Judicial council launches voter plan

first_imgThe Judicial Council has developed a campaign designed to better advertise and simplify the voting process for next week’s Student Government primary elections, Junior Kathryn Peruski, vice president of elections said. The Council hopes to use this plan to increase voter turnout, she said.A seven-member Election Committee appointed by the Judicial Council has been working on the “Vote Today” campaign since last spring, which incorporates new strategies for reaching student voters and encouraging them to vote, Masi said.“If there’s not enough publicity, people won’t know about the election,” Peruski said.Masi, President of Judicial Council, said “Vote Today” focuses on advertising elections through redesigned posters, banners in LaFortune Student Center and both dining halls and communication through email, Twitter and Facebook.“The big push is ‘Vote Today’ because we are actually encouraging people to turnout on Election Day,” Peruski said.Judicial Council is also working with the Office of Information Technology to advertise the elections on Sakai homepages and on screen backgrounds of University computers, Masi said.“We’ve been trying to rebrand Judicial Council,” he said. “It’s been about increasing [student] awareness of elections.”Peruski said for the first time, in addition to the digital ballot, a physical voting booth would also be in LaFortune on Election Day, Wednesday, Feb. 5.The final element of the “Vote Today” campaign includes direct outreach to student organizations and hall councils to communicate election details, Masi said.Peruski said students should appreciate the impact of their votes in this election.“It’s important for students to vote because [the elected students] do represent you for an entire calendar year,” Peruski said.Senior Michael Masi said Judicial Council has long been working to increase the disappointing turnout from undergraduate students in the elections it oversees.“Voter turnout practically hovers around 50 percent, which we find unacceptable for the Notre Dame undergraduate student body,” Masi said. “It’s never as strong as we would like. We would like upwards of 70 or 80 percent.”STEPH WULZ | The Observer Masi thinks the busy schedules of Notre Dame undergraduate students may account for the low turnout, and that publicity of elections and explanation of differences between candidates can help combat this issue.“Part of our problem is we have a campus full of leaders, and they’re very committed in what they’re doing, and they don’t look beyond their organizations,” he said. “We are very busy students and we don’t have time to know what’s going on.”Masi said correcting this trend of low turnout would put student leaders in a stronger position when Student Government meets with University leaders.“This is the students’ chance to choose a representative for them. Student Government leaders meet with administrators on a daily basis, and if we have less than 40 percent of students voters, it sends a weaker message,” Masi said. “Higher turnout allows greater engagement and gives greater authority to get things done. This is the opportunity for students to express their interests in what they care about on a greater scale.”Masi and Peruski said attending the election debates Monday at 8 p.m. in the basement of LaFortune offers the best way to learn about this year’s candidates for Student Government. Masi also said that better coordination with Student Government helps increase student awareness of its elections.“It’s a group effort. Judicial Council needs to work with Student Government and candidates to make sure the students know what’s going on. If all of us work together, we can increase engagement,” he said.Statistics on student voting have been available to Judicial Council only for the past three elections, since the Council took over the physical ballot recording process from OIT and created a Google form for digital voting, Masi said. .He said this new format allows for easier distribution of the digital link to the ballots, both on the Judicial Council website and through email, and allows the Council to oversee the process and results.“That way the data is all in-house … if there are allegations of election misconduct, we can look at the data,” Masi said. “It seems to work really well and candidates seem to like it.”Masi said that although he does not have concrete statistics, he believes seniors vote at lower levels than any other class. Masi said he believes it is either because they think they cannot vote or because they do not care, but he encourages them to take the time to vote.“Seniors, it’s like leaving a legacy,” he said. “If you care about the future of Notre Dame, it’s important to vote.”Beyond a general apathy with Student Government, Peruski said dwindling membership on the Judicial Council Listserv makes it hard to distribute the voting link during the election, which only lasts from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.Primary elections for Student Government representatives will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 5. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, a run-off election between the two candidates who receive the highest numbers of votes will occur Monday, Feb. 10.Tags: Judicial Council, Student government elections, Student Governmet, Vote Todaylast_img read more

