Eva Hassett, VP of Savarino Construction Services Corp. answers questions on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel redesign

October 17th, 2018

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Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Monday, February 27, 2006

Buffalo, New York —Wikinews was the first to tell you that the Elmwood Village Hotel development in Buffalo, New York was to undergo “significant changes”.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed project that would be placed at Elmwood and Forest Aves. in Buffalo. In order for the development to take place, at least five buildings that house both businesses and residents, must be demolished.

To confirm and to get more information about the changes, Wikinews interviewed Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction Services Corporation, the development company in charge of building the hotel.

Wikinews: The hotel proposal is being redesigned. Could you comment on that? What changes are being made? Are they significant?

Eva Hassett: The hotel has been resized as a 72-room, four story building. This is 10% smaller in number of rooms and a full story lower. We are also redesigning the facades in a way that will minimize the mass – more of a vertical feeling than horizontal. Different materials, windows, details. The smaller size of the hotel also makes the number of on-site parking spaces more appropriate and hopefully represents less of a challenge to an already difficult parking situation.

WN: Will you still be going before the city’s planning board as scheduled on February 28? Same for the Common Council?

Hassett: We will be on the Planning Board agenda this Tuesday morning but I do not expect that the Board will vote on the item that morning. I think we will be mainly explaining the new design and hearing input/questions.

WN: Will there be anymore public meetings?

Hassett: We would be happy to do one more big public meeting. We will be talking to Forever Elmwood about that on Monday (February 27, 2006). We would like to see if there is support for the new design and we also want to honor the public’s request for another meeting. I am hopeful that meeting can take place the week of March 6th.

WN: Is Savarino considering Mr. Rocco Termini’s design/proposal? If no, do you (Savarino) support/oppose?

Hassett: We are hopeful that we can build the hotel as redesigned. We think it would be a great addition to the Elmwood Ave. area, a good way for out-of-towners to see what Buffalo offers and a big help to the businesses there.

WN: Are you considering more time for the community to make a judgment?

Hassett: As I mentioned above, we expect to have one more meeting to get public reaction to the new design, and I think the Planning Board may want an additional meeting to make their determination. We do however, have constraints that will limit the amount of extra time. We still think it is a great project for the City and Elmwood; and we still want it to be something that the community wants as well.

So far, the City of Buffalo’s City Planning Board is still scheduled to meet at 8:00 a.m. (Eastern) on February 28, 2006 followed by the Common Council meeting at 2:00 p.m. on the same day.

Images of the design are not yet available. “We are working on the renderings this weekend, but I will likely have some early in the week,” stated Hassett.

Hungarian Parliament passes bill to criminalise helping undocumented migrants

October 17th, 2018

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

On Wednesday, the Hungarian parliament passed the “Stop Soros” bill, making it illegal to help undocumented immigrants.

The bill was passed by a vote of 160–18. Per the bill, anyone found guilty of helping undocumented immigrants can potentially face a jail term of up to twelve months. The bill was criticised by human rights-focused organisation Amnesty International, as well as the United Nations (UN), Council of Europe, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and European Union. The bill bars non-government organisations from aiding refugees.

The bill is named after Hungarian-born democracy advocate George Soros. Having escaped the Holocaust and emigrated in 1947, Soros later founded the Open Society Foundations (OSF) which funds various NGOs. Current conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who won the election in April, spoke about immigration and national security in his political campaign. Orbán accused Soros of bringing migrants to Europe. Orbán asserted this blockade was to preserve the country’s “Christian culture”. In May, Soros announced OSF was moving from Hungary to German capital Berlin, asserting “increasingly repressive” condition in Hungary.

Amnesty internationals’s European Director Gauri van Gulik said in a statement, “It is a bitter irony that as the world marks World Refugee Day, the Hungarian Parliament voted […] to introduce a law that targets organizations and individuals who support asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants”. According to the UN, the law could come under effect as early as July.

A constitutional amendment was also made, prohibiting “alien population” from living in the country. Hungary’s Interior Minister, Sándor Pintér, said, “The Hungarian people rightfully expects the government to use all means necessary to combat illegal immigration and the activities that aid it”. He also added, “The Stop Soros package of bills serves that goal, making the organisation of illegal immigration a criminal offence. We want to use the bills to stop Hungary from becoming a country of immigrants”.

