Vermont Public Radio wins seven regional Edward R Murrow Awards

first_imgVermont Public Radio,Vermont Public Radio has been honored with seven regional Edward R Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). VPR received awards in the following categories: news series, breaking news coverage, sports, documentary, use of sound, newscast, and writing.”These awards truly represent a team effort, particularly the coverage of Tropical Storm Irene,’said John Van Hoesen, VPRâ s vice president for news and programming. “As a public broadcaster, we are accountable to the community we serve.  We are honored to receive these awards because they go to the heart of VPRâ s mission to provide an essential and trusted independent voice for news and information in our region.âThe winning coverage includes:UVM At  A Crossroads (News Series)A collection of news pieces in the days following Tropical Storm Irene (Breaking News)A profile of the pitcher from Stowe who inspired the Bruce Springsteen Hit â Glory Daysâ  (Sports)The Irene Effect (Documentary)A primer on how to call an auction (Use Of Sound)A newscast from the morning after Tropical Storm Irene (Newscast)A story about the theremin, an obscure musical instrument, and one manâ s work to renew appreciation for it(Writing)In all, 14 awards were made in the small market radio category for the region, which includes all of the New England states. Vermont Public Radio will be honored at a ceremony this spring and it will now be entered in all of these categories for the national awards.The RTDNA is the world’s largest professional organization exclusively serving the electronic news profession, consisting of more than 3,000 news directors, news associates, educators and students. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, the association is dedicated to setting standards for newsgathering and reporting. Although news techniques and technologies are constantly changing, RTDNA’s commitment to encouraging excellence in the electronic journalism industry remains the same. VPR. 4.12.2012last_img read more

Nearly quarter million dollars in grants awarded to Vermont farms by Historic Preservation

first_imgCountyTownProjectBrief DescriptionCaledoniaBarnetJoes Brook FarmRepair roof, frame, flooring, siding; replace windows and doorsRutlandBrandonCedar Rail FarmRepair frameWashingtonCalaisAdamant Hills FarmRepair frameOrangeCorinthHutchinson FarmRepair posts, piers, foundation and sillOrleansCraftsburyRainbow  FarmRepair cupolaWindhamDummerstonLeonard FarmRepair frame; replace roof and foundation; improve drainageGrand IsleIsle LaMotteJarvis BarnReplace roofLamoilleMorristownCrystal Spring FarmRepair foundation, frame and windowsWashingtonMoretownBliss RidgeReplace roofAddisonOrwellBrookside Stock FarmRepair foundation, frame, roof and siding; improve drainageFranklinSheldonKittell FarmRepair frame, roof and cupola; replace windows and sidingGrand IsleSouth HeroHambaloney AcresRepair roof, frame and foundation; improve drainageFranklinSwantonGarrett BarnRepair roof, frame and floor; replace foundation, windows and doorsOrangeTunbridgeAnother Button FarmRepair frame and foundation; replace roof, windows and doorsWindhamWilliamsvilleYoung Family FarmReplace roofWindhamWilmingtonWellman FarmReplace roof; improve drainage State grants totaling $222,424 to help restore and repair historic barns have been awarded to more than a dozen Vermont farms today at the Statehouse.The state Division for Historic Preservation and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation today announced matching grant awards to 16 recipients at a Vermont State House ceremony.  Projects awarded funding are located in ten counties throughout Vermont.Agricultural buildings, both historic and contemporary, provide a visual record of rural life in Vermont over the past two hundred plus years and represent Vermontâ s agricultural heritage to current and future generations.  The preservation of our historic agricultural buildings not only protects Vermontâ s architectural legacy, it also generates jobs, supports independent businesses, increases civic participation, and bolsters  a communityâ s sense of place while also enhancing the experience of visitors to our state interested in enjoying the beauty displayed in the heritage of our built environment.â We know that Vermontâ s farms are important not only to our past, but also critical to our current and future agricultural renaissance,’said Gov. Peter Shumlin.  â Protecting these historic barns ensures that we honor our past as we look to the future.  The efforts of this yearâ s grant recipients to preserve their barns demonstrates their commitment to a vibrant Vermont economy.âGrant projects range from roof replacements to foundation, frame and cupola repairs.  Almost 40 applications were submitted this year.â As we have for the many years this program has been active, we received a variety of excellent applications from across the state,’ said State Historic Preservation Officer Giovanna Peebles of the Division for Historic Preservation.  â Vermont is fortunate to have so many people who are committed to preserving their historic barns for future generations.âEstablished in 1991, the state-funded grant program annually awards matching grants for building improvement projects that promote the public enjoyment of Vermontâ s agricultural heritage.  Properties must be listed on or be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in Vermont.For more information, visit www.historicvermont.org(link is external).2012 Historic Barn Preservation Grant Recipientslast_img read more

Shumlin says Montpelier is making right decisions ‘to help people grow jobs’

first_imgby Alan Panebaker vtdigger.org Governor Peter Shumlin took the opportunity to celebrate what seem like signs of an economic recovery at the Vermont Business and Industry EXPO Wednesday.According to statistics released last week by the Vermont Department of Labor, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for April 2012 was 4.6 percent, a decrease of two-tenths of a percent from the revised March rate.That 4.6 percent rate puts Vermont at the fourth lowest in the country.That decrease in unemployment has received some criticism as well. According to one think tank, the Public Assets Institute, notes that the total number of jobs in the state is shrinking.According to Vermont labor force statistics, there was a decrease of 1,500 jobs in April from the revised March data. A large decrease in leisure and hospitality jobs, according the the Vermont Department of Labor came from the abrupt end of winter that happened when the state experienced an early spring heat wave in March. State labor statistics also reported a decrease in the labor force of 1,100 people from March to April.Despite the naysaying, Shumlin said the unemployment numbers are still good news.â There are no statistics that wise people canâ t criticize,’he said. â In fairness, these unemployment numbers, theyâ re 4.6 percent, are measured exactly same way theyâ ve been measuring them for years. That rate was 8.2 percent at the peak of the recession. What Iâ m hearing from employers across Vermont more and more, theyâ re not saying to me things are tough weâ ve got to lay people off. Instead, theyâ re expressing optimism.âShumlin credited the Legislature for helping the economy by balancing two consecutive budgets without raising broad-based taxes. He also praised lawmakers for passing a law that would put a moratorium on a state sales tax on cloud computing software.â Weâ re making the right decisions in Montpelier to help people grow jobs,’he said.Shumlin said one place where the state needs to improve is income growth.â There are signs in last few numbers weâ ve seen that incomes starting to rise in Vermont,’Shumlin said. â For me thatâ s really going to be the measure of our success.âAccording to a survey by the US Census Bureau, between 2008 to 2010, median household income in Vermont was $53,490 in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars ‘making Vermont 15th in the nation.Shumlin said he is not campaigning until after Labor Day, but he did say he was humbled by a recent poll by Vermont Business Magazine, WCAX and WDEV showing he would likely win 60 percent of the gubernatorial vote if the election were held today.SEE POLLWhile Shumlin patted his administration on the back for working to promote jobs, Randy Brock, who is running for governor, chatted with local business owners at the Expo.Brock, a Republican senator, is not so convinced lawmakers are doing what is best for business.The top issue on his campaign website says: â As your governor, I will: Change Vermontâ s heavy-handed regulatory environment so businesses can create and keep jobs.âShumlin said he has focused on job growth.â I do not believe that anyone with a straight face can say that my team has not been focused on jobs and raising incomes of those who have jobs in Vermont with the exception of rebuilding Vermont better than Irene found us, and Iâ m like a broken record thatâ s what we do every day,’he said. May 23, 2012 vtdigger.orglast_img read more

GMP begins groundbreaking heat pump pilot program in Rutland

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,Green Mountain Power kicked off what is believed to be the first utility-sponsored heat pump rental program in the country today, a pilot effort centered in Rutland and intended to save customers money and demonstrate the comfort air-source heat pumps can provide in a cold-weather climate. The rental program includes installation of air-source heat pumps in homes and businesses with no up-front costs for the customer, and is expected to save participants hundreds of gallons of heating fuel and thousands of dollars each year. ‘We believe air-source heat pumps can dramatically change the way Vermonters heat their homes, and reduce economic costs and environmental impacts of burning foreign oil,’GMP President and CEO Mary Powell said.  ‘This program will help demonstrate that value, while creating jobs for installers and freeing up customers’cash for other purposes.’ Cold climate heat pumps, also known as mini-split heat pumps, are ductless heating systems that also provide air conditioning during hot weather.  Installed in less than a day, a heat pump includes an outdoor unit that works as a heat exchanger, like the compressor in a refrigerator, and is connected with copper tubing to a small interior unit. In cold weather, gas within the copper tubing extracts heat from outdoor air down to temperatures of about 13 below zero, and the warmth is brought inside.  In hot weather, the process reverses to cool the building.  GMP plans to heat its Energy Innovation Center largely with air-source heat pumps. ‘The pilot is intended to provide support for our expectation of customer and environmental benefits, and help jumpstart this new heating option in Vermont,’said Steve Costello, GMP’s vice president for generation and energy innovation.  ‘With our low carbon energy mix, we can slash air emissions from heating, and we expect participating customers will find dramatic improvements in home comfort, both summer and winter.’ Under the pilot program, GMP will pay to install heat pumps in up to 200 customers’homes and small businesses, and rent them to the property owners for $45 to $50 per month.  GMP plans to focus on enrollment in Rutland and surrounding towns, though other customers may also participate. Customers interested in enrolling in the pilot, or who would like more information, may call Bruce Bentley at (802) 345-6470, Kirk Shields at (802) 770-4246 or Amanda Beraldi at (802) 353-9241 in the Energy Innovation Center. Through a heat pump summit last fall and a program with Efficiency Vermont and NeighborWorks of Western Vermont to package weatherization with heat pump incentives, GMP has developed relationships with numerous installers in the HVAC, plumbing and home performance industries.  Six models are available through two manufacturers, Mitsubishi and Daikin. About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the state of Vermont. The company, which serves more than 250,000 customers, has set its vision to be the best small utility in America.last_img read more

Mt Philo Inn named a Fodor’s Choice Hotel

first_imgVermont’s Mt Philo Inn was recently designated a Fodor’s Choice Hotel, a ‘best of the best’ list of properties that Fodor editors have chosen for ‘providing a remarkable experience in their price range or category.’Originally built as an inn in 1896, the property has until recently functioned as long-term apartment rentals. Innkeepers and owners David and Jane Garbose opened the Mt. Philo Inn to overnight guests in August, the first time in 50 years, after a major three-year renovation.The Mt. Philo Inn exudes ‘the ideal blend of historical and contemporary boutique décor,’ wrote the Fodor’s reviewer who stayed at the Inn in the fall. In their renovations and redesign, the Garbose’s preserved the inn’s original woodwork, sourced local building materials, commissioned artwork from local artisans, and decorated with a minimalist and eclectic style.The result is an inn that offers the privacy and comfort of a country home with the amenities of a boutique hotel. The four suites range from 1,300 to 1,800 square feet, and are located in separate wings of the building, each with private entrance, porches and parking. Suites include modern kitchens, a refrigerator stocked with a breakfast basket of Vermont products, and bathrooms that feature showers and vanities made from Vermont marble. Anichini sheets add a luxurious touch to the handcrafted beds.‘If you’ve grown tired of the ubiquitous floral wallpaper of so many traditional New England inns, Jane and Dave Garbose’s charming Mt. Philo Inn is a good place to check out,’ wrote the Fodor’s reviewer. Charlotte, VT (February 5, 2014) ‘ Mt Philo Innlast_img read more

After lawmakers compromise, governor will sign cell phone driving ban

first_imgby Tom Brown vtdigger.org(link is external) Vermonters will no longer be able to talk on hand-held cellphones while driving if the Senate agrees with a compromise reached Wednesday. House members voted 129-6 to accept a conference committee agreement on S.314, a department of motor vehicles bill that included the ban. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure Thursday, where it is likely to pass, several lawmakers said. Governor Peter Shumlin, who has opposed the bill from the beginning, now intends to sign it, a spokeswoman for the administration said Wednesday.Related storiesCompromise under consideration.(link is external)Cellphone ban stalls.(link is external)Senate rejects House effort.(link is external)Lawmakers hear personal appeal.(link is external)The governor now approves of the compromise version that eliminated points against a driver’s license for a first offense of driving while using a hand-held cellphone. Hands-free use is permitted under the law. A first violation for driving while using a hand-held device carries a fine of $100 to $200 but no points. The penalty for texting while driving still carries the fine and two points against a driver’s license. Accumulation of 10 or more points in a two-year period results in automatic license suspension.“Gov. Shumlin wanted to ensure the bill made sense for Vermont, wouldn’t increase Vermonters’ insurance rates, or harm their driving records,” aide Susan Allen said in a statement. “He appreciated the Legislature’s willingness to compromise on this bill, and expects to sign it.”The law would take effect Oct. 1 and requires a public information campaign to inform motorists of the change. Vermont banned texting while driving in 2010 and police have complained that it is difficult to enforce because drivers who are stopped simply said they were calling, not texting.Rep. David Potter, D-Clarendon, signs a conference committee report Wednesday on a measure that would ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving. Photo by Tom Brown/VTDiggerThe Department of Public Safety would launch an informational campaign by Aug. 1 or sooner under the bill. That could include public service announcements and roadside displays, lawmakers said.The measure had broad support in the House but stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee and appeared dead until it was attached to the transportation bill.House members were pleased that a compromise was reached.“It’s a great first step,” said Rep. Patrick Brennan, R-Colchester, chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “Right now (texting) is a feel-good bill that can’t really be enforced … this bill kind of completes the circle. Law enforcement will have no issues making a stop based on somebody holding a phone up to their ear. I think the bill will change driving habits and save lives.”Debate over the bill caused a rift between Democratic Sens. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, who opposed it, and Dick Mazza, D-Chittenden/Grand Isle, who supported it. Both were members of the conference committee that rescued the bill and said there were no hard feelings.“We’ve been friends for 22 years and we’re still friends,” Sears said. Both men said they have hands-free devices in their own cars.Sears said Wednesday he still opposes the bill and did not sign the conference committee’s report.According to the Associated Press, the New Hampshire Legislature also passed a ban on hand-held cellphone use while driving Wednesday, forwarding it to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, who has not said whether she will sign it.Twelve other states prohibit drivers from using hand-held cellphones and 41 states ban text messaging, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Council.last_img read more

Okemo starts making snow

first_imgOkemo Mountain Resort,During the overnight hours between November 1 and 2 when most people were relishing an extra hour of sleep due to the end of daylight-saving time, Okemo Mountain Resort’s snowmakers were hard at work. At the same time Mother Nature was delivering her first dusting of natural snow, Okemo’s snowmakers were initializing the resort’s energy-efficient snowmaking system and engaging HKD tower guns along several upper-mountain trails. Okemo is based in Ludlow, Vermont.Following a $1 million investment in its snowmaking system last year, Okemo added another 100 tower guns to its arsenal this season. Utilizing energy-efficient, state-of-the-art technology allows Okemo to maximize its water-pumping ability and snowmaking potential. With the continuation of favorable conditions, Okemo will begin the 2014/2015 ski and snowboard season on its target opening date of Nov. 15.This year’s investment brings Okemo’s HKD tower gun count to 1,125, mountain-wide. Okemo also utilizes hundreds of snowmaking guns of varying types, but it is the HKD SV series of guns that will be making a big impression on early-season skiers and riders this winter – allowing Okemo to open more terrain early in the season and improving Okemo’s ability to recover more rapidly from unfavorable weather situations throughout the season.HKD’s variable flow snow guns raise the bar for low-energy snowmaking technology. The multi-chambered, modular tower gun utilizes a double valve configuration with advanced variable flow nozzle design. The rugged frost-free valve allows the operator to achieve four levels of water flow, making the tower gun capable of a smooth transition from low-flow, high-temperature performance to high-flow, low-temperature production without the need for changing nozzles. Source: Okemo: 11.2.2014 www.okemo.com(link is external).last_img read more

Weekly unemployment claims fall back under 400

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims in Vermont fell below 400 again last week, consistent with typically low summer totals. There were 364 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont, a decrease of 55 from the previous week’s total and 15 more than they were a year ago. Generally, claims have been running below last year’s totals. Claims were down slightly in nearly all regions of the state and in most industry categories.Altogether 4,308 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 62 from a week ago, and 276 fewer than a year ago. The Department processed 0 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08). The total for all programs was 4,308 claims, 62 fewer than last week, and 276 fewer than the same time last year.For the week by industry, Services claims were slightly in number as the prior week and still represent the preponderance of claims for any one sector, at 52 percent of all claims. Manufacturing claims were down from the prior week and from last year both in number and percentage, while Construction claims were up slightly as a percentage of the total but about the same in actual numbers of claims. By region, there was little change, with most areas of the state about the same as last week and down noticeably from last year. Barre was the only Labor Market Area that saw an increase from the prior week and the prior year.The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)Vermont’s unemployment rate held at 3.6 percent in June, as total employment grew and unemployment fell. SEE STORY.NOTE: Employment (nonfarm payroll) – A count of all persons who worked full- or part-time or received pay from a nonagricultural employer for any part of the pay period which included the 12th of the month. Because this count comes from a survey of employers, persons who work for two different companies would be counted twice. Therefore, nonfarm payroll employment is really a count of the number of jobs, rather than the number of persons employed. Persons may receive pay from a job if they are temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, vacation, or labor-management dispute. This count is based on where the jobs are located, regardless of where the workers reside, and is therefore sometimes referred to as employment “by place of work.” Nonfarm payroll employment data are collected and compiled based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor. This count was formerly referred to as nonagricultural wage and salary employment.last_img read more

Matt Dunne releases campaign finance disclosure

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for governor, today voluntarily released a campaign finance disclosure to the public at an event outside the Secretary of State’s office, making good on a pledge to give voters and the media open access to all campaign fundraising and spending activity. Dunne said he believes the public has every right to see this information before early voting begins on June 25.“Vermonters deserve to know how a candidate’s campaign is funded,” Dunne said in prepared remarks. “I’m proud to be running a people-powered campaign, focused on restoring the public’s trust in government. That starts by rejecting corporate campaign contributions and opening our books so that voters can make an informed decision when they go to the polls on August 9th.”Today’s campaign finance disclosure reported a total of $717,855.53 raised from 2,626 contributors, the vast majority of which, 1,849, gave donations of $100 or less. The campaign has spent $394,523.34 to date. This leaves the campaign with $323,332.19 on-hand, according to the campaign.Last month, Dunne announced his comprehensive plan for ethics reform, challenging all candidates in the race to join him in rejecting corporate campaign contributions and releasing voluntary monthly campaign finance disclosures. Dunne said that while the other Democrats in the race followed his lead, returning corporate money when it had been received and refusing to accept future corporate contributions, they have not pledged to provide the public with vital information about how their campaigns are funded outside of the state’s required deadlines.“Eliminating corporate campaign contributions is just the first step toward a truly transparent process. I will continue to disclose my campaign’s finances every month, because voters deserve to know what kind of campaign we are running,” said Dunne.Dunne is running for the nomination against Sue Minter and Peer Galbraith. The winner would face the Republican nominee in the general election in November, either Phil Scott or Bruce Lisman.last_img read more

Vermont ranks in top 10 most politically engaged states, but trending down

first_imgVermont Business Magazine November is just around the corner, which means it’s almost time for Americans to go out and vote. However, there is wide disparity in voter turnout across the 50 states. In 2014, some states had as little as 33 percent voter participation while others had as high as 61 percent. SmartAsset analyzed voter turnout, voter registration and campaign donations to determine the most politically engaged states, and Vermont takes the eighth spot. While Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton her biggest test for the Democratic Party nomination, voter turnout in the Green Mountain State is trending down. In 2010, Vermont had the 5th highest voter turnout at 55 percent. That number fell to 42.5 percent in 2014. The state still managed to rank in the top 10 thanks to high donations per capita relative to income.Voting is really a two-step process: first you register to vote and then you cast your ballot. Someone who registers to vote but doesn’t actually vote can still be considered more politically engaged than someone who never registered at all. And, of course, voting isn’t the only way to be an engaged citizen, you can also donate to campaigns and volunteer. So states with high numbers of voter registration, voter turnout and campaign donations can be said to be politically engaged.With these factors in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find out which are the most politically engaged states.Data and MethodologyTo determine the level of political engagement in each state we looked at data on six separate factors. (Note: We included additional factors this year, so this study is not directly comparable to the 2014 study.)2014, 2012 and 2010 Voter Turnout – Voter turnout is the percentage of resident citizens who actually cast a ballot. The data is from the U.S. Census Bureau.2014 Voter Registration – Voter registration is the percentage of resident citizens who registered to vote. The data is from the U.S. Census Bureau2012 and 2008 Presidential Donations (per capita donation as a percent of median income) – Data on campaign donations comes from the Center for Responsive Politics and is available at opensecrets.org.After collecting data on these six factors, we ranked every state according to each factor. So, for example, the state with the highest 2012 voter turnout was ranked first in that category, while the state with the lowest 2012 per capita donation as a percent of median income was ranked last in that category.The index, on a 100-point scale, was calculated based on each state’s ranking in each of the six factors.Key FindingsEngaged New England – Politics are a big deal in New England. Of the six states which make up New England, five are in the top 10. The odd man out is Rhode Island which ranked 24th.Apathetic South – The only state south of the Mason-Dixon line to break into the top 10 was Maryland. Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and West Virginia all ranked in the bottom 15 for political engagement.The President Matters – Due to the visibility and attention given to the quadrennial presidential election, voter turnout is much higher in presidential election years. In Mississippi, for example, the difference in turnout in 2012 and 2014 was as big as 30%.1. ColoradoColorado is one of the closest races during this year’s presidential election and, as a result, is one of the key swing states. It ranks highly in all the engagement categories we looked at. According to metrics like voter turnout, Colorado is becoming more engaged. The state ranked 9th in voter turnout in 2010 and 2nd in 2014.Coloradans are generous, too. After controlling for population and income, we found that Colorado citizens donated the 5th most in the 2012 presidential election. That year, Colorado had an impressive 70.4% voter participation.2. MassachusettsMassachusetts is an interesting place, politically speaking. Judging by its presidential voting record, one would assume Massachusetts is a very liberal state. But since 1991 it has only had one democrat for governor. The Bay State came into national focus when former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney ran for president in 2012 and he was forced to step back from the liberal-leaning health care reforms he helped put into place. That year 70% of the state’s voters turned up at polls.Want to retire? Find how much you should be saving.(link is external)3. MaineMaine, like Colorado before it, will have the opportunity to legalize marijuana this year. It will be interesting to see if that mobilizes the citizenry in the same way it did in Colorado. In the meantime, Maine is already a very politically engaged state. It ranked first for voter turnout in 2014 and 2010, with 61.5% and 59.4% of the citizenry coming out to vote, respectively. Curiously, Mainers do not get as energized by presidential elections as some other states. In 2012, Maine had a voter turnout of 68% – only good enough to rank 9th in the country that year.4. OregonOregon voters tend to be engaged no matter the scenario. In 2010 and 2014, its voter turnout was around 56%, while in 2012, a presidential election year, the turnout rate jumped up to 67%. Many states saw a large drop in donations from 2008 to 2012. Not Oregon. Oregon residents gave an estimated $2.61 per capita in 2008 and that figure only decline 12 cents to $2.49 in 2012. Compare that to New Mexico, where donations per capita was $7.06 in 2008 and dropped all the way to $2.82 in 2012.5. MarylandIf Maryland did a better job of turning registered voters into actual voters it would probably find itself higher in our study. Maryland had the 3rd highest level of registered voters in 2014, with 72% of citizens registered to vote but only 48% of citizens actually went to the polls. Like Washington and Oregon, Maryland tends to go for Democrats and FiveThirtyEight gives Hillary Clinton a 99.8% chance of winning the state this year.6. WashingtonWashington shares more than just a border with Oregon – it also shares its political engagement temperament. Overall its voters are mostly engaged but it does not get as big as a boost in turnout during presidential election years as other states do. The fact that the Evergreen State tends to be solidly Democrat may explain the somewhat lackluster turnout during presidential elections, there’s simply not as much at stake compared to states like Colorado.7. MinnesotaMinnesotans are rabid voters who tend to keep their money in their wallets. According to our data, Minnesota ranked no lower than 6th in voter turnout in 2010, 2012 and 2014 but ranked no higher than 30th for donations in 2008 and 2012. Minnesota is one of the tighter races during this election, according to FiveThirtyEight. The site gives Clinton a 81.6% chance to take the 10 electoral votes in the state.8. VermontVermont Sen. Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton her biggest test for the Democratic Party nomination. But voter turnout in the Green Mountain State is trending down. In 2010, Vermont had the 5th highest voter turnout at 55%. That number fell to 42.5% in 2014. The state still managed to rank in our top 10 thanks to high donations per capita relative to income.9. New HampshireWhile close geographically, Vermont and New Hampshire share little in terms of political engagement. Vermont tends to have lower turnout with high relative donations while New Hampshire has the opposite. In 2012, New Hampshire’s voter turnout was 69.4% – tying it with Iowa for the sixth highest in the country. But in terms of donations, New Hampshire only ranked 19th that year. The state also tends to be more unpredictable in terms of presidential elections. FiveThirtyEight gives Trump a 25.8% chance to win there, which makes it an important state to watch come November.10. ConnecticutConnecticut appears to be made up of some of the most giving citizenry in the country judging by campaign donations. The Constitution State ranked in the top 5 for donations in both years we analyzed the data. Unfortunately when it comes to actually showing up at the polls, the state is lagging. In 2010 and 2014 – the two non-presidential voting years we analyzed – Connecticut did not even crack 50% voter turnout.Moving to Connecticut? Find out what your taxes will be.(link is external)Note: The FiveThirtyEight election forecasts mentioned in this article are from October 4, 2016.last_img read more

