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    Norcross Is The Last Person Who Should Be Throwing Around Words Like Catastrophic And BS – InsiderNJ - August 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Donald Norcross Is The Last Person Who Should Be Throwing Around Words Like Catastrophic And B.S.

    Norcross calls Postal Service changes, B.S., but we all know the real B.S. is Norcross policies

    COLLINGSWOOD Claire Gustafson, Republican candidate for Congress in New Jerseys First Congressional District, said today that Congressman Donald Norcross is the last person who should be throwing around words like catastrophic and B.S.

    At issue is that according to published reports Donald Norcross, at a press conference at the Bellmawr Postal Service processing center, referred to changes made in Postal Service operations by the Post Master General as catastrophic and said, Its B.S.

    Its laughable that Congressman Donald Norcross would refer to anything as catastrophic when the real catastrophe in our congressional district was created by him, Claire Gustafson said. In February 2014, when he announced his first run for Congress, Norcrossbraggedthat he led the charge on getting the Economic Opportunity Act passed into law, the very law that led to his family and friends getting $550 Million in tax breaks.

    Gustafson continued, Norcross went on to refer to Postal Service changes as B.S. when we all know the real B.S. comes from his mouth every time he mentions being a union electrician when he hasnt set foot on a job site in around 20 years. I interact with union labor more at industry trade shows for my business on job sites more often than he does.

    Gustafson added, The catastrophic B.S. is local media allowing Donald Norcross to back away from his early bragging about the role he played in passing the law that ensured his family and friends got all those tax breaks. It must be nice to be part of the political cartel that rules South Jersey, the media even gave Norcross a free pass whenhe compared Camden City workers to childrenwhile backing up Holtecs owner after he made controversial comments.

    Gustafson continued, Many of those tax incentives created by the law Norcross bragged about passing could have been used to help other areas of the district that are hurting. Imagine if businesses were helped move to the area of the Paulsboro Port. We might be bringing in steel from Brazil rather than wasting opportunity on Russian steel and taxpayers might finally be getting a return on their $255 million investment. Instead Donald Norcross worked hard in the state Senate to get tax breaks for his family and friends in Camden. As a member of Congress he seems to forget the district runs south to the Gloucester County Border with Salem County. He represents more than just the political cartel that rules South Jersey.

    Its time to put an end to the catastrophic B.S. created by Norcross and the political cartel he happens to be a member of and thats why Im running for Congress, Gustafson said.

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    Norcross Is The Last Person Who Should Be Throwing Around Words Like Catastrophic And BS - InsiderNJ

    What went right with Norwich Public Utilities’ response to Isaias? – theday.com - August 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Norwich Viewing municipal utilities as a "gold standard" and hoping they can be used as a "measuring stick" for storm response, Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, joined state legislators at Norwich Public Utilities on Tuesday to hear about NPU's storm response.

    The visit came among ongoing and widespread criticism of Eversource for its response to Tropical Storm Isaias, and a day after Energy and Technology Committee leaders unveiled bipartisan regulatory legislation.

    NPU General Manager Chris LaRose and spokesperson Chris Riley hosted Courtney, Energy and Technology Committee Chairman state Sen. Norm Needleman, D-Essex; and state Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, for a discussion in NPU's emergency operations center.

    According to NPU, 35% of customers lost power due to Isaias, but of those 7,500 customers, 99% had power restored in two days and 100% in three days.

    "When the storm came, I don't think anybody honestly predicted the damage that was going to happen," LaRose said, but noted that NPU prepared for a Category 3 hurricane.

    In the response, he said the utility's priorities were hospitals, then business centers, then places with the most customers per outage. But he also said NPU doesn't wait until the end to deal with outages that affect only one or two households.

    NPU has 146 employees, and all the general managers are unionized. That's about the same number of workers NPU had in 2011, when Connecticut saw massive power outages from both Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm.

    LaRose said it takes about 10 years for someone to become a skilled lineman, and the company pre-fills jobs before they're vacant if they know a lineman is approaching retirement age.

    He said there's no program in the state technical school system specifically for linemen but NPU looks for people who have a "high school education with a strong intellectual background" and gets some people who come in with an electrician's license.

    NPU has 11 linemen responsible for power restoration, and after power was restored for all NPU customers following Isaias, eight worked from the Saturday to the Wednesday after the storm providing mutual aid to Eversource. They helped people in Lyme, Old Lyme, East Lyme and Waterford, for example.

    NPU rates are about 24% less than those of Eversource but it varies throughout the year, La Rose said. NPU is holding a public hearing next week on rates and looking to put out a three-year rate schedule.

