James Langton ASC gives green light to no-contest settlements Related news OSC approves no-contest settlement with IPC dealers Share this article and your comments with peers on social media OSC to consider no-contest settlement with IPC dealers Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp. is the latest large financial services firm set to agree to a no-contest settlement with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) amid allegations that it overcharged certain clients. The OSC announced on Tuesday that it will hold a hearing on Thursday to consider a no-contest settlement with a pair of Manulife dealer subsidiaries, Manulife Securities Inc. and Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. According to the OSC’s allegations, the firms self-reported weaknesses in their internal controls in 2015 that “resulted in certain clients paying, directly or indirectly, excess fees that were not detected or corrected by the Manulife dealers in a timely manner.” The alleged overcharging involved clients in fee-based accounts that also paid embedded advisor fees, resulting in some clients paying excess fees between 2005 and 2016. In addition, some clients were not told that they qualified for a lower-cost of certain mutual funds and paid excess fees when they invested in the version of the funds with higher management expense ratios. The OSC alleges that the overcharging was the result control and supervisory inadequacies that amount to a breach of securities rules. It also notes that there’s no evidence of dishonest conduct by the firms. The allegations indicate that the dealers are paying compensation to the clients who were overcharged and that the firms have taken corrective action to bolster compliance and prevent similar issues in the future. The terms of the settlement will only be revealed if the OSC approves the agreement; no-contest settlements allow firms to resolve enforcement allegations without admitting to misconduct. The OSC has entered into no-contest settlements with all of the Big Five banks along with a handful of other firms since introducing this procedure in 2014. The latest such agreement took place on June 27, when an OSC hearing panel approved a no-contest settlement with a trio of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) that sees the firms pay $21.8 million in compensation to clients and almost $1 million to regulators to settle allegations that they overcharged clients in certain mutual funds and fee-based accounts. Read: No-contest settlement with RBC firms will see clients repaid $21.8 million Photo copyright: andreypopov/123RF Keywords No-contest settlementsCompanies Manulife Financial Corp., Manulife Securities, Manulife Securities International Ltd., Ontario Securities Commission Facebook LinkedIn Twitter
The top 10 rated firms in 2017’s Report Card series 10. Peak Financial Group This year marks the first time that Peak Financial Group has cracked the Report Card series’ top 10. Peak advisors were quick to point out the full-service dealer’s independent business model, their ability to choose products for clients, the communication between advisors and management and the firm’s ethical culture when asked to name the most positive aspects of working at the firm. “Peak offers independence,” says a Peak advisor in Ontario. “The [firm] allows us 100% freedom in terms of products.” The top 10 rated firms in 2017’s Report Card series Keywords Advisors’ Report Card The top 10 rated firms in 2017’s Report Card series × Author: Fiona Collie Source: Investment Executive Research Copyright: Investment Executive Author: Fiona Collie Source: Investment Executive Copyright: Investment Executive Research Author: Fiona Collie Source: Investment Executive Research Copyright: Investment Executive 6. Leede Jones Gable Leede Jones Gable advisors have had many positive things to say about their firm over the past few years, a fact that’s reflected in the brokerage’s strong ratings over the past decade. In fact, with few exceptions, Leede Jones Gable has consistently had among the top 10 IE ratings and overall ratings by advisors as they praised the firm’s strong, independent corporate culture and mutual respect among advisors and management. “[There’s a] very strong collegiality among all the advisors,” says a Leede Jones Gable advisor in B.C. “It’s a very positive and professional environment.” Advisors’ Report Card 2017 The top 10 rated firms in 2017’s Report Card series Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Advisors look to the future Fiona Collie Author: Fiona Collie Source: Investment Executive Research Copyright: Investment Executive 1. IDC Worldsource Insurance Network IDC Worldsource Insurance Network’s (IDC WIN) IE rating and overall rating by advisors have cracked IE’s Report Card series’ top 10 list every year since 2008. During that time, advisors have been consistent in their praise of the MGA’s knowledgeable support staff and the easy communication between advisors and management. Above all else, advisors are very proud of the MGA’s integrity. “It’s a well established company,” says an IDC WIN advisor in B.C. “It’s a company you can trust and you expect that they will do the right thing.” 5. PPI Solutions PPI Solutions has had among the top 10 IE ratings and overall rating by advisors since it made its début in the Insurance Advisors’ Report Card in 2011. Since then, PPI Solutions’ advisors have praised the MGA for the bevy of products it makes available, its technology platform, back-office staff and the overall work environment. “As far as MGAs go, PPI Solutions is the best one out there,” says a PPI Solutions advisor in Alberta. 9. PPI Advisory Insurance advisors with PPI Advisory are full of praise for their MGA, ranging from the support staff’s technical expertise, to the product shelf, to the firm’s ability to serve the high net-worth market effectively. As such, PPI Advisory has had among the top 10 IE ratings and overall ratings by advisors every year since 2008. “The [firm has] excellent people [in its] staff,” says an advisor in Ontario with PPI Advisory. “[The firm has] great underwriting, great advanced planning individuals and access to good products.” Author: Fiona Collie Source: Investment Executive Research Copyright: Investment Executive The top 10 rated firms in 2017’s Report Card series The top 10 rated firms in 2017’s Report Card series Author: Fiona Collie Source: Investment Executive Research Copyright: Investment Executive Despite the different distribution channels and business models of the firms included in Investment Executive‘s (IE) 2017 Report Card series, there are many similarities to be found among the highest-rated