BETTER THAN A PARDON-THE PRESIDENT FIRED ME

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare by Danny Tyree for Cagle NewsThis year I can’t think of Thanksgiving without thinking of Barry Manilow’s melancholy song “Tryin’ To Get The Feeling Again.”Google news items about “Thanksgiving,” and amidst the tofu turkey recipes and 2017 versus 2018 price comparisons, you’ll find a growing number of stories about (a) Christmas decorations popping up before Halloween, (b) Thanksgiving getting lost in the holiday shuffle and (c) traditionalists denouncing the encroachment of “Black Friday” sales onto Thanksgiving Day.As both a Christian and someone who knows which side his bread is buttered on (retailers DO pay the bills at the newspapers carrying my column, of course), I can see both sides of the holiday desecration issue.I believe the merchants when they insist that they take pains not to intrude upon the family time or spiritual activities of their employees. I try to ignore the scurrilous rumors that the retailers have asked that the Rapture is abbreviated to allow more time for showcasing housewares and linens.I sort of pity the “big box” stores that try to obtain a competitive edge by rushing the Christmas selling season. It’s just a Band-Aid. Once we eventually reach the cherished goal of promoting Christmas 365 days a year, they’ll have nowhere else to expand. They’ll finally have to compete by having the best products and service or settle for being Number 2 (or lower).Traditionalists, let’s not pretend that commercialism is something new. The Pilgrims represented a minority of the passengers aboard the Mayflower; most of the passengers were just out to exploit the New World. Currier & Ives did not produce their prints on a pro bono basis. The “traditional” Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade obviously has ulterior motives. Thanksgiving hosts have never been shy about showing off their material wealth to poorer relations.I am glad that Abraham Lincoln instituted a national day of thanks, even though the United States somehow got by without one for the first 88 years of its existence. And let’s step back for a moment and put some perspective on the things we do on Thanksgiving. After a perfunctory prayer, we eat the bird that Benjamin Franklin championed as the national symbol, we talk behind the backs of the cousins who chose to spend the day with their in-laws instead of blood kin and we watch millionaires playing football.I can empathize with those who have to work on Thanksgiving. My high school job in a convenience market required me to work every Saturday, Sunday, and holiday. Yes, I ate a lot of leftovers and missed a few hugs from my grandmother, but there were pluses. I came to the rescue of absent-minded shoppers who needed last-minute items, I saved money for my college education and I learned to appreciate the time I do have with family.As in the days of the Plymouth celebration and the Civil War, Thanksgiving is not about a picture-perfect world. It’s about taking life warts and all and still finding enough of the positive to offer heartfelt gratitude to the Creator (or whomever you credit with the good things in your life).This Thanksgiving roll with the punches, make new traditions, forge new bonds and savor every second you DO get to spend with the ones you love.last_img read more

Learn more →

Readers Forum December 24,2016

first_imgWHAT IS ON YOUR MIND TODAY? We urge you to take time and click the section we have reserved for the daily recaps of the activities of our local Law Enforcement professionals. This section is located on the upper right side of our publication.If you would like to advertise or submit and article in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] County Observer has been serving our community for 16 years.FOOTNOTES: Todays “READERS POLL” question is :How do you rank the Vanderburgh County Commission job performance in 2016?Copyright 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

Learn more →

Wednesday Update: Beaches Closed at 48th and 49th Streets

first_imgCheck OCNJ Daily for updates and photos of the Ocean City beach replenishment project for 2015 in the south end between 37th and 59th Streets.DATE: Wednesday, August 26PROGRESS: As of Wednesday at dusk, the beaches at 48th Street and 49th Street are closed. The beach at 50th street is back open.The work is advancing northward to 47th Street, where the third phase of work will end.Work on the project resumed Aug. 13 after an 11-week delay for dredge repairs. The beaches between 37th Street and 47th Street are complete, as are the beaches between 55th Street and 51st Street.WHAT’S NEXT: The project area will move to 55th Street to 59th Street for the final phase, which is expected to be complete by mid- to late-September.READ MORE: Ocean City NJ Beach Replenishment 2015 Daily UpdateFOR DAILY UPDATES by E-MAIL: Sign up for free The end of a pipeline pumping new sand onto the beaches is now between 48th and 49th streets — as of dusk on Wednesday, Aug. 26.last_img read more

