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first_imgNewmethods of recruitment, measuring and assessing performance, successionplanning and testing competency are among the approaches organisations haveadopted. Other organisations have looked at the terms and conditions they canoffer staff and tailored them to attract the applicants they need. Newtechnology can often play an important role. If your team has developed strongapproaches to recruitment and retention you should be entering this award. FrazerJones Award for Innovation in Recruitment and Retention SponsorFrazer Jones wants to stress the importance of looking at recruitment beyondthe phase of hiring new staff. “Recruitment and retention is one of themost visible ways that HR can add value to an organisation,” says partnerMark Brewer. “In our view retention is as important as recruitmentalthough in many organisations less emphasis is put on it, which simply doesn’tmake sense. We see our business as not just hiring but enabling clients to keepthe best available talent.” Categorysponsor Has yourteam developed recruitment approaches that seek out the most talented staff andensure they stay with the organisation?Then why not enter this year’s PersonnelToday Awards? Inaddition, the company empowers its staff to provide an outstanding servicethrough first-class communication, an attentive and focused approach and highlyrelevant solutions. Frazer Jones is part of the SR Group, a global group ofrecruitment firms specialising in the tax, legal and management consultancymarkets. Previous Article Next Article With thecurrent backdrop of skills shortages and the war for talent, this award couldnot be more timely or important. It is designed to recognise innovativeapproaches in selection, recruitment and retention of employees. The judge willlook for an HR team that has adopted a clear approach to selecting employeesand developing, motivating and retaining them in line with strategicobjectives. center_img Personnel Today Awards 2001On 10 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Closingdate for entries: 15 June 2001 Related posts:No related photos. Entry forthe awards is free. Comments are closed. FrazerJones is a specialist recruitment consultancy working exclusively within the HRmarket, with offices in London, Leeds, Manchester and Sydney. Its philosophyhas always centred on developing and maintaining mature business partnershipswith clients. It consistently adopts the most progressive recruitment methodsand invests them with traditional values of honesty, commitment,professionalism and accountability.last_img read more

first_imgOnlinerecruitment is surging ahead, but is there a danger that it may discouragepotential applicants? HR professionals had their say at a roundtablediscussion. Nic Paton reports    Even the most Luddite of HR professionals cannot afford to ignore the riseand rise of online recruitment. From a standing start five years ago, theonline recruitment market in the UK is now a multi-million pound industryattracting millions of jobseekers to a vast array of sites. Only last month (August) jobs website GoJobsite claimed 82 per cent ofjobseekers considered the internet to be the simplest way to source new jobopportunities, while 84 per cent thought it the easiest way to apply for jobsand 55 per cent found it the best way to land a position. And a survey of 9,000 people by online recruiter Workthing in May – part ofthe Guardian Media Group – found some 36 per cent of internet users – or anestimated 6.3 million people – had sought jobs online – a 50 per cent increaseon last year. Yet it’s still early days. Online recruiter Totaljobs estimates onlinerecruitment still only makes up about 5 per cent of the multi-billion poundrecruitment market. To find out, then, how HR professionals should best exploit this potentiallylucrative market – and make sure they are not left behind – Personnel Todayorganised a roundtable debate on the issue. We invited senior HR practitionersfrom both the private and public sectors to discuss online recruitment – thebenefits, the challenges and its future. Does online recruitment bring real business benefits? Even those who admitted to a fair degree of scepticism – such as Martin Tiplady,HR director at the Metropolitan Police – accept that online recruitment canproduce real business benefits. He said he had been surprised by the quantityof internet job enquiries the Met had received. “Last year, we recruited between 2,500 and 3,000 people from 60,000enquiries and 25 per cent of those came through e-mail and the internet. We arenow thinking we will not only want enquiries through it, but applicationstoo,” he said. The challenge, argued Helen Williams, resourcing development manager atSafeway, is how to reduce spend on external websites and attract passivejobseekers. The supermarket chain has set up careers pages on its corporatewebsite, which has been running for around two months. Even at a relatively basic level, online recruitment can bring easy costbenefits, she said. “Our website is not actually a key source ofattraction. We are directing people to it once they have made some sort ofcontact with us. But we do see benefits in cost savings. We’re not posting outapplication forms and we’re saving a lot of time because the response isimmediate.” But if you wish to make savings it is important to be focused on what sortof candidate you want, argued Charles Macleod, head of recruitment