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Odds & Ends: Rachel Bloom’s Next Gig Is Crazy & More

first_img View Comments Rachel Bloom(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Rachel Bloom’s Not Just Crazy; She’s Most Likely To MurderWe’re not sure what’s up with Rachel Bloom and adjectives, but the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend mastermind is set to star in the forthcoming film Most Likely to Murder. According to Deadline, Bloom will star alongside The Mindy Project’s Adam Pally in the dark comedy, which centers on Billy (Pally), a former high school popular kid who returns to his hometown 10 years later to find he’s no longer cool. To top it all off, the girl he still has feelings for is now dating the former high school outcast, whose mother dies under mysterious circumstances. Billy becomes obsessed with proving that she was actually murdered. Executive producers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand penned the film; Gregor, who works with Bloom on The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, will direct.Hamilton Merchandise Lawsuit SettledAs previously reported, a lawsuit was filed on October 7 regarding unofficial Hamilton merchandise; HamiltonCo, the hit’s production entity, sued GearLaunch and SunFrog, claiming that they were retailing unauthorized merchandise. On February 22, the organizations announced that they have amicably settled. “We are pleased that this matter has been so expeditiously resolved, and that GearLaunch and SunFrog are both strongly aligned with the effort to filter out pirated or infringing merchandise,” Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller said in a statement. Phew—now wasn’t that better than a duel?Suzan-Lori Parks’ Pen Is Big Screen-BoundPulitzer Prize winner and Signature Theatre Residency One playwright Suzan-Lori Parks has signed on to adapt Richard Wright’s novel Native Son for the big screen, Deadline reports. Photographer Rashid Johnson will make his feature directorial debut on the project. Published in 1940, Native Son is a controversial portrayal of African Americans living in poverty in Chicago. The book has been adapted for the stage multiple times, most famously a year after its publication by Orson Welles, and film versions were released in 1951 and 1986.Tyne Daly & More Set for Geffen PlayhouseVariety reports that Tony winner Tyne Daly has been tapped to headline the world premiere of the new musical Chasing Mem’ries at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse. The tuner includes songs from Alan and Marilyn Bergman, such as “The Way We Were” and “In the Heat of the Night.” Robert Forster will also star in the production, and Joshua Ravetch (Wishful Drinking) is at the helm. Geffen’s heavy-hitting 2017-18 roster also includes Neil LaBute’s The Way We Get By, Sarah Jones’ Sell/Buy/Date, Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew and Haley Feiffer’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City. Dates, casts and three more productions will be announced at a later time.[title of show]’s Star-Studded 10 Year Anniversary BashBreak out the answering machine: [title of show]’s fab four, Susan Blackwell, Heidi Blickenstaff, Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen, will reunite on March 13 at the Vineyard Theatre’s 2017 Gala. Guests will celebrate the show’s 10 year anniversary and toast super producer Kevin McCollum. The lineup of stars is dazzling: Stephanie J. Block, Steven Boyer, Betty Buckley, Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Brandon Victor Dixon, Penny Fuller, Gideon Glick, Joanna Gleason, Joe Iconis, Andrea McArdle, Bebe Neuwirth and Chris Sarandon are on the roster. Directed by Michael Berresse, the gala will launch the Vineyard Theatre’s New Musical Theatre Fund and take place at the Edison Ballroom.Sandra Oh & More Tapped for Public Studio PlaysPublic Studio is back! Two new plays will run in The Public’s Shiva Theater this spring, featuring a TV favorite and a Tony nominee. First up is Ricardo Pérez González’s On the Grounds of Belonging, a heartbreaking new take on an old-fashioned love story. The cast includes Tony nominee Bobby Steggert (Ragtime), Craig Bockhorn, Ta’Rea Campbell, Tré Davis, Mike Hodge and Christopher Livingston. The production will be directed by David Mendizábal and run from March 23 through April 1. Next, Leigh Silverman will helm Wild Goose Dreams by Hansol Jung, which centers on two people from different cultures that are forced to choose between family and freedom. The play is scheduled to run from April 6 through April 15, featuring five-time Emmy nominee Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy), Cindy Cheung, Stephanie Hsu and James Yaegashi.last_img read more

