New Visitors Center In Soldotna Inching Closer To A Reality

first_imgThe Soldotna Chamber is staffing up to launch a capital campaign to raise money to construct the new building. The Chamber will be meeting with the Soldotna City Council at 4:30 p.m., this evening to discuss the next step forward for the project. With more than 700,000 tourists passing through the Kenai Peninsula each year, the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce has outgrown the current visitor’s center. Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shanon Davis: “We are looking at what we can do with about a 10,000 square foot building. It would put us in a much better location. It would give us quite a bit more square footage than what we have now.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on May 10th, 2018 at 09:19 amPhoto updated on 5/10 courtesy of Shannon Davis  Davis said the square shaped meeting room will be about the same size as the meeting space in the Sports Center, and would hold about 225 small conference attendees.center_img The Chamber has contracted with MRV Architects to design the building that will cost around $5.1 million to build. The location for the new visitors center is slated for the Davis Block property, a piece of riverfront property next to Soldotna Creek Park. The current Chamber of Commerce building is at the corner of the Sterling highway and K-Beach Road, and according to Davis doesn’t fit the needs of the organization.last_img read more

MPA Launches Playful New Ad Campaign

first_imgIn 2005, the MPA formed the Magazine Marketing Coalition, in part, to promote the relevancy of magazines in an increasingly digital world. With its members taking huge hits in newsstand and advertising sales in 2008, the Magazine Publishers of America today announced a new ad campaign—dubbed “Under the Influence of Magazines”—to tout the “strong” role magazines play in influencing consumers’ purchasing intent and behavior online.The campaign, created by the agency Toy New York, is scheduled to launch on September 8 with three tongue-in-cheek print ads and seven online ads in advertising trade press and in complimentary copies of MPA member magazines. The ads point to a mini-site,, which claims that magazines are the number one medium in driving search among 18- to 44-year-olds, influencing automotive purchase (66 percent more influential than television) and packaged goods intent.In a twist, the ads will include a spate of product placement—Adidas, Häagen-Dazs and Mini Cooper, winners of the recent Kelly Awards competition for magazine advertising. (The MPA says the companies are not paying for inclusion in the campaign.)The MPA has tried the humor route before to promote the power of magazines, with questionable success. In 2006, the association created a fictional superhero, “Captain Read,” in a $50,000 campaign that was criticized by some of its members as a waste of dues.last_img read more

Air Force Reports Diverting 66 Million for PFASPFOA Contamination Cleanup

first_img ADC AUTHOR The Air Force has submitted a letter to Senate Democrats acknowledging it has diverted more than $66 million from other contamination remediation projects toward PFOA/PFOS cleanup, CQ reported Thursday.Sen. Thomas Carper (D-Del.), Environment and Public Works Committee ranking member, released the letter Thursday detailing that funds from fiscal 2018 and 2019 BRAC accounts were used to clean up sites contaminated by past use of PFAS-based firefighting foam, according to the report.The letter is in response to congressional Democrats’ pressure on the Pentagon to account for whether it has adequate dedicated funding to clean up the contaminants.Maureen Sullivan, the top DOD official leading the agency’s environmental cleanup, said in a March House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing that PFOA/PFOS contamination would cost “approximately $2 billion.”Carper and Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) followed with a letter to acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan requesting details on its nationwide PFOA/PFOS clean-up plans, including “all diversions, or planned diversions” of funds intended for other cleanup projects. They said they had “been informed that in at least one instance, the United States Air Force has diverted funds intended for a site cleanup of non-PFAS contamination to PFAS-related cleanup efforts.”Ellen Lord, under secretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment, replied June 5 that the “Air Force BRAC has diverted $66 million from non-PFOS/PFOA cleanup projects.”In a news release Thursday, Carper said Congress “needs to ensure that the Department of Defense has the resources needed to fully address” its “liabilities related to the DOD-related PFAS contamination in our communities.”Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameenlast_img read more

