Most Read News, April 24 – 30, 2017

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The Indiana Coalition for Public Education Report Card For 2016

first_imgICPE Legislative Report Card For 2016Thirty-one members of the Indiana General Assembly earned A’s, and 50 earned F’s in a report card evaluating their support for Indiana’s public schools.The ICPE Report Card rated incumbents who filed for reelection in 2016, grading them based on their votes on five bills that either expanded private school vouchers, increased tax credits for the Indiana Scholarship Granting Organizations giving taxpayer money to students in private schools, or otherwise damaged public education.How did your legislators do? To get a printable version of the complete handout and report card, click here.We urge voters who value public education to use the information in this legislative report card as they decide how to vote in November.THE INDIANA COALITION FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION REPORT CARD 2016The ICPE Report Card rated incumbents who filed for reelection in 2016, grading them based on their votes on five bills that either expanded private school vouchers, increased tax credits for the Indiana Scholarship Granting Organizations giving taxpayer money to students in private schools, or otherwise damaged public education.The ICPE Report Card was created by the Indiana Coalition of Public Education (ICPE), a bi- partisan non-profit organization that supports public schools.In all, ICPE issued grades to 107 legislators. Thirty-one members of the Indiana General Assembly earned A’s, and 50 earned F’s in a report card evaluating their support for Indiana’s public schools.“When you weaken public schools by diverting funding away from them, you undermine a key institution in our society — one that stands as the bedrock of democracy and the cornerstone of local communities,” said Vic Smith, Board Member of ICPE. “There were many bills affecting education in the 2015 and 2016 state legislative sessions. You could rate legislators on a variety of public education issues depending on the ones you consider to be most important – whether it was testing or teacher shortages or education policy. Since ICPE primarily focuses on issues relating to privatizing public schools, we based our report card on bills that diverted taxpayers’ money away from public schools and sent it to private institutions or damaged public control of education.”“Although legislators might claim it’s unfair to assign letter grades based on a small portion of what they do,” said Smith, “that is exactly what Indiana does to schools across the state when it bases schools’ letter grades on one standardized test.“We urge voters who value public education to use the information in this legislative report card as they decide how to vote in November. If you do not know which legislative district you live in, you can find that information at”Bipartisan Support for Public Education“We are glad to see that public education has friends on both sides of the aisle,” said Smith. “Public schools need bipartisan support, and we’d like to see more of it in the Indiana General Assembly. The future of over one million students depends on it.”Three legislators were given a grade of incomplete because they did not vote on enough of the five bills to earn a ranking; one was appointed to serve out a vacancy, and the other two had excused absences due to illness.Board of DirectorsCarole CraigDr. Ed EilerDebbie FishDr. Rocky KillionDr. Tony LuxDr. Pat PayneDr. Suellen ReedDr. Mary RoseMarilyn ShankTim SkinnerDr. Victor SmithMarvin Ward The five bills used in the grade evaluation were: Rep. Cindy Meyer Ziemke-R Indiana Coalition for Public Education 2016 Public Education Report Card Candidates for Indiana Senate 57 90 Grade 94 Sen. Lonnie M. Randolph-D Dist. 5 64 Rep. William I. Fine-R Rep. Wendy McNamara-R Rep. Mike Karickhoff-R Sen. Randall Head-R 9 Rep. Steven R. Stemler-D Name & Party Rep. Karlee D. Macer-D B C 13 D *Incomplete grade due to low number of votes (partial term or illness) F Rep. Woody Burton-R F 18 93 91 F 72 81 28 76 Rep. Sharon Negele-R 49 Sen. Greg Taylor-D B A Sen. Jean Breaux-D A 35 86 D A 71 F 39 Rep. Jeff Ellington-R* Sen. David C. Long-R A 50 Name and Party A Rep. Clyde Kersey-D Sen. Mark Stoops-D Rep. Daniel J. Leonard-R Rep. Martin Carbaugh-R A Rep. Douglas L. Gutwein-R Rep. Lloyd Arnold-R Rep. Dan Forestal-D Rep. B. Patrick Bauer-D Rep. Gregory A. Porter-D Rep. Alan Morrison-R 16 F A= 3 no votes Incomplete Rep. Heath VanNatter-R 92 Rep. Ron Bacon-R Rep. Scott Pelath-D A Rep. Holli Sullivan-R A Rep. Michael J. Aylesworth-R D 88 C= F D Rep. John L. Bartlett-D F Sen. Rodric D. Bray-R F Rep. James Baird-R 54 Rep. David L. Ober-R Incomplete D F Rep. Ben Smaltz-R F Rep. Brian C. Bosma-R D 38 Sen. Luke Kenley-R Rep. Donna Schaibley-R Sen. Michael R. Crider-R Rep. Donald J. Lehe-R FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Rep. Bob Morris-R F Rep. Ed Soliday-R F Rep. Dale DeVon-R Rep. Curt Nisly-R 3 no votes Rep. Christopher N. Judy-R 79 A F 98 F A Rep. Jim Lucas-R 20 F Rep. Charles Moseley-D 33 58 D Rep. Todd Huston-R Sen. Ryan Mishler-R A Name & Party F Rep. Peggy Mayfield-R Rep. Mike Speedy-R F F Rep. Phil GiaQuinta-D 40 Dist. 78 F 41 82 Rep. Cherrish S. Pryor-D D= D Indiana Coalition for Public Education 2016 Public Education Report Card Indiana House F 95 D F Rep. Vernon G. Smith-D Senate Bill 1 (2015) removed from the public the power to elect the chair of the State Board of Education, a power voters had held since 1908.House Bill 1001 (2015), the budget bill that raised K-8 voucher payments by $7 million and lifted taxpayer support of tax credit SGO scholarships for private school tuition by $3 million.House Bill 1638 (2015) doubled down on high stakes testing, allowing schools with F grades to be taken over by the state more quickly, potentially placing them in the hands of private, for-profit operators, a strategy that has not succeeded thus far.Senate Bill 334 (2016) expanded voucher enrollment to spring semester. Full votes were taken in both House and Senate, but it was then amended into HB 1005.House Bill 1005 (2016) expanded voucher enrollment to spring semester. It was amended to include SB 334, which avoided a conference committee hearing.Vouchers now divert over $131 million from public schools to private schools annually. This has resulted in a fiscal cost to Indiana taxpayers of an extra $53 million each year, according to state financial reports.Despite the original premise for Indiana’s voucher program to let families change schools, over half of all vouchers (52%) now go to students who never attended public schools and have always attended private schools. This fact is the basis for the extra fiscal costs.For more information about the Indiana Coalition for Public Education, visit The ICPE Report Card Methodology and Data List – Available on the ICPE website: Rep. Bruce Borders-R F B A Rep. Terri Jo Austin-D If a legislator voted on four of the five bills F Rep. Doug Miller-R F 80 Rep. Wes Culver-R 61 F F 1 no votes Grade Rep. Kevin A. Mahan-R 34 F Rep. Timothy Wesco-R 89 53 A 42 Rep. Terry Goodin-D A 99 A F F 56 Rep. Richard Hamm-R 45 A Rep. Sean R. Eberhart-R F Sen. Vaneta Becker-R 52 Rep. Kathy Kreag Richardson-R A Rep. Milo Smith-R A 44 Rep. Melanie Wright-D Dist. D F Sen. C. Susan Glick-R A vote of “no” on each of the five bills used in this report card was considered a vote in support of public education. Grades were assigned on the number of “no” votes on the following scale: Rep. Bob Heaton-R Incomplete B Rep. Mike Braun-R A Rep. Thomas W. Washburne-R C 51 F A F C Rep. Randy Frye-R Sen. R. Michael Young-R 42 Rep. Sue E. Errington-D Rep. David A. Wolkins-R* 69 83 Grade F Rep. Ryan Dvorak-D B= Rep. Tim Brown-R 7 Rep. Edward D. Clere-R 63 50 62 Sen. Brandt Hershman-R Grade 10 96 F Rep. Greg Beumer-R 4 no votes A A Rep. Jeffrey A. Thompson-R A Rep. Julie Olthoff-R Methodology for assigning grades: Rep. Steven Davisson-R 100 A F Rep. Jerry Torr-R 48 A Rep. Matt Pierce-D F F Rep. Cindy Meyer Kirchhofer-R F Rep. Christina Hale-D F Rep. Robert W. Cherry-R Rep. Edward O. Delaney-D Rep. Sheila Klinker-D F 40 Rep. Gregory E. Steuerwald-R 73 74 A Name & Party A 60 55 Rep. Eric A. Koch-R 44 D F Indiana Coalition for Public Education 2016 Public Education Report Card Indiana House F Rep. Robert W. Behning-R Rep. Matthew S. Lehman-R A F F 87 D Rep. Vanessa J. Summers-D 37 4-5 no votes B Sen. Jean Leising-R 2 F Rep. William C. Friend-R 46 F Rep. David N. Frizzell-R 97 Rep. Dennis J. Zent-R 67 Rep. Linda Lawson-D Rep. Robin Shackleford-D A F= 66 A 84 D A 75 Rep. David L. Niezgodski-D Rep. Justin Moed-D If a legislator voted on all five bills F Sen. Ed Charbonneau-R Rep. Hal Slager-R 2 no votes Rep. Thomas E. Saunders-R C D 59 F F Rep. Charlie Brown-D Rep. Anthony J. Cook-R 1 no votes 2 no votes 43last_img read more

