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Juneteenth Now An Official Holiday In New York State

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN ImageALBANY – Juneteenth is now an official holiday in New York State.Governor Andrew Cuomo first made it a holiday by executive order earlier this year and now made the act permanent after signing legislation on Wednesday.Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day slaves in Texas first learned they had been freed years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.It also celebrates achievements in the Black community. “I am incredibly proud to sign into law this legislation declaring Juneteenth an official holiday in New York State, a day which commemorates the end to slavery in the United States,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new public holiday will serve as a day to recognize the achievements of the Black community, while also providing an important opportunity for self-reflection on the systemic injustices that our society still faces today.”The new holiday makes 13 paid holidays for state employees.last_img read more

Jason Danieley Will Step Into Chicago

first_img View Comments Related Shows We’ve known for some time that he can wear the hell out of a tux, so this seems like a natural fit. Broadway alum Jason Danieley will step into the Ambassador Theatre courtroom as Chicago’s next Billy Flynn. He begins performances on October 13, stepping in for Ryan Silverman, who will depart the production on October 12.Danieley last appeared on Broadway in The Visit. His additional credits include Next to Normal (opposite his wife Marin Mazzie), Curtains, The Full Monty and Candide. He has also recently appeared in Can-Can at Paper Mill Playhouse and Carousel with the New York Philharmonic.The cast currently features Dancing with the Stars victor Rumer Willis as Roxie Hart (through November 1), Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron “Mama” Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine. Chicago from $49.50last_img read more

Tornado Watch Includes Water South of Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The yellow indicates a tornado watch and the purple indicates a small craft advisory (NWS)A tornado watch in effect across the New York area through 5 p.m. Monday includes the offshore area south of western Long Island to the Fire Island Inlet.The tornado watch, which mean the weather conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to produce tornadoes, includes New Jersey, upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and beyond, according to the National Weather Service, which also issued a small craft advisory for boats in waters around LI.“I strongly encourage all New Yorkers to take extra precautions and stay tuned to local media reports for the latest information on today’s storms,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Weather conditions can change with little warning, so it is important that New Yorkers take appropriate measures to ensure their preparation and safety throughout severe weather events.”The tornado watch comes as the forecast calls for a 70-percent chance of thunderstorms that could bring a quarter of an inch of rain or more Monday afternoon.A severe thunderstorm watch is also in effect for Nassau and Suffolk counties through 10 p.m. Monday.Showers and windy conditions are expected to continue overnight into Tuesday before clearing up and leaving partly to mostly sunny skies through the weekend, when a slight chance of showers are forecast Friday through Sunday.last_img read more

4 West Islip Men Charged With Armed Home Invasion

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Four men were arrested for allegedly committing an armed home invasion during which two victims were assaulted in the suspects’ hometown of West Islip over the weekend, Suffolk County police said.Charged with first-degree burglary were Joseph Cardona, Edward Flaherty and Thomas Hillier, all of whom are 18, as well as 20-year-old Frank Fabozzi.Police said the foursome entered a Bay Shore Avenue home, struck two people inside with a bat and stole items before they fled at 2:50 a.m. Sunday.A victim called 911 and officers apprehended the suspects shortly later, police said. The two victims were taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.Third Squad detectives, who suspect the house was targeted, are continuing the investigation.All four are scheduled to be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Central Islip.last_img read more

Are America’s credit unions “people helping some people?”

