14 Perfect holes

first_imgBut if you’re digging through the center of the earth — well, there I go thinking again. If you plant it too deep, you’re going kill it. By Mike Isbell Georgia Extension Service The first is a compacted mound of soil in the bottom of the hole. This is where the tree’s root ball rests. Position the tree to rest at the same or a slightly higher level than it’s growing in the container or in the burlap ball. And finally, tree-planting holes should be three times wider than the root ball, to allow the tree to get off to a fast start.center_img The second feature is a hole with steeply slanted sides. Don’t make the sides vertical. Slant them at least at a 45-degree angle from the soil surface. This will encourage the roots to spread out into the native soil. When I was a kid I used to wonder if you were to dig a hole all the way through the middle of the earth to the other side, when you got to the middle, would you be digging up or would you be digging down?Forget about the molten rock in the middle of the earth and the effects of gravity, too. Just ponder the hole.By now you should see trees for sale in nurseries and garden centers. If you buy a tree, how do you go about planting them?Well, there’s more to planting a tree than digging a pit and flinging in a tree, as in a TV commercial I just saw. The hole you dig can be the difference between life and death for the tree you plant.Three features of the perfect holeSo what’s the perfect hole?Well, think of a saucer-shaped hole instead of a pit-shaped one.The perfect hole has three features. Volume XXVII Number 1 Page 14 last_img read more

Three steps to guard against collections and bankruptcy risks

first_imgDebt collections and bankruptcy go hand-in-hand—and both carry risks for credit unions.Borrowers are most likely to bring legal action against a credit union in the area of collections, says David Reed, a partner in the law firm Reed and Jolly PLLC and founder of CU Doctor.To guard against this, credit unions should:• Ensure the collections department is doing a “communications inventory” through which they review all communications sent to members.• Get expressed consent to use members’ cell phone numbers as part of their collections effort if the credit union has auto-dialer capacity.The information can be collected during the account-opening or loan origination process or later, but it must be provided before use. continue reading » 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Dykstra: CHOICE Act provides credit unions and members with relief

first_imgThe Financial CHOICE Act gives Congress an opportunity to provide credit unions with relief from the regulatory scrutiny of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Diana Dykstra, president/CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues wrote in an opinion-editorial published in the East Bay Times. The additional regulatory burden created by the CFPB is an unintended consequence of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, Dykstra wrote. “Congress was not wrong to establish the CFPB,” Dykstra wrote. “However, it is time to talk about why credit unions–which provide affordable savings and credit to 110 million account holders across the U.S., including 10.9 million of them in California–need relief from this agency.” Dykstra explained that while the bureau was created to protect the consumers from unscrupulous lenders, it has instead adopted a one-size-fits-all approach that negatively impacts community lenders. She provided several examples of how the CFPB has created processes created circumstances that run counter to its mission. For example, a CFPB rule requires a complicated hour-long procedure to wire money, a process that previously took 15 minutes. The bureau exempted financial institutions that handle less than 100 transfers per year. continue reading » 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

The one leadership style that shuts people down

first_imgIt is no secret that the culture of your credit union can make or break your success.  A good culture can help differentiate you from competitors, help you keep talented employees and attract new ones, reach your growth goals more quickly and so much more.While developing an organizational culture can take years to see the fruits of your labor, it really can start with one person – you.  And if you manage people, there is one leadership style that I have seen that shuts down even your top-performing employees.  I call this type of leader the Culture Killer.  There tends to be one of these types of leaders in every credit union and, in a lot of instances, they are actually a really fun part of the team whom everyone loves personally.  But as a leader, they focus only on the negative.  What hasn’t been done.  How that person could have been better.  What wasn’t done the way you would have done it personally.  These types of behavior by themselves will kill your culture.  I have experienced this personally.  As a perfectionist and self-proclaimed over-achiever, I was always striving for the stars no matter what project I was working on or goal I was trying to hit.  But once I worked for someone who didn’t understand that being a good leader is being a person’s champion, and I felt very quickly like all this person cared about doing was finding things I was doing wrong so they could point them out to me.  Conversations often started with, “First of all, this is wrong,” even if I was asking about where we wanted to order lunch.  I was repeatedly questioned on why I did something a different way even though the end result was correct.  And over time, I noticed myself focusing more on how I could keep this person off my back and less on how I could do a good job in my position.  I stopped being a great employee.  I stopped taking pride in what I was doing because I was so stressed out about keeping my boss happy.  Leadership is an art, and becoming a good leader is just like starting a physical training program; it requires consistent use of a bunch of different muscles and a lot of practice to become fit.  Don’t just see your subordinates as a list of things you asked them to do.  Remember first and foremost that they are human beings.  Recognize the good in what they are doing.  Show them you care about them.  Give them the chance to screw up sometimes because those are the best learning experiences.  Help them get better by clearly communicating your expectations beforehand, and showing them how what they did could be even better next time.   198SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Amanda Thomas Amanda is founder and president of TwoScore, a firm that channels her passion for the credit union mission and people to help credit unions under $100 million in assets reach … Web: www.twoscore.com Detailslast_img read more

