State Bicycle builds many no-nonsense city riding fixies & single speeds, and every so often drops a limited edition. To get in the spirit of the season – and add a bit more visibility this fall – the latest special run their top Black Label alloy fixed gear bike comes in Zombie Green. And to outfit you in style, State has also reworked their premium Black Label clothing line to create simple, solid color basic kit that won’t break the bank.State Bicycle limited edition Zombie Green Black Label v2 fixed gearGetting ready for the month’s battles of the undead, State Bicycle Co continues their “One-Run” super-limited edition paint project with the new Zombie Green Black Label v2. Build it out with a flat bar or compact road drops, and ride it as a fixed gear or singlespeed with its flip-flop rear wheel. State has only made a single run of the super bright green frames, but you still get to pick & choose how you want to build it up for your style of riding.State Zombie Green Black Label v2 – Tech DetailsThe Black Label v2 frame is built from double-butted 6061 aluminum tubing, with a tapered headtube & new full-carbon Essor fork.The new urban track style frame also adds a set of bottle cage bosses for a bit more real world usability.Complete builds include a lightweight mid-depth alloy wheelset, machined alloy track cranks with a 48t, 144BCD chainring, and pedals.Cockpit is all house brand alloy but offers the choice to go for a wide riser bar with Vans grips or a compact dropbar, with both including full brake sets that obviously they like to remove for the fixie-vibe photos. A complete drop bar build in a 55cm size has a claimed weight of 8.05kg/17.75lb.The Zombie Green Black Label v2 is available in six frame sizes (49-62cm). Get it as a frameset for $300 or complete bikes from $630 while the bright green lasts.State Black Label cycling kit basicsThe new riding gear is totally redesigned for the Black Label line with the idea of creating a high performance kit with a simple look that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. The kit is made up of three pieces – a $80 jersey, $80 bib shorts & $13 socks.Jersey & socks come in three mix & match colors – light gray, blue & black – while the shorts stick with classic black. Tech features include laser cut ventilation, premium grippers, a water-resistant zip rear pocket on the jersey.Since getting the fit of new riding clothing online is always a little tricky, State is offering free exchanges including return shipping to make sure you get sizing perfect. Plus, if you but more than $50 of kit between now & Oct 10 you can save an extra $20 with code “newkitday20” at checkout.StateBicycle.com
How well do you know your state? If you’re in the hospitality industry, it pays to know everything you can about Vermont. The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing has created a new series of online classes for employees at Vermont lodgings and attractions. The online Ambassador Training program focuses on Vermont branding, state parks, history, heritage and more. Ambassador Training also offers valuable customer service tips, and insight into consumer trends such as agritourism and culinary travel. The training is free and geared specifically to Vermont’s travel and hospitality-related businesses.“Having well-informed employees can make a huge difference to a visitor’s experience,” said Megan Smith, Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. “We need to make sure hospitality employees can help travelers get the most out of their visit to Vermont, whether it’s directing them to the nearest farmer’s market, pointing out the latest art exhibit, or letting them in on the town’s secret swimming hole.”To encourage participation in the Ambassador Training, the tourism department will hold a drawing for a free ad in Vermont Life magazine. Businesses will get one entry for every employee who completes the training by March 1.Source: Dept of Tourism. 1.29.2015. For more information, go to http://accd.vermont.gov/tourism_and_marketing/hospitality/ambassador(link is external)
Principal John Bartel shows off one of the lower grade classrooms.By the time the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Crestview Elementary was held in September of 2015, the old building was nearly to the ground and its students were off to Arrowhead for nearly two years.This week those Crestview students finally got to come back home to a new school in Merriam just off Shawnee Mission Parkway on Craig – the site of the old building.Principal John Bartel said the design is a departure from the other two new elementary schools that opened in January. From just outside the office there is a view down both classroom hallways and two support hallways. The school now has 350 students and will add pre-K students next year.Students were able to start back to class in the new building on Tuesday after a slightly extended spring break. The building has a number of specialty areas, including a maker space and music rooms.Lots of natural light pours into the new library.The gym with hardwood floors has access for outside groups to use it without coming through the school hallways.Collaborative spaces and spots along the halls outside of the classrooms provide nooks for team work and individual support instruction.On its first day open, the walls – and teachers -were ready to welcome students.The exterior of the building provides a safe spot for buses to unload and has better traffic flow, according to staff.
