Big Fish featured set design by Julian Crouch, lighting design by Donald Holder, costume design by William Ivey Long and sound design by Jon Weston. No word yet on the Southern California casting. The Broadway musical Big Fish, which starred Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz, Kate Baldwin and Bobby Steggert and came to a premature end at the Neil Simon Theatre on December 29, 2013, has been given the kiss of life. According to the Los Angeles Times, the show, including the original Main Stem sets and costumes, will run at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach October 31 through November 16. The musical, directed and choreographed by Tony winner Susan Stroman and featuring music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, was adapted from Daniel Wallace’s novel. Big Fish tells the story of Edward Bloom, a charismatic man whose impossible stories of his epic adventures frustrate his son Will. Will embarks on his own journey to find out who his father really is and reveal the truth to his tall tales. View Comments
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Derek Willis and Robert Faturechi, ProPublicaFor nearly 15 years, voters have been able to click a mouse to view an up-to-date list of who’s contributed to candidates for the presidency and the U.S. House, and how those funds have been spent.But the law still allows Senate candidates to file campaign reports on paper, making it nearly impossible to keep up with the flow of money.Efforts to fix that imbalance have died over and over again in the Senate, regardless of which party controlled the chamber. Whether the latest attempt succeeds before the 2016 election may rest on a political horse trade – one that would loosen the reins on another part of campaign spending.Since December 2000, presidential and House candidates have had to file campaign reports electronically to the Federal Election Commission, meaning the public, journalists and analysts can see donors and recipients within minutes. The language in the 2000 law, though, didn’t cover Senate candidates.As a result the Senate uses a paper system that hasn’t changed much since 1972: Filings are mailed, faxed or delivered by hand to the Secretary of the Senate. The paperwork, which can involve thousands of pages in a big race, is then passed to the FEC, which pays to have the documents scanned and posted online. The information in the reports is typed into a computer so the data can be published for researchers and journalists. The whole process costs the FEC up to $500,000 a year, the Congressional Budget Office has said.The cumbersome process means information about fundraising and spending isn’t available for days or sometimes more than a week after the reports are due – and then in a format that isn’t easily searchable. In the final weeks before an election, voters may have only a few days to look through hundreds of pages of filings in key races. This isn’t new: a Campaign Finance Institute analysis in 2004 showed that “voters preparing to go to the polls last November did not know where a large amount of money to elect their Senators for the next six years was coming from.”In most cases it’s a matter of delayed information that could be useful to undecided voters, rather than someone trying to hide an improper donation. This pattern has continued in recent elections, although the FEC has reduced the length of time voters would need to wait. For example, the final filing before the November 2014 election was due on Oct. 23. In Colorado, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall was locked in a tight re-election race that he eventually lost to Cory Gardner, a Republican congressman. Udall submitted his campaign filing to the Senate on Oct. 22. But images of the 1,029 pages did not get posted on the FEC site – where the public could examine them – until Oct. 28, six days later, according to the FEC. That filing included maximum contributions from the Steelworker and Teamster labor union PACs, as well as at least $33,000 from donors via the League of Conservation Voters.The contributions and expenditures in the filing did not get typed into the FEC’s databases, where they could be searched, until Nov. 25, weeks after the election. Udall raised $725,078 and spent $2.1 million during the period covered by that filing, but Colorado’s voters had seven days to look through a thousand pages.Gardner’s final pre-election report was submitted on Oct. 23 and posted to the web six days later. It included a $1,000 contribution from the Susan B. Anthony List PAC, which supports candidates opposed to abortion rights, and the $4,000 rental of a list of donors from the PAC of Michele Bachmann, the former Minnesota congresswoman and 2012 presidential candidate.Similarly, all candidates are required to file reports during the final 20 days before an election listing contributions of $1,000 or more. House and presidential candidates file these “48-Hour reports” electronically; Senate candidates fax them to the Senate, which then sends them off to the FEC to be posted. An 11-page filing by Thom Tillis, a Republican who defeated North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in 2014, was faxed to the Senate on Oct. 31 but not officially received until Nov. 3, the day before the election. It listed $92,350 in contributions, including $2,600 from Shelly Adelson, the daughter of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, which few North Carolina voters could see before the election – unless they happened to be in Washington the day before the vote.Of course, nothing stops Senate candidates from voluntarily filing electronic campaign reports. This year, 19 senators have done so – 16 Democrats, two independents and one Republican, as have several Democratic