By TIM KELLYThey came. They saw. They plunged into a new year and decade.Ocean City’s First Day at the Beach event was just about perfect, organizers and participants agreed.With a huge crowd of onlookers, more than 500 brave souls who decided to usher in 2020 with an, ahem, invigorating dip in the Atlantic, and almost perfect conditions, what was not to like?“I’m standing here, (shirtless, barefoot and dripping wet) and I’m not even cold,” said Jim Hudson, of Bel Air, Md., who took part in the event with his friend, Kevin Talley, of Newark, Del. “It was a great way to start the new year.”They were hardly alone, event emcee Michael Hartman said.“We had more than 300 preregistered,” he said, conservatively estimating 500-plus actually showed up for a frosty moment or two in the surf.“There were well over a thousand people here (including the spectators),” Hartman estimated.(Video courtesy of Martin Fiedler of Just Right TV Productions)According to several weather and surf report websites, the ocean temperature of 45 degrees was about the same as the air temperature, also in the mid-40s.In one of those Ocean City miracles, the sun peeked through cloudy skies and the gusty winds, which previously dropped the “feels like” temperature into the mid-30s, had subsided.Suddenly, the beach just north of Moorlyn Terrace seemed to take on a warm glow at the precise moment the event was ready to start.Carl Wanek, of Ocean City, dons an old school bathing attire and a straw hat as he prepares to run into the Atlantic with his family.Despite such ideal weather, a disclaimer went out, with Hartman urging the plungers not to go too far out in the water, or to stay in for more than a moment or two.Police, fire and EMS personnel were on hand, but were not needed.“I’ve got 2 o’clock,” Hartman finally told the waiting throng of plungers, “so let’s do a countdown!”With that, a horn and other noisemakers sounded and the sprint to the waves was underway.Young and old, male and female, locals and visitors wrapping up Ocean City’s First Night events took part.Cheers rang out from those watching on the beach and Boardwalk and alongside the Music Pier, where a DJ booth provided Hartman’s announcer podium and plenty of music.The participants also made lots of noise with primal screams during the run-up, as they hit the surf and then retreated to waiting towels and blankets.The whole thing was over in a few minutes.Fire Department personnel asked John Lovett and Daniel Selekman, both 14, of Hockessin, and Wilmington, Del., respectively, to leave the water after the boys lingered a bit too long in the sea.“We were the last ones out,” John said proudly.“It was fine,” said Daniel. “After the first couple seconds everything went numb and you couldn’t feel anything. It was fun.”John Lovett and Daniel Selekman, both 14, are the last plungers out of the water.Just prior to the event, plungers were equally stoked.Tara Peak, of Egg Harbor Township, and Jack Krise, of Mays Landing, said they were at their third Ocean City First Day at the Beach and “probably 10th” cold water plunge overall.“What better way to baptize yourself for the coming year?” Tara asked rhetorically.In keeping with Ocean City’s family image, the Esterlys, of Reading Pa., took the dip together.“We wanted to start 2020 by challenging ourselves,” said dad Jason, who dove in with wife Tara and sons Jace, 8, and 7-year-old Jett.“The boys weren’t hard to convince,” Tara said with a wide grin. “We’re probably going to have to pull them out. When they are in the ocean, they want to play. They don’t want to come out. Temperature doesn’t seem to affect them.”Representing the locals, best friends Michelle Einhorn and Christine Teeney, both members of Ocean City High School’s class of 1999, were doing their first New Year’s Day dive with kids Sienna Einhorn and Liam and Mia Teeney.All five wore festive hats.Teeney raised her hand when asked whose idea the plunge was.“I hope we’re still best friends afterward,” she said, giggling.Plungers scramble out of the frosty water after taking a dip.Friends Michelle Einhorn and Christine Teeney and kids Sienna Einhorn and Mia and Liam Teeney don appropriate headgear for their plunge.A big crowd of participants and spectators anticipate the start of the plunge. They’re off! More than 500 bathers take the ocean plunge on New Year’s Day.