atPricewaterhouseCoopers. Online recruitment has a reputation for ‘scattergun’job hunting, offering too many jobs on too many sites without the ability tofilter applications adequately, so actually adding to HR’s workload. “The last thing you want to do is to attract everybody. We probablydeal with about 15,000 applications from graduates a year, but if you can focusyour applications on those who are potentially viable with a decent and fairlyrobust selection process, then the web can be very powerful as a way of drivingdown your selection costs,” he said. Does it find the right people? The most problematic element of online recruitment for all of the roundtableparticipants is whether using the web produces the right kind of people for thejob, and the right blend of candidates. “Our experience is that it hasbeen particularly good at attracting graduates but not particularly good atattracting anybody else,” said John Ainley, HR director at Norwich Union,which has had an online recruitment site for nearly four years. Where online recruitment beats conventional recruitment hands down is in itspotential to allow an employer to build an ongoing relationship with a possiblecandidate, he added. Even if there is not a suitable job available at the current time, e-mailallows an employer to keep in touch and keep them interested – a distinctadvantage to just sending out a form letter and slotting the CV away in afiling cabinet. For graduates, applying online is often simply an extension of their normalworking methods, argued Macleod. But employers need to remember the internet isless attractive to others. Many workers, particularly the lower paid or thosein the public sector, for instance, may not have access to a computer. While the number of older workers who are computer literate is increasing,there are still many who are not. With workforce demographics changing, andforthcoming legislation which will ban age discrimination in 2006, employersneed to be careful they don’t discriminate, or harm their chances of gettingthe best candidate simply because they’ve gone completely over to online. “I don’t think we’re quite in a position where the web is the ‘silverbullet’, certainly not in terms of online applications or online selecting,we’re still some way off from that,” said Macleod. The issue of who you want to attract or put off is very problematic, agreedMaureen MacNamara, head of HR at the Law Society. This is particularly the casewhen dealing with people with disabilities, which may not be immediatelyapparent if someone is applying online. “We are trying to be incrediblycareful about it, as I am sure are lots of other organisations, to ensure thateveryone is treated exactly the same,” she said. Pfizer receives about 150 CVs a month, explained Sarah Jordan, resourcingadviser at the pharmaceuticals firm. “What we are finding is thatgraduates and young scientists are using it but medics won’t touch it with abarge pole. They like to be courted. It is still about understanding the typeof people you want to attract and whatever you need to get from them,” sheexplained. In the US Pfizer recruited 70 people from its database for $400-$500 a head,as opposed to £2,500 a head in the UK. “It is certainly reducing costs.The difficulty we’re having is we don’t understand the expectation of peoplewho put their CVs online. How often do they expect to be contacted? Whatcontact do they expect to have? Those sorts of things,” she added. Nigel Baldwin, HR director of Marconi Capital cited the example of a majorblue-chip organisation that moved to internet-only applications for itsgraduates. It found the number of applicants reduced in the first year from13,000 to 5,000. While the people were of a suitable calibre, the company nolonger achieved the ethnic or social mix of applicants it wanted. One way round this is for organisations to use application forms rather thanCVs, argued the Law Society’s MacNamara. But this brings its own problems. People may be reluctant to go to the trouble of filling in a large form,said Siobhan Holland, client director at DHC, and organisations often do notthink them through. “Employers do not offer any download facilities sopeople have to stay online, they can’t leave it and come back to it and that’sgoing to lose an awful lot of candidates. “If you are filling in an average-sized application form, it is goingto take 40 minutes and I think a lot of businesses miss a trick. Those tinylittle things can make a difference whether or not people carry through to theend. “Some don’t use pre-selection questions so a candidate gets threequarters of the way through and then realises it is not appropriate for them.That is really going to disenfranchise not only the potential candidate butalso, depending on your business, potential customers as well,” she added.How far can online recruitment go? Online recruitment is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with ever-moreorganisations using data mining techniques, candidate selection andpre-selection tools. But as the number and range of sites increase, andquantity of jobs that can be accessed grows, the roundtable group expressedconcern about where technology was leading employers and candidates. One of the key complaints the panel have is the sheer number of sites in themarketplace. This leads to worries that good candidates are being missed orsimply not able to find the best jobs for them. “Jobseekers have got to bevery clear about what sites they are searching to