Douglas, Governors Urge President to Release Contingency LIHEAP Funds Immediately

first_imgGovernor Douglas and CONEG Urge President to Release Contingency LIHEAP Funds ImmediatelyWaterbury (August 5, 2008) – The Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG), chaired by Governor Jim Douglas, today urged the President to release the remaining $120 million in contingency funds for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).The Governors had also voiced their support for Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) efforts to provide an additional $2.73 billion in FY2008 funding for LIHEAP in regular program and contingency funding; and now say the prompt release of the remaining contingency funding is critical to ensuring states-particularly those in the Northeast-can adequately prepare for the fall heating season. “Through initiatives like the new Wood Warms program and weatherization assistance offered through my Fuel and Food Partnership, my administration is actively addressing challenges presented by the upcoming heating season,” said Governor Douglas. “It is clear, however, that the federal government must release LIHEAP contingency funds in a timely manner so that we can continue to meet the needs of lower income families at the start of the fall season.”The CONEG noted the immediate release of these funds was necessary in the Northeast because preparations for the upcoming LIHEAP program year begin in July. Planning for the LIHEAP program is particularly important this year as home energy prices, utility service disconnections, and the number of households in arrears to utilities all continue to rise to alarming levels.Thanks to the financial commitments made by Governor Douglas and the Vermont legislature, last year Vermont provided the most generous LIHEAP benefit in the country, averaging approximately $1169 per household, with approximately 23,000 households served.”The LIHEAP program is critically important for Vermont’s most vulnerable families, and states must have the unwavering support of the federal government if we are going to be able to continue to provide a meaningful LIHEAP benefit to support Vermonters hardest hit by rapidly rising fuel prices,” said Agency of Human Services Secretary Cynthia D. LaWare. “Vermont is fully engaged in a variety of state efforts to ensure all our residents stay warm this winter, but we can’t do it alone.”#####last_img read more

Future of U.S. Solar at Risk in Net-Metering Suppression

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Nichola Groom for Reuters:In California, regulators voted in January to preserve so-called net metering, which requires utilities to purchase surplus power generated by customers with rooftop solar panels. But neighboring Nevada scrapped the policy – prompting solar companies to flee the state.The decisions foreshadow an intensifying national debate over public support that the rooftop solar industry says it can’t live without.“Without net metering, it just doesn’t work,” said Lyndon Rive, chief executive of top U.S. residential solar installer SolarCity Corp.More than 25 of the 40 U.S. states with net metering policies are reconsidering them, according to the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University.Opponents raise fairness concerns and argue that the industry no longer needs generous incentives, citing its rapid growth and solar panel prices that have fallen about 40 percent in five years.Net metering credits solar users – at full retail rates – for any surplus power their panels generate above household usage. That means many customers pay no monthly utility bill or even rack up excess credits, which they can redeem later in months when their systems produce less power than their home uses.For most customers, net metering and other incentives are essential to make solar power worth the steep upfront investment – between $17,000 and $24,000 for a typical system, according to data from research firm GTM Research. For systems that are leased, as most are, net metering creates a monthly savings over typical power costs.Solar providers understand those consumer economics, which explains why SolarCity last month shed more than 550 jobs in Nevada after the public utilities commission in December voted to end net metering at retail rates. The commission plans to reduce credits and raise service charges for solar customers gradually over 12 years.Future of U.S. solar threatened in nationwide fight over incentives Future of U.S. Solar at Risk in Net-Metering Suppressionlast_img read more

Face-to-face innovation in a fintech world

first_imgSince CU Direct opened its Innovation Lab in March, credit union leaders from across the country have gathered there to brainstorm ideas for new lending technology.The new center in Irvine, Calif., about 40 miles from CU Direct’s headquarters in Ontario, has hosted innovation sessions for Credit Union Advisory Councils focused on the company’s product lines, such as the CUDL auto lending platform and Lending Insights analytics tools. A group of credit union executives also met with CU Direct at the lab this spring to talk through the possibility of facilitating participation loan applications through block chain technology, and another group has formed to study how best to convert paper checks issued to preauthorize auto loans into a digital format that members could present to dealers via a mobile app, says CU Direct President/CEO Tony Boutelle.“The Innovation Lab offers a high-tech environment with collaboration cells for breaking into smaller groups around whiteboards,” he says. “Our aim is to create a lot of collaboration and discussion so that we can all prioritize together a combination of new products and improvements to existing lending products and processes.” continue reading » 86SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

