Adichie: ‘Protect and value the truth’

first_imgRakesh Khurana, the Danoff Dean of Harvard College, also addressed the graduates, the first class that has only known his leadership, and he urged them to consider how they use technology as they move into life.“When you leave Harvard and find yourself in new situations, facing new challenges without a built-in community surrounding you, it may be harder to avoid the pull of new technology,” he said.Though it may be tempting and habitual, Khurana warned seniors not to reflexively hide behind screens to avoid stress or uncomfortable situations . He also urged them not to let the lure of technology’s convenience, efficiency, and ubiquity shift their attention away from what’s in front of them and shape and narrow their choices.“Be the author and owner of your own transformation,” he said.A small group of seniors were recognized during the Class Day celebration. Harvard orator Jin K. Park and ivy orator Caronia Brettler spoke about the ups and downs of their College experiences. Friends offered memories of Luke Tang and Alex Patel,  class members who died in 2015 and 2017, respectively.Karely Osorio and Leen Al Kassab were named winners of the Ames Award, which is given to seniors whose display of heroic character and enthusiasm in helping others had gone unacknowledged — but not unnoticed.Class Day is an intimate, less formal gathering just for the seniors. Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was to be the first student-chosen Class Day speaker but was killed by an assassin in Memphis, Tenn. His widow, Coretta Scott King, spoke in his stead.At Schools across campus Wednesday, other graduates heard from politicians — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) at Harvard Law School and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at Harvard Kennedy School — business dynamos like Carla Harris ’84, M.B.A. ’87, vice chairman and managing director at Morgan Stanley, who spoke at Harvard Business School, and physician and television writer Neal Baer, MD ’96, who was at Harvard Medical School. Have the courage to tell the truth. At a time when truth can feel up for grabs and political journalists debate whether to call a lie a lie, award-winning Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie stressed the importance of truth during her Class Day speech on Wednesday to graduating Harvard seniors, not just for the nation but for themselves.“At no time has it felt as urgent as now that we must protect and value the truth,” she said to applause on a gloriously sunny afternoon in Tercentenary Theatre. “The biggest regrets of my life are those times when I did not have the courage to embrace the truth.”Telling the truth doesn’t mean loudly judging others or starting arguments, and it doesn’t mean that life always works out, because it doesn’t, she cautioned.Part of the effort involves being able to detect flatterers and manipulators, an important life skill, said Adichie, who was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2011-12. “But having that detector means you must also use it on yourself, and sometimes the hardest truths are those we have to tell ourselves,” said Adichie, who recalled how an early manuscript of hers was rejected by publishers and how it took time to face the truth that it simply wasn’t good enough.Years later, that’s hard to imagine. Adichie’s writing caught the literary world by storm from the start. “Purple Hibiscus,” her 2003 debut novel, and “Half of a Yellow Sun” (2006) were both widely acclaimed. Her 2013 bestseller, “Americanah,” won the National Book Critics Award for fiction. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker and Granta. Along with that success, Adichie’s reading from her 2013 essay “We Should All Be Feminists,” questioning the socialization of girls but not boys to value marriage, shot her into the pop culture mainstream after Beyoncé sampled a passage in her hit song “Flawless.”,Adichie acknowledged in her remarks that being honest with ourselves isn’t easy.