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District, PTA Work to Get Out Vote on March 11 School Referendum

first_imgOcean City Primary SchoolA school bond referendum on March 11 will ask Ocean City voters to approve borrowing $2,497,421 to help pay for a renovation of the Ocean City Primary School, which was built in 1965.With the one-question election less than a week away, the Ocean City Parent Teacher Association is working to encourage Ocean City residents to vote.  The PTA posted the following question-and-answer feature on its website:http://teacherweb.com/NJ/OceanCityPublicSchool/OceanCityPTA/ocsdcapimprovmnt.pdfThe document is the same one presented at a public-information forum hosted by the Ocean City Board of Education on Feb. 19.The district has the opportunity to recover 40 percent of the renovation cost through a state grant and to capitalize on low interest rates before they climb, according to School Business Administrator Pat Yacovelli. Ocean City will receive $2,399,279 from a state Regular Operating District (ROD) grant for school construction. New Jersey had not offered ROD grants for the previous four years.The total projected cost for the project is $6,653,368. With the state paying $2.4 million and the district contributing about $1.8 million from a capital reserve fund, voters will be asked to fund the remaining $2.5 million through a bond issue.The election will be 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 11. The project is planned for summer 2015.The school needs a new roof, heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical systems, windows and doors. Most classrooms have no air-conditioning, and some of the windows are 48-year-old originals, single-glazed and lined with asbestos.A new HVAC would be more energy-efficient and allow the school to control different zones within the school, according to Facilities Manager A.J. Nordt.“Our goal is to make the school safer and healthier,” Board of Education member Ray Clark said. “Promote a better learning environment.”If the referendum is successful, the owner of a $500,000 home in Ocean City would pay an extra $15.39 in school taxes annually for a bond issue period of 10 years, according to Yacovelli.A separate HVAC project at Ocean City High School is projected to cost $2.9 million and to be completed this summer.last_img read more

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Bakers left ‘devastated’ following government report on underpaid staff

first_imgBakers have hit out at a report naming businesses that have underpaid staff – saying it is ‘misleading’ and has branded ‘honest people’ as criminals. Three hundred and fifty-nine employers were named by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) for underpaying their workers the national minimum or living wage.As well as recovering arrears for some of the UK’s lowest paid workers, HMRC issued penalties worth around £800,000.For the first time, the list includes employers who failed to pay eligible workers at least the new National Living Wage rate, which currently stands at £7.20 for workers aged 25 and over.British Baker tried to get in touch with all the bakers ‘named and shamed’ by the report – and found the story was not as clear cut as it appeared.“We have been branded criminals and all this business is guilty of is trying to help people,” said Tony Bain, general manager at Glover’s Bakery in Preston.“I have worked here for over 30 years – I learnt my trade at Warburtons with Alf Glover, and then he started this business 40-odd years ago. You will never meet a kinder, more caring man. He has been left devastated by this report.”Glover’s was listed as having failed to pay £11,320.33 to two workers.“That amount was for two employees to live in a subsidised flat above the bakery – it was deducted at their request,” added Bain.‘We are not cheats’“We didn’t know that the money had to be paid to them and then paid back to us for the rent – all we are guilty of here is an administrative error. We are not cheats.“Mr Glover has been fined over £10,000 for basically trying to help people. Is that what this world is coming to?“He has in the past given people advances for cars, houses. He does so much charity work. He is beloved by each and every one of his employees for being such a good man and this has left him broken.”Bain added: “The staff at Glover’s have all signed a card to be given to Alf, telling him how much they appreciate him – they want him to know how valued he is, because right now he feels his staff and customers think he’s a crook.”‘Laughable’ reportBrian O’Loughlin, managing director at Thomas’ Bakery in Dalton-on-Furness, declared the report “laughable” after his business was accused of underpaying a total of £779.75 to nine workers.“That is the £1 coin our employees put in for tea, coffee and biscuits each week,” he said. “That is only the ones who want to, obviously, and instead of putting a pound in a cup each week, we had the written agreement of each and every one of them that they’d rather it be taken out of their wages. That amounts to £779.75 over two-and-a-half years.“We thought we were modernising everything by not asking for a pound coin – but we’re now back to putting a pound in a pot.”O’Loughlin added that he embraced the minimum wage, because it puts him on a level playing field with his competitors.“In the past, businesses could get away with paying less, but our main competitor around here is Greggs, for example, and I like that they have to pay their staff exactly the same as me.”He described the attitude of BEIS as “like running a protection racket but without a balaclava”, adding they would have a point if employees were being “diddled out of their money”.‘Pulled up over tea and biscuits’“But 2.3p an hour, or £1 a week – that’s what we were pulled up over – for tea and biscuits!”He added that, although the report was “ridiculous”, it could mean customers would not to trust his business as a result.“And that is no laughing matter,” he said. “We make some of the best pies in Britain, award-winning, but all that means nothing if your customers don’t trust you.”Greencore, which was also listed in the report, said it was guilty of an administrative error (it failed to pay £1,675.50 to 22 workers). Michael Evans, group communications manager at the company, said: ““Greencore has been notified the company made an administrative error when carrying out minor wage deductions from a small number of employees at the group’s facility in Hull.“The company has therefore reimbursed 22 colleagues with an average amount of around £76, and has put measures in place to prevent an oversight of this kind from happening again.”Bakeries and related businesses on the list include:Glover’s Bakery Limited, Preston PR5, failed to pay £11,320.33 to two workers.Russell Evans & Lynne Evans trading as Glanmor’s Bakery, Caerphilly CF83, failed to pay £3,959.70 to one worker.Greencore Grocery Limited, Hull HU7, failed to pay £1,675.50 to 22 workers.Shannons Bakers Limited, Barking IG11, failed to pay £1,227.17 to two workers.Brian O’Loughlin Ltd, trading as Thomas’s Bakery, Dalton-in-Furness LA15, failed to pay £779.75 to nine workers.The Coffee Shop (Blyth) Limited, trading as Chapel Bakery, Wallsend NE28, failed to pay £313.81 to one worker.London Agege Bread Bakers Limited, London SE7, failed to pay £210.00 to one worker.Mr Robin Revill, trading as The Crusty Loaf, Coleford GL16, failed to pay £138.62 to eight workers.last_img read more

