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Illinois gun, ammunition sales expeditiously; many articles difficult to find | State and region


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ALTON – Gun buying continues at a brisk pace, but finding what you want can be a problem.

Gun sales have skyrocketed over the past year, fueled by concerns over COVID-19, civil unrest and gun control policies. As a result, both firearms and ammunition are scarce.

Scott Pulaski, owner of Piasa Armory, an arms store in Alton, said sales are typically high before Christmas and then during tax filing season.

“This time it picked up again after Christmas (2019) and never stopped,” he said. “It went even higher after the lockdowns started in March and never stopped.”

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry trade group, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System performed more than 21 million background checks in 2020, far surpassing 2019’s 13.2 million and the previous record of 15.7 Millions of reviews broke in 2016.

Many of those who bought guns – an estimated 8.4 million in 2020 – were gun buyers for the first time. The NSSF also said that buyers are becoming increasingly diverse, with women making up 40% of gun purchases and African Americans seeing the largest increase of any demographic category.

Pulaski called it a “perfect combination of people who are scared, people who want to be prepared, and people who see other people buy things they want for themselves.”

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“It’s kind of a herd mentality,” he added.

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As a result, some items are difficult to find.

“Lots of ARs (AR-15 style firearms), lots of home defense-style shotguns, and pretty much anything that is a handgun is all but impossible to find right now,” Pulaski said. “One of our major suppliers has around 3,000 handguns in their catalog, but they currently have four in stock.”

He said there was a similar shortage of ammunition and that had resulted in some price cuts.

“Instead of a 9mm box that we would pay $ 10 for and sell for $ 12, we’ll see it sell for $ 60 to $ 80,” Pulaski said. “Some people buy high and have to sell higher, and some people buy low and sell very high.”

Some shotshells were available from Alton Farm & Home Supply last week, but the few rifle cartridges were 7.62mm NATO (.308 caliber). Workers said ammunition flew off shelves as soon as it was in stock.

The number of firearms available in the store was also limited.

“All of the usual stuff is just gone,” said Pulaski, adding that odd or unique rounds are still available. “If you want to hunt an elephant, we can probably find ammunition for it”

He noted that the last major round of panic buying took place in 2013.

“Lots of people have kept stocks and stocked up,” he said. “The same thing happened. But now there are 8 million more gun owners.”

Pulaski said most non-gun owners don’t understand that ammunition can run out very quickly. He said a 50-round 9mm box could be shot in about 20 minutes.

“If you’ve had a bunch of people with you or you’re shooting or practicing for a full day, it’s easy to do (1,000) laps in a day,” he said.

The surge in sales has also spanned a large number of first-time gun owners, according to the NSSF. Many gun buyers were gun buyers for the first time.

“We saw a lot of first-time buyers,” said Pulaski. “The biggest problem we’ve seen is FOID map applications.”

The FOID or Firearm Owner Identification Card is required in Illinois to own or purchase firearms and ammunition. If someone applies for a card, the Illinois State Police should issue it within 30 days.

“And they don’t,” said Pulaski. “There is no recourse to that. It takes more than a year to come back.”

The Illinois State Rifle Association and others have filed lawsuits against the ISP over the delays. The complaint was filed this summer by residents of the state along with some gun rights groups in federal court, asking the court to declare the delays to be a violation of the second amendment. It also asked the court to recognize that this was a violation of the defendant’s rights after the 14th

ISP officials have said they are working off the backlog, but there has been an explosion of applications during the pandemic. The delays and backlogs existed before the pandemic. The agency recently reported an average wait of 121 days and a backlog of 145,000 FOID cards.

The delays are detrimental to people’s rights, said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

“You can’t buy a gun. You can’t buy ammunition,” Pearson said. “We had calls that came in with a letter. They said it wasn’t valid, so they can’t buy anything.”

The ISP has stated that through emergency administration rules, they validated expired FOID cards during the renewal process. Pearson said that was not enough.

“If you show an arms dealer an invalid FOID card with a nice piece of paper from the state police, they don’t care,” Pearson said.

Another concern, especially with new gun owners, is safety. Throughout the year both gun advocates and gun control groups have expressed concern.

“During this stressful time – and when children spend more time at home – the gun industry is reminding gun owners to protect themselves and their families when they are not in use,” said Joe Bartozzi, president and CEO of the NSSF, said in a published statement. “The last thing any gun owner wants is their gun falls into the wrong hands, especially those of a child or someone at risk of harming themselves.”

Kris Brown, president of Brady: United Against Gun Violence, repeated this in a press release earlier this year.

“We must recognize the risks of bringing weapons into the home and take all appropriate measures to mitigate that risk,” she said.

Both groups value the safe storage of guns and talk to children about gun safety. They also have additional information on their respective websites, ProjectChildSafe.org for the NSSF and OperationEndFamilyFire.org for Brady.

“More and more parents are taking on the role of educators in their homes, so it’s a good time to talk to your kids about gun safety even if you don’t own a gun,” said Bartozzi. “If you own a firearm, make sure your family understands the firearms safety rules in your home and always store guns responsibly when they are not in use.”

