Sandwich firm on minimum wage shaming list

first_imgA sandwich firm is among 70 firms named and shamed by the government, which have failed to pay the minimum wage.Under the new naming regime, as part of a minimum wage crackdown, HMRC found that Mr S Partridge and Ms M Shead, trading as Cobblers Fine Sandwiches & Pastries, Wakefield, neglected to pay £1,003.83 to a worker.Stephen Partridge told British Baker that the situation came about after the company got confused between employing someone as part of an apprenticeship scheme or a youth contract scheme, after another company supplied them with the worker.Partridge said: “We emailed saying we would pay her £3 an hour and they never objected to that. It wasn’t until we sent out paperwork off that we were told it was wrong, we got confused between apprenticeship and contract money. Everything is settled now.”Between the 70 employers, the businesses owed workers a total of over £157,000 in arrears and have been charged financial penalties totalling over £70,000.Business minister Jo Swinson said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable. Naming and shaming gives a clear warning to employers who ignore the rules, that they will face reputational consequences, as well as financial penalties of up to £20,000, if they don’t pay the minimum wage.”We are legislating through the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill so that this penalty can be applied to each underpaid worker rather than per employer.“We are helping workers recover the hundreds of thousands of pounds in pay owed to them as well as raising awareness to make sure workers are paid fairly in the first place.”Also on the list were two coffee shop businesses and two pizza companies.Workers union calls for actionGMB, the UK’s general workers union has since called for the named directors to be denied further directorships.It has also said that enforcement rules be changed so that trade unions can make complaints to HMRC on behalf of members.Martin Smith, GMB national organiser, said: “As part of the public disgracing for the firms named, GMB is calling for the directors of these companies to be placed on a ‘wage offenders register’ at Companies House and be deemed an unfit person to hold any further directorships.“We are expecting the recommendation from the Low Pay Commission any time now on the uprating of the national minimum wage from £6.50.“There is bucket-loads of evidence that an uplift of at least 50p per hour would help the low-paid and start to stimulate the economy and that all the big firms, including the retailers, can afford it.”The government has named 92 employers since the new naming regime came into force in October 2013. They had total arrears of over £316,000 and total penalties of over £111,000.last_img read more

