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Vermont, few others get passing grades for tobacco control

first_imgThe American Lung Association released its State of Tobacco Control 2010 report today, which tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the federal and state level, assigning grades based on whether laws are adequately protecting citizens from the enormous burden caused by tobacco use.This year, the Lung Association applauds the federal government for major advances in protecting citizens from tobacco-caused illnesses but faults most states for lagging behind and failing to enact much-needed laws and policies.Tobacco continues to take a devastating toll. Each year, 443,000 people die from tobacco-related illnesses and secondhand smoke exposure, making tobacco the leading cause of preventable death. In addition, it costs the economy more than $193 billion annually in healthcare costs and lost productivity.”President Obama and our leaders in the 111th Congress enacted what will be regarded as the strongest tobacco control policies thus far in American history,” said Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association President and CEO. “While we still have a long way to go, for the first time, the Administration and the Congress joined forces to squarely confront the tobacco epidemic.””Sadly, most of our states are failing miserably when it comes to combating tobacco-caused disease,” Connor added. “Despite collecting millions of dollars ‘ and in some cases billions ‘ in tobacco settlement dollars and excise taxes, most states are investing only pennies on the dollar to help smokers quit.”It takes combined state and federal resources to reduce tobacco-related disease and death, as the tobacco industry will continue to adapt and engage in deadly deception. In 2010, the tobacco industry used new ways to push its products and target kids in a drive to replace dying customers. These tactics ranged from color-coding packages in order to falsely imply less harmful cigarettes, to pitching smokeless tobacco in order to get more young people hooked and keep current smokers addicted.FEDERAL ACTIONThe American Lung Association recognizes progress made at the federal level to protect people from the dangers of tobacco.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began implementing landmark legislation passed in 2009 to restrict tobacco marketing and sales to kids, to end misleading health descriptors and to require larger health warnings on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products.On a separate front, Congress passed healthcare overhaul legislation in 2010 that greatly expanded benefits for tobacco cessation treatments to help people quit. Most private insurers will now be required to offer quit smoking treatments, and all pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid also have access to these services.In another enormous stride, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the first time incorporated both cessation and prevention of tobacco use as a cornerstone of a national strategy to reduce chronic disease and healthcare costs.In this year’s State of Tobacco Control report, the federal government earned a “B” for FDA regulation of tobacco products, with the American Lung Association urging FDA to take aggressive action in regulating the marketing, sales and manufacturing of tobacco products; a “C” for coverage of cessation treatments among major federal health care programs; a “D” for the federal cigarette tax; and a “D” for failure to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an international treaty.STATE ACTIONMany states continued to bank on cigarette taxes for new revenues to help balance budgets in hard times, but most failed to invest in programs to help smokers quit and prevent kids from starting.Six states raised cigarette excise taxes in 2010. Higher prices will encourage smokers to try to quit, but most smokers who ended up paying more for a cigarette pack got no additional help from the state to end their addiction to tobacco.Low-income smokers suffer the greatest impact from this disturbing trend because they cannot afford higher cigarette prices and have the most difficulty accessing effective quit smoking treatments.”Most states are ducking the responsibility to help smokers quit,” Connor continued.Forty states and the District of Columbia earned an “F” for funding tobacco prevention and control programs at needed levels, and 37 states earned an “F” for failing to offer comprehensive quit-smoking treatments to Medicaid recipients and state employees as well as make proper investments in state quitlines. Progress in states’ passage of comprehensive laws protecting the public and workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke slowed to almost a standstill. Only one state, Kansas, passed a comprehensive smokefree law.”To finally break tobacco’s grip on America’s health, it takes a harnessing of resources by every state as well as by the federal government,” Connor said. “The annual report card spells out what they’re doing right and where they must work harder to achieve that vision.”Overall Scores ‘ No state earned straight “A’s.” Only Arkansas, Montana, Maine, Oklahoma and Vermont achieved all passing grades, although, Oklahoma barely passed with straight “D’s.” Receiving all “F’s” were Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.Tobacco Prevention and Control Programs ‘ Forty states and the District of Columbia earned “F’s” for spending at less than 50 percent of the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alaska and North Dakota alone earned “A” grades for funding tobacco prevention and control programs and achieving the CDC-recommended funding levels.Cessation Treatments ‘ Thirty-seven states earned “F’s” for failing to offer comprehensive tobacco cessation treatments to Medicaid recipients and state workers, and making recommended investments in state quitlines. No state earned an “A” grade.State Cigarette Taxes ‘ Despite a continuing trend toward increased cigarette taxes, only five states qualified for an “A” grade by collecting excise taxes of $2.90 per pack or more.Quitlines ‘ For the first time, the State of Tobacco Control provides a more complete picture of state cessation efforts by including data about quitlines in the state cessation grade. These are free, phone-based programs that provide services to help callers quit tobacco use. All 50 states and the District of Columbia operate a quitline, although the services and treatment provided vary. Quitlines provide a vital aid for smokers who have no other way to get or pay for treatment and they are often dramatically underfunded.Smokefree Air Laws ‘ Kansas was the only state that passed a strong smokefree air law in 2010. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have now passed comprehensive smokefree laws, making public spaces and workplaces smokefree. The pace for passage has declined dramatically since 2006-2007, when 16 states and the District of Columbia met the American Lung Association’s Smokefree Air Challenge.For more information or to download a copy of the report, please visit www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org(link is external).About the American Lung AssociationNow in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity and holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.LungUSA.org(link is external).SOURCE American Lung Association WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —last_img read more

