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New Dutch FTK faces hurdle of merging past, future pension rights

first_imgThe introduction of a hybrid pensions contract under the revised financial assessment framework (FTK), offering a mixture of nominal and real benefits, will need to address the problem of merging new pension rights with existing accrual, a pensions lawyer has argued. However, because the odds of a successful legal claim by pensioners for violation of ownership rights was small, the development of the new FTK should not be further delayed, René Maatman of law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek said.In a contribution to Me Judice, an independent forum for economic debate, he suggested that the Dutch state shoulder the risk from the inevitable conversion of pension rights – in order to both prevent further damage to pension funds’ reputation and to maintain society’s support for the pensions system.In Maatman’s opinion, the possibility that merging pension rights would lead to financial liability was very small. “State secretary Jetta Klijnsma does not need to further delay her FTK proposal for this reason,” he said. The lawyer suggested that the reason of the repeated delay in the presentation of the FTK bill was that Klijnsma has concluded that a hybrid contract would also cause problems in merging the two systems.“However, the possibility that a court will honour legal claims for violation of ownership rights seems very remote to me,” Maatman said. “The legislator is entitled to adjust the FTK, and the government has good reasons for changing the pensions system.”The lawyer added that European Court of Justice had previously demonstrated it would not easily accept arguments about violation of ownership rights. The court has, in the past, also accepted appeals that legal changes to future benefits structures were necessary for the financial sustainability of the pensions system.In his opinion, the current IORP Directive also offered the the Dutch government ample margin for changing the FTK.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external siteshttp://www.mejudice.nl/artikelen/detail/wat-let-klijnsma-om-een-nieuw-pensioencontract-in-te-voerenlast_img read more

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UK to explore mandatory climate reporting for pension funds, companies

first_imgUK listed companies and large asset owners will be expected to report on climate change risk by 2022, the government announced today.The reporting should be in line with the recommendations made by the Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and could become mandatory depending on the work of a joint task force of UK regulators.Unveiling its green finance strategy today, the government said the task force, which it would chair, would “examine the most effective way to approach disclosure, including the appropriateness of mandatory reporting”.According to the government’s strategy document, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has jointly established an industry working group to produce guidance for pension schemes on “climate-related practices” across several areas, including disclosure, and expects to consult with the industry later this year “with a view to putting it on a statutory footing” during 2020 as part of the governance code. The government also indicated it would more formally integrate climate change into the mandate of the country’s regulators. In the case of TPR, for example, the government said it would be including climate-related financial issues in its annual budget, “with a view to embedding considerations in other documents when the opportunity arises”.In a joint statement, TPR and the country’s financial regulators said they welcomed the action being taken to ensure a coordinated approach to climate change.Charles Counsell, TPR’s chief executive, said: “Climate change is a risk to long-term sustainability pension trustees need to consider when setting and implementing investment strategy, while many schemes are also supported by employers whose financial positions and prospects for growth are dependent on current and future policies and developments in relation to climate change.”UK defined contribution schemes are already facing new reporting obligations relating to investment and climate change, and their arrangements with asset managers. Last year the Financial Conduct Authority proposed that asset managers and other financial services firms be required to report publicly on how they manage climate risks. Green Finance Institute and other initiatives Rhian-Mari Thomas, CEO, Green Finance InstituteAs part of its strategy the government also announced it would jointly fund a new Green Finance Institute with the City of London “to foster greater cooperation between the public and private sectors, create new opportunities for investors, and strengthen the UK’s reputation as a global hub for green finance”.Rhian-Mari Thomas, former head of green banking at Barclays, has been appointed as the institute’s first CEO. She said the new organisation was “thoroughly committed to identifying and unlocking barriers to the mobilisation of capital towards impactful, real-economy outcomes”.The government also announced an education-targeted initiative to ensure financial services-related qualifications included developing practitioners’ knowledge and understanding of green finance.It also said it was working with international partners “to catalyse market-led action on enhancing nature-related financial disclosures”, which would complement an upcoming global review of the economics of biodiversity by economist Partha Dasgupta.A missed opportunity?The government’s announcement was welcomed by several investors and observers, but they also cautioned it was insufficient or missed a potential opportunity. Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors, said the new requirements were “welcome first steps in beginning to fundamentally change corporate behaviour”.“That said, it is imperative for the government to ensure this results in meaningful action by businesses and the expectations are seen as a minimum threshold to surpass, rather than an aspirational goal,” he said.Ben Nelmes, head of public policy at the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, described the strategy as “a good first step”, adding: “But as we enter the age of climate consequences, the strategy is just the beginning, and we look forward to working with the government to make all of finance sustainable.”center_img Without a carbon price the UK is unlikely to achieve its ‘net zero’ ambition, says Impax CEO Ian SimmHowever, Mark Thomas, ESG specialist at asset management consultancy Alpha FMC, said the government’s strategy “misses a potential opportunity to really challenge organisations on their carbon emissions and to help them improve”.“It is clear there is still uncertainty around how organisations will disclose climate risks and consultation is needed, but it would be helpful for the government to define this important requirement with greater speed and clarity,” he said. “Companies and asset owners will be waiting for specific steps from either the task force or the institute on how to fund the significant cost estimates of delivering the initiatives that will lead to a low carbon economy.”Ian Simm, founder and chief executive of environmental solutions specialist Impax Asset Management, warned that the green finance strategy could prove ineffective in delivering on the government’s goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.“Without the correct price on greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, many of the investment decisions taken over the next decade could significantly undermine the UK’s ability to achieve its ‘net zero’ ambition,” he said. “Although the UK has shown international leadership in this area, for example through the Carbon Price Floor on energy generation, a much more comprehensive approach to carbon pricing is now required.”last_img read more

