Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dave Brockie of rubber-costumed metal act GWAR was found dead in his Richmond, Virginia home late on Sunday. Better known by stage name Oderus Urungus, Brockie was 50.

Founder, singer, leader, and occasional bassist of GWAR, Brockie’s career stretches back to 1984. He and fellow Virginia Commonwealth University art students formed what they dubbed “Earth’s only openly extra-terrestrial rock band”, growing famous for satirical and obscene lyrical themes, and live shows featuring the defilement of effigies and plenty of fake blood.

Fellow founding member Don Drakulich, who still makes props and costumes for the rockers, said he was “very sad” and “shocked”. He said Brockie’s roommate found the corpse. GWAR members changed frequently and the band recovered from the sudden death of guitarist Cory “Flattus Maximus” Smoot during a 2011 tour, but the New York Daily News notes “it’s hard to envision their saga going further” after Brockie’s death.

The band ran with the backstory of crashing to “the most insignificant planet in the universe” 43 million years ago before creating humans by having sex with apes. Becoming encased with ice, the legend ran that upon thawing out in 1984 the members decided to form a band.

I am one of the blessed people that gets to do what I love to do for a living

Manager Jack Flanagan announced the death via GWAR’s website, adding a post-mortem will be conducted. “My main focus right now is to look after my band mates and his family” he said. Flanagan said another GWAR member found the body.

Brockie said in 2009 “I am one of the blessed people that gets to do what I love to do for a living.” GWAR received a Grammy nomination in 1993, with Phallus in Wonderland up for Best Longform Music Video.

Fellow Virginia rocker Randy Blythe, vocalist for Lamb of God, paid tribute online, writing on Instagram “When someone dies, a lot of the time people will say ‘Oh, he was a unique person, really one of a kind, a true original’ […] I can’t think of ANYONE even remotely like him.”

He never put much stock in ‘limits’

Blythe also took to Facebook. “Right now, if I were to truly honor Dave in the way HE would do it if it were ME that had died, I would make a completely tasteless joke about his death. But I do not have the stomach for that — Dave would, but not me. He never put much stock in ‘limits’.”

Ex-GWAR guitarist Steve Douglas said on Facebook “I have had a few bad days in my life but this one truly ranks right up there. […] you are gone and it is hurting very badly!” “I wish it was a joke” said another ex-member, Chris Bopst. “Everyone is in shock.”

Former bassist Mike Bishop paid tribute in an interview with Style Weekly. “Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I’ve known,” he said. “He was brash sometimes, always crass, irreverent, he was hilarious in every way. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art.”

Indonesia pledges to cut haze-causing forest fires by half

Posted December 14th, 2018 by e76yKR

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Seeking to stave off the forest fires that have blanketed five Southeast Asian countries with choking haze for the past two years, Indonesian environmental and forestry officials said yesterday they would be able to reduce the number of hot spots this year by more than half.

Meeting in Jambi, Sumatra, cabinet ministers from Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand heard what Indonesia plans to do this year to combat the illegal forest fires, which start each year during the August-November dry season.

“We are targeting a drop of about 50 percent in forest fires but we are entering the dry season between July and August so we have to increase our alertness,” Indonesian deputy environment minister Masnellyarti Hilman was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse. “We explained the efforts that we’ve taken to prevent a repeat of the choking haze…and they praised our efforts,” he said.

A statement issued by the ministers after the meeting said Indonesia’s efforts would reduce the number of hot spots by 58 percent from the previous year.

Caused by slash-and-burn cultivation on palm oil and timber plantations on Borneo and Sumatra, the haze has covered parts of the affected countries for the past two years. It was first problematic in 1997, due to the El Niño weather pattern.

Wikinews Shorts: April 1, 2007

Posted December 14th, 2018 by e76yKR

A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, April 1, 2007.

