Politicians Must Be Held To A Higher Standard

first_imgBy Andrew HorningMost people have it all wrong. The “Rule of Law” doesn’t mean that laws apply to common folk. Heck, even North Koreans have that. Rule of Law means that nobody, especially among the ruling class, is above the law.The principle is that the greater the power, the greater the danger; so the greater the accountability. Consequences are greater when rulers make mistakes, or commit crimes, so we have constitutions as a leash on politicians, not on us regular humans.Here in the “Land of the Free” every day, ordinary folks are arrested, tased, beaten, imprisoned and shot for a lot less than what investigators say Hillary did. We can be jailed for all manner of harmless activities like smoking marijuana, selling fresh milk, or keeping a pet owl…with or without criminal intent.That’s wrong in itself, of course. But we’re supposed to have a classless society, where all are equal under the law; and endangering national security is actually considered a bad thing to do.We’re past-due for a major revolution on at least the order of the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Suffrage, or the end of Prohibition. Our crony network politician/ puppet-master scheme has become a global crime ring where the financial costs are spilling onto our great-grandchildren, and where the death toll is both unnecessary, and tragically high. The corruption must end.Election Day was intended as a means of peaceful revolution; a day on which We The People can readjust, reorder, or completely overthrow the government and install a new one that better suits our desires for peace, prosperity, security and freedom.And that is what some of us are putting on the ballot – a better way forward to peace, prosperity, security and (it’s about time don’t you think?) freedom.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

25 Watch for root rot

first_imgIn 2007, the University of Georgia Homeowner Integrated Pest Management Plant Disease Clinic saw a lot of turfgrass samples. Take-all root rot was the most frequent diagnosis for problems in homeowner lawns. This turf pathogen, which was almost unheard of a decade ago, has now spread throughout Georgia. It’s a severe problem for warm-season grasses, especially St. Augustine and centipede.The fungal pathogen responsible for the damage is Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis. Most simply refer to the problem as take-all root rot. Symptoms of the disease are most prominent on lawns stressed by hot, dry weather like we’ve had the last several summers in Georgia. Initial symptoms of take-all root rot are patches in the turf that are circular to irregular, yellow to light brown and thinning. They can measure anywhere from 6 inches to 3 feet in diameter. As the disease progresses, patches may unite and reoccur in subsequent years, eventually killing large areas of the lawn. When a homeowner notices symptoms in late spring or early summer, the fungus has likely caused extensive damage because it actually colonized and attacked the turf the previous fall. Many times, severely damaged areas will need to be reseeded or new sod planted.As the common name infers, this is a root rot infection. A preliminary test for homeowners would be to tug on a blade of grass. If it pulls out of the soil without any resistance and there are little to no roots or the roots are blackened, shortened and rotted, then this could be an indication of take-all root rot infection. At this point, have the problem accurately diagnosed at a local county Extension office or by the Homeowner IPM Diagnostic Clinic. Integrated management is the best approach to preventing and managing take-all root rot in home lawns. Since take-all root rot is associated with stressed lawns, take these disease-management steps: Test the lawn’s pH. Maintaining a soil pH below 6.5, preferably between 5.5 and 6.0, will reduce the disease’s severity. Provide adequate drainage. Core aerate the lawn in the spring to help reduce compaction. Water once a week to a depth of 3-4 inches. This amount is sufficient. Fertilize properly. This depends on the type of turfgrass and the site conditions, whether sunny or shady. For example, centipede lawns should only get a pound of nitrogen per year – a half pound each in the spring and fall. Mow at the proper height for your particular turfgrass species. Avoid applying herbicides to damaged areas of the lawn. St. Augustine, for example, doesn’t have a high tolerance for herbicides.More recently, Texas A&M professor Phillip Colbaugh found that applying a sphagnum peat moss topdressing to St. Augustine grass has proven to reduce symptoms of take-all root rot in home lawns. Additional information can be found at http://dallas.tamu.edu/People/pcolbaugh/PeatmossPoster(051605).pdf. Lastly, fungicide applications in the fall (before dormancy) and early spring will prove to be most effective. Fungicides containing the active ingredients triadimefon or myclobutanil are available to homeowners at local retail garden centers for control of this disease. Remember to always read and follow label directions carefully when applying fungicides. By Holly ThorntonUniversity of Georgia Volume XXXIIINumber 1Page 25 last_img read more

