Help Hayley Jane And The Primates Make Their New Studio Album

first_imgThe band has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $12,000 needed to fulfill their vision for their new record. As Hayley Jane and company explain in the video on the campaign’s page, Gasoline was completed on a very tight schedule with limited funds, and they are hoping to be able to give their new release the time, effort, and resources it deserves in order to make a high-quality, professional product. With Turkuaz‘s Craig Brodhead handling producing duties, the group plans to head to Syracuse, NY’s More Sound Recording Studios this August to track the as of yet untitled new album.The band is offering an array of fun prizes for different donation levels, including free digital downloads, signed physical copies of both the new album and Gasoline, tickets to an upcoming show of your choice, Primates merch, personal mentions in the “Thank You” section of the new album’s liner notes, personalized thank you songs and videos from the band, an original song about you or a loved one, and even a full live performance at your home!For all the info on the different donation/prize levels, and to donate to the project, visit Hayley Jane and the Primates’ Kickstarter Page.Be sure not to miss Hayley Jane and the Primates when they hit the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY on Wednesday, July 6th! With Elise Testone and Hayley Jane on the same lineup, you know it’s going to be a party! Tickets are available here. Since the release of their last record, Gasoline, in 2014, Boston-based festival circuit favorites Hayley Jane and the Primates have brought their signature brand of genre-blending, vaudevillian story-centered live shows to audiences all over the country. Now, the band is ready to take their road-tested material to the studio, and they are reaching out to their ever-growing fan base to help fund the project.last_img read more

Grateful Dead Pianist Tom Constanten Is Recovering From Neurosurgery After Falling

first_imgEarly Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten is in stable condition today, following a major fall that required immediate surgery last week. According to Constanten, he was getting out his car when he tripped on some uneven, wet pavement and fell into the concrete. Fortunately, 911 was called immediately, and an excellent team of doctors were able to perform a quick and life-saving surgery.Constanten tells the story in the public Facebook post below:Fell down and broke my neck last Wednesday. Just like they warned me about as a kid. I’d driven up to the Post Office at the top of the hill to mail off a bill, and, knowing there was heavy rain in the forecast, figured it would be better to mail it off inside. I parked the car, and on the way in a bit of uneven pavement tripped me up. I fell, face first, onto the concrete. I am so very grateful for the woman who spotted me right away and called 911; for the ambulance crew, who got there so fast; for their professionalism and teamwork; for the uniformly excellent care at Novant Presbyterian Hospital; for the skill of Dr. Healy, the neurosurgeon who performed the procedure that pulled me out of the darkness and into the light, for Dr. Guignard, for the anæsthesiologist, Dr….well, I’m spacing on his name, maybe because he did such a good job. For the surgeon who stitched up my forehead. For the nurses, Beverly, Brooke, Brittany, Iseta, Julio, Cliff, Ali, Amelia… I get back to the house, and the first thing I’m aware of is a forest of wonderful friends near and far showing such unbelievably warm support. I’ve experienced it before and, even though I have no idea what I might have done to deserve it, I felt the lift and reassurance. There have been rough patches in my life these past fifteen years, and it’s helped me get through it. Many times I thought of checking out, but my heart won’t buy it. The attitude of gratitude is in full bloom in this garden.[H/T Jambands]last_img read more

