Health | State GovernmentGov. Walker signs health care price transparency billAugust 8, 2018 by Erin McKinstry, Alaska Public Media Share:Gov. Bill Walker signs Senate Bill 105 into law during an Anchorage Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Dena’ina center in Anchorage on Aug. 6, 2018. The bill promotes competition for health care services by requiring providers to post prices for their most common health care services. Also pictured are Rep. Ivy Sponholz, third from the left, Sen. David Wilson, fourth from left, first lady Donna Walker directly behind the governor, and Rep. Geran Tarr to her left. (Photo by David Lienemann/Office of Gov. Bill Walker)Rep. Ivy Spohnholz and Gov. Bill Walker shake hands after he signed of Senate Bill 105 into law during an Anchorage Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage on Aug. 6, 2018. Spohnholz sponsored a health care price transparency bill that was folded into SB105. It promotes competition for health care services by requiring providers to post prices for their most common health care services. (Photo by David Lienemann/Office of Gov. Bill Walker)12
Aging | Family | Health | Interior | Mental Health | Politics | Southcentral | Southeast | State GovernmentAlaska Pioneer Homes residents fight proposed rate increasesJune 11, 2019 by Robert Woolsey, KCAW-Sitka Share:Sitka Pioneer Home resident Nancy Ricketts meets for coffee with friends in a local cafe. At 94, Ricketts says she carefully budgeted in order to live in the Pioneer Home — including selling her house. She testified that increased financial stress on residents will jeopardize their health, and ultimately cost the state more. “The state will have to pay to keep us here, or throw us out on the street,” she said. “A loss of independence is the most horrible thing I can think of.” (Photo by Robert Woolsey/KCAW)A proposal to more than double the monthly costs for most residents in Alaska Pioneer Homes met with stiff opposition during recent public testimony on the issue.Family members — and residents themselves — warned the Division of Alaska Pioneer Homes that rate increases could likely backfire. And rather than balancing the budget of Alaska’s subsidized senior care, it could instead send many elder Alaskans out of state.Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2019/06/ann-20190605-07.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.On paper it sounds really simple. The state director of the Alaska Pioneer Homes, Clinton Lasley, explained the rationale behind the increased rates.“The rates being proposed in regulation are reflective of the division charging what it costs to provide services,” Lasley said. “Currently, the state has been paying those rates to provide services, but we have not been charging them to the general public.”In a letter sent to all Pioneer Home residents on Feb. 25, Lasley explained that the state subsidizes their care at a cost of more than $30 million a year.Current and proposed monthly rates at Alaska Pioneer Homes.But the state’s Pioneer Homes — although subsidized — aren’t free. Currently there are three levels of care, ranging in cost from around $2,600 a month to almost $7,000 a month, from residents who can live independently to those who need 24-hour nursing services.Broadly speaking, the proposal from Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration would push rates up by 40% to over 120%, topping out at $15,000 a month for residents with so-called “complex behaviors” like dementia.During a public hearing held on May 28, simultaneously in all six of the state’s Pioneer Homes, there was significant backlash.Resident Carol Scott has lived in Alaska for 59 years — the last four in constant worry about meeting her rent at the Anchorage Pioneer Home.“And then this year, the governor’s proposed budget knocked our twice-mended socks off,” Scott said. “We already were wearing clothes from when we retired 10 to 15 years ago, and our allowance is only $200 a month.”Scott is referring to a payment assistance strategy used by the Pioneer Homes to ensure residents that their bills are paid as much as possible through personal income — with at least $200 left over each month. She went on to call the proposed rate structure preposterous and unaffordable for Alaskans.Ninety-four-year-old Nancy Ricketts, a resident in the Sitka Pioneer Home, testified that the proposed rate structure undermined her plans to remain self-sufficient.“I sold my house to be able to afford the rates as much as possible here at the Pioneer Home,” Ricketts explained. “I planned carefully so that I could remain in control of expenses. I remain in the best health possible to maintain these goals for the rest of my life.”Ricketts said that the added stress of paying higher bills would likely force her health — and that of many of her neighbors — into decline.Aves Thompson, whose wife is in the memory care unit of the Anchorage Pioneer Home, said he paid 100% of her bill out-of-pocket. The proposed rate increase, in his family’s case, could end up costing the state more.