Early Garden

first_img Water-filled tubes store solar heat and provide frost protection. Historically, gardeners have taken early transplants safely outdoors before the weather is ready in a number of ways. Bell-shaped cloches made from pottery or woven straw for night protection in milder climates can be traced to 1629 in Britain and even earlier in France and Europe. Cold frames and hot beds are both bottomless boxes with a clear glazing or covering to let in light. The difference is that the hot beds include a buried layer of manure to slowly decompose and keep a higher temperature in the enclosure. Modern technology has greatly expanded the options the gardener has for extending the growing season. The latest design in cloches is circles of water-filled, plastic tubes to collect solar heat and provide further frost protection. The idea of cloches has also been combined with the idea of cold frames into tunnels of solid and slit plastic or fiberglass that cover entire rows but can be removed as the season progresses. The newest tools are floating row covers. These lightweight, spunbonded fabrics drape loosely over rows so they can be raised as the plants grow. Floating row covers offer about 4 degrees of frost protection. But they’re most valuable as they protect plants from drying winds, boost daytime temperatures under the cover, and provide excellent protection, if properly installed, from flying insect pests. To get the latter, you have to cover the edges with soil or firmly attach them to raised beds so the insects can’t get in. Then you can have pesticide-free, wormless broccoli earlier and healthier than ever before. No special ventilation is required with these new row covers. Water seeps right through. With care, you can remove, store and use the covers for two growing seasons. Modern plastic cloches provide about the same protection as traditional straw or pottery. These enclosures help ease seedlings from the indoor window to the outdoor garden. However, you can use them, too, for an early-spring or late-fall vegetable crop, or for a winter garden. Given enough moisture and fertilization, most fall-planted cool-season crops will keep growing through early winter in the cold frame. Depending on the harshness of the winter and whether you use added heating, your frame can provide fresh greens, herbs and root crops all winter. Lettuce, spinach, radishes, green onions or other cool-weather crops will thrive in the cold frame. Straw bales make effective insulation in the coldest part of winter. Another way to keep the structure warm is to keep several light bulbs burning during the extreme cold. Unheated frames are useful for much of the year because they collect heat from the sun through the panes. To make the most of the heat and light, put the cold frame in a southern or southeastern exposure with a slight slope for good drainage. A sheltered spot with a wall or hedge to the north will protect against winter winds. Cross-section of a hotbed. Georgians can look forward to a growing season of 165 to 230 days or more. However, most of us become anxious to get started before the last of winter’s cold is gone. last_img read more

10 Weedy solution

first_img Volume XXVII Number 1 Page 10 By Wayne McLaurin Georgia Extension Service It makes no difference what we do, weeds seem to win. What you really want to do is prevent the weeds from going to seed. A favorite saying of my father’s was “one year of seed equals seven years of weed.”A single dandelion plant is said to produce 15,000 seeds in one year, and each seed is capable of surviving for up to six years in the soil. Each purslane plant, too, can produce thousands of seeds that can survive for many years. So it’s in your best interest to stay ahead of the weeds.Tried and true weaponsThe best weapons for the home garden are the hoe and rototiller.Over the past years, hoes have been redesigned. There are quite a few designs for weeding tools now, including different handle lengths; pointed, arrow-shaped blades; and scuffle hoes, which have a twin-blade action.However, I still prefer my lightweight, normal-headed hoe. With the small head I can get around plants with ease. For larger areas, shallow cultivation with a rototiller a few times during the season can do wonders.Mulches work, tooMulching around plants will go a long way toward reducing weeds’ ability to take over, too. And organic mulches tend to cool the soil and conserve soil moisture while reducing weed germination.Apply materials such as chipped or shredded bark, straw, hay, grass clippings or pine needles 2 to 4 inches deep, and replenish them as needed.Plastic mulch tends to warm the soil. It’s best used on warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes, melons, squash and peppers. If soil gets too hot in midsummer, you might want to put a shallow layer of organic mulch on top of the plastic mulch.Don’t just sit there and look! Use your hands. (Well, make that your gloved hands.) Young weeds are very easy to pull, especially after a rain or irrigation.Use chemical weed weapons with careThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved a number of herbicides, but relatively few are available for home gardens. Most are restricted to commercial use, and you have to have a license to buy them.Herbicides are very effective when used right by the label. However, there is a risk of damaging the very plants you’re trying to protect.If you use a herbicide, read the label and follow directions.Also, if you choose to use a herbicide and use sprayers and other equipment to apply it, make sure you label the equipment for that use. And have a different sprayer for other types of pesticides.Some herbicides must be applied before the weeds emerge. Others can be applied after the weeds have started growing. Some are more likely to volatilize and drift from their intended target. And others are intended to kill any green plant and must be used only on the plants you want to kill.Some herbicide products come ready-to-use in a convenient, trigger-spray bottle, while others have to be mixed with water. Some specialized products, too, can help minimize risk to desirable plants. Wick and wand applicators, for instance, let you place the herbicide directly on the intended plant.There are fertilizer products out there, too, that contain weed killers. These fertilizers are designed to be applied to your lawn and kill any broadleaf plants that come up.I’ve had many calls when people have only grass coming up in their garden. They’ve used the weed fertilizers, and almost everything they planted in the garden was a broadleaf plant. Please don’t use these in your garden.It’s easy to see where the home gardener can end up causing unintended damage to other plants by using herbicides.Maybe it’s good for the “ab” muscles we hear so much about to just bend over and pull the weeds.last_img read more

