DISH Network, LLC will pay the State of Vermont $125,000 to resolve the Attorney General’s claims that it violated Vermont’s Consumer Fraud Act in mailings to consumers last summer. ‘Words like ‘urgent‟ ‘immediately‟ ‘necessary‟ and ‘free’ have significant meanings,’ said Attorney General William H Sorrell. ‘Using such language to trigger unnecessary action by Vermont consumers won’t be tolerated.’In July 2010, DISH sent 310 letters to Vermont consumers. The letter included headings stating: ‘URGENT ACTION REQUIRED’ and ‘PLEASE READ IMMEDIATELY TO AVOID SERVICE INTERRUPTION OF YOUR HIGH DEFINITION PROGRAMMING.’ The letter further claimed that replacement of consumer equipment was ‘necessary’ and ‘free.’In the settlement agreement, DISH admitted that no immediate equipment upgrade was necessary. Additionally, some consumers who responded to the mailing were required to enter into a 24-month contract with DISH before they received the upgrade. In the complaint, the Attorney General alleged that this conduct violated the Vermont Consumer Fraud Act’s prohibition on unfair and deceptive acts in commerce.DISH later informed customers who entered into the 24-month contract that they did not need to do so and has neither enforced any contract commitment nor charged customers to receive the upgrade.Attorney General Sorrell noted his appreciation for a recipient of the letter who brought it to the attention of the Consumer Assistance Program.‘Alert Vermonters help us identify potential consumer protection problems early on,’ said Attorney General Sorrell. ‘This case should remind us all to pay attention to claims made in mailings and advertisements of all types – what is promised is not always what is sold.’This settlement is the second in just over two years between the State and DISH. In July 2009, as part of a $5.9 million settlement with 45 states, Vermont also received $125,000 from DISH. That settlement required DISH to make customer refunds and changes in its business practices.
The UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has unveiled the final version of the new Stewardship Code, confirming that investors would face “substantially higher” standards as its signatories.Expectations have changed since the Code was last revised in 2012 and there have been “significant developments in sustainable and responsible investment and stewardship”, which the 2020 Code reflected, it said.Simon Dingemans, chair of the watchdog, said the new framework was “a step-change”.“It is an ambitious revision that strengthens the UK’s standards of governance, transparency and clear reporting,” he said. “We are looking for widespread adoption by the investment community, reinforcing the attractiveness of the UK as a place to do business and delivering real benefits to the economy, the environment and society more broadly.” Key changes, according to the FRC, include an extended focus that takes in asset owners and service providers as well as asset managers, and a requirement to report annually on stewardship activity and its outcomes.“Signatories’ reports will show what has actually been done in the previous year, and what the outcome was, including their engagement with the assets they invest in, their voting records and how they have protected and enhanced the value of their investments,” said the FRC. “This greater transparency will allow clients to see how their interests are being served.”Signatories will also be expected to take environmental, social and governance factors, including climate change, into account. As trailed, they will also be expected to explain how they exercise across asset classes beyond listed equity, which has been the focus so far, and in relation to investments outside the UK.Those adopting the Code will also need to explain their organisation’s purpose, investment beliefs, strategy and culture.FRC commended for engagement effortFaith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel Pension Partnership, one of the UK’s eight local authority pension fund asset pools, said it welcomed the new Code, and that the FRC should be commended for having carried out a “phenomenal” amount of engagement with the investment industry. “Additional transparency is absolutely the right direction of travel.” Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel Pension PartnershipThe additional transparency called for by the new framework would help increase accountability on specific actions and outcomes from stewardship activities and whether these delivered real change, she said.“This will bring some short-term pain in terms of increasing the workload, but in the long-term this is absolutely the right direction of travel.” A slightly sceptical reaction came from Martin Webster, partner at Pinsent Masons, who said that despite encouraging elements, “it is questionable whether it does enough to remove the risk of boilerplate reporting”.“And, with at least half the value of the UK stock market held by overseas investors, it is unclear how much notice they will take of these new, more onerous, but still voluntary provisions.”Stewardship definition tensionArguably the most challenging item the FRC had to deal with in finalising the new version of the Code was the definition of stewardship, which it has revised from that proposed in its consultation earlier this year.The new code defines it as: “The responsible allocation, management and oversight of capital to create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries leading to sustainable benefits for the economy, the environment and society”.This adds an explicit reference to the environment, and specifies that the value to be delivered for clients and beneficiaries should be long-term. “The FRC has landed in a good place”Ingrid Holmes, head of policy and advocacy at Hermes Investment ManagementIngrid Holmes, head of policy and advocacy at Hermes Investment Management, said the end result was positive.“We went back and forth on this debate for months and months,” she told IPE. “The FRC has landed in a good place.