Learn more →

Bako NW buys Northern & Scotland

first_imgBako North Western is to buy sister company Bako Northern & Scotland, it has been revealed. The shareholders of the North Western Group have agreed in principle to acquire its entire share capital, in a deal that should complete by the end of June.Bako North Western, led by chief executive Mark Tomlinson, has been expanding in recent years and this new deal follows the acquisition of Bako London & South East in July 2013.It means that only Bako Wales and Bako Western in the Bako Group are not run by the Preston-based North West arm.In a statement, the company said: “The two companies have worked closely over previous years, both participating fully in the wider Bako Group. The transaction will bring together two highly complementary organisations and will build on the strengths of both parties to continue to deliver excellent products and service to customers.“As a combined entity, service across local, regional and national customers will be enhanced and opportunities for staff, suppliers and partners will increase accordingly.”last_img read more

Learn more →

5 Ways to Improve Customer Experience

first_imgTuesday, October 2 was Customer Experience Day, an industry-wide celebration for professionals and companies that create great customer experiences. Dell Technologies participates every year, recognizing our team members and the work they do to put the transformative power of technology into your businesses, helping you achieve your desired outcomes and delight your own customers.CX Day gave me an opportunity to reflect on the progress we’ve made in delivering an exceptional customer experience across Dell. And while I am excited about how much we have achieved in a short time, there is still opportunity for us to improve. Having the chance to speak directly with a customer that has been with Dell for almost two decades put a lot of our work in perspective and was a tangible example of how understanding the outcomes a customer is focused on helps us better meet their needs, act as a trusted advisor, and deliver an experience that earns their loyalty and trust. Our customers and partners are the driving force behind everything we do, and we define our success through your success.We truly believe that improving customer relationships can have a major impact on your business results. Here are five tips from the Dell Technologies playbook to consider as you look for ways to develop relationships with your own customers.Execute on the basicsYou don’t get permission to play in the higher-level relationship areas with customers if you don’t get the fundamentals right. No matter how much progress you make, you’re never going to be perfect and there will be times when you mess up. It’s all about how you take accountability and respond.At Dell Technologies we took a closer look how we approach and resolve customer escalations. What we found was that when we take full accountability and make things right, we elevate our relationship with the customer to a whole new level. I can’t overemphasize how important our response is in those situations.Honor customer loyalty Customers are your lifeline, you must be relentless in their pursuit for success and honor their partnership and loyalty. Recently through data analytics, we identified customers that consistently honor us with their business and make up a substantial portion of our business. To show our appreciation, we develop differentiated programs delivering increased value for our customers. Additionally, we offer an exclusive opportunity to connect select customers with Dell executives and their own industry peers providing additional insights into operations, products, solutions, industry experts and the marketplace.That said, creating such a formal program may not be the right fit for your business. If so, there are easier ways to approach this. Pick up the phone, commit to talking to a certain number of customers each week and be the feedback loop to your team members. Your customers will appreciate the personal engagement and follow-up.Lead with insightsAccording to Gartner, customer analytics is considered the most critical technology investment for CX improvement projects. We couldn’t agree more, as leading with insights allows us to be more predictive and proactive. Additionally, we also agree that the ROI for CX is a critical measurement, and that “realized ROI ranges from benefits for customers (such as increased customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy) to benefits for the organization (such as increased revenue, customer lifetime value, customer retention and profitability).”We recently took a set of pilot accounts and tested certain data points to score customer health, using outlier detection, clustering and other machine learning techniques to identify signs of early distress. We reached out to validate with account teams and customers, and approached a 90 percent success rate within a few months!Innovation with purpose In addition to creating brand loyalty through innovative products and solutions, customers also expect a purpose-driven relationship. A new study by Cone Communications revealed that 87 percent of consumers said they’d purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about.Since Michael founded the company 34 years ago, Dell’s purpose has always been to develop technology that drives human progress. To do so, we focus on three main areas to drive positive change and contribute to a more sustainable future, including:Sustainability – how we build sustainability into everything we do, from our supply chain to product development.Purpose-driven giving – how we apply our solutions, investments and time to drive human progress at scale.The future workforce – how we ready the next generation as well as today’s workforce to thrive in an all-digital world.Is your business aligned to a bigger purpose beyond just selling products? If not, I highly recommend reading Start with Why, an inspiring book that explores why some people and businesses are more innovative, influential and profitable than others.Get in the trenches and networkSome of the best relationships and business deals happen when you least expect it. Participating in networking events that allow for informal conversations has been a key factor in my personal success and also grounds me to better understand what a customer needs and how we at Dell Technologies can support them.Two years ago at the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network’s annual summit in San Francisco, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Sue Abu-Hakima, founder and CEO of Amika Mobile, a software platform that specializes in saving lives via an integrated emergency critical communication and control server. The conversation eventually led to a recently announced OEM partnership between Amika Mobile and Dell EMC. We are thrilled about this partnership that embodies Dell’s purpose – driving human progress through technology.I also believe that internal networking within your own company is invaluable. Connecting with team members can help you align on common customer-driven objectives that can unify your organization on shared success goals, focused on our customers and partners. So much of what we do is dependent on highly valued, collaborative relationships internally to better serve our customers, partners and team members. Working with and through other organizations unfied on a single customer journey provides a common focus and a clear definition of success, ultimately through the eyes of our customers.ConclusionThese tips help guide me as I interact with and advocate for our own customers, partners and team members. And while there’s not a one-size-fits-all formula for strengthening individual customer relationships, I hope that they provide you with some inspiration as you work to meet your own business goals. Every customer has unique objectives and hurdles, but I’m a firm believer that by grounding interactions with a human connection, data that informs and a bigger purpose is critical to creating an emotional connection that drives the best possible results.last_img read more

