Royal Mail introduces separation support service

first_imgEXCLUSIVE: Royal Mail has introduced a new pilot scheme to support the wellbeing of employees who are separating from their spouses.The pilot initiative, known as Dialogue First, aims to help employees reach an early-stage agreement with the partner with whom they are separating, while also supporting the mental and emotional wellbeing of those feeling upset or distressed by the situation.Through employee assistance programmes (EAP), staff members going through a separation can gain access to a family law service. This includes a free 30-minute legal consultation with participating lawyers, with the initial aim of pursuing mediation where appropriate.The scheme, which is supported by EAP providers CiC, Help Employee Assistance, People at Work, Workplace Wellness and Validium, is initially being piloted for employees in London, Manchester, Merseyside and the North East. The pilot will run for a period of 18 months. Shaun Davis (pictured), group director of safety, health, wellbeing and sustainability at Royal Mail, said: “As one of the first employers to adopt the scheme we recognise that workplace wellbeing is as much about what happens to our employees outside of work.“Family breakdown can be a tumultuous time for all concerned, so we support innovative and affordable ways of helping our employees and their families reach agreement.”last_img read more

86 do not receive seasonal summer perks

first_imgMore than eight in 10 (86%) respondents do not receive any additional workplace perks or seasonal benefits during the summer months, according to research by Peldon Rose.Its Happy office survey, which surveyed 611 London-based office staff, also found that only 43% of respondents currently feel appreciated by their organisation.The research also found:47% of respondents receive adjusted working hours as a summertime perk, with 37% allowed casual dress, and 31% partaking in employer-provided rounds of ice cream.28% of respondents are provided with fruit and breakfast in the workplace.31% of respondents have access to collaborative zone where they can work in teams.69% of respondents believe having access to a quiet zone at work would make them more productive and feel more appreciated.Jitesh Patel (pictured), chief executive at Peldon Rose, said: “Understanding what makes employees content and perform well at work is a critical concern for ambitious businesses.“Our survey findings reveal that businesses could do more to improve in such areas as providing seasonal benefits, while there is also a need to address office workers’ concerns that they are not sufficiently trusted and appreciated.“By implementing some very straightforward changes, such as providing more quiet and collaborative zones, offering more facilities such as proper kitchens and shower rooms, training and development and the right tools and technology, [organisations] can improve the sense of wellbeing and foster team work and bonding, which are the key elements of a successful, happy and productive office.”last_img read more

Watch Employee Benefits Summer School 2016

first_imgEmployee Benefits Summer School will return next week (Monday 15-Thursday 17 August 2016).The series of short e-learning tutorials will enable benefits and HR professionals to gain insight on the latest trends in key benefits areas, including health and wellbeing, workplace savings, and global mobility.On Monday 15 August, Beate O’Neil, head of wellness consulting at Punter Southall Health and Protection, will discuss wellness in the workplace, highlighting how to develop an effective wellness strategy, and how to align and optimise benefits and services to support wellbeing.On Tuesday 16 August, Courtney Ellis-Jones, content manager at The Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM), will look the issues involved in deciding whether to use home or host-based pay in global mobility strategies.Tom Gaynor, employee benefits director at MetLife UK, will speak about mental health and how to harness a resilient mindset on Wednesday 17 August, examining the impact of workplace stress, changing working conditions and the support mechanisms that can help with these.On Thursday 18 August, Jeremy Fawcett, head of direct at Platforum, and Miranda Seath, senior researcher at Platforum, will outline developments around workplace savings, tackling topics such as employee engagement with finances, and digital advice and guidance.Sign up to Employee Benefits email alerts to receive the lunchtime learning video series direct to your inbox.The e-tutorials will be available to watch on-demand on EB TV.last_img read more