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Freshwater properties jumped 33 per cent over the last 5 years

first_imgSushma Thapa captured this beautiful photo of her niece, Saina at the Freshwater sunflower field in Cairns.FRESHWATER has long been a popular suburb in Cairns for its big blocks, leafy surrounds and well-developed sense of community. That popularity has translated into high median values too with the latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland Market Monitor revealing the annual median sale price for Freshwater properties jumped 33 per cent over the last five years while Caravonica rose 30 per cent and inner-city Parramatta Park increased 26 per cent.Kamerunga Rd is the main thoroughfare through the suburb: to the north there are undulating vistas of sugar cane crops and the Macalister Range, to the south is the bulk of Freshwater’s residential population.In an exceedingly convenient location, with excellent connections to the CBD, the airport and the Northern Beaches, there have been cases of million dollar sales in the past year.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agoFreshwater’s low crime rate, general demographic and proximity to popular schools and public transport services also make it a desirable place to live.With a school, tennis club and several locally-owned shops, the suburb has a strong sense of community.Freshwater train station is a key starting point for many visitors’ Far North adventures on the Kuranda Scenic Railway.The Northern Cycleway runs from the Cairns Esplanade to Freshwater, and has been extended to Redlynch and Caravonica this year.The suburb is set to welcome a new commercial development bringing retail and food amenities closer to home.Next to an existing shopping precinct, which is home to French bakery Le Crouton, Friendly Grocer & Authentic Indian Takeaway, an Australia Post Office and Connection Hair Design, the development will bring up to six new businesses, including a coffee shop, to 225 Kamerunga Rd.The Limberlost Nursery is also a popular spot for breakfast and lunch and just across the road, cane farmer Mark Savina’s decision to plant sunflowers have made the suburb an Instagram sensation.last_img read more

