Group passes recommendations on inclusion

first_imgStudent Senate passed a resolution concerning diversity on campus, introduced a sexual violence prevention initiative and discussed upcoming events at Wednesday’s meeting. The resolution contained a series of recommendations for promoting a more inclusive atmosphere for students submitted by the Diversity Council that will be reviewed by the offices of Student Affairs, Auxiliary Affairs and the Provost. The resolution had originally been proposed at Senate’s Nov. 6 meeting, but failed to pass. At the Nov. 13 meeting, its final clause was amended, but again the resolution was voted down, according to a Nov 14 article in The Observer. Student body president Alex Coccia said student government plans to launch a student engagement campaign next semester focused on preventing sexual violence on campus and strengthening bonds between student government and Notre Dame students. “For student government to be effective in leading, there must be direct communication between students and student government,” he said. Coccia said student government is proud of the success of the new coffee cart in DeBartolo Hall, a triumph of student government listening to its constituents, and announced more plans to collaborate with to Food Services. Coccia also said senators should promote the upcoming TEDx ND talks set to take place Jan. 21, 2014. “[TEDx ND] presents bold ideas and gives a forum for students to inspire other students,” he said. Carroll Hall senator Joe Kelly announced Carroll Christmas, the dorm’s annual Christmas celebration that will take place Dec. 6. at 5:30 p.m. Kelly said the event would feature a Christmas tree lighting, a cookie contest and free hot chocolate. Badin Hall senator Emma Herlihy also announced a hall Christmas event. Herlihy said Badin would host Conscious Christmas, a sale of free-trade items benefitting people in Nepal that will take place Dec. 6 from 12 to 5 p.m. Contact Kayla Mullen at kmullen2@nd.edulast_img read more

Competition challenges students to design virtual campus tour

first_imgEarlier this semester, Notre Dame students were invited to participate in the VisitND challenge, a competition in which individuals or teams of students compete head-to-head to see who can create the best virtual tour of campus.Don Ginocchio, the University Alliances Director at SAP, one of the challenge’s sponsors, said the challenge was created after the University realized visitors wanted a cohesive tour of campus, but could not find one online.“Unfortunately, the resources [for a tour] are sort of spread around at Notre Dame,” Ginocchio said. “You know, you can go to the website, there are some tour ND resources for the bigger sights, the alumni office has some resources, athletics has resources, admissions has resources, but it takes some effort to put them all together.”The winning tours will appear on the ND mobile app, which will allow visitors to campus to utilize the tour, along with the map and app’s other functions, Ginocchio said.Susan Zhu | The Observer “Notre Dame has invested in the ND mobile app, which most of us have on our phones, and there is a tour module on there that Notre Dame hasn’t deployed, hasn’t used, so the idea is solicit the creativity and innovation of students to create those tours that eventually will be available to visitors and really anyone,” Ginocchio said. “We all have an opinion on what to see at Notre Dame and we all have different, interesting opinions on what to see because we are blessed with such a beautiful campus.“So it was really those ideas coming together, and the administration wanting to sponsor [this event].”Ginocchio said the challenge asks students to create a tour that is thematically linked, easy to follow and innovative.“It could be a theme around spiritual sights, architectural sights, athletic sights, prospective student sights, what a prospective student would like to see,” he said. “The idea of the contest is to engage students in educational and fun experience that exposes them to technology.”The deadline to enter a tour proposal was Sept. 21, Ginocchio said. A committee will review all the entries, and on Sept. 25, the top 10 entries will be announced.“The judges are the all-stars of the Notre Dame leadership,” Ginocchio said. “We wanted to involve all the communities that have an opinion: athletics, game day operations, communications, admissions and alumni. It’s a really nice way for the different stakeholders and constituents in the University to come together.”According to Ginocchio, there are 13 judges, including Joyce Lantz, director of Recruitment and Communication for Undergraduate Admissions, Julie Boynton, director of Interior Architecture and Patrick Flynn, professor of computer science engineering and electrical engineering.Ginocchio said after the University announces the top 10 entries, the winning teams will create their tour. The students will have to create a video to accompany each tour stop, along with a paragraph that explains the significance of each stop and a picture of each stop on the tour. Once students create these videos, they will be placed in the tour module in the ND mobile app.The entries will then be judged again, and on Nov. 6, the judges will choose top five tours.Ginocchio said the tours will go live on the ND mobile app on Nov. 13.“We don’t have and probably will never have a lot of signage on campus,” he said. “What’s nice about technology is that it provides a non-intrusive way for those that have an interest to access all that information and decide what they want to see. We want everyone to appreciate Notre Dame the way we do.”Ginocchio, who is on the judging committee, said the committee will consider fan and user feedback when evaluating the tours and choosing the winners. The winners will be announced on Dec. 1.“There will be four winners. First place wins $2500, second prize is $1000, Modo labs, who is the vendor for the software is providing another $1000 prize, and SAP will provide SAP merchandise to one of the winners,” Ginocchio said. “The committee did talk, and if there is another really great idea at that time we’ll evaluate if there is something we can do for that team, at least recognize them in some way, including just asking them to help us implement their tour, which is recognition within itself.”Ginocchio said the challenge aims to educate students in a fun and interesting way about technology and also help the university improve the visitor experience.“You know, a lot of people visit Notre Dame, they aren’t necessarily here for football weekend or for an admissions tour,” Ginocchio said. “They are here because they are passing through, or they are a friend or family member of someone who goes to Notre Dame, or they’ve always wanted to visit Notre Dame or they saw the movie Rudy, and, you know, they want to see those sights. This will help them do that.”Tags: award, ND mobile app, VisitNDlast_img read more