Court of Appeal hearing set for Asda shopfloor workers pay claim rulings

first_imgA Court of Appeal hearing will begin on 10 October over Employment Tribunal (ET) and Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) pay claim rulings that Asda shop-floor workers have comparable roles to their colleagues in the supermarket’s distribution centres.The three-day hearing concerns the first of three stages in the equal pay case. The three-stage process looks at whether roles are comparable, whether they are of equal value, and whether there is a reason other than sex discrimination that means the roles should not be paid equally.Asda is appealing the first two rulings in favour of 27,000 Asda shop-floor workers, represented by solicitors Leigh Day, which found that lower-paid shop workers, many of them women, can compare themselves to higher-paid workers in distribution centres, many of them men.The ET initially ruled against Asda in October 2016. The employer then appealed on 10 different grounds, all of which the EAT ruled unsuccessful.Leigh Day is also representing shop-floor staff from Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons supermarkets in similar cases. The Asda case is furthest along in the pay claims and the law firm estimates that total pay owed to eligible staff could exceed £8 billion if all four supermarkets lose their cases.Lauren Lougheed, lead lawyer at Leigh Day for the Asda case, said: “We are ready to fight once again for our ever-increasing group of supermarket clients who rightly demand equal pay for doing a job of equal worth to Asda.“We believe Asda are dragging their heels in this case and preventing our clients from getting fair pay and are denying shop-floor workers their rights by appealing the two previous decisions against them, forcing them to go through yet another hearing when we have clearly shown that the roles on the shop floor and those in the distribution centres can be compared and should therefore be paid equally.”An Asda spokesperson said: “This equal value case is extremely complex and without precedent in the private sector, so it is vital the issues are given the legal scrutiny they deserve. Whatever the final outcome, the implications for UK businesses, not just in retail, will be far reaching.  Leigh Day have also appealed points they have lost. None of the appeals have caused any delay to the case, which continues to progress through the Tribunal, but it will still take many years to conclude.“Our hourly rates of pay in stores are the same for female and male colleagues and this is equally true in our depots. Pay rates in stores differ from pay rates in distribution centres because the demands of the jobs in stores and the jobs in distribution [centres] are very different; they operate in different market sectors and we pay the market rate in those sectors regardless of gender.”last_img read more

The Walt Disney Company faces equal pay lawsuit in California

first_imgThe Walt Disney Company is to face a putative class action lawsuit on the issue of equal pay, with plaintiffs alleging that the organisation’s gender pay gap is ingrained in its culture.Rasmussen v The Walt Disney Company et al is being brought by law firm Andrus Anderson on behalf of all female employees working at The Walt Disney Company’s Studio Entertainment division in California. It seeks pay parity between male and female employees.The lawsuit, which was filed on 3 April 2019, argues that the Walt Disney Company engages in systemic gender discrimination against female staff through unequal pay; this is in violation of California’s Equal Pay Act, Labor Code section 1197.5.The initial plaintiff, LaRonda Rasmussen, alleges that, until 2017, she earned at least $24,000 (£18,342.24) less than an average male employee with the same job title of manager, product development. Rasmussen raised this with the employer and was awarded a pay rise, but claims that she is still earning $5,000 (£3,821.30) less than her male counterparts. Her experience is mirrored by other plaintiffs involved in the case.Rasmussen has worked at The Walt Disney Company for more than 11 years.Lori E Andrus, attorney at Andrus Anderson, said: “As Disney nears its 100th year in existence, it needs to catch up with the times. The gender pay gap addressed by this lawsuit is all too familiar, and women are fed up with being treated as cheap labour.“We hope that this lawsuit will shed some light on the pay discrimination that Disney is subjecting its hardworking female employees to. It is only fair to demand equal pay for equal work.”A spokesperson at The Walt Disney Company added: “The lawsuit’s uninformed generalised allegations about Disney’s policies and practices are baseless. In point of fact, Disney maintains robust pay equity practices and policies. Even before California’s Fair Pay Act, Disney created a specialised team of compensation professionals and lawyers to analyse and address the [organisation’s] pay equity practices.  As to the individual claims, we are confident that they will be found to be meritless when tested against the evidence, rather than the rhetoric of the complaint.”last_img read more

