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£2k to invest? I’d buy these 2 UK shares today to get rich

first_img Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Enter Your Email Address Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares If you have £2,000 or any other amount to invest, buying UK shares could be a great option. Buying high-quality stocks at discount prices could even help you get rich over the long run with a regular investment plan.With that in mind, here are two UK shares that may be worth buying today as buy-and-forget investments. 5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…UK shares to buy Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF) may be one of the most attractive UK shares to buy right now. The diversified conglomerate does everything from producing sugar to selling discount clothing. This diversification makes the company a relatively defensive investment.Considering the shaky outlook for the UK economy right now, this is a highly attractive quality. Indeed, as the company’s retail business has suffered over the past few months, its food arm has prospered. Associated British’s latest trading update shows that the company is recovering well from the coronavirus crisis, unlike other UK shares. Trading in its Primark fashion stores that have reopened after coronavirus lockdown has recovered well. Cumulative sales for the seven weeks to June 20 were down just 12% year-on-year.As such, it looks as if the business is well positioned to make a strong recovery over the next few years. City analysts are forecasting a near 50% slump in the company’s earnings for this year, although they expect a strong recovery in 2021.Considering the company’s track record of outperforming City expectations, this could be a conservative forecast. Therefore, it seems likely that the stock will produce high total returns in the years ahead, which could help investors grow their financial nest-egg when owned alongside other UK shares. The stock has turned every £2,000 into £4,400 over the past decade, double the return of the FTSE 100 over the same period.Admiral GroupInsurance giant Admiral Group (LSE: ADM) has been one of the best-performing UK shares this year. Over the past 12 months, the stock is up a staggering 46%! Unlike many other businesses, Admiral may benefit from the lockdown. Less traffic on the roads reduced the number of car insurance claims, which should help the group’s profit margins.The company’s main competitor, Direct Line, has already announced a bumper first half. That suggests Admiral may see the same improved performance.Alongside its results, Direct Line also announced that it would be paying a special dividend due to the increased level of profitability. It seems highly likely Admiral will do the same as well.Indeed, the company has one of the best dividend track records of all UK shares. Over the past few years, management has struck a careful balance between investing in the group’s global operations and returning capital to investors. With profits set to jump, it looks as if this trend may continue in the coming years. Based on current projections, the City is forecasting total distributions of 135p from the company this year. That’s equivalent to a dividend yield of 5.3% on a current share price.When combined with the company’s potential for capital growth, this number suggests that the stock can provide high total returns for shareholders in the years ahead when owned as part of a well-diversified portfolio of UK shares. The stock has turned every £2,000 into £5,000 over the past 10 years. Image source: Getty Images. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Rupert Hargreaves owns shares in Admiral Group. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Admiral Group and Associated British Foods. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.center_img I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Rupert Hargreaves | Tuesday, 11th August, 2020 | More on: ABF ADM £2k to invest? I’d buy these 2 UK shares today to get rich “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” See all posts by Rupert Hargreaveslast_img read more