On Tuesday, 25% taxation of NGOs helping immigrants was proposed by the finance ministry. The ministry, in a statement, said, “The defense against illegal immigration imposes a heavy burden on Hungary’s budget, so it indirectly affects the Hungarian people […] therefore, the government passes that as a manner of burden sharing, the organisations aiding migration should bear additional taxes.”

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)’s European Bureau director Pascale Moreau said, “Seeking asylum is a fundamental human right, it is not a crime”.

Earth Day 2009 celebrated around the globe

October 16th, 2018

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today is the 39th observance of Earth Day in the northern hemisphere. Earth day is celebrated in Autumn on November 30 in the southern hemisphere. Senator Gaylord Nelson initiated the first Earth Day in April 1970 in the United States, and it is now celebrated by over 1 billion people in over 170 countries worldwide. Earth Day is the biggest environmental event which addresses issues and educates people on environmental awareness on a global scale.

This year, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will beam high-definition images to the NASA website and television. By doing so, NASA hopes to increase appreciation of global climate issues. There will also be a Washington exhibit relating to environmental issues viewed from space as well.

At the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center activities will focus on their slogan for Earth Day 2009, “Just One Drop … PRICELESS” and will demonstrate how the Environmental Control Life Support System operates as used on the International Space Staton (ISS).

Amongst the many festivals, WorldFest is a solar powered music celebration held in Los Angeles, California. Buenos Aires will also feature its second Earth Day event featuring a music festival as well.

“We are in a new era of energy innovation,” said Daniel Yergin at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) forum. Lithium-ion batteries are providing electric storage solutions for electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt and the Dodge Circuit EV. Algae fuel is a new form of biofuel, but is still under development.

“Energy Smackdown” was a competitive household activity which compared energy usage between 60 separate households across three cities in or near Boston. The various competitors came up with a variety of innovative methods to cut their carbon footprint, installing solar electric panels, geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines, and using a caulking gun to seal the home from drafts.

“In the average home, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.” is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) estimate.

Miami is installing a smart grid which will use individual household smart meters to allow energy consumers know via a web site, their exact home energy usage. “To me these are prudent and smart investments that will easily pay for themselves. It will show the nation how to address environmental, energy, and economic challenges all at the same time.” said Miami mayor Manny Diaz.

Cal Dooley, CEO of the American Chemistry Council ACC, says the plastic bag industry is prepared to spend US$50 million to revamp their manufacturing facilities and will collect 470 million pounds of recycled plastic every year to make plastic bags of 40% recycled content. The ACC is providing a donation to the Keep America Beautiful environmental organisation, both of whom endorse this new project. The Earth Day Network (EDN) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) would like to see an end to the use of plastic bags, however. “We don’t want people to use disposable bags. We want people to use reusable bags,” says Darby Hoover of the NRDC.

Calgary researchers will begin field surveys to help save the “Northern Leopard Frog (Rana Pipiens). “Northern Leopard Frogs are threatened in Alberta, but endangered in British Columbia,” said Dr. Des Smith, Primary Investigator and Research Scientist with the Calgary Zoo’s Centre for Conservation Research. “It is essential to develop new monitoring techniques for Northern Leopard” said Breana McKnight, Field Team Leader and Endangered Species Researcher.

The traditional Earth day ceremony of planting trees is garnering further attention in Japan as Koichi Nakatani, the nation’s Tree Planting Father travels from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

Students can take part in an Earth Day photo contest sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies which will feature images and scientific student research for the environmental change depicted in each photo submitted.

“Earth Day should be about teaching about the environment every day,” said Sean Mille director of education for EDN, “We emphasize taking action for your classroom, school, district or community.” 25,000 schools across America made use of the environmental curriculum developed by the National Civic Education Project, the Green Schools Campaign and the Educator’s Network. Lesson plans are broad and varied and may focus on water pollution, recycling, composting, using chemistry to convert cafeteria left-overs into biodiesel or ethanol fuel or converting go-carts to operate on biodiesel or ethanol fuels in shop class.

Wikinews interviews USA wheelchair curler David Palmer

Wikinews interviews USA wheelchair curler David Palmer

October 16th, 2018

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Wikinews interviewed David Palmer, a member of the USA 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championship team, about the 2014 Winter Paralympics being held in Sochi, Russia.

((Wikinews)) The US qualified a team for the Sochi Games. How likely are you to be on the final team? As these games would be your first, how excited are you about the possibility of representing your country?