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Walmart employees should view a new wage policy as a last resort


Walmart, the largest private employer in the US, will allow its 1.44 million employees to access their paychecks before payday.

This policy is a better alternative to expensive payday loans, but it can still encourage people to live beyond their means.

After two years of talks with Even, a fintech startup that is helping users cut budgets by having early access to upcoming pay, Walmart (WMT) is rolling out the app to its entire workforce. In conjunction with PayActiv, Even employees can withdraw up to 50% of the amount they have earned before the end of the 2-week standard payment period. Private individuals can do this up to eight times a year without interest.

Despite these guard rails, it is uncertain whether employees can achieve real financial health through an app.

“Paycheck advances as a last resort”

The policy allows employees to claim the earnings they have already earned, just not during the traditional two-week period.

However, that doesn’t mean they should overuse the option, several financial planners told Yahoo Finance.

“I think this is a great benefit for employees, provided they are able to use it responsibly. The key is to treat it like an interest-bearing payday loan, ”said Corey Sunstrom, director of Hobart Financial Planning and founder of thepocketadvisor.com.

“This means that the salary advances are only used as a last resort. If your car breaks down or you have immediate medical problems, this can be a great tool to help offset the cost and get you back on your feet as quickly as possible, ”he added.

While emergency situations are certainly a reason to take part of your paycheck prematurely, there is a risk that it may not always be.

“There is a risk that receiving money in advance will make it easier to exceed. Workers need to be careful to distribute the money they get up front so they don’t miss out at the end of the month, ”said Kimberly Palmer, banking expert at NerdWallet.

According to the Federal Reserve 44% of American households do not have $ 400 in emergency savings. And a recent survey showed 78% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck. Walmart’s new Earned Wage Access (EWA) policy is designed to prevent individuals from resorting to payday loans or 401 (k) withdrawals that come with exorbitant interest rates and penalties.

Schlossberg said he hoped to be part of a holistic solution.

“We see ourselves as a toolbox full of different offers, such as Instapay for budgeting. Over time, people will slowly make progress. To believe that we will solve this with a product overnight is foolish. It is our intention to have this long-term focus on engaging everyone in the puzzle, ”he told Yahoo Finance.

The power of fintech

Under the capabilities of Even, Walmart employees can automatically budget for upcoming bills and view a balance that reflects what they can actually spend.

“This is a great example of how technology can be used to improve people’s financial lives. We believe technology is the only way to efficiently serve the millions of Americans who have traditionally been ignored or exploited by the financial system, ”said Nick Holeman, Certified Financial Planner at Betterment.

“It is encouraging to see an employer going beyond the standard requirements to improve the financial health of their employees.”

Now an independent financial planner Stephanie Genkin adds that overall fintech can be a great asset to those who use it responsibly. However, it is still not about the “painful lack of financial literacy in America,” she said.

“The average person has problems with daily expenses. We live in a world where everyone around us seems to have the latest and greatest. This allows people to slip on a banana peel to make mistakes they would make anyway, ”she said.

The bigger picture

While apps like Even have the potential to improve the lives of Walmart employees, it’s unclear what percentage of the workforce will be using the service – responsibly.

The central topic remains: wage stagnation. While Walmart raised its minimum wage to $ 10 in 2015, it still lags behind competitors like Costco and Target, who pay $ 13 and $ 11 an hour, respectively.

Most Americans benefit from economic growth through wages, not investment income. But since the early 1970s, hourly inflation-adjusted wages have grown a meager 0.2% each year, according to economists Jay Shambaugh and Ryan Nunn Highlight in Harvard Business Review.

“The basic thing in the case of Walmart employees is that they are not paid enough. In relation to the whole country, we are not teaching people to save and be responsible households. I think it helps some people. An app won’t solve the problem, ”said Genkin.

The program is a welcome alternative to the payday loan, but far from a solution to wage stagnation. While this is the case, other large companies may offer the same perks to their low-income employees.

Melody Hahm is a senior writer at Yahoo Finance specializing in entrepreneurship, technology and real estate. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.

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As a learning company, Gidi Mobile makes it easy and rewarding to learn everything on the go • Techpoint Africa


The Nigerian education system has been ailing for years; As a result, the country has had poor results in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in recent years.

With the pandemic, things could get worse as students haven’t learned much due to the lockdowns.

“The truth is, our learning is broken. Did you know that over the past ten years, an average of 72% of secondary school leavers in Nigeria have failed the Abitur examination (WASSCE)? “

This is Tunji Adegbesan, the founder and CEO of Gidi Mobile.

As an experienced lecturer, Adegbesan worked from 2000 to 2014 at Lagos Business School, the Graduate Business School of Pan-Atlantic University, Nigeria. There he was first Senior Lecturer for Strategy and Innovation, then Research Director and later, Director, Center for Competitiveness and Strategy.

As the scholar that he is and saw the flaw in the education system, he founded Gidi Mobile in 2012.

The problem that Gidi Mobile addresses

“Gidi Mobiles goal is to improve the learning success in our faulty education system”, Adegbesan agrees Techpoint Africa.

