City Council capped more than a year of debate by adopting a new ordinance overseeing the Boardwalk entertainers. By Donald WittkowskiSingers, musicians and other performers who entertain the bustling summer crowds on the family-friendly Ocean City Boardwalk will have to play by a new set of rules starting on Memorial Day weekend.Culminating more than a year of debate, City Council unanimously approved new regulations Thursday night that designate special areas of the Boardwalk where entertainers will be allowed to perform five nights a week between Memorial Day and Labor Day.Mayor Jay Gillian originally had proposed the regulations last year as a way to prevent conflicts between the performers and the Boardwalk merchants, but withdrew the proposal twice to give negotiators more time to craft a compromise that would satisfy both sides.The Boardwalk Merchants Association, a group representing shop owners, had sought the regulations to prevent large crowds from milling around the performers and blocking access to their stores.In discussions throughout the past 12 months, the performers stressed they did not want any regulations that would infringe on their constitutional right to free expression.City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson said the ordinance carefully balances the rights of the performers and the merchants. She explained that inspectors from the city’s Department of Community Services will monitor the regulations over the summer for “any unanticipated bumps in the road.”“We understand, in a way, that this is an experiment,” McCrosson told Council.Gillian said the regulations will be ready for Memorial Day weekend, the start of the peak summer tourism season. The iconic Boardwalk, the city’s main tourist attraction, is usually packed throughout the summer.The new ordinance represents the city’s first formal set of rules to regulate Boardwalk performers. The mayor urged patience as the rules get rolled out and everyone begins to adjust.“Let’s see what happens,” he said in an interview after the Council meeting. “At least we have something.”Mayor Jay Gillian, center, is hopeful the new regulations will prevent conflicts between the performers and the Boardwalk merchants.In bringing a final plan to Council, Gillian dropped his previous proposal to require adult-age performers to undergo fingerprinting and criminal background checks. Critics had called the proposed fingerprinting requirement onerous and intrusive.Still, the regulations will bar performers from getting a city license if they have a criminal history of “dishonesty” or have been convicted of a fourth-degree crime or higher. Performers will have to pay $50 for a license.The performers will not have unfettered access to the Boardwalk, as in the past. Now, they will mainly be restricted to the ocean side of the Boardwalk at Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th streets.They will also be allowed to perform at the Boardwalk’s oceanfront pavilions between Fifth and 14th streets. In addition, they will be permitted on the ocean side of the Boardwalk between Fifth and Sixth streets.There will also be restrictions on when the performers are allowed on the Boardwalk. They will be limited to Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The hours will be between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. each of those nights except for Sunday, which would be from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.Gillian said performers will not be allowed on the Boardwalk on Tuesday and Thursday to avoid conflicts with the professional entertainment on those nights arranged by the merchants.Councilman Keith Hartzell questioned whether Sundays should be off-limits to performers to create a “quiet night” for Boardwalk strollers who might not be interested in entertainment all week.“I think there’s a sanctity to Sunday,” Hartzell said. “I want one night quiet.”However, the mayor and other members of Council argued against making last-minute changes in the regulations that were not agreed to by the performers and the merchants. Hartzell joined with the rest of Council in approving the ordinance.“If we run into bumps in the road, we iron them out. We fix them,” Councilman Michael DeVlieger said of the possibility of revisiting the ordinance later on.As part of its job to keep an eye on the performers, the Department of Community Services will write a final report about the regulations after the summer season. McCrosson said the report may recommend changes in the rules, if needed.Compared to previous Council meetings when the regulations were debated, Thursday night’s session was a relatively tame affair. Unlike in the past, no performers spoke during the public session in favor of or against the regulations.Jim Tweed, the president of the local government watchdog group Fairness In Taxes, was the only member of the audience to address Council. Noting all of the time that was spent negotiating the ordinance, Tweed called it “a living example on how democracy is supposed to work.”In another key vote Thursday, Council approved a $650,000 funding package to buy an abandoned former Getty gas station at the corner of Ninth Street and Bay Avenue that has been a longtime eyesore marring the appearance of the main gateway into town.Plans call for the blighted, old Getty gas station to be demolished and turned into a park.Hartzell recused himself from the vote, saying that he had recently bought property across the street from the Getty site and wanted to avoid any possible conflicts of interest.Under the plan, the old Getty property will be demolished and transformed into green space to make the Ninth Street corridor more inviting to visitors. The Getty site will be combined with land next door, formerly occupied by a shuttered BP gas station, to create a landscaped park.The city bought the old BP site last year for $475,000 and had the property cleaned up. The proposed purchase of the adjacent Getty land will allow the city to remove two blighted properties as it moves ahead with its strategy to spruce up the Ninth Street entryway.The city hopes to finalize the purchase of the Getty property this spring and have the new park ready by the summer season. Work has already begun on the old BP site, including the construction of a decorative brick wall in the front of the property.Also Thursday, Council voted to introduce the 2017 municipal budget. The proposed $76.9 million spending plan is up about $1.2 million compared to the 2016 budget, largely due to an increase in debt payments for new construction projects and higher health insurance costs.“This is very, very tight, folks. It’s right where we should be,” Hartzell of the budget in comments that were echoed by other Council members.The budget would increase the local tax rate by nearly 3 cents, adding an extra $143 in local taxes per year to a home assessed at $500,000. The figure does not include county and school taxes, which are assessed separately.Frank Donato, the city’s finance director, said higher taxes will help pay for $33 million worth of new projects this year, including road work, drainage upgrades, dredging of the shallow lagoons, the Boardwalk’s reconstruction and other improvements.Council’s introduction of the budget was the first of two votes by the governing body on the spending plan. Council will scrutinize the budget in coming weeks for possible changes before holding a public hearing and taking a final vote, tentatively scheduled for April 27.