Learn more →

New London Beautiful Star Cassidy Janson Compares Carole King to Elphaba & More

first_img View Comments English actress-singer Cassidy Janson has appeared in many American shows in and around London, from blockbusters like Wicked to more intimate productions like Dessa Rose, opposite The Color Purple’s Cynthia Erivo, and alongside Neil Patrick Harris in tick, tick…BOOM! She recently took over from Olivier Award winner Katie Brayben as Carole King in Beautiful at the Aldwych Theatre. Broadway.com caught up with the performer to talk dressing room handovers, theatrical uplift and making her New York stage debut in January.How is starring in Beautiful going?It’s been amazing, absolutely wonderful. Everyone loves the show and that makes all our jobs easier because everyone is watching everyone else’s back. Every night, I literally look up to the sky and say thank you because this has been such a wonderful part to play.Did you see yourself playing Carole King before the prospect came your way?I’d been to see the show twice to see Katie [Brayben, the London originator of the role}, who’s a very good friend and afterwards we were having drinks and she tapped me on the hand and said, “Look, I’m going to be leaving—make sure you go up for the role.”It’s almost as if you were anointed!I guess it is! Talking with Katie about it made me feel as if I could do the show—as if it were entirely within my skill set. Before that, I hadn’t really considered it and I doubt I would be doing the role if she hadn’t suggested it.What was your first awareness of Carole King?I grew up in north London knowing and loving Carole’s music, and I had been singing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” as an audition song for the last decade. But like so many, I hadn’t been aware of the huge body of work that Carole wrote but gave to others to sing. When I realized the extent of that, I thought, “Oh my goodness, this woman is a phenomenon!”Have you experienced the “Carole moment,” where the subject of the show appears onstage at the curtain call to take a bow?No, not like Katie did on her opening night! I don’t know how I would react were that to happen. I like to think I would handle myself with dignity but who knows how I would be in the presence of a living legend?The role has certain challenges, not to mention that you pick up Carole’s life story from when she was a teenager.Yes. We begin at Carnegie Hall but then go back chronologically to when Carole was 16 and tell the story going forward to her late-20s. I’ve got four different wigs and an insane amount of costumes—nine quick changes in act one alone!How do you approach playing a teen when you are in your 30s?Luckily, I’ve got a very cute-looking wig and very young-looking clothes and the dialogue is written for a 16-year-old, so you just have to act it and be honest and that does it for you. There’s nothing worse than someone who isn’t 16 trying to play a 16-year-old—that’s painful. But the dialogue tells you where the character is at, so you just have to go with the truth of that.Did Katie leave any welcome gifts for you in the dressing room?She did! I arrived on the Monday and there was a box with a thermos mug and some Throat Coat tea and also some Sanderson’s mixture, which you gargle with—all very good to have!What is Beautiful like for you, as a nightly sing?What’s lovely is that this very much suits my voice naturally, and how Carole sang isn’t the same as musical theater singing, so you don’t have any sustained high-belt notes: there’s nothing you have to build your stamina up to, so there isn’t the same pressure which is nice when you’re singing 17 songs each show.Very different, then, from playing Elphaba in Wicked!There’s certainly no b-flat, or whatever, that I have to hold for eight bars! But in Beautiful, I’ve got plenty of other things that I’m worrying about. I’d only run the show twice before I did my first performance so I was really worried that the quick changes might mess me up; when they didn’t, that took a lot of my angst away!You’ve done any number of musicals in London that began in New York; do you travel across the pond to check shows out?Absolutely. I think most London-based actors look to see what’s happening in New York. I do go over for a theater blitz to see as many shows as I can and to see what may or may not be right for me: London and New York are very much sister cities.Have you ever performed in New York?I will as of January! I’m taking two weeks off from Beautiful to tour in the States with a British swing band called The Jive Aces. We’re playing the Metropolitan Room [in NYC] on January 17. I’ve been touring with this band now on and off for 18 months and these guys are like my big brothers. I had no idea how big swing dances were until I started gigging with them: people come dressed in vintage clothes!That sounds huge fun—and you can catch your co-star from London’s Dessa Rose, Cynthia Erivo, in her Broadway debut in The Color Purple.Of course, yes, and she’s opening this week, isn’t she? My God, Cynthia is incredible. I know when I see her I will be a blubbering mess.last_img read more

