Special election looming

first_img “In a low-turnout election, it’s not who has the most going for them who often wins, but it’s who communicates most effectively what they do have going for them,” said Giarrizzo, who is also a Sacramento-based political consultant. This weekend, the alliance organized teachers, police officers and firefighters to do precinct walks throughout the state, joined by local political leaders. In Los Angeles, about 800 teachers in town for a California Teachers Association meeting were scheduled to break from the meeting to do precinct walking and phone banking in downtown and west Los Angeles. Courtni Pugh, the alliance’s campaign manager for Los Angeles County, said that, on any given weekend, the group will have about 400 to 800 volunteers hitting the streets. Until recently, there were more nonunion member volunteers than members, she said, as the local unions were focusing on campaigning to and mobilizing their own members, but that ratio has just started to change. “For those who think this is just a labor fight, I would ask them to come to our precinct walks and see it’s normal everyday working families that are out there,” Pugh said. “It hasn’t been all labor members.” Meanwhile, the Schwarzenegger campaign also has been focused on grass-roots efforts, including precinct walking and automated phone calls featuring the governor’s voice. This weekend, the governor’s effort kicked off a series of house parties, with plans to host hundreds around the state by Election Day. At the parties, guests discuss the initiatives and watch a DVD provided by the campaign. “(The parties are) a true grass-roots effort,” said senior campaign adviser Jeff Randle. “It’s a way to take the campaign out of Sacramento, away from all these attack ads. Let people discuss the campaign with their friends and neighbors and talk about the issues.” Both campaigns have also been working to target specific demographic groups within California, particularly producing bilingual ads for the Spanish media. To target the Latino community, the alliance has produced a glossy brochure that links Schwarzenegger to former Gov. Pete Wilson, who garnered dislike among large segments of the Latino population for backing Proposition 187, the 1994 measure that sought to deny public benefits to illegal immigrants. The brochure features side-by-side photos of both governors and asks voters in Spanish and English to help “stop the Wilson-Schwarzenegger agenda.” It also prominently features a photo of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa criticizing the governor’s measures. Schwarzenegger has in the past relied on advice from Wilson and several former Wilson staffers to serve in prominent roles in the Schwarzenegger administration and the campaign, though the former governor himself has been out of public view during the campaign. Michael Saragosa, the Schwarzenegger campaign’s ethnic coalitions director, said Schwarzenegger was his own man with his own agenda. “That’s what they’re going to try to do. They try to call him the Bush Republican, the Wilson Republican. The governor is a Schwarzenegger Republican, which means he supports all folks. We’re not tied to Pete Wilson. We’re not tied to George Bush. He has his own ideas and thoughts.” Indeed, when Bush visited California last week, Schwarzenegger did not meet with him, in what some political observers believe was an intentional effort to distance himself from the president, who did not win California in 2000 or 2004. The governor’s campaign also has ads in the Spanish media. They do not feature Schwarzenegger himself, but rather ordinary people speaking in Spanish about why they support his measures. The campaign is coordinating its efforts with the California Republican National Hispanic Assembly and recently picked up endorsements from several Latino business groups, Saragosa said. Both campaigns are also focused on absentee ballot turnout and clearing up voter confusion about polling place locations for an election in which there will be a smaller number of polling places than usual. Los Angeles County, for example, will have 2,172 polling places open on Nov. 8 – about half the number open for regular elections. “This was an unscheduled election,” said deputy registrar Kris Heffron. “We had a limited amount of time to get polling places. People are used to the regularly scheduled elections, and this not being a regularly scheduled election, they didn’t have space set aside for us.” But Heffron said that won’t necessarily mean long waits at the polls because more voters appear to be using absentee ballots. The county has received about 489,000 requests for absentee ballots this year, out of almost 3.9 million voters countywide. The election is expected to cost the county about $11 million, though a small portion of that will be reimbursed by cities and special districts that are having their own elections on the same day. Schwarzenegger has said previously he wanted the state to reimburse local costs, but the Legislature has not passed any such bill. Voters have until midnight Monday to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election. Harrison Sheppard, (916) 446-6723 harrison.sheppard@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week While television ad campaigns are expected to continue at massive levels, groups also are increasingly focused on get-out-the-vote efforts at the local level. While no official voter-turnout projections have been issued, campaigns estimate it could be anywhere from 30 percent to 45 percent. And perhaps nowhere is the battle for voters more pitched than over the governor’s ballot measures. The Alliance for a Better California, the primary group opposing the governor’s reform agenda and ballot measures, is relying heavily on manpower provided by the state’s public unions, which stand to lose influence and funding if some of the ballot measures pass. The governor has backed four measures on the ballot: Proposition 74, which lengthens the time it takes teachers to get tenure; Proposition 75, which requires public employee unions to get members’ approval before spending dues for political purposes; Proposition 76, which would limit state spending; and Proposition 77, which would set up a panel of judges for redistricting. Alliance field director Phil Giarrizzo said the group had mobilized about 6,000 volunteers and personally contacted about 1 million voters since early September. SACRAMENTO – With two weeks left before the statewide special election, campaigns have begun focusing on their ground games, boosting one-on-one efforts to convince Californians to vote amid a flurry of competing messages. With more than $200 million raised for the election, including at least $80 million by the pharmaceutical industry alone, political analysts say the direct contact is critical as voters are flooded with television advertising and face a crowded ballot on Nov. 8. “They’re all using TV in unprecedented levels,” said Barbara O’Connor, director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and the Media at California State University, Sacramento. “The ad clutter from that is awful. “The real question is whether or not it’s having an effect on anyone. Everyone I know is tuning them out, TIVO-ing them off or walking out of the room.” last_img read more

