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disgruntled

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disgruntled last won the day on February 3

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  • Birthday 12/19/1968

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  1. If a Jeep and a Hummer had an ugly baby, it would look like the new Bronco.
  2. Philadelphia Inquirer: Pa.’s largest pension plan admits making an ‘error’ that may have benefited teachers at taxpayers’ expense March 12 Joseph N. DiStefano The board of Pennsylvania’s giant public-school pension fund on Friday voted to hire an outside law firm to investigate an error in a December financial decision that may have cost taxpayers at least $25 million in fund payments — while wrongly sparing 100,000 school employees from paying more for their pensions. The unanimous vote followed a 3 1/3-hour closed-door meeting of the 14-member PSERS board as it explored whether it erred in a crucial meeting in December in which members concluded the fund had just barely met a key financial target for investments. If it made such a mistake, the error could make a big difference in whether some teachers have to pay more out of their paychecks to support their pensions. In a reform imposed by the legislature and governor, the fund adopted a so-called “risk-sharing” rule some years ago that requires educators and staff to pay extra if PSERS fails to meet its investment return target. The target was a return of 6.36%. In December, the plan’s experts told the board that the fund’s had actually grown by 6.38% — just enough to spare teachers a hike. The target appeared relatively easy to meet. By comparison, the S&P 500 index of big U.S. stocks paid over 10% a year during the review period covering the last nine years. PSERS officials provided almost no details Friday, such as why the investigation was necessary. People familiar with the issue, speaking on condition they not be identified, said outside financial experts who worked on the profit assessment have now complained that the fund’s performance provided for the calculation was inflated. The special meeting came a week after PSERS concluded its first bimonthly meeting of 2021, at which five of the 14 current board members voted against the staff’s latest investment proposals. Those negative votes appeared to reflect a growing dissident faction, upset at investment decisions and other policies pushed by the administration of executive director Glen Grell, the former state representative who heads the $62 billion system. In all, public school employees paid about $1.1 billion into the fund last year, while state and school taxpayers contributed almost $5 billion. Investment profits have pumped about another $3.7 billion yearly over the past 10 years. However, returns fell below that figure in the past two years. Taxpayers have been asked routinely in recent years to pay more into the underfinanced pension plan. But the “shared risk” rule was designed to spare the state and local school board treasuries from paying all the extra cost when investments did poorly. If PSERS underperformed, for complex legal reasons the hike in payroll deductions would apply only to employees hired after 2011, around 100,000 of Pennsylvania’s more than 250,000 public school workers. Most school workers pay 7.5% of their paychecks to the fund. Had the board decreed that investments fell short, their paycheck deduction would have climbed to 8%. In a contentious discussion at the December meeting, board chairman Chris Santa Maria, a history teacher and former union leader at Lower Merion’s Harriton High School, expressed satisfaction that his fellow union members would not be charged more. But others were uncomfortable with the data, even at that time. Then-state Treasurer Joseph M. Torsella and state Rep. Frank Ryan (R., Lebanon) noted that the figures had been gathered from different sources from the usual annual financial report. Santa Maria and the pension staff assured them the numbers were good. “We went back and double-checked the numbers,” Santa Maria said. Even when recalculated, he said, ”I’m confident we still come up with the same.” He added: ”The information is now reliable and defendable.” “We did our due diligence,” agreed James Grossman, the fund’s chief investment officer, at the same December meeting. “We covered it. I’m not worried about it.” When the dissidents suggested a separate vote on the investment performance data, apart from the one imposing charges, board member Melva Vogler objected. It’s “dangerous,” said Vogler, a retired math teacher from the Poconos, to send a message “that there’s something wrong with the risk-share calculation.” Still, Torsella and Ryan were unnerved about the how close the profit figure was to the target. They both complained about a rushed process. They abstained from the December vote, as did another frequent dissident, Richard Vague, the state banking secretary. “We got this [report] last night,” Torsella said at the time. ”Given how close this is, I have real concerns.” Late Friday, the board issued a statement acknowledging that a mistake had been made. “The Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) Board of Trustees was recently made aware of an error regarding the reporting of investment performance numbers which were used in the December 2020 certification. An outside consultant is in the process of analyzing the data in detail. In addition, the Board has delegated to the Audit Committee the authority to select independent outside counsel and oversee a special investigation.”
  3. a few bars at a time? Every time they went down the road, just looking like they were passing through. I do have to agree with you though--I don't think it's anywhere near the large amount that was believed to be there. I could buy the story of a small stash, but not the tonnage I've seen guesstimated. I hope the Parada's get their answers, but I don't think the FBI will ever disclose what was really there.
  4. Did they find Jimmy Hoffa in this dig?
  5. Am I the only one that finds the irony in the business name, "FInders Keepers" in this particular situation?
  6. Brown looks either sorry for what he did (or sorry for getting caught?) in his mug shot at least.
  7. My employer mailed me three separate documents (I didn't request them) for me to be able to prove I had health care all year, but people don't need ID to vote because it's "racist." A dem friend of mine told me her mom couldn't get her vaccine until she had time to renew her DL that had expired~~I said, with a grin on my face, "Oh, you need ID to get a vaccine?......" Her response was " Well, yes. You can't have someone else claiming her vaccine...........<long pause> Ok, smart @$$, I see what you just did."
  8. I would have to think that would be where venison could be deadly to a motorist. *I also tend to feel badly for the animal--maybe more so than I do for the people.
  9. I know how much damage a deer does to a car--I can't imagine how much damage an elk would do.
  10. I'm sorry, but I legitimately laughed out loud to myself as I recall my grandfather referring to teenaged young men as "young, dumb and full of..... " Ummm. I don't think I can post that here, but it rhymes with dumb. *No offense intended to the male members of the group.
  11. Somewhere they have gotten the idea they are royalty and we are all peasants.
  12. My mother uses the kid seatbelt to strap her purse in, through the handles. It may not be foolproof, but I would guess it may at least slow someone down--or make them find another target.
  13. Reading is fundamental. I was hoping the rooster killed the guy that was responsible for putting the rooster in that position.
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