Deep in the beat

first_imgHarvard’s Hutchins Center was caught in a wave of anticipation and excitement as Cambridge teens descended on its Hiphop Archive and Research Institute one recent morning.The energy was palpable as the exclamations, questions, and answers tumbled over each other. “This is so dope!” “You have an actual Biz Markie doll?” “Did Tupac actually wear those shoes?”The 13 teens, ranging in age from 14 to 18, were part of The Hip Hop Transformation (THHT) program. Just a year old, the program is offered free by the Cambridge Community Center, in partnership with the Cambridge Health Alliance, the Cambridge Police Department, and the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Its goal is to teach teens the history of hip-hop, its role in society, and the skills it takes to write, record, and perform original music.“There is a lot you can learn from the culture of hip-hop. You can learn about the culture of change — and use that change for the greater good,” said Harvard senior Brandon Jarrett, a research assistant at the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute, who led the tour. “Where else would you have such an archive than at the worldwide epicenter of education — Harvard. Here we put an academic lens on hip-hop.Brandon Lewis (left) and Sherahd Mosley Jr. put their personal tags on the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute’s graffiti wall.Established in 2002, the Hiphop Archive at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research has worked to support and establish research and scholarship devoted to all facets of hip-hop, including knowledge, art, culture, materials, and responsible leadership. Its innovative programs and projects encourage students to explore their own creativity.“We want this to be the center of the universe for anyone who is serious about hip-hop, and we want knowledge to be at the core,” said Marcyliena Morgan, executive director of the archive and a professor in Harvard’s Department of African and African American Studies.During their visit, the students explored the records, shoes, dolls, games, magazines, DVDs, autographs, and pictures that stud the center’s archives. They challenged each other to a hip-hop quiz, watched video clips about the positive possibilities hip-hop can bring to their lives, and put their own tags on the archive’s graffiti wall. (The program also gives the students the chance to create and record their own songs, which are then distributed across the city of Cambridge. At the end of its first summer, THHT put out a full album.)Fernandes Francois (left) and Genesis Flores work on the hip-hop quiz.This was the second year that 17-year-old Genesis Flores, who will be a senior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School this fall, has participated in THHT, but it was his first time visiting the archive.“I can’t believe Nas was here. And 9th Wonder was here — right here!” Flores said, as his own music played over loudspeakers during the final legs of the tour. His rap was one of five tracks written, performed, and produced by the students. (The demo is available on the THHT website.)“This trip has been great for [the students],” said Darrin Korte, a professor of race relations at Emerson College and founder and director of THHT. “Bringing them here, and allowing them to see the exhibits and hear the speakers — it all reinforces that there are positive role models out there.“I can tell them over and over again — but it means so much more for them to see and hear from these folks that being invested in hip-hop can be a positive, learning experience.”last_img read more

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International Agribusiness Conference and Expo

first_imgAbout one in three acres of farmland in the U.S. is planted for the export market, and an increasing number of small- and medium-sized farmers are looking to augment their incomes with international sales, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s International Trade Office. Participants at the 2013 International Agribusiness Conference and Expo will attend educational forums and workshops, learning from experts in agricultural importing and exporting and about the latest practices in processing value-added agricultural products. They also will have a chance to meet with international trade representatives. The conference’s main sponsor is Georgia Farm Bureau. For more information about the conference’s schedule, see www.iace.us.com. Early registration is $170 and ends July 30. For more information about the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, see www.caes.uga.edu. For more information about Georgia Southern University’s Division of Continuing Education, see ceps.georgiasouthern.edu. With agricultural products being among the state’s top exports, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Georgia Southern University Division of Continuing Education are teaming up to help farmers and businesses learn how to capitalize on the growing export market. The two institutions will host the 2013 International Agribusiness Conference and Expo on Sept. 25-26 in Savannah. The inaugural event will provide participants with information on what markets are open to their products, how to export their goods and what exporting can do for their bottom lines. “As the global economy continues to grow, Georgia producers are poised to take advantage of increasing demand for food and fiber products,” said Kent Wolfe, director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Georgia can export poultry and cotton cheaper than Brazil, providing us a competitive advantage in shipping exports to Europe and China.” In 2012, Georgia exported $37.9 billion worth of goods. The state is the top exporter of U.S. poultry, pecans and wood pulp; and peanut exports are on the rise. About 39 percent of the shipments exported through the port of Savannah are agricultural products. “The forest products industry is a major economic engine for Georgia. It contributes nearly $25 billion in economic activity within the state and is responsible for more than $13 billion in exports,” said Alexander Koukoulas, president and CEO of the Georgia Southern University Herty Advanced Materials Development Center in Savannah. “Herty not only supports the pulp and paper industry, but it is in the forefront of the biomass-to-energy industry and has a 75-year history in developing new uses for bio-based materials. Our natural resources in biomass are second-to-none and present a huge opportunity for value creation.” last_img read more

