Newcastle manager Alan Pardew insists his club has no intention of selling its best players.Chelsea have been linked with the likes of Cheick Tiote, Demba Ba and goalkeeper Tim Krul, but the Magpies boss believes all three will stay at St James’ Park.“I think anyone who looks at this football club will know we are difficult sellers,” he said.“Someone is going to have to pay a lot of money to take one of our players away – especially considering where we are right now, and that we’re having success.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Levi Cox Cooley took off on a 67-yard touchdown run on the first play of the third quarter and Del Norte didn’t look back, pulling away from visiting Fortuna for a 29-13 victory Friday night at Mike Weiland field in Crescent City.Cox Cooley’s touchdown served as a measure of redemption for the junior. In the first quarter Cox Cooley ended a 60-yard run — one which may have ended with an endzone celebration — with a fumble fortuitously scooped up by Fortuna.It was one of four total turnovers …
Betting on steady growth ahead, the New Hampshire firm has expanded its line of prefabricated building components to include wall, roof, and floor panels intended for Passive House buildings. Bensonwood launched the PHlex brand as an outgrowth of its 9-month-old Tektoniks line as it sensed rising interest in buildings that can meet the strict energy and airtightness requirements of Passive House certification. The company was founded by Tedd Benson in 1973 to help revive the craft of timber framing. It’s since branched into a line of prefabricated single-family houses called Unity, and runs a custom design and construction firm. With the introduction of PHlex, Bensonwood joins a growing number of companies that see increasing consumer demand for high-performance houses assembled from factory-made components.RELATED ARTICLESPassive House Building in the Digital AgeFactories Gear Up for Passive House BuildingBringing Passive House to Production BuildingPrefab Passive House Partnership Hits a MilestoneUnity Homes Combines Prefab with Energy Efficiency “Since Passive House has finally started to gain traction in the mainstream, we thought that we have a lot of things figured out in our system that dovetailed very nicely with Passive House requirements, specifically in terms of airtightness,” Bensonwood Chief Operating Officer Hans Porschitz said in a telephone call. Tektoniks is the production line building system developed by Bensonwood that can be used in Bensonwood and Unity homes. Components also can be bought by outside firms that need the high-performance building parts but not the design services that Bensonwood has to offer. The availability of airtight building parts that arrive on the job site insulated and fitted with windows helps fill a void in the industry, Porschitz said. “There are a lot of architects and Passive House consultants who can design Passive House buildings, but they sometimes run into challenges when it comes to execution,” he said. “There’s not a high level, a broad base, of Passive House builders out there. They’re growing but they’re not quite there yet.” How the panels are made The exact makeup of the panels varies depending on the climate zone where the house will be built. The amount of insulation needed in Maine is obviously far different than what a designer would want in South Carolina, so the thickness of wall and roof panels would differ accordingly. A typical wall panel would start, on the inside, with a service cavity that may or may not be insulated, then an airtight layer of 7/16-inch oriented strand board (OSB), and then a structural framed wall of I-joists or sawn lumber. The exterior sheathing might be OSB — typically, Huber’s Zip System OSB — or a continuous layer of wood fiber insulation, depending on need. Cavity insulation is dense-packed cellulose. Porschitz acknowledged that there are some doubts in the industry that OSB can make a reliable air barrier. But, he said, Bensonwood has a source of good quality OSB, and blower door tests show the components can easily hit airtightness requirements for Passive House building. Bensonwood’s production facility in Keene, New Hampshire, uses sophisticated equipment from the more developed European panel market, including a computer-controlled cutting station for framing and a robot that picks up and delivers building materials where they are needed. (See the photos in the gallery above.) Once the panels roll off the production line, they can be shipped to the job site for assembly. As other high-performance panelizers also argue, using factory-produced components drastically reduces room for error on site. Crews that put the houses together mostly have to focus on the intersections between panels — where the roof meets the walls, for example, or where walls come together at a corner. Buildings can be dried in very quickly, and there is virtually no waste generated at the site. On the Bensonwood or Unity side of the business, the company typically sends a least a couple of people to the site to oversee assembly of the building. But Porschitz sees a future where Bensonwood customers are doing more of that work. “We want to get away from where we have to be involved in every aspect,” he said. “We are in a transition phase from having our own crews to ultimately having partner builders who are certified and trained to install these enclosure systems without a direct advisor from us on site.” How much do these buildings cost? Production-line efficiencies