Network goes live

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Network goes liveOn 1 May 2002 in Personnel Today The SSDA has recently appointed its first chef executive.  Elaine Essery asks new recruit ChristopherDuff to identify his prioritiesChristopher Duff, first chief executive of the SSDA (the Sector SkillsDevelopment Agency), is under no illusion about the magnitude of the tasks thatlie ahead. He knows the pressure is on, as stakeholders watch closely to seehow the SSDA shapes up and, under its stewardship, what impact the SectorSkills Council network will have on skills and productivity. When Duff took up his appointment on 19 April, only five trailblazer SSCswere appointed and his staff numbered just two transferees from the NTONational Council. So until the new body is able to take them over, DfES projectteams in Sheffield and London will continue to carry out SSDA functions. Not surprisingly, Duff has two main priorities: to keep the work being doneby the trailblazer SSCs and potential SSCs moving forward; and to get his ownteam up and running as quickly as possible. “A lot of good work is going on with the trailblazers and manypotential SSCs which are coming up quite quickly. I want to keep all that goingand keep it productive,” he says. Duff is unable to say when more SSCs are likely to be licensed, but hasencouraging words for bidders frustrated by the department’s apparent inertia.”We’re not in the business of holding people back,” he maintains.”If SSCs are getting up to the standards we’re looking for, we’ll pushthem on as fast as possible.” During the transitionary period, the SSDA is working with about 25expressions of interest, to help would-be SSCs meet requirements, and isexamining bids from NTOs for interim funding, which is available until Augustto ensure essential work continues. This process will help identify potentiallystrong aspects of the network and highlight where there may be weaknesses andpinpoint gaps. “We need to listen to what people are telling us they absolutely needto do in this period,” says Duff. “Once we’ve gone through all thebids for transitional funding, we’ll take stock of what we’ve committed to,what we need to commit to and what the likely issues are for the future. It’swhere there are worries over gaps in the network that I’d be mostconcerned.” The other priority for Duff is recruiting a capable team. He hopes to havehis four directors in position during May and June, and to advertise other jobsby the end of May. Over the next few months, the SSDA will progressively pick up more of itswork from the interim project team. “My plan is that, by September, the SSDA will have the capability totake over the running of all necessary functions. We’ll have the key staff inplace and will have made that transition,” he says. By September, the SSDA will also have moved into its new offices inWath-upon-Dearne, a regeneration area north of Sheffield. The full complementof 40 to 50 staff will not be reached until later. So what does its chief executive see as the role of the SSDA? It is, in a nutshell, to ensure that SSCs are effective and influential. Therole combines monitoring and active support. “On the one hand, we need tojudge the effectiveness and credibility of SSCs and make recommendations to theSecretary of State. On the other, we will be very supportive in getting thatnetwork up and running and working right alongside SSCs and would-be SSCs sothat everyone can be as effective as possible,” Duff explains. “It’snot in our interests to sit back and monitor – we’ll be actively working withthe network.” The SSDA will add value by identifying good practice, developing frameworksfor research, and highlighting and co-ordinating work around cross-sectorskills. Duff also wants to see a congruence with other bodies. “Crucially, andparticularly in our first two years, we will be co-ordinating the influence ofthe SSCs and the wider network with bodies that are providing learning – LSCs,UfI, RDAs – then drilling down from them directly to those bodies that areproviding learning on the ground, such as further education colleges andwork-based learning providers. I want to see SSCs having clout with theGovernment, suppliers of learning and other stakeholders – and I think theywill. The SSDA can facilitate that.” One way of doing so is through its board members, who were being recruitedat the time of going to press. “We’ve had a very good quality field to choose from and I’m confidentthat we’ll have a significant and influential board,” Duff says.”That will be a direct route into employers and networks of employers.There will be a lot of leadership and support so we can get out and harnessemployer enthusiasm.” Future perspective Duff sees employer involvement as a key factor in tackling the skills andproductivity agenda from both a national and sectoral perspective. He aims todevelop a strategic, forward-looking approach to addressing the main issues forthe future, rather than simply dealing with the present. Anxious to retain those employers who supported NTOs, Duff sees a greatopportunity to reach out to more influential employers and get them involved inthe new network. “With capable, strategic, well-funded SSCs, employers will be moremotivated and see a bigger return from their involvement. I have faith thattheir voices are going to be heard once things are up and running, but I’m wellaware that there are some transition issues we need to work on.” For Duff, the aim is to build on the strengths of the NTO network but makethat big step into something very new and different. And he is utterly positive.”I buy into the vision,” he says. “I absolutely think it’sdo-able and we can make a difference.” last_img read more