Equal Opportunies Law Section advocates rules change Courthouses should be more accessible to the disabled April 1, 2007 Regular News Courthouses should be more accessible to the disabled Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Florida should go the way of California when it comes to a rule for accommodating people with disabilities in courthouses.So said George C. Richards, chief assistant statewide prosecutor in Ft. Myers, who uses a wheelchair to get around since a spinal cord injury playing rugby in 1984.And so said the Equal Opportunities Law Section at a recent meeting in Miami, when Richards presented a proposed change for Rule of Judicial Administration 2.540 (recently renumbered from the former Rule 2.065) Notice to Persons with Disabilities, modeled on California’s Rule of Court 989.3.Section members voted unanimously to alter the rule so that it comports with the California rule and the Americans with Disabilities Act.Richards rolled out of the meeting feeling “very encouraged.”“Three years ago, candidly, I was cynical that changes wouldn’t be made,” Richards said after the meeting. “I had been apathetic and accepted the status quo.“The Equal Opportunities Law Section and The Florida Bar, I truly believe, are now focused on the issues of lawyers with disabilities, and, excuse the pun, are accommodating.”At the meeting, Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince, a member of the section, said: “It’s an important issue and important this goes through the proper channels, that you have something to present and not just a concept. I encourage you to do that and take the next step you need to take.”The section plans to refer the proposed rule change to the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee.Section Chair Reginald Clyne said, “The current rule is inadequate. It doesn’t require the court system to make access for lawyers with disabilities, which California does and the federal rule requires. I want us to push to change the rule.”The vagueness of Florida’s rule came to light, Richards said, through his work with the Florida Disability Independence Group. He serves on the committee looking at courthouse access and how persons with disabilities operate within courthouses.“I kept hearing from attorneys, when they requested accommodations, that it was so loose and there were no standard procedures from one courthouse to another or when accommodations are denied,” Richards said.Someone in the group mentioned California does it better.“Once we looked at their rule, we went, ‘Wow!’ It’s a lot more encompassing and clearly defined. That’s what triggered this. If we had a rule like California’s, it would be a uniform process across the state and everyone would know what to do. It addresses the confidentiality of requests for accommodations. It addressed a lot of concerns in one fell swoop.”Richards outlined one shortcoming of Florida’s current rule: Accommodations will be paid for “only if persons are compelled to attend court.”What about witnesses or interested parties with disabilities who may not be under subpoena to attend court, he asked.In California, applicants who may request accommodations in court include “any lawyer, party, witness, juror, or other person with an interest in attending any proceeding before any court in this state.”He also pointed with concern to an August 25, 2006, letter to Bradenton lawyer Edward Lopacki, Jr., from Debra Howells, statewide court ADA coordinator at the Office of the State Courts Administrator.Regarding accommodations for attorneys with disabilities, Howells wrote: “It has long been the position of the Florida State Courts System that accommodations for individuals who appear in the courtroom as part of their employment duties or professional practice are the responsibility of the employer or the professional under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.. . . [I]t is our position that the State Courts System bears no financial responsibility for a sign language interpreter, real-time transcription service, or any other Title I accommodation for an attorney with a disability who is participating in a courtroom proceeding as an integral part of his/her employment relationship with another public or private entity or as part of his/her professional practice. Furthermore, we have no authority to expend taxpayer dollars for ADA accommodations that are the legal obligation of another entity or individual.”So unless the lawyer is an employee of the court, the lawyer or the lawyer’s boss must pay for the accommodation, Richards concluded.At the meeting, Richards said: “We did contact California and they indicated their rule seems to work very well. We questioned California on how much it costs. California said they don’t track it. Cost is not an issue. We looked at the numbers applying for accommodation, and anecdotally it is very small. My position is if we have to comply, it doesn’t matter what the cost is.”Matt Dietz, a Miami civil rights lawyer, chair of the Florida Disability Independence Group, and member of the Equal Opportunities Law Section, called the section’s action, “a basic access to courts issue. The issue is that persons with disabilities should have the same access to courts — whether it’s as a spectator, a lawyer, a litigant, a witness — as any able-bodied person.”And they shouldn’t have to pay for those accommodations out of their own pocket, he said.“Also, for lawyers with disabilities, it makes them more unemployable, because it makes it more expensive if their firms have to pay for basic accommodations that the court should be providing,” he said.California, with disability rights legislation since the early ’70s, was 20 years ahead of the ADA, Dietz said.“California has always been in the vanguard on disability rights, and Florida has not been,” Dietz said. “For example, we spoke about the Department of Justice settlement [a 1996 settlement dealing with the deaf and hard of hearing in the 20th Judicial Circuit], when they weren’t providing effective communication to litigants in the court system. That is something that should have been adopted throughout the court system for all accommodation. It only makes sense.“This goes hand-in-hand with Chief Justice Lewis’ initiative to remove barriers in courthouses and barriers to court services themselves,” Dietz said.Danielle Strickman, project director of the Florida Disability Independence Group, told section members: “This is really significant at a national level.. . . All sorts of state and local entities struggle with the issue of what does it mean to have access to programs and services. It is very, very important, and I applaud you for that support.”
