On $26.1 million net increase, divided Senate votes to raise some taxes, cut others

Posted On Jan 1 2021 by

first_imgA wildly fluid package of tax increases that crossed party allegiances was passed by the Senate Wednesday by a thin 18-12 vote. The slew of tax changes would result in a increase of $26.1 million in new revenues. A $4.55 billion budget then breezed through the Senate on a 27-3 vote. Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin pushed the tax package through the upper house despite objections from deep within his own party. Among the tax changes are across-the-board decreases in the income tax; limiting the capital gains exemption to $5,000 from 40 percent of value (to offset the income tax cuts); new taxes on satellite television services and digital downloads; re-imposing of a sales tax on clothing over $110; and increases in liquor and tobacco taxes. The budget includes increase in spending in part because of federal stimulus money being pushed into some programs, but in some cases, like unemployment insurance, are increasing just as major broad-based taxes (income, sales, transportation, education property) have suffered since last summer.Amendments to the Senate bill, before it is finalized, will be offered today. Even if passed as is, the Senate tax package will meet a much simpler House version in conference committee where many of the more controversial aspects of the Senate bill will likely be stripped out, namely the cutting of the income tax at the highest marginal rate and the clothing tax. The budget also could be cut to reduce the need to increase taxes.The tax package as is would lower incomes taxes for 84 percent of Vermonters and would drop Vermont’s top marginal rate from first to fifth nationally.The legislature has cut $70 million from the state budget since January 2008 and the FY10 budget includes an additional $28 million of cuts.last_img read more


Southern California Edison contracts 770MW of battery storage to replace gas plants

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Southern California Edison (SCE) has signed seven contracts for a combined 770 megawatts of battery energy storage projects, one of the biggest single procurements of its kind. The utility also wants to turn them on by August 2021, which would be a record-fast turnaround for projects of that magnitude.The seven projects, which still need approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, will help meet a fall CPUC order for 3.3 gigawatts of carbon-free resources to help meet the state’s grid reliability needs. Half of that solicitation is due online by August 2021, and SCE must deliver the largest share among the state’s utilities and community choice aggregators.Most of the winning projects will be co-located with existing solar farms that will charge the batteries, making them useful for integrating and smoothing the intermittency of the state’s growing share of renewable generation, as well as providing resource adequacy for times of peak demand in the late afternoons and evenings. That’s needed to replace grid capacity provided by four natural gas-fired power plants on the Southern California coast that use seawater for cooling, and have been ordered to close as soon as possible to reduce their environmental impact.SCE’s single 770-megawatt procurement “tops the entire 2019 US storage market by more than 200 megawatts,” said Daniel Finn-Foley, head of energy storage for Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The consultancy expects the U.S. storage market to grow by more than 7 times from 2019 to 2021.“The storage market is approaching a deployment acceleration over the next two years that will be unprecedented in recent U.S. electricity history,” Finn-Foley said.NextEra Energy Resources will build three of the SCE projects, which are also the largest of the seven selected by the utility. Those include a 230 megawatt/920 megawatt-hours project connected to NextEra’s 250-megawatt McCoy solar farm, and two projects of 115 megawatts/460 megawatt-hours apiece adjacent to NextEra’s two Blythe Solar Energy Center solar farms. All are located in Riverside County.[Jeff St. John]More: Southern California Edison contracts mammoth 770MW energy storage portfolio to replace California gas plants Southern California Edison contracts 770MW of battery storage to replace gas plantslast_img read more


