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Archive of posts published in the category: bvsxtwws
Jan
1

Testimony of Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin before the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform

first_imgRanking Member Elijah E Cummings sent a letter yesterday to Chairman Darrell Issa requesting that the Committee invite Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to testify at today’s congressionial hearing entitled ‘State and Municipal Debt: Tough Choices Ahead.’Cummings, as the highest ranking Democrat on the committee said:‘As an executive of a state in the process of navigating its own projected budget shortfall, Governor Shumlin will provide valuable insight as his state and the entire country continue to recover from the recent economic recession,’ said Cummings. ‘Governor Shumlin will also bring a perspective that is markedly different than that of the majority’s witness, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, allowing the Committee to obtain a wider and more balanced range of views on these issues.’  Walker, of course, is a newly elected Republican and Shumlin is a newly elected Democrat.Shumlin’s prepared statement offered today follows:House Committee on Oversight and ReformApril 14, 2011 “Chairman Issa, Ranking Member Cummings, and members of the Oversight and Reform Committee, which includes my Congressman and friend, Peter Welch: thank you for the opportunity to testify today. Governor Walker, it’s good to see you again. While we may have some differences on issues, we have some things in common, not least is that we are both wrapping up our first 100 days in office. I wish you the best as you continue your term.”I would like to start by directly addressing the question of what is causing the current fiscal crises that most of our states are experiencing. Put simply, these crises are the result of the greatest economic recession since the Great Depression. While we can save a debate over the cause of this recession for a different day, there is no doubt that my state and others like mine are facing significant budget shortfalls because our revenues are down and the need for government services is up. Thankfully, the economy is starting to show signs of improvement, and, while we will be left to deal with the impact of the recession for some time to come, the economic forecast is brightening. “In the long term, the most significant cost driver in Vermont is health care. We spend $5 billion on health care in our small state of 620,000, and that number is growing exponentially. Our other area of high spending is corrections, where we struggle with high recidivism rates among non-violent offenders at a price that is high and growing. “Also on our list of long-term fiscal concerns are our state pension and retiree health care obligations for state employees. What we have learned in this area is that there are steps we can take to significantly reduce costs to taxpayers without undermining traditional defined benefit plans, which most objective parties agree provide far better retirement security, serve to retain quality employees, and are more efficient than defined contribution plans. “What is puzzling to me about the current debate about state budgets is that the focus has been not on bringing people together to solve common problems, like we have done in Vermont, but on division and blame. “I do not believe that those to blame for our current financial troubles are our law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other state employees whose services we take for granted. The notion that a state trooper making a middle class living with health care benefits for her family, or a snow plow driver who works long hours in dangerous conditions and makes a decent but modest wage, is responsible for this problem is simply false. “Does that mean that we shouldn’t ask our state employees to do their part to get us out of our fiscal problems? Of course not ‘ we can and should ask everyone to sacrifice, and we’ve done just that in Vermont. We negotiated a 3 percent cut in salary for all state employees, and those at higher income levels have taken a 5 percent pay cut, for two years with no step or other increases. With our public employees, we agreed to higher retirement ages for state employees and teachers, increased contribution rates, and ratcheted down retiree health benefitsâ ¦ all without lawsuits, and without circumventing the collective bargaining process that has strengthened the middle class in Vermont and America. “Our experience in Vermont stands in stark contrast with those of some other states in recent months. In fact, Vermont is an excellent illustration of what states can do when we put aside partisan differences, tone down heated rhetoric between labor and management, and work together for the best interests of our citizens. “Consider the changes to Vermont’s Teacher pension and retiree health plans that went into effect this past July. The state’s annual actuarially required pension contribution decreased by almost 25 percent right away. Long-term unfunded liabilities were reduced substantially. Several years ago, our state employees agreed to similar changes, with higher retirement ages and contribution levels. They have just agreed to another increase in their pension contribution rates starting in July. “These negotiations were long, difficult, and often tense. But they lacked the type of rancor and acrimony that we have seen recently in other places. What made the difference was the ability for both sides to give and take, not just take. I have often said that in Vermont, we find that we get a lot more with maple syrup than we do with vinegar. Maybe it’s because we are a small state where we focus more on our similarities than our differences, but my sense is that if we can make these tough choices in Vermont, we can make them in other states as well.”last_img read more

