Brixton-based vegan baker Ms Cupcake is looking at sites in major cities across the UK.Founder of the south London business Mellissa Morgan told British Baker that Greater London, Bristol, Brighton and Manchester were all on the wish list for new openings, to be expected within the next 18 months.The business has already attracted nationwide interest, particularly since launching its online delivery option Baked By Post at the end of last year. “Multiple” packages are sent out every day to recipients as far afield as Scotland and Northern Ireland. International expansion is also a possibility.UK coverage“We are not sure how many sites we want at this stage,” said Morgan. “I think it is important for people to be able to get hold of amazing, indulgent yet free-from cake wherever they are, so it would be good to have coverage across the UK – the sky is the limit.The team at Ms Cupcake is also working on expanding its savoury pastries and sandwich line to be launched this summer, as well as new seasonal products and Morgan is working on her second book.Acquisitions will be backed by private investors.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Some New York voters were so proud about participating in the democratic process on Election Day two weeks ago that they may have unknowingly broke the law by snapping a photo of their marked ballot and posting it on social media.That’s because showing another person a marked ballot is considered a misdemeanor under New York State law. Experts began bringing attention to the issue due to the high number of so-called “voter selfies” that have been taken in recent elections by enthusiastic voting Americans, and then posted on such social networks as Facebook and Instagram.“This issue has come up with the last few presidential elections,” said Jeff Hermes of New York-based Media Law Resource Center.The Empire State is not alone. A majority of states nationwide have such laws prohibiting photographs of marked ballots.The thinking behind these laws, according to Hermes, is that photos of marked ballots can be used for such illicit behavior as vote buying or voter intimidation. For example, a person looking to push a certain candidate can pay someone to vote, but ask for a picture as proof that they followed through, he said.“The majority of these laws were promulgated before it was a simple matter to discreetly take a photograph of one’s ballot with a cellphone, and then publish that image to the Internet,” Hermes explained in blog post prior to the 2012 presidential election.“It is quite possible,” he added, “that the lack of a temporal or geographic limitation on a ban on disclosure of one’s ballot is the result of nothing more than the failure of lawmakers to realize that it would even be possible to display the image of a ballot, after the ballot has been cast and the election has ended.”In New York, a person could be charged if the voter “shows his ballot after it is prepared for voting, to any person so as to reveal the contents or solicits a voter to show the same…or places any mark upon his ballot, or does any other act in connection with his ballot with the intent that it may be identified as the one voted by him.”Critics of the laws say prohibiting ballot photos is an attack on political speech.The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union is taking the issue a step further by challenging the state’s laws on photography in court. The organization filed a lawsuit Oct. 31 on behalf of three voters in the state, including an elected official, on the grounds that it violates free speech. The law went into effect there on Sept. 1.“What this law ignores is that displaying a photograph of a marked ballot on the Internet is a powerful form of political speech that conveys various constitutionally-protected messages,” the NHCLU said. “This form of speech can convey a sense of pride from an 18-year-old, newly-minted voter who is enthusiastic about voting in her first presidential selection.”
