16Sep Rep. Hughes announces office hour schedule for Sept. 30, Oct. 5 in Muskegon County Categories: Hughes News,News State Rep. Holly Hughes has scheduled seven office hours in September and October, inviting her fellow 91st District residents to meet with her to talk about the state government.“Being as available as possible for my constituents is incredibly important, which is why we have scheduled these seven events,” said Rep. Hughes, R-Montague. “I look forward to meeting with everyone to make sure Lansing knows what my fellow Muskegon County residents have to say.”The office hour events are as follows for Friday, Sept. 30:8-9 a.m. – Ravenna Round Table, 12396 Stafford St. in Ravenna 9:30-10:30 a.m. – Casnovia Township Hall, 245 S. Canada Road in Casnovia 11 a.m.- noon – Village of Fruitport Library, 47 Park St. in FruitportWednesday, Oct. 5 office hours will be:8-9 a.m. – Gary’s Restaurant, 906 E. Colby St. in Whitehall 9:30-10:30 a.m. – Toast ‘N Jams, 3462 Henry St. in Muskegon11 a.m. to Noon – Sullivan Township Hall, 8138 Heights Ravenna Road in Ravenna12:30-1:30 p.m. – Dalton Township Hall, 1616 E. Riley Thompson Road in MuskegonThe office hours are open to the public and no appointment is necessary. Anyone unable to attend the office hour events can schedule an appointment or share their thoughts by calling Rep. Hughes’ Lansing office toll-free at 877-633-0331.read more
Categories: Kelly News,News With the beginning of the 2017-18 session today in the state House of Representatives, Rep. Tim Kelly is encouraging residents with concerns or questions pertaining to state government to attend his upcoming office hours or contact his Lansing office.Rep. Kelly’s Monday, Jan. 23, office hours are:11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Frankemuth Chamber of Commerce, 635 South Main St., Frankenmuth1-2 p.m. – Taymouth Township Hall, 4343 Birch Run Road, Birch Run“I’m thankful for the opportunity to represent the Saginaw region for a third term,” said Rep. Kelly, R-Saginaw Township. “We got a significant amount done in Lansing over the past two terms that has helped the Saginaw region. The job is not done. I look forward to representing the families and businesses of this district at every committee hearing and with every House vote for the next two years.”Working with Rep. Kelly out of the district’s Lansing office are legislative assistants Nancy Bareham and Kyle Harris. Residents can call toll free at (855) 945-3559, via email at TimKelly@house.mi.gov, and by mail at N-1198 House Office Building, Lansing, MI 48909.##### 13Jan Rep. Kelly starts 2017-18 session, seeks Saginaw region feedbackread more
Categories: Griffin News 11May Public Service Commission hears from Van Buren County residents Rep. Beth Griffin on Monday attended a Michigan Public Service Commission hearing on the future of nuclear power in southwest Michigan.The Michigan Public Service Commission is deciding whether to allow Consumers Energy and Entergy to terminate their power purchase agreement early. Commissioners Sally Talberg, Norm Saari and Rachel Eubanks hosted two sessions of hearings in which the public was invited to give their comments on the future of the Palisades Plant.“I want to thank the commissioners for holding this public hearing in Lawrence and providing an opportunity for people to express their concerns before the commission,” Griffin said. “This is a significant issue for Van Buren County and the surrounding area, and the number of people that showed up proves that. As this process moves forward, I will continue to be involved in any way that is appropriate.”The commission will hear formal testimony from expert witnesses starting in June and release its final decision in August. Those wishing to submit written comments are encouraged to send them to email@example.com, or 7109 W. Saginaw, Lansing, MI 48917. Submissions must reference Case Number U-18250 comments in the subject line. For additional information, contact Rep. Griffin at 517-373-0839 or at BethGriffin@house.mi.gov.read more
Categories: Whiteford News 06Jun Rep. Whiteford encourages residents to enjoy Free Fishing Weekend State Rep. Mary Whiteford is encouraging residents to take advantage of the state’s annual Free Fishing Weekend, June 10 and 11, to kick off summer.“Free Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity for friends and families to enjoy and explore all the fishing options in Allegan County and throughout the state of Michigan,” Rep. Whiteford said. “It’s the perfect time to go outside and enjoy some of Michigan’s beautiful natural resources.The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will waive all fishing license fees during the weekend so residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on lakes and rivers throughout Michigan. All fishing regulations still apply during the free fishing weekend. For more information visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing, or contact Rep. Whiteford by calling 517-373-0836.read more