How mobile technology can help divorced parents manage financial obligations

first_imgChildren and childcare expenses can often force divorced parents to stay in communication with each other when would rather not, sometimes resulting in uncomfortable exchanges and disputes over who owes what. The complications involved in tallying and balancing receipts add yet another tense layer to the dissolution of a marriage.Child-related expenses must be addressed despite former partners’ communication barriers, however. Parents need to make a variety of purchases for their children – new clothes, braces, summer camp and more – but handling these budgeting matters is difficult, even among partners who have divorced amicably. Such matters become even more complex as parents remarry and bring additional caregivers into their children’s lives.It was for this reason that Laura MacMahon co-founded Family Plan, an app that facilitates expense sharing between divorcees. MacMahon, who is also the president of the company, stated that the app’s design keeps payment services swift, streamlined and professional. 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

‘Hour of Code’ teaches children about coding, computer literacy

first_imgThis is the third year Hour of Code has been held at BOCES. It is part of a national movement promoting computer literacy at young ages. The children were able to change some of the computer coding to see how it changed the game. As technology rapidly advances, educaors are stressing the importance of computer literacy. “Computer literacy is just as important as reading and writing literacy in our modern world and upsetting the foundation for logic and creativity is what coding does,” said Annie Cartie, a P-Tech math teacher. “So programs like ‘Scratch Junior’ actually created for 5-year-old audiences to start to learn to put patterns together and code.”center_img TOWN OF DICKINSON (WBNG) — Children from the Chenango Valley Nursery School tested out educational computer games that were coded by BOCES Computer Science Students. The event was called “Hour of Code.”last_img read more

Tokyo starts doling out cash to businesses closed due to coronavirus

first_imgIt expects up to 130,000 applications by the June 15 deadline, and had received 66,000 by Friday evening.Following the extension of the nationwide state of emergency through May 31, the metropolitan government plans to additionally pay the same amount of subsidies to businesses that remain closed until the end of the month.The Tokyo government has set aside some 96 billion yen in aid and will earmark the same amount for further assistance in a supplementary budget to be deliberated at a metropolitan assembly session through June 10.The screening process requires businesses to supply posters or copies of website pages announcing the suspension of operations, and which clearly state the shop name and period of closure.Hairdressers and beauty salons are not among businesses requested to shut, but will receive 150,000 yen if they voluntarily choose to do so.The metropolitan government plans to start accepting applications for the additional subsidies after the assembly endorses the extra budget, and to simplify procedures for businesses that applied for the initial subsidies.The capital has reported the most cases of coronavirus infections in Japan at more than 4,800, with 180 deaths. The total number of cases in the country has exceeded 16,500 – including about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo in February – with nearly 650 deaths.Topics : The Tokyo metropolitan government on Monday started compensating small and medium-sized businesses that had suspended operations through last week amid the coronavirus pandemic.Subsidies for businesses and nonprofit organizations shut between April 16 and last Wednesday are worth 500,000 yen ($4,700) for single-shop owners, and 1 million yen for operators of multiple sites.The metropolitan government, which began accepting applications from April 22, had completed screening procedures by Sunday in the quickest cases.last_img read more

Macron braces for setback in French local polls

first_imgFrench people went to the polls wearing face masks Sunday for the final round of municipal elections expected to yield a low voter turnout and a rebuke for the party of President Emmanuel Macron.The opening round was held amid high contagion anxiety on March 15 just as the COVID-19 epidemic was gaining deadly momentum, but the second phase, scheduled for March 22, was put off after France went into lockdown.Despite a record abstention rate of 55 percent, the first round yielded a decisive outcome in some 85 percent, or 30,000, French communes. Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo is forecast to hold on to the capital in Sunday’s vote.With a death toll approaching 30,000, France has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.The country went into lockdown on March 17 — two days after the first election round.Most restrictions have now been eased, but there is widespread anger at the government over shortages of protective equipment, including face masks, in the early stages of the pandemic.During the outbreak, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe — an unshowy technocratic — saw his popularity rise to a level higher than that of Macron, who critics say is a president of the rich, out of touch with ordinary peopleParis is buzzing with speculation that a poor showing by the LREM Sunday could see Macron announce a major cabinet reshuffle, possibly axing Philippe, who campaigned to be mayor of the Normandy port city of Le Havre.Holding two executive posts is allowed under French law.”Although Macron has done a pretty good job of managing COVID-19, he has not been rewarded by his public,” said Mujtaba Rahman, Europe managing director for the Eurasia Group risk consultancy.”A new prime minister, probably further to the left, would allow Macron to claim he is delivering on his promise to ensure the ‘second act’ of his presidency takes note of failings revealed by his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.”With 22 months to go to the next presidential election, “Macron is also tempted to make the change because of Philippe’s soaring popularity,” Rahman said.Macron’s main challenger at a national level is far-right leader Marine Le Pen of the National Rally (RN).A poll by Harris Interactive Epoka on Friday showed that 44 percent of respondents had a favourable opinion of Macron but 51 percent were positive on Philippe, a jump of 13 points for the premier in a few months.”There will not be any significant conquests for LREM,” said Emmanuel Riviere, a pollster with the Kantar Centre on the Future of Europe.”This will deprive the ruling party of a territorial anchor that it could have depended on in future elections,” he said. Despite an abysmal performance in the last presidential elections, France’s Socialists are expected to keep key regional centres, including Paris, where three women are vying for the top job.There will also be close attention on the green Europe Ecology – The Greens (EELV) party, which has its eye on the Alpine hub of Grenoble as well as Strasbourg and Lyon.In Marseille, leftist Michele Rubirola hopes to cause a sensation by taking France’s second city from the right after a quarter of a century of control.For Le Pen’s RN, the big prize would be the southeastern city of Perpignan, which could become the stage for the first far-right takeover of a city of more than 100,000 inhabitants since Toulon in 1995. The only region of France where the vote is not taking place is the overseas territory of Guiana in South America, where the pandemic is still deemed too active to proceed with the vote.Topics : This means political power remains up for grabs Sunday in about 5,000 undecided municipal councils including the key centers of Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, and Strasbourg.Some 16.5 million people are registered to cast a ballot, with those turning out required to wear a face mask and urged to bring their own pens to minimise coronavirus contagion risk.Analysts expect the election will confirm that Macron’s centrist Republic on the Move (LREM) party — founded by the president ahead of his 2017 election win — has failed to gain a strong foothold at local level.The party made lackluster showings in March  — notably in Paris where Macron’s candidate, former health minister Agnes Buzyn, came third.last_img read more