Happy Birthday, dear Nelson Mandela!

first_img18 July 2011 At 08:05 on Monday morning, around 12-million school children all over South African sang “Happy Birthday” to Nelson Mandela as he celebrates his 93rd birthday – echoing the sentiment of people across the world. From “Happy birthday dear Tata, we love you Tata,” to “Nelson Mandela there is no one like you”, the little voices sang on the cold winter morning. The occasion was televised by the national broadcaster. In a birthday message by President Jacob Zuma, broadcast before the kids’ song, the President said Mandela had laid a solid foundation for this country and it was now up to South Africans to continue his legacy. “From the moment Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela strode out of prison on the 11th of February 1990, we knew that South Africa would be a different place,” Zuma said. “He showed us that despite the divisive racial oppression and hardships that this nation had gone through, it is not only possible, but necessary to embrace one another and to reconcile the South African people. “We have achieved a lot, but we must still work further to eradicate poverty and improve especially the lives of children, because Madiba loves them so much. Most importantly, we must spread love, ubuntu, humility and selflessness around us.” Mandela fever is expected to grip South Africans today, but no place will feel the spirit as much as the former Transkei region in the Eastern Cape, where Madiba was born. Unlike in previous years, where the community used to join in the birthday celebrations, this year it will be a private affair as the grandfather of the nation spends the day quietly with his family in Qunu. Pictures sent out by the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Sunday showed a frail but happy and content Mandela with his immediate family around him for a small gathering. However, this has not deterred the world from celebrating his birthday. Birthday messages are coming in from all corners, with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter flooded with well wishes to the beloved old man. Many of the messages recount his life’s achievements, while encouraging people to take a page out of his book by making a contribution to changing the world. Facebook user Barbra Vhengedza wrote: “A true blessing to a mother, an honour to a family, nation and continet as a whole … We thank the Lord for his mercy, grace and love to us through you. You are the father of Africa … the unity of many nations. May God bless you and your family. Enjoy your day. Happy birthday!” Christian Mbuyisa wrote: “Madiba, a hero, a man who led South African society from diversity, taking the road ahead in unity. You are a hero because you won. May God richly bless you from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Happy Birthday Tata Madiba.” Similar treads were also on Twitter, with Shashi Tarror writing: “Happy birthday to Nelson Mandela, statesman, nationalist &humanist, who guided South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy.” Some retweeted his famous quotes like: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall,” and “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” South Africans and the world are standing up and making a difference in their communities, and in the process, continuing the legacy of Madiba. People have been urged to donate 67 minutes of their time doing good for others in his name. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Greening Bank-Owned Homes