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GMP, CVPS and VTel reach smart grid-broadband operating agreement

first_imgSeveral key players in Vermont’s electric and telecommunications industries appeared with Governor Peter Shumlin today to announce the finalization of a collaborative agreement to give Vermont more control over energy consumption, expand access to broadband and telecommunications services, and boost job creation and economic development. The agreement between Green Mountain Power, Central Vermont Public Service Corp., and Vermont Telephone Company (VTel) is critical to Shumlin’s call to reduce our dependence on oil and fossil fuels and simultaneously provide high-speed internet access statewide by the end of 2013. ‘What we are celebrating today is the operating agreement that supports the ‘marriage’ of smart grid and our telecommunications infrastructure. Smart grid is a national and Vermont priority,’ Gov. Shumlin said. Green Mountain Power, CVPS and their 17 partners will install about 250,000 advanced meters over the next two years and those smart meters will transmit their information to and from homes via the wireless open world broadband network that is being built by VTel.  This project will provide the critical backbone to transmit information. ‘Early on, I spoke of a ‘wireless canopy’ across Vermont,’ the Governor said. ‘This is but one application that will rely on that canopy.’ Under the agreement, the parties have essentially agreed to share use of VTel-owned and operated technology to expand the smart grid efforts designed to provide energy information to companies and homeowners, as well as deliver high-speed broadband service across the state. The Vtel Wireless Open World (WOW) project, funded by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service, is currently in permitting phase with completion targeted for early 2013, in sync with the activation of the smart grid.    ‘Today’s agreement is a major milestone in our efforts through 2013, and a groundbreaking move for smart grid installations across the nation.  GMP and CVPS are the first two utilities in the country to rely on a commercial, 4G LTE communications network. The operating agreement will provide the security and data prioritization attributes necessary to operate SG across a public network. This development is directly aligned with the goals of the FCC’s national Broadband Plan as it looks to integrate commercial broadband communications networks into smart grid applications,’ said Karen Marshall, chief of Connect VT. ‘The partnership between VTel, GMP and CVPS is an important step in fulfilling Vermont’s dual objective of universal broadband coverage and smart grid communications,’ said Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power. ‘The collaboration among our companies will create a platform for energy innovation and economic development of Vermont going forward.”‘The real promise of smart grid for Vermonters is to reduce peak demand on our electrical distribution system by giving consumers the information they need to change electric use patterns; integrating clean renewable power generation, and eventually supporting the adoption of electric vehicles. Realizing that promise requires two way communications and this agreement supports that,’ said Gov. Shumlin.  ‘VTel’s service will reach many un-served and under-served areas of Vermont, which is critical for connecting our state to the modern economy,’ said Michel Guite, owner of VTel. ‘Plus, this connectivity will enable a more robust smart grid, enabling even larger impacts on energy efficiency.’And by combining GMP and CVPS’s smart grid funding with VTel’s Rural Broadband funding, the LTE broadband network being developed by VTel will cover more of Vermont’s geography. ‘The original VTel network was designed to support unserved and underserved Vermonters with best-in-class broadband access, and this agreement will help extend that network to more people faster,’ said Joan Gamble, vice president for strategic change and business services at Central Vermont Public Service.  ‘This unique partnership between telecommunications and electric utilities will benefit all of our customers, and is a model for business collaboration that reinforces the fact that Vermont is open for business.’last_img read more

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Ten Bikers Share the Secrets of Their Two-Wheeled Passion