first_imgRecently, I had the opportunity to present at the Carolina’s Credit Union Leagues Leadership Conference. In between presentations, I was invited to attend the League’s CUaware Protégé presentation competition. I am glad I did; this is an amazing program!The CUaware Protégé Competition is an opportunity for credit unions and chapters to recognize the value and potential in rising professionals age 35 and under; enhance chapter programming and credit union interest; reinforce cooperative principles and credit union philosophy; and support CUaware and the League’s investment in developing leadership.Each of the Protégé presentations were outstanding, and their messages were passionate and inspiring. In fact, the title of this article was inspired by Zack DeMoya, Lending Assistant at Palmetto Citizens FCU. Zach was a Protégé finalist representing the Columbia Credit Union Chapter. During his remarks, he asked the question, “Are credit unions people helping people, or are we people helping some people? In my opinion, Zack made the case for credit unions serving overlooked and underserved consumers.I get to work with scores of credit unions, small, medium and large, that are intentionally focused on serving underserved, and overlooked consumers and communities. Though diverse, their activities of service are among the most inspiring examples of people helping people. What continues to surprise people is how well financially these credit unions are doing – they are well-capitalized, strong ROA, and double digit loan and membership growth. It’s simple: they are relevant, providing products and services everyday people need, and they are operating in an environment where they can compete and win.“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”I think our numbers are a fair place to look to see how well we are doing with people helping people. Many (most?) have loan portfolios with very high average beacon scores and very low delinquency and charge-off ratios. If fact, for some of us, it’s become a point of boasting to share with our colleagues just how high our average beacon score is and how low our charge-off ratio is. The irony is that I hear now more than ever stories of examiners telling credit unions they can afford to take a little more risk.Since the Great Depression, there hasn’t been a better time for credit unions to energetically return to their roots of helping overlooked consumers get financial education and access to affordable credit.Consider the economic realities of the world we live in today:55% of U.S. consumers have subprime credit [1]50% of working adults make less than $30,000 a year [2]75% of consumers are living paycheck to paycheck [3]Millennials are carrying more debt and make less than previous generations [4]There are more than 20,000[5] payday lending outlets and 33,000[6] predatory Buy Here, Pay Here used car lots.Truly, if consumers ever needed credit unions, it’s today.From a business perspective, the best opportunity for success and growth is to find an underserved market where one can clearly differentiate, compete, and win. Like sheep, too many of us try to grow and differentiate the same way: indirect loan (and membership) growth for platinum borrowers, and mission statements focused on personal friendly service. How’s that working for most of us?Today, there are scores of successful credit unions who are truly focused on people helping people. They serve underserved lower-income, credit-challenged, and other underserved groups, such as Millennials and Hispanic communities. They know why they exist, and their “walk” reflects their “talk.” They have strong capital, earnings, and double-digit member and loan growth. They are inspiring and, believe me, if their credit union went away, the loss would be felt not only by their members, but by their whole community. Most of these credit unions fly under our radar, but they are the heart and soul of our movement. We would have an industry rather than a consumer movement without these credit unions.Besides the passionate mission and the focused intention of serving underserved communities, what do these credit unions have in common? High average loan yields, and fee income that compensates for higher operating expenses and loan loss expenses. It’s funny, but in spite of the extra risk, their net charge-offs are frequently lower than their more risk-adverse peer group. These credit unions have developed underwriters who know how to underwrite higher risk. While others have been developing expert indirect or mortgage lenders, these shops have developed risk-based lending experts. These credit unions have front-line teams who know how to provide relevant financial education. They have certified team members with CUNA’s FiCEP[7] program. They do a very good job of balancing purpose with profit. Seriously, how many of us would pass on an average loan yield of 7 percent and average provision expense of 1 percent? But we do every day.Why it mattersThe behavior of people helping some people will not generate a strong enough advocacy message to differentiate credit unions from the banks, achieve meaningful legislative wins, or significantly increase market share. People helping some people does not inspire anyone.In my opinion, the boldest meaning of people helping people is tied to providing affordable access to credit. It’s finding ways to help people improve their quality of life through affordable access to credit. It’s helping thin file and poor credit file consumers get access to credit for things like a reliable used car. If we don’t make more of these loans, these people will continue to end up at the predatory Buy Here Pay Here lenders and paying an interest rate of 30 percent (or more). People helping people is so much more than helping platinum credit consumers (who can go wherever the hell they want to) get an extra .25 bp off the competitors’ best rate. People helping people only becomes an authentic rallying cry when we collectively walk the talk and it’s meaningful.Thank you Carolina’s young Protégés! You are an amazing group of future leaders (I hope we can hold on to you). I’m confident that our movement will continue in your capable hands. Thanks for inspiring me! Scott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: www.yourcupartner.org Details 130SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfieldlast_img read more