Categories: Kelly News,News 26Oct Rep. Kelly resolution to dissolve state school board approved by House committee The House Education Reform Committee agreed with its chair, state Rep. Tim Kelly, today by approving his resolution calling for the dissolution of the state Board of Education.“Our children have fallen further and further behind in education, so it’s time to say enough is enough,” said Kelly, of Saginaw Township. “There’s a lack of accountability when it comes to education in Michigan. We have the governor, the state superintendent – who is appointed by the school board — the Senate and the House. When everybody is in charge, then nobody is in charge. The state school board has become an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy for local school districts and teachers that our state’s families and students do not need.”Specifically, House Joint Resolution M seeks to amend the state constitution to dissolve the state Board of Education, giving the governor the authority to appoint a school superintendent. If approved, the resolution would be put to a statewide public vote to amend the state constitution.The resolution is driven by the recommendations of the state’s 21st Century Education Commission, which were announced in March.The committee hosted Tom Hass, chair of the governor’s commission and president of Grand Valley State University, and Bridge Magazine columnist Phil Power for testimony in support on Oct. 12, explaining how the state Board of Education’s role in education is diminished and unnecessary.“Michigan must ask the voters to allow our governor to appoint the state Board of Education and superintendent,” Hass said in testimony. “Education is a public good. As elected legislators, you also represent the citizens of this state so we have to ask is the state board doing its fiduciary duty and moving the state education system forward?”Kelly agrees the board is no longer beneficial to state education.“This is the perfect time to do this because the school board is in a gridlock with four Republicans and four Democrats,” Kelly said. “This is as non-partisan as it gets because it shows how the board lacks accountability. It has brought nothing to table as a group while every school district in the state already has an elected school board.”HJR M advances to the House for its consideration.read more
11May Rep. Glenn issues FOIA request to MPSC for DTE gas plant info Energy chair: Decision could cost ratepayers billions Categories: Glenn News,News State Rep. Gary Glenn, chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee, has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for specific emails, calendar items, text messages and other information from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) in light of the MPSC’s decision to approve a DTE gas plant that would cost customers more than $1 billion.Rep. Glenn (R-Williams Township) said he questions the need for the plant, and is requesting the information to provide more transparency in the decision-making process.“It is imperative that the MPSC is transparent in its deliberations regarding orders that will increase costs on Michigan ratepayers,” Rep. Glenn said. “There are clear indications of disagreements between staff and commissioners, and we need to know the details.”Prior to the MPSC’s decision, the commission’s staff ruled that DTE’s “sloppy math justifying the gas plant could mean that the company’s proposed project is not the most reasonable and prudent choice,” Rep. Glenn said. Staff members also testified that DTE had not modeled options that are achievable and cost-effective, specifically cost efficiency approaches to save ratepayers money, he added.“The commissioners chose not to heed those warnings even though they could have sent DTE back to the drawing board to run more models and make sure ratepayers save money,” Rep. Glenn said. “The commissioners ignored the information they were presented and sided with DTE.”In his request, Rep. Glenn asked for the following:All meeting schedules and calendar entries from Jan. 1, 2016 to March 26, 2018, for MPSC Chair Sally A. Talberg, and Commissioners Norman J. Saari and Rachel A. Eubanks.All electronic copies of public records of all communications including email and attachments, and text message from the same timeframe between DTE and Talberg: Saari; Eubanks; Heather Durian of the Michigan Attorney General’s office; and Director of MPSC Energy Resources Division Paul Proudfoot.All electronic copies of public records of all communications, including text messages and email, including attachments, between the MSPC commissioners and the American Gas Association during that same timeframe.The American Gas Association is the trade organization for natural gas companies, Rep. Glenn said, noting that DTE President and Chief Operating Officer Jerry Norcia is a board director for the association.The American Gas Association regularly lobbies utility commissioners and sponsors utility commissioner conferences, Rep. Glenn said. DTE paid the American Gas Association more than $550,000 in 2016, the legislator added.#####read more
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares Joachim Wendler / Shutterstock.comJanuary 15, 2015; The GateThe newspaper of the Back of the Yards and adjacent neighborhoods covered Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s release of his citywide education platform, including a laudatory nod to Barton Dassinger, the principal of the Chavez Elementary School in Back of the Yards, for his significant improvements in students meeting or exceeding state and national standards in reading and math.The mayor claimed to have a plan for closing schools and that his plan was not biased in favor either of traditional public schools or charter schools, but called for choices rooted in separating “quality” from “non-quality.” Critics on the city council countered that the mayor’s even-handed statement isn’t quite so.