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Further concern in Donegal over new rules to install water connections

first_img Facebook Pinterest Google+ Publicans in Republic watching closely as North reopens further Google+ WhatsApp There’s further concern in Donegal over new rules applying to installing water connections. It emerged that a man living in West Donegal has been quoted almost 70 thousand euro by Irish Water to get a connection from his new house to the water main, short distance away.It follows similar claims made earlier this week at the latest sitting of Donegal County Council, with calls for a special workshop to take place to discuss the issue.However, Cllr Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has requested an emergency meeting with Irish Water saying that this cannot be allowed to continue:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/michgfhgfhgfhwater1pm-2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Twitter By News Highland – July 26, 2019 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR AudioHomepage BannerNews Community Enhancement Programme open for applications center_img Pinterest Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme WhatsApp Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Facebook Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Twitter Previous articleLack of Donegal sunshine blamed for high osteoporosis rateNext articleDonegal make two changes for key ladies tie with Mayo News Highland Further concern in Donegal over new rules to install water connectionslast_img read more

3 people aboard cargo jet that crashed in Texas bay ‘did not survive,’ Atlas Air Worldwide announces

first_img#FBI Houston is responding to a 767 cargo plane crash in Trinity Bay near Anahuac, TX. We are working closely with our partners from @ChambersSheriff @NTSB @USCG @FAANews. Please be patient while this investigation continues. Updates will be shared through this Twitter account. pic.twitter.com/5YHdPsR9Af— FBI Houston (@FBIHouston) February 23, 2019Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. Chambers County Sheriff’s Office(HOUSTON) — The three people aboard a cargo jet contracted by Amazon that crashed in a bay near Houston, Texas, “did not survive,” the company announced Sunday.The Boeing 767 jetliner, which was flying from Miami to Houston, plunged into the Trinity Bay near Anahuac Saturday just before 1 p.m., officials said.The plane was operating “on behalf of Amazon,” according to Atlas Air Worldwide.One of the bodies was discovered Saturday evening, officials said. The other two people remained missing through the night.The prospects of anyone surviving the crash appeared thin, local officials said Saturday.“I don’t believe that there is any way anyone could have survived,” said Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne at an evening press conference.The U.S. Coast Guard, the Houston Police Department, Texas Park and Wildlife, and the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, among other agencies, assisted with the search.On Sunday, the company confirmed that all three people aboard died in the crash.“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been affected,” said Bill Flynn, Atlas Air Chief Executive Officer. “This is a sad time for all of us.”The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating the crash, is scheduled to hold a news conference on Sunday evening.Flight 3591, operated Atlas Air Inc., went off radar and lost radio contact about 30 miles from Houston’s George Bush International Airport, according to an alert from the Federal Aviation Administration.last_img read more