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U.S. Wind Production Seen as Surpassing Hydro in 2018

first_imgU.S. Wind Production Seen as Surpassing Hydro in 2018 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Huffington Post:Wind power is forecast to surpass hydroelectricity for the first time as the nation’s top source of renewable electricity sometime in the next year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.The sector is expected to produce 6.4 percent of utility-scale electricity in 2018, and 6.9 percent in 2019, propelled by a construction boom of new turbines across the country.Few new hydropower plants are in the works, so new electricity generation depends on how much rainfall and water runoff pools in existing dams and reservoirs. Hydropower provided 7.4 percent of utility-scale generation in 2017 ― a particularly wet year ― but that figure is projected to fall to about 6.5 percent in 2018 and 6.6 percent in 2019.“Although changes in weather patterns also affect wind generation, the forecast for wind power output is more dependent on the capacity and timing of new wind turbines coming online,” Owen Comstock, the lead industry economist at the EIA, wrote in a press release.The news marks a new milestone in wind’s steady rise. Wind energy usurped hydropower’s generating capacity for the first time in February 2017 as turbine installations tripled from 2008. “What this means for generation is, basically, we’re seeing greater, bigger wind turbines, and more turbines that are better situated for the environment that they’re in,” Alex Morgan, North America wind analyst at BNEF, told HuffPost by phone Wednesday morning. “So, more bang for your buck.”Part of what’s driving the boom is a rush to build turbines to get the full benefits of the production tax credit. Congress extended the subsidy, which has been in place since the early 1990s, for five years in 2015. But the credit began phasing down by 20 percent in 2017, kick-starting a dash to build as many turbines as possible before the federal benefit expires.Yet states are expected to continue providing incentives for wind energy long after 2020. The offshore wind industry ― a popular form of energy in Europe, though currently limited in North America to five turbines off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island ― is only expected to gain steam after 2021, according to BNEF. For example, in New York, where the state plans to get half its electricity from renewables in 12 years, a series of projects off the coast of Long Island are expected to provide 2.4 gigawatts of energy by 2030, enough to power 1.25 million homes.“It’s no surprise to see wind power gaining in generation nationally like this as it now competes on long-term contract price in many markets across the U.S.,” Dylan Reed, head of congressional affairs at the trade group Advanced Energy Economy, told HuffPost by email.More: Wind To Blow Past Hydropower As Top Clean Electricity Source In Major Milestonelast_img read more

