first_imgIn addition to a passion for computer science, Harvard students Tom Silver ’16, Kevin Yang ’17, and Saranya Vijayakumar ’18 share a common goal: to empower local middle school students. The College students are leaders in the Digital Literacy Project (DLP), a Harvard organization that teaches computer science to middle school students.To date, the project has led 36 programs in five Boston Public Schools (BPS) sites, including the Jackson/Mann K-8 School, the Mission Hill K-8 School, and the Boston Teachers Union, teaching basic computer science skills to 500 students in the process. The project had an international scope when it was founded in 2008, working with the program One Laptop Per Child. But when Silver became president in 2013, he wanted to focus more on schools right here at home.“I wanted it to be more locally focused and education focused,” he said. “We reached out to BPS and started a teaching program, and now that’s what DLP is today. We’re now an organization with a full program, and I think that’s because Harvard students are in schools every week, seeing the real impact they can have.”Every week during the school year, as many as 50 Harvard students volunteer in local schools through the project, teaching the basics of computer science and providing young students with skills they need to succeed.“It’s extremely important because technology is going to be a big requirement in the future,” said Yang, who will succeed Silver as president of the organization during the coming school year. “It’s really worthwhile to engage students early with computer science, and we have an obligation to help the community, too. We would love to work with more schools, particularly schools in Allston and Brighton.”“I actually wish I’d had something like DLP when I was in middle school,” Silver added. “I didn’t have any opportunities to learn computer science until I came to Harvard, in part because it’s such a rapidly growing and progressing field. There are so many more students who want a computer science program than schools that have computer science teachers. It’s something I definitely wish I’d had when I was younger.”Vijayakumar began working with the project as a teacher when she arrived on campus as a freshman. She is now the organization’s director of community engagement.“I knew I wanted to do something that combined computer science and service work,” she said. “As director, I reach out to BPS and other community organizations, such as the Harvard Ed Portal, to create partnerships with schools.”“Jackson/Mann was thrilled to hear from DLP and [to] work together to bring the program into our school,” said Jackson Mann Principal Andy Tuite. “Our students have the opportunity to learn state-of-the-art computer science skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. We’re grateful for the hard work and dedication the Harvard undergrads have shown to our students.”“What’s great about DLP is that the curriculum is really strong,” Vijayakumar said. “It was created by Harvard students, and it’s a great curriculum. When you look at Girls Who Code and CodeEd, those skills are really important. The fact that we’re exposing them to computer science and giving them an interest, something they can explore in the future … that small spark gives them a path they might not have considered or explored before.”The organization brings students to the annual CS50 Fair on campus, and works together with the Ed Portal to bring students to Scratch Day, an event where students gather to code.“Last year, we invited all our students to the CS50 Fair, and about 120 of them came,” Silver said. “They loved it. We gave them a scavenger hunt so they had to ask Harvard students questions. Dr. Margo Seltzer [Harvard’s Herchel Smith Professor of Computer Science] talked to them about being a computer scientist and what that means. It was one of the biggest impacts that we’ve had.”For Silver, the key word in the project’s mission statement is empowerment.“The places we go to, the students are often underserved and socioeconomically challenged,” he said. “Our hope is that in providing them access to these skills, they’ll be able to go wherever they want in the world.”Harvard President Drew Faust echoed that wish in a recent column in Harvard Magazine, where she mentioned the project and said, “We ought to do everything we can to ensure that as many young people as possible can imagine their futures here or elsewhere, free to look up, look out, and realize their dreams.”last_img read more

first_img Provost Garber discusses efforts to deepen cooperation, community in surging field Toward safer bone-marrow transplants Red and blue lights flash, and a machine whirs like a distant swarm of bees. In a cubicle-sized room, Yoav Adam captures something no one has ever seen before: neurons flashing in real time, in a walking, living creature.For decades scientists have been searching for a way to watch a live broadcast of the brain. Though neurons send and receive massive amounts of information (Toe itches! Fire hot! Garbage smells!) at speeds of up to 270 miles an hour, the brain’s electricity is invisible.