News story: The Independent Chief Inspector invites suggestions for inspection topics in 2019-20

first_imgDavid Bolt writes:As required by the UK Borders Act 2007, I will be writing to the Home Secretary formally before the beginning of the new business year with my Inspection Plan for 2019-20, with the aim of publishing the Plan on my website on 1 April 2019.I will be writing shortly to the stakeholders with whom the inspectorate is in regular contact to give them the opportunity, while the Plan is in draft, to suggest any topics they would like to see included or prioritised. However, I would also like to extend that invitation to anyone who wishes to suggest an inspection topic.This will be the final year of my 2017-18 to 2019-20 3-year Plan, which was last updated in April 2018. From my discussions with the Home Office and with stakeholders, I believe the 3-year Plan’s five themes continue to serve as a useful structure for my work, and therefore I intend to retain them for 2019-20.However, this still leaves a lot to be decided in terms of the scope and focus of particular inspections, including any new topics, and their timing.Copies of the inspection reports published during 2018-19 can be found on my website, together with the Home Office’s responses. Also available on my website is a list of the reports that have been submitted to the Home Secretary and are awaiting publication and the inspections that are currently underway.I am aware that the completed inspections will not have covered every possible issue or angle of concern to stakeholders, because there always has to be a trade-off between scope, resources and time, and, of course, things change.So, I am happy to receive suggestions to take another look at an area I have already inspected, and I will in any event be carrying out a number of re-inspections to check that the Home Office has implemented my recommendations. But, I am also interested in identifying ‘new’ areas for inspection, drawing on others’ experience and knowledge. The only stipulation is that it falls within my statutory remit.Please email the Chief Inspector: [email protected] write to:2019-20 Inspection PlanICIBI 5th Floor, Globe House 89 Eccleston Square London SW1V 1PNThe closing date for suggestions is 19 March 2019.last_img read more

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Detailed guide: Northampton: what you can and cannot do

first_imgRequirements for Northampton Greencore factory workers and their households to self-isolate were lifted on 25 September. Those with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection should refer to guidance on self-isolation.,An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in Northampton associated with the Greencore food production sites. The government and relevant local authorities are acting together to control the spread of the virus.Affected peopleThe restrictions apply to Greencore workers and those in their households if the worker’s main place of work during any time that they worked for Greencore between 7 August and 21 August was at: units A, B, C and D located at the following address: Greencore Northampton, Moulton Park Industrial Estate, 15 to 17 Deer Park Road, Northamptonshire, NN3 6RX unit K located at the following address: Greencore Northampton, Unit 1, Clayfield Close, Moulton Park, Northampton, NN3 6QF the worker took a COVID-19 test between 12 August and 19 August the test was from NHS Test and Trace or Randox Laboratories Ltd the test was positive the worker has self-isolated for a continuous period of 10 days starting on the date they received the positive test result the worker took a COVID-19 test between 7 August and 11 August the test was from NHS Test and Trace or Randox Laboratories Ltd the test was positive the worker self-isolated for a continuous period of 10 days starting on the date the worker received the positive test result the worker has not been present at the above locations between the date they received the positive test result and 21 August EnforcementIf you leave the place where you are self-isolating before the required 10- or 14-day period without reasonable excuse, you are committing an offence and could be fined.The police have the power to direct people to return to or remove them to the place they are self-isolating, and issue Fixed Penalty Notices of £100 to adults.It is an offence to wilfully obstruct a police officer directing a person to return to or removing a person to the place where they are self-isolating, punishable with a fine of £1,000.All offences under these regulations can be tried in a magistrates’ court and can be punished with an unlimited fine. people who are employed directly by Greencore or are agency staff working at the Greencore sites people who work full or part time, including if they also work at other sites or for other companies to seek medical assistance where this is required urgently or on the advice of a medical practitioner (including doctor, dentist or optician) to access veterinary services where this is required urgently or on the advice of a veterinary surgeon to fulfil a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or to participate in legal proceedings to avoid injury or to escape a risk of harm on compassionate grounds, including to attend a funeral of a member of your household, a close family member or, if neither a member of the household or family are attending, a friend if there is no other way for them to obtain basic necessities such as food and medical supplies for those in the same household to access critical public services, such as social services to move to a different place for self-isolation where it becomes impracticable to remain at the address where they are self-isolating This includes: The restrictions also do not apply to Greencore workers if all of the following apply: Workers are covered by these restrictions if the main place they undertook work was at either of the sites above during the time they spent working for Greencore between 7 August and 21 August.Workers’ ‘households’ are the people they live with and who share amenities such as the kitchen and/or bathrooms in their home.The restrictions do not apply to Greencore workers if all of the following apply: The restrictions do not apply to the people living with a Greencore worker if the worker moves out of their home and does not return until he or she has completed their continuous period of self-isolation.However, if the worker later lives again with those people, a further continuous 14-day period of self-isolation must then be completed by the worker and all the people they live with. The same applies if the worker temporarily lives with anyone else (either by joining their household, or them joining the worker’s household) – both the worker and all the people they are living with must complete a new continuous period of 14-day self-isolation.RestrictionsSelf-isolation means that the person must remain in isolation from other people or with the people they live with if they isolate together from other people.Any affected person who has tested positive for COVID-19 since 20 August must self-isolate for a continuous period of 10 days from the date of the positive test result.Any affected person who has not tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for a continuous period of 14 days (including any period of self-isolation already undertaken).If a worker or anyone they live with receives a positive test result for COVID-19 before 28 August during their period of self-isolation, that person must self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test result. Anyone else that they live with (who has not tested positive) must self-isolate for 14 days from the date of the household member’s positive test result.Affected people must self-isolate at their home, at the home of a family member or friend, in a hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast accommodation, or other suitable place. If the worker self-isolates in a place where they share amenities with other people, those other people are part of their household and the restriction to self-isolate applies to them as well.If a Greencore worker or anyone they live with receives a positive test result for COVID-19 on or after 28 August, they should follow current government guidance and self-isolate for 10 days, and the people they live with should self-isolate for 14 days, from the date of the positive test.See guidance on staying at home for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.Workers and household members are allowed to leave self-isolation for any of the essential reasons listed below:last_img read more

