Bedbug invasion forces out finalists

first_imgStudents at St Catherine’s have become victims of an infestation of blood-sucking bed bugs that allegedly appeared during the summer.The invasion of parasites has forced undergraduates to vacate their rooms for over two weeks, forcing them to remove their rooms as pest control services fumigate infected areas.Four finalists and two freshers, all living in the same staircase, were forced to leave after students received bites from the vermin. Experts were called in to sanitise the rooms and college housekeeping staff had to assist in washing and dry-cleaning their bed sheets and clothing in an effort to eradicate the bugs.Students allege that the college has known about an infestation since the summer vacation, when visitors were staying in the rooms. They say the College promised to remove the pests at the time, but when students complained of bites and irritation at the beginning of term, it emerged that fumigation had not been sufficiently thorough.One student, who wished to remain anonymous, criticised the College’s actions in dealing with the initial problem, saying, “Someone spoke to James Bennet, the Bursar, about what was going on but he tried to tell her it could be anything from fleas brought in from home to meningitis. Another person complained but when her room was checked she was told there was nothing there.“It was only after further complaints that all the rooms were checked. Six students came back to find letters on their doors telling them that they would be moved to outside accommodation while the problem was dealt with” she said.Although St Catherine’s have refused to comment, a third-year student has corroborated the reports saying, “There were finalists in the staircase and they got badly bitten.”“It surfaced that the College already knew about the bedbugs and had taken measures. Apparently they were brought in by people staying in the rooms over the summer. If that is true then the college should have been more alert, but when students complained they were slow to act,” she said.Reports also suggest that St Catherine’s originally intended to move the affected students to accommodation outside of the College, but that finalists resisted this move and insisted they be provided with on-site rooms.“They were going to move us to outside flats with complete strangers,” one student said. “This would have been quite inappropriate and College refused to provide transport to move our belongings to these rooms. It was only after further complaints that we were moved to the alternative rooms in College.”Replacement rooms were sprayed with repellent before students moved in, but students could only take a few necessary books with them which were also sprayed with repellent. The students affected have said that they were eventually happy with how the situation has been dealt with.The clean-up operation involved an extensive fumigation of the rooms. Pest control teams use a special insecticide solution to kill insects and freeze their eggs while badly infested furniture was destroyed. Witnesses say they saw replacement mattresses being delivered to the college in last week.Robert Miller, a pest control expert from Advanced Pest Control, said bed bugs required special techniques for total removal.“People think bed bugs only live in beds when in fact they can survive almost anywhere,” he said.last_img read more

