Rights issue

first_imgRights issueOn 8 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today The issue of union learning representatives is causing some confusion. SimonKent explains their role in upholding employees’ rights to training anddevelopmentStatutory rights for Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) are due to come intoforce in early May as part of the Employment Act 2002. Uncertainty may surroundtheir precise official role, but it is generally felt by all – from the unionsto the CBI – that these newly recognised lay representatives will bringbenefits to both employers and staff by encouraging the take up of training,particularly in the area of basic skills. According to the Regulatory Impact Assessment for introducing thesestatutory rights, published by the Employment Relations Directorate of the DTIlast summer, statutory backing was judged necessary for these newrepresentatives to realise their potential. Citing the case that only 11 percent of employers offered literacy and numeracy training compared with the 20per cent of adults with serious problems in this area, the assessment concludedthat ULRs could trigger an increase in employee productivity worth £140m overeight years. The law itself (contained in Section 42 of the Employment Act 2002) givesULRs statutory rights to paid time off while receiving the training necessaryto carry out their duties, plus further paid time off to carry out thoseduties. To this extent, the rights afforded them are no different to thoseenjoyed by existing union representatives. They ensure that the ULR has theopportunity to be effective in their role. However, controversy stills dogsthis issue – what exactly should a ULR be doing? “In the original government documentation, they appeared to be entirelyabout basic skills,” says Robbie Gilbert, chief executive of the Employers’Forum on Statute and Practice (EFSP). “But at some point, they becameconcerned with the whole range of training. “I don’t believe it has ever been thought through as to how the ULRswill work with the employers’ own provision of training.” At the time of going to press, there are several publications in thepipeline to help all parties involved to get the most out of ULRs. TheDepartment for Education and Skills (DfES) is set to publish its Employer’sGuide to Union Learning Representatives in the late spring. Drawn up inconsultation with the CBI, with input from a number of employers, this casestudy-based resource will give practical, real-life examples of the work ofULRs and the benefits to employers. It will appear on the DfES, DTI and Acaswebsites, and will be available to employers on request. The TUC has already published diverse information and case studies involvingULRs, including the recent pamphlet Union Learning Representatives – New Rights,New Opportunities, which outlines the duties and practical activities of theULR. The TUC is also working with the Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment (CIPD) on a publication funded by the Learning and Skills Councilto give advice to all staff and employers on how best to facilitate ULRs.Again, no precise publication date has been set. Crucially, the revised Acas Code of Practice for Time Off for Trade UnionDuties and Activities – the only document which may be cited at tribunal toassess whether an employer is implementing the new regulations appropriately –has yet to be passed by Parliament. While it has government backing and isexpected to be passed in ‘late spring’, it could face delays due tointernational events. Victoria Gill, learning, training and development adviser at the CIPD,believes case study material is important for employers. “One aspect ofULRs is a fear of the unknown,” she says. “If you see other people’sexperiences – positive or negative – you can learn from that.” At the same time, she identifies the need for a ‘realistic framework’ togovern ULR activities, and says the CIPD is keen for clear guidelines to bepublished to ensure that conflicts do not arise between ULRs and anorganisation’s HR/training department. So what should these departments be doing now? Given that the code ofpractice simply refers to rights to time off and not to the wider role of ULRs,the EFSP’s Gilbert warns against jumping the gun. He argues it is better todiscover how unions wish to move forward with these new rights and respond tothat, while continuing to lobby for clearer guidance. However, Derek Kemp, group managing director of Human and Legal Resources,believes employers must act now to realise the benefits of ULRs. “Therehas to be a proactive move by the employer to recognise the ULR’scontribution,” he says. “You need to agree their role and decide how best they can contributeto training within the organisation. The ULR’s role is likely to be verydifferent in a local authority compared with one in a high-tech ormanufacturing company.” HR and legal departments are already helping clients address their policiesto integrate the work of ULRs into their business. Policies relating to theconsultation process and to training and development activities need to beaddressed. Simon Spencer, corporate employment lawyer with legal firm Morrison andForester, is also in favour of action, encouraging employers to negotiate andagree on the ULR’s role, rather than waiting for them to work it out forthemselves. “In some organisations there is already a blurring or overlapping ofactivities among union officials,” he says. “Existing officials mayalready be engaged in activities which should now be the responsibility oflearning representatives. HR departments must agree in advance precisely whatthe activities of the ULRs and other officials are, so that when they take paidtime off, they are engaged in work they are meant to be doing.” While tribunal cases concerning ‘reasonable’ time off for union activitiesare not common, they do occur and, Spencer argues, having an agreed definitionof a representative’s duties reduces the probability of such disagreements. To some extent, instigating a dialogue on ULRs shouldn’t be too difficult –simply because representatives can only exist where independent trade unionsare already recognised. Affected