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UK bakery arm performs well for Canada Bread

first_imgMaple Leaf Bakery UK saw increased volumes over the past quarter, which helped lift revenue in parent company Canada Bread’s frozen bakery arm.Canada Bread, which is 90% owned by Canadian firm Maple Leaf Foods, said that after adjusting for discontinued bread categories in the UK, and currency translation on sales in the US and the UK, sales increased by 4.1%.The firm said the performance in the UK business improved primarily due to higher volumes sold of both bagels and croissants.Total sales in its frozen bakery business, increased from CAD$125.7million in 2012 (£80.52m) to CAD$126.5m (£81.03m) for the second quarter to 30 June 2013.Year-to-date sales increased 1.9% to CAD$252.5m (£161.74m), compared to CAD$247.8m (£158.73m) last year.In June this year, British Baker reported that Maple Leaf Bakery UK was investing £11.5m in a new production line at its bagel plant in Rotherham as it streamlines the business further. The news followed a boost to bagel sales of 30% in the first quarter, to 31 March 2013.last_img read more

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Oteil Burbridge, John Kadlecik, Aron Magner & More To Play Anti-Inauguration Benefit Concert

first_imgAn awesome lineup of John Kadlecik, Oteil Burbridge, Aron Magner, and Jeff Franca has been announced for an inaugural benefit concert at Washington, DC venue Gypsy Sally’s. The show will take place on January 20th, standing as a direct counterpoint to the Presidential Inauguration in DC. Furthering that counterpoint is the band’s adopted moniker, The Bureau of Sabotage, a reference to the corrupt government agency from a pair of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novels.The show is an “Anti-Ball” benefit concert, and proceeds will be going to Planned Parenthood, MoveOn.org & Electronic Frontier Foundation. David Gans, Joe Uehlein & the U-Liners will be there as well, adding their support to a great show.Burbridge and Kadlecik are no strangers, having collaborated on a handful of occasions throughout this year. They most recently joined forces in Boca Raton, FL, when Burbridge sat in with Kadlecik at the Funky Biscuit last month. You can listen to their versions of “Easy to Slip” and “Terrapin Station”.Find tickets and more information about this exciting benefit by heading here.last_img read more