Imported pathogens

first_imgThere are also issues surrounding the safety of imported fish. Some 480 million pounds of salmon and 1.1 billion pounds of shrimp are imported annually.Most imported seafood is farm-raised. Many foreign fish producers use excessive levels of antibiotics, including many that are not allowed for fish in the U.S. They also use fecal waste that is contaminated with harmful microorganisms, Doyle said. “Safety standards for imported foods must be changed,” he said. “If they aren’t, we are likely to see even more foodborne illness outbreaks in this country.” By Allie ByrdUniversity of GeorgiaIn 2004, for the first time ever, the United States imported more food than it exported. If this trend continues, a University of Georgia expert predicts cases of foodborne illness will rise in the U.S.“The occurrence and size of foodborne outbreaks in the U.S. will likely increase dramatically as more of our food is imported,” said Michael Doyle, director of the UGA Center for Food Safety in Griffin, Ga. “The differential keeps growing and growing.”The U.S. food supply overall is safe, but more than 70 million cases of foodborne illness are reported each year, Doyle said. Fresh vegetables are becoming a major vehicle for the transmission of foodborne pathogens, especially E. coli.“Outbreaks associated with fresh produce will likely continue as we consume more fresh produce,” Doyle said.Sliced vegetables are easily contaminated, he said, because microbes on the vegetables’ surfaces can attach to the wounds created by slicing.“Treatments for fresh-cut produce, such as chlorine, are not fully effective for killing harmful bacteria,” Doyle said. “Neither producers nor consumers have an effective treatment available for produce.” Poor refrigeration in homes and at some grocery stores also contributes to contamination, along with ineffective cleaning and disinfecting.Imported vegetables are often contaminated due to unsafe farming practices, like using untreated human and animal waste to irrigate crops, he said. “Many developing countries don’t have the same hygiene and sanitary standards for producing and processing foods like we have in the U.S.” Most food exports into the U.S. come from Canada and Mexico, he said. But Brazil and China are becoming major agriculture producers and exporters.A large percentage of nuts, garlic, cucumbers and tomatoes are imported into the U.S. from India, China and Mexico. “India is a primary provider of tree nuts,” Doyle said. “If you eat cashews, they probably came from India.”The increase of imported foods has overwhelmed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, he said. Its inspectors are only able to visually check one percent of shipments.last_img read more