Photos! Joan Rivers Goes Head-to-Head with Rocky Star Andy Karl

first_img Related Shows View Comments Rocky Andy Karl Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 17, 2014 Star Files If there’s one person who could give Rocky Balboa a run for his money in the ring, it’s Joan Rivers! The comedy legend took her grandson Cooper to see the July 11 performance of Rocky at the Winter Garden Theatre, starring Andy Karl, Margo Seibert and Terence Archie. After watching Rocky fight from the heart in the musical adaptation of the hit movie, Rivers and Cooper went backstage to meet the cast and pull a few punches. Directed by Alex Timbers, Rocky features music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and a book by Thomas Meehan and the film’s original writer and star, Sylvester Stallone. Check out these Hot Shots of Rivers going head-to-head with Karl, then catch Rocky on Broadway!last_img read more

Stand with that Mountain

first_imgJay Leutze teamed up with locals near Roan Mountain to stop a gravel quarry from destroying a scenic peak in Southern Appalachia. Photo courtesy of John ManuelAuthor fights for his beloved Blue Ridge in a page-turning bestseller Jay Erskine Leutze was living a simple life in the mountains of western North Carolina when he was drawn into a battle against the operators of a proposed gravel quarry very close to the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in the Roan Highlands near his home. He chronicles the genesis of the fight and his subsequent four years in the state court system in the recently published Stand Up That Mountain: The Battle to Save One Small Community in the Wilderness along the Appalachian Trail. It integrates comprehensive legal details into a gripping storyline that includes a plethora of authentic characters, from colorful residents of the small mountain town to distinguished lawyers in Raleigh to dyed-in-the-wool environmental activists. In this era of environmental calamity everywhere we look, Stand Up That Mountain is a refreshing and optimistic perspective on the power of people to speak up for places they love. I spoke with Leutze the morning after he gave a public talk in Asheville for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the A.T.Give us an overview of what happens in the book.The conflict surrounded a private mining enterprise that was forced to move from its current location, and they went looking for places to mine for gravel. They managed to get a permit to mine 151 acres including the summit of a 4,400 foot peak called Belview Mountain. One day, I got a telephone call from a very articulate woman who told me that the Mining Act of 1971 was being violated behind her house. She said she had photographs that she would share with me. So I went to meet her and that’s when I learned she was a 14-year-old girl named Ashley Cook. She was being homeschooled by her Aunt Ollie and her Uncle Curly in their home, which was a defunct auto-repair shop, a cinderblock building on the side of the road. She asked me to help her because she knew I had been to law school. I felt very drawn in by their passion and the fear that they had. What followed was a four-year legal battle between a private citizens group, and public interest law firms, and two national conservation organizations, the A.T. Conservancy and the National Parks Conservation Association.How did you decide to write a book about your experience?By the time we were filing the lawsuit, I knew I was living in a story that was rich with characters. I knew I was in the middle of a remarkable story with people who were confronted with conflicts, which is what makes stories move. Stories are powerful because they mimic our lives. My life had become a script for a hell of a movie. One of the joys of this story has been watching local people have an opportunity to stand up for the things they care the most about. This story is providing a lot of inspiration to people who see natural gas companies coming into their communities to do hydraulic fracturing and people who are facing threats in a nation with a growing population where we are bumping up against each other more and more.What was the relationship like between the local community and the conservation organizations you were working with?There was a lot of distrust in the local community of the A.T. community. The trail is placed in the most remote locations that can be found, so there’s almost no contact between hikers and these communities until the trail crosses a road. So Ollie and Ashley and Curly didn’t really have any realization that there was a National Park unit behind their house. Ollie called it “that little dirt path up on the hill.” So it took some convincing to build some trust. What are you working on now?I buy land for the Southern Appalachian HighlandsConservancy in Asheville. The landscape that my land trust was founded to protect was the Roan Highlands. A lot of people asked me if I was going to practice environmental law after this case. Instead, I started working with the land trust community, working with willing landowners who wanted to protect their own land and badly needed tools to do that. That’s what land trusts provide. The land trust movement has protected more land over the last six or seven years using voluntary conservation easements and land acquisition than land that was lost to sprawl. I wanted to be in the middle of that. One of our recent successes was partnering on the acquisition of the 10,000-acre Rocky Fork in East Tennessee.What do you love about the Southern Appalachians?I live in a very sparsely populated landscape where people are still getting lost. Several times a year on foggy days the word goes out that a small group of hikers is lost in the Roan. I think it’s amazing that in this fast-growing state that there are still places where reasonably competent outdoor enthusiasts can get lost. That inspires me. I love crossing a ridge and standing in a place where I’m quite confident that nobody has stood in a very long time, if ever. We can secure that experience for future generations, not only in a beautiful landscape, but in a landscape of remarkable biodiversity. A lot of my love is connected to fishing and clean water. I love drinking right out of my spring. I live at the top of my watershed, and so many people live downstream of me. We need to figure out a way to ensure that everybody’s got clean water.Is there anyone you’ve turned to as a role model in your own work and life?Mark Twain. I find something relevant in Twain every time I pick up his writing. Of course I love Wendell Berry, a lot of nature writers, a lot of southern writers too. But I pick up Twain first. He gets me in a framework of diabolical creativity.Jay Leutze will be speaking about Stand Up That Mountain on February 25 at Lynchburg College.last_img read more