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INTERVIEW: TAUK’s Matt Jalbert Discusses Shadefest, ‘Shapeshifter’, Sci-Fi, & More

first_imgShadefest Music Festival is entering its fourth year, with the festival moving to a beautiful new location at Pegasus Farm in Elkins, West Virginia, from August 9th through 11th. (Purchase tickets to Shadefest here). Pegasus Farm is no stranger to the festival scene, as it has hosted events such as Camp Barefoot and Highland Jam, among others, over the years. Shadefest is everything most festival attendees look for in an event: independent, intimate, and built on a grassroots movement.Its jam-friendly lineup features headliner TAUK, a band that has steadily made their way up the “must-see” chart over the past decade, along with Consider The Source (performing intimate hybrid acoustic set), The Southern Belles, CBDB, The Mantras (Beastie Boys tribute set), Erin and the Wildfire, Of Tomorrow, Kendall Street Company, Goose, and more. Underlying its lineup is the festival’s dedication to build things organically and keep true to its core audience—a rather refreshing concept in this current era of festivals.With the forthcoming release of Shapeshifter II: Outbreak, the follow-up to their Shapeshifter I: Construct EP, on September 28th, Live For Live Music’s Chris Meyer caught up with TAUK guitarist Matt Jalbert to discuss this year’s releases, his musical influences, science fiction, and the band’s upcoming headlining slot at Shadefest. Alongside brothers-in-arms Alric “A.C.” Carter (keys), Charles Dolan (bass), and Isaac Teel (drums), Jalbert is as focused as ever to take the band’s music to the next level. Here’s what he had to say.Chris Meyer: How is your summer going so far?Matt Jalbert: It’s been a pretty relaxing summer to take a step back from the spring and fall tours and that heavy schedule and just doing the weekend festival gigs, allowing more of a chance to breathe. It’s tough to do a full tour in the summer; people aren’t going to the club shows and heading more to festivals, so it’s nice to play the weekend festivals during this time.CM: Was there a conscious decision to split Shapeshifter into two separate parts? Is there a third part of the series on its way? MJ: It kind of happened naturally. We were just going into the studio to record a full album. All of that just took shape as the process unfolded. We came out with a ton of material and discussed which tracks were gonna make it. Finally, we stumbled upon the idea of “What if we just split it up?” and put out an EP—an appetizer if you will—and come out with a full-length later. We liked the idea of toying with different ways of releasing the music. The industry is changing every day. As it stands right now, there is no plan for part three, but the door is always open for it.CM: It’s interesting that you say that about how bands are releasing music. A lot of bands are opting for these various ways of releasing music, whether it’s a single, a series of EP’s, or what have you. It’s more content regularly, as opposed to waiting on a full album once every two or three years. MJ: Right. And that’s what was interesting to us: the thought of releasing a part one and part two and being able to tell a little bit more of a story with it. For us, it was a fun idea to play around with in releasing. There aren’t any lyrics, but there are definitely themes to follow along to.“Convoy”[Video: TAUK]Chris Meyer: This leads me to my next question. From an instrumental point of view, how difficult is it to convey that story without the lyrics? How do you tell that story?Matt Jalbert: For us, it’s always been music first. The music itself tells the story. The tricky part, or even the fun part, is identifying what the story is. For me personally, when writing a song, I’m not necessarily thinking of a narrative or concept that I’m trying to convey; it’s allowing the music to speak for itself and take you there. With Shapeshifter, it kind of puts you in a mindset, and for each listener, they can allow the music to take them where the music takes them. It’s not a story with a beginning and an end or even a plot, it’s more about your own personal journey with the music.CM: And the overall concept of Shapeshifter is the rise of artificial intelligence. You guys must be big Sci-Fi fans.MJ: Oh yeah, we definitely nerd out when we’re in the studio. We’re always talking about weird stuff, even just gear we’re using, and we’re constantly using new gear. Though, some of our interests definitely lie within that realm. When someone brought up the idea of “Shapeshifter,” it made complete sense.CM: What are some of your favorite Sci-Fi movies?MJ: I love all the old stuff like Alien. Really anything with aliens is cool, in general. Blade Runner, some of the newer ones I like—Ex Machina. All the stuff with artificial intelligence with the concept of “The machine’s are getting smarter, what’s that going to lead to? Is that going to help us, or are they getting too smart?” Just those questions, in general.CM: With the new album you recorded with producer/engineer Robert Carranza (The Mars Volta, Ozomatli, Jack Johnson) and opted to record in an old house on the north shore of Long Island.MJ: I don’t know how old the house was, but it felt old and hadn’t been lived in for 30 years. We just brought a bunch of gear into this old house. It was pretty bare bones—no running water—but it was interesting to hunker down and see what was going to happen. The vibe and the sound was great.CM: No Amityville Horror House stories, I hope. Anybody feel any spirits or weird energy in the house?MJ: When it got dark, you didn’t want to walk too far by yourself. I will say there were a couple of times when I was in the studio and everybody had left and thought to myself, “I really need to get out here. Time to go!”CM: How did you find Raul Urias to do the artwork for the album?MJ: I scoured social media, Facebook, Instagram, et cetera, and came across his work and loved it. So, I sent him an email, sent the music, and he was down with the concept to have the artwork flow throughout the entirety of everything. We are really happy with how the art came out.CM: How are things different from when you began? How has it all evolved?MJ: Looking back on where