PAI: At year-end for workers, it’s ho ho ho hum

first_imgPublic Assets Institute Nonfarm payroll jobs decreased in November to 315,000 —a drop of more than 1,000 jobs since January. But the total number of employed Vermonters, both payroll workers and those who are self-employed, has held steady for most of 2016, up less than 1 percent since the start of the year.Race mattersNewly released US Census data show that nearly a quarter of black Vermonters live in poverty, as do 20 percent of those who check two or more races on the Census form. More than a quarter of the 1,900 American Indians and Alaska Natives in Vermont are poor—the highest percentage of any category.The poverty rate is lowest for white Vermonters: 11 percent.Although the sample size for nonwhites is small, the estimates take in five years of data, increasing the reliability of the picture.More college degreesMore Vermonters had high school diplomas in 2015 than a decade earlier. Since 2005, the proportion of Vermonters without a high school degree has shrunk, while the share with a four-year college degree has grown. The U.S. as a whole has also seen improvement in both the share completing high school and those finishing college, but Vermont remains better educated than the nation. Source: Public Assets Institute publicassets.org(link is external) 12.16.2016last_img read more

Heady Topper brewer recognized for water treatment excellence

first_imgVermont Business Magazine More beer, more visitors, cleaner water, less waste? That’s what the team at The Alchemist have accomplished with their new brewery in Stowe, and they were recently recognized for their environmental success with an award from the Green Mountain Water Environment Association (GMWEA). Steve Miller, Lead Cellar and Water Operator for The Alchemist, was presented with the award at GMWEA’s spring meeting at the Killington Grand Hotel on Thursday, May 25. Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation nominated the Alchemist for the award, which is presented each year for demonstrated commitment to clean water and pollution prevention, including implementation of water or wastewater treatment changes to address problems common to similar industries.The Alchemist opened its new brewery and visitor center in Stowe last summer with a state-of-the-art water treatment system designed to reduce waste throughout the brewing process. Their moving-bed biofilm reactor, built by World Waterworks, allows them to exceed state standards for wastewater, and surpasses environmental management standards in the brewing industry. Their million-dollar investment in water management has allowed them to dramatically reduce their high-strength effluent load into Stowe’s water and sewage system.“We are honored to receive this award,” said Jen Kimmich, co-owner and General Manager of The Alchemist. “This was an incredible collaboration with our consultant, Chief Water Operator Gary Audy; Stowe’s water treatment team; the State of Vermont; and our staff, who all worked together to help us dramatically reduce our wastewater. Clean, fresh water is critical for great beer and we believe that Vermont’s brewers can lead in reducing water waste and keeping water pure for generations to come.”ABOUT THE ALCHEMISTThe Alchemist, founded in 2003 by John and Jen Kimmich, operates in Waterbury and Stowe, Vermont, They are known for their award-winning Heady Topper and Focal Banger IPAs as well as a rotating selection of distinctive ales and porters available at their 16,000-square foot brewery and visitor center in Stowe. They employ 51 people and distribute their beer only within 25 miles of its manufacture. Learn more at www.alchemistbeer.com(link is external)Source: Stowe, VT – June 1, 2017 – Alchemistlast_img read more

Vermont Medical Society adopts neutral stance on medical aid-in-dying

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Compassion & Choices is praising the Vermont Medical Society for dropping its 14-year opposition to doctors writing prescriptions for terminally ill adults who request medication to end unbearable suffering and die peacefully. The society posted a resolution recognizing medical aid in dying as a legal option that could be made within the doctor-patient relationship at its annual meeting earlier this month, 4-1/2 years after the state authorized medical aid in dying in May 2013 by passing the Patient Choice at End of Life Act (Act 39)(link is external).”Even when physicians use all the tools at hand to care for pain and suffering, a small number of patients still suffer,” says the new policy position posted on the Vermont Medical Society website at: bit.ly/2zJ2DQM(link is external). “Each of these patients is unique; each one of the patients will challenge the caregiver’s skills in the extreme; and each one’s care should be highly individualized and decided in private amongst the patient, physician and family. The Vermont Medical Society recognizes that medical aid in dying…is a legal option that could be made in the context of the physician-patient relationship.”Vermont is among six states that have explicitly authorized medical aid in dying (California(link is external), Colorado(link is external)Montana(link is external), Oregon(link is external), Washington(link is external)) along with the District of Columbia(link is external). Collectively, these seven jurisdictions represent 18 percent of the nation’s population and have 40 years of combined experience with this end-of-life care option.”We commend the Vermont Medical Society for recognizing medical aid in dying as a legitimate option for terminally ill adults to peacefully end unbearable suffering and for their commitment to ensuring that all Vermonters receive good, comprehensive palliative care,” said Rebecca Thoman, M.D., Campaign Manager for Doctors for Dignity for Compassion & Choices.The Vermont Medical Society is among nine American Medical Association state chapters that have dropped their opposition to medical aid in dying and taken a neutral stance on the practice, including eight of them in the last two years. The others are the California Medical Association in 2015,(link is external) Colorado Medical Society in 2016(link is external), Maryland State Medical Society in 2016(link is external), Medical Society of the District of Columbia in 2016(link is external), Maine Medical Association in 2017(link is external), Minnesota Medical Association in 2017(link is external), Nevada State Medical Association in 2017(link is external), and Oregon Medical Association in 1997(link is external).Numerous national and state polls(link is external) show strong support for medical aid in dying among both U.S. physicians and Americans across the ethnic, political and religious spectrum.Compassion & Choices is the oldest nonprofit working to improve care and expand options for the end of life in the United States, with 450,000 supporters nationwide. For more information, visit:www.CompassionAndChoices.org(link is external).SOURCE MONTPELIER, Vt., Nov. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Compassion & Choices CompassionAndChoices.org(link is external)last_img read more

Sportsmen ‘airlift’ 30 round AR-15 magazines

first_imgVermont Buisness Magazine In anticipation of a legislative ban on standard capacity rifle magazines, the editors of RECOIL magazine have worked with MAGPUL Industries to facilitate the delivery and distribution of 30-round PMAG rifle magazines free of charge to the citizens of Vermont in an overnight operation dubbed the “Green Mountain Airlift.”In order to support the law-abiding gun-owners of Vermont and blunt the assault on their Second Amendment rights, RECOIL’s Executive Editor, Rob Curtis, will give away 1,200 30-round PMAGs on Saturday afternoon in front of the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier starting at 2:30pm.”We invite the public to track the shipment of magazines from MAGPUL’s Cheyenne, WY facility to Vermont using the following FedEX tracking number: 771880807512. Should the shipment be delayed, the distribution will shift to 2:30pm on the date the shipment arrives,” Curtis said in a press release.https://www.fedex.com/apps/fedextrack/?action=track&tracknumbers=771880807512&clienttype=ivother(link is external)“We’re grateful to MAGPUL’s Duane Liptak for spearheading the overnight donation of 400 pounds of freedom to the Green Mountain State,” says Curtis. “His swift action means we will get the magazines here before Governor Phil Scott signs S.55 (link is external)into law, trampling the rights of law-abiding Vermonters.”The Vermont Legislature has passed of S.55, a gun control bill that raises the age for long gun purchases to 21, requires mandatory background checks on nearly all non-commercial private firearm transfers, bans standard capacity rifle magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and outlaws bumpstock devices. The bill now goes to Governor Scott, who has indicated that he will sign it.RECOIL and MAGPUL invite the citizens of Vermont to the Statehouse steps at 2:30pm on Saturday March 31st to receive a free 30-round PMAG standard capacity rifle magazine and show their support for the Second Amendment of the United States. A representative from the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs will be on hand to accept donations that will fuel the legal challenge to the new restrictions.WHO: RECOIL Magazine and MAGPUL IndustriesWHAT: Will be giving away 1,200 standard capacity MAGPUL PMAG rifle magazines free of charge to Vermont citizens (one per person, while supplies last) and accepting donations to the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.WHEN: 2:30pm Saturday, March 31 until all magazines are distributedWHERE: The distribution will take place on the Statehouse steps or from the back of a red Ford F-150 in the parking spaces on State Street in front of the Vermont Statehouse.last_img read more

Weinberger appoints Darren Springer as GM of Burlington Electric

first_imgBurlington Electric Department,Darren Springer photo by Adam Rabin, BED.by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the appointment of Darren Springer as General Manager of the Burlington Electric Department at a press conference Tuesday morning at BED. Springer brings extensive experience in the energy field to the position, including at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Effective immediately, Springer will serve as acting GM, and Weinberger will ask the City Council to consider confirmation of the appointment at its October 15 meeting.Handsome, tall and tanned, the former Floridian, 38, joined BED last year. He previously worked in the Shumlin Administration, rising to chief of staff. Springer has also worked for Senator Bernie Sanders. His predecessor, Neale Lunderville, who moved over to City Hall last May to lead the Community & Economic Development Office, at one time worked for Republican Governor Jim Douglas. He also was appointed by Weinberger.If Springer is confirmed by the City Council, his salary will be in the range of $175,000-$229,000, which will be determined by a formula that includes experience and educational attainment. Weinberger chose to stay in-house for the appointment after a national search for a new GM. “There were a lot of qualified candidates,” the mayor said.“The Burlington Electric Department is enjoying a sustained period of customer affordability, financial improvement, positive labor relations, innovation, and progress towards some of the most ambitious climate goals in the entire American power industry,” said Weinberger.  “Darren has the temperament, experiences, and skills to ensure that BED continues to advance in all of these areas, continues to transform into an outstanding 21st century utility, and continues to lead Burlington’s efforts to become a Net Zero Energy City.”Springer already knows BED well, having served as the Chief Operating Officer and Manager of Strategy and Innovation at BED since January 2017. In that role, he managed 35 employees across five divisions and led innovative initiatives, such as BED’s efforts to offer a first-ever rebate for electric vehicles, which includes an enhanced incentive for low and moderate-income customers. Springer’s work at BED has included development of an RFP to create a Net Zero Roadmap, which will analyze different paths for the City to achieve the Net Zero Energy vision and detail economic and environmental outcomes. Springer has also served in a leadership role in the progress BED has made towards creating a District Energy System.Prior to his work at BED, along with being Governor Shumlin’s chief of staff, Springer served as Deputy Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Public Service. While in state government, Springer successfully led efforts to advance significant solar legislation and Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard, policies that now provide the regulatory foundation for several of BED’s innovative programs. Across his professional experience, Springer has led staff with diverse professional backgrounds, managed significant budgets, and shown commitments to renewable energy and public service.Springer holds a Master of Studies in Environmental Law and a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School.Darren Springer; Scott Moody, vice chair of the Burlington Electric Commission; and Karen Paul, city councilor, listen as Mayor Weinberger introduces Springer as the next BED GM. VBM photo.“I am excited to serve as the next General Manager of Burlington Electric Department, and want to thank Mayor Weinberger for this opportunity,” said Darren Springer. “Burlington Electric has a strong record of providing affordable and reliable electricity, while leading the way when it comes to energy efficiency and renewable energy. That is a testament to the strong team at BED, and I am grateful to serve with that team as we work to take the next steps to achieve the Net Zero Energy City goal.”Maintaining BED’s reliability record and keeping rates stable will be ongoing goals with the Net Zero effort, he said.Building on Past Success at BEDSpringer will lead a department with many recent successes, including:·         Making Burlington the first American City to source 100 percent of electricity from renewable generation in 2014;·         Completing two comprehensive labor agreements with BED employees in 2015 and 2018 without resorting to arbitration;·         Receiving a December 2016 Moody’s Investors Service credit rating upgrade to “A3,” affirmed in November 2017, as a result of forward-looking financial policies, renewable power supply, competitive rates, and strong management;·         Completing an extensive re-organization that resulted in millions of dollars in cost savings for ratepayers;·         Achieving a decade of rate stability;·         Leading a six-fold increase in the number of Burlington solar installations from 2012 to 2017.The department also has ambitious future goals, including:Becoming a Net Zero Energy City across the sectors of electric, thermal, and ground transportation over the next 10 to 15 years;Advancing the District Energy System, which would capture the heat generated by the Joseph C. McNeil Generating Station biomass plant and distribute it to customers as a heating service;Finding new ways to encourage people to move away from transportation that’s powered by fossil fuels, and toward electric vehicles, electric buses, and other modes of transportation that are powered by renewable energy.Personal BackgroundSpringer grew up in Florida, and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a B.A. in History and a Minor in Business Administration. He moved to Vermont in 2002 to attend Vermont Law School where he met his wife Stephanie.  In 2005 Springer earned a Juris Doctor and Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. During law school he served as managing editor of the Vermont Law Review and clerked for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee.Following law school, Springer worked for four years at the National Governors Association as a Policy Analyst and later directed its program on Energy & Transportation, assisting governors and states with energy and climate policy development. From 2009 to 2013 Springer served as a Senior Policy Advisor and later Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. During that time, Springer worked to advance legislation that ultimately brought a $1 million energy efficiency financing program to Burlington Electric. Following his move back to Vermont, Springer served as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Service, helping to manage a staff with diverse professional expertise. Springer worked on a range of topics at the Department including energy legislation, utility rate cases, and developing new programs such as the Heat Saver Loan Program. As Chief of Staff to Governor Shumlin, Springer served as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and helped to manage 24 agencies and departments as well as the executive office staff and budget. Springer and his wife Stephanie married in Stowe, Vermont in 2007, and returned to Vermont permanently after spending eight years living and working in the Washington, D.C. area following law school. Springer, Stephanie, and their boys (8 and 4) live in the New North End of Burlington, and their children attend school in Burlington.In addition to his professional work, Springer has demonstrated a personal commitment to clean energy. As BED customers, Springer and his family have installed solar electric and solar water heating panels at their home, as well as energy efficient appliances and cold-climate heat pumps that provide efficient electric heating and cooling.As he states in his cover letter, “As a Burlingtonian…I have seen first-hand the pride our community takes in our municipal electric utility. That pride is a result of the hard work of the BED team.”Springer is a member of the Vermont Bar, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Energy Action Network and the Vermont Natural Resources Council. He also has served as a Policy Fellow on Climate Change and Renewable Energy at the University of Vermont, and in that capacity authored a law journal article on the future of utility regulation published earlier this year in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review.Extensive SearchThe Mayor’s office began its search for a new BED GM in July 2018. The extensive process included:Meeting with BED employees to understand their priorities for the next leader of the Department.Posting the position locally, state-wide, and nationally in July 2018, a process that included targeting diverse communities and conducting supplemental recruitment efforts.Reviewing resumes that met minimum requirements and initial interviews of both in-state and out-of-state candidates by the following search committee, led by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Jordan Redell: Tom Dunn, President & CEO of the Vermont Electric Power Company; Jim (Duke) Dutra, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Chief Steward; Sabina Haskell, Electric Light Commissioner; Mike Kanarick, Manager of Customer Care and Communications; Scott Moody, Electric Light Commissioner; Karen Paul, City Councilor; Mark Stephenson, Owner & General Manager, Vermont Energy Contracting & Supply; Lynn Reagan, Human Resources Manager for BED.Interviewing three finalist candidates presented to the Mayor for consideration by the search committee.At the conclusion of the search, Springer’s skills and experience working with regulatory bodies and leadership on many of BED’s top priorities made him an outstanding candidate to continue the momentum and progress of the City’s ambitious agenda to become a Net Zero Energy City.Broad Support“My congratulations to Darren on his appointment as the GM of BED,” said City Councilor Karen Paul, a member of the BED GM search committee and former Chair of the Electric Commission, who joined the Mayor and Springer for the announcement. “I have no doubt that he will be a visionary leader for this amazing public asset that we all value so dearly. There is much work to be done and the road ahead, while exciting and filled with opportunity, will have its challenges. Electric power is a competitive industry and those who are nimble, deliberative, innovative, and collaborative will excel in the years ahead.  Now is the time for bold leadership tempered with seasoned knowledge and the ability, above all, to bring people together. Darren’s deep commitment to BED, to our City, and to each employee’s contribution to the greater good will serve all of us well as he leads BED for the years to come.”“Darren Springer is an outstanding choice to lead the Burlington Electric Department,” said Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power. “It has been a pleasure and an inspiration to work with Darren at this exciting time of transformation and innovation in all things energy to benefit customers. The planet needs energy leaders like Darren Springer.”“Having worked with Darren Springer for years, I know that he has a great skill for understanding the complexities, legally and technically, of our evolving clean energy economy,” said Senator Chris Bray, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee. “Perhaps even more importantly, he has the ability to take that knowledge and find opportunities to develop innovative programs that deliver both economic and environmental benefits to customers. The Mayor has chosen well.”Source: BED 10.2.2018last_img read more

Warranty Direct sponsors GB Biathle

first_imgDuncan McClure Fisher, Warranty Direct Managing Director, said “We are very happy to back a sport which gets little exposure, but has produced some fantastic all-round athletes who have gone on to great things while representing their country. We hope that our support will help Pentathlon GB produce more athletes to compete for the British Team in Future Olympics.”Howard Jones, Pentathlon GB Biathle Director, said “We’re absolutely delighted to have Warranty Direct on board for 2013. Following the Olympics there has been an increase in people wanting to take up sport at this level and their support enables us to help encourage more people to take part. It’s going to be an exceptional season of competition.”Warranty Direct-sponsored prizes will be awarded for the GB Biathle Race Series competitions across the country, with the first events set to take place at Millfield School in Somerset on 5 May.www.pentathlongb.org/biathle/www.warrantydirect.co.uk Related Warranty Direct – the UK’s leading provider of direct consumer warranties – will sponsor the GB Biathle Series and National Biathle Championships, supporting ‘run-swim-run’ format events across the country.With categories for all ages from 9 years up to 70+, biathle competitions see athletes starting together in a group and running for up to 1500m, swimming for up to 200m and finally completing another run of up to 1500m to the finish line.Organised by Pentathlon GB, biathle is a natural starting point for those who later move on to the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon. Samantha Murray – who, by claiming silver, won TeamGB’s final medal of the London 2012 Olympic Games – competed in Biathle series events before graduating to pentathlon.Murray said “GB Biathle is a friendly, well-managed and competitive organisation that provides a pathway into Modern Pentathlon. As a youngster, I competed in a few biathles in the North West, which helped my progress into the pentathlon field.”Warranty Direct’s support will enable organisers to double the number of competitors who receive prizes as well as providing kit, equipment and contributing towards event costs.last_img read more

Rudy Project unveils special edition Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team…

first_img Related The Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team has teamed up with cycling eyewear crafters Rudy Project to launch two new special edition glasses celebrating the team’s achievements at the 2016 Tour de France. First debuted by the riders in early July, the Special Edition Tralyx performance and Spinhawk casual models are now available ‘for anyone looking to perform like the pros’.The award-winning Tralyx has been reportedly been praised by the Etixx – Quick-Step riders, who were the first to debut the limited edition colour scheme at this year’s Tour de France. In addition to a striking blue and yellow combination, this sunglass comes standard with the brand new Tralyx XL lens. Featuring a longer lens profile and additional ventilation along the bottom edge, the Tralyx XL is aimed at being ideal for larger faces and those looking for more coverage.This year’s Tour de France has already called for several podium celebrations honouring Etixx – Quick-Step, where riders such as Julian Alaphilippe have worn the all new Special Edition Spinhawk.As Rudy Project’s top-selling casual sunglass, the Spinhawk was seen as an ideal model to redesign with the Etixx – Quick-Step’s signature graphics. Featuring a sturdy crystal frame, and Multilaser Orange lenses, these shades aim to turn heads while boasting comfort and clarity.The special edition Etixx – Quick-Step Tralyx and Spinhawk are available now on e-rudy.com.www.e-rudy.comlast_img read more

Step on: 2017 Balega Impi Ambassador Team

first_imgBalega, a leading performance sock brand in the run and outdoor specialty market, has opened the application portal for its third annual ‘Impi’ influencer team. The Impi members will represent Balega as brand ambassadors to help ‘illuminate Balega’s core pillars’ – performance, excellence, harmony, creativity and community – while continuing to highlight the products and position Balega as a leader in run.Impi is a Zulu word roughly translating to mean ‘warrior’. The 2017 team will once again be made up of approximately 100 men and women athletes from across the United States who will act as an ‘army of Balega warriors’. These running enthusiasts will help spread the word on Balega across their social media channels, at races and in their day-to-day lives through creative activations.“The 2016 team blew us away with their dedication, motivation and passion about the Balega brand,” said Tanya Pictor, VP of Marketing of Implus Specialty. “We are looking to build up the 2017 team with equally passionate individuals who are ready to carry the Balega name with pride, enthusiasm and dedication to the run industry. We invite anyone who truly believes in the Balega difference to apply to be part of the 2017 Balega tribe.”Balega Impi members will represent the brand’s core values and share the brand’s South African heritage and ‘sole’ while positioning Balega as a leader and innovator in quality footwear within the run specialty market. Impis will receive a variety of socks over the course of the year, get a first-look at new product introductions as part of first-round product testing, and take part in sharing the Balega brand with their local and social communities. They will further benefit from the various other product categories out of the Implus stable of brands.“We’ve seen an incredible group of people come together from different backgrounds to help spread the Balega love,” said Casey Lewis, Marketing Specialist at Balega. “It’s been exciting to see our Impi’s make a difference in their local communities and we cannot wait to see what the 2017 team brings.”The application period for the 2017 Balega Impi Team opens today and applications will be accepted through Friday 16 December 2016. The team will be announced by the second week of January.As a leading performance sock brand in the run specialty market, Balega is a designer and manufacturer of technical performance socks and is part of the Implus family of brands. With a American-South African initiative, the company develops its product in both South Africa and North Carolina production facilities ‘utilizing the best performance yarns produced in the United States’.Headquartered in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, Implus has evolved to become an innovative provider of footwear, outdoor and fitness accessories to its retail partners. Implus’ family of brands includes Sof Sole, Yaktrax, apara, Airplus, Sneaker Balls, Sof Comfort, Little Hotties, Perfect, TriggerPoint, ICETrekkers, FuelBelt, Harbinger and Balega. From insoles, socks and shoe care to seasonal accessories and fitness solutions, Implus distributes its brands to thousands of retail locations across the United States and worldwide.www.balega.comwww.implus.com Relatedlast_img read more

