Capitol Watch: Budget countdown begins, Molinaro sets a date

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In New York state government news, lawmakers are buckling down for their annual budget negotiations ahead of an April 1 deadline and Republican Marc Molinaro has set a date to announce his candidacy for governor. A look at stories making news: ___ BUDGET BREWING The next two weeks are likely to be some of the busiest of the year as lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo work to pass a new state budget before the April 1 deadline. On Wednesday, the Assembly and Senate each passed their own separate budget recommendations which will serve as the basis for negotiations between legislative leaders and Cuomo. In most years, the last two weeks of March are a scramble as lawmakers and the governor work to hammer out a budget deal before the deadline. Sometimes they succeed, and sometimes the budget is late. This year's schedule is more complicated due to the Jewish Passover and Christian Easter holidays. April 1 falls on Easter Sunday, with Good Friday and the start of Passover two days earlier. Top lawmakers say they'll try to finish the budget early to make sure legislators and their staffs are home for the holidays. "Deadlines are something we always deal with it here," Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, said. "I'm not concerned that we have two less days." The sticking points in this year's budget include education spending, money for New York City subways and Cuomo's call for new tolls in Manhattan. Republicans in the Senate want to include new school safety measures, while Democrats in the Assembly are calling for the Dream Act, which would extend financial aid to students who entered the country illegally as children, and the Child Victims Act, which would extend the statute of limitations to give molestation victims more time to sue their abusers. "Let the games begin," said Senate Leader John Flanagan, R-Long Island. "There is no reason in the world to not have an on-time budget." ___ MOLINARO SETS A Continue Reading

Spotify Sets a Date for Its Stock to Go Public

In a public webcast on Thursday, executives at Spotify said its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange, under ticker symbol SPOT, on April 3. The company's direct listing of its stock comes amid significant momentum and heightened competition in streaming music.Will Spotify be able to fend off growing efforts in streaming music from tech giants like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Amazon, and Alphabet? Ahead of Spotify's direct listing, here are two big-picture items for investors to mull over as they consider Spotify's investment potential in this highly competitive space.Image source: Getty Images.Spotify is a market leaderThough Prime Music, Google Play Music, and Apple Music are backed by massive balance sheets and seamlessly integrated ecosystems of products and services, Spotify has still managed to become the world leader in streaming music as measured by revenue share.In 2016, Spotify dominated the streaming music market with 42% of global streaming revenue, it said in its recent F-1 filing. Also in 2016, the company boasted 41%, 42%, and 59% of streaming revenue in the important markets of the U.S., Brazil, and the United Kingdom.Though its market share has likely declined in the U.S. as Apple Music continues to gain steam in the domestic market, Spotify is still the top streaming music service. Measured by monthly active users, Spotify crushes Apple Music -- its "closest competitor," according to Spotify management. Spotify has 71 million paying premium subscribers, well over Apple Music's 38 million paid subscribers. Including its ad-supported members -- a listening tier Apple Music doesn't have -- Spotify has 159 million monthly active users.Image source: Spotify.Profits are on the wayThough the company's annual operating loss has widened recently, worsening from a loss of $235 million in 2015 to a loss of $378 million in 2017, Spotify said on Thursday that it sees a clear path to profits.To help investors see how it can swing from operating Continue Reading

She wanted a date and eventually got a mate

Melony Medley just wanted a date for her college graduation. She got that -- and more. Melony's sister was getting married in October 2000, and she needed to keep pace. "To be completely honest, I was really in pursuit of a date because we're twins," she says. "Everybody compares twins. If one person is doing something people are looking at the other one. I knew people were going to have 10,000 questions -- you know, 'Your sister's married and you don't even have a date. Why?' Melony started her search for a date early. In August, a few months before her December graduation from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, she asked a friend for help, and the friend's husband suggested Christopher Phillips. "We all attended the same church," Melony says. Melony and Christopher even sang in the choir together at St. John Baptist Church in Little Rock -- but she didn't know him. "I don't think I had ever seen him and I'm not sure he had ever seen me, either," she says. Their friends introduced them after church one Sunday. "We talked for a while," Melony says. Christopher's memory of that moment is a bit more dramatic. "I saw her across the sanctuary and I knew God had sent her for me," he says. Melony was student-teaching then and working part time at a clothing store. Christopher and his cousin dropped by the store that afternoon to say hi. "I don't think we set a date to go out then," she says. "We did exchange phone numbers." A couple of weeks later they met for dinner at Chili's -- and Melony was at least a half hour late. "I was sitting at Chili's and I was like, 'She's going to stand me up,'" Christopher says. Melony, who says it took her a long time to figure out what to wear that night, noticed what Christopher was wearing immediately. "He was wearing a pink shirt with brown leather suspenders and some slacks and some brown Polo shoes," she says. "I was real late. He was sitting there with his legs crossed and his arms folded across his chest." After dinner, Continue Reading

