Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. HR HartleyOn 25 May 2004 in Personnel Today Why is the tube cutting back on trainingA while back I attended a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Developmentgathering in London, debating how to prove a return on investment (ROI) intraining to an organisation. I don’t know if anyone from London Underground was there. If they weren’t,they should have been, for they could have shed some light on why they aresupposedly failing to provide adequate staff training on how to deal with aterrorist attack on London. It was brought to my attention by a recent Panorama programme that LondonUnderground staff have received no training on this issue whatsoever. Workersinterviewed by the programme said they’d had a few tips handed around on asheet of paper. But apart from that, there’s been zilch – no simulation of whatthe situation would be like, or information on who would call who and on what(walkie talkies and mobile phones don’t work in tunnels, as you may well havenoticed), or how to deal with the injured and trapped, and what to seal offwhere. As one worker put it: “We’re in the front line in such an eventbecause we’ll be there before any other services, yet we wouldn’t have a cluewhat to do.” Panorama presented a fictional scenario and a highly believable recipe fordisaster. It ‘exploded’ four bombs in different locations across theUnderground network, and then ‘crashed’ a tanker filled with chlorine close tothe City. A crisis panel made up of a former Met Police chief, an intelligenceofficer and a politician, among others, then had to orchestrate dealing withthe aftermath. It failed dismally, severely hampered by under-resourced andunprepared key services, traffic jams and poor communications between disparategroups such as the Territorial Army. If the London Underground has held back on training staff to deal with whathas now become a likely event because it cannot justify ROI, then the world hasgone quite mad. Hartley is an HR director at large Comments are closed.
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* Affordable Housingcity councilHotelsoffice market Email Address* Full Name* Tags City Council member Justin Brannan (Getty, Justin Brannan via Facebook)With various state-level proposals on the table, a City Council member wants to take the issue of office-to-housing conversions back to City Hall.Brooklyn Council member Justin Brannan plans to introduce a bill on Thursday that would create a task force to study the feasibility of converting vacant office space into affordable housing. Real estate groups, along with state officials, have voiced support for such an idea, but have disagreed over the best way of implementing it.Gov. Andrew Cuomo included a proposal in his executive budget that would override the city’s zoning rules to allow for hotel and office conversions that set aside 25 percent of apartments as affordable. Housing groups have panned that proposal for incentivizing more market-rate than affordable housing. The Senate has put forth a different measure that would permit the state to purchase distressed hotels and office buildings and convert them into housing exclusively for low-income and homeless New Yorkers.ADVERTISEMENTBrannan, who also floated the idea of conversions last year, said the issue should be discussed at the city level to determine the specific challenges of moving forward with a plan.“I think this falls somewhere between, ‘This is a great idea but it would never work,’ and a panacea,” he said. He noted that the focus would be office conversions, in anticipation of demand returning for hotels once tourism picks back up.Other cities, including Washington, D.C., have explored ways to incentivize commercial conversions. In August 2019, a task force concluded that there were opportunities in D.C. but that such conversions were “not the most efficient way to address the city’s pressing housing needs.” It recommended offering subsidies and zoning incentives instead.Conversions of older office buildings are already permitted in certain parts of New York City. The state also previously employed tax breaks to encourage office-to-residential changes in use, including the 421g program, which helped fuel the transformation of commercial buildings in Lower Manhattan in the 1990s. None of the state proposals under consideration include tax incentives.Mayor Bill de Blasio has criticized the governor’s plan, calling it a giveaway to the real estate industry. Several mayoral hopefuls have backed the idea of hotel and office conversions in general. During a forum last week, Andrew Yang projected that he could build roughly 5,000 housing units by investing $250 million in such projects.Brannan’s proposed task force would be headed by the commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and would include the head of the Department of Buildings, the City Council Speaker and Public Advocate. The group would be required to report its recommendations and findings within 270 days of the bill’s passage.Contact Kathryn Brenzel Share via Shortlink