Personnel Today Awards 2008: Award for HR Impact

first_img This award recognises an HR professional or team that has added value to their organisation through an innovative, clever or determined solution, showing HR at its most creative and flexible. Entrants provided clear evidence of speed of reaction, thinking ‘outside the box’, clear communication, a sophisticated understanding of the business drivers and measurement of the benefits.Awards judge: Nick Holley is director of the HR Centre of Excellence at Henley Management College. His background combines extensive experience as an Army officer and Merrill Lynch futures broker, along with 16 years in senior development roles at large global organisations. Holley has implemented large-scale organisational change, as well as leadership and people development schemes.Shortlisted teams:British Telecom Global ServicesThe team: Major Programmes Practice (MPP)Number in team: 9 Number of staff the team is responsible for: 2,814About the organisationThe Major Programmes Practice (MPP) provides a world-class team that enables BT Global Services to bid for and profitably deliver transformation programmes for government and non-government organisations.The challengeTo meet the growing need for management of major technology programmes in all sectors by establishing a new business dedicated to delivering complex large-scale programmes, bringing together people with appropriate high-level skills and experience.What the organisation did Launched a talent management programme including 360-degree reviews, coaching and mentoring, workshops to build leadership skills, allowing candidates to participate in projects beyond the scope of their normal responsibilitiesSponsored candidates for Cranford University’s MSc in programme and project managementPartnered with Oxford University’s Said Business School to launch an MSc in major project management.Benefits and achievements Achieved a retention rate of 100%Created a credible pool of leaders ready to succeed to senior roles in the organisationCreated a pool of trained coaches and mentors to develop a coaching culture across the organisationWon buy-in from 100% of talent management participantsAchieved 100% pass rate for BT MSc students – one finishing as top student for the year.The judge says: “BT established a new business that required a high level of performance and delivery capability. HR worked closely with the business, challenging conventional thinking and putting in place a comprehensive talent programme that has delivered a big shift in BT’s ability to deliver major programmes.”Thorntons The team: People Strategy TeamNumber in team: 6 Number of staff the team is responsible for: 2,600About the organisationThorntons is a retailer and manufacturer of confectionery products, and is renowned for its chocolate. Established by Joseph William Thornton in 1911, now it has almost 400 shops and cafes and a turnover of £180m.The challengeThorntons needed to attract and retain the best staff to drive sales and business contribution in its stores. But staff turnover was rising, leading to customer complaints and poor sales performance. Satisfaction surveys and exit interviews revealed the two key factors behind the turnover rates were pay, which was felt to be uncompetitive, and contract hours.What the organisation didAfter a series of presentations, the company invested an additional £2m in the retail payroll budget – the largest investment in people in its historyHR and Retail worked together to benchmark pay rates against competitors and devised a system linking individual pay to sales turnover and performance against defined criteriaTrialled increased working hours in selected stores to determine the impact on sales performance, contribution and other business indicators.Benefits and achievementsStore manager labour turnover reduced by 43%Overall staff turnover reduced by 16% – the lowest level in a decadeCustomer complaints fell by 21%Increased retention of good performers by 25%Staff who agreed ‘My salary is fair for my responsibilities’ increased from 16% to 58%.The judge says: “Thorntons identified a direct correlation between labour turnover, customer complaints and sales. Based on detailed research, it implemented a number of trials that proved the link between improvements in key people measures (satisfaction, retention and absence) and hard numbers (sales, customer numbers and contribution).”Ladbrokes Betting & GamingThe team: Ladbrokes HRNumber in team: 9Number of staff the team is responsible for: 14,000About the organisationLadbrokes is the leading bookmaker in the UK, and the world’s largest fixed-odds betting company. It employs more than 14,000 people in five countries, with more than 2,500 betting shops. The challengeLadbrokes had been experiencing tough trading conditions for the past few years, facing stiff competition from online rivals and rising costs from new legislation. It wanted a high-performance culture, but it was accumulating under-performing staff. Research revealed this was caused by gaps in knowledge and skills, and a lack of understanding about why their performance ‘mattered’.What the organisation didDefined performance model, processes and clear key performance indicators and leadership competenciesDesigned performance development training materials, assessment processes and technologyLinked strategy, behaviour, competencies and performance to a £2.5m bonus poolGained highly visible support from the managing directorPromoted all the changes through internal communications.Benefits and achievements97% of shop staff agreed the briefings/training were effective95% agreed the learning and support material was effectiveMystery shopping scores increased from 68.8% to 76.4%Organisational compliance scores increased by 21%Improved individual performance helped to deliver an 11% year-on-year increase in ‘gross win’ (income minus customer winnings)Reduced sickness absence, saving the equivalent of £30,000 a month.The judge says: “Ladbrokes’ HR department needed to respond to a tough new trading environment. It identified a comprehensive programme of compensation and benefits, and implemented communications, training, process and performance management changes that have had a measurable impact on the bottom line.”The WallichThe team: HR teamNumber in team: 4Number of staff the team is responsible for: 194About the organisationThe Wallich is a charity that provides supported housing services to homeless people in Wales. Established in 1978, it supports more than 500 people a day, and has more than 190 employees.The challengeThe Wallich is largely dependent on funding from the Welsh Assembly. Plans to devolve this funding to local authorities threatened to affect the way it ran its services, so it needed to look at ways to maximise efficiency and outputs to secure its future. But research revealed that £224,000 was spent on absence in 2006, with an average of 15 days sick per employee, draining limited resources.What the organisation didTotal revision of sickness management policy and setting targets for reducing absenceAbsence management training for managersIntroduced an occupational health providerIntroduced health and wellbeing initiatives including work-life balance trainingFeatured health and wellbeing workshops at annual conferenceImplemented new sickness and wellbeing policy.Benefits and achievementsReduced cost of absence by £47,000 to £175,000 in 2007Saved £70,000 or 980 days sick leave through occupational health support and more stringent management practicesAchieved an average of 7.7 days per employee as of March 2008, (charity sector average is 10.5 days), and set to save another £70,000 in 2008.The judge says: “The Wallich faced a change in funding that threatened its service provision. This required a reappraisal of its cost drivers, identifying a huge hidden cost in employee absence. HR put in place a detailed two-year strategy that has had a clear measurable impact on its cost base and put it at the top of charity sector benchmarks.”South Tyneside CouncilThe team: Organisational Development & PeopleNumber in team: 30Number of staff the team is responsible for: 7,000About the organisationA local authority in the North East of England, employing 7,200 staff, and serving a community of about 150,000 people.The challengeMost of the council’s workforce is female (72%), and 38% of its part-timers are women, many of whom have childcare responsibilities. Those struggling with such arrangements are more likely to be unhappy at work, with increased absence and decreased performance and productivity. It wanted staff to better balance work and family commitments to improve wellbeing, satisfaction, motivation and commitment, boosting performance and service delivery.What the organisation didIntroduced the innovative ‘Stuck not Sick’ scheme, which allows staff to take emergency time off instead of calling in sickRemoved core hours from its flexible working scheme, introducing earlier start times and later finishing times, and increased the number of days’ flexible leave staff could take per month to two daysAllowed as much paid time off on compassionate leave as needed instead of taking sick leave.Benefits and achievementsSickness absence has fallen by 25% since 2002-03, saving just over £1.5mStaff turnover is below the sector average at 6.4%Over the past five years, the council has gone from being rated ‘fair’ to a top-performing ‘four-star’ authorityunder the government’s assessment framework for local authoritiesReduced sick leave and increased satisfaction levels.The judge says: “South Tyneside Council introduced a novel approach to promoting flexibility, combining a ‘hard nose and a warm heart’. This has resulted in improvements in key numbers such as absence, sickness and staff turnover, feeding through into cost savings and improvements in service provision resulting in the council securing a four-star rating from the government.” Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Personnel Today Awards 2008: Award for HR ImpactBy sue proud on 28 Oct 2008 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more