Contents

  • 1 Nepal: Former rebels join government; elections set for June
  • 2 Russia bans foreigners from retail sales jobs
  • 3 Google TiSP April fools joke
  • 4 Iranian students protest outside British embassy in Tehran

Five former Maoist rebels were sworn in as ministers as part of a peace pact designed to end a decade-long insurgency that has killed more than 13,000 people in Nepal. The new government has announced assembly elections for late June, 2007. Thereafter, the new assembly is due to write a new constitution for the Himalayan nation.

Related news

  • “Nepal civil war ended by peace deal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006

Sources


Under a new law that went into effect today, non-Russians will not be allowed to work as salespeople in shops and markets. The ban was presented by Vladimir Putin as a way of improving employment prospects for Russian citizens. Russian media warns that it will increase the labor costs for retailers and drive up inflation. The Federal Migration Service, a government agency, reported nearly full compliance in Moscow.

Sources


Today, Sunday, Google “released” their Google TiSP service. This April Fool appears on their homepage as “New! Get FREE breakthrough broadband with Google TiSP (BETA).” This directs you to a page with details of Google’s TiSP package, a package that will give you broadband after you flush a fiber-optic cable down your toilet. Google issued a press release at midnight on April 1st, 2007.

Sources

External links


Between 100 and 200 students gathered outside the British embassy in Tehran to protest the alleged incursion into Iranian waters by the Royal Navy.The protesters threw rocks, chanted “Death to Britain” and called for the expulsion of the ambassador. Police prevented the protesters from entering the compound.

Sources


byAlma Abell

Once you’ve found the home you’re looking for, ideally you’re ready to sign the papers and move in. However, in order to protect yourself as a homebuyer, it is necessary to have a Home Inspection in Naperville. A home inspector will take a look on the inside and outside of the residence to check for any necessary repairs or structural damage to the property. By law, they are then required to provide you with a home inspection report. Knowing how to decipher what these reports say is extremely important before making the final decision to purchase the home.

Written Inspection Report

Once the home inspection is completed, you will be provided with a written report of the findings. The report should contain detailed information as it pertains to the property. The report should be broken into sections that clearly identify various components and systems in the home. The five areas that are generally covered will include the electrical system, plumbing system, heating and cooling systems, and structural components (this includes your foundation, exterior and exterior structure and other structural components as mandated by the state).

Things Not Included in the Report

If you want a more thorough evaluation of the condition of the home, you should know that a general home inspection will not cover those things. For instance, an inspector generally doesn’t cover things such as pests or insects, and environmental conditions such as asbestos, lead pain, or radon present in the home. All of these things in large quantities can be a significant problem for new homeowners to deal with. If you really have concerns for the environmental conditions of the property, you will need to contact a specialist to perform another inspection for you. In some cases, the home inspector you’re presently working with has the necessary licensing and experience to conduct the specialized tests and therefore simply asking them to complete an inspection in this area would suffice. Keep in mind that they will be separate reports and may cost more.

A Home Inspection in Naperville is ideal for those interested in purchasing a property. It makes them aware of the current conditions of the property, therefore allowing them to make an informed decision on the final purchase. Never take the word of a home seller or an outdated home inspection report. It is always best to have your own conducted to protect yourself and your potential investment.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

On Monday, San Jose, California, US-based software company Adobe Systems announced their plans to acquire California-based e-commerce handling web service Magento Commerce for 1.68 billion US dollars (USD). After Adobe made the announcement via their official website, Adobe’s stocks rose by around one percent, ending Monday extended trading at USD 238.10 per share.

Magento provides services for the creation of digital ads and handling of online transactions. Magento’s services are used by Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Warner Music, and Canon. The acquisition, which is expected to take place in the third fiscal quarter of this year, is to be an all-cash deal. Adobe is to acquire Magento from Permira equity firm. In 2015, Permira bought Magento from eBay, an eCommerce website. Adobe, in their official statement, said, “Magento Commerce Cloud will enable commerce to be seamlessly integrated into the Adobe Experience Cloud”.

Adobe also announced a buyback of shares worth USD eight billion by 2021. Magento’s CEO Mark Lavelle said, “Adobe and Magento share a vision for the future of digital experiences that brings together Adobe’s strength in content and data with Magento’s open commerce innovation […] We’re excited to join Adobe and believe this will be a great opportunity for our customers, partners and developer community”.