“The cost increase will drive my wife out of the Pioneer Home,” Thompson said. “This means that this private payer will no longer be paying the entire amount of the fee. The replacement will, more than likely, receive state or federal subsidy to pay the bill, as they will be about the only ones who can afford to be in the Pioneer Home.”“The Prospector” statue stands in front of the Sitka Pioneer Home entrance, which was under repair, Sept. 20, 2016. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska)The Division of Alaska Pioneer Homes took testimony from its facilities in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Palmer, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka and from people calling in over the phone. Much of the testimony focused on the ramifications of the dramatic increases, but some focused on the timeline.Lauren Wilde’s mother is a “Level III” resident of the Sitka Pioneer Home who pays $6,800 per month for care. Under the administration’s proposal, her mother would be at “Level V” care and pay $15,000 a month — according to Wilde, that’s more than the combined income of her parents when they were working.Wilde understands that costs are going to rise, but these changes were coming too fast.“People need time to figure out how they’re going to adapt to increasing costs,” Wilde argued. “Instead of increasing incrementally over time, you’ve put forward a plan to more than double the costs for my mom within about four month’s time. You’re not giving us enough time to figure out how to cope with these changes. And obviously these are not small changes. We’re talking about $160,000 a year.”Wilde’s mother, along with Thompson’s wife, are in the majority in Alaska Pioneer Homes, where 56% of residents are currently in “Level III” care.The Alaska Legislature has also weighed in on the timing of increases. On May 28 — the same day as the public hearing — 19 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Clinton Lasley and his boss, Commissioner Adam Crum of the state’s Department of Health and Social Services, urging the department to use House Bill 96 as a guideline for setting rates in the Pioneer Homes.HB 96 allows for a one-time reset of the basic rate structure in the Pioneer Homes, and then “reasonable and regular rate increases” keyed to the Social Security cost-of-living benchmark.HB 96 passed overwhelmingly in the House by a 35-4 vote on May 10. The bill is now parked in the Senate Health and Social Services Committee.The Department of Health and Social Services is taking public comment on the proposed changes to the Pioneer Home rates through June 28. After that, the department could implement the new regulations at any time.Share this story:
Fisheries | Politics | Southcentral | State GovernmentAlaska Legislature rejects Dunleavy nominee to Board of FishMay 12, 2021 by Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO and Alaska Public Media Share:Alaska state Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, speaks in support of Abe Williams who was rejected from sitting on the Alaska Board of Fisheries on Tuesday, May 11 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The Alaska Legislature held its annual joint confirmation hearing for dozens of the governor’s appointees to boards and commissions. (AP Photo/Sean Maguire, Pool)The Alaska Legislature rejected one of Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s nominees to the state Board of Fisheries on Tuesday.The nomination of Anchorage resident Abe Williams failed in an 18 to 41 vote during a joint session.Bethel Democratic Sen. Lyman Hoffman urged legislators to vote against Williams. He was especially concerned that Williams would vote to increase the length of boats that commercial fishermen can use in Bristol Bay.“And the people in the villages would not have the resources to invest in those larger boats,” Hoffman said.The Legislature is considering two years of nominees because there was no joint session last year after the pandemic reached Alaska. It’s the first time in state history the Legislature has doubled up on this work.Lawmakers rejected two other nominees during the joint session.Anchor Point resident John Cox fell one vote short of being confirmed to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.Opponents of Cox’s nomination raised concern that he supported liquor license holders losing their license if they don’t put it to use.Annette Gwalthney-Jones of Anchorage fell two votes short of being confirmed to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees. She received criticism for strident social media posts about politics and for not meeting the requirements for board members. Attorney General Treg Taylor was confirmed, in a 35 to 24 vote. Jim Cockrell was confirmed as the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety without opposition. And Lucinda Mahoney was confirmed as the commissioner of the Department of Revenue, 53 to 6.A total of 174 of Dunleavy’s nominees were confirmed.Share this story:
whatsapp whatsapp MINING stocks helped Britain’s top share index rebound yesterday after China moved to support stuttering growth in the world’s biggest consumer of metals.The FTSE 350 mining index rose two per cent, the top sectoral gainer, after China cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves.The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed 0.8 per cent higher at 7,052.13 points, partly recovering from a 1.3 per cent drop on Friday. While it climbed back above 7,000, it remained about one per cent off a record high touched in the previous session.“Mining stocks are sensitive to macro developments in China and the policy easing … should help the sector, given that the country is trying to stimulate demand,” said Robert Parkes, equity strategist at HSBC. “We are positive on this ‘deeply unloved’ sector as valuations are quite attractive and we believe that large international funds still have pretty significant underweight positions on miners.”BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Antofagasta and Anglo American rose 2.0 to 2.7 per cent.Following Friday’s fall, gains were broad-based, with other growth-sensitive sectors like banks and oil and gas rising 1.3 per cent and one per cent respectively.However, the FTSE 100 lags some major European indexes including Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC – both up more than 20 per cent this year against a seven per cent rise for the British index – before the General Election on 7 May.Opinion polls put the governing Conservatives neck-and-neck with the opposition Labour party, and the Scottish National Party may emerge as the third biggest, raising prospects of a hung parliament. The ruling party has promised a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union by the end of 2017.“A minority government will heighten uncertainty over how successful the government will be in pursuing its policy agenda and how long the next parliament will last. This will lead to higher risk premium for UK assets and an uncomfortable increase in volatility,” Bill O’Neill, of UBS Wealth Management, said in a note.“In order of importance: a referendum on EU membership, fiscal policy and devolution will be the key concerns for the markets.”Among other sharp individual movers, InterContinental Hotels Group rose 2.4 per cent, with traders citing merger chatter. Show Comments ▼ Monday 20 April 2015 8:57 pm Mining shares boosted by new China support – London Report Express KCS by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailzenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekPost FunKate & Meghan Are Very Different Mothers, These Photos Prove ItPost FunComedyAbandoned Submarines Floating Around the WorldComedyEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorNoteableyKirstie Alley Is So Skinny Now And Looks Like A BarbieNoteableyOpulent ExpressHer Quadruplets Were Born Without A Hitch. Then Doctors Realized SomethingOpulent ExpressTheFashionBallAlica Schmidt Is The Most Beautiful Athlete To ExistTheFashionBall Share Tags: Chinese economy
By Mike Wackett 05/08/2014 There were 27 newbuild containerships delivered in July – the highest monthly number since June 2013 and bringing the total so far this year to 126, according to Alphaliner’s latest data.Moreover, seven were ultra-large boxships (ULCVs), each with a nominal capacity in excess of 13,000teu. Total capacity delivered last month was more than 200,000teu, the highest amount in a single month since April 2011.The orderbook for ULCVs now stands at 95, equating to a capacity of 1,482,800 teu, which is more than double the current fleet of 81 13,000teu-plus ships.The ULCVs will have to be deployed onto the Asia-Europe tradelane where ships below this container intake are no longer competitive in terms of unit costs, compared for example with the market-leading 18,000teu Triple-Es operated by Maersk Line.And in fact, Maersk still has 12 of its order of 20 Triple-Es due to be delivered during this year and next.The consequence of yet more ULCVs is that they will displace the 8,000-10,000teu workhorses on the Asia-Europe route – these redundant ships being cascaded mainly onto transpacific trades.Alphaliner says it expects 1.6m teu of newbuild capacity to enter the fleet this year, compared with almost 1.4m teu received in 2013.Notwithstanding the questionable suitability of bigger ships on smaller tradelanes, carriers have no other option, which begs the question: what happens to the panamax and post-panamax ships they then displace?According to Alphaliner, the idle fleet has fallen to a three-year low of 119 ships, equivalent to 240,000teu, which is likely to rise significantly later in the year.The analyst said: “The idle fleet is