first_img ×Secaucus resident Sharon Daughtry-Simon received the Susan G. Komen North Jersey Volunteer of the Year Award Nov. 19. (See briefs for more information). Secaucus Home News closes downThe Secaucus Home News, a weekly newspaper that launched in 1910, published its final issue this week, a former reporter has confirmed.“It is done,” said Louise Ritteberg, who reported for the paper from 1980 to 2001. “One hundred and seven years.”The news comes as newsrooms across the country are shutting down. The publication was owned by longtime Secaucus resident Gretchen Henckel. Her family was one of the town’s founding members.“Unreal, but true,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli, of the unexpected closure. Secaucus resident Sharon Daughtry-Simon received the Susan G. Komen North Jersey Volunteer of the Year Award Nov. 19. (See briefs for more information).center_img West New York man arrested following alleged vehicle pursuit through Secaucus, North BergenThe Secaucus Police Department has charged a suspect after he allegedly stole a vehicle, leading officers on a chase through Secaucus and North Bergen, according to a press release.On Nov. 19, a Secaucus officer noticed a “suspicious” vehicle near Cedar Lane and Paterson Plank Road, the release said. After running its registration, the officer found it listed as stolen from a West New York residence earlier that day.Officer Vince DeFazio continued following the vehicle, a 2016 Nissan Murano. DeFazio tried to pull over the stolen vehicle. However, the driver allegedly began driving recklessly, the report says. The stolen vehicle reportedly began driving the wrong way down one way streets, and drove along sidewalks.Officers began a vehicular pursuit after determining the driver was an immediate threat to public safety.The chase continued into North Bergen. There, after sustaining additional damages, the vehicle allegedly struck the driver side door of a Secaucus police vehicle just before the officer exited. The suspect was then taken into custody.A 27-year-old West New York man was charged with burglary, receiving stolen property, and two counts of aggravated assault. He also received numerous motor vehicle violations. He was taken to the Hudson County Jail.Secaucus Police Chief Kevin Flaherty thanked the North Bergen Police Department, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and Hudson County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with the pursuit, in the releaseNJ State Health Planning Board approves Meadowlands Hospital saleThe New Jersey State Health Planning Board recently approved the $12.2 million Meadowlands Hospital sale to developer Yan Moshe, who owns two surgery centers in New Jersey. The sale would transfer ownership from MHA, LLC to NJMHMC, owned by Moshe.“Department staff reviewed the Applicant’s Certificate of Need application and determined that the Applicant’s rationale to transfer the ownership of MHMC is a realistic assessment of the Secaucus service area and the health care services environment for Hudson County,” the board wrote in its decision.The board added that Moshe “is committed to operate MHMC at the same bed and service capacity levels while maintaining all of the hospital’s current employees and the same contract agreements that are currently in place. The proposed transfer appears to be a feasible option for ensuring that MHMC continues to provide health care services to the community and to maintain its financial viability.”As part of the agreement, Moshe will invest in programs designed to better public health, community health services, and health and wellness. The board will also require a written financial sustainability plan within twelve months of licensing.Once annually for five years from the date he receives a license, Moshe also must report his progress on implementing his initiatives.These include negotiations with health insurers on new contracts to get better access for patents, efforts to fill service gaps with new physicians, and efforts to work with local community leaders, and surrounding hospitals to identify health care needs.The state Department of Health’s commissioner now has up to 120 days to make a final decision on the sale.Local resident receives Susan G. Komen awardSharon Daughtry-Simon of Secaucus was the recipient of the Susan G. Komen North Jersey Volunteer of the Year Award, the Affiliate’s most prestigious award, on Nov. 19 at the Volunteer Recognition Tea at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains. The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding volunteer whose continued passion and long-standing commitment have had a significant impact on the Komen mission. Daughtry-Simon, who is a 10-year breast cancer survivor, has been involved as a volunteer with Komen North Jersey for many years and currently serves as Chairperson for both the Affiliate’s Grant Committee and the Survivor Program Committee.The Volunteer Recognition event, which is given as a “thank you” for all those who volunteered for the organization during the previous year, also honored ten outstanding individuals for their exceptional contributions and extraordinary dedication to the mission of the Affiliate.CarePoint ‘Lunch & Learn’ series to focus on heart and lung diseasesCarePoint Health-Christ Hospital will hold its next Lunch & Learn Series, “Managing Heart or Lung Disease,” on Thursday, Dec. 7 from noon to 1:30 p.m.The program will include presentations by medical experts about how to better manage congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A free, healthy lunch will be included.Register at [email protected] or [email protected] event will be held at Christ Hospital, 176 Palisade Ave., Jersey City.Correction from previous Secaucus Reporter editionThe previous Secaucus Reporter reported that Councilman Robert Costantino did not appear at his previously scheduled Nov. 9 court date in Kearny Municipal Court, stemming from charges connected to a vehicle incident in September. However, Mr. Costantino made an appearance that day. We apologize for the error.last_img read more