organisations should therefore already havesome communication structure through which ULRs can be managed. Complicationsmay occur in instances of statutory recognition of a trade union and/or wherenegotiation agreements are considered legally binding, but such scenarios arerare. Regardless of legal procedures, ensuring ULRs are integrated intoorganisations and supported by training and development is key to ensuring thatbenefits are realised and problems are not created. Kemp warns of the demotivating effects of allowing ULRs to raise trainingexpectations only to have them left unfulfilled by the organisation. Measuresmust be taken to ensure both parties are singing from the same hymn sheet. What is a Union Learning Representative (ULR)?A ULR is an officially recognisedemployee in a unionised workplace who has received training from their union toenable them to give advice on training and learning opportunities to fellowunion membersWhat they can do: By law:– They can take paid time off to undertake training to allowthem to carry out their duties as a ULR– They can take paid time off to offer fellow union memberstraining advice and inform them of learning opportunities– Union members have the right to access their ULR in worktime, but the employer does not need to pay them at this timePotential roles:– They can research and establish resources for learning activities– They can work with the employer to design learninginitiatives, carry out learning surveys and establish learning agreements withemployers– They can set up and run learning centres or employeedevelopment schemes– They can help organisations access learning resources viaLearndirect and/or the Union Learning FundWhat they can’t do– They cannot provide paid or unpaid time off for theirunion members to undertake training – an employer’s consent is required for this– They cannot (by law) give advice or support to non-unionmembers– They cannot exist in places which do not already recognisetheir trade unionDo they only do union training, or do they get involved incompany training?– Training provided has little to do with the unionitself. The ULR can work to provide training on whatever subject they feel isrelevant. Their position in the workforce makes them particularly useful forthe provision of basic skills–  ULRs can get involvedin promoting company training according to agreements between the company andthe representative. They are useful for ensuring maximum take up of in-houselearning and training initiativesCan they take money from company budgets for union training,or does the union pay?– Union Learning Representatives cannot make any demands on thetraining budgets of companies. The employer retains full control over allfinancial arrangements– Funding, or some initiatives, can be sourced through theUnionLearning FundDoes the company have to pay for some training?– It can if it feels it is appropriate or useful. In many ofthe training partnerships already established, companies have contributedthrough the provision of training spaces – on-site classrooms,etc – and throughgiving time off for employees to spend on learning activitiesDo they make recommendations that companies can ignore or docompanies have to do what they ask?– There is no compulsion for companies to followrecommendations made by ULRs. However, rather than ignore them, companiesshould consult and consider the input they receive from these representativesURLs and their benefitsThere are around 3,000 ULRs inexistence, working with firms ranging from Metroline buses and Gloucester CityServices, to Birds Eye and British Bakeries. Anne Murphy, a project worker withUSDAW, the union that piloted many ULRs and campaigned for statutoryrecognition, is adamant that employers have felt the benefits since suchinitiatives have been in operation. “In my experience, there hasn’t been one organisation thathas implemented something, then walked away from it rather than working withthe idea to see it go from strength to strength,” she says.At Littlewoods, an initiative originally created through theUnion Learning Fund has grown to include the provision of an on-site learningcentre managed by a steering group made up of representatives from the unionand employer. Littlewoods has given space for the learning centre, but as therequired technology comes from a local college and the learning takes place inthe employees’ own time, training provision is not at great cost to the company.”We see working in partnership with learning reps as acrucial part of our overall efforts to develop a learning culture withinLittlewoods retail,” says the company’s training manager Ann McGrath.Indeed, the partnership has resulted in the roles and responsibilities oflearning representatives being enshrined within the organisation’s LifelongLearning Policy.Employers’ dutiesUnion Learning Representatives mustbe members of an independent trade union recognised by the employer. They canonly work with staff who are also trade union members.Unions must give the employer notice that ULRs are to undergotraining and confirm in writing that such training has been undertaken withinsix months.The ULR is entitled to reasonable paid time off for thefollowing functions:– Analysing training needs– Providing information on training– Arranging training– Promoting training– Consulting with the employer about training– Preparation for the above activities– Undergoing training relevant to their role as a ULRThe Acas Code of Practice for Time Off for Trade Union Dutiesand Activities will be used to determine what constitutes reasonable time offand sufficient training for ULR duties.What it means for the organisation:The DTI Regulatory Impact Assessment on statutory rights forULRs estimated initial training for ULRs would require five days paid leave,and that carrying out duties and undergoing subsequent training would requirenine days of paid time off per year.The same document suggests three hours of a middle manager’stime per ULR per year would be required for admin purposes, such as receivingand processing official notices and individual requests by ULRs for time off. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Prep Sports Roundup: 4/19