2018 Legislative Session Stumbles To An End

first_img2018 Legislative Session Stumbles To An EndMarch 16, 2018 By Abrahm Hurtand Quinn FitzgeraldTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—In a chaotic and confusing end to the 2018 legislative session, bills that would have provided extra money for school safety and got rid of the sales tax on software died without getting final votes.House Bill 1230 included $15 million for school safety that Gov. Eric Holcomb requested last week. But as the clock ticked down to midnight Wednesday, the final day of the session, lawmakers rushed to finish committee reports in time for a vote on the floor.In an unprecedented move, Holcomb proposed extending the session by one hour to 1 a.m. Thursday. But after Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson objected, President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, relented and at 12:10 a.m. the Senate adjourned sine die.Meanwhile, in the House, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said they just ran out of time. He said the Senate was making changes to conference committee reports as late as 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. For the bills to be heard on the House floor, they had to get reprinted, signed and be heard before the House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee.Also dying in the waning minutes of the session was House Bill 1316, which would have waived state sales taxes for software delivered over the internet. It was also part of Holcomb’s agenda.Bosma said there was some scrambling around at the end, but he was pleased that his caucus accomplished their legislative goals, among them two workforce development bills. House Bill 1002 and Senate Bill 50 cleared both chambers.“I think it is a big step in moving from planning toward implementation,” he said to the media. “There are a few nuances in there that I may have changed if I’d been king for a day, but generally, very good bills bringing incentives to employees, giving incentives to employers to improve the workforce, get people in jobs in which they can succeed and get them well educated.”Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, speaks on the last day of the 2018 legislative session. Photo by Quinn Fitzgerald, TheStatehouseFile.comSB 50 would replace the state’s Workforce Innovation Council with a new Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, and it also makes certain job training grants available immediately.HB 1002 would expand the governor’s workforce ready grant program, and it allows Legislative Services Agency to regularly review the state’s workforce programs. The bill would also increase training grants.Long said Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, made it extremely difficult for the Senate during the last two days of the session. While Long said he is not blaming Soliday for Wednesday’s meltdown, he said Soliday’s behavior was part of the issue.“I don’t know why he had what appears to have been a meltdown in many of our people’s eyes on various issues, but he was involved in some key pieces of legislation and it slowed us down, and it was very difficult to deal with,” Long said.Even with the difficult finish, Long said he was pleased with what was accomplished. He also said he was satisfied with the progress made with workforce development.“This is intended to streamline to get an action-oriented group making decisions dominated by people who have skin in the game, business people,” Long said.Senate and House Democrats, though, were disappointed that there was no progress made on workforce development, election reform, bias-crime legislation and addressing the Department of Child Services.Lanane said this year’s session was a disappointing dud and one of the least productive sessions he can remember.House Minority Leader Terry Goodin, D-Austin, and Democratic Leader Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, share their reflections of the 2018 legislative session during a media availability. Photo by Quinn Fitzgerald, TheStatehouseFile.comThe Republicans, who have a super majority in both the House and Senate, leave little power to the Democrats to promote their agenda. In a press release, Lanane said Republicans refused to give 80 out of 85 Senate Democratic proposals committee hearings.“In terms of significant legislation that affects the everyday lives of Hoosiers, yes, you can purchase alcohol on Sunday,” he said during a press conference. “How many years did it finally take us to get that done?”Lanane was also disappointed that nothing was done with hate crime legislation in the state.“We just can’t seem to get it done,” he said. “I think there might be some proposal to study it again or something but how many years do we have to study something before we realize if you’re only one of five, you need to actually act finally.”Senate Bill 418 would have allowed judges to increase a sentence if the crime was committed against an individual because of everything from race to sexual identity. It died in the Senate when it was not called for a vote in the Public Policy Committee after members of the Senate Republican caucus, meeting behind closed doors, could not agree to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the bill.House Minority Leader Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Austin was disappointed with the inaction on the challenges facing the Department of Child Services.“Instead of fixing DCS, we passed a bill that said you could buy alcohol at Walmart on Sunday,” he said to the media.In January, the Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group were hired by Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration to review DCS after the former director, Mary Beth Bonaventura, resigned. She said children in the care of DCS are at risk because of lack of resources to care for them.Goodin said he would like to see the investigators interview Bonaventura.“We’re in the third month of this investigation and I’m trying to figure out what’s going on here,” he said. “What are you afraid of to actually bring the lady in and ask her what’s going on? What happened? What’s the problem here?”Both Long and Bosma mentioned the possibility of having the governor call for a special session to work on bills that did not pass before the end of the session, but Bosma said he did not think that was needed.FOOTNOTE: Abrahm Hurt and Quinn Fitzgerald are reporters for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Dave Matthews Band Welcomes Susan Tedeschi To Help Cover ‘Cortez The Killer’ In Jacksonville [Watch]

