City Suing Former Owner of YWCA Building

first_img Top of the News STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week More Cool Stuff Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Make a comment Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Business News Community News City Suing Former Owner of YWCA Building Local officials seeking to reaffirm rights to historic building By ANDRÉ COLEMAN, Managing Editor Published on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 | 4:08 pm CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community Newscenter_img Subscribe EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy 20 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Community News Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * The city is seeking an injunction against the former owner of the famed Julia Morgan YWCA building.Angela Chen-Sabella, who owns Trove Investment Co., claims the city must sell the building back to her on claims that the city has not put the building into use since it was acquired by eminent domain 10 years ago.In November, the City Council unanimously voted to allow City Manager Steve Mermell to enter into an exclusive negotiation agreement (ENA) with HRI Properties to develop a hotel at the dilapidated and long-shuttered site on North Marengo Avenue.“As a result of the wrongful conduct of the defendants, and each of them and because real property is unique, an injunction is therefore necessary to allow the city to continue its efforts to pursue an ENA [Exclusive Negotiating Agreement], lease and development agreement with potential developers in regards to the YWCA building,” the lawsuit states.According to section 1245.245 of the code of civil procedure, seized property is to be offered back to the original owner if it is not put to its public use – or the taking is not reauthorized – within 10 years.The city is suing for quiet title and declaratory and injunctive relief. Pasadena Now could not locate a phone number for Chen-Sabella or Trove Investments.According to the lawsuit, the city is asking for “issuance of a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, andpermanent injunction restraining and enjoining Defendants from interfering with City’s attempts to pursue an ENA, lease and development agreement with potential developers in regard to the YWCA Building.”The city is also asking for a declaration that the city used the property for the public use stated in the resolution within 10 years of its adoption, and/or that Trove waived its right to of first refusal to repurchase the subject propertyThe city originally claimed it was seizing the building for historic preservation, but attorneys contested that claim in 2010.According to the lawsuit, the city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on studies, rehabilitation and preservation of the building.Chen-Sabella acquired the building in 1996 for less than $2 million. She was forced to sell the building to the city in 2010 for $8.3 million.According to reports Chen-Sabella is the daughter of Din-Hwa Chen, a Hong Kong billionaire and philanthropist who died in 2012.One month before the City Council vote, lawyers for Trove Investment Co. sent the city a letter again demanding officials offer the building back to Chen-Sabella.In January the city notified the company that its position has not changed and demanded that Trove rescind its demand and formally waive and release Trove’s asserted rights to repurchase the building.The city filed court papers for the injunction in February.In Rutgard v. City of Los Angeles, the city of Los Angeles was forced to sell a building back to its original owner after failing to build a constituent service center within the 10-year period between 2007 and 2017. Although the city of Los Angeles adopted a resolution reauthorizing the 2007 seizure, it was completed after the 10-year window, about a month too late.“Unfortunately, given the Court of Appeal’s decision in the Rutgard case last year, it looks like a bad situation is about to get worse as the City gets bogged down in more litigation,” said localLand Use Attorney Richard McDonald. “Why the City did not adopt a reauthorization resolution before the 10-year deadline is a mystery to me; but, in the meantime, the YWCA sits unrestored, unrehabilitated, and unused. Incredibly sad; particularly given that we could have had a Kimpton hotel there by now.”“A judicial declaration is necessary and appropriate at this time under the circumstances in order that the city may ascertain its rights because the city is actively negotiating the terms of an ENA with HRI regarding the rehabilitation of the YWCA Building and the lease of the Subject Property,” according to the lawsuit.“These negotiations are being threatened and negatively impacted by Trove’s demand that the City offer Trove the right of first refusal to purchase the Subject Property.” the suite states.The building was designed by famed architect Julia Morgan. Morgan was the first woman admitted to the architecture program at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She designed the YWCA building in the early 1920s. The building was completed in 1923.Morgan arrived in Paris in 1896 to attend the École des Beaux-Arts, the most respected architecture school in the world. Up until that point, no woman had gained admittance into the school. The diminutive Morgan, who designed Hearst Castle for publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst starting in 1919, took the entrance exam three times before she was admitted in 1898. Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  HerbeautyRemove Belly Fat Without Going Under The KnifeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyStop Eating Read Meat (Before It’s Too Late)HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Trends To Look Like A Bombshell And 6 To Forget AboutHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Female Celebs Women Love But Men Find UnattractiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWhy Luxury Fashion Brands Are So ExpensiveHerbeautyHerbeautylast_img read more