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The Failed Promise of Legal Pot

first_imgThe Atlantic 9 May 2016New laws on marijuana were supposed to boost tax revenues and free up cops to go after “real” criminals. But underground sales—and arrests—are still thriving.Family First Comment: Interesting commentary – and a warning for Maori MPs and the Maori Party.   The dream of legal marijuana as it is being sold to the American public is that it will not only give states a chance to reap a tax windfall off of a drug millions of Americans already use; it will end the back-and-forth tussle among cops, users, and dealers, and shift police resources to more serious crimes. Most compellingly, advocates hold out the promise of a major step toward dismantling one of the pillars of racially biased policing—the war on drugs—and finally reeling in a legal net that has long entangled black men at vastly disproportionate rates.Proponents of legalization make this case explicitly. In factsheets and reports, the American Civil Liberties Union describes marijuana laws as generating “staggering” racial bias. And the statistics do paint a stark picture: Although whites are as likely to use marijuana as blacks, nationally black people are almost four times more likely to be arrested for possessing the drug. In some states, it’s closer to nine times. Those arrests in turn show up on background checks for everything from apartments to jobs, and despite the courts’ presumption of innocence, arrests are often treated by society as de facto markers of guilt. So in one fell swoop, voters are told, they can balance government budgets, begin to close a pipeline that sends one in three black men to prison, and free up the cops to chase real criminals. Plus, now it’s legal to get stoned.One-half of the dream is coming true. In the first two states to go legal, arrests for marijuana possession have dropped dramatically—by 98 percent in Washington and 95 percent in Colorado as of last year—and high taxes in both states are generating tens of millions of dollars a year for education and public health. At the same time, legal markets in Washington and Colorado along with loosening medical-marijuana laws around the country have together exerted enough downward pressure on street prices that Central American cartels have reportedly begun to shift production away from marijuana, toward more profitable drugs like heroin.But the other half of the dream is faltering. The rub lies in reconciling those dramatic statistics with the reality on the street: The same faces standing on the same corners. The same neighborhoods cruised by the same cops. The same cautious side-to-side look before a thickly flowered stem is removed from a backpack, peered at closely, maybe smelled and rolled between the fingers, and, in a quick change of hands, finally sold.As legalization efforts proceed apace, the risk is that even as possession arrests taper off, black markets will continue entangling young black men. Half of all drug arrests are for marijuana, and about one in eight of those is for distribution. According to experts, even that number likely conceals cases where police target dealers but ultimately arrest them only for possession, which has lower probable-cause standards. And like possession arrests, arrests for selling marijuana show broad trends: The sellers who the cops catch are mostly male, more than half are under 24, and black people are arrested at four times the rate of whites, even though whites are up to 32 percent more likely to sell the drug.The risk is that, by itself, legalizing marijuana possession changes none of this and that, even as legalization spreads, young black men will continue to be arrested at disproportionate rates for selling the drug. In turn, this leaves intact a version of the same specter that helped spur legalization in the first place: An arrest record’s scarlet letter will continue to blight the collective futures of urban communities of color, the natural effect of an economic incentive the state did not remove.READ MORE: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/legal-pot-and-the-black-market/481506/Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

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LGUs seek extension to SAP cash distribution

first_imgAs this was being written, distribution was ongoing in the LGUs of Calinog, Carles, Concepcion, Dingle, Dueñas, Dumangas, Estancia, Janiuay, Lambunao, Lemery, Leon, Miag-ao, Oton, Pavia, Pototan, San Rafael, Sta. Barbara, Tigbauan, Tubungan, Zarraga, and Passi City. A total of P1,863,738,000 SAP fund was downloaded to the 43 LGUs for the government’s cash assistance to 310,623 qualified family beneficiaries under “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.” (PIA-6/PN) The information was already relayed to concerned LGUs in the province, according to Sumagaysay. Iloilo province has 43 LGUs – 42 municipalities and the component city of Passi. Sumagaysay said on May 1 they were informed by the DILG regional office that the distribution had been extended until May 7 for LGUs in the National Capital Region, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Cavite, Cebu City and Davao City. Over 200 beneficiaries of the national government’s Social Amelioration Program in Barangay Timawa 2, Iloilo City gather at the Iloilo City Freedom Grandstand on April 28, 2020 to receive their cash assistance of P6,000 each. LGUs outside these areas were given a four-day extension. However, according to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Iloilo provincial director Teodora Sumagaysay, some local chief executives wrote to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año while others to Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista requesting for an extension, mostly due to the challenges in the validation process. Sumagaysay urged the remaining LGUs to fast track the distribution of the financial assistance  to beneficiaries who need the cash aid during these challenging times brought about by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and “they could also start their liquidation and preparation for the second tranche.” ILOILO – Local government units (LGUs) were originally expected to distribute completely the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) cash assistance by April 30. As of May 2, all qualified families affected by the ongoing enhanced community quarantine in 22 LGUs in this province already received their cash assistance of P6,000 each.last_img read more

