Categories: News,Photos 17Jan Rep. MacMaster invites Lieghios to gov’s speech State Rep. Greg MacMaster, R-Kewadin, with his wife Kim, welcomed Enzo and Danielle Lieghio of Mackinaw City to the House chamber on Wednesday evening for Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address. MacMaster said the governor’s third speech was a good starting point to begin discussing transportation infrastructure in Michigan.“We all agree funding for Michigan roads and bridges need to be addressed, the question is how to we approach it,” MacMaster said. “The big concern is how we do it – do we double registration fees and what about the electric cars and the gas tax. So it’s something we need to get more information about, to see how much money is being raised for the roads we have now, as well as how it’s spent on the roads and where the rest is going.”
State Rep. Mary Whiteford today celebrated the signing of her first bill Wednesday by bringing local treats to share with her colleague.10.16es in Lansing.It’s a tradition in the Michigan House of Representatives for a lawmaker to bring a gift from his or her district to celebrate the first time that the governor signs a bill they’ve sponsored.Rep. Whiteford passed out bags of apples from Overheiser Orchards, hard cider from Mackintosh Orchards and Oval Beach Blonde Ale from Saugatuck Brewing Company.“I was so happy to be able to share some of these awesome Allegan County products with my peers,” said Rep. Whiteford, R-Casco Township. “These are some of my personal favorites from our community and I’m so thankful for these donations from local businesses.”Rep. Whiteford’s first bill is part of a package of bills that defines the term veteran in Michigan law. The previous definition conflicted with the federal definition and lawmakers sought to bring unity to the term to ensure veteran benefit eligibility. House Bill 5548 is now Public Act 216 of 2016.### 10Nov Rep. Whiteford celebrates her first bill signing the Allegan County way Categories: Whiteford News
Categories: Hauck News Plan calls for stronger vocational, technical education programsState Rep. Roger Hauck, of Union Township, joined his colleagues today for a press conference outlining key principles and priorities that will guide the House during the current legislative session.Hauck said he’s pleased that education will remain a key focus during the next two years.“Michigan students deserve a first-class education system that sets them up for success in the future,” Hauck said. “I applaud efforts to put more state funding in local classrooms so teachers have the resources they need.”Hauck also praised the emphasis placed on expanding career opportunities in the skilled trades.“Thousands of jobs are available in the trades, but employers are struggling to find people with the right skills to fill their needs,” Hauck said. “We need to improve access to vocational training for students in high school and college, and give displaced workers opportunities to learn the new skills needed to fill these jobs.”The entire House Republican Action Plan is available for the public to read at gophouse.org/best-way-forward.### 16Feb Hauck: House Republican Action Plan addresses priorities
17Jul Rep. Barrett invites residents to July coffee hours in Dimondale State Rep. Tom Barrett invites residents to join him for a cup of coffee and conversation during his local coffee hours.The meet-and-greet takes place Monday, July 24 from 8 to 9 a.m. at Mike’s Village Restaurant located at 115 N. Bridge St. in Dimondale.“I always look forward to the opportunity to meet with people of Eaton County,” said Barrett of Potterville. “Meeting face to face to talk about the concerns of citizens is what helps make me an effective representative.”No appointment is needed to attend coffee hours. Those who are unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Barrett’s office by phone at 517-373-0853 or by email at TomBarrett@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Barrett News