first_img Brad James FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailSoftballRegion 14MANTI, Utah-Tiffany Hermansen and Katelon Crouch each homered as the Manti Templars pounded Union 18-5 in Region 14 softball action Monday. Ashley Rasmussen drove in three more runs for Manti in the win. Hermansen took the win in the circle for the Templars. London Lamb went yard in the loss for the Cougars. Written bycenter_img April 19, 2021 /Sports News – Local Prep Sports Roundup: 4/19last_img read more

Ulrick & Short cuts sat fats

first_imgClean-label, functional ingredients supplier Ulrick & Short has been working on improvements to its fat replacer Delyte.The product, derived from tapioca, has been developed for use in sweet and savoury pastry. It reduces saturated and calorie content, but increases the process tolerance of the finished pastry, leading to less wastage.Ulrick claims it also improves the overall appearance of the finished pastry by reducing cracking and splitting, which is achieved without taking away the shortness when eating.”Several major bakeries in the UK and mainland Europe have successfully completed trials using the improved formula and as a consequence will be introducing the new Delyte into their products,” said the firm.Its range of fat replacers can be used in a variety of baked goods including cakes, muffins, biscuits, breads, pastries and all dairy fillings.The firm said it is also currently developing clean label ingredients for the replacement of butter in croissants and the removal of fat from biscuits.www.ulrickandshort.comlast_img read more

Press release: International Development Secretary: “Financial markets open the door to a future free from aid dependency”

first_img If you have an urgent media query, please email the DFID Media Team on [email protected] in the first instance and we will respond as soon as possible. Today the London and Nairobi Exchanges have signed a Letter of Understanding with FSD Africa, a DFID-funded NGO based in Nairobi focused on financial sector development in Africa. With support from FSD Africa, the two exchanges aim to bring the ‘Elite’ SME development programme, to East Africa. More info on FSD Africa is available at: www.fsdafrica.org, and on the Elite programme at: www.lseg.com/elite. Digital Finance Champions Group announcement*The UK is partnering with Commonwealth countries with ambition around digital finance, to share knowledge and expertise on how to transition to a digital economy in an inclusive and sustainable way. The inaugural meeting of the Group will take place in Q3 of 2018, where the founding members – including the UK, Ghana, Kenya, Jamaica and Rwanda – will agree on priorities and identify where support is needed. * Possible areas of collaboration and support include: * Implementing initiatives to bring down the cost of remittances – at an average of 8.4%, the cost of sending remittances in Commonwealth corridors is higher than the Global Goal target of 3%; * Reducing costs and cutting down on corruption by digitising government payment systems;* Implementing the new Guidelines for Investing in Responsible Digital Finance, which have been developed by CDC, the IFC and Goodwill.Partnership between London Stock Exchange and Nairobi Securities Exchange The Bank of Ghana is happy to be part of this technical cooperation programme with the Bank of England. We envisage benefitting from the Bank of England’s experience in dealing with financial stability and macroprudential regulation, to assess the full implications of macro issues on the financial system. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt will join President Kenyatta of Kenya to open trading at the London Stock Exchange today (17 April 2018) where she will praise the critical role financial markets play in supporting prosperity and growth across the Commonwealth – and welcome a new partnership between the London Stock Exchange and the Nairobi Securities Exchange.Ms Mordaunt will unveil a partnership package between the Bank of England and central banks in Sierra Leone, Ghana and South Africa to share expertise, improve regulation and reduce the risk of bank failures. Expert Bank of England staff will help central banks develop sustainable financial systems that power local and regional growth, job creation and investment opportunities.She will also announce UK funding to help developing countries raise investment from global capital markets in their own currencies, promoting investment and job creation.International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: The Bank of England is excited to be embarking on this new partnership with the Bank of Ghana, the Bank of Sierra Leone and the South African Reserve Bank. In our increasingly interconnected global financial system, cooperation between central banks is critical to providing the financial stability on which all our citizens rely. We look forward to supporting our counterparts in delivering their priorities in building this essential foundation for growth. Access to finance is fundamental to driving growth in developing countries, but when companies seek finance abroad it is most often in foreign currencies – meaning companies take on the risks associated with potential negative currency movements. This leads to underinvestment, hampers job creation, and can lead to volatile prices for consumers. Today’s £5 million announcement to support and work with developing countries will help them raise local currency finance through the London market. This will include technical assistance to help address regulatory barriers to issuing local currency bonds in London and other global financial centres. The demand-driven support package will help countries such as Nigeria, Pakistan and Ghana to benefit from increased access to international finance, by: Identifying key regulatory and political barriers to accessing local currency bonds; Identifying and building commitment of key public authorities; And providing advice on regulatory reform. Dr Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, said: Telephone 020 7023 0600 The Bank of England will establish technical assistance partnerships with central banks – initially in in three Commonwealth countries at different stages of development: Sierra Leone, Ghana, and South Africa. The UK will provide up to £2 million for tailored technical assistance, provided by expert Bank of England staff, across a range of central bank functions. In South Africa, focus will be given to the important financial hub role played by the country across southern Africa. These partnerships will share expertise across the Commonwealth, improving the regulation and supervision of financial sectors and mitigating the risk and severity of economic recessions due to bank failures and crises. Healthy financial markets create opportunities for new investment, trade and jobs, playing a critical role in delivering the global prosperity that benefits us all. What’s more, financial markets open the door to a future free from aid dependency. By building partnerships, sharing knowledge and opening up markets across the Commonwealth, we can defeat poverty, boost trade and investment, and deliver on the ambitions of countries that want to stand on their own two feet. Email [email protected] Local Currency Bonds announcement The event marks the second day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings – bringing together business, civic society and government leaders from across the 52 Commonwealth nations in London for a week of events, forums and discussions.Notes to EditorsCentral Bank Partnership announcement General media queries (24 hours) Ms Mordaunt will also welcome the launch of the Commonwealth Digital Finance Champions Group. By sharing expertise and knowledge, the Group will drive innovation to improve financial access for the most vulnerable and underbanked people in societies – for example, exploring ways to reduce the cost of sending remittances. The UK, Kenya, Ghana, Jamaica and Rwanda have all confirmed they will be founding members of the group.Joe Mucheru, EGH, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology of Kenya said: Joanna Place, Chief Operating Officer at the Bank of England said: Kenya is hailed globally for its early and successful adoption of mobile money. The recent launch of mobile money interoperability in the country will contribute towards bridging the remaining margin to achieve total financial inclusion for all Kenyans. I encourage the Commonwealth community to explore the potentials of applying cutting edge technologies such as blockchain for distributed ledgers and artificial intelligence as this can enhance public service delivery and boost economic growth, particularly for developing economies such as Kenya. ]last_img read more