Novotel London Canary Wharf gets into bed with Pop-Up City Triathlon

first_imgDirector of Sales and Marketing for Novotel London Canary Wharf, Louisa Daxer-Robbins said “We were impressed with the Pop-Up City Triathlon concept when it launched last year and were keen to be involved with the innovative event. The launch of our new contemporary hotel presented a natural opportunity to partner with the event – raising awareness of the venue with the local city audience and triathlete market. We hope to add a creative twist and offering to the event including morning runs and a grand final cocktail evening at BŌKAN.”Located in the heart of London’s Docklands, the new Novotel glass skyscraper offers 39 storeys with 360° views of the London skyline. Hotel guests can immerse themselves in designer style rooms and choose from three contemporary options for food and drink: the BŌKAN restaurant, bar and rooftop terrace. Business guests can enjoy the hotel’s meeting rooms, each with a bespoke style inspired by Docklands heritage, and featuring the latest technology. With free Wi-Fi, a New York style gym and a pool added into the mix, the hotel adds that it ‘offers all you need and so much more’.Teams of three can sign up to the Pop-Up City Triathlon – all in support of Macmillan Cancer. The event at Montgomery Square has slots available for lunchtimes and after work on Monday 24 April to Thursday 27 April inclusive and a grand final on the Thursday evening. There are prizes for the four runners up and winning team including £1k towards a charity of the winning team’s choice.All entry fee proceeds (£250 per team) will go directly to the Castle Triathlon Series Official Charity Partner, Macmillan Cancer Support.www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk/the-series/pop-up-city-triathlon/www.canarywharf.com Related Novotel has partnered with the Pop-Up City Triathlon (24-27 April 2017), which returns to Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, London again this year. The support from the hotel chain forms part of last month’s new opening of the Novotel London Canary Wharf hotel and, like the Pop-Up City Triathlon, is ‘set to become a regular part of the lives of business people and visitors to the City’.The new Novotel London Canary Wharf comes complete with 360 degree views, a roof top BŌKAN restaurant, bar and New York style health club. Tapping in to the popularity of the Pop-Up City Triathlon, which is produced by the team at the Castle Triathlon Series, Novotel London Canary Wharf will host a winner’s party. The winning team members will also all receive complementary brunch, for them and their families, and the hotel will be ‘helping corporates stay ahead of their banking rivals with free early morning group training runs’.The Pop-Up City Triathlon is taking place for a second year and brings together over 100 teams (300 athletes) both new and seasoned, to take part in a static triathlon in the heart of the city. Set within a pop-up environment with swimming in an Endless Pool for 3 minutes, 4 minutes on a cycle ergometer and 3 minutes running on a treadmill, the staged triathlon challenges teams to cover as much distance as they can over these set times. The event has already attracted the likes of KPMG, Credit Suisse (defending its winning title from last year) and Morgan Stanley.last_img read more

Zwift announced as Official Training Partner of L’Etape du Tour

first_img“Is there an amateur cycling event quite as renowned as L’Etape du Tour?” said Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “The chance to experience one of the most beautiful, and challenging stages, of the Tour de France is why this has always been such a popular event and why it’s such an incredible occasion for any cyclist.“It’s a real challenge, but this is what makes it such a fantastic event to complete. We, at Zwift, are really excited to be able to support entrants in their training. Zwift is a fantastically convenient way to train, making it possible to ride more often than ever before. We want to deliver entrants to that start line in the best shape, so they can enjoy the experience as much as possible. I hope to catch some of you in the Group Workouts!” Yann Le Moenner, CEO of A.S.O added, “We are really excited to further broaden the reach of L’Etape du Tour with Zwift.“Zwift is a great way to train and helps bring together cyclists from all over the world. For those who cannot travel to L’Etape du Tour, the Zwift L’Etape du Tour rides will be a great way to experience the challenge of L’Etape du Tour from the comfort of your home.”The Zwift L’Etape du Tour training programs will commence later this year.Zwift is offered as non-contract, monthly subscription priced at US$14.99 / £12.99 / €14.99 per month. A seven-day free unlimited trial is automatically offered to all new account holders.www.zwift.comwww.letapedutour.com Relatedcenter_img Zwift and A.S.O.’s L’Etape du Tour have today announced a partnership that will see Zwift become the Official Training Partner of L’Etape du Tour.For its 29th edition, next year on 21st July, L’Étape du Tour 2019 will be enjoying a foretaste of the route between Albertville and Val Thorens that will comprise the 20th stage on the Tour de France.The latets partnership will see Zwift deliver the official training plans for L’Etape du Tour 2019. The training plans will be developed by Zwift’s renowned coach Kevin Poulton, coach to Paris-Roubaix winner, Matthew Hayman.Bringing the training program to life will be the L’Etape du Tour Training Club, open to the first 30,000 members who enrol. Following a similar model to that used for Zwift’s Academy Program, the aim will be to create a training community of Zwifters who share the same goals, further aiding motivation to train.Those enrolled in the L’Etape du Tour Training Club will be able to track their progress and unlock unique in-game items as they advance helping keep motivation high, and ensuring they reach July in peak form.In addition to the structured workout plan, Zwift will also be hosting a series of Group Workouts. Group Workouts are unique to Zwift and enable participants to perform a structured workout session together in a group. All participants are kept together in a peloton by the game. Zwift notes that ‘No matter whether you have an FTP of 400 watts, or 200 watts, you’ll always have company… Studies have shown training in groups to be far more motivating than training alone.’Outside of the training plans, Zwift will also be hosting exclusive L’Etape du Tour rides in game. Ahead of L’Etape du Tour 2019, there will be select Zwift Ride to Win events with starting bibs for L’Etape up for grabs. During the summer, longer Zwift L’Etape du Tour rides will provide a challenge for those cyclists unable to attend the real-life event in July.last_img read more

Percussive massage therapy brand Theragun files patent infringement lawsuit

first_img Related Theragun, a specialist in percussive massage therapy, has filed separate patent infringement lawsuits in the state of California against manufacturers and sellers of massage devices. The lawsuit was filed against Hyperice, Massage Guns and Alyne for allegedly violating Theragun’s various patents.The lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction to prevent the defendants from selling any products infringing Theragun’s patented technology.Officially launched to market in 2016, Theragun from its inception has introduced products in the emerging percussive massage space, launching five products and nine attachments. Theragun noted that it created the new product category over 10 years ago, and remains the industry leader and lead innovator, investing extensively in research and product development.The Theragun G3PRO is Theragun’s award-winning flagship device, and is endorsed by a number of physical therapists, athletic trainers, professional sports teams, and sports medicine experts worldwide.“We have invested a significant amount of money in research and development to advance our leading percussive therapy devices and attachments,” said Benjamin Nazarian, CEO of Theragun.“We work with some of the best mechanical engineers and sound engineers from MIT to develop our proprietary technology and designs. As the industry leader with over 35 patents, Theragun has always invested in cutting edge technology backed by science and medicine to improve how we treat our bodies.“Our patents help protect our technological and scientific advancements and we will not let other companies simply copy our products. We will vigorously defend our intellectual property rights in court.”www.theragun.comlast_img read more

ITU awards 2022 Multisport World Championships to Ibiza

first_img Related The Executive Board of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) has decided to award the island of Ibiza, Spain, as the host of the 2022 World Triathlon Multisport Championships. The Mediterranean island, which hosted the European version of the championships in 2018, will welcome triathletes from all over the world for 10 days of racing.“The Multisport World Championships has been incredibly successful in the last few years since we launched this product, and we have seen not only a great interest from cities to bid to host this event, but also from athletes willing to compete,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado.“And we are extremely proud of Ibiza willing to host this event, as a clear proof of the legacy of our events, returning to the island only a few years after hosting the European event.”The World Championships will see duathlon, long distance triathlon, aquathon and cross triathlon championship races organized together during a week-long festival. This allows for athletes to compete in various multisport races, as opposed to electing only one each season. And participants can even vie for the ‘Multisport Legend’, a title reserved for those who compete in all four events.Ibiza was elected after presenting its bid to the members of the ITU Executive Board, who had the opportunity to compare the proposal from the Spanish island and from the city of Pesaro, in Italy, which was ‘encouraged to continue bidding in future editions’.The World Triathlon Multisport Championships made its debut in the ITU calendar in 2017 in Penticton (Canada). This was followed by Fyn (Denmark) in 2018 and Pontevedra (Spain) in 2019. Next year the event will travel to the city of Almere (Netherlands), to be followed by Townsville (Australia) in 2021.www.triathlon.orglast_img read more

Images from TOUGHMAN NY Championship

first_imgThe 13th running of the TOUGHMAN NY Championship had an increased international flavour this year. Encouraged by the TOUGHMAN brand’s expansion in Latin America, there were 50 athletes from Chile racing in New York. 15 athletes from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic also raced.Taking place on Sunday, September 15, 2019, the TOUGHMAN Series Championship in Stony Point New York, 25 miles north of New York City, offers over US$30,000 in age-group awards, a US$4,950 cash purse (top 5) for qualifiers, a scenic bike course, and over 1,400 race support volunteers. The South America TOUGHMAN races that form the southern circuit for the event brand are: Futrono, Copiapo, Arica, Quillon and Iquique.Five overall winners from TOUGHMAN Chile raced in the elite wave, targeting the US$4950 prize purse. In addition, 12 kids from TOUGHKids Chile Arica raced in the TOUGHKids Championship on Saturday, September 14. This event had over 360 young athletes on the start liine.This year’s TOUGHMAN NY Championship was also the USAT NE Regional Youth Championship.www.TOUGHMANTri.comwww.TOUGHKidstri.com Relatedlast_img read more

Hutchinson unleashes the Kraken

first_img Related Leading tyre manufacturer Hutchinson Tires has launched the latest addition to its MTB range, the Kraken Racing Lab – the French brand’s new XC / Trail tyre.A new addition to the Hutchinson’s XC / Trail range, the Kraken Racing Lab is the result of close collaboration between designers, engineers and XC Hutchinson athletes. The company’s objective has been to develop a fast, agile and reliable tyre… ‘thanks to the addition of high lateral knobs to allow maximum confidence in cornering or upon rough terrain.’The architecture of the Kraken’s knobs has been inspired by the Skeleton, which is billed as ‘the ultimate tyre in terms of performance.’ Developed in 29 x 2.30, the volume of the Kraken allows riders to run lower pressures to bring ‘maximum comfort and calm in the most chaotic moments.’The ultimate goal with the Kraken was also to design a tyre that would not be exclusive, only for XC athletes say, but to expand its use to any mountain bike addict and trail lover.Available in two constructions, ‘ultra-light 127 TPI’ or ‘ultra-versatile 66 TPI’ coupled with Hardskin bead-to-bead reinforcement, the Kraken Racing Lab aims to meet the needs of performance addicts as well as XC marathon competitors or trail enthusiasts.The Kraken complements Hutchinson Racing Lab’s range, inaugurated last year with the Griffus.Prices are: Racing Lab without Hardskin Reinforcement: £39.95; and Racing Lab with Hardskin Reinforcement : £44.95.www.hutchinsontires.comlast_img read more

Therabody partners with ‘RED’ in fight against two pandemics

first_imgTherabody, formerly known as Theragun, has announced a new partnership with ‘RED’, the organization founded in 2006 to fight AIDS.Through a campaign titled ‘RECOVE(RED)’, Therabody is launching a range of ‘(THERABODY)RED’ products. These products will help to raise funds for the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response and (RED)’s fight to end AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.For every RED co-branded Theragun purchased, 2% of the purchase price goes directly to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response to reduce the threat of COVID-19 in communities and critical HIV/AIDS programs. The (PRODUCT)RED Theragun is available exclusively on Therabody.com as well as select retail locations for purchase.Jennifer Lotito, President & Chief Operating Officer at (RED), said “Therabody products are hugely popular with people around the world, and we are more than delighted to see these wellness products now do double-duty by also fighting pandemics with each and every purchase.“We’re grateful to the team for creating such a striking (RED) range, and excited to get these into people’s hands this fall.”Benjamin Nazarian, Chief Executive Officer at Therabody, said “We are proud and thrilled to be a partner of (RED). Giving back and supporting causes we believe in is rooted in our company’s DNA, and is a key pillar of our culture at Therabody.“As a tech wellness company, Therabody provides solutions that can help everybody live a fuller, healthier lifestyle. With (THERABODY)RED, we are not only supporting everyday needs through our wellness offerings, but we are also creating a unique opportunity for our community to give back through their purchase by providing essential life-saving medicine and access to healthcare to those that are in need.”The (PRODUCT)RED Theragun collection includes:(PRODUCT)RED Theragun PRO – RRP £549(PRODUCT)RED Theragun Elite – RRP £375(PRODUCT)RED Theragun mini – RRP £175In addition to (PRODUCT)RED Theragun, in early 2021 Therabody will also release a (PRODUCT)RED version of its USDA Certified Organic line of CBD products, TheraOne, with 2% of the purchase price going to support (RED)’s operations in the fight to end AIDS.www.therabody.com Relatedlast_img read more

Northeast Johnson County morning roundup

first_imgPhoto via SM East Athletics Twitter account.SM East boys tennis eeks out regionals win. SM East’s boys tennis team will look to three-peat as state 6A champions next week after edging out Blue Valley North for the regionals title Saturday. SM East took both first and second place in the singles competition, with senior Brooks Kendall defeating SM East sophomore Jack Santilli in the title match. The state tournament is this Friday and Saturday at Riverside Tennis Complex in Wichita.SM East girls swim team are Sunflower League champs. SM East’s girls swim and dive team earned their tenth straight Sunflower League title Saturday. With 330 team points, the Lancers had enough to hold off second place Lawrence Free State, who finished with 318. SM East’s 200 medley relay team of Sarah Allegri, Annie Mann, Bonnie Longan and Madeline Peters took first place with a 1:50.38, and Logan won the 100 backstroke with a 58.36. State competition will be May 23 and 24 in Topeka. SM East has won the state title each year since 2010.Roeland Park man finds live grenade in box of items from grandfather. A Roeland Park man’s discovery of a live grenade in a box of items his grandfather had brought him Sunday led emergency crews to evacuate eight homes in the vicinity as a bomb squad diffused the explosive. [Man finds live grenade in his home — KCTV5]Leadership Northeast celebrates 25th graduating class. The Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Northeast program recognizes its 25th anniversary this week — and the chamber is hoping alumni will help year’s graduates celebrate. The program’s 25th class will graduate this Thursday during the program’s traditional closing luncheon. The featured speaker is Ed O’Malley, CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center and a former state legislator. The event will be Thursday, May 15 at the DoubleTree of Overland Park. The lunch will run 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The cost is $35. RSVP to Lauren Vaughan at 913-262-2141 or [email protected]last_img read more

SM North NJROTC team sweeps qualifier event, headed for regional championships

first_imgThe SM North NJROTC Armed Regulation drill team competing in Oklahoma City qualifier.The SM North NJROTC team took the overall title at the Navy JROTC academic, athletic and drill regional qualifying meet in Oklahoma City this week by placing first in nine of the 11 events and second in the other two events.The win qualifies the SM North team for the regional championships in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Feb. 14. With a win in New Mexico, the team would mark its ninth consecutive regional championship in the 64-team region. A win at the regional championship also would qualify SM North for the National Championships for the 10th consecutive year. SM North placed second only in armed exhibition and the shuttle relay.SM East NJROTC students compete on a combined team with SM South and SM West. That team, which competes as SM West, finished fourth overall in Oklahoma City and also qualified for the regional championship. The team had a second place in armed regulation, and third in both academics and armed exhibition.The SM West NJROTC Unarmed Exhibition team (with SM East students) competing at the meet.last_img read more

St. Ann students selling raffle tickets for school’s largest fundraiser

first_imgSt. Ann Catholic School students are preparing for one of their community’s biggest celebrations of the year.The annual Tiger Trot raffle helps the school community pay for upgrades to St. Ann facilities and support programs at the school. Students are out selling $25 raffle tickets for the grand prize drawing to be held next Friday, April 29, at 2:30 p.m.The holder of the winning raffle ticket will win $2,500 — and the student who sells the winning ticket gets a $50 prize. There will also be a drawing for a $100 and a $250 prize. Weather permitting, St. Ann families will be gathering on the east side of the building for the big event next week where there will be a disc jockey playing music and an obstacle course set up for the students to run.You can find more info about purchasing Tiger Trot tickets here.last_img read more

Results of 2016 election show Interstate 435 the clear political boundary in Johnson County

first_imgA breakdown of last month’s presidential election vote further reinforces the sharp political boundary the Interstate 435 beltway has become in Johnson County.“When you look at Johnson County over the last decade the big divide is the 435 loop,” said Patrick Miller, a political science professor at the University of Kansas. “Clinton won most of the territory within that area.”It’s a very different Johnson County south and west of I-435. That sprawling area is solidly Republican although Miller said a bit of blue is creeping across 435.“That will be a trend to watch,” he observed.The overall Johnson County vote had President-elect Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton with 46.7 percent of the vote vs. 44.1 percent.Trump’s greatest level of support in Johnson County was 78 percent in one Overland Park precinct, his lowest was 20 percent in a Roeland Park precinct.Clinton’s best performance was 68 percent in one precinct in Fairway, her lowest was 24 percent in an Overland Park precinct.In the Third District Congressional race, which includes Johnson, Wyandotte and part of Miami counties, incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder defeated his challenger Jay Sidie with 51.3 percent of the vote vs. 40.6 percent.Sidie failed to win his own home turf of Mission Woods, losing to Yoder by 11 votes, 61-50.The average voter turnout for the county was 73 percent. It ranged from a high of 85 percent in one Mission precinct to a low of 53 percent in one precinct in Overland Park.Miller attributed the difference in voting patterns between Northeast Johnson County and the rest of Johnson County to different demographic patterns. Northeast JoCo has a comparatively higher education and income level, he said.And people have different preferences about how and where they want to live.“People who tend to identify themselves as more conservative look at bigger home lots, aren’t as interested in pubic transportation, larger cities or walkable communities,” he said. “They look at areas like Olathe, Gardener and south Overland Park.”Those choosing to live inside the 435 loop tend to be more interested in walkable neighborhoods and being close the big city amenities of Kansas City. The area also has a younger and more diverse population, Miller said.“People look for different kinds of cities and unconsciously form different ideologies,” he said.Miller also said what’s happening in Johnson County also is occurring in other metropolitan areas around the country with more Democrats being found in the older suburbs while Republicans trend toward the exurban area.last_img read more

Shawnee Mission students show strong at Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair

first_imgStuti Dalal receiving her award at this weekend’s Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair. Photo via Twitter.Two Shawnee Mission West students will advance to the Kansas BioGENEius Challenge finals later this year after taking Grand Awards in the Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair over the weekend.Register to continuelast_img

Merriam mayoral candidates on the issues: What’s the biggest issue facing the city?

first_imgToday we continue publishing the Merriam mayoral candidates’ responses to our general election questionnaire. Here’s the third and final item:What’s the biggest challenge facing Merriam today, and what will you do over the next four years to address it?Ken Sissom (incumbent)The City of Merriam has a diverse grouping of residential communities. While there are a couple of exceptions, the majority of homes in Merriam were built more than 40 years ago and this fact can create special challenges going forward. As a city, we must do what we can to maintain, or in some cases, improve the integrity of our neighborhoods. As a city we must encourage our residents to maintain their properties and neighborhoods. We want to continue to attract new young families to Merriam because it is a great place to live. But we will not be successful if we allow blight to take hold, which tends to lead to increases in crime.We recently created a Neighborhood Services Manager position in City Hall in order to reach out to offer help and guidance for these communities. This employee acts as liaison between the neighborhoods and City Hall in an effort to solve code problems or nuisances through cooperation, to reduce the need for enforcement. We are searching for solutions to problem area by working alongside with residents. Our challenge will be to make sure that our streets, sidewalk, parks and facilities are highly maintained while building and improving relationships with our neighborhoods so that we can influence the necessary changes that will improve property values and the quality of lives for our residents.Eric JacksonThe biggest challenge facing Merriam today is the continuation of frivolous spending under the theory that our sales tax will somehow bail us out. That approach can only end badly for us. Instead, spend wisely and focus on our basic needs (which many citizens say are not being met) and infrastructure. A related concern is over-use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF). I will work to curtail this practice. I’ve seen estimates that our city is losing 35% of potential income in TIF dollars. The difference is made up by the average wage earner.That was our final question for the Merriam mayoral candidates. Thanks to both for their participation.last_img read more

