Guest column: Listen to municipalities on efficiencies

first_imgThis is not a hollow cry from municipalities for more money that we don’t have anything important to spend on. The governor has once again proposed $715 million in unrestricted aid to municipalities this year, less than the annual increase in aid to education, which we recognize our school districts sorely need. To put this another way: If it’s unacceptable that the state receives roughly 80 cents in federal aid for every tax dollar it sends to Washington, why is it acceptable that local governments receive only 21 cents in aid for every dollar taxpayers send to the state coffers?Our members have sought efficiencies. Many have achieved significant cost savings.But without the state’s partnership and financial assistance, local officials are going to be forced to begin making the tough decisions on what essential services must be cut.A one-size-fits-all mandated sharing program won’t solve this problem. Peter Baynes is the executive director of the New York Conference of Mayors. Gerry Geist is the executive director of the Association of Towns of the State of New York.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? First and foremost, any assertion that municipal officials are averse to seeking out new efficiencies or are unwilling to implement them and save taxpayers money is inaccurate.The fact is municipalities across the state, including here in the Capital Region, have for years aimed to operate more efficiently on behalf of the constituents they serve by seeking out partners in neighboring jurisdictions. This is not a new phenomenon and certainly not an idea that only just now is being implemented.\Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeks to mandate shared services as a condition of receiving local government performance aid, but we’ve been doing this for generations. For example, consider coordination among the towns of Scotia and Glenville, parts of Saratoga County, and the city of Schenectady to share use of the city’s wastewater treatment facility.Or look to the new solar arrays in Rotterdam that the county wants to help local governments take advantage of to cut down on electricity costs.Or look at SMART Waters, the infrastructure agreement in place between Fulton County and the city of Gloversville. The goal of municipal governments is to serve the local taxpayers who live within their borders.These shared services are one important piece of that service as we seek to rein in taxpayer costs.The broader issue is not that local governments aren’t able or willing to work together. It’s that we must be respected and heard at the state level. Before our state leaders simply demand that shared services must be achieved to qualify for state aid, they must hear the voices of those who are on the front lines of serving nearly 20 million New Yorkers, from the North Fork to North Tonawanda. “We’re looking for a partnership,” Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy, NYCOM’s first vice president, told the Daily Gazette Feb. 12. “A partnership that produces results for everyone.”Mayor McCarthy is absolutely correct. Municipalities are willing to talk with any state leader who will listen about our consistent efforts to achieve efficiencies. We want to make it clear that local governments should be recognized for what they’ve been able to achieve — not punished because they didn’t achieve efficiencies on someone else’s timeline.The author of the Feb. 18 op-ed correctly noted that “maintaining essential and popularly demanded services always requires more resources than we reflexively think it should.” That is why in addition to a partnership on how to best move forward with shared services initiatives, we are asking state leaders to take a hard look at the flat aid they’ve been providing us for nearly a decade. center_img Categories: Editorial, OpinionWe read with great interest the Feb. 18 op-ed titled “Government Consolidation is Essential” by John Figliozzi and feel that, on behalf of our member municipalities across the state, we must set the record straight on shared services at the local level.last_img read more

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Jol on thin ice

first_imgManager Martin Jol is sure Fulham will recover from their latest defeat – but he has no idea whether he will be in charge for the club’s next game against Tottenham. The pressure is mounting on Jol after his team were condemned to their fifth straight league defeat against West Ham on Saturday. The Hammers showed no mercy at Upton Park as Mohamed Diame, Carlton Cole and Joe Cole all found the net on a miserable afternoon for the west London club. Press Association Adel Taarabt was the only Fulham player who came out of the derby with any credit, and the away fans made their discontent clear by shouting “Jol out” and “you’re getting sacked in the morning” in the second half. On Sunday morning there was no news about Jol’s future. When asked after the West Ham game whether he would be in charge for Wednesday’s game against Spurs, Jol seemed far from certain: “I don’t know. You don’t have to ask me. “I don’t know [what this means for me]. We’re in a difficult situation, but of course, there’s always one thing, you have to work hard in training and get your confidence back. It’s not easy.” Fulham fans further undermined their manager by chanting the name of his right-hand man Rene Meulensteen, who is being tipped to replace Jol if he goes. Whoever is in charge come Wednesday night, they need to address serious failings within the Fulham squad. The team looked tired at West Ham and devoid of any attacking threat. Fulham are three points from safety and they have to face Everton and Manchester City before Christmas. Jol insists there were positives to be taken from Saturday’s London derby, and the Dutchman believes the club still have a chance of avoiding the drop. “There are three clubs that go down and there have only been 13 matches so far,” he said. “You have to be strong, be tough mentally and get the points. We always regroup because they are good lads. “We didn’t have Berbatov today because he was ill. I dropped Bryan Ruiz because we wanted to up the tempo and I feel that Adel Taarabt did that. It almost paid off but it didn’t. “We had a few good breaks and the first half was okay. We switched off in the second half, they scored through a deflection so that killed us.” Jol will hope that Berbatov and back injury victim Brede Hangeland will be back for the game against Spurs. While Jol’s future is uncertain, his opposite number Sam Allardyce can afford to relax a bit following his team’s first home win since the opening day of the season. Diame hopes the win will prove to be a springboard for West Ham, who were booed off last week following a 3-0 derby defeat to Chelsea at Upton Park. “When you’ve lost at home, like here against Chelsea 3-0 and you go straight back to win 3-0, always you have the confidence to play the next game,” Diame told West Ham TV. “We have just three days until we play against Crystal Palace and we need to make sure we take the three points there. “I hope it can [kick-start the season]. We need to improve and keep working like this until the end of the season. Fulham and Crystal Palace are both towards the bottom like us, so we need to take the three points on Tuesday too.” last_img read more

