Citizen group looking for poll query to divert Wheeler cash falls brief on signatures

A group of residents failed to meet Friday’s deadline to submit 925 signatures from registered Aspen voters to ask a question on the November vote calling for re-use of some of the property transfer tax revenue given to the Wheeler Opera House goes, is required.

Kurt Hall, a member of the group that began their efforts earlier this week, said he did not have a final count of signatures on Friday because multiple people were collected and no count had been taken.

“We’re going to move on and when we get to 925 we are going to go before (Aspen City Council) and hope they see this as confirmation,” Hall said. “Even though we missed the deadline, the pressure will mount and our concern, approach and goal will be spread throughout the community.

“It’s not over yet; it has only just begun. “

They try to split the income so that half goes to the wheeler and the other to art.

The question was also to lift the existing cap of $ 100,000 in Wheeler Real Estate Tax (WRETT) income, which is spent on cultural, arts and music organizations in the valley.

A majority of voters agreed to this in 1979 and all WRETTs went to the wheeler.

In 2016, voters extended the WRETT until 2039.

The city could put its own measure on the November vote and has until September 3, but councilors said earlier this year that they were unwilling to ask voters a question about diverting future Wheeler funds, and preferred the elections in autumn 2022.

advice discussed for months about how much money should be diverted and where it should go.

Identified areas of need that the council has focused on include childcare, health and social services, rainwater, and the non-profit arts community.

Mayor Torre said this week that the group trying to split the revenue 50-50 hasn’t done the financial modeling the city is doing to make sure enough money goes to historic Wheeler.

The fund currently has just under $ 40 million.

He also said the group misrepresented that its members tried to work with city officials.

“They turned around and came up with ballot papers with no financial models,” said Torre. “They didn’t take part in any dialogue … the way they approached it wasn’t collaborative.”

City Secretary Nicole Henning accepted the group’s petition Monday after rejecting an earlier petition asking voters to lift the $ 100,000 cap and give the Aspen School District a $ 10 million grant to approve the modernization and renovation of the 550 seats Aspen District Theater and 150-seat black box space.

The language of the petition is not a legislative matter, so Henning concluded and stated in a letter that the granting of funds was an administrative act by a state body.

While the group needed a significant amount of money to renovate the district theater, the additional money released could also fund dozens of local arts and cultural organizations and organizations, which the city would decide on through a grant process.

The WRETT, a 0.5% tax on all property transfers in the city, averages between $ 2 million and $ 4 million per year, although that number was higher in 2020 and likely to be in 2021 as Aspen continues to see record home sales.

Cheniere and Shell gas tankers change course to keep away from logjam as oil tankers divert routes

A dredger tries to free the stranded container ship Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, after it ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal on March 26, 2021.

Suez Canal Authority | Reuters

Companies are trying to divert shipping ships to avoid congestion on the Suez Canal, including at least two U.S. ships carrying natural gas Cheniere and Bowl/ BG Group according to information from MarineTraffic and ClipperData.

At least ten tankers and container ships change course as Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, continues to be stranded along the canal along Egypt, MarineTraffic spokesman Georgios Hatzimanolis told CNBC in an interview.

“We assume that this number will increase as the closure continues,” said Hatzimanolis.

The 1,300-foot ship ran aground on Tuesday en route from Malaysia to the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The stranded ship has caused other ships to return in the canal, holding goods worth around $ 400 million an hour, according to Lloyd’s List shipping journal. That has slowly increased in recent days after Egypt’s repeated efforts to get the 247,000-ton container ship afloat again failed. The officials there are digging sand around the earthed ship on the banks of the canal with eight large tugs and excavation equipment.

According to MarineTraffic, 97 ships are stuck in the upper part of the canal, 23 ships are waiting in the middle and 108 ships are waiting in the lower part. The traffic jam extends through the Red Sea, past the Gulf of Aden to the border between Yemen and Oman.

“Ships from Asia to Europe are being diverted in the Indian Ocean below the southern tip of Sri Lanka,” added Hatzimanolis. For Europe-bound ships from Asia, the journey through Africa instead of the canal can take up to seven days, he said.

The LNG tanker Maran Gas Andros took off from Ingleside, Texas on March 19, loaded with Cheniere fuel and a deadweight of 170,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas. Pan Americas’ LNG tanker carrying Shell / BG fuel left Sabine Pass on March 17 and can carry up to 174,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas. Matt Smith, Director of Commodity Research at ClipperData, confirmed which companies are using the ships.

Both tankers changed course in the middle of the North Atlantic before sailing around the cape.

ClipperData is also showing the Suezmax Marlin Santorini loaded with 700,000 barrels of Midland West Texas intermediate crude oil diverted away from the canal. Smith said the original route to Suez was an “unusual diversion”.

“The vast majority of US crude exports avoid the Suez Canal and instead head either to Europe or to Asia around the Cape of Good Hope,” said Smith. The Suezmax Marlin was at Magellan’s Seabrook Terminal in Houston, Texas on March 10, where it was replenished with 330,000 barrels of West Texas light crude before heading to the Galveston firing zone a day later.

The ship then left the United States, declaring itself for Port Said in northeastern Egypt, but turned south on Thursday after passing the Azores near Portugal. “The ship has yet to update its declared destination,” said Smith.

ClipperData shows the number of fully loaded fuel tankers waiting outside Port Said and on the US Gulf Coast. From Friday afternoon, two more tankers and a Suezmax, the largest tanker that can navigate the Suez Canal and transport vacuum gas oil from the USA, drove past Crete and anchored off the coast of Egypt.

Another ship, the container ship HMM Rotterdam, turned away from the canal shortly before entering the Strait of Gibraltar and changed course to circumnavigate Africa.

Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO, said the diversion pattern is similar for other ships.

“We see not only container ships diverting in both directions, but also LNG carriers and dry matter from the US Gulf of Mexico,” said Sand. “The ships turn sharply right in the middle of the Atlantic to head south to the Cape of Good Hope and avoid the traffic jam around Suez.”

Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners, says while a long Suez hiatus introduces latency into the utility system, the length of the delay depends on where the ship started, where it is going, and where it changed course in the voyage Has .

“For US golf exporters, circumnavigating the Horn means only three days or less at sea for the port of Tokyo,” Book said. “For cargoes from Doha to northwestern Europe, this route could take ten days.”

Cargo originating in the Gulf of Mexico and stuck in the Mediterranean Sea may face a ten-day diversion instead of three, he said.

At the time of publication, Cheniere and Shell / BG responded to CNBC’s request for comment.

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company said 11 of his ships were diverted, 19 ships were anchored on either side of the canal and two ships were turned back from Friday afternoon.

The blockade of the Suez Canal is one of the “biggest disruptions to world trade in recent years,” said Caroline Becquart, senior vice president of MSC, in an email on Saturday.

“We expect the second quarter of 2021 to be more disruptive than the first three months and maybe even more challenging than the end of last year,” she said. “Companies should expect the Suez blockade to reduce shipping capacity and equipment in the coming months, and thus to some deterioration in the reliability of the supply chain.”