Ohio Legislators Seek Extension of Freeze on Renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kathiann M. Kowalski for Midwest Energy News:Clean energy industry and environmental organizations say continuing the freeze will put Ohio at a further disadvantage if the EPA climate rules are upheld.“The bill on its face is something that’s going to halt innovation and the new energy economy that’s emerging pretty much all around us,” said Ted Ford, president of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy.The draft, circulated by state Sen. Bill Seitz, would suspend additional requirements under Ohio’s clean energy standards for three more years after the current two-year freeze that supporters claimed was just a “pause” and “time out” to let a special committee study the standards.Sen. Troy Balderson, co-chair of the Ohio Senate’s Public Utilities Commission, said he favors the idea of an additional freeze.“We are still looking to continue the freeze to 2019,” Balderson said.“With the [Clean Power Plan] on hold right now, that would be the nearest time frame that we would start that process again,” Balderson said. “And that’s an ‘if.’ That’s not definite as to when it would happen.”“It would be much better for us to have an understanding of where we’re going to go with the Clean Power Plan [and] what standards the feds are going to put on us before knowing what the standards should be that we should put in there also,” Balderson said.“That’s just not the way that it works,” said Trish Demeter at the Ohio Environmental Council.“The longer we have these standards frozen, the more we get behind in terms of being on track to meet the carbon reduction goals,” Demeter said. “So it makes sense to bring them back as soon as possible. Then we’ll be able to count what we’re doing now towards our final goal.”Nor are there unresolved technical issues that would make it harder for Ohio to comply with the federal rules, noted Samantha Williams of the Natural Resources Defense Council.“There is no legitimate concern about conflicting requirements,” she said. “Ohio is likely to take a mass-based approach that is streamlined and does not impose on Ohio any particular methodology…for ‘counting’ clean energy,” she explained. “In other words, if it’s real, it counts.”Ohio has other reasons to let strong clean energy standards resume, advocates say.“Forward-looking power companies and businesses across the economy are already seizing on the opportunities associated with investing in clean energy and energy efficiency,” Williams said. “The electricity sector has already embarked on an unstoppable shift from its high-pollution, dirty-fueled past to a safer, cleaner-powered future.”“As a laggard, Ohio only stands to lose,” Williams said.Ohio lawmakers cite Clean Power Plan in push for ‘freeze’ extension
Matt StephensonLast month, sports betting data and trading specialist Betgenius launched its first-ever streaming service designed to help sportsbooks plug crucial gaps in their in-play betting schedules.The company’s Global Partnerships Director Matt Stephenson told SBC how Betgenius plans to offer its partners fresh and engaging content around the clock._______________________SBC: Hi Matt, thanks for this interview. Can you detail to SBC audiences why Betgenius has launched a live streaming service after so many years specialising in data and outsourced trading? MS:As part of the Genius Sports Group, Betgenius has access to a huge portfolio of official data rights which it provides to sportsbooks as either raw live data feeds or outsourced managed trading services.Launching a live streaming service was a natural evolution of these close relationships we have with sports; creating an official data product for betting is about helping leagues and federations grow their fanbase and attract new revenues – exactly the same can be said about streaming.However, we also wanted to bring something fresh and valuable to market. From a sportsbook perspective, we saw a growing need among operators to strengthen customer retention during quiet scheduling periods. Therefore, we are initially focusing on content which fills gaps in the live betting schedule, for example, fixtures played during midweek daytimes and overnight for operators in European time zones.SBC: What type of content is Betgenius offering to its partners? MS: Initially, our content is focused on football, basketball, volleyball and table tennis fixtures played across four continents – Europe, Asia, Africa and South America – and subsequently multiple timezones.This is a mixture of content derived from direct sports partnerships where our own data and video technology is used, along with content from third parties who hold the streaming rights. Through the latter for example, we are able to exclusively offer more than 35 Asian football competitions. SBC: What makes the service different?MS: Much of the new content we are offering has never been made available to sportsbook operators before. Yet perhaps the biggest strategic value to operators is the timing of these broadcasts.While streaming of high profile events is, of course, important, most sports fans would rather watch them on TV and not a bookmaker’s website. By focusing on fixtures played at off-peak times on, say, a Monday afternoon, when there are no Champions League or Premier League matches, our partners will offer a complete in-play experience, including live odds and footage.SBC: How does this streaming service dovetail with your live data and trading services?MS: Our entry into the streaming space is really an extension of our commitment to creating a symbiotic relationship between sports and betting. Like data, streaming is a mechanism for sports to commercialise and sportsbooks to engage customers and grow profits. By partnering with sports directly, we are able to provide our sportsbook partners with fast and reliable streaming content while ensuring the sports themselves receive a fair return from the betting sector.Alongside this new service we will be offering a full range of official data and trading services for every streamed fixture. These two elements are highly complementary and allow our partners to access a complete live content solution in one place. SBC: It was announced earlier this week that Betgenius