Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce says due to the Governor’s ban on events larger than 500 people the annual ‘Turn the River Green for St. Patrick’s Day’ event, which was scheduled for this Saturday at the Riverwalk in Jamestown, has been canceled.Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
A self-professed farm girl from Illinois is helping shape and mold future agriculture teachers at the University of Georgia.“I’m a farm girl and I’ve always wanted to be an advocate for agriculture. Being a teacher educator is a way to take that to the nth degree, to be on the cutting edge of what’s new in agriculture as well as helping make that connection between our public school classrooms and what’s going on in university research,” said Diana King, an assistant professor at the UGA Tifton Campus.Ag teachers cover various topics ranging from working on a lawnmower engine to growing plants in a greenhouse.“It’s all relevant to potential careers students could go into,” King said. King, who is in her sixth year with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, grew up in a diverse agriculture environment. Her family raised hogs, cattle and chickens in Illinois, while also growing row crops and hay. She developed a passion for agriculture early in life, and it has continued ever since.“I have an appreciation for what happens in agriculture every day,” King said. “My goal as a teacher educator is to instill in my students that their job is to create educated consumers of agriculture. Everybody should have a basic understanding of the ways food, fiber and natural resources impact our daily lives. I’ve seen it first hand. I grew up with it. The vast majority of people don’t have those same experiences. Ag teachers provide the best possible avenue to get that information out there.”Disseminating that information involves not being afraid to tackle controversial issues. Topics like genetically-modified foods and organic production are not off limits in King’s classes. In her mind, she’s preparing future Ag teachers for the moments when they’ll have to discuss these subjects with their students. That means sometimes reaching beyond Georgia’s state line and talking about the way farmers tend their crops, feed their families and make a living. These are the core topics in her World Agriculture class. “That (class) really helped give me a perspective of not only what agriculture is like around the rest of the country but also gave me a perspective of agriculture from a global perspective,” said Michael Barnes, a former student of King’s who is now an Ag teacher at Lowndes High School in Valdosta. “She definitely helped with my perspective on agriculture from an outlook different than south Georgia.”Brittaney Schwing, a former CAES student on the Tifton Campus and now an Ag teacher at Northeast Campus High School in Tifton, credits King and fellow UGA teacher Jason Peake for her development as an Ag educator.“Dr. Peake and Dr. King were very influential throughout my time as a student at the University of Georgia,” Schwing said. “Now that I am in my own classroom, I appreciate their expertise in the field of agricultural education more than ever.” She felt prepared when she walked into her classroom for her first day as an Ag Teacher this August. “They taught me the skills I would need in classroom management, technology integration, curriculum planning and so much more,” she said.King’s classes involve research projects, both individual and group, as well as field trips. She and her students visit local grocery stores to track exactly where consumer products come from. This helps stress that products don’t magically appear in store freezers or on a shelf, she said. They were once planted and harvested by a farmer, sometimes locally. That’s the message King tries to drive home to her students.“We are a population that lives in cities and towns,” King said. “We’re disconnected from our agrarian roots. It’s up to a very small number of people to bridge that gap and to help the general public develop an awareness of agriculture.” Not all of King’s students become agricultural teachers, but many do. And that’s a good feeling, she said.“It’s the greatest job in the world. You get to see that light bulb come on when something really clicks with them,” King said. “But this is so much more powerful to me because my students are going to take that new passion that was ignited, that new interest that was sparked and they’re going to spark that in so many others. They’re going to take that interest into their classrooms and engage a lot of other students with that new knowledge.”For more information on agricultural education degrees at UGA, see the website www.alec.caes.uga.edu/.