find out about opportunities.There are a million and one sites that are advertising an awful lot. One canget put off simply by the sheer volume,” said the Met’s Tiplady. One answer might be for specialist journals to run online jobs listingpages, with employers paying to be included, rather than taking outconventional advertisements, suggested Janet Lytwynchuk, HR director at travelfirm Accoladia. “I think the clumsiest bit for an applicant is the route to take toaccess the diversity of companies you feel you might be interested in. We oftenlook at online recruitment as employers trying to attract people, rather thanfrom the applicant’s point of view and what they might want or find useful andhelpful,” she said. How you keep a potentially suitable candidate interested if there is not an immediatevacancy is one of the key challenges facing employers, added DHC’s Holland. She cited the example of a big electronics company that analysed its CVs topick up information about valuable potential candidates and their hobbies andfamilies, to ensure it kept in touch with them. It then began e-mailing peoplewho, for example, said they liked skiing with information about good skiresorts. “The danger is that you stray into the virtual version of junkmail,” warned PricewaterhouseCooper’s Macleod. “If your brand isabout employment and you start sending people other stuff, there’s a risk theywon’t come back again. So you have to be really, really careful.” “It has got to be appropriate and timely,” agreed Holland. Where next? The future development of online recruitment could be just as much tied inwith the continuing evolution of the workplace, suggested Andreas Ghosh, headof personnel and development at the London Borough of Lewisham. “Is e-recruitment going to start leading us to think differently abouthow we employ people in the same way it is leading us to think differentlyabout our processes? Will we be recruiting people at all or entering into adifferent type of contractual relationship, or will we be trying to havelife-long relationships as employers and employees?” he asked. The difficulty for any HR professional is the speed in which the technologyis evolving, agreed PricewaterhouseCooper’s Macleod. “At some point youhave to push the button and say ‘I’m going to buy this recruitment managementsystem for X100,000 pounds and you know the next day there is going to beanother come along that’s slightly better and so you put it off and put it offbut eventually have to dive in.” Ultimately, the Met’s Tiplady believes, despite much progress, HRprofessionals have still yet to use online recruitment to its full and bestpotential. “Maybe it’s tardiness on our part, but we haven’t really risento the challenge that internet recruitment has set out for us,” he said.”We haven’t really grabbed it and said ‘let’s make this a success’.” In theory recruitment websites ease the process of recruiting globally. Butwhat’s the reality? Roundtable participantsJohn Ainley, HR director, Norwich Union; Nigel Baldwin, HRdirector, Marconi Capital; Bryan Finn, head of HR, MMD; AndreasGhosh, head of personnel and development, London Borough of Lewisham;SiobhanHolland, Client director, DHCGroup; Sarah Jordan, Pfizer, JanetLytwunchuk, HR director, Accoladia; Charles Macleod, head of recruitment, PriceWaterhouseCoopers;Maureen MacNamara, head of HR, the Law Society; Bruce Robertson, HRdirector,Levi Strauss, Martin Tiplady, HR director, Metropolitan Police Service; HelenWilliams, resourcing development manager, Safeway, Andrew Wilson, HRpolicy manager,Scottish &Newcastle Retail Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. E-recruitment: does it work?On 3 Sep 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

first_img Written by Barnes recently completed his first season on the Aggies’ staff and played an instrumental role in Utah State winning 28 games, the third-most in school history. Tags: Craig Smith/National Association of Basketball Coaches/Tramel Barnes/USU Men’s Basketball FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailLOGAN, Utah-Tuesday, Utah State men’s basketball director of operations Tramel Barnes was named as one of the Top 30 coaches under the age of 30 by the National Association Basketball of Coaches. Head basketball coach Craig Smith lauded Barnes, calling him “intelligent and personable,” asserting he [Barnes] “has a bright future in our profession.”center_img April 16, 2019 /Sports News – Local USU Men’s Basketball Assistant Tramel Barnes Named Top 30 Under 30 The Aggies also won a share of the regular season tournament and the Mountain West conference tournament. Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgMembers of the Oxford Union voted to abolish slates last night, though a failure to reach quorum means the ruling is not yet binding.After the main debate, a motion was heard urging the abolition of electoral slates from Union elections. It passed with 49 votes to 40.However, the total figure did not reach the 150 members required to reach quorum, meaning the ruling can be overturned if the pro-slate side gets 50 signatures within the next five days.However, if 150 signatures are accrued by the anti-slate side this weekend the motion will go to a poll of all union members.Anti-slate campaigner and president-elect of Christ Church JCR, Joseph Grehan-Bradley, told Cherwell: “The Union establishment are lazily embracing the status quo, defending slates on the paradoxical grounds that nothing will change if change is made. Contrary to this mentality, I strongly believe that abolishing slates will foster a fairer, more decent election culture.