Board begins to see value of HR

first_imgBoard begins to see value of HROn 27 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Effectivebenchmarking can reveal the dramatic impact a well-run HR department can haveon a company’s staff turnover and profitability.Onesuccessful chief executive, whose company has benefited from having its HR policiesand performance analysed, said, “I now know that our employee turnover hasfallen from almost 16 per cent overall to 13.5 per cent in the past six months– achieved in an area of low unemployment and against a background of difficultrecruitment conditions.  “Thesaving direct to the bottom line for this year alone will be, we reckon,equivalent to at least £250,000.”Thisquote represented the first stage in the main board’s recognition that the HRfunction was adding value. Ithas progressed to explore and develop a range of personnel initiatives thatwent on to reduce both absenteeism and grievances.TheHR manager was able to identify areas of weakness by checking against nationaland industry benchmarking databases.Thiswas achieved by starting to measure, record and compare issues such asturnover, recruitment time and cost, absenteeism, disciplinary cases andgrievances, training time and cost.Moreimportantly, she was able to identify internal comparative data and theunderlying difficulties with individual areas of the company, structural issuesand management style. Suggestingsolutions on a site-by-site and departmental basis, she gained rapid acceptanceof some quite radical and valuable new HR procedures. Thepower of the straightforward comparative data gathered, which could be seen torelate to corporate profitability, was immense. Access was gained todepartments that for years had ploughed their own furrows and which hadvirtually ignored all but the most pressing HR requirements.Obviously,not all managers feel comfortable with the measurement and benchmarkingprocess. By definition, 50 per cent or more will be at or below the mediandata-line, so the study must not be seen as simply a scoring process. Thegreatest likelihood of success will be achieved by the application of subtlechange management skills. ByDerek Burn, partner, MCG Consulting Group [email protected] Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Mitchell makes layup with 7 seconds left, Jazz beat Thunder

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailOKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell hit a go-ahead layup with 7 seconds left and finished with 20 points, lifting the Utah Jazz over the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-109.Bojan Bogdanovich scored 23 points and Mike Conley added 20 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Jazz, who ended a 17-game losing streak in regular season road games against the Thunder, including games in the NBA’s Orlando bubble last season.Utah’s last win in Oklahoma City came on Oct. 31, 2010.Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who hit a game-winning shot in the Thunder’s season-opening win in Charlotte, missed a driving layup in heavy traffic at the buzzer. December 28, 2020 /Sports News – Local Mitchell makes layup with 7 seconds left, Jazz beat Thunder Tags: Donovan Mitchell/NBA/Utah Jazz Written by Associated Presslast_img read more

