Trump Administration proposes new infrastructure plan

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Trump administration revealed its outline for improving the nation’s highways, bridges, waterways, railways and rural infrastructure. The $200 billion federal spending proposal is designed to stimulate $1.5 trillion in total infrastructure investments. Allocating $50 billion to state and local governments in the form of block grants, the plan calls for 25% of total funds to be directed toward revitalizing rural America, including expanded rural broadband access.The plan also proposes establishing a “One Agency, One Review” structure for the environmental review process conducted prior to the start of new construction projects. Intended to minimize the duplication of reports and analyses of environmental impact, the proposal would establish a 21-month deadline for lead agencies to complete their review.last_img read more

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Understanding worker classification

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAsBy Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA, Partner at Holbrook & Manter, CPAsFor decades, worker classification has been a controversial topic between the IRS and taxpayers. According to the IRS, millions of workers are misclassified as independent contractors each year. The distinction is important because it determines if an employer must withhold income taxes and pay employer payroll taxes such as social security, Medicare, and unemployment. As the tax laws continue to change, we expect for the problem to continue to grow as businesses look for ways to reduce their tax bills. With an understanding of the worker classification rules, your business can develop policies and procedures to ensure that workers are properly treated as employees or independent contractors.To determine how to classify a worker, the IRS provides three tests:Behavioral Control: A worker is considered to be an employee when the business has the right to direct and control the work performed by the worker. Examples are:Instructions are given such as when/where to work and what tools to use.Evaluation systems are in place to measure the processes of how the work is to be done.Training is provided about procedures and methods.Financial Control: A worker is considered to be an employee when the business has the right to direct or control the financial aspects of the jobs. Examples are:Significant financial investments are made in the equipment the worker usesIf the workers services are available to the market. Independent contractors are generally free to seek out business opportunities.Method of payment. An employee is guaranteed a regular hourly or salary wage for a period of time. Independent contractors are often paid for the job by a flat fee.Relationship: The relationship can be determined based upon how other workers and business perceive the interaction or relationship to be.Written contracts should be prepared to describe the relationship.Benefits provided by the employer for insurance, pension plan, vacation pay etc. typically indicate an employee relationship.Permanency of the relationship. If the relationship is expected to continue indefinitely, rather than job or project specific timelines, then it is generally considered to be an employee relationship.It is important to be aware that the consequences of misclassifying an employee can be severe. The IRS can select your business at any time for a random audit. If the findings of the audit conclude that independent contractors should have been paid as employees, you could be responsible for additional employer payroll taxes, penalties and additional IRS or DOL audits. Don’t get caught with unexpected payroll tax liabilities or penalties. If you feel your company may have exposure or if you want our assistance determining how to classify a worker, please reach out. I would be happy to help you. Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves. You can reach Brian through www.HolbrookManter.comlast_img read more

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A Stupid — and Illegal — Way to Air Condition Your Garage

