On their Work Together Tour this spring, Gang of Thieves played 60+ shows over the course of four months and made a goal to volunteer their time to various community service projects across the country. As any touring musician will tell you, it takes great motivation and dedication to perform live concerts. With a vigorous tour schedule, it takes immense physical and mental effort to travel from city to city, and perform your best to any size crowd, despite how many hours of sleep you were able to catch in between.So for a band to incorporate community service into their tour schedule, it is quite the victory. Live For Live Music applauds the Gang of Thieves for reaching their goals, and are happy to share their experience through the words of Michael Reit (lead vox / violin) and Tobin Salas (bass). Read below for a recap of their Work Together Tour:Being from Vermont, we are extremely lucky to live in a state that is so supportive of its local community and economy. The idea for our “Work Together” tour was definitely influenced by what we see around us in our daily life. Our goal as a band, especially when we are touring, has always been to spread a positive message through rock and roll, so this tour was really a natural evolution for us. Early on in the planning stages for the tour, we had a lot of positive feedback about what we were trying to do, and ended up pairing with Darn Tough Socks, Cabot Cheese, and Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel as sponsors. All of those companies are dedicated to having locally made products and supporting their local communities, which is exactly what we wanted to encourage along the tour.As we hit the road, our goal was to volunteer in as many communities as possible, from food shelves to animal shelters. When we started adding these extracurricular activities to our usual tour schedule, we expected it to be a little strenuous, since we were giving up whatever extra sleep and downtime we had between all our shows to volunteer. That being said, right off the bat we discovered that contributing to communities gave us an incredible sense of fulfillment and accomplishment, which helped balance out the lack of sleep or down time. The truth is that there are a lot of people who don’t have the opportunity or lifestyle we are lucky to have, people who need help and support. To us, getting a couple more hours of sleep or down time doesn’t compare to being able to fundamentally contribute to helping some of those people. For example, we played a late night set in Roanoke, Virginia then hit the road that night for a place to stay in Charlottesville where we were scheduled for an early morning start at the local Habitat for Humanity. Despite the lack of sleep, we had a blast helping build homes for people who needed them. We worked all day putting in trim, sideboarding, and other late stage jobs at a site with rows of houses waiting to be finished. The people there were positive and super dedicated to the community, and appreciated our help so much. We ended up playing an acoustic version of “Work Together” for them at lunch, and made some great friends there. A few of the workers onsite even came to our show that evening in Charlottesville! It felt so good to contribute to the local community, but seeing those same people come support us in turn that evening was even more amazing. It gave us a sense of the power that working together can have.We definitely encourage fellow bands to find time in their tour schedule to help out in the communities they travel through. Not only is it incredibly fulfilling to help out where it is needed most, but you never know who you might meet. Maybe someone will offer to put you up for the night, or you might make some unexpected fans who will keep supporting you and your music for years to come. For more information about where we went and how we put all this volunteer work together, check out the “Work Together” page on our website. More bands should be like Gang of Thieves. Bravo!
Over the weekend, Boca Raton’s The Funky Biscuit played host to Sunday night’s Festival After Party with The Heavy Pets. With so many musicians in town, many of them made it to the venue for a guest-filled night of music, featuring turntablist DJ Logic, bassist MonoNeon (formerly of Prince’s band), Lettuce/Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno, South Florida’s very own blues guitar slinger Albert Castiglia, as well as TTB saxophonist Kebbi Williams and trumpeter Ephraim Owens.Blending older and newer material and well-placed covers, The Heavy Pets played three sets total, with a second set all-star jam. Thanks to CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS, you can relive the glory with some videos and audio.The Heavy Pets w/ DJ Logic & MonoNeon cover Bob James’ haunting “Nautilus” (1974), which was said to have been produced so that the tones were reminiscent of the sounds of a submerging submarine.The Heavy Pets w/ DJ Logic, MonoNeon, Albert Castiglia, Kebbi Williams & Ephraim