Airbnb Sues PB County Over “Unconstitutional” Bed Tax Requirement

first_imgAirbnb executives and Palm Beach County leaders are clashing yet again.The popular vacation rental hosting platform just filed another lawsuit against the county and tax collector Anne Gannon.The suit, filed in the 15th Judicial Circuit Court on Monday, claims that the county’s new vacation rental ordinance violates the Local Option Tourist Development Act and the Florida Constitution. It also says the ordinance’s “unconstitutional and unlawful provisions” will cause Airbnb to “suffer irreparable harm, the extent of which is incalculable.”Palm Beach County’s revised rules for vacation rentals were approved on June 18.Airbnb is disputing a requirement that it provide bed tax information to hosts and collect a valid bed tax account number from them, before listing the property online.The ordinance also requires Airbnb to collect bed taxes and remit them to the vacation rental host, who then gives the bed taxes to the tax collector’s office. The lawsuit states, “Such [bed tax] obligations improperly transform Hosting Platforms and Booking Services into de facto enforcement arms of the Tax Collector.”An Airbnb spokesperson adds, “We are tired of fighting with Tax Collector [Anne] Gannon when we could be supporting her as we do for all of the surrounding counties. We will continue to try and work with the County to find a solution that allows Airbnb to help facilitate tax collection.”Airbnb currently has an agreement with Florida’s revenue department to collect and remit state sales tax. It also has agreements with Broward, Miami-Dade, and 38 other counties to collect and remit bed taxes on behalf of hosts.According to an email from Gannon, “We are constitutional officers and under our oath of office we are obligated to collect taxes under the contract we have with the county. [Airbnb] only want(s) to remit a bulk payment monthly.”The Local Option Act gives counties the ability to impose bed taxes on a “dealer” for vacation rentals or leases. Airbnb believes it should not be subject to those requirements because it is a platform for dealers, rather than an actual dealer of short-term vacation rentals.Five years ago, Gannon sued Airbnb, as well as three other companies, for failing to register dealers and collect or remit bed taxes. Last January, Circuit Judge James Nutt ruled in favor of Airbnb and the other companies. He wrote at the time, “In short, dealers are limited to those engaged in the business of renting, not the business of servicing those in the business of renting.[Airbnb’s and others’] extensive involvement remains confined to the latter.”Airbnb and HomeAway sued Palm Beach County last November, after commissioners approved the first version of vacation rental rules. The separate lawsuits, which have since been combined, state that the regulations violate state and federal law, and that requiring companies to comply with the county’s rules would violate customers’ rights. The case is currently in federal court.last_img read more