David Palmer: It is very likely that I and the team that went to Sochi in 2013 will be the team in the Paralympics 2014 as long as no sickness or injury and we all continue to perform at our level.
DP: I am very happy and honored to represent my country. After competing in the last two world championships which were very exciting, I can not wait for the chance to compete at the Paralympics.

((WN)) Were you happy with your team’s fourth place finish at this year’s World Championships?

DP: I was happy with the way the team played, we all thought we should have medaled. We finished third in the round-robin with a record of 7–2 and the closest behind us was 4–5. We all made a few mistakes and did not finish as well as we would have liked, but we are looking forward to next year.

((WN)) What steps is the team taking to try to get a gold medal in Sochi?

DP: We will be training harder and hopefully playing more bonspiels (tournaments). Because this is a Paralympic year we hope to get more funding, to travel for more high level bonspiels. Because the team is scattered across the country it is hard to get together for practice and bonspiels so we have to do the majority of it on our own. We will be reviewing the tapes from the worlds [World Wheelchair Curling Championship] and video conferencing with team and discussing strategy and performance.

((WN)) Why do you participate in wheelchair curling? Why not wheelchair fencing, tennis, basketball or athletics?

DP: I do participate in other sports at a recreational level. I have done waterskiing, monosking, wheelchair tennis and basketball, handcycling. I played and competed in sled hockey for about 12 years, but I found as I got older and the competition got younger it was pretty physical on the body. I went and tried curling at Cape Cod Curling Club in 2009, I found that I not only liked it but I was also pretty good at it. A member there (Tony Colacchio) took me under his wing and showed me the possibilities there were to compete at the National level. I thought he was crazy at first, but four years later here I am curling on team USA and traveling the world.

((WN)) What is the nature of your disability? Do you use a wheelchair for most daily activities?

DP: I am a T4 Paraplegic, due to a motorcycle accident in 1993. Yes I am dependent on my wheelchair for mobility.

((WN)) How does being a parent impact your ability to compete at elite levels?

DP: I am married and have three children. Having a family does make it a harder to compete at elite levels, not only being away traveling, when I am home I am on the ice training a lot. But thanks to the support from my family I have been able to do so. Hopefully it has a positive impact on my children, showing them you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

((WN)) Does participating in wheelchair curling cost a lot money?

DP: Well that depends! At a recreational level, if you have a wheelchair already all you need is a delivery stick which is about $60.00 and to join a club which has dues usually 300.00 to 500.00 per year. To compete at the highest level, there is travel and lodging involved which can get quite expensive.

((WN)) How do you afford to compete at the highest level? Do you have any sponsorship deals?

DP: Getting started was tough, I got help through the members of cape cod curling club and a grant from Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and some out of my pocket. But once I made the National team there is funding to help with expenses. I have no sponsorship deals at the moment, but I am open to negotiation!

((WN)) Do you think USA Paralympic competitors get enough financial support to enable the country to compete at the highest level? Is funding equitable in the United States across sports and competitor visibility?

DP: No, there is funding, but not nearly enough for an athlete to compete at the highest level.
DP: Not from what I hear. I believe the higher viewed sports get a lot more funding. I have been told curling is at bottom for funding.

((WN)) What are your thoughts on the classification system and processes for your sport? Do you know of anyone who has been impacted as a result of it?

DP: I am not really clear on how the classification system works. I feel that they should make it as equal as possible for everyone who competes in wheelchair curling. Everyone one has different disabilities and different situations, but as long as they are delivering the stone from a stationary wheelchair with a delivery stick from the same position it should be equal.
DP: I know of a young man from state of Washington who uses a wheelchair most of the time but is able to walk and has mobility, that he probably would not qualify for the national team.. Yet I know of a man in Canada that uses a wheelchair only for curling and competes on the National team.

((WN)) Have you gotten much media coverage? What do you think of media coverage for curling in general and wheelchair curling specifically?

DP: I Have had some media coverage from my locals newspaper, when I was competing in the worlds and when I made the National team.
DP: I do not think there is enough coverage for curling on television although there was quite a bit of coverage at the last Olympics, but not the Paralympics. I think if there were more coverage people would understand the sport better and perhaps grow to love it like I have. There is a lot more to it with strategy and skill than people think.

((WN)) What has been your favorite moment as a wheelchair curling competitor?

DP: I think this past worlds in Sochi was my favorite time. Curling at the Olympic Venue (which was state of the art Facility), being the first one ever to curl there was special. Being there when they played our national anthem and I was representing my country was priceless! All of the volunteers there were young college students, they were so friendly and helpful and were asking us for our autographs. I felt like a celebrity. I cannot imagine what the Paralympics are going to feel like! I just hope I am there!