Read More →

England Win European Men’s Silver Medal

first_img Tags: England Golf, England teams, European, Mens Team England narrowly missed out on the chance to win the European Men’s Team Championship for a record twelfth time when they lost to hosts Sweden in the final of this year’s championship at Llunghusen.Tom Sloman, Alex Fitzpatrick and Ben Jones all claimed top-ten finishes as England finished second behind Ireland in the 36-hole stroke play qualifier and they went on to defeat both Wales and Scotland by 4-3 before losing 4 ½ – 2 ½ to the home team in a keenly contested final in which all but one of the matches went at least as far as the 17th green.The English team comprising Sloman, Fitzpatrick, Jones, Tom Plumb, Harry Hall and Matty Lamb were the first to put a point on the board when Sloman and Plumb recorded their third foursomes win of the tournament with a 2 & 1 win over Ludvig Aberg and Christoffer Palsson but David Nyfjall and Vincent Norrman ensured the scoreline was level at lunch with a 4 & 3 victory over Fitzpatrick and Lamb.In the afternoon Hall made it three out of three in the singles with a 2 & 1 victory over Norrman and Plumb also halved with Nyfjall but that was not quite enough to see the team over the line.The result means that England have won three sliver medals in a row having also achieved that feat in Austria in 2017 and then again in Germany twelve months later.England ended the European Ladies’ Team Championship on a high note when they beat Scotland 3-2 to claim fifth place at Is Molas in Sardinia.The team made up of Lianna Bailey, Annabell Fuller, Alice Hewson, Lily May Humphrey and Emily Toy lost the chance of collecting a medal when they were beaten 5 ½ – 1 ½ by Sweden in the opening round of match play but then defeated Denmark 3 ½ – 1 ½ before rounding the championship out with a win over the Scots. The event was won by Sweden who beat Spain 5-2 in the final.There was also a fifth-place finish for the English team at the European Boys’ Team Championship where hosts France won in front of the own fans at Chantilly.England represented by Barclay Brown, Conor Gough, Max Hopkins, Joe Pagdin, Ben Schmidt and Robin Williams lost 4-3 to Ireland in the opening round of match play but then defeated Italy 3 ½ – 1 ½ before rounding things by beating Spain by the same scoreline.The English team comprising Jessica Baker, Rosie Belsham, Ellie Gower, Charlotte Heath, Euphemie Rhodes and Caitlin Whitehead finished fifth in qualifying at the European Girls’ Team Championship at Parador El Saler in Spain but then lost 4-3 to Spain, 3-2 to The Netherlands and 3 ½ – 1 ½ to Sweden. The event was won for the first time by Denmark who beat Spain in the final. 15 Jul 2019 England Win European Men’s Silver Medal last_img read more

