Related Shows Matilda Tim Minchin is the ultimate multi-hyphenate: He’s a rock star-comedian-actor-musician-crazy-tweeter…and most importantly (to us) Broadway composer. Yes, the man behind the musical hit Matilda is coming to Broadway.com to answer your questions! So go ahead, ask Minchin about the inspiration behind “When I Grow Up,” his oddball sense of humor, his amazing hair. He’ll answer you!&amp;amp;amp;lt;a data-cke-saved-href=&amp;amp;amp;quot;https://broadway.wufoo.com/forms/z1ppo3td024dihl/&amp;amp;amp;quot; href=&amp;amp;amp;quot;https://broadway.wufoo.com/forms/z1ppo3td024dihl/&amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;gt;Fill out my Wufoo form!&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt; View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 1, 2017
Giant pumpkins don’t just happen. It takes time and patience if you want to be the only person on your block who has a 300-pound jack-o-lantern. Gardeners looking to grow a big pumpkin need to start by looking for some seeds from some prize pumpkin parents. “You have to start with the genetics,” said Bob Westerfield, Extension home vegetable specialist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. To get a really big pumpkin, you’re not looking for the same seed that produces jack-o-lanterns, said George Boyhan, a UGA horticulturalist who as spent many years breeding standard pumpkin varieties that thrive in the Southeast. The 500- to 1,000-pounders that they grow in Maine, aren’t the same species of “pumpkin” found in local pumpkin patches. “It’s actually a different type of plant than your normal pumpkin,” he said. “It’s another species that grows very large most of the time.” The typical pie pumpkin’s scientific name is Cucurbita pepo. This larger species is Cucurbita maxima. Competition pumpkin growers sell the seeds from the previous championship plants for as much as $10 to $20 a seed, but common giant pumpkin seeds are available for less, Boyhan said. One of the best-known common giant pumpkin varieties is Dill’s Atlantic Giant. Its seeds start at about $3 a pack. Once you’ve got the right seed, it’s time to get it into the ground. Giant pumpkins need super-rich, heavily composted soil to thrive, Westerfield said. Test and amend your soil until the pH level is at about 6.5 to 6.8. Pumpkins need to be planted between May 15 and July 1 to reach their maximum sizes by the fall. If you’re looking to raise a giant pumpkin, you need to put extra effort into making sure it’s watered regularly and properly fertilized throughout the growing season. Westerfield warns not to over fertilize at the beginning because that could stimulate the plant to expend all of its energy growing a super long or thick vine before it produces any fruit. He suggests fertilizing the plant right after planting, once right after the tiny pumpkins appear and maybe twice again before the end of the growing season. You may also want to spray the base of young plants with an insecticide that repels squash vine borers, since these can quickly cause irreversible damage. After the pumpkin plant produces flowers, thin some of the female flowers from the vine. The female blooms are the ones with the tiny fruits at he base of the bud. After the pumpkins emerge, and before they get very large, it is time to thin. Select one or two of the most promising-looking pumpkins on your plant to keep and pick off the others — that way all of the plant’s energy is directed towards making one or two giant fruit. Serious championship growers leave only one pumpkin on each vine, Boyhan said. Westerfield suggests leaving two per vine to double your chances of getting a show-worthy fruit. Once you’ve picked your winners, it’s just a matter of watching, watering and waiting. Your pumpkin may need to be rolled around from time to time to keep it from getting soft spots. Some growers like to lay down a bed of hay for their prize pumpkins, or keep them on a pallet to reduce the chances of rot. When late September hits, you should be able to wow your friends and neighbors with what you’ve grown. There are a lot of giant pumpkin resources, but Boyhan suggested Don Langevin’s “How to Grow World Class Giant Pumpkins.”