Cake supplier Inter Link said it had achieved its goal of becoming the UK’s number two cake supplier, with the £12.25m purchase of the Yorkshire Cottage Bakeries Group. The deal was the Blackburn-based firm’s ninth and largest acquisition and will put annualised turnover at approximately £125m a year, chief executive Paul Griffiths said. That puts Inter Link ahead of Northern Foods annual £110m cake turnover. But RHM was still ahead with a £300m cakes turnover. Bakers were urged to “keep up the good work” on salt reduction by Food Standards Agency chair Sir John Krebs. He praised plant bakers for achieving a 13% reduction in salt and urged them to “do it again”.Research from Imperial College London and the Royal Brompton Hospital showed a high incidence of asthma-related symptoms in bakers. A study of 239 bakers in 20 supermarket in-store bakeries found 26% had eye or nose symptoms, such as itchiness and excessive sneezing. New Rathbones’ Carlisle plant was gutted in a fire, which took 80 firefighters two days to bring under control. Sandwich businesses, including Pret A Manger, Greggs and the Sandwich Factory, were hit in the Sudan 1 crisis, withdrawing sandwiches made with spicy mayonnaise dressings made from contaminated Crosse & Blackwell Worcester sauce. Premier Foods, the British company that distributed the affected Worcester sauce, supplied it to more than 200 companies.Allied Bakeries launched a new Kingsmill bagel range supplied by Mr Bagels, in a challenge to market leader Maple Leaf Bakery, which produces the New York Bagel Co brand.Warburtons announced plans to launch a low-GI All in One Loaf – white bread with fibre and wheatgerm.
Irwin’s Bakery will invest €1m into its Irish supply chain network during the next three years to create a direct route to retailers in the Dublin area.The family-owned business, based in Portadown, County Armagh, believes the investment will bring about an initial €750,000 increase in turnover during the next year.Irwin’s has supplied its retail customers in the south of Ireland via third party distribution centres, and directly to key retail partners Tesco Ireland and Dunnes Stores. However, the move – which includes buying new distribution vehicles – will provide a more efficient and direct level of contact with retailers. The company has also secured new distribution partners in the Cork and Tipperary area, providing improved accessibility to retailers in Munster. Brendan Lappin, business development manager, said: “For the independent retailer, having direct contact with a bakery supplier allows for two-way communication and improved efficiencies across orders, stock control and delivery management.”These developments are part of a wider strategy by the business, which includes investment in new product development; Irwin’s has recently launched four new product lines into Tesco Ireland from its Howell House branded cake and biscuit range.
Related Shows From Bad Jews to bad dates! Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other will make its world premiere this spring in a Roundabout Theatre Company production. Helmed by Trip Cullman, performances will begin in May at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. Full cast, creative team and dates for the limited off-Broadway engagement will be announced soon. A quarter-life coming-of-age story that’s as hilarious as it is heart-wrenching, Significant Other takes us into the trenches of single life in the city. Jordan Berman would love to be in love, but that’s easier said than done. So until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close-knit girlfriends. But as singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties, Jordan finds that supporting the ones you love can be just as impossible as finding love itself. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on April 23, 2017 Significant Other Roundabout’s relationship with Harmon began when his play Bad Jews was selected for the inaugural Roundabout Underground Reading Series for Emerging Playwrights in February 2012. The play then premiered at Roundabout Underground’s Black Box in fall 2012, before moving upstairs to the Laura Pels in fall 2013, where it enjoyed a critically acclaimed extended engagement. In addition to Significant Other, a third Harmon play is in development, commissioned by Roundabout, with workshops set to begin in 2015.
