Students Encouraged To Enter Writing Contest

first_imgThe Indiana State Library encourages young Hoosiers in grades 4-12 to enter a writing contest about how a book has affected them personally. The 2018-19 Letters About Literature contest is supported by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.Participants should write a letter to an author, living or deceased, explaining how his or her work changed their view of themselves or the view of the world. The contest is split up into three categories, and are judged on state and national levels.The deadline to enter the contest is Jan. 11, 2019. The 2019 Indiana Youth Literary Day and Award Ceremony will be held April 13 at the Indiana State Library. Click here for more information, guidelines, criteria and entry forms. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

In pictures: National Cupcake Championships 2013

first_imgThe live judging and awards ceremony for the National Cupcake Championships took place at this weekend’s Cake International show at Birmingham NEC, on Saturday 9 November.Martin Hargreaves (professional) and Shalini Sriskandarasa (home baker) were named National Cupcake Champions in the competition.The National Cupcake Championships form part of British Baker’s annual event National Cupcake Week. National Cupcake Week is sponsored by Tesco, Secret Ingredients and BFP Wholesale.Click here to view our full story and list of the winners.last_img

Emergency planning

first_imgSix of Harvard’s deepest thinkers on the environment warned about a worsening climate crisis, even as they shared promising new technology, new ideas about city design, and examples of how markets can be used to meet the challenges of sustainability.The faculty members spoke Tuesday at Sanders Theatre as part of Harvard Thinks Green 2, a sustainability-focused event that gave each presenter 10 minutes to talk about their ideas on the environment.The presentations of Harvard geologist Daniel Schrag and atmospheric chemist James Anderson framed the problem for the audience, offering the dramatic example of Arctic sea ice melt that this summer surpassed even 2007’s record melt, when the Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific was ice-free for the first time since recordkeeping began.“We are beginning to see signs of what I would term a planetary emergency,” Schrag said.Harvard’s biggest impact on the problem may not come from a specific invention or the University’s own efforts to decrease its carbon footprint, but rather through the efforts of students and alumni as they take leadership positions in the world, several speakers said. That impact, however, can be realized only if students leave Harvard with the knowledge to both understand and act on the problem.The event was modeled after the popular TED talks, in which prominent specialists in a variety of fields offer short presentations on their best ideas. It was sponsored by the Harvard Office for Sustainability, the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and the student group Harvard Thinks Big.Heather Henriksen, director of the Office for Sustainability, introduced the event, highlighting Harvard’s progress toward its own goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The University has made progress, with emissions down 7 percent since 2006, even with growth of 13 percent. Still, Henriksen said, there is a long way to go to reach the goal of a 30 percent reduction by 2016, one that she urged students help the University to meet.“Suddenly the prediction we heard a few years ago — that seemed crazy — that the Arctic might be ice-free by the middle of the century, now looks wildly conservative,” noted Harvard Professor Daniel Schrag.A tipping point?Schrag, the Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, professor of environmental science and engineering, and director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, kicked off the talk with images of this summer’s Arctic sea ice melt. The Northwest Passage was open, as in the “shocking” summer of 2007; the Northeast Passage, ice-locked for so long that Schrag described it as “fabled,” as well.“Not only is it open, it is wide open,” Schrag said. “Suddenly the prediction we heard a few years ago — that seemed crazy — that the Arctic might be ice-free by the middle of the century, now looks wildly conservative.”Both Schrag and Anderson, the Philip S. Weld Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, said the changes are likely irreversible.Not only does it take tens of thousands of years for nature to purge the carbon dioxide we’re adding, but the warming can trigger enormous planetary feedbacks that make it impossible to go back.In the Arctic, Anderson said, melting ice exposes dark ocean water, which absorbs the sun’s heat more efficiently than reflective ice. The open water also allows warmer flows from the south and exposes the surface to warmer winds. Once the heat is in the system, Anderson said, there’s no way to take it back out and return to a cooler regime.Harvard Business School’s Amy Edmondson believes truly innovative spaces require the collaboration of everyone from architects to building contractors to real estate developers to IT people to government officials.“We go from the condition of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic … and we move to a condition where the ice is gone; we cannot get back to the earlier state,” Anderson said. “The reason we can’t get back are the intrinsic feedbacks in the system that control that irreversibility.”In addition to the extent of Arctic ice shrinking dramatically, its thickness is falling as well, Anderson said. Measurements in 1955 found the ice to average 3.5 meters thick, a figure today that is just 1.5 meters, he said.And ice is melting elsewhere. As recently as 1985, there was no surface melting on Greenland’s massive ice sheet, Anderson noted. In 1992, surface melting was observed; in 2005 as much as half the surface had meltwater on it; and this summer the entire surface was covered by meltwater. Meltwater is a particular problem, Anderson said, because it runs down through the glacier, breaking the bond of the ice with the land and lubricating that interface, raising the risk of the