Enhance profitability in your credit card portfolio

first_img continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Do your members who own small businesses use the business credit cards you issue, or are they still stuck on consumer cards?Do you have a plan to “graduate” members from starter cards to traditional products?Have you re-evaluated members’ credit limits on your cards within the past year?If you answered no to any of those questions, you’re compromising the profitability of your credit card portfolio, PSCU’s Bradley Wylie says.In an overview of many aspects of card programs at a CUNA Lending Council Conference breakout session, Wylie offered several quick-hit tips that credit unions can implement:last_img read more

CU tax exemption likely safe; House & Senate prep to resolve differences

first_imgThe tax overhaul legislation passed by the Senate early Saturday retains the credit union tax exemption—virtually ensuring that it will be retained in any tax legislation sent to President Trump this year.The Senate passed its tax bill, 51-49 early Saturday.While last-minute changes were being made late Friday night, no credit union-related changes were made.Since the House and Senate bill retain the credit union tax exemption, it would be difficult to kill the exemption when House and Senate conferees meet on the legislation.“Something that is in neither the House or Senate bills but then appears in a conference report is beyond the scope of matters committed to conference by either House and subject to a point of order,” said Donald Wolfensberger, former staff director of the House Rules Committee and a congressional scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Explosion reported in Menteng, Central Jakarta

first_imgAn explosion occurred on Jl. Yusuf Adiwinata in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Sunday afternoon. Police temporarily closed the street after the incident.Central Jakarta Police Chief Sr. Com Heru Novianto said the explosion caused no casualties or significant damage.”We expect the explosion was caused by a firecracker, because it was not big and there was no significant effect or casualties. It only caused flat tires because the blast occurred near a parked car.” Heru said on Monday as reported by kompas.com.Anto, a Menteng resident, said the explosion caused smoke to rise from underneath the car.”I heard the explosion and immediately went out [of my house] to check. I did not know the source of the explosion at first. All I knew was that there was smoke rising from underneath the car, and not long after, someone came and put it out using a fire extinguisher,” he said.Joko, another resident, said the explosion occurred at about 2:15 p.m.”I heard the explosion. It was quite loud. It even set off the alarm of a car parked about 10 meters from the explosion,” he said.Heru said it was unlikely that the explosion had any link to terrorism.”Terrorists always seek victims and they always use dangerous explosive material. But we can conclude that the explosion was caused by a low-explosive material,” he said.The Jakarta police questioned five witnesses of the incident and reviewed CCTV footage from the area.According to Heru, some witnesses claimed the perpetrator put the explosive under the car while others said they saw two unidentified motorcyclists throw the explosive near the car.Police also questioned the car’s owner, who is an employee at a private company.”We are still reviewing the car owner’s testimony. Maybe the company has some problems or something,” Heru said, adding that the police were awaiting results from the forensics lab. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