first_imgDave Matthews Band was at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL on Wednesday for the second performance on their current 2019 spring/summer tour. The popular rock band is known for welcoming a mix of special guests to join them on stage every now and then, and Wednesday’s show happened to be one of those nights as DMB surprised attendees with a special sit-in from Tedeschi Trucks Band vocalist, Susan Tedeschi.Tedeschi, who calls Jacksonville home when she’s not on tour with her own band, came to the stage to join Matthews and company about halfway through their 21-song set for a cover of Neil Young‘s “Cortez The Killer”.Related: Dave Matthews Band Shares Pro-Shot Video Of “Funny the Way It Is” From 2018 Tour [Watch]Matthews could be seen with his hands raised in the air with excitement as Tedeschi appeared from backstage with her own guitar in hand. Tedeschi didn’t waste any time in diving into their performance of the 1975 Neil Young tune, by riffing away on her electric guitar during the song’s intro, while Matthews supported her lead lines on his acoustic. Following a few minutes of jamming to start the song, Tedeschi approached the mic to start on the opening lyrics. Following the first verse, Tedeschi then took the audience on a melodic ride with a wonderfully-soulful guitar solo. DMB keyboardist Buddy Strong also followed up with an impressive organ solo of his own, allowing the song’s performance to stretch out to the 11-minute mark. Fans can watch the entire guest sit-in from Wednesday’s show below.Dave Matthews Band with Susan Tedeschi – “Cortez The Killer” – 5/1/2018[Video: Eric Stephenson]The band’s spring-into-summer run continues this weekend with an appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Saturday. Fans can visit the band’s website for the full list of upcoming tour dates and ticket info.last_img read more

Vermont Troopers ratify first ever collective bargaining agreement

first_imgThe Vermont Troopers Association (VTA) announced today that its members have ratified its first collective bargaining agreement with the State of Vermont.  The VTA separated from the Vermont State Employees Association in the fall and formed its own organization made up exclusively of state police officers.“From the outset we knew we were negotiating our first contract in the face of some enormous challenges,” said Michael O’Neil, VTA President.   Such challenges included a difficult economic outlook and pressure to follow the course set by VSEA in its own negotiations.  With these financial and political realities in mind, the VTA entered into negotiations with a clear goal. “We wanted the State to address issues that are unique to police officers,” said O’Neil.  For example, the starting wage for a state police officer in Vermont is more than 35% below the average starting wage of the larger police agencies in Vermont, and almost 50% below the starting wage of a New Hampshire state police officer. “This profound discrepancy in comparable wages, along with other important issues, must be addressed if Vermont is going to continue to attract and retain qualified state police officers,” said O’Neil.In the end, the Troopers agreed to a one year contract, during which they agreed to make a fair contribution to the State’s fiscal situation by waiving their step movements and temporarily suspending some holiday premiums and other benefits.  In return, the State agreed to jointly participate with the VTA in a study of wages and wage plans of police agencies around Vermont and New England.  Other issues including the development of new work schedules will be discussed at these meetings in preparation for next year’s negotiations.“As painful as these economic times are, we are pleased that the State has agreed to a one year contract, and agreed to work with us to conduct a comprehensive review of comparable police wages and wage structures in Vermont and New England,” said O’Neil.Source: Vermont Troopers Association. 3.16.2010###last_img read more

S&P: Economic pressure mounting for U.S. exploration and production companies

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):With oil and gas drillers filing for bankruptcy at a rising clip in 2019, credit rating agencies say the number of companies in distress is marching higher and they are bracing for more credit downgrades and Chapter 11 filings this fall.Exploration and production companies, or E&Ps, are producing more oil and gas in North America than ever before and that production is causing credit worries — the increased demand from Mexico and LNG isn’t enough to sop up gobs of hydrocarbons finding their way to market.Investors as well as lenders appear worried about the sector, according to SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. oil and gas analyst Neal Dingmann. Investors peppered companies with refinancing questions during presentations at The Oil and Gas Conference by EnerCom Inc. in Denver, Dingmann told his clients Aug. 14. “Investors not only questioned what [was the] potential cost of capital … but whether the market was even open to such transactions.”Chapter 11 filings this month by Halcón Resources Corp. and Sanchez Energy Corp. helped drive the number of oil and gas E&P bankruptcy filings to 26 so far in 2019, outpacing the 21 seen in all of 2018, law firm Haynes and Boone LLP said their mid-August Oil Patch Bankruptcy Monitor.For several of these producers, such as Halcón, the filings follow a previous trip through Chapter 11 during the 2015-2016 oil and gas downturn and marks a capitulation, the firm said. Many firms reorganized three years ago only to discover there were no potential buyers, Buddy Clark, co-chair of Haynes and Boone’s energy practice said. “They’ve been limping along,” Clark said. “The public markets have just shut down and there are no obvious exits. For these producers the game clock has run out of time to keep playing ‘kick the can’ with their creditors and other stakeholders,” the Haynes and Boone’s presentation said.S&P Global Ratings noted in early August that the number of speculative-grade companies’ borrowing at rates 10% or more above what Treasury bills pay continues to grow, indicating that riskier borrowers are paying more for money. According to S&P Global Ratings, 18.4% of less-than-investment grade borrowers are paying 10% or more for loans, while the average spread among speculative oil and gas borrowers has widened to 3.49% above the risk-free T-bill rate, from 2.31% in July 2018. Some borrowers may not be able to find a lender this fall, S&P warned. “A number of issuers with distressed issues will face refinancing risks in the short term if financing conditions do not improve, including Unit Corp., Denbury Resources Inc., California Resources Corp. and Pioneer Energy Services Corp.,” Ratings said in its note.More ($): As oil and gas bankruptcies rise, S&P warns of coming shale producer downgrades S&P: Economic pressure mounting for U.S. exploration and production companieslast_img read more