30 years of the Safra Center

first_imgI spent last summer in an office, but not like the ones in which many of my classmates found themselves. I worked as a research intern at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, a leading facility for research in practical ethics. Over the course of the past two semesters, the Safra Center has been celebrating its 30th anniversary, and it just closed the year in an appropriate fashion with 2½ days of festivities, including lectures, panels, and discussions on various issues with which it has been involved.A good deal of my work at the center, aside from my own research, factored into the center’s preparations for its birthday. For about four weeks, another intern and I delved into the center’s extensive archives. Together, we cataloged all the public lectures, conferences, symposia, and the like that the center has hosted and recorded. Once all this information was all neatly organized on a spreadsheet, we began working our way through the material and taking extensive notes.By the end of this process, I had listened to almost 100 hours of lectures spanning the center’s existence. It was an extensive and often exhausting few weeks, but I was engaged by the variety of topics and recorded speakers, who discussed topics ranging from human cloning to the morality of pornography.That summer made me one of the people most intimately acquainted with the center’s history and activities. But one person who is far more knowledgeable is its founding director, Dennis Thompson. Currently the Alfred North Whitehead Professor of Political Philosophy Emeritus in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and at Harvard Kennedy School, Thompson was lured to Harvard by then-President Derek Bok in 1986. At the time, there were few courses or faculty members at Harvard devoted to teaching practical ethics.Supported by notable faculty members such as Martha Minow and Michael Sandel, Thompson was able to develop what was then an interfaculty initiative, originally named the Program in Ethics and the Professions, and broaden it into the research center. Thompson established the senior fellowship program and welcomed a number of distinguished guest lecturers, including Lani Guinier, the Bennett Boskey Professor of Law, who discussed Civil Rights; Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center, who gave a lecture on “Ethics and Ethnicity” in 1999; and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, who discussed social identity in a 2000 address.In 2009, the leadership of the center was taken over by Lawrence Lessig, the Roy. L Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. In line with the mission of his 2016 presidential run, Lessig refocused the center’s research and efforts toward the theme of institutional corruption, pointing at the perversion of incentives structures in politics, but also in medicine, business, and academia.Lessig invited an array of speakers ranging from politicians such as former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer and U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, who offered contrasting visions of how Congress can become more effective, to medical professionals such as Marcia Angell, the first woman to head the New England Journal of Medicine, who lamented the increasingly cozy relationship between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. In 2013, the center launched a fellowship geared toward undergraduates that brings eight to 10 students together in an interdisciplinary seminar led by Professor Arthur Applbaum, supporting their senior thesis research.Since 2015, the center has been directed by Danielle Allen, a faculty member in the Government Department and the recently named James Bryant Conant University Professor. Under Allen’s leadership, the center has again reoriented its activities to focus on contemporarily relevant themes such as “Diversity, Justice, and Democracy” and “Policing and Militarization.” The center has welcomed speakers such as Cornel West, Peter Singer, and Jeremy Waldron. It has also initiated a fellowship in partnership with the Berggruen Institute’s Philosophy and Culture Center, which supports scholars whose work is of “broad social and political importance from cross-cultural perspectives.”At the anniversary celebration, many of the center’s past associates returned for discussions. For Allen, the event was a major highlight of her tenure. “We had hundreds of alumni coming back, and truly extraordinary panels,” she said in an email. “The conversation between Zeke Emanuel and Frances Kamm about ethics and the end of life was a once-in-a-lifetime event, an exhilarating journey to the heights of philosophical precision and through the entangled world of complex moral decision-making.”The celebration also brought three Harvard presidents together is, which, Allen wrote, “a rare occurrence. It was wonderful to have the chance to listen to President Drew Faust reflect on the place of universities in our broader civic life with former presidents Derek Bok and Neil Rudenstine there, each instrumental in launching the Ethics Center to a place where it can connect academic conversations to practical, applied, and public discussions.”Allen said the celebration also marked a “coming period … of renewal.” She believes that, as “many of the faculty who originally launched the Ethics Center have recently retired or will soon retire … the time has come to launch a conversation about what shape next-generation collaboration around ethics at Harvard University should take.”To that end, Allen is leading the center in “redoubling efforts to strengthen and expand the ethics curriculum at Harvard, to understand and support ethics curricula on college and university campuses nationally, to support efforts to reinvigorate civic education in the U.S., and to expand the purview of discussion to a global context by means of sponsoring comparative work that draws ethical traditions from around the globe into conversation with one another.”last_img read more

