first_imgAs several large, financially stable tenants have pulled back on rent payments, landlords are weighing their options — and putting together a “blacklist” of “bad actors.” (Credit: iStock)While mom-and-pop retailers may be feeling the economic pain of coronavirus the hardest, some bigger companies have decided to forgo rent payments as well. But landlords aren’t buying it.Owners of malls and shopping centers have been putting together a “blacklist” of financially stable tenants that haven’t met their April rent obligations, the Wall Street Journal reported.“We think that it’s their duty to pay April rent,” chief executive officer of Kimco Realty CEO Conor Flynn told the Journal. “The customer base is going to recognize who the bad actors are.”According to Marcus & Millichap, April rent collection has ranged from just 10 to 25 percent for mall owners with higher concentrations of nonessential tenants, to 50 to 60 percent for landlords with “essential” tenants such as grocery stores and pharmacies.Large retail tenants that have failed to pay rent in full include Burlington Stores, Petco Animal Supplies, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Victoria’s Secret and Staples.Staples, which has been able to keep many stores open in areas where it is considered essential, has told landlords that it will not pay rent because of a drop in sales. Dick’s will not pay rent at stores that were closed due to government orders, but will continue to pay rent for stores that it closed voluntarily.While some mall owners have indicated that they plan to declare non-paying tenants in default, smaller landlords may be more hesitant to confront big tenants over rent payments. Retailers appear to recognize that they have the upper hand, but things could get messy.“The retailers think they have leverage here and they’re trying to use it,” Green Street Advisors analyst Vince Tibone said. “I see it potentially becoming a fight and going into litigation.” [WSJ] — Kevin SunRead more about how coronavirus is impacting retailersUS will see $20B in retail loans come due starting this weekWith curfews and public assembly restrictions, what will happen to malls?As coronavirus impacts NYC small businesses, city offers financial reliefFor US retailers, coronavirus concerns come home. What are their options?last_img read more

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first_imgOver a thousand people crowded into the Memorial Church Sunday (Nov. 11) for a special birthday. Seventy-five years earlier, almost to the minute, the Colonial-style structure was dedicated on Armistice Day 1932.“This is a festive and happy day for us,” said the Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, who in 1982 had presided over the celebration of the church’s 50th anniversary. It was a time to acknowledge all of Harvard’s dead from 20th century wars, he said, and to celebrate the living as “a beloved community of memory and hope.”“The silent sound of prayer and the active sound of music are always here,” said Gomes of the building, with its high white pews, rich woods, and vaulted ceilings. “This is no mere war memorial.”Celebrations stretched over nearly four hours, beginning with a church service commemorating both the war dead and the benefactors to the high-columned structure.Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ‘78, J.D. ’82, a member of the Memorial Church congregation, quoted “two philosophers.” Reinhold Niebuhr was one. The other was his grandmother, whose slum-bound rose garden on Chicago’s South Side has remained his inspiration.In the 1950s and 1960s, adults in his broken, impoverished neighborhood “treated [children] as if they had a stake in us,” said Patrick. “They understood how to tend their garden.”He praised Gomes for tending the “garden” that is the Memorial Church.The service featured the world premiere of “The Litany of Light,” an anthem commissioned for the anniversary celebration and composed by Carson P. Cooman ‘04, now an instructor in Harvard’s Department of Music. A line from the libretto, by Elizabeth Kirschner, summed up the day’s duality of somber remembrance and fundamental cheer: “Joy may wander but never leave.”The Harvard University Choir sang throughout the day, and a lush musical prelude featured the Riverside Brass Quintet.Afterwards, celebrants walked out through the Memorial Room — “the heart of the church,” said Gomes. A fresh green wreath had just been placed there by an honor guard of cadets from Harvard’s Reserve Officer Training Corps program.In the sharp chill of early afternoon, the crowd gathered on the wide granite steps of the South Porch. Led by a bagpiper, they formed a wending, slow procession from the church — “a motley crew in procession, meant to be noticed,” said Gomes.At the grassy Delta in front of the Science Center a large tent awaited, where about 500 guests ate salmon and drank champagne from fluted glasses. Gomes and Harvard President Drew Faust made remarks in celebration of the occasion, and former University Marshal Richard M. Hunt was chairman of the day.Behind the podium was a wall of enlarged photos showing famous visitors to the Memorial Church through the years, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.History was at the core of the afternoon remarks.The Memorial Church was built with donations from alumni to commemorate those from the University family who had fallen during World War I. “Here at Harvard, the war cast a long shadow,” said Gomes.During the 1914-18 conflict, Harvard sent 11,319 to fight; 375 died in the Allied cause, including three faculty members. Three died fighting for the German side.By the fall of 1918, enrollment at Harvard College shrank to 20 percent of its usual size, and the campus itself was transformed into “an armed camp,” said Faust, who is also Lincoln Professor of History. Nearly all remaining undergraduates belonged to student army training camps.In those days, “the war had been deeply felt in the day-to-day experience of Harvard University,” said Faust. Building the Memorial Church was an attempt to cope with fresh memories, she said — part of a worldwide struggle to understand what was known as the Great War, which occasioned 70,000 memorials in England alone.“The Memorial Church stands in the tradition of trying to reinvent humanity in a world that had seemed to lose sight of it,” said Faust.The grand church was designed to counterbalance the scale and grandeur of Widener Library across the New Yard. But it was unique among memorials of that era, meant to be “a living institution,” said Faust, where the energetic civic and religious business of a university community could unfold. “What better way to honor the dead,” she remarked, “than to place them at the heart of the living?”As for the future, said Gomes from the tent’s low wooden stage, “we have a very specific adventure in store” — refurbishing projects that over the next two or three years will cost $6 million.Appleton Chapel will be opened up to restore it to the “bowl of light” it once was, he said.Both the chapel and the gallery will be fitted for two new Charles B. Fisk organs. And the pulpit will be relocated to underneath windows where it was before 1968.“Needless to say, dear friends, you will all hear more,” said Gomes to the gathering, in one of the day’s many lighthearted calls for more church benefactors. “This might well be the most expensive free lunch you ever had.”last_img read more