Knitters and Yarn Store to Come to Northwood Inn

first_imgXandy Peters has visited her aunt and uncle at the Northwood Inn Bed & Breakfast in Ocean City for almost her entire life.Xandy Peters at the Northwood Inn on Thursday as she prepares for a weekend class.The 26-year-old industrial designer and Pratt Institute graduate always found inspiration in the many faces of Ocean City — enough so that she designed four knitting patterns that reflect a place she loves.Peters will be at the Northwood on Saturday and Sunday teaching a class how to knit her “Atlantic Ocean Cowl,” “Boardwalk Wrap,” “Seashells Shawl” and “Ferris Wheel Shawl.”At the same time, Myra Rubin will set up a temporary store featuring hand-dyed yarns from her Mount Holly shop, Woolbearers.Rubin will sell her high-end luxury yarns 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 7) and 10 a.m. to noon Sunday (Nov. 8).The Giant Ferris Wheel at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier served as inspiration for the “Ferris Wheel Shawl” knitting pattern. Photo credit: Beth Shepherd PetersThe public is invited to stop by, to shop for yarns, knitting supplies and needles, and to meet Rubin and Peters.Copies of Peters’ book, “Jersey Shore Knits at the Northwood Inn,” which includes patterns for her four Ocean City designs and recipes for four breakfast favorites from innkeeper Marj Loeper, also will be for sale. Other knitting patterns will be there.Marj runs the inn with her husband, John Loeper.For more information on the weekend, email Peters at [email protected] The “Boardwalk Wrap” is one of the original knitting patterns inspired by Ocean City and designed by Xandy Peters. Photo credit: Beth Shepherd Peters from “Jersey Shore Knits at the Northwood Inn”last_img read more

