WNY News Now / MGN Stock Image.JAMESTOWN – Two new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Chautauqua County on Saturday.Officials say there are now 72 confirmed cases, including the two new cases, one patient under the age of 18 and the other a woman in her 20s.This is the fourth pediatric case reported locally since the outbreak began.Of the cases, 28 active cases, including no hospitalized cases. Those infected continue to recover under orders of isolation, officials say.So far there is 40 recovered cases and 4 deaths.On Friday, officials reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 where all but one originated from the same infected person.Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),another wedding party infection?
Photo: Joe Courson Sure, it’s spreading water. But is your irrigation working right? The University of Georgia’s state climatologist predicts we can expect wateringrestrictions that will come sooner and last longer this summer. If I want to keep my yardnice and green, my irrigation system becomes a lifeline to my landscape.It took a little while to refamiliarize myself with my irrigation controller. After afew minutes, I got the system to spew water, but I didn’t know if it was workingcorrectly.So I asked Kerry Harrison, an irrigation engineer with the UGA College of Agriculturaland Environmental Sciences, to take a critical look at my system.He found a problem immediately. A seal had failed on one of the sprinklers, wastingwhat could become precious water.”See the bubbling?” he said. “This is water that should be going outinto the yard and be distributed out there. Instead, it’s wasted around the edge of thesprinkler.”It’s not altering the pattern,” he said. “It’s just not putting thewater where it could be used better. Wiper seals, at the base of the sprinkler, are amongthe most common sprinkler parts to wear out, regardless of the brand.” Photo: Joe Courson Check Sprinkler Before It’s NeededHarrison said spring checkups should be done long before I need to use the system. It’simportant to check out every sprinkler. Make sure it turns. And make sure it provides aneven watering pattern.Sure enough, another of my sprinklers had a problem, wasting water on the deck whilemissing the plants on the opposite side. Harrison said I, like many others, probablyknocked the sprinkler out of adjustment when mowing the yard.”It’s one of the more common problems,” he said. Luckily, the lawnmowerdidn’t knock the head of the sprinkler off. It just changed its adjustment.For more than an hour, I inspected every sprinkler. I found a few minor, easilycorrectable problems.Consider a Maintenance ContractPeople who don’t have time for a spring sprinkler checkup, or who aren’t mechanicallytalented, may want to consider a maintenance contract. Let a professional keep the systemoperating year-round.”An irrigation person would come out and do your spring season tune-up foryou,” Harrison said. “Generally, a maintenance contract doesn’t include anyparts. It just includes his labor.”The contractor would adjust the settings on a time clock for spring, summer and fall,too, he said.”You’re usually talking about two to three trips to your house or place ofbusiness to do this run-through,” Harrison said. “That kind of contract isprobably a good one if you’re a busy person.”Often, irrigation contractors have other businesses, such as landscaping. So theirother commitments may determine when they can tune up your system. As a rule, Harrisonsaid, maintenance contracts aren’t very profitable for contractors. Many do it just forgood customer relations. Does water puddle at the base of a sprinkler? It’s a common problem that costs your lawn. Photo: Joe Courson Harrison’s advice to people who do their own checkup is to “run the system throughits cycle,” he said. “Be familiar with the time clock if you have an automatedsystem. Know how to adjust it. And make sure the time is correct.”Starting ahead of time, before the system is needed,” he said, “isgoing to be the recommendation for any homeowner.”Now, if we have outdoor watering restrictions (and not an outright ban), I’m ready. Iknow my system works as it should because I checked it out before the really hot weathertried to suck the life out of my yard. Know how to operate your system controller.
