Last night, hip hop superstar Kanye West continued his Fall tour with a show at Madison Square Garden, his second show at the storied venue in in the past two nights. The tour has been getting interesting reviews since it launched two weeks ago, with Kanye performing on a stage that floats above the crowd and moves over the entirety of the floor, across the arena. Needless to say, I was eager to check this out for myself. Hip hop in arenas doesn’t always work out, but Kanye has proven time and again to provide unique concert-going experiences, so I went in with high expectations. As it turned out, this added element removed the frills from the concert. With no video screens or pyro to distract from the show, most of the performance was spent focused on the artist himself, trapped on that tiny stage for two full hours. In that sense, it was a beyond impressive showcase of Kanye’s true talent as an artist and performer: the entire audience was entranced and in a state of euphoria for the whole concert. Leave it to Kanye to re-invent the live show.When I arrived at the show, the venue was packed. Every single seat in the venue was filled, and the floor was one large open space. MSG usually splits their floor up into “East” and “West” sections, so being in one large area made the floor seem huge, and packed. When Kanye finally went on, he indeed entered the concert on a floating platform with lights underneath it. He would stay on the platform the entire concert, attached to its center by a metal rope that was in place to prevent him from falling off. When the music finally started, kicking off with The Life of Pablo track “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”, the crowd went absolutely insane, and the floor simply exploded with energy. People were moshing, people were jumping, and what seemed like the entire room was singing along to every single lyric.“Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2”, and the controversial “Famous” came next, and West simply had the crowd in the palm of his hands. The stage was moving left to right and back again, and the lights were underneath the stage, and not on him, lighting up the crowd as he moved above them. Kanye was essentially silhouetted by cell phone lights in the crowd, making for a cool visual effect. As the stage moved, some fans stood still, and some ambitiously followed the stage across the floor, adding the the mosh pit affect of the show. He quickly threw in covers of “Pop Style” by Drake and “THat Part” by Schoolboy Q, songs on which he has guest verses, before performing another Pablo track with “Facts”.The crowd went absolutely nuts for the next few songs, which are heavier and have harder beats. First up, Kanye covered “I Don’t Like” by Chief Keef, before setting the crowd ablaze with his Grammy-nominated hit “All Day”. The mosh pit really picked up for this song, and the energy went up even higher when “Black Skinhead” started up next. “Niggas in Paris” sent the crowd into a frenzy when it came next. Jay-Z, who was in the building with his wife Beyoncé, unfortunately did not hop on stage to perform this song with his partner in “Watch the Throne”.Finally, Kanye started up “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, his first true older track, coming from his 2007 album Graduation. The rest of the show would lean less on Pablo material and more from his older catalog, and from that point on the mosh pit atmosphere stopped and the floor felt like a huge nightclub. It was a slick transition that really paid off, as the venue seemed to fill with positive energy as the “greatest hits” portion of the night kicked off. “Power” came next, and at this point the lights were off the crowd and Kanye was lit by a spotlight, leaving him seemingly suspended in darkness. “Blood on the Leaves” and “Freestyle 4” followed, bringing the mosh pit vibe back one more time before the mega-hits continued.When “Jesus Walks” started, the huge light rig above the stage was revealed for the first time. It was massive, and seemed to have a few different sections that moved independently from each other. Although huge, the rig was simplistic, in that was a series of rows of lights that only used a simple palate of colors. They were more atmospheric than spectacle, and added to the minimalistic feel of the show instead of being overwhelming. “Flashing Lights” showcased the lights even more, as Kanye stood on his small stage while lights moved over him from one side of the stage to the other.At times the light would shift