Learn more →

Summer crops

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaAfter rough spring weather, the heat is on. And some crops are doing better than others in Georgia fields, where farmers are finishing up a disappointing wheat harvest and hoping the rain hasn’t stopped for the year, say University of Georgia crop experts.Going into harvest a month ago, Georgia’s winter wheat crop was in good shape, said Dewey Lee, UGA Cooperative Extension small grains expert. But heavy springtime rain delayed harvest. Now, the quality of the 240,000 acres of wheat to be harvested is poor due to sprouting in the field, something farmers don’t want to happen.“Soft red winter wheat is notorious for sprouting under rainy conditions,” he said. “Once soft wheat dries in the field to a harvestable condition, if the crop experiences prolonged rainy conditions, the seed will sprout. … This crop was pretty much disastrous. We had the opportunity to obtain good yields (50 bushels per acre) but have fallen below that.”Right now, farmers are getting $3.50 to $4 per bushel for damaged, poor-quality wheat and $4 to $5 for good-quality wheat, said Nathan Smith, a UGA Extension farm economist. Farmers need at least $4 per bushel to break even this year.“It’s a challenge to grow wheat in Georgia and get consistent returns each year,” Smith said. “This was just one of those years where neither prices nor the yields were there.”Georgia is expected to produce 11.5 million bushels of wheat this year, according to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service. This is half of last year’s total production.Other Georgia crops face problems, too.Georgia’s 350,000 acres of corn is at a stage where it needs at least a third of an inch of water each day, Lee said. Most Georgia soil holds an inch of water for only four days. After that time, it is dry.Right now, corn planted in irrigated fields is in good condition. But every day without rainfall now hurts plants not able to get irrigation, he said.“We had healthy plants going into this hot weather. But the heat is having a negative impact,” Lee said. “For farmers lucky enough to get afternoon thunderstorms, it’ll be a yield saver this time of year.”During normal spring, Georgia farmers start planting peanuts in late April and finish in 40 days. This year, due to crazy springtime weather, it took 75 days to complete planting for the state’s expected 500,000 acres, said John Beasley, UGA Extension peanut expert.“The word I have for this planting season is ‘discombobulated,’” said Beasley. “And it was as discombobulated as I have ever seen.” Now that planting is over and most plants are coming up, the crop is looking OK, he said, considering. But 50 percent of the crop was planted in June. Typically, only 10 percent is planted in this month. This means peanut harvest will push into mid October. Normal nighttime temperatures then will be in the lower 60s, a range peanuts can tolerate. If temperatures drop any lower, maturity and yields will be hurt.According to a weekly crop report from GASS, 70 percent of Georgia’s tobacco crop is in fair to good condition. The remaining 30 percent is in poor to very poor condition. Most of the state’s soybean and cotton plants are in good to fair condition for this time of year.last_img read more