we started, we were booking our own shows, taking every gig that we could get, traveling so far for one show, and waking up on random people’s floors thinking to myself, “Where am I? What are we doing?” Luckily, we are able to look back and see the progress that was made, going through those growing pains, and finding ourselves in a place where things make more sense. We book better shows and are seeing that growth. We’re growing both musically and personally as a group and constantly challenging ourselves to be a cohesive unit.CM: And keeping that chemistry alive and well.MJ: It’s so important because we are all such good friends. We want to be on the same page and are able to make decisions that allow us to be on the road and do what we have to do, but we also have time to do what we need to do outside of the music, on a personal level, to live our lives. “Flashback” featuring Nate Werth[Video: TAUK]Chris Meyer: The music industry is definitely tough with that, whether you are in a band or a manager, agent, sound person, production person, etc. On the outside, it’s all fun, but it still is work, and you need to find that personal time to pursue the other parts of life that make you happy and complete. Balance is definitely the keyword.Matt Jalbert: You don’t think of what you’re going to be dealing with when you start a band. We certainly didn’t have the conversations we are having now, as far as routing a tour, releasing an album, what is the next move?—the list goes on and on. We take it very seriously. It is our lives, so we better put everything we have into it, but you have to keep that spirit and passion alive of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.CM: How does creating a live set differ from what is put out on the album?MJ: As we add on more material, it becomes more exciting, because we simply have more options to choose from. When we’re on the road, we are very aware of what we are playing, where we are playing it, and what we played last time we were in a certain city. It’s also fun to come up with new ways and different transitions with certain songs to keep it interesting. In the studio, being able to listen back to yourselves and fine tune what you’re doing in that area, it allows you to open up more when you hit the road.CM: What is the difference between playing a festival set or your own club gig? Are there certain advantages from one to the other?MJ: Definitely! With festival gigs, it’s sort of exploring the unknown. You can’t always tell what’s going to happen from the point you get there to the moment you step on stage. You might have some time to settle in or have only 15 minutes to set up and get right out there. It’s fun to see a lot of our friends or bands we look up to in that setting. It always creates great energy, especially for the fans.That being said, when you are on tour playing club gigs five nights a week, you can really get into a zone with one another right from the first song and just take off. Being in that mindset can be very fun to get into. CM: TAUK is headlining Shadefest this year along with Consider The Source, The Mantras, Kendall Street Company, and more. You guys have played with a couple of the bands on the bill. That must be fun for you?MJ: We’ve played a bunch of shows with Consider The Source. They are mind-blowing and can be very intimidating to go up on stage afterward. I don’t know too many bands that do what they do. They are all just ridiculous musicians, and it’s great seeing bands like that—putting everything into it and just laying it all out on the line. And The Mantras we’ve played some shows with; it will be good to link back up with them. We are looking forward to Shadefest, seeing our friends, and tearing it up.CM: Festival gigs can be quick in-and-outs for bands, but has there been any experiences where you got to hang and see some acts that wouldn’t necessarily be on your radar? MJ: We got to play Boston Calling this year and saw some bands that would be normally outside the realm like Jack White and Queens of the Stone Age. Summer Camp is always a blast to play and hang at with the Umphrey’s McGee guys and some of the other bands that we’ve crossed paths with.CM: Shadefest is definitely heavy on the jam, funk, electronica, and overall improvisation-based acts. What acts shaped TAUK?MJ: The four of us have very different tastes, which allow us to draw from so many influences and genres. Myself, I grew up on Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Led Zeppelin, then got into Phish, which led to Zappa. Later on, I found the John Scofields and now Snarky Puppies of the world. There is always more out there—so much to listen to and draw from. You just have to keep your ears open. CM: When you have a chance to kick back and put the headphones on, who are you listening to right now?MJ: Right now, I’m listening to Knower; they’re a really cool group. Louis Cole [of Knower] creates some super weird and interesting chord changes. I’m always listening to some Aphex Twin. Always. Recently, I’ve had a lot of Robert Glasper on as well. CM: Anything we can convey to the Shadefest family on behalf of TAUK?MJ: Be ready! Just be ready, because we’ll be. We’re psyched to play and be headlining, especially at such a nice location. We’ve heard a lot about Pegasus Farm and how beautiful of a spot it is. It’s a cool lineup, and fun to see our name crawl up these bills and amps us up to play the best show we can each and every night. CM: One more question: what are your favorite things to do outside of music?MJ: Eat food and watch sports. Lots of basketball. A troubled Knicks fan, but there’s always hope… and next season. CM: I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a strong return from KP (Kristaps Porzingis) as well. Thanks for your time, Matt! Always a pleasure to catch up with you. Best of luck this summer.MJ: You too, dude. See you out there!Shadefest will return for its fourth year from August 9th through 11th, heading to a new venue at the picturesque and fan-favorite Pegasus Farm in Elkins, West Virginia. Tickets to Shadefest are currently available and can be purchased here. For additional information and event updates, join the Facebook Event page or head to the festival’s website here.last_img read more