“IS IT TRUE” APRIL 23, 2020

first_imgIf you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected]’S FOOTNOTE:  Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers.City-County Observer Comment Policy. Be kind to people. No personal attacks or harassment will not be tolerated and shall be removed from our site. We understand that sometimes people don’t always agree and discussions may become a little heated.  The use of offensive language, insults against commenters will not be tolerated and will be removed from our site. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Please take time and read our newest feature articles entitled “LAW ENFORCEMENT, READERS POLL, BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS” posted in our sections.  You now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily. We hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?IS IT TRUE one of our supporters sent us the following “IS IT TRUE” in order to generate a discussion between the CCO readers? …that the United States Senate has passed a bill that will increase the PPP loans available for small businesses to keep their staff on a paycheck and off of unemployment?…there is one situation that is not conducive to keeping people on a payroll and that is the odd fact that due to a strange thing in the original stimulus package, it pays more to be on unemployment than it does to keep a job?…people who are furloughed or laid off are eligible to get an extra $600 per week on top of the roughly $400 per week that unemployment pays?…that is correct folks, if your job paid $40,000 and your unemployment would normally be $400 per week, now it will be $1,000?…this is a deterrent to returning to work until the $600 premium ends on July 31, 2020?…something like this can only happen in America because Senators running for re-election can obstruct the bill under consideration to play Santa Claus by using other people’s money to try and buy votes?IS IT TRUE that our medical and first responders heroes who are laboring on the front line of health care crisis risking their lives every day to save yours and do not get a dime of extra money? …that it’s time for this type of treatment stop and the powers that be give our medical and first responders heroes the appropriate financial compensation for a job well done?IS IT TRUE that Vanderburgh County and Warrick County are both closing in on 100 confirmed infections of COVID19 and growing more each coming day?…while these numbers are not on par with New York City that leads the country in infections and deaths, these numbers are nothing to dismiss?…it is amazing in hindsight that there were some people here in Evansville were telling people that COVID19 would not be coming to River City?IS IT TRUE that pandemics have a way of separating thinkers from emotional people and convincing oneself that a pandemic will not come to any place is from the gut and not the mind?…the City-County Observer encourages the people of Evansville and their leaders to listen to science before prematurely open things up?…some things will be ready to open soon but this is going to be incremental and measured?…we hope all of our readers think and stay the course?IS IT TRUE for several weeks Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke has been sending the message to the masses to wash your hands and don’t panic? …many people are very disappointed that the Mayor didn’t use his political influences to find a way to begin a mass testing campaign in Evansville before he begins to look for creative ways to re-open area businesses?IS IT TRUE that many people feel that the most feasible thing the Mayor to do was to used his political connections to organize a mass COVID-19 testing campaign?  …to the chagrin of his many supporters, he opted to appoint a “REOPEN EVANSVILLE TASK FORCE” to look for ways to reopen local businesses before he did mass testing for the COVID-19 virus in our community?  …in fact, many of his supporters feel if he opens local businesses prematurely and the COVID-19 virus has an unexpected resurgent and people die in the process it will be the end of his political career?IS IT TRUE that Banks raked in $10 billion in fees for handing out US-backed loans to shore up small businesses battered by the coronavirus despite taking on little to no risk on the deals?IS IT TRUE the Feds paid banks for serving as intermediaries for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which allowed any federally insured bank or credit union to field applications for rescue loans and pass them on to the US Small Business Administration for approval?IS IT TRUE that only 1.3% of the U. S. population has been tested for the COVID -19 virus so far?  …the population of the United States is around 328 million people?IS IT TRUE as of yesterday that Detroit Michigan is offering COVID -19 to all essential workers?  …this is the way to run a railroad?IS IT TRUE that Small Businesses represent one half of the workforce in the United States?IS IT TRUE that 75 companies that received government stimulus money had a market value of over $100 million dollars each?IS IT TRUE recently a CCO poster made the following comment and also asked us the following question?…here’s what “Another Voice” posted: “that talking of loans to businesses that really don’t deserve it, I have heard that many newspapers have received Government stimulus loans. They don’t deserve it!!  Did the CCO get part of these stimulus loans?  …here’s our response to “Another Voice” question?  …we posted that “The City-County Observer is in excellent financial shape.  The CCO hasn’t and will not apply for a Government stimulus loan. We want this money to be allocated to a deserving home owned and homegrown small businesses.  We are extremely puzzled why a multi-million dollar publishing conglomerate needs to receive a government bailout”?IS IT TRUE Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper chain, traded at $12 a share last summer. It dropped to about $6 in January before coronavirus and is trading at 90 cents a share?IS IT TRUE that the President of Deaconness Hospital Dr. James Porter, recently told the Courier and Press  “that Deaconess is testing people which also including people the State Health Department probably wouldn’t test because indicators weren’t strong enough”? …Dr. Porter also said “but we have not received any of those results back yet, so those are all out at reference labs (typically private, commercial facilities) awaiting results?  …he further added that “and of course, we don’t have a lot of visibility into what’s happening there”? …we do know that the lab that we most often primarily use is actually shipping specimens once they get them to another reference lab — because their capacity is overwhelmed.”?  …we give five (5) cheers to Dr. James Porter for being candid about the current status of testing for the Coronavirus locally and look forward to receiving a detailed update of the test these results from Dr. Porter?IS IT TRUE that over the years the Evansville Board Of Public Works has earned the reputation of not only being very political but also being a rubber stamp for the Mayor holding office at that time?  …several months ago when a professionally refined lady came before this board to discuss her RFP she was publically demeaned and insulted by the Board Chairman? … after that episode, it is our opinion that the current Board Chairman may not have the professional temperament to continue to serve on this board?IS IT TRUE we would like to thank a long-time supporter and friend Joe Wallace for his help with the City-County Observer during the time that our publisher was facing serious health problems?  …that Joe Wallace is a shining example of what true friendship is all about?IS IT TRUE don’t be surprised to see that the Vanderburgh County Council will decide to use most of the allocations of COIT funds from 2018, 2019, and 2020 to build a new addition to the Vanderburgh County jail if a few new faces are elected to this board?IS IT TRUE we are told that many people of the 5th Ward are extremely pleased with City Councilman Justin Elpers because he is extremely conservative?IS IT TRUE we are told that many people are getting tired of the way that County Councilman Tom Shelter, Jr. are treating people?  …we are told that he have become extremely authoritative and impatient? …we are told that this kind of thing happens when a person has served in public office to long? Today’s “Readers Poll” question is: Who do you considerer the most effective spokesperson concerning given updates on the Coronavirus?last_img read more