sheet’s collapse. The Greenland ice sheet has enough water to raise sea levels by 7 meters. A 3-meter increase would inundate Harvard.Greening the citiesJoyce Rosenthal, assistant professor of urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, highlighted new thinking about design in a world that is rapidly urbanizing, with more than half of humanity today living in cities.One thing that is clear, Rosenthal said, is that the U.S. model of urban design, with large sprawling cities surrounded by suburbs that demand car travel, is unsustainable.One thing that is clear, Harvard Professor Joyce Rosenthal said, is that the U.S. model of urban design, with large sprawling cities surrounded by suburbs that demand car travel, is unsustainable.Instead, she said, tomorrow’s cities could revisit the design of Europe’s old, walkable cities — 10 times as dense as the typical U.S. city — where shops and other services are integrated with residences and public transit is located somewhere within a walkable 20 minutes. New designs could have “pedestrian pockets” — walkable centers where residences and services are clustered — spread along a transit line such as light rail or express bus.Beyond design, Rosenthal said that many cities are working to become more sustainable through initiatives such as green rooftops, car-free city centers, anti-sprawl zoning regulations, and converting stormwater conversion.Creating innovative living spaces is no easy feat, however. Amy Edmondson, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, discussed the clash of cultures sometimes created by such projects. Truly innovative spaces require the collaboration of everyone from architects to building contractors to real estate developers to IT people to government officials. Each of these specialties, she said, has its own culture and way of doing business.Solutions and revolutionsThough it will take tens of thousands of years for the Earth to purge the carbon dioxide we’ve already added, if we can stop using fossil fuels by the end of the century we might avoid the most catastrophic effects, Schrag said.To do that will require a paradigm shift that changes our entire relationship with energy, according to several speakers. While such revolutions are rare, they do happen. Schrag highlighted the shift from whale oil to petroleum products in the late 1800s and the Green Revolution, in which modern agricultural techniques and technological advances provided food for the world’s burgeoning population.Daniel Nocera, the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy, cited the equally revolutionary shift from horses to automobiles, something so unthinkable at the end of the 19th century that prognosticators worried about the dimensions the problem would take in the decades to come, predicting the rapidly mounting piles of horse manure by 1950 would fill the streets of London to nine feet.Nocera is among the scientists working toward such a paradigm change. He has developed a relatively inexpensive, easily manufacturable device, called an “artificial leaf,” that uses sunlight to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel. This device — or something similar — has the potential to provide a pathway to modernization for the billions of the world’s poor and for the estimated three billion in population growth expected by mid-century.Nocera’s numbers provided a stark reality check as to the extent of the change required. The world’s expected energy demand will roughly double by mid-century, which would require an enormous expansion of all kinds of renewable energy sources to meet it. The allotment of nuclear power alone — some 8 terawatts — would require building 200 nuclear plants a year between now and then.As an alternative, there’s enough energy in the water in Blodgett Pool, if it can be harnessed by a device like Nocera’s artificial leaf, to meet the projected mid-century global energy needs.Daniel Nocera, the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy, has developed an “artificial leaf” that uses sunlight to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel.Any new technology has to be marketed and distributed to be successful, however. Joseph Aldy, assistant professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, spoke of the power of markets in creating global change.Markets, Aldy said, can be very fast and efficient, allowing entrepreneurs to bring new products to market and consumers to get the things they want and need. In a recent example of the power of the market, Apple Inc. has pre-sold millions of its new iPhone 5s even though the device doesn’t go on sale until Friday. Another illustration has been the shale gas-sparked transformation of the U.S. energy market in just a few years. Despite decades of hand-wringing over the prevalence of coal-burning plants in the U.S. electricity picture, a drop in the price of natural gas driven by rapidly expanding domestic supplies has reduced coal’s share and increased natural gas’ share of the electricity market just since 2008.To combat climate change, Aldy said, a price has to be levied on carbon so that businesses recognize that emitting carbon dioxide is a cost of doing business. That cost will give businesses an incentive to minimize carbon dioxide emissions. This can happen, Aldy said, by levying a carbon tax, by creating a cap and trade regulatory scheme — where an overall limit is imposed by the government and tradeable permits to emit certain amounts are given to industry — or by imposing government clean energy standards.Though the U.S. government has balked at putting a price on carbon, several states and regions are going ahead anyway, as are other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and, in a pilot project, China.“If we can harness the power of markets and really finally change the incentives for how we produce energy and how we consume energy, in doing so we can leave a better planet for our children and grandchildren,” Aldy said.To combat climate change, a price has to be levied on carbon so that businesses recognize that emitting carbon dioxide is a cost of doing business, said Joseph Aldy, assistant professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.last_img read more