The New York Times:There are two types of people in the world, a wit once said: The type who likes to divide people into two types, and the type who doesn’t.Brian R. Little, author of “Me, Myself, and Us,” is a two-typer. But — and this is at the heart of his endeavor — he believes there are many ways in which people can be divided. So his readers learn that there are “person specialists” and “thing specialists”; “high self-monitors” and “low self-monitors”; “internals” and “externals” (that is, people who locate a sense of control within themselves versus those who follow an outside authority). Little, a researcher and lecturer on personality and motivational psychology, even goes beyond familiar classifications like “introvert” and “extrovert” (although he prefers the spelling favored mostly by psychologists, “extravert”) to insist that there are “pseudo-introverts” and “pseudo-extroverts.” His aim is to go beyond our often one-dimensional thinking about personality. “I am resolutely opposed,” he insists, “to putting people in pigeonholes.” Yet at times it can seem as if he’s simply designing a more elaborate birdhouse.Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >
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As a book reviewer, I tend to jot down page numbers I want to return to because I think they exemplify something about substance or style. In “Working,” Robert Caro’s superb memoir subtitled “Researching, Interviewing, Writing,” I noted almost every page. Want to be a political reporter, biographer, cultural historian? Forget graduate or journalism school. Just read this book.Caro, the multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning author and recipient of many other prestigious awards (and a part-time East Hampton resident), is best known for his tomes on two brilliant, ruthless men: Robert Moses, the subject of “The Power Broker” (1974), and LBJ, who prompted “The Years of Lyndon B. Johnson,” four volumes of which have already been published (1982, 1990, 2002, 2012), the fifth and last due out, Caro jokingly hopes, “in his lifetime.” He’s 84.What takes him so long? It’s his least-favorite question, but he addresses it in “Working,” with humor and passion and in a wonderfully conversational style. It’s as though he’s in your living room, chatting with you. His manner tells a lot about him as a professional writer and a human being. He was actually known as a fast writer when he began his investigative life at Newsday, but when he left to probe the nature of political power — who had it and how it affected those who didn’t — his work slowed down because his subjects were so complex and he wanted to make sure he explored everything from every point of view and be thorough and fair.A colleague once told him that the key to good investigating reporting was to “turn every page,” and Caro’s been doing that for years. Persistent, skeptical, modest, he doggedly went back to sources, found new ones and repeatedly called and wrote to people, minor as well as major, because he believed that all of them would contribute to his understanding of those who wielded political power and those whose lives were changed by that power, whether for good or for bad.Sometimes the going got rough, as when Caro showed Robert Moses evidence that construction plans for the Northern State Parkway took an odd southern detour that wrenchingly displaced local farmers but left Gold Coast robber barons at a safe remove from the working poor. The arrogant Moses had denied such allegations, saying that the route’s determination had been dictated by engineering considerations. When Caro confronted him, however, the cold-staring, dark-eyed Master Builder strode away and subsequently ordered that Caro never be granted entrée again to him or his associates.The experience educated Caro about the ambivalence toward powerful “visionaries” that often attends their accomplishments. Robert Moses could be a cruel, calculating — unelected — despot, but over the span of at least four decades, he connected the boroughs of New York, and the city with outlying regions by way of expressways, bridges, parkways, shorelines, parks, urban centers, beaches. He built New York.Caro’s only assistant throughout his research has been his beloved wife of 62 years, Ina Caro, a historian herself. At the start, it was hardly smooth sailing. He has left a secure job and had no adequate advance for the Moses book. Ina sold their house in Roslyn because they could no long afford it or Long Island. They wound up in an apartment in The Bronx, and when he was researching LBJ, they moved to the Texas Hill Country where Johnson came from, so that Caro could “feel” the roots of LBJ’s fierce political drive.Place is important to Caro as an informing contribution to character. He