Sponsored Stories The 54-year-old, white-haired Al-Masri exposed both of his arms through his short-sleeved prison shirt. His court-appointed lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, asked that al-Masri, indicted under the name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, have his prosthetics immediately returned “so he can use his arms.”In the 1990s, al-Masri turned London’s Finsbury Park Mosque into a training ground for extremist Islamists, attracting men including Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and “shoe bomber” Richard Reid.Al-Masri _ jailed since 2004 in Britain on separate charges _ was flown overnight to New York from London along with four others accused of U.S. embassy bombings in Africa and with helping terror operations in Afghanistan and Chechnya. The men, who could all face life in prison, have been battling extradition for between eight to 14 years.U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called the extraditions “a watershed moment in our nation’s efforts to eradicate terrorism.”“As is charged, these are men who were at the nerve centers of al-Qaida’s acts of terror, and they caused blood to be shed, lives to be lost, and families to be shattered.”In New York’s federal court, Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary, entered not guilty pleas to charges that they participated in the bombings of embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. The attacks killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. They were indicted in a case that also charged Osama bin Laden. Top Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help The overnight trip to the United States came after a multiyear extradition fight that ended Friday, when Britain’s High Court ruled that the men had no more grounds for appeal and could be sent to the U.S. immediately.“I’m absolutely delighted that Abu Hamza is now out of this country,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said. “Like the rest of the public, I’m sick to the back teeth of people who come here, threaten our country, who stay at vast expense to the taxpayer and we can’t get rid of them.”“I’m delighted on this occasion we’ve managed to send this person off to a country where he will face justice,” he added.Al-Masri has been in a British jail since 2004 on charges of inciting racial hatred and encouraging followers to kill non-Muslims.While al-Masri has been portrayed in the British media as one of the most dangerous men in the country, the case against Ahmad in Connecticut has raised concerns among legal experts and human rights advocates.Some lawyers and lawmakers have expressed concerns because Britain agreed to extradite the London computer expert even though his alleged crimes were committed in Britain; British courts declined to prosecute him for lack of evidence. Ahmad and Ahsan are accused of running websites to support Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban regime, Chechen rebels and associated terrorist groups. In New Haven, Conn., Syed Talha Ahsan, 33, and Babar Ahmad, 38, entered not guilty pleas to charges that they provided terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya with cash, recruits and equipment.Al-Masri, a one-time nightclub bouncer, entered no plea, saying only “I do” when he was asked by U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank Maas whether he swears that his financial affidavit used to determine if he qualifies for a court-appointed lawyer was correct.Shroff told Maas that al-Masri needed use of his arms. “Otherwise, he will not be able to function in a civilized manner.”She also asked for a dictating machine, saying he can’t take notes, the return of his diabetes medication and special shoes that prevent him from slipping. She said he will need a special diet and a full medical evaluation in prison.Al-Masri peered through glasses as he consulted with Shroff and another court-appointed lawyer, Jerrod Thompson-Hicks, in a proceeding that lasted less than 15 minutes.Al-Masri has one eye and claims to have lost his hands fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. His lawyers in England said he suffers from depression, chronic sleep deprivation, diabetes and other ailments. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments Share Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) – An extremist Egyptian-born preacher entered a U.S. courtroom Saturday for the first time to face multiple terrorism charges, complaining that his prosthetic hooks, medication and special shoes were taken away from him. The preacher was one of five terror defendants rounded up in Britain and extradited overnight to the U.S.Abu Hamza al-Masri was surrounded by several marshals in a Manhattan courtroom as he faced charges he conspired with Seattle men to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon and helped abduct 16 hostages, two of them American tourists, in Yemen in 1998. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “I don’t think he slept at all” on the overnight flight and hadn’t eaten since arriving in New York at 2:40 a.m., Shroff said outside court. Still, she added, “He seemed very much like a gentleman.”Shroff and Thompson-Hicks also represented al-Fawwaz, 50, a citizen of Saudi Arabia. Thompson-Hicks said he was concerned whether his client would be properly treated for hypertension and high blood pressure. Attorney Andrew Patel, representing Bary, 52, an Egyptian citizen, said his client needed asthma medicine and treatment for other medical issues.Patel, who declined to comment afterward, told Maas that Bary reserved the right to request bail in the future.Four others who were tried in 2001 in the August 1998 bombings in Kenya and Tanzania are serving life sentences.Ahsan, 33, and Ahmad, 38, were kept detained while they await trial in Connecticut, where an Internet service provider was allegedly used to host a website. Their lawyers declined to comment.Ahmad made efforts to secure GPS devices, Kevlar helmets, night vision goggles, ballistic vests and camouflage uniforms, prosecutors said.Al-Masri is not the first Egyptian-born preacher to be brought to Manhattan for trial. A blind sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, is serving a life sentence after he was convicted in 1995 in a plot to assassinate then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and in another to blow up New York landmarks, including the United Nations and two tunnels and a bridge linking New Jersey to Manhattan. Abdel-Rahman has numerous health issues, including heart trouble. ___Christoffersen reported from New Haven, Conn. Associated Press writers Jill Lawless and Sylvia Hui in London contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Certain markets in the West will continue to appreciate at double digit rates over the next year, according to Veros Real Estate Solutions’ Q2 VeroFORECAST report, which measures predicted home appreciation on a yearly scale. The metro that they predict will see the highest home price appreciation is—no surprise—Seattle, Washington, with an estimated 11.1 percent increase. The Denver metro is a close second, with 10.3 percent increase home appreciation. VeroFORECAST lists population growth and low unemployment—Seattle boasts an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, compared to the national average of 4.3 percent, and Denver’s rate is as low as 2.1 percent—as major contributing factors to the rapid rate home appreciation. However, home appreciation does have its downside for would-be homeowners in that inventory is way down. It is estimated that Seattle has about a 1.0 month supply of homes available at the current closing rate, and Denver doesn’t look much better, at a 1.1 month supply. “As job growth continues to drive migration to the top markets, we will continue to see tight home supplies, causing a heightened housing demand which as we know will cause home affordability to suffer in these areas,” said Eric Fox, VP of Statistical and Economic Modeling at Veros. Of the top 25 markets showing signs of increased home appreciation, 18 metros are located in western states, including Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Utah, and Idaho. Only five reside in Florida. Previously hot markets, such as Austin, Texas, are expected to cool. Austin once showed double digit appreciation, but now is only expected to appreciate at a rate of around 6 percent. Conversely, the Northeast shows the largest cluster of depreciating home values—New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia among the worst of the lot. The bottom 15 worst markets all show negative appreciation, while 15 to 25 show less than a 1 percent appreciation rate. VeroFORECAST contributes low and negative appreciation values to consistent population decline. June 28, 2017 664 Views Top 5 States with the Highest Home Appreciation Rate Denver Seattle Veros 2017-06-28 Joey Pizzolato Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News
London, UK – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineCOMO Hotels and Resorts will debut three wellness programs for the ultimate mental (and physical) vacation experience this fall. Alongside two new yoga retreats, the first-ever Pilates retreat will offer six days of therapeutic escape under the close guidance of world-class instructors.Featuring small classes in fully equipped rooms with private yoga mats, COMO retreats create a personal and luxurious environment for restoring health. The programs include most meals, serving up COMO Shambhala cuisine of deliciously healthy, locally sourced food that fuels concentration and energy. Additional perks like welcome and farewell dinners, airport transfers and personal assistant services will help guests enter a truly relaxed state of mind.At the flagship COMO Shambhala Estate in tropical Bali, aspiring yogis at all levels can align their way to harmony with Andrea and Christina Curry from October 30 to November 5. Having taught internationally for over 10 years, the sisters create a highly personalized experience, recommending personal treatments like calming massages or Reiki healing sessions to enhance the practice for each guest.Those looking to recharge can stretch