Easing children’s COVID-19 anxieties

first_img Study found extremely high levels of SARS-CoV-2 in children’s airways Report finds fathers feel closer to children during pandemic Children’s role in spread of virus bigger than thought Report lists creative options amid pandemic, urges focus on essentials Agonizing over school-reopening plans? Think Marie Kondocenter_img Related Sahana Bail ’20 and Areeb Afridi ’20 both felt adrift after Harvard’s campus was evacuated in March due to the pandemic, leaving each to spend their final College semester at home. Bail, back with her family in Norwell, Mass., said she spent a lot of time watching reporters on TV both for information about COVID-19 and for the comfort of feeling less alone in her worries and fears. Afridi, a Dallas native who concentrated in human evolutionary biology, spent his spare time similarly engaged, only in his case reading medical articles about the disease.One day in May, Bail and Afridi FaceTimed to talk about their lives in quarantine. Both felt that staying updated on COVID-19 helped assuage their fears. During the call, Afridi said he realized that young children probably lacked age-appropriate resources to be able to inform themselves and ease anxieties in the same way. All the same, children were still expected to transition to virtual school, practice social distancing, and face many other challenges.Bail and Afridi, who became friends during their sophomore year through Ghungroo, a student-produced South Asian cultural show, started to look for online COVID-19 educational material for children to see what was available. They quickly discovered that their suspicions were correct. For all the information available to adults, there was little out there expressly for children. The pair decided to fill that gap by creating the interactive storytelling website Quarantine with Kavya.“[Because of the news,] I felt less alone; I wasn’t the only one afraid of all the unknowns,” Bail said. “But we both realized that children can’t tune in at the push of a button to whatever news outlet they wanted to listen to that day.”The website features read-aloud videos for children as young as 6 years old, with illustrations by artist Amy Joseph, a close childhood friend of Bail and recent graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The story follows Kavya, a fictional South Asian girl from New York, through her life during the pandemic, and it chronicles her questions, frustrations, and worries.There are currently three chapters available, each focusing on a different aspect of life in the time of coronavirus. The first explains the science: how the virus works, how it affects people’s bodies, how it spreads, and how to prevent infection. The second addresses the emotional toll on children, including fear, missing their friends, and boredom from staying inside all the time. The final chapter covers the economic impact through a story about Kavya’s brother worrying about what life will look like after he graduates from college.,“Knowledge is really important in helping people effectively deal with crises,” Afridi said. “You feel more comfortable because it’s less unknown and you know how to deal with it and how to act appropriately.”Bail and Afridi began working on the project together by writing and editing the script, going back and forth over Zoom. Bail designed the website, and Afridi created the videos by matching the recorded script with the captions and corresponding scene illustrations.An infectious disease specialist, education specialist, and child psychologist reviewed the script for scientific accuracy and efficacy. Bail and Afridi also sought input from Afridi’s 11-year-old cousin, Zara Irani, who voices Kavya. Irani expressed her own feelings and uncertainties about current events, which guided the process of writing the script. The other cast members included friends and family members. Ali, Kavya’s brother, is voiced by Afridi; Kavya’s father is voiced by Bail’s father; and Kavya’s mother is voiced by Afridi’s mother.“We wanted kids to have fun listening to a video and going to a site that was made for them with the voice of a peer [and] someone they relate to,” Bail said.The fact that the story features a South Asian girl and her family was important to both Bail and Afridi. They wanted to relate to South Asian children who don’t see their culture represented very often and to provide a platform to share their experiences on a larger scale.,The project was funded by a grant from the Lowell House Pechet Fellowship and is free and open to all.Since its launch Sept. 8, the website has been viewed more than 1,000 times by users around the world. The next chapter is in the brainstorming stages and will be released in the coming months. The pair said they hope to add chapters as long as there is a need for child-friendly educational material on COVID-19.Bail and Afridi are also looking into expanding the storytelling platform to teach children about different diseases, with South Asian representation as a focus.“We believe that education is something that everyone is entitled to,” Afridi said. “[We want to] continue to bring knowledge to people who need it.” School of Education studies how parents, children are interacting amid lockdowns last_img read more