Dear Abby: Celibacy before marriage puts extra urgency on setting a date

By Jeanne Phillips Updated 10:24 am, Thursday, January 25, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-35', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 35', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-40', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 40', target_type: 'mix' }); Continue Reading

Celibacy before marriage puts extra urgency on setting a date

By Jeanne Phillips Published 12:05 am, Thursday, January 25, 2018 Dear Abby: I’m a 50-year-old male engaged to be married to my elementary school sweetheart, “Marie.” This will be the second marriage for both of us. We’ve been dating for six years, three of which were a long-distance relationship. When her mother became ill and sadly passed, Marie told me God had spoken to her and told her not to be sexually active anymore until we’re married. I respect and want to honor her and God, but my concern is that we haven’t even discussed a wedding date. The earliest could still be six or eight months away. Am I wrong for feeling resentment toward Marie, and will this resentment create problems after marriage with our bedroom life? On Hold in South Carolina Dear on Hold: You and Marie have known each other for many years, and know each other very well in every sense. Because Marie doesn’t want to have intimate relations again until after you are married, you should discuss not only a wedding date, but also an elopement. Dear Abby: My sister takes my nephews for modeling and acting assignments. They have been in print ads, websites for clothing and even a movie. I was shocked when she told me her 6-year-old is interviewed without a parent present in the room. The boy is bright, self-possessed and spirited, but still — he’s only 6. Given the recent revelations about industry-wide problems with child sexual abuse (“An Open Secret” documentary), was I out of line to suggest she have a device to listen in and record? Latest entertainment videos Now Playing: Now Playing Oscar Nominations: The Snubs and Surprises Wibbitz Redmayne's advice for award season newbies: 'take a lot of vitamin C' Associated Press The Stranger Things Cast Shut Down the SAG Awards Red Carpet InStyle Elton John Retiring From Performing After Latest Tour Wibbitz Academy Awards 2018: Best Actor Nominee Continue Reading

Black Political Caucus chair set a date to resign – not soon enough, caucus decides

Charlotte’s influential Black Political Caucus voted Thursday to shift the resignation of its chair, Colette Forrest, to be effective immediately. Forrest notified the public earlier in December that she intended to resign, effective Dec. 31. The vote came three days prior to her scheduled departure from the position. “I just thought it odd because we’re just talking three days before I was actually going to step down anyway,” she said. Forrest said the vote occurred in an unofficial meeting because it violated the caucus’ bylaws. She said she accomplished everything she had desired to accomplish during her 10-month tenure and that she chose to resign because it was the appropriate time. “We had our own internal back and forth, and I felt like, having accomplished everything that I set out to do, given the personalities, given the struggles, given the history of the caucus, I felt like why not exit out on a high note,” Forrest said. Charlotte’s Black Political Caucus has had a particularly successful year, with each of their political endorsements being voted into office, including Democrat Vi Lyles as mayor. The former first vice chair of the caucus, Eric Erickson, is now acting chair. Forrest said that, despite her resignation, she is proud of the achievements the caucus made during her tenure. “The 10 months that I’ve been leader, we haven’t been without our troubles, but I’ve composed it and contained it well, and I’ve been tremendously focused.” Continue Reading

Looking for a date? This is when you should use Tinder, OkCupid

If you're looking to swipe right and score a date, try using dating apps at night. The best time to find potential dates on Tinder and OkCupid is at 9 p.m., according to new Nielsen research. Nielsen said users on both apps tend to be most active, and elicit the most responses in the evening. The data provided by Nielsen suggests most online daters use the services in the morning once they wake up and before going to bed. "When we look at unique audience we see that a larger percentage of all OKC users sign in both in the morning and night," said a Nielsen statement. "On Tinder, the user's likelihood to check in between noon and midnight is mostly flat at about 40%." Those looking for late-night hookups might not be so lucky after 10 p.m., though. Activity on both dating apps tends to significantly drop at night, only to pick right back up between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Activity during the day seems to be constant. Valentine's Day is right around the corner, so if you want to match and set a date, now you know when to get swiping. Tinder also recently added GIF support to spice up conversations and help break the ice when you first match. Continue Reading

