VEDA approves $3.9M in projects

first_img$3.9 MILLION IN PROJECT FINANCING COMMITMENTSAPPROVED BY VERMONT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTAUTHORITY (VEDA) BOARD OF DIRECTORSStowe, VT A Bennington manufacturer will expand operations, a NortheastKingdom logger will purchase a protected forest parcel, and a Barre video companywill renovate their headquarters with $3.9 million in financing assistance approved bythe Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) Board of Directors.Approved projects are:Vermont Composites, Inc., Bennington A $2.6 million industrial revenue bondinducement, and an $800,000 direct loan were approved by the VEDA Board, enablingVermont Composites, Inc. (VCI) to purchase the former Bijur Lubricating building, andexpand their manufacturing operations. Key Bank and the Town of Bennington arealso financing partners in the project. VCI is a leading manufacturer of carbon fibercomposite materials used in the aerospace and defense, medical equipment,automobile, and sporting goods industries. VCI employs 104 people, and it isanticipated that within three years, the expansion project will increase employment to182. In addition to land and building acquisition, Phase I of the $4,000,000 project willinvolve the installation of new production facilities and equipment. Phase II, to becompleted in spring, 2005, will involve re-roofing the facility and installation of a newautomated paint line.Peter Zaun and Dorene DeLuca, West Burke A $357,500 Farm Ownership Loanwas approved through the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC), VEDAsagricultural lending program, enabling established logger Peter Zaun and DoreneDeLuca to purchase a protected 935-acre forest parcel on Nurse Mountain in Granbyand Guildhall. The parcel, currently owned by the Trust for Public Lands, is subject to aVermont Forests and Parks Department easement requiring that the property bemanaged and timber removed in such a way that lasting adverse ecological impacts areminimized, wildlife habitat is enhanced, and a continuing, renewable, and long-termforest is assured.VideoVision Video Production Company, Inc., Barre A $163,000 SBA 504 loanwas approved, enabling Anthony and Cynthia Campos to renovate two buildings inBarre, parts of which are used to house VideoVision Production Company. TheCampos have owned and operated VideoVision since 1988; the company producescommercials and other videos for local companies, and films municipal meetings andsports events for broadcast on Central Vermont Community Television, a tenant in oneof the buildings. Total renovation costs are $397,319; the Merchants Bank is alsoparticipating in the project.VEDAs mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providingfinancial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, andtravel and tourism enterprises. In its thirty-year history, VEDA has made financingcommitments totaling over $1 billion.-30-last_img read more

NYPD Det. Masturbated in Victims’ Rockville Centre Backyards, Cops Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An NYPD detective was arrested Sunday following a string of public lewdness complaints in Rockville Centre in which victims described a man masturbating on their respective properties.Village of Rockville Centre police arrested 46-year-old Robert Francis of Queens after receiving a call about a suspicion person. He was charged with multiple counts of public lewdness and trespassing. He was released on a desk appearance ticket and is scheduled to be arraigned April 17.Rockville Centre Police Commissioner Charles Gennario said Francis was forthcoming and had indicated he was in the midst of personal struggles. Francis is married with children, Gennario said. Why Francis decided to commit the alleged acts in Rockville Centre remained unclear. The locations of the incidents were Lakeview Avenue, Seaman Avenue, Brompton Road and Sherman Avenue.The commissioner said he was “shocked” the suspect is a detective, adding that his agency immediately notified Francis’ duty officer. The NYPD suspended Francis following his arrest.“He did show remorse,” Gennario said.Village police had been investigating at least four public lewdness complaints since February with similar descriptions. The incidents occurred on Feb. 5, twice on Feb. 27 and March 24, all between 8 and 9 p.m. Each incident fit a familiar pattern, with Francis allegedly entering a resident’s backyard, signaling attention by aiming his flashlight at a window, and then exposing himself in front of each victim, Gennario said.All four victims were teenage girls attending Rockville Centre high school. Gennario said they did not appear to have been targeted.Police had difficulty establishing a profile early on because the girls were “very fearful,” the commissioner said, adding that they’d avert their gaze instantly before seeking help, making it difficult to paint a portrait of the suspect. Gennario said the darkness, combined with each girl’s shocked reaction, contributed to the suspect initially being falsely identified as “probably white.” Francis is black.Police identified a sex offender who had recently moved away from the village as a potential person of interest but he was eventually cleared.In response to the strange acts, police increased both marked and unmarked patrols in the area.Gennario defended the decision to issue Francis a desk appearance ticket rather than having the detective formally processed through the court system within days of his arrest. Francis is a 17-year veteran whose most recent post was in Brooklyn.“We in no way gave him special treatment because he was a police officer,” he said.last_img read more