Contractual dilemma

first_imgWith the current economic problems, companies are reviewing their arrangements with suppliers and seeing where savings can be made. One element of this is that firms are increasingly looking at pricing structures in place and reviewing their position with regards to providers.We are hearing of more and more stories of companies putting the squeeze on their suppliers and one particular scenario seems to be as follows. The supplier is asked to reduce its price by X%, on the basis that the economic climate demands it and also that, in effect, the supplier should “share” the burden with the company. The company further suggests that if the supplier agrees to this, then the company would look favourably upon them in the future. The unwritten implication is that if the supplier does not play ball, they could be jeopardising their future.The supplier is immediately placed in a tricky situation. By playing ball, their own profit margins are badly affected – and this is at a time when most companies are already working on very fine margins. There is also the danger that, even when the economic situation improves, the company will still not bring the prices paid up to the previous level. But then the converse is that the supplier does not agree to the price reduction and the business is lost completely.So what should a supplier do, what is the legal situation and do suppliers have any legal remedies?The starting point is to review the contractual arrangements in place with the company concerned. If needs be, it may be worth taking legal advice on the contractual position. Let’s take a couple of different scenarios:Scenario 1Baker A has an excellent working relationship with Supermarket X – so much so, that it does not have a written contract with the supermarket. Orders are simply placed on a regular, if ad hoc, basis. Every time Supermarket X calls to place an order, Baker A quotes a price and that is accepted by Supermarket X. However, Supermarket X now says that, with the economic downturn, it cannot afford to pay the price being asked by Baker A and has asked for a 5% reduction. Baker A has to make a commercial decision as to whether to accept the percentage reduction or not. It’s a gamble. Baker A cannot demand that Supermarket X continues to place orders with it. If Baker A says no to Supermarket X’s demands, then Supermarket X can simply walk away from the trading relationship and there is nothing Baker A can do. If Baker A decides that it cannot take the gamble that Supermarket X will walk away and it will have to take the reduction, what should Baker A do? Perhaps Baker A should use this as a negotiating chip and an opportunity to formalise the relationship with Supermarket X. Baker A could suggest the following:l That the parties enter into a written agreementl That Supermarket X is under an obligation to place a certain number of orders with Baker Al To have a notice periodl That the percentage reduction only be applied for a certain period of timeHowever, Baker A is still in a weak position and, realistically, has to make a commercial decision as it has very few, if any, legal rights or remedies.Scenario 2Baker B is a very well-organised bakery. It has written contracts in place with all of the supermarkets that take its products. Its contracts provide:l For six months’ notice to be givenl Full details of what the bakery can charge for its productsl The number of products and the dates when those products will be sent to the supermarket.Supermarket Y gets in touch with Baker B and says that it is in financial difficulties and needs Baker B to take part of the financial risk with it, by taking a 9% reduction in its prices. What can Baker B do? Well Baker B is in a much stronger position and can insist on Supermarket Y complying with the contractual terms. The only danger would be Supermarket Y serving notice that it would end the contract at the end of the notice period.Again, it comes down to a commercial decision on whether Baker B wishes to make some kind of concession. However, due to the fact that Baker B’s position is that much stronger if minded to make a concession, it might be worth Baker B asking to see the evidence that the company is in trouble or negotiating a smaller percentage reduction and again for a limited period only.For smaller businesses, what has to be key in this situation is that their position is made as watertight as it can be within the contractual document between themselves and the entity to whom they supply. While legal advice may sound expensive, this has to be considered as against possibly the loss of a business if a major customer pulls its business. Many suppliers are under the impression that companies have to give them notice and, more particularly, reasonable notice if they are going to withdraw their business, but this is not necessarily the case.So to conclude, if faced with a situation where a company wants to re-negotiate price:1. Review your contract and, if necessary, take legal advice on that document.2. If your contract makes you reasonably secure, consider commercially whether you should accede to that request, but see whether any future commercial advantage could be secured by giving your agreement – for example, with the company giving you agreed increased orders.3. If agreement is reached on a reduction in price, give great consideration to placing a guillotine for how long that reduction is in place.? Nichola Evans is a partner at legal firm Browne Jacobson—-=== Prevent late payment ===Payment times are a key part of any contract, whether written or verbal. According to the Forum of Private Business, poor payment practice costs UK business £20bn every year with small firms each owed an average of £30,000 at any one time, so the FPB has drawn up some top tips to help prevent late payment:Make your terms clearAgree payment terms at the order stage and have those terms printed on relevant documents such as invoices. Terms should include any credit period and details of interest charges on overdue accounts. All businesses have a legal right to claim interest from late-paying customers.Consider credit-checking potentially large customersAn online credit rating can be on your desk in minutes and costs from £10 upwards. Consider taking up credit references.Make your invoice clearAn easy-to-understand invoice will encourage customers to pay more quickly. Make sure, in particular, that you include a detailed description of the goods/services, a reference to the order number and that you send the invoice to the right person.Invoice on timeSend the invoice out immediately after the goods are sent or the service is completed. Don’t forget that many businesses simply don’t pay invoices until they receive a statement.Create a systemSet out in writing a timetable you feel comfortable with for chasing unpaid bills – and stick to it.last_img read more

Reville on Indiana’s decision to drop Common Core

first_imgIndiana, one of the early adopters of the Common Core Standards Initiative nearly four years ago, became the first state to also drop the initiative on Monday following Governor Mike Pence’s signing of a new legislation. Professor Paul Reville discusses how Indiana’s decision may or may not impact education and the national standards movement. Read Full Storylast_img

Common Threads: Summer in the Yard

first_img 1“This is an African hat,” said West Africa-born Boubacar Diakite, a professor in the Department of African Studies. “Once you reach 40, you wear it every day. It’s a sign of wisdom.” 14“My style is whatever works. I’m from the Caribbean, so I like colors as well. But black … it’s slimming,” said Caco Daubentonia, a GSD graduate who is also teaching a summer course. 8“I like wearing black, though it’s not the first thing you plan on wearing in the summer,” said Francisco Quiñones, a 2014 GSD graduate teaching a summer course. 15“I don’t do expensive clothing. Everything was super cheap,” said Andrea Escudero, a Harvard Summer School student from Mexico City. “My necklace is from Oaxaca and the purse, too.” 7There was no lack of confidence in Akaki Adamia, a management and finance summer school student from the Republic of Georgia. “I look at other people’s style,” he said of his fashion inspiration, “and upgrade it. My father gave me this shirt. He used to live by the seaside in Georgia.” 6“It’s my first day visiting Boston,” said Joanna Pang, a visitor to Harvard Business School via Shanghai. “I always like to match but I like to be comfortable.” 3“Anton is the reason we’re so stylish. He’s the most annoying person to go into the store with, because I have to have his approval on everything!” said Christian Wanner of his 14-year-old son, here with Wanner’s wife, Maud, and daughter Audrey, 17, who was visiting Harvard as a prospective applicant. 5“I like to be flowy but structured,” said Kristen Ramaseur, who works with kids all day at a children and family services center in Cambridge. 11“There’s a shop in Belfast called Primark, with lots of bright, cheap clothes,” said Liz Wade, who was traveling with friends to New York, Boston, and Chicago before returning overseas. “I love the big hair, too. I can’t wear my hair flat. It freaks me out. I look weird with flat hair.” 12Matteo Mauti, an international summer student, brought European flair to Harvard Summer School. “This is an example of a classic look from Italy.” 2Sometimes a pop of color is the perfect reflection of summer. “I love this color,” said Lydia Chen, a fashion design student from Taiwan. “I’m inspired by my art.” 9“My style is vintage/New Age,” said Ami Artiz, a summer school student, reading on the colorful chairs in Harvard Yard. “I like to mix and match a lot. I shop at Goodwill … and this shirt is from a little boutique. I like to support local businesses.” 4“My style is modest, but cool and breezy,” said Shireen Khan, a Graduate School of Design student who confessed she sports a key on her necklace because, “I get locked out of my room a lot.” 10“It’s hot, so if you get wet, it doesn’t matter because you’re wearing a swimsuit!” said Matt Penner of California, who was visiting Boston for a few weeks. “I’m a writer, and I’m writing a nonfiction book about a few crazy months I lived at the beach.” As temperatures soar, staying cool is a priority. Whether it’s relaxing in the shade, wearing lightweight material, or enjoying the breeze in one of the University’s Common Spaces, everyone wants to enjoy the summer months while they last. Some dress to impress with pops of color or the latest mixed-and-matched trends, while for others simplicity is key. Harvard’s campus shifts during the summer months, getting a refreshing splash of style from the influx of international students and visitors. But whatever the fashion statement, being frugal and comfortable is a must this summer season.— Crystal Chandler 13“I like to wear dresses,” said Tufts student Danielle Polland, who’s working in a Harvard psychology lab. The native New Yorker plans to explore the region this summer. “I’m headed to Cape Cod and Newport!” 16According to Antonio Magaldi, a lawyer visiting his daughter who is a research fellow, fashion in Boston is very similar to that in his native Brazil, where a salmon-colored shirt is the norm because there it’s summer all year long.last_img read more

