Alaska Marijuana Control Board nixes on-site consumption

first_imgBusiness | Economy | Juneau | Marijuana | State GovernmentAlaska Marijuana Control Board nixes on-site consumptionFebruary 2, 2017 by Jacob Resneck, KTOO Share:(Creative Commons photo illustration by Chuck Grimmett)Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2017/02/170202MARIJUANA-WEB.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The state’s Marijuana Control Board was set to regulate the consumption of marijuana at licensed retailers. If it had been approved, Alaska would have been the first state in the nation to allow on-site consumption.But that’s now moot.A 3-2 majority voted Thursday to shelve the regulations after the control board’s staff said public notices contained errors and a decision would have to be postponed for at least another 30 days.Control Board member Mark Springer of Bethel said he worried how the feds would react to marijuana consumption in public. Pot remains illegal under federal law.“We don’t want to draw a whole lot of attention to what is going on in this state with marijuana,” Springer told fellow board members. “We don’t want a million people getting off a cruise ship in Juneau saying, ‘Oh yeah, it’s great. We’re going to go over a half-dozen stores and smoke marijuana,’ because it will draw a big spotlight on us.”The control board has received dozens of public comments — many of them negative — ahead of its third meeting where it considered the rules.Both Nicholas Miller of Anchorage and Brandon Emmett of Fairbanks — who are on the board as representatives of the industry — voted to keep the initiative alive.After the vote, business owners from Alaska’s fledgling legal marijuana industry said they were dismayed by the decision.“They’re putting everybody in violation that’s gonna be here consuming and it’s sad,” said Tara Bass, owner of The Remedy Shoppe in Skagway, the state’s first licensed retail marijuana store. She said renovations had already been made in anticipation of the new rules.“We prepared it to be an outdoor consumption area so it would be plenty ventilated and it’s just interesting that they’re not giving people a place to go.”The Alaska Marijuana Industry Association had lobbied for a legal way for customers to consume on the premises. Executive Director Cary Carrigan said retail outlets will need to regroup and rethink their strategy before bringing the issue back to the board.“What I’m gonna do is push the membership to put forward solutions,” Carrigan said in an interview. “To not just say, ‘I want on-site consumption!’ How do you want it? And how are you going to accomplish that? And how do you make it so it’s not a health concern, so it’s not a public issue, so it’s not something that’s blowing smoke in everybody’s face, so to speak.”Voters in Alaska approved legalizing marijuana for recreational use for those 21 and over in 2014. But it’s fallen to the five-member Marijuana Control Board to write the regulations of how to manage lawful consumption in the state.Share this story:last_img read more

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IMF happy to cooperate with China-led infrastructure fund

first_img Show Comments ▼ whatsapp whatsapp Tags: Chinese economy IMF IMF happy to cooperate with China-led infrastructure fund THE International Monetary Fund will be “delighted” to cooperate with the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), said IMF managing director Christine Lagarde yesterday.Lagarde added that there is “massive” room for cooperation with AIIB on infrastructure financing.The World Bank will also cooperate with the AIIB, Lagarde told a conference in Beijing.Her comments come after a number of countries said they would participate in the new bank slated to start operations by the end of the year, even as others raised concerns over potential competition with other lenders.The AIIB is a Chinese-backed development bank that will fund Asian energy, transport and infrastructure projects. Set up in Beijing last year, the bank is seen as a rival to Western-centric financial institutions such as the World Bank. The UK’s decision to become the Western economy to apply for the membership of the development bank drew the ire of Washington who questioned AIIB’s transparency standards and environmental and social safeguards. France, Italy and Germany have since followed the UK’s lead by also applying for membership. center_img by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekForbesThese 10 Colleges Have Produced The Most Billionaire AlumniForbeszenherald.com20 Rules Genghis Khan’s Army Had To Live Byzenherald.comNoteableyKirstie Alley Is So Skinny Now And Looks Like A BarbieNoteableyMagellan TimesThis Is Why The Roy Rogers Museum Has Been Closed For GoodMagellan TimesComedyAbandoned Submarines Floating Around the WorldComedyMoneyWise.com15 States Where Americans Don’t Want To Live AnymoreMoneyWise.comTheFashionBallPrince Harry Admits Meghan Markle May Not Be The OneTheFashionBall Monday 23 March 2015 12:15 am Express KCS Share Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofBest Wine Gifts & Wine Accessories at Every PriceGayotCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofHomemade Tomato Soup: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofBaked Sesame Salmon: Recipes Worth CookingFamily Prooflast_img read more