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Proposed amendments to the Code of Judicial Conduct

first_img January 1, 2004 Regular News The Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee has filed a report in the Florida Supreme Court recommending an amendment to the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct. In response to this court’s request in In re Kinsey, 842 So. 2d 77 (Fla. 2003), the committee proposes that the court adopt an amendment to Canon 7A(3)(d) to prohibit judicial candidates from making comments on pending cases where such comments could affect the future outcome of those pending cases. The court invites all interested persons to comment on the committee’s proposed amendments, which are reproduced in full below, as well as online at www.flcourts.org/sct/sctdocs/proposed.html. An original and nine copies of all comments must be filed with the court on or before February 2, with a certificate of service verifying that a copy has been served on the committee chair, Judge Phyllis D. Kotey, Alachua County Courthouse, 201 E. University Ave., Room 205, Gainesville 32601, as well as a separate request for oral argument if the person filing the comment wishes to participate in oral argument, which may be scheduled in this case. All comments must be filed in paper format and in WordPerfect 5.1 (or higher) format on a DOS formatted 3-1/2 inch diskette. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA AMENDMENT TO CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT – CANON 7 (POLITICAL ACTIVITY), Case No. SC03-1904. PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO CANON 7 A JUDGE OR CANDIDATE FOR JUDICIAL OFFICE SHALL REFRAIN FROM INAPPROPRIATE POLITICAL ACTIVITY A. All Judges and Candidates. (1) Except as authorized in Sections 7B(2), 7C(2) and 7C(3), a judge or a candidate for election or appointment to judicial office shall not: (a) act as a leader or hold an office in a political organization; (b) publicly endorse or publicly oppose another candidate for public office; (c) make speeches on behalf of a political organization; (d) attend political party functions; or (e) solicit funds for, pay an assessment to or make a contribution to a political organization or candidate, or purchase tickets for political party dinners or other functions. (2) A judge shall resign from judicial office upon becoming a candidate for a nonjudicial office either in a primary or in a general election, except that the judge may continue to hold judicial office while being a candidate for election to or serving as a delegate in a state constitutional convention if the judge is otherwise permitted by law to do so. (3) A candidate for a judicial office: (a) shall maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office and act in a manner consistent with the integrity and independence of the judiciary, and shall encourage members of the candidate’s family to adhere to the same standards of political conduct in support of the candidate as apply to the candidate; (b) shall prohibit employees and officials who serve at the pleasure of the candidate, and shall discourage other employees and officials subject to the candidate’s direction and control from doing on the candidate’s behalf what the candidate is prohibited from doing under the Sections of this Canon; (c) except to the extent permitted by Section 7C(1), shall not authorize or knowingly permit any other person to do for the candidate what the candidate is prohibited from doing under the Sections of this Canon; (d) shall not: (i) make pledges or promises of conduct in office other than the faithful and impartial performance of the duties of the office; (ii) make statements that commit or appear to commit the candidate with respect to cases, controversies or issues that are likely to come before the court; or (iii) knowingly misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent; (iv) while a proceeding is pending or impending in any court, make any public comment that might reasonably be expected to affect its outcome or impair its fairness or make any nonpublic comment that might substantially interfere with a fair trial or hearing. This section does not apply to proceedings in which the judicial candidate is a litigant in a personal capacity. (e) may respond to personal attacks or attacks on the candidate’s record as long as the response does not violate Section 7A(3)(d). B. Candidates Seeking Appointment to Judicial or Other Governmental Office. (1) A candidate for appointment to judicial office or a judge seeking other governmental office shall not solicit or accept funds, personally or through a committee or otherwise, to support his or her candidacy. (2) A candidate for appointment to judicial office or a judge seeking other governmental office shall not engage in any political activity to secure the appointment except that: (a) such persons may: (i) communicate with the appointing authority, including any selection or nominating commission or other agency designated to screen candidates; (ii) seek support or endorsement for the appointment from organizations that regularly make recommendations for reappointment or appointment to the office, and from individuals; and (iii) provide to those specified in Sections 7B(2)(a)(i) and 7B(2)(a)(ii) information as to his or her qualifications for the office; (b) a non-judge candidate for appointment to judicial office may, in addition, unless otherwise prohibited by law: (i) retain an office in a political organization, (ii) attend political gatherings, and (iii) continue to pay ordinary assessments and ordinary contributions to a political organization or candidate and purchase tickets for political party dinners or other functions. C. Judges and Candidates Subject to Public Election. (1) A candidate, including an incumbent judge, for a judicial office that is filled by public election between competing candidates shall not personally solicit campaign funds, or solicit attorneys for publicly stated support, but may establish committees of responsible persons to secure and manage the expenditure of funds for the candidate’s campaign and to obtain public statements of support for his or her candidacy. Such committees are not prohibited from soliciting campaign contributions and public support from any person or corporation authorized by law. 1 A candidate shall not use or permit the use of campaign contributions for the private benefit of the candidate or members of the candidate’s family. (2) A candidate for merit retention in office may conduct only limited campaign activities until such time as the judge certifies that the judge’s candidacy has drawn active opposition. Limited campaign activities shall only include the conduct authorized by subsection C(1), interviews with reporters and editors of the print, audio and visual media, and appearances and speaking engagements before public gatherings and organizations. Upon mailing a certificate in writing to the Secretary of State, Division of Elections, with a copy to the Judicial Qualifications Commission, that the judge’s candidacy has drawn active opposition, and specifying the nature thereof, a judge may thereafter campaign in any manner authorized by law, subject to the restrictions of subsection A(3). (3) A judicial candidate involved