“A culture in which would be candidates are not dehumanised, “binned,” because they do not fit a certain mould of popularity or social background; a culture in which individuals will be forced to campaign on their own merits, their own ideas, rather than being able to hide behind the uninspiring “pledges” of a monolithic “team”; and a culture in which elected candidates will be more easily held accountable to the promises they made when running.“At no point has any supporter of the motion to abolish slates suggested that to do so would provide an all-encompassing panacea to the deeply embedded corruptions that fester within the Union. Yet, undoubtedly, doing so will act as a highly valuable and symbolic starting point for a more comprehensive reform programme in the future.”Slate advocate and president of the Oxford Union for Trinity 2016, Robert Harris, told Cherwell: “I think slates are good for three reasons. Firstly, it is a good thing for candidates to be able to run for election together, based on shared goals, aims, and beliefs; that should be encouraged, not banned.“Secondly, slates are empowering; they make elections not just about how many friends you have (popularity contests where those with the biggest public-school networks will always win), but enable those from other backgrounds to gather a large base of support based on their vision, competence, and what they stand for.“Thirdly, slates were banned between 1998 and 2015, but were nonetheless present in every single election; whether legal or illegal, they will always continue to exist. By making them illegal, all you do is incentivise the nonsense we used to see, like candidates hacking into computers and bugging rooms in an attempt to find evidence that other candidates are running as part of a slate. The Union was a really toxic place when slates were banned, and I would hate to see it return to that for the sake of some flawed ideology.”last_img read more

first_img Twitter Facebook Pinterest Twitter WhatsApp Google+ Facebook IndianaLocalNews Man shot, injured at Family Express on Edison Road in Mishawaka Pinterest Google+ WhatsApp By Jon Zimney – January 20, 2021 0 371 (“Police Line / Police Tape” by Tony Webster, CC BY 2.0) An investigation is underway after police received reports of shots fired at a Mishawaka gas station.It happened around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the Family Express gas station on West Edison Road.Mishawaka Police arrived to find one person lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the leg.The victim told police a man tried to rob him, and during the struggle, he was shot by the suspect.The victim was taken to the hospital where their condition was stabilized.Police describe the suspect as black, in his early 20’s with braids. The suspect’s vehicle is described as a Bluish/Gray-colored sedan.Anybody with information is asked to contract Mishawaka Police at (574) 258-1684 or Michiana Crime Stoppers at (574) 288-STOP. Previous articleInterurban Trolley resuming collection fares next monthNext articleHoosier does a little homework, beats a scammer Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.last_img read more

first_imgDesert Daze will celebrate its 7th-annual event from October 12th to 14th. Today, the festival announced its “Phase One Transmission” of confirmed artists led by headliner Tame Impala. Other artists include Mercury Rev performing Deserter’s Songs to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Warpaint, Ty Segall & White Fence, Malcolm Mooney of Can, Connan Mockasin, and Chelsea Wolfe.This year, notably, Desert Daze will be heading to a new venue, Lake Perris, which is nestled between the San Jacinto and San Bernardino mountains in Moreno Valley, roughly 1.5 hours southeast of Los Angeles. In addition to RV and tent camping, the new site features access to state park facilities including real showers and restrooms, RV power and water hookups, gorgeous scenery, and “an Italian style beach club with lounging, swimming, sunbathing and boat rides.”Tame Impala, the massively popular Australian psych-rock act, made news recently when they were announced as a headliner for this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival. The group last performed in the United States—well, they last performed at all—when the band headlined the Panorama Music Festival in New York City last July. The Australian rockers’ set marked only their second U.S. date of the year, which made sense considering they planned to take a bit of a hiatus in 2017.General Admission and VIP pass options for Desert Daze go on sale Friday, March 30th at 10 a.m. (PST) with “Visitor” (General Admission passes) starting at $249. Camping and lodging experiences will be available via Eventbrite.For more information, head to the festival website.You can see a full list of Desert Daze “Phase One Transmission” Artists below:DESERT DAZE 2018 LINEUPPhase One Transmission:Tame ImpalaMercury Rev Perform Deserter’s SongsWarpaintTy Segall & White FenceChelsea WolfeMalcolm Mooney of CanConnan MockasinPreoccupationsA Place To Bury StrangersKing Khan & The ShrinesShannon & The ClamsPondKevin MorbyDakhabrakhaEarthlessKikagaku MoyoAll Them WitchesThe Holydrug CoupleEx-CultTrue WidowCut WormsJJUUJJUUHere Lies ManMary LattimoreTropa MagicaGladys LazerCat ScanView Full ‘Phase One Transmission’last_img read more