Rose pruning

first_imgThe right toolsThe key to successful rose pruning is having the right tools for the job. Buying a quality pair of bypass, not anvil, pruners will be well worth the average $25 cost. A good pair of pruners pays for itself in reduced physical effort and nice, clean cuts.Know your varietyPlants that flower repeatedly through the season can be pruned severely. However, if the plant blooms only once a year, such as Climbing Queen Elizabeth and Lady Banks Rose, the less pruning you do the better. These once-a-year bloomers flower on old wood, so pruning will decrease potential blooms come spring. Instead, return to these plants after the spring bloom and shorten their canes by a third. Do a trial cutAs you prune, you should position the shears so that the cutting (sharp) blade is below the stationary blade. Make a few trial cuts and examine the wood on either side of the wood if you are unsure of the blade’s position. The side of the cut hitting the stationary blade will show a small tear on the bark. The other side will be cleanly cut. It’s the inside that countsIt is the inside appearance of the cane and not the outside appearance determines whether the cane is a keeper or not. Located in the center of the cane, the pith transports moisture and nutrients upward to the leaves. Removal of damaged canes will stimulate the production of new canes, which will allow the plant to be more efficient.If the pith is brown or black, continue to cut down the cane until green or white pith is revealed. In some cases this may mean a drastic reduction of the cane. Occasionally, the pith will become darker with each successive cut, and the cane will have to be removed at the bud union using a small pruning saw. Other cutsExamine the configuration and number of the remaining canes. Remove any canes that cross through the center of the plant or grow inward. The goal is a configuration where canes grow up and out from the bud union leaving the center of the plant open for good air circulation. If there are more than five or six canes, remove the oldest, least productive canes until the strongest, youngest five or six remain.Those after a garden display will usually prune higher (three feet) so that more bud eyes are left on the plant. More bud eyes mean more shoots that will ultimately result in more buds and more blooms. For fewer but larger blooms, prune much lower (about 18 inches). No matter where you decide to cut, make the cut about a fourth of an inch above a bud eye that faces away from the center of the plant. Growth that emerges from such an eye will grow outward and help keep the center of the plant open.Sealing cutsIt is not crucial to seal pruning cuts, but a general purpose glue, like Elmer’s, can be used. Avoid the school glue formulations that are water based. If using pruning paints, use caution as dripping them on an emerging bud eye could result in damage. Mid February to early March is the best time to prune roses. To achieve a high quality rose bush, you must remove all dead and diseased wood and reduce the remaining canes by at least a third. Following these tips from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension will help you get the job done efficiently and effectively. last_img read more

Start Seeds Now

first_imgDoes winter weather have you anxious for spring? Are you ready to start digging in the dirt and growing tomatoes, peppers, squash and other warm-season veggies? Even though there are still chilly days ahead, you can plan now for your spring vegetable garden. Experimenting with new and new-to-you vegetables is one of the advantages of starting plants from seeds. There are several different planters that can be used to start seeds, so experiment. One favorite is peat pellets on planting trays with clear lids. Peat pellets are those small, round discs that expand when watered. You can buy them at most big-box stores or garden centers. Read the seed package to determine how deep to plant the seeds for optimal germination.It’s best to give seedlings six to eight weeks to grow before outdoor temperatures are safe for planting them in the vegetable garden. Even though we have had warmer-than-normal weather, May 1 is still a good target date for starting a vegetable garden. Counting backwards from the first of May, the middle of March is a good time to start growing seeds indoors. Warm soil, not just warm air temperature, is crucial for summer vegetable plant roots to begin growing. It may take longer for soil temperatures to warm up to between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the optimal planting temperature range. Get accurate soil temperatures for your area through the University of Georgia’s weather network at www.georgiaweather.net.To start seeds indoors before the temperatures get higher outside, you can use a lamp system of one cool fluorescent lamp paired with one warm one. This provides light in the spectrum that plants need for optimal germination and growth. This combination provides enough warmth and light to get seedlings to germinate within a few days.To provide moisture, add water to the bottom of the pellet-filled trays. The water will be soaked up from the base and this will prevent early problems with root rot and disease. Seeds and seedlings need to be moist, but not wet. Seeds will germinate and produce their first cotyledons (new seed leaves) under the tray covers. Once the first true leaves appear, remove the tray covers.Soon after the lid is removed, transplant the seedlings to 3- or 4-inch diameter pots. Larger pots give seedlings room for root expansion. When the plants have three or four true leaves on the stem, they are ready to be moved outdoors during the day.The immature seedlings need to harden off (adjust to life outdoors) gradually outside, but they won’t withstand cold temperatures or even intense sunlight at this point. The weather should be closely monitored during this time. Bring seedlings in at night to protect them from temperature extremes. Once spring temperatures are consistently above freezing, the new plants can be moved into the garden. Patience is the key to growing vegetables from seeds. Starting vegetables from seeds requires that you trust in neglect, so don’t give the seedlings too much attention. I can’t think of anything more satisfying than knowing I was able to produce a productive vegetable garden from just some tiny seeds.For more information about growing a vegetable garden, see UGA Cooperative Extension publications at extension.uga.edu/publications.last_img read more