Apples rare sales warning sparks iPhone fatigue fears

first_imgAngela Lang/CNET Apple’s new lineup of iPhones didn’t have a happy holiday. And a rare sales forecast slash may bode poorly for the rest of the year.In a letter to investors on Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook warned that the company’s fiscal first-quarter revenue would be weaker than previously expected. It now sees sales of $84 billion, well below the range of $89 billion to $94 billion that it forecast in November. Its gross margin is now expected to be approximately 38 percent, a tick below the range of 38 percent to 38.5 percent range it previously forecast, suggesting a shift to lower-priced, less profitable products.A warning from Apple, one of the most valuable and profitable companies in the world, is a rare occurrence that hasn’t happened in at least 15 years. The weaker holiday season — a critical period in which most of Apple’s iPhones are sold — will fan growing belief that the company is struggling with consumer fatigue for its popular smartphone and that sales may be on a downward slide. The company raised a red flag in November when it said it would stop disclosing how many units it sells each quarter. “iPhone units are likely down, and I believe prices on the more premium, higher-priced phones are down due to holiday discounting,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights. The warning prompted concerns similar to those Apple endured more than a decade ago, when it missed its fiscal fourth-quarter numbers amid an economic downturn. Then-CEO Steve Jobs broke his practice of skipping analyst calls in order to quell investor fear, reiterating that Apple would be fine. (He was right.)That hasn’t stopped detractors from jumping on the warning. On Wednesday, law firm Bernstein Liebhard said it was investigating whether Apple mislead investors and committed securities fraud. An Apple spokesman wasn’t immediately available to comment on the law firm’s actions.Apple shares fell 7 percent to $147 in trading after the market close on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, shares fell another 9.5 percent to $142.88, before rebounding 1.6 percent to $144.52 in early Friday trading.Blame ChinaThis time, the economic downturn isn’t in the US. Cook blamed much of the shortfall on China, where the company underestimated a decelerating economy. The company saw a decline in sales of iPhones, Macs and iPads in the country.Cook cited macro factors like trade friction between the US and China, the world’s two biggest economies.”We believe the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States,” Cook said. See It $999 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Apple Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? 7:35 See All Comments See It Apple iPhone XS What to expect from Apple in 2019 $999 Beyond demand in China, Cook also blamed a decrease in carrier subsidies, price increases in foreign markets caused by a strong US dollar and customers taking advantage of cheaper battery replacements. Cook pointed the finger as well at a slowing smartphone market, which has taken a toll on other big players, like Samsung. But Avi Greengart, an analyst at Global Data, says Apple’s not taking into account the rise of players like China’s Huawei, the second-largest phone maker in the world. Or Oppo, which owns the hot upstart player OnePlus. “Apple does have a strong franchise in China, but it is not immune from competition,” Greengart said.In an interview with CNBC, Cook said a host of new products introduced in the quarter contributed to the sales miss.”We had an unprecedented number of new products during the quarter. We had new watches, we had new iPad Pros,” Cook told the financial network. “Both of these were constrained for all or most of the quarter.”Still, he remains bullish.”We had sort of a collection of items going on.” Cook told CNBC. “Some that are macroeconomic and some that are Apple-specific. And we’re not going to sit around waiting for the macro to change — I hope that it does and I’m actually optimistic — but we’re going to focus really deeply on the things we can control.”Questions about demandApple was already facing questions about demand for its next lineup of iPhones. In the latter months of 2018, Apple introduced the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, which offered modest upgrades like a faster processor and, in the case of the Max, a big size increase. The other new product was the lower-priced iPhone XR, which came in different colors and cost less than the iPhone XS because of its cheaper components. Addressing concerns that the new iPhones weren’t selling well, Apple said the iPhone XR has been its top-selling iPhone since its launch, which came a month after that of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. But the iPhone XR sits in an awkward position. It doesn’t have the latest and greatest specs to satisfy the hardcore Apple fanboy, but at $750, it is still an expensive upgrade for consumers used to a baseline $650 for a new iPhone. In the meantime, Apple’s older iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models remain available for consumers who don’t want to break the bank for a new smartphone. Apple has been shifting its strategy so it’s less reliant on the iPhone and generating more of its revenue from services like iTunes, the App Store and its upcoming streaming video service. “The services business will have a longer impact than hardware sales,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies.First published Jan. 2 at 1:42 p.m. PT. Update 1:57 p.m.: To include further detailsUpdate 2:14 p.m.: To include further details, stock market price and background.Update 2:55 p.m.: To include analyst comments.Update 3:10 p.m.: To include further comment from Tim Cook from a CNBC interview.Update 4:40 p.m.: To include more Tim Cook comments.Update Jan. 3 at 6:40 a.m.: To include a new stock quote and analyst comment.Update Jan. 4 at 6:42 a.m.: To include new stock quote and detail about law firm investigation. Apple: See what’s up with the tech giant as it releases new iPhones and more.Does the Mac still matter? Apple execs explain why the MacBook Pro was over four years in the making, and why we should care. Now playing: Watch this: Tags Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 See it Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Boost Mobile $999 $999 See It Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Share your voice reading • Apple’s rare sales warning sparks iPhone fatigue fears • Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Phones 77 Sprint Best Buy Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Applelast_img read more