Danish delights

first_imgFinancial meltdown or not, it seems UK consumers are frequently tempted by a Danish pastry or pain au chocolat to accompany their breakfast, mid-morning, or afternoon hot drink. Ian Toal, managing director of Delice de France UK and Ireland says the firm has experienced strong demand for its more traditional sweet pastries, such as its Danish pastry selection, over the past 12 months. “Despite the recession and tougher market conditions, the demand for sweet pastry products has remained strong. In fact, it would be fair to say that bake-off sweet pastries have proven to be one of the most resilient categories during the period as consumers choose sweet treats as a relatively inexpensive way to indulge and have a personal treat.”Commenting on the latest trends in this category, Bakehouse marketing director Kate Raison says its retail customers are interested in new variations on popular themes or product types, in order to keep their bakery offering fresh and consumers interested in trying new options. “While NPD, where traditional ranges are given an innovative twist, is important, indulgence with flaky pastry, chocolate, authentic flavours and fruit fillings is still key,” she explains.”Retail sales patterns show growth in sales of doughnuts and, notably, Danish pastries. Although the traditional favourites maple & pecan plait, vanilla crème crown and the cinnamon swirl make up over 77% of the Danish market, there have been recent fresh developments in Danish, such as fruit fillings and new shapes, which are helping to grow the sector.” Responding to the trend, Bakehouse has launched an Apricot & Almond Scroll, made with Schulstad Royal Danish pastry, topped with almond remonce [made from creamed butter and sugar], and featuring a real apricot filling.Country Choice has also tapped into this development with the launch of some new lines, designed to continue the growth of the long-established Danish and Continental pastries market. A Lemon & Blueberry Crown, Raspberry Croissant, and Apricot Croissant, have joined its portfolio. Other launches include Delifrance UK’s Vanilla Plait and Danish-style vanilla custard, which commercial director Alan Moutter says have been launched in response to potential growth opportunities in the breakfast market an area he says has been becoming a more ’premium’ occasion.Vandemoortele says the bake-off sweet pastries category has been showing good overall growth within in-store bakeries. “In-store bakery Danish sales equate to £34m annually, with puff pastry products, comprising turnovers, Eccles and fruit puffs worth in the region of £13m a year,” says marketing manager Chelsea Pogson. “The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel has shown Danish sales have increased by 4% in value for the 12 weeks ended 31 October 2010 versus the previous 12 weeks; this is also up on the comparable 12 weeks last year.”Pogson says puff pastry fruit turnovers have also continued to grow, up 2% over the last 12 weeks. As sweet pastries are suitable for a number of different eating occasions breakfast, afternoon treat or dessert she adds it’s important for in-store bakeries to make sure they are available to consumers throughout the day. In terms of festive products, the firm says it is seeing twists on traditional mince pies, made with puff pastry, with visual changes such as lattice tops and mini options, and recipe changes, such as the addition of butter to the recipe, which it says should help drive sales of ISB mince pies by attracting new shoppers.The Viennoiserie market is also expanding, says Bakehouse’s Raison, currently making up around 10% of the in-store bakery snacking market. “Consumers still view these products as ’breakfast treats’ and the whole Viennoiserie category is seeing great growth at 5.7% (data: Nielsen Scantrak 52 weeks to 2/10/10),” she says. “Pain au chocolat is proving the product ’hero’, with a 13.5% growth, due to increased distribution, gaining broader universal appeal in the UK market.”Some pastries, it seems, just never go out of fashion.last_img read more

Macphie doubles profit in bullish year

first_imgMacphie, the Scottish-based bakery and food ingredients manufacturer, has seen profits and sales increase off the back of weaker dairy prices.Underlying profit at the group doubled from £1.4m in 2014 to £2.8m in the past 12 months, while sales grew to £44.6m and gross profit for the full year increased to £11.5m (2014 – £9.0m), the company has revealed.Macphie said it had seen continued strong sales growth in the foodservice and food manufacturing channels, with foodservice in particular benefiting from increased consumer spending.The weakness of dairy sector pricing contributed significantly to gross margin recovery and largely compensated for the significant hit the business suffered the previous year, added the group.Andy Underwood, the managing director who took over the helm in January 2014, said: “Looking forward, with the business now back on the right track, increased growth opportunities are now presenting themselves and, with a strong innovation agenda, we can continue to support significant investment in operational capabilities and product development.”Chairman Alastair Macphie added: “It’s a very positive set of results, which is particularly pleasing given the challenges the business faced the previous 12 months, especially due to the increase in raw material costs. These results are testament to all the hard work and dedication of Macphie employees.”The company relaunched its website last month so it now includes new features such as downloadable brochures, a recipe database and access to insight research. The search function has been enhanced and it is compatible with mobile devices.last_img read more

