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Opinion: Three of My Colleagues Let Us Down Last Night…

first_img Three of my colleagues let us down last night. I moved to formally oppose the disastrous tunnel proposal for the 710 freeway extension, but my motion failed by a 4-3 vote; even though our Council only has seven members presently because of Chris Holden’s election to the State Assembly, five votes are still required for Council action. (You may recall that on August 13, I made a motion that the Council oppose three alternative routes around Avenue 64 in West Pasadena, and on that occasion my motion carried unanimously.)Before the roll call vote, I implored my colleagues to support my motion on the grounds that a huge 6-mile underground highway tunnel would have devastating consequences for Pasadena, would disrupt our quality of life and threaten historic neighborhoods, be unsafe and be deleterious to the health of all of us (particularly seniors, school-aged children and those with health problems such as patients at Huntington Memorial Hospital and the clinics and medical offices around the hospital).I asked my colleagues to follow the advice of virtually all the community members and groups and experts who have weighed in on this, as well as our friend and former Assembly member Anthony Portantino who spoke eloquently in favor of my motion last night. I reminded them, too, that I convened a forum at the Convention Center on 9/18, at which a panel of experts all described the tunnel as a major threat to our community’s health and safety, and hundreds of residents turned out to oppose the tunnel.I explained that Measure A presented no impediment whatsoever because of the three “T’s” — tunnel, trucks, and toll — which were not on the table when Measure A was voted on in 2001. I told them that we needed to be clear and unambiguous with CalTrans and Metro, the agencies that will make the decision about the scope of the EIR for the 710 freeway extension, that the tunnel is a non-starter.All we needed last night was one more vote. Mayor Bill Bogaard, Councilmember Victor Gordo, Councilmember Gene Masuda and I voted yes. Regrettably, Vice Mayor McAustin, Councilmember Jackie Robinson and Councilmember Terry Tornek voted no.Councilmember Tornek led the group unwilling to oppose the tunnel, stating that most of his constituents with whom he has spoken support the 710 extension! He said more study was needed, and that an environmental impact report should go forward on the tunnel project. I responded that we do not need an EIR to know the tunnel would be disastrous for our community. In and of itself, a lengthy EIR process including the tunnel as an alternative could severely impact property values in West Pasadena and move the tunnel closer to adoption.I asked the three dissenters to focus on leadership not arithmetic (i.e., politics). I told Terry and the others that one could not say he opposes the tunnel but not vote to oppose the tunnel. I said now was no time to get weak in the knees. All to no avail.Just a couple of weeks ago, Terry was the lone vote in opposition to an EIR commissioned by the Rose Bowl Operating Company regarding the potential temporary use of the Rose Bowl for professional football games on a short-term basis (I will be posting a more lengthy message about this issue soon). At the time he said he thought the mere approval of the EIR would negatively impact property values in the neighborhoods around the Rose Bowl. So the hypothetical possibility of additional football games in our football stadium for a season or two will diminish property values, but the construction and operation of a 6-mile tunnel under historic neighborhoods, schools and hospitals won’t? Ironic to say the least.I intend to raise the issue again, perhaps after Chris’s seat (Council District 3) is filled. Those interested in the threat of the tunnel proposal would be well served to pay close attention to the March municipal elections and where the candidates–and incumbents–stand on this important issue.P.S. –You can watch the meeting, our deliberations and the vote at: http://cityofpasadena.net/District6/ (Below the bio you will see information about last night’s meeting, including a link to the video.)Here are some of the officials who are handling the 710 freeway extension; I encourage you to share your view with them:METROBoard of Supervisors, chaired by the Honorable Mike Antonovich:Supervisor [email protected] Deputy Michael [email protected] METRO Board list available here: http://www.metro.net/about/board/executives/METRO CEO Art [email protected] Director Doug [email protected] Offices: (213) 922-6000CaltransDirector Malcolm [email protected] 7 (LA & Orange County) Director, Michael [email protected](213) 897-3656Office of Governor Jerry Brownhttp://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes First Heatwave Expected Next Week OLD-top box left Opinion: Three of My Colleagues Let Us Down Last Night… By PASADENA CITY COUNCILMEMBER STEVE MADISON Published on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 | 5:16 pm Subscribe Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Community News Herbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Questions To Start Conversation Way Better Than ‘How U Doing?’HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyA Mental Health Chatbot Which Helps People With DepressionHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Trends To Look Like A Bombshell And 6 To Forget AboutHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty15 things only girls who live life to the maximum understandHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWhat’s Your Zodiac Flower Sign?HerbeautyHerbeauty Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Business News Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website center_img 9 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday More Cool Stuff Top of the News Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Community News Make a comment Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