Iberdrola to replace its last two coal plants in Spain with subsidy-free solar, wind FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:Utility Iberdrola is submitting a plan to build 550MW of subsidy-free wind and solar to replace the group’s last Spanish coal-fired power plants.Speaking at the opening of the COP25 UN climate summit in Madrid, Iberdrola group chairman Ignacio Galan said the renewables projects would replace two coal generators that are scheduled to be decommissioned next year.The proposal, to be presented on Monday to Spain’s Ministry for the Ecological Transition, would see 420MW of new wind and PV deployed in Velilla in the province of Palencia, and four wind farms with a joint capacity of 130MW in Lada, in Asturias, both in the country’s north.The new renewables capacity – due online in 2022 – will be underpinned by power purchase agreements (PPAs), reflecting the strong appetite for such deals in the Spanish renewables market and the competitiveness of wind and solar, Iberdrola told Recharge.With a combined capacity of 874MW, Velilla and Lada are Iberdrola’s last remaining coal-fired power plants. An application for their phase-out was filed in 2017 and the Spanish government is expected to give a final ruling on the matter next year.“Over the course of 15 years, Iberdrola will have completed the process of phasing out a total of over 8.5GW of coal-fired and fuel oil power generation capacity in several countries,” said Galan.More: Iberdrola launches huge renewables plan for coal wind-down in Spain
By U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Bobby Siens / Edited by Diálogo staff October 29, 2019 U.S. Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departed St. Kitts and Nevis following the completion of the ship’s ninth medical mission in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, October 12.“I want to say thank you to the government of the United States of America and particularly to the armed forces,” said Wendy Phipps, St. Kitts and Nevis minister of State responsible for health. “It’s the first time we’ve had such an extensive visit, with medical intervention being offered, as an effort to extend the bilateral relations that St. Kitts and Nevis continues to enjoy with the United States of America.”During the six-day mission in Basseterre, more than 800 medical professionals provided care for 3,677 patients at two separate shore-based medical sites and performed 25 surgeries aboard the ship.“For decades, St. Kitts and Nevis has been a steadfast partner for peace, stability, and democracy, and I thank you all for your continued commitment to these principals,” said Army Major General Rafael Ribas, deputy commander for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs at U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).Additionally, the multinational staff coordinated several subject matter expert exchanges with the St. Kitts and Nevis National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which focused on search aU.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Nathaniel Williams, a dentist (L), and Hospital Corpsman Darious Palmer, both assigned to the USNS Comfort, extract a woman’s tooth at a temporary medical treatment site in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis, October 10, 2019. (Photo: U.S. Army Specialist Dedrick Johnson)nd rescue of survivors at sea, diving at a sunken shipwreck, and shipboard firefighting.“We had Naval Officers from Peru, Argentina, and Brazil in attendance to enrich the exchange of ideas and procedures by providing a variety of techniques and experiences. The challenges that St. Kitts and Nevis is facing is not just preparing for a disaster, but also combatting shipboard fires and dive operations,” said U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander John Rashap, Comfort’s air detachment officer in charge. “All of which resulted in building trust and partnership through teamwork, as well as making St. Kitts and Nevis more prepared to make their citizens and visitors safer.”The Comfort team is comprised of military and civilian personnel from the U.S. and partner nations, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Peru, as well as several nongovernmental organizations, creating a dynamic team capable of delivering a variety of services.This marks the first Comfort visit to St. Kitts and Nevis and the seventh to the region since 2007. At each of the upcoming missions, the embarked medical teams will provide care aboard the Comfort and at two land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems, including those strained by an increase in cross-border migrants.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [Photo: Fun frontman Nate Ruess brings his infectious songs and mesmerizing voice to The Paramount in Huntington Dec. 14! (Nate Ruess Facebook page)]Night of the Nerds: Jedi Cabaret!’Tis the season…for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to finally be released in movie theaters across our galaxy, or at least on the planet that we all know best. Revel in all the dorkery with fellow fans and the music of Geeks and Guitars, Felix, L.G. ThirlWell, BmO, Thee Terrible Ghosts and Crisis Crayons as well as burlesque acts by Miranda Raven and Madame Reaper (Ma Dame Reap) and standup comedy by Noel Rodney Jr.! The show will also include a cosplay contest as well as a video game tournament hosted by StreetPass Long Island! 89 North Music Venue, 89 N. Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $10. 