first_imgAs a kid growing up in the city of Chicago, we all had bikes in some form of disrepair. We cruised sidewalks, dangerously swerved through streets with one kid perched on the handlebars and another dangling off the back of the banana seat, careening around parked car doors opened into our paths. We had a door stashed behind the manicured bushes and pulled it out for jumps, stacking old tires beneath one end.I found the bike faster than the bus once I was old enough to visit friends across the city. In summer we would ride to the beach in the Indiana Dunes, witnessing each other’s terrific crashes involving sand at high speed or maybe even toes “accidentally” stopping the front wheel in an immediate fashion, resulting in a bloody endo.Once I discovered mountain biking, the wrecks became a badge of honor due to a constant pushing of limits in situations with steep learning curves. “Chasing boys” is what I called it. It was simply a matter of keeping up and not realizing what I “couldn’t” yet do. I might not be able to clean that rock garden or land that drop today, but I never stopped believing that I could. My older sister, who had no idea what kind of rider I had evolved into and had explored beyond the city street said, “Yeah, you were never very good on a bike.”Getting back on the bike after an illness, a new job, or having babies taught me humility and compassion for myself. I had to fight down the regurgitated acid of what I “used to be able to do,” staring down at a soft belly and fumbling legs while my friends looked back, grinning.The first time I watched my boys pull away from me, begging for me not to let go, knowing that releasing the back of that saddle was going to be the beginning of a lifetime of letting go, tears choked my words of encouragement. “What’s wrong with you, mommy?”Each time I meet a new person who rides I’m amazed at what a bike can do for them. This machine, with a chain, is the most efficient of means, designed to work with you. The simplicity of being self-sufficient and exploring the edges. It’s inspiring. It’s freeing. It dulls the pain of a broken heart. It fills the soul with potential for the next beautiful thing. It’s a meditation.ED WHITINGAge: 79 / Hometown: Farragut, Tenn.Favorite ride: The one about 40 years ago when my wife convinced me to ride 200 miles across the middle of Illinois. I was so happy to get done. Although that was before I was a serious biker.I used to run, but when that hurt my feet, I dedicated myself back to the road bike. At 45, I retired from the Air Force. I’m so ancient that I flew B52s when they were brand new. I then worked in environmental research and development, always focusing on staying in shape. My wife, also in the Air Force, moved from bikes to yoga. I have no desire to twist my body up into those postures. I’ve been serious about keeping in shape. That’s the primary motivating factor to riding. I look forward to the bike, but have trained myself to “have to” do it. That’s part of it.Cycling vacations became a thing of the past, so now I do 30- to 60-mile loops from the house four times a week to keep fit. It takes me almost four hours to do 100 kilometers these days, but that’s what happens when you get old.I keep up with the Tour de France most years, but this year I seemed to have missed it. My wife forgot to remind me.It’s fun to be out in the fresh air and going around. On a bike, you get a lot of exercise in a hurry.DARBY WILCOXAge: 27 / Hometown: Greenville, S.C.Favorite ride: The huge hill on the back side of downtown Greenville that takes a bridge over the railroad tracks with a view of the city. But now that I’ve started mountain biking, I love Pisgah National Forest and DuPont.I commute to my sales job at the Great Escapes bike shop. My 6-year-old is not as willing to get stuffed in the trailer anymore, but my guitar doesn’t complain when I have a singing gig. I’m used to drivers giving me the stink-eye, but I chalk it up to jealousy as I enjoy the back roads and zipping past long lines of traffic.I like not needing a car, not dealing with parking, getting exercise, helping the environment, having fun getting to work, and the fact that it’s mind-clearing. Those first couple times were like a puke fest. It was horrible. But I’m stronger, and it’s getting easier. I like inspiring people to ride bikes.My boyfriend has helped me branch out beyond commuting, onto road rides, the woods, and my involvement with SORBA, which I love. I love the biking community – it’s awesome.I went on a three-day ride to Charleston in the Ride to Remember, raising awareness for Alzheimer’s. It was the camaraderie I appreciated most, and the powerful stories of those people’s experiences with the disease.MIKE SULEAge: 40 / Hometown: Asheville, N.C.Favorite ride: New Jersey to Quebec with three college friends. It rained absolutely every day. It was the most difficult and strenuous trip but the most fulfilling because of its challenges.I’m director and founder of Asheville on Bikes, which is a nonprofit focused on bike advocacy and education. I’ve always been an organizer of things, but more for fun and frolic. When I met legendary bike advocate Claudia Nix, she helped me understand there was a lot more to the cycling community. I didn’t think I would take the fun and frolic of Asheville and bring it to the advocacy that AOB has become, but I quit my job as an elementary school teacher to do this full-time.I simply love to ride and I have never been fond of urban car traffic. I’ve figured out how to incorporate what I love into the fabric of my everyday life. I haven’t had a car since 2005. Bike touring and commuting are what I do most.My first mountain bike in the sixth grade was a purple Coyote. We lived between a ski resort and a state park in the Pocono