    The paradox is that some want to see legislation enabling municipal utilities like NPU and Groton Utilities to expand their coverage area because of their storm response, but part of the strong storm response comes from having a small territory.

    "We do very well in a storm response because we have a small and nimble area," Riley said.

    Similarly, in response to a question from Osten about moving into other communities, LaRose later said that "if you get large, you have some of the issues of being as quick and as nimble."

    Despite Eversource being much larger, both Courtney and Osten expressed that they thought it was fair to make a comparison with NPU's performance.

    "To me, we're talking about the same weather event, we're talking about the same state and in some cases even the same county or region," Courtney said. Comparing Norwich to Sprague, Osten added, "When you go 10 miles down the road and it takes an additional five days to get power back, that doesn't make a whole boatload of sense."

    e.moser@theday.com

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    What went right with Norwich Public Utilities' response to Isaias? - theday.com

    Dougherty government seeks applicants for board appointments | News – The Albany Herald - August 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    ALBANY The Dougherty County Commission is advertising openings for the following board appointments that will be made for current unexpired terms and terms of various lengths. Resumes and/or letters of interest must be received by 5 p.m. on Sept. 9.

    JOINT BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS & APPEALS: One appointment. The joint appointment will fill an unexpired three-year term ending Oct. 1, 2022. The board considers appeals from citizens regarding decisions and/or interpretations of the building inspector as it relates to the Southern Standard Building Code. Applicants should have building industry experience. The board meets on an as-needed basis.

    AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING, & VENTILATION BOARD: One appointment. The appointment will fill an unexpired one-year term ending Dec. 31. The purpose of this board is to review all matters pertaining to standards for use of air conditioning, heating and ventilation. The board meets on an as-needed basis.

    CHEHAW PARK AUTHORITY: One county appointment. The appointment will fill a three-year term ending June 30, 2023. The Chehaw Park Authority is the governing body, created by an act of the Georgia General Assembly, for Chehaw Park & Zoo comprising 800 acres of land located in Dougherty and Lee counties. The authority is an institution of purely public charity, dedicated to the promotion of the general public welfare in matters of cultural development, education, pleasure, convenience and recreation of the public at large, and particularly those citizens residing in Lee and Dougherty counties. The authority was created as and shall remain a public beneficence, dedicated to the good of humanity and the general improvement and happiness of society. It is declared and established that the operation, maintenance, and expansion of the park is a proper public purpose and that the authority shall be responsible for operation, maintenance and expansion of the park. The authority meets the third Monday of the month at 6:15 p.m. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be a resident of Dougherty or Lee county.

    ELECTRICAL BOARD: One appointment. The appointment will fill an unexpired one-year term ending Dec. 31. The purpose of this board is to consider all matters related to electrical installations, including alterations, repairs and equipment. The board meets on an as-needed basis. One appointment must be a master electrician, two must be electrical suppliers, one must be a professional engineer and one represents a citizen member.

    FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT REVIEW BOARD: One appointment. The appointment will fill an unexpired three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2021. The purpose of the board is to consider variances on structures that are below the required base flood elevation levels and to consider special-use permits for proposed development in the floodway. This board meets on an as-needed basis.

    For additional information on appointed boards, commissions and authorities, call the County Clerks Office at (229) 431-2121 extension 0 or email jware@dougherty.ga.us.

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    Dougherty government seeks applicants for board appointments | News - The Albany Herald

    Create an Amazing Home Theater with the Help of a DIY TV Lift – edmchicago.com - August 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Has a home theater been your dream for long but you believe you do not have enough space for it? Forget about such excuses! Now, you can either buy a TV lift and install your home theater in a place you want, or you can make your own lift system. The first option might cost pretty much. But if you have the needed money and you have found a system that you like, why not use it?

    If you want to save some funds or you prefer something customized, making a DIY TV lift for your interior is the best option. You will need to buy a lift system here, and all the other elements you can make on your own.

    We believe that you know already where you want to have your new home theater. If you are in doubt, we can suggest some ideas.

    If you are planning to get a fireplace, it is a good idea to check one with a slot for TV. Modern options even have a power outlet for such purposes. Check if the slot size is big enough for your home theater, and the issue is solved. It looks modern and stylish. Though if you have a fireplace and are planning to install the screen in it or behind it, this idea is not the best one. If the fireplace is not made to be used with a TV set, the influence on your TV might be devastating. Drastic changes in temperature and humidity will decrease the item service life and deteriorate the experience in general.

    Do you have an old dresser that has to be thrown away but is kept for some reason? You can use it to install your home theater there!

    While the idea with a fireplace is clear: everything is already installed there, you might opt for a dresser.

    Now, the cabinet for your new home theater is ready. You can move on to the TV lift part.

