The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the highly anticipated 2010 – 2011 Top Ten Winter Events. The 2010 – 2011 award recipients display a wide variety of unique Vermont activities that will provide something fun for everyone in all corners of the Green Mountain State. The winners, in chronological order are: Vermont Holiday FestivalKillington, December 9 – 12Enter into a world of magical holiday fun! Take in the smell of fresh balsam and create special memories with family and friends. Events include the Festival of Trees, where more than 100 themed trees decorated by local businesses will be on display for viewing, horsedrawn sleigh rides, and Santa’s workshop, a satellite workshop of the North Pole, where children can help Santa build toys. Fees vary by event. www.killingtonchamber.com/HolidayFestival.php(link is external), 800-337-1928.Woodstock Wassail WeekendWoodstock, December 10 – 12, events from 10 am – 7:30 pm each day, horse parade at 2 pm on December 11.Wassail Weekend in Woodstock celebrates the twinkling holidays in the quintessential New England village. A festive holiday weekend with a spectacular horse parade and caroling around the village green, holiday house tour, musical events, yule log, luminarias at twilight on the green, Santa’s visit to the winter wonderland. Shop, dine, stay – find gifts for everyone in unique shops or relax in a cozy inn and dine on fine cuisine. Experience the magic of the holidays in Woodstock, Vermont! Many, but not all, events are free. www.woodstockvt.com(link is external), 888-496-6378.Stowe Winter CarnivalStowe, January 17 – 29, hours vary for events.Stowe Winter Carnival 2011 will be a fun-filled, zany winter festival of entertaining events, such as snow volleyball, snow golf, ski races, a kids carnival, ice carving, a village night family block party and live music throughout the last two weeks of January. What better way to celebrate winter, than in picturesque Stowe, VT during the 37th Stowe Winter Carnival! At the Stowe Winter Carnival, there is a winter event for everyone to enjoy! Free for all spectators. www.stowewintercarnival.com(link is external), 802-253-7321.2011 TD Bank Craftsbury MarathonCraftsbury Common, January 29, 9 am – 3 pm.The Craftsbury Marathon is the premier cross-country ski event of the East: a twenty-five kilometer loop course classic technique event traversing Vermont’s spectacular Northeast Kingdom. The marathon features 25 and 50 kilometer races. www.craftsbury.com(link is external), 802-586-7767.Sleigh Ride Week at Billings Farm & MuseumWoodstock, February 19 – 27, 10 am – 3:30 pmClimb aboard the Billings Farm sleigh for a ride through the frosty farm fields and take a turn with a jack jumper sled. On the weekends, in commemoration of Presidents Day, sample favorite cookies of the presidents. On Monday, Feb. 20th at 3 pm, Billings Farm will host the Vermont Humanities Council program “John Quincy Adams: Spirit Unconquerable.” (Free admission to program, reservations recommended.) Sleigh rides: $12 adults, $11 seniors, $6 children 5-15, $3 children 3 & 4. www.billingsfarm.org(link is external), 802-457-2355.Vermont Flower ShowEssex Junction, March 4 – 6, Friday 10 am – 8 pm, Saturday 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am – 4 pm.Vermont’s premier flower show offers three days of spring the first weekend in March. Visitors see a grand central display filled with flowering plants, bulbs, water features, and stonework. The 2011 theme is “Sweet Dreams” with a focus on relaxing the mind, body, and spirit as well as stirring up wistful memories, and engaging the fantasies of what you are dreaming of. Three days of seminars and educational workshops are held. There is a professional floral competition and amateur floral competition through the Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont. Cooking from the Garden demonstrations will be held all three days. Kids will find a special room all their own devoted to hands-on activities and scheduled performers to entertain them. Vermont Certified Horticulturists are on hand all three days to answer any gardening or landscaping questions. Adults $15, seniors (60+) $12, students (13-17) $6, kids (3-12) $3. www.greenworksvermont.org(link is external), 888-518-6484.Middlebury Winter Carnival & Chili ContestMiddlebury, March 5, 2 – 4 pm.The Better Middlebury Partnership presents the 3rd Annual Middlebury Winter Carnival & Chili Contest. Last year, 43 vendors served 76 different kinds of chili – and this year, you can expect that number to grow! Amateurs and professionals are encouraged to enter – the public votes! Join downtown Middlebury’s beautiful Main Street for chili, live music, dog sled demonstrations, and more. This quintessential Vermont festival is fun for the whole family! Free admission, unlimited chili samples: $1 kids, $2 adults. www.bettermiddleburypartnership.org(link is external), 802-388-4126.9th Annual Mardi GrasJay, March 7 – 13Celebrate the 9th Annual Mardi Gras Week! A week filled with authentic New Orleans food, music, events for kids and adults, ice skating at the new rink, and great spring skiing and riding. New Orleans Chef Marc Uddo will be back in town, and beads will be flying. Laissez les bons temps rouler! www.jaypeakresort.com(link is external), 800-451-4449.U.S. Open Snowboarding ChampionshipsStratton Mountain, March 14 – 20The