Once-a-Week Trash Collection Begins Sept. 10

first_imgOcean City’s off-season schedule for trash and recycling pickup begins on Monday, Sept. 10. The new schedule moves from twice-a-week to once-a-week.The new schedule follows:Monday: South side of 34th Street to 59th Street.Tuesday: South side of 17th Street to north side of 34th Street.Wednesday: South side of 9th Street to north side of 17th Street.Thursday: South side of 3rd Street to north side of 9th Street.Friday: Longport Bridge to north side of 3rd Street.For more information, visit Ocean City’s Trash and Recycling FAQ. Or see printable version of schedule. Ocean City’s trash and recycling collection schedule for fall, winter and spring.last_img read more

In my world: the plant baker

first_img== John Foster – Fosters Bakery Fosters Bakery, based in Barnsley, south Yorkshire, supplies fresh and frozen products to major retailers, airlines and caterers ==It’s official; the ’powers that be’ think British people are stupid compared to our European neighbours! Well, they do when it comes to nutritional labelling of food to tackle unhealthy eating.The EU is advocating a Europe-wide system of a monochrome GDA (Guideline Daily Amounts) for fat, sugar and salt, together with how the food inside the wrapper compares. But, once again, Britain prefers its own different and more stringent requirement – in this case multi-coloured traffic lights.It is important to tell consumers that a cream cake is less healthy than the wholemeal crispbread and that it’s good to allow consumers to differentiate between wholemeal crispbreads too. But why do we Brits have to have a different, more costly system of telling people than the rest of the world? This is just the latest extra burden that British food producers have to bear over and above our EU competitors.Pig farmers, too, point to higher animal welfare requirements in the UK that put them at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the EU. I’ll get too upset if I dwell on the wooden benches that I burned, now proven to have been safe all along (as the rest of the EU told us), or the plastic wall panels that we were forced to use, later proven to be a fire hazard.A standard close to my heart – and, according to Mrs Foster, possible heart attack – is the British Retail Consortium Global food standard. We’ve had Grade A for years, so I’m not moaning that it’s too high to pass, but the equivalent ISO standard is not as stringent. The same is true over health & safety. European machinery, despite it being CE safety-marked, has to be extra guarded, and a bit more expensive, in the UK than in the rest of the EU.Last year, I did my Institute of Directors diploma and we discussed management accounting systems. I explained our system to fellow students, who then considered it too simplistic to effectively manage a company. I felt a tad inadequate until the eminent professor leading the session remarked that my systems were remarkably close to Scandinavian norms, as used by the likes of Ikea and Nokia, and, in his opinion, much more effective than the British way.Drip, drip, drip: our competitiveness is being eaten away on irrelevances. No single aspect is that over-onerous; it’s just that British producers seem to have to (or want to) go that extra mile each and every time. Add it all together and conspiracy theorists might suspect someone in authority here is working for a foreign country’s development agency on some plot to frustrate our industry.Can we just stop placing that extra bit of burden on UK food producers? That should give us the time and resources to pay more attention to the environmental side of life, where Britain, for once, is way behind its EU neighbours – and sadly failing.last_img read more

Finsbury’s profit is hit hard

first_imgFinsbury Foods’ profit has taken a severe hit, with adjusted pre-tax profit down 45% to £1.8m for the six months to 31 December 2008. Pre-tax profit stood at £0.2m compared to £1.6m in 2008, despite increasing sales in its bread and free-from divisions.The cakes, breads and morning goods manufacturer saw revenue rise by 11% to £92.1m. But “significantly increased” investment in promotional support for customers and consumers as well as additional investment in the integration of its cake division have impacted profits. The company’s cake division experienced a 4% rise in sales on last year’s figures, and its breads and free-from divisions saw like-for-like sales up 16% and 23% respectively. Martin Lightbody, chief executive, said: “It is encouraging to see sales have remained resilient, despite the recessionary environment. We have focused our investment on further integration of our businesses and improving our facilities.”The firm also saw extra distribution and utility costs of £1.2m over the period.According to the statement released it had been an “extremely challenging period for Finsbury”, however Finsbury said trading for the first eight weeks from January has been in line with expectations. “Over these eight weeks, sales have increased by 4% in our Cake division, by 14% in our Free From businesses and by 6% in our Bread business.”last_img read more