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A Letter from Michael Dell: We’re Here to Help

first_imgUpdate April 3, 2020: On a personal note, Susan and I are dedicating $100 million through the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to support global initiatives related to COVID-19 so more people get the help and support they need during this difficult time. I have shared more detail about that on LinkedIn.To our customers and partners:With the full impact of the COVID-19 virus uncertain, our world feels unsettled. I was with our global team in a virtual town hall this week where we talked a lot about this, and our priorities to keep each other and our communities healthy and safe and take care of our customers’ most critical needs. I thought I’d share some of that conversation with you and update you on the things we are doing, as we reinvent how we work and live during the COVID-19 pandemic.Today, we published a post on our blog to provide you with broad updates on how we are taking precautions, supporting communities, and enabling you to continue your work and personal lives in this evolving environment. We will use the blog to post regular updates as we work through this dynamic situation together.Like you, we are stressing the importance of health and safety with our team, their families and the communities where we live. We must protect each other and especially our most vulnerable – our elderly and those with underlying conditions. Our Environmental Health and Safety team is following closely the advice and guidelines of the World Health Organization, our national centers for disease control and local health authorities. At the same time, we are managing the impact on our own business and supply chain operations, so we can take care of you. Whether enabling a remote workforce, ensuring business continuity, powering the technology for infectious disease prevention and control, or providing simple, human advice, support and friendship – we are here to help.My thanks for what you are doing to protect our world during this difficult time. It is our honor to be your partner. Thank you for the trust you put in us.Michaellast_img read more

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SGA hosts COVID town hall with President Conboy, other administrators