Ethics Update

first_img August 1, 2002 Regular News Ethics Update Ethics Update Copies of canceled trust account checks should include endorsements Cynthia E. Booth Assistant Ethics Counsel and Jim Wells Trust Account Auditor Attorneys who get copies instead of originals of their canceled trust account checks should ensure the bank provides copies both of the fronts and backs of the checks in order to comply with Florida Bar rules.Rule 5-1.2(b)(3) of the Rules Regulating Trust Accounts, the Minimum Trust Accounting Records rule, was revised approximately five years ago to allow attorneys to maintain copies of canceled checks rather than the originals.Most banks now return copies of canceled checks in the monthly bank statements, but generally provide copies of only the front side of the checks. To comply with the requirement, the copy must include both the front and the back of the check.To maintain a copy of the front-side only does not satisfy this requirement because the front excludes endorsements and bank clearing stamps that are placed on the back of the checks.Endorsements and bank clearing stamps are important portions of the check that establish that the proper payee actually received the intended distribution of trust account funds.In conclusion, attorneys should request that their bank provide a copy of both sides of their trust account canceled checks to have all of the information on the back of the original canceled check and to meet the minimum trust account record requirement of Rule 5-1.2(b)(3).last_img read more

Meador murdered at work

first_img February 15, 2005 Regular News Meador murdered at work Meador murdered at work 30-year-old lawyer was just elected to YLD board Pensacola attorney Bill Meador, who had just been elected unopposed to a seat on the Bar’s Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, was shot and killed by his father-in-law January 24. The father-in-law rammed a police car as he left the scene, and then shot and killed himself.Meador, 30, was an associate in the law firm of Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon, which includes Bar President-elect Alan Bookman and former Bar President Patrick Emmanuel. The shooting took place in the firm’s downtown Pensacola office.Meador’s wife, Ann, also is an attorney and serves on the Bar’s Advertising Task Force 2004. She is expecting the couple’s first child late next month.“Bill was a phenomenally talented young attorney who was as nice a person as you would ever meet,” Bookman said.He was active in the local Junior Achievement Program. Marilyn Kelley, education manager for Junior Achievement of Northwest Florida, Inc., said of Meador, “Bill is often referred to as ‘the consummate gentleman,’ which describes him perfectly. But more than that, Bill was just a wonderful human being. He had respect for every person he met. And every person he met could sense this. I am sure that it is this quality that endeared Bill to the kids. They respected him because he showed them respect.”At the January 28 Bar Board of Governors meeting, YLD President Mike Faehner reported Meador’s shooting, which he noted came only a few hours before board member Henry Latimer was killed in a traffic accident. “He was a great young lawyer; he had a lot of promise,” Faehner said. “The word is in five years he might have been standing where I am now [as YLD president].”“Bill was a friend to everyone and a good friend of mine,” said Charles Young, another lawyer at the firm. “He loved several things in this world. First and foremost was his family, especially his wife Ann and his yet unborn daughter Abigail. He was an avid golfer and. . . he loved Auburn University. He loved the kids he taught through Junior Achievement. He also loved this firm. Becoming a director at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon was as important to Bill as any aspiration he talked about to me.”Meador, he added was “truly special. . . to each and every person he encountered. His demeanor was always cordial; he never spoke harshly even of those who probably deserved it, always had a smile, was there each and every time someone needed help.” He also enjoyed practicing law, particularly in personal injury “not for financial reasons, but because it was a way he could help those who needed help he could now provide,” Young said.Another lawyer in the firm, Shane Rowe, said the Meadors were living with him while they were having a new house built, having sold their previous home last September. He called it a special time.“They were a happy couple,” Rowe said. “I don’t think a night passed during the time they lived with me that they weren’t both laughing together about something in the living room. They always cooked or ordered in together as a couple. Bill did everything during this time to comfort his wife because of her pregnancy.”According to a report in the Pensacola News Journal, police say there is no apparent motive for the shooting.The News Journal reports the incident began about 1:30 p.m. when Meador’s father-in-law, Leslie Brooke Johnson, 56, came to the office looking for Meador.Young said he was with Meador when they returned to his office and found Johnson waiting, and that Meador had no concerns about Johnson being there or no obvious fear about meeting with him. He said Meador closed the door as though for a private meeting and about five seconds later the first shot was fired. As employees were being moved away, two more shots were heard, Young said, and then about a minute later Johnson emerged and left the building.Witnesses told the News Journal that when Johnson exited the office, he ignored police orders to stop and got into his SUV. Pensacola police officers then fired at the fleeing vehicle before it rammed a patrol car arriving at the scene and pinning an officer in the vehicle. Johnson then killed himself. The police officer had to be extricated from the smashed police car and has since been released from the hospital.Johnson’s wife had recently filed for divorce from her husband of 35 years, citing an “irretrievably broken marriage,” according to the News Journal. Neither Meador nor his wife was involved in the divorce action. Johnson also had reportedly suffered a head injury 18 years ago and had a long history of issues related to that.Young noted that most of the firm’s employees were at work when the shooting occurred and are working together to deal with the incident.“One of the reasons Bill loved this firm is the same reason there are so many long-term attorneys and employees. Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon has been around for so long because it is more family than business,” he said. “As a family we are dealing with the tragedy together, maybe each grieving in our own way, but supportive of each other and respectful of the process.” C ontributions may be made to the Royal Alliance Bill Meador/Abigail Meador Scholarship Memorial Fund, 5941 Otter Point Road, Pensacola 32504.last_img read more