Deepika Padukone Ranveer Singh disappoint their fans on their first Holi post

first_imgRanveer Singh, Deepika PadukoneInstagramDeepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have always been the most talked about couple in Bollywood be it for their onscreen crackling chemistry or offscreen. The two have never let their fans down with their lovable gestures and sharing intersting anecdotes about their married life. But unfortunately this time around, their fans were left with disappointment as Deepika and Ranveer couldn’t celebrate their first Holi together post marriage.As we know that Deepika has been preparing for her role in Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak which is based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. The actress has begun shooting for the film on Monday but because of her work schedule, she couldn’t be there alongside Ranveer to celebrate the festival of colour with him.”It’s so ironic that on the day of Holi, I leave for Chhapaak; we start shooting on Monday. It is a very very important film, the story needs to be told, we start filming on Monday and on Holi day is when I leave for Delhi so no celebration, just a lot of preparation,” Deepika had recently said during a media interaction.Deepika’s working Holi has made her fans restless and some are even asking for DeepVeer’s holi celebration pictures on social media platform. While some on the other hand have been wishing her and Ranveer a very happy holi. Take a look.DeepVeer Holi pics share karo— Chowkidar Adi ❤ ”1983”’ (@Adi_Loud_Indian) March 21, 2019Hi Dear…first Holi..after marriage.. With Ranveer…Wish you both and all your family… Happy Colourful Holi…. — Chowkidar Shraddha (@ShraddhaBanso10) March 21, 2019Thanks and wish you @deepikapadukone and @RanveerOfficial on your first holi festival.— Shanti Makwana Harding (@shanti_harding) March 21, 2019 Meanwhile, the newly weds took top honours at the Zee Cine Awards 2019 held in Mumbai on Tuesday. While Deepika was honoured with the Best Actor (Female) award for her role of Rani Padmavati in Padmaavat, Ranveer won the Best Actor (Male) Viewers’ Choice award for his menacing act of Alauddin Khilji in the same film.After the tremendous success of her last outing Padmaavat, Deepika became the first actress to deliver a 300 crore film with a female solo lead whereas Ranveer has been delivering back-to-back hits like Padmaavat, Simmba and Gully Boy.last_img read more