The signing of the Parliamentary Order by Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry last night (1 November 2018) formally confirmed the ground-breaking North of Tyne deal – an unprecedented transfer of devolved power and investment funding from Westminster to the North East.Encompassing the area north of the Tyne river, the deal includes the 3 North of Tyne authorities – Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.Expected to generate £1.1 billion for the local economy, 10,000 new jobs, and drive over £2.1 billion in private sector investment, the landmark deal will provide a major economic boost for a key region within the Northern Powerhouse. It also includes: The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick MP, said: Contact form https://forms.communit… Twitter – https://twitter.com/mhclgFlickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhclgLinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/company/mhclg Councillor Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: Media enquiries This is a historic day for the region. The North of Tyne area already boasts one of the fastest growing economies and job rates anywhere in the UK and this will offer us greater opportunities to grow and develop. We have shown that we are big enough and bold enough to carve our own destiny and devolution puts us in a very strong position to build on our strengths and achieve great things for all of our businesses and residents long into the future. Today marks a significant day in the north’s devolution journey. We’ve begun the work of uniting behind a single voice and taking control of our future. We still have much more to do in bringing further powers and decision making back to people here, but this devolution deal marks a big step forward in our plans to create more and better jobs across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland. Now we need to get on with the task at hand, investing in our region and showing the nation and beyond why this is such a great place to live, work and visit. General enquiries: please use this number if you are a member of the public 030 3444 0000 Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: The creation today of the North of Tyne Combined Authority is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work by local leaders. The deal delivers £600 million of new government investment for the region over the next 30 years to fund key local priorities. This move will put more power into the hands of local communities, with the people of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland voting next May for a new directly-elected mayor to lead this vital work. North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: An inaugural cabinet meeting at Morpeth Town Hall will assign cabinet roles and responsibilities, set the budget for 2018 to 2019, and agree a timetable for the selection of an interim mayor to support the North of Tyne Combined Authority ahead of an election in May 2019.The cabinet will also sign-off the North of Tyne’s economic vision, titled Home of Ambition, a statement which will underpin and guide the authority’s ambitions and investment priorities for years to come.Further informationAt Budget 2017, following Cabinet agreement, the government announced it was ‘minded to’ agree a devolution deal with the 3 councils north of the Tyne (Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council and Northumberland County Council) providing a mayoral combined authority was established and the councils took the statutory steps for the proposed devolution of powers.The Parliamentary Order for the North of Tyne Devolution Deal was laid on the 24 July 2018. The approval of the North of Tyne motion in the House of Lords on Thursday (1 November) and the signing of the order by Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry MP, preceded the creation of the new North of Tyne Combined Authority.The Combined Authority will have wide-ranging powers including control over housing policy – a policy area in which the 3 councils have already made significant progress. The new North of Tyne Housing and Land Board, chaired by Sir Edward Lister, held its inaugural meeting on Friday 6 July in Newcastle to discuss how to rapidly accelerating house-building in the North of Tyne. The 3 North of Tyne councils committed to an increase in a rate of delivery from 1,800 to 3,000 new homes per year up to 2032, helping to provide much-needed homes more quickly. 2 Marsham StreetLondonSW1P 4DF So much work has gone into securing the best deal for the North of Tyne and I’m delighted we can now move forward with the real business of driving the region’s economic growth. We’re working on a number of exciting and transformative schemes which will benefit millions of people in the region now, as well as future generations, and we are all excited by the opportunities that lie ahead. Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry MP, said: This deal represents over £600 million of investment into the North of Tyne and a landmark moment for devolution in the Northern Powerhouse with a new, directly elected mayor who will be a strong champion for the region. The North of Tyne devolution deal is further proof that we’re witnessing a new golden era for the North East as the combined authority uses this unprecedented investment to improve public services, create new jobs and new economic opportunities. We’re transferring funding and decision making away from Westminster and placing them directly into the hands of local people, allowing them to have a real say over their future. Office address and general enquiries Email [email protected] If your enquiry is related to COVID-19 please check our guidance page first before you contact us – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-government.If you still need to contact us please use the contact form above to get in touch, because of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you send it by post it will not receive a reply within normal timescale. Over £600 million of government funding (£20 million a year for 30 years) to drive forward investment in digital skills, science and rural growth. The creation of a new North of Tyne Combined Authority and a directly-elected North of Tyne Mayor with the election planned for May 2019. A new Inclusive Growth Board to take forward skills and employment reforms across the area, including a pioneering North of Tyne Education Improvement Challenge to drive excellence in schools across North of Tyne. Please use this number if you are a journalist wishing to speak to Press Office 0303 444 1209 Social media – MHCLG
Waitrose plans to source commodity crop ingredients, such as wheat and rapeseed oil, from farmers accredited with the LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) Marque.Waitrose already sources all of its UK fruit and vegetables from farms approved by the scheme, which recognises sustainably farmed products and is based on LEAF’s Integrated Farm Management (IFM) principles.Waitrose’s farm on the Leckford Estate is also part of the scheme, which has 487 LEAF Marque farmers in the UK and 580 in another 36 countries.Jeremy Boxall, director of LEAF Marque, said: “We’ve worked with Waitrose for many years now and this commitment to sourcing more LEAF Marque certified commodity crop ingredients provides an excellent market opportunity for our farmers.”It also offers a clear incentive for other wheat and oilseed rape farmers in the UK to consider LEAF Marque certification. It’s becoming increasingly important for food businesses and retailers to ensure and demonstrate that they are sourcing responsibly and sustainably and the LEAF Marque is an ideal way to do this.”Alan Wilson, technical manager agronomy at Waitrose, added: “This is an important decision and signals the beginning of a new opportunity to work with progressive farmers who share the values of Waitrose and LEAF.”It is part of our Waitrose Way initiative to ensure that we engage and support farms that operate in an environmentally responsible way. This platform has already been a success for our fresh produce and we look forward to extending this into commodity crops such as wheat and oilseed rape.”Waitrose plans to focus on oilseed rape in the first instance with a view to all UK oilseed rape production coming from LEAF Marque growers by 2016. A timescale is currently being agreed for wheat.
Watch Greensky Bluegrass Cover Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” At Recent eTown Performance [Pro-Shot Video]
In early March, eTown Radio hosted a very special taping performance with bluegrass generals Greensky Bluegrass at Boulder, CO’s eTown Hall. Americana singer/songwriter Israel Nash was also a featured guest throughout the live radio taping experience.Nick Forster, a founding member of Hot Rize, and his wife, Helen Forster, hosted and moderated the evening’s activities as they’ve done since co-founding the 501c3 non-profit nationally syndicated radio broadcast/podcast in 1991.Following the recent release of their new album, Greensky Bluegrass worked through All For Money tracks “Wish I Didn’t Know”, “It’s Not Mine Anymore”, “What You Need”, “Do It Alone”, “Like Reflections”, as well as the title-track. For their encore, the quintet collaborated with Nash and the eTown house band for a cover of Katy Perry‘s 2008 hit single “I Kissed A Girl”.eTown has shared a plethora of video, including a behind-the-scenes look at how Nick Forster convinced the band to step out of the box and cover the song, which you can watch below:Greensky Bluegrass – “Wish I Didn’t Know” / “It’s Not Mine Anymore”[Video: eTown]Greensky Bluegrass – “Do It Alone”[Video: eTown]Greensky Bluegrass – “Like Reflections”[Video: eTown]eTown Finale w/ Greensky Bluegrass & Israel Nash – “I Kissed A Girl”[Video: eTown]eTown On Stage Interview w/ Greensky Bluegrass[Video: eTown]For a full list of Greensky Bluegrass’ upcoming tour dates and ticketing information, head to the band’s website.Setlist: Greensky Bluegrass | eTown Hall | Boulder, CO | 3/1/2019Set: Wish I Didn’t Know> It’s Not Mine Anymore, What You Need, Do It Alone, Like Reflections, All for MoneyEncore: I Kissed a Girl**w/ Israel Nash, Nick Forster & The eTones, first time played[H/T JamBase]