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Badgers ready for Cal State Fullerton

first_imgBoRyan’s advice to his Wisconsin team as it prepares to face Cal State Fullertonin the first round of the NCAA tournaments: Don’t blink.Hedid. It wasn’t pleasant.“They’llget the ball up in a hurry,” Ryan said. “I was looking at one gamefilm today and I must have blinked, but they were laying it in at the other endafter a make. Must have been a slow blink.”Despitebeing Big Ten champions and ranked sixth in the nation, the Badgers will haveto stay alert to avoid an upset Thursday in Omaha, Neb.The14th-seeded Titans (24-8, 12-4 Big West) beat UC Irvine on Saturday night towin the conference tournament. Josh Akognon scored 23 points and was picked astournament MVP.No.3 seed Wisconsin (29-4, 16-2), beat Illinois 61-48 to win the tournament titleSunday, to go with its regular season championship.Ryanput his team through a light shooting workout Monday ? “no diving forloose balls, no chasing, no pinching, no rabbit punches,” he said ? but hesaid he saw plenty of shortcomings during the conference tournament that hisplayers will focus on when the heavy-duty workouts resume Tuesday.Lastyear, the Badgers were without injured leading rebounder Brian Butch and gotbounced by UNLV in the second round. But he has been healthy all this seasonand is averaging almost 13 points and seven rebounds a game.“Weknow we’ve got tough competition down the road,” Ryan said. “But theother teams playing us know they’ve got a team that’s going to battle them,too, and I like the group that I have going into these games.”last_img read more

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Resolution calls for limits on smoking