University of Vermont,For his work to understand how to build better robots, Joshua Bongard, a researcher at the University of Vermont, has received the highest award given by the US government to young scientists.UVM roboticist Josh Bongard will go to Washington D.C. to meet President Obama and receive the government’s highest award for young scientists. (Photo: Sally McCay)On September 26, President Barack Obama announced Bongard as one of 94 winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers; he will be honored at a White House ceremony in October.Bongard is only the second researcher in UVM history to receive the PECASE award, which provides $500,000 in research funds over several years.Inspired by evolutionBongard’s far-reaching work looks to nature for ideas. ‘The goal is to borrow ideas from neuroscience and evolution to help us build better and more intelligent robots,’ he says. So far, scientists have had little success in building resilient machines that can continually perform behaviors that are fairly simple but require ongoing adaptation to changing conditions ‘ like paving a road or cleaning up a toxic dump.But Bongard is on a mission to make them.‘The prevailing approach to create such machines is to copy physiological and neurological systems observed in animals, and build them into robots,’ Bongard notes. ‘This raises the issue however of what, from among the infinitude of existing biological structures, should be copied.’Instead of guessing, Bongard has innovated systems in which computer programs copy the dynamics of biological evolution and replay them in a virtual space with numerous generations of synthetic creatures ‘ something like a highly sophisticated video game.The resulting algorithm yields ideas for robots that have optimized their neurological structures ‘ and their behaviors and body plans ‘ over many generations of being tested by virtual evolution, instead of human guesswork.With these ideas in hand, Bongard and his students can then build actual robots in their workshop that are adaptable and capable of responding to novel challenges.‘My long-term goal is to give back to neuroscience and evolutionary biology, to give us a different tool to investigate: why does intelligence evolve?’ Bongard says. ‘Under what conditions will intelligence evolve? Could we ever consider a machine to be intelligent, or is intelligence something limited to biological organisms?’Presidential visionRecognizing this kind of innovative work, the PECASE awards ‘embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the Nation’s goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy,’ the White House wrote in a press release.In 1996, the National Science and Technology Council was commissioned by President Clinton to create a program that would support and honor outstanding scientists and engineers early in their research careers ‘ from this council came the PECASE award.Each year, more than a dozen federal departments and agencies nominate scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments ‘show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies’ missions,’ the White House press office wrote.‘It is inspiring to see the innovative work being done by these scientists and engineers as they ramp up their careers ‘ careers that I know will be not only personally rewarding but also invaluable to the Nation,’ President Obama said in the White House release. ‘That so many of them are also devoting time to mentoring and other forms of community service speaks volumes about their potential for leadership, not only as scientists but as model citizens.’An innovatorBongard, an assistant professor of computer science in UVM’s College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, was one of 21 nominees presented by the National Science Foundation for the most recent round of awards.Bongard’s research has received national and international attention, and has been featured in Wired magazine, the Boston Globe, The Voice of America, Popular Science, and many other outlets. He also received a fellowship from Microsoft Research in 2007 for research related to self-healing robots ‘ one of five given nationwide. He was named by MIT as one of the world’s top innovators under 35.Bongard will travel to Washington, D,C., Oct. 13-14, to receive the award and will attend three ceremonies cumulating with a recognition ceremony at the White House with President Obama.‘This award allows me to continue with my basic scientific research, but it also allows me to create tools that draw many people into my research beyond my graduate students,’ Josh Bongard says. ‘Through this award, we’re developing a web interface that will allow people to perform evolutionary robotics experiments without having a background in evolution or robotics.” UVM. 9.27.2011
The 6th Annual Russell Fork BADDLUN event takes place this Saturday, October 12th in Elkhorn City, Kentucky. Wondering what in the world that stands for? It’s a blend of the words bike, paddle, run. BADDLUN. Get it?The course consists of a 13 mile bike ride, 8 mile paddle, 3 mile run, and a 20 yard swim. Unlike every other race in the world, BADDLUN doesn’t have an entry fee. With that, there are also no teams, aid stations, or prizes. It’s all for fun, people! Imagine that. The folks who started the event want to keep things carefree with a focus on the sports involved. You can read the hilariously honest course guide on their website for more details. I think it’s fair to say this is not for beginners.This year, the event will be raising money for ALS research. Keep a look out for ways to donate once you’re there.As far as sign up goes, you can register around 11:00am at the Ratliffe Hole. There will be shuttle info as well. The race will start a little after noon.The rules are simple: don’t die, don’t be weak, help others in need, have a good time, and be safe.If BADDLUN is a bit too extreme, lace up your kicks and run the Odyssey Autumn Faire 5K in Asheville, N.C. on Sunday. The rolling 3.1-mile run traverses Montford, Asheville’s most beautiful and historic neighborhood, and prizes are awarded to the best costumed runners as well as the fastest finishers. Stick around for the festival and chili cook-off afterward. More info and registration can be found here.View Larger Map
Join us for a Celebration of Southern Spirits and Gourmet Grub in the beautiful Peaceful Side of the Smokies. A blending of Tennessee spirits and savory grub is what you’ll find at this event. We have created a unique opportunity for you to experience our thriving craft spirits and gourmet food community while discovering some of the region’s legendary distillers and blenders. The Townsend Grains and Grits Festival provides an intimate sampling event offering something for consumers, foodies, and spirit professionals alike.Meet master and head distillers from all over the state that will include: Jeff Arnett, Master Distiller from Jack Daniels, Alex Castle, Head Distiller from Old Dominick, Nicole Austin, Head Distiller from George Dickel and many more.Mix and mingle with great chefs from all over the south: Chef Shelley Cooper, Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro, Chef David Rule from Walnut Kitchen, Chef Michael Sullivan “Sully”, Chef Geoff Kenny and others.Join us on November 3rd, 6:00-9: 00 pm, Townsend, Tennessee.
Two civilians and two soldiers died due to guerrilla attacks perpetrated by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), an insurgency that is currently holding peace talks with the Colombian government in Cuba, Colombian authorities reported on March 23. In the first attack, two men, age 45 and 16 respectively, were killed by guerrillas with rifle shots while they were shooting at civilian vehicles on a highway in César department. Another six people were also injured in the attack, three of which were women and one of which was pregnant, according to reports from Agustín Codazzi hospital, where they were taken afterwards. General Adelmo Fajardo, 10th Brigade Commander, told the press that guerrillas from FARC’s Front 41 set up a check point, where the incident took place on the night of March 22. “The criminals (…) appeared on the road, shooting randomly against civilians, and hitting a taxi with civilians inside,” apparently because they did not stop at the illegal check point, he told the press. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos condemned these actions in a public address in Aracataca, Magdalena department. “Colonel Peña, I heard that an incident took place on a road on March 22, in César department, municipality of Codazzi. Please, tighten the security on the area because this is unacceptable,” Santos said to the military officer responsible for the area. The second incident in which two Soldiers were killed, occurred during combat with the FARC in a rural area of Chaparral municipality, Tolima department on March 22 in the evening, the Army reported in a statement. The FARC, Colombia’s main insurgency group, is carrying out peace talks with Santos’s government since November 2012 in Havana, without a ceasefire of armed confrontation. By Dialogo March 26, 2013
By Marcos Ommati/Diálogo October 16, 2017 Very interesting! It is important to the brazilian army this event. We are really looking forward to what is coming afete SILOGEM. It is the first time that we will do an operation like Amazonlog. We will learn a lot with it. As a military, I think this event is absolutely important to develop our military force. We can know different ways to support operations in the Amazon, which is very hard for the logistics. I expect that it is going to be a sucess! Brazilian Army General Guilherme Cals Theophilo Gaspar de Oliveira, the logistics commander of the Brazilian Army (EB, per its Portuguese acronym), got straight to the point during his opening remarks at the Humanitarian Logistics Symposium (SILOGEM, per its Portuguese acronym): “We all know how precarious the infrastructure in the Amazon is, and of the lack of government presence in that region. Activities like this seek solutions for overcoming such challenges and preventing improvised assistance to the populations affected by disasters.” The general was referring to AMAZONLOG, an interagency humanitarian logistics exercise that will be held in South America for the first time from November 6th to 13th, in the Amazon region—specifically in the tri-border area between Brazil (Tabatinga), Colombia (Leticia), and Peru (Santa Rosa)—and for which SILOGEM served as a kick-off. In addition to these three countries’ militaries and the logistical support provided by the United States, the exercise, directed by the EB’s Logistics Command—currently led by Gen. Theophilo—will have observers from 17 partner nations with experience in humanitarian operations, including Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. U.S. participation “The United States, with its considerable experience in large-scale disasters and, consequently, in humanitarian aid, was the ‘father’ of the exercise in terms of knowledge,” Gen. Theophilo clarified. “The U.S. personnel are bringing their civil defense and damage-mitigation experience from the large hurricanes that happen regularly in the U.S., but not with troops — unlike Colombia and Peru, both of which share borders with Brazil in that area,” he added. “What we want is to create a tiny embryo so that it multiplies and is really the fruit of a large humanitarian operations brigade that will act during public emergencies. Therefore, our collaboration with all of the nations concerned is extremely important.” The idea, the general clarified, is for AMAZONLOG to be repeated every year, preferably in different countries for each edition of the exercise. SILOGEM SILOGEM, held from September 26th to 28th at the Vasco Vasques Convention Center in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, had close to 2,000 people participating. The event was divided into presentations by Brazilian and foreign military, government, and defense industry speakers, and round tables after every three or four presentations. The first SILOGEM seminar was offered by Brazilian Army General César Augusto Nardi de Souza. The chief of Joint Operations at the Brazilian Ministry of Defense spoke about subsequent actions in support of the civilian population, an issue of fundamental importance since the main purpose of AMAZONLOG is to train service members and civilian agencies to work together in a joint response to a potential disaster in an isolated area. “We are exploring our experience in joint humanitarian operations among our three branches, to conduct operations in the border environment,” he said during his presentation. In turn, Michael J. Eddy, the director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Brazil, commented on the importance of preventing the worst effects of disasters. “It is estimated that every dollar invested in disaster mitigation is worth five to 10 times more, in terms of the cost of aiding the victims. Hence the importance of governments, even with their bureaucratic hurdles, being prepared to deal with such situations.” Lieutenant General Jorge Céliz Kuong, the chief of the Peruvian Army’s 5th Division, began the second day of SILOGEM with a seminar series onthe support provided to civilians affected by drug trafficking and terrorism. Lt. Gen. Céliz told Diálogo that Peru will participate in AMAZONLOG with at least 50 service members, both officers and enlisted, who will, “carry out military patrols in the jungle. Specifically, during this exercise we will undertake humanitarian assistance operations. However, the most important element is to share experiences with the rest of the participating nations.” Instability situations Other issues addressed during SILOGEM included earthquakes in Haiti and in Chile, frequent floods and droughts in the Amazon (in northern Peru and in the Brazilian states of Acre and Amazonas), Haitian migration to South America (especially Brazil, Colombia, and Peru), demobilization of former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and the more recent Venezuelan migration to Brazil. “These are all examples of instability situations that can have negative consequences if there is no planning or appropriate control measures,” Gen. Theophilo stated in an interview with Diálogo. A parallel Materiel Exhibition showcased stands from the U.S. and Brazilian militaries as well as from security and defense manufacturers. Dual-use materials, particularly those used in humanitarian support operations, were exhibited. “These companies showed products and solutions that will be used during AMAZONLOG 2017,” said Major General André de Soza Rolim, a budget planning advisor for the EB’s Logistics Command. “That’s why holding this exhibition at the same time is important. And it’s also hugely important that other interested companies get the Brazilian Ministry of Defense to register them as strategic companies, so they can expand and promote the Brazilian defense industry. AMAZONLOG will emphasize the issue of humanitarian defense, and companies with related products can offer them to the armed forces,” he concluded. Purified water A good example of one of the products showcased at the exhibit is a water purification system designed by the Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC), which the United States will provide for use during the exercise. “We will provide compact water filters, which produce up to 120 gallons of water per hour when utilizing fresh water sources, which is the case with AMAZONLOG,” explained Doug Hedberg, the assistant director of TARDEC. “However, we can produce clean water from a variety of sources, including saline or extremely polluted waters. For other exercises, if this is the case, we can modify and upgrade the equipment.” Gen. Theophilo said that SILOGEM exceeded his expectations. “We now await AMAZONLOG itself. I expect this exercise to become a model for natural-disaster situations in which humanitarian aid will be needed by local or displaced populations, as well as by civilians and service members who may be working in the affected region,” he said. “For Brazil, it will be an opportunity to test the new military logistics of our land forces within the strategic objectives of EB, demonstrating the Brazilian government’s capacity for carrying out humanitarian operations in the regional sphere, gaining knowledge, integrating tactics and operations, exchanging information, learning about new technologies, strengthening its ties with academia, and bringing services to that border region, which is so important to Brazil, Colombia, and Peru.”
