31Dec/20

Garder: Child care critical to Vermont’s post-COVID economy

first_imgby Dimitri Garder, CEO Global-Z International Growing up in Queens, our family escaped to Vermont each summer. In the mid-1980s, we returned for good, making a home in southern Vermont. I went to college at UVM, but made my way back to Bennington, joining my parents to start our company, Global-Z.As my business and my own family grew, I became deeply committed to economic development in our region. With community partners, I’ve invested in many economic development projects – some more successful than others. But we approach each with the same goal: How can we ensure that Bennington County, Vermonters and our neighbors prosper? Child care emerges again and again as the key to ensuring that parents and children are healthy, happy, and economically secure. The truth is, the child care system in Vermont was broken before the COVID-19 crisis. Over 50% of Vermont’s children already lacked access to high-quality child care. As it stands now, children who can find and afford high-quality child care are the statistical outliers. That is both unjust and irrational. In my business, if a system is broken, we blame the process, not the person. We build a better system. This week, I joined Let’s Grow Kids and over 800 Vermont individuals, businesses, and statewide organizations to sign on to a policy statement calling for immediate and significant investments of federal CARES Act dollars to support the safe reopening of child care programs and to strengthen the industry long-term. I believe investing in child care is the moral thing to do. Each Vermont child deserves the same opportunity to thrive and high-quality child care may be our most powerful equalizer. But I am also trained as a data scientist and a businessperson, and I see child care as the best possible return on investment for our community and the state. Broken systems are not just bad for people, they’re bad for business. High-quality child care has an immediate economic impact on families and it significantly improves education, health, and criminal justice outcomes. In fact, it’s one of the areas of state spending where we gain more than we invest.Bennington deserves an investment in child care. Our region is struggling economically, and the effect this has on our kids is morally and economically tragic. For Vermont’s children under 5, the poverty rate is 11.5%. This rate rises dramatically when you zero in on our county and downtown: In Bennington County the rate is 16%, in Bennington it is 31% and in downtown Bennington, it is a staggering 38.1%. This is not only a moral issue, the economic cost is also high when looking at the impacts on population health, education, productivity, and workforce participation.  If you think it’s expensive to fully fund birth-to-five care for our children, you’re ignoring how expensive it is not to. In a recent exchange with Jonathan Cooper from the Bennington County Regional Commission he shared the data above and stated clearly: “Access to child care and a stable job continues to be the best one-two punch to lift children out of poverty.” The state-level data shows “the remarkable impact of access to child care. Where there is a full time, year-round job, the poverty rate for all Vermont families with children drops from 12.4% to just 2.1%. And when a single mother can return to work full time, year-round, her poverty rate falls from 34.7% to just 9%.” That is the future I want to work toward.I signed on to support the emergent investment in child care, but I’m committed to the long-haul of fixing our child care system. If we take this investment seriously, we help families today and chart a new vision for Vermont. Investing in child care makes quantitative financial sense, but there’s also a qualitative story I believe it will tell: We could be the first state in the nation to get this right. And if we do, the children who need it most will see their future improve; businesses will gain a powerful recruitment tool; our own children will want to stay, or return, to live here. And those who grew up elsewhere, like I was, will decide that it’s the best place to build their home and raise their family.last_img read more

20Dec/20

Shawnee Mission South theatre department gets in holiday spirit with ‘Miracle on 34th Street’

first_imgRehearsal photos courtesy SM South theatre department.The Shawnee Mission South theatre department is providing northeast Johnson County residents with a festive diversion as the holiday season gets underway with a production of “Miracle on 34th Street” that debuts tonight.Through Saturday, the school with stage a performance of the classic holiday tale each night at 7:30 p.m. in the SM South Auditorium, 5800 W. 107th Street. Tickets cost $10 and are available at the door or online.The play’s leading roles will be performed by:Brennan Lumpkin (senior) as Kris KringleJackson Peters (senior) as Fred GayleyAbigail Hindle (senior) as Doris WalkerIsabel Welty as Doris’s daughter, Susan Welty.Other featured performers include Ruthie Hasenleder (sophomore) as Shellhammer; Gabe Carter (senior) as Sawyer; Logan Stevens (junior) as Mr. Macy; Josiah Schools (senior) as Dr. Pierce; Erin Viets (senior) as Mara (attorney); and Michal Lackey as Judge Harper.A full cast list is available here.last_img read more

19Dec/20

CUES award meaningful to ‘future leader’ now CEO

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Back in 2009, CUES member Steve Schipull, CCE, was CFO of Generations Federal Credit Union and the recipient of the CUES Future Leader award (now called the CUES Exceptional Leader.) Today, he’s president/CEO of the $519 million San Antonio CU. As we started thinking about this year’s CUES award nominations (due in June and July), we caught up with Steve to see how the award impacted his career and professional outlook. Q: What has changed for you career-wise since you won this award in 2009? (With Schipull in the photo is past CUES  Chairman Carla Altepeter, CCE, now president/CEO of $1.3 billion Numerica Credit Union, Spokane Valley, Wash.)In 2011, I was honored to be selected as “CFO of the Year – Community Service Company” by the San Antonio Business Journal. This award meant a great deal because I was recognized locally for my business leadership and contributions to my company’s reputation and success.In November 2012, I was selected as the new president/CEO at our credit union. I was the only internal candidate in a nationwide search and was truly honored to be chosen to take our credit union to the next level. continue reading »last_img read more