no farther than the private Caribbean island of Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos. Here, renowned instructor, DVD teacher and author Elena Bower helps guests find strength and alertness from November 13 to 19 through daily Anusara classes with meditation. An award-winning spa and pristine white sand beaches reward hardworking yogis with soothing indulgences.For a superlatively customized wellness experience, Parrot Cay will also offer private assessments and sessions with Alycea Ungaro throughout her Pilates retreat from November 6 to 12. Hailing from New York University’s prestigious Physical Therapy program, this fitness authority brings celebrity-approved workouts to results-minded guests. Inner peace, toned legs—it’s a total mind-and-body invigoration.Starting at $3,970 for single occupancy. Rates vary for each program.www.comoshambhala.como.bz
House continues effort to rid state of antiquated provisionsThe House today passed a package of bills repealing outdated agriculture laws that are no longer relevant, one of which would do away with a tax provision related to collection of specific taxes.House Bill 5051, introduced by Rep. Edward “Ned” Canfield would remove a law from the 19th century that outlines a specific tax and penalties for not paying that tax called for in an outdated tax code.“It is extremely important that we rid the state of archaic laws,” said Rep. Canfield, R-Sebewaing. “In an already lengthy tax code, provisions that have no meaning are just a distraction and can hinder residents from following laws that are relevant.”House Bills 5050-5060 now go to the Senate for consideration. Categories: Canfield News,News 24Feb Canfield bill repealing outdated tax law passes House
Categories: Hughes News,News State Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, is inviting fellow Muskegon county residents to get out and enjoy Free Fishing Weekend on Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12.“Free Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity for families to get outside and spend time together,” said Rep. Hughes. “Muskegon County is fortunate enough to have two DNR-sponsored events so kids, parents and grandparents can have a fun time with our natural resources.”The two area events are:WLASA Kids Fishing Contest, taking place 7 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday at Whitehall Goodrich Park pavilion. This is a free fishing contest for youths age 3 to 16. For more information, call 231-557-6473Muskegon Conservation Club’s Free Fishing Derby for Children, taking place 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday at 1921 Lake Ave. in North Muskegon. This event is for kids age 4 to 12 who are with an adult. Fishing will occur 11 a.m.-noon, followed by prizes and lunch.During Free Fishing Weekend, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources waives all fishing license fees for two days, but fishing regulations still apply.“I remember going fishing with my dad and two sisters, enjoying the area lakes with our bamboo fishing poles and my dad always making us wear our orange life preservers,” said Rep. Hughes. “We always had fun, so I hope everyone will take advantage and get out with their family to enjoy a local lake or stream during Free Fishing Weekend.”A list of Free Fishing Weekend activities is online at http://www.michigan.gov/dnr##### 09Jun Rep. Hughes encourages residents to enjoy Free Fishing Weekend, events in Muskegon County
State Rep. Laura Cox, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, today applauded the House for passage of a state budget that includes record funding for K-12 education and proposes a 2.2 percent reduction for the general state budget.Cox, of Livonia, said the conservative spending blueprint invests in the future of Michigan’s children and enhances the well-being of the state.“We have crafted a budget that invests in our classrooms, puts millions more than last year in local communities for vital services, and prioritizes spending for more road and bridge repairs,” Cox said. “We have gone line-by-line through the budget to trim inefficiency and make sure we are getting the most out of every taxpayer dollar entrusted to us.”Highlights of the budget include:Allocating the highest funding in state history for K-12 schools with a proposed $14.3 billion; improving access to skilled trades training through career and technical education. The bills now go to the Senate for consideration. Improving our communities across Michigan by adding money for road repairs, public safety departments, parks and other programs to improve our daily lives. Categories: Cox News,News Increasing funding for public safety by adding 100 more Michigan State Police troopers. Making health care more effective and efficient, with an enhanced focus on improving mental health care. Paying down retiree debt and adding to state government’s main savings account for tough times, pushing that emergency fund above $1 billion. 02May Rep. Cox praises House for passing conservative budget #### The school budget is House Bill 4313.The state budget is House Bill 4323.