Lainston’s rare breed

first_imgNot that he’s really considered the arbiter of taste or a bastion of good judgement, but George ’Dubya’ Bush is said to favour the Lainston House Hotel when he’s in the UK. The high quality of the breads and patisserie may have played a passing appeal, but it was more likely to be the draw of the lawn croquet. One can only speculate whether the US president balked at being served French pain de campagne, or insisted on a ’freedom loaf’- aping the ’freedom fries’ that replaced ’French fries’ in parts of America following France’s opposition to the war in Iraq.If he did, then he would have been missing out. While most hotels buy in their bakery products, Lainston’s scratch-made goods were deemed so good, that the hotel started selling them at farmers’ markets. Indeed, they regularly sell out, with over-zealous customers scrabbling in the back of the van for any remaining hot cross buns or Lardy Cake.One of the few UK hotels to employ a dedicated baker, Lainston also boasts the double whammy of having the UK Callebaut Chocolate Champion, Mark Tilling, on its pay-roll. I meet the latter the day after his three-minute appearance on celebrity chef James Martin’s desserts series, Sweet Baby James. “And that was from over four hours of filming!” laughs the head pastry chef.With chocolate masterclasses advertised at £200 a pop, the hotel seems to be doing rather well from his new-found chocolate master status. Tilling won the accolade having made a metre-high King Arthur and Merlin chocolate sculpture, as part of a ’national myths and legends’ theme. “I did it in a modern art, contemporary style,” he says.It has helped raise the profile of the bakery at the hotel, with local papers and radio picking up on the success story. “The hotel has given me time to work on the competition but they’ve done well out of it too. Going to the world finals, everybody gets to know who you are and where you’re from.”HOTEL BAKERS: A RARE BREEDMeanwhile, attracting less of the glare but equally valued, is head baker Adrian Chant. Specialist bakers in hotels are a rare breed, he says. “Bakery in hotels is coming back, to some extent. But we’re not that common, to be honest.”Hotels tend to buy in a Délice de France-type product. But [executive chef] Andy MacKenzie doesn’t believe in that – he believes people can tell if it’s not homemade.”Lainston’s bakery produces pastries and rolls for breakfast, bread for sandwiches served in the bar and drawing room, four varieties of bread for dinner and lunch, using herbs from the herb garden, teacakes and scones for tea, plus rolls and other breads for functions. “And of course we make bread to feed the staff,” adds Chant.The operation started out small-scale, with just a basic oven, but now houses a Tom Chandley oven, a Mono prover and a Bear mixer. It bakes for three farmers’ markets a month, taking around £1,000 a go.There are plans to build a new bakery, visible from the functions suite, for giving live demonstrations. “At the moment, we share space with everyone else. But the oven, prover and main mixer are only a year old so you can see how much the hotel values fresh bread over part-finished,” says Chant. “It’s sort of mushroomed, really. The hotel used to buy in all the croissants, pains au chocolat and Danish pastries, but now we make all those, as well as tarts, cookies, shortbread and biscuits.”Farmers’ markets, which they started attending in September last year, quickly proved to be a profitable sideline and a nifty means of promoting the bakery at the hotel. The biggest seller is Lardy Cake, which sells for £1.60 – the same price as their 400g loaves. “You’d think it would be the older people going for Lardy Cake – and they do – but it’s the younger people who are really going for it. Some people say they can’t sell it. Rubbish! We were besieged when we started. We couldn’t even get the trays out of the van before people were picking them up! It was a similar story when we did hot cross buns before Easter.”SCRATCH RECIPESThe bread is baked using a 24-hour sponge and dough process. The sourdough starter was supplied by baker Paul Merry, of Panary, and the breads are hand-shaped. “I only use scratch recipes – no premixes, improvers or enzymes. It’s all hand-moulded. I’ve done fancy knots and things, but they’ve got to be able to handle the bread in the restaurant. We’re given the freedom to play about and try things out – as long as it’s not too outrageous.”Flours come from Heygates, while stoneground rye and wholemeal flours are supplied by Stoates Flours at Cann Mills in Dorset. Occasionally, they buy from the nearby Bursledon Windmill.Chant makes a selection of four to five breads daily and seasonality plays a big role in the choice of flavours. A well-cultivated herb garden provides inspiration for a number of breads. Loaves include lavender, rosemary and sultana, basil and tomato, and watercress varieties.The hotel plans to put its 65 acres of grounds to better use, extending the herb garden and, in time, growing all its own vegetables, rhubarb, apples, pears, apricots, redcurrants and blueberries. “It will take three or four years for everything to mature. But the herbs come quickly,” says Tilling.The downside of an ample orchard is when the gardener drops 32 kilos of kiwi fruit from the hotel’s kiwi tree on the doorstep, he adds: “We were like, what are we going to do with all that?”Tilling says he is making use of Callebaut’s Origin chocolates, sourced from individual countries. “Tasting chocolate can be a little bit like tasting wine – they’ve got their different flavours and aromas. We’ll put ’Madagascar chocolate sauce’ or ’Papua New Guinea chocolate mousse’ on the menu. Some are more caramel-flavoured, some are fruity, herby or tobacco-ey – the acidity can change between them.”But asked what he thinks the hotel particularly excels at and, perhaps out of modesty, he proclaims the bread over the chocolates. “It’s amazing that we make all our own bread – and a selection of breads, colours, textures, shapes and sizes as well – because there are so few hotels doing it. A lot of people don’t realise we make our own bread, so you need to make them more knowledgeable about it.”TAKING OVER THE KITCHENThere is a sense that the bakery and patisserie are taking over the kitchen, and it already employs the majority of kitchen staff. “There’s a lot of cross-over,” says Chant of the pastry and bakery roles in the kitchen. “I’ll do some chocolate work and Mark will help out at the farmers’ markets.”Now, there are even hopes to sell the bread from the hotel reception and Chant is also planning on introducing a bread menu.On that day, the hotel’s bakery credentials will surely be complete. n—-=== Adrian Chant CV ===Head bakerTrained at Salisbury College and has worked across a mix of large and small-scale bakery operations, including roles at New Forest Patisserie; McCambridge; Bakers Oven; David Powell Bakeries; Tesco; and Mr Kipling—-=== Mark Tilling CV ===Head Pastry ChefBTEC National Diploma (hotel and catering) at Southampton City College; 1st commis pastry chef at The Lanesborough Hotel, London; head pastry chef at Hotel du Vin, Winchester; Zest, Winchester; chocolatier, Locherley, Hampshirel Won the Callebaut UK Chocolate Champion 2007 and will go on to the World Finals, held in Parislast_img read more