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Gerrard hails ‘phenomenal’ Rodgers

first_img Gerrard told the Daily Telegraph: “He’s a phenomenal man for his age (41). I think he’s going to grow into one of the world’s best managers and I hope he is here long after I am gone. “I hope he is here for many, many years because this club is in great hands. Whatever happens now until the end of the season, it’s safe. “He’s a winner, he’s hungry for success, he does the right things, he treats players well, he doesn’t try and control the football club, or get involved in stuff that has nothing to do with him. “He just focuses on getting on the training pitch and coaching the team, improving individuals, improving the team and playing football the right way. That’s what the supporters want here.” The Merseysiders currently top the standings by two points, ahead of the clash with Norwich, and are now firm favourites to earn their first league success in 24 years, with captain Gerrard admitting he will need to keep his emotions in check during the run-in. “They are there – the nerves, the excitement. They are there because we have earned the right to have those kinds of feelings,” he added. “The challenge for me, which just as important as being on the pitch now, is can I control myself and can I get on with my life for the next four weeks.” Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has hailed manager Brendan Rodgers as “phenomenal” and hopes the Northern Irishman can build a legacy at the club. Press Associationcenter_img The pair have been at the forefront of Liverpool’s Barclays Premier League title charge, which was strengthened by rivals Manchester City and Chelsea both slipping up against Sunderland this week. A top-four finish was the stated aim this season for the Reds, who have finished no higher than sixth in the past four campaigns, but they have thrived under Rodgers last_img read more

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No worries for Connacht

first_img Press Association Connacht only led 15-12 at the interval – having trailed 9-3 after 19 minutes – but they ended up running out easy victors. Danie Poolman scored the opening two tries for the Irish outfit, with Bundee Aki, Dave McSharry, and Willie Faloon also getting on the scoresheet in the second half as Connacht made the most of Florian Lapeyrade’s 58th-minute yellow card for the visitors. Lapeyrade had helped put Bayonne ahead 19-15 at the start of the second period with a try that was converted by Clement Otazo, but during the prop’s stint in the sin-bin, Connacht scored 17 points. Jack Carty added three conversion and three penalties for the hosts, while Craig Ronaldson slotted over another conversion, as they moved to within a point of leaders Exeter. center_img Connacht stormed away in the second half to record a 42-19 bonus-point victory over French club Bayonne in European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool Two action. last_img read more

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Blog rebuttal: Revisiting preseason SU football predictions

