Ocean City Shuts Out Atlantic City

first_imgOcean City’s Sophia Ruh, in white, moves the ball through the midfield. By LESLEY GRAHAMThe Ocean City Red Raiders field hockey team blanked the visiting Vikings of Atlantic City, 9-0, in a conference match-up Wednesday afternoon.The win brings Ocean City to 2-0 on the season, while Atlantic City drops to 1-1.The Red Raiders honored their seniors in front of the home crowd as they outplayed their opponents for a full 60 minutes, leaving Atlantic City without registering a shot on the afternoon.Members of the senior class include Tara McNally, Morgan Decosta, Nya Gilchrist, Sophia Ruh, Alexis Smallwood, Tess Grimley, Katie Bowman, Chelsea Stack and manager Jill Perry.Ocean City honors its senior class, from left, Katie Bowman, Nya Gilchrist, Morgan Decosta, Tara McNally, Chelsea Stack, Alexis Smallwood, Tess Grimley, Sophia Ruh and Jill Perry.Captains Tara McNally and Nya Gilchrist led all scorers with three goals and an assist apiece. Also scoring for the Red Raiders were juniors Carly Hanin, Camryn Flynn and Racheli Levy-Smith, with one goal each.Six of the nine goals were also assisted, displaying the depth and team effort from the entire squad.  Morgan Decosta, Alexis Smallwood, Sophia Ruh and Andi Helphenstine all chipped in an assist for Ocean City.The Red Raiders got off to a slow start, opening up the scoring within the waning minutes of the first quarter on Gilchrist’s first goal, putting the Raiders up 1-0.In the second quarter, Gilchrist and McNally combined for two more goals, giving the Red Raiders a 3-0 advantage going into halftime.Ocean City senior captain Nya Gilchrist, center, takes a shot on goal.Ocean City Head Coach Kelsey Mitchell, entering her fourth season at the helm, emphasized to her players the need to turn up the intensity.“I thought we started off kind of flat, so I challenged them to step it up,” Mitchell said after the game. “It was nice to see in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter that they rose to the occasion.”The Red Raiders responded by adding one goal in the third quarter and then opening the flood gates to score five goals in the final quarter of play, three of which came within a five-minute span.The seniors, who are Mitchell’s first four-year graduating class, hold a special place in her heart.“I’m really proud of them, and I love being their coach,” she said. “They work hard, keep hockey fun and are great role models for our underclassmen.”Red Raider Carly Hanin dribbles the ball through traffic.Although the schedule has changed and the season looks different, one thing remains tried and true within the Ocean City field hockey program, Mitchell noted.“We are still focused on going about our daily business, same as usual,” she said. “We are focusing on every single day, one at a time, since nothing is guaranteed. If we are getting better individually, we are getting better as a team.”last_img read more

Warburtons averts strike with new offer

first_imgA two-day strike by staff at Warburtons, due to take place this week, was called off after an improved pay deal was offered.Up to 1,400 employees across the country had been due to walk out on December 13 and 14, after a 3.2% increase on hourly pay was rejected in June, and a second offer of 3.7% in July.The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) will hold another ballot later this month to see if employees will accept a new 3.9% pay increase.The results of the ballot will be announced on January 4. The affected workers are employed by the firm on a three-grade pay structure, receiving hourly rates of £5.77, £5.92 or £6.07. Ian Hodson, BFAWU Preston district secretary said: “The company has put forward a new offer and the strike has been suspended for a new ballot.”A company spokesman for Warburtons said: “Warburtons believes that the pay offer, which is now available to our emp- loyees within the bakery sector, is a fair and competitive offer and is in line with the settlements currently being achieved in the food manufacturing industry.”We will continue working with the BFAWU to find a fair and amicable solution as soon as possible.”last_img read more