In simpler terms, this means that people studying electrical engineering, for example, can access the curricula of any degree program they are taking. If there is success, these people will know everything about the subjects of the curriculum by the time they graduate.

Tunji Adegbesan (Founder and CEO, Gidi Mobile)

The Nigerian education system has led students to value placement exams more than study achievement. Most students at universities use drumming, a short-term memory technique, as the actual learning or learning when preparing for exams.

Because of this, it can be argued that for most, the actual learning stops during their K-12 days (secondary school). Here, students prepare for placement exams such as WAEC and JAMB (Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board) to study at universities.

The results of these exams are used to grade students before universities make their choice. In the battle for limited study places, around 20% of the students who take these exams come to university each year.

But, according to Adegbesan, the question is whether the admitted students got on because they learned the secondary school curriculum or because they got high scores?

Usually it is the latter.

This doesn’t discredit the few students who actually do study the curriculum and come with great grades. But Nigeria’s placement exams are known to have several patterns that they use to ask their questions, and when students learn and understand those patterns, they can do well.

And for Adegbesan, this fails to serve the purpose of learning.

“In contrast to Finland, Nigeria has a high level of educational and learning success. But if we neglect the Foundation for a long time, the nation will suffer if students who attend secondary school and university do not know what to do. “

Adegbesan describes Gidi Mobile as a learning company that was officially founded in 2012. Its main goal is to help students and professionals focus on actual learning rather than the internship. For him, the placement is a short term solution while the long term solution is what the person knows.

gidimo: One of Gidi Mobile’s answers to the learning problem

But if you really want to address learning success, how do you do it? At Gidi Mobile, this is done through the application of behavioral science.

Adegbesan says this focuses on the learner’s willingness, preoccupation with practice, and ultimately retention. And there’s no better way to get this working than through gamification.

The company’s flagship product, the gidimo School Success Program (SSP), is an advanced platform for mastering the secondary school curriculum. In other words, it helps learners master their curriculum before the lesson plans.

By using a gamification model, gidimo is able to bring a learner into a flow that is both easy and rewarding. This then lays the foundation for a high level of engagement with his flagship game, the Land of Kyrion.

The Land of Kyrion is an educational game with over 54,000 curriculum-based Socratic learning questions and explanations and 450 summaries on 14 topics.

In the game, the job of the learner, who is a citizen first, is to climb the ladder to become a knight, a consul, and then a master. They are also supposed to conquer 13 kingdoms to get one Grandmaster.

This qualifies the student to participate in the “Grand Masters’ Meeting” at the end of the school session, during which the 10 best grandmasters are taken on a grandmaster tour Oxford, Cambridge, MIT, Harvard and Silicon Valley.

“When I tell this to a learner, he or she becomes interested almost immediately. Out of curiosity about the land of Kyrion, the student can do tasks and understand a topic more efficiently than the traditional reading method, ”says Adegbesan enthusiastically.

this curiosity leads them to compete against each other to reach the next levels in the land of Kyrion. For example, they fight on topics such as “acids, bases and salts” in chemistry to see who is ahead.

“Our product goal is that it is fun and easy to learn everything on the go.”

Adegbesan believes that this engagement process, in which learners engage through training and fighting, helps them remember under pressure and also improves the learner’s long-term memory.

The company claims that its gidimo SSP product has an average curriculum completion rate of 90%, replacing alternative e-learning platforms where 11 to 18% completion rates are standard.

Scaling the company in Africa and Asia

Up until this year, gidimo SSP was a free product. However, the K-12 learners were used for branding the company’s other product: iLearner. And as a corporate learning program, iLearner accounts for the majority of corporate revenue.

Apparently the K-12 learners were used to promote brand engagement from partner brands and this was the company’s main source of income at the time.

When Gidi Mobile tested the iLearner product, it had around 85,000 K-12 learners on gidimo SSP. In the battle on the platform, brands with products of this age group would advertise them if gidimo asks the learners questions about this product.

But they soon had to find out how difficult it was to effectively scale the model. This influenced the company’s decision to make gidimo SSP a freemium product.

The go-to-market strategy for the freemium product is done either by reaching out to a school to pay for all of their learners or by speaking to the parents of a particular school who will then decide if they are for want to subscribe to their children.

However, it is still free for learners in rural areas.

Adegbesan tells us this is due to the $ 1 million grant the company received from Google after participating in its Launchpad program in 2017.

At this point, Gidi Mobile was struggling with both growth and sales. When Google offered the grant to bring the product to economically disadvantaged people in the country, it was an opportunity the company couldn’t pass on.

Now that the company has established products in the K-12 and corporate segments, the company plans to bring products to the market for students, micro-SMEs and vocational students.

“Our professional product is still in the works and not out yet. But the white label product for micro SMEs is already on the market, but we will be publicly available in January. “

The product is also aimed at SMEs in Nigeria and India, the two countries in which gidimo SSP is represented.

With 365,000 onboarding gidimo learners in these countries, a number that the CEO believes will exceed 400,000 by the end of the year, Gidi Mobile is growing rapidly.

