first_imgSome action photos taken by Brian McDaid during the first two days of stages of the 2016 Joule Donegal International Rally.With Garry Jennings forced to retire due to engine trouble yesterday it means there will be a new Donegal International winner for 2016. Declan Boyle is currently leading but it there are only 4.9 seconds separating Boyle from Donagh Kelly in the Ford Focus WRC. Keith Cronnan and Mike Galvin BantrySeamus Lenord and Paul McLaughlinJonathan Grier and Kersty Riddick, Belfast Declan Gallagher and James Mc Nulty. ArdaraBrian Brogan and Damien Mc Gettigan,LetterkennyKyle Mc Gettigan and Dale McGettigan Letterkenny.Darragh Kelly and Eamon Doherty Donegal Town.Barry Mc Gill and Derick HennaDonal kelly and Chris Mc Kenna, DunfanaghyDeclan Gallagher and Columba Henna. PerthPICTURE SPECIAL: DONEGAL INTERNATIONAL RALLY – BOYLE & KELLY BATTLING IT OUT was last modified: June 18th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Declan BoyleGarry JenningsjouleJoule Donegal International RallyManus Kellypicture speciallast_img read more


Canadian Pays for Fire in Two Ways

first_imgLast October, an investment property that Woytek Stachowki owned in Edmonton, Alberta, was gutted by fire. That was bad enough, but a month later the other shoe dropped: He received a bill for $12,800 from Edmonton Fire Rescue Services. The reason? Stachowki’s house was insulated with cellulose, and the fire department says it had to hire an outside contractor to remove the insulation and make sure the fire was really out. In a report posted by CTVNews, Stachowski said he thought the bill showed up by a mistake and that his insurance company should have been covering any expenses related to the fire. “I think as a taxpayer I shouldn’t get this at all,” he told the station.RELATED ARTICLESCellulose InsulationCompetitors Ready New Generation CelluloseInsurance Discounts For Homes With Green Features The fire department says otherwise. In a telephone call, spokeswoman Maya Filipovic said the practice dates to at least 2015, and possibly earlier, and that the department sends out similar bills between eight and ten times per year. Charges typically range from $8,000 to $13,000. Insurance companies have historically footed these bills, so homeowners haven’t squawked. But Filipovic said there’s been more pushback from insurers recently. That’s left Stachowski with an unexpected bill after suffering a major catastrophic loss. The cause of the fire was not determined. It’s not clear where the bill stands. Stachowski said by telephone that his insurance company tells him it will pay $1,500 of the bill but the rest is up to him. The television report, however, says his insurance company has offered to pay the bill but would deduct that from his settlement. Very detailed charges Fire department accountants were exacting in their assessment of charges. Stachowski was charged for use of a vacuum truck, labor, air testing, the use of a generator, work lights and extension cords, hydrant meter and water fill, respirators (including replacement filters), Tyvek suits, hook tools, rakes and hoes, waste removal, and equipment washout. Oh yes, and a $19.12 carbon tax. Filipovic explained the rationale for the department’s policy this way: Cellulose insulation — which is typically chopped up newspaper — is common in attics. When a fire breaks out, embers can become lodged in the insulation and smolder for hours, raising the possibility the fire will reignite. In order to make sure there’s no chance of that happening, the department brings in an outside contractor to tear the insulation out. A photo of the bill posted by CTVNews appears to show this process took seven hours and involved four if not five people. Stachowski was billed at their “emergency rate.” If the bill caught Stachowski by surprise, his representative on the Edmonton City Council, Mike Nickel, was no less flabbergasted. “It doesn’t make any sense,” he said in a call with GBA. “Why the extra bill?” Filipovic said she was unable to comment on specifics of the bill. “I can’t comment on the line items or the reasoning behind each,” she said in an email. “That would be up to the vendor to respond as this is their bill not ours. But every vendor we use is vetted by the city and goes on an approved vendor list.” Nothing like in the U.S. The practice of billing homeowners because their houses were insulated with cellulose apparently isn’t done in the U.S. “I’ve never heard of such a thing,” said Robert Solomon, a fire protection engineer with the National Fire Protection Association. Rob dePruis, director of consumer and industrial relations with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, an industry trade group, said most homeowner insurance policies cover firefighting expenses. But policies also may limit the amount of a payout, and that could have been what happened in Stachowski’s case. There are some 150 companies in the province offering insurance policies, so there are many variables in what they offer. The takeaway is to make sure you know what your policy will pay, he said. Municipalities are permitted to charge firefighting expenses to residents, dePruis said, as described in their bylaws. In some cases, as with Edmonton, the removal of debris from the house would be outside the bounds of what’s typically considered firefighting — that is, a job outside the expertise of a firefighter. That could prompt the use of an outside contractor. Cellulose insulation is treated with fire retardants and has a Class 1 fire rating, according to the Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association. The trade group’s website says cellulose meets all federal, state, and local fire safety regulations in the U.S., and adds that walls with cellulose insulation can help control the spread of fire. The association cites both a low flame spread and low smoke development index. “When properly installed, cellulose insulation can help reduce the spread of flames in house and building fires. Some cellulose manufacturers have even qualified two and three hour firewall designs using cellulose insulation,” the website claims. Insulation can conceal hot spots Dan Lea, the executive director of the Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association, said Edmonton’s concerns that embers may be buried in the insulation are not misplaced. Its billing practices are another issue. “I’ve never heard of a policy like this anywhere else,” he said by telephone. “Basically what they are doing is penalizing the homeowner because the cellulose insulation mitigated the damage. There was a building left for them to overhaul, and now they’re charging the homeowner for doing their job.” He said firefighters must make sure there are no remaining hot spots, which may be hidden even from thermal imaging. “That’s a well known fact, that cellulose suppresses the movement of fire through insulated assemblies,” he said. “You have to root around and make sure you’ve got it all.” Lea said that even a major cellulose manufacturer located in Edmonton had never heard of the city’s billing practices. “It’s just part of the overhaul process,” Lea said. “Are they going to charge for overhauling an area where they have wood flooring? Are they going to charge for pulling down a wood shingle roof where there’s been some fire damage?” This post has been updated with comments from the Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association.last_img read more