City Of Denver Approves New Large-Scale Festival Produced By Organizers Of Bonnaroo

first_imgOn Monday night, after an extensive application process Bonnaroo and Outside Lands organizers Superfly Productions have received the green light from the city of Denver, CO to launch a brand new large-scale music festival in south Denver. The new event initially received considerable pushback from the area’s residents, but the City Council eventually voted 10-3 to approve the event’s five-year deal for the Colorado capitol’s Overland Park Golf Course. According to a report in the Denver Post‘s The Know blog, the majority of the council members gave credit to the seasoned festival organizer for thoroughly addressing the community’s concerns in their plans.The approved contract allows for a three-day weekend festival at the Denver golf courseeach September, with each event staged the second or third weekend of that month beginning next Fall. For the as-of-yet unnamed event, Superfly has promised an expansive lineup of performers including local favorites and nationally touring acts, as well as heavy involvement from local food and drink purveyors. The event is expected to draw 30,000 to 40,000 people a day to the site in the first year, promoters say, with the contract capping daily attendance at 80,000 as the festival grows.In exchange for gaining control of the course for up to five weeks after Labor Day each year for set-up and tear-down, Superfly will pay a lease of $200,000. The city will pocket many times that amount thanks to a 10% “seat tax” and other considerations, including $2 per ticket for a golf fund and $1 per ticket for a community fund, expected to net “five- to six figures” each year, promoters say. City officials project the city’s profit from hosting the festival at $2 million once attendance grows to 70,000 a day, and they say a portion of that also will benefit surrounding neighborhoods.“I do believe this is a good contract,” said Councilman Jolon Clark, who has worked on the issue for nearly a year because Overland Park is in his district. “It’s a contract that protects the golf course, that protects the neighborhood … and brings revenue to the neighborhood that can be used for projects that the citizens have been asking for for years.”Supporters of the new festival play, including some prominent neighborhood advocates and voices from the Denver music scene, see the event as a big get for Denver. And together with Levitt Pavillion, recently opened at nearby Ruby Hill Park, the festival could elevate the prominence of south neighborhoods, they argued.However, there was still some understandable concern among some of the Council members. Councilman Kevin Flynn expressed concern about the chosen event site. “Just in my gut, it seems like the wrong location to me,” he said. The other two dissenters voiced concern about what they considered too few safeguards or details about logistics, which will be set out in a dozen or so plans next year.Many nearby residents and some parks advocacy groups also voiced a variety of concerns about the new fest, including the potential environmental impact, the difficulty of getting so many people to Overland Park using fee-based shuttles and public transportation, and the potential for noise to disrupt their homes. While the yea-sayers used Levitt Pavillion as an argument for the contract, detractors looked to it as a sort of cautionary tale: Last week, resident Marilyn Barela sent a letter to council members that said the new venue, in its first several concerts, had “destroyed our peace and quiet” just north of the park.While we won’t know how the new festival will play out for the residents of south Denver next year, this is undoubtedly good news for music fans virtually everywhere else. Denver is getting a major music festival. Rejoice![h/t – The Know (Denver Post)]last_img read more

