Campbell’s Bakery to open bakery school in Scotland

April 20, 2021

first_imgCampbell’s Bakery in Crieff plans to set up what managing director Iain Campbell describes as ‘the first bakery school in Scotland’.The first class will run on 28 January, following a ‘test class’ in October that Campbell said was well received.He told British Baker: “It’s been an idea for a while – ideally we’d like to expand into the derelict hotel next door and make it a full-time bakery school. We’re in talks with a local property developer on that front, but we’re starting out on our existing premises first.”Campbell hopes that launching classes at the bakery first will demonstrate to potential funders that there’s a significant demand.“I’ve done my research,” he said, “and from what I can see this is the first purely dedicated bakery school in Scotland.”Campbell said his wife Ailsa gave him the idea – he has already done “bits and pieces” of teaching with a local high school for the past five years, and has trained two young Scottish Bakers of the Year: “I’m hoping to sign another one so I can make it a hat-trick.”Scottish Bakers said they were not aware of any other dedicated bakery schools in Scotland, and wished Campbell all the best with his endeavours. They also noted the recent investments in bakery at the City of Glasgow School.Last month Scottish Bakers won the Conference Development category accolade for the second consecutive year at the UK Associations Awards.last_img read more

Elements Music Festival To Bring Bassnectar, Emancipator To New York City

March 2, 2021

first_imgBassnectar, Emancipator, Desert Dwellers, Snakehips, and many more will perform when the one-day Elements Music & Arts Festival heads to the Bronx in New York City on August 11th.In keeping with its name, the Elements Festival will feature four stages: the Earth Stage, Water Stage, Fire Stage, and Air Stage. Additionally, the gathering will showcase a variety of immersive and interactive art installations, including cutting-edge works that utilize programmable LEDs, projections, and motion capture technology.Other acts on the bill include Jade Cicada, Goldfish, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, and at least three currently-unnamed acts.Tickets for the Elements Festival are now on sale. At least $1 from every ticket sold will go to Bassnectar’s Dollar Per Bass Head campaign, which donates the money to various charitable initiatives.last_img read more

Ride the Cyclone’s Cast & Creative Team Prep for New York Premiere

January 18, 2021

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 28, 2016 View Comments Ride the Cyclone Related Showscenter_img A new off-Broadway comedy is beginning its ascent! Ride the Cyclone is all strapped in for its New York premiere at Lucille Lortel Theatre on November 9. The cast boasts both Broadway alums and welcome newcomers, including Emily Walton, Johnny Newcomb, Gus Halper, Kholby Wardell, Lillian Castillo, Spring Awakening fave Alex Wyse, Bring It On star Taylor Louderman and Emily Rohm. The story follows a high school choir eager to board the Cyclone roller coaster; doing so will lead to their tragic end. Rachel Rockwell directs and choreographs the Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell musical (pictured below). The original production (which included Castillo, Rohm and Wardell) ran at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre last fall . Get ready for a new work full of humor and heart as a mechanical fortune teller invites each student to tell the story of a life interrupted. Opening night it set for December 1 and the limited engagement will run through December 18. We’re definitely getting on line for this one! Emily Walton, Johnny Newcomb, Gus Halper, Kholby Wardell, Lillian Castillo, Alex Wyse, Taylor Louderman & Emily Rohm(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser)last_img read more

Gardening In Georgia

January 17, 2021

first_imgKudzu is common throughout the South and seems unstoppable. But it has an Achilles heel: The soft crown where it emerges from the ground. On the Aug. 19 episode of “Gardening in Georgia with Walter Reeves,” Reeves shows guest Katie Leslie how easy it is to find and destroy the crown.”Gardening in Georgia” airs on Georgia Public Broadcasting stations across the state each Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., and repeats Wednesdays at 7 p.m. However, it will not be shown at its regular time on Aug. 15. So don’t miss the Wednesday, Aug. 19 only showing of this episode.They’re unlike any other creature you find in a garden. The bright yellow larvae of the Mexican bean beetle eat the leaves of beans and squash. Reeves will demonstrate how to control this ravenous pest.As summer thunderstorms hit, they can leave death and destruction in your landscape. Hank Bruno of Callaway Gardens will teach Reeves how to protect two white oak trees after they were hit by lightening. The pure white blooms are gorgeous in summer evenings and the scent is irresistible. Moon vine has been a Reeves’ favorite for a long time. Find out more about this Southern favorite. And, carnivorous plants have a certain macabre attraction. Erin Alvarez shows Reeves how to repot these interesting plants.“Gardening in Georgia” is produced by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Learn more about the show and download useful publications at the Web site www.gardeningingeorgia.com.last_img read more