Mountains, so I learned the trail systems and was hooked. In college I couldn’t afford a car, so I rode.For years I’ve taken summer bike tours, Holland, Oregon-Washington, the Alleghenies, New Jersey to Quebec. A bike tour on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath sealed the deal with my now-wife, Emily. Bike touring is the best and worst of times so you really get a sense of your partner. A lot of success of being with someone is realizing where the comfort and misery meet—and how to read and communicate with your partner.ALLISON ARENSMANAge: 20 / Hometown: Valdese, N.C.Favorite ride: Highway 276 in Brevard up to the Blue Ridge Parkway where a gravel road spurs off for six miles. It never fails to amaze me to see what’s up there, and getting to come back down is even better.I was tricked into riding by my brother and dad. It looked like it hurt, and I didn’t want anything to do with it. Back then, riding 20 miles was just horrendous. I thought it was terrible. Cycling is a harsh sport without great rewards. You’re depending on the bike to work well too.This spring I stood at the top of the podium for the USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals in Richmond, Va., racing for Brevard College, where I study exercise science.In 2010, I caught the cyclocross bug. It was just fun. It’s just you, and the bike, in the mud. It’s like being a kid again. By the third cyclocross race, I was still trying to figure out which end was up. I kept crashing in the sand, but once I caught the girl in first going uphill I attacked and moved on. Next was the Olympic training center women’s cycling camp. I hope I get chosen for Europe.I like to explore and run errands commuter-style. It’s such a freeing thing—whether I’m training or riding easy. I feel like I can get away for a little while on the bike.BRUCE DICKMANAge: 45 / Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.Favorite Ride: The Millstone trails in Vermont with quarries, vast temperature variances, and technical features across 70 miles of single track.As a lad, I began on beach cruisers, evolving onto mountain bikes in 1994. I currently ride a carbon fiber hard tail and prefer the woods to road. I don’t wanna bounce on pavement. However, I did have a wreck in the woods which resulted in several back surgeries. Trees are troublesome. When you’re riding in good shape, and you know it, you ride really strong and you love getting out there. Struggling to get back in shape is an uphill battle and you know what you have to do to get there.The bike offers freedom, a chance to be in shape, not in shape, back in shape, repeat. My most memorable ride was from Atlanta to New York City with firefighters for the 10th anniversary for 9-11. It was 1,500 miles in 15 days, ending in a parting sea of applauding people. I hope to do that again one day.SUE HAYWOODAge: 42 / Hometown: Harrisonburg, Va.Favorite ride: Splash Dam trail in Davis, W.Va. It leaves from town, passes a cold spring, solid mile of technical rocks, and then winds along the banks of the Blackwater River, complete with mountain laurel, flame azalea, five varieties of ferns, and blueberries.I talked my dad into buying me a mountain bike in college for exploring and beer-drinking. I took that investment and went pro, not even knowing what that meant until I won the national championship while sponsored by Trek/VW and then got paid to race for the World Cup.Some of it is luck, some isn’t. Sometimes it’s easier for girls, because there are fewer, but we also didn’t get taken as seriously.My first rides involved chasing boys, crashing and figuring out where they went, only for them to take off as soon as I caught up. Now I race for fun. I love enduros, the technical long-distance rides. Now I teach clinics helping women tackle singletrack better.I’m a junkie for those flashes of adrenaline, like an electric pulse. I wouldn’t want it to be just fitness—or just scared all the time.My love of riding has evolved from getting faster, being just a job, fixing a broken leg, mending a broken heart, getting skinny, and now quality of life in the woods with friends. You can always get back to the bike. Although it hurts getting back, it will always take you back, and your friends are always there.REUBEN KLINEAge: 45 / Hometown: Frederick, Md.Favorite ride: Michaux State Forest, Pa., is my favorite racing circuit, but Spain and the Canary Islands aren’t bad.I grew up in the Pennsylvania Appalachians. Cycling has given me so much in life, including friends, an outlet, and mental and physical health. The energy that I’ve put into cycling has given back more than anything else I’ve done in life. Even a 20-mile ride you are ten miles away from any issues you have. You literally get to ride away from the stressful environment and let things go.I started mountain biking at 20 in Utah on a Giant Iguana before any kind of suspension. You felt like you were running a jackhammer. I’m now riding a Specialized S-Works Epic—the sweetest bike ever.I quit riding for a while until my close friends coerced me back on the bike at 30. It helped me through a lot of things. It’s a healthy addiction that fulfills. You go 100 miles and you’re in a completely different area and you see things differently from a bike.I started the Gran Fondo National Championship Series three years ago, to provide a cycling challenge for beginners as well as competitive types. It’s not necessarily a race. There are no start and end times, and riders are encouraged to stop at rest stations. The competitive types get their thrills in timed segments throughout the race. There are 30-, 60-, and 100-mile options. Everyone gets a finisher medal because it’s more like an accomplishment. How many people entering a marathon are about winning it? Same thing