Fabulous Bakin’ Boys doubles snack cake line

first_imgThe Fabulous Bakin’ Boys plans to invest £6m in a new fully automatic snack cake line, which will enable it to double capacity at its Oxfordshire bakery.The first stage of the investment has seen the firm recently sign off a £3m order for packaging equipment, including three Ulma flow-wrappers, a robotic palletiser and case packing equipment, which will be installed this year. The second part of the project will see mixing and production equipment installed next year for making a range of products, such as cupcakes and muffins. The line will also include technology to inject products, add icings and sprinkles and create different sizes and shapes.”We’ve reached capacity on our existing line, so this investment will give us a huge increase in capability and enable us to develop new products,” said Fabulous Bakin’ Boys MD Gary Frank. “We already supply most areas of the market from retail to foodservice, and there is potential to grow sales with all of them. We hope to increase turnover from £20m a year to £45m.”last_img read more

For cutting-edge biomedical materials, try corn

first_imgOne might expect, these days, to find corn products in food, fuel, and fabric, but a corn-based glue that can heal an injured eyeball? That’s a-maize-ing.Creating new materials from abundant, natural plant sources, today’s biomedical and biochemical engineers are finding clinical uses for new “custom” materials that were not even remotely considered in recent decades.Both renewable and remarkable, plant-based medical products are on the cutting edge of a field called “sustainable biomaterials,” a topic so intriguing that 23 undergraduates chose to spend an extra week at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) to take a course on it during their winter break.“It was engaging, comprehensive, and demonstrated just how ‘sexy’ science can be,” said Aubrey Walker ’15.The seminar-style mini-course was led by Sujata Bhatia, assistant director for Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering, who arrived at SEAS last spring. As an industry scientist at DuPont, Bhatia had been at the forefront of research resulting in clinically relevant products, including plant-based tissue adhesives. She now brings that expertise to guide an agile and modern curriculum at SEAS.Bhatia, who received a grant from the Harvard President’s January Innovation Fund for Faculty to offer the course, intended it as a “vehicle to really get undergraduates thinking about their paths in engineering, and to give a broader overview than they might get in any single course during the semester.”“I hope that this will both draw undergraduates into the concentration and give concentrators the tools necessary to begin asking their own questions within the field,” she said.For Walker, a freshman, the course was an inspiring introduction to the breadth of opportunities available in engineering.“Through the lens of a bioengineer, I felt myself at the precipice of innovative solutions to some of our generation’s biggest problems,” he said. “I can’t imagine a more concise, intellectually stimulating, or rewarding program. I am very glad to have come back from my long break to gain this experience.”During the week, the students attended foundational lectures on biomaterials and new methods of drug delivery. They also had the opportunity to survey some of the current research in the field by attending the Bio-Inspired Engineering International Symposium, which was hosted by Harvard’s Center for Nanoscale Systems on Jan. 17.Brandon Geller and Robyn Tsukayama of the Harvard Office for Sustainability gave a guest lecture on biopolymers, providing students insight into the strides that the University is making to integrate the fruits of bioengineering research into its operations.In addition to seeing the work of experts in the field, students were able to learn about research that their classmates are undertaking. Seniors in engineering, including Erfan Soliman ’12, led one of the week’s sessions by discussing their thesis research and introducing the groups to the laboratory and design spaces that are available to students at SEAS.Soliman’s work, which combines agar gel and corn-derived carbon nanotubes into a substrate for neural regeneration, extends far beyond the traditional boundaries of his own concentration, electrical engineering.In addition to presenting a poster at the Bio-Inspired Engineering Symposium, Soliman was able to connect with other students, across disciplines. He teamed up in the lab with Godwin Abiola ’14, a biomedical engineering student, in January, teaching him about circuit theory in order to measure the electrical conductivity of the agar gels.The partnership between Soliman and Abiola is typical of a trend of collaboration at SEAS that Bhatia believes is here to stay.“It’s very powerful, and it helps students appreciate early on the importance of bringing diverse perspectives to a project,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in the interfaces between different disciplines. That’s where all the cool things can happen.”last_img read more

Is your collections team properly trained?