Rated as a 2015 Top Ten Resort in the East by SKI magazine for lodging and the après-ski experience, Snowshoe Mountain looks to open an array of additions to its resort experience this season for every age-group and personality. With 1,500 vertical feet, 250 acres of terrain, 100-percent snowmaking, and improvements to lodging, dining, and entertainment, the new Snowshoe Mountain is now going above and beyond for families and skiers of all types.Increased snow making early in the season promises great skiing by the just-announced opening date of November 26; with a season the resort says will run through April 5. The resort plans to offer a vacation-like atmosphere all season to skiers and non-skiers alike.Located at the top of the Powder Monkey chairlift, and across the street from Snowshoe’s famous Western Territory, the Corduroy Inn—brand new for the 2015 season—will provide an elegant hotel setting with a rustic edge, offering studios, lofts, and 1-bedroom plus loft suites. These Wi-Fi enabled units include luxury bathrooms, heated tile flooring, granite kitchens, HD televisions, and stone fireplaces perfect for the winter atmosphere. A Tuscan chophouse is attached to the hotel—the Alpine Ristorante—as well as a 3,600 sq. ft. spa perfect for the parent seeking pampering.For a more private — and unique — dining experience, book an evening in the Sunrise Backcountry Hut, accessed via the Cheat Mountain Ridge trail. This idyllic cabin deep within the wilderness can accommodate up to 20 people. It’s surrounded by views of nature otherwise inaccessible to the majority of guests. Nearby evening tours by snowmobile or snow cat are also available for the more adventurous. Guests are treated to a hearty meal all prepared on-site by the cabin’s Hutmaster.Additionally, Snowshoe Mountain has promised increased measures of comfort for its beginning skiers or snowboarders. The National Ski Area Association shared recently that 85 percent of first time skiers and snowboarders do not return for a second visit. As a reactionary measure, Snowshoe is expanding the 2015 Terrain Based Learning program. This program seeks to provide a more comfortable and fun experience for learning beginners, removing discomfort or fear associated with the sports. The resort has once again asked the original developers of the program to expand and build out an additional Terrain Based Learning park at Silver Creek, Snowshoe’s second distinct ski area.Teenagers were not forgotten in Snowshoe’s new plan. 20 Below—a teen-only center—sounds promising in its offer of games, movies, dancing, and even a social media center to teenagers.For those above 21, the attached Connection Nightclub adds a friendly environment for singles and those looking to let loose. Nationally known artists scheduled to play at Beats on the Basin this winter season include The Infamous Stringdusters, Keller-Williams, Passafire and Rusted Root.Covering a total area of 11,000 acres, the new Snowshoe Mountain really does have it all. Snowshoe has introduced variable pricing discounts to lift ticket purchases online. For more information on ticketing, lodging prices, visit www.snowshoemtn.com. The Intrawest Passport will offer children 12 and under free skiing, and includes six days of skiing at each of six participating North American Intrawest ski resorts. Full offer details can be found at www.intrawestpassport.com.
JESSICA TOMASSIN CHRIS EATOUGH Dan ‘Wingfoot’ Bruce completed seven A.T. thru-hikes and published an authoritative series of A.T. guidebooks. He also worked tirelessly to preserve the trail he loved.Favorite memories?Of all the A.T. thru-hikes I did, I would have to say the very first one was the most memorable. It was like falling in love for the first time. You never forget that.I hiked over 25,000 miles of hikes in my day, but the highlight of it all was the service and the environmental activism. I helped conserve 25 miles of land bordering the A.T., a large swath of land on Max Patch near the northern end of the Smoky Mountains, and Saddleback Mountain in Maine which was being threatened by a gravel quarry at the time.What are you doing today?I left Hot Springs, N.C., and the Appalachian Trail community and stopped maintaining my guidebooks in 2007. I left because I didn’t like the way that interactive technologies like cell phones were changing the nature of the trail, and I just preferred to remember it as it was before all of that. Now I am the primary caregiver for my 99-year-old mother. I am also working on a book about my many Appalachian Trail adventures called Walking with Wingfoot.Biggest changes or discoveries?Sadly, I have lost my urge to fight for the environment. It pains me to say it, but I believe that, worldwide, the fight for the environment is lost. What I’ve learned is this: If hiking the A.T. is not the most important thing to you at that very moment, then go do what is. If it is, then immerse yourself in it completely with passion and fervor. Bettina Freese was BRO’s very first