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LyondellBasell slows work at $2.4bn PO/TBA project due to COVID-19 pandemic

first_imgThe decision to slow construction work at the POTBA plant comes amid the concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic The LyondellBasell’s PO/TBA project is more than 30% complete. (Credit: Pixabay/LEEROY Agency) Chemicals firm LyondellBasell has slowed the construction work at the propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant being built in the US, with an investment of $2.4bn.The move, which has been informed to the project engineering and construction contractors, comes amid the coronavirus outbreak.The ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic also entailed the company to limit non-essential activities at the project, which is expected to produce 470,000 metric tonnes of PO and one million metric tonnes of TBA annually.LyondellBasell Intermediates & Derivatives (I&D) executive vice-president Torkel Rhenman said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and evolving. Because the PO/TBA site is currently under construction and not producing needed products yet, in the interest of health and safety we believe it is prudent to limit construction activities at this time.“We remain committed to the completion of this strategic investment incorporating our low-cost, next generation PO/TBA technology. Over the next several weeks, we will be working with our contractors and suppliers to develop a revised project timeline.”The LyondellBasell’s PO/TBA project, which is more than 30% complete, features a split-facility design to optimise synergies between two existing LyondellBasell sites.PO/TBA project scheduled to be commissioned in 2021Scheduled to be commissioned in 2021, the project is being built at the LyondellBasell Channelview Complex located in Channelview, Texas while an associated ethers unit, which will convert TBA to oxyfuels, is planned to be built at the company’s Bayport Complex in Pasadena, Texas.The project is expected to create more than 2,200 jobs during the construction phase and 160 permanent positions once commissioned.Recently, LyondellBasell has signed definitive agreements to form a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with Liaoning Bora Enterprise Group (Bora).The JV company will operate a 1.1 million metric tonnes/year ethylene cracker and the associated polyolefin derivatives facility which is located in Panjin, China.last_img read more

Cigarette tax bump blocked again by Indiana Senate

first_img Twitter (“Cigarette box” by geralt, CC0 Creative Commons) Those in support of a boost in Indiana’s cigarette tax are frustrated with the State Senate’s budget plan that’s being released soon.That budget revokes the 50 cent-per-pack increase that was included in the House bill, and is the most recent in a series of rejections by the Republicans who dominate the Senate of any cigarette tax hike.Senate GOP members have blocked any increase of the 99 and a half-cent rate per pack, which has been steady since 2007.Many who want the tax raised are seeking an increase of two dollars per pack. Pinterest Cigarette tax bump blocked again by Indiana Senate Twitter Facebook IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Previous articleBody found in Porter Co. brushfireNext articleSWAT responds to a disturbance at a Mishawaka hotel Tommie Lee Facebook Google+ WhatsApp Google+ By Tommie Lee – April 5, 2021 0 165 WhatsApp Pinterestlast_img read more