7 p.m. December 10.Neil DeGrasse Tyson: The Cosmic PerspectiveThe star of the TV series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the New York visionary and astrophysicist extraordinaire once again wields his broad and unparalleled knowledge of all science sensations. Star formations, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the Milky Way are just some simple subjects expected for discussion. There won’t be a quiz, but some of this could end up on the final. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $74-$89. $10. 8 p.m. December 10.Strange But Surf and Bunktown FallsLong Island’s surf-rock bands return for another legendary night of inventive and expanding repertoire. Think catchy, high-energy, guitar riffs cascading atop seismic waves of melodic fury! The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com 8 p.m. December 10.Grace PotterThe Nocturnals’ siren’s uber-gorgeous voice leads the band in experimental creations of electro-rock rhythms. Tracks like “Never Go Back” and “The Divide” flex the creativity and passion that is forever evolving in this uncompromising performer. Opening the show will be Oh Whitney. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $30-$65. 8 p.m. December 10.A Charlie Brown ChristmasGood grief! It’s been 50 years since the Peanuts gang and that scrawny fir tree became a holiday viewing tradition, but the dated special is still surprisingly fresh, minimizing Santa and toys, and emphasizing the generous spirit of Christmas giving. Snoopy come home! (Sorry.) NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $20-$25. 7 p.m. December 11.Dustin LynchDespite his traditional country influences, right down to his skintight clothes and cowboy hat, this young artist brings a fresh edge to the genre, drawing ecstatic cheers and climbing Billboard stats. Opening acts include Chris Lane and Tyler Rich. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$55. 7:30 p.m. December 11.Glenn Miller OrchestraIt’s been a long time since teens danced cheek-to-cheek amid the smooth harmonies and swinging rhythms that took the Glenn Miller Orchestra to the top in the pop music of their day. The ensemble became more than a unity of magnificent sound; the band became a brand of its own, and that’s what the enigmatic creator, whose plane disappeared over the English Channel in 1944 as he was flying to entertain our troops, had hoped for all along. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $25-$65. 8 p.m. December 11.Albert CummingsThis great blues guitarist is a total blast. His songs carry vibes of rock ‘n’ roll and country, amped up to full-boom volume, and they shimmer and shake with so much feeling that his energetic fans wind up wanting more and more. He’s played with B.B. King, Johnny Winter and Buddy Guy, to name a few legends, and expect nothing less at this gig than soul-soothing tunes and memories to last a lifetime! YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $25-$30. 8 p.m. December 11.Sinatra’s 100th Birthday CelebrationIn a nostalgic journey through his timeless music, the all-star singer’s legacy lives on, thanks to the talented vocals of longtime friends and his legion of admirers, such as Tony Bennett, Adam Levin, Alicia Keys, Celine Dion, John Legend, Carrie Underwood, Seth MacFarlane, and many more. My, my! Ole Blue Eyes is gonna shine! Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $35. 8 p.m. December 11.Long Island Gay Men’s ChorusThese guys sure can sing. Talk about their harmony! Come hear them rock the rafters. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $27. 1 p.m. December 12.Andrew W.K.The musician, singer and entertainer still intends to spread the holiday cheer in the only way he knows how: a high-energy, adrenaline-filled performance complete with spirited party anthems and other up-tempo, get-up-off-your-feet and dance-inducing hits. Known for such addictive titles as “Party Hard,” “We Want Fun,” and “Party Party Party,” Andrew W.K. comes raring to go—so you should, too. Warming up the crowd are Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, Persona, Space Camp Dropout, London Eyes, Save It For Later, Onto Carthage and Amboy. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $20. 8 p.m. December 12.The Klezmatics Present: Happy Joyous HanukkahBet you can’t name another klezmer band that ever won a Grammy! You know why? The Klezmatics are the only ones! For 20-plus years and 10 albums and counting, this amazing group of musicians based in New York City have been rocking the world with their “Yiddish roots” sound. Their music is wild, mystical, provocative, reflective and ecstatically danceable. Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington. landmarkonmainstreet.org $32-$47. 7 p.m. December 13.Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook from SqueezeSome call this pair of Brits the most talented pop-rock songwriters this side of Lennon and McCartney. Certainly their tenure in Squeeze, their great band that took the music world by storm some 40 years ago, has stood the test of time. Are you “Tempted”? What about “Black Coffee in Bed”? That’s how we like it, with a little sugar on the side. Squeeze has got the creative juices flowing again, too, as the band is out with its first album of original material in 17 years, Cradle to the Grave. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $49.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. December 12.The Nutcracker SuiteCome experience this timeless classic in an intimate, welcoming theatre alongside fellow audience members who likewise wish to usher in this special holiday season in style! Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $25-$65. 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. December 12, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. December 13.The Arcade AgeLearn about video arcade game history the way nature intended—in an arcade! The Cradle of Aviation will transform a section of the museum’s galleries into an interactive exhibit. Get a healthy dose of more than 50 unforgettable favorites, including Ms. Pac Man, Galaga, Space Invaders, Centipede and Donkey Kong. Featured exhibits will display the history of video games from the early pioneers in the 1940s, through the decline of the ’90s and into the groundbreaking technologies of today. Did you know that Long Island contributed to video game development? Learn all about it at this fun and educational exhibit. Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. cradleofaviation.org $8-$10. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Tue.-Sun., December 12 to April 3.An Intimate Acoustic Evening with Brent and Zach of ShinedownThese hard rock hellraisers from Jacksonville, Fla. have sold more than six million albums and converted fans across the globe. This is a rare, must-not-miss chance to catch them all intimate and stripped down. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $36.50-$65. 8 p.m. December 13.Nate RuessTouring in support of his recent solo drop, Grand Romantic, the Fun frontman will be singing his heart out, transporting all those in attendance to those special, magical realms where life is “Nothing Without Love” and a “Great Big Storm” of love is a-brewin’! Damn these songs are something powerful. Don’t miss this gig! Special guests A Great Big World and Jeff LeBlanc. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $30-$49.50. 8 p.m. December 14.Mac MillerThis 23-year-old from Pittsburgh, Pa. has been topping the charts and wowing crowds across the country with his raps and rhymes, and will be sure to transform The Mountler into a raging torrent of lyrical fascination, dazzlin’ and jazzlin’ and mesmerizin’ the whole night through! Wow. The GO:OD AM Tour with special guests Michael Christmas and EarthGang. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $27.50-$52. 8 p.m. December 15.Peppa Pig Live!Peppa Pig, star of Entertainment One’s (eOne) top-rated TV series, airing daily on Nick Jr., stars in her first-ever U.S. theatrical tour, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash. A fully immersive musical production featuring a dozen familiar and original songs, as well as an interactive sing-a-long, the live stage show will have fans laughing, singing, dancing and of course, jumping in muddy puddles too—just like Peppa. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $31.50-$51.50. 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. December 13, 5:30 p.m. December 15.Robert V. ConteThis pop-culture consultant will speak about and sign his new book Star Wars: The Official Topps Trading Card Series Vol. I. This deluxe compilation includes the fronts and backs of all 330 cards and 55 stickers (originally sold one per pack), including movie facts, story summaries, actor profiles, and puzzle cards featuring all your favorite characters and scenes from the very first Star Wars movie. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. December 16.Remember the NightGet into the holiday season spirit with Victoria Wilson, Barbara Stanwyck’s biographer, as she hosts a special screening of this off-beat, neglected Christmas gem—followed by a signing of her acclaimed book, in its gorgeous, brand-new paperback edition! Running the gamut from romantic drama to comedy and heartwarming sentiment—and with a slightly sloppy cameo appearance by Bossie the Cow—Remember the Night was scripted by the great Preston Sturges, who described it as having “a lot of schmaltz, a good dose of schmerz, and just enough schmutz to make it box office.” And so it was, with Barbara Stanwyck as a troubled shoplifter, teaming up for the first time with Fred MacMurray as a prosecutor too kind-hearted to leave her in the big-city clink during the Christmas recess when the court was not in session. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 7:30 p.m. December 16.–Compiled by Desiree D’orio, Chuck Cannini, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III
BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Local families were able to cool off in three of Binghamton’s public swimming pools starting Saturday morning. Pools at Cheri A. Lindsey Memorial Park, Southside Park on Webster Street and Recreation Park were all open with capacity limited to 50%. These restrictions didn’t bother Jay Mahler and his family who told 12 News they were just grateful for the opportunity to get out and swim as part of their Fourth of July holiday. Visitors inside the pool grounds were required to practice social distancing and remain in the water at all times. “It’s really great that they were able to open it up, I just hope everyone follows the rules and is able to have a good time, so it’s nice that we can be out here today,” he said. Mahler went on to say that while the cancellation of local July 4th staples like the Highland Park July 4th Extravaganza are disappointing, this holiday is an opportunity to focus on coming together as a nation to get through the COVID-19 crisis. “We’re going to try to focus on the positive stuff and keep everyone safe and happy and work together to get through this thing as a country and celebrate what brings us together not what divides us,” he said.
