A campaign has been launched to encourage more 18 to 24-year-olds to vote in Cornwall.
Statistically, voters in that age range are least likely to register to vote, with only 44% doing so in the last general election.
The campaign, Hear My Voice, will use posters and a short film, that will be shown online and at local cinemas to encourage voters to register.
Cornwall Council successfully secured funding from the Government to find a way of reaching out to groups, who feel most distant from the political process.
Denise Holwill, from Cornwall Councils elections team, said: We have spoken to groups of young people who do seem to feel disengaged from the whole political process.
In one session we handed out pieces of paper to just 40% of a group of young people and then asked an emotive question like should the death penalty be reintroduced in this country?
We asked the group to vote but only counted the votes of those who had the pieces of paper.
It really brought home to them that to make your voice heard on all sorts of issues, you have to be registered to vote.
For more information visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/hearmyvoice
While politicians demand answers from rail companies, grain farmers across Saskatchewan are trying to figure out how to pay off their loans this year because are still waiting to cash in on their harvest.
20-year-old Tanner Borsa started buying land west of Melfort last year, but with no contracts to ship his crop he is worried about making mortgage payments.
“Not being able to move any grain makes it extremely difficult to be able to pay off input bills,” he said. “Seed and chemicals for the crops as well as fuel bills, there’s rent that needs to be paid and there’s also mortgages that need to be paid on land that’s been purchased and it just creates a huge headache.”
While he waits to get a contract to sell his canola and wheat, the prices just keep dropping.
Fortunately, Borsa says he qualified for a special interest free loan program from the Canola Council of Canada that offers cash advances up to $100,000. He knows a few younger producers who are taking advantage of programs like that one, but they still need to get paid for their crop soon.
“It’s just making another headache with how we’re going to repay the cash advance,” Borsa commented.
Grain producers across the province are facing similar issues. Some banks have offered extensions on input loans, but they still need to be paid before farmers can finance spring planting.
Arlynn Kurtz farms near Stockholm, but this week he was in Ottawa at the Canadian Federation of Agriculture annual meeting.
He says he finally shipped the grain that was under contract from October, but he still stands to lose money. He said he will lose at least 30 per cent of his net revenue and it all goes back to this rail transportation issue.
“It’s affected the prices because of the demurrage that’s being paid on ships sitting out on the coast,” he said. “The grain companies are not going to take the hit on this, it gets passed back to farmers.”
He said wheat is down to $4.50 a bushel down from about $6.50 or $7 and canola is down to about $8.50 a bushel when it was at $12.
“Nobody is really too anxious to sign a new contract if you can get one because commodity prices are down so much.”
He has heard all the promises from the rail companies to ramp up the movement of grain, but he hasn’t seen any dramatic difference so far. Kurts does expect to see improvement in the coming weeks.
Kurtz says that legislation should be strengthened to allow for penalties to the rail companies if they don’t perform shipments on time, instead of letting the extra cost fall on producers who have no control over transportation.
Danish credit agency EKF to extend $600m loan for 468MW Cape Wind in US
28 Feb 2014
Danish export credit agencyÂ Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF) has agreed to extend a $600m loan for the 468MW Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts, US.
The financing is conditional on the satisfaction of cetain requirements, Cape Wind’s president Jim Gordon said. The credit facility as still subject to the completion of due diligence and documentation, according toÂ ReNews.
Last year PensionDanmark agreed to invest $200m in the wind project with a mezzanine loan. In addition it received a $100m commitment from German engineering group Siemens, which will also supply turbines for the scheme.
Worth $2.5bn, the project was proposed by US firm Energy Management. It has PPAs in place with Nstar, a unit of Northeast Utilities, and with the UK utility National Grid.
The developer has so far secured funding commitments of some $1bn and it has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Copyright Â 2014 NewNet
Tags: cape wind, EKF, Eksport Kredit Fonden, National Grid, NSTAR, offshore, PensionDanmark, UK, US, wind
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Pittsburgh has tighter fiscal controls than it did a year ago, but theres a limit to how much it can do to prevent another instance of someone funneling public money into secret bank accounts, city Controller Michael Lamb said.