UGA Bee Expert

first_img “This is an honor I never saw coming,” Delaplane said. “I am grateful to Great Britain and her people for the many rich experiences they have given me, both professionally and personally. I hope this recognition signals many more years of collaboration between bee scientists across the pond.” For more information about the Order of the British Empire, go to www.royal.gov.uk/MonarchUK/Honours/OrderoftheBritishEmpire.aspx. British Ambassador to the United States Sir Peter Westmacott presented Delaplane with the honor on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Feb. 11 at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. Keith Delaplane, professor of entomology in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has been inducted into the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of his research into honeybees and their disappearance. center_img For more information about Delaplane’s work and the UGA Honey Bee Program, see ent.uga.edu/bees. Induction into the Order of the British Empire is bestowed by the British monarchy on individuals who have demonstrated distinguished service to the arts and sciences and public services. Because Delaplane is not British, he received an honorary induction, reserved for non-British nationals who have made significant contributions to British interests. Delaplane’s work, both at UGA and while working in Britain, has focused on honeybee health, preserving the dwindling population of honeybees and working to decipher the mystery of colony collapse disorder. In Georgia, he conducts a series of regional beekeeping and pollinator protection workshops and directs the UGA Honey Bee Program. “The global impact of our work in agriculture and the environment becomes more evident every day,” said Dean J. Scott Angle of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Dr. Delaplane’s critical work to help save the honeybee, a vital part of the agricultural ecosystem, is a tremendous example of how our scientists are helping solve problems here and around the world.” Delaplane has worked on and off in Britain since 2000. In addition to his UGA-based research program, he has worked as a program reviewer for the United Kingdom Natural Environment Research Council. Over the past 14 years, he has given support to local and national beekeeping associations throughout the U.K., where he is well known for his scientific and educational outreach work. He was instrumental in the formation of the Institute for Northern Ireland Beekeepers, and in 2012 and 2013 he was a visiting sabbatical scientist at the U.K.’s National Bee Unit in York, England, where he and his British colleagues conducted research on honeybee pollination, health and breeding. last_img read more