2,000 consumers told us their worst cybersecurity fears

first_imgToday’s consumers are inundated with troubling cybersecurity news, on practically a daily basis. When word of the Capital One data breach broke, consumers again were left scrambling to figure out if their personal information was included in the 106 million exposed records. They are weary, to say the least.So, how can financial institutions help restore their peace of mind? To find out, CSI polled more than 2,000 American consumers about the cybersecurity threats and challenges surrounding them and their financial institutions. The result? Consumers (unsurprisingly) want to know how to better protect themselves, and are quite open to their financial institution showing them how. Almost three-fourths (74 percent) said that they would likely participate in a cybersecurity awareness program if offered by their financial institution. This insight presents institutions with a tremendous, inexpensive opportunity to increase their value and retain more members. If You Host It, Members Will ComePer our poll, consumers ages 18 to 44 are the most likely (75 percent) to attend an institution-sponsored cybersecurity education program, and interest from those age 45 and older is close behind (73 percent). So if your institution hosts a cybersecurity awareness program, people will come. By doing so, you create a win-win for consumers and your institution. Here are just a few of the benefits:Bolster your institution’s reputation as an active corporate citizenIncrease the potential for new business as you share your knowledgeCreate more cyber-aware members able to thwart malicious cyberactivityReduce your own risk from cybercrime as a result  The Keys to a Successful EventTo really capitalize on this opportunity, you much be intentional and deliberate in your planning: Create a guest list: Of course you should include your existing members, but don’t stop there. Cement your status as a local hero by inviting the community at large. Save the date: The bad guys aren’t waiting, so don’t procrastinate. Host your event as soon as you can properly plan it. If possible, consider scheduling it in October, which is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), “a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.” Don’t stop at one: Reach the broadest audience by hosting several sessions conveniently scheduled for various demographics, i.e., mornings for senior citizens and stay-at-home parents, evenings or weekends for working adults. Remember: location, location, location: Select a venue conducive to a group meeting and one that projects a professional and credible atmosphere. Also make sure the location is conveniently accessible and big enough to comfortably house your entire guest list.Pick a partner: Pairing up with your local chamber of commerce, an area civic organization or academic institution is a great way to reach the broader community.Give more than advice: Everyone loves free stuff. This is a great opportunity to hand out branded items like pens, mugs, etc. You could also give away a more valuable door prize.Bring in the experts: Technology can be a dry and complicated topic, so pick a speaker with the cybersecurity chops to inspire confidence and motivate them to heed the advice.The Makings of a Useful MessageBeyond the logistical details, ensure you craft an informative message, including these topics:Practicing good cyber hygiene: CSO Online shares several basic cyber-hygiene tips that you can share: 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Steve Sanders Steve Sanders is vice president of Internal Audit for CSI. In his role, he oversees the evaluation and mitigation of risks associated with IT, financial and operational systems. Steve is … Web: www.csiweb.com Details Personalize privacy settingsPost safely to social mediaUnderstand the Internet of Things (IoT)Protect from social engineeringStay safe with e-commerce Responding to a data breach: Explain the key actions consumers should do after a data breach, including finding out what information was stolen and if their personal data was included, as well as putting fraud alerts on affected debit and credit cards and credit reports.Dealing with identity theft: It also is important to discuss what consumers should do if their identities are stolen. Institutional defenses: Finally, take the opportunity to discuss how your institution protects itself and its members and their personal data from cyber intrusion.More Helpful Insight from CSI’s Consumer Cybersecurity PollConsumer receptivity to cybersecurity education programs is just one of the takeaways from our survey. Download CSI’s 2019 Consumer Cybersecurity Poll Executive Report to gain valuable insight about consumers’ thoughts surrounding cybersecurity. center_img Use secure access points: Only connect devices through private Wi-Fi networks or use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt a public Wi-Fi network.  Install updates: As soon as hardware and software updates are available, download them to protect against known vulnerabilities.Protect yourself: Always use strong, unique passwords and incorporate multi-factor authentication whenever it’s available.Practice safe emailing: Beware of opening links or attachments from unknown or suspicious persons.Use anti-malware protection: Explain that this isn’t just for computers and laptops anymore. Consumers need to think about mobile and other Internet-connected devices. Protecting Online Footprints: The NCSAM 2019 Toolkit is a great resource for anyone hosting a cybersecurity awareness program. It also suggests talking about these online safety tips:last_img read more