ACMFL Roundup: Brooms out in Week 8

first_imgFULL ARMOR—Lincoln Mighty Mites are ready for battle as coached by (left) assistant coach Jacen Morris and head coach Verto Frazier. In other news, Wilkinsburg and Homewood split their series over the weekend, indicating that we may be in for a treat whenever the ACMFL playoffs begin in just a few short weeks. Also, Lincoln records its first sweep of the season in which they took four games from the North Side. The Hill District pulled a sweep over Braddock, four games to none. Garfield “whipped their brooms out” against the North Shore as well.Let’s take a look at how your community fared: This Week: 1. Clairton, 4-0 1. Garfield, 4-0 1. Hill District, 4-0 1. Lincoln, 4-0 5. Homewood, 2-25. Wilkinsburg, 2-2 7. Braddock, 0-47. North Shore, 0-47. North Side, 0-4 Scores: Wilkinsburg vs. Homewood: Twerps 12-0 (Wilkinsburg); Termites 13-7 (Wilkinsburg); M. Mites 14-19 (Homewood); Midgets 13-25 (Homewood)Lincoln vs. North Side: Twerps 12-0 (Lincoln); Termites 19-0 (Lincoln); M. Mites 39-6 (Lincoln); Midgets 45-0 (Lincoln)Clairton vs. West Pittsburgh: Clairton Wins All Games Due To Forfeit.Hill District vs. Braddock: Twerps 12-0 (Hill); Termites 13-6 (Hill); M. Mites 33-0 (Hill); Midgets 32-0 (Hill)North Shore vs. Garfield: Twerps 0-31 (Garfield); Termites 6-7 (Garfield); M. Mites 7-31 (Garfield); Midgets 47-0 (Garfield).Overall Standings:1. Garfield, 24-6-22. Wilkinsburg, 20-10-23. Homewood, 20-11-14. Hill District, 19-10-35. Lincoln, 17-11-46. North Shore, 14-17-17. Clairton, 11-18-39. North Side, 6-24-210. Braddock, 5-25-2 Let’s take a look at who will do battle next week: All series will begin at 9 a.m. on both daysW. Pittsburgh at Wilkinsburg (Sunday)Clairton at North ShoreLincoln at Hill DistrictHomewood at North SideBraddock at Garfield (Follow our weekly coverage of the ACMFL and make your comments on (D.W. Howze can be reached at [email protected]) by D.W. Howze For New Pittsburgh Courier According to an e-mail received from the ACMFL’s secretary: “All of the games that West Pittsburgh has played and were wins are now losses. And all of the games they have left will all be losses as well.” This indicates that in some form or another West Pittsburgh is out of championship contention and will no longer participate in the league for the remainder of the 2009 season. More details will follow in next week’s edition.last_img read more

OSDEF Announces Annual Musical Performance: “HONK!”

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Olympia School District Education FoundationThe Olympia School District Education Foundation is pleased to announce the 2016 musical selection by the OSD Players, a group of dedicated school district teachers and staff.  Teachers, staff, and even administrators will be performing “Honk!” on Thursday, February 25 through Sunday February 28 at the Olympia High School Performing Arts Center.Since it first hatched in 1993 Stiles & Drewe’s musical “Honk!” has winged its way around the world in over 8000 productions and in many different languages. Winner of multiple awards, including the 2000 Olivier Award for Best Musical, this heart-warming celebration of being different is sure to delight audiences of all ages with its sparkling wit and memorable score.Ugly looks quite a bit different from his darling duckling brothers and sisters. The other animals on the farm are quick to notice and point this out, despite his mother’s protective flapping. Feeling rather foul about himself, the little fowl finds himself on adventure of self discovery all the while unknowingly outwitting a very hungry Cat. Along the way Ugly meets a whole flock of unique characters and finds out being different is not a bad thing to be.OSDEF Board President Ryan Hall remarked, “We are thrilled to help bring our treasured staff and faculty to the stage once again.  This much-loved tradition helps us fund many teacher grants through out the school year, and we are grateful for the support of our community.  Bring your kids and prepare for a wonderful heart-warming performance.”The South Sound Reading Foundation (SSRF) will be offering a special story time before the matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 1:15 PM.  This local non-profit will also be collecting new or gently used children’s books at each performance to give to children in our district.  SSRF engages area children in the wonder and promise of books and reading by providing family literacy engagement classes, story time and books talks, and by striving to get books into every home and into the hands of every child. The OSDEF and SSR are very proud to be partnering together to benefit our community.The OSD Players musical has been an annual event since 1993; since 2005 all proceeds from the play benefit the OSDEF. The Foundation is a non-profit organization whose programs include classroom and tutoring grants, emergency funding for student needs, and outdoor education.Tickets available now at, or call the OSDEF office at 753-8853.last_img read more