first_imgBefore a bank puts a foreclosed property back on the market, typically the bank does some bare-bones repairs on the property. What if, instead of doing the bare minimum, the bank decided to look at the foreclosed property as a challenge and opportunity?While I completely understand the economies of scale in which banks operate — and that most appraisers don’t recognize green improvements as a true value added in the appraisal value of a home — I think this is the most opportune time for banks to re-examine their process. I mean, honestly, it’s not like properties are selling quickly in this market — and what if the properties started selling faster because of the newly, bank-added green elements in the homes? So, if I were a bank and couldn’t do a full green rehab, here is what I would do…The Quick and EasyI would focus on the easiest and quickest things to change that would have the greatest impact. I would examine my typical process and then find a green alternative to each of the steps along the way. For example:Typical Steps in Prep Process1) New Carpet2) Paint3) Professional CleaningNew Green Process1) Laminate hardwood floors installed using low-VOC adhesives/sealants. If carpet is a “must have,” use carpet, padding and adhesives that are Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label certified. Do not install carpet in basements, bathrooms and laundry rooms — places where moisture problems are more likely to occur. Use resilient flooring.2) Paint with no-VOC paints, using lead-safe standards.3) Hire a cleaning crew who uses green cleaning supplies and techniques.What if the former owner, or a home invader, busted all the toilets and stole all of the appliances? Look at this situation as an opportunity: replace the toilets with low-flow or dual-flush toilets and install Energy Star appliances.Also instead of putting an unhealthy house back on the market for the next homeowner to have to deal with those issues, implement lead, mold and radon mitigation techniques prior to listing,Your turnThese are my thoughts… What are some thoughts you have on the subject? What else could banks do to cost effectively green their foreclosure stock?last_img read more