Merchants Bancshares announces 28 cent dividend, added to Russell 3000 Index

January 1, 2021

first_imgSource: Merchants. SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt., July 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, announced July 16, 2009, that its Board of Directors declared a dividend of 28 cents per share, payable August 13, 2009, to shareholders of record as of July 30, 2009. Merchants plans to release earnings on or about July 29, 2009. In addition, Merchants announced that it was added to the broad-market Russell 3000 Index when Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes on June 26, 2009.Mr. Michael Tuttle, Merchants’ President and Chief Executive Officer; and Ms. Janet Spitler, Merchants’ Chief Financial Officer, will host a conference call to discuss these earnings results at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday, July 31, 2009. Interested parties may participate in the conference call by dialing (888) 423-3273; the title of the call is Earnings Release Conference Call for Merchants Bancshares, Inc. Participants are asked to call a few minutes prior to register. A replay will be available until noon on Friday, August 7, 2009. The U.S. replay dial-in telephone number is (800) 475-6701. The international replay telephone number is (320) 365-3844. The replay access code for both replay telephone numbers is 967738.Annual reconstitution of Russell’s U.S. indexes captures the 4,000 largest U.S. stocks as of the end of May, ranking them by total market capitalization. Merchants’ membership in the Russell 3000, which remains in place for one year, means automatic inclusion in the Russell 2000 Index, a Russell 3000 subset representing small-cap securities. Russell indexes are widely used by investment managers and institutional investors for index funds and as benchmarks for both passive and active investment strategies. An industry-leading $4 trillion in assets currently are benchmarked to them.Mr. Tuttle commented, “It is gratifying to see that our commitment to core banking principles has contributed to our strong relative performance in this challenging economic environment. We are very pleased to be included in an index that includes so many fine companies.”Merchants Bank was established in 1849 in Burlington, Vermont. Its continuing mission is to provide Vermonters with a statewide community bank that combines a strong technology platform with a genuine appreciation for local markets. Merchants Bank delivers this commitment through a branch-based system that includes: 34 community bank offices and 42 ATMs throughout Vermont; local branch presidents and personal bankers dedicated to high-quality customer service; free online banking, phone banking, and electronic bill payment services; high-value depositing programs that feature Free Checking for Life®, Cash Rewards Checking, Rewards Checking for Business, business cash management, money market accounts, health savings accounts, certificates of deposit, Flexible CD, IRAs, and overdraft assurance; feature-rich loan programs including mortgages, home equity credit, vehicle loans, personal and small business loans and lines of credit; and merchant card processing. Merchants Bank offers a strong set of commercial and government banking solutions, delivered by experienced banking officers in markets throughout the state; these teams provide customized financing for medium-to-large companies, non-profits, cities, towns, and school districts. Please visit www.mbvt.com(link is external) for access to Merchants Bank information, programs, and services. Merchants’ stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market system under the symbol MBVT. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.Some of the statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The forward-looking statements reflect Merchants’ current views about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and changes in circumstances that may cause Merchants’ actual results to differ significantly from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Forward-looking statements should not be relied on since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond Merchants’ control and which could materially affect actual results. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include changes in general economic conditions in Vermont, changes in interest rates, changes in competitive product and pricing pressures among financial institutions within Merchants’ markets, and changes in the financial condition of Merchants’ borrowers. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent Merchants’ judgment as of the date of this release, and Merchants cautions readers not to place undue reliance on such statements. For further information, please refer to Merchants’ reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.last_img read more

Alliant Energy to eliminate coal generation in Iowa and Michigan, invest $2 billion in renewables

December 31, 2020

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:Alliant Energy on Thursday issued its Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR), revealing a plan to eliminate coal use and cut emissions 80% by 2050. The company will spend more than $2 billion on new renewable energy, and will double its number of wind sites from six to a dozen. Renewables will make up more than 30% of its energy mix by 2030.Alliant joins a handful of utilities announcing plans to eliminate coal use and increase investment in renewables. In June, Consumers Energy announced it would file a long-term plan that calls for nixing coal use by 2040 and more than tripling renewable energy utilization over the course of the next 10 years. In January, PPL Corp. said it expects most of its Kentucky coal fleet to be retired by 2050 and Duke Energy has included coal-less scenarios in its long-term planning.New construction and purchase agreements will allow Alliant to grow its wind portfolio to more than 2,700 MW by 2021. Earlier this year Alliant received approval for 500 MW of wind in Iowa, which means about a third of its capacity in that state will be wind power by 2020.The plan calls for over $2.3 billion in planned capital expenditures over the next five years, with a focus on grid infrastructure. More: Alliant plans to eliminate coal, cut emissions 80% by 2050 Alliant Energy to eliminate coal generation in Iowa and Michigan, invest $2 billion in renewableslast_img read more