Govt urged to ramp up spending as recession looms

first_imgHousehold spending, which accounts for more than half of the GDP, fell 5.51 percent yoy in the second quarter, while investment, the second-largest contributor, contracted 8.61 percent. Exports and imports shrank by 11.66 percent and 16.97 percent, respectively, due to slowing global trade, but with imports dropping more than exports, trade had a positive impact on GDP in the second quarter.Government spending, which is expected to anchor the economy and boost people’s purchasing power amid cooling private-sector activity, plunged 6.9 percent during the period.“Although we expect a recovery in the third quarter, the economy is at risk of recession if the government fails to ramp up spending and bolster household consumption,” Bank Central Asia (BCA) economist David Sumual told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.”The economic performance will depend heavily on whether the government can accelerate spending to jack up growth,” he stressed. Economists have urged the government to ramp up state spending and control the coronavirus spread to speed up recovery as Indonesia’s economy contracts for the first time since 1999.The gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of goods and services produced, shrunk 5.32 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the second quarter, the steepest decline since the first quarter of 1999, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Wednesday.All components except for net exports fell annually as the country was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government, David said, should bolster spending on direct cash transfers for low-to-middle income earners and inject funds into infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration has allocated Rp 695.2 trillion (US$47.5 billion) of the state budget to stimulate the economy and strengthen the country’s pandemic response, but slow disbursement due to red tape is expected to delay the impact on the economy.The government has only realized Rp 145.4 trillion of the earmarked pandemic response spending so far, dominated by social aid and stimuli for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), while the disbursement of stimulus funds for health care and corporate financing, among other things, lagged.Jokowi has repeatedly expressed disappointment in his Cabinet over the poor utilization of the COVID-19 emergency funds. He said on Monday that the ministries and government institutions lacked a sense of urgency amid the health crisis.“The pace of economic recovery will depend heavily on how well the government controls the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia and the effectiveness of the national economic recovery program going forward,” Bank Mandiri economist Andry Asmoro said.He projected that the economy would shrink further in the third quarter, albeit at a slower pace than in the second quarter, which means Indonesia would fall into a recession.A recession is typically defined as a year-on-year economic contraction in two consecutive quarters.Andry said the economy could contract by 1 percent this year as the decline in activity in the first half was greater than previously anticipated.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati expects the economy to grow at no more than 0.5 percent or even contract further in the third quarter, while fourth-quarter GDP growth is projected to be near 3 percent, making for a full-year expansion of zero to 1 percent.“The government uses its instruments, such as social aid and stimulus packages for MSMEs, so that they keep their workers, to boost people’s purchasing power while bolstering investment,” she said on Wednesday. “We keep guarding the economy, so that it keeps growing and stable.”In overall, the GDP has contracted 1.26 percent in the first half compared to the same period of last year, according to BPS data.The GDP report reflects the impact of widespread disruption to the economy as the government ordered the imposition of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in April and May to contain the coronavirus spread. The restrictions require people to work and study from home and not to congregate in houses of worship.As a consequence, around 3.7 million individuals have lost their jobs so far this year, according to data from the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), a number that is expected to hit around 10 million by the end of the year.Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto also said on Wednesday that the government was preparing new incentives in the form of working capital for 12 million MSMEs and financial support for workers.Airlangga said the economy had bottomed out in the second quarter and may improve in the third quarter as the government reopened the economy.“The improved economic performance since June may take a hit if [coronavirus] cases continue to rise and government spending remains sluggish,” said University of Indonesia economist Fithra Faisal. “The key is to control the pandemic and expedite stimulus spending.”-Riska Rahman contributed to this storyTopics :last_img read more