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Government That Works, Press Release, Results, Transparency Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today applauded the publishing of summaries of investigations conducted by the Office of Inspector General. The Office of Inspector General will publish online routine summaries of completed investigations for the first time in support of Governor Wolf’s call for agencies to provide more transparency and be more accountable to the citizens of Pennsylvania.“The Office of Inspector General is an important asset to state government and Pennsylvania taxpayers,” Governor Wolf said. “My administration is committed to furthering transparency and accountability in state government and this is another step forward towards that goal. I applaud Inspector General Grayling Williams and his office for their work in taking this initiative.”The four summaries published today include reviews of two Department of Transportation investigations, and one each for the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Department of Labor and Industry. The Office of Inspector General will continue to release more summaries of investigations in the future.“I am proud of our work to release these investigative details online for the first time,” Inspector General Williams said. “Often taxpayers will not be aware of the work of this office unless an investigation is referred to a law enforcement agency and ultimately results in criminal charges. These summaries inform the public of the important work done by this office to protect taxpayers and improve state government. We hope that publication of these summaries will encourage the public and Commonwealth employees to continue to report waste, fraud, abuse, and employee misconduct concerns to the Office of Inspector General.”Inspector General Williams said the Office of Inspector General decided to release only summaries of the investigations to keep the public informed of the office’s activities, while avoiding a chilling effect that could occur by releasing more detailed information that could reveal the identity of complainants.“Many of our office’s investigations are the result of brave Commonwealth employees and others who come forward with information, and we want future complainants to feel protected,” Williams said.The summaries released today include investigations of:Reimbursement requests by contractors of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development;Receipt of gifts by employees of a Driver License Center of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation;Programs within the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation; andApproval by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the closure of a public right-of-way as part of the installation of a sign on adjacent private property.The summaries can be found here on the Office of Inspector General’s improved website.The Office of Inspector General receives reports of waste, fraud, abuse, and employee misconduct in the Commonwealth’s executive agencies and programs by phone through its toll-free number 1-855-FRAUD-PA (1-855-372-8372) and through its website, www.oig.pa.gov. Complaints can also be filed anonymously.# # # September 21, 2015 Governor Wolf Applauds First-Ever Online Publishing of Inspector General Investigation Summaries SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
People exercising along Kangaroo Point cliffs in Brisbane, Sunday, July 16, 2017. The cliffs are located on the south side of the Brisbane River and are a popular picnic, rock climbing and abseiling site. Picture: AAP Image/Darren EnglandA SURPRISING Queensland outlier has topped the nation for its proportion of rented properties, leaving even Brisbane’s inner-city eating its dust.The Torres Strait Islands had the nation’s highest proportion of properties rented at a whopping 86.3 per cent, according to CoreLogic analysis of 2016 Census figures.Next were two Northern Territory areas – East Arnhem (84 per cent) and Nhulunbuy (79.6 per cent) – followed by Newman in Western Australia (74.4 per cent), Carlton in Victoria (71.2 per cent) and Queensland mining town Moranbah (69.7 per cent).CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said the top three regions for rented properties were dominated by accommodation that was provided by government.Torres Strait has the nation’s highest proportion of rented properties. Picture: Sue ThompsonMore from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours ago“Overall, the most rental-centric regions are generally located within mining and resource-related regions, and inner city areas where significant increases in housing density has taken place over recent years.”The Brisbane area with the highest proportion of properties rented was Fortitude Valley, which at 65 per cent was 12th on the national list, while South Brisbane was 19th on 62.3 per cent.Spring Hill was in 21st position (61.3 per cent), with university suburb Kelvin Grove 27th (59.4 per cent), and high growth middle ring suburb Chermside 37th (57.6 per cent).Mr Kusher said the proportion of properties rented has been trending higher going from 29.6 per cent during the 2011 Census, 27.2 per cent at the 2006 Census and 30.9 per cent of all dwellings“While the proportion of dwellings being rented is climbing, the proportion of properties owned outright has also been trending lower and the rate of home ownership is diminishing,” he said.“An interesting observation from the latest Census analysis is that those properties classified as ‘rentals’ are not all owned by private investors; almost 12 per cent of rented dwellings are owned by state or territory housing authorities, and 2 per cent are owned by community/church groups.”