India secrets: Himachal Pradesh

first_imgSpars lodgeThis charming lodge on Museum Road is not just a great place to stay, but also has a small but terrific restaurant. Even if you don’t stay here, visit the restaurant for fantastic smoked chicken and trout as well as the local food. If you’re happy being a little away from it all, spending leisurely hours on the terrace enjoying the view, then you probably this is the place for you. Museum Road, Chaura Maidan; Tel: (0177) 265 7908Pappi da DhabaAs you drive beyond St Bede’s College on Cart Road, you will see a bunch of students waiting to get inside a small roadside dhaba. This is Pappi da Dhaba, where the aroma of delicious aloo paranthas will make you drool. The place is also famous for its fantastic cold coffee and keema paranthas, but if you are in the mood for something really different then go for chowmein samosa that is stuffed with noodles instead of the usual potato filling. If you go by the word of students, this dhaba serves the best breakfast in town. Cart Road, SanjauliSanjiv’s aira holme The charming cottage was built in 1920 as a billiards room and guesthouse in a sprawling estate called Morefield Grange. It is now the residence of Sanjiv and her artist husband, Birendra Singh, better known as Billy. Their home is full of oil paintings that Billy did in his early days. They have extended the cottage with locally available material such as wood and stone, and offer a couple of rooms for a homestay. Wooden flooring, fireplaces, large windows and balconies which overlook a garden filled with flowers and foliage and a green valley all add up to a very tranquil, restful stay in Shimla. There is no television in the rooms and the home is a no-smoking area, but no one’s complaining. Tel: 274 9374Hike to catchment sanctuaryClose to Kufri and around 12 km from Shimla, lies the catchment sanctuary. To hike in this area, go down to the Seyog Forest Rest House, in the middle of this silent forest and follow the trail. This is a fantastic place for birdwatching. You can also see pugmarks of various animals and on a lucky day might spot a few deer. It’s a pretty area with nine streams flowing. There is one rest house inside, and three outside the sanctuary. 12 km from ShimlaDimsums at Krishna bakersIt should not come as any surprise that this bakery makes amazing cookies, and the cakes and pastries are equally delicious. However, what many don’t know is that Krishna Bakers also makes the best dimsums in town. They are as good as the ones you will get at a Tibetan joint, and come along with chicken soup. Another unique product of this bakery is the sticky toffee. If you are looking for a quick snack, stop by and you will be happy with whatever you choose to eat. 4, The Mall; Tel: 280 6991Shali tibba hikeThe trek up to Shali Tibba, the highest peak in the vicinity of Shimla, is a lovely trail that winds its way through dense forests and beautiful meadows. You can go to Mashobra (13 km away) and then begin the climb, but this will be long and tiring. Those who prefer to trek a shorter distance (just five km), should go further up to Gultani. When you reach up, you’ll see a small Kali temple there, and views of the towering Himalayas around and the valley down below are absolutely stunning. If you want to spend a night, there is a guesthouse at Khatnol, the nearest village to Shali Tibba. But the trek is worth the effort for the views are spectacular. The hike begins from Mashobra, 13 km awayKalyani helipad Chharabra, a small village 13 km beyond Shimla, is home to the Kalyani helipad located on atop a hill. The helipad gives one the feeling of being on top of the world and the views of the mountains and the valley covered with thick pine forests are absolutely stunning. It is the perfect place to watch the sun go home. There are many trails going down to the valley if you want to explore this beautiful area. 13 km from ShimlaDargah Shareef Getting to this dargah that is visited by people of all religions and all walks of life is certainly not an easy task. You will have to go down 100 steps to get here. It comes alive on Thursdays when scores of people come here to offer prayers. More than 90 years old, it one of the most peaceful places to visit in this lovely hillstation. Ghora Chowki, close to Sankat Mochan templeTaka benchTaka Bench is located just above The Ridge. Locals visit this place whenever they want to apply mehndi or have their fill of lip smacking chaat and golgappas. As you climb up from The Ridge towards Jakhu temple you come across a few artistes, who are adept at intricate henna designs. Their charges are very reasonable. The chaat and golgappas sold by hawkers are delicious. Combine all this with the brilliant view of the Himalayas you get from the Taka Bench, and this becomes a place well worth a dekko. 3 km from the RidgeadvertisementadvertisementShimla: Tarun GuptaRaised in this charming hillstation, avid reader and travel enthusiast, Tarun, is convinced that there is no better place in the world. Tarun’s professional role as a strategy consultant keeps him in Gurgaon, though he yearns to return to Shimla and open his own B&B.Outside Shimla: Adventure sportsThe mountains of Himachal offer a number of adventure sports–from heli skiing, rafting, rappelling to rock climbing. Spend between five and seven days on an expedition of approximately 100 km, which combines river running and driving along Spiti and Pin rivers. You’ll go through some of the most sparsely populated parts of India. The rapids range from Class II to Class III, making this a trip everybody can undertake, while the minimum altitude of 3,000m adds an interesting twist. The route starts from the Paldhar Plains and runs to Rangrik (river), Langza (drive), Attargo Bridge (river), Mikkim (drive), Gulling to Poh (river), Tabo (river) and Sumdo (river). From here, drive along the old Hindustan-Tibet road to Shimla. At Manali, you can go heli skiing. A chopper transports you to the top of a peak making it convenient to ski down some of the finest slopes in the country. The choices lie in Hanuman Tibba, Deo Tibba, Rohtang Pass and Chandrakhani Pass. A key feature at Manali is the compact heli skiing area and all it requires is a flight time of around ten minutes to carry skiers to the top of peaks that are as high as 14,000 ft. From there it’s a thrilling ride down the slopes, their smooth ridges promising an adrenaline boost for the skier. There is opportunity for beginners too with gentler gradient slopes. The best time to go for rafting is from April to September                                                                          Must do: Himachal PradeshStay: Nalagarh Heritage ResortThis splendid Mughal-style fort has been built on five different levels with terraces and stairways connecting the entire structure. Surrounded by 20 acres of orchard and forest, it offers sweeping views of the Shivaliks. With its large spacious suites–some even have private balconies–Nalagarh makes a great romantic hideaway. Tel: (01795) 223 179; www.nalagarh.in Eat: German Bakery, Old ManaliManali is second only to Dharamshala when it comes to foreign tourists and this probably explains the immense popularity of the German Bakery located on Mission Road. One of the best places for a breakfast, it is known for such baked goodies as cakes, cookies, muffins and doughnuts. Shop: Kangra paintingsIf you’re artistically inclined, you might like to pick up some Kangra and Basholi miniatures from the Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba and the Kangra Art Museum in Lower Dharamshala.See: Pragpur VillagePragpur holds the unique distinction of being India’s first certified heritage village. Everything in this charming Himachali village is as it was over 300 years ago: the cobbled streets, slate roofs, mud-plastered walls, ornamental tanks, carved doorways and even the quaint little shops. Walk around the village, shop for shawls, enjoy a sumptuous meal at Judge’s Court, or just laze in the winter sun–it’s the perfect weekend break for city dwellers.advertisementlast_img read more

