Garden veggies safe?

first_imgThese are the most important safeguards you can use in thegarden. Keep in mind, though, that food safety begins in thegarden but doesn’t end there.In the kitchenWhen you prepare fruits and veggies to eat, don’t forget to usethe kitchen faucet. Hand-scrub firm produce such as apples,pears, tomatoes and bell peppers under running water.Spray root vegetables and tubers with water, scrub them with avegetable brush and then rinse them.Wash vegetables with rinds, such as watermelons and cantaloupes,too. If the surface isn’t clean, you can transfer bacteria to theflesh when you cut them.No one should get sick from eating produce from your garden. Youcan make sure they won’t by using good sanitation and followingsound gardening practices.Enjoy your garden produce. But remember, the best food safety inthe world can’t protect you from the ills of overindulgence.(Darbie Granberry is an Extension Service horticulturist withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.) Use good personal hygiene.Don’t apply manure to your garden.Keep animals out of your garden.Use only drinking-quality water for irrigation.Use clean containers when you harvest. By Darbie GranberryUniversity of GeorgiaAlmost anything can make us sick, including pure water, if weconsume too much at one time. But what about the seriousillnesses we normally call “food poisoning”?The biggest fear has always been getting food poisoning frommeats. In the past few years, though, we’ve found that improperlygrown, packed or shipped fresh fruits and vegetables can lead toserious illness, too.Can vegetables from our own gardens make us sick? Possibly, ifthey’re contaminated with human pathogens such as hepatitis A,Salmonella and E. coli 0157:H7.The good news is that the chance of anyone in the United Statesgetting sick from garden vegetables is remote. Human pathogensdon’t occur naturally on vegetables.Safety keySo how do people sometimes get sick from eating produce?Contamination, contamination, contamination.Whenever produce is grown, packed or shipped under poor sanitaryconditions, there’s always the chance it will be contaminated andbecome a health hazard.The November 2003 outbreak of hepatitis A is a prime example.Green onions harboring the hepatitis virus caused more than 600illnesses and three deaths in Pennsylvania.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates thereare 76 million foodborne illnesses a year in the United States.Every year more than 325,000 people are hospitalized and 5,000people die from eating contaminated food.As you might guess, the greatest concern is for the fruits andvegetables you eat raw as snacks and in salads. Some scientistslink nearly as many foodborne illness cases to produce as topoultry, beef and fish combined.Simple stepsTo make sure no one gets sick from eating fruits and vegetablesfrom your garden:last_img read more

Read more on Garden veggies safe?

Murray, Vermont’s Chief Information Officer, to lead Vermont Telecommunications Authority

first_imgThomas E Murray, Vermont s CIO and Commissioner of the Department of Information and Innovation, has been named as the Executive Director of the Vermont Telecommunications Authority. The VTA was established by the Legislature in 2007 as part of Governor Douglas proposal to make Vermont the nation s first e-state. Its mission is to ensure Vermonters have access to affordable broadband and cellular service throughout the state. I want to thank Tom for accepting this vital mission at a very critical time in the extended development of the state s infrastructure, said VTA s Board Chairman Chris Dutton. Under Tom s leadership and vision, I m confident that Vermonters will soon see these important services available throughout the state.”I am pleased to join the VTA team and help lead this effort, said Murray. Whether it is for economic development, public safety, smart grid or improving educational opportunities, ubiquitous broadband and cellular services are essential to the state’s future. The VTA has a unique opportunity to build public/private partnerships that will ensure every Vermonter has broadband service available to them and that we have cellular coverage where we need it. While there certainly are challenges bringing these services to rural areas, the recent federal stimulus funding and the resources that the state and private sector have put forth should assist with moving Vermont toward improving these services statewide.” Tom has sixteen years of leadership experience in the telecommunications field having worked with TDS Telecom; Rural Cellular Corporation (UNICEL) and as Director of Telecommunications Infrastructure for the State of Vermont. Tom grew up in Montpelier and graduated from Western New England College with a BS in Business Administration. He currently resides with wife Cynthia and their two children in Middlesex.Source: Governor’s office. 10.19.2009last_img read more

Read more on Murray, Vermont’s Chief Information Officer, to lead Vermont Telecommunications Authority

