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first_imgDear Friends,More than three inches of rain, an approaching full moon and strong onshore winds combined over the past two days to cause the highest water levels of the year in Ocean City. While there were pockets of moderate flooding throughout the city during this morning’s peak tide, I’m very pleased with the success of our pumping station projects.Just one of our 10 pumping stations, for instance, moved more than 1 million gallons of water off the streets in Merion Park in just six hours following high tide this morning. The neighborhoods where these stations have been installed would have experienced very different conditions without these mitigation measures.We know the job is not yet complete. I want to invite everybody to a town hall meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Ocean City Tabernacle. We will lay out plans to address flooding issues across the entire island. I hope you will join us as we work together to improve the quality of life for everybody who deals with flooding concerns.The city, the state and the nation continue to see an uptick in positive tests for COVID-19. The key is looking at the rate of hospitalizations, according to local hospital officials. At this point, Shore Medical Center remains well within its capacity to treat COVID patients. That is fortunate. But with the virus continuing to spread, it is just not responsible at this time to promote events where we cannot control dense crowds from gathering.We are announcing the cancellation of our Miracle on Asbury Avenue celebration on Black Friday, our Christmas Parade and our First Night and First Day celebrations. I understand this is a disappointment, but the health and safety of our residents and guests will always be the top priority.We will continue with events where capacity can be controlled and social distancing maintained.I want to wish everybody a safe and happy Halloween. Results of our Halloween House Decorating Contest and guidelines for trick-or-treating are posted at www.ocnj.us/halloween.Warm regards,Mayor Jay A. Gillian Mayor Jay Gillianlast_img read more

first_imgHave you ever wondered what goes into stocking a Southern Appalachian trout stream? The hardworking folks at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries field hundreds of question every year about the magic behind trout stocking and, as a result, have decided to clear up any misconceptions with a series of informative videos that track the journey of a stocked trout all the way from egg to adult fish. The first episode features Bryan Beers, the manager of the Paint Bank Fish Hatchery in Paint Bank, Virginia—a class A cold-water facility raising brown, brook and rainbow trout.“We do approximately 150,000 pounds of trout a year,” Beers says. “That means that at least 800,000 fingerling fry are produced here each year.”The essential task of the the Paint Bank Fish Hatchery, Beers says, is to provide eggs, fingerlings and advanced fingerlings for transfer to other facilities such as the Coursey Springs and Motebello fish hatcheries.Follow along with the stocking process in the video above, and stayed tuned for more informative videos like this by following Virginia Department of Game and Inlands Fisheries on Facebook.last_img read more

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo October 02, 2018 Divers of the U.S. Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) unit work with the Costa Rican National Police Academy (ANP, in Spanish) to develop capabilities for 16 members from different security forces. The group will be the first Costa Rican dive team specialized in search and recovery. The training, which kicked off in the second week of August and is scheduled to end late November 2018, takes place at Murciélago Police Training Center, Guanacaste province, Costa Rica. “The process started in May [2018], in Florida, with our officers’ certification as advanced rescue divers,” said Maino Alfaro, ANP deputy director, who is deployed at the training center. “It’s a technical requirement of BORSTAR to take the search and recovery specialization course focused on police work,” he told Diálogo. The training will strengthen the capabilities of Costa Rica’s Border Police, Counternarcotics Police, National Coast Guard Service, and ANP in the fight against organized crime. The agents carry out a set of activities to gain knowledge and experience, with a minimum of 50 registered and certified immersions to pass the specialized training on search and recovery. “Our goal is to create skills for our security forces and cut out crime,” Commissioner Eric Lacayo Rojas, ANP director, told Diálogo. “Narcotrafficking and organized crime force us to evolve and anticipate situations that happen on many channels—water is one of them.” New techniques Since its inception in 1998, BORSTAR, through its diving experts, offers specialized and advanced training to U.S. and foreign government agencies. Costa Rican police forces will develop basic rescue techniques, descend 30 meters underwater, and improve search and recovery procedures in deep, muddy waters that can sometimes be toxic and lethal. Divers will also conduct tasks under boats to identify explosives or illegal narcotics, at times strapped under the hull of a ship. “[Training] lets us improve our police capabilities in maritime piers and ports to inspect ships with better technical criteria than we now have,” Alfaro said. “Narcotraffickers make external compartments to stash drugs. If we don’t have technical divers trained in these abilities, it will be difficult to detect illegal drugs.” The work of expert divers will also help in legal investigations by searching for and recovering evidence located in the hard-to-reach