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 22, 2015 Star Files Related Shows You Can’t Take It With You Rose Byrne says she takes time off—recent getaway spots include London and Paris—it just doesn’t look like it. For years, the Australian actress has delivered a non-stop string of acclaimed, diverse performances in TV (Damages) and movies (Neighbors, Bridesmaids). Now she’s on Broadway, making her debut in You Can’t Take It With You, the revival of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy. Byrne, headlining an all-star cast, plays Alice Sycamore, a young woman who introduces her businessman boyfriend (Fran Kranz) to her eccentric family. Below, Byrne talks about adjusting to a new environment (having a Tony-nominated beau, Bobby Cannavale, helps) and why—despite appearing in December’s film version of Annie—you shouldn’t expect her next Broadway role to be in a musical.It’s your first time on Broadway—how are you holding up?Pretty good! The first week I was pretty tired. I’m getting used to the schedule more now—we’re rehearsing a little less in the day because we’re obviously still in previews. But, yeah, you’ve just got to take it easy during the day. It takes a minute to absolutely adjust. It’s very much like an athletic kind of experience.You’re in a cast full of Broadway vets, including James Earl Jones, Kristine Nielsen and Elizabeth Ashley. How do you hold your own with those guys?They’ve just been so wonderful. Everyone is really loving and supportive. Not to sound cheesy, but from day one they were all incredibly great and patient with me. And that was really nice, so my confidence got better as we went on through rehearsal. If anything, when you’re with such pros it just makes you better because you’re trying to keep up, you know?Is it hard to not to get a little starstruck? You are sharing the stage with James Earl Jones![Laughs] I know, I know! And the funny thing is, he’s the most unassuming of anybody about his legacy. He’s so low-key. He really does not take any liberties with it all. He’s such a hard worker. He knew his lines before anyone. He was off-book from day one. He’s such a beautifully focused actor. He’s really a pleasure.Alice has one foot in the Sycamore world and in another in the real world. What’s the dynamic in your family?My family keeps me very down to earth, so I’m not ever able to take myself too seriously in terms of the business and the noise around the business. I miss my family because they’re not around, because they’re mainly in Australia. I’m pretty close to them. It’s more like, “I want you to meet everybody!” They’re really wonderful people and they’re really easy people.So nobody was making firecrackers in the basement or dancing around the living room when Bobby Cannavale met your family?No. I’m really lucky. But I have friends who are still like that—who have trouble with their family or really get worried about this or that, like what do you think of this or that person? I’ve never had that. They’re interested in everything outside of the world. They’re not isolated people. They’re easy personalities for the most part. But there’s no “Dad’s going to show them the fireworks” or whatever. [Laughs.] Did Bobby give you any advice for your Broadway debut?Absolutely! All through the rehearsal, he’d be going, “That’s normal with this and that.” That’s such a great thing to have when your man is in the same business. You can consult with each other and have those heart-to-hearts about certain things that people in the business maybe don’t quite understand.What was it like to work together on Annie?Really, really great. It’s nerve-wracking when you’re remaking a classic, and I was such a fan of that film. But at a certain point we have to jump off and jump in, and it’s actually a very different film in many ways. It’s very updated and the music is different and the characters are different. Yeah, I can’t dance like Ann Reinking, so I was very nervous about that because she’s such a legend. I’m excited. It should be a really fun movie for the family.You were in Neighbors over the summer, This is Where I Leave You just came out, Annie hits theaters this December…Do you ever take a break?[Laughs.] Oh, sure. You know, there are a lot of actors who used to work a lot and then they don’t anymore. I just think it’s such a business that there’s really no guarantee. I’m a worker. I love to work. I love my job. I’ve been lucky to have gotten some great work in the last few years. But I’m very aware of the fickleness of the business and how these things can come and go, so I think that’s part of me that doesn’t go away.With Annie under your belt, would you consider doing a Broadway musical?Oh, goodness me. I fear I wouldn’t be up to scratch for a Broadway musical [laughs]. I love them and I love going to them, but I don’t think my talent as a singer would quite cross over. I saw Cabaret and I was just blown away with what Michelle [Williams] did. I thought she was brilliant. Talk about someone who can do anything. I had no idea she had such a voice and was such a dancer. She was just fantastic and, obviously, already a brilliant actress. Saying that, I think I’d need a bunch of training to get to that level. But never say never, huh?See Rose Byrne in You Can’t Take It With You at the Longacre Theatre. View Comments Bobby Cannavalelast_img read more

