Author Daniel McInerny gave a talk titled “Children’s Literature and the Golden World” at the first installment of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture’s Fall 2013 Catholic Literature Series on Tuesday. McInerny, CEO of Trojan Tub Entertainment and author of the “Kingdom of Patria” series, said children’s literature takes place in a different world. “Children’s literature is about adventure into a ‘golden world,’ in which innocence is fought for and achieved,” McInerny said. McInerny said the idea of a “golden world” derives from the biblical idea of a Paradise, and an idealized or fantasy world is featured in many children’s books such as “The Secret Garden,” “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Bridge to Terabithia.” “Children’s literature has an essential connection to a Catholic understanding of moral formation,” he said. “Even if many, if not most of the practitioners aren’t Catholic at all, the very genre is a dream of Eden.” McInerny said the “golden worlds” featured in books are not necessarily perfect images of Eden, for they can be filled with conflict, danger and evil. “I still call them ‘golden worlds’ because it is in those worlds that characters undertake the work of restoring innocence,” he said. McInerny said this idea of innocence is not about sheltering children from evil. “I mean innocence as … the opposite of being sheltered, of adventuring out into the world of death and finding one’s virtuous way through it,” he said. A common objection to the idea of “golden worlds” is that it only applies to “fantasy” literature, in which the narrator takes the reader into a secondary universe, he said. “The ‘golden world’ as I described it is also found in the revolutionary Boston of ‘Johnny Tremain,’ or the Connecticut colony of Elizabeth George Speare’s ‘The Witch of Blackbird Pond,’” he said. “These are historical places, but the adventures that the child protagonists undertake in those stories also can be described as ‘golden worlds.’ It doesn’t have to be a fantasy secondary world.” McInerny said the genre of children’s literature as it is known today did not emerge until the 19th century, and it flourished as a result of Romanticism and its reverence towards childhood. “This treasuring of childhood gave an increasingly secular culture a way of connecting to purity and innocence, to wonder and to other worlds,” McInerny said. “It encouraged it to favor the imagination, as opposed to reason and scientific mode. “I would argue that the Romantic sense of childhood, and the children’s literature that flowed from it, was one way of trying to re-create the ‘golden world’ of the terrestrial paradise.” Though children’s literature is largely secular in inspiration, McInerny said, its deepest inclinations of yearning for a terrestrial paradise can be uniquely appreciated by the Catholic literary mind. “The Catholic can deeply appreciate much of what good children’s literature is trying to do, even while it resists making idols out of childhood innocence and the child’s imagination.” Junior Frances Kelsey said she has been following the Center for Ethics and Culture’s Catholic Literature Series since her freshman year and came to McInerny’s talk becuase of her previous positive experiences. “I thought it was really interesting [McInerny’s idea] that a ‘golden world’ could be found in books that are not strictly fantasy,” she said. The Catholic Literature Series continues with Professor John O’Callaghan’s lecture titled “Harry Potter and King’s Cross,” on Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. in 155 DeBartolo Hall.
Accounting majors from Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame are helping members of the South Bend community this tax season—for free.In 1972, a new accountancy professor interested in helping people claim their earned income tax credit founded the Tax Assistance Program (TAP). That professor, Ken Milani, now mentors undergraduate students 42 years later as they continue assisting members of the South Bend community.John Cergnul, a former student of Milani’s and TAP volunteer in 1975 and 1976, is now an assistant professor of accounting at Saint Mary’s College. The Notre Dame alumnus said he advises his students to participate in the program for various reasons.Junior Taylor Etzell said the experience with real tax returns takes students far beyond the classroom.“The classroom can give you basic scenarios of what you may encounter when preparing someone’s tax return but the Tax Assistance Program is far superior,” Etzell said. “We are looking at real employees’ W-2s and 1099s and have to pull the correct numbers from the forms and place them where they belong on the federal and state tax returns. It’s all so real life and so exciting.”Cergnul said the earned income tax credit is comparable to a negative tax.“So when you file your tax return you’re getting a refund, you’re just getting your own money back, right? A negative tax is the government giving you money,” Cergnul said.Acquiring the credit is a difficult process, Cergnul said. This is where the student volunteers come in.“The problem is that it’s very complicated just to see who qualifies and then to make the calculations as to how much the credit is and how much you’re entitled to,” Cergnul said. “That was the genesis of the program and it remains so today.”The tax assistance the program offers is completely free for participants, Cergnul said.“We’re doing tax returns for people and we don’t charge them,” he said. “That’s the best part of the program. The second best part of the program is what the students learn.”STEPH WULZ | The Observer Cergnul said the practical application makes the lessons in accounting classrooms tangible and the weight of responsibility becomes more real.“The third big benefit from this is the students’ poise and confidence. They’re sitting across the table from real people with real dollars, real taxes,” Cergnul said. “In class it’s hypothetical. Take a look at Problem 35, oh heck I got it wrong.”Etzell said the professors running the program have given her both confidence and the necessary skills.