11Oct Rep. Bellino testifies on bill package to end driver responsibility fees State Rep. Joe Bellino today testified before the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee on his bill, part of a sweeping bipartisan legislative package, to end driver responsibility fees by October 2018.Bellino, of Monroe, told the committee the threat of having to pay driver responsibility fees is no deterrent to people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.“Absolutely nobody at any of my meetings has ever said they didn’t drive while impaired because they were concerned they would have to pay driver responsibility fees,” said Bellino, who is a recovering drug abuser and alcoholic. “These fees have no deterrent impact on people who are going to drive regardless.”Bellino’s bill prohibits driver responsibility fees from being assessed after Oct. 1, 2018. An earlier reform phased out the fees as of October 2019. The law enacting driver responsibility fees took place in 2003, and Bellino said it was nothing more than a money grab to fill a hole in the budget.The committee continues to consider the legislative package#####The driver responsibility fees bills are House Bills 5040-5046, 5079-5080. Categories: Bellino News,Bellino Photos,News Legislator says fees do nothing to improve driving skills
17Jan Recognize Law Enforcement Every Day – Not Just January 9th Categories: Runestad News,Runestad Op-Ed By state Rep. Jim Runestad of White Lake On Jan. 9, the legislature recognized National Law Enforcement Day as a day to give thanks to those who protect us. As a state legislator, I would like to extend my sincere respect and gratitude to all of those in law enforcement for their selfless commitment to the residents of Michigan. They deserve the highest praise and commendation for their bravery and service to our communities. Officers answer the call of duty every day, and willingly accepted the challenges, along with the hazards of this profession, to protect us. I salute your dedication and strength, which serves as an inspiration to us all.As we know, law enforcement is a dangerous profession, requiring skill, preparation and rapid response at a moment’s notice. I commend your efforts in accepting the inherent dangers and challenges of this career. Your service demonstrates true courage, leadership, strength of character, and teamwork. Police officers are always on duty, 24-hours a day, and seven days a week.While I’m pleased we have a day earmarked to recognize such bravery, we must express our gratitude to those who protect us on a daily basis. They work under a microscope, oftentimes, and face constant scrutiny.Today, law enforcement can be a thankless, and very challenging task. They are exemplary public servants who rarely receive the recognition they deserve. Our communities would not function without committed individuals like the men and women in blue, who are willing to devote such considerable time, energy and talent to help others. Their contributions and sacrifices safeguard our citizens and communities. We must thank them for their tireless efforts to ensure this state is a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.Not just on the 9th of January, but every day of the week.
Categories: Roberts News 08Feb Roberts sponsors bill giving counties grant for veteran services State Rep. Brett Roberts of Charlotte cosponsored legislation Wednesday encouraging Michigan counties to establish and maintain veteran service offices through a new grant program.Under the measure, each county with a veteran service office that satisfies pre-approved requirements would receive $25,000, plus an additional amount based on the number of veterans in the county. To continue receiving the grant, an established county veteran service office must meet benchmarks for staff performance and reporting while maintaining the previous year’s funding level.“We owe it to our veterans for their courageous sacrifices,” Roberts said. “This measure will provide a grant for counties across Michigan to help increase the level of care our county veteran service offices provide to our military heroes.”Under the current model, the state supplies the Veteran Service Coalition with a grant to provide benefit services to veterans. Lack of funding and sparse access to these services has led to inadequate coverage for portions of the state. Depending on the county, a Veteran Service Officer may only be available for a few hours each month at a single location such as a city library.“The county service officers and accredited case agents at our local Eaton County veteran service office do their best to ensure that veterans are provided the assistance they need every day,” Roberts said. “This grant will help strengthen their crucial role and also help nearby counties expand access for veterans across Michigan.”Currently, there are 11 Michigan counties without a veteran service office. This could be due to the number of veterans in the area, lack of funding or because the county partners with neighboring counties.The legislation, House Bill 5536, will be formally read into the record today.