with Gran Fondo.CHAD PROSSERAge: 14 / Hometown: Youngstown, OhioFavorite ride: Daniel Dehrs Action Sports Complex, Holly Springs, N.C.I love to ride BMX bikes because it’s so fun, it’s different, and you have to push yourself. Nobody else can push you to do better.My parents always told me that they took my training wheels off when I was two years old, and I would ride around in my diaper. They support me, but my dad worries about me hurting myself. I broke my elbow during a jam when I was in the second grade. I cased on a quarter pipe, flipped over, and slammed my elbow. My dad was like, “I told you so,” and I was like, “whatever.”My 16-year-old neighbor took me around when I was 7 and taught me a lot of stuff. Once I knew where to go, my older sister and brothers would take me.My best tricks are a truck driver, where you kick it all the way around, and a tail whip, which is a 360 bar spin, where the bike spins around midair until you’re back on the pedals. I really want a flair—a 180 back flip. When you get a smooth take off, it feels like you’re soaring through the air, it’s amazing. But when you lift off and you already know it’s going bad, you get that face, and it’s scary, really scary. If I get mad or frustrated, I tell myself to have fun. Really that’s what it’s all about. I would like to compete on a professional level.FRED SCHULDTAge: 45 / Hometown: Asheville, N.C.Favorite trails: Coleman Boundary in Barnardsville, N.C.At 24, I got a Huffy from the Navy Exchange for transportation. Magazines indicated it was not a great bike to have. After a year, I tested an aluminum Trek mountain bike and was told to pay attention to the way it shifted, braked, and handled. I walked back bleeding down my face and bought it. I rode 4-5 times a week, obsessed. That’s how I am. My buddies always dropped me, but I dusted them on the climbs and started racing.After the Navy, I got a job at Hearn’s bike shop. I went to Bent Creek and threw my bike down in frustration because the climb never stopped. It just made me bitter and stronger. Mom took me to Turkey Pen, she on her horse. I loved being out that far in the woods. I couldn’t ride downhill and constantly got passed. It scared me, baffled me, I didn’t get it. So I got a downhill bike. Don’t get in the way of momentum is what I learned. Freeride happened after downhill. That was all about going bigger and figuring out how not to kill yourself. That weightlessness only lasts “that long,” so you wanna go bigger so it lasts longer. I opened Pro Bikes and after 8 years of running it, my avocation became a vocation. There’s not as much riding when you own a business.It’s pretty spiritual being connected to the earth through this mechanical, man-made thing. I liked sitting on Merrimon Avenue, looking at Mount Pisgah saying, I’m gonna ride there today—and then hours later, looking back at town.I’ve suffered a broken collar bone, a summer of sprained ankles learning to dirt jump, a ruptured spleen, a dislocated hip on a half-pipe, a smashed face when the head tube snapped, dropping me off a five-foot wall. If you don’t get injured once in a while, you’re not getting the full experience.MIKE THOMASAge: 28 / Hometown: Greensboro, N.C.Favorite trails: Beech Mountain and the Pisgah National forest in the Grandfather District. I’ve ridden all over the country. I’m always happy to be riding again in Pisgah with the creeks and the rhododendron.I got into mountain bikes when I was 16 as a way to train for motocross and then just kept doing it. Motorcycles are just not as convenient as mountain bikes. I started racing cross-country as a junior expert, and then as an adult expert, but now race downhill pro.I went to Appalachian State University, where I won two downhill national championships. For four years, I helped develop a bike park for visitors. I’ve had my own trail-building business, Terra Tek Trails, for two years. I now build trails for Beech Mountain and other places. I also do hiking trails and a lot for the US Forest Service. Downhill trails are the most fun to build.I love where I’m at right now. I’m super happy. Five years ago I would have never realized I could have a career like this. Riding bikes is just part of my life. I freak out if I don’t ride at least a couple times a week. I’m addicted to it. When you start getting better and faster, you go through a series of crashes, and I’ve had my share, including both collar bones in the same summer. But you’re also breaking through to the next level.ELIJAH FREESEAge: 11 / Hometown: Asheville, N.C.Favorite trail: Bent Creek, Upper ExplorerI like riding bikes because it’s healthy for your body and you get to know yourself better. I started riding a bike when I was 2. When I was 3, the Easter Bunny came and took my training wheels, so I learned to ride without them.When I was five, I did my first race on a velodrome and finished last. I thought I won because everybody was gone. When I was 8, I took second in the Carolina Mountain Bike League series.I’ve ridden in Utah, at Beech Mountain, and around town, but I love the woods best, in the middle of nowhere and all of the birds and animals I see. I especially like when it’s overcast and foggy, riding through dense evergreens. It’s cool—like a secret hideout. I like dirt jumps too, because you can get really big air. I do bike club at school. My mom takes us, so I get to ride with my friends. Otherwise mom takes me on trails she knows I can do. When I crash, she helps me do the section again to get better next time. My dad takes me on trails he does with his friends and says that I can do stuff that his friends can’t. Riding bikes makes me feel really happy, like I’ve accomplished something. I feel disappointed when I crash, but then I see what I could have done better.last_img read more