Fitch downgrades $537 million Vermont Municipal Bond Bank general resolution bonds to ‘AA’

first_imgSource: Fitch Ratings CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– 11.17.2010 Fitch Ratings assigns an ‘AA’ rating to the following 2010 Vermont Municipal Bond Bank bonds, issued under the 1988 General Resolution:–$24,280,000 (federally taxable recovery zone economic development bonds) series 5.The bonds are expected to sell via negotiation during the week of Nov. 15, 2010.In addition, Fitch downgrades $536,855,000 in outstanding general resolution bonds to ‘AA’ from ‘AAA’.The Rating Outlook is Stable.RATING RATIONALE:–The rating downgrade is due to the program cash flows failure to pass Fitch’s ‘AAA’ stress test.–The program’s pledged reserves and loan repayments, excluding federal subsidies, allow the bonds to withstand borrower defaults of up to 20.3% for four years without causing an interruption in bond payments. This is consistent with Fitch’s criteria for assigning an ‘AA’ rating given the loan pool’s borrowers’ credit quality, size and diversification.–The program, which consists of 298 borrowers, is diverse with low single-borrower concentration.–The program’s loan security is strong, with approximately 98% of all loans backed by a general obligation pledge and additional protection from borrower defaults through a state-aid intercept mechanism.KEY RATING DRIVERS:–Fitch will continue to evaluate the bond bank’s ability to balance future leveraging with program resources to maintain borrower default tolerance levels that pass Fitch’s ‘AA’ stress test scenarios.–Credit quality of the bonds is linked to repayment performance on the program’s loan portfolio.SECURITY:Program bonds are secured by borrower loan repayments and debt service reserve funds. A state moral obligation on the reserve fund and a state-aid intercept provision for borrowers provide additional credit enhancement.CREDIT SUMMARY:Established in 1970, The Vermont Municipal Bond Bank (VMBB) is a quasi-state agency. It is administered by a five-member board consisting of four gubernatorial appointees and the state treasurer. The bond bank issues bonds and uses the proceeds to make loans to local government borrowers throughout the state. Virtually all of Vermont’s eligible municipalities use the bond bank as their primary borrowing vehicle because it offers local government borrowers the lowest cost of capital.The loan pool consists of 298 borrowers from cities, towns, counties, school districts and other local governments throughout the state. Approximately 98% of all loans are backed by a general obligation pledge; the remaining are backed by utility pledges from four borrowers. About 51% of the loans are to school districts, which are further backed by an intercept mechanism that includes any state funds payable to borrowers. State aid is reportedly over 90% of school district debt service. The loan portfolio’s largest borrower, Springfield School District, comprises only 5% of the portfolio. The top 10 borrowers account for 33% of the total outstanding loan balance.Fitch analyzed the default tolerance of the VMBB loan pool using a stress test it also applies to state revolving funds and other municipal loan pools. The stress test considers loan quality, single risk concentration, reserve fund size, and debt service requirements. Due to the already tight margins on the program’s stressed cash flows, with the issuance of the 2010 series 5 bonds, the program cash flows fail to pass Fitch’s ‘AAA’ stress test by $4.4 million and $2 million in 2014 and 2027, respectively; this scenario assumes that no scheduled federal debt service subsidies are received. Per its report ‘Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market — Credit Considerations’ dated April 27, 2010, Fitch assesses the ability of the issuer to pay full interest on the BABs, regardless of the subsidy. While Fitch believes there could be offsets to some annual subsidy payments, it believes that VMBB management would take action to address the reasons for the offset and avoid multiple years with no subsidy, including the use of certain optional redemption provisions for its federally subsidized bonds. Even if the federal subsidies were considered in Fitch’s analysis, the stressed cash flows would still miss Fitch’s ‘AAA’ test by $1.3 million in 2014. Nevertheless, the program’s pledged reserves and loan repayments, excluding the federal subsidies, allow the bonds to withstand borrower defaults of up to 20.3% for four years without causing an interruption in bond payments. This is consistent with Fitch’s criteria for assigning an ‘AA’ rating given the loan pool’s borrowers’ credit quality, size and diversification.The debt service reserve fund, which is sized at the least of maximum annual debt service, 125% average annual debt service, or 10% of bond proceeds, is funded with bond proceeds and invested in U.S. treasury and agency securities. Pledged reserves currently total $51.3 million, or 9.5% of bonds outstanding. In addition, the bank currently maintains approximately $10.9 million in unrestricted general fund reserves, which are not pledged to bondholders but may be used if a deficiency occurs. The bonds are also supported by a state moral obligation to replenish the debt service reserve fund if it falls below its minimum specified level. Neither the intercept nor the moral obligation has ever been utilized, because no borrower has defaulted on a loan repayment since the bond bank began operations in 1970.Loan payments are due 15 days before the bond payment dates. Under Vermont’s state intercept provision, if a borrower fails to make its scheduled loan repayment, the bond bank will certify the failure of that payment with the state treasurer. The state treasurer would then pay the defaulted loan amount to the bank’s trustee from amounts appropriated and payable by the state to the defaulted borrower, if available. If sufficient state aid is unavailable, it will be paid from subsequent interceptable state aid payments, with bond bank reserves covering the temporary shortfall. To date, this mechanism has not been tested as there have not been any loan defaults in the history of the program.Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com(link is external).Applicable Criteria and Related Research:–‘Revenue-Supported Rating Criteria’ (Oct. 8, 2010);–‘State Revolving Fund and Municipal Loan Pool Rating Guidelines’ (April 28, 2008);–‘Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market – Credit Considerations’ (April 27, 2010).For information on Build America Bonds, visit www.fitchratings.com/BABs(link is external).Applicable Criteria and Related Research:State Revolving Fund and Municipal Loan Pool Rating Guidelineshttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=3…(link is external)Revenue-Supported Rating Criteriahttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=5…(link is external)Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market — Credit Considerationshttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=5…(link is external)ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS SITE. last_img read more

