[Cover photo via Kim Blackburn Photography] There’s no denying that Freekbass is a master of the low end. The beloved bassist is so identified with the instrument, it’s in his name! Now he’s taking that connection to the next level, partnering with Stonefield Musical Instrument Company to create the first-ever Freekbass Signature Model.“…For me, the relationship of a maker with an endorsing artist has to be one of mutual benefit but first of all it has to be real. I love the Freekbass approach to funk, I dig his use of effects and his playing technique and I completely respect his role as a music educator. He’s the kind of person I want to work with and I feel lucky that he wants to work with us as well,” said Tomm Stanley, owner of Stonefield.Stanley tells us more about what it was like working with Freekbass on the new instrument:With the Freekbass Signature Model, right from the beginning of the build we kept two key things in mind: the look, style and unique features of a Stonefield and the flash, flair and funkiness of Freekbass. I remember him saying, “make the Batmobile.” How’s that for a challenge? We discussed a mod that reinforced some other player’s feedback about the string height above the body when slapping. I wasn’t crazy about modifying the instrument to suit a single playing style but he agreed with the comments. We discussed how the concern might best be dealt with and that became the Funk Plate. There was one mod requested that I just wouldn’t do and after explaining my reasons he was fine with it. That willingness on his part to bend got me thinking about what I could do to make the instrument stand out more from the rest of our line up. I suggested some circuit alterations, alternate choices for materials and other tweaks. Some of it he went for, other things he was clearly not interested in. We had a two way street kind of thing happening and that really was right from the beginning of the build. What more could anyone ask for?I’m really pleased with the instrument that we’ve created. The choices of woods that satisfied the Batmobile request also added a snap to the tonality. To get the blackness we chose African wenge for the topwood on the body and Solomon Island ebony for the fingerboard. We also used the ebony for the nut and floating bridge system. The combination of brittleness and density did magic for a woody tone with a funk edge to it. On top of that we have used our titanium hardware option to trim a bit of weight and have done the sweetest four-colour burst on the back of the through-body core: natural to amber fading into red before turning black but with red highlights peeking out of the black on the headstock points and heel transition. Absolutely gorgeous…Not only is Freekbass releasing his own custom bass, but he’s also traveling to New Zealand to film some promotional footage for the instrument. The bassist will star in something that’s “part reality, part fantasy,” essentially a mini-movie where Freekbass discovers the signature model! Keep it tuned to L4LM for more from Freekbass on his wild expedition!You can find out more about the bass via Stonefield Music’s website. Check out his tour schedule below:JULY-Saturday, July 2: Sterling Stage / Sterling, NY-Friday, July 8: Navy Pier / Chicago, IL-Tuesday, July 12 : Brooklyn Bowl / Brooklyn, NY (Freekbass performing with The Band Is Bond)-Wednesday, July 13: Ardmore Music Hall / Ardmore, PA (Freekbass performing with The Band Is Bond)-Saturday, July 23 : Whispering Sun Festival / Pataskala, OH-Thursday, July 28: Zoo Bar / Lincoln, NE-Friday, July 29: Quixotes / Denver, CO-Saturday, July 30: Owsley’s Golden Road / Denver, CO AUGUST-Monday, August 1: Town Square Tavern / Jackson, WY-Wednesday, August 3: Casey’s Whitefish / Whitefish, Montana-Thursday, August 4: Live United Concert Series/ Idaho Falls, Idaho-Friday, August 5: West Yellowstone Concert Series / West Yellowstone, Montana-Saturday, August 6: The Filling Station / Bozeman, Montana-Wednesday, August 24: Scarlet & Grey / Columbus, OH-Saturday, August 27 : Woodfest Festival / Mendon, OH SEPTEMBER-Friday, September 2 : Union Street Station / Traverse City, MI-Saturday, September 3: Hookahville Festival / Pataskala, OH-Friday, September 16: Cranky Pat’s / Neenah, WI-Friday, September 23: Secret Circus Music Festival / North Branch, MN-Saturday, September 24: Kathy’s Pub / Rochester, MN