Senate candidates.Bills that would make this mandatory have failed in the Senate for more than a decade. They died in committee or were defeated by adding so-called poison pill amendments without bipartisan support. The closest one came to passing in the last Congress. That measure, introduced by Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, one of the 16 Democrats who have already gone digital, was approved by a Senate committee and had a majority of the Senate as co-sponsors. But it was never brought to the floor of the chamber, which was controlled by Democrats at the time. That indicates the bill didn’t have the 60 votes needed to overcome any objection to its consideration.This year’s version is included in a Senate spending bill, which was approved in July by the appropriations committee. The key to the provision’s chances, though, may be a second campaign finance provision in the same bill, an idea that has been pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican.The proposal by McConnell has been floated before by Republicans as a possible trade for the filing fix. It would remove a ceiling on so-called coordinated political party spending. Proponents of the change say the limit has become outmoded in the increasingly wild world of campaign finance. Opponents say loosening the rule would be one more step toward unregulated politics.Spending by political parties can be divided into two main categories – independent expenditures, defined as money spent on ads or other communications advocating the election or defeat of a candidate without consulting or cooperating with a candidate’s campaign; and coordinated spending, which means money spent with the candidate’s cooperation.Parties can put whatever they want into independent expenditures but federal law limits coordinated spending, on the theory that such restrictions reduce the amount of outside money flowing directly to advocacy for a particular candidate. (Those limits vary by state according to population, ranging from $96,000 in Delaware to $2.8 million in California for Senate races.)With no limits on independent expenditures, that’s where the parties have shifted spending. In the 2014 cycle, national party committees spent eight times as much on independent ads as coordinated ads – $228 million compared with $27.6 million, according to the FEC.But as coordinated spending has fallen, the rise of super PACS and nonprofits that funnel cash outside of the party apparatus has transformed campaign finance and rendered limits on party spending irrelevant, say analysts including Thomas E. Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.“It’s silly for parties to have to set up independent spending operations” in the new world of super PACs and nonprofits, said Mann, who testified before a Senate committee in 2007 in support of removing the coordinated spending limit.Daniel Weiner, an attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, who advocates for stricter campaign finance rules, also supports the general notion of eliminating caps on coordinated party spending. He said removing limits would likely divert some outside spending back into the party structure, which he said would be healthier for democracy because it could diminish the influence of super PACs and so-called dark money. Compared to independent groups, he said, parties are more internally democratic and accountable to the public because they’re “repeat players.”Independent expenditures by parties wouldn’t disappear entirely, Weiner said. In scenarios where candidates want to maintain plausible deniability over an expense – an attack ad, for example – parties would likely still opt to go it alone.Many Democrats and campaign finance reform groups, though, are already on record against the idea of lifting the restrictions, dimming the chance of a trade. McConnell’s proposal was first included in a spending bill last December. It was withdrawn after opposition from Democrats including Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, who said at the time that the measure would “remove one of the few dams left” on the flood of money from the “ultra-rich” into campaign spending.During this latest round, the Campaign Legal Center and other advocacy groups sent a letter to senators in July, saying that loosening the party limits would “seriously undermine longstanding campaign finance provisions.” Democrats failed to remove it from the bill in committee on a party-line vote. This week, the groups sent a letter to Obama urging him to veto any bill that included looser campaign finance rules, including the elimination of coordination limits.McConnell’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment on any possible deal. Marnee Banks, a spokeswoman for Tester, said in an e-mail that the fate of the electronic filing requirement “depends on if Republican leadership is willing to start negotiating on [spending] bills.” She added, “As we’ve seen so far this Congress they are refusing to sit down and hash out a deal.”For now, the prospects don’t seem bright. The Senate spending bill is stalled. Democrats have pledged to filibuster appropriations bills until Republicans renegotiate budget limits. And even if the McConnell measure endures, there’s no guarantee the electronic filing piece won’t be carved out of the bill.Failing any movement, voters wanting to track how their Senate candidates raise and spend money next year will have the same options as 40 years ago: waiting for a tall stack of documents to arrive.Related stories: For more coverage of politics and lobbying, read ProPublica’s previous reporting on the ripples from Scott Walker’s legal victory, the insurance lobby’s pivot to Democrats and an imploding super PAC.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.
