In 1997, Dark Star Orchestra came together to celebrate the music of The Grateful Dead. Now, Dark Star Orchestra, which was initially imagined as only a four-week experiment, is celebrating its own twentieth year. Even close to twenty years later, their momentum continues, with the band playing to over 120,000 people in the last year alone. To celebrate this special anniversary and their own long strange trip, the band is rolling out a special VIP package for fans.For most shows this year, the band will be offering twenty-five VIP packages per show. Each VIP package will contain pre-show access to the venue; behind-the-scenes soundcheck access; a 20th-anniversary commemorative poster, sticker, and laminate; and a poster signing with the band. This will start on March 30th for the band’s spring tour, and will also be limited to 25 tickets per show.Tickets for the VIP experience are sold separately and exclusively through DSO’s fan club ticketing via the band’s website.
Source: UK parliamentAmber Rudd, UK secretary of state for work and pensionsRudd added that the dashboard project would eventually “enable people to access their pension information in a single place online, in a clear and simple form”.“Putting individuals in control of their data, pensions dashboards will bring together all pensions information from multiple sources, which can then be accessed at a time of their choosing,” she said. “Our priority is to ensure that information is presented securely, in a clear and simple format to support consumers with their retirement planning.”In its report, the DWP said it expected multiple dashboards to become available from commercial and non-commercial providers, but emphasised that all models would be based on the same “digital architecture” and would display “the same basic information from the same number of schemes”.The department also outlined its expectations for data security, user testing, system design and how each party in the system would be held accountable for providing data.How the industry reacted“After years of talk about the pension dashboard we need to ensure that what is delivered meets people’s expectations from the start. If done properly the dashboard will give people a full understanding of what they have saved. If it is rushed, or we don’t have all interested parties on board from the beginning, there is a risk that we will not be able to deliver something meaningful or credible and the opportunity to engage people will be lost.“In addition, the government’s plan to provide a link to state pension is simply not good enough – pressure needs to be put on HM Revenue & Customs to get the state pension data integrated from day one if the dashboard is to work. The opportunity presented by the dashboard is too important to be lost – we must get it right first time.”– Helen Morrissey, pension specialist, Royal London “This response from the government marks the beginning of the next phase of the pensions dashboard. But let’s not dwell for too long, because we now need to get our collective heads down and crack on if we’re to develop something that really delivers for pension savers.“As always there is a balance to be struck between innovation and consumer protection, but we think the proposal to permit multiple dashboards is a positive step and dovetails nicely with the modern way in which people manage their finances.”– Darren Philp, director of policy and communication, Smart Pension“The pension dashboard is a real game-changer for customers and their engagement with pensions. The dashboard is essential for those who are actively saving into a pension, and for those who have pensions they are no longer contributing to. People will be able to view all of their pension saving information instantly in one place which will make it easier for them to keep track and plan for their future. In time, this could even see the end of the industry-wide issue of lost pension pots.”– David Woollett, head of customer strategy and oversight, Phoenix“We need the pensions dashboard because we need to bring pensions out of the digital stone age. By doing so, the potential for savers is enormous… It won’t be easy, but the achievement of great things never is. With the government now fully committed, and with a sensible route map to success, all must now move forward with confidence, purpose and ambition.”– Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement, Aviva “The pensions dashboard has the potential to fundamentally change the way people think, feel and interact with their pension savings. But simply providing a window to view savings isn’t enough. To tackle the growing challenge of small pension pots, the dashboard needs to be built with the functionality to allow savers to easily consolidate their smallest pots with a simple ‘drag and drop.’“The dashboard will only work if it provides a genuinely holistic view of the entirety of an individual’s pension entitlements, including the state pension. We strongly believe that the dashboard should be compulsory and hope the government can navigate this legislation speedily through the current choppy waters in parliament.”– Adrian Boulding, director of policy, NOW: Pensions UK pension schemes will be legally obliged to provide data to new “pension dashboards” under a proposed government framework published today.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it was “committed to compelling schemes to provide information” through dashboards, and urged pension schemes and providers to begin getting data ready for the first models to be tested this year.A dashboard delivery group will be set up this year under the supervision of the Money and Pensions Service, a government-backed consumer guidance body. This group will then oversee the development of the dashboard project.Legislation would be put to parliament “at the earliest opportunity” to allow for compulsion, the DWP said. Amber Rudd, secretary of state for work and pensions, said in a written statement to parliament this morning that the government expected to see the first workable models developed and tested this year, although pension schemes would be given three or four years to prepare their data for inclusion. The pension dashboard: a roller-coaster journeyThe dashboard concept has had a volatile early-stage development. Last summer, a UK newspaper reported that the previous work and pensions secretary, Esther McVey, was considering ditching the project in favour of other welfare reforms.However, in a remarkable show of support, the pensions sector rallied behind the idea and nearly 90,000 people signed an online petition calling for the government to reconsider. It subsequently backed the dashboard concept but put the emphasis on the industry to develop the models.In a feasibility study published in December, the government made it clear that the pension industry would foot the bill – although chancellor Philip Hammond pledged £5m of government funds to help development work.The Association of British Insurers – which has been leading work on the dashboard concept since 2015, along with technology firm Origo – said in its response to the government’s consultation that dashboards were “seen by the industry as a cost to be incurred for the benefit of consumers”.Nick Reeve