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USS George Washington Completes Sea Trials

first_imgThe Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) returned to its homeport of Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka May 16, after completing sea trials.Sea trials is the testing phase of a U.S. Navy warship designed to measure a vessel’s performance and general seaworthiness.During this five-day evolution, George Washington completed drop tests on both anchors; conducted several aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) countermeasures drills and high-speed runs and rudder swing checks; as well as on-loaded both JP-5 jet fuel and various ordnance. “Sea trials are where we put the past six months of maintenance to the test,” said Capt. David Lausman, USS George Washington commanding officer. “The crew worked extremely hard to make this warship the best in the Navy, and I could not be happier to see the way the crew and this ship have responded.”George Washington’s Deck department spent the first day of sea trials conducting anchor drop tests that tested the durability and integrity of the ship’s two 30-ton anchors.The anchor drop tests were conducted by 40 deck Sailors and involved lowering both anchors more than 60 feet to the sea below. These tests not only ensured the stability of the anchor and chain, but familiarized the crew with this dangerous evolution. “This was the first time we released the anchor in quite some time,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class John McNeil, from Conway, S.C. “I feel that our Sailors gained a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge. And that will translate into them getting the job done faster and safer when they are called upon.”George Washington was coated with foam from a chemical fire-fighting agent known as AFFF. This was a part of a two-day long test of the ship’s counter-measure washdown system conducted by the ship’s engineering department.Over three football fields of AFFF covered the ship, but all hands picked-up brooms to join the ship’s air department and scrubbed the aircraft carrier from stem to stern.George Washington also conducted rudder swing checks and high-speed runs to test not only the ship’s seaworthiness, but the crew’s ability to perform in extreme high seas conditions. The ship maneuvered approximately 60,000 tons of steel and traveled more than 30 knots while conducting sharp turns. George Washington also conducted a ‘raging bull’ maneuver that began with the ship moving at top speed and then braking to a complete stop.The crew worked diligently for a full two days of replenishments-at-sea (RAS) and vertical replenishments (VERTREP) with the USNS Tippacanoe (T-AO-199) and USNS Earhart (T-AKE-6). The ship received more than 1.9 million gallons of JP-5 jet fuel and approximately 3.7 million pounds of ammunition.Each department contributed to the ship’s overall mission readiness by conducting its own set of evolutions and tasks – including the ship’s Air department, which is preparing for Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5’s arrival. “We’re using our time wisely,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Yves Marlo Aguirre, from Manila, Philippines. “When we embark the air wing, we’ll be ready to go. “CVW-5 will combine with George Washington to support U.S. 7th Fleet operations during its upcoming patrol.The ship is working diligently to complete sea trials and pre-deployment preparations before returning to Yokosuka, Japan.George Washington was commissioned July 4, 1992, and is the fifth of the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Aircraft carriers exercise the Navy core capabilities of power projection, forward presence, humanitarian assistance, deterrence, sea control and maritime security.[mappress]Naval Today Staff , May 17, 2012; Image: navy USS George Washington Completes Sea Trials May 17, 2012 Back to overview,Home naval-today USS George Washington Completes Sea Trials View post tag: Washington View post tag: USS View post tag: Georgecenter_img View post tag: completes View post tag: sea View post tag: trials Industry news Share this articlelast_img read more