Dec 30, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – New outbreaks of avian influenza in birds were reported this week in Romania and Turkey, but wild birds that died mysteriously in Malawi in southern Africa were found to be free of flu viruses.Tests in Britain detected H5N1 viruses in seven samples sent from four areas in southeastern Romania, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report published yesterday. The story did not specify what kinds of birds were involved.Authorities had ordered the precautionary culling of birds in the affected areas after initial tests pointed to an H5 virus, AFP reported.With the latest findings, the deadly virus has been detected in 22 Romanian localities since early October, the story said. More than 100,000 poultry and other birds have been slaughtered to contain the disease since then.In Turkey, poultry in the eastern province of Igdir, near the Armenian border, tested positive for an H5 virus, but it was not yet known whether it was the deadly H5N1 strain, according to a Dec 27 AFP report.About 1,200 birds died in the area in mid-December, and another 350 were culled as a precaution, the story said. An agricultural official said samples from the latest outbreak had been sent to Britain for testing.If confirmed, the latest finding would represent Turkey’s second outbreak of H5N1, according to the story. The first one was discovered Oct 5 on a turkey farm in Balikesir province in western Turkey.In Malawi, the government said tests in South Africa found no avian flu virus in samples from migratory birds that died mysteriously about 2 weeks ago, according to a report published by the Chinese news service Xinhua and carried by ProMED-mail.Thousands of birds called fork-tailed drongos had died on a hill in the central district of Ntchisi, the story said. The tested samples showed “no presence of avian influenza,” said Ben Chimera, chair of the country’s Avian Influenza Technical Committee.Chimera said the cause of the birds’ death remained unknown, but he added that they might have died because of heavy rains in the area.In other developments, another suspected human case of avian flu was reported in Indonesia today, according to an AFP story carried by the Jakarta Post.A local health official was quoted as saying a 48-year-old man died 10 hours after he was admitted to a hospital in the central Java town of Magelang with a high fever and respiratory problems.Blood samples were sent to Jakarta for testing, and samples would also be sent to Hong Kong for tests, the story said.
Jul 12, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed yesterday that turkeys from a Virginia farm carried antibodies indicating possible past exposure to a mild form of H5N1 avian influenza virus.Virginia’s agriculture department had announced Jul 9 that samples collected during routine preslaughter testing initially showed the birds had antibodies to an H5 virus. In a press release yesterday, John Clifford, the USDA’s chief veterinary officer, said tests at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, indicated that the antibodies correspond to an H5N1 subtype.”There have been no signs of illness or death in the birds, indicating that this is not the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus that has spread through birds in Asia, Europe, and Africa,” Clifford stated. The NVSL will run further tests to better identify the virus the birds may have been exposed to, Clifford said.So far, tests suggest that the antibodies detected correspond to the low-pathogenic North American strain of H5N1, which usually causes only minor illness or no noticeable signs in birds, the USDA said.Several thousand poultry samples collected from other poultry operations near the affected Shenandoah Valley turkey farm have all tested negative for avian influenza, which further suggests that the antibodies found in the turkeys involve a common avian flu virus that poses no threat to humans, Clifford said.When the USDA expanded its avian flu testing program for wild birds beyond Alaska in 2006, several birds, such as a green-winged teal in Delaware and mallard ducks in Illinois and Michigan, tested positive or were presumed positive for the mild North American H5N1 strain.In a fact sheet on the low-pathogenic H5N1, the USDA said the strain was detected in apparently healthy wild birds as long ago as 1975. In 2002, antibodies to the same strain were found in samples from Michigan turkeys, but the virus could not be isolated.After Virginia officials announced the antibody findings, Richard Wilkes, the state veterinarian, banned all bird sales and exhibitions until Jul 30 and restricted the application of poultry litter on fields in 17 counties, according to a Jul 9 press release.In other avian flu news, veterinary officials in the Czech Republic announced today that tests have confirmed the lethal H5N1 strain at two more poultry farms, bringing the number of outbreaks in the country to four, Reuters reported today.The farms are in the eastern part of the country, within a 3-kilometer protective zone around another farm where