positions, moving down to create a pattern that would essentially trap Kanye on one side of the arena for a song or two while bringing the lights closer to the crowd. Because the crowd on the floor was so lit up, it was like an inspiration for everyone to go nuts. The floor was one of the most fun concert experiences I’ve had, as a result. Simply smiles, with everyone wanting to dance as hard as possible during their time in the spotlight. Kanye spent a good amount of time getting the crowd to sing along to his lyrics, and at points would seem to be rapping to specific people in the audience.At one point, Kanye pointed out his band, which consisted of a DJ, a synth player, and a singer, and it shined a light on the production involved in re-creating his music in the live setting. Sure, there were backing tracks being played by a DJ, but also the sound was augmented by vocals and synth playing with huge effects attached to them, giving the songs a different kind of pop that can only be described as loud. the loudness extended throughout the arena, as the sound system was based in the center of the room and not on one side or the other, giving the concert a surround sound feel (with extremely heavy bass).At times, Kanye knelt down to get closer to the rabid crowd, and at one point he laid down and reached his hand down, inspiring a number of people to try to jump and touch him. One lucky fan was able to reach Kanye during “Runaway”, and the whole audience went nuts. In that moment, it felt like that one fan was an ambassador for us all, connecting with this huge superstar for a moment. It was a cool gesture, given his artistic entrapment caused by the stage design. As “Runaway” started, Kanye boasted that this concert had sold more tickets than any other event in the history of Madison Square Garden, and, with no stage on the floor to take up space, it certainly looked and felt that way.If you have a chance to see Kanye West on this tour, and you even somewhat like his music: go. You will be completely surprised at just how captivating one man and a microphone can be.
First-year orientation, or “Belles Beginnings,” at Saint Mary’s ended Saturday with the powerful tradition of closing the circle.Senior and vice president of internal affairs for the Student Government Association (SGA) Kelly Gutrich said closing the circle is the last event of orientation, where first-year students form a circle on Le Mans Green as a way to welcome them home for the next four years.Gutrich said she spoke about the Saint Mary’s core values of faith and spirituality at closing the circle.“I remember how scary the start of my first year was, so I was excited to share any bits and pieces of encouragement I could with them,” Gutrich said.Gutrich said the intent of events like closing the circle is to help first-year students feel like part of the Saint Mary’s sisterhood from their very first weekend.“Your first year of college can be such a scary time and we hope Belles Beginnings helps ease that scariness, and helps them start to find their niche at Saint Mary’s,” Gutrich said. “We truly care about our first years, so we want to make them love Saint Mary’s as much as we do.”SGA academic chair Shannon Schalk, a junior, helped girls move into their dorms during Belles Beginnings and also spoke about the core value of learning. She said she felt the interconnectedness of the Saint Mary’s community when she spoke to the class of 2018.“Looking at the young and nervous faces surrounding me from inside the circle brought back the memories of me over two years ago, [when] I was that young and nervous face,” Schalk said. “Learning is not just happening in the classroom, it is happening within them.“In their four years here at Saint Mary’s, they will learn to unlock potentials and passions deep within themselves. Whether these passions are for their major, their best friends and this community, or volunteering, et cetera, by opening their hearts and minds they will be led down a path of discovery that can hold quite a few surprises.”First-year student Jenny Indelicato said Belles Beginnings helped her transition to life at Saint Mary’s and inspired her to take advantage of the opportunities within her first year.“It gave me hope that we will makes friends that will be with us for a while,” said Indelicato.First year Dani Meersman said the passion Saint Mary’s students have is obvious and the upperclassmen were very welcoming throughout the weekend.“It almost made me tear up when I got to campus and a girl was waving a sign that said ‘Welcome home, class of 2018,’ Meersman said. “I immediately felt like I was home.”First year Abbie Spica said closing the circle brought feelings of care and compassion, and she could tell how much the upperclassmen really care.“It was the first moment I had on campus that made me feel like part of a community,” Spica said.Tags: Belles Beginnings, saint mary’s, sga, SMC