Toy Safety

first_imgWhen toy shopping for children, shopping at your favorite store or clicking a button online involves a certain responsibility. It’s important to choose wisely when buying holiday toys to make sure your gifts aren’t an unintentional safety hazard.One of the most important things to consider is whether the toy is age-appropriate for the child. This means choosing something that is complex enough to be interesting, but not so difficult that the child can’t play with it. It is also important to ensure that toys are used properly, so checking in with the child’s parents or caregivers is a wise idea.When choosing the ideal toy for a child in your life, think about the child and the toy. Ask yourself about the child’s interests, abilities and needs, likes and dislikes and the type of play area available. Avoid toys that won’t work in the space available.Here are some basic guidelines to choose safe toys for children:Select high-quality toys made of sturdy, durable materials. Avoid toys that are cheaply made, as they could break easily.Avoid toys with sharp edges or sharp points. These could cause injury.Avoid toys with small parts for children under age three. Small parts could be a choking hazard.When buying battery-operated toys, make sure the parts are secure, the batteries cannot be removed easily and the toy is sturdy enough to handle how the child plays.Read package labels to make sure the toy was made using safe materials. Look for words like “nontoxic” on art materials and “flame resistant” on fabric toys.Check the suggested age range on the package. Be cautious about choosing toys for children below the suggested age range, as they may be unsafe for a younger child.If a toy comes with instructions, be sure to read them and share any safety information with children and parents or caregivers.Parents or caregivers should check each toy periodically to make sure all parts are still attached and nothing is broken or loose.Play is the most important way children learn. By following these guidelines when choosing toys, we can all help ensure that children remain safe during playtime.For more information on selecting toys for children, visit the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) website at www.naeyc.org.last_img read more

Heritage Flight Adds Non-Stop Service to West Coast, Caribbean, Europe

first_imgVermont Charter Company Expands Fleet,Adds Non-Stop Service to West Coast, Caribbean, EuropeLonger Routes Continue to be PopularBURLINGTON, VT (July 1, 2008) – Heritage Flight has added another, larger jet to its fleet, enabling the Vermont-based charter airline and aircraft management company to expand its menu of non-stop destinations.With the addition of a sleek Canadair Challenger 604, Heritage can now transport passengers from Burlington, Montreal, Boston, Albany and elsewhere in the northeastern U.S. and southern Quebec directly to such popular locations as Las Vegas and California, Mexican and Caribbean resorts, and even Europe.Heritage had previously offered non-stop service to most of these destinations with a Canadair Challenger 601, which it parted with in 2007. The newly acquired Challenger 604 represents a technology and comfort upgrade – in addition, the jet’s range is about 500 miles longer than that of the 601.”The decision to invest in this Challenger 604 aircraft reflects our commitment to the large jet marketplace,” explains Heritage Flight (www.flyheritage.com(link is external)) President Chris Hill. “We’re once again able to provide routine non-stop, jet service from the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada to anywhere in the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean, and to most of Western Europe. With this new Challenger’s capabilities, we can provide clients exceptionally comfortable jet service to almost any point on the globe.”The Challenger 604 can accommodate nine passengers, plus luggage, yet still yield worldwide capabilities. And in addition to being graceful and comfortable, it offers stellar performance. The plane can cruise at an impressive 510 miles per hour – which means, for example, it can bring passengers from western New England down to Aruba in slightly less than five hours.A flight from Montreal to Paris would take only seven hours.”When it comes to the decision to charter a jet like our Challenger 604, a primary consideration is time,” says Hill. “As an example, once you make arrangements with us, you can actually leave your downtown Montreal office at 10 a.m., be taking off by 11 a.m., and be arriving in Paris by 6 p.m. – thus eliminating the lost time and frustrations common with airline travel today.”Another significant benefit to flying via charter is privacy. While the jet’s in the air, you can converse or teleconference with a colleague or client without imposing on other passengers. And if you’re really pressed for time, the plane itself can serve as a comfortable conference room – even at 41,000 feet in the air.”It’s easy to see how the benefits of flying privately outweigh the premium placed on chartered flight over commercial airline service,” Hill adds. “We can transport our clients just about anywhere, and for those who prefer to own their own jet, we offer exceptional aircraft management service.”Additional information about Heritage Flight, including both its charter and aircraft maintenance services, is available by calling 800.782-0773.About Heritage FlightHeritage Flight (www.flyheritge.com(link is external)) has been operating continually since 1984. Its pilots and crew are the ultimate professionals, and collectively bring more than 100,000 hours of flight experience to Heritage.All the company’s captains hold Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificates, the highest license possible for commercial operations. In fact, several have chosen to work at Heritage after careers with major airlines. Each pilot undergoes stringent, semi-annual training – exceeding federal requirements – through Flight Safety, the world’s preeminent pilot training organization.Heritage also has access to almost any type of aircraft, through various charter partners at the Burlington International Airport and throughout the world. In-person tours can be scheduled by calling 800.782-0773.For individuals who own a plane, Heritage can provide management and also help generate charter revenue. Additional information on the many advantages of this aircraft management service – such as tax and depreciation benefits – is available by contacting Heritage at 800.782-0773.last_img read more