Ellen Langer’s state of mindfulness

first_imgProfessor Ellen Langer once apologized when she bumped into a mannequin, the kind of automatic, mindless response she says robs us of the benefits of being mindfully engaged in day-to-day existence.Langer, the first woman to be tenured in Harvard’s Psychology Department, has spent decades studying both mindless behavior and its opposite, making her the “mother of mindfulness” to many. She spoke to us about the power of psychology, the problem with absolutes, and more.Q&AEllen LangerGazette: In your research, you explicitly mention mindlessness in opposition to mindfulness. Can you talk about the difference between the two? Langer: When I started my work on the topic, back in the early ’70s, I was initially dealing with mindlessness. Most of the people I was seeing, myself included, were doing some strange things. I once bumped into a mannequin and I apologized.The consequences of being mindless are enormous, and I have 40 years of research to supply evidence that most of us are “not there” much of the time. When you’re mindless, you’re not able to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves, you’re not able to avert danger not yet arisen, you’re not there and you’re oblivious to not being there.We have a massive amount of data showing when people are mindful they benefit physically, psychologically. You look different to other people when you’re mindful, people can tell when you’re there. It affects you in so many ways. It’s bizarre that, once people become aware of this, they don’t try to be mindful virtually all the time.  Those who learn its techniques often say they feel less stress, think clearer Mindfulness meditation and relaxation response affect brain differently When science meets mindfulness Eight weeks to a better brain Gazette: You’ve measured real physiological changes, but what is the limit to this approach? Could you ever imagine recommending someone forgo a medical procedure? Langer: I would never recommend forgoing any procedure, but rather teach this in addition to whatever they choose to do. They then can decide to go forward or not with some more standard medical treatment; that’s up to them. But the beauty of this work is that, as far as I can tell, there are no negative side effects.And in my book “Counterclockwise,” I try to make clear at the beginning that if something happened to me I would go to a physician. However, that’s where the similarity between me and what I see as many people would end. You don’t turn yourself over to somebody else because you’re the keeper of all the information — they don’t have all the idiosyncratic information. At the very least we should be partners in our health care. Gazette: And is that a mindful approach, while a mindless approach would be to go in and say, “Doctor, this hurts, do your thing,” and then sort of tune out?Langer: Yes, and what the doctors may be doing mindlessly is using probabilistic information, data, as absolutes. There’s no study, no matter what the area — physics, psychology, biology, it doesn’t matter — that yields more than a probability.That says that if we were to do essentially the same thing — because you can’t do exactly the same thing — we would, much of the time, have the same finding. But that’s often translated as, “If you do this, that will happen.” And, if you know that something is going to happen, there’s no reason to pay attention to it. If you think it may or may not happen, then you’re present.Gazette: What are the new frontiers of this field?Langer: “This field” being the field of mindfulness?Gazette: That, and the broader idea of mind-body connection.Langer: Not that long ago, the medical model followed in this country suggested that psychology was more or less unimportant. If you were going to have a disease, that disease was caused by some antigen, virus, what have you. The medical model now suggests that psychology does matter. And I think we’re moving to the point — and this is what I’m trying to get the point to move to — where psychology is the most important aspect.Gazette: Where do you get your ideas from?Langer: People ask me this all the time. Who knows? I have so many ideas they get in my way. My students go crazy because every lab I come in with another 30 things and their plates are already full.I think some of it is just noticing. Most of what people believe, what they’ve been taught and read about, they’ve learned mindlessly, they’ve learned as absolute fact. And, as I said before, because everything is always changing and the context is changing, absolutes need to be questioned. And I question them. You say something “has to be” and my first — almost mindless — knee-jerk reaction is, well, “Why?” And, “How might it be other?”Interview was edited and condensed. Related Related Meditation study shows changes associated with awareness, stress Ellen Langer joins group of geniuses Study found that each program showed unique patterns of brain activity Professor of psychology has done extensive research on mindfulness With mindfulness, life’s in the moment Gazette: What is so powerful about being in the present? Is it the engagement?Langer: Yes. Everybody says “be in the moment,” and that’s nice, but that’s sort of an empty instruction — everyone believes they are in the present. Being in the present is a very easy thing that comes about by simply noticing new things. If you notice new things, you come to see you didn’t know the thing you thought you knew as well as you thought you knew it. That’s when your attention naturally goes to it. It doesn’t just bring about engagement, it is the essence of engagement. It’s literally and figuratively enlivening.Gazette: We hear a lot today about mindfulness meditation. What is the difference of between mindfulness the way you study it and with meditation?Langer: First of all, meditation is wonderful. I did some very early research on meditation. But it’s quite different [from what I study]. Meditation is something you engage in to lead to post-meditative mindfulness. Mindfulness as we’ve been studying it the past 40 years is an ongoing act in the moment, so to speak, a way of being. What you’re doing is the process itself.Gazette: Over the years, you’ve done studies linking mindfulness to, among other things, improved vision, increased longevity, people looking, feeling, and behaving younger. Do you have a favorite experiment to illustrate for readers the work you’ve done?Langer: One that’s gotten an enormous amount of press is the counterclockwise study. It stems from a mind-body unity idea that I had, and many studies come from this formulation. The idea is to put mind and body back together. Wherever we’re putting the mind, we’re necessarily putting the body.The first test of this was the counterclockwise study. We put people’s minds in a younger place, then took physical measures and to see what happened to the body. We had people live in a retreat that had been retrofitted to 20 years earlier. They lived there for a week as if the past were right now. The rooms were covered with icons of magazines and television shows from that earlier time and they were going to speak about past events as if they were occurring in the present.We had another group also at this retreat. But for them, the past was the past and they were going to be reminiscing for the week. Because they were also in a novel environment, doing novel things, they also showed great improvement, but not as great as the experimental group.The study had a problem in that I didn’t have the funding to do several relevant control groups — a vacationing group and so on — but the results were startling. Most people did not think that older people were going to have improved vision, improved hearing, and look younger. Researchers study how it seems to change the brain in depressed patients last_img read more