U.S. Open is the longest running snowboard event on the planet, attracting the world’s best athletes and Vermont’s finest riders. The event’s open format allows qualifiers the chance to compete against Shaun White, Hannah Teter, and Kelly Clark on the same 22-foot pipe. Free admission. www.stratton.com(link is external), www.ttrworldtour.com(link is external), 800-STRATTON.Green Mountain Film FestivalMontpelier, March 18 – 27One of the best film festivals in the region, the growing popularity of the Green Mountain Film Festival derives from the quality of the programming, the caliber of the guests, and the devotion of an audience that knows it will be educated, entertained, and informed. Feature films, documentaries, and short films from around the world are presented in a relaxed and informal atmosphere at numerous venues throughout this vibrant Vermont community. Basic admission $8.50, discounts available, some events are free. www.greenmountainfilmfestival.org(link is external), 802-262-3423.Each year, a panel of independent judges chooses Vermont’s best activities, selected for their diversity and wide appeal. This year’s winners display a wide-range of family-friendly activities and represent many different parts of the state. “Vermont is known for its engaging and unique events. The high quality of events hosted in our state help influence visitors to choose Vermont as a vacation destination,” noted Vicky Tebbetts, Senior Vice President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. “Each of our Top Ten Winter Events helps set Vermont apart as a great place to visit as well as live.”In order to qualify as a Vermont Chamber of Commerce Top Ten Event, events must appeal to out-of-state visitors as well as Vermonters; appeal to a diverse audience, including children and families; and due to the additional attention a Top Ten Event Award garners, the event must be able to accommodate an influx of visitors up to twice the normal count. Source: VCC. 6.23.2010. The Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the largest statewide, private, not-for-profit business organization represents nearly every sector of the state’s corporate/hospitality community. Our mission is to create an economic climate conducive to business growth and the preservation of the Vermont quality of life.###
Vermont Chamber of Commerce names Top Ten Winter 2010-2011 Events
Return of the Eastern Mountain Lion
Two mountain lion sightings have been confirmed in Tennessee. Another mountain lion was killed on a Connecticut highway. Are these elusive cats prowling the East once again?The photo is black and white.It’s 8:02 p.m., according to the timestamp at the bottom of the image. The flash of the game camera extends to a narrow strip of open dirt, worn with muddy boot prints, the deep tread of machinery—and cat tracks.Standing in the open, left of center, is a slender, fit mountain lion. It’s dark and the image is grainy, but it’s obvious the hind legs pushing the animal forward are tense with muscle. A tail drops straight away from behind them, curling gently before touching the ground, culminating with a black tip carried delicately over the dirt. The animal’s head and front legs are obscured by the tree in the foreground. The scene, even documented as a still photograph, exudes the silence of a ghost in the night.And until October 2015, to residents of Obion County, Tennessee, the cat was a ghost. Stories of cougars in the area were only that—prevalent enough, but never confirmed. This photo was different. Submitted by a 19-year-old student and hunter to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency from a game camera in one of his favorite hunting spots, this image stood out from the slew the agency receives of purported sightings.A date and timestamp on the image, as well as the SD card on which it was recorded, convinced the TWRA of when it was taken. Superimposing photos of deer taken with the same camera showed the feline was far larger than a house cat—nearly as long as the deer. Photo analysis proved the cat wasn’t doctored or added later. And finally, the TWRA confirmed the location by returning to the scene and matching the tree, soybeans and path the cat walked along. “The TWRA can confirm there was, on September 20, 2015, a cougar in Obion County, Tennessee,” a statement read.The problem? With the exception of Southern Florida’s small, endangered panther population, cougars have been extinct east of the Mississippi River since the 1930s.Cats long goneBreeding populations of the Eastern cougar—a subcategory of big cats known interchangeably as cougars, mountain lions, pumas or panthers under the species Puma concolor— haven’t been seen since 1938 in Maine. Nonetheless, the subspecies, which originally stretched from Michigan and Tennessee in the west to Eastern Canada, Maine, and South Carolina in the East, was only declared extinct and removed from the Endangered Species List by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service earlier this year.Seen as a threat to livestock and desired for their pelts, Eastern cougars were rounded up and hunted, some with bounties, beginning in the 1800s. At the same time, the cats’ primary food source—deer—were also hunted to near extinction, a historical footnote that seems almost impossible considering today’s overpopulation of the mammal. But between a human assault and a dwindling food source, the Eastern cougar became an early casualty of American expansion.