Intermodal spearheads the Freightways

first_imgINTRO: A fundamental switch from national networks to line-of-route management spanning frontiers is essential if rail is to absorb a much larger share of freight growth in Europe. Bryan Stone* and Richard Hope explain how major shipping companies are forcing open the door for others to followBYLINE: *Bryan Stone is an Intermodal Transportation Consultant based in Switzerland who formerly worked for Intercontainer-Interfrigo. FREIGHTWAYS were described as ’a mechanism for putting together through paths and prices’ by Trevor Halvorsen, Secretary General of the Community of European Railways, when he addressed the SMi Pan-European Rail Freight Conference on March 12. ’Instead of relying largely on legislative instruments’, he said the European Commission was ’now looking for short term voluntary solutions.’The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Italy have agreed at government level to explore ways of creating one or more north – south Trans-European Rail Freightways (TERF), originally dubbed Freight Freeways.Meanwhile, major multimodal companies engaged in deep sea container traffic through Rotterdam and Hamburg are quietly and successfully getting on with job of breaking down some of the inefficiencies and artificial barriers that prevent rail from competing with road, and thus reaching its full potential in Europe.TERFs have yet to take concrete form, but the message is very clear: one way or another, the Commission is determined to break down the rigid bureaucratic nationalist structure of the railways as one way of coping with intolerable projections for road traffic expansion.Brussels tries hardThere has been no shortage of initiatives from Brussels in the 1990s designed to bring about this transformation.Directive 91/440 was a real landmark. It identified intermodal traffic as the most suitable for liberalisation, introducing for the first time the open access concept of companies outside the railways operating their own trains, complete with locomotive and crew, on public tracks. Open access operators were to compete with the state railway on equal terms. Access charges would be paid, if not to a track authority, at least to a distinct infrastructure division within the railway.It has to be said that open access in the form envisaged has made very little progress to date, even in countries like Sweden and Britain where there has been genuine separation of the infrastructure from train operations. But 91/440 has nevertheless had a profound impact on attitudes within government and railway administrations. Change is in the wind, if not yet on the ground.The Common Transport Policy published in 1992 stated unambiguously that roads could not cope with projected traffic growth. So rail (and water) must increase market share, whereas it has actually been declining. In practical terms, growth means intermodal.Trans-European Networks were conceived as European economic development and integration measures, described under Title XII of the Treaty of Maastricht. TENs are defined essentially by transport mode – roads, waterways, rail, and especially high speed lines – but a network is also defined for intermodal freight. There is little evidence that the TENs initiative has had much practical effect as yet.Policy for Revitalising Europe’s Railways, a white paper published in July 1996, was highly critical of rail’s performance and uncommercial attitudes. As well as endorsing TERFs, it proposes legislation reducing the present state railways to service and traction providers on infrastructure open to any other companies which want to operate their own trains. Neither access to the infrastructure nor technical standards should be set and adjudicated by the same organisation, as is mostly the case today.Also published in 1996 was The Future of Rail Transport in Europe. This well informed and far sighted report, by an advisory group set up by EU Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock under the chairmanship of Daniel Vincent, enlarged upon the TERF concept. The white paper is highly controversial, but the national railways (perhaps even SNCF) now realise their lobbying to retain the status quo has failed. Even though the legal instruments and institutional mechanisms are a long way from being fully defined in many EU member countries, the railways see compliance with the free market principles of the Treaty of Rome and competition law as inevitable.This first became evident five years ago as a result of an EC ruling that captive companies like Intercontainer-Interfrigo (ICF), jointly owned by the railways, and the national UIRR companies like Kombiverkehr in which road haulage also has an stake, were enjoying a level of access to the rail transport market denied to others. This has – in theory at least – been corrected.It is interesting to note that Halvorsen, who represents the railway operators (and latterly, track authorities like Banverket) in Western Europe, welcomed as ’a stimulus’ their exposure to market forces. As well as joint ventures ’founded to develop new markets in a non-discriminatory way’, he identified the advantages of new entrants as ’better integrated management across the modal divides, development of new niche markets, and logistics know-how.’ Five years ago this would have been heresy.Shipping lines steam inThe earliest and fastest reactions to the new situation have concerned deep sea container traffic, and this is not surprising. Major players in the world transport market, like Sea-Land which shipped its first containers across the Atlantic to Europe in 1966, market a door-to-door service at an inclusive tariff which means that they have to purchase inland transport in competition with rival steamship lines.Coaxing continental freight which rail has long since lost to road, or never carried at all, into boxes or swap bodies is a daunting task, although almost all UIRR traffic and around half of ICF’s is not maritime. The shipping companies already use containers, and concentrate large volumes at ports like Rotterdam which favours rail economics. Up to now road has been an easy, uncomplicated option with unlimited choice of service providers to force quality up and prices down. But the major deep sea shipping companies have observed the way double-stack containers and deregulation have enabled US rail operators to beat truckers hands down on price and quality, even on relatively uncongested highways. Though double-stack is improbable and distances shorter in Europe, favouring trucks, they are convinced that restrictions on road traffic can only get worse – especially in densely populated regions like the Ruhr where much tonnage originates, and especially across the Alps.Shuttle trainsFrom the initiative of the shipping lines, there emerged from 1993 onwards radial networks based mainly on the ports of Hamburg and Rotterdam which became known as shuttle trains. This simply means a standard formation of flat wagons carrying containers (and sometimes a few swap bodies or even piggyback trailers in continental traffic) which shuttles between the port and a single inland destination, or maybe two on the longer routes.Peter Jacobse, Director, Intermodal Services Europe, for Sea-Land, points out that ’until 1993 we were stuck with Intercontainer-Interfrigo as the only cross-border rail service provider for containers. We still use ICF for a number of routes, but we felt that a breakthrough was required so we started a couple of our own services.’Jacobse cites the need for ’a tailor-made product’ to provide the service his customers wanted as the main reason. ’We also believed that nothing would change significantly until private operators – or at least more competitors – were able to offer customised rail service, and we required a drastic reduction in our cross-border rail costs.’For the moment, there is no open access involved in the purest sense of private locomotives and crews ranging across frontiers, although Short Lines in the Netherlands has plans to operate short distance shuttles within that country’s constricting borders. NS Cargo’s Director of Intermodal Services, Bas van Nes believes these are uneconomic – Rotterdam to Almelo, for example.The private sector is now deeply involved in chartering shuttles through joint ventures and partnerships between the ports, the shipping lines and the state railways, especially NS and DB. Today, some nine ’operators’ (as these groups are known) based at Rotterdam are running about 14 shuttles a day out of one or both of the two container terminals within the port complex. The ECT Delta rail terminal handles deep sea containers exclusively, while NS Cargo’s Rail Service Centre also serves short sea routes as well as purely continental traffic (p401). The operator leases the wagons, normally from the state railways, and negotiates a price for having the train moved by the state railways’ locomotives and crews to an agreed timetable. The commercial risk is primarily taken by the operator. The railways may accept some of the risk through reduced start-up charges, for example, although Jacobse says ’European Rail Shuttle took the entire risk from day one.’ERS is perhaps the most interesting of these new operators. Formed by four major shipping lines – Sea-Land, Maersk, P&O and Nedlloyd – with NS Cargo as a partner, ERS sends four trains a day to Italy and Germany.Hamburg port authority does not operate shuttle trains, but two terminal operators do so. Eurokai is involved in running the Eurokombi shuttle to Praha and Budapest. HHLA is a partner with Polish interests and forwarders in running PolZug, a very successful regular train to Poland which currently shifts 25000 containers a year.Of course, ICF and the UIRR companies, formed originally between the state railways and road haulage interests as national monopolies for piggyback and swap bodies, are still very active. In addition to poaching in each others’ modal and geographical territories in the newly liberalised market, they are also in the joint ventures: HHLA is in a JV with ICF to run trains to Budapest, for instance.Newest player on the scene is NDX, which began modestly with a daily shuttle between Rotterdam (Delta) and Antwerpen (Interferry) on January 2. A Rotterdam – München service followed on January 27, and another will commence shortly between Hamburg and Milano (p399).NDX is a JV in which CSX Corp (owner of Sea-Land) holds 25% of the shares; DB has 50% and NS Cargo 25%. At the moment it appears to be just another operator competing for maritime boxes, but NDX has ambitions to become a continental player in a big way. If any single company is going to bulldoze Freightways through the institutional barriers to open access it could be CSX, one of the five big US railway operators (soon to become four when Conrail is broken up).The prospect of train-ship-train transits from Chicago to Budapest under common management has already started to emerge. CSX is talking to American owned English Welsh & Scottish Railway about a tie-up with NDX that could see a Manchester – Budapest Freightway evolve.Before long NS Cargo will be up for sale, with CSX among four groups expressing interest. As well as an outright sale, options on the table include a share swap or some form of joint venture. The buyer will inherit the rights which NS now enjoys as a national railway to sit as an equal with DB and others at timetable planning and other conferences. NS Cargo already negotiates paths and through rates for all the shuttle operators based in Rotterdam.Of course, there will be competition, not least from ERS in which Sea-Land is a founding partner. P&O and Nedlloyd distrust DB profoundly, and P&O has already lodged complaints that DB is obstructing its attempts to negotiate paths or reasonable access charges.Nevertheless, if NDX proves to be the route by which DB establishes itself in Rotterdam after 30 years of fighting and losing, and CSX gets a firm grip on European rail transport, this is a play for big returns.We see developments at several levels:last_img read more