“My professors — Cergnul, in particular — have instilled in me a confidence that must be used when preparing a return,” Etzell said. “Milani has taught me how to look at the correct information and extract meaning from simple interview questions we direct toward the taxpayers. Because of his direction, I know what exactly I’m looking for and how I am going to go about finding that information.”Cergnul said students are invariably anxious when they start out, but gain confidence over time.“By the end of the filing season, they’ve grown in poise and their ability to communicate with other people — professional communication — is enhanced,” Cergnul said.This poise ultimately helps students as they interview for jobs, he said.“I mean they’ve actually sat across the table with a real client and did a real transaction and people who don’t go through this program haven’t done that,” Cergnul said. “Those communication skills translate very well in interviews.”Etzell said the work can be difficult given the sheer number of clients students are required to assist.“Professor Milani, along with Professor Cergnul, have taught me how to be perform under pressure,” she said. “We have lines of people waiting for us to prepare their returns so it is of utmost importance that we move efficiently, yet effectively, through everyone’s paperwork and return forms.”Etzell said as challenging as the work is, it is rewarding to help out members of the local community.“I have been given the necessary tools to perform well in this program, and now my duty is to help the community,” Etzell said. “Detecting when people have earned certain deductions or credits is a task in and of itself, but again, the reward of helping others makes all the work so worth it.“My favorite part is seeing the people come in looking rather flustered and then them leaving a little while later with a sense of relief on their faces.”Junior Grace Harvey said TAP has helped hone her knowledge of tax practices and concepts.“Even though my internship this summer with Grant Thorton is more focused on corporate tax rather than personal income tax, [TAP is] an awesome opportunity,” Harvey said.The two credit hours contribute toward the 150 credit hours required to sit for the CPA exam, Harvey said.Harvey said that participating students will help file tax returns in various locations throughout South Bend with tax filings due April 15.Tags: Ken Milani, TAP, Tax Assistance Program, taxes
Mitchell recently helmed a workshop of But I’m A Cheerleader in London. He won Tonys for his choreography of Kinky Boots and La Cage aux Folles and has received additional Tony nominations for Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Never Gonna Dance and The Full Monty. He made his Broadway directorial debut with Legally Blonde in 2007 and also choreographed Catch Me If You Can. “I’m actually working on a new show,” Mitchell said. “I’ve got the rights to a British book I read on the plane called Becoming Nancy by Terry Ronald.” The novel tells the story of David Starr, who plays Nancy in his school’s production of Oliver. When rehearsals start he falls for Maxie Boswell, who plays Bill Sikes and is captain of the school football team. “It’s an amazing, amazing story about accepting people for who they really are and also about how the adults work around these two children. I’m really looking forward to developing it into a full musical!” No timeline was revealed on bringing the Becoming Nancy musical to the stage. View Comments As long as he needs me! Tony winner Jerry Mitchell is working on a musical version of Terry Ronald’s novel Becoming Nancy. The Kinky Boots director and choreographer, currently occupied with the London premiere of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, shared the news about the upcoming project to West End Frame.
11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kent Dicken Kent is CEO / Founder of iDiz, a full-service agency focused on Branding, Websites, and Big Ideas for credit unions that want to grow. He is also one of the authors … Web: cuidiz.com Details Are you responsible for too many initiatives, an overabundance of priorities, an excess of tasks at hand with way too few fingers to get it done? Are you a slam-packed, schedule-smacked, shell-shocked, docket-pocked shell of your former self, trying your best to appease particularly pesky purveyors of arbitrarily outrageous deadlines?In short, has the fun gone out of your job?You aren’t alone. Credit Union marketers say their biggest problems are too few staff and being pulled in too many directions, often as a result of having no strategic plan as a guideline.WELL, do I have a solution for you! Innnnn-tro-du-cing…RENT-A-BRAIN!Rent-a-Brain is a revolutionary new concept that has frazzled Marketers around the world muttering to themselves “Why didn’t I think of this sooner?”For a nominal cost, you can hand off those pesky strategic plans, all of the continuous loan marketing campaigns, that so-ugly-I-can’t-stand-it-any-longer web site, and especially that long-ago-petrified branding, and ACTUALLY GO HOME AND SLEEP AT NIGHT, knowing that an expert team of designers and writers and strategists and programmers are going to produce something that makes you look A-MA-ZING to your peers, boss, and Board!And the incredible part is that renting the talents of marketing experts when you need them actually costs a lot less than hiring more staff. Even the tightest-fisted CFO can appreciate that!Still want to get your hands dirty? No problem! You can take care of the fun stuff and let Rent-a-Brain experts do the heavy lifting — although you may want to pick up all those inevitable marketing awards yourself. It’s a WIN-WIN-YOU WIN!So what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and call! Rent-a-Brain operators are standing by.