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‘Brainbow,’ version 2.0

first_imgThe breakthrough technique that allowed scientists to obtain one-of-a-kind, colorful images of the myriad connections in the brain and nervous system is about to get a significant upgrade.A group of Harvard researchers, led by Joshua Sanes, the Jeff C. Tarr Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Paul J. Finnegan Family Director, Center for Brain Science, and Jeff Lichtman, the Jeremy R. Knowles Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Santíago Ramón y Cajal Professor of Arts and Sciences, has made a host of technical improvements in the “Brainbow” imaging technique. Their work is described in a May 5 paper in Nature Methods.First described in 2007, the system combines three fluorescent proteins — one red, one blue, and one green — to label different cells with as many as 90 colors. By studying the resulting images, researchers were able to begin to understand how the millions of neurons in the brain are connected.“‘Brainbow’ generated beautiful images of a kind we had never been able to obtain before, but it was difficult in some ways,” said Sanes, who also serves as director of the Center for Brain Science.“These modifications aim to overcome some of the more problematic features of the original genetic constructs,” Lichtman said. “Lead author Dawen Cai, a research associate in our labs, worked hard and creatively to find ways to make the ‘Brainbow’ colors brighter, more variable, and useable in situations where the original gene constructs were hard to implement. Our first look at these animals suggests that these improvements are fantastic.”The cells in the cerebellum of a mouse show up in an array of colors, including red, pink, yellow, green, cyan, blue, and brown.Among the challenges faced by researchers using the original method, Sanes said, was the chance that certain colored proteins would bleach out faster than others.“If one color bleaches faster than the others, you start with a ‘Brainbow,’ but by the time you’re done imaging, you might just have a ‘blue-bow,’ because the red and yellow bleach too fast,” he said.Sanes said that some colors also were too dim, causing problems in the imaging process, while in other cases the protein didn’t fill the whole neuron evenly enough, or there was an overabundance of a certain color in an image.“What we decided to do was to make the next generation of ‘Brainbow,’” Sanes said. “We systematically set out to look at these problems. We looked at a whole range of fluorescent proteins to find the ones that were brightest and wouldn’t bleach as much, and we developed new transgenic methods to avoid the predominance of a particular color.”The researchers also explored new ways to create “Brainbow” images, including using viruses to introduce fluorescent proteins into cells.The advantage of the new technique, Sanes said, is it offers researchers the chance to target certain parts of the brain and better understand how neurons radiate out to connect with other brain regions. Ultimately, he said, he hopes that other researchers are able to apply the techniques outlined in the paper in the same way that they expanded on the first “Brainbow” method.“People adapted the method to study a number of interesting questions in other tissues to examine cellular relationships and cell lineages in kidney and skin cells,” he said. “It was also used to examine the nervous system in animals like zebrafish and C. elegans. With these new tools, I think we’ve taken the next step.”last_img read more