Speech: International Business Festival Speech

first_imgWith 40% of their exports going to the EU, they often need to deploy service engineers to member states within 24 hours for urgent site visits to service the manufacturer’s warranty, for example.Or take Airbus in the UK.Their employees made 18,000 trips to France alone in 2017.Because they need to move employees in such numbers at such high frequency they operate their own internal shuttle between their site at Broughton, not far from here in North Wales, and their Bristol and Toulouse sites, in addition to commercial flights.This ferries around 50 employees a day to undertake business critical work.If we were to include all movements both ways, including commercial flights, then it’s around 30,000 trips!So I completely understand when companies say that they rely on efficient mobility as it currently stands, raising concerns that restricting people’s ability to travel at short notice would be as damaging to our economy as frictions and disruption at our borders.The issue of mobility is an important one.The Prime Minister touched upon it in her Mansion House speech, saying that we want to: the clear right to continue to be able to send people to provide services across Europe Indeed – at the turn of the 20th century Liverpool was a titan of the global goods trade.This city conducted one third of the UK’s export trade, owning one third of UK shipping, and one seventh of all registered shipping anywhere in the world.Today – Liverpool is retaking its place as a major player in world trade.In 2016, the completion of Liverpool’s £400 million container terminal meant that instead of accommodating just 5% of the world’s container vessels the port can now accept 95%.But despite its strong history in goods this is also a region which excels in services.Head to almost any country on earth and examples are right before your eyes.Just take China.On Shanghai’s historic waterfront, you’ll find three buildings modelled on Liverpool’s ‘Three Graces’ which stand just a mile north of here.Across the country the Chinese are discovering our creative industries; in other words, services.Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them filmed on the streets of Liverpool took more than £30 million in China on its opening weekend.And in Beijing as soon as you step off the plane you’ll enter a terminal designed by architect Norman Foster.Who was born in Stockport and studied at the University of Manchester.Frankly – we’ve got a services sector that other countries would kill for.The labels ‘designed in Britain’, ‘filmed in Britain’, ‘recorded in Britain’ are hallmarks of quality.And our Industrial Strategy is all about growing strengths just like these.So today I want to talk about how we can build on our deserved reputation as a go-to destination for quality services to make the UK the very best in the world.Here in North West England three million jobs are in services sectors.That’s 8 out of 10 of all jobs in the region.When we think about those people who work in ‘services’ across the UK, we think of bankers, lawyers, and accountants. They make a big contribution to our economy.In Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds – legal and financial services have had a long history.But, that’s not the whole story. Services cover many other sectors you might not immediately think of.Lots of the people I grew up with on Teesside have enjoyed good careers, earning good money for themselves, their family and the country servicing offshore oil rigs in the North Sea. Learning a set of skills which they could then take with them and use around the world.On top of this, the contribution services make to our manufacturing sector is not always fully appreciated.More than a third of the value of UK manufacturing exports reflects service sector value added.While half of the jobs in UK manufacturing are actually in services occupations.In a world of cutting-edge, hi-tech goods, a product and the services needed to keep it running smoothly are often inseparable.In this sense, exporting a product abroad isn’t just the ‘end of a deal’ but also the ‘beginning of a relationship’.For example, when Rolls-Royce sells an engine the business value often comes from the long term in-service support and partnership with the customer rather than the initial sale itself.From film, to healthtech, to services roles linked to advanced manufacturing. So many jobs rest on our ability to export beyond our shores.British services have a deserved reputation for quality, which has reached all four corners of the earth.But right now, we need to recognise that, the EU is by far and away the single biggest consumer of our services exports.