Retailers reveal hot cross bun ranges for Easter 2021

first_imgSource: WaitroseHeston from Waitrose Mocha Coffee Hot Cross BunsWaitroseWaitrose has added three new hot cross buns to its range, including one for coffee lovers.The Heston From Waitrose Mocha Coffee Hot Cross Buns (£1.70/pack of two) are made from a rich brioche dough with dates, chunks of chocolate, sultanas and coffee.Another beverage-infused bun comes in the form of its Rum & Raisin Hot Cross Buns (£1.50/pack of four) with rum-soaked raisins.The Wholemeal & Rye Hot Cross Buns (£1.50/pack of four), meanwhile, contain a mixture of fruits, seeds, oats and honey. Source: MorrisonsMorrisonsMorrisons is keeping things traditional with its hot cross buns by focusing on fruit variants.The Best Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns (£1.50/pack of four) are one of two new lines for Easter 2021 and comprise vine fruits, orange zest and spices. Consumers can also pick up a Verry Berry (£1) version in store.Also joining the range are the vegan-friendly Free From Hot Cross Buns (£2/pack of four) which are filled with vine fruit, mixed peel and spices. They are also milk-, egg- and gluten-free. Source: M&SM&SM&S is going for indulgence and inclusion with its two new hot cross buns.The Extremely Chocolatey Hot Cross Buns (£1.65/pack of four) have a rich dark chocolate flavour and are packed with milk and white chocolate chunks.Meanwhile, it’s rolling out a vegan option in the form of Plant Kitchen Luxury Hot Cross Buns (£1.75/pack of four). They’re filled with raisins and currants blended with avocados and coconut oil and flavoured with lemon zest and spices.For Marmite lovers, consumers can try new Marmite & Cheese Hot Cross Buns. Made with mature cheddar, Red Leicester cheese and Marmite, these buns are 100% vegitarian and fruit-free. Source: AldiAldi’s rhubarb & custard hot cross buns and honeycomb hot cross bunsAldiTo celebrate Easter, Aldi has unveiled a host of sweet and savoury hot cross buns.The Specially Selected Salted Caramel & Belgian Chocolate bun (£1.09/pack of four) comprises chunks of Belgian dark chocolate, swirls of salted caramel and nuggets of toffee fudge pieces.Its Specially Selected Rhubarb & Custard one (£1.09/pack of four) is infused with white chocolate chips and candied dried rhubarb.For a treat with a kick, consumers can try the Specially Selected Chilli & Cheese bun (£1.09/pack of four). Source: AldiAldi’s hot cross bun selectionThe UK’s biggest retailers are mixing up their hot cross bun ranges for Easter 2021 with new products inspired by chocolate, coffee and pizza.Asda, M&S, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s are among those to unveil NPD with sweet and savoury options hitting shelves.Here’s our pick of the latest hot cross buns on the scene: Source: AsdaAsdaAsda has taken inspiration from an unusual place for its latest hot cross bun – pizza.The Extra Special Tomato & Red Leicester Hot Cross Buns (£1/pack of four) amalgamate the popular cheese and tomato notes of pizza in a hot cross bun format.The new variant will be joined by Extra Special St Clements Hot Cross Buns (£1/pack of four), which features Spanish lemon peel, orange zest and vine fruits, as well as Baker’s Selection White Chocolate & Caramel Hot Cross Buns (£0.65/pack of four).“We’re always looking for fun and innovative products that bring people together and get people talking – and there’s no better product than the humble hot cross bun to spark conversation,” said Becky Price, hot cross bun product developer at Asda. Source: Sainsbury’sSainsbury’sSainsbury’s has unveiled a new ‘bright and summery’ hot cross bun.A change from the retailer’s previous autumnal flavours, the Taste the Difference Strawberries & Cream Hot Cross Buns (£1.25/pack of four) are baked with a sourdough starter and contain strawberries, cranberries, white chocolate and double cream.last_img read more

The Cure Announces 30th Anniversary ‘Disintegration’ Shows

first_imgEnglish alternative rock band The Cure has announced a batch of Australian shows, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the band’s Disintegration album. 2019 marks a monumental year for the band, as they will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have plans to release a new album, marking their first in over a decade.The Cure will play four shows at Sydney, Australia’s Opera House Concert Hall to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their career-defining album. The band will take over the iconic Australian venue on May 24th, 25th, 27th, and 28th, where the will play the 1989 album in its entirety.The event page notes that “this is the world premiere of these 30th anniversary performances, and their only Australian engagement”, hinting at more show announcements in the future. The event also notes that The Cure will be accompanied by an evocative visual backdrop in the fittingly atmospheric surrounds of the Concert Hall. The band is also set to play a selection of rarely performed B-sides plus specially curated deep catalog cuts after each performance of Disintegration.Fans can make a ballot placement here for the opportunity to buy tickets. Winners of the lottery will be able to buy tickets on Thursday, February 28th.Head to the event page for more information here, or The Cure’s website.The Cure Disintegration 30th Anniversary Tour:May 24th – Opera House Concert Hall – Sydney, AustraliaMay 25th – Opera House Concert Hall – Sydney, AustraliaMay 27th – Opera House Concert Hall – Sydney, AustraliaMay 28th – Opera House Concert Hall – Sydney, AustraliaView All Tour Dateslast_img read more

