MmmBop’ fundraiser returns

first_imgDiners at the Noble Family Dining Hall were treated to the song “MMMBop” by popular 1990s boy band Hanson during lunch hours Feb. 11 – all of the lunch hours. Junior Annie Kennedy, morale committee chair for Dance Marathon, was the driving force behind the Marathon’s new fundraising event, “Stop the Bop.” “We’re playing Hanson’s song ‘MMMBop’ on repeat until we meet our fundraising goal,” Kennedy said. “The premise of the fundraiser is that people will get so annoyed with the song that they will be willing to donate in order to turn off the song.” Senior Bridgid Hurley, morale committee member for the marathon, also worked toward the implementation of “Stop the Bop.” “Between this past ‘Stop the Bop’ and the next one, which is scheduled for the Monday before the marathon [which is schedule for March 23], we hope to collectively raise $500,” Hurley said. “Once we reach $500, the song will stop playing on repeat.” Kennedy said the Dance Marathon organizers wanted to try something new to garner the attention of the Saint Mary’s community members who had yet to donate to Dance Marathon. The first “Stop the Bop” kicked off Dance Marathon’s Riley Week, and Hurley said its proceeds will go toward Riley Hospital for Children. The event also contributes to the Dance Marathon’s Zero Zeroes effort, she said.  “Zero Zeroes is a campaign to encourage all dancers to donate money so that no person at the marathon will have zero donations next to their name,” Hurley said. “‘Stop the Bop’ accepts any and all donations, so it really helps Zero Zeroes since people can donate loose change.” Kennedy hopes “Stop the Bop” brought more attention to Dance Marathon for students who were unsure of what the event is all about. “It is something different from what we’ve done in the past, so hopefully it will not only help Dance Marathon as an organization, but will prompt girls at [Saint Mary’s] to get more involved in [the marathon],” Kennedy said. Kennedy said the community definitely heard the message the Dance Marathon organizers were trying to convey by playing “MMMBop” on repeat. “People were tweeting and putting up Facebook posts about ‘Stop the Bop’ during the event, and even now some people still talk about it,” Kennedy said. “Students were commenting that it was annoying, and that was the point.” Hurley said diners were confused when they first entered the hall for lunch, but the confusion resulted in many questions regarding the marathon. She and other Dance Marathon members approached tables of girls to spread awareness, but Hurley said students sought out the organizers as well. “There were girls who were coming up to our table to learn about Dance Marathon and Riley Hospital, to ask what ‘Stop the Bop’ was and to help us with our goal,” she said. “The fact that it got so much attention was a great thing for Dance Marathon because we were able to spread awareness.” As Dance Marathon’s main event draws nearer, Kennedy, Hurley and the other committee members are looking forward to more people wanting to get involved in any way they can. “Ultimately we hope to raise awareness and get people excited about the marathon,” Hurley said. “‘Stop the Bop’ is a fun and creative way to raise awareness and raise money.”last_img read more

Rock of Ages announces completion of $25.2 million merger with Swenson Granite of NH

first_imgRock of Ages Corporation (NASDAQ:ROAC) has announced the completion of its previously announced pending merger with a wholly owned subsidiary of Swenson Granite Company LLC, of Concord, NH, whereby Swenson acquired all of the outstanding shares of common stock of the Company that it did not previously own for $5.25 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at $25.2 million. The company is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Swenson. The Swenson family has controlled Rock of Ages for many years and Kurt Swenson has been Rock of Ages’ CEO and chairman. As a result of the merger, the Company’s Class A common stock ceased trading on the NASDAQ Global Market at the close of business on January 19, 2011, and the company expects to deregister and suspend its reporting obligations under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.American Stock Transfer & Trust Company has been appointed to serve as the agent for payment of the merger consideration to Company stockholders, and will promptly mail to stockholders instructions on how to surrender their stock certificates and receive payment for their shares. If a shareholder’s shares of Company stock are held by a broker, nominee, custodian or other fiduciary and is not promptly provided by them with instructions on how to receive payment for the shares, the shareholder should contact them directly for such instructions.Kurt Swenson, Chairman of the Board of the Company, said, ‘We thank our shareholders for their support over the years, and for their approval of the merger proposal, especially the unaffiliated shareholders who own no interest in Swenson, who, by the affirmative vote of approximately 86% of the shares held by those shareholders present in person or by proxy at the special meeting, supported the merger.’ BARRE, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)-1.20.2011last_img read more