£90 billion of services exports went to the EU in 2016.That’s more than to our next eight largest partners: the United States, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Canada, China, Singapore and Norway – combined.And if you needed more proof of our strength in services, we export far more services to the EU than we import from them.With a surplus of over £14 billion in 2016.This extraordinary performance has been built on the back of established trading relationships with the EU. And in particular by being able to be confident in the right to sell services as well as goods.This arrangement has made sure UK firms are treated the same way as EU ones.Ensured others recognise our professional qualifications.Made it easier to set up a subsidiary in the EU. Allowed profits to be returned to the UK without restriction.And set out rules that made it easy for companies providing services to send workers to wherever they were needed.Over the years, we’ve become used to these things.But they don’t happen without agreement.So, as we leave the European Union, we must deliberately set out to maintain these rights and introduce as few new barriers to trade in services as possible.This is every bit as important as avoiding barriers in manufactured goods.So far, however, the debate has focused mainly on goods.About how our new customs arrangements with the EU need to keep the borders flowing and avoid costly delays and paperwork.That’s entirely right. But in order to provide services, it is people who must not be held up.Mobility is to services what customs is to goods.According to the Engineering Employers Federation, three quarters of manufacturers are posting workers.Sending their UK employees to undertake activities in other EU member states.Doing everything from attending trade fairs to selling and marketing their products.From undertaking training courses, to installing, servicing and repairing their products.And when I talk to UK companies who offer services, many of them stress the importance of this business mobility. The temporary cross-border service provision which underpins their business-as-usual.From creatives, to engineers, to global aerospace firms, every single day, fly-in, fly-out trips keep the wheels of business turning.Let me give you some examples.Just this morning, I was at Prinovis, a printing company just up the road from here, hearing how they regularly send their UK employees to sites across Germany on business.I’ve also heard from Colchester Machine Tool Solutions.In their words: In olden times it used to be said that ‘all roads lead to Rome’. Today, all seas lead to Liverpool. It’s fantastic to be here at the largest business festival anywhere in the world.On today’s theme, shipping and logistics I can think of no better location than here in Liverpool.Just over a century ago, the historian W.T. Pike wrote… So I hear, loud and clear: five requirements that business has to ensure that our services trade with the EU, and the manufacturing that is inextricably linked to it can continue to flourish: the ability to remit the profits of those activities simple intra-company transfers of people Agree an appropriate labour mobility framework that enables UK businesses and self-employed professionals to travel to the EU to provide services to clients in person. the mutual recognition of professional qualifications Going to Germany is like going to Aberdeen. the right to establish operating bases or offices on the same basis as a local firm Let me clearly say that I, and the Prime Minister value the contribution of businesses, including the ones we’re celebrating at today’s festival.Because the business view puts evidence before ideology.You all know the reality of employing people and exporting across the world.And that is something we need to listen to.Beyond Brexit, our modern Industrial Strategy is helping Britain seize the vast opportunities of new innovations and technologies, which could transform our services sector.On Monday, the £12 million ‘Next Generation Services Challenge’ opened for applications.As part of our Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, it will Invest in projects using AI and data technologies to transform accountancy, insurance and legal services.And when the next generation of researchers and innovators look at where to develop their next big idea we want the UK to be top of their list.So today we’re announcing £1.3 billion of investment, to grow our research and innovation talent.Helping to create the tech CEOs, research pioneers and Nobel Prize winners of the future.The inaugural Future Leaders Fellowship Programme will provide funding for 550 rising stars of science and innovation.These new fellowships, awarded in the next three years, will have a lifetime value of nearly £900 million.They will be open to people from all over the world.On top of this we are investing £350 million in prestigious National Academy fellowships and allocating £50 million for additional PhDs.The money will help ensure the UK invests 2.4% of GDP in R&D by 2027.And help us become the world’s most innovative economy by 2030.So ladies and gentlemen,Just as in the past, ‘all seas led to Liverpool’, I know that, in the future, we must make sure that roads, railways, sealanes and runways will take not only British goods, but British people to, and from, Britain as they continue to ply a prospering trade in good and services.And at this – a festival of business it’s only right that we celebrate our prowess in goods and services.Across the world, and across Europe, customers opt for our apps, our films, our healthtech and other services pioneered right here in the UK.In the years to come I know that we will build upon this position of strength.The great city of Liverpool stands as an example.Founded on trade in physical goods, it is even more renowned for its cultural strength – in other words, the services it trades on.So, let’s keep looking outwards, let’s keep being open, and let’s keep sending British people, as well as British goods to serve us well in markets across Europe and around the world.Thank you very much.last_img read more