Former President Uribe Recommends to Honduras Belligerent Unity Against Crime

December 20, 2020

first_imgBy Dialogo September 06, 2011 At a forum in Honduras, former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe recommended the integration of government and municipal authorities with private business and civil society as a way to successfully fight crime. Uribe made the proposal to authorities from Honduras’s 298 municipalities, during a forum on the “role of government agencies, municipal governments, and civil society in citizen security.” According to the former president, “in order to achieve success in fighting organized crime, the participation of municipal and government authorities, private business, and civil society is needed, as true strategic allies in the fight against insecurity.” Uribe was invited to speak about the topic in recognition of the results he obtained in the fight against crime and drug trafficking during his time in office as president of Colombia, from 2002 to 2010. He affirmed that his administration reduced poverty by 25 percent, kidnappings fell from 4,000 to zero, and he recovered 200 municipalities in the power of organized crime. Honduran authorities are concerned by rising violence and crime, which seem to be growing by leaps and bounds every day, even in the country’s most remote areas, while the police and the judicial system are powerless. “Citizen security should be, above all, a challenge for society in general. People should be aware of the problem, so that they can make their own contributions. It’s a matter of making firm decisions and, instead of investing in bureaucracy, having more police and more technology to fight crime,” he said. In the fight against crime, he added, “no one can do miracles, but if we’re on top of the problem, we can resolve it little by little,” although “the state should be frugal and avoid bureaucratic solutions, because they deceive the people.”last_img read more