sister company Genius Sports acquired live streaming specialists Oppia Performance. How does this translate to the services that you’re providing to sportsbooks?MS: Oppia Performance supplies an entire range of sports with their own live streaming and performance analysis capability, specialising in volleyball, basketball and an array of other indoor sports. It’s a hugely exciting acquisition which allows Genius Sports to offer an automated video production and distribution system to its global network of over 500 sports partners as GeniusLive.In the future Betgenius will gain access to official – low-latency, 4k HD – streaming content via these partnerships and Oppia’s know-how and technical capabilities will prove an invaluable asset as we roll out our new services to sports and bookmakers._______________________Matt Stephenson – Global Partnerships Director – Betgenius Share Scott Longley – Confusion reigns over FDC’s second betting rights deal July 14, 2020 Submit Share StumbleUpon Betgenius expands virtual sports range with Kiron August 20, 2020 888 calls for Betgenius sportsbook makeover June 25, 2020 Related Articles
‘TEAM HAWK’—From left: John Krchmar, Terry Smith, Munz Abdulla, Devante Goudy, Bill Neal, B B Flenory, Kevin Corlew, and Karlton Griffin. For many years, the league’s games were played outside in various Pittsburgh neighborhoods.“In 1975, I was the program director at the Homewood Brushton YMCA and we wanted to do something to help out the area because Homewood was down after the burnout from the rioting after the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Bill Neal, the league’s co-organizer and president and CEO of Champion Enterprises. “The great Connie Hawkins was working out at the YMCA and I asked him could we use his name to introduce a new league and he said just don’t mess up my name.”Hawkins is an NBA Hall of Famer and voted one of the NBA 50 all-time greatest players. Better known as the “Hawk,” he led the Pittsburgh Pipers to a world championship in the ABA.This seem like a odd matchup: Hawkins a famous NBA veteran from the mean streets of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Neal the young college graduate who grew up in the posh suburbs of the Lincoln Park section of Penn Hills.“Back in the ’70s the area’s most successful league was the 5th Avenue League run by Dew Brown and for some reason in 1975 the league didn’t run on the Hill and all their players came and played in the Connie Hawkins League,” said Neal. “It all started with Connie Hawkins. His name meant everything, but in 1976 we would not have been able to survive if it wasn’t for Jose Champagne, Eddie Jefferies and the Rankin Gangsters. Jose and Eddie said that they were going to play in the Connie Hawkins league and everybody followed.”Neal is a real champion for the people; his workingman’s approach to basketball and work ethic carries over into the league. From 1975 to 1979 Homewood averaged 500 people per night and from 1980 to 1990 the league moved to East Hills and averaged 1,000 fans per night.“We outgrew East Hills. The buses couldn’t run, no place to park. Fans were parking on the grass standing on top of their cars trying to watch the games,” said Neal. “In 1991 we moved to Penley Park in East Liberty and they renamed the park Champions Park and redesigned the court especially for the Connie Hawkins games.”The league is best known for matching NCAA, NBA and NFL players with lawyers, businessmen and the average Joe. The league welcomes the area’s premier Division I players from Pitt, Duquesne and Robert Morris.“I played basketball and football all my life,” said Todd Thomas, former All-State basketball player from Beaver Falls High School. “I’m playing receiver for the Pitt football team and playing in the Connie Hawkins gives me a chance to continuing playing basketball at the highest level.”Players in the league range from those heading into their senior year in high school to recent high school graduates, players in college and former professional players, such as Pittsburgh natives Myron Brown and Armon Gilliam, who earned millions of dollars during his 14-year NBA career.League Director Debra Coleman said the league is pretty competitive, with talented players from colleges such as California University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock, Edinboro, Geneva, Seton Hill, Bethany and Penn State-Greater Allegheny.In 2007, the league decided to move from outside to inside “The House.” The league went through renovations and in an “Extreme Makeover: Connie Hawkins Edition—a retooled league found new life at the Club 4-life in Monroeville better known as God’s country.The indoor facility provides a more controlled environment and a surface that wouldn’t take its toll on the players’ knees. Pittsburgh playground legend and former Duquesne University superstar Bryant McAllister is drawing oohs and ahhs from the crowd on a nightly basis.“It’s a great privilege for us to come and play our games here. It’s a chance for people to come down and watch some great basketball and check out what The Club has offer,” said Neal. “What we are most proud about is in 35 years we never had a major injury to anybody. No broken leg, no concussion. We never had a major incident of any kind and it speaks to the quality of the program. We have assisted over 350 kids get into college.“We had 50 go to the NBA and over 100 play professionally overseas.” After being served up lemons after 2006, Neal went about the business of turning them into lemonade! Neal has not missed a game in 35 years and it is this kind of enthusiasm and love for the game that have turned the Connie Hawkins into one of the best in the world.The Club 4-life, Monroeville, Bill Neal and the Connie Hawkins League is a match made in heaven. The basketball gods were shining on the Connie Hawkins Summer Basketball League as it returned to the indoor facilities of The Club 4-life in Monroeville to celebrate its 35th anniversary. For nearly four decades the league was the gold standard in which Pittsburgh’s great basketball players were tested. The league has been nationally recognized and was once named one of the top 10 best summer leagues by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It is the fifth-longest running league in the country.