H7 avian flu hits UK; US chickens exposed to H7N3

first_imgJun 4, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Animal health officials in England yesterday announced that chicken deaths at a farm in Oxfordshire were caused by an H7 form of avian influenza, while a poultry company in Arkansas reported that chickens at a large commercial farm tested positive for antibodies to a low-pathogenic H7N3 strain of avian flu.In an update today, England’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said further laboratory tests have shown that the H7 strain found in birds at the farm in Banbury, about 80 miles northwest of London, is highly pathogenic and added that more tests are underway to determine the neuraminidase (N) type.Authorities have launched a detailed epidemiologic investigation to determine how the birds became infected and if the latest findings have any links to previous outbreaks, DEFRA said.Control zones were established yesterday within 3 and 10 kilometers around the outbreak site, and officials are considering if wider measures are needed, the DEFRA statement said.Hilary Benn, secretary of state for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, said in a statement today that avian flu suspicions were first reported on Jun 2 following deaths in a laying flock and reduced egg production. The United Kingdom’s National Farmers’ Union said today that the family-run free-range poultry farm contained a flock of 25,000 chickens, which is slated for culling.England’s last avian flu outbreak involved the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, which hit wild swans at a sanctuary on the country’s southwestern coast in early January. Outbreaks involving low-pathogenic H7 strains occurred in May 2006 (eastern England) and May 2007 (Wales and northwestern England).Meanwhile, Tyson Foods, based in Springdale, Ark., announced in a press release yesterday that routine preslaughter tests on breeder hens at one of its farms in northwestern Arkansas showed the birds had antibodies to H7N3 avian flu.The 15,000 birds showed no signs of illness but were to be culled and disposed of as a precautionary measure, the Tyson statement said.The company said it would increase avian influenza surveillance within a 10-mile radius of the area, including on breeder farms that supply birds to Tyson.”The increased surveillance is in addition to Tyson’s existing testing program, which involves the company checking birds for avian influenza before they leave the farm,” Tyson said.Frank Jones, associate director for extension at the Center for Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, said 10 to 12 low-pathogenic avian flu infections occur in the state each year, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported today. He said migratory geese could have brought the low-pathogenic strain to northwestern Arkansas, where it could have spread to the breeder hens.”Typically these things happen in spring and fall when we get waterfowl migration. There’s been a lot of waterfowl that have come through,” Jones told the newspaper.Last September a highly pathogenic strain of H7N3 struck a commercial poultry operation in Saskatchewan, and both highly pathogenic and low-pathogenic types were involved in outbreaks in British Columbia in 2004.The last reported H7N3 outbreaks in the United States occurred in 2004 at three Texas farms.A recent report in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science suggested that North American avian flu viruses of the H7 subtype are becoming more like human flu viruses in their ability to attach to host cells, which might mean they are becoming more likely to infect humans. H7 infections in humans have typically caused only mild conjunctivitis, but a Dutch veterinarian died of an H7N7 infection in 2003.See also:Jun 4 statement from Hilary BennJun 3 DEFRA press releaseJun 3 Tyson press releaseMay 28 CIDRAP News story “Some avian flu H7 viruses growing more humanlike”last_img read more