Plan in bipartisan package approved in House voteA proposal from state Rep. Diana Farrington protecting Michigan consumers by updating criminal definition in instances where money changes hands today was overwhelmingly approved in a House floor vote.Farrington’s bill, House Bill 4107, amends the money laundering section of the Michigan Penal Code to include cryptocurrency as a potential element of crime.Cryptocurrency first started to appear in the United States in the early 1990s, but its popularity has taken off due to a surge in online business and the ease and unregulated nature of exchange. Several major merchants across the country now accept digital forms of currency. Cryptocurrency is not officially recognized as a form of money, so loopholes have naturally arisen in outdated laws which specifically define a transfer of money in forms of crime.“These bills update laws without forging any new penalties or crimes,” said Farrington, of Utica, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee. “We don’t want something to fall through the cracks with legal interpretation in situations with bad actors. We want to protect Michigan consumers. I’m pleased this proposal had such decisive support from my colleagues and I look forward to it moving through the Senate as well.”HB 4107, along with five others in the bipartisan package, moves to the Senate for consideration. Farrington introduced similar legislation during the 2017-18 term and the plan moved through the House with a 108-0 vote. Categories: Diana Farrington News,News 09Apr Rep. Farrington addresses rise of digital currency with advancing legislation
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesFebruary 20, 2014; Slate Matthew Yglesias, Slate’s business and economics correspondent and author of The Rent is Too Damn High, thinks it is patently ridiculous for hedge-fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin to give Harvard University $150 million, its largest gift ever.Yglesias puts it this way:“Let’s say I was feeling inspired to give someone $1,500 tomorrow. Who should I give it to? That’s a difficult question to answer. Should I give it to Kenneth Griffin? Nope! That’s a really easy question to answer. You don’t give extra money to Kenneth Griffin because Kenneth Griffin is already really rich. And guess what: Harvard is already really rich.”Harvard’s endowment of $32 billion is 50 percent larger than Yale’s, making it the richest university on the block, and it is currently engaged in a campaign to raise $6.5 billion—with a “b.” Yglesias says, “Don’t get me wrong, giving money to Yale is ridiculous. But giving money to Harvard is doubly ridiculous. And note that when it comes to these fancy universities the official endowment figures are a drastic understatement of the real wealth of the university. Harvard’s real-estate assets are mind-bogglingly valuable, for example, but not part of the endowment.”The gift is slated largely to go to financial aid, a good thing if you are bound and determined to give a ton of money to Harvard, but really, says Yglesias, “You would almost certainly do more good with this money by picking 1,500 people at random and mailing them each a check for $100,000…It’s child’s play to think of a better use of $150 million than to give it to the richest university on the planet.”—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJune 4, 2014; Philadelphia InquirerAs has been previously reported in NPQ, libraries are increasingly finding new ways to remain relevant in a wired world by engaging their communities in new kinds of programs. This week, The Free Library of Philadelphia launched an innovative effort to advance literacy even as it promotes healthy cooking and better nutrition for city residents.The Central Library of the city’s 54-branch system has opened “a sparkling new demonstration kitchen” to house its innovative Culinary Literacy Center, which will incorporate literacy, math, science and problem-solving into cooking and nutrition classes. Among the local residents most likely to benefit from the center’s offerings are students with little to no kitchen experience, grandparents caring for young children, adults enrolled in literacy programs, and restaurant workers who speak only limited English.The well-appointed Center—located in a fourth-floor space that once housed a cafeteria—was made possible with support from Cancer Treatment Centers of America and with the help of two of Philadelphia’s favorite chefs, Jose Garces and Marc Vetri, and their respective foundations. A veritable stew of other community partners already involved in literacy, nutrition, culinary education and social services programs will be instrumental in developing programs and in engaging the people they serve in the new center’s offerings.The library’s executive director, Siobhan Riordan, hopes the Culinary Literacy Center will help to address a disturbing statistic from a 2009 Pew report that found at least half of Philadelphia adults—about half a million people—to be “low literate.” She notes such individuals “don’t typically come to the library, because they’re concerned about their literacy level. So this is a way to say, ‘You are welcome here.’”Of course, to reach the Culinary Literacy Center on the fourth floor, visitors will have to walk by lots of books, music, DVDs, and all of the other treasures the library holds. So the hope is people who initially get involved in the culinary programs will over time become more comfortable exploring the library’s other resources.Meanwhile, people already accustomed to using those other resources may find themselves drawn to what’s cooking on the fourth floor: public programs like cooking classes, workshops on budgeting and cooking for healthy living, appearances by cookbook authors and presentations on topics like community gardens and urban farms. Sounds like a recipe for success.