Greencore completes acquisition of US firm Peacock Foods

first_imgConvenience food firm Greencore has completed its acquisition of US business Peacock FoodsGreencore, which describes itself as the largest sandwich manufacturer in the world, is to ramp up its US profile after paying $747.5m (£594.3m) for Illinois-based Peacock.The US business operates in categories including frozen breakfast sandwiches, kids’ chilled meal kits and salad kits, and generated revenues of around $1bn (£800m) and adjusted EBITDA of $72.1m (£57.5m) in the year to September 2016.“The acquisition of Peacock will transform our US business, strengthen our position in high-growth categories, broaden our channel and customer exposure, and add significant scale to our operations,” said Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney, when the deal was first announced last November.Peacock operates from seven facilities, which will create a network with five times the footprint of Greencore’s current US operation.“We believe Peacock’s success is built on the same fundamental strategy and values that drive Greencore, making products that consumers love, building deep, longstanding relationships with customers, investing in high-quality manufacturing capacity, food safety capability and people,” added Coveney.The US firm has longstanding relationships with businesses including Tyson Foods, The Kraft Heinz Company and Dole, and Greencore executives have met with customers representing about 70% of Peacock’s revenues.In November, Peacocok Foods CEO Tom Sampson said: “We have been particularly struck by the similarities in the way we run our businesses and our mutual long-term commitment to the US convenience food market. We are excited by the opportunity we now have to leverage Greencore’s expertise in innovation.”Greencore’s new US division, which will include Peacock, will be led by Chris Kirke, while Sampson will become a senior advisor to manage customer transition and integration over the next two years.The acquisition is being financed through a combination of a fully underwritten rights issue offered to qualifying shareholders, to raise £439.4m, and about £200m in debt facilities.last_img read more

What’s the definition of adventuring?

first_imgSummer at Snowshoe might just be the quintessential definition of adventuring. A chance to increase your vocabulary, as you stockpile new skills and thrills. A place where hiking-boot-mornings turn to bikini-afternoons, fishing flies are chosen as wisely  as swinging clubs, and the thirst for gravity and velocity never goes unquenched. Where a perfectly banked downhill mountain bike line is worshiped as much as a perfectly seared scallop. And where every day is an invitation for more adventure, and more sticky memories. Welcome to summer on the Mountain. Visit us at snowshoemtn.comlast_img