“It is hard to tell ourselves the truth about our failures, our fragilities, our uncertainties. It is hard to tell ourselves that maybe we haven’t done the best that we can. It is hard to tell ourselves the truth of our emotions, that maybe what we feel is hurt rather than anger, that maybe it is time to close the chapter of a relationship and walk away,” she said. “And yet, when we do, we are the better off for it.”Now that college is ending for Harvard’s seniors, telling the truth won’t be quite as easy, she said. The stakes will be higher, and the graduates won’t always find receptive audiences for their views in the real world. Truth-telling will require more mettle, she told the crowd, but do it anyway. And be sure to step back and recognize the “things that get in the way of telling the truth: the empty cleverness, the morally bankrupt irony, the desire to please, the delicate obfuscation and tendency to confuse cynicism for sophistication,” Adichie added.“Be courageous enough to say ‘I don’t know,’” she said. It’s a simple act that some Harvard grads may find hard given the outsized expectations put on their shoulders. Do it anyway, she urged. “Ignorance acknowledged is an opportunity; ignorance denied is a closed door. And it takes courage to admit to the truth of what you do not know.”Adichie also gently skewered the educational mission to train future “citizen-leaders.” (“I often wonder who will be led if everyone is supposed to be a leader?”) It’s a term she professed she didn’t quite understand, and one she compared to that sometime dodge about attending Harvard: “I went to school in Boston.” (“That has to be the most immodest form of modesty. Please, Class of 2018, when you are asked where you went to college, just say Harvard.”)To help find truth, she pressed graduates to “make literature your religion,” by which she meant fiction, poetry, and narrative nonfiction. “Make the human story the center of your understanding of the world,” where people are not abstractions but are “fragile, imperfect, with prides that can be wounded and hearts that can be touched.”,In talking about the obstacles she encounters during her writing process, Adichie reassured seniors that it is perfectly valid to feel a tempest of emotions when they’re pursuing something difficult.“You cannot create anything of value without both self-doubt and self-belief. Without self-doubt, you become complacent; without self-belief, you cannot succeed,” she said.But as important as truth-telling is, it’s not enough, she said. In order for it to make a difference, students must also participate and continue the kind of activism they demonstrated on campus during their Black Lives Matter marches, DACA protests, and the dining workers’ strike, she said.“I know it is terribly cliched to say ‘You must now use this power to change the world,’ but really: You must now use this power to change the world!” she said.She urged her listeners to challenge the “stale assumptions” that undergird America’s cultural institutions and tell fresh stories and champion new storytellers “because the universal does not belong to any one group of people. Everybody’s story is potentially universal; it just needs to be told well.” Also, she said, don’t succumb to the urge of comparing your accomplishments to classmates or feel like you’re not measuring up because they’ve reached some arbitrary resume milestone.“Your story does not have to have a traditional arc,” Adichie said, reciting an Ibo saying that translates to Whenever you wake up, that is your morning.“The world is calling you,” she said. “America is calling you. There is work to be done. There are tarnished things that need to shine again. There are broken things that to be made whole again.” “The world is calling you. America is calling you. There is work to be done. There are tarnished things that need to shine again. There are broken things that to be made whole again.” — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichielast_img read more