Share5TweetShareEmail5 SharesNASA’s ARIA team produced this map of damage to Paradise, California, from the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history. Image credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechDecember 5, 2018; New York TimesTent cities in Butte County, California have become part of the normal scene. After a devastating fire ravaged the town of Paradise, 26,000 residents have been displaced and there is no telling how many of these people will be homeless within the next few months. The residents of Paradise, mostly low-income, retirement-aged individuals, were already vulnerable to housing instability with the skyrocketing real estate costs in California.“Our state (California) has more than 1.7 million low-income households spending more than half their income in housing costs,” said Ben Metcalf, director of the state Department of Housing and Community Development. “When you’re paying that much for housing, with so little left over, even a minor shock can start a cycle of homelessness.” A minor shock would have been the family breadwinner catching the flu and taking unpaid leave for a week. The Camp Fire devastation is a full upheaval of these residents’ lives. Moreover, for retirees living off a fixed income, there is little to no ability to rebuild their lives after such a catastrophe.Yet even as the need for replacement housing is evident, statewide housing development has slowed down, with millions struggling to find or keep housing that they can afford. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Five wildfires over the past 14 months, with November’s Camp Fire the most devastating, have destroyed nearly 21,000 homes across six counties. That total is equivalent to more than 85 percent of all the new housing built in those counties over the past decade, according to Construction Industry Research Board building permit statistics.” Given that the state’s population has increased by 2.4 million (from 37.4 to 39.8 million) in the last eight years, it’s obvious that net housing production has fallen woefully short of demand.California already has the highest homeless population count in the US. There is little doubt that the recent fires will only exponentially exacerbate the growing crisis in the state. With this, nonprofit organizations in the state will need to prepare to serve an increasing number of individuals and families. But, as the homeless population increases, a question for concern is: how will nonprofits continue to serve both the new homeless and the old homeless?While California is a Housing First state, back in 2015, NPQ’s Rick Cohen discussed the flaws with this model. Housing First attempts to provide permanent affordable housing as quickly as possible for those experiencing homelessness, but the model essentially fails those who are the most difficult to place. With more and more individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the state, those who are easier to place, such as the “new homeless,” will receive services and those who are harder to place in homes may fall into the system’s cracks.In an attempt to solve the state’s housing crisis. Senator Scott Wiener has proposed a “right to shelter” policy that would increase the number of shelters in the state. He says, “We don’t have enough shelter capacity in California. There are counties and cities that have no shelter capacity, or they only open in the winter.” While it may be a promising approach, gaining the political support needed to pass the legislation may well prove challenging.—Sheela NimishakaviShare5TweetShareEmail5 Shares
Modern Times Group has launched its Viaplay online pay TV service in Russia. The service was previously available in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.The service, which is being made available via broadband internet across Russia, delivers an online on-demand subscription service, offering unlimited on-demand access to streamed TV series and documentaries, as well as international and local movies.The Russian service will be available for RUB99 (€2.50) a month, RUB199 for three months or RUB295 for six months. The offering will include content from Viasat’s thematic documentary channels Viasat History, Viasat Explorer and Viasat Nature, as well as content from the TV1000-branded movie channels, including Spider-Man 1-3, The Da Vinci Code, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Men in Black II and 50 First Dates, as well as Russian movies such as PiraMMMida, The Ghost and Terra Nova.“The launch of Viaplay in Russia represents an important milestone both for our emerging markets operations and for MTG as a leading international broadcasting group. More than 50 million Russians, or over 40% of the population, already use the internet, and TV content is one of the most important sources of both online and offline entertainment,“ said Hans-Holger Albrecht, president and CEO of MTG. “MTG has a leading position as a European online on-demand pay-TV operator, and we are excited to bring our experience and technology to Russia, in order to provide Russian viewers with a great online experience. We are already present in the Russian pay-TV market through the Raduga satellite TV platform, and Viaplay will enable more Russians than ever to access our content when and where they want.”
Bridge Technologies (Stand V10) will showcase its range of monitoring and analysis solutions for cable operators at ANGA cable.Focusing on recent product launches that provide high traffic capability and advanced end-to-end solutions, Bridge Technologies said it would show the VB330 10G probe and the VB252 DVB-T/T2 interface card.The new VB252 forms part of a complete monitoring solution for DVB-T2 including the T2-MI protocol. The dual-input VB252 provides external GPS lock for accurate drift monitoring for SFN networks, MER measurement and level readings.According to Bridge, the VB330 offers the highest performance-to-form-factor ratio available in a monitoring and analysis probe. It features three blades fitting in a single 1RU chassis for a total of six 10GB interfaces.“The power to handle intense traffic is matched with Bridge Technologies’ exceptional graphical operating environment, making it easy to keep track of a high volume of services and understand key status information at a glance,” said Simen Frostad, chairman, Bridge Technologies. “With competition becoming more intense every day, cable operators can achieve vital cost and efficiency benefits from the award-winning tools in the Bridge Technologies range.”