Dec
30

Worth Driving To

first_imgA road trip is not a trivial thing, even if the destination is trivial.Boiled peanuts. Is there anything that signifies the essence of a road trip better than a bag of boiled peanuts, purchased with cash from a shack on the side of the road? In my mind, there is no better road trip food, which is ironic considering the boiled peanut is one of the toughest foods to eat in a car, logistically speaking. They take two hands to eat, they’re juicy as hell, and you’ve got those shells to discard somewhere. And yet, I can’t imagine a proper road trip without a bag of damn-salty boiled peanuts. Of course, you have to be on a road trip to enjoy boiled peanuts. For whatever reason, they don’t sell that particular snack in metropolitan cities. Even if there was a boiled peanut stand on the street, it wouldn’t taste the same. You’ve got to drive for these Southern delicacies. There needs to be at least 100 miles on your trip odometer before you can truly enjoy the mushy goodness of a boiled peanut.Now, is a $2.99 bag of overcooked nuts reason enough to drive several hours, possibly crossing state lines? In a word, yes. A bag of boiled peanuts is a perfectly valid reason to hit the road.I can track my own personal evolution through a series of road trips. I went to my first strip bar on a road trip. I started my first accidental fire with a misguided pyrotechnics show on a road trip. I discovered craft beer on a road trip. I climbed my first rock wall on a road trip. I saw my first Allman Brothers show on a road trip. You could say I owe everything that is good in my life to a road trip: It was on a road trip that I first met my wife. And it was through several subsequent road trips that I finally wore her down into the submission that society calls “marriage.”So believe me, the road trip is an important thing. But that doesn’t mean you need an important destination for your road trip. You don’t always have to set your sights on some place epic like Las Vegas. In fact, I’d argue that the more trivial the final destination of a given road trip, the better that trip will be.To prove my point, here are five seemingly trivial things worth driving a very long way to experience.Chesapeake Bay OystersTrivial DestinationChesapeake Bay OystersWhy It’s Worth the Gas: The Chesapeake Bay oyster has long been a delicacy, but over-harvesting and pollution have put a strain on this wonderful natural resource. Oystermen used to pull more than a million bushels of oysters a year out of the Chesapeake Bay. Now, they’re harvesting less than one percent of that level. The Chesapeake oyster is salty, succulent, and only in season during winter months. Check out the Urbanna Oyster Festival, in November, for true oyster culture and an all-you-can-shuck competition. urbannaoysterfestival.comTrivial DestinationHowling Moon Moonshine Why It’s Worth the Gas: In a word, “process.” There are bigger moonshine makers in the South, but there might not be a more purposeful legal moonshine distillery in our parts. The folks at Howling Moon create small batch hooch made from local corn, using a family recipe, in a hand-crafted still with pipes held together with rye paste. Now that’s old school. Howling Moon can only produce 80 cases a month, and you can only find it in a dozen places in Western North Carolina. howlingmoonshine.comTrivial DestinationOconee Bell WildflowerWhy It’s Worth the Gas: This tiny white bloom is one of the rarest wildflowers in the U.S.  For nearly a century, scientists thought it was completely extinct until a teenager found one while hanging out in the woods. Today, you can find the flower in only seven counties, all lying in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The flower blooms in early spring. The best place to see the Oconee Bell en masse is along the Oconee Bell Nature Trail inside South Carolina’s Devil’s Fork State Park. southcarolinaparks.com Trivial DestinationSoft Shell Crab Why It’s Worth the Gas: Enjoying a good soft shell crab is all about being at the right place at the right time. Every spring, blue crabs molt out of their hard casings, allowing crabbers to catch them in their more delicate “underpants” so to speak. Soft shell season typically starts with the first full moon in May, and the crab are considered the tastiest before the next full moon in June. The window is short. You can get them frozen, but that is just a “shell” of the soft shell experience. Like seeing a picture of the Mona Lisa, instead of the actual painting hanging in the Louvre. Check out the Kayak and Crab tour in the Outer Banks, where you kayak to catch your own crabs, then learn how to cook them. outerbanksepicurean.comTrivial DestinationDark SkyWhy It’s Worth the Gas: A truly dark sky is an increasingly rare thing these days. In fact, I’d be willing to argue that few of us have ever truly experienced a dark sky full of stars. Spruce Knob, at 4,863 feet, is the highest mountain in West Virginia and is surrounded by mostly forest and tiny towns that don’t emit much light pollution. Thanks to the sheer volume of people in the Southeast, Spruce Knob is one of the last truly dark places in the Southern Appalachians. Go there for vertigo-inducing darkness and more stars than you can count. darksky.orglast_img read more