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Donoff to step down as dean of School of Dental Medicine

first_img 10 dental grads give a nation something to smile about Earlier in his career, Donoff led Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery as chair and chief of service, becoming the first Walter C. Guralnick Distinguished Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. A 1967 graduate of Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a 1973 graduate of Harvard Medical School (HMS), he returned to the Harvard Longwood campus in 1991 when he was appointed dean of HSDM.“His work has built an important bridge between dentistry and medicine,” wrote HMS Dean George Daley in a joint letter with Provost Alan Garber. “Bruce has been widely recognized for caring deeply about students and their success. As an educator and a mentor, Bruce pioneered problem-based learning to help them better understand the fundamental concerns of those seeking treatment and their diseases, all the while stressing that students must listen closely to their patients and treat them with respect,” they added.A passionate advocate for research, Donoff stressed the importance of scientific inquiry in dental education. He led the charge to create more space for laboratories at HSDM and was successful in nearly doubling the School’s footprint with a new research and education building in 2004. His efforts were recognized with the prestigious William J. Gies Foundation Award from the American Dental Education Association in 2004 for outstanding vision by an academic dental institution.“A particularly meaningful tribute to Bruce is the sheer number of dental school deans around the world who recognize him as an innovator and who can also say that they received their degrees from HSDM,” wrote Daley and Garber.In 2014, Donoff launched the HSDM Initiative to Integrate Oral Health and Medicine, an effort intended to improve quality and value throughout the health care system by, in his words, “reuniting the mouth with the rest of the body.”HSDM’s mission reflects his aspiration to break down traditional barriers between oral and systemic health. He ensured that dental students spend time working in community health centers as part of their training and expanded the scope of HSDM’s international presence, helping to launch Rwanda’s first dental school. Most recently, he has led efforts to partner with dental schools in China and Vietnam to assist with curriculum development and workforce training.“Please join me in thanking Bruce for his many contributions to our community — and for his steadfast efforts to advance and strengthen dental medicine at Harvard and beyond,” wrote Bacow.A search for Donoff’s successor will be led by Daley in consultation with HSDM, HMS, and University communities as well as the president and provost. Related Bruce Donoff, dean of Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) for 28 years, announced today that he will step down from the position effective Jan. 1, 2020.Throughout his tenure, Donoff moved HSDM forward with a broad vision for global and community oral health. A skilled oral surgeon and educator, he has been an advocate for the integration of oral health and medicine as a way to ensure improved outcomes for his own patients and dental patients everywhere. He not only shaped the dental curriculum at Harvard but also influenced the way dentistry is taught around the country and the world. He plans to transition to a role on the faculty after Jan. 1.“It has been an honor leading the School and having had the opportunity to work with incredibly talented faculty, students, and staff, all of whom are dedicated to improving human health and advancing our mission,” Donoff said.“I’m grateful to have had a career that allowed me to treat patients, educate students, and advance research, all while being an administrator. It’s rare for a dean to have that opportunity, and I am truly fortunate,” he added.“Bruce and I have been good friends for decades, and I know from my tenure as president of Tufts the extremely high regard in which he is held throughout the academic oral health community,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow. “His personal commitment to academic excellence has shaped his quarter-century as dean, driving the recruitment of extraordinarily talented students, faculty, and staff, and shaping efforts to make oral health care available and accessible to more people across the country and around the world.” University of Rwanda graduates first class of dentists last_img read more

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David Henry Hwang World Premiere Kung Fu Starts Perfs

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on April 6, 2014 Directed by Leigh Silverman, Kung Fu tells the story of international icon Bruce Lee’s journey from troubled Hong Kong youth to martial arts legend. The new play blends dance, Chinese opera, martial arts and drama into a new theatrical form. The production follows Lee in America as he struggles to prove himself as a fighter, a husband, a father and a man. Related Shows In addition to Horibe, the cast of Kung Fu features Phoebe Strole, Jon Rua, Emmanuel Brown, Clifton Duncan, Bradley Fong, Francis Jue, Peter Kim, Ari Loeb, Reed Luplau, Kristen Faith Oei and Christopher Vo. View Comments The world premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu begins performances at off-Broadway’s Pershing Square Signature Center February 4. Starring Cole Horibe as Bruce Lee, the show will play a limited engagement through March 30 at the Irene Diamond Stage. Opening night is set for Febuary 24. Kung Fulast_img read more

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Beginner beekeepers

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaDoes the thought of honey have you itching to raise bees? Then the State Botanical Garden of Georgia has a series of classes for you.The Beekeeping for Beginners Series will start on Dec. 6 in Athens, Ga., and will cover the fundamentals of beekeeping. All classes will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. The first will cover beekeeping basics, followed on Jan. 10 with the care and feeding of honeybees and on Feb. 7 with the ABCs of assembling a beehive.The classes will be taught by Dan Harris, a beekeeper with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and at Booger Hill Farm in Athens.Pre-registration is required. The series costs $40 for Friends of the Garden members and $45 for non-members. For more information or to register, call (706) 542-6156 or visit www.uga.edu/botgarden.last_img read more