first_imgBetween the low rolling hills of the Piedmont and the steep slopes of the Blue Ridge Escarpment lies the isolated mountain range of the South Mountains in North Carolina, a range of mountains often forgotten to its bigger neighbors to the north and west. The South Mountains include many clear mountain streams, beautiful waterfalls, scenic vistas, and elevations that rise up to 3,000 ft.  And almost half of the range is protected from development as either State Park or Game Lands, encompassing nearly 40,000 acres of the highest peaks and headwaters of the mountain range.I have been running in South Mountains State Park for years. Due to its relatively close proximity to my work and home in the Catawba Valley, I have been a frequent user of the state park and its near 40 mile trail system in the park’s eastern side. That being said though, a recent western addition to the park has nearly brought the park’s boundaries to my doorstep and countless others’ in nearby Morganton, N.C. Nearly all of this land is just a short drive of 10-15 minutes from Morganton, unlike the current entrance which is almost 30-40 minutes away. The only problem with this, though, is that there is currently limited access into this section of the park and little to no trails in its near 9,000 acres, which is almost half of the park’s size.Every year in January I am reminded of this lack of recreational opportunity in the western half of the South Mountains when I join fellow adventurers and friends for the running of the Sultan 50K, which is a joyous “fun run” celebration of birthdays including red velvet cake and fuzzy crowns. The run starts in the western end of the park along Roper Hollow Road and continues into the eastern end of the park and its developed trail system. This road straddles the boundary of the State Park and the State Game Lands and follows it for nearly 10 extremely scenic miles. In my opinion, this gravel/dirt road might be the most scenic of all paths in the South Mountains. It is also the main gateway to explore the western end of the park and the surrounding Game Lands.After this year’s running of the Sultan 50K, I decided to return to Roper Hollow Road with some friends and explore more of what the area had to offer. I had noticed many paths leading into the Game Lands off the road during the Sultan 50K and we decided to explore those first. To our surprise, we soon entered into a ridgeline wildlife field and witnessed one of the most spectacular views of the Blue Ridge I had ever seen (along with a rare bobcat sighting). Not only could we see the surrounding peaks of the South Mountains, but the view stretched from the highest ridges of the Hickory Nut Gorge all the way past the northernmost peak of the towering Black Mountain Range. The Game Lands are riddled with many of these trails, but there is currently no public map of where they all lead. This, coupled with the fact that hunters do frequent the area, has probably kept curious adventurers from exploring this gem of land, that offers much more recreational opportunity other than just hunting.After being in awe of the views we had just experienced, our group next set our sights onto Buzzards Roost, the highest peak within South Mountains State Park, which sits at just under 3,000 ft in elevation and towers 1,900 ft above the surrounding valley. Surprisingly, there is no trail to this iconic peak of the South Mountains.   Therefore, it was time for some bushwhacking. After a short mile and half bushwhack to the summit, we headed just down slope to a cliff and we were rewarded with another breathtaking view of the mountains of North Carolina. Our view now stretched from the Craggies in the south all the way past Grandfather Mountain in the north. The view also afforded us a look right into the heart of the Linville Gorge. The lack of a trail to this location just seemed odd to me.As we returned from our wanderlust into the western end of the South Mountains, I was perplexed by the lack of recreational opportunity that lied there, but also excited to explore it even more. I have spoken with the rangers of the park on many occasions about the lack of recreation on the western side and they too expressed my desire to open the western end up with more trails and other recreational opportunities, but currently there is a lack of allocated funding to make that happen. It would be great to see a ground swell of support for the further development of recreational opportunities in the western end of the park, but I doubt many folks even realize the potential that lies within its borders. Maybe with the mass support of the outdoor community, we can all see the untapped potential of the South Mountains become a reality to more than just the ambitious adventurer.last_img read more