Panama to be Most Secure Country in the Americas

December 20, 2020

first_imgBy Claudia Sánchez-Bustamante/Diálogo February 22, 2017 Given its geographical location as the central axis of the American hemisphere, Panama, with the support of the National Air-Naval Service (SENAN as per its Spanish acronym), will host the 2017 Caribbean Basin Coastal Surveillance and Maritime Security Summit (CABSEC) and the 2017 South American Security Summit (SAMSEC). Both conferences will be jointly held from March 21 to 23, welcoming more than 100 representatives from the defense and security establishments, and corporate manufacturers of equipment from around the world.They will discuss common issues facing the nations of the region in their joint struggle against transnational organized crime and terrorism, as well as the environment, the economy, and the importance of interagency cooperation.Diálogo spoke with Panama’s Minister of Security, Alexis Bethancourt, so that he could give us a better perspective on the expectations for this event, the security gains his country has made, and the importance of the the event taking place in Panama. Diálogo: After nine months in office, since May of 2016, what are your main goals as Minister of Security for Panama? Panamanian Minister of Security Alexis Bethancourt: My main goal is to make Panama the most secure country in the Americas – not just in Latin America, but in the Americas.Why do I say that that is the main goal? Because from our beginning as a country, Panama has always faced special circumstances that would be risky in other nations, but we have always coped with those circumstances. One is our geography, which is clearly advantageous: it allows us to be the hub of the Americas, a central logistics point with the canal; but our geographical location also requires that we do more enforcement. We find ourselves in a trafficking corridor, and Panama is the leading country in drug trafficking interdiction, as the nations to our south are the largest drug producers, and those to the north, the largest consumers.So we are both blessed and hampered by our location. Another very important circumstance is our economy, which is based on foundations we consider to be airplane engines. You have to understand the Panamanian economy to avoid labeling it unfairly. We don’t deserve that. The Panamanian economy is not buoyed by taxes, but by the actions of state institutions that generate revenue.That’s why we pay lower taxes. The canal generates income in excess of $1.6 billion. And this is about us being the hub of the Americas. It is about our airport, our harbors, and our financial centers, which are the engines of this activity. It’s like having a five-legged table, even if one leg falls off, the table stays upright. That’s why Panamanians pay lower taxes.This is a concept that few understand, but it’s also a risk, as these same conditions open up the risk that the services and assets that Panama offers could potentially be used for illegal purposes. Another blessing is our democratic way of life. As a fully functioning democracy, our citizens and visitors enjoy many rights and liberties, but these can also be used by organized crime and drug trafficking. So our goal is to make Panama the most secure country with this and the other conditions we have The goal, then, is to balance our security controls with our liberties, while respecting human rights.Diálogo: Why is it important that Panama host the 2017 CABSEC and SAMSEC summits and that these two meetings are being held together here? Minister Bethancourt: Among the duties that we have with other countries is cooperation. And the basic element for effective cooperation is trust.I can’t cooperate with you if I don’t give you information. And I can’t give you intelligence if I don’t trust you. So basically, the importance of Panama and our Air-Naval Service having been chosen for this event is due to both the nation and its institutions, including SENAN, creating trust. This is reflected in the effectiveness of our operations and in the effectiveness of our results fighting drug trafficking and organized crime. Diálogo: What are your objectives for this summit? What types of gains or agreements do you expect to achieve during the summit? Minister Bethancourt: The expectation for this summit is that we have a wide range of agreements that should be of benefit to our region and that we take a leading role in this effort, chiefly through cooperation. Organized crime and drug trafficking know no borders.The only way to confront them is to ensure that these physical barriers, these political barriers, and these borders are not obstacles for our nations, so that our security, defense, and intelligence services can share information and we can take action against these threats. Diálogo: What important achievements or advancements has Panama made lately for its own security and the security of the region? Minister Bethancourt: Panama’s greatest progress has been in the war against drug trafficking.We are the third leading country for drug seizures, after the United States and Colombia. But in view of the fact that the United States is a consumer country and Colombia is a producer country, it would not make sense for us to be ahead of them; so this is a most meaningful achievement. Another achievement we have made is that year after year we have beaten our own record in domestic seizures.This has several dimensions. First, it is [the result of] better training. Another reason is the preparedness of our Air-Naval Service and the border service, services that are also achievements. We have increased their capabilities not only with equipment, but also with training and leadership that is very clear about what we are trying to achieve. So much so, that we’ve done two big interdiction operations called Patria (Fatherland) and Escudo (Shield), through which we were able to divert the traditional routes that drug traffickers