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Librarians say they are not out of the woods yet

first_imgLibrarians say they are not out of the woods yet June 15, 2004 Associate Editor Regular News Librarians say they are not out of the woods yet Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Legislators working on court funding promised they would take care of courthouse law libraries.But representatives of law libraries from Miami-Dade to Palm Beach to St. Lucie to Hernando counties say they don’t feel taken care of—they feel taken to the cleaners.“Somebody needs to tell the truth: They did not save the law libraries. I feel like (legislators) torpedoed the boat and waved vigorously from the shore while we sank,” said Karen Emerson, a Ft. Pierce attorney who organized a petition drive requesting “the restoration of funding for local law libraries.”The big change is the funding source.For 47 years, thanks to Judge Rupert J. Smith, a state representative in 1957 who successfully sponsored legislation, local law libraries didn’t have to beg from counties, but were financed by up-front add-on fees on civil case filings.But as of July 1, that funding source goes out the window with Revision 7 to Art. V because it was not considered technically an “element of the state court system” due to the fact that not every county has a law library.This year, legislators provided a new funding source: a fee up to $65 to be collected from criminal defendants, a compromise reached in the final flurry of negotiations. The Senate originally set a $150 figure, the House wanted $50.Law libraries will get a fourth of that $65 (the rest going to legal aid, teen court and other juvenile alternative programs, and other innovative court program). But no one really knows how much that will be, considering the source: criminal defendants, ranging from felons to traffic law violators.The new law says any money collected is “subordinate in priority” to other state-imposed costs under Revision 7 to Art. V, compensation to crime victims, and child support payments. And if a defendant is indigent, the clerk will defer payment of the cost.“We have become a grand collection agency. Now we get to be a collection agency on the backs of criminals,” Emerson said.Rep. Holly Benson, R-Pensacola, chair of the House Select Committee on Art. V, counters: “The big difference is this is now mandatory and there is an incentive in place for judges to collect this money.” She specifically referred to the judicial innovations that will receive a quarter of the monies to fund such special projects as mental health courts.Benson also argues that because the state took “significant expenditures off of counties,” such as paying for conflict counsel and psychiatric evaluations of defendants, “We hope counties will see fit to fund law libraries.” She also says local bar association could step in to help.“I want to make sure everyone has access. That is the most important thing,” Benson said. “Access can be in a law library in a courthouse, or in a law section of the main library.”Those arguments are not reassuring to those who treasure courthouse law libraries the way they are now.James T. Walker, an attorney on the board of trustees of the Rupert J. Smith Law Library in St. Lucie, said his research reveals the federal side is only able to collect about 6 percent of what is allowable under criminal statutes.“If we accept in good faith for now legislative assurances that this will be a viable source of revenue, and assume more optimistically the collection rate, instead of being in the neighborhood of 6 percent, is say 70 percent — a percentage we are picking out of the air arbitrarily — we are still looking at an overall shortfall of $94,000 for our library,” Walker said.“We have already taken steps to slash the printed collection by 20 percent.”Or as Emerson bluntly says: “Our collection rate for St. Lucie County from criminal cases is $38,500. Divide that by four. And which row of books do you want to keep?”What constitutes a viable law library has been a frustrating argument for Bob Riger, executive director of the Miami-Dade Law Library.Riger came to Tallahassee to lobby legislators about the importance of a fully stocked law library, not the bare-bones “basic legal materials” outlined in the House plans that called for Florida Statutes, United States Code, Florida Rules of Court, Federal Rules of Court, Beiber’s Legal Citation Dictionary, and Black’s Law Dictionary, for a total cost of $2,267.Riger has his own list of what the American Association of Law Libraries considers basic materials, costing nearly 100 times the legislative bare-bones version, at $220,132. That list includes state and administrative case law, treatises, self-help materials for pro se litigants, session laws from the state, annotations included in the statutes, administrative law, local bar publications, case law, and encyclopedias.