mountain biking correspondent. Bettina recently published an article in Yoga magazine and is currently working on one for Massage & Bodywork. She as an instructor at the Asheville School of Massage & Yoga and is expanding her business as a continuing education provider. She is compiling a book based on her mother’s demise to Alzheimer’s. Her love is still for mountain biking, but more with her kids. Watching them ride makes her cry in gratitude. She runs the mountain bike club at Evergreen Charter School. Her outdoor adventures are mainly with her kids, who love Moab and the Pisgah National Forest. They spend their summer weekends in a tent. She took up running, which has led her to weekends of raucous laughter doing relay races clad in leopard print.Favorite memories?When I was doing a monthly column for BRO, biking was a creative space. Every time I was on my bike, I saw the world differently. To me it was slightly amusing that I could get paid to do something I loved so much.What are you doing today?Now that my kids are in school and I can occasionally get 15 minutes to myself, I’m cultivating my writing career again—but not just outdoor writing. I’m just trying to send things out and see where it will take me next, and I’m actively working on a book.Biggest changes or discoveries?I still feel like I am 10 years old, and sometimes I’m amazed at the level of responsibility I’m allowed. Inside I’m just the same adventurous person I was when I first started writing for BRO. These days I ride motorcycles, teach an adult gymnastics class, and do a running relay with a leopard print clad group called the Pussyfooters. I guess I just like to keep it fresh. One of the biggest things I try to focus on is living in the moment and not building too much on the past. Be present and it will open the new doors for you. There are new doors opening every day. Chris Hipgrave, hailing from Purely, England, is a whitewater legend. A former USA Wildwater Team athlete with 38 years of whitewater experience, Hipgrave now plays an important role in the kayak instruction programs at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) in Western North Carolina.Favorite memories?Representing the USA at my first Wildwater World Championships and World Cups was incredibly heavy and a moment I am very proud of. I ended up representing the USA Wildwater Team for 11 consecutive years and raced all over the globe on some amazing whitewater and with some great people.What are you doing today?I’m the Paddlesports and Outdoor Schools General Manager at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. The NOC was one of the major draws to this area when I moved from England back in 1991, so it’s fitting that I would end up here. The NOC team is so passionate about introducing people to the outdoors and over the years I’ve seen that passion positively change so many lives.Biggest changes or discoveries?My love for all things paddling is unwavering, but I appreciate other disciplines and aspects of the sport more now rather than my narrow whitewater focus of the past. The lure of surfski paddling has been a particularly fun journey that I never would have imagined I’d embark on. I hope I can keep charging ahead to create new amazing adventures. If I leave this world with $1 to my name but a mind full of great memories, that’s just fine with me. DAVOD HORTON LAIRD NIGHT LECKY HALLER David Horton was the East’s ultrarunning pioneer. He set several speed records and won multiple 100-mile ultra marathons, including two victories at the Hardrock 100.Favorite memories?Setting the speed record on the A.T., being the first American finisher of the Barkley 100 Miler, directing 80 ultras, and most recently, finishing the 2,700-mile Tour Divide Mountain Bike race.What are you doing today?These days I have switched my focus from ultra running to mountain biking, and I plan on doing the Tour Divide in this summer. I had a seven-way open heart bypass surgery two years ago, and a total knee replacement just 7 months ago. I am in my 35th year of teaching at Liberty University and still directing three ultramarathons.Biggest changes or discoveries?One thing I’ve learned is that once you make a commitment, you have to fulfill that commitment. Another is that life goes on. I am now a mountain biker and not running at all. JEB TILLY In MemoriamBill IrwinIn 1990 Bill Irwin became the first and only blind adventurer to ever complete a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail without human assistance. He did have assistance from his seeing eye dog, a German shepherd appropriately named Orient, but had no GPS, no map, and no compass.After his historic hike, Irwin retired to Maine with his wife Bebra where they lived on 72 acres with a view of Katahdin. He also published a book, now in its eleventh printing and still selling copies, called Blind Courage, in which he chronicled the events that brought him to the culmination of his nine-month journey.Sadly, Irwin lost his battle with prostate cancer in March 2014.Shannon ChristyElite kayaker Shannon Christy was only 23 years old when she embarked on her final paddle down the Potomac River. Just like any other whitewater expert, she knew her chosen craft was fraught with peril, but she didn’t live in fear of the consequences.Chirsty, who set off from Greenville, S.C. to compete in the Potomac River Festival’s Great Falls Race in July 2013, became pinned underwater and drowned in one of the race’s most treacherous sections.