first_imgSaint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) hosted a COVID-19 town hall Wednesday evening with College President Katie Conboy and other administrators, who shared relevant information regarding the current state of campus. The conversation began with a question regarding the continuation of admissions tours despite the college-wide lockdown. Vice president for enrollment management Mona Bowe cited the decision being a business decision. “We are taking the necessary precautions on these tours as the majority of the tour is held outside, there are a maximum of 10 – 12 people — including the tour guide — on the tours and masks are required to be worn at all times.”The town hall was dominated by Conboy fielding questions and concerns regarding the closure of the College. “Let me begin by saying we are not intending to send students home at this point,” she said. “We are closely monitoring what’s going on on our campus, the tri-campus and greater St. Joseph community. We don’t want to overwhelm the local public health system at any point.’She said that this kind of strain has not been seen yet. Conboy continued to say that any drastic decision — whether that be online classes or a campus closure — will not be made based on any single statistic. She continued to contain the possibility of classes moving entirely online, with residence halls remaining open for students for whom it would be more advantageous for them to live on campus rather than move home. “If we all make good choices, I believe we will have a safer environment [at Saint Mary’s] than people would have most other places,” Conboy said. Cyndie Horton-Cavanaugh, a registered nurse, clarified the process for coronavirus testing on campus, saying “the current CDC recommendations are to administer a PCR test to all symptomatic persons.”  Students who are symptomatic or may have been in close contact with a COVID positive person are expected to call the Health and Counseling Center (HCC), the HCC will then bring students in throughout the day in small groups to get tested. Horton-Cavanaugh addressed concerns that the HCC has been denying students tests. “Many students come to us asking for a test for [their] peace of mind,” she said. “Peace of mind is not a good reason to get a PCR test –– there are shortages in resources, and when we do unnecessary testing we put a burden on testing laboratories and turnaround times which impacts our ability to contact trace in a timely manner.”A plan will be presented to the board of trustees Thursday that outlines the need and execution of surveillance testing on campus. “We’ve decided that we need to test more people, and random testing is the way to do this,” Conboy said. “While we can’t release too much [information] at this point, it could be a certain percentage of the student body every week.”The College’s general counsel Marty McCampbell added that once surveillance testing begins, Saint Mary’s will begin reporting the number of tests being conducted on the COVID-19 dashboard. Vice president for strategy and finance Dana Strait answered concerns regarding student safety and financial reimbursement.“If students are afraid, are they allowed to go home? Of course they are able to go home,” she said. “We are here to uphold our mission to support you and educate you the best way we know how.” Strait said drastic measures have been put in place to keep students safe, and that the College is confident they have provided the safest possible environment. In regards to financials, Strait said all of the College’s refund policies are available in the college bulletin. “We’re happy to initiate the refund process — depending on the point in the semester,” Strait said. “But, refunds for tuition, should classes go online, are not something we are able to do because we need to be able to pay our faculty.” Interim vice president for student affairs, Gloria Roldán Jenkins fielded questions regarding student behavior. “We have students that are nervous because there are certain students who are not making the right choices,” she said. Roldán Jenkins said there are protocols in place for addressing students who violate social distancing or masking requirements. “It can start with an email warning, and further action will vary on a case by case basis — we will not take chances if people are making bad choices that are affecting the entire community.” Tags: covid policies, Katie Conboy, Saint Mary’s College, town halllast_img read more

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Outdoor Updates: The Conservation Alliance changes leadership

first_imgA new leader will take the helm of The Conservation Alliance on November 1. Brady Robinson has been named the latest executive director of the alliance, a collective of businesses that support the efforts of grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where people recreate. Brady takes over from John Sterling, who served on the board of the organization since 1996 and became the first executive director in 2004. The Conservation Alliance changes leadership, Brady Robinson to serve as executive director “I am incredibly honored and excited to have the opportunity to help lead this organization,” Robinson said. “With a crystal clear mission, 30-year history and healthy financial foundation, The Conservation Alliance is perfectly positioned to grow and play an even greater role in protecting wild places.” One of Robinson’s first responsibilities will be participating in the organization’s three-year strategic planning retreat with a goal of identifying long-term intentions for the organization.  Robinson was selected for the role after a nine-month search. He has many years as a conservationist, climber, and educator, including more than a decade at Outward Bound and 11 years at the Access Fund, which keeps climbing areas preserved and open for climbing. He was also the founding board chair of the Outdoor Alliance, a coalition partner with The Conservation Alliance. In his most current role, he served as Director of Strategy and Development for Tompkins Conservation, which creates land and marine national parks in South America.center_img Robinson spent his childhood in rural Minnesota. Trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area instilled in him a lifelong love of the outdoors. Robinson grew to be an accomplished climber and alpinist, with first ascents in both Patagonia and Pakistan.  Since The Conservation Alliance began in 1989, it has awarded 650 grants of over $22 million to protect more than 52 million acres of wildlands and 3,112 miles of river. The alliance has also stopped or removed 34 dams, designated five marine reserves and purchased 14 climbing areas.last_img read more

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Disparate impact studies especially tough on dynamic matrix systems