Jenna Augen on Her High-Octane Turn in London’s Bad Jews

first_imgBreakout performances rarely come as high-voltage as Jenna Augen’s turn in Bad Jews, the Joshua Harmon play that is transferring to the Arts Theatre starting March 18 after previous runs both at the St. James Theatre and out of town in Bath. Inheriting Tracee Chimo’s New York role, Augen puts her own spiky, sparky spin on the religious Daphna, who comes to grief with her assimilationist cousin Liam (Ilan Goodman) over the fate of a family heirloom. The immediately warm Augen chatted to on the eve both of the play’s West End upgrade and of turning 30 about defending a tricky character, making it overseas, and being ready for whatever happens. You have a base in L.A.—is this third run of Bad Jews making you reassess where you want to focus your career? Now it just seems as if there are many more possibilities in terms of staying here. When I left almost two years ago now, my prospects here felt very limited but now it looks as if there are options. I do have a life out in L.A. now and would love somehow to get a proper career going there as well as here, so I’m not sure how that bridge is going to be built. Daphna is such a high-octane presence. Is it hard to leave her behind every night? I do find it difficult to shed her skin because her rhythms are so total. She’s so aggressive and her energy level is at such a high voltage that I have a really hard time coming down off it; I get completely exhausted. The last couple of weeks at the St. James we had 9-show weeks so two days of back-to-back shows. At the end of those, I didn’t know which end was up! [Laughs.] You and Ilan Goodman are so well-matched that the play’s various debates deliver big-time. Well, Ilan’s amazing, without which I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, but also the writing for the two characters is so perfectly paralleled and Liam’s rant has exactly the same thought patterns as Daphna’s; they’re on one wavelength, [but] the two sides of a single coin. And while they dislike each other and tick each other off, they on some level enjoy having that other person kicking off in the room: you’ve got to have some enjoyment in what they do on stage. Daphna is so quick-witted, yet volatile. Do you enjoy playing such a vibrant character? I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her at the St. James; I think we were all finding things every single week. It only really hit me towards the end of the run just how strong her sense of injustice is about the fact that her cousin Liam has really stolen the chai [the Hebraic heirloom belonging to their late grandfather]. It was taken off this elderly man who was lying comatose in the hospital, so no wonder it remains a hot-button issue when Daphna and Liam meet. The title of the play is an eye-opener with its suggestion that there are different kinds of Jews. Do you relate to that thematic? Well, my mother is a non-Jewish opera singer so I’m the product of the kind of situation that Liam has in the play with Melody [his non-Jewish girlfriend, who studied opera]. My dad is Jewish: he’s a molecular biologist and also genuine supporter and appreciator of the arts, and I’ve always felt very lucky to be my parents’ daughter. But there are spooky coincidences between my own life and what is in the script. When I first read it, I went, “Whoa, this is strange!” So you’re open to whatever happens? I am—I have to go where the wind takes me. You never know what’s next in this business but for now I’m just so glad to be having this job, and doing this play, for the third time.center_img Did you see the play during either of its two off-Broadway runs? I hadn’t, but I’d heard such wonderful things about it, and the original Liam [Michael Zegen] from the New York production happened to be in London and he came to see us, which was nice; it was really exciting to feel as if we were part of this trans-Atlantic team. You’re the only American in the four-person cast. Does that feel weird? Not at all. I went to [the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art] here and was often the only American being British in plays, so the fact of being the odd person out doesn’t feel strange to me. What’s good, I think, is that the accents in our show are pretty great and because I’m there, if anybody has a question about anything, they can just ask. The Arts Theatre marks your third run of Bad Jews—how does that feel? I’m so lucky. I was so happy to get this job in the first place. It was a long shot because I had been out of the country for a couple of years so it was just really nice to get the job. Then to be so well-received in Bath—where there are no Jewish people [laughs]—and at the St. James was incredibly exciting. I started crying when [co-star] Ilan [Goodman] came and told me this transfer was a possibility. As long as your American accent hasn’t been too tempered by time abroad! I know, right? We had a great dialect coach who caught me up on some stuff and here I was thinking, “Wait a minute, I’m from Connecticut,” and he said, “No, you’ve got a few Canadian sounds in your speech”—that’s what I get for spending so much time in England [laughs]. View Commentslast_img read more

