Call for public services shake-up

first_imgHR in public services needs a radical overhaul to tackle the problems thesector faces recruiting and retaining staff. An Audit Commission report, Recruitment and Retention, published today callsfor HR to be given greater involvement at board and senior management levels toensure public sector organisations develop comprehensive recruitment andretention strategies. The study finds that although public sector HR is more ‘progressive’ andoffers better flexible working, training and development opportunities than theprivate sector, it fails to make an impact because the function is notstrategic enough. Keith Handley, immediate past president of local government HR body Socpo,agreed with the report’s main findings. “Too many authorities blow the trumpet about people being their mainasset yet do not even have a HR person on the management team,” he said. The report also identifies a need for improved monitoring of staff turnover,absence rates and job satisfaction, and advocates greater use of exit interviews– only a fifth of more than 300 ex-public sector workers polled in the reporthad ever had exit interviews. Other recommendations include reducing the number of targets to givefrontline staff greater autonomy and freedom to concentrate on quality ofservice. Trish Longdon, director of people development at the Audit Commission, said:”Staff feel overwhelmed by the unhelpful number of targets. These do nothelp staff to prioritise as there are so many of them.” Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Call for public services shake-upOn 3 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more


first_imgWe hope that today’s “Readers Forum” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?WHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?Todays “Readers Poll” question is: Should City Council should give Federal and State tax dollars to EHO Housing without knowing the findings of the police investigation and the Forensic audit?Please take time and read our articles entitled “Statehouse Files, Channel 44 News, Daily Devotions, Law enforcement, Readers Poll, Birthdays, Hot Jobs, and Local Sports.You are now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us [email protected] LinkEmailSharelast_img

Customers Encouraged To Service Air Conditioners; Reminded Of Rebates For High-Efficiency Cooling Systems

first_imgCustomers Encouraged To Service Air Conditioners; Reminded Of Rebates For High-Efficiency Cooling SystemsEvansville, Ind. – With the rising temperatures and increasing humidity, Vectren is reminding customers to have a training heating and air professional perform routine maintenance on their air conditioning systems to improve efficiency and comfort. Customers should maintain their cooling system to prevent future problems and unwanted costs.“Undoubtedly, many customers will turn to their air conditioners this week as temperatures push the upper 80s,” said Brad Ellsworth, president of Vectren Energy Delivery South. “As we enter the cooling season, we encourage customers to properly maintain their air conditioning systems to ensure they perform optimally during the summer months.”According to, routine maintenance check-ups should include the following actions to ensure your house or business stays cool:Check thermostat settings to ensure your cooling system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors.Lubricate all moving parts to reduce friction in motors, which increases the amount of electricity used.Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation.Regularly clean and/or replace your air conditioner filter to help your unit run at full efficiency and supply better air flow.Clear leaves and other debris away from your air conditioner’s condensing unit on the outside of your home and hose off any accumulated dirt.Check your air conditioner’s refrigerant level – too much or too little will make your system less efficient and reduce the life of the equipment.Clean and adjust blower components to reduce problems with air flow, which can also make your system run less efficiently.Vectren offers several energy efficiency and rebate programs for residential and business customers, including cash rebates for residential customers of $200 to $400 for a high-efficiency central air conditioning unit, depending on the SEER level, and heat pumps. Learn more about Vectren’s programs at or call 866-240-8476.About VectrenVectren Corporation (NYSE: VVC) is an energy holding company headquartered in Evansville, Ind.Vectren’s energy delivery subsidiaries provide gas and/or electricity to more than 1 million customers in adjoining service territories that cover nearly two-thirds of Indiana and about 20 percent of Ohio, primarily in the west-central area. Vectren’s nonutility subsidiaries and affiliates currently offer energy-related products and services to customers throughout the U.S. These include infrastructure services and energy services. To learn more about Vectren, visit FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Umphrey’s Brings The Shady Horns To Boston For An Epic Throwdown [Videos/Gallery/Setlist]