“[Mayor Emanuel] may say we need to put education first,” responded alderman Bob Fioretti, a civil rights attorney who is running for mayor, “but his actions in the last four years—closing 50 public schools to favor charters, gambling with our tax dollars on Wall Street, and slashing much needed resources from struggling neighborhood schools—say something different.”Another mayoral candidate, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, challenged Emanuel’s Social Impact Bond plan, which aims at expanding pre-K education through a SIB funded by Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust Bank, and the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation (described in detail in NPQhere, here, and here). Garcia is apparently no fan of SIBs, Goldman Sachs, or Mayor Emanuel: “The Emanuel education agenda has always been about increasing private profits for his friends and campaign contributors,” Garcia said in the statement. “He sold our children’s future to Goldman Sachs.” Garcia’s statement charged that paying back the $16.6 million SIB will “cost taxpayers more than double the amount borrowed.”Mayoral campaigns are what they are, filled with charges and countercharges, but the indication that the Chicago SIB might cost twice as much as the various loans is worthy of analysis. It would be useful for Garcia and other critics of the SIB to explain how they reached that conclusion and where the extra costs come from (including, if appropriate, the costs of the packagers, intermediaries, and fixers who have been inevitably involved in structuring the deal) and document their findings. In the debate over the efficacy of Social Impact Bonds, based on the tiny sample of projects from which advocates are suggesting that they have found an exceptionally promising new mechanism of social program finance, what has been missing has been detailed analysis of the various cost components of SIBs, who pays for those costs, and who walks away with the financial returns.—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Sharesread more
Share34TweetShareEmail34 SharesCBPP. This map dates from May 2018; since that time, Maine’s expansion is now considered in effect.November 7, 2018; Los Angeles Times and VoxWhen the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, Medicaid expansion was supposed to happen automatically. But in 2012, even as the US Supreme Court upheld the law in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, it also restricted its application, finding, as Adam Liptak wrote in the New York Times, that “Congress had exceeded its constitutional authority by coercing states into participating in the expansion [of Medicaid] by threatening them with the loss of existing federal payments.”To date, 33 states and the District of Columbia have elected to expand their Medicaid systems to provide greater health insurance coverage. But in the remaining 17 states, approximately 2.2 million lack the healthcare coverage they would have otherwise received. These people fall into the category of “working poor,” earning too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid but too little to be able to afford health insurance on their own. According to a recent report from the Center for American Progress, extending coverage to all of these 2.2 million would save over 14,000 lives a year.Tuesday’s elections will extend coverage to at least 300,000 of these 2.2 million. In three states where Medicaid expansion was on the ballot, voters made their wishes known. Sarah Kliff summarizes the election returns in Vox:In Idaho, the Medicaid expansion passed by an especially large margin, with 61 percent in favor and 39 percent against. The Nebraska expansion passed with a tighter margin: 53 percent of voters in favor, and 47 percent against. And in Utah…the vote still hasn’t been certified by the state, but…the proposition leads with 54 percent of the vote.These votes raise the number of states with expanded Medicaid to 36. But other states may join them. In Kansas, and Wisconsin, Republican governors had blocked Medicaid expansion, but with new Democratic governors now elected in those states, the number with expanded Medicaid may rise to 38. On the other hand, in Montana, an initiative to raise tobacco taxes by $2 a pack to make Medicaid expansion permanent (Initiative 185) was defeated by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin. As many as 100,000 may lose coverage in that state.The stories of those struggling to get by without expanded Medicaid are often heartbreaking. In Idaho, Audrey Dutton of the Idaho Statesman writes:Jessica Rachels, 37, from Sandpoint, is a full-time caregiver to her daughter, who has a disability. Rachels was just diagnosed in June with bipolar disorder and has already spent hundreds of dollars on treatment. She said she hasn’t had health insurance in 12 years; her family has had to decide between paying their bills and keeping a roof over their head, or getting her health care.Rachels and an estimated 119,000 other Idaho residents will now gain Medicaid coverage.Medicaid expansion, of course, also affects nonprofit operations. Earlier this year, when Virginia expanded Medicaid coverage to 400,000, NPQ noted that some nonprofit healthcare clinics were “considering adopting hybrid models to provide free care and accept Medicaid payments.” A 2017 study written by three Northwestern University business school professors and published by the Commonwealth Fund identified even broader impacts for hospitals. According to the report, “Uncompensated care burdens fell sharply in expansion states between 2013 and 2015, from 3.9 percent to 2.3 percent of operating costs.” At the time, the authors argued that if every state expanded Medicaid, hospitals uncompensated care costs would fall by $6.2 billion.—Steve DubbShare34TweetShareEmail34 Sharesread more
