Worth versus wealth: fat cat pay could be justified

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. A lack of understanding about the true role of a CEO within an organisationhas led to the backlash over the pay packages being awardedIt is open season on chief executives right now. Each day brings a freshdenouncement of some previously anonymous individual’s remuneration package. While the popular press has no problem in citing market forces as the reasonwhy, say, a journeyman Premier Division footballer can earn £10,000 per week,it appears to be in a state of permanent outrage at similar rewards enjoyed byour captains of industry. Of course, this assault on UK boardrooms is partly fuelled by envy. The US celebrates wealth as a tangible example of success, yet the Britishhave always had an ambivalent attitude towards personal gain, particularly inbusiness. In this instance, however, envy is the by-product of widespread lack ofunderstanding of the precise role and contribution of a CEO. If people have little appreciation of someone’s fundamental value to anorganisation, they are more sceptical about how they are rewarded. This lack ofunderstanding often exists within the boardroom itself. While most businesses assess the contribution of their staff regularly,similarly rigorous programmes often aren’t applied to assessing CEOs. The main problem is arriving at a series of measures that have any realmeaning. What do CEOs actually do? When, for example, you are hiring a call centre manager, you know exactlywhat their responsibilities are and the criteria on which they are going to beassessed. It is much more difficult to determine what constitutes effectiveness atchief executive level because there is no clear ‘line of sight’ between whatthe CEO does day-to-day and how this truly affects an organisation in the longterm. We know that normally, a CEO is expected to provide leadership and strategicdirection. But how do you measure nebulous concepts? You also have to factor in a range of issues outside of a CEO’s control thatmay affect business performance, such as macro-economic developments,government regulation, etc. Also, the CEO’s function is to deliver performance through other people. Howcan you measure the performance of individuals who, by the very nature of theirjobs, are charged with delegating specific actions rather than carrying themout themselves? These barriers to formal assessment means judgement of a CEO’s performanceis left to the vagaries of public perception. People fall into the trap of ‘confirmation bias’; they seek out confirmingevidence to support their view of the CEO and discount disconfirming evidence. So, if people like a CEO, they will hear things that reflect favourably onthem, while turning a deaf ear to bad news or attributing it elsewhere. The power of ‘context dependence’ helps to distort people’s evaluation of aCEO’s true value. This law has it that if a company is doing well, the CEOtakes the plaudits; if it is doing badly, the CEO ends up carrying the can,despite the fact they may have been powerless to change the outcome. There is a way forward and it comes largely from re-examining the psychologyof performance management. Typically, when asked about how it assesses performance, a business claimsto have hard measures. But those measures tend to be described in terms ofspecific activities, rather than measurable ‘outputs’. The principle that should govern performance measurement at all levels isthe necessity to be explicit about what needs to be achieved. As long as peopleare clear about their destination or target, they are good at working out howto get there. They cannot work efficiently when they don’t know what they areexpected to achieve. CEOs are no different. There is a tendency when assessing people performance to measure what is‘acceptable’. But people need to be assessed on whether they have exceeded anacceptable level of performance, or fallen short of it. This is essentially a ‘cybernetic’ concept of performance. Having stretchinggoals to strive towards is motivational, while having a clear understanding ofwhat is unacceptable guides performance. Providing clear parameters gives people the freedom to decide their ownroute and take risks in achieving their objectives. Merely telling people whatis acceptable doesn’t ‘raise the bar’; people are more likely to cruise. The criteria by which a company leader’s contribution is assessed should beeasily understandable, with only a few well-defined areas, and the resultsshould be completely public. Key stakeholders should be able to make aninformed judgement about company performance. That starts by understanding howthe CEO is meeting, and exceeding, their brief. A good CEO should welcome the opportunity for formal assessment because theywill know precisely how they will be judged. By Robert Myatt, senior consultant, Kaisen Consulting Previous Article Next Article Worth versus wealth: fat cat pay could be justifiedOn 17 Jun 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