Worley goes ahead with job cuts amid COVID-19 crisis. (Credit: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Scalable Grid Engine / Wikipedia.org) Worley has cut reduced its workforce by 5%, slashing 3,000 jobs amid the current economic circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price collapse.The Australia-based engineering services provider said that the job cuts took place between 31 January and 31 March 2020, mainly in field-based work, particularly across lower margin construction-related activities.As of March-end, the company’s headcount stood at 56,000.Worley said that operationally, due to the prevailing economic circumstances, there has been some contraction in the business caused by customers’ delays, postponements, and cancellations, especially in field-based work.Currently, the company expects 20% of its revenue to come from exposure to the upstream and midstream oil and gas expenditures of customers, which was previously 65%.The company also said that 45% of its revenue is derived from operating expenditures of its customers, which has increased from 10-15%. As per the engineering services provider, operating expenditure contracts tend to be longer term, multi-year contracts.Worley said that it will continue to optimise staffing levels and costs while retaining capability. Furthermore, the company will be freezing salaries and non-billable recruitment.The company will also postpone all its non-essential capital expenditure while adjusting operational as well as support cost structures.Additionally, the company said that it has worked with its banking partners to secure an additional AUD465m ($304m) in debt in 12-month facilities.Worley CEO comments on the measures taken in response to COVID-19 and the economic situationWorley CEO Chris Ashton said: “We are responding with agility to the rapidly changing environment. We are ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our people, we have increased our liquidity position and we continue to review and adjust the business operationally.“I am proud of our people as they demonstrate resilience and harness their ingenuity and expertise supporting customers, colleagues and communities.” According to Worley, the job cuts took place between 31 January and 31 March 2020, mainly in field-based work, particularly across lower margin construction related activities
A memorial mass was held Jan. 20 at Immaculate Conception Church in Secaucus for Frank David Formisano, 75, of Secaucus. He passed away Jan. 16 at the Care One at Wellington in Hackensack. Born in Jersey City to the late David and Cecelia (Potoczniak) Formisano, Frank owned his own auto parts store, and has been living in Secaucus most of his life. Frank is survived by his wife, Elisa (Acerra) Formisano; sons Scott Thompson and Frank Formisano; daughter Tara and her husband Kevin Nolan; and brother and sister Michael and Cecelia Formisano. He is also survived by his grandchildren Sophia and Gaetano Formisano and Frank, Ava, and Riley Nolan.Services arranged by the Mack Memorial Home, Secaucus.
We breathed a sigh of relief at the Chief Medical Officer’s recent intervention to stall the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA’s) proposal to fortify bread with folic acid.The move was triggered by a review in the British Journal of Nutrition. This found it was wrong of the FSA to assume folic acid would behave the same as the natural form of the B vitamin, folate.It turns out that unmetabolised folic acid appears in the body after eating just one slice of fortified bread and then accumulates as more is eaten. This is a huge concern, as many negative effects are associated with unmetabolised folic acid: cancer, mental decline in the elderly, more multiple births among women having fertility treatment (which have higher health risks), and reduced success of anti-folate drug treatment.These surely outweigh the tiny predicted reduction in neural tube defects (NTD) – 22-36 fewer NTD births each year, plus up to 110 fewer terminations – that was the sole objective of fortification.It is worrying how the FSA’s ’science-based’ proposal was actually based on assumptions. This seems to be a repeat of the situation with other vitamins, where natural and artificial nutrient sources were wrongly assumed to have the same effects.
Coca-Cola’s first-quarter sales and profits show an increase on the same period last year.Pre-tax profits for the three months to March 28 were up 13% on the first quarter of 2007, to $1.9 bn (£954m). Sales were up 21% to $7.4 bn (£3.7bn).President and chief operating officer Muhtar Kent said: “I believe that by continuing to collaborate with our bottling partners and maintaining and unrelenting focus on integrated consumer marketing and commercial and franchise leadership, we will achieve another successful year for The Coca-Cola Company.”
