Bluegrass general Sam Bush has released a new single, “Stop The Violence”, his first new music since 2016’s Storyman LP.Released as a standalone single, Bush co-wrote “Stop the Violence” with regular collaborator Jeff Black, who’s had songs cut by Alison Krauss, Waylon Jennings and more. Bush opens the song with the lyrics, “I hate living in a world where there’s so much pain,” speaking to our country’s struggle with mass shootings, gun control, police brutality, and so many other prominent issues. Backed by a full band, Bush rocks the electric mandolin in a captivating music video produced and directed by David McClister.Black explains in a statement,Violence has become a disease, a bad gene in our DNA. It’s not normal, but it’s being normalized and it’s happening right in front of our kids. When Sam brought me the track and his vision for the song, I started thinking about all the folks who grow up in a violent environment, and that’s all they know. I think about the children in particular and how they are cast into it without a choice. I think the hope, because violence itself is taught and handed down through the generations, is that someday, by small acts, we can break the chain.Watch the new music video for “Stop The Violence” below:Sam Bush – “Stop The Violence”[Video: Sam Bush]Sam Bush is one of the many acts performing at this weekend’s Boogie At The Broadmoor event, hosted by Leftover Salmon. For a full list of Sam Bush’s upcoming tour dates and ticketing information, head to his website.
Growing affordability of renewables boosts solar and wind in key global markets FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Business Green:New wind and solar plants are now cheaper than new coal and gas plants in countries that cover two-thirds of the global population and are capable of undercutting wholesale power prices in a growing number of key markets, according to the latest Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) Update from BloombergNEF.The influential analyst firm yesterday released its twice yearly update on the cost competitiveness of different power generation and energy storage technologies, excluding subsidies. Its headline finding was that new solar and onshore wind power plants have now reached parity with average wholesale prices in California and parts of Europe, while in China levelized costs for wind and solar are now below the average regulated coal power price.The milestones were the result of continued sharp reduction in renewables costs with BNEF calculating that its global benchmark levelized cost figures for onshore wind and PV projects financed in the last six months stood at $47 and $51/MWh, down six percent and 11 percent respectively compared to the first half of 2019.The fall in wind energy costs was attributed to continuing reductions in wind turbine prices, while solar cost reductions were partly the result of intense competition in a Chinese market experiencing relatively slow demand which has in turn put pressure on capital expenditure for new projects.“We estimate that some of the cheapest PV projects financed recently will be able to achieve an LCOE of $27-36/MWh, assuming competitive returns for their equity investors,” BNEF said. “Those can be found in India, Chile and Australia. Best-in-class onshore wind farms in Brazil, India, Mexico and Texas can reach levelized costs as low as $26-31/MWh already.”Tifenn Brandily, associate in BNEF’s energy economics team and the report’s author, said the continuing cost reductions will have huge implications for both how energy systems operate and global decarbonisation efforts.“This is a three-stage process,” he predicted. “In phase one, new solar and wind get cheaper than new coal and gas plants on a cost-of-energy basis. In phase two, renewables reach parity with power prices. In phase three, they become even cheaper than running existing thermal plants. Our analysis shows that phase one has now been reached for two-thirds of the global population. Phase two started with California, China and parts of Europe. We expect phase three to be reached on a global scale by 2030.”More: BNEF: Plummeting renewables costs give solar and wind cost parity in key markets
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Ronkonkoma-bound Long Island Rail Road riders—who routinely endure some of the worst delays in the commuter system—are nearing a long-awaited solution, according to LIRR President Helena Williams, who said that the double track project is getting closer to breaking ground.The Main Line track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma has seen ridership double over the last 25 years since it was electrified in 1988, but the service has always been vulnerable to disruptions because two-thirds of the 18-mile span consists of only a single pair of tracks. When a train breaks down, there’s no way around it.“Two tracks are better than one,” said Williams, repeating her mantra for this ambitious project that marks a major investment in the railroad.The MTA has committed $138 million to the planning and construction of phase one of the Double Track Project, which is slated to commence along a a 4-mile stretch between Ronkonkoma and Central Islip come November. The preliminary design and environmental assessment has just been done, and the LIRR is hoping to complete its review by next month and begin putting contracts out to bid soon thereafter. If they stick to their schedule, it should be done in two years.The Main Line should see “shovels in the ground” this fall, she said. “We’re going forward.”Unlike the more controversial—and three times more expensive (at $1.5 billion)—Third Track proposal between Floral Park and Hicksville, no homes or businesses will be significantly affected by double-tracking the Ronkonkoma line, she said, because the LIRR can do the job within its existing right of way. In other words, there are “fewer backyards” to contend with.Phase Two, which would extend the double track corridor to Farmingdale, requires another $300 million from the MTA’s next five-year capital funding program. If that money is forthcoming in a timely fashion, then Williams predicts the next stretch can be finished by 2018. With the money they already have, they expect to complete the design, at least, for the entire 18-mile segment.In other news, the LIRR is slated to get nearly $21 million in Superstorm Sandy recovery aid from the Federal Transit Administration, which will help the railroad repair bridges, signals and other infrastructure.As for the gap at the top of the MTA after Joseph Lhota left his job as chairman to run as a Republican mayoral candidate in New York City, Williams said she’s optimistic that her railroad wouldn’t get overlooked because the interim MTA Executive Director Thomas Prendergast is a former LIRR president.If he’ll have the clout to guarantee that the LIRR gets adequate funding for Phase II of the double track remains to be seen. The riders on the Ronkonkoma line will just have to keep their fingers crossed.