seabed. Costa Rican divers will be able to retrieve bodies, weapons, vehicles, planes, containers, ammunition, and even smaller elements under the sea or any body of water. Extreme conditions As part of the cooperation agreement, BORSTAR presented ANP with 20 diving sets, consisting of suits, tanks, lights, compasses, and high-tech computers to register immersions. BORSTAR also donated special buoys to recover submerged objects and evidence from the water, such as an airplane. “Each diving equipment set the U.S. Border Patrol donated is worth $5,000,” Alfaro said. “It’s an important resource for the work our officers will carry out in extreme conditions.” For Commissioner Lacayo and Alfaro, search and recovery diving requires concentration, discipline, and willpower. “Officers understand that they will be exposed to many risks and extreme situations,” Alfaro said. “Applying all the security norms and respecting the protocols of this diving method aims at safeguarding the lives of personnel involved in this activity,” Commissioner Lacayo added. The search and recovery training process for divers is part of Costa Rica’s ANP upgrade project. “Divers will spread the knowledge they received,” Commissioner Lacayo said. “The success of such a valuable, specialized, and necessary resource for countries’ security plans requires maintenance and attention, which implies keeping competencies up to date,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgI recently returned from a business trip where I had the opportunity to meet with a financial institution that had grown significantly beyond its original roots over the past few years through a combination of hard work and acquisition.These were good, hard-working folks who were very much invested in their organization and had risen through the ranks – many of them working their way up the organizational ladder into positions of leadership.Our purpose in meeting with them was to discuss how upgrading their current technology platform could help automate and help keep them competitive in today’s ever-changing technology market place.We took the time to listen to their issues, met with front line staff on what they hoped upgrading their technology would help them with, and reviewed with senior management the results of our interviews. Management politely listened as we outlined what we had discovered during our visit and laid out our strategy, time frames, and technology recommendations to accomplish these objectives.When we had finished our discussions, we were asked to return with a formal pricing proposal and a more detailed plan that would accomplish the requisite tasks discussed – along with a realistic time frame to do so.After much discussion with our tech and project management teams, we prepared our proposal. We factored in the time, technology, and budget costs and scheduled a call to review the proposal with the senior team.During the call there were many questions – along with concerns over costs, time frames, and worry of meeting all objectives. As we worked our way through each area of the project, it became apparent that their senior team really lacked a thorough understanding of today’s technology. In fact, we were floored when one of the team members actually posed the question what the costs were to simply pull out the technology all together and just revert back to manual processes.To say we were stunned would be the understatement of the century. I simply bit my tongue and in the most unemotional response I could think of I simply said this, “It would cost you your jobs and your financial institution. Simply put, it would be impossible to go backwards, period.”We ended our discussions and our team sat in complete silence and bewilderment that a senior management team would even think that reverting back to manual processes could be a possibility.We received a few “private” phone calls over the following weeks from other members of their management team assuring us that not all felt that going backwards was an option. They were also working on “educating” the other members of their team on what really needed to happen to remain competitive and truly serve their staff and members best interests.What was interesting is that the few senior team members who were the “hold backs” were ones that had earned their stripes coming up through the ranks but had never really taken the time to have a mindset of continual learning or self-improvement. Furthermore, because they had never worked anywhere else, they had never really learned the value of looking to the outside for best practices and simply assumed they had all the answers.I compare this scenario to a friend of mine who owns a very successful printing, production, and manufacturing company that is continually investing in making sure their equipment, business processes and people are always in a state of modernization and continual learning.In fact, although it’s a family business, the owner insists that there only be one family member as a senior management team member. And even before they are allowed to work in the company, they must work for others in the same industry for a period of about 10 years.When I asked why such strict rules, he simply told me this: “Our company has been in business for over 100 years. It is imperative that we maintain our edge in our technology, our people, and our methodologies.