—Eileen CunniffeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJune 12, 2014; Beacon NewsWe have noted an increase recently in discussions critical of top-down approaches to social improvement, both in the United States and internationally. In that vein, we found this article especially clear about the reasons why. In Calgary, the Impact Society is designed to help corporations create working relationships with First Nations that are based on a different set of assumptions than those the corporations currently hold.The group’s CEO, Jack Toth, says that First Nations leaders are tired of “companies [that start] with an assumption of community dysfunction.”“Successful relationships start with a fair assessment of both partners’ strengths and needs. By focusing on strengths, both parties have the potential to multiply those strengths and close gaps,” says Toth. “This process teaches each side to listen to the other, leading to trusting relationships, social change, and economic growth.”Toth believes that companies tend to see themselves as strong, with few weaknesses, and that their assumptions, far from true, lead most corporations to wrongly take a transactional approach toward First Nations relationships.“First Nations insist on being consulted well before project or community investment planning even begins. They need to be the ones who are met with first,” Toth says. “Sit down to understand their perspectives and needs and build those perspectives in from the start. Don’t come to them and say, ‘This is what’s going to happen, what do you think?’”Toth notes, “Although dysfunction does exist, within the communities are also many strengths. When we focus on assessing community strengths as a starting point, we get a very positive response. And when we focus on strengths, we increase resilience, and reduce dysfunction.”Joni Avram, writing for Beacon News, observes, “At a time when access to international markets remains the sector’s biggest problem, and the eyes of the world focus on how Canada relates to its First Nations peoples, replacing a still largely one-sided, outdated approach to Corporate Social Responsibility with one focused on mutual respect and shared value offers a unique opportunity to earn not only the social license to operate, but enormous economic and social returns—and the trust and respect of an increasingly skeptical public.”—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesOctober 5, 2014; ArchDailyThis competition makes good sense to us. The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) just announced the winner of its 2014 competition, >The Solar Hourglass by Santiago Muros Cortés of Buenos Aires, Argentina.Located in Refshaleøen, Denmark, the function of the Solar Hourglass is, as explained on the site A as Architecture:“Rather than using sand to measure time, The Solar Hourglass uses the power of the sun to electrify hundreds of homes while providing a breathtaking setting for inspiration and relaxation. The installation consists of an upper and a lower bulb. Dozens of people can gather on the bottom bulb during the day, sheltered by the shade of the top bulb. The project works as a solar central receiver, consisting of an arrangement of small flat mirrors that concentrate their reflection of solar energy on a tank holding a heating medium.”As stated on its website, the goal of the Land Art Generator Initiative is to “see to the design and construction of public art installations that uniquely combine aesthetics with utility-scale clean energy generation. The works will serve to inspire and educate while they provide renewable power to thousands of homes around the world.” This competition calls for site-specific designs from interdisciplinary teams—art that inspires and educates while also generating renewable electricity to the city at a utility scale.LAGI has put together a free 73-page guide to the design of renewable energy projects. It’s available here. —Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share20Tweet33ShareEmail53 SharesJune 30, 2016; New York TimesThe education of our children should not be seen as a commodity best regulated by the marketplace’s “invisible hand.” Parents bear the responsibility of garnering for their children the tools for their best possible futures; making choices and advocating for their needs is what a parent does. But as a community, we have a collective responsibility to the future of all children. At the individual level, the marketplace may work very well, but we may want to