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Archive of posts published in the category: ezbajkvl

Congress: Stop protecting sexual harassers

first_imgCongress, an inherent conflict of interest.After a 30-day counseling period, employees must file “a request for mediation,” which is led by an outside official.Only after this 30-day mediation process may employees request an administrative hearing or file suit.Although mediation can be a useful process, it can also deepen the pain and subject accusers to pressure from the accused, who can use mediation — which is confidential — to try to talk them out of pursuing their case.If a victim goes public before the conclusion of the counseling and mediation process, he or she is subject to sanctions.This system was unenlightened, to put it mildly, when it was instituted in 1995.But in 2017, and in view of the widely reported experience of Hill staff members, it should be seen for what it is: an enabling mechanism. It’s about time.The 1995 Congressional Accountability Act applied most labor and civil rights laws to Congress.But instead of subjecting itself to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces those laws, Congress created a weaker oversight body, the Office of Compliance — and exempted itself from basic safeguards against violations that are all too common.As a result, employees of federal agencies — but not members of Congress — are required to take training on sexual harassment.Agencies — but not Congress — must post information about where to report workplace violations.And while most federal workers find it relatively easy to file a complaint, congressional staff members face a convoluted process designed to protect offenders.Legislative employees who wish to report sexual harassment must “request counseling” from the Office of Compliance, even though its board of directors is appointed by members of Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared on Bloomberg View:Congress has a rich history of exempting itself from rules it imposes on everyone else.Insider trading? Doesn’t apply. Whistleblower protections? Not in Congress! Workplace safety rights? Less is more. The Freedom of Information Act? Surely you jest.The most egregious example of this “Do as we say, not as we do” approach may concern sexual harassment.This week, as the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal continues, the House Administration Committee announced that it would review the body’s embarrassingly backward harassment policies.center_img Federal employees who work on Capitol Hill should have no fewer protections than other federal employees.House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, has welcomed the administration committee’s review. But the public should demand swift action and accountability.Mandating training would be a good start, as one representative (and former staff member) has proposed.Even better would be scrapping its separate and unequal adjudicatory process altogether.Congress should abide by the same laws and standards it places upon federal agencies, private businesses and the general public.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

Leaders must find way to save planet

first_imgHumanity is facing two major problems that could make life on Earth impossible. While military and ideological conflicts engage the attention of some nations and regions, nuclear war and climate change continue to threaten our existence. Addressing these problems will require effective leadership and support by the major industrial nations of the world. America’s role is unfortunately stifled by a president who might engage us in a nuclear war and believes climate change is a hoax.Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist paper 68, wrote “The process of election affords a moral certainty that the office of president will seldom fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” Later in that same paragraph, he wrote, “It will not be too strong to say that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters preeminent for ability and virtue.” Well, Alex, the American people have elected as president a man drowning in immorality and incompetence.I note pessimistically that around the world, we are witnessing the rise of national leaders who are antagonistic to democracy and live insecurely while governing their own domain. Such leaders are unlikely to support common-good issues of world importance.Most Americans believe that our elected officials should always do the right thing — that is, support what is best for the nation. By analogy, can’t the people of the world politically find a way to join hands and cooperate to save our planet?Howard LittmanNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Automakers rev up discounts to beat coronavirus sales blues

first_imgUS automakers are scheduled to report June and second-quarter car and light truck sales on Wednesday. Analysts are forecasting June sales will fall by 25 percent from a year earlier. That’s an improvement from the declines in April and May, reflecting a slow recovery in retail demand hit by coronavirus shutdowns.The second-quarter numbers reflect a peak for the US auto industry’s efforts to use consumer discounts, low interest loans and other incentives to prop up demand during the pandemic.Since March, US automakers have rushed to prop up demand with rich incentives to keep sales moving. The deals have been good enough and over the next few months, industry officials and analysts say sales could be hurt because of tight inventory.“The speed at which the (automakers) stepped in to support the franchised dealer network as well as the retail consumer is historically significant,” auto retailer Lithia Motors’ Chief Executive Officer Bryan DeBoer said. On a per vehicle basis, spending on discounts was at record levels for June at about $4,441 per unit, a significant 12 percent increase from $3,966 per unit for June 2019, according to automotive consultancy firm J.D. Power.In April, a month after automakers halted production due to the coronavirus outbreak and a massive 40 percent decline in sales, per vehicle spending peaked at about $5,000 for the year, jumping about 40 percent from the same period last year.“The top three automakers have packed in aggressive incentives with extended financing at 0 percent rate for 84 months in addition to payment deferrals for up to six months,” said Tyson Jominy, vice president of data and analytics at J.D. Power.“Before COVID, only 7 percent of all sales represented loan terms for 84 months. That metric shot up to 21 percent during the peak,” Jominy said. “That’s unprecedented.”Lower sales volumes mean automakers can offer hefty discounts per vehicle, while still shrinking overall spending.Total incentives offered by automakers since March until June end are estimated to be down about 12 percent to $18.6 billion, from a year earlier, as sales volume have fallen 28 percent, according to J.D. Power.Shares of General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles closed up between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent on Monday.Topics : In the midst of a raging pandemic, Belal Bilto, 26, a sales executive and a Manhattan resident bought a midsize pickup Jeep Gladiator this month for just over US$48,000, lured by a discount of about $5,000 on the list price and a seven-year, no-interest loan.For Bilto, who was laid off in March, and his fiancé Sabrina Moller, 28, a private chef, a car seemed a safer option to travel around during the virus outbreak. Most importantly the truck’s purchase is a business expense for the couple to support their new boutique mobile catering venture, platedate.“We went specifically for the Gladiator because the model was (being offered at) employee pricing and we also got free service after 1,000 miles and a free repair offer for a serious accident,” Bilto told Reuters.last_img read more