IPs in Antique laud creation of dev’t, advisory council

first_img“Before, we survived through making charcoal but now it is alreadybeing prohibited,” Pauden said. Because of the prohibition imposed by the Department of Environment andNatural Resources on  cutting of treesand making charcoal, the IPs have to look for other ways of income. “The creation of the AIPDACis going to be a big help for us because there will already be a council thatwould take care of our needs,” she said. There are about 40,000 IPs living in this province, majority of whomare Atis.(With a report from PNA/PN) “There is a PHP5-million budget allotted for the livelihood of the IPs”for this year, she said, adding that the amount is still unutilized. “The IPs should not feel that they are just second-class citizens herein the province for the provincial government is there to assist them,” Cadiaosaid. For her part, Gov. Cadiao said that with the creation of AIPDAC, theprovincial government could make the IPs feel that they are also being takencare of. “We need to have livelihood in order that we could also sustain theneeds of our children,” she added. SAN JOSE, Antique – The indigenous peoples (IPs) in this province havelauded the creation of Antique Indigenous People’s Development and AdvisoryCouncil (AIPDAC) through the governor’s issuance of an Executive Order (EO). Delia Pauden, head of the Pantad Ati Tribe Association in themunicipality of Tobias Fornier, said in an interview that they are glad that EONo. 16, series of 2020 was already signed by Gov. Rhodora Cadiao on Feb. 24. According to her, the IPs, especially the Atis, are suffering becausethey do not have enough sources of livelihood. As chair of AIPDAC, she is setting a meeting with her vice chair PioSumande and the other council members next week in order to discuss possiblelivelihood projects for the IPs. Pantad Ati Tribe Association’s head Delia Pauden says that the creation of Antique Indigenous People’s Development and Advisory Council (AIPDAC) is a big help for them, especially in their livelihood. AIPDAC was created through Executive Order No. 16 by Gov. Rhodora Cadiao on Feb. 24. PNA last_img read more