“You can’t see the electricity flowing through the neurons any more than you can see the electricity in a telephone wire,” said Adam Cohen, professor of chemistry and chemical biology and of physics at Harvard. So, to observe how neurons turn information (toe itches) into thoughts (“itching powder”), behaviors (scratching), and emotions (annoyance), we need to change the way we see.In a new study published in Nature, Cohen does just that.With first author and postdoctoral scholar Yoav Adam and a multi-institutional, cross-disciplinary research team, Cohen sheds literal light on the brain, transforming neural signals into sparks visible through a microscope.Those sparks come from a protein called archaerhodopsin. When illuminated with red light, the protein can turn voltage into fluorescence (this and similar tools are known as genetically encoded voltage indicators, or GEVIs). Like an ultrasensitive voltmeter or the hair on your arm, archaerhodopsin changes form when it gets a jolt.The Cohen team paired this with a similar protein that, when illuminated with blue light, causes neurons to fire. “This way,” Adam said, “we can both control the activity of the cells and record the activity of the cells.” Blue light controls; red light records.The protein pair worked well in neurons outside the brain, in a dish. “But,” Cohen said, “the Holy Grail was to get this to work in live mice that are actually doing something.”They finally found their grail after five years of intense collaboration between 24 neuroscientists, molecular biologists, biochemists, physicists, computer scientists, and statisticians. First, they tweaked the protein to work in live animals; then, with some adept genetic manipulation, they positioned the protein in the right part of the right cells in the mouse brain. Finally, they built a new microscope, customized with a video projector to shine a pattern of red and blue light into the live mouse’s brain, and onto specific cells of interest.“You basically make a little movie,” Cohen said.With red and blue light patterned on the brain, Adam can control which neurons fire when and can capture their electric activity as light. To identify individual neural signals in the bright chaos, the team designed one final tool: a software program that can extract specific neural sparks, like finding individual fireflies in a swarm.,But the team’s advances would not be possible without a 1980s ecological survey. In the dense salt of the Dead Sea, an Israeli ecologist found a microorganism called Halorubrum sodomense that performs a neat trick: converting sunlight into electrical energy in a primitive form of photosynthesis. For almost 30 years, the organism and its talented protein (archaerhodopsin 3) floated undisturbed.Then, in 2010, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology got a tiny tool to convert light into electricity while embedded in a brain. With just a little light, the researchers could force a neuron to fire and, if they chose well, even manipulate an animal’s behavior.Cohen was impressed, and MIT’s success made him wonder: Could we reverse the trick? Could the protein convert the electrical activity of neurons into detectable flashes of light? After many years of collaborations, failures, genetic manipulations, and mini victories, he finally got a mighty, if simple, answer: Yes.,Cohen is not the first to record neural signals: Hair-thin glass tubes inserted into brain tissue can get the job done as well. But such devices record only one or two neurons at a time and, like a splinter, must be removed before they cause damage. Other tools monitor calcium, which floods neurons when they fire. But, according to Cohen, “depending on exactly how you do it, it’s 200 to 500 times slower than the voltage signal that Yoav is looking at.”In a third of the time it takes to blink, the Cohen team can capture a precise image of a neuron’s spike pattern, like recording the fine details of a firefly’s wings midflight. They can record up to 10 neurons at a time, a feat otherwise impossible with existing technologies, and, three weeks later, find the same exact neurons to record anew.Recently, Adam has expanded his vision to examine how behavioral changes impact neural chatter. For his first attempt, he started simple: A mouse walked on a treadmill for 15 seconds and then rested for 15. During both stages, Adam projected blue and red light onto the hippocampus region of the brain, a hub for learning and memory.“Even just with simple changes in behavior — walking and resting — we could see robust changes in the electrical signals, which also varied between different types of neurons in the hippocampus,” Adam said. Next, the Cohen team will add more complexity to the mouse’s treadmill environment: rough Velcro circles, whisker flicks, and a sugar station. Adam, in particular, wants to learn more about spatial memory — for example, can the mouse remember where to find the sugar station? “No one knows what a memory really looks like,” Cohen said. Soon, we might.In the meantime, the team members will continue to sort through their intricate data and improve their optical, molecular, and software tools. Better tools could capture more cells, deeper brain regions, and cleaner signals. “A mouse brain has 75 million cells in it,” Cohen said, “so depending on your perspective, we’ve either done a lot or we still have quite a long way to go.”But they will keep pushing forward. Despite five years of hard work, the end result always looked possible: “I could see the light,” Adam said. Harvard’s immersion in neuroscience Related New Harvard-led research, successful in mice, may point the way toward safer transplants, without toxicity last_img read more

