Start Making Sense Offer Fans “Once In A Lifetime” Trip To Cuba

first_imgStart Making Sense: A Tribute to Talking Heads is offering fans a “Once in a Lifetime” chance to join the band for an educational/cultural/performance/people-to-people exchange trip to Cuba! In association with Porterra Travel, Rocks Off, Molimar Export Consultants Inc., with travel arrangements by Interplanner, the event is slated for April 25-29, 2018. The trip will feature two live performances by Start Making Sense in Havana, as well as a tour of the historic city and local museums. This is a chance for fans to fully immerse themselves in the Afro-Cuban music and culture that influenced a large portion of Talking Heads’ eclectic sound.“The full history of Cuban music is filled with some of the most beautiful compositions and rhythms, which, due to its strength, has influenced music around the globe. Getting closer to that place may give us all a better understanding of Talking Heads’ music, the music that inspired it, and music in general,” says Start Making Sense front-man Jonathan Braun.More than just a trip abroad, Braun says it is a cultural journey–a journey that took eight months of work to arrange and one in which the band hopes to connect with fans and the Cuban people on a deeper level. “We all know that music is a universal language; let’s be part of a larger conversation,” he said.In addition to their performances in Havana, Start Making Sense will be adding philanthropic elements to the trip. The band will be donating drum sticks, guitar strings, colored pencils, pens and other items and encourages fans who travel with them to do the same. “We have seen the happiness and joy that Start Making Sense shows have brought to people across the United States,” Braun says. “We plan on bringing that contagious joy with us and sharing it with the Cuban people.”Start Making Sense Travel Package includes:• Roundtrip airfare from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Havana, Cuba (via American Airlines)• Four-night stay at the Hotel Four Points by Sheraton• Admission to Start Making Sense concerts at Casa De La Musica EGREM and Palacio de la Rumba in Havana, Cuba• Daily breakfast• Three lunches and two dinners (including welcome and farewell dinners with members of Start Making Sense)• Roundtrip airport transfers in Havana• English-speaking guide for full program• Air-conditioned motor coach and driver• Visa fees• City tour of Havana, Cuba• City tour of Old Havana• Tour of Hemingway Museum• Tour of Regla Church and Museum• Afro-Cuban ritual dancing• Cooking class• Farewell reception at Santa Isabel Hotel• Evening entertainment and show at Havana Jazz Cafe• Amistur/ICAP Cuba travel orientation meeting• United States and Cuban departure taxes• Two bottles of water per person, per day• Full escort by tour director• Local English-speaking representative servicesCost:• Double Occupancy: $2575 (airfare included on American Airlines)• Single Occupancy upgrade: $364• Deposit due upon registration: $500 (non-refundable)• Travel Arrangements by InterplannerFor more information, tickets, sign up, head here.last_img read more

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Harvard helping the helpers

first_imgThis fall, Harvard University’s Teaching and Learning Partnerships (TLP) team will begin a new collaboration with the Boston Public Library (BPL).The TLP team will train more than 50 Boston high school students to become effective mentors for the BPL’s Homework Help program. The team will use an approach developed by Harvard University’s SmartTALK program. SmartTALK offers a structured way to support children’s learning, focusing on methods for effective use of homework time and on proven ways to transition children to game-related learning following the completion of their homework.Since 2000, the BPL has offered free, drop-in homework help to Boston youth, providing a much-needed academic service to students in kindergarten through eighth grade, as well as employment opportunities for Boston teens.This school year, 62 high-achieving teens from diverse backgrounds and neighborhoods are serving as Homework Help mentors in the 24 library branches. Among them will be the 50 teens who are also part of the TLP training.For some, working as a mentor is the result of their own positive experience as a child — when they received homework assistance in the BPL.“I grew up going to the Honan-Allston Library and would often get homework help there,” said 16-year-old mentor José Mendoza, who attends Mary Lyon Pilot High School in Brighton. “I have two younger sisters, in the first and third grade, and I help them from time to time with their work. One of my friends worked at BPL in the summer, and when she told me about it [Homework Help], I figured it could be fun. I also was a mentee myself at the Harvard-Allston Education Portal in the first year of its mentoring program.”Since its launch in 2008, Harvard’s SmartTALK has worked to address a key concern of many after-school programs: having staff/volunteers who are adequately prepared and trained to help children of all ages develop strong academic skills outside of school hours. The combination of homework assistance and mentorship in the BPL’s Homework Help program aligns with the goals of SmartTALK, making it a natural collaboration.“Besides the critical homework help, SmartTALK also realizes that success in school is about so much more than just finishing homework,” said Joan Matsalia, associate director of Teaching and Learning Partnerships at Harvard University. “It also works to strengthen a student’s relationship with the teachers and mentors. It helps them become more organized, develop better and stronger study skills, become more effective problem-solvers, and [it] teaches them how to work more effectively in groups.”“We couldn’t be happier with the progress of this program and are incredibly excited about this exciting new venture with the Boston Public Library,” Matsalia added.“The Boston Public Library is proud to have Harvard onboard as a partner in our Homework Help program,” said Amanda Bressler, youth outreach librarian for the BPL and manager of the Homework Help program. “SmartTALK training will give our mentors the skills and added confidence to do their job well, and, in turn, it will benefit those children who rely on Homework Help as a source of academic support. I look forward to seeing where this collaborative effort takes us.”During the current academic school year, the TLP team will offer three separate training sessions to more than 60 Boston high school students. The first session, offered in late October, focused on teaching students how to ask good questions and on the most effective ways to problem solve. The winter session will focus on behavior management, and on understanding and maximizing group culture. Finally, the spring session will focus on the importance of — and how to — keep learning fun as the homework mentors engage students and optimize learning through games.For more information about the Boston Public Library’s Homework Help program, including a complete schedule, please visit its website.last_img read more