Audubon Community Nature Center Holding “Play Care” This Week

first_imgShare: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) Audubon Community Nature Center Image.CARROLL – The Audubon Community Nature Center is kicking off a new program this week to give parents a break from the kiddos and youngers time outdoors.Officials say the Nature Play Care is a nature-based supplement to indoor day care or virtual schooling that promotes the playing and exploring that provide the foundations for successful learning.At Audubon’s Nature Play Care, four to six-year-olds can spend Wednesday, Thursday, and/or Friday mornings, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., playing outdoors, engaging with nature, and learning about the natural world.Dates still open this month are Wednesday through Friday, December 16, 17, and 18, and Wednesday and Thursday, December 30 and 31. In all but the most inclement weather, the children play outdoors, explore the trails, and engage with nature. Experienced nature educators provide a host of supplies and activities that are the building blocks for engineering, science, art, physics, and math skills.Children participate in a mix of self-chosen and guided activities, both group and solitary. Their pursuits develop a number of early childhood skills such as full-body movement, fine motor skills, balance, core muscle development, risk assessment, and socialization. Guided mini-lessons help students get ready for classroom settings, learn routines, and develop school-readiness skills.The group says normal health benefits of playing outdoors are undisputed and even more important now as everyone struggles to adapt to the restrictions and consequences of COVID-19.Audubon requests that children have face coverings with them. Additionally, children must be completely potty trained and parents are asked to send a snack and water bottles with their child.The fee is $28, and Nature Center members receive a 10 percent discount.To register, call the Nature Center at (716) 569-2345 or go to AudubonCNC.org and click on “Register for a Program.”last_img read more