by: Nicholas BallasyThe NCUA spent $150,000 on a legal opinion for the risk-based capital proposed rule, which NAFCU said was an astronomical amount.CUNA acquired a separate legal opinion but would not reveal the cost to CU Times. “There are many questions about this legal opinion, not the least of which is cost,” Carrie Hunt, NAFCU SVP of legislative affairs and general counsel, told CU Times.She added, “If NCUA needs to go outside the agency’s expertise and spend such an astronomical amount for legal counsel and analysis, why not commit to disclosure from the outset, regardless of the outcome? NCUA should be focused on sound public policy, not trying to justify a position.” continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
In their book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, Chip and Dan Heath introduce readers to the story of Jerry Sternin. Sternin, who works for Save the Children, was sent to Vietnam in 1990 to open a new office and given six months to make a difference in the nutritional health of poor Vietnamese children. Sternin started by studying the height and weight of children in rural villages and comparing the growth rates of children from family unit to family unit. In this way, he was able to identify the children who were thriving and those who were not (Heath, 2010).The obvious assumption one might make about malnutrition is that the poorer a family might be, the unhealthier the children in that family would be. But, that wasn’t the case in every instance. In fact, the study showed that there were children in some poor families who were actually thriving. These instances became known as “bright spots.” From these results, Jerry and his team decided it would take less time to study what was happening in these bright spot families than it would to study all the possible things going wrong in the families with children that were not thriving. By studying these families, they were able to quickly take their findings and duplicate them in the families where the children were not thriving.Whether one calls them bright spots, best practices or pro tips, bottom line, when changes are necessary, we need to focus on where we know things are going right and attempt to duplicate those results. Too often, when change is needed, we fixate on what is going wrong and try and fix it. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear why things are going wrong. Let’s say that a credit union is struggling to grow loans. Is it because rates are too high, or is it because the decision process is broken? Is it a matter of a marketing issue, or is it because the closing process is cumbersome for the member? It’s just too difficult to accurately identify the issue when there are so many possibilities.However, by focusing on successes, even if it is at another credit union, leadership can more quickly determine where changes can be effective, faster. If a credit union is failing to increase indirect loan production, then studying those credit unions that are successfully growing market share may be the fastest route to improvement. But, it’s just as important to make sure that the success you’re referencing is actually the result of solid lending practices. Just because a credit union is growing loans, doesn’t mean that it is booking the right kinds of loans. In the way that leaders should not fixate on their own untested problems, they also should not fixate on the success of others when that success has not been validated.Let’s go back to Sternin’s study. He found that poor families, where children were thriving, were not feeding the children any more food than the families with children that were not healthy. The difference was in the way they were feeding their children. The parents were paying more attention to ensure the children were, in fact, eating the food given to them, and feeding them the same amount of food per day, but dividing it into six meals rather than three. As a result, their bodies could better process the food into usable nourishment. Often, credit unions assume that they need to re-invent lending norms in order to achieve growth. As a result, many lower their prices to unprofitable levels; others take on more risk than they are prepared to manage. But, the answer isn’t so much in the types of loans that are being booked or the price of those loans, as it is the way loans are acquired.Let’s not forget the role that Sternin played. He didn’t care more about those children than their own mothers and he certainly didn’t go in with all of the answers, but arriving in the region with fresh eyes and an open mind, he was able to discover important nuances that even the people with the most vested interests overlooked. It may be challenging for a credit union to acquire “best practice” knowledge on its own, especially when its leaders are focused on running the credit union. And, often these best practices are achieved outside the reach of their available resources.CU Direct has created an Advisory Services group to provide consulting that is focused on best practices based on experience working with more than 1,000 credit unions. Our Advisory Services can analyze a credit union’s entire lending process and compare/contrast it with successful, tried and tested credit union practices, ensuring an improved process and a path to loan growth. Sometimes, it’s not possible to get where we want to go by ourselves. Credit unions are no different.Works CitedHeath, C. a. (2010). Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. New York: Crown Publishing Group. 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Michael Cochrum Michael has worked in the consumer lending industry since 1989. In 1999, he joined the credit union industry, working for the Texas Credit Union League’s credit union. Mr. Cochrum … Web: www.cudirect.com Details