companies, whether it’s a bank-owned brokerage or a managing general agency (MGA).In fact, financial advisors at firms with the 10 highest “IE rating” and “overall rating by advisors” in the Report Card series often praise their respective companies for the same thing, whether it’s a positive work environment, the ability to make independent product choices for clients, or the backing of a strong brand. Author: Fiona Collie Source: Investment Executive Research Copyright: Investment Executive 2. Edward Jones During the past decade, Edward Jones entered the Report Card series’ top 10 list in 2014 as its advisors praised the independent brokerage’s commitment to an entrepreneurial business model, a sentiment that has kept the brokerage high in the ratings in recent years. Some of the most positive aspects of working at Edward Jones, advisors said, include the flexible work hours and the freedom to make objective product choices for clients. “It’s as close to being self-employed as it can be,” says an Edward Jones advisor in Ontario. “I like that I can tailor my office the way I like it.” 7. Odlum Brown Odlum Brown has received strong ratings from its advisor force over the years. Since 2012, Odlum Brown has been a mainstay of the Report Card’s top 10 as advisors have praised the firm’s reputation and the freedom they have to make objective product choices for their clients. Most of all, Odlum Brown advisors are simply happy to work with people they like and respect. “Everybody has their door open here,” says an Odlum Brown advisor in B.C. “It’s a good, supportive, fun atmosphere.” Author: Fiona Collie Source: Investment Executive Research Copyright: Investment Executive Advisors’ Report Card 2017: Editors discuss the key trends of this year’s Report Card series The top 10 rated firms in 2017’s Report Card series The top 10 rated firms in 2017’s Report Card series 8. Royal Bank of Canada Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) advisors are very proud of their bank’s brand and strong reputation. In fact, those two factors are some of the most often cited positive aspects of the firm — a likely reason why the name RBC can so frequently be found on the Report Card’s top 10 ratings list. “RBC has always had a big focus on promoting the brand,” says an RBC advisor in Ontario. “We are one of the strongest brands. The [bank does] great work [promoting us] in the community, but also via advertising.” 4. RBC Dominion Securities Like their colleagues in the banking channel, advisors are very proud to carry the RBC Dominion Securities Inc. (DS) name on their business cards, a fact made clear by the firm’s recurring top 10 ratings in the Report Card series since 2013. DS advisors have praised their firm in several areas since then, such as support for wealth management. The most common refrain among DS advisors, though, is the strong reputation and brand recognition of both DS and RBC, its parent company. “The credibility and the reputation of the mother ship,” says a DS advisor in Atlantic Canada about the most positive aspects of working at the brokerage. “The respect that the brand carries on the Street.” Related news Author: Fiona Collie Source: Investment Executive Research Copyright: Investment Executive 3. CIBC Ten years ago, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) had one of the lowest IEratings and overall ratings by advisors in the Report Card series as advisors complained about the bank’s poor public image during the financial crisis relating to its involvement with the U.S. subprime mortgage scandal.Since then, CIBC has worked hard to win back the approval of its advisors. In fact, CIBC now enjoys among the highest ratings in the Report Card series as advisors praise the firm in areas that were once a source of frustration, such as the bank’s product selection and overall direction. “I love the organization, the people and the direction we’re taking,” says a CIBC advisor in Ontario. “We do everything in the best interest of the client.” Slideshow: Gauging advisors’ relative productivity Author: Fiona Collie Source: Investment Executive Research Copyright: Investment Executive The top 10 rated firms in 2017’s Report Card series Facebook LinkedIn Twitter The top 10 rated firms in 2017’s Report Card series Advisors’ Report Card 2017 main chart Decisive support The top 10 rated firms in 2017’s Report Card series (A firm’s IE rating is the overall average of all the ratings a firm received for the categories included in a Report Card’s main ratings table. This excludes the overall rating by advisors, which is how advisors rated their firm as a whole.)View this slideshow to see which firms ranked in the top 10, why they have earned such high praise from their advisors, and how these firms have performed over the past decade.
APRA heatmaps underlines importance of including all fees in critical performance tests Industry Super AustraliaAPRA has sounded a warning on excessive non-investment fees as its heatmaps blanket many for-profit administration fees in a sea of red.But, staggeringly, the government continues to ignore the regulator and has deliberately excluded administration fees from its new performance benchmark regime.The retail sector generates much of its $10 billion annual profit from its lucrative administration fees, and by deliberately carving them out from the performance benchmarks in the Your Future, Your Super legislation the government risks undermining the entire reform package.The government must shift to the more logical net-return measurement – that tests performance based on all fees and charges – not carving out administration fees. APRA has strongly expressed how excessive administration fees can impact returns and questioned the justification for asset-based administration fees, favoured in the retail sector. It found some members with a $50,000 balance are paying more than two and a half times higher administration fees than members in other MySuper products.ISA analysis also shows that the average worker in MySuper products with the highest administration fees will have $158,000 less than those with the lowest fees.APRA’s heatmaps seem to have already prompted some funds into cutting fees. The success so far underlines the importance of quickly expanding the heatmaps to cover the entire APRA regulated system.It is disappointing the roll-out beyond MySuper has been further delayed and will not initially cover the whole Choice sector. The Productivity Commission found the Choice sector was the high-fee tail of the system and littered with dud products. But the Choice sector remains stubbornly immune to transparency measures and performance testing – with no heatmap coverage, product dashboards delayed for more than seven years, and alarmingly the government admitting to having no timeframe to include 80% of the Choice sector in the proposed performance benchmarks.APRA is right to flag pursuing action against funds who have not lifted their performance from last year’s heatmap release – chronic underperformance should be stamped out no matter where it is found. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:APRA, Choice, chronic, Commission, future, Government, Impact, legislation, Productivity Commission, profit, reform, retail sector, super, testing
Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: March 26, 2021 Building on its commitment to improving the university’s recruitment and retention of students, staff and faculty this year, the IDEA Council has proposed a program that will facilitate faculty and staff participation in campus affinity groups. Since October, council members have met to review and prioritize recommendations in the Inclusion, Diversity and Excellence in Academics (IDEA) Plan, the campus’s blueprint for building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus community. The council in February proposed the establishment of formal structures for faculty and staff affinity groups, which would be open to all employees and center around shared identity, common bonds and a commitment to the perspectives of historically marginalized or underserved people. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) will lead in establishing the program in collaboration with campus partners and with the support of Chancellor Phil DiStefano and other campus leaders. Foundational to the groups will be opportunities to connect and build affinity during community gatherings and to access information and resources. “The goals the IDEA Council has set for this initiative are in perfect alignment with our efforts as a campus community to build a better experience for our faculty and staff,” DiStefano said. “I applaud the council’s work in support of this proposal, and I look forward to receiving an update from ODECE this spring.” Bob Boswell, vice chancellor for diversity, equity and community engagement, said ODECE looks forward to moving ahead with the proposal to establish affinity groups for faculty and staff. “As the campus hub for these groups, we are working with the IDEA Council and other campus partners to establish group guidelines and resources that will help to deepen connections and build bridges amongst the campus community,” he said. When fully established, the groups would support faculty and staff who desire to meet regularly with colleagues from similar backgrounds and with similar professional goals. IDEA Council Co-Chair Teresa Hernández said affinity groups provide powerful opportunities for faculty and staff to continue with or establish a deeper sense of connection and community engagement. “That can include building community and relationships alongside individuals with whom we find commonalities based on shared identities,” said Hernández, a diversity, equity and inclusion search and outreach program manager for Human Resources. Donna Mejía, an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance who also teaches women and gender and ethnic studies, and Amy Moreno, director of inclusive culture in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, helped develop a proposal for establishing the faculty and staff affinity groups. Mejía noted that most faculty members conduct research, write, design, create and teach autonomously, which can compromise their ability to collaborate and truly connect with each other and create “a staggering sense of isolation.” “Affinity groups profoundly humanize and dimensionalize our environments, creating space for our whole selves to nourish with reflection,” she said. “For me, connection, belonging and friendship are not primarily a strategy for retention, they are the foundations of a meaningful life.” CU Boulder faculty and staff have met informally for years to create a sense of belonging, to support each other in meaningful ways and to improve the campus culture, Moreno said. The university’s sponsorship of affinity groups “signifies an acknowledgement of all of the labor, emotion and efforts that many have been pouring into our campus community” for the past several years, she added. New employees will be able to more seamlessly learn about and join communities that often recognize and validate important aspects of their social identities, she said. “Retaining staff and faculty involves a campuswide commitment to impactful initiatives, like affinity groups, to demonstrate we value each employee and are designing a community that is actively pursuing greater equity and inclusion,” Moreno said. In February, council subcommittee members named their forthcoming discussion items, which include enhancing resources for CU LEAD Alliance student success programs; expanding staff professional development opportunities with a focus on frontline service and classified staff; and strengthening mentorship opportunities for junior faculty. Over the long term, the IDEA Council will continue to play a key role in helping to shape the campus’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals, said Lisa Flores, who co-chairs the council and is the associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion in the College of Media, Communication and Information. “We are aware of and want to be attentive to the campus community’s desire to see immediate change on a lot of different fronts,” Flores said. “As a council responsible for this important charge from campus leaders, we also want to ensure we are bringing forth the right set of recommendations this year through a collaborative, thoughtful process.”Categories:Deadlines & AnnouncementsIDEA PlanCampus CommunityStrategic Initiatives
