Pete Madden Named New City Council Vice President

first_imgOcean City Council Vice President Pete MaddenCity Council elected Pete Madden as vice president in a 5-0 vote on Thursday.Madden replaces Mike Allegretto, who resigned from council on Sept. 14 after accepting a position as the city’s new Community Services Department director.Madden, 37, is a broker manager at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and was elected to his first term in an at-large council seat in May 2014. He is a former president of the Ocean City Board of Education.Madden was the only candidate nominated for the post. Councilman Tony Wilson was not present for the meeting.Council President Keith Hartzell cited Madden’s “extensive experience on school board” and said he was “a great choice.”Council also discussed the process for filling Allegretto’s vacant at-large seat on the seven-member council (which is comprised of three at-large representatives and four ward representatives).City Solicitor Dottie McCrosson said council has the option to leave the seat vacant until the May 2016 election — when candidates would run to complete the remaining two years of Allegretto’s term. Candidates would then run for a full four-year term in the at-large seat in May 2018.Council also has the option to make an appointment within 30 days of Allegretto’s resignation (by Oct. 14). Interviews with potential candidates could be conducted in public session or in private, according to McCrosson. Any vote on a new appointee would have to be made at a public meeting.In discussion and in a straw poll at Thursday’s meeting, three council members leaned toward keeping the seat vacant and letting the public decide on the new council member in May. Two councilmen were undecided.Councilman Antwan McClellan and Councilman Mike DeVlieger said the issue warranted further discussion.“I’m not prepared to act this evening,” DeVlieger said.Madden said he would prefer to leave the at-large seat open until the vote in May. He said he would feel differently if it were a ward representative charged with working more closely with constituents from different parts of town.“If it were a ward seat, it would make more sense to fill it,” Madden said.Hartzell said he was worried about the tight time frame for filling the seat and said he was committed to keeping interviews and the process in the public eye. He also said he wanted to keep the May election fair.“I don’t feel comfortable choosing somebody and giving that person an advantage,” Hartzell said.Councilman Pete Guinosso also said he favored keeping the seat vacant.If council were to remain at six members through May, votes that result in a tie would fail, according to McCrosson. The mayor, however, would be able to cast a tiebreaking vote on the appointment of a new council member.Hartzell said if three council members request it by Monday, the council workshop scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 1, could be dedicated to a discussion of whether or not to fill the seat.If council decides to make an appointment, interviews and a vote would take place at the regularly scheduled council meeting on Thursday, Oct. 8, he said.last_img read more

Bakers refute negative statistics on training

first_imgThe proportion of bakeries that have arranged or funded training in the past 12 months has fallen by 17%. It went from 70% in 2007 to 53% in 2010, according to a new report from Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, prepared by BMG Research.This represents the largest decrease in the food and drink manufacturing and processing (FDMP) industry, with the total proportion of FDMP employers that provided training in the last 12 months falling from 67% in 2007 to 57% in 2010.Yet both the plant and craft baking sector do not think these figures are necessarily a cause for concern. Federation of Bakers director Gordon Polson said the plant baking sector doesn’t generally have a huge staff turnover, so training tends to be cyclical. “We are not aware, and nobody has intimated that they’ll be reducing their training,” he said.National Association of Master Bakers chief executive, Gill Brooks-Lonican said with the bite of the recession craft bakeries could not always afford for staff to go off on a training course.Dunn’s of Crouch End owner Christopher Freeman said training was still important to his firm, and all staff were encouraged to do it. His one-shop craft bakery has put around 10 staff through training over the past year and Freeman said there were no plans to cut this back.The bakery sector is the largest in the FDMP industry with the highest number of establishments (30%) and is the biggest employer (26%). Employment in bakery (up 2%) bucked the trend of double-digit declines in meat, fish and dairy from 2005-08 (ABI 2008 data). However, evidence of skills gaps were highest in the confectionery sector (25% of employers have a skills gap) and bakery (21%).last_img read more

The October Issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors is Live!

