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As a book reviewer, I tend to jot down page numbers I want to return to because I think they exemplify something about substance or style. In “Working,” Robert Caro’s superb memoir subtitled “Researching, Interviewing, Writing,” I noted almost every page. Want to be a political reporter, biographer, cultural historian? Forget graduate or journalism school. Just read this book.Caro, the multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning author and recipient of many other prestigious awards (and a part-time East Hampton resident), is best known for his tomes on two brilliant, ruthless men: Robert Moses, the subject of “The Power Broker” (1974), and LBJ, who prompted “The Years of Lyndon B. Johnson,” four volumes of which have already been published (1982, 1990, 2002, 2012), the fifth and last due out, Caro jokingly hopes, “in his lifetime.” He’s 84.What takes him so long? It’s his least-favorite question, but he addresses it in “Working,” with humor and passion and in a wonderfully conversational style. It’s as though he’s in your living room, chatting with you. His manner tells a lot about him as a professional writer and a human being. He was actually known as a fast writer when he began his investigative life at Newsday, but when he left to probe the nature of political power — who had it and how it affected those who didn’t — his work slowed down because his subjects were so complex and he wanted to make sure he explored everything from every point of view and be thorough and fair.A colleague once told him that the key to good investigating reporting was to “turn every page,” and Caro’s been doing that for years. Persistent, skeptical, modest, he doggedly went back to sources, found new ones and repeatedly called and wrote to people, minor as well as major, because he believed that all of them would contribute to his understanding of those who wielded political power and those whose lives were changed by that power, whether for good or for bad.Sometimes the going got rough, as when Caro showed Robert Moses evidence that construction plans for the Northern State Parkway took an odd southern detour that wrenchingly displaced local farmers but left Gold Coast robber barons at a safe remove from the working poor. The arrogant Moses had denied such allegations, saying that the route’s determination had been dictated by engineering considerations. When Caro confronted him, however, the cold-staring, dark-eyed Master Builder strode away and subsequently ordered that Caro never be granted entrée again to him or his associates.The experience educated Caro about the ambivalence toward powerful “visionaries” that often attends their accomplishments. Robert Moses could be a cruel, calculating — unelected — despot, but over the span of at least four decades, he connected the boroughs of New York, and the city with outlying regions by way of expressways, bridges, parkways, shorelines, parks, urban centers, beaches. He built New York.Caro’s only assistant throughout his research has been his beloved wife of 62 years, Ina Caro, a historian herself. At the start, it was hardly smooth sailing. He has left a secure job and had no adequate advance for the Moses book. Ina sold their house in Roslyn because they could no long afford it or Long Island. They wound up in an apartment in The Bronx, and when he was researching LBJ, they moved to the Texas Hill Country where Johnson came from, so that Caro could “feel” the roots of LBJ’s fierce political drive.Place is important to Caro as an informing contribution to character. He even camped out for a while in the Hill Country to learn what it was like to be totally isolated with no one around for miles. He then appreciated that when LBJ brought electricity to the area, he was revered like a god. The portraits of the women in the Hill Country area, old before their time, overworked and often left alone for weeks on end, resonate with unforgettable Depression-like authenticity. Here is nonfiction at its best, using the elements of fiction to inform facts with feeling.Some sections of “Working” have been previously published, but they are effectively united here and augmented by new musings, including a summary interview Caro gave to The Paris Review in 2016 on the art of biography. Attractive inside book covers show Caro’s obsessive editing — he writes longhand, uses a typewriter and revises even final proofs. But it’s his meticulous and moving achievement in discovering and disclosing the “raw, naked essence of political power” that distinguishes his work. This is an amazing, inspiring book. An example of how to do it right. Share