“I tried to present to (legislators) the fact that we were a unique entity,” Riger said.“There is nothing like it, and we are doing the work that no one else is willing to do. We see ourselves—and this may sound grandiose or dramatic to some—but we see ourselves as saving lives every day. We have desperate people coming in to use our libraries: battered wives seeking an injunction, or those who have just been evicted. Unfortunately, many of the legislators looked at it as all well and good. But they said, ‘If the counties want to do that, let them pay for it.’ And some House members thought less was more.”Indeed, more than half of users of law libraries statewide are not attorneys and judges, but regular people trying to answer legal questions or represent themselves.In Palm Beach County, Law Library Manager Linda Sims says 70 percent of the people she serves are from the general public.“We will stay open, but I believe we are facing big budget cuts, which is going to cut into the heart of the library,” Sims said.“We have already laid off a part-timer. One full-time person resigned because of the concerns of the indefinite situation.”The law library housed at the Palm Beach County Judicial Center budget is $550,000, Sims said, and it is estimated they will receive $350,000 from the new funding source.“That requires the county to put in the difference, and the county has said they are not going to,” Sims said.“It’s a huge element of frustration because I know that the money is out there. It just seems the county commissioners are not really looking at the value of the law library,” Sims said.“I have 19 years here. I see the value of the law library,” she continued. “I see the service it provides. My feeling is that I’ll keep going until there is nothing to maintain. I feel like the captain that goes down with the ship.”Walker sees law libraries no less than at the very foundation of equal justice for all.“We feel as if a healthy justice system requires a liberal access by the people of the state to legal information. And that requires a healthy system of law libraries throughout the state,” Walker said.“Unfortunately, most people don’t live conveniently near a university center. And few people can afford the cost of a legal electronic data access. Without a law library at hand, most people will not have meaningful access to justice.”With a budget of more than $1 million and an estimated funding source of $170,000, Riger will seek to make up the difference from Miami-Dade County.“We’ve been negotiating with the county and putting together a budget, and nothing is official until the budget is approved,” Riger said.But that may not be an option for cash-strapped small counties.Asked if it is viable to go to the Hernando County Commission for help in funding the law library, Brooksville attorney Joe Mason responded: “Can you quote a laugh?”Mason said how much will actually be raised from the criminal cases add-on fees is “absolutely unknown,” though the Senate estimated the $65 could raise $33 million statewide, divided by four for law libraries. Benson said the House’s admittedly “optimistic number” is $38 million. That figures out to an estimated $9.5 million for law libraries, Benson said, which should cover the estimated statewide cost of libraries of $6.1 to $6.3 million.But Mason is taking a wait-and-see attitude on how much money is generated.“The funding is coming from sources that never really have been tracked before. It’s all related to criminal dockets.“I guess the question I have got to raise: Does the legislature even bother to check on what the collection rate from the criminal cases will be?” Mason asked.“I suspect the collection rate is low, low, though I can’t say that for certain. It appears to me as if it was an attempt by the legislature to say, ‘Hey, we took care of you. It’s not our fault the judges can’t collect money from the criminal defendants.’”Those who care about the quality of local libraries say they will be watching and plotting strategies for the future.“We think what is going to happen is it is going to become clear that the collection rate is not sufficiently high to be a meaningful source of revenue,” Walker said.“Therefore, we are keeping the option of going back to the legislature and asking them to revisit this matter, should that experience live down to our expectations.”last_img read more

