Categories: News,Wentworth News A new law sponsored by Rep. Jason Wentworth of Clare will eliminate a costly administrative burden for marine fuel users in Michigan.Wentworth’s legislation to simplify the process for exempting marine fuel users from Michigan’s motor fuel tax was signed today and becomes Public Act 55 of 2018.“This new law will help protect Michigan jobs connected to marine fuel distribution by reducing bureaucracy and saving time for everyone involved,” Wentworth said. “We want to ensure vessels fuel up here in our state, rather than in a neighboring state or in Canada.”Previous Michigan law called for users of marine fuel to pay the 26.3-cent per gallon motor fuel tax and then apply for reimbursement from the state Treasury. Wentworth’s new law replaces the refund with an upfront exemption, which lowers the initial costs and saves time and paperwork for businesses dealing with marine fuel such as Bunker C or Navy Special.The fuel isn’t used on roadways, so it is not subject to the motor fuel tax.### 06Mar Rep. Wentworth’s bill reducing bureaucracy for marine fuel users signed into law
House approves long-overdue no-fault solutionState Rep. Scott VanSingel and a bipartisan coalition of legislators approved a plan today that delivers significant car insurance rate relief for Michigan drivers.The House approved legislation that guarantees drivers will have choices on personal injury protection coverage, ends price gouging on medical services for car accident victims, and combats fraudulent claims. The plan will be sent to Gov. Whitmer for her expected signature.“This plan guarantees rate relief for my constituents and all Michiganders,” said VanSingel, of Grant. “Senate Bill 1 helps hard-working families who have been stuck paying the highest car insurance costs in the nation. We owe it to drivers to fix our broken car insurance system, and this legislation is a great solution.”This plan is designed to end Michigan’s long tenure as the state with the most expensive car insurance rates in the nation. This is a bipartisan compromise between our original proposal on May 9, and the governor’s priorities.##### 24May Rep. VanSingel votes to make car insurance affordable for Michigan drivers Categories: VanSingel News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJuly 20, 2014; Star-LedgerLongtime New Jersey activist John Atlas writes that Ted Nugent is a “decent guitar player, but a vile human being.” Nugent is scheduled to perform at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey. Nugent will be greeted by protests organized by such activist organizations as New Jersey Citizens Action, other grassroots groups, and labor unions.For those of us who remember the young Ted Nugent, he fronted for the Amboy Dukes in the 1970s, known to this author (who was a very young rock music reviewer for Fusion at the time) for a great song, “Journey to the Center of the Mind.” He spent a brief period in the ’90s as the guitarist for Damn Yankees, backing Styx’s Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades of Night Ranger. The much older contemporary Ted Nugent is a right-wing ideologue distinguished from many others by his propensity for offensive, vulgar characterizations of some prominent politicians.Atlas notes that Nugent has referred to President Obama as a “subhuman mongrel” and a “chimpanzee,” characterized Hillary Clinton as a “worthless bitch,” and suggested that Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) suck on his machine gun. (Nugent is a vocal opponent of gun control laws and a board member of the National Rifle Association.)The executive director of the Wellmont, Mark Josephson, acknowledged getting phone calls requesting that he cancel the Nugent performance, but said he wouldn’t do so, at least at the time of Atlas’s reporting. That isn’t always the case with Nugent’s performances. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe announced that has canceled Nugent’s performance at its casino in Worley, Idaho because it learned of his “racist and hate-filled remarks.Nugent is taking advantage of his national SHUTUP&JAM! tour to expound on his political views on a number of topics. Last week, he waxed charitable about “good, hardworking, playing Americans dedicated to being as productive and generous as possible in their lives.”“There simply is no more generous, giving, loving society on earth than hardworking Americans,” he wrote.Following those kindly thoughts, Nugent went full bore into his characteristic political rants:After denouncing “every state and city run by liberal Democrats…[as] a hellhole of waste, fraud, deceit, corruption, runaway unaccountable spending and in ruins,” Nugent asked, “Have you been to Detroit lately?” and commented “No wonder the movie ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ is such a big hit.Commenting on income inequality, Nugent observed, “the squawking poor just keep on getting poorer, and as is always the case, they have no one to blame but themselves. Stupid is as stupid does.” He resurrected President Reagan’s old “welfare queen” argument with this observation: “With their cell phones, automobiles, microwave ovens, air-conditioning, new clothes, manicures and pedicures, bling-bling, clean water, more food than they can eat, pretty much redistributed everything handed to them, they still whine how America should be more like those other countries… Then, amazingly, we keep hearing all the time how Social Security is quickly running out of money, yet we never hear a mention that welfare or food stamp programs are running out of money. It is truly fascinating that Social Security was earned by its recipients, but those receiving welfare and food stamps didn’t earn jack squat.”Atlas thoughtfully questions the pros and cons of stopping the Nugent concert, as opposed to simply using the event for protests. He concludes that protesting Nugent’s appearance in Montclair is important:“I strongly support the upcoming protest against Nugent. He has a right to free expression under the First Amendment. But no matter what your political views, every citizen also has a right and in a democracy, a civic responsibility to protest bigotry and intolerance.”Well said, John.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJuly 22, 2014; The LensLast week, The Lens published the salaries of all of New Orleans’s city workers, focusing most intensely on the highest-paid personnel. While some may find this kind of transparency around salaries uncomfortable, it does provide a valuable point of accountability and it helps in the campaign to look at salary ratios as can be seen in the material below.Here are some of the more interesting findings:Mayor Mitch Landrieu is the 10th-highest paid employee in the city. He’s paid $150,765 a year. For comparison, the mayor of Baton Rouge earns $135,447, the mayor of Austin earns $81,344 and the mayor of Boston is paid $175,000.The lowest-paid full-time city employees earn $18,457 a year. The 26 people with that salary work as library pages, police technician trainees, and office assistant trainees. The highest-paid city employee, the airport director, earns as much as 13 of the lowest paid workers.Full-time city workers earn an average of $48,367 per year. The average income in New Orleans in 2012 was $44,379, by the way.NPQ has covered this issue previously in a story about charity regulation of pay ratios. Why not think about a system of voluntary disclosure as an example for opther sectors?—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
BBC World News, the UK public broadcaster’s international news channel, and Swedish broadcaster TV4 have signed a deal agreeing a deal that will allow the new TV4 News channel to broadcast some BBC World News programming each week.TV4 News is scheduled to launch on January 24. Under the deal, it will air BBC News programming including flagship current affairs programme HARDtalk.Colin Lawrence, commercial director, BBC World News said, “BBC World News has unique expertise in high quality, international journalism which will serve as a perfect compliment to the TV4 News offering. This agreement mirrors successful arrangements we have with an increasing number of broadcasters around the world and will offer viewers in Sweden the impartial global perspective they crave and the opportunity to engage with BBC World News content via a new platform.”BBC World News is available in more than 200 countries to over 300 million households.