Press enquiries The latest collection of cases detailing analyses of accidents involving vessels from the merchant, fishing and recreational sectors is now available here. Press enquiries out of hours 020 7944 4292 Press enquiries during office hours 01932 440015
“Blunderbuss” is a song rooted in the band’s live show, demonstrating their ability to drive a roaring audience into an absolute frenzy. It’s got an Umphrey’s-esque tone, merging proggish and classical sensibilities. It also pairs gracefully with the song after it, “Dinner Fork,” another cosmic meditation that seems destined to sit in the middle of jam sandwiches at shows for years to come.“Purple Forest” sounds like the theme song to Radagast The Brown’s life deep in the forest, and almost acts as a lavender sorbet palate-cleanser at the end of this fifteen-course meal of an album (twenty-seven courses if you include Chapter 1) that seems to have stretched from classic and prog rock, metal, reggae, jazz, jam, classical, and more across its entirety. PLUMP Chapter 2 demonstrates the absurd variety of music Twiddle can weave together. Along with its compatriot, PLUMP Chapter 1, the double album is a playbook for the depth and diversity of Twiddle’s sound that will solidly ground it among the group’s past and future work. You can cop PLUMP Chapters 1 & 2 on the band’s website here, plus check out their site for upcoming tour and festival dates.[Photo: Jay Blakesberg] Last Friday, the Vermont-based jam band Twiddle released their dual album, PLUMP Chapters 1 & 2. Diehards might already have PLUMP Chapter 1 in their hands, which was released a while back formally and via their highly successful Kickstarter campaign, which saw the band raise over double their fundraising goal of $20,000. The two albums composing PLUMP exhibit the breadth of Twiddle’s musical abilities, and the double album seems like a natural choice for new fans who want to see what the group’s all about—this is highlighted by the addition of a reworked version of one of their most popular songs and forever fan-favorite, “When It Rains It Pours,” as the new first track on PLUMP Chapter 1. Meanwhile, older fans will be satisfied by diving into the new material on PLUMP Chapter 2, which brings a bunch of fresh music to the table that showcases the absurd breadth of the sounds the group is exploring, many of which are likely to or have already made it into the group’s regular show rotation.After the brief introductory track—just Ryan Dempsey’s cascading piano playing off the theme of “When It Rains It Pours”—the group gets right to business with “Orlando’s.” The song’s start is almost disjointed, particularly when considering the lyricism of the introductory piano track, and the tone of a baby grand, which evokes sounds of a jazz club, juxtaposed with Mihali’s heavy crunching guitar riffs sets up a tension that the band then resolves as the lyrics dawn. The song’s lyrics are playfully self-referential, as the characters from countless past Twiddle odes are all put in conversation with one another at the song’s namesake bar.Like the bar band that names itself “Jamflowman McRatt” or a bar patron called “Frankie” stumbling in to order Sour Milk, the ballad, with its heartwarming horns, finds the mellow center at the heart of Twiddle’s endless repertoire. A thief called Carter Candlestick, Zazu, the pothead bird, and quite a few others figures from the group’s universe are all there. It’s on one level impressive—the fact that there are so many interesting characters in the world of Twiddle—but at the same time somewhat unfulfilling for those familiar with the group, as each of these fascinating individuals delivers such a brief 4-bar update on their life that leaves frends wanting more.Coming next is “Juggernaut.” Whatever you’ve heard of Twiddle, you’re not prepared for “Juggernaut,” and, frankly, I don’t think anything I could tell you would prepare you. It’s got gnarly apocalyptic political screamed lyrics and a pretty straight-up metal guitar solo. It’s pretty far out there, but also a welcome addition to the collection, which could be read as a declaration by Twiddle against the soulful white-boy reggae world of Slightly Stoopid/Stick Figure/311 that a lot of folks try to peg them in to. Following “Juggernaut,” the band doubles back on itself by going into “Moments.” Unlike “Juggernaut,” which effaces their traditional speculated sound, “Moments” embraces it, constituting an irresistibly catchy, reggae number in a style that the group is sometimes pigeonholed.“Milk” almost sounds like a samba number until the shredding section of it begins. Perhaps most influenced by Santana, the lyric-less song is definitely designed for the band members to show off their chops and is likely to be used as a workhorse for jamming in a live setting. “Nicodemus Portelay” introduces a new character who takes the track’s name to the band’s universe, though the Nicodemus seems to inhabit the darker corners of their world. The incessantly bubbly riffs that make up the meat of the track are reminiscent of the band’s “Bee-Hop,” frenetic to the point of nearly jumping on each other though imbued with a darker energy.Contrasted with the heaviness of “Milk” and “Nicodemus Portelay,” the next song “New Sun” is again a thematic turn, with Twiddle using the song to show off their ability to make a solid daytime festival tune—you’re going to enjoy cracking a beer to this one in the lake at Frendly Gathering. From there, the album moves into “Forevers,” a classical and exploratory piece from Ryan Dempsey. Again, the sound of the album is constantly shifting, and the song offers a great place to get lost and a sublime divider in the middle of the PLUMP Chapter 2.There’s no better way to describe ‘The Fantastic Tale Of Ricky Snickett” except as Twiddle parodying itself, childish and whimsical to the point of absurdity. It genuinely sounds like what some of what someone would sing at you in a mocking manner in response to your saying you liked Twiddle. It moves into “Peas & Carrots,” one of the most impressive tracks on the album. Instead of being pollyanna-equely happy, the hybridizing reggae-jazz instrumental beast that emerges is alternately driving and blissful, equal parts heavy and hopping.“Drifter” shows the band’s more classic-rock influences and inclinations in its introduction. As it evolves, its alternatingly crisp and fuzzy guitar line evolves into more of a Dispatch-type sound, and drummer Brook Jordan’s soulful voice carries the melody beautifully. You can listen to its live debut last week below, courtesy of Bacala Brothers.