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When I visit cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham there are new apartments, office blocks and a skyline of tall buildings and tower cranes. The street level is buzzing with cafes, bars, restaurants and gyms serving young professional customers. Our cities are becoming more stimulating, people like to spend their leisure time in the heart of the action. We are mindful that people seldom visit the suburbs for an afternoon stroll.I’ve recently returned to live in Bristol, after 30 years of working around the world. Bristol is thriving and its city centre employment has grown significantly. Students now live in the centre of town and there is a drive to encourage city centre living to maintain the economy and to reduce commuting. Bristol’s skyline, however, has barely changed in the last four decades. If we want to maintain an egalitarian approach to living in cities, we need to accommodate the residents and businesses that want to be there. Bristol City Council is on board with this thinking and has identified key areas for higher density, urban living.We are all agreed that we need to build more housing in our cities. We want to preserve the greenspaces. We want to ensure people have public spaces to enjoy. This is not a unique problem, it is a global conversation. People all over the world are asking how they can accommodate their people and are exploring the impact of higher density development and tall buildings.The true value to a city of tall buildings, or indeed any buildings, is not in ‘how high’ but in how we want them to contribute to the public realm, businesses, employment, sustainability and quality of life on the ground. Tall buildings need to be considered as part of the mix as they can allow space for family homes and a wider range of housing typologies which encourage families and elderly residents to live in a diverse and vibrant city centre. An urban regeneration scheme of mixed height buildings will free up space for public parks, schools and street-based activities. Tall buildings also create a new ecosystem at ground level where businesses can thrive thanks to the large footfall of people in the immediate area. To deliver successful schemes, we will need to address the issues around tall buildings. For instance, the misconception that when a taller residential building goes in, it’s driving up property values. In fact, it’s actually keeping them down because it’s increasing the housing supply. We are aware that the long-term management often leads to unaffordable service charges or poor maintenance.Denser developments can meet higher environmental standards than those achieved by low density schemes, as there are more opportunities to deliver green features efficiently. At BDP, we recently developed an energy strategy which takes advantage of the inherent opportunities available in tall buildings to provide energy efficient systems and reduce energy costs. This will directly benefit residents by reducing the running costs of the building, which can be offset against their service charges.Key sites in the city are often in public ownership, through local authority, NHS and educational facilities offering the opportunity for joined-up thinking and vibrant mixed use communities near key amenities. Bristol should learn from Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool and capture the zeitgeist of the city. As well as policy, real vision is needed to explain what density looks like, what benefits it brings and how it can be implemented. This is where masterplanners and architects can bring vision and attract investment to deliver a more desirable city where more people can work and live.
A strong awareness of short- and medium-term forecast cashflow A balance sheet with the underlying strength to indicate the loan can be repaid An approach to running the business that is focused on managing profits and cash rather than simply on extracting cash out of the business into the hands of partners Peter Gamson is a partner, and head of Professional Practices, Grant Thornton UK LLP …will find the next couple of months very difficult to navigate. What can you do to manage this risk? 1. Enter into a timely dialogue with your main lenders. Provide them with robust management information and forecasts and be prepared to discuss the business in detail with them. Give them confidence over your business model and show them how you forecast that their money will be able to be repaid within a sensible timescale. 2. Address the issues that are causing the underlying cash shortages. For most firms, you will need to look at employment costs and partner drawings. Reducing the headcount may be the medium to long-term answer for some but in the short term, most lenders would wish to understand that partners have recognised the need to reduce their drawings for the sake of the business’s survival. 