be more cautious when seeking to ensure that all children have equal educational opportunities. Across the country, we see the struggle between individual choice and collective responsibility play out in efforts to improve educational outcomes.For two decades, our national strategy for strengthening public education has been built on the conviction that the marketplace can provide an impetus for positive change. Give parents the ability to choose the schools they want their children to attend, allow new schools to open outside the existing public school systems, and most children will benefit. Good theory, perhaps, but not so good in practice. We know that education doesn’t necessarily improve simply because there is more competition. When resources are scarce, adding competition to the mix sometimes worsens educational outcomes.The New York Times recently looked at how competition has decimated Detroit’s public school system. The state of Michigan seized control of Detroit’s public schools in 1999 and began a process of “reform” that created an “educational marketplace.” Privately managed public charter schools now compete with traditional public schools for students.“The point was to raise all schools,” said Scott Romney, who is a lawyer and current board member of New Detroit, a civic group established after the 1967 race riots. “Instead, we’ve had a total and complete collapse of education in this city.”Charters and traditional public schools compete for students and funding. Even space becomes a resource schools will fight over. In New York City, for example, a charter school and a public school are battling over who gets to use classrooms as both programs seek to grow. The beset school building is John D. Wells Junior High School in Brooklyn. The competitors are a branch of the controversial Success Charter School system and JHS 50. Success Academy demonstrates strong outcomes, surpassing those of JHS 50. Its plan is to grow by adding a new grade each year. JHS 50 recently reversed a decline in enrollment and student outcomes; it needs more space to support growing demand.The two schools serve different demographics. According to the N.Y. Times, “The charter school has more white students and middle-class students than J.H.S. 50.” JHS 50’s student body includes thirty-one percent with disabilities and 29 percent speak English as a second language.School district leaders decided to give additional space to Success Academy, which plans to expand over the coming years. Devora Kaye, a spokeswoman for NYC’s Education Department, told the Times that her department was aware of the issue but would wait until October, when each school finalizes its 2016–17 enrollment numbers, to see if any adjustment was needed.City Councilman Antonio Reynoso, who represents the neighborhood, told the Times, “Having to squeeze into fewer classrooms could hurt the school’s ability to increase enrollment further. We’re about to take away space that they were using to attract parents.”In a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, the demographic differences reflect two very different segments of a common geography. Having such diverse demographics, decisions about scarce resources should represent more than choice and market values. From a parent’s perspective, getting their child into the school they deem best is most important. But should the parents’ perspective also become public policy if the result is neither racially or economically diverse? If two programs are showing positive results that cause them to compete for the same schoolrooms, is it not in the public’s best interest that a compromise be achieved so that both schools “win”?—Martin LevineShare20Tweet33ShareEmail53 Shares
Share15TweetShare7Email22 SharesBy Aratner1 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsOctober 28, 2016; New York TimesOver the last few years, NPQ has published a number of nonprofit newswires (here, here, and here) on the place of worker-owned cooperatives in refitting our economic system so that profits are more equitably shared by those doing the work. Today, we wanted to put that concept together with these thoughts about the potential of small manufacturing to rebuild community economies.As you may remember, Rochester, New York, is pursuing a cooperative strategy to address systemic poverty. What is the potential for putting these two concepts together, and what part should the nonprofit sector have in that? The following story illustrates the importance of flexibility and agility in much of manufacturing, making survival a challenge for the behemoth industrial structures of the past, but what kind of manufacturing sector might be built in its place? Perhaps one that is networked and puts the intelligence of employees to full use, and therefore can adapt with the right kinds of capital investments by such programs as Rochester is backing.Marlin Steel calls the West Baltimore area home. For its twenty-four employees, it is a beacon of hope in an area with very few opportunities. Its story illustrates the rise of the American manufacturing sector, and the challenges it continues to face.Today, James Branch works as a skilled machine operator at Marlin Steel. Earning