Syosset Restaurateur Charged With Fraud, Bribing Oyster Bay Official

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Syosset-based restaurateur has been arrested for allegedly bribing a Town of Oyster Bay official, inflating the amount of Sandy aid one of his properties qualified for, and perpetrating tax fraud among other charges, federal officials said.Harendra Singh was indicted on counts of honest services wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, federal program bribery, disaster relief fraud, conspiring to defraud the United States, impeding the Internal Revenue Service, tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.“Singh ran his businesses through fraud and deceit, using bribes and kickbacks to tilt the playing field in the Town of Oyster Bay,” said Kelly Currie, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “He accomplished this by lying to FEMA and the IRS in order to obtain hundreds of thousands of Hurricane Sandy disaster relief funds to which he was not entitled and evading taxes on millions of dollars of sales and wages.”Prosecutors said the 56-year-old man, who operates restaurants primarily in Nassau County and one at the Town of Oyster Bay’s Tobay Beach, paid bribes and kickbacks to an unidentified Oyster Bay town official, who was listed in court documents as a co-conspirator, in exchange for the town’s guaranteeing two private loans to his company totaling $20 million, which would leave taxpayers on the hook if he defaulted.Singh allegedly gave the officials 10 checks for $5,000 made out to cash—half after the first loan for $7.8 million was closed in 2011, the rest after a second loan for $12.2 million was closed the following year, authorities said. Singh also allegedly paid for the official and a relative to fly to Asia, hotel and transportation expenses included, plus he made monthly payments for the official’s leased BMW, according to investigators.The Internal Revenue Service alleged that Singh additionally under-reported his annual revenue and the wages he paid his workers by a total of $17 million, effectively hiding how much he owed in taxes in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014, prosecutors said.Singh also fraudulently obtained $950,000 in disaster relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency between 2012 and this year by inflating the amount of damage incurred to The Water’s Edge, a restaurant he owns in New York City, authorities said.Lastly, when investigators executed a search warrant last year, Singh allegedly told FBI agents that he didn’t have a key to a safe that contained $175,000 in diverted Tobay revenue, which he later asked others to hold for him, prosecutors said.If convicted, Singh faces up to 30 years in prison. He will be arraigned Wednesday before U.S. Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson at Central Islip federal court.last_img read more

Compliance: FinCEN’s real estate money laundering advisory

first_img continue reading » 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released an advisory to provide information on money laundering risks associated with certain real estate transactions. According to FinCEN, real estate transactions involving luxury property purchased through shell companies–particularly when conducted with cash and no financing–can serve as an attractive way for criminals to launder illegal proceeds.Shell companies are typically non-publicly traded corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), or trusts that have no physical presence beyond a mailing address and generate little to no independent economic value.Most shell companies are formed by individuals and businesses for legitimate purposes. Shell companies can often be formed without disclosing the individuals that ultimately own or control them and can be used to conduct financial transactions without disclosing their true beneficial owners’ involvement.last_img read more

Greater Binghamton Airport receives $500,000 for snow removal

first_img(WBNG) — The Greater Binghamton Airport is getting $500,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration. The funding is part of the FAA’s airport improvement program grants. The Elmira-Corning Regional Airport received more than $1.5 million to reconstruct the apron around the terminal.center_img The money will be used for snow removal removal equipment at the airport.last_img