first_imgUndergraduate Student Government weighed in on the debate over creating a smoke-free campus Tuesday night by passing a senate resolution calling for the enforcement of designated smoking areas and a clarification of current smoking policy.The administration will take an official position on changing smoking policy on the University Park Campus once it has heard from the different constituencies for faculty, staff, undergraduate students and graduate students, according to USG Director of Campus Affairs Jared Ginsburg. The other three constituencies’ representatives have passed resolutions, which are used to formally communicate interests to administration.Residential Senator Marissa Roy, a co-author of the resolution, sees the legislation as an intermediate step toward possibly establishing a smoke-free campus in the future.“We may be in the direction of becoming a smoke-free campus one day,” Roy said. “[Clarifying designated] smoking areas will be a first step to gauge reaction and get students used to the idea of seeing smoking limited on campus.”Nearly 65 percent of 1,485 respondents to a USG online poll supported limiting smoking on campus, according to the resolution. A plurality of about 46 percent of the respondents favored a smoking ban and 40 percent favored a change in the university’s smoking policy that includes clarifying the location of designated smoking areas.“I support a campus-wide ban on smoking contingent upon USC actually enforcing it,” Matthew Prusak, a freshman majoring in international relations (global business) said. “Smoking poses a health risk and it seems like the right thing to do from a health standpoint.”USG Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Vinnie Prasad, who cast the only dissenting vote, said the resolution does not address the plurality’s views.“While I agree with the spirit that we need to clarify all rules, I think we should have considered the 46 percent,” Prasad said.USG had initially planned to vote on the resolution last week but tabled the legislation to settle confusion between two groups of senators — those who wanted administration to take action and those who wanted to clarify the current policy, Roy said.The new draft added clauses aimed at clarifying and publicizing current USC smoking policy along with asking the administration to take action.“Students don’t know what the policy is,” Ginsburg said. “They just don’t understand it. We are calling for a very clear announcement by the administration as to what the policy is and where the university falls on the issue.”The USC Academic Senate and the USC Staff Assembly, the representative bodies of faculty and staff respectively, passed resolutions in 2010 advocating for a smoke-free campus. The academic senate’s resolution cited research findings and recommendations from the Provost’s Work and Family Life Committee, which conducted focus groups on both campuses.“It’s not out of the realm of the really possible,” said Christopher Chomyn, a senior lecturer in the School of Cinematic Arts and the committee’s chair. “We are not leading this trend. We are way behind the curve for universities adopting smoke-free policies.”At least 586 colleges have adopted smoke-free campus policies as of Oct. 7, including schools with large campuses such as the University of Michigan and Oregon State University, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.In September, the Graduate and Professional School Senate expressed its opposition to a smoking ban with a strongly worded resolution that called smoking bans “an encroachment of personal rights.”“The lack of enforceability was a big problem we talked about,” GPSS President Ryan Estes said. “We thought there could be a lot of alternatives to create a healthier campus than a flat-out smoking ban.”Chomyn, however, said a ban probably wouldn’t be heavily enforced.“It’s not meant to be punitive,” he said. “It’s meant to improve the general welfare of our community.”Because of the negative health effects associated with secondhand smoking, some smokers support the enforcement of designated smoking areas despite the inconvenience they cause.“I’m a smoker, but I agree with the designated smoking areas,” said Jin Yong-Moon, a junior majoring in music industry. “I may harm other people if I smoke in open areas.”Chomyn said his committee’s research showed opposition to a ban mostly comes from non-smokers, rather than smokers.“Most of the people who are smokers seem to be in the favor of it, or at least open to it,” he said. “The push back has been from non-smokers.”Roy also said she hopes the resolution’s urge to clarify policy will mean students learn there are already designated smoking areas on campus.“Students in the survey were asking for something that already exists, but they didn’t know were already there,” Roy said.In the coming months, USG will continue to work on expressing the student body’s opinion regarding USC’s smoking policy.“USG is going to be the stalwart voice of students,” Roy said. “We want to keep our personal views out of it.”The resolution will remain effective for two senate terms, taking advantage of a new bylaw amendment that allows each senator to submit one strongly supported resolution to the subsequent senate.last_img read more

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Williams will be one of the greats