Lash Joins IBEW Local 300 Staff

first_imgMatt Lash recently joined the staff of the South Burlington-based labor union as the director of marketing and business development. He comes to Local 300 after two years at the Barre Partnership, a nonprofit committed to revitalizing the Granite City’s downtown. A graduate of St. Michael’s College, Lash holds a bachelor of arts in journalism and mass communication with a minor in political science.”I am proud to come on board at Local 300. Given my interests, this opportunity is very intriguing to me both personally and professionally,” Lash said. “In addition to my appreciation for thriving businesses, I have always believed in fair compensation for a hard day’s work – a notion the IBEW is wholeheartedly devoted to.”Lash returned to his native Vermont in late 2005 after a stint in New York City, where he most recently worked for Sommerfield Communications, a full-service public relations firm there. Prior to that, he handled the marketing and communications efforts for the events division of Frost & Sullivan, a global growth-consulting firm in Manhattan.”Local 300 is moving in a direction patterned by the IBEW Code of Excellence, which stresses that our membership perform the highest quantity and quality of work, utilize skills and abilities to the maximum, and exercise safe and productive work practices,” said Business Manager George Clain. “Matt’s talents, particularly on the business and communications sides, will help advance these ideals and ensure that our union continues its solid relationship with the business community.”last_img read more

Seventh Generation breakthrough gets new USDA BioPreferred seal

first_imgSeventh Generation,Seventh Generation, a leading maker of non-toxic and renewable household and personal care products, has announced that a radical new reformulation of its best-selling laundry liquids has received one of the first ever USDA BioPreferred labels. The innovation responsible for this distinction is a brand new surfactant derived entirely from plant-based materials that’s been developed by the company and its partners at Rhodia, member of the Solvay group.As a result of this dramatic breakthrough in detergent technology, Seventh Generation’s new laundry detergent has become one of just a handful of products in the nation to be awarded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new BioPreferred seal, which certifies products that are entirely or significantly made from renewable agricultural ingredients and materials. The new labeling program is intended to help consumers make purchases that reduce dependence on petroleum, boost rural economies, and alleviate climate change.Seventh Generation’s new laundry detergent uses a groundbreaking new surfactant, a key ingredient in soil removal. Seventh Generation, together with Rhodia, has developed this unique surfactant by combining ethylene oxide derived from sugar cane and plant-derived lauryl alcohol. This surfactant contains no petroleum, has 100% renewable carbon and features outstanding detergent properties.”It’s hard to overstate just how big this is,” said Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle. “It’s a cleaning industry holy grail of sorts and something we’ve been working on for a long time. Thanks to this new chemistry, we’ve created a premium high performance laundry detergent and dramatically boosted the overall renewable content of our laundry liquid from 77% to 97%.””The development of this bio-based technology is a good example of Rhodia’s strategy to be the preferred partner of our customers to implement sustainable solutions without compromising performance,” said Oliver Hufer, Vice President, Home & Personal Care Market at Rhodia.The new all-natural, plant-derived surfactant will make its debut in Seventh Generation 2X Laundry Liquid, and will soon be available in a new industry-leading 4X formula that delivers excellent cleansing at the half the dosage of standard 2X formulas while cutting shipping and storage requirements in half. This upgraded formula also contains new enzymes that target a wider array of stains and appreciably boost the product’s already impressive cleaning power in both standard and HE machines. Finally, there is the packaging all this performance will come in: An innovative energy- and resource-saving bottle literally made from 100% post-con sumer recycled newspaper and cardboard that is fully recyclable, compostable, and quite simply the most sustainable product ever created by Seventh Generation.Company officials expect the new plant-based surfactant formula to premiere on store shelves in early November. Consumers should look for the BioPreferred label on select product packages, while noting that all Seventh Generation laundry detergents will feature the new surfactant early in 2012.ABOUT SEVENTH GENERATIONSeventh Generation is committed to being the most trusted brand of household and personal-care products for your living home. Our products are healthy solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home — and for the community and environment outside of it. Seventh Generation also offers baby products that are safe for your children and the planet. The company derives its name from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy that states, “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” Every time you use a Seventh Generation product you are making a difference by saving natural resources, reducing pollution, and making the world a better place for this and the next seven generations.For information on Seventh Generation cleaning, paper, baby and feminine personal care products, to find store locations, and explore the company’s website visit www.seventhgeneration.com(link is external). To read more about Seventh Generation’s corporate responsibility, visit the 2010 Corporate Consciousness Report.ABOUT RHODIARhodia, member of the Solvay group, is a specialty chemical company resolutely committed to sustainable development. As a leader in its businesses, the Group aims to improve its customers’ performance through the pursuit of operational excellence and its ability to innovate. Structured around 11 Global Business Units, Rhodia is the partner of major players in the automotive, electronics, flavors and fragrances, health, personal and home care markets, consumer goods and industrial markets. Rhodia employs around 14 000 people worldwide and generated sales of EUR 5.23 billion in 2010.Rhodia Novecare, one of the 11 Rhodia’s GBU, with net sales of about EUR 1.2 billion in 2010, provides high-performance products and solutions to a wide range of industries including cosmetics, detergents, agrochemicals, oil & gas, as well as coating and industrial applications. Thanks to a worldwide industrial footprint and global R&D and tech-support network, Rhodia Novecare holds leading positions in surfactants, amines, phosphorus derivatives, natural & synthetic polymers and monomers technologies, and eco-friendly solvents-based formulations. Rhodia Novecare has developed particular expertise to answer and anticipate customer needs in protection, surface modification, rheology, active delivery, improvement of formulations and processes and sustainable solutions. BURLINGTON, VT–(Marketwire – November 17, 2011) –last_img read more