FiveThirtyEight: The NBA’s small guys are getting bigger, and that’s bad news for Isaiah Thomas

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailDon Juan Moore/Getty ImagesBY: Chris Herring and Dimitrije Ćurčić(NEW YORK) — Of all the shocking NBA free-agency moves this summer, Isaiah Thomas’s deal with Denver — for just one year, at the minimum salary for a veteran player — might have been the most telling, in terms of where the league is heading.This time last year, Thomas — one of the NBA’s most underpaid players even then, at just over $6 million — was saying openly that the Celtics “know they’ve got to bring the Brink’s truck out,” a reference to the nine-figure max contract he felt he deserved. And on some level, it would have been difficult to argue with him. At 28 years old, the diminutive point guard was coming off a banner season in which he finished fifth in MVP voting while averaging almost 29 points per game (on one of the league’s best true shooting percentages) and led the Celtics to the East’s best record.It’s no secret that much of the market collapse for Thomas’s services stemmed from questions about the torn labrum in his hip, which cost him months of rehab time before he ever suited up for the Cavs, then required surgery in March (while he was playing for the Lakers). But it also appears that the ever-changing NBA flipped its script entirely just before Thomas could cash in on a deal that scorers of his caliber generally get. The about-face highlights the fear teams have about committing big money to someone as short as Thomas, given the challenges his height creates in yet another league where an increasing number of players are roughly the same size.Point guards and centers were closer in height last year than they’ve ever been, separated by an average of just 8.3 inches — down 21 percent from the 10.5 inches or so that stood between them during the mid-to-late 1990s, according to data from Basketball-Reference.com.Basketball-Reference.comThose shifts affect Thomas in two meaningful ways. First, the Tacoma, Washington, native — who, at just 5-foot-9, is the shortest player in the NBA — isn’t even close to the average size for a point guard of 6 feet, 2.5 inches. Which brings up the second issue: As such an outlier, the undersized Thomas becomes an even bigger liability on defense when his team is forced to switch on screens at that end of the floor — something that’s become far more common in the past five years alone. The median number of switches leaguewide has more than doubled over that span, from 4.3 per 100 possessions in 2013-14 to 9.1 switches per 100 possessions this past season, according to Second Spectrum.“To even have a chance against a team like Golden State, you have to make a point of not being put into rotations,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told me in May. “They’ll kill you that way.”Certain teams are better equipped to play that kind of defense than others — the Rockets and Warriors, widely considered the league’s best teams, led the NBA in switch frequency — but the process doesn’t always work as well when Thomas is in the midst of it. The Celtics were 5 percent more efficient defensively in switch scenarios when Thomas was off the floor than on in 2016-17, according to Second Spectrum. And while Thomas’s departure coincided with a slew of other changes in Boston prior to last season, the team’s jump to from No. 12 to No. 1 in defensive efficiency after dealing Thomas supports the notion that a merely solid defensive team can become great on that side of the ball once it removes its weakest link.With teams vying to become switchier in an increasingly versatile league (and some clubs perhaps having pushed the envelope too far on that front), it raises the dilemma of how to integrate Thomas into a defensive gameplan without torpedoing it altogether.Even on offense, where Thomas is undoubtedly a boon, his greatest strengths are ones accentuated by a particular style of play. With Boston, he made use of direct-dribble handoffs more than anyone — a play that worked well alongside screen-setter Al Horford in part because coach Brad Stevens was committed to building an offense in which Thomas could thrive. The plays didn’t work as well in Cleveland, where the Cavs ran them about half as often and with less efficiency. (The same was true during his stint with the Lakers, according to Second Spectrum.)Taken together, this suggests that Thomas — like most players but perhaps unlike most stars — needs a specific ecosystem around him in order for him to thrive, or for him to be the max-level talent he believes himself to be. He could be that player in Boston, where the Celtics had good defenders and players that could not only screen but also space the floor for him. The likelihood of that being true on a team with far less talent seems remote.Thomas’s new situation in Denver splits the middle from that standpoint. He will be in an up-tempo system with an abundance of talented players, including Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap and FiveThirtyEight favorite Gary Harris, among others. Thomas has also played previously for coach Michael Malone, the first NBA head man to coax 20 points per game out of him. But there’s a catch: The Nuggets, like last year’s Cavs, play almost no D, meaning Thomas won’t be able to expect much help on that end as he works to rebuild his value as a sixth man.Again, the tactical constraints of Thomas’s size are far from the only question marks surrounding him. The health of his hip is key, obviously. The Cleveland situation — a particular challenge because of the win-now pressure created by LeBron James’s pending free agency — was disastrous for Thomas: The team’s awful defense made him a bad fit, and his penchant for taking shots at either teammates or coaches became problematic. His difficulties were compounded by the seesaw nature of the free-agent money that’s changed hands in recent years.When Thomas began talking about being paid handsomely, it was during the summer of a massive salary-cap increase, when players like Evan Turner, Bismack Biyombo and Nicolas Batum — who’ve never been All-Stars — got $70 million, $72 million and $120 million, respectively. Mistakes from 2016 are still being felt by certain teams, and it doesn’t help that some are keeping the books clear ahead of next year, when several stars are expected to hit the market. So, much of this boils down to Thomas’s free agency coming at the worst time.“You can always play the what-if game, but man, I’ve been F’ed over so many times,” Thomas told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, while acknowledging that potential suitors were undoubtedly concerned about the health of his hip. “But of course I think about [the money]. I’m human.”If there’s a bright side, or at least a glass-half-full equation, it’s that Thomas can still redeem himself. He is, or at least can be, a supremely gifted scorer. Yes, he gets his shots blocked often, but Thomas has learned how to use angles as leverage, and he displays bursts of quickness to outsmart defenders. Prior to his truncated 2017-18, he was driving to the basket more than almost anyone, and he connected on a high percentage of his shots around the rim. He’s still proven to be automatic from the line. And in the past, Thomas has shown he can catch fire from deep.As he’s done so many times before, Thomas, famously the last player picked in the 2011 draft, will have to overcome the odds. He may not even need the absolute perfect fit to begin building his value again. Instead, Thomas may just need the ever-shifting NBA to sit still just long enough for him to find a new normal.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. Beau Lund Written bycenter_img August 15, 2018 /Sports News – National FiveThirtyEight: The NBA’s small guys are getting bigger, and that’s bad news for Isaiah Thomaslast_img read more