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Elementary Students Become Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Makers

first_imgSubmitted image.JAMESTOWN – Jamestown Public Schools officials say Bush Elementary School fourth graders became Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon makers through an ELA persuasive writing assignment in Cristin Hockenberry’s class. The students wrote a persuasive essay for the Macy’s parade committee explaining why their balloon should be included in the annual parade.Submitted image.Mrs. Hockenberry collaborated with JPS Technology Integration Specialist, Jason Kathman, to have the kids create a photograph of their balloons, complete with a new background, using their iPads.“The idea of writing a persuasive essay to convince the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade committee to choose a new balloon comes from a former teaching teammate, Scott Chelli, who I still collaborate with to create lessons that engage students in learning,” said Hockenberry. “Writing is one of those topics that can be challenging to get students excited about. By adding this technology component to the lesson, students were actively taking part in learning over multiple standards in one lesson over multiple days.” “On day two when a student asked, ‘Are we going to get to work on our writing today?’ I knew they were really excited about what we were doing. They never ask to write! The students liked this writing assignment and the technology piece because it pulled everything together and made the topic seem real.”Hockenberry’s class has been doing a lot of writing this year. They have been writing to entertain with creative writing, writing to inform with explanatory pieces, writing to respond to text they have read, and even writing poetry to connect to the main character in Love That Dog.Submitted image.Having students switch to a persuasive writing piece allowed them the opportunity to work on the voice of their writing while continuing to build on their basic knowledge of language skills. Students were engaged in the project because they had a connection to the balloon they wanted to see in the parade.This connection made it much easier for them to find reasons to be able to persuade the “committee.” Having the opportunity to actually create the balloon using technology allowed students the chance to see their balloon to connect it to their writing.Students really loved this project.“I chose a unicorn for my balloon,” said Bush Elementary School fourth grader, Maddie Wilkins, who brought in a stuffed unicorn to photograph. “The reason I gave why I chose the unicorn is because kids like unicorns because they have magical powers, including the ability to fly. So that makes sense for them to be in the Macy’s parade as a balloon. I think it’s fun because we aren’t just writing, we are learning things about technology and I think that is kind of cool.”Kathman helped the kids take the photos, download them into Keynote and take out the “green screen” to replace with a fun, new background photograph such as an old Macy’s Day Parade or sky.“Jason had a significant role in making this project happen,” said Hockenberry. “He has been a blessing with all areas of technology every single time I email or call about a lesson. I told him what I wanted to do and that I wanted to move beyond having students draw a picture of their balloon or print something from the Internet. He threw this idea out, created videos to teach the students how to use the different technology pieces needed so students could work at their own pace, and even took the time to help in the classroom. It was a great collaboration between ELA and technology.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Ag over breakfast

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaThe political and economic changes that have swept over the U.S. this year directly affect Georgia agriculture. The 2009 Ag Forecast will give Georgians involved in agriculture and agribusiness a chance to talk about the past and future over breakfast at five different locations across the state in January.The forecast breakfasts will be held from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Jan. 26 in Dalton, Jan. 27 in Gainesville, Jan. 28 in Statesboro, Jan. 29 in Tifton and Jan. 30 in Macon. The Gainesville breakfast location has changed this year and will be at the Gainesville Civic Center.Economic experts from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will discuss politics and international programs specific to agriculture and give a crop forecast for ’09.Participants will receive a copy of the 2009 Agricultural Price and Profit Planning Book. It provides a detailed analysis of each major Georgia agricultural product.Registration costs $40 per person or $300 for a table of eight. For more information, call (706) 542-2434 or visit www.GeorgiaAgForecast.com. To register, visit the Web site or call Carla Wood at (706) 583-0347.last_img read more