Why an Army Captain Is Suing Obama

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Last week, Nathan Michael Smith, a U.S. Army Captain, sued his commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama, claiming that the war against ISIS is illegal because Congress has yet to authorize it.In court papers filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Smith, stationed at the command hub in Kuwait at the center of the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, argues that the Obama administration has been fighting an illegal war since Aug. 8, 2014, therefore violating Smith’s oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.”Smith, who joined the Army in 2010, cites the Vietnam War-inspired 1973 War Powers Resolution stipulating that the president has up to 60 days to involve armed forces in a conflict before ceasing military action if Congress does not act within 30 days.“The President did not get Congress’s approval for his war against ISIS in Iraq or Syria within the sixty days, but he also did not terminate the war,” Smith’s suit states. “The war is therefore illegal.”This is not the first time the legality of Obama’s unauthorized war has been scrutinized.Several members of Congress have criticized their colleagues for failing to hold a single vote on the war and have also questioned Obama’s own legal interpretation claiming existing law permits him to fight ISIS.Since the White House began bombing ISIS positions in Iraq—and later in Syria—in August 2014, the administration has presented both the 2001 and 2002 authorizations to use military force to justify its war on the so-called Islamic State. But critics say both versions are outdated and overbroad.The 2001 AUMF, for example, was enacted shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to give then-President George W. Bush the power to target those responsible for killing nearly 3,000 Americans on US soil—meaning al Qaeda. The 2002 AUMF essentially authorized the US to go to war with Iraq.In fact, Obama’s own National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, sent a letter to then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in 2014 characterizing the 2002 authorization as “outdated” and called for it to be repealed.As the war has dragged on, the military has bombed ISIS targets while Obama has also deployed troops to Syria, which contradicts his past statements that he would not put soldiers on the ground in the battle-scarred region.The president has not only used the 2001 AUMF to legalize unauthorized wars but also to justify drone strikes across the Middle East and Africa. The highest profile case involved a drone strike that killed a US citizen in Yemen who had become a radical cleric. That targeted strike also killed Samir Khan, former Westbury, L.I., resident who had  become editor of al Qaeda’s propaganda magazine. The so-called drone memo approving the strike, which the administration fought in court to keep secret, revealed that the cleric was the intended target, not the editor.Although Smith is now suing Obama, the Army captain said in a letter accompanying the suit that he “was ready for action” after the president ordered air strikes against ISIS in 2014.“In my opinion,” Smith wrote, “the operation is justified both militarily and morally. This is what I signed up to be part of when I joined the military.”Capt. Smith holds the so-called Islamic State in contempt.“They are an army of butchers,” he said. “Their savagery is sickening.”Smith comes from a family with three generations of military officers, but he says he grew concerned once people back home began questioning the legality of the war. In his suit, he wrote, “I began to wonder, ‘Is this the Administration’s war, or is it America’s war?’”Given the lack of action from elected officials, Smith says he hopes that the court will order the president to get proper authority from Congress to fight ISIS.The suit was reportedly inspired by an article published last August in The Atlantic by Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman that suggested US soldiers have the legal standing to challenge a war they deem illegitimate.“Existing case-law establishes that individual soldiers can go to court if they are ordered into a combat zone to fight a war that they believe is unconstitutional,” Ackerman wrote.In an Op-Ed for The New York Times published last week, Ackerman doubled down on his claim and backed the suit brought by Smith, whom he’s serving as a consultant in the case.“My aim is simply to insist that Captain Smith is right to believe that the federal courts provide the proper forum for relieving him, and other conscientious soldiers, of the terrible dilemma posed by their oaths of office,” he wrote.For his part, Obama proposed his own AUMF in February 2014 that would sunset after three years. But Congress still has not voted on it. And when Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif), a critic of Congress’ refusal to vote on the war, proposed a measure that would have forced his colleagues to hold a vote on the AUMF’s merits, it failed.Now Smith believes it is his duty to force the White House and Congress to act.“The Constitution tells us that Congress is supposed to answer that question,” he wrote. “But Congress is AWOL.”(Featured photo credit: White House/Pete Souza)last_img read more