Gunderson Marine to build articulated tug barge for Crowley Maritime

first_imgThe articulated tug barge, which will have 55,000-barrel-capacity, will be built at the Gunderson Marine facility along the Willamette River in Portland Image: Crowley has signed construction contracts to build a 55,000-barrel, articulated tug-barge (ATB). Photo: courtesy of Crowley Maritime Corporation. Gunderson Marine, a subsidiary of Greenbrier Companies, has secured an order for the construction of a 55,000-barrel-capacity articulated tug barge (ATB) from US-based marine solutions company Crowley Maritime.The contract was given by Crowley Fuels (Crowley), a business unit of Crowley Maritime based in Alaska. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed by the parties.Construction on the barge will commence in the first quarter of next year, while the delivery is expected by early 2021. The new vessel will be primarily operating in Western Alaska.The Gunderson Marine facility along the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon will be used for the construction of the articulated tug barge.The new articulated tug barge will be the 10th barge built for Crowley MaritimeThe new vessel marks the 10th barge that Gunderson Marine will be constructing for Crowley Maritime ever since its acquisition by Greenbrier in 1985.Greenbrier chairman and CEO William Furman said: “Gunderson Marine has a deep-rooted history serving Crowley. We’re pleased to continue this legacy with one of the world’s premier marine solutions companies, and one of our largest and most prominent customers.“This is an exciting opportunity, and we look forward to collaborating during the construction of this vessel.”The dual-certified articulated tug barge will be built in such a way that it will comply with both the US EPA Tier III and IMO Tier III air-quality emission standards.Crowley Fuels Alaska vice president and general manager Rick Meidel said: “Our new ATB will continue Crowley Fuels’ long-standing commitment to provide Alaska with safe and dependable marine transportation to serve the energy needs of the state.“We look forward to working with Gunderson to build a both high-performing and efficient vessel, to serve the state and enhance our overall operations. The vessel’s capabilities will meet the particular needs of Western Alaska, which depends on maneuverable and functional vessels for reliable supply of its communities’ fuel needs.”last_img read more