“There is no Eastern cougar, and there never was an Eastern cougar.”Likely gone roughly 35 years before the Endangered Species Act was signed into law, it took another 45 years for the cats to be officially labeled extinct and removed from protection. A 2011 review of the subspecies status led to a 2015 proposal to delist the animal. A detailed study to examine reports of sightings dating back as far as 1900 concluded the animals were long gone and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially took the subspecies off life support.The species that never wasBut according to specialists, the move might be more of a logistical clean-up than a sad goodbye to a once-in-a-genome superpredator. The Eastern Cougar, as it was originally defined, might in fact be extinct, but many experts will argue that it shouldn’t have existed in the first place.When the Eastern cougar was classified in the early 20th century, taxonomists relied on acute morphological differences between animals to determine if they were the same or a different species. Measurements of skulls and feet, as well as coat color were the main factors that at one time had distinguished 13 subspecies of cougar in North America. But today, according to Dr. Mark Elbroch, the Puma Program lead scientist at the wild cat conservation organization Panthera, there is just one.“There is no Eastern cougar, and there never was an Eastern cougar,” said Elbroch. Today’s scientists classify species slightly more conservatively and largely through genetic studies, and according to Elbroch, there’s not enough genetic difference between any of the continent’s cougars to justify calling them different subspecies. The East’s big cat, by today’s standards, would have only been considered a regional population of the broader North American mountain lion, Puma concolor—an animal with one of the largest ranges of any mammal in the Western Hemisphere.Elbroch agreed that the delisting should have happened, but not about why. “There were many scientists who, when the review came forward, took the stance that we need to declassify or remove this endangered species status, not because of local extinction but because of taxonomic error.”In the end, while Fish and Wildlife noted that the cat likely shouldn’t have been classified separately in the first place, they didn’t fully align with scientists like Elbroch, maintaining that the cougars, as their own distinct subspecies, were extinct.Regardless of the reasoning, the Eastern Cougar’s extinction and removal as an endangered species opens up new avenues for conservation. According to Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, Federal regulations highly control endangered species and any conservation efforts surrounding them. Removing federal protections for the East’s cats makes one thing much easier: reintroduction. According to Robinson, any attempts to previously bring the Western mountain lion to the East would have faced strict regulation for its potential impact to the Eastern Cougar—until this year, legally a separate, and still living subspecies. But with the Eastern Cougar no longer, there’s nothing left to protect.“Legally, that impediment is gone and it allows us to go forward with the question of ‘What was the role of the Eastern Puma in the ecology of the Midwest and Northeast and how has its disappearance affected that ecology?’” Robinson said.The doors to bringing back the mountain lion are officially wide open.Photo: Mark ElbrochMoving backThe 2015 Obion County sighting was hardly the only mountain lion sighting in the East, nor was it even the only confirmed sighting. For years, the cats have been spotted all across their old habitat, including through Appalachia and the Northeast. In 2011, a male mountain lion was hit by a car and killed on a highway in suburban Connecticut. Genetic testing suggested the cougar left South Dakota roughly 2 years and 1,500 miles earlier and traveled through the sprawling Midwest and Northeast without being detected until it was nearly at the Atlantic Ocean.Young males have been known to bounce around, said Elbroch, and aren’t necessary telling of the species’ range. Nonetheless, the mountain lion’s territory is definitely expanding. Studies that have examined the rate of female mountain lion movement—a far more telling statistic—have concluded that the predators are heading east at a rate of roughly 25 miles every year, though Elbroch says humans have a way of slowing that down. As the cats migrate first into populated areas—generally broad river valleys, which humans also like to populate—scared residents are likely slow or stop their spread entirely. “We have previously exterminated cougars in the East and we can do it again,” he said.Can cougars help control deer?With the difficulties associated with cougars naturally making their way east, the more likely—and certainly quicker—option for returning the cougar to its native habitat in the East is a human-led reintroduction. According to Robinson, bringing cougars east would allow them to skip through undesirable and more dangerous environments. It would also likely include a pronounced education program to teach Easterners how to interact with the new predators, as well as a more robust protection program which, currently, is not in place (most states do have some level of protections in place for cougars, but reintroduction would require much more strict hunting laws to be effective).There were three times more Americans attacked by sharks in 2017 alone than people attacked by cougars on the continent since 1970.Now that reintroduction—physically bringing cougars from the West to East Coast locations with the hope that they repopulate—has no chance of impacting an endangered and heavily protected Eastern Cougar population, the process would be up to individual states to implement, or work together to do.