“If we simply allowed the same old things to go on as they always have, we would be out of business in a few years. If we allowed family members to think they would be taken care of without investing in their own education and skill sets, they would simply fail as human beings, as well.”I thought that was a pretty blunt and to-the-point response. But it is pretty hard to argue with someone who has an Ivy League education, was forced to go through the same apprenticeship as was his father, and now, in turn, has continued the legacy with his own son. Other family members do not work there.After we had discussed his operation and I shared my experience with him about our recent engagement, he looked me right in the eye and said, “Fire them. They are not worth any more of your time or your company’s efforts.”He was most direct in his further rants as to why – which I will spare you but can be summarized as follows:“This organization has failed to properly develop their people through ongoing education and by allowing a culture to exist where mediocrity was acceptable, status quo was the norm, and position given based on tenure instead of performance. Furthermore, to even think about going backwards with its technology shows a complete lack of vision and will most certainly be rewarded with failure in the future.”My first reaction was: Wow, that was incredibly harsh. But in reality he was spot on.I must admit that during the 30 years I have worked in this industry, we have had our fair share of engagements where management teams really didn’t have the knowledge or background needed to properly execute their technology objectives. But to their credit, they retained subject matter experts who were able to help them develop their long-range goals and objectives and set up programs that would bring them along with the staff up to speed. They also were able to convince management that bringing in qualified outside people and ideas would help ensure their long-term future, as well.As I have thought about these recent experiences, there are a couple of conclusions I would draw on not only from my personal experiences but also those that come from my relationships with a number of highly successful entrepreneurs and business people.Here are my top 10 thoughts:Hire good people and provide them with the tools and ongoing education to keep them viable. Do not settle for status quo or mediocrity.Invest wisely in your technology and keep moving forward. It is Ok to look back and learn from your mistakes, but no one ever crossed the finish line going in reverse.Look to your industry peers and be willing to adopt new ideas, processes and technologies to stay ahead of your competition.Adopt of culture of listening. That is, one where you value what your employees, members, and vendors are saying to you. They are the ones who will usually spot trends, problems, and opportunities first.Be agile! Be willing to implement new ideas if they make sense. Do not procrastinate too long as opportunities tend to pass by quickly – that is not to say act without thought or investigation. But once a decision is made, go for it!Insist on continuing education for everyone. Look for industry, technology, and self-improvement programs to name a few. Many of your vendors offer excellent educational opportunities for little or no cost and, although obviously slanted toward their solutions, are still broad enough to be of value to you.Create member, vendor, and employee focus groups that can help you set your long term strategies.Make a decision. I have said it many times: Good decisions take care of themselves, bad decisions can be fixed, but indecision will kill you.There is a huge difference between price and cost. Price is what you pay for something. Cost is what it means to your organization, your members, and you personally.ROI is worthless unless you can define what it means. It is not strictly tied to money. That would be called investment and would fall under a completely different scope of measurement. What we are talking about here are improvements in your organization and they may be tied to your ability to stay in business, growing your company, improving processes, etc. But it is rarely tied to what you pay for something and a CFO who must be able to “cost justify” every decision. Won’t happen; get over it.I can give you one final personal example of this very lesson from my own life. When my wife and I were first married and struggling with balancing our incomes against our home improvement needs, we were faced with having to balance our budgets against the “Price vs. Cost” conundrum.We could purchase a complete set of furniture at a discount warehouse against purchasing well-made components from a quality manufacturer but would only be able to afford one or two components at a time and spread out over a few years.Our parents were products of the depression and they told us that we would be much happier buying quality and doing with less than saving a few dollars on the front end but paying more in the long run.We should have listened. We chose poorly. We opted to buy cheap furniture so we could have it all.What we learned and later put into play was that making rash decisions based on emotion and “Price” left out the most important aspect: “Cost.”We ended up throwing most of the furniture away a few years later as it simply fell apart and did not last. We ended up buying quality the next time around – even though it meant taking several years to complete the project. That furniture has continued to last through today. And because we bought quality and knew the style would remain viable, it has and was the right decision.So what does furniture and technology have to do with each other?Simply this: Don’t be put off by price. Look down the road, do your research, and invest the time to make sure you are making the best decisions you can. Where appropriate, consult with others who know more than you do and be willing to heed their advice.Happy Holidays! 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Cowan Over the past 25 years, Mr. Cowan has held Executive Technical Sales and Management positions with several Fortune 500 companies including: Fiserv, Qwest Communications and Nokia Internet Communications, Network Security … Web: www.mviusa.com Detailslast_img read more