Owens perform the classic “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly & The Family Stone (1969).The Heavy Pets w/ Eric Krasno, DJ Logic, MonoNeon, Albert Castiglia, Kebbi Williams & Ephraim Owens play The Isley Brothers’ quiet storm-funk “Between The Sheets” (1983) and The Pets’ original jam “Dewpoint”.Jason Matthews of Electric Kif leant The Heavy Pets a hand on keyboards during this epic, 3rd set “So Thank You Music” to close the evening.Full Show Audio:Upcoming shows for The Heavy Pets include appearances at Fractal Beach Music Festival at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami on February 4th, opening for Umphrey’s McGee at Whigfest Music & Arts Festival in Tampa on Feb. 18th, and their “Strawberry Mansion” album release party at Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 23rd.[photo: Jay Skolnick @ J Skolnick Photography]
Kamal Bawa’s journey to understand and protect the biodiversity of the towering Himalayas began half a century ago, when he was young and traveling into the fabled mountain range’s eastern foothills.Though desolate snow and ice lay above, his train climbed through lush valleys, rich with tree species and a dazzling array of orchids, and past high meadows marked by pale, 6-foot-tall formations that only on closer inspection turned out to be plants. They were Rheum nobile, a type of rhubarb whose translucent leaves create greenhouse-like warm pockets that attract insects for pollination.Bawa’s journey continues today. A distinguished professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Bawa has teamed up with photographer Sandesh Kadur to create an account of biodiversity in the Himalayas, including the region through which Bawa traveled so long ago. The result is a book, “Himalayas: Mountains of Life,” released in April.Bawa and Kadur, who is a National Geographic emerging explorer, talked about the journey that led to the book on Tuesday during a lecture at Harvard’s Sackler Museum. The event was introduced by Heather Henriksen, director of Harvard’s Office for Sustainability, and hosted by William Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development, and director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Sustainability Science Program.The years since his first visit have proven Bawa’s instincts about the region’s richness to be true. It is now known as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, which are areas of extreme species diversity endangered by pressures from humanity. The region holds, for example, 500 species of orchids, more than 100 species of primulas and rhododendrons, as well as rhinos, elephants, tigers, and red pandas. Between 1998 and 2008 alone, 350 new species were described there.Bawa and Kadur spent a great deal of time in the 1,000-mile-long region, interacting with the rich diversity of its human residents as well its plant and animal species. Kadur recounted the long journeys to reach some locations, as well as the patience needed to snap the wildlife images to illustrate the project. In one instance he spent seven days in a blind waiting for tigers to appear at a rhino carcass. He was rewarded for his patience on the seventh day when not one but three tigers appeared and began eating, demonstrating scavenging behavior never before documented.“Getting to many of these places was a task in itself,” Kadur said.Bawa and Kadur hope to draw broader attention to the region, as they did with a prior book on another Indian mountain range, the Sahyadris, also known as the Western Ghats, along the Arabian Sea. That book, Bawa said, attracted attention from political leaders and policymakers and allowed the authors to describe the conservation challenges there.The Himalayan region is under pressure from the millions of indigenous people who live there, whose agricultural practices are fragmenting forests and who sometimes hunt rare animals (30 rhinos were killed in a single day in September). The area is also under pressure from modern development.India alone is planning 400 dams on its side of the Himalayas, Bawa said, while China is planning 400 on the other side. Though hydropower provides clean energy, it also prompts road building into wild areas, changes the nature of rivers, and affects both the region’s hydrology and the species dependent on their free flow.Climate change appears to be another threat. Between 1982 and 2006, average temperatures in the region have increased twice as fast as global temperatures, while rainfall has increased by an average of 163 millimeters (nearly 6½ inches) and become more variable. The growing season, meanwhile, has advanced by about five days, Bawa said.“The richness of life in the Himalayas, as in many other places, is under assault,” Bawa said.The event was co-sponsored by several Harvard organizations, including the Office for Sustainability, the Sustainability Science Program, the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the Asia Center, the South Asia Institute, and the Office for the Arts.