The Blue Ridge Bucket List

first_imgIf you’re anything like me, the energy you mustered behind your New Year’s Resolutions is likely starting to putter out, if it hasn’t died altogether. Daily yoga sessions quickly became every couple of days. Twice-a-week bike rides? Try twice a month. Take solace. We’re not alone. Studies show that 25 percent of Americans give up on resolutions just one week into the New Year.At the root of our commitment crisis? Ambiguity. Setting concrete goals, and realistic ones at that, helps us stay motivated. Instead of saying, “I want to get outside more,” how about, “I want to compete in the Green River Games and finish.”Make 2016 the year of no excuses. Check out these 41 regional events that are sure to make your quads crumble, your forearms scream, and your sides cramp. But no pain, no gain. No excuses.TRAIL RUNNINGShut-In Ridge Trail RunAsheville, North CarolinaNovember 5, 2016jusrunning.comOne of the oldest trail races in the Southeast, the Shut-In Ridge Trail Run has been shutting runners down since its inception 38 years ago. Though the course is just shy of 18 miles long, it’s the elements that get you—leaf strewn, often-slick singletrack weaves and winds across the Blue Ridge Parkway, relentlessly climbing some 3,000-feet to the Mount Pisgah parking area. Set that against a backdrop of unpredictable November weather, be it snow, sun, rain, or all of the above, even the best of runners will need to dig deep on this beast.Key to success: “You really just need to do the course. You don’t need to do all of your training on the course, and you don’t need to do it all at once, maybe in thirds or halves, but you gotta be good at both uphills and downhills.”—Norman Blair, Owner, Jus’ Running, Race Director, Shut-In Ridge Trail RunDirty Dog 15KKanawha State Forest, W.Va.mid-May 2016wvmtr.orgJames River ScrambleRichmond, Va.May 21, 2016dominionriverrock.comThe Naturalist 25K and 50KFranklin, N.C.early Octoberoutdoor76.comULTRA RUNNINGMount Mitchell ChallengeBlack Mountain, North CarolinaFebruary 27, 2016ultrasignup.comThis 40-mile race isn’t just a challenge against the terrain, the elements, the competitors toeing the line beside you—it’s a challenge against yourself. Start at the break of dawn in the quaint town of Black Mountain. From there, you’ll climb 4,324 feet in the first 20 miles, so be prepared to feel the burn early on. Fortunately, the killer views of Mount Mitchell and the surrounding western North Carolina mountains should be stunning enough to at least temporarily relieve you of your pain. Key words: “should be.”JFK 50-MilerBoonsboro, Md.late November 2016jfk50mile.orgThe Barkley MarathonsFrozen Head State Park, Tenn.late March 2016facebook.com/TheBarkleyMarathonsGrindstone 100Swoope, Va.October 7-9, 2016mountainpeakfitness.com/grindstoneROAD RUNNINGPeachtree Road RaceAtlanta, GEORGIAJuly 4, 2016atlantatrackclub.orgCelebrate freedom and fitness with 60,000 other runners during this 10K run. The largest road race in the United States, Peachtree is widely regarded in the South as a tradition. Kids, elders, seasoned runners, and novices alike will find their step among the crowd. Follow up your accomplishment with a night on the town. Nothing says “celebrate” more than an evening of fireworks.Course - Paul Kim_FIXKey to success: “Don’t underestimate the heat, humidity and hills. Make sure you are properly hydrated for race day, and be sure to incorporate some hills into your training.” —Rich Kenah, Executive Director, Atlanta Track Club[divider]Read On by Clicking the Page 2 Link Below[/divider][nextpage title=”Page 2″]Cooper River Bridge RunCharleston, S.C.April 2, 2016bridgerun.comUkrops Monument Avenue 10KRichmond, Va.April 9, 2016sportsbackers.orgBlue Ridge MarathonRoanoke, Va.April 16, 2016blueridgemarathon.comTEAM EVENTSmoky Mountain RelayPink Beds State Park to Nantahala Outdoor Center, North carolinaApril 22–23, 2016smr.smokymountainrelay.comNothing says team building like a 12-person (or six if you’re core), 214-mile overnight relay. Begin in the dead of night at Pink Beds State Park, located in the heart of Transylvania County and the Land of Waterfalls. Your team will be escorted by van down the course to designated exchange points until you reach the finish line at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Runners might be a little sleep-deprived and sore the next day, but the memories of camaraderie, technical trail, and panoramic Smoky Mountain vistas will last a lifetime.Key to success: “Number one, people need to come with the attitude of having fun. Just relax. Enjoy the experience of being with your teammates going into something that’s hard to do. Number two, every team needs to have at least one or two pretty good trail runners. It’s the Mountains to Sea Trail, we’re talking rocks, roots, creeks. If they’re flatlanders, they need to get some elevation training in. But, having said all of that, people still come totally unprepared and they just pull it together and have a good time!”—Jim Brendle, Race Director, Smoky Mountain RelayBlue Ridge RelayGrayson Highlands State Park, Va., to Asheville, N.C.September 9–10, 2016blueridgerelay.comBourbon ChaseLexington, Ky.October 14–15, 2016bourbonchase.comBig Bear Lake 2×12 RelayBruceton Mills, W.Va.June 11, 2016bigbearwv.comMOUNTAIN BIKINGShenandoah Mountain 100Stokesville, VirginiaSeptember 4, 2016mtntouring.comThe SM100 is the bee’s knees of endurance riding in Virginia, but be forewarned—your first attempt might not go so well. Maybe you finish, maybe you don’t. Maybe you get a flat in the first mile. Maybe you hurl at the top of Reddish Knob. Maybe you fly OTB into a line of cheering fans. Whatever the case, the SM100 is a practice in patience, the true test of humility. Once you get a taste of that 100-mile techy, rocky, rooty, steep course, you’ll be hooked to train harder and try again.Key to success: “It really helps to get comfortable with narrow off camber singletrack both climbing and descending. Equipment—get used to it! Don’t make changes before the event…like borrowing someone’s bike because it is two pounds lighter—big mistake! You should ride often—everyday if possible and enjoy it! You don’t need to go ride 100 miles to be able to do this 100-mile event. Chris Eatough, Jeremiah Bishop, and Sue Haywood didn’t and you shouldn’t either. Get really comfortable and efficient with your three- to four-hour ride putting down steady power.”