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Puerto Rico utility debt deal could end up costing island consumers $23 billion

first_imgPuerto Rico utility debt deal could end up costing island consumers $23 billion FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Intercept:Environmentalists have long been accused of being closet austerians: hair-shirted hippies shaming everyone else for their wasteful ways. The Green New Deal even wants to take away your burgers, and you’ll only be able to watch television when it’s windy out.Yet it’s always been the capitalists, the people most opposed to curbing carbon emissions, who are the ones crimping on regular people’s lifestyles. In Puerto Rico, it’s the bona fide austerians — those looking to impose painful cuts to the public sphere — who are getting in the way of environmental progress, pitting payouts to bondholders against sustainability in almost every sense of the word.The fight against austerity and the fight for the planet are one and the same. At 22 cents per kilowatt hour, Puerto Ricans pay higher electricity bills than their counterparts in any state in the continental U.S. A deal to restructure debt incurred by the island’s sole electric utility, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, could raise electricity prices by 13 percent starting in 2020, funneling funds to the same bondholders who helped land the island in billions of dollars’ worth of potentially illegal debt.As it raises rates, the restructuring agreement could further thwart the island’s transition away from fossil fuels — a goal agreed upon by Puerto Rico’s legislature last month. For the next nearly half-century, residents with solar panels could end up paying bondholders twice: once for the electricity they get from the grid, and again for the power they generate for themselves.An analysis from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, or IEEFA, found that the agreement — meant to settle just over $8 billion of debt — could, after principal and interest payments, end up costing Puerto Ricans $23 billion through 2067. The deal allows the roughly half of PREPA bondholders included in the settlement to swap out their bonds for a new class of bonds whose repayment is pegged to ratepayer bills, and recover up to 75 percent of their initial investment — far higher than what financial analysts predicted just months ago.Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has argued that any higher rates will be balanced out by other cost-saving changes to the grid in the next several months, but those plans also remain vague. “We have a very certain and definite increase weighed against some very speculative changes,” said Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with IEEFA. “It’s totally counter,” she said, to both the energy bill and PREPA’s most recently available fiscal plan, which they’re required to submit to the FOMB for approval. “Both said that the target was to get rates below $0.20 per kilowatt hour (kWh).”More: To help pay off bondholders, solar panel owners will be hit hard in Puerto Ricolast_img read more

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How millennials are changing the way we save

first_imgFor all the flak millennials receive, they employ money saving habits that all of us can learn from. It’s a combination of their ability to navigate technology, the level of education they’ve received and the amount of money they make in their current jobs.To understand where millennials are coming from, it’s important to know the financial standing of the millennial generation. They are delaying home and car ownership, and putting off marriage and parenthood until they find themselves more financially independent.Despite higher education levels (compared to prior generations), millennials are making significantly less money than their counterparts 10 years ago. And while more millennials are going to college, they’re also finding themselves strapped with student loans that can take years to pay off.This long era of bank failures and scant job security has forced millennials to look after themselves. “Millennials have been forced to become self-sufficient which, for many, means being self-employed,” says Steve Bletlinger, chief strategy officer at Payline Data. “Combined with how tightly technology is ingrained in our culture, we are better equipped to research and share knowledge in a transparent way. This has led to a rise in entrepreneurship and the ‘for-hire’ on-demand economy.” Given the current economic times, millennials have turned to creating their own jobs and finding unusual ways to jumpstart their careers. continue reading » 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Developers Go Out on Limb to Coin New Phrase to Solve Suburban Woes