Arena Hospitality Group announced an investment cycle of HRK 500 million

first_imgIn 2019, Arena Hospitality Group continues the investment cycle and invests HRK 128 million in the Arena Kažela camp. Also, at Verudela in Pula, plans are being finalized for the comprehensive renovation of the Hotel Brioni, which will have a 5-star categorization after the reconstruction. The project starts at the end of 2020 with the aim of opening a hotel in 2022, and it is planned to invest 190,0 million kuna. The hotel will carry the Park Plaza brand, which will position the hotel among the best hotels in the hotel chain. The first part of the investment cycle started last year in the settlement of Pomer, where one of the smaller camps from the group is located, and it was decided to invest in a completely new camping trend. The former Pomer campsite has been transformed into the first Croatian luxury glamping resort – Arena One 99 Glamping.  In Germany, Arena Hospitality Group is finalizing plans to renovate the hotel art’otela berlin kudamm. The hotel is located in Berlin’s famous Charlottenburg district and is dedicated to the works of pop art artist Andy Warhol. The investment will include a complete accommodation part of 152 rooms, and all other hotel facilities. It is planned to invest around HRK 53,0 million.  It was opened in June, and at the end of the season it received a number of prestigious awards such as “Tourist Flower 2018” of the Croatian Tourist Board for Camp of the Year with the best glamping offer in Croatia, and the Golden Goat Award for Tourist Product of the Year. The amount of the investment was HRK 70 million. It is important to point out that this is a 100% glamping concept, the first of its kind in Croatia.  Hotel Brioni, Pula After the completion of the investment, the camp will offer its guests 1.300 spacious pitches and 164 new Premium Camping Home mobile homes. It is planned to invest around 60 million kuna in the tourist resort Verudela Beach in the second half of 2019. Ten accommodation units will be renovated for this season while the remaining 146 units and 20 villas will be renovated for the 2020 season. Upon completion of the investment, the settlement will carry the brand Arena Hotels & Apartments.  Camp Arena Kazelacenter_img In 2019, an investment cycle of HRK 500 million In mid-2017, Arena Hospitality Group raised around HRK 750 million through a public offering on the Zagreb Stock Exchange in order to continue its investment cycle.  Taking into account these investments, Arena Hospitality Group will invest more than half a billion kuna in the period until 2022, which will place it alongside the largest investors in the Croatian tourism sector. “In addition to these investments, further investments in the existing portfolio of the Group can be expected, and in addition, work is being done on the possibility of expansion in the region, and in Central and Eastern Europe.”Conclude from the Group. Strengthening the position in Germany and expanding in Central and Eastern Europe Hotel group Arena Hospitality Group dd, (formerly Arenaturist) currently offers a portfolio of 27 facilities owned, co-owned, leased or managed by more than 10.000 rooms and accommodation units in Croatia, Germany and Hungary.  Interestingly, AHG is the first Croatian hotel company to own and manage hotels outside Croatia and the first with the exclusive right to manage and develop hotels under the internationally recognized brands Park Plaza Hotels and art’otel (Park Plaza, art’otel, Arena Hotels & Apartments and Arena Campsites ).last_img read more