US world leaders react to death of Fidel Castro on social media

first_img— Vladimir Putin (@PutinRF_Eng) November 26, 2016 President Obama issued a pathetic statement on death of dictator #FidelCastro with no mention of thousands he killed & imprisoned. #Cuba— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 26, 2016 Please read my statement on the passing of former Cuban President Fidel Castro: https://t.co/vIYCZrJGfg— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 26, 2016 The tyrant #Castro is dead. New hope dawns. We will stand with the oppressed Cuban people for a free and democratic Cuba. Viva Cuba Libre!— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) November 26, 2016 Read @POTUS’s statement on the passing of Fidel Castro: https://t.co/ihVoLdqbRQ pic.twitter.com/sPZfvpeQVB— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 26, 2016 Condolences following the death of Fidel Castrohttps://t.co/1H4V3WybtI MIAMI (WSVN) – Thousands took to social media Saturday to voice their opinions on the death of Fidel Castro, Cuba’s longtime dictator. Leaders in the U.S. and abroad posted their thoughts online, ranging from celebratory to mourning. Fidel Castro fue un amigo de México, promotor de una relación bilateral basada en el respeto, el diálogo y la solidaridad.— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) November 26, 2016 Fidel Castro is dead!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2016 Failing to mention that millions have suffered because of Fidel Castro is a tragedy. https://t.co/SbhImMuqa5— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 26, 2016 A 60años de la partida del Granma de México parte Fidel hacia la Inmortalidad de los que luchan toda la Vida…Hasta la Victoria Siempre… pic.twitter.com/wjLS9ngzA5— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) November 26, 2016Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Burglar caught on camera rummaging through parked car

first_imgBOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) – A surveillance camera inside a car in Boynton Beach caught a burglar rummaging through several compartments, and the owner wants to see him brought to justice.The burglary took place Sunday after the car was parked near Northeast 12th Terrace and Marine Road.A camera inside the vehicle was recording as the burglar searched for valuables inside the center console while having a snack.He got away with a coin purse that had $10 in change.Police believe the crook is responsible for burglarizing other vehicles in the neighborhood, as well.If you have any information on this crime, call Palm Beach County Crimestoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a cash reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

New attraction coming to Jungle Island

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Jungle Island may soon be getting a makeover.According to park officials, the park will be redesigned into an action-adventure attraction.Visitors will have the opportunity to swim through rivers that make it feel like you’re inside a real jungle.Officials have not yet revealed the sticker price for the renovations, but this is only the second makeover in the park’s 81-year old history.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Sen Murkowski Says Steel Tariffs Could Increase Cost For AK LNG Project

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享President Donald Trump announced last week that he is imposing a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. According to U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), tariffs on imported steel could add $500 million to the cost Alaska LNG project. The liquefied natural gas project, would ship gas from the North Slope to Cook Inlet for export to Asian markets. It’s a $44 billion project that will require imported steel. Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-Tarriff-.mp3VmJennifer-on-Tarriff-.mp300:00RPd Sen. Murkowski: “It sends a confusing message. Higher prices for steel — which accounts for a significant portion of project costs — could easily set us back. There are more targeted steps we can take to preserve our relationships with our allies, avoid cost increases and retaliation, and yet still return steel and aluminum production to America.”center_img Murkowski said the tariffs complicate relationships with countries that are importing more U.S. oil and natural gas, such as South Korea. The Alaska Gasoline Development Corporation (AGDC) signed the LNG development agreement with  China Petrochemical Corp., or Sinopec, CIC Capital Corp. and the Bank of China. Sen. Murkowski: “I share the President’s desire to help rebuild our steel and aluminum industries, but have significant concerns about the impact these tariffs will have on our broader economy, trade relationships, and particularly our nation’s energy sector. A lot of good work has gone into ensuring that the U.S. is able to reclaim its role as a global energy leader.” last_img read more