Related Shows Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Hamilton is Heading to the White HouseAfter conquering Broadway, the Billboard charts and the Grammys, what comes next for Hamilton…? Well, First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome the Broadway cast to the White House on March 14 to host a student workshop, Q&A and a performance of musical selections from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s gargantuan hit. Of course, the Obamas have a long history with the show—in May 2009, the President and First Lady hosted an event where Miranda performed “The Hamilton Mixtape,” which was later renamed “Alexander Hamilton” and became the opening number of the tuner; they have also made multiple trips to the production. Check out the company announcing the news in today’s #Ham4Ham below. View Comments Ken Watanabe’s Surprise The King and I ReturnAudience members at The King and I were in for a surprise switcheroo on March 8, when the present King of Siam, Hoon Lee, called out sick. Tony nominee Ken Watanabe, whose latest engagement with the production was delayed a few weeks while he was treated for stomach cancer, happened to be rehearsing in the vicinity and stepped in for him. We’re whistling a happy tune that Watanabe was well enough to perform; he is set to officially return to Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater on March 17.Alex Brightman Play to Bow this SpringFrom his School of Rock vlogs, we knew that Alex Brightman was busy writing as well as climbing to the top of mount rock at the Winter Garden, and now one of his projects is hitting the stage. He’s penned Everything in its Place: the Life and Slimes of Marc Summers, which will play at Indiana’s Bloomington Playwrights Project this April. Directed by Chad Rabinovitz, with music by Drew Gasparini and starring Summers himself, the show is a guided tour through the TV star’s life, from an early obsession with magic to his screen career and his struggles with OCD.NPH Magic Project Circling Off-BroadwaySpeaking of magic, we’re all aware of Neil Patrick Harris’ penchant for the discipline, and he’s now planning an immersive theater production around it. According to the New York Times, the Tony winner has teamed up with the producers of Queen of the Night for the project, which is aiming to open at 311 West 57th Street this fall. The event (which Harris is not set to star in) will also involve a meal—wonder who he will call to conjure up the menu?!Norbert Leo Butz is a Hit With PBSGood news for two-time Tony winners Norbert Leo Butz and Donna Murphy, Broadway alum Josh Radnor and McKinley Belcher III—their Civil War era series Mercy Street has been renewed for a second season by PBS. The original drama premiered on January 17 to an audience of 5.7 million viewers. Miss it? Check out the doctors on the show (including Butz) below. Star Files Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda in ‘Hamilton'(Photo by Joan Marcus) from $149.00 Ken Watanabe
Farmers and food processors take routine steps to reduce the likelihood of foodborne pathogens, like Salmonella and E. coli, contacting our food and causing illness. The procedures that our food industry takes on a daily basis are also effective in reducing the chances that the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 will come in contact with the food we eat.There is currently no evidence that the coronavirus is spread through contaminated food. This is in part because the virus primarily targets cells in the respiratory tract (lungs) rather than organs in the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines), and because acids in the stomach likely inactivate ingested virus before it can cause harm.During the current pandemic and other viral outbreaks, there are further considerations that farms and agricultural businesses must take in order to protect their workers and customers despite the usual safety of our food supply.Farms, packinghouses and food processorsSick workers should never be allowed to come to work, and they should understand that there is no punishment for them if and when they call in sick.Encourage distancing of at least 6 feet between workers at all time, including on buses transporting groups of workers to the field and on the packing line when possible. Only one employee should be in the cab of a truck, and frequently touched surfaces like the steering wheel or door handles should be cleaned and disinfected when passengers leave or enter a vehicle.Frequently touched surfaces within the farm or facility should be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day and between shift changes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends a list of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants that are effective against coronavirus. A solution of 5 tablespoons of bleach in 1 gallon of water may also be used.U-pick operations, farmers markets, farm supply stores and CSAsPost signs stating rules to be followed at the entrance. Keep them short and easy to read. Rules should include washing hands (or using hand sanitizer if washing is not possible) upon arrival; wearing a mask, bandana or scarf; maintaining 6 feet of distance between other patrons; and requesting vendor assistance to select items instead of handling items themselves.Indoor markets may consider putting vendors or high-demand items outside so that patrons do not have to enter the building. For items inside, consider posting a price list outside and having an employee retrieve items, or set a reasonable limit on the amount of time each customer may stay inside to do business.Have one person dedicated to handling payments. Conduct transactions online or over the phone when possible, and require credit or debit cards for in-person transactions, since paper money cannot be sanitized.U-pick operations should clean and disinfect all picking baskets and equipment between customers. When in the field, customers must only touch fruit they plan to pick.University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has further guidance, in English and Spanish, including materials for farms, packinghouses, community gardens, farmers markets, food banks, agribusinesses and consumers on its emergency resources page at extension.uga.edu/emergencies.