According to him, Gidi Mobile plans to expand into other developing markets (Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Bangladesh)n the coming months. Therefore, in a round that is slated to conclude this year, significant capital will be devoted to these efforts.

For gidimo, the international expansion offers the opportunity to have a million learners on its platform, an achievement that, according to Adegbesan, will make the company’s work worthwhile. That and its mission to create a livelihood on an unprecedented scale through learning.

“Over time, people will get to know gidimo as a brand that cares about learning and learners,” he says.

Featured image: Tunji Adegbesan (Founder and CEO, Gidi Mobile) [right] https://zp-pdl.com/emergency-payday-loans.php https://www.zp-pdl.com http://www.otc-certified-store.com/eye-care-medicine-usa.html www.zp-pdl.com стро айм воронежзайм етровичзайм на киви мгновенно

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Wonga losses more than doubled | Wonga


Controversial lender Wonga more than doubled its losses in 2015 as tighter regulation of the payday lending sector resulted in a sharp decline in UK consumer borrowing.

The UK’s largest payday loan company reported a pre-tax loss of £ 80.2 million for the year, compared to £ 38.1 million a year earlier. After tax, the company lost £ 76.5 million from £ 43.6 million in 2014.

Although the company has holdings in other countries, its UK short-term loan division is at the heart of its business, and in 2013 UK customers accounted for 3.8 million of the 4 million loans.

The drop in revenue to £ 77.3m from £ 217.2m in 2014 was caused by a drop in lending following the introduction of stricter end-of-year criteria and the new price cap for payday lenders in early 2015, the number of loans taken out fell to 2, 1 million

The losses are in dramatic contrast to the company’s huge profits before the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took over regulation of the sector two years ago. It limited the number of loan renewals and the number of times lenders could attempt to collect repayments from borrowers’ bank accounts.

Months after the FCA intervened, Wonga became embroiled in a scandal for mailing fake legal letters to troubled borrowers, paying overdue debts or fees for 375,000 people at a cost of £ 220 million. The company said the process of refunding affected customers was “largely complete” but left £ 10 million for those it had not yet contacted.

In January 2015, interest and fees on all high-cost short-term credit loans were capped at a daily rate of 0.8% of the loan amount. If borrowers fail to repay their loans on time, late fees cannot exceed £ 15 while the total cost including fees and interest is limited to 100% of the original amount.

Wonga’s results show that interest income has fallen by more than two-thirds from £ 157 million to £ 46 million.

Despite the declining sales trend, CEO Andy Haste said he expects 2016 to be “a turning point in our financial performance” and that the company will return to profitability next year.

Since moving from the insurer RSA to the top, Haste has tried to reposition Wonga as a company for medium-sized customers. He dropped the controversial wonga dolls and relaunched the brand in May 2015 with new TV commercials.

Haste said, “We have made real strides in creating a sustainable company with a recognized place in the financial services industry.

“These results are in line with the plans we made when we joined Wonga. They reflect the impact of the stricter lending criteria we introduced in late 2014, the price cap introduced by the UK regulator in early 2015, and the investments we made to transform the business for a full year. We expect 2016 will mark a turning point in our financial performance. “

Haste said the new management has revised its approach to credit risk. Corporate defaults decreased from 7.4% to 4.4% and in the UK from 6.6% to 2.8%.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made and are pleased to have received approval from the Financial Conduct Authority earlier this year.

“At the beginning of 2016, our plans included gaining UK approval, borrowing and introducing new products. After we achieved this and further financing is planned for the end of this year, we are now in a position to return to growth in 2016 and expect to return to profitability in 2017. “

Haste and his team said they overhauled the lender’s computer systems that were “not serviceable” and completed a layoff program that left 200 employees.

They said the Wonga name would be retained despite its tarnished reputation. “We have always said from the start that we don’t just want to change the name, we want to show that change can be implemented instead of trying to run away from the past,” says Haste.

“We were considering whether one day Wonga would be a product name for the kind of credit we are currently giving, and we have other names for other things, but we are still a bit away from that.”

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Thousands of vulnerable residents said their money would be safe after Bristol Credit Union announced the merger


Thousands of vulnerable residents have been reassured that their savings and loans will be safe with Bristol Credit Union (BCU) after a merger was discovered.

The nonprofit social enterprise, which provides cheap funding to people in times of crisis to help them keep a roof over their heads and interest-free loans to shelter the homeless, has reached an agreement to partner with neighboring Wyvern Savings and credit union.

Bristol City Council cabinet members on Tuesday November 3rd supported the move, which is required as the local authority is an investor.

Last year the council invested £ 500,000 in BCU so that it could provide more credit to households in the most deprived areas of the city that might otherwise be borrowed from expensive lenders.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Craig Cheney told the remote meeting, “With Covid this is more important than ever and credit unions that provide loans to people at risk of homelessness are an example of investing in those most in need.

“There are approximately 2,800 BCU members saving at the credit union, which is nearly £ 5 million in savings that recirculates locally and supports our regional economy.

“The cheap loans also benefit the region as more money stays on site, which supports independent local businesses and businesses.

“BCU has supported over 500 independent companies and 1,500 customers, saving members over £ 2 million in interest annually compared to expensive loans.”