Video: Bakery Masters 2014

first_imgBritish Baker’s exclusive video from the second Bakery Masters, held at Europain, Paris. Wayne Caddy, head of baking at The School of Artisan Food, Nottinghamshire represented the UK in the ’Bread’ category.Despite experiencing some difficulties with his oven, Caddy completed all of his bakes, and proudly showcased his loaves to the judges and cheering crowd.Commenting after the competition, Caddy said: “I don’t think it went as well as it should have gone. There were a few problems on the day – a new oven, different types of flours – but at the end of the day, you have to adapt to those things.”For the full story, see this week’s British Baker (21 March).last_img read more

The Disco Biscuits To Headline Resonance Music Festival In 2018

first_imgToday, Resonance Music Festival announced that the jamtronica heavyweights of The Disco Biscuits will headline the 2018 edition of the festival. This news comes on the heels of the event’s recent announcement that Brain Damaged Eggmen—the long-inactive side project featuring Brendan Bayliss, Jake Cinninger, and Kris Myers of Umphrey’s McGee and Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of The Disco Biscuits that pays tribute to two iconic rock and roll outfits, Pink Floyd and The Beatles—would be revived to headline the festival, marking the group’s first performance since 2012.Resonance Music Festival will take place from September 20th to 22nd at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio. The Disco Biscuits and Brain Damaged Eggmen will join other headliners, Papadosio, who is scheduled to perform the festival four times (two Papadosio sets, one acoustic set, and one improv set) and Eoto (two sets). Thus far, the festival has also announced TAUK (two sets, including a TAUKing Beatles set), Clozee, Bluetech, Frameworks (one live band set and one solo set), Sunsquabi (three nights), Random Rab (two sets), Kung Fu (two sets), Melvin Seals & JGB, Pink Talking Fish (two sets), Thriftworks, Satsang, Freddy Todd, and Cofresi. You can snag tickets for the festival here and get more information about the festival here.last_img read more

Railroad Earth Welcomes Fruition For Aretha Franklin Tribute During Timeless Red Rocks Show [Video/Photo]