first_imgCover Photo by Steve YocomThe October issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine just went live and is hitting newsstands now! Grab your copy or read online to learn about 5 of the most fearsome fall hikes in the Blue Ridge, the burgeoning bouldering scene taking place in the high country of Boone, North Carolina, some of the south’s eeriest ghost towns, and much more!DepartmentsCONTRIBUTOR QUESTIONSOnce a month we throw our contributors for a loop with a different question about their lives in the outdoors. This month we had them tell us about some of their most dangerous outdoor moments.FLASHPOINTAre we saving—or selling out—our public lands?QUICK HITSBear attack in Virginia • Polluted parks • Monumental tour • Eminem’s running addictionTHE DIRTMitchell Triple Crown • Native brook trout restored to the SmokiesTHE GOODSThe Scott Brothers select the best in bouldering gear.FeaturesTOM’S CABINYou can go home again to Thomas Wolfe’s writing retreat.TOO YOUNG?Most kids are playing with Legos and dolls. A few are thru-hiking long-distance trails.FEARLESS FALL FOLIAGEColor is spilling down the mountains. Wanna find the best spots to catch it? Tackle one of our five most adventurous hikes for leaf-peepers.WONDER WOMENMeet six pioneering females who are rocking the regional outdoor scene.THE SECRET IS OUTBouldering in Boone and the High Country is no longer for locals only.GHOST TOWNSExplore the region’s most hallowed haunts—abandoned moonshining communities, Renaissance castles, and even a pirate ship in Sherwood Forest.TRAIL MIXSouthern Rock Icons The Drive By Truckers are Back with an Epic Live Album.16 BABIES IN A CANOESixteen babies take up a lot of room in a canoe, but you gotta keep a princess happy.last_img read more

Mastic Man Charged With Making Terroristic Threat

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Mastic man has been charged with making a terroristic threat after Riverhead Town Police said he threatened people at the Tanger Outlets with a machete on Tuesday afternoon.John Medina was arrested after a 911 caller reported that the suspect said he wanted to hurt others and himself shortly before 1 p.m., police saidOfficers found the 32-year-old man had a machete in his backpack, police said.Medina was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon.last_img read more

Sales-service culture is not a sin

first_imgFew credit unions proudly drape themselves in the mantle of a sales and service culture. Some keep their practice of it hush-hush, like their credit union’s strategy is a speakeasy from the Prohibition Era. Others vociferously declare abstinence is best for credit unions, because they’re not supposed to “sell” members.Sales has gotten a bad rap from the Mad Men days, but modern sales is about meeting and exceeding member expectations, so really a strong sales culture is member service and vice versa. The member will recall how the credit union has listened to their needs and helped them achieve their goals, and therefore come back the next time they need help. These members also become advocates of the credit union, spreading word of mouth marketing that is much more valuable than any bought-and-paid for advertisement.When executives clearly and repeatedly outline a member-centric corporate strategy, managers are better able to explain and implement goals of the member service specialists. Member service representatives, loan officers and tellers can then listen for cues in what members are telling them about their lives, whether it’s about their 16-year old getting her license and they need to buy another car or where they’re planning to take their family vacation. Then the member service specialists can better home in on connecting those member needs with the corporate strategy and making the sale. Of course, all of these machinations begin with ensuring your credit union has the right products and services mix for its membership. In addition to the daily member interactions, broader surveys and focus groups should be conducted to ascertain exactly what members want from your institution. When that’s aligned, the member service specialists can be more confident that what they’re offering the members is exactly what they need. Member services must be able believe in the product so they can feel good about themselves in offering it to members. They also need to be trained to talk about the benefits of the product or service to the member in addition to its features. All of its benefits and features. But the member communication should focus on how it will help make their lives easier. Most people don’t care about the torque power of a drill; they just want to be able to hang their family portrait on the wall.And don’t shy away from non-interest income products if they’re the right product for the right members. Credit unions often don’t want to be seen as salesy, but these products, like GAP insurance, can help members avoid disaster and feel better taking the coverage than if they had not had the option because no one told them about it. The extra income to be earned from these products are re-invested back into the institution in the form of new services like an updated mobile app, or as a dividend back to the members. It can also be used to support community events and fundraisers, which generate more awareness for the credit union and the good work it does. Credit union executives and members will see and understand the good in that!Take Community First Credit Union for example. The credit union began a content marketing program offering financial education for members, Community First’s Johnathan Hanson explained in a post on, which demonstrated that the credit union cared about its members’ financial well-being, and the members received advice and pointers that benefited them. The effort was aligned with credit unions’ overarching purpose to improve members’ financial lives, which made it genuine for the members and strategic for Community First. Hanson cited one study, which found that 20% of consumers will return to a company based upon a previous experience, and another FICO study, which discovered that people who participated in financial literacy programs used more of the institution’s services and became more loyal to their institution. Community First interviewed hundreds of people, and found every single one of them agreed that financial education was important.The results: a 40% increase in account openings in one day. Products that were promoted during the online learning modules enjoyed increased sales of $2 million. Debt consolidation alone experienced a 41% increase in sales. Emails associated with the campaign earned a 20% conversion rate during the initial launch period. Community First blew away its goal of 5% member participation in the financial literacy program.While the financial education program took place online, as did the promotions, the member service representatives and loan officers must be prepared to take the follow-up phone calls from members seeking help, and then matching them with the right help the credit union can provide. Employing a sales and service culture isn’t a Scarlet Letter emblazoned on your chest to shame you; it’s more like the logo of a superhero every time you change a member’s life because you took the time to learn, listen and make the offer.Eager to start or build upon an existing sales-service culture? Contact gameFI today to learn how it can get and keep your credit union on track. 123SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Siri Chakka Siri Chakka is currently the Chief Strategy Officer for gameFI, a platform that amplifies growth and for community and regional institutions through employee engagement, powered by gamification. She has an … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Study says college students benefit from flu shots