Read More →

Leafs face major test during Eddie Mountain road trip

first_imgKrobyn Chabot and Franco Caoapaolo lead Kimberley in scoring, with 18 and 16 points respectively.Saturday, Nelson travels to meet the Creston Thunder Cats, which is in enviable position of hosting the Cyclone Taylor Cup in 2017 and have used the recruiting tool to ice high-octane lineup.The Cats, which have lost but once, that being in overtime, this season, are currently riding a five-game winning streak.Creston, which has amassed whopping 25 goals during the win streak, ices a balanced line up of scoring with no less than 10 players with at least double-digit points.Injuries still haunting LeafsThe Leafs are beginning to get some players back from the injury list this weekend.However, a few remain on the sidelines, including defenceman Dash Thompson, forward Kolten Nelson and netmdinder Jason Sandhu.Nelson will have a few new faces in the lineup in defenceman Noah Looman and forward Jordan Unger — the latter arriving this week from the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.Back to the Murdoch DivisionAfter playing three games against Eddie Mountain opposition, the Leafs return to the Murdoch Division to meet Grand Forks in a rare mid-week contest Tuesday in the Boundary City.The Leafs then host Beaver Valley Nitehawks Friday, November 4 before concluding a two-game home stand Saturday, November 5 against Fernie Ghostriders. More than a quarter of the way through the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season no one team is running away with any of the divisions — although the Creston Valley Thunder Cats and Kimberley Dynamiters in the Eddie Mountain Division lead the league in points.Which makes the weekend a major test for the Nelson Leafs as the Green and White, which is struggling to score goals of late to face the two Eddie Mountain Division front-runners beginning Friday in Kimberley.“It think players make their own puck-luck,” said Leaf coach Mario DiBella after the Leafs struggled to eek out a 3-2 win over Columbia Valley last Saturday at home.“I feel we aren’t supporting each other. We’re standing around waiting for one player to do something. . ..”First up on the two-game road trip for Nelson, 8-5-0-0-1 whichn is good for second in the Murdoch Division, is a date in the Bavarian City to face the defending Kootenay Conference Champion Kimberley Dynamiters.The Nitros are also on a roll having won four straight games to sit two points behind the Cats in Eddie Mountain Division standings.Kimberley has also scored 29 times during the four games winning streak, including ringing up nine goals against Grand Forks Border Bruins last week.last_img read more

Read More →

Bristol City v QPR line-ups: More Rangers changes, City man out

first_imgQPR boss Ian Holloway has again made major changes to his starting line-up.Among Holloway’s five changes for the game at Ashton Gate is the inclusion of Yeni Ngbakoto, with Conor Washington dropping to the bench, where the striker is joined by the fit-again Kazenga LuaLua.Jake Bidwell is back in for Jack Robinson, Luke Freeman is restored to the starting line-up to face his former club, and there are also recalls for Darnell Furlong and Pawel Wszolek.Bristol City are unchanged, with former QPR man Gary O’Neil still out injured.Bristol City: Fielding, Little, Flint, Wright, Bryan, Brownhill, K Smith, Pack, Paterson, Abraham, TaylorSubs: Giefer, Magnusson, O’Dowda, Cotterill, Hegeler, Tomlin, WilbrahamQPR: Smithies, Furlong, Onuoha, Lynch, Bidwell, Wszolek, Luongo, Manning, Freeman, Ngbakoto, Smith.Subs: Ingram, Washington, Goss, Mackie, Perch, LuaLua, Sylla.   Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Drink This Before Bed, Watch Your Body Fat Melt Like Crazy x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Read More →

Biochemists Mutate Protein, Make a Catalyst

first_img“Enzymes are among the most proficient catalysts known,” wrote three Duke University scientists, “and they catalyze a wide variety of reactions in aqueous solutions under ambient conditions with exquisite selectivity and stereospecificity.”  The team set out to rationally design their own enzyme.  Their work is reported in the June 25 issue of Science.1  Building on a non-enzymatic ribose-binding protein, they introduced 18 to 22 mutations at specific points, imitating the active site of triose phosphate isomerase (TIM).  They succeeded in getting a million-fold increase in catalytic activity, and showed their NovoTim invention to be biologically active in E. coli bacteria.  To them, not only does this demonstrate scientists’ ability to understand and imitate “naturally evolved” enzymes, but the “introduction of TIM activity into RBP is therefore equivalent to convergent evolution by computational design.”  Their enzyme was less thermally stable than the wild type, however, and the reaction rate was 220 times lower.1Dwyer, Looger and Hellinga, “Computational Design of a Biologically Active Enzyme,” Science, Vol 304, Issue 5679, 1967-1971, 25 June 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1098432].We hate to have to award these clever inventors the Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week prize, but listen to what they said.  They just called themselves blind, deaf and dumb.  Here they used intelligence, ingenuity, know-how, knowledge, and supervision to design a working enzyme, then said it was equivalent to “convergent evolution,” a blind, purposeless process that has none of those things.  Their work has nothing to do with evolution, convergent, divergent, invergent, subvergent or otherwise.  It was an exercise in reverse engineering.  By emphasizing the specificity of contact points in a simple enzyme that leads to efficient catalysis, their work underscores the necessity of rational design.  How come Charlie keeps getting credit for intelligent design work?  Unfair.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read More →