Category:Science and technology

Category:Science and technology

October 15th, 2018

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This is the category for science and technology.

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  • 20 September 2018: NASA’s TESS spacecraft reports its first exoplanet
  • 25 August 2018: Fossil genome shows hybrid of two extinct species of human
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Low Credit Score Home Loans Mortgages For People With Poor Fico Credit Scores

October 15th, 2018

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By CL Haehl

Whether you are refinancing, getting a second mortgage or home equity loan, getting a mortgage loan with poor credit history can be tough. In the eyes of the lender, having credit problems puts more emphasis on the other qualifying factors to determine whether or not you can get approved.

Here are some tips to help you get approved for a mortgage loan:

1. Consider ways to come up with a down payment – Even a 2-3% down payment can affect your ability to get approved for a mortgage loan or help you get a lower interest rate on your loan. There are many creative ways to come up with a down payment. Sometimes it can be worth saving for a few extra months or a year to come up with a down payment.

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2. Lenders will be looking closely at your income and job history – With bad credit, lenders are going to want to make sure that your income is more than enough to cover all of your minimum payments. The longer you have been at your job, the better. If you are close to the one year mark for your employment, consider waiting a little longer at your job before you apply for your mortgage.

3. Lenders will want to see your most recent debt payments being made on time – Even if you have had credit problems in the past, lenders will be looking closely at your payment history over the last year or two. They will be most interested in how you make your auto, utility and credit card payments. If you are consistent with those payments now, the lender may be willing to overlook past credit problems.

4. Try using techniques to increase your credit score – There are many tips available online to help you raise your credit score. There are 16 ways to improve your score here. You can dispute online, for free, any inaccuracies that are shown on your credit report. This can begin raising your score, sometimes within 30 days or less.

About the Author: Try Applying For a Bad Credit Mortgage Loan Here – We have compiled a list of reputable poor credit mortgage companies online. Try applying here first.

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=132924&ca=Finances

Wikinews interviews Jeff Jacobsen, creator of LisaMcPherson.org

Wikinews interviews Jeff Jacobsen, creator of LisaMcPherson.org

October 15th, 2018

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On Sunday, Wikinews interviewed creator of memorial site LisaMcPherson.org, former Lisa McPherson Trust employee and long time Scientology critic Jeff Jacobsen.

LisaMcPherson.org is a memorial site created in 1997 containing information on her death and the resulting legal case against the Church of Scientology.

Lisa McPherson died in 1995 while in the care of the Church of Scientology. After a car accident, she became mentally unstable. Scientologists removed her from the hospital and placed her in the Introspection Rundown, she died 17 days later while still in care of the Church. She was used as an icon during Project Chanology, the protest of the Church of Scientology by Anonymous. Protesters were pictured with signs that said “Remember Lisa McPherson” and “Ask Scientology Why Lisa McPherson Died”, other protesters had posters with her picture on it.

Time Warner/Comcast bid to snap up Adelphia cable service

Time Warner/Comcast bid to snap up Adelphia cable service

October 14th, 2018

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April 9, 2005

A bid topping $17.7 billion was jointly proffered by Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corporation on Thursday to buy beleaguered Adelphia Communications Corporation in an industry consolidation move. Adelphia is the fifth largest cable service provider in the United States with nearly 5 million subscribers.

The market-share grabbing bid trumps the previous Cablevision offer of $16.5 billion. The bid is under scrutiny by the presiding judge over the Adelphia’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, and must also be approved by the company’s creditors owed in the range of $20 million.

The acquisition race to gain dominance in the cable service provider market is driven by the high cost of installation and maintenance of cable lines. Fiber optic networks deliver traditional entertainment programming over a cable wire and is becoming increasingly popular for broadband internet content. The growing trust and recognition of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) suggests phone service subscribers will eventually migrate to cable voice communication as opposed to keeping with traditional copper land lines. Telephone company operators are scrambling to keep up.

The largest percentage of the bid would be put up by Time Warner (TW), who could gain by getting subscribers from the valuable Los Angeles market currently owned by Comcast and Adelphia. TW can also simultaneously divest itself of a stake owned by Comcast in TW by making a tax-free swap using some of the newly garnered Adelphia subscribers.