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Is Long Island’s suburban model a thing of the past? That could be the case if you can believe the latest look at demographic trends shaping real estate development and land use.The new report was produced by John Burns Real Estate Consulting LLC for the Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for Housing, a not-for-profit industry-funded research organization based in Washington, D.C., which used input from the institute’s Residential Neighborhood Development Council, whose members include powerful realtors and investors across the country.Dubbed “Demographic Strategies For Real Estate,” the report claims that its analysis has “wide-ranging implications for every discipline of the real estate community,” but it basically echoes what many developers have already been saying in recent years. As Curbed’s coverage puts it: “Powered by social and demographic shifts involving young workers, immigrants, working women and retirees, suburbs will get denser, more diverse and more urban.”These aren’t bad trends by any means, but how realistic is it to say that radical shifts will occur in well-established areas like Long Island, where the landscape is confined by water on all sides as well as beneath our feet in the sole-source aquifers that supply our region’s drinking water?Citing that homeownership rates have dropped since their pre-recession peak of 67.7 percent, the study estimates it will decline further to 60.8 percent by 2025. It forecasts that renters will comprise 7.3 million out of the 12.5 million new households nationwide. This figure is almost double the 7 million households created in the past 10 years, assuming, as the report puts it, that there will be an “increase in multi-generational adult households and [that] will create huge opportunities.”It’s an interesting estimate. But it doesn’t carry much weight due to the large premises that drive the researchers’ predictions. The report highlights changes to buyers’ housing preferences, but some people will always prefer the single-family, automobile-centric suburbs we know today.The study itself, which is generating buzz online, makes many assumptions: the economy will be healthy; immigration will continue at high levels; Medicare, Social Security and the like won’t be cut; housing prices will remain relatively stable; a fixed rate 30-year mortgage won’t rise above 6 percent; and college costs won’t increase unreasonably and other borrowing/spending trends will be favorable.The report also claims that “increased regulation and supply constraints around the country will continue to limit supply” of housing. But apparently, not too much, because the study’s authors predict that during the next 10 years, 79 percent of household growth will occur in suburban areas. They say that urban and rural areas will grow slowly. Of course, some areas, like LI, need strong regulations when it comes to land usage to protect our drinking water.Putting all these complex factors together makes a shaky foundation to base substantive recommendations upon—especially if they involve a fundamental re-invention of suburbia. Here, the consultants have embarked on new ground. They’ve rebranded their version, calling it Surban™, their trademarked term that they define as “bringing the best of urban living to a more affordable suburban environment.”The concept takes note of the increasing number of millennials and baby boomers who love the urban lifestyle, want to be close to entertainment, restaurants and transportation, but typically can only afford housing in the suburbs. And so, in response, new developments are being established in these Surban™ locations throughout the U.S.If it sounds like real estate industry jargon, that’s because it is. It’s the new, sleeker version of the term “Smart Growth.” The study’s authors helpfully supply examples of Surban™ communities that are all high-density, mixed-use developments, exemplifying many of the principles of the smart growth movement, including housing diversity and integrated retail components.Now, the new report itself isn’t bad. It simply paints a rosy picture that this particular approach to development will help adapt older suburban areas to the changes to come. But it doesn’t propose much policy. In the planning world, while it’s important to know where we are at the present, it’s critical to outline where we should go—and how best to get there.This is where reports like this typically fall short. How will these new developments fit into an old, established environment where the residents very much prefer the status quo, for better or worse?Long Islanders should be wary of any slick presentation that promises an all-in-one answer to suburbia’s woes, because it’s like the huckster Lyle Lanley on The Simpsons selling Springfield a monorail, a parody of “Professor” Harold Hill, who conned River City in The Music Man. It’s all show, with very little substance.A solution to economic stagnation, inflated rents and high costs of housing doesn’t exist. At the end of the day, whether you call it smart growth, transit-oriented development, or Surban™ salvation, no matter how it is packaged, high-density residential and mixed-use projects cannot simply erase zoning regulations and automobile-centric environments and commuter patterns that have come to define America’s suburbs. They can’t eliminate the limitations of infrastructure and the environment or change the expectations of residents about what they would like the communities they call home to be.The vested interests and real estate developers who helped produce this report should create realistic projects that don’t ask the sun, the moon and the stars of local people and their municipal government. Instead, they should concentrate on community-oriented planning efforts that are data-driven and responsive to neighborhood needs.There is nothing wrong with blending the best of urban and suburban worlds. But do it where it really belongs.Main Art: An artist’s rendering of the Tritec Redevelopment in Patchogue, one of Long Island’s so-called “cool downtowns” where developers have built affordable, transit-oriented housing (Photo courtesy of Village of Patchogue).Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s esteemed master planner. More of his views can be found on TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

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Families, health workers face stigma as fear overtakes communities