Houses for everyone

first_imgHousing is at the forefront of the national agenda for delivery and the government is taking overall responsibility for providing houses to all. (Image: Department of Human Settlements)The government inherited a critical housing shortage, with the 1996 Census reflecting a housing backlog of 2 202 519. Since coming to power in 1994, the state has built 1,4 million housing units, providing more than 5 million people with secure homes. For indicators on the progress of housing delivery since 1994, click here.Home ownershipThe government’s goal is to create sustainable housing developments whereby people own their properties. This engenders a sense of pride in their homes, streets and areas and advances the entire community. At least 2 million people have benefited from the transfer of ownership of 398 000 houses to their residents since the government came to power. In the past 8 years, the percentage of home-owners has risen from 66 to 77 percent of all household dwellers, despite the fact that the number of households has also increased by 1,5-million since then.Housing subsidiesThe National Housing Subsidy Programme aims to stimulate both rural and urban development. Since 1994, 1 323 205 housing subsidies were allocated, 36 percent of these to women-headed households. National housing policy specifies that all housing subsidies offered be met with a contribution from the recipient – either in the form of funds or labour – to encourage a culture of responsibility and saving for housing. The Housing Subsidy Scheme gives six different funding options for those who are eligible and who earn R3 500 or less per month.Finance for the poorFor housing developments to be sustainable, contributions are required from all sectors of society – government, communities, NGOs, the private sector and individuals. Access to finance remains the biggest obstacle to housing delivery. Since 1994 the government has attempted to work out solutions with banks on issues like red-lining, bad debts and subsidy-linked bonds. Servcon was established as a public-private partnership to tackle the problem of bond defaulting and has so far cleared 15 000 bad loans worth R612-million. The National Housing Finance Corporation was also set up (in 1996) to give banks access to capital for subsidy-linked and lower income housing. So far the NHFC has given out R1,5-billion to finance institutions for housing.Job creation and skills developmentThe government’s low cost housing programme creates jobs by promoting labour-intensive methods, employing local labour and small-time contractors. It also supports those who prefer to build their own homes and provides technical, financial and other support to them.Human settlementAround 53,6 percent of the population live in urban areas. The Human Settlement Redevelopment Programme, initiated in 1999, aims to improve the quality of the urban environment and address the imbalances and backlogs inherited from the apartheid government. This involves yearly roll-on housing development plans spanning all three tiers of government. So far the government has spent more than R40-million in 15 areas in all 9 provinces in human settlement programmes.Source: Department of Human SettlementsWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Read More →

Walmart ‘raises no competition concerns’