Read more on Fitch downgrades $537 million Vermont Municipal Bond Bank general resolution bonds to ‘AA’

Trail Tech: 5 Apps To Plan Your Next Hike

first_imgThese days, the whole point of going out in the woods might be to get away from technology, but these apps will help you discover new places to go outside and play.Here in the Blue Ridge, we’re a hiking culture. Getting out in the woods for a hike or run isn’t just a workout, it’s a necessity. The hiking around here is second to none and there is just so much to explore that it would take multiple lifetimes to see it all. Whether you know these trails like the back of your hand, or have no idea where you are, these are the five best hiking apps to help you find new places and unforgettable experiences.From long-distance thru-hikes to short afternoon treks, if you can’t find a new hike near you with the apps below, then you probably shouldn’t be using a phone.AllTrailsiOS / Android / WebWith over 6.5M registered users, Alltrails is by far the most popular hiking app in the world. They make the discovery of new routes and planning your trip a breeze. In map view, you can browse an area, click on a pin, and learn more about the trail. Each trail features information like distance, elevation gain, photos, reviews, and more. You’ll know if you can bring Fido, how difficult the hike is, and if the trail is shared with horses and bikes.Pro OptionsAllTrails Pro takes hike planning and tracking to the next level. You can download routes, so when you’re exploring the backcountry and lose service (which is bound to happen), you can still make it home safely. They also feature real-time map overlays like weather, route planning, print maps, and more.If you want to upgrade to a Pro Account, they have several options available. You can upgrade to an annual plan for $29.99/year or buy a lifetime license for $99.99.Hiking ProjectiOS / Android / WebOne of six apps owned by REI, Hiking Project is a part of a family of outdoor apps that should be on everyone’s radar. Consisting of 38,865 trails (147,471 miles), Hiking Project is easy to use, informative, totally free, and free of ads.All of the information on hikes is user submitted, featuring trail overviews, up-to-date conditions, need-to-know information, and more. It’s really thorough, especially on the “Featured Hikes.” Each trail features the distance, ascent, descent, and elevations. Users can add photos and reviews as well, adding to the information on each trail. From the trail information page, you can get directions to the trailhead, share it with friends, and add it to your “to-do” list for hiking it later.Users record their own GPS Tracks for the community, literally mapping trails for others. Hiking Project is a great, and totally free hiking app for planning your next trip into the woods.ViewRanger AppViewRangeriOS / Android / Kindle / WebI was really excited to try this one, particularly for the augmented reality functionality. Aptly named Skyline, users simply click on the Skyline Button from the interface, hold up their phone, and they can immediately see the names and distances of mountains, waterways, and landmarks around them. I tried it from our Asheville office’s window. It was cloudy, but I could still see the mountain peaks listed out on my screen.Though ViewRanger doesn’t feature as many trails as it’s bigger competitors above, they do have a wide range of trails I’ve never heard of with more detail.  