Bakeries donate bread and sweet treats to NHS staff

first_imgBakers across the country are helping to support NHS heroes who are working around the clock by offering discounts and donating baked goods to hospitals.Here are a few examples of how the baking industry is stepping up to help.Jacksons of YorkshireCaption: Corby factory general manager Gavin Richards (in pink) delivers 1,927 loaves to Kettering General HospitalJacksons of Yorkshire has been busy delivering loaves of bread to local NHS staff.“When we heard that NHS heroes in our local communities were going shopping after long shifts and finding empty shelves, we offered to deliver thousands of loaves of bread them each week,” said Dorian Hiles, MD for Jacksons, which has bakeries in Hull and Corby.“This started with hospitals in Hull a couple of weeks ago and the response from the NHS staff and people in our community was amazing; we couldn’t have asked for kinder comments on social media.”The bakery is also delivering weekly into Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and Kettering General Hospital, as well as supporting charity Fareshare and local hospices.Paul is aiming to deliver to at least two hospitals per week in what it describes as a “token gesture to show its appreciation and gratitude to NHS workers on the front line”. On Friday 27 March, staff at Northwick Park Hospital in north-west London received donations of fresh loaves of bread, croissants and cakes, while St George’s Hospital in Tooting took delivery of goods yesterday.The bakery and patisserie chain has temporarily closed all 37 shops in London and Oxford, but kept its main bakery open, through which it operates The Bread Market retail outlet.It also continues to donate food to London-based charity The Felix Project on a daily basis.Henllan BakeryStaff at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Wales were thrilled to receive more than 400 individual cakes slices from Henllan Bakery and took to Twitter to show their appreciation. They received a variety of treats, including Henllan’s Salted Caramel Slice, Toffee Slice and Krispy Slice.The family-run bakery is planning cake drops to the other two large hospitals in the region over the coming weeks.McVitie’sStaff at Ealing, Central Middlesex and Northwick Park hospitals in London were treated to hundreds of packets of biscuits and chocolate bars from Pladis-owned McVitie’s.Hobnobs, Digestives and Club Bars were among the “small mountain” of goods that have “flooded into the hospital” over the past fortnight to encourage NHS staff to stay strong.Caption: LNWH charity manager Geraldine Dammen with some of the donated goods.WhitworthsAfter seeing the heroic efforts of hospital workers and NHS frontline staff, baking industry supplier Whitworths wanted to help in any way it could.“We’ve already started creating and sending healthy snacking and recipe bundles to NHS staff and other key workers around the country. Dried fruit and nuts are a great source of vital nutrients, important for energy and immunity, and give you a quick energy boost,” said Jessica Horton, digital marketing executive at Whitworths.Doughnut Time decided to close its 15 London shops last month and, as such, was left with a surplus of fresh, handmade doughnuts, but nowhere to send them.“The only logical next move was to spend the day visiting NHS hospitals, donating our doughnuts to the wards, the emergency service depots, the doctors, nurses, trainees and support teams. They’re all working so hard and such long hours – it was the least we could do to express our gratitude and, hopefully, bring some joy,” the company said.The doughnuts were delivered to Royal Surrey County, Royal Berkshire and Basingstoke hospitals.The Bakehouse ManningtreeIndependent artisan bakery The Bakehouse Manningtree is looking to show its support and appreciation for the hardworking staff at Colchester Hospital with a weekly delivery of cakes, it said on Facebook. The bakery plans to deliver to a different ward every week, so as many staff as possible can benefit from the treats. Dominique AnselDominique Ansel is offering 50% discounts for NHS staff, who can visit its sites in central London, where it’s offering a takeaway service. It is also able to send food packages, completely free, to fuel teams of local hospitals. Staff just need to get in touch to arrange a drop-off.last_img read more

Galactic’s Corey Henry Personifies New Orleans Music On ‘Lapeitah’

