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first_imgHerbeautyStop Eating Read Meat (Before It’s Too Late)HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty5 Things To Avoid If You Want To Have Whiter TeethHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Of The Most Notorious Female Spies In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty12 Most Breathtaking Trends In Fashion HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Things You Should Never Share With Other PeopleHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyShort On Time? 10-Minute Workouts Are Just What You NeedHerbeautyHerbeauty Business News Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Make a comment Westminster Concert Bell Choir. Photo courtesy Westminster Choir CollegeWestminster Concert Bell Choir will play on Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, which is located at 585 East Colorado Boulevard in the Playhouse district of downtown Pasadena.The concert — part of the church’s Friends of Music at PPC concert series —is free of admission charges (a freewill offering will be taken). Free parking is available and the church is handicap accessible.The Westminster Bell Choir is composed of students at Rider University’s Westminster Choir College, which was the first institution in the world to develop such a program. Hailed for its virtuosity, the ensemble performs on the largest range of hand bells in the world – 8 octaves, from C1 to C9.Many of the bells are made of bronze and range in weight from four ounces to 11 pounds; the Choir also uses the large “Basso Profundo” aluminum-cast bells that are a new phenomenon in hand bell ringing.The Choir supplements its hand bells with a six-octave set of Malmark Choirchime® instruments from C2 to C8 – the widest range in existence. Led by Kathleen Ebling Shaw, the group appears regularly on radio and television and has made 11 solo recordings.The Westminster Concert Bell Choir has appeared on Public Television’s Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and several holiday broadcasts of the Today show, including one in which the ensemble was joined for a performance by NBC television hosts Katie Couric and Willard Scott. Its holiday performances have been heard annually on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, and it is included on NPR’s Christmas Around The Country II recording. The choir has performed at Carnegie Hall twice during the Christmas season. Most recently, the choir was featured on New Jersey Network’s State Of The Arts program.More concert information is at www.ppcmusic.org. Religious Music Hear the Westminster Concert Bell Choir From STAFF REPORTS Published on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 | 1:27 pm Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * 16 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Top of the News Subscribe Community Newscenter_img More Cool Stuff Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community News First Heatwave Expected Next Week faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more


first_imgRetail banking across the world, including at credit unions, will see effects and changes brought about due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the loss in foot traffic to physical locations and increased remote work, institutions with well built-out digital channels can continue to provide value and financial resources to their membership.At year-end 2019, before the pandemic hit, brick-and-mortar branches were continuing to grow at credit unions nationwide. Total branch counts increased by 113 over the past year to 21,225 as of December. Coinciding with branch growth, total employee counts also expanded. Total full-time equivalent employees (full-time + ½ part-time) increased 3.6% year-over-year to 316,335. As of December, credit unions nationwide employed 304,247 full-time and 24,176 part-time employees.Growing branch and employee counts have resulted in increased operating expenses. Salary and benefits, which account for 51.4% of total operating expenses at credit unions nationwide, increased 9.8% year-over-year.In line with increasing branch counts and growing technology offerings around the country, office operation expenses increased 7.7% annually to $9.0 billion at year-end 2019. These expenditures account for 18.4% of total operating expense, the second largest portion behind employee compensation. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more


first_imgA construction boom in recent years has added shopping malls, apartments and luxury hotels, some offering spectacular views of the sacred Kaaba, a cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque towards which Muslims around the world pray. But most premises have lain empty since the pandemic reached the kingdom.The virus, which hit Mecca hard, has also battered pilgrimage-reliant businesses that support hundreds of thousands of jobs, from travel agents to street barbers and souvenir shops.Many have reported sweeping layoffs, pay cuts or delayed salaries. Vacant religious sites. Abandoned pilgrim tents. Lifeless hotels. A stunning emptiness — and fears of economic ruin — haunt the usually bustling city of Mecca after Saudi authorities curtailed the haj pilgrimage over coronavirus.Islam’s holiest city usually hosts millions of pilgrims for the annual rite, but the kingdom has barred overseas visitors from this year’s event, scheduled for late July.The haj and the lesser umrah pilgrimage together rake in some $12 billion, keeping the economy humming in Mecca, home to two million people and marble-bedecked skyscrapers towering over Islam’s most sacred sites. “Zero sales, zero income,” said Ahmed Attia, a 39-year-old Egyptian who works for a travel agency in the city.”We’re not used to seeing Mecca empty. It feels like a dead city. It’s devastating for Mecca.”A tsunami of cancellations has also battered overseas haj operators who organize travel logistics for pilgrims, many of whom invest their life savings in the five-day ritual.Saudi authorities had already in March suspended the umrah pilgrimage, which can be performed at any time.Then, in a hugely sensitive but long-awaited decision, they said they would only allow around 1,000 pilgrims already present in the kingdom to perform the haj.That is a tiny fraction of the 2.5 million pilgrims who attended last year.”It will be a symbolic event, a photo-op that allows the kingdom to say ‘we didn’t cancel the hajj as many expected’,” said a South Asian official in contact with haj authorities.Saudi Arabia has stressed that the watered-down haj will be open to people of various nationalities.But the selection process for the few spots is expected to be hotly contested, as some Mecca residents expect to be given priority over outsiders.”I have gone to haj before and hopefully this year, with God’s will, I will be among the first pilgrims,” said Marwan Abdulrahman, a Saudi living in Mecca.Many feared the pilgrimage, which packs colossal crowds into small religious sites, could have been a massive source of contagion.The novel coronavirus has hit the kingdom with the highest number of cases in the Gulf — more than 178,000 confirmed infections including 1,511 deaths.But scaling the pilgrimage back will deepen the kingdom’s economic slump, analysts say.The move follows a sharp downturn in oil prices and coronavirus-led losses, which triggered austerity measures including the tripling of a value added tax and cuts to civil servants’ allowances.The haj decision “does compound Saudi Arabia’s economic difficulties”, Richard Robinson, a Middle East analyst at Oxford Analytica, told AFP.On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund warned the kingdom’s GDP will shrink by 6.8 percent this year — its worst performance since the 1980s oil glut.The Saudi Binladen construction group, a bellwether known for vast mega-projects, has missed salary payments for thousands of workers in recent months, according to a source close to the company and employees complaining on social media.The Arabic hashtag “Delays in Binladen salaries” has gained traction as the slowdown impacts the firm behind a series of critical projects, including a $15 billion skyscraper hotel complex that towers over Mecca’s Grand Mosque.The company is seeking to charter a number of private jets to send many of its laid-off South Asian labourers home, according to the source.The company did not respond to a request for comment.The downturn has also disrupted Riyadh’s ambitious plans to build a tourism industry from scratch, a cornerstone of the Vision 2030 reform programme to reduce the kingdom’s reliance on oil.”The government has singled out tourism as a key area for growth under its diversification strategy, and the loss of haj revenues could set the sector back through lost investment or bankruptcies,” said Robinson.The kingdom began offering tourist visas for the first time last September in moves to open up one of the last frontiers of global tourism.”While Saudis are looking to diversify tourism revenues beyond religious tourism, their efforts still build from the haj,” said Kristin Diwan of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.”Not having it at this time of disruption in oil markets is a blow.”Topics :last_img read more