FCA’s cost proposals ‘pragmatic’ but ‘not standardised enough’

first_imgProposed rules from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on the disclosure of transaction costs for pension investors have been welcomed by the industry but with a call for even more standardisation.The draft rules include obliging asset managers to reveal aggregate transaction costs to pension schemes investing directly or indirectly in their funds, as part of the overall aim to provide consistency across the market.Graham Vidler, director of external affairs at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), said: “Understanding the costs associated with buying and selling investments forms an important part of ensuring value for money is secured for pension savers. A key component of this is consistent disclosure of investment costs by asset managers.”Vidler added: “The PLSA welcomes the new duty the FCA is proposing to place on asset managers to ensure they are properly providing data to trustees and independent governance committees (IGCs). “It will be important to ensure this duty is proportionate and builds on existing conversations already taking place in the industry to agree common definitions and methodologies.”Peter Glancy, head of industry development at Scottish Widows, praised the FCA’s “pragmatic” approach.“This will ensure the effect of all charges is determined and communicated, leaving scope for IGCs and trustees to have more detailed conversations in relation to the granularity of the make-up of the total costs,” he said.“A quantitative analysis in conjunction with qualitative discussion is likely to be the best means of IGCs and trustees determining the extent to which transaction costs are influencing value for money.”  He also said IGCs and trustees needed to have more specific information about the dilution effect of trading, and to know how far scheme members had benefited by revenues generated through stock lending.As part of the draft rules, the FCA proposes a specific methodology for evaluating the slippage cost within transactions – broadly speaking, the difference between the price at which a deal is actually executed, and the price when the order to transact entered the market.Glancy said: “We are pleased the FCA has developed a pragmatic approach to the calculation of a slippage cost, which considers the questions on the dilution effect, and that they also propose to show separately any revenue from stock lending that is not passed on to scheme members.”However, Jacqui Reid, associate director at Sackers, said: “While it acknowledges the importance of a standardised approach to calculation, the FCA is not proposing a standard format for disclosure. In our experience, this is key.”She added: “There is a balance to be struck between a form of disclosure that is meaningful enough for useful and direct comparisons across the market, but not difficult to decipher, and inefficient and costly for managers to implement.”Richard Butcher, managing director at Pitmans Trustees, agreed: “We question whether the FCA has gone far enough with its proposals. While the FCA sets out a standardised method for calculating transaction costs, it does not set out a standardised method for reporting them.“If disclosure can be bespoke, a risk is created that managers can spin the outcome and hide inconvenient truths. It also means trustees and IGCs cannot compare one manager with another – and an inability to compare undermines the point of disclosure.”He also expressed concern about how the new rules fit in with the charges and governance regulations, which require trustees to consider “the costs incurred as a result of the buying, selling, lending or borrowing of investments”.Butcher said: “What is proposed is that they see the amalgamated effect of these costs, not the costs themselves – or, at least, not all of them.“While simplicity is often a virtue, I would argue that what has been proposed may not help trustees to comply with the law.”last_img read more