“If someone is intent on committing fraud, theres not much you can do to stop them from committing fraud,” he said.
What the city can and is doing is making such fraud harder to commit and harder to hide, he said.
The tighter controls include eliminating the use of debit cards for official city business and segregating duties so that one person isnt collecting and depositing money paid to the city, Lamb said.
“The more people involved (in handling the money), the less likely there is fraud,” he said.
Margaret Lanier, the citys treasurer, couldnt be reached for comment.
Former Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper was sentenced on Tuesday to 18 months in prison for ordering his staff to open an account at Greater Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union and depositing payments that came from businesses hiring off-duty officers.
More than $70,000 was diverted. Harper spent about $32,000 on personal uses, federal prosecutors say.
Lamb said Harper violated two city policies when he opened the account. He opened it at a financial institution not on the citys official list of depositories, and he opened it without the approval of the city controller and the city finance director.
Harpers lawyers said former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl told him to open the account, but Ravenstahls attorney denies that.
Lamb said hes still surprised the credit union allowed Harper and his staff to deposit city checks into the account.
“That was a personal account that was opened in Chief Harpers name,” he said. “A question for me is why the credit union would accept checks that werent in his name.”
Karen Janoski, CEO of the credit union, said the active federal investigation limits what she could say, but the account wasnt Harpers personal account, and there was no way for her institution to know that it wasnt an official city account.
“If someone comes in with the proper information, you have to trust that theyre authorized to do so,” Janoski said. “Any bank will open the account.”
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or email@example.com.
Added jobs and healthier eating among the benefits for Morrison County
by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
Sprout MN is a ‘food hub’ established in Brainerd by Bob and Arlene Jones of The Farm on St. Mathias, building a network that now includes 40 growers in eight counties. Carol Anderson of Morrison County Development Center is coordinating the effort to bring a Sprout processing facility to Little Falls.
A regional food hub is an organization that manages the collection, marketing and distribution of food products primarily from local and regional producers. The hub strengthens the farmers’ ability to meet wholesale, retail and institutional demand.
Sprout MN was set up in the fall of 2012, building on nine years of work with community-based food systems. Sprout coordinates Farm-to-School programs with three area districts (with two more in negotiations) and provides restaurants with quality local foods.
“We’re busting at the seams,” said Arlene Jones. “We can barely hold and distribute what our network produces now.”
The hub delivered nearly 100,000 pounds of locally-grown fresh produce in 2013.
A core group comprised of Anderson, Jones, Region 5 Executive Director Cheryal Hills and Julie Anderholm of Central Lakes College’s Small Business Development Center are all working together to bring the dream to fruition.
“We’ve been working on it for five years,” Anderson said. “There is a big push for farm-to-school foods and more farmers are growing and selling to farmers markets. Having a location close makes it a lot easier for institutions to buy local food.”
The group has formed a business plan with the goal of remodeling an area of the Little Falls Development Center (the old Crestliner building.)
“We’re planning to put in two commercial kitchens,” said Anderson. “Growers can extend the life of the product and add value while doing it year ’round.”
Anderson and the group have secured funding for a feasibility study with a grant from the Initiative Foundation. Building owner Tom Elbert added some funding to the effort which was used to leverage a grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).
“The study will give us an early vision of what this processing facility will do,” said Hills. “It will help us make sure we don’t duplicate efforts between different facilities. We want to use our dollars in a most efficient way.”
Little Falls architect Kevin Anderson is designing the space.
“Once we have a design in place, we’ll know what equipment we need,” Anderson said. “With that, we can determine costs and I can put the rest of the funding together to build the kitchen. There will be large-capacity refrigeration and storage.”
Also working with the group are Jim Boerboom of MDA, Don Hickman of the Initiative Foundation and Paul Dorenfeld of the United States Department of Agriculture.
“They can help with the layout and tell us what materials are needed, what the inspection requirements will be,” said Anderson. “Working with us at the front end makes a big difference.”