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first_imgEditor’s note: This is Part V of a five-part series detailing how NASCAR successfully ran its 2020 season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Part I: Overview | Part II: Schedule | Part III: Broadcast | Part IV: TeamsAs masked fans filtered into Talladega Superspeedway in orderly fashion, NASCAR field and office workers wandered about the sparse crowd, assisting where and when needed. They handed out two-ounce containers of hand sanitizer and clear bags for those who forgot about the no-coolers rule. Some walked with signs that read “please wear your mask” and “please observe six-feet social distancing,” as they respected the requests themselves.This didn’t fit in most of the employees’ job descriptions. Many who volunteered to help actually drove to Talladega, Alabama, from the NASCAR headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Daytona Beach, Florida, specifically for this race weekend.Even Talladega track president Brian Crichton left the infield to lend a hand.“The people we encountered and we talked to, they were thanking us,” Crichton said. “They were thanking us for making it possible for them to come back to races. I got a little bit of goosebumps when they said that. I got a little emotional. But it meant so much for the fans to be able to come back as well.”After a Sunday rainout, June 22 marked the first NASCAR race with paying customers since the two-month COVID-19 shutdown. Homestead-Miami Speedway invited up to 1,000 South Florida service members as honorary guests the previous weekend. Talladega, though, sold up to 5,000 tickets, along with limited motor-home/fifth-wheel camping spots outside the track, on a first-come, first-served basis — prioritizing those in-state and within a 150-mile radius.INFORMATION: Centers for Disease Control | World Health OrganizationTalladega had to get approval to host fans from Alabama governor Kay Ivey, the Alabama Health Department and Talladega County officials. The race was scheduled regardless, making up for the original April 26 postponement. Crichton found it in the track’s favor that NASCAR had already completed eight races since its May return, proving the sport’s protocols and procedures were thorough enough to be reliably safe.NASCAR announced fans would be allowed on June 9 — less than two weeks before the GEICO 500.“It was stressful because we knew as a southeast region, as a NASCAR team, we all had to come together and make it successful,” Crichton said. “It had to be a success so we could continue to build off of it and continue to go racing.”Talladega built off of NASCAR’s procedures and protocols for essential personnel.Upon entering the premises, fans went through drive-in stations where they answered COVID-19 symptom and exposure questions and had their temperature checked by a handheld thermometer. If everyone in the car passed, they moved on to park. Those who didn’t went to a secondary screening with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) officials. Same thing: Pass, move on. Crichton said there were no instances where someone had to be turned away, which would have been the case if medical professionals thought there was reason to worry.Tips for inside the venue came from an unexpected source. Select NASCAR employees, including Managing Director of Racing Operations Tom Bryant, toured Universal Orlando about 10 days before the theme park reopened June 5.“We spent an entire day with their team going through everything from how they parked their guests to how they entered the facility to how they screened them,” Bryant said. “How they had concessions set up, how they had restrooms set up, how they had to adapt movement in and around the attractions to keep people socially distanced. Everything you can think of.”And everything that relates to a NASCAR event.Masks were required at all times. Social-distancing pucks — basically stickers on the ground — detailed common areas and where lines formed. Concessions solely offered pre-packaged foods and sealed drinks. Cashless payment was used to limit touch exposure. Bathrooms had every other stall or urinal blocked off.Talladega also hired a cleaning team through its environmental-services partner, Clean Harbors. It sanitized the entire venue before and after the event. During the race, its cleaners constantly were on the move, wiping down all high-touch surfaces.The infield was completely off limits to fans.As for the grandstands, Talladega grouped seats in pods of four, starting two or three chairs in from the aisle to keep a safe social distance between those sitting and those walking up and down the stairs. Only one or two pods were ticketed per row.“Even if we had space between those two groups of four – say the row was 30 seats long – well, we wouldn’t put a group in the middle, not even a group of four in the middle, because that group would have to walk in front of one of these other groups,” Crichton said. “But what we could do is we could put a group of four in the row behind those two groups, but they were in the middle of the row, so it was staggered.”Fans witnessed the drama of seeing two wrecks on the final lap, Ryan Blaney beating Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to the checkered flag by .007 seconds, which tied for the sixth-closest finish in Cup Series history, and Aric Almirola crossing the finish line backward in third.WATCH: Talladega Superspeedway’s 2020 photo finish“Man, it was so great just to have fans back,” Blaney said post-race. “The atmosphere of them cheering was back. Before and after the race, we love that stuff. Drivers, we love support.”Attendance wasn’t guaranteed after that event, though. It still depends on local and state COVID-19 restrictions.The NASCAR Playoffs is currently in its Round of 12. The opening race last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway did not have fans. This Sunday’s event at Talladega will still be far from full capacity, but a track representative indicated the number of spectators welcomed will be up from the June count. Charlotte Motor Speedway will permit a limited number of fans for the elimination race scheduled Oct. 11 on its Roval layout, in accordance to North Carolina’s recently updated rules.As of right now, Phoenix Raceway plans to host fans for the Nov. 8, 2020 championship.“Having our fans back is awesome and we look forward to the day we can have all of them back in full capacity, but that’s not yet,” Bryant said. “Our priority and the marching orders we’ve received are to ensure our ability to crown champions in Phoenix. We are laser-focused on that. We’re not going to do anything on the fan side that would endanger our ability to conduct races. It’s a balance.”last_img read more