Systems Librarian

first_imgResponsibilities Manage, administer, and ensure the interoperability of our:Library management system (currently Ex Libris’ Alma.)Authentication (currently EZProxy and Shibbolethconfigurations)Archival management system (currently ArchivesSpace)Storage facility inventory system (currently Fifth Generation’sGFA.)Digital Assets Management System (DAMS) and institutionalrepository (currently Islandora.)Integration of interlibrary loan and document deliverymanagement systems (currently RapidILL and ILLiad.) Conditions of Employment For full consideration, please make sure your cover letteraddresses: Equal Employment Opportunity Qualifications Maintain security and access control of library systems.Create and implement policies for data integrity andintegration, coordinate and perform upgrades, and manage regularfeeds of financial and patron data into and out of Alma.Collect and maintain system-generated data and statisticsincluding e-resource usage data, and present analytic reports insupport of library workflows.Serve as a member of the Libraries’ e-problems group thatresponds to user problems with e-resource and record retrieval,access, and authentication.Collaborate with librarians, OIT colleagues, faculty, andstudents in the use of library collections as data forcomputationally-driven research and teaching.Manage, maintain, and troubleshoot library-specific equipmentand software.Provide technical support and training to libraries’ staff forlibrary-specific software and equipment.Manage the libraries’ systems operation including supervisionof up to 5 student employees, and collaborate closely withE-Resources Librarian, Web Development Librarian, DigitalArchivist, and colleagues in the Office of Information Technology(OIT.) 2-5 years of professional experience in a relevanttechnological field.Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in ateam-oriented organization.Demonstrated ability to learn new technologies.Excellent communication, interpersonal, and problem-solvingskills.Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, andinclusion.Research indicates that applicants with marginalized identitiesare hesitant to apply for positions if they do not meet all of therequired and preferred qualifications. We want to emphasize thatthe preferred qualifications are not required and that we arecommitted to helping our future colleagues develop these preferredskills. We strongly encourage those who are passionate aboutsupporting our mission through systems administration toapply. Preferred:center_img Employment at Williams is contingent on the verification ofbackground information submitted by the applicant, including thecompletion of a criminal record check, and education whenapplicable. Williams Libraries seeks an innovative and enthusiastic librarianto manage and administer our library management system andauxiliary systems. We seek candidates who are excited to work in acollege library that supports students who are broadly diverse withregard to gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, nationality,sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and religion.Williams, a liberal arts college located in western Massachusetts,has built its reputation on outstanding teaching, scholarship, andacademic excellence. We are committed to building an inclusivefaculty, staff, and curriculum to support our community ofapproximately 2,000 students.Williams Libraries’ current strategic plan includes a technologygoal to, “build systems that empower our staff and support ourusers, and develop interfaces that provide a seamless, barrier-freediscovery of collections and services.” We value excellent personalservice, innovative library services, and effective intellectualaccess to collections. The successful candidate will embrace aflexible, responsive approach to systems administration in a newlymerged Collections & Systems department. This is a continuing,full-time, appointment reporting to the Head of Collections &Systems.For optimal consideration please submit resume materials beforeFebruary 1st, 2021. Review of applications will continue until theposition is filled. Job group 2-D. To apply for this position,please visit http://staff-careers.williams.edu. If you have anyquestions, please feel free to contact us via phone at (413)597-4247 or email at [email protected] Your working knowledge of library systems, or systems in arelated field.How your education and experience will support our commitmentto diversity, equity, and inclusion. While we anticipate that many applicants will have earned agraduate degree in library/information science from anALA-accredited institution, or one in a related field, we willaccept an equivalent mix of education and experience.Required: Experience with Ex Libris Alma system administration, or systemadministration of an equivalent library system.Experience in DAMS administrationAlma Administrator Certification, or willingness to becertified within the first year of employment.Interest in supporting library collections as data forcomputationally-driven research and teaching Opening Details Beyond meeting fully its legal obligations for non-discrimination,Williams College is committed to building a diverse and inclusivecommunity where members from all backgrounds can live, learn andthrive.last_img read more