Phil Lesh Leads Stu Allen, Nicki Bluhm, Lebo And More At Terrapin Crossroads [Watch]

first_imgLast night, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh held a “Thunder & Lightning” themed Phil & Friends concert with at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA. Lesh’s “Friends” for the show included guitarista Stu Allen and Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz, vocalist Nicki Bluhm, drummer Alex Kofordand multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby for the Sunday evening performance.The set began with Allen leading the ensemble through “Reuben & Cherise.” Allen also took lead vocals for “Stagger Lee” before Nicki stepped up to take lead vocal duties on “West L.A. Fadeaway.” Next, Allen sang “Casey Jones” before a Phil-sung “The Other One.” Bluhm and Lebo then shared vocals on Brent Mydland tune “Just A Little Light.” The show continued with “Shakedown Street” and “Cold Rain & Snow.” Finally, a cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World” flowed into “Morning Dew” to close the set. Lesh and his returned for a beautiful “Uncle John’s Band” encore to send the crowd home happy.You can watch video of Phil & Friends performing “Uncle John’s Band” below, thanks to YouTube user MarkoVision Films:Setlist: Phil & Friends | Terrapin Crossroads | San Rafael, CA | 1/29/17Reuben and Cerise (SA), Stagger Lee (SA), West L.A. Fadeaway (NB), Casey Jones (SA), The Other One (PL), Just a Little, Light (DL,NB), Shakedown Street (NB), Cold Rain and Snow (SA), Rockin In the Free World (AK) > Morning Dew (SA, NB)Encore: Donor Rap (PL), Uncle John’s Band (all)[Setlist via DeadHeadLand.com]last_img read more

Just-so black holes

first_imgAstronomers Aaron Smith and Volker Bromm of the University of Texas at Austin, working with Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, have discovered evidence for an unusual kind of black hole born extremely early in the universe. In new research they show that a recently discovered source of intense radiation is likely powered by a “direct-collapse black hole,” a phenomenon predicted by theorists more than a decade ago.The work was published this month in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.“It’s a cosmic miracle,” Bromm said, referring to the precise set of conditions present half a billion years after the Big Bang that allowed the behemoths to emerge. “It’s the only time in the history of the universe when conditions are just right” for them to form.Direct-collapse black holes also may be the solution to a long-standing puzzle in astronomy: How did supermassive black holes form in the early epochs of the universe? There is strong evidence for their existence, as they are needed to power the highly luminous quasars detected in the young universe. However, there are several problems preventing their formation, and the conventional growth process is much too slow.Astronomers think they know how supermassive black holes weighing in at millions of suns grow in the heart of most galaxies in our epoch. They start from a “seed” black hole, created when an extremely massive star collapses. The seed black hole has the mass of about 100 suns. It pulls in gas from its surroundings, becoming much bigger, and eventually may merge with other seed black holes. The process is called accretion.The accretion theory does not explain supermassive black holes in extremely distant — and therefore young — quasars. The incredible brightness of quasars, visible across billions of lightyears, comes from matter spiraling into a supermassive black hole, creating jets that shine as beacons across the universe.These early galaxies may have contained the first generation of stars created after the Big Bang. And although these stars can collapse to form black holes, they don’t work as early quasar seeds. There is no surrounding gas for the black hole to feed on. That gas has been blown away by winds from the hot, newly formed stars.