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    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

    See the rest here:
    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.

    View original post here:
    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.

    Read more:
    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

    Letter to the Editor: The Year of the Bible – Charlton County Herald - June 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Dear Editor,

    In the back of my desk drawers, I found this Solid Bronze Coin, which reads The United States of America 1983 The Year of The Bible. The Charleston Mint out of Charleston, SC had minted the commemorative coin. Inside the pamphlet was the history of the origin of the coin and why it had been made. I would like to share this history and remind American Citizens about the proud past of country, the strong connection between the founders, the founding documents and the Holy Bible, the Word of God. Let me start with the reason the coin was made.

    Congress of the United States, in recognition of the Bible shaping the history, had a Joint Resolution. One hundred sixty-five members requested the President to designate 1983 The Year of the Bible. President Ronald Reagan, on February 3, 1983, did so release such a resolution. Let us look at the history of this great country and how the Holy Bible has been the backbone in this establishing this nation like no other in this world. Start with Christopher Columbus who believed the Bible pointing to the earths being round, not as the common people believe that it was flat.

    Christophers voyages lead to the discovery of America. July 4,1776 The Declaration of Independence we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights ... The Bible from which Our Forefathers wrote acclaimed documents which this country still follows as the supreme laws of the land including The Constitution and Bill of Rights. Our First President, George Washington, issued the following General Order on August 3,1776: The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish, wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing, a vice heretofore little known in an American army, is growing into fashion. He hopes the officers will, by example as well as influence, endeavor to check it, and that both they and the men will reflect that we can have little hope of the blessing of Heaven on our arms. If we insult it by our impiety and folly ... Abraham Lincolns Gettysburg Address Nov 19, 1863 Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation... That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom: and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was first recited on Oct 12, 1892 at the Chicago Worlds Fair. The words Under God added by President Eisenhower on June 4,1954 .... one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Our National Symbol the Great Seal with the Eagle with this Motto E pluribus Unum means one out of many.

    In 1956 a Resolution passed both the House and Senate unanimously and without debate HR619 our new Motto would be In God We Trust. On July 30,1956 President Eisenhower signed into law declaring our new official motto for the nation, which we now see on our money and any official government paper out of Washington DC. I wanted to share this bit of American history because in my opinion one True God of the Bible has always been the guiding light and He has used this country to shine that light to all the other countries around the world. I genuinely believe this is Gods ground, and we are blessed to have been born here. We have freedoms and enjoy life without constant fear of being jailed or stopped from doing what ever we want. We can go to church worship our Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As children, we can prepare for whatever we want to be in life, be it a doctor, lawyer, teacher, missionary, electrician, plumber or even President, we just must work at whatever we want. My grandfather came here as a zinc miner and was able to raise his children in a land where they could make their own decisions. Donald J. Trumps grandparents came to this country about the time mine did.

    They both came looking to become part of this great nation and enjoy the freedoms they did not have across the water; they did not come to destroy this country. They came to be citizens. Donald J. Trump became President of the United States and I became a science teacher. God Bless the USA and may God His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit be always our Shinning light for the Salvation of this World.

    Patti Caldwell,

    Folkston

    See original here:
    Letter to the Editor: The Year of the Bible - Charlton County Herald

    General Motors: Electrification Will Take ‘Years and Decades’ – The Truth About Cars - June 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Since the dawn of the new century, the automotive industry has been forced to revise electrification timelines for a cavalcade of reasons. Development programs have proven costly, the economy has taken a turn (or turns) for the worse, customers havent responded in great numbers, and the materials necessary for battery have been in short supply for many. Throw in the trouble some companies have had with programming such cars or ending up with electric vehicles that want for truly enviable range and youre beginning to see the whole, problematic enchilada.

    It wasnt all that long ago that General Motors promised over 20 new all-electric models by 2023. Granted, this promise was made in 2017 during a time when the industry couldnt possibly have foreseen the global hardships that would befall us or known wed have the ability to remember what was said just a few years prior. The messaging has changed, either because mainstream automakers cannot provide the kind of cars that will continue to spur EV adoption, or because they no longer hold much interest in trying.