Helen Porter Healthcare receives $23,700 grant

first_imgPorter Medical Center, Inc,Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center has received a grant of $23,700 from the State of Vermont in support of its efforts to pursue a new transformational project to define, implement and evaluate an innovative model of resident care.The grant comes from the Enhancing Quality of Life program via the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) and will support Helen Porter s efforts to work collaboratively with their board, physicians, residents, families, staff and the broader Addison County community to change their long-established medical model of care to a new social model/person-centered model according to Helen Porter administrator Neil Gruber. Our overarching goal is to pursue a culture change within our organization to enhance the quality of life for our residents and build a positive community that fosters high quality and compassionate care in a manner that promotes independence, respect and dignity , he said.According to Gruber, this process of culture change will not simply be a cosmetic improvement intended to improve how our organization appears internally and externally it truly will impact and change the fundamental way that residents, families, staff and community experience the organization via very specific changes. The basis for this culture change project is our sincere belief that the traditional model of nursing home care and the current perspectives, interactions and relationships that exist within our facility and many others does not represent the very best environment for providing the highest quality resident care he said. We have presented to our board of directors our plans to embark on an intensive period of transformation over the next several months that began with the drafting of a new Mission Statement and Vision Statement to serve as the foundation for our work. These statements will be our reference points and guide the many concrete actions, decisions and changes that we will pursue Gruber said. He added that these statements are being developed in concert with residents, families and staff, and will be based on a core list of values . In our preliminary conversations with these internal members of our HPHRC family, the initial list of these values include: respect for each person as an individual, promoting the highest level of dignity for residents, promoting greater collaboration and teamwork, ensuring autonomy and independence, building a positive community, fostering healthy relationships and pursuing excellence in everything we do .The project coordinator, Nancy Schaedel, is excited to have received this grant and is very enthusiastic to implement a number of new initiatives. As we move forward, we do so in order to create a safe and caring environment, which fosters both positive relationships and a sense of community. We envision a home filled with love, dignity and quality service, and working together as a team to ensure a sense of collaboration and open communication, where every person is valued as an individual and as a member of a larger community she said.Beyond creating new Mission, Vision and Value statements, HPHRC will undertake a comprehensive effort to educate residents, family and staff about what culture change is and how to accomplish it. Changing from a medical model to a social and person-centered care model will require that we change our appearance, philosophy and language, such as changing our terminology from nursing units to neighborhoods and giving these new neighborhoods names as selected by our residents, families and staff, Gruber said. In our early conversations with our residents, families and staff about our plans to move forward with this project, we have received some important and specific feedback that could define our efforts including: less noise on the units, quicker answers to call bells, more privacy, freedom to eat what they want and knowledge of menu prior to meal service, a coffee shop that is always open, freedom to sleep as late as they want, clutter free hallways, and mirrors at wheelchair height, he said.Although the implementation of this culture change transformation will encompass many specific activities, outreach efforts, a new wellness programs , etc ¦over time, one of the primary programmatic changes Gruber envisions is the establishment of a new end-of-life Namaste Care Program for residents with Dementia. This program will be modeled on the highly successful program at the Vermont Veterans Home and will address the physical, spiritual and psychological needs of the residents.In anticipation of this new program, the administration of HPHRC has already identified a physical space within the facility that can easily be transformed to serve as the Namaste Care unit. They also have received a donation of $4,500 from the family of one of their residents that Gruber anticipates using these funds to support the creation of this space.According to Schaedel, this Namaste Care Program has been successfully implemented in several nursing homes and hospice organizations. She says that Namaste Care strives to maintain the highest quality of life possible for individuals with severe and terminal dementia. This care involves the creation of a special room that provides a quiet, peaceful environment for residents in the last stage of their disease. Meaningful activities are individualized for each resident and a continuous presence of staff members provide both physical and sensory stimulation. This high-touch care can be taught to all staff as well as family members. The family members, particularly, appreciate the attention given to their loved ones, she said.She added The need for programs that would be suitable for individuals with severe and terminal dementia is strong if we are to prevent them from progressing into a vegetative state and help them to continue to enjoy personal contact and stimulation.Schaedel says that Namaste Care provides residents and their families with quality care that addresses not only physical but also emotional and spiritual needs. It reminds us that individuals with advanced dementia should not be isolated in their rooms, but need to live their last days in a pleasant environment receiving loving care from all staff and families, she said.The Components of our Namaste Care Program will include Development of a personalized mission statement, development of criteria to determine which residents would benefit, staff selected based on the desire to work with Namaste Care residents, special education and training, soothing and comfortable environments, comfort care approaches, special programming, and grief comfort and bereavement service referrals. As we move forward with this effort and these internal improvements, we envision that we will do so in communication and collaboration with other area organizations Gruber said. We have had preliminary conversations, for example, with members of the Addison Respite Care Home organization (which is developing plans for improving services to area people in hospice care), the Living Well organization in Bristol (which offers a variety of outreach programs and services to improve the quality of life of elderly people such as their Living Arts program), and others Gruber said.As a part of the culture change project and the implementation of the Namaste Care Program, Gruber says that Helen Porter will actively engage these organizations and others in our community in an ongoing dialogue regarding how we can collaborate with programming or long-term projects that will enhance and/or increase services available to the residents of HPHRC and the elderly population of Addison County more broadly. We are very excited to have received this grant, and we believe that our project will greatly improve the quality of resident care at HPHRC, and also serve as a model for other Vermont nursing homes Gruber said.Source: Porter Medical Center. Middlebury. 4.8.2010######last_img read more