View Comments Burton most recently appeared on Broadway as the standby to the titular role in Violet. Her additional Broadway credits include Shrek, Legally Blonde and Rent, in addition to the off-Broadway productions of Disaster! and Nobody Loves You. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 7, 2019 With a score by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots follows Charlie Price as he is forced to step in and save his family’s shoe factory in Northern England after the sudden death of his father. Help comes from the unlikeliest angel, a fabulous drag performer named Lola. Together, this improbable duo revitalizes the nearly bankrupt business and transforms an entire community through the power of acceptance. In addition to Burton, the tuner currently stars Tony winner Billy Porter as Lola and Andy Kelso as Charlie. Kinky Boots Another chapter in the history of Laurens! Broadway alum Haven Burton begins performances in the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots on June 24. She steps into the role of Lauren, taking over for Jeanna De Waal, who is set to appear in the American Repertory Theater production of Finding Neverland later this summer. Burton will star in the tuner through September 28. Related Shows
El Salvador managed to slash its homicide rate in half this year, but more needs to be done to ensure the drop is permanent, said the country’s minister of justice and public security. Douglas Moreno made his remarks Dec. 12 at a World Bank symposium on “Security in the Northern Tier: The Private Sector’s Role in Violence Reduction.” The Northern Tier refers to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, but the event — co-sponsored by the Americas Society/Council of the Americas — focused primarily on El Salvador, where gang violence is most severe. It also coincided with AS-COA’s release of a study on violence reduction in El Salvador. The report found improvements in corporate productivity and local security when companies offered jobs and training to former gang members. For example, Grupo Calvo employs 90 rehabilitated ex-gangsters — about 5 percent of its staff — at a Salvadoran tuna cannery, and facilitates employment opportunities with suppliers for an additional 100 former gang members. At League Collegiate Wear, an apparel manufacturer, 15 percent of the workforce signed up through a similar program. “The private sector can clearly play an important role in improving security in the region, and this is best achieved through public-private collaboration,” said the organization’s president and CEO, Susan Segal. “This policy brief brings concrete and positive ways forward to one of the most pressing issues in the region.” World Bank: 10% drop in killings = 1% rise in GDP The public-private partnership concept is relatively new in Central America, and while the policy brief analyzes its effectiveness in El Salvador, it also serves as a reference point for Honduras and Guatemala. The World Bank estimates that crime and violence costs El Salvador $2.5 billion annually, representing 10.8 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. It says that a 10 percent drop in the homicide rate translates into annual GDP growth. “We will end the year with 2,000 homicides fewer than in 2011,” said Moreno, noting that following the March 2012 truce signed between El Salvador’s two largest gangs, homicides fell from an average of 14 per day to five. In 2011, the country reported more than 4,300 killings, translating into a homicide rate of 66 per 100,000 inhabitants. That’s second only to Honduras, which reported 82 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants — the highest rate in the world. In El Salvador, the administration of President Mauricio Funes has enacted an integrated public security plan that relies equally on crime control and prevention. The plan calls on municipal councils to improve coordination between the state and society in the fight against violence and insecurity. The Funes administration has also beefed up its reliance on military units to bolster police efforts. Helping at-risk, disadvantaged youths Moreno said his government is committed to educational and employment opportunities for young people, adding that the violence will be a focal point in El Salvador’s presidential election in two years. “No matter who wins in 2014, it will have to lie on his shoulders throughout this process,” he said. Hasan Tuluy, the World Bank’s vice-president for Latin America and the Caribbean, said violence in Central America inflicts economic losses equivalent to almost 8 percent of the Northern Tier’s total GDP. “When people ask why institutions like the World Bank are engaging in activities like this, it’s because it is very much a development challenge for these