Governor pitching seamy lottery plan

first_imgBut wait a second. This is not privatization. Privatizing the lottery means contracting out services to competing firms that offer the state the best value. Schwarzenegger is proposing something different: handing an entire governmental agency, along with its monopoly franchise and all of its revenues, to a private interest until today’s high school students are grandparents. The premise of the proposal is correct: The governor’s appointees have done an atrocious job of managing the lottery, and its bureaucracy has become grossly inefficient. That’s an argument for competitively contracting out management, promotion and advertising to private companies that specialize in these services, with the schools receiving the full benefit of the increased profits that result. If there is so much additional money to squeeze out of the lottery, shouldn’t that extra money be going to the schools and not to a consortium of investment bankers? Which brings us to the seamy side of the proposal: feverish efforts by a small contingent of politically well-connected investment interests to take over the state’s lottery monopoly. I don’t like the lottery and never have. But while it exists under the terms of the voter-approved California State Lottery Act, the state has a responsibility to maximize its returns for support of the schools, not for Lehman Brothers. AN old admonition, “When something seems too good to be true, it probably is,” virtually screams from accounts of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal to “privatize” the California Lottery. Actually, to give “credit” where it’s due, it’s a Goldman Sachs/Lehman Brothers proposal. The governor is the pitchman. The details are subject to negotiation, but the deal works something like this: The state turns over the California Lottery and monopoly control over lottery gambling in California to a private consortium – led by Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers, could it be? – for the next 40 years. In exchange, the consortium pays the state a lump sum of about $37 billion. With that money, the government sets up a $22 billion endowment fund that will guarantee the schools what they’re getting from the lottery now – about $1.1 billion a year. That leaves an extra $15 billion to paper over the governor’s deficit spending and borrowing spree for the next couple of years. Schwarzenegger’s spokesman calls it “a win-win for California on every front. “What’s not to like? According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, this year the state will spend $8 billion more than it takes in. At this rate of deficit spending, the state would blow through the entire $15 billion lump-sum payment from this 40-year “lease” in about two years. When that money has run out, when the monopolized private lottery is generating vast new sums directly into the pockets of this elite investment consortium, what will posterity say? That this was a “win-win” for California – or one of the most foolish and shameful deals in its history? Tom McClintock represents the 19th District in the California State Senate. Write to him by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Red Sox power to World Series victory over Dodgers, take Game 1

first_imgPreviousLos Angeles Dodgers’ Manny Machado hits an RBI fielders choice to score Brian Dozier during the fifth inning of Game 1 of the World Series baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson fails to catch a hit by Boston’s Andrew Benintendi (not pictured) during the seventh inning of Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night at Fenway Park in Boston. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)Dodgers …last_img read more

Boxing offers a way out of a life of crime

first_imgThe African Youth Boxing Club in Khayelitsha needs your help to keep youngsters off the streets. (Image: Lead SA)Township life has its harsh realities and those who have experienced them should try to uplift those youngsters who are at risk of being sucked into a life of crime, violence and drugs – Thembani “Terror” Gqeku, a former professional boxer, is that person.Gqeku runs the African Youth Boxing Club in Khayelitsha, which he established in 2011 to get more youngsters off the streets. He was driven to open his boxing club after he saw two youngsters trying to stab each other.Khayelitsha is a partially informal township in Western Cape, located on the Cape Flats in Cape Town. The name is isiXhosa for “new home”. It is reputed to be the largest and fastest-growing township in South Africa.“I was looking out of the window and saw two boys fighting with knives and I thought, ‘No, this is not right. Two people should not be fighting like this,’” Gqeku said.Gqeku is playing his part to develop his community and improve skills of those youngsters with whom he works. In his way, in his area, he is working to achieve the goals of the National Development Plan or Vision 2030.DISCIPLINEAlthough all townships have a reputation for violence and the youngsters need to know how to protect themselves, this is not the only thing they learn at the African Youth Boxing Club. “It teaches the youngsters discipline, style… how to survive in life and how to protect themselves,” said Gqeku.He took up boxing when he was just nine years old. It gave him a reason not to smoke, drink, or hang out with gangsters, as do so many other young boys in the township.Gqeku trains a total of 38 children, mostly boys, and aged seven to 15. Training happens six days a week but the schedule is informal. Children start arriving at 3pm and the class starts once enough children are at the gym.“If I get the boys into boxing, I get them out of crime… The boys who train with me, they think twice before committing crimes.”GYM DREAMSGqeku, who is unemployed and has five children of his own, runs the gym for free. “I’d love to have a kit for them,” he said. “My dream is that they can walk in the street and everyone will see that they are from African Youth Boxing Club.”Another need was for essential boxing equipment such as gum guards, boxing gloves, headgear and funds for the boxers to enter tournaments, he said. “When I think of all the challenges, I could cry but these are my boys and I will do anything for them.”He is not alone in his quest. South African township gyms have a long history of creating national and international boxing champions.Gqeku was named Lead SA’s Hero of the Month in September 2014. You can contact Lead SA if you would like to help African Youth Boxing Club.last_img read more