Hawks hand Nelson Leafs six straight loss, 4-2 Friday in Fruitvale

first_imgThe Beaver Valley Nitehawks added to what has been a dreadful season for the Nelson Leafs after scoring a 4-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory Friday night in Fruitvale.A powerplay goal by Braden Fuller with six minutes remaining in the game combined with an empty net marker — shorthanded, no less — by Sam Swanson sealed the victory for the Hawks.Ryan Terpsma and former Leaf Nolan Percival also scored for Beaver Valley, which led 2-0 after 40 minutes of play.It was Percival’s second goal since being traded to Beaver Valley last month. Malcolm Fenelon and Eamonn Miller replied for Nelson, losers of six straight games and 13 of 15 games dating back to October 31.Nelson out shot the Hawks 43-32, including a 15-9 advantage in the third period.Patrick Ostermann took the loss in goal for the Leafs while Beaver Valley game star Drake Poirier was the goalie of record for the home side.Beaver Valley, tied for top spot in the Murdoch Division with Castlegar, travels to the Sunflower City to meet the Rebels while Nelson plays host to Brett Soles and the Osoyoos Coyotes Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.Castlegar kept pace with Beaver Valley by edging Osoyoos 4-3 Friday.Nick Headrick scored twice and added an assist to lead the Rebels.Tayden Woods also had three points including a goal. Vince Bitonti, with the winner in the third period on the power play, scored the other marker for Castlegar.Mackenzie Wiens, Cody Allen and Carter Shannon replied for the Coyotes.last_img read more

Panthers prospect Dryden Hunt earns WHL Eastern Conference Player of the Year

first_imgThe Western Hockey League announced its 2016 Awards, and guess who’s on the list — Nelson’s Dryden Hunt.Hunt, who last month signed an entry-level contract with Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League, was announced as the WHL Eastern Conference Four Memorial Broncos Player of the Year.Western Conference winner is Joe Hickets of the Victoria Royals.The 20-year-old forward has experienced a dream season with the Moose Jaw Warriors, finishing second in WHL scoring with 116 points — four behind Adam Brooks of the Regina Pats. Hunt, who was also selected top the WHL First All Star team, scored 58 goals this season, tops in the entire WHL. Hunt also had five hat tricks.The 6-foot, 200 pound left-winger was also named player-of-the-month for January and recently player-of-the-week in February.Hunt’s teammates, netminder Zachary Sawchenko was selected Eastern Conference Top Goaltender and Noah Gregor Rookie of the year.The Nelson Minor Hockey grad also walked away with four team awards.  Hunt ended a 21-year drought for Warrior 50 goal scorers, and was the first Warrior in ten years to go over 100 points in a season, with that he captured the RBC Top Scorer Award.Hunt shared Player of the Year honours with Moose Jaw team captain Brayden Point while capturing the YARA Fans Choice award and team’s 3-Star Award.The Moose Jaw Warriors won its final regular season game, downing the Swift Current Broncos 3-1 to finish their 2015-2016 season in third place in the East Division.Moose Jaw now faces Prince Albert Raiders in the first round of the playoffs beginning Friday in Prince Albert.Game two is Saturday, March 26th in Prince Albert before the series shifts to Moose Jaw for Game’s three and four on Monday, March 28th and Tuesday, March 29th.Story originated at The Nelson Dailylast_img read more

‘A statement and no questions – Roy Hodgson’s a coward!’ – England fans rage

first_img1 [View the story “‘A prepared statement and no questions – Roy Hodgson’s a coward!’ – Furious fans slate outgoing England boss” on Storify] Roy Hodgson has failed at three major tournaments center_img Roy Hodgson is gone as England manager, and so is England’s dream of Euro 2016 glory.The Three Lions embarrassingly crashed out at the hands of tournament minnows Iceland at the Round of 16 stage after failing to break down yet another stubborn defence.Hodgson, whose contract was up after this tournament anyway, then abruptly announced his departure as boss in a prepared statement by written with the help of the FA in the dressing room after the defeat.He also refused to take any questions from the gathered press, something that angered England fans who were demanding answers.See below for the best reactions to Hodgson’s resignation as England boss.last_img read more