are aimed at delivering high-performance houses at progressively lower prices. But as other manufacturers also have found, building to the Passive House standard on a state-of-the-art production line isn’t necessarily cheap. How expensive? That’s hard to say, because the cost depends so heavily on the climate-driven specs for the building, as well as the distance the components must be shipped. The vagaries make it complicated for buyers and builders who are used to thinking about the cost per square foot, not the cost of the components themselves. “The price per square foot of living space is a very gooey metric,” he said. “We’re trying to get away from that.” Instead, Porschitz said, the object is to come up with a flat rate for a particular wall or roof section, depending on the required R-value, as the component sits on a truck in the company’s yard. Change is coming to a hidebound industry Building houses from prefabricated parts is more common in parts of Europe than it is in the U.S., but a number of design/build firms are adopting production-line techniques in an effort to boost the quality and availability of high-performance houses. Among them are smaller firms such as Phoenix Haus, Ecocor, and GO Logic, as well as a few larger companies, like Katerra. All of them are looking to change the way people shop for and buy new homes, while prying the building industry out of its 19th-century mindset. Porschitz said that increased media attention to the Passive House standard, a growth in conference attendance, and more inquiries from potential buyers helped convince Bensonwood of the opportunities for growth in that part of the market. “In the past,” he said, “Passive House was like a buzzword that people picked up on a fancy website but they didn’t quite know what they were talking about. What we’ve found is more and more professionals are getting certified with that level of expertise and knowledge, and that tells us that more and more want to put it into their buildings.” Porschitz, who with a colleague went through Passive House training at the Yestermorrow school in Vermont earlier in the year, thinks that smaller companies may have the edge as prefabrication takes hold. Larger firms have the financial backing to advance to the next level of technology, but they may be managed by executives who come from other industries. “What they’re lacking is the knowledge about the product,” he said. “They’re not carpenters.” Bensonwood is still a relatively small company, with $20 million to $30 million in annual sales and still overseen by its founder and his wife. “Tedd has always been fascinated with Passive House,” he said. “We’ve been eyeing it. Well-insulated enclosure systems have always been a big part of what we did as a company. It has always been on our radar.”
Map of DinajpurA Chinese miner was killed and a Bangladesh worker sustained injuries in an accident in an underground tunnel of Barapukuria coal mine in Dinajpur early Thursday, reports UNB.The mine authority could not reveal name of the victim immediately.The incident took place around 4:00am when stones and mining materials fell on them while they were working in the tunnel, leaving one dead and another injured, said AKM Badrul Alam, deputy managing director of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company.The injured was given first aid, he added.
Web and mobile apps are now a dime a dozen as more ventures join the rush to roll out the next killer app. According to AppBrain, there are nearly 2.8 million apps on the Android market to date. Search for a particular interest or functionality and there is likely a dozen or so web and mobile apps that would pop up. The volume and pace of app creation lead to a sizable percentage of poorly developed apps that almost a quarter of users abandon them after first use.What is worse, these bad apps can leave users exposed. A study by Codified Security found that 40 percent of published apps leave vulnerable backdoors that can be exploited by attackers. These vulnerabilities can leave user data exposed or allow malicious actors to gain access to computers and servers used in testing and development.Related: How Do Google, Apple and Others Stack Up When It Comes to Protecting Your Privacy?The competitive nature of the industry demands ventures to ship software quickly. However, shoddy coding and careless testing can leave the venture and its users exposed to cyberattack risks with potentially disastrous ends. The issue becomes even more pressing as new technology trends such as the wider adoption of financial technology and internet of things (IoT) devices is set to bring forth a new wave of apps and services.Security must be at the center of all tech startup activities.1. Threats are rampant.2016 had no shortage of high profile cyberattacks that involved large tech companies, internet infrastructure providers, banks and government institutions. But, for every big name company, there were numerous other smaller organizations that also suffered attacks. Among the top threats that persist today are ransomware, distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) and data breaches. Ransomware are consistently identified by security firms such as Kaspersky as top threats to organizations. Ransomware are malware that encrypt a computer or network’s files. Attackers then demand ransom from victims in exchange for a chance of getting their files back. DDoS attacks seek to deny access to a website or service by overwhelming its server with traffic. The