US Donation of Personal Protective Equipment Saves Lives in Honduras

first_imgBy Kay Valle/Diálogo June 04, 2020 Although the coronavirus outbreak has caused a global mask shortage, Dr. Scheybi Miralda Méndez makes her rounds at the University School Hospital (HEU, in Spanish) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, knowing that she is wearing the right equipment to protect her patients and herself from any infection. She owes her peace of mind to the personal protective equipment (PPE) that U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) donated in late April, through its humanitarian assistance program.“We can work reliably because we have proper PPE. This is reflected in the parents or guardians; they feel confident, and they no longer fear that the infection may come from us,” Dr. Miralda, head of the Emergency Pediatrics Unit at HEU, told Diálogo.Wearing personal protective equipment donated by SOUTHCOM, a doctor at the Emergency Pediatrics Unit at the University School Hospital in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, care for a child in mid-May 2020. (Photo: Dr. Scheybi Miralda Méndez)At HEU emergency room, some 75 doctors care for patients with COVID-19 symptoms, such as pneumonia, or other illnesses that need urgent treatment. The hospital staff provides masks to every patient admitted and their accompanying family member. For Dr. Miralda, the measure brings more than safety.“Being admitted at the hospital causes higher levels of stress [in patients]. They already feel stressed about being admitted, and if they feel that we are not protected, it causes them more stress, more distrust. That’s why it’s important for them to see that we are protected,” said Dr. Miralda.The HEU medical staff highly appreciates the donation, especially in the Emergency Pediatrics Unit, which treats 100 to 800 children and performs an average of 600 to 800 surgeries each month.“Six to eight participants, including surgeons and anesthesiologists, take part in every surgery, depending on the procedure,” said Dr. Miralda on the importance of PPE.In total, SOUTHCOM made six PPE deliveries, which consisted of thousands of N95 masks, gloves, sanitizing gel, medical gowns, and infrared thermometers for first-responder institutions, the Permanent Contingency Commission of Honduras (COPECO, in Spanish) said in a statement. The HEU, COPECO’s National Risk Management System, and the Honduran Armed Forces’ Humanitarian Rescue Unit (UHR, in Spanish) were among the first institutions to receive the PPE donations.“This donation we have received helps us minimize the risk of infection, because we have the proper material to protect our staff when we go house to house,” Honduran Army Colonel Manuel Edgardo Melgar Viera, UHR commander, told Diálogo. To respond to the coronavirus crisis, UHR units have been distributed food to the most vulnerable communities in the country, and have needed PPE to prevent the spread of the virus.“We are grateful for SOUTHCOM’s donation to the staff who are exposed due to the work we are currently doing, as we bring to our people the food that our government is providing them,” said Col. Melgar.last_img read more

Consistent omni-channel experiences: High tech or high touch?