—Chris Scott, Race Director, Shenandoah Mountain 100Off-Road Assault on MitchellOld Fort, N.C.July 31, 2016blueridgeadventures.netTransylvania EpicState College, Penn.late May 2016outdoorexperience.org/tseRevenge of the RattlesnakeDavis, W.Va.late September 2016blackwaterbicycleassociation.wordpress.comROAD & GRAVEL CYCLINGAssault on Mt. MitchellSpartanburg, South CarolinaMay 16, 2016theassaults.comPain loves company. Tackle this 102.7-mile ride at your own pace, without the pressure of competition, in the presence of 750 world riders of every caliber. Novice road riders will appreciate the logistical ease of this century, with 10 designated rest stops and van shuttles from the finish on Mount Mitchell back to the start in downtown Spartanburg, while even the strongest riders will get their asses handed to them during the 10,000+ vertical feet of climbing. Interestingly, this event lands on a Monday. What better excuse to play hooky than a 100-mile bike ride?DSC_4193 copy_FIXKey to success: “Get time in the saddle. Work some training rides into your schedule that cover 80 to 100 percent of the distance of the Assault. Climb if possible in your area and get comfortable riding in groups. Remember patience. It is a long day. Remember why you ride a bike—have fun.” —Katie Jordan, Event Director, The Assaults[divider]Read On by Clicking the Page 3 Link Below[/divider][nextpage title=”Page 3″]Alpine Gran FondoHarrisonburg, Va.September 25, 2016alpineloopgranfondo.comStokesville Strade Gravel GrinderStokesville, Va.March 5, 2016mtntouring.comGravel Race Up Spruce KnobCircleville, W.Va.July 16, 2016spruceknobcycling.blogspot.comCLIMBINGTriple Crown Bouldering SeriesHorse Pens 40, Alabama, Stone Fort, Tennessee, Hound Ears, North carolinaOctober–November, 2016triplecrownbouldering.orgIn 2002, regional climbers Jim Horton and Chad Wykle simultaneously latched onto an idea that would unite the Southeastern bouldering community and challenge the way climbers view access—they called it the Triple Crown of bouldering. Located on alternating weekends throughout October and into early November, the three-part competition takes place at boulderfields once closed off to the public altogether. Through no shortage of communication, negotiations, and a successful decade-plus of landowner-climber relationships, the bouldering series has flourished.Craggin Classic Dyno CompFayetteville, W.Va.September 17, 2016cragginclassic.comDominion RiverrockRichmond, Va.May 20–21, 2016dominionriverrock.comThe Big Lick Showdown Roanoke, Va.TBD 2016riverrockclimbing.comMULTISPORTGreen River GamesSaluda, North carolinaMay 21–22, 2016greenrivergames.comThe Silverback, more than any other race in the region, is the ultimate multisport event. For the past three years, an increasing number of competitors have been tackling this beast of the East in the dead of summer, when the humidity, let alone the 24-plus miles of technical class V paddling, mountain biking, and trail running, is enough to make you crumble. This year, however, the Green River Games is slated for late May. Instead of stifling heat, racers may now be faced with high flows and muddy trails. Despite its reputation as a sufferfest, the Silverback is growing in popularity. Think you have what it takes?Key to success: “Start training early and train specifically on going from kayak to bike, bike to run. On day of, get a good start on the kayaking event and don’t blow out on the mountain bike. Save some for the run.” —John Grace, Race Director, Green River GamesCaptain Thurmond’s ChallengeFayetteville, W.Va.early August 2016nrgorgegames.comRussell Fork BaddlunElkhorn City, Ky.early October 2016rfbaddlun.blogspot.comJerry’s BaddleSaluda, N.C.April 30, 2016jerrysbaddle.orgWHITEWATER KAYAKINGThe Green RaceSaluda, North carolinaNovember 5, 2016facebook.com/thegreenrivernarrowsraceWhat started in 1996 as a grassroots race organized by the Green River Narrows’ most core paddlers has since emerged into the Superbowl of kayaking. Held the first Saturday of November, more than 500 spectators alone hike or paddle their way down to witness one of the world’s most action-packed sections of whitewater. Of course, navigating one half mile of class V whitewater at race pace lends itself to no shortage of memorable moments that are part brilliant athleticism, part carnage. Nonetheless, the Green Race remains a Southeastern staple in the world of whitewater, so come out and spectate or spank the Monkey for yourself.Key to success: “Get a long boat and get as many days on the river as you can.” —John Grace, Race Director, Green RaceGreat Falls RaceMclean, va.July 9, 2016facebook.com/greatfallsraceUpper Yough RaceFriendsville, Md.October 1, 2016fallsrace.comLord of the ForkElkhorn City, Ky.October 22, 2016russellfork.infoSUPNRG SUP RaceFayetteville, West virginiaSeptember 18, 2016adventuresonthegorge.comInitially regarded as nothing more than a boaters’ hobby, the sport of stand up paddleboarding has seen an evolution unto its own in the last five years. Hosted the Sunday of Gauley Fest, the New River Gorge SUP Race pays homage to SUP’s grassroots beginning and tightknit community. Divided into two races, Attainment and Downriver Whitewater, this event is welcoming to paddlers of any ability level and provides free drinks and tacos to all of its racers. Make the most of your next Gauley Fest weekend and check out the free demos and instruction available prior to the race.NewRiverGorgeSUP.jpg5_FIXKey to success: “The key to success in this race is getting in some practice laps to know the upstream eddies for the attainment race and the downstream choices in lines for the whitewater race. Another key to success is board choice. Racers are required to use the same board for both races so choose a fast attainment board that will also offer stability in the downriver rapids.” —Melanie Seiler Hames, Race Organizer, NRG SUP RaceTuck Fest SUP Cross/Enduro/FlatwaterCharlotte, N.C.April 22–24, 2016tuckfest.orgBattle of the BroadAsheville, N.C.TBDbattleofthebroad.com6th Annual Golden Nugget Paddle N’ PartyMount Pleasant, S.C.May 21, 2016paddleguru.comJUST FOR FUNCupid’s Undie RunAtlanta, Ga., Charleston, S.C., Charlotte, N.C., Nashville, Tenn., Pittsburgh, Penn., Raleigh, N.C., Virginia Beach, Va., Washington, D.C.Charlotte_JimMcQuire4_FIXTBD 2016cupidsundierun.comNot everything has to be hardcore. Push beyond your comfort zone by stripping down to your undies with thousands of total strangers! The best part about the humiliation? You’ll be parading your bad self downtown (or uptown if you’re in Charlotte), in the middle of winter. Okay, maybe that is hardcore. No matter, the run is “brief,” and dancing is encouraged. Even if your boss does see your tighty-whities on the local news station, at least you can say it was for a cause. Proceeds from Cupid’s Undie Runs support the Children’s Tumor Foundation, a non-profit aimed at fighting neurofibromatosis (NF).last_img read more