They have partnered with official mapping agencies in 23 countries to provide their users with quality and highly-detailed topographic maps. The route guides are all users submitted, whether by individuals, outdoor brands, the Parks Service, or tourism agencies. Turning on notifications allows ViewRanger to notify you when new routes are added to your area.In the app, you can plot a route with points to follow, add a point of interest to check out later, or turn on your Buddy Beacon, which allows you to see and share locations with friends. When out in the wilderness (where cell service doesn’t live), users can track their explorations offline and stay on route via GPS. On your hike, you can record your progress with metrics like time, distance, elevation, and speed.To download a route, however, you have to pay. Map and route packs vary from $8.99 t0 $54.99. You pay for credits, which allow you to download maps and routes for tracking and offline access.Komoot Hiking AppPhoto: KomootKomootiOS / Android / WebThough Komoot is considered more of a route planning app, it’s a great tool to discover new hiking trails in your area. You choose an activity, whether hiking, biking, or running, and plan your route. With a focus on better, “more intuitive” navigation, users can keep their adventures on track with turn-by-turn navigation, even when offline in the wilderness.From the dashboard, you have three places to go: Collections, Highlights, and Tours. Collections are curated by the app’s team and feature collections of trails to explore in certain areas. Highlights feature recommended trails by the Kommot community. Tours are detailed breakdowns of routes by users featuring photos, notes, and more along the way.The amount of detail in their route planning is pretty stellar. Once you click on the “Plan” icon at the bottom of the screen, you select an activity, set an end destination, and the app plans the best route for you to get there. When finished, they show the distance, elevation, and estimated time to complete the route. When planning, you can pinch-to-zoom on your elevation profile and really get into the nitty-gritty details of your route.While hiking your route, the app will send you notifications just ahead of your turn, keeping you on track the entire time. That’s especially helpful when out in large forests with many unmarked trails. The app connects with your Garmin watch to sync routes and recordings, as well as the Health app on your Apple Watch. At the end of your adventure, Komoot automatically logs your route to relive and share with friends.To use turn-by-turn navigation, offline maps, and receive map updates, you must upgrade for $29.99. Pretty affordable for a world of hiking.Gaia GPSiOS / Android / WebI recently stumbled upon Gaia GPS and it’s a nifty little GPS app with a lot of features. In such a simple package, they have an overwhelmingly detailed mapping/navigation app. Hell, it even tells you where the closest parking lot is in downtown Asheville.Using the map, you can scroll around to find new parks, trails, and landmarks to explore. Clicking on a location gives you the option to learn more about it. They share the distance, elevation gain, and access information on each trail. The free version lets you download maps for an area to navigate and track progress offline.When the GPS is open, you see your current altitude, speed, direction, and of course, location. You can push record at any time to start tracking your trip, and there is a shortcut for snapping a quick photo along your route.To download premium offline maps, unlock universal sync, upgrade mapping tools, and share your progress, you will need to subscribe to Gaia GPS for $19.99 a year.If you’re looking to find new places to explore, you can download the National Geographic maps, US Hunting Maps, and IGN maps for $39.99 a year.I frequently catch myself just browsing through these apps, even when I’m not planning a hike. Just discovering new places to go is fun in itself.See you on the trails.Justin Forrest is an outdoor writer, fly fishing addict and web designer based in Asheville, N.C. He posts pictures of cats and fishing on Instagram sometimes.last_img read more