Key connection

first_imgFor more than a century, scientists have suggested that the best way to settle the debate about how phenotypic plasticity — the way an organism changes in response to environment — may be connected to evolution would be to identify a single mechanism that controls both. Harvard researchers say they have discovered just such a mechanism in insulin signaling in fruit flies.Cassandra Extavour, an associate professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, and grad student Delbert André Green II were able to show that a single molecular pathway plays a role in both heritable changes in the flies’ number of ovarioles — egg-producing compartments in the ovaries — and in how they react to their environments by shutting down some ovarioles. The study is described in a paper published this month in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.“This is the first example, to my knowledge, that shows this link — between heritability and plasticity — being controlled by the same mechanism,” Extavour said. “What we’ve done with this paper is show that an important trait that controls how many offspring a fruit fly will have exhibits both heritable variation and phenotypic plasticity, and that both are controlled by insulin signaling.”While the study offers the first evidence of a link, it also addresses larger questions that have long lingered in evolutionary biology.“More broadly, the question this work is looking at is: What is the contribution of phenotypic plasticity to evolution?” Extavour said. “There is a great deal of variation that is caused by phenotypic plasticity — like butterfly eyespots or the size of frog tadpoles or whether an organism will reproduce asexually or sexually. All those things seem like they could have a large impact on fitness, but if none of those changes are heritable, they may not be relevant to evolution. These are questions that have occupied the scientific community for decades.”Scientists have long understood that different insects, including different species of fruit flies, have different numbers of ovarioles. More recently, a number of studies have shown that that those differences, at least in fruit flies, were tied to variation in insulin signaling.For Extavour and Green, the first hint that a heritable trait — differences in ovariole number — might be linked with phenotypic plasticity came when they put flies on a starvation diet.Extavour explained that ovariole number is among the traits that flies can alter through phenotypic plasticity. When food is abundant, the flies ramp up their reproduction to take advantage of the situation. When they are starved, however, the flies make fewer ovarioles in an effort to conserve resources. The surprise for researchers, Extavour said, was that some flies seemed to notice the change in their food supply virtually overnight, while others responded far more slowly.The mechanism behind those phenotypic changes is insulin signaling.“We found a difference in the operation of this molecular pathway between species,” Extavour said. “The reason that’s exciting is because it explains two things about their reproduction — the first is why they have different ovariole numbers overall, and the second is why they respond differently to being starved. Or in other words, why they have different levels of phenotypic plasticity in ovariole number.”Importantly, Extavour said, the trait researchers used to explore the connection between plasticity and heritability has a clear link to evolutionary fitness.“This is a trait … where the potential impact on fitness is pretty clear,” she said. “Flies that have few ovarioles aren’t going to lay as many eggs, and they’ll have fewer offspring than flies with more ovarioles.”In addition to uncovering the first molecular links between heritability and plasticity, Extavour and Green were able to demonstrate that the differences in insulin signaling — with some species showing high levels and others showing lower levels — could be tied to local ecological conditions.To get at that question, they compared fruit fly species found only in the Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean, with species found around the world.What they found, Extavour said, was striking: Flies from the Seychelles, which typically lived in restricted habitats and specialized in a single diet, had significantly lower levels of insulin signaling, and significantly fewer ovarioles, than flies that ate a more general diet.“We’re hypothesizing that the type of niche the flies occupy might have an influence on whether they have high or low levels of insulin signaling, and that in turn is going to have an effect on whether they have high or low numbers of ovarioles,” Extavour said. “One way to summarize that is to say that flies with very limited and restricted diets don’t need to have a particularly finely tuned response to changes in nutrition, because they largely don’t experience any changes in their diet. For the flies that live catch-as-catch-can, however, if food supplies are good at the moment, they need to be able to sense that quickly and ramp up reproduction quickly, or if food is bad, they need a mechanism to know that so they can turn it down and not waste their resources.”The research is an important step, Extavour added, but “doesn’t end the debate about heritability and phenotypic plasticity. What it does it give us a concrete example of something that had been theorized — it’s saying, ‘Yes, this is possible.’ ”last_img read more