EPL: Saints compound Bournemouth woes

first_imgRelatedPosts Gundogan tests positive for coronavirus Derby County want Jordon Ibe EPL: Son fires four past Southampton Struggling Bournemouth’s Premier League survival hopes were left hanging by a thread following late VAR drama in a damaging 2-0 home defeat to local rivals Southampton.Cherries academy graduate Sam Surridge thought he had cancelled out Danny Ings’ opener deep into stoppage time at the Vitality Stadium only for the strike to be chalked off for an offside against Callum Wilson. Saints substitute Che Adams compounded the hosts’ misery by doubling the advantage in the final moments.Eddie Howe’s hosts remain three points below 17th-placed Watford, with an inferior goal difference and having played a game more ahead of next weekend’s season finale at Everton.In-form Saints striker Ings, who began his professional career with the Cherries, also had a second-half penalty saved by Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, damaging his pursuit of the golden boot.Victory for Southampton ensured a small piece of history in their remarkable recovery from last October’s 9-0 humiliation at the hands of Leicester.Unmarked Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse headed a decent chance straight at home goalkeeper Ramsdale, before Kyle Walker-Peters almost diverted the ball into his own net following good work from Cherries forward Joshua King. The opening goal arrived on the counter-attack four minutes before the break and there was an air of inevitability about the identity of the goalscorer.Lloyd Kelly’s sloppy pass out from the back was intercepted by Walker-Peters and, after contributions from Shane Long, Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond, Ings shifted the ball out of his feet to clinically bend into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box.Bournemouth had battled back from a half-time deficit in sensational style to shock Leicester last weekend and needed to produce something similar.They survived falling two goals down in the 59th minute when Ramsdale saved Ings’ tame penalty after VAR punished Cherries substitute Harry Wilson for handling following Oriol Romeu’s header from a corner.Ward-Prowse, who missed from the spot at Everton early this month, stepped aside on this occasion but Ings’ effort at the end of a stuttering run-up lacked power, leaving him two goals short of the division’s top scorer Jamie Vardy. Bournemouth created little in the second period but looked to have snatched an unlikely point when Surridge drilled in from close range.Unfortunately for the 21-year-old, England international Wilson was marginally offside in the build up.Bournemouth’s players were left dejected by the decision at Stockley Park.Tags: BournemouthDanny IngsSam SurridgeSouthamptonlast_img read more

Aubameyang cools Arsenal exit speculation

first_img“I don’t even think about that possibility with Auba,” said Arteta. “I want him here.”Arteta has made a positive impact in just over two weeks in charge with a 2-0 win over Manchester United on January 1 the blueprint for what Arsenal are hoping Pep Guardiola’s former assistant can bring to the Emirates.Aubameyang has also been impressed by the Spaniard and believes 2020 can be a far more successful year after a disappointing 2019 that ultimately cost Unai Emery his job.“You can see improvement in our performances and now it has materialised with a deserved win,” added Aubameyang.“The atmosphere was exceptional. When you are on the pitch and you feel the crowd roaring after every run, every tackle, every duel and after every chance, it gives you such a boost mentally. The Emirates felt like a fortress.“You were our 12th man and I felt like Manchester United could have played for hours and they would have never scored.“I really hope it will be like that until the end of the season. All together, we can have a great 2020! We need to be united more than ever.” AubameyangLondon, United Kingdom | AFP |  Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quashed speculation surrounding his future this month ahead of Monday’s FA Cup clash with Leeds.Aubameyang has scored 56 goals in 90 games since joining the Gunners just under two years ago, but has only 18 months left to run on his contract.Reports have suggested the Gabon international, 30, is keen to make sure he is playing Champions League football next season.Arsenal are nine points off the Premier League top four as they aim to end a three-year exile from Europe’s premier club competition. They could also secure a Champions League return by winning the Europa League.“I would also like to react to some of the rumours that are going around about me in the media,” Aubameyang told Arsenal’s official matchday programme.“People like making up stories and they should focus on what’s happening on the pitch. They talk too much and it does my head in!“I am the Arsenal captain. I love this club. I am committed to it and desperate to bring it back to the top, where it belongs.”New Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said earlier this week that he is not even considering the possibility that Aubameyang could leave this month. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more