Odds stacked against DRC Club, Ugandan in charge of security in CAF Cup final

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp Dixon Okello training local safety officials at Namboole recently. He is in charge of Sunday’s CAF Cup final in Kinshasa. PHOTO DIXON BOND OKELLO FACEBOOKJohannesburg, South Africa | AFP & THE INDEPENDENT |  Congolese side V Club admit it will be “very difficult” to overcome a 3-0 deficit against Raja Casablanca of Morocco Sunday when they host the CAF Confederation Cup final second leg.There have been 108 two-leg CAF club finals in four competitions with only Mouloudia Alger of Algeria succeeding after trailing by three goals following the first match.Having lost 3-0 at Hafia of Guinea in the 1976 African Cup of Champions Clubs (now CAF Champions League) final, they won by the same score at home and triumphed on penalties.“It will be very difficult to pull back three goals,” conceded long-serving V Club coach Florent Ibenge ahead of the return match at the 80,000-seat Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa.“I barely recognised my team in the first leg of the final. There was no positive aggression from the boys despite it being a continental final.“Raja won the battle for possession every time the ball ran loose. My boys were slower, less committed and too negative.“We seemed obsessed with defending, retreating far too close to our goalmouth at the slightest hint of a Moroccan attack.“However, there is always hope in football and we must improve 100 percent to have any chance of success.”V Club did win 2-0 at home to Raja during August in the group phase of the Confederation Cup through goals from Fabrice Ngoma and 10-goal leading scorer Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele.Mundele retired injured midway through the opening half of the first leg, but trained this week and is expected to play, possibly as a substitute.The victory over Raja will offer a glimmer of hope, and so will a 17-match winning streak at home in the competition since 2009 when they beat Malanti Chiefs from Swaziland (now eSwatini).– Resilient –The most recent of those victories was 4-0 over Al Masry of Egypt in a semi-final second leg after a goalless first encounter.However, Raja are likely to prove far more resilient opponents than Masry, whose cause was not helped by constant arguing with the match officials.The Moroccans have won five and drawn one of seven away matches in the Confederation Cup en route to the final, scoring 13 goals and conceding eight.But technical director Fathi Jamal has warned the squad to “remain humble” and guard against overconfidence. “Overall victory is not assured despite building a good first-leg advantage. We have not lifted the trophy yet,” he stressed.Raja are chasing a first CAF title since winning the final edition of the CAF Cup in 2003 when French coach Henri Michel, who died this year, was in charge.They also won the Champions League, the premier African club competition, three times and the CAF Super Cup once, with all five successes achieved under foreign coaches.Spaniard Juan Carlos Garrido is the current coach and will become the first to win the Confederation Cup with two clubs if Raja raise the trophy.Garrido coached Al Ahly to a dramatic victory in the 2014 final with the Egyptians scoring six minutes into stoppage time to pip Sewe San Pedro of the Ivory Coast on away goals.V Club have conquered Africa once, but that was 45 years ago when they defeated Asante Kotoko of Ghana to lift the African Cup of Champions Clubs.They have since lost to Algerian clubs JET (1981) and Entente Setif (2014) in finals of the same competition, and yet another loss is a title decider looming large this weekend.Ugandan in chargeUgandan Dixon Okello, a Confederation of African Football (CAF)and Federation of International Football associations (FIFA) trained security officer, has been put in charge of the CAF final at the 80,000-seat Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa.This is the third straight assignment for Okello in three months, having been  in charge of matches of the Africa Champions league quarters and semis in Cairo Egypt in October.His job is to plan,coordinate and oversee,the safety and security of all fans, players and officials.last_img read more

U.S. Mint Considers St. Pete Artist’s Work for Coin Designs

first_imgKenny says he is working on three pieces that he is submitting to the federal government, but said he has to keep quiet on the designs for now. He said he’s not sure what coins his design will be featured on if they select his work, but if his work is selected, Treasury Department Secretary Steven Mnuchin will have the final say. Kenny said it’s a huge opportunity, because if your work makes it on a coin, people will talk about you forever. The U.S. Mint is considering using the designs of St. Petersburg surrealist painter Steven Kenny for its Artist Infusion Program to create new coins. “It’s still sinking in,” Kenny says about his shot at immortality.last_img