first_imgCasella Waste Systems, Inc. Announces Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2009 ResultsRUTLAND, VT, Dec 03, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) — Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CWST), a regional solid waste, recycling and resource management services company, today reported financial results for the second quarter of its 2009 fiscal year.Highlights of the quarter include:– Free cash flow* for the quarter was up $8.2 million over the sameperiod last year;– Operating income for the quarter was up 1.3 percent over same periodlast year; and– Solid waste operations continue to perform well through the economicslowdown, while the recycling group faces pressures from volatile commoditypricing.”Since the northeastern U.S. economy first began to slow in July 2006, we have taken steps to better position our business to perform well in this uncertain economic environment,” John W. Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems, said. “We continue to execute well against factors that we can control by combining our successful cost reduction initiatives from the past 18 months with operating programs that enhance productivity and asset utilization.””These efforts are currently offsetting economic pressures in our solid waste group, with performance in the quarter driven by increases in landfill volumes, improved operating performance of the hauling operations, and roll over impacts from the successful divestiture program of under-performing assets,” Casella said.”While it is difficult to fully assess the potential economic impacts from the financial market turmoil, the recession-resistant qualities of our integrated solid waste group will help our business maintain stability,” Casella said.”The global slowdown is negatively impacting recycling commodity pricing,” Casella said. “However, our commodity risk mitigation programs are dampening pricing exposure through the use of hedging agreements, floor price contracts, and long-term supply contracts with customers.”Second Quarter Financial ResultsFor the quarter ended October 31, 2008, the company reported revenues of $157.5 million, up $7.0 million, or 4.7 percent over the same quarter last year. The company’s net income available to common shareholders was $2.1 million or $0.08 per common share compared with net income of $2.8 million or $0.11 per common share in the same quarter last year.Operating income for the quarter was $16.0 million, up $0.2 million or 1.3 percent over the same quarter last year. Net cash provided by operating activities in the quarter was $19.4 million, compared to $15.1 million in the same quarter last year. The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA*) were $35.5 million, down $0.5 million or 1.4 percent over the same quarter last year. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was $6.2 million, up $8.2 million over the same period last year.In early August 2008, the company ceased accepting waste at the Colebrook, NH landfill closure project, creating a negative $1.1 million EBITDA variance for the second quarter of fiscal year 2009 over the same period last year. Excluding the negative year-over-year impact of closing Colebrook, EBITDA for the quarter was up $0.6 million or 1.7 percent over the same quarter last year.Six Months Financial ResultsFor the six months ended October 31, 2008, the company reported revenues of $315.4 million, up 5.5 percent over the same period last year. The company’s net income per common share for the six month period was $0.17, compared to a net income per common share of $0.18 in the same period last year.Operating income for the six month period was $31.6 million, up $1.9 million or 6.4 percent over the same period last year. Net cash provided by operating activities for the six month period was $39.2 million, up $3.9 million compared to the same period last year. EBITDA was $70.5 million for the six month period, up $0.8 million or 1.1% from the same period last year. The company’s free cash flow for six months period was $4.4 million, up $5.5 million over the same period last year.Fiscal 2009 OutlookThe company said that its solid waste group continues to maintain a stable level of performance, while the recycling group faces pressures from softer commodity pricing. As expected in late October, commodity pricing continued to weaken during November and the company forecasts average commodity pricing to be down approximately 55 percent from our first quarter of fiscal year 2009 through the remainder of our fiscal year. The updated fiscal year 2009 guidance reflects continued weakness in commodity pricing and softening of economic conditions through the remainder of the fiscal year.The company has updated its guidance for fiscal year 2009 to the following ranges:– Revenues between $580.0 million and $600.0 million;– Free cash flow remaining constant at the original range of $8.0 millionto $14.0 million;– EBITDA between $120.0 million and $124.0 million; and– Capital expenditures between $65.0 million and $69.0 million.*Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresIn addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), we also disclose free cash flow and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), which are non-GAAP measures.These measures are provided because we understand that certain investors use this information when analyzing the financial position of companies in the solid waste industry, including us. Historically, these measures have been key in comparing operating efficiency of publicly traded companies in the solid waste industry, and assist investors in measuring our ability to meet capital expenditures, payments on landfill operating lease contracts, and working capital requirements. For these reasons we utilize these non-GAAP metrics to measure our performance at all levels. Free cash flow and EBITDA are not intended to replace “Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities,” which is the most comparable GAAP financial measure. Moreover, these measures do not necessarily indicate whether cash flow will be sufficient for such items as capital expenditures, payments on landfill operating lease contracts, or working capital, or to react to changes in our industry or to the economy generally. Because these measures are not calculated by all companies in the same fashion, they may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.Casella Waste Systems, Inc., headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, provides solid waste management services consisting of collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services primarily in the eastern United States.For further information, contact Ned Coletta, director of investor relations at (802) 772-2239, or visit the Company’s website at http://www.casella.com(link is external).The Company will host a conference call to discuss these results on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Individuals interested in participating in the call should dial (877) 675-4751 at least 10 minutes before start time. The call will also be webcast; to listen, participants should visit Casella Waste Systems’ website at http://www.casella.com(link is external) and follow the appropriate link to the webcast. A replay of the call will be available on the company’s website, or by calling 719-457-0820 or 888-203-1112 (conference code #4859748), until 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 11, 2008.Safe Harbor StatementCertain matters discussed in this press release are “forward-looking statements” intended to qualify for the safe harbors from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such by the context of the statements, including words such as the company “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “intends,” “estimates” and other similar expressions, whether in the negative or affirmative. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industry and markets in which we operate and management’s beliefs and assumptions. We cannot guarantee that we actually will achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements made. Such forward-looking statements, and all phases of our operations, involve a number of risks and uncertainties, any one or more of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in our forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include or relate to, among other things: we may be unable to reduce costs or increase revenues sufficiently to achieve estimated EBITDA and other targets; landfill operations and permit status may be affected by factors outside our control, continuing weakness in general economic conditions and in the commodities markets and poor weather conditions may affect our revenues; we may be required to incur capital expenditures in excess of our estimates; and fluctuations in the commodity pricing of our recyclables may make it more difficult for us to predict our results of operations or meet our estimates. There are a number of other important risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These additional risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, those detailed in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in our Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2008. We do not necessarily intend to update publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS Unaudited (In thousands, except amounts per share) Three Months Ended Six Months Ended ———————— ———————— October 31, October 31, October 31, October 31, 2007 2008 2007 2008 ———– ———– ———– ———–Revenues $ 150,483 $ 157,538 $ 299,009 $ 315,442Operating expenses: Cost of operations 95,621 103,728 192,525 208,170 General and administration 18,898 18,299 36,766 36,739 Depreciation and amortization 20,136 19,505 40,044 38,975 ———– ———– ———– ———– 134,655 141,532 269,335 283,884 ———– ———– ———– ———–Operating income 15,828 16,006 29,674 31,558Other expense/(income), net: Interest expense, net (1) 10,785 10,253 21,399 20,227 Loss from equity method investments 1,487 1,045 3,638 2,173 Other (income) expense 35 (64) (2,360) (152) ———– ———– ———– ———– 12,307 11,234 22,677 22,248 ———– ———– ———– ———–Income from continuing operations before income taxes and discontinued operations 3,521 4,772 6,997 9,310Provision (benefit) for income taxes (416) 2,706 714 5,023 ———– ———– ———– ———–Income from continuing operations before discontinued operations 3,937 2,066 6,283 4,287Discontinued Operations: Loss from discontinued operations, net of income taxes (2) (3) (4) (670) – (1,274) (11) Loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes (2) (4) (437) – (437) (34) ———– ———– ———– ———–Net income available to common stockholders $ 2,830 $ 2,066 $ 4,572 $ 4,242 =========== =========== =========== ===========Common stock and common stock equivalent shares outstanding, assuming full dilution 25,652 25,745 25,592 25,720 =========== =========== =========== ===========Net income per common share $ 0.11 $ 0.08 $ 0.18 $ 0.17 =========== =========== =========== =========== ———– ———– ———– ———–EBITDA (6) $ 35,964 $ 35,511 $ 69,718 $ 70,533 =========== =========== =========== =========== CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS Unaudited (In thousands) April 30, October 31, ASSETS 2008 2008 ———– ———–CURRENT ASSETS: Cash and cash equivalents $ 2,814 $ 3,110 Restricted cash 95 96 Accounts receivable – trade, net of allowance for doubtful accounts 62,233 66,222 Other current assets 30,343 32,206 ———– ———–Total current assets 95,485 101,634Property, plant and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation 488,028 501,263Goodwill 179,716 179,930Intangible assets, net 2,608 2,680Restricted cash 13,563 13,602Investments in unconsolidated entities 44,617 41,832Other non-current assets 12,070 15,515 ———– ———–Total assets $ 836,087 $ 856,456 =========== =========== LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITYCURRENT LIABILITIES: Current maturities of long-term debt $ 2,758 $ 2,002 Accounts payable 51,731 47,340 Other accrued liabilities 58,335 47,512 ———– ———–Total current liabilities 112,824 96,854Long-term debt, less current maturities 559,227 562,280Financing lease obligations – 11,674Other long-term liabilities 39,354 48,406Stockholders’ equity 124,682 137,242 ———– ———–Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 836,087 $ 856,456 =========== =========== CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS Unaudited (In thousands) Six Months Ended ———————— October 31, October 31, 2007 2008 ———– ———–Cash Flows from Operating Activities:Net income $ 4,572 $ 4,242Loss from discontinued operations, net 1,274 11Loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net 437 34Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities – Gain on sale of equipment (418) (577) Depreciation and amortization 40,045 38,975 Depletion of landfill operating lease obligations 3,348 3,520 Income from assets under contractual obligation (1,367) (114) Preferred stock dividend 1,038 – Amortization of premium on senior notes (307) (331) Maine Energy settlement (2,142) – Loss from equity method investments 3,638 2,173 Stock-based compensation 505 954 Excess tax benefit on the exercise of stock options (16) (157) Deferred income taxes 691 4,647 Changes in assets and liabilities, net of effects of acquisitions and divestitures (15,988) (14,160) ———– ———– 29,027 34,930 ———– ———– Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities 35,310 39,217 ———– ———–Cash Flows from Investing Activities: Acquisitions, net of cash acquired (93) (458) Additions to property, plant and equipment – growth (7,965) (8,232) – maintenance (35,025) (29,964) Payments on landfill operating lease contracts (2,413) (1,825) Proceeds from divestitures – 670 Other 2,554 (1,501) ———– ———– Net Cash Used In Investing Activities (42,942) (41,310) ———– ———–Cash Flows from Financing Activities: Proceeds from long-term borrowings 221,605 60,000 Principal payments on long-term debt (149,468) (59,104) Redemption of Series A redeemable, convertible preferred stock (75,056) – Proceeds from exercise of stock options 286 1,289 Excess tax benefit on the exercise of stock options 16 157 ———– ———– Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities (2,617) 2,342 ———– ———–Cash Provided by Discontinued Operations 51 47 ———– ———–Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents (10,198) 296Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period 12,366 2,814 ———– ———–Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $ 2,168 $ 3,110 =========== =========== CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS Unaudited (In thousands)Note 1: The Company’s Series A redeemable, convertible preferred stock (“Series A preferred”) contained a mandatory redemption provision effective August 11, 2007. As the Company did not anticipate that the Series A preferred would be converted to Class A Common Stock by the redemption date, the Company reflected the redemption value of the Series A preferred as a current liability. Consistent with this presentation, the Company recorded the Series A preferred dividend as interest expense in the three and six months ended October 31, 2007. The Series A preferred was redeemed effective August 11, 2007 at an aggregate redemption price of $75,057.Note 2: The Company divested its Buffalo, N.Y. transfer station, hauling operation and related equipment during the quarter ended October 31, 2007. The transaction required discontinued operations treatment under SFAS No. 144, therefore the operating results of these operations have been reclassified from continuing to discontinued operations for the three and six months ended October 31, 2007. For the three and six months ended October 31, 2007, the Company recorded a loss from discontinued operations (net of tax) of ($273) and ($810), respectively. For the three and six months ended October 31, 2007, the Company recorded a loss on disposal of discontinued operations (net of tax) of ($437).Note 3: The Company terminated its operation of MTS Environmental, a soils processing operation in the quarter ended April 30, 2008. The transaction required discontinued operations treatment under SFAS No. 144, therefore the operating results of this operation have been reclassified from continuing to discontinued operations for the three and six months ended October 31, 2007. For the three and six months ended October 31, 2007, the Company recorded a loss from discontinued operations (net of tax) of ($478) and ($650), respectively.Note 4: The Company divested its FCR Greenville operation in the quarter ended July 31, 2008. The transaction required discontinued operations treatment under SFAS No. 144, therefore the operating results of this operation have been reclassified from continuing to discontinued operations for the three and six months ended October 31, 2007. For the three and six months ended October 31, 2007 and 2008, the Company recorded a gain /(loss) from discontinued operations (net of tax) of $81, $0, $186 and ($11), respectively. For the six months ended October 31, 2008, the Company recorded a loss on disposal of discontinued operations (net of tax) of ($34).Note 5: Return on Net Assets, (RONA), is defined as twelve months of operating income (excluding all unusual or non-recurring items) divided by the average for the five quarter-ends, commencing on the day preceding such twelve-month period, of the sum of working capital (net of cash) plus the net book value of property, plant and equipment plus goodwill and net intangible assets.Note 6: Non – GAAP Financial MeasuresIn addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), we also disclose earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, (EBITDA) and free cash flow, which are non-GAAP measures.These measures are provided because we understand that certain investors use this information when analyzing the financial position of the solid waste industry, including us. Historically, these measures have been key in comparing operating efficiency of publicly traded companies within the industry, and assist investors in measuring our ability to meet capital expenditures, payments on landfill operating lease contracts and working capital requirements. For these reasons, we utilize these non-GAAP metrics to measure our performance at all levels. EBITDA and free cash flow are not intended to replace “Net cash provided by operating activities”, which is the most comparable GAAP financial measure. Moreover, these measures do not necessarily indicate whether cash flow will be sufficient for such items as working capital, payments on landfill operating lease contracts or capital expenditures, or to react to changes in our industry or to the economy generally. Because these measures are not calculated by all companies in the same fashion, they may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Following is a reconciliation of EBITDA to Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities: Three Months Ended Six Months Ended —————— —————— October October October October 31, 31, 31, 31, 2007 2008 2007 2008 ——– ——– ——– ——–Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities $ 15,078 $ 19,430 $ 35,310 $ 39,217Changes in assets and liabilities, net of effects of acquisitions and divestitures 11,232 7,149 15,988 14,160Deferred income taxes 165 (2,212) (691) (4,647)Stock-based compensation (289) (565) (505) (954)Excess tax benefit on the exercise of stock options 16 126 16 157Provision (benefit) for income taxes (416) 2,706 714 5,023Interest expense, net 10,785 10,253 21,399 20,227Preferred stock dividend (113) – (1,038) -Amortization of premium on senior notes 156 167 307 331Depletion of landfill operating lease obligations (1,491) (1,797) (3,348) (3,520)Income from assets under contractual obligation 629 25 1,367 114Gain on sale of equipment 177 293 418 577Other (income) expense, net 35 (64) (219) (152) ——– ——– ——– ——–EBITDA $ 35,964 $ 35,511 $ 69,718 $ 70,533 ======== ======== ======== ======== CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES Unaudited (In thousands) Following is a reconciliation of Free Cash Flow to Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities: Three Months Ended Six Months Ended —————— —————— October October October October 31, 31, 31, 31, 2007 2008 2007 2008 ——– ——– ——– ——–EBITDA $ 35,964 $ 35,511 $ 69,718 $ 70,533Add (deduct): Cash interest (14,471) (14,618) (19,154) (20,463) Capital expenditures (20,642) (15,767) (42,990) (38,196) Cash taxes (1,459) (13) (1,770) (258) Depletion of landfill operating lease obligations 1,491 1,797 3,348 3,520 Change in working capital, adjusted for non-cash items (2,886) (743) (10,303) (10,778) ——– ——– ——– ——–FREE CASH FLOW (2,003) 6,167 (1,151) 4,358Add (deduct): Capital expenditures 20,642 15,767 42,990 38,196 Other (3,561) (2,504) (6,529) (3,337) ——– ——– ——– ——–Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities $ 15,078 $ 19,430 $ 35,310 $ 39,217 ======== ======== ======== ======== CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES SUPPLEMENTAL DATA TABLES (Unaudited) (In thousands)Amounts of the Company’s total revenues attributable to services providedare as follows: Three Months Ended Six Months Ended October 31, October 31, ——————- ——————- 2007 2008 2007 2008 ——— ——— ——— ———Collection $ 69,178 $ 70,094 $ 138,331 $ 141,422Landfill / disposal facilities 28,966 30,866 58,169 59,909Transfer 7,691 8,717 15,038 17,920Recycling 44,648 47,861 87,471 96,191 ——— ——— ——— ———Total revenues $ 150,483 $ 157,538 $ 299,009 $ 315,442 ========= ========= ========= =========Components of revenue growth for the three months ended October 31, 2008compared to the three months ended October 31, 2007: Percentage ———-Solid Waste Operations (1) Price 3.4% Volume -2.2% Commodity price and volume 0.2% ———-Total growth – Solid Waste Operations 1.4% ==========FCR Operations (1) Price 13.0% Volume 1.2% ———-Total growth – FCR Operations 14.2% ==========Rollover effect of acquisitions (2) 0.7%Total revenue growth (2) 4.7%(1) – Calculated as a percentage of segment revenues.(2) – Calculated as a percentage of total revenues.Solid Waste Internalization Rates by Region: Three Months Ended Six Months Ended October 31, October 31, —————— —————last_img read more

first_imgParts one and two of my Finovate Fall recaps focused on ideas intent on upending conventional fintech wisdom, monetizing and digitizing the mortgage process, and helping millennials with investments.Another key focus at the New York convention was on using tools to increase engagement with members in the digital space.Digital activationDigital Onboarding’s company’s name is self-explanatory, although its mission might better be described as digital activation.The Boston startup aims to create active engagement within 60 days of account opening. If there isn’t active engagement within that timeframe, Digital Onboarding claims there’s a high likelihood the account will be unprofitable permanently. continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_imgThe value of pooled investments held by German pension funds increased by more than 300% between 2005 and 2018, according to research company Kommalpha. Along with life insurers, pension schemes were the most interesting investor segment for the German fund and asset management industry, it said.In a long-term survey of insurance companies and pension funds, Kommalpha found that both investor types had significantly increased their use of investment fund vehicles over the past decade. Pension funds’ assets held in pooled funds grew by 338.2% between 2005 and 2018.Before the financial crisis roughly €85bn from an aggregate €242bn (35%) in pension assets had been invested via funds. This figure hit €370bn out of a total of €611bn (61%) at the end of June 2018. The researchers confirmed a “strategic market trend of reallocating assets from the classic direct investments to indirect investments via a fund structure”.This was linked to a “specialisation, internationalisation and diversification of the investment structure”, Kommalpha said.It also meant that the use of “external asset managers within the framework of Master-KVG mandates” – a German pooling vehicle for institutional investors – has increased, the company reported.However, Kommalpha emphasised that this development was also creating risks, “which is not always acknowledged within the asset management industry”.The analysts pointed out the increase in indirect investments in the portfolios of pension funds and insurers means there might be “disruptions” to these asset pools “given the fragility of the financial markets”.This risk was particularly pronounced at times when “a significant amount of assets is allocated within a relatively brief period”, they added. Pension funds and life insurers in Germany usually have a strong annual inflow of contributions.Kommalpha warned of defaults including “depreciation, write-offs or indeed a complete loss of assets”.However, the company said these were worst-case scenarios, and that the management of institutional portfolios in Germany was “characterised by diversification, risk management and the professionalism of the stakeholders”. The full report (in German) can be downloaded on the Kommalpha website here.German Spezialfonds still king, but not for bondsAs their use of pooled fund vehicles increases, German pension funds and insurers still prefer domestic providers, the survey showed.Given the complex regulatory framework for institutional investments in Germany, most investors still rely on the domestic “Spezialfonds” structure created for them.Similar fund structures domiciled in Luxembourg were mainly used for alternative investments, Kommalpha found.Over the last decade the share of bond allocations held in Spezialfonds vehicles reduced significantly, from over 40% to less than 10%.This was mainly down to this asset class dwindling in importance for institutional portfolios, but also to some large pension funds and insurers having taking bond management in-house.As per end-June 2018 German pension funds had invested €410.7bn in 741 Spezialfonds.The highest increase in volume was found to be among providers of funds-of-funds and mixed-asset Spezialfonds.last_img read more

first_imgThe UK’s audit regulator has come under strong criticism from political parties in a debate about emergency legislation to create an endorsement mechanism for International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).In the debate in the UK parliament’s upper chamber, the House of Lords, peers discussed a framework to apply if the UK falls out of the EU without signing off the withdrawal agreement drafted in November. The framework would be temporary until the government can introduce primary legislation to set up a successor organisation to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).Long-standing FRC and IFRS critic Baroness Sharon Bowles argued that the FRC had “converted” UK generally agreed accounting principles “into IFRS-like rules” to the detriment of long-term investors.Bowles, a former chair of the European Parliament’s Economic Affairs Committee, said the FRC’s actions had potentially breached the capital maintenance requirements of the UK Companies Act 2006. Referencing a March 2013 FRC impact assessment of the policy, she said it read like “a business plan for the big four [audit firms]”. Source: Liberal DemocratsBaroness Sharon BowlesShe said a recent fitness check on the FRC by former senior servant Sir John Kingman had revealed that the organisation was “a captured regulator that was designed to take account of the companies and professions that it regulated”.Conservative party peer Lord Hodgson said: “If there is to be a clash between international standards and UK law, UK law must prevail because it is the law of this country.” Hodgson highlighted a briefing note from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the insurance industry lobby group, that disagreed with the premise that the secretary of state should delegate all his functions to an endorsement board for the accounting standards. The ABI argued it would be “counterproductive” and “inconsistent with the aims of the Withdrawal Act”, under which the UK will exit the European Union.The note continued: “We strongly urge that, in the House of Lords debate… assurances are sought from the responsible minister that the new [legislation] will provide for active political oversight of the endorsement board by the secretary of state”.Central to the ABI’s concerns was the fear that ‘offshoring’ responsibility for IFRS endorsement would mean that the UK lost the ability to represent its political and commercial interests as new accounting standards were developed.The government has signalled it would introduce a further statutory instrument – at an as-yet unspecified point in time – to deal with IFRS endorsement and other matters in the longer term.Audit sector under scrutinyThe House of Lords debate comes as the audit profession, accounting and the FRC together face unprecedented political and regulatory scrutiny.Alongside the Kingman