Pinterest AdvertisementDuring Feast Portland, Inter Beaujolais gathered members of the trade and press for a blind tasting of Gamay-based wines from Beaujolais and OregonNew York, NY, September 26th, 2016 – Beaujolais Wines, the French wine region best known for its Gamay-based reds, was excited to participate in Bon Appétit Presents Feast Portland, during which it held a side-by-side blind tasting of Gamay Noir wines from Beaujolais and Oregon, in order to discover how differently the grape might express itself according to its terroir. On September 15th, 2016, a group of members from the wine trade and press met at Cooper’s Hall in Portland, OR, to taste eight strikingly unique Gamay wines.The results were unanimous: while Beaujolais’ reds displayed more fruit-forward characters, with flavors of red berries, Oregon Gamays featured more earthy, spicy and flowery flavors, specifically with notes of dust rose. Both Old World and New World wines revealed a mouth-watering acidity, allowing them to pair beautifully with a wide array of dishes.“I was absolutely thrilled to taste such a huge diversity of wines from both Oregon and Beaujolais. This was a new experience for Inter Beaujolais and it was a real success: it was fun, educational and showed that Gamay Noir is an amazing grape variety capable of producing outstanding wines, each with their own characteristics depending on the terroirs and the way they are vinified. Gamay Noir really deserves to be considered as a noble grape variety. We all agreed on that,” says Antony Collet of Inter Beaujolais.While Gamay Noir is an ancient variety that existed as far back as the 1300s in Burgundy, Oregon’s experience with the grape only started in the 1980s. To guide the tasting and conversation, Inter Beaujolais gathered several key players in Oregon’s relatively recent Gamay endeavors, including Thomas Monroe and Kate Norris of Division Wine; Advanced Sommelier Stacey Gibson, who led the blind tasting; and Doug Tunnell of Brick House Wine, who was one of the first to experiment with Gamay in Oregon:“For the first time this year, I’ve had a half dozen winemakers from around the Willamette Valley approach us hoping to purchase some fruit from our Gamay Noir plantings…but I’m a bit greedy with it. My sense is that the American market is just beginning to fully appreciate the nuances of fine Gamay,” Mr. Tunnell commented.About Wines of Beaujolais:Bordered by the Bourgogne region to the North and the city of Lyon to the South, the rolling hills and plains of Beaujolais form a wine-growing area of 67 square miles. While Beaujolais does produce a small amount of whites and rosés, the region is best known for its versatile, medium to full-bodied reds – all single-varietal and mostly made of Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc – which account for 98% of all wines produced in the region. Beaujolais is made up of 12 appellations: Beaujolais (red, white and rosé), Beaujolais Villages (red, white and rosé), and 10 Beaujolais Crus (reds only: Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Régnié, Morgon, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, Chénas, Juliénas and finally Saint-Amour). Bringing together a small community of 2,600 winegrowers, the region has an average annual production of 22,454,623 gallons (120 million bottles) – including 7,925,161 gallons (40 million bottles) of Beaujolais Crus, 7,925,161 gallons (40 million bottles) of Beaujolais and 6,604,301 gallons (33 million bottles) of Beaujolais-Villages – of which 40% is sold to export to over 110 countries.For more information about Beaujolais and its wines, please visit: http://www.discoverbeaujolais.com/.Advertisement Facebook ReddIt Home Industry News Releases Gamay: From Old World to New WorldIndustry News ReleasesWine BusinessGamay: From Old World to New WorldBy Press Release – September 26, 2016 237 0 Share TAGSBeaujolaisGamayWines of Beaujolais Linkedin Twitter Email Previous articleWine Women Welcomes Paul Mabray as Guest Speaker on October 4th at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in NapaNext articleExplore Santa Barbara County on a California Wines Road Trip Press Release
Facebook Linkedin Email Pinterest Home Industry News Releases What’s New in Walla Walla Wine Country? Quite a Lot, ActuallyIndustry News ReleasesWine BusinessWhat’s New in Walla Walla Wine Country? Quite a Lot, ActuallyBy Press Release – November 28, 2017 102 0 Twitter Share Previous articleStolo Rated Top Syrah in Wine Enthusiast ‘Top 100 Wines’Next articleInnovative Thinking Yields a Third Way for White-Winemaking Press Release AdvertisementRecent and planned openings include lodging, dining, wineries, and more(WALLA WALLA, Wash.) — On the heels of another busy summer season and grape harvest, Walla Walla is already looking ahead to 2018. A slew of recent and planned lodging, dining, and winery openings are poised to further elevate the unofficial capital of Washington wine country.Here are some of Walla Walla’s newest and most notable restaurants, wineries, hotels, and more:Eritage Resort: Long a dream of Justin Wylie, the founder and winemaker for Va Piano Vineyards, Eritage is nearing reality. Poised to open in early 2018, Eritage is nestled on 300 acres surrounded by vineyards, and will include 10 luxury suites and a restaurant directed by Jason Wilson, a well-known Seattle-based chef and James Beard Award winner.Bledsoe Family Winery: Owned by Walla Walla native and former NFL star Drew Bledsoe and his family, Bledsoe Family Winery was recently founded as a sister project to their existing Doubleback label. Bledsoe Family Winery was created to push boundaries and to add new wine varietals to its portfolio, and their gorgeous downtown tasting room is a new can’t-miss stop.The Saint & The Sinner: The newest project of Jake and Tabitha Crenshaw, the owners of local favorite Olive Marketplace & Café, are set to bring a whole new concept to downtown Walla Walla. The Saint & The Sinner officially opened Nov. 18 as a hip, modern Latin American cantina unlike anything that precedes it in Walla Walla.Barons Winery: Founded in Woodinville, Wash., Barons opened a state-of-the-art winery and barrel aging facility earlier this year in the heart of Walla Walla. Barons wines are crafted to be ready to drink upon release, or to sit in the cellar to age.La Quinta Inn & Suites: Greeting travelers entering the western gateway of Walla Walla, just off off U.S. Highway 12, La Quinta has opened a brand-new, 77-room hotel. The new La Quinta features a lounge and wine bar, as well as an indoor pool, and offers an affordable option for those who want to experience all that Walla Walla has to offer.Armstrong Family Winery: Armstrong Family Winery’s Tim and Jen Armstrong have decided to put down permanent roots in Walla Walla. Founded in 2011 in Woodinville, Wash., Armstrong Family Winery will embark on a new era with a downtown Walla Walla tasting room, a 22-acre farm that features a vineyard with two blocks of 17-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines, and a new production facility.Walla Walla Indian Cuisine: Local brothers-in-law Gurjeet Sandhu and Gurpreet Gill bring traditional Indian cuisine to downtown Walla Walla. The new restaurant offers authentic Indian food from a kitchen led by a Mumbai-trained chef who moved from New Orleans to Walla Walla, adding a new flavor to Walla Walla’s culinary landscape.