Uber losses widen in pandemic, amid recovery signs

first_imgWeathering the crisisUber has said it has ample cash on hand to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced billions of people to remain at home.”Our ample liquidity provides us with substantial flexibility to navigate the current crisis, but we are being proactive and taking actions to emerge stronger and more focused as a company,” said chief financial officer Nelson Chai.Uber has taken steps including the layoff of some 14 percent of its workforce.It said earlier Thursday it was leading a $170 million investment in Lime as part of a plan to merge its Jump electric bike and scooter operations into the rival service.The tie-up will free Uber to concentrate on its core rideshare and delivery services while Lime — which operates in some two dozen countries — will manage scooters and bikes including the Uber Jump fleet.Uber and other “sharing economy” services are expected to feel a massive impact from the coronavirus outbreak which has dampened economic activity and made travelers more cautious.Rival rideshare platform Lyft this week reported a loss of $398 million, narrower than a year ago, as revenues increased to $956 million.The two firms listed shares last year with an eye toward long-term profitability, goals which have become more elusive in the current environment.”On the other side of this dark valley, the Uber business model will likely look a lot different for the next few years [at least] and the company must rationalize costs and a smaller operation to focus on attaining profitability in this ‘new normal’ backdrop,” said Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities in a research note.”On the ride sharing front, Uber and Lyft face Herculean-like challenges looking ahead as the new reality will likely change the business models of these companies [and competitors] for the foreseeable future.” Gross bookings were up eight percent from a year ago to $15.7 billion, with revenues to the company rising 14 percent to $3.5 billion. Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the data from April suggests a massive impact from the COVID-19 outbreak but also some indications of a rebound in some markets.”I won’t sugarcoat it — COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on Rides with business down globally around 80 percent in April… but there’s some green shoots driving restrained optimism,” he told analysts.Khosrowshahi said Uber was seeing a “fourth consecutive week of growth” with bookings up 12 percent last week.The net loss in the quarter was nearly triple the level of a year earlier and included some $2.1 billion in write-downs of the value of some of its assets — which companies are required to count as losses under accounting rules. Topics : Uber said Thursday its losses widened to $2.9 billion in the first quarter as the ridesharing giant felt the impact of the global pandemic lockdowns while pointing to signs of a tentative recovery.The San Francisco-based company said ride bookings were up eight percent over the first three months of the year despite the lockdowns that began in the final weeks of the quarter.It saw 53 percent revenue growth in its Eats restaurant take-away delivery service, as more people ate in to avoid the coronavirus.last_img read more