CVPS announces public stock offering

first_imgCVPS announces public stock offeringRUTLAND, Vermont Central Vermont Public Service Corporation (NYSE:CV) announced November 17, 2008, a public offering of 1,125,000 newly issued shares of its common stock. Central Vermont expects to grant the underwriters of the offering a 30-day option to purchase up to 112,500 additional shares of Central Vermont common stock solely to cover over-allotments, if any. Central Vermont intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes, including the repayment of debt, capital expenditures, investments in Vermont Transco LLC and working capital requirements.Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated is acting as sole bookrunner, and KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. is acting as co-manager for this offering. You may obtain a copy of the preliminary prospectus supplement and final prospectus supplement, when available, from Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, 180 Varick Street 2/F, New York, NY 10014, prospectus@morganstanley.com(link sends e-mail), or toll-free at 1-866-718-1649.This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of, these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such jurisdiction. The offering may be made only by means of a prospectus and related prospectus supplement.last_img read more

Verizon to sell more of its rural landline business

first_imgSource: Frontier, www.frontier.com(link is external). Following on the sale of its Northern New England landline business last year, Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) announced today that it has agreed to sell most of the rest of its rural telephone services to Frontier Communications (NYSE:FTR) in a $3.5 billion stock deal. The deal incolves customers from Oregon to North Carolina. Verizon wants to focus its landline business in California and the metro Northeast. Last year, Verizon and FairPoint Communications finalized a $2.3 billion deal that divested Verizon of its Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine landline (wireline) business.The move will further accelerate the company’s focus on wireless, broadband and global IP, Verizon announced in a written statement. Verizon said it plans to divest its local wireline operations serving residential and small-business customers in predominantly rural areas in 14 states and that these operations will be acquired by Frontier Communications.The transaction is expected to strengthen Frontier’s position as a premier rural communications provider and return a total value of $8.6 billion to Verizon and its shareholders, as Verizon continues to transform its growth profile and asset base around the fastest-growing parts of its business: wireless, fiber-based wireline (FiOS) and global IP (Internet protocol) networks.Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Verizon, said: “We expect that this transaction will benefit customers, employees and shareholders. Customers can count on continued high levels of service and innovation from Frontier, which will bring its laser focus on the needs of rural customers to these operations. Plus, Verizon and Frontier will work to ensure that the employees in these states, who have performed outstanding work for our customers for many years, will have a smooth transition of their employment to Frontier.” Seidenberg added: “This transaction is an attractive way to add value through a special distribution to our shareholders. Longer term, this transaction is part of our multiyear effort to transform our growth profile and asset base to focus on wireless, FiOS fiber-optic services and other broadband development, and global IP. All of Verizon’s remaining local landline operations have high concentrations of FiOS in more densely populated markets. We believe our focus on reshaping our asset base will drive higher growth over time and improve long-term returns.”Frontier, based in Stamford, Conn., has a highly successful track record of acquiring, operating and investing in rural telecommunications properties, including landline assets purchased from Verizon between 1993 and 2000. Frontier currently has approximately 2.3 million access lines in 24 states, providing an array of services, including local and long-distance voice, broadband data, and video.Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “This is a truly transformational transaction for Frontier. With more than 7 million access lines in 27 states, we will be the largest provider of voice, broadband and video services focused on rural to smaller city markets in the United States. Frontier is committed to providing our customers with state-of-art technology and innovative products. We are confident that we can dramatically accelerate the penetration of broadband in these new markets. We know that broadband is a catalyst for a healthy local economy and job growth.”Details of the Acquired OperationsThe operations Frontier will acquire include all of Verizon’s local wireline operating territories in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. In addition, the transaction will include a small number of Verizon’s exchanges in California, including those bordering Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. As of year-end 2008, these operations served approximately 4.8 million local access lines; 2.2 million long-distance customers; 1.0 million high-speed data customers, including approximately 110,000 FiOS Internet customers; and 69,000 FiOS TV customers.Approximately 11,000 Verizon company employees — those who primarily support the local phone business that is being acquired — will continue employment with Frontier after the merger. Frontier and Verizon will provide a smooth transition for these employees. Frontier will honor the union labor agreements in the 14 states and expects to work constructively with union leaders. A Verizon transition team will work with Frontier in the coming months to ensure customer accounts, billing information and other assets from the operations will be successfully transferred to Frontier and that the transition is seamless for customers and employees.The companies seek to complete the transaction in approximately 12 months. It requires approval from Frontier shareholders, certain regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, including the obtaining of financing. The transaction includes Verizon’s switched and special access lines in the affected areas, as well as its Internet service and long-distance voice accounts. Also included are fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) assets deployed by Verizon in 41 local franchises and the state of Indiana, which pass approximately 600,000 homes and small businesses.Frontier will continue to provide video services in these areas after the completion of the merger. The transaction does not include the services, offerings or assets of Verizon Wireless, Verizon Business (former MCI Inc.), Federal Network Systems LLC, Verizon Network Integration Corp., Verizon Global Networks Inc., Verizon Federal Inc. or any other Verizon businesses in these states. Verizon Business is retaining contracts with its customers in these states and will purchase local exchange services from Frontier in order to serve these customers. As of the end of the first quarter, Verizon had approximately 35.2 million wireline access lines in 25 states and the District of Columbia. This includes Verizon’s wireline operations in jurisdictions that will not be part of the transaction: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia, plus most of California.Transaction Details, Tax-Free DistributionThe acquired operations will be spun off in a new entity, which will be immediately merged into Frontier. Verizon shareholders will receive approximately $5.3 billion of Frontier common stock in the merger, subject to a collar mechanism and certain other possible closing adjustments provided for in the merger agreement. Verizon will receive approximately $3.3 billion in value through a combination of cash distributions to Verizon, debt securities issued to Verizon prior to the spinoff and assumption of certain debt previously issued by Verizon’s telephone company subsidiaries. Verizon may exchange the newly issued debt securities for certain debt that was previously issued by Verizon, which would reduce the amount of outstanding debt on Verizon’s balance sheet.Based on the midpoint of the collar, and assuming no closing adjustments, Verizon shareholders will own approximately 68 percent of the new company, and Frontier shareholders will own approximately 32 percent, with Verizon shareholders receiving one share of Frontier stock for approximately every 4.2 shares of Verizon stock held as of the record date. The exact distribution ratio will be determined based on the number of shares of Verizon common stock outstanding on the record date for the spinoff and the average price of Frontier common stock (subject to the collar mechanism) for a 30-day measurement period ending shortly before the closing of the merger. The collar provides that the number of Frontier shares delivered to Verizon shareholders will vary to compensate for changes in the price of Frontier shares (i.e. to assure delivery of a fixed aggregate value) to the extent the 30-day average Frontier share price described above varies between $7.00 and $8.50.Both the spinoff and merger are expected to qualify as tax-free transactions, except to the extent that cash is paid to Verizon shareholders in lieu of fractional shares. Verizon Communications will not own any shares in Frontier after the merger. Barclays Capital Inc. and JP Morgan Securities Inc. advised Verizon in the transaction.VerizonVerizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving more than 86 million customers nationwide. Verizon’s Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation’s most advanced fiber-optic network. Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 237,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com(link is external). ####last_img read more