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Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal gets final approval by city Planning Board

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  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006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

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Buffalo, New York —The proposed Elmwood Village Hotel got the final approval it needed from the city of Buffalo’s Planning Board this morning.

In a unanimous vote, the Board approved most of the design and site plan of the hotel.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed hotel by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and is designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. It is to be placed on the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo and will require the demolition of at least five properties (1109-1121 Elmwood).

Despite the fact that today’s meeting was not a “public hearing”, several citizens lashed out at the Board after the approval.

“Thanks for destroying Buffalo,” said one man.

“[I am] disgusted. Because they did not allow the community to speak, it is the bastardization of the concepts of justice and democracy, and that’s what happened [today],” said Clarence Carnahan, a local business owner and concerned citizen, to Wikinews. He also referred to some board members as “immoral pigs.”

“[I feel] frustration because no one could speak. I was going to address the displacement of all the shops that are there and that they should be grand-fathered into the new space. We did not get to say that. [I am disappointed] that they are endorsing this enormous monstrosity.” said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood.

Although the Board approved the hotel proposal, Savarino Construction must still go before the board to approve things such as signage and lighting. The Planning Board meets again on April 11, 2006 at 8:00a.m., but it is unknown if the hotel proposal will be on the agenda.

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood and owner of 605 Forest Avenue in Buffalo, threatened to sue Savarino Construction at a public meeting on March 15, 2006 saying, “if you try to get a variance to change the code, I will sue you. This is my home, number one. If you go against city code, and you try to do the most rooms with a minimal amount of parking, again, I will sue you.”

Today, Georgiadis confirmed to Wikinews that he is “definitely” suing, but that his “situation is different” as compared to others looking into legal action. “This is my property. They did it [changed the code] without my approval.”

Last week, the Common Council voted and approved the rezoning of all five properties including 605 Forest.

Some are also considering taking the case to the New York State Supreme Court to “seek an injunction”and would go “pro se, meaning I am going to present the case myself,” said Carnahan.

Despite the approvals by the Common Council and Planning Board, organizers schedulaed another protest for Saturday April 1, 2006 at 2:00p.m. on the proposed site at Forest and Elmwood.

“We are not going to go down without a fight. We are going to go kicking and screaming,” said Pollina.

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Pennsylvania man named in alleged terror plot

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Michael Curtis Reynolds, 47, from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, is accused of trying to work with al-Qaeda, according to the FBI.

The Phildelphia Inquirer has reportedly obtained court transcripts from Reynold’s Rule Five hearing, before a federal magistrate judge in Pocatello, Idaho that revealed a “convoluted plot” that also includes cyberspace intrigue, an FBI sting, and then an exchange of money in Idaho. Reynolds was represented by Federal Defender, Nick Veith, at the hearing.

According to the transcripts, FBI agents say that Reynolds was plotting to blow up the Alaska pipeline, another pipeline in Pennsylvania and a refinery in New Jersey, with a person who he thought was an al-Qaeda operative. It is also reported that he had planned an attack against Standard Oil Co. in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and Williams Refinery in Opal, Wyoming. However, the Standard Oil refinery, now Chevron, does not exist anymore. The refinery had closed more than a decade ago. All that remains in its place is an empty field. Armada Hess is the only active refinery in Perth Amboy.

So far, Reynolds has not been charged with terrorism.

However, a prosecutor in Reynolds’ December hearing said that, “he tried to provide material aid to al Qaeda.” The prosecutor also said the case “involves a federal offense of terrorism.”

A municipal judge from Conrad, Montana, Shannen Rossmiller, 36, led the FBI to Reynolds by posing as an al-Qaeda operative. Reports say that Rossmiller was looking through terrorist websites when she came across a post by Reynolds who was seeking $40,000 that he would use to buy fuel trucks that would blow up refineries in New Jersey, Wyoming and part of the Alaska Pipeline. After six-weeks of e-mailing each other, Rossmiller agreed to pay the money, and set up a meeting with Reynolds in Pocatello, Idaho. It is reported that after the plans were made, Rossmiller then contacted the FBI who then set up a sting operation, two months ago, against Reynolds. “I feel compelled to do what I can and I know that I have an ability to do something. I’m out for the hunt,” said Rossmiller.