Democrats vying for Yoder’s seat in Congress spell out priorities at candidate forum

first_imgForum attendees enduring a lack of air conditioning after a power outage from a storm the morning of the forum.Six candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the Kansas Third Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives gave their take on the country’s major issues and how to solve them.Democrats and supporters gathered Saturday afternoon in the auditorium of Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church to hear from each of the candidates at the forum, which was hosted by the group Swing Left. Despite the power loss and lack of air conditioning caused by an early-morning thunderstorm, the room was packed for nearly two hours while supporters greeted the candidates and heard their political stances on topics including climate change, healthcare, social security funding and campaign finance laws.Here’s a summary of the priorities the candidates discussed.Sharice DavidsHoping to bring diversity and a new voice in Congress, Davids spoke of “changing the face of Kansas politics.” Davids said she would sponsor the bill to expand and improve Medicare, but she stressed the need to elect a president who will actually sign it. She supports funding schools in an equitable way and investing in preschool education opportunities.“As somebody who spent time in transportation, I will fight tooth and nail to get us to invest in our infrastructure so that we can have the pathways to opportunity,” Davids said. “because transportation touches every aspect of our lives.”Davids recommends protecting Social Security by electing new members of Congress. She added that the phaseout of Social Security is “troubling” because people who make less money end up paying more into their Social Security than others who make six figures. She also spoke against recognizing corporations as people with First Amendment rights and looking into publicly financed elections.Mike McCamonWith experience in the tech and nonprofit sectors, McCamon stressed the need for all elected officials to know when to stand their ground and when to compromise in order to accomplish things. McCamon said he would advocate for the U.S. to have half of all of its energy by renewable resources by 2030 and to outlaw gasoline- and diesel-powered automobiles “entirely.”Citing the complex issue of healthcare, McCamon said he would seek realistic options by first advocating to negotiate better prices with Medicare and also provide freedom of choice in healthcare options. Funding Social Security and Medicare are important, but constituents in the 3rd District are concerned about accountability and transparency issues around the budgeting, McCamon said.“I think the thing we’re all sick and tired of is the gridlock in Washington,” McCamon said, adding that he would work with other members of Congress to resolve the issue and fund Social Security.“It’s very simple to see that Social Security should be well funded; it’s your money. It’s not an entitlement,” he said.McCamon would also like to see candidates “go on a diet” by limiting their campaign spending, especially in the primary election.Tom NiermannAs an educator with concerns about gun violence and healthcare, Niermann emphasized the importance of electing a middle-class officer to represent the middle and working classes. Niermann recommended taking the lead on climate change as a global issue by ending subsidies and tax incentives for the fossil fuel industry — and use that money to encourage renewable energy sources such as wind power.He also supports universal healthcare, citing massive debts by Americans who are still paying for healthcare. He recommended equity in public education “because that is the basis for opportunity;” and he said he would advocate for federal funding for infrastructure projects.The first step in addressing campaign finance law issues is to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, which allows corporations to have unlimited political spending.“That court case allows billionaires and corporations to purchase legislators, and I think our current representative is a classic example of a legislator who has been purchased by billionaires,” Niermann said, adding that he hopes to take the money out of politics.Jay SidieBased on his previous experience running for the Third Congressional District seat in 2016, Sidie recommended seeking votes from unaffiliated voters who are less engaged with politics than Democrats or Republicans. Sidie wants to push economic efforts for green energy and remove subsidies tax breaks for the nonrenewable energy industry. He said he thinks fixing America’s healthcare problem is not that complicated because “other countries are doing it very successfully.” The key is driving costs down without upheaving the whole system.Sidie said he believes income and equality are major factors that touch every facet of American opportunity, such as education and healthcare. He supports Social Security, and “to pull the rug out at this stage of their lives is deplorable.”“If I’m elected to Congress, I’ll make sure I fight for the people that deserve their Social Security — because it’s just horrible that we’re even talking about it,” Sidie said. “There’s ways to fix it. It wasn’t that Social Security was a problem; they just spent your money. They’ve spent the money on unfunded wars and given tax breaks to rich people. Why should the people that put all that money in pay for those mistakes? It can’t happen, not on my watch.”Sidie also suggested designing publicly funded elections.Brent WelderAn advocate for workers’ rights and the underserved, Welder spoke of his experience working with President Barack Obama and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Stressing that “science is real,” Welder believes “unfettered corporate greed” causes climate change.“The giant corporations, the billionaires, that do not care about you, that do not care about your children, would rather poison our drinking water, would rather poison the air that we breathe, than to spend a little bit of money to be able to dispose of their waste in an environmentally conscious way,” Welder said.He also said he would support universal healthcare, a $15 minimum wage, debt-free college and early childhood education opportunities. Reforming campaign finance laws is Welder’s top priority, he said, citing Bernie Sanders’s campaign and advocating to “ban big corporate money altogether from politics.”Sylvia WilliamsAfter learning that she earned only half of what her male counterparts made in corporate America, Williams came out strongly in favor of equal pay and paid family leave. She said she would like to reinstate the Paris Climate Agreement, make changes to Environmental Protection Agency operations (such as hiring a new director) and investing in clean resources in Kansas, such as wind energy. Williams said she would support expanding healthcare, but also recommended government oversight of the pharmaceutical drug industry.Williams supports modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act and finding ways to fix Social Security funding now.“It is the perfect time to do it,” Williams said. “Large corporations just got the biggest tax cut — more than they ever dreamed of getting — so we actually have an opportunity here. Now is the time to say we’re lifting the cap on the employer side of FICA. That is how you save Social Security and Medicare.”Williams suggested reforming campaign finance laws by removing tax-exempt status for 501(c)4 organizations. By doing so, the Internal Revenue Service would have audit oversight, and donors would “be a lot more nervous” about donating to these corporations.Primary is August 7First time voters can still register to vote in the in the August 7 primary through July 17.You can find information about how to register to vote in the primary elections via the Johnson County Election Office website here.last_img read more

Dub and Jules Siegel of Sublime BBQ take home grand championship at 38th Great Lenexa BBQ Battle

first_imgJules and Dub Siegel (center) of Sublime BBQ took home the grand championship at the 38th annual Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle. Also pictured are the Siegels’ sons Liam and Ronan, and family friend Cody Farmer (right). Photo credit city of LenexaFor two years in a row, Dub and Jules Siegel of Sublime BBQ were reserve grand champions — also known as second place — at The Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle, but they hadn’t yet taken home the grand championship.This year, that all changed.Dub has been going to watch the BBQ battle every year since he was a teen. He remembers great teams like Slaughterhouse Five achieving the highest accolades in the local competition.Now, his team is one of them.“For me, it was like a bucket list item, one of those contests I had to win at some point,” he said. “It’s just amazing to finally get this one.”The Siegels, alongside their two sons, Ronan and Liam, and family friend Cody Farmer, all had a hand in the 38th annual barbecue competition. As a result, the Olathe family made top marks in chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket.“Both of our sons were there helping, and having us all together there to win, they know what a big deal it is,” Jules Siegel said. “Both of them getting to be there with us and celebrate was a lot of fun.“It’s a great community; we have a lot of friends that make it a lot of fun to go out and do it year after year. We call them barbecue family.”The Siegels have been competing in The Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle for the past six years. At first, Jules wasn’t really interested, but after the first competition, she began leaning into it more and took a barbecue class. The very next year, they ranked in the top 10.“This was our hobby. A lot of people go to the lake or they do other things besides sit in parking lots and cook barbecue,” Dub said. “I grew up around barbecue here in Kansas City, so it’s something I knew that I wanted to do.”Jules said they started to have “real success” when Dub began building the smokers they compete on. He built the grand championship smoker in two weeks before competing in the American Royal World Series of Barbecue last year. He has built smokers for other teams as well.“You put in all this hard work and labor to mold something from the raw materials into a finished product, and you get to go out there and use it,” Dub Siegel said. “You’ve got people telling you how nice it looks and all that, and then you get to show them how well it actually functions.”Winning the grand championship was also a bittersweet moment for Dub.“The bitter part was just falling short of winning the contest the last two years, and the sweet was persevering through to the win,” he said. “It takes a lot of time and dedication from the moment you start planning and preparing for a contest all the way down to the turn ins for the four main KCBS categories.”last_img read more

Best Bets for the Weekend: Fall festivals, Michael J. Fox, party at the library

first_imgThe Overland Park Fall Festival in downtown.There are definitely no shortage of ways to celebrate this fall, whether it’s venturing out to an autumnal festival or gathering around the television cheering on our amazing Chiefs. Here’s some of the most fun things happening this weekend in our Northeast Johnson County neck of the woods…The Overland Park Fall Festival is always a great time, but especially when it actually feels like fall. Check out the parade through Downtown Overland Park, the sweet arts and crafts fair, the always lovely Farmers’ Market, three stages of concerts and lots of food on Saturday.We’ve always found Pumpkin Hollow at Deanna Rose to be a nice and low-key experience to grab pumpkins and have some fall fun. It starts this weekend.It’s about time we all took another visit Back to the Future. On Saturday Shawnee Mission Park hosts Evening in the Park, with food, drink and M-80’s, a 1980’s tribute band. Additionally, September is Deaf Awareness Month and JCPRD welcomes members of the Deaf Community to enjoy closed captioning for the movie.I honestly don’t know what we’d do without the Johnson County Library. It would be hard for me to overstate the impact it has had on our family’s life. This Saturday is the library’s major fundraiser, Library Lets Loose. It’s a great way to have fun and support this wonderful community resource.last_img read more

Overland Park considers overhauling regulations for business, residential signs

first_imgOverland Park officials are considering a slew of changes to the rules governing all kinds of signs – from digital displays to real estate and political signs.The city’s planning staff presented the results of over three years of work overhauling the city’s sign ordinance on Monday to a joint meeting of city council and planning commission members.The most noticeable change involves a new category of “incidental signs” that would include the ubiquitous leasing signs at apartment complexes. The proposed ordinance requires a permit for those types of signs and allows them to be 20 square feet, building or ground mounted and non-illuminated.Existing signs that don’t meet the new requirements would have to be removed by Jan. 1, 2022, under the proposed new rules.Governing digital signsThe rule is meant to give some uniformity to a type of sign that may have started out as temporary but ends up staying on display, said city planner Danielle Hollrah.“We’re seeing some of these year after year. They are permanent but not necessarily maintained,” she said. The new rule would put some design standards on those types of signs.Other rules under consideration would address the evolution of technology and the law. For example, the city would not categorize sign rules based on content and would no longer restrict the content or message on signs.Changes in sign technology also were a factor. Over the past three years, council members and planners have struggled to decide what types of digital light displays should be allowed, since that technology didn’t exist when the current ordinance was written.The proposed change would allow residents to have up to three stake signs, like the ones used for political candidates or garage sales.The brightly lit drive-thru menu boards at fast food restaurants, digital monument signs at the BluHawk development and the large light displays atop the City Place buildings were all subjects of prolonged debate before being approved.The new proposed ordinance codifies those types of signs, with some restrictions. Building-mounted displays like those at City Place require permits, a setback from the highway and are limited to 10 percent of the façade, with other restrictions on movement and brightness.Monument signs like those at BluHawk also would require permits, spacing and restrictions on the brightness and hold times.Other proposed changesGas stations and residential developments also would have some new rules. The monument signs at gas stations would become a thing of the past, but they could be replaced by incidental signs, or a digital display on the canopy. Residential developments would no longer be able to have subdivision signs in entry medians.Existing signs at gas stations and residential developments wouldn’t have to come down, though. Under the proposal, they could stay as “nonconforming” signs that must be maintained, but could not be replaced.Other proposed changes:Residents could have up to three “stake signs” (like a garage sale or political sign) for a total of nine square feet, with an additional sign possible for corner lots and a for sale or lease sign.Commercial and office buildings could have more signs on their façades, with more flexibility for whether the building is multi-story or multi-tenant.Billboards would get longer special use permits, going from the current three years to five. Overland Park has fewer than ten billboards, Hollrah said.The meeting Monday was informational only. The Planning Commission is set to discuss the ordinance Nov. 9 and the full City Council is scheduled to take it up Dec. 7.last_img read more

SYNNEX Raises Over $2 Million for South Carolina Charities in 2019

first_imgSYNNEX’s Share the Magic fundraiser initiative topped $2,063,680 in 2019 for four South Carolina-based charities, including A Child’s Haven, Clement’s Kindness, Make-A-Wish South Carolina, and Pendleton Place. In the last eight years of holding this fundraiser, Synnex has raised more than $12 million cumulatively.“We are very proud of surpassing the $12 million milestone — an achievement that would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of our associates, local organizations and individuals and business partners,” Peter Larocque, president of North America Technology Solutions at Synnex Corporation said. “By rallying together, we continue to have a lasting impact while helping four deserving Upstate charities better serve children and families.”Here are some of the Share the Magic Milestones:A Child’s Haven opened an additional classroom providing the opportunity to treat more children daily and deliver nearly 13,000 hours of group therapy each year.Clement’s Kindness has been able to transform the level of care of pediatric oncology and hematology patients across the Upstate. Additionally, they have been able to fund $50,000 more towards a therapy dog at the St. Francis Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Center and donate more than $430,000 to build the Dr. Cary E. Stroud Camper Care Center at Camp Courage.Make-A-Wish South Carolina granted 209 wishes in 2019, providing kids with hope, renewed energy and strength, while aiding them in facing their conditions and in healing. The transformational experience of a wish also unites communities and brings families closer together.Pendleton Place opened Greenville’s first Youth Drop-in Center for homeless, at-risk youth and provided hundreds of healthy meals to teenagers in foster care.See related  And That’s a Wrap(up)! Highlights from the SYNNEX LAVNCH DaysSYNNEX Share the Magic is an annual fundraising initiative created by SYNNEX Corporation to provide the much-needed funding for Upstate, South Carolina children and youth facing incredible challenges such as life-threatening illnesses, abuse, neglect or developmental delays. Since its inception in 2011, more than $12 million has been raised to fund programs that give Upstate children and their families the tools and resources they need to build better lives.Here is more information about Share the Magic.last_img read more

Want to Learn More About the Industry’s Only Proposed AV-over-IP Standard, IPMX?

first_imgThe Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) launched a new website Monday dedicated to the alliance’s Internet Protocol Media Experience (IPMX) proposed set of open standards and specifications.“The IPMX website makes it easy for anyone to learn more about this exciting approach to AV over IP,” said David Chiappini, working group chair, Pro AV Workgroup at AIMS. “In addition to outlining the fundamentals of IPMX and the benefits it enables, the website provides up-to-date information on related events and presentations by industry experts. The site is a one-stop shop for those interested in finding out more about IPMX and how it can be implemented within their operations.”Implementing a standards-based approach built on SMPTE ST 2110, IPMX proposes open standards and specifications designed to enable carriage of compressed and uncompressed video-, audio- and data-over-IP networks. The proposed IPMX roadmap also includes specifications beneficial to ProAV installations, such as AMWA NMOS IS-04 for discovery and registration and AMWA NMOS IS-05 for connection management and others for copy protection and security.The new AIMS website details the proposed IPMX road map, provides further information about the standards on which it is based and offers educational and reference materials including AIMS presentations, news and white papers focusing on IP for the media and ProAV industries.last_img read more

Esports Education Investments Endure and Grow Amid Budget Restrictions

first_imgBy Chris Bull Futuresource ConsultingThroughout 2020, esports has been one of the most notable champions amid stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies. The industry has thrived, but it has certainly changed course from its pre-COVID trajectory, and even more so for its application in K-12 and higher education.When we talk about esports and education, most market activity happens within higher education. This happens both as part of formal vocational engagement through business and event management modules, but also as undergraduate courses with the study of esports as a subject at the fore. It also presents itself informally via student societies, nonprofit league events and through educational integrators. The varying degree against which these elements are emphasized also reveals the regional differences that explain the development of esports within the education segment.Western Europe and North America as Most Developed Esports MarketsAccording to Futuresource Consulting’s latest esports report, Western Europe and North America are, at present, the two most mature and developed esports education markets. As of 2020, they account for approximately 60% of global install base of dedicated esports computing hardware. Despite rapid projected growth from the APAC region, these two Western markets are receiving a COVID-related boost, as higher education seeks out new drive factors for student engagement and courses that will attract and retain prospective students. Successful emerging undergraduate courses at both Salford and Chichester University in the U.K. are demonstrating the potential for other universities to formally integrate and produce an esports offering.The Differing Drive Factors Between APAC and Western MarketsThe drive factors for the APAC region are distinct from those in Western markets. In APAC, education integrators play a much greater role as they seek to augment the already existing curriculum using gaming as a tool, rather than having gaming as the subject in and of itself. Organizations such as Code Warriors in India and SCOGA in Singapore are active in this application and focus on K-12 interactions. These partners work directly with schools to demonstrate the educational value of gaming in the classroom and help open up the sector to consider more formal integrations of esports generally.However, the overwhelming majority of esports market growth within APAC is accounted for by the Chinese market — as a rapidly growing commercial opportunity too. A nationwide study of esports in China published by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security found that on average, 81% of those working in the esports industry had salaries approximately three times higher than that of the local average. Alongside this, the study also showed that approximately 15% of those within the industry held an undergraduate university degree or higher. There are clear concerns about whether the educational supply of skilled graduates can presently accommodate the soaring demand of the esports industry, which is continuously soaking up talent and work. This explains why there is a large scale and sustained investment in esports programs and courses, particularly at the Shandong Lanxiang Vocational School, but also at the Beijing Geely University. This will continue following investments in the commercial sector, as well as through China’s growing internet café industry, which takes its lead from South Korea’s similar PC-Bang culture.See related  Here’s How the Corona Tag Can Get Us Back to Work SafelyTightened Budgets in LATAM and EMEA in light of COVID-19The developing world in both LATAM and MEA has been heavily impacted in terms of esports educational investment; this is the result of tightening budgets following each country’s COVID-19 response and a comparatively low level of device penetration within the classroom. This does not mean that it has stalled however, as the focus point will move away from desktops and mobile-PCs, pivoting towards smartphone usage. This is already popular in these markets in the commercial sector and will account for the main method of interaction for gamers generally to interact with esports. Smartphone usage drastically cuts the entry cost for consumers to engage with esports and presents a simple, quick way to setup an esports enabled classroom environment.Around the world every market is embracing esports with variance according to the particularities of digital infrastructure and labour market qualities related to local conditions. Some markets are emphasizing higher education integration, particularly in markets where esports is established as a mature commercial industry, while others are using it as a tool for augmented learning outcomes and engaging students that otherwise struggle to remain invested in education. The integration of esports into the education segment will also include a wide range of devices, from smartphones and high-powered workstation desktops through to mid-range PCs for less competitive gaming.last_img read more

Vivitek Adds Two New New Wireless Collaboration NovoProjectors

first_imgVivitek has announced that it is launching two NovoProjectors, the DH3665ZN and DH858N, both of which feature integrated NovoConnect wireless collaboration capabilities. These projectors are designed to be all-in-one solutions and feature on-board wireless presentation and moderator function, making them ideally suited for the BYOD era without additional equipment. It’s possible to display up to four screens simultaneously, allowing for up to 64 people to participate in a meeting. In addition, the new projectors provide cross-platform compatibility with Windows, MacOS, Ubuntu, Android, iOS and Chromebook. Internal meeting participants can connect via the app or the NovoConnect software, while guests can use the Plug & Play USB Launcher. A new connection option, available throughout the entire NovoConnect range, is the possibility of direct mirroring of content via a web browser on this NovoConnect site.Both NovoProjectors feature Full-HD 1080p resolution, as well as DLP and BrilliantColor technology with a light output of 4,500 lumens. The Vivitek DH3665ZN uses a laser light source, while the Vivitek DH858N is a classic lamp projector.The NovoProjector DH3665ZN is ideal for long-term applications. With its laser light source, it has a service life of up to 30,000 operating hours at constant brightness and can easily guarantee 24/7 operation. The lamp-free design also has the advantage of high standard IP6X/IP5X anti-dust compliance. It also boasts excellent color performance of Rec 709 (95%) and virtually instantaneous image reproduction with a 360° projection angle.Vivitek says the NovoProjector DH858N is ideally suited for use in multiple rooms. By utilizing image correction via geometric adjustment of the four image corners and horizontal/vertical keystone correction as well as a 1.5x zoom ratio. The installation effort for this projector is reduced to a minimum, resulting in a seamless set-up process and deployment. Furthermore, it can be controlled either remotely via the IT network or, thanks to the new On-Screen-Display (OSD), directly on the device. The lamp has a service life of up to 4,000 operating hours, and, with viviBlack, the black level is increased, thus improving the contrast ratio.The purchase of every NovoProjector also includes a free LauncherOne included in the price until the end of the year. The LauncherOne enables guests or team members to connect instantly by establishing a secure wireless connection from laptops to the NovoProjector. The LauncherOne is specifically designed for companies with a strict Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy. It prevents unauthorized data transfer, keeps company’s information protected and ensures safe wireless communication with AES-256 encryption.The Vivitek DH3665ZN is available immediately at an RRP of GBP 1,690.00 (excl. VAT) and the Vivitek DH858N at an RRP of GBP 1,250.00 (excl. VAT).Learn more about Vivitek’s NovoConnect product line here.last_img read more

Home of the Second Chance: ‘We don’t judge; We help’

first_imgby. Adam MertzOver the last seven years, St. Louis Community Credit Union has gained prominence for its ambitious and solution-driven approach to serving low- and modest-income consumers in a market full of them.The $237 million asset credit union, which boasts 51,712 members, won the 2013 CUNA Community Credit Union of the Year award among institutions under $250 million in assets. Paul Woodruff, vice president of community development for St. Louis Community, discusses with Credit Union Magazine the philosophies that have earned the credit union respect throughout the movement.Credit Union Magazine: Why did St. Louis Community CU dial up its efforts to serve the underserved?Woodruff: We were turning away hundreds of people a month who wanted access to the mainstream accounts, but they couldn’t get it. We also started to see an increase in members who used payday loans and lenders, which strips wealth out of the community.If there’s no alternative to that, people are going to keep using those services, and make the situation even worse. And a part of that is, if they’ve got loan obligations with us, and all their money’s being taken by the payday lenders, that’s a losing proposition for our institution. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

T-Mobile wants to eat your lunch

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by. Robert McGarveyNew mobile competitors are calling, and they want your lunch.How many nibbles can a credit union absorb before its sustenance is devoured by hungry competitors?  That’s the question financial tech guru Jim Marous, senior vice president, business development at New Control, asks.“You can’t sit there and do nothing. The marketplace is changing completely. You need to take action to defend yourself,” Marous said.That is why Marous pointedly asks: Does T-Mobile want to steal 30% of your customers?Mobile Money, introduced by T-Mobile in late January, is the immediate threat. A mobile app coupled with a prepaid Visa card, the product does not presently involve paper checks but, beyond that, it can do much of what a conventional share draft account can do. continue reading »last_img read more

Migrant workers find an ally in California

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CU takes measures to protect this vulnerable population.For Roxy Ostrem, the last straw was when the check-cashing truck pulled up to the edge of the Boskovich Farm in 2010, enticing migrant workers with quick cash, only to supply them with a raft of counterfeit bills.That’s when Ostrem—the farm’s quality control manager, chair of the Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU) board of directors, and co-founder of the World Council of Credit Unions’ Global Women’s Leadership Network—decided it was high time to protect this largely unbanked population.VCCU leapt into action with an aggressive outreach program spearheaded by CEO Joe Schroeder and Ostrem. It has made a giant impact in the agricultural hotbed, which relies heavily on migrant workers to churn out $2 billion of berries and other produce annually.“We just said, ‘Enough is enough,’” explains Natalie Bradley, community development manager for the $660 million asset credit union in Ventura, Calif.The credit union promises to break down more barriers in coming years after expanding in 2013 to serve five additional employer groups and a sizable population of indigenous workers from Mexico. continue reading »last_img read more

Mobility Matters: Death of the branch

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by. Robert McGarveySurvey results make clear exactly how fast branches are becoming obsolete.Three in 10 Americans have not visited a bank or credit union branch in the past six months, according to a survey conducted for Bankrate.com.What is dazzling is that there are not significant generational differences, said Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst. continue reading »last_img read more

In a subprime bubble for used cars, borrowers pay sky-high rates

first_imgby. Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael CorkeryRodney Durham stopped working in 1991, declared bankruptcy and lives on Social Security. Nonetheless, Wells Fargo lent him $15,197 to buy a used Mitsubishi sedan.“I am not sure how I got the loan,” Mr. Durham, age 60, said.Mr. Durham’s application said that he made $35,000 as a technician at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, N.Y., according to a copy of the loan document. But he says he told the dealer he hadn’t worked at the hospital for more than three decades. Now, after months of Wells Fargo pressing him over missed payments, the bank has repossessed his car.This is the face of the new subprime boom. Mr. Durham is one of millions of Americans with shoddy credit who are easily obtaining auto loans from used-car dealers, including some who fabricate or ignore borrowers’ abilities to repay. The loans often come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate, least financially sophisticated customers. The surge in lending and the lack of caution resemble the frenzied subprime mortgage market before its implosion set off the 2008 financial crisis. continue reading » 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Military credit unions cast watchful eye on DoD Lending Rule