HOT OFF THE PRESS Wilmington Recreation Offers 8Day Trip To Grand Canyon

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Recreation Department presents an 8-day America’s Canyonlands trip from May 14, 2020 to May 21, 2020.The trip costs $2,650 per person (double), $3,625 per person (single), and $2,615 per person (triple).Contact the Recreation Department at 978-658-4270 with any questions and registration information. Additional itinerary information can be found HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedHOT OFF THE PRESS: Wilmington Recreation Offers “March Gladness” Road Trip To Catskill MountainsIn “Community”HOT OFF THE PRESS: Wilmington Recreation Organizes Trip To See “Mutts Gone Nuts!” Show In WrenthamIn “Community”HOT OFF THE PRESS: Read Wilmington Recreation’s Fall NewsletterIn “Community”last_img read more


Apple tops 800 billion market cap for first time

first_imgReutersApple Inc (AAPL.O) became the first US company to top the $800 billion mark in market capitalisation on Tuesday, slightly more than two years after it crossed the $700 billion threshold.The iPhone maker’s shares have gained 33 percent this year and almost 50 percent since the US election in November. The company represents about 4 percent of the $21.7 trillion that makes up the entire S&P 500 .SPX index.Apple accounted for as much as 4.9 percent of the S&P 500 in September 2012 but is a smaller percentage now as the index as a whole has rallied more than 7 percent this year.”It’s just reflective of how powerful a franchise it is. It may be the most powerful franchise in the country today,” said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey, whose firm does not own the stock.”Considering that it has a limited number of products, it has really dominated that market in a way that few companies have, and it’s been able to retain margins despite lots of competitors.”If Apple continues on its growth path, the company will top the $1 trillion market cap level later this year.Stock buybacks have also bolstered Apple shares, with the company reducing its actual share count by 20.9 percent and the average diluted shares outstanding by 20.5 percent over the past four years, according to Standard & Poor’s data.The median price target on Apple is $160, up from the $140 median three months ago. Shares closed at $153.99 on Tuesday.The closing market cap of $802.8 billion was larger than the economies of 45 of the 50 US states, topped only by Illinois, Florida, New York, Texas and California.Billionaire Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) has disclosed a stake of roughly $20 billion in Apple, said on Monday he had grown more fond of the company because he could “very easily determine” the iPhone maker’s competitive position “and who is trying to chase them.”last_img read more