first_img RELATED ARTICLES How to Heat a GarageShould I Insulate My Garage Door?Energy-Efficient Garage DoorsAir Conditioner BasicsGBA Encyclopedia: Air ConditioningThe Magic of ColdCalculating Cooling LoadsWindow-Mounted Air Conditioners Save Energy Mistake #2: Air conditioning the garage the wrong wayOK, so let’s say you’ve got a good reason to air condition the garage. That’s fine, but you should absolutely never, ever do it the way they did here. Matt Risinger is an Austin home builder who owns Risinger Homes and does things the right way. The photo above is from a video he made to explain the problems with air conditioning a garage the way this builder did.The big potential problem here is bad indoor air quality. Let me show you why. An air conditioner is supposed to be balanced in its air flow. A 3 ton AC pulls 1200 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air (nominal) from the conditioned space and then puts 1200 cfm of air back into the conditioned space.What Matt showed above is a system that puts maybe 400 cfm of air into the garage. It’s still pulling 1200 cfm from the house (assuming a 3 ton system) but only has 800 cfm left to put into the house.Hmmmm. 1200 out, 800 in. That’s like having a 400 cfm range hood running whenever the AC kicks on. That’s gonna depressurize the house.One of the basic rules of air flow is that for every cfm in, you’ve got to have another cfm out, and vice versa. So if the AC is pulling 1200 cfm from the house and putting 800 back in, it’s got to find another 400 cfm somewhere. It does that, as Matt said in the video, by pulling from the garage, under the walls, through the can lights, and also down a gas water heater flue if the house has one.That last one is potentially deadly. If the air conditioner pulls air down the flue while the water heater is firing, that means the exhaust gases aren’t going up the flue. That’s called backdrafting. It can put carbon monoxide into the house and into your lungs while you’re sleeping. Not such a good idea, eh?Even if you don’t backdraft a gas water heater, you’re pressurizing the garage and depressurizing the house. That means all the bad stuff in that garage air wants to find a way into the house.If that’s not enough for you, how about the fact that the building code doesn’t allow it? Just because it’s not allowed, though, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, as the video shows. Building inspectors don’t catch everything. Why is it a waste of energy? Because cars, lawn mowers, and junk don’t need to be air conditioned. Also, standard roll-up garage doors aren’t insulated or air-sealed, so you’re paying to condition space that’s constantly reheated by Mother Nature, especially if those doors get direct sun during the day.Are there good reasons to air condition a garage? Sure. If I’m a woodworker and don’t care if my cars sleep in the driveway, I’d air condition my garage in Austin. Or if I want to turn it into a mancave, momcave, or teen hangout, it’s definitely gonna chill. Or maybe you can’t build a house in a certain price range or Austin neighborhood without air conditioning the garage and have any hope of selling it. Sometimes people do the craziest things. Take that photo at right, for example. That’s a new home being built in Austin, Texas. The arrows point to three air conditioning ducts. In the garage. Yes, they’re air conditioning the garage. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. The right way to air condition a garageIf you really must air condition a garage, you need to install a separate system for the garage only. The best way to do this is with a minisplit heat pump or air conditioner. It’s perfect for this application because it’s small, doesn’t require ducts, is very energy efficient, and can be turned off when you don’t need to cool that space.Of course, another, less expensive, option would be to use window units. They’ll do the same thing for less cost. You’ll get more noise and lower efficiency, but if it’s not used much, that’s probably acceptable.There you have it. As with most things, there’s a right way and a wrong to air condition a garage. Then there’s the question of whether you should be air conditioning it at all. Mistake #1: Air conditioning the garageNow, the first mistake here was probably adding air conditioning to the garage in the first place. Most of the time, a garage is used simply as a garage. That is, the homeowners store cars, lawn mowers, high school yearbooks, a Smoking Donkey cigarette dispenser, a ‘time capsule’ in a shrimp factory box that you’ve had since your first job in high school, and that old Mr. Microphone. (Hey, Good Lookin’, we’ll be back to pick ya up later!)If it’s just going to be used as a garage, there’s no need to air condition it all. It’s a waste of energy that will provide the owners little if any benefit. If they’ve got some really valuable stuff that can’t take the heat or humidity out there (like that Mr. Microphone), then bring it into the house.last_img read more

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Tamaraws come up short against the Green Archers anew

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFar Eastern University came tantalizingly to handing defending champion De La Salle its second straight loss in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament.With 2.2 seconds left, all Ron Dennison needed to do was pass the ball to an open teammate who could’ve made the game-winner but Andrei Caracut wouldn’t let the Tamaraws get their shot at history.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. READ: Mbala to miss La Salle’s UAAP Season 80 opener vs FEUFEU staged a 16-7 run in the fourth quarter to cut an 11-point lead to just two, 67-65, only to see Go score five straight points in less than a minute to give La Salle a 72-65 cushion with 3:23 to go.La Salle mproved to 6-2, the second-best mark in the league behind Ateneo, while the Tamaraws dropped to 4-4. Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games But Green Archers held their composure despite FEU’s relentless attacks and managed to hold the Tamaraws at bay in the fourth quarter.READ: La Salle bounces back, frustrates FEU“We were catching up the whole game so I couldn’t say we had La Salle’s number,” said Racela in Filipino. “We managed to limit Ben Mbala to 18 points, and for a guy who averages around 30 a game, I think the team followed the game plan.”FEU, however, wasn’t able to stop Jolo Go and Ricci Rivero.Rivero scored a game-high 20 points while Go went 4-of-5 from deep for 14 points. And it was Go who kept extinguishing FEU’s late-game fire.ADVERTISEMENT NU fends off FEU for 1-0 lead in PVL Finals As Caracut stole Dennison’s pass, FEU head coach Olsen Racela was beside himself in disbelief.READ: Bench-clearing brawl erupts in La Salle, FEU pre-season gameFEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We came out short, I like effort of the guys but you know it came down to the last play,” said Racela Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum after losing to La Salle 75-73.It could’ve been the first time in Aldin Ayo’s tenure that La Salle would’ve lost two straight. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments LATEST STORIEScenter_img Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Nextlast_img read more