Colombia is Free of Illegal Flights

first_imgBy Marian Romero/Diálogo October 20, 2017 The Colombian authorities carried out an operation to intercept an unauthorized aircraft in the airspace above the López de Micay municipality, in the department of Cauca, on August 8th. The air defense and surveillance system used by the Colombian Air Force (FAC, per its Spanish acronym) detected three unauthorized aircraft; two in the Caribbean which ended up not entering Colombian airspace, and a single-engine Cessna 210 that was identified as an illegal flight. The plane did not have identification or a flight plan, and it was traveling at an altitude of 200 feet, considered dangerous for that type of aircraft, which, under normal conditions, is supposed to fly at 3,000 feet. It also ignored the security warnings and appeals that are done in these cases. The plane had the capacity to transport approximately 700 kilograms of cocaine. “At first, it was determined that it was in violation of Colombia’s sovereign air space and it was classified as a suspect aircraft. Once it was confirmed that it did not have a tail number and that it had no intention to communicate, it was established that it was a hostile aircraft. At that point, the security protocol was activated to carry out the interdiction,” Colonel Jorge Saavedra, the director of Air Defense for the FAC, explained. Air interdiction process Colombia and the United States government are signatories to an Air Bridge Denial (ABD) agreement, an air interception accord that strengthens the Colombian government’s capacity for eradicating the illegal trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic substances by air. This program’s priority is to intercept suspect and hostile aircraft, forcing them to land so that the competent authorities can then take the necessary measures. The ABD agreement sets forth three phases to prevent the loss of innocent lives in the air or on the ground: 1). Tracking and monitoring aircraft suspected of being involved in illegal trafficking. In this phase, an effort is made to establish radio communication and/or send visual signals to the aircraft to order it to land at an assigned location that is suitable for a safe landing. 2). The use of warning shots with tracer bullets under prior authorization by the FAC commander. At the same time, efforts to establish communication with the aircraft are ongoing. 3). Firing weapons against the intercepted aircraft in the air or on the ground if it does not respond to the communications. In this phase, the goal is to disable the aircraft to force its landing, and if it is on the ground, to prevent it from taking off. “It is essential to carry out these procedures word for word, without skipping any of the phases, to ensure the safety of civil aviation and to avoid operational errors,” FAC Major Álvaro Moreno Aranzales, the officer in charge of the mission in López de Micay, explained. “We use the gradual application of force to protect life, which is a priority. In this case, the procedure was carried out on a beach where the aircraft had landed. When it didn’t respond to our appeals, we had to disable it.” The beach where it had illegally landed is uninhabited, just like most of the territory in López de Micay. That area has about 13,000 residents, which is a small number considering its size, 3,241 square kilometers of land. “The beaches of the Colombian Pacific are very wide, and criminal organizations have set up landing sites in an attempt to violate our air space, even though landing on sand aboard a Cessna 210 presents a high risk,” Col. Saavedra confirmed. “We know from experience the places that are used for drug trafficking; therefore, they are subjected to special monitoring by air and ground detection units.” The operation was conducted through the FAC Command and Control Center, which dispatched early warning and surveillance aircraft from several combat air commands for the surveillance and interdiction. To carry out the operation, an SR-560 intelligence plane piloted by Maj. Moreno was used, as well as an AC-47 fighter, known as The Ghost, and two A-29 Super Tucanos. Shielded against drug trafficking According to FAC, by 2003, 700 illegal flights per year were occurring on average. Today, the airspace is completely free from these kinds of incidents because aircraft attempting to violate Colombia’s sovereignty are neutralized. Three attempts to violate the nation’s airspace—including the one neutralized in López de Micay—have taken place in 2017, but they were all detected and intercepted. “Today we can confirm that 100 percent of Colombian airspace is protected by FAC,” Col. Saavedra assured. “With our new early alert and detection system, plus the reinforcement of our capacities all these years, we can guarantee that there is no drug trafficking by air in Colombia.” To achieve this result, Colombia has bolstered its intelligence and has formed alliances with all the nations of the region to maintain their mutual assistance and ensure the stability of their airspace. “The main challenge that drug trafficking poses to us is that it changes daily. Because this is transnational crime, it’s important for our nations to be connected and for us to anticipate the actions that the criminals may be planning to carry out,” Col. Saavedra added. “We’ve detected cases of ultralight aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles, but their cargo capacity is minimal—just one or two kilos—and they’ve been intercepted. The biggest challenge is at sea, because the cargo capacity through that avenue is far greater—10 tons—and detection is more complicated in the ocean environment,” he concluded.last_img read more