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Governor Douglas Testifies before Congress on Federal Financial Assistance

first_imgGovernor Douglas Makes Case for StatesTestifies on need for state-federal partnerships and federal financial assistanceMontpelier, VT (December 11, 2008, Vermont Business Magazine via Governor’s Office) – Today Governor Jim Douglas testified before the House Appropriations Committee in Washington, DC, on the Impact of the Recession on States and Local Communities. As the Vice Chair of the National Governors Association, Governor Douglas has been instrumental in facilitating a national dialogue on the need to deepen partnerships between the federal and state governments.Every day, states across our nation continue to experience the effects of the economic downturn. Governor Douglas testified that states have a responsibility for making changes to reduce government spending at all levels, to ensure better positioning for a speedy recovery. “We’re working hard to address this downturn and are currently looking at all options to reduce expenditures,” said Governor Douglas. “These reductions, however, will undoubtedly impact state services, including those services supporting Vermont’s most vulnerable citizens. That is why support from the federal government is so critical,” the Governor said.The Governor called for increased funding to Medicaid to protect our most vulnerable people. “An enhanced FMAP (Federal Medical Assistance Percentage) is most effective as a countercyclical measure if implemented at the onset of an economic downturn and for at least 24 months, which allows states to meet anticipated increases in Medicaid costs for the duration of the downturn,” said Governor Douglas.Governor Douglas requested consideration be given to infrastructure projects such a road construction, water systems and broadband. “Investments in ready-to-go infrastructure projects are a cost effective creator of high paying jobs. It’s estimated that every $1 billion in transportation infrastructure spending generates approximately 35,000 jobs and $5.7 billion in additional economic activity,” he said.The Governor also stressed the need for systemic shifts to include changes to the tax code, the temporary lifting of matching fund requirements for road projects, and unemployment insurance programs.###last_img read more

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FairPoint Communications reports 2010 loss of $281.6 million