Donors meeting nets funds for avian flu fight

first_imgOct 27, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A group of international donors who met yesterday in the final session of an avian influenza conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, pledged more support for avian and pandemic flu preparedness and prevention, led by $320 million from the United States. The $350 million total from the donor’s conference is well below the $500 million that United Nations officials had asked countries to pledge to help the world battle avian influenza and make pandemic preparations, according to previous reports. The amount pledged at this year’s donor conference is also less than the $406 million raised at last year’s conference in New Delhi. Oct 27 IRIN report Olga Jonas, the World Bank’s influenza coordinator, said in the statement, “At this point, political commitment on response and preparedness is as important as funding. Oct 17 CIDRAP News story “World Bank says pandemic flu could cost $3 trillion” Nabarro pointed to difficulties in getting government departments, other than health ministries, to work on pandemic prevention and preparedness, and he called for greater international cooperation. The United Nations (UN) and the World Bank, in a recent progress report, expressed concern about a growing funding gap between what’s needed to control and prevent avian flu and the amount donors are pledging. The report, which was published before the meeting in Egypt was held, said donors have pledged $2.7 billion, of which $2 billion has been committed. Of that total, $1.5 billion has been disbursed, of which 59% was cash or loans and 41% was in-kind contributions. Declines in funding threaten the sustainability of control and planning investments that have already been made, the report said. African countries find challenges, successThe international conference drew representatives from more than 100 nations and 20 regional and international organizations, according to the State Department press release. Sessions included a review of progress, sharing of best practices, and discussion of the threat avian flu virus poses to the global community. Anna Nyamekye, Ghana’s deputy agriculture minister, told the conference about the difficulty in monitoring the movement of people and animals across unapproved routes. “Nigeria still has it [avian influenza in poultry], Togo, our direct neighbor still has it, and on our north we are bordered by Burkina Faso, which also has it,” she told Reuters. “We are hemmed in.” UN officials warn against flu fatigueDavid Nabarro, the UN’s influenza coordinator, warned against complacency in the fight against avian influenza, according to a report today from Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “Things are a lot better now than they were when we started this work in 2005, but they are not good enough,” he said. “We are not sufficiently prepared to properly bring a pandemic under control quickly.” Representatives from West Africa said their countries were vulnerable to the virus, because of porous borders, weak infrastructure, and poverty, Reuters reported today. Oct 23 CIDRAP News story “UN: Pandemic risk remains despite progress on H5N1”center_img However, some West African countries have had success controlling outbreaks quickly by offering farmers compensation for dead or culled poultry. Junaidu Maina, Nigeria’s chief veterinary officer, told Reuters that since 2006 the country has culled 1.3 million birds and paid $5.4 million in compensation. Oct 27 World Bank press release Piers E. Merrick, who helps coordinate the World Bank’s avian flu response in the East Asian and Pacific regions, said in the statement that despite some success in controlling the spread of H5N1, the disease represents the persistent threat of zoonotic diseases. “Addressing many of these infections will require a more sophisticated and comprehensive long-term action plan” he said. Nyamekye said Ghana also has a compensation program that provides farmers financial incentives to abide by national biosecurity standards. Next year’s international avian flu conference and donors meeting will be held in Vietnam, according to a report today in The Guardian, a British newspaper. The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, had indicated earlier that it would not pledge an additional amount, because it said half of the funds had not yet been spent, according to an Oct 25 report from Reuters. See also: Oct 27 State Department press release Paula Dobriansky, the US State Department’s undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs, said in an Oct 25 statement that the new $320 million pledge brings the total US support for avian and pandemic flu assistance to $949 million. She announced the pledge at the Sixth International Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza. The World Bank, in a press release today, did not name a total pledge amount, but noted that countries had an opportunity at the meeting to pledge additional support. Japan’s Kyodo News Service said the total from the meeting was $350 million, including a pledge of $24 million from Japan, the second largest amount behind the United States.last_img read more