Dec
30

ORVIS: INNOVATORS AND AMERICAN CRAFTSMEN

first_imgWhy Would You Build a One-Piece Fly Rod?There are a number of reasons not to, but there is one much more compelling reason to do it. A one-piece is the ultimate and unbroken expression of the rod builder’s art. Designing the perfect taper and creating the smoothest transfer of power from the hand, through the rod, and into the cast is the goal of every rodmaker. At a certain point though, convenience rears up and that perfect transfer is compromised by the need to shorten the rod for conveyance from one place to another. While modern ferrule design is remarkable in its ability to transfer that power with minimal invasiveness, it still isn’t perfection. In the case of the HeliosTM 2 One-Piece, convenience be damned.We built it because we can and, our desire for perfection far outweighed our desire for convenience. Is it for everyone? Of course not, but if your desire is to own the most innovative y rod in the world, with the smoothest and most effortless transfer of power and accuracy ever conceived, then you must own a Helios 2 One-Piece. Once you sh one, you’ll quickly figure out how to make it convenient. Come to an Orvis store near you and see the newest and most innovative fly-fishing gear available. center_img Built in America. There is a startling transformation from a solid block of 6061 T6 barstock aluminum to a finished jewel of a fly reel. It’s a combination of art and engineering that stands as testament to the unmatched quality of American craftsmanship. The new Mirage is a technologically advanced reel, designed, machined, and built in New England in a collaboration of Orvis’s storied history of reel innovation and pure no-compromise American manufacturing. It was conceived and designed from the ground up to o er elegantly powerful and precise performance, built around a silky smooth, sealed, and maintenance-free drag—the most advanced patent-pending drag system ever designed. Adjustment from zero to dead stop in a single drag knob rotation. Finished with type III military-spec anodization. Orvis conceived. American built. Mirage.We took two simple fly-fishing tools and made them industry award winners. The nest pliers on the market today, Orvis Pliers are ergonomically designed and made in the USA to work with the natural shape and angle of your hand. Made of machined aluminum with type III military-spec anodization, they o er replaceable cutters and jaws with excellent corrosion resistance and edge retention. The leather sheath is made in the USA by Gokey®, and a coil lanyard is included. The Orvis Nipper revolutionizes nipper design and function. Made in the USA of machined 6061-T6 aluminum, these nippers incorporate a piano-style hinge that adds mechanical advantage for easily cutting anything from 80 lb. to 8X tippet with an ergonomic contour for comfort and enhanced function. Replaceable cutter and anvil o er excellent corrosion resistance and edge retention, and it has a rotating stainless steel rotating hook-eye cleaner. Type III military-spec anodization and comes with a lanyard made from fly line.last_img read more

Dec
18

Trump Speech Spotlights Long Island Gang Issue

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York President Donald Trump twice mentioned Long Island in his first State of the Union address Tuesday while discussing his administration’s war on the violent transnational street gang MS-13 that’s killed dozens locally.Trump congratulated Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez for leading an operation to track down the gang’s members on LI. But first, the president called attention to four of his guests, the parents of Brentwood teenagers Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas, who were both killed by the gang in 2016.“These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown,” he said. “Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders. Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors — and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.”Mickens’ parents, Elizabeth Alvarado and Robert Mickens, and Cuevas’ parents, Evelyn Rodriguez and Freddy Cuevas, wiped away tears as the president mentioned their daughters and asked the four to stand.“Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert: Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you,” Trump said. “Everyone in America is grieving for you. And 320 million hearts are breaking for you. We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.”Trump used the case as an example of why Congress should pass his four-part immigration plan. The proposal would end the visa lottery, complete the wall along the US-Mexico border, end chain migration and create a path to citizenship for 1.8 undocumented immigrants whose parents brought them to America as minors.He also used it to segue into his call on Congress to increase funding to federal law enforcement agencies such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He noted that Agent “CJ” Martinez didn’t back down from his pursuit of MS-13 members despite the gang ordering a hit on him.“I asked CJ, what’s the secret” Trump said in an unscripted part of the speech. “And he said, ‘we’re just tougher than they are.’”LI’s congressional representatives also brought guests to the address.U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) brought deli owner Donato Panico, who founded the nonprofit organization “Heros 4 Our Heroes,” which provides food to local firefighters, police and veterans.U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) invited 27-year- old Nelson Melgar of Glen Cove. Melgar, a graduate of Hunter College, is a DACA enrollee who first came to this country 14 years ago from Honduras.“Proud to have Nelson as my guest at this year’s State of the Union address,” Suozzi tweeted. “He represents what is best about our community.”—With Christa Ganz and Stephanie Perronelast_img read more

Sep
26

Mistakes men make with women

first_img Tweet 87 Views   no discussions Liquid Gold model Monae.MANY men mistakenly believe they are experts when it comes to women, but then they fail at man/woman relationships when put to the test. This is because they repeat common mistakes and perceptions men have about women, which are not necessarily true for all.Some of these are:1. Thinking that women are only attracted to ‘nice’ guys.Psychologist Dr Leahcim Semaj said ‘good girls’ falling for ‘bad boys’ is a universally well-established phenomenon that is also very common in Jamaica. “It’s a complex but very common phenomenon,” Semaj told All Woman. “Women love challenges and the ‘good girls/bad guys’ is a kind of challenge.” The challenge, he said, is that women will get with these men with the hope of changing them. Semaj said typically it’s the good girls who choose the bad boys because of the way they make them feel.“He makes her feel very special and she is fascinated by him, and she feels needed,” he explained.2. Not realising that women are more attracted to the way he makes her feel, than the way he looks.While men will instantly feel sexual attraction to women, she on the other hand is attracted to the way he treats her and makes her feel. Research shows that women make love with their minds. Therefore, it really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that in many cases, if a woman is content and happy in her relationship, then she will have no reservations about pleasing her man.Racquel McCarthy, counselling psychologist and sex adviser, said how a woman gives herself sexually is directly tied to the type of relationship she has with her partner. “If she is in a relationship that she is comfortable with, that she can explore in, where she can express herself without the fear of being criticised, then she will feel free in trusting someone with her body,” she said.3. Believing women like when you kiss up to them.Women are never attracted to the types of men who kiss up to them, even though on the flip side they are not attracted to men who treat them badly. So if you are one of those men who think that treating a woman well means always getting her approval and permission for things, think again.4. Trying to buy her affection with food and gifts.How many times have you taken a woman out to a nice dinner, bought her gifts and flowers, and had her reject you for someone who didn’t treat her even half as well as you did? She doesn’t want you to buy her affection.5. Thinking that women are only interested in your money.There are indeed women who are gold-diggers but the majority of us are independent women who are not interested in a man for his money. Most women are far more interested in a man’s personality than his wallet or his looks.6. Sharing how you feel too early in the relationship.Sharing your feelings with a woman too early in a relationship is a mistake and should be reserved for after the relationship is more developed.“A lot of men will approach a woman, especially if she looks good, and tell her all sorts of things, how she look, good and how he loves her and wants to be with her,” said Paul Anthony, married 12 years. “So she will just look at you as an idiot and like everybody else. So the best thing to do is to wait until you have actually developed a good relationship with her before you start pouring out your heart to her.”By Donna Hussey-WhyteJamaica Observer Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Share LifestyleRelationships Mistakes men make with women by: – February 3, 2014 Sharelast_img read more

Sep
23

Jones Birdsong continues support of IMCA champions’ reception, promoter banquet

first_imgWAYZATA, Minn. – The company with the most complete insurance services in the motorsports industry is back on board as an IMCA sponsor for an 11th season.  Information about coverage options and cost is available by calling Bob Allen at 507 327-8416 and at the www.jonesbirdsong.com website.  “Without the support of great companies like Jones Birdsong and partners Safehold and ProSight, it would be much more difficult to do what we do as a sanctioning body,” observed IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “They have come alongside IMCA racers and provided the confidence to know that they are taken care of as a member at sanctioned facilities and beyond.” Jones Birdsong provides policies covering tracks, individual race teams and suppliers throughout the regular point season as well as special events. JonesBirdsong LLP continues in an invaluable role as presenting sponsor for the champions reception at the IMCA national awards banquet in Lincoln, Neb., and the promoters’ banquet during the RPM Workshop in Reno, Nev. last_img read more

Sep
23

Clifty Falls to host vintage camper rally

first_imgMadison, IN — Clifty Falls State Park will host a vintage camper rally on October 16 through 18 as part of its centennial celebration. The weekend will include camper tours, stargazing, a campfire, a picnic lunch, a scavenger hunt, and other activities.If you have a vintage camper that you would like to show off, reserve your campsite by calling 812-273-8885 and press 3 to be directed to the Nature Center. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the rally will only be open to campers this year. All programs are free unless otherwise indicated. Standard gate fees apply.last_img read more

Sep
17

Shops at Gateway finalized

first_imgAs students finish moving into their apartments at the new University Gateway this week, they can look forward to new neighbors in the coming months.Easy access – University Gateway, located a few blocks from campus, opens this year for student housing and several businesses. – Tim Tran | Daily TrojanOfficials said 16 non-housing units are scheduled to open their doors this semester at the new complex, located at the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Figueroa Street.Matt Burton, principal of Urban Partners, the real estate agency overseeing Gateway, confirmed several businesses that will open on the first floor, including Yogurtland, Salad Creations, Seattle’s Best Coffee, JP Morgan Chase bank, STA Travel and Freebirds World Burrito, a 24-hour burrito eatery.Burton said Urban Partners is in the process of acquiring two more restaurants. He was not able to disclose the names because negotiations are in the beginning phases with partners, but said one is a “New York-style pizza operator.”Two local favorites, Subway and Soy Japanese Grill, will also join the dining options at Gateway.Once these two eateries complete their move, their old locations will be replaced with other businesses, said Greg McCoy, the social media coordinator for Campus Apartments.Along with the restaurants, bank and travel agency, Gateway will also accommodate a large 24-hour pharmacy.Several USC schools will also have space in University Gateway. The Thornton School of Music will house a new 24-hour practice facility for music students on the first floor of the building.This move, announced in late spring, angered some music students who will no longer be able to practice in the Music Practice and Instructional Center, which is now slated for demolition.“I think everyone is kind of bummed that it’s not on campus,” said Will Sturgeon, a junior majoring in popular music performance. “But, it’s going to be great that we have a lot of space.”The School of Public Policy and Development and USC’s Office of Real Estate and Asset Management will also have locations in Gateway.Although the university has a presence within the building, Burton said members of the community will also benefit from the new amenities.“I do expect lots of students as well as non-USC students to take advantage and benefit from all the new amenities,” Burton said. “Not only will it be a convenience for USC students but great for everyone in the surrounding area.”last_img read more

Sep
16

Syracuse blanked by St. John’s 1-0, loses 4th-straight game

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ The Orange entered Thursday night’s game not having scored a goal since Aug. 29. That streak remained intact as Syracuse (2-4) fell to St. John’s (2-5), 1-0. It marked the fourth-straight loss for the injury-riddled Orange, dropping to 0-4 on the road this season.Redshirt senior Samantha Masur broke through for the Red Storm’s first and only goal in the 18th minute. Masur volleyed Michelle Money’s pass off a bounce, not requiring much force as she directed it top shelf from right in front of the goal. It was the first goal of Masur’s career.St. John’s outshot the Orange 9-8 and recorded its first clean sheet of the season. Since SU dominated shots 33-20 in its first two games combined, the Orange have been outshot 61-30.Perhaps the Orange’s best chance came in the 14th minute as Stephanie deLaforcade received a pass into the right side of the box, giving her a one-on-one with St. John’s goalie Naya Lipkens. The shot was fired right into Lipkens, who was able to catch it for the save.Syracuse improved offensively in the second half, outshooting St. John’s 4-3 and drawing all four of its corner kicks. SU had one last scoring chance on a late corner kick in the 85th minute but Kailey Brenner headed the shot wide left.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLysianne Proulx recorded four saves to keep the game close. In the seventh minute she made a crucial play, running out into the box to punch the ball away as she collided with SJU’s Alex Madden. The game was stopped as she was examined by trainers, but she remained in the game.Taylor Bennett was not as fortunate as she was subbed out in the 50th minute with an apparent injury and did not return, making the Orange’s short bench ever shorter. SU was also on the wrong end of fouls, committing 15 to the Red Storm’s 7.Syracuse will finally return home to try to snap its losing skid against Fordham (1-4-1) Sunday at 1 p.m. Comments Published on September 12, 2019 at 9:03 pm Contact Eric: estorms@syr.edulast_img read more

Sep
8

Aluko Switches to Chinese League on Loan

first_imgHis new club, who finished eighth in the Super League last season is to begin the new campaign on March 1.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Reading forward Sone Aluko has moved to Chinese Super League side Beijing Renhe on loan for the rest of 2019.The 30-year-old has scored one goal in 20 matches for the Royals this season, and made 60 appearances since his £7.5m transfer from Fulham in 2017.Nigeria international Aluko has been a sporadic starter since Jose Gomes’ arrival as manager in December.last_img read more