By MADDY VITALECity Council passed a resolution on Tuesday that extends the grace period to pay quarterly taxes to June 1 from May 10, in an effort to help property owners who are struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.Before outlining the resolution for Council during the special meeting, Chief Financial Officer Frank Donato explained during the meeting, which was held remotely, what makes the resolution different from the one adopted April 23.In the April 23 resolution, Council took steps to help residents by approving a cut in the interest rate on delinquent taxes from 18 percent to 8 percent above $1,500.“They each provide different layers of relief,” he said of the unforeseen time.The lower interest rate for Ocean City property owners who are late with their payments is in effect for the second quarter taxes due on May 1 and the third quarter payments, which will be due Aug. 1. It will not retroactive for delinquent taxes for previous quarters.As New Jersey residents continue to lose their jobs by the tens of thousands because of the COVID-19 shutdown, communities across the state are looking for ways to help them pay their property taxes to prevent the flow of critical tax revenue from being disrupted.Donato spoke on behalf of the city, answering some concerns from the public about the resolution approved on Tuesday.The Council, he said, could not do any more by law than it had done until April 28, when Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order allowing towns to extend the grace period for payment of taxes.“Despite the opinion of FIT, (a local group Fairness in Taxes), and despite well-intended resolutions by neighboring communities, local municipalities had zero authority to adjust tax pay periods prior to the April 28 executive order,” Donato noted.Councilman Bob Barr asked for some clarification for the public about the April 23 resolution. “There was some sentiment by some that this resolution or ordinance did not help everyone — only those with higher property values, and my understanding is that is not the case,” Barr said.Donato followed up, “You asked if the April 23 resolution provided relief for taxpayers with assessments under $600,000 and the answer is yes.”The next City Council meeting is scheduled for May 14 and will also be via teleconference.
Persaud and Goodluck wins Record ShootsTHE Guyana National Rifle Association (GuyanaNRA) is set to continue competitive shooting at the Timehri Rifle Ranges after resuming target hitting over the past two weekends.The rivalry among members of the reigning Caribbean Long Range champion team has been heating up over the past two weekends and today’s action is expected to be keen with the likes of Ransford Goodluck, fullbore captain Mahendra Persaud, Lennox Braithwaite and Dylan Fields (Vice Captain) all expected to hold their own.Winners of the past two weeks of Recorded Shoots were Persaud and Goodluck.Persaud, who missed the first Record Shoot,won on Sunday last by dropping only one point for the three ranges as he totalled 104 points and 6 V-bulls.Ransford Goodluck, who won the first Record Shoot one week earlier, fell behind his captain by just a single point, totaling 103 points and 10 V-bulls,with Lennox Braithwaite one point back in third with 102 points and 8 V-bulls.Goodluck, in winning the first competition,did so by a single point ahead of Braithwaite, 101.9 to 100.5. Vice -Captain Fields placed third. With the recent cutting of trees in the vicinity of the ranges, the wind conditions have changed somewhat.The experienced marksmen had to adjust quickly to the changing winds at the 900 yards range as it was not what they were accustomed to;underlining the high caliber of competitive shooters in Guyana.
David Stern, who served exactly 30 years as NBA commissioner, died Wednesday afternoon. He was 77.Stern underwent emergency surgery in December after suffering a brain hemorrhage at a New York City restaurant but was not able to recover. He faced season-shortening lockouts in 1999 and 2011. He handed down the punishments for the 2004 “Malice at the Palace” brawl between the Pacers and Pistons. He instituted a controversial dress code ahead of the 2005-06 season, which some argue targeted black players and seeked to eliminate hip-hop culture from the league. In 2007, former NBA referee Tim Donaghy pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges related to placing bets on games he officiated. SuperSonics fans were happy to see Stern hand the reins to Silver, six years after the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder in 2008 — the same goes for Lakers supporters because Stern vetoed a Chris Paul trade as the de facto owner of the then-New Orleans Hornets in 2011.In true Stern fashion, he always forged ahead with tremendous confidence, even at moments of crisis. If he had any doubts about his ability to manage the league, he certainly never showed it, nor did he lose his passion for basketball.Stern handed the commissioner job to Silver on Feb. 1, 2014, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later that year. He never strayed too far from the NBA, holding the title of commissioner emeritus until his death. Current commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement:”For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action. He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends. We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas and on planes wherever the game would take us. Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him it was always about the fundamentals — preparation, attention to detail, and hard work.”David took over the NBA in 1984 with the league at a crossroads. But over the course of 30 years as commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA. He launched groundbreaking media and marketing partnerships, digital assets and social responsibility programs that have brought the game to billions of people around the world. Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand — making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.”Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration. Our deepest condolences go out to David’s wife, Dianne, their sons, Andrew and Eric, and their extended family, and we share our grief with everyone whose life was touched by him.”PHOTOS: David Stern through the yearsFrom 1984 to 2014, Stern oversaw the incredible financial growth of the NBA and helped turn basketball into a global sport, reaching 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. The league changed forever once it allowed professional stars to participate in the Olympics, putting the 1992 “Dream Team” on an international stage and inspiring a new generation of players.The NBA added seven teams in that 30-year span, and the Women’s National Basketball Association and National Basketball Development League (now G League) were created under Stern’s watch. He played a major role in the implementation of the salary cap, and the average NBA player salary jumped by nearly $5 million over the course of his tenure.While Stern was often viewed as a shrewd, defiant businessman and negotiator, he did show plenty of kindness and compassion, particularly toward one of the game’s greatest players.Stern was stunned by Magic Johnson’s 1991 announcement that he had contracted HIV. Rather than distance himself (and his league) from the Lakers legend, Stern stood by Johnson and worked to educate the general public on HIV and AIDS.Johnson retired prior to the 1991-92 season, but when his condition remained stable, he asked Stern if he could play in the 1992 All-Star Game since he was the leading vote-getter. Stern approved, and Johnson went on to win MVP honors. Stern embraced Johnson after the game and later called the moment his favorite All-Star memory.”Giving sweaty Magic Johnson a big hug right after he hit the last three, and still being able to hug him because he’s alive every time I see him, that is at the top of the list,” Stern said at the 2013 All-Star break. “And it will not easily be dislodged. Even though I do enjoy every All-Star [Game], that one will resonate for the rest of my life.”Like any pro commissioner, Stern also dealt with a number of controversies.