State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding announced today that Vermont successfully sold $50.5 million in general obligation bonds. Demand was so high that once the selling period was open, the bonds virtually sold out in less than three hours. We are extremely pleased by the response of our bond offering, said State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding. We received approximately $123 million of orders for the $50.5 million in bonds that were available. The strong response indicates local investors and brokers are eager to invest in the State and support badly needed capital projects.The bonds are scheduled to settle, or close, on March 11, 2009. The State was able to lock in a total interest cost of 3.82 percent. The interest yield investors received on their bond purchases ranged from 0.62 percent for bonds maturing in one year to 4.60 percent for bonds maturing in 20 years. Bonds were offered in amounts as small as $1,000, with maturities ranging from one to 20 years.Demand for the State s bonds was enhanced by the State s strong bond rating. The bonds offered were rated by Moody s Investors Service, Standard & Poor s Ratings Service, and Fitch Ratings as Aaa, AA+ and AA+, respectively. The triple-A rating reflects the highest rating available to government issuers. High demand for the bonds allowed the State to offer a lower rate of return and consequently, lower the cost to the State for borrowing money for capital projects. Costs to the State would have been higher if Vermont s bond ratings were lower. In these challenging economic times, this bond offering gave Vermont investors an opportunity to take advantage of savings on state and federal taxes on investment earnings and also invest in bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Vermont, explained Spaulding.Spaulding acknowledged that with such a strong response to the offering, many Vermont investors may have been disappointed by their inability to purchase the bonds. For future offerings, plans are to alert Vermonters about placing their orders for bonds much earlier. We will use the experience from this sale to help make the bond sale process more accessible and understandable with future issues, Spaulding said.This week s bond sale funds projects that were authorized by the State Legislature in the last legislative session. While the bonds were originally scheduled to be sold this past fall, the Treasurer s Office delayed the sale due to the extremely dysfunctional bond market and because the State s cash flow dictated that new funds were not needed until spring.As part of the annual approval of capital bonding projects, the State is expecting to again offer bonds for sale in the fall. Source: Treasurer s Office
Each April, Polk County cycling icon John Cash organizes, directs, and rides in his annual Climb to Conquer Cancer bicycle ride, to raise money for the Gibbs Cancer Center’s Survivorship Program in Spartanburg, S.C. John’s ride, held in Polk County, N.C., generally features up to ten climbs of the famous Saluda Grade on U.S. Highway 176, up to Saluda.John Cash’s Jeep, adorned with notes about folks he’s riding for. Photo by Mark SchmerlingEach trip up the grade is four miles, with 1,000 feet of elevation gain—not especially demanding, but doing it ten times as John does, and as a few others do, is tough, giving a total ride of 80 miles with 10,000 feet of elevation gain.Linda Votey, left, a five-year breast cancer survivor, who rides on the Beardon Josey Center for Breast Health team. Votey, who rode in this April 29 Climb to Conquer Cancer, is shown with Stacey Kindall, who coordinates the Gibbs Survivorship Program.Since 2007, John’s rides have raised about $90,000, with this year’s donations (still being accepted) setting a new record at at least $9,000. John rides about 12,000 miles each year, training on the steepest and most difficult climbs (of which there are plenty) in the area and region.“I would love to see cancer cured in my lifetime,” said Cash, who, with his wife Diane, owns and operates Nature’s Storehouse, a health food and natural supplement store in Tryon, N.C.