even camped out for a while in the Hill Country to learn what it was like to be totally isolated with no one around for miles. He then appreciated that when LBJ brought electricity to the area, he was revered like a god. The portraits of the women in the Hill Country area, old before their time, overworked and often left alone for weeks on end, resonate with unforgettable Depression-like authenticity. Here is nonfiction at its best, using the elements of fiction to inform facts with feeling.Some sections of “Working” have been previously published, but they are effectively united here and augmented by new musings, including a summary interview Caro gave to The Paris Review in 2016 on the art of biography. Attractive inside book covers show Caro’s obsessive editing — he writes longhand, uses a typewriter and revises even final proofs. But it’s his meticulous and moving achievement in discovering and disclosing the “raw, naked essence of political power” that distinguishes his work. This is an amazing, inspiring book. An example of how to do it right. Share
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When I visit cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham there are new apartments, office blocks and a skyline of tall buildings and tower cranes. The street level is buzzing with cafes, bars, restaurants and gyms serving young professional customers. Our cities are becoming more stimulating, people like to spend their leisure time in the heart of the action. We are mindful that people seldom visit the suburbs for an afternoon stroll.I’ve recently returned to live in Bristol, after 30 years of working around the world. Bristol is thriving and its city centre employment has grown significantly. Students now live in the centre of town and there is a drive to encourage city centre living to maintain the economy and to reduce commuting. Bristol’s skyline, however, has barely changed in the last four decades. If we want to maintain an egalitarian approach to living in cities, we need to accommodate the residents and businesses that want to be there. Bristol City Council is on board with this thinking and has identified key areas for higher density, urban living.We are all agreed that we need to build more housing in our cities. We want to preserve the greenspaces. We want to ensure people have public spaces to enjoy. This is not a unique problem, it is a global conversation. People all over the world are asking how they can accommodate their people and are exploring the impact of higher density development and tall buildings.The true value to a city of tall buildings, or indeed any buildings, is not in ‘how high’ but in how we want them to contribute to the public realm, businesses, employment, sustainability and quality of life on the ground. Tall buildings need to be considered as part of the mix as they can allow space for family homes and a wider range of housing typologies which encourage families and elderly residents to live in a diverse and vibrant city centre. An urban regeneration scheme of mixed height buildings will free up space for public parks, schools and street-based activities. Tall buildings also create a new ecosystem at ground level where businesses can thrive thanks to the large footfall of people in the immediate area. To deliver successful schemes, we will need to address the issues around tall buildings. For instance, the misconception that when a taller residential building goes in, it’s driving up property values. In fact, it’s actually keeping them down because it’s increasing the housing supply. We are aware that the long-term management often leads to unaffordable service charges or poor maintenance.Denser developments can meet higher environmental standards than those achieved by low density schemes, as there are more opportunities to deliver green features efficiently. At BDP, we recently developed an energy strategy which takes advantage of the inherent opportunities available in tall buildings to provide energy efficient systems and reduce energy costs. This will directly benefit residents by reducing the running costs of the building, which can be offset against their service charges.Key sites in the city are often in public ownership, through local authority, NHS and educational facilities offering the opportunity for joined-up thinking and vibrant mixed use communities near key amenities. Bristol should learn from Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool and capture the zeitgeist of the city. As well as policy, real vision is needed to explain what density looks like, what benefits it brings and how it can be implemented. This is where masterplanners and architects can bring vision and attract investment to deliver a more desirable city where more people can work and live.