Sea Otter Pup Progressing Well Under Alaska SeaLife Center Care

first_imgAccording to the ASLC, the pup, named Ranney, has officially cleared the initial quarantine period.  Visitors to the Center may now observe Ranney who is receiving 24-hour care in the Center’s I.Sea.U., located near the touch tank. Ranney was spotted by boaters floating alone in the middle of Prince William Sound. The good Samaritans became concerned when they heard the her screaming and saw no signs of other otters in the area. They noticed that she went face down in the water, which sparked them to pick the animal up and bring her to ASLC. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A sea otter pup was admitted to the Alaska Sealife Center (ASLC) Wildlife Response Program on June 1 when she was just a few days old and was found in Prince William Sound. Ranney still requires around the clock care from the team and takes formula from a bottle every three hours. Woodie: “Sea otters require one person 24-hours a day and 7 days a week. Their routine care requires you to do something with them every 2 hours.” center_img ASLC veterinarian, Dr. Kathy Woodie noted, “We’re so pleased she readily took to bottle feeding. Often sea otter pups take days before they will latch on a bottle and must be tube fed to receive critical nutrients.” If a sick or injured animal is encountered, ASLC staff urge people to call first, observe at a safe distance, respect the animal’s territory, and keep pets and children away. ASLC operates a 24-hour stranding hotline where trained professionals will walk people through the proper steps to assist the animal. Call 1-888-774-SEAL if you see a marine mammal in distress.last_img read more

Good Housekeeping to Increase Trim Size

first_imgInan effort to cut costs in the face of a brutal recession, somemagazine publishers have reduced trim sizes in recent months: Rolling Stone, which cut its trim size from 10 x 11 and 3/4 inches to a more “rack-friendly” size; Southern Breeze; and Good, which cut trim 80 percent and folio by 108 pages for a single “recession” issue.ButHearst has decided to increase the trim size on its (almost) 125-year-old title, Good Housekeeping, by 10 percent. The magazine willjump from 7-7/8 x 10-1/2 inches to 8-1/4 x 10-7/8 inches beginning withthe January 2010 issue.The larger format, editor Rosemary Ellissays, will allow the magazine “to include even more informative contentand bigger visuals that will engage and inspire our readers.” Aftertesting the larger-format magazine at a higher newsstand price, Good Housekeeping willraise its cover price to $3.49 from $2.50, while reducing its rate basefrom 4.6 million to 4.3 million. Despite the cut, Good Housekeepingremains the second-largest circulation women’s monthly magazine in thecountry, with Better Homes & Gardens in first place. According to GoodHousekeeping’s senior vice president and publisher, Pat Haegele, “a larger size really enhances the experience for our readers and it addsto the value proposition we make to them each month.” Whilesome publishers continue to move toward trim reduction, GoodHousekeeping isn’t the only title to buck this trend. With itsSeptember 2008 issue, Bonnier’s Skiing boosted its trim size (from 77/8 x 10 1/2 to 8 1/2 x 10 7/8), and raised paper quality in an effortto make the magazine wider and taller for a more “design-driven” look.last_img read more