Kwesé to Broadcast the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Posted On Sep 17 2020 by

first_imgWith all set for the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, multi-platform broadcast network, Kwesé has announced that it will provide live coverage of the event on Saturday 2 February from 6 – 10am.The marathon will be broadcast across sub-Saharan Africa on Africa’s largest free-to-air (FTA) channel Kwesé Free Sports – available on Kwesé TV channel 285 in 13 countries, and on FTA set-top-boxes in 29 markets or on-the-go on the Kwesé iflix mobile app available on Android and IOS devices.The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label race and this year Kwesé Free Sports has lined-up a mix of international analysts and local presenters to provide play-by-play commentary and analysis of the marathon.Sportscaster Tega Onajaife will report live for Kwesé Free Sports from the National Stadium in Surulere, the 42km race start line, while Jimmie Akinsola aka “Jimme The Entertainer” will be at the 10km start line at the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge.Lewis Johnson returns to Nigeria for the fourth Access Bank Lagos City Marathon after providing analysis at the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship, Asaba 2018.Johnson serves as a reporter for NBC and NBCSN’s coverage of track and field. He returned for his 10th Olympic assignment with NBC Sports during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, where he served as a bobsled, luge and skeleton reporter. The former track star, who broke into broadcasting as a runner for ABC Sports and ESPN, is joined by track and field analyst Tim Hutchings.Hutchings calls most of the World Marathon Majors (WMM), these include the Boston, Chicago and New York Marathons. He has worked for both NBC and ESPN and served as a track and field analyst for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as well as marathon analyst during NBC Sports Group’s presentation of the 2012 London Olympic Games.Johnson and Hutchings will analyse the races from the finish studios at the Eko Atlantic City.With this line-up of analysts, Kwesé viewers across Africa are assured world class coverage of the fourth Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.Kwesé TV subscribers with disconnected accounts who would like to experience the events will need to pay the annual access fee of N1,900. Kwesé TV decoders continue to retail for N10,960 at Kwesé dealer outlets across the country.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more


More people visit South Africa over festive season

Posted On Dec 18 2019 by

first_img13 January 2016The 2015/16 festive season recorded a 5.3% increase in traveller movement compared to 2014/15, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said in Johannesburg yesterday.“From 1 December 2015 to 7 January 2016 a total number of 5 390 856 travellers went through our borders, much higher than the total earlier reported for 1 December 2015 to 3 January 2016, that is, 4 798 183,” said the minister at a media briefing on 12 January.ArrivalsHe said 1 487 148 of the total were South African citizens, and 3 903 708 were foreign nationals.“There were 2 003 509 arrivals of foreigners and 706 365 arrivals of citizens, bringing total arrivals to 2 709 874,” said the minister. The increase in volumes in terms of arrivals was 7.6% for foreigners and 0.3% for citizens.it is quite clear that the 2016 peak period had notable increases in traveller movement compared to 2014 and 2015. …— Malusi Gigaba (@mgigaba) January 12, 2016There was also an increase of 4.9% in travellers from Africa, 6.1% from Europe, 7.8% from North America, 15% from Asia, 2.5% from Australasia, 21% from the Middle East, and a decrease of 1% in arrivals from South America.Gigaba said the top nationalities arriving in South Africa over this period were from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, United Kingdom, Germany, USA and Namibia.DeparturesOf the 2 680 982 departures, foreigners accounted for 1 900 199 and South African citizens numbered 780 783.“I thank all travellers and our citizens for their conduct in this period, in spite of challenges in some areas, including long queues. This is receiving our undivided attention,” Gigaba said.Source: South African Government News Agencylast_img read more