Anderson pointed out that the recently-passed Farm Bill provides $30 million over five years to establish farmers markets.
Three processing facilities are in the works for Sprout, one each in St. Mathias, Pine River and Little Falls.
“Little Falls will be focused on large-scale processing,” said Hills. “This will allow growers a place to process their food. It will improve income for growers and will provide access to additional commodities for school districts, hospitals and individual residents. We’d like to incorporate art and music and make it a destination site.”
“We chose Little Falls because of the existing infrastructure such as loading docks at the site,” Jones said. “We mainly chose it because of the highway infrastructure.”
The facility will house a proposed demonstration kitchen where “we can teach people who are interested how to cook the foods they find there,” said Anderson. “The facility will create jobs and will tie into efforts in Morrison County to encourage healthier eating.”
The plans also include an all-year indoor farmers market.
“Having a year-’round marketplace will provide an influx of funds to the local economy,” said Jones. “People will also be getting gas and groceries and visiting tourist attractions.”
A pioneering poolice officer who has promoted the use of body-worn cameras to help victims of domestic violence has been recognised.
Sutton-based PC Fay Washington of secured funding for members of Suttons community safety unit, which looks after victims of domestic violence, to get body worn cameras.
The cameras capture vimdeo nevidence as police enter premises to deal with evidence and have contributed to improvemnets in reporting, detections and connvictions because they capture the injuries and distress caused to the victim in a way a written report cannot.
Her work has led to her being named as a runner up in the oustanding individual category of the Domestic Abuse Achievement Awards presented by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, on 13 February.
PC Washington said: Body worn cameras help us to give a better service to local residents. This is evident in our victim satisfaction figures which show that Sutton is the best performing borough in the Met Police.
Goldman has a little update on earnings season that builds on my point this morning when addressing the ASX98 guff from Craig James:
Revenues disappoint, but cost-out delivers 70% of the ASX 200 has reported with consensus EPS growth for FY14 revised up by 80bps to 13.2%. If this holds through next week it will mark the first interim reporting season post the GFC
that has seen a net earnings upgrade, following 5 years where results seasons have triggered 1-2% downgrades to full year earnings.
While earnings have risen, it remains a story of cost-out driving beats against low expectations. Revenues have disappointed across all sectors of the market. Consensus expectations for resource revenue growth have been cut 2% for FY14, but cost controls and better productivity have driven a 2% upgrade to EPS. Similarly, Bank earnings have seen 1-2% consensus upgrades on further improvements in asset quality despite still-weak credit growth. Industrial EPS growth (+6.3%) remains largely unchanged with lower costs again offsetting weak revenues.
Early themes continued to play out this week:
- Delivering top-line growth continues to be rare and well rewarded (DMP, REA, GEM, SEK, CRZ).
- Housing remains the main bright spot on the domestic economy, but is becoming fully priced
(BLD, SGP, MGR, ABC, ALZ).
- 43% of stocks have seen a gt;2% cut in consensus operating costs for FY15.
- Productivity driving higher mining volumes.
- Historically low interest rates producing higher net profit margins, but firms prefer to pay-down debt or return cash rather than re-invest.
- Dividends continue to grow, but there are far fewer surprises than in recent years.
- Retail trading conditions appear to have based, but no evidence of a broad-based recovery.
- More focus on rising input costs from lower A$.
New normal means jobless recovery.
The Windsor Police Service is supporting Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare in creating an inpatient location just for mental health cases.
Chief Al Frederick says officers deal with four or five mental health-related cases per day where they need to admit a person to hospital. We’re just one of thousands of people using the hospital, and when we get there we’re not prioritized, we’re just sitting in line and we can wait there for five hours. So in this case, they’ll bring them to this place where it’s only for mental health issues and it’ll be one-on-one, us with the admitting doctor. They’ll admit that person and we could be out, we hope, within 15 or 20 minutes.
Hotel-Dieu Grace is still working to figure out where it will position this space inside of its downtown campus.