“Star formation is the enemy of forming massive black holes” in early galaxies, Bromm said. “Stars produce feedback that blows away the surrounding gas cloud.”For decades, astronomers have called this conundrum “the quasar seed problem.”Thirteen years ago, Bromm and Loeb came up with an idea to get an early galaxy to form a supermassive seed black hole, by suppressing the otherwise prohibitive energy input from star formation. Astronomers later dubbed this process “direct collapse.”Begin with a “primordial cloud of hydrogen and helium, suffused in a sea of ultraviolet radiation,” Bromm said. “You crunch this cloud in the gravitational field of a dark matter halo. Normally, the cloud would be able to cool, and fragment to form stars. However, the ultraviolet photons keep the gas hot, thus suppressing any star formation. These are the desired, near-miraculous conditions: collapse without fragmentation! As the gas gets more and more compact, eventually you have the conditions for a massive black hole.”This set of cosmic conditions is exquisitely sensitive to the time period in the universe’s history — the process does not happen in galaxies today. According to Loeb, “The quasars observed in the early universe resemble giant babies in a delivery room full of normal infants. One is left wondering: What is special about the environment that nurtured these giant babies? Typically the cold gas reservoir in nearby galaxies like the Milky Way is consumed mostly by star formation.“The theory we proposed when Bromm was my postdoc [at Harvard] suggested that the conditions in the first generation of galaxies were different,” he said. “Instead of making many normal stars, these galaxies formed a single supermassive star at their center that ended up collapsing to a seed black hole. Hence the gas in these environments was used to feed this seed black hole rather than make many normal stars.”Bromm and Loeb published their theory in 2003. “But it was all theoretical back then,” Bromm said.Bromm is now a professor with postdocs and graduate students of his own, one of whom is Smith.Smith, Bromm, and Loeb became interested in a galaxy called CR7, identified from a Hubble Space Telescope survey called COSMOS, in a paper led by Jorryt Matthee of Leiden University. Hubble had spied CR7 at 1 billion years after the Big Bang.David Sobral, then at the University of Lisbon, made follow-up observations of CR7 with some of the world’s largest ground-based telescopes. These uncovered some extremely unusual features in the light signature coming from CR7. Specifically a certain hydrogen line in the spectrum, known as “Lyman-alpha,” was several times brighter than expected. Remarkably, the spectrum also showed an unusually bright helium line.“Whatever is driving this source is very hot — hot enough to ionize helium,” Smith said.Bromm agreed. “You need it to be 100,000 K — very hot, a very hard UV source” for that to happen, he said.These and other unusual features in the spectrum, such as the absence of any detected lines from elements heavier than helium together with the source’s distance — and therefore its cosmic epoch — meant that it could either be a cluster of primordial stars or a supermassive black hole likely formed by direct collapse.Smith ran simulations for both scenarios using the Stampede supercomputer at UT Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center. “We developed a novel code,” Smith said, explaining that his code modeled the system differently than previous simulations. “The old models were like a snapshot; this one is like a movie.”The type of modeling Smith used is called “radiation hydrodynamics,” Bromm said. “It’s the most expensive approach in terms of computer processing power.”The new code paid off, though. The star cluster scenario “spectacularly failed,” Smith said, while the direct-collapse black hole model performed well.Bromm said their work is about more than understanding the inner workings of one early galaxy.“With CR7, we had one intriguing observation. We are trying to explain it, and to predict what future observations will find. We are trying to provide a comprehensive theoretical framework.”In addition to Smith, Bromm, and Loeb’s work, NASA recently announced the discovery of two additional direct-collapse black hole candidates based on observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory.It seems astronomers are “converging on this model,” for solving the quasar seed problem, Smith said. Related Mysterious link between galaxy and black hole Invisible hand of dark matter guides growth of supermassive black holes last_img read more