“I think it should be discussed,” said Robinson, who pointed to areas like New York’s Adirondack region and National Parks in Appalachia as prime reintroduction locations because of their high deer numbers, ready-to-go protections, a low road density, and smaller winter snowpack.Elbroch would also welcome states bringing back the cougar but is reluctant to think it will actually happen. “It would be a difficult battle,” he said, largely because of the opinions and fears many Easterners already have toward predators like the mountain lion.In May 2018, a mountain lion attacked two mountain bikers 30 miles east of Seattle, Washington, killing one, but it’s only the 15th fatal attack in North America since 1970. Since 1890 in the U.S. and Canada, there have been 100 attacks on humans at all, according to the research organization The Cougar Network.Robinson argues the miniscule risk of cougar attacks (there were three times more Americans attacked by sharks in 2017 alone than people attacked by cougars on the continent since 1970) is far outweighed by the benefits that would be seen by bringing cougars to the East.“The risks from cougars are risks that people in huge swaths of the United States already take into account and deal with,” he said. “And luckily for them, they don’t end up with Lyme Disease.”The cougar’s primary prey—deer—are present in the East at historically high levels, leading to an unnatural prevalence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, auto accidents, and even the destruction and damage of native flora and fauna by the unnaturally large deer population, all of which he says could be impacted by reintroducing the deer’s natural predator.According to a paper published by several wildlife biologists in 2016, the reintroduction of cougars to the East would dramatically decrease deer densities and deer-vehicle collisions by 22 percent, preventing 21,400 human injuries, 155 fatalities, and $2.13 billion in costs within 30 years of an established population.For Elbroch, the ecological impacts of reintroducing a big cat to the East would be tremendous. The disappearance of wildflowers, shrubbery, tree saplings and native grasses have also been linked to overbrowsing by the large deer population. Understory foliage, in turn, impacts birds and smaller animals, all of which would be impacted by cougars and the subsequent decline in the deer population. Deer have also been named as one of the most prolific spreaders of invasive plant species in the East.“Introducing top predators to ecosystems changes everything, in some unpredictable ways,” he said. “We have no idea what would change in New England if we threw mountains lions in there.” But increased biodiversity and changes in animal patterns would all lead to a more resilient ecosystem, Elbroch said. “Would I like to see it? You bet.”One way or another, Obion County, Tennessee—and the rest of the East—has likely not seen the last of the ghost cat.
Summit of the Americas Could Initiate Debate about Anti-Drug Policies
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos stated on April 11 that with regard to anti-drug policy, the most that the 33 presidents attending the 6th Summit of the Americas on April 14 will accept is to start a discussion. “The fight against drugs is not the topic of the summit and should not be the topic of the summit. It’s going to be discussed, yes, because that’s what the vast majority of the countries that are coming want,” Santos stated. ALBA is made up of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. The “maximum that can come out of here is the start of a discussion” that the participating countries are “on the brink of beginning,” said the president, who came to welcome reporters accredited to the summit at the Cartagena Naval Museum, set up as a press center. Santos and some Central American presidents have announced their intention to propose a debate about the focus of the fight against drugs during the presidential summit. By Dialogo April 13, 2012 Santos again regreted the decision of his Ecuadorean counterpart, Rafael Correa, not to travel to Cartagena due to Havana’s absence, and he expressed his desire to “find common denominators” for cooperation with the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA). The U.S. government has shown itself open to discussion, although it has indicated that it will not modify its policy of a frontal assault on illegal drugs. With regard to Cuba’s controversial absence from the summit, Santos joined other presidents from the Americas in calling for the Cartagena summit to be the last of this kind without the Havana administration. “I don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future, but I hope that this will be the last summit without Cuba,” he affirmed.