first_imgWhen it comes to consumer experiences, consistency is key, right? After all, large corporations like Starbucks and McDonald’s spend millions of dollars in branding and employee training ensuring that the experiences of their customers are the same wherever they go. But, let’s explore this further before quickly answering ‘yes’ to our consistency question.Should the exact same functions be available to all credit union members no matter what the channel? Does it make sense to squeeze everything that a branch can offer onto your digital channels? Maybe, if it’s your website or your online banking platform, if viewed on a laptop/desktop. But what if your member is on a 4-6” smartphone screen? What about the reverse? In today’s environment, you wouldn’t offer remote deposit capture (mobile deposit) for those using a laptop/desktop. Although responsive design is critical here, more so is tailoring the member experience by carefully selecting the right functions in order to make the experience smooth and relevant to the consumer.Omni-channel is not new. It is an evolution rather than a revolution driving changes in today’s banking environment. If we describe omni-channel as all of the ways in which members interact with their credit union, we can group them into two main categories: high tech and high touch. Keep in mind, most channels have a combination of both as the graphic below illustrates.HIGH TOUCHLet’s start with the traditional branch experience. When your members visit your branch, they may go through the drive-thru where they may interact with the teller directly through a window or use pneumatic tubes, push-buttons and speak with the teller through a monitor and microphone. However, if they park and enter the branch, their first encounter with technology could be a touch-screen kiosk where they sign in, recording and logging the reason for their visit. They might also use a signature pad when completing their transaction, when they open a new account or apply for a loan. Question: Do all of your branches have the same member experience throughout the entire member journey? With branches being built or acquired over time, providing consistency can be difficult.Now for your call center. Although members who call into the credit union hear an automated attendant’s voice immediately helping direct their call, many get annoyed and instantly want to speak directly to a human on the other end. How does this experience differ from your in-branch and online experience? Are there ways to make them more similar and consistent? Should they be?Some credit unions have centralized some of their lending and operations functions by using video services within their branch network. An interactive machine resembling an ATM and housed inside the branch connects members via video screens to the credit union’s centralized member service center. Members can cash checks, withdraw and transfer funds and even apply for and close loans. Either way, a live employee still helps the member. This becomes a challenge when combing high tech and high touch into one channel experience.Other not-so-thought-of member touch points also play a role in the overall omni-channel member experience.Community Events: Although mainly a marketing opportunity, some credit unions also conduct demonstrations of member channels such as opening accounts or taking loan applications via interactive devices, during events. It’s also a good opportunity to show off other self-service solutions like mobile deposit, online bill pay or even a PFM solution.Financial Education: Another marketing initiative, many existing channels are used to hold financial education workshops and seminars. And what about webinars and online financial education universities? Financial counseling via Skype? Make sure that your experience matches all your other channels.Business Development: The business development function is an extension of the credit union itself, involving technology solutions, operations, lending and marketing employees. Interacting with members and potential members must be consistent here, as well.HIGH TECHDigitally, the online and mobile self-service channels give members access to their money 24/7 – a must in today’s environment. To make it more seamless, the two are quickly becoming one and the same, which helps credit unions manage one digital experience instead of two with responsive design. Many mobile apps now include mobile check deposit and point-of-service payment capabilities. For the multi-device online experience, partnering with a technology solution provider that incorporates this level of consistency will resonate well with current and future members. Additionally, even though your millennial members use high-tech channels more than any other generation, being there for them will also require some high-touch elements.Your website is the most visited channel that potential members explore first and existing members visit to log in to their accounts. Examining analytics will help you determine SEO and SEM opportunities. Does your online banking channel match the look and feel of the website? Does it match your high-touch elements? Have you invested equally in this most frequently visited channel as you have for others?Along with interactive voice response (IVR) phone systems, ATMs were among the first self-service channels. Credit union members still prefer cash in many instances despite the use of debit card usage rising with check usage declining. How does the ATM transaction differ from the in-person member experience in your credit union? Do your ATMs accept cash and check deposits? Do they disperse more than twenties?Although the use of IVR phone systems have dramatically decreased over the years, many credit unions still have a portion of their members utilizing this channel. Does the message and voice used match your overall member experience elsewhere?BEYOND OPERATIONS AND LENDINGKeeping in mind that a consistent member experience entails all member touch points, marketing and technology functions must be in agreement as to the level of involvement and investment that this mandates. How well do your marketing and technology teams communicate and work together now? Does a big data, business intelligence initiative and strategy exist within the credit union? It’s important to bring all technology vendor solutions to the table and consider the cross-functionality to determine what’s needed to create an all-encompassing brand experience, credit union wide.Often times, since different functions manage and control different channels, it’s very difficult to decide who should champion the omni-channel environment. Lending and operations are mostly concerned with day-to-day member interaction. Marketing is more worried about utilizing data to build more effective cross-selling and more brand building experiences, while IT is focused on data integrity, integration and security. Finding a leader either internally or externally to champion this initiative is imperative, but very difficult to find given its sensitivity.No matter which channel the member chooses or prefers, their experience must be consistent, efficient and satisfactory every time in order to create positive brand equity. Remember, consistency doesn’t necessarily mean exactly the same. Member demand also drives functionality within each channel. Assessing the current level of integration is important so that moving forward a unified strategic technology solution can be developed and executed.ACCOMPLISHING THE GOALAs mentioned earlier, combining high tech with high touch can be tricky. Both sides of the experience must be dead-on for the experience to provide the right opportunity for exceeding member expectations. One way credit unions have effectively used technology to create a seamless omni-channel experience is by mimicking the online, mobile and in-branch member interaction using identical interface programming.When the cross-channel experience is configured optimally, the benefits are two-fold: an increase in brand equity and the additional opportunity for cross-selling consistently and intelligently across all channels. Partnering between the marketing business intelligence team and the IT channel team effectively multiplies the positive aspects of the member experience for lending and operations. Explore how one credit union did just that. 54SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Stan Cowan Stan Cowan works at D+H, a global technology solutions provider for the financial industry as a Senior Solutions Marketing Manager. He’s also spent over 17 years as a … Web: www.dh.com Detailslast_img read more