How jellyfish and sea anemones know when (and when not) to sting

first_img Touch and taste? It’s all in the suckers Ultra-soft underwater grippers use fettuccini-like fingers to catch and release jellyfish without harm Related Harvard researchers uncover how the sensors in octopus suction cups work To sting or not to sting? For jellyfish, that is the question whenever their tentacles brush up against anything, including millions of human swimmers around the world.Stingers are fired out at about the speed of a discharged bullet. And each single specialized cell responsible for a response can only be deployed once, as they rupture when used and have to be grown back after a jellyfish ejects its venom-coated barb into an unsuspecting prey or an unlucky swimmer. Given the limitations on its arsenal, it would seem some prudence is in order.“To prevent unnecessary stinging [including of itself], there must be some kind of signal that allows the cell to shoot at the right time,” said Nicholas Bellono, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. How that stinging trigger and safeguard system works on a molecular level in jellyfish and sea anemones has long been a mystery to scientists. At least, it was until a team of researchers from Bellono’s lab solved it.They identified how the stinging cells, called nematocytes, which are found along the tentacles of sea anemones and jellyfish — both types of cnidaria — detect and filter diverse cues from the environment to control when (and when not) to sting.The researchers found that nematocyte cells from the starlet sea anemone, a relation of the jellyfish, have an unusual calcium electrical current that is critical for initiating the stinging response, but that the ion channel controlling this current only opens under very specific conditions: a combination of mechanical stimuli from a tentacle making contact with a prey or predator, like a poke, and the presence of certain chemical cues, like those from prey or predators.During all other times, these calcium channels are inactive and render the cell dormant until the right signal approaches.,“We hypothesize that first, the sea anemone detects chemicals from its prey using chemosensory cells,” said Keiko Weir, a graduate research fellow who led the project. “These chemosensory cells then relay this information to nematocytes using acetylcholine [an organic chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter]. The acetylcholine relieves inactivation of these calcium channels. This functions to prime the nematocyte to say, ‘There’s food nearby.’ Then, once the nematocyte receives a mechanical cue, such as the tentacle contacting prey, that leads to the opening of the calcium channels, resulting in a huge calcium influx and the discharge of the nematocyte.”Previous studies had already demonstrated that only the right combination of cues trigger nematocytes to fire, but the molecular process was unknown. The findings put it all together and highlight how nature has continuously developed elegant but simple systems for dealing with complex problems that call for ultrafast decision-making.“The underlying principles of any biological system is you have cells that have to take cues from their surroundings — either from other cells or directly from the environment — and translate that information into an appropriate response,” Weir said.What makes this system stand out in particular is that the final say of whether to sting comes down to the nematocyte.“It’s a great example of when a single cell has to properly integrate the right signals in order to make a correct (and very extreme) decision,” Bellono said. “We’re often thinking about systems-level questions in which the brain makes complex computations using several components of a circuit, but this study helps demonstrate that each protein and each cell is critical to such processing because it comes down to one molecule having just the right properties to fit its cellular and organismal context.” A gentle grip on gelatinous creatures Along with Weir and Bellono, other co-authors included Christophe Dupre, a postdoctoral fellow from the Engert and Lichtman Lab; Lena van Giesen, a postdoctoral fellow in the Bellono lab; and Amy Lee, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. The study published in eLife in May.The team used a variety of techniques, including physiology, behavior, and electron microscopy, that allowed them to meticulously follow the electrical and chemical processes leading to the stinging response.As to why jellyfish sting an estimated 150 million people each year when humans are not its prey, the best answer is still likely a defense response. It could also lie in our chemical makeup, however.“This comes back to which chemicals are sensed,” Bellono said. “Is the animal adapted to very broadly sense some generalized chemical that’s present in many animals such as us, even though we’re not prey? There are examples of sea anemones which use specific nematocytes for predation and others for defense. There are other animals which may use chemicals to avoid stinging, such as the clownfish. Maybe those nematocytes are tuned to specific chemical inputs.”This research was supported by the New York Stem Cell Foundation, the Searle Scholars Program, the Sloan Foundation, the Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship, the National Institutes of Health, and the Swiss National Science Foundation.last_img read more

Back in the Wig! John Cameron Mitchell Is Broadway’s Newest Hedwig

first_imgIt’s been 14 years since he last wore that wig for the movie, but John Cameron Mitchell is finally pulling the wig down from the shelf again. The original Hedwig and the Angry Inch star and co-creator steps into the Broadway production beginning on January 21, taking over for Michael C. Hall at the Belasco Theatre. He joins Tony winner Lena Hall, who continues in the role of Yitzhak. Hedwig and the Angry Inch Mitchell wrote the book for Hedwig alongside composer Stephen Trask, and the stars performed early versions of the musical at Don Hill’s and the Westbeth Theatre Center. Mitchell later starred in the off-Broadway incarnation of the hit musical at the Jane Street Theatre in 1998. He directed, wrote and starred in the 2001 film adaptation of Hedwig, garnering a Golden Globe nomination for his performance. Mitchell has appeared on Broadway in The Secret Garden, Big River and Six Degrees of Separation, and was most recently seen on the small screen in Girls, playing David Pressler-Goings, Hannah’s book publisher. Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 13, 2015 View Comments Directed by Michael Mayer, the Tony-winning Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch opened on April 22, 2014, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall. Andrew Rannells subsequently stepped into Harris’ heels before Hall took over. The musical tells the story of a fictional rock ‘n’ roll band, fronted by Hedwig, a transgender woman from communist East Berlin. Between rock songs, Hedwig regales the audience with both humorous and painful stories about her life, including her botched sex change operation. Related Showslast_img read more