Read more on Trail Tech: 5 Apps To Plan Your Next Hike

U.S. Military Efforts in Dominica Reunite Father, Son

first_imgBy U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Melanie A. Kilcline, U.S. Marine Corps Forces South October 05, 2017 Eric David Shargel was alone. The 48-year-old U.S. citizen and Dominica resident had just signed over guardianship of his 3-year-old son, Elijah, to a former teacher at Hunters College in New York so the boy could make it safely to the United States. He hadn’t spoken to his other son, 14-year-old Naya, since September 16th. The following day, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Dominica, devastating the island and severing all forms of communication. Shargel suspected that Naya was stranded on the other side of the island, and he was not going to leave without him. “Naya had gone to stay with his mother on the other side of the island a few weeks before the storm,” said Shargel. “The last time I spoke to Naya was the Saturday before the storm hit.” He was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, and lived in Potomac, Maryland, for many years. His first son, David, is now 24 years old and studies media and politics at Hunters College. “David is planning to take off time from school to take care of Elijah once the teacher brings him to New York.” said Shargel. “I was lucky enough to have my oldest son’s former teacher here to be able to take Elijah to the U.S. for me. I trust that his teacher will get my baby boy to David Jr. safely.” Evacuation When Shargel arrived at the U.S. Department of State evacuation control center, staffed by Joint Task Force-Leeward Islands (JTF-LI) personnel, he drew up a map of where Naya was on the island in hopes that the search-and-rescue (SAR) teams could go out to find him. Three days went by with no sign of Naya. “As I stayed at the evacuation center for three days, the service members were such an amazing help to keep my hopes high and spirits up,” said Shargel. “I was able to vent to the U.S. forces about my worries and concerns and they helped the time pass and kept my mind off my worries.” Joint Task Force-Leeward Islands Service members with JTF-LI have been assisting with the Department of State-led voluntary evacuation of U.S. citizens since September 22nd from Douglas-Charles Airport in Dominica. Other members of the task force are operating out of Martinique and Guadeloupe as they coordinate with the U.S. Agency for International Development to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to the islands of St. Martin and Dominica. The task force is a U.S. military unit composed of marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen, and represents U.S. Southern Command’s primary response to hurricanes Irma and Maria. “Each time a helicopter came back to the evacuation center,” said Shargel. “I was filled with hope that my boy was on each and every helicopter that landed.” Beating the odds Fortunately, Hurricane Maria did not win this fight. On September 26th, Naya stepped off a U.S. helicopter at the airport, escorted by search-and-rescue team members. When he saw his son, he ran up to him and wrapped his arms around him with tears of happiness and relief in his eyes. “It felt like I could finally breathe again when I saw my boy walking toward me,” said Shargel. “I had a fatherly intuition that the SAR team had my son in this particular helicopter and had finally found him.” The task force safely evacuated Eric and Naya to the island of Martinique. They are now on their way to reuniting with their family in the United States. “I cannot begin to explain how thankful I am to the U.S. service members for all their help,” said Shargel. “Many blessings to everyone that has helped!” JTF-LI has evacuated over 170 people who were stranded on Dominica since September 22nd. Some of these people had spent days without food and water, and others were hurt and in need of medical attention. The task force provided food, water, and medical help to evacuees, as well as transport off the island. Just like Naya, many other U.S. citizens were rescued after many hours and long days of searching. “As soon as I heard the helicopter,” said Naya, “I knew it was coming for me.”last_img read more