Paraguay Dismantles ‘VIP Marijuana’ Labs

first_imgBy Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo November 25, 2020 In September, the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD, in Spanish) dismantled four urban clandestine labs that produced so-called “VIP marijuana,” the most expensive variety in the market. This is a new marijuana strain with high levels of THC, the main psychoactive substance in cannabis.“The network produced marijuana strains with THC levels of 20 to 30 percent,” SENAD said in a press release on September 23. “Conventional marijuana, produced in the forests of border areas, has THC levels of 2 to 8 percent and is much more affordable.”The network operated with special systems for lighting, ventilation, insulation, and marijuana storage, then selling the product to customers with high purchasing power. (Photo: Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat)Agents carried out 12 raids in the cities of Asunción and Fernando de la Mora as part of Operation Gorilla Glue, named after a strong variety of marijuana.Eleven people were detained, designated by Paraguay’s Office of the Attorney General as financiers, producers, and distributors in the illicit business. “All of them are between 20 and 32 years old, with good purchasing power and agronomic knowledge,” SENAD indicated.Set up in urban housing, the labs had special systems with artificial lighting, ventilation, insulation, and marijuana storage. The equipment and seeds were purchased abroad.According to experts, what is known as “VIP marijuana” are hybrids made from the cannabis sativa variety.“[The producers] were crossbreeding all the marijuana sub-varieties, including indica, ruderalis, and sativa itself,” Ricardo Galeano, director of SENAD’s Forensic Laboratory, said in statements published on the website HOY.“They combined these varieties, obtained the hybrids, and took the cuttings from the mother crops to continue growing and producing marijuana with higher THC [levels],” Galeano said.In other operations aimed at seizing regular marijuana, SENAD agents destroyed a warehouse in the Sargento José Félix López district, in Concepción department, on October 4.“We detected two narco-camps and seized more than 2.7 tons of processed marijuana during a raid,” SENAD said.last_img read more

The Magic of Quilts: The Smithtown Stitchers Quilt Show – April 6 & 7

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Smithtown Stitchers Quilt GuildThe Smithtown Stitchers Quilt Guild‘s Quilt Show, “The Magic of Quilts,” taking place Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7 is a colorful event with more than 150 quilts and quilted items on display plus raffles, a members’ boutique, demonstrations, works in progress and a vendors’ mall at the Dawnwood Middle School in Centereach.The show has a magical theme and 1uilters were given the following instructions before creating their quilts, “Think a Wizard, Think a Magician, Think a Magic Act. Use the chosen fabric, and create Magic with that. The Magic of Quilts is the Theme of the Show, Let your creative juices start to flow. Grab your pins and grab your scissors, Have some fun and create some wizards. Or get a brainstorm as you groan and mutter, and saw a lady in half with a rotary cutter!”This talented group of 116 quilters love sharing and talking about their creations—from traditional quilts that are hand-appliqued and/or hand-quilted to contemporary modern art quilts and wall hangings.Lunch will be available at the event and visitors can cast a vote for their favorite quilt to win “Viewers Choice.” Smithtown Stitchers members will also be available to answer questions about the quilts on display.The Smithtown Stitchers continue a long history of quilting in America. With more than 21 million quilters in the U.S. today, quilting has become a 3-billion-dollar industry and is continuing to grow.EVENT DETAILS“The Magic of Quilts”Hours:   Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday, April 7, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.Location:Dawnwood Middle School10 43rd St., CentereachAdmission: $8.  Children 12 and under are free.last_img read more

Two big trends shaking up retail payments

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Anyone who’s ever struggled to lay their hands on cash or a card while sitting behind the wheel of a car at a McDonald’s drive-up window will appreciate this: In Brazil, drive-up customers can simply say: “I’m paying with Sem Parar,” when they finish ordering. “Sem Parar” (it means “nonstop” in Portuguese) is the Brazilian electronic toll-pass system. McDonalds partnered with payment systems vendor Fleetcor to use the toll-pass system as the means for consumers to pay by voice.Voice pay is just one of two transformative developments rolling through the payments world. The other trend that’s opening big potential opportunities for retail banking providers is the suddenly awakened U.S. contactless card market. The contactless trend is happening now, while voice pay is a little further down the road. But both are important for the development of the retail payments business.Voice Pay: Can You Hear Me Now?If you had any doubts as to whether smart speakers such as Amazon’s Echo and Google Home are a passing fad, new data from NPR and Edison Research should sweep them away. The organizations revealed that the number of smart speakers in U.S. households grew by 78% to 118.5 million devices in one year — from December 2017 to December 2018. Of the 14 million U.S. consumers who bought one during the 2018 holiday season, just over half were adding the device to one or more existing smart speakers.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Dec. 28