Scotland’s public funds to consider pooling in 2017 consultation

first_imgAccording to a report presented to the board of the Strathclyde Pension Fund earlier this month, the review is likely to consider options including increasing shared services, pooling of investment assets or full mergers.Respecting the current LGPS structure, Strathclyde’s head of pensions Richard McIndoe said in the report: “There are weaknesses … in terms of cost effectiveness, resource and expertise, particularly among the smaller funds.”He added that “there may be more scope” for sharing procurement of investment consultants or managers.Ian Blackford, the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) pensions spokesman, said in a debate in parliament in London in October that Scotland’s leaders were “committed” to removing barriers to LGPS funds investing in infrastructure.“The SNP-led Scottish government is committed to changing pension scheme regulations to ensure they are not a barrier to local government pension schemes investing in infrastructure, and they are working with the scheme advisory board to achieve that,” he said. “We in Scotland realise there needs to be more of a balance between encouraging that approach and paying due regard to the responsibility of scheme managers to invest pension fund money in accordance with the scheme managers’ fiduciary duty. The Scottish government is committed to achieving that delicate balance.”Elsewhere in the UK, work is underway to combine assets across 89 LGPS funds in England and Wales into eight larger pools.However, a Scottish government report published in November 2015 said politicians were “less attracted to the UK’s formal pooling arrangements”, instead preferring “informal” collaborations.The Falkirk and Lothian pension funds already collaborate on infrastructure investment and are considering expanding this partnership to other asset classes.A previous review of Scotland’s public pensions, conducted by Deloitte and concluded in 2011, recommended more collaboration between pension funds.However, it said the cost savings from the more radical options – such as merging the 11 funds into three larger vehicles – would not be significant.At £16bn, Strathclyde Pension Fund is the largest of Scotland’s LGPS funds, representing almost half (46.5%) of the country’s total LGPS assets.Four funds have less than £1bn in assets.In total, during 2015-16, the 11 funds spent £170m in investment management fees, according to their annual reports.This represented less than 0.5% of assets under management. Scotland’s local government pension funds are to consider increased pooling of assets as part of a government-backed review.In a move that has echoes of the reforms underway south of the border, in February, Scotland’s local government pension scheme (LGPS) advisory board will present options to increase efficiency at the 11 public funds.A public consultation will follow, with the results presented to the Scottish government later in the year.A spokesperson for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities – one of the organisations feeding in to the initial discussions – confirmed the review and told IPE that, “in terms of options, the review is open, and nothing is ruled out”.last_img read more

Aviation infrastructure: What are the effects on property?

first_imgIn mid-2020, after eight years of construction and much anticipation, Brisbane Airport’s new runway will finally open.And while we know it’ll bring more domestic and international flights in and out of Brisbane (hello more exotic holidays!), we want to understand how the new runway will affect property in the area.To help us understand, we can look to other aviation infrastructure happening at major airports around the world – and there’s certainly no shortage of it.