Emergency declared in US state of Washington, eight additional casualties, many still without power

Monday, December 18, 2006

A state of emergency was declared Sunday for the U.S. state of Washington by governor Christine Gregoire, as additional reports of storm-related casualties surfaced. The state National Guard has been deployed to aid in distributing supplies.

Thousands were still without power in the coastal and Puget Sound regions, though most urban areas were back with power as late as Sunday afternoon, and outages were mostly contained to rural and unincorporated areas. Puget Sound Energy reported that roughly 500,000 energy customers out of the 700,000 who lost power were back in service by Sunday evening. Seattle City Light, the city’s independent municipal utility, reported only 18,000 customers still without power as of Monday morning, down from a peak of 175,000.

Four additional deaths related to the post-storm power outage had been reported as of Monday, bringing the total number of casualties to eight. A man in Gig Harbor was electrocuted by a downed power line while walking his dog. Another man in Spanaway died when an unattended candle caused a house fire.

Two died from carbon monoxide poisoning in separate incidents related to use of combustion devices indoors. Roughly a hundred additional cases of non-fatal carbon monoxide poisoning were reported from people using generators or grills indoors. News radio stations and authorities warned the public to stay away from downed power lines and not to use grills indoors. Dr. Neil Hampson at Virginia Mason’s hyperbaric unit, where a number of victims were being treated, warned it could be “the worse case of carbon monoxide poisioning in the country”.

On Monday, four new carbon-monoxide deaths were reported in a family of five in Burien due to an indoor generator. In Canada, which had some damage from the week’s storms, two southern British Columbia carbon monoxide deaths were also reported. Despite continued warnings, hospitals are still seeing cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, including a family in w:Shoreline, Washington which was taken to the hospital after they reported symptoms due to their indoor grill. Neighbors of the Burien family suggested that noise concerns are leading people to place noisy generators indoors.

The massive power outage left many stores and gas stations unable to operate. Some businesses opened with the help of backup generators, conserving power by foregoing heat and refrigeration, exterior lighting, and half the interior lighting. Most stores had run out of “D” size batteries, the most common size for flashlights, as well as firelogs and other essentials. Gasoline shortages were reported throughout the area, with one man selling excess fuel for as high as $15 per gallon, over 5 times the average retail price.

The Red Cross set up shelters throughout King and other affected counties for those without power or food. Hotels reported no vacancies as whole families took shelter in powered hotels, especially in Seattle. Restaurants also reported brisk business as people sought out a hot cooked meal. Tons of perishable food were expected to have become unsafe after the prolonged outage disabled refrigerators and freezers both in homes and stores.

Many of those without power visited nearby friends and family living where power had been continued or restored, while others traveled out of the area to places that had not been affected. The widespread outage made long-distance traveling treacherous on some major routes, with roadway lighting, cellular towers, and services disabled by the outage.

Most major roadways which were closed during the storm were reopened on Friday. The 520 Floating Bridge over Lake Washington, a major conduit to the technology-rich Eastside, sustained minor damage. Amtrak, which had halted its Cascades service, resumed Saturday evening. Sea-Tac Airport resumed operations with a reduced flight load, after a transient power outage on Friday disabled the airport radar and caused all planes to be grounded until it was repaired.

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New faces emerge as veteran politicians step down in Hong Kong legislative election

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Hong Kong legislative election was held on Sunday, with a record-breaking turnout of around 2 million voters and turnout rate of 58%. The results show the anti-establishment camp successfully maintained a majority in the geographical constituencies’ seats thus veto power to any members’ bills, and also a minority larger than a third to veto any bills featuring major political reforms. Young and new faces emerged in the new council members, as veteran politicians stepped down in both the anti-establishment and pro-Beijing camps.

In the New Territories West geographical constituency, nonpartisan pan-democrat Eddie Chu was elected with 84,121 votes, the most given to any list in the geographical constituencies. Other anti-establishment candidates elected in this district were localist camp’s Cheng Chung-tai of Civic Passion, pan-democracy camp’s Kwok Ka-ki and Andrew Wan of respectively Civic Party and the Democratic Party. The pro-Beijing camp candidates elected were New People Party’s Michael Tien, DAB’s Ben Chan and Leung Che-cheung, FTU’s Alice Mak and pro-establishment nonpartisan Junius Ho. Two pan-democratic veteran politicians Lee Cheuk-yan of the Labour Party and Frederick Fung of ADPL were defeated in this constituency, with Junius Ho defeating Lee Cheuk-yan by around five thousand votes.

In the New Territories East geographical constituency, pan-democracy camp councillors Alvin Yeung from the Civic Party, Fernando Cheung of the Labour Party, Raymond Chan of People Power, and Leung Kwok-hung of LSD were successfully elected. Pan-democrat Lam Cheuk-ting from the Democratic Party and localist group Youngspiration’s Baggio Leung were successfully elected newcomers. For the Pro-Beijing camp, Elizabeth Quat of DAB was elected with 58,825 votes, the highest in the constituency. Other pro-Beijing candidates elected in this constituency were Gary Chan of DAB and Eunice Yung of New People’s Party. Pan-democrat Gary Fan of the Neo Democrats failed to get re-elected in this constituency, and resigned from his leadership in his party due to its election defeat.