“I really believe that her faith in her future diminished any fear that she had in any area of her life,” said her mother, Kim Christy in an interview with The Washington Post. “She didn’t fear the future; she didn’t fear the river.”“Cookie Lady” Jane CurryDuring the 1976 Bike-centennial, when thousands of bikers embarked on a cross-country journey from Virginia to Oregon along the now infamous Trans-America trail, Afton, Virginia resident Jane Curry emerged as a steadfast friend to trail-weary bikers. Her hospitality often included a hot shower and always came with fresh-baked cookies. Over the span of some three decades, she attained legendary status in guidebooks and through word of mouth within road cycling circles. By the time she passed away in June 2012 at the age of 91, she had baked cookies for more 13,000 cyclists from around the world. Chris Eatough came to the United States from England in the early 90s. After attending Clemson University, he went on to pilot an impressive professional mountain biking career that includes six 24-hour Solo World Championships and five 24-hour Solo National Championships. In addition, he is the 2007 24 Hour of Moab Champion and the winner of ten 100-mile mountain bike races.Favorite memories?Traveling, riding, racing, and hanging out in amazing locations all over the world and sharing it with teammates.What are you doing today?I live in Howard County, Md., with my wife, Allison, and two kids. I work for the county as the bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. It’s a great place to live and I enjoy adding to the quality of life by making our area more bike- and walk-friendly. Of course, I still ride bikes just about every day.Biggest changes or discoveries?I am less extreme now. I used to push the limits of endurance with training and racing to see how far I could go and to get the very best out of myself. I still consider honesty to be very important. I always raced hard but fair. Now I value honesty more than ever, especially with my family. Balance is important and winning isn’t everything. I had some great success with racing, but I was always able to walk away with my health and my reputation intact. Lecky Haller, one of Western North Carolina’s most heralded and accomplished canoeists, is known for an impressive whitewater career that lasted from the early 80s to the early 2000s and included four medals—one gold, two silver, and one bronze—at the International Canoe Federation Canoe Slalom World Championships.Favorite memories?In canoe slalom, I got to race in two Olympic Games, narrowly missing a medal with Jamie McEwan in 1992 in Barcelona. Other memorable moments were closer to home: night mountain bike rides in Bent Creek; paddling up to the castle and back on the French Broad; a snowy winter day on top of Black Balsams; canoe camping on the Chattooga.What are you doing today?I have been a football, cross country, wrestling, skiing, lacrosse, and weightlifting coach, and I am introducing my two wonderful 9- and 13-year-old daughters to as many of the great things that nature can teach them as possible.Biggest changes OR discoveries?I’m mostly the same. I marvel daily over all the incredible things in nature and the outdoors. I maybe used to be a little more nationalistic as in the US will kick your butt. Now I think we really need to all pitch in to save this earth of ours. It’s not who wins; it’s how we win.The biggest lesson in life is maybe to just be nice. Nice to yourself and nice to others and try to understand where we all come from and what others are going through. Don’t be selfish—except maybe every once in a while if the ice cream is really good. DAN BRUCE Jessica Tomasin was BRO’s first climbing columnist. These days, she works in the music business and was recently named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce.Favorite memories?Climbing in the New River Gorge and the Red River Gorge for the first time.What are you doing today?I have been managing the Echo Mountain Recording Studio for the last eight years, and I have my own production company that produces events and festivals.Biggest changes or discoveries?An injury sidelined me for several years. I’m finally just getting back to running and climbing. But instead of spending every minute outdoors, I am also a mentor to a family, growing my business, more involved in projects that benefit my community as a whole. I’ve learned that you don’t have to go full speed to have a great adventure, and to trust where your path leads you. Slow