Wolf Administration Helpline for Addiction Assistance Continues Path of Substantial Growth

first_img September 14, 2017 Press Release,  Substance Use Disorder Harrisburg, PA – As the state and nation celebrate Recovery Month, Governor Wolf announced today that Pennsylvanians seeking help for drug and alcohol problems are increasingly turning to the statewide toll-free helpline, a program under the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP).The toll-free helpline has received more than 15,500 calls since introduced by the Wolf Administration 10 months ago, and is providing personal help to individuals suffering from addiction – and to their families and friends – by directing them to immediate help.“The helpline is another tool Pennsylvania offers to help those with an opioid or another substance use disorder into treatment and on the road to recovery,” Governor Wolf said. “The success of the helpline reinforces the need for at-the-ready help for those suffering, and is a part of our ongoing effort to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic head on.”“Anyone with a drug or alcohol problem can call our toll-free statewide helpline at 1-800-662-HELP, to talk to a person and get immediate assistance to enter treatment,” said DDAP Acting Secretary Jennifer Smith. “During National Recovery Month in September, we want to spread the word that Pennsylvanians with a substance use disorder can find help through a phone call. Individuals can also use an online chat service to connect to the helpline, which offers a way to get anonymous help.DDAP notes that callers to the hotline have ranged from individuals seeking detox facilities, to those looking for a caring, knowledgeable person to help them out of a situation that might lead to a recovery relapse.“Addiction is a disease than impacts families and friends, not just individuals who are suffering with a drug or alcohol problem,” said Smith. “We know that often those people surrounding the individuals with a substance use disorder need help, too, and all are welcome to call the helpline.”“Recovery is a process and individuals living with substance use disorders need support,” Gov. Wolf said. Wolf Administration Helpline for Addiction Assistance Continues Path of Substantial Growthcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Danish pension funds look for new PPPs after exposure rises 50%

first_imgHowever, seen on its own, the funds’ investment in PPPs abroad has fallen by 8% over the two-year period, according to the survey, which takes in responses from 16 pension companies representing 75% of total Danish pensions assets.Per Bremer Rasmussen, chief executive at F&P, said: “The industry would like to invest more in Denmark, but our members are calling for better framework conditions and more suitable projects.”Asked to name the barriers to investment in PPPs, the obstacle most frequently cited by respondents in the survey was the dearth of projects available to invest in, with 98% of pension companies citing this, up from 94% in 2013.In 2015, Danish pension investors were putting 62% of their total PPP investment into domestic projects and 38% into projects abroad, with the domestic portion having risen from 50% in 2013 and 44% back in 2011, the F&P data showed. Bremer Rasmussen said the poll showed the Danish market for PPPs had now matured in relation to markets abroad, which previously attracted the lion’s share of investment money.“Our members are finding it is still difficult to invest in PPP projects at home,” he said.Apart from improved framework conditions underlying the projects, the pension funds also called for better knowledge and understanding of PPPs at the state, municipality and regional level, as well as better communication with public authorities, he said.“It could be useful to have a central PPP unit in Denmark to facilitate all of this, where people can share knowledge and experiences and coordinate things between the public and private sides,” Bremer Rasmussen said.PKA, PensionDanmark and Sampension previously joined forces and launched a “one stop shop” for Danish PPPs, earmarking DKK5bn for projects being proposed by local authorities.Separately, Nordea Life & Pension Denmark announced yesterday that work was finally beginning on the big PPP office building project on Kalvebod Brygge (quay) in Copenhagen, a deal signed in October 2014.Nordea Life & Pension Denmark is the lead investor in the partnership in which the Danish pension fund for education practitioners (Pædagogernes Pensionskasse) and the pension fund for doctors (Lægernes Pensionskasse) have also invested.The new building will provide 60,000sqm of space and house government bodies including Rail Net Denmark (Banedanmark) and the Danish Transport Authority (Trafikstyrelsen). Anders Schelde, CIO at Nordea Life & Pension, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with the government and other stakeholders, and we hope to expand on this with several similar projects in the future.”The total construction cost of the project was approximately DKK1bn when the deal was signed. Pension funds in Denmark are keen to invest more in infrastructure and real estate via public/private partnerships (PPPs), and their investments in these projects have increased by 50% on home territory between 2013 and 2015, according to a survey.Results of the Danish pensions and insurance association Forsikring & Pension’s 2015 survey into the country’s pension funds and their attitudes towards investment via PPPs also showed the funds were now putting more of their PPP investment into Denmark than abroad, reversing the situation seen in 2011.According to the survey, Danish pension funds now have DKK11bn (€1.5bn) invested in Danish PPPs, almost 50% more than in 2013. Including foreign PPP investments, Danish pension funds now have DKK18bn invested, the figures show, 20% higher than in 2013.last_img read more

