It’s our job to make you feel welcome’

first_imgBy NICOLE McALEE News Writer Clad in bright yellow jackets and hats and tasked with organizing a crowd of more than 80 thousand people, the ushers of Notre Dame Stadium are a staple for students and visitors for home football weekends.  Though ushers are perhaps most recognizable for working at football games, Jim Smith, crowd control program manager for the Notre Dame Athletics Facilities staff, said they stay busy throughout the year. “We staff about 140 events a month for about 80 thousand man-hours a year,” Smith said. Smith, who is in his third season as director of ushers and his 21st year in the ushering program, said he oversees an estimated 700 ushers per home football game and has over 900 ushers on the roster. Among them are residents of 22 states, one Canadian, Notre Dame alumni, faculty, staff and an ex-Notre Dame football player.  Mack Smgielski has been ushering at Notre Dame for 32 years. He said his history with Notre Dame Stadium, however, goes back a bit farther. “When I was about 10 years old, in 1958, I helped my older sister sell souvenirs outside the stadium,” Smgielski. “Then, in the mid-70s, I helped give traffic reports on game days from the Indiana State Police helicopter. In 1980, I entered the usher program working traffic and parking around the stadium.” When the addition to the stadium was completed in 1997, Smigielski said he became a stadium usher.  Ken Leamon, another longtime usher, said his first experience  as an usher was in 1982 when he worked at a night game against Michigan in Notre Dame Stadium.  Leamon said he most enjoys seeing people encounter Notre Dame for the first time.  “I’m here because I love it,” Leamon said. “You get people who have never been here before, and they just can’t get over how beautiful the campus is. They immediately fall in love with the place.” Although Leamon retired in 2007, he continues to drive a golf cart on football weekends and to give stadium tours to visitors.  Smith said the new open seating policy in the student section has been more successful than he expected.  “It’s different,” Smith said.  “It’s new enough that we haven’t worked out all the bugs yet, but it went a lot better in the first game than I anticipated it would have gone.”   Smigielski said he is pleased with the new seating arrangements.  “With the new open seating policy, the students seem to be much happier and cordial to each other and the section ushers because they are with their friends, which relieves stress on the students and the ushers,” Smigielski said. “I think the new open seating policy is terrific.”  Ushers are important because they leave a lasting impression of the University on visitors, Smith said.  “The reason the ushers are here are not to be the fun police,” Smith said. “We try to be ambassadors for the University. Most of the people who come here on game day aren’t going to see Father Jenkins. … They’re going to interact with an usher. So the impression that usher leaves is going to be the impression of the University, so we try to make that as positive an experience as possible.  “It’s our job to make you feel welcome. It’s the team’s job to make you feel unwelcome.” Contact Nicole McAlee at nmcalee@nd.edulast_img read more

CU tax status one of the best investments a gov’t can make

first_img continue reading » The tax treatment conveyed on credit unions continues to serve the purpose for which it was created and is one of the best investments that the government makes in its citizens, concludes a new white paper from CUNA on the credit union tax status. CUNA released the white paper to show the numerous benefits realized by Americans due to credit unions’ presence in the market, and how any change to the credit union tax status would result in a significant loss of those benefits.“Taxing credit unions would result in negative consequences for savers and borrowers, the most severe of which would be the erosion of a credit union option for millions of Americans. If taxed, a significant number of larger credit unions would likely convert to banks and an equally significant number of smaller credit unions would likely liquidate,” the paper reads. “The remaining credit unions would have to pass the burden of taxation through to their members because they are wholly owned cooperatives, increasing the cost of accessing mainstream financial services. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

These are the property markets the experts predict are rising

first_imgBrisbane’s house market has been identified as a rising market.PROPERTY valuers have identified the Queensland property markets which are set to improve this year.The latest Herron Todd White month in review report identified the housing market in Brisbane as a rising market, with Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Hervey Bay, Ipswich, Maleny and Townsville as all starting to rise.In the unit market it was the Sunshine Coast which was identified as a rising market and outer and regional areas which were showing promise as well.Emerald, Hervey Bay, Ipswich and Townsville were all identified as starting their recovery.The report said there was plenty of activity within Brisbane’s middle ring, about 15 kms from the CBD.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoIt said the pick of middle ring opportunities in Brisbane would be areas such as Stafford, Stafford Heights and Chermside West, where you could pick up a house for between $500,000 and $600,000 which could be updated.As the inner circle becomes less and less price accessible, the popularity of middle ring homes will rise,’’ the report said.“While we aren’t yet predicting runaway boom time price growth, all the signs are that owners can expect to see steady, ongoing value gains throughout the market cycle.’’The report said on the Sunshine Coast the suburbs Battery Hill, Currimundi and Golden Beach continued to remain popular.“Older houses at $500,000 or under are in high demand, that is if you can find one,’’ it said.Within the Maroochy Shire, it said Nambour and suburbs such as Burnside, Coes Creek,Landsborough, Beerwah and Yandina remained relatively affordable with entry points at about $350,000 to $400,000.last_img read more