H5N1 was recently detected, the Reuters report said.Josef Duben, a state veterinary authority spokesman, told Reuters veterinarians were preparing to cull all 71,000 birds on the farms.The Czech Republic reported its first poultry outbreak in late June, though wild swans in the country had tested positive for H5N1 in the spring of 2006. Since the Czech poultry outbreak, Germany has reported H5N1 in wild birds and in one domestic bird, a pet goose, and France has announced positive findings in wild birds.Meanwhile, animal health officials in Vietnam said 2 days ago that two more provinces had reported H5N1 findings in ducks, according to a report yesterday by Xinhua, China’s state news agency. The disease has struck 500 ducks owned by six households in Dien Bien province in northern Vietnam, where several other provinces have also reported recent outbreaks.See also:USDA fact sheet on low-pathogenic H5N1
“We will try to meet the residents’ needs,” Edy went on to say.Read also: Extreme drought triggers water crisis in East Nusa TenggaraThe Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) had warned about a risk of extreme weather in the upcoming days due to the transition from the dry season to the rainy season.The agency has alerted residents of East Java, Bali, most parts of West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara to be prepared for drought in September, even though the dry season usually peaks in August.The agency had previously estimated the dry season would be less severe this year than in previous years. (trn)Topics : With 15 of 18 districts in Yogyakarta’s Gunungkidul regency hit by drought, authorities estimate that more than 120,000 residents will experience a shortage of water.“We have received requests for clean water supplies from 11 affected districts,” Gunungkidul Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) acting head Edy Basuki said on Tuesday, as quoted by tempo.co.The local administration has allocated a Rp 700 million (US$47,719) for clean water procurement to handle shortages in the region. The BPBD has delivered a total of 550 water tanks to the affected residents so far.
The £12.5bn (€14.2bn) Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) has launched a global infrastructure fund.It combines the assets of the Lancashire County Pension Fund and the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA), the two local government funds that established the partnership in 2015.The new fund has £688m invested, including existing assets owned by the two pension funds. It is expected to raise more than £1.5bn by its final close, scheduled for September 2017, LPP said in a statement.Susan Martin, LPP’s chief executive, said: “Infrastructure is a core investment focus for LPP. This new fund capitalises on our extensive knowledge and experience in what is a highly illiquid asset class. “In pooling the infrastructure allocations of our shareholder pension schemes, the fund will also be an attractive vehicle for other investors looking to build their exposure to cost-efficient, diversified infrastructure assets.”LPFA has a separate infrastructure collaboration with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, focusing on UK assets.LPP said its fund would focus on assets based in the UK, Europe, and North America, via infrastructure funds, co-investments, and direct investments.LPP launched its first joint fund in November, pooling its two member funds’ global equity allocations. It followed this with a private equity pooled fund in April. It plans to launch credit, fixed income, and total return funds “in the coming months”, the statement said. The partnership preceded the UK government’s 2015 push for collaboration between the country’s 89 local authority funds. The pools must be ready to accept assets from their member funds from April 2018.
PCCW Global and Telecom Egypt recently signed a landing party agreement in Beijing.This agreement will enable the Pakistan & East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) cable system to land and cross Egypt, effectively linking Asia, Africa and Europe with a 12,000km ultra-low latency high-speed cable system.The trilateral agreement between Telecom Egypt, PCCW Global and HENGTONG provides for the system to cross Egypt through the new diversified terrestrial routes connecting Zafarana and Abu Talat, where new landing facilities have been constructed.PCCW Global and HENGTONG will cooperate in the PEACE Mediterranean undersea segment of the cable that will then link Egypt to Europe through a landing point in Marseille, France amongst other landing points in the Mediterranean Sea.When complete, the PEACE cable system will provide the shortest and most direct data route from North Asia to Europe.Jordick Wong, senior vice president, Innovation Planning & Procurement, PCCW Global, said, “The PEACE cable system connects the same regions and countries as the legendary Silk Road, and similar to the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, will enhance cooperation and shared economic benefits in the exchange of goods, technology and ideas.”