expected to remain low until October, when it should start rising again concurrently to the end of the peak season, as carriers are expected to suspend some loops and to skip sailings on certain other services.”This spells more bad news for non-operating owners of containerships that currently make up over 80% of the vessels in lay-up, given that chartered-in tonnage will be the first casualties of a culling of capacity when the peak season disappears.Furthermore, the proposed 2M (Maersk-MSC) vessel-sharing agreement and the intended acquisition of the container activities of CSAV and CCNI by Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg Sud respectively will result in a further rationalisation of merged fleets – with, once again, short- and mid-term charters taking the brunt of the restructuring..It follows that charter rates, which have seen a relative boost of late against the backdrop of brisk business, will come under more pressure in the final three months of the year, especially for un-economic panamax ships with low container intakes.Shipowners and investors have for some time reluctantly accepted daily hire rates that are in many cases below the operating costs of chartered-out ships in the hope that the market will return to “normal” at some stage.However, even this contribution in daily hire will end when the ships are off-hired by ocean carriers desperate to cut their costs and are laid-up for lack of a fixture, still at a cost but without revenue.
New Premium subscriber REGISTER LOGIN << Go back Email* Reset Please Login Forgotten your password? Please click here At the time of writing, literally, a neighbour messaged to ask for a builder recommendation.One tradesman had told him it would take six months – long past summer – until he could come round to lay paving.Having saved thousands during lockdown, I too am in the new patio market but had the foresight to agree a price with a builder back in March.He has yet to turn up.I told the neighbour I’d make a recommendation if or when our guy ... Email* Password* Reset Your Password Please either REGISTER or login below to continue By Mike Weir 28/04/2021 Premium subscriber LOGIN Subscription required for Premium stories In order to view the entire article please login with a valid subscription below or register an account and subscribe to Premium
Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak By Chris Green – 2013.09.26 3:59pm SHARE Facebook Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News News There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest News Chris Green News [imText1]The North Korean authorities are playing a risky game borne of the need to secure hard currency flows to finance imports whilst preserving regime security, according to Lee Suk of the Korea Development Institute. Lee, speaking earlier this afternoon as part of the Asan North Korea Conference 2013, explained how, despite visible signs of economic growth in Pyongyang, the overall North Korean economy remains in recession, imports have been stagnating since the beginning of the year, and regional areas are changing to only a modest extent. Therefore, he went on, the North Korean authorities must generate greater hard currency flows if they wish to finance future growth in imports, which must mostly be paid for in foreign currency due primarily to the terminal weakness of the North Korean Won.What North Korea is doing today is extracting hard currency from both the North Korean people, by coopting tentative economic openness for its own ends, for example by selling Chinese-made cellphones at a 200% mark-up and permitting corruption to flourish across the nation; and also from its external economic partners, namely by “selling access:” be it to natural resources, labor, tourism, or SEZs.However, while Lee focused on the concern that the this dangerous game is likely to inspire greater reliance on nuclear weapons, another speaker, Zhang Dongming, said that North Korea’s recent moves toward controlled economic opening could be positive. Showing a number of images of visible development in Pyongyang, Zhang explained, “We can read from the DPRK people that they want to live a better life. We can see it in their faces.” However, he warned, prevailing economic circumstances, as well as North Korea’s own political limitations, are likely to circumscribe progress.The Asan North Korea Conference 2013, which concludes today, was hosted by the Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Visible Development a Shallow Indicator North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China