first_img3,561,212 $109,355 (20,004)     Materials and supplies 31,137     Other accrued liabilities December 31, 2010 and 2009 (267,392)     Deferred income taxes Operating expenses: Assets 41,699 ‘ (9,633) 4Q10  as Reported3Q10  Restated2Q10  Restated1Q10  Restated4Q09  Recast -8.3%-9.3%-9.9%-11.2%-10.2% 2,558 2,960 712,591734,260758,005776,254802,668 900 $‘ (Debtors-In-Possession) 1,182 448,488 (4) For purposes of calculating Consolidated EBITDAR, FairPoint’s new credit facility allows it to adjust for the impact from any restatement of financial statements for the periods ending on or prior to January 24, 2011.  15,198     Other current assets on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 as filed with the SEC on March 31, 2011. (212,804) Depreciation and amortization 31,400 (53,022)(63,062)(65,798)(66,238)(71,661) 267,992260,630271,563270,801270,190 311,613 384,647     Accumulated other comprehensive loss 1,859,700 on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 as filed with the SEC on March 31, 2011. Cash flows from investing activities: ‘           Net cash used in investing activities     Acquired cash balance, net (18,212)(29,911)(30,182)(31,634)(31,196) 150,323 Interest expense Restatement impact, net (4) 515,394 525,728 (35,187)(35,358)(35,721)(34,630)(39,757) 680 Restricted cash 10,99212,0369,97910,24025,172       % change y-o-y 89,271 (3,858)          Income taxes paid, net of refunds     Other non cash items     Loss on abandoned projects 22,193 Liabilities not subject to compromise: Operating expenses:          Reorganization costs paid Property, plant and equipment, net 66,557 289,824 Other income (expense), net Other income (expense):     Gain on early retirement of debt Select Operating and Financial Metrics: ‘ 44,004 Revenues$1,070,986$1,119,090 14,94811,39518,78814,73912,111 (204,919)     Capital lease obligations 3,943     Cash$105,497  operating activities excluding impact of acquisitions: Consolidated EBITDAR(1):          $260 million to $280 million 51,438 Income tax benefit 344,463 154,095     Prepaid expenses Total other income (expense) Total current assets (1,101,294)     Accrued interest payable Consolidated Balance Sheets (62) Consolidated EBITDAR ‘ (78,722) ‘ FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES Total liabilities not subject to compromise (Debtors-In-Possession) FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES     Employee benefit obligations 417,512 (10,802)     Restricted cash ‘ (6,413)7,33010,245(3,501)8,953     Dividends paid to stockholders 3 473,205 65,114 Consolidated Communications,FairPoint Communications, Inc (Nasdaq: FRP), a leading provider of communications services, today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2010. FairPoint reported a net loss of $281,579 in 2010 on revenues of $1,070,986. The net loss in 2009 was $241,396 on $1,119,090 revenues. The loss per share in both eyars was $3.15. The announcement marks the first earnings release by FairPoint since it emerged from Chapter 11 on January 24, 2011.Consolidated EBITDAR(1) increases over 22 percent to $84.0 million versus fourth quarter 2009Operational improvements drive a $12.7 million one-time revenue benefit in the quarterLoss from Operations for the quarter improves to $18.2 million from $31.2 million a year earlierHigh-speed Internet subscribers increase annually for the first time since mid-2009Company reiterates full year 2011 guidance”We are pleased to have the restructuring process behind us and are devoting our full attention to driving revenue growth and operational improvements,” said Paul H. Sunu, CEO of FairPoint. “While we expect 2011 will be a transition year, we are excited about the organic growth opportunities we see in our northern New England markets,” he added.Broadband service is now available to more than 80 percent of the Company’s northern New England customers and more than 90 percent of Telecom Group (legacy FairPoint) customers.Company-wide, year-over-year voice access line loss slowed for the third consecutive quarter to 10.3 percent and was the lowest rate of annual loss since April 2008.  In addition, the Company made many operational improvements, which facilitated the reversal of certain service quality penalties in northern New England in the fourth quarter, resulting in a $12.7 million one-time revenue benefit.  This one-time benefit contributed to fourth quarter revenue of $268.0 million and full year revenue of $1,071.0 million.  Operational efficiencies and cost reduction initiatives contributed to fourth quarter Consolidated EBITDAR(1) (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and restructuring items as defined in the Company’s new credit facility) of $84.0 million and full year Consolidated EBITDAR(1) of $276.3 million.Operating and Regulatory HighlightsImprovements in service quality indicators such as faster call center answer times and shorter installation and repair intervals allowed FairPoint to reverse $12.7 million of accrued penalties related to the 2008 and 2009 service quality measurement periods in New Hampshire and Vermont.  The Company was able to reverse these accrued penalties in the fourth quarter of 2010 pursuant to state regulatory settlements in New Hampshire and Vermont and because of improved operating performance throughout 2010.  High-speed Internet subscribers increased 0.4 percent year-over-year, compared to a 2.3 percent decline in 2009.  The annual rate of loss in voice access lines slowed to 10.3 percent versus 11.8 percent a year earlier.FairPoint’s continued commitment to broadband expansion in northern New England, and in particular its satisfaction of all 2010 broadband availability milestones, has contributed to a better state regulatory environment.  FairPoint now offers broadband service to more than 83 percent of customers in Maine, more than 85 percent of customers in New Hampshire and more than 80 percent of customers in Vermont. The Company continues to invest in its network to expand broadband availability.  Broadband is also available to more than 90 percent of Telecom Group customers throughout the other 15 states in which FairPoint operates.The telecommunications industry is becoming more data-centric, and FairPoint expects to capture the growth in broadband demand by leveraging its ubiquitous network in the northern New England service area.  The next-generation IP/MPLS network, branded asVantagePoint(sm), is ideally suited to meet the demand for broadband and Ethernet-based services from businesses and wireless carriers.  For example, FairPoint currently serves over 1,600 of the estimated 1,800 wireless communication towers in its northern New England service footprint with a combination of copper and fiber.  