biggest DDoS attack on record happened last year when DNS provider Dyn was hit. The outage also affected popular sites and apps that were under Dyn’s network such as Netflix, Spotify and The New York Times. Among these attacks, data breaches pose the real threat to end users. Stolen confidential information are commonly shopped around to criminal entities in the dark web. Data containing personal, financial or proprietary information can return a profit when sold in the black market. Sites and apps that store customer information are prime targets for such attacks.Related: We Scored High on This Cybersecurity Quiz. How About You?2. Getting attacked is costly.Any form of downtime or disruption is costly for any business. Network security solution Incapsula estimates the cost of downtime caused by DDoS attacks to an ecommerce site to average $40,000 per hour. Other attackers also perform DDoS attacks for ransom knowing that companies may be willing to pay in order to avoid the costs of downtime.An IBM and Ponemon Institute study says that each stolen record costs the company $158 each in damages. Getting hit by a data breach can heavily impact a company’s valuation as well. The sale price of Yahoo! has dwindled since its disclosure of past massive data breaches. Verizon asked for a $3$350 million discount after the data breaches were publicized.As for ransomware, while attackers may only ask for $722 on average, getting locked out critical files can be catastrophic for organizations that do not have backup systems in place. There is no assurance access will be restored even if the ransom gets paid. Beyond the outright financial impact, businesses also risk loss of customer trust and reputation when hit by cyberattacks. For a startup, such fallout can sink the whole venture before it even gets off the ground.Related: The Worst Hacks of 2017 — So Far3. Tech startups should have higher standards.Businesses get exposed due to a variety of reasons. Non-tech startups are especially vulnerable. Often without dedicated personnel to oversee the proper use of IT resources, it is common for computers and networks to be left unsecure. Lack of training on fundamental IT security practices also leave staff vulnerable to social engineering attacks such as phishing which in turn pave the way for more serious attacks.Tech companies should know better. If they intend to market themselves as experts with superior products, they should be making security a critical part of their work. A good portion of tech startups effort is involved in product development so ensuring that their software is secure is vital.Mirai, the malware responsible for a number of massive DDoS attacks last year, exploits unsecure IoT devices and use them to carry out attacks. Many of these devices, which include IP cameras and network devices, were poorly designed and lacked security features that could have prevented Mirai infections. Leaving out security in the product design and making product development shortcuts can have serious consequences.The Codified Security also revealed that the app vulnerabilities are often due to careless coding. Developers may leave out information in their published code such as server credentials. As some apps use the same server instances when they go live, access to those servers can ultimately compromise all server data which, by that time, may already include customer information.Related: 4 Easy Ways to Protect Your Company From a CyberattackMaking security a prioritySo how can tech startups mitigate these risks?For developers, security should be a fundamental consideration in the software design. Code should be vigilantly reviewed in order to track vulnerabilities which can be exploited. It is critical to subject all software to intensive QA. Testing and should not be skipped in favor of accelerating shipping or launch dates. Organizations should perform security audits to identify vulnerabilities in their operations. Educating staff regarding the best practices ensure that IT resources are used in a secure manner and that no company or customer data get compromised. Tech ventures should also be implementing security measures to cover other business activities especially those that involve customer data such as sales and marketing.Customer information should be held in the strictest confidence. Startups owe it to their customers to safeguard the privacy and security of those who entrusted the company with their business. 6 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now April 7, 2017 Enroll Now for Free Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
A major roundabout is set to remain closed for the rest of the day and one person has been taken to hospital following a collision. The Heron Cross roundabout, just off the A50 near Fenton , is expected to remain closed for most of the day following an incident at around 9am this morning. Police officers revealed the road is likely to need resurfacing due to the amount of fuel that has been spilt onto the highway. Read MoreOne person trapped and major roundabout ‘partially closed’ due to overturned vehicle A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “A lorry has tipped over on the A50 Heron Cross roundabout, causing a large fuel spillage. “Unfortunately the road will need to be resurfaced due to the amount of fuel, meaning the roundabout is expected to remain closed for the rest of the day. Please avoid the area if possible.” Fuel spillage on the Heron Cross roundabout (Image: Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service) Firefighters also attended the scene this morning with crews from Longton, Hanley, and Cheadle freeing a casualty from the lorry’s cab. Read MoreCity road cordoned off due to fire in abandoned flats We will bring you more on this story in the live news feed below. Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here.20:12Heading #A50 #HeronCross roundabout #Fenton? Please be aware the roundabout remains closed following this morning’s collision. Extensive spillage and damage to the road surface. Our contractors continue to carry out these emergency repairs. Please plan ahead.— Highways England (@HighwaysWMIDS) June 18, 201818:19Recovery operations and load transfer from overturned HGV remain ongoing on the #A50 #Heroncross roundabout #Fenton #Staffordshire. The A50 / #A5007 west roundabout remains closed and resurfacing will take place when recovery completed. Expect protracted closure. pic.twitter.com/7KeWXXG2Ph— Highways England (@HighwaysWMIDS) June 18, 201815:05Temporary road surface to be put in placeThe southern side of the roundabout is closed, whilst cleanup of 200 litres of fuel takes place. The road surface will need removing and a temporary one will be in place later today. Traffic from the Eastbound A50 can still use the roundabout. 13:54Drivers urged to find alternative routeTraffic is very slow in Fenton with problems remaining on Baths Road Eastbound between A5005 / A50 / Foley Road (Longton / Blurton) and A5005 The Strand / A50 Times Square. Drivers are urged to find an alternative route due to the accident.13:29500 litre spillageHighways England has revealed more than 500 litres of fuel was spilt on the carriageway.12:14INRIX updateA50 Heron Cross Roundabout Westbound exit slip road closed at A5007 Victoria Place Fenton (Heron Cross / Fenton). Traffic is coping well.The exit slip road from the Westbound A50 onto the Heron Cross Roundabout above the motorway is closed to assist a lorry that has overturned on the roundabout.11:39Highways England update11:16INRIX traffic updateA50 Heron Cross Roundabout blocked, slow traffic at A5007 Victoria Place Fenton (Heron Cross / Fenton), congestion to A50 / Upper Normacot Road. On the roundabout.Lorry has overturned on the roundabout affecting traffic heading from A50 towards Fenton. Traffic is not helped as it was using this route as a diversion for a closure on Uttoxeter road in Longton. 11:1611:00Firefighters work on the overturned lorry (Image: Stoke Sentinel)10:53A fuel spillage meant the Heron Cross roundabout off the A50 had to close. (Image: Highways England)10:52Pictures from the scene (Image: Highways England)Police officers and fire engines have been tackling the incident.10:46Driver hospitalisedStaffordshire Fire and Rescue service revealed the driver has been taken to hospital.A spokesman said: The driver is now on his way to Royal Stoke Hospital. There is a large amount of diesel on the road and this will take some time to clear. The road is expected to be shut for the majority of today. Please avoid the area.
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Luxury Travel, Ponant Share Posted by Travelweek Group Friday, February 9, 2018 Ponant wants to work with travel agents to get more Canadians on its luxury ships TORONTO — Travellers need expert advice when they’re planning a $25,000 Antarctica cruise. So it’s no surprise that nine out of 10 bookings for Ponant Yacht Cruises & Expeditions – for Antarctica, the Arctic or warmer ports of call in more than 80 countries around the world – come through travel agents.“Well upwards of 90% of our bookings come through the trade,” says Navin Sawhney, CEO, Ponant USA. With a high-end product like Ponant, and price points to match, “people need an expert to tell them this is the right way to travel.”So far only a very small fraction of those bookings come from Canada, but with the help of travel agents as well as Vanessa Lee and her company Cruise Strategies, which represents Ponant in Canada, Sawhney is looking to boost volume from this market. “We plan to increase it quite rapidly,” he says, not just for FIT but groups as well.Navin Sawhney, CEO, Ponant USA and Theresa Gatta, VP Sales, North AmericaLee and her team at Cruise Strategies hosted Sawhney and Theresa Gatta, VP Sales, North America along with trade and consumer media and industry partners at a reception last night at Toronto’s Auberge du Pommier.Clients who make the move to Ponant will have plenty of ships to choose from in the next few years. The company has no fewer than five new vessels coming on line between now and 2021.Four new Ponant Explorer Yachts, all sister ships with 92 staterooms each, are on their way this year and next. Scheduled launch dates are June 2018, October 2018, March 2019 and June 2019. ‘Discover Yacht Cruises’, reads the tagline, and the ships deliver, with appropriately luxurious accommodations, high-end amenities from companies like Hermès and Veuve Clicquot.More news: Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesThe four new ships will also deliver a truly unique experience with ‘Blue Eye’, billed as the first multi-sensory underwater lounge, offering spectacular underwater viewing – under the ship’s waterline – from the comfort of a lounge chair.The Blue Eye lounge will make its debut on Le Lapérouse, followed by Le Champlain, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville. The four new ships will sail in tropical and sub-tropical destinations, everywhere from the Seychelles to Australia to South Africa to the ‘Coral Triangle’, the tropical marine waters between Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.Meanwhile in December 2017 Ponant confirmed its order for the very first electric hybrid cruise icebreaker propelled by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). The Ponant Icebreaker “affirms Ponant’s place as the world leader in luxury polar expeditions”, says the company. The new ship, scheduled for delivery in 2021, will have 135 staterooms and will take passengers to never-explored polar destinations including the true geographic North Pole (90 degrees North Latitude), the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea and Peter I Island.Sawhney says Ponant’s luxury polar expeditions “truly define what Ponant has done to this category.” The company, founded in 1988, embarked on expedition cruising in 1999. “No one had thought of luxury expeditions in such detail,” he said.The cruise line launched Le Boreal in 2010 and it was an immediate success. “In an environment like the Arctic or Antarctica, you do want an expedition ship with balconies,” says Sawhney. The cruise line has now completed some 400 expeditions in polar regions, he adds.Ponant’s passengers, not surprisingly, are a discerning group. They’re very well-educated, says Sawhney, typically married, very well-read and well-travelled. “They have moved from sightseeing to sight-doing to sight-being,” he says, adding “they want travel to transform them.”More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Ponant is the only French cruise line and appropriately about 40% of its passengers are French speaking. About 30% are from North America and another 15 – 20% are from Australia. Some are from the UK and the rest come from Latin America, continental Europe and Asia. The ships are bilingual and sail all over the world, except to the Galapagos Islands. “We’re proudly French and sailing the Galapagos Islands would mean sailing with the Ecuadorean flag, and we sail with the French flag,” says Sawhney.Sawhney is particularly excited about a number of just-announced new theme cruises, especially for the Canadian market, where groups are big business.The theme cruises, dubbed the ‘Quintessential Collection’, include: a gardening cruise in May 2019 led by Holly Shimizu, retired Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden; a Sicilian Food & Wine Experience in June and July 2019 with Mary Taylor Simeti, food and travel writer for The New York Times; A Musical Odyssey in the Mediterranean in September 2019; and a World Affairs Cruise – Origins of Greek Civilizations in October 2019 with CNN host Fareed Zakaria.Sawhney notes that interest in expedition cruising is at an all-time high – both with travellers and other cruise lines. “There are a lot of upstarts looking to do expedition cruises,” he says. “Of the 22 new expedition class vessels currently being built, five of those are for Ponant. That shows just how seriously we take this market.”The price points are appropriate for the luxury market but agents should know that Ponant’s lineup also includes $5,000 cruises. He sums up the Ponant experience: “Everything French, everything elegant, everything superb.”For more details see ponant.com.
Travelweek Group Monday, January 14, 2019 TORONTO — Intrepid Group is reporting its third consecutive year of record growth including a 29% uptick in its North American markets.The multi-brand company announced 17% growth in revenue globally to take the Group to AUD$397 million (about Cdn$379 million) in 2018.Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) came in just shy of $15 million in 2018 with a 25% increase in underlying profitability.Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton says he believes the company’s profit growth is driven by an increasing global demand for sustainable travel and the company’s commitment to having a ‘Purpose Beyond Profit.’Intrepid Group has more than 2,700 trips in 120 countries operated by the Group’s four tour operator brands (Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures, Urban Adventures, Adventure Tours Australia) and is now the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences, adds Thornton.The vertically integrated business also includes a global network of local destination management companies, as well as several suppliers which Intrepid Group has a stake in, such as Chimu Adventures. In December, Intrepid Group announced that it will become a seven-continent operator with the launch of a range of charters in Antarctica in partnership with Chimu.More news: Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaThornton says this diversification has helped to protect the Group from the highs and lows of world events.“Over the past 30 years we’ve seen many of our favorite places suffer through the lows of natural disasters and we’ve learned how important it is to diversify not only where we go, but also our brands, products and sales regions so that we can cater to all ages, budgets and appetites for adventure,” he says.Last year also saw 60% growth in customer numbers from Urban Adventures and the opening of PEAK DMC Indonesia, the company’s 21st destination management company, he adds.Intrepid Group employs 1,800 staff and leaders in more than 40 offices around the world, with company headquarters in Melbourne. Almost a quarter of the company’s 2018 profits will be paid out to staff in bonuses.In 2018 Intrepid Group also achieved B Corp certification, joining a growing global community of businesses looking beyond the bottom line. Meanwhile The Intrepid Foundation also marked a record year in 2017, raising AUD$1 million (about Cdn$960,000) for local and international charities.More news: Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoIntrepid Group is also reporting a record Employee Engagement score of 82% and a record customer feedback score of 4.7 out of 5 for the year.