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Berger talks relief, FOM in Day 2 of Hill visits

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger and other NAFCU lobbyists took to Capitol Hill again Wednesday and met with House and Senate committee chairmen of the 114th Congress, focusing on credit union regulatory relief, field of membership and strengthening of the federal charter.“We will be pushing hard in the coming year to advance measures that lead to a more favorable regulatory environment for credit unions. Our message of ‘Enough is Enough’ is resonating,” Berger said. “As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions need as much flexibility as they can get to marshal resources and talent to enhance their bottom lines and meet members’ needs.”Berger and NAFCU’s senior government affairs staff were also on Capitol Hill Tuesday, swearing-in day for the 114th Congress, meeting with returning and new credit union friends and advancing the association’s 2015 top priorities.last_img read more

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A two-day conference on creating the identity and brand of Croatia starts tomorrow

first_imgThe conference will be opened by renowned experts in PR, corporate communications and branding – prof. dr. sc. Krishnamurthy Sriramesh from the University of Colorado, a scientist in the field of communication management, and prof. dr. sc. Dubravka Sinčić Ćorić, leader of the working group of the President of the Republic of Croatia for creating the identity and brand of Croatia. In addition, two round tables are held on the first day of the Forum. The first round table will stimulate discussion on whether Croatia can become a cultural, economic and political brand thanks to the presidency of the European Union in 2020, while the second round table will show how multinational companies see Croatia in the international environment. For the first time this year, the conference will have a student section in which 39 students from Croatian universities will exhibit 23 scientific papers in the field of public relations, communications, marketing and branding. The best student presentations will be awarded a special prize by a three-member expert jury. The conference will provide answers to the question of the extent to which communication is a key factor in establishing a national brand and how Croatia can use its own advantages to strengthen the country’s image and improve its promotion in the world. Scientists and experts participating in both days of the conference will try to contribute to the process of creating a unique Croatian brand, and the importance of their contribution will be confirmed by three special awards that will be given to individuals for overall scientific contribution to public relations and communication. Reviewed papers from this year’s Forum will be published in a bilingual collection of papers at the end of 2019. Papers with the best reviews will be found in a special issue of the international scientific journal Communication Management Review. Almost 300 scientists and experts in the field of communication management and related scientific disciplines participated in the previous editions of the Communication Management Forum. The third edition of the international scientific conference Communication Management Forum 2019, which brings together about 200 scientists and experts in the field of communications, branding, marketing and tourism, will be held on 10 and 11 May 2019 entitled “In search of a common denominator: communication, tourism, national culture and brand ”. During the two days of the conference, more than 140 scientific papers will be exhibited. Communication Management Forum 2019 is organized by Edward Bernays University College, a university that conducts study programs in communications and tourism, and partners. Source / photo: Edward Bernays College of Communication Managementlast_img read more

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Jakarta’s COVID-19 self-isolation centers start to fill up