first_img“We, the residents, will not accept a coronavirus body being buried here. We do not want ambulances passing through the streets [of our neighborhoods],” said a resident in a video posted on YouTube on Wednesday, with other locals shouting nearby.The neighborhood head, identified only as Budi, said the body had arrived at the cemetery at about 9 p.m. on Wednesday, with several medical officers in full protective equipment.“[The residents] just refused it. They knew it was [a coronavirus victim] and they objected to him being buried there,” Budi said as quoted by kompas.com on Thursday.Budi said he noticed that the officers in charge of burying the body were so “overwhelmed” by the rejection that one of them almost passed out. They eventually succeeded in burying the body at about midnight. Read also: Palang Hitam runs 24/7 to care for Jakarta’s dead during COVID-19 outbreakIn Persahabatan General Hospital in East Jakarta, medical workers, including nurses and doctors who treat COVID-19 patients, have reportedly been kicked out of boarding houses near the hospital.During a recent Kompas TV interview, Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI) chair Harif Fadhillah said people feared that medical workers could be at risk of transmitting the virus.Unable to find other places to stay, some medical workers had to stay at the hospital. The hospital management eventually found a new place for them to live and provided a shuttle service to and from the residence.In Bogor, West Java, a 26-year-old resident was surprised to discover that his personal medical records, which designated him as a patient under monitoring for COVID-19, had been leaked to the public.It is unclear who was responsible for the leak.More surprisingly, a widely circulated screenshot of an Excel document listed him as a confirmed case of COVID-19. This was news to the patient. He was confused about what to do and where to report, and his neighbors pressured him to give some clarification.“Do you know what hurt me the most? When my nephews could not socialize with others because people said their uncle at home had the coronavirus,” the patient wrote on his Twitter account on Monday, which then went viral.Read also: Govt partners with hotels to house medical workersPeople thought to have COVID-19 and their close contacts have experienced social rejection since the country’s first cases were detected. Numerous failures to protect personal data have exacerbated the situation.After President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced Indonesia’s first two confirmed cases on March 2, a leaked report showing their complete identities and misinformation about their private lives circulated on social media.Residents who lived in the same housing complex faced immediate rejections including from their employers, who prohibited them from coming to work until they provided a “coronavirus-free” letter from the authorities, the patients’ neighbor said.Stigma is more dangerous than the disease itself, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in early March, just when the disease appeared to be spreading more rapidly outside China than inside it.”Stigma, to be honest, is more dangerous than the virus itself. Let’s really underline that. Stigma is the most dangerous enemy,” he told a news briefing in Geneva at that time, Reuters reported.He said the fight against the coronavirus should become a bridge for peace, adding, “I think we have a common enemy now.”Topics : The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created tension and panic in a number of communities in Indonesia as residents scramble to distance themselves from perceived risks of infection.This week in Medan, North Sumatra, residents attempted to prevent the burial a suspected COVID-19 victim in a Muslim cemetery even though the family had followed the safety procedures set by health authorities.The late patient was a civil servant who was previously admitted to Haji Adam Malik General Hospital in Medan. He died on Wednesday afternoon after two days of medical treatment.last_img read more

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Ancelotti set to dump £45m star after reading riot act

first_img Loading… Just four games since taking over as manager, Italian Ancelotti has already lost patience with a number of them, with Gylfi Sigurdsson among those he is expected to dump as soon as he can.The £45million Icelandic playmaker admitted after the 1-0 third-round defeat to Liverpool that Toffees’ players were fighting for their futures.But SunSport understands Ancelotti has already given up on the 30-year-old, who has 18 months to run on his £5m-a-year Goodison contract.Sigurdsson will be the biggest name in a cull of Goodison failures that will include Cenk Tosun, Theo Walcott, Morgan Schneiderlin and possibly Michael Keane.England keeper Jordan Pickford should also be wary of his place following a season of ups and downs.Ancelotti, now planning to go into the January transfer market, has ordered director of football Marcel Brands to find him a top-class goalkeeper to rival the Three Lions’ No 1.Meanwhile, the Toffees boss is planning to promote highly regarded teenage prospect Anthony Gordon for Saturday’s visit of Brighton. Promoted ContentThe Biggest Cities In The World So Far6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually True8 Things That Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Earth10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeTop 10 TV Friends Who Used To Be EnemiesBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemTop Tastiest Foods From All Over The World8 Amazing Facts About Ancient EgyptWorld’s Most Beautiful Ceilings That Will Take Your Breath Away6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top Read Also:FA Cup: Klopp rates Minamino’s Liverpool debut after Everton winThe Liverpool-born forward, 18, who won the league and cup double with the Under-23s last season, made an appearance from the bench in last month’s Carabao Cup exit to Leicester on penalties.Ancelotti said: “Anthony Gordon is working with us. I see a lot of quality in him.“We have to be patient with him but he has the quality to be at the top level.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img The Everton boss questioned the attitude of his players during an angry dressing-room blast. Carlo Ancelotti read the riot act after his side’s shambolic FA Cup Merseyside derby defeat.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Masters hosts donate $2 million to coronavirus tests, relief

first_imgAugusta National Golf Club, which in most years would be preparing to host the Masters, announced on Monday it will give $2 million to help fight the coronavirus pandemic in its region. Augusta National Golf Club, home course of the Masters, has announced a $2 million donation to combat coronavirus This year’s Masters, which was to have lured golfers and fans from around the world to the famed Georgia layout next week, was postponed indefinitely due to the global outbreak of the deadly virus. The donation to the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area features $1 million to Augusta University for immediate expansion of coronavirus testing and $1 million to the emergency response fund to relief efforts to the area’s most vulnerable people. “It is our hope these gifts will help address the many challenges brought about by the coronavirus throughout the city of Augusta and the greater region,” Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said. “We believe Augusta National has an important responsibility to support and protect the community who has so generously and consistently supported us for many years.”Advertisement The only prior years the Masters has not been contested in April at Augusta National since its 1934 debut were 1943-1945 due to World War II. Ridley praised the medical workers who have been treating an ever-growing number of patients. Read Also: Barcelona agree to offload Firpo in the summer “We are grateful to the Community Foundation for their continued partnership during this unprecedented time and especially appreciative to the dedicated healthcare providers, first responders and many others working tirelessly to fight the effects of this pandemic,” Ridley said. “They are truly leading this important charge and we hope these contributions will inspire others to support their efforts.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… center_img Promoted Content14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right Now14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right NowPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your BodyIs This The Most Delicious Food In The World?7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them10 Celebrity Dads Who Don’t Get Along With Their KidsTop 10 Female Stars Everyone Had A Crush On In The 90sThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parkslast_img read more