Michael Fabiano wears many hats

first_img Fake news is giving reality a run for its money Legal, intelligence, and news analysts discuss the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange For nearly two centuries, the Associated Press (AP) has been at the forefront of delivering fair, accurate and unbiased news to the world. In today’s climate of “fake news,” the AP’s rigorous standards and fact-based journalism are more important than ever. According to a recent Pew Research poll, a majority of Americans distrust the government or each other, while nearly two-thirds have a negative view of news sources and the media. News organizations have felt these frustrations increase and many outlets, including the AP, are using new tools to combat the “fake news” outcry.Michael Fabiano, A.L.M. ’16, and newly elected president of the Harvard Extension Alumni Association (HEAA), leads the AP’s business strategy for the Americas and has witnessed massive change within the industry. Before that, Fabiano worked for NBC News as vice president and general manager of NBC Digital Publishing, where he built a company-wide digital publishing business.He spoke to the Gazette about how technology shifted his mindset toward lifelong learning, the challenges facing news organizations and what AP is doing to solidify trust in the media.Q&AMichael FabianoGazette: There has been an increased push by adults to continue their education past traditional schooling and to continue learning throughout their whole lives. How do you feel you can extend that push as new president of the HEAA?Fabiano: I have firsthand experience of proactively retooling my skillset twice since beginning my business career. When the internet enabled mass globalization and exponential technological advancement, I witnessed a significant shift in business. I wanted an edge to stay relevant.I worked full time and attended Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA program in 2005. Ten years later, I found Harvard Extension School’s journalism program. It was unique in that I was able to take classes in the law school in intellectual property, learn the latest in content management system technology, as well as explore how the internet has impacted writing and content creation.A technological tipping point is occurring in higher education, allowing us to leap well beyond the traditional classroom lecture experience. Driven by interactive classroom software and artificial intelligence, society has, for the first time in history, an educational model that is quite different from the traditional classroom lecture — and arguably much more impactful.My experiences have given me a depth of understanding of how continuing education programs are delivered to working adults and where the value is to corporations and students. Businesses can see value added immediately as experienced students bring classroom knowledge into the workplace. As a hiring manager, I want employees that have the persistence to work and attend school simultaneously.Our board needs to function at a more strategic level than ever before, working with our incredibly talented alumni, integrating across the other Harvard schools, and positioning Harvard Extension School as the premier lifetime learning community that it is.,Gazette: Your career has allowed you to view the world, and in particular the media industry, from myriad different angles.  Can you highlight some of the transformation you’ve experienced and where you think the industry is headed?Fabiano: A good part of my career has been about helping organizations transform, and then manage the resultant tremendous changes. At NBC, my role in the strategy group was centered around repositioning a $16 billion company for a digital future through large scale initiatives. … I had the opportunity to work on properties such as the “Today” show on digital rights and asset management, develop disruptive international streaming business models with NBC News, create new programming for The Weather Channel, and enable a new e-commerce purchasing platform for video and images.At the Associated Press, I am responsible for the Americas Media business. My team delivers content and technology that enable free speech globally. The way the AP works with customers is changing dramatically as massive consolidation across newspapers, television, and radio creates very large global distribution platforms. These new media organizations are operating at significant scale and are in various stages of maturity as they adjust to these new ecosystems. … For example, a single local TV station used to reach a finite demographic marketing area. Now with an app, they can reach the world. This has significant implications for how they manage technology and content. As part of a 100-member TV group for example, the complexity grows where they can offer an advertiser a large national audience.Gazette: The AP is often at the forefront of any single major news event happening around the world. How does your organization aim to “get it right” when the term “fake news” is increasingly attached to a story that a particular person or group does not agree with?Fabiano: While AP is a breaking news organization, we’d rather get it right than be first. We maintain and must keep very high standards in pursuit of the truth. Reporting objectively every day takes a special rigor that our editorial staff manages with great care. Having multiple verifiable sources, supporting data and presenting all sides of a story is the heart and soul of the AP. Many of our readers don’t realize that AP does not write any opinion pieces — it only reports the facts. Our content is licensed to 15,000 media outlets worldwide and our customers and members are authorized to write derivative intellectual property, in the spirit of progressing understanding, thinking, and democratic principles.Fact-checking is in AP’s DNA. It’s something we have been doing since the 19th century. To counter the growing amount of misinformation online, AP has created three public news feeds. The first is called “Not Real News.”  This is a roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these stories or visuals are legitimate, even though they may have been shared widely on social media. So AP debunks them. “A single local TV station used to reach a finite demographic marketing area. Now with an app, they can reach the world.” In an excerpt from her just-released memoir, Samantha Power recalls her experience going from Balkans war correspondent to Law School student — and her stumbles along the way Related Like a fish out of a war zone Panelists ponder the future of journalism in a click-happy, unsourced world Second, the “Fake news” topic feed is a variety of stories from around the globe that have a combination of misinformation and some truth. This mixture of fact and fiction can create powerful myths. Our journalism is intended to not only cover “fake news” as a subject but debunk these myths or correct facts.Finally, we have our fact-checking engine that delivers accountability journalism from AP journalists across the globe, holding the powerful to account for their words and actions.Gazette: What are some of the new initiatives or goals from your organization that you would like to highlight?Fabiano: We recently strengthened our news output … with [two] outside groups. We have a new relationship with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s [HHMI] Department of Science Educationto expand health and science journalism. When I first met with HHMI, we quickly recognized that our organizations’ mutual missions — to inform the world — were aligned. This was the anchor for all our work going forward and has resulted in a significant increase in quality science journalism.The second content expansion area centers on journalism that broadly covers religion, faith, ethics, and spirituality. So, much of our global news coverage is related to these topic areas. This is funded by a $4.9 million grant from the Lilly Endowment. It was a significant joint collaboration between our Americas Media business and editorial teams.It’s important to note that in both collaborations — and any with outside groups — AP retains full editorial control. We are and always have been a truly independent not-for-profit news organization, with no owners and no government funding.Finally, my team is managing a new programming effort. AP Productions is a new function within the business arm of The Associated Press that combines three market opportunities: programming/production, podcasts, and books. All of these produced works have a common thread that leverages AP’s brand, journalism, storytelling, content, and distribution into fully realized projects.  These projects can be executed by AP’s own growing production capability, or with third party partners, depending on the opportunity. Journalist, whistleblower, or dangerous security leak?last_img read more