use out at sea.We managed to do that through these two operations alone. Later, we set up a special antinarcotics task force, which is going to have a permanent presence, and the task force commander will be either from the Air-Naval Service or the National Border Service [a member of SENAN or SENAFRONT, per its Spanish acronym] and will answer to the Ministry of Security – meaning that that higher entity will provide more capabilities. Another important achievement is our regulation on irregular migrant flows. In Panama in 2015 and 2016, we were hit hard by the flow of irregular migrants. The first of these were Cuban migrants.We assigned that to the National Border Service, which managed it quite effectively, and our partners in this region gave us their support. We were able to create air bridges to Mexico and were able to use the Central American corridor. Afterwards, we were hit with a flow of Haitian migrants who came in the guise of foreign visitors from other continents, and we assigned that mission to the border service as well. They successfully carried out Operation Flujo Controlado (Controlled Flow), which had several components. The first of these was a humanitarian component.It’s important to understand that Panama’s border with Colombia is a jungle frontier and migrants hike for weeks through the forest, ending up quite exhausted. Our units gave them support and hydrated them. Within that humanitarian component was a healthcare component in which [SENAFRONT agents] managed to vaccinate them against malaria and other tropical diseases.And the most important component is safety. By using ABIS [U.S. Department of Defense Automated Biometric Identification System] and BIMA [Biometrics Identity Management Agency], we were able to verify the identity of these people, and we also managed to collect the biometric data — fingerprints, iris scans — of people who were not yet registered in the database, which is managed by the United States. This means that if any of the people who came through Panama’s border with Colombia commit any crimes in this region, we would already have helped identify the person, which is an important security component.We have expanded the database by several thousand Haitian citizens. This migratory explosion is a regional phenomenon that has nothing to do with Panama; it’s caused by the problems that Haiti has had because of the earthquake [of 2010]. Some countries have stood in solidarity with Haiti, but they also needed workers. For example, Brazil needed workers to build the stadiums in the Olympic Village and for the World Cup soccer games. When those projects were finished, the economic migrants tried to move northward, and Panama felt the brunt of that.As I mentioned earlier, the capabilities of the National Border Service, which has 100 percent control of Panama’s borders, also helped move that humanitarian security mission forward. In the event that migrants cross our borders, we have our National Police, who have made seizures along the land routes in Panamanian territory where we have different multi-agency checkpoints set up to check for drugs, contraband, and human trafficking. Panama has also raised awareness about the issue of human trafficking.We have reactivated the international fund against human trafficking and we are building a shelter that meets UNODC [United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime] standards. This is the only shelter in Central America that meets those international standards. We’re also building up other capabilities, such as our anti-human trafficking operations, and not only for prostitution cases, as is commonly done in other countries, but also for slavery, child labor, and other forms of human trafficking. We’ve been working hard and leading many initiatives in this region; and that is the path that we want to continue to take.Diálogo: Why is regional cooperation among partner nations important for jointly confronting regional security issues? Minister Bethancourt: The main thing is to trust one another in order to foster cooperation. Any nation that wants to contribute to the security of this region is welcomed in Panama. This is work that we have been doing bilaterally and multilaterally in different situations and against different kinds of threats. We are working, for example, with all of the countries in the region.In the Caribbean, we are mainly joined by Spanish-speaking countries, such as the Dominican Republic; by southern countries, especially those on our borders, such as Colombia, and by the Central American countries to our north. Costa Rica is one country with which we have integrated well. We even have bi-national relations through the Bi-national Border Commission (COMBIFRON, per its Spanish acronym), and we carry out projects with several countries on an ongoing basis. For example, Mexico has provided us training, capabilities, and procedures. We are currently developing the C5 procedure with Mexico: command, control, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration. C5 is important because it will enable us to self-evaluate and improve.We typically work in C2 mode — command and control — and recently we added C3 – coordination. Mexico has even offered us a set of benefits including training officers in our public security forces. Several countries are making contributions to fortify Panama and the region in this way.Diálogo: And what about cooperation and joint efforts with the United States? Minister Bethancourt: The support of the United States is key. The United States is the most important country for the support we get. And not just for cash support —because it can be said that Plan Mérida and Plan Colombia received much more money — but we did get databases, such as ABIS and BIMA that I mentioned, and training, equipment donations, and ongoing meetings that we hold with the United States, either at the defense and security establishments, or with the