Investors welcome greater transparency for infrastructure debt

first_imgInvestors have reacted positively to the European Union’s call for greater transparency on infrastructure lending.Last week, the European Commission threw its support behind a number of proposals to encourage long-term financing by institutions other than banks.The Commission argued that member states should publish infrastructure investment plans and ensure credit information on infrastructure loans is readily available in a central database.David Cooper, executive director for European debt investments at IFM, welcomed the directive. “It’s absolutely what’s needed in my view,” he said. “Infrastructure debt is a great asset class, but it’s sometimes hard to evidence that statistically.”More data, Cooper said, will help institutional investors understand the sector’s risk/ return profile.From his time in the UK banking sector, Cooper said the exchange of infrastructure loan data had led to greater understanding of the sector’s risk profile among lenders.Produced annually since 1983 by Moody’s, the rating agency’s Default and Recovery Rates for Project Finance Bank Loans sees a consortium of banks pool information on an anonymous basis.The global study reviews data from 4,425 projects, which account for some 54.2% of all project finance transactions originated since 1983.Cooper believes similar measures for the institutional sector would be advantageous.More transparency in the infrastructure loan market has previously been raised by German pension association aba, which in January suggested the European Investment Bank should help in assessing projects.The Commission said it would evaluate the feasibility of “collecting and, where possible, making available comprehensive credit statistics on infrastructure loans and setting up a single-point compilation of project bond issue data”.Macquarie, which was recently awarded a £200m (€241m) mandate by a UK pension scheme for a new inflation-linked debt fund, said it welcomed any initiative that helped “rid barriers to pension fund investment in infrastructure”.Andrew Robertson, head of investor structuring and strategy at Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS), said: “These initiatives, focused on transparency and data quality, together with the launch of pooled fund solutions, will be important enablers for the broader participation of pension funds in the infrastructure debt asset class and ultimately help drive growth across Europe.”Lazard Asset Management’s Global Listed Infrastructure Fund portfolio manager Warryn Robertson said disclosure and transparency across the sector did need improvement.“Infrastructure is where REITs were 20 years ago – so improvements to disclosure and transparency could be made, and it would be good to see more people buying into that,” he said.last_img read more

​Norway’s SWF hands wish list on shareholder voting to EU

first_imgThe manager of the Norwegian oil fund has highlighted a series of stumbling blocks that currently hinder shareholder voting in the European Union, and given the European Commission (EC) a list of five improvements it would like to see materialise in the future Capital Markets Union (CMU).Responding to the EC’s consultation on the final report of the High-Level Forum (HLF) on capital markets union, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) said: “Voting is one of the most important tools for investors to manage their responsibilities and exercise their rights as owners.“Yet, investors sometimes encounter obstacles when exercising their voting rights,” the manager of the NOK10.4tn (€974bn) Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) wrote in a letter to the Commission.The letter’s signatories Carine Smith Ihenacho, NBIM’s chief corporate governance officer and Séverine Neervoort, senior analyst, corporate governance at the Norwegian central bank division, said they were only addressing the chapter of the report in which the HLF made recommendations on shareholder identification, exercise of voting rights and corporate actions. The pair welcomed the forum’s recommendation to revise the Shareholder Rights Directive, in order to address issues of manual processes, lack of standardisation and fragmentation in the EU single market, and suggested five measures:Receiving confirmation from issuers of resolutions having been voted in line with shareholders’ instructions should be automatic, rather than the current proposal that owners should simply be given the right to obtain such confirmation;A common approach regarding the deadline to cast votes should be introduced;Votes should be counted systematically, with vote tallies being published, and there should be transparency on voting outcome per agenda item;There should be a straightforward administrative process for power of attorney in order to facilitate cross-border voting, and the electronic tabulation of votes should always be permitted;Common definitions in EU legislation for concepts like ‘record date’ or ‘shareholder’ would help avoid legislative fragmentation and shed light on end investors rather than intermediaries.Though Norway is a member of the peripheral European Free Trade Association and not an EU member, NBIM said it had €130bn invested in equities in the union and was an active owner aiming “to promote long-term value creation in the companies in which it invests”.In May, NBIM published a paper on the voting process, expressing what it saw as efficient practice and how key stakeholders could help improve things.More recently, the Oslo-based manager has spoken out on shareholder voting on sustainability proposals, saying some green motions now being put forward concentrated on tangential issues or tried to micro-manage company boards.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