Nurse connects spirituality, health

first_imgOn Monday, professor and director of nursing Linda Paskiewicz discussed the distinctions and connections between spiritual concerns and healthcare. The lecture was part of the weekly Spirituality Monday series at Saint Mary’s, director of the Center for Spirituality Elizabeth Groppe said.“[Spirituality Monday’s are] an opportunity for faculty, staff and students of Saint Mary’s to gather together to reflect on the relationship between spirituality and different academic disciplines and professional practices,” Groppe said.In a clinically-based and regimented area of study such as nursing, the lines can be blurred when it comes to the distinctions between spirituality and clinical healthcare, Paskiewicz said.  An understanding of both develops over time.“I use myself as an example,” Paskiewicz said. “When I was in high school, there were not a lot of career trajectories that were available for women. Women could go to a nursing program or ‘nurses training,’ as it was called then. Women could go to beauty school. Women could become teachers, or women could get married.“Well, I decided if those were going to be my choices, the one I would pick for myself would be nursing. I just thought, ‘I think this is where I need to be.’ I had no sense … at that point of the spirituality, the big concept of spirituality, although I went to church and Sunday school. That sense of this spiritual self was not part of myself at all.”Paskiewicz said she was first introduced to the nursing profession after she graduated high school at the age of seventeen.“I worked as a nursing assistant at an inner-city hospital [in Chicago],” Paskiewicz said. “I knew nothing about nursing except for Cherry Ames books.”One of her first patient connections was with a woman who resembled her grandmother. Paskiewicz said she used to stop by and chat with the patient even when not assigned to her room. Over time, Paskiewicz started to build relationships and to understand nursing on a more spiritual level.“I think, very early on, not fully understanding the experience, I got to be friends with people like the chaplain who was there and spent some time just trying to talk through my feelings about working with patients,” Paskiewicz said. “And, very slowly, I began to have a much better appreciation of the whole mind, body [and] spirit connection.“I like to think my beginning sense of understanding connectedness helped me to earn an award for the best clinical nurse in my class, but somehow, in hindsight … I thought maybe I am different, and maybe this is affirming to me that my way of thinking and being with people is different.”Paskiewicz said she then examined her own spiritual development through the lens of childbirth, a division of nursing in which she spent much of her career before she became involved in education.“I think that the spiritual connection can begin to develop between women and their babies long before the baby is born, and so to minimalize the time the baby is in the womb is a great mistake,” she said. “It’s an expansion of the mind and creation into a new life that is important.”In order to organize her thoughts, Paskiewicz laid out her five spiritual steps she uses when practicing nursing. Her steps include meaning, the idea of becoming and connectedness.“It’s very fun to see other nurses here as well, so they can contribute because I think that each of us come to develop … the importance of spiritual connection not only to ourselves but to others we serve,” Paskiewicz said.Tags: nursing, nursing and healthcare, paskiewiecz, Spirituality Mondayslast_img read more

New Hampshire Irene victims can apply for SBA assistance

first_imgUS Small Business Administration Administrator Karen G. Mills issued the following statement after the announcement of the Presidential disaster declaration for several counties in New Hampshire that were affected by Tropical Storm Irene beginning on Aug. 26: “The U.S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing the people of New Hampshirewith the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses with federal disaster loans.  Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”The disaster declaration covers the counties of Carroll and Grafton in New Hampshire, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.  Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Belknap, Coos, Merrimack, Strafford and Sullivan in New Hampshire ; Oxford and York in Maine ; and Caledonia, Essex, Orange and Windsor in Vermont.Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate.  Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.Businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.  The SBA may increase a loan up to 20 percent of the total amount of disaster damage to real estate and/or leasehold improvements, as verified by SBA, to make improvements that lessen the risk of property damage by future disasters of the same kind.For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.Interest rates are as low as 2.5 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years.  Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY) 800-462-7585 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing)  Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET or by sending an email to [email protected](link sends e-mail).  Those affected by the disaster may also apply for disaster loans electronically from SBA’s website athttps://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/(link is external).The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is November 7, 2011 . The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 7, 2012.For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at www.sba.gov(link is external) .Contact:  Michael LamptonPhone:  404-331-0333 SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —last_img read more