“This year we celebrate Intrepid’s 30-year anniversary and it’s fantastic to be achieving this level of growth. We’re as committed to sustainable travel as we were in the beginning, so the truly inspiring thing for everyone here at Intrepid is just to see that the more we grow, the more we can do. Customers really are looking for businesses to be a force for good.” Tags: Adventure Tours, Intrepid Group, Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures, Urban Adventures Intrepid Group posts Cdn$379 million growth for 2018, another record Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >>
You won’t believe what this man was fined for in Singapore Monday, May 27, 2019 SINGAPORE — If you’ve got clients heading to Singapore, you may want to warn them of the country’s strict litter laws.How strict? An unidentified man was just fined S$300 (approximately Can$295) for shooting two rubber bands that landed on a public road.The National Environment Agency (NEA), which issued the ticket on May 23, accused the man of throwing rubber bands in a public place, an offence under Section 17(1)(A) of the Environmental Public Health Act.“NEA enforcement officers observed a man walking towards his vehicle and shooting two rubber bands, on after the other, into the air,” the agency said as reported by Channel News Asia. “The rubber bands landed on the public road. Our officers thus informed him of the littering offence and issued him an enforcement ticket.”The NEA also added that the man “was cooperative throughout officers’ engagement with him.”This incident comes on the heels of another similar situation in which two men were fined S$300 each for leaving behind beverage cans at Singapore’s Woodlands MRT station.More news: Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthAccording to the NEA, “public littering has environmental consequences” and that “keeping our environment clean by not littering is a gracious and socially responsible thing to do.” Posted by Share Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
25Jan LaFave introduces three new bills State Rep. Beau LaFave this week introduced legislation to address a range of issues important to families across the Upper Peninsula.LaFave, of Iron Mountain, said House Bill 4092 will protect animals locked inside hot and freezing cold cars by granting criminal immunity to individuals who break a window to help a distressed animal.“If someone sees a dog in a hot car struggling to breathe, they shouldn’t have to worry about going to jail if they need to break a window,” LaFave said. “This will save the lives of animals that might otherwise be left to suffer and die.”The Good Samaritan must first call police and try to locate the owner before taking action. The plan has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where the representative serves as vice chair.House Bill 4091 offers all communities throughout Michigan an incentive to develop or rehabilitate properties by expanding the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone (NEZ) Program. The NEZ program allows local units of government to temp cap property taxes for a fixed number of years to encourage redevelopment and reinvestment in blighted areas.“Across Michigan, there are blighted communities with little hope of redevelopment,” LaFave said. “We must institute change and make this successful program available to all communities to breathe new life into once-thriving neighborhoods.”Under current law, only a handful of cities in Michigan are eligible for the program. Out of the three counties in LaFave’s House district, only Iron Mountain is currently eligible for the NEZ, while Kingsford, Menominee, Escanaba and all other local units of government are prohibited from participating.LaFave’s proposal also updates monetary thresholds for qualifying projects to adjust for inflation.“Our local leaders, not Lansing, know best what areas in their communities need revitalization and redevelopment,” LaFave said. “My legislation levels the playing field for U.P. communities and adds more local control.”The plan has been referred to the House Commerce and Tourism Committee for consideration.House Bill 4090 prohibits the firing of a police officer because they have called for backup.Under the plan, local law enforcement personnel will be allowed to carry out their sworn duty of protecting and defending Michigan communities, and cannot be disciplined or terminated because they called federal immigration and customs enforcement when they feel it is necessary.“Our police officers’ solemn responsibility is to protect the people of the state of Michigan,” LaFave said. “Our brave women and men of law enforcement should never be exploited for political purposes. My plan allows them to call in for reinforcements from their federal partners without fear of political retribution.”A companion bill authored by state Rep. Pamela Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township, has also been introduced. The two bills have been referred to the House Military, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security Committee, where LaFave serves as the chair.### Categories: LaFave News