” and “Obama legacy” attributes, there are definitely weak spots, especially if Trump picks up momentum. On the flip side, Trump now has a fresh target to aim at, and we all know he loves that. The launch of the nickname took about an hour — “Phony Kamala”. Trump may see this selection as his best chance to change the campaign narrative, by framing Harris as a scary liberal who will control the White House should Biden win.last_img read more

Workers on Kotzebue’s solar project just hauled the last of 1,440 panels across the tundra

first_imgAlaska Native Corporations | Community | Energy & Mining | Northwest | Science & TechWorkers on Kotzebue’s solar project just hauled the last of 1,440 panels across the tundraJune 23, 2020 by Tiffany Creed, KOTZ – Kotzebue Share:Edwin Bifelt, Founder and CEO of Alaska Native Renewable Industries, stands in front of the Kotzebue Electric Association’s solar project in June 2020. Tiffany Creed/KOTZ)Since construction of Kotzebue Electric Association’s solar project began in May, a locally hired crew has clocked in ten-hour days, six days a week. They’ve hauled 1,440 solar panels across uneven tundra and installed the final one on June 18. The 576-kilowatt project is the second largest in the state, next to the Willow Solar Farm in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.The construction site is southeast of the local airport, at the end of a long, gravelly access road. The rows of panels bring new fixtures to a rolling landscape marked by an aging wind farm that began Kotzebue Electric Association’s run with renewable energy in the late 90s.“When we first installed the first three wind turbines at the wind farm, as we call it, we thought that was the greatest thing ever in the world,” said Matt Bergan, an engineer with Kotzebue Electric Association.The coast of Northwest Alaska proved to be a prime location for capturing wind energy, and Bergan says, over the years the project expanded.“Now we have 900-kilowatt turbines, in addition to our fleet of smaller turbines which are aging and approaching end of life,” he said.Bergan is overseeing the new solar project, which in a lot of ways offsets those obsolete turbines. He says it was made possible by a global drop in the price of solar hardware over the last several years. Installation costs in tundra and permafrost are still relatively high, however.“It makes it somewhat more affordable, and that’s what we’re really going to see once it’s operational, is what the cost-benefit analysis looks like as far as what we’re producing vs. what it costs. It looks promising, though,” Bergan said.Kotzebue Electric Association general manager Martin Shroyer says that initial costs have been absorbed by local entities that also have a stake in rural energy concerns. NANA Regional Corporation received federal money to split between Kotzebue and the villages of Buckland and Deering for solar, the Northwest Arctic Borough contributed funds to the project through a grant, and Kotzebue Electric Association contributed some funding of their own.“So once we received that money, or grant, we hit the ground running,” Shroyer said.Shroyer says that there have been some delays to the project, the most recent being the COVID-19 pandemic which put construction behind about five weeks and increased costs. Installation was supposed to begin in late February after a successful 2019 bid from general contractor Alaska Native Renewable Industries.The company is based out of the Interior village of Huslia, which, like Kotzebue, is off the road system, but about ten times smaller in population. Founder and CEO Edwin Bifelt worked on a similar solar project in the neighboring village of Hughes, which has a population of about 75. His next bid is east of Kotzebue in Shungnak.“You could do this with any community in the state, so we’re hoping to keep going with this for the next five, ten years,” Bifelt said.Keeping in step with the goals of the Kotzebue Electric Association project, he wants to maintain a focus on local hire in rural sites.“Growing up in the village, or rural Alaska, I knew that there was always a lot of talent in the community. A lot of skilled tradespeople,” Bifelt said.Local employment is indeed another way these renewable projects allow for rural self-reliance. Along with local hire, Shroyer says the scale of the project is also driving interest from the community.“I think the amazement is how big it is. How, it’s only 576 kilowatts, but how much land it takes. It’ll generate a good seven months out of the year and it’s pretty exciting; we’ve got our board excited, and locals,” he said.Though the electric association will still rely on diesel generators, its goal is to get to about 50% renewables. Once the project is up and running, residents should see the fuel cost adjustment figure go down on their utility bills.Share this story:last_img read more