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Owner of Brattleboro Reformer, Bennington Banner to file bankruptcy

first_imgThe owner of the Brattleboro Reformer, Bennington Banner and more than 50 daily newspapers across the country, including the Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News will file for bankruptcy protection. Affiliated Media, Inc of Denver has announced that it has obtained the approval of its lenders for a financial restructuring of the company that will sharply reduce its debt, boost its cash flow and allow greater financial flexibility.  The plan will be implemented in the near future through a “prepackaged” chapter 11 filing. This is a similar type of filing that FairPoint Communications recently undertook, in which it gives up most of the ownership of the company in exchange for significant debt reduction, but without a change in management.Affiliated Media is the holding company for the MediaNews Group family of newspapers, the nation’s second-largest newspaper publisher by circulation and owner of 54 daily newspapers, over 100 non-daily newspapers, as well as websites, television and radio broadcasters that serve markets in 12 states.Unlike other media company reorganizations, this one does not involve the newspaper operations or have any effect on employees or vendors of the newspapers.  Only the holding company will restructure. A letter to employees is attached to the end of this story.The reorganization, structured in consultation with the company’s senior lenders, provides for the swap by senior lenders of debt for equity, and reduction of the company’s debt of approximately $930 million to $165 million. There will be no management change or change in control of the company. William Dean Singleton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MediaNews Group, will continue to select a majority of the members on the Board of Directors. The Singleton led management will be authorized to own 20% of the company through stock and warrants. Singleton and company President Joseph J. Lodovic IV will control the company through their ownership of all class A shares of the company, which entitles them to elect a majority of the board of directors. Other stockholders will own class B and class C shares.  “In our search for a new model that reflects the realities of today’s changing newspaper environment, we have come up with a solution that restores financial strength and flexibility to our balance sheet,” said Singleton. “It does not affect the operations of any of our newspapers or vendors or other operations. It gives us one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry. It gives us breathing space to create a new model for the newspapers we publish.”Singleton added: “One critical advantage of our plan, compared with those by some other media companies, is that it is a prepackaged plan that has the approval of lenders and unlike other filings, this one does not involve our newspaper operations.”  He noted that the plan allows for claims of Affiliated Media’s trade creditors, suppliers and employees to be unaffected by the filing and paid in the ordinary course as they come due. Almost all of the company’s trade creditors, suppliers and employees are totally unaffected in any event since none of the individual newspaper operations are involved in the reorganization plan. “For them, it’s business as usual,” he said.  The company is current on all vendor payments, he said, and expects to remain so. He said the company has adequate cash to fund all its operations in a normal fashion.At present, senior lenders to the company are owed approximately $590 million, guaranteed by certain affiliates. The company also owes an aggregate principal amount of about $326 million to holders of subordinated notes. By accepting the prepackaged plan, senior lenders will trade their existing claims and guarantees for a pro rata share of the new secured term loan, in a smaller principal amount but with more collateral and a more financially sound borrower, as well as ownership of a majority of the new equity of the reorganized company, subject to a gradual dilution as a result of grants of restricted stock.  Subordinated note holders will receive warrants for future equity.  All existing equity interests in Affiliated Media will be cancelled.In contrast with most filings, where creditors may oppose the proposed plan for re-organization, a prepackaged filing means that affected creditors have already seen and accepted the plan prior to the time it is filed, so that it can proceed with little debate or negotiation, and can swiftly win approval from the court.The newspaper industry is undergoing a major transformation, exacerbated by the current recession, which is causing falling advertising, a slumping retail market and significant drops in classified advertising. About 80 percent of the company’s revenues are generated by advertising sales, and those sales will likely continue to be affected by the economic downturn. In recent years, the company has undertaken a number of strategic initiatives to improve operating cash flow and to reduce costs. But it became clear yesterday’s balance sheet couldn’t be sustained by today’s business environment.Even as the newspaper environment has badly deteriorated over the past three years, MediaNews newspapers have performed better than the industry as a whole.  Circulation of the company’s newspapers grew for the September Audit Bureau of Circulations 6-month reporting period, while industry circulation dropped 10.6 percent.  The growth included gains by the Denver Post after its primary competitor ceased publication.  