Credit unions will receive an equity distribution from the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) for the second year in a row, but the prospect for future payouts is uncertain. Much will depend on whether, and how quickly, the normal operating level (NOL) returns to its traditional level of 1.30 percent.Based on the NCUA’s final 2018 NCUSIF audit, the equity ratio on insured shares stands at 1.39 percent – higher than the current NOL of 1.38 percent. During its December meeting, the NCUA Board approved a decrease of the NCUSIF NOL from 1.39 to 1.38 percent, effective immediately.The latest figures for the Share Insurance Fund reflect the impact of a number of notable recent events, including: the merger of the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund (TCCUSF, or Stabilization Fund) with the SIF in October 2017; an increase in loss reserves from $286 million to over $925 million in the fourth quarter of 2017; the announcement of a $736 million distribution to insured credit unions in February 2018; and the failures of several credit unions with concentrated holdings of taxi medallion loans in 2018. Background on the NOLThe NOL functions as a ceiling for the amount of equity held in the SIF. If the equity ratio ends the year above the NOL, NCUA must provide a distribution to credit unions in the amount of the surplus equity. On the other hand, NCUA may charge a premium if the equity ratio drops below 1.3 percent and must charge a premium or establish a restoration plan if the equity ratio drops below 1.2 percent. If a premium is charged, the amount of the premium is at NCUA’s discretion, but it must return the equity ratio to at least 1.2 percent and no more than 1.3 percent.In 2017, NCUA merged the TCCUSF with the SIF and also raised the NOL from 1.3 percent, where it had historically been, to 1.39 percent. The increase in the NOL effectively reduced the amount of the 2018 SIF distribution to credit unions by roughly $1 billion. NCUA justified the increase on the grounds that a higher NOL was needed to absorb the projected loss of equity that would accompany a moderate recession over a five-year period. Based on NCUA’s forecasts and using the NOL as a starting point, a moderate recession would lead to a loss of equity that would drop the equity ratio to 1.2 percent over five years. NCUA’s selection of an NOL is intended to prevent the need to charge a premium in the event that their scenario plays out. Using the 2017 NOL of 1.39 percent as an example, NCUA forecasted losses equal to 19 basis points of insured shares over the following five years assuming recessionary conditions.NAFCU Fights for Credit UnionsThe increase in the NOL was a key concern for NAFCU at the time that NCUA’s merger plan was proposed and was a major reason why NAFCU ultimately opposed the merger. A 1.30 percent NOL has proven to be adequate for the SIF to absorb the stress of a recession. Since Congress established the NOL as the de facto cap on the SIF in 1984, the NCUA Board maintained it at no more than 1.30 percent until 2018. In raising the NOL to an unprecedented level, NCUA provided no assurances or timeline for unwinding it. NAFCU remains opposed to the increase in the NOL, and strongly believes that the nearly $1 billion of additional equity that currently resides in the SIF due to the elevated NOL could be put to better use by credit unions in the service of their members.At its December Board meeting, NCUA announced a reduction in the NOL for 2018 to 1.38 percent. NAFCU is pleased that this policy change could potentially mean more funds returned to credit unions in 2019. However, there is still no compelling reason why the NOL should be above 1.30 percent. Moreover, a reduction of just one basis point inspires little confidence that the agency views 1.30 percent as a “normal” NOL to be targeted under typical conditions. Rather, it appears likely that the NOL is permanently unmoored from its traditional level. Read more of NAFCU’s detailed analysis and forecast of the SIF. Learn Your NCUSIF DistributionCredit unions can learn the amount of the distribution they will receive from the NCUSIF in 2019 with NAFCU’s updated SIF calculator, which is available for members to download. The calculator reflects the latest figures shared during the NCUA board meeting on March 7, 2019. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Curt Long Curt Long was named director of research and chief economist in August 2014. In this role, he serves as the association’s chief economic analyst, conducting economic and financial policy … Web: www.nafcu.org Details
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Efficiency, GO-TIME, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – The Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME) announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, as part of its multi-phase space optimization initiative, has realized a net savings of more than $250,000 for the project’s first phase.This first phase included analyzing the changing office space needs in several of the department’s Harrisburg-area office locations, including 651 Boas Street and 333 Market Street.For many years the Treasury Department occupied 12,700 square feet of space in L&I’s Boas Street building, but over time and as Treasury operations shifted from manual to computer-based, less space was needed. Labor & Industry renovated Treasury’s footprint, reducing it to 3,600 square feet.In turn, the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, which rented space in 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, was able to move into the vacated 9,100 square foot Treasury space, saving more than $250,000 annually in rent to the Department of General Services, which owns both the Market Street and Boas Street buildings.