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10 months agoMourinho confidant slams Woodward over Man Utd contract management

first_imgMourinho confidant slams Woodward over Man Utd contract managementby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveEladio Parames has launched an attack on Manchester United chief Ed Woodward after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho.Parames is close to Mourinho and been a long time confidant.”Here are two concrete examples of the fantastic work going on at Manchester United,” Parames wrote for Record.”If (Marouane) Fellaini, who was at the end of his contract, had been renewed in proper time, he would not cost half of what he costs today.”Mister Ed (Woodward) made him the third best-paid player in the entire squad.”And the same is happening with (David) De Gea, whose contract could already have been renewed a year or two ago.”But now, as his deal is at the end, if they want to continue with him they will have to pay a fortune.”What beautiful management this is.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Rickmers Trust Wraps Up Sale of First Five Ships to Navios

first_imgzoom Cash-strapped Rickmers Trust Management, Singapore-based trustee-manager of Rickmers Maritime, has completed the sale of the first five of fourteen vessels to Navios for a total of USD 59 million, the company said.The sale is part of the trust’s winding up process as the company is faced with severe liquidity issues.As informed, the batch of five 4,250 TEU vessels is under senior loan facilities (the BNP Facility) extended by the lenders of the BNP Syndicate, made up of BNP Paribas, ING Bank NV, Singapore Branch, The Bank of Nova Scotia Asia Limited, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Limited, Singapore Branch.The vessels are employed on charters expiring in 2018 and early 2019 at a net daily charter rate of USD 26,850, Navios Partners CEO Angeliki Frangou said earlier.The trust has received proceeds of USD 24.7 million from the sale, up from the USD 20 million indicated in an announcement on 14 May 2017, which have been placed in an escrow account for distribution to unsecured creditors, after the settlement of costs associated with the winding up of the trust.In addition, a buyer-related entity has assumed the secured loan of the BNP Facility, releasing the trust from the related obligations worth USD 34.3 million, the trust said.The sale of the remaining nine vessels secured under senior loan facilities extended by the lenders of the HSH Syndicate (comprising HSH Nordbank AG and DBS Bank Ltd) has not yet been completed. The sale of these vessels is subject to consent by the HSH Syndicate.“The trustee-manager is seeking the requisite consents and release of mortgages in order to effect the sale of the remaining vessels as soon as possible in order to avoid operating liens and/or vessel arrests and minimize cash burn so as to maximize recoveries to all unsecured creditors. The trustee-manager will advise the specific amount of recoveries to unsecured creditors via their respective agents and trustees and expects to commence the distribution of cash recoveries when the sale of the remaining vessels has been completed,” the trust said in an update.last_img read more

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Ohio State baseball drops final two games of Snowbird Classic