first_img30 June 2011Walmart’s acquisition of a majority stake in local retailer Massmart raised no competition concerns, while the public interest issues raised were sufficiently addressed by the conditions imposed on the US retailer, says South Africa’s Competition Tribunal.“It does raise certain public interest concerns, but these concerns are adequately remedied by the imposition of the conditions submitted as undertakings by the merging parties,” the tribunal said in a statement on Wednesday on its reasons for approving the deal.The tribunal conditionally approved the deal on 31 May but only gave its reasons for this on Wednesday.“Walmart does not compete with Massmart in South Africa and its only presence in the country is a small procurement arm that sources local products for its stores globally.“In light of the above, we find that the transaction would not substantially prevent or lessen competition in any of the markets that Massmart presently operates in.”Jobs expected to growHowever, the Competition Act says a merger may still be prohibited or subject to conditions, on the grounds of public interest.“Unless the merger is the cause of the public interest concerns, we have no remit to do anything about them. Our job in merger control is not to make the world a better place, only to prevent it becoming worse as a result of a specific transaction,” the tribunal said.In this case, the merging parties offered to undertake various steps to protect the public interest.Unions were concerned that the merger would lead to job losses and that this had already started happening with some retrenchments last year.“There is no evidence from the internal documents of the merging parties that retrenchments at Massmart are contemplated as a consequence of the merger,” the tribunal found.“On the contrary, there is evidence that suggests, given the expansionist ambitions of Massmart, the group expects employment to grow between 2011 and 2013.”The parties, however, gave an undertaking not to retrench staff for two years post-merger.It was also agreed that the status of the SA Commercial Catering and Allied Workers’ Union as the largest representative union within the merger entity would not be challenged for a period of three years.Creating new rights ‘beyond our competence’The tribunal said, although muddled, it appeared the unions were demanding centralised bargaining and a closed shop.However, it found that Massmart’s approach to these two issues was a policy pre-merger and not influenced by a possible merger with Walmart.The tribunal was wary of imposing labour conditions that should “be thrashed out at the bargaining table”.“Protecting existing rights is legitimate, creating new rights is beyond our competence.”Thus it found “the creation of additional rights not presently enjoyed by unions is neither merger specific nor appropriately part of our limited public interest mandate in respect of effects on employment”.Another issue raised during competition proceedings was that Walmart’s substantial bargaining power, and access to cheap imports, could harm local procurement.The tribunal said it was likely that the merged entity would change its procurement patterns, but it was not clear by how much.“The problem is that the concern raised in relation to local procurement/imports is also associated with important benefits for consumers.Consumer interest in lower prices“A possible loss of jobs in manufacturing of an uncertain extent must be weighed up against a consumer interest in lower prices and job creation at Massmart.”The SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union proposed that, post-merger, Massmart’s local procurement level should be kept at the same level as it was pre-merger for a certain amount of time.But the tribunal said this would be too complex to implement.“Further the conditions will contradict the major objective of competition regulation – to secure lower prices – the procurement conditions would likely affect the merged entity’s ability to provide customers with the lowest possible prices.”Instead, the tribunal found the merging parties remedy of spending R100-million over three years on a local supplier programme, was more acceptable.“Instead of insulating local industry from international competition for a period, it seeks to make local industry more competitive to meet international competition.”The merging parties made various undertakings about local procurement and labour conditions during the hearings, which they eventually agreed should be made conditions for the approval of the deal.For this reason, the undertakings would be enforceable.“Non-adherence can lead to serious consequences for the merger, which is an illustration of the commitment to them and an indication that it is not in consequence a public relations gesture.”Sapalast_img read more