If you didn’t watch basketball on Tuesday night, you missed an iconic moment in the history of the sport.Some games are easy to predict as instant classics, and a Game 5 conference championship final pitting some of the finest players in the game definitely fits into that category. But it was hard to predict that the outcome of the Storm vs. Mercury matchup would become quite as historic as it did.The source of the game’s intensity came from Sue Bird, the oldest player in the league, who secured a comeback, a spot in the Finals and her legacy in the sport of basketball with a 14-point fourth quarter that dazzled players across the men’s and women’s leagues.The beauty of the moment was cultivated by the purely literary qualities of the game. At its best, sport feels like a spectacle, like a miraculous story unfolding with all the drama of a movie or book. Announcers love to cry, “You couldn’t write a script like this…” as they marvel at a spectacular finish or feat.This is, perhaps, the most tired cliche that exists in sport, and yet it’s true. Sports fans love sports for the story, for the drama. We love to bite our nails and get lost in the rush of thrill and anger and excitement that comes from every close game and upset.Sure, we watch games out of dogged loyalty to our teams and unflagging commitment to our fantasy teams. But at its core, the love of sport comes from our fascination with the daily drama of the story unfolding between the lines of the field or court. And boy, did Tuesday night write one hell of a story.The most beautiful part of watching the WNBA flourish has been the growth and deepening of storylines throughout the league. What Tuesday night’s game provided was a perfect intermingling of some of the best drama the WNBA has to offer.The game boasted one of the league’s best rivalries — Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, two of the most senior professionals in the league. They were teammates and champions at UConn, gold medalists on the U.S. Olympic team and best friends off the court. On the court, they’ve become fearsome rivals, and they clashed to force a winner-take-all Game 5.These games were Taurasi’s speciality, a situation she had entered 13 times before and always emerged from with a victory. But Sue Bird is Sue Bird, one of the greatest of all time, and everyone watching knew she would bring a fight.Of course, that isn’t enough of a storyline on its own. You have to add in two of the best centers to ever play the game — Breanna Stewart and Brittney Griner — at the height of their skill, battling to almost double-double finishes in the paint. And of course, you have to give the champion a handicap to create a true David and Goliath scene.Because 14 points in one quarter might have been plenty. It would’ve been enough to dominate headlines, to force fans to turn on the TV for the final minutes, to send athletes across the country to Twitter to shout out Bird for her accomplishment. But maybe it wasn’t.So of course, there was the mask.If it wasn’t for the mask, there would’ve been no way to tell that Bird broke her nose fewer than 48 hours before the tip off. It wasn’t a first — Bird has broken her nose five times now over her expansive career as a point guard — and she shrugged off questions about the injury heading into the game.And yet, there was something about the mask that made the scene that much more triumphant. As she launched back-to-back 3-pointers, as she dove for loose balls, as she hollered at referees and egged on her teammates, Bird’s injury highlighted the strength and grit that only the highest caliber of athletes can achieve.So many times, when we talk about female athletes, we talk about them as a source of inspiration — they give strength to those who didn’t have it, to little girls watching them, to the dreams of other women who have been told they can’t measure up.But Tuesday night shouldn’t be relegated this way. Bird wasn’t just an inspiration to little girls or female athletes. She was an inspiration. Period. Full stop. She played ball at a level that few can, and she played it with all of the skill and force that makes basketball such a fun sport to watch.This, of course, is a source of hope for the future of the league — a game that transcends any gender barrier by producing athleticism so high in caliber that anyone can enjoy it, despite their bias or bigotry. But for now, let’s love it simply as a game, a game that reached the highest level the sport can offer, a game highlighting one of the best players to stand on a court.Sue Bird, welcome to the club. You’re officially the G.O.A.T.Julia Poe is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs Thursdays.
A new order in Los Angeles will soon allow authorities to shut off the power and the water to both homes and businesses who host large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.According to the report, starting Friday If the Los Angeles Police Department responds to or confirms that a large gathering is taking place at a property, they will give notice and then contact the city’s Department of Water and Power to shut off service to the property within the next two days.Mayor Eric Garcetti says they are not worried about the small get togethers but rather the larger “super-spreader events.”” This enforcement is not focused on small ordinary gatherings in people’s homes. These are focused on people determined to break the rules, posing significant public dangers and a threat to all of us,” Garcetti.Los Angeles has seen a rise in house parties with over 100 guest due to the pandemic.The order aims to deter future parties and target repeat offenders.California currently leads the country in the number of coronavirus cases with 530,000. Over 9,800 people have died from the virus in the area.