first_imgDec 2, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers who surveyed thousands of Minnesota college students over four years found that those who got flu shots had a 30% lower rate of flu-like illness during flu seasons than those who skipped the shots, according to a report published this week.Those who received flu shots also were significantly less likely to go to a doctor or bungle an assignment or test because of an influenza-like illness (ILI), according to the report by Kristin L. Nichol, MD, MPH, and colleagues, of the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and the University of Minnesota. Their report was published yesterday in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.”Influenza vaccination was associated with substantial reductions in ILI and ILI-associated health care use and impairment of school performance,” the report states. “College and university students can experience substantial benefits from influenza vaccination.”College-age people are not among those for whom flu shots are officially recommended, unless they happen to be close contacts of others who are at risk for serious flu complications. This year, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended flu immunization recommendations to include all children aged 5 through 18.On the basis of previous research, Nichol and colleagues estimated that from 9% to 20% of college students come down with the flu each year. To assess the effects of flu shots in students, they conducted an Internet-based survey at the University of Minnesota during four successive flu seasons, from 2002-03 through 2005-06. In the last season they also included St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.Internet surveys usedEach October, all full-time students were invited by e-mail to participate in the study, which included baseline and follow-up surveys conducted on a secure Web site. The primary outcome measure was the percentage of students experiencing an ILI—defined as a respiratory illness with fever and cough—during the flu season. The surveys covered November through March, but the flu season was defined retrospectively using data from the Minnesota Department of Health.To limit bias, the researchers in their statistical analysis adjusted for differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups in a number of variables, including age, sex, high-risk status (due to diabetes, asthma, or heart disease), smoking status, general health level, and number of recent physician visits. Also, to limit the possibility that apparent benefits of vaccination would not represent actual reductions in flu cases, they assessed ILI rates in months that were covered by the surveys but were not part of the flu season.Over the 4 years, the researchers recruited 12,975 students who completed a baseline and at least one follow-up survey and gave their vaccination status. Overall, 30.2% of the students reported being vaccinated. Vaccinated students were somewhat older than unvaccinated ones and were slightly more likely to be women. (About 71% of participants in the study overall were women.)Close to a quarter of the students—24.1%—reported an ILI during the flu season. That included 20.9% of vaccinated students and 25.5% of the others. After adjustment for potential confounding variables, that translated into a 30% reduction in ILI (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56-0.89).As measured by certain secondary outcomes related to ILI, the benefits of vaccination were even greater, according to the report. The immunized students were 47% less likely to see a healthcare provider for an ILI (adjusted OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.35 to 0.82), 46% less likely to use antibiotics (adjusted OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.32 to 0.90), 40% less likely to do poorly on an assignment (adjusted OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.90), and 47% less likely to do poorly on a test (adjusted OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.31 to 0.88).The investigators found that immunized students lost significantly fewer days to illness than did the unvaccinated students. Overall, one day of ILI was prevented for every two people