Talking Luxury Publishing with Robb Report Editor Brett Anderson

first_imgIf the current narrative in the magazine world is that print is in peril, Robb Report hasn’t received the memo. While the past decade bore witness to near-catastrophic print declines across much of the industry, circulation for the luxury lifestyle brand’s monthly magazine has fallen a mere 2.4 percent since 2006, according to data from the Alliance for Audited Media, and its digital audience has exploded. Anderson: It’s something we’ve always wanted to cultivate. Robb Report is a magazine that males primarily subscribe to, but their partners, wives, significant others also read the magazine. So our readership is really roughly 50/50, but it’s usually in the male member of the household’s name. What we’ve tried to do is come up with some ideas that would enable us to do more for our female readers. The wellness idea was one of them. As the magazine has continued to develop that idea, I think it has equal appeal to both men and women. It’s probably got stronger appeal to females simply because, as market research will bear out, its usually the female member of the household that’s making health-related decisions. But certainly both men and women are reading it and I think are much more conscious of health these days and enhancing your life through better health. It’s become a recreational thing as well as a necessity. Folio: Let’s talk about the Detroit Auto Show. What were you hoping to accomplish with your presence there? Following the success of the Auto Show partnership, Folio: sat down with SVP and editor-in-chief Brett Anderson to discover what’s gone so right for the brand, and what’s next for the year ahead. Folio: How long have you been with Robb Report? Brett Anderson: I have been with Robb Report since 2001. I was part of the team that acquired it from Luxury Media. That’s sort of where this began, in June of 2001. I’ve been running the content side of the business since then. Anderson: Absolutely. We do a number of live events throughout the year that are participatory, but I expect we’ll be doing more of this type of thing, too. We hold an event in the summer in Deer Valley, Utah, which is kind of a symposium of the top professionals in the medical field speaking to the consumer about the latest research, cutting-edge technology, what’s happening in the world of health, and how it affects them. Anderson: Well I have to say, I don’t really deal with the advertising side of the business, but what I hear from our sales side and our publisher is that the response was very positive. They liked the fact that we were making a statement and that we were higher-profile [at the show] than we have been in the past. I think also because our approach—our voice, our way of engaging with our audience—is somewhat different than the traditional automotive publications, I’ve heard, at least anecdotally, that it was a breath of fresh air. Folio: What are you doing with things like native advertising and sponsored content? How do you build that out while still maintaining the trust of your audience? The results went quite well. We generated quite a bit of traffic, a lot of social media engagement, and we definitely plan to do it again next year. So we’re doing that, we do Car of the Year, we’re planning a new luxury summit in New York in May, which will coincide with our May issue. We’ll continue to develop those types of ideas where they make sense and where there are opportunities that are rich in content to present to our audiences. Anderson: I think much of the subject matter that we cover lends itself to video, so it’s natural. We do quite a significant amount of video, for instance with our Car of the Year event. When you’re looking at fine automobiles, video really shows you what they can do. But people like the sexy pictures in print, too. I think they complement one another—we’ve found that people like both. They like having the glossy magazine, but they also like the opportunity to go and see those vehicles in action, whether in our app or on our website. Same thing with the aviation sector, with marine. Anything that lends itself naturally to video. We’ve been doing quite a bit on the wine-and-spirits front with that, too. We’ll be doing more of that with some sommeliers. It makes things conversational and doesn’t obviate the need for more traditional print content, but complements it nicely. See also: Meet Alison Overholt, ESPN The Magazine’s first female editor-in-chief. Folio: So obviously you’re seeing a lot of growth on the digital side of things, especially with video. There’s an engagement there. The things that we cover are fun and beautiful, so we’ve been trying to include that audience, particularly online, because we’re engaging a younger audience there routinely. On the website, we try to emphasize attainable luxuries a little bit more. Of course, we still have the super yachts and the business jets, but we also do a lot of things with lifestyle and nightlife, because a younger audience—late 20s early 30s—they’re well educated and have some disposable income. So while they might not be buying the new $2.6 million Bugatti, they’re going to be doing lots of other things. There’s an interest in fashion, fine wine, travel, nightlife, which are seen as attainable forms of luxury. Anderson: We will be announcing some developments there, but because those projects are still under wraps I can’t really name specifics. We will be rolling out new international projects this year. More to come very soon on that front. We’re seeing some exciting growth there. And we wanted to show a slightly different side of what goes on in Detroit, so we really wanted to focus on design connoiseurship, things that don’t necessarily get mentioned by the more traditional automotive press, where it’s all about