RICS warns on leases malaise

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Byron installs SM 71 platform offshore Louisiana

first_imgByron Energy has installed the the SM 71 Platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, offshore Louisiana.This has been reported by Otto Energy, Byron’s partner in the South Marsh Island 71 (SM 71) oil and gas development.Otto Energy on Wednesday confirmed that installation of the jacket and decks comprising the SM 71 F Platform was completed.To remind, in anticipation of being towed to location at SM71, the 350-US ton jacket and 600-US ton platform decks were moved on to the barges utilizing transporter trailers by Berard Transportation of New Iberia, Louisiana, in early November.“The Tetra Hedron derrick barge has de-mobilized off location after successfully placing the jacket and decks over the SM 71 F1 well (drilled in 2016) and securing the structure with pilings,” Otto Energy said.Byron Energy in September hired the Ensco 68 jack-up rig to carry out the South Marsh Island Block 71  drilling and completion program.Otto also said on Wednesday, assuming current weather forecasts hold, the Ensco 68 drilling rig is scheduled to arrive at SM 71 on Saturday, November 25.Once on location, crews will prepare for drilling operations on the SM 71 F2 well. The SM 72 F2 well has two targets: the B65 Sand and the D5 Sand. The B65 Sand has the potential to double the current field size of SM 71.Otto’s Managing Director, Matthew Allen, commented: “Completing the installation of the platform is a major achievement and we congratulate Byron and their contractors on achieving this in a safe and efficient manner. “We now look forward to drilling in the coming weeks and in particular testing the B65 sand ahead of production in early 2018.”Byron completed the installation of oil and gas export pipelines for the SM 71 development  in late October.First production from the SM 71 F platform is currently expected by late January 2018 after completion operations on the SM 71 F1 and F2 wells.last_img read more

BCSC earns spot in ‘Continuous Improvement Coalition’

first_imgBatesville, In. — The Batesville Community School Corporation was approved as a charter member of the Coalition of Continuous Improvement School Districts (CCISD) by the Indiana State Board of Education.The Coalition of Continuous Improvement School Districts (CCISD) is a coalition of seven school districts representing small, large, rural, suburban, and urban districts united to focus on innovative ideas, improving student learning, and taking purposeful risks to better serve all students in Indiana. When granted flexibility to eliminate barriers that inhibit student achievement or outcomes, CCISD will learn from each other, cultivate innovative best practices and serve as model districts for other schools to replicate student successes.The initial cohort of seven school districts; Batesville Community Schools, Concord Community Schools, Goshen Community Schools, Elkhart Community Schools, Crothersville Community Schools, Greater Clark County Schools, and Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township, will implement their own respective strategies to promote student success for the over 44,000 students they collectively serve.The mission of Batesville Community School Corporation is to educate all students in an environment of academic excellence, preparing them for productive and responsible citizenship in a global community. For more information about BCSC, please visit our website: http://batesvilleinschools.com.last_img read more