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Marc RapportCredit unions and the military have a long shared history, and financial institutions based on bases are paying particular attention to proposed new rules some worry could limit how they extend credit to credit-challenged service members.Now in the comment phase, here’s how the changes are described in the September announcement from the Department of Defense “The new proposed actions are designed to apply the protections of the Military Lending Act to all forms of payday loans, vehicle title loans, refund anticipation loans, deposit advance loans, installment loans, unsecured open-end lines of credit, and credit cards.”The NCUA says the changes go beyond that agency’s own rules and could shut down some alternative lending programs that credit unions currently offer service members. Military-focused credit unions generally say they’re in a wait-and-see mode on the new rules, and several told creditunions.com their products wouldn’t run afoul of the new rules anyway.However, many are working with the trades and the DoD to offer input and limit the potential fallout from the rules, which could take effect sometime next year. A leader in that effort says credit unions on and around military installations already do the right thing, especially in protecting members against predatory lenders. “We feel the rules in place today have been effective,” says Arty Arteaga, president/CEO of the Defense Credit Union Council. continue reading »last_img read more

Briefs

first_img Briefs ROSENTHAL & LEVY RECENTLY hosted a contribution drive on behalf of United for Families. The drive yielded baby items including furniture, toys, clothing, and diapers. The donations were collected at Rosenthal & Levy’s Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach offices and donated to United for Families for use by the community-based agency’s foster care homes and providers. “This agency fills a crucial and specific need on the Treasure Coast,” said the firm’s Steve Simon. “My law firm is committed to partnering with community based organizations that make a difference.” United for Families was created in 2002 to provide foster care and related services to all children known to have been neglected or abused in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties. Its mission is to break the cycle of child abuse through a diverse network of community partners and innovative services. THE PALM BEACH COUNTY BAR recently honored five local middle and high school students with its Second Annual Mediation Poster and Essay Contest. “The contest was held in conjunction with Mediation Week as a way to educate students on the meaning of this legal process, which is an alternative to solving disputes without hiring a lawyer and without going to court,” said Jay Hunston, chair for the PBCB’s Alternative Resolution Committee. More than 165 students researched the concept of mediation and submitted their artwork depicting the process. The students also wrote short essays describing the meaning of their posters. The three high school winners are: First place, Sarah Blanc, 11th grade from Dreyfoos School of the Arts; second place, Errol Sabinano, 11th grade from Dreyfoos School of the Arts; and third place, Veronica Valega, 12th grade from South Tech Academy. Britney Tomsula from Boca Middle School received first place in the middle school category; and Lorena Lopez from Congress Middle School received second place. Winners each received a certificate, along with a cash prize of $75 for first place and $50 for second and third place. Also present are Charles Damsel, Dr. Bernard Shulman, Catherine Eaton, and Manny Farach, president of the Palm Beach County Bar. ABA BUSINESS LAW SECTION recently held its Legal Opinion Risk Seminar in New York, the first major conference on legal opinions since the Silverado Conference 17 years ago. The invitation only program was limited to 100 attendees and was chaired by Arthur Field of New York and Judge Thomas Ambro of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The Florida Bar’s Business Law Section was one of the co-sponsors. Leonard Gilbert (Tampa) served as a member of the planning committee. A follow-up program will be held in New York in April. Also included are Field, Robert Pass of Tallahassee; Philip Schwartz of Miami; Gilbert of Tampa; and Karen Mathis, president of the American Bar Association. THE ANNUAL REAL PROPERTY PRO BONO SEMINAR, cosponsored by Legal Aid, the Dade County Bar Young Lawyers Section, and Real Property Committee, was recently held at the Dade County Courthouse and explored topics such as real estate closings, landlord/tenant issues, predatory lending, ethics, and litigation. More than 68 attorneys attended, and most agreed to take a pro bono case in lieu of an admission fee. The speakers included Ana Camacho, Barbara Lanshe, Alain Lecusay, Oscar Sanchez, Aida Lanela, Carlos Ruga, and Barnaby Min. ORANGE COUNTY JUDGE Antoinette Plogstedt and Orlando Commissioner Phil Diamond participated in Florida’s attempt to break the record for the largest number of people to read the same piece of literature aloud, simultaneously, in multiple locations, according to Guinness World Records. Judge Plogstedt and Diamond, a lawyer, certified the results of a middle school in Orlando. From 11-11:30 a.m. on September 28, tens of thousands of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in Florida schools and libraries, watched a live public Web cast from Disney’s MGM Studios. During the program, Gov. Jeb Bush led a statewide read-aloud using an excerpt from the book Peter and the Starcatchers. December 1, 2006 Regular News Briefslast_img read more

Proposed e-servce rule

first_imgwho have designated an email address for service. < p> (2) When a final judgment is entered against a party in default, the court must mail a conformed copy of it to the party. The party in whose favor the judgment is entered must furnish the court with a copy of the judgment, unless it is prepared by the court, and with the address of the party to be served. If the address is unknown, the copy need not be furnished. < p> (3) This subdivision is directory and a failure to comply with it does not affect the order or judgment, its finality, or any proceedings arising in the action. (b) Service; How Made. When service is required or permitted to be made upon a party represented by an attorney, service must be made upon the attorney unless service upon the party is ordered by the court. < p> (1) Service by Electronic Mail (“Email”). All documents required or permitted to be served on another party must be served by email, unless this rule otherwise provides. When, in addition to service by email, the sender also utilizes another means of service provided for in subdivision (b)(2), any differing time limits and other provisions applicable to that other means of service control. < p> (A) Service on Attorneys. Upon appearing in a proceeding, an attorney must serve a designation of a primary email address and may designate no more than two secondary email addresses. Thereafter, service must be directed to all designated email addresses in that proceeding. Every document filed by an attorney thereafter must include the primary email address of that attorney and any secondary email addresses. If an attorney does not designate any email address for service, documents may be served on that attorney at the email address on record with The Florida Bar. < p> (B) Exception to Email Service on Attorneys. Service by an attorney on another attorney must be made by email unless excused by the court. Upon motion by an attorney demonstrating that the attorney has no email account and lacks access to the Internet at the attorney’s office, the court may excuse the attorney from the requirements of email service. Service on and by an attorney excused by the court from email service must be by the means provided in subdivision (b)(2) October 15, 2010 Regular News (i) All documents served by email must be attached to an email message containing a subject line beginning with RULE 2.516 SERVICE OF PLEADINGS AND DOCUMENTS Proposed e-service rule ________________________ . Unless the court otherwise orders, or a statute or supreme court administrative order specifies a different means of service, every pleading subsequent to the initial pleading and every other document filed in any court proceeding, except applications for witness subpoenas and documents served by formal notice or required to be served in the manner provided for service of formal notice, must be served in accordance with this rule on each party. No service need be made on parties against whom a default has been entered, except that pleadings asserting new or additional claims against them must be served in the manner provided for service of summons. service by email, service may also be made upon attorneys by any of the means specified in this subdivision (b)(2). Service on and by all parties who are not represented by an attorney and who do not designate an email address, and on and by all attorneys excused from email service, must be made by delivering a copy of the document or by mailing it to the party or attorney at their last known address or, if no address is known, by leaving it with the clerk of the court. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. Delivery of a copy within this rule is complete upon: < p> (A) handing it to the attorney or to the party, < p> (B) leaving it at the attorney’s or party’s office with a clerk or other person in charge thereof, < p> (C) if there is no one in charge, leaving it in a conspicuous place therein, < p> (D) if the office is closed or the person to be served has no office, leaving it at the person’s usual place of abode with some person of his or her family above 15 years of age and informing such person of the contents, or < p> (E) transmitting it by facsimile to the attorney’s or party’s office with a cover sheet containing the sender’s name, firm, address, telephone number, and facsimile number, and the number of pages transmitted. When service is made by facsimile, a copy must also be served by any other method permitted by this rule. Facsimile service occurs when transmission is complete. < p> (F) Service by delivery after 5:00 p.m. must be deemed as if it had been made by mailing on the date of delivery. < p>(c) (E) Format of Email for Service. Service of a document by email is made by attaching a copy of the document in PDF format to an email sent to all addresses designated by the attorney or party. Service; Numerous Defendants. In actions when the parties are unusually numerous, the court may regulate the service contemplated by these rules on motion or on its initiative in such manner as may be found to be just and reasonable. < p>(d)center_img (2) Service by Other Means. In addition to, and not in lieu of, the certificate is taken as prima facie proof of such service in compliance with this rule. < p> (g) Service by Clerk. Service of notices and other documents required to be made by the clerk must also be done as provided in subdivision (b). < p> (h) Service of Orders. < p> (1) A copy of all orders or judgments must be transmitted by the court or under its direction to all parties at the time of entry of the order or judgment. No service need be made on parties against whom a default has been entered except orders setting an action for trial and final judgments that must be prepared and served as provided in subdivision (h)(2). The court may require that orders or judgments be prepared by a party, may require the party to furnish the court with stamped, addressed envelopes for service of the order or judgment, and may require that proposed orders and judgments be furnished to all parties before entry by the court of the order or judgment. The court may serve any order or judgment by email to all attorneys who have not been excused from email service and to all parties not represented by an attorney Attorney” (a) Service; When Required Filing. All original documents must be filed with the court either before service or immediately thereafter, unless otherwise provided for by general law or other rules. If the original of any bond or other document is not placed in the court file, a certified copy must be so placed by the clerk. < p> (e) Filing Defined. The filing of documents with the court as required by these rules must be made by filing them with the clerk, except that the judge may permit documents to be filed with the judge, in which event the judge must note the filing date before him or her on the documents and transmit them to the clerk. The date of filing is that shown on the face of the document by the judge’s notation or the clerk’s time stamp, whichever is earlier. < p> (f) Certificate of Service. When any attorney certifies in substance: < p>“I certify that a copy hereof has been furnished to (here insert name or names and addresses used for service) by (email) (delivery) (mail) (fax) on. ….(date)…… Proposed e-servce rule (i) An email is deemed served on the date it is sent. < p> (ii) If the sender learns that the email did not reach the address of the person to be served, the sender must immediately send another copy by email, or by a means authorized by subdivision (b)(2) of this rule. < p> (iii) Email service is treated as service by mail for the computation of time. of this rule. < p> (C) Service on and by Parties Not Represented by an Attorney. Any party not represented by an attorney may serve a designation of a primary email address and also may designate no more than two secondary email addresses to which service must be directed in that proceeding by the means provided in subdivision (b)(1) of this rule. If a party not represented by an attorney does not designate an email address for service in a proceeding, service on and by that party must be by the means provided in subdivision (b)(2) of this rule. < p> (D) Time of Service. Service by email is complete when it is sent. the words “SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT” in all capital letters, followed by the case number of the proceeding in which the documents are being served. < p> (ii) The body of the email must identify the court in which the proceeding is pending, the case number, the name of the initial party on each side, the title of each document served with that email, and the sender’s name and telephone number. < p> (iii) Any document served by email may be signed by the “/s” format, as long as the filed original is signed in accordance with the applicable rule of procedure. < p> (iv) Any email which, together with its attached documents, exceeds five megabytes (5MB) in size, must be divided and sent as separate emails, no one of which may exceed 5MB in size and each of which must be sequentially numbered in the subject line.last_img read more

One lawyer’s close encounter with fraudster Scott Rothstein

first_imgOne lawyer’s close encounter with fraudster Scott Rothstein November 15, 2010 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular News One lawyer’s close encounter with fraudster Scott Rothstein Senior EditorA real estate broker colleague’s tip about a new investment opportunity landed Florida lawyer Alan Sakowitz in the glitzy Ft. Lauderdale office of Scott Rothstein, talking business. Sitting on an alligator-skin couch, Sakowitz eyed the trophies of success that hung from the walls, including a picture of Rothstein’s wife holding six shopping bags from expensive stores.Taking in a breathtaking view of the ocean from the 16th floor, Sakowitz listened to Rothstein’s smooth spiel:Rothstein’s 70-attorney law firm had won several significant settlements in sexual harassment cases for clients. The clients had pressing bills and wanted lump-sum payouts, and there were great investment opportunities to buy funded settlement agreements. A niche market had emerged: Three $900,000 settlements could be purchased for $660,000 each — a $240,000 profit in three months.But the numbers didn’t add up to Sakowitz. The real estate developer in Bay Harbor Islands, with an LL.M. in federal taxation, would soon see through Rothstein’s too-good-to-be-true sales pitch for what it was: a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.Eighty-four days in 2009, as Sakowitz describes it, would take him through “an exciting, terrifying, intense drama involving the largest fraud in the history of South Florida, and I would witness greed and its blinding powers in truly stunning ways, as well as the dangerous collusion between business and politics.”Eventually, Sakowitz gathered the courage to call the FBI as a whistleblower, so no one else would be hurt.It’s all chronicled in Miles Away.. . Worlds Apart, a self-published book that juxtaposes the greed-fueled world of politically connected, charismatic, phony philanthropist, and master manipulator Rothstein — now serving a 50-year sentence in federal prison for racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud, and wire fraud — with Sakowitz’s own Jewish community near North Miami Beach, “where wealth and fulfillment is not measured in dollars, but in deeds,” where people look out for each other, and kindness is bestowed without fanfare.Riveting details of Sakowitz’s first-person account dealing with Rothstein are juxtaposed with life lessons learned from rabbis, family, friends, and legal colleagues.“I want to spread the message that leadership and community and family and integrity are things that are not only important, but make a person happier,” says Sakowitz.Detailing how the scheme unraveled before his eyes, while asking Rothstein a lot of questions that reaped unbelievable answers, Sakowitz writes: “[I]t was all simple arithmetic, which obviously no one else had taken the time to do.. . . Once people saw the pot of gold they would receive from Rothstein, they were not about to let the facts interfere with their decision.”But the facts shouted to Sakowitz and his two friends who had three meetings with Rothstein.“We quickly learned that our $50 million would not even plug a small hole in Scott’s investment world,” writes Sakowitz, who clearly details a dozen red flags that waved them away from investing a dime.On Amazon.com, 54 reviewers give Sakowitz’s book four out of five stars. One reviewer from Salt Lake City, Utah, wrote: “It’s guys like Scott Rothstein that give attorneys a bad name. And it’s guys like Alan Sakowitz that prove that humanity is, at its heart, good.”(To buy the book and for more information, go to www.LegacySeriesPress.com. )last_img read more

Judge uses a race car in Justice Teaching activity

first_img February 1, 2011 Regular News Judge uses a race car in Justice Teaching activity JUSTICE TEACHING VOLUNTEER Judge John Phillips recently generated great interest in his Justice Teaching sessions at The Royal Palm School when, to the amazement of the students, he roared up in his self-built race car. Co-volunteer Sheri Hazeltine said: “The kids were awestruck. I don’t think they had ever really seen such a car like this before. Needless to say, everyone is looking forward to his next visit.” The Royal Palm School has the largest population of disabled students in Palm Beach County. According to Hazeltine, many of the students are in wheelchairs due to various physical movement limitations. Although at times it can be difficult for them to communicate, these students are intelligent and can understand the Justice Teaching material being presented to them, she said. To learn more about becoming involved in Justice Teaching, visit www.justiceteaching.org .last_img read more

Advertising Update

first_imgKeep your faith in Recent Decisions of the Board of Governors on AdvertisingThe Board of Governors of The Florida Bar considers appeals from opinions of the Standing Committee on Advertising. The Board’s decisions on advertising issues at its most recent meeting are as follows: 1. Misleading Language in AdvertisementsRule 4-7.2(c)(1) provides that “A lawyer shall not make or permit to be made a false, misleading, deceptive, or unfair communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services.” A communication violates this rule if it: (A) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law[.]”The board determined that the use of plural pronouns by a sole practitioner is false, misleading or deceptive in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1).The board affirmed the committee’s decision that the following statements in a lawyer referral service advertisement which refers viewers to lawyers in car accident cases is a false, misleading or deceptive communication about the lawyer referral or services offered in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1) because it implies the viewer may be entitled to money above the $10,000 PIP allowance: thousands of dollarsin injury and lost wage benefits. 2. Direct MailThe board affirmed the committee’s decision in which the committee determined that the word “advertisement” in red must appear on the lower left hand corner of the envelope pursuant to Rule 4-7.4(b)(2)(B) despite the filer’s argument that the envelope does not indicate that it is from a law firm.3. Filing RequirementThe board affirmed the committee’s decision in which the committee determined that the lawyer advertising rules apply to Internet advertisements that appear in response to a search where the lawyer has paid the search engine to cause the advertisements to appear when specific key words are used in the search engine. Thus, each advertisement must contain the name of the lawyer responsible for the advertisement’s content under Rules 4-7.6(d) and 4-7.2(a)(1) and the geographic location by city or town, under Rules 4-7.6(d) and 4-7.2(a)(2). Additionally, each separate advertisement must be filed for review.4. Quality of Legal ServicesThe board affirmed the committee’s decision determining that the URL, which appears in the advertising attorney’s direct mail advertisement, describes or characterizes the quality of the services being offered and therefore is prohibited by Rule 4-7.2(c)(2).Recent Decisions of the Standing Committee on Advertising March-September 2011At the committee’s recent meetings it made the following decisions on appeals from staff opinions on lawyer advertising:1. Misleading Language in AdvertisementsRule 4-7.2(c)(1)(A) provides that “A lawyer shall not make or permit to be made a false, misleading, deceptive communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A communication violates this rule if it: (A) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law[.]” In addition, “[a] communication violates this rule if it: (C) fails to disclose material information necessary to prevent the information supplied from being false or misleading[.]”The committee determined that the statement “You may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in benefits, possibly much more.. . Your fault or not!” is a misleading statement in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1), because of their prior standard that any amount that is not $10,000, which is connected to the PIP statute, is misleading because there is no basis to make that statement.The committee determined that the following statement is misleading for a lawyer referral service to advertise: Injured…can’t work…you may be entitled to Super Lube, Super Suds Carwash, Stewardship Drycleaners, Crepevine, 1 Fresh Stir Fry, Crystal River Seafood, Bagel Bagel Cafe Advertising Update Dec 01, 2011 Prepared by the staff of the Standing Committee on Advertising Advertising Updates Even if you’re out of work, can’t pay your bills, and don’t have a vehicle, 1-800-Need-Help is here. super heroes A majority of the committee members commented that a proposed website is a lawyer referral service under Rule 4-7.10, Rules Regulating the Florida Bar, based on its proposed operational model: 1) lawyers, law students, expert witnesses, and the public could use the website at no charge as an information, communication, and networking hub to post information such as resumes and job openings; 2) at no charge members of the public could use search engine technology to ask law-related questions, seek law-related information, or run a search for lawyers; 3) the website would charge lawyers a fixed, periodic fee to participate in the website’s “find a lawyer” feature which would show standardized information such as a lawyer’s name, physical address, telephone number, email address, areas of practice, bar admissions, years of experience, and board certifications to members of the public seeking a lawyer; and 4) the website would sell advertising space.The information provided in this article is for educational purposes. The content of any advertisement noted in this article may constitute the intellectual property of the advertising lawyer or another person and use of any of the content of the advertisements may require permission of the copyright holder. If you have any questions regarding lawyer advertising, call the Ethics Hotline at 1-800-235-8619 and we will be happy to assist you. In addition, the key tags entitle you to a 15% discount at the following local businesses: . Some super heroes prefer fighting crime wearing a business suit.[name of attorney] Law Firm defends investors from fraud; patients from dangerous drugs and devices; consumers from identify theft; whistleblowers from retaliation; and employees from discrimination.The committee members commented that removing Super Lawyers Magazine and/or adding a disclaimer stating that “[Attorney] is not an actual super hero” will not resolve the violation.Additionally, the committee determined that the phrase “Call The Wizard” characterizes the quality of legal services in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(2).The committee also determined that the reference to the advertising attorney’s book, “The Key to Hiring a Great Bankruptcy Lawyer,” characterizes the quality of legal services in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(2) because it is a self-published book offered by the filer to prospective clients.3. Promising ResultsRule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G) prohibits any statement in lawyer advertising that promises results the lawyer can achieve. The committee determined that the statement Avoid Probate & Taxes promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G).A majority of the committee commented that the statement Learn How to Avoid Probate and Taxes in the context of an advertisement for a seminar on estate planning promises results. The committee commented that the filer could add may be able to avoid probate and help minimize taxes to make the advertisements compliant.The committee affirmed staff’s opinion determining that a law firm’s slogan, Your Life A New Way, promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G).The committee determined that the following language promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G):You can be entitled to tens of thousands of dollars in benefits for your pain and suffering.You may be entitled to up to $10,000 or more depending upon the circumstances.The committee commented that the filer must state the following for the language to comply:You may be entitled to up to $10,000 in medical benefits and lost wage benefits.In response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that the following language promises results, in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G):Save My Home Law GroupSave My Homehelp.savingmyhome.infoIn addition, in response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that the firm name “Stop Taking Our Property, PLLC” is impermissible as it promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G).The committee determined that the following language is permissible under Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G) because it does not state that prospective clients will obtain any specific result:Trial Lawyers Get: Responsive to all your needs & questions Effective; our goal is the best results for your case Steadfast; we stand by you Understanding your concerns Loyalty; we are on your side Tenacious; we will support you with all our resources Success; what you’re looking for when you put your case into our firm’s hands.The committee also determined that the following italicized language does not promise results:Victims of automobile and motorcycle accidents deserve to be compensated. In order to get every dime you are entitled to from the insurance company, sometimes you need an attorney who has the experience, expertise and ability to try that case.Look after a car accident you don’t want just a lawyer, you want an experienced advocate –an expert attorney who can guide you through the claims process and help maximize your recovery from the insurance company. I’m [name of attorney], call me. 4. TestimonialsR ule 4-7.2(c)(1)(J) prohibits language which contains a testimonial. The committee reversed staff and determined that the following statements in a television commercial in which a person with a microphone in hand interviews pedestrians do not contain testimonials in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(J) as long as a prominent disclaimer appears on the screen stating it is a dramatization:Interviewer:…[W]ho would you call?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: If you were in a car or motorcycle accident…?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERSInterviewer:. …injured and it wasn’t your fault?Pedestrian: 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: If you needed a lawyer, who would you call first?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: For car accidents?Pedestrian: 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: When you’ve been injured?Pedestrian: 1-800-LAWYERS. 1-800-LAWYERS! They’re for me!Interviewer: So, what would you do if you needed one?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERS. 1-800-LAWYERS…good lawyers for accidents. 1-800-LAWYERS…experienced lawyers! 1-800-LAWYERS! They’re for me!However, the committee did determine that the phone number, “1-800-LAWYERS,” is considered a trade name under Rule 4-7.9(b) in the context of these advertisements.5. SolicitationIn response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that it is impermissible in-person solicitation in violation of Rule 4-7.4(a) for an attorney advertisement containing a firm’s name, city, website to be printed on wristbands that are given out at facilities where all admittance is over 21 years old to identify members of a special group, such as bachelorette, birthday or other special occasions, would not identify any particular area of practice. The committee members stated that a factor in the decision is that the attendees would be required to wear the wristband in order to attend the event.However, the committee commented that it is permissible for an attorney to advertise on a pizza box because the advertisement would be one of 5 or 6 ads for different businesses, would be attached to the pizza box, regardless of whether it is picked up or delivered and the advertisement would be limited to a photograph of the attorneys, the firm name, address and fields of practice.6. Give AwaysThe committee reversed staff’s opinion and determined that the following language is not prohibited by Rule 4-7.2(c)(14) because the lawyer does not offer something of value to someone for recommending the lawyer’s services and is not providing financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation in violation of Rule 4-1.8(e): They’ll even provide transportation to your appointments and take care of your ticket.The committee noted that a lawyer referral service cannot use a third party to do something lawyers cannot do pursuant to Rule 4-8.4(a).In addition, the committee determined that it is misleading in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1) and A-09-1 for an attorney, who is a retired circuit court judge, to be identified as “Trial Resolution Judge [John Doe]” in a print advertisement and photograph promoting his private voluntary trial resolution business, despite section 44.104, Florida Statutes which provides for a method of private trials. It is also misleading for an attorney to wear a black judge’s robe in a print advertisement photograph promoting his private voluntary trial resolution business.In response to staff’s request for guidance a majority of the Standing Committee on Advertising members commented that it is misleading under Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(C) for a law firm that hires nonlawyers and out-of-state lawyers to represent clients as advocates before the Social Security Administration to fail to include a disclosure that nonlawyers and out-of-state lawyers will represent the clients in advertisements for social security disability matters.2. Quality of Legal Service sThe committee determined that the following italicized language relating to an attorney selected for inclusion in Super Lawyer Magazine describes or characterizes the quality of the services being offered and therefore is prohibited by Rule 4-7.2(c)(2): In response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that a direct mail communication that is mailed to developers congratulating them on new construction contracts including a G-clip (golf clip with tees and ball marker) and golf balls, is not a violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(14) which prohibits a lawyer from offering something of value to someone for recommending the lawyer’s services and is not providing financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation in violation of Rule 4-1.8(e).7. Lawyer Referral Serviceslast_img read more