Vermont gets $15.4 million for Irene repairs from US DOT

first_imgEMERGENCY RELIEF PROGRAM FUND ALLOCATIONS StateEventAllocationSubtotal by State or TerritoryAlabamaApril 27, 2011 Severe Storms and Tornadoes    1,896,010         1,896,010AlaskaSummer 2010 Taylor Highway Flooding    1,368,882         1,368,882American SamoaSeptember 29, 2009 Tsunami    1,229,844         1,229,844ArkansasApril 2011 Severe Storms and Flooding    1,048,534         1,048,534CaliforniaDevil’s Slide   20,785,705       43,430,449January-March 1993 Storms       305,000February 1998 Storms    2,149,300December 2002 Winter Storms    1,901,211December 2004 Winter Storms    5,089,071December 2005 Winter Storms   11,399,039October 3, 2007 Mount Soledad Road Slide    1,801,123ConnecticutSpring 2010 Flooding    1,048,020         2,367,336August 28, 2011 Hurricane Irene    1,319,316FloridaJanuary 2010 Sinkholes    1,107,486         1,107,486IllinoisApril 19, 2011 Heavy Rains and Flooding       338,207            881,388July 27, 2011 High Winds and Rainfall       543,181IndianaApril 2011 Severe Storms and Flooding       322,523            322,523IowaMay 2011 Missouri River Flooding    4,279,822         5,210,934July 27, 2011 Rainfall and Flooding       931,112KentuckyJuly 2010 Storms and Flooding       936,182         3,258,866April 2011 Storms and Flooding       522,684June 19, 2011, Severe Storms and Flooding    1,800,000LouisianaAugust 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina    7,600,000         9,500,000March 31, 2011 Vicksburg Barge Crash    1,900,000MaineJuly 18, 2008 Heavy Rains and Flooding       416,216            755,397August 28, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene       339,181MassachusettsJune 1, 2011 Severe Thunderstorms and Tornado       457,092         5,110,004August 26, 2011 Hurricane Irene    4,652,912MinnesotaMarch 2011 Spring Snowmelt and Flooding    2,200,000         2,200,000MississippiMarch 31, 2011 Vicksburg Barge Crash (MDOT costs)           7,886         3,769,791April 2011 Severe Storms and Flooding    1,623,283April – June 2011 Mississippi River Flooding    2,138,622MissouriApril – May 2011 Tornado and Flooding       347,219         2,079,250June 2011 Missouri River Flooding    1,732,031MontanaSpring 2011 Flooding    2,564,893         2,564,893NebraskaMay – June 2008 Flooding       776,882         1,309,546May 2011 Platt and Missouri River Flooding       532,664New HampshireAugust 30, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene       132,409            132,409New JerseyAugust 2011 Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee    7,387,595       10,184,159August 2011 Flooding    2,796,564New YorkAugust 26, 2011 Hurricane Irene    7,686,528       10,248,704September 7, 2011 Tropical Storm Lee    2,562,176North CarolinaSeptember 29, 2010 Tropical Storm Nicole       815,000            815,000North DakotaSpring 2011 Runoff in the Devils Lake Basin   10,171,839       31,530,138Spring 2011 Runoff – Statewide   10,048,855Spring 2011 Runoff in the West James River Basin    5,770,020Spring 2011 Flooding in the Sheyenne/James River Basin    1,082,263ND11-5, Spring 2011 Flooding in the Southern Mouse River Basin    4,457,161OhioMarch 2011 Jefferson County Landslides    4,673,409       14,922,113March – May 2011 Severe Rainfall   10,248,704OregonJanuary 2011 Flooding    1,742,280         1,742,280PennsylvaniaAugust 26, 2011 Hurricane Irene    2,500,000         4,242,280September 7, 2011 Tropical Storm Lee    1,742,280Puerto RicoOctober 2010 Tropical Storm Otto       841,155         2,564,373August 21, 2011 Hurricane Irene    1,723,218South CarolinaMay 22, 2011 SC Route 150 Bridge Damage       392,572            392,572South DakotaSpring 2011 Flooding    2,191,627         2,191,627TennesseeSR 108 Rockslide       918,706         4,802,307April 5, 2011 US-441/SR-71 Rockslide    1,107,630April 19 – 26, 2011 Tornado and Flooding       325,971April 26, 2011 Severe Weather and Tornado Damage    2,450,000TexasAugust 30, 2011 Wildfires    2,500,000         2,500,000UtahDecember 20, 2010 Severe Storms and Flooding       839,543         2,167,226March – May 2011 Flooding    1,327,683VermontSpring 2011 Flooding    1,024,870       15,373,056August 27, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene   14,348,186VirginiaAugust 26, 2011 Hurricane Irene    1,435,173         2,181,614September 5, 2011 Tropical Storm Lee       746,441Virgin IslandsOctober 2010 Tropical Storm Otto       370,382         1,207,112November 2010 Tropical Storm Tomas       836,730WashingtonFebruary 28, 2001 Nisqually Earthquake    3,433,316         9,879,273November 2006 Storm    1,429,586December 2007 Storm       512,287January 2009 Storm       290,705October 11, 2009 SR 410 Landslide       669,713December 2010 Storms    1,026,278January 2011 Winter Storms       568,372March – April 2011 Storms       500,000March 22, 2011 113th Avenue Truck Crash Damage       750,043May 2011 Storms       698,973Federal Lands Agenciesvarious events    8,711,399         8,711,399Total 215,198,775     215,198,775 Vermont is one of the largest beneficiaries of disaster relief funding released today by the federal government. The US Department of Transportation will provide more than $215 million to states across the nation, with Vermont getting $15.4 million, to cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by a variety of natural disasters, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today.‘Communities suffering from disasters have been hard at work restoring vital transportation links so that people can resume daily activities as soon as possible,’ said Secretary LaHood. “They did their part, and now it’s our turn to give the states the money they were promised to help pay for that work.’ The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will provide a total of $215,198,775 from its emergency relief program to 34 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and federal lands agencies to reimburse them for repairs to roads and bridges caused by storms, flooding, hurricanes and other natural and catastrophic disasters.‘States and communities can continue counting on our support in times of need,’ said FHWA Administrator Mendez. ‘Everyone pulls together when disaster strikes and we are committed to help as much as we can now and in the future.’Among states that will receive funding, California will receive $43.4 million for flooding and earthquakes, North Dakota will receive $31.5 million for flooding in the Devil’s Lake region and Vermont will receive $15.4 million for spring flooding and damage from Tropical Storm Irene. Estimates of Vermont’s repairs from Irene could run to $250 million, according to Governor Shumlin.The money will reimburse states for fixing or replacing highways, bridges and other roadway structures. Costs associated with detours, debris removal and other immediate measures necessary to restore traffic flow in impacted areas are also eligible.The FHWA’s emergency relief program reimburses states for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid highways that were damaged in disasters and catastrophic failures.last_img read more

10 reasons why culture matters

first_img 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Caring for your culture is not an annual event or even a monthly event. Just like sleeping and eating, caring for your culture is a daily activity that requires an investment of your time and attention. Caring involvesClarity, Accountability, Relationships and Esteem. C – Clear behaviors (actions speak louder than words) and values that are consistently modeled by the leadership.A – Accountability for all. Leaders do not get a pass; there are rewards and consequences for adhering to or violating culture. continue reading »last_img read more

Kittens, gummy bears and beer: Three things that make a great All Staff Day

first_img 37SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Denise Wymore Denise started her credit union career over 30 years ago as a Teller for Pacific NW Federal Credit Union in Portland, Oregon. She moved up and around the org. chart … Web: Details Balance. Their agenda was a good balance between honoring their history (they showed a Legacy member video that brought me to tears), rewarding employees, and looking to the future (that conversion….) They are converting to Corelation’s Keystone product so after the presentation of timeline for training to conversion they played Bingo for Beer – The Bingo cards had key phrases used during conversion and the winner got a case of Keystone beer. So raise a glass to Christopher Columbus and even though we know you did not DISCOVER America, we are happy for the day off so we can keep America’s credit unions growing and staff motivated to continue to serve our members. center_img Columbus Day. I can say with certainty it’s kind of a joke holiday. I lease my land from the Cochiti Tribe. My title report had a copy of Abraham Lincoln’s signature on the land deed that gave the Cochiti BACK their land. Oops, my bad, you were here first. But it has become a popular day for credit unions to take advantage of the fact that no one “celebrates” this day, it’s not patriotic, religious or really significant so while the branch is closed (because the Fed is) let’s turn this into a day of learning, celebration, recreation and of course food.I have spoken every year for at least the last ten years and this year is no exception. I was asked to kick-off the event for Central Willamette CU in Albany, Oregon. The CEO is fairly new, and they will be going through the first core conversion in over 20 years – lots of change. These days don’t just “happen” they take a lot of coordination and imagination to have a good celebration! This is one of the best All Staff Days I’ve had the privilege to be a part of. My observation of the formula that works:Food. They had breakfast ready when employees arrived and a DJ in the lunch room to “pump things up” because it’s a Monday after all. They also have BOWLS of snacks in the conference room. Sugary, salty, nutty…..chocolate. All the food groups. Lunch was catered by a local favorite. 90 minute lunch with activities. This credit union had the most amazing diversity of activities during lunch:A representative from Costco (with cookies) so employees could sign up to become members…did I mention they brought cookies?The YMCA – again to sign up memberships. Encouraging wellnessFlu shots! Their insurance covers it so why not? Investment in attendanceSilent auction. Departments pooled together their money to create theme baskets to auction off with proceeds going to their foundation that supports charities like Credit Unions for Kids. 90% off the baskets contained liquor…..very popular. They raised $1,195.00! KITTENS!!! A local animal shelter brought a litter of kittens and a rescue pup for people to cuddle, play with and yes, two were adopted. The puppy was a bonus. last_img read more