Leah Vanevenhoven had two hits for the Badgers, but it wasn\’t enough to prevent a Michigan sweep.[/media-credit]The win streak lasted all of three days as the University of Wisconsin softball team battled through rain and its own sloppy play in being swept 10-0 and 5-0 by No. 9 Michigan at home Saturday.The Badgers sat through three rain delays in the two games as scattered thunderstorms rolled through the Madison area. The second game was suspended in the bottom of the sixth inning and eventually called off, though the game will count as the teams completed at least five innings.The first game was a battle of two of the Big Ten’s four southpaws, with Leah Vanevenhoven starting for the Badgers and Nikki Nemitz getting the nod for the Wolverines.It was a classic pitcher’s duel until Michigan scored two runs in the fifth inning. Nemitz hit one of her two doubles in the game to lead off the inning and advanced to third on one of Vanevenhoven’s four wild pitches. With UM’s Teddi Ewing batting, UW catcher Dana Rasmussen tried to pick off Nemitz at third, but the ball slipped by shortstop Katie Soderberg into left field, allowing Nemitz to score. The first rain delay was called soon after and the second UM run scored on a wild pitch after play resumed.“All of the rain [Saturday] obviously made it tough to play in,” UW head coach Chandelle Schulte said.UM leadoff hitter Steph Kirkpatrick went 2-for-5 with four walks and 3 RBI’s on the series to lead the Wolverines. Michigan slugger Amanda Chidester was held in check, however, going 0-for-7 with a sacrifice fly for an RBI. Vanevenhoven and Jen Krueger both had two hits for the Badgers.Vanevenhoven, starting her fourth game in the last week, was pulled for Letty Olivarez in the sixth. Olivarez had been sitting out of the game with flu-like symptoms, and it showed in her pitching, as Michigan tacked on three more runs in the inning and five in the seventh to put the game out of reach for Wisconsin.Control issues plagued the Badgers’ pitchers all afternoon as they combined to issue 12 walks and throw nine wild pitches in the doubleheader.In addition to shaky pitching, UW’s offense was its usual anemic self, being shutout for the 17th and 18th times of the season. The Badgers mustered only six hits and two walks in the series and looked overmatched at times by the Wolverines pitchers.Wisconsin had an opportunity to take the lead in the third inning of the first game, loading the bases with one out. But Theresa Boruta and Livi Abney struck out swinging to end the threat and UW would manage only six more baserunners in the series.“I thought we did a good job at the plate in game one against the Big Ten’s best pitcher getting five hits off of Nemitz,” Schulte said. “But we were unable to get those runs home, a problem we have had all season.”In beating the Badgers, Nemitz reached the 20 win mark for the third consecutive season. She lowered her Big Ten-leading ERA to 0.74 and had nine strikeouts.Wisconsin had just as little success against game two starter Jordan Taylor, who gave up just one hit and two walks in five innings of work.The series capped off a week where Wisconsin faced five of the conference’s best pitchers. Every starter the Badgers have faced since April 18 ranked in the top 10 in the conference in ERA, wins and strikeouts. Wisconsin went 1-5 in those games.Michigan pushed its win streak over Wisconsin to 14 and also has never lost a game at Goodman Diamond. The Wolverines have won their last 15 games of the season, with their last loss on March 22 at Northwestern.
The conference aims at identifying successful models and future initiatives of public-private partnerships to contribute to sustainable tourism development globally. It will also serve as a platform for leaders from the tourism sector, along with governments, donors and development and finance organizations, to put in place an international road map to promote inclusive economic and social development through tourism.The conference commenced with an introductory session on the future of tourism in the Caribbean region.“Tourism has the potential to contribute to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), yet we can only achieve our common objectives if we build strong partnerships. The Jamaica Conference will be a milestone in setting a new framework for collaboration in the promotion of sustainable tourism and an important legacy of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017,” said Rifai.During the three-day event delegates are expected to discuss international technical assistance and financing for tourism development projects and donor-funded projects that balance scale, sustainability and inclusion among other topics. One of the largest global tourism conferences opened in Montego bay, Jamaica on Monday and will close on November 29.Global tourism conferenceA three-day international tourism conference began in Jamaica on Monday with delegates hoping to craft a global agenda to design collaborative approaches to mitigate shared tourism risks. The conference also seeks to strengthen resilience as well as build consensus around the strategies necessary to further position global tourism as a catalyst for promoting inclusive economic growth.The event, which is being held under the theme “Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism’, is hosted by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), the World Bank Group, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Jamaica government.Over 1,300 delegatesIt is being attended by more than 1,300 delegates. At the opening at the Montego Bay Conference Center on Monday, Jamaican Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett said that “it is indeed a great honor and tremendous privilege to be opening this very monumental UNWTO international tourism conference, which is the first of its kind in the Caribbean.…this conference welcomes global policymakers and leaders in tourism from over 157 countries, several international agencies of the United Nations, as well as large delegation of local stakeholders to the beautiful city of Montego Bay for three days of fruitful engagement and discussion about the future of global tourism.”Hoping for global agendaThe minister is hoping that at the end of the deliberations on Wednesday, a global agenda will be crafted aimed at collaborative approaches to mitigate shared tourism risks and strengthen resilience as well as build consensus.“At the end of this conference I am very optimistic we will be able to craft a global agenda that seeks to design collaborative approaches to mitigate shared tourism risks and strengthen resilience as well as build consensus around the strategies necessary to further position global tourism as a catalyst for promoting inclusive economic growth, sustainable livelihoods, environmental sustainability and social development,” he told the opening ceremony.Confidence and trustUNWTO Secretary General Taleb D Rifai said Jamaica’s hosting of the conference was “a sign of confidence and absolute trust”.