Security Mutual and DoubleTree are ‘going blue’

first_imgBINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Broome County is officially “going blue”for the month of March to kick off Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. “Working with employers to develop paid time off policies for cancer screening is really a good business decision. It saves lives, and it saves money,” said Public Health Educator Mary McFadden. To learn more about the Cancer Prevention in Action program, call 1-866-442-2262, or visit their website by clicking here. In addition, the Broome County Health Department’s Community Cancer Prevention in Action Program (CPiA) is currently working with local businesses to help prevent cancer. Security Mutual and the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Binghamton will light their buildings blue to promote preventative cancer screenings. So far, the Broome County YMCA and YWCA have both adopted paid time off policies in the workplace. CPiA helps local businesses develop paid time off programs, allowing their employees to receive early detection screenings without worrying about their paychecks.last_img read more

Britain puts $10 million into study on long term effects of COVID-19

first_imgRead also: Delirium, depression, anxiety, PTSD: The less discussed effects of COVID-19The Department of Health said 10,000 people would take part in the study, which is being led by the University of Leicester and hospitals in the city.Lung and blood samples of the patients will be taken and they will also be assessed by advanced imaging, and the findings will be used to develop new forms of personalized treatment.Topics : Britain is putting 8.4 million pounds ($10.49 million) into a new study to examine the long-term effects of COVID-19 on patients, the health ministry said on Sunday.The novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19 has been observed to cause many health impacts for some patients beyond immediate respiratory issues, but with other infected people asymptomatic, the workings of the virus are not fully understood.”As we continue our fight against this global pandemic, we are learning more and more about the impact the disease can have, not only on immediate health, but longer-term physical and mental health too,” health minister Matt Hancock said.last_img read more

Ministries of transportation, public works have spent less than half of annual budgets

first_imgMinister Budi blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for hampering the ministry’s budget realization, as health protocols and large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) had halted progress on infrastructure projects.“The pandemic has slowed down our budget realization as it disrupts infrastructure development,” Budi told lawmakers, adding that the measures had also led the ministry to cancel its employee training program and had disrupted its nontax revenue (PNBP) collection efforts.Experts have called for speedier state budget disbursement to aid the country’s economic recovery, as the COVID-19 pandemic puts continuous pressure on people’s purchasing power.Read also: Slow budget realization drag on economic recovery: Experts The Transportation Ministry and the Public Works and Housing Ministry, in charge of infrastructure projects, have spent less than 50 percent of their respective budgets as of Monday, top officials reported, amid calls to expedite government spending during the pandemic.Transportation Ministry had spent 45.2 percent of its budget, that is Rp 16.3 trillion (US$1.1 billion) of a total of Rp 36.1 trillion, by the end of August, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said in a House of Representatives hearing on Monday.Meanwhile, the public works ministry had spent 48.1 percent of its allocated spending as of Monday, or Rp 41 trillion of a total budget of Rp 85.7 trillion, according to Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono. The Indonesian economy suffered its sharpest downturn since the 1998 Asian financial crisis in the second quarter of 2020, when its gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 5.32 percent year-on-year (yoy), according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS).However, government spending, which is expected to anchor the economy and increase purchasing power amid cooling private sector activity, plunged 6.9 percent yoy in the second quarter.In an unusual projection of anger, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo lashed out at his ministers on Aug. 3 over the Cabinet’s poor utilization of funds allocated for the country’s COVID-19 response, which at the time stood at 20 percent of the total Rp 695.2 trillion.The Transportation Ministry has set itself a target to spend 96 percent of its budget by the end of fiscal year 2020.Furthermore, minister Budi said he planned to reallocate Rp 700 billion of the ministry’s unused funds.“There are funds we haven’t used that could be reallocated. We have sent the budget reallocation proposal to the Finance Ministry and are currently waiting for approval,” he said.He also pledged to improve the ministry’s coordination with other agencies to streamline land acquisition and bureaucratic procedures to expedite the spending.Meanwhile, the public works ministry aims to spend 97.5 percent of its total budget by the end of fiscal year 2020.“We have also spent Rp7.16 trillion of the Rp12 trillion budget allocated in the National Economic Recovery [PEN] program for labor-intensive projects,” Minister Basuki said during the hearing.Basuki was referring to the ministry’s allocated funding for its cash-for-work (PKT) program and labor-intensive work program, at Rp 11.5 trillion and Rp 654 billion, respectively, to provide jobs for an estimated total of 680,000 workers amid increasing unemployment during the health crisis.Read also: Ministry to expand public employment scheme in Q3 infrastructure projectsThe ministry planned to “transform” a number of regular infrastructure projects into labor-intensive schemes, Basuki explained earlier this year.The ministry had employed around 402,000 people under labor-intensive projects and PKT programs to date, he said on Monday.In an effort to expedite spending, Basuki said the ministry would accelerate infrastructure spending in the third quarter and commence programs that were supposed to start in the fourth quarter.“We are accelerating our labor-intensive projects and moving some of our completion targets from the fourth quarter to the third quarter,” he said.Topics :last_img read more