Budget 2016: Fuel duty is to remain frozen at 57.95p a litre for 2016-17.This is the sixth consecutive year that the government has retained the freeze on the rate of fuel duty.The continued freeze was announced by Chancellor George Osborne during his Budget 2016 speech today (16 March).Osborne said: “In the last twelve months, petrol prices have plummeted. That is why we pencilled in an inflation rise. But I know that fuel costs still make up a significant part of household budgets and weigh heavily on small firms.“Families paid the cost when oil prices rocketed; they shouldn’t be penalised when oil prices fall. So I can announce that fuel duty will be frozen for the sixth year in a row.“That’s a saving of £75 a year to the average driver; £270 a year to a small business with a van. It’s the tax boost that keeps Britain on the move.”Ashley Barnett, principal consultant at Lex Autolease, added: “The Chancellor’s decision to prolong the tax duty freeze for a sixth year has clear benefits for British businesses as many continue to feel the positive impact of lower costs at the pump. The falling cost of fuel had prompted speculation about an imminent rise in duty, but businesses can breathe a sigh of relief, for now at least.”Ashley Sowerby, managing director at Chevin Fleet Solutions, said: “The fleet industry will give a collective sigh of relief that fuel duty will be frozen once again, something that seemed certain to rise according to all of the pre-Budget recovery.“Apart from that, there seems to be little in the Chancellor’s statement of interest for those operating cars and vans except for the welcome infrastructure expenditure on roads and halving of the Severn Crossing tolls.“The real story, we believe, lies in the bigger picture, that the economy is now not expected to do as well as forecast just a few months ago even if it remains relatively stable. This will mean that fleet managers will come under renewed pressure to keep a tight rein on costs and ensure that they are getting maximum productivity out of their vehicles and drivers.”
Retail organisation John Lewis Partnership has launched a property rental benefit for its 85,500 John Lewis and Waitrose employees, in order to support staff financial wellbeing.The new benefit, provided by Canopy, was introduced on 18 May 2018 and enables employees to rent accommodation without a cash deposit, as well as helping staff to build a positive credit score.Employees who are currently renting a property, or who are planning to do so in the future, are able to use Canopy’s rent tracking service. This allows staff to automatically reconcile their rent payments and improve their credit history, using open banking technology. Employees are also able to add rental payments to their credit history using the Canopy app, to further improve their credit rating.The benefit also enables employees to access an insurance-based, deposit free alternative to typical cash deposits, which can help to make the moving process more affordable. This service is underwritten by Hiscox.Employees can additionally use the Canopy app to create a rent passport, which helps staff build a trust score by instantly verifying income, creditworthiness, employment, regular rent payments and past references.Stacey MacDougall, leisure benefits development manager at John Lewis Partnership, said: “Our aim is to provide a relevant and valued range of benefits for our [employees]. For a number of years, we have seen shelter, accommodation or housing as one of the most important gaps in our offer. The importance of good shelter has a critical impact on individuals, their wellbeing, their effectiveness and happiness at work. Having listened to feedback from our [employees] we made the decision to work with Canopy to help us bridge the gap in the shelter space.”