first_img Gavel GamutBy Jim Redwine(Week 10 October 2016)JUDGES AND POLITICSIn 2000 the Florida Supreme Court gave the presidency to Democrat Al Gore. Five judges on the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Florida court and gave the presidency to Republican George W. Bush.Bush won by two electoral votes. Gore barely won the popular vote. Three of the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court who dissented, John Stevens, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, wrote:“Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”Judges may make mistakes. Judges may be ignorant or lazy or may have any number of faults. The one characteristic judges must not have is a public perception of prejudice for or against persons or beliefs.The only thing judges must bring to their role in our government is the ability to engender public confidence in the integrity of their decisions. We may, and I often do, disagree with judicial decisions (by other judges of course). However, if we have confidence the judges acted impartially, we can accept even bad rulings and move on.That is why Canon 4 of the Code of Judicial Conduct which all judges should follow requires:“A Judge or candidate for Judicial Office Shall not Engage in Political or Campaign Activity that is Inconsistent with the Independence, Integrity, or Impartiality of the Judiciary.”The Code also prohibits a judge from publicly, e.g. in a newspaper column, endorsing or opposing a candidate for public office.These ethical proscriptions come to mind as I am currently engaged in helping to teach an internet course to judges for the National Judicial College. Judges from several states are participating as students or faculty. As with much of the judicial education in which I have been involved, in this course there is a great deal of side banter about many topics. In this current presidential campaign cycle politics is unavoidable. But unlike non-judicial conversations where my friends and family do not hesitate to state that one candidate is less than desired while the other must be elected, with judges I am reminded of the attitude Rome’s friend, Mercutio had.You may recall that in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet the two families, Romeo’s Montagues and Juliet’s Capulets, were constantly feuding. In Act III, scene 1 Mercutio is stabbed by Juliet’s relative, Tybalt. As Mercutio lies dying he curses both sides by calling for, “A plague on both of your houses”. That pretty well sums up the ethical positions of my judicial colleagues.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Haden named Greencore COO following US disposal

first_imgGreencore has named Peter Haden as chief operating officer following the disposal of its US operation.The company, which today (21 May) announced its half-year results, is appointing him to the executive board with immediate effect. Haden, who joined Greencore in 2015 as chief development officer, will be responsible for running the day-to day-business in his new role.The move comes less than a year after Haden was named chief executive officer of Greencore’s UK division because group CEO Patrick Coveney was to split his time between the UK and the US. But just three months later, Greencore announced it was selling the US operation and would focus on the UK market.Greencore said Haden’s move to the COO and board roles reflected the group’s single, integrated leadership structure and his “sustained contribution to the operational and strategic agenda of the group”.”Peter has made an outstanding contribution to Greencore in a number of senior roles since joining us in 2015, and his promotion to the Board is well deserved,” said Greencore chairman Gary Kennedy.“His strategic mind-set and operational expertise will be invaluable as Greencore looks to drive performance and pursue the range of compelling growth opportunities that we see in the UK convenience food market.”Before joining Greencore, Haden was a brand manager with Procter & Gamble before becoming a partner at McKinsey & Co.last_img read more