Giving Back To The River: Volunteers Test Water Quality

first_imgBy Jay Cook |RED BANK – The weather isn’t nice enough yet for a cruise on the Navesink, but some Two River residents have been spending quality time alongside the riverbanks this winter – with science kits in hand.Such is the case for Michael Humphreys, a 77-year-old Red Bank resident, and Chuck Abel, 61-years-old from Fair Haven, who convened at Count Basie Park just after the crack of dawn on Wednesday morning.Both men have vested interests in the health of the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers and are two of the dozens of citizen-scientists participating in the Navesink Ambient Citizen Water Quality Monitoring and Source Tracking Program, an effort coordinated by Clean Ocean Action and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).“Beyond all the headlines about how the river is polluted,” Humphreys said, “there’s actually stuff being done about it.”The first-of-its-kind program began in June after reports from the spring of 2016 when Clean Ocean Action, DEP and Rutgers University found the Navesink River was being polluted by human waste, among other contaminants.In response, the citizens’ group was created to help assist the state’s water quality testing arm. Now into its 36th week, the all-volunteer organization is thriving and helping track the health of the two rivers.“We had a downgrade of water quality because of ‘poo-llution’ – and in the 21st century, that’s not where we should be,” said Cindy Zipf, Clean Ocean Action’s executive director. “We need to restore those areas and maintain that water quality going forward so people can continue to swim and enjoy the river.”Test TimeCount Basie Park has served as a staging ground for the past eight months. Alison McCarthy, Clean Ocean Action’s coastal watershed protection coordinator, arrives at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday mornings to unload sterilized bottles provided by the DEP, extendable poles, coolers, sterile gloves and large buckets for each of the groups.One by one, different locals pour into the parking lot to fill out initial paperwork and grab their gear. The citizen-scientists take samples from 20 different locations in Fair Haven, Middletown, Red Bank and Tinton Falls. Up to five new spots in Rumson could be added later this year.Humphreys and Abel rolled in around 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Their task for that day: sample water flowing from surface water outfalls at Marine Park and a private residence on Hubbard Park, a residential roadway just past Riverview Medical Center.“I like to think that I might be contributing somewhat, my infinitesimal contribution,” said Abel, a self-proclaimed “rodeo member” for the different local environmental groups. “I’d rather see (the river) clean than dirty.”The same goes for Humphreys, a board secretary for the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association. He was disappointed when his organization had to cancel the popular River Rangers program in 2016 due to the river’s poor health. It was reinstated last year and has since been greeted favorably.“We had a good take-up last year and people were pleased it was back,” Humphreys said, on the drive to Hubbard Park.In reality, it took longer for Humphreys and Abel to fill out their paperwork than it did to test the river. Samples are required to be taken up-current, right into the flow of an outfall. Water and air temperatures are recorded in centigrade and then the samples are wrapped up and placed into the coolers.Volunteers return the water tests back to McCarthy at Count Basie Park and then she drives them south to the DEP’s laboratory in Leeds Point for immediate testing. Those samples go hand-in-hand with additional testing the DEP and Clean Ocean Action do along the two rivers.“For us to have volunteers doing this kind of work is just incredible,” McCarthy said.Chuck Abel ties a test tube onto an extendable pole for Red Bank’s Mike Humphreys before both volunteers test the water quality at Marine Park in Red Bank. Photo by Jay Cook.Test ScoresRally for the Navesink, a collection of stakeholders interested in local water quality, held their first meeting of 2018 last month and was able to provide sample results from previous months.The threshold between safe and unsafe water is 104 colony forming units (CFU) per 100 milliliters of sample, per the DEP. Any number below that level is safe, but a reading above it means there is an unhealthy amount of pollution in that specific location.Clean Ocean Action’s staff scientist, Swarna Muthukrishnan, said, “we do see some improvements,” but erred on the side of caution when asked about the big picture.“These are individual measurements,” she continued. “That’s the advantage and limitation of bacteria testing. We pick one sample once a week and that’s what is being analyzed.”Higher polluted readings came days after significant rainfall, according to Clean Ocean Action’s data. The river usually cleans itself out through multiple tidal movements.Contaminated areas have also been fixed thanks to the program. The Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority was on scene earlier this month in Fair Haven to repair an area around Fourth Creek – the body of water connecting McCarter Pond to the Navesink – which the River Rats sailing program calls home.The water testing program is set to conclude in June, ending a 52-week run. But those at Clean Ocean Action are hopeful the DEP’s new administration will allow it to continue, keeping residents on the water-testing beat. After all, the locals are set to benefit most from a healthy, thriving river ecosystem.“Empowering citizens to get that sampling done and help track down sources of pollution is an incredible value,” Zipf said.This article first appeared in the Feb. 15-22, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