first_imgBy Master Sgt. Clifton McDonald/U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs November 09, 2016 The workshop, held at the “27 de febrero” Naval Base, was sponsored by SOUTHCOM and is part of the Caribbean nation’s six-month long NCO development course. SOUTHCOM NCOs facilitated the event, the second NCO Leadership Workshop held for the Dominican Republic Armed Forces. The workshop is part of the Dominican Republic’s professional NCO course and was attended by 48 NCOs from all branches of the Dominican Armed Forces, including 23 Army, 13 Navy, and 12 Air Force members. The main focus of the workshop was to work with partner-nation NCOs to enhance their basic leadership skills. The students represented a diverse educational background. Many hold college degrees, while others had earned a law degree. The goal of the program is to empower the NCOs with the knowledge and confidence necessary to become effective leaders in their respective units. The workshop began with Master Sgt. Zajira Alleyne, of the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, facilitating a discussion on identifying different personality types. During the discussion, Master Sgt. Alleyne used the “4-Lenses Assessment” tool by the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator. NCOs were challenged to acknowledge their own personal strengths and weaknesses. Most participants agreed with the results of the assessment, recognizing their own personality types. Some students were eager to share this assessment with their home units upon their return. Participants were also challenged with a three-word question: “What is leadership?” The question steered the rest of the discussions throughout the event, serving to generate numerous ideas and discussions about their own roles as leaders. SOUTHCOM’s Army Sgt. 1st Class Rulberto Ojendismiranda and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Southern’s Gunnery Sgt. Juan Morales led a session to introducestudents to a leadership model used by the U.S. Army that aligns leader development to a set of characteristics called attributes and competencies. Attributes such as character, presence, and intellect are competencies to be developed and skills to be learned and enhanced. Dominican Army Lieutenant Colonel Juan Miguel Oviedo Montero believes the leadership workshop helps bridge the gap between NCOs and officers. Although NCOs don’t yet hold any leadership positions, there are plans to incorporate them into positions of leadership at the company, battalion, and brigade levels in the near future. “That’s why it’s imperative to incorporate leadership training to build the confidence and knowledge the Dominican Republic NCOs need to advise officers and lead personnel,” he said. Lt. Col Oviedo said he has seen an improvement in the NCOs who have been through the first Leadership Workshop and he is looking forward to future training workshops with SOUTHCOM.last_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York For years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been frustrated in its efforts to pursue hundreds of cases of water pollution—repeatedly tied up in legal fights about exactly what bodies of water it has the authority to monitor and protect. Efforts in Congress to clarify the EPA’s powers have been defeated. And two Supreme Court decisions have done little to decide the question.Most recently, in April, the EPA itself declared what waters were subject to its oversight—developing a joint rule with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that sought to end the debate and empower the EPA to press hundreds of enforcements actions against alleged polluters across the country.The new rule, for instance, explicitly defines several terms—tributary, floodplain and wetland—and makes clear that those waters are subject to its authority.But the EPA’s effort has been met with immense opposition from farmers who say the agency is overreaching. An expansive online campaign organized and financed by the American Farm Bureau Federation has asserted that the new rule will give the EPA jurisdiction over farmers’ irrigation ditches, watering ponds and even puddles of rain.The American Farm Bureau Federation’s president, Bob Stallman, said the proposed rule was the “the biggest federal land grab—in terms of power over land use—that we’ve seen to date.”In an effort to address the concerns of farmers, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in recent weeks has been touring states in the Midwest.“There are issues we need to discuss and clarify to get this rule right,” she said. “We have important work to do. All the silly contentions being brought up—that we intend to regulate dry ground or stock ponds or mud puddles after a rain—all that does is get in the way of our being able to have those serious discussions.”The Clean Water Act of 1972 authorized the EPA to protect the “waters of the United States” from dangerous and or illegal pollution. But that term has been the subject of controversy and dispute virtually from the time the act was signed into law. Regulators and industry representatives are generally in agreement that the law applies to some of the nation’s larger rivers. At issue, however, are the streams that flow intermittently and the wetlands adjacent to these streams that dry up during the summer.Legal fights over those streams and wetlands, current and former EPA officials say, have cost the agency time, money and effectiveness in the face of real environmental threats. Indeed, in recent years the EPA has allowed hundreds of cases of water pollution to go unpunished because it currently lacks the confidence that it can prevail in court.Granta Nakayama, who served as the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at the EPA until 2009, found that between July 2006 and March 2008 the agency had decided not to pursue formal enforcement in 304 cases because of jurisdictional uncertainty.In 2008, in an internal memo, Nakayama wrote that the uncertainty “results in delays in enforcement and increases the resources needed to bring enforcement cases.”And so in 2007, when an oil company discharged thousands of gallons of crude oil into Edwards Creek in Titus County, Texas, the EPA did not issue a fine, pursue legal action or even require clean up. Similarly, after a farming operation dumped manure into tributaries that fed Lake Blackshear in Georgia, the EPA did not seek to hold the polluting company responsible—despite the fact that tests showed unsafe levels of bacteria and viruses in the lake, which was regularly used for waterskiing and other recreation.