Google Names 30 Best Mobile Apps for Android

Posted On Dec 17 2019 by

first_imgWrapping up a six month-long challenge to mobile developers, Google has announced a string of winners of their second Android Developers Challenge (ADC).From games and social networking apps to productivity and privacy tools, the cream of the ADC 2 crop includes an app for just about every kind of mobile user — and just in time, as the Droid has recently become “the fastest-selling Android phone to date.” Take a peek at the innovative apps waiting in the wings for the lucky owners of Android-powered devices.As Android adoption swells and trends suggest the OS might be the second most widely used mobile OS by 2010, it’s important that the app universe keeps pace with users. Google announced this challenge in May at their Google I/O developer conference, and offered well over $1.5 million in cash prizes to the winning developers in 10 categories.The applications – some of which might remind you of already popular iPhone apps – should be available shortly to Android users.The overall ADC 2 winners are:SweetDreams, a revolutionary tool that will finally allow you to go to sleep without worrying about changing your phone settings in order to avoid unwelcome late night calls. You can even use those inactivity periods to save battery power as well.What the Doodle!?, a real-time online multiplayer game where one player tries to draw out a given phrase and others try to guess it. Features FFA and Team games, Global Highscores, Personal Face Doodles, integrated Voice Recognition and more.WaveSecure, a complete mobile security solution that protects your device, data and privacy. Track your phone’s location and who is using it, lock down your phone remotely, back up all your data, wipe out your data remotely, and finally, restore your data.Winners in the education and reference category are:Plink Art, an app for identifying, discovering and sharing art.The Word Puzzle, a fun way to learn basic English words for preschool children.Celeste, an educational augmented reality app that displays the Sun, Moon, planets and their paths through the sky onto your camera view.The entertainment category winners are:A World of Photo, a casual, globally multiplayer game inspired by Spin the Bottle.SongDNA, a widget that allows you to quickly look up detailed information about a song.Solo, an easy-to-play and feature-rich pocket guitar for your phone.Winners for the arcade/action game subcategory include:Speed Forge, in which heavy duty hover vehicles normally used for mining are now seen in illegal races organized in abondoned factories and dark Marsian alleys.Graviturn, a game that makes you tilt your phone to move the red circles out of the screen while keeping the green circles.Moto X Mayhem, an app that includes seven levels of motorbike action in a side scrolling bike game.Winners for the casual gaming category are:What the Doodle!?Totemo, a unique puzzle game with over 60 mind-soothing logic tasks.Mazeness, a rather simple game involving moving balls to their goals with help of barriers, teleports and holders.These are Google’s lifestyle category winners:SweetDreams SpecTrek, an augmented reality ghost hunting game that doubles as a fitness app.FoxyRing, an app that analyzes the ambient noise and adjusts the ringer volume on your phone.Media category winners are:Buzz Deck, an app that gets all the web content you care about most, along with Twitter & Facebook updates.SPB TV, a highly usable IP-TV application optimized to run on mobile devices.FxCamera, which lets you take pictures with various effects.Here are the winning productivity tools:WaveSecureHoccer, an application for gesture-based ad-hoc data exchange.Tasker, an app that lets users link any Task (action set) to the Contexts (application, time, day, location, event, widget press) where it should run.In social networking, the winners are:Ce:real, an app that displays geographically based, real-world trends, including photo stories paired with Twitter keywords.SocialMuse, which lets users find people with similar musical taste or just explore the world through music.SpotMessage, a communication tool using GPS. Send a message designating a spot with Google Maps then the message will be notified when the recipient arrives at the spot.For the travel category, Google name these top apps:Trip Journal, a trip tracking and sharing solution sending real-time updates from the places you are visiting.iNap: Arrival Alert, an application that allows traveling users to sleep (or work, or just zone out) then relies on GPS to alert them with an alarm when the destination is nearby.Car Locator, which navigates you back to your car should you ever have trouble finding it.Finally, here are three miscellaneous winners:Rhythm Guitar, which plays like a real six-string, five-fret guitar.Andrometer, and app that measures the approximate distance from you to an object that you can see using GPS, accelerometer and geomagnetic sensors.Calton Hill GPSCaddy, an app that allows golfers to quickly and easily map any golf course either out on the course using GPS or in the comfort of home using satellite imagery.Bonus Round: See our picks from last year’s ADC!Let us know in the comments what you think of this year’s winners (too many iPhone app clones? too little augmented reality?) — and definitely tell us what you’d like to see Android developers tackle next! Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#Google#mobile#web center_img Related Posts jolie odell The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more