FIFA World Cup 18: Lionel Messi :’I take full responsibility for missing the penalty…

first_imgAdvertisement(Photo Credits: News.com.au)Hearing about one of the greatest players failing to take penalties sounds weird, isn’t it? Well the player we’re going to talk about is Lionel Messi, yes the same Lionel Messi who has five Ballon d’Ors to his name.Hannes Halldórsson (Iceland): “It’s been my dream to play against the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, and it was an honor to save his penalty.” [fox] pic.twitter.com/10neLB4pB8— Barça Centre (@barcacentre) June 16, 2018Iceland has finally showed that their impressive run in Euro 2016 was no fluke. On Saturday when Iceland took on South American giants Argentina it was them who had their luck as they held Argentina to a 1-1 draw at Spartak Stadium in Moscow. Messi was knocking on the door throughout the entire match, but he saw himself missing a spot-kick in the second half of the game.The game saw off a far greater proportion of possession, shots and passes all in Argentina’s favour, and even it was the Albiceleste’s who took the lead through Sergio Aguero in the 19th minute. But the lead was short lived after Finnbogason equalised in the 23rd minute. However after all this Iceland stood their ground and registered an emphatic draw against the South American giants. Lionel Messi❌ MISSED 4 of his last 7 penalties. Cristiano Ronaldo✅ SCORED all his last 6 penalties. pic.twitter.com/NzxHUQCs3B— 9GAG Football ⚽ (@9GAGFootball) June 17, 2018Speaking after the game Messi accepted that it “hurts” after his penalty was saved during Argentina’s draw with Iceland. Messi said: “If I scored the penalty, it would have changed everything in the game. I take full responsibility for missing it and letting the team down. We have to look forward from here.”Messi: “If I scored penalty, it would have changed everything in game. I take full responsibility for missing it & letting the team down. We have to look forward from here.” pic.twitter.com/t1LSlerQ9F— Barca Galaxy (@barcagalaxy) June 17, 2018Also Read: Argentina Vs Iceland: Match ReviewAdvertisementlast_img read more

