Mayor’s Update 1/13

first_imgDear Friends,I would like to remind everyone about our annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. events set for this weekend. There’s a possibility of a light snow in the forecast, but it’s not expected to accumulate here at the shore. That should make it easy for everybody to travel to the celebration on Saturday.It’s always a great honor for me to be a part of this annual tradition. Some people may not know how rich and diverse Ocean City’s history is. But so many different people have come together to make our town the close-knit community that it is. It’s one of the things that makes living here so special.The celebration starts at 1 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 14) at the Bill and Nancy Hughes Performing Arts Center at Ocean City High School (enter from Sixth Street). It’s a free event and everybody is encouraged to attend. The celebration features a lot of great music, reflections on Dr. King’s life and legacy, awards to community volunteers, and the announcement of student essay contest winners. After the event, everybody is invited back to the school cafeteria for a free home-cooked soul food dinner.In another growing tradition, volunteers will meet at the Senior Center at the Ocean City Community Center (18th Street and Simpson Avenue) at 9 a.m. on Monday (Jan. 16) to get assignments and supplies for a citywide volunteer event. It’s part of the national Day of Service honoring Dr. King. I ask everybody who has the day off to stop by and help out. And I’d like to thank Councilman Keith Hartzell, Councilman Antwan McClellan and all of City Council for their continued dedication to promoting these important events.At my request, City Council last night (Jan. 12) did not move forward with a proposed ordinance that would regulate boardwalk performers. I remain committed to finding a balance between young performers and our merchants on the busy summer boardwalk. But I want more time to get a proposal that works for Ocean City. Members of the city team will continue to meet with both boardwalk merchants and performers as we work to craft a better set of guidelines. Thank you all for your patience.The nights are still cold and dark, but there’s still plenty to do in Ocean City. Tonight, the Ocean City Community Center hosts a “Fridays With Friends” event for local teenagers. The evening of fun is free for Ocean City and Upper Township students in grades 8 to 12. It offers a safe option for teens to hang out, play wallyball, sing karaoke, play Xbox, swim, eat pizza, watch scary movies and more. See the complete schedule of upcoming “Fridays With Friends” and more information.The Community Center (at 18th Street and Simpson Avenue) and the Civic Center (at Sixth Street and Boardwalk) offer a variety of winter recreation programs for all ages. See ocnj.us/recreation/ for complete schedules and information. Our exceptional Ocean City Free Public Library has its own set of activities and events to cater to a wide variety of interests. See oceancitylibrary.org/ for more information.Finally, I’d like to remind everybody that the 34th Street Bridge will be closed from 10 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday as part of the ongoing redecking project. Please plan alternative routes if you’re traveling Monday night or before dawn on Tuesday.I hope you all have a great weekend, and I hope to see you at the Martin Luther King events.Warm regards,Jay A. GillianMayorlast_img read more

Agreement on bakery show

first_imgBakery Exhibitors Ltd (BEL) the board of Food & Bake exhibition, has decided to align itself with William Reed’s Baking Industry Exhibition. The result will be the first-ever joint event for the baking industry, which will take place at the NEC from 6-9 April, 2008.David Marsh, chairman of BEL said: “The final agreement forged between BEL and William Reed Exhibitions maintains the original goals of BEL’s charter, together with significant benefits for members in the near and long term future. This decision secures a single industry exhibition and conference event, able to provide a unifying platform for bakers, suppliers and their associations.”Charles Reed, managing director of Wm Reed said: “We are delighted with this decision; it will be good for the whole industry. We will work hard to incorporate the Food & Bake brand into the Baking Industry Exhibition. The industry needs a single, successful event and Wm Reed is best placed with its mix of titles including British Baker, Bake & Take, The Grocer, Food Manufacture, and Forecourt Trader to promote the show widely. Our PR will also extend into other media.”The Baking Industry Exhibition will benefit from events put on for the craft baker and other bakery sectors and, with our his-tory of organising successful shows alongside, which attract over 70,000 visitors and buyers under one roof, we are confident that the show will go from strength to strength.”Exhibitors already signed up for the show include equipment suppliers Rondo Doge, Brook Foods, Orbiter and Reiser as well as Bakery Conservation Systems, Fermex, British Bakels, Muntons and Rank Hovis.Richard Tearle, general manager, Rondo commented: “We didn’t exhibit at the last Food & Bake show, and think that, by the time we get to April 2008, it will be the right time for Rondo to exhibit. The plans for a live bakery at the show were very attractive. We will be placing equipment there. Birmingham is the only place to have a national show. Any bakery show in London over recent history has been ineffective, as people don’t want to travel there.”And Stephen Matthews, general manager of seasonings company Gordon Rhodes said: “We will be targeting larger bakers, those with 30 or more shops, who manufacturer their own sausage rolls and pies. We do blends of seasonings for meat and vegetarian products.”Acrivarn sales director Lindsay Owen added: “Two or three other shows will take place at the NEC at the same time, which will draw customers in. We have customers who will be visiting the Foodex Meatex show, on at the same time. It is good to see exhibitors like Rondo coming back, who weren’t there last year.”And Richard Lyon, UK manager, Bakery Conservation Systems explained: “In the past we have distributed through agencies, we are now going to be Koma UK, and we need to make sure that custo-mers realise that. We will launch a couple of exciting developments on touchscreen control panels at the show. Exhibiting at the show will give us access to the whole food industry.”last_img read more