Budget today Big expenditure limited income

first_imgA Prothom Alo IllustrationFinance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is presenting the national budget for the 2019-20 financial year in parliament today, Thursday. The size of the budget is estimated to be around Tk 5.23 trillion (Tk 5,23,300 crore).While the size of the budget has expanded, the budget speech is to be much shorter than in the past.The massive budget has expectations of high expenditure, but the government’s income capacity has decreased. The new finance minister has stiff challenges ahead. The main problem is the failure in collecting necessary revenue. Added to that is the fragile state of the financial sector.Revenue challengeWith the inclusion of grants, the total estimated income of the coming budget is likely to be Tk 3.82 trillion (Tk 3,82,000 crore). Of this, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) will have to collect revenue of Tk 2.26 trillion (Tk 2,26,000 crore). Another Tk 150 billion (Tk 15,000 crore) is supposed to come from taxes outside of NBR and Tk 380 billion (Tk 38,000 crore) from various duty and tariff.While NBR had the revenue target of Tk 2.96 trillion (Tk 296,000 crore) this fiscal, this was reduced in the amended budget to Tk 2.80 trillion (Tk 280,000 crore).However, in the first nine months of the financial year, NBR managed to collect Tk. 1.530 trillion (Tk 153,000 crore). It is uncertain as to whether it will be able to meet the rest of the target, Tk 1.27 trillion (Tk 127,000 crore), in the remaining three months.A large part of the total revenue is Value Added Tax (VAT). The VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012 will come into effect from 1 July. There will be four levels of VAT in the new law. The finance minister has announced that 10,000 university students will be appointed on a part time basis to collect these taxes. He is also considering using them to identify new taxpayers.Speaking to Prothom Alo on the matter, former caretaker government advisor AB Mirza Md Azizul Islam said the tax net must first be expanded. There is no alternative to this. There are many people in the villages too now who are eligible to pay tax, but the government hasn’t reached them.Mirza Azizul Islam felt that revenue collection with increase further if, in the case of corporation tax, manipulations to evade payment can be halted.He said, on one hand an establishment doesn’t have VAT registration, or even if it does have the registration, it doesn’t use an electronic cash register (ECR). Or it imports a certain product, but has a different product on the records so as to evade tax. Revenue income will increase if this could be prevented.Expenditure questionsIn the current fiscal, the size of expenditure in the budget has been reduced to Tk 4.65 trillion (Tk 4,64,573 crore) to Tk 4.43 trillion (Tk 4,42,541 crore). In that sense, the coming budget is Tk 806.49 billion (Tk 80,649 crore) or 18 per cent higher than the last budget.Of the total expenditure, Tk 3.10 billion (Tk 310,000 crore) is non-development expenditure). Of this, interest to be paid on domestic loans is Tk 530 billion (Tk 53,000 crore) and interest to be paid on foreign loans is Tk 40 billion (Tk 4000 crore). And around Tk 600 billion (Tk 60,000 crore ) will be spent on salaries and allowances of government officers and employees.A question that looms large is about the quality of Annual Development Programme (ADP) implementation. The total development expenditure or ADP in this budget is estimated to be Tk 2.120 trillion (Tk 212,000 crore).Chief economist of the World Bank Dhaka office, Zahid Hossain, told Prothom Alo, there are many examples in the country of the expenditure not being made properly and not being made in time. For instance, the DEMU (Diesel-Electric Multiple Unit) train that was purchased six years ago, is just lying idle.He said, “I read in the media that BRTA is to purchase 700 vehicles for driving tests. Such decisions are taken with no consideration for national interests. That is why priorities must be determined at first before fixing the expenditure. It must be noted as to whether the expenditure will contribute to growth and help in poverty alleviation.”Loans to meet deficitAs always, in this budget too, the deficit will remain 5 per cent of the GDP. That means the deficit could stand to be Tk 1.450 trillion (Tk 145,000 crore). It is being estimated that the size of the GDP will increase from this fiscal’s Tk 25.36 trillion (Tk25,36,000 crore) to Tk 28.86 trillion (Tk 28,86,000 crore) in the coming fiscal.Sources say that the government will adopt certain measures to meet the deficit. Firstly, it will take foreign loans of Tk 750 billion (Tk 75,000 crore). The remaining deficit will be met by domestic loans. This includes Tk 470 billion (Tk 47,000 crore) as loans from the banking sector.And Tk 300 billion (Tk 30,000 crore) from outside of the banking sector will be procured by selling savings certificates. This year the target had been to sell savings certificates worth Tk 260 billion (Tk 26,000 crore) but this was later increased to Tk 450 billion (Tk 45,000 crore).Executive director of Policy Research Institute (PRI) Ahsan H Mansur told Prothom Alo, “There is no loan management and that is why the government is having to bear the high interest burden of savings certificates. I have been saying this for long, but the government doesn’t budge.”What’s new?There is consideration of providing subsidy in the new fiscal for sending remittance from overseas.There will be allocation in the new budget for this subsidy. And even if any educational institution was not included in the MPO bracket after 2010, this will be done in the coming financial year.The finance minister will announce a startup fund for young entrepreneurs.Crop insurance and insurance for non-resident Bangladeshis will also be announced.The budget will also speak of implementing the election commitment to build up planned villages.All sorts of allowances and grants will be increased under the social security programme. The number of beneficiaries will also be increased for certain programmes.Scholarships for students from the primary level to universities will be increased.The monthly allowance for freedom fighters will be increased from Tk 10,000 to Tk 12,000.Monthly allowance for the disabled will go up from Tk 700 to Tk 750.Mobile phone charges may go up. The 5 per cent existing supplementary tax on mobile phone talk time may be doubled to 10 per cent. That means alongside 15 per cent VAT on talk time, there will be a 10 per cent supplementary tax and 1 per cent surcharge. This will mean the tax will be over 27 per cent. It is around 22 per cent at present.* This piece appeared in the print edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten here in English by Ayesha Kabirlast_img read more