first_img 47SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details As summertime gets into full swing it can be incredibly hard to keep your workforce optimistic and motivated. Most of your employees have dreams of the beach and sunny skies on their minds, as opposed to the workload in front of them. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to maintain a productive work environment. Here are three tips for keeping your employees engaged and optimistic not only during summer, but the whole year through.Maintain focusWhen children are in summer camps and vacations are on the horizon, it’s natural for employees to have distractions. It’s important you check in with them periodically to ensure that they are keeping track with the work that needs to be done. Help them to prioritize items that are time sensitive. Also, if your organization’s workload lessens during the summer months, be sure to give your employees purpose.Be flexibleIf you provide your staff with adequate time-off, they will be incredibly appreciative and also stronger employees. When professionals are given incentives, they feel valued and understood. So, if an employee requests a reasonable amount of time off, needs to leave early for a personal reason, or simply wants to take a walk when the weather’s nice, be flexible and agreeable.Concentrate on connectingSummer can be a great time for reconnecting with your staff on a personal level. If things are slow in the office, take time to engage with them and encourage open communication. You don’t have to always take them out to lunch, but even just the action of reaching out and checking in can make a huge difference in their morale.last_img read more

first_imgCUInsight CO-Founder Randy Smith is joined by Pete Hilger, CEO and President of Allied Solutions for a quick interview with just 3 questions:(1:07) What is your company doing to support credit unions and their members during the COVID-19 crisis?(4:42) How do you think that COVID-19 might affect credit unions and the way that we do business in the long-term?(6:52) What tips do you have for staying sane during trying times?You can learn more about Allied Solutions‘ response to the COVID-19 crisis here.Pete was also a recent guest on The CUInsight Experience podcast: 39SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Randall Smith Randall Smith is the co-founder of CUInsight.com, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust.As one of the co-founders of CUInsight.com he … Web: www.CUInsight.com Detailslast_img read more

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Federal unemployment assistance during COVID-19 has kept many families (and some say the U.S. economy) afloat throughout the pandemic crisis. While the near-term future of the benefit remains unknown, the extra $600 a week won’t last forever. Credit unions should mobilize now to help unemployed members prepare for, and eventually wade through, the financial disruption of an end to federal assistance.A simple analysis of first-party member data is a good place to start. Through a three-tiered approach, credit unions can build a highly targeted member list that serves as the foundation for efficient and effective member outreach strategies.Tier 1: Direct DepositA quick search for accounts that have received federal unemployment deposits will generate a good starting point for outreach. Some credit unions may even choose to stop here if the list is of manageable size. Others may need to segment the list and prioritize outreach to better identify members most likely to benefit from the credit union’s assistance. Additional segmentation options for consideration are provided in the tier 2 and 3 analysis below. continue reading »last_img read more

first_imgKilling two birds with one stone? Keanu Reeves and the Matrix 4 cast celebrated the end of filming with a massive wrap party amid the pandemic by allegedly staging a party scene for the movie.According to German newspaper Bild, the gathering — which was given the code name “Ice cream team event” — took place at Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam, Germany, on Wednesday, November 11, with nearly 200 workers in attendance. The group reportedly enjoyed tattoo stations inside caravans, a pyrotechnics and dance performance, a DJ and a dance floor, several bars and a sushi and dessert station. The publication also published a photo from the bash, which showed the packed venue.Keanu Reeves and the ‘Matrix’ Cast Hold Secret Wrap Party in Germany Amid PandemicKeanu Reeves attends the ‘Too Old to Die Young’ screening in Los Angeles on June 10, 2019. Todd Williamson/JanuaryImages/Shutterstock- Advertisement – Makarewicz also noted that producers “consciously put this shoot with its many participants” on the last day of filming.One month earlier, Grant, 47, was spotted kissing Reeves as she dropped him off at the set of The Matrix 4. Filming was temporarily suspended in California in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but resumed in Germany, where the couple arrived in June. The Matrix 4 hits theaters in December 2021.Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! Reeves, 56, and his girlfriend, Alexandra Grant, were spotted at the party and Matrix directors Lana and Lilly Wachowski were also reportedly at the rager.One guest told Bild that precautions were taken before the event. “The mood was exuberant. There was a rapid [COVID-19] test for everyone in advance,” the attendee said. “Everyone had to come with a mask, but many didn’t wear them later.”However, the anonymous partygoer also claimed, “No directorial instructions were given, there was no clapperboard and no one was filming.”- Advertisement – Parties of up to 50 people are allowed in Berlin and the neighboring state of Brandenburg, where the event took place. Gatherings must be registered in advance along with the submission of a “hygiene concept.” Guests must also abide by social distancing rules and wear masks. Bild confirmed with a Potsdam spokesperson that the city was not notified of a gathering.Studio Babelsberg spokeswoman Bianca Makarewicz told Us Weekly that producers said they were filming “a celebration scene, which was filmed in the summer, and this was in connection with that. The hygiene regulations were complied with.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