first_imgSelf-isolation centers across the capital have started to fill up as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise. In response, the city administration has prepared other locations as self-isolation centers, which are free to use.Isolation centers in towers 4 and 5 of the former athletes village in Kemayoran – now an emergency hospital for COVID-19 patients in Central Jakarta – currently house 1,984 patients out of a capacity of 3,116, tempo.co reported on Friday.Meanwhile, U Stay Hotel Mangga Besar in West Jakarta and Ibis Style Hotel Mangga Dua in Central Jakarta, which were turned into isolation centers on Sept. 27, have run out of vacant rooms to accommodate asymptomatic COVID-19 patients. The two hotels accommodate 140 and 212 people, respectively. “COVID-19 is dangerous. But, the humans who carry COVID-19 are far more dangerous,” Doni said.As tracing asymptomatic cases is difficult, the Jakarta administration decided to change its strategy by imposing controlled self-isolation for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in mid-September. The administration has previously banned self-isolation at home, as it had caused new clusters to emerge, but shortly changed the policy.Currently, towers 4, 5 and 8 of the Kemayoran athletes village and the Ibis Style Hotel, U Style Hotel and Ibis Senen Hotel have been designated as self-isolation centers. The Jakarta administration is currently preparing the Jakarta Islamic Center in North Jakarta, Graha Wisata at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in East Jakarta and Graha Wisata Ragunan at Jaya Raya Ragunan Sports Center in South Jakarta.Health official Widyastuti explained that asymptomatic patients would stay at the Kemayoran isolation center, while patients with mild to moderate symptoms would be treated at the athlete’s village COVID-19 emergency hospital. “Confirmed asymptomatic COVID-19 patients have to obtain a recommendation letter from a hospital, community health center, or doctor to isolate for 10 days. Moreover, the patient is required to sign a statement of consent to carry out isolation at the controlled isolation centers,” she said.As of Friday, Indonesia’s COVID-19 case tally was near 300,000, with more than 79,000 cases having been recorded in the capital city, the epicenter of the outbreak. (Iwa)Topics : “The two hotels are fully occupied,” said the Health Agency’s public health unit head Fify Mulyani on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.The Health Agency previously reported that almost half of all COVID-19 patients in the capital are asymptomatic Fify said around 45 percent of confirmed patients in Jakarta showed no symptoms at all. “Meanwhile, 40 percent show moderate symptoms and the other 15 percent develop severe symptoms,” Fify. Previously, national COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo also warned that a person could carry the virus without knowing it and end up transmitting it to their family members and those closest to them.center_img #covid19taskforce #mothermessage #wearmask #keepyourdistance #washyourhand #socialdistance #avoidcrowd #usesoaplast_img read more

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Dutch government rejects call for leeway on pension-fund risk profiles

first_imgTo date, 40 schemes have applied for permission to do so.Klijnsma, however, pointed out in her letter to Parliament that pension funds could also amend their investment policies within their existing risk profiles by “exchanging risks” – reducing interest hedges against lower equity allocations, for example.In her opinion, a strategic investment policy also often provides the best opportunity to increase risk temporarily.She said adjustments to a given scheme’s pension plan – as well as changes in the allowed estimates for future returns – could provide additional options for tailor-made approaches.Klijnsma said pension funds without any shortfall could raise their risk profiles anyway, provided such a move tallied with participants’ attitude towards risk. The Dutch government has rejected pension funds’ requests for greater leeway on their ability to raise their risk profiles.In a letter to Parliament, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs, argued that any “additional margin” on risk would be neither necessary or desirable. The state secretary was responding to a survey conducted by regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), which explored the options for Dutch pension funds wishing to increase their risk profiles – particularly those lacking only the requisite financial buffers. With the introduction of the new financial assessment framework (nFTK) earlier this year, pension funds reporting a shortfall in reserves were given a one-off chance to adjust their portfolios.last_img read more

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Top Danish pension funds struggle for investment returns in H1