Humboldt State football loses to Azusa Pacific to fall to 1-4 in GNAC play

first_imgAs he sat at his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Humboldt State head coach Rob Smith talked about how impressed he was with Azusa Pacific’s improvement from a season ago following the two teams’ meeting last month.Based on how the Jacks’ annual trip to Southern California went, that opinion probably isn’t changing much.The Humboldt State football team suffered its first loss on the road in the 2016 season on Saturday night, as 19th-ranked Azusa Pacific led from start to finish in a 45-13 …last_img read more

The 787-9 dream machine

first_imgAir New Zealand has unveiled the latest chapter in its extraordinary journey of innovation and inspiration that has propelled it to win 2014 Airline of the Year.On Wednesday July 8th (US time) at Everett Washington the airline and Boeing showed off the interior of the first Boeing 787-9 for which the airline is the launch customer. Once again Air New Zealand has shown that its quest for innovation shows no sign of flagging with an interior that is filled with clever ideas to make the travel experience better not just for the passengers at the pointy end but right through the cabin.The 787 comes with a catalogue of standard seating options that Boeing will permit airlines to install on their aircraft. Air New Zealand rejected all the standard seats and insisted on specially designed units. For instance Kerry Reeves, the airline’s Program Director for Aircraft Programs, explains that the economy seat has been set at a one-inch recline, so that passengers will not feel the need to immediately recline their seat fully (see video below). Passengers have the option to recline fully for sleep of course but Mr Reeves says studies have showed that a small recline will satisfy the majority of passengers, aside from night time.Air New Zealand also added more sculptured padding to the seats and modified the head rest to increase the travel up and downwards.Another “neat” feature is the airline has done away with the hand held control which is often difficult to get to when fitted into the arm rest and can be accidently activated. Now passengers have all their controls on the seat back video screen: light, flight attendant call button, sound level and brightness are all there. Also you can text the Flight Attendant for food or drinks and get an answer.The IFE system has been designed in New Zealand in partnership with Panasonic and has an app based touch screen system which is intuitive, easy to navigate and features a new customer interface. The new system will be also available progressively on the 777-200ER fleet as these aircraft are refurbished and will also be available across the 777-300ER fleet by the end of the year. It features more than 2,000 hours of content from more than 2,000 movie, television and audio titles including High Definition new releases, new and classic Disney and Hollywood titles and a dedicated category for HBO content.Air New Zealand CFO Rob McDonald told that the airline is “very proud to be the launch customer for the 787-9. We believe it will be a game-changer for Air New Zealand, with increased levels of fuel efficiency and passenger comfort. We look forward to inviting our customers on board to experience the aircraft and all of its benefits for themselves.”Air New Zealand’s Rolls-Royce powered 787-9 is part of the airline’s fleet modernization effort. This 787-9, painted in a unique black livery, is the first of 10 Dreamliners to join Air New Zealand’s fleet and the airline has options on eight more. First scheduled route is Auckland to Perth, Australia in October 2014 and to both Tokyo and Shanghai in November 2014.Boeing Commercial Airplane’s Senior VP of Global Sales and Marketing John Wojick said “Air New Zealand was a perfect partner for us in developing the 787-9, given its innovative spirit, unique mission requirements and geography. The 787-9, combined with Air New Zealand’s exceptional onboard service, will set them apart from the competition by providing an unrivaled flying experience.”The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 450 nautical miles (830 km) with the same environmental performance of 20 percent less fuel use and thus emission than the planes it will replace. Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan, told that the 787-9 is “a dream to fly.”When boarding the Air New Zealand 787-9 there is a great sense of space, a combination of the wide sculptured ceilings and very large windows. The cabin is very light and airy and has a warm inviting ambiance.The cabin has 18 Business Premier lie flat beds, 21 Premium Economy seats and 263 Economy seats. In economy 16 rows of three can be converted into the SkyCouch.Read: How the 787 beats jetlag here.Read: Air NZ accepts first Editor Geoffrey Thomas and Editorial Director Christine Thomas were guests of Boeing and Air New Zealand.last_img read more