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Plant labels

first_imgBy Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaReading nutritional labels can help you make the best food selections for your body’s needs. Taking the time to read plant labels can help you do the same for them. “Before you even buy a plant, you need to read and understand the information on its label,” said Bobby Smith, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent in Morgan County. “This is as important for plants as it is for seed, fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides.” Soil type and right lightA plant label includes information like the plant’s Latin and common names, mature height, spread and flowering time. The label will indicate whether the plant performs best in acidic, alkaline or neutral soil. It will also dictate whether the plant prefers moist, well-drained or dry conditions. Light requirements are also commonly found on plant labels. Knowing the plant’s light requirements will help you determine whether to it likes full sun, partial sun or shade. The most overlooked detail on the plant label is the plant’s mature size, Smith said. “The mature height and spread of any plant is an especially important consideration before planting,” he said. “The plant may be called a dwarf, but compared to what? The dwarf’s parent plant may grow to be 80 feet tall while it only grows to 40 feet.” Knowing how tall and wide a plant will be at maturity is essential for proper site selection. This information will prevent you from placing the plant or tree too close to a house or structure. Not too close“Trees should be planted no closer than 20 feet to any house or structure to keep roots from undermining the foundation,” he said. “For proper health, plants should not be placed too close to each other either.” If you cannot understand the information on the plant’s label, don’t buy it or plant it until you do, Smith said. Ask a garden center professional for help or contact your local UGA Extension office by calling 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img read more

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National Life Group Announces Major Solar Project

first_imgNational Life Group Announces Major Solar ProjectMontpelier, Vermont – National Life Group has announced that it will install 240 solar panels on the roof of its Montpelier headquarters in what will be one of the largest, if not the largest, solar electric installations in the state of Vermont.The $500,000 project calls for the installation of 240 300-watt solar panels on the roof of the financial services company. The 77 kW photovoltaic (PV) system will generate enough electricity to power 13 average Vermont homes.The project will be financed in part through a $200,000 grant from the state of Vermont’s Clean Energy Development Fund, administered by the state Department of Public Service.Thomas H. MacLeay, National Life’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the project is a critical element of the company’s years-long green initiative.”Converting sunlight into electricity is an important component of our plan to lessen our environmental footprint,” said MacLeay. “This state grant, together with federal and state tax incentives, makes this project affordable.”National Life has contracted Solar Works Inc., headquartered in Montpelier, to handle the installation. Solar Works is the leading solar electric systems integrator in the Northeast.MacLeay said that the system will generate 77,767 kilowatt-hours a year.”Over the 25-year life of this project this system is equivalent to avoiding almost 2 million miles of driving,” MacLeay said.Tim Shea, the National Life executive in charge of the project, said he expects the system to be installed and running by September. Shea also said the company is now working on a separate proposal that would use solar thermal heating to supply hot water to the building.National Life, a member of the United States Green Building Council, is working to win coveted LEED certification for its Montpelier headquarters. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.In recent years National Life has installed a highly insulated white roof membrane that cut winter fuel usage by 27 percent. Last year National Life transformed the offices of its Human Resources Department into a showcase for leading-edge green technology. The project added carpet with no volatile organic compounds (VOC), occupancy sensors, glass walls and automatic window blinds that allow light to pass, while keeping the heat out in the summer and the cold out in the winter. The new lighting technology – with fixtures that are 95 percent efficient compared to the 50 percent efficiency of existing fixtures – will cut in half the electric bill for the department.last_img read more