in an election or re-election, or a merit retention candidate who has certified that he or she has active opposition, may attend a political party function to speak in behalf of his or her candidacy or on a matter that relates to the law, the improvement of the legal system, or the administration of justice. The function must not be a fund raiser, and the invitation to speak must also include the other candidates, if any, for that office. The candidate should refrain from commenting on the candidate’s affiliation with any political party or other candidate, and should avoid expressing a position on any political issue. A judicial candidate attending a political party function must avoid conduct that suggests or appears to suggest support of or opposition to a political party, a political issue, or another candidate. Conduct limited to that described above does not constitute participation in a partisan political party activity. D. Incumbent Judges. A judge shall not engage in any political activity except (i) as authorized under any other Section of this Code, (ii) on behalf of measures to improve the law, the legal system or the administration of justice, or (iii) as expressly authorized by law. E. Applicability. Canon 7 generally applies to all incumbent judges and judicial candidates. A successful candidate, whether or not an incumbent, is subject to judicial discipline for his or her campaign conduct; an unsuccessful candidate who is a lawyer is subject to lawyer discipline for his or her campaign conduct. A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office is subject to Rule 4-8.2(b) of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. F. Statement of Candidate for Judicial Office. Each candidate for a judicial office, including an incumbent judge, shall file a statement with the qualifying officer within 10 days after filing the appointment of campaign treasurer and designation of campaign depository, stating that the candidate has read and understands the requirements of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct. Such statement shall be in substantially the following form: STATEMENT OF CANDIDATE FOR JUDICIAL OFFICE I, _______________________, the judicial candidate, have received, have read, and understand the requirements of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct.___Signature of Candidate___ ___Date___ Amended August 24, 1995 (659 So. 2d 692); May 30, 1996 (675 So. 2d 111); November 12, 1998 (720 So. 2d 1079). COMMENTARY Canon 7A(1). A judge or candidate for judicial office retains the right to participate in the political process as a voter. Where false information concerning a judicial candidate is made public, a judge or another judicial candidate having knowledge of the facts is not prohibited by Section 7A(1) from making the facts public. Section 7A(1)(a) does not prohibit a candidate for elective judicial office from retaining during candidacy a public office such as county prosecutor, which is not “an office in a political organization.” Section 7A(1)(b) does not prohibit a judge or judicial candidate from privately expressing his or her views on judicial candidates or other candidates for public office. A candidate does not publicly endorse another candidate for public office by having that candidate’s name on the same ticket. Canon 7A(3)(a). Although a judicial candidate must encourage members of his or her family to adhere to the same standards of political conduct in support of the candidate that apply to the candidate, family members are free to participate in other political activity. Canon 7A(3)(d). Section 7A(3)(d) prohibits a candidate for judicial office from making statements that appear to commit the candidate regarding cases, controversies or issues likely to come before the court. As a corollary, a candidate should emphasize in any public statement the candidate’s duty to uphold the law regardless of his or her personal views. See also Section 3B(9), the general rule on public comment by judges . Section 7A(3)(d) does not prohibit a candidate from making pledges or promises respecting improvements in court administration. Nor does this Section prohibit an incumbent judge from making private statements to other judges or court personnel in the performance of judicial duties. This Section applies to any statement made in the process of securing judicial office, such as statements to commissions charged with judicial selection and tenure and legislative bodies confirming appointment. Canon 7B(2). Section 7B(2) provides a limited exception to the restrictions imposed by Sections 7A(1) and 7D. Under Section 7B(2), candidates seeking reappointment to the same judicial office or appointment to another judicial office or other governmental office may apply for the appointment and seek appropriate support. Although under Section 7B(2) non-judge candidates seeking appointment to judicial office are permitted during candidacy to retain office in a political organization, attend political gatherings and pay ordinary dues and assessments, they remain subject to other provisions of this Code during candidacy. See Sections 7B(1), 7B(2)(a), 7E and Application Section. Canon 7C. The term “limited campaign activities” is not intended to permit the use of common forms of campaign advertisement which include, but are not limited to, billboards, bumperstickers, media commercials, newspaper advertisements, signs, etc. Informational brochures about the merit retention system, the law, the legal system or the administration of justice, and neutral, factual biographical sketches of the candidates do not violate this provision. Active opposition is difficult to define but is intended to include any form of organized public opposition or an unfavorable vote on a bar poll. Any political activity engaged in by members of a judge’s family should be conducted in the name of the individual family member, entirely independent of the judge and without reference to the judge or to the judge’s office. Canon 7D. Neither Section 7D nor any other section of the Code prohibits a judge in the exercise of administrative functions from engaging in planning and other official activities with members of the executive and legislative branches of government. With respect to a judge’s activity on behalf of measures to improve the law, the legal system and the administration of justice, see Commentary to Section 4B and Section 4C and its Commentary.(Footnotes) 1 When first adopted, the new Canon 7C(1) prohibited a candidate from establishing a campaign committee or expending funds earlier than one year before the general election. In re Code of Judicial Conduct, 643 So. 2d 1037 (Fla. 1994). Previously there had been no time limit on the establishment of a campaign committee or on the expenditure of funds in furtherance of a judicial campaign. This restriction was enjoined by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Zeller v. Florida Bar and Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, Case No. TCA 95-40073-MMP (N.D. Fla. 1995). Subsequently, in In re: Code of Judicial Conduct, 659 So. 2d 692 (Fla. 1995), the Court deleted the one-year rule from Canon 7C(1). Proposed amendments to the Code of Judicial Conductcenter_img Proposed amendments to the Code of Judicial Conductlast_img read more