first_imgAverage-rate pension plans received a 0.9% return in the first half, and PFA’s pre-tax total return related to average-rate products was 0.5%.However, PFA has seen an influx of new business since the end of last year, gaining 237 new corporate customers and 39,000 private customers, according to the interim financial report.Regular contributions were up 7% from the same period last year, the firm said.Allan Polack, PFA’s group chief executive, said he was pleased with the results even though the financial markets had been particularly challenging.“The fact that our contributions are increasing by 7% is great in a mature market and proves that we are able to gain market share and that the customers have confidence in PFA’s ability to generate more value for their savings,” he said.He said PFA’s increased focus on unlisted assets had proved advantageous in challenging markets. Alternative investments contributed a 1.6% return in the first half, while real estate gained 4.3%.“This is an area we anticipate will generate high returns going forward,” Polack said.PensionDanmark ekes out return in first halfMeanwhile, labour-market fund PensionDanmark, which mainly covers blue-collar workers, also described the first half as “challenging”. Torben Möger PedersenThe pension fund reported a slight increase in regular premiums, to DKK6bn from DKK5.9bn in the same period last year, and a small positive investment return of DKK1.1bn before tax – translating into a 0.5% gain for 40-year-old scheme members and 0.6% for those aged 65.The pre-tax return for average-rate products was 0.8%.The highest contributions to PensionDanmark’s total investment return came from real estate at 4.4%, private equity with 4.2% and infrastructure which generated 2.7%.Torben Möger Pedersen, chief executive of the Copenhagen-based pension fund, said: “The half-year has been challenging with moderate investment returns close to zero for both equity and bonds alongside with substantial fluctuations, especially in share prices.”Total assets rose to DKK239.7bn at the end of June from DKK 224.1bn 12 months earlier.Membership numbers climbed to 721,000 at the end of June, from 705,281 at the same point in 2017.Möger Pedersen said the 1.9% increase in ongoing premiums indicated “continued positive development in employment for our members”. Two of Denmark’s largest pension funds struggled to generate returns in the first half of the year, according to their interim reports.PFA, the country’s largest commercial pension fund, reported a slim overall profit on its investments in the first half, leaving some customers with losses.The total return on investments was DKK838m (€112.4m) in the January-to-June period, down from DKK9.5bn in the same period last year. Total assets reached DKK718bn at the end of June, up from DKK622bn.Pre-tax market rate returns amounted to between -0.5% and zero, PFA reported, with these figures inclusive of the “CustomerCapital” share of profits that, as a mutual company, PFA passes on to its savers.last_img read more

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Online buyers secure prestige homes off back of virtual tours

first_img 84 Sir Bruce Small Boulevard, Benowa Waters sold via online auction for $1.53 million.A five-bedroom lakeside home at 84 Sir Bruce Small Boulevard, Benowa Waters sold for $1.53 million via remote auction to local professionals last Saturday.It was the first online auction for marketing agents Sam Guo and Julia Kuo of Ray White Broadbeach who described the experience as “very different”.“We haven’t done this before as we always do onsite auctions,” Mr Guo said. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa8 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago“Once buyers understand the procedure, they’ve seen the property and all of their documents are in order to pre-register, it was fairly smooth.” MORE NEWS: At-home workers dream of a bigger house in Byron New designer build wows in Burleigh Heads hotspot 116/685 Casuarina Way, Kingscliff sold off a virtual inspection this week.Nick Witheriff of LJ Hooker Kingscliff reports an increase in the number of sales being made off the back of virtual inspections as interstate and overseas buyers seek to secure property.This week an Australian expat bought a three-bedroom unit at 116/685 Casuarina Way, Kingscliff for $850,000 after a virtual tour.“That property sold to an interstate buyer wanting that lifestyle change off the back of COVID-19,” Mr Witheriff said.“They have been living in the UK. They’re making a direct run to be here and will move in on June 1 to start a new life.” 71 Cylinders Drive, Kingscliff is on the market at $4.25 million.Another online buyer will travel from Sydney progress plans to secure 71 Cylinders Drive, Kingscliff which is on the market with an asking price of $4.25 million.“We’ve been dealing with them online by way of virtual inspection,” Mr Witheriff said. “They haven’t seen the home in person yet but the negotiations have progressed with a view that they will do a final inspection before signing a contract.”Online auctions are also turning out positive results on the Gold Coast as agents and buyers become more confident in dealing with online selling platforms.center_img 71 Cylinders Drive, Kingscliff has impressed via virtual inspection.ONE month after the government banned public auctions and group open homes, buyers and agents have adjusted with an increasing number of properties selling via virtual methods.Virtual tours, FaceTime inspections and online auctions are the new normal in real estate as the industry adapts to maintain health and hygiene during the COVID-19 period.And despite early uncertainty around how the property market would fare with so many restrictions in place, the sales results are encouraging. Eclipse Apartment 49 sold at online auction for $2.5 million.In Broadbeach, Eclipse Apartment 49 at 47-51 Broadbeach Boulevard sold under the virtual hammer last Friday for $2.5 million.Sharing the sale on social media, marketing agent Katrina Walsh of Harcourts Coastal wrote: “My 1st Remote Auction and Loving it!”And while agents have been busy conducting one-on-one private inspections, the reduction in so-called time wasters has been a positive side-effect for all parties. “The fun of driving down the Coast on a Saturday to get a coffee and have some lunch while visiting a couple of open homes is off the cards,” Mr Witheriff said.“People are only engaging with us when they’re ready to buy which is great for the owners because they don’t have to prepare the home and the overall sales process can be more smooth and relaxing for both buyers and sellers.”last_img read more

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