Spielberg: Find a ‘villain to vanquish’

first_imgDon’t shy away from the world’s pain. Instead, examine it, challenge it and, while you’re at it, find “a villain to vanquish,” acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg urged this afternoon in his Commencement address to Harvard’s Class of 2016.“My job is to create a world that lasts two hours. Your job is to create a world that lasts forever,” Spielberg said. “You are the future innovators, motivators, leaders, and caretakers.”Unfortunately, Spielberg said, there are plenty of villains in real life, not just in the movies. Hate in all its forms endures worldwide, and genocide didn’t stop with the Nazis. The Shoah Foundation that he started in 1994 to document the experiences of Holocaust survivors not only has spoken with 53,000 survivors and witnesses of that calamity, but also has begun to interview survivors of atrocities in Rwanda, Cambodia, Armenia, and Nanking.“We must never forget that the inconceivable … happens with frequency,” Spielberg said. “Atrocities are happening right now.”As a director, writer, and producer, Spielberg has created some of the most enduring movies of the last half-century, his creations ranging from the blockbuster suspense of “Jaws” to the magical sweetness of “E.T.” to the all-too-human inhumanity of “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” He addressed the newly minted graduates, family members, and alumni during the Afternoon Program in the outdoor Tercentenary Theatre.His speech, which drew laughter as well as nods with a standing ovation at its conclusion, capped a long day of pomp and tradition that kicked off with the sheriff of Middlesex County theatrically calling the “meeting to Orrrderrrr!” at 9:45 a.m. It ended just before 4 p.m., shortly after Spielberg’s address. In between, thousands of visitors heard speeches, both poignant and humorous, from student orators; watched honorary degrees bestowed on giants in the arts, humanities, and sciences; and saw more than 7,700 loved ones receive degrees from Harvard College and the University’s graduate Schools. Related In his speech, which followed Faust’s, Spielberg shared some of his own history. He dropped out of college as a sophomore to take a dream job at a movie studio. Though that “went all right,” as he described it, he returned to campus in his 50s to finish his degree. He did that for his children’s sake, to “walk the walk” that education is important. He said he was able to get away with his early collegiate exit because he had been blessed with knowing what he wanted to do with his life, something not true for many young people.Spielberg called the choice of the initial path to tread the first “character-defining moment” for the new graduates, and said that although characters in a movie usually face only a handful of such moments, real life is full of them. He urged the graduates to listen not to the internal voice that loudly tells them what they should do, but the quieter one that tells them what they could do. It was that voice, he said, that pulled him toward key projects that propelled his career in a more serious direction that was unexpected after his string of early crowd-pleasing blockbusters.He said it was when he directed “The Color Purple” that he became familiar with the pain — and the truths — of the lives of black women in the 1930s Deep South. The film, he said, showed him that a movie could be a mission.He said he hoped that the graduates would work to find the same sense of personal mission, and he urged them to understand history — to not be “a leaf that didn’t know it was part of a tree” — even though social media is constantly focusing people’s attention to devices, to right now. He urged his listeners to make personal connections, to not just stick to their values, but act on them.“In your defining moments, do not let your morals be swayed by convenience or expediency. Sticking to your character requires a lot of courage,” Spielberg said, later adding, “Today, you start down the path of becoming the generation on which the next generation stands. And I’ve imagined many possible futures in my films, but you will determine the actual future. And I hope it’s filled with justice and peace.”Commencement speech by Steven Spielberg Harvard President Drew Faust also addressed those gathered for the Afternoon Program, officially the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. Universities, Faust said, are needed now more than ever, even though the broader society seems increasingly to discount the importance of reason and knowledge.Faust cited two signature buildings that flank Tercentenary Theatre, Memorial Church and Widener Library, as examples of the important role that Harvard plays and the characteristics and values that it seeks to instill in its students.Widener Library, whose 57 miles of shelves are at the center of a University system with 17 million books, represents knowledge and truth, a tenet that Faust said is important not just to discover but to test and affirm, so that people can discern when what is presented as true is not.Memorial Church, on the other hand, represents values, responsibility, and sacrifice. Its walls are inscribed with the names of Harvard’s World War I dead, the departed whose reason and knowledge were partner to a sense of responsibility that called them to service.“There is no value-free science,” Faust said to applause. “There is no algorithm that writes itself. The questions we choose to ask and the research we decide to support, the standards of integrity we expect of our colleagues and students, the community we build and the model we offer — all of this is central to who we are.”Adhering to values and morality is pivotally important for graduating seniors about to choose their next paths in life, decisions that to a great extent will define who they are and the people they will become. Harvard College, Faust said, seeks not just intellectual transformation, but personal and social shifts as well, in a process that takes diverse individuals and develops them into a community.“In a world divided by difference, we at Harvard strive to be united by it,” Faust said. “We seek to educate people, not just minds. Our highest aspiration is not just knowledge, but wisdom.” <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYtoDunfu00″ rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/TYtoDunfu00/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> The splendid tapestry of Commencement Director, producer, and screenwriter Steven Spielberg delivers his speech at Harvard’s 365th Commencement on May 26, 2016 at Tercentenary Theatre. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Photos show the many sides of Harvard’s celebratory ritual last_img read more