City of Burlington applies for Act 250 permit for ‘Champlain Parkway’

first_imgThe City of Burlington announced that it will file its Act 250 permit application for the Champlain Parkway project today.  Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss will accompany Department of Public Works staff to the Act 250 Regional District Office, 111 West Street in Essex Junction, to file the application.  The application is expected to be filed at 2:30 pm. The Champlain Parkway will construct and rehabilitate approximately 2.4 miles of roadway, pedestrian, and bicycle facilities commencing at the interchange of I-189 with US 7 in the City of South Burlington and extending westerly and northerly to the intersection of Pine Street with Main Street within the City of Burlington’s City Center District (CCD).  Between Home Avenue and Lakeside Avenue, new roadway will be constructed on already acquired right-of-way.  From Lakeside Avenue to Pine Street and terminating at Main Street the Parkway will use existing roadways, and construction will consist of rehabilitation and improvements to the existing streets. The roadway will consist of one lane in each direction with turn lanes and traffic signals at certain intersections. Pedestrian facilities include sidewalks, shared-use paths, cross-walks and actuated pedestrian phasing at signalized intersections. Bicycle facilities include the shared-use paths and on-road components.  The Parkway was initially designed in the 1960s as the ‘Southern Connector’ with the intent of re-routing truck traffic from neighborhoods in Burlington’s South End going to the Pine Street corridor and points downtown.  It is one of the few remaining road projects in the country with a 95 percent federal funding share, with 3 percent and 2 percent provided respectively by the State of Vermont and Burlington.  The total estimated cost of the project is $20 million. The Champlain Parkway today continues to maintain the purpose of re-routing truck traffic from neighborhoods in the South End while also promoting improved traffic flow, enhanced pedestrian and bicycle amenities, stormwater mitigation, and economic development. The project runs through the heart of the City’s south end/Pine Street business corridor. Leading up to today’s Act 250 application, the City completed the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the project in the fall of 2009, the Federal Highway Administration issued a ‘Record of Decision’ (ROD) for the project on January 14, 2010, and the City held a series of public informational meetings about the project in May and June of 2010.  The meetings focused on 4 areas: (1) environmental issues; (2) mobility issues; (3) neighborhood and community issues; and (4) economic development. For more information about the project go to: http://www.champlainparkway.org/(link is external). Architect’s rendering, Stantec.last_img read more

Xcel to convert 1,018MW Harrington coal plant in Texas to gas by 2025

first_imgXcel to convert 1,018MW Harrington coal plant in Texas to gas by 2025 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Xcel Energy Inc. intends to convert its first coal-fired power plant in Texas — a 1,018-MW generating station — to run on natural gas, a plan in line with the investor-owned utility’s goal to cut emissions from its generation facilities 80% from 2005 levels by 2030 and be carbon-free by 2050.The switch from coal to natural gas at the Harrington Generating Station in Potter County, Texas, northeast of Amarillo, operated by Xcel Energy subsidiary Southwestern Public Service Co., is slated to occur by Jan. 1, 2025.Billed as “a practical and lower-cost option for helping the area attain higher federal clean air standards” in a Nov. 10 company press release, Xcel Energy said the move will also help Potter County lower its sulfur dioxide emissions. The three-unit plant is one of the largest sources of sulfur dioxide emissions in the county, the company said, adding that other options to reduce emissions while still fueling the units with coal made less sense due to high cost.The first of the three units at the plant began operating in 1976, with others added in 1978 and 1980. All were designed to burn both coal and natural gas, Xcel Energy said.In the statement, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas President David Hudson noted that a gas-fired Harrington plant would fit better with a power generation portfolio that will see the addition of thousands of megawatts of wind capacity through 2021 because “gas-fired generation is easier to ramp up and down to complement our growing supply of clean wind energy.”In January, Southwestern Public Service said it would retire its 1,067-MW Tolk power plant in Lamb County, Texas, by the end of 2032. Once that happens, the Xcel Energy subsidiary will no longer have coal-fired resources in its portfolio.[Bridget Reed Morawski]More ($): Xcel Energy to convert oldest Texas coal plant to burn natural gaslast_img read more