The Fearsome Five: 15 Years of Horton’s Hellgate

first_imgOne of the Fearsome Five, Jeff Garstecki, poses after the pre-race briefing.In 2013, it snowed, then rained, and never got above 40 degrees. Two years later was the hottest Hellgate to date with a high near 80 degrees. And in 2016, temperatures reached a record low for the race at eight degrees. Runners couldn’t drink their water fast enough and ran for miles between aid stations with useless, frozen hydration packs.“If the weather is particularly challenging, it levels the playing field quite a bit,” says Jerry Turk. “It doesn’t matter if you are a racing snake in your mid twenties, if you have to deal with bitterly cold, freezing conditions and that’s something new to you, then in my mind, I’ve got a little bit of an edge because I’ve seen it before.”That first year in 2003, runners ran on two feet of snow under a perfectly full moon. The visibility was so clear, most of the racers went without headlamps. Two years later, in 2005, the ice was so bad runners could hardly find traction on the parking lot, let alone the trails. Garstecki, who fell more times than he could count, bonked, became hypothermic, and nearly dropped at Bearwallow Gap over two-thirds of the way through the course.“I remember it was freezing out, right, but I felt so hot, so I was taking off my clothes. My plan was that I was going to lay down in the snow until the next runner came behind me. I didn’t lay down, I kept walking, waiting for that next runner, but nobody reached me before I got to the next aid station. I spent 45 minutes to an hour just getting warm by the fire. My legs were so bloody from the ice scratching my legs. I managed to finish, and I got the best blood award that year.” Actually, it’s just the Fearsome Four at the moment. Ryan Henry from Carlisle, Penn., “is a dear friend of mine,” says Horton, “but he’s late for everything.” The others are folded into the crowd of runners, and he calls each one out in classic Horton fashion.Jerry Turk from Guilford, Conn., but originally the south of England, is “the Yankee.” Darin Dunham of Huntsville, Ala., will be “the first of the Five to drop out” from the streak. Aaron Schwartzbard from Washington, D.C., “runs either here or here,” says Horton, holding one hand high above his head and the other stretched low toward his feet—Schwartzbard won Hellgate back in 2007 with a time of 11:28:13, but he’s also had years when the course took him well over 15 hours. “Maybe it’s those sideburns.”“That’s not usually the kinda thing that comes up in most pre-race briefings,” Schwartzbard tells me later. “There are people who are highly turned off by the David Horton Show, because he does tend to say things that are not necessarily polite. With anything he says, it’s not entirely serious, but it’s not entirely joking either, and there’s something to be said for that level of honesty. We live in this Instagram Facebook culture where everyone’s like, ‘Go get ‘em! You’re great!’ and Horton’s not afraid to call it like it is.”The final of the Five, Jeff Garstecki from Columbia, Md., somehow eludes Horton’s banter. He and his wife Tammie are lingering near the back of the room when Horton dismisses the runners. It’s Tammie’s first Hellgate, and I can almost feel the anxious excitement emanating from her.“We’re going to try to squeeze in a nap, but I don’t know how much sleep I’ll actually get,” she says.Jeff, on the other hand, exudes a levelheaded ease about him, which surprises me when I learn of his injury.“I have three degenerative discs in my back,” he says. “If the race had been last weekend, I wouldn’t have been able to run. I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom at Thanksgiving.”After 14 years of running Hellgate, Garstecki and the other Fearsome Five know better than anyone how different the race can feel from one year to the next. Out there, everyone faces his own demons, be they changes in physical fitness, recent injuries and illnesses, or life stressors. But it’s that, combined with unpredictable weather, which can really make or break the race. More than the elements and the strenuous physical output, Hellgate has been a mental game for Schwartzbard. He nearly won the race in 2003, back when nobody knew the course and certainly nobody knew him. A marathoner at heart, Schwartzbard was surprised to find himself alone and in the lead for 45 miles. He nearly started congratulating himself on his performance when another runner sailed past and pushed him into second.“I really had it in my mind that I just might make it. I had my eyes on the winner’s jacket, and then at the end to be passed like that, even now when I get to where I was passed that first year, I have this dark feeling like there’s some sort of haunting there. It was such a deflating moment that hung over me for awhile.”In 2004, Schwartzbard again placed second. A year later, he slid to eighth. By then, he had given up hope of ever winning Hellgate. In 2006, he ran his slowest time to date at 16:10:51. But in 2007, when he showed up to register the Friday night before his fifth running of Hellgate, he was surprised to see Horton had seeded him number one.“That was a little bit awkward. The guy who had won Hellgate the year before was number two, and usually you always seed the previous winner as number one. Horton is not hung up on etiquette, though. That fall I was in really great marathon shape, but that’s very different from being in trail shape. Still, he realized I had more fitness than I recognized in myself.”Sure enough, like some self-fulfilling prophecy, Schwartzbard won that year, thereby lifting the heavy cloud that had been hanging over him since 2003.[nextpage title=”NEXT PAGE”]It’s 10p.m. now, and though a few of the runners are sitting around the room making small talk with their crews, most are trying to catch some shut-eye. Outside, rows of red taillights idle in the night. Exhaust clouds the parking lot as runners crank the heat and stuff themselves under steering wheels for a few fitful minutes of sleep.It’s a crisp 22 degrees and snow is in the forecast. The park service has closed access to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Crews and volunteers are scrambling to adjust the affected aid stations and support. David Horton is sitting by the fireplace, figuring out the final details of drop bag and firewood deliveries. Despite the last-minute change in plans, Horton is practically spilling over with excitement, his mouth twitching with a mischievous glee.