directors of those establishments, or at the strategic level, in meetings that the president of Panama and I have with the embassy.We have chosen to continue meeting annually with the United States in order to evaluate all of the strategies that we are using and to take stock of what we are offering to, and getting from, the United States. I believe that the United States is a key player for promoting regional security relations. Also, what Panama contributes to the United States, and the United States to Panama, is very important for this purpose. Diálogo: Given your own experience and your pivotal location in the region, what contributions does Panama make towards a regional strategy for regional security? Minister Bethancourt: Panama makes significant contributions to regional security and to the security of the United States. For example, take border control.The United States has the passenger manifest database for two countries in Latin America; Mexico, because it lies on its southern border, and Panama, because it is the hub of the Americas. In other words, Panama is already doing border control for the United States, from Panama. Also, as I have already mentioned, Panama is the most important country in the fight against drug trafficking in that it is the third leading country for drug seizures, even though this achievement represents a large expense for our country: we have to process all the drugs that we seize, and burn them, which carries costs that Panama assumes.Also, Panama has really stepped up its actions against terrorism and money laundering. We are the only country to have confirmed and identified some 22 Pakistanis who were on the U.S. terrorist watch list. We processed them and sent them back to Pakistan. That’s how Panama shows its enduring commitment to regional security. Operation Controlled Flow, which was led by SENAFRONT, served to catch some folks. We were even able to repatriate some people with criminal records.That is, Panama is contributing a lot of capabilities and information to regional security. Take the issue of health, during the irregular migration periods that I already mentioned, Panama took the initiative and assumed the cost of vaccinating everyone who came through our country to keep a potential epidemic from spreading across Central America and to the United States.Diálogo: What is your position on the Caribbean Community, CARICOM, adopting a regional strategy against terrorism? Minister Bethancourt: I feel it’s a necessity. But before doing so, we have to smooth out certain obstacles. First, we don’t have active terrorism in the region; for us, terrorism is something quite remote. And even though there are countries in this region that have suffered from terrorism, it was more localized.The issue of international terrorism is something that all countries must confront, and we must all come to an agreement on it. Terrorism always looks for security gaps, places with lax laws, and places where capabilities are lacking. That’s why we need to reinforce this strategy at the regional level. Each country looks after its own economic interests, and each country will have something to say about that; so it’s just a matter of us coming to an agreement.Given its own idiosyncrasy, Panama is ready to cooperate. We are the only country in Latin America that has signed on to the coalition against ISIS, thus showing our willingness to cooperate.Diálogo: What improvements and positive changes has Panama seen in the security of regions such as Darién, which was once considered a more problematic region? Minister Bethancourt: I spoke with Commissioner [Oriel] Ortega [Batallion Chief of SENAFRONT’s First Eastern Brigade] about how the Darién area was before. We reckoned that irregular units had mobilized across 23 percent of that territory. With the creation first of DINAFRONT, or the Police’s Border Directorate per its Spanish acronym, and later SENAFRONT, we secured territorial control of the Darién.We have two binational bases with Colombia, and we are planning to get to four binational bases. We are also working with SENAN to incorporate members of the Special Antinarcotics Task Force at bases in Sixaloa [a border crossing with Colombia in the Darién Gap] to monitor Colombian warehouses and warehouses in Costa Rica, in the area of Piña [a township in the province of Colón].We are working on an effort to interdict backpackers and to exchange intelligence information with Colombia, which is very strong in that area. Our Air-Naval Service exchanges information with the United States — with JIATF-South (the Joint Interagency Task Force-South) — and they are very valuable to us, as they give us information about potential routes for drug trafficking.In this regard, I am pleased with the work that SENAN and SENAFRONT are doing in the border area, but we also know that [the Darién] is a very difficult border and we cannot cover it along its full length. That’s why our work needs to be highly focused on the intelligence that we have. With stepped-up intelligence, the efforts we make in our operations will yield positive resultsDiálogo: Would you like to add anything else for our readers and for those attending the conference? Minister Bethancourt: I would like to add that Panama is a democratic nation that respects human rights and that it is engaged in a full frontal attack against drug trafficking and transnational organized crime.It is a country that handles information with trust and confidentiality, especially in its security establishment. I am confident that in our effort to fight these scourges impacting our region, Panama’s security institutions — the National Police, the Air-Naval Service, SENAFRONT, and Immigration — will make great contributions to regional security, and you should have faith in Panama’s security establishment, as we will keep up this fight until we meet our goal of making Panama the most secure country in the Americas.last_img read more