The Company views Ethernet-based wireless backhaul as a significant organic revenue growth opportunity.Financial HighlightsRevenues were $268.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $270.2 million in the same period of 2009.  Service quality penalties, which reduce revenue, decreased $19.5 million versus a year earlier, including the one-time benefit from the $12.7 millionreversal described above.  Offsetting the favorable impact from the reduction in service quality penalties, total voice access lines declined by 10.3 percent versus a year earlier leading to decreases in local calling services revenue, long distance services revenue and access revenue.  The revenue decreases tied to voice access line declines were partially offset by an increase in data and Internet services revenue.Operating expenses, excluding depreciation and amortization, were $211.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $230.8 million in the same period of 2009.  This favorable variance of $19.2 million, or 8.3 percent, was primarily the result of a reduction in bad debt expense.  In addition, certain one-time non-cash charges related to project abandonment, inventory obsolescence and other non-recurring items in the fourth quarter of 2010 were offset by a reduction in pension expense versus a year earlier.  The fourth quarter of 2009 was unfavorably impacted by a large non-cash pension liability true-up.Consolidated EBITDAR(1) was $84.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $68.8 million in the same period of 2009.  After adjusting fourth quarter 2010 Consolidated EBITDAR(1) for the $12.7 million one-time revenue benefit related to the service quality penalties reversal and other one-time charges, the Company estimates that Consolidated EBITDAR(1)  would have been between$65.0 and $70.0 million.Capital expenditures were $40.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $48.6 million in the same period for 2009.  Full year 2010 capital expenditures were $197.8 million, compared to $178.8 million in 2009.  Major capital initiatives in 2010 included the expansion of the VantagePoint(sm) network, regulatory broadband commitments in northern New England, continued information technology improvements and enhancements, success-based capital projects for targeted revenue opportunities, and network and facilities maintenance.2011 GuidanceBased on its current plans and outlook, the Company reiterates its full year 2011 guidance as follows:Revenue:  $1,060 million to $1,090 million 2010     Non-cash reorganization items Total liabilities and stockholders’ deficit$2,973,794 725,312 Other income (expense): 27,50426,69128,96127,06726,073 2009     Selling, general and administrative expense, excluding depreciation 0.4%-1.7%-1.9%-5.5%-2.3%     Other     Net proceeds from sales of investments and other assets (587,418)          Net increase (decrease) in cash Voice services 89,424 Total switched access lines (289,240)          Accounts receivable 35,18735,35835,72134,63039,757 (2.70) Years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009 70,325 (2,126) Loss before income taxes (3,046) 34,151     Restricted cash See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements in FairPoint’s Annual Report     Deferred income taxes Cash flows from operating activities: (in thousands, except share data) (12,320) $3,172,122 137,111     Contributions from Verizon 5,513 Cash, end of period$105,497$109,355 732(999)959859401 2,905,311           Total current liabilities     Basic$(3.15)$(2.70)     Diluted 595,120 12,706     Accrued pension obligation 20,525 13,357 Intangibles assets, net 89,271 15,100 191,626     Net capital additions See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements in FairPoint’s Annual Report 1,361 $              83,987$              59,203$              72,294$              60,784$              68,822 87,14289,03591,13893,82797,161 286,204290,541301,745302,435301,386 The Company originally furnished this guidance pursuant to an investor presentation contained in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 11, 2011.  The Company furnished such guidance in order to synthesize a variety of projected financial information which was provided in connection with the Company’s Chapter 11 proceedings and to establish a baseline to assist investors in evaluating the Company.  While the Company does not intend to provide guidance in the ordinary course, management believes that level-setting is appropriate at this time given the length of the Chapter 11 process and its effects on the Company’s operations, as well as the recent restatement of the Company’s financial results for the first, second and third quarters of 2010.  However, management will continue to assess the Company’s financial and operational trends, and accordingly actual results may vary from this guidance and the variations may be material.The 2011 financial targets reiterated herein represent full year figures and the 2011 quarterly results may be subject to significant fluctuation.  For example, the majority of the Company’s employees are entitled to their annual vacation allowance on January 1st of each year.  Accordingly, the Company recognized approximately $13.5 million of vacation expense on January 1, 2011, which will be amortized over the balance of the year as vacation is used.Fresh Start AccountingAs a result of its emergence from Chapter 11 on January 24, 2011, FairPoint adopted “Fresh Start Accounting” for generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) purposes whereby the Company’s assets and liabilities are marked to their fair market values as of the emergence date.  Since FairPoint emerged from bankruptcy after December 31, 2010, results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2010 do not incorporate the effect of Fresh Start Accounting.  FairPoint’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 includes a pro forma balance sheet as of December 31, 2010.  Management believes this pro forma balance sheet is a reasonable representation of the fair market value of its assets, liabilities and equity as of December 31, 2010 as if the adoption of Fresh Start Accounting had occurred on December 31, 2010; however, no assurances can be made regarding the impact of adopting Fresh Start Accounting until it is completed for the first quarter of 2011.  The impact of Fresh Start Accounting will be included in the Company’s financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.Conference Call InformationAs previously announced, FairPoint will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast to discuss its 2010 fourth quarter and full year results at 2:00 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, April 1, 2011.Participants should call (877) 556-5921 (US/Canada) or (617) 597-5474 (international) at 1:50 p.m. (EDT) and enter the passcode 36853706 when prompted.   