“What the FRC has done with the new definition is to basically create a sub-clause around the idea of economy and society affecting outcomes for clients, which helps people feel more comfortable around what might have been potential fiduciary conflict.”The draft 2020 Stewardship Code defined stewardship as “the responsible allocation and management of capital across the institutional investment community, to create sustainable value for beneficiaries, the economy and society”. The UK’s asset management association rejected this definition, saying it conflicted with managers and owners’ fiduciary duty.Nearly all of the 102 respondents to the consultation commented on the proposed definition, with half saying that the primary purpose of stewardship was to deliver financial returns for clients, and a third commenting that having regard to the economy and society in investment decision-making was necessary to properly fulfil their fiduciary duty.One asset owner expressed “a little” disappointment about the final definition, but said the FRC had tried to find a sensible compromise and had ended up with a pragmatic solution.Industry associations react Andrew Ninian, director for stewardship and corporate governance at the Investment Association:“The revised Stewardship Code […] places a new emphasis on the importance of stewardship in creating sustainable value for savers, not just in listed companies, but across bonds, private equity and infrastructure – a move which is welcomed by the IA and its members.“The most significant change will come from the new reporting requirements, enabling investment managers to demonstrate the tangible change their engagement with companies can bring and allowing savers and investors to judge the outcomes they deliver on their behalf.” Caroline Escott, investment and stewardship policy lead at the Pension and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA): “It is absolutely right […] that the Code is aligned to regulations elsewhere in explicitly referring to ESG factors – including climate change. We also support the shift in the Code to more explicitly cover asset classes beyond equity and its applicability to service providers, which play a key role in supporting schemes to make sound investment decisions.“We are also pleased that the FRC has recognised the importance of collective engagement to good stewardship, and that this has retained its prominence in the new Code – as called for by the PLSA and many of our members.”
Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene is delighted with the reception given his team during their pre-season session in Ghana.Sundowns are due back home on Friday after spending 12 days in Ghana to prepare for the 2013/2014 Premier Soccer League season.The Brazilians played high profile friendly matches against Hearts of Oak which they drew 1-1 and recorded 2-0 wins over Asante Kotoko and Ebusua Dwarfs respectively.Mweene who will return to Ghana in September with the Zambia national team for the final 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier says he enjoyed his stay and can’t wait to return.“The reception has been well, Ghanaians are very nice people and they did receive us well,” Mweene said.“We just look forward and come back for pre season here again because we had a nice time here in Ghana. For me was the reception was overwhelming.”
4. Track meet in the rainâ€¦I have to hand it to the Wellington High School athletic officials. Running Friday’s track meet was not something I thought was going to occur considering the adverse weather conditions at the time.While the track athletes didn’t like it and the parents complained, I liked it. That becomes one event that WHS no longer has to worry about.The spring sports season has been a cluster in 2013. But let’s praise God that it is. After two years of drought, this spat of stormy weather for all its inconveniences, has been a true blessing. Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” Five Cueball thoughts for April 28, 2013â€¦1. An end of an eraâ€¦Speaking for myself here, the closing of Wellington Family Practice Clinic is sad from a historical perspective in that it will be the last link to Wellington Hospital which operated on south Washington, south of the railroad tracks for most of the 20th Century. It was the first hospital that my wife, Tami McCue, practiced at as a physician. Wellington Hospital was consolidated with St. Lukes Hospital to become Sumner Regional Medical Center in the mid-90s. Wellington Family Clinic was spawned from it with a large proportion of former Wellington Hospital employees.And for the next almost 20 years it ushered in tremendous physician healthcare stability in the community. When my wife and I moved here in 1992, if memory serves me right there were four full-time general practitioners in Wellington. Even with the clinic closing next month, Wellington has six family practitioners, with two who are still very much part of the community. Heck, my wife, who is serving the four community nursing homes and the Behavior Health Unit at SRMC, is still very major player in the Wellington healthcare industry.Nevertheless, attracting doctors to the community is as much an economic development necessity as it is attracting a brick and mortar industry. We can pass as many sales tax revenue referendums as we want to, but SRMC will not survive unless there is healthy stable of physicians that is feeding into the system. In particular the hospital desperately needs a full-time obstetrician and surgeon.I was told the other day they were sorry my wife and I were caught up in this mess. I’d like to think of it not as a mess but as a transition and transition is a part of life. 5. Shout out of the weekâ€¦This week’s shout out goes out to the people who are helping Donna Raschke, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor on December 23 (see story here), with a house painting and yard cleanup work. I love this kind of stuff, and it epitomizes what living in a small town is all about. 3. Sumner Newscow pollâ€¦Switching gears here, but the Sumner Newscow weekly poll this week asked “Do you think Sam Brownback is doing a good job?” And 73 percent of you said “no” and just a mere 17 percent of you said “yes.”Sumner is a red county in a red state. If you are the Republican incumbent and you have a 73 percent disapproval rating in a conservative rural county like Sumner, you may be in trouble. This may be one election where Kansas Democrats, all three of you, may be licking their chops. This week I’m going to ask a similar question about President Barack Obama. I would like to see the comparisons. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (10) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +3 Vote up Vote down mom2mykids · 380 weeks ago Well said…and yes it is sad to see the clinic close…very much so… Report Reply 0 replies · active 380 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down Girlie · 380 weeks ago Well, lets see if that 71% will vote against Brownback in the election. I’m sure if Hitler was a Republican inkansas people would vote for him too. So Brownback has nothin to worry about. Keep screwin Kansas Sammy. It doesnt matter. your a Republcian. Report Reply 1 reply · active 380 weeks ago -1 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 380 weeks ago Suggesting that republicans would vote for Hitler? That’s deranged and disgusting. Report Reply -5 Vote up Vote down Jim Miller · 380 weeks ago I posted one about the clinic closing and it never made it because I told the truth and you just don’t want it published. Your so one sided you can not see that obamacare is killing the health profession as we know it. I used all the doctors at the clinic and wish them all the best in their new endeavors. Brownback is the worst governor the state has ever had. Just as OWEBAMA is the worst ever put in the position he is in. I myself swear he is NOT MY PRESIDENT but an occupier of the seat. Report Reply 2 replies · active 380 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 380 weeks ago Jim I’m not sure where you are going with this. I don’t think I have ever written I was in support of Obamacare or the Health Reform Act whatever people call it. And your post most certainly made it. There were even responses. I stated I did not want the clinic closing turn into some right wing-left wing political debate. In this incident, the closing of the clinic was based on personal decisions made by the doctors. Governmental politics did not play into the decision. Report Reply +3 Vote up Vote down Aspecificname 66p · 380 weeks ago Cue, you shouldn’t muddy things up with facts when speaking to GOPs. They don’t like to open their eyes and they don’t like facts. But they are hilarious. Did you see how he used a clever play on words to turn the name ‘Obama’ to ‘Owebama’? Not too accurate as a political statement ( as previously stated, GOPs don’t care too much for facts) , but very, very funny. I can tell you how to predict the outcome of the upcoming Obama poll. Look up the, umm…diversity of Wellington and the results will mirror it exactly. Report Reply -5 Vote up Vote down Caped Crusader · 380 weeks ago The trackmeet in the rain was assenine. Not only did it put our own athletes at increased risk of injury but it also made us look rediculous to the teams who attended. Outside parents and officials were not happy. Boo to WHS administration who made the decision to carry on through cold, wet, and slippery conditions. You are lucky no one sufferd a serious injury. Report Reply 0 replies · active 380 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Wishing them well · 380 weeks ago I think several people wanted others to know that they were not singled out in not receiving a letter yet. I was hoping the letter would give the procedure for gaining medical records from your doctors. When the article said “letters were mailed” that made it sound as if they should have been received by the time the article made it on your site. The Doctors will be missed, but hopefully each will have success in their future endevours. Report Reply 0 replies · active 380 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down MJE · 380 weeks ago I really don’t understand all the drama surrounding the clinic’s closure, either. Most businesses that close do not spend over $3000 sending letters to their “customers” explaining that they’re closing. I can certainly understand feeling disappointed or sad about having to change doctors, but some of the comments I saw sounded like some people were taking it as a personal betrayal…. Report Reply 0 replies · active 380 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Hmmm…. · 380 weeks ago It is mandatory to have a letter sent out to patients to be in compliance with malpractice insurance. You are right, people are taking this to personal. After all, I don’t know many businesses that are still open since 1976 without changing owners. No one likes change not even me, the comments made on this site are crazy. Don’t you think this is hard enough for everyone involved doctors, patients, and staff without all the negativity. Grow up, find a new doctor and get on with it. Report Reply 0 replies · active 380 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments 2. The lettersâ€¦I was a bit thrown off by the reaction of the clinic closing story in this week’s Sumner Newscow when people chose to focus on the personal letters the clinic was putting out or the lack thereof. I thought perhaps the reaction would focus more on why Wellington is losing a clinic and what are we going to do about it. I was even anticipating finger pointing. The letter-delivery process was a small detail of a much larger process at hand.But I can understand it. People look at doctors as an extension of their family. And sometimes like a marriage that is ending, the small details become the manifestation of our hurt and anger over something much larger we don’t want to deal with.I will say in the clinic’s defense, the procedural process of mailing mass amounts of letters is a tedious, loathsome job. Personally, I just finished collecting addresses and mailing out my son’s high school graduation announcements. What a complete time-consuming pain that was, and that resulted in slightly more than 50 invites.Now think about mailing out 7,000 of them – many of them which won’t get there because people move around so much. Not only is that time consuming but an expense of over $3,500. And not to be egotistical here, but I put in all the information in that letter on my website story here.