vaccinated, the report says.Illness in non-flu monthsThe analysis showed that, in contrast to the findings for the flu season, vaccinated and unvaccinated students had nearly the same rates of ILI during non-flu periods (adjusted OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.73 to 1.3). “These findings suggest that our multivariable models performed well and do not suggest significant bias,” the report says. In light of previous findings, the authors estimate that between 30% and 79% of the ILIs reported by the students were actual flu cases.During the 4-year study period, the only season in which the flu vaccine matched up poorly with the predominant viruses in circulation was 2003-04. In analyzing that year’s data separately, the authors found that the benefits of vaccination held up: immunized students had a 31% lower rate of ILI (adjusted OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.84).The authors comment that previous studies of flu vaccine effectiveness in younger adults have mostly focused on working people. “Our study extends previous observations by clarifying the benefits of vaccination specifically among college and university students,” they write. They also say that by following students for 4 years, they limited the risk of getting misleading results that comes with focusing on just one or two seasons.At the same time, the researchers acknowledge certain limitations of their study. Because it is an observational study, there is a chance of “residual confounding” despite the adjustments for covariates, they say. Also, the reliance on self-reporting may have led to misclassification of some participants’ vaccination status, and the Minnesota students may not have been fully representative of students nationwide.The next flu-vaccine target group?Lone Simonsen, PhD, MS, a George Washington University professor who has argued that some observational studies exaggerated the benefits of flu vaccination , especially in the elderly, welcomed the findings but raised questions about a couple of details. Simonsen is visiting professor and research director in George Washington’s Department of Global Health.”All in all, this is a study that highlights the benefits to an age-group that is probably the next on the target list going towards universal immunization: college kids,” she told CIDRAP News via e-mail. “Previous studies have struggled to see the benefits in this age-group because the severe outcomes are so very low (hospitalizations for example).”Calling the use of Internet reporting of ILI “interesting,” Simonsen said she would be concerned about validity, but she found it reassuring that the vaccinated and unvaccinated students had about the same ILI rates in the non-epidemic periods. “It is good that Nichol et al now embrace this strategy for testing for confounding bias,” she said, adding, “One thing that bothers me a tad is that the non-epidemic winter period findings are not shown in tables and figures—it is a very important aspect of the study.””I am not surprised that influenza vaccine can prevent 30% of ILI episodes in periods when influenza circulate—this is consistent with a good vaccine response as the authors conclude, similar to the expected 70% to 90% VE [vaccine effectiveness] for a laboratory-confirmed [influenza],” Simonsen said.The one “big surprise” to her was that benefits of vaccination persisted in the season when the vaccine was not a good match for circulating viruses. “The authors see this as a great thing—but it makes me wonder how this can be true, and if it is true, does that mean we shouldn’t bother with all that effort to identify antigenically matched vaccine strains each season,” she said.Simonsen said Nichol and colleagues cite several studies that showed good vaccine effectiveness in “mismatched seasons,” but she knows of several others that showed much poorer results. “So I’d say the jury is still out on this one,” she commented.Nichol KL, D’Heilly S, Ehlinger EP. Influenza vaccination among college and university students: impact on influenzalike illness, health care use, and impaired school performance. Arch Ped Adol Med 2008 Dec;162(12):1113-8 [Abstract]See also: Oct 30 CIDRAP News story “Benefits of flu vaccination hotly debated”last_img read more