Sustainable Agriculture

first_img“Having the Georgia Organics conference here allows us to highlight all the research and Extension work we have in this area,” she said. During the two-day conference, UGA faculty hosted farm tours at UGArden, the organic farm at Durham Horticulture Farm and at the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center—UGA’s hub for sustainable agriculture research and public outreach. They also hosted hands-on workshops. Pioneers in sustainable agriculture, backyard gardeners and urban homesteaders gathered in Athens this month to share knowledge gathered over years of working the land and to learn new skills from researchers at the University of Georgia. From soil health research to breeding programs for organically produced crops, faculty and staff at UGA have worked to improve the sustainability and efficiency of organic farms in Georgia. “Many people don’t realize how much work we have going on in sustainable agriculture,” said Julia Gaskin, sustainable agriculture coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and winner of Georgia Organics’ 2015 Land Steward Award. Lawton Stewart, assistant professor of animal and dairy science, and Dennis Hancock, associate professor of crop and soil sciences, taught an introductory workshop on sustainable grazing. David Berle, associate professor of horticulture, and JoHannah Biang, UGArden farm manager, taught a class of beginning farmers and gardeners how to build raised beds and how to repair and use small farm machinery. Peter Hartel, retired professor of crop and soil sciences, and Elizabeth Little, assistant professor in plant pathology, helped farmers inspect soil from their farms using microscopes and interpret findings in terms of soil health. Suzanne Stone, a graduate student in horticulture, and Little, assistant professor of plant pathology, helped lead a discussion on the need for better crop varieties for organic producers. Gaskin and George Boyhan, professor of horticulture, gave a workshop on selecting cover crops and how to maximize their benefit.Judy Harrison, professor of foods and nutrition in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, gave updated conference attendees on the Food Safety and Modernization Act and how it affects produce coming from small farms.Bob Waldorf, an Extension coordinator in Banks County, gave an update on UGA’s Master Goat Farmer program. In addition to the tours and workshops, 12 UGA graduate students presented posters on their research at the conference. “You can’t have a conversation about agriculture in Georgia without involving the University of Georgia,” said Alice Rolls, executive director of Georgia Organics. “Agriculture and UGA are synonymous here, and growers of all sizes and types depend on UGA’s research and leadership.” “Without UGA, Georgia Organics’ work and farming in general would be so much more difficult, and that’s why we are grateful to count the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as an ally in our work to put more Georgia food on Georgia tables,” Rolls added. This most recent Georgia Organics conference is just the latest collaboration between Georgia Organics and the faculty of CAES and UGA Extension. In addition to working on numerous educational programs over the years, Georgia Organics recently collaborated with UGA and several other agricultural advocacy groups to establish a Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program in Georgia. With a $652,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), UGA Extension, Georgia Organics, UGA Small Business Development Center, Fort Valley State University and AgSouth Farm Credit will develop an in-person and distance-training program for beginning farmers. The program will focus on helping these farmers build sustainable businesses as well as sustainable farms. To learn more about sustainable farming research and outreach at UGA, visit read more