“Part of our charge – every day – is looking for efficiencies in our workplace,” said Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino. “With more than 5,000 employees in 191 offices around the state, space utilization and optimization are simply common sense initiatives to save money and create a positive, productive work environment for our staff. This GO-TIME project is a perfect example of an ongoing effort to keep efficiency and innovation top-of-mind at all times.”Subsequent phases of L&I’s space optimization GO-TIME initiative involve consolidating space in two additional Harrisburg office buildings and one storage facility in Scranton.The Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME) is working to modernize government operations in order to reduce costs and improve services. GO-TIME works with agencies to identify opportunities to share resources, collaborate and engage employees in transformation.To learn more about GO-TIME, visit https://www.governor.pa.gov/go-time/.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf September 07, 2016 GO-TIME: Labor & Industry Space Optimization Project Saving $250,000 Annually
Pennsylvania to Honor Victims of Sri Lanka Easter Bombings at State Capitol April 22, 2019 Flag Order Harrisburg, PA – In honor of the victims of the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, Governor Tom Wolf and Lt. Governor John Fetterman announced victims will be honored at the State Capitol where the Main Capitol Building will be lighted orange and green tonight.Gov. Wolf also ordered the Commonwealth flags on all Commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds to fly at half-staff in honor of the victims of the attacks.“Frances and I are horrified by the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka on such a holy day for Christians around the world,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “Our thoughts are with the victims and their families today. In the last few months, we have seen far too many attacks targeting communities of faith. Instead of allowing fear to divide us further, we need to come together to support those grieving and stand in solidarity with all those facing persecution. We must stand united against hatred and protect the rights of all people to express their beliefs and peacefully assemble.”“Gisele and I share the horror expressed by the Governor and First Lady,” said Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. “Our hearts are so heavy for the communities stunned by these horrific attacks. We must come together as people of one world and reject the hate and terror that targets any group.”“As with New Zealand, Squirrel Hill, and all other attacks on our communities, the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs deplores this senseless violence against our Sri Lankan and South Asian Christian communities,” Executive Director Mohan Seshadri said. “We all deserve the right to live, work, and come together as a community without fear and without assault; for the target to once again be people joining each other in worship — in a celebration of life, no less — makes yesterday’s events all the more tragic. We reject any attempts to let this hate divide us or to let fear rule us and dictate our responses to these tragedies.”The Commonwealth flag shall be lowered until sunset on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute. The United States flag should remain at full-staff. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
House values are performing better in Brisbane than unit values.THE Brisbane housing market ticks most of the boxes for future price growth — but the question is when.CoreLogic figures to be released on Tuesday are likely to reveal Brisbane has experienced a very small drop in values in the past month.Values went down by 0.3 per cent during the first 27 days of July.CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said the Brisbane market had remained fairly flat so far this month.“The soft result across Brisbane is nothing new, but it does imply that housing market conditions across Brisbane are yet to fire up despite a trend towards higher interstate migration, improving jobs growth and a substantial affordability advantage over the larger capitals,’’ he said. “When we see the full results on Tuesday next week it will be interesting to see if there is still a drag down effect from a weak performance across the apartment sector.’’More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours agoMr Lawless said there was now a substantial gap in Brisbane between how the house market and the unit market performed. According to Tim Lawless Brisbane has the fundamentals for future price growthHouse values had grown in the past year, while unit values had dropped.Mr Lawless said the Brisbane housing market ticked most of the boxes to suggest growth conditions should improve.“Housing prices are very affordable relative to Sydney and Melbourne, rental yields are substantially higher which should be attractive to investors, jobs growth has shown consistent signs of improving and higher population growth is providing more demand for housing,’’ he said.“The wildcard remains the inner city unit market where high supply levels could become more problematic as projects that are under construction approach settlement.’’Mr Lawless said the house market was better placed for price growth, particularly houses within a reasonable distance to the city or transport routes.
