On June 1st and 2nd, Purple Hatter’s Ball will return once again to the Spirit of Suwannee Park in Live Oak, Florida, for the eleventh straight year benefitting the Rachel Morningstar Foundation. After announcing the festival’s lineup in March, fans have eagerly been awaiting this latest edition of the festival, which features sets by Lettuce, Spafford, Breaking Biscuits, Toubab Krewe, The Heavy Pets, Roosevelt Collier Trio, Southern Avenue, and more.Today, Purple Hatter’s Ball has announced its daily schedule, allowing attendees to start plotting their weekend adventures. On Friday, June 1st, the festival will open with a performance from Hivemind, followed by sets from Southern Avenue, Toubab Krewe, and The Heavy Pets. To close out the festivities on night one, the up-and-coming Arizona jammers of Spafford will close out the Amphitheatre Stage. On Saturday, the festivities kick off at Spirit of Suwannee Park’s Beach Stage, with performances by Vlad The Inhaler, Trial By Stone, Catfish Alliance, and MZG. As the day wears on, the festival will switch gears, inviting attendees over to the Amphitheatre Stage for an opening set by Dubconscious, a long-running staple of the festival in addition to Trial By Stone and MZG.Given that the festival is held in loving memory of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman—a Florida State University student and beloved member of the music community who was brutally murdered in 2008 while acting as a police informant during a woefully inept drug sting—during Dubconscious’ set (her once favorite band), the festival will host its annual ceremonial release of butterflies in Rachel’s honor, which is hosted by Rachel’s mother turned activist, Margie Weiss. As festival Paul Levine told Live For Live Music in a recent interview about the butterfly ceremony,It’s one of the most looked-forward-to moments of the weekend. It’s deeply cathartic and healing on top of being sad, but something Margie brought to the PHB early on—she feels Rachel’s spirit is embodied in a monarch butterfly. She purchases twenty-three butterflies for the years Rachel was on Earth, and one for the spirit of who she is now. We share those butterflies. Margie hands out one to a friend or audience member or whatever, and after, we talk about Rachel and tell her story. We release butterflies in the air and have a moment and thought about Rachel. It’s really incredible.From there, following the beautiful memorial for a spirit lost too soon, Purple Hatter’s Ball will close out with performances from Roosevelt Collier Band, Breaking Biscuits, and Lettuce.You can check out the full weekend schedule for Purple Hatter’s Ball below. Tickets for the two-day music and camping festival are on-sale now, and can be purchased on the event’s website here.
Managing director Markus Hübscher told IPE the recently agreed measures were a reaction to the “increasingly difficult market environment”.Further, the PKSBB also conceded that the introduction of flexible or alternative pension models “might be necessary” in future, while not ruling out further adjustments to its recently changed parameters.The PKSBB’s troubles are not uncommon in Switzerland.Local consultancy ppcmetrics recently warned that adjustments to pension funds’ technical parameters, in light of the low-interest-rate environment, were effectively “inevitable”.Ronald Schnurrenberger, managing director at the PKE, warned that possible adjustments to pension payouts would have to be made in time, “based consistently on sensible parameters”.In 2014, his pension fund – for the Swiss energy sector – was one of the few Pensionskassen to introduce flexible payouts. Schnurrenberger lamented that the historically low interest rates made it very difficult to achieve sufficient returns over the medium and long term, but added that it did not matter whether returns were actually just above or just below zero.Falling return expectations have also led to changes at the Aargauische Pensionskasse (APK).After conducting a recent asset-liability management study, the pension fund reduced its exposure to commodities by 300 basis points to 5% for 2015.Managing director Susanne Jäger told IPE the change had been a “logical” step given the return expectations.She also pointed out that the new level was closer to the average of other Pensionskassen. The APK also made minor adjustments to its money market and liquidity exposure limit, reducing it from 5% to 3%, while slightly increasing its exposure to global bonds and Swiss equities.A recent study by ppcmetrics identified APK as being one of the Pensionskassen where additional risk had failed to “pay off” over the long term.The consultancy also pointed out that the Swiss National Bank’s negative interest rate for certain assets in current accounts had further “accentuated” the low-interest-rate environment.For Swisscanto, the Bank’s move is a “further intensification of the financial repression by central banks”.Thomas Liebi, chief economist at the asset manager, said the Bank had been compelled to respond to the continued appreciation of the Swiss Franc, triggered by the European Central Bank’s expected bond purchasing programme.In this environment, he warned, investors will be increasingly “pushed” into longer durations and riskier investments. The CHF16bn (€13bn) pension fund for federal railways in Switzerland (PKSBB) has finalised talks with members to adjust the scheme’s technical parameters.From 2016, the scheme is to lower its discount rate (technischer Zins) from 3% to 2.5%, while the conversion rate for new members will drop from 5.8% to 5.22%, as contributions are raised.The PKSBB will also begin using ‘generation tables’ to assess longevity risk.Only a few months ago, the pension fund announced it would put on hold plans to introduce flexible pension payouts, after talks with its members broke down.
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby yesterday voted to approve the first of two comprehensive appropriations packages that together contain all 12 Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020) appropriations measures, H.R. 1865. The legislation, which passed the Senate by a vote of 71-23, contains funding for various Alabama priorities.“Completing the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations process is good news for the nation and Alabama,” said Senator Shelby. “From investing in our state’s infrastructure and supporting agricultural development to funding groundbreaking medical research, this package addresses many important priorities. I am proud of this bipartisan agreement and look forward to witnessing the positive impact this funding will have in my home state.” H.R. 1865 contains the following provisions impacting Alabama:Corps of Engineers:$378 million recommended in the Construction account for a Regional Dredge Demonstration Program in the central Gulf of Mexico. Mobile Harbor would be eligible for these additional funds.Includes a new regional dredge demonstration program for the Central Gulf Coast which will explore innovative ways of executing dredging in a logical and sequenced manner to seek efficiencies, cost savings, and minimize disruptions to critical construction and maintenance dredging requirements across the nation;$50 million above the budget request in the Operation and Maintenance account for Donor and Energy Transfer Ports. Funds will benefit Mobile Harbor;$10.975 million for Coastal Inlets Research Program in the Operation and Maintenance account and report language recommending additional funding to establish a multi-university-led effort for connecting terrestrial and coastal models and to continue work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa on protecting the nation’s water resources;Includes $16 million for Aquatic Nuisance Control Research in the Operation and Maintenance account for research and development related to harmful algal blooms.