Read Full Story The home remodeling market in the U.S. expanded by more than 50 percent since the end of the Great Recession, according to Improving America’s Housing 2019, a new report released March 12 by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The 20th anniversary report in the series produced biennially by the center’s Remodeling Futures Program finds that, as homebuilding struggled to meet the nation’s growing housing needs, spending on improvements and repairs to both owner-occupied and rental properties hit a record of nearly $425 billion in 2017.“With new construction slowly recovering from historic lows, 40 percent of the country’s 137 million homes are at least 50 years old,” said Abbe Will, associate project director of the Remodeling Futures Program. “The aging of the housing stock has been a boon to the remodeling industry, with spending surpassing investment in homebuilding every year for over a decade, and contributing 2.2 percent to U.S. economic activity in 2017.”The steady uptick in house prices in many markets and the aging population are also driving increased spending on home improvements and repairs. Rising prices mean growing home equity, which provides owners both the incentive and the means to undertake more and larger projects. Additionally, older households have higher homeownership rates than younger households, and many have the resources to afford major renovations, including accessibility modifications that allow them to remain safely in their homes as they age. Households 55 and over account for half of all improvement spending by homeowners today.Although younger households have struggled to gain a foothold in the homeownership market since the housing crash, the number of owners under 35 is finally showing signs of a rebound, and so is their remodeling spending. In particular, younger households contribute significantly more to local improvement spending in many metros across the Midwest and the South, where owning is more affordable than in high-cost metros on the East Coast and West Coast.With homeownership recovering, almost 7 million rental and vacant units were converted to owner occupancy in 2016 and 2017, and their owners invested $50 billion in improving their condition. Additionally, homeowner spending on repairs following natural disasters totaled about $30 billion, accounting for 6 percent of national home improvement expenditures in 2016–2017.To pay for home improvements, homeowners relied largely on savings, even for major projects; more than half of projects costing $50,000 or more in 2017 were funded by cash. Expanding the ability of owners to pay for improvement projects over time — whether through home equity loans or lines of credit, cash-out refinances, or contractor-arranged financing — would not only generate considerable growth in the remodeling industry, but also help to preserve and modernize the nation’s aging housing stock.“Over the next decade, the strong preference of older homeowners to age in place and the increasing difficulty of building affordable housing in many markets will continue to hinder the construction of new homes,” said Kermit Baker, director of the center’s Remodeling Futures Program. “The remodeling industry will therefore retain its critical role in helping the country meet its housing needs.”
The heat is on. And if your air-conditioner is off, or just not running efficiently,you or your wallet are suffering.Dale Dorman, a housing specialist with the University of Georgia Extension Service,says good maintenance in hot weather can save you both discomfort and money. “Cooling experts recommend having your system inspected and served by a qualifiedcontractor,” Dorman says. “The best person to call is the one who installed itor the manufacturer’s local representative listed in the Yellow Pages.”Dorman suggests these tips to keep your system running its best:* Shade your room air-conditioner from direct sun. This will reduce its workload.* Clean the filters every month and replace them as necessary. This will save energyand reduce dust and pollen in the air.* Don’t leave your room air-conditioner turned to the coolest setting when you go out.Set the controls to a warmer setting to reduce operating costs.* Because dust can foil efficiency, vacuum air vents regularly. And don’t block themwith furniture, carpet or curtains.* Leaky ducts are prime sources of energy waste. Hire a professional to seal andinsulate ducts.* If your home has crawl space under it, open the foundation vents in the spring topromote air flow. Close them in the winter.* Prune shrubs that may block air flow to your air-conditioner.* Think about installing ceiling fans. The air circulation spreads cooling in thesummer and boosts heating efficiency in the winter.When you buy a new air-conditioning system, “you can save a little or a lot,”Dorman says. “Select the most energy-efficient equipment that meets your needs andfits your budget.”The more efficient a product, the less it costs to run. It reduces air pollution, too,and helps conserve natural resources.So what makes one system more efficient than another?”Most of the differences are on the inside in the motors, compressors, pumps,valves, gaskets and seals,” Dorman says. “Or in electronic sensors that maketoday’s products more ‘intelligent.'”Manufacturers use standard U.S. Department of Energy tests to prove their products’efficiency. The EnergyGuide materials from the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau ofConsumer Protection report the test results.Before you buy, use an energy audit to help pinpoint your needs, Dorman says. Auditshelp detect energy waste and gauge your current system’s efficiency. Do-it-yourself kitsare available.Find out about special offers. Ask your local utility or salesperson about cashrebates, low interest loans or other incentives for buying energy-efficient products. Youmay qualify.If you’re buying a home, ask your lender if an Energy-Efficient Mortgage is available.EEMs allow home buyers to qualify for a larger mortgage. Lenders use the lower monthlybills you’d pay in an energy-efficient house to offset a higher mortgage payment.