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News / BIFA adds more seminars as demand soars for details of incoming new regulations

first_img The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has added three new seminar dates for forwarders needing a greater understanding of several developments that will hit the industry in 2016.BIFA representatives said the association was “overwhelmed” by demand for places at a seminar due to be held in London next week, which will look at next May’s introduction of the European Commission’s Unified Customs Code (UCC); July’s introduction of the container weighing amendment to international shipping regulations; as well as ongoing progress of the EU’s Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) scheme.BIFA director general Robert Keen said: “The response to our event next week was overwhelming and demonstrated how much uncertainty there is on how to properly implement the new procedures and regulations, and how changes to European Customs procedures and container weight verification, may affect business.”For example, and as previously reported by The Loadstar, while the container weight verification law was originally aimed at shippers failing to correctly declare container weights, forwarders consolidating less-than-container load (LCL) cargo and which are named the shipper on bills of lading will be directly affected.“With next week’s conference sold out, we decided to deliver a series of regional seminars on the planned changes that will allow members unable to attend next week to also be brought up to date on the new procedures that become law in May and July next year,” Mr Keen added.The additional seminars will take place in Middlesbrough on December 8, Leeds on December 9 and Chelmsford on January 28. By Gavin van Marle 18/11/2015last_img read more

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AIDS activists say Gilead put profits over patients — and misled Congress about an HIV pill

first_img AIDS activists say Gilead put profits over patients — and misled Congress about an HIV pill Ed Silverman About the Author Reprints [email protected] Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED GET STARTED Log In | Learn More What is it? STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Last May, Gilead Sciences (GILD) chief executive Daniel O’Day testified before Congress that a revised version of a best-selling HIV pill was a “brand new medicine” and that the company was “absolutely not” aware it was safer than an older version during the early stages of development.Yet a recently filed lawsuit offers details that purportedly contradict his remarks and, in the process, raises questions about the extent to which Gilead may have deliberately delayed bringing a new treatment to market in order to milk sales of an older, lucrative franchise.center_img @Pharmalot By Ed Silverman Aug. 19, 2019 Reprints Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day Roche Pharmalot What’s included? Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Tags CongressHIV/AIDSlast_img read more

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Health Matters: Are You Living with Atrial Fibrillation?

first_imgAdvertisement AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments AdvertisementA-Fib is treatable with medications or minimally invasive surgery—making it important to know your risk factors, family history and talk to your doctor if you start to experience any symptoms.View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care. Advertisement Health Matters: A Partnership in Medical Care June 13, 2021 Health Matters: Scoliosis Treatment for Children June 13, 2021 AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments It’s an irregular heartbeat that doctors say affects millions of Americans. “In 2020, we would see as many as 15 million Americans with atrial fibrillation and it may be underestimated actually,” said Dr. Sheldon Brownstein, a cardiologist at Lee Health.When it comes to A-Fib everyone can be at risk. “I’ve seen it as young as 18 to as old as 95, it really varies. Everybody has some risk. The risk factors include heart failure, hypertension age, diabetes, gender, and whether they have vascular disease or coronary artery disease,” said Dr. Brownstein.While some patients may not experience any symptoms, others can have fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain. “The cause is really multifactorial; all the risk factors seem to contribute. We know that it comes from the pulmonary vein which is where the triggers occur. We find that weight reduction is probably your best way of how to avoid atrial fibrillation,” he said.Treating other conditions like high cholesterol and sleep apnea can also help to improve A-Fib. “We go by their symptoms and sometimes we find it after something has occurred. We’re trying to be very provocative and trying to prevent A-Fib and have a lot of awareness because we can prevent a stroke by doing that,” Dr. Brownstein said. RELATEDTOPICS AdvertisementTags: a-fibatrial fibrillationcardiologistcardiologyDr. Sheldon BrownsteinHealth MattersheartLee Health Health Matters: Managing the Stress of COVID-19 June 7, 2021 Health Matters: Helping Children with Chest Wall Malformation June 13, 2021 Visit LeeHealth.orglast_img read more