3. Assess whether your firm is adequately funded by stakeholders. The legal sector continues to be significantly ‘under-capitalised’ by reference to other comparable-sized businesses outside the sector. A bank’s appetite will become increasingly limited if the owners of firms are not committing significant amounts of their own capital. What we would never wish you to do is risk the future of the firm by not taking positive steps to manage the situation. Leaving it to the last minute and hoping for a favourable outcome has always been risky, but in this climate, it may be a risk too far. If your cash position looks grey, has four legs and a somewhat long, nose-like appendage, it may well be time to acknowledge that the elephant exists. If you don’t, it will be the banks and secondary lenders pointing it out to you. As the economy sputters along and the ‘green shoots’ of growth remain just that, many legal firms are struggling to stay afloat, let alone grow. Even for those finding opportunities to expand, the persistent issue of cash management remains a constant challenge and irrespective of your trading position, it remains less than ideal if you are having to rely on external funding, or indeed seek the permission of the external funders, to execute key business decisions. It’s now become a sector norm for firms to carry heavily geared balance sheets and for many, avoiding the financial elephant in the room – cash outflows cannot exceed cash inflows – is no longer an option. The legal sector has seen a number of high-profile failures in recent times. Unfortunately, this means that for firms with less-than-healthy finances, the ability to raise short-term finance is likely to be restricted in the coming months. Financial institutions are once again increasing their focus on their clients’ ability to service their debt. The difficulties faced by the likes of Cobbetts, Halliwells, Dewey LeBoeuf and others should serve as a warning that law firms can, and do, collapse and that in the current market conditions, there is no respite. With the July tax payment fast approaching, quickly followed by the annual professional indemnity (PI) renewal process (September), many firms will see their cashflow forecasts under strain and find themselves in a position where they will be seeking additional finance to smooth out their numbers. There are two primary routes to take but both may well present more of a challenge than in previous years. The banks have had their fingers burnt many times over the past couple of years and are increasingly reluctant to extend overdrafts or provide short-term facilities to firms whose balance sheet and cashflow forecasts don’t inspire confidence. Simple extensions of an overdraft may prove unlikely for those who have habitually borrowed to cover these payments and the rates and conditions applied may be more severe than in the past. Understandably, banks are losing their enthusiasm to fund firms that show no sign of controlling their cashflow, and who continue to put profit distribution above other commitments. This brings us on to secondary lenders. At this time of year, many of you receive significant numbers of calls and emails from secondary lenders, offering short-term funds that allow you to spread the cash impact of tax and PI payments. Our expectation is that the number that proceed to serious offers will be significantly reduced as secondary lenders are beginning to see that for firms in financial difficulty, the likely exit plan will involve a pre-pack administration. In cases where the primary lender is significantly underwater at the time of the pre-pack, the secondary lender is not going to have the chance to be part of administration discussions and therefore has no control over the destiny of the firm; likely resulting in a very low return. This makes for a poor prospect when these lenders seek to get any funding requests through their credit teams and we anticipate a far higher instance of firms being refused credit right when they need it. It has been common in the past for firms to rely on this sort of additional short-term funding. In the current market, leaving any conversation with a bank or secondary lender until late in the day is likely to lead to, at best, high rates and unfavourable terms, and at worst, an inability to raise funds in the future. Ideally, lenders want good notice. A potential borrower who is looking ahead at cashflows and proactively managing the funding requirement through early dialogue is always going to find themselves in a better position than those who appear to have been ‘surprised’ by the cash shortfall right at the last moment. In the ‘far from perfect’ world we’re now operating in, firms which aren’t showing:
The first section of the ring to be electrified under the US$202m programme supposed by the Asian Development Bank was the 186 km Pap – Qo‘qon – Andijon southwestern segment which was energised in 2016. The 45 km northwestern section from Pap to Namangan followed on August 31 2019.UTY began operating modernised ER9E electric multiple-units between Andijon and Qo‘qon in March 2020.The electrification project required various infrastructure works, including a new bridge over the Great Fergana Canal which was designed by Boshtransloyikha and built by UTY subsidiaries Andijon Mechanical Plant and Trest Kuprikkurilish. The ring runs from Pap through Namangan, Andijon, Marg‘ilon, and Qo‘qon back to Pap.‘The times of diesel locomotives have ended’, said Khusniddin Khosilov, Chief Executive of national railway UTY, adding that electrification offered significant economic and ecological benefits. It has also enabled speeds to be raised, with it now being possible to travel around the complete ring in 2 h 20 min.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# UZBEKISTAN: Electrification of the 331 km railway ring in the Ferghana Valley was officially completed on August 30, when electric services were inaugurated on the 101 km Namangan – Andijon section.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#