MIAMI (WSVN) – Police have released surveillance video of a man and a woman who, they said, broke into a car in Miami.Investigators said the pair broke into a Lexus in the middle of the night, June 1. A neighbor’s surveillance system captured them pulling door handles of two SUVs.The burglary happened along Southwest 30th Avenue and Third Street.Police believe the subjects are responsible for other break-ins in the area.If you have any information on this car break-in, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are seeking the public’s help to locate two men in connection to two business burglaries in Hialeah.Surveillance video captured the subject sneaking into and casing the office of a workshop near West 80th Street and 25th Court, Wednesday. They quickly noticed the camera recording, turned it around and took off.Neighboring business owner Bill Snyder said he was targeted around the same time. He said someone stole his phone and an envelope with money from his desk drawer.“It’s very scary to think that they’ve invaded your privacy just like that. It’s terrible,” he said. “I know what they look like now, so if I see them, it won’t take me but a second to dial 911.”If you have any information on either of these burglaries, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Police have arrested a man accused of sexual battery and kidnapping in Miami Beach, Sunday.According to authorities, 23-year-old Delmar O’Sullivan approached his victim on Christmas Day at around 10:30 p.m. as she walked along a boardwalk between the 1500 block and 2100 block.The victim told police O’Sullivan had complimented her hair before he repeatedly groped her and asked her to join him near the shoreline, to which the victim refused.When the the victim refused to kiss the suspect, she says, O’Sullivan picked her up over his shoulder against her will and walked her to the shoreline where he continued to grope her and digitally penetrated her.According to police, O’Sullivan finally stopped after the victim’s mother called her cellphone multiple times during the alleged assault.While in police custody, authorities said, O’Sullivan confessed to picking up the victim, taking her near the shoreline, hugging her and groping her buttocks.O’Sullivan has also been charged with false imprisonment and battery. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MIAMI (WSVN) – Unrest in Nicaragua sparked protests in the streets of Downtown Miami, Sunday.South Floridians continued to speak out after dozens of people died in the Central American country during protests to impeach Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.Related: Protesters gather in West Miami-Dade in solidarity with NicaraguaTensions rose after the Nicaraguan government was accused of killing and abusing citizens. However, some believe U.S. intervention might not be in Nicaragua’s best interest.“The United States should stay out of the business of Nicaragua because history has shown time and time again that it is not in the interest of the people,” said Miami demonstrator Carolina Abarca. “It is — it has its own interest, and it is never of the people; it is for whatever the U.S. has in mind and plans to do.”Nicaraguan Attorney General Inés Miranda has launched an investigation into the deaths of protesters.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
After calling back to police headquarters, Conley was given permission to break the window, and once she did, she learned the people in the car weren’t just passed out from drugs, they weren’t alone.When I did so, I saw a little head pop up,” she said. “It was a little girl in the back seat of the car.”Officials said the child’s mother and uncle were both high on drugs at the time and were arrested.The young girl is now safe.“I hope that anybody that’s out there that does abuse drugs and has children will see this story and hopefully get help and not put their children in danger, themselves, or others,” Conley said.Both suspects are charged with child neglect and possession of narcotics.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. COCONUT CREEK, FLA. (WSVN) – A Coconut Creek Police officer found two adult siblings high and passed out in a car before she discovered a young girl in the back seat.Both subjects faced a South Florida judge after they were accused of making a dangerous decision on July 31.Coconut Creek Police Officer Shana Conley said the scene was disturbing.“I was very upset at first when I saw the little girl in the backseat,” Conley said. “Then I became a little angry that a mother would put her daughter in such a terrible position.”According to court documents, 26-year-old James Atkins, the child’s uncle, and the child’s mother, 30-year-old Sarah Atkins, were the subjects who were found passed out.Officials said it was 3 p.m. when Conley, who was off-duty and heading home, spotted the car. It was on the side of the street near the 1000 block of Lyons Road.“Knocked on the windows several times. Nobody responded. Nobody woke up,” Conley said, “and the vehicle was locked.”
Hometown Food Company has announced a recall of over 12,000 cases of flour due to concerns of salmonella contamination.The Pillsbury Unbleached All-Purpose Flour bags possibly affected have the lot codes of 8292 and 8293 with Best If Used By dates of April 19 and 20 of 2020.The flour cases were distributed in grocery stores including Publix and Winn-Dixie.The U.S. Department of Agriculture said there have been no reports of salmonella-related cases due to the flour so far.The recall comes less than two months after General Mills found salmonella in certain bags of their Gold Medal Unbleached Flour.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Krull hopes to create into a local beer and wine bar mixed with a restaurant to open by summer of 2018. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Alaska railcar 602, has been transformed into a new coffee house in Soldotna. “Brew@602” has partnered with Steam Dot Coffee Roasters in Anchorage. Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-Brew@602-update.mp3VmJennifer-on-Brew@602-update.mp300:00RPd Photos courtesy of: Brew@602 on Instagram Railcar 602 is an out of service Alaska Railroad car that Soldotna resident Mary Krull purchased from a private seller in Homer, the grand opening will take place on December 28. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/brew602/ Brew@602 will open daily from 7-5 (Sun 8-5) starting on Thursday, December 28th. Brew@602 sits at the top of the hill on Kleeb Loop Road, in Soldotna. Krull: “It’s a double decker. What we have done is added some fix tables, but we maintained the walk over seats that were common in commuter cars. Most of the seats move, and its a unique feature of this rail car.” The coffee car is just the first business to open on ‘Whistle Hill’. A second car, named Addie Camp, was built in 1913 and was shipped from South Dakota where it was taken out of service in 2008.