South Africa’s Mafikizolo performs in Davos

first_img26 January 2016South African music duo Mafikizolo was in the Swiss town of Davos on Saturday night to perform at the gala dinner to mark the closing of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) gathering.Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza were invited by the founder and executive chairman of WEF, Klaus Schwab, after he saw their performance at the WEF Africa regional meeting in June 2015, which took place in Cape Town.Arts and culture is a critical vehicle through which the spirit of South Africa’s national brand is conveyed within the country and beyond its borders. As such the role of arts and culture in building national cohesion and the economy is recognised in the National Development Plan.Mafikizolo’s sound is a fusion of Afro-pop, kwela, and marabi mixed with a little trance and house.The group released its debut self-titled album in 1997, followed by Music Revolution in 1999. However, it was the 2013 album, Reunited, that got the South African music industry buzzing. It scooped numerous accolades, including three Metro FM awards, four South African Music Awards (Sama) and two MTV Africa trophies.Watch the video of Happiness, the song that earned Mafikizolo a Best Collaboration Sama.Watch the video of Khona, the song that won four Samas, including Best Selling Full-Track Download.last_img read more

Pollination underway in early planted corn

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service  for the week ending 7-10-16, 7% of the state’s corn was silking compared to 17% for the  5-year average. Given the range in corn planting dates this year, some late planted (corn planted in early-mid June corn) may not achieve tasselling and silking until late July. The pollination period, the flowering stage in corn, is the most critical period in the development of a corn plant from the standpoint of grain yield determination. Stress conditions (such as hail damage and drought) have the greatest impact on yield potential during the reproductive stage. The following are some key steps in the corn pollination process.Most corn hybrids tassel and silk about the same time although some variability exists among hybrids and environments. On a typical midsummer day, peak pollen shed occurs in the morning between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. followed by a second round of pollen shed late in the afternoon. Pollen may be shed before the tassel fully emerges. Pollen shed begins in the middle of the central spike of the tassel and spreads out later over the whole tassel with the lower branches last to shed pollen. Pollen grains are borne in anthers, each of which contains a large number of pollen grains. The anthers open and the pollen grains pour out in early to mid morning after dew has dried off the tassels. Pollen is light and is often carried considerable distances by the wind. However, most of it settles within 20 to 50 feet.Pollen shed is not a continuous process. It stops when the tassel is too wet or too dry and begins again when temperature conditions are favorable. Pollen stands little chance of being washed off the silks during a rainstorm as little to none is shed when the tassel is wet. Also, silks are covered with fine, sticky hairs, which serve to catch and anchor pollen grains.Under favorable conditions, pollen grain remains viable for only 18 to 24 hours. However, the pollen grain starts growth of the pollen tube down the silk channel within minutes of coming in contact with a silk and the pollen tube grows the length of the silk and enters the female flower (ovule) in 12 to 28 hours. A well-developed ear shoot should have 750 to 1,000 ovules (potential kernels), each producing a silk. The silks from near the base of the ear emerge first and those from the tip appear last. Under good conditions, all silks will emerge and be ready for pollination within 3 to 5 days and this usually provides adequate time for all silks to be pollinated before pollen shed ceases.Pollen of a given plant rarely fertilizes all the silks of the same plant. Under field conditions, 97% or more of the kernels produced by each plant may be pollinated by other plants in the field. The amount of pollen is rarely a cause of poor kernel set. Each tassel contains as many as 2 million or more pollen grains, which translates to at least 2,000 pollen grains produced for each silk of the ear shoot. Shortages of pollen are usually only a problem under conditions of extreme heat and drought. As noted above, poor kernel set is more often associated with poor timing of pollen shed with silk emergence – with silks emerging after pollen shed (poor “nick”). However, hybrids rarely exhibit this problem unless they experience extreme drought stress. Some of the new drought tolerant hybrids have shorter “anthesis silking intervals”, i.e. pollen shedding and silk emergence are more closely synchronized than hybrids more susceptible to drought. This shorter anthesis silking interval mitigates the impact of drought stress during pollination.last_img read more