Wintershall Dea cheers fresh Nova milestone with most of subsea hardware now in place

first_imgThe project will deliver hydrocarbons via two new subsea templates to the nearby Neptune Energy-operated Gjøa platform. The operation was supported by Rosenberg Worley, which was also conducting other critical work on the Nova topside aboard Gjøa. Through the newly installed risers, Gjøa will provide injection water and lift gas to the Nova field and receive the hydrocarbon well stream. After the summer, the risers will be tied-in to the pipelines, tested and finalized for commissioning and production start. Wintershall Dea said in an update on Thursday that, following the installation, the risers are now ready to connect the underwater pipelines to the Gjøa platform. German oil and gas company Wintershall Dea has completed another milestone for its operated Nova project, which is located offshore Norway, following the installation of the risers on the North Sea field. A couple of years ago, Wintershall Dea hired the Seadrill-operated West Mira rig for the Nova drilling campaign. The installation was planned to coincide with a general shutdown of the St Fergus onshore terminal, to make it cost-effective. National Oilwell Varco designed and fabricated the risers in Kalundborg, Denmark. They were picked up by Subsea 7’s Seven Arctic vessel which installed them on the Nova field, 120 kilometres northwest of Bergen. center_img As part of the riser installation, the Gjøa platform was shut down for two weeks, allowing the new subsea hardware to be connected to the Nova topside module. “With all the pipelines and risers now in place, we are nearing finalization of the Nova subsea scope. The next step will be to start drilling”. The Nova subsea campaign kicked off last May with the installation of two manifolds in the templates on the seabed of the Nova field development. With the field’s two underwater templates and manifolds in place, the pipeline systems installed and modifications to Gjøa well underway, Wintershall Dea now looks toward the start of the Nova drilling campaign. Dennis L. Dickhausen, Wintershall Dea Nova Facilities Vice President, said: “The riser installation is a big milestone for the subsea part of the Nova development. It is the last piece of the puzzle in completing the subsea pipeline systems. The risers tie two production pipelines, as well as a water injection and a gas lift pipeline, to the specially constructed Nova module that was installed on the host platform Gjøa in May 2020. The oil company also noted that most of the Nova subsea hardware is now in place.last_img read more

‘Unacceptable’ level of NZ high school students forced to have sex: report

first_imgNZ Herald 10 August 2016Family First Comment: When a society removes its moral boundaries and promotes sexual promiscuity and pornography and ‘do what feels good’, then we should not be surprised by this trend – sadly. The moral boundaries were there for a good reason. More than one in 10 high school students say they have been the victim of unwanted sexual activity by their boyfriend or girlfriend.A nationwide survey has found that 15 per cent of secondary students report they were subject to an unwanted sexual experience, with more than half saying it happened when they were aged 14 or under.The findings come from the just published University of Auckland report into Sexual and reproductive health and sexual violence among New Zealand secondary school students.Girls were more than twice as likely to report unwanted sexual contact as boys.In most instances the person forcing the child into the situation was a boyfriend, girlfriend or friend.“This level of unwanted sexual contact is unacceptably high,” said the university’s Adolescent Health Research Group lead researcher Dr Terryann Clark.READ MORE: read more

Smith, Czarapata, Pruitt, VanDenberg are Saturday night Super Nationals champions