Romtelecom has added Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPT) channel AXN Spin to its programming line-up. The channel, which targets adolescents and young adults with a mix of entertainment programming including Teen Wolf and 90210, will be available on Romtelecom’s basic packages, joining existing SPT channels AXN, AXN Crime and AXN Sci-Fi). AXN Spin has already launched in Poland and Romania will be its second central and eastern European territory.
Fatih OflazTurkish pay TV service provider Turkcell TV has begun offering a package of channels from Oflaz Media Group to its subscribers.Turkcell TV is offering a SinemaTV package comprising three of the group’s six channels – classic movie channel SinemaTV 1001, action movie channel SinemaTV Aksiyon, romantic drama and comedy channel SinemaTV Aşk – along with on-demand service Sinema Hemen (Now).Sinema Hemen is available over a range of mobile devices as well as online.“SinemaTV keeps extending its number of channels and digital platforms each passing day. We are very pleased to announce this agreement for a new partnership with Turkcell, a world-leading telecommunications giant. Turkcell TV carries great importance for us and we believe that our strong content will add lots of value to the service,” said Fatih Oflax, president of SinemaTV.SinemaTV provides six HD channels, four of which are also available in standard definition. In addition to the channels announced with Turkcell, the group provides flagship channel SinemaTV, a two-hour time-shifted variant, SinemaTV 2 and family channel SinemaTV Aile.“Combining our expertise in technology field with our well-established business skills, we aim to offer our subscribers extraordinary TV, film and entertainment services. Our highest priority is to provide rich and high quality content. We are very delighted to start our business relationship with SinemaTV, a pioneer and exemplary movie platform,” said Firat Akdere, director of media services at Turkcell.
Satellite operator Intelsat has said it is on track to meet its operating priorities and reduce debt, with better than expected progress on reducing operating costs. The company posted second quarter revenues of US$616 million (€459 million), down 6% on the 2013 figure, and adjusted EBITDA of US$490 million, down from US$509 million in 2013. The company’s EBITDA margin improved from 78% to 80%, while it turned a 2013 2Q net loss of US$408 million into a profit of US$67 million.On the downside, Intelsat said it faced a number of challenges limiting growth in the near term, including a lack of marketable inventory ahead of the launch of its next satellite in the fourth quarter, as well as reduced US government spending and intense network services competition in Africa.
Netflix accounted for up to 10% of all traffic on Belgian cable operator Telenet’s network over the weekend, following its launch in the country on Friday, according to the operator.According to the Liberty Global-owned Flemish cabler, Netflix accounted for between 7% and 10% of its overall traffic.Telenet indicated that this volume of traffic had been expected, fuelled by Netflix’s offer of a 30-day free trial.Neither Belgacom, the country’s other main broadband infrastructure provider, nor Netflix itself have given any indication of how much demand there was for the streaming video-on-demand provider’s content since it launched in the country on Friday.The news comes as Telenet kicks off work on its Grote Netwerf project. The company is investing €500 million in upgrading its network from 600MHz to 1GHz to provide additional bandwidth. Telenet plans to replace all 150,000 amplifiers and other components in its network over the next five years.
The African Telecommunication Union has come out publicly in opposition to the reallocation of the UHF band and C-band to mobile services.At its final preparatory meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, ahead of the forthcoming WRC-15 conference in Geneva in November, the ATU agreed a common position opposing the allocation of the 470-694MHz and 3600-4200MHz bands to mobile services.For both the UHF band (and the C band, the organisation agreed a common position in favour of ‘Method A’ – meaning no change in the use of the spectrum. Each of the ATU’s sub-regional groups – the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the East African communication Organizations (EACO) – also supported this position.The ATU’s position was welcomed by the EBU. EBU Director of Technology & Innovation, Simon Fell, said, “We are pleased to see another continent in ITU Region 1 confirm their support for DTT below 700MHz. It is important that we continue to voice our common position to secure adequate spectrum for the broadcasting industry.”The ATU agreed a common position to allocate the L-band – 1452-1492MHz – to mobile, a move that was welcomed by mobile operators’ association the GSMA.