TV technology consultancy firm Farncombe and standards conformance specialist Digital TV Labs have launched a TNT 2.0 test suite targeting manufacturers launching connected TV services based on the latest version of HbbTV.The HD Forum, the French industry body responsible for developing TNT 2.0, has appointed Farncombe and Digital TV Labs to design the test suite to support the specific features of the TNT 2.0 profile including DASH adaptive streaming, which is specified in HbbTV 1.5. Farncombe has focused on DRM testing, while Digital TV Labs has designed the suite of tools to certify HTTP adaptive streaming based on the recently published MPEG-DASH specification. The TNT 2.0 test suites will also enable the validation of Marlin and Microsoft PlayReady DRMs.Farncombe will offer the DRM test suite alongside its security audits, allowing connected TV manufacturers’ DRM implementations to be reviewed to ensure compliance with robustness obligations and an objective set of minimum security requirements.Digital TV labs CEO, Keith Potter said, “The DASH adaptive streaming specified in HbbTV 1.5 is an important step in improving the perceived quality of video presentation on busy or slow internet connections. We are now able to license the full TNT 2.0 test suite, in conjunction with Ligada iSuite to provide full HbbTV 1.5 support to our clients.”
Ono had attracted 34,000 TiVo customers by the end of June, eight months after the Spanish cable operator launched its next-generation platform.Ono’s TiVo service launched in Barcelona and Madrid last October and is now available to 92% of its network. The operator said the platform should help it to increase its pay TV subscriber base and increase revenues in the coming quarters.Announcing its second quarter results, Ono said it had 897,000 residential TV customers at the end of June, compared with 952,000 a year earlier. Internet customers increased to 1.422 million from 1.414 million. The operator ended the second quarter with 1.9 million RGUs that took 4.4 million services.Revenues for the second quarter were up 5.7% year-on-year to €389 million.
When BT launches its YouView offering in the next few weeks it will use boxes made by Humax rather than its planned supplier Pace.According to an FT report, BT are concerned that boxes made by Pace have not met its requirements for the launch of connected TV service You View. The telco will instead use Humax boxes, which have been available since the consumer launch of YouView at the end of July. The FT reports that BT will use Pace boxes at a later date, with boxes expected to be smaller than the Humax device.Rival telco TalkTalk has already launched a YouView offering using boxes from Huawei.
The European Broadcasting Union and the International Skating Union have signed anew exclusive media rights deal covering the 2015-19 period.The deal covers the EBU’s traditonal territories but the organsiation will also be the skating body’s exclusive partner for the rest of the world excluding China, Japan, Korean, the US and Canada.The portfolio of rights covers 52 World and European Championships across the disciplines of figure skating, speed skating and short track.International Skating Union president Ottavio Cinquanta said: “The ISU is delighted to continue its long term partnership with the EBU by not only renewing its current contract with EBU Members but also by entrusting the EBU with the sale of TV/media rights in countries that currently do not show ISU disciplines. We are confident that through the EBU network and its new technologies the ISU will be able to offer top of the range content to the widest possible audience.”