Rossmiller started to look through terror websites just after the September 11 terrorist attacks in NYC. She has read the Koran, studied the radical Islamist lifestyle, and learned just enough Arabic to lurk around in terrorist related chat rooms and “ensnare” the extremists. She also said that he has “assumed several the identities of more than two dozen male personae on the Internet,” and was also part of “a large number” of cases involving the hunting of terrorists. Court records also show that Rossmiller had posed on the Internet as an Algerian terrorist to “befriend” Ryan Anderson, a Muslim convert and a member of the National Guard from the state of Washington, who wanted to hand over information to al-Qaeda on how to destroy Army tanks and humvees.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus Jr. said, according to transcripts, “he (Reynolds) was doing it as a plan to disrupt governmental function, to change the government’s actions in foreign countries, and to impact on the national debate about the (Iraq) war.”

Reynolds denies trying to work with al-Qaeda and stated that he was “a patriot seeking to expose an al-Qaeda cell inside the United States.” Philip Gelso, Reynolds’s attorney, has not commented on the case.

Authorities searched Reynolds’ home and took his computer as evidence, and some documents allegedly spelling out his terror plots. According to Gurganus, in e-mails on his computer, Reynolds “described what explosives should be used (in the attacks) and where they should be placed.” Gurganus also told the judge that Reynolds, “knew the plots could get him the death penalty as a traitor and that he would have to leave the country immediately once they were carried out.”

According to the British The Inquirer, Microsoft was issued a subpoena last month to allow the Department of Justice access to Reynolds’ hotmail account.

Reynolds has been in Lackawanna County jail, held without bail, since December 5, 2005, when he was arrested about 25 miles from the Thunderbird Motel in Pocatello, Idaho for an unrelated weapons charge. He was charged with possession of an unregistered explosive device when authorities found a grenade in a duffel bag that was inside a home in Pocatello that Reynolds was staying at before he came to Idaho. The grenade charge carries a minimum sentence of three to seven years, to be served in a federal prison. On December 20, a jury indicted and charged Reynolds with two counts of unlawfully possessing hand grenades.

Reynolds pleaded guilty to attempted arson in 1978, a misdemeanor and menacing. He was sentenced to a conditional discharge. He has also been previously convicted of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and breach of the peace.

The Times-Tribune received a letter on the 13th that used Reynolds’ return address at the Lackawanna County Prison and bears a rubber stamp as used to mark outgoing mail from the jail that detailed Reynold’s denial of ties to al-Qaeda. The letter is postmarked with a date of February 10th, before the Philadelphia Inquirer story was published.

Titled “Patriot Games,” the letter’s content addresses the charge regarding the grenade found at his residence in a comment stating that it was planted there “by someone known to myself and to the FBI.” In denial of work for and also in denial of any desire to work for al-Qaeda, Reynolds wrote that “I know what losses terrorists inflict on people. I would never work to assist them or harbor any,” referring to his claim of a colleague being killed in the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers.

In the letter Reynolds explains the investigation that he claims to have been working on to track “a person that I had believed to be a terrorist” and to expose them “once I had solid proof of who or where they operated from.”

Reynolds claims that his family founded Bedford Hills, New York in 1676. He further claims that he personally has given military service in the US Army, written a Military police handbook, trained SWAT and drug enforcement teams. He further claims to have been an engineer with military clearance and to have taught in Thailand as a first grade teacher and also an English teacher to Buddhist monks.

As an explanation for his prosecution, Reynolds has written that he believes it to have been due to his military service and that he believes the case would be dismissed provided a hearing in front of a judge.

When questioned as to the authenticity of the letter, prison warden Janine M. Donate said that the letter appeared to be from the prison.

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NTSB releases updates on status of 3 major US investigations

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the agency responsible for investigating transportation accidents in the United States, released updates on three major investigations on June 14.

The NTSB, well known publicly for its involvement in the investigation of aviation incidents which involve harm or loss of human life, is also an agency that oversees the transportation of refined petroleum and gas products, chemicals and minerals.