NCUA released an improved online research tool on Tuesday aimed at making detailed information about federally insured credit unions easier to find for consumers.NCUA’s Credit Union Locator features upgraded credit union search functions and turn-by-turn driving directions to reach individual credit unions. The research tool also has a more optimized map feature with “pins” denoting each credit union’s location.This new tool provides consumers with the ability to search for a credit union by name, address, zip code or charter number. If a consumer selects a certain credit union branch, they can see information including a credit union’s Web address, phone number and if it has drive-through access. continue reading » 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A hit-and-run driver killed a 32-year-old Lindenhurst man when the suspect, who was driving a stolen SUV, crashed into the victim’s car in North Amityville on Tuesday night, Suffolk County police said.Reginald Celifie was driving a Honda Civic eastbound on Brefni Street when his car was struck by a southbound Chevrolet Trailblazer at the corner of Geraldine Avenue at 6:20 p.m., police said.Celifie was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, where he was pronounced dead.The driver of the Trailblazer ran away from the scene. Investigators determined that the SUV had been reported stolen on Dec. 8.The suspect was described as a black man, approximately 20 years old, clean-shaven, between 5-feet, 7-inches tall and 5-feet, 8-inches tall with a slim build. He was wearing blue jeans, a black hooded sweatshirt and a black wool hat.Vehicular Crime Unit detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information regarding this incident to call them at 631-852-6555 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential
The minister, who also leads the government’s COVID-19 Response and Economic Recovery Committee, said the strategy was part of a collaboration with the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry to support MSMEs and national economic recovery amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Read also: MSMEs expect continued pandemic pressure even if operating online: SurveyThe government also launched on Monday an MSME digital platform called PaDi UMKM, which would allow SOEs to channel transaction and funding to MSMEs. Erick has also issued a ministerial regulation requiring tenders for SOE projects with the capital expenditure of between Rp 250 million (US$16,951) and Rp 14 billion to be opened for MSMEs.“This is to develop a healthy ecosystem for our MSMEs,” he said.Indonesia currently has more than 60 million MSMEs, which account for 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).Topics : The government aims to spur the growth of Indonesia’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) by boosting the role of state-owned department store Sarinah and SMESCO, a government institution responsible for training and facilitating small and medium enterprises, in its efforts.“SMESCO will focus on providing coaching to improve the MSMEs’ products while Sarinah will focus on marketing those products,” State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir said in a press conference broadcasted on Monday.Erick said he wanted to improve the synergy between Sarinah and SMESCO to eliminate the sense of competition between the two state-owned institutions, adding that they should work together to support Indonesian MSMEs.
Press Release, Substance Use Disorder Harrisburg, PA – Wolf Administration officials recently concluded a series of regional summits to address warm hand-offs for opioid overdose survivors. The summits brought together stakeholders from state and local governments, the drug and alcohol treatment landscape, and health systems to address best practices and challenges in providing a warm hand-off to patients treated for an opioid overdose in order to strengthen warm hand-off programs around the commonwealth. Summits took place at locations across the state through April.“The opioid crisis in Pennsylvania needs to be attacked from all angles,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “And we know that we can’t help those suffering from opioid use disorder without a chance to get them into treatment after surviving an overdose. The warm hand-offs are that link between overdose and treatment, and I am pleased that these summits are getting that message out across the state.”Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith, and Major General Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s Adjutant General and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, led the summits and were joined by stakeholders in treatment, health care, and local government.“The time after an overdose is a critical moment for someone with an opioid use disorder. With the expanded availability and use of naloxone, we are able to rescue people who are overdosing, but a direct referral to treatment and support in transitioning to that treatment is vital,” said Secretary Levine. “To save even more lives, we need strong partnerships. Those partners include our county drug and alcohol authorities, drug and alcohol treatment providers, Centers of Excellence, and the other stakeholders represented here today.”In February 2017, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), Department of Health, and Pennsylvania chapter of the College of Emergency Physicians released a clinical pathway designed to create an easy transition from care for an opioid overdose to treatment for an opioid use disorder. County drug and alcohol authorities are now required to establish a warm hand-off policy as part of the 2015-2020 grant agreement between DDAP and the Single County Authorities (SCAs).