At some point, most of us have awoken while camping and snuggled back into the sleeping bag thinking, “I do not want to crawl out of this warm bag and face the cold morning.” Your thoughts may have progressed a step further to leave you thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if my puffy jacket was as warm as my down bag?” Look no further than the Big Agnes Shovelhead DownTek Jacket.Through the years, I have owned at least three Big Agnes sleeping bags and pads as well as a couple of tents. What has always defined the brand for me has been an uncompromising workmanship and attention to detail and functionality. Continuing in this tradition, Big Agnes hit a home run with the Shovelhead Jacket, its debut into the world of clothing.First the specs. The Shovelhead features a 700 fill power DownTek down, which is a water repellent down, covered by a wind and water resistant nylon outer, perfect for snowy or cold and rainy conditions. The inner-construction of the jacket is created to prevent the down from shifting around and facilitates uniform heat distribution. If you have ever owned a poorly constructed down jacket or sleeping bag, then you know that down shift reduces uniformity of warmth.Functionally speaking, the pockets are well placed to allow you to warm your hands and stash snacks and the waist cord keeps winter weather and cold out. The Shovelhead has thumb holes and elastic cuffs to keep hands warm. The cut of the jacket is very flattering and draws compliments and stares of envy. The Shovelhead is ultra-lightweight for such a warm jacket, and allows the wearer to remain comfortable and warm while wearing it in temperatures ranging from the 40’s to single digits. Despite my efforts to identify one, there are no apparent areas of improvement.If you are looking for a down jacket to keep you warm this winter, and many winters to come, get a Big Agnes Shovelhead DownTek jacket.MSRP $249.00
By Dialogo April 09, 2009 Today the European Southern Observatory (ESO) released two stunning pictures of galaxies to celebrate “100 Hours of Astronomy,” part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. The images belong to the Sculptor group of galaxies, and were created by two of ESO’s observatories in Chile: La Silla and Paranal, in the north of the country, according to a statement provided by the institution. In an ambitious event called “Around the World in 80 Telescopes” a unique live 24-hour broadcast follows day and night around the world with some of the most advanced observatories on and off the planet. “To provide a lasting memory of this impressive international tour, observatories around the world are revealing stunning astronomical photographs that have never been seen before,” according to a statement released today. The first image represents the irregular galaxy NGC 55, a member of the prominent Sculptor group of galaxies in the southern constellation Sculptor. The galaxy is approximately 70,000 light years in diameter, making it a little smaller than our Milky Way. “In reality NGC 55 is more like our galactic neighbor, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), except LMC faces us while we see NGC 55 edge-on,” the document explained. In studying about 20 planetary nebulae (the last blooms of stars like the Sun before they become white dwarfs) in this photo, a team of astronomers found that NGC 55 is located 7.5 million light years away. They also found that NGC 55 may be forming a bound pair with the spiral galaxy NGC 300. This remarkable photograph of NGC 55, obtained with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at La Silla, is sprinkled with a burst of reddish nebulae created by hot, young, massive stars. The second picture shows another galaxy belonging to the Sculptor group. This galaxy, NGC 7793, which is “a chaotic spiral structure,” is different from highly-organized spiral galaxies like our Milky Way. This set of stars is located slightly farther away than NGC 55, about 12.5 million light years away from Earth, and is about half the size of NGC 55. It was observed with the FORS instrument installed at the Very Large Telescope array at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. ESO is the main intergovernmental astronomical organization in Europe. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. It operates three unique, world class observational sites in the region of the Atacama Desert in Chile, the driest area in the world: La Silla, Paranal, and Chajnantor.