a base wage of over $20 an hour and earning almost $70,000 annually, he is living a version of the American Dream, renting a two-story townhouse and recently watching his daughter graduate from college with a degree in psychology. But it was not always that way. Mr. Branch sold drugs for a dozen years after dropping out of high school. He fathered his daughter when he was sixteen and he served time in prison. His turnaround is due to hard work and perseverance but it is also due to the survival of Marlin Steel. Although manufacturing continues to have a strong grip on America, urban industrial manufacturers like Marlin Steel make for uncommon employers. Unlike the growing number of service jobs, skilled manufacturing jobs continue to disappear, leaving many workers without health benefits and sustainable wages.Marlin Steel was born in Brooklyn almost fifty years ago, producing basic, durable welded-wire bagel baskets. During its first 30 years, the factory prospered. Everything was done by hand, and many workers paid for it, losing eyes and fingers. At the start of the 21st century, the factory’s very existence was threatened—the low-carb craze meant that the market for its bagel baskets disappeared, and the factory had to fight competition from overseas, where similar products sold for what Marlin paid for materials alone.To survive, Marlin had to evolve. In 1999, the manufacturer followed many others south and was reborn in Baltimore. Refurbishing its factories with robotics meant that it could produce baskets at almost a hundred times faster than it did in the 1960s for bigger manufacturers like Ford Motor, Boeing and Merck. Revenues increased from $800,000 to $5 million, and their personnel ranks grew from 18 to 24.In the last twenty years, the number of American manufacturing jobs has declined by a third, sending many of its workers into poverty. Of the manufacturers that remain, like Marlin, the majority are small factories. Today, there are 252,000 manufacturing companies in the United States, most with fewer than twenty workers.NPQ’s feature today is by one of the great thinkers in cooperative economic structures, Gar Alperovitz, and we encourage you to read or reread it. But we also want to leave you with these thoughts from Douglas Rushkoff:I think that the nonprofit sector in particular is perfectly situated to help us transition to a different economic landscape. You know, most nonprofits think of themselves as doing something good, but what I want to try to make them more aware of is that the nonprofit structure itself, the way the business is actually structured, may be doing more good than whatever their particular business is.While the public looks at nonprofits as do-gooders, we’re looking at the structure of nonprofits and not-for-profit corporations as business entities. Because they’re not for sale, because they’re not shareholder- or share-value-maximizing companies, what they end up doing is promoting revenue, the exchange of value, and the circulation of money, which revives a whole economy rather than enriching the few. Can the nonprofit sector get its head around a larger strategy of cooperatively-run networked businesses? Should it?—Gayle Nelson and Ruth McCambridgeShare15TweetShare7Email22 Shares
Slovenian cable operator Telemach has expanded the number of devices on which its multiscreen service D3 GO can be used.The operator launched the service last month on iPhones and iPads. It is now available on PCs and Macs. Telemach said it would launch on Android soon.D3 GO gives access to 59 channels and will eventually include a catch-up platform. It is free of charge until the end of February to existing and new customers. After that date, it will remain free for a further 12 months to those taking a triple-play package under a 24 month contract.
3net, the joint venture 3D channel run by Discovery, Imax and Sony, is launching a production and distribution division. 3net Studios will be jointly based at the Sony Pictures HQ in LA and at Discovery’s head office in Silver Spring. It will “employ a worldwide team of creative personnel, utilising the world-class technology and production expertise of the parent company’s joint venture partners to produce the highest quality native 3D content available”.It will make content in the standard 3D format as well as the super high-definition 3D 2K and 3D 4K formats, which offer a much higher resolution. It will also make programming in 2D 4K.The new unit will be run by Tom Cosgrove, president and CEO, 3net. He said: “With the industry now struggling to keep pace with the rapidly accelerating consumer demand for 3D programming across multiple platforms – and now with the evolution of 4K – the formation of a world class production studio to help fill both the 3D and ultra high definition content voids became a logical next step in our evolution as a global player in the entertainment arena.”3net launched its 3D channel in the US in early 2011 and claims to have the world’s largest catalogue of native 3D programming. The channel is carried on DTH platform DirecTV in the US and programmed with factual, lifestyle and kids programming. It has not launched in any international markets.