horsepower or the best car for the money. For us, it’s really looking at automobiles as art, so that’s one of the things we wanted to do—a slightly different type of coverage. So we built a whole program around that, both on the floor at the show, but also with the studio that we had set up. We’ve been doing a lot more video coverage as part of our digital push, and this just made a lot of sense. Folio: Are you planning more of these live-event partnershps? Folio: What about the print business? There’s an idea that the luxury market is kind of resistant to these industry-wide print declines we’re seeing. Why is that? Folio: When you talk about health and wellness-related topics, are you doing anything to appeal to younger audiences? Anderson: Robb Report began as a magazine that covered collectible cars. From there, the magazine expanded into other types of collecting—watches, fine art, wine, and so forth—but cars have always been a huge part of the magazine’s DNA. We attend the show every year, but this year, because our current financial partners are based in Detroit and we spend a lot of time there, we decided to do something special and make a statement to the automotive industry that we’re very much a part of it, that it’s exciting to us, that it’s kind of at the core of our readers’ interests. Folio: You mentioned really making your presence known in that automotive space. What response have you seen from brand partners? Folio: You mentioned your female readership. Do females make up a significant portion of Robb Report’s audience? Folio: Switching gears, what else is on the horizon for 2016? What can you tell us about Robb Report’s international expansion? Anderson: We’ve always kept church and state quite separate. But that said, obviously, the world is changing. Every media brand is grappling with that in their own way. It’s not just magazines. Anything that we do, on the editorial side, we weigh in on where we think something crosses the line, and our management is very supportive of that, because our whole brand is based on this idea of authority. If we compromise that authority, we kind of lose the mystique of the brand. So we’re very careful about that, but we also recongnize that, from the business side, you’ve got to deal with the realities of the marketplace. What we try to do is produce the best possible product we have, making it very clear what it is. We label everything accordingly. You’re not going to get some branded content that’s veiled as pure editorial. To kick off the brand’s landmark 40th year, Robb Report established itself as the official media partner for the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, reporting live from a 10,000 square-foot studio on the show floor. Anderson: As a consumer of content as well as a professional engaged in producing it, I think that there’s something about that physical product that just engages you. I’ve heard time and again from our audience that, as much as they love things like our iPad app, they spend all day looking at devices. At the end of the day when they come home, they just want to disconnect. Flipping through the magazine, the feel of the paper, the glossy pictures, it’s a different experience. About ten years ago, we looked at launching a wellness publication directed slightly more at our female readership than our male readership. At the time, people loved the idea of the health content, but they didn’t feel like Robb Report was the appropriate brand to present it. So we kind of set that idea aside. A couple of years ago, we had similar conversations with core members of our audience, leaders in the world of business, and the response was overwhelmingly that it was a great idea. Health is such a part of living a quality life and getting the most out of your life—being at your personal best—which is what Robb Report is all about. Experience has become much more of a focus for our audience, and health and wellness is a big part of that. Anderson: Absolutely. We’ve always viewed the magazine as multi-generational. You can sort of liken it to the farm system in baseball. I’ve had readers in their 60s tell me they were looking at Robb Report when they were kids and always dreaming about being able to travel to the places we covered or own the products we covered. Now they’re at a point where they’re able to do that, but we’ve been with them throughout the years and throughout their careers as their lives have evolved and developed. We’ve always been conscious of that. Obviously, we’ll continue to grow and develop our presence in the international markets where we already have products. We’re definitely growing the digital side of those businesses. We’ve got a robust international print presence, but you’ll be seeing more and more from the digital side. Probably more international events, too. I think for luxury, everything is visually-oriented. I think, in general, people like being able to engage with that print product. It’s probably not the growth area of our business, but it is kind of the foundation. It’s the anchor of the brand and everything else that we do in the digital space helps to support that. Because luxury is, by definition, exclusive and more niche, the metrics—the economics of print publication—are slightly different than with publications that are much larger in terms of circulation. So I think luxury does have an advantage. You’re dealing with smaller, but in my opinon, more meaningful members in terms of buying power. We’re doing it on such a scale that it’s still viable as a business and our audiences are growing organically. The reality of the situation is that affluent audiences are growing. If we decided to try to take the print product away and just do what we did through digital means, I think we would get some serious backlash from our audience.last_img read more