countries,” Tuluy explained. “That’s why we are increasingly incorporating crime and violence prevention in an entire range of products, such as financial solutions or knowledge sharing and convening, so we can learn from it.” He also said there are no one-size-fits-all remedies, pointing out that what works for El Salvador might not be effective for Honduras. “There are no off-the-shelf solutions,” Tuluy said. “We have to learn by crowding in as much experience as we can to provide the right solution for the right country. That’s why these partnerships are important. Everybody needs to join in on this because it will be a long and multi-faceted effort.” Tuluy gave one example of how the private and public sectors can help. “The private sector can create jobs for at-risk youth…one of the key underlying factors for crime and violence. The quality of public services is also important, too. The public sector can play an important transformational role,” said Tuluy, who also announced that the World Bank will begin granting appropriations for projects in public safety, with a first loan to Honduras. AES: Public lighting cuts violence Jason Maczak, senior editor of Americas Quarterly and moderator of the Washington event, said companies in Central America are beginning to realize that investing in at-risk youth and other programs to help disaffected and disenfranchised people can boost their bottom lines. These range from software giant Microsoft to energy conglomerate AES. “This is about the effect the homicide rates have on business climate and investment in countries across the region,” Maczak said. “What is unique about each of these examples is that the programs each have a corporate social responsibility component but they also serve business interests. Serving business interests is possible if it is part of their core corporate model.” AES spokeswoman Adriana Roccaro Giamporcaro, whose company provides electricity in 27 countries on five continents, said something as simple as a commitment to lighting public spaces can help reduce violence. “Lives and security have improved with public lighting and access to electricity,” Giamporcaro said. “It’s important to see how we can have a direct impact. The electrification process is carried out with funds allocated by the government, whose willingness to provide electricity is so great that it set up a fund for this purpose.” One businessman’s personal story Josue Alvarado Flores, president of Rio Grande Food Products Inc. in Laurel, Md., migrated to the United States in 1985. He said many gang members in his native El Salvador would jump at the chance to go straight, and that the private sector is equipped to help. “Many of those who are criminals who are planning acts of violence and extortion. They want to stop doing that,” he said. “Some people say ‘we want to leave the gang but how can we survive?’” Flores explained how his company tries to help. “We provide them a basket of food for two weeks to help them, and we told them they had to go to church over a six-month period and also have medical checkups and psychological assistance until these young people are ready for some businesses that open their doors to them,” he said. Flores said the corporate mission is business-oriented and conveys social responsibility. But for him, the effort is also personal. “My dad was a drug trafficker and a gang member,” he said. “I have a one-year-old child and I don’t want this future for him.” I think it’s very good if there was any income distribution there would not be so much human exploitation and terrible crimes because the State itself practices governmental crimes. I thunk it is a great idea for the public and private sectors, inspiring this, I congratulate you for realizing what the root of the problem is, and I am not saying this because I am just another Salvadorian, but because I have also lived it, its not the same to be told about it or to suffer it first-hand; I hope that in the future our country and our region set an example for the rest of the world, and that our sons and the sons of our sons attain the privilege of living a good life, without fear and violence, unlike us, who grew up in a time of suffering, poverty and consequences of war; I say NO to violence, long live PEACE….!!!! it’s the best I think it’s very interesting…we should continue with enthusiasm and uninterruptedly with this kind of projects… that not only benefit the financial aspects but the social ones, the principles of an entire new generation….who depends a lot on what we do today…; and so we shall build a better society… since our predecessors, the ones to blame for the society today, are playing dumb…and only pat their chests…we should not forget that…thanks to whom do we have this fruit today…. By Dialogo December 24, 2012