    In a way, we feel kind of sorry for the industry. Environmental regulations forced the electrification issue to a point where most players had to at least indicate they had a serious interest in the technology. But only Tesla seems to have made any legitimate headway with customers, creating a strong base thanks to top-tier branding and simply being the first team to deliver an enviable electric car.

    We believe the transition will happen over time, General Motors CEO Mary Barra told David Rubenstein in an interview on Bloomberg Television.While she still has faith in an all-electric future and noted that GM has a new battery platform coming out soon, Barra said the company needs to provide options for the entire market place.

    She then went on to say how excited she was about the transition to electric vehicles, which no longer appears to be taking place within her lifetime. When asked if GM will swap to producing EVs exclusively in 10 to 20 years, Barra suggested it would likely take longer than that.

    I think itll happen over a period of years and decades. When you look at the transition that needs to occur, theres about 250 million U.S. cars in the car park. And so, transitioning all of them is going to take some time. You think about different use cases, also affordability. Thats why were working to hard to ensure were in a leadership position with battery technology so EVs are affordable for everyone.

    Surely, thats also why GM is building the Hummer EV a vehicle that spits in the face of efficiency and affordability while still being entirely electric. Barra mentioned the upcoming model briefly in the interview, glossing over its status as an all-electric plaything for people who want to drive a miniature monster truck while still feeling like theyre saving the environment. She also didnt harp on its delayed arrival.That doesnt mean it wont be great when it does debut; it just doesnt seem to represent the corporate ideals GM would like to convey to the public.

    From Bloomberg:

    In addition to funding its EV program, GM also is spending about $1 billion a year to fund Cruise LLC, the self-driving car unit the Detroit-based carmaker majority owns. A return on that investment will bear fruit before long, Barra said. Although Cruise canceled plans to launch a ride-hailing service last year and has not set a new date, it is developing a self-driving vehicle that will be dedicated to a robotaxi service.

    I definitely think it will happen within next five years, she said of of fully driverless cars being deployed. Our Cruise team is continuing to develop technology so its safer than human driver. I think youll see it clearly within five years.

    Cruises first autonomous vehicle was supposed to be ready for GMs uses by 2019, sans steering wheel and pedals. Unfortunately, development woes that were hardly exclusive to Americas largest automaker made that impossible. Bloomberg also failed to mention the manufacturer cut autonomous development staffers by roughly 8 percent this year.

    We have even less faith in AVs than we do EVs, the latter of which seem to be hung up by logistical issues and rapidly advancing technology. Vehicular autonomy appears to have stagnated entirely, with many automakers allocating less resources to programs after hitting R&D roadblocks. Legal gray areas surrounding liability also plague the concept. However, the industry is still keen to rework cars so you can spend less time driving and more time interfacing with in-car displays that are perpetually connected to the internet an idea were not overly fond of.

    Shifting back to EVs, theres little chance the General will hit its old target and saturate the market with EVs by 2023. It definitely has several moving up the spreadsheet toward production, with large electric models presumably coming to GMC and Cadillac in 2021. But that leaves the company releasing over a dozen other battery driven vehicles (or plug-in hybrids) on a tight timeline.

    We dont foresee any automaker that isnt Tesla cornering the green market for the next few years. Most manufacturers have already overshot the metaphorical landing zone and seem to be going around for another attempt. Others have come dangerously close to crashing on the runway. GMs in a tough spot, though we figure its base doesnt care one whit what its doing in terms of green vehicles. Theyll happily continue buying affordable family transportation from the company, mainly in the guise of pickups and crossover vehicles.

    [Images: General Motors]

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    General Motors: Electrification Will Take 'Years and Decades' - The Truth About Cars

    Class of 2020: Here are the Simms High School graduates and scholarship winners – Great Falls Tribune - June 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Skylar Rispens, Great Falls Tribune Published 6:00 a.m. MT June 9, 2020

    Kolton Samuel Bean, son of NayOmie Nelson and Nathan Bean. Kolton is planning to attend Great Falls College-MSU and later transfer to Montana State University-Billings and major in education to teach high school history.