Tricia Helfer

first_imgCelebrityTricia HelferThe “Battlestar Galactica” Cylon (and star of ABC’s “Killer Women”) on bikini roles, stray cats, and cocktails in Coldwater CanyonBy Marielle Wakim – February 11, 20142759ShareEmailFacebookTwitterPinterestReddItI’m good at being alone. I grew up on a farm in rural Alberta, Canada, and moved to New York at 18. I thought I’d give modeling a shot for a year—otherwise I’d go to university and study psychology. Ten years later I’m leaving a good career to start acting, to start at the bottom again. It was nerve-racking. I moved to L.A. not knowing a soul. I knew Bridget Moynahan—sort of—from my modeling days. I got my doctors and my dentist and all that pertinent information from her. I came out here with an agency. I didn’t need a waitressing job, so I could go on auditions and give it a shot—no regrets. ¶ There was one role I went up for. I think it was an independent film, but it was that “walk by in a bikini” type of role. The casting director said, “I don’t want you for that, but would you come back and read for this?” It was the lead character, more studious. I was floored because I wasn’t interested in the bimbo roles, even though I had to play them every once in a while. It was a wake-up call for my agent at the time. That’s one of the hardest things, that model-turned-actress stigma.I quickly fell in love with L.A. I bought a house in the Hollywood Hills and loved that there was greenery around me. I was at the age where I wasn’t trying to be “seen” or part of a crowd. It was more about having a comfortable existence. I loved having a car, a backyard, a pool, and animals. I’m a huge animal advocate. One day I was in a pet store buying pet food, and Kitten Rescue was holding an adoption event. I donated a check for a thousand dollars, and after I dropped it off and continued my shopping, a woman came up behind me and was crying, thanking me for the donation. I now work with Kitten Rescue, the Humane Society, and Best Friends Animal Society. I love being home with my kitties and my husband. I even have a “catiary” built on the outside of my house, so the cats can be inside or go outside when they want.We shot Battlestar Galactica in Vancouver, but I lived in Los Angeles, so by the time the show was finished, I had been here for six years. The city gets a bad rap because it seems like everybody has a script or is in the business, but there are great people here and such diversity. I wish more stuff was filmed in L.A., because you live here to book jobs—then move away to shoot them. I travel most of the time, so when I’m home I like to stay home. I live in Coldwater Canyon now, so I’m very central. I couldn’t ever see myself moving farther west or farther east. I love that I can take a two-hour hike without seeing anybody. One of my favorites is the Bridge to Nowhere, north of Azusa. It’s a good eight or ten miles, with river crossings and creek crossings. We also take our motorbikes up to Ojai. It’s beautiful riding.I still feel lucky to be a working actor here. I often think about that when I’m sitting on my balcony, having a martini with my husband and loving where I live. TAGSBattlestar GalacticaKiller WomenL.A. CultureL.A. StoryTricia HelferPrevious articleThe Essential Movie Library #65: Caché (2005)Next articleWin a Free Copy of “If These Walls Could Rock” Signed by SlashMarielle Wakim RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR10 Famous Filming Locations from Steve Martin’s ‘L.A. Story’Follow in Pee-wee Herman’s Footsteps Across L.A.What Defines a Successful Immigrant?last_img read more

News / An eerie lull in spot market as rates game gets critical for ocean carriers

first_img© Schulzhattingen There was an eerie lull in the container spot market this week as the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) recorded only minor adjustments in freight rates across the main tradelanes.The Asia-Europe components of the SCFI recorded spot rates for North Europe at $695 per teu, while for Mediterranean ports the rate was $553 per teu.On the transpacific, Asia-US west coast spot rates stood at $1,153 per 40ft, and for the US east coast at $1,684 per 40ft.However, Asia-Europe ocean carriers are entering a crucial week.They are banking on 1 September GRIs and FAK increases to propel the SCFI higher after three consecutive weeks of losses eroded the 1 August rate increases – despite the industry being in the midst of the peak season.However, anecdotal reports suggest that forward spot rates for Asia-North Europe for September are already under pressure.One source told The Loadstar that some prepaid rates being quoted by carriers were down to $700 per 40ft high-cube, and that in his view it was “only a matter of time” before they slumped to $400-$500.Notwithstanding the prospects for September, China’s Golden Week holidays from 2-7 October will result in a softer demand during and immediately after this period.The G6 grouping of carriers is the first alliance to react to the reduced demand expectations, voiding two Asia-North Europe, two transpacific and one Asia-Mediterranean sailings during and around the holiday period.And in order to avoid further rate war carnage, the three other mega-alliances will need to promptly follow suit and cancel voyages.Indeed, it has proved in the past that the forward announcement of blanked sailings also has some positive impact on current rate levels, as the level of concern of shippers is raised regarding space allocation.It goes without saying that after $2.5bn of net losses reported so far for the first half of 2016, the container lines desperately need to stabilise the rate situation in the four remaining months of the year.According to Lars Jensen, partner at SeaIntelligence Consulting, the top twenty carriers could already have lost around $4bn in H1.“Results have markedly worsened from Q1 to Q2 2016, hence, if the market conditions do not change materially, the industry might be facing combined losses of as much as $8-$10bn for the full year,” he warned. By Mike Wackett 26/08/2016last_img read more

People / Joerg Sommer is new chief executive of DHL subsidiary Street Scooter

first_img Deutsche Post-DHL subsidiary Street Scooter, an electric vehicle manufacturer, has appointed Joerg Sommer as its new chief executive.Mr Sommer joins from US electric vehicle manufacturer Chanje where he served as chief operating officer. He will start his new role on 1 April.He brings more than a decade’s experience in the electric vehicle market to the company and previously worked for traditional automobile manufacturers, including Audi, Renault, Daimler and Volkswagen.Mr Sommer said: “I am honoured to be joining this daring team in Germany as we get ready to expand access to zero-emission transportation.”His is not the only new appointment to the team, with former chief executive Achim Kampker taking over the reigns as chief innovation officer. Mr Kampker said over recent years the company had “achieved a great deal”, going from a start-up to Germany’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer.“Above all, our recipe for success has always been our unconventional approach to our customers’ needs, innovative mobility concepts and a close exchange of ideas with the scientific community,” he added. By Alexander Whiteman 01/03/2019last_img read more

Insolvency Service welcomes new chair and board members

first_imgInsolvency Service welcomes new chair and board members Incoming Chair, Mark Austen, will be joined by Gary Kildare, Samantha Durrant and Rob Hunt on the Insolvency Service Board.The new non-executive board members, together with Mary Chapman who is continuing in her role on the board, will work closely with the Insolvency Service’s senior leadership team to provide strategic leadership and governance for the agency.The Insolvency Service’s Chief Executive, Dean Beale, said:I am very pleased to welcome Mark, Gary, Samantha and Rob to the board at what is an important time for the Insolvency Service as we support the country’s recovery from the pandemic and ensure that insolvency processes operate efficiently and effectively for businesses and individuals.The new board members bring significant experience in their respective fields and will provide valuable support and guidance to the Executive Leadership Team as we deliver the agency’s objectives.I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the immense contribution and support of the outgoing board members. Their hard work, dedication and expertise over the past few years has supported the agency to consistently deliver its objectives.Mark Austen is an experienced financial services professional, having been a partner and board member of global accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he led major changes to the financial services environment in the UK. Mark was also a senior partner at IBM and has served as chair and director of several other commercial and not-for-profit boards, including LV=, Standard Bank PLC, Mott MacDonald, The Home and Savings Bank and one of HRH Prince of Wales’s charities. Mark is currently Chair of a UK bank and Transform Housing and Support, a major housing charity in Surrey. He has also regularly contributed to Speeches for Schools and the Mentoring Foundation.Samantha Durrant has worked as a senior leader in a broad range of organisations across the public and private sectors. Previously, Samantha was the UK Chief Operating Officer of a global health and benefits consulting firm and brings a wealth of executive leadership experience in areas such as operations, business change, customer management and governance. Samantha performs a variety of non-executive director roles for several organisations, including chairing the Change Management Committee for the Disclosure and Barring Service and chairs the Finance & Performance Committee for the NHS Sussex Commissioners.Rob Hunt is a restructuring specialist and was a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ business recovery services practice. He led their UK mid-market restructuring practice and was also elected to the PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Supervisory Board. Recently, Rob has worked as an independent adviser providing turnaround and restructuring advice to a range of businesses and is a former member ICAEW Insolvency Committee.Gary Kildare is an experienced business executive and has previously served in senior HR roles for IBM, including: Chief HR Officer for Europe and Global Head of Labour Relations for the IBM Corporation in New York and Madrid; Chief HR Officer for IBM’s consulting business based in Paris; Chief HR Officer for Global Technology Services, based in New York; and as Vice President of HR for Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Gary also serves as a non-executive director for several organisations, including Chair of the People Committee for The Defence Infrastructure Organisation, a lay-member of the Legal Services Board, a non-executive director of the British Quality Foundation and a member of the CBI Business Council for Scotland.Board members are appointed initially for three-year terms. The newly appointed board members take over from Stephen Allinson, Alan Graham and Richard Oirschot who have now completed their term of service on the board.Mary Chapman will remain on the board having first joined in 2017. Mary previously served as Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute and Chief Executive of Investors in People UK, as well as holding several senior director roles for companies within the L’OREAL Group. Mary is a Chartered Director and has served as a non-executive board member for public organisations including the Royal Mint Ltd, the National Lottery Commission, the Gambling Commission and Brunel University London. Currently Mary is Chair of the General Chiropractic Council and a Trustee of the British Tourist Boards Pension Scheme.Incoming Chair, Mark Austen, said:I am much looking forward to working with the senior team to build on the legacy of my predecessor, Steve Allinson, in the continuing development of the Service. Such development is ever more pressing now as the comprehensive pandemic support measures are unwound. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:america, americas, Asia, British, Defence, Europe, Government, housing, London, Madrid, New York, pacific, Paris, Scotland, UK, UK Government, Yorklast_img read more

Vancouver City Council holds off on changes to Multi-Family Tax Exemptions

first_imgVancouver City Council holds off on changes to Multi-Family Tax ExemptionsPosted by Chris BrownDate: Tuesday, December 8, 2020in: Newsshare 0 The plan to adjust income requirements for affordable units met with resistance from developersVANCOUVER — Facing increasing opposition from developers, five of the seven members of the Vancouver City Council on Monday opted to delay action on changes to the Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) program.The MFTE allows developers to apply for property tax exemptions for a period of eight, 10, or 12 years in exchange for providing a certain number of housing units deemed affordable.The Holland Partners building on Block 10 in downtown Vancouver is one of the latest to qualify for a Multi-Family Tax Exemption. File photoThe Holland Partners building on Block 10 in downtown Vancouver is one of the latest to qualify for a Multi-Family Tax Exemption. File photoSince 2017, a total of fourteen projects have been granted the exemption, said Chad Eiken, the city’s community and economic development director, accounting for 1,317 new housing units and $306 million in economic investment.“Of those, five are market-rate projects with no restrictions on income,” said Eiken. “Five of the projects are income restricted at 100 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), and four of the projects are restricted at 80 percent of the area median income.”Developers can also request 12 years of tax exemptions if they agree to price 20 percent of their units at 60 percent of AMI, but none have done so, said Eiken.The issue at hand Monday was a plan to adjust how the AMI is calculated for determining what qualifies as “affordable housing.”Currently, the formula uses the six-county Portland Metro family median income, which is $92,100, while the median household income within the city of Vancouver is 29.5 percent lower at $64,900.Using that formula, an affordable two-bedroom apartment could fetch more than $2,000 a month and still qualify as affordable for people making the median area family income. That amount is more than $600 above the Vancouver market rate for a two-bedroom apartment.Construction crews work on a building in downtown Vancouver. File photoConstruction crews work on a building in downtown Vancouver. File photoThe proposed ordinance heard Monday would have retained the use of the Portland area AMI, while adjusting the affordability level of housing units in exchange for tax exemptions.8 year tax exemption: 20 percent of units at 70 percent AMI10 year tax exemption: 20 percent of units at 55 percent AMI12 year tax exemption: 20 percent of units at 45 percent AMIThat proposed adjustment would represent an average income threshold reduction of 30 percent over the current MFTE requirements, said Eiken.Following a work session in September, staff met with stakeholder groups in September and November, hearing around approximately 25 multi-family housing developers who had made use of the MFTE.Criticism ranged from concern that the adjustments would make it more difficult to generate enough rent from affordable units to make building them feasible, and reduce the likelihood of developers seeking the exemptions.Developers also noted that construction taxes often make developing in Vancouver more costly than Portland, making the exemptions a way to recoup some of that added expense.All of that prompted most of the council to support delaying any action on the MFTE adjustment until further study can be done on the potential impacts.“I think that there’s a lot more analysis that needs to be done here,” said Councilor Erik Paulsen. “The housing market is a complicated system.”Paulsen argued that the goal of the Multi-Family Tax Exemption was three-fold: Improving services available to underserved or vulnerable residentsMaking downtown Vancouver a vibrant destination for the community and regionStrengthening neighborhood business districts“I would say that, regardless of what our intent was, these projects that have taken advantage of that have contributed at the very least to (two of those),” Paulsen added. “Regardless of whether they were affordable at the intended levels of income based on the way that we are defining income.”Paulsen noted that perhaps the solution is to find a different term than “affordable” to describe the lower cost housing units that qualify developers for the MFTE.“I think we need to call it what it is for the time being while we’re figuring it out,” he said. “I think we need to study this issue much more broadly.”Councilors Ty Stober and Sarah Fox were the only ones to support moving ahead with the ordinance immediately.“I don’t think that making this particular change right now, that’s been very well researched by staff and brought forward to us tonight … would mean that we suddenly can’t make any further changes in the future to our program,” said Fox. “I think what it shows us tonight is that we’re making progress on something that’s well overdue.”A proposal by Stober to put a temporary moratorium on MFTEs for units at 100 percent AMI was also voted down 5-2.The Council instructed staff to continue working on the issue, looking at how it might be used to also incentivize home ownership, and potentially be altered for other parts of the city to bring in more affordable housing.No firm date was set to revisit the issue.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTags:Clark CountyLatestVancouvershare 0 Previous : WATCH: Clark County TODAY LIVE • Tuesday, December 8, 2020 Next : Business profile: Sadie and Josie’s Bakery a big part of La CenterAdvertisementThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