“The proposed rule will improve the process for making jurisdictional determinations for the Clean Water Act by minimizing delays and costs, and will improve the predictability and consistency of the permit and enforcement process for landowners,” an EPA spokesperson said.The EPA expects that improving efficiency in jurisdictional determinations will also save the businesses that they regulate time and money.“Protecting water is important to the long-term health of the economy,” the EPA spokesperson said. “Streams and wetlands are economic drivers because of their role in fishing, hunting, agriculture, recreation, energy, and manufacturing.”Two Supreme Court decisions in the last 15 years have been the cause of much of the uncertainty.In a 5-4 ruling in 2001, the Court held that the Army Corps of Engineers could not require permits for waters based on their use as a habitat by migratory birds. The Court ruling also included language that seemed to assert that only wetlands with a “significant nexus” to traditional navigable waterways would be protected under the Clean Water Act. The Court did not make clear the meaning of the term “significant nexus.”And in 2006, the Court, asked to determine whether a wetland needed to be adjacent to a traditional navigable waterway in order to be protected, wound up split, and reached no majority decision.By the EPA’s own estimates, 2 million stream miles outside of Alaska are regarded as “intermittent,” and 20 percent of roughly 110 million acres of wetlands are considered “isolated.” As a result of the inability of the government to clarify the EPA’s jurisdiction over the last 15 years, these water bodies are currently unprotected.“At some level this is a very frustrating debate to be having because water is all connected at some level,” said Jon Devine, a senior attorney in the water program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “What the Supreme Court’s decisions do is throw into significant doubt what is protected.”As a result, in cases where a polluted waterway isn’t clearly under the EPA’s jurisdiction, the agency has sometimes spent thousands of dollars to model water flow and conduct studies to show that it is hydrologically connected to larger water bodies that are protected.“It just causes an incredible waste of resources and rewards those who don’t really worry about compliance and punishes those who do,” said Nakayama, now an environmental lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington.In past years, federal legislators have tried to introduce bills that address the ambiguity in the Clean Water Act’s language, but none have passed both the House and Senate.In 2011, when Congress was considering a bill that made many of the changes that EPA’s current rule would, the American Farm Bureau Federation, as part of the Waters Advocacy Coalition, used a similar media strategy to kill the bill. The Coalition was made up of different industry groups that would be affected by the bill including mining associations and homebuilders.The New York Times reported than an unnamed member of the Coalition said, “The game plan is to emphasize the scary possibilities. If you can get Glenn Beck to say that government storm troopers are going to invade your property, farmers in the Midwest will light up their congressmen’s switchboards.”This time around, the pushback by farmers and others—called the “Ditch the Rule” campaign—has mainly taken place online. The Farm Bureau organization has created a separate website for the campaign and created shareable videos and infographics. The organization has also been effective in recruiting state farming associations to join the campaign. It has resulted in a blitz of social media posts and a steady stream of local coverage often favoring the farmers’ point of view.“The campaign has energized our grassroots to participate,” said Don Parrish, senior director of regulatory relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation. Although the campaign does not have a large amount of money flowing into it, Parrish said it has really “struck a chord.”Lisa Garcia, a former administrator of environmental justice at the EPA, said the effort by the federation is chiefly one of misinformation.“The rule is not adding or expanding the scope of waters historically protected,” said Garcia, who is currently at Earth Justice, an environmental non-profit organization. She said the opposition she has seen fits “this pattern of just completely fighting against any new regulation.”Parrish disagrees. He said that the tensions that are playing out are because “the EPA is trying to create regulations that do an end run around the Supreme Court and Congress.”“[The EPA is] really reaching into areas that Congress clearly didn’t want the EPA to regulate. They did not intend to put EPA in the land use business,” he said.For more on the challenges facing the Clean Water Act, read our work on the water woes facing residents living close to gas drilling and our series on the BP oil spill disaster.last_img read more