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionOppose new toll/tax on upstate driversHere we go again. New York just keeps finding new reasons to take more of our hard-earned money.We’ve seen proposals for toll hikes to pay for the Tappan Zee Bridge, then for license plate replacement fees, and this time targeting drivers without E-ZPass. A new proposal from the Thruway Authority would increase tolls for drivers who pay cash, 30% more to be exact, and another $2 for each billing statement.It’s completely unfair to force drivers to have E-ZPass or pay more. This amounts to nothing more than another tax. I’m ready to fight tooth and nail against any toll hikes on upstate drivers.We pay more than enough already, but it seems like the state will never stop trying to take more.Angelo SantabarbaraSchenectadyThe writer represents the 111th Assembly District in the state Legislature.Focus on positives to boost your spiritsI have been trying to figure out why I am having difficulty getting into the Christmas spirit this year.In the past, I related it to my career, which I retired from three years ago, of a public safety dispatcher.The constant barrage of complaints, the domestic calls, serious accidents and life-threatening medical calls always made it very difficult. So why this year?Since I retired, it was easy to get in the spirit. But I finally have figured it out. It is due to the constant barrage of negative news, complaining and griping, on the television and at social locations, such as my gym and other locations. All you hear is the negative.Politics, starting at the top, both local and national, and encompassing all parties and levels, has caused a caustic, negative and damaging effect to all levels of the social economic system. The few positives that come out are very soundly trounced by the negative.I was taught, by a very good manager at one of my previous employments, that negativity is like a cancer: Once it starts, it takes over. Positive thoughts and actions have a very difficult time conquering the negative, but when it does, everyone feels better.I, for one, choose to look at the positive and push the positive. I challenge the aforementioned, and everyone else, to do the same and see what a difference each of us can make.That will give us the Christmas and giving spirit all year long.David W. GallupScotia‘Trump Impeached’ photo showed biasA number of readers of The Daily Gazette have written letters to the editor decrying the newspaper’s “left leanings” or “liberal bent.”I personally do not recall any letters alleging the opposite.In fact, I have always considered The Gazette to be a fairly unbiased and impartial publication.Until, that is, I saw the front page of the Dec. 19 edition.Under the larger-than-normal, bold-faced headline, “Trump Impeached” was a huge photograph of Donald Trump with his arms outstretched at his sides, his eyes half-closed, and a somber, somewhat somnolescent expression on his face.Of all the many photos of this man that were available, The Gazette chose to print one that clearly portrays him as a persecuted victim of crucifixion, unmistakably evoking images of another historical figure who claimed to be leading his followers to their salvation. Seriously?Paul DeierleinSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Brisbane yields to draw investors

first_imgBrisbane is expected to continue to see good rental yields for investors. Picture: numbers seem to have fallen off a cliff in southern capitals but Brisbane was expected to buck the trend, according to latest expert analysis.Rental yields in Brisbane – calculated as rent divided by price – have continued to outperform Sydney and Melbourne when it comes to both houses (4 per cent) and units (4.9 per cent), adding to its allure for investors, according to Nerida Conisbee, chief economist of the REA Group.“One factor keeping yields high in Brisbane has been that prices haven’t risen quite as much as Sydney and Melbourne,” she said. “In 2018 we expect investors to continue to look at Brisbane favourably primarily because there seems to be rising rental demand and pricing is far more reasonable.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours agoShe said it was likely that rental yields would rise this year.“There are a few things driving this. The first is that prices are expected to remain relatively stable. A big factor driving yields downwards is rising prices and we don’t expect prices to rise as strongly in 2018.“The second is we expect far fewer rentals to enter the market this year – this is because we have now come to the end of a strong run in investor demand. We expect fewer investors in the market this year because of difficulties in accessing finance, changes to many of the incentives to invest, as well as changing sentiment towards housing.”Ms Conisbee warned that since Brisbane has had such a strong apartment development boom, “I can’t see strong rental growth for apartments”.“Houses however are another matter – they will definitely outperform apartments in 2018.”Her picks for good rental yield in Brisbane this year? “We can see on our site that the most in demand suburbs from renters for houses are Fortitude Valley, Windsor and New Farm. If I was looking to buy a rental property in Brisbane I would be looking at houses in those suburbs.”last_img read more