Hapag-Lloyd Makes First-Ever Call at Prince Rupert

first_imgGerman shipping company Hapag-Lloyd has made its first-ever call at Prince Rupert Port in Canada.On April 21, the 6,500 TEU YM Masculinity called at the port’s Fairview Container Terminal as part of the PS8 trans-Pacific service.Prince Rupert has been added as the first North American port of call on the PS8, which is operated by Taiwanese shipping company Yang Ming and its partners in THE Alliance, Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express.“With the decision to incorporate Prince Rupert into our network, we strengthen and further expand our position in Canada,” Uffe Ostergaard, President of Hapag-Lloyd America, said.“The addition of THE Alliance to Prince Rupert’s containerized cargo services expands the reach of Asia-North American trade through our port to new markets and shippers,” Shaun Stevenson, Vice President of Trade Development and Public Affairs for the Port of Prince Rupert, commented.“With expanded capacity to accommodate 1.35 million TEUs, we’re confident this new partnership will strengthen the supply chain solutions offered through the west coast’s … gateway,” Stevenson added.In 2017, expansion works were completed at the port’s Fairview Container Terminal, boosting the annual throughput capacity by 60% as the terminal moved 926,540 TEUs in 2017.last_img read more

Multiple abortions increase risk of maternal death: new study

first_imgLifesite News.com 12 Sep 2012A single induced abortion increases the risk of maternal death by 45 percent compared to women with no history of abortion, according to a new studyof all women of reproductive age in Denmark over a 25 year period.The study found that each additional abortion is associated with an even higher death rate. Women who had two abortions were 114 percent more likely to die during the period examined, and women had three or more abortions had a 192 percent increased risk of death.Elevated rates of death were also observed among women who experienced miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies or other natural losses. Among women with a history of multiple pregnancies, women with a history of both abortions and natural losses, but no live births, had the highest mortality rate.Women who had never been pregnant had the highest mortality rate overall.However, women with a history of successful deliveries were the least likely to die during the 25 years examined.The study is the second record linkage analysis of Danish mortality data to be published this month.The earlier study was limited to comparing mortality rates following only the first pregnancy outcome. It found that abortion of a first pregnancy was associated with a higher rate of death compared to death rates among women who delivered a first pregnancy. The higher death rate among women who had abortions persisted for each of the first ten years following the first pregnancy outcome.The finding that each additional abortion or other pregnancy loss contributed to a rising death rate is an indication that the observed effects are more likely to be causal than incidental, according to Dr. David Reardon, one of the co-authors of both studies.Dr. Reardon is the director of the Elliot Institute, which funds research related to abortion. He believes further research is needed to explore how the outcomes observed in this latest study may be influenced by abortion’s impact on natural pregnancy losses. A new population study from Finland, for example, has found that abortion is associated with higher rates of preterm delivery, low birth weight delivery, and perinatal deaths in subsequent pregnancies.“We knew from our previous studies of low income women in California that women who have multiple pregnancy outcomes, such as having a history of both abortion and miscarriage, have significantly different mortality rates,” Reardon said.”But this new study is the first to examine how each experience with abortion or miscarriage contributes to higher mortality rates,” Reardon observed.An abstract of the study titled “Reproductive history patterns and long-term mortality rates: a Danish, population-based record linkage study,” with links to the full text, is available here.http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/multiple-abortions-increase-risk-of-maternal-death-new-studylast_img read more