    Chayse Donald Chism, son of Mike Chism and Shanda Bulik-Chism. Chayse is planning to attend Montana State university to major in accounting.

    Abigail Rose Cottrell, daughter of Joe Cottrell and the Late Barbra Cottrell. Abigail is planning to attend the University of Montana to major in art education.

    Hunter Christian Decker, son of Robert and Anna Decker. Hunter is planning to attend Montana State University and get a degree in fish and wildlife to become a Game Warden.

    Noah Gordon Harrison, son of Jessica Harrison and the late Kris Harrison. Noah plans on attending Scottsdale Community College to get a degree inPsychology.

    Mikayla Kuehl Hart, daughter of Rik and Becky Hart. Mikayla is planning to attend the University of Montana to take exploratory studies and double minor in art and Spanish. She was awarded Montana State University Systems Honor Scholarship 4 years of full tuition for approximately $7,412 per year, University of Montana Education Scholarship $ 2,500 per year, 3 Rivers Banner Web $500, and Sun River Electric $1000.

    Allyson Marie Hitchcock, daughter of Michael and Tanya Hitchcock. Allyson is planning on attending Carroll College and completing a degree in nursing. She was awarded several scholarships including the Audrey Wilber-Ewing Scholarship for $2,200 (renewable for four years), Bishop Carroll Scholarship $22,000 (renewable for four years), and the Montana Advantage Award $2,000 (renewable for four years).

    Gage Tyler Kunkel,son of Ron and Kelly Kunkel. Gage is planning to participate in an Electricians Apprenticeship and become an electrician.

    Orion Kale MacDonald, son of Matthew MacDonald and Marcella MacDonald. Orion is planning on becoming a brew master.

    Class of 2020: Here are the Great Falls High School graduates and scholarship winners

    Jessi Jae McKinley, daughter of Jason and Mary McKinley. Jessi is planning to attend the University of Providence to get a degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Forensic Science. Jessi was awarded several scholarships including the University of Providence Academic Scholarship $13,000 annually, the University of Providence Basketball Scholarship $13,000 annually and the McDonalds Scholarship $2,500 per semester for 4 years.

    Matthew Adam Nazelrod,son of Thomas and Corinna Lakey. Matthew is planning on attending ASU online and getting a degree in Graphic Design.

    Julia Elnora Olson, daughter of Bill Olson and April HeggenJulia is planning to join the Montana National Guard and go to Montana State University for a degree in Interior Design.

    Draylen Kaye Sawyer, daughter Brandon and Shanda Sawyer. Draylen is planning on attending University of Montana Wester to major in Secondary Education to teach high school English. Draylen was awardedtheMT Youth Serve Scholarship for $1,000.

    Class of 2020: Great Falls Central Catholic High School graduates and scholarship winners

    Sean Allen Gregory Sertain, son of Greg and Linda Sertain. Sean is planning to enter the work force.

    Zachary Ryan Sheldon, son of Josh and Lynnette Sheldon. Zachary is planning on going to work at Meadow Gold to save for college in hopes of pursing a degree as an athletic trainer.

    Karlie Christine Sivumaki, daughter of Scott and Jessica Sivumaki and Wendy and Curtis Harmon. Karlie is planning to attend University of Montana Western to get a degree in Special Education. She was awarded the Pepsi Scholarship for $500 and the 3 Rivers Banner Web for $500.

    Cassidy Kaitlan Strehle, daughter of Shane and Angela Strehle.Cassidy is planning to attend Penn Foster online to gain a degree as a Game Warden.

    Janessa Willekes, daughter of Donald and Hendrika Willekes. Janessa is planning to attend Rocky Mountain College to major in general studies and play basketball. She received the Rocky Mountain College Presidential Scholarship for $13,000 annually as well as the Rocky Mountain College Basketball Scholarship for $4500 annually.

    Class of 2020: Here are the Paris Gibson Education Center graduates and scholarship winner

    Hannah Rose Wilson, daughter of Robert and Natalia Wilson. Hannah is planning to attend Great Falls College MSU to get a CNA license and work for Benefis Health Systems in Great Falls as a CNA.