Amanda HillA+E Networks has poached BBC Worldwide’s Amanda Hill to become its chief creative officer, international.She will be responsible for overseeing A+E’s programming, marketing and communications teams across its global portfolio, which includes the A&E channel, History and FYI. Included in this is oversight of all content such as programming development and coproductions.Hill will also head up strategic management of A+E content sourced from domestic US networks, reporting to executive VP, international Sean Cohan.Her hire comes after A+E added former RHI Entertainment exec Joel Denton to oversee its international sales business, as DTVE’s sister title TBI revealed last year.Another big-hitting BBCWW executive, Jana Bennett, joined A+E in 2013 as president of its cable brands FYI and LMN.Among Hill’s credits while at the BBC’s commercial arm, she oversaw the roll-out of new brands BBC First, which showcases BBC drama, factual net BBC Earth and BBC Brit, its factual entertainment.She was also responsible for developing an overarching brand strategy for all BBCWW businesses and maximising the value of brands such as Top Gear andDancing with the Stars on an international business.In all, she was with the BBC for 12 years, having previously worked in the fast-moving consumer goods industry for L’Oreal and Added Value.Cohan said Hill’s “worldwide perspective, passionate creativity and strategic acumen” made her “the ideal partner to continue the rapid expansion of our brands and content in the international marketplace”.“A+E Networks has a powerful portfolio of world class brands and some of the most enticing characters in TV that entertain great waves of people around the world,” added Hill.“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunities to establish even closer relationships with international audiences through the mix and quality of content, innovation to deliver cut through, and commitment to continuing to surprise and delight.”In further news, Deadline reports A+E’s production arm, A+E Studios, has signed a first-look deal with Dallas Buyers Club producer Rachel Winter.The pact covers series and long-form scripted drama projects, which Winter will develop, create and produce for the A+E channels portfolio and outside networks.“Rachel has a great ability to identify strong creative ideas and package them with high level talent,” said A+E Studios EVP Barry Jossen, the former ABC Studios boss that joined A+E last year.
The proliferation of connected devices mean that the TV is no longer the focal point in many homes, and viewers are using these devices throughout their TV viewing, not just during commercial breaks.The finding are contained in new research from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) based on a wide-ranging study among 1,050 UK consumers.Half of adults with an internet connection said the TV is not the focal point of their living room and 70% said they routinely second screen (use a connected device while watching TV). The proportion rises to 87% among 16-to-34s.The most popular activities include checking email (34%), instant messaging and texting (31%), and online shopping (25).Futhermore, biometric-based research shows the online activity is not restricted to ad-breaks with more second screen activity recorded during the programme being watched than in the commercial breaks.“Second screening is ingrained to such a degree that all screens are now equal, there’s no hierarchy, only fragmentation of attention – actually switch-screening is a much more accurate term,” says Tim Elkington, the IAB’s Chief Strategy Officer.He added: “Furthermore, entertainment is only a small part of the living room media activity. It’s now a multifunctional space where people jump between individual and group activities, be it shopping, social media, emails, work or messaging.”
Snapchat is due to see “explosive growth” in ad revenues, with the messaging service set to make US$935.5 million next year, according to eMarketer predictions.The research firm claims that Snapchat’s worldwide ad revenues will climb 155% year-on-year in 2017 from US$366.7 million this year, and will grow by a further 88.2% in 2018 to US$1.760 billion.“Advertisers are attracted to Snapchat for its broad reach among young millennials and those in Generation Z, which are valuable demographic groups for many businesses,” said eMarketer principal analyst Cathy Boyle.“To engage those often hard-to-reach consumers, Snapchat has expanded its advertising portfolio over the past year to include a wider array of video ads, and more sponsored geofilters and sponsored lenses.”Snapchat currently draws 95% of its ad revenues from the US, but its international share will grow as it begins to monetise users in countries like the UK where the service is popular, according to the research.eMarketer said that in the US the largest share of Snapchat’s ad revenues at 43% are drawn from its Discover platform, which launched last year in partnership with major TV broadcasters and publishers like National Geographic, Vice Media, Comedy Central and CNN.However, that balance is tipped to shift next year as Snapchat’s Stories feature overtakes Discover as the dominant ad revenue source, generating 37.8% of the company’s US ad business.While Snapchat takes a 31.6% share of social network users in the US, it only captures 2.3% of social network ad dollars, having just launched its ad platform in mid-2015, according to eMarketer.