and steady wins the race. CHRIS HARGRAVE BETTINA FREESE Laird Knight. Twenty-four hour mountain bike racing began with this guy. Knight created the first race in Canaan Valley, W.Va., back in 1992, which eventually led to his induction into the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame.Favorite memories?My first ride on a mountain bike in 1983. I had seen mountain bikes in stores, but there was no way as a college kid that I could afford one. It wasn’t until I moved to Davis, W.Va., and started Blackwater Bikes that I finally got to ride one. I was not disappointed. What a ride. What a day. I’ll never forget it.In 2002, I learned that I was going to be inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. I remember thinking, “Wait, I’m not done yet!”What are you doing today?I married and moved to Morgantown, W.Va., and my wife and I adopted three siblings from Ethiopia. Being a dad to these three kids has been the most meaningful and joyful experience of my life. My new sport-love is soccer. I play in two adult leagues, coach a team, and all my kids play soccer at a very high level.Biggest changes or discoveries?There is a certain wisdom that comes with age and it’s delicious. I take more responsibility for my life. I don’t blame others or my past. I’m more grateful than I’ve ever been. I’m enjoying life at a whole new level. Most importantly, I’ve learned that I can’t do it all myself, that I need other people. I’ve learned so much from my mistakes, and I’ve made some big ones. I didn’t capitalize on the success of 24-hour racing right off the bat, and I let copycat competitors move in. The most inspirational thing that I’ve learned and experienced in all my endeavors is this: When you know where you want to go, people will help you get there. It’s just amazing to me how, all along the way, people put a shoulder into my vision. Graham AverillGraham Averill was a staff writer for Blue Ridge Outdoors and continues to write freelance for BRO and other regional and national outdoor publications.Favorite memories?I took telemark camp at Whitegrass, hunted Bigfoot in Virginia, and got way lost in the Smokies. A few times.What are you doing today?Now I’m freelancing full time, writing for a handful of national adventure titles. I’m still writing for BRO too. I just took over the gear page, which I’m really excited about. I also spend a lot of time hanging out with my kids. They’re becoming little adventurers themselves.Biggest changes or discoveries?Well, when I started working at BRO, I didn’t have any kids, so my life is nothing like it used to be. There’s definitely more balance now, and I have to think about what taking an assignment that might be dangerous would mean for my family. Maybe that means I’m more mature now? Probably not. From BRO’s very first writers and editors to record-setting, trail running legends and thru-hiking gurus, we’ve compiled the latest and greatest info on some of the region’s biggest outdoor personalities.Jeb Tilly was one of BRO’s first editors, and the work he put in during the magazine’s earliest years formed a foundation for what it would become twenty years later.Favorite memories?I’ll never forget sleeping on the rim of Ambassador Buttress in the New in the early 90s, and meeting the tiny group of people who’d discovered climbing there when the place was still pretty much terra incognita to the rest of the world.What I remember most about BRO is the pleasure of creating something totally new. In 1995 the vibe and energy in outdoor sport was mostly a Western thing. In the East, there were little pockets of people who had passion for climbing, bouldering, ultrarunning, hang gliding, mountain biking, cross-country and telemark skiing and all that. My job was to seek those people out. It was the best job ever: go interview John Markwell about the origins of the Gendarme at Seneca Rocks. Go spend a weekend with Gene and Maura Kistler and see what’s new at the New. Check in on Thomas Jenkins and the Hugh Jass guys. We were pulling the little tribes together, bringing their stories to life.Back then Rob Jiranek and I sold the ads, wrote the stories, took the photos, and delivered the mag in an old white Ford van to all the little markets in the Shenandoah Valley. We’d literally take a copy to people’s door and say, “Here’s the piece we wrote about you.” It was great.What are you doing today?I live in the mountains above Boulder, Colo. and run my own brand strategy company. Brand positioning, innovation, advertising —that kind of stuff. I have a seven-week-old kid named Woods and a wife named Ashley, who was head of sales at Blue Ridge Outdoors in the late 90s, so maybe my most memorable BRO moment was meeting my wife.Biggest changes OR discoveries?I don’t wander as much as I used to, which is a shame because I think there’s a lot of value in wandering. The pace of life and social media make it harder these days. I still firmly believe in the power of understanding and bringing to life people’s stories. My business is based on it.It’s a lot more important and meaningful to be present in the experiences I have than it is to be prepared for them. I’ve spent tons of time training for stuff and of course I see value in that, too. But in the end it’s really about being there, whether it’s a long route in the mountains or a diaper change. Even if you totally f*ck it up.