Low interest rates could increase cost of pensions by 10%, experts warn

first_imgAs of last week, the rate dropped even further to 1%.“Since the introduction of QE, the cost of pensions has risen by 10%, or 1% of the salary on average,” Van Ek said.He warned that, in the coming decades, fixed income returns could structurally fall short of the interest rates that had been factored into liabilities.Mark van de Velde, senior client consultant at Aon Hewitt, noted that the initial effect of the interest-rate drop would be limited to approximately 2% for pension funds that apply a cushioned contribution for a 10-year period.He calculated an effect of 6-7% if contributions are cushioned and drawn from assumptions for returns.However, Van de Velde stressed that the predictions were based on the current UFR of 4.2% that must be used to discount liabilities.“If the Cabinet were to reduce the UFR as expected before 1 July, contributions must increase by an additional 5%,” he said.Towers Watson, meanwhile, underlined the contradiction that the new financial assessment framework (nFTK) dictates that pension funds must establish their premium policy before 1 July, but that the actual contribution must be drawn from market rates during the fourth quarter.Wichert Hoekert, senior consultant for retirement solutions, said: “This could lead to undesired effects if interest rates change after the social partners have agreed on a policy.”He suggested it would be more “practical” if the interest level at the moment of the policy decision could also be the criterion for the new contribution.Commenting on the developments, Jobert Koomans, executive board member of the €4bn pension fund for care insurers (SBZ), said its premium needed to be increased by 2 percentage points to 26% of the pensionable salary to achieve target accrual.The €43bn metal scheme PME, which fixed its contribution at 24.1% for the next five years, said it would draw on an equalisation fund to stabilise premiums.However, PME’s spokeswoman said the drop in interest rates had increased the chances that this financial reserve may turn out to be insufficient.The Pensions Federation said it was “very worried” about the low interest rates and that it feared “disastrous consequences” for pensions.In its opinion, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs, has underestimated the problem.However, a spokeswoman for the state secretary told IPE Klijnsma recognised the consequences of continually low interest rates, and that she was willing to discuss the issue with Dutch companies and unions.She added that the state secretary was also exploring options for easing investment restrictions for pension funds, as the Federation had called for earlier. Consultancies have warned that interest rates have fallen so far this year that Dutch pension funds may be forced to increase contributions or cut costs on pension arrangements.Dennis van Ek, an actuary at Mercer, estimated that pension funds would need to increase their premiums for 2016 by at least 10% to achieve their targets.As a consequence, defined benefit (DB) plans and collective defined contribution (DC) schemes that base their contributions on the market rate plus the ultimate forward rate (UFR) could see annual pensions accrual – usually 1.875% – fall by 0.2 percentage points, he said.Mercer noted that the 30-year swap rate had fallen from 1.5% to 1.2% at the time when the European Central Bank (ECB) launched its quantitative easing (QE) programme.last_img read more

‘Nasty’ Chinese situation sees VER emphasise alternatives

first_imgTalking to IPE in the wake of Chinese market volatility that saw the Shanghai Composite Index lose a quarter of its value and led to losses across global markets, Viherkenttä admitted that China was now the number one issue, supplanting a rate hike by the Fed.“It seems that the Fed [rate] increase was a bigger topic a some time ago, but now things are getting pretty nasty in China and in emerging markets, the potential US rate hikes starts to look like, maybe not a marginal matter, but still something of less relevance.”He also said that VER had sold its holdings in Chinese A shares before he took over as managing director as there were “symptoms of overheating”, but still retained exposure to H shares traded in Hong Kong.Asked where the fund would seek to grow exposure, Viherkenttä pointed towards alternatives, which currently account for 10.6% of its portfolio, a 2 percentage point increase over June 2014.“What we are doing all the time is taking an even closer look at alternatives,” he said. “But of course almost everyone is doing it these days, because both the stock market and the bond market are in such a difficult situation.“It’s not a free lunch just to go out there are reap high returns.”VER’s alternatives portfolio currently consists of indirect and direct private equity holdings , indirect real estate, and hedge finds.Its unlisted holdings performed the best in the first half of the year, returning 6.1%, followed by a 3.6% return from hedge funds.The fund’s fixed income holdings, which account for 49.5% of assets, returned 0.5% over the first six months of the year, down compared to both full-year results and the first six months of 2014. Finland’s Valtion Eläkerahasto (VER) is to place greater emphasis on alternatives despite “exceptionally vibrant” stock market growth helping it return 5.5% so far this year.The €18.3bn fund used to pre-finance the Finnish state pension said its equity holdings returned 13.3% over the first six months of the year, ahead of returns from alternatives or fixed income.Managing director Timo Viherkenttä, who was announced as successor to Timo Löyttyniemi in April, warned the “exceptionally vibrant” equity market is losing steam, but holdings in Europe and Japan had continued to perform.“It is advisable to prepare for continued fluctuations in the investment markets in the latter half of the year as well,” he said, citing uncertainty surrounding Chinese economic growth and a rate increase by the US Federal Reserve, expected later this year.last_img read more