Hyundai Heavy Seeks USCG BWMS Type Approval

first_imgThe United States Coast Guard (USCG) Marine Safety Center (MSC) has received its fifteenth application for type approval for a ballast water management system (BWMS).The HiBallast BWMS has been manufactured by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).MSC said it will review the application for compliance with USCG regulations. Once it has been determined that the application meets the requirements, the MSC will issue a type approval certificate.The USCG has so far granted a total of seven type approvals for BWMSs to different manufacturers, the most recent being Techcross. News of the approval, the first for a Korean BWMS manufacturer, came during Posidonia 2018 shipping event in Athens.“It took a little longer than we expected, which might be due to USCG having scrutinizing the first application tested by KR. We now have a system approved by both US Coast Guard and the IMO,” Jay Lee, director of sales & promotion for Techcross, said.Apart from HHI, Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Panasia are among Korean BWTS manufacturers waiting for USCG type approval for their systems, according to information provided by USCG MSC.last_img read more

Colin Farrell Speaks At Gatepaths Power Of Possibilities Event

first_imgActor Colin Farrell was the featured guest at Gatepath’s annual The Power of Possibilities event.Colin Farrell joins Gatepath’s Power of Possibilities eventAs a parent of a child with special needs, Farrell has a personal connection to Gatepath’s mission of creating a world where people of all abilities are fully accepted, respected and included. The accomplished Irish-born actor, who has a 13-year-old son diagnosed with Angelman syndrome, shared his insights and journey as a parent in an open and heartfelt conversation moderated by Bay Area journalist Diane Dwyer.“I learned early on that you can’t let others put limitations on your child,” Farrell said. “Your child will decide what his or her limitations will be.” Farrell went on to recount the powerful story of how he was told his son would probably never walk. “Think about how important a child’s first steps are in their development. When my son took his first steps after we heard he would never walk, it was an important lesson for us to never let others put limits on his abilities.”When discussing his wishes for his son and others with special needs, Farrell spoke of the importance of inclusive schools and organizations – such as Gatepath – that allow people of all abilities to be bold, compassionate individuals.The Power of Possibilities brings like-minded people together, raising awareness for children, youth, and adults with special needs and developmental disabilities. “It shines a light on how our differences are beautiful and reminds us to see with our hearts in addition to our eyes,” said Gatepath CEO Bryan Neider.“This is an event for everyone who wants to create a community that is healthy, friendly, thriving, and inclusive,” said Neider. “It’s for those who want to join Gatepath in celebrating the accomplishments of those we serve who have overcome obstacles to achieve meaningful employment, providing a path to independence and fulfilling their dreams.”In addition to the discussion with Farrell, Gatepath announced the recipient of this year’s Neal Poppin Award, which honors an individual whose determination, spirit, and enthusiasm transcends any limitations he or she has faced. This year’s award recipient, Fernando Arce, was born nearly three months premature. He weighed less than two pounds, was in the hospital for several months after his birth, and was not expected to live.Over time, Fernando overcame remarkable odds of being both blind and profoundly hearing impaired, and exceeded expectations in his work and personal endeavors. He is now employed at the The Magnolia of Millbrae, a retirement community, where his gentle nature and warm spirit are an inspiration and lesson for all.In a video tribute to Fernando, Vincent Muzzi, owner of The Magnolia of Millbrae, spoke about how the interaction between Fernando and other staff members helps everyone benefit from working in an inclusive environment that embraces differences, and enriching all. “When hiring someone with a disability, it’s not just the employee with the disability who gains an advantage in the workplace,” said Muzzi. “It’s a working relationship that benefits everyone involved; it’s beyond the paycheck.”Muzzi also commented on the advantages that businesses can gain by following inclusive hiring practices. “It’s important to provide opportunities for Fernando and others with special needs and disabilities,” said Muzzi, “but it’s also important to note that businesses can derive a great benefit from this type of hiring practice. I think of it as a win-win.”“Employers like The Magnolia of Millbrae who partner with Gatepath are not only providing meaningful employment,” Neider added, “but they are also helping create opportunities for independence and building self-confidence for future success in all phases of their life.”The Power of Possibilities was sponsored by Bailard, Peggy Bort Jones, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, Gatepath Auxiliary, GoPro, Sutter Health Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Boston Private Bank, Electronic Arts, Linda and Richard Leao, Carole Middleton Foundation, Norman S. Wright Mechanical Equipment, Bon Appétit Management Company, Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated, San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront, Wells Fargo, Kathryn and Richard Breaux, CBRE, Elaine and George Cohen, Diane Christensen Mason and Charles H. Mason Jr., D’Elia Construction Inc., Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Barbara and Paul Regan, and Lilli Rey.“There’s no greater joy than watching individuals with special needs and disabilities flourish and attain their dreams,” said Kate Breaux, President of the Gatepath Auxiliary, who co-hosted The Power of Possibilities. For more than 66 years, the Gatepath Auxiliary has partnered with Gatepath and is fully committed to the mission of creating a world where individuals of all abilities are accepted, respected and included. “It’s wonderful to come together for an event like this to celebrate and recognize such incredible and inspirational achievements by people throughout our community.”last_img read more