first_imgBOONE, Iowa (Sept. 7) – Dylan Smith heads the list of first-time champions crowned Saturday night at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. Smith led the last 10 circuits in winning the Modified main event at Boone Speedway. Restarts erased each of Chris Mills’ big leads and helped open the door for Smith, who then had to hold off Jon Snyder following a late restart.“I knew if we could stay in the top four we’d have a shot at it in the end,” said Smith, who earned $5,800 for his efforts, including a $3,800 Speedway Motors Weekly Racing bonus. “I really didn’t want to see that yellow come with two laps to go but it all worked out.” Keith White and Shawn Kilgore completed the top four. Kilgore had started 15th.Joining Smith on stage for the traditional Saturday champions’ photo were Brandon Czarapata, Stock Cars; Brandon Pruitt, Hobby Stocks; and Carter VanDenberg, Northern SportMods. Mike Nichols had checked out on everybody before the first caution came 20 laps into the 30-lap Stock Car main. Czarapata slipped past on the ensuing restart, bringing Brian Irvine along. Irvine got loose in the second set of turns following a late restart. Jay Schmidt, 18th starting Damon Murty and Kyle Vanover rounded out the top four. Runner-up in 2011 and 2012, Pruitt led the distance in the Hobby show despite the best efforts of Chris Luloff and David Rieks.Luloff, Rieks and Bill Bonnett ended 2-3-4. VanDenBerg led all 30 circuits in the SportMod main. Doug Smith ran second most of the way and finished in that position; Clint Luellen gained third for good with four laps left and Brett Lowry was fourth.Dustin Smith topped the Harris Auto Racing Race of Champions for Modifieds right after brother Donavon repeated as winner of the Sunoco Face Fuels Race of Champions for Stock Cars.Randy Embrey was the Karl Chevrolet Hobby Stock Race of Champions king and Bobby Anders bested the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod Race of Champions for Northern SportMods, leading all 10 circuits despite a deflating front left tire.Drivers from 25 states competed at the 31st annual event and Canadian competitors Kody Scholpp and Aaron Turnbull put the International were seventh and ninth, respectively, in the Modified dance.Mike Jergens did double duty, finishing 11th in the Stock Car feature and 33rd in the Modified go.last_img read more

Wolla, Zenz are IMCA winners at Dacotah

first_imgMANDAN, N.D. (June 22) – A mid-race caution erased his big advantage but The Big Show couldn’t be caught Friday at Dacotah Speedway.Defending national champion Jason Wolla was the IMCA Modified feature winner at Mandan while Jer­emy Keller finished a season-best second. Tom Berry Jr.’s last-lap pass of Shawn Strand to net third.Craig Kastner made his second visit to victory lane at Mandan this season following the Mach-1 Sport Compact main event. Runner-up was Christopher Zenz.last_img

Lallana had no doubts over signings

first_img Lazar Markovic and Mario Balotelli, two of seven arrivals in pre-season, both scored in the crucial 3-2 win over Champions League-chasing rivals Tottenham. Emre Can has emerged as a classy performer since being installed in a back three on Boxing Day while Alberto Moreno now appears to have made the left-sided midfield role his own. “We have got everything to play for,” added Lallana. “We can go higher than fourth, we can hit third place. We’ve got Daniel Sturridge back now and it was great for him to get through 70 minutes (on his first start since August 31). “You could tell by the reaction at the final whistle how big a result it was. “It does enormous things to your confidence, Tottenham are a different team to the one we played earlier in the season. “Having a big mentality is massive, especially when you are at a club like Liverpool and have all these games to play. “We’ve learned a lot from the difficulties we faced at the start of season.” Before they can look to put pressure on third-placed Saints, Liverpool have to turn their attention to the FA Cup. This weekend they have a fifth-round tie at Crystal Palace, where a 3-1 defeat back in November prompted Brendan Rodgers into a rethink of his strategy which ultimately resulted in the 3-4-3 formation in which so many players are now flourishing. “It’s a massive game,” said Lallana. “We got taught a lesson by Palace earlier in the season. We owe them one.” Lallana himself has contributed in flashes, although he has been hindered by a number of injuries, and he has been impressed by the influence some of the newer players have had recently. “People were questioning the new signings at the beginning of the season but not for one minute was I questioning them,” said the England international after Liverpool extended their unbeaten league run to nine matches. “It was always going to take a little bit of time as they’re young players. Now they’ve settled in we’re starting to see the rewards. “You look at the likes of Lazar and Emre, a lot of the new players are settling in well and we’re seeing that out on the field. “I’m pleased for Mario and that goal will be great for him. He needs to keep working hard, because when he works hard and comes on like that the fans warm to him and people react and he can score goals. “If he does that and keeps putting the effort in then the goals will come. “We’ve got a great squad and we’re gaining momentum. We were missing Raheem (Sterling) but Lazar came in and got his goal and it was a massive three points for us.” Victory over Spurs lifted Liverpool to within three points of fourth-placed Arsenal and with their next league match away to third-placed Southampton later this month suddenly two places in the top four appear to be within their reach. Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana never doubted his fellow summer signings and now they are starting to gel he believes a top-three spot is not beyond them. Press Associationlast_img read more