Read More →

2018 Farm Bill: Top five issues for conference

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jonathan Coppess, Gary Schnitkey, Nick Paulson in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois, and Carl Zulauf, in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State UniversityOn June 28, 2018, the Senate overwhelmingly passed its version of the 2018 farm bill with an historic 86 to 11 vote — the highest vote total for a Senate farm bill in the bill’s 85-year history. Senate passage followed on the heels of a very narrow, party-line re-vote in the House on June 21 finally passing the bill 213 to 211. Having cleared these two key hurdles in the reauthorization process, the 2018 farm bill debate heads to a conference committee to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions.For those who support passage of the farm bill, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic that reauthorization will be completed in a timely manner but there remain reasons for concern. Conference negotiations are also likely to focus on farm program payment limits and eligibility requirements, as well as spending priorities for conservation policy. Conference negotiators likely have a very short window to reach agreement and get a bill through a Congress increasingly consumed by the mid-term elections.Here are the top five issues for conference negotiations. Issue 1: Changes to SNAPThe single biggest challenge for conference negotiators will be the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The problem is not just that the House and Senate took vastly different paths on policy, with very different results, but that the House is operating under partisan and ideological perspectives that differ from those in the Senate. Such differences are likely to add to the challenges for negotiations. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyses and cost estimates provide the clearest view. CBO estimates that the House bill would spend an additional $463 million on those programs. While CBO estimates that the House bill would increase spending in Title IV, controversy flows from some of the primary ways in which the House proposes to change SNAP. Most notably, the House bill reduces the number of people receiving benefits and reduces benefits received per household, while increasing the administrative costs of the program.By comparison, CBO estimates that the Senate bill would spend a total of $6 million less on Title IV Nutrition programs (including SNAP) over 10 years. The Senate bill makes minor revisions to SNAP, including to the existing work requirements at an added cost of $235 million for new grants to states (FY2019-2028) and for the certification period ($205 million increase). The Senate also proposes administrative funding increases for improving the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system for SNAP participants, as well as other changes to increase spending for food insecurity assistance (total increase, $562 million). The Senate bill mostly offsets the increases by requiring states to use a national database to prevent duplicative benefits ($588 million reduction) and lowering or eliminating bonuses to states for performance and error rates ($420 million reduction).The few amendments considered on the Senate floor added emphasis to the differences between the House and Senate on SNAP. By a vote of 68 to 30, Senators resoundingly rejected an amendment that would have added the House workforce solutions. This vote would appear to signal that the House’s additional work requirements for SNAP could complicate the conference committee’s work. Issue 2: Payment limits and reformsThe House and Senate are also far apart in terms of the eligibility requirements for farm programs and how much any farmer can receive from the commodities programs. The House farm bill proposes changes in eligibility requirements that would permit families and newly-defined pass through entities to increase payments. The House also proposes exempting pass through entities from adjusted gross income (AGI) requirements, while removing application of payment limits to marketing assistance loan gains and loan deficiency payments.By comparison, the Senate proposes to tighten eligibility requirements with a specific focus on reducing the number of individuals who can claim to be eligible for farm program payments under the actively engaged in farming requirement. The Senate proposal focuses on what is known as the management loophole, which permits some individuals to qualify for payments based on only contributing management to the farm operation. The bill defines and increases the requirements for claiming a significant contribution of active personal management to the farming operation. It also restricts farm operations from qualifying more than one individual as actively engaged in farming based on management contributions. Combined, these provisions would limit a farm from collecting additional farm program payments by adding managers to the operation, an issue that the Government Accountability Office has repeatedly highlighted as a method of abusing the programs. It also builds on the efforts to tighten this requirement during the 2014 farm bill debate. Issue 3: Reductions to conservationThe House position again represents the more drastic change to existing policy. The House farm bill proposed to eliminate the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and increase funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), while adding authority for stewardship contracting in EQIP. In total, these changes would result in a net loss of nearly $5 billion over 10 years for working lands conservation. The House also proposes to increase the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage cap by 1 million acres per fiscal year, ending at 29 million acres in FY 2023. The House proposes to cover the costs of additional acres by reducing per-acre rental payments to 80% of the average county rental rate, as well as reducing rental rates further for acres re-enrolled in the program. Finally, the House proposed increasing funds for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) by $3.5 billion over the 10-year period (FY 2019-2028). In total, CBO estimates that the House farm bill would reduce conservation funding by $795 million over 10 years.By comparison, the Senate farm bill would neither increase nor decrease total conservation spending over the 10-year budget window. The Senate bill increases the CRP acreage cap to 25 million acres, paying for the costs by reducing rental rates to 88.5% of the county average rental rate. It also creates a new Conservation Reserve Easement Program to permit acres about to leave CRP to enroll under a permanent easement to keep the acres out of farming. This program would cost $1.8 billion (FY 2019 to 2028) according to CBO. The Senate increases funding for ACEP and RCPP by $2.5 billion. The increased spending is offset from within the conservation title by reductions to CSP and EQIP. The Senate farm bill proposes to reduce enrollment of new acres in CSP to 8.797 million acres per fiscal year (down from 10 million per fiscal year in the 2014 Farm Bill), saving $1 billion over 10 years. It would reduce EQIP by $1.5 billion (FY 2019-2028).For conference negotiators, making large reductions to conservation programs and spending may be particularly ill-timed given that farmers are currently experiencing multiple years of relatively low crop prices, declining incomes and erosion of their farm financial health. Farmers, however, remain under intense pressure to improve the impacts on natural resources such as soil and water from modern production, nutrient loss reduction to improve water quality and sustainable sourcing to meet consumer demands. The practices necessary to meet these pressures and invest in efforts for the long-term health of soils and the environment come with significant costs to the farmer; benefits are difficult to measure and can take years to achieve. Arguably, this might be the worst possible time to cut spending on conservation, particularly on working lands conservation assistance that keeps land in farming but helps offset the costs of implementing conservation practices and systems. Issue 4: Differences on farm policy; ARC vs. PLC; Cotton & DairyCompared to the proposals for SNAP, conservation and payment eligibility and limitations, the House and Senate are not that far apart on farm programs. Most of the changes represent differences in regional perspectives for farm policy; revenue programs preferred by Midwestern interests and price programs preferred by Southern interests. CBO estimates that the House farm bill would increase commodity program spending by $200 million over the ten-year window (FY 2019-2028), while the Senate farm bill would reduce spending by $400 million.The Senate farm bill favors the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program by making it the default choice in the election and improving the benchmark yields through the use of a trend-adjusted yield factor. The Senate farm bill would also permit farmers to revise their program election in the 2020 crop year. It does not revise the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program but does eliminate special payments for cotton storage and for economic adjustment assistance to users of upland cotton. The Senate farm bill also revises the dairy program, renaming it Dairy Risk Coverage.The House farm bill favors PLC over ARC, adding $408 million over 10 years to PLC and cutting $253 million from ARC, including elimination of the ARC-individual coverage option in the program. The House also added a provision to PLC that would permit reference prices to increase up to 115% of the statutory reference price based on a five-year Olympic moving average price. Other minor revisions in the House bill include some reductions to the dairy program and an increase in funding for the economic adjustment assistance to cotton textile mills. Issue 5: Politics and the legislative calendarThe final issue for conference and completion of a farm bill in 2018 is less an issue concerning specific policies and programs. It is, instead, an issue of the combined challenges from the current political environment, the pending mid-term elections and the shortened legislative calendar. The House was unable to resolve the immigration issue that contributed to the farm bill’s initial defeat on the floor. With the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Senate will quickly become consumed by a presumably contentious consideration of his replacement. Congress also needs to address the lack of appropriations bills, likely passing a continuing resolution.If past practice holds, Congress will recess for most of the month of August and return in September. It is likely to recess again for campaigning in late September or early October. This does not provide much time for conference negotiations nor passage of a negotiated conference product. Partisan political fights over SNAP in particular could not only complicate conference negotiations but stand as a significant barrier to passage in either the House or the Senate, depending on which path the conference committee takes. In short, acceptance of the House position on SNAP would appear unlikely to pass the Senate; acceptance of the Senate position on SNAP would appear possible with substantial support from Democrats to pass the House but would likely be opposed by Republicans and possibly the Administration.last_img read more