The Edinburgh sections of ‘Kit Kennedy’ are set in and around the Pleasance, where Crockett himself stayed as a student. And he even travels ‘up north’ to Sandhaven -the only time to my knowledge that the North East of Scotland features in Crockett’s fiction.But it is for the boyhood memories that ‘Kit Kennedy’ really recommends itself to the lover Galloway (and Galloway stories). The chapters where Kit and his dog Royal truant from school are among my all time favourite Crockett passages. But I’ll leave you to discover them for yourselves!Whether you read ‘Kit Kennedy’, ‘A Galloway Herd’ or engage in a bit of ‘compare and contrast’, I can heartily recommend either or both as books to read this May. [picture 4 – Crockett’s Edinburgh] You can buy Galloway Collection editions of these books direct online from www.unco.scot. Just go to the S.R.Crockett collection virtual shelves. ‘A Galloway Herd’ is Volume 16 ‘Kit Kennedy’ is Volume 22‘Bog Myrtle and Peat’ is Volume 15‘Mad Sir Uchtred of the Hills’ and ‘The Playactress’ are both in Volume 30 [picture 2 Grenoch Loch in Crockett’s day] *Crockett’s handwriting is far from legible at times (as indeed R.L.Stevenson humourously noted in a letter –‘ o’ man I cannae read your name’. [picture 3 Woodhall Loch today] AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInThis month our reading challenge focuses on two books, or rather, two versions of one story. In ‘A Galloway Herd’ and ‘Kit Kennedy’ we see two fictionalised versions of the young Sam Crocket, as he was before he ‘became’ Samuel Rutherford Crockett, celebrated novelist.It might seem odd to read the same story twice, but it is not really the same story, and while there are many similarities, there is much interest in both the points of connection and the differences between the two books.‘A Galloway Herd’ was probably Crockett’s first attempt at a novel. Episodes from it were published in ‘The Christian Leader’ Magazine in 1891 and subsequently in the 1895 collection ‘Bog Myrtle and Peat’. It was never published as a novel in the UK (until the Galloway Collection anniversary edition of 2014) but in a letter written on Christmas Day 1895 to a Mr McClure, Crockett says:‘There is, a beast in NY, name Fenno, 5th Avenue, and he has raked up a boyish story of mine and published it without my permission and terribly against my will. It is a story called ‘A Galloway Herd’ and he issues it as ‘Copyright Fenno & Co 1895.’ He never communicated with me, nor did Watt or myself hear of it till we got a copy of the book mailed from America this month. Of course every paper has reviewed it as a new book which I have recently written and published! Now this is bad for the whole show. You might get your quote [unclear]* to Maga (or anybody else) that ‘A Galloway Herd’ was written in my youth simply to fill up the columns of a religious paper to which I had to supply a certain number of columns, and without any idea of republishing it. It is a most damnable thing to [unclear]* up the numbers and reprint, without any note of time – or without consulting the author. Of course it will never be issued on this side, and quite mis represents my work and reduces its value. When the American public knows it is not ‘Copyrighted’ but ‘pirated and stolen’ against my will, they will know what to think of the publishers who would do such a thing.’ Cairn Edward, where Crockett sits the bursary, is Castle Douglas. The fictional ‘Cairn Edward Arms’ is the real Douglas Arms and very much still there. I’ve given talks and attended events in the very room Kit (and Crockett) sat their exam. ‘Kit Kennedy’ is the more mature rendition of Crockett’s childhood. Of course it is fictional but it is clearly also semi-autobiographical. Crockett plundered his childhood memories for his work time and again. Indeed it is this very accuracy of memory that gives his work its honesty credentials. As Crockett himself said in ‘The Lilac Sunbonnet’: ‘A good memory is a fine thing.’ We can’t argue with that.The story in ‘Kit Kennedy’, first published as a novel in 1899, after being serialised in The Peoples’ Friend, is more coherent and for my money has a lot in common with Dickens’ classic ‘Great Expectations.’ The young Kit’s life is changed when he wins the Galloway Bursary and his journey takes him to Edinburgh. Crockett clearly shows the culture shock and the divide between the rural and urban life at the time. Woven into the story is an element of thriller which may still seem melodramatic to the modern taste, but this is the least part of the story. Far and away the key joy of the novel is the character of Kit and the landscape of his childhood home. And you can visit these places today. The A762 is your destination for the places in the Galloway Section. Black Dornal is the name Crockett gives his childhood home of Little Duchrae. Grenoch Loch is none other than what we now call Woodhall Loch. Why was he so unhappy? It is obviously the work of a young writer. It lacks polish, and sophistication. It has a loose, perhaps too loose, episodic style. Crockett was to develop this over the years into his trademark fast paced serial fiction. It certainly lacked the editing required to turn a successful serial into a complete novel. The story is equally uneven (but still captivating) in that it has some serious Gothic elements as well as a sojourn in Revolutionary France. It is like Crockett is throwing everything he knows into it and trying to see what fits. Many writers of fiction will recognise it as a kind of first (never published) novel syndrome. An embarrassment of youth which, when looked at with the experience of age, somehow offers an experience beyond nostalgia – something more akin to insight. This is the spirit in which to read ‘A Galloway Herd’ and enjoy it.However, I find the letter above equally interesting, not least as a reminder that we should not pre-judge books by their contents any more than by their cover. There are often stories behind publication we do not know. Significant stories which change the way we view an author. ‘A Galloway Herd’ is a case in point.The ‘Gothic’ finds its ways into several of Crockett’s other short stories and indeed of the four books he had published in his ‘breakthrough’ year 1894, two of them ‘Mad Sir Uchtred of the Hills’ and ‘The Playactress’ illustrate, separately, the two elements that Crockett wanted to write about at that time. Rather than juxtaposing them, ‘A Galloway Herd’ attempts to marry these two disparate strands together. It’s different, at times strange, but it somehow works. Already Crockett’s trademark natural description is well developed and his perspective of seeing the world through the eyes of a child is also compellingly accurate. Boys live in a world of thrills and, dare one say it, melodrama, and as such ‘A Galloway Herd’ takes the reader back into the world, and mind, of a boy in the 19th century. [picture 1 Galloway in Crockett’s day]
LocalNews Press Release: CRIME STOPPERS DOMINICA REACHING COMMUNITIES by: – May 30, 2019 166 Views no discussions Share Share Share “Crime and Me: What Can I do”Crime Stoppers Dominica (CSD) recently held a community education session in Soufriere hosted by the Soufriere/Scotts Head/Gallion Village Council dubbed “Crime and Me: What Can I do”. The session, which forms part of Crime Stoppers Dominica education awareness drive, was well-timed as the community has potential to soon become a tourism and economic center for the south with the ongoing hotel construction projects. The Crime Stoppers Dominica team shared information on various topics.Attendees including community members/hoteliers/investors gained a better understanding on the consequences of crime, not only for the victim but the community, and the economy. Relocation, depreciation of real estate and property value, economic costs to local businesses were some of the consequences explored as some of the impacts of crime on the community. On a broader scale, as a result of increasing crime, the economy could face loss of potential investment opportunities, declines in tourism and retail sales, while control mechanisms put in place to counteract crime can be costly on an economy.Details of the process how the Canadian based call centre handles calls as well as guidelines for callers when making reports (to include information about the suspect, victim, vehicle, if one is involved, and details on type of the offence) formed part of the education session.The Crime Prevention Triangle which details the three elements (desire/ability/opportunity) that must exist in order that a crime occurs was also explored.In closing, the CSD team highlighted the consequences of adopting a “silent culture” where individuals do not “speak up” and report about criminal behaviours going on in the community.When community members remain silent about crime, the criminal is free to commit more crime, damaging more communities and individuals. CSD reminded the attendants that the responsibility was on everyone to report crime, and that CSD provides that avenue where the public can report crime without having their identity revealed through Crime Stoppers Dominica by calling toll free 1800 8477 or online at crimestoppersdominica.org. Sharing is caring! Tweet