UNWTO Barometer: International arrivals continue to rise

first_imgConfidence in the global tourism performance began to rise again after a slowdown in late 2018, according to the latest UNWTO confidence index survey. Projections for the current period from May to August are more positive than in the previous three periods and more than half of the respondents expect better results in the next four months. International arrivals are still up 4% in the first quarter of 2019, according to data from the new UNWTO Barometer. The total export of international tourism in 2018 amounts to 1,7 trillion dollars Total export revenues from international tourism in 2018 reached $ 1,7 trillion, averaging about $ 5 billion a day. International tourist arrivals (overnight stays) increased by 4% in the period January-March 2019 compared to the same period last year, but iapk data are below the average growth of 6% in the last two years. Growth was led by the Middle East (+ 8%) and Asia and the Pacific (+ 6%), followed by Europe and Africa (+ 4%) and the United States (+ 3%). International tourism (passenger and passenger transport) accounts for 29% of world exports of services and 7% of total exports of goods and services.last_img read more

Schenectady County DMV service leaves much to be desired

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThe Schenectady County Department of Motor Vehicles should be ashamed of itself. The lines are constantly out the door here compared to Troy, which also has a high volume of people. The new building is great for the people who have to sit in there for three to five hours, where for most part other departments are not only quicker in what they do for a living, but seem much more polite than the individuals who have their heads in their laps texting while dealing with you. Their operation moves slow and the workers are constantly leaving their desks for 10-15 minute bathroom breaks from what I was told. Along with that, there are 11 teller windows, but only half of them are being used. It makes no sense to me or other people that these windows don’t have employees working them. Common courtesy is one thing, but when you’re blatantly texting while a customer is in front of you, I find that to be rude and a waste of time. While recently visiting the Schenectady County DMV, a friend of one worker came in, and not only did the worker come out into lobby to meet and greet their friend, she advanced her number so she was called within five minutes of being in building. The friend of the employee walked out all in smiles, while the rest of the people in the place were pondering whether their number would ever be called. That smile was the only one I saw in my three hours at your local DMV.Nicholas SilverioNiskayuna More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectlast_img read more

Planting right crops may prevent elephant-human conflicts: Expert

first_img“We can serve both animal conservation and economic interests hand in hand by growing the right commodity crops,” he said.“The people on the eastern coast of Aceh, for example, grow patchouli plants, which are disliked not only by elephants but also wild boar”.Patchouli oil is a popular essential oil and extensively used in the perfumery industry. It has no synthetic substitute so there is high demand for it, and Indonesia is one of the major producers of patchouli oil.Beside patchouli, other recommended crops are oranges, limes, lemons and cloves.“Hopefully more people are willing to plant these commodities, but of course, each community has a different preference. The commodity must suit the community’s needs,” Wahdi said.Read also: Innovation needed to end human-elephant conflict in Sumatra, says WWF IndonesiaThe International Union for Conservation of Nature changed the population status of the Sumatran elephant from “endangered” to “critically endangered” because nearly 70 percent of its habitat has been destroyed in the past 25 years leading to human-elephant conflict and the loss of more than half of the elephant’s population in one generation.The Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) recorded 170 conflicts between humans and elephants from 2012 to 2017, in which 54 elephants died and 19 people were injured.Topics : Aceh is home to the largest population of the critically endangered Sumatran elephants. More than 500 individuals of a population of around 2,500 of the elephants native to Sumatra Island live in the province.Read also: Elephant found dead, mutilated in RiauAs the largest land mammals that live in herds, elephants need abundant natural food. Therefore, the animals need a vast natural habitat as their home range.Wahdi said people should learn from the history of the Aceh Sultanate, which gained wealth from the export of pepper and nutmeg and at the same time, nurtured coexistence with elephants because the animal did not eat the crops. As elephant-human conflicts continue to be reported in Sumatra amid massive deforestation that prompts the critically endangered species to go to plantations and human settlements to find food, an expert has suggested that planting the right crops may prevent such conflicts.Wahdi Azmi, director of the Aceh Conservation Response Unit, which aims to care for the elephant population, said Sumatran elephants were not familiar with oil palm fruit in the past.“But ever since the loss of their habitat to plantations, the fruit is what is available to them and they find it palatable. They raid oil palm plantations because they like eating the fruit,” he said during a virtual discussion on Friday.last_img read more