CES Deputy Chief Dan Grimes said no occupants were home at the time of the fire. The house sustained major damage. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Central Emergency Services with mutual aid assistance from Kenai Fire Department responded to a house fire off Salamatof Dr. in Soldotna at 5:12 p.m., this evening. CES responded with 24 staff members on scene, 3 engines, an ambulance, 2 tankers, and mutual aid from Kenai Fire Department. Crews are still on scene assessing the damage, and conducting clean up efforts. The cause of the fire at this time is unknown. The location of the fire was down Funny River Road near mile 4.5 off of Salamatof Dr. Alaska State Troopers were on scene to assist with directing traffic.
SUMMIT LAKE / JOHNSON PASS / LYNX DRAINAGE: South of Turnagain Pass, keep in mind old buried weak layers exist and there is a potential for very large avalanches to occur that break near the ground. Natural storm snow avalanches 2-4′ thick are likely while this second storm hits. The avalanche danger is considerable in the treeline and below treeline band where natural storm snow avalanches may occur and human triggered avalanches are likely . GIRDWOOD: Roof avalanches are expected with warming temperatures. Pay attention to children and pets and where you park your car. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Hurricane force wind plus another foot of new snow overnight has brought the avalanche danger to high in some areas, according to the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. Wet snow avalanches below 1,000′ are possible with forecast rising temperatures. Before you head to the backcountry, it’s important to check the conditions before you go. Parking may be difficult along Turnagain Pass. Please be aware of parking safely and avoid blocking unplowed lots as DOT crews work to clear roads and parking areas.
Last week while researching a story on how confusingly similar b-to-b company names are (Ascend, Aspire, Summit Media, Summit Business Media et al) Steve Weitzner, the president of Ziff Davis Enterprise, told me that “about the third time I had to explain to a customer that we aren’t that Ziff Davis, we’re the other Ziff Davis, I realized we needed a name change.”Weitzner says the company is working on a name change but is in no rush. “We only want to change it once.”So, in the true spirit of b-to-b service journalism, I thought it’d be nice if we all help Ziff Davis Enterprise brainstorm new names. I’d do it myself, but I’m not sure Not That Ziff Davis (NTZD Inc.) is what they’re going for. Leave your idea for Ziff Davis Enterprise’s new name in the comments section below, and we’ll add ‘em to the shortlist.And while you’re at it, let’s come up with a new name for Summit Media too. Who knows? Maybe they’ll actually use ‘em …
More on this topic Computerworld, SC Magazine Win Magazine of the Year from ASBPE NewBay Gets Into Data With Acquisition Introducing Fast Company’s Latest Hire: Philip Scoble Hoffman Unexpected Delivery: AARP Member Gets 1,000 Copies of Magazine Follow FOLIO: on Twitter Asset International Takes First Steps In Big Growth PlansJust In The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the Move Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV Networks Editor & Publisher Magazine Sold to Digital Media Consultant Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the Move Bonnier Corp. Terminates Editor-in-Chief for Ethics BreachPowered by I recently got an email alert from a data security company warning me to improve my levels of security by enabling two-factor password reset, and by supporting self service password reset for my audience members. The reason for this was, of course, a security breach. A Russian hacker group has amassed over 4.5 billion stolen personal records, according to the alert. Knowing just how much of our information a Russian teenage boy can get access to makes the recent Lands’ End/GQ contretemps all the more puzzling.Lands’ End, according to a New York Times report, set up a partnership with Condé Nast, to provide free magazines to its best customers. On the face of it, it’s a great idea. The customer gets a gift from the catalog merchant, the merchant gets credit for appreciating its customers, and Condé Nast gets its magazines out in front of a new potential buyer. Win/win/win.Somewhere along the line, something went wrong. Conservative religious families, who had bought uniforms for their children to wear to a Christian private school, were in an uproar when the aptly (if coincidentally) named “Play with Fire” issue arrived in their mailboxes. It featured a topless woman as the cover model.A few of my publisher friends called to pass this bit on to me. They all thought it knee-slappingly funny. So, in fact, do I. However, as one commented, “In the age of big data, we should be able to do better than that. It shouldn’t take much to figure out that a conservative clothing retailer and a racy cover image don’t mix.” Experts on the issue of Internet privacy seem to agree on one point: It doesn’t exist. We are told that there is virtually nothing about any of us that cannot be learned with a click of a mouse.