Cllr Cheney said the voluntary merger would expand the geographic area of ​​the organization but ensure that the proposals “will in no way affect existing members.”

He said: “The BCU has committed to maintaining a substantial portion of the merged loan book to serve the citizens of Bristol.

“Subject to financial due diligence, I ask the cabinet to support the merged union and I wish them every success.”

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A report to the cabinet said the BCU had more than 15,000 members – including those with loans and savings – over three-quarters of whom were in Bristol while the rest were in the west of England.

Current loans to customers are in excess of £ 6.5 million, including £ 4.4 million to residents and businesses in the city.

The report said the merger would make the new credit union “financially healthier” and potentially increase the amount of money available for credit, although there is a risk that focus will shift away from Bristol and members and depositors may be lost.

“Investing in BCU allows the credit union to expand and grow, and offers an increased number of low-cost loans to citizens across Bristol who need funds during times of crisis to bridge those times of crisis,” it said.

“Examples of these loans are means of minimizing the risk of rent or home loss that could affect individuals and families, which could result in a greater burden on the public sector in general.”

The other BCU investors requiring approval have already approved the changes.

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Union Bank is a partner of the Pearls Africa Youth Foundation at the Girls Coding Summer Camp 2020 • Techpoint Africa


This article is a Brand press Post. Brand press is a paid service for brands wishing to reach Techpoint Africa audiences directly. Techpoint Africa’s editorial team does not write Brand Press content. To promote your brand through Brand Press, please send an email business@techpoint.africa

The world is changing, and for the better! Take the male-dominated tech industry for example – organizations like the Pearls Africa Youth Foundation work tirelessly to improve the playing field by introducing young women and girls to the world of technology. Educating girls in science and technology enables them to escape poverty, gain access to high-paying jobs and become agents of change in their communities.

The Pearls Africa Youth Foundation is home to Girls Coding, an initiative that teaches young girls (ages 10-17) from underserved communities computer skills such as robotics, HTML, and Java programming. The girls are encouraged to use these skills to offer sustainable social solutions in their communities.

Union Bank is proud to partner with Girls Coding for the fourth year in a row. As a financial institution committed to success in its host communities, this partnership reinforces our commitment to gender equality and promotes social growth through effective programs.

This year, due to the pandemic, 70% of the training courses were carried out virtually with learning materials that were sent to the participants. A Train the trainee In addition, a program was introduced in which Odunayo Ajayi and Alade Nosirat, scholarship holders from previous years, train the new scholarship holders and support them as mentors.

Union Bank will continue to support initiatives aimed at bridging the gender gap in our society. We recently partnered with Junior Achievement Nigeria to implement the LEAD Camp initiative. Through this program, we were able to inspire and empower 130 young girls to become high-performing young leaders in our communities. We also partnered with the Mamamoni Empowerment Foundation to empower women in low-income communities.

To stay up to date on all of our partnerships, please contact us on social media, @unionbankng on Instagram and Facebook, and @unionbank_ng on Twitter.

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Indiana House District 5 candidates on the subject


The job of a state representative is to draft and pass laws that benefit the citizens of his district as well as the entire state. Republican Dale Devon narrowly won against Democratic challenger Don Westerhausen in 2018. The two face each other again this year.

You can find more information about the candidates at www.vote411.org.

Dale Devon

Party: Republicans

Job: house builder

Education: Clay High and Real Estate School

Email: dale@devoncustomhomes.com

Campaign phone: 574-271-0686

Facebook: DaleDeVonforStateRep

Don Westerhausen

Party: Democratic

Job: cardiologist

Education: MD, University of Minnesota

Email: kampagne@votewesterhausen.com

Website: votewesterhausen.com

Campaign phone: 574-400-5262

Facebook: VoteWesterhausen

Twitter: @VoteDoctorDon

Indiana taxpayers currently fund four different types of K-12 education: traditional public schools, charter schools, private schools (using “Elective Scholarships” / “Vouchers”), and online education. What, if anything, would you change about the current funding structure for K-12 training?

Devon: Indiana did a great job of educating our children by using coupons and charter schools along with public education funds in schools in Indiana in my opinion

Westerhausen: Given the budget crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to make it clear that my first priority is to keep public school funding up to date. School funding was cut after the Great Recession and has struggled to recover since 2008. Next, I believe that any school that receives taxpayers’ money must be subject to the same guidelines, restrictions, and oversight that are required by our school societies. Since those standards don’t currently exist, it wasn’t until this year that we learned that a virtual school stole $ 86 million in taxpayers’ money by increasing its enrollment figures. We also need to stop wasteful spending on testing. After the General Assembly spent $ 45 million on the ILEARN test in 2020, which was supposed to be an improvement on the ISTEP, a bill had to be passed to indemnify teachers for poor ILEARN test scores. After all, Indiana ranks 51st for teacher salaries. We must keep the governor’s promise to get Indiana one of the top three states in the region for teacher salaries.

Has the Indiana state legislature done enough to address rising health care costs, stagnant wages across the state, teacher salaries, and K-12 education funding? Can the state afford more? What would you recommend?