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Family Law Section, Dade SA create child support partnership

first_img August 15, 2004 Assistant Editor Regular News Family Law Section, Dade SA create child support partnership Britt Dys Assistant Editor The Family Law Section and the Dade County State Attorney’s Office are teaming up to prosecute “the worst of the worst” offenders who don’t pay child support.The joint effort was announced when the section met at the Bar’s Annual Meeting in Boca Raton.Evan Marks, chair of the Family Law Section, said that it is hoped that through publicizing this partnership family law attorneys (in Dade County) will learn that they can help people who can’t afford an attorney in the collection of child support by identifying those cases and turning them in to the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office.Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said she is the only state attorney in Florida that has her own child support enforcement division.Through this effort it is hoped this message is sent: “Pay your child support,” Marks said.“It’s going to be a sign post to the rest of the state,” he added.The law, F.S. §827.06, targets people who have already been adjudicated in civil contempt a number of times, have not paid support in excess of a year, and owe $5,000 in child support.“The law is set to go after them, and it has never been used to prosecute these people,” he said.Until now.Rundle says that the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Family Law Section both can be more productive with their joint effort because the office and the section are “very much mutually involved in child support enforcement issues.”“There is a statute [F.S. § 827.06] that is rarely used because it is complicated,” said Rundle. “But we felt that it was another tool available to us in our attempt to be fairly aggressive in the collection of child support enforcement, particularly [in prosecuting] those in arrears,” she said.Rundle says there could be benefits for everyone if children’s needs are met.“We want to do everything we can to help those children get the best start that they deserve in life, beginning, middle, and finish. They should have the sustenance they need. They need love. They need nurturing. They need support, and they need a financial base,” she said.“Our philosophy is that not only are we helping the child and a family as a whole, we’re also, hopefully in the large scheme of things, building citizens for the future who will be strong, healthy, constructive contributors to our society and not end up on the criminal track.” Family Law Section, Dade SA create child support partnershiplast_img read more