first_imgCorey Henry is a the essence of New Orleans personified, a certifiable G. No two ways about it, the NOLA-born and bred trombonist is not only one of the best kept secrets of the Crescent City, he is a shining example of a hometown success story. A longtime member of Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins’ BBQ Swingers, and currently Ben Ellman’s right-hand man in Galactic, for nearly four years Henry has been leading his own band Treme Funktet, and the venerable sideman-turned-frontman just dropped his solo debut Lapeitah.Released on Louisiana Red Hot Records, the album finds Henry incorporating his background rich in Bayou tradition, with fresh influences from the realms of funk and golden-era hip-hop. A testament to the staying power of Treme tradition as well as a nod toward the ever-changing hood’s future, Boe Money’s solo joint is chock-full of blazing horns, helping usher in a new age in Second Line serenade. Henry looks for inspiration beyond his grandiose city’s limits; a longtime fan of James Brown trombonist Fred Wesley, he originally created the Treme Funktet as a NOLA version of The JB’s. “To sound like Fred Wesley and the JB’s. I was thinking in that kind of direction. But the sound takes a life of its own. We just add our New Orleans spices to it.” Explaining the unusual album title, the trombonist offers a tribute to his father. When acting as a Second Line Grand Marshal, Oswald “Bo Monkey” Jones breaks out a particular brand of steppin’, one that Royal Players’ leader Anthony Bennett calls “Lapeitah.” So his son Corey decided that fiitedly, it would be an apt moniker for his homemade gumbo grooves.  “We do our own style of New Orleans Treme funk, that of funk, New Orleans brass band music, a little bit of hip­ hop–inspired music, a little bit of soul and R&B. We try to mix everything and keep it real New Orleans.” said Henry. In 2012, Henry organized the Treme Funktet with the intention of holding down a steady hit at the Candlelight Lounge, as a favor to the owner, his cousin Leona “Chine” Grandison. The venue was looking to expand the music schedule, hoping to lure live music back into heart of the Treme. In a beautiful example of irony and things coming full circle, Henry’s band became wildly popular, so much so that Treme Funktet was eventually handed the reigns to a neighborhood institution, Kermit Ruffins’ Thursday night standing residency at Vaughn’s. “He turned it over to us and we’ve been holding it down ever since,” Henry told Offbeat. “We appreciate that because that was a big step for us as a band—thanks to the great Kermit Ruffins.” Though Henry stays busy with local icons Galactic, touring nationally several times annually, the trombonist looked toward Gotham City and brought in Pimps of Joytime bandleader Brian J. for songwriting collaborations on Lapeitah. As evidenced by so much within the Brooklyn-based Pimps’ prodigious output, J. is a huge proponent, and admirer of, New Orleans music. So it was a fortuitious twist of fate when the duo came together to make original songs. Henry explained: “That’s my main man right there! We’d been talking a long time about doing an album. We finally sat down and got in a creative space. He was masterful, integral, one of the big reasons this album happened. And he’s all over the record. He’s as much a part of this record as I am.”  The album’s more than two dozen collaborators are a laundry list of longtime pals and peers. Boe Money makes sure to include Galactic saxophonist Ben Ellman and bassist Rob Mercurio, renowned tuba player Phil Frazier of the Rebirth Brass Band (with whom Henry cut his proverbial teeth in the game), saxophonist Greg Thomas of Parliament-Funkadelic, singers Erica Falls (currently touring with Galactic) and Cole Williams, and trumpeter/rabble-rouser Maurice “Mo Betta” Brown.  This is an album that salutes the Treme; and also the eulogy for a fallen friend, Funktet member Trumpet Black. With that understanding, listeners will revel in this honest pledge of allegiance. Williams steps to the mic on “Tell Ya Mamma Nem” and “Baby C’Mon,” his weathered vocal going toe-to-toe with the jumping brass and bulbous basslines. Among the standouts on Lapeitah: Corey Glover, a vocalist who toured and recorded with Galactic (and is best known for singing with Living Colour) joins in on a reinvention of Jimi Hendrix’s “If 6 Was 9.” Mo Betta and the dearly departed Travis “Trumpet Black” Hill team up on the hood-fabulous “Treme Life”, where Boe Money grips a microphone and gets his emcee on, name dropping NOLA-phonics like a the certified G that he is.   Ushering in a new era at Vaughn’s, in the Treme, with Galactic, and beyond, Corey “Boe Money” Henry is a product of the Crescent City we can all get behind. His music is authentic, honest, and exciting; Lapeitah is all that jazz, and some lagniappe too. You can find the album on Amazon. B.Getz (Quotes from Offbeat, and The New Orleans Advocate)last_img read more

Applied knowledge opens doors for young SEAS alumni

first_imgUndergraduates were treated to a lively discussion of life beyond Harvard this week. Five young SEAS alumni returned to campus on Jan. 31 to participate in the first of a series of engineering-themed career events hosted this spring by the FAS Office of Career Services.These recent graduates have found that their degrees open doors for them not just as engineers and programmers, but also as teachers, sailors, consultants, and aspiring doctors and lawyers. Still, they wove their recommendations to undergraduates with three common threads:Take advantage of hands-on courses.Hone both your writing skills and your quantitative skills.Follow your interests, and take classes in a broad range of subjects.last_img

