Mayor’s Message: April 12

first_imgMayor Jay Gillian Dear Friends,I’m sad to report on the passing of four citizens who served our country and community in many ways. I want to take a moment to pay tribute to Father Edmond Speitel, Fred Hoffman, Judy Kolea and Bob Wilent.Father Speitel touched many lives as pastor at St. Frances in our St. Damien Parish here in Ocean City, and that’s how many of us know him. He was a World War II veteran before his ordination, and he returned to combat as a chaplain in Vietnam. His military career was just a small part of his six decades of dedication to God, church, veterans and all the people of his parish.An educator, athlete, coach and proud father, Fred was a member of the Ocean City Board of Education and a long-time advocate for local youth. He volunteered with many community organizations and was a familiar face in the north end of town. Fred was never afraid to speak his mind, but he always was respectful of everybody in the community. I sat with Fred on the school board, and I’m grateful to have learned many things from him. I know I’m a better public servant because of him.Judy was a member of the Ocean City Yacht Club, Ocean City Republican Club and local volunteer whose family remains an important part of the community. There are a lot of folks on the lagoons who fondly remember days and nights spent with Judy and family.I want to echo City Council’s tribute to Bob from last night. Bob owned and operated a home improvement business in town with a reputation for service and fairness. He was an active social member of the local VFW post and a good friend to many people in town.These are examples of the many people in Ocean City who make a difference in our lives through their everyday actions. I hope you all will join Michele and me in extending condolences and prayers to the families and friends of these four members of our community.Grand marshal Barbara Eden will lead the annual Doo Dah Parade down Asbury Avenue and the Boardwalk on Saturday starting at noon rain or shine. She’ll be back to host the Mr. Mature America Pageant at 7 p.m. Saturday, and tickets are still available. See more information on these and all our upcoming events .I hope you all have a great weekend.Warm regards,Mayor Jay A. Gillianlast_img read more

Jim Winship, director, British Sandwich Association

first_imgThe recent closure of a sandwich business, due to listeria, highlights for us all the added risks chilled food operations all have to contend with these days, over and above the complexities of running any business.Like other bacteria, listeria is not something you can see or touch, yet the potential consequences to health, your business and the industry should be a concern for us all. Chilled foods are, by their nature, high-risk and the manual processes involved in putting them together just add to this… and then we add shelf-life.The message to all of us from this particular incident is that you can never do enough when it comes to both cleanliness and the sourcing of ingredients from safe and reputable suppliers. The particular business involved in this case was considered by most people who audited it, including the health service, to be a clean operation. There are many worse out there.More worrying still is the fact that, having closed voluntarily, there seems to be no clarity among the various authorities about what a business has to do before it can re-open. The correspondence between parties suggests that no protocol has ever been set out for reopening a factory after such an incident, particularly if it closes voluntarily. It seems that if you do the right thing, you can find yourself in deeper trouble than if you wait to get caught. What nonsense!While the British Sandwich Association is seeking some answers from all those involved, this incident just underlines the increasing complexities now involved in running a sandwich business.last_img read more

Baking proves popular

first_imgProof, if any further proof were needed, that bakery is in vogue was witnessed at the book retailer Waterstones recently. An eagle-eyed British Baker reader snapped this corner of a store in West Sussex, devoted completely to the topic of home baking.She said: “I know it’s home baking, but it shows just how hot the topic is at the moment, what with the Great British Bake Off riding high in the TV ratings.”last_img