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Suit: Men Sexually Harassed by Valley Stream North High School Department Head

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A former department head at Valley Stream North High School frequently made unsolicited passes at a pair of male colleagues and boasted about her past sexual triumphs, which created a “toxic” work environment for teachers and students, according to sexual harassment complaint filed Monday against the school district.The allegations against veteran social studies teacher Cecilia Sanossian, who became chair of the Social Studies Department in the 2009-2010 school year before recently stepping down, was the result of years of disregarded complaints and deafening silence from the Valley Stream Central School District, according to two social studies teachers bringing the complaint.“To see nothing be done about it…it really hurt, it really upset me,” Alphonso Daddino of Garden City said at Carle Place office of the law firm Leeds Brown Law PC.“We were getting ignored through every channel,” said John Brennan of Brooklyn, who claimed he was first sexually harassed during the 2009-2010 school year.Both men said they were victims of unwanted advances through the years and had to endure suggestive comments that disrupted the work environment and caused physical and emotional stress.Brennan, who is married, alleged that Sanossian would massage his shoulders and neck and caress his scalp even after he’d decline her offers, which made him feel powerless, he said.“I got to the point where I wouldn’t even go to our office anymore,” he said.In the complaint filed with the New York State Division of Human Rights, Daddino said he was touched inappropriately on his back, arms and shoulders. Sanossian also made lewd comments, such as “I give the best head,” explaining her preference for older men, and an admission that she and her sisters are known for their “great assess but not their breasts,” the complaint states.Brennan claimed that the sexual harassment would continue even after he had made official complaints to the administration. “Sanossian made comments to John such as: ‘I could just kiss you,’” and in one instance, invited him over to shower at her house, according to the complaint.Ten concerned members of the social studies department collectively wrote a letter to the high school principal last May detailing troubling comments and threats made against members of the department. Sanossian would openly brag about her sex life, including the time she broke her rib during a specific romp, the complaint states. She also referred to male members of the department as “FILF”—“fathers I would like to f**k,” according to the letter included in the complaint. Her fondness for one male colleague prompted Sanossian to compare him to a “hot fudge chocolate Sunday that students want to eat,” the letter states.Both men said on several occasions they explained their grievances to the school administration, including to the principal and assistant principal. Brennan’s first verbal complaint was made in 2010. Both men filed sexual harassment complaints, but corrective measures were never taken, according to the complaint.“She created a very toxic environment,” said Daddino. “I had to do something. I couldn’t let this continue.”Brennan agreed.“That’s why we’re at this point,” added Brennan. “We have to do what’s right.”Their attorney, Lenard Leeds, called the men “heroes” and said they’re trying to do what’s best for their colleagues and students. Leeds also suggested hypothetically that a similar complaint made by a female would perhaps attract a more aggressive response from the school district. Brennan, however, said they have not been shamed for speaking out and insisted that their colleagues have been supportive.Leeds called for disciplinary actions against Sanossian, who recently stepped down as chair and now works as a teacher. Leeds said he would leave it to a jury to determine how much the men should be awarded.“The district is aware of the allegations and is conducting an internal investigation,” Bill Heidenreich, Superintendent of Valley Stream Central High School District, said in a statement through a spokeswoman. “Due to matters of personnel, the district is not offering any further comment at this time.”It was unclear if Sanossian had hired an attorney.last_img read more

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Manhasset Mom Launches Kid-tracking App