Rock Climbing 101: Get a foothold on your first climb with our beginner’s guide to rock.

first_imgRock climbing is like forming a band in high school; everyone does it, but very few of us do it right. Typically, this is the way most of us begin climbing: You see some videos on Youtube or maybe watch Stallone’s Cliffhanger, get psyched about dyno moves, then convince some work buddy who claims to be “big into rock climbing” to take you out one Saturday afternoon. But said work buddy’s climbing experience is limited to hitting on chicks at the local climbing gym. He has to retie your knot three times before he says, “I think that’s right,” and you spend about 20 minutes stuck to the side of a sandstone route that’s way over your head wondering why anyone would risk their life just to make it to the top of a rock that you could probably summit on a hiking trail anyway. Once safely on the ground you swear you’ll never strap on a climbing harness again.There’s a better way to begin your rock climbing career. Follow this guide and learn about common mistakes, proper gear, training tips, and where to find beginner-friendly rock.ARE YOU TRAD OR SPORT?There is more than one way to send that rock. Here are the three most common forms of rock climbing.Top Rope: The rope is attached to a fixed anchor or temporary anchor at the top of the climb, allowing for a single point of contact above the climber. Top roping is usually the first form of climbing athletes explore. It’s single pitch only, so you remain relatively close to the ground, it requires a limited amount of gear, and because of the higher anchor position, a top roped climber never actually “falls” as long as the belayer is doing his/her job. There’s always tension on the rope so instead of falling several feet to a point of protection below the climber, you swing away from the rock staying at the same position.Sport Climbing: Permanent bolts are fixed to a given route allowing climbers to “clip in” as they progress up the wall. While sport climbing is very popular in Western states, bolted routes are few and far between in the Southeast. The Red River Gorge in Kentucky and Foster Falls in Tennessee are hotbeds of southern sport climbing.Traditional Climbing (“trad”): The most common form of climbing in the Southeast, trad climbers place their own temporary protection in the rock as they send a route. Climbers are equipped with a “rack” of gear which is placed in cracks and crevices throughout the climb to protect against falls. In multi-pitch trad climbs, one climber leads placing protection and the second climber follows removing the protection.TRAIN SMARTERClimbing is the best way to train for climbing, but how do you train for rock climbing when you can’t climb rock? Think muscle endurance. Pull-ups are good, but you need to train your entire body to withstand the demand of sending 80-foot long routes without rest. Forget the big plates in the weight room. Instead, do full body exercises like “cleans” and “burpees” that hinge on low weight at high reps. Work your core and don’t neglect your cardio and you’ll perform better on the rock than just knocking out a bunch of pull-ups.POSTURE PLEASEProper climbing posture can often feel awkward for beginners who want to hug the wall with every inch of their body. Instead of sticking to the rock like glue, adopt this basic climbing stance: “Keep your arms straight, your back arched and your hips pushed toward the rock, as if you’re leaning away from the rock with your upper body,” says Swis Stockton of Granite Arches. “This keeps the stress on your legs, which is the key to climbing endurance.” When you’re comfortable with the stance, work the wall with your legs, thinking about foot placement first and hand placement last. Maintain contact with your feet. If your feet are slipping off a hold, you’re putting too much pressure on your upper body (hugging the wall) and not enough on your lower body.last_img read more