Fitch rates Vermont Muni Bond Bank’s $9.5 million Gen Res program bonds ‘AA’; outlook stable

first_imgFitch Ratings assigns an ‘AA’ rating to the following 2011 Vermont Municipal Bond Bank bonds, issued under the 1988 General Resolution:–$9,500,000 (federally taxable qualified school construction bonds) 2011 series 1.The bonds are expected to sell via negotiation on March 9, 2011. Bond proceeds will be loaned to two local school districts for capital improvements.In addition, Fitch affirms $516,930,000 in outstanding general resolution bonds at ‘AA’.The Rating Outlook is Stable.RATING RATIONALE:–The program’s pledged reserves and loan repayments, excluding federal subsidies, allow the bonds to withstand borrower defaults of up to 17.22% for four years without causing an interruption in bond payments. This is consistent with Fitch’s criteria for assigning an ‘AA’ rating given the loan pool’s borrowers’ credit quality, size and diversification.–The program, which consists of more than 260 borrowers, is diverse with low single-borrower concentration.–The program’s loan security is strong, with approximately 97% of all loans backed by a general obligation pledge and additional protection from borrower defaults through a state-aid intercept mechanism.KEY RATING DRIVERS:–The bond bank’s ability to balance future leveraging with program resources to maintain borrower default tolerance levels that pass Fitch’s ‘AA’ stress test scenarios is important to maintain the rating.–Credit quality of the bonds is also linked to repayment performance on the program’s loan portfolio.SECURITY:Program bonds are secured by borrower loan repayments and debt service reserve funds. A state moral obligation on the reserve fund and a state-aid intercept provision for borrowers provide additional credit enhancement.CREDIT SUMMARY:Established in 1970, The Vermont Municipal Bond Bank (VMBB) is a quasi-state agency. It is administered by a five-member board consisting of four gubernatorial appointees and the state treasurer. The bond bank issues bonds and uses the proceeds to make loans to local government borrowers throughout the state. Virtually all of Vermont’s eligible municipalities use the bond bank as their primary borrowing vehicle because it offers local government borrowers the lowest cost of capital.The loan pool consists of more than 260 borrowers from cities, towns, counties, school districts and other local governments throughout the state. Approximately 97% of all loans are backed by a general obligation pledge; the remaining are backed by utility pledges from five borrowers. About 52% of the loans are to school districts, which are further backed by an intercept mechanism that includes any state funds payable to borrowers. State aid is reportedly over 90% of school district debt service. The loan portfolio’s largest borrower, Springfield School District, comprises only 5% of the portfolio. The top 10 borrowers account for 32% of the total outstanding loan balance.Fitch analyzed the default tolerance of the VMBB loan pool using a stress test it also applies to state revolving funds and other municipal loan pools. The stress test considers loan quality, single risk concentration, reserve fund size, and debt service requirements. The program’s pledged reserves and loan repayments, excluding the federal subsidies, allow the bonds to withstand borrower defaults of up to 17.2% for four years without causing an interruption in bond payments. This is consistent with Fitch’s criteria for assigning an ‘AA’ rating given the loan pool’s borrowers’ credit quality, size and diversification (17.09%).With the 2011 -1 issue, VMBB offers its fourth series of federally subsidized bonds, Qualified School Construction and Recovery Zone Economic Development, which provide 0% and 45% in interest rate subsidies, respectively, offsetting the pool participants’ cost of borrowing. However, as the pool continues to leverage these issues, the program’s cash flow margins become tighter under Fitch’s stressed scenarios, which assume that no scheduled federal debt service subsidies are received. Per its report ‘Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market – Credit Considerations’ dated April 27, 2010, Fitch assesses the ability of the issuer to pay full interest on the BABs, regardless of the subsidy. While Fitch believes there could be offsets to some annual subsidy payments, it believes that VMBB management would take action to address the reasons for the offset and avoid multiple years with no subsidy, including the use of certain optional redemption provisions for its federally subsidized bonds. Nevertheless, the bond bank’s ability to balance future leveraging with program resources to maintain borrower default tolerance levels that pass Fitch’s ‘AA’ stress test scenarios is important to maintain the rating.The program’s debt service reserve fund, which is sized at the least of maximum annual debt service, 125% average annual debt service, or 10% of bond proceeds, is funded with bond proceeds and invested in U.S. treasury and agency securities. Pledged reserves, currently total $49.9 million, or 9.7% of bonds outstanding. In addition, the bank maintains approximately $10.9 million in unrestricted general fund reserves, which are not pledged to bondholders but may be used if a deficiency occurs. The bonds are also supported by a state moral obligation to replenish the debt service reserve fund if it falls below its minimum specified level. Neither the intercept nor the moral obligation has ever been utilized, because no borrower has defaulted on a loan repayment since the bond bank began operations in 1970.Loan payments are due 15 days before the bond payment dates. Under Vermont’s state intercept provision, if a borrower fails to make its scheduled loan repayment, the bond bank will certify the failure of that payment with the state treasurer. The state treasurer would then pay the defaulted loan amount to the bank’s trustee from amounts appropriated and payable by the state to the defaulted borrower, if available. If sufficient state aid is unavailable, it will be paid from subsequent interceptable state aid payments, with bond bank reserves covering the temporary shortfall. To date, this mechanism has not been tested as there have not been any loan defaults in the history of the program.Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com(link is external).Applicable Criteria and Related Research:–‘Revenue-Supported Rating Criteria’ (Oct. 8, 2010);–‘State Revolving Fund and Municipal Loan Pool Rating Guidelines’ (April 28, 2008);–‘Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market – Credit Considerations’ (April 27, 2010).For information on Build America Bonds, visit www.fitchratings.com/BABs(link is external).Applicable Criteria and Related Research:Revenue-Supported Rating Criteriahttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=5…(link is external)State Revolving Fund and Municipal Loan Pool Rating Guidelineshttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=3…(link is external)Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market — Credit Considerationshttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=5…(link is external)  CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–last_img read more