“Airports are on a continual improvement basis,” says Professor in Property at QUT, Chris Eves. They’re adding runways, refurbishing terminals, improving access and upgrading taxiways for new and heavier aircraft, he says.Airports are continually improving to keep up with the travelling public’s expectations. Picture: Getty“If you take the largest airport in the world, which is Heathrow [London], there are currently five terminals, but there’s a proposal for another. And at any one time, one of those terminals is being refurbished. That’s an incredible amount of money and resources going into the infrastructure in these projects,” Eves says.“Airports are in a lot of ways destinations in themselves. One of the prime examples overseas would be Changi Airport in Singapore. To maintain those expectations of the travelling public, you have to be continually updating the terminals and facilities around the terminals.”So, how does aviation infrastructure affect property? To put it simply, it can make property more appealing, says Eves. Here’s why:There’s good transport around an airportProperties near an airport are almost guaranteed to have good transport. Picture: people think only of the potential noise impacts of living near an airport, but in fact, properties near an airport can cover a lot of things quite a number of buyers are looking for – namely transport, says Eves.The best example of this can be seen in Sydney Airport. “When they put the rail link in at Mascot, which was predominantly an industrial suburb in Sydney, but is less a kilometre from the airport; it’s now become a major residential area,” he says.“There are numerous high-rises – 12-15-storey residential towers that just sprang up. There was a limited population there 10 years ago. Now we’re looking at an area that’s basically a full-grown suburb with thousands of people living there.”So, what effect does aircraft noise have on property prices? QUT research conducted by Eves found that property prices with aircraft noise around the country rose and fell in accordance with property booms and busts, just the same as any other property.Check your address in Brisbane Airport’s flight path tool.There are good nearby servicesYou’ll also find good restaurants, shops and parks near an airport. Picture: good transport isn’t the only attractive feature of property near the airport. “Because the airport’s usually on a very large site, they can actually produce a property product that can’t be replicated in places like a CBD location,” says Eves.“You look at Brisbane Airport at the moment – there’s childcare centres, business parks, office space, supermarkets, shops and restaurants nearby. You find that a lot of suburbs around the airport that were lower-value are now highly sought-after. There’s a lot of high-rise residential and a lot of that can be attributed to the services that are available at the airport.”The other thing, Eves adds, is that most airports these days are very well located in terms of employment opportunities – which is of course attractive to buyers.More than 24,000 people work out of BNE, so the surrounding suburbs are in fact situated within a major employment hub.It can guarantee housing stabilityBuilding restrictions near an airport can mean you’re guaranteed the same view. Picture: little less obvious of an appeal is the fact that airport’s building restrictions and overlays can mean an area is guaranteed to stay as it is.“I can give you an example where a person was particularly attracted to buying near an airport because the restrictions meant that the type of development he was looking at would be the only development allowed in that particular sub-division,” says Eves.“So for him that was very much a positive because he knows further into the future he’ll never have any high-rise or medium density development around him. He wouldn’t have that guarantee in any other location in that particular city.”The peace of mind gives people confidence that the type of housing and development that’s there now is what’s going to be there in the future.last_img read more