Read More Masters hosts donate $2 million to coronavirus tests, relief

Antique not affected by transport strike

first_img“We had been waiting if we will joinin the nationwide strike but there is no instruction for us to do so untilnoontime Monday,” Legaspi said.  Meanwhile, Antique Provincial PoliceOffice deputy director Norby Escobar said most of the PUJs in Antique did notjoin the transport strike. He added that since there was noinstruction for the 20 members of their group in this capital town, theycontinued to ply their routes and transport commuters. Oscar Legaspi, president of the UnitedBelison Jeepney Operators and Drivers’ Association, said they waited forinstructions but did not receive any from the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mgaTsuper at Operator Nationwide-regional chapter of which their localorganization is a member. “We also learned that there are somemembers of the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers’ Association inIloilo City that did not participate so we decided not to join in the strike,”Armamento said. “Antique is still peaceful with thePUJs plying the streets,” added Escobar.(Witha report from PNA/PN) Drivers of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) plying the San Jose de Buenavista-Sibalom route wait for passengers in the capital town on Monday. Most PUJ operators and drivers in Antique did not join the nationwide transport strike. ANNABEL CONSUELO J. PETINGLAY/PNA Jose Armamento of the San Jose-SibalomPublic Utility Vehicle Operators and Drivers Association said various localassociations of jeepney operators and drivers decided not to join the strike inview of leadership issues in their provincial organizations. SAN JOSE, Antique – Public utilityjeepneys (PUJs) in this province continued to ply the streets amid thenationwide transport strike on Monday.last_img read more

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Hoosier mission to help Florida hurricane victims continues

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — A team of emergency responders from Indiana deployed to Florida Tuesday to help with ongoing recovery operations related to Hurricane Michael, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) announced.The seven-person All Hazards Incident Management Team (AHIMT) deployed to Bay County, Fla., today (Nov. 13) and will return on Saturday, Nov. 24. The Indiana team will manage a long-term shelter for residents in Bay County and work with non-governmental organizations, state and local agencies. Hurricane Michael first made landfall on Oct. 10.The team includes personnel from Decatur Township Fire Department, DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency, Franciscan Health Munster, Fort Wayne Fire Department, Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency, Porter County Health Department and Terre Haute Fire Department.Indiana first responders and emergency management professionals frequently work with colleagues in other states following major disasters to share resources and expertise. Requests for mutual aid come through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a mutual aid agreement between all 50 states. Most recently, Indiana sent teams to respond to Hurricane Florence in 2018, Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.Follow the Indiana Department of Homeland Security on Facebook or Twitter for updates.last_img read more

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Palm Beach County to restrict food and alcohol services

first_imgIn an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Palm Beach County officials intend to place a food and beverage curfew on area restaurants.County Administrator Verdenia Baker made the announcement on Tuesday stating that restaurants will be prevented from serving good and liquor services between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am.With this mandate, county commissioners are targeting after-hours gatherings which could help spread the virus.last_img

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Elonu’s Presence Boosts D’Tigress Camp

first_imgShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The camp of the D’Tigress received a major boost on Saturday following the arrival of team captain, Adaora Elonu.Adaora who was recently named team captain by Head Coach, Otis Hughley left the team’s camp in Atlanta to join her new club, Atlanta Dreams for the WNBA playoffs.Speaking on arrival, the member of the 2017 Afrobasket winning squad who is excited to be back with her teammates in Lagos said leaving the camp in Atlanta to join her new club was a difficult decision to make. “It was hard leaving the girls in camp in Atlanta, but now that I am back, I am happy and I can’t wait to see them. We are preparing pretty hard. The girls have been preparing since I was away. So it’s good that I am back to see what they have learnt and see what I can learn from what they have been doing since I have been away.”She said that participating at the World cup will be a good experience for all the players which will definitely mark a new chapter in their careers as professionals.“No pressure on me, everything is team effort. We all trust each other so there is no pressure. It’s going to be a good experience for us.”She was coy when asked how far the team can go at the World.“As far as we are willing, as far as we are able.”With her arrival, the number of players in camp has now increased to 15 with the Technical Crew expected to announce the final 12-man roster for the 2018 FIBA Women World Cup in the coming days.last_img read more

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