Devon: Last year, I supported laws that ended the surprise billing and increased transparency in medical procedure billing% Administrator Cost.

Westerhausen: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in Indian’s public health, healthcare and economic infrastructure. Every neighboring state in the Midwest began hitting a minimum wage of $ 15 years ago, leaving Hoosiers behind at the same rate ($ 7.25) since 2009. Rather than investing in public education, health care protection, and other measures that would strengthen Hoosier households, the Republican-led General Assembly has spent the past few years “helping” Indiana workers by raising interest rates on loan sharks – Increased level of over 300% for payday loans and weakened worker protection. I support laws to restore common building wages, repeal laws on the right to work, restore collective bargaining for government employees, investigate government programs that offer paid sick and family leave, and decline payday loan bills. The 2021 legislature will face significant budgetary challenges due to the pandemic. We need to prioritize investments in Hoosiers to ensure a strong recovery.

Should state or federal government laws govern marijuana use? What is your position on the decriminalization or legalization of medical and / or recreational marijuana in the state of Indiana?

Devon: I believe that all drugs should be regulated by the FDA, and I believe that medical marijuana should be legalized to relieve nausea with chemotherapy treatments

Westerhausen: I strongly support the medical uses of marijuana in Indiana. The federal government should end marijuana being classified as a controlled substance under Federal Schedule 1, which states that a drug has no acceptable medical benefit and no acceptable safety results. We have enough evidence that marijuana has clear benefits in managing chronic pain, chemotherapy side effects, and post-traumatic stress disorder for veterans. I support ending incarceration for possession and use of marijuana as laws are disproportionately applied that have resulted in higher incarceration rates for communities of color. As an alternative, I advocate improved access to treatment for mental health and drug use. I am undecided about legalization for recreational use. I would like more data from states that have legalized its use on health and safety impacts. Legalization should be combined with public health education to discourage drinking under the influence and avoid consumption while pregnant.

Some states offer free tuition fees for state colleges and universities. Do you support such an initiative? If so, how would you suggest paying for it? If not, how would you make post-secondary education more affordable for Indiana residents?

Devon: The state of Indiana currently subsidizes approximately 40% for state tuition fees. 21. Scholarship holders receive 100% tuition fees. I believe that every student should have a share in their education costs. Indiana currently ranks 5th in the nation in student grants according to Purdue

Westerhausen: Overall, I support efforts to cut college costs and reduce the need for student loans, but currently do not think it is feasible to make college free for everyone. I want to raise awareness of Indiana 21st Century Scholars Program and its enrollment, which offers 7th and 8th grades the opportunity to enroll in this program which offers free tuition to 2- and 4-year colleges by GPA, income and other requirements are met throughout the high school. In 2018, as part of the Human Resources Development Act, State Representative Dvorak called for a study to examine other states’ successes in offering a free college. I support efforts to replicate proven programs. We should also urge our state universities to follow Purdue’s example of freezing tuition fees for 9 years.

Why is the United States responsible for such a disproportionate number of COVID-19 infections and deaths? How well do you think Indiana has contained the spread of the virus? What specific steps, if any, should the General Assembly take to limit deaths from COVID-19 and help those hardest hit by the pandemic?

Devon: I believe the Republican leadership of Governor Holcomb and DR Box did a great job

Westerhausen: The high number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the US is directly related to the failure of federal leadership to provide clear, evidence-based guidelines to prevent the transmission of COVID and the lack of a national testing strategy. I am proud of the St. Joseph Department of Health for filling this leadership void and advocating for the safety of our community. Our government response has been fair, but I am concerned about the transition to Phase 5 as cases increase and I believe the General Assembly needs to support our local health authorities. The CARES Act was designed to assist individuals, families and small businesses during the pandemic and requires that unspent money be returned after 12/30/2020. So far, Indiana has committed to spending $ 1 billion of the $ 2.4 billion and distributing only 10% of the $ 1 billion. Why the delay? If the state is allowed to use these funds by January, we need to ensure that they are used as intended and that they go to those most in need.

Every ten years we have the opportunity to redraw the legal limits based on the results of the 2020 census. What process should be used to draw these lines, and should the General Assembly do anything this year and in the future to prevent partisan gerrymandering?

Devon: I would support a bipartisan commission to redraw the county boundaries

Westerhausen: Gerrymandering has been used by both parties to gain an unfair advantage in elections. It reduces competitiveness and unfairly benefits incumbents. Many citizens do not feel represented by gerrymandering. Recent state elections show Indiana is roughly 50% Republican and 45% Democratic. Since the redistribution in 2012, Republicans have a super majority of over 60% in the State House, creating an imbalance of power and influence. In 2016, an independent redistribution reform study committee recommended that a bipartisan commission be set up to draw up the legislative maps of Congress and states and submit them to the General Assembly. I would support this legislation but would prefer a non-partisan committee. The aim is to ensure that the representation fairly reflects the composition of the community. Districts should look like squares, not puzzle pieces.

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Racial justice requires an end to political discrimination that thwarted economic justice


The basic American ideal is that everyone should be entitled to “life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.” But the plenitude of the American dream has remained tenacious for generations of black Americans.