In its quest to stand out from U.S. rivals, T-Mobile US Inc. is adding an unusual perk: a checking account.The carrier is rolling out a new T-Mobile Money app that provides access to no-fee checking accounts managed by BankMobile, part of Customers Bancorp. Monthly wireless subscribers who deposit at least $200 a month will be able to get 4% interest on up to $3,000, and 1% interest on sums above that. The service debuts nationwide on Thursday.The idea is to keep customers loyal in a market where T-Mobile is battling two much-larger competitors, Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. The carrier also is trying to get regulators to approve its $26 billion takeover of Sprint Corp., and showing that it has innovative services in the pipeline can’t hurt.“Happy customers are good for business,” Tiffany Minor, a marketing director for T-Mobile Money, said in a phone interview. “They stay longer. We absolutely like that construct.” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
Without a doubt, COVID-19 has hit Americans hard. Not only are they dealing with the health threat of a pandemic, but also with the financial fallout. In fact, there are few people who have not been touched financially in some way, whether by something as immediately tangible as the loss of a job, or by something a bit further into the future, such as a lagging 401k that will affect eventual retirement.A recent SoFi At Work survey found that nearly 60 percent of employees think financial wellness education is even more important now due to the pandemic, and 53 percent say they would be less financially stressed if they had access to financial wellness programs. The survey also found that 48 percent would be more committed to staying with their employer longer; 37 percent would be more likely to recommend their employer to friends, and; 30 percent would be more productive at work.Credit unions have an opportunity to help members improve their financial wellness by offering financial literacy education. This also benefits the credit unions through increased member loyalty and referrals. And some organizations are even offering free financial wellness services during this pandemic.Financial Stress RisingA recent Pew Research Study found that financial stress due to COVID-19 is causing financial issues for Americans:25 percent are having trouble paying their bills25 percent of American households have someone who has been laid off or lost their job33 percent of households have someone who has reduced hours or took a pay cutA Nation Endowment for Financial Education’s (NEFE) survey found that these issues cut across all ethnicities and income levels, with 79 percent of those making both less than $50,000 and more than $100,000 concerned about their finances.These issues have led to financial decisions that will have a long-lasting impact, such as:Saving less money than normal (36 percent)Paying bills with savings or retirement funds (33 percent)Borrowing money from friends or family (17 percent)Deferring payments (12 percent)Using more credit (10 percent)Financial Wellness Education Can HelpEvery American adult needs to know how to manage money effectively. This is true no matter the age, background, ethnicity, or gender, and is true both in good financial times and in bad. Although financial wellness education does not have the ability to restore lost jobs or increase 401k growth, it can help participants make appropriate choices when financial crises arise.When credit union members have a firm grasp of sound financial principles, they have the tools necessary to make wise financial choices that can limit the damage caused by financial setbacks, such as COVID-19.For example:Understanding how to budget (and adapt that budget due to current economic conditions) allows people to make necessary changes to keep from going into debt or borrowing from their future during difficult times.Before the pandemic, two thirds of Americans did not have sufficient emergency savings. Financial wellness education provides members with the tools to achieve their savings goals and replenish their emergency savings during trying times, which has been shown to lower financial stress significantly.With the widespread financial crisis have come widespread financial scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers targeting federal relief money, among other things, have taken over $77 million from unsuspecting Americans. Financial wellness programs can educate members to help them avoid scams and fraud.Many lenders are willing to work with consumers during this time of financial crisis. However, this will only happen when consumers communicate with lenders in a timely fashion. Financial wellness education provides information about financial contracts to give members the confidence to work with lenders to create different payment options for such things as credit cards, mortgages, taxes, and other bills.Credit Unions Are Positioned to HelpCredit unions are a naturally good fit for providing this much-needed information to their members because members see their credit union as a partner when managing their finances. According to a Consumer Banking Insights survey, 64 percent of Americans feel that credit unions provide better, friendlier, hands-on personal service than traditional banks.The difference lies in customers versus members. Credit unions, structured as cooperatives, exist to service their members rather than focus on profit generation.Because members come first, providing empowerment through education is a natural fit.As members understand more fully how to handle their money, during both good times and times of crisis, the financial wellness of each member will increase. This, in turn, increases the trust between members and the credit union, which ultimately improves member retention as well as increases the number of members. It’s a win-win situation. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kris Alban Kris Alban is executive vice president of iGrad, a San Diego-based financial technology company that provides artificial intelligence-powered financial wellness solutions to employers, financial institutions, colleges and universities. Its Enrich … Details