    First, you need to choose a TV lift. You can make it, too, but you need good skills, special tools, and solid knowledge of the technology. If you do not have experience with such things, your TV lift might end up collapsing and destroying your TV screen and all the equipment.

    If the TV lift is hidden in the dresser, its design might be not crucial. Though if you want you can choose the nicest one.

    Once you are ready with all the preparations, you can fix the items. Attach the TV lift to the back wall of the dresser. If you believe that it is not sturdy enough (in most cases it cannot support the weight of a big screen and the weight of the lift system), consider reinforcing it. You can mount a metal or wooden bar on the back side and fix the application on the bar.

    The TV lift comes with special supports for the screen. Mount the screen on the supports and fix it. do it properly otherwise, it might fall and get damaged.

    Cabling is one more issue. In your case, you can just leave it hidden in the dresser. Fix them with special cable clips to avoid tangling. If you want, you might hire an electrician to hide them completely, but we believe that indeed, this is not the case when you need it. The main thing is to avoid interfering with the moving screen and tangling.

    You can install the cable box anywhere in the dresser. Just make sure it does not interfere with anything.

    Finally, you can test the installation. Check whether the screen popups properly and hides smoothly. Once more verify that everything is installed firmly enough. Make the last adjustments if needed. After that, your home theater is ready to be used. Invite your close people and enjoy it!

    The rest is here:
    Create an Amazing Home Theater with the Help of a DIY TV Lift - edmchicago.com

    Striking BIW shipbuilders are losing health coverage in pandemic – Bangor Daily News - July 4, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The BDN is making the most crucial coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact in Maine free for all readers. Click here for all coronavirus stories and here for the free collection. You can join others committed to safeguarding this vital public service by purchasing a subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.

    PORTLAND The stakes are growing in a strike against Navy shipbuilder Bath Iron Works during a global pandemic as company-provided health insurance is running out for 4,300 shipbuilders whove left their jobs.

    Striking workers from Machinists Union Local S6 will be responsible for their own insurance effective Wednesday, just days after three workers who carpooled together tested positive for the coronavirus.

    At least one of those three workers who tested positive had been on the picket line in Bath, a union spokesman said.

    Striking workers said Tuesday they were determined to press on even with the strike as tens of thousands of people remain unemployed in Maine, and several states report surging cases of COVID-19.

    The workers are striking over subcontracting, work rules and seniority, while wages and benefits are a secondary concern. The companys final offer called for a three-year contract with pay raises of 3 percent in each year.

    The choice is very simple. I had to strike. There was no other option, said Brad Farrell, whos married and has four children, and fears subcontracting and seniority changes could force him out of his job in the tin shop.

    Workers overwhelmingly rejected the companys final contract proposal and went on strike June 22. There have been no talks since then. The company had no immediate comment Tuesday.

    The last strike, in 2000, lasted 55 days.

    Workers are getting prepared for the long haul, looking at other jobs and health care options. Keeping health insurance through the so-called COBRA program can cost up to a couple of thousand dollars a month. Others said they will simply do without health insurance.

    Kelley Ammons, a 58-year-old marine electrician, opted to forgo purchasing insurance and filled a blood pressure prescription Tuesday, before the expiration of the companys insurance.

    Hopefully thatll get me through until the team can get back to the negotiating table and work out a deal, Ammons said.

    Gordon Campbell, a 55-year-old sandblaster, has money set aside, and hes paying more to be on his wifes insurance. I just hope that both sides will get together and try to resolve this, he said.

    Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of Virginia-based General Dynamics, provided a good insurance plan for workers because the union negotiated for it, and that underscores the necessity of fighting for a good contract, said union spokesman Tim Suitter.

    The strike has big implications not just for the shipbuilder but also for the Navy, which wants warships to be delivered as quickly as possible at a time of growing competition from Russia and China.

    Bath Iron Works is one of the Navys five largest shipbuilders and one of only two that make destroyers, the workhorse of the fleet, which are capable of simultaneously battling aircraft, missiles, warships and submarines. Some of them have ballistic missile defense capability.

    The shipyard is already about six months behind schedule, partly because of the pandemic, and it will need subcontractors to help get back on schedule, Bath Iron Works President Dirk Lesko has said.

    The union has characterized some of the shipyards proposals as an attempt to break the union, while the company contends it needs to streamline operations to lower prices to remain competitive.

    The company hired 1,800 workers last year and is hiring another 1,000 this year, so theres no effort to shrink the workforce, the company said. The shipyard employs about 6,800 workers.