House, Senate bills would exempt COVID-19 MBLs from cap for one year

December 17, 2020

first_imgReps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) announced a bill Friday to exempt credit union business loans related to the pandemic from the member business lending cap for one year. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) also announced he will introduce a Senate companion bill next week.The House is expected to return to session as early as next week to continue work on the next phase of COVID-19 relief legislation, and CUNA and Leagues have called for such an MBL exemption to be included in the package.“Businesses and communities around the country are facing economic hardships that haven’t been seen in generations, and this bill will help credit unions deploy much needed capital to those businesses,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Credit unions have served as financial first responders since the onset of the pandemic and will be vital to the nation’s recovery efforts. These bills will bolster those efforts going forward, and are a much needed solution that will leverage the strong relationships that credit unions have in their communities to help Main Street recover and rebuild from this crisis.”Reps. Don Young (R-Alaska), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), J. Luis Correa (D-Calif.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.) and David Trone (D-Md.) co-sponsored the House bill. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

9 Celebrities With An Unmistakable Long Island Accent

December 16, 2020

first_imgSigh. “The Karate Kid” came into our hearts as a young heartthrob when he played Daniel LaRusso in 1984. He cemented his place in pop culture when he played Johnny in The Outsiders, holding his own (and then some) in the company of Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise and Matt Dillon.Born and raised in Huntington—a Half Hollow Hills High School alumnus who lived for a spell in East Islip and currently resides in Miller Place—Macchio has never lost his Long Island accent. You heard it when he was an adorable teenage kid (who was actually in his 20s when he played high school students), when he was in My Cousin Vinny (although his accent might have been drowned out by those of Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei), and when he was an adorable 50-year-old contestant on Dancing with The Stars (who still looked like a teenager).Like Billy Joel, most of us here on LI know someone who knows someone who knows him. And they all have the same opinion: Ralph Macchio is a great guy. Down to earth. Modest. Eternally young. And so damn nice.His sweetheart reputation has so followed Macchio that he was prompted to create the short “Wax On, F*ck Off,” for Funny or Die in 2010, which portrayed his close family and friends having a reverse intervention to plead with him: “Please do something to become relevant! Like doing drugs, soliciting a prostitute, something!” The video has millions of views and has reached “immortal status” on the site.As has Macchio in our collective LI hearts. [Read my heart-stopping interview with the eternal LI heartthrob – “Ralph Macchio: L.I.’s Karate Kid Stays True To Form With ‘Across Grace Alley’” – HERE.] Even though The Sopranos has been off the air for almost a decade (how can that be??), Edie Falco’s Lawn Guyland dialect is still audible in our collective unconscious. Close your eyes. You can still hear her “Tony!” can’t you?Although she was born in Brooklyn, Falco grew up in Long Island’s very own Hicksville, before moving to North Babylon and West Islip (home to many Tonys) and eventually Northport, from where she graduated high school. Of course she starred in her high school play—and naturally she played Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady”—the precursor to the rest of her career, as the perpetual Long Island-sounding actress.Falco has taken her Lawn Guyland accent to both the stage and screen, where she is an Emmy-, Golden Globe- and Screen Actors Guild-award winning actress. She has starred on Broadway in “Side Man,” “Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune,” and “‘night, Mother.” On the big screen, she acted in such films as Trust, Reversal of Fortune, Random Hearts and Freedomland. But it was on the small screen where she made the splash that embedded her in the pop culture annals forever. From her small role as prison officer Diane Whittlesey in HBO’s Oz to the infamous Carmela Soprano to the title role in the Showtime series Nurse Jackie, Edie Falco and her accent have earned their place as pop culture icons. Ralph MacchioEmbed from Getty Images Jerry SeinfeldEmbed from Getty Images Edie FalcoEmbed from Getty Images Theresa Caputo‘Long Island Medium’ Theresa CaputoThe “Long Island Medium” is known as much for her Long Island accent as she is for her abilities to communicate with the other side. (We have our doubts. Read about “My Not-So-Psychic Experience With Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo HERE.)The hair defies the laws of gravity. The nails are a species of their own. The shoes reach spectacular heights and demand magical balancing ability. Oh but the voice. That voice. It is Long Island to the core.This Hicksville celeb has risen to fame and fortune by interpreting messages from the dearly departed and sharing them with the grieving. This practice has undoubtedly helped many deal with the loss of loved ones–and makes riveting television, to boot. Her TLC show “The Long Island Medium” is one of the most popular in the network’s history. Her live shows are often the hottest ticket in town. Private readings have a waiting list as long as the line of traffic trying to get into Jones Beach on the fourth of July.Can she really communicate with our deceased muthahs and fathahs? Does it matter? Howard Stern has one of the most recognizable voices of all time. The self-proclaimed “King of All Media” has entertained us with his unique and massively influential brand of gonzo radio that has earned him fame (or infamy) and fortune, plus led to a TV show and the feature film Private Parts he starred in based on his life.Born and raised in Roosevelt, Stern has an accent distinctively and apologetically Long Island. He tawks just like us. He says cawfee. And he curses. A lot. Like us.Howard Stern, who reached payscale heights that no one in his industry could ever touch, whose mop of brown curls and big nose are recognizable before you ever hear that Lawn Guyland accent, is the pioneer who paved the way for the entire shock-jock genre, including Long Islanders Opie and Anthony, who often credited his influence on their own LI radio show (before Anthony’s 2014 firing for what Sirius XM characterized as “racially-charged and hate-filled” social media posts (very unfunny) and subsequent launch of his popular podcast-style talk radio network).Howard Stern still has command of the airwaves. And so it will remain for the foreseeable future. Howard SternEmbed from Getty Images Everybody on the Island has a Billy Joel story. Whether you ran into him down in Oyster Bay Harbor, had an autograph signed in the parking lot of a red sauce joint in Syosset, your mom went to high school with the “Virginia” in the song “Only