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Richard Miller Richard joined JMFA after a 23-year career in banking, providing JMFA and our clients with a broad base of management experience in community banking, from chief lending officer to president … Web: www.jmfa.com Details As regulations on financial products and services continue to rank among the top concerns for credit unions, many institutions are re-evaluating the viability of the products they offer to their members.Overdraft matrix systems are complicated algorithms that have come under increased scrutiny insofar as their effect on protected classes.  These programs are not transparent and are based on an abstract set of parameters or a complex matrix of eligibility requirements that are suspected of having a disparate impact on certain member segments.When program eligibility favors one group of potential users over others or restricts a member from accessing the service based upon abstract or subjective factors, compliance violations and damaged account holder relationships may occur.Avoid risk of disparate impact with consistent overdraft program eligibility criteriaWhen it comes to on-going regulatory review of overdraft solutions, credit unions can rest easy if their program is fully disclosed and provides specific eligibility requirements for all members.  For example, the use of unbiased criteria that pertain to everyone reduces the likelihood of criticism or negative consumer impact.Also, programs based on ad hoc decisions were common in the days when a credit union officer or branch manager would review account overdrafts early every morning and decide whose check to pay and whose to deny, often based on subjective criteria. Today that practice could be equated to having a disparate impact on account holders who were denied the service.With the availability of fully transparent overdraft solutions, credit unions can avoid inconsistent decisions when it comes to overdraft program eligibility requirements.  The key is to select a program provider that uses criteria that are objective and based on conditions that are common to all account holders. This will help to alleviate any compliance concerns regarding discrimination or disparate impact against any member segment.For best results, look for a compliance-tested, regulator-approved programFinancial institutions and outside vendors that have created their own eligibility criteria – based on an abstract set of parameters or a complex matrix of eligibility requirements – run the risk of negative examiner reaction and the possibility of adverse action by a class of consumers.Did your credit union turn off your overdraft program as a result of increased regulatory scrutiny? Or, could your current eligibility requirements put the institution at risk of being cited for discrimination and disparate impact by examiners?In either case, it’s time to find an overdraft program that can provide you with regulatory peace of mind and an easy-to-manage, reliable source of non-interest income. Likewise, more of your members will have the opportunity to access a compliant service that helps them maintain a healthy bottom line, as well.last_img read more

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Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, Oct. 2

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionParaprofessionals deserve a pay hikeLet me start by saying that though my wife works as a paraprofessional in the Schenectady school district, this is my perspective alone and reflective of my thoughts. Superintendent Larry Spring is at it again.He cannot seem to stop himself from being a disrespectful elitist.The lesson that the city’s chief educator wants to promote is that people working entry-level jobs that require less education don’t deserve a living wage.His elitism is so blinding that he seems to have no idea of the scope of responsibilities covered by paraprofessionals throughout a given school day. He doesn’t acknowledge the physical and psychological risk of the position.Paraprofessionals help to deliver curriculum, develop lessons, are the front line in dealing with behavior management and school safety. My wife had a tooth knocked out and comes home with bruises, bites and scratches weekly, sometimes daily.She works on projects and is in contact, day and night, with the teacher about classroom issues.Because the position requires less training and education, Mr. Spring believes these contributions don’t deserve a living wage.He stated that these lowest paid positions with the worst contracts should have to give something back instead of experiencing the well-deserved increase in pay and benefits.I agreed with one thing, that more training should be provided, more opportunities to better the education and skills of all district employees. If that happened, perhaps, Mr. Spring would have known the word he was searching for was amenable, not amendable.James CiminoSchenectadyNo debate among experts on climateDr. Walcek’s Aug. 10 letter suggests we should listen to all sides of the climate change debate.There is no debate. Global climate change is a fact and is ongoing. For example, global land temperatures have increased more than 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 1800s and mostly since the 1980s (https://tinyurl.com/y6rv28z9). We’ve known the relationship between CO2 and air temperature since Arrhenius quantified it in 1896. We also know the additional CO2 comes from burning fossil fuels (by using the geochemical fingerprint of fossil fuel CO2).I know the survey Walcek writes of, and the same group published another survey two years later (in 2016) showing 81 percent of American Meteorological Society members understand humans are causing the warming (not a subset this time, total membership).When only scientists actually studying climate change are surveyed (i.e., experts), this percentage goes up to 97 percent agreeing that  global climate change is human caused (Cook et al. 2013, 2016).Walcek is right, science isn’t done by consensus. But acceptance of scientific ideas is done by consensus of scientists, and the experts have reached consensus. He knows this.David GillikinAmsterdamThe writer is a professor of geology at Union College.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

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