After the announcement, stocks of Magento’s competitors Shopify, Inc dropped by about 4.8%. They finished extended trading at USD 137.60 after the announcement.

News briefs:July 30, 2010

Posted December 12th, 2018 by e76yKR
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Friday, April 3, 2009

General Motors (GM) and Chrysler will receive bridge loans from the government of Canada and the provincial government of Ontario, however no more will be forthcoming from either Canadian or US governments unless the companies can reinvent themselves.

“This is a regrettable but necessary step to protect the Canadian economy. We are doing this on the assumption that we obviously cannot afford either in the United States or Canada a catastrophic short-term collapse.” said Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

“We cannot, we must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish. This industry is, like no other, an emblem of the American spirit; a once and future symbol of America’s success,” said Barack Obama, President of the United States. “These companies – and this industry – must ultimately stand on their own, not as wards of the state.”

Chrysler will receive CA$1 billion and may in fact be eligible for as much as CA$4 billion. If Chrysler succeeds in the next 30 days with a restructuring plan it would be eligible for a US$6 billion loan. A part of Chrysler’s restructuring plan must include a partnership with Fiat within 30 days to appease the US administration. Fiat is a supplier of smaller fuel-efficient vehicles, and the merger will help Chrysler to be viable in the North American market. A Chrysler court bankruptcy would inevitably lead to it being sold off.

As a part of Chrysler’s restructuring plans, Tom LaSorda, the president of Chrysler announced that Canadian operations would fold if it does not receive both the US commitment of $2.3 billion of aid and a new Canadian Auto Workers CAW contract to reduce all-in costs by CA$19 per hour. As a result of this announcement Chrysler’s auto sales volume in Canada dropped 23% compared to March of 2008.

GM has until the end of May to restructure its company to receive up to CA$7.5 billion. As part of the companies restructuring, General Motor’s chief executive Rick Wagoner was replaced Sunday with Fritz Henderson, the current chief operating officer. Henderson spoke out on Tuesday that GM has submitted a restructuring plan which would close five plants, and this may be increased to meet the requirements for financial aid. He is in full compliance with Obama’s auto task force to seek bankruptcy if GM cannot negotiate with their unions, bondholders and others.

GM recently brought forward the “GM Total Confidence” program providing consumer purchase protection for customers who lose their job for economic reasons within the first two years from purchase. As a result of Chrysler’s restructuring announcement in Canada, GM’s Canadian vehicle sales volume fell only 17.3% compared to 2008, an increase from the previous month.

GM must reduce some of its legacy costs which include its pensions and union health care costs. A part of GM’s ailments arose from investing in supplying truck and SUVs during an economy of high gas prices when consumers were demanding fuel efficient vehicles.

Tony Clement, Canada’s Minister of Industry, is hoping that the CAW will support the restructuring process and re-negotiate their agreement. Whereas a United Auto Workers negotiator has said, “I don’t see how the UAW will do anything until they see what the bondholders will give up.”

The Obama administration is looking toward bankruptcy proceedings for the automakers, “as a mechanism to help them restructure quickly and emerge stronger. [It will] quickly clear away old debts that are weighing them down. What we are asking is difficult. It will require hard choices by companies. It will require unions and workers who have already made painful concessions to make even more. It will require creditors to recognise that they cannot hold out for the prospect of endless government bailouts.” said Obama.

The auto parts suppliers and IT software exporters in India have already been affected by the declining auto sales. GM and Chrysler software contracts provide US$300 to 350 million a year to vendors in India. As well these two major automakers usually award US$1 billion contracts to auto parts suppliers. “We are worried and closely watching the developments in the US to gauge the impact. The decline in auto sales in the US has already hit the order books of Indian suppliers,” said a Delhi auto parts supplier.

“Going forward, the industry will undoubtedly be smaller, but if our efforts are successful it will be viable and it will support good jobs for Canadians,” said Clements.