    Story by David Sharp, The Associated Press

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    Striking BIW shipbuilders are losing health coverage in pandemic - Bangor Daily News

    Police reform sets the tone for 2020… – Federal Way Mirror - July 4, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Gov. Jay Inslees recent move to name a task force to review racial justice and police reform set the tone for both a special session in August and the regular legislative session in January. Debates among local legislative candidates over taxes, education, transportation and the economy will continue, but we know now what the headliner issues will be.

    The recent deaths of Black people at the hands of white police officers has reignited an old but simmering debate as protesters have taken to the streets to demand change with a message of Black Lives Matter.

    Some protesters want police departments defunded, while others want reform and changes in policies. As the protesters gain momentum, they have forced new topics for state candidates to debate: police use of force, outside investigations, body cameras, officer training, chokeholds, the militarization of police departments and how police work with communities of color. While generally considered city topics, state legislators can have a big impact on local government through the laws they pass. There will be many debates. Speakers representing different minority groups, police unions and police chiefs will be in high demand and passions will be high.

    As union members, police tend to work with other unions and have a link to Democrats. But their usual benefactors tend to be conservative Republicans when it comes to politics. Police officers dont like elected officials bowing to public pressure by changing the laws, which they think makes their jobs harder. Reform will not be a popular topic with them. In contrast, many minority groups believe they have been targets because of the color of their skin. Finding common ground may not be easy.

    The debates are long overdue. They can be awkward and make some candidates uncomfortable for fear of alienating one side or the other. Nobody wants to be either soft on crime or a racist.

    For District 30 State Representative Position 1, we have two Republicans and two Democrats. The Democrats are Jamila Taylor and Cheryl Hurst. Taylor is an attorney and ran a good race last year for the Federal Way City Council, improving her knowledge base. Taylor supports police and criminal justice reform. She favors reallocating some of the police budgets to fund youth development, job training, housing, health care and education. She says, these investments have been proven to reduce crime and increase healthy resilient communities. Taylor believes the public wants more de-escalation training for police, more mental health funding and a change in criminal liability for use of force.

    Hurst is an active community volunteer and first-time candidate . She has received the endorsement of the Federal Way Police Guild. She is opposed to defunding the police department, favors body cameras for police, wants to eliminate chokeholds by officers and supports independent investigations for use of force. She believes the police and people of color can find a way to work together.

    The two Republicans in the race are Janis Clark and Martin Moore. Clark supports funding police, but feels officers who are repeat violent offenders should be dismissed. She says body cameras are a good way to evaluate the need for additional training and accountability. She believes most officers are good and police shouldnt be judged by a few bad apples. She was troubled by the rioting, burning and looting that took place as it became a distraction from the message.

    Moore is in his second term as a member of the Federal Way City Council. He opposes defunding the police department, favors body cameras, supports training in race and equity, and supports banning chokeholds while letting our police officers maintain control of dangerous situations and remain safe. He should have spoken sooner as the police chief has recently banned chokeholds. Moore wants to form a citizens advisory board to address the needs of minority communities. As a member of the city council, Moore has already been in a position to make change at the local level. Has he?

    In District 30 State Representative Position 2, we have appointed Democratic incumbent Jesse Johnson and three Republicans: Jack Walsh, Mark Greene and Chris Dowllar.

    Johnson, as the lone incumbent, will have a platform to act on his views at a special session in early August and can introduce legislation at that time. Johnson does not support defunding police departments. He prefers reforms, including mandating community accountability boards for all police agencies including the state patrol, requiring independent criminal investigations of injuries and deaths, along with robust community involvement and the prohibition of chokeholds, with deadly force as only a last resort. He will support officers losing their commission if they have sustained misconduct complaints. Johnson was on the city council previously what changes did he make then?

    Walsh is a local businessman who spearheaded last years successful opposition to pot shops in Federal Way. Walsh is opposed to defunding the police department, but supports body cameras and independent investigations for police use of force. He also favors banning chokeholds unless the officers life is in immediate danger.

    Greene has run for office before. He supports the need for policing and is opposed to defunding them. He favors reforms, along with accountability for misconduct by police, and would like to see more comprehensive background checks on new hires. He believes training should be longer than it currently is, and de-escalation should be central to training.

    Dowllar is a new candidate and is an electrician. He is running because unemployment is 25% and he wants change. He favors independent investigation boards. He wants at least one trash can and one bathroom per town for the homeless and wants to see public workers cross-trained to do more than one job.

    The top two from each race will move on to the November general election. With the Democrats controlling both houses and the governors office, history could be made in an area that legislators usually tend to avoid.

    Which side of history are you on?

    Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.

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    Police reform sets the tone for 2020... - Federal Way Mirror

    The Skilled Technical Workforce: Historically Black Colleges and Universities and The Future – BlackEngineer.com - July 4, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Report expects that 3.4 million jobs will go unfilled by 2022. According to the study, there will be a shortfall of technical workers, or workers who are post-high school in jobs that require science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) skills, but do not require a four-year degree.