Trauma Tuesday: What is Parkour?

first_imgHave you heard of Free Style Walking, Free-Running, or, otherwise known as Parkour? Looks like fun…Video by Michael SlaterVideo by Joel Fenton/Team JerichoVideo by ps3kidbroVideo by blastoids11last_img

Tropical Storm Isaac in Haiti, Nearly Three Years After the Earthquake

first_img Water, food, medicine, blankets and tents. Haiti lacked all of it at first, when chaos and surprise seized the people of Haiti during the earthquake that devastated the country in January 2010. Afterward, supplies were abundant. Aid arrived by the tons from every corner of the planet, but little by little it started to accumulate, because Haiti did not have official distribution channels or proper mechanisms in place to deliver the assistance. It did not have a contingency plan for emergencies. No one knew where they should be distributing the necessary products, and there was no organized manner to respond to the people still crying out for help. On August 25, 2012 everything was different. When Tropical Storm Isaac started to hit the Haitian coast, more than 14,000 people across the country, mainly in the western and eastern parts of the island, were already evacuated thanks to the Haitian government and its international partners, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which anticipated the possible damage. In the history of the country, this was the first preventive evacuation led by the Haitian government. The evacuees were already identified as members of vulnerable groups, such as refugees residing in camps, children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities, according to a statement from the Haitian government. These planned and organized evacuations were held throughout the day on August 24, a day before the storm made landfall. Additionally, many urgent evacuations were made during the night and early morning of August 25, while the weather conditions worsened. After the storm, a prompt and accurate damage assessment identified the most serious problems, and gave immediate assistance to people whose lives were at the greatest risk and required urgent attention. On August 26, the United Nations (UN) reported a toll of 19 deaths and 2,350 homes destroyed. Though these are not small, they are a stark contrast to the toll left by the earthquake of 2010, which took the lives of more than 200,000, and about 2.5 million homeless, according to figures from the UN. To assess Tropical Storm Isaac, the Haitian government and USAID used a team of experts in disaster response; all of which helped in the preparation of the storm, and are now determining the damages it caused, as well as where and what kind of humanitarian aid is needed. Preliminary reports indicate that the impact of the storm was more significant in Port-au-Prince and the southeastern departments of the country. From day one, humanitarian organizations were distributing emergency supplies to the needy, including water, food, personal hygiene packs, blankets, and plastic sheeting, among other items and necessities. The difference now is that all these resources were already in-country, ready to be used in incidents like this. Due in large part to the professional response and organization of the Haitian government before, during, and after Tropical Storm Isaac, countless and priceless lives have been saved. Lesson learned. By Dialogo August 30, 2012last_img read more