“It’s no surprise that the same imagination and inventiveness that helped shape Walla Walla into a world-class wine region continue to find ways to bring new experiences to town,” said Ron Williams, executive director of Visit Walla Walla. “This passion to create only adds to the character and quality of Walla Walla, giving frequent visitors something new to discover and giving first time visitors more options for a memorable trip to Walla Walla.”For more information on planning a trip to Walla Walla, go to visitwallawalla.com.About Walla Walla:As the unofficial capital of Washington wine country, Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts & entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. This community of just over 30,000 residents is known for many things, including its friendliness and hospitality, the quality of its wine, and of course the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. An easy and scenic four-hour drive from Seattle, Portland, or Boise, Walla Walla can also be accessed via Alaska Airlines daily non-stop flights from Seattle. For more information and to begin planning a trip to Walla Walla, go to www.visitwallawalla.com.Advertisement TAGSConsumerWalla WallaWashington ReddIt
FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Remain Vigilant in Conserving Water – Met ServiceJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay Photo: JIS PhotographerHead of the Meteorological Service, Jeffery Spooner. Remain Vigilant in Conserving Water – Met Service EnvironmentNovember 23, 2014Written by: O. Rodger Hutchinson RelatedWater Minister Commissions Catchment Tank in South St. Elizabeth Related100 Residents of Four Parishes Receive Land Titles Head of the Meteorological Service, Jeffery Spooner, is encouraging Jamaicans to remain vigilant in their use of water as the island continues to experience below normal rainfall.His call comes on the heels of an appeal from Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, for persons to continue to conserve water.Mr. Spooner said there should be no easing of conservation measures, even during the Christmas season. “I would not recommend any relaxation at all not even at Christmas. We should conserve on the use of the water and use it just for your required needs,” he stated.Mr. Spooner was speaking with JIS News following a recent heads of agencies and departments meeting at the Ministry.He informed that the island received some 121 millimetres of rainfall in October, which is approximately 51 per cent of expected normal rainfall for the month.He noted that while there are some intermittent showers, brought on by frontal systems that impact the island, the projection is for below normal conditions to continue into 2015.“Southern parishes, in particular, are expected to continue to receive below normal rainfall and might plunge into drought conditions and some might remain into early next year when the dry season takes effect,” he told JIS News.Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Thomas, Clarendon and St. Mary, he informed, are among the worst affected parishes. Story HighlightsHead of the Meteorological Service, Jeffery Spooner, is encouraging Jamaicans to remain vigilant in their use of water as the island continues to experience below normal rainfall.Mr. Spooner said there should be no easing of conservation measures, even during the Christmas season. “I would not recommend any relaxation at all not even at Christmas. We should conserve on the use of the water and use it just for your required needs,” he stated.He noted that while there are some intermittent showers, brought on by frontal systems that impact the island, the projection is for below normal conditions to continue into 2015. RelatedThousands Benefitting From Improved Water Supplies Advertisements
HomeOpinionColumnsThe Re-View – Chile Rellenos Sep. 19, 2019 at 6:00 amColumnsFeaturedFoodNewsRestaurant RoundupThe Re-View – Chile RellenosMerv Hecht2 years agoChile Rellenosel choloexican foodJorge QuirozKayndaves CantinasTepeyac & Tequila Sports Bar12 MBy Merv HechtThis week I write again about a particular dish instead of a particular restaurant.We all know that Mexican food is wildly popular in Los Angeles. But from what I see, the top dishes are Tacos and Burritos. Huevos Rancheros is pretty popular, and various mole sauces are appreciated, but my favorite dish, Chile Rellenos, is far behind.There is a lot of variation in Chile Rellenos. I used to see them on menus stuffed with various meats, especially shredded pork. I never see that any more, and I miss it. Today what I see is a traditional cheese stuffed chile in a tomato-based sauce. But there are still a lot of variations.The first question is what kind of chile to use. Most of the time I see the poblano chile, which is not very spicy. I wish a hotter chile was used. Second is the kind of cheese to use, and usually I think either jack cheese or something similar is in use. I don’t like cheddar cheese in this dish. Third is whether to use a thick fried batter or a thinner batter, and to me it’s clear that the thinner batter makes for a tastier dish. Fourth is the sauce, how much, how thick, and how spicy. This separates the men from the boys.For me, the cheese and the sauce should not overpower the chile, as happens in many of the restaurants I frequent. So, for example, at Tepeyac & Tequila Sports Bar in the City of Industry, one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in that area, they serve a chile that is a bit too large for my taste and is overstuffed with cheese and is over-sauced. It’s not bad, but it’s too rich and too much for me. That said, it’s a really good restaurant. It’s even worse at Tacos Por Favor in Santa Monica. This is my go-to place for tacos, with the best salsa bar and hot sauce in town. But the Chile Relleno is a disaster. First of all, the chile is so small you can hardly find it and it is totally smothered in tomato sauce and cheese.A nice variation on the dish can be found at El Cholo on Wilshire in Santa Monica. The Chile Relleno there is more round than oblong and is stuffed with something more like a cheese soufflé, which makes it much lighter. I don’t prefer it that way, but some people will like it.The main reason I go there is for the sauces. The sauce served on chilis just about everywhere is not spicy. I like it hot. El Cholo has a collection of five sauces, two of which are really hot. However, you have to make a special request for them, as the regular “gringo” sauce they serve is bland. Their habanero sauce is really great, served slightly warm.Surprisingly, Kayndaves Cantinas in Pacific Palisades, best known for its mole sauce, serves a good, customary Relleno, not over breaded, but in a somewhat bland sauce, and they don’t have a good selection of the hot stuff. Their only hot