The title of the call is the Q4 2010 FairPoint Communications, Inc. Earnings Conference Call.A telephonic replay will be available for anyone unable to participate in the live call. To access the replay, call (888) 286-8010 (US/Canada) or (617) 801-6888 (international) and enter the passcode 19847662 when prompted.  The recording will be available fromFriday, April 1, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT) through Friday, April 15, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).A live broadcast of the earnings conference call will be available via the Internet at www.fairpoint.com/investors(link is external). An online replay will be available shortly thereafter.The information in this press release should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements, footnotes and other information contained in FairPoint’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 filed with the SEC on March 31, 2011.  Use of Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresConsolidated EBITDAR, or EBITDAR, is a non-GAAP financial measure. Management believes that EBITDAR may be useful in assessing the Company’s operating performance and its ability to meet its debt service requirements, and the maintenance covenants contained in the Company’s credit facility are based on EBITDAR.  EBITDAR, as used herein, however, is not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Furthermore, EBITDAR has limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation from, or as an alternative to, net income or loss, operating income, cash flow or other combined income or cash flow data prepared in accordance with GAAP. Because of these limitations, EBITDAR and related ratios should not be considered as measures of discretionary cash available to invest in business growth or reduce indebtedness. FairPoint compensates for these limitations by relying primarily on its GAAP results using EBITDAR only supplementally.  A reconciliation of Consolidated EBITDAR to Net Loss is contained in the attachments to this press release.About FairPointFairPoint Communications, Inc., (NASDAQ: FRP) (www.FairPoint.com(link is external)) is a leading communications provider of high-speed Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other broadband services to customers in communities across 18 states.    Through its fast, reliable data network, FairPoint delivers data and voice networking communications solutions to residential, business and wholesale customers. VantagePoint(sm), FairPoint’s resilient IP-based network in northern New England, provides business customers a fast, flexible, affordable Ethernet connection.  The VantagePoint(sm) network supports applications like video conferencing and e-learning. Additional information about FairPoint products and services is available at www.FairPoint.com(link is external).Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking StatementsSome statements herein are known as “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the Company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements contained herein that are not historical facts. When used herein, the words “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward looking statements. Because these forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results, events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including the Company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other factors. You should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are based on the information currently available to us and speak only as of the date hereof. FairPoint does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  However, your attention is directed to any further disclosures made on related subjects in the Company’s subsequent reports filed with the SEC.Certain information contained herein may constitute guidance as to projected financial results and FairPoint’s future performance that represents management’s estimates as of the date hereof. This guidance, which consists of forward-looking statements, is prepared by the Company’s management and is qualified by, and subject to, certain assumptions. Guidance is not prepared with a view toward compliance with published guidelines of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and neither FairPoint’s independent registered public accounting firm nor any other independent expert or outside party compiles or examines the guidance and, accordingly, no such person expresses any opinion or any other form of assurance with respect thereto. Guidance is based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while presented with numerical specificity, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the Company’s control and are based upon specific assumptions with respect to future business decisions, some of which will change. Management generally states possible outcomes as high and low ranges which are intended to provide a sensitivity analysis as variables are changed but are not intended to represent actual results, which could fall outside of the suggested ranges. The principal reason that the Company releases this data is to provide a basis for management to discuss FairPoint’s business outlook with analysts and investors. FairPoint does not accept any responsibility for any projections or reports published by any such outside analysts or investors. Guidance is necessarily speculative in nature, and it can be expected that some or all of the assumptions of the guidance furnished by us will not materialize or will vary significantly from actual results. Accordingly, the Company’s guidance is only an estimate of what management believes is realizable as of the date hereof. Actual results will vary from the guidance and the variations may be material. Investors should also recognize that the reliability of any forecasted financial data diminishes the farther in the future that the data is forecast. In light of the foregoing, investors are urged to put the guidance in context and not to place undue reliance on it.(1) Consolidated EBITDAR means earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and restructuring items as defined in the Company’s new credit facility.  Consolidated EBITDAR is a non-GAAP financial measure.  