Last night, Tom Hamilton’s American Babies took the stage at the famed Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, CA, performing a “Masquerade of Light + Dark” performance along their fall tour. Each Masquerade performance has seen Hamilton and co. pay tribute to previous artists, including David Bowie and The Beatles. The band outdid themselves for their Grateful Dead tribute last night, recruiting the band’s own Bob Weir for an extended sit in at the Bay Area establishment.Weir and Hamilton were recently photographed together in preparation for their upcoming Los Muertos Con Queso performance in January. Before any of that, however, the two got together for an extended set of music at Sweetwater, with Weir joining Hamilton and his American Babies for a number of Grateful Dead classics and originals from his new acoustic album, Blue Mountain.Fortunately, thanks to openers Moonalice, you can watch the full show video here. The setlist can be seen below.Setlist: Tom Hamilton’s American Babies with Bob Weir, Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley, CA – 11/18/16Set with Bob Weir: Only a River, Lay My Lily Down, Gonesville, Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo, Loser, Truckin’ > Scarlet Begonias > Fire on the Mountain
Categories: Editorial, Opinion‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,were caches of presentsbought by clicking a mouse.”With apologies to Clement Moore, this admittedly substandard attempt at mock poetry does rather accurately sum up the buying method of choice for millions during this and recent Holiday seasons. It’s easy to understand why. It saves travel to several stores seeking the best deal, avoids having to deal with crowds, traffic, salespeople and — when it works — can be accomplished in seconds rather than hours.When it works.They say that the best stories come from personal experience. The tale that follows will test that axiom. See if it strikes a responsive chord with you. BUYING ONLINEToday’s shopper finds that many items that used to be available in quantity locally are no longer held in stock. So it is with the rechargeable batteries this shopper found only online for a classic radio he favors using.Offered in packages of eight by a California distributor, an order was placed through eBay, promptly paid for via PayPal and shipped. In the majority of cases, items so ordered arrive as described intact and without incident.This was not one of those times. Four batteries arrived in a parcel that bore signs of brutal handling.SEEKING REDRESSEBay suggests first contacting the seller directly to work out the problem. Via the online form provided, the buyer requested the seller either to send four more batteries or refund half the amount paid.The seller responded that it would work to process a return of the shipment through eBay for a refund, ignoring the fact that this was impossible since the entire shipment never arrived and returning half the order made no sense. The buyer would be left without any of the batteries he needed; the seller would have fewer batteries than it claims it sent. The buyer informed eBay that he didn’t understand why a return process was initiated in the first place, did not want to return items he needed, and saw the entire incident as a miscommunication. He again tried to contact the seller directly to work things out. The seller once more was referred to the eBay return process and informed that its customer service department might take “several days” to make a determination.When the buyer didn’t return the items by eBay’s deadline, eBay summarily dismissed the buyer’s claim. TRUST THE RATINGS?The first time a buyer talks to a live person is when he initiates the eBay appeal process. That yielded only another reiteration of eBay’s returns process with an “apology” that there was nothing further that could be done.The supposed hallmark of online commerce is the rating that those on each end give one another about a transaction.In theory, this system builds a reputation for trustworthiness (or not) and thereby serves the best interests of future buyers and sellers.The now frustrated buyer decided to give the seller an accurate negative rating on eBay’s web site based on his personal experience. Instantaneously an e-mail came from eBay rejecting the buyer’s rating — effectively and summarily putting a huge thumb on the scale in favor of the seller. In response, a second-level appeals process was offered with a toll-free phone number, a case number to cite, and assurances that an “eBay team member” would promptly answer “within 1 minute.” (It took four but let’s not quibble.)After considerable discussion and an apparent conversation with the seller, the “team member” stated that the seller wanted return of the items because it doubted the buyer’s veracity. Now incredulous, the buyer asked how returning half the order could possibly confirm his account of things. The “team member” responded with an “apology” that she could help the buyer no further and offered to e-mail him the seller’s contact number, since eBay policy dictated it couldn’t be done verbally. That e-mail has never come and the buyer’s customer service department has never responded.The end …?John Figliozzi is a regular contributor to the Sunday Opinion section.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census
Moderna said it has selected the 100-microgram dose of the vaccine for the late-stage study. At that dose level, the company is on track to deliver about 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, starting in 2021 from the company’s internal US manufacturing site and strategic collaboration with Swiss drugmaker Lonza.The company said it chose the 100-microgram dose to maximize the immune response and minimize adverse reactions.Moderna said is has completed manufacturing of enough vaccine to start the phase 3 trial.In the midstage study, the company said it has enrolled 300 healthy adults, who have each been dosed with at least one shot, as well as the first 50 older adults, aged 18 to 54.Testing the vaccine in older adults with be critical because this group is at higher risk for the most severe effects of the virus, and older adults typically have less efficient immune function. The midstage study is testing the safety and preliminary effectiveness of two doses of the vaccine given 28 days apart.Study participants will be followed for a year.Topics : Moderna Inc on Thursday confirmed it plans to start a trial of 30,000 volunteers of its much-anticipated coronavirus vaccine in July as the company enters the final stage of testing.The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech said the primary goal of the study would be to prevent symptomatic COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The key secondary goal would be prevention of severe disease, as defined by keeping people out of the hospital.The company’s shares jumped 6 percent in premarket trading.