Betty Sutton, Ohio’s Congresswoman put forward the CARS act which provides a US$3,000 to 5,000 incentive for those who trade in their vehicle for a fuel-efficient car. “It clearly stimulates the economy, and it gets the consumer into the showroom and gets them buying again. But importantly — and this is what I particularly like about it — it really helps the environment quite a bit in two respects.” said William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Company has not come forward with requests for assistance.

Since December GM and Chrysler have received US$17.4 billion government loans.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

The 18th Taipei Computer Applications Show (2008 TICA), organized by Taipei Computer Association (TCA) and Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), started its five day trade show at the Taipei World Trade Center. Unlike COMPUTEX Taipei, TICA focused on selling electronic goods to consumers in the local area.

To attract local residents, the show used several arcade machines from the recent “Digital E-Park” trade show.

The event also hosted displays on Linux Applications, Robots, Digital Content , e-Learning, and Science. These displays were co-organized by TCA, TAITRA, and Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) to demonstrate achievements of Taiwan’s R&Ds.

According to TAITRA, technology giants such as Micro-Star International, Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, D-Link, Hewlett-Packard Company, and Sony participated in the event, in addition to local companies such as 3J Tech, Omni Motion, International Games System, and TransAVA, will showcase different trendy and incident-involved products in this show.

Taipei City Government, the supervisor for the event’s transport, announced a plan to deal with the amount of traffic going to the event, which expected to peak in visitor numbers of the weekend.

In depth: Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal controversy

Posted December 9th, 2018 by e76yKR

Friday, May 26, 2006

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

In February of 2006, the Savarino Services Construction Corp. proposed the construction of a seven million dollar hotel on Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York. In order for the hotel to be built, at least five properties containing businesses and residents would have to be destroyed. It was not certain whether the properties were owned by Savarino or by the landlord Hans Mobius. The hotel was designed by Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group, and is planned to be a franchise of the Wyndham Hotels group.

Elmwood Avenue is known by the community as a popular shopping center, and Nancy Pollina of Don Apparel (who is “utterly against” the construction) claims it’s the only reason why students from Buffalo State College leave campus. Additionally, Michael Faust of Mondo Video said he did not want to “get kicked out of here [his video store property].”

In 1995, a Walgreens was proposed to be built on the same land, but Walgreens later withdrew its request for a variance because of pressure from the community. More recently, Pano Georgiadis tried to get the rights to demolish the Atwater House next to his restaurant on Elmwood Avenue, but was denied a permit due to the property’s historical value. He has since been an opponent to the hotel construction.

In the process of debating the hotel, it was thought that a hotel had previously existed on the proposed site, however; research done at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society had shown that no hotel had previously existed on the site.

Contents

  • 1 In depth
    • 1.1 The initial meeting
    • 1.2 Hotel redesign
    • 1.3 The second meeting and the planning board’s decision
    • 1.4 Threats of lawsuit
    • 1.5 Approval by the Common Council and Planning Board
    • 1.6 Lawsuit filed
    • 1.7 Proposal withdrawn
    • 1.8 Properties for sale
    • 1.9 Documents threaten hotel proposal, businesses on site
  • 2 Chronology
  • 3 Gallery

By Julius Giarmarco

In Estate of Knipp v Commissioner, 25 T.C. 153 (1955), the decedent was a 50% partner in a general partnership that was owner and beneficiary of 10 life insurance policies on his life. The policies were purchased for business purposes. The court ruled that the decedent held no incidents of ownership in the policies. To rule otherwise the court felt would result in unwarranted double taxation, since 50% of the death proceeds were already included in the value of the decedent’s estate via his partnership interest.

Some practitioners have been reluctant to rely on the Knipp case where a partnership or LLC holds no assets other than life insurance. They feel that Knipp requires a business purpose for holding life insurance. But, in PLR 200947006 (Nov. 20, 2009) and PLR 200948001 (Nov. 27, 2009), the IRS ruled that a decedent did not have incidents of ownership over policies on his life owned by (and payable to) a limited partnership, even though: (1) the limited partnership owned no assets other than life insurance; and (2) the decedent owned stock in the corporate general partner and was the trustee of a trust that was a limited partner.