Dozens of Mexican centenarians beat coronavirus

first_imgExperts agree that the elderly are at greater risk of dying from the coronavirus, but in Mexico dozens of centenarians have beaten the odds and overcome the disease, authorities say.While the Latin American country has registered 53,000 deaths from the virus, the survivors include at least 53 people between the age of 100 and 118.Two more are at home fighting the illness just over a week after developing symptoms. In total 78 centenarians have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Mexico, of whom 23 have died, according to official figures.One of the most surprising cases was that of a 118-year-old man from the southeastern state of Tabasco who started showing symptoms last month.He had none of the underlying conditions linked with increased risk of death from the virus and required little medical treatment.Topics :last_img read more

Fredrik Elmqvist – Yggdrasil Gaming – A customer first approach that makes iSENSE

first_img Romania’s ONJN adds 20 sites to blacklist August 14, 2020 Related Articles Share Share CT Gaming bolsters Italian profile with The Betting Coach  August 27, 2020 Yggdrasil Gaming CEO Fredrik Elmqvist spoke to SBC News about building its own platform iSENSE, the challenges of local regulation and the thinking behind its slightly obscure company name.Fredrik Elmqvist, YggdrasilSBC: What does it take to take a gaming developer brand from an unknown entity and newcomer in the space to one that’s well known and respected?FE: Innovation, creativity and hard work. We’ve grown extremely quickly because we identified that taking a customer-first approach to slots provision would prove popular with operators.We understand what operators are looking for in their slots and accordingly have developed tools that help them market and promote games to their customers.This customer-centric focus, including our collection of in-game promotional tools BOOST™ and social sharing tool BRAG, has really set us apart from the competition. It is not enough to create great games anymore; operators are demanding a world-class promotional infrastructure alongside the titles. Our long list of industry-firsts has really powered this stratospheric growth.SBC: How integral has the use of the iSENSE 2.0 platform been to Yggdrasil’s growth?FE: Very early in the Yggdrasil journey, we decided to build our own platform that would smooth integrations and give us the flexibility to innovate. At the time, some considered this a risky move; most games developers didn’t bother with their own platform, and most were still developing games in Flash.We broke from the mould and were among the first to commit wholeheartedly to HTML5. We could only make that decision because of the deep, strategic understanding of the slots sector that we possess.Since then we’ve continued to develop our iSENSE platform. The most recent iteration, iSENSE 2.0+, features a new, minimalistic UI for both mobile and desktop and facilitates in-game deposits, allowing players to go to the deposit screen with a single click without leaving the game client. We will continue to innovate around iSENSE 2.0 as it is central to the Yggdrasil offering.SBC: Game certification is locally regulated and yet you aim to launch each game across your jurisdictions at the same time – how much of a challenge is this and why do you take this approach?FE: This has become less of a challenge and more a case of business as usual for us. We now have licences in the UK, Malta, Gibraltar and Romania, while also certifying games in Italy. We work with many major operators who are operating across multiple jurisdictions. It can be frustrating for these operators to see a game or feature working well in the UK but not be able to roll it out in Italy, for instance.That’s why we aim for simultaneous launches wherever possible, allowing operators to better coordinate marketing campaigns and budgets. Fortunately, we have one of gaming’s strongest legal and regulatory teams at hand to make this possible. We are particularly excited for the launch of our Jungle Books slot in September, which will go live at the same time in all our jurisdictions.SBC: Can you tell us about the choice of the company name – Yggdrasil? FE: We wanted a name that was easy to pronounce! If you look at the B2B gaming space, most opt for combinations of terms such as ‘Play’, ‘Gaming’ or ‘Net’. We felt we needed something more creative to reflect our approach to games.Yggdrasil is an immense tree in Norse mythology that connects nine worlds, and we felt it nicely reflected our Scandinavian roots. It also gave us the freedom to develop a strong brand and challenge conventions on how B2B gaming firms can be marketed.SBC: You were named Slot Provider of the Year for the second year running at the EGR B2B Awards; how important are such accolades? FE: These awards mean a lot because they are acknowledgment from our own industry that Yggdrasil is doing something different. I’ve long believed that if we as a sector do not constantly strive to push forward online casino, the whole industry will suffer.Obviously, our strong commercial performance is vindication that our model works, but these awards show that we are also fulfilling this mission. It is also fantastic that the hard work of the entire team is rewarded – none of this would be possible without the dedication and creativity of Yggdrasilians.SBC: You recently ran the Yggdrasil Coding Challenge in your Polish office – will you be going forward with more initiatives like this?FE: Recruitment is one of the major challenges both Yggdrasil and the broader gaming industry faces. We have grown quickly in Poland, and have recently opened a new office in Krakow city centre, on the site of an old brewery.To recruit the very best talent, we’ve realised we need to place Yggdrasil at the heart of the city’s technology and art communities. Events such as the Coding Challenge are a way of introducing Yggdrasil to these communities in a fun and creative way. These events have been well received so far, and we’ll certainly continue hosting similar functions. TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Submit StumbleUponlast_img read more