first_img Published on October 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm Comments BLOG POST: Despite notching impressive win at South Florida, Syracuse’s postseason outlook remains relatively wide open Andrew L. John Goin’ Hog Wild Despite Syracuse entering the weekend at 4-1, that preseason prediction of mine hasn’t changed much. That initial prognostication had Syracuse finishing the season at a respectable 6-6. Hey, that’s not bad. I also went on record that SU would start the season 3-1 before doing so. The only thing that has happen so far that I didn’t correctly project was the win at South Florida. So the question has to be posed: Did that win alone make me want to change my initial prediction? Though the win was undoubtedly impressive, my answer would be ‘not really.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Look, Doug Marrone himself said earlier this week the Orange will have to ‘fight and scratch’ every week to win in the Big East. While some teams may appear to be down, others are looking up. SU isn’t the only Big East bottom dweller to impress this season. Look at what Louisville and Rutgers have done. No win is guaranteed. Though the Big East is wide open and the Orange looks better, through five games, than many had anticipated, that one impressive win is still just one win. A convincing victory over Pittsburgh this weekend, however, would definitely change that. But looking at SU’s situation as is, I can’t definitively say the Orange will be 7-5 or better. I certainly think it can happen, but need more evidence before going on record that it will happen. That may be why this weekend’s matchup is so intriguing. For now, I’ll stick to my guns and add just one win. ‘For now’ being the key phrase. Post-USF prediction: (7-5, 3-4 Big East) aljohn@syr.edu REBUTTAL: ‘Capable’ Orange team has proven itself against adversities, should cruise to program’s 1st bowl since 2004 Tony Olivero Purify the colors Well, prior to the season, I pegged SU to be 4-1 at this point in the season. Picked ‘em to beat Akron, Maine and Colgate. Picked ‘em to lose to Washington. Picked ‘em to upset South Florida. Spot on, eh? Well, that’s where it will end. 100 percent over the first four games; but from here on out, my preseason predictions will unravel. SU won’t go 1-6 the rest of the way. For one simple reason. SU has done the one thing thus far that I expected would keep them from getting to a bowl game: Sure up the in-season problems that would arise. But more importantly, sure them up before the upcoming three-game stretch. The word that stuck out with this team in summer camp was ‘capable.’ The Orange was bowl-capable. SU had the first string to get to seven wins. But it was all with the first team. With the first injury to a weak unit (wide receivers), the capable offense would unravel. But with the win over USF last weekend, SU proved that won’t be the case. With the touchdown catch from Marcus Sales, the Orange actually slapped that thought in the face. Jarrod West, Aaron Weaver and Steve Rene were out for the year. But the second string stepped up when needed to. It turned from capable to proven, just like that. But before that instance, it was proven with the 15 freshmen who have played thus far this year. They — most especially one of the favorites for Big East Rookie of the Year, Marquis Spruill — are here to stay. But, more importantly, they are here for this year. This team will be bowl-bound. The Orange won’t finish 5-7. Now it is about a different kind of capable. A different kind of better. All because SU went from capable to proven before these three games. Post-USF prediction: (8-4, 4-3 Big East) aolivero@syr.edu REBUTTAL: Unexpected win at South Florida changes everything, puts Marrone’s team in prime position for bowl berth Brett LoGiurato Outrageous Fun Did I pick Syracuse to go 5-7 this season? Yes. Could it still go 5-7 this season? Absolutely. Will it still go 5-7 this season? Absolutely not. The win at South Florida changes a lot. Doug Marrone cried, and that’s how you know something big is going on here. Most did not expect Syracuse to win in Tampa, Fla., last weekend. Now the Orange is currently a one-point favorite against the preseason Big East favorite, Pittsburgh, at home Saturday. To quote Michael Scott, ‘Oh, how the turn tables.’ One week ago, the Orange was a team surrounded with questions after a 3-1 start against a still-winless Akron team and two FCS squads in Maine and Colgate. Now, SU has moved into Big East contender position. One week ago, Marrone does not show emotion. Now, he’s wiping tears from his face. With all that being taken into account, the outlook on the season has to change. That being said, a bowl berth is still very much in question. USF was one step. Now, the Orange will face the best of the Big East over the next three weeks, starting with Pittsburgh. Next will be trips to Morgantown, W. Va., and Cincinnati. I could see the Orange stealing one of those three. So, in three weeks, SU will be 5-3, staring in the face of a bowl. Then, it’ll be a four-game make-or-break situation for said bowl. The Orange will beat Louisville. And I think SU can win one of three against Rutgers, Connecticut and Boston College at home. The key is winning one of the next three, and then beating Louisville. With tears from Marrone, anything is possible. Post-USF prediction: 7-5 (4-3 Big East) bplogiur@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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On the block: Assessing how Syracuse matches up with Georgetown ahead of last Big East duel in the Dome