While the consolidation would likely get a look by the government with an eye towards a growing monopoly in the market, it would doubtfully be blocked considering the existence of competing technologies. Competition exists in the form of still numerous television by airwaves usage, satellite providers, radio content companies, and telecom providers.

Adelphia suffered a corporate scandal in 1992 with similarities to the WorldCom fall. Members of the Rigas family, founders of the company, were alleged to have siphoned off millions of dollars and hidden $2.3 billion leading to the bankruptcy filing. John Rigas and son Timothy were convicted July of 2004 and await sentencing.

Lance Armstrong accused of EPO doping

Lance Armstrong accused of EPO doping

October 14th, 2018

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The French cycling newspaper L’Équipe is reporting that a drugs testing laboratory has discovered that Lance Armstrong, seven times winner of the Tour de France, used the banned substance EPO in the 1999 tour – his first victory after defeating testicular cancer. L’Equipe also points out that the results may tarnish Armstrong’s image forever, and cast a shadow of doubt over his six other victories.

Lance Armstrong has responded on his website, branding L’Equipe’s reporting of being “nothing short of tabloid journalism.” Armstrong says: “I will simply restate what I have said many times: I have never taken performance[-]enhancing drugs.”

The Châtenay-Malabry French national doping screening laboratory, which developed the first EPO tests, says it has been developing new experimental detection techniques and decided to test frozen urine samples taken from Armstrong after several stages of the 1999 tour. The director of the official French anti-doping test laboratory at Châtenay-Malabry, Jacques de Ceaurriz [1] was quoted as saying he had “no doubt about the validity of our results.” [2] He said that while being kept for long periods can cause EPO proteins to deteriorate, this would possibly result in negative tests for doped athletes, but not false positives.

It should be pointed out that technically this statement is false. EPO is naturally produced in the body. It is present at low levels in normal human urine, and natural levels in a human doing high-altitude training (a known “trick” of Mr. Armstrong) could be unusually high. Therefore, false positives can be obtained by setting the sensitivity threshold too low. This is especially true if the number of control samples (for calibration purposes) is limited, as is the case with the 1999 urine samples. These calibration issues are a reason EPO wasn’t officially tested for earlier. Incidentally, de Ceaurriz stated that his laboratory worked on numbered anonymous samples, and was unaware when he sent his results to WADA/AMA that some of the results concerned Lance Armstrong.

In addition to these accusations, and in response to them, Armstrong has also received open backing from US Cycling [3], individual cycling officials [4], from former Tour winners Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain [5], and other public figures.

Supporters argue numerous irregularities in the doping claim: “‘ Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) and the US Anti-Doping Agency, they’ve all defined a process for collecting samples, managing samples, testing the samples, identifying the people who are involved,’ said Johnson. ‘ They have certain rights in the process. None of that has been followed in this case.’ Officials from cycling’s ruling body (UCI), Wada, the French sports ministry and the Tour de France all agree normal anti-doping proceedings have not been followed. ‘ This isn’t a ‘doping positive. This is just a publication in a French tabloid newspaper. That’s our perspective,'” added Johnson.'”–BBC

These allegations are still under examination by a number of news and anti-doping organizations.

  • UCI Statement

On September 9, after a period of investigation, the UCI finally released a strongly-worded official statement condemning the WADA, the French laboratory in question, and the paper L’Equipe, for having failed to provide any official communication, and having failed to provide any data, evidence, or background on the allegations. The UCI stated that it was still “awaiting plausible answers” to its requests to WADA and the laboratory, but also indicated “We deplore the fact that the long-established and entrenched confidentiality principle could be violated in such a flagrant way without any respect for fair play and the rider’s privacy.” [6]

The accusers themselves, in particular the World Anti-Doping Agency, might face an investigation into their own practices, in connection to their allegations against Armstrong. The UCI stated “We have substantial concerns about the impact of this matter on the integrity of the overall drug testing regime of the Olympic movement, and in particular the questions it raises over the trustworthiness of some of the sports and political authorities active in the anti-doping fight.”

On October 5, the UCI announced the appointment of an independent expert to investigate the leaking of doping allegations against Armstrong: “French sports newspaper L’Equipe claims that samples given by the American icon on the 1999 Tour later tested positive. Armstrong has denied the allegations. The International Cycling Union (UCI) has now appointed Dutch lawyer and doping specialist Emile Vrijman to probe how the details were released. The UCI said it ‘expects all relevant parties to fully co-operate’. Vrijman is a former director of the National Anti-Doping Agency in the Netherlands (NeCeDo).” [7]