Senate asks University to eliminate single-use plastic

first_imgThe student body senate passed a resolution Wednesday formally requesting that the University eliminate single-use plastic on campus. The resolution was drawn up by junior  student body vice president Patrick McGuire and sophomore director of sustainability Juliette Kelley. The resolution calls on the University to permanently halt the sale and provision of all single-use plastics across campus. This includes single-use plastic containers, water bottles, straws and bags available at facilities such as Grab ‘n Go, Duncan Student Center restaurants, the Hammes Bookstore and other locations. The resolution reasoned the University has already begun the process of eliminating single use plastic through the distribution and use of Ozzi reusable food containers and reusable water bottles. Before the resolution passed, senior and Keough senator James Bathon recommended adding a period of time for the University to phase out the current structure to the resolution.“Just putting a hard stop [to the use of single-use plastic] could be very, very drastic on the system,” he said.Sophomore and Keenan senator Luke Sheridan-Rabideau agreed the transition would be difficult but said the transition period is not as important as the issue itself.“I feel like we are not necessarily imposing a hard stop on them,’’ Sheridan-Rabideau said. “I think we are sending a message that this is something we want to happen,”After further questioning, the resolution passed. In an interview after the senate meeting, Kelley said the changes peer institutions have recently implemented really prompted the drafting of this resolution.“Vanderbilt was a big one,” she said. “They got rid of all plastic wattle bottles on campus.”Further statistics and sources used in the drafting of the resolution came from research reflecting action at Purdue University, which is piloting a reusable silverware campaign, and Princeton University, which has eliminated the use of plastic straws. Kelley also wanted to engage the senate and the student body with this resolution.“So the hope is to bring [the resolution] to the forefront of people’s attention, that this is something that is going on on campus, and we can keep moving forward with it,” she said.Kelley has spoken to members of the administration regarding the issue, conversing with departments such as Campus Dining, including Campus Dining senior director Chris Abayasinghe, as well Office of Sustainability personnel such as senior director of sustainability Carol Mullaney and associate program manager Caitlin Jacobs. “They’ve been working really hard to take some steps like getting rid of plastic straws and introducing reusable containers in places like Garbanzo,” Kelley said. “So hearing from them and the stuff they have been working towards with this was really cool. I thought it would be great to advertise some of it in senate and put forth in trying to support more of these initiatives.” This resolution would mainly apply to food services on campus. Chain restaurants such as Starbucks would be impacted differently should the University implement this change.“This would primarily affect places that are Notre Dame Campus Dining,” Kelley said. “So Modern Market and Grab ‘n Go are kinda the two big places where I see this having an impact. Whereas those places [chain restaurants], because they are under a third party contractor, would be more difficult to influence.”Kelley also said these dining options are currently being affected as the University works toward the elimination of plastic straws and taking up more sustainability initiatives. Additionally, the Office of Sustainability’s comprehensive sustainability strategy includes the goals of “decreasing unnecessary individual water bottle use on campus” and “increasing single-stream recycling rate to approach the overall University 2030 waste diversion goal of 67%.” Kelley said she hopes the resolution itself will inspire change on campus from the University and also the student body.“I have seen resolutions like this make waves,” she said.She spoke of the “Meatless Mondays” resolution that came from last year’s Department of Sustainability, which suspended the serving of meat in dining halls on Mondays but “fell off.’’However, Kelley has hope this resolution will catch on.“I think the most important thing is it starts the discussion in the administration,” she said. “Whether anything will come of it, I don’t know. If it does, it will probably be a very slow process, but we’ve already seen them making progress so hopefully this will help that continue.”Tags: Senate, single-use plastics, sustainabilitylast_img read more