first_imgThis past weekend, the USC football program had seven members of last year’s team participate in the NFL Combine. Overall this was an impressive number of invitations for the Trojans, who tied Oregon for the most players represented from the Pac-12.The player whose performance will receive the most attention until draft time are is former lineman Leonard Williams, who declared early after his junior season. Williams, a consensus top-five pick in every mock draft, is vying for the No. 1 overall selection. A dominant defensive lineman while at USC, Williams played through various injuries during his time as a Trojan. This ability to play while hurt  — and play well  — was an underrated quality Williams possessed and one that will benefit him as a professional.While many top collegiate prospects sit out with the slightest injury to not hurt their draft stock, Williams cemented his legacy as a Trojan when he played hurt during the Stanford game early in the 2014 season.He demonstrated what it means to be a warrior on the football field, and dominated fellow top prospect Andrus Peat for periods of that game.The main problem with the NFL Combine is that it doesn’t measure heart or intensity. While some prospects are able to run blazing fast 40-yard dashes and broad jump exceptionally far, they might not maintain great practice habits or the internal drive necessary to succeed on the professional level.That’s why fans get fooled so often by great Combine performances that don’t always pan out over the course of a professional career. Of course there are exceptions — most notably Vernon Davis and Chris Johnson — but the body of work during a college career matters a lot more than one weekend of drills in Indianapolis. NFL scouts are aware of this and do not base their evaluations on just the combine; however, the average fan might.That’s why JaDeveon Clowney was hyped as the next Lawrence Taylor before he stepped onto the field for the Texans. He certainly had an impressive college career, which included a sophomore season that involved a bone- crushing hit against Michigan in the bowl game. When he dealt with injuries and double and triple teams as a junior, however, he didn’t fare as well both on and off the field.The entire season of red flags was overshadowed by the combination of his almost superhuman 4.53 40 yard dash and incredible highlight reel. When his rookie season rolled around, however, Clowney was beset by a bevy of injuries, with microfracture knee surgery ultimately ending his year early. One year is a small sample of an entire career, but it certainly doesn’t bode well for Clowney’s future, regardless of his workout-warrior status at the Combine.Of course, Clowney could come back with a vengeance this season, buoyed by the fact that he lines up next to J.J. Watt, possibly one of the greatest defensive linemen to play in the 21st century. The jury is still out on Clowney, and hopefully, he makes a full recovery and realizes his immense potential. He should just serve as an example to fans that tempering expectations after the Combine is extremely important.In contrast to Clowney, Williams played through everything, from a busted shoulder to an injured ankle, and he didn’t once complain or sit out to protect his future.He may not be in the same athletic class as Clowney, but Williams is also a physically dominating presence on the football field. Combine his raw tools with great instincts and a never-ending motor, and I am confident that Williams will be a better professional than Clowney or any other defensive line prospect in this draft.Across the league, former USC defensive tackles have demonstrated their considerable skills and carved out successful careers in the league. With the exception of the most coveted collegiate prospect, Sedrick Ellis, the fraternity of USC interior lineman is pretty impressive. Mike Patterson, a member of the Wild Bunch II line with Shaun Cody, Kenechi Udeze and Omar Nazel has outlasted his fellow college teammates and is currently playing in his 10th season, his second with the New York Giants after eight with the Philadelphia Eagles.Jurrell Casey, who followed in the footsteps of Patterson and Ellis, is one of the most underrated players in the league as a tackle for the Tennessee Titans.Casey dominates opposing linemen with the same regularity that he had when he was disrupting Pac-12 offenses.Fili Moala might never live up to the hype he had when he entered his final season as a Trojan, when Todd Mcshay surprisingly pegged Moala as the first pick in his initial mock draft, but is still in the league with the Colts with a longer-than-average NFL career.Leonard Williams will be better than all of his predecessors at USC and a dynamic defender for years to come. He doesn’t have the same body type as Patterson or Casey but is just as powerful with even more versatility.Williams’s Combine performance was solid, but it was his play on the field that foreshadows a great future as a professional.Jake Davidson is a sophomore majoring in accounting. His column, “Davidson’s Direction,” runs Mondays.last_img read more

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SKS365 ups all-round fraud detection capacities with Featurespace ARIC Hub

first_imgShare SBC continues to grow media operation with SlotBeats addition January 31, 2020 Strengthening its risk management, player ID and fraud detection capacities, Italian betting operator SKS365 Group has confirmed that it will utilise the services and provisions of Featurespace ‘behavioural analytics’.Updating the market, SKS365 will implement Featurespace’s ‘ARIC Fraud Hub’ securing real-time predictive fraud monitoring dynamics, across its active European brands currently servicing more than 1.5 million customers.Featurespace’s fraud hub will further strengthen SKS365 operational resources, providing customer service and compliance teams with ‘real-time alerts’ on suspicious transactions, deposits and withdrawals.Solving the fraud challenge in our industry is particularly difficult because criminals always develop new tools to cheat our systems and defraud others, to win we must be always a step forward” said Louisa Curran, Head of Fraud and Payments at SKS365.“Overcoming this challenge, as we are rapidly scaling, calls for an intelligent solution that can grow with us and detect and prevent legitimate attacks. Featurespace allows us to achieve this, allowing us to reinvest our resources into maintaining the integrity of planetwin365 and the trust that our genuine customers have placed in us and it.”In addition, Featurespace’s ARIC Fraud Hub provides SKS365 with full control over fraud reporting and creation of new rules, as well as a ‘test environment’ for testing new parameters and monitoring metrics.In its update, SKS365 details that it has partnered with a best-in-class behavioural, which has been awarded PWC’s “U.K. Tech Award for Innovation of the Year”We are thrilled and motivated by SKS365’s decision to select Featurespace to protect their customers from real-time attack. A task we have been performing for the gaming sector for ten years,” said Martina King, CEO at Featurespace.“Choosing our ARIC platform illustrates SKS365′ focus on enhancing its services through innovation to accelerate revenue growth, decrease losses, risk and increase its overall customer acceptance rate.” StumbleUpon Submit Share Related Articles SKS365 names Massimiliano Mura as new legal and compliance lead March 5, 2020 AgiproNews Italian View – Dignity Decree’s blanket ban shows no effectiveness February 14, 2020last_img read more