BLOG: Governor Wolf Wishes Pennsylvanians a Merry Christmas (VIDEO)

first_img By: Governor Tom Wolf Each year, Christmas is an opportunity for families across Pennsylvania to come together and share in their holiday traditions. This year, I’m looking forward to having time together as a family around our Christmas tree, a tradition some say was first brought to America by Pennsylvanians from Germany.As we share in the warmth of the holidays, we also must remember those who do not have the fortune of having family close by, a roof over their heads or a hot meal to share. Each year around the holidays, Frances and I take time to support our local soup kitchen and food bank. This year, I’d ask each of us to consider how we can help their fellow Pennsylvanians who may not be as fortunate.Too often, we can be so busy and distracted that we overlook all we have to be fortunate and all those important to us. I hope this Christmas gives all of you the opportunity to share quality time with those you care most about. On behalf of the Governor’s Office and the Wolf family, I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas. Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Holidays,  The Blog,  Videos BLOG: Governor Wolf Wishes Pennsylvanians a Merry Christmas (VIDEO) SHARE Email Facebook Twitter December 25, 2015last_img read more

OECD warns of ‘implied fiscal risks’ stemming from Irish sovereign fund

first_img“It is important to ensure the SBCI and the ISIF do not crowd out private financing,” the OECD report added.ISIF’s investments are meant to act as a catalyst for additional private investment, and the fund regularly discloses the amount of third-party capital committed alongside its investments.Its director, Eugene O’Callaghan, told the current issue of IPE the fund’s challenge was now investing three-quarters of its €7.6bn portfolio by its target date of 2020.“The biggest challenge is deployment – and deployment in a way that we don’t big up the price of assets in the Irish market against ourselves,” he said.In July, the fund outlined its investment strategy, which will see it target real assets, venture capital investments and private equity.In late July, it also announced that it would back a €500m residential property venture, which aims to extend credit to domestic residential developments. For more on ISIF’s investment strategy, read IPE’s interview with Eugene O’Callaghan Ireland’s government has been warned about the risks associated with its sovereign development fund and projects funded by its predecessor, the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF).In its annual assessment of the Irish economy, the OECD noted the launch of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), funded by the NPRF, which has since become the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), and used as a means of increasing the amount of lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).“Both the SBCI and the ISIF should be monitored closely given the implied fiscal risks,” the OECD report warned.It noted that the SBCI, which received funding from both the NPRF and Germany’s Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, was meant to “foster competition”.last_img read more

18 sachets of ‘shabu’ seized

first_imgBACOLOD City – Eighteen sachets ofsuspected shabu valued at around P50,000 were seized in a buy-bust operation inBarangay Cabatangan, Talisay City, Negros Occidental. Aside from suspected shabu, a P500marked money and cash amounting to P720 were also recovered. The 37-year-old resident Winchelle Joy Quiatchonyielded the suspected illegal drugs, police said. The suspect was detained in thecustodial facility of the city police station, facing charges for violation ofRepublic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002./PN Officers of the Talisay City policestation staged the entrapment operation that led to the arrest of the suspectaround 7:30 p.m. on March 3.last_img

Downes/Andrews first time Trophy Stall Doubles Champions

first_imgANTHONY Downes and Jason Andrews combined well to defeat Heimraj Resaul and Jordan Beaton to win,for the first time ,the Men’s Doubles final of the Guyana Tennis Association organized Trophy Stall sponsored event over the past weekend.According to a release, the Men’s Open Doubles final was a one-sided affair in the first set as Downes and Andrews unleashed a plethora of serves and volleys that quickly pushed the junior team of Resaul and Beaton to the breaking point of 5/0.That fast approaching bagel unnerved the juniors who tactfully set up a few points to create a slight opening.Resaul/Beaton’s flat forehands penetrated the net play of the agile seniors, rewarding them with a service and a break to go up two games. But the seniors regrouped, cleaned up their act and took the first set 6/2.“I think we settled in and we were able to play better. We started to apply more pressure and started our offensive strategy and stopped playing defence,” Resaul stated.This was evident in the second set as Resaul/Beaton found their rhythm and challenged the seniors. This proved fruitful with the set tied at 5/5.Downes and Andrews did not enjoy this challenge and dropped a service game with well-placed serves to take a 6/5 lead.Resaul then served hoping to take the match into a tie-breaker. But after looking very confident and saving two match points, the team again made a few unforced errors and was unable to deliver. Downes/Andrews clenched their first Trophy Stall Doubles title,and their 4th overall, with their 6/2, 7/5 win.They did’nt lose a set.The tournament will close with the final Men’s Over 35 match between top Berbicians Godfrey Lowden/Tony Ameerally against Sandeep Chand/Alex Almeida.last_img read more