PFZW to revamp portfolio, focusing on sustainability, ‘comprehensibility’

first_img“The investment chain is sometimes too complicated, and we will look critically at, for example, fund of funds structures, mainly for cost reasons,” he said.Borgdorff declined to provide further details about the planned portfolio changes, citing market sensitivity, but he did say PFZW aimed to have the changes in place by 2020.On the issue of supervision, Borgdorff said his pension fund preferred to show good behaviour voluntarily, rather than be forced to a change through regulation.His sentiment was echoed by Guy Jubb, global head of governance and stewardship at Standard Life Investors UK, who said: “Asset managers are no longer operating under the radar.”In his opinion, stewardship must be at the heart of the relationship between asset manager and asset owner.“I want all my clients to ask what we have done on their behalf,” he said.Lucy Tusa, senior consult at Mercer UK, added: “The ICGN Principles on Institutional Investors’ Responsibilities should be the gold standard for investors.”She said she had noticed little change in the expectactions of institutional investors but that their interest in stewardship had increased.However, Tusa also said she was worried about the fact changes had mainly come from regulators.She agreed with Borgdorff that there were too many intermediaries in the investment chain. The €140bn pension fund PFZW has said lessons learned from the financial crisis have led it to revamp its investment portfolio along the lines of sustainability, manageability and comprehensibility.Speaking at the International Corporate Governance Network’s (ICGN) annual conference, Peter Borgdorff, the scheme’s director, said the pension fund’s “attitude” had changed as the result of an extensive evaluation of “what went wrong in 2008”, when PFZW’s assets fell by 20%.“We are now aware we are here for our people, not for ourselves or the asset management industry,” he said during a panel discussion.He said PFZW would review its reasons for having invested in 22 asset classes, adding that the healthcare scheme would no longer invest in asset classes it did not fully understand.last_img read more

Pension fund tenders smart-beta equity mandate using IPE Quest

first_imgInterested parties should state performance, net of fees, to the end of September and have a track record of at least three years (preferably five).The deadline for applications is 30 October.The IPE news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 3465 9330 or email A pension fund based in Germany has tendered a €20m smart-beta equity mandate using IPE Quest.According to search QN-2125, interested parties should have at least €250m in assets under management in the asset class.The mandate is to cover Europe excluding the UK and adopt the MSCI Europe Multi-Factor or similar index as a benchmark, observing a maximum tracking record of 10%.The pension fund said it was creating a long-list of managers, and that a manager might therefore not be appointed.last_img read more

Noosa beach house sells for a record $11.2m in secret deal

first_imgThis house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m. .The sale price has come as a shock given the property, named ‘Noo-Jee’, at 5 Allambi Rise in exclusive Little Cove last sold for $5.75 million only three years ago, showing the appetite from interstate migrants for premium real estate in Queensland.The agents involved are refusing to comment on the sale, but it is understood the property was owned by a local Noosa resident with other property interests in the area. PAT RAFTER SELLS SUNSHINE BEACH HOME This house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours ago This house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m. The view from the deck at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads. The master bedroom in the house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads.The Noosa region prestige property market is on fire, with the $18 million sale earlier this year of a beachfront mansion in Sunshine Beach smashing the residential record for the entire Sunshine Coast region. BEACH HOUSE SELLS FOR RECORD This property at 21-23 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach, sold for a record $18m. Picture: Paul Smith.The Webb Road absolute beachfront estate is only streets away from where tennis great Pat Rafter sold his beachfront home, with the sale price recently revealed as $15.2 million.House values across the Sunshine Coast region have outperformed the rest of the state; rising 8 per cent over the year to March, while unit values rose 5.5 per cent, according to a new report from property researcher CoreLogic. The view from the master bedroom at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads. The view from the house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, which has sold for $11.2m.ONE of Queensland’s most idyllic celebrity holiday haunts is abuzz with news of a record property sale in ritzy Noosa Heads.A 1950s style beach house with views to die for has sold for an eyewatering $11.2 million in an offmarket deal to a cashed-up Melbourne-based buyer. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE This house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m.“If you want to be close to Hastings Street and the beach, there’s only a handful of properties to choose from.“The end game is that records will continue to be broken in Noosa because some of the best property hasn’t been released yet.” The open plan living and dining area at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads. This house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m. Inside the house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m.Mr Reed recently sold a beachfront home at 312 Teewah Beach Rd, Noosa North Shore, for $10.75 million.The Allambi Rise home spans two levels, featuring four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a wet-edge pool and a large timber deck with built-in barbecue that overlooks Laguna Bay and beyond. The former home of Pat Rafter at 46 Seaview Tce, Sunshine Beach, recently sold for $15.2m.Prestige agent Adrian Reed of Dowling & Neylan Real Estate in Noosa Heads said he wasn’t too surprised by the price achieved for the Little Cove home because of the demand for property in the area from southern states and expats.“We’re not shocked because we honestly believe there’s more scope to test the limits (of the market),” Mr Reed said.last_img read more