Go Window Shopping with Idina MenzelNovember 24 at Beacon CourtIn most towns, the unveiling of the signature store’s holiday window is no big deal. You get appearances from the mayor, the (talent-free) glee club, and colossal indifference. New York is a different, much more entertaining story. So head to Bloomingdale’s, where Idina Menzel will songs from her latest album, Holiday Wishes, and other favorites. Please sing “Let It Go,” please sing “Let It Go…” Kristin Chenoweth Share a Memory with Alice RipleyNovember 25 at the Irish Repertory TheatreNew York is filled with holiday traditions: the tree at Rockefeller Center, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and the Giant Line to Go Ice Skating, just to name a few. How about something new? In the off-Broadway premiere of A Christmas Memory, the musical adaptation of Truman Capote’s beloved autobiographical short story, a young boy celebrates a special Christmas with his three eccentric cousins in 1933 Alabama. The production, running through January 4, stars Tony winner Alice Ripley. Click for tickets! View Comments See Kristin Chenoweth’s HomecomingNovember 28, check local listingsHere’s proof that PBS isn’t all reruns of The Lawrence Welk Show. The Tony-winning powerhouse sasses up public television in Kristin Chenoweth: Coming Home, belting songs from Wicked, Glee, and The Phantom of the Opera with help from a 13-piece orchestra. Plus, there are special Broadway guests! The coolest part: Chenoweth performs in her hometown, Broken Arrow, OK, in a theatre named after her. Now that’s called winning at life. Idina Menzel Star Files Partake in Peter Pan PatterNovember 26, check local listingsThanksgiving is a big day. Usually, rest is advised so you can eat double your body weight in candied yams and pretend to like football. Not tonight, because Allison Williams, star of the upcoming Peter Pan Live!, is scheduled to visit Late Night with Seth Meyers. You’d rather sleep than possibly hear stories about Christopher Walken or the secret club Williams is in with Sandy Duncan and Cathy Rigby? Priorities, people! Hit the Streets with Broadway’s BestNovember 27, check local listingsThe holidays are tough—Black Friday, cheesy holiday movies, awkward encounters with irritating relatives—so why not start with something pleasant? Specifically, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which starts at 77th St. and Central Park West and ends at Herald Square. It has everything: massive cartoon balloons, Santa’s first appearance, and performances from an array of Broadway shows, including On the Town, The Last Ship, and Side Show. Stay in or go out—you win either way! Hey you, making three kinds of stuffing to accommodate your Thanksgiving guests’ allergies! Back away from the gluten-free breadcrumbs and partake in all of the great theater events the city has to offer, including a new holiday musical, a classic parade and a shopping trip at Bloomingdale’s with Idina Menzel. Make way for this week’s picks!
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that the State of Vermont is being awarded a $250,000 grant to produce new affordable, energy efficient, green housing. Vermont will use its grant to support a local community-based affordable housing developer to create these new homes which will feature a sustainable site design, water-conserving fixtures, energy-efficient appliances/lighting, and environmentally friendly building materials.The funding announced today is awarded through HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), the nation’s largest block grant program to support the production of affordable housing.”This grant will help to create a new generation of housing that will offer residents more than just an affordable home,” said Mercedes MÃ¡rquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development. “Working with our partners at the local level, our goal is to produce more, smarter, and certainly greener affordable housing for future generations of families.”The State of Vermont, through the Vermont Housing Conservation Board (VHCB), will use its grant award to fund a local Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) to construct ENERGY STAR-qualified affordable housing. Upon completion, all assisted units will be certified by an independent HOME Energy Rater (HER) as meeting the ENERGY STAR criteria. VHCB will ensure that its CHDO uses a sustainable site design; installs water conserving fixtures, energy-efficient appliances and lighting; uses a renewable energy source; uses environmentally beneficial materials and practices; implements a construction waste-management plan; uses low VOC paints and sealants and formaldehyde-free composite wood; uses mold prevention techniques; and gives residents an instruction manual that provides information on how to maintain the Green features of their homes.Source: HUD. 4.6.2010###HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development ad enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet atwww.hud.gov(link is external) and espanol.hud.gov.
Telecoms giant BT cannot change the index it uses to calculate pension increases for certain members of its pension scheme, according to a UK court ruling today.The company was seeking to find out whether it would be able to use the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) instead of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to calculate inflation-linked annual pension increases. The CPI is typically lower, so being able to use it would have helped the company deal with a large deficit in its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme.According to BT’s annual report for the 12 months to 31 March 2017, the pension scheme had a shortfall of £7.6bn (€8.6bn). However, a funding update issued by the trustees last year put the deficit at nearly £14bn as of 30 June 2016.The company had agreed in principle with the trustee of the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) to switch its inflation measure to the CPI, but it wanted to check whether this would be deemed compatible with the scheme rules. The High Court today ruled against BT.The company said it was disappointed with the decision.“[W]e will now consider the judgment in detail in order to decide next steps, including the possibility of an appeal,” it added in a statement.According to Slaughter and May, which acted for the BTPS trustees, BT had argued that RPI had “become inappropriate” for the purposes of the relevant scheme rules and that the company could therefore, following consultation with the trustee, switch away from RPI. The trustee said it was in the process of analysing the judgment and would provide a further update once this was done.BTPS is the largest private sector pension scheme in the UK and the 11th largest in Europe, according to IPE’s Top 1000 Pension Funds report.The court ruling comes as BT has just completed a consultation on changes to its main DB and defined contribution (DC) schemes.The company has proposed closing BTPS to future accrual in April, with all members’ contributions moving to the BT Retirement Saving Scheme (BTRSS), the main DC plan. BT would pay additional contributions into the BTRSS for up to 10 years.As an alternative, the company proposed keeping BTPS open on a significantly amended basis, whereby benefits would increase more slowly in future and members would have to contribute more.BT said it was now considering employees’ feedback to the consultation before concluding its review of its pension schemes.Trade union CWU has opposed the proposals. Prospect, another union, said it was in the process of finalising a new pension deal with the company.BT said it was in “constructive discussions” with the BTPS trustee in relation to the triennial valuation, and that it still expected to complete the valuation in the first half of this calendar year.