When someone makes the move from team member to manager, there are often some new traits and skills that need to be learned and cultivated in order to be effective.Google completed a study after analyzing more than 10,000 managers – reviewing performance evaluations, surveys and nominations for top management awards – that identified several habits of the most effective managers.Michael Schneider, human capital specialist for Welltower, highlights six of these key attributes in an Inc.com post. They include:Mindset and values. Having a growth mindset and an identified set of values can empower managers.Emotional intelligence. The ability to recognize and understand your emotions and others’.Manager transition. It’s OK to be honest and open.Coaching. Effective managers are also good coaches. continue reading » 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
VESTAL (WBNG) – Vestal senior Emilia Cappellett won’t be able to finish her senior year at Vestal in person. “It was heartbreaking, I still don’t think it hit me yet,” said Cappellett. Family and friends watched in person and over the computer as Emilia signed her national letter of intent to play soccer at Elon University. Then, the team captain and four-year varsity starter was greeted with a birthday parade. Capping off a truly special 18th birthday and signing day. “It’s amazing. I couldn’t be more thankful for my friends and family,” said Cappellett. “She’s always had the fire, she’s always put everything out there and I knew by her senior year she could go anywhere she wanted,” said Vestal soccer coach Gina Baldwin. “I saw the signs from up the street and had to pull over. I was like, what the heck is happening,” said Cappellett. So, her dad made sure to give her a special send-off. On the day of her 18th birthday, Emilia was given a surprise signing right in her front yard. “It feels great that I am committed to such a great program and I am so excited for the next four,” said Cappellett. “Like” Jacob Seus on Facebook and “Follow” him on Twitter. “This is once in a lifetime and when I look back on this, it definitely sticks out.”
The writer is correct that those with lower income feel more of the pain of the gas tax. This is more an issue of income inequality to be dealt with in that context via tax rebates for lower-income drivers, for example.The writer is also correct that in the short run, drivers often can’t change their driving habits in response to the tax. In the longer run, however, drivers buy more fuel-efficient cars, live closer to work and make fewer one-store trips.In short, no one likes to pay taxes, but sometimes they are necessary. The trick isn’t to get rid of the tax, but to make it work the way it’s supposed to.Lester HadsellTroyThe writer is a professor of economics at RPI.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionGasoline tax has its positive benefitsRe May 27 Viewpoint, “Slash state gas tax,” author Steve Keller argues that the tax on gasoline should be abolished. He contends that economists view higher gas taxes negatively and instead advocates to lower them. The consensus among economists is, in fact, that higher gasoline taxes are warranted — as much as three times the current level.The economic rationale for gasoline taxes is based on the concept of negative externalities: the harm to the environment and human health done by burning gasoline. A gasoline tax discourages use of gasoline, just as intended. The result of the tax is less consumption, less pollution, better health, less congestion and fewer accidents.The tax is more effective than alternatives; one study shows that gasoline taxes are multiple times less expensive than fuel economy standards at achieving increased environmental quality.