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Navy is considering two of its bases in Florida — Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville and Naval Air Station Key West — and NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore as candidates to become the East Coast home base for the next generation of surveillance unmanned aerial systems (UASs).The base would host launch and recovery operations for the still-under-development MQ-4C Triton as well as a maintenance facility, reported Delmarva Now. The base would be home to four unmanned aircraft with room for up to four more undergoing maintenance, said Ted Brown, environmental public officer for Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk.Operations would begin in 2020, Brown said. An environmental assessment of the three sites is expected to be completed in late June.“At this point, we don’t have a preferred alternative,” Brown said. “We are still doing the analysis.”The new UASs are intended to accomplish several tasks, including reconnaissance missions over ocean and coastal regions.The mission would bring 400 full-time jobs move to Virginia’s Eastern Shore, significantly boosting the local economy, said Peter Bale, president of the Wallops Island Regional Alliance. The decision could add between 1,500 and 2,000 residents to the area, including family members.“I like to refer to it as a Richter scale event,” Bale said. “It would be phenomenal,” he said.“Wallops is an ideal place to base the Navy’s new Triton aircraft, and I look forward to discussing that option with the Pentagon,” said Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes (R), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR An $8 million grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) awarded last week to the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy will be used to help dozens of communities and companies across Michigan, Ohio and Indiana address the loss of jobs in the defense industry stemming from cutbacks in DOD spending.“When communities are faced with the type of sudden and severe economic dislocation that can result from a defense plant closure or a mass layoff, it is necessary, but often difficult to create an effective community response,” Lawrence Molnar, an associate director at the institute and the project’s principal investigator, said in a news release. “Our community-based scope of work combines assistance from both the public and private sectors in communities and regions experiencing or anticipating adverse impacts of defense downsizing.”The university — in partnership with Purdue University and Ohio State University — already has designed and begun to implement strategic programs tailored to more than 40 companies and seven communities through the school’s Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program. The new funding will allow that effort to increase collaborations with regional defense industry research institutions.The $8 million grant, awarded through OEA’s defense industry adjustment program, will support a two-year project that will target 72 communities and companies across the three states. The goal is to generate diversification plans for those communities and companies so they are more resilient and can attract new business, while retaining and growing existing enterprises.The Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program assesses many factors for each participating company and community, including their financial health and market placement. The program then works with each participant to implement diversification plans, which are jointly funded by all parties.The University of Michigan currently is working with Battle Creek and Sterling Heights and is in the process of evaluating a number of other municipalities — Ypsilanti Township, Saginaw, Lansing, Cadillac and Grand Haven — to determine the impact from defense jobs losses and community interest, reported the Detroit Free Press.Michigan, Ohio and Indiana have lost more than 6,800 defense supply-chain positions in recent years as DOD has drawn down from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and stringent budget caps have been imposed across the federal government.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Leaders from the Navy, Georgia Power and the Georgia Public Service Commission on Monday celebrated the opening of a $75 million, 30-megawatt solar array at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga.Now operational, this 254-acre solar farm contains approximately 133,000 solar photovoltaic panels and is delivering energy to the installation and the surrounding community at or below the company’s avoided cost, according to a Navy news release. Georgia Power completed the project in less than a year.The solar generation facility is the first completed by Georgia Power in collaboration with the Navy and joins a similar 30-megwatt on-base solar facility recently completed at Fort Benning. The utility is currently developing more than 150 megawatts of solar generation to serve the state’s electric customers through projects with the Navy and Army. In addition to the new arrays at Kings Bay and Fort Benning, Georgia Power is building solar facilities at Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, according to the utility.“Ensuring our installations have secure, reliable, resilient and affordable energy is critical for continuous operations. Working with an innovator like Georgia Power enables the Department of the Navy to achieve its missions and energy efficiency goals,” Rear Adm. Mary Jackson, commander of Navy Region Southeast, said at the ribbon cutting.