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York After Kim Gavin lost track of one of her daughters at a party, the Manhasset mother used her fear as inspiration to launch a new product that helps parents avoid similar scares.The Monkey KID Sensor is a disposable beacon that can be fastened to a child’s clothing. It pairs with a smartphone app that alerts parents when their children wander outside of a perimeter, using geo-fencing technology. It’s proven popular with parents planning trips to Disney World.“It’s a tool that I think a lot of parents would benefit from and there’s no judgement from having something like this, it’s just a simple extra layer of protection,” says Gavin. “We knew…people would appreciate this very simple, easy-to- use, wearable accessory that would help kids from wandering.”The device, which launched Dec. 19, is already getting attention for its unique ability to put to rest a parent’s worst nightmare of losing a child at the park or mall and the ensuing fear that they’ve been kidnapped or worse.She’s already in talks with ABC’s Shark Tank, has been featured on the Today show, had thousands of downloads and sold hundreds of beacons. Gavin also exhibited the device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, where she was one of only 50 women founders out of 800 exhibitors.The 44-year-old married mother of two says she’s always been entrepreneurial and credits experience at her day job at Boston Scientific, an implantable medical device innovator, with helping her overcome the odds as a tech startup.The device, which is not to be confused with The Monkey App — a chat roulette-like app recently launched by Australian teens — sells for $39 each, $69 for two or $99 for three. Each beacon lasts about four months. Parents can set the virtual fence up to 170 feet wide before their wandering children will signal a cell phone alert.“Kids are like monkeys,” she says of her inspiration for the name. “They’re just hard to catch.”last_img read more

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Member data and the merger effect

first_imgThere are a lot of considerations for any organization going through a merger. It takes cooperation and patience to combine cultures, assets and staff during a merger, but for credit unions, the effect on members is a major factor to keep at the forefront. Members often come to credit unions to experience a better value through more customization, better service and a more personal banking experience. A merger might be unsettling for members, so it’s important to reassure them that their experience will not be negatively impacted by the changes a merger will bring. To actually follow through on that, maintaining a tight lock on member information and data will be essential. Here are some tips regarding member data security that credit unions should know when embarking on a merger.RankBegin by ranking the importance of all the data and segment by data type. This might include checks, financial statements and reports, loan agreements, etc. Ranking this data will give it a score that reflects its sensitivity, access level, retention period and how critical the data is to your CU and members. This will allow your credit union to lock down the most sensitive and important data first and move deeper into data that is ranked at a lower priority. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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WHO equivocal on prepandemic use of H5N1 vaccines

first_imgMay 10, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that “a number” of human vaccines against the H5N1 avian influenza may become available soon, but declined to say whether they should be used before a flu pandemic arises.Besides the H5N1 vaccine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in April, “a number of the most advanced candidate vaccines against H5N1 avian influenza might be registered within six months to two years,” the WHO said in a question-and-answer bulletin on pandemic flu vaccines.Vaccine developers are focusing on H5N1 because it is regarded as the virus most likely to evolve into a pandemic strain. But if it does, no one knows how much protection will be provided by vaccines based on current strains.As they become available, “prepandemic” vaccines for H5N1 could be used in poultry workers, healthcare workers, or even whole populations, the WHO said, but the agency stopped short of recommending that step in advance of an actual pandemic.”WHO’s expert groups point out that the pandemic virus may be quite different than what people are immunized against and therefore the vaccine may not be protective, and that any decision about whether to use avian flu vaccines as a hedge against pandemic influenza must be done so with full knowledge of this fundamental uncertainty,” the statement said.”In the best scenario, such use of a vaccine would prove life saving,” it continued. “In the worst, it would only have little effectiveness, and some experts consider such a use of the vaccine as an unfounded expenditure. WHO continues to review all of the scientific, health and social benefits and drawbacks with its experts and policies are regularly updated.”Once a flu pandemic virus is identified, it will take at least 4 to 6 months to produce the first doses of vaccine for it, the WHO said. Other predictions about the time needed to develop and start producing a pandemic vaccine have typically said at least 6 months.In other comments, the WHO said a rapid increase in flu vaccine production capacity is likely in the next few years but cautioned that a universal flu vaccine may be more than a decade away.The statement said drug companies are moving to increase vaccine production capacity “substantially,” and capacity could “nearly double” by 2009. Current world capacity has been estimated at about 350 million doses of seasonal vaccine, with each dose targeting three flu strains.In the next 3 to 5 years, the WHO said, “We will see movement towards increased vaccine production capacity in both industrialized and developing countries with a combined vaccine production capacity potentially above 3 billion doses per year.” The current world population is more than 6 billion.Concerning the goal of a broadly protective flu vaccine, the agency said, “An ideal influenza vaccine that would protect against all strains of influenza is still very much upstream in the pipeline, and might not be available in the next five to 10 years.”The WHO also commented briefly on steps for providing developing countries with pandemic vaccines. The agency is currently in a standoff with Indonesia, which has been withholding H5N1 virus samples from the WHO for months out of concern that they will be used by drug companies to produce vaccines priced out of Indonesia’s reach.For the short term, the WHO is working with UNICEF and industrialized countries to begin lining up funds to buy vaccines for developing countries, the statement said. For the longer term, the agency wants to (1) develop seasonal flu vaccination programs where appropriate and (2) establish vaccine production capacity in developing countries.Other WHO plans for increasing the supply of pandemic flu vaccines include the following:Conducting a thorough survey of vaccine production capacity and anticipated demandStudying how to improve current low production yields with inactivated vaccines made from H5N1 virusesInvestigating dose-sparing approaches to stretch vaccine suppliesSee also: WHO’s “Questions and Answers on Pandemic Influenza Vaccine”http://www.who.int/immunization/newsroom/PI_QAs/en/index.htmlApr 17 CIDRAP News story “FDA approves first H5N1 vaccine”last_img read more