sauce is from green chilis, and lacks the right flavor for this dish. Their red sauce is mildly spicy and you have to request that as well.I’ve been trying Chile Rellenos all over the west side the past few months, and there’s not all that much difference. Nowhere have I found the meat stuffed variety so maybe a reader or two can help me out there. But for me the perfect rellano is at Lares Restaurant on Pico. The chile is the right size, the breading not intrusive, the sauce not overwhelming, and the cheese not too strongly flavored. They serve it with tortillas, and I usually cut off a bit of the relleno, and put it with some of the cheese and sauce into a tortilla and roll it up. Heaven! And a good feature is that they have a really hot red chile sauce to put on the relleno – but, of course, you have to special request it. The regular salsa is not bad either.My friend Jorge Quiroz took me to the opening of Lares about 40 years ago, and I’ve been going there ever since. Sometimes they have guitar music, but it’s gotten too popular and too crowded at times. But you can’t beat their Chile Relleno!Tepeyac & Tequila Sports Bar13131 Crossroads Pkwy SouthCity of Industry, CA 91746(562) 695-2277El Cholo1025 Wilshire Blvd,Santa Monica, CA 90401(310) 899-1106Kayndaves Cantinas15246 Sunset BoulevardPacific Palisades, CA 90272(310) 459-8118Lares2909 Pico Blvd,Santa Monica, CA 90405(310) 829-4550(Merv Hecht, like many Harvard Law School graduates, went into the wine business after law. In 1988, he began writing restaurant reviews and books. His latest book is “The Instant Wine Connoisseur” and it is available on Amazon. Or you might like his attempt at humor in “Great Cases I Lost.” He currently works for several companies that source and distribute food and beverages, including wines, internationally. Please send your comments to: [email protected])Tags :Chile Rellenosel choloexican foodJorge QuirozKayndaves CantinasTepeyac & Tequila Sports Barshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentMan who stabbed another man in Tongva Park convicted of murderCrime Alert 1800 Block of Santa Monica Blvd – UPDATEYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall7 hours agoColumnsOpinionYour Column HereBring Back Library ServicesGuest Author13 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press18 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press18 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson18 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter18 hours ago
DORAL, Fla. – In 2009 at the PGA Tour’s annual south Florida siesta, Henrik Stenson stripped to his underwear to hit a shot out of a water hazard. On Friday at the new and improved Doral, the entire field felt like they’d been pants-ed. On a windswept Friday, the combination of architect Gil Hanse’s handiwork, Donald Trump’s maniacal vision of building the Tour’s hardest golf course and what can only be described as Mother Nature’s mean streak conspired to embarrass all of the world’s best – not just Tiger Woods. Consider that over the last 36 holes the world No. 1 hit four shots into various water hazards – wash, rinse, repeat – No. 3 Henrik Stenson hit a shank and No. 5 Phil Mickelson hit a wall after rattling off three consecutive double bogeys. We don’t want to overstate Friday’s gale, but at one point Naples blew by. For Woods, his 1-over 73 in Round 2 could only be considered a victory of sorts. Although the defending champion finished two rounds at 5 over, his post-round optimism didn’t seem misplaced considering a Blue course that suddenly seemed like the Monster of old. WGC-Cadillac Championship leaderboard WGC-Cadillac Championship: Articles, videos and photos “Just had to grind it out,” Woods said. “When we made the turn there were nine guys under par and now there are (four).” Tour types are not normally the best sounding boards for golf course design; as a rule professionals would much rather err on the side of the Coachella Valley over Carnoustie, but as Stenson marched down the third fairway his take was poignant enough to take seriously. “I don’t think too many players are having fun today,” the Swede said. For Woods, the roller coaster of Round 2 – he had five bogeys and four birdies – came against the backdrop of an ailing back that caused him to withdraw from last week’s Honda Classic with five holes to play, and the rigors of 35-mph wind gusts and 26 holes on Friday. “I’m a little bit sore right now, long day,” said Woods, whose opening 76 was his highest score ever at Doral in 40 career rounds on the Blue Monster. “It will be nice to get some treatment tonight and be ready tomorrow.” The rub is that he will have a fighting chance on Saturday despite finding water hazards at the third, eighth and 15th holes in Round 2. To be fair, more than 100 golf balls found the suddenly ubiquitous water hazards on Friday. “I contributed to that number,” Woods smiled. “One of them was a perfect shot right down (No.) 8, right down the middle of the fairway with a 3-wood. Just ran out too far.” Woods would save par at the par-5 eighth – in fact his third shot from 197 yards hit the hole and nearly dropped for the most unlikely of eagles – and he added a 92-foot birdie putt at the par-3 fourth hole which ranks as the longest made putt on Tour this season … by 18 feet. It all added up to a 5-over total to begin Round 3, just six strokes off the pace set by Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan. But Woods stopped short of dubbing the new Doral unfair, questioning instead the setup of the layout considering Friday’s fierce forecast. “Some of the pin locations were a little bit on the edgy side because of the wind direction,” he said. “You just couldn’t get the ball close. From that standpoint, it was right on the teetering point.” As Woods marched down the seventh fairway, however, Donald Trump watched the day’s happenings with neither a hint of surprise nor remorse. “They haven’t even set it up hard,” said Trump, who estimated the winning score would be around 8 under, less than half of what it took to win the World Golf Championship last year. Luckily for Woods & Co. there is no cut at the Cadillac Championship nor will there be near as much wind on the weekend. The forecast calls for 10- to 15-mph breezes the rest of the way and no rain, which will likely feel like a cosmic mulligan for those who weathered firestorm Friday. “Basically, you’ve got to hang around. You just never know,” said Woods, who left the property without going to the practice range or receiving treatment on his back. “We’ve all got a shot at it now. No one is going anywhere.” Nor was anyone going low on what turned out to be the fiercest of Fridays.