Professors react to midterm elections

first_imgAfter Republicans won big in midterm elections last week, Notre Dame professors said the party’s gains could lead to a stronger sense of party division in the coming term. “The Republicans won big, so they have no need to compromise,” said Jack Colwell, adjunct professor of American Studies and South Bend Tribune columnist. “With Democrats, the more liberal Democrats won — it was the more moderate Democrats that lost.” The House of Representatives currently has 256 Democratic seats and 179 Republican seats. When the new Representatives take office, 239 Republicans and 188 Democrats will take the floor, with eight seats still pending, according to USA Today’s website. The Senate will go from its current 57 Democrats, 41 Republicans and two Independents to 51 Democrats, 46 Republicans and two Independents, with one seat still pending. Colwell said Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District, in which Notre Dame is located, had an interesting race. Incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly narrowly defeated Republican Jackie Walorski for the spot in the House of Representatives. “It was amazing Donnelly could survive in such a Republican year in a Republican state,” he said. “One of the problems for the next session is that Donnelly is one of the more moderate Democrats, and one of the few left.” In the races for governor, Republicans also took the majority. Currently there are 26 Democratic governors and 24 Republican governors. After the new ones are sworn in, there will be 29 Republican governors, 18 Democratic governors and one Independent governor, with two races still pending results, according to USA Today’s website. When it comes to legislation, Colwell said he predicts problems between party lines. “There will be stalemate,” he said. “The Republicans in the House of Representatives have had great success with just saying no.” He also said he sees trouble for President Barack Obama. “[Obama] will try to work with them — but it takes two to tango,” Colwell said. “I don’t see why Republicans would work with him … I doubt they will work with him.” The repeal of healthcare reform was on the campaign promise list of many candidates, but Colwell said this would be impossible. However, the newly elected officials could still do some damage. “Opponents will try to starve it,” he said. “They will try to sabotage it.” He said this could come in the form of redirecting funds away from programming. “The only thing that could help end the [partisan] stalemate is that both parties love their country,” he said. “If things started to get bad with something like the economy, you might see politicians on either side work with each other.” Some have called the Republican victory a “tsunami” or a “hurricane,” Colwell said, but he also said the landslide could have been larger. “It was a big Republican year,” he said. “They probably would have won the Senate if the Tea Party didn’t nominate so many questionable candidates.” The Tea Party, a right-wing faction of the Republican Party, received a lot of media attention during the elections. Michael Desch, chair in the Political Science department, said the Tea Party created problems for the two-party political system. “There is grounds for optimism for the Obama administration,” he said. “The rise of the Tea Party is not just a problem for the Democrats but also for the Republican Party. There is a lot of anger directed at the Republican establishment.” Desch, who has a specialty in international politics and foreign policy, said some foreign policy issues were in the background of the midterm election. “China and trade [was an issue],” he said. “The overarching issue was the economy and unemployment. China was important with these persistent fears. We have an imbalance in trade with China.” Desch said what seemed to determine the midterm election results was not a great support for the Republican Party, but a general sense of unhappiness with the current government. “The problems with the economy are long-term and structural,” he said. “The problem is that there are no easy solutions. The American public doesn’t have the stomach for the solutions now.”last_img read more