review of the FRC, the audit sector is currently the subject of an inquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority.In addition, an inquiry led by Sir Donald Brydon is examining the quality and effectiveness of the UK audit market.The Brydon review is running in parallel to actions in the UK parliament, most notably by members of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee, which has turned its fire on numerous high-profile corporate collapses such as construction firm Carillion and bakery chain Patisserie Valerie.Earlier this month, business secretary Greg Clark announced the government intended to abolish the FRC and introduce a new, independent regulator with tougher powers.Labour peer Lord Stevenson has questioned the wisdom of the decision to “host” the new audit regulator within the FRC.In a response for the government, Lord Henley said the FRC “would host it purely in terms of human resources and other such matters” and would remain under the political control of the government.However, a group of pension funds has called for a thorough clear-out of staff to ensure a clean slate for the new regulatory body.last_img read more

first_imgTennis great Roger Federer on Wednesday donated more than a million dollars to help support his “most vulnerable” Swiss compatriots through the coronavirus crisis.Advertisement Loading… The 20-time Grand Slam champion and his wife donated one million Swiss francs ($1.02 million, 943,000 euros), saying nobody should be left behind as Switzerland battles against the global pandemic.According to official figures reported to the World Health Organization, Switzerland has the ninth-highest number of infections in the world.According to the Swiss health ministry, more than 8,800 people have tested positive for COVID-19, while 86 people had died as of Monday.“These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind. Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland,” world number four Federer, 38, said on Instagram. Promoted Content5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksContemplate Life At These 10 Stargazing LocationsThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually TrueWhy Do So Many Digital Assistants Have Feminine Names & Voices?13 kids at weddings who just don’t give a hootTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All TimeTop 10 Tiniest Phones Ever Made6 Stunning Bridges You’ll Want To See With Your Own Eyes11 Strange Facts About Your Favorite TV ShowsDid You Know There’s A Black Hole In The Milky Way?8 Best 1980s High Tech Gadgets Read Also: How PSG will react to Barca using FIFA rule to re-sign Neymar“Our contribution is just a start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy!”On Friday the Swiss government further tightened measures against the new coronavirus, banning all gatherings of more than five people, while anyone standing closer than two metres to others risks a fine.The government had already ordered the closure of schools and all places of leisure, including restaurants, bars and non-food shops.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

first_img President Duterte on Monday certified the bill urgent allowing the Senate and House of Representatives to skip the three-day rule and approve the measure on third reading immediately after it is passed on second reading./PN The Senate adopted the House version of the measure, where the salary adjustment would be given in four tranches starting in January 2020 and ending in 2023 to skip the bicameral conference meeting and allow the bill to go straight for Duterte’s signature. The House of Representatives, meanwhile, have approved their version of the measure on the second reading and is expected hurdle final approval within the week. The SSL V, which aims to increase the salaries of more than 1.4 million government employees, especially those from Salary Grades 11 to 19, was approved by the Senate on Monday evening with a total of 21 senators agreeing with one abstention. SSL V would give public school teachers salaries that were higher than their private sector counterparts by around 65 to 87 percent. The largest increases ranged from 20 to 30 percent for employees under Salary Grades 10 to Salary Grades 15, while the smallest increase would be eight percent for government workers under Salary Grades 23 to 33. MANILA – After it was certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte, the Senate and House of Representatives have passed the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2019 (SSL V).last_img read more

first_imgNo casualty was reported in theincident. Investigations were still ongoing./PN Arson investigator said the house wasowned by 66-year-old Ma. Fe Aligarbes. Personnel of the Bureau of FireProtection said the blaze started around 2:30 a.m. at the kitchen of Aligarbes’house. ILOILO City – Fire totally gutted ahouse in Barangay 1, San Miguel, Iloilo early morning yesterday. All appliances and other valuable itemsgot burned, the investigators added. The cost of damage was not yet availableas of this writing.last_img read more

first_imgGREENSBURG, Ind. — A Milan man has been arrested in Greensburg after police say he stole a tool box from a garage.According to police, Mitchell E. Sherman-Russell, 26, was arrested on the charges of Burglary and Theft.Police say on April 23 Mitchell grabbed a tool box from a garage and fled the scene.The owner of the tools was returning to his garage when he saw Mitchell grabbing the tool box and running.He took photos of Mitchell and his license plate with his cell phone and gave them to police.Police say Mitchell had recently been released from jail from an unrelated case.last_img read more