Robert Skiff named interim director of Shelburne Museum

first_imgShelburne Museum, Inc.,Shelburne Museum has named an interim director, Board Chairman James Pizzagalli announced. Robert Skiff, Sr., member of the museum’s board of trustees and former president of Champlain College, will assume interim director duties on March 15 and will serve until a permanent replacement for director Stephan Jost is hired. Jost is stepping down after five years as director at Shelburne to become director of Honolulu Academy of Arts in Honolulu, Hawaii.Museum trustee Bruce Lisman of Shelburne is heading up the national search for a new director, which is under way.Skiff, of South Burlington, joined the Shelburne Museum board in 2002. He serves as a director of the Merchants Bank and Merchants Bancshares.Skiff was as president of Champlain College from 1977 to 1992 and during that time also served as president of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. From 1993-1996 Skiff was a Presidential Fellow at the University of Vermont. He was a founder of the Vermont Commons School in South Burlington.About Shelburne Museum: Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vt. is one of North America’s finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art, design and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 39 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the grounds. The museum’s collection includes works by the great Impressionists Monet, Manet and Degas as well as a prized collection of folk art including trade signs, weathervanes and quilts.SHELBURNE, Vt. (February 16, 2011) Shelburne Museum# # #last_img read more

Credit union leaders: Build a better industry through diversity best practices

first_imgCredit unions were founded on the mission of people helping people. It’s a proud mission – one that is worthy of respect and attracts intelligent employees committed to making a difference. We are doing awesome things in the world – such as running Mad City Money programs at local high schools to teach youth about financial literacy and opening student run branches. We are at the forefront of developing products that are alternatives to the subprime market. We send our leaders to Credit Union Development Educator’s school to ensure we are tackling global problems, and are just generally helping people that are turned away elsewhere. Credit unions have reached a cumulative 100 million members because we are doing many things right. We are cooperatives that work together, and do our work very well.We also need to be careful. Individually, each of our institutions are uniquely structured because of our common bond charter. Therefore, credit unions were really founded to serve people like ourselves. Our common bond charters meant that credit union members were historically those of our local community, our church or other association, our industry peers, or our co-workers. This common bond charter also creates limitations on those outside of the circle that can be helped. In many ways, we have grown past the notion of only helping people like ourselves as our charters grow and as smaller credit unions merge with larger ones. Large, multi-state chartered credit unions make banks nervous because we are reaching people everywhere. We provide real competition in a diverse marketplace. As we earn more market share, and even while many of us expand our community development reach (the NCUA and the CDFI Fund recently partnered to increase the number of community development credit unions nationally) we have to be careful that we aren’t holding on to the phrase “people helping with people” with an unspoken “….like us” added to silently finish the sentence.There is an easy place to measure what we truly value in our efforts to meet measurable financial goals while helping people. The measure can be found in our hiring and promotion practices. Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act strongly encourages diverse hiring and promotion practices, and authorizes federal agencies to review organizational practices. As cooperative financial institutions, we need to be better than regulation. Let us decide to be leaders in the financial services industry in this area. The NCUA’s Letter to Credit Unions Letter 15-CU-05 encourages a voluntary implementation of its best practice diversity standards. Even though we are not regulated in this area, we would do well to be eager to adopt best practices. This Credit Union Times article published this past May indicated that small credit unions are heavily led by women, while large credit unions still lag in female CEO leadership. Perhaps we can do better. Diversity in hiring means so much more than female leadership, though. It means adopting hiring practices that are intentionally inclusive at every level. Leaders in the credit union industry need to be thinking about hiring and promoting from a pool of candidates that include women, minorities, those of various ethnicities, sexual or gender orientations, live with disabilities, or any other person who is not ‘just like us.’ Our board members need to lead by example.Inclusivity is hot topic, especially this election season. Even so, thinking about diversity and inclusion should not be motivated by social acceptability, or even by profitability, although business cases could be made for either rationale. We should hire and promote for diversity because it makes us better credit unions. A recent Forbes study indicates diverse teams foster innovation and perform better than homogenous teams. This is true because diversity offers us a perspective not bounded by our own cultural lens. It helps us see the world in a larger way and helps us develop products and services that are truly relevant. We connect better with more members, and the relationships we forge when we are willing to learn from others make us more holistic leaders. 94SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sarah Marshall Sarah Marshall is a consultant in the credit union industry, and can be reached for partnership and speaking opportunities through Your Credit Union Partner. Her background in community development includes … Web: https://yourcupartner.org Detailslast_img read more