Federal JNC seeks U.S. district judge

first_img March 1, 2012 Regular News Federal JNC seeks U.S. district judgeThe Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission is now accepting applications for a vacancy for a U.S. district judge in the Southern District of Florida. The vacancy was created by the elevation of Judge Adalberto Jordan to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.The revised Rules of Procedure for the federal JNC, applications with instructions, and the names and addresses of the commission members are available at the following websites: 1) The Florida Bar ; 2) U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida ; 3) U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ; and 4) U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. These materials also may be obtained from the commission’s chair, John M. Fitzgibbons, The Law Offices of John M. Fitzgibbons, 707 North Franklin Street, Suite 700, Tampa 33602; phone (813) 221-8800.Completed applications must be received by the commission chair and each commission member as specified in the rules by 5 p.m. March 26. Applicants selected for personal interviews will be interviews on April 27 in the Judges Conference Room, 14th Floor, Willie D. Ferguson, Jr., U.S. Courthouse, 400 North Miami Ave., Miami. Those selected for interviews will be posted on the above websites on or before April 18. Federal JNC seeks U.S. district judgelast_img read more

Proposed board actions

first_img March 1, 2014 Regular News Proposed board actions Proposed board actions Pursuant to Standing Board Policy 1.60, the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar publishes this notice of intent to consider the following item at its March 28, 2014 meeting in Palm Coast. This is governed by Rule 1-12.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. If approved by the board, these amendments must still be formally filed with the Supreme Court of Florida, with further notice and opportunity to be heard, before they are officially approved and become effective. Additionally, non-substantive edits to conform to the Supreme Court style guide are not noted in the summary. To receive a full copy of the text of any of this proposed amendment, email [email protected] or call Janellen Green at (850) 561-5751. Reference any requested proposal by its title or item number and date of this publication. RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR Chapter 4 Rules of Professional Conduct RULE 4-7.22 LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICESWithin subdivision (a), adds new subdivision (4) that prohibits lawyers from accepting referrals from a lawyer referral service that directly or indirectly requires the participating lawyers to refer clients to another person or entity for other services or places economic pressure on the lawyer to make such referrals and renumbers other subdivisions accordingly. Within subdivisions (a)(5) and (a)(6) [new subdivisions (a)(6) and (a)(7)], adds “at its headquarters address in Tallahassee” after “The Florida Bar”. Within subdivision (a)(7) [new subdivision (a)(8)] adds that a lawyer who has notified the bar of a relationship that the lawyer is accepting referrals may not accept referrals from a service who has not responded to bar inquiries only after being notified by the bar of the service’s failure to respond. Within subdivision (a)(8) (new subdivision (a)(9), changes “subject” to “approved by The Florida Bar pursuant.” Within subdivision (a)(10) [new subdivision (a)(11)] adds “and other communications to consumers.” Adds new subdivision (a)(13) prohibiting lawyers from accepting referrals from a lawyer referral service unless the service discloses to the consumer at the time the referral is made the location of the lawyer’s bona fide office by city, town or county. Adds new subdivision (a)(14) prohibiting lawyers from accepting referrals from a lawyer referral service unless the service uses a name that is not misleading to the public and does not use any name that would lead consumers to believe the service directly provides legal services. Within subdivision (b), exempts Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8 from lawyer’s responsibility for advertising by the lawyer referral service. Adds new subdivision (b)(2) requiring lawyers to notify the bar within 15 days of agreeing to accept referrals from a lawyer referral services, except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(3) requiring lawyers to notify the bar within 15 days of terminating a relationship with a lawyer referral service, except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(4) requiring lawyers to designate a lawyer in a law firm that is responsible for compliance with bar rules and for responding to bar inquiries regarding a lawyer referral service when the agreement is between the service and a law firm, except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(5) requiring lawyers to pay an administrative fee to be set by the bar for administering the program and enforcing these rules except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(6) prohibiting lawyers from making the initial contact in person, by telephone, telegraph, facsimile or any written communication that does not comply with the direct mail rules with a consumer after the referral is made. Adds new subdivision (b)(7) prohibiting a lawyer from referring clients to any person or entity in exchange for receiving referrals from the service. Adds new subdivision (b)(8) prohibiting lawyers from accepting referrals if the lawyer referral service interferes with the participating lawyer’s professional judgment, including if the lawyer referral service requires the lawyer to refer the lawyer’s clients to the lawyer referral service, an owner of the service, or an entity owned by the service or the service’s owner. Adds new subdivision (b)(9) prohibiting participating lawyers from referring clients to the lawyer referral service, an owner of the service, or an entity owned by the service or the service’s owner unless the requirements of rules 4-1.7 and 4-1.8 are met and the lawyer provides written disclosure to the client of the relationship and obtains the client’s informed consent, confirmed in writing. Adds new subdivision (b)(10) requiring lawyers to disclose in writing to clients at the outset of representation who are referred by a service that the lawyer received the referral and, if the lawyer paid the service for referrals, that the lawyer paid the service for referrals. Adds new subdivision (b)(11) prohibiting lawyers from charging referred clients any higher fee or cost than if no lawyer referral service were involved. Adds new commentary defining what constitutes an improper division of fees. Adds commentary explaining that lawyers may not charge referred clients a higher fee or cost to offset the lawyer’s cost of doing business with the lawyer referral service. Additional non-substantive changes are made for consistency and conformity with the Supreme Court of Florida style guide.last_img read more

April 15, 2015 Letters

first_img April 15, 2015 Letters L etters Malpractice Cases I could not help but notice in the March 15 News that there were four prominent ads soliciting legal malpractice cases.Either legal incompetence is on the rise or with the proliferation of lawyers, new areas of law are being explored.Terence A. Gross Pensacola April 15, 2015 Letterslast_img

Rewrite of the family law rules almost complete

first_imgRewrite of the family law rules almost complete November 1, 2015 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Rewrite of the family law rules almost complete Senior EditorAfter years of discussion followed by four years of hard work, the Bar’s Family Law Rules Committee is putting the finishing touches on a complete rewrite of family law procedural rules.The rewrite ends all references to the Civil Procedure Rules, by incorporating all of those passages into the family rules and tweaking some to meet the unique demands of family practices. The rewrite does not change references to the Rules of Judicial Administration that cover topics common to all practice areas. Elizabeth Blackburn, immediate past chair of the Family Law Rules Committee, and one of several committee members who chaired the redrafting subcommittee, said the goal was to make the rules easier to use, both for practitioners and pro se litigants who are common in family law cases.The effort, though, has sparked a discussion about whether the committee went too far in eliminating all references to civil rules and whether procedural rules should have as many common elements as possible or be more specialized.Blackburn said one of the concerns leading to the rewrite is that family practitioners had to keep on hand three sets of procedural rules: family law rules for issues specific to family law cases; Civil Procedure Rules for when the family law rules say an issue will be governed by civil rules; and the Rules of Judicial Administration for items common to all practice areas, such an e-filing, court procedures, and protection of confidential information.“If the Civil Procedure Rules Committee makes a change and the Supreme Court ultimately approves the change, then family law rules are automatically bound by that change,” Blackburn said. “What has happened over time is sometimes those changes have not been suitable for family. What we have done in this proposed amendment package of rules is we are not making changes willy-nilly. In many instances the language of the existing civil rule is carried over in its entirety.”What the subcommittee did, she said, is take all of the civil rules that were referred to in the family rules and put them in the family rules, ending all civil references.“It gives us the ability to not have to react when another rule body makes a change that impacts us,” Blackburn said. “In family law, some things are unique.”As an example, she cited discovery issues, where family law had some of its own rules and others still referred to civil rules.“We have unique discovery obligations,” Blackburn said. “We already had a rule over what has to be disclosed. We also have general discovery rules that govern our practice. We had to be careful and cautious about what, if any, changes we made.”Another concern was self-represented parties, who make up a large portion of family law cases.“Our practice more than any other is impacted by pro se litigants and it will continue to be impacted,” Blackburn said. “Perhaps the goal isn’t to make sure every pro se litigant knows what to do, but we do have to be mindful to make the process accessible.. . . “Now [except for the RJA matters] you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth between a family law rule and a civil rule. It’s all going to be in one place. We are hoping it makes it easier.”The rewrite effort has earned the endorsement of the Family Law Section, which made suggestions for minor improvements and were accepted by the rules committee, when the tentative rewrite was published for comment in the August 1 Bar News. The revised rules will be published again for comment in the News before the rules are submitted to the Bar Board of Governors. Any comments the board makes will be submitted with the rules rewrite when it goes to the Supreme Court, and it will again be noticed for comment.“It’s been a really collaborative effort,” said Family Law Section Chair Maria Gonzalez. “We’re pleased with all of the hard work that’s been put into this. I do believe it’s going to be a good and favorable product for all of the practitioners in the field. It gives more clarity. Any time it gives more clarity to specific rules, I think it can only assist practitioners.”Two outside issues may draw extra attention to rewrite of the family law rules. One is an interest expressed by the Supreme Court in reducing the size of procedural rules, perhaps by as much as 50 percent. The Board of Governors Program Evaluation Committee is studying procedural rules and ways to simplify them and could have a report by the end of the year.The second issue is an ongoing debate over how specialized specific procedural rules should be, as opposed to having more rules in common between the various rules sets.Both issues were discussed at the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee meeting when it met September 18 at The Florida Bar’s Fall Meeting – immediately after the Family Law Rules Committee met and adopted its modifications to the new rules.The RJA Committee discussed an ongoing review by the Board of Governors Program Evaluation Committee on the procedural rules and ways of simplifying them and rejected a motion to recommend that the Board of Governors appoints a special committee with “knowledgeable members” to explore that issue. The RJAC instead took no action beyond its discussion.The committee had an extensive discussion about the revised family rules directly incorporating civil rules and ending the references to civil rules.RJA Committee member Paul Regensdorf said what the new family rules do is “with the absolute best of intentions take about 15 to 20 basic rules of procedures, contexts that every lawyer uses, and copy them or tweak them.. . and now they’ve put them in a whole new rule.”That rule, he said, will inevitably be interpreted by judges and differences will creep in between the family rules and similar rules in other practice areas, ultimately creating a more complex rule structure for lawyers who practice in several areas and for judges who handle different kinds of cases.“The civil rules are a basic set of concept rules,” Regensdorf argued. “A deposition is a deposition is a deposition. In the motion rules, a motion is a motion is a motion. It doesn’t need to be written in a second place.”In a computerized world, he added, it’s easy for practitioners to flip back and forth between electronic family, civil, and RJA rule sets.The RJAC rejected a motion to develop a committee response to the new Family Law Rules and instead voted to instruct Chair Amy Borland to prepare a comment, based on a subcommittee’s review of the new rules and how they deviate from past practices, for when the rules are submitted to the Supreme Court.last_img read more

Judicial term limits heads to House floor

first_imgJudicial term limits heads to House floor Judicial term limits heads to House floor /DIVCOM/JN/jnnews01.nsf/8c9f13012b96736985256aa900624829/d5c5b45e7e06894185257f5300495944!OpenDocument” data-layout=”button_count”> Senior Editor A proposed constitutional amendment to limit service of Florida’s Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges to two terms passed out of its third House committee February 4, in a 11-6 vote along party lines. Rep. John Wood, R-Winter Haven, the sponsor of HJR 197, bristled at insinuations at the House Judiciary Committee that he was carrying out the agenda of Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, an attorney who called for judicial term limits during his acceptance speech as House speaker-designate. “The genesis of this bill was Thomas Jefferson. He warned us that the biggest mistake that we made in the Constitution was creating these gods with unlimited service for the rest of their lives,” said Wood, a lawyer himself. “That’s where this bill comes from. This bill comes about from transformation. It doesn’t come from the Speaker-D. It comes from an idea that the Speaker-D has endorsed. It wasn’t given to me,” Wood said. The inspiration for his bill, Wood said, is the notion that lawyers should aspire to the appellate bench as public service, not as lifetime career choices, and it would help avoid the abuse of power when governors appoint younger people to the appellate bench to “create a legacy.” “When a governor appoints somebody in their 40s to the Supreme Court — and Lawton Chiles comes to mind — and they are going to serve there for another 28 or 30 years, is that right? Is the power of that governor so absolute that we all have to just live with his decision forever?” Wood asked. “I don’t think so. I think we are talking about returning the power to the people.” The separation of powers and the equality of the branches government should be the focus, said Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Palm Springs, an attorney and former police officer voicing his opposition. “It’s not so much the content of this bill. It’s the concept of this bill. It’s knowing that we as legislators, as a co-equal branch to our colleagues in the judiciary, we have limitations on our power.. . . To me, this has the flavor of retribution.. . This House resolution goes way too far in overstepping our authority. Term limits as a proposition is something we should not be attempting to impose on those in the judiciary.” The Florida Bar opposes term limits for the judiciary, either on the trial or appellate bench. The proposed constitutional amendment would only impact appellate judges and would not be retroactive. Only if the proposal garners three-fifths of the vote in both the House and Senate, could it wind up on the ballot in 2016 for Florida voters to decide, and would then apply to appellate judges appointed by the governor after that date. The amendment would have the effect of limiting appellate judges to no more than two appearances on the merit retention ballot, which, depending on when they were appointed, would give a maximum term of between 12 and 15 years. “When The Florida Bar comes out and unanimously opposed this, it’s like I could not have bought that publicity any better,” Wood said. “The people know the Bar doesn’t represent their interests. The people know that power resides with them.” Christopher Carlyle, chair of the Bar’s Appellate Practice Section, said his executive council voted to unanimously oppose this proposal, as did the Bar’s Business Law Section. “It doesn’t make sense to take experienced people who are doing their jobs, who have gained some expertise and knowledge and wisdom for a period of time, and arbitrarily get rid of them for no good reason,” Carlyle said. “With experience comes consistency, and that’s what business lawyers will tell you is important to their clients.” When the measure was heard January 21 in the House Appropriations Committee, Wood called his proposal an enhancement of the “proper role of the judiciary” in our “republican form of government.” Retired Supreme Court Justice Major Harding testified: “You talk about the proper role of the judiciary. I could not help but think that one of the proper roles of the judiciary is to have qualified judges.. . . “I really have a significant fear that, in my conversations with people that have served on judicial nominating commissions, to find that there are numbers of unqualified people who are seeking judicial appointments because they are unable, in the practice of law, to make what a judge would make.” Most qualified judicial candidates, Harding said, take pay cuts from their law practices to become appellate judges, and they expect to stay on the bench until the Florida Constitution requires them to retire at 70. Harding gave the example of his good friend, retired Justice Stephen Grimes, who told him he was making $70,000 in 1973 as an attorney at Holland & Knight “when he felt a call to the judiciary” and applied for a position on the Second District Court of Appeal, where the pay at that time was $30,000 a year. Grimes, who would go on to serve on the Florida Supreme Court, told Harding that he never would have taken such a pay cut without the “expectation of devoting the rest of his legal life to the judiciary.” The 13-6 vote went along party lines. Rep. Cynthia Stafford, D-Opa Locka, an attorney who cast one of the “no” votes, said: “I believe there is value in experience. I believe that value will be diminished with term limits. We already have forced retirements. We have the merit retention process. Now we are adding term limits to that mix. And it chips away, I believe, at the importance of the independence of the judiciary. And that is very concerning.” Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, said: “I wonder if, in fact, term limits will help prevent inappropriate behavior or if, in fact, part of the intent and the goal here is to sidestep decisions that we as a Legislature or any other decision-making body.. . don’t agree with.” Corcoran, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, called Wood’s proposal “a great bill.” “When you go back and look at the founding documents, when they were putting together the Federalist Papers, Jefferson, who was the founder of the Democrat party, Thomas Jefferson was in ardent opposition to lifetime appointments for judicial candidates,” said Corcoran. The “days are long gone,” he said, of appellate judges only serving 11 years, as Harding did on the Supreme Court, after more than two decades as a trial judge. “Now, if you look at the United States Supreme Court, you look at the appellate judges, the ages in which we appoint them are getting earlier and earlier.. . . It’s a legacy thing for a president or a sitting governor,” said Corcoran, weaving back and forth between federal lifetime judicial appointments and Florida’s system of requiring retirement at age 70 for judges. “There are only two checks: the selection process, which is very minimal at its best, and the impeachment process, which has never been used [In the 1970’s two Florida Supreme Court justices resigned before impeachment processes were completed].. . . And then you have somebody with a lifetime commitment who can serve 20 and 30 years on the bench, you are losing on accountability.. . . “Left to our own devices, we will seek our own self-interests. I think the court, left to its own devices, unaccountable for this many years, has allowed itself to create that self-interest, which has it doing things that are encroaching on the separation of powers,” Corcoran said. In closing on his bill, Wood thanked Corcoran and said, “We all understand why you are the speaker-designate with those kinds of thoughts. They reflect, I think, my motivation behind this bill.. . . This bill and this proposal is something that is being talked about around the country. It is something that I think is the future, and that is a government totally responsive to our society.” Wood pointed out there are term limits for the president of the United States, governors, legislators, and some county commissioners. “To make the argument that somehow the judiciary is different just doesn’t seem to reflect how our government is set up,” Wood said. The Senate companion (SJR 322) has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing. But that may not mean the bill is dead, Jim Daughton, chief legislative counsel, told The Florida Bar Board of Governors when they met in Tallahassee on January 29. “Tallahassee is a great place for political chatter. If anyone thinks, through the political chatter, that the Senate is not going to act on the term limits, that the issue is dead for this year, I need to disabuse you of that notion,” Daughton said. “We’re in a very dynamic process. Last year, we all know the dysfunction the Legislature had. What they are going to try to do is remedy last year. They are not going to ignore one another’s proposals. When the speaker-designate tells you that term limits is a critical issue to him, that ‘this is something I’m really going to work to get done,’ the Senate is not going to ignore that.” Senior Editor Gary Blankenship contributed to this report. February 15, 2016 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter

first_img December 15, 2016 Rayven Wright Regular News Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter Special to the News On the eve of her 21st birthday, Brittney and her mother Tina were shocked to receive a notice of noncompliance from their property manager. According to the notice, Brittney’s emotional support animal, Panga, was in violation of the community’s height and weight guidelines under the pet policy. If Panga was not removed in seven days, Brittney and Tina were told they would face eviction from their home of six years. “Our reaction was utter devastation and chaos and sadness,” Tina said. “I know, physically, I was in hives over it. [Brittney] had some major manic attacks.” Brittney suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Her 40-pound Labrador-mix, Panga, provides emotional support through periods of depression and anxiety. According to Tina, Panga has been instrumental to her daughter’s well-being. Since living with Panga, Brittney has not been Baker Acted, nor has she harmed herself. Tina and Brittney had been going back and forth with their property manager prior to being issued the notice, and their therapist connected them with Pamela Fields of Legal Aid of Manasota. After they received the notice, Fields connected them with pro bono attorney Merissa Mort the very same day. “I just can’t even express how thankful and grateful I am that there are people like Merissa who will fight for those who can’t fight,” Tina said. “[Pro bono lawyers are] good people fighting for good people. I think there is not enough of that in the world.” Fields discussed this case with Mort because she had recently tackled a similar case through Legal Aid of Manasota and had a successful outcome. “I asked [Fields] if I could take [Brittney and Tina’s] case because I am passionate about housing rights,” Mort said. Brittney and Tina live in a federally subsidized housing complex with a 20-lb. weight restriction on dogs. However, under the Fair Housing Act, comfort animals, like Panga, are exempt from any community rules including breed, size, pet limits or no pet policy. Mort wrote a demand letter to the property manager explaining that the notice was in violation of Brittney’s rights under the Fair Housing Act. Two days later, the community’s attorney responded with a letter stating that Brittney’s disability meant she would be granted reasonable accommodations regarding Panga and that the seven-day notice would be withdrawn. “It was a godsend.” Tina said. “I think if things had not turned out that way, if legal aid did not accept our case, if they didn’t find Ms. Merissa Mort, I think we would be homeless today, for sure. It was happy birthday to Brittney.” This is the second case Mort has handled through Legal Aid of Manasota. Mort feels fulfilled knowing that through pro bono she can help change someone’s life in their greatest time of need by simply doing what she loves to do. “JFK said it best,” Mort said. “‘For those to whom much is given, much is required.’ As attorneys, we have the unique ability of helping people in life-changing matters. Pro bono work doesn’t have to be time- consuming. Sometimes pro bono cases take months to complete, and sometimes they are resolved through one simple letter.  We should do what we can, when we can, to help others in need.” Brittney says she is thankful to everyone involved in providing legal aid to those who need it, calling them true heroes. “My life has been a whole lot brighter because someone stepped in and spoke up for me,” Brittney said. “It’s an amazing thing to feel whole again.” RayvenWright is an intern from the University of Central Florida assigned to The Florida Bar Foundation.last_img read more