Feds provide more details on revisions to controversial tax proposals

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal government released more details Wednesday on changes to its controversial tax proposals in hopes of further addressing deep concerns over reforms that have angered the small-business community.The Liberals unveiled tweaks to a proposal that, as of Jan. 1, would tighten existing rules enabling small-business owners to lower their tax burden by sharing some of their earnings with family members — a practice known as income sprinkling.The changes are designed to make it more difficult for owners to share their income with relatives who do not make significant contributions to their companies.“For those that are passing income to family members that aren’t involved in the business, it’s clear that that’s no longer going to be considered appropriate,” said federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who insisted the changes would create new hurdles for about 45,000 business owners, less than three per cent of Canada’s total.The government contends those owners have been using incorporation of their small businesses to gain an unfair tax advantage.“More than 97 per cent of businesses will have absolutely no change in their situation,” Morneau said.The reform was among several adjustments the government made to a tax-reform package that, following its release last summer, triggered an onslaught of complaints from doctors, lawyers, accountants, tax experts, farmers, premiers and even some Liberal backbenchers.Vocal opponents have spent months criticizing the proposals, contending they would hurt the very middle class the Trudeau government claimed to be trying to help.Earlier Wednesday, the Senate finance committee urged the government to abandon its controversial tax proposals — or at the very least delay their implementation for one year, until 2019.The committee — five Conservatives, five independents and two Independent Liberals — made the demand after studying the potential impacts of the entire package of proposals. Two senators on the committee, both of whom were appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, declined to support the call for the whole tax plan to be withdrawn.The government insisted that Wednesday’s revisions to the income-sprinkling rules contain clear, simple tests — including whether a family member has made a substantial capital investment in the business or meets minimum age and number of hours worked requirements — to determine whether a relative has made a meaningful contribution to the business.The revisions follow complaints from business groups that the initial plan to apply an undefined “reasonableness test” to determine when income sprinkling would be allowed was too uncertain and would add an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on businesses.Initially, the government expected the income sprinkling reform to bring in another $250 million per year to federal coffers, but that’s been revised to $220 million per year by 2022-23.A coalition of industry associations, including a national group representing small and medium-sized businesses, has criticized Ottawa for waiting until a couple of weeks before the end of the year to provide clarity on the tax changes, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.On Wednesday, political opponents warned the changes will force small business owners to scramble over the holiday period to arrange their affairs. They also criticized Morneau’s decision to release the revisions right before the Christmas break with little chance for proper debate.Tory MP Pierre Poilievre called the announcement a “complicated web of rules” that would burden small business owners and could cost the government more in lawyers fees than it will bring in.But Morneau said owners will have all of next year to adjust to the changes before having to file their 2018 tax returns.One tax expert says people who are not exempt from the new rules will still face subjective, complicated compliance rules. And because of this, Jan. 1, 2018, will still be a “hard deadline” for them to arrange their affairs.“We still have some significant concerns around the complexity,” said Bruce Ball, vice-president of tax for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.The political and business-sector backlash over Morneau’s suite of tax proposals has dogged the finance minister for months. Wednesday’s Senate recommendations added to the pressure.The criticism has forced Morneau to back away from some elements of the package.In hope of soothing its critics, the government announced in October it would abandon an element of the income-sprinkling proposal that would have limited access to the lifetime capital gains exemption. Morneau said he made the change to avoid unintended negative impacts on the intergenerational transfer of family businesses, like farms.He also narrowed the scope of his proposal on passive-investment income — what some believe is the most contentious piece of the government’s tax-reform plan — so that only about three per cent of the most wealthy private corporations will have to pay higher taxes.Morneau said the goal of the change was to enable small business owners to sock away money inside their corporations for future business-related needs, while still targeting wealthy people who use their corporate structures purely as a way to reduce their taxes. The government is to release draft legislation on this element as part of next year’s budget.Morneau also dropped altogether a proposal related to converting income into capital gains, which had raised concerns, particularly among those in the agricultural community, that it would become too costly to pass family businesses on to the next generation.After last fall’s outcry, the government also announced it would revive a 2015 campaign promise to cut taxes for all small businesses. Trudeau promised to gradually trim the small-business tax rate to nine per cent by 2019, down from its current level of 10.5 per cent.last_img read more

