13May Fitting and Proper Tribute to Veterans Michigan must continue to embody the spirit of Memorial DayIn a few weeks, we’ll celebrate Memorial Day with family and friends, ushering in another beautiful summer in northern Michigan. In honor of this important holiday, I wished to share a few words spoken nearly 130 years ago by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., describing the meaning of the day:“Memorial Day… embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiasm and faith is the condition of acting greatly. To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching.”I was reminded of this quote recently when I attended the Traverse City chapter for Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War 100th anniversary celebration, marking a milestone of dedication for a group of men that have loyally and passionately honored the memories of soldiers who have long since passed away. This group’s longevity and dedication to its mission serves as an inspiration to our community. But their devotion shouldn’t come as a surprise; Michiganders have a long tradition of honoring veterans.It was a small group of Michiganders who in 1862 first decorated graves of Michigan soldiers buried at Arlington Heights, prompting a national movement to celebrate Decoration Day. The Michigan Legislature then became the first among the northern states to officially recognize Decoration Day—now known as Memorial Day—in 1871. Where our state once led the nation in honoring and remembering its veterans, it must always strive to continue.A recent example of Michigan’s commitment to helping and supporting our deserved veterans occurred just this session when the Legislature established a new Veterans Affairs Agency to connect veterans with vital benefits and services and invested in nursing care and maintenance for the Grand Rapids and Jacobetti Veterans’ Homes. Thanks to recently created laws, veterans may now receive a designation on their driver’s license to indicate their service, disabled veterans, former POWs, and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients may now access our state parks free of charge, and the principal residence for disabled veterans—and their surviving spouses—is now eligible to be exempt from property taxes.During my time in office, I’ve been proud to support furthering the establishment of Michigan Veteran Treatment Courts, which recognize the difficulties some soldiers face when returning from war and provide treatment programs for veterans struggling with substance abuse or mental illness. Just last week, I assisted with a package of bills to help ensure that veterans who have successfully gone through these courts become aware of and utilize the benefits to which they are entitled.Finding a job, however, is the single most important thing I hear from men and women returning to civilian life concerns. Soldiers often return with technical training which meets or exceeds the criteria of many certifications for vocational employment, but until recently Michigan didn’t recognize this training. Now, there is an expedited licensing process for veterans in several career fields, including EMT, firefighter and mechanical contractor. Proposals to waive license and application fees for certification in numerous occupations have passed the legislature, but have not been signed into law.Offering our veterans better opportunities for securing employment and providing for their families is among the best ways we can say thank you. Which is why, as a personal measure of gratitude and support, I will be hosting a job fair geared for veterans and job providers seeking the skills and knowledge that military men and women possess. Doors are open 5-7 p.m., Friday, May 16, at the Traverse City VFW Hall (3400 Veterans Drive). A town hall meeting will take place afterwards to provide further information on the benefits and services to which veterans are entitled.Michigan is devoted to the task of providing for its veterans. The men and women who fight for our country have earned the respect, honor and support of our community, and we must remain committed to showing our appreciation. As we celebrate Memorial Day on May 26, let’s remember to do so “with enthusiasm and faith,” and honor Michigan’s veterans with all our heart.###Veterans who have questions or cannot attend the Veterans Job Fair and Town Hall may call Rep. Schmidt’s office toll-free at (800) REP-1046, via email WayneSchmidt@house.mi.gov or online at RepSchmidt.gophouse.org. Categories: News
Liberty Global has completed the acquisition of Polish cable operator Aster, which has been merged with UPC Poland.UPC will respect all existing Aster customer contracts. Aster customers in areas where UPC networks are also available will be able to sign up for UPC services. The merger gives UPC Poland a base of 1.5 million customers, with a total of 2.5 million homes passed.
A little under 50% of television homes in the UK are subscribed to at least one SVOD platform.According to the latest statistics from BARB, the number of homes with SVOD services has risen by 8.37% – just over a million – in Q1 2019. The total is 13.33 million.The number of Netflix subscribers rose by 11.25%, while the number of homes subscribed to Amazon Prime Video has risen by 12.88%.The total number of television homes in the UK is 27.27 million. 11.47 million of those have Netflix, 5.96 million with Amazon Prime Video and Sky’s Now TV has 1.62 million subscribers.46.6% of UK homes had access to one of these services, and 4.3 million have two or more.The research found that households with three or more people are 47% more likely to be SVOD subscribers.However, despite the rapid growth in SVOD numbers and the flexibility to access them across multiple devices, the TV is still king.The research concludes that approximately 525 billion minutes were viewed in the UK between 9pm-10pm in 2018 on TV. This is compared to 6.25 billion minutes viewed on computers, tablets and phones for the same period.