Trail Mix – Davina & The Vagabonds

first_imgHer praise was well deserved. BRO – We are featuring “Devil Horns” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song? Pipes for days. Lozier’s voice is transcendent, one of those rare generational voices, and she regularly draws comparison with icons like Etta James and Amy Winehouse. Her band of Vagabonds conjures forth a musical gumbo of New Orleans and Memphis soul to back her up, providing her to opportunity reach crescendos that leave one’s heart pounding. BRO – I want to up my vagabond game. Got any advice for me? DL – I was watching a documentary in bed about the history of why the devil superficially looks like our typical red faced horned devil and my husband was in the basement banging on his drums. I shut the iPad off and started writing the song to his beat while lying in bed. “How did the devil get his horns? He got them under my bed.” That was my first thought the very first time I heard Davina Lozier, of Davina & The Vagabonds, sing. A good friend of mine had booked them to play on Music City Roots in Nashville and raved about her voice and the band’s performance. DL – Pack light, have an open heart, a full tank of gas, and a killer outfit. DL – I drink as much water as I can and get as much sleep as I can. That’s about it. Some people tell me to not talk as much between shows. Not sure if that’s because they want me to keep my voice, though. I do talk a lot. BRO – Speaking of being on tour, how do you take care of your voice while you’re on the road? I recently caught up with Davina Lozier to chat about her band’s upcoming trip to Europe, the new record, and my own vagabond spirit. DL – There so many first time cities for me on this run. I’m excited for Budapest, so I can hear some of that harmonic minor gypsy music. I’ve never been to the Czech Republic either, and I’m looking forward to all of that historic architecture. And Paris, because I want to eat a million Nutella crepes, 6,000 macaroons, and a handful of baguettes with french cheese. BRO – I see you guys are heading to Europe next month. Got a particular city you can’t wait to visit? BRO – Vintage soul has experienced a comeback in recent years. What’s behind the resurgence? Davina & The Vagabonds will be live tonight in Chattanooga before heading across the pond for a big international tour that includes, among other exotic locales, stops in Jerusalem, Budapest, Paris, and Vienna. Davina & The Vagabonds recently released their latest record, Sugar Drops, on the Compass Records label. DL – I’m not really up on my new music, but I can say that I understand if there has been a resurgence. It’s honest, from the heart music with a killer feel. And soul is sexy. How can you beat sexy? For more information about Davina & The Vagabonds, how you can grab a copy of the new record, or when the band will hit the stage near you, surf on over to their website. And be sure to take a listen to “Devil Horns,” along with tunes from Chris & Adam Carroll, Nocturnal Blonde, Humbird, and many more on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

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Dutch reforms feasible without pensions accord, say experts