Digitize business member lending in 3 easy steps

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Keren Moynihan Former banker & 2nd time founder, Boss Insights’ CEO Keren Moynihan provides Business Data as a Service closing gaps between lenders and borrowers with easy access to business data. Banks … Web: Details For more information on how to digitize business lending within your credit union, please contact us at [email protected] The secret is out – business banking is broken. Financial institutions have lost market share steadily over the past decade. At first, it was hard to notice because it was only a 1% loss each year. But when COVID hit and digitization was the only choice, there was a drastic 9% drop in 2020. That’s hard to ignore.Credit unions who are focused on delighting business members with a hands-on approach recognize the need to digitize business lending to lower their costs and improve member experience. So, embedding digitization into the business lending process flow is inevitable. But how? Let’s start by reframing the question. It isn’t whether to modernize business lending, but how to digitize lending with limited resources.Step 1: Define Your Business Lending WorkflowAs a credit union, you might be offering SBA, SMB or commercial loans to members. Regardless of the type of loans you’re offering, the first step is to map out the workflow. What you’ll find is that the process requires significant back-and-forth between the business member and loan officer, and then the officer and credit risk manager. It centers around having enough information to meet the regulatory and risk burdens to get approved. Ask yourself the tough questions. Are you delighting customers? What is going well and where are the pain points? What does your credit union excel at and what should be outsourced to streamline the process? Once this is identified you can identify which steps can be digitized. For example, does it really make sense for you to gather financial statements manually when a real time connection to accounting software is available? The key to this is establishing what your credit union excels at and what is a data layer that can be outsourced to bring more revenue and member delight to your offering.Step 2: Decide To Buy, Not BuildWith the workflow and expertise defined, you have a decision to make. Should you build the new data layer of efficiency or partner with an outside provider?For example, at Finovate West this week, Kathy Strasser, IncredibleBank’s Chief Operating Officer stated boldly that they are evaluating fintech offerings for roll out in early 2021. It’s a big decision, so we’ve offered this easy way to make the choice on whether to build your own digitization to accelerate business lending or to partner with outside firms:Is this part of your credit union’s secret sauce? Meaning, is this part of your credit decisioning or a data layer that will bring data to you in real-time so that you can apply your expertise?How long will it take you to develop the technology you’re looking to adopt? There’s a global bank that took a year and a half to develop connections to three accounting systems to get real time information. There was a luxury of time that existed before COVID, that is no longer available. To delight business members, do you need to make changes within the next quarter or two?Is there a data provider that is trusted and proven in market that you would feel comfortable partnering with? It’s one thing to identify the need for outside sources of data, and it’s another to trust an outside partner to be best in class so that you are focused on proactively building relationships.Step 3: Collaborate To Achieve Instant ResultsThe key to a good partnership is one that achieves the goals that are set out.  When interviewing data partners, ask them about their sources of information and insights. That’s important because if they are limited, it will limit your lending and servicing of the business member. But even more importantly, ask them for clear results. CCBank recently stated that they gained two to three years of new client relationships within 30 to 60 days after partnering with a data partner to transform their arduous lending process. If the data provider has achieved this in market, they have shown they can identify the pain points you’re experiencing and address them. Without this type of qualification, it will be very challenging to rely on any outcomes.In an era where tech giants have increased customer expectations, lenders and private capital providers are challenged to offer complete and personalized solutions. Credit unions are challenged to offer the latest technology while staying true to the best-in-class service that you are known for. When deciding whether to build or partner with a data platform, keep in mind that lenders who have the capability to automate data gathering and have the clearest view of their business members will be best able to delight them.last_img read more

Press Picks for Top 5 Movies of 2015

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Hollywood dominated 2015 with some superb movies, transporting moviegoers to other worlds, gazing into the future, reflecting on the past, and even showing some familiar character faces. In the order of their release, below are the Press’ favorite 2015 movies.Ex MachinaThe sci-fi thriller assesses the world’s first artificial intelligence. Almost completely covered in CGI effects, Alicia Vikander delivers an impressive and eerily life-like portrayal as the AI. Joined by programmer Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) and the oddball AI creator Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac), the story takes a bit of a weird turn. Ultimately, the film explores the current and controversial relationship between man and machine.Mad Max: Fury RoadContinuing director George Miller’s 30-year-old franchise, the Road Warrior returns to a simple chase plot through his barbaric and outlandish apocalyptic nightmare. Beautifully choreographed but intense action sequences (literally) drive the story forward, leaving the worldbuilding and character development to the stunning visuals, leaving the unnecessary explanations in the desert Wasteland’s dust. Charlize Theron’s one-armed Furiosa steals the spotlight sometimes from Max (Tom Hardy), but their journey is exciting and fun. Open-minded audiences will finish this film exclaiming, “What a day! What a lovely day!”The MartianMatt Damon is stranded in space … again. This time he’s on Mars and needs to grow food and water on a planet where nothing grows, establish contact with Earth, and ultimately, “science the shit out of this.” What’s expected to be a predictably depressing survival movie surprises with a comically sarcastic and optimistic main character and overall tone. Even more interesting, the scenario is realistic and backed 100 percent by NASA, which “coincidentally” announced that water was found on Mars just around the film’s release. Check out the Press’ complete review here.SpotlightOkay, maybe we journalists are a little biased here. We like to think our job is hard work, but few can compete with The Boston Globe’s investigations and disturbing revelations into the cover-ups of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. The dramatized retelling of the widespread scandals enlightens viewers to the infuriating process of investigative journalism when impeded by opposition. Releasing this film when religious skepticism is at an all-time peak seemed like curious timing, too.This photo provided by Disney shows, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren with his Lightsaber in a scene from the new film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The movie releases in the U.S. on Dec. 18, 2015. (Film Frame/Disney/Lucasfilm via AP) ORG XMIT: CAET177Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force AwakensLet’s be honest, we all saw this one coming. Star Wars is back! Maybe not quite more powerful than we could possibly imagine, but still back! Clashing lightsabers, one Millennium Falcon, and some screeching TIE Fighters returned fans old and new to a galaxy far, far away. Does it surpass the original trilogy? Hell no! But the new characters separated themselves from the original cast enough to claim the story as their own and set the stage for the now highly anticipated Ep. VIII in 2017. Check out the Press’ nostalgic review here.last_img read more