69863 Bruce Highway, Aloomba, is going to auction in September.THIS tranquil tropical oasis, surrounded by World Heritage rainforest just south of Cairns, is a site to behold.On more than 32ha, the three-bedroom home will soon be going under the hammer.With a freshwater lake and established orchard, the property has been the apple of Paul Helyer’s eye since 2009.“I was living in Singapore but had long held an attachment to Cairns; I brought my kids up while living at Yorkeys Knob and Woree,” he said. “I bought this property on the internet after I came into some money from finishing off a big project.“We flew in, checked it out and made the deal – we thought it was just a special place.”Every year the 63-year-old, who lives with his wife on an Indonesian island, makes the “pilgrimage” to the Aloomba property for his birthday.“Invariably I will bring a big crowd of like-minded people with me,” Mr Helyer said.“I like sharing the property and entertaining has been such a big factor here.”A short drive from the highway, the property feels as though it’s in a world of its own.Views of a private lake can be enjoyed from the sweeping veranda, which is one of several large entertainment spaces.“It is such a pristine place; if you want to live in the tropics because of the environment, then this home is the perfect representation of North Queensland,” Mr Helyer said. “About 40 per cent of the property is an orchard, and to be able to live among it has been special.”More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days agoThe property is being auctioned on September 13.The “luxurious” master bedroom looks over the lush grounds, while an open-plan living and dining area catches the breeze.Other notable features include a multipurpose studio, powered machinery shed and two water licences for irrigating the commercial orchard.Now retired, Mr Helyer said choosing to sell his beloved property had been tough.“I was thinking the other day that soon I won’t be part of this any more, and there’s certainly a bit of reluctance there, but I need to get over it,” he said. The home will be auctioned at RE/MAX Cairns’ Whitfield premises on Wednesday, September 13 at 5.30pm.Mr Helyer said he would remain in the region until the property sold, and was confident a good result would be reached at the auction.Ray Murphy of RE/MAX said the Aloomba property had received “strong interest” from across Australia.“It’s so secluded but also so close to town, just a short commute to the Cairns CBD,” he said.“This is a sensational lifestyle block with endless opportunities.”Mr Murphy said he had been promoting the home to participants of this week’s RE/MAX Asia Pacific Conference 2017, held on the Gold Coast.
The Danish financial regulator Finanstilsnet has criticised pension fund Bankpension, insisting it must be more explicit about its investment stance and prioritise treating scheme members in a fairer way.In a report following a regular inspection, Finanstilsynet said: “The management board needs to be more explicit about its stance on investment, and in some respects, needs to have greater focus on a more equitable treatment of policyholders.”In one of its criticisms, it ordered Bankpension to return to individual accounts some of the customer savings it had added to the collective bonus pool.The savings in question related to pension products with conditional guarantees that applied only to part of the contributions. In its report, the regulator said: “In the FSA’s opinion it is not possible to agree on a division of pension between a guaranteed portion and a collective portion without hedging the guaranteed portion in full.”It said the fund must change the technical basis of this operation and return the pension contributions that had historically been transferred to the collective bonus potential.Bankpension responded by saying it was returning the amount charged to members’ deposits, and that this principle would be taken into account for subsequent distributions.The regulator also issued Bankpension with a warning, as it was concerned that its very high number of external investment managers required a significant level of scrutiny.The high number meant in an increased risk of lacking oversight and inadequate risk management being in place, it said.It its response, Bankpension said its board had already decided — independently of the inspection — that the number of portfolio managers had to be cut for administrative reasons.“This process has been initiated,” it said.Regarding investment, Finanstilsynet issued an order for Bankpension to set investment frameworks and limits for interest rate risks for each individual risk profile.It ordered the pension fund to set guidelines that ensured there was no disproportionate reliance on a particular type of asset, investment market or a particular investment.While Bankpension responded by saying it would deal with this at its next board meeting, it also countered the criticism, saying that more detailed frameworks would not lead to the board receiving reports of risks it had not been aware of or monitored previously.This was because the reporting undertaken already contained more information than was laid down in the frameworks, it said.