Facebook NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO May 15, 2017 – 1:50 am ‘Hamilton’ wins Best Musical Theater Album GRAMMY-winning musical becomes sixth best-selling Broadway album of all timeRenée FabianGRAMMYs Aug 31, 2017 – 10:38 am Since opening on Broadway in 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton” has notched some impressive feats, from winning a GRAMMY to taking home 11 Tony Awards. Now, the original Broadway soundtrack is taking this musical to new heights. Twitter “Hamilton” Spends 100 Weeks On The Charts “Hamilton” Moves Up In Broadway World hamilton-spends-100-weeks-charts News Email Billboard announced that the Hamilton: An American Musical soundtrack, currently at No. 24 on the Billboard 200, has reached 100 consecutive weeks on the chart. With 1.285 million units in total album sales, “Hamilton” has also edged out the soundtrack from 1996’s “Rent” in album sales. This means the popular historical sing-along is now the sixth best-selling original musical cast album since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991.The current highest-grossing original soundtrack of all time is the London recording of “The Phantom Of The Opera” with nearly 5 million copies sold. Next in line is “Wicked” (2.7 million), followed by “Mama Mia!” (1.72 million), “Les Miserables” (1.66 million) and “Jersey Boys” (1.44 million).With its Los Angeles touring run in full swing, no doubt there’s an opportunity for “Hamilton” to gain more fans and reach even higher chart heights.”Hamilton” Pulls Into Los Angeles, Brings #EduHam To Teens
News Email Facebook Kendrick Lamar Makes Acting Debut In “Power” kendrick-lamar-goes-all-acting-debut-power Twitter https://twitter.com/kendricklamar/status/1023606616258560000 Playing a lovable but dangerous neighborhood character on the hit cable series, Lamar reveals a new side to show the worldPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Jul 30, 2018 – 4:06 pm As a regular viewer of “Power” on Starz, Kendrick Lamar admired his friend 50 Cent’s show for remaining unexpected season after season. On July 29, making his acting debut as homeless drug abuser Laces, the only Pulitzer-prize winning rapper was the one who brought unexpected freshness to the show.In the episode, Lamar, almost unrecognizable in his role as Laces, distracts another character so hitman Kanan, played by 50 Cent, can shoot him. Laces helps himself to the victim’s wallet and shoes and is stoked about it. It’s certainly not the vision of Lamar we’re used to.”It’s a total transformation,” said executive producer of “Power” Courtney Kemp. “It is not a version of Kendrick Lamar that you’ve ever seen before.” In the interview with Kemp above, Lamar spoke of his preparation for the role and his satisfaction at playing someone he could relate to from real-life experiences growing up in Compton, Calif. Lamar’s acting appearance shows that he is not only a master of musical and verbal expression, but shows promise of adding “triple threat” to his esteemed resume. After all, “discipline,” the rapper shared, is his favorite word.No word yet whether Laces will be back on screen. His millions of admirers hope the hard-working artist continues to create more unexpected experiences.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more Kendrick Lamar Goes All In For Acting Debut In “Power”
WILMINGTON, MA — Below are a few recent Wilmington Little League game summaries:AAA: Astros survive Royals’ comeback, 7-6, on May 14, 2018 at Boutwell FieldThe Astros played their second straight one-run game, barely matching the Royals’ late comeback with their own in their half of the sixth inning. Everyone reached base at least once, starting with Joe Cavanaugh, Ronnan Scafiddi, and John Roofe who each singled in the second inning leading to their first run. The big hits came in the third as Luke Kitanov blasted a home run and Joe Gronemeyer ripped a double. Evan Cummings lined out on a screaming rope in the first but singled in the fourth and Ethan Afthim had another clutch single batting in Cummings. Roofe singled and scored in the fifth and Jake Cronin singled in the sixth, eventually scoring the game winner. Joe Fennelly, Tim Watson, Kevin Pruslin, Will Poyant, and Kyle McDonald reached base as well and added to the run total. Poyant was dominant again on the mound striking out seven in three innings. Kitanov pitched three strong innings himself and made several great plays in the field while on the mound.. Watson snared a sharp liner in the first setting the tone for a strong defense. Gronemeyer was flawless at first base and Fennelly made several great plays behind the plate. Poyant and McDonald turned in some good plays as well. The Pirates were outstanding in the field, snaring no fewer than four sharp liners. Mikey Ware made several great line drive