Dutch federation launches campaign to restore confidence in pensions

first_imgThe Dutch Pensions Federation is to actively seek the media’s attention to improve the sector’s image among the general public.In its 2015 annual report, it said its specially designed media plan would help restore pension-fund participants’ confidence and garner support for a collective pensions system.The industry group said it wanted to focus initially on a new pensions system and responsible investment.Bram van Els, a spokesman for the federation, said: “New themes still must be determined and will partly depend on topical matters. “I could imagine we would also underline the issue of rights cuts, if pension funds’ current financial position fails to improve soon.”According to Van Els, the federation wants to account for schemes’ activities and clear up misunderstandings that have contributed to insufficient confidence in the sector.“We recognise people are disappointed because of modest results, as they had always believed their future pensions were safe,” he said. “They need, however, to get used to the fact their pensions are not guaranteed.”Van Els said the industry group wanted to convey its message in particular through large national newspapers and television.“Social media such as Twitter are less suited, as the subjects are often too complicated for a brief explanation,” he said.In its annual report, the federation also made clear that it expected to have completed an update of the uniform pensions statement (UPO) no later than August.The new statement will be more concise and include information that is comparable and capable of being added to UPOs issued by previous employers.The application of icons used in the ‘Pensions 1-2-3’ – a layered account of companies’ specific pension arrangements – is meant to improve the clarity of the new UPO.The new statement, which shows accrued rights for old age, surviving relatives and work-disability pensions, must be used as of 1 January 2017.The new UPO, however, is no longer required to show the expected pensions level at retirement, as this information is to be shown with the national tracking system, the Pensions Register.The Pensions Federation represents approximately 220 pension funds with combined assets of €1.2trn, 5.3m workers, 3m pensioners and 9.1m deferred members.last_img read more

Shell takes delivery of LNG-powered barge

first_imgImage courtesy of ShellEnergy giant Shell has taken delivery of a dual-fuel inland barge that will mainly run on liquefied natural gas (LNG).The 110 meter long LNG-powered barge named RPG Stuttgart is the first out of fifteen vessels Shell Trading Rotterdam chartered from Antwerp-based Plouvier Transport and its Swiss unit Intertrans Tankschiffahrt.Built by the Dutch shipyard VEKA, the barge will transport mineral oil products in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region and along the Rine.The inland barge will bunker fuel at the third jetty at the Dutch Gate LNG terminal in the port of Rotterdam.The vessels’ main engine, provided by Finland’s Wärtsilä, will run on 95- 98% LNG fuel with a small proportion of diesel used for ignition.Cryonorm supplied the onboard LNG fuel system including control system and LNG bunker skid under the consortium agreement with Wärtsilä.last_img read more

Dominica to sign trans-national agreement with two French countries

first_img Share Tweet LocalNews Dominica to sign trans-national agreement with two French countries by: – December 15, 2011 Sharing is caring! 17 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Share Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore. (file photo)Dominica is expected to sign a trans-national agreement with two French countries for the sale of energy. A delegation from the French neighboring islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique met with the government of Dominica on Wednesday, to discuss a trans-national partnership project, which will seek to further develop the geothermal resources in the country.Minister with responsibility for Energy Rayburn Blackmore says the concept of sharing must be embraced in other to achieve.“We are confident with your support, once we get it right, that we can develop our geothermal potential to a point where we’ll be able to provide social surplus to the point where we will be able to sell to the French departments in a similar fashion as we sold bananas and grew our economy to a point of excellence. That is the context I think we have to embrace; the concept of sharing, because at best we consume 15 megawatts.”Blackmore noted that for this resource to make economical sense the surplus must be sold to the neighbouring French islands.“Our long term objective as we have said before is to construct a power plant of 120 megawatts. What are we going to do with the rest of that resource? For it to make economic sense therefore we must sell it and the most practical way to do so is to sell it to our friends in Martinique and Guadeloupe and we can further develop that functional cooperation that has made us strong as a region.”The minister further stated that the traditional and historic links that Dominica has shared with Guadeloupe and Martinique should not be forgotten.“We cannot forget our traditional and historical links between the French and Dominica and that is why I am confident that our geothermal potential once we get it right provides for us in Dominica the greatest legacy that we can leave for our people and generations to come and that is the manner in which I want every Dominican to embrace that project.”Meantime, Vice President of the Guadeloupe Regional Council, Harry Durimel says today’s meeting is a start of a new beginning for the three countries. Durimel says the rise in the cost of energy is a major concern for Guadeloupe. Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more