Two of Denmark’s largest commercial pension funds, PFA and Danica Pension, have reported steep investment losses for this year’s first quarter of 10.5% and 15.4% respectively, blaming the COVID-19 outbreak in their interim results statements.For mutual provider PFA, the 10.5% figure is the total return related to its PFA Plus market-rate product, while the number given by Danske Bank’s pensions subsidiary Danica Pension is the return on customer funds in its Danica Balance Mix product, for those with a medium risk profile and 20 years to retirement.At PFA, group CIO Kasper Ahrndt Lorenzen said: “From mid-February, things began to turn, as the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic began to make their mark on the financial markets.“When the virus appeared outside China in earnest, and Denmark, along with many other countries, shut down our society, the big falls quickly followed,” he added. PFA said its riskier assets such as listed equities had been hit the hardest, with that asset class ending the quarter with a 17.7% loss, while unlisted investments had remained more stable including the property portfolio, which was down 1.6%. Overall, alternatives suffered a 10.8% loss.“At these times, the goal is to minimise losses, and that is where our many investments in the unlisted area, e.g. in properties and offshore wind farms, show their strength, as they are more robust, and largely guarantee a fixed, regular income, even though financial markets are declining,” said Ahrndt Lorenzen.PFA said the negative returns seen in this year’s first quarter translated to losses of between 4.1% and 15.1% for its customers holding market-rate pension products, depending on their selected risk profiles.In absolute figures reported by the pensions firms in their interim reports, PFA said its total return on investment between January and March was minus DKK33bn (€4.42bn), compared with the DKK57.6bn it garnered for the whole of 2019.Danica Pension’s before-tax first quarter profit was reported as having fallen to DKK22m from DKK381m in Q1 2019, and it said it had managed to retain a solvency ratio of 189%, which was on a par with the level at the end of December 2019.Ole Krogh Petersen, Danica Pension chief executive, said: “We have a solid and robust investment strategy, which we are sticking to and which we believe will see our customers’ savings safely through to the other side of the corona crisis.”On the business side, the pensions subsidiary said premiums had increased at both its Danish and Norwegian operations in this year’s first quarter from the same period last year by 9% and 15% respectively.This came after it had gained around 200,000 new customers from its takeover of SEB Pension initiated two years ago, Danica Pension said.
Red tide is a phenomenon caused by an explosivegrowth and accumulation of certain microscopic algae, predominantlydinoflagellates, in coastal waters. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Coastal recently declared coastal waters in Western Visayas as redtide free. Red tide is a phenomenon caused by an explosive growth and accumulation of certain microscopic algae, predominantly dinoflagellates, in coastal waters. AKEAN FORUM KALIBO, Aklan – The Bureau ofFisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said coastal waters of Panay and NegrosIslands’ remain safe from toxic red tide. In its Dec. 2 bulletin, BFAR issued nored tide advisory in the coastal waters of Aklan, Negros Occidental, Capiz, Antique,Iloilo, and Guimaras The harmful algae bloom, according toNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is caused by microscopic algaethat produce toxins that kill fish and make shellfish dangerous to eat. (With a report from Akean Forum/PN) Meanwhile in Negros Occidental,coastal waters of E.B. Magalona, Talisay City, Silay City, Bacolod City,Hinigaran and Victorias City are still negative from red tide toxin. In Aklan, coastal waters of Altavas,Batan and New Washington in Batan Bay; Mambuquiao and Camanci in Batan, Aklan;Sapian Bay covering the towns of Ivisan and Sapian and the towns of PresidentRoxas, Pilar, Panay and Roxas City in Capiz province remained red-tide free. In the same bulletin, BFAR saidcoastal waters of Gigantes Islands, Carles in Iloilo and water bodiesconnecting to Pilar, Panay, President Roxas and Roxas City in Capiz, and SapianBay (Ivisan and Sapian) in Capiz are also not affected by red tide warning.