‘Sex and the City’ sets a date for release of movie sequel

They're bringing "Sex" back … again. Mark your calendars ladies, because the gals from "Sex and the City" have finally set a release date for their movie sequel. Well, the studios have. Warner Bros. and New Line will release "Sex and the City 2" on March 28, 2010, Variety reports. The first film hit theaters May 28, 2009 and raked in more $412.6 million at box offices worldwide. Michael Patrick King will reprise his role as director-writer for the film and its four leading ladies – Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis – will clatter back to the set in those stiletto heels. The first film ended with the wedding of "Carrie" and "Big." Will this one trace their entrée into parenthood? We can't help but wonder … Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Citizenship Now! callers set a record

As the Citizenship Now! volunteers gave their final words of advice to callers yesterday, cheers rang out at the news that this year's phone-in had set a record for readers helped. More than 12,200 people had their immigration questions answered during the week - up from 7,400 last year - bringing to over 40,000 the number of callers helped since Citizenship Now! was launched in 2004. The call-in once again shone the spotlight on immigration problems faced by millions of people living in America. And it comes at a critical time as Congress moves to increase the fees permanent residents have to pay to become citizens. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was the last in a long list of elected officials, including Mayor Bloomberg, to give his support for the call-in run by the Daily News and CUNY yesterday. "Anything we can do to encourage citizenship is a good thing," Markowitz said. "People are asking me, 'Marty, do you want to give voting rights to people who are not citizens?' My answer is no, I want them to become citizens." Due to overwhelming demand, the number of telephone lines was doubled to 48 this year, thanks to sponsor Verizon Corp. Spanish radio station WADO (1280 AM) and Univision/Ch. 41 provided coverage of this year's phone-in. With 24 lines dedicated to Spanish-speaking callers, the volunteers were able to help four times the number of Latino callers compared with last year. "It is a huge achievement, especially with the added phone lines, responding to Latinos and Hispanics who represent about half of all immigrants in the city," said Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Guillermo Linares. Almost 200 volunteers, paralegals and immigration attorneys, speaking an array of languages from Arabic and Albanian to Korean and Russian, worked from 9a.m. to 7 p.m. each day on the most successful Citizenship Now! to date. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

How to enjoy the opera for a date night

The opera can be intimidating, especially for first-timers. Invite a date to see a production, and the situation intensifies.What do you wear? How do you act? What exactly are they singing? What if it’s boring?But don’t shy away from date night at the opera just because you’re a newbie. The Arizona Opera is much more approachable than, say, the Metropolitan Opera in New York or the Royal Opera House in London, and it’s not stuffy and stodgy the way opera is stereotypically portrayed. Laura Schairer, marketing director for the Arizona Opera, said it’s an exciting evening.“The stories are always really emotional and powerful, sometimes hilarious comedies and sometimes heartbreaking tragedies,” she said. “Today’s audiences are discriminating. If they are watching an opera about a sultry gypsy or swarthy Don Juan, the singers need to be believable. The days of the fat lady in the Viking helmet are long gone.”Phoenix residents Will Novak, 31, and his wife, Veronica, 29, attend the opera regularly. Veronica grew up listening to classical music and studied opera in college, so going to the opera has always been part of her life. Will, on the other hand, knew nothing about opera. They attended for the first time in New York and went regularly in Boston, where they previously lived.“I didn’t know anything about it, but I figured that if she had to listen to me talk about ASU football, I would learn about Pavarotti,” Will said. “Half of the time I don’t know what I’m watching, but I enjoy taking her. She likes it so much it sometimes moves her to tears.”Will Novak suggests starting with the Arizona Opera website, which is very detailed.“There’s the history, background and playlists of music inspired by each opera,” he said. “The Arizona Opera goes above and beyond making it easy to get into, unlike the Met, where they don’t really care. You sit Continue Reading