North Korea denounces US two years after Singapore summit

first_imgDeadline passed Trump and Kim met a third time in June 2019 in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean peninsula, when Trump stepped onto North Korean soil — a first for any American president.But the meeting produced little in terms of tangible progress.Subsequently, the North repeatedly demanded that the US offer it fresh concessions by December 31, but the deadline came and went.Kim declared the North no longer considered itself bound by its unilateral testing moratoriums. It has not yet carried out any such actions, but analysts believe it has continued to develop its arsenal throughout the discussions.Ri accused Washington of seeking regime change and said the North had decided to bolster its nuclear deterrent “to cope with the US unabated threats of nuclear war”.Pyongyang has carried out a series of tests of shorter-range weapons in recent months — often describing them as multiple launch rocket systems, although Japan and the United States have called them ballistic missiles.The process leading to the Singapore summit was brokered by the South’s President Moon Jae-in, but his office said Friday it had no comment to make on the anniversary. Topics : ‘Hypocritical’ US diplomats insist that they believe Kim promised to give up its arsenal, something Pyongyang has taken no steps to do.The North is under multiple international sanctions over its banned weapons programs.It believes it deserves to be rewarded for its moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and the disabling of its atomic test site, along with the return of jailed US citizens and remains of soldiers killed in the Korean War.”Nothing is more hypocritical than an empty promise,” Ri said in his statement, carried by the official KCNA news agency.Trump has made much of his connection with Kim — at one point declaring that they had fallen “in love” through their exchanges of letters.But Ri said Pyongyang now believed there was no hope for an improvement “simply by maintaining personal relations between our Supreme Leadership and the US President”.He stopped just short of criticizing Trump by name, but referred to comments that “the master of the White House” had “reeled off time and time again as a boast”.”Never again will we provide the US chief executive with another package to be used… without receiving any returns.” North Korea criticized Donald Trump in a stinging denunciation of the United States on Friday, the second anniversary of a landmark summit in Singapore where the US president shook hands with leader Kim Jong Un.It was the latest in a series of vitriolic statements from Pyongyang aimed at both Washington and Seoul, and came a day after the North implicitly threatened to disrupt November’s election if the US did not stay out of inter-Korean affairs.  In recent days, Pyongyang has excoriated the South over defectors launching leaflets criticizing Kim into the North and announced it was cutting all official communication links with Seoul. Friday’s broadside contained some of the harshest criticism Pyongyang has sent Washington’s way in recent months, and casts doubt over the future of the two sides’ long-stalled nuclear talks process.In the onslaught, the North’s foreign minister Ri Son Gwon accused Washington of hypocrisy and seeking regime change, saying that the hopes of 2018 had “faded away into a dark nightmare”.Trump and Kim were all smiles in front of the world’s cameras in Singapore as a North Korean leader met a sitting US president for the first time, and afterwards Trump proclaimed on Twitter that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”But a second meeting in Hanoi last year to put meat on the bones of the North’s vaguely worded Singapore pledge to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” collapsed over what Pyongyang would be willing to give up in exchange for sanctions relief.last_img read more

Homes from a bygone era are Brisbane’s most popular

first_img16 Hillside Crescent, Hamilton.It was originally built for Kate Quinlan, a founder of Castlemaine Brewery.Lacework and columns surround substantial verandas and there are also original lead lights that surround the entry door.There are numerous chandeliers and brass lights throughout and four fireplaces three of which are surrounded by original marble.It is listed through Christine Rudolph and Matt Lancashire of Ray White New Farm.Rounding out the top five this week was a three-bedroom house at 96 Albion Rd, Windsor. It has a price guide of offers over $599,000. The worker’s cottage is surrounded by mature trees on a 405sq m. 9 Craven St, Clayfield.The home was the most viewed property in Queensland on last week.There is a children’s retreat on the upper level of the home which also has a fully self-contained studio apartment.Living and entertainment areas are all on one level. There is also a swimming pool with a spa and gas heating at the property. 134 Ironwood St, AspleyMore from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoThere is a downstairs bedroom which is large enough to be suitable as a second main bedroom. The actual main bedroom has its own balcony and views of the bush.It is listed through Tristan Rowland and Thomas Young of Place Aspley.It was to the Gold Coast for the third most viewed property this week at 19 Donegal Crescent, Sorrento. 19 Donegal Crescent, Sorrento. Picture: six-bedroom home is seeking offers of more than $3.995 million. It has high ceilings and large entertainment pavilions with views of Main Rivers and mountains.It has an infinity heated swimming pool and elevated spa lined with Italian glass mosaic tiles. The kitchen has a large butler’s pantry and a wine cellar. It is listed through Isaac and Maria Genc of Genc & Co.The fourth most viewed listing on in Queensland this week was at 16 Hillside Crescent, Hamilton. The five-bedroom home, known as Marie Ville was built in the 1800s.The Victorian Filigree home is on a 1970sq m block with formal gardens and views of the city and Brisbane River. 9 Craven St, Clayfield.A ONE of a kind Clayfield property was the one more potential buyers were keen to look at than any other last week.The six-bedroom home at 9 Craven St, Clayfield was built in the 1930s.It is on a 1240sq m block of fully landscaped block land with a championship-sized tennis court. 9 Craven St, Clayfield.There are hardwood timber floors and custom-made joinery plus room for wine storage and a study room.It is listed for auction on June 9 through Matt Lancashire and Christine Rudolph of Ray White New Farm.The second most viewed property this week was a four-bedroom home at 134 Ironwood St, Aspley seeking offers of more than $1,149,000.The contemporary home is on a 778sq m block. Inside the home are exposed beams, ducted airconditioning and ducted Vacuumaid. 96 Albion Rd, WindsorThe home has character features including VJ walls and timber floorboards. The main bathroom has a spa bath and a laundry chute. It has a covered rear deck and a fully fenced yard.It is listed through Craig Lea and Annamaria Nagy of McGrath Estate Agents — Wilston.last_img read more