Air Attacks Crucial to Colombia’s Anti-FARC Strategy

first_imgBy Dialogo May 06, 2013 MEDELLÍN, Colombia — Aircraft bombings have produced some of the greatest blows against the FARC, killing leaders such as Raúl Reyes and Victor Julio Suárez Rojas — better known as Mono Jojoy — who died in 2010 when a bomb dropped from a Súper Tucano attack plane landed alongside his hammock. The Colombian Air Force also took part in the 2008 operation that killed Alfonso Cano, who had succeeded Manuel Marulanda as FARC’s top commander. The constant bombings and night raids have severely demoralized and weakened the FARC — one of the primary reasons the guerrilla group has been willing to engage the Colombian government in ongoing peace talks aimed at ending the 50-year-old conflict. “The FARC simply have a very difficult time hiding,” said Adam Isacson, senior associate for regional security at the Washington Office on Latin America. “What former rebel fighters have said is that they constantly live in fear of attack from the air much more than anything else.” In the late 1980s and early ‘90s, the FARC sought to acquire rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) to neutralize the threat of the military’s air power. By 2000, however, the FARC had switched its priorities to acquiring surface-to-air missiles, known as SAMs. Douglas Farah, a senior fellow at the Washington-based International Assessment and Strategy Center, said SAMs are “incredibly useful and relatively easy to use.” “They are heat-seeking,” he said, “so they go to where the engine is.” Possession of SAMs could frustrate military campaign If the FARC were to bring down a Colombian helicopter or airplane with a missile, say analysts, the Colombian military would be forced to reassess its tactics. Remote outposts would immediately be jeopardized, as the Army would be unable to fly in rapid reaction forces in the event of a guerrilla raid. Resupplying troops in these outposts would become more difficult. To avoid detection by the missiles, helicopters would be forced to fly low, hugging the contours of the ground in what pilots call “nap of the earth” flight, which is costly and would be dangerous in Colombia’s mountainous terrain. Farah said that FARC taking out a single aircraft would amount to “a significant psychological blow” for Colombian forces. Emails intercepted by military intelligence in recent decades have made clear the FARC’s desire to obtain surface-to-air missiles. In one email dated Sept. 4, 2000, Raúl Reyes asks former Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi for a loan to buy the missiles and refers to them as a “priority.” Evidence supporting missile claim mounts During the last few years, reports have emerged claiming that the FARC had already acquired the missiles or had come close to doing so. In 2010, Miami’s Spanish-language El Nuevo Herald newspaper reported that a Peruvian Air Force official was being prosecuted for having sold a FARC intermediary in Ecuador at least seven Strela and Igla surface-to-air missiles between 2008 and 2009. And in late November 2012, just as the peace talks started in earnest, Bogotá newspaper El Tiempo reported that the Colombian Army had seized two SA-7 missiles in Cauca. The Russian-made SA-7 system, though old, is now being used in Syria by rebel fighters fending off government attacks. However, the system is difficult to maintain in the humid jungle climates where FARC operates because its batteries erode, discharge and malfunction, Farah said. If FARC now has functioning surface-to-air missiles, he said, “they must have overcome some obstacle that has been in their way for a long time.” With the millions of dollars the FARC earns from drug trafficking, the guerrilla group would seem to have had ample opportunity to purchase SAMs in recent years — not only from illegal arms dealers but also from corrupt military officials in neighboring countries with stockpiles. Nicaragua has about 600 SA-7s, and Venezuela is known to have purchased a large number of shoulder-fired SA-24 antiaircraft missiles from Russia. I am ready for my country, anxious to become another leader for my dear Ecuador Please send me news like these and all the good news. Regards. Humberto Davila please send me all news like this one and all the good news. Regards, Humberto davila It is better that the Farcs negotiate peace even if it is fragile, than to have them all killed in camps filled with women and children, and with American planes overflying from Panama. That would be very irresponsible of the Farcs, it’d be suicide if they don’t negotiate in Cuba. The FARC don’t need to worry – Mr. Obama doesn’t want to get involved in any conflict.last_img read more