OSU junior left-hander Tanner Tully (16) delivers a pitch against Coastal Carolina on Feb. 27. OSU won 6-4.Credit: Courtesy of OSUThe trip to Port Charlotte, Florida, ended up being a bummer for the Buckeyes after a promising start, as the Ohio State Baseball team dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season.OSU fell to the Illinois State Redbirds 5-4 on Saturday and the Boston College Eagles 6-2 on Sunday, dropping its record to 6-4-1. The losses came after the Scarlet and Gray started the weekend’s action on the right foot, defeating Seton Hall 9-3 behind another offensive explosion from redshirt junior right fielder Jacob Bosiokovic.  Dropping a close one to the RedbirdsOSU opened Saturday’s game against Illinois State with one of its top pitchers, redshirt sophomore Adam Niemeyer, on the hill. Niemeyer, however, got off to a shaky start, allowing three runs in the first two innings. The righty would get back to his normal self over the rest of his six innings of work, but the 3-0 hole the Buckeyes fell into would prove to be tough to climb out of. The Buckeyes battled back, tying the game in the bottom of the fifth inning behind junior catcher Jalen Washington’s double down the right-field line to score junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson. OSU fell behind again in the seventh, but the deficit was quickly erased by junior center fielder Troy Montgomery’s solo home run to tie the game at 4-4. The homer was Montgomery’s third of the season, which is second most on the team. But the Redbirds would not be denied their first win of the Snowbird Classic, as OSU contributed to its own demise allowing the game-winning run in the top of the ninth on a fielding error by senior second baseman Nick Sergakis. OSU’s co-captain also had his season-long nine-game hitting streak snapped following an 0-for-4 day at the plate. On the other hand, Washington, OSU’s other co-captain, had a career-best day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with two RBIs in the loss. Niemeyer received a no-decision in the game and freshman pitcher Ryan Feltner (0-1) was tagged with the loss for his 2.2 innings of work. Redshirt junior Jack Landwehr (1-1) picked up the win for Illinois State, which improved to 3-6. Dominated by Boston CollegeIn the final game of the three-game trip to the Sunshine State, the Buckeyes’ typically powerful offense was outmatched by Eagles senior starter Jesse Adams and the Boston College pitching staff. OSU’s bats were silenced, only mustering two hits all game against the Eagles and providing little run support for senior starter John Havird.Boston College’s offense was led by junior center fielder Michael Strem, who knocked in the Eagles’ first run as part of his 2-for-4, two-RBI day. Senior infielder Jake Palomaki provided the insurance runs for the Eagles with his sixth-inning double that plated two. The win moved Boston College’s record to 9-1 as Adams (2-0) picked up the win for his six innings of scoreless baseball. The Buckeyes fell to 6-4-1, and Havird was hit with his first loss and decision of the year. OSU now is set to return to Columbus to prepare for its four-game series with UNLV in Las Vegas starting on Friday and ending four days later on March 15. After that, the Buckeyes will gear up for their home-opening series against Hofstra from March 18 to 20. read more

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OSU snaps losing skid beats Big Tenleading Michigan State

Down a starting player and facing a top-10 nationally ranked opponent, the No. 24 Ohio State women’s basketball team (11-6, 2-3) snapped a two-game losing streak when it knocked off No. 9 Michigan State (16-2, 4-1), 67-53, Sunday at the Schottenstein Center. The Buckeyes took a 33-29 lead into halftime after playing a closely contested half with the Spartans in which neither team extended a lead past six points. Five minutes into the half, OSU found itself without starting forward Sarah Schulze, who left the game, suffering what appeared to be a knee injury. OSU coach Jim Foster said he was not sure of her diagnosis. “Doctors will have to talk to you about that,” he said. “I’m not very optimistic.” The Buckeyes ratcheted up their defense in the second half, holding the Spartans to 25 percent shooting as they stretched their lead to double digits on a Brittany Johnson 3-pointer with 17 minutes remaining. The Spartans struggled to fight back, as the Buckeyes led by as many as 17 points in the second half. For the game, MSU connected on 20 of its 69 shot attempts, good for a 29 percent shooting percentage. “We played really hard on defense,” OSU center Jantel Lavender said. “It just created a better offense. We could transition a little bit better to get in our sets, and we got them a little frustrated.” Lavender led all scorers with 24 points and Tayler Hill added 17 for a Buckeye team that was in much need of a win. Prior to Sunday’s game, OSU had lost six of its last nine games. “We were desperate for a win, by any means necessary,” Lavender said. “We know how we have to play from now on.” Sunday’s victory gave the Buckeyes their second conference win of the season and handed the Big Ten-leading Spartans their first conference loss of the year. The Buckeyes play at 8 p.m. Thursday at Illinois, where they’ll attempt to pick up their first road win of the Big Ten season. “I just really want us to get after it on the road and not let other people’s crowds get into the game,” Lavender said. “We just got to come out and play hard every game, like we did tonight. It can’t just be at home.” read more

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