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Colombian Armed Forces Launch Aggressive Offensive Against the ELN

first_imgTwo days after that capture, Troops from the 18th Brigade in Boyacá killed one guerrilla member from the ELN’s Efraín Pabón Pabón Front and wounded another during a confrontation. Then on May 10, in Norte de Santander, Soldiers from the 30th Brigade discovered and deactivated two ramps containing cylinders filled with 60 kilograms of contaminated shrapnel and 12 kilograms of explosives. “There has been a significant violent presence in those departments for a long time,” said Jorge Restrepo, director of the Conflict Analysis Center (CERAC), an independent research organization in Bogotá that monitors the Colombian conflict. “But there was a recent substantial upsurge of ELN violent activities during FARC’s unilateral five-month ceasefire,” from December 2014 to May 2015. Since then, the Colombian Armed Forces have killed at least seven ELN members in northeastern Colombia, and captured three more. In northwestern Colombia, Military forces have killed six ELN guerrillas, captured seven more, and rescued three minors, according to Brigadier General Javier Díaz, Commander of Joint Task Force Titán. Also in May, the Army launched a broader effort in the Catatumbo region of northeastern Colombia, and Soldiers from the Vulcano Task Force captured on May 4 an alleged ELN operative known as “Pepo.” Military authorities suspect he’s the head of the ELN’s Capitán Francisco Bossio Company, in Norte de Santander, and that he’s a master bomber and sniper who acted as the group’s arms buyer in the region. A well-known extortionist, Pepo had joined the terrorist organization in 2005; Military authorities suspect he has participated in at least 10 terrorist attacks. As part of the offensive, members of Joint Task Force Titán, supported by the Navy and the Air Force, engaged the ELN’s Cacique Calarcá Front in early May. During the firefight in the department of Chocó, Soldiers rescued a wounded minor; they also captured an important alleged ELN operative known as “Wilmar” or “Piquiña,” who Military officials suspect is the second-in-command and finance head of the ELN’s Cacique Calarcá Front. The 15-year ELN veteran and explosives expert is also suspected of responsibility for numerous extortions, kidnappings, and terrorist actions in Chocó — including a 2010 ambush that resulted in the death of four Soldiers, and a similar action in 2004 that resulted in nine dead police officers. Army captures ELN explosives expert in Chocó By Dialogo July 13, 2015 ONLY BY HAVING FRIENDLY COUNTRIES JOIN FORCES CAN WE COUNTERACT EVIL ORGANIZATIONS, CALL THEM GUERRILLAS, DRUG TRAFFICKERS, PARAMILITARY FORCES, BACRIM. IN ORDER TO CHANGE THE DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT CAUSED BY GLOBAL WARMING, THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT AND INDISCRIMINATE EXPLOITATION OF MINERALS AND FORESTS, WE NEED THE WILLINGNESS OF THE WHOLE WORLD, WITHOUT SELFISHNESS OR EXCESSIVE PESSIMISM. What is the use when our police continue to be targets of the guerrilla or of terrorism? Let’s begin by protecting our own.. The Colombian military forces were completely focused on the FARC, now with the policies of today they fight the FARC, but then later they change strategies and order activities to be stopped when they’re giving good results. They must fight other groups that are acting freely, without the presence of the whole military apparatus, then they change the orders and go back to fighting the FARC, which are very far away from their previous positions. The strategists within the Ministry of Defense, who held diplomatic positions abroad before taking on their positions in the Ministry, and had no idea what goes on in Colombia! They are strategists who went to parties and consular meetings with other countries. Before the army was resistant to so much stupidity, but what’s important in Colombia is soccer and let the country fall to pieces but not the soccer stadiums. But the generals’ comments are not heard!!!!! Troops with the the Vulcano Task Force, that same month, also cleaned a mine field in a nearby municipality and assisted the National Police in seizing and destroying nearly 860 kilograms of cocaine and 1.4 tons of marijuana. Meanwhile in Arauca, Soldiers from the 16th Brigade killed a leader of the ELN’s José David Suárez Front as part of a Military operation; additionally, the National Police and Troops from the 30th Brigade destroyed four ELN cocaine processing laboratories valued at approximately $1.5 million. The operations have damaged the efforts of the guerrillas to strengthen their presence in those areas, security analysts said. Military operations in northeastern Colombia A broad range of security forces have participated in the intensified efforts, including Soldiers from the Army’s 8th, 15th, 16th, 18th and 30th Brigades, anti-narcotics officers from the National Police, and members of both Joint Task Force Titán and the Vulcano Joint Task Force. The escalation, which began in late April, has targeted guerillas in the departments of Norte de Santander, Arauca, Boyacá, and Chocó — four historic ELN strongholds. “The ELN has benefited from a criminal marriage based on drug trafficking with the FARC, the EPL, and criminal gangs,” said Colonel Marcos Pinto Lizarazo, commander of the Army’s 30th Brigade. “We have not and we will not stop fighting them.” Continued vigilance against the ELN The Military initiative against the ELN continued into June and is ongoing. The Armed Forces must remain vigilant against the organization, which engages in drug trafficking to finance its terrorist operations. In the Catatumbo region, the ELN has approximately 400 men, most of whom live off the drug trade. Many of them work together with other criminal organizations, including drug trafficking groups. In recent months, the Colombian National Army in cooperation with the National Police has launched several important operations against the National Liberation Army (ELN) in Colombia’s northeastern and northwestern frontiers. last_img read more