Recent events show the devaluation of black life by our institutions, from law enforcement to the healthcare system. Calls for police reform are an important part of our response to structural racism, but they are nowhere near enough. To fight racism and achieve justice, we need to address more fundamental economic injustices.

The history of racial discrimination in our country stretches for 400 years, beginning long before the Republic was founded, and has extended to every government since then. The current income disparities closely match the areas where 1860 cotton plantations were most frequently operated by enslaved people. Areas with more residential segregation in 1880 still have lower intergenerational mobility rates. And the wealth gap between black and white households is the same today as it was in 1968, half a century after the breakthrough civil rights laws were passed.

We must face the amazing breadth and breadth of racism in order to achieve economic justice. But the barriers that keep black Americans from accessing the American dream are not insurmountable.

This process will be painful and will require deliberate conversations at all levels – personal and professional, community and corporate, neighborhood and national – to uproot racist beliefs and practices. We must also commit to immediate policies appropriate to the challenge of restorative racial justice, including:

Expand capital access for companies in black communities

Hundreds of thousands of black companies lacked the cash reserves to weather the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, and the number of black business owners fell 41 percent between February and April this year. Robust capital access initiatives must include credit enhancement programs that allow companies to borrow more from banks, diversify the wealth management industry, and expand the personal savings of black Americans – a vital source of seed capital for most entrepreneurs.

Proposals for solving the savings problem include revitalizing the post banking system, but have not yet been widely tested and require a reassessment of black assets. In the meantime, the federal government needs to reconsider its recent decision to deregulate the payday loan industry – especially given these lenders are creating debt traps in low-income communities by charging annualized interest rates in excess of 300 percent.

Promote full employment in black communities

The unemployment rate among black Americans rose ten percentage points between March and April this year, and even rose in May when the national unemployment rate fell. A commitment to employment guarantees means that state and local governments can experiment with different approaches. Subsidized recruitment programs are often underutilized and evaluating additional pilot programs would help us identify measures that have the potential to increase job creation in response to economic downturns. Whatever approach state and local governments take, they must also ensure that school funding mechanisms enable the equitable development of skilled workers in low-income communities. And the federal government must abolish penal labor obligations for social assistance, which have proven to be ineffective.

Targeted housing investments in and for black communities

Home ownership is a cornerstone of wealth creation that generations of black Americans have been denied. In addition, tenants are more prone to housing instability and rent-burdened households face higher eviction rates. A commitment to housing black Americans must be comprehensive. These include expanding small area rental voucher programs to improve access to jobs, investing in capital improvement programs for black neighborhoods, and tightening enforcement of Community Reinvestment Act requirements to increase investment in black communities.

We also need to expand programs that help with down payments and risk mitigation, allowing black Americans to buy homes without relying on subprime mortgages. There is promising evidence that adjustments to credit scoring models could greatly expand access to mortgage credit, and these options, too, warrant further investigation.

We must end the 400 year old practice of systematically denying the future of blacks and devaluing black lives. That begins with research into reparations for descendants of enslaved people, such as direct payments, student loan waivers, or tuition waiver. For now, the measures outlined here can initiate the process of justice.

James Baldwin once wrote that “the American future is as bright or as dark as it is” [Black man’s]. “We must reckon with these injustices if we want to create a better future and live our nation’s creed.

Eugene Cornelius is a Senior Director at the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics.

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Ripple’s XRP is making “big” hits, setting the stage for a robust rise in value | Fintech zoom


XRP by no means had a very good 2019. The third largest cryptocurrency, in third place after Bitcoin and Ethereum, really fell 50% in contrast to the Greenback in 2019, surpassing the 95% acquisition of Bitcoin and a near record-breaking run on the Existing market and real estate.

Over the past few weeks, however, the outlook for the main altcoin has improved, with the technical and charting waves of XRP improving as cryptocurrency costs rebounded across the board.

Associated Study: This simple valuation says Bitcoin will soar 15% to $ 11,500 in the coming weeks

In line with a top bitcoin trader, XRP’s value simply closed above a major resistance level, setting the stage for a robust rise in value while various technical indicators flashed bullish indicators.

XRP passes key grades, good for bulls

Respected market commentator TraderSmokey recently ensured that XRP simply closed a weekly candle above the key resistance level of $ 0.28, which it believes is “huge”. The rationale: $ 0.28 has been a key value for the cryptocurrency in recent years, acting as macro support and resistance in many events.

The truth that it turned $ 0.28 straight into support on a weekly (long term) basis shows that the pattern of XRP is once again bullish.

The close above $ 0.28 isn’t the only factor making the XRP bulls extraordinarily optimistic about the future.

According to previous reviews from Fintech Zoom, dealer Inmortal Approach revealed that XRP simultaneously damaged the two previous major long-term resistances: the downward resistance formed in September 2018 that has constrained value movement since then, and a downtrend phase that has halted rallies in recent months. The asset also cleared minor horizontal resistance around $ 0.25.