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ZAMBIA’S Ministry of Transport & Communications announced on November 22 that agreement had been reached for Swedish consultants to take over the management of Zambia Railways for two years, in order to rescue the struggling company and allow bulk freight including export copper traffic to be switched back from road to rail. The consultants are expected to help the railways overcome recent operational problems and train a new generation of Zambian management able to take control from 1999.Ministry spokesman Robert Makuma said that the technical assistance package had been agreed by the Zambian government, subject to the finance ministry allocating the local funding element. The total cost is put at 12bn kwacha, of which one-third will come as aid from the Swedish government. o
Italian banking group UniCredit confirmed it has received offers from other parties to acquire Pioneer Investments and that it is now in talks with potential buyers.The group put out a statement in response to “media speculations regarding asset sales”, saying offers had been received for the subsidiary.It said: “As announced on 11 July 2016, UniCredit is undertaking an in-depth group-wide strategic review, focusing on how to reinforce and optimise the group’s capital position, improve profitability and ensure continuous transformation of operations whilst maintaining flexibility to seize value-creating opportunities.”The review encompassed all major areas of the bank, it said. “The outcome of this strategic review will be unveiled at a capital markets day in London on 13 December 2016,” it said.“As regards Pioneer Investments, there can be no certainty these discussions will lead to any transaction nor any certainty as to the terms upon which any such transaction might potentially proceed.”Italy’s postal service Poste Italiane confirmed it had presented a bid for Pioneer to UniCredit, in cooperation with Italian bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Italian independent asset manager ANIMA.Poste Italiane said the three firms had come together to acquire Pioneer jointly and create a leading asset management operator.The postal firm said the joint project was intended to create value for the three companies’ respective shareholders, and be capable of making the most of private savings in Italy.French asset manager Amundi has also said it is interested in buying Pioneer, and other parties reportedly in the bidding include Australian group Macquarie and the UK’s Aberdeen Asset Management.Offers for Pioneer, according to Italian press reports, are said to be around €3.6bn.
Joseph Mariathasan explores how India might get its financial house in order after a botched currency demonetisationIndia’s radical and many would say misguided move to ban “high-denomination” notes overnight on 8 November during the peak wedding season in a largely cash economy has caused chaos and will reduce GDP in the short term by significant amounts. Moreover, the notes that were banned – Rs.500 and Rs.1000 – are not that high a denomination and account for 86% of currency in circulation. It is not analogous to withdrawing $500 bills or €500 notes in Europe or the US, which are hardly used.Whether India will benefit in the long term remains to be seen. Prime minister Narendra Modi’s aims were certainly laudable – to attack corruption and the ‘black economy’ with a surprise and bold move. It is likely to also benefit the exchequer, as much of the money may never be exchanged.One real problem, though, is that it has not been just the corrupt who have suffered but the mass of the general population. Arguably, the big-time crooks would have been storing undocumented and untaxed wealth in other assets such as gold and property rather than cash. The events are happening against a backdrop of massive changes in India that still leave much to be done. China is experiencing a financial Big Bang that is transforming its economy. But in India, more people have mobile phones than bank accounts. The cost of finance is exorbitant for everyone bar the very largest companies. As economist Ajay Shah argues, in India, the financial system is simultaneously hostile to innovation and competition, and vulnerable to crises.India has seen major reforms in certain sectors after 1991, such as telecommunications. Import restrictions were loosened for manufacturing, which led to major improvements. But in finance, Shah argues the existing laws were built for a different age and need to be reorientated to the needs of the India of the next 20 years. So far, only the equity market has been “fixed”. The rest of finance is mostly unchanged – banking, for example – or has new parts that are as yet small, such as the New Pension System.Modi is halfway through his term. Shah believes there have been six wins in Indian finance that bode well for the future. The full solution for the country lies in the draft Indian Financial Code (IFC), put together between 2011 and 2015.Enacting and implementing the IFC at one shot has not happened. But a lot has, says Shah: Commodity futures have been classified as securities and are now regulated by SEBI. This should lead to convergence of financial markets and big gains to the economy.A basic concept of the rule of law is that orders of a financial agency should be subject to judicial review. After 2015, a tribunal hears orders against all financial agencies other than RBI. RBI is now the only financial agency where orders are not subject to judicial review.The Indian system of capital controls has failed. The first step towards fixing this was taken in February 2015, where the power to write regulations for non-debt capital flows (both in-bound and out-bound) shifted from RBI to the Ministry of Finance.Two new agencies envisaged in the IFC are the Financial Data Management Centre (FDMC) and the Resolution Corporation (RC). The FDMC will, for the first time, make possible a full view of Indian finance and thus an assessment of systemic risk. The RC is a specialised bankruptcy code for financial firms. If high-quality laws are enacted, and the implementation plans in hand are pulled off, this will give two big steps in reform.Inflation targeting and the monetary policy committee were once heretical ideas when they were in committee reports and in the IFC. In February 2016, for the first time in its history, RBI had an objective (4% inflation) and power shifted from the governor to the MPC.At this historic moment in RBI’s history, the new governor, Urjit Patel, will now refashion RBI as an agency that will consistently deliver on its objective. This is harder than merely announcing the target. For Shah and others, there are grounds for optimism that he will be able to get this done. It may, however, be dependent on his surviving the fallout from the botched currency demonetisation.Joseph Mariathasan is a contributing editor at IPE