first_imgLoad remaining images Photo: C.B. Klein Photo: C.B. Klein Load remaining images Photo: C.B. Klein Railroad Earth | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 8/18/2018 | Photo: Chris Klein Load remaining images Railroad Earth | Boulder Theatre | Boulder, CO | 8/17/2018 | Photo: Elliot Siff Always a band seems to summon the natural forces of the world like no other, Railroad Earth worked some magic once again on Saturday night at Red Rocks. With the help of their good friends in Fruition, Railroad wove together two beautiful sets comprised almost entirely of from the band’s early, classic songs.Fruition kicked off the evening to blue skies and sunshine (an uncommon event for August at Red Rocks, as noted by guitarist Jay Cobb), playing a full set of largely new material; the band released Watching It All Fall Apart in early 2018, and also released a new EP, Fire, on August 17th. Straying mostly towards heavy rock with bluegrass instrumentation, the group played impeccably yet ferociously and even welcomed out fiddler Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth for their final tune.As a light, hardly threatening cloud cover rolled off the foothills and over the amphitheater, Railroad Earth took the stage with a rare bust-out of “Raindance,” led by the pounding drums of Carey Harmon. Seemingly referencing the storms earlier in Denver that afternoon, they followed that up with the 2006 song off of Bird in a House, “Mighty River.” The heavy bassline from Andrew Altman got the crowd moving on the fan-favorite. It should also be noted here that in the unfortunate absence of deca-instrumentalist Andy Goessling, the band was joined by Erik Yates on banjo, dobro, and flute, as well as Jeremy Lawton on keyboards, pedal, and lap steel.“Raindance”[Video: Kyle Isaac]Wasting little time before the next tune, a lengthy, wonderfully meandering intro eventually dropped into “Grandfather Mountain”, which was quickly followed by another fast, definitive Railroad song, “Cold Water” off of 2002’s The Black Bear Sessions. And just like that, a subtle theme seemed to be emerging: three of the first four songs were about water. “The Old Man and the Land” and a sprawling take on “Head,” another song from The Black Bear Sessions came next. As if it was destiny, the band closed the set with yet another water song, the heart-wrenching, quasi-lovesong, “Storms” off of the 2004 album The Good Life.“Head” [Video: Kyle Isaac]And, sure enough, just a few minutes into the set break, the skies opened up to a torrential downpour, claps of thunder and blinding lightning. Fans sheltered under the trees and in the museum down below as an archetypal Colorado storm rolled in and out in a matter of minutes. The band and the majority of the fans weathered the storm and returned to the stage for yet another set of definitive songs. Fittingly, the band opened the second set with “Bird in a House,” its refrain of “just another bird in a house, dying to get out” echoing the weather delay in everyone’s minds. A blistering take on “Elko” followed, with the devoted Hobos throwing playing cards as always to the self-indulgent chorus line of “I need a card, I need a card, hit me!” As the group chugged along, things were in full swing.“Bird In A House” > “Elko”[Video: Kyle Isaac]The band played a rollicking “Dandelion Wine,” before slowing things down just a tad with “Potter’s Field” from 2010’s self-titled album, Railroad Earth. Nevertheless, the typically calm song turned to a ferocious beast as mandolinist John Skehan and guitarist Todd Sheaffer led the band into a huge jam. Another 2010 song, “Lone Croft Farewell,” followed, making the pair the two newest songs of the night. But then, almost naturally, the opening mandolin and flute licks of “Like A Buddha” fluttered over the crowd, and the band was off once again! They stretched out, absolutely nailing each and every composed section and jam, eventually bringing it all back home and taking a well-deserved bow.The group returned the stage for a three-song encore, starting off with “Lovin’ You” from 2008’s Amen Corner. Railroad then welcomed out some of Fruition, multi-instrumentalist Mimi Naja, Jay Cobb, and keyboardist Kellen Asebroek, for their own song, “Mountain Annie”. Just as they did as the “backing band” for Warren Haynes, Railroad brought new life to the song with their own distinct musicality. Finally, the band welcomed out Megan Letts of Denver-based band Mama Magnolia for an incredible tribute to the recently passed, the late and great Aretha Franklin, with “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.” With Mimi taking lead vocals, the band laid down a funky, fiery take on the classic song, capping off a truly mystical night at Red Rocks.“You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman”[Video: Kyle Isaac]Railroad Earth continues their tour next week in New Hampshire and Fruition resumes their tour next month in California. Full tour schedules and more information can be found at www.railroad.earth and www.fruitionband.com. You can also check out a gallery from Saturday night’s Red Rocks show, courtesy of Chris Klein, and a gallery from their Friday night show at the Boulder Theater, courtesy of Elliot Siff, below.Setlist: Railroad Earth | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 8/18/2018Set 1: Love Song For Earth*, Raindance, Mighty River, Grandfather Mountain, Cold Water, Old Man and The Land, Head, StormsSet 2: Bird in a House, Elko, Dandelion Wine, Potter’s Field, Lone Croft Farewell, Like a BuddhaEncore: Lovin’ You, Mountain Annie#, You Make Me Feel%Notes: * – Robert White Mountain of Standing Rock Reservation w/ Carey Harmon on drums | # – Fruition song with Mimi Naja, Jay Cobb, and Kellen Asebroek | % – Aretha Franklin cover with Mimi Naja, Jay Cobb, Kellen Asebroek, and Megan Letts of Mama MagnoliaRailroad Earth | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 8/18/2018 | Photo: Elliot Sifflast_img read more