Austria’s next government should prioritise strengthening its second pillar pension provision, according to Mercer.In a report into the first half performance of Austrian Pensionskassen, the consultancy firm referred to recent reforms in Germany, introducing non-guaranteed, defined contribution pensions for the first time.“In Germany the political parties have realised that a supplementary pension in the form of occupational pension plans is necessary for the future retirement provision of the citizens,” said Michaela Plank, pension expert at Mercer Austria, referring to the newly passed “Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz” (BRSG).The Austrian minister for labour and social affairs, Alois Stöger from the Social Democrats, told Austrian radio Ö1 on Monday he would be “generally open to the idea” of integrating provisions for second pillar plans into collective bargaining agreements – the first time a minister has mentioned this possibility. “This could help [small and medium-sized businesses] to set up pension plans,” added Plank.Andreas Zakostelsky, chairman of the Austrian pension fund association FVPK, said he supported integrating auto-enrolment into some of pension plans.“This would particularly help people with lower income to increase their income in retirement and it would be a good leverage for the system,” he said.The FVPK wanted the new government to set a deadline for coming up with a plan to strengthen the second pillar, Zakostelsky added. Austria heads to the polls for a general election on 15 October.“This plan should be negotiated with stakeholders for the pension industry to achieve a comprehensive reform of the whole pension system,” he said.Equity allocations boost returns in H1 2017Austrian pension funds returned 3.2% on average over the first half of 2017 following an active increase in equity allocations, according to FVPK.At the end of June, the average equity allocation stood at 34.7% across all portfolios offered by Austria’s nine main providers. This compared to 25.4% at the same point last year.“For this increase the pension funds cut the exposure to bonds, which is now 58% on average compared to 68.2%,” Zakostelsky told journalists yesterday.He added that he was “surprised” the exposure to real estate had hardly changed at all over the period, standing at 3.6% compared to 3.5% a year ago.In its separate analysis, Mercer Austria found there was a wide range in the performances reported by different portfolios.Defensive portfolios – with equity exposure up to 16% – yielded between 2.63% and 0.98%. The €6.35bn VBV Pensionskasse was the best performer in this category, according to Mercer. The company’s dynamic portfolio also posted the best six-month return among its peers.Dynamic portfolios – with equity exposure above 40% – yielded between 5.51% and 2.27% in the first half of the year.“The considerable difference in the performance is mainly down to differences in volatility and duration,” said Mercer’s Plank.
Betty BoorBetty V. Boor of Wellington (formerly of Sharon), died Saturday, December 7, 2013 at her daughter’s home in Wellington at the age of 89.Betty was born the daughter of Walter and Ruth (Brooks) Pulliam on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 1924 in Attica.On April 25, 1942, Betty and Edward Boor were united in marriage at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Sharon. Together they celebrated 22 years of marriage before his death in October of 1964.Many will remember her as a cook in the Sharon Public School system. She retired after many years of providing meals for the school children. Above all, Betty was devoted to her family and lived her life to provide for them.Survivors include her loving children: Gerald Boor of Rose Hill, Dennis Boor and his wife Mabel of Kiowa, Donald Boor and his wife Bonnie of Wellington, Bob Boor and his wife Michele of Wellington, Helen Hawkins and her husband Roy of Wellington, sister, Laveta DeLong of Anthony, 19 grandchildren, 46 great grandchildren and a host of great-great-grandchildren.She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Edward Boor, a daughter, Carol Boor, a son, Jerome Boor, a grandson, Scott Boor along with 4 brothers and 2 sisters.Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, December 9, 2013 with family present from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and again from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, Tuesday, December 10, 2013.A Vigil Service and Recitation of the Holy Rosary will begin at 7 p.m., Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at St. Boniface Catholic Church, Sharon.Funeral Mass for Betty will be at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at St. Boniface Catholic Church, Sharon.Interment will follow at the St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery, Sharon.Memorials have been established in her loving memory with Alzheimerâ€™s Association. Contributions can be mailed or left with the funeral home.To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit www.dayfuneralhome.info.Arrangements are by Day Funeral Home & Crematory, 1030 Mission Road, Wellington.