2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr A bill that would allow credit unions to increase their member business lending (MBL) will be a boost to the economy, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said Tuesday.In a letter to Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Nussle thanked the legislators for introducing the bill Monday,“Credit unions understand that in order for the economy to fully recover, small businesses need access to credit, which will help their businesses grow,” Nussle wrote. “Credit unions have capital to lend, a history of prudent and safe small business lending, and a mission to help provide access to credit to their members–including their small business-owning members. They just need Congress to enact your legislation.”Credit unions are currently limited to member business lending up to 12.25% of assets, but if the bill is passed, it could raise the cap to 27.5% of assets for credit unions that meet certain conditions. continue reading »
9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Randall Smith Randall Smith is the co-founder of CUInsight.com, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust.As one of the co-founders of CUInsight.com he … Web: www.CUInsight.com Details Opening night at the CUES CEO/Executive Team Network in Scottsdale, AZ was all about celebrating people who make the credit union movement great. CUES honored nine credit union executives with their top honors for 2015.Gerry Agnes, CPA, CIE, president/CEO, $1.5 billion Elevations Credit Union, Boulder, CO, was named the CUES Outstanding Chief Executive. Don DiMatteo, director of member experience, $1.6 billion State Department Federal Credit Union, Alexandria, VA, was honored as the CUES Exceptional Leader.The seven executives who were inducted into the CUES Hall of Fame are:David Christenson, president/CEO of $1 billion Connexus Credit Union, Wausau, WISusan C. Frank, CEO of $3.7 billion Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Phoenix, AZRaymond Lancaster, CEO of $137 million Pyramid Federal Credit Union, Tucson, AZRobert D. Ramirez, CCE, CIE, CEO of $1.5 billion Vantage West Credit Union, Tucson, AZPatricia E. Smith, CSE, president/CEO of $960 million Unitus Community Credit Union, Portland, ORGarth Warner, president/CEO of $14 billion Servus Credit Union, Edmonton, AlbertaJane G. Watkins, president/CEO of $2.8 billion Virginia Credit Union, Richmond, VAGarrick Throckmorton, Jimese Harkley, Danielle Buscher, Hayley Badeaux and Kris Wanner all did a fantastic job on their presention to be named the 2015 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec. Every year the competition gets better I would guess it will be a tight vote this year. See who the winner is at nexttopcreditunionexec.com.CUES also elected their 2015-2016 board officers during the annual business meeting. Joe Hearn, president and CEO of Dupaco Community Credit Union was named Board Chair. You can see a full list of the CUES Board of Directors here.A highlight of the event for many was the Tuesday morning keynote, Brett King. Brett is the best selling author, futurist, and host of the “Breaking Banks” radio show. Brett’s presentation “How Consumers Behavior and Technology is Changing the Future of Financial Services” had everyone on the edge on their seat and maybe even a little scared.Mr. King discussed how rapidly the consumer’s behavior is changing and what part technology is playing was eye opening for many in the room. Brett made it clear that the change in financial services is not about the future, it is happening now and credit unions must get started or they won’t survive. Brett spoke of ways that credit unions can thrive in this new environment.You can see more highlights of the event on Twitter at #CETNET and pictures on CUInsight’s Instagram page.
Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act considerations by credit unions typically revolve around accessibility of their branch network. However, websites and mobile applications may present obstacles to people with physical and visual impairments as well. Updating online channels to ensure that they are fully accessible to all membert can help ward off legal challenges. A recent Los Angeles Times article reports that nearly 5,000 ADA lawsuits were filed against businesses in federal court in the first six months of 2018 alone, alleging that people with disabilities could not access their websites. “With online sales, reservations and job postings now a huge part of modern commerce, advocates for the disabled say websites need to be as accessible to everyone, just as brick-and-mortar stores, restaurants and schools are,” the article notes.An equally important consideration for banks and credit unions is that websites and mobile apps are essential components of omni-channel service delivery that offers convenient access and ease of navigation to all members, including the 63 million people with disabilities living in North America.New federal standardsSeveral sets of regulations address accessibility rights and requirements at the federal level. The ADA prohibits discrimination and “guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life—to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in state and local government programs and services,” according to the ADA.gov website.Other laws address electronic accessibility, or information and communication technology (ICT), more specifically. Most recently, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was updated to provide current standards for ICT accessibility, effective January 2018. Though Section 508 applies to federal agencies and businesses with federal contracts, these new regulations provide a model for financial institutions in ensuring that their remote channels are accessible. For example, Section 508 requires that all Internet content should be accessible to people with disabilities, including those with blindness or other visual impairments. Accountholders with visual disabilities visiting a financial services website or using a mobile app should be able to use screen readers that translate written content into audio transmissions and direct users how to interact with the content. Websites also need to support navigation that is compatible with a keyboard. If people with physical disabilities can’t use a touchpad, touchscreen, or mouse to get around a webpage, they should be able to use their keyboard or adaptive device to do so.Section 508 is just one source that financial institutions can consult in working to ensure that their online channels are fully accessible. These new regulations are designed to align with industry guidelines set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium.Accessible appointment appKronos recently completed a redesign process for its branch appointment app with an aim to make this member service interface fully compliant with current accessibility standards. The new features of the Kronos FMSI Appointment Concierge include screen reader compatibility that “speaks out” options for services requested and appointment times, dates, and branch locations and then prompts users to select their choices. Banks and credit unions offering the app to accountholders can also select the fonts, colors, and color contrast on content to support optimal readability for people with visual impairments, including color blindness. And the new version of the app is also navigable by keyboard.Another useful feature for people with disabilities is a comments field that allows them to specify if they will need special accommodations during their appointment. Kronos partnered with the company Accessible 360 to test the functionality of the new app. Accessible 360 is owned and staffed by people with disabilities, so they can provide training and guidance through the redesign process and test the finished product with a first-hand perspective on functionality and accessibility.The new regulations include standards for a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), a document that specifies how information and communication technology complies with Section 508. Under those guidelines, the Kronos FMSI Appointment Concierge will be 99 percent compliant; only the Google map that displays branch locations through the app is not fully accessible. The new version of the appointment app is also more responsive, with a cleaner and simpler design. With options for multilingual translation, this website and mobile application is positioned to provide a convenient and fully accessible means for account holders to connect with financial professionals to provide assistance with their personal money management needs.Like many other aspects of regulatory compliance, staying current with accessibility standards across delivery channels is an ongoing responsibility for financial institutions. In the case of making online banking and mobile applications convenient for all consumers, it’s also just good business. 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Chad Davis Chad Davis is Industry Sr Solutions Marketing Manger, F5 Networks, which is the leader in app security and multi-cloud management. He can be reached at [email protected] Web: https://www.f5.com Details