Dr. Gail Walton, director of music at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, will be remembered as a dedicated musician, teacher and Catholic who touched the lives of many members of the Notre Dame community.Walton, an organist and director of two Notre Dame choirs, died last week after a long illness. She was 55.“This was not a job. This was a passion and her life,” Fr. Peter Rocca, rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, said. “Her impact was tremendous. She touched the lives of so many students.”Senior Jordan Schank said when he first auditioned for the Liturgical Choir, he was an intimidated freshman with no choir experience. “I know Gail could see my shaking knees. I don’t think I have ever felt so intimidated by a woman in high heels before,” he said. “She took note of my nervousness and she did her best to calm me down.”With Walton’s help and encouragement, Schank said he was able to learn the challenging music and improve his singing dramatically.“I can with full faith say that Gail taught me everything I know about singing,” Schank said. “She took a young, inexperienced freshman with terrible Midwestern vowels and formed me into the confident singer I am today.”Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Ill., was the homilist at Walton’s funeral and spoke to a standing room-only congregation at the Basilica Tuesday morning about Walton’s impact on the Notre Dame community.“Year after year, season after season, the walls of this place have echoed with the glory and sensitivity of Gail’s music,” he said. “At Notre Dame moments of joy and sorrow, Gail made great music that lifted our spirits.“Today, the Basilica is filled with only a few of an army of her many friends who loved her.”Walton directed the Liturgical Choir and the Basilica Schola, which she also founded. She assisted with music at a number of University liturgical events, such as opening mass, Junior Parents Weekend mass and Commencement mass, Rocca said.Walton also touched the lived of countless couples as they prepared for marriage and worked with families planning funerals for loved ones, Rocca said.“The Notre Dame community will miss her dedication, her zeal, her knowledge of the liturgy and music, her expertise,” Rocca said. “And ultimately her gracious presence and her wonderful smile.”Although Walton dedicated her life to music, it wasn’t for her own benefit, but meant to help others, Vice President of the Liturgical Choir Christie Marden said.“More than anything, Gail valued sacred music and what it can bring to the liturgy. Even though she spent decades making beautiful music, her ministry was never about herself,” Marden said. “She was always reminding the choir … that our job is to help the congregation to pray.”Schank also said Walton’s focus was on helping others strengthen their faith.“Gail always stressed that our work in the Basilica was always a ministry and never a performance,” he said. “The choir climbs the stairs to the loft each Sunday morning to help others pray, to enter more deeply into the magnificent mystery of the Eucharist.”Jenky said in his homily Walton’s impact on her students extended beyond her knowledge of music.“She taught those choir members not only music, but how to live and how to love,” he said.Both Schank and Marden said Walton made an impact on their lives beyond music.“The Notre Dame community has lost a fine woman, mentor, friend and musician. Her warm smile and kind heart will be sorely missed,” Schank said.Marden added: “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to get to know such a beautiful woman. She will be missed.”Jenky encouraged those at the funeral to model Walton’s dedication to her faith and music during this period of grief. “When all our human explanations seem inadequate to describe all that we experience, we worship to the Lord,” he said. “Where our words fail, we sing to the Lord … In terrible grief and sorrow, it is music that clearly expresses what we cannot say.”
22SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Duke University Federal Credit Union deploys kiosks to measure service standards.When $123 million/15,000-member Duke University Federal Credit Union, Durham, N.C., was seeking to create a more consistent member experience, it chose HappyOrNot’s innovative customer satisfy action kiosks. With the kiosks already in use by credit unions throughout the U.S., Duke University FCU took the use of the smiley face devices to a new level by deploying them at every member interaction station within the credit union.From the moment members walk into the lobby, until the time they leave, they are presented with the opportunity to express their satisfaction level. The fun-to-use kiosks are strategically placed at the greeter station, each of the loan officers’ desks, the teller windows, and even (soon) the drive-up stations.The results have been extremely rewarding for the credit union. “The HappyOrNot kiosks have resulted in a more consistent customer experience,” says Duke University FCU CEO Daniel Berry, CCE, a CUES member. “The presence of the kiosks and the immediate feedback they provide is always in the mind of our staff, encouraging them to be more careful to do their absolute best to serve every person who comes in the door.” continue reading »
37SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Branding is a complex initiative that involves two primary components – external branding and internal branding. External branding is the more well-known element and generally involves a company’s external image, reputation, logos and the like. Internal branding is often the overlooked side of branding but is essentially the most important. It involves a company’s culture and core values. It influences how employees perceive the organization, how they treat their customers or members and how they treat each other. Internal branding is the guts of the organization, and without it, the external brand will eventually fail.Internal branding serves many purposes. When done correctly, an internal brand campaign increases employee morale and helps them feel like they have a stake in the organization’s success. When that happens, employees are committed and will change their behaviors to align with the brand and its values. A successful internal branding campaign transitions your staff from employees to brand ambassadors. They don’t just work for your financial institution anymore. They live the brand and model what it represents.Launching an Internal brand campaign should always happen in conjunction with your external brand launch, but that’s not the only time an internal brand campaign benefits your organization. Sometimes the external brand is strong, but employee morale is declining.An internal brand campaign helps employees renew their commitment to your financial institution and its brand. This is especially true if you never did internal branding when you launched your external brand. An internal brand campaign is also effective when a new CEO takes the reigns. Toyota launched an internal brand campaign recently as part of its efforts to consolidate its four North American locations onto one large campus in Texas. The purpose of the campaign was to unify the company. continue reading »
Let’s be honest – a lot of organizations (most, in fact) play lip service to the concept of learning and development. We say it’s important, but our spend per employee is a fraction of what’s reported by the Bersins of the world, our managers can’t generally make time to pull people off the floor/out of the field for L&D activities and worst of all – our employee base is a segmented freak show when it comes to ability and willingness to learn.That’s why I come forward with these 5 truths you can’t change about learning in the workplace. I was going to do 10 of these, but it was too much for the man (NatX reference intended). So these 5 will have to do:Employees will tell you they want training, but most aren’t interested in learning. Translation – training is an event that can be attended – it’s social and even fun at times and there’s generally not a lot of accountability related to your attendance. Learning, however – well, that’s more about the individual and what gets applied. To say employees love training but hate learning is fair and balanced, but in a different way than a one-on-one coaching session with Roger Aires at FOX News. continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Future initiatives include addressing the child care crisis in Broome County. While Garnar says his office is very busy with dozens of projects, he says he couldn’t have accomplished this much on his own. “When you look at all we’ve accomplished, we are an example of how government can work when you put aside politics and come together to get things done,” said Garnar. “Within another month or so, you’re going to see a pretty large county initiative dedicated toward exploring how Broome County can add more daycare spots as well,” said Garnar. Infrastructure was another hot topic in the address, including revitalizing the Oakdale Mall. By the end of the month, Garnar expects to bring more than 100 employees into the new Broome County Workforce Development Center. Covering a variety of topics, Garnar highlighted Broome County as one of the first counties in New York State to introduce stop-arm cameras to all school buses. “We’re doing this first because in Broome County we never wait on keeping our kids safe,” said Garnar. “That’s just going to generate a lot of foot traffic, a lot of activity, and I thik you’re going to see the mall grow and expand as well,” said Garnar. JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Broome County Executive Jason Garnar delivered the 2020 State of the County address, highlighting more than 100 initiatives his office has worked on in three years. “Since January 2017, the unemployment rate has fallen, the average price of home sales in Broome County is way up, our fund balance is 25 times more than what it was three years ago, and crime is down,” said Garnar. Garnar also discusses new protections for first responders, a new veteran resource center, and upcoming demolition projects.
He and Teresa, 48, called it quits in December 2019 after 20 years of marriage.“Teresa and Joe have separated, but have no plans to divorce yet,” a source told Us Weekly at the time. “Teresa and Joe talked about their future when she and the girls were in Italy and decided it was best for them to separate. Neither of them wanted to be in a long-distance relationship. Joe has been dating in Italy, Teresa is busy taking care of their girls right now. They harbor no ill will towards each other and will continue to coparent their kids.”- Advertisement – Reunited and it feels so good! Joe Giudice and Teresa Giudice’s four daughters visited their dad in Italy for the first time in 2020.“Happy to be back,” Milania, 15, captioned a Friday, November 6, Instagram photo of herself smiling with the former reality star, 48.Joe Giudice and Milania Giudice Courtesy of Milania Giudice/Instagram- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The former couple finalized their divorce in September, and Joe has been dating “a lawyer.”He told Wendy Williams the following month: “She’s helping out a lot out here, it’s good because I have a lot of things going on out here and she’s putting together a lot of deals for me. We’ve been seeing each other, you know what I mean? I wouldn’t say that we’re boyfriend, girlfriend, but we’re kind of like hanging out a lot.”Joe went on to say that he talks to his daughters “every day,” saying, “Melania was just gonna call me now. I was watching them play soccer yesterday through the phone. So, good thing for the phones. It’s better to be there in person, but what are you gonna do? Right now, I wouldn’t be able to come there anyway.”Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! The teenager went on to post Instagram Story videos with her siblings — Gia, 19, Gabriella, 16, and Audriana, 11 — walking through Rome. “We’re back,” she wrote.Joe’s daughters last came to Italy in December 2019. “They are so cute so happy,” he captioned an Instagram video at the time. The Italy native said in the footage: “Welcome to Italy again. I love you. You’re so cute.”That was Joe’s second visit with his kids since he moved to Italy in October following his deportation order. He was taken into ICE custody seven months prior after completing a 41-month prison sentence.- Advertisement –