Broadway Grosses: The Curious Incident Sees Packed Houses

first_img Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending September 28: View Comments Source: The Broadway League FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross) 1. The Lion King ($1,754,196) 2. The Book of Mormon ($1,596,473) 3. Wicked ($1,386,090) 4. Aladdin ($1,293,112) 5. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical ($1,278,681) FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity) 1. The Book of Mormon (102.63%) 2. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (100.51%)  3. It’s Only a Play (100.02%)* 4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (99.14%)** 5. The Lion King (98.87%) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which began preview performances on September 10, continued its upward climb toward full capacity. In a seven-show week, the play reached 99.14% capacity. As word of mouth continues to spread about the Olivier-winning production, it is expected that Broadway audiences will continue to fill seats at these high numbers. On a lighter note, the revival of You Can’t Take It With You opened with a bang to reviews as sweet as candy and we expect to shortly see an uptick in the production’s grosses. Meanwhile, five usual suspects took the lead, with The Lion King, The Book of Mormon and Wicked claiming the top three spots by gross. UNDERDOGS (By Gross) 5. Once ($355,062) 4. Rock of Ages ($315,948) 3. The Country House ($225,325)* 2. Love Letters ($178,812) 1. Disgraced ($100,824)*** *Number based on eight preview performances ** Number based on seven preview performances *** Number based on two preview performances UNDERDOGS (By Capacity) 5. Les Miserables (68.04%) 4. This Is Our Youth (60.56%) 3. Cinderella (60.24%) 2. Once (57.68%) 1. Love Letters (39.33%)last_img read more

Ecuadorean Police Seized 13.2 Tons of Drugs in 2011

first_imgBy Dialogo October 26, 2011 Between January and October 2011, the Ecuadorean Police seized around 13.2 tons of drugs, chiefly cocaine, in the country’s two most populous provinces, the institution announced on October 24. The Anti-narcotics Directorate in the coastal province of El Guayas (in southwestern Ecuador) indicated to the press that 11.5 tons of narcotics were seized in that jurisdiction, compared to 7.3 tons confiscated during the same period in 2010. Cocaine represented a majority of the drugs seized in Guayas, the capital of which is the port of Guayaquil, the agency added. Meanwhile, in the Andean province of Pichincha (the capital of which is Quito), the police seized 1.7 tons from January to October 2011 (including 926 kg of cocaine, 715 kg of marijuana, and 25 kg of heroin), Captain Miguel Egas of the local anti-narcotics division told AFP. Those detained in Pichincha included 120 foreigners, Colombians and Cubans among them, the officer added. In July, the Police reported that 11.3 tons of drugs, chiefly cocaine, were seized in Ecuador during the first half of the year, 10 percent more than the amount confiscated during the same period in 2010. Ecuador seized a record 68 tons of drugs (64 tons of cocaine) in 2009 and 18 tons in 2010, according to the agency.last_img read more