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Spain-based Aegis destroyer starts fifth patrol

first_img Spain-based Aegis destroyer starts fifth forward-deployed patrol Authorities US Navy’s forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) got underway Naval Station Rota, Spain, on April 2 to start its fifth patrol in the US 6th Fleet area of operations.“We are excited to be heading out on our fifth patrol. The crew has completed a lot of hard work and training while we were in port over the last four months, and the ship is ready to meet all tasking,” said Cmdr. John V. Tobin, commanding officer, USS Porter.Porter is deploying after completing a 60-day Surface Incremental Availability (SIA) at the Rota naval base in Spain in June last year. The ship is one of four US Navy forward deployed guided-missile destroyers in charge of supporting NATO’s regional security and ballistic missile defense efforts. View post tag: Naval Station Rota View post tag: USS Porter Back to overview,Home naval-today Spain-based Aegis destroyer starts fifth forward-deployed patrol View post tag: US Navy April 4, 2018 Share this articlelast_img read more

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Letter to Editor: Do We Need a Bookmobile in O.C.?

first_imgDo we really need a bookmobile in Ocean City?About a month or two ago, it was reported in this newspaper the Ocean City Free Public Library purchased a brand-new bookmobile. One OPRA inquiry later, I learned it cost $110,000.I soon met with Karen Mahar, library director, and Jennifer Shirk, president of the library’s Board of Trustees. I found them to be polite and courteous in reaction to my assertion the bookmobile was a bad idea. I followed that meeting by speaking during public comment at the monthly library board meeting yesterday.I said Ocean City is 7 miles long and an a half-mile wide for a total of approximately 3.5 square miles. In addition to the public library, we have a library in the primary, intermediate and high schools — or four libraries in 3.5 square miles.  I stated that bookmobiles were supposed to be for rural communities (i.e. geographically much larger) and poorly funded communities that can’t afford satellite locations — descriptions that don’t match Ocean City. I said given the trustees were swimming against the tide, maybe they should have leased the bookmobile initially, in case it doesn’t work out. Why didn’t the trustees hedge?I reminded the trustees that when the Community Center was expanded (the very building our library is a part of), John Flood introduced into the public dialogue the simple and very accurate phrase: “Concept, Design, Fund, Build (or in this case purchase).” How ironic.The concept behind the bookmobile, I think, is to promote the library and reading. So go into the community. No truck needed. So far on the list are just a few stops: the Public Housing Authority, Wesley Shores, American Legion, to name a few. The Public Housing Authority has a large public room. Go read to young people and promote the library in that room. Install a broadband line or two. When it rains you won’t have to cancel a visit.  Many residents at Wesley Shores are not mobile. Give them broadband lines if there is a need. The list of library books is online. If they need books, just bring them books from the whole library.At the very meeting I attended, one trustee questioned the marketing of the bookmobile as well as its usage. As he said, there was no surprise here as the purchase was a long time coming. Apparently, the bookmobile needs a driver. No Design. He was really questioning the rollout. Poor planning.My conclusion is this was a poorly conceived venture for the library by well-meaning people who didn’t adhere to Concept, Design, Fund and Purchase (or lease). The bookmobile is a “square peg for a round hole” for Ocean City. It doesn’t fit. Four libraries in 3.5 square miles with the public library nearly in the middle of the town. What were they thinking?Stay with your core — we have a very fine public library that is well-attended with numerous programs, computers, speakers and a vast array of books, magazines and newspapers. The library is amply funded and well-run. It is a credit to the staff, its board and the community at large.Michael HinchmanOcean City, NJlast_img read more

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Guidance: NHS Choice Framework

first_imgThe framework brings together information about patients’ rights to choice about their health care, where to get more information to help make a choice, and how they can complain if they have not been offered choice.In some circumstances the patient has legal rights to choice and they must be given these choices by law. In other circumstances they do not have a legal right to choice but should be offered choice about their care, depending on what’s available locally.last_img