Dave NatzkeEditorProgressive DairymanEmail Dave Natzkedave@progressivepublish.comadvertisement MPP-Dairy margin improvesThe increase in the U.S. average milk price coincided with small declines in average feedstuff prices used in MPP-Dairy margin calculations.The U.S. average price for corn received by growers was down 2 cents from May, to $3.43 per bushel. At $300.72, soybean meal was down $6.91 per ton, and alfalfa hay averaged $152 per ton, $3 off May’s eight-month high. The overall feed cost was $7.97 per cwt of milk sold, down about 11 cents from May (Table 2).advertisementSubtracted from the average milk price, the June MPP-Dairy income margin was $9.33 per cwt, up about 71 cents from May.The June MPP-Dairy calculations are the second half of two-month factors used to determine potential payments for the May-June pay period. The two-month margin average was $8.97 per cwt, meaning no MPP-Dairy indemnity payment will be made.As of July 31, the Program on Dairy Markets and Policy projected monthly MPP-Dairy margins to incrementally rise during the next several months, hitting $10 per cwt in August and peaking at about $11 per cwt in October and November. Although conditions may change, those margins are well above MPP-Dairy indemnity payment triggers.While the current MPP-Dairy pogram runs through the end of next year, an amendment included in a fiscal year (FY) 2018 agricultural spending bill could provide a head start for changes in the next farm bill.The start date to select MPP-Dairy coverage for calendar year 2018 has been delayed until Sept. 1, running through Dec. 15, 2017. Dairy producers will receive an enrollment reminder notice from USDA’s Farm Service Agency national office. Farmers must complete and submit form CCC-782 to their FSA county office during the period. The USDA’s monthly Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) calculations showed a slight improvement in June. Milk and feed futures prices point to continued improvement through the remainder of the year. June milk prices tick upwardJune 2017’s U.S. average milk price of $17.30 per hundredweight (cwt) was up just 60 cents from May, but up $2.50 compared to June 2016, according to the USDA’s monthly Ag Prices report. The January-June 2017 average of $17.58 cwt is $2.28 per cwt more than the same period a year earlier.advertisementadvertisementAmong individual major states (Table 1), Arizona and Oregon (each up $1), Washington (up 90 cents) and Pennsylvania and Kansas (up 80 cents) saw the largest increases compared to May. Only Idaho saw a price decline. Compared to a year earlier, June 2017 milk prices were up $3 or more per cwt in Illinois, Iowa, Oregon, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Share RelatedBird Battles: As North American bird population decreases, SPI Birding and Nature Center aiming to educate the public on birdsBy LAURA LYLES REAGAN Special to the PRESS On September 19, 2019, the American Association for the Advancement of Science released a journal report by Kenneth V. Rosenberg, et al., that states there has been a 29% decline in bird populations in North America, since 1970. News outlets across the…September 27, 2019In “News”Citizen scientists participate in annual bird countBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press email@example.com Birders from around the Rio Grande Valley are once again gathering at avian hotspots in order to participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count. The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is one of the largest citizen-scientist initiatives in the country. Through it, amateur scientists…December 22, 2017In “News”CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT: Birders take annual tally of native, migrant birds By DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press firstname.lastname@example.org “Great blue heron. Great blue heron,” called out a birdwatcher as a large blue-grey bird ruffled its feathers at the approaching group. It wasn’t the sight of the majestic shorebird that tipped the birder off, but its distinctive call that pierced through…December 18, 2015In “News” By PAMELA CODYSpecial to the PRESSThe South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center (BNC) played host to an annual tradition this Wednesday: the Coastal Tip Christmas Bird Count. Hosted by the Audubon Society, this particular bird count is one of the longest running citizen science programs, and contributes invaluable data about bird distribution and population around the globe.The BNC’s naturalist educator, Javier Gonzalez, as well as a small group of volunteers gathered at the Center Wednesday morning to document the birds they encountered there.This is the third year Gonzalez has done the Christmas Bird Count, and he explained what the objective of the count is. “These annual censuses are done all over the world. The one we’re doing here on the Coastal Tip is covering a 15-mile diameter circle that encompasses SPI, Port Isabel, Laguna Vista, Boca Chica Beach and the Bahia Grande,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve got birders covering 15 different sections within the circle.”Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.