Read more on U.S. Military Efforts in Dominica Reunite Father, Son

Stresslines

first_imgStresslines December 1, 2003 Diane Vogt Regular News Leadership training develops superstarsand Lori-Ann Rickard “We need to figure out how to hire more Karens and Robs,” a hiring partner of a major law firm told us. “They are our superstars!” He was chagrined by our answer when we told him that superstars are made, not born.Success in any human endeavor begins with potential. The success paradigm explains that potential is applied through action. Action leads to results. Results then inform belief. Belief leads to greater potential. And the cycle repeats.Every lawyer you hire has great potential. That potential can be used to encourage significant positive action toward developing a satisfying legal career. Positive action develops skills. Strong results reinforce the belief that success is possible and that the lawyer has the potential for even greater success.However, the same cycle will repeat itself in negative ways. Lawyers who are perceived to have little potential to develop as strong players in your practice often take very little action, get limited results, and reinforce their own negative beliefs, as well as those of firm management.Were your superstars successful because you believed they were stars and treated them that way? And were your mis-hires unsuccessful because the firm believed they had less potential from the outset?Superstars are perceived to have great potential from their very earliest assignments and fulfill that potential. For others, an early misstep often marks an associate’s career for years. Such associates either leave the firm earlier than the firm can profitably let them go or remain ineffective and a drain on morale.All lawyers can be superstars and mid-career slumps can be avoided by appropriate leadership training. New lawyers must first learn basic skills and to manage themselves. They must learn to complete their work timely and well; master, sharpen and broaden their professional skills; learn the law; learn to plan; perform punctually; meet client expectations; develop and perfect quality of work; and be reliabile.All of these skills can be taught and learned by lawyers. Superstars get the one-on-one mentoring that helps them develop such skills. Other, less successful lawyers do not receive that informal apprenticeship. A structured training program that delivers such training to all lawyers serves the firm, the lawyer and clients by giving every lawyer a better chance to develop into a strong performer.An individual superstar must move from managing herself to managing others. This is the step where superstars often stumble. They have been successful and are comfortable in that role. They want to repeat that success by continuing to do work far below their levels of ability and billing rates. They refuse to push work down to lower levels, doing a disservice both to the firm and their clients.In any service business, such as law practice, significant success requires the development of a first-class team. Building a successful legal practice is assured if the lawyer can develop into a team builder. Teambuilding begins with development of individual skills, but it doesn’t stop there. To manage others, one must learn skills related to planning the work, selecting good people, setting objectives, holding others accountable for results, and offering feedback. This is a shift from doing to getting work done through others. Mastering these skills is essential to increasing revenue and client base.Senior lawyers must value managerial work and not just tolerate it. Each level of work must be understood and valued for its contribution to the overall success of the team, department, and firm. Leading Lawyers learn to motivate, coach, and measure the work of others. They are mentors to others and seek mentors for themselves. Lawyers who develop these skills multiply their revenue production geometrically. Lawyers who never move to this leadership level are a mid-career disappointment to themselves and their colleagues.When mid-career lawyers do not develop into team leaders, it is often because they’ve failed to develop communication techniques that elicit trust from team members. The components of trust include dependability (“Will you be true to your promises?”), openness (“Can I talk freely?”), acceptance (“Will you help and not judge me harshly?”), and candor (“What do you really think?”).Successful leaders in law firms understand the importance of positive framing skills. Framing is our term for perspective on issues that face lawyers daily. Positive framing is a common trait of America’s top business leaders. Positive framing can build lawyers into more effective leaders. Often, lawyers only look at obstacles and identify problems. Framing is a tool that teaches lawyers to view events as opportunities and identify “what’s right with it?”Suprestarts can be hired for every position. But the real question is: What will you do with that superstar after you hire her? Unless you commit to help her develop into an effective firm leader through leadership training, you’re wasting your time. People Wealth is owned and operated by Diane Vogt and Lori-Ann Rickard, both practicing lawyers. PeopleWealth works with professional development staff s to communicate effectively with lawyers and to help lawyers design and build careers. For more information about PeopleWealth e-mail info@PeopleWealth.com or visit www.PeopleWealth.com.last_img read more

Read more on Stresslines

Corelation Conference: Don’t even try to compete with banks

first_imgHow can credit unions beat banks? By not even trying to compete with them.Three CEOs and a tech VP shared that advice and more during a breakout session Thursday morning at the Corelation User Conference at the San Diego Westin.“If credit unions look at themselves as niche players and stick to that, we can beat the big banks seven days a week,” said panelist Andy Jaeger, president/CEO of the $347 million Credit Union of New Jersey. “When we look at the broad landscape and try to do all these things everyone else is doing, we lose our focus. Where we’ve had success is when we stay true to our mission and focus, and and not stray to far outside that where we don’t do our best. The lesson is don’t try to emulate the competition.”Jaeger was joined on the panel by First Service Credit Union President/CEO David Bleazard, USC Credit Union CEO Gary Perez and Wescom Resources Group Vice President of IT Operations Linnie Gooch.Bleazard agreed with Jaeger, saying he gets excited when he is presented with new technology that his credit union could offer to members. However, discipline is key when making decisions regarding whether or not to pursue it.“Deciding what you’re not going to do is as important than what you are going to do,” he said. “It requires a lot of intestinal fortitude. If we try to be all things to all people, we’re not going to succeed.”Collaboration was another way the panel discussed as a means of competing with banks. When big banks like Bank of America have hundreds of millions of dollars budgeted annually to research and development, it’s the only way credit unions can keep up.However, collaboration isn’t easy, even for credit unions.“The ability to cooperate helps but as credit unions grow, as their field of memberships grow and it forces them to compete against each other, it gets harder to cooperate,” Bleazard said. “If we can pool our resources, it creates a tremendous opportunity to innovate, but there are challenges. Especially in the C-suite with lots of 10-gallon personalities wearing a 5-gallon hat.”Perez shared that his credit union was involved in forming a CUSO with other like-minded credit unions to do just that – collaborate to innovate. However, it disbanded after three years.“We found cooperating is hard because you lose control,” he said. “We had lots of committed idealists but nobody wanted to take the plunge.” 51SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Read more on Corelation Conference: Don’t even try to compete with banks