April 30, 2003 Disciplinary Actions
April 30, 2003 Disciplinary Actions April 30, 2003 Regular News T he Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders suspended 10 attorneys, reprimanded four, accepted the disciplinary resignation of three, disbarred five, and placed one on probation. The following lawyers are disciplined: Peter Balodis III, 222 4th St., Pennsburg, Pa., suspended from practicing law in Florida for 91 days, effective 30 days following a February 20 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 2000) On May 21, 2001, Balodis was arrested in Seminole County and charged with assault-domestic upon his then girlfriend. (Case no. SC02-1751) Jerrold William Bartman, 354 Ferris Road, Schenectady, N.Y., reprimanded for professional misconduct following a March 13 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1997) Among his several Bar rule violations, Bartman authorized and permitted a nonlawyer employee of his law firm to have exclusive contact with a client and failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client. (Case no. SC02-2091) Andres Alberto Bengochea, 175 Fountain Bleau Blvd., Ste. 2, Miami, resigned in lieu of disciplinary proceedings, without leave to seek readmission, effective 30 days following a February 27 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1987) On December 23, 2002, Bengochea was convicted of 33 counts of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to launder money, uttering forged checks, bank fraud and possessing stolen mail. (Case no. SC03-48) Andrew Arthur Bevan, 1200 Masanabo Lane, Fort Myers, suspended from practicing law in Florida, effective 30 days following a February 25 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1996) On or about October 14, 2002, Bevan was adjudicated guilty of one count of criminal mischief, a third degree felony. (Case no. SC03-275) Vaughn Carpenter Brennan, 405 Glenmeade Court, Gretna, La., resigned in lieu of disciplinary proceedings, without leave to seek readmission, effective 30 days following a March 20 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1972) Brennan allegedly improperly disbursed money from his trust account. (Case no. SC02-2719) Thomas Gustave Brown, 406 Oyster Road, North Palm Beach, disbarred from practicing law in Florida, effective retroactive to June 23, 1998, following a March 13 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1979) In October 1996, Brown was charged with tampering with witness, victim or informant, and with conspiracy to tamper with witness, victim or informant. (Case no. SC90092) Kevin Joseph Coffey, 153 Lost Lake, Marlton, N.J., resigned in lieu of disciplinary proceedings, with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective immediately following a February 20 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1992) Coffey was convicted in New Jersey of conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute marijuana, a felony. (Case no. SC02-2642) Steven Werner Effman, 8000 Peters Road, Ste. 200, Plantation, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 91 days, effective April 21, following a February 20 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1977) Effman engaged in sexual relationships with three female matrimonial and/or domestic relations clients, such inappropriate relationships commenced subsequent to the creation of the attorney-client relationship, and which resulted in limiting and impairing his ability to exercise sound professional judgment with regard to the representation of each client. (Case no. SC02-1119) Geneva Carol Forrester, P.O. Box 40010, Saint Petersburg, suspended from practicing law in Florida until further court order, effective 30 days following a November 20, 2002, court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1973) While serving a 60-day suspension, Forrester engaged in the practice of law. (Case no. SC02-1752) John Christopher Hubbard, 4690 Lipscomb St. N.E., Palm Bay, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 60 days, effective retroactive to November 15, 2002, following a February 6 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1992) Hubbard violated Bar rules in several unrelated matters. He failed to adequately communicate with clients, neglected his clients’ cases, and failed to respond to official Bar inquiries into his conduct. (Case nos. SC02-330, SC02-1579 and SC02-1957) Daryl Charles Jaquette, 880 Pinemeadow Ct., Jacksonville, disbarred from practicing law in Florida, effective 30 days following a March 6 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1992) In two unrelated matters, Jaquette accepted legal fees and represented himself as a practicing attorney while he was a delinquent member not allowed to practice law. (Case no. SC02-1938) Alexandre Lasnaud, 23123 State Road 7, Ste. 245, Boca Raton, disbarred from practicing law in Florida, effective retroactive to February 8, 2002, following a February 20 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1997) In January 2002, Lasnaud pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice and was sentenced to five months in prison. (Case no. SC02-1545) Terry Lynn Leach, P.O. Box 71763, Las Vegas, Nev., placed on probation for three years, effective immediately following a February 20 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1996) Leach borrowed funds from clients, which she has not repaid, either in part or in full. The promissory note she prepared in favor of the clients indicated that the sum she would pay was $22,500. (Case no. SC02-1475) Michael Edward Martinko, 435 N. Orange Ave., Ste. 400, Orlando, reprimanded for professional misconduct following a March 20 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1992) Martinko failed to respond, in writing, to Bar inquiries into his conduct. (Case no. SC02-1024) Laura McCarthy, 4690 Lipscomb St. N.E., Ste. 5, Palm Bay, reprimanded for professional misconduct following a January 30 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1993) McCarthy failed