Tony Awards FAQ! Everything You Need to Know About the 2016 Ceremony

first_imgJames Corden(Photo: Jason Bell/CBS) View Comments The 70th annual Tony Awards ceremony is almost here! We’ve pulled together some frequently asked questions about Broadway’s starriest ceremony so you can find all of the answers in one place. Happy Tonys, everybody!When are the 2016 Tony Awards? Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 8PM EST.Where will the Tony Awards ceremony be held? The Beacon Theatre on New York City’s Upper West Side.How can I prep for the 2016 Tony Awards? Let’s prep for the Great White Way’s biggest night together! has joined forces with CBS to produce a pre-Tony Awards TV special. Presents At the Tonys, hosted by our own Senior Editor Imogen Lloyd Webber, will air on WCBS 2 in New York and across the country this weekend.Who is hosting the 2016 Tony Awards? James Corden! Corden, who won a 2012 Tony Award for his performance in One Man, Two Guvnors, made his Broadway debut in The History Boys. He is also the host of The Late Late Show and has moved his popular segment “Carpool Karaoke” into prominence and primetime. We can’t wait to ride shotgun with him on June 12!How can I watch the Tony Awards ceremony? Tune into CBS or the livestream from 8-11PM ET/delayed PT to see the presentation of the major awards and performances. Be sure to follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr for live updates and broadcasts of the red carpet, press room and more!Can I watch the Tony telecast if I am not in the U.S.A.? The following international broadcasters will carry the show: Bell’s CTV in Canada, PRAMER’S FILM & ARTS (AMC) in Latin, Central and South America, Sky Network Arts Channel in New Zealand, Foxtel Arena Channel in Australia, WOWOW in Japan, LeTV2, China OTT, Wasu TV, Mango TV and Beijing IQIYI in China, ABS-CBN in the Philippines and Armed Forces Network Television, which is available to the U.S. Armed Forces stationed outside of the United States. Check local listings for more info.Who are the 2016 Tony nominees? Click here for a complete list of the 2016 Tony Award nominees. Want to know the nominees’ deep dark secrets? Watch this! Want them to serenade you? No problem.Who are the presenters at the 2016 Tony Awards?A starry roster of presenters and participants will include Uzo Aduba, Cate Blanchett, Christian Borle, Common, Edie Brickell, Claire Danes, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Josh Groban, Jake Gyllenhaal, Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Hayes, Nikki M. James, James Earl Jones, Daniel Dae Kim, Carole King, Diane Lane, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Lucy Liu, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Steve Martin, Marlee Matlin, Audra McDonald, Patina Miller, Bebe Neuwirth, Andrew Rannells, Chita Rivera, Saoirse Ronan, Keri Russell, Meg Ryan, Barbra Streisand, Aaron Tveit, Blair Underwood, Oprah Winfrey and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.What shows will be performing during the Tony Awards ceremony?The Tony Awards are always a singing-dancing event! This year, the stars of Broadway’s Shuffle Along, She Loves Me, School of Rock, Fiddler on the Roof, The Color Purple, Hamilton, Bright Star, Spring Awakening and Chicago will perform numbers. Additionally, composer and lyricist Sara Bareilles will join the cast of Waitress while Gloria Estefan will join the company of On Your Feet! for unforgettable performances.Where can I find photos, videos and features about the big event?Hello! You’re already here. Check in with during and after the ceremony for a complete list of winners, photos, video and other highlights of Broadway’s biggest night…and don’t forget about us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr.What fun stuff can I do during the telecast?If you’re already following us on social media, you know we’re going to have a good time together! You can also follow members of the team on Twitter: Editor-in-Chief Paul Wontorek (@PaulWontorek), Managing Editor Beth Stevens (@beebea) and Senior Editor Imogen Lloyd Webber (@illoydwebber). last_img read more