A reconciliation of Consolidated EBITDAR to Net Loss is contained in the attachments to this press release.FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES     Loan origination costs Liabilities subject to compromise 89,424 Reorganization items (41,120)       % change y-o-y 2009 (34,810)(33,151)(35,616)(34,604)(40,465) (248,120) ($ in thousands, except per unit) 8,844 FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES Capital expenditures:  $180 million to $200 million Weighted average shares outstanding:      Basic ‘           Total adjustments 327,812335,334340,988349,179357,605     Gain (loss) on derivative instruments ‘ Loss per share:     Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt ‘ 211,819     Retained deficit 3772,20710526(708) (Unaudited) 554,209 (178,242) (3,816) (177,391) 595,120 2010 -10.3%-11.0%-11.6%-12.4%-11.8% 79,014 2,420     Additional paid-in capital (24,799) 31.3%22.7%26.6%22.4%25.5% Operating expenses, excluding depreciation and amortization 4,310     Unamortized investment tax credits 61,312           Non-cash issuance of senior notes Total operating expenses 289,824 1,127,5451,158,6291,190,1311,219,2601,257,434 24,274          Interest paid, net of capitalized interest$1,005$106,861 Total liabilities (124,924) Cash flows from financing activities: 189,247 -1,3978,30710,436- 1,478     Non-cash interest expense          Other assets and liabilities, net Wholesale access lines (6) 365,373     Other income, net (1) For purposes of calculating Consolidated EBITDAR, FairPoint’s new credit facility allows it to add back the aggregate pension and other post-employment benefits expense (OPEB), net of pension contributions and OPEB cash payments in the period.  131,160           Total long-term liabilities 1,180,925 1,678 2009 275,334 43,964 2,715 10,017 (178,752) (15,552)(10,352)1,375(16,591)(53,018) 2,836,340 4,045 Net loss          Accounts payable and accrued liabilities Total assets$2,973,794 Capital expenditures $            136,664$            125,598$            134,943$            134,418$            133,502 Supplemental Financial Information     Pension expenses     Deferred income tax, net 2,000 Total other expense 4,788 (563) 92,246     Cost of services and sales, excluding depreciation and amortization     Net loss$(281,579)$(241,396) ‘ (12,477) (109,939) 527               Net cash provided by operating activities (218,427) Loss before reorganization items and income taxes 8,808 275,334       shares at December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively $             (74,987)$             (66,084)$             (54,178)$             (86,330)$           (115,726) $              40,868$              53,705$              62,815$              40,407$              48,630 (197,795) 4,468 Total stockholders’ deficit 391,719 11,69612,41811,47712,46011,722 Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by (197,268) 18,884 61,681 (3) For purposes of calculating Consolidated EBITDAR, FairPoint’s new credit facility allows it to add back costs, including professional fees for advisors and consultants, related to the restructuring.  These items are included in Reorganization items on the Income Statement in 2010.  (140,896) Cash, beginning of period SOURCE FairPoint Communications, Inc. 3.31.2011 48,402 50,000     Gain on early retirement of debt, excluding cash fees (in thousands)     Post-retirement expenses 33,216 15,132           Non-cash equity consideration 12,320 105,721 Interest expense     Repayment of capital lease obligations (2,192) Stockholders’ deficit: (138,181) 1,417,2901,447,5201,479,7401,503,0661,545,976 (22,996)           Net cash provided by financing activities     Interest expense 361       and amortization Total revenue     Depreciation and amortization 1,784 109,355 (in thousands, except per share data) 894 Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information: Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows 18,841     Diluted 39,030 261,420 ‘          Capital additions included in accounts payable or liabilities Data and Internet services (5) For purposes of calculating Consolidated EBITDAR, FairPoint’s new credit facility allows it to adjust for other items including success bonuses, severance, non-cash gains and losses, non-operating dividend and interest income and other extraordinary gains or losses.  18,911 3,390,549            subject to compromise at period-end ‘ Summary Income Statement: 31,621     Changes in assets and liabilities arising from operations: (Debtors-In-Possession) ‘ Liabilities and Stockholders’ Deficit 63,279 655,901 (6) Wholesale access lines include Resale and UNE-P, but excludes UNE-L and special access circuits.    19,135          Prepaid and other assets Quarter ended     Provision for uncollectible revenue 12,357 Other non-cash items, net (2) Depreciation and amortization 2010 36 1,950,435 12,398 66,098 ‘ 289,745288,891289,609283,806288,542 725,786 Income (loss) from operations       authorized, issued and outstanding 89,440,334 and 90,002,026 19,063 211,598218,177230,273231,053230,792     Depreciation and amortization (1,475) Total operating expenses 115,742 (12,435) Business access lines Consolidated Statements of Operations Goodwill (Debtors-In-Possession) Reorganization items Debt issue costs, net $3,172,122      (Gain) loss on derivative instruments Loss before reorganization items and income taxes Access line equivalents (53,018) Residential access lines 74,60672,36471,47271,38270,594 Net loss Income tax benefit (expense) Years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009 (68,574)(73,414)(64,423)(82,829)(124,679) 7,661 Consolidated EBITDAR Reconciliation:       % change y-o-y 6,092 75,713 6,413(7,330)(10,245)3,501(8,953) ‘ ‘ 119 Loss before income taxes Non-cash pension and OPEB expense (1)     Other long-term liabilities ‘ 16,0961,066(8,509)1,32745,466 Restructuring costs (3) (6,834) $             (74,987)$             (66,084)$             (54,178)$             (86,330)$           (115,726) ‘ All other allowed adjustments, net (5) Other assets 1,961 Revenue: Consolidated EBITDAR margin (320,410) 74,60672,36471,47271,38270,594 (819,715)          Accrued interest payable     Common stock, $0.01 par value, 200,000,000 shares Access 524,741 125,170 See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements in FairPoint’s Annual Report     Accounts receivable, net (3.15) (89,150) High-speed data subscribers (7) (20,848) on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 as filed with the SEC on March 31, 2011. (7) High-speed data subscribers include DSL, fiber-to-the-home, cable modem and fixed wireless broadband.     Current portion of capital lease obligations$1,321 Income tax (benefit) expense Prepaid pension asset 67,381 (7,915) 92,12895,92396,18296,85698,893 1,208,240 (2) For purposes of calculating Consolidated EBITDAR, FairPoint’s new credit facility allows it to add back other non-cash charges except to the extent they will require a cash payment in a future period.  4Q10 included a one-time, non-cash charge related to a prior period.      Accounts payable Current assets: Other services Net loss$(281,579)$(241,396) Loss from operations     Repayments of long-term debtlast_img read more