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Malta MGA fines Blackrock Media €2.4m for servicing unauthorised transactions

first_imgShare StumbleUpon Soft2Bet continues new market drive with Irokobet launch August 26, 2020 Related Articles IBIA – MGA must adopt coherent approach on sports betting customer disputes   July 21, 2020 Submit Ray Wilson, AMLGS: Industry deserves praise for its reaction to a new normal July 23, 2020 Share The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has sanctioned a €2.4 million penalty charge on Blackrock Media Limited for ‘operating gaming services through a Maltese legal entity without being in possession of the necessary authorisation’.The penalty charge follows a joint investigation undertaken by the MGA and Malta’s Executive Police force, which uncovered that Blackrock Media had processed payments to and from players as part of gaming services which were not duly authorised.Blackrock Media is a subsidiary brand of Netherlands based Blackrock Entertainment, which operates the Wild Sultan online casino brand under a Curaçao licence.In its statement, the MGA confirms that Blackrock Media has paid its €2.4 million penalty charge. The fine represents the MGA first penalty of 2020,  following a very busy 2019 for European regulators – with 15 fines issued according to industry compliance tracker GamblingIndustryFines.comClosing its 2019 legislative agenda, MGA governance disclosed that it had suspended 11 operator licences and refused a further thirteen licence applications during the period of January-June 2019.Strengthening its regulatory oversight, the MGA stated that its licence refusals had been sanctioned on the basis that individuals connected to the operators had been deemed unfit to operate an online gambling enterprise.last_img read more

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Wellington Police Notes: Friday, June 24 – Sunday, June 26, 2016

first_imgWellington Police notes: Friday, June 24 – Sunday, June 26, 2016: Friday, June 24, 2016•11:10 a.m. Officers investigated a theft in the 1200 block E. 4th, Wellington.•1:10 p.m. Officers investigated a theft by deception in the 400 block W. Harvey, Wellington.•1:28 p.m. Kylee J. Chisholm, 23, Wellington was arrested and confined on a City of Derby Bench warrant for failure to appear.•2:58 p.m. Officers investigated a theft in the 100 block W. Appleblossom Lane, Wellington.•3:50 p.m. Non-Injury on private property in the 2000 block E. 16th, Wellington involving vehicles operated by Annarose H. White, 26, Wellington and Marci L. Kolman, 29, Wellington.•10:10 p.m. Non-Injury accident in the 1700 block U.S. 160, Wellington involving a vehicle operated by Caly D. Hochevar, 31, Wellington.•10:10 p.m. Caly D. Hochevar, 31, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for no proof of insurance.•10:49 p.m. Aaron T. Gurley, 88, Wellington was arrested and confined on a Lyon County Bench Warrant for failure to appear.Saturday, June 25, 2016•12:29 p.m. Officers investigated disorderly conduct and amplification of Sound in the 400 block N. Olive, Wellington by known suspect(s).•3:48 p.m. Officers investigated a domestic battery by known suspect in the 1400 block E. Michigan, Wellington.•10:30 p.m. Officers took a report of a suicidal threat in the 600 block S. Fair, Wellington by known subject.•10:30 p.m. Officers investigated a violation of a protective order by known suspect in the 600 block S. Fair, Wellington.Sunday, June 26, 2016•12:00 a.m. Officers investigated a domestic battery by known suspect(s) in the 800 block N. Woodlawn, Wellington.•11:07 a.m. Officers investigated a theft of gasoline by a known suspect in the 1100 block W. 8th, Wellington.•11:46 a.m. Officers took a report of a disturbance in the 1000 block E. 8th, Wellington.•12:29 p.m. Officers took a report of found property in the 600 block S. Fair, Wellington.•1:38 p.m. Officers investigated a theft of wallet and contents in the 500 block S. Jefferson, Wellington.•8:21 p.m. Officers investigated a criminal trespass in the 2000 block E. 16th, Wellington.•8:33 p.m. Caleb D. Stewart, 28, Wellington was arrested, charged and bonded with criminal trespass.•9:24 p.m. Officers investigated a theft of gasoline in the 1400 block E. 16th, Wellington.last_img read more

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Trump congratulates his daughter Tiffany on finishing law school

first_imgCongratulations are in order for President Donald Trump’s daughter, Tiffany Trump, who recently graduated from Georgetown Law School.Unfortunately for Tiffany Trump, she had to give up the traditional commencement ceremony after schools shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.Georgetown honored its Class of 2020 with weekend video tributes and a virtual ceremony during which degrees were conferred, according to its website.Tiffany Trump is the first lawyer among the president’s five children. In congratulating his daughter, President Trump said “Just what I need is a lawyer in the family. Proud of you Tiff!”last_img read more

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