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, left, hugs catcher Russell Martin, right, as he arrives for the team’s first day of baseball spring training for pitchers and catchers, in Bradenton, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)A team-by-team look at the National League Central entering spring training, including key players each club acquired and lost, and dates of the first workout for pitchers and catchers, and the full squad:___St. Louis CardinalsManager: Mike Matheny (third season).2013: 97-65, first place, lost World Series to Boston.Training Town: Jupiter, Fla.Park: Roger Dean Stadium.First Workout: Feb. 13/18.He’s Here: SS Jhonny Peralta, CF Peter Bourjos, INF Mark Ellis, OF Randall Grichuk, OF Oscar Taveras, RHP Jorge Rondon, assistant batting coach David Bell.He’s Outta Here: OF Carlos Beltran, 3B David Freese, RHP Edward Mujica, RHP Chris Carpenter, RHP Jake Westbrook, OF Adron Chambers, OF Brock Peterson, RHP Fernando Salas, RHP John Axford, INF Ryan Jackson.Going campin’: Coming off their second World Series appearance in three years, the Cardinals didn’t require a significant makeover. Peralta fills the biggest void, replacing the light-hitting combination of Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso. The Cardinals love Bourjos’ speed on the bases and in the field, and he enters camp as the starting CF ahead of incumbent Jon Jay. The Bourjos trade with the Angels for Freese also created an opening for rookie 2B Kolten Wong, among the team’s top prospects, with Matt Carpenter moving to 3B coming off a breakout year. After missing 2013 due to reconstructive elbow surgery, Jason Motte returns to the bullpen as a setup man for closer Trevor Rosenthal. There’s a surplus of starting rotation candidates led by 19-game winner Adam Wainwright, second in Cy Young Award balloting. Michael Wacha is coming off an electric finish to his debut season, fellow rookie Shelby Miller won 15 games before getting shut down during the postseason and lefty Jaime Garcia is back from shoulder surgery.___Pittsburgh PiratesManager: Clint Hurdle (fourth season).2013: 94-68, second place, wild card, lost to Cardinals in division series.Training Town: Bradenton, Fla.Park: McKechnie Field.First Workout: Feb. 13/18.He’s Here: RHP Edinson Volquez, C Chris Stewart, OF Jaff Decker, LHP Daniel Schlereth, 1B Travis Ishikawa, OF Chris Dickerson.He’s Outta Here: RHP A.J. Burnett, RF Marlon Byrd, 1B Justin Morneau, 1B-OF Garrett Jones, C Michael McKenry, OF Felix Pie, RHP Kyle Farnsworth.Going campin’: The franchise’s first playoff berth in 21 years did little to change Pittsburgh’s typically economical approach to free agency. The only major addition came in the form of Volquez, and the Pirates will try to turn him into the 2014 version of Francisco Liriano. Pittsburgh grabbed Liriano on the cheap last winter and he ended up winning 16 games and earning a handful of Cy Young votes. The rest of the signees were depth-related. The loss of Burnett will hurt, though the top of the rotation should be solid behind Liriano and Gerrit Cole, who was remarkable during his rookie season. Volquez is in the mix for the fifth spot, while the bullpen should look much the same as it did last season when Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli provided one of the best setup-closer combinations in baseball. The only real question marks as camp begins remain the ones Pittsburgh faced when last season ended: first base and right field. Gaby Sanchez and Andrew Lambo will likely platoon at first, while Jose Tabata and Travis Snider get one last shot to earn a big league spot in right as highly touted Gregory Polanco gets some needed seasoning with Triple-A Indianapolis. Polanco and former first-round pick Jameson Taillon – who could join the rotation sometime in 2014 – will start camp with the big league club and provide a glimpse of why Pittsburgh decided to double down on its thriving minor league system rather than open up the checkbook for free agents.___Cincinnati RedsManager: Bryan Price (first season).2013: 90-72, third place, lost wild-card game to Pirates.Training Town: Goodyear, Ariz.Park: Goodyear Ballpark.First Workout: Feb. 14/19.He’s Here: 2B-OF Skip Schumaker, C Brayan Pena.He’s Outta Here: Manager Dusty Baker, CF Shin-Soo Choo, RHP Bronson Arroyo, C Ryan Hanigan.Going campin’: The Reds made very few additions to their roster, which had a few notable losses. Arroyo left as a free agent, costing the rotation a dependable, 200-inning starter. Choo was one of the majors’ top leadoff hitters last season, but wanted a big, multiyear deal. And Hanigan was part of a three-team trade that brought the Reds a prospect and opened the way for Devin Mesoraco to become the everyday catcher. LHP Tony Cingrani will move into Arroyo’s spot. Touted speedster Billy Hamilton takes over Choo’s spot at the top of the order despite his lack of experience at the major league level and newness to playing the outfield. The Reds are counting on LF Ryan Ludwick – their cleanup hitter – to be fully recovered from a shoulder injury that wiped out more than half of his season last year. The Reds have made the playoffs in three of the last four years, but failed to get past the opening round each time. They elevated Price, their pitching coach, in hopes that a change at the top trickles down in the postseason.