Power Plant Closures Generate Taxing Troubles

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York ICONIC: The nearly century-old Glenwood Landing plant may no longer produce power, but it may still have value, contend community activists, which could help the North Shore school district plug a multi-million-dollar tax hole that would result from its demolition. (WikiMedia Commons)Several Long Island communities have long feared that their property taxes will rise starkly when the power plants in their districts are either shut down or reassessed at a lower value due to their declining efficiency. As recent developments in Nassau and Suffolk have shown, that day of reckoning may have finally come.The details vary depending on the power plants’ locations, but the dynamic is the same. Long Islanders pay some of the highest utility bills in the nation as well as some of the highest property taxes in the region. The effort to reduce one cost seems to come at the expense of the other.But Long Island’s utilities have grown tired of footing the bill so public officials, from school superintendents to village mayors to county leaders, have to make some very tough decisions.Now that National Grid has begun to demolish its nearly century-old Glenwood Landing power plant, which hasn’t generated a significant amount of electricity in decades, Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy has had to assure homeowners in his village that their school taxes will not suddenly rise 25 percent next year—as some have feared.“We are going to see increases,” he tells the Press, “but they’re going to be spread over a 15- to 30-year period so it’s going to be completely manageable.”The utility paid $21.4 million in taxes in 2011-2012, $22.6 million in the 2012-2013, and $23.6 million in 2013. Last January, the property’s assessed value was cut in half, according to National Grid, which reduced its tax burden $11 million.In 1999, tax revenue from the old plant contributed about 30 percent of the North Shore Central School District’s $45 million budget; now, according to Superintendent Ed Melnick, it’s 20 percent of the district’s nearly $94 million budget.“We do not yet know what percentage that would be lowered by for next year but the maximum we anticipate would be 10 percent,” Melnick tells the Press in an email.State Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) and Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) were able to get an additional $2.5 million in the state budget to soften the blow to the North Shore district, but it’s a one-shot deal.“The homeowner shouldn’t see that much [increase],” the state senator says. But “there’s no doubt that the citizenry, the homeowner, will see an increase in their taxes.”Watching this process unfold has been taxing indeed.“Everybody has been wringing their hands—just wringing their hands—for 30 years!” exclaims Karin Barnaby, a longtime Sea Cliff resident, who has been circulating a petition to save the Glenwood Landing power plant from pending demolition, slated to be completed by December.“I’ve always said to everybody, ‘Look, this is a fool’s errand,’” Barnaby tells the Press. “I have no illusions about the futility of this project in the face of National Grid’s power and influence, but it has to be said, anyway.”Barnaby would like to see Glenwood Landing resemble a place like the Chelsea Piers Connecticut sports complex, which opened across the Sound in Stamford in 2012, transforming Clairol’s former warehouse into skating rinks and other recreational outlets.“All I’m asking is for time so the notion can be explored,” she says. “It’s a fabulous building.”Barnaby recently presented almost a 1,000 signatures on her petition to Judi Bosworth, the supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead, who said through a spokesman that she “will look at all opportunities for waterfront revitalization.”Assemb. Lavine supports Barnaby’s “quite creative” idea to repurpose the old brick facility.“For many, many years it’s been no secret that the North Shore School District has benefitted from the placement of that plant within the confines of its geographical district,” says Lavine. “And for many years we’ve known that that day was going to come to an end.”But he says it’s too soon to predict what the final tax bite will be until the county’s re-assessment is completed “after the demolition occurs—if it occurs.”And he hopes it won’t.“I’ve been in the building,” Lavine says. “It is a piece of architecture the likes of which we unfortunately won’t see again….It would be really, really great for the community if we could figure out some way to keep that structure and make it productive.”Sen. Marcellino views the Glenwood property differently.