Learn more →

FERC orders construction halt at Atlantic Coast Pipeline

first_imgFERC orders construction halt at Atlantic Coast Pipeline FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享WV Public Broadcasting:Federal regulators halted all construction of the 604-mile, interstate Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) following a federal court’s ruling this week that invalidated two major federal permits. The Friday evening decision comes just a week after regulators issued a similar stop work order for another major interstate natural gas project, the Mountain Valley Pipeline.On Aug. 6, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the National Park Service (NPS) acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when it granted the ACP pipeline a right-of-way permit to cross under the Blue Ridge Parkway. The court also said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not do enough analysis to ensure the protections of five endangered or threatened species and vacated the pipeline’s “Incidental Take Permit.”In a letter to pipeline officials, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said without these permits, construction of the ACP could not continue.“In light of this development, Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (Atlantic) has not obtained the rights-of-way and temporary use permits from the NPS needed for ACP to cross certain federally owned lands and lacks an Incidental Take Statement for the project,” the letter states.The move comes a week after FERC issued a stop work order for the 300-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline. In that case, the 4th Circuit invalidated two federal permits authorizing construction inside Jefferson National Forest because the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service did not conduct enough environmental analysis. FERC said until those approvals are re-issued, construction must stop.In the letter sent to ACP officials, the agency noted the Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service would most likely issue new permits, but FERC could not predict when that may happen. The ACP is a project of Dominion Energy. The $5.5 billion pipeline would transport natural gas from central West Virginia to the eastern portions of Virginia and North Carolina.More: Feds halt construction of Atlantic Coast Pipelinelast_img read more

Learn more →

Outdoor Updates: Dolphins in the Potomac River

first_imgShould the rule change go into effect, off-road vehicles will be allowed in areas such as Canyonlands’ Maze District and Arches’ Klondike Buffs—as long as ATV operators keep their vehicles on roads that are open to cars and trucks. “This alignment with state law isn’t carte blanche to take their ATVs off road,” agency spokesperson Vanessa Lacayo told The Salt Lake Tribune. “If people [drive] off road, they will be cited. Protection of these resources is paramount.” All-female races can help women runners feel comfortable and supported. If you’re a woman who has wanted to try an all-woman race, lace up your shoes and pound the pavement at the Alpharetta Women’s Half Marathon and 5K Race. The race will be held on Sunday, November 3 in Alpharetta, Georgia and begins at 7 a.m. at Avalon, the city’s retail district. The race then winds throughout the city of Alpharetta, including along a few miles of the scenic Big Creek Greenway. Top female finishers in the half marathon will take home a prize purse and all participants will receive a t-shirt, finisher medal, and complimentary food and refreshments after the event. While it’s still questionable whether the Potomac is safe for humans, one species of animal is thriving in the river waters: dolphins. In 2015, scientists counted nearly 200 bottlenose dolphins in a section of the river off of Virginia’s Northern Neck. This year, over 1,000 have been identified in the same section of river. The animal has been spotted as far north as the Potomac River Bridge, just 50 miles south of Washington D.C. In August, researchers witnessed a dolphin birth in the river near Lewisetta, Virginia. It was just the third dolphin birth ever recorded in the wild. Alpharetta, Georgia to host women-only half-marathon and 5K on November 3 Scientists are unsure if the population of dolphins that occupy the river is growing and, if it is, if the growth is because the river is cleaner than it once was. It’s also unsure how the warming waters caused by climate change impact the dolphin’s behavior.  “We are thrilled to welcome hundreds of female athletes and their friends and family to our city,” said Janet Rogers, president and CEO of Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau. “[The] race weekend gives visitors even more ways to support and celebrate the women of our beautiful city.”  ATVs may soon be allowed in Utah’s national parks In a major policy shift, off-road vehicles like ATVs may soon be allowed in Utah’s national parks beginning November 1. Off-road vehicles are generally banned in national parks, but the National Park Service’s acting regional director, Palmer “Chip” Jenkins, directed a memo to park superintendents last week instructing them to align park policy to Utah law, which allows ATVs and other off-road vehicles on state and county roads as long as they are registered, insured and equipped with the standard safety equipment. The decision was made without public comment. Dolphins are swimming, mating and birthing babies in the Potomac Riverlast_img read more

Learn more →