Dead & Company Bring The Funk & A Strong Finish To First Night Of LOCKN’ Debut [Full Show Video]

first_imgLoad remaining images After a delay coming on due to getting the equipment just exactly perfect, Grateful Dead spinoff band Dead & Company ended their month-long layoff just before 9:45 pm. Started the first of their final shows of 2018, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Bob Weir guided the band through a short jam that led into his 1980s classic “Hell In A Bucket”. The number, like much of the first set, found the band in warmup mode, where they more or less served as their own opening act.However, one of the three surprises on the set list followed when the band kicked off “Scarlet Begonias” as the second song of the evening. According to the setlists the band posted after the show, it may have been the plan to open with this one before playing “Hell In A Bucket”, but come showtime, the order was switched. Nonetheless, it was a good version that generated some excitement during the verses and solo. The highlight of the song’s closing outro jam was the delicate musical conversation between lead guitarist and vocalist John Mayer and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, which was made easier given that the two are now situated right next to each other following last month’s swap of stage positions between Jeff and bassist Oteil Burbridge. Once the jam wound down and came to a full stop, “Brown-Eyed Women” was quickly counted in to keep things moving. This Garcia/Robert Hunter gem could have been released as a single by the Grateful Dead in 1972 had they desired to do so, and has become one of John’s signature songs. Last night, the tune’s down-home lyrics and vibe fit the rural Virginia setting perfectly, and as did Jeff’s piano solo.“Ramble On Rose” followed and eased along gently until John raised the temperature with a forceful solo that prompted the first swell of collective band energy, which was felt as well as heard. “Alabama Getaway” came next, as the band picked up the pace on this upbeat rocker from 1980, but they kept it short and sweet before counting straight into one of the most tried-and-true back-to-back pairings that has closed out many a first set of Grateful Dead music.“Cassidy” remains one of the best songs borne from the Weir/Barlow songwriting duo, and it remains one of the best songs in the Grateful Dead catalog. The tempo in Saturday night’s version was more relaxed as Bob led the band through the verses. However, its longer jam towards the end found the band remaining in a loose, exploratory mode, finding their collective feet and regaining that onstage familiarity after a month off, with Jeff and John once again conducting a delicate and enjoyable musician combination between themselves. “Deal” closed out the set and was the clear highlight of the set, as the upbeat rocker gathered steam before John brought his solo to a rousing peak with some fanning and serious licks as he began his “Mayercise” movements of playing while jumping in place, alternating in with some jumping-jack-style leg movements. It was a solid 65-minute first set, with a nice surprise in the early-show placement of Scarlet Begonias and not an untypical result for Dead & Company when coming back from a break.Because of the late hour, the band took a mere 15-minute break before returning for the second set just after 11:00 pm. Rather curiously, they opened with “Help On The Way” and “Slipknot”, a pair of songs that were widely considered to be on the list of songs being “saved” for their second LOCKN’ show tonight, Sunday, August 26th, with announced guest Branford Marsalis. As seems to always be the case with the beautifully complex “Slipknot” these days, John found a new method of guitar pyrotechnics to utilize, opting to slap his strings Les Claypool style along with using a wah pedal. It created a funkier vibe that Jeff complemented nicely, and felt like a nice carry-over from the Foundations Of Funk set earlier in the day, featuring The Meters‘ Zigaboo Modeliste and George Porter Jr. plus Cyril Neville, Ivan Neville, Tony Hall, Ian Neville, and others.Then, the second of the three major setlist surprises came when the band dropped into “Fire On The Mountain” instead of the expected “Franklin’s Tower’. Not only did this immediately recall the lone time that the Grateful Dead did this on the opening night of their legendary six-show run at Boston Garden in the fall of 1991, this version was noticeably faster and funkier, also feeling as if it had been