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In the Hong Kong Island geographical constituency, pro-Beijing New People Party’s Regina Ip was re-elected with 60,760 votes. Other pro-Beijing elected were FTU’s Kwok Wai-keung and DAB’s Horace Cheung. Demosisto’s Nathan Law earned a surprise victory as second place in the constituency with 50,818 votes, and becomes the youngest Legislative Council member in Hong Kong’s history. The other two anti-establishment camp elects were Hui Chi-fung from the Democratic Party and Tanya Chan of the Civic Party, both considered to be in the pan-democracy camp. Pan-democrat veteran Cyd Ho from the Labour Party lost her seat in this constituency.

In the Kowloon West geographical constituency, pro-Beijing councillors Ann Chiang of DAB and Priscilla Leung of BPA were successfully re-elected, as well as pan-democratic councillors Claudia Mo of the Civic Party and Wong Pik-wan of the Democratic Party. The rest of the candidates elected in this constituency were young and relatively new activists from the localist camp, Lau Siu-lai and Youngspiration’s Yau Wai-ching. Yau Wai-ching defeated another localist camp candidate, veteran politician Raymond Wong of the Proletariat Political Institute, by 424 votes.

In the Kowloon East geographical constituency, pro-Beijing district councillor Wilson Or was elected with 51,516 votes, the highest in this constituency. Nonpartisan Paul Tse and Wong Kwok-kin of the FTU were successfully re-elected. Pan-democracy camp councillor Wu Chi-wai of the Democratic Party was elected. Civic Party’s Jeremy Tam was elected for the first time. Localist group Civic Passion’s Wong Yeung-tat was defeated in this district, and resigned his leadership in Civic Passion.

In the District Council (Second) functional constituency, commonly know as “Super District Council” seats, pan-democracy camp’s Kwong Chun-yu of the Democratic Party received 491,667 votes, the highest in this constituency. Other pan-democrats elected were Leung Yiu-chung of NWSC and James To of the Democratic Party. Pro-Beijing DAB’s Starry Lee and Holden Chow were successfully elected in this constituency, while pro-Beijing veteran politician Wong Kwok-hing of FTU was defeated by 10,694 votes by James To.

In traditional functional constituencies, the pan-democracy camp gained a seat from the pro-Beijing camp. Shiu Ka-chun of the Social Welfare constituency defeated their opponents, hence the pan-democrats’ seats in the functional constituencies increased from 9 to 10. Also, an independent who does not claim to belong to either camp, Edward Yiu of the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape constituency, defeated his opponents and was elected.

The turnout of this election was the highest in the history of Legislative Council elections, with around 2 million voters voted and a turnout rate of 58%. At a polling station in Taikoo of the Hong Kong Island constituency, after the polls closed at 22:30, with the long queues outside the station the last ballot there was cast at 02:30 the next day, four hours after the last person was allowed to join the queue. The previous general legislative election in Hong Kong was before the 2014 protests. The election elects 70 members of the Legislative Council.

Election Results
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People Likes Most Advanced And Fully Loaded Iphone Applications

The functionalities of this smart phone comprise of accelerometer, multi-touch screen, virtual keyboard and a broad variety of software applications. Apple is the big manufacturer of iPhone, they make several smartphones in the Cell phone technology area, and Apple’s iPhone has turned into very popular among new users. iPhone has strong presence in the smartphone market segment, by Q2 2009 total iPhone units sold amounted to 21.17 million. This gives tremendous scope for iPhone Mobile Application Development.

Day by day growing demand for Customized Mobile Applications for iPhone from all age of people’s like businessmen and youth. Lots of the iPhone Apps development firms are creating to the innovative and high-tech applications. Now businessmen are totally indulge with this potential and they are taking advantage by the use in the different Applications for the development of their businesses.

A wireless gadget, iPhone is now become a part of life. It surely helps you to boost your lifestyle as well as convey many changes in your daily life. That is probable with the development of various iPhone applications based on our day-to-day life. There are possibilities of different apps on spiritual, antiques, travel, sports, foodstuff, agriculture, fashion, and shopper advice. Let us see many possibilities of apps on lifestyle.

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iPhone App Development is developing of the companies as it is in vast requirement and is one of the most successful businesses. Be alert and advantage from your own application and game with newest iPhone. The iPhone applications provide a user with a slew of different kinds of features or attributes. The new version equips a user with a camera producing good quality photos but the older version had only 2.0 mega pixel camera. In the latest iPhone version, you can click photos and also edit the images.

There are many offshore iPhone application development companies they are offering iPhone Apps, iPad Apps, Android Apps and many other Mobile Software Development and iPhone Programming service with skillful and excellence. Hence, the hire iPhone 4 Apps Developers is the eye-catching service from the iPhone 4 users to obtain their device more amusing and more business helpful. It is the time of the internet, and has arise with the remarkable features that amplify its personality. Apple has released the new series of it that is iPhone 4 and iPhone iOS 4 with the most recent and dazzling features that are very supportive in its application development solution.

Application Development for iPhone 4 is now a very easy in iPhone Programming companies. Mobile Development in India carries a gather of technologies & platform of expert for the iPhone Software Development. iPhone 4 Developers find the potential base of iPhone application development in India. For satisfied to the consumer wishes, there is a huge demand of iPhone Apps Programming companies in India.

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About Author:

Stacy Rose is working with Professional iPhone 4 Application Developers Company. iPhone 4 Developers experts leading company in Custom iPhone Mobile Application Development and iPhone Framework Development. Contact us directly at iphone4developers.com/iphone-development-services.htmlAuthor: Stacy K Rose

Skeletons found under home in Hertfordshire

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Catherine McGuigan, a resident in South Mimms, Hertfordshire, UK, found skeletons from over a century ago buried under her dining room.

She had hired builders for an extension for her cottage, where she has lived for eleven years, and at the beginning of April they found human bones in the ground.

Her cottage was built over a burial ground; from 1697 to 1820 the land was owned by the Religious Society of Friends. In the 1600s, members of the society, better known as Quakers, were persecuted for their beliefs and so were not allowed to be buried in consecrated church grounds. Instead burials, which were also sometimes for others not recognised as parishioners – such as homeless people, often took place in the countryside.

The Daily Mail states in its April article that the Religious Society of Friends have advised McGuigan that she “must cremate” the bodies, however Quakers have written an open letter to the Daily Mail, informing that for Quakers, there is “no specific advice on the disposal of bodies”, and that they had never expressed an opinion on how the discovered skeletons should be buried.

The cremation was rumoured to cost up to £32,000 – an £800 quote for cremation of a single body multiplied by 40, however as yet only ten bodies have been discovered.

The builders originally thought the bones were pieces of pipe, and McGuigan has now ordered coffins and is looking to holding a mass cremation or a burial in a nearby field.

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Iraqi activist forced to change t-shirt with Arabic peace slogan

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi peace activist who lives in the United States, was forced to change his T-Shirt, which bore an Arabic slogan, because it was found “offensive”.

The incident took place in JFK airport in New York. The activist Jarrar reported in his blog RaedInTheMiddle that he had checked-in his bags and was issued a boarding pass. After waiting near the gate to board his jetBlue airlines flight, and after having to gone through a secondary search, two officials approached him.

“People are feeling offended because of your t-shirt,” Raed reported that one of the men said to him. The writings on the T-Shirt said in both Arabic and English: “We will not be silent”.

Raed asked why this has offended anyone, and insisted his right to freedom of expression was violated.

According to Jarrar, one of the inspectors said, “You can’t wear a T-shirt with Arabic script and come to an airport. It is like wearing a t-shirt that reads ‘I am a robber’ and going to a bank”. The airport official, unable to read Arabic, was unyielding to protests by Jarrar that the English language version of the Arabic was accurate, and suggested he wear the shirt inside out.

“Many people called and complained about your t-shirt. Jetblue customers were calling before you reached the checkpoint, and customers called when you were waiting here in the boarding area”, Jarrar was told after he complained.

One employee from JetBlue offered to buy Jarrar a T-shirt to replace the one he was wearing, since the activist had none other after his bags were checked. Refusing at first, he agreed to wear one with “New York” written on it.

The officer on the scene commented that it need not have gone from one extreme to the other: wearing a T-Shirt with an Arabic peace slogan on it, to wearing one with ‘New York’. There is no reason to hate New York if you are an Arab speaking peace activist, according to Jarrar.

“I feel very sad that my personal freedom was taken away like this. I grew up under authoritarian governments in the Middle East, and one of the reasons I chose to move to the U.S. was that I don’t want an officer to make me change my t-shirt. I will pursue this incident today through a constitutional rights organization, and I am sure we will meet soon,” Raed said.

He was issued another boarding pass, with a different seat at the back of the plane.

JetBlue said it was investigating the incident but a spokeswoman said: “We’re not clear exactly what happened.” The spokeswoman also said the airline does not forbid Arabic T-shirts, but that it does take into account the concerns of its passengers.

The American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee said the US Transportation Department and the Transportation Security Administration were also investigating the incident after the committee lodged complaints on behalf of Jarrar.

“We Will Not Be Silent” is a slogan adopted by opponents of the war in Iraq and other conflicts in the Middle East.

It is said to derive from the White Rose dissident group which opposed Nazi rule in Germany.

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Jersey child abuse case ‘was not covered up’

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Frank Walker, the chief minister of Jersey, a United Kingdom Crown dependency off the coast of Normandy, France, denies that there was a cover up after a child’s remains were found.

The allegations of a cover-up stem from statements by Stuart Syvret. Syvret, the former Minister for Health and Social Services for Jersey, said that “It’s a continuum that we see. It’s a culture of cover-up and concealment and tragically the recent evidence is just the latest manifestation of that.”

It has come to light that Edward Paisnel, a notorious pedophile, used to visit the Haut de la Garenne children’s home dressed as Father Christmas. Paisnel in 1971, was given a sentence of 30 years for 13 counts of assault, rape and sodomy.

Syvret says he was dismissed from his ministerial position after highlighting the “torture” of 11 to 16-year-olds in the island’s care homes. He claimed he was “sacked for whistleblowing”.

Police are currently investigating twenty-seven cases of child abuse on the island and recently discovered the body of one child at a care home Haut de la Garenne in St. Martin, and with a potential six sites in the area where more bodies may be located. The home was closed in 1986 and since 2003 it has served as a youth hostel.

Jersey’s deputy police chief, Lenny Harper said “Part of the inquiry will be the fact that a lot of the victims tried to report their assaults but for some reason or another they were not dealt with as they should be.”

Harper added that “no evidence of a cover-up of any Jersey government” has been found. “We are looking at allegations that a number of agencies didn’t deal with things as perhaps they should.”

Syvret has encouraged the government of the United Kingdom to assign independent judges to oversee any cases that result from the investigations.

Builders originally uncovered a body at the care home in 2003 but it was only since an operation investigate child abuse started in 2006 that progress has been made. An ex-minister of the States of Jersey, the parliament of the island, has criticised the handling of the case, stating that abuse cases were mishandled.

Walker told senators that all necessary resources would be use to find the abusers. “None of us imagined that children in Jersey could be abused and mistreated in the way that is being suggested,” the BBC have quoted him as saying. “I express my shock and horror that these things have apparently happened within our island.”

Specialist police from the United Kingdom have been investigating after an enquiry turned up 140 sources verifying the claims of abuse.

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Intellectual Property Related To Vaping, E Liquid And Ends}

Submitted by: Jennifero Hopkins

The 2016 FDA Deeming Regulations will shift competitive advantage in the vaping industry significantly over the next few years. Strategic management of emerging intellectual property is critical to success.

The FDA unwittingly intervened in the middle of the vaping industrys technology development cycle and changed the rules of the game. As we all know, that has caused a firestorm of controversy and some industry paralysis around innovation. Investment in innovation requires clear business goals and the business environment is unclear until the new deeming regulations are fully imposed, repealed or scaled-back. Slick, visually appealing, flavorful and compact once drove the research and development cycle, now accuracy, repeatability, measurability and systems interaction will take precedence to comply with the new regulations if they stand as I believe they will.

Thus far, the vaping industry has been built largely on branding, a loyal customer base and trade secrets to create and protect the competitive advantage that exists in the various vape-related businesses. Most e-liquid formulations are kept secret although the manner in which the secrets are kept may not meet the legal hurdle of due care. In simple terms, due care requires that one goes through some extraordinary efforts not to expose the secret information to those who would disclose it or profit from it. Disclosure nullifies the trade secret and nothing can be done to put that horse back into the barn. Once a trade secret is in the public domain, it cant be patented or made secret again. Beyond trade secrets, mostly around formulae, some patents have been filed against the various ENDS devices, cartomizers and power supplys but they are few relative to the quantity of devices and their derivations on the market today. Very few patents have been filed against the systems or hardware that blend e-liquid either which suggests that there is either nothing novel about the equipment or the inventors intend to keep it a trade secret. Moreover, since demand outpaced supply historically, the need for unique competitive advantage was somewhat diminished, as I stated in a prior published paper*. Therefore, over the past decade all boats rose with the tide. Everyone profited from the bow-wave created by the surge in the vaping market and protection of intellectual property was not a requirement for near term success. Long-term, sustainable success is a different story. Long-term sustainable success is built on well-protected intellectual property (IP). It is estimated that around 80% of the total value of the S&P 500 index is attributable to intangible assets, i.e. intellectual property of all types.

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The landscape has changed dramatically for all businesses related to the vaping industry however. The recent deeming regulations will surely to drive a course correction as they kick in through 2018. One thing seems certain, the FDA regulations are here to stay in some form. Whatever innovation (IP) did exist prior to August 2016 is likely to become partly obsolete or possibly wholly obsolete dependent on which segment of the business you are in. Why so? Because the methods, processes, hardware, materials and designs that were sufficient to meet the needs of an unregulated environment are not likely to be sufficient to meet the needs of the new regulated environment. Its that simple. The standard has changed and there is now a higher science required to meet that standard. The new standard will be grounded in repeatability and other metrics that are tied more to science, data collection and reporting than marketing alone. Smart businesses will leverage the science in their marketing pitches and I can already see it emerging in recent advertisements. The vaping industry supply chain businesses that hope to remain viable going forward will need to answer the larger questions. Are the thermo-mechanical processes executed by the ENDS device to vaporize the liquid repeatable within an acceptable range? Can the ENDS apparatus and the liquid when combined produce repeatable results for the user? Are the various thermal, chemical and mechanical interactions well understood? Do the developers and manufacturers of those commodities know what those results are in terms of toxicology? The answers to those questions and others are the kernels of intellectual property (IP) that will emerge by necessity from the R&D required to create the solutions. Thats the jist of it. Those who can determine which IP to create and protect and how to protect it will yield the golden goose, i.e. long-term competitive advantage.

Most of the heavy-hitters in the tobacco industry have already begun to put IP stakes in the ground. One indication is that Altria, Reynolds American, Japan Tobacco Intl and British American Tobacco have collectively filed for almost 900 patents over the past few years. More than half of those patent applications are related to vaping in some way. Thats just the IP that we can see in the public domain via published patent applications. There is much more in trade secrets, undisclosed processes and know-how behind that. There always is. Think of it as a fence-line. Patents are the fence-posts. The mesh that covers the posts and creates the barrier are made up of the intellectual property that you cant see.

If you are a small to mid-sized business trying to make it in the new world order that the FDA regulations have yielded, you should be concerned but not dissuaded. Even large companies like Altria, etc. who have patents in the vaping area do not typically have a comprehensive IP strategy that is adequate. I lead the team that created the IP strategy approach for The Boeing Company in recent years and I can tell you that very few large companies do this well. Super high-technology companies like those found in IT, communications and the pharma industries are the best at creating and executing an IP strategy. Thats largely because they can afford to invest oodles of money in patenting and defending their IP around the world. The rest of us have to be much more efficient at identifying the IP that has real long-term value and then determining how we protect it. Thats where a comprehensive IP strategy can pay huge dividends for your company, no matter what size it is. Accessible subject matter expertise and the agility that comes with being smaller than Altria can be significant strengths in any strategic planning, especially in IP where the kernels of value need to be identified. Prescriptive IP strategy is beyond the scope of this paper and I have written volumes on it. Its different for different industries and different business models within industries. However, anyone can begin to work through the tenants of creating an IP strategy which is where most businesses of all sizes miss the mark.

An effective IP strategy starts with a laser focus on business objectives. Your organization, no matter how small should have a business strategy that drives everything you do. Ask yourself, can you achieve your business objectives in terms of product line throughput, quality (FDA) cost and pricing that you need to be market competitive? Do you currently have the technology, processes and equipment that you need to achieve your business strategy? If not, how will you acquire the necessary missing elements? Will you create them internally through company funding or acquire them externally through in-licensing, supply-chain partnerships or acquisition be it just the IP or the whole company? Most importantly, do you know which technology, formulae, processes and equipment will yield the greatest competitive advantage going forward? Where are you in the supply-chain and how do you intend to monetize your position? This is the most critical aspect of any worthwhile strategic plan, knowing whats important to your bottom line and prioritizing it. Once you know that, you can begin to invest in and protect your existing and emerging IP commensurate with its value. Patents, copyrights, trades secrets and trademarks are the typical tools that one would use to protect not only the most critical, but all the intellectual property that your company has ownership of, rights in or both. All IP has some value. Its just a matter of prioritizing the IP according to its value contribution. This extends to teaming agreements and other contracts wherein the rights and ownership you convey or are conveyed to you are codified and agreed to. Any solid IP strategy is built around a business, technology, IP relationship that is well understood by a diverse subject matter expert team and then shared with rest of the organization. Small, agile organizations can be very good at this because there are less buy-ins required and less people to share the plan with. Some of this comes down to simply marking all of your documents correctly and thats virtually free. It all starts with a solid business plan.

David Cloud MS, MBA. Dave is a VP at Process, Systems and Design and an independent IP strategy consultant. dave-cloud@hotmail.com

* The Impact of the FDA & Automation on Operational Efficiency in E-Liquid Production VaporVoice 2016, www.processsystemsdesign.com

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Controversial development training cited in religious discrimination lawsuits

Friday, May 23, 2008

A controversial development training course called “Landmark Forum” is cited in religious discrimination lawsuits in United States federal courts in New York and Washington, D.C. The seminars are run by a San Francisco, California-based for-profit training company called Landmark Education. The company evolved from Erhard Seminars Training “est”, and has faced criticism regarding its techniques and its use of unpaid labor. The sperm bank and surrogacy company Los Angeles-based Growing Generations is named as a defendant in the New York lawsuit, and the Democratic political action committee Twenty-First Century Democrats is a defendant in the Washington, D.C. case.

In separate lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, New York, and in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C., former employees are suing their employers for monetary damages and claiming religious discrimination after their employers allegedly mandated that they attend courses at Landmark Education.

In the US$3 million federal lawsuit filed in New York, Scott Glasgow is suing his former employer Growing Generations and its CEO Stuart Miller. Growing Generations maintains sperm banks and also arranges surrogacy for gay couples who wish to have children. The company has offices in New York and Los Angeles, and has done business with celebrities including actor B. D. Wong of Law & Order: SVU.

Glasgow was marketing director of Growing Generations, and claims he was fired in June 2007 after refusing to continue attending Landmark Education seminars. Glasgow is also suing for sexual harassment, and claims Miller came on to him in September 2006. He made approximately $100,000 per year as the company’s marketing director, and was the company’s only employee based out of New York City. The company’s main offices are in Los Angeles.

I want them to stop imposing Landmark on the employees, and I want an apology.

“I was shocked when I was fired. It took me months to right myself. I want them to stop imposing Landmark on the employees, and I want an apology,” said Glasgow in a statement in The Village Voice. Brent Pelton, one of Glasgow’s attorneys, stated that: “The Landmark philosophy is deeply ingrained in the culture of the company”. Glasgow said that the Landmark Education training courses were “opposite” to his Christian beliefs. According to Glasgow he was questioned by Miller in May 2007 after he walked out of a Landmark Education course, and was fired shortly thereafter. “We stand by the allegations contained in the complaint and we look forward to proving them at trial,” said Pelton in a statement to ABC News.

Ian Wallace, an attorney who represents Growing Generations, claimed that Glasgow wasn’t fired but walked away from his position. “Growing Generations and Mr. Miller are very confident that these claims will be dismissed ultimately, and there’s no factual basis for them whatsoever,” said Wallace in a statement to The Village Voice. Lawyers representing Growing Generations and Stuart Miller declined comment to The New York Post, and did not immediately return a message from ABC News.

In Glasgow’s complaint, entered into federal court record on April 18, he asserts that Landmark Education constitutes a “religion”, and “perceived their philosophy as a form of religion that contradicted his own personal beliefs”. He states that when he was promoted to Director of Marketing, he asked Miller if he could stop attending the Landmark sessions but was told that they were mandatory for all of the company’s executives and that Landmark is “very much the language of the company.” Glasgow said his performance at the company was assessed based on how he was “touching, moving and inspiring” others, a phrase from the Landmark philosophy, as opposed to his business accomplishments at the company. The complaint claims that the actions of Miller and Growing Generations violated Federal, New York State and New York City civil rights laws.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. deals with a separate plaintiff and company, but the plaintiff in the suit also claims that religious discrimination took place for allegedly being mandated to attend Landmark Education courses. Kenneth Goldman is suing the United States Democratic political action committee Twenty-First Century Democrats (also 21st Century Democrats) and its former executive director Kelly Young. Goldman was formerly the communications director of 21st Century Democrats.

According to Goldman’s complaint, three employees of 21st Century Democrats were fired after refusing to attend the Landmark Forum course. The complaint asserts that Landmark Education has “religious characteristics and theological implications” which influenced the mission of 21st Century Democrats and the way the organization conducted business. Goldman’s complaint states that in addition to himself, a training director and field director were also fired after they made it clear they would not attend the Landmark Forum.

Goldman says executive director Young infused Landmark Education jargon terms into staff meetings such as “create possibilities”, “create a new context”, and “enroll in possibilities”. He also claims that Young “urged” staff members to participate in Landmark Education events outside of the workplace, drove employees to and from Landmark functions, and used funds from 21st Century Democrats to pay for employees to attend those functions. Goldman’s complaint asserts that he was discriminated against in violation of the District of Columbia Human Rights Act.

While we are not a party to this lawsuit and have no firsthand knowledge of it, we can only assume that we are being used as a legal and political football to further the plaintiff”s own financial interests.

In a statement in The Washington Times, the executive director of 21st Century Democrats, Mark Lotwis, called the lawsuit “frivolous” and said: “we’re going to defend our organization’s integrity”. Landmark Education spokeswoman Deborah Beroset said that the Landmark Forum “is in no way religious in nature and any claim to the contrary is simply absurd,” and stated: “While we are not a party to this lawsuit and have no firsthand knowledge of it, we can only assume that we are being used as a legal and political football to further the plaintiff”s own financial interests.”

The New York lawsuit was filed April 14, and is still in early filing stages. A conference with the federal court judge in the case has been scheduled for June 17. The Washington, D.C. suit began in November 2007, and entered mediation this past March. As of April 15 the parties in the case were due back to court on July 11 to update the court on the mediation process.

Landmark Education is descended from Erhard Seminars Training, also called “est”, which was founded by Werner Erhard. est began in 1971, and Erhard’s company Werner Erhard and Associates repackaged the course as “The Forum” in 1985. Associates of Erhard bought the license to his “technology” and incorporated Landmark Education in California in 1991.

This is not the first time employees have sued claiming mandatory attendance at “Forum” workshops violated their civil rights. In a lawsuit filed in December 1988 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, eight employees of DeKalb Farmers Market in Decatur, Georgia sued their employer claiming their religious freedom and civil rights were violated when they were allegedly coerced into attending “Forum” training sessions. “Many of these training programs, particularly at large corporations, claim to be purely psychological, aimed at improving productivity and morale and loyalty. But in fact they are religious,” said University of Denver religious studies professor Carl Raschke in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.

The DeKalb Farmers Market employees were represented by lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union. Consulting Technologies Inc., an affiliate of Transformational Technologies Inc., was named as a party in the lawsuit. Transformational Technologies was founded by Werner Erhard, and was not named as a party in the suit. The “Forum” course that the employees claimed they were mandated to attend was developed by Werner Erhard and Associates. Employees said that they were fired or pressured to quit after they objected to the Forum courses.

The workers claimed that the Forum course contradicted with their religious beliefs. The plaintiffs in the suit included adherents of varying religious backgrounds, including Christianity and Hinduism. “The sessions put people into a hibernating state. They ask for total loyalty. It’s like brainwashing,” said Dong Shik Kim, one of the plaintiffs in the case. The plaintiffs said they lost their jobs after objecting to a “new age quasi-religious cult” which they said was developed by Werner Erhard.

The DeKalb Farmers Market denied the allegations, and an attorney for the company Edward D. Buckley III told The Wall Street Journal that employees were encouraged, not coerced, to attend the training sessions. According to The Wall Street Journal, The Forum said it would not sanction workers being coerced to attend its training sessions.

The parties in the DeKalb Farmers Market religious discrimination case came to a settlement in May 1989, and the case was dismissed with prejudice in June. The terms of the out-of-court settlement were not made public, but the employees’ attorney Amy Totenberg told The Wall Street Journal that the case “has made employers come to grips with the legitimate boundaries of employee training”.

According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers must “reasonably accommodate” their employees’ religious beliefs unless this creates “undue hardship”. In September 1988, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a policy-guidance notice which stated that New Age courses should be handled under Title VII of the Act. According to the Commission, employers must provide “reasonable accommodation” if an employee challenges a training course, unless this causes “undue hardship” for the company.

In October 2006, Landmark Education took legal action against Google, YouTube, the Internet Archive and a website owner in Queensland, Australia in attempts to remove criticism of its products from the Internet. The company sought a subpoena under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in an attempt to discover the identity of an anonymous critic who uploaded a 2004 French documentary of the Landmark Forum to the Internet. “Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous” (Voyage to the Land of the New Gurus) was produced by Pièces à Conviction, a French investigative journalism news program. The Electronic Frontier Foundation represented the anonymous critic and the Internet Archive, and Landmark withdrew its subpoena in November 2006 in exchange for a promise from the anonymous critic not to repost the video.

Landmark Education itself has come under scrutiny for its controversial labor practices. The company has been investigated by the United States Department of Labor in separate investigations originating out of California, Colorado, and Texas. Investigations focused on the heavy reliance of unpaid labor in the company’s workforce, which Landmark Education calls “assistants” and deems volunteers.

An investigation by the U.S. Dept. Labor based out of Colorado found that activities performed by Landmark Education’s “assistants” include: “office, clerical, telephone solicitation and enrollment, as well as greeting customers, setting up chairs, handling microphones during the seminars and making coffee. Additionally, a number of volunteers actually teach the courses and provide testimonials during and after the courses.” The Colorado investigation’s 1996 report found that “No records are kept of any hours worked by any employees.” According to a 1998 article in Metro Silicon Valley: “In the end the Department of Labor dropped the issue, leaving Landmark trumpeting about its volunteers’ choice in the matter.” Metro Silicon Valley reported that Landmark Education at the time employed 451 paid staff, and also utilized the services of 7,500 volunteers.

After an investigation into Landmark Education’s labor practices by the U.S. Dept. Labor’s offices out of California, the company was deemed to have overtime violations. According to the Department of Labor’s 2004 report on the investigation, back wages of $187,569.01 were found due to 45 employees. An investigation by the U.S. Dept. Labor in Texas which concluded in 2005 stated: “Minimum wage violation found. Volunteers (Assistants) are not paid any wages for hours worked while performing the major duties of the firm. The assistants set up rooms, call registrants, collect fees, keep stats of classroom data/participants, file, they also are answering phones, training and leading seminars.”

The Texas investigation also discovered an overtime violation. Landmark Education agreed to pay back wages for the overtime violation, but did not comply with the overtime violation found by the U.S. Dept. Labor for the “assistants”. Landmark Education denied that the “assistants” are employees, though the Department of Labor report concluded: “Interviews reveal that the employees are taking payments, registering clients, billing, training, recruiting, setting up locations, cleaning, and other duties that would have to be performed by staff if the assistants did not perform them.”

According to the 2004 investigative report by Pièces à Conviction in the “Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous” program, Landmark Education was investigated by the French government in 1995. In the “Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous” program volunteers were filmed through a hidden camera and shown performing duties for Landmark Education in France including manning phones, recruitment and financial work for the company, and one volunteer was shown cleaning a toilet.

Le Nouvel Observateur reported that after “Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous” aired in France, labor inspectors investigated Landmark Education’s use of unpaid volunteers. According to Le Nouvel Observateur, one month after the labor investigation took place the French branch of the company had disbanded. A former “Introduction Leader” to the Landmark Forum, Lars Bergwik, has recently posted a series of videos to YouTube critical of the company and its practices. Bergwik appeared on a 2004 investigative journalism program on Sweden’s Channel 4, Kalla Fakta (Cold Facts). According to Bergwik, after the Kalla Fakta program on Landmark Education aired, “Landmark left Sweden”.

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Understanding College American Football Players Suggestions}

Understanding College American Football Players Suggestions

by

Wellington W

Up Downs Conditioning Drill

Up downs is an excellent conditioning drill that will improve reaction time and endurance. Players will start this drill by running in place as fast as they can, keeping their knees high as possible. From time to time the coach will signal to the players, by whistle or a command, to get down meaning that they drop down do a push up and get back up as quickly as possible to run again. This drill is an excellent workout and should be worked in slowly at first and then increased in intensity and length over time.

Staying Hydrated

Sufficient water intake on and off the field for athletes should be a concern for both the coaches and the players. Every player should have a water bottle close so that they can take quick water breaks or at least a swallow here and there. Times have changed and coaches these days should be aware of hydration needs and not use water as a reward, or withhold it as a punishment. These safe practices will help keep players energized and healthy.

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A great Handoff Drill

Running backs should constantly practice the hand off. This drill requires more than one player; it starts off with two lines, line A and line B, the front of each line facing each other a couple of yards apart. At the coaches signal player A leaves line A running with the football towards line B. At the same time a player leaves line B, and when they meet in the middle Player A hands off the ball to Player B. At the point of the hand off another player leaves line A and runs towards player B, who hands off the ball to the new player. The motion should be constantly moving from one line to another in this drill, almost like a juggling pattern. It is an effective drill to teach handoff skills and help running backs achieve higher accuracy and consistency.

Points on tackling safely and effectively

Tackling is fundamental to football, and should receive proper attention at practices. Tackling can be fun and exhilarating, but done improperly and it can be dangerous. Some points to remember when tackling:

First is to cut off your opponent by placing yourself directly in front of them. An excellent technique is to plant your foot in the middle of your opponents. Also, at this time thrust your arms backward to prepare for the next step.

Second, thrust your other foot again squarely in front of your opponent and with all the momentum that you have brought to the tackle grab your opponent. At this point you are well planted in front and your head should be in direct contact. To protect yourself never, ever try to tackle with the crown of your head, but instead keep your head back, and your head square. A great way to insure that you are in the right position is to practice touching your facemask to the football of the opposing player.

The third and last step is to bring your hips up and drive the opponent backwards and towards the ground. Setting yourself up for this last step will ultimately prove the success in the tackle.

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Understanding College American Football Players Suggestions}

Wikinews interviews Darcy Richardson, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama

Friday, November 25, 2011

U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate Darcy Richardson of Florida took some time to answer a few questions from Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Richardson, 55, is a political activist that helped form the New Democrats in 1989 and founded the progressive Battleground Blog earlier this year. He is also a political historian, and has authored six books covering third parties and presidential elections, including A Nation Divided: The 1968 Presidential Campaign (2002). His current work, The Spirit of ’76: Eugene McCarthy’s Struggle for Open Politics, chronicles the late Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy’s 1976 presidential campaign for which he volunteered. Richardson admires McCarthy, and served as manager for his 1988 presidential run. Recently, Richardson advised Brian Moore’s Socialist Party USA presidential campaign in 2008.

In addition, Richardson himself has sought political office, albeit unsuccessfully. In 1980, he ran for Pennsylvania Auditor General, and in 1988, vied for one of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seats as a member of the Consumer Party. Last year, he ran for Lieutenant Governor of Florida as the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Farid Khavari.

Richardson has criticized President Barack Obama’s policies for being too similar to those of former President George W. Bush. He hoped to convince several prominent progressives to challenge Obama in the Democratic primaries, but none were available to do so. Last month, Richardson decided to begin a campaign himself and announced through his Battleground Blog that he would challenge Obama in the Democratic Party primaries as a progressive candidate. So far, he has qualified for the New Hampshire primary in January and the Missouri primary in February. In an interview with the Independent Political Report, Richardson proclaimed his campaign slogan as “no fourth term for George W. Bush.”

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