Start 2021 off right with this year-end financial to-do list

first_imgWhew—what a year it has been! There’s no doubt that 2020 has been long for everyone, and keeping up with the many adjustments we’ve all had to make has been a lot. With promising news on the vaccination front, we are all looking forward to a better 2021.As we head toward the end of the year, carving some time out to take care of personal financial-related tasks will put you on the right path for a financially sound 2021.1. Lower Your Tax BillAlthough April 2021 may seem like a long way off, it won’t be long before tax season rears its ugly head. Luckily, there are a few things you can do now to help lower your tax bill for next year: 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr This post is currently collecting data…center_img This is placeholder text continue reading »last_img read more

Read more on Start 2021 off right with this year-end financial to-do list

West Java asks central govt for PCR kits to boost testing

first_imgThe West Java administration has asked the central government for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to increase the province’s COVID-19 testing capacity.Governor Ridwan Kamil said the administration sought to increase West Java’s testing ratio to a minimum of 1 percent – 500,000 tests out of the province’s 50 million people – in accordance with World Health Organization recommendations.”We’ve managed to test 50,000 samples per week, but we’re supposed to double that number. Therefore, we’ve asked for help from the central government,” Ridwan said on Thursday.The West Java COVID-19 task force, he said, had been urging the central government to help the province increase its testing capacity since August.Read also: Indonesia’s COVID-19 testing positivity remains far above WHO standard for ‘new normal’The task force requested 250,000 PCR test kits from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) in early September and asked for permission to allow private laboratories to run the tests.Ridwan said West Java had the second-highest PCR testing rate in the country, after Jakarta.However, the province’s testing rate has been fluctuating.According to Health Ministry data, as of Sept. 7, West Java had only tested 301 people per 1 million, far below other provinces such as Jakarta (3,048 tests per million people), East Kalimantan (2,517 tests per million), Yogyakarta (1,198 tests per million) and South Kalimantan (1,128 tests per million).According to the administration’s Information and Coordination Center (Pikobar), West Java managed to test 50,000 samples in the week of Sept. 1 to Sept. 7.In the second week of September, only 25,686 samples were tested. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

Read more on West Java asks central govt for PCR kits to boost testing

Dominica makes steps towards HIV/AIDS pandemic within the education sector

first_img 16 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Caricom Education Development Consultant Sandra BerryDominica is moving a step forward in demonstrating its active involvement in dealing with HIV and Aids pandemic within the education sector. Education Minister Peter St Jean told the start of a four day HIV policy development workshop this morning that his ministry continues to address the influence and impact of HIV Aids in the education system. “The conclusion of this workshop will confirm another step forward to demonstrate the active involvement of the ministry of education in dealing with the HIV pandemic within the education sector. Information reveals that this is only the beginning of the process since on completion of the final draft and implementation, education officials and school personnel will be engaged in a monitoring and evaluation process. This will be incorporated within the HFLE program and should encourage the ministry to identify suitable and committed individuals who are willing to teach health and family life education. This HIV/AIDS document is one that will show Dominica’s response to HIV/AIDS in the workplace and in the education system,” he added.Meantime Caricom Education Development Consultant and Facilitator of the HIV policy development workshop Sandra Berry says education is key to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS. “If we are educated and we know what is expected, then we are in a better place. The workplace is a good entry point to address this issue because we have many of the people there and it is somewhere you can get the information out. This is why we are going to develop this approach to fighting this disease. It is critical that any policy developed pays attention to that fact and hence be considered for development,” she said.Statistics show that Caricom has the highest reported cases of HIV next to sub Saharan and Africa, Meantime Dominica remains one of the countries in the Caribbean with the lowest rate of HIV reported cases. Dominica Vibes News LocalNews Dominica makes steps towards HIV/AIDS pandemic within the education sector by: – November 8, 2011 Sharecenter_img Share Share Tweetlast_img read more

Read more on Dominica makes steps towards HIV/AIDS pandemic within the education sector