    With the changing landscape, and the changing needs of industry, what role do historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), minority-serving institutions, and community colleges play in their communities?

    Over the past two years, the National Science Board Task Force on the Skilled Technical Workforce has identified opportunities and challenges facing students, workers, businesses, and educators. Here, we look at how HBCUs can improve opportunities for skilled technical workers, and how they can help build the future.

    When we think of long-term national health, we usually think of things like mental, physical, and emotional health. But what about our economic health? Studies have shown that in terms of long-term health for the United States on a global scale, the nation is losing its leading spot in growth and development in areas of STEM. As our systems become smarter and more intricate, skilled technical workers increase in demand. Our nation now faces a different kind of health crisisa shortage of skilled technical workers to maintain these intricate systems in the years to come.

    For decades, the general societal messaging surrounding the education-to-workforce pipeline has been hyper-focused on getting students into college and pursuing four-year degrees and careers. This type of environment has led to lower success rates, especially for minority students.

    These highly skilled job requirements lead to competitive salaries and little-to-no debt in the long-term future across several industries including construction, gas, and healthcare. Even with these perks, we are still seeing a disproportionately low number of women and minorities in these jobs compared to the overall workforce of our country.

    Several factors have led to the decline of the skilled technical workforce.

    Systemic Obstacles That Need to Change

    1. The high school to college pipeline: High schools are typically funded by state boards of education. This funding is allocated based on the number of college-bound students. However, community colleges are not considered colleges by the current formula. This is discriminatory against two-year institutions. On a national scale, 30 percent of high school students who go to a four-year university drop out.2. Student attention and access to resources: The typical ratio of students to counselors in public high schools is 400 to 1, leaving room for error.3. Stigma: The conversation around two-year degrees and job certifications requires a shift. Students, especially African Americans and minorities, need to see successful technical workers thriving in their industry and understand the opportunities for job security and higher-paying salaries to mitigate the ongoing plague of imposter syndrome and income inequality.

    The lack of data and information regarding the certifications needed for these jobs and the salaries that are available results in lower turnout.

    The career pipelines are the gateway for economic mobility for people of color, said Leon Caldwell, Ph.D. What is unfortunate is that there is no career theory specifically for the African-American experience in the workforce.

    How do we overcome this incredible shortfall as a society to sustain these smart systems over the course of the century and beyond? It starts with access to information and resources and economic mobility strategies. Todays workforce development initiatives do not focus on the work skills that will fuel the next century of workers.

    The traditional view of todays electrician has expanded. Today, electricians require higher-level skills including the ability to code and create circuit designs. These skills are not just valuable to those looking to work with the major companies and organizations like Boeing or NASA, but to those who can carry these skills into the next generation of business owners and change makers.

    Shifting the Perspective of the Skilled Technical Workforce

    The National Science Board recommends the following shifts to help increase access to information and resources for students to pursue certifications and job opportunities in STEM, in addition to traditional four-year degrees.

    Change the messaging: Even though vocational schools developed a false reputation as a less suitable form of education, many of todays employers are looking for skills and certifications above degrees. Messaging should remove the stigma from technical work and highlight the high demand and higher wages available to skilled workers in the future. Focus on the data: There is not enough information available to students and veterans on the opportunities through skilled work and even two-year degrees. While the demand for these workers increases, the ability to outline the specifications of what is required and what their salary trajectory could be with those skill sets needs to become readily available for the next generation of workers to make better-informed career decisions. The innovation quotient and saving the makers space: As children, we innately become enamored with tinkering and making things from other things. It is in our nature to experiment and invent, and that has been the backbone of our evolution as a global society. The educational system today has placed less value on the creative work and skill sets that were once important to building our future. Creative spaces and maker spaces serve as an on-ramp to STEM careers and skill sets that will prove to be valuable in the future workforce.

    The next generation of women and minorities will need to see these changes implemented to be able to access these underutilized career opportunities. HBCUs are the anchors of our communities and hold part of the responsibility to continue investing in this talent and opening doors to the future of the skilled technical workforce. Other major contributors include employers and companies that will be increasingly seeking this talent as technologies advance and opportunities grow. Through education, access to information, and clear messaging, we can support the future workforce in STEM.

    Excerpt from:
    The Skilled Technical Workforce: Historically Black Colleges and Universities and The Future - BlackEngineer.com

    The Top 7 Covid blessings for New Zealand & the one glaring damnation on us all – thedailyblog.co.nz - July 4, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    We have 7 Covid blessings, and we must acknowledge them.