Virtusa to buy Polaris in deal worth 350 million Report

first_imgUS-based IT major Virtusa Corporation is reportedly planning to acquire Chennai-based Polaris Consulting and Services Ltd in a deal worth $350 million (Rs 2,310 crore).The Massachusetts-headquartered IT company’s M&A discussion with Polaris is regarded as a step towards cementing its “offerings” and gain access to new clients in banking and financial services, The Times of India reported.”Polaris has the potential to fill gaps in Virtusa’s portfolio and position itself as an end-to-end digital transformation partner,” said Hansa Iyengar, analyst in London-based IT research firm Ovum.Polaris is expected to finalise the acquirer shortly as “negotiations were fairly advanced,” said a source familiar with the development. Fiserv, Genpact, Tech Mahindra are among other “possible suitors”, according to the report.Arun Jain, chairman of Polaris Consulting and Services, holds 29% stake in the company, while Rohatyn Group (formerly Citi Venture Capital International) has 19% stake. Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala also acquired a 4.8% stake in the company.Citigroup is the largest client for Polaris accounting for nearly 35% of its revenue.”Polaris, which counts Citigroup as top client, could find a potential suitor in Virtusa with strong footprint in consumer banking, treasury and capital markets,” said analysts.With JP Morgan Chase, British Telecommunications and AIG Global Services as top clients, Virtusa earned $479 million in revenues last fiscal year and is sitting on a cash pile of $180 million.”Virtusa wants scale and access to a new client base,” Peter Bendor Samuel, CEO of US-based Everest Group said”They have a demonstrated ability to grow services, have a young aggressive talent base and should be able to revitalize a somewhat tired and dispirited business. It’s also good timing for Polaris as valua tions for this are high,” he said.last_img read more

2000yearold Ashoka Stupa restored in remote China

first_imgA symbol of the advent of Buddhism from India to China, the renovated Stupa and Ashoka pillar along with a huge golden statue of Buddha was consecrated by Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual head of Drukpa lineage of Buddhism based in Ladakh, on Tuesday in China’s Qinghai province, located adjacent to Tibet Autonomous Region.Legend has it that over 2,500 years ago, Buddha’s disciples retrieved one skull bone, two scapulas, four teeth and 84,000 pearl-like sariras (relics) after Lord Buddha’s body was cremated. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortAccording to Buddhist records, Ashoka collected all of Sakyamuni’s (Buddha) sarira, stored them in pagoda-shaped shrines before sending them to different parts of the world.China is believed to have received 19 of them, including the one in Nangchen, but most of them have collapsed due to natural wear and tear as well as negligence. Three more such Stupas were discovered in Chinese cities of Xian, Nanjing and near Ayuwang in Zhejiang Province. Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanThe Nangchen Stupa is the first to be discovered in the Tibetan region. The fate of the other 15 sent by Ashoka to China is unknown so far.While the advent of Buddhism to China were well chronicled since 68 AD when first Buddhist temple White Horse was built in Luoyang by Chinese monk Xuanzan after a 17-year- long voyage to India, the Stupa signifies efforts by Ashoka to spread the religion around the world.In the new temple here, the pillar with a stone containing an original inscription was prominently placed between a renovated structure and the Stupa, remnants of which according to monks were preserved by the locals from the ravages of invasions of Mongols and the decade-long Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedong during which historical relics, artifacts and cultural and religious sites were destroyed.last_img read more