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Buildings collapse in heavy rain in India’s Mumbai, killing eight

first_imgHeavy rains lashing India’s financial capital of Mumbai have caused the collapse of a multi-story building, killing six people and injuring several, authorities said.The dilapidated six-story structure in the city’s south was home to five or six families who stayed on after residents were advised to evacuate as it was under repairs, eyewitnesses told television channels.Two people were declared dead on Thursday evening, with disaster response officials pulling four more bodies from debris during the night, fire and police officials said. Topics : Several people had been trapped under the debris with many more stranded in the portion left standing after the collapse, causing instability, city fire chief P.S. Rahangdale said.”The risk of secondary collapse can’t be ruled out,” he added.Another building collapsed in the western suburb of Malad earlier, killing two, including a child, and injuring several.Every year, heavy downpours in Mumbai bring down some rain-sodden small and large structures deemed too dangerous to live in.Intense rains over the previous few days prompted weather officials on Thursday to upgrade to ‘red’ from ‘orange’ an alert called for the city and surrounding areas.last_img read more

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ABP credits 2014 outperformance to active management policy

first_imgThe pension fund’s 10% property allocation, which returned 26.5%, was the best performing investment category.Tactical asset holdings, consisting of listed property companies and funds, returned 31.1%.The pension fund cited the rise of the US dollar relative to the euro, creating “good conditions to list or sell companies”, in part for the 23.3% return on its 5% private equity portfolio.Equity returned 17.1%, with US equities producing the best results.The scheme’s fixed income holdings returned 13.9%, with government bonds returning 13.4%, outperforming their benchmark by 0.3 percentage points.ABP’s stake in hedge funds (5%) and infrastructure (2%) generated 17% each last year.The pension fund said the best-performing hedge funds strategies were Relative Value Arbitrage, Equity Driven and Corporate Distressed.Infrastructure benefited from the low-interest environment and increasing demand, with co-investments in ports and pipelines performing particularly well, according to the annual report.ABP lost 21.9% on its 3% commodities portfolio, citing “badly performing” oil markets, as well as metals and agricultural products.The pension fund’s board said it had decided to stick with its 25% interest hedge, “as it didn’t want to steer on current interest levels because of the scheme’s long-term focus”.It pointed out that a full hedge would hamper its indexation potential in the event of a sharp increase in inflation.ABP said that during the past 5 years, it had generated €12.4bn of net extra returns thanks to active management, adding that hedge funds had delivered a annual net result of 9.9% during this period.ABP has more than 2.8m participants in total, who are affiliated with 3.750 employers. ABP, the €373bn pension fund for Dutch civil servants, has credited its active investment policy for the 0.45-percentage-point outperformance of its investment portfolio last year. The pension fund reported a 2014 net return of 14.5% – with 3.9 percentage points from its interest hedge – and said nearly all asset classes contributed positively.However, the scheme’s official ‘policy funding’ – which dropped to 102.6% at the end of March due to falling interest rates – was too low for the scheme to grant inflation compensation.As a result, indexation in arrears increased to almost 10%, according to ABP, which added that the options for cost-of-living-allowance would be “very limited” in the coming years.last_img read more