    The first thing we must acknowledge and be grateful for is the low death rate and sickness rate in New Zealand, while every passing and illness is a trauma, we only need peer over the borderS to see the carnage this virus is carving deep into other nations. We have not had to mourn the way manner others have and we should be deeply grateful for that.

    By going hard and going early with our lockdown, we are on the other side of this faster and in a position where we effectively have an open domestic economy. Very few places are as lucky as this and we must remember that when the economic meltdown

    With no migrant workers allowed back into the country, we are forced to exploit fewer of them! The Agricultural sector who abuse these workers the most will now need to provide better wages and better conditions to attract NZ workers. The same with the service industry who equally abuse migrant workers appallingly. We need to follow this great news that migrant workers arent being exploited up with an amnesty on all migrant workers in NZ and the immediate creation of universal union membership.

    Its not just exploited migrant workers who cant get back into NZ, its also the exploited international student market who are locked out from being abused as well! That means fewer people competing for student accommodation creating downward pressure on rents, and it disincentives the current immigration corruption that allows so many students a pathway to citizenship via exploited work conditions.

    TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

    With less International Students comes no tourists (other than those who were locked down and stayed here). NZ has 5 million living here, each year we have 3million tourists flood in. No wonder our infrastructure is so gridlocked! Without those tourists, Auckland feels far less congested. Its wonderful!

    On top of the lack of freedom campers shitting all over the country, its also wonderful watching Elite Tourist experiences having to reduce their astronomical fees and beg locals to visit them.

    The courage and grace and leadership Jacinda Ardern has shown during this unprecedented event, alongside tireless public servants and public health scientists have combined to establish our collective faith in the institutions of our Democracy. We listened to our leaders, we listened to our experts, we listened to our scientists and we are positioned in a far better place to ride this plague out in.

    Our roots were tested here and they were found to be deep.

    We should be celebrating because history was watching.

    China will tell the world that their authoritarian brutality was powerful enough to stop this virus. That their system of mass civil rights abuse was the only one up to the challenge.

    Chinas terrible efficiency and pride would have sent a shiver down the spine of the future.

    The UK, torn to shreds by the battle of Brexit, elected a toff clown whose incompetence has seen a public health nightmare, while in America, Trumps egregious inadequacy has seen over 127000 dead, 47million unemployed and race riots breaking out in over 430 cities.

    So far Chinas response to a virus which either originated in their poorly regulated wet markets or escaped accidentally from a lab, will hauntingly be the only success story to echo through the annals of history.

    And then there was us dear brothers and sisters.

    Then there was wee New Zealand, who was led by a young leader whose grace under pressure gave hope to a nation and who used kindness as the value.

    In a liberal progressive democracy you cant enforce your will by force, China can do that, but liberal progressive values that respect personal civil liberties can not turn the full power of the state against its own people.

    We listened to the science and we lived up to the challenge. We became awell informed citizenship listening to our trusted experts and agreeing universally to curtail our personal civil liberties in solidarity for the greater good.

    We did that without welding doors shut like they did in China. NZ became the best example of democratic values in how to deal with strife and woe.

    History was watching and we stood tall to the challenge. It wont be China who can claim state violence led to the only victory against Covid19, our collective example will modestly stand on its own two feet on the mantle of time.

    While we count our blessings, lets also bow our head in shame at the one glaring damnation on us all.

    How was it that the essential workers who kept the entire system running while we sheltered in our homes were the poorest paid amongst us?

    How unjust was that pandemic revelled truth and havent we all had a hand in building that wrong?

    For shame!

    Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, soif you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election please donate here.

    If you cant contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media.

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    The Top 7 Covid blessings for New Zealand & the one glaring damnation on us all - thedailyblog.co.nz

    BIW President: I’m hopeful there will not be a strike – WMTW Portland - June 25, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Leaders of the roughly 4,400-member machinists union at Bath Iron Works are calling for a strike, but company president Dirk Lesko said today that would be a mistake."The reason we shouldn't go on strike is it helps no one. It doesn't help us meet our customer's needs. Fundamentally, any business that doesn't meet its customer's needs can't be successful," Lesko said in a rare interview with WMTW inside the shipyard.The companys one customer is the U.S. Navy, for two kinds of destroyers that carry a price tag close to $1 billion and take years to make. BIW is a subsidiary of General Dynamics, one of the nations biggest defense contractors.The Local S6 chapter of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers commences voting on the proposed three-year contract online or over the phone at midnight Friday, and the balloting continues through noon Sunday.Im hopeful there will not be a strike, Lesko said. I believe the offer weve provided is fair. I have a lot of confidence in our workforce to exercise good judgment, to think for themselves, and to read the offer.The offer includes 3% annual raises for manufacturing workers and a $1,200 ratification bonus. But union leaders decried changes in rules affecting seniority and subcontractors. They said the new contract could force seasoned workers with certain skills to switch to new jobs and could lead to an increase in nonunion workers being brought into the shipyard.We are trying to use subcontractors as a means of supplementing the workforce we have. Weve been unable to hire enough people fast enough, Lesko said. Our preference is to use our own labor, is to have our own workforce, and thats why last year we hired and trained almost 2,000 people. Wed like to do at least 1,000 more this year.As a result of new hires and what Lesko described as an unprecedented number of retirements, 70% of BIWs manufacturing workforce has been on the jobs two years or less.Responding to the claim that the contract, hypothetically, could lead to an electrician becoming a pipefitter, Lesko said, It simply isnt true.He added, When you think about seniority, you think about seniority as it relates to layoffs, rehiring, vacation, accrual shift assignment, those things dont change in this contract. What does change is our ability to move people around to where the work is between facilities, if necessary, and that is a fundamental requirement of any business to match the people you have to do the work to the work.Union handouts refer to BIWs offer as a garbage contract and urged members, Dont be fooled. One flyer called Lesko deceitful, dishonest, despicable.Lesko said, I dont think anyone wants to be called a deceitful liar, but I am very, very confident that Im telling the truth. I have command of the facts. I understand what we need to improve, and I believe our workforce does as well.BIW production is 9 months behind its navy contract schedule, a pace that preceded a sharp attendance drop during the coronavirus outbreak. The company reported two confirmed cases in March and one in May.Lesko said, All of those people, and all of the people who were in contact with them are back at work at this point.BIW instituted social distancing policies and requires employees to wear masks inside the shipyard. But Lesko resisted calls for the company to slow down or stop operations at Maines largest congregant work site, with a total of 6,800 employees. (Nonunion workers would not be affected by a strike).We are part of the critical infrastructure industry, right? We were supposed to remain open. Our customer expected us to remain open, so our focus was how do we do that as safely as we possibly can? he said. Viewing COVID-19 purely through the lens of public health is important, but there are economic impacts to consider, there are other social impacts to consider, and for us, one of the things that it was clear up front we could never consider was closing, and that was not our decision.The company allowed employees to take unlimited unpaid leave from mid-March through early May. It was slow to approve telecommuting and didnt do so for many employees.Lesko cited the security concerns inherent with military work. You cant just take your BIW work home and use your home computer to do it.

    Leaders of the roughly 4,400-member machinists union at Bath Iron Works are calling for a strike, but company president Dirk Lesko said today that would be a mistake.

    "The reason we shouldn't go on strike is it helps no one. It doesn't help us meet our customer's needs. Fundamentally, any business that doesn't meet its customer's needs can't be successful," Lesko said in a rare interview with WMTW inside the shipyard.

    The companys one customer is the U.S. Navy, for two kinds of destroyers that carry a price tag close to $1 billion and take years to make. BIW is a subsidiary of General Dynamics, one of the nations biggest defense contractors.

    The Local S6 chapter of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers commences voting on the proposed three-year contract online or over the phone at midnight Friday, and the balloting continues through noon Sunday.

    Im hopeful there will not be a strike, Lesko said. I believe the offer weve provided is fair. I have a lot of confidence in our workforce to exercise good judgment, to think for themselves, and to read the offer.

    The offer includes 3% annual raises for manufacturing workers and a $1,200 ratification bonus.

    But union leaders decried changes in rules affecting seniority and subcontractors. They said the new contract could force seasoned workers with certain skills to switch to new jobs and could lead to an increase in nonunion workers being brought into the shipyard.

    We are trying to use subcontractors as a means of supplementing the workforce we have. Weve been unable to hire enough people fast enough, Lesko said. Our preference is to use our own labor, is to have our own workforce, and thats why last year we hired and trained almost 2,000 people. Wed like to do at least 1,000 more this year.

    As a result of new hires and what Lesko described as an unprecedented number of retirements, 70% of BIWs manufacturing workforce has been on the jobs two years or less.

    Responding to the claim that the contract, hypothetically, could lead to an electrician becoming a pipefitter, Lesko said, It simply isnt true.

    He added, When you think about seniority, you think about seniority as it relates to layoffs, rehiring, vacation, accrual shift assignment, those things dont change in this contract. What does change is our ability to move people around to where the work is between facilities, if necessary, and that is a fundamental requirement of any business to match the people you have to do the work to the work.

    Union handouts refer to BIWs offer as a garbage contract and urged members, Dont be fooled. One flyer called Lesko deceitful, dishonest, despicable.