Butterflies, bees

first_img Hummingbirds Provide a variety of plant colors and shapes to attract multiple pollinators. Hummingbirds are attracted to red and blue flowers while bees tend to prefer white and yellow blooms. Butterflies are happy with pinks and purples. Thomas recommends hardy lantana, blue sage salvia, purple coneflower, verbena canadensis and thrift. A good native butterfly plant is Joe Pye weed, which provides fall blooms. To extend the flower season, “plant the perennials you want, fill in with annuals and provide some full-summer blooming shrubs,” he said. “The more varied your garden the better.” Whether you hope to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your home or provide a food source for honeybees, there are a few things to consider. Pollinators need consistent nectar sources, open roaming areas, tree-canopy cover nearby and a source of moisture and soil salts. Blue anise sage and purple coneflower will bloom in cycles if you pick off the spent flowers. Verbena bonariensis will stop flowering early, but you can cut it halfway back in early August to stimulate new flowers for fall. Butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and even bats and flies are all pollinators that feed off plants in your yard. So when you’re adding new flowers to your landscape, choose those that provide nectar and pollen for winged workers. He suggests lantana and purple coneflower because they produce nectar and attract butterflies continuously, even during the driest droughts. Choose plants that will bloom in sequence, providing nectar from March 1 to the first killing frost. Salvia, lantana and trumpet vine will take the heat. Echinacea can tolerate drought conditions as well. Having a food source for caterpillars is vital, too. To accommodate this early butterfly stage, include an ornamental fennel, the favorite food of Eastern Black Swallowtails. Dill, fennel, carrot and parsley do well, too. Select a sunny spot for a pollinator garden. “It is tough to plant a pollinator garden in the shade,” Thomas said. “To provide nectar and pollen, full-sun plants are the way to go.” Homestead purple verbena will bloom in early spring through early summer and flower again in late fall. This provides nectar for early- and late-season butterflies such as Question Mark, Red Admiral and Zebra and Tiger Swallowtails. “For a successful butterfly garden, it’s vital to select nectar-producing plants with accessible flowers,” Thomas said. center_img “Almost all native plants that rely on pollination rely on these limited numbers of insects,” said Paul Thomas, a horticulture professor at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Plants that attract pollinators provide food for the insects. But they’re not just helping the plants in your gardens. They are helping all native plants.” Hummingbirds look for flags or certain plants that signal an appropriate feeding and breeding site. “If a male hummingbird sees a native horse chestnut, he knows the area is a suitable habitat,” Thomas said. Bees need rounded flowers where they can more easily reach the nectar and pollen. Butterflies can sip from tubular or cone shaped flowers. Males are also attracted to bright red flowers like those on native honeysuckle. Later in the summer, young hummingbirds prefer flowers such as blue sage. Other recommended plants for hummingbirds are red flowering chestnut, abelias, summer phlox, chaste tree, columbine, cardinal flower, bee balm, red hot poker, hibiscus and most salvias. Butterflies Pay attention to each plants’ height, vigor and space accordingly. Miss Huff lantana and the butterfly bush Black Knight may look small the day you plant them. But each can grow into a 4-foot-wide bush. By April SorrowUniversity ofGeorgia Attracting pollinators Pollinators are vital to agriculture. They pollinate most fruit, vegetable and seed crops. Healthy pollinator populations can improve plant and fruit size and quality. By adding plants to your landscape that provide food and shelter for pollinators through their active seasons, you can help the pollinators and help maintain the biodiversity of native species. (April Sorrow is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Senate committee to work on telecommunications carriers bill to make regulation fairer