the Good Die Young,” or he’s driven his car into your living room, Billy Joel is a part of our Long Island culture. His voice is our voice. His accent as well.He’s a legend. His songs are a mainstay on Long Island radio. And he’s ours.Raised in Hicksville, Billy Joel has never strayed from his Long Island roots (although he might have moved up to a snazzier zip code—or two). During Hurricane Sandy, Billy Joel could be found digging in to help restore the shoreline.You may like him or you may not. He may not be the coolest or the most talented or prolific (especially in the last 20 years) artist, but his influence is virtually unmatched. He sells out Madison Square Garden every friggin’ month—and has for the last two years with his unprecedented MSG residency.Let’s face it, even if you never need to hear the song “Piano Man” ever again, it will outlive us all. And if you go off the Island and happen to hear it, you will lay claim to it as part of your Long Island heritage. We all do it.His repertoire goes way beyond the radio hits of the ’80s, your “New York State of Mind” and your “Tell Her About It.” (Full disclosure: “Tell Her About It” was the first 45 I ever bought, at TSS in West Babylon, to play on my My Little Pony record player. It’s so damn catchy.) Obscure songs on Glass Houses and The Bridge show the range and depth of his song-writing skill and piano prowess. His Broadway smash “Movin’ Out” as well as his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (of course) further solidified his position as the one and only Piano Man. Ray Romano’s voice is that whiny Long Islandese that we gotta lay claim to, even if we don’t wanna. His show Everybody Loves Raymond was so thoroughly Long Island, with his Italian parents living in the house directly across the street and his job as a sports columnist for a suburban newspaper whose name shall not be mentioned. His older brother was an NYPD cop, as all of our brothers are growing up. The kids are obnoxious, but cute. As all our kids are.Romano was actually brought up in Queens, a part of Long island. (See: Fran Drescher.) He went to Hillcrest High School with Fran Drescher and even had the character Ray Barone (we all know people with that last name too!) introduced on Drescher’s show The Nanny. Phil Rosenthal, the executive producer and creator, is a Hofstra University alum, and frequently features the school in the show.Romano is a wildly successful comedian, who was at one point the highest-paid TV actor in CBS history. He has starred alongside fellow Long Islander Kevin James in the film Grilled. When he’s not making guest appearances on shows like Parenthood or The Office or taking his disco suit off on HBO’s Vinyl, you can find him competing in the World Series of Poker. You know, playing cards. Just like your neighbors.center_img Michael KorsEmbed from Getty Images Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York They tawk just like us! People know we’re from Long Island as soon as we open our (big) mouths. Without the edginess of Brooklynese, the Long Island accent is as distinctive as it is irritating. I say it’s time we own it. No, we don’t all sound like Amy Fisher. But some of us do. And some of us sound much, much worse. Whatevah.So do these rock, TV and movie stars. And it never held them back from making it big in Hollywood. In fact, it probably helped. Fran DrescherEmbed from Getty Images Ray RomanoEmbed from Getty Images Her voice is synonymous with her face, her hair and her persona. But without the voice, Fran Drescher is virtually unrecognizable.So maybe she grew up in Kew Gardens, Queens. We can waste time arguing over whether or not Queens is considered Long Island, but I’ll just tell you to peruse a map and then carry on with this article. We have a ways to go and no time for petty disagreements. (And also, I’m right and you’re wrong.)Although she had her share of small film roles in such big screen movies as Saturday Night Fever and This is Spinal Tap, the performance that brought her accent into our homes was her starring role in CBS’s The Nanny, created and produced by her then-husband and business partner Peter Jacobson. In the show, she played that accent for all it was worth, and audiences couldn’t get enough of it. The hair, the nails and that voice were all pitted against the staunchly uptight British widower Maxwell Sheffield, played by Charles Shaughnessy.She was then able to parlay that inimitable persona into voice work, like in the animated film Shark Bait as well as into big screen projects like Beautician and the Beast. Most recently, she played the wicked stepmother in Broadway’s “Cinderella.”Fran Drescher has also given voice to a cause dear to her heart. In her book Cancer Schmancer, she details her experience with uterine cancer in order to make women more aware of the early warning signs. She has become a voice (see what we did there?) of women’s health causes in general, fighting for research funding for diseases that disproportionately affect women. Billy JoelEmbed from Getty Images For the longest time, we could identify Michael Kors’ fashion line by its high-end classic appeal or by the label, but since the debut of Bravo’s Project Runway, where Michael Kors sat for several seasons as a judge, we now know without a doubt that although he is one of the jet set, he is absolutely Long Island material.One of the most successful fashion designers of all time, Kors grew up in Merrick, attending John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore. He has dressed Hollywood’s A-list, including Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson and Taylor Swift. And he dresses your neighbors, from the teenage girls who live next door touting pocketbooks with big MK’s on them to their mothers, in his eye-catching print patterns. All bought at the Massapequa mall. Maybe Smithhaven.The other thing we didn’t realize until Project Runway? His acerbic, hysterical, gifted sense of humor, such as these fashion critiques, laid down with a gorgeous Long Island accent:“Commes Des Garçons goes to the Amish country.”“A legging that Friar Tuck would wear.”“Real bitchy ’80s, kind of like… Knots Landing.”“Something a Teletubby would wear to a party.”And my favorite:“Transvestite-flamenco dancer at a funeral.” Who could forget the most successful television star in the history of the medium? That show about “nothing” set the standard for what television comedy could—and should—be. And it put that nasal Long Island twang on the map for eternity.Jerry Seinfeld grew up in the Massapequa area of our fair Island. A graduate of Massapequa High School, Seinfeld is one of our biggest claims to fame.With an unprecedented syndication deal ($100 million), Seinfeld officially has more money than God. He has parlayed his post-Seinfeld career into a terrific web series called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (pronounced “cawfee”)–in one memorable episode he takes President Obama for a spin in his 1963 Corvette Stingray–and a successful stand-up tour.A car enthusiast, Seinfeld now has the time and money to indulge his greatest passion. He reportedly owns 46 Porshes, including the only air-cooled Porshe 911.Which is probably unlike any of your neighbors.(Photo credit: slgckgc/Flickr)last_img read more