Facility Conditions Play a Role in Quality of Life for Personnel GAO

first_imgWhile budget constraints have forced DOD to limit funding for facilities sustainment and recapitalization in recent years, mission readiness has not been jeopardized at eight installations the Government Accountability Office (GAO) visited for a study of DOD’s efforts to maintain its facilities.Public works personnel at the installations — Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; Naval Station Norfolk, Va.; Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.; Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Whiteman AFB, Mo.; Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.; and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. — told GAO that facilities that are critical to their missions receive first priority for maintenance and repairs.Personnel were able to provide only a handful of examples of facility conditions that hampered the ability of their installations to carry out their activities. Officials at Whiteman AFB closed an indoor shooting range, for example, after three instructors developed asthma symptoms believed to be caused by exposure to copper dust due to poor ventilation. As a consequence, personnel needed to travel 100 miles to an Army National Guard base for training or defer their training. At the same time, facility conditions affect the quality of life, or overall satisfaction, of service members, according to focus groups GAO conducted and public works personnel. In some cases, personnel expressed satisfaction with facilities that were either new or in good condition. In many more cases, though, personnel pointed out facility issues that marred their quality of life. Focus group participants most commonly reported problems with heating and cooling systems, leaking roofs and windows, and mold and mildew. Eglin AFB officials, for example, evacuated a dormitory with the capacity for 576 airmen and provided alternate living arrangements due to mold and other problems. Extra housing allowances amounted to an estimated $157,000 per month, according to the report.Public works personnel told GAO they are made aware when facility conditions affect quality of life. Some of the installations have personnel who serve as liaisons to inform the public works department when facility occupants need facility repairs.“Repair projects to address quality of life issues are included in the installations’ regular process for identifying which projects to execute based on service and installation priorities and available funding,” GAO stated. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Neighbors of Fairchild AFB Sue Government over Use of Toxic Firefighting Foam

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Two landowners in eastern Washington have filed a lawsuit against the federal government alleging officials at Fairchild AFB should have known the firefighting foam used by the installation for decades contained ingredients with the potential to contaminate drinking water supplies. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, claims officials used the fire retardant recklessly and failed to warn neighbors of its “inherently dangerous properties.” The lawsuit follows a class action suit filed in the same court in April targeting manufacturers of the aqueous film-forming foam responsible for contaminating the groundwater outside Fairchild, reported the Spokesman-Review. The widely used fire retardant contains multiple PFAS chemicals. As a result of the contamination, the city of Airway Heights was forced to flush millions of gallons from its drinking water system; the city’s water now comes from Spokane.Spokesman-Review photo by Colin Mulvanylast_img read more

House Appropriators Cite Constitutional Authority to Block Border Wall Funding

first_img ADC AUTHOR The House Appropriations Committee cited its authority as a coequal branch of government in proposing Wednesday to block DOD funding for southern border barrier construction, CQ reported.According to a panel report accompanying the committee’s draft $108.1 billion fiscal 2020 military construction-VA bill, none of the $7 billion President Trump seeks for border projects was included.“The Committee believes that Congress must assert its role as a co-equal branch of the federal government and insist upon the regular appropriation of funds — funds this committee has previously appropriated for disaster recovery, flood protection and military base construction projects to maintain and improve military readiness,” the report said.“The committee believes that military construction dollars should be used only for the purpose they are provided, which is to support DOD’s mission, service members and their families,” the House appropriators wrote.The House bill explicitly shields military construction programs funded in fiscal 2020 or earlier from being delayed or cancelled due to border projects. It also would add millions to improve health, safety and sanitation at military housing locations nationwide.Committee approval of the measure is expected Thursday, but the Republican-led Senate Appropriations Committee will craft its own bill later this month, setting up a budget battle later this year.last_img read more

VIDEO Watch Highlights From This School Years WCTV Kids Teens Program

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — WCTV Kids and Teens is a youth program held on alternating Saturdays throughout the school year at Wilmington Community Television.Students learn lessons in script writing, basic camera, public speaking, directing, and studio production, while making shows that’s all their own.Below is a Year-In-Review montage of the group’s antics over the past 9 months:——Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedNews & Notes From WCTV: Wildcat TV After School Club Starting At Wilmington High SchoolIn “Community”WCTV News & Notes: Registration Now Open For Popular Weekend Youth ProgramIn “Community”News & Notes From WCTV: WCTV Executive Director Shaun Neville Answers YOUR QuestionsIn “Community”last_img read more