Set-top vendor Pace has been chosen by Israeli DTH operator Yes to deploy a new HD platform.Pace has already started rolling-out HD set-top boxes to Yes customers. The device is upgradeable, meaning Yes can make changes to its service ‘in the field’. The set-top box comes with an Ethernet connection and is capable of delivering interactive services including video-on-demand.Ron Eilon, CEO of Yes, said: “The Yes team is impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the experienced Pace engineering team and view this as the start of strong relationship. There is an increasing demand for VOD and HD television in Israel, and we selected Pace to support our project as Pace has a proven track record of delivering industry leading technology solutions and expertise, both essential to positioning ourselves at the forefront of innovation.”read more
Turkey-based set-top vendor AirTies has named Nadeem Ullah as director of hardware engineering.Ullah, who will manage the team that is delivering next-generation hybrid set-tops and wireless connectivity products, will continue in his existing role defining the company’s product and silicon strategy.
Serbia-based pay TV operator SBB Telemach is using a delivery platform from Anevia for the multiscreen over-the-top TV service it launched earlier this year. The service uses content security from Verimatrix and middleware from Zappware.SBB Telemach is offering over 100 international and local channels to users via internet browsers, mobile phones and tablets. Currently offering linear TV, the service will be extended to include catch-up TV and video-on-demand in the near future.The operator is using Anevia’s ViaMotion software-based OTT system, comprising anorigin server and packager for adapting streams to different viewing devices. The installation was completed by local partner ComuTel.“We are committed to providing our customers with new services that address the growing number of viewing devices available while offering advanced on-demand features,” said Victoriya Boklag, vice-president for sales and marketing at SBB Telemach, which operates pay TV services across Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia.read more
Eurosport Group has signed a deal with Mediaset that will see the Eurosport and Eurosport 2 networks distributed on its premium pay TV package in Italy.The two standard definition channels will be available in Italian from autumn, at no extra cost to subscribers of the Mediaset Premium package.Eurosport will live coverage of sports including tennis, cycling, basketball, handball, hockey, swimming and motorsports.Mediaset pay TV sport customers also get access to English Premier League and FA Cup, Spanish Liga and French Ligue 1 football.Eurosport is a pan-European TV channel that broadcasts in 20 languages and claims to reach 131 million homes across 54 countries.
Digital swtichover has given a strong boost to IPTV take-up in Lithuania, according to figures released by the country’s Communications Regulatory Authority.IPTV viewers have grown by 21% in the year since switchover, compared with an overall increase in pay TV numbers of 6.7%. IPTV is now used by 26.9% of Lithuanian households with digital pay TV services, putting it ahead of cable and satellite.Leading IPTV provider Teo said that its Gala TV IPTV service passed the 100,000 subscriber mark in September.
US-based DreamWorks Animation is to launch a tablet that will offer in-house content and programming from rivals such as Disney and Nickelodeon.The DreamTab is the result of a DreamWorks partnership with manufacturer Fuhu and will be an eight-inch device aimed at children costing under US$300, according to The New York Times. A 12-inch device is also in the works.It is expected to launch in spring, with a exclusive content line up that the studio “will be able to programme much like a cable channel”, the Times reported. Users will also be able to stream programmes from Nick, Disney and Cartoon Network.The tablet will use DreamWorks characters such as Shrek and the penguins from the Madagascar franchise in what DreamWorks is describing as “character moments – when the device is switched on, for example.There will also be educational and DreamWorks-branded accessories such as headphones and carrying cases.DreamWorks has been seeking more ways to distribute its content since moving into the TV business in a major way, and its founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has spoken of a desire to launch a direct-to-consumer service such as a cable channel.read more
Pay TV operator Canal+ has hailed the success of its multichannel YouTube offering one month after their launch. According to the broadcaster, the channels saw 39 video views and attracted 1.5 million subscribers in December.The D8 comedy channel Palmashow secured second place amongst all comedy channels viewed in France and saw 481,000 subscribers sign up in December. Canal+’s Connasse channel saw two million views in December.Canal+ said it is launching two new YouTube channels, hidden camera channel Action Discrete and comedy channel Bapt & Gaël, adding to the existing 17 on air.