Bill aims to reform eyewitness identification procedures

first_imgBill aims to reform eyewitness identification procedures April 15, 2017 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular News Bill aims to reform eyewitness identification procedures Senior Editor Eyewitnesses don’t always get it right. Just ask James Bain, Orlando Boquete, Larry Bostic, Alan Crotzer, Cody Davis, Wilton Dedge, Luis Diaz, William Dillon, and Frank Lee Smith. They served a total of 180 years in Florida’s prisons for crimes they did not commit. Eyewitness misidentification was a contributing cause in all of their wrongful convictions. Eventually, DNA evidence came to the rescue to exonerate them. In 2010, the Florida Innocence Commission studied how unreliable eyewitness identification can be, the psychological reasons why witnesses seem so certain even when they’re wrong, and reforms other states have taken in the way law enforcement conducts photo or live lineups. Seven years later, Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, and Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, are sponsoring CS/SB 312 and HB 643 and hope to pass the Eyewitness Identification Reform Act that would require state, county, municipal, or other law-enforcement agencies that conduct lineups to follow specific procedures to ensure a fairer process. “As many of us who have served in the House, we remember this legislation back in 2011. It passed the Florida Senate and made all the committees in the House, but did not make it to the floor,” Baxley said, in closing on his bill in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on February 21, where it passed unanimously, and later passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously on March 14. HB 643 unanimously passed both the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on March 15 and the Judiciary Committee on March 27. “I’m really surprised it’s been this long before we got back around to seeing it again. It is my privilege to present it. I think it’s a good move for justice, and it will protect law-enforcement, state attorneys, and the accused from being mistakenly identified,” Baxley said. Michelle Feldman, a state policy advocate for the national Innocence Project, said, “Nationally, eyewitness misidentification is the No. 1 cause of wrongful convictions proven by DNA. This bill would not only protect the innocent, but it would protect public safety, because when the wrong person is convicted, the real perpetrator can be out harming others.” Of 349 DNA exonerations nationwide, she said, 71 percent involved eyewitness misidentification, and the real perpetrators identified in those crimes went on to be convicted of 100 additional violent crimes, including 64 rapes and 17 murders. Baxley explained that he took recommendations from the Florida Innocence Commission, created by then-Chief Justice Charles Canady, and crafted these uniform procedures: “It will require eyewitnesses to acknowledge their instructions about the lineup procedure, and they will be told that the investigation will continue, and that the individual may or may not be there. “These disclaimers and this process, many, many law-enforcement agencies already use,” he said. An individual not involved in the case, called a “blind administrator” who is not seeking a specific outcome, will administer the lineup, so the person does not either inadvertently or purposely give cues about which photo or person the witness should pick. “We advocate for best practices endorsed by the National Research Council, the U.S. Department of Justice, the International Association of Police Chiefs, and many others,” Feldman said. “That is blind administration that is required in this bill. If you can’t find a blind administrator, you can use an alternative technique, a really cheap one: The folder-shuffle method. You put the lineup photos in folders and shuffle them and hand them to the witness one at a time, so that the administrator can’t see which one is being viewed.” Two other best practices not in the bills, she said, use “fillers” that match the description of a perpetrator, so the suspect doesn’t obviously stand out. The other is witness confidence statements, where at the time an eyewitness identification is made, the administrator asks the witness about their level of certainty, in order to document at the moment of the identification how confident the witness is. “By the time the court case comes up, when there is media exposure and talking to investigators, sometimes the witness becomes a lot more confident over time,” Feldman said. “We would ask that you also include the fillers and the witness confidence statements.. . . There are really zero costs associated with this legislation. The only cost is training.” Nineteen states have adopted the best practices advocated by the Innocence Project. Feldman said the Innocence Project has a certified eyewitness identification trainer to give statewide training at no cost. She said wrongful convictions by eye-witness misidentification have cost taxpayers in Florida more than $6 million in civil lawsuits.last_img read more

Seasoning, health helping Gophers to early dual success

first_imgLast year, half of the people in Minnesota’s starting lineup were from its heralded redshirt freshman class. This year, those wrestlers started the season with experience.“Last year we had a lot of freshmen in the lineup, so we weren’t as tight as a team,” Konrad said. “And this year we’ve all been through a season. So I mean, we’re all real close now, wrestling as a team.”Minnesota also had to endure a slew of injuries that complicated continuity.C.P. Schlatter missed the first two months of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Tommy Owen missed the majority of the first two months with a neck injury and Gabe Dretsch was out until the end of January with a groin injury.Add in various injuries to Bobbe Lowe, Roger Kish and Josh McLay as the season progressed, and Minnesota struggled to set its lineup all year.But the Gophers are completely healthy this season, Konrad said. Robinson attributed the better health to better, harder training.The Gophers also struggled to put serious contenders in the 149-pound and 157-pound weight classes, going 1-7 in those classes in the first four dual meets and getting outscored 36-3.But this season, Schlatter has teamed with younger brother true freshman Dustin Schlatter to bolster those two classes, in which Minnesota is 7-1 this season while outscoring opponents 31-3.“Last year we couldn’t get our whole lineup together until the Big Ten Tournament,” Konrad said. “That hurt us a lot last year, but now everything’s good.” Seasoning, health helping Gophers to early dual success David McCoyNovember 30, 2005Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintMinnesota wrestling coach J Robinson said he’s “not so sure” his team is off to a better start than last season.But after a 4-0 start in dual meets, the fifth-ranked Gophers have shown a marked difference thus far that goes far beyond their record.And what Robinson did say explains why:“Last year, we had a lot of injuries and stuff. I think that the guys are just older, they’re more mature, they know what to expect, they’re excited about their team and I think they think they can win and I think that confidence makes a big difference.”All those factors have a couple of his grapplers saying what their coach didn’t quite want to say.“I think we’re a little bit ahead of where we were last year,” 133-pound sophomore Mack Reiter said. “Last year we started the season with Oklahoma State at home and we had a rough dual there. But I think we’re definitely looking good early this year.”That’s the first contrast. The Gophers lost 28-10 to the Cowboys in their first dual meet of the season last year ” a team Minnesota couldn’t quite solve all season.But before this dual season began, No. 4 Minnesota 165-pounder Matt Nagel and second-ranked heavyweight Cole Konrad knocked off two defending national champions from No. 1 Oklahoma State, Johnny Hendricks and Steve Mocco, at the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic on Nov. 21.Those wins were huge for another factor Robinson referred to ” confidence.“It did a lot for the confidence of the team, letting them know that they are definitely beatable,” Konrad said. “We’re right up there, at least the same caliber. Actually, I was looking on the Internet and on a poll they have us as the top team to beat them. Even little things like that are big for us motivation-wise, because other people see it too.”last_img read more

Minn. bats hushed in 3-2 loss to Ohio State

first_imgMinn. bats hushed in 3-2 loss to Ohio StateApril 4, 2009Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintAfter Friday nightâÄôs 7-5 win over Ohio State, Minnesota head coach John Anderson talked about how hard it is to win two straight against a team like the Buckeyes. HeâÄôs been around long enough to know just how competitive the matchup is, so perhaps it was a matter of managing expectations. Maybe he was simply trying to be realistic. Whatever it was, he was on to something. Minnesota played flawless defense and got a pair of solid pitching performances from senior Tom Buske and freshman Austin Lubinsky, but the 25th-ranked Gophers (15-9 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) couldnâÄôt find that clutch hit and fell to No. 18 Ohio State 3-2 Saturday at the Metrodome. âÄúItâÄôs becoming obvious that we have a young team offensively,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúIt takes time to learn how to be a complete hitter and obviously, thatâÄôs the book on us.âÄù Neither team had an impressive day at the plate, especially with runners on base. Minnesota was 3-for-20 with runners on the basepaths; the Buckeyes (22-6, 3-2) were hardly better, going 3-for-16. Combined, the teams stranded 21. But two swings were all Ohio State needed. Justin Miller belted a two-run homerun off Buske in the top of the first inning to stake the Buckeyes an early lead. Then, a solo shot in the seventh by Michael Stephens off of Lubinsky proved to be the winning run. The GophersâÄô inability to respond to Ohio StateâÄôs homeruns squandered otherwise outstanding performances by Lubinsky and Buske. After their early hiccups, neither man could be touched. âÄúWhen we canâÄôt put up more than three runs, itâÄôs not going to win the game,âÄù redshirt freshman first baseman Nick OâÄôShea, who went 3-for-4, said. âÄúWe had our chances today and didnâÄôt make some adjustments at the plate. We were swinging at a lot of balls, too.âÄù Of course, the Buckeyes deserve plenty of credit. Dean Wolosiansky, Drew Rucinski and Jake Hale combined to allow a mere six hits. Minnesota threatened on multiple occasions and had baserunners in eight of nine innings, but stranded seven in scoring position and was 0-for-15 in RBI opportunities. In the bottom of the ninth and trailing by one, the Gophers were coming to the top of the lineup. Senior Matt Nohelty led off with a walk and moved over on a sacrifice bunt by redshirt freshman AJ Pettersen. Junior second baseman Derek McCallum stepped to the plate to try and knock in his second run of the game. Hale forced him to fly out to right field. Then Michael Kvasnicka, MinnesotaâÄôs cleanup man whoâÄôs batting .404 on the season. He went down on strikes to end the game. The opportunity was there, just like it was there for Ohio State on Friday night. But also like Friday night, defense and pitching clamped down when it needed to. âÄúWe had the right guys up there a few times today and we had the right guys up there in the last inning,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúGive [the Buckeyes] credit. Hale did a good job of executing his pitches and we got a little anxious up there. We took a run at them the last three innings and couldnâÄôt get that last hit. Give them credit.âÄùlast_img read more

Gophers struggle to fourth-place Big Ten finish

first_imgGophers struggle to fourth-place Big Ten finishA tough weekend resulted in Minnesota’s worst finish since 1989.Erin Westover Samuel GordonFebruary 27, 2011Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintFor the first time since 1989, the Minnesota menâÄôs swimming and diving team failed to finish in the top three at the Big Ten championships . The Gophers tallied 505.5 points and finished fourth behind Ohio State, Indiana and Michigan, which won its third championship in four years. Despite that fact, head coach Dennis Dale was pleased with the way his athletes performed. âÄúWe were very excited. We had a lot of lifetime bests,âÄù Dale said. âÄúAt a meet like this you hope for 100 percent lifetime bests, but you never get it. Every athlete on our team did at least one lifetime best performance.âÄù One of those athletes was senior Michael Richards, who became the first Big Ten swimmer since 1962-63 to repeat as champion in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. Richards crushed the school, meet and conference records in the 50 freestyle prelims Thursday, clocking in at 19.10. He went on to win the event with a time of 19.19, bettering the second place finisher by more than half a second. âÄúIâÄôve had my sights set on that for the last two years,âÄù Richards said of the record. âÄúI was a bit peeved that I didnâÄôt get that last year, so this year I crushed it, and I was pretty happy with that.âÄù The All-American and Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships completed the freestyle sweep Saturday night with a win in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 43.20. âÄúIt shows you how tough it is to repeat in those two events,âÄù Dale said about RichardsâÄô performance. âÄúPeople have repeated in the 100, people have repeated in the 50, but nobody since 1963 has repeated in both of them, so that was special, and he also was a stalwart on our relays.âÄù Richards, along with senior Curt Carlson, junior Zach Bolin, and freshman Derek Toomey set a new Big Ten record in the 200-yard freestyle relay Friday, clocking in at 1:16.78, the first sub-1:17.00 in Big Ten history. Richards improved his 50-yard freestyle record to 19.05 with his split, giving the Gophers a nice-sized lead heading into the second leg. Carlson swam his split in 19.28, with Bolin following in 19.25. Toomey posted a 19.20 in the final leg to cement the victory and record . âÄúIt was incredible. I donâÄôt even know how to describe it. We have some of the best 50 freestylers on our team,âÄù Toomey said. âÄúIt was awesome just to be able to anchor that relay with four really strong guys. It meant the world to me. It was a really good bonding kind of experience.âÄù There were plenty of other bright spots for Minnesota aside from Richards and the relay team. Senior Ivan Gutesa swam his way to a school record and third-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:55.36. Junior Kris Jorgenson and senior Drew Brown finished second and third, respectively, in platform diving, finishing behind Diver of the Championships and Olympian David Boudia of Purdue. Toomey scored in all three of his events, recorded a personal best in the 100-yard freestyle and became the first Gophers freshman since 2004 to win a conference title with the victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Minnesota finished exactly where the rankings projected it would. The Gophers were the fourth of six Big Ten teams that were ranked nationally. The Big Ten champion Wolverines also finished accordingly, as they were the highest ranked Big Ten team. âÄúWe went into the meet knowing that there are three teams ranked ahead of us in the conference. We were hoping that we could knock one or two of them off, but that wasnâÄôt the case,âÄù Dale said. âÄúWe were excited by the outstanding performances that [our team] put up. Yet we know that if we want to compete for the Big Ten championship, weâÄôve got to do a better job recruiting outstanding athletes.âÄùlast_img read more

Gophers head to coach’s alma mater for tournament

first_imgGophers head to coach’s alma mater for tournamentHead coach Jessica Allister was a four-year starter while at Stanford. Matt GreensteinMarch 5, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintHead coach Jessica Allister will head back to a familiar place this weekend.She’s traveling to her alma mater, but this time she’ll be managing from the opposing dugout.Allister started all four years as a catcher at Stanford and led the Cardinal to two Women’s College World Series.“College was the best four years of my life. I enjoyed every second of it, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” she said.She’s in the Stanford record books’ top-10 in nearly every batting statistic and earned multiple accolades along the way.As well as her on-the-field recognitions, Allister was a leader among her teammates.“She’s just a fierce competitor. She’s the leader on the field and works extremely hard,” said John Rittman, Allister’s coach at Stanford.Her competitive drive dictates the intensity of the Gophers’ practices, which are run at a very fast pace and are never dull.Both Allister’s mother and father were coaches, so the coaching gene is in Allister’s makeup.“You take a little bit and learn from all of your experiences. I think coach Allister has probably done the same with her career,” Rittman said. “That’s one of the things that good coaches can do. They learn the game, and it’s very evident that she’s done a great job.” Throughout Minnesota’s season, Allister has preached to her team to control the controllable, and her motivating and competitive nature has rubbed off on the Gophers.“Coach says it all the time, ‘[We] can’t have any expectations. [We] just have to go out there and compete,’” sophomore pitcher Sara Groenewegen said.The last time Allister traveled to her alma mater was two years ago for a tournament where the Gophers won three of five games.One of their two losses went into extra innings when Minnesota fell to Stanford 2-1 in the eighth.“Once the game started, you don’t really think about it. But before and after the game, it’s definitely a weird feeling to know that someone you coached and coached with is now a successful coach of her own program,” said Rittman, who has since left Stanford.Not only was Allister a coach for the Gophers, but before Minnesota, she was an assistant coach under Rittman.She spent three years as an assistant coach and helped Stanford reach three consecutive NCAA tournaments and two super regional appearances. “The opportunity to coach with John Rittman, who I just think the world of, and to be able to come home and represent my alma mater, it was a dream come true,” Allister said.Before coming to Minnesota, Allister also made stops at Georgia and Oregon, but she has since changed her shade of red after taking over at Minnesota five years ago.“She’s had a lot of success in a short amount of time, and nobody is more deserving than coach Allister,” Rittman said.last_img read more

CJ Smith looking to fulfill big dreams

first_imgAdditionally, Smith said he considered becoming a politician someday.“If that was an option after a lot of years of practicing law, I think that would be pretty interesting thing to be involved with,” Smith said. “It is not an easy path to take, especially in the U.S. It takes a lot of money, and it takes a lot of connections to get involved with at a high level. But I think that it would be great to have an influence on not just on my friends but the nation as a whole.”Kaci Smith said she believes her son would be a great politician.“I could definitely see him go down that path,” Smith’s mother said. “He’s very composed, and he also does his homework, too. What I mean by that is he doesn’t just go give an opinion on something unless he has checked out what that opinion really means. I think that’s really important for a politician.”Smith’s younger brother, Grant, a swimmer for Davidson, said his brother represents himself very well.“CJ always knows when to take a backseat and be an observer,” Grant Smith said. “He also knows when to speak his mind. A lot of people look up to him for that. I don’t know if he realizes how many people look up to him, but he’s just a natural born leader.”Swimming dreamsBesides taking a year off to prep for the LSAT, Smith will be training to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics.He said the trial is a little bit away, but it comes up soon, and he wants to be ready for it. “Right now, even if I am a few seconds behind [a qualifying time], obviously I don’t want to cut myself short. The big goal for me has always been to represent the United States. I don’t want to quit swimming knowing that I feel like I have the potential to reach that,” Smith said.Grant Smith said if his brother does realize his goal of representing the United States in the Olympics, he wouldn’t know how to describe his feelings exactly. In high school, he said his brother wasn’t in contention to qualify for the Illinois state meet, but he left as one of the best 500-yard freestylers.“I think there would be so much joy knowing that his work really did pay off,” Grant Smith said. “Even if he doesn’t make the Olympics, he should be proud of what he has accomplished in the sport of swimming.”But before the Olympic trials, Smith has another important meet to focus on. He’ll have about three weeks off before the NCAA championships.However, no matter how he performs or what the legacy that Smith may leave behind at Minnesota, his parents will always be proud of him.“We are extremely thankful for the opportunity that he has been given,” said Smith’s father, Chris. “It means a lot to us that he is very devoted to the program. He has probably got as much out of it as he has given back. I think he wants to leave the program better than [when] he came there, and I hope that’s what happens.” CJ Smith looking to fulfill big dreamsSenior swimmer CJ Smith is an All-American for the Gophers.James HealyCJ Smith will compete in his fourth consecutive NCAA championships later this month. Danny ChenMarch 4, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintIt takes a lot of commitment to become an All-American at the Division I level.For senior CJ Smith, his desire to be the best started before he even stepped on campus.As a high school swimmer, Smith didn’t miss a single practice in all four years of his career.“I’ve never seen somebody who has been so dedicated and works hard on his own. We never, ever, ever had to tell him to go to practice. Not once in his entire life,” said Kaci Smith, CJ’s mother.Smith’s commitment to swimming has taken him to his fourth-consecutive NCAA championships, where he’ll compete later this month.“He just continues to do for the Gophers what he [has done] for the last three years, finishing up his fourth year,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “There is no question about it that he is dependable. He’s a heck of a swimmer, and I know he’ll finish his career strong in the NCAAs.”Smith completed his final Big Ten championships last month, and he has one more collegiate meet that could add on to his legacy here at Minnesota.Beyond that, Smith has already made plans — law school.Career aspirationsRecently, Smith has spent summers working at the State Fair in the entertainment department.“I got to meet some of the agents for musicians,” Smith said. “I know that I want to be in the field of law, and I have set my sights on it; and that is one of my goals.”His acquaintance with the agents sparked his interest in representing athletes in the future.“Being an agent is a really interesting line of work,” Smith said. “It’s one of those things where the effort you put in is what you are going to get out. You chase people, and you want to represent them. And if you show them that you have a real passion for it, then they are going to let you represent them as an agent.”Chris and Kaci Smith, CJ’s parents, said they support his decision whole-heartedly.“We learned to never doubt his ability or his desire to want to pursue something,” Chris Smith said. “He’s always been so focused on things that if [being a sports agent] is what he wants to do, we know that he will be successful at it.”Smith said after he graduates, he will use the following year to study for the Law School Admission Test or LSAT.last_img read more

Big Ten drug policies differ among schools

first_imgAmong Big Ten schools, the penalties for failed drug tests vary between the first, second and third offenses. “The NCAA’s doping policy is outdated, and there needs to be more consistency among schools,” Hainline told the Wall Street Journal. “Our first priority is that we’re providing great care from a health and safety standpoint because we’re really worried about their well-being,” she said. Across the NCAA, student-athlete drug policies differ, a problem the association’s administration wants to fix. But creating one uniform policy might not be as easy as it seems.  He said the educational counseling component of the disciplinary action is overlooked but important. “There are issues that are more prevalent in different areas of the country, so they could possibly be handled more efficiently at the institutional level than waiting for the minutiae and bureaucracy of the NCAA,” said Chris Hawthorne, a Big Ten representative for the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a formerGophers football player.  Several other Big Ten schools including Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin don’t require a suspension on the first offense. If the student-athlete fails his or her first NCAA-issued drug test, the penalties are much more  stringent and include the loss of a year of eligibility and a full-season suspension. “In my opinion, it makes no sense to punish a kid if you’re not going to allow and encourage them to learn from the experience,” Hawthorne said. If a student-athlete at Rutgers failed a drug test for the first time, he or she may be suspended for up to two weeks. Brian Hainline, who was named the NCAA’s first chief medical officer in 2012, said it’s time to find common ground, taking the responsibility out of individual school’s hands. center_img The group shares it by email with all student-athletes before the school year. It’s also in the student-athlete handbook, and all freshmen are educated on it in their orientation, said deputy athletics director Beth Goetz  At Minnesota, a group that includes the athletic department’s sports medicine staff, sports psychologists and officials from Boynton Health Service reassess the school’s drug policy for student-athletes each year. The men’s basketball program at Syracuse also received heavy sanctions from the committee in March for failing to abide by their drug policy, among other violations. Many student-athletes may not realize usage of Adderall could lead to a failed drug test, Hawthorne said. Still, he said student-athletes shouldn’t put themselves into that risky situation. NCAA spokespeople did not return calls for comment for this story. Big Ten drug policies differ among schools Sam KraemerApril 30, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintWith the amount of change the NCAA has undergone in recent years, rectifying inconsistent drug policies from school to school may be next on the docket. Just last week, the NCAA Committee on Infractions put Oklahoma State’s football program on a one-year probation after concluding the team failed to follow the school’s own drug policy for student-athletes. For example, if a student-athlete at Minnesota failed a drug test for the first time, he or she would be required to do 20 hours of community service. The same applies for Iowa.  Hawthorne referenced the abuse of Adderall — the prescription drug that enhances concentration —  by students and student-athletes alike during exam periods. With all of the differences, Hainline told the Wall Street Journal he hopes for the autonomy conferences to draft a collective policy, rather than the current school-by-school basis. “If you’re a student-athlete, you’re coming to school for academics and athletics. There’s no place for abusive drugs to occur in my opinion,” Hawthorne said. “There’s a culture of abuse right now, and we need to do a better job of combating it.”last_img read more

Jeremy Lynn hopes to bounce back

first_imgNow, Lynn is focused on making adjustments to pick up his first victory at the team’s next tournament. “I don’t know what it’s about yet,” Lynn said. “I’ve just been enjoying the process of how to do it. I love movies, always have, and it’s cool to start doing it.” Jeremy Lynn hopes to bounce backThe junior started the year without a singles victory for the Wildcat Invite. Jack WhiteOctober 14, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintJunior Jeremy Lynn started the 2015 season going 2-0 in doubles with senior Ruben Weber and 0-2 in singles at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational over two weeks ago.   Now approaching his second tournament of the year — the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regionals — Lynn will look to get his first singles victory. Lynn said he’s made a short video for one of his film classes and is looking forward to making a 10-minute spot by the end of the semester. “[In high school] I thought he had a really good forehand with a really good serve,” Young said. Lynn went 2-3 in doubles as a freshman but only competed in one doubles match last year, which he lost. “He’s working on some new things in his game,” head coach Geoff Young said. “I don’t think he played his best tennis in [the Wildcat Invitational], but I think that ever since then, he’s been playing better.” Off the court, Lynn originally thought he would be a business major, but he is currently studying film and media.center_img To start his junior season, Lynn was defeated 6-2, 6-1 by Jason Jaruvang of Arizona at the Wildcat Invitational. In the consolation round, he was defeated 6-4, 6-2 by Felix Schumann of Northern Arizona University. Lynn joined the Gophers from Joplin, Mo., where he won the state championship in high school in 2013. Young said he is optimistic Lynn will bounce back at the next tournament. “I’m looking to become a more well-rounded player and be able to get into the net a little more, be more aggressive,” Lynn said. “So I’ve been working on my sway on my backhand. I think it can be an effective shot and throw people off.” Lynn has seen playing time in all three of his collegiate seasons, finishing 3-11 in singles as a freshman but improving to 7-7 as a sophomore. “I love to watch movies and [want to] eventually start making movies,” Lynn said. “He’s been working on his slice backhand and coming to the net more,” Young said. “I’m really excited the rest of the fall, watching him play.”last_img read more