Fracking firms Calfrac Trican report doubledigit Q2 revenue declines

first_imgThe Calgary-based companies step in after a well is drilled to prepare it for production, performing operations including hydraulic fracturing, where liquids, sand and chemicals are injected under pressure to break up tight underground formations and free trapped oil and gas.Calfrac reported a net loss of $42 million, up from a loss of $15 million a year earlier, as its job count and pricing levels declined in both Canada and the United States.Trican’s net loss improved to $29 million from $35 million as it continued to sell equipment and cut costs, including implementing an unspecified number of job cuts during the second quarter.Both companies said they expect stronger business conditions in the second half of 2019. Companies in this article: (TSX:CFW, TSX:TCW) CALGARY — Two of Canada’s biggest oil and gas well-fracking companies are posting double-digit percentage revenue declines as energy exploration spending slowed in the quarter ended June 30.Calfrac Well Services Ltd., which has operations in Canada, the U.S., Russia and Argentina, reported revenue of $430 million, a 21 per cent fall from $545 million in the same period of 2018.Trican Well Service Ltd., which is focused on the Canadian market, reported revenue of $110 million, a 36 per cent decline compared with $172 million in second quarter 2018.last_img read more

Lazio owner talks about how the club has grown

first_imgSince taking charge of the Italian Lega Serie A club Lazio, owner Claudio Lotito has seen his team grow61-year-old Claudio Lotito took charge of Italian Lega Serie A club Lazio in 2004.Since then, he has seen his team grown into a better club.“Lazio achieved certain objectives that in the past were beyond hope,” the owner and president of Lazio told Football Italia.“Compared to the state of the club when I took over, now it has confidence that it is self-sustainable, is projected towards growth of the youth academy, where it has the highest ranking in Italy and is running the club in a virtuous manner.”Fonseca hints Smalling could debut tomorrow Manuel R. Medina – August 31, 2019 AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has hinted Chris Smalling could debut in tomorrow’s Derby Della Capitale between his team and Lazio.“This year, we took five players from the youth academy into the first team. We are the only side that focused on developing its own young players and will soon be able not only to face off with anyone but also have the solid foundations to make its mark on the international scene,” he added.“This all allows the club to become a reference point for others. The objective for Lazio is to get satisfying results for its fans that are also in line with the resources at its disposal.”“The fans are the essence of the system and without them, there would be no sport. It is also true that the fans must support their team while respecting the rules, not trying to replace the club owners, otherwise, there is confusion of roles. They can criticise constructively where views are not shared,” he commented.“We are turning Lazio into a model club in terms of results in line with resources. Football now is no longer about a patron who pours money in, but rather the ability to create new revenue and compatible choices with the resources available.”last_img read more