A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis How many times have we heard it claimed that the vast majority of the human genome is “junk” and therefore could not have been designed? Even in the face of overwhelming evidence from the ENCODE project and numerous other studies showing that most of our genome has biochemical function, most evolutionists still maintain that our genomes are largely junk. But a few brave scientists, including some rare evolutionists, have been willing to buck that trend. In a new article at Advanced Science News — “That ‘Junk’ DNA… Is Full of Information!” — Andrew Moore, the Editor-in-Chief of the respected biology journal BioEssays, comments on a new BioEssays paper. The paper finds that our DNA contains overlapping layered “’dual-function’ pieces of information,” including a “genomic code” that spans virtually the entire genome in order to “defin[e] the shape and compaction of DNA into the highly-condensed form known as ‘chromatin.’” More about that paper in just a moment. It was written by leading Italian biologist Giorgio Bernardi who played a major role in the discovery of isochores. Isochores are important in this story. But for now, let’s look at Moore’s essay. It has something worth mentioning in almost every paragraph. Moore starts by saying that it should not be surprising that there is more function in the genome than we initially expected:It should not surprise us that even in parts of the genome where we don’t obviously see a ‘functional’ code (i.e., one that’s been evolutionarily fixed as a result of some selective advantage), there is a type of code, but not like anything we’ve previously considered as such.What Side He’s OnFrom an intelligent design (ID) perspective, Moore is absolutely correct: finding more function in the genome “should not surprise us.” But Moore is not an ID proponent; he’s clearly writing from an evolutionary perspective. Even as he describes extensive function in our genome, he frequently adds evolutionary “narrative gloss” just to remind you what side he’s on. But within the evolutionary perspective, his support for mass genomic functionality does not represent the majority. There is a long history of evolutionary biologists predicting that non-protein-coding DNA is largely “junk.” (See “Post-ENCODE Posturing: Rewriting History Won’t Erase Bad Evolutionary Predictions.”) As one example, in 1980 Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel wrote that “Much DNA in higher organisms is little better than junk,” and “it would be folly in such cases to hunt obsessively for” its function. Numerous similar claims have been made over the years.Though clearly evolution-based, Moore’s perspective stands out in an important way: it is open to seeing coordinated function across the entire genome. Moore thus proposes an idea with which ID proponents would heartily agree:And what if it [this other code] were doing something in three dimensions as well as the two dimensions of the ATGC code? A paper just published in BioEssays explores this tantalizing possibility…So there are multiple layers of information in DNA controlling cellular processes that operate in multiple dimensions. Not only that, but as Moore explains, these codes are frequently “overlapping” within our DNA sequence:One of the intriguing things about DNA sequences is that a single sequence can “encode” more than one piece of information depending on what is “reading” it and in which direction — viral genomes are classic examples in which genes read in one direction to produce a given protein overlap with one or more genes read in the opposite direction (i.e., from the complementary strand of DNA) to produce different proteins. It’s a bit like making simple messages with reverse-pair words (a so-called emordnilap). For example: REEDSTOPSFLOW, which, by an imaginary reading device, could be divided into REED STOPS FLOW. Read backwards, it would give WOLF SPOTS DEER.Though highly specified and difficult to produce by chance, overlapping codes are demonstrably present in our DNA. Proponents of intelligent design have long identified overlapping genes as a signature of design. For example, one chapter in the volume Biological Information: New Perspectives argues that “Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation.” The chapter observes that, “DNA sequences are typically ‘poly-functional’” with “overlapping protein-coding sequences” which “can contribute to multiple overlapping codes simultaneously.” But the likelihood of producing such information-rich, tightly constrained sequences by chance is exceedingly low: “it is difficult to understand how poly-functional DNA could arise through random isolated mutations.” The Current SituationHow do overlapping codes relate to the current situation? Moore explains that these “‘dual-function’ pieces of information” are found throughout our genome where DNA can both encode proteins and simultaneously define a “genomic code”:For two distinct pieces of information to be encoded in the same piece of genetic sequence we would, similarly, expect the constraints to be manifest in biases of word and letter usage — the analogies, respectively, for amino acid sequences constituting proteins, and their three-letter code. Hence a sequence of DNA can code for a protein and, in addition, for something else. This “something else”, according to Giorgio Bernardi, is information that directs the packaging of the enormous length of DNA in a cell into the relatively tiny nucleus. Primarily it is the code that guides the binding of the DNA-packaging proteins known as histones. Bernardi refers to this as the “genomic code” — a structural code that defines the shape and compaction of DNA into the highly-condensed form known as “chromatin”.This “genomic code” is thus a genome-wide feature, woven throughout our DNA, including portions of the genome that evolutionists have typically assumed had no function. This code is defined by the “GC” content of a stretch of DNA — the level of base pairs that are guanine-cytosine (hence “GC”) rather than adenine-thymine. In protein-coding DNA, the third base-pair in codons can often vary from AT/TA to CG/GC without affecting the amino acid being specified. Evolutionists have presumed that the precise nucleotide in this third base pair was irrelevant, so long as the codon was “synonymous,” and that variation in the third nucleotide represented an unimportant non-functional feature. But Moore explains that the third nucleotide in a codon can have great functional importance apart from merely specifying the amino acid, and could actually help define this “genomic code,” which overlaps with the protein-code:Protein-coding sequences are also packed and condensed in the nucleus — particularly when they’re not “in use” (i.e., being transcribed, and then translated into protein) — but they also contain relatively constant information on precise amino acid identities, otherwise they would fail to encode proteins correctly: evolution would act on such mutations in a highly negative manner, making them extremely unlikely to persist and be visible to us. But the amino acid code in DNA has a little “catch” that evolved in the most simple of unicellular organisms (bacteria and archaea) billions of years ago: the code is partly redundant. For example, the amino acid Threonine can be coded in eukaryotic DNA in no fewer than four ways: ACT, ACC, ACA or ACG. The third letter is variable and hence “available” for the coding of extra information. This is exactly what happens to produce the “genomic code”, in this case creating a bias for the ACC and ACG forms in warm-blooded organisms. Hence, the high constraint on this additional “code” — which is also seen in parts of the genome that are not under such constraint as protein-coding sequences — is imposed by the packaging of protein-coding sequences that embody two sets of information simultaneously.An Application of Narrative GlossMoore’s evolutionary bias is evident here as he repeatedly adds “narrative gloss,” ascribing functional aspects of our genome to evolution, rather than simply describing the functional nature of DNA and leaving evolution out of it. But the substance of what he’s saying identifies function in an aspect of the genome that evolutionists have frequently ignored as junk. He goes on to explain that this genomic code is not limited to