Will tight-fisted corn sales continue?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Corn prices continue to dominate the thoughts of producers this winter. They have plenty of 2016 corn yet to sell as shown by the quarterly grain stocks report from last month. This report had Dec. 1, 2016 U.S. corn stocks at 12.6 billion bushels, up 10% from December 2015, a new Dec. 1 record. Corn has been stuck in a trading range of $3.70 to $3.40 since the end of harvest last fall. Producers continue to seek prices closer to $4 to loosen the tightly closed bin doors sealed with a thud last fall. Corn basis levels at ethanol plants across Ohio have fallen 10 to 15 cents from levels seen early last month. You can easily wonder why basis levels had declined in spite of little movement from producers. Commercials were actively selling corn hedged on inbound receipts from last fall. They were capturing basis improvement while coring and emptying bins to add to the bottom line. Producers want a different factor to add to their bottom line. Many producers seem determined to capture higher flat prices even if they have to keep the corn stored in farm bins for the next several months.Producers have to be encouraged by corn price action seen numerous days last month. On multiple occasions corn traded lower almost all day long, only to close unchanged or up two to three cents for the day. Both corn export sales and shipments were often above trade expectations last month. Producers are also encouraged by market sentiment that has taken corn away from the bearish mentality seen much of last fall’s record harvest. The market mentality for both corn and wheat is now: “It can’t really be bearish at $3.50 to $3.60 for corn and $4.00 to $4.10 for wheat.” Keep in mind that “not bearish” does not translate into a bullish scenario.Soybean prices continue to be above expectations of traders and producers alike. Last month, old crop March CBOT soybeans reached $10.80 while new crop November CBOT soybeans reached $10.40. These prices were above those seen for much of December 2016. Producers were very actively selling both old and new crop soybeans last month. Those new crop prices brought 2017 soybeans near or even above the $10 level. Those are prices at which producers can make money. It is no surprise that many producers have already sold 20% to 50% of expected 2017 soybean production.In spite of producers being active sellers for 2017 soybeans, they are tight-fisted selling 2017 corn. They want higher prices than those seen late last month when December CBOT reached $3.95. Instead, they desire prices of $4.10 to $4.25 before loosening their grip and selling new crop corn.At this writing the U.S. is one week into the President Trump administration. He signed numerous executive orders, determined to advance the agenda he vowed to implement if elected. Producers are holding their breath to see if they will be winners or losers with this new President.March CBOT corn reached $3.71 on Jan. 25, only to run out of steam and close six cents lower. Some link that $3.71 peak for corn to the action of President Trump. Two important questions seem to be looming for corn in coming months. Short term, “Does the mention of a 20% import tax on products into the U.S. from Mexico potentially damage U.S. corn exports into Mexico and stall corn prices?  Longer term, “Will 2017 be the fourth consecutive year of above trend line U.S. corn yields?” Many producers say “no.” They patiently anticipate a spring price rally from weather concerns.The USDA will be releasing two important reports in the next six weeks. The first will be from their Outlook Conference the third week of February when the 10-year baseline projections are released. Second, USDA will release their March 31 planting intentions report. Corn acres for 2017 could be near 90 million acres, while soybean acres could be 88 to 90 million acres.last_img read more

The Last Word On Cold Calling Versus Social Media

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now I believe in social selling. I believe that the tool kit that is social media has made the world much smaller, has given us an easier way to learn about our clients, and has provided a much easier way to both connect and nurture relationships.I have won major accounts with relationships that were begun on social media, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and this blog. Social media and inbound marketing are helpful and sometimes effective tools.But it is criminal negligence to suggest to salespeople that they no longer need to make cold calls (or pick up the telephone).It’s easy to recommend that salespeople not pick up the phone when you don’t carry a bag. It’s easy to tell salespeople not to make cold calls when you don’t have a quota. It’s easy to tell salespople that the old ways of selling have died when your business model allows you to acquire clients more easily through social media and your blog.If what you sell is designed to help salespeople better use social, it’s easy to sell the idea that they will no longer have to make their calls. But it is criminal negligence. You’re hurting people.Would you take your own advice if you were that salesperson or their manager. Would you abandon the phone if your family was counting on you to support them? Would you stick with social media alone if you didn’t have a blog–or were forbidden to keep one? If you were a sales manager, would you stake your job on a prospecting plan that included social selling and inbound alone when opportunity creation is one of the biggest challenges any sales organization faces?If the only way you can sell something is by convincing people that they can have the results they need without having to do what is necessary, you aren’t helping people. You’re selling snake oil. An honest approach would be to tell salespeople the truth, namely that they need to be able to use all prospecting methods available, including social selling. Not to use social media to prospect would also be criminal negligence.last_img read more