Read More →

Funds Approved to Help Put London in the Green

first_imgOver the past two years the U.K. has adopted some relatively progressive policies to improve the energy efficiency of its housing stock and commercial buildings.Wales set strict requirements for energy efficiency, water consumption, and use of sustainable materials. Britain’s Climate Change Act, passed into law in November 2008, requires that, beginning in 2016, new residential construction meet net-zero-energy standards. The British government approved plans for four “eco-towns,” and the UK Green Building Council, a government advisory group, suggested this week that the government seriously consider allowing each of Britain’s 7 million homeowners to borrow up to $17,000 for green retrofits and have the loan amount added to the homeowner’s local tax bill.And now the city of London, which is preparing to play host to the Olympic Games and Paralympics Games in 2012, has taken an additional step to try to offset the inefficiencies of the homes in its 33 boroughs, about 60% of which were built before 1945. Through a $16 million initiative announced last week, the city will provide households with a number of free services, such as changeovers to energy efficient light bulb and light switches. The initiative also will subsidize more-costly, weatherizing improvements – such as the installation of wall and attic insulation – for homeowners able to pay for them, and to make those improvements available for free to low-income homeowners.Another tool for emissions controlThe London Development Agency, which oversees infrastructure maintenance, employment, and business development for the city, developed the plan. It will administer the initiative in collaboration with London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, and other city agencies.One key goal of the plan – among the largest of several designed to help Londoners trim energy usage – is to help reduce London’s carbon emissions by 60% by 2025, a target that is in line with the objectives of Britain’s Climate Change Act.“Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing London’s economy,” the London Development Agency’s chief executive, Sir Peter Rogers, said in a press release announcing the measure. “This new scheme aims to make real cuts in carbon dioxide emissions for a cost-effective rate per ton of saved carbon. We have learned that this is best achieved by targeting particular areas and offering residents easy measures to implement.”last_img read more