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Connie Shoemaker As Vice President of SWBC’s Financial Institution Group, Connie oversees a professionally-trained staff that supports the Collection Department and the Electronic Cash Management product. Under Connie’s direction, SWBC’… Web: www.swbc.com Details You could easily argue that a comprehensive training program is one of the most important items when considering an outsourced collections partner. This is where a collector will learn skills on how to excel when it comes to etiquette, where they will learn about the collections process, and where they will learn how to comply with regulations.A well-established training program is critical to the success and compliance of a collections operation. Since the type and frequency of training the collections staff gets directly impacts your borrowers, having a high-level understanding of the program is important. Collections Training OverviewTraining programs should include both classroom and real-life trainings. This allows collectors to learn the ins and outs of their role and also apply what they have learned in the classroom setting to real-life situations. If you can feel confident about the training that your outsourced collections staff receives, then you can feel confident that your members will experience the kind of service that your credit union would provide them.Compliance Training  Compliance is an on-going challenge for most financial institutions. With something as regulation-intense as collections, it’s important that you understand how your collections partner administers compliance training to their staff. Compliance should not be a quick review, but rather in-depth so that their staff understands the importance of remaining compliant with the necessary regulations.Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)The FDCPA was enacted to protect consumers from abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices, particularly from third-party debt collection agencies. It also restricts the time and frequency of collection calls, and provides guidelines for what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behavior by debt collectors. This law is particularly critical for a collection staff to be properly trained. Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP)UDAAP prohibits firms offering financial services from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. According to the CFPB, an unfair act or practice:Causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers;The injury is not reasonably avoidable by consumers; andThe injury is not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competitionA well-trained collection staff will have a thorough understanding of their expectations under UDAAP when dealing with borrowers, will know how to identify potential complaints, and know what steps to take in order to resolve complaints. Systems NavigationYour partner’s collection team will need to be trained in the specific systems and software that they will be using to execute their tasks. Ensure that your training program includes time spent learning and navigating these tools so that the collections team is operating at maximum efficiency. A high level of functional familiarity with your collection platform will streamline the process of accepting payments.Effective CommunicationCollections agents spend a lot of their time interacting with your members, and the nature of these conversations can sometimes be stressful for the member. It is imperative that your partner’s collectors have had extensive training in how to handle these situations tactfully and effectively. Scripting and role playing different scenarios will ensure that the agent has a solid grasp on:Being professional  How to ask probing questions  Overcoming objections  How to negotiate payments from the debtor  Evaluating AgentsOnce the collections team has undergone training, it’s important that your partner evaluates their understanding of their role as a collections agent, compliance practices, communication strategies, and daily operations. All collection agents should have passing scores on:Compliance Exams               Systems Navigation               Communication StrategiesPeriodic Quality ChecksLearn how FAIRWINDS Credit Union decreased delinquency by 75% over a 5-year period by outsourcing their collections work to SWBC. Click here to download the case study.last_img read more

ACC announces new locations, dates for most neutral site championships

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 4, 2016 at 11:28 am Contact Jon: [email protected] | @jmettus The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced its new locations (and for some new dates) for most of its 2016-17 neutral site championships that were previously scheduled to be held in North Carolina.The only sport still up in the air is women’s basketball. The conference is “still working to determine and finalize that, but we should have something on that relatively soon,” Steve Phillips, an associate director of communications, said in an email.The locations and times are as follows:· Women’s soccer — Nov. 4 and 6 at MUSC Health Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina· Women’s swimming and diving and men’s diving — Feb. 13-16 (change from original date) at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center in Atlanta, GeorgiaAdvertisementThis is placeholder text· Men’s swimming — Feb. 27-March 2 (change from original date) at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center; Atlanta, Georgia· Women’s golf — April 13-15 (change from original date) at The Reserve Golf Club in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina· Men’s golf — April 21-23 at Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, South Carolina · Men’s and women’s tennis — April 26-30 at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College in Rome, Georgia· Baseball — May 23-28 at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, KentuckyAll of the sites except the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center will be hosting an ACC championship for the first time.The conference announced on Sept. 14 it would move all the neutral site championships located in North Carolina because of House Bill 2, which most notably forces everyone in the state to use the bathroom of the sex listed on their birth certificate and prevents transgender people from using the bathrooms of their associated gender. The announcement came two days after the NCAA announced it would relocate its seven championship events from North Carolina.The ACC will keep all its championships scheduled to be held at campus sites in the state, though.A week ago, the ACC moved the football championship to Orlando’s Camping World Stadium. Commentslast_img read more

Republic drop two places in FIFA rankings

first_imgNorthern Ireland are down three places to 35th while Argentina remain first.The Republic’s next World Cup qualifier opponents Wales are 12th.Meanwhile, UEFA wants 16 European places at the expanded 48-team World Cup in 2026. The continent’s governing body says it’ll also ask FIFA to keep those countries apart in the first stage of the tournament.The new format’s expected to have 16 groups of three teams, with the top two going through to the knockout stage.There were 13 European sides at the most recent World Cup in 2014.last_img read more