Excluding the Denver gain, the company’s circulation dropped 4.8%, still well below the industry’s 10.6% decline.And the company’s innovative advertising sales initiatives have resulted in advertising declines lower than the industry as a whole. December quarter advertising results have shown substantially smaller declines than were experienced in the first nine months of the year.All but one of the company’s newspapers are profitable.”This reorganization does not come without pain,” Singleton said. “Current shareholders will be losing the value of their holdings. But we believe that adopting this plan will give us a far better platform from which to develop, grow and participate in the consolidation and re-invention of the newspaper industry.”Letter to Employees, from William Dean SingletonJanuary 15, 2009Dear MediaNews Group Employee:I have important and positive news about our company’s future.Today, our corporate holding company, Affiliated Media, Inc. announced that it has obtained the approval of its lenders on a financial restructuring that will sharply reduce debt, boost cash flow and give the company greater financial flexibility. The plan will be implemented in the near future through a “prepackaged” filing in United States Bankruptcy Court.Unlike previous filings by media companies, this one does not involve our newspaper or broadcast operations. Only our holding company, Affiliated Media, Inc., will be restructured. We expect all of our daily operations to continue without disruption, with employees receiving normal salary and benefits, suppliers being paid, advertising being placed and newspapers being printed and delivered as usual. No layoffs, sale of newspapers, facility closings or consolidations are anticipated as a result of the financial reorganization announced today.The prepackaged plan, structured in consultation with our senior lenders, is expected to reduce our debt of about $930 million to $165 million through a debt-for-equity swap by the senior lenders. The lower debt and interest payments will give us breathing space to create a new model for the newspapers we publish.There will be no management change or change in control of the company. I will continue as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MediaNews Group and will continue to select a majority of members of the Board of Directors. Our management team will be authorized to own 20% of the company through stock and warrants. I and President Joseph J. Lodovic IV will control the company through our ownership of all of the company’s class A shares. Other stockholders will own class B and C shares.  Since our newspapers are not involved in this restructuring, you’ll see no changes in your operation. Our plan allows for trade and other business vendors to be paid in the ordinary course of business. The company is current on all vendor payments, and we expect to remain so. We have adequate cash to fund all of our operations in a normal fashion.Even as the newspaper environment has badly deteriorated over the past three years, you can be proud that MediaNews has outperformed the industry as a whole. Our total newspaper circulation grew for the September Audit Bureau of Circulations 6-month reporting period, while industry circulation dropped 10.6%. And our innovative advertising sales initiatives have resulted in advertising declines lower than the industry as a whole.  As you know, the December quarter has performed better than the first nine months of the year.  All but one of our newspapers are profitable.We expect to quickly emerge from our reorganization with one of the strongest balance sheets in our industry. This transaction gives us a far better platform from which to develop, grow and participate in the consolidation and re-invention of the newspaper industry.As our co-founder and chairman-emeritus Dick Scudder told me as we sought ways to ensure the company’s future, “This is not about you or me; it’s about our newspapers, our employees and the communities they serve.”I couldn’t agree more!I think all of us believe, with good reason, that a financially viable and independent free press is imperative for our country’s democracy. We who actually work in the newspaper business have a direct interest in keeping newspapers healthy. But we also can see that the communities we serve rely on newspapers, not only to keep everyone informed, and to check government and corporate abuse, but also to provide a cohesiveness that our society very much needs. Our nation was founded by men who recognized the indispensable role of a vibrant press in building a truly democratic society. That great insight, fought for and defended vigorously for over 200 years, is one of the reasons we emerged as the leader of the free world and became a model and inspiration for people fighting oppression all over the world. Yet many of our citizens now take it for granted, and forget how precious it really is.As you all know, the business model that has supported newspapers in past decades is now in the middle of wrenching change. There is still no clear or certain vision for our future, nor is there a consensus on how to approach it. But our company is making real progress as we rebuild an out-dated media model and I am confident that we can continue to do so.As your chairman, I am personally committed to working with you to define the future of the newspaper industry that you and I love so much. I thank you for devoting your lives to a cause that is so important to maintaining the standards and morals of our civilization.  There are those who believe that our re-invention of the newspaper model will not succeed.  I know it will, and I trust you do too.I look forward to working with you as we take our newspapers into a changing but successful new media world.Enclosed with this letter is the press release that we issued today with our announcement.   