to abide by a client’s decisions concerning the objectives of representation, to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client, to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information, to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation, and to respond to Bar inquiries into her conduct. (Case no. SC02-2129) Jon Alex Merkle, 1450 Atlantic Shores Blvd., Ste. 310, Hallandale, suspended from practicing law in Florida, effective immediately following a February 21 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1999) In December 2002, Merkle was found guilty of one count of driving with a suspended/revoked license, one count of possession of cocaine, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, and one count of having an obscured or missing license plate. (Case no. SC03-221) Warner Barker Miller III, 14B Windflower Court, Asheville, N.C., disbarred from practicing law in Florida, effective immediately following a March 6 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1980) Miller failed to disburse settlement funds as set forth in a stipulation of pro-rata reimbursement and failed to hold the settlement proceeds in trust per a notice of workers’ compensation lien. (Case no. SC01-2827) Louis Steven Robles, 100 S. Biscayne Blvd., Ste. 900, Miami, suspended from practicing law in Florida until further court order, effective 30 days following a February 19 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1972) A review of Robles’ two trust accounts revealed that there is clear, convincing and undeniable evidence that Robles misappropriated client’s funds and was using recent deposits to satisfy obligations to clients incurred in prior periods. Robles deposited $803,159.56 pertaining to 296 asbestos clients into one trust account and misappropriated the all of the client’s funds by issuing eight trust account checks to himself and/or his law firm. (Case no. SC03-214) Marjorie Hollman Shoureas, P.O. Box 350525, Ft. Lauderdale, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 91 days, effective 30 days following a February 20 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 2000) Shoureas failed to provide competent representation and to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing two unrelated clients. She also failed to respond to Bar inquiries into her conduct. (Case no. SC02-2226) Jerry B. Schreiber, 1 N.E. 2nd Ave., Miami, permanently disbarred from practicing law in Florida, effective immediately following a December 19 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1973) While he was suspended from practicing law, Schreiber continued to hold himself out as an attorney, dispense legal advice, draft pleadings, negotiate with opposing counsel, meet with clients, and accept legal fees. (Case no. SC01-1407) Mark David Swanson, 169 E. Flagler St., Ste. 1433, Miami, reprimanded for professional misconduct following a February 20 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1984) Swanson failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client and to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information. (Case no. SC02-1145) Edward H. Wohl, 55 Quaker Bridge Road, Croton on Hudson, N.Y., suspended from practicing law in Florida for 90 days, effective 30 days following a March 20 court opinion. ( Admitted to practice : 1974) Wohl offered an inducement to a witness that went far beyond reasonable expenses paid by the witness. (Case no. SC95770) Kevin D. Woodring, 5327 Commercial Way, Ste. D119, Spring Hill, suspended from practicing law until further court order, effective 30 days following a March 5 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1989) Woodring misappropriated funds from trusts for which he acted as trustee. (Case no. SC03-339) Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline.
Facility solutions: Budgeting for growth
The holiday season brings warm times with family and friends, good food and some vacation for most. The holidays also add many tasks to our already busy schedules. One task critical to each credit union is budgeting for next year. The budgeting process must consider how business opportunities and climate drive costs for staff, technologies, products and services, growth and its associated operating costs. Your second biggest cost (after staffing) and the least flexible cost is facilities occupancy.During the holiday season, our phones at EHS are busy with questions about how to budget for next year’s growth. Let’s look at a few of the most typical questions. Please note that the costs reflect national averages, and that site variables can be considerable.What is the average cost of renovating a branch facility?Renovation costs depend on the condition of the facility, size and scope. Many credit unions have developed a prototype branch that defines a kit of parts for each location. The parts are applied to different levels of renovation based on the value of the branch and the expected return on investment. But in general, a credit union can expect a 2,500-square-foot branch interior with no facility operating issues to range in cost from $50 to $250 per square foot. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Passenger traffic growth at airports by 18%
The total passenger traffic at airports in July 2017 amounted to 1 thousand, which is an increase of 750% compared to July 2016, when passenger traffic amounted to 1 thousand.In July 2017, the growth of passenger traffic compared to July 2016 was recorded by Split Airport (20,9%), Dubrovnik Airport (15,6%), Zagreb Airport (14,3%), Pula Airport (32,0, 19,3%), Zadar Airport (40,7%), Osijek Airport (62,0%) and Brač Airport (11,5%), and a decrease was recorded in Rijeka Airport (33,0%) and the airport Mali Lošinj (XNUMX%).The most significant passenger traffic was realized with the airports of the United Kingdom and shows an increase of 31,7% compared to the same period last year. The total number of aircraft landings and take-offs at airports in July 2017 was 18, an increase of 356% compared to 16 landings and take-offs in July 985.Source: CBS