Tom Metzger, Notorious White Supremacist, Dies at 82

first_imgIn 1990 a jury in Portland, Ore., found him, his son and the White Aryan Resistance financially liable for the racially motivated killing of an Ethiopian student two years earlier by three skinheads who were followers of the organization. Though Mr. Metzger had receded from public view in recent years, he was widely viewed as one of the most influential leaders in the white supremacist movement, responsible for organizing young neo-Nazi skinheads in the mid-1980s and ’90s and inciting them to violence.He pioneered the use of television and radio to spread his racist and anti-Semitic views, including through his own public-access cable television show and appearances by him and his followers on talk shows hosted by Oprah Winfrey, Phil Donahue and Geraldo Rivera. Mr. Metzger in 2000.Credit…Barbara Minton/Associated Press A jury found that Mr. Metzger and his son, John, had incited skinheads in Portland to provoke confrontations with people of color and therefore should be held financially responsible for Mr. Seraw’s death. The jurors assessed $12.5 million in damages against WAR, the Metzgers and two of the skinheads.After the verdict, Mr. Metzger took to operating “as a lone wolf,” according to Mr. Ridgeway, who interviewed him in 2017 for a forthcoming revised edition of “Blood in the Face.”Mr. Metzger was required to make monthly payments to Mr. Seraw’s estate for 20 years, the Southern Poverty Law Center said. The verdict bankrupted WAR, which was reduced to operating as an online platform for Mr. Metzger’s racist views and propaganda.Though his influence was diminished, the Law Center said, Mr. Metzger remained active in his later years, continuing to run a WAR hotline and publishing white supremacist pamphlets. – Advertisement – That same year, Mr. Metzger won a Democratic primary to represent part of the San Diego area in Congress. He received about 33,000 votes, more than a third of the total, but was resoundingly defeated in the general election. He ran for a seat in the United States Senate in 1982, but lost badly in the Democratic primary.Between those elections, Mr. Metzger formed his own hate group, the White American Political Association, to promote “pro-white” candidates for office. In 1983, he changed the name to White Aryan Resistance, or WAR. The $12.5 million judgment, which included penalties against two of the skinheads, left Mr. Metzger financially ruined and diminished his influence, though he continued until recently to spread his racist views on social media in radio-style shows on his website.“Tom Metzger spent decades working against core American values as one of the most visible hard-core white supremacists in the country,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. “And, unfortunately, his brand of hate likely will still linger long after his death.”Thomas Linton Metzger was born on April 9, 1938, in Warsaw, Ind. He settled in Fallbrook, Calif., about 55 miles north of San Diego, in 1961 after serving in the Army, where he learned electronics.center_img – Advertisement – Mr. Metzger worked as a television repairman for 40 years and became interested in white supremacist ideology. He joined the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in 1975 and was quickly elevated to the role of grand dragon, or state leader, for California.In that role, he led other armed Klansmen on patrols of the United States-Mexico border in search of illegal immigrants. The patrols were dismissed as a publicity stunt, but they attracted considerable attention from the news media.In 1980, after a falling-out with David Duke, the grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan at the time, Mr. Metzger severed his state group from the national organization and rebranded it as the California Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.In March of that year, he and several dozen Klansmen armed with bats, chains and nightsticks clashed with anti-Klan demonstrators in Oceanside, Calif. Seven people were injured in the melee, one of them severely. The formation of WAR coincided with the rise of the skinhead movement in the United States. The skinheads “scared a lot of people on the right because of their comments on violence, their persona, their dress,” said Morris Casuto, who retired in 2010 after nearly 40 years as the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director in San Diego. “Metzger saw them as street soldiers, and he embraced them.”One of Mr. Metzger’s primary recruitment tools was television. He hosted “Race and Reason,” a show that aired on public-access channels across the country, where he featured guests who shared his views.“Three years ago when cable was getting off the ground,” Mr. Metzger told The New York Times in 1986, “I realized that public-access channels were perfect for views like mine that were having trouble getting expressed.”Mr. Metzger also published a newspaper and operated a telephone hotline and electronic bulletin board where skinheads could communicate with him and with one another.In his 1990 book, “Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads and the Rise of a New White Culture,” James Ridgeway described Mr. Metzger as “the single person most responsible for drawing young people into the far-right political movement.”Mr. Metzger is survived by his partner, Mary Arnold; six children; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild, according to a post on his website. Full information about survivors was not available on Thursday.At the height of his influence, in 1990, Mr. Metzger was sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League on behalf of the family of Mulugeta Seraw, 27, an Ethiopian student who was beaten to death in Portland, Ore., by three skinheads who were followers of WAR. Tom Metzger, a notorious white supremacist and anti-Semite who cultivated a generation of neo-Nazi skinheads as the founder and leader of the White Aryan Resistance, died on Nov. 4 in Hemet, Calif. He was 82.Jose Arballo Jr., a spokesman for the Department of Public Health in Riverside County, Calif., said on Thursday that Mr. Metzger died at a skilled nursing center. The cause was Parkinson’s disease, Mr. Arballo said.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Austrian, Swedish pension funds shy from floating-rate investments

first_imgHis caution on floating rate investments was shared by Stefan Ros, CIO of Sweden’s Sparinstitutens Pensionskassa (SPK).Ros, in charge of SEK23bn (€2.6bn) worth of pension assets for the banking sector, said floating-rate products could eventually feature in the pension provider’s newly diversified portfolio.“Floating rates could be of interest once interest rates start rising again,” he said.SPK recently overhauled its investment strategy after Swedish regulator Finansinspektionen published details of the discount rate under Solvency II.“The ultimate forward rate (UFR) introduced in the new valuation curve will reduce the volatility of our pension liability by 50%, which, together with the temporary interest rate floor, filled us with confidence that we could substantially reduce our [fixed income portfolio’s] duration,” he said.Ros added that fixed income was still overvalued due to the country’s mark-to-market valuation of pension assets.But he said that, in the wake of the UFR’s introduction, it was “not as bad as it used to be”.“If we still want to do some liability hedging, swaps will be very useful, given the construction of the new curve,” he said.For more from Böhm, Ros and Blue Sky Group’s senior fixed income manager Arjan Stubbe on how they approach interest rate and credit risk, see On The Record in the current issue of IPE. Austria’s APK Pensionskasse has “mixed feelings” about floating-rate investments and is unlikely to consider exposure at present, according to the fund’s chief executive Christian Böhm.Böhm told IPE’s On The Record that the current challenge for its fixed income portfolio remained generating “decent” returns.“Floating rates only make sense for us when the real interest rates are reasonable,” he said. “Because of the current financial repression and the lack of inflation forecast for the near term, we are staying away from them for now.“Instead, we are looking for appropriately evaluated credit risks and as few real and nominal interest rate risks as possible.”last_img read more