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Vermont Joint Fiscal Committee approves streamlined grant process for Hurricane Irene relief

first_imgThe unprecedented level of devastation sustained by Vermont as a result of tropical storm Irene has captured the hearts of Americans.Donations of food, emergency equipment and money have been received from all parts of the nation and will be distributed by way of grants.Today the Vermont Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Committee (JFC) voted to provide a one day approval process for these grants in order to hasten hurricane relief efforts.‘Our actions today will ensure that donations of assistance and materials, which have come from across the street and across the nation, will get to those who need it now, not a month from now’, stated Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell. ‘Speaker Smith and I are committed to provide assistance to those Vermonters whose lives have been seriously affected by this storm.’Normally, the Governor’s Administration submits grants to the JFC which then has up to 30 days to review the material before voting on the matter. The steps taken today shorten the review period to 24 hours for all grants of up to $100,000 directly related to hurricane relief. “The last thing we want is for red tape to stand between flood victims and the aid they need’ stated Chair of the Joint Fiscal Committee Senator Ann Cummings. ‘We are committed to helping victims of the recent flood to return to their normal lives as quickly as possible.’last_img read more

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Peabody’s Difficulty Selling Mines ‘Doesn’t Bode Well’

first_imgPeabody’s Difficulty Selling Mines ‘Doesn’t Bode Well’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Jacob Barker for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:Peabody Energy’s survival looks increasingly tied to its sale of two coal mines in New Mexico and one in Colorado, a transaction announced Nov. 20 that Peabody expects to close by the end of March.Without the $358 million in cash Bowie Resource Partners would put up for the mines and the $105 million it would assume in Peabody liabilities, Peabody “believes there is substantial doubt as to whether the Company can comply with its financial covenants under its 2013 Credit Facility,” the company said in a regulatory filing Monday.Last month, Peabody drew down the remainder of a $1.65 billion revolving credit facility. It also had $1.17 billion in principal as of Sept. 30 on a $1.2 billion term loan governed by the 2013 credit agreement.Those secured lenders are concerned that Peabody isn’t pursuing a bankruptcy restructuring, Peabody disclosed in a separate filing Monday.But Peabody wants to negotiate debt swaps with its unsecured bondholders and second lien bondholders. It’s in talks with holders of roughly $5 billion in bonds, who stand to be paid after Peabody’s creditors under the 2013 financing agreement in the event the coal miner files for bankruptcy.Without closing the Bowie deal, however, Peabody’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization could fall below its net cash interest charges, causing a breach of the 2013 credit agreement. If that happens, Peabody would have to ask those lenders, who want it to go into bankruptcy, to give it a waiver of that provision to avoid a default.The Bowie deal contains a $20 million penalty if the coal miner with operations in Utah and Colorado can’t obtain financing to close the deal. When the deal was announced, Louisville, Ky.-based Bowie said it already had equity financing from an undisclosed partner. Four weeks later, Bowie said it would refinance its existing debt as part of the financing package to acquire Peabody’s mines.Bloomberg reported last month, citing anonymous sources, that the deal was on hold while Bowie tried to renegotiate the terms.This doesn’t bode well for Peabody’s ability to sell other assets in the future.“The hope for monetizing anything else is a bit weaker if you couldn’t do this,” said Kris Inton, an analyst at Morningstar in Chicago.Full article: Peabody’s survival hinges on sale of three coal mineslast_img read more

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Trauma Tuesday: Downhill Longboarding Edition

first_imgThe idea of hurling oneself down a steep incline with nothing more than a board and four wheels underneath you is daunting, maybe even insane. Doing that while contorting one’s body by sliding, carving, pumping, and drifting.. now that takes some skill. In this week’s Trauma Tuesday, we have assembled some of the most treacherous longboarding wipeouts on the web.First, a video of James Kelly tearing it up in this Arbor edit.Some serious wipeouts in this compilation.This clip gives road rash a new meaning. Someone needs to get this guy a shirt.last_img

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Combat fraud with staff, member education

first_imgMake information quick, relevant, and easy to understand.by: Joe Day“When your members fall victim to ID theft, your credit union will ultimately pay.”That’s according to Jim Stickley, CEO of Stickley on Security, speaking at the 2015 National Association of Credit Union Service Organization (NACUSO) Annual Conference in Orlando April 13-16 in Orlando.Stickley has been stealing credit cards and hacking accounts for years as a cyber security expert. He discussed the evolving threats credit union members and employees are dealing with, from malware to malicious mobile applications.What’s a credit union’s best defense? Employee and member education.For employees, Stickley encourages education and training and a comprehensive security policy with limited internet access.For members, credit unions need to provide both general education regarding cyber security and awareness about current threats to look out for. The information needs to be quick, easy to understand, and relevant or it won’t reach members. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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