The Use of Psychological Operations by Organized Crime

first_img Despite the fact that organized crime did not have combat power to fight against the Brazilian Army during the pacification of the Alemão and Penha shanty towns, the perpetrators continued to promote hostile actions throughout the entire occupation, especially in the psychological operations field. Communist revolutionaries introduced the techniques, tactics and procedures used by Brazil’s organized crime in this irregular warfare during the 60s in Cuba, China, Albania, and other Iron Curtain countries. Later, the Brazilian guerrilla Carlos Marighela summarized it by writing the Mini Manual of the Urban Guerrilla (1969), known and currently used by the major terrorist and criminal organizations in the world. These lessons were disseminated when members of the armed struggle and common criminals were placed in the same cells inside the Ilha Grande penitentiary, in the early 70s. The Comando Vermelho (Red Command) was born from the symbioses between politicians and common criminals, which was the first organized crime gang in Brazil. Currently, it has international connections with several segments of transnational narcoterrorism, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC). During the pacification of some slums in Rio de Janeiro, it was possible to observe psychological actions directed at several different public audiences in the scenario: the Army troops, the criminals themselves, the local communities and the general public. Similarly, what is known as white, gray, and black propaganda was developed throughout the operation. In the beginning, graffiti on walls was removed by the troops prior to the pacification. However, new drawings and paintings praising the criminal gang and the initials of their main leaders were found in other places, displaying acronyms referring to the Comando Vermelho. More graffiti, including drawings and sentences mocking the actions of the Army, showed up during intervals between patrols. During very tense situations, and taking advantage of riots, banners and posters that were prepared in advance showed up, giving the impression that the mob had been grouped to increase the effect and visibility of the material. There were also very well written pamphlets along with the banners, manipulating and distorting the facts, and trying to create mistrust in the Pacification Force. The Comando Vermelho filmed and still films their actions during conflicts and then they edit the videos, showing the Brazilian forces supporters as targets along with negative images of the Police or Armed Forces, and dissatisfaction of the population because of the social exclusion of the slums. These videos have captions and music in the background, which praise organized crime. After they are ready, they are posted on YouTube and other Internet sites, even on social networks. The criminals also resort to diffusing rumors to threaten the troops and their collaborators through the community, simulating radio conversations (aware they are being monitored). They emphasize strength or association to terror by wrapping the drugs they traffic in specific ways. Besides clearly showing the contents, they use slogans such as “Libyan rebels”, “Somali corner”, “Respect the crime”, or “Missile launcher”. They always have the initials CVRL for the Portuguese acronym of Comando Vermelho Rogério Lengruber, the founder of the group, and some include an image of a drug dealer or a weapon. Maintaining the law of silence in the community is enforced through terror. The drug dealers who have criminal records with the Police have left the area, but those with a clean record remain in the community, fostering small volume illegal activities directed mainly at the local consumers. The collaborators of the Armed Forces have to be very discrete, with the risk of being “brought to justice” by the criminals. There are many rudimentary studios that produce low quality music with extremely vulgar language, praising explicit sex, organized crime, and depreciating the Police or the Army. These songs are very popular inside the slums and they are used to promote the moral degradation of the community to strengthen the criminals and to provoke the supporters of the forces. Though constantly repressed, it is often difficult to identify where the sound comes from inside the labyrinth of alleys and streets in a slum with a perimeter of 10 miles and 400,000 residents. At times, in the middle of the night, pre-set triggers were prepared in homemade devices with a timer to set parked vehicles on fire, but they were neutralized before being detonated. In other instances, barricades were prepared to stop or create obstacles for police vehicle traffic. These actions used to be very well planned because they had many people involved. Some spotters (watchdogs) were spread out in the neighborhood, monitoring the movement of the troops, and using mobile phones to talk or to send text messages, or even 2-way radios. Because of the great number of people benefitting from drug trafficking (vigilantes, salesmen, security guards, wrappers/prepares, carriers, among others), these activities were used to systematically create chaos and to wear down the troops, promoting fights, disobedience, and resistance to order. Normally, women, pregnant women, the elderly, and children who supported the illegal activities formed a barrier to protect the criminals against the troops by causing disturbances, exchanging aggressive words, or throwing different types of objects. This situation used to be extremely delicate, even for the use of non-lethal weapons (pepper spray, rubber ammunition, and others), because most of the time there were people ready to record these actions on tape and to dissipate the images to the media. In many opportunities, having been alerted that there would be a confrontation, journalists were standing by. Once they arrived at the scene, the mobs would form and the hostility would start. As described above, it is clear that members of the Comando Vermelho master many Psychological Operations techniques, directing them to many targeted audiences within the Theater of Operations. They know how to use social networks, the Internet, video editing, music recording, or even more rudimentary activities such as graffiti on walls or simply spreading terror through rumors and threats. The greatest challenge in efficiently repressing these actions by the opposing forces is the lack of legal freedom of the troops because of the rules of engagement. It is important to emphasize that the Army is employed under the Constitution. This means that all residents of the communities (regardless of how violent and outlawed they may be) had their rights and individual guarantees protected. The troops did not have authorization to enter homes to apprehend undocumented vehicles (police mission), or to perform other actions. The decision on the type of actions was made on a political level and caused a great problem to the Pacification Force on all hierarchic levels, but Brazilian Officers adapted to these conditions, detained the actions and accomplished the mission with an unprecedented historical success, turning the communities over to the state of Rio de Janeiro with security scores never before seen in that region. *Fernando Montenegro, retired Colonel of the Brazilian Army and twice Task Force combatant of the light infantry battalion. By Dialogo February 13, 2013 Hello pretty Charlito, Good DayThis article is interesting, but is rather large, I recommend you read it carefully. It is related to the actions of organized crime in Brazil. Crime is not crime, understand? If it isn’t, you can’t understand.last_img read more