Fourth vCJD case linked with blood transfusion in UK

first_img Variant CJD is the human counterpart of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, which spread through British cattle herds in the 1980s and 1990s. Most vCJD patients are believed to have acquired the fatal brain disease by eating beef from diseased cattle. See also: The United Kingdom uses a number of precautions to protect the blood supply from vCJD infectivity, the HPA noted. Since 1997, new cases of vCJD have triggered a search for and destruction of any blood donated by the case-patient. Since 1998 the United Kingdom has used blood plasma from the United States to produce all plasma derivatives. And since October 1999, white blood cells, which may pose the greatest risk of transmitting vCJD, have been removed from blood used for transfusions. Jan 18 UK HPA news releasehttp://www.hpa.org.uk/hpa/news/articles/press_releases/2007/070118_vCJD.htm Jan 22, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in the United Kingdom have found a probable fourth case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) associated with a blood transfusion from someone who unknowingly had the disease. Authorities have classified the new case as probable, since vCJD cannot be definitively diagnosed until after death. Postmortem studies have been done on 112 of the 158 vCJD case-patients who have died, and have confirmed the disease in all cases, the HPA said. The case was diagnosed in a patient who received blood 9 years ago from a person who later was found to have vCJD, the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) said in a Jan 18 statement. All 23 people have previously been informed of their potential exposure to the disease and advised to take precautions to reduce the risk of passing it to others via healthcare procedures, such as surgery, the statement said. “A transfusion from the same blood donor was also associated with one of the previously identified cases,” the HPA said. “The patient is still alive and is under specialist care.” “This new case of vCJD infection increases our concern about the risk to the small group of people who had blood transfusions from donors who unknowingly at the time of donation must have had vCJD infection,” Peter Borrielo, director of the HPA Centre for Infections, said in the news release. “However, this new case does not change our understanding of the risk for other people in any specific way.” The first case of vCJD associated with a blood transfusion was found in December 2003. So far, authorities have identified 66 people in the United Kingdom who have received “vCJD-implicated” transfusions, of whom 40 have died of causes other than vCJD, the HPA said. Twenty-three people are alive and have not been diagnosed with vCJD. Jul 22, 2004, CIDRAP News story “Another UK patient may have caught vCJD from blood” Sep 24, 2004, CIDRAP News story “UK tells blood-product recipients about possible vCJD risk”last_img read more

PREMIUMSmelly water: Bekasi regency residents bear brunt of overloaded dumpsite

first_imgLog in with your social account Linkedin Facebook Forgot Password ? Topics : Google LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here An unpleasant odor filling the air is not the only issue people living in Burangkeng village, Setu, Bekasi regency face, as the Burangkeng final disposal site (TPA), which is operating beyond its capacity, has also contaminated their groundwater, further posing risks to their wellbeing.People living in Burangkeng village are susceptible to water contamination, as garbage from their local disposal site has infested their houses. Those living in close proximity to the landfill have slightly yellow and oily water, with an unpleasant odor coming emanating from it when stored for at least two hours in a reservoir.Among those affected is Mulyani, a 31-year-old scavenger who was born and raised in the village long before the disposal site became overloaded, when living conditions she claimed were better. The sole disposal site of the rege… water dump-site disposal-site landfill-facility Bekasi Bekasi-regency West-Java Burangkeng WasteManagement waste garbagelast_img read more