We will keep you informed as we move ahead.Sincerely,William Dean SingletonChairman and Chief Executive OfficerQ & A for Employees of MediaNews GroupWhat is the news?Affiliated Media, Inc., parent of MediaNews Group newspapers, has obtained the approval of its lenders on a plan to sharply reduce its debt, boost its cash flow and give it greater financial flexibility.  The plan will be implemented in the near future through a “prepackaged” filing in United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware under chapter 11 filing.What is a prepackaged plan?All filings involve the preparation of a “plan of reorganization” which describes how the claims of each class of creditor and equity claim is to be treated, and must be approved by those creditors entitled to vote. A prepackaged plan is one where the “plan of reorganization” is prepared and approved by the creditors before the action is actually filed. Therefore, there is certainty about the outcome and the time within the process is greatly reduced, and could be as short as 60 days or less.In this respect, the AMI filing is a simple balance sheet restructuring to reduce debt.  None of the operating subsidiaries or partnerships are involved. Further, except for our financial creditors (our senior lenders and subordinated note holders who will trade debt for stock), all holding company creditors will be paid in full in the normal course of business so there will be no impact on operations.  What does this mean for our business?There will be no change in our daily operations.  The whole point of the transaction is to let us address our balance sheet issues – simply put, too much debt for existing conditions in the industry and the broad economy – while avoiding any disruption to our daily operations.Will there be layoffs?No. Our decisions about staffing have always been – and will continue to be – in response to business conditions, not our finances.  So while there is no guarantee that advertising or circulation won’t deteriorate further and force us to adjust accordingly, there are no layoffs planned as a result of our financial restructuring.  We’re committed to maintaining the staffing we need to serve our readers and advertisers.Will pay or benefits be affected?No. Unlike with previous filings by media companies, this one does not involve our newspaper or broadcast operations.  All benefits, including pay and pensions, will continue to be paid in the normal course of business.  Pension plans will not be affected as the company intends to continue its sponsorships of all current plans.  Only our holding company, Affiliated Media, Inc., will be restructured.  Will there be a change in management or in who controls our company?No. There will be no management change and no change in control. William Dean Singleton will continue as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MediaNews Group and will continue to select a majority of members of the Board of Directors.  Our management team will be authorized to own 20% of the company through stock and warrants.  Mr. Singleton and President Joseph J. Lodovic IV will control the company through their ownership of all of the company’s class A shares.  Other stockholders will own class B and C shares.  Will this affect any of the company’s newspaper partnerships or joint operating agreements?No. Our partnerships and joint operating agreements are owned at the newspaper subsidiary level and all are debt free.  Those subsidiaries are not affected by this restructuring.Does this affect The Denver Post?No.  The Denver Post is party to its own bank credit agreement, which was successfully restructured on August 26, 2009.  The Denver Post is not involved in this restructuring.Are there plans to sell or close any newspapers?No. The company plans to use the current platform as a base for growing the enterprise.You’ve said the announcement is good news.  How does this help us?Our reorganization, structured in consultation with our lenders, is expected to reduce our debt from about $930 million to $165 million.  In exchange for extinguishing the debt, our senior lenders will receive stock representing a major ownership stake in the reorganized company. The lower debt and interest payments will give us breathing space to create a new model for the newspapers we publish. We expect to have one of the strongest balance sheets in our industry. This transaction gives us a far better platform from which to develop, grow and participate in the consolidation and re-invention of the newspaper industry.Aside from this transaction, how is our business doing?During an extremely difficult environment for newspapers over the past three years, MediaNews has outperformed the industry as a whole. Total circulation grew for the September Audit Bureau of Circulations 6-month reporting period, while industry circulation dropped 10.6%. Our growth included gains by the Denver Post after its primary competitor ceased publication.  Excluding the Denver gain, our circulation dropped 4.8%, still well below the industry’s 10.6% decline.  On the advertising side, the Company’s innovative sales initiatives have resulted in advertising declines lower than the industry as a whole.  The December quarter, while still down substantially, has performed much better than the first nine months of the year. All but one of our newspapers are profitable.What should I say to readers or advertisers ask about our filing?Let them know that this is a positive development that will make us financially stronger.  They should also understand that the financial restructuring is a non-event for readers and advertisers.What if I’m approached by the media regarding the filing?If you receive any inquiries from the media or other interested third parties, please refer them to Seth Faison at 212-573-6100.SOURCE Affiliated Media, Inc. DENVER, Jan. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ —last_img read more