    Hunter Allen Winkowitsch, son of David and Lynn Winkowitsch Hunter is planning to attend the University on Montana and major in Music Education. Hunter received the Music Talent Scholarship $2,000 (renewable for four years) and theMary Moore Scholarship for $1,000.

    James August Zietzke, son of Ben and Rachel Zietzke, James plans on attending Great Falls College MSU and later transfer to the University of Montanapursue a degree in theatre to become an actor. James was awarded theExchange Club Youth of the Year for $100, theIAFF 7th District Benevolent Scholarshipprogram for$500, the MSFA Scholarship program award for $1500 as well as the Montana Academic Achievement Scholarship for$1000.

    Read or Share this story: https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/education/2020/06/09/2020-great-falls-simms-high-school-graduates-scholarship-winners/3148915001/

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    Class of 2020: Here are the Simms High School graduates and scholarship winners - Great Falls Tribune

    Ohio AG Dave Yost to seek reforms for police investigations, use-of-force policies – cleveland.com - June 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    COLUMBUS, OhioAttorney General Dave Yost said Tuesday he will ask state lawmakers to change Ohio law regarding how investigations of police-caused deaths are conducted, as well as require every police department in the state to have a use-of-force policy.

    Yost, a Columbus Republican, said in an interview that he also intends to announce new training for law-enforcement later this week.

    The AGs proposals will come after almost two weeks of protests in Ohio cities and around the country in response to the death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis resident who was killed by a police officer on May 25. However, Yost said he and his office have been working on the proposed reforms for about nine months.

    Yost said he would unveil more details in the next couple of days about the proposed reforms.

    Hundreds of Ohio police departments have voluntarily implemented statewide use-of-force standards developed by a bipartisan task force created in 2015 after the police-involved shootings of Tamir Rice in Cleveland and John Crawford III near Dayton. But Yost noted that theres no requirement under current Ohio law for police departments to have a use-of-force policy, and some departments still dont have one.

    I think that that's something that needs to be resolved, the AG said.

    He also said that new training modules will be launched over the next four months through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in London. Yost has already laid off an entire level of instructors 27 in total at the academy and will replace them with guest instructors to teach continuing education classes on topics such as driving, firearms, and use-of-force.

    Yost said he agrees with Gov. Mike DeWines proposal to license law-enforcement officers in Ohio the same way teachers, nurses, and other professionals are licensed.

    There needs to be state licensing and some minimum standards that are for conduct as part of that licensure, Yost said.

    Certainly the grant of public power to police officers has a far greater public interest and public impact than the practice of a nurses aide in a nursing home, or a plumber or an electrician, he added later.

    Yost said hes talked with DeWine about these issues and expects to work together with the governor to enact reforms. The governor said last week he also intends to lobby state lawmakers to bolster police-training standards, as well as improve police transparency, recruit more police officers of color, and create a list of best practices for all police departments in the state to follow.

    Asked for his opinion on how police in Ohio have responded to the ongoing protests, Yost said hes seen some troubling incidents in different cities.

    Ive seen some video that sure looked like the responses were inappropriate, Yost said. But (for) the vast majority, Ive been extremely impressed with the discipline and restraint and professionalism of Ohios peace officers.

    However, the AG scoffed at calls in Minneapolis and elsewhere to defund police departments.

    There are predators in the world. When one is at my familys door, I do NOT want my 911 call to bring a social worker in a Prius, Yost wrote on Twitter. Better policing, yes. Defunding, no.

    Read more Ohio politics and government stories:

    Ohio BMV will reopen driving test sites June 12

    Ohio House GOP spent almost $1.6M on ads in final weeks of 2020 primary, records show

    Toledo Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur questions Trump administration proposal to resume nuclear tests

    Northeast Ohio bars, restaurants file suit seeking to overturn states social-distancing regulations

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    Ohio AG Dave Yost to seek reforms for police investigations, use-of-force policies - cleveland.com

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