Spurs edge Mavericks in Dirk Nowitzki’s last NBA game

first_imgDallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki waves to fans after the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 105-94. This was Nowitzki’s last NBA game before retiring after 21 seasons with the Mavericks. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)SAN ANTONIO — Dirk Nowitzki said goodbye to the NBA the same way he came into the league, smoothly draining a jumper over a defender to punctuate a passionate performance.It was only fitting that Nowitzki’s final shot came against the San Antonio Spurs, a team he terrorized in the regular season and postseason. This time, however, the tears it stirred were tears of joy.ADVERTISEMENT Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated “It was fantastic again tonight,” Nowitzki said. “Felt almost like a home game, honestly.”The Spurs couldn’t afford any sentimentality with playoff positioning at stake, and they didn’t show any. San Antonio raced to a double-figure lead and led by as many as 22 points.The Spurs finished seventh in the Western Conference as a result of Oklahoma City’s 127-116 victory over Milwaukee. They will face second-seeded Denver in the opening round of the playoffs.The regular-season finale turned out to be a win for everyone. San Antonio won, Nowitzki led the Mavericks in scoring and Popovich, the Spurs and San Antonio’s fans got to say goodbye to the future Hall of Famer.“He was having a lot of fun tonight, I was really happy for him,” Popovich said.ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess LaMarcus Aldridge had 34 points and 16 rebounds and the Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-94 Wednesday night in Nowitzki’s final game.“Everybody, players, fans, coaches and staff got to witness history watching him play his last game,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “He played a fine game, which was great. It’s not surprising.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsNowitzki finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the finale of his storied 21-season career — all with the Mavericks. Nowitzki announced he was retiring Tuesday night following Dallas’ final home game of the season.Wednesday’s sell-out crowd cheered wildly each time Nowitzki entered the game or touched the ball and let out a collective groan when he missed a shot. He was serenaded with chants of “MVP!” throughout the game by the crowd filled with patrons wearing his No. 41 jersey. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew It was appropriate that Nowitzki’s final game came against the Spurs, who he has had many memorable battles against. Perhaps the most memorable was the 2006 Western Conference finals against San Antonio. After the Spurs battled back from a 3-1 series deficit and a 20-point lead in Game 7, Manu Ginobili fouled Nowitzki on a layup with 21.6 seconds remaining. Nowitzki made the free throw to forge a tie and the Mavs went on to win in overtime on the way to the franchise’s first NBA Finals appearance.“If it’s not at home, this kind of works perfect,” Nowitzki said of San Antonio. “This team was always sort of the big brother. They were beating us and then we kind of found a way to get through them in ’06. To me, probably still one of the best playoff series I’ve been a part of and probably some of the best basketball in that series that I’ve ever played in my life.”Nowitzki was able to turn back the clock, shooting 8 for 21 in 32 minutes, including going 2 for 6 on 3-pointers. His final shot was a 20-footer over Spurs rookie Drew Eubanks with 49.7 seconds remaining.Dallas coach Rick Carlisle subbed Nowitzki following the shot, leading to an ovation of cheers and chants of “Dirk” and “MVP.”“It’s cool playing against Dirk tonight,” Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan said. “Seeing him out there and playing against one of the greatest of all time for the last time, it was cool. Hopefully, I got a good photo op.”Derozan finished with 19 points and Derrick White added 14 for the Spurs, who finished with a 49-34 record.Justin Jackson and Courtney Lee added 14 points each for Dallas, which was without Rookie of the Year candidate Luka Doncic.TIP-INSMavericks: Nowitzki averaged 15.3 minutes and started 20 games this season, the lowest numbers of his career. He started 24 games as a rookie while playing 20.4 minutes. … Nowitzki has played 38 games in San Antonio, tied for the third-highest total of any player. Utah legends Karl Malone and John Stockton each played 46 games in San Antonio. Denver’s Alex English played 39, and Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon played 38. … Doncic missed three of Dallas’ final four games due to a thigh injury. He missed back-to-back games against Memphis with a bruised right thigh, played 32 minutes against Phoenix, and missed the team’s finale with a bruised left thigh.Spurs: Bryn Forbes finished with 10 points in 26 minutes. . San Antonio only had four players in double figures. MOST READ THANK YOU, DIRKThe Spurs played a 1 ½-minute tribute video in honor of Nowitzki, highlighting his 21 seasons in the NBA.Nowitzki looked up to watch the video on the big screen at the AT&T Center, but had to turn away as he began to cry.“The first 20, 30 seconds, I was kind of holding it (in),” Nowitzki said. “I was like, ‘That’s sweet,’ and then it just kind of all came out. I’m not sure why. Not only did they show highlights from my career, but they showed highlights from me beating up on the Spurs, which was even more incredible.”UP NEXTMavericks: The offseason.Spurs: First round of the Western Conference playoffs against Denver.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments PBA D-League: Petron-Letran halts Ironcon-UST’s unbeaten run LATEST STORIES PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power gridlast_img read more