“Just the fact that the meeting was held was an important sign that the issue is being taken seriously,” he said. Coalition offers resourcesTim Jones, MD, state epidemiologist for the Tennessee Department of Health, attended the meeting and gave the group an overview of projects launched by the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR). The group is led by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. It receives funding from the CDC and collaborates with a host of other federal agencies and public health organizations. The FSIS plans to publish reports on the meeting and exercise within the next few months, he said. For example, he said the group learned that local authorities need to know more specific details when food products are recalled in the event of an illness outbreak. “Sometimes they don’t hear from federal or state officials” and don’t know what has been recalled, he said. CIFOR’s work is one example of how seriously public health groups are taking the need to improve outbreak investigations, Jones said. Others include the EpiReady program, which teaches authorities how to conduct investigations, and various tabletop exercises. David Goldman, assistant administrator in the FSIS office of public health, told CIDRAP News that the 2-day event sparked robust discussions about a range of topics. “What we wanted the presenters to do was be candid about the problems they confront,” he said. The meeting was held in St Louis on May 15 and was followed the next day by a tabletop exercise that simulated a multistate Escherichia coli outbreak involving ground beef. The 2-day event was attended by officials from the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plus state and local public health officials, food industry groups, university researchers, and consumer groups. Goldman said the tabletop exercise afterward was useful because it raised all of the concerns that had been discussed during the meeting. “And people who were unfamiliar with outbreak investigations learned a lot about them. It illuminated the problems and the obstacles,” he said. Some participants shared their frustrations about difficulties in getting information from regulatory agencies and industry. “Some of the information can’t be shared readily due to the laws that regulatory agencies operate under,” Hedberg said. Apr 25 USDA press release on outbreak investigation meeting (Problems in the dissemination of food safety information were the topic of a lengthy report released yesterday by a group called the Food Safety Research Consortium. See May 22 story link below for more information.) Oct 23, 2007, CIDRAP News story “USDA announces plans to reduce E coli contamination in ground beef” Recall messages could be better crafted to reflect more clearly that the recalled product is harmful and should not be consumed, Hedberg said. “The focus should be on the desired behavior of the consumer.” May 23, 2008 (CIDRAP News) Federal agencies that play key food safety roles recently held a public meeting to clarify the obstacles public health officials encounter in investigating foodborne disease outbreaks and to build support for measures to improve the process. Craig Hedberg, PhD, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, attended the meeting and took part in the tabletop exercise. He said the discussions were useful for charting the patterns that have occurred in outbreak investigations and fleshing out plans for improving them. Jones said CIFOR, now in its third year, has established an online source for questionnaires and outbreak training resources, has developed guidelines for multistate outbreak investigations, and is working on several other initiatives. Hedberg said that though many important issues were raised at the meeting, it’s clear that quick fixes are unrealistic. “Part of it is changing people’s normal work patterns. A lot of it is culture change that has to occur across the system,” he said. “Everyone is in theory committed to better communication and more transparencythe devil is in the details.” The FSIS had announced that it would explore how to improve outbreak investigations last October, as it unveiled measures to address a spike in E coli outbreaks linked to ground beef. See also: Whether a food recall is voluntary or mandatory is largely a technical issue, he said. However, focusing on whether a recall is voluntary or mandatory can lead some of the public to think that the associated outbreak isn’t an important public health problem. Hedberg also said a focus on the role of local officials was a useful outcome of the meeting. “People from local departments describe how they feel left out of larger multistate outbreak investigations, but local agencies are the ones interviewing the cases,” he said. “And sometimes it’s not apparent why the case should be at the top of their priorities.” Other issues that were raised at the meeting, Hedberg said, included the need to improve methods for assessing case-patients’ food exposures and the view of some experts that food recalls, as currently administered, don’t convey an adequate level of warning to consumers. May 22 CIDRAP News story “Experts propose steps to ease food safety info flow” All outbreaks start locallyOne of the major themes that participants emphasized was the important role of local public health officials, Goldman said. “Outbreak investigations can be quite complex, but everything starts locally with one or two cases,” he said. CIFOR Web site