    Lesko said, I dont think anyone wants to be called a deceitful liar, but I am very, very confident that Im telling the truth. I have command of the facts. I understand what we need to improve, and I believe our workforce does as well.

    BIW production is 9 months behind its navy contract schedule, a pace that preceded a sharp attendance drop during the coronavirus outbreak. The company reported two confirmed cases in March and one in May.

    Lesko said, All of those people, and all of the people who were in contact with them are back at work at this point.

    BIW instituted social distancing policies and requires employees to wear masks inside the shipyard. But Lesko resisted calls for the company to slow down or stop operations at Maines largest congregant work site, with a total of 6,800 employees. (Nonunion workers would not be affected by a strike).

    We are part of the critical infrastructure industry, right? We were supposed to remain open. Our customer expected us to remain open, so our focus was how do we do that as safely as we possibly can? he said. Viewing COVID-19 purely through the lens of public health is important, but there are economic impacts to consider, there are other social impacts to consider, and for us, one of the things that it was clear up front we could never consider was closing, and that was not our decision.

    The company allowed employees to take unlimited unpaid leave from mid-March through early May. It was slow to approve telecommuting and didnt do so for many employees.

    Lesko cited the security concerns inherent with military work. You cant just take your BIW work home and use your home computer to do it.

    View post:
    BIW President: I'm hopeful there will not be a strike - WMTW Portland

    Bitfarms Reports Financial Results for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2020 – Stockhouse - June 25, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Bitfarms Ltd. (Bitfarms”, or the Company”) (TSXV:BITF) today announced its consolidated results for the quarter ended March 31, 2020.

    Q1 2020 Financial Summary and Corporate Highlights

    We are pleased that, despite the difficulties in general market conditions presented by the COVID-19 pandemic in Q1 2020 for most companies, Bitfarms’ operations were able to continue in normal course and yielded positive EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA. We are pleased that the Company was able to achieve a 47% gross mining margin in the first quarter amidst challenging and uncertain market conditions.

    We believe our financial performance relative to our competition reflects the difference in the strength of Bitfarms’ operational efficiency in Bitcoin mining versus our public peers. The cost efficiency of the Company’s operations is further reflected in the break-even cost of production of each Bitcoin of $3,988, which compared very favorably to publicly disclosed financial information of other miners. The break-even cost of production of each Bitcoin achieved of $3,988 achieved by the Company also compared very well to the average Bitcoin market price of approximately $8,261 during the first quarter” commented John Rim, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer.

    Emiliano Grodzki, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Bitfarms added, Bitfarms continues to solidify its position as the industry leader in terms of operational efficiency and financial performance. We will continue to carry out our strategy of disciplined, timely and cost efficient growth to achieve greater scale and further our leadership in this burgeoning industry.”

    ________________________ 1 EBITDA, EBITDA margin, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, Gross mining profit and Gross mining margin are non-IFRS performance measures; please refer to the end of this press release regarding the use of Non-IFRS Performance Measures. 2 Represents the break-even cost of Bitcoin based on variable cost of electricity and is calculated by taking the total electricity costs related to the Mining of each Bitcoin divided by the total number of Bitcoin mined, in the relevant period.

    Financial Review

    Consolidated Company Results (000’s)

    (U.S.$ in thousands except where indicated)

    Three months ended

    For the periods ended as indicated

    Mar. 31

    2020

    Mar. 31

    2019

    $ Change

    % Change

    Revenues

    9,212

    3,629

    5,583

    154%

    Cost of sales

    7,917

    3,417

    4,500

    132%

    Gross profit

    1,295

    212

    1,083

    511%

    Gross margin

    14%

    6%

    -

    -

    G&A and other expenses

    2,805

    1,923

    882

    46%

    Operating loss

    (1,510)

    (1,711)

    201

    12%

    Operating margin

    (16%)

    (47%)

    -

    -

    Financial income

    363

    25

    338

    1352%

    Interest expense

    1,385

    132

    1,253

    949%

    Other financial expenses

    -

    188

    (188)

    (100%)

    Total financial expenses

    1,385

    320

    1,065

    333%

    Pre-tax loss

    (2,532)

    (2,006)

    (526)

    (26%)

    Income tax recovery

    (108)

    -

    (108)

    100%

    Net loss

    (2,424)

    (2,006)

    (418)

    (21%)

    Net loss per share - basic

    (0.03)

    (0.02)

    (0.01)

    (44%)

    Gross mining profit (1)

    4,139

    1,087

    3,052

    281%

    Gross mining margin (1)

    47%

    36%

    Read more:
    Bitfarms Reports Financial Results for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2020 - Stockhouse

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