Irish regulator emphasises value for money in draft DC code

first_imgIrish defined contribution (DC) pension schemes must demonstrate they are providing value for money to their members and being encouraged to benchmark themselves against peers in a new code drafted by the Pensions Authority. The codes of governance for DC funds, published after the regulator launched a consultation on minimum quality standards in 2013, urged value for money to be included on a regularly updated register of scheme risks. Other principles outlined by the Authority included how trustees should engage with investment managers, how member communication should be structured and the demand that all risks – including costs, investments, regulation and fraud – be captured in a comprehensive risk-management plan. In general statements on risk, the Authority noted that, where they were so severe they could threaten the future of the scheme, trustees should decide what steps to take to limit the impact. “This may involve reducing the likelihood or the impact of the risk arising or deciding on the steps that will be taken if the risk comes to pass,” according to the draft code. The Authority included value for money among the risks pension trustees should monitor and said that, while there was no common definition of what amounted to good value, value would only be provided where the service and benefits were better than that provided by other schemes – placing the onus on funds to reduce costs if they are an outlier within the industry. Without explicitly mentioning it, the emphasis on costs is in line with both the Irish government’s agenda for DC and the Authority’s desire to see the market consolidate and achieve scale. Brendan Kennedy, head of the Authority, has previously spoken of his desire to see the number of DC funds fall to around 100. The recently formed Pensions Council is currently looking at ways to tackle costs among pension providers in Ireland.The Authority has put the codes out to consultation, asking for responses by 16 June.last_img read more

Regulator sets out model for UK master trust authorisation

first_img“We will also supervise these schemes to ensure that they continue to meet the authorisation criteria, are well-run and offer good value for members.“Our policy outlines how we will be collaborative in supervising schemes, but tough to use our powers, including de-authorising schemes, if they drop below the standards outlined in legislation.”#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# The UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published its proposed regulatory framework for defined contribution (DC) master trusts.The proposed rulebook will take effect from October, when the multi-employer DC market becomes subject to TPR’s authorisation regime. Providers will have until April to apply for authorisation.The draft rules, published yesterday, set out TPR’s policy for regular monitoring of master trusts, the circumstances in which it would increase its engagement with particular schemes, and what would happen if a scheme was struck off its list of authorised providers.Kim Brown, head of master trust authorisation and supervision at TPR, said: “Authorisation will create a market with better safeguards. To do that we need to set the standards that every master trust must meet to operate once they have been authorised, or set up in the market. Source: Department for Work and PensionsThe government expects the master trust market to shrink by a third after authorisation kicks inTPR outlined its plans to monitor the individuals running a master trust, the financial strength of the trust’s backers, the robustness and quality of its systems and processes, and its continuity planning.Should the regulator decide a trust posed a high risk to its members, it would impose additional supervision measures such as face-to-face meetings with managers and trustees, and in some cases the appointment of a named supervisor to enhance monitoring of risks and mitigation efforts.“New master trusts can expect to receive a higher level of supervision than those who are more established because they will not have an operational track record,” the regulator said. “Higher intensity supervision will give these master trusts the opportunity to demonstrate that they continue to meet the authorisation criteria.”In deciding whether to withdraw a master trust’s authorisation, TPR said it would consider aspects including the frequency and impact of rule breaches, the sustainability of the trust, the “intention and behaviour of individuals involved in running the master trust”, and the impact on members.“We are more likely to withdraw authorisation where the master trust frequently fails to meet the authorisation criteria and/or the impact of any failures are a significant detriment to members,” TPR stated.The UK government has previously estimated that the number of master trusts could shrink by more than a third when the new authorisation regime kicks in.The consultation on the new rules runs until 23 August. The draft rules are available here, and TPR’s feedback form is here.last_img read more