Ben & Jerry’s founder reflects on company, socially conscious business mission

first_imgJerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, discussed the history of his company and ethical business practices in a lecture Tuesday evening in the Mendoza College of Business as part of the College of Arts and Letters Dean’s Fellows speaker series. Greenfield gave the audience a detailed account of how Ben & Jerry’s was founded. Greenfield and his childhood friend, Ben Cohen, were at a standstill in their lives, he said. Both in their twenties, Greenfield had been rejected from medical school twice and Cohen was working a series of odd jobs in New York before they both decided it was time for a change. Chris Collins | The Observer Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, explores the history of his company and emphasizes the importance of a socially conscious business mission during a lecture Tuesday in the Mendoza College of Business.“Ben and I were failing at everything we tried to do, so we thought, why don’t we get together and do something that’s fun — be our own bosses,” Greenfield said. “And because we had always liked to eat, we thought we would do something with food, so we just picked homemade ice cream.”Greenfield and Cohen opened their first ice cream parlor in an abandoned gas station in Burlington, Vermont in May 1978, and sales went well during their first summer of operation, Greenfield said. However, the winters came, bitterly so, and people naturally decided to buy less ice cream so the pair decided to start selling tubs of it; first sales were to local restaurants, then to restaurants all around the state to stay in business. Little did they know, Greenfield said, that this practice would give way to the Ben & Jerry’s pint. “Ben thought that if he could start packaging the ice cream into pint containers, he could stop off at mom-and-pop grocery stores that he was passing by from one restaurant to another,” Greenfield said. “So we started packaging ice cream into pints … and that is how Ben & Jerry’s stumbled into manufacturing ice cream and delivering it.”But making and selling ice cream is just one aspect of the Ben & Jerry’s business. In the second part of his lecture, Greenfield discussed the company’s deep-rooted dedication to social responsibility and honest business practices. It started with their public campaign against Pillsbury because of their refusal to let two large ice cream distributors carry Ben & Jerry’s — they feared it would detract from sales of Haagen Dazs, a Pillsbury company. So, Greenfield and Cohen started a campaign entitled “What’s the doughboy afraid of?” and sought support from their loyal customers, the media and the general public, eventually winning their case. After that, though, Greenfield and Cohen began to feel that they had stepped away from the original mission of their company.“We were kids of the sixties, and we had a really negative opinion of business,” Greenfield said. “We felt like our business was just becoming another cog in the economic machine.”Just when Greenfield and Cohen were considering getting out of the business, they received some wisdom from an old friend, Maurice Perper. He gave them the advice that made Ben & Jerry’s what it is today, Greenfield said. “If there is something you don’t like about the way that business is done, why don’t you just change it,” Greenfield said. Thus began Ben & Jerry’s mission to make their business different. Instead of pulling in venture capital — a small number of elite investors — when they needed economic support, Cohen and Greenfield held the first ever public stock offer in the state of Vermont, giving the community control over part of their business. Greenfield said they also began the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation to grant money to nonprofit organizations, but were overwhelmed by the sheer number of worthy causes that needed help. “As we thought about it, all the foundations in the country are in the same situation,” Greenfield said. “There are these tremendous unmet human needs and not enough money to fulfill them. We started to wonder both why that is and what more business could do.”Greenfield and Cohen decided that business and improving the community did not necessarily have to be two separate entities. “The solution to the dilemma is to find those courses of action that have a positive impact on both of the bottom lines — making money and giving back to the community,” Greenfield said.They decided to find ways to help others and their business at the same time, he said, such as buying brownies for their popular chocolate fudge brownie flavor from a bakery run by a religious community that supports people who have fallen on hard times economically. The company also has about a dozen “partner shops” — stores owned by non-profit social service agencies who work with at-risk youth. The money the shops make funds their programs and provides jobs for these adolescents. Greenfield said he and Cohen believe that Ben & Jerry’s socially conscious mission is part of what makes their business work so well. “Just because the idea that the good you do comes back to you is written in the Bible and not in some business textbook does not mean that it is any less valid,” he said. “We are all interconnected, and as we help others, we cannot help but be helped in return. For businesses and people, it is all exactly the same.”Tags: Ben & Jerry’s, Ben Cohen, ethical business, Jerry Greenfieldlast_img read more