“That building is full of asbestos,” he says, adding that to make the waterfront viable “would require major dredging… The silt is backed up right to the bulkhead; you can’t even bring a barge in there.”Cursing the Darkness“It’s very unfortunate how the community chose to handle this issue,” says former LIPA trustee Neal Lewis. “They got a good tax return for many, many years, but rather than plan for the change that was coming, they’ve been in denial, seeking elected officials to keep the LIPA contract going for an old plant that LIPA had no need for. They should have set up a process years ago so maybe by now they’d have the zoning in place and have found community agreement on potential uses [for the site].”Until January, Lewis had served four years on the board of LIPA trustees, an unpaid position. He said that the board commissioned an outside auditor to assess the taxes that LIPA was paying for its big power plants in Glenwood, Northport and Port Jefferson. The 2010 report “said that we were as much as 90-percent overtaxed at these various plants. Then I had to say, ‘What is my duty as a fiduciary? I’m on the board acting in trust for the people of Long Island…If we’re overpaying in taxes what the current law would require, then you have to challenge it.’”And so began the tax certiorari cases—the property tax challenges—that are giving Long Island’s body politic so much agita today.The 1936 first edition of the Long Island Lighting Company’s first newsletter The Main Line, featuring the Glenwood Landing plant in its heyday. (Courtesy of The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities)LIPA wants to reduce the assessment of the Northport power plant by 80 to 90 percent, which could raise taxes in the Northport-East Northport school district by 60 percent, according to the town. Last summer a proposal had been worked out in Albany with LIPA and the state Legislature at the behest of Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would have softened the blow locally by spreading the increase in 10-percent increments over many years but the town and the school district balked.Huntington Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson is rather blunt when he assesses what that deal could mean for the district and the town.“Accepting that agreement is basically accepting the bankruptcy of the Northport-East Northport school district,” says Cuthbertson. “Our position is that we would be better off and would get a better result by going to court than accepting their offer.”They’ve retained Lou Lewis, an attorney at Lewis & Greer, a Poughkeepsie law firm, who had represented the Shoreham-Wading River school district during the controversial closure of the Shoreham nuclear power plant—a long, drawn-out process.“Everyone was very concerned [at the time] but you know the school district is still there, and they’re getting more state aid now,” the he tells the Press. “A lot of state aid is based on formulas that take income from taxes into consideration; if those taxes go down, then your state aid will go up.”Now the Northport tax certiorari case is in the pre-trial phase, the attorney says, while he tries to get LIPA and National Grid to supply information his appraiser needs to counter their claim. It’s been “like pulling teeth,” Lewis says.Known for its iconic four red-and-white striped smoke stacks, the Northport plant produces 40 percent of Long Island’s electricity but it is also more than 40 years old, according to Sen. Marcellino, whose district also stretches into Huntington Town.“They’re looking to cut their losses,” says Marcellino, explaining the motives of the utility, PSEG Long Island, which is being represented by LIPA in the court case. Marcellino said that he and Sen. John Flanagan (R-Smithtown) thought that the town and the school district should have accepted the governor’s compromise with LIPA because that would have eliminated about $200 million in back taxes, while implementing future tax increases “over a 10-year slide,” as he put it, to cover the “50-percent drop” in the power plant’s assessed value.“If you can wipe out $200 million of potential debt, I think that’s pretty good,” Marcellino tells the Press.But Huntington and the Northport-East Northport school district have said the increases are too onerous and they dispute the drastic reduction in the plant’s assessment.“I’m not happy with the proposal that New York made for settling these things,” says Lewis, the town’s attorney. “I think it was based on a misunderstanding of where the data was coming from.”He says the Northport power plant’s reduced value was determined by LIPA, which “is the main party of interest in these lawsuits because…they’re going to be paying the taxes on the property!”Basically, Lewis explains, the utilities are “under pressure to reduce their costs to their customers, and one way they feel they can do that is pay less in taxes…. But it’s very deceptive because their customers are the same people who are also the taxpayers… You’re taking money out of one pocket and putting it in another.”“Power plants pay a significant portion of school taxes in the communities they are located in,” observes Matt Cordaro, a former utility CEO who is now a LIPA trustee but was not speaking as a representative for the board. He remembers working for the Long Island Lighting Co., LIPA’s precursor, when it was trying to get a tax reduction for the Glenwood Landing plant in the 1980s.“We took out two units [from the original brick building] and they wouldn’t reduce our taxes,” he says. “The only time we got a concession we actually had to clip the wires that were there and demonstrate that it wasn’t a power plant.”On the other hand, Cordaro fondly recalls, “The brickwork is just tremendous.”last_img read more