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In 2019, two new TUI Airways flights from Rijeka to the UK

first_imgFrom next year, Rijeka Airport with the United Kingdom will be connected to two new airlines of the British airline, TUI Airways.TUI Airways from Rijeka to Manchester and London Gatwick will fly in the summer season of 2019, from May 23 to October 17, or from 147 to 154 days a year.The introduction of two air charter routes from Rijeka to the UK, after almost 20 years, is the result of an agreement and a meeting held on July 24 this year at the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure (MPPI) with representatives of the TUI Group. , which was attended by the Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, Director of Rijeka Airport Tomislav Palalić and representatives of the TUI Group, discussed the need to introduce these lines and enter the English market and agreed on all preconditions for the introduction of two new lines. To connect Croatia with Great Britain.TUI Airways will connect Rijeka with London and Manchester once a week, every Thursday in the period from May 23 to October 17, 2019. Tickets for the announced TUI Airways flights to Rijeka are already on sale, and a Boeing aircraft should fly on the routes. 737-800 with a capacity of 189 seats.last_img read more

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UK roundup: Philips Pension Fund, Prudential, TPR, PPF

first_imgThe Philips Pension Fund has conducted a second buy-in almost a year after it first began insuring its pensioner members.The fund has completed a £300m (€379m) insurance buy-in for its pensioner members, with Prudential, the UK insurer, taking on the liability.In August 2013, the fund completed a similar £480m buy-in with Rothesay Life, a specialist pension insurer.The risk-transfer market has been in full-swing during 2014, with the level of insurance buyouts and buy-ins, along with longevity hedging, expected to easily exceed records. So far, the BT Pension Scheme transferred £16bn of longevity risk, and the ICI Pension Fund insured £3.6bn of liabilities with Legal & General and Prudential.The fund’s chair of trustees, David Jordan, said the scheme benefited from being well prepared and having governance processes in place. “We have sought to balance our requirement for value-for-money with the insurers’ need for timing certainty,” he said.In other news, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) has refreshed its campaign warning scheme trustees and members about the perils of pension liberation fraud, after announcing £495m of pensions savings had already been lost.The scams relate to ‘pensions liberation’, where members are duped into withdrawing their pensions from the schemes to access cash.However, the funds are often subjected to high tax charges and service charges, and the remainder often invested in “unusual investments”.Pensions minister Steve Webb said the government was looking to “stamp out” these “unethical and exploitative” schemes.Andrew Warwick-Thompson, executive director at TPR, added: “Pension scams remain prevalent and need to be stamped out. The only people who benefit financially from the arrangements are the scammers themselves.”The campaign is being led by the Department for Work & Pensions, TPR, the Pensions Advisory Service, Money Advice Service, Financial Conduct Authority, Serious Fraud Office, HMRC, Action Fraud, National Crime Agency and City of London Police.Lastly, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has responded to its consultation on the impact of changes to the definition of money purchase.After a legal ruling, the UK government amended the definition of money purchase to include only pure defined contribution schemes that are nothing other than investment vehicles.This has resulted in several schemes offering fringe benefits with DC schemes to be reclassified as defined benefit, thus undergoing PPF levy assessment.The lifeboat fund has said schemes that see a material impact of greater than 10% must now complete an out of cycle s179 valuation to understand updated deficit positions.last_img read more

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Living on the KIJHL edge — Leafs rally past NO Kings 3-2

first_imgFor 40 minutes the North Okanagan Kings played the perfect road game.Combining timely scoring with solid fore-checking, the Kings had the Leafs on the ropes, scoring twice in the first and second periods to muster a 2-0 lead after two periods.However, the Nelson Leafs have been playing the part of dramatic stage actor of late, keeping the crowd at the edge of the seats while saving the best for the end of the play.Sunday afternoon at the NDCC Arena was no different.For the third time in three games, the opportunistic Leafs saved the best for last, scoring three unanswered goals in the final frame to edge the North Okanagan Kings 3-2 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action in Nelson.Brendan Smith netted the winning goal on the power play with 19 seconds remaining in the game to power Nelson to its fourth straight win — and sixth in eight games during the month of October.The win allows the improving Leafs to continue to keep pace with the front-runners in the Murdoch Division of the KIJHL. Nelson, 9-5, sits four points behind division leading Beaver Valley Nitehawks six weeks into the season.Sunday, North Okanagan looked like one of the heavyweights in the KIJHL instead of the 3-10-0-0-1 team, sitting last in the Okanagan Division of the KIJHL.Gritty play allowed the Kings to take a 1-0 lead six minutes into the contest on a goal by Kelsey Byrne.North Okanagan took a two-goal lead when Liam Molloy beat Joe Barton in the Leaf nets for the game’s second goal less than four minutes into the middle frame.Nelson then took another hit to the mid section when Leaf captain Rayce Miller was forced to leave the game after losing a couple of chiclets during the second period.However, midway through the third period Leaf assistant captain Jordan Davie started the comeback with his eight goal of the season.Nelson, out shooting the Kings 18-3 in the period, continued to press and was rewarded when rookie defenceman Kyle Chernenkoff scored with just over three minutes left in the game.That set the stage for Smith’s heroics and Nelson’s victory.Barton stopped 17 of 19 shots to register his fifth victory of the season as Nelson out shot the visitors 34-19.Nelson hosts Princeton Posse in the lone game Saturday at the NDCC Arena before heading out on a two-game road swing through the Okanagan with stops in Armstrong and Kelowna.PUCK BANTER: Nelson defeated Grand Forks Border Bruins Friday (overtime) and Castlegar Rebels this past Wednesday by identical 3-2 scores. . . .The loss completed an uneventful weekend for North Okanagan, as the Armstrong based squad lost all three games to Murdoch Division teams — 4-1 Friday against Beaver Valley and 4-0 Saturday to Castlegar. . . . Brendan Smith jumped into the scoring lead for the Leafs with 11 points — four goals and seven assists. Jordan Davie, with a team-leading eight goals, is tied for second with Eamonn Miller, each with nine points. . . .Leafs were missing Austin LIndsay from the lineup. The Nelson forward was held out of the lineup due to injury. . . .Beaver Valley won both its games during the weekend to maintain top spot in the Murdoch Division. The Hawks defeated North Okanagan before outlasting an improved Grand Forks Border Bruins team Saturday 6-4.last_img read more

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