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Odds & Ends: Bobby Cannavale Joins Ant-Man & More

first_imgHere’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. NPH Bids Auf Wiedersehen to Hedwig On August 17, Neil Patrick Harris pulled the wig down from the shelf one last time in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The Tony winner took to Instagram to document his transformation into the rock goddess, from sausage-curled head to gold heel-adorned foot. Just before taking the stage one final time, Harris, as Ms. Hedwig, signed off with a farewell smooch. Tony nominee Andrew Rannells will don the glitter and fishnets at the Belasco Theatre beginning August 20. Get Ruthless (and Dragged Out) for a Cause The pint-sized Sophia Anne Caruso, who appeared in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live! and Smash, will lead a new production of Ruthless! The Musical to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. She’ll take on the role of the diabolically talented Tina Denmark, a part originated by Laura Bell Bundy and understudied by Britney Spears and Natalie Portman. Ruthless! composer, Marvin Laird, will play the domineering agent Sylvia St. Coix. For select performances, lyricist and book writer Joel Paley will play the eight-year-old Tina. We love us some camp. Also in the cast are Kim Maresca, Katie Sparer, Delaney Arizala and Rita McKenzie. The show will play Stage 72 at the Triad on September 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 15, 19, 20 and 22. Star Files Bobby Cannavale & More Will Get Buggy Two-time Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale has joined the cast of Ant-Man, the latest Marvel action feature, Deadline reports. The Peyton Reed-helmed film, which begins filming on August 18, will also feature stage vets Paul Rudd, Corey Stoll and Wood Harris. Ant-Man, which follows a con man with the superpower to shrink in size while maintaining strength, is currently slated for a July 2015 release. View Commentscenter_img Leslie Bibb Joins The Odd Couple Screen actress Leslie Bibb has joined the cast of the upcoming CBS series based on The Odd Couple, TVLine reports. She will play Casey, the model sister to Lindsay Sloane’s character, Emily. Bibb appeared in reasons to be happy, Neil LaBute’s follow-up to his reasons to be pretty, last year off-Broadway. As previously reported, the modern take on the classic Neil Simon play will star Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon, as well as Wendell Pierce and Yvette Nicole Brown. Debbie Reynolds Receives Lifetime Achievement Award Debbie Reynolds, who has earned the moniker “America’s Sweetheart” over the course of her nearly seven-decade career, will be honored with the SAG Life Achievement Award at the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 25, 2015. Reynolds, whose notable film credits include the movie musicals Singin’ in the Rain and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (for which she received an Oscar nod,) garnered a Tony nomination for Irene. She also appeared on Broadway in Woman of the Year and her revue, Debbie. Bobby Cannavale Neil Patrick Harrislast_img read more

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Democratic candidates for governor debate on VPT April 1, 7:30

first_imgLive from the Old Labor Hall in Barre on Thursday, April 1, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., the five Democratic candidates for governor will meet in their first statewide televised debate.  Airing live on Vermont Public Television, the forum is sponsored by Working Vermont Coalition, a collaboration of Vermont labor unions.The moderator of “Working Vermont’s Democratic Primary Debate” will be Marselis Parsons, former news director at WCAX-TV.VPT will broadcast the event statewide and webcast it on www.vpt.org(link is external), where anyone anywhere with access to Web-based video can watch it.  During the debate, there will be a live Web chat on www.vpt.org(link is external).  Journalists Shay Totten of Seven Days and Anne Galloway of vtdigger.org will host the chat, weigh in with their thoughts and invite viewers to join the conversation.Coverage of the debate is part of VPT’s election-year content, intended to help voters make informed choices.  Senior executive producer is Joe Merone.Source: VPT.last_img read more

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Baseball goes to bat for Vermont farmers hit by Irene

first_imgOn August 28, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene dumped torrential rain onto the Green Mountains, and Vermonters became victims of historic flooding. Among those who suffered the most devastating losses were the state’s farmers. As part of the nation-wide effort to help, Sam Lincoln and Buster Olney, brothers who grew up on a Randolph Center dairy farm, are raising funds to aid farmers in need through what is being called Going to Bat for Vermont Farmers. The fundraising effort includes an online auction at www.BattingForVermont.com(link is external), a November 12th Baseball Roundtable being held at Vermont Technical College, and direct donations. All proceeds raised through Going to Bat for Vermont Farmers will be donated to the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund. The fund was established by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and The Vermont Community Foundation in the aftermath of Irene and makes grants directly to farmers affected by the storm. Some of the best minds in baseball will be at the November 12th Roundtable event. Theo Epstein, General Manager of the Boston Red Sox, will join Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman and Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington ‘ as well as longtime baseball reporter Peter Gammons, a descendant of Ethan Allen ‘ for a discussion that includes a question-and-answer session with the audience about their teams, their sport, and offseason plans. There will be limited seating, in three different tiers: VIP Seating, which includes access to a cocktail hour with Epstein, Cashman, Huntington, Gammons and Olney; Premier Seating; and General Admission. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, October 12th online at www.BattingForVermont.com(link is external). The online auction includes memorabilia donated by players, teams, and other celebrities:·         Autographed jerseys and baseballs, including those of Albert Pujols, Stephen Strasburg, Jose Bautista, and Hall of Famers.·         A round of golf with ESPN’s John Kruk.·         A behind-the-scenes tour at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.·         Tickets to a Toby Keith concert, with a backstage meet-and-greet.·         A meet-and-greet with Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello, whose family owns a Vermont home.·         Ticket packages for several teams. Select memorabilia will be on display at the November 12th Roundtable, and there will be a special presentation for some people instrumental in the flood aftermath. Neal Huntington grew up on a New Hampshire farm. Peter Gammons is an analyst for MLB Network and NESN, and formerly of the Boston Globe and ESPN. Theo Epstein has been the Boston general manager for a decade, and in that time, the Red Sox have won two World Series. Brian Cashman has been general manager of the Yankees for the last 14 seasons, and in that time, the Yankees have won four World Series. The Vermont Community Foundation is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. It was started in 1986 with a mission to grow philanthropy in Vermont and ensure that Vermont nonprofits have the resources they need to be effective. Since then, the Foundation has grown to include more than 600 funds established by individuals, businesses, and organizations for a broad range of charitable purposes. The Community Foundation awards approximately $10 million dollars a year in grants, thanks to the donors who work under its umbrella. Additionally, the Foundation offers planned giving, nonprofit agency endowment management, and other services that help charitable partners achieve their missions. For more information, visit www.vermontcf.org(link is external).last_img read more

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Pro Bono Awards—The Law Firm Commendation