___Milwaukee BrewersManager: Ron Roenicke (fourth season).2013: 74-88, fourth place.Training Town: Maryvale, Ariz.Park: Maryvale Baseball Park.First Workout: Feb. 17/22.He’s Here: RHP Matt Garza, 1B Lyle Overbay, 3B-1B Mark Reynolds, LHP Zach Duke, LHP Will Smith.He’s Outta Here: 1B-OF Corey Hart, OF Norichika Aoki, RHP Chris Narveson, INF Yuniesky Betancourt, RHP Burke Badenhop, 1B Mat Gamel.Going campin’: The Brewers spiced up an otherwise quiet offseason with the surprise signing of Garza to a $50 million, four-year contract with an option for a fifth year. He joins Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse to form a solid top of the rotation, while lessening pressure on Wily Peralta and increasing the competition for the fifth spot. Young pitchers like Smith and Jimmy Nelson may be among the candidates. Milwaukee will have a familiar face in a new position when slugger Ryan Braun returns from his 65-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs and gets acquainted to right field after years in left. Braun has tried to make amends all through the offseason. He says he’s also over the thumb injury that set him back last season, and vows to come back as good as ever. Milwaukee also hopes to get clarity in camp with its muddled situation at 1B, where veterans Overbay and Reynolds were signed to minor league deals to help fill a huge offensive hole.___Chicago CubsManager: Rick Renteria (first season).2013: 66-96, fifth place.Training Town: Mesa, Ariz.Park: Cubs Park.First Workout: Feb. 14/19.He’s Here: RHP Jose Veras, LHP Wesley Wright, C George Kottaras, OF Justin Ruggiano.He’s Outta Here: Manager Dale Sveum, OF Brian Bogusevic, RHP Marcos Mateo.Going campin’: The offseason was defined more by what the Cubs didn’t do than what they did. They fired Sveum and struck out trying to land manager Joe Girardi. He decided to stick with the Yankees, and when it came to the pursuit of prized Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, Chicago again was the second city with New York prevailing. Signing Tanaka might have at least signaled the Cubs were accelerating a painful rebuilding effort. Either way, they’re hoping Renteria can get the most out of young players such as SS Starlin Castro and 1B Anthony Rizzo after they struggled last season. In the meantime, Chicago is waiting for top prospects such as Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Albert Almora to develop in the minors. For now, the Cubs are selling hope. What choice do they have? They haven’t had a winning season since 2009, when they won 83 games under Lou Piniella. Since then, they’re 273-375 with at least 91 losses each of the past three years.
Submitted by the Center for Natural Lands Management – South Sound Prairies ProgramIt is the end of the summer and our Western Washington prairies show all the signs of a landscape that has received little rainfall. The native bunch grasses are dried and crispy and the small shrubs are brown and desiccated. The ground is dry and thirsty yet a team of qualified firefighters is turning up the heat even further: they are burning the landscape.A team of firefighters from the South Sound Burn Program reviewing the Burn Plan for Glacial Heritage Preserve at a previous burn. Photo courtesy: South Puget Sound PrairiesThe firefighters belong to the South Sound Burn Program, a joint effort between the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) and Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM)to use fire as a restoration tool to control invasive weeds, clear the way for the planting of native species and reduce the risk of wildfire. The program allows CNLM and JBLM to pool resources, enabling them to increase their capacity to restore and protect the landscape, while keeping their individual operational costs low.Fire is not new to the prairies. “The native prairies essentially evolved with fire,” said Mason McKinley, the Center for Natural Lands Management’s Fire Program Manager. For thousands of years Native Americans conducted ecological burns on these prairies. The grasslands were burned in the summer and fall to encourage the growth of camas, spring gold, and other prairie-dependent flowers with bulbs or roots, which native people harvested as a major food source. The burning also improved the habitat for overwintering elk and deer, allowing Native Americans to hunt closer to home.Spring at Thurston’s County’s Glacial Heritage Preserve. Photo credit: Adam MartinWhile there is a statewide burn ban put in place by Washington’s Department of Natural Resources to reduce the risk of wildfires, the South Sound Burn Program was granted an exception this past Saturday thanks to their impressive track record of safely conducting more than 50 prescribed fires each year throughout the last 10 years. The program includes a crew of more than 30 trained firefighters plus a fleet of fire engines and ATV vehicles.The program plans to conduct prescribed burns this week at Thurston County’s Glacial Heritage Preserve, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Scatter Creek Wildlife Area, and Rocky Prairie Natural Area Preserve. Facebook51Tweet0Pin0