Julien SignesEncoding specialist Envivio reported a “significant progress towards profitability” in its most recent quarter after cutting its net loss to US$0.6 million.The company said that revenue of US$11.7 million, which was up slightly year-on-year, was driven by “several large tier-one customer wins.”“We continue to balance our progress toward profitability with investing in our future through innovation in key areas. We signed our first Nuage international customer and are also seeing accelerated momentum for large, software only converged head-end solutions,” said Envivio founder and CEO, Julien Signès.Overall, the company’s reported GAAP net loss was down from US$4.1 million in the same quarter a year ago. For the three months ending July 31, 2015, Envivio said that its gross margins increased to 70.2%, compared with 58.3% in the second quarter of fiscal 2015.read more
Portuguese pay TV operator Nos said that its new N Play subscription video-on-demand service passed the milestone of 1.6 million hours viewed in its first month of operation, boosted by a catalogue that included the entire list of Star Wars films as well as series including The Big Bang Theory, Grey’s Anatomy and Game of Thrones.The SVoD service, launched on September 9, is available for €7.50 a month, giving viewers access to content in HD on multiple screens.Nos is making the service available free of charge to subscribers to its advanced Iris TV service until December 10.Nos launched the service in September ahead of tomorrow’s arrival in Portugal of Netflix.
The explosion of digital content is “helping to drive viewing off the TV” with mobile devices accounting for 60.3% of video starts in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Ooyala.The company’s Global Video Index Q4 2017 report claims that mobile video plays could soon reach – and potentially exceed – a 70% market share, driven by more premium sports assets moving online.“The primary screen is definitely shifting. All devices are not equal for video viewing,” said JimO’Neill, Ooyala principal analyst.“Consumers are as comfortable watching a sporting event, TV show or movie on a smartphone as they are on a connected TV, but not on their PC or tablet.Ooyala said that mobile plays topped 60% for the first time – with smartphones accounting for 47.5% and tablets for 12.8% of video plays.According to the study, over-the-top video services doubled their hours of content offerings over the last 12 months, with long-form content increasing 159%, medium-form content offerings increasing 87% and short-form content increasing 112%.Access the full report by clicking here.read more
Baltcom’s headquartersLatvian cable operator Baltcom has launched a new multiscreen OTT TV service that will allow it to extend the reach of its services to all regions of the country, including those outside its fixed network coverage area.He new service, Open TV, will make content available through any internet connection, including 4G networks provided by mobile operators.Open users will be able to watch a selection of 38 live and archive channels, including national channels TV3, LNT, TV6, Kanāl2 and Kanāl 3+ as well as films and series on-demand.Baltcom chairman Nicholas Boissin said that the launch of Open TV meanth that users would be able to view content from any location within Latvia and the EU.The launch of the service follows Baltcom’s launch of a SmartLabs-powered advanced TV service, Interactive TV 3.0, last year, which included multiscreen distribution within Baltcom’s network.read more
Video everywhere, artificial intelligence and edge computing are the three key technology trends that will have a major effect on the commercial and consumer markets in the coming year, according to IHS Markit.The research firm’s ‘Top Trends of 2019’ report claims that the increasing ubiquity of video is forcing significant industry change as a growing number of players vie for consumer attention and revenue.“Online video subscriptions from over-the-top and traditional media players alone will more than double between 2017 and 2022, by which time they will approach the one billion mark,” according to the report.“While TV, home entertainment, social media, video games and other media sectors are at the heart of the video everywhere trend, other industries – including security, education, and healthcare – are also becoming increasingly reliant on video technology.”In the AI space, IHS notes that industries like consumer electronics, healthcare and automotive have already moved to adopt this technology and predicts that more than 170 million AI systems will be implemented in the auto sector alone by 2025. However, it cautions that for AI to fully develop, there remain many components that must advance and succeed.Similarly, edge computing is already transforming the way networks are deployed and devices are built, but the main obstacle to effective edge deployment is the large bandwidth required and the most significant issue is the need to reduce upstream traffic to refine data at the edge, according to IHS.To download the full white paper, which also covers topics like 5G, Blockchain and next-generation cloud gaming, click here.read more