08Dec/20

Nothing Focuses The Mind Like The Ultimate Deadline: Death

first_imgNPR: Ticktock. Ticktock. Ticktock.The seconds left in 2013 are slipping away. And you know what else is slipping away? The seconds left in your life.Luckily for you, there’s a new product called Tikker , a wristwatch that counts down your life, so you can watch on a large, dot-matrix display as the seconds you have left on Earth disappear down a black hole.Your estimated time of death is, of course, just that — an estimate. Tikker uses an algorithm like the one used by the federal government to figure a person’s life expectancy. But the effect is chilling, a sort of incessant grim reaper reminding you that time is running out.Read the whole story: NPR More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

19Nov/20

High blood pressure can impair cognitive function, pose risk for Alzheimer’s

first_imgShare on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Email An estimated 80 million people in the United States have hypertension, and the brain is among the organs most affected. Except for age, hypertension is the most important risk factor for vascular problems in the brain that lead to stroke and dementia.There is consistent evidence that chronic high blood pressure during middle age (40 to 64) is associated with altered cognitive function in both middle age and late life (65 to 84). Cognitive abilities that are affected include memory, speed of processing and executive function (ability to organize thoughts, manage time, make decisions, etc.)The effect of high blood pressure in late life is less clear. Some studies suggest it’s harmful, while other research suggests it may improve cognition. This highlights “the complexities of recommending uniform levels of blood pressure across the life course,” the expert panel wrote.Observational studies have demonstrated that high blood pressure causes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and other damage to the brain’s blood vessels, leading to reduced blood flow to brain cells. But evidence from clinical trials that treating blood pressure improves cognition is not conclusive.After carefully reviewing available studies, the panel concluded there are not enough data to make evidence-based recommendations. However, judicious treatment of high blood pressure, taking into account goals of care and the patient’s individual characteristics, “seems justified to safeguard vascular health and, as a consequence, brain health,” the panel concluded.The paper is titled, “Impact of hypertension on cognitive function: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association.” High blood pressure in middle age can lead to impaired cognition and is a potential risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a statement from the American Heart Association co-authored by Loyola Medicine neurologist José Biller, MD.Dr. Biller is a member of the multidisciplinary panel of experts that wrote the statement, published in the heart association journal Hypertension. Dr. Biller is chair of the department of neurology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. The panel is chaired by Constantino Iadecola, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine and co-chaired by Kristine Yaffe, MD, of the University of California San Francisco.Dementia affects an estimated 30 to 40 million people worldwide, and the number is expected to triple by 2050 due to an aging population and other factors.last_img read more

07Oct/20

In memoriam: James Hoffmann

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

28Sep/20

Judges ‘not always best placed’ to decide public interest

first_imgPoliticians are sometimes better placed than judges to decide what is in the public interest in disputes over freedom of information, the government’s most senior lawyer has said.Attorney general Jeremy Wright QC MP (pictured) said there were ‘constitutional’ and ‘practical’ reasons why courts were not necessarily best placed to take decisions involving matters of public interest.Rather, the attorney general ‘is better placed than the courts, or indeed other ministers, to decide what the public interest is’.In a speech circulated by the government today, Wright told University College London’s law faculty yesterday that when it came to matters of public interest, ‘there is a tone to the debate sometimes that government is partisan, making decisions for its own benefit. It is sometimes said that only judges are sufficiently detached to be able to take decisions which truly balance competing interests.‘In my view there are circumstances where it is clearly right that decisions on matters of public interest should be taken by an elected, accountable politician, rather than by a court.’Such circumstances currently include those relating to conducting foreign relations and national security strategy, Wright said. He suggested these circumstances could be extended to include decisions in relation to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.In 2015, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by the attorney general in relation to the disclosure of letters between government departments and the Prince of Wales.The attorney general had issued a certificate under section 53 of the Freedom of Information Act stating that he had, on ‘reasonable grounds’, formed the opinion that the departments had been entitled to refuse disclosure of the letters.Wright said that parliament had intended that the exercise of the government veto ‘should be an executive function with democratic accountability for its use through parliament.‘It constitutes a rare, but as I have set out far from unprecedented, recognition that the courts cannot constitutionally be the sole guardians of the public interest, and that there are more important exceptions to the principle that courts’ views are final.’Wright said the veto would always be subject to the ‘checks and balances’ of judicial review, ‘but a proposition that complex balances of the public interest – which are after all the daily business of modern government – can only be done by courts is plainly wrong’.A forthcoming bill to regulate interception of communications however, was a good example where ‘ministers and the court can have different but complementary roles’, he said.The draft investigatory powers bill, published last year, includes an authorisation model requiring a judicial commissioner to approve a warrant authorised by a secretary of state, almost always in advance.last_img read more