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Sonic Drive-In Opens in Valley Stream

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Suzanne Monteverdi via QNS.comBurgers, shakes and roller skates! A new Sonic Drive-In location officially opened for business within the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream on Monday, Feb. 20.Sonic Drive-In serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a selection of burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and sides, as well as an assortment of milkshakes, frozen drinks and sodas. The fast-food chain is known for its 1950s drive-in style, which enables customers to order their meals from their cars and have it delivered by servers on roller skates.The new Sonic is located within the shopping center at 2034 Sunrise Highway and will be open Sundays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to midnight, and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.The fast-food joint has one other location further east on Long Island in North Babylon, which opened up in 2011.Green Acres Mall is home to more than 150 stores and restaurants, including Macy’s, Best Buy and Target. For more information about the location, call 516-561-1157.Related:LI’s Fast Food Invasion: Quick, Popular Eats Take Island by StormTwo New Chick-fil-A Locations to Open on Long IslandWahlburgers Opening First Long Island Locationlast_img read more

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On CUNA’s radar: Patent ‘troll,’ cybersecurity info-sharing hearings this week

first_imgAs key credit unions issues are addressed in both chambers of Congress this week, CUNA will be engaged in the conversations and looking at how they might affect credit unions. In CUNA’s “The Weekly Legislative Update,” Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan breaks down those hearings, as well as new resources available for the nearly 5,000 credit union leaders who will be attending CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).CUNA will submit a letter for the record for a  hearing conducted Thursday by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade, concerning patent demand letters. CUNA is encouraged by a bill that would combat abusive patent lawsuits, and is continuing to pressure Congress to do more to combat “unfair and deceptive” patent demand letters.Along with a coalition of other financial services trade associations, it has outlined principles to Congress to address these growing problems. (See a related story in today’s News Now about league efforts to combat these “patent trolls”: Leagues combat ‘patent trolls’ on many fronts. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Heart surgeons multi-million dollar restored manor house for sale

first_img142 Airlie Rd, PullenvaleFor Brisbane cardiothoracic surgeon Terry Mau, the time has come to sell his century-old manor house, once a ladies college. The six-bedroom, three-bathroom Pullenvale home features a “secret” staircase leading to a wine cellar and there is a separate guesthouse on the property. 142 Airlie Rd, PullenvaleThe former Moreton Bay Ladies College is on a 3.41ha block with swimming pool and tennis court.Dr Mau and wife Luba Malecky, a former plastic surgeon, bought the property in 1994 and, along with their two daughters, called it home for 18 years.McGrath Estate Agents Paddington selling agents, Alex Jordan and Frazer Watson, said the property was part of Queensland’s history. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor7 hours ago142 Airlie Rd, PullenvaleThe property, at 142 Airlie Rd, has been listed for sale with a price guide between $3,300,000 to $3,600,000.last_img read more