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Long Island Snow Storm to Snarl Tuesday Commute

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A winter storm is forecast to dump two to four inches of snow Tuesday on Long Island, which is likely to snarl the rush hour commute, forecasters said.The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for Nassau and Suffolk counties from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesday.“Snow is expected to begin after midnight tonight and continue into the Tuesday morning rush,” the agency’s Upton-based meteorologists said in a statement. “Snow ends by Tuesday afternoon.”The storm is expected to cause slippery roadways and reduced visibility, creating hazardous travel conditions.Temperatures are expected to be 13 with wind chills as low as 5 and gusts up to 20 mph.Once the storm passes, there is another slight chance of snow on Wednesday, Thursday and this weekend.last_img read more

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3 signs you’re the office grump

first_imgWho’s the grump in your office? Who emits negative energy and is always in a bad mood? Can’t think of anyone off-hand? Uh-oh. You may be looking in the wrong direction. Here are 3 signs that you’re the office grump.Your coworkers drive you crazy: We’ve all had that one coworker that drove us nuts. I think it’s pretty normal to be annoyed by someone’s antics at least once in your professional life. But what if your whole office drives you crazy? That’s normal too, right? Not so much. It’s not likely everyone in your office is going out their way to annoy you. Maybe you’re just a curmudgeon.Your mornings don’t seem to end: If you’re not a morning person, waking up is something you dread. When that alarm goes off you probably hit snooze once or twice (or for an hour). A hot shower probably helps, and that first cup of coffee probably does wonders. But what if you’re still grouchy at 10:30? That’s a good sign that you’re a grump.You’re annoyed by something new every day: If you’ve ever watched The Office, then I’m sure you know who Stanley is. He’s the grumpiest of grumps, and something was always getting on his nerves. It’s one thing to be bothered by someone you work with, but if you’re finding new things to be annoyed with on a daily basis, then you’re definitely a grump. 127SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Detailslast_img read more

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Basic credit union social media tips for 2020

first_imgSo much has changed in social media in the last few years. That’s especially true of some of the old favorites, such as Facebook and Instagram. There’s no shame in looking for a little refresher.Consequently, we thought it would be a good idea to look at a handful of social media tips for your credit union. If some of these tips look familiar…Well…The more things change, the more they stay the same. Sometimes.Basic social media tips for credit unionsBelow are several social media best practices for the coming year. Keep an eye out for subtle changes along the way—platform tweaks and new algorithms often require new approaches. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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NextGen Know-How: 3 planning exercises to start 2021 strong

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr This post is currently collecting data… I had big goals for 2020. In February, I started writing my leadership book, which was going to be my main project of the year. Then COVID-19 happened in March, and I found myself at home with three kids, struggling to balance pivoting my workshops to online sessions and getting my kids through virtual learning. It took me a few months to work through the disruption and shift to a more positive mindset.I bet you had goals and plans this year too. We all did the best we could under the circumstances, and this was certainly a year to give ourselves grace around goals, plans and intentions. I have to remind myself regularly that I am a human being having a human experience. We may have plans and dreams, but life isn’t always easy. There are twists and turns along the way.We can’t change the past; we can only move forward. No matter where you are now, start there. Maybe you’ve gained a few “COVID pounds” this year, or you didn’t make progress on some work projects as you planned. While beginning a new year won’t magically make things easier or better, there are a few exercises you can do to transition into the new year with a more positive mindset.center_img This is placeholder text continue reading »last_img read more

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