catches and pitched three innings. Jackson Hegarty pitched the next two and Jack Martinson made his pitching debut in the sixth. Logan Zimmer, Hegarty, and Martinson did a great job behind the plate. Will Biscan lined a double to knock in two runs and also caught a line drive at short. He made a heads-up play tagging out the lead baserunner late in the game. It was a fun, exciting game for all and the fans got more than their money’s worth in the stands!Single A: Braves vs. Astros, May 17, 2018The Astros hosted the Braves in a long awaited rematch . The Braves came out swinging and the Astros were held in check by a fine defensive play at third base by Lex Limoli to keep the run totals down . The Astros rallied in the second with big hits by Joe Mytch, Jackson Cipolle and CJ Morad. Strong catching performance by Dylan Costantiello helped keep the pitchers in check . Pitcher Masen Voner made closed the game out for the Astros . Game Balls were awarded to Joe Mytch for his big hit and Dylan Costantiello for his fine catching performance.Rookie League: Astros vs. Giants, May 19, 2018The Astros hosted the Giants in a battle of unbeatens. The evenly matched teams played to a tie. For the Astros, Anthony Aborn and Noah Drane stood out both in the field and at the plate while for the Giants Evan Jageler and Grady Considine made highlight reel catches in the field (including an incredible diving effort by Evan)! (NOTE: Summaries provided by the Wilmington Little League.)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 email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Little League’s Latest Game SummariesIn “Sports”Wilmington Little League’s Latest Game SummariesIn “Sports”Wilmington Little League’s Latest Game SummariesIn “Sports”
WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).Below, in her own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Judy O’Connell (D-Wilmington).#11a) Do you feel Massachusetts residents are over-taxed?Yes.#11b) How will you balance the need to provide government services to the taxpayers & fund the government with most taxpayers’ desire for no tax increases?There is no easy or short answer to this question as the Massachusetts state budget approaches a total of $41 billion dollars a year. In January 2018, the Baker-Polito administration submitted a FY19 budget proposal that attempted to keep state spending in line with revenue growth, to minimize reliance on non-recurring revenues, and to avoid tax or fee increases to balance the budget, while investing in key areas such as local aid, education, workforce development, substance misuse, mental health, housing, and transportation. Massachusetts has started the next fiscal year without a permanent budget in place after lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement in time. The 2019 fiscal year began July 1 and the Legislature passed an interim budget which will fund the state through the end of July. With the passing of this interim budget, there will be no disruption of any services in Massachusetts. As State Representative and member of the House of Representatives, I would be an active participant in this process and I would be advocating for the 19th Middlesex District with the taxpayers in mind while ensuring Wilmington and Tewksbury receive their fair share and any possible increases if possible in Chapter 70 funding and Unrestricted General Government Aid. These funds are critical to both communities in helping assist local government with providing the suite of services that people and families have come to expect and deserve. I would advocate for any available state grant money for any projects or initiatives that pertain to either community within the District on an annual basis.As a prior elected official on the School Committee and Board of Selectmen for the Town of Wilmington, I have always been fiscally conservative and have attempted to strike a balance in meeting collective bargaining agreements, supporting capital improvement projects, continuing the highest level of municipal services possible, supporting smart economic development within the community, maintaining a strong free cash position as recommended by the town’s financial advisors and supporting the Board of Selectmen annual vote of the maximum tax shift classification to help lessen the tax burden on the resident population. I intend to take this same balanced approach to Beacon Hill while recognizing we need to look at strategic ways to fund current and future services not always on the backs of taxpayers.