“Surviving an overdose is a critical moment that we must leverage to assist in getting the survivor the help they need to pursue a successful recovery,” said Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “In order to succeed, we need to collectively roll up our sleeves and get these survivors into a treatment program that will turn their lives around and put them on a path to recovery.”Representatives from the departments of Aging, Drug and Alcohol Programs, Health, Human Services, Insurance, and Military and Veterans Affairs and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency participated in and oversaw the Wilkes-Barre summit, which was the final of six planned in conjunction with the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Medical Society.“We are all here with the goal of providing better care to the people we serve, but do not lose sight of this goal after you leave here today,” said Secretary Smith. “Fighting this crisis requires coordination at all levels. Take what you learn and the relationships you build and use them to help the patients you care for.”For more information about warm hand-off and the clinical pathway, visit http://www.ddap.pa.gov/Pages/Warm-Hand-Off.aspx. April 13, 2018 Wolf Administration Holds Final Regional Summit on Warm Hand-Offs for Opioid Overdose Survivors SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
AG Barr, the Scottish soft-drinks manufacturer, has completed a £35m (€40.1m) bulk annuity deal with Canada Life for its pension scheme, covering more than 50% of the scheme’s pensioner liabilities, and focuses on those who have recently retired.The deficit for the AG Barr (2008) Pension and Life Assurance Scheme doubled from £13.7m at the end of July 2015 to £25m a year later, with the scheme’s defined benefit section closed to future accruals from 1 May 2016.The buy-in was primarily funded with Gilts, with the trustees taking advantage of good pricing to optimise their low-risk assets.Lead adviser to the trustees was Hymans Robertson, with Shepherd and Wedderburn providing legal advice. James Mullins, partner and head of risk-transfer solutions at Hymans Robertson, said: “This deal is illustrative of the excellent value the market for pensioner buy-ins represents at the moment.“This is being driven by new entrants to the market such as Canada Life. It’s therefore highly likely we’ll see an increasing number of schemes go down this route, taking them a step closer to fully securing benefits.”In other news, the Merseyside Pension Fund (MPF), the pension scheme for public sector employees in Merseyside, northwest England, has reported an investment return of 1.2% on its £6.8bn portfolio for the year to 31 March, compared with its bespoke benchmark return of -0.4%.This takes average annualised returns to 6.5% for the three years, and 7.1% for the five years, to the same date.The previous year had seen a return of 12.6%, compared with 10.9% for the benchmark.During 2015-16, equities in all geographical regions except North America made negative returns, but other asset classes were all in positive territory, with property by far the best performer, returning around 10% (specific figures are not published).There was little change in asset allocation year on year.The strategic allocations are 30% in overseas equities, 23% in UK equities, 20% in alternatives, 19% in fixed interest and 8% in property.However, councillor Paul Doughty, chair of the fund’s pensions committee, said that, as anticipated in the previous year, volatility in financial markets was picking up, and the fund had been positioned cautiously.With the next triennial valuation to be made as at 31 March, the MPF’s estimated funding level is around 76%, the same as for the previous valuation.
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has issued calls for the submission of nominations of areas of interest located in the South Eastern Newfoundland Region and the Jeanne d’Arc Region.Source: C-NLOPBCall for nominations, labeled as NL18-CFN02 for South Eastern Newfoundland and NL18-CFN03 in Jeanne d’Arc, will assist the C-NLOPB in selecting parcels to be included in subsequent 2019 Calls for Bids, which will close in November 2019.Following the call for bids in 2019, any successful bidders would be awarded licenses in early 2020.The C-NLOPB said on Thursday that it was issuing the call for nominations under its scheduled land tenure system.According to the Board, offshore safety and environmental protection are important in all of its decisions. The South Eastern Newfoundland Sector NL01-SEN and the Jeanne d’Arc Region were included in the Eastern Newfoundland Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) concluded by the C-NLOPB, with input from a multi-stakeholder working group in 2014.Also, for any lands entirely or partially beyond Canada’s 200 nautical mile zone, additional terms and conditions may be applied, either through legislation, regulations, amendments to licenses, or otherwise, to any resulting license from a call for bids to meet obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.To remind, the last call for nominations issued by the C-NLOPB was for areas of interest located in the Eastern Newfoundland region in January.