influenced by the earlier Foundations of Funk set. Oteil (who’d just celebrated his birthday the day before) sang his now-customary lead vocals, and he became so engrossed in one jam that he forgot to un-mute his microphone before the final verse, which prompted a cross-stage shout from John and smiles all around as Oteil hit his foot pedal to make himself heard. The song finally wound down with a dramatic musical nod to the “Scarlet Begonias” jam theme.After a pause of several minutes, John switched to his silver PRS guitar that gives him a fatter tone, and launched into the crowd-pleasing duo of “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider”, in which the band concentrated on accuracy. With Bob leading the charge with some smooth execution of his rhythm guitar licks, it was a strong choice for a jam-band festival crowd that was not 100% Dead & Company fans. “I Know You Rider” led to a Drums segment that had a heavy electronic bent at first, while Bill Kreutzmann moved from drum to drum adding the human touches, followed by drummer Mickey Hart coaxing a warm droning monochord from The Beam, which washed over the crowd like waves. The rest of the band then returned for the Space segment, which started with quirks and beeps and found John Mayer sounding positively Garcia-esque at times.From here on out, everything kicked up a notch. Out of nowhere, a funky jam materialized that once again felt like something straight out of New Orleans, albeit heavily syncopated and accented by Jeff’s funky Fender Rhodes-sounding keyboards while John engaged in some more Mayercise to go along with his riffing. The jam lasted several minutes and contained a clear tease of “New Speedway Boogie”, but after a couple more minutes it began to sound like “The Other One”, and that’s where it went. After Oteil played that famous bass intro and dropped four “bass bombs” on the happy crowd, Bob went straight to the first verse, and the jam that followed hit a strong peak courtesy of a forceful Mayer solo while Oteil was consumed by the music, facing his amps and blissfully rocking back and forth.As “The Other One” wound down, it transitioned into “Wharf Rat’, which was slower and sparser than usual, making for a more contemplative version that served as a nice counterpoint after the preceding chaos. To close things out, the band fired up the third and final set list surprise: a 13-minute version of “Franklin’s Tower” to close the set. An hour after its expected placement at the conclusion of “Slipknot”, the rendition was superb and found Dead & Company operating at full power. As a bonus, it recalled another classic Grateful Dead show: July 8, 1978 at Red Rocks, when “Wharf Rat” and “Franklin’s Tower” were played in back-to-back sequence late in the second set, making it one of only three times this sequence of songs occurred in 30 years of Grateful Dead shows.Even though the band had run well past the suggested midnight curfew, the band stuck with their planned two-song encore. “The Weight” fit the location and the vibe well, and its placement as an encore played to its sing-along strengths. Bob’s rocker “One More Saturday Night” was the obvious show closer, and finally, at 12:45 am, Dead & Company was finished, though all that did was free up half the band to go sit in with Lettuce and Eric Krasno’s star-studded celebration of Jerry Garcia Band songs. Overall, the first set served as the warmup and the “pre-drums” second set served up some crowd-pleasing favorites, but from “Drums” onward, the band truly caught fire and left everyone primed for the festival-closing show with Branford Marsalis.You can watch Dead & Company’s first two sets at LOCKN’ on August 25th, 2018, below, courtesy of Relix in partnership with Ben & Jerry’s and Airstream. The first set begins around 11:08:00 and the second set begins around 12:30:00. You can also check out a gallery of photos from yesterday’s festivities below, courtesy of Dave Vann. <span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> Setlist: Dead & Company | LOCKN’ Festival | Infinity Down Farm | Arrington, VA | 8/25/2018 Set One: Hell In A Bucket, Scarlet Begonias, Brown Eyed Women, Ramble On Rose, Alabama Getaway, Cassidy, DealSet Two: Help On The Way > Slipknot > Fire On The Mountain, China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider > Drums > Space > Jam > The Other One > Wharf Rat > Franklin’s TowerEncore: The Weight, One More Saturday NightLOCKN’ | Infinity Downs Farm | Arrington, VA | 8/25/2018 | Photo: Dave Vannlast_img read more