Clinical study points to cytokine storm in H5N1 cases

first_imgSep 11, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A controlled study of H5N1 influenza patients in Vietnam has provided fresh evidence that explosive viral growth and the resulting cytokine storm, or excessive immune response, account for the often lethal nature of H5N1 disease.The study underlines the importance of early antiviral treatment to stop the viral population explosion. The authors, led by Menno de Jong of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, suggest that treatment to blunt the late-stage immune response should also be explored.”Our observations point to a central role for high viral burden in the pathogenesis of human H5N1 disease and suggest that timely suppression of viral replication should remain the mainstay of treatment of influenza H5N1,” states the report, published online yesterday by Nature Medicine.The study has also prompted experts to mention the possibility of using intravenous antiviral treatment in an effort to move drugs to the sites of viral activity faster than is possible with oral drugs like oseltamivir (Tamiflu).De Jong’s team conducted virologic and immunologic studies on 18 H5N1 patients and eight patients with ordinary seasonal flu (H3N2 and H1N1 viruses) in 2004 and 2005. Thirteen of the 18 H5N1 patients died of the illness. The H5N1 patients presented for treatment an average of 6 days after the onset of illness—well beyond the recommended 2-day window for starting antiviral treatment. The researchers looked for the virus in samples from the nose, throat, blood, and rectum.Among the virologic findings:H5N1 patients had more viral material (viral RNA) in the throat than in the nose, and they had more viral RNA in the throat than patients with ordinary flu had.H5N1 patients who died had the highest levels of viral RNA.Viral traces were found in blood samples from 9 of the 16 H5N1 patients whose blood was tested; viral RNA in blood was associated with high viral loads in throat specimens.Viral RNA was found in rectal samples from 5 of 7 H5N1 patients, and three of these had diarrhea.The researchers also examined the blood levels of seven cytokines and chemokines—molecular messengers that call various kinds of immune cells into action, triggering inflammation. They found that H5N1 patients had significantly higher levels of 6 out of 7 of these substances than seasonal flu patients had. In addition, levels of four chemokines were particularly high in H5N1 patients who died.”Our observations indicate that high viral load, and the resulting intense inflammatory responses, are central to influenza H5N1 pathogenesis,” the authors write. “The focus of clinical management should be on preventing this intense cytokine response, by early diagnosis and effective antiviral treatment.”They add that the limited effectiveness of antiviral treatment in H5N1 patients when started late may reflect the inability of the drugs to stop the cytokine storm at that point. At that stage, they suggest, treatment to limit or change the immune response “has potential benefits.” But they emphasize that the main focus should be on early diagnosis and antiviral treatment.The central question raised by the study, according to infectious disease expert Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, is, “At what level of viremia does the cytokine storm get triggered? Once that happens, does it matter what the ongoing level of viral activity happens to be? Once the cytokine storm begins, it’s already too late to have any impact with antivirals.”Osterholm, who is director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site, said he doesn’t know of anyone who has tried immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory drugs to stop the cytokine storm in H5N1 patients.”No one knows what the consequences of that might be,” he said. Reducing the immune response could backfire by allowing the virus to run wild, he suggested.Virologist Frederick G. Hayden, MD, said intravenous administration might improve the effectiveness of antiviral treatment in H5N1 disease, according to a Canadian Press report published yesterday.”A potent parenteral agent . . . is really needed and will give us the ability, I hope, to more rapidly control replication in patients with these kinds of severe infections,” Hayden was quoted as saying.Hayden, of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, heads a World Health Organization research network that plans to assess various treatment regimens for H5N1 patients, the story said. The report said injectable forms of two antivirals—peramivir and zanamivir (Relenza)—are in development.Osterholm said intravenous drugs move into the system faster, but giving drugs intravenously is harder than giving them orally.  In a flu pandemic, he said, “Will there be IV bags available? If you give a drug that’s only IV, and then you run out of IV sets, you’ve got a problem.”De Jong MD, Simmons CP, Thanh TT, et al. Fatal outcome of human influenza A (H5N1) is associated with high viral load and hypercytokinemia. Nature Med 2006 Sep 10 (early online publication) [Abstract]See also:Nov 16, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Lab study supports idea of ‘cytokine storm’ in H5N1 flu”Oct 11, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Experts cite differences between H5N1 and ordinary flu”Dec 22, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Tamiflu resistance in avian flu victims sparks concern”last_img read more