What really is a credit score?

first_img 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Christina Camacho Christina Camacho is the Founder and CEO of Ivy Lender. Christina spent her banking career working with SME businesses as well as Fortune 500 companies at the top Financial Institutions … Web: Details A credit score in the United States is a number representing the creditworthiness of a person and the likelihood that person will pay his or her debts. Lenders, such as Credit Unions and credit card companies, rely on credit scores to evaluate the potential risk associated with lending money to consumers.Statistics show that the current credit models are not inclusive.  The current scoring models favor privileged individuals with capital in a different way than the working-class.  Millions of Americans do not have a score at all because of limited credit history. “If you think about the credit-invisible population in this country, their ability to enter the financial mainstream and access affordable credit instead of payday lenders, pawnshops and check-cashing services is tied to what’s in their credit report,” says Michael Turner, the president of the Policy and Economic Research Council. “They’re caught in the credit catch-22: In order to qualify for credit you have to have already had credit.”Companies such as Upstart, are attacking this problem by considering “outside-of-the-box” data points such as: education, area of study and job history to determine lend-worthiness.  By harnessing big data, machine learning and other technological advances FinTechs are getting a more accurate estimation of a consumer’s creditworthiness outside of traditional data points.Lending to credit-invisible individuals represent both opportunity and risk for Credit Unions. While they offer the opportunity to gain customers, they also pose a significant risk if credit is extended without sufficient analysis of their ability to repay debt. Individuals who lack credit scores are at risk, too, because access to credit is increasingly important in the modern economy.“The current credit system is not an accurate representation of how borrow-worthy each individual is.” – David Potter, CEO of CuruCuru, a credit building application, is supporting this mission of eliminating credit rejection by providing tools that empower consumers to be included in the current FICO model.  Unique to Curu, is their platform’s user offering that matches consumers with forwarding thinking lending products. Their application identifies products that their users are pre-approved for based on the data collected through their mobile application.  Their mission is to make these”credit-invisible” individuals “visible.”last_img read more

The US and ME in customer service

first_img 28SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Nanci Wilson Nanci started her credit union journey due to lack of kindness.That fact is what led her to close her bank account and open up at a credit union.Ultimately … Web: Details The other day I was ordering a meal from McDonald’s. Don’t McJudge me!I got to the second window where you pick up your food and the woman shoved the bag at me and quickly closed the window. I sat there for a moment thinking about how I was going to get her attention because she had clearly forgotten my drink.I eventually tapped on the window and she slid it open and greeted me with a “YEAH?”I explained that she had not given me my drink and she cut me off with an “I KNOW” and shut the window again. I could see her filling the glass and securing the lid before opening the window and giving it to me.She didn’t know. She had forgotten and you know what, that is ok!What is not OK is how she handled the situation.It left me feeling, blah.Sometimes customer service includes admitting when you have made a mistake or error, correcting that situation, apologizing, and moving on.I refer to this as the US and ME in Customer Service.Let me explain…Customer Service isn’t just about serving whomever you are in front of or on the line with.It isn’t one sided.Customer Service is full circle.It takes YOU, the person providing the stellar service, to start the process in such a way that sets the path for that circle.It takes US as the general public in today’s society, to reciprocate in a respectful way.It’s much like the circle of karma.What comes around, goes around.Once you start looking at customer service in this way, you will begin to understand why it is so important to set that circle in motion on a positive note.I am a realist; I understand that some people will draw a very jagged circle based on their own reactions to situations but putting the effort forward to handle situations smoothly will always be awesome.Sometimes those jagged circles are of no fault of your own, but look at your portions of that service circle.Are they smooth?Then you did what you could do and can walk away knowing you gave a valid customer service effort.Your efforts in the circle of service should always be smooth, calm, collected, and symmetrical.That’s realizing your position and role in the circle.That’s putting the US and the ME in service.last_img read more