Trevon Hughes and the Badgers had a season highlighted by a win over eventual national champs Duke.[/media-credit]It was a tale of two teams for the Wisconsin men’s basketball program in 2009-10: with Jon Leuer and without him.With the 6-foot-10 Minnesota native providing an inside counterbalance to the outside scoring of Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon, the Badgers got off to a 10-2 nonconference start, including Maui Invitational wins over Arizona and eventual No. 4-seed Maryland in the third-place game.The next time UW hit the hardwood, in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Bo’s crew pulled off what could be considered the program’s biggest win ever, downing Duke — the eventual national champion — 73-69, igniting the Kohl Center crowd and handing the Blue Devils their first Challenge loss ever.When Big Ten play got underway, Wisconsin collected wins over an Evan Turner-less Ohio State squad and at Penn State before predictably falling at Michigan State in a game where Leuer scored 21 of the team’s paltry 47 points.In the following outing, versus then No. 4 Purdue, Wisconsin earned the second of its three top-10 upsets, but lost Leuer to a broken wrist.Without Leuer’s post-scoring presence, the team managed to salvage a 6-3 mark by becoming a perimeter-oriented offense and with the emergence of sophomore guard Jordan Taylor.Upon Leuer’s return, it appeared the team had regained its stride, winning four out five to close the regular season.However, the Badgers were out of sorts in a Big Ten tournament loss to Illinois, even worse in an opening-round win over Wofford, and, at the end of the day, seemed listless and overmatched versus the Big Red of Cornell, falling 87-69 to end their season.For a team that was picked to finish as low as 10th in preseason polls, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team acquitted itself quite well, securing the program’s first NCAA Tournament bid in the Lisa Stone era.Just like the previous season, Stone’s squad jumpstarted the year by going 10-1 in nonconference play, highlighted by three Thanksgiving-weekend wins which earned the Badgers the World Vision Invitational title.But, the question went, could the team avoid the conference slump that had plagued it a year prior?And the team answered resoundingly, following two difficult road losses to Iowa and Illinois with four straight victories, featuring a signature win at East Lansing, 48-45, over then No. 20 Michigan State.Although UW traded wins for losses for most of the remainder of Big Ten play, the group closed strong, picking up a dramatic double-overtime win over border-rival Minnesota, dominating Penn State by a tally of 71-38, and narrowly falling in an overtime finale with Iowa, the team they would finish tied with for third place in the league.For good measure, the Badgers knocked off perennial conference-power Purdue to all but seal an NCAA bid — a bid they would eventually receive, as a No.7-seed.However, in their first game in the Big Dance in nearly a decade, the Badgers couldn’t contain an experienced (and large) guard combo from the 10-seed, Vermont, falling to the Catamounts in a disappointing first round.Nonetheless, the team’s regular season efforts earned Stone the Coach of the Year honors as voted by the coaches, and brought higher expectations for the year to come.
Africanized honeybee (left), and European honeybee (right.) Grenada agricultural and custom officials have stepped up their surveillance amid reports that people were seeking to illegally import Africanize bees from Trinidad and Tobago.No bees should be imported“We want the general public to know especially those who are not registered with the Ministry of Agriculture as a beekeeper that bees should never be imported into the country, no matter which part of the world they come, no bee should be imported,” said Quasi Williams of the Veterinary and Livestock Division of the Ministry of Agriculture.He said the Division had received reliable information that an apiary operator was seeking to import the bees illegally from Trinidad.A statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands warned the general public that it is illegal to import bees from other regional islands as well as internationally.Stop immediately “Persons seeking to bring in Africanized bees from Trinidad are asked to stop immediately as these bees would destroy our native bees and very harmful to the Grenadian population,” the statement said.Williams said that Africanized bees also known as killer bees “are very dangerous and shouldn’t be allowed into our island and the Ministry would treat this matter very seriously.”He urged persons with any information regarding the importation of Africanized bees from Trinidad to report the matter to the relevant authorities.Earlier this month, Barbados said it would become the second country in the Caribbean to establish an apiary lab geared at detecting diseases among the island’s bee population and to determine the extent of the Africanization of the bees.