Does a HELOC makes sense for you?

first_img 42SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: Details A home equity line of credit can be a valuable tool, but is it right for you?According to a February white paper from CoreLogic, “During the first three quarters of 2015, lenders originated nearly 976,000 new home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) with combined limits in excess of $115.8 billion. Both of these figures were the highest for the January-through-September period since 2008 and represented year-over-year gains of 21 percent and 31 percent, respectively.”While they are extremely popular right now, there are some things you need to look at before opening up a HELOC.If you’re looking to remodel or improve your home, especially to increase resale value, most experts would tell you that a HELOC makes a lot of sense.If you want to use a HELOC to pay off debt, that may be the wrong choice. While it could help get credit card collectors off your back, you’d be putting your home at risk, as your home is the collateral on this “second mortgage.”Be sure of exactly what you want use your HELOC for before you open it, that way you won’t be tempted to use it to fund a vacation, a boat, or some other unneeded luxury.Home equity lines of credit usually have variable interest rates, so keep this in mind. There’s no guarantee that your rate won’t climb and leave you with more debt than you ever wanted.A HELOC can be an asset but check with your bank and make sure the interest rates and fees are going to be something you are okay with dealing with for the foreseeable future.last_img read more

Long Island 7-Eleven Owner Gets 7 Years for Exploiting Workers

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Head of Harbor man was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison for smuggling undocumented immigrants to work in 7-Eleven stores that he owned on Long Island and stealing their pay.Farrukh Baig had pleaded guilty in September at Central Islip federal court to wire fraud and concealing and harboring illegal aliens for financial gain.“The defendant exploited his alien employees, stealing their wages and requiring them to live in unregulated boarding houses,” said Kelly Currie, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.Prosecutors said that 58-year-old man, who owned 14 of the stores—10 in New York and four more in Virginia—hired dozens of undocumented workers from Pakistan, gave them stolen identities and stole more than $2.6 million of their wages.The court also ordered him to forfeit his stores as well as five houses worth more than $1.3 million, authorities said. Aside from his prison term, he was also sentenced to repay the wages he stole from his workers.Baig’s wife, Bushra, who co-owned the stores, also pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to conceal and harbor illegal aliens for financial gain. She was reportedly sentenced to three months time served.Currie said the investigation is continuing.last_img read more

How far will Cuomo go to take guns?

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion One of the web definitions that I located of what a misdemeanor is could be is as follows: “A misdemeanor is a minor offense, rather than a serious crime. A minor infraction like keeping a library book for years or stealing a pack of bubblegum would be considered a misdemeanor.”Now if this is a part of the proposal that Cuomo will introduce, which I do believe it is, it truly shows how anti-gun the governor of New York is and how he will continually try to introduce any and all legislation that will make gun ownership a challenge or next to impossible in this state. But I wonder, does his legislation also include and identify all law enforcement personnel who either carry handguns and or all long guns, either on their daily jobs to guard and protect Cuomo or for just recreational sports the same criteria, as all it does other citizens of New York state? If this is so, then if an officer of the law is charged and convicted of a misdemeanor, does he or she lose their jobs because they can’t, under Cuomo’s proposed law, legally carry a firearm? Hmm, just a thought. Maybe Cuomo’s proposal doesn’t cover everything he’s trying to legislate. Why not add parking citations. And just to be sure everything is covered, include jay walking as misdemeanor charges, too.Rick SplawnikAmsterdamEditor’s note: The governor’s proposal would expand the confiscation of weapons to misdemeanor crimes related to domestic violence, including assault-and-battery and strangulation.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusThree seniors who started as seventh-graders providing veteran experience for Amsterdam golf I’m writing in response to The Daily Gazette’s endorsed Cuomo’s proposal that all individuals convicted of misdemeanor charges, instead of just felonies, would require the suspect to forfeit long guns along with handguns. This requirement would mandate all judges have the defendant surrender his firearms and license until the domestic violence charges are resolved. last_img read more