first_imgUmphrey’s McGee returned to the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston last night, and they brought The Shady Horns with them for a jam-packed show filled with lots of fun improvisation.The band kicked things off with a huge four-song movement, starting off with 2013 UMBowl instrumental “Gents”, before moving into old favorite “White Mans Moccasins”, followed up by a raging “Ringo”, before they landed on a high-energy “Miss Tinkles Overture”. Next up, Umphrey’s performed their multi-part fan-favorite “2×2”, featuring an incredible guitar solo from recent birthday boy Brendan Bayliss. The band then invited out featured guests Eric “Benny” Bloom and Ryan Zoidis, who brought the thunder with huge versions of “Speak Up”, “Headphones & Snowcones”, and “Example 1” to end set one with a serious bang.After a short break, Umphrey’s returned to the stage for a wild version of “Dump City”. The song is always well-received by fans, and delivered it’s usual healthy dose of improv – truly an excellent way to open up set two. “Cemetary Walk 1” followed, with Umphrey’s crushing the piano-driven, prog-rock song. The dancey “Day Nurse” followed, which eventually winded its way into a perfect version of their classic “Divisions”. After the huge “Divisions”, Umphrey’s picked the energy up even more with their metal rager “Wizard Burial Ground”. After the head-banging of “WBG”, the band invited The Shady Horns back out for a funky version of “I Got Love” before closing things out with the relative rarity of “Woman Wine & Song”.The band took their customary encore break, then returned to the stage for a pulsating version of “Bad Friday”, bringing the horns back out for one more high energy moment before bringing the evening to a close.Thanks to these Umphreaks, we can enjoy some fan-shot footage from the Boston takeover:Speak Up w/ The Shady Horns [via Kyle Miller] You can also stream the full audio from the show, courtesy of taper opsopcopolis, below:Umphrey’s McGee is at The Peach Music Festival next, playing an “After Midnight” set this evening. After such a hot show in Boston, one can only imagine the fireworks that fans will experience when they see a raging Umphrey’s late-night set at The Peach.Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Blue Hills Bank Pavilion | Boston, MA | 8/12/2016Set One: Gents > White Mans Moccasins > Ringo > Miss Tinkles Overture, 2×2, Speak Up, Headphones & Snowcones, Example 1Set Two: Dump City, Cemetary Walk 1, Day Nurse > Divisions, Wizard Burial Ground, I Got Love, Woman Wine & Song.Encore: Bad Friday[Photos by ATS Photography, see the full gallery below.] Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Watch Oteil Burbridge’s Gorgeous Cover Of “To Lay Me Down” At BackStory Show

first_imgYesterday, Oteil Burbridge took to New York City’s The Cutting Room for a special interview and performance in collaboration with Guitar World Magazine and BackStory Presents. The interview portion was conducted by New York Times best-selling author Alan Paul, a renowned music journalist best known for his work on the Allman Brothers Band.During the interview, Paul and Burbridge discussed the legendary bassist’s tenure with the Allman Brothers as well as his most recent work with Dead & Company. The duo also chatted at length about Oteil’s recent solo side project, which has seen Oteil release his debut solo album, Water In The Desert, and perform a number of shows under the moniker Oteil Burbridge & Friends.To close out the performance, Oteil sang a couple of tunes for the intimate crowd of less than 400. Make sure to take a listen to Oteil’s heartfelt rendition of the Grateful Dead’s “To Lay Me Down”, as it perfectly showcases the bassist’s stirring and powerful vocals.last_img read more