Six police officers arrested in Trinidad

first_imgNewsRegional Six police officers arrested in Trinidad by: – October 28, 2011 Share Sharing is caring! Share 19 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Tweet Flag of Trinidad & Tobago. Image via: flags.netPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Six police officers have been arrested and taken into custody in Trinidad by a party of police officers headed by Assistant Commissioner Police Raymond Craig from the Professional Standards Unit of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).Craig is the senior investigator probing the deaths of Abigail Johnson, Alana Duncan and Keron Eccles, which occurred on July 22, 2011. The arrests are a result of an incident that occurred relative to that matter. The officers — five constables and one corporal — all formerly of the Robbery Squad in San Fernando, were taken into custody. At present efforts are being made to interview another officer in connection with the incident.Enquiries are continuing. Caribbean News Nowlast_img read more

Otho F. Fink, Sr., 91

first_imgOtho F. Fink, Sr., 91, Connersville, passed away on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at the Heritage House Nursing Home in Connersville. Born, August 30, 1925 in Lawrenceville, Indiana, he was the son of Raymond G. and Emma F. (Risch) Fink.  Otho graduated in 1943 from Cambridge City High School and then served in the Army in WW II from April 1944 through April 1946.  He was stationed at the Panama Canal. He worked at AVCO, and then he worked at Roots Blower as a P & IC associate until his retirement.  He was a member of the St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, Connersville, a 50 year member of the Knights of Columbus, and also the American Legion Post. He was married to Marilyn Riggs on January 25, 1947, in Cambridge City, and she survives. He is also survived by three daughters, Sue (Dennis) Gunckel, Connersville; Pat (Robert) Hunger, Moores Hill; Nancy (Mike) Porter, Greensburg; one son, Frank Fink, Connersville; seven grandchildren, Denise (Karl) Griffin, Sara Bennett, Matt (Leann) Porter, Joni (Keith) Krieger, Lyndsay (Mike) Rensing, Mariah Hunger, Travis (Amy) Fink; seven great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren; two brothers, Bill and Larry Fink, Cambridge City; two sisters, Dorothy Hicks, Cambridge City: Corena (Jerry) Marshall, Dublin. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Raymond and Paul Fink; sisters, Ethel Miller and Mary Moore. Family and friends will gather at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 22, 2017, at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Connersville to pray the rosary.  Visitation will follow from 9:00 until the funeral mass begins at 11:00 a.m. Interment with military graveside services will be held in the Riverside Cemetery in Cambridge City, Indiana, following the funeral mass. Memorials may be made to St. Gabriel’s Catholic School or to the Alzheimer’s Association. Online condolences can be made to the family at www.popfuneralhome.comlast_img read more