TCF Bank Stadium turns to ice

first_imgA second layer of decking was then added to provide a foundation for the rink before the ice sheet is built. TCF Bank Stadium turns to iceThe football arena will host the state’s first outdoor professional hockey game Sunday afternoon.Maddy FoxCrew members work to set up the hockey rink that will be used for the upcoming NHL Stadium Series game between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks inside TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 21. Emily PolglazeFebruary 17, 2016Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintAfter waiting eight years, 12 stadiums and 13 games, Minnesota will finally get its chance to host an outdoor NHL game on Sunday. The two-day event will mark the first time the football stadium is transformed into a hockey rink since the Gophers’ men’s and women’s teams played there on Jan. 17, 2014. Former Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly skated at TCF Bank Stadium in 2014 and will have a chance this weekend to play outdoors with the Wild, which signed him in July.  Each venue poses its own challenges, but the setup process takes about the same amount of time everywhere, said Executive Vice President of Events for the NHL Don Renzulli, who has worked on every Stadium Series game so far. “There’s a lot of pressure, but you have to have fun with the guys,” said Dan Craig, senior director of facilities operations for the NHL, which handles all aspects of construction and setup for the Stadium Series instead of the University’s regular crew. “Just like a hockey team, we create a team of our guys.” The rink’s framework and boards started to go up late last week, but flooding the rink is a slower process.  To keep the ice at a cool 20 degrees at all times, a refrigerated truck pumps fluid through the decking underneath the rink as warm air travels back to the truck to be cooled and compressed like a standard refrigerator.  The former All-American has played in the team’s last four games after being called up from the AHL. By last Tuesday, the NHL crew had begun work on the stadium, putting down a layer of aluminum decking over the field’s AstroTurf that will be used with the cooling system to balance temperatures. The crew had to battle cold temperatures last week as it built the rink, but an ice system will keep the rink in good shape, as temperatures will likely creep above freezing Sunday. The Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks will play at 2:30 p.m. at TCF Bank Stadium, with an alumni game featuring former players from both teams taking place the day before. The finishing touches include hanging banners and painting the ice, which happened early this week. Gophers head coach Don Lucia said he still remembers the wind when his team played outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium in 2014.  “I’m sure the NHL is going to do a great job to get the best ice sheet that they possibly can,” Lucia said. “I think more than anything the ice will be fine. It just depends what kind of day you’re having. The wind plays into it more than anything else.” The NHL will also oversee a free spectator plaza outside Gate A of the stadium with games and live music and the chance for fans to skate on the ice Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. While temperature rarely poses an issue for the crew, Craig said, wind can. “We take our time. We can really get it done in three days, but we take five,” Craig said. “Because the same people that are building it are here for team skates, the alumni game, rehearsals and the main game. We have to make sure the staff is healthy and ready to go.” “You grow up on the ponds, so in a sense it’s nothing really new or difficult to you,” Reilly said at a press conference for the event in August. “You kind of feel at home playing outdoors.” The arena will then have to return to being a football stadium, but Renzulli said all the hard work will pay off in the end when outdoor professional hockey comes to Minnesota for the first time. “Over the years, I think players like to come out and see 50,000 people. They don’t get that experience all the time,” Renzulli said. “They’ve all remarked about that and have said, ‘This is cool. This is once in a lifetime.’ ”last_img read more

Last time between Minnesota and Illinois…

first_imgLast time between Minnesota and Illinois…The Illini ran wild over the Gophers last year. Nick JungheimOctober 1, 2019Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintFinal:Illinois 55, Minnesota 31The Gophers defense had no answers for Illinois’ rushing attack last season as Minnesota failed to build off its first Big Ten victory of the season the previous week against Indiana. Combining to average 12.3 yards per rush, quarterback AJ Bush Jr. and running backs Reggie Corbin and Dre Brown torched Minnesota for 430 yards, dropping Minnesota to last place in the Big Ten West standings. The 55 points Illinois scored was the most Minnesota allowed in a game since 2011, but the second time in three weeks the Gophers conceded over 50 to an opponent.Big plays doomed Minnesota as Corbin rushed for a 72-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage. After a touchdown from Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim tied the score, Brown matched Corbin with a 72-yard rush of his own to put Illinois ahead 14-7 on the ensuing possession.Trailing 17-7 in the second quarter, Ibrahim cut Minnesota’s deficit to three points with another score. But lightning soon struck again for the Illini as Bush connected with senior Ricky Smalling for a 67-yard touchdown pass.Senior kicker Emmit Carpenter brought the Gophers back within a touchdown with a short field goal just before the half, but Illinois would score the game’s next 24 points, including another 77-yard touchdown run from Corbin.Defensive backs Jordan Howden, Coney Durr and Chris Williamson were three of Minnesota’s top four tacklers on the afternoon, illustrating just how often Illinois’ running backs were able to get to the second level. The Gophers parted ways with defensive coordinator Robb Smith the following day. After that defeat, Minnesota’s defense saw a resurgence under new defensive coordinator Joe Rossi, allowing only 59 points in their next four games. Since falling to the Illini last year, the Gophers have gone 7-1. Conversely, Illinois has lost its last two games but was idle last week, giving them extra time to prepare.Illinois no longer has Bush at quarterback. Instead their signal caller is now junior Brandon Peters who doesn’t offer as much in the running game as Bush. However, the Illini still have Corbin and Brown, who are both seeing productive seasons.For the Gophers offense, sophomore receiver Rashod Bateman will hope to duplicate the success he had last year in this matchup. Bateman had his best game of 2018 against Illinois, catching seven passes for 175 yards and touchdowns of 61 and 86 yards.Quotables from the game:“This is a very, very disappointing loss … one of the most disappointing losses I’ve been around,” head coach P.J. Fleck told the media.“Execution and tackling has been a problem we’ve been dealing with all year defensively … it turned out to be a disaster, that’s probably the nicest way I can put it,” linebacker Blake Cashman told the media.“We didn’t tackle anybody tonight, [we] had people in a lot of holes just diving at the ankles instead of biting the ball,” Fleck told the media. “I think some of the speed on our defense was exposed in a lot of areas where they were able to run away from us and we couldn’t catch them.”last_img read more

Sundt hires Nicole Calamaio as director of Total Rewards

first_imgNicole Calamaio recently joined Sundt Construction, Inc. (www.sundt.com) as the general contractor’s new corporate director of total rewards.In this human resources role, Calamaio directs the planning and administration of Sundt’s total rewards program, helping to achieve the company’s strategic objectives. Calamaio’s extensive background in total rewards, including compensation, benefits, recognition programs and talent management systems, will support Sundt’s employee-owners as the company continues to grow.Calamaio brings nearly 20 years of experience working in human resources, 15 of which she spent as director of compensation, benefits and human resource information systems for another prominent construction company. She earned a Master of Arts degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree in human resource management from the University of St. Thomas.last_img read more

PICOR reports recent transactions

first_imgCODAC Behavioral Health Services purchased the 18,606 square foot office building located at 1025-1075 E. Fort Lowell in Tucson from Ventura Canyon Property, LLC. Tom Knox, SIOR and Paul Hooker, with Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, represented the buyer. Dan Wesson with The Waterfall Group represented the seller in this transaction.Marana Health Center, Inc. leased 16,243 square feet, filling nine suites at 3690 S. Park Avenue in Tucson from William Lee, LLC. Ron Zimmerman, Commercial Specialist with Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, represented the landlord in this transaction.last_img read more

California investor purchases Westwood Business Park for $7.4M

first_imgCassidy Turley announced the $7.4 million ($80.88/psf) sale of Westwood Business Park, a Class B office development at 2222-2228 West Northern Avenue in the Northwest Phoenix Submarket. California-based LBK Trust III purchased the property from Nebraska-based MJA Holdings, LLC.Cassidy Turley Executive Managing Director Eric Wichterman and Senior Vice President Mike Coover negotiated the transaction on behalf of the seller, while Edward Nelson of Marcus & Millichap represented the buyer.Built in 1981, Westwood Business Park is a ±91,491 square foot office complex consisting of four two-story buildings on 5.40 acres. The property is located conveniently in the heart of North Central Phoenix west of 19th Avenue and Northern Avenue. Westwood Business Park is minutes from the Interstate 17 and the Loop 101 freeways and in close proximity to shopping, restaurants, hotels, high-end communities, recreational parks and corporate centers. The business park was 82% leased at the time of sale.last_img read more

Sand Capital acquires Four Peaks Plaza

first_imgEarlier this month, Sand Capital acquired 29 CVS stores in 12 states and six shopping centers in three states. Sand Capital, a privately-held real estate investment company, located in Scottsdale, Ariz., has just closed on 140,390 square foot Target-anchored power center in Fountain Hills. Sand Capital is the financial arm and sister company to Sandor Development Company, which was founded in 1963 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Today, Sandor owns and manages over 8 million square feet of shopping centers in 25 states throughout the United States. Once acquired, Sand Capital assets are managed and leased by Sandor. Four Peaks Plaza at 16735-16845 East Shea Boulevard is located in the northern Phoenix suburb of Fountain Hills. The center is comprised of 28 units and three outlots. Some of the major national tenants include Ross Dress for Less, Petco, Pier 1 Imports, Hi Health, Dollar Tree, Starbucks, Subway and O’Reilly Auto Parts. The leasing flyer is attached.last_img read more

Work underway on first phase of Skyline Regional Park

first_imgSkanska has started work on phase one of the 8,675-acre Skyline Regional Park in Buckeye.The $3.95 million project for the City of Buckeye includes roadway construction, park features including entry gate house, entry gate monument and gates, ramadas, rest rooms and a pedestrian/equestrian bridge across the Skyline Wash.The work consists of subgrade preparation, pipe and reinforced concrete box culverts, asphalt paving, new entry gate house and restrooms, curb, gutter and sidewalks, parking areas, decomposed granite roads and parking, landscaping, riprap, erosion control, park monument wall and sign, signing and striping, and other related incidental work.“From the beginning of this project the Skanska team has performed like seasoned professionals, committed to quality, reacting quickly to every request for information, providing solid value engineering and dedicating themselves to completing this project on time,” said Christopher Williams, manager, construction and contracting division, for the City of Buckeye. “Each member of the Skanska team, from the top to the bottom, has impressed me and I look forward to working with them on many more projects for the City of Buckeye.”“This project will provide numerous amenities to Valley residents and visitors,” said Skanska’s Phoenix Civil Construction Division Manager Chris Halpin. “We appreciate the teamwork from the City of Buckeye and our partners in making Phase One happen.”The park features views from the top of its mountain ridges overlooking the valley floor toward downtown Phoenix and south toward the Gila River.The park will also offer opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and other passive recreation activities such as wildlife viewing and camping. New programs will be offered for families to enjoy, including stargazing, fitness hikes and informative programs on the many natural and cultural resources found in the park.In July 2013, Skanska, which is active in both the building and civil construction markets, announced it had moved its building operations to 4742 North 24th Street in Phoenix, just south of Camelback Road. Skanska’s civil construction unit, formerly located in Peoria, Ariz., has co-located with the building group at the 24th Street location.last_img read more

LGE completes Pomo at Gilbert’s Heritage Marketplace

first_imgLGE Design Build has completed tenant improvement construction for the 2,600-square-foot Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana at Heritage Marketplace in Gilbert.The restaurant features a 6,000-pound, wood-fire pizza oven imported from Italy with hand-crafted stone. In addition, the authentic Italian restaurant features a bar and outdoor seating.“As one of the restaurant hotspots in the Valley, Heritage Marketplace attracts a young crowd and creates a vibrant atmosphere. It is the perfect location for our fourth Valley restaurant. We’ve been busy since day one with happy guests,” said Stefano Fabbri, CEO and a partner of Pomo Restaurant Group.The Pomo Restaurant Group also owns Pomo restaurants in Glendale, Scottsdale and Phoenix. Pomo at Heritage Marketplace opened in July.Heritage Marketplace, also developed by LGE Design Build, is a family friendly, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development in downtown Gilbert located on the northwest corner of Gilbert Road and Vaughn Avenue. The development is an integral part of Gilbert’s historic Heritage District.LGE Design Build launched Heritage Marketplace’s Phase 2 in June. The phase includes two buildings totaling 32,000 square feet with ground floor restaurant and retail space, and second floor office space. The north building is about 10,000 square feet and the south building is about 22,000 square feet.In Phase 1, LGE has completed 31,000 square feet of a dynamic mixed-use office/retail/restaurant project. Tenants include Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, Pomo Pizzeria, Barrio Queen, Zinburger and Petersen’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream.“Heritage Marketplace is bustling with restaurant and business activity, becoming one of the Valley’s premier destinations for dining and commerce,” said Dave Sellers, LGE Design Build president.last_img read more

OTL installs architectural water feature as centerpiece of Papago Park Center

first_imgOutside the Lines (OTL), a design-build construction company that specializes in creating one-of-a-kind water features, rockwork and themed environments, has announced its role in the construction of an architectural fountain for the central plaza of The Grand at Papago Park Center, a new 3.2 million-square-foot, Class A mixed-use project on the last developable parcel within the 350-acre Papago Park Center business park in Tempe, Arizona.Located at 1151 W. Washington St. in Tempe, Arizona, The Grand at Papago Park Center at build-out will total 60 acres with over 2.3 million square feet of Class A office space built by Lincoln Property Company, Alliance Residential’s Broadstone at The Grand luxury apartments, and complimentary hotel, retail and restaurant space. One of the main features of the Center is a recreational pathway featuring four stunning steel bridges to accommodate walkers, runners and bikers. The pathway also features sophisticated LED lighting design that won an IES Illumination Award and lighted signage that features historic quotes from Theodore Roosevelt and others who helped build the legacy of the Valley.GBtwo Landscape Architecture has designed the property’s centerpiece roundabout park, featuring a signature water feature designed by WET Design. The fountain is a tribute to the Theodore Roosevelt Dam (which is located on the Salt River 70 miles northeast of Tempe) and its place in Arizona history. Situated just yards from the Grand Canal, a source of water from the Salt River to the Phoenix valley since the 1870s, OTL is installing the water feature’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems which will simulate the energy and power of a dam releasing water.The water feature project is being built by general contractor JE Dunn Construction Company, who has assembled a stellar team of local subcontractors to handle trades such as concrete, waterproofing, and masonry. OTL’s experience in building complicated fountains will ensure that the specialized fountain equipment designed and manufactured by WET delivers the project’s desired effects.“Having previously built WET fountains, OTL is able to anticipate areas of concern, which can be planned in advance with the general contractor and the other trades performing the work in concert with our crews,” says Wick Zimmerman OTL’s co-founder and CEO.  “This very complex water feature requires high levels of coordination amongst the entire team. Hard work and experience are required to meet the demands of this project successfully.” Zimmerman adds that each aspect of the fountain is designed to hide all visual traces of equipment and the intricate mechanical system used to create the effects, so that viewers can focus purely on the water, the finish materials, and the effects created where the two interact.OTL’s project executive in charge, John Cunningham, and project manager Kevin Bright are working closely with JE Dunn to ensure proper sequencing of the different trades and tasks involved. One of the more atypical coordination items the project team had to address is the fact that the project sits below the water level of the adjacent Grand Canal; in order to avoid risking water from the canal flooding the work areas, the water level in the canal has been dropped in conjunction with the construction schedule.To provide flexibility for the developer and owner, WET has designed the water feature in such a way that one of the reflecting pools at the base of the “dam” is able to quickly drain away to a storage tank so that the flat deck can be used for a variety of purposes.“The fountain will provide an iconic focal point for the entire development because it is capable of creating large-scale water-release effects that are visually stunning,” says Zimmerman. “The water feature has a prominent location in a central traffic circle, meaning that it will be visible from several of the newly built Class-A office buildings.”With approximately one-half mile of frontage on the Red Mountain 202 Freeway, The Grand at Papago Park Center has near-immediate access to Arizona State University and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Interstate 10, the Loop 101 and State Route 51 freeways are all within minutes of the site, providing easy access to all of the area’s major commercial corridors and residential communities throughout metropolitan Phoenix. The Grand also has a light rail station at its northern boundary, and the Center Parkway station is within walking distance. Arizona State University is just moments away using one of the two light rail stops within the project, providing easy access to a highly educated labor pool.Papago Park Center is home to the corporate offices of Salt River Project and First Solar. Other regional offices include DHL, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Sonora Quest Labs, WSP USA (formerly WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff), and State Farm Insurance. Nearby amenities include Papago Park, Rolling Hills golf course, Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Garden, Tempe Town Lake, and Mill Avenue restaurants and shopping. The area surrounding Papago Park Center is a high-growth region. With Class A office vacancy rates below 2 percent, Tempe is one of the most in-demand office markets in the Valley.last_img read more

Phoenix has added more construction jobs than all other metros

first_imgThe Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area added the most construction jobs of any metro area in the nation during the past twelve months, according to an analysis released by the Associated General Contractors of America today. As local construction firms expand their payrolls, the national association and its local chapters are taking steps to prepare the next generation of construction workers amid significant construction worker shortages.“Phoenix has gone from being the poster child for the construction depression to the best job market for construction workers in the country,” said Brian Turmail, national spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of America. “Yet the construction industry in Arizona and across the country faces significant and costly workforce shortages.”Turmail noted that the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area added 13,800 new construction jobs between March 2018 and March 2019, an 11 percent increase. He added that the area added the most construction jobs among the 358 metro areas the association tracks. There are 134,900 people working in construction in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area today, up from a post-recession low of 80,000 in March 2011.The association spokesman said the Phoenix area was not alone when it comes to adding construction jobs. Nationwide, 218 out of 358 metro areas added construction jobs during the past year, including the Tucson, Prescott and Flagstaff metro areas. But he cautioned that the 2019 Construction Hiring & Business Outlook the association released earlier this year found that 78 percent of contractors report having a hard time finding qualified workers to hire.Turmail noted that construction employment is expanding in most parts of the country at a time when many older workers are retiring and too few young adults are considering high-paying careers in construction. He noted that one reason for that is that public investments in career and technical education have declined significantly for much of the past several decades. That is why the association released its new Workforce Development Plan, which outlines a series of steps federal officials should take to make it easier to establish construction training programs, he added.The plan calls for doubling federal funding for career and technical education programs over the next five years. It also calls on federal officials to evaluate schools based on how many students graduate into high-paying jobs like those available in construction, in addition to how many enter college. And the plan calls for comprehensive immigration reform that allows more individuals with construction skills to legally enter the country, a path to legal status for workers already in the country and measures to secure the border.Turmail added that the association is also working to recruit more young adults in the construction industry. He noted that the association recently launched a targeted digital advertising campaign in Phoenix and other fast-growing metro areas designed to attract a broad range of younger people into the industry. And he noted that the association’s local chapters, the Arizona Chapter, AGC and the Arizona Builders Alliance, as well as the broader local business community, are taking steps a range of steps to address workforce shortages.“Phoenix would be adding even more new construction jobs if our member firms could find people to hire,” said David Martin, the president of the Arizona Chapter, AGC. “Yet one of the surest paths to a good career and middle class life style is working in the state’s construction industry,” he added, noting that construction jobs pay 10 percent more than the average job nationwide. “Arizona’s education system is not producing enough builders,” said Tom Dunn, the president of the Arizona Builders Alliance. “But too few people appreciate the many benefits of pursuing construction careers, which is why we are working with a broad business coalition to launch a new region-wide construction recruiting campaign later this year.“Unless we can find a way to encourage more young adults to pursue high-paying careers in construction, contractors in Arizona and across the country will face significant workforce shortages,” the construction association spokesman added.last_img read more

Court rulings depend partly on when the judge last had a snack

first_imgThe Economist:AROUND the world, courthouses are adorned with a statue of a blindfolded woman holding a set of scales and a sword: Justice personified. Her sword stands for the power of the court, her scales for the competing claims of the petitioners. The blindfold (a 15th-century innovation) represents the principle that justice should be blind. The law should be applied without fear or favour, with only cold reason and the facts of the case determining what happens to the accused. Lawyers, though, have long suspected that such lofty ideals are not always achieved in practice, even in well run judicial systems free from political meddling. Justice, say the cynics, is what the judge had for breakfast. Now they have proof..Read the whole story: The Economist More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Police officers at risk of memory loss after physical exertion

first_imgMetro News:Just 60 seconds of adrenaline-pumping activity can ‘seriously damage’ their recollection of the event, according to UK scientists.They say forgetfulness is often triggered by high-energy events like chasing a suspect.Lorraine Hope, from the University of Portsmouth, believes her findings, published in journal Psychological Science, flag up the potential problems with witness statements.She said: ‘Police officers are often expected to remember in detail who said what and how many blows were received or given in the midst of physical struggle or shortly afterwards.‘The results of our tests indicate it may be very difficult for them to do this.’Dr Hope added: ‘As exhaustion takes over, cognitive resources tend to diminish. The ability to fully shift attention is inhibited, so even potentially relevant information might not be processed.’Read the whole story: Metro Newslast_img read more

Petraeus affair: Why do the powerful cheat?

first_imgUSA Today: David Petraeus is not your run-of-the-mill husband with a wandering eye. He’s not just another philandering politician or celebrity cheater, like so many others whose indiscretions have come to light in recent years.He’s a retired Army general who designed and led the military surge in Iraq and was top commander in Afghanistan. He had been deployed much of his career until he was named CIA director last year. His abrupt resignation amid news of his extramarital affair with a married Army Reserve officer brings a new wrinkle into an old story of why yet another powerful man risks so much for a woman.Yes, Petraeus joins the list of wayward sons: Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards, Mark Sanford and Eliot Spitzer — just to name a few.Petraeus is another, says Frank Farley, a psychologist at Temple University who studies such behavior.Read the whole story: USA Today More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

The Biology of Kindness: How It Makes Us Happier & Healthier

first_imgTIME: There’s a reason why being kind to others is good for you— and it can now be traced to a specific nerve.When it comes to staying healthy, both physically and mentally, studies consistently show that strong relationships are at least as important as avoiding smoking and obesity.  But how does social support translate into physical benefits such as lower blood pressure, healthier weights and other physiological measures of sound health?  A new study published in Psychological Science, suggests that the link may follow the twisting path of the vagus nerve, which connects social contact to the positive emotions that can flow from interactions.Read the whole story: TIMESee Barbara Fredrickson at the 25th APS Annual Convention. More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Professors are Prejudiced, too

first_imgThe New York TimesIN the world of higher education, we professors like to believe that we are free from the racial and gender biases that afflict so many other people in society. But is this self-conception accurate?To find out, we conducted an experiment. A few years ago, we sent emails to more than 6,500 randomly selected professors from 259 American universities. Each email was from a (fictional) prospective out-of-town student whom the professor did not know, expressing interest in the professor’s Ph.D. program and seeking guidance. These emails were identical and written in impeccable English, varying only in the name of the student sender. The messages came from students with names like Meredith Roberts, Lamar Washington, Juanita Martinez, Raj Singh and Chang Huang, names that earlier research participants consistently perceived as belonging to either a white, black, Hispanic, Indian or Chinese student. In total, we used 20 different names in 10 different race-gender categories (e.g. white male, Hispanic female).Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Your Fellow Diners’ Size May Affect How Much You Eat

first_imgNPR:Your dining companion may have more influence over your eating habits than you realize. We’ve known that people often have friends with similar body weights, but new research suggests that dining with an overweight companion may make us more likely to eat more unhealthful food.A study in the appropriately named journal Appetite finds that undergraduates who were offered pasta and salad while eating near a 5-foot-5-inch, 126-pound woman would eat more pasta when she was zipped into a fat suit adding 50 pounds, or about 8 points, to her body mass index.“We’ve long known that what a person [you’re with] orders can influence what you order,”Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and one of the study’s authors, tells The Salt. “We haven’t known as fully how the size of the person who you might be with, how they influence us.”Read the whole story: NPR More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more