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Dividends vs deficits: UK regulator wants DB shortfalls addressed

first_imgThe UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) has put pressure on dividend-paying companies to ensure a balance between cash paid to shareholders and contributions to pension schemes, according to Willis Towers Watson.TPR yesterday issued its annual report on defined benefit (DB) pension scheme funding. In it, the regulator said it expected schemes “where an employer’s total distribution to shareholders is higher than deficit reduction contributions being paid to the pension scheme to have a relatively short recovery period”.The regulator did not give specific details of what would constitute a “short” period, but Graham McLean, head of pension scheme funding at Willis Towers Watson, said it was clear TPR wanted some companies to pay “a lot more” into their schemes.“Last year, the regulator said that the median FTSE 350 employer was paying 10 times as much in dividends as in pension deficit payments,” McLean said. “A one-to-one ratio would often be a huge change – though, for some employers, a smaller increase in deficit payments might make the recovery period short enough to get the regulator off their back.” TPR was criticised last year by politicians on the cross-party Work and Pensions Committee, who highlighted a 23-year recovery period for the BHS Pension Scheme as unacceptably long.TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb emphasised to the committee that this was an outlier, with the average recovery period across UK schemes closer to eight years.Willis Towers Watson’s McLean said the regulator could have turned the spotlight on the balance between dividends and DB contributions as “plans to repair deficits are generally not on course”.“Previously, the regulator has been warned that demanding more money for the pension scheme would stop employers from investing in their businesses,” McLean said.“It is trying to reframe the debate from ‘pay off the pension deficit instead of investing in the business’ to ‘pay off the pension deficit instead of returning funds to shareholders’,” he added. ”It makes sense for trustees to look at contributions alongside cash leaving the business, but a dramatic change in dividend policy could raise an employer’s cost of capital and weaken its business.“While the regulator’s words can affect behaviour, they do not change the law. Some employers may stand their ground or make the case that this sort of increase in contributions is not appropriate in their circumstances. Others may put more energy into debating how the deficit gets measured in the first place.”Lynda Whitney, partner at Aon Hewitt, said the regulator’s stance was a warning “with the threat that TPR will take more action than in the past if they do not think there is a fair balance between the treatment of the legal obligation to the scheme compared to shareholders”.TPR has a difficult balance to strike. Research from the International Longevity Centre published last year claimed that deficit reduction contributions had taken almost £100 (€117) away from individual employees’ wage growth.Separate work by JLT Employee Benefits in January reported that the cost of DB benefits was proving a drag on employer payments to defined contribution schemes.last_img read more

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So who’s the daddy? Ethics dilemma over sperm donor boom (UK)

first_imgIndependent (UK) 2 April 2012The gift of life is not immune to pecuniary incentives. Charities working with sperm and egg donors report a boom in enquiries from potential volunteers as new regulations allow fertility clinics to make more generous payments.From today, men will be able to collect £35 per visit for their sperm, up from £15, and women will be paid £750 for their eggs, a threefold rise on the previous amount of £250.The new rates, agreed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) following a public consultation last year, are intended to boost the number of donors to meet rising demand. But they have also focused attention on the question of transparency in donation after decades in which the biological origins of tens of thousands of children have been kept secret.Donor anonymity was removed in 2005 and children born from gametes (sperm and eggs) used since that date will have the right to learn the identity of their biological parent when they reach the age of 18.But they can only do so if the parents who brought them up tell them about their origins. A survey conducted prior to the law change found 28 per cent of children conceived from donor sperm and 40 per cent conceived from donor eggs had been told by the age of seven.An inquiry by the Nuffield Council for Bioethics is to examine why parents choose not to tell their children and whether the information is so important, for medical as well as psychological reasons, that doctors and social workers should be involved.http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/so-whos-the-daddy-ethics-dilemma-over-sperm-donor-boom-7606835.htmllast_img read more

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