Board of Bar Examiners plan for bad weather

first_imgBoard of Bar Examiners plan for bad weather Board of Bar Examiners plan for bad weather Mark D. Killian Managing Editor Not once in the past 50 years has the Florida Board of Bar Examiners had to cancel an exam. But the past two hurricane seasons has gotten the board thinking it is time to prepare for just such an eventuality.FBBE Chair Terry Rigsby said the examiners are now putting the finishing touches on a disaster preparedness plan, which will be in place before the July exam is given in Tampa.“We are finalizing a disaster plan to provide adequate notice in case we have to cancel a scheduled exam at the last minute because of a threat of a hurricane or some other type of disaster,” Rigsby said, noting that more than 3,000 graduates annually sit for the July tests.Rigsby, who practices in Tallahassee and has served on the board for five years, said the plan primarily deals with canceling the test in time to stop applicants, board members, and staff from traveling to Tampa, but also addresses issues of delays and examination security.“On the security issue, we have to be concerned that the multistate examination is given all over the country on the last Wednesday of February and the last Wednesday in July,” said Eleanor Hunter, FBBE’s executive director, noting the examiners are exploring how quickly and at what expense the National Conference of Bar Examiners and ACT can get enough backup examinations to Florida.“There are potential backups available both for the Florida portion of the exam and the multi-state portion,” Rigsby said. “It is an example of issues that have to be considered in addition to just canceling, getting the word out, and then rescheduling.”The board would use blast e-mails and the media to alert those planning to sit for the test about any postponement and would post information about any cancellation on its Web site.The tricky part will be determining when to make that call. Rigsby said no one knows for certain where a hurricane is headed four or five days in advance, but you can’t wait until 12 hours before a storm is predicted to make landfall, either.The examiners this year are also completing a test specification project designed to ensure questions on the bar exam are “adequately and properly assessing” the knowledge required to practice law in today’s environment. To do that, Rigsby said, the examiners are surveying both new and senior lawyers to determine if more or less emphasis should be placed in particular substantive areas of law and whether certain subject areas are better tested through multiple choice questions or by essays. The results will be reviewed by a panel of experts, which will include both practicing attorneys and law school professors.“This basically makes sure we are focusing on the right type of questions that will assist us in determining whether an applicant has a fundamental knowledge of the subject matter,” said Rigsby, a former chair of the state’s Ethics Commission.Rigsby also said the ABA recently lifted its prohibition on law schools offering bar exam preparation courses for credit and the examiners are studying that issue as well.“We do want to try to build up some information in the databank that we can use to assist in guiding examinees in the future, as well as work with law schools as to what’s needed,” Rigsby said. “Based on the ABA change, I anticipate law schools will begin to offer examination courses.”Rigsby said the board is also concerned with making sure all those who plan to sit for the test have access to some type of program or preparation course for the exam, “and, of course, the bar exam courses have gotten more expensive over the years and is not necessarily in everyone’s budget to pay for those.” March 1, 2006 Regular Newslast_img read more