first_imgDutch pension funds could introduce a sustainable pensions contract without the need for a high-level agreement or new legislation, several experts have claimed.According to Mercer, the existing legislation for bringing in an improved defined contribution plan (Wet Verbeterde Premieregeling, or WVP) – with its option of variable benefits – already offered sufficient leeway for new sustainable pension arrangements in line with those discussed by unions, employers and government.Last week, negotiations about pensions reform between the three parties broke down amid disagreement on secondary issues, including increasing the state pension age and bringing self-employed workers, or zzp’ers, into the pension system.Other experts have backed up Mercer’s view, with Erik Lutjens, professor of pensions law at Amsterdam’s Free University (VU), arguing that government legislation was also not crucial for accommodating zzp’ers in the second pillar. The WVP already complied with the conditions of a “simpler, tailor-made, flexible and sufficient pension”, as set out by Jetta Klijnsma, the former state secretary for pensions, at the start of the nationwide dialogue for a new pensions system in 2015, according to actuary Marc Heemskerk.Speaking last week at a pensions seminar hosted by his employer Mercer, Heemskerk said that the current defined contribution (DC) pension plan offered by Shell Netherlands – comprising an accrual and a benefits phase but including the elements of collectivity and solidarity favoured by the unions – could act as a blueprint for a new system.Heemskerk suggested switching to a pensions system with collective accrual for individual pension capital in a DC scheme in a pool, with participants having the option of picking their individual investment mix.He highlighted that, in the accrual phase, such a “DC plan with investment choice” would lack the often disputed elements of financial buffers and discount rate for liabilities.On the other hand, participants could benefit from the strong points in the current system, such as investment scale and solidarity through sharing investment risk, mortality risk and labour disability risk, according to the actuary.In his concept, participants’ accrued individual pension rights would be gradually shifted to the benefits pool – with diversified investments and less risk exposure – between the age of 57 and 67.If they had not opted to participate in the benefits pool beforehand, they could use their capital at retirement to shop around for benefits from an insurer, explained Heemskerk.Dutch-Canadian pensions expert Keith Ambachtsheer has also voiced support for a “simpler and more adequate” pensions system with a pool for returns and a ‘safety’ pool. Theo Kocken, CardanoTheo Kocken, founder of Cardano and professor of risk management at the VU, has proposed such a set up as well. When asked by IPE, he argued that the benefits pool with shared longevity risk would be possible under the current financial assessment framework (FTK).Accrual in the return pool could take place “with less complexity and less discount rate discussions, and with less distrust among participants as a result”, he said, adding that “the options for tailor-made investments would increase”.Kocken also highlighted that pension funds could implement both pools under the current rules for mandatory participation in a pension fund.Discount rateHeemskerk also suggested that the discount rate for liabilities – currently the market rate topped up with an ultimate forward rate (UFR) – could be replaced with the higher European UFR for insurers, which he described as “an objective quantity”.He said that the application of EIOPA’s UFR would raise the average coverage ratio of Dutch pension funds from 108.6% to 114.2% at the moment.In his opinion, such an increase would not be irresponsible “as the minimum required funding, and the trigger for rights cuts, for Dutch pension funds was 104.3%, rather than 100%”.Recently, Gabriel Bernardino, chairman of EIOPA, indicated that pension funds could also apply the European UFR for insurers, as long as it complied with the local supervisory framework.However, both Dutch regulator DNB and social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees have opposed the introduction of the European UFR for pension funds, with DNB even advising insurers to be cautious using the EIOPA rate.Retirement ageThe Netherlands’ state pension (AOW) age has been set by the government at 67 and three months from 2022, with subsequent rises linked to longevity – a decision strongly opposed by trade unions.Heemskerk suggested that the dispute could be solved by taking 66 as the standard retirement age for workers facing a low pension income, usually people in hard physical jobs.AOW benefits for people with better pensions perspectives should be proportionally discounted if they decided to take their occupational pension earlier than their retirement age for the AOW, he proposed.Self-employedAt the seminar, Heemskerk also said he supported mandatory pensions accrual for self-employed workers “unless they can prove that they have sufficient pensions assets in, for example, their home or their company”.Erik Lutjens, said a high-level pensions agreement was not needed for providing zzp’ers with access to second pillar pensions.Instead, he said it could be achieved through a “simple legal change” aimed at allowing pension funds and low-cost DC vehicles (PPI) to implement pension plans for self-employed workers. The IORP II pensions directive already provided for this, he said.As an alternative, zzp’ers could be forced to join an industry-wide pension fund in their sector, Lutjens said.Meanwhile, the Dutch government has said it doesn’t expect negotiations about pensions reform to restart soon.The largest trade union FNV, for its turn, has announced industrial action, with police officers and port labourers interrupting work for 66 minutes on 13 December.Its aim is to put pressure on the government coalition through the provincial elections in March, as the county councils will then elect the new Dutch senate.last_img read more

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Sally Smith, 65, formerly of Oxford: July 31, 1948 – March 12, 2014

first_imgSally SmithSally Smith, 65, of Derby, formerly of Oxford died on March 12, 2014 at her home in Derby.Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 17th at the Oxford Funeral Service Chapel in Oxford. Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday, March 18th at the Oxford Funeral Service Chapel with the family receiving friends from 5 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home. A memorial has been established with the St. Jude’s Children’s Foundation. Contributions can be left with the funeral home. For further information or to leave a condolence please visit www.oxfordfuneralservice.comSally Lynnette McLaughlin was born on July 31, 1948 the daughter of James and Violet (Brown) McLaughlin in Concordia. She was a 1966 graduate of the Winfield high School. On June 1, 1969 she was united in marriage with Franklin Smith. Sally was a homemaker who enjoyed sewing, quilting and crafts. She liked to read and  most of all, loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.Surviving to honor her memory are her children; Leslie Smith of San Diego, CA, Larry Smith and wife Teresa of Wichita, KS, Lynne Taylor and husband John of Augusta, AR, Ricky May of Derby, KS and Christi Elston and husband Mario of Arkansas City, KS, sister, Carol Bowman of Wellington, KS, 13grandchildren  and 8 great grandchildren.Preceding her in death are her parents, husband Franklin Smith in 2007, grandchildren; Aaron May and Jeffrey Taylor.last_img read more

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