Were One Wilmington Wilmington Memorial Library Each Collecting Used New Halloween Costumes

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — We’re One Wilmington will once again be collecting Halloween costumes for any local children who may need them. Any leftover costumers will be given to the Greater Lowell DCF office for children in foster care.Costumes may be dropped off through October 15 to Lapels, formerly The Cleaner Spot, at 209 Main Street in Wilmington.Any questions?  Please contact Jomarie O’Mahony at info@onewilmington.org.In addition, the Wilmington Memorial Library is collecting Halloween costumes through October 12. On October 13, from 10am to 4pm, the library will then hold its first ever Halloween Costume Exchange, where families may come choose costumes free of charge.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedHOT OFF THE PRESS: Read Wilmington Library’s Fall Youth Events BrochureIn “Community”WOW Holding Halloween Costume Drive This SeptemberIn “Community”LIBRARY LINEUP: Library To Host 6-Week Great Decisions Series On Foreign Policy TopicsIn “Community”last_img read more

OBITUARY Julian George Cayer 8 Months

first_imgLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Family To Give Away Ice Cream In Memory Of Their Child At Yentile Farm On August 25In “Community”OBITUARY: Keith P. Sicard, 42In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: John “Jack” Tannian, Jr., 89In “Obituaries” WILMINGTON, MA — It is with deep sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of 8-month-old Julian George Cayer on May 1, 2019. From the moment he was born, his constant smile would light up any room and his infectious laugh was contagious. He was the light of our lives who will always be our little sunshine and will be forever missed.He was the beloved son of Matthew Cayer and Lauren Nieuweboer and treasured “tiny brother” to Charlotte Cayer. He is also survived by his five great-grandparents; his Gram and Pepe (Mary and George Cayer), his Oma and Opa (Marilyn and Raymond Nieuweboer); his Auntie Megan and Uncle Charlie (Megan and Charlie Rabe); his Auntie Tay-Tay and Uncle Frank (Tracy and Frank Sloboda); cousins Maggie, Grace, and Josie; as well as countless other relatives, loved ones, and friends.A wake will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wed., May 8, 2019, at Conte Funeral Homes, 17 3rd Street, North Andover, MA 01845. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Make-a-Wish Foundation in Julian’s name.Julian George Cayerlast_img read more

Kiki the pet robot wants to be your best friend and doesnt

first_img 0 CES 2019 Health and Wellness THOSE EYES. Tyler Lizenby/CNET Flaunting giant anime eyes and a sleek design reminiscent of Eva from Wall-E, Kiki is an AI-powered pet robot making its CES 2019 debut. Created by Zoetic, a company based in Santa Clara, California, Kiki is a companionship robot meant to offer its owners company and friendship. Now playing: Watch this: Post a comment Kiki is a hungry, dancing pet robot debuting at CES 2019 85 Photos Share your voice Kiki has a camera in its nose, which it uses to recognize and remember people. Once it locks onto your face, it can track you by turning its head — which couldn’t help but bring a smile to my face despite my best efforts. Depending on your body language, it can tell when you’re feeling sad and will try to cheer you up by singing and dancing. Using machine learning and AI, it also continually learns about its owner’s personality and adjusts accordingly. If its owner is affectionate, it’ll want more pets and scratches. If its owner is more independent, it’ll can be aloof as well. Despite being a robot, Kiki does have its own needs, however. It has to be fed, for instance, and you do this by drawing common food items (which it’s programmed to recognize) in an accompanying app. Zoetic doesn’t have pricing yet, and it’s still looking for distributors. It does hope to sell Kiki globally, including the US. All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 CES Products Robots 9:47 Tags CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Gadgetslast_img read more