#11c) Can you point to anywhere in the state budget where you believe there is waste, fraud or abuse? What will you do about it?As State Representative, I would become a scholar of the state budget and would always keep a watchful eye in looking for areas of improvement regarding waste, fraud and abuse. There are documented cases of abuse such as overtime costs, employee benefit cases, etc. for example and one could analyze areas of wasteful spending in every budget which I intend to do on a regular basis. Regarding fraud, I will be reviewing consistently the work done annually by the Office of the Inspector General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts which is an independent agency charged with preventing and detecting fraud, waste and abuse in the use of public funds and public property. This Office investigates allegations in these areas at all levels of government; reviews programs and practices in state and local agencies to identify system-wide vulnerabilities and opportunities for improvement; and assists the public and private sectors to help prevent fraud, waste and abuse in government spending. There have been various reports released from the State Auditor’s office. For example, in April 2018, State Auditor Suzanne Bump released the annual report for her office’s Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI), which identified a record $16.9 million in public assistance benefit fraud in FY 2017, a 9% increase over the previous year. This marks the seventh straight year of increased findings according to the report which is not an indication of more fraud in these programs, but rather a reflection of the growing effectiveness of the agency and the expanded use of data analytics to identify fraudulent activities. According to this report, Bump’s office identified over $16 million in fraud, spread over 1,150 completed investigations. The majority of the fraud which was approximately $10.3 million or 61 percent was identified in the Mass Health program. There are other reported areas of fraud and as State Representative, I would do my part in helping to ensure these public benefit programs continue to be designed to provide the needed assistance to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents who truly need the help as many of the beneficiaries of these programs are children, disabled adults, veterans and seniors.#12) Former State Representative Jim Miceli was known through the district for his extraordinary constituent services. Do you pledge to provide a similar level of constituent services if elected? How will you be responsive to requests for help from residents of Wilmington and Tewksbury?Yes, if elected, I do pledge to provide the same extraordinary level of constituent services that State Representative Miceli provided that the people of the Wilmington and Tewksbury are accustomed to while looking for ways to enhance and improve these services provided in any manner possible. State Representative Miceli should be applauded for his hard work, commitment and dedication to constituent services on behalf of the 19th Middlesex District for decades and I would be honored to carry on his legacy in this regard if elected as the next State Representative.As State Representative, there are many ways to be responsive to the communities within the 19th Middlesex District. First, I will hold regular offices hours in both Wilmington and Tewksbury to be available to the public. I would make sure my contact information is widely publicized and my commitment is to be accessible and responsive to anyone within the District at all times. Some constituent service matters are highly sensitive and confidential and must be treated with the proper care and compassion they need and deserve. Sometimes in addition to taking care of the business at hand, people need a leader who listens and one who is trustworthy and provides a level of human service that goes beyond just being an elected official. I am committed to providing this kind of constituent service as I believe it is the right thing to do in taking care of the people and families that make up the fabric of our district that I have been entrusted to serve. Additionally, I intend to be very visible in both Wilmington and Tewksbury by attending as many events, community activities and town meetings as possible. I will be an active listener, a strong voice for the people and I will be willing to assist the residents of the 19th Middlesex District relative to any matter or need that they have. Constituent services can span across many areas and I would use the full weight of the office to be a supporter and advocate for the entire District including residents, local businesses and municipal town government. Providing the highest quality of constituent services as the next State Representative is of critical importance to me and I will work tirelessly on behalf of the 19th Middlesex District every day I am in office.(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)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? 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