first_imgPro Bono Awards—The Law Firm Commendation February 15, 2004 Regular News Pro Bono Awards—The Law Firm Commendation THE LAW FIRM COMMENDATION Presented by the Chief Justice The purpose of the Law Firm Commendation is to recognize, when appropriate, a law firm which has demonstrated a significant contribution in the delivery of legal services to individuals or groups on a pro bono basis.Unlike the Tobias Simon and Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Awards, the Law Firm Commendation is not an annual award. Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, P.A., MiamiKozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, P.A. (KT&T) is an AV rated law firm, which specializes in complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy. KT&T focuses its litigation practice in the areas of complex commercial contract and tort litigation, class actions, and securities fraud. The firm also represents some of the largest companies and lending institutions in the country when they are involved in litigation, workouts, and bankruptcy matters in Florida. KT&T serves as special counsel for a number of South Florida corporations, banks, and prominent individuals. In addition, the firm’s attorneys represent clients in matters involving professional malpractice, lender liability, foreclosure, and intellectual property/unfair competition.The firm was founded 21 years ago, and since has grown from three to 18 attorneys, all of whom have a long-standing commitment to pro bono legal service and community involvement.KT&T has a standing policy that all attorneys receive up to 20 hours a year in credit toward their billing requirement for time spent providing pro bono legal service to the poor. Over the years, KT&T attorneys collectively have spent thousands of hours representing the legal needs of the poor in the South Florida community. KT&T, as a firm and its attorneys individually, wholeheartedly recognize the obligation and opportunity to help those who would otherwise be unable to effectively access the courts because of their financial circumstances.KT&T attorneys also dedicate time to pro bono legal services through bar activities. John Kozyak serves on the American College of Bankruptcy Pro Bono Committee and raises funds for the Put Something Back Program. Laurel Isicoff has served as chair of the Pro Bono Task Force of the Bankruptcy Bar Association of the Southern District of Florida, and helped develop the curriculum for the Bankruptcy Assistance Clinic at St. Thomas University.Isicoff also helped establish and serves as a director and vice president of the Bankruptcy Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) corporation established by the BBASF, which raises funds from the legal community to support pro bono bankruptcy services in the Southern District of Florida. KT&T was an initial donor to the foundation, and through its five- year pledge, helps underwrite the foundation’s efforts.KT&T provides scholarships to minority law students who excel in the litigation skills program at the University of Miami School of Law, partially funded by teaching services donated by Harley Tropin and Ken Hartmann.Kozyak and other KT&T lawyers were instrumental in reviving and expanding the mentoring program for minority law school students at UM School of Law. The law school changed the program’s name to the “John W. Kozyak Minority Mentoring Program.”Kozyak and Isicoff are also leaders in The Florida Bar Equal Opportunities Law Section and have initiated steps within the EOLS to expand the mentoring program to all other law schools in Florida.KT&T lawyers also devote hundreds of hours a year to community service. Several serve on the boards of their synagogues and churches, mentor or teach young children in the community, and serve on citizen advisory committees.While KT&T and its individual attorneys have received public recognition and awards for their service, each continues to devote countless hours, not for recognition, but because they want to. Service has been, continues to be, and will always be, a significant aspect and a defining purpose of KT&T and its attorneys.last_img read more

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Airbnb is moving to fight problematic guests

first_imgAirbnb also announced it would introduce new standards of guest behavior in early January to combat excessive noise, unauthorized guests, smoking and leaving a pile of garbage behind. And the hosts will get a set of new rules. For example, they may even be kicked off the platform if they trade positive reviews or leave negative reviews to competitors. Many hosts have encountered guests who threaten them with a negative review if they do not receive certain bonuses or a discount on the price of accommodation. To put an end to this, Airbnb is currently introducing a series of new rules to protect hosts from false reviews. Some of these steps resulted from host feedback. “Therefore, at the beginning of 2020, we will introduce improved standards for guests who set higher expectations from a reliable community”, They said from Airbnb in a blog post. Among other things, it changes the way Airbnb handles guest and host reviews on the platform. Airbnb support agents are authorized to remove posts and ratings resulting from irrelevant, biased, and false reviews, and may completely deny access to the platform to all users who have repeatedly committed a particular offense. Source / photo: Skift; Airbnb It is often written about tougher sanctions for fraudsters who publish accommodation ads on Airbnb that do not exist or do not resemble photos and descriptions from the platform. But Airbnb is now announcing a series of measures to protect hosts from guest misbehavior, reports Shift. According to Airbnb, examples of irrelevant reviews may be from guests who did not show up at the booked accommodation for reasons unrelated to the host and decided to criticize the experience. Other irrelevant reviews may include a description of the appearance of the host, public transportation, or “the kind of people in the neighborhood”. The rule will give hosts the option to cancel the remaining nights if they cannot resolve the issue with the guest. The hosts can also file a claim for damages.last_img read more

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