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York New York City police have identified the missing 31-year-old woman whose belongings and vehicle were found near Gilgo Beach over the weekend.An NYPD spokesman said Natasha Jugo was last seen leaving her home in the Alley Park section of Queens at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Her car was found on Ocean Parkway and some of her belongings were found on the sand near Gilgo on Sunday, police have said.Jugo was described as 5-feet, 7-inches tall, 120 pounds with brown eyes and blond hair. She was last seen wearing a black robe, pink pajamas, gray hooded sweatshirt, black coat and black boots.Nassau, Suffolk and New York State police have been searching the oceanfront near where the items and vehicle were found but have yet to locate Jugo.Police have cautioned that there search has no apparent link to the Long Island Serial Killer, who had dumped four victims on the side of Ocean Parkway in Gilgo before their remains were found in 2010. That case remains unsolved.
NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger urged the House Financial Services Committee to approve the repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act’s Durbin amendment, as provided in the “Financial CHOICE Act,” in a Morning Consult editorial published in advance of Tuesday’s “CHOICE Act” mark-up.The “Financial CHOICE Act” (H.R. 5983) was cleared by the panel on a vote of 30-26, with the repeal provision intact. The bill awaits House action.“This amendment, which set price controls on debit interchange fees for some financial institutions, was added to the Dodd-Frank Act during conference committee at the behest of big-box retailers,” Berger wrote. “These interests pledged the provision wouldn’t affect ‘exempt’ entities — under the Act, those with holdings less than $10 billion. We knew that promise would be impossible to keep.” continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday that a cyber breach of a filing system it uses may have provided the basis for some illegal trading in 2016.In a statement posted on the SEC’s website, Chairman Jay Clayton said a review of the agency’s cybersecurity risk profile determined that the previously detected “incident” was caused by “a software vulnerability” in its EDGAR filing system.The statement said the software was patched quickly after the hack was uncovered in 2016, although the possibility that some may have used it to make illegal profits was only discovered last month.The SEC revelation comes as Americans continue to grapple with the repercussions of a massive, months-long hack of Equifax, a credit reporting agency, which exposed highly sensitive personal information of 143 million people. continue reading »
According to the proposal of the new law on road transport, the taxi market will be further liberalized, transport will be able to be ordered through the application, the restriction on the number of taxi permits will be abolished, and the price of services will be determined by carriers themselves.The bill is going into public debate from December 01, the debate will last a month, and it should be passed by the beginning of the next tourist season, ie around Easter next year, the ministry said, which estimates that it will undoubtedly provoke many reactions in the current taxi carriers which fundamentally change the way of doing business.The market is the best regulator, while the monopoly stifles entrepreneurship. The best regulator is the free market, the struggle of supply and demand, and price and quality.And there are always consumers to gain, because with the free market and competition we have the right to choose, a diverse offer and quality is raised as well as the price of a service or product is reduced. Then we can choose what suits us and our worldview. But the most important thing is that the market is only regulated because the market is the only first proof of success.As in everything, and so in this case, with the opening of the taxi market there was an increase in choice and different offers, lower prices, increase in the quality of transport services and most importantly increase the use of taxi services. Today we can choose whether we want more expensive or cheaper transport, we want ecological transport – we choose according to our capabilities and worldview. The market works, and the best are rewarded, while the worst, as in everything, are the least happy. There are two choices: Either raise the quality of service and learn in fair market competition like millions of other companies or retire. There is no third choice.The fight of the old monopolists