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first_img Between 1975 and 1995, Bob and Dolores Hope made more than a dozen appearances in Port Arthur to raise money for the school.A letter from Claud Brown, who was a realtor in Port Arthur, in 1975, was the initial inspiration that caught the attention of Hope, which led to the creation of the Bob Hope School.Bob Hope, right, puts his arm around Claud Brown, a realtor who brought the idea of a Port Arthur high school to Hope’s attention. (Bart Bragg/Special to The News) 41 years ago, Bob Hope and Kathryn Crosby were in Port Arthur at the dedication of the Bob Hope High School.Bob Hope speaks at Hughen School in Port Arthur.On Jan. 24, 1980, Hope and Crosby attended the dedication.last_img read more

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first_img“It’s early, and we have people that haven’t thrown that much and they’re learning. I know that they’ll get to where we need them to be,” Allister said.During her second appearance — a 10-5 loss to Fordham — Anderson struggled early and often.Before she could record an out, Allister removed her from the circle.Anderson faced eight batters and allowed eight runs to cross the plate.After Anderson’s replacement, sophomore Hannah Evavold gave up a run in one inning, Stober took to the circle again. She faced 20 batters and allowed one run off of five hits.Allister has preached the importance of having two of the three phases — pitching, hitting and defense — in order to win.But over the weekend, Minnesota’s pitching fell short.“[Pitcher] is the most important position on the field. It doesn’t matter who you are or who you’re playing, [pitching] is a factor,” Allister said. Minnesota’s pitchers falter in three-loss weekendMinnesota lost three of the four games it played over the weekend.Daily File Photo; Jaak JensenMinnesota’s Nikki Anderson pitches during a doubleheader against Wisconsin on Sunday, April 7, 2013, at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium. Matt GreensteinMarch 2, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintStrong pitching helped the Gophers win all but one of their first 14 games this season.But over the weekend, while in Florida, Minnesota’s pitching assisted in three losses.The Gophers won only one of four games.Last year, then-sophomore Nikki Anderson pitched 42 innings mostly in relief appearances.But over the weekend, the junior pitched less than five innings, giving up 12 runs — 10 earned.Anderson’s struggles were visible during the Gophers’ second game — an 8-2 loss against James Madison — with a 4.2 inning relief appearance. She came in for freshman Kylie Stober.Stober gave up four runs on six hits in just more than one inning pitched.She took the loss, but of James Madison’s 18 hits, 12 were against Anderson.Earlier this season, head coach Jessica Allister said Minnesota’s pitching staff will get back to the “1A-1B” pitching rotation it had with sophomore Sara Groenewegen and Sara Moulton last year.But the Gophers have some work to do before getting there, and Anderson’s weekend solidified that.last_img read more

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first_imgOffshore shipbuilder and designer VARD is looking to diversify its business in order to reduce its offshore market dependency during industry downturn that dragged the company’s 4Q 2015 results down. With its core market for offshore oil and gas related vessels showing continued signs of weakness in the short term, VARD said on Monday it would be focusing on other engineering and technology-intensive parts of the shipbuilding market.The shipbuilder said it aims to preserve its core expertise and employee base during the downturn, and utilize its existing yard capacity until an eventual recovery in its core market.Roy Reite, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of VARD, commented, “The Group’s efforts to diversify are well underway, and we believe that we are on the right track to recovery. If we succeed with our plan, VARD will not only be able to emerge from this downturn, but come out stronger and armed with new skills and capabilities.”The company on Monday posted a loss for the period of NOK 170 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to a profit of NOK 20 million in the same period of 2014.VARD’s operating profit decreased from NOK 85 million in 4Q 2014 to an operating loss of NOK 67 million in 4Q 2015.In addition, the shipbuilder posted a drop in revenues as the company’s 4Q 2015 result amounted to NOK 3.3 billion, while the 4Q 2014 revenues were NOK 4.5 billion.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

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