Frederick says this service has been in the works for about a year, and he understands that the hospital has now secured funding to make it happen. A timeline as to exactly when the new service will be available has not been determined.
FXStreet (Edinburgh) – Softer-than-expected data from the US economy is now boosting the EUR/USD to test fresh 1-month highs near 1.3750 on Tuesday.
EUR/USD stronger after NY Fed data
According to the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the regional manufacturing index dropped below estimates to 4.48 for the month of February, propelling spot to print new 1-month high in the vicinity of 1.3750. “Weak credit growth and low inflation remain concerns for policy makers and we think that further policy action from the ECB to address these issues still cannot be fully excluded as a risk in the next few months… We still rather think the broader risk in EURUSD is lower and that gains (to the upper end of the recent trading range–1.37/1.38) are to be faded”, assessed Shaun Osborne, Chief FX Strategist at TD Securities.
EUR/USD levels to consider
At the moment the pair is gaining 0.27% at 1.3742 with the next resistance at 1.3776 (2014 high Jan.2) and then 1.3800 (psychological level). On the downside, a breach of 1.3692 (daily cloud top) would aim for 1.3685 (low Feb.17) and finally 1.3674 (low Feb.14).
The consortium of Ecobank Capital and Africa Link Capital arranges FCFA 130 billion (260 million US dollars) financing for the Road Maintenance Program of the Road Maintenance Fund (Fonds dEntretien Routier lsquo;FER) of Cocirc;te dIvoire.
Ecobank Capital, the investment banking arm of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African bank, announces that it has successfully structured and raised, as Co- Arranger with the Ivorian investment bank Africa Link Capital, a facility of FCFA 130 billion equivalent to US $ 260 million (the Facility) to finance the Road Maintenance Program 2013-2015 of the FER.
This success was made official by a signing ceremony held on Thursday, 20 February 2014, in the presence of technical and financial supervisors of the FER and banks participating in the syndication.
The Facility is a structured and innovative financing scheme based on a set of resources allocated to the FER, including the Unique Specific Tax (TSU) on the consumption of petroleum products, patents / licenses and car tax discs.
The Facility includes a combination of short and medium term loans structured as follows:
- Tranche A (short term loan), representing one third (1 /3) of the Facility, payable over 2 years at a rate of 7.00 % excluding taxes and,
- Tranche B (medium-term loan), representing two-thirds (2/3) of the Facility, repayable over five years at a rate of 8.00 % excluding taxes.
This combination of short and medium term facilities was tailored to fit the need to rebuild in a short time the response capacity of the FER.
Seven (7) banks participated in the syndication that was oversubscribed by 110%: Ecobank Group for FCFA 45.6 billion (USD 91.2 million), the United Bank for Africa Group (UBA) for FCFA 19.2 billion (USD 38.3 million), Societe Generale for FCFA 18.2 billion (USD 26.5 million), Attijariwafa Bank Group for FCFA 18.2 billion (USD 36.5 million), Group Bank of Africa (BOA) for FCFA 18.2 billion (36 5 million USD) , BNP Paribas Group for FCFA 5.9 billion (USD 12 million) and finally BGFI Bank Group for 4.6 billion FCFA (9.1 million USD).
Notes to Editors
About Ecobank: Incorporated in Lome, Togo, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is the parent company of the leading independent pan-African banking group, Ecobank. It currently has a presence in 35 African countries, namely: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Cocirc;te dIvoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Group is also represented in France through its affiliate EBI SA in Paris. ETI also has representative offices in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, London, UK and Beijing, China. ETI is listed on the stock exchanges in Lagos, Accra, and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) the BRVM. The Group has more than 600,000 local and international institutional and individual shareholders. The Group employs 19,200 people from 40 different countries in 1,250 branches and offices. Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. Additional information may be found at: www.ecobank.com.
About Africa Link Capital (ALC): Africa Link Capital was established in March 2006 as a result of the sale of the assets of the Commercial Bank of Belgian Congo (Belgolaise). The investment bank (ALC) helps companies and governments in treating major strategic and financial issues. For further information please visit: www.africalinkcapital.com