first_img Related Stories Otto-matic: Star forward Porter has carried Georgetown on the offensive end this year Facebook Twitter Google+ Point guardMichael Carter-Williams is coming off of one of his best games this season. Against Providence on Wednesday, he scored 15 points and handed out 12 assists in the Orange’s 84-59 win over the Friars. Simply put, Syracuse’s offense runs far more efficiently when he’s able to be a facilitator instead of a scorer. When he does both, the Orange is almost impossible to beat. Georgetown’s Markel Starks is averaging about three assists per game, which pales in comparison to Carter-Williams’ 8.2. Carter-Williams is one of the best point guards in the nation, and continues to steadily orchestrate Syracuse’s offense. Against a competitive defensive team in Georgetown, that’ll be even more important.Advantage: SyracuseShooting guardWhen he’s playing well, Brandon Triche is an absolute scoring machine. Against Seton Hall last week, he scored 29 points and hit four 3-pointers. But his inconsistency has been a point of concern at times. Before his lights-out shooting performance against the Pirates, Triche shot only 3-of-15, and missed all seven of his 3-point attempts at Connecticut. If he’s able to get open looks, Triche can knock them down with ease. His steady demeanor is also something that will help him in front of what will likely be a raucous Carrier Dome crowd. Jabril Trawick is only a sophomore and only averaging 5.6 points per game. It’s clear Syracuse has the better “two” guard in this game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAdvantage: SyracuseSmall forwardOtto Porter is unquestionably a threat on the outside for Georgetown. He’s averaging 15.1 points per game, shooting a staggering 49.8 percent from the field and is hitting 44.6 percent of his shots from the arc. Jerami Grant has been somewhat inconsistent since he became a starter in early February. The transition from the bench to the starting lineup has come with some ups and downs. Against Providence on Wednesday, Grant only scored three points on 1-of-3 shooting in 21 minutes on the floor. But in other games, he’s been unstoppable. Against Notre Dame, he scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, and played all 40 minutes.Advantage: GeorgetownPower forwardC.J. Fair has been one of Syracuse’s best players all season long. It seems like all season he’s put up incredible numbers while playing almost every minute of every game. He’s coming off of a 20-point performance against Providence. And as Fair has shown all season, he’s able to thrive in even the toughest of spots. Nate Lubick is simply not the player Fair is. He’s averaging a respectable 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He’s also the same height as Fair. Still, Fair has been great all year. In one of the biggest games of the season, there’s every reason to expect him to be great again.Advantage: SyracuseCenterRakeem Christmas is not necessarily an offensive threat, but the super athletic center can be a nightmare for opponents in the low post defensively. He’s averaging six points and five rebounds per game for Syracuse, and has racked up 55 blocks this season. The 6-foot-9 Mikael Hopkins is putting up about the same offensive numbers as Christmas with 6.2 points per game, but is only averaging 2.6 rebounds. Hopkins, who was a high school teammate of Syracuse’s Jerami Grant, is up against a tough test in Christmas.Advantage: SyracuseBenchJames Southerland is a force off of the bench for Syracuse. When he’s shooting well, the Orange’s offense can put huge numbers on the board, just as it did Wednesday against Providence. In that game, Southerland was a remarkable 7-of-8 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from the 3-point line, and ended up with a total of 20 points. But Syracuse’s bench is still somewhat thin, especially when it comes to guards. Trevor Cooney is struggling from the arc, and hasn’t hit a 3 in the last three games. Georgetown freshman D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera has been a lightning rod, and is coming off of a 33-point performance against DePaul where he knocked down five of his six 3-point attempts. Still, playing on the road is always tougher, and Southerland has the edge in experience. While Syracuse’s bench is relatively thin, it has performed well when it’s needed to.Advantage: Syracuse Commentscenter_img Published on February 22, 2013 at 2:03 am Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_isemanlast_img read more