France, Spain move toward reopening as global virus cases top 4 million

first_imgFrench health officials have warned that “the epidemic remains active and is evolving”, and that social distancing must be kept up even as restrictions are eased.In Spain, about half the population will be allowed out on Monday for limited socialization, and restaurants will be able to offer some outdoor service as the country begins a phased transition set to last through June.Fears lingered, however, of a resurgence, and authorities excluded Madrid and Barcelona — two COVID-19 hotspots — from the first phase.Belgium is also easing some restrictions on Monday, and in some parts of Germany, bars and restaurants reopened on Saturday with further easing set for Monday.Overall, the situation in Europe was still far from normal.Britain is reportedly planning to announce on Sunday that all overseas visitors will face a mandatory two-week quarantine, and the European Union warned against opening borders to travelers from outside the bloc.Across Europe, commemorations marking 75 years since Nazi Germany’s surrender were cancelled or scaled down.And Poland’s election on Sunday will be one for the history books as polling stations remain closed and turnout will clock in at zero due to a political crisis set off by the pandemic — the presidential ballot is formally neither postponed nor cancelled because the government and opposition were unable to agree on a constitutional and safe solution.’Phenomenal’ recovery? South Korea’s capital Seoul shut all bars and clubs on Saturday after a burst of cases were tracked to one of the city’s busiest nightlife districts.Even as the country eased virus restrictions, officials warned against carelessness after the new cluster of infections, highlighting the challenge of containing the spread of the deadly disease while pursuing an economic revival.Global economic figures are pointing to the most acute downturn in nearly a century with businesses forced to shut and supply lines badly disrupted, and pressure is growing on leaders around the world to find a way out.In the United States, the country with the world’s highest death toll, President Donald Trump faced sharp criticism from his predecessor Barack Obama, who said on a leaked tape that Trump’s handling of the crisis was an “absolute chaotic disaster”.Facing re-election in November, Trump has insisted that next year would be “phenomenal” for the US economy, urging reopening in a country where the virus continues to claim well over 1,000 lives daily.The United States lost an unprecedented 20.5 million jobs in April, driving the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent — the highest level since the Great Depression.’Life costs money’ Health experts have cautioned that while the growth of cases may be slowing in some European and Asian countries, other nations — many of them impoverished — are only in the first phases of their outbreaks.In Iran, the Middle East’s virus epicenter, many were taking advantage of loosened restrictions despite worries about a spike in infections.”Life costs money,” said Hamed, a 22-year-old out on the streets of the capital Tehran without a mask. “People have to go to work since this virus has been with us for about three months now.”And in neighboring Pakistan, the world’s fifth most-populous country, the government ended the lockdown on Saturday and locals streamed into markets and shops, despite still-high infection rates.Tehmina Sattar, shopping with her sister and sons in Rawalpindi, said: “We are happy with this decision, but at the same time I have a fear in my heart that if this disease spreads it could be devastating.”Topics : Amid the barrage of deaths, some European countries have cited signs of progress that they said justified cautious steps towards a sense of normality.Officials in France on Saturday said the day’s death toll of 80 was the lowest since early April, while nursing home fatalities also fell sharply as the nation prepared to relax curbs on public movement imposed eight weeks ago.The easing, to begin Monday, has brought mixed reactions.”I’ve been scared to death” about the reopening, said Maya Flandin, a bookshop manager from Lyon. “It’s a big responsibility to have to protect my staff and my customers.” The number of coronavirus cases worldwide topped four million as some of the hardest-hit countries readied Sunday to lift lockdown restrictions, despite concerns about a second wave of infections.Governments around the world are trying to stop the spread of the disease while scrambling for ways to relieve pressure on their economies, which are facing a historic downturn with millions pushed into unemployment.But with the death toll already past 277,000, nations are keen to avoid second waves of infections that could overwhelm their healthcare systems, with a new cluster of cases in South Korea raising fears about the virus hitting back rapidly.last_img read more