first_imgFormer head coach Stanley Okumbi, who deputised as Put’s assistant, is expected to continue training the team on an interim basis as Kenya looks for Put’s replacement.Full Statement from FKF Kenya regarding Harambee Stars head coach Paul Put resignation. pic.twitter.com/HyJBI7q3eN— Kenyan Fotball (@KenyaPremierLg) February 19, 2018 COACH PUT APPEALS FOR FANS SUPPORT:As @HarambeeStars_ prepares to take on Ghana’s Black Stars in the @AFCON_2019 Qualifiers in 23rd March 2018, Coach Paul Put sends out a passionate plea to fans to start mobilising cheering squads like they did in CECAFA 2017. #jazastadi pic.twitter.com/GGhJwyiCVn— Ministry of Sports (@moscakenya) February 8, 2018Share on: WhatsApp Nairobi, Kenya | AFP | Belgian Paul Put on Monday quit as Kenya’s national football coach just two months after taking up the position.Football Kenya Federation (FKF) said 61-year-old Put, who took charge of the Harambee Stars in November and led the team to win the CECAFA Challenge Cup the following month, had resigned for personal reasons.Football Kenya Federation has confirmed that the Belgian has taken ‘ the personal decision’ to resign – https://t.co/sjzKbrBxmu pic.twitter.com/SgycW4nK4l— Futaa.com (@Futaacom) February 19, 2018“The tactician’s resignation, though down to personal reasons is a setback to the country’s ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, as he was an integral member of the technical bench,” FKF director of communications Barry Otieno said.Early this month, Put had called for a more technical approach to the management of the national team in a bid to qualify for the continental tournament’s finals in Cameroon.Kenya is currently placed third in Group F after a 2-1 loss away to Sierra Leone in the opening match last June, and is scheduled to play leaders Ghana in their second match in Nairobi on September 7.last_img read more

first_imgEmery has consistently struggled to find the right balance between defence and attack.Earlier this season he was criticised for leaving his defence too exposed by cramming in as many of his attacking talents as possible in 2-2 draws against Tottenham and Watford.A few weeks on and he had to field questions this week over a lack of creativity as a strike force including Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette lacked service in Sheffield on Monday night.One man who does not appear in Emery’s plans as a solution to link defence and attack is Mesut Ozil.The German playmaker is the highest earner at the club, but has featured in just two of 13 games so far this season.Ozil has often flattered to deceive during his six years at the Emirates, but he remains popular among the fanbase with one banner on Thursday night telling Emery “to stop freezing Ozil out.”There seems little prospect of Ozil returning for Sunday’s clash with Crystal Palace, but if he continues to ignore his mercurial talent, Emery needs to find other solutions and quickly is his stay is not to be a short one. EmeryLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsenal fans would be forgiven for having flashbacks as the Gunners needed two late Nicolas Pepe free-kicks to see off Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League on Thursday.Empty seats at the Emirates, grumbles from those who were there and calls for the manager to go, it was very reminiscent of the final years of Arsene Wenger’s tenure before the Frenchman finally stepped aside in 2018.Unai Emery was the man chosen to succeed Wenger as the first new Arsenal manager since 1996, but the club could be looking at another appointment soon with the Spaniard showing little sign of having improved the club’s fortunes over the past 17 months.Emery’s first season ended in disappointment. Arsenal blew two chances for a return to the Champions League, winning just one of their last five games to finish fifth in the Premier League and then losing the Europa League final 4-1 to Chelsea.Often derided by fans for a lack of investment, the club’s American owner Stan Kroenke backed Emery with a surprising splurge in the summer transfer market.Pepe was signed for a club record £72 million ($88 million) fee from Lille, Kieran Tierney and David Luiz brought in to improve a faulty defence and Spanish international midfielder Dani Ceballos loaned from Real Madrid.Yet, a 1-0 defeat at newly-promoted Sheffield United on Monday had all the bad hallmarks of Wenger’s final days as Arsenal were blunt in attack despite dominating possession and undone at a set-piece for Lys Mousset’s winner.Defeat saw Emery’s men drop out of the top four and while they are just two points adrift of Chelsea and Leicester in fifth, the feeling is Arsenal are going backwards.Between August and December last year, the Gunners went on a 22-match unbeaten run as the change of manager reinvigorated a club that had gone stale as standards slipped in Wenger’s second decade in charge.However, now Emery’s record in his first 47 Premier League games is worse than Wenger’s final 47. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more