Associated Degree: Right here is why Bitcoin value could skyrocket 100% and reach as high as $ 20,000

Plus bold new coins Josh Olszewicz just recently set out a confluence of the reason XRP could get bigger fast:

  • XRP has damaged above the Ichimoku cloud indicator’s kumo band, suggesting a bullish pattern.
  • The 200 day exponential transfer common was passed through the value of the asset. The 200-day EMA is typically viewed as an important reversal for many assets.
  • XRP is attempting to void a 700 day bearish pitchfork formation in the near future, which means there may be much less resistance and the multiyear downtrend could be damaged.
Featured Picture from Shutterstock

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The 2020 James Beard Awards reaffirms commitment to a new mission: inclusion, diversity, justice


The presentation of the James Beard Awards, considered the Oscars of the culinary world, was broadcast live on Twitter from Chicago on Friday evening with little pomp and circumstance but a heaping helping of a new day.

The annual gala, usually held every May in Chicago at the Lyric Opera House, was canceled earlier this year due to the pandemic. Shortly afterwards it was announced that the winners in categories such as best restaurant, best chef in regional categories and outstanding chef would not be awarded this year. Instead, the James Beard Foundation (JBF), which annually recognizes excellence in the culinary world, revised its mission and purpose, and announced the award night honoring the previously announced winners for Leadership, Lifetime Achievement, Design and America’s Classics.

It was the first time in the history of the awards that the full list of winners in all categories was not disclosed, a practice that will carry over to the 2021 season due to the devastating impact on the food service industry in the past and the ongoing changes at JBF.

In a statement, the JBF said the changes to the purpose of the awards and the ceremony were made to enable the organization to “conduct a comprehensive internal and external review of the award systems to remove systemic bias and align the awards with the mission of the Foundation to reconcile the promotion of sustainability, justice and diversity in gastronomy. “

“It is our common duty to do everything we can to keep the restaurants going,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of JBF, in her opening speech on Friday evening. honor people in our community who have taken up the challenge of this moment. “

A recurring theme and a heartfelt request throughout the evening, which was hosted live from Chicago by food writer / media personality Ji Suk Yi, was to support local restaurants.

“Independent restaurants are at the heart of every city across America. We cannot underestimate the social and economic value they represent, ”said Reichenbach. The US restaurant community employs 16 million people, was once determined, and spans an industry worth $ 860 billion annually – roughly 4% of GDP. The pandemic has resulted in the closings (many of them permanent) of thousands of restaurants across the country and massive unemployment.

The ceremony recognized individuals and industry organizations who work across the country to improve their communities through programs and initiatives that promote equity, diversity and inclusion at all levels. In addition, the JBF announced a new initiative: the James Beard Foundation’s Food and Beverage Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans.

Here is the list of the winners of the virtual event on Friday evening:

The James Beard Leadership Awards

  • Phillip and Dorathy E. Barker, Co-Founders of Operation Spring Plant, Inc. (OSP)
  • Rosalinda Guillen, Managing Director, Community to Community Development (C2C)
  • Abiodun Henderson, Executive Director, The Come Up Project with Gangstas to Growers
  • Mark and Kerry Marhefka, owners, Abundant Seafood
  • Caleb Zigas, Managing Director, La Cocina

Life’s work: Jessica B. Harris, who has worked as a food historian and journalist on the history of the African diaspora. “African cuisine has changed the world in so many ways,” she said in an interview recorded from home. In his opening remarks, the musician Questlove mentioned Harris’ writings, including 12 cookbooks devoted to the story and characters who were “unseen and unsung, the butchers, bakers, farmers, farm workers, cooks, waiters”.

“If I can move away from the personal aspect, it also signals that I recognize the exceptional culinary heritage that I have been writing about for most of my 40 years,” said Harris.

America’s classic

  • Lassis Inn, Little Rock, Arkansas. Owners: Elihue Washington Jr. and Maria Washington
  • Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, Frankenmuth, Michigan, owners: Al Zehnder, Susan Zehnder and Martha Zehnder Shelton
  • Puritan Back Room, Manchester, New Hampshire. Owners: Arthur Pappas, Chris Pappas and Eric Zink
  • Oriental Market, Seattle. Owners: Mila Apostol and Joy Apostol
  • El Taco de Mexico, Denver. Owner: Sasha Zanabria
  • Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que, Brownsville, Texas. Owner: Armando Vera

Design icon: Chez Panisse, Berkeley, California. Owner: Alice Waters

Humanitarian of the year: Zero Foodprint, which works across the country to promote wider commitment to organic farming and climate neutral restaurants.

The evening ended with a virtual round table discussion on the state of the restaurant industry, moderated by food writer / cookbook author Gail Simmons and attended by chefs Kwame Onwuachi, Tanya Holland and Chicago’s Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark from Parachute Restaurant.

“While we barely broke even during this pandemic, it felt really good to be able to help our frontline workers and cook for the local hospital and donate to the local seniors and the Korean-American community,” said Kim. “And we keep thinking about how we can give back to our community, especially during the protests. Black Lives Matter has paid a lot of attention to using our platform to talk about these issues as well as gender inequalities. People look to restaurants, believe it or not, they see us as leaders in the community, for social justice and change. “

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