Read More →

Win More by Serving Your Buyers Where They Are

first_imgIs how you sell in line with serving your prospective clients at each stage of their decision-making process?Do you know where your prospective client is in this process before you begin to sell? This post was originally a Sunday newsletter. If you ever want to know what that newsletter is like, here is a sample.This is a long and critically important piece of content. You may want to spend some time with it this week.Selling well begins with understanding where your prospective client is in their decision-making. By knowing where they are in their process, you can better serve them, and you can also create a preference for you and your solution.A Problem Worth SolvingYou will find your prospective clients in one of three states.The first state in which you might find them is the easiest and least likely. That is where they have a problem worth solving and they are compelled to solve it.The second state you might find your prospective client in is one where they don’t know that they have a problem, and so they aren’t compelled to change. This is more likely where most of your clients are when you find them. You can see that they should be producing better results, but they don’t understand how those results are possible.You might also find a prospective client who knows that they have a problem but are not compelled to solve it.The more your approach serves the prospect where they are, the better your results. If they know they have a problem and are compelled to change, you help them do so. If they don’t know that they could be producing better results and that they should be compelled to change, you teach them what their problems are and how you can help solve them.What about the third group, the group that knows they have a problem and won’t change. Some people actually have to experience the heart attack before they change their diet and start exercising.Is this change worth pursuing?Identification of Root Cause and Compelling VisionSometimes your prospective clients need help understanding the root cause of their problems or challenges. They need help identifying a compelling vision of what their future should look like.Good salespeople help their prospective clients solve the presenting problem or challenge they uncovered during their discovery. Great salespeople help their prospective clients find the root cause of those problems or challenges.Good salespeople do an excellent job selling their solution. Great salespeople build a compelling vision of the future state, recognizing that the solution is valuable only as it relates to bringing that vision to life.We think of discovery as coming to understand our prospective clients’ needs. But it’s more than that. They are also discovering the root cause of their challenge and a vision of a better future. This is what we do when we are at our best.What needs to change?Why should I change now?How will it be better?Exploration of Alternatives and OptionsYou can sell much better when you understand what your prospective client is accomplishing during this stage. A limited view of an exploration of alternatives and options can cause you to sell poorly and lose opportunities.And, in our sometimes limited view, we think that we are competing only with our direct competitors. But our first competitor is the alternative of doing nothing. The status quo tends to have a lot of supporters, and when change is difficult, this option often looks very good.There are other alternatives that include doing something completely different than what you or your competitors may recommend. Some companies may outsource a whole segment of their business rather than bring in a supplier to help them do it themselves, for example.One mistake we sometimes make in this stage is to show our prospective client a single solution rather than giving them choices and collaborating with them on the right ideas.It’s true that in competitive situations we focus on how we compete and win against good companies with good people and good solutions, some better than ours. Good salespeople present solutions. Great salespeople present ideas, options, and a chance to collaborate on the solution and the outcomes.What are my choices?What are the trade-offs?What fits me the best?Evaluation of Risks and Addressing of FearsIf there is a cardinal sin in selling it is believing that your role as a salesperson ends after you present your solution. Your prospective client still needs your help.It’s normal and natural to have concerns before making a purchase. But the bigger the problem is, the more strategic the solution, the more compelling the vision, the more concerns your prospect will have about their risk. Your prospective client fears that the changes can be more difficult than they imagined, that they may fail, that they may not get the outcomes they need, that they may be embarrassed, and that things will be worse having tried and failed. Some or all of these may be true.Good salespeople provide proof as a way to help their prospective clients evaluate the risk and address their fears. Great salespeople provide the counsel of a trusted advisor.Instead of leaving their prospective client alone to think through the risks and fears, great salespeople schedule meetings and spend time helping them to make good decisions, to plan for unforeseen circumstances, and to mitigate any risks. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Read More →