The agency determined the cause of a natural gas pipeline explosion that killed six. It also detailed the cause of an accidental release of 204,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia from a pipeline in an environmentally sensitive area, and released preliminary information involving two commercial aircraft coming within 30-50 feet of each other on a runway.

In the gas explosion disaster, the towing vessel Miss Megan, which was of specifications that did not require inspection by the United States Coast Guard, was being operated in the West Cote Blanche Bay oil field in Louisiana by Central Boat Rentals on behalf of Athena Construction on October 12, 2006. The Miss Megan was pushing barge IBR 234, which was tied along the starboard side of barge Athena 106, en route to a pile-driving location. Athena Construction did not require its crews to pin mooring spuds (vertical steel shafts extending through wells in the bottom of the boat and used for mooring) securely in place on its barges and consequently this had not been done. During the journey, the aft spud on the Athena 106 released from its fully raised position. The spud dropped into the water and struck a submerged, high-pressure natural gas pipeline. The resulting gas released ignited and created a fireball that engulfed the towing vessel and both barges. The master of the towing vessel and four barge workers were killed. The Miss Megan deckhand and one barge worker survived. One barge worker is officially listed as missing.

The NTSB blames Athena Construction for the disaster, citing in the final report that Athena Construction’s manual contained no procedures mandating the use of the safety devices on the spud winch except during electrical work. It was found that if the Athena 106 crew had used the steel pins to secure the retracted spuds during their transit, a pin would have prevented the aft spud from accidentally deploying. Furthermore, the spud would have remained locked in its lifted position regardless of whether the winch brake mechanism, the spud’s supporting cable, or a piece of connecting hardware had failed.

The NTSB also found that contributing to the accident was the failure of Central Boat Rentals to require, and the Miss Megan master to ensure, that the barge spuds were securely pinned before getting under way. The Board noted that investigators found no evidence that the Miss Megan master or deckhand checked whether the spuds had been properly secured before the tow began. While Central Boat Rentals had a health and safety manual and trained its crews, the written procedures did not specifically warn masters about the need to secure spuds or other barge equipment before navigating. The NTSB stated that the company’s crew should have been trained to identify potential safety hazards on vessels under their control.

NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said of the investigation’s results, “Having more rigorous requirements in place could have prevented this accident from occurring. Not only do these regulations need to be put in place but it is imperative that they are enforced and adhered to.”

The NTSB has made a number of safety recommendations as a result of this accident and the subsequent investigation. Recommendations were made to Athena Construction and Central Boat Rentals to develop procedures and train the employees of its barges to use the securing pins to hold spuds safely in place before transiting from one site to another.

The most major of the other recommendations are:

To the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

  • Direct the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health to issue the following documents document to the maritime industry: (1) a fact sheet regarding the accident, and (2) a guidance document regarding the need to secure the gear on barges, including spud pins, before the barges are moved, and detailing any changes to your memorandum of understanding with the Coast Guard.

To the U. S. Coast Guard

  • Finalize and implement the new towing vessel inspection regulations and require the establishment of safety management systems appropriate for the characteristics, methods of operation, and nature of service of towing vessels.
  • Review and update your memorandum of understanding with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to specifically address your respective oversight roles on vessels that are not subject to Coast Guard inspection.

The NTSB also released the result of its investigation into an environmental disaster in Kansas on October 27, 2004 in which 204,000 gallons (4,858 barrels) of anhydrous ammonia was spilled from a ruptured pipeline in Kingman into an environmentally sensitive area. Chemicals from the pipeline entered a nearby stream and killed more than 25,000 fish, including some fish from threatened species.

The incident reached the scale that it did due to operator error after the initial rupture. The 8 5/8-inch diameter steel pipeline, which was operated by Enterprise Products Operating L.P., burst at 11:15 a.m. in an agricultural area about 6 miles east of Kingman, Kansas. A drop in pipeline pressure, indicating abnormal conditions or a possible compromise in pipeline integrity, set off alarms displayed on the computerized pipeline monitoring system. Shortly after the first alarm the pipeline controller, in an attempt to remedy the low pressure, increased the flow of anhydrous ammonia into the affected section of pipeline. A total of 33 minutes elapsed between the time when the first alarm indicated a problem with the pipeline and the initiation of a shutdown.

In its initial report to the National Response Center (NRC), the pipeline operator’s accident reporting contractor reported a release of at least 20 gallons of ammonia, telling the NRC that an updated estimate of material released would be reported at a later time. No such report was ever made. Because of the inaccurate report, the arrival of representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency was delayed by a full day, affecting the oversight of the environmental damage mitigation efforts.

The cause of the rupture itself was determined to be a pipe gouge created by heavy equipment damage to the pipeline during construction in 1973 or subsequent excavation activity at an unknown time that initiated metal fatigue cracking and led to the eventual rupture of the pipeline.

“We are very fortunate that such highly toxic chemicals of the size and scope involved in this accident were not released in a populated area,” commented Rosenker. “Had this same quantity of ammonia been released near a town or city, the results could have been catastrophic.”

As a result of this accident, the NTSB made the following safety recommendations:

To the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:

  • Require that a pipeline operator must have a procedure to calculate and provide a reasonable initial estimate of released product in the telephonic report to the National Response Center.
  • Require that a pipeline operator must provide an additional telephonic report to the National Response Center if significant new information becomes available during the emergency response.
  • Require an operator to revise its pipeline risk assessment plan whenever it has failed to consider one of more risk factors that can affect pipeline integrity.

To Enterprise Products Operating L.P.:

  • Provide initial and recurrent training for all controllers that includes simulator or noncomputerized simulations of abnormal operating conditions that indicate pipeline leaks.

“The severity of this release of dangerous chemicals into the community could have been prevented,” said Rosenker. “The safety recommendations that we have made, if acted upon, will reduce the likelihood of this type of accident happening again.”

As well as concluding their investigation of the above accidents, the NTSB also released preliminary information regarding a serious runway incursion at San Francisco International Airport between two commercial aircraft on May 26, 2007.

At about 1:30 p.m. the tower air traffic controller cleared SkyWest Airlines flight 5741, an Embraer 120 arriving from Modesto, California, to land on runway 28R. Forgetting about the arrival airplane, the same controller then cleared Republic Airlines flight 4912, an Embraer 170 departing for Los Angeles, to take off from runway 1L, which intersects runway 28R.

After the SkyWest airliner touched down, the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS) alerted and the air traffic controller transmitted “Hold, Hold, Hold” to the SkyWest flight crew in an attempt to stop the aircraft short of runway 1L. The SkyWest crew applied maximum braking that resulted in the airplane stopping in the middle of runway 1L. As this was occurring, the captain of Republic Airlines flight 4912 took control of the aircraft from the first officer, realized the aircraft was traveling too fast to stop, and initiated an immediate takeoff. According to the crew of SkyWest 5741, the Republic Airlines aircraft overflew theirs by 30 to 50 feet. The Federal Aviation Administration has categorized the incident as an operational error.

The NTSB sent an investigator to San Francisco, who collected radar data, recorded air traffic control communications, and flight crew statements, and interviewed air traffic control personnel prior to the NTSB making the preliminary release.

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British actor and comedian Sir Norman Wisdom dies aged 95

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tributes are being paid following the announcement late last night that the veteran British actor and comedian Sir Norman Wisdom has died at the age of 95.

He passed away peacefully at the Abbot’s Wood nursing home, Ballasalla, Isle of Man yesterday evening. Following a series of strokes over the last 6 months, his health had declined severely.

Sir Norman’s career spanned almost seven decades, during which time he starred in 19 films, and 38 sitcoms, most as the inept character “Pitkin”, the persistant thorn in the side of his boss, Mr. Grimsdale. His most well known serious role came in the television play Going Gently in 1981, for ITV, in which he played a patient in hospital suffering from terminal cancer.

Following the news, the Albanian Ambassador in the UK, Zef Mazi explained that Sir Norman’s death was covered on all the news channels in Albania, where he was exceptionally popular. His material was the only Western-style comedy permitted to be shown in the Communist country. “After Charlie Chaplin, he was the biggest comedy star in Albania. I still remember his character Pitkin and his boss Mr Grimsdale,” he said. “He was very popular with everyone from very young people to very old people and he made us laugh at a time, in the communist period, when there were not many reasons to laugh.”

The Isle of Man’s Chief Minister, Tony Brown MHK, said that he was “deeply saddened” to have heard of the death. He is quoted as having said “[w]e were very fortunate indeed that Sir Norman chose to make the Isle of Man his home. He was a wonderful asset to the local community and made a tremendous contribution to countless Island charities and good causes.”

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in her conferred role as Lord of Mann on his 90th birthday in 2005, at the same time being made a Freeman of the Borough of Douglas.

The announcement of Sir Norman’s death was confirmed by his son and family in a statement last night.

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US Supreme Court considers appeal from foreign terrorist suspects

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The United States Supreme Court has heard a plea that terrorism suspects being held at the U.S. Naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, should be given the opportunity to challenge their detention in American courts.

Demonstrators outside the court chanted and waved signs calling on the nine high court justices to grant the detainees habeus corpus, the age-old legal principle that allows prisoners to challenge their detention before a neutral judge. Inside the court, attorney and former US Solicitory General Seth Waxman argued on behalf of a group of 37 detainees, part of the 305 prisoners now being held at Guantánamo.

“All have been confined at Guantánamo for almost six years,” he said. “Yet, not one has ever had meaningful notice of the factual grounds of detention, or a fair opportunity to dispute those grounds before a neutral decision-maker.”

But Waxman appeared to have little success in convincing some of the high court’s more conservative justices that the Guantanamo detainees have a constitutional right to challenge their detentions in court. Among the skeptical was Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

“You are appealing to a common law right that somehow found its way into our Constitution without, as far as I can discern, a single case in which the writ [right] was ever issued to a non-citizen,” he said.

Some of the other justices appeared more sympathetic, including Justice Stephen Breyer.

“Now it has been six years, and habeas is supposed to be speedy, and yet people have serious arguments anyway that they are being held for six years without even having those arguments heard,” he said.

Since January 2002, more than 750 people have been held. Many of the 305 prisoners at Guantánamo have complained of abuse and almost all have been confined for years without charges. Around 470 other prisoners have been released over the years, and the U.S. said it intends to try 60 to 80 of those currently in detention.

Since 2002, just three prisoners have been formally charged, and only one has been convicted, as part of a plea bargain. David Hicks, an Australian citizen, who admitted to training with al-Qaeda, was repatriated to Australia to serve a nine-month prison sentence.

The Supreme Court ruled against the Bush administration in two previous cases concerning the legal rights of the Guantánamo detainees. Congress got involved in the issue in 2006 and passed a law that was designed to keep detainee appeals out of the civilian court system and refer them instead to military commissions.

But civil and legal rights groups say the alternative procedures set up by Congress and the Bush administration deprive the detainees of basic rights.

“At issue here that the Supreme Court decided was; ‘Do we have a king in this country who is not bound by the rule of law and not bound by the Constitution? Or do we have a president that is subject to the Constitution?,” said Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Conservative legal scholars argue against U.S. constitutional protections for foreign terrorist suspects.

“If the courts are going to be in charge of the conduct of warfare, we are going to be a much less safe country,” said Andrew C. McCarthy, who is with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

A decision by the Supreme Court in the Guantánamo case is expected before the end of June.

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Interview: PRS, the UK’s music royalty collection society

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PRS for Music is the UK’s music royalty collection society tasked with working on behalf of copyright holders, specifically authors and music publishers. Founded in 1914, the PRS is a non-profit organisation with 350,000 UK businesses holding PRS licenses. The society works in conjunction with PPL which collects fees on behalf of the copyright holders of the actual recording.So, if a cover version of a song is played on UK radio, PRS collect a fee on behalf of the original writer and publisher, whilst PPL collect a fee on behalf of the record company of the cover. In a recent Wikinews interview, Paul Campbell, founder of Amazing Radio, an unsigned UK radio station, lambasted PRS for their “barmy standard contract” and their outdated equipment. That interview can be found here.

The music industry is changing and the way we use music is continually changing

Wikinews reporter Tristan Thomas interviews PRS, following up on Campbell and others’ criticism as well as finding out about future plans.

((Wikinews)) Firstly, thank you for the time in doing this interview.

((WN)) Last year, you were involved in a high profile dispute with YouTube. Can you briefly explain to our audience what that was all about and the final outcome of it?

((PRS)) PRS for Music was the first collecting society in the world to license the YouTube service, meaning if music videos were watched online then our members – who created them – would receive a small royalty payment. When we went to renew the licence that YouTube held we couldn’t agree as to how much should be paid and exactly what should be covered within it. We believed that music had become a much larger part of the YouTube service and that YouTube/Google should reflect the increased use of our members’ creative talent in the amount they paid.

The great thing is that we kept talking to YouTube throughout the dispute and managed to reach an agreement in September which meant that the videos could be accessed again by UK YouTube users and that our 65,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members would be paid.

((WN)) How many artists do you represent and how much did you collect during 2009 for them?

((PRS)) We represent 65,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. We haven’t released our 2009 figures yet but in 2008 we collected over £600m for them. The main sources of revenue come from recorded media (CDs, DVDs etc), international use, public performance use and use in television, radio and online.

((WN)) Paul Campbell in a recent interview with us said the following:“PRS has a barmy standard contract for using their members’ music online. It requires us to pay them a fixed percentage of ALL revenue from that website – whether or not the revenue is derived from their members’ work. So if we had 100,000 songs from non-PRS artists on amazingtunes.com, and one song from a PRS artist, we’d have to pay them a percentage of the revenue from ALL 100,000 songs. I.e., we’d have to take money out of the pockets out of non-PRS artists to pay to PRS. That would be immoral.”How do you respond to that?

((PRS)) Anyone using music in a commercial way – such as a radio station – is required to obtain the permission of those that created the music. This could be numerous writers, publishers and a record label for each song, possibly in different countries around the world. By obtaining a PRS for Music and PPL licence in the UK you are ensuring you have those permissions for over 10million musical works. Obviously much of the music used on radio comes from non-UK writers who may not be members of PRS for Music. Radio and television stations give us almost 100% accurate reports of their music use through their own playlists; this data then enables organisations such as ours to work out who should be paid and how much. PRS for Music has 144 agreements in place with similar societies around the world, resulting in us representing almost 2 million writers worldwide. If French, American, Spanish, Australian or any other writer’s music is used we will pay the respective societies so they can pay their members.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Is PRS’ standard contract “barmy” as Paul Campbell asserts?
Add or view comments

Similarly a writer of musician may be ‘unsigned’ by that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t earn from their music when it is used by others. Many bands, writers and performers are currently unsigned but by being members of PRS for Music they ensure that they can begin earning vital royalties that allow them to continue with their musical career.

((WN)) How does the PRS ensure that artists outside the UK are properly compensated when their music is used within the UK, such as Thai or Chinese restaurants paying their PRS dues and exclusively using music which is from outside Europe?

((PRS)) As mentioned before PRS for Music has agreements in place in over 90 countries around the world to ensure that when music is used the right creators are rewarded. The system – built up over the last century – works both ways and when UK music is used internationally, PRS for Music receives royalties from foreign societies so we can pay our members. In 2008 £139.8m was collected from UK music use abroad, with the UK being one of only a few net exporters of music in the world.

((WN)) There have been a few cases in which PRS have been forced to apologise, exemplified by the threat of prosecution and a fine towards “singing granny” Sandra Burt, a shelf-stacker who sung to herself whilst stacking shelves. How has PRS moved forward from these incidents in order to ensure they do not happen again?

((PRS)) If we have made mistakes we will of course put our hands up and say so. For example when we were approached about the Sandra Burt case – by a journalist incidentally and not Sandra – we did give out slightly incorrect advice, although the questions were a little ambiguous. Once we realised our mistake we contacted Sandra to explain that she wouldn’t need a licence to sing to her customers and offered our sincere apologies. As an organisation we are very quick to admit where we get things wrong and ensure they are put right. We’re proud of our record with our customers and currently have 350,000 businesses choosing to use music in the UK.

Once we realised our mistake we contacted Sandra

To put the complaints in context we have only have 1 for approximately every 5,000 customer contacts we make. This is an exceptionally low ratio and there are many firms who would be envious of a record like this. During 2009 our complaints fell by 50% and we appointed an independent ombudsmen who could handle any complaints if they were not resolved internally. As of January 2010 no complaints have needed to be passed on to the ombudsmen.

((WN)) How does the PRS work with musicians who are not signed to major labels, may make music available for download via their own websites or MySpace, and do not have the financial resources to protect their copyright?

((PRS)) Many of the PRS for Music membership is not signed to a major record label and we represent creators from all genres of music in the UK and abroad. By joining PRS for Music, which only costs £10 deferred to your first royalty payment, you ensure you can begin earning royalties whenever your music is played, performed or reproduced. We have worked hard to license such sites as YouTube, MySpace, Spotify and Sky Songs to name a selection to ensure our members can be rewarded when their work is used.

Our membership team also work hard to support our creators holding showcase events, offering advice of how to get their music used as well as legal and financial advice.

((WN)) Finally, what future plans do you have as an organisation in order to further protect and enhance your members work as new technologies emerge over the next few years?

((PRS)) PRS for Music will continue to be at the forefront of licensing new digital and online services to ensure creators are paid. We aim to get the balance right to ensure new products and music services can launch and develop, but that also they pay for the music they use.

The music industry is changing and the way we use music is continually changing (it always has) but we’ll still be at the forefront enabling people to use music whenever they want, and rewarding those that have created that music.

((WN)) Thank you for taking the time out for this interview. Good luck for 2010.

PostHeaderIcon Reaching The Restaurants:Marketing To The Food Service Industry

By Timothy Cavinder

The food service industry is a huge market that is growing repidly. According to the National Restaurant Association sales are expected to top 511 billion this year. That’s a lot of chow! In fact, for every dollar a customer spends on food 48 cents of it is spent in restaurants. There’s no question that customers enjoy dinning out. Thus, the food service industry must work diligently to satisfy this growing demand. It’s a tall order no doubt and to be sucessful requires a great deal of time commitment. As such, if you’re attempting to get your product or service noticed in this sector you need to keep a few points in mind. Most notably, food service professionals, owners,chefs, etc. are severely pressed for time: many put in 80 hour weeks. Your message needs to be completely focused on their needs and pressing challenges.

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One of the biggest challenges facing the industry is being able to do more for less. Budgets are tight and the bottom line can quicly become out of sync. A marketing message in this industry needs to keep in mind that this is a diverse market full of many independent operators. Try to address your message to individuals as much as possible. A tradtional blanket type of marketing campaign proably isn’t going to show up on the radar for most food service professionals. They’ve seen it all before and with numerous vendors vying for their attention they simply don’t have the time to listen to another stale marketing message. So stand out! Show up in more then one place more then once e.g. sales letters, post cards, e-mail, etc. When you do have their attention zero in on how your product or service is going to address one of their pressing challenges. And don’t forget to market your message on a personal level, remember this is a diverse market with a lot of independents in the field. Keeping these tips in mind should help elevate your message above the clatter in the kitchens.

About the Author: Timothy Cavinder is a freelance copywriter working hard to save his clients time and money. For more info please visit

cavinder.com

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=146747&ca=Marketing

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Wikinews Shorts: September 7, 2010

A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, September 7, 2010.

A hurricane watch has been issued by Texas authorities as Tropical Storm Hermine grows closer to the Gulf of Mexico coast. The US National Hurricane Center expects Hermine to reach hurricane strength by Monday night, when it’s also expected to make landfall on the Gulf coast. Eric Blake, hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center, said Monday that Hermine “will briefly be over Mexico, and then we’re expecting it to produce very heavy rainfall over south Texas.” A hurricane watch has also been issued for parts of Mexico.

Sources


General David Petraeus, US commander in Afghanistan, warned on Monday that a planned Quran burning in a Florida church would endanger US troops in Afghanistan. Gen. Petraeus said that the burning of the Islamic holy book, set to take place on September 11, “could cause significant problems” for US troops fighting in the Afghanistan War. The general also said that the burning “is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses.”

The Quran, also known as the Koran, burning is set on the day that Islamic terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York. The book burning will be in a Gainesville, Florida church called the Dove World Outreach Center. Pastor Terry Jones has declared September 11 “International Burn a Quran Day”.