James Langton Keywords EnforcementCompanies British Columbia Securities Commission, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada Related news PwC alleges deleted emails, unusual transactions in Bridging Finance case BFI investors plead for firm’s sale Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Share this article and your comments with peers on social media The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) Friday announced the sanctions it has imposed on a British Columbia advisor over alleged suitability violations, but the penalties are stayed pending a review of the case by the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC). IIROC formally initiated the investigation into the conduct of Carolann Steinhoff, a former registered representative at the Victoria branch of Wellington West Capital Inc., in November 2008. IIROC said Friday, that following a penalty hearing in February 2012, an IIROC panel has imposed a $100,000 fine on Steinhoff and ordered her to disgorge commissions of $6,813. The panel also suspended her registration for 12 months, and ordered she be subject to 12 month periods of “strict” and “close” supervision for a total 24 months. It addition the panel imposed a five-year prohibition from Steinhoff serving as a director or officer of an IIROC member firm. Steinhoff also must pay $20,000 in costs, and is ineligible for reinstatement until she has paid the fine, disgorgement and costs, and passed both the Partners Directors and Officers Course and the Branch Managers Course. The penalty follows a decision by an IIROC hearing panel on Oct. 6, 2011, which found that Steinhoff made discretionary purchases in a client’s account, used margin unsuitably, and put clients in unsuitable investments. B.C. broker violated IIROC rules: panel However, the sanctions issued by IIROC have been stayed pending a review by the BCSC of both the liability and the penalty decisions from the IIROC panel. According to the July 12 BCSC order granting the stay, IIROC consented to Steinhoff’s request for a stay, and the BCSC granted it, until the review is complete. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of B.C. dismissed a suit from Steinhoff against IIROC, in which she alleged that it conducted a biased disciplinary hearing against her, and failed to hand down its penalty in a timely manner. B.C. advisor loses bid for court review of IIROC decision The court declined to hear the case, saying that it doesn’t have jurisdiction, and that the BCSC must review IIROC decisions. The BCSC’s decisions are, in turn, open to judicial review. Steinhoff is currently registered in Victoria with Queensbury Securities Inc. Mouth mechanic turned market manipulator
High debt levels threaten banks’ strong results: Fitch Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitter James Langton The downgrades stem from the rating agency’s concern that rising debt levels at CI “have led to deterioration in the company’s financial flexibility as indicated by its leverage and fixed-charge coverage ratios,” DBRS says in a news release.In the second quarter, CI’s debt-to-EBITDA ratio was 1.56 times, up from 1.29 times at the end of 2017, DBRS says, adding that this ratio is “commensurate with a lower rating category.” CI’s debt-servicing capacity “is declining with its rising debt levels,” DBRS says.“There are concerns about the amount of dividends and share buybacks being paid out to shareholders. This amount also continues to materially exceed net income and free cash flow, as was evidenced in the last three quarters. By reducing its equity capital and increasing debt, CI is reducing its financial flexibility,” the rating agency says.DBRS says that CI is “pursuing an aggressive strategy” with its plans to buy back up to $1 billion in shares over the next 12 months to 18 months. It notes CI already bought more than $300 million worth of its own shares in the first half of 2018.“Although the company is currently able to comfortably cover its debt-servicing payments due to good market performance overall, there is the risk that a stressed market environment leading to a decline in assets under management (AUM) may result in declining revenues,” DBRS says.The rating agency’s continued negative outlook for the ratings reflects “the deteriorating trend in the company’s financial flexibility and the persistence of redemptions exceeding gross sales at the company. This persistence could pressure earnings as fee-based revenues on managed assets comprise the majority of CI’s revenue,” DBRS says.However, positive ratings pressure could arise if CI demonstrates, “a material reduction in leverage,” or an improvement in “the volume of redemptions relative to gross sales,” DBRS says. Climate tide turns against oil companies: Moody’s Sovereign defaults hit record level in 2020: Fitch Share this article and your comments with peers on social media vichie81/123RF Keywords Credit ratings, Asset management companiesCompanies CI Financial Corp. DBRS Ltd. has downgraded its ratings on CI Financial Corp. and its subsidiary, CI Investments Inc., to BBB (high) from A (low), with a negative trend, on concerns about the wealth-management company’s financial flexibility, rating agency announced Friday.All three firms are based in Toronto.