of taxi transport against the competition and Uber is great, it means that they care, but not in this form as before, and especially not by violence and closing the streets with an argument because they don’t have that much work anymore. And who asks everyone else who struggles in the market every day to survive? A struggle that the former monopolists have long since lost, but are not yet aware of.Do we want a monopoly of one or a free market? This is a key issue, because looking from the perspective of taxi drivers who are fighting against the modern world and technology, then the former owners of video stores, as well as everyone else whose profession and profession has been replaced by technology, can rightly protest. The market is the best regulator, and the winners are always consumers.The new law will increase the number of taxi drivers in Croatia, because the current around 3.000 is certainly not enough for Croatia as a tourist country Thus, according to the new Act, carriers will choose the means they will use to charge for the ride, a taximeter or an electronic application. The ministry says that in the 21st century they could not go to the principle of prohibition, but also that public opinion polls showed that 85 percent of respondents voted for the application.It is estimated that the liberalization of the taxi market will at least double the number of taxi drivers, which is now around 3.000, which is too little for Croatia as a tourist country. Also, it is expected that the application of the new law will reduce the cost of taxi services, but also how to improve the quality of service, and a fair market competition will be opened where each carrier will find its niche business in accordance with its business policy.Future taxi drivers who do not have valid licenses will have to be at least 21 years old and have a good reputation, which means that they will not be able to taxi if they have been legally fined or if they have paid fines in excess of HRK 25.000 in the last two years. The future ordinance will also prescribe the age of taxi vehicles, and existing taxi drivers with their licenses can operate for another five years. A new initial driver qualification is also being introduced which will only be for taxis. Future taxi drivers will take a theoretical exam, and the obligation of a three-year vocational school will be abolished.The novelty is that local self-government units will have to issue licenses for performing taxi services in their area to all license holders, and not, as before, only to those from their area. This means that someone from continental Croatia will be able to legally taxi along the coast. The price of the permit may not exceed 10 percent of the monthly net salary in the area of the local self-government unit that issues the permit. The news is that taxi drivers who, for example, transport passengers from Zagreb to Velika Gorica, will be able to pick up a new passenger there as well.<br />
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State-owned insurer PT Asuransi Jiwasraya has claimed that the losses it suffered from investing in several questionable stocks exceed those of social insurer Asuransi Sosial Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia (Asabri).Jiwasraya president director Hexana Tri Sasongko estimated on Wednesday that the insurer suffered a loss of Rp 13 trillion (US$ 949.65 million) from its investments in stocks of companies affiliated with businessmen Heru Hidayat and Benny Tjokrosaputro.Both businessmen have been named suspects and detained by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in the Jiwasraya corruption case. “The majority of our investment in stocks and equity mutual funds has been impaired and decreased our investment value,” he told the press after a hearing with House of Representatives’ Commission VI overseeing state-owned companies and trade, in Jakarta.He added that the total losses the company suffered from investing in the two businessmen’s companies’ stocks were still being audited by the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK).The alleged investment mismanagement in Jiwasraya has been investigated for corruption after the insurer failed to pay out more than Rp 16 trillion in matured insurance policies as of January to its customers. The AGO has named five suspects, including two of Jiwasraya’s former executives, in the case.In the meantime, Asabri claimed that its losses from investing in similar stocks could reach Rp 11.4 trillion, higher than its previous claim of Rp 10.9 trillion last month.President director Sonny Widjaja said the insurer, which handles the social insurance and pension funds for the National Police, the Indonesian Military and employees of the Defense Ministry, had secured a commitment from both businessmen to compensate for the losses.“We will utilize the police force to collect the money [from Heru and Benny] because we don’t have the authority to take away their assets,” he said during the hearing. Topics :