Harlequin Productions Musical Director Bruce Whitney Talks Twelfth Night

first_imgA Rock’n’Roll Twelfth Night runs through July 20 at Harlequin Productions. Tickets and info available at 360/786/0151 or harlequinproductions.com Facebook4Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Harlequin Productions Harlequin Productions Music Director Bruce Whitney co-wrote A Rock ‘n Roll Twelfth Night and composed the music.Musicals are incredibly complex things. Two or three hours of continuous music, song, dance, and dialogue, combine with costumes, props, and set pieces to create a large and intricate work of art. The concept of sitting down and attempting to create a new musical is a daunting proposition. But in the mid-90s, two brothers in the Olympia theater community did just that.The musical that Bruce and Scot Whitney wrote is currently being produced on stage at Harlequin Productions for the fourth time. I sat down with Harlequin Production’s Musical Director, Bruce Whitney, who composed the music for the show.So how did this all get started?In 1995, Harlequin did a production of The Rocky Horror Show and we had such a great time. I had done some underscoring for Harlequin, but had never musically directed anything before. We decided we wanted to do another rock’n’roll musical and thought it would be fun to try and write it ourselves. Early in 1996, Scot came up with the idea of turning Twelfth Night into a musical. At first I was little dubious. I remember asking Linda what she thought and she thought it was great. So, what the heck? I agreed.Where do you start when trying to do something as complex as this?In April 1996 we went through the Twelfth Night script and picked out which lines or scenes or defining moments could be turned into songs. We came up with twenty-odd songs, and I thought “Whoa! That’s a lot of songs!” We had just started on it when Harlequin (Scot!) announced that they would be producing the show in the summer of 1997 – one year away. What??!! I was bit terrified, I admit, but Scot was, of course, completely confident and excited.What was the writing process like?Mostly the way it worked was he would come up with a song title (usually based on a textual reference) and some possible lyrics. Then I’d fiddle around on the guitar or piano and come up with a melody and sort of the feel of the song. Then we’d get together and talk it over. It was really pretty remarkable, in retrospect, how easily most of the songs came together.Not every song worked that way though. I remember coming up with the melody and title for The Way I Feel Tonight, not having any idea if it would fit into the show. I played it for Scot, and he soon found the perfect place for it – where Orsino and Viola finally unite toward the end.Tell me about the trip to the Condo?That was in February 1997. We probably had about half the show written with only three months before rehearsals would begin. Ouch! We decided we needed to get away for a week to concentrate on it. [Harlequin actor] Andy Gordon’s mother owned a condo just north of Newport, Oregon, and she said to go ahead and use it. Perfect!We arrived there late on a Saturday. I set up my music equipment, guitars, and computer in the living room. He laid out his thesaurus, rhyming dictionary and Shakespeare upstairs in the bedroom. I recorded ideas onto a minidisc player (pretty high tech at the time!), and he’d write lyrics. We’d trade ideas back and forth.We started out pretty excited, but for whatever reason we just weren’t getting much done at first. Not much was really working. By Tuesday we decided something needed to start happening or we’d have to come with a new plan. Bam! That day we wrote 3 or 4 great songs. From then on it was like an assembly line.There was one time I remember we were taking a walk along the beach, and we were leaning on a big log. Scot says, ‘I have an idea for a song for Olivia (modeled after Madonna) where she says “Expose your love to me.’ And the melody and “feel” of the song came to me right away. Very Madonna, very seductive!Another one was “Halleboogaloodaday!” He made up the word for the song, and I thought “Huh?!” But it works! Fun song.Anyway, by the time we left, we only had a couple songs left to do. We still talk about how great that experience was.I know it must feel great whenever you musically direct a show and it’s received well. But how much better does it feel when it’s something you actually wrote?This one means way more. I’m just flabbergasted that we could do it. I feel like we did something special, you know? Anyway, people seem to love it, and that’s VERY satisfying.They certainly do. Popular demand keeps bringing it back again and again.Yeah and every time we do it I love it even more. And there’s yet another chance to make improvements. For instance, Lead Me On was added to the 2003 production (our third). We decided that the wedding scene with Olivia and Sebastian, late in the show, really needed a musical moment. We wrote it just a couple of weeks prior to opening. And it’s funny because that one almost sounds like something you’d hear on the radio. [Laughs] I think it could sell.Looking back, one of my favorite things about creating the show were the backup parts. They’re so much fun. And the backup singers have more work to do than anybody else. Singing and choreography in almost every song. Big accolades and a big thank you!This is a fascinating story and it ends up being an accomplishment between two brothers. How does it feel that you built this incredibly intricate show alongside your brother?The man is brilliant. He and Linda started this company in the early nineties and dragged me along for the ride. For the most part, I’ve written a lot of underscoring for almost all the Shakespeare’s and several of the other plays. Later, beginning with this show, I started adding “music director” to my resume. If it weren’t for him and the whole Harlequin experience, I wouldn’t be nearly as accomplished a composer and musician. And it was his complete confidence and complete faith that we could create this musical that kept us going. Oh, yeah, and check out his lyrics. They’re flippin’ incredible!I love that guy.last_img read more