Editorial: Legal Machinations on Clean Power Plan ‘Beside the Point’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From the Delaware County (Pennsylvania) Daily Times:The legal machinations may be beside the point.While efforts to stall the Clean Power Plan are disappointing and counterproductive, market forces and technological advances may ultimately render them meaningless.That’s because the transition to more climate-friendly methods of generating power is already well under way. Energy producers are saying goodbye to coal-burning plants in favor of cleaner – and, most importantly, cheaper – technologies like wind, solar and super-efficient generators that burn natural gas.Bottom line: A spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute, the largest trade association of electricity providers, said the Supreme Court’s decision “doesn’t really change anything.”It is heartening that, along with new auto-industry fuel standards, that one of the biggest generators of greenhouse gases, the utility industry, is sprinting in the direction of cleaner energy.This is what was needed all along — not just a political action or a legal decision, but a business mindset that recognizes that new, more efficient ways of generating power are not just good for the environment, but for the bottom line.Editorial: Utilities move toward cleaner energy
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Syosset-native singer Idina Menzel of Disney’s Frozen fame may get ribbed for this winter, but fans will melt to hear she’s on the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater 2015 summer concert calendar.The early draft of the calendar has more than a dozen dates starring over three dozen performers, including alt-rockers Dave Matthews Band, comedian Kevin Hart, country crooner Tim McGraw and the return of the Van’s Warped Tour—the nation’s longest-running, mostly punk rock music festival.After the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach—featuring the return of the U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds this year—on Memorial Day weekend May 23 and 24, the first concert date set is May 29 with the return of country band Lady Antebellum, who is joined on its “Wheels Up” tour by opening acts Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt.DMB then takes the stage June 9. That show is followed by Tim McGraw, with supporting acts Billy Currington and Chase Bryant on June 11. Pop rockers Train will play their breakout hit “Drops of Jupiter” on June 16 with special guests The Fray and Matt Nathanson.By this point in the summer, the concerts booked so far mostly take a turn for the harder rock. Pop-punkers Fall Out Boy take the stage June 24 with Wiz Khalifa and Hoodie Allen followed by the Warped Tour on July 11. Headliners on this year’s tour include Front Porch Step, Handguns, Kosha Dillz, Neck Deep and Palisades.Country music fans will be glad to hear Darius Rucker will grace the beach on July 12 with Brett Eldrege, Brothers Osborne and A Thousand Horses. On July 17, Menzel—who is also known for her songs on Glee and in Wicked—will sing her infectious hit “Let it Go” on July 17.Def Leppard, Styx and Tesla return on July 23 followed by metal acts Slipknot, Lamb of God and Bullet for My Valentine on Aug. 1. Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago take the stage Aug. 16. Parrot heads will be out in force when Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band with Huey Lewis and The News return on Aug. 18.Everyone will be glad to hear Nickelback is coming to town Aug. 14 before The Wedding Ringer comic Kevin Hart gets the beach laughing Aug. 28. And rounding out the summer schedule as it stands as of this post is Australian boy band 5 Seconds of Summer on Sept. 1.All tickets will be on sale through LiveNation.com. More performers will be added to additional concert dates once it gets closer to show time. Who do you want to see play at the Jones Beach amphitheater this year?
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas fended off Democratic primary challenger Michael Scotto, a former Manhattan prosecutor from Port Washington, in the most-watched race Thursday.Singas will now go on to face Republican Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray in the general election.“Tonight, we took a huge step towards making sure Nassau continues to be one of the safest counties in America,” Singas said.In other key primary races across Long Island, the party nominees also thwarted their challengers.Across the county line, Democrats in the Town of Islip chose Thomas Licari, a political newcomer, over challenger Rick Montano, a fiery former county lawmaker, by a margin of 113 votes, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections’ unofficial results. It wasn’t immediately clear how many absentee ballots are left to be counted. The winner will try to unseat Republican Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter on Election Day.On the East End, the primary for the GOP line in the Riverhead Town Supervisor race was too close to call. Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, the Republican nominee, beat the incumbent, Sean Walter, by a 29-vote margin, according to the early tally. That race will reportedly be decided by absentee ballots.And back in Nassau County, Mayor Reginald Spinello kept the GOP line away from his challenger, Glen Cove City Councilman Anthony Gallo.
10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Credit union executives have a lot on their plates. Alongside the daily activities of keeping tabs on operations and budgets, overseeing personnel, and managing risk, there is one function that should not be ignored. An argument can be made that one of the most important roles is understanding how data and technology can, and should, drive decisions.This is not breaking news by any means. We know we live in a world that needs to connect with consumers at multiple levels. A recent article from CUTimes quotes, “Mobile banking is a must-have. As it is presently defined, it is not a delighter and it does not help build the business, it helps support keeping the business.”The article goes on to highlight that financial institutions are beyond just purchasing mobile apps. They are setting up platforms to integrate their products with their members. continue reading »