first_imgConsolidated Communications,On Wednesday, January 12th at 9 am in Room 27 of the Statehouse the Senate economic development committee (SEDHGA) will hold a hearing on a Committee draft bill to change the method by which FairPoint is regulated in Vermont. Following the hearing, the Committee will hold a press briefing at 10:30 am in the Cedar Creek Room, Statehouse.The legislation says it would allow FairPoint to compete on a level playing field for business with cable companies, regional and independent phone companies and wireless providers. Those other companies can quote prices immediately, while FairPoint must have price changes approved by regulators ‘ often tacking on delays of one to seven weeks. The proposed legislation, which has been drafted by Senator Vince Illuzzi, chair of the SEDHGA, would have FairPoint Communications regulated under the same rules that presently apply to most other telephone companies.Although Illuzzi led the opposition in the General Assembly against the sale of Verizon’s assets in Vermont to FairPoint, he said he now feels it’s important to work with FairPoint to enable it to financially survive and deliver the best possible service to Vermonters.FairPoint is not allowed to seek alternate regulation without going through a lengthy and expensive process before the Public Service Board.last_img read more

National Parks Merch Should be Made in USA, Pol Says

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) holds up a foreign-made National Park Service ranger doll sold at NPS gift shops on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.Holding a foreign-made Liberty Bell necktie, National Park Service ranger doll and calendar of iconic American scenery, a Long Island congressman called on NPS merchandise to be Made in the USA.Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) is proposing legislation that would require NPS gift shops to stop selling foreign-made products and replace them with only American-made souvenirs to help create domestic manufacturing jobs and boost the national economy.“This is a simple and common sense plan,” Israel told reporters Wednesday at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, the home of President Theodore Roosevelt, who created the NPS in 1916. “American parks are our most beautiful and prized possessions and we should sell American products and give Americans back their jobs.”Israel fought a similar battle last year upon learning that the 2012 Olympic uniforms worn by Team USA were made in China. Although the ‘Team USA Made in America Act of 2012’ died, the U.S. Olympic Committee vowed future uniforms will be manufactured in America.Local business leaders expressed support for the NPS merchandise bill, noting the purchase power of the agency that has 283 million visitors annually.“This bill will help companies like ours who sell reminder media products such as key tags, mugs, and calendars,” said Nelson Taxel, chief executive officer of Hauppauge-based Positive Promotions, a family-owned company that has been in business for 67 years.“There are 4,500 different manufacturing companies in the US and 22,000 distributors that all can produce and sell these products that Congressman Israel mentioned,” he said.The congressman noted the irony of Americans who will be visiting historic national park siteson the Fourth of July, buying patriotic memorabilia made oversees. Aside from Sagamore Hill, NPS sites on LI include the Fire Island Lighthouse and William Floyd Estate in Mastic.“They will buy a liberty tie and find out that it was made in China and that makes no sense to me,” said Israel. “Calendars found in the National Park gift shops are printed in China while we have printers right here on Long Island that could have done it.”last_img read more