“The main reasons were uncertainty over the trade war between the US and China, the domestic political situation in the US, and political fragility in Europe following the election of populist governments,” Geroa stated.The Basque pension fund’s equity allocation – 35% of its €2bn portfolio – lost 12.1%.During 2019 the fund’s equity weighting would be reduced to an average 25%, Geroa said, with a maximum of 30%, in order to avoid high volatility and losses.Geroa’s portfolio had a 58% allocation to fixed income as at end-2018. Mark-to-market fixed income lost 2.3% and short-term fixed income lost 0.2%, but fixed income held to maturity gained 3.2%.Meanwhile, investments in the Basque Country and neighbouring Navarra rose to 14.6% of Geroa’s total portfolio during last year. This included its 50% stake in Orza, an asset manager set up to invest in Basque businesses. The investment amounted to 2.6% of Geroa’s portfolio at 31 December 2018.Geroa Pentsioak provides supplementary pension cover for medium and low-paid workers, and was judged best Spanish multi-employer scheme in last year’s IPE awards.Rise in dollar softens Caixabank scheme losses Caixabank’s headquarters in Barcelona, SpainSpain’s biggest private sector pension scheme posted a 1.7% loss for 2018, down from a 1.8% gain for the previous year, largely down to poor performance in the fourth quarter of the year.Pensions Caixa 30’s equities allocation lost 8.6% during the year, compared with a 10.5% gain in 2017. All regions posted losses, with emerging markets declining by 10%. Eurozone equities lost 14.8% while its frontier markets allocation lost 15.1%.The fund’s control commission has decided to lower the scheme’s benchmark equity exposure for 2019 from 33% to 30% and to raise the fixed income benchmark from 46% to 51%. Within fixed income, it is increasing the weighting to US public debt to defend against market corrections.Pensions Caixa 30 – the €5.6bn employees’ pension scheme of the Caixabank banking group – also decided to lower the benchmark exposure for alternatives from 21% to 19%, while increasing exposure to private equity and real assets.In contrast to the equity losses, the scheme’s fixed income allocation made 1.9%, compared with a 4.3% loss the previous year. Non-eurozone bonds were the best performers in 2018, with a 5.5% return, while alternative fixed income gained 4.5%. The pension fund said these returns were lifted by the appreciation of the dollar.Alternatives made 6.1%, including private equity’s 16.1% return, and real assets, which added 12.8%.The fund’s portfolio is managed by VidaCaixa, which is owned by Caixabank. At end-2018, equities made up 31.4% of investments, with 40.7% in fixed income and 20.7% in alternatives.The result dragged down the three-year average annual return for Pensions Caixa 30 to 1.4%. In the three years to the end of 2017 it had gained 3% a year on average.For the five years to 31 December 2018 the fund added 3.2% a year, compared with 5.5% a year for the five-year period to 31 December 2017. Two of Spain’s biggest occupational pension funds are cutting equity allocations in the wake of investment losses incurred last year.Geroa Pentsioak, the multi-sector pension fund for workers in province in Spain’s Basque Country, lost 4.8% in 2018, compared with a 3.8% return from its benchmark.This also compared with a return of nearly 10% banked by the pension fund in 2017, and was also below the 3.2% average loss for Spain’s occupational pension funds during 2018. It took Geroa’s average annual return since inception in 1996 to 6.1%.The loss was due to poor performance across all markets, particularly in equities, said the pension fund.