An early sign of spring, earlier than ever

first_imgRecord warmth in 2010 and 2012 resulted in similarly extraordinary spring flowering in the eastern United States — the earliest in the more than 150 years for which data is available — researchers at Harvard University, Boston University, and the University of Wisconsin have found.“We’re seeing spring plants that are now flowering on average over three weeks earlier than when they were first observed — and some individual species that are flowering as much as six weeks earlier,” said Charles Davis, a Harvard professor of organismic and evolutionary biology and the study’s senior author. “That’s a dramatic advancement of spring. We have a long historic record that shows these are far and away the earliest flowering times on record for the eastern United States.“When we looked at the data, I was stunned at just how early flowering was occurring,” Davis added. “It is striking, how early we’re seeing spring.”To explain the early arrival, Davis and his colleagues point to temperature increases produced by global climate change. Using data collected in Massachusetts and Wisconsin from the mid-1800s to today, they show that the two warmest years on record — 2010 and 2012 — also included record-breaking early flowering. The study was published Jan. 16 in the journal PLoS One.“Given what we know about historical trends in temperature and flowering times, the question has been whether the flowering dates we see today fall within expectations, and it appears that indeed they do,” Davis said. “It suggests that many spring plants haven’t hit some sort of breaking point — they just keep pushing things earlier and earlier.”Many researchers believe that some plants have, or soon will, reach a point where they may not be able to keep pace with warming temperatures. For example, they may no longer meet their winter chilling requirements, which means that they may not get enough cool days to prepare them for spring. “With the several dozen species we looked at, that doesn’t yet appear to be occurring,” Davis said.The possible consequences of plants reaching their limits are worrisome, to say the least.“Thoreau was making observations on flowering times across Concord for nearly a decade,” said Davis. “We believe he may have been preparing a book to document the change in seasons in this region.” A stemless lady slipper is one of the specimens collected by Thoreau and preserved at the Harvard University Herbaria.“One potential negative consequence of early flowering is that these plants are adjusting to the point where important ecological associations are disrupted,” he continued. “One possibility is that they may shift so far that they simply miss their primary pollinators. The other aspect of this is that we don’t have a great sense of how this relates to variation among and between populations within these species. It could very well be that these species as a whole are being very negatively affected, and we’re just seeing the evidence of more resilient populations — in particular, those that are able to greatly adjust their flowering times.”To conduct the study, Davis and colleagues relied on two “incredibly unique” data sets.Henry David Thoreau initiated the first in Concord in the mid-19th century. Davis said, “Thoreau was making observations on flowering times across Concord for nearly a decade. We believe he may have been preparing a book to document the change in seasons in this region.”Botanists in the early 1900s followed in Thoreau’s footsteps, collecting similar data for more than a decade. Most recently, researchers from BU have continued this effort since 2005.The second data set was initiated in the mid-1930s in central Wisconsin, with observations made by the environmental pioneer Aldo Leopold, then a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin. Other researchers made additional studies of flowering times in the 1970s.“The striking finding is that we see similar patterns of earlier spring in Wisconsin and in Massachusetts,” Davis said. “It’s amazing that these areas are so far apart and we’re seeing the same things — it speaks to a larger phenomenon taking place in the eastern United States.”Davis expressed hope that the study will serve as a tangible example of the potential consequences of climate change.“The problem of climate change is so massive, and I worry that the temptation is for people to tune out,” he said. “But I think being aware that this is indeed happening is one step in the right direction of being a good steward of our planet.“On average, it’s about 3 degrees Celsius warmer today than when Thoreau studied Concord,” he continued. “When we talk about climate change, it can be difficult to grasp what it means when we talk about future increases in temperature. Humans may weather these changes reasonably well in the short-term, but many organisms in the tree of life will not likely fare nearly as well.”Elizabeth R. Ellwood and Richard B. Primack, both from Boston University, Stanley A. Temple from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the late Nina L. Bradley of the Aldo Leopold Foundation contributed to the research.last_img read more