Martin SorrellThe CEO of advertising giant WPP, Martin Sorrell has predicted that Google and Facebook will be its two biggest media investments by 2018.Speaking alongside Vice Media CEO Shane Smith at German trade show Dmexco, Sorrell described Google and Facebook as a “duopoly” that will soon account for 75% of digital advertising and incremental digital advertising.“Google and Facebook in 2017 may be, but in 2018 definitely will be our two biggest media investments,” said Sorrell, referring to WPP’s US$75 billion media portfolio.“Google will take this year about US$5.5 billion, Facebook US$1.7bn, the Murdoch group will be about US$2.25. I would anticipate Facebook next year will be close to that, maybe even more, so the two dominant forces are going to be Google and Facebook.”Asked to expand on his recent comments at the Edinburgh International Television Festival about an impending M&A “bloodbath” in the media industry, Shane Smith said: “There’s a massive consolidation that’s already happening, that’s accelerating – first of all in digital, on the digital platforms, and also in mainstream media.”The Vice boss predicted that: “You’re going to have very few internet companies and very few media companies and they’re going to merge.”In his MacTaggart lecture in Edinburgh last month, Smith argued that the changing digital landscape meant “mainstream media companies” – which he categorised as including Disney, plus Comcast, Fox, Viacom and Time Warner – were facing a global market that would prove too difficult for all to survive, meaning they were all chasing scale.
Sony is launching in first free-to-air channel in Italy with kids net Pop launching early next month.Sony Pictures Television Networks bought Neko TV (LCN 45) from Television Broadcasting System earlier this year and will rebrand it Pop for the May 4 free TV launch. As it acquired the DTT net two of its AXN channels went off the Sky platform.Pop is the UK kids brand Sony acquired as part its 2014 deal for channels group CSC. In the UK the kids net launched in 2003. Sony said today the deal marked a new era in its European business.“Sony’s Pop television network has been a big hit with kids elsewhere in Europe and now we’re thrilled to launch the channel in Italy, offering kids and families popular programme franchises and first-run shows such as Kuu Kuu Harajuku, Wild Kratts and The Insectibles which will be completely new for Italian free-to-air audiences, and exclusive to Pop,” said Kate Marsh, executive VP of Sony Pictures Television’s Western Europe International Networks division.Viacom and Pubblicità will sell advertising for the Italian Pop net, which is aimed at 6-to-9s. Launch titles on the free channel include The Deep, Kuu Kuu Harajuku, The Insectibles and Power Rangers Ninja Steel.There will also, Sony said, be local production, starting with a Maga Animation-produced series of interstitials.With pay TV operators squeezing channels groups, many, Sony included, are increasing their exposure to free-to-air. SPT has acquired the truTV DTT channel in the UK also launched a free TV Sony channel in the territory.
Subscription video-on-demand users in sub-Saharan Africa will number 10 million by 2023, according to Digital TV Research.According to the research outfit’s Sub-Saharan Africa OTT TV & Video Forecasts report, the number of SVOD subscribers will rise from 1.56 million at the end of last year to 9.99 million across 35 countries by 2023.SVOD revenues will remain low, however, reaching US$775 million (€665 million) by 2023 thanks to the low price of a number of services.South Africa will remain the SVOD leader in the region, with an estimated 3.37 million subscribers by 2023, followed by Nigeria with 2.61 million. The pair together will account for 60% of the region’s SVOD customers by that date, down from 74% last year, with other countries growing faster from a smaller base.The top six platforms, led by Netflix, Showmax and iRoko, accounted for 90% of SVOD customers at the end of last year, which will remain the case in 2023, according to Digital TV Research.Netflix will account for 40% of the overall market by that date, with an estimated 4.03 million homes, according to the research outfit.“Market dynamics have shifted over the last year. There have been many fewer platform launches, especially on a country level. Furthermore, several multinational players are expected to rein in their ambitions whereas Netflix has consolidated its market leadership,” said principal analyst Simon Murray.“We believe that iRoko will concentrate mostly on West Africa. A significant stake in Iflix was sold to Econet, which we believe will mean more focus on Eastern and Southern Africa. Multichoice announced that Showmax will be given free to premium DStv subscribers across Africa, with Compact subscribers offered Showmax for half price.”