Sources


In British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking’s new book, the scientist argues that a God was “not necessary” for creating the universe. In The Grand Design, Professor Hawking also says that the Big Bang was a consequence of physics at work. The Grand Design was co-authored by Hawking and Caltech physicist Leonard Mlodinow, who explained that “We’re not saying there is no God, we’re saying there is no need for God to explain the universe.”

Sources

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Florida’s Walt Disney World launches revamped attractions

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

ORLANDO, Florida – Alien Encounter and The Living Seas at the Walt Disney World Resort are to open today with a makeover.

The Alien Encounter attraction at Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom has been revised to include Experiment 626 from the movie Lilo & Stitch. Now called Stitch’s Great Escape!, the dog-like blue creature will lash out of its tube and terrorise the audience. The Galactic Federation’s Grand Councilwoman, Captain Gantu and Agent Pleakley appear in this show, essentially a prequel to the movie.

At the Living Seas, Crush the sea turtle from the Disney/Pixar movie Finding Nemo will host a new exhibit called Turtle Talk, joining smaller Nemo exhibits, a mainstay at the attraction for several months. Vegetarian shark Bruce will soon become part of a shark education exhibit.

According to publicity, the Turtle Talk show will run every 15 minutes, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. A sign language interpreted performance will run on Fridays at 10:30 am.

Disney is holding the Stitch’s Great Escape! Sweepstakes, with prizes including a five-day, four night trip for four to Walt Disney World Resort.

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Pennsylvania cop on trial for allegedly murdering girlfriend’s estranged husband

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The trial began today for a Pennsylvania state trooper accused of killing his girlfriend’s estranged husband.

Kevin Foley, 43, is accused of cutting the throat of John Yelenic, a dentist who was in the final stages of finalizing a divorce from his wife, Michele. According to prosecutors, Foley “loathed Dr. Yelenic” so much that he asked another fellow trooper to help him commit the alleged murder, which occurred in Yelenic’s Blairsville home.

Deputy Attorney General Anthony Krastek told an Indiana County jury that Foley also prayed Yelenic would die, and spread false rumors that Yelenic molested his adopted son.

“You will see Kevin Foley has the motive, the opportunity and the ability to commit this crime, almost to the exclusion of anybody else,” Krastek said.

Foley’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Monzo, said during opening statements that DNA evidence was not conclusive. Monzo admitted to the jury that Foley did not like Yelenic, but said that does not mean he murdered him.

“Kevin Foley is innocent,” he said.

Prosecutors said they could call as many as 70 witnesses to try and prove Foley wanted Yelenic to die. The trial, at the Indiana County Courthouse, is expected to last about three weeks.

Foley, who is on unpaid suspension from the Pennsylvania State Police, is charged with criminal homicide. The jury has the option of convicting him of first-degree murder, which could put Foley in prison for life without parole, or of a lesser degree charge, like manslaughter.

John Yelenic was found dead in his home on April 13, 2006, one day before he was planning on signing his divorce papers. Prosecutors said Foley killed Yelenic after going to the dentist’s house to confront him over the terms of the divorce. Prosecutors claim Foley slashed Yelenic several times with a knife and pushed his head through a small window, causing a further gash on his neck. Yelenic bled to death.

Foley had been living with Michele Yelenic for two years at the time of the alleged homicide. Krastek said Michele also helped perpetuate rumors that Dr. Yelenic molested their son. John and Michele Yelenic had been separated in 2002. Michele Yelenic stood to collect Dr. Yelenic’s estate and a $1 million life insurance policy, and could lose about $2,500 a month in support if the divorce was finalized, a Pennsylvania grand jury previously determined.

Michele Yelenic is expected to testify that Foley was home with her when the alleged murder occurred. Krastek told the jury DNA under Yelenic’s fingerprints will ultimately link him to the murder, as will bloody shoe prints found at the crime scene that match athletic shoes Foley is known to wear.

Monzo also said authorities have failed to investigate several other suspects, including Yelenic’s neighbor. Monzo said Yelenic was on very friendly terms with the neighbor’s wife, which could have given him a motive to commit the murder.

Prior to the trial, Foley’s defense attorneys unsuccessfully sought a change of venue because an overwhelming majority of the jury pool was familiar with the allegations. The change was denied when jurors insisted they had not formed an opinion about the charges.