Official El Salvador not falling apart

first_imgNo related posts. From the print editionWASHINGTON, D.C. – The top adviser to President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador says his boss was sworn into office in an atmosphere of violence and economic despair – but that with three years down and two to go, El Salvador’s 6.1 million people finally have a leader who gets it.“When we came to power, the government was practically in bankruptcy. We had enough money only for two months’ salary,” said Alexander Segovia, speaking May 18 at the Council of the Americas in Washington. “We knew we would be governing in the midst of capitalism’s deepest crisis in 80 years. We had to be realistic.”The Oxford-trained economist said it was ironic that before the March 2009 election in which Funes – running on the leftist FMLN ticket – defeated Rodrigo Ávila of the right-wing ARENA party, his detractors repeatedly accused Funes of being a communist who would distance El Salvador from the United States.“The opposition warned that if a leftist government came to power, we’d have absolute chaos, that capital would fly out of the country, that we’d do crazy things,” he recalled. “But we were always clear that this was going to be a safe and secure change. After three years, all these perceptions have been shown to be unfounded. We had a democratic transition, we’ve started a new era, and we’ve laid the foundations to get out of this historic quagmire. We now know the country isn’t going to fall apart.”On the contrary, said Segovia, the Funes government inherently understands that private investment is key for generating employment and boosting El Salvador’s sluggish economy. In 2011, gross domestic product grew by only 1.5 percent, with 2 percent growth projected for this year. But that’s a whole lot better than 2009, he said, when the economy contracted by 3.1 percent.“El Salvador had the lowest level of growth in Central America despite all the reforms,” said Segovia. “We have pretty much tried everything there is to do. We’ve opened the economy and we’ve signed free trade agreements, but we still have an economy that does not grow at the rate it needs to grow. We’re in a vicious cycle, and if we don’t get out of that cycle, any government will be very fragile. We must generate a process of high, sustainable growth. That’s going to be our primary challenge over the next 24 months.” The Funes government’s other big headache is violent crime. Last year, El Salvador’s homicide rate exceeded 70 per 100,000 inhabitants, or about 18 killings a day – second in the world only to neighboring Honduras. Last month, the country marked its first murder-free day since Funes was sworn into office nearly three years earlier.The reason: In early March, El Salvador’s two most violent gangs – Barrio 18 and the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) – agreed to stop killing each other’s members. They also vowed to suspend attacks on police officers and military forces, and to no longer recruit new members at schools. Segovia denied media reports that the Funes government had cut a deal with the gangs, 30 of whose leaders were immediately transferred from maximum-security prisons to a common prison following the announcement of the truce.“The government has not made any agreements and will not make any agreements with gangs,” he said. “What we have done is facilitate the dialogue that the Catholic Church is involved in, because we think this is very important. We are saving 300 lives a month, so that alone means it’s worth the effort.”The drop in violence has also been good for business, he said.“Our biggest obstacles to growth have been low productivity and insecurity, especially extortion. A big company can deal with crime; they can hire security firms. But small companies have a harder time. Fortunately, the scenario has changed completely. This initiative by the church began with a lot of skepticism, but it’s now an opportunity we have to take advantage of. This is something we could not have imagined only four or five months ago.”El Salvador registered 255 murders in March, 147 in April and 76 in the first 15 days of May. That’s down 60 percent from the first months of 2012.Great news, Segovia said, “but what happens when the gangs decide they don’t want the ceasefire anymore? We have a great opportunity we haven’t had before. The church has said there’s a social dimension underlying the violence, so let’s try to see if we can build a state policy around security and crime, which we haven’t had before. If society makes a commitment and starts to build programs to deal with youths at risk, we’ll start to have solutions.”Even so, Segovia admitted that his government would not be able to eliminate the gangs without bringing down El Salvador’s notoriously high youth-unemployment rate.“There are lots of doubts, of course, if this ceasefire is sustainable. But the truth is, we’re already seeing some results,” he said. “A lot of people believed you had to have an iron-fist policy, going after criminals and repressing crime. But the issue of crime and security is very complex and has a number of facets. Everyone realizes that simplistic analyses about the origin of crime are not working. We’re starting to understand the issue in all its complexity.” Segovia assured his audience that the Funes government wouldn’t let its guard down when it comes to organized crime and drug trafficking.“We’ll continue to go after these groups, but what we need is a national agreement on employment, because if we have enough jobs, we’ll shut off the faucet of all the young people who get into these activities because they don’t have opportunities,” he said. “We have to show results now. We can’t wait 24 months.”In answer to a question posed by The Tico Times, the presidential adviser disputed suggestions that El Salvador has seen a gradual militarization of its security forces.“We don’t agree with that thesis,” he said. “The constitution is not being violated, and we don’t see this as militarization. The constitution gives an exceptional role to accompany police in security situations. We found a country in crisis when we came in. The investment we made in police was just so that they could have minimum conditions to do their work. They were without vehicles, radio and food. It was a police force completely without resources; the criminals were riding in 4x4s and policemen were on bicycles. We can’t continue that way.”Segovia added: “People sometimes forget that before the peace accords [which ended El Salvador’s long-running civil war in 1992], police had chiefs from the military and nobody said anything back then. Now, the police forces in El Salvador are no longer infiltrated by organized crime. The military did take over for a little while in this process, but how else do you compete with organized crime? Unlike our neighboring countries, it’s very clear that our national civilian police are not infiltrated by organized crime, though our police do need to be strengthened institutionally, and that’s a challenge for the future.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