Colombian Air Force Bombs ELN Campsite

first_imgBy Yolima Dussán/Diálogo April 18, 2018 The Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish) bombed a campsite belonging to the illegal armed group National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish), killing 10 guerrillas and injuring three. The objective of the March 6, 2018 military offensive was to take down José Evaristo Gelvez Galvis, alias Cachaco, leader of an ELN group of 120 people involved in criminal activity in the Antioquia region. Colombian National Army and Police units participated in the mission, with the support of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation and the Technical Investigative Corps of the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia. Intelligence operations allowed security forces to establish Cachaco’s presence at a house in the municipality of Cáceres, in Bajo Cauca, Antioquia. After FAC’s bombing maneuver, Army Special Forces took control on land. Troops from the Army’s Seventh Division participated in coordinating the operation, completed in less than four hours. “The objective of the operation was 13 guerrillas, and 13 were neutralized,” Army General Alberto José Mejía, general commander of the Colombian Military Forces, said during a press conference. “These exercises are activated at a moment’s notice; they demand we have groups on standby at launching bases and for FAC to be ready to apply force at any hour of the night.” Successful bombing The air maneuver was carried out with A-37 Dragonfly and A-29 Super Tucano combat aircraft. Additionally, UH-60L helicopters were decisive during the air offensive, and a FAC C-208B intelligence airplane coordinated the preliminary information. “It was a typical mission in terms of air power use, which respected all precepts, concepts, and protocols of International Humanitarian Law,” said General Carlos Eduardo Bueno Vargas, FAC general commander. “We used the air power required to neutralize the target, [with] a process of analysis and verification with additional reconnaissance flights to avoid collateral damage to the civilian population. The precision of the combat planes was excellent.” “After bombing the campsite, Army Special Forces disembarked at sites intelligence units identified. Using rappelling techniques, they took control of the area,” said General Ricardo Gómez Nieto, commander of the Army. “On land, there was fighting with the guerrillas, who were eventually neutralized. War material was seized at the site. The three wounded insurgents received immediate medical care.” Peace restored in the area The joint operation neutralized a criminal group whose actions caused great damage to the civilian population, members of security forces, and the country’s strategic infrastructure in the area over the past few years. “This [ELN] group was the reason for the huge displacement of residents from the Cáceres and Taraza municipalities in the past few years, and was behind the frequent attacks against electrical towers, which are part of the grid near Córdoba,” said Minister of Defense Luis Carlos Villegas. “With the impeccable military operation, the border region of Amalfi, Segovia, Cáceres, and Remedios, which ELN harmed, receives great news of peace.” Bajo Cauca is in the eastern part of Antioquia department, in the foothills of the Central Andes. About 250,000 people live in precarious conditions after years of displacement. Mining and agriculture are the main resources, but the largest part of the economy is informal. “Cachaco [spent] more than 25 years in this criminal structure,” explained Gen. Gómez Nieto. “He had a huge list of crimes and terror. He killed police officers, kidnapped civilians, extorted businessmen, and other crimes.” Authorities believed Cachaco was responsible for setting a public bus aflame in February 2018, between the municipalities of San Andrés de Cuerquia and Toledo, Antioquia, as well as a freight truck in the same region. He also killed a soldier in Valdivia, also in Antioquia, when the officer prevented guerrillas from setting an explosive on a bridge. Joining capacities As of the first week of April 2018, the Colombian Military Forces neutralized 195 ELN members—74 turned themselves in voluntarily, 87 were arrested, and 34 were killed during military operations. Citizen cooperation was decisive to gather intelligence. “In joining efforts, some work focuses on receiving intelligence tips, specialized teams that handle all the [data] collection methodologies, human sources, and real-time information,” said General Jorge Hernando Nieto Rojas, director of the National Police. “[We have] groups dedicated exclusively to this work that allows for precise results.” “The operation lets the population of Cáceres and Taraza know about the presence of security forces, achievements and major results not only against ELN, but also against the Gulf Clan,” Gen. Mejía said. “When all forces join together and we have the participation of the Police, we get results like this. I emphasize high-level intelligence from the National Army, compared with and backed by other agencies under a vision of fusion and integration that operations require to obtain authoritative intelligence.” For internal defense in the post-conflict stage, the Colombian Military Forces count on the strategic plan Victoria Plus. The Colombian Police use a similar plan called Communities in Peace. “The two plans are united, joined. They are connected vessels. This is the first time in history our campaigns are called both military and police. That means joint operations, never one without the other, which gives more effective and decisive results,” Gen. Mejía concluded. The offensive against ELN is ongoing. A new round of peace talks between the government and the top leadership of the terrorist organization began on April 2nd.last_img read more

Managing your credit union’s loan data

first_img 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Whether it’s part of a CECL preparedness conversation or part of a more proactive approach to risk management under existing regulatory expectations, the topic of “loan-level data” has repeatedly come up since the 2012 proposal from the FASB. As a result, at Sageworks, we have received many questions from our clients – banks and credit unions alike – about the steps to data preparedness.Credit unions face a distinct challenge in that, generally, borrower data for a credit union is stored in several different core processing or decisioning systems. These data silos make it all the harder for credit unions to begin data archiving. There are more sources from which to pull information and, probably, fewer IT resources that can focus on data management at a credit union.Sageworks helps our clients overcome this data challenge through a customized core integration (find out more about a Sageworks Core System Integration), but how can a credit union gather loan-level data?Limited MethodFor CECL specifically, it’s likely that a credit union will need several years of data (life of loan) to accommodate the forward-looking calculations. One way to capture this information is the Limited Method, in which the credit union uses data already stored in its core and decisioning system(s). Often these systems store data for up to 13 months, so look into your own core provider to see the limitations it may present. For this and the following methods, the credit union will likely have to have access to a report writer or know how to access core information. continue reading »last_img read more