The Pitch, Hit, & Run Regionals took place at Great American Ballpark on Saturday Morning (6-7).Each kid received a plaque the shape of home plate, very nice large plaque. 3 of the 5 kids from our Ohio Rod Sectional were winners!! All kids represented our area very well, and we are proud of all of them.Results-Ohio Rod Sectional Local kids:Trey Heidlege (Batesville) – 13/14 boys – 1st place – Got to walk on field in pregame ceremonies!! Great Job!!Katelynn Samples (Versailles) – 9/10 girls – 3rd place.Julia Rea (Versailles) – 13/14 girls – 4th place. Ohio Rod Sectional out of town kids:Chloe Ferris (Madison) – 11/12 girls – 1st place!! Got to walk on field in pregame ceremonies!! Great Job!!Keely Hubbard (Floyd’s Knobs) – 7/8 girls – 1st place!! Got to walk on field in pregame ceremonies!! Great Job!! All first place kids will now have their scores compared to all 30 MLB teams who hosted and the top 3 in each age group would get to advance to All-star game. Details will follow soon.Courtesy of the Area Pitch, Hit, & Run Coordinator Brian Samples.
Hoosier customers can order Walmart groceries online and pick them up without ever having to unbuckle their seatbelts. The service is free and prices through Walmart Online Grocery are the same as in-store.Walmart currently offers Grocery Pickup at more than 20 locations in Indiana and plans to roll-out almost 30 more new Grocery Pickup locations at Indiana stores in 2018.Walmart Online Grocery Pickup—How it works. Walmart Pickup Towers Aurora, In. — Walmart has announced plans to spend an estimated $24 million over the next year in Indiana through the remodeling of seven stores as well as the rollout of several in-store and online innovations designed to help busy customers save time and money.One of the stores included in the plan is in Aurora.The investment is part of Walmart’s total capital expenditures guidance of approximately $11.0 billion for Fiscal Year 2019, which was outlined last October at the company’s annual meeting for the investment community and reiterated in February 2018.Walmart recently reported strong comp sales growth of 2.1% for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2018, indicating customers are responding well to the company’s business strategy. The plan is to continue improving stores and accelerating innovation during the coming year to make shopping faster and easier for Hoosier customers.“Walmart has a tremendous impact in Indiana communities, employing more than 40,000 associates in Indiana locations and donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hoosier charities, said Rodney Walker, Regional General Manager for Walmart. “In the next year, Walmart will continue to innovate and improve the shopping experience for Hoosier shoppers, through remodeled stores and bringing game-changing technology to better serve our customers.”2018 Walmart Remodels in IndianaWalmart plans to remodel stores in the following locations this year:2251 E. State Highway 54., Linton2347 Veterans Memorial Parkway., S. Lafayette1750 Indianapolis Rd., Greencastle1920 E. Markland Ave., Kokomo1600 E. Tipton St., Seymour400 W. Northfield Dr., Brownsburg100 Sycamore Estates Dr., Aurora 2018 Walmart In-store and Online Innovations in IndianaWalmart continues to innovate how it serves customers, helping them save time and money by creating a seamless shopping experience that empowers customers to shop when, where and how they want.In addition to continuing to test new technologies that transform how customers shop, Walmart plans to expand several innovative services that deliver greater convenience and faster services, including: Online Grocery Pickup Walmart offers Mobile Express Scan & Go in select markets, which allows customers to scan items with their mobile devices while shopping in-store, pay instantly and skip the checkout line. Customers can download the Walmart Scan & Go app from iTunes or the Google Play store.Mobile Express Scan & Go is currently offered at all Indiana Sam’s Clubs and one supercenter in Terre Haute. Walmart will continue evaluating opportunities to expand the service to more local customers in the coming year.Walmart Mobile Express Scan & Go video here. Mobile Express Scan & Go Much like a high-tech vending machine, the Walmart Pickup Tower allows customers to pick up their online orders in less than a minute by scanning a barcode sent to their smartphone. To use the tower, customers simply choose from millions of items available on Walmart.com and select the Pickup option at checkout.Pickup Tower service is currently available at three Indiana Walmart stores in Terre Haute, Aurora and Warsaw. Walmart will continue evaluating opportunities expand the Pickup Tower service to Hoosier customers in the coming year.Walmart Pickup Tower video here.