Irrigation Project at Botanical Gardens progessing smoothly, says Project Supervisor

first_img Sharing is caring! Share LocalNews Irrigation Project at Botanical Gardens progessing smoothly, says Project Supervisor by: – July 12, 2011 Share Sharecenter_img Tweet Technician and Project Supervisor, Mr. Daryl SamuelOn March 21st, 2011 the Forestry Wildlife and Parks Division commenced a one million dollar irrigation project at the Botanic Gardens which is expected to significantly enhance the Botanic Gardens ensuring that it is kept green throughout the year especially during the dry season. In an exclusive interview with our reporter Mr. Daryl Samuel, Technician at Enviro Plus Consultants and Project Supervisor gave an update on the progess of the project.“At present it is just winding down, we are laying electrical conduits and electrical valvues so that the system will just be able to operate from one control panel; all valvues will be controlled from one panel” he said. The water which will be sourced from the Elmshall river was designed similar to the one in place at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium currently. It is going to be an automated pop-up sprinkler irrigation system which will irrigate the ornamental section of the Gardens, that is about eighteen point six five (18.65) acres of the total Botanic Gardens.Mr. Samuels explained that the proper pipes required to transport the water from the river to the Botanical Gardens has to be sourced out of Dominica. “Presently there is one major outstanding activity in terms of excavation on the Elmshall Road to bring water to the Botanical Gardens. The contractor is in the process of sourcing the pipes required, however in the meantime they are clearing the site to restore it to its original state. This stage entails regrassing of the lawns and road repair works at the Botanical Gardens” he said.Although the project suffered a two week delay during the excavation stage earlier in March of this year, Mr. Samuels reported that the porject is running smoothly. “The two week delay was due to huge rocks and boulders which were found on the site, it is anticipated that the irrigation will be completed by the end of July. Some of these rocks had to be  dug out, smashed and transported from the site therefore incurring further costs which was not anticipated” he said.Various sections of the Botanical Gardens has been closed to vehicular traffic, pedestrians and visitors to facilitate the project.Dominica Vibes News 33 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Donald Glenn Smith, 94

first_imgDonald Glenn Smith, 94, Greensburg, passed away on Monday, January 1, 2018 at the Arbor Grove Village in Greensburg.Born, May 11, 1923 in Covington, Kentucky, he was the son of Robert and Shirley (Haley) Smith.Donald served in the Navy during WW II and was stationed in the South Pacific.  He worked for over 25 years at BCA until his retirement.  He had been a member of the First Church of God, the American Legion, and the VFW.He was married to Mary Evelyn Owens on April 27, 1943 and she preceded him in death on January 10, 2005.  After Mary’s death, Donald made residence with his brother-in-law, Bill Owens.He is survived by one son, Donald Robert (Verla) Smith, Indianapolis; two daughters, Beverly Susan (Ray) Gould, Friendship, Katha (Thomas) Batterton, Greensburg; one brother, Charles Smith, Memphis, TN; one sister, JoAnn (Charles) Fox, Greensburg; nine grandchildren and eighteen great grandchildren.He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and two brothers, Robert J. Smith, Jr. and George O. Smith.Visitation will be held on Saturday from 10 to 1:00 p.m. at the Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home in Greensburg.Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at the funeral home with Rev. Terry Canfield officiating.Interment with full military graveside rites will be held in the Rossburg Cemetery in New Point.Memorials may be made to the Our Hospice of South Central Indiana.Online condolences can be made to the family at www.popfuneralhome.comlast_img read more

Hughes hopeful over Ireland deal

first_imgMark Hughes hopes Stephen Ireland will sign a new contract with Stoke soon. Ireland had to sit out Sunday’s 4-1 win at Aston Villa under the terms of the midfielder’s transfer from Villa Park to Stoke in January. The 27-year-old has performed well for the Potters ever since he signed for the club, initially on loan, last summer. He is only tied to the club until the end of the current campaign though, but Hughes hopes that will not be the case for much longer. “We are very hopeful that something is going to be concluded very quickly,” the Stoke manager said. “He was really disappointed he couldn’t take part today but we hope it will be concluded.” Ireland enjoyed a fine start to his career at Manchester City, but he quickly lost his place in the team following the big-money signings that came after Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of the club in 2008. The midfielder has struggled to find consistency in his game since. He had four years at Villa, but could not hold down a regular first-team place and he was sent out on loan to Newcastle and Stoke. Hughes, who managed Ireland at City, now hopes he can get the Republic of Ireland international’s career back on track. “Stephen needs stability in his career,” Hughes added. “He hasn’t had that for whatever reason and now he will at a club where he will be settled and have the impact his ability is able to have on a team.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more