A strong awareness of short- and medium-term forecast cashflow A balance sheet with the underlying strength to indicate the loan can be repaid An approach to running the business that is focused on managing profits and cash rather than simply on extracting cash out of the business into the hands of partners Peter Gamson is a partner, and head of Professional Practices, Grant Thornton UK LLP …will find the next couple of months very difficult to navigate. What can you do to manage this risk? 1. Enter into a timely dialogue with your main lenders. Provide them with robust management information and forecasts and be prepared to discuss the business in detail with them. Give them confidence over your business model and show them how you forecast that their money will be able to be repaid within a sensible timescale. 2. Address the issues that are causing the underlying cash shortages. For most firms, you will need to look at employment costs and partner drawings. Reducing the headcount may be the medium to long-term answer for some but in the short term, most lenders would wish to understand that partners have recognised the need to reduce their drawings for the sake of the business’s survival. 3. Assess whether your firm is adequately funded by stakeholders. The legal sector continues to be significantly ‘under-capitalised’ by reference to other comparable-sized businesses outside the sector. A bank’s appetite will become increasingly limited if the owners of firms are not committing significant amounts of their own capital. What we would never wish you to do is risk the future of the firm by not taking positive steps to manage the situation. Leaving it to the last minute and hoping for a favourable outcome has always been risky, but in this climate, it may be a risk too far. If your cash position looks grey, has four legs and a somewhat long, nose-like appendage, it may well be time to acknowledge that the elephant exists. If you don’t, it will be the banks and secondary lenders pointing it out to you. As the economy sputters along and the ‘green shoots’ of growth remain just that, many legal firms are struggling to stay afloat, let alone grow. Even for those finding opportunities to expand, the persistent issue of cash management remains a constant challenge and irrespective of your trading position, it remains less than ideal if you are having to rely on external funding, or indeed seek the permission of the external funders, to execute key business decisions. It’s now become a sector norm for firms to carry heavily geared balance sheets and for many, avoiding the financial elephant in the room – cash outflows cannot exceed cash inflows – is no longer an option. The legal sector has seen a number of high-profile failures in recent times. Unfortunately, this means that for firms with less-than-healthy finances, the ability to raise short-term finance is likely to be restricted in the coming months. Financial institutions are once again increasing their focus on their clients’ ability to service their debt. The difficulties faced by the likes of Cobbetts, Halliwells, Dewey LeBoeuf and others should serve as a warning that law firms can, and do, collapse and that in the current market conditions, there is no respite. With the July tax payment fast approaching, quickly followed by the annual professional indemnity (PI) renewal process (September), many firms will see their cashflow forecasts under strain and find themselves in a position where they will be seeking additional finance to smooth out their numbers. There are two primary routes to take but both may well present more of a challenge than in previous years. The banks have had their fingers burnt many times over the past couple of years and are increasingly reluctant to extend overdrafts or provide short-term facilities to firms whose balance sheet and cashflow forecasts don’t inspire confidence. Simple extensions of an overdraft may prove unlikely for those who have habitually borrowed to cover these payments and the rates and conditions applied may be more severe than in the past. Understandably, banks are losing their enthusiasm to fund firms that show no sign of controlling their cashflow, and who continue to put profit distribution above other commitments. This brings us on to secondary lenders. At this time of year, many of you receive significant numbers of calls and emails from secondary lenders, offering short-term funds that allow you to spread the cash impact of tax and PI payments. Our expectation is that the number that proceed to serious offers will be significantly reduced as secondary lenders are beginning to see that for firms in financial difficulty, the likely exit plan will involve a pre-pack administration. In cases where the primary lender is significantly underwater at the time of the pre-pack, the secondary lender is not going to have the chance to be part of administration discussions and therefore has no control over the destiny of the firm; likely resulting in a very low return. This makes for a poor prospect when these lenders seek to get any funding requests through their credit teams and we anticipate a far higher instance of firms being refused credit right when they need it. It has been common in the past for firms to rely on this sort of additional short-term funding. In the current market, leaving any conversation with a bank or secondary lender until late in the day is likely to lead to, at best, high rates and unfavourable terms, and at worst, an inability to raise funds in the future. Ideally, lenders want good notice. A potential borrower who is looking ahead at cashflows and proactively managing the funding requirement through early dialogue is always going to find themselves in a better position than those who appear to have been ‘surprised’ by the cash shortfall right at the last moment. In the ‘far from perfect’ world we’re now operating in, firms which aren’t showing: