Oversight Board report suggests range of changes for Puerto Rico utility

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bond Buyer ($):The official Puerto Rico Oversight Board report on the territory’s debt recommended changes in budgeting, rating and bond issuance practices, but said it was generally too late to punish anyone over the sale of debt that led to the biggest municipal default.The Oversight Board released the 608 page report on Monday evening, almost a year after hiring Kobre & Kim to do the research and create it, consistent with a requirement of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act. Board Members Arthur González, Ana Matosantos, and David Skeel oversaw the process. Concerning the public utilities, the report said that if they are to remain public entities their boards should be altered to be a mix of independent and governor-appointed members. The members should have longer terms and terms staggered across administrations. The boards should create audit committees of their members. The committees should exclude uncollected revenues from rate covenant calculations.Further, the report says that the utilities should be required to disclose their use of bond proceeds. It noted that from 2010 to 2013 there was a several hundred million dollar discrepancy between what Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority bond proceeds were supposed to be used for and what they were actually used for.There should be independent rate boards for both the utilities and these boards should make regular and predictable changes to the rates. Finally with regard to the utilities, an independent fiscal agent should be empowered to implement the public utilities’ respective fiscal oversight agreements “in a way that requires compliance with rate covenants.”More ($): Puerto Rico debt report makes slew of recommendations, says it’s too late for punishment Oversight Board report suggests range of changes for Puerto Rico utilitylast_img read more

PacifiCorp analysis shows major economic benefits from closing Naughton, Bridger coal plants

first_imgPacifiCorp analysis shows major economic benefits from closing Naughton, Bridger coal plants FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Oregon Public Broadcasting:An energy company with hundreds of thousands of Oregon and Washington customers is considering the early retirement of some of its coal-burning operations.PacifiCorp released a new economic analysis Thursday that says its customers could save about $248 million over 20 years if the company decides to retire four of its Wyoming coal units by 2022. That would mean closing one coal-fired plant and reducing another plant’s capacity by half.PacifiCorp spokesman Bob Gravely said any electricity production lost from the retirement of coal operations would be made up in other ways, possibly with energy from wind, solar and natural gas.Burning coal is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Coal currently accounts for 60 percent of the electricity that PacifiCorp provides to its customers. The company already is moving away from coal, Gravely says. But the new study suggests this move could happen faster than previously planned. “There is interest in seeing that happen,” he said.Sophie Hayes, a senior staff attorney with Western Resource Advocates, said the new study is part of a larger economic trend for coal-fired power plants. “Coal plants across the West are becoming increasingly uneconomic as renewable energy costs and natural gas prices continue to drop,” said Hayes, whose organization advocates for clean air, water and land. “This will also help protect the health and welfare of our families and future generations.”More: A Northwest utility considers early retirement for some coal operationslast_img read more

What should be disclosed to credit union members in mergers?

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr There has been a flurry of news articles and opinion pieces about what a credit union should disclose to its members when members are asked to vote on a merger of their credit union.   It is a worthwhile question to ask but there are legitimate privacy interests of credit union management that we should be mindful of and respect.  The key is to determine where the line is.  If a Merger Information Disclosure was created, it might have the seven questions below.  The first three questions are of obvious concern to members and need no explanation.   I will comment on the others.1. What will be the impact of the merger upon the types of products and services offered to members?2. What will be the impact of the merger upon the cost of products and services offered to members?3. What will be the impact of the merger upon the branches and electronic access available to members?4. What will happen to the credit union’s capital as a result of the merger? continue reading »last_img read more

Lend Lease joins forces with Sam Zell in global investment push

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Retno moves forward with planned Indonesia-Afghanistan women’s network

first_imgIndonesia plans to establish a women’s network with Afghanistan to encourage Afghan women to contribute to the peace process in the war-torn country, the Indonesian Foreign Minister announced on Monday.”In early March, together with Indonesian women leaders, I plan to visit Kabul to formalize the formation of the Afghanistan-Indonesia Women’s Women’s Network,” Retno L.P. Marsudi said in a press statement issued on Monday in Geneva. The minister is a speaker at an event of the Good Human Rights Stories Initiative being held on the sidelines of the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which runs from Feb. 24 to March 20 in the Swiss capital.Indonesia was elected in 2019 as a council member for the 2020-2022 term. “Indonesian women have played a role in promoting peace not only at the national level, but also at regional and global levels,” said Retno, referring to the many Indonesian women working in a variety of UN peacekeeping operations around the world.The UN has encouraged countries to deploy a peacekeeping force composed of at least 15 percent female personnel, and Jakarta has declared a commitment to increase the composition of women in its peacekeeping force to 10 percent.According to the Indonesian Military, however, the current ratio of women in Indonesia’s peacekeeping delegations hovers at just 4 percent. “Women’s empowerment is an important element in the promotion and protection of human rights,” said Retno, who also spoke about women’s empowerment during the UNHRC session.In addition, she mentioned the importance of preventing human rights violations and strengthening the UNHRC’s synergy in promoting and protecting human rights, in particular the issue of human rights for the Palestinian people.”Non-fulfillment of the basic rights of the Palestinian people, exacerbated by the plan to build more illegal settlements on Palestinian land, is an example of human rights violations that must be resolved immediately,” she said. Indonesia was also working on establishing the Southeast Asia Network of Women Peace Negotiators and Mediators in an aim to “strengthen the contribution of women in promoting sustainable peace in the region” the statement said.Toward this end, Indonesia has hosted regional training workshops on women, peace and security to increase the capacity of female peace negotiators and mediators in conflict resolution and mediation, it added.Topics : As Indonesia’s first female foreign minister who has championed women’s empowerment in foreign policy and peacebuilding, Retno has been encouraging the empowerment of Afghan women so they might play a more significant role in peacebuilding. She has consistently called for more inclusive policies and the promotion of affirmative action in the ultra-patriarchal country.Last year, Indonesia hosted a dialogue featuring dozens of Afghan women led by Acting Minister for Information and Culture Hasina Safi, and promised to follow the dialogue with training and skilling projects for Afghan women. Indonesia has offered various forms of assistance over the years in support of the Afghan peace process, from training Afghan diplomats and hosting dialogues, to establishing the Indonesia Islamic Center (IIC) in Kabul.In May 2019, Jakarta hosted a trilateral ulema conference with participants from Indonesia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Two months later in July, then-vice president Jusuf Kalla met with the Taliban’s de facto political leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar, in an effort to broker peace between the movement and the Afghan government.last_img read more

Pennsylvanians Reminded to Take Precautions in Extreme Summer Heat to Protect Themselves, Families, Neighbors, Elderly and Pets

first_img Press Release,  Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – With temperatures anticipated to reach the mid-90s, combined with high humidity toward the end of the week, The Wolf Administration is urging all Pennsylvanians to take steps to keep themselves and their loved ones, including pets, safe from potentially deadly heat-related illnesses. Infants and children, older adults, and people suffering from illness may be less able to respond to extreme temperatures and taking certain medications can affect how one’s body responds to heat.“Keeping Pennsylvanians safe is always top-of-mind and providing useful and important information is one way to accomplish safety,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. “With the extreme heat and humidity forecast over the next five days, I want all Pennsylvanians – residents and visitors – to be cognizant of how to take care of themselves, their families, neighbors, pets and livestock. It’s imperative to their well-being.”All Pennsylvanians are urged to follow these safety tips to avoid heat-related illnesses:• Drink plenty of water and do not wait until you are thirsty to drink more fluids;• Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar, as they can cause dehydration (loss of body fluids);• Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible – this is the best way to protect against heat-related illness and death;• Avoid long periods in the direct sun or in unventilated rooms;• If you must be outside in the heat, reschedule activities for cooler times of the day, and try to rest often in shady areas;• Dress in light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses – and use a sunscreen of SPF15 or higher;• Take frequent baths or showers and remain in a cool place;• Check on those who might be more at risk from high temperatures like infants, children, or older individuals; and• Never leave your children or pets inside vehicles.“With the extremely high temperatures we are expecting to see, it’s important that we check on our older neighbors, friends, and family members to make sure they are staying cool,” said Secretary of the Department of Aging Robert Torres. “Pennsylvania’s network of Area Agencies on Aging is a great resource for seniors or their caregivers to find senior centers acting as cooling centers if needed.”Local Area Agencies on Aging are ready to assist older adults facing dangerously hot weather. Area Agencies on Aging offer a broad range of services, including help with transporting older adults to cooler locations such as a local church or senior center. Find a local Area Agency on Aging here.“Extreme heat poses a danger to all Pennsylvanians, and we urge everyone to be aware of the potential for heat-related illnesses,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are both serious, and potentially life-threatening illnesses that can occur very quickly when high temperatures occur. Drink plenty of water and if you must be outside, take frequent breaks and use sunscreen.”Infants and people who are suffering from an illness are especially vulnerable to extreme heat. In addition to the tips for all people, specific to infants and children, remember:• Never leave infants or children in a parked car.• Even when it feels cool outside, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly.• Leaving a window open is not enough – temperatures inside the car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes, even with a window cracked open.• Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death.As for people who are ill, the Department of Health recommends that they go somewhere where there is air conditioning, whether that is the local mall, library or other temperature-controlled locations.The most common heat-related illnesses are heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. Warning signs include extreme body temperature, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness and confusion. If you or loved ones develop heat stroke symptoms, get medical assistance right away. Heat exhaustion symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will be working closely with county emergency management officials in the event that state resources are needed to support efforts to keep people safe. Many counties will post information on their websites or social media accounts as cooling centers open and close. Anyone who needs specifics can call their county emergency management agency, keeping in mind that a closer location may be in a neighboring county rather than the one where they reside.Livestock and pet owners should take appropriate precautions to protect their animals from high temperatures that can cause them to suffer from heat-related stress and illness. Heavier, fattened livestock, those with dark coats, and chronic health conditions are at the greatest risk for stress from heat.Signs of stress in livestock include:• Animals bunching together• Heavy panting• Slobbering• Lack of coordination• TremblingIf you see any of the following heat exhaustion signs in your pet, seek immediate veterinary care:• Anxiousness• Excessive panting• Restlessness• Excessive drooling• Abnormal tongue color• CollapsePet owners should remember to not leave animals in vehicles. A car’s interior temperature can rise within minutes, creating suffocating temperatures that lead to animal health problems and often death. When pets are outdoors, it’s important to be sure they have access to shade and plenty of fresh, clean, cool water. Animals kept indoors should have proper ventilation.Additional tips to help pets and livestock deal with the heat:• Provide shade; move them to shaded pens if possible.• Provide water; the hotter it is, the more water they should drink (providing a sprinkler can also help them to cool down).• Don’t overwork livestock; it’s safest to work with livestock in the early morning when body temperatures are low.• Postpone routine procedures (such as vaccination, hoof trimming, dehorning) until the weather cools.• Avoid unnecessary transportation; if livestock must be moved, do so in the late evening or early morning hours.• Take dogs for early morning or late-evening walks.“Excessive heat can put tremendous stress on both people and animals, and Pennsylvanians should take care to ensure the safety of domestic animals as well as livestock,” said Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. “By knowing the signs of heat stress and taking the proper precautions – like providing shade, water, and plenty of ventilation – animal owners can protect the health of livestock and pets, whether they live in the home or in the barn.”For more information or if you have concerns about the health of your pets or livestock, contact your local veterinarian.For more information on how to prepare for and deal with extreme heat, visit Ready.PA.gov, health.pa.gov or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258). July 16, 2019 Pennsylvanians Reminded to Take Precautions in Extreme Summer Heat to Protect Themselves, Families, Neighbors, Elderly and Petscenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Norway to review active management at Government Pension Fund Global

first_imgTheir brief includes appraising possible investment opportunities and strategies, with an assessment of the theoretical and empirical rationale for these opportunities, which could improve the trade-off between expected return and risk.The panel will then suggest potential implications for the ministry’s mandate to NBIM.This will include a discussion of benchmarking, relevant risk measures and risk budgets and reporting requirements, and how other funds have implemented comparable strategies.The fund’s strategic benchmark is made up 60% of equities, with the rest in fixed income instruments and real estate.The geographical distribution of the fund’s equity portfolio is largely based on global market weightings, although it is moderately overweight Europe.Government bond investments are allocated according to the size of each country’s economy (GDP weighting).Corporate bond investments are based on market weightings.The ministry said the fund had outperformed its benchmark by an average of 24 basis points per year for the past 10 years, as of 30 June.However, the fund’s actual real rate of return is an average 3.4% per year between 1997 and the second quarter of 2013.This compares with a government estimate of expected real return over the long run of 4%.The ministry said the review to be carried out was simply a follow-up from the decision in 2010 to undertake regular reviews.It added that, in due course, a review would also be performed on the GPFG’s much smaller sister fund, the Government Pension Fund Norway (GPFN), run by asset managers Folketrygdfondet and invested largely in domestic securities.GPFN’s average actual real rate of return between 1998 and 2012 was 4.5% per year. Norway’s Ministry of Finance is to review the active management of its NOK4.76trn (€586bn) Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the resulting report being presented to the Storting, Norway’s Parliament, in spring next year.A panel of three experts has been asked to review NBIM’s historical performance, assessing options on how it might improve the fund’s expected return and risk, over and above the current benchmark.The panel will not, however, review the choice of benchmark indices.The panel members are professor Andrew Ang of Columbia Business School, professor Michael Brandt of Duke University and David Denison, former head of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.last_img read more

Valley House construction making progress

first_imgBrookville, In. — Work is continuing on the Valley House Flats project in Brookville. The project is valued at $10 million and will include 20 market rate apartments and 27 more for low-income seniors.The apartments will range from 600 to 1,200-square-feet and will be in historic buildings and new buildings, some overlooking the river valley. The development also includes a restaurant that will be operated by the current Big Four Café owner, Devin Murchin.The project is expected to be complete by late summer 2019.last_img read more

GCB gets $1.5M towards development of NSSCL

first_imgTHE Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Education signalled its commitment towards the continued development of cricket with the contribution of $1.5M to the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) yesterday.The cheque was presented to the secretary of the GCB, Anand Sanasie, by Minister within the Ministry of Education, Hon. Nicolette Henry at her Main Street office.The funds are intended to be used by the GCB to purchase cricket balls for the National Secondary Schools Cricket League (NSSCL).During the presentation Minister Henry said this initiative follows one of the Ministry of Education’s mandate to promote a wider student participation in sports. This is the first official donation to sports from the Ministry for 2017.The GCB expressed elation and commended the efforts of the Ministry of Education and its National Sports Commission for conducting and promoting the NSSCL and dubbed the partnership a fruitful and purposeful exercise.The GCB/MoE NSSCL has enabled the GCB coaching personnel to identify and groom young talent and where necessary, to align student-players with Association Country and/or National teams.The NSSCL structure has been absorbing young talent while ensuring that at the school cricket level enough quality cricket is played countrywide, thereby enabling the technical staff access to measure talent, track and promote such talent along a systematic pathway of development.Such a systematic development pathway has allowed the NSSCL structure at an early age of students’ life, to promote a culture of professionalism among and between teams and players, make them more recognised and marketable, as well as making the NSSCL a more marketable activity.The GCB noted that the NSSCL has also encouraged and demanded higher levels of youth players’ investment and productivity, as many more students have an interest in cricket and are willing and able to dedicate more time, energy and finances on their game, which has led to higher levels of productivity.This collaborative effort between the Education Ministry and the Guyana Cricket Board is a critical developmental initiative which continues to promote a positive impact on structure of school cricket and its participating student-players.These efforts have made school cricket more organised, competitive, and have created a wider pool of players for the GCB to monitor and make its selection.last_img read more

Rossington signs new Middlesex deal

first_imgAdam Rossington has signed a one-year extension to his Middlesex contract.The 18-year old’s new deal means he will be with the club until at least the end of the 2013 season.“Adam is one of the most promising young batsmen/wicketkeepers in the country,” said Middlesex managing director of cricket Angus Fraser.AdChoices广告“Adam showed us all the brand of cricket he is capable of playing on several occasions in the second XI in 2011, and he has the potential to become a fine player.”Follow West London Sport on Twitterlast_img read more