Sumfest supports Boys & Girls Club, fire brigade

first_imgRelatedSumfest supports Boys & Girls Club, fire brigade RelatedSumfest supports Boys & Girls Club, fire brigade FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail MONTEGO BAY — The Montego Bay Boys’ and Girls’ Club has received a cheque for $300,000 from Executive Director of Reggae SumFest, Johnny Gourzong, to assist in the procurement of musical instruments for their band. The Jamaica Fire Brigade, Montego Bay, also received a gift from the organizers of Reggae SumFest, of a new computer valued at approximately $100,000. The presentations were made at the official launch of the 19th staging of Reggae SumFest, at the Iberostar Rosehall Hotel, Montego Bay. Reggae SumFest Promotion’s Director of Transportation, Howard Deers, told JIS News that this was the organization’s way of giving back to a community which has given tremendous support to the festival over many years. “Whenever the show is on, we have artistes coming to sing and we have players of musical instruments. We are, therefore, investing this $300,000.00 in the club and giving something back to the community,” Mr. Deers said. He also indicated that the Jamaica Fire Brigade has consistently partnered with SumFest, giving support and professional safety services, and the management of the festival thought that is was only fair to make the presentation to show their appreciation. Mr. Gouzong pointed out that Reggae SumFest has survived, mainly because it has been a team effort. He said that, over the years, Reggae SumFest has tried to maintain quality and innovation, and has remained faithful to reggae and dance hall music, but has never been exclusive. “We have, for the most part, been inclusive and from day one, we have presented top international acts on the stage at the festival, and we continue to do so,” he said. Mr. Gourzong also announced that this year, the festival will be honouring some of the entertainers who have contributed to the development of Jamaica’s music, including Beres Hammond, E.T. Webster and the late Gregory Isaacs. The Montego Bay Boys’ and Girls’ Club was the national parish project for St. James in the recent Labour Day activities, receiving overwhelming support from the business community and residents. RelatedSumfest supports Boys & Girls Club, fire brigade Advertisements By GLENIS ROSE, JIS Reporter Sumfest supports Boys & Girls Club, fire brigade CultureJuly 7, 2011last_img read more

Letter to the Editor – Where’s the Library

first_imgHomeOpinionColumnsLetter to the Editor – Where’s the Library Jun. 27, 2020 at 6:00 amColumnsFeaturedletterNewsLetter to the Editor – Where’s the LibraryGuest Author12 months agoletter to the editorlibraryPublic Services Editor:As an As-Needed Librarian in Public Services and Youth Services for over 20 years at SMPL, now on unpaid leave, I read with deep sadness and a heavy heart my LOL colleagues’ heartfelt messages to the City. These dedicated and talented professionals, some of the finest people I have ever known and worked with, deserved better. The City’s sudden and drastic cuts to the Library staff and budget, due not only to COVID-19 but to ongoing financial mismanagement, were stunning and have resulted in a tremendous loss to the City and its residents. The Library was not only home to staff but to countless Santa Monica families, as well.Furthermore, the decimation of Youth Services is particularly shocking and short-sighted. Besides promoting literacy and the pleasures of reading, research and experience both have shown that a healthy democracy needs literate adults who can evaluate and understand history and current information. Children who come to the library become educated, adult library patrons. This is our future.To my knowledge, no other library system in Los Angeles, albeit facing serious budget cuts, has suffered comparable cuts to library staff. I believe with a more conscious awareness of community well-being and with some creativity and compromise, our jobs and services could have been preserved. The remaining SMPL library staff faces a daunting task – continue to offer programs and learning opportunities, maintain subject collections, provide outreach, answer individual queries, sort and shelve books, and the list goes on – with half the staff necessary to do the job. With the present cuts to staff, it is doubtful that many of these services can be maintained.The buildings are there, but where is the Library?Virginia KovnerTags :letter to the editorlibraryPublic Servicesshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentPublic Safety Reform for Santa Monica? Not If, But When and HowResidents identify “Hate Speech” around Santa MonicaYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall6 hours agoColumnsOpinionYour Column HereBring Back Library ServicesGuest Author12 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor17 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press17 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press17 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson17 hours agolast_img read more