LSH reverses office closure programme
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Stay home, President says
Jokowi said that while Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi had tested positive for the virus, the rest of the Cabinet had already been tested for COVID-19 earlier on Sunday morning.Jokowi said he would have himself tested for COVID-19 on Sunday afternoon.Read also: Where in the world was Indonesian minister before announced as COVID-19 positive?“I ask all the people of Indonesia to stay calm, not to panic, to stay productive and to be more alert, so that we can slow down and stop the spread of COVID-19,” said the President who was receiving test hours after making the speech.Jokowi’s speech came as public and international concerns grew over whether the Indonesian government had been doing enough to prevent a sustained community transmission of the highly contagious disease.Regional heads in a number of areas — including Jakarta, Banten and West Java — have decided to temporarily close schools and public areas in an effort to contain the coronavirus. They have also called on the government to allow them to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to isolate infected people and prevent a wider contagion.In a letter, World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged Jokowi to scale up the country’s emergency response mechanisms for containing the COVID-19 outbreak by, among other things, declaring a national state of emergency.Tedros said the agency had “seen undetected or under-detected cases at the early stages of the outbreak [which] result in significant increases in cases and deaths in some countries” and asked Indonesia to intensify case finding, contact tracing, monitoring, quarantine of contacts and isolation of cases.Read also: COVID-19: WHO urges Jokowi to declare national emergencyMembers of the Indonesian Young Scientists Forum (YSF) have also sent a letter to the Office of the Presidential Staff asking the government to impose a lockdown on several areas.“We recommend a lockdown for regions that have seen confirmed cases double within a day,” Fenny Dwivanily, a molecular biologist at the Bandung Institute of Technology and a member of the YSF, told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.The scientists said the government might have missed the chance to contain the virus by failing to detect, test and isolate the first suspected patients in time. One indicator for that was that the government did not report any cases in January and February and only begun reporting cases in March. Within less than two weeks, the tally exponentially rose from zero to 96 cases.“There was a delay in the containment effort so that would make it more difficult for the government to control the spread of the virus. We could see a situation that resembles the ones in Italy and Iran or even worse,” they said.Syahrizal Syarief, an epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia, said Jokowi should follow the WHO’s recommendation to declare a national emergency.“The legal aspect of declaring [an emergency] is that the government will have the right to issue national reserves in the form of money and other resources. That means the finance minister could allocate funds from the state budget with no need to seek approval from the House of Representatives,” he said.He also suggested that the government use the 1984 Communicable Disease Outbreak Law and the 2018 Health Quarantine Law to address the crisis. The laws stipulate that a lockdown should be imposed on areas where community transmissions have occurred.The government revealed that confirmed cases had been found in West Java, Surakarta in Central Java, Yogyakarta, Bali, Manado in North Sulawesi and Pontianak, West Kalimantan. It has set up a fast-response team led by National Disaster Mitigation Agency head Doni Monardo.“The WHO has declared it [the coronavirus] a pandemic, so now the status is a non-natural disaster,” Doni told the media on Saturday.Topics : President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is calling on all Indonesians to just stay home as the country of 270 million people braces for the worst pandemic in recent memory.In his first national address on the COVID-19 outbreak on Sunday, the President highlighted the importance of practicing what is called “social distancing” to stop the spread of the coronavirus that has already claimed thousands of lives worldwide.“Under the current conditions, it’s time for us to work from home, study from home and worship at home,” Jokowi said at a press conference at Bogor Palace in West Java on Sunday. “It’s time for us to work together, to help each other, to unite and cooperate. We want this to be a community movement, so that the COVID-19 problem can be addressed to the fullest.” Read also: Social distancing: What it is and why it’s the best tool we have to fight the coronavirusAs of Sunday afternoon, Indonesia recorded 117 confirmed COVID-19 cases, five of which ended as fatalities. Scientists, however, believe that the number is much higher than the official tally, saying the government’s lethargic response to the health crisis could have cost it a window of opportunity to contain the virus’ spread.The President said he would leave the decision of whether to declare states of emergency up to the individual regional heads. “As a large country and an archipelago, the spread of COVID-19 varies from region to region,” he said. “Therefore, I ask all governors, regents and mayors to continue to monitor their respective regions and consult with medical experts and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency [BNPB] to determine the emergency levels in their regions.”He added that the government guaranteed it had enough stocks of staple goods to meet everyone’s needs. “We have also prepared economic incentives, as has been announced by the coordinating economic minister, so that the business world can carry on as usual,” he said.