Collecting Census Responses During COVID-19

first_imgBy law, the Census Bureau must deliver each state’s population total to the president, which determines the number of seats a state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives. Originally planned for Dec. 31, the revised delivery date to the president is April 30, 2021. By Allison Perrine He and other elected officials in the Two River area are now urging residents not to make the same mistake in 2020. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of May 9, 60.2 percent of New Jersey residents have self-responded to the survey online, by phone or by mail. In Monmouth County specifically, 63.9 percent of its residents have self-responded. In 2010, when the census was last conducted, a total of 70.1 Monmouth County residents self-responded. Perry said education funding from the state has been cut by more than $2 million over the years. If people fill out the census completely and accurately, the township hopefully won’t have additional cuts over the next decade,he said. The census is more than just a headcount. Mandated in the Constitution, it helps determine congressional representation, federal funding and much more. It is conducted every 10 years and allows state officials to redistrict congressional and state legislative districts to account for population changes. The goal is to have a complete and accurate count of U.S. residents in all 50 states and its five territories. He added that now could be easier than ever to fill it out, as most people are now working remotely from home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and have more time on their hands. “Our lives and our representation are going to be dictated by this estimate that is done for the next decade,” he said. This year the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the U.S. Census Bureau’s ability to get more residents to respond the survey. During previous surveys, census takers would go door-to-door to seek responses from those who hadn’t already self-responded. That can’t happen in New Jersey because of the governor’s executive order to stay at home. However, surveys can still be completed online, over the phone or by mail, without having to physically meet with a census taker and the self-response deadline has been extended from July 31 to Oct. 31. Several other extensions for Alaska, island areas, Puerto Rico and more are available on the U.S. Census 2020 website at 2020census.gov. Minority communities are traditionally underrepresented on the census, so before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, tutors from Literacy NJ Monmouth were teaching in-person lessons to English as a Second Language (ESL) students on the importance of the census. The tutors also reviewed the questions on the survey with students to be sure they understood the vocabulary. In Middletown Township, Mayor Tony Perry explained how the benefits far outweigh the time spent filling out the census form. “It’s about all these little things that are little – in terms of the time it takes you to fill it out and the impact that it has on you,” he said. “The time is so minuscule. “We need to get this number up – get it up meaningfully and get it up fast,” Murphy said. “Ensuring every New Jerseyan is properly and accurately counted in the 2020 census is incredibly important,” he added. “So much rides on an accurate and full count.”center_img The data on census response rates is available for some Two River area municipalities. As of May 9, that includes Atlantic Highlands with a 69.4 percent response; Fair Haven at 75.1 percent; Highlands, 50.2 percent; Little Silver, 77.0 percent; Monmouth Beach, 51.7 percent; Oceanport, 68.5 percent; Red Bank, 57.3 percent; Rumson, 67.9 percent; Sea Bright, 38.0 percent; and Tinton Falls, 67.4 percent. “With everything that is going on in our world today, I highly encourage our residents to complete the census as soon as they can so that we all can plan appropriately for the next decade,” said Hemphill. Ten years ago, when the U.S. Census was last conducted, New Jersey residents were underrepresented. Because of that, the state left “billions of dollars in federal aid on the table,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in a press conference May 6.  “A majority of the students we called have either already filled it out online or will do so shortly,” said Even. So far, they have had a 41 percent participation rate of students engaging in the remote learning to take the census, which Even said is “great” considering it was put in place so quickly. “It is very important,” said Rumson Mayor Joseph K. Hemphill of the census. “Outside of the effects it has on the U.S. House of Representatives and district boundaries on the local, state and national levels, the results directly impact the federal funding for our communities over the next 10 years. Not to mention, the preparation for emergency responses, disease outbreaks, and even the day-to-day functional planning of our town stem from these results. That has changed, said Jhanna Even, program director with Literacy NJ Monmouth. Since March 15 when formal tutoring sessions shut down, the group switched to remote online learning. Some tutors are still teaching lessons through the Zoom application and FaceTime. They continue to call students, encourage them to fill out the census and ask that they have five friends and family do the same. Mandated in the Constitution, the census is more than just a headcount; it helps determine congressional representation, federal funding and much more. As of May 9, just under 64 percent of Monmouth County residents had responded to the 2020 survey. Because of COVID-19, the deadline to complete it has been extended to Oct. 31 Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau The article originally appeared in the May 14 – 20, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. “Everybody wants great roads. Everybody wants to have their voices heard, whether it’s in Washington or in Trenton. It’s about special education. It’s about education funding” and senior citizen benefits, he said.last_img read more