Legislative Day for Washington Realtors

first_imgSubmitted by Dan Martinez, Broker/Realtor, Keller Williams Realty South SoundThurston County REALTORS® and Affiliates preparing to see local representatives at the Capitol.On January 22, I had the privilege of representing  Washington Realtors® at Hill Day.  Hill Day is an opportunity to learn Washington Legislature priorities, meet with our representatives, and provide feedback regarding our recommendations and concerns in support of a healthy economy and access to home ownership.Washington REALTORS® are the only organized group who represent homeowners’ issues in the state legislature.  16,500 members across 28 associations strive continuously to keep home ownership affordable and accessible.  In 2013, Washington REALTORS® fought to prevent increased taxation on the B&O tax allowing small businesses to keep millions of dollars for investment and services.  Washington REALTORS® strive to be non-partisan focusing on the issues affecting small business, homeownership, and community lifestyle.  Here are a few other causes REALTORS® support.Supported 50% approval for education levies.Elected property rights friendly officials.Supported the national Income Tax Forgiveness Act, preventing taxation  on debt relief for homeowners.Established high ethical standards for REALTORS® ensuring your interest is always our priority.Ride for the Brand“Ride for the Brand” was the opening theme for the Washington Association of Realtors for 2015.  Referring to the 7th Code of the West in Cowboy Ethics, Washington REALTORS® were encouraged to continue making a positive difference for the REALTOR® brand.  400 Washington Realtors and affiliates from around Washington State gathered January 22 to learn about the current state of local government and meet with their representatives to educate them on the potential impacts of their decisions regarding home ownership and the economy.Jim McIntireTax Base OutdatedWashington State Treasurer, Jim McIntire, was the first guest speaker to address the Washington REALTORS®.  McIntire outlined the basic functions of the State Treasury which includes  the management of $400 Billion in transactions and issuance of $20billion in debt-to-finance challenging projects.  The treasury also invests $4-$5B at any given time.  Active management of the state funds has saved $1B in interest payments and keeps the cost per transaction well below the industry standard.Washington enjoys an overall growing economy, however the tax base has not been growing at the same rate shrinking from 7% to 4.5%.  McIntire proceeded to explain that the currenttax base was established with a focus on “retail sales” while our economy has shifted to “service” based.  Low income residents and business have become “overtaxed”.The challenge is creating a tax base which more proportionately grows with the economy.First, Do no HarmWashington REALTORS® support tax structure changes which are broad based and not targeted at specific groups.   Tax solutions must Do No Harm to Real Estate Transactions and Small Business.  Washington’s real estate industry is stable, but still fragile – especially outside of King County.  Rates of homeownership are at historically low levels and many homeowners have yet to recover home equity lost in the recession.Education, Transportation and Infrastructure Funding Changes NeededKim Wyman, Secretary of StateWashington REALTORS® recognizes that changes are required in the state taxing structure and supports revenue neutral reforms in the structure of state and local property tax levies to comply with the McCleary decision and achieve a more balanced and predictable method of funding basic education for all school districts.Additionally, REALTORS® support a statewide transportation funding package that includes gas tax revenues dedicated to priority transportation projects as well as reforms to improve the use of transportation funds.  Projects must promote economic growth and public health.Don’t Expect a Kiss on the First DateKim Wyman, Secretary of State, encouraged REALTORS® and affiliates to make civic engagement a priority.  To be most effective, REALTORS® should meet with legislators outside of the legislative sessions and tell personal stories about how proposed bills will impact our business, our customers and our communities.  There are 800 registered lobbyists in Washington State and getting their attention is challenging during short in-session meetings.Wyman also informed REALTORS® of the value and financing struggles for the state library, and the Microsoft Virtual IT Academy which offers over 400 free on-line classes.Thanks for ListeningSteve Francks, CEO of Washington REALTORS®The Thurston County REALTORS® appreciate the time to speak with 22nd District Representative Sam Hunt and 22nd District Senator Karen Fraser.  The precious minutes of face time are critical for REALTORS® expressed their concerns for taxation of services and capital gains tax on property while continuing to support changes to Education, Transportation, and Infrastructure.Washington Realtors Accept Superbowl ChallengeBesides taking on local issues, the Washington REALTORS® also took on a challenge from the Massachusetts REALTORS® for Super Bowl bragging rights, but with one small caveat……they use our ball pump!  Steve Francks, CEO of Washington REALTORS® led the  charge as hundreds of REALTORS® cheered “SEEEEEEEEEA”……..”HAAAAAAAAAWKS!”Thank a RealtorBesides their commitment to assisting you purchase and sell homes, your REALTOR® is fighting for your ability to own a home comfortably and securely.  Remember to thank a REALTOR® for all they do for you.Thanks to all of the affiliates who took time out of their busy schedules to support REALTORS® during Hill Day.  AXIA Home Loans, Prime Lending Group, Cameo Home Inspections,  Carr Insurance Agency, Hydro-Physics, Done Right Home Repair, Thurston County Title Facebook23Tweet0Pin0last_img read more