Oxfam urges rescue to stop ‘half a billion more’ in poverty
International aid group Oxfam on Thursday urged world leaders to agree a comprehensive rescue package to muster some US$2.5 trillion needed to prevent half a billion more people being pushed into poverty by the coronavirus pandemic. It warned that the economic fallout of the coronavirus risked setting back the fight against poverty by a decade, and as much as 30 years in some regions including Africa and the Middle East.Oxfam cited research by the King’s College London and Australian National University estimating that as many as half a billion people could be forced into poverty, or 8 percent of the world’s population. Oxfam warned that while many wealthy nations have introduced multi-billion-dollar economic stimulus packages to support business and workers “most developing nations lack the financial firepower to follow suit.”Delivering the $2.5 trillion the UN estimates is needed to support developing countries through the pandemic would also require an additional $500 billion in overseas aid, Oxfam said. Read also: Coronavirus pandemic ‘amplifying’ poverty in UKMeanwhile, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) president Suma Chakrabarti has called on the international community to join forces to combat the coronavirus pandemic, describing the demand for emergency financing as “huge”.He warned that the current crisis is the “greatest disruption to global economic activity since the Second World War”.The EBRD has already announced a 1.0 billion euro solidarity package and Chakrabarti said the developmental lender was now working on a second phase of its program.Topics : “An ‘Emergency Rescue Package for All’ would enable poor countries to provide cash grants to those who have lost their income and to bail out vulnerable small businesses,” Oxfam said.Read also: Jakarta’s poor at risk as city drags feet on COVID-19 social assistanceAmong the measures that should be undertaken include the immediate cancellation of $1 trillion worth of developing country debt payments in 2020 and the creation of at least US$1 trillion in new international reserves.”G20 Finance Ministers, the IMF and World Bank must give developing countries an immediate cash injection to help them bail out poor and vulnerable communities,” said Jose Maria Vera, Oxfam International Interim Executive Director.
It’s not the economy, stupid: Stock markets soar to record highs
The record highs attained by Wall Street last week might come as welcome news for US President Donald Trump.But the booming stock markets will offer little solace to the many millions of people who have lost their jobs and livelihoods as the coronavirus pandemic pushes economies around the globe ever deeper into recession.”This is the great American comeback!” tweeted Trump’s deputy Mike Pence last Tuesday, after the S&P 500 stock index soared to a fresh historic high and the tech-rich Nasdaq notched up one record after the other in recent weeks. And with governments and central banks currently pumping vast amounts of money into their financial systems to avert a meltdown, and some companies in the S&P 500 upgrading their earnings forecasts for 2020 and even for 2021, the outlook could actually be rosier than the current economic data suggest.”The stock market is not the economy,” said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.High techA number of companies are already starting to publish better-than-expected earnings with activity picking up again as many countries begin to ease the draconian lockdowns imposed in the second quarter. At a time when working from home, online streaming and social networks are an increasingly integral part of everyday life, it is technology companies that are currently tending to shine, while other sectors of the economy pick up the pieces from the economic disaster wrought by the pandemic.Apple, for example, booked net profit of US$11 billion in the three months to June. And its share price has doubled since March, taking its market valuation to over $2 trillion, the highest ever seen on Wall Street. In 2016, tech stocks accounted for 20 percent of the S&P index. But their share has since risen to a third, according to Nicholas Colas, co-founder of the US firm, DataTrek Research. “Whether technology stocks have further to run is the multi-billion-dollar question,” said Richard Hunter at Interactive Investor.Patrick O’Hare, chief analyst at Briefing.com, appears to think they do. “The stock market remains convinced that the (US Federal Reserve) is never going to let any worst-case trading scenario unfold for the stock market.” By slashing interest rates to zero and rolling out massive bond purchasing programmes, central banks such as the US Fed have placed a sheltering hand over their financial systems. Riskier assetsIn March, the US Congress approved a mammoth $2.2-trillion recovery package, topped up by nearly $500 billion in April, and another one is under discussion. This is encouraging investors to bet on ever riskier assets in their hunt for returns, with stocks the prime candidates. While Wall Street fizzles, financial markets in other parts of the world are also performing well — Japan’s Nikkei index and Germany’s blue-chip DAX are similarly near their all-time highs — even if the mood is not quite so exuberant. “All the excess cash is systematically channeled into the American market, rather than to Asia or Europe,” said Christopher Dembik at Saxo Banque. Some of the enthusiasm had petered out by the end of the week and Wall Street’s performance on Friday was tepid.”One can’t necessarily take for granted that it will translate into a lower close for the stock market,” said Briefing.com analyst O’Hare. It was a “well-known fact that this stock market has generally greeted any weakness as a buying opportunity.”Late August is a notoriously slow trading period, which can produce big price swings on the least bit of news. But with a study by the US Fed showing that just over half of Americans own shares, it remains to be seen whether the current euphoria on Wall Street will last into November and swing the presidential election for Trump. Topics : However, the disconnect between the financial markets and the real economy could not be starker as coronavirus lockdowns destroy untold numbers of jobs and push even traditional economic powerhouses such as the US, Britain and Germany into unprecedented contractions. The US economy, the world’s biggest, contracted by 9.5 percent in the second quarter, Britain’s economic output shrank by 20.4 percent and Germany’s by 10.1 percent. For many, then, the party mood on stock markets might appear “indecent”, said Saxo Banque economist Christopher Dembik. But that was a “misunderstanding”, he said, as it is an investor’s job to place bets on the longer-term economic outlook.