Premier League braced for TV losses as player protests mount

first_img“We were able to update our clubs today on our situation with broadcasters, which is obviously confidential,” said Premier League CEO Richard Masters.”Whatever happens, there’s going to be significant loss of revenue for clubs. That is inevitable.”We were able to paint a picture today about what would happen in various scenarios, playing out the season and not playing out the season, to allow them to have a picture of that as we stand in the early part of May.”The rebate to broadcasters would surge to an estimated £760 million if the season cannot be completed. Masters has previously warned of a £1 billion loss once the absence of gate receipts is taken into account. Player fears However, England internationals Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose are the two latest high-profile players to raise their concerns over a return to contact sport when the rest of society is being advised to follow social-distancing guidelines. “The moment we do go back it just needs to be a moment where it’s not just for footballing reasons, it’s safe for not just us footballers but the whole medical staff, referees,” Sterling told his YouTube channel.”[I am] not scared, but reserved and thinking what the worst outcome could be.”I’ve had friends whose grandma has passed away, I’ve had family members as well that have passed away.”British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in parliament on Monday that the return of sport on TV would “provide a much-needed boost to national morale” in a country that has been one of the worst hit by the global pandemic, with the government officially recording more than 32,000 deaths from COVID-19.”People’s lives are at risk,” Rose, who is on loan at Newcastle from Tottenham, told an Instagram live.”Football shouldn’t even be spoken about coming back until the numbers have dropped massively.”But Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of England’s Professional Footballers’ Association, said many of his members would be open to playing again provided “everything that can be done is being done” to assure their safety. “We’ve got to try it, see if we can do it and see if we can return to some form of activity,” Taylor told the Mirror.”But it’s also being as careful and having as many assurances as possible that it’s achievable.” Premier League clubs face having to pay a huge refund to broadcasters even if they manage to complete the coronavirus-disrupted season behind closed doors.Broadcasters would be reimbursed for matches not being played as scheduled and the lack of atmosphere in empty stadiums is also a factor.The BBC reported the bill facing the English top-flight, which continued talks on “Project Restart” on Monday, could be as high as £340 million ($420 million). For the first time on Monday, the 20 Premier League clubs discussed models that may have to be used to decide final standings if it is not deemed safe to resume.New government guidelines have paved the way for elite sport to return behind closed doors in England from June 1. Complications The Premier League are due to meet the PFA and the managers’ union later this week to discuss protocols for a return to group training. A further complication for Project Restart is where any matches would be played, with the clubs opposed to a proposal for a limited number of neutral venues to be used.The UK’s national football policing lead, previously stated resuming matches on a home-and-away basis would “present challenges” to the emergency services.But Mark Roberts said on Tuesday that police, government and football authorities were working together on a plan “which minimizes any risks to public safety and unnecessary pressure on public services, but facilitates a sensible restart to the season.”London Mayor Sadiq Khan has come out against the idea of playing matches in the capital at this stage, with the city having been particularly badly hit by the pandemic.Five of the 20 Premier League sides are based in London.”With the country still in the grips of this crisis, and hundreds of people dying every day, he believes that it is too early to be discussing the resumption of the Premier League and top-flight sport in the capital,” Khan’s spokesperson told the Evening Standard.Topics :last_img read more