protein-coding sequences, overlapping with the code that specifies protein sequences. The code also persists throughout giant portions of our genome, characterized by repetitive sequences that evolutionary scientists have, again, frequently ignored as junk. Read the following carefully, and try to filter out the gloss. It basically admits that these massive segments of our genome are functional:But didn’t we start with an explanation for non-coding DNA, not protein-coding sequences? Yes, and in the long stretches of non-coding DNA we see information in excess of mere repeats, tandem repeats and remnants of ancient retroviruses: there is a type of code at the level of preference for the GC pair of chemical DNA bases compared with AT. As Bernardi reviews, synthesizing his and others’ groundbreaking work, in the core sequences of the eukaryotic genome, the GC content in structural organizational units of the genome termed “isochores” increased during the evolutionary transition between so-called cold-blooded and warm-blooded organisms. And, fascinatingly, this sequence bias overlaps with sequences that are much more constrained in function: these are the very protein-coding sequences mentioned earlier, and they — more than the intervening non-coding sequences — are the clue to the “genomic code”. … In eukaryotic genomes, the GC sequence bias proposed to be responsible for structural condensation extends into non-coding sequences, some of which have identified activities, though less constrained in sequence than protein-coding DNA. There it directs their condensation via histone-containing nucleosomes to form chromatin.What we see here is that major portions of our genome, traditionally viewed as junk, are actually full of “information in excess of mere repeats, tandem repeats and remnants of ancient retroviruses” because “there is a type of code at the level of preference for the GC pair of chemical DNA bases compared with AT.” The purpose of the code, in short, is to direct DNA-packing in the nucleus. And Now for IsochoresThe genomic code is largely defined by huge GC-biased portions of the genome called “isochores.” When you hear the word “isochore,” think of humongous portions of our genome characterized by repetitive sequences of DNA that most evolutionists have typically ignored as junk, but that ID proponents have predicted as probably having function. Giorgio Bernardi’s paper in BioEssays provides an extensive discussion of the literature. It shows that isochores have “functional importance” and that the GC level of isochores defines a vital “genomic code.” Bernardi explains:[T]he genomic code, which is responsible for the pervasive encoding and molding of primary chromatin domains (LADs and primary TADs, namely the “gene spaces”/“spatial compartments”) resolves the longstanding problems of “non-coding DNA,” “junk DNA,” and “selfish DNA” leading to a new vision of the genome as shaped by DNA sequences.Bernardi’s view is that most of the genome is functional, contradicting the typical “junk DNA” perspective:By the end of the 1980s, our knowledge of the isochore organization of the human genome had not only rejected what had been called the “bean-bag” view of the genome, that is, a collection of genes randomly scattered over vast expanses of “junk DNA”; but it had also indicated that the genome is an integrated structural, functional, and evolutionary system. This view arose from a comparative study of vertebrate genomes, centered on the analysis of their compositional patterns, namely of the compositional distributions of large DNA segments, coding sequences, and introns.Thus, the presence of GC-rich isochores leads us to reject the “junk DNA” view. It indicates that “the genome is an integrated structural, functional, and evolutionary system.” Ignoring Bernardi’s evolutionary gloss, which wrongly assumes that integrated structural and functional systems can arise by blind evolutionary mechanisms, his statement is exactly what ID theory would expect. Bernardi continues explaining how we know that isochores are functional and carry the “genomic code” which “overlaps” with the genetic code:The functional importance of isochores was already evident in the 1980s because of the correlations of their GC levels with all the genome properties tested. It was later confirmed by investigations carried out in the 1990s. … The first indications that the base composition of isochores was under constraint came from the strong correlations between the composition of interspersed repeats, such as the GC-poor LINES and GC-rich SINES, and the composition of the GC-poor and GC-rich isochores, respectively, in which those sequences were located. The next step was the extension of the compositional correlations to genes (exons, introns, codon positions) located in GC-poor and GC-rich isochores, correlations that affect codon usage and amino acid composition of the encoded proteins. These points were subsequently reinforced, leading to the proposal that a “genomic code” was responsible for the compositional correlations just mentioned. As shown in Table S3, Supporting Information, the genomic code was further extended in the following years to include the sequence distributions, the functional properties associated with GC-poor and GC-rich isochores, and the structure and nuclear location of interphase chromatin. Only recent investigations showed, however, that the genomic code: 1) is a “structural code” in that it directly encodes and molds chromatin structures and defines nucleosome binding; 2) is pervasive because it applies to the totality of the genome; 3) overlaps the “genetic code” and constrains it, by affecting the composition (but not the function) of coding sequences (and contiguous non-coding sequences), codon usage, and amino acid composition of the encoded proteins, as already mentioned.A Striking ConclusionMoore’s article, describing Bernardi’s findings, concludes strikingly:These regions of DNA may then be regarded as structurally important elements in forming the correct shape and separation of condensed coding sequences in the genome, regardless of any other possible function that those non-coding sequences have: in essence, this would be an “explanation” for the persistence in genomes of sequences to which no “function” (in terms of evolutionarily-selected activity), can be ascribed (or, at least, no substantial function).We may marvel at such complicated structures and ask “but do they need to be quite so complicated for their function?” Well, maybe they do in order to condense and position parts of the protein in the exact orientation and place that generates the three-dimensional structure that has been successfully selected by evolution. But with a knowledge that the “genomic code” overlaps protein coding sequences, we might even start to become suspicious that there is another selective pressure at work as well…Moore doesn’t specify what the other “selective pressure” is, but clearly he sees the functionally important “genomic code” as pervasive throughout the genome. So here’s what we have: evolutionary scientists proposing that most of our genome’s sequence has functional importance because it carries a genomic code, controlling the three-dimensional packing in the nucleus. This code even “overlaps” with the genetic code in protein-coding DNA. Such a perspective directly contradicts the evolutionary paradigm of a genome flooded with junk. Why would evolutionary scientists like Moore and Bernardi step outside that paradigm? The answer is simple: Their views are driven by the data. Moore — or rather, more — power to them!Photo by Ann Kathrin Bopp via Unsplash. Recommended Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Casey LuskinAssociate Director, Center for Science and CultureCasey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.Follow CaseyProfileWebsite Share Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos TagsadenineAdvanced Science NewsAndrew MooreBioEssaysBiological Information: New PerspectivescytosineDNAENCODEevolutionFrancis Crickfunctiongenomegenomic codeGiorgio Bernardiguanineintelligent designisochoresJunk DNALeslie Orgelnarrative glossoverlapping codesproteinsselective pressurethymineviral genomes,Trending Intelligent Design BioEssays Editor: “‘Junk’ DNA… Full of Information!” Including Genome-Sized “Genomic Code”Casey LuskinNovember 18, 2019, 4:13 AM