De Roon: ‘Italy deserved to win’

first_img Promoted ContentBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year6 Extreme Facts About HurricanesTop 6 Iconic Supercar MoviesTop Tastiest Foods From All Over The WorldMysterious Astrological Discoveries That Left Scientists BaffledCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right Now Netherlands midfielder, Marten de Roon, has admitted Italy ‘deserved to win’ their Nations League clash in Amsterdam. ‘They played like a great team.’ Nicolò Barella got the only goal just before half-time, peeling away from defenders for a rare header. “Italy did very well in the first half and I think they deserved to win,” confessed De Roon to RAI Sport. “They always managed to have a man free in the first half, especially down their left. We did better after the break, but still struggled.”Advertisement read also:Mancini: ‘Italy have room for improvements’ Holland had won their opening Nations League game, beating Poland 1-0, but Roberto Mancini’s side are now top of the Nations League group with four points. “Italy played like a great team and I think they ought to continue like this. We’re trying to follow a similar path, playing as a team more than individuals. I congratulate the Azzurri.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Loading… last_img read more

Barca secure slim win over Elche to claim Joan Gamper Trophy

first_img Loading… Read Also: Barca club president won’t step down despite 20,000 petition Philippe Coutinho returned to the midfield with Sergio Busquets and Frenkie De Jong and Lionel Messi, Griezmann and Ansu Fati lining up in attack. Miralem Pjanic and Ousmane Dembele both came off the bench after the break, but the pair are expected to start as substitutes for Barcelona’s season curtain raiser. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterThe Most Exciting Cities In The World To VisitWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The WorldThis Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s HystericalThe 10 Most Irresistible Asian ActressesThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More6 Incredibly Strange Facts About Hurricanes Antoine Griezmann’s first half goal proved the difference against top-flight new boys Elche, with Koeman potentially offering a glimpse at what his starting line up may be against Villarreal next weekend. Neto played the full 90 minutes in goal, and the former Valencia man is expected to fill in for the injured Marc Ter Stegen against Unai Emery’s side. Ronald Koeman has now secured three straight warm up wins as Barcelona boss, following successive victories against Gimnastic de Tarragona and local rivals Girona. Barcelona secured a 1-0 win in their final preseason game ahead of the 2020-21 season, with victory over Elche in the annual Joan Gamper Trophy final on Saturday night. Sergio Roberto started ahead of Nelson Semedo at right back, alongside Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Jordi Alba.last_img read more

Southampton rebuff Reds’ Lovren bid

first_imgLiverpool have seen a bid rejected for Southampton centre-back Dejan Lovren, albeit for a fee Press Association Sport understands to be much lower than the reported £20million. Press Association Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is now keen to bring yet another Saints player to Anfield, but the club have so far seen interest in Croatia international Lovren rebuffed. The 24-year-old joined Southampton from Lyon last summer in an £8.5million deal but is keen to leave and reportedly willing to go on strike to force through a move one season into a four-year deal. It has been widely reported that Liverpool have seen a £20million bid for the defender rejected , but Press Association Sport understands their offer was far lower than that. Lovren is in the midst of an extended break after competing at the World Cup and, while Saints may have already lost key players to the Reds, they are in a strong negotiating position after raking in nearly £60million already this summer. That money is to be reinvested in the squad by recently-appointed manager Ronald Koeman, with executive director Les Reed reiterating that stance f ollowing the £27million plus add-ons sale of Shaw. “While we are sad to see Luke depart the club, we fought to ensure that we got the right deal for a player in whom we have invested a great deal of work over the past decade,” he said. “This deal is a good one for Southampton Football Club, and hopefully sends a clear message to other clubs wishing to bid for our players. “Luke’s transfer fee will be reinvested into the team as our new manager, Ronald Koeman, builds for the new season and for years to come.” center_img This has been a difficult summer to date for Saints, who have not only seen manager Mauricio Pochettino depart for Tottenham but several key players leave for pastures new. Luke Shaw joined Manchester United in a world-record move for a teenager, while fellow England internationals Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana have both joined Liverpool. last_img read more