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First ever Football For All tournament set for Portlaoise

first_img Previous articleBlow for The Harps as key defender transfers to Dublin clubNext articleFr Paddy: What lent is all about … Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad Pinterest WhatsApp First ever Football For All tournament set for Portlaoise Twitter Rugby Facebook By Alan Hartnett – 17th February 2018 Facebook Community WhatsApp Laois County Council team up with top chef for online demonstration on tips for reducing food waste TAGSFootball For AllPortlaoise AFC RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Home Sport Soccer First ever Football For All tournament set for Portlaoise SportSoccer Portlaoise AFC FFA squad from last June There will be a very special soccer tournament in Portlaoise this Sunday.Five teams from across the Midlands will travel to Laois to take part in the first ever ‘Football For All’ competition to be held here.The Football For All (FFA) programme at caters for people with a disability who want to play football.It provides opportunities for children with specific needs who may struggle to excel in the competitive environment of underage football or who need additional supports to develop as footballers to join our club, train and compete at FAI FFA club festivals.Just over two years ago, Oisín Jordan from FAI held a Disability Workshop in Portlaoise AFC to raise awareness of coaching and developing FFA players and a month later Portlaoise AFC FFA began.Portlaoise now have 15 players on their team and are one of 35 FFA teams in Ireland.Ger Brown took the reins as Manager and is also Head Coach of the U-12 team.He is assisted by Ciara Fogarty and his son Dylan Brown. Ciara manages the U-12 team with Ger and Dylan plays on it.Ger and Ciara also attend the Leinster Think Tank which is affiliated with the FAI Football For All programme and regularly attend workshops on coaching in a pan disability environment.Ciara said: “We were delighted to receive very generous sponsorship from Martley’s of Portlaoise for a new soccer kit for our team which includes a jersey, shorts and socks.“Draper Tools sponsored our medals and Michael Kerry of M&M Picture Framing sponsored our presentation jersey in a frame.“We wanted to create an event around the presentation of the jerseys and decided to run a tournament and invite local teams so this Sunday, Portlaoise AFC FFA will be joined for their very first tournament by Derry Rovers & Acorn FC, Evergreen FC, Mucklagh FC, and Kildare Town FC.”SEE ALSO – UPDATE: Man in hospital following stabbing incident in Laois Twitter Council Pinterest Laois County Council create ‘bigger and better’ disability parking spaces to replace ones occupied for outdoor dining last_img read more

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Inspection of Administration on Defector Issue Needed

first_img By Daily NK – 2009.04.29 5:44pm Analysis & Opinion Inspection of Administration on Defector Issue Needed Analysis & Opinion RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR SHARE AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Facebook Twittercenter_img Analysis & Opinion [imText1]Since the start of the mass defections of North Korean citizens in the mid-1990s, the protection and handling of overseas defectors scattered across several countries, especially China, has became a substantial international human rights issue. In the midst of this situation, South Korean embassies, who should consider themselves the “vanguard” of defector protection activities abroad, have not broken free from their old ways, and have angered NGO activists in the field as a result, not to mention seriously failing the defectors themselves. Despite the fact that overseas North Korean defectors are South Korean citizens under the South Korean constitution, there has not been much change in the apathy and indolence demonstrated by embassies. The Database Center for North Korean Human Rights’ Executive Director Kim Sang Hun, who met with Daily NK at the office of the Database, demanded that the Blue House and the administration review and improve the situation. Executive Director Kim even proposes an administrative review by the National Assembly and a special audit by the Board of Audit and Inspection. [The following is the interview with the Director of the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights] – At a discussion meeting last week, you pointed out that our overseas embassy personnel has been exhibiting serious incompetence, defeatism and dereliction of duty. Has this continued even since the Lee administration came into office?In the past, it came to light that the South Korean embassy in Laos did not receive defectors from North Korea, but it has started receiving them, albeit at a limited rate. Until last year, some of the staff at our embassy in Thailand treated defectors really badly. Our embassy in Vietnam refuses to accept defectors to this day. If this were an issue at the administration level, then there may have been changes after the Lee administration took office, but not much has fundamentally changed. This is not an issue which is related to a government policy, but one that is related to the work culture of South Korean diplomatic circles and overseas embassies.– During the Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo Hyun administrations, the issue of overseas defectors was not a policy priority. In such a context, is it not asking too much to request an inspection of the administration by the National Assembly?For the past ten years, the government, saying that it would focus on inter-Korea reconciliation, put the defector issue in the hands of the front-line bureaucrats. Therefore, the South Korean overseas embassy personnel tried not to bother the administration by dealing with defector issues in-house. The Blue House indicated “silent diplomacy,” so embassies tended to deal with defector issues silently. The first duty of embassies is protection of their compatriots. According to our constitution, North Koreans who defect from North Korean soil are also our people. By an inspection of the administration by the National Assembly, we need to clarify diplomatic indolence on the defector issue. – Since President Lee came into office, have there been policy changes in the popular transit nations of Mongolia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China? These countries do not have such a large interest in defectors, or they sit on the fence. As a result, if our embassy personnel put in a little effort, then the situation of our overseas defector brothers can change significantly. But our personnel will not do this. With the exception of China, no country has been hostile towards our defectors. The issue is that given the lack of interest on the part of the embassy staff, the governments also see defectors as a burden.I am not asking diplomats to hold the hands of defector brothers and cross the border. But at the very least, don’t they have a duty to make an attempt to genuinely help those defectors who manage to reach the embassies after seeing the South Korean flag? First and foremost, the habits of the staff, of immediately frowning upon seeing a defector, should change. This situation should not be neglected any longer. Embassy staff, however, does not even blink when a new chief comes into the Blue House. First, the National Assembly, which is the representative of the citizens, should appreciate and assess the situation. The Blue House, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Unification must also try to restore discipline.– In actuality, however, is it not true that the rights of an embassy does not include the ability to negotiate with the government of a state?The first duty of the embassy is planning the safety of our citizens. Accordingly, there has to be legitimate negotiation with the relevant governments regarding defectors, who are international refugees but also South Korean citizens. Of course, negotiation is not as easy as it sounds. However, there is a vast difference between those occasions when an embassy staff member shows his/her face when the life of a defector is in danger or if s/he is about to be forcibly repatriated, and occasions when that does not happen.They have to help defectors immediately when they need help, especially when they face a security emergency, even without any indications from the native country. However, they do not have this sense of responsibility on the defector issue. – You have recently insisted that the National Assembly and the Board of Audit and Inspection should undertake inspections and investigations of the embassies’ protection of their own citizens, but did the Grand National Party (GNP) and the Liberal Forward Party (LFP) take the idea it seriously? NGO activists have been acting until now according to their own religious, ideological or moral convictions. We want the political world to pay closer attention to these issues but, even if this doesn’t happen, we will push through all the way. Has there ever been an instance where a civil service entity carried out reform of its own accord? If the citizens take an interest, then the political world will also take an interest.If the National Assembly decides not to carry out administrative inspections, then I will request a special audit of the Board of Audit and Inspection. In South Korea, the citizens also have the right to request an audit. The fastest way is for the Blue House and the administration to look at the situation in advance. – It also seems urgently necessary to try and encourage public opinion.When I think about my defector brothers, I am ashamed to be a South Korean citizen. Just as the master has to watch over a worker who can’t work very well, the citizens now have to help instill discipline among the embassies. The interest of citizens is urgently needed. Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? Analysis & Opinion Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more

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Beach parking lot closed for future events

first_imgHomeFeaturedBeach parking lot closed for future events Jul. 30, 2018 at 5:00 amFeaturedNewsBeach parking lot closed for future eventsMatthew Hall3 years agoNo tags The popular beach parking lot adjacent to the Pier can no longer be used for special events and while staff will honor existing contracts for upcoming events, event organizers looking for a beachfront location will have to look elsewhere.Staff said the changed was prompted by an increase in yearly visitors to the Pier and beach area that has created year-round demand for parking at the site. Closing the parking lot for a special event created problems for visitors, nearby employees and reduced revenues for the city’s beach fund.Council first approved the use of the lot as an event space in May of 2001 as part of a revision to a wider policy governing events in public spaces. Use of the lot was expanded in 2004 to include longer-term events that included a Cirque du Soleil show. The lot was recently leased to the Independent Spirit Awards under an extended policy for use through 2020.“Closing the 1550 Pacific Coast Highway beach parking lot as an event forum will return the lot to its original purpose of providing parking for the public coming to the beach and/or the Santa Monica Pier,” said a report given to City Council. “Staff will work with event organizers to consider alternative event venues, and many have already reached out to the Santa Monica Pier.”The lot was already subject to specific rental criteria. Uses had to be predominantly cultural and/or entertainment related. Music concerts were banned in the lot and events could not be primarily focused on promotion, sales or product sampling. Organizers were also limited to holding events in off-peak months. The busy season used to be from July 1 through Labor day but that timeframe was expanded in 2014 to run from June through September.“Currently, community events are not permitted in the 1550 PCH beach lot from June through September,” said the report. “In addition, due to the established Extended Event Policy process administered by CCS, events proposed for after September and prior to Memorial Day weekend cannot be accepted more than six months in advance. Consequently, there is a limited window of opportunity to permit community events in the 1550 PCH beach lot.”In the last four years, 20 events have been scheduled for the lot (such as the Pacific Car Show, Santa Monica Pet Expo & Adoption, Copa Cabana Beach Soccer, Rose Art 75, Fitness Event, Santa Monica Bike Expo, Rollergames World Cup 2016, The 420 Games Los Angeles, City of Hope Gala, Electric Bike Expo, Gran Tasting Food Festival, Out of the Darkness Walk and Touch a Truck).While some of those events will continue in the nearby beach area without use of the lot, others will have to find new homes and the city has already banned events in other beach lots.In 2014 staff prohibited events at the 2030 Ocean Avenue and 2600 Barnard Way lots over complaints of noise, traffic congestion and loss of public parking.According to city staff, Pier businesses support a moratorium on events as the lot is needed for employee parking. Recent event closures forced employees to park in the south beach lots.“Business owners expressed concern for the safety of employees who work late and had to walk a distance to their cars,” said the report. “These events occurred during Spring Break, which covers several weeks before and after Easter and is a very busy time for the Pier and beach. The SMPLA has requested that, at a minimum, no events be permitted during the six-week Spring Break period.”Events also decrease revenues for the lot. Parking can cost between $12 and $14 per space but many spaces turnover throughout the day creating multiple fees. The price for renting the lot is a flat $15 per space per day.“Using the spaces for events, particularly on busy weekends, results in a net revenue loss for the Beach Fund,” said the report.The conclusion of  The Clean Beaches Project will add approximately 100 new spaces in the 1550 lot but the additional capacity is will merely offset the growing demand for the lot. Staff said any excess capacity in the beach lot would be better used to facilitate closures of the Pier Deck parking rather than events on the beach.“As the Pier moves forward with its initiative to engage the local community with more cultural and educational programming, the additional parking in the 1550 lot will help to offset the loss of parking on the Pier when the Pier parking lot is used as an event space,” said the report.In addition two upcoming construction projects will have potentially negative impacts on the beach lot creating further hurdles for events.While no new events will be permitted, The Independent Spirit Awards will continue to use the space per their existing contract through [email protected] on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentClimate change and heatCity invests millions of dollars in greener commuteYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall9 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter20 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor20 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press20 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press20 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson20 hours agolast_img read more

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Monday Scramble: (Don’t) Slow your roll

first_imgThe PGA Tour tries team play, officials finally hand out a slow-play penalty, Lexi Thompson returns, Ian Poulter retains his card and more in this week’s edition of the Monday Scramble: The new team format at the Zurich Classic was a hit. The success of a Tour event largely depends on player support, and the New Orleans stop now has plenty of it, with several guys remarking how much fun the event was and how they wished the circuit had one or two more events like it. For years, the Zurich has been an afterthought, a C-level event on a mediocre course during a dead time on the golf calendar. The switch to a two-man team competition gave the event new life, and it also gave those in Ponte Vedra Beach reason to believe that there’s room on the schedule for team golf other than the Ryder and Presidents cups. Now, it’s up to commissioner Jay Monahan and Co. to keep the momentum rolling, to find new and interesting ways to liven up the Tour.  1. On Monday morning, Cameron Smith sealed a victory that seemed destined to be his the previous night. From an awkward lie on the 72nd hole, the Australian had wedged to kick-in range to set up an easy birdie and post 27 under par. That’s when Kevin Kisner, using only the light from a nearby video board, banked his 30-yard pitch shot off the flagstick and into the cup for an unlikely eagle-3 to force a playoff. After three uninspiring playoff holes, Smith hit a perfect drive on 18, ripped a 3-wood up the gut and then stuffed his 57-yard wedge shot to 3 feet. For the 23-year-old Smith, it’s his breakthrough Tour title and earns him a two-year exemption, as well as a spot in The Players, the PGA and the 2018-opening Tournament of Champions. It is his partner Jonas Blixt’s third Tour victory, but his first since 2013. “He’s gonna be a superstar one day,” Blixt said of his partner, “and you can see it now. Seeing how he played golf this week, the sky is the limit for him. I haven’t seen anything that good in an extremely long time.”  2. Kisner and partner Scott Brown said they didn’t run out of gas, but they definitely ran out of magic. After recording 16 birdies in a 19-hole span, the team from Aiken, S.C., made par on 10 of their last 11 holes. They were caught by Blixt-Smith in regulation, then that birdie drought kept the door ajar during the four-hole playoff.  3. Even a new format couldn’t put the Zurich on Mother Nature’s good side. The six-hour weather delay Sunday added to a growing list of delays at this event. In fact, 43 percent of the rounds (12) since 2010 have either been suspended or canceled. There is no easy solution to the event’s weather woes. Move the Zurich any earlier in the year, and it’ll be a tough sell for players who are focused on preparing for the Masters. Any later, and players will be subjected to suffocating heat and humidity, and the event would lose its team-play appeal with the Ryder or Presidents cups drawing closer.   Ideally, the event would be played two weeks after the Masters (or a week earlier than this year), while officials can hope for the best with the weather.  4. After 22 years, Glen Day is officially off the clock. The PGA Tour finally decided to call a slow-play penalty, and curiously it waited until the first round of foursomes play – a format unfamiliar to more than half the field – in the first team event on Tour since 1981.   My thoughts on the penalty can be found here. The CliffsNotes version: By going after a couple of little-known players – Brian Campbell and Miguel Angel Carballo – and by ignoring the extenuating circumstances, the Tour proved that it really has no idea how to stop slow play. 5. Not to be outdone, the European Tour handed out a slow-play penalty to Soomin Lee at last week’s Volvo China Open. Lee received three bad times before he was finally docked a stroke. Check out the video:  6. With extra eyeballs on the tour because of the weather issues in New Orleans, the LPGA once again failed to deliver. Just a few weeks after the rules debacle at the ANA, the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout was marred by a never-ending playoff and unfathomably slow play from veteran Cristie Kerr. It didn’t help that the players were forced to play the poorly designed finishing hole six times. Look, there’s a reason the playoff rotation usually calls for the 18th hole over and over again – that’s where the fans are. But the LPGA and every other tour needs to show flexibility when it becomes clear that hole won’t produce a final result in timely fashion. Both players have to compete on the same hole. What’s the big deal in moving it around?  7. Thompson and her “team” missed a massive opportunity last week in Texas, the LPGA star’s first event since she was slapped with a four-shot penalty that derailed her at the year’s first major. Instead of admitting that she had committed an infraction, instead of vowing to mark the ball more carefully in the future, Thompson sounded defiant and refused to acknowledge the obvious – that she had played from an incorrect spot. That her team appears committed to prolonging the controversy, saying that the LPGA needs to provide a “true and transparent” accounting, is even more of a head-scratcher. Making an already emotional 22-year-old continue to relive the worst day of her golf career is a mistake. Even if the LPGA does divulge information about the viewer who emailed the infraction – and there is no incentive for the tour to do so – it won’t change the fact that Thompson lost. She needs to move on. Speaking of Lexi …  8. The USGA and R&A took another step toward limiting video evidence by introducing a new decision to the Rules of Golf that allows a committee to overturn a penalty if it is determined that the infraction could not have been seen by the naked eye or that the player used reasonable judgment. The full news story can be found here. The new rule, effective immediately, will help a player in Anna Nordqvist’s situation but not necessarily in Thompson’s. Nordqvist’s penalty last year at the U.S. Women’s Open, when she grazed a few grains of sand on her backswing, could only be detected on slow-motion replay. She wouldn’t be penalized now. But the same is not necessarily true for Thompson, or at least it’s not as clear-cut. The committee will now be able to discuss the incident with everyone involved – the player, the caddies, the officials in the group, etc. – and also factor in the egregiousness of the error. On a 16-inch putt, it could be argued that Thompson’s re-marking was not reasonably judged.  9. Of course, a larger issue remains: The post-round scorecard penalty. When news broke of the new decision, players were asked their thoughts on the change. Most thought it was a step in the right direction, but more needed to be done. That there even needs to be a scorecard in 2017, with a mountain of ShotLink data providing scores and yardages and other information, is debatable. But penalizing a player for signing a card that is only determined to be incorrect later is outdated and just plain unfair. The USGA and R&A are taking a “deeper evaluation” of scorecard penalties and viewer call-ins, though the latter issue has no simple solution.    10. Nothing gets the blood pumping quite like a FedEx Cup points structure story, but here’s the takeaway from the Ian Poulter saga: He has Brian Gay to thank. It was Gay (who had locked up his card but hadn’t done enough, points-wise, to qualify for The Players) who brought the inequalities in this year’s points breakdown to the attention of the Tour higher-ups. They unanimously agreed that the players competing on major medicals – who were trying to retain exempt status based on a previous year’s standings – were at a disadvantage because of the change this season that devalued finishes between 15th and 68th. Poulter had no idea, but he’s the main beneficiary of Gay’s investigation. Now, the Englishman can turn his attention to trying to keep his card after this season. He’s 129th in FedEx Cup points, but he has the rest of the season, with no restrictions, to crack the top 125.   Crane is now known for not only his slow play, but his slow pay. He was reminded again last week that fast money makes fast friends because he was called out on Twitter by Tom Gillis, whose “friend” alleged that Crane owed him $6,000 for losing a putting contest earlier this year in Phoenix. Turns out – thanks to Charley Hoffman – that that “friend” was PGA Tour winner Daniel Berger. The issue was “handled,” according to all sides involved, but Crane is now a slowpoke in more ways than one.  This week’s award winners …  He’s Back: Dustin Johnson. The world No. 1 returns to action for the first time since withdrawing from the Masters because of a back injury. He’ll be looking for his fourth consecutive title – no player has won that many in a row since Tiger in 2007-08 (six).  Quite the Comeback: Alexander Levy. The Frenchman rallied from seven shots back to steal the China Open. It’s the largest final-round comeback this season on the European Tour.  Not Bad For a Retired Golfer: Charlie Wi. The 45-year-old journeyman teamed with K.J. Choi and was only two shots off the halfway lead. Wi had retired as a full-time player last summer, choosing to teach juniors in LA over the grind of a 25-event schedule. They tied for 24th.   First Time for Everything: Drinking Sprite, not some alcoholic beverage, out of the Ryder Cup trophy.  Learning Experience: Eun Jeong Seong. The 17-year-old, who won the U.S. Girls’ Junior and U.S. Amateur in the same year, shot three consecutive rounds of 69 in Texas before getting blown off the course during a Sunday 86. She’s ready for the pro ranks, even if the final round in wind-whipped conditions suggested otherwise.  Best Laid Schemes: Pac-12 Men’s Championship. The 72-hole conference championship in Boulder, Colo., was reduced to a shotgun start and 54 holes because of – you guessed it – snow. An ideal way to prepare for NCAAs, it was not. We hear the weather in Southern California and Arizona is lovely this time of year. Best Wishes: John Senden. He has taken a leave from the PGA Tour after his son, Jacob, was diagnosed with the brain cancer. All the best to the Senden family.  Something About New Orleans: Brian Stuard. The defending champion at the Zurich, he teamed with Chris Stroud to tie for 11th. It was his first top-15 finish in the 31 events since his rain-shortened victory at TPC Louisiana a year ago.  Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Justin Rose. Making his first start since a playoff loss at the Masters, the Englishman was returning to a place where he won in 2015 and had three other top-15 finishes since 2012. He was also playing alongside world No. 6 Henrik Stenson, with whom he has successfully partnered at the Ryder Cup. No matter. They both rinsed their second shots during Friday fourballs and missed the cut by one. Sigh.last_img read more

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Economy Brightens as Consumers Spend, Layoffs Slow

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Email WASHINGTON – Economic reports Thursday suggest employers are laying off fewer workers, businesses are ordering more computers and appliances, and consumers are spending more confidently.Combined, the latest data confirm that the economy is improving, even though too few jobs are being created to lower the 9.8 percent unemployment rate.The number of people seeking unemployment benefits edged down by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 420,000, the Labor Department said. That was the second drop in three weeks.Weekly unemployment applications at around 425,000 signal modest job growth. But economists say the number would need to dip consistently to 375,000 or below to indicate a significant decline in unemployment. Weekly applications peaked during the recession at 651,000 in March 2009.The four-week average, a less volatile gauge, rose slightly to 426,000. The average had fallen for six straight weeks to the lowest point in more than two years.Companies increased their orders for long-lasting manufactured products, excluding volatile transportation goods, by the sharpest amount in eight months, the Commerce Department said. Demand rose for computers, appliances and heavy machinery.Total orders for durable goods dropped 1.3 percent. That decline reflected sagging demand for aircraft and autos. But excluding transportation, orders surged 2.4 percent, the best showing since last March.Personal spending rose modestly last month, giving the economy a lift before the holidays. Spending increased 0.4 percent, the fifth straight monthly increase.Consumers’ incomes grew 0.3 percent last month, lifted by gains in stock portfolios. Wages and salaries barely budged. Hiring slowed in November.Housing remains a drag on the economy. More people bought new homes in November, though far too few to signal better times are ahead for the battered housing industry. Sales rose 5.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 290,000 units, the government said. That’s less than half the rate that economists consider healthy. And the increase follows a dismal October pace that nearly matched the lowest level in 47 years.The economy is expected to pick up next year as consumers spend more freely. Most Americans will have more cash to spend because of a cut in Social Security taxes that Congress approved this month. But economic growth probably won’t be fast enough to quickly reduce unemployment.Many analysts are predicting that the economy will grow at a 3.5 percent to 4 percent annual pace next year. That would be up from an expected 2.8 percent pace this year.Economists generally say growth needs to reach 5 percent for a full year to bring down the unemployment rate by 1 percentage point. Many expect the rate to be near 9 percent by the end of next year.The recent decline in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits has encouraged economists. Applications have fallen by more than 20,000 in the past month. That should translate into more hiring in December than the previous month, according to most economists. The economy added a net total of only 39,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent.Weekly applications are a real-time snapshot of the job market. If they continue to move down, hiring is more likely to pick up. Applications reflect the level of layoffs. But can also indicate whether companies are willing to add workers.Fewer people are receiving unemployment benefits. The total unemployment benefits rolls dropped by 103,000 to little more than 4 million in the week ending Dec. 11, the department said.That doesn’t include millions of additional laid-off workers who are receiving emergency aid under extended unemployment benefits programs set up during the recession. About 4.7 million people are receiving extended benefits for up to 99 weeks.All told, about 8.9 million people obtained unemployment benefits during the week of Dec. 4, according to the latest data available. That was about 150,000 fewer people than the previous week.last_img read more

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