“It’s like Christmas, this race to me,” he says. “The build up, the build up, then the weekend and YES IT’S UNREAL. But then boom. It’s over. It’s depressing after it’s over. It’s depressing after Christmas is over.”It’s obvious Hellgate is Horton’s favorite child. He flat out tells me so, but I can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice, the way he dotes on his dedicated volunteers, the runners who pour heart and soul into the race, even the Camp Bethel setting which makes the whole event feel like part summer camp, part family reunion.Horton is first and foremost a champion of hard work. He knows the fulfillment of giving something your all and succeeding. He also understands the complexities that emerge when you give 100% to any endeavor and still fall short. In 2008, Horton had to abandon his speed record attempt on the Continental Divide Trail after a brutal first day. A year later, on day six of his supported speed record attempt of the Colorado Trail, Horton ran four miles off course and started to experience severe swelling of his appendages. He knew he had to call it quits.Though he’s since had to switch from running to cycling due to residual knee problems, Horton still regards races, and more generally life-in-motion, not as yardsticks for any sort of physical prowess but as reminders in our ability to persevere in life, no matter the physical, mental, or spiritual obstacles that may befall us.“This is our race. We’re in this together. I ran my first marathon three weeks before I got my doctorate. Which do you think mattered more?”From left to right: Jerry Turk, Darin Dunham, Aaron Schwartzbard, David Horton, Jeff Garstecki, and Ryan Henry.At 10:50p.m. on the dot, a train of vehicles pulls out of the parking lot at Camp Bethel. When the entourage arrives 45 minutes later at the Hellgate Trailhead, the northern terminus of the Glenwood Horse Trail, there’s a flurry of activity as racers make last-minute adjustments to their packs and shed their warm jackets once and for all.As the clock ticks ever closer to 12:01a.m., they reluctantly leave the warm cars behind and head to the starting line. The air quivers with adrenaline. After the singing of the National Anthem, Horton begins the countdown.“Five minutes until 12:01!” he hollers through his megaphone. “One minute…and five…four…three…two…one…go!”Headlamps stream through the blackness beyond. The racers howl into the night, like wolves on a hunt. Soon, the only sounds are that of Hokas and Altras and Salomons shuffling through the leaves.“It’s game time,” says Horton. “Let’s roll.”Horton climbs into the passenger seat of a beige FJ Cruiser, which promptly takes off down the road. I follow behind, occasionally catching glimpses of the runners’ headlights bouncing through the trees. Throughout the night, we drive up steep and narrow gravel roads from aid station to aid station, stopping for just a few minutes to check in and cheer on the head of the pack.Around 2a.m., it starts to flurry. Driving in the dark with the wind whipping snow, I lose all sense of direction. My eyes struggle to focus. Up until the start, I had been riding on the runners’ high, but the sleepless night starts to wear on me. I try to shake it off. I’m not running 66.6 miles, after all.It’s still dark out when we pull into aid station five, Jennings Creek, the breakfast aid station. The location is just a few miles short of the halfway point on the course and marks a milestone for most runners as the beginning of daylight. It’s only 4:30 in the morning now, but the place is alive with life. Christmas music blasts from a speaker. Someone dressed in a reindeer suit tends to a roaring fire. Decorative lights line the final runway into the aid station, beckoning runners from the depth of night.Before long, the first runners stumble in looking a little shell-shocked, a little tired, but no worse for the wear. They dig through their drop bags, refuel, and are back on the trail in a matter of minutes. And so are we. By 5a.m., the snow is falling in heavy, fat flakes and accumulating fast. Horton adds some streamers at a road crossing where the snow has covered the trail and we zip up to one last aid station before heading to Bearwallow Gap. Dawn is just beginning to break when we arrive at the parking lot. Horton quickly lays out the drop bags and helps assemble the aid station.Just after 7:30a.m, we see the first runner emerge from the woods. It’s Matt Thompson, a runner with Crozet Running. Horton hustles over to him and hands him a Coke. Thompson takes a couple of sips and starts to close the bottle, but Horton interjects.“Drink the whole thing. You need it.”Horton (left) readies the aid station at Bearwallow Gap just before dawn. / Jess DaddioThere’s frozen blood smeared under Thompson’s left eye, but he hardly seems to notice. He doesn’t linger long, and soon, he’s climbing up past the aid station, head down, pushing into the wind and snow.Over the next four hours, we continue to greet and cheer and feed runners as they wearily materialize from the notoriously treacherous section Sophie Speidel, a 10-time Hellgate finisher herself, christened “The Devil Trail.”“It’s almost like Russian roulette out there,” Jerry Turk told me before the race. “You have no idea what’s beneath those leaves because the layer of leaves is quite thick. You’re just running along hoping and praying you’ll be able to react quick enough and not fall flat on your face.”[nextpage title=”NEXT PAGE”]Aaron Schwartzbard is the first of the Fearsome Five to reach the aid station. He’s in a surprisingly cheery mood given the current course conditions. It’s no longer snowing, but the wet snow is deceptive and makes the leaves slicker instead of adding traction.“Well look who it is!” says Horton upon seeing Schwartzbard. “You’re doing alright. It must be those sideburns!”“You wanna stroke them for good luck?” says Schwartzbard.Schwartzbard in good spirits on the final stretch of The Devil Trail.Schwartzbard takes his time socializing, filling his hydration pack, and crushing a few pierogies. The cold eventually starts to take its toll, and he grabs a pierogi for the trail and hikes it out of the gap.We stick around long enough to see Sarah Schubert come into the aid station. She’s still in the top five women and moving strong, but the leader Hannah Bright is a good 20 minutes ahead.Sarah Schubert, over seven hours in. / Jess Daddio“This year was hard for me,” she tells me after the race. “I had just run a 100-miler a month before and Horton knew that. My legs and body weren’t quite ready and he recognized that, but he wasn’t demeaning about it. He was like, ‘You found your limit. You can run this race, sure, but if you want to race and do as well as you know you can do, that’s too short of a turnaround.’”Camp Bethel is quiet when we return. It’s close to 11a.m., and Matt Thompson is expected any minute. His family waits in the room where, just 14 hours earlier, the entire starting field of 140 runners had been seated at the pre-race briefing.In the back of the room, volunteers organize a spread of snacks and beverages. Multiple pots of coffee are at the ready. Another volunteer is seated at a table with a radio in hand, coordinating pick-ups for runners who dropped out or didn’t make the time cutoffs.Horton bursts into the room, still brimming with enthusiasm despite going full-steam for over 24 hours without any sleep (or coffee, for that matter). He’s just been to where the trail pops out onto the road, the final stretch, and says Thompson is 10 minutes away.Overall winner (and best blood award winner) Matt Thompson at the finish line. / Jess DaddioThere won’t be any records broken on this 15th running of Hellgate 100K, but when Thompson, accompanied by his sons, finally drags himself across the finish line with a time of 11:22:09, Horton is beaming with pride. He wraps Thompson in a warm embrace, the kind of hug that a father might give one of his own on graduation or wedding day.“Everyone knows they’ve done something when they finish this race, every finisher, every year,” says Horton. “They can’t take it for granted that they’re going to finish. You have to earn it every time.”For the next seven hours, Horton greets every single runner at the finish line. After nearly 17 hours of running through the night and day, and into the night again, Darin Dunham is the final of the Fearsome Five to arrive at Camp Bethel. It’s his fastest time in seven years he tells me, and at just under 17 hours, his time qualifies for the Western States lottery. Like Darin, Aaron, Jerry, and Ryan all have relatively uneventful runs for their 15th Hellgate. But Jeff Garstecki felt every mile at the end.“Personally, I think it was one of the harder years, definitely in the top three or four as far as toughest conditions go,” Garstecki tells me a week later. “The Forever Section was when I started feeling bad and I just never came out of it. We’ve all had that. But as bad as I felt throughout this race, there was no thought of stopping or quitting. The streak keeps me going.”And so, the streak lives on, even if “it’s really just an accident that I keep signing up,” according to Ryan Henry. How long will it last?“25 sounds like a nice number,” says Dunham. “And if there are five of us in 10 years, that’ll be awesome, but at the same time, if one of us doesn’t finish, I won’t shed a tear.”center_img David Horton is begrudgingly beloved. He wouldn’t have it any other way.The 67-year-old ultrarunner-turned-race-director is the mad scientist behind some of the ultrarunning community’s most reputable races, the Mountain Masochist 50 Miler (which he no longer directs), Holiday Lake 50K, Promise Land 50K, and Hellgate 100K. Over the course of his three-decade-plus ultrarunning career, Horton has logged a dizzying number of achievements—over 160 ultras, speed records on the Appalachian Trail (1991) and the Pacific Crest Trail (2005), and the third-fastest time of the Trans-America Footrace (1995), just to name a few.By all appearances, Horton is a glutton for punishment. Even open heart surgery and a total knee replacement hardly slowed him down. Runners aren’t sure whether to admire the man or fear him. Or both.It’s no wonder then, that adversity is part and parcel of his ultras. Impeccably organized yet relentlessly brutal, Horton’s races are relics of a bygone era, a time when race applications arrived by post and grit, not glory, made a runner great. There is still no online registration for Hellgate 100K, and should a runner DNF or fail to run her best, she should expect shame, not sympathy, from David Horton.It’s nearing 9p.m. on Friday, December 8, 2017. Nearly 200 runners, crew members, and volunteers are crowded into a room at Camp Bethel in Fincastle, Va. In just two hours, the entire room will caravan to the start line of the 15th annual Hellgate 100K. Horton is midway through his pre-race briefing when someone asks about the course records. He turns to Sarah Schubert, the 2016 women’s winner.“Prove me wrong. I don’t think you’ll beat the record. Even if someone beats you, I don’t think they’ll beat the record. Amy Sproston is a better runner than you.”There’s a split second of uncomfortable silence. I’m tucked in a corner behind Horton with some of his students from Liberty University. Stunned, I wait for the “just kidding” or the punch line that will break the ice. But it doesn’t come.“He likes to be inflammatory,” Schubert tells me a week later. “If people want to do well in Horton’s races, it takes a different type of person. You certainly don’t want to come to his races expecting to be coddled, either by him or the course.”Horton continues to dole out tongue-in-cheek jabs that teeter between playful and crass. No one is spared. The assistant to medical director Dr. George Wortley is “a good woman, but a little strange.” George Plomarity, the Patagonia representative, “weenied out, wussed out,” and DNFed at his first Hellgate. Even I find myself at the root of some ridicule. “Daddio? That’s a terrible last name. Are you married yet? Well good, that means you can still change it.”When it comes to Hellgate though, Horton’s ruthless candor is the least of the runners’ problems. There’s plenty to dread about this one-of-a-kind point-to-point ultra: the 12:01a.m. start at an unpredictable time of year, leaf-covered technical trail, the real threat of frozen cornea (dubbed “Hellgate Eyes”) and sleep-deprived hallucinations, 12,000 feet of climbing, and those nasty “Horton miles” that turn this 100K into a befitting 66.6 miles instead of the standard 62. Just crossing the finish line at Hellgate is a commendable feat. Many runners race Hellgate once and never return. But sitting in that room at Camp Bethel are five runners who have shown up every year since 2003, in respect of but not unfazed by Horton or Hellgate. They are the Fearsome Five.[nextpage title=”NEXT PAGE”]last_img read more