When you know better, you do better

first_img 63SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Angi Harben Angi Christensen Harben is the Director of Communications for Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. A credit union stepped in and supported her when she was younger, and she truly enjoys her … Web: www.gcua.org Details In a recent statewide consumer survey conducted by Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, 66 percent of respondents said they learned about finances from life experience.To me, when I see “learned from life experience” that means, “learned the hard way.” The bounced-a-bunch-of-checks-and-got-my-account-closed way. The made-a-late-payment-hit-with-fees-and-jacked-up-interest-rates way. The didn’t-pay-the-bill-and-the-water-got-cut-off way. All lessons, by the way, that “life experience” taught me at one time or another.With two out of three people learning their money lessons like this, I am not alone. And the tuition on this kind of schooling is steep! Late fees, accruing penalties, higher deposits required on utilities, lower credit scores, higher interest rates on loans, fewer options when it comes time to make a purchasing decision, and the stress that can seep into other areas like work and relationships…the cost is high for that kind of life experience.So why don’t more people talk to the kids in their lives about money?I see four major reasons:You think it’s over their heads. You still need to do everything for them, from wiping their noses to making sure they wear a coat outside in winter. But kids as young as 5 love playing “store” and pretending to deal with money. At this point, they probably still like doing things with you! Take them out and about with you so they can see you go through the business of banking, paying bills, making buying decisions. They emulate you and want to be like you. It’s easier if you start early, so make it fun and make them aware of the role money plays in daily life.If you’ve made some financial decisions in your life that you’re not exactly proud of, it might be difficult to admit that to your child. You want to be a good role model. You want to be the person they can look up to. You worry what they will think of you if they find out you’ve made mistakes. Maybe really big mistakes.Well, if you can’t be a good example, maybe you can be a horrible warning. Although that quote is funny, there is some credence to it. Say when you were younger you got a credit card and rang up the balance so high you couldn’t pay it off, then damaged your credit and had to get a car at a buy here/pay here lot and paid double the price of the car in interest. Or fill in the blank with whatever painful financial situation you found yourself in that you now chalk up to “life experience.”If you share your story, and the negative impact of some decisions that meant others were automatically made for you, it might keep your kids from making similar mistakes. And save them a lot of time and effort to get things back on track. If they keep in mind the consequences of your actions, you’d be giving them the gift of more knowledge – and hopefully better decisions – than you possessed way back when you had your first real job, an unblemished credit card and a $1000 limit on your shiny new credit card.When you were growing up, money wasn’t discussed. If you never had anyone talk with you about finances when you were a child, it’s hard to know what to say to your own kids. But just because you don’t talk about it – or talk about it honestly – doesn’t mean your kids don’t know anything about what’s going on. If you don’t make sure they have good, useful information they might not correctly interpret what they see. They might think you sticking to a tight budget means money is too tight for them to feel secure, when in reality, you are just committed to adding to the substantial cushion you’ve saved. Like so many “big” topics, talking about it with your kids isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s necessary.You don’t think you know enough to properly educate them. That could very well be true. But the remedy to that is not to leave them to their own devices. Get yourself educated first. It will be beneficial for them to grow up in a home that is on solid financial ground and show them a good example by arming yourself with all the knowledge you need to create a successful life.Your kids are going to have information flung at them from every angle. Most of us regularly receive credit card offers, bills, direct mail and email promoting something that separates consumers from their money. Young people need to be equipped with the knowledge that will allow them to confidently make informed decisions about their finances and their futures.Don’t leave them to learn these lessons from “life experience.” Be a gentler teacher than bill collectors will ever be. We all want our kids to find success. To do better than we did.When kids know better, they will do better.April is Financial Literacy Month and Credit Union National Youth Month. For more information on personal financial literacy for you and your children, visit www.asmarterchoice.org and http://www.georgiaconsortium.org.last_img read more