First in the food chain

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Feminism Damages Children

first_imgNZ Centre of Political Research 30 August 2015Child abuse has again been in the headlines over the last few weeks, most recently following the release of the Children’s Commissioner’s State of Care report into the treatment of children in the care of Child, Youth and Family (CYF). The report contained a number of recommendations, which the Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley has said will be taken into account in the major overhaul of the agency that is presently underway.Leading the review is Paula Rebstock, an economist and the former Chair of the Commerce Commission, who has already directed far-reaching reforms for the government into Social Welfare and the Department of Corrections. It is understood that a ‘social investment’ approach is being promoted for CYF, which will put children’s needs at its centre – as well as focussing on what works and how to get best value for money. The report is said to be with Cabinet and is expected to be released in its final form by the end of the year.However, no matter what structural changes to the child protection agency are introduced, nor what new processes are brought in, the problems of abused and damaged children will continue until the government stops paying women who are not in loving and stable relationships to have babies.The cycle of abuse is largely intergenerational. Children are shaped by their parents and their home environment. If these are not conducive to good child-rearing practices, society will suffer. The research on this is conclusive.In spite of the best of intentions of those who influenced New Zealand’s early social welfare laws, by creating an environment in which violence and abuse can flourish, sole parent benefits are one of the single biggest factors in the child abuse equation. But since child advocacy groups and children’s authorities shy away from this issue – reforms in this area have been inadequate.So why is it that sole parent welfare is not being adequately addressed? Strange as it may sound, a key reason is feminism.A reminder of the radical nature of the feminist dogma that drove reforms throughout the Western world in the sixties and seventies can be seen in the rhetoric of leading feminist Linda Gordon, a New York University Professor who said, “The nuclear family must be destroyed… Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process.” Or the call of another feminist leader Sheila Cronin: “Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the women’s movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.”New Zealand feminists thought that securing government funding for mothers who left their husbands was the right thing to do. They wanted a regular state income to sustain these women and their children, without the need to work for a living. Their battle led to the establishment of the Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB) in the early seventies, as a stand-alone ‘wage’ for women escaping violent relationships.The problem was that over time the perverse incentives built into the scheme created a raft of unintended consequences and detrimental outcomes.If a couple was having relationship difficulties, instead of trying to reconcile the problems and keep the marriage together – for the sake of the children – the DPB paid the woman a secure state income if she split the family up.The DPB was only available if mothers did not let fathers have too much involvement in their children’s upbringing. In spite of fathers being society’s strongest protectors of children – and much needed male role models – the system effectively drove them away.The benefit was essentially only available to mothers who did not work. If a woman tried to take on a job and get back into the workforce and mainstream society – to become independent of the state – the benefit abatement rates were so punishing, that they became a serious disincentive to employment.While the benefit was paid to a mother to care for her children, there were no strings attached. This meant that if she failed to provide proper custodial care for her children, decent nutrition, appropriate health care, or even regular schooling, there were few, if any, consequences.Furthermore, built into the system was a simple but destructive incentive – if the mother had more children, she got more money. This meant that even if her lifestyle was totally unsuitable for raising a new baby, she was guaranteed a higher income if she got pregnant and had another child.In crude terms the feminists had created the environment for baby farming to flourish.While most women who entered the welfare system stayed for a relatively short time and raised their children well, for a vulnerable minority the DPB became a trap. Over the years, it created the opportunity for unskilled women to secure a regular income – and often a state house – without having to work. Without the stability and discipline that comes from working for a living and contributing to civil society, indolent and destructive lifestyles were all too common. Not only did the children suffer, but so too did the community. read more

Dominica to assist India with pharmaceuticals

first_img Share 37 Views   no discussions Tweet LocalNews Dominica to assist India with pharmaceuticals by: – April 15, 2011 Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Share Indian High Commissioner Mala Mishara. Photo credit: government of Dominica could soon be providing assistance to India in the health care sector.Indian High Commissioner to Dominica Mala Mishra says the Dominican government has proposed assistance in area of pharmaceuticals.He was addressing a press conference on Thursday.“Dominica has proposed to us some assistance by the way of supply of medicine. This is under active consideration by our government. India is one of the most important producer and exporter of pharmaceuticals in the world…we produce and export to the world to the tune of 12 billion dollars.He said India will also be seeking ways to export more of its pharmaceuticals to Dominica and the region by extension.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

All-Star Basketball

first_imgThis is a sad commentary on what has happened to the Indiana/Kentucky All-Star game.  According to reports I received, they could have played the game in any small gym in the state.  It was reported that maybe 100 people attended the game at Bellarmine College.It seems today that when kids graduate they want to move on.  Some were involved with graduations and others said they needed to report to their college for summer school.  As you probably know, there was not a 40 & 8 All-Star game in Ripley County this year.  It is just another example of what is happening in today’s society.  Kids seem to have other activities and when their season is over as seniors, they are finished with basketball.Being chosen to play used to be an honor, now it seems to be a chore.  I don’t know when this actually happened, but I am sad to see it go.last_img read more