A sigh of relief was audible over west London yest

first_imgA sigh of relief was audible over west London yesterday evening as BSkyB discovered it had retained the rights to the English Premier league until 2016 – but at what cost?Rumours had emerged that Al Jazeera and its seemingly bottomless bank balance were preparing to enter the costly, but potentially rewarding, world of English football rights. The Qatar-based broadcaster made waves in France when it snaffled the pay-per-view rights to Ligue 1 football in France, previously held by Canal Plus.For Sky, EPL football has been the corner stone of its service since the creation of the league in 1992. Twenty years and 10 million subscribers later, the decision to invest so heavily in the League has paid off. But after the champagne corks popped last night Sky execs were forced to reflect on the huge hike in the amount it will pay the EPL – some £2.3 billion (€2.8 billion) over three years. That is a massive sum in all respects, but it seems even more gratuitous given Europe’s crippling financial situation.Sky has reached an interesting point in its evolution. Reaching the 10 million subscriber landmark was an impressive achievement. But where does it go from there?Pay TV growth has slowed and is unlikely to increase significantly, so the operator needs to look elsewhere to grow revenues. Sky has innovated well with value-add services like HD and Sky Plus proving particularly popular – but there are millions of customers who take Sky services purely for the football. To maintain its growth path, the decision was simple for Sky – it had to win those rights.Now they have them, it will be interesting to see what demands the operator will make to balance out the whopping fee it paid. The cost of Sky Sports subscriptions will rise, no doubt. Whether cash-strapped viewers will be prepared for it is another matter. Insiders have also suggested that Sky will have negotiated concessions from the Premier League in terms of the scope of their coverage. The possibly of getting dressing room access has been muted, for example.More surprisingly than the amount Sky has paid to retain the rights is BT sneaking under the radar to nick the two packages of rights currently held by ESPN.No doubt Ian Livingston, BT’s CEO, could be heard muttering ‘caveat emptor’ to himself in the days before the telco submitted its bid – for the buyer must beware when previous owners of the two rights packages, ESPN and Setanta, struggled to build a sustainable business. Unlike those broadcasters, BT has the deep pocket required to take a financial hit and will no doubt be thinking about longer term strategies than trying to make a quick buck.The telco has struggled to set the UK pay TV market alight with its BT Vision platform and will be hoping that the launch of a sports channel that airs exclusive Premier League matches will act as a catalyst to boost numbers. With the imminent launch of YouView, optimising its content offering is imperative. But perhaps even more pressing for BT is attracting customers to its new high speed fibre network – something that it could easily bundle into its exclusive sports offering.So what about ESPN? The Disney-owned broadcaster is already considering exiting a number of international markets. Disney chairman and chief executive Bob Iger recently told investors that the broadcaster was “going to continue to look at [international] opportunities with an eye toward determining whether they have the ability to grow or, in some cases, become profitable or, if not, potentially exit those markets”.While there’s no suggestion that ESPN will close its UK operation, it will struggle to retain customers without the carrot of the Premier League.@dtvegrahamlast_img read more