Michael Sottile’s Cult Hit Inappropriate to Return as One Day

first_imgOne Day, a rebooted adaptation of Michael Sottile’s cult musical Inappropriate, is heading off-Broadway! Sottile has updated the show and will helm the production with choreographer Ray Leeper. The tuner will begin previews on February 7, 2015 and officially open on February 19 at 3LD Art & Technology Center. View Comments One Day is inspired by Sottile’s 1999 show Inappropriate, for which he wrote the music & lyrics, and co-conceived with the late Lonnie McNeil. Inappropriate debuted off-Broadway and in Los Angeles in 1999-2000. Based on true journal entries written by teens spanning two decades, One Day follows the journey of eight teenagers as they face struggles and triumphs—from drug abuse to sexual awakening—on the passage to discovering their own truths.center_img The production will feature interactive projection design by Andrew Lazarow, with lighting design by Jason Lyons, sound design by Drew Levy, scenic design by Ellen Rousseau and costume design by Shane Ballard, with vocal arrangements by AnnMarie Milazzo and music direction by Keith Harrison. The cast includes Brenna Bloom, Chase O’Donnell, Marco Ramos, Honey Ribar, Aaron Scheff, Austin Scott, Benjamin Shuman, Andy Spencer, Aliya Stuart, Nyseli Vega and Charlotte Mary Wen.last_img read more

ExTEND Leadership Program

first_imgMore than a dozen University of Georgia Cooperative Extension leaders graduated from UGA’s ExTEND Advance Leadership Training Program on May 5. The graduation of ExTEND’s second class marks UGA Extension’s commitment to ensuring effective, efficient and meaningful service to Georgians today and in the future. “One of the challenges we have in UGA Extension right now is building capacity for leadership and succession planning,” said Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for Extension in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and director for UGA Extension. “Due to early retirements and budget cuts (during the recession), we have a very young work force, and we need people to be able to step into leadership roles earlier and earlier. We are investing in our people, and the ExTEND Academy is a great example of one of these opportunities. “I have been so proud of this group as they have grown and expanded their horizons over the past 16 months,” she added. “I am excited about the great things they will do in our organization and beyond as they continue to grow and expand their leadership capacities.”According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, 10,000 baby boomers retire each day in the United States, thinning the experienced leadership benches at many companies and institutions. In an effort to prevent this loss of skilled leadership inside UGA Extension, administrators developed the ExTend Advanced Leadership Training Program to develop new leaders who will be ready as veteran Extension agents and program managers retire. The program was developed as a follow-up to Extension Academy in order to further adapt leaders to changes within UGA Extension and provide professional leadership development opportunities to those invested in the field. Over the last 16 months, from December 2014 to May 2016, participants have attended six professional development training sessions throughout the state that focused on understanding UGA Extension as an organization, individual and team development, leading and managing change, crisis communication, interpersonal relationships, the power of project management, and funding and public policy.Those graduating also devised a personal action plan, identifying goals, strategies and action steps for their personal professional development in the future. To conclude the program, participants traveled to Ecuador for a week this April to assist in expanding the Ecuadorian Extension system in 24 provinces. ExTEND seeks to continually develop a pool of competent, prepared leaders within UGA Extension. The following are graduates of ExTEND’s 2016 class:Ellen Bauske, program coordinator, Center for Urban Agriculture, Spalding CountyMelanie Biersmith, Extension 4-H Youth Development specialist and environmental education coordinator, Putnam CountySadie Brown, director of fiscal affairs, UGA CAES Business Office, Clarke CountyChrista A. Campbell, county Extension coordinator and Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent, Elbert and Lincoln countiesTammy Cheely, county Extension coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources agent, Warren CountyShane Curry, Extension Agricultural and Natural Resources agent, Appling CountyKisha Faulk, Extension Family and Consumer Sciences program development coordinator, Northwest District, Spalding CountySusan Howington, county Extension Coordinator and Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent, Henry CountyTodd Hurt, program development specialist, Office of the Associate Dean for Extension, Clarke CountySonya Jones, county Extension coordinator and 4-H Youth Development agent, Pulaski CountySunshine Jordan, accountability and operations analyst, UGA CAES Business Office, Clarke CountySteve Morgan, county Extension coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources agent, Harris, Meriwether and Talbot countiesCliff Riner, coordinator, UGA Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center, and Vidalia onion area Extension specialist, Toombs CountyAngela Rowell, director, CAES Office of Communications and Creative Services, Clarke CountyAmanda Tedrow, county Extension coordinator and Agricultural and Natural Resources agent, Clarke CountySusan Yearwood, 4-H Youth Development agent, Stephens County For more information about UGA Extension and the services it provides to Georgians visit extension.uga.edu.last_img read more