28Sep/20

Marina line contract

first_imgA CONSORTIUM of Alstom and Singapore Technologies Electronics has been awarded the turnkey contract for supply of electrical and mechanical equipment on the initial section of Singapore’s Marina metro line. The Land Transport Authority hopes to expand the 5·2 km route into a 36 km E-shaped network over nine years, creating the world’s largest automatic metro at a cost of S$1·6bn.The S$285m Marina line contract includes the construction of the track and six stations, to open in 2005-06. The line will use Alstom’s Axonis package of Metropolis rolling stock and Urbalis control equipment, similar to that on the North East line (RG 12.00 p802) now under construction.Seven 750V three-car EMUs are to be built, each with a capacity of 670 passengers, and the line will be designed for a minimum headway of 90sec.last_img read more

28Sep/20

Intelligence

first_imgChina: Work began on August 26 to add a fourth track on the 147 km line between Guangzhou and Shenzhen at a cost of 4·74bn yuan. This will allow services to be increased from 100 to 137 per day, and it is expected that traffic will rise from 27million to 38·5 million passengers/year by 2015.Czech Republic: On September 5 infrastructure manager SZDC formally launched a KC53bn project to modernise Corridor 4 from Praha to Ceské Budejovice and the Austrian border at Horní Dvoriste by 2016. An initial 18·2 km between Praha-Hostivar and Strancice will be upgraded for 140 km/h operation by July 2007.France: With effect from September 5, Novatrans replaced CNC as operator of the intermodal terminal at Sète owned by RFF. A €4·57m investment programme has been undertaken with financial support from the EU, the government and local authorities.Germany: On September 3 DB began a €7·4m project funded by the Land of Brandenburg to electrify the Angermünde to Schwedt branch. Electric services will begin with the December 11 timetable change.India: On September 19 South Eastern Railway launched broad-gauge passenger services on a 41 km line between Bankura and Sonamukhi, built at a cost of Rs950m.Railway Board Chairman J P Batra has announced a project to plant a further 6 million Jatropha curcas to produce oil for blending with diesel fuel. Northern Railway locos are currently using biodiesel, and it is to be supplied to further zones following an agreement for Indian Oil Corp to grow the plants on railway land, which could supply at least half the railways’ needs.Iran: Modernisation of 30 GE diesel locos has been completed at Karaj, with electromechanical controls replaced by microprocessors, D-77 traction motors replaced by D-78 motors, and cab air-conditioning installed. A further 25 will be refurbished by a private contractor during 2006.Spain: On September 4 Renfe introduced two new high speed shuttle passenger services in each direction between Córdoba and Sevilla, increasing the total number of daily return services to eight. Four new services running on Fridays and Sundays were introduced to the Madrid – Huesca route, operated by Talgo S102 trainsets.Switzerland: BLS and Regionalverkehr Mittelland have restarted talks regarding a merger, which is now expected to be approved at the end of June 2006.Uganda: A USh4bn rail connection has been built to the Biadco oil refinery in Jinja. The link to URC will cut the transit time from Mombasa from 10 days to three. USA: On September 9 RailAmerica announced the $77·5m acquisition from Alcoa of the 21 km Point Comfort & Northern Railway, the 10 km Rockdale, Sandow & Southern Railroad and the 5 km Massena Terminal and Bauxite & Northern railways. The shortline operator also announced a 25-year lease of CSX’s 77 km Fremont – West Olive line in Michigan. Zambia: RSZ has begun the second phase of a national track rehabilitation programme, covering 450 km between Mazabuka and Livingstone. CAPTION: ProRail has been undertaking train detection tests on its Utrecht – Arnhem main line using one of the Bombardier A32 LRVs from the Alphen – Gouda tram-train project. The aim is to assess whether track circuits will be adequate to permit the extension of Rijngouwelijn services to Leiden or whether axle-counters will have to be installedPhoto:Hans ScherpenhuizenCAPTION: On August 28 King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden formally inaugurated the second Årsta bridge in Stockholm, which will open with the December timetable change, completing the quadrupling of the southern approach to the capital as far as Sodra station Photo: Banverketlast_img read more

28Sep/20

Turnout converter

first_imgUK: The Points Converter launched by Zonegreen enables hand-operated turnouts to be converted to powered and remote control, helping to streamline the operation of depots, reducing the need for stop-start operations and also reducing the risk of staff accidents.‘The system is made up of two parts’, explains Technical Director Christian Fletcher. ‘A points converter device and an intuitive handset that allows the operator to remotely control the points system. The device attaches to an existing manually-operated switch without compromising the integrity of the existing mechanism and, crucially, it requires no civil works or changes in the operating procedures for its installation.’ Remote control is from hand-held or in-cab devices, or alternatively a PC-based centralised system is available.last_img read more