UK public broadcaster the BBC has launched a free sport app for iPhone and iPod touch devices. The app allows users to keep abreast of the BBC’s coverage of numerous sports and sporting events.A football-specific section has a league-by-league overview of the latest scores and goal scorers at a glance, with dedicated match pages for more in-depth information, bringing together starting line-ups, match stats, live text commentary and the post-game report.Selected video highlights will also be available on-demand.The BBC said an Android version would be introduced soon.Lucie McLean, executive product manager for sport, BBC Future Media, said: “Through the huge success of the Olympics we know that audiences love to access sport services through both mobile browser and apps. The new BBC Sport app builds on the success of London 2012 to give users an even easier way to get the content they love, whether it’s checking out how their team got on, following live text updates on the day’s sporting action or catching up with the latest news.”
Belarus will begin a phased shutdown of analogue TV in August, according to Belarusian Broadcasting Centre director Andrei Kudyrko.Speaking at a press conference in Minsk, Kudyrko said that the switch-off process would begin in Osipovichi in the Mogilev region in the eastern part of the country. This would be followed by the shutdown of further transmitters in the Zhlobin region in south-eastern Belarus, and the Mogilev region by December this year, he told local press.Kudyrko said that digital TV transmissions currently covered just over 95% of the country’s population, which would be increased to 97.1% through the introduction of 11 new digital transmitters this year.The Belarusian government has also reportedly announced plans to launch digital versions of regional stations using low power transmissions on synchronous frequencies, and to launch a new public broadcast channel, Belarus 3, that will be part of the country’s first digital multiplex, which currently includes seven channels.
Liam Keelan has opted to take a new role at BBC Worldwide over the position as director of Sky1 he accepted late last year.Worldwide, the commercial arm of the UK public broadcaster, announced yesterday that Keelan will become its global editorial director.In that role he will report to chief content officer Helen Jackson and develop the editorial and creative vision for Worldwide’s channels and services around the world. The channels include BBC Knowledge, BBC Entertainment, CBeebies and BBC.“This is a job I’ve always wanted to do,” said Keelan. “The opportunity to take part in extending the BBC brand – with its suite of channels across the globe – is too exciting to pass up.”Keelan has been Controller, BBC Daytime since February 2006.Last December he was announced as boss of UK pay TV operator BSkyB’s flagship entertainment channel Sky1, replacing Stuart Murphy. However, he accepted the Worldwide role before he could start at Sky.
Sebastian CoeConservative peer, Sebastian Coe, has reportedly dropped out of the running to become chairman of the BBC Trust, despite being strongly tipped to take the job.Coe, who was said to be the government’s preferred candidate for the role, has pulled his candidacy before the interview stage so he can bid to become president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) next year, according to a Daily Mail report.“I did allow my name to go forward to give myself time to properly analyse whether I had enough time to do the job to the best of my abilities. On reflection, I haven’t the capacity and I now want to concentrate on my current commitments and the IAAF election. As everyone knows, athletics is in my DNA,” Coe told the Mail.Coe is former Olympic gold medal-winning athlete and conservative MP who spearheaded the successful campaign to bring the Olympics to London. He is currently chairman of the British Olympic Association.The BBC Trust chairman role has been vacant since Chris Patten stepped down in May due to health reasons. Vice-chairman Diane Coyle is currently serving as acting chairman until a successor is appointed.
Kirill MakhnovskiyRussian pay TV operator Orion Express has set a target of raising its subscriber base from 2.5 million to three million people this year and of increasing the number of channels on the platform from 250 to 300. CEO Kirill Makhnovsky told Interfax-AVN that the operator was implementing a range of plans, including the launch of new channels, in order to grow revenues from its customer base. He said the operator planned to improve its basic package, raising the number of channels to close to 300 before the end of next year, including the addition of more regional channels.Makhnovsky also said that Orion Express plans to invest in original content. he said the operator would launch an educational channel, Yege, soon, with a channel focusing on hobbies, Mir Uvlecheniy, to launch next year. Makhnovsky said that Orion Express would also look into the possibility of introducing connected return channel services.