ILIT Substitute

These two PLRs, although not precedent, may open the door for several planning opportunities. For example, a family limited partnership (‘FLP’) or family limited liability company (‘FLLC’) can be used as a substitute for an irrevocable life insurance trust (‘ILIT’). Among the advantages of an FLP/FLLC over an ILIT are the following:

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1. Unlike an ILIT, the partnership/operating agreement of an FLP/FLLC can be amended. Thus, FLPs/FLLCs may be more flexible than ILITs if circumstances or tax laws change.

2. The grantor-insured cannot name himself/herself as the trustee of the ILIT without adverse estate tax consequences. But the insured can be the general partner/manager of the FLP/FLLC. Thus, by retaining a relatively small general partnership interest in an FLP (or a small percentage of the voting membership interests in an FLLC), the insured can remain in control while owning a small percentage of the FLP or FLLC for estate tax purposes.

3. If the insured becomes estranged from a child or grandchild who is a partner/member, the FLP/FLLC can be dissolved and (through the dissolution process) the estranged partner/member can be allocated cash or other assets, while the other partners/members can be allocated the life insurance policy.

4. It is more convenient to use an FLP/FLLC (rather than an ILIT) to own income-producing assets (including a business) in order to provide funds to pay life insurance premiums. In addition, the FLP’s/FLLC’s income will be allocated among the partners/members pro rata and taxed at their individual rates. Income earned and held by the ILIT to pay premiums will be taxed at the ILIT’s extremely high rates (unless the ILIT is a grantor trust). Finally, having income-producing property in the FLP/FLLC avoids having to give trust beneficiaries Crummey powers.

5. Assuming reasonable valuation discounts are allowed (for lack of control and lack of marketability), the insured can ‘leverage’ his/her annual gift tax exclusion (presently $13,000) and lifetime gift tax exemption (presently $1 million) by making gifts of FLP/FLLC units rather than cash.

Buy-Sell Funding

Another planning opportunity for partnership-owned life insurance deals with buy-sell agreements. Buy-sell agreements for corporations with more than two shareholders create several potential problems. First, with the popular cross-purchase or wait-and-see buy-sell agreement (so that the surviving shareholders receive a stepped-up basis in their shares and a C corporation avoids paying the Alternative Minimum Tax), either a trusteed buy-sell arrangement must be used or multiple policies must be purchased (i.e., each shareholder must own a policy on each other shareholder’s life). For example, with four shareholders, you would need 12 policies. Second, a transfer-for-value may occur at the death of a shareholder as the deceased shareholder’s interests in the surviving shareholders’ policies are purchased by the surviving shareholders. If so, a portion of the insurance proceeds will be subject to income taxes. IRC Section 101(a)(2).

To avoid both of these problems, the shareholders could form a general partnership or limited liability company to own the policies with which to fund the corporate buy-sell agreement. Similar to a trusteed buy-sell arrangement, only one policy per shareholder is needed. The partnership / operating agreement will provide that any life insurance death proceeds be specially allocated to just the surviving shareholders. At the death of a shareholder, there will be no transfer-for-value problems, because the transfer of policies to a ‘partner’ of the insured is an exception to the transfer-for-value rule. IRC Section 101(a)(2)(B). In addition, partnerships and LLCs are not subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

In summary, life insurance owned by an FLP or FLLC can provide flexibility and planning opportunities to the insureds that are not available to their counterparts in ILITs and corporations.

THIS ARTICLE MAY NOT BE USED FOR PENALTY PROTECTION. THE MATERIAL IS BASED UPON GENERAL TAX RULES AND FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE AND TAXPAYERS SHOULD CONSULT THEIR OWN LEGAL AND TAX ADVISORS AS TO THEIR SPECIFIC SITUATION.

About the Author: Julius Giarmarco, J.D., LL.M, chairs the Trusts and Estates Practice Group of Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C., in Troy, Michigan. For more articles on estate and business succession planning, please visit the author’s website,

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, and click on ‘Advisor Resources’.

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