Reflections on week of terror

first_img David Wade, WBZ-TV Minutes before 3 p.m. on Marathon Monday, as thousands of relatives, friends, and well-wishers cheered on runners nearing the Boylston Street finish line, Boston suddenly changed. An explosion interrupted the city’s annual rite of spring, blasting nails and ball bearings into the crowd. Moments later, a second bomb went off just 600 feet away.Despite the heroic efforts of first responders, three people would die: 8-year-old Martin Richard; 23-year-old Lu Lingzi, a Boston University graduate student; and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, who had close Harvard connections. At least 264 others were injured.With the region in shock and in mourning, law enforcement authorities began an intensive search for the perpetrators. Within days, they released photos of the men suspected of the bombings; on the night of April 18, the suspects went on the run, allegedly carjacking one man and assassinating another, MIT police officer Sean Collier, as he sat in his cruiser. By early the next morning 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was dead, run down by his brother after a shootout with police; that evening, after a massive manhunt that shut down the Greater Boston area, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody.Boston Marathon Tragedy and Aftermath: Panel Discussion On Wednesday evening, on the same day a memorial service was held for Collier, the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) hosted a John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, “Boston Marathon Tragedy & Aftermath.” Moderated by Dean David Ellwood, the Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy, a five-member panel discussed law enforcement coordination, political leadership, the evolving face of terrorism, and the media’s role during the manhunt.Preparedness paid offBoston Police Department Commissioner Edward Davis said that throughout the investigation, “the investments made in preparedness since 9/11 paid off” in the high level of coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.“All the training we do to prepare for this type of incident has forced us to think about the unthinkable,” he said.Kurt N. Schwartz, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, agreed: “We did a tabletop exercise before the marathon, which included a bombing in it,” he said.Davis said the decision to lock down the area was made early on April 19 after the firefight with the suspects.“There were five or six of us jammed into what’s basically a house trailer,” Davis said. After calls to Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, “there was a conversation among all the principals; we determined a course of action,” he said.“There were at times disagreements, but we always reached a consensus decision,” Schwartz said. He called the cooperation between public safety and political leaders “a big success.”The role of mediaThe forum panel included two media professionals, WBZ-TV news anchor and Juliette Kayyem, a lecturer in public policy at HKS, Boston Globe columnist, and on-air analyst for CNN. Wade described how he received a call Thursday night from his producer, who told him, “We need you to go right there, now.” Wade drew laughter when he admitted that traveling to a dangerous shootout scene “didn’t seem like a good idea,” but said it was his responsibility “to paint a picture of what it’s like to be there for the viewer … and not get in the way” of law enforcement.“I had no shame in saying what I didn’t know, which is far better than embellishing,” he said.Kayyem, who from 2009-10 was assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs for the Department of Homeland Security, cited two big media mistakes: CNN’s announcement that a suspect had been captured on April 17, and the “misidentification” of a suspect online. Kayyem said that on CNN or in the Globe, she tries “to give some perspective to people not familiar with public safety … I ask myself, ‘What would my mom want to know right now?’ ”Davis said the involvement of social media had an upside and downside in last week’s events.“The primary reason we used [social media] was to correct information” that was wrong or misleading, he said. “This is all new. People who go on Twitter and Facebook quickly understand that some things need to be taken with a grain of salt.”Davis himself used Twitter to give updates on the manhunt; he also tweeted a high-quality photograph of “the white-hat suspect” taken by a convenience store surveillance camera, and broadcast the image to police and the public “in three mouse clicks.”Terrorism’s new face Panelist David N. Hempton, dean of Harvard Divinity School (HDS), knows about terrorist bombings, having lived in Northern Ireland during a long period of sectarian violence. “During one Friday in Belfast in 1972,” Hempton noted, “there were 22 bombs in 72 minutes.” Day to day, he said, “You never knew if there’d be a bomb in a pub or restaurant”; the violence had to be taken for granted.“You began to plot and plan your day” accordingly, he said.Hempton does not believe Boston will become like Belfast, a city deeply divided along sectarian lines with a history of reprisal violence. After the marathon bombing, “the coming together of the city was particularly moving.”“To feel that sense of community togetherness is a wonderful thing,” Hempton said.“We don’t want to change our way of life,” Davis agreed. He said the bombers failed to weaken the city, but going forward, “we need to work together, citizens and police alike” to meet the evolving threat.A closing hug From the audience, Jamie Bergstein, who works in the HKS admissions office, offered emotional thanks to Davis and the police for their hard work. Wearing a blue-and-yellow Boston Marathon jacket, Bergstein said she had run in the race but was forced to stop at mile 24 after the bombs exploded. She described the day as “the scariest of my life,” but added, “The support of the Boston Police Department and other police departments and the first responders was amazing. They gave me hope and gave everyone hope. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.”She stopped, as tears welled up, and Davis got out of his chair and hugged her. It was this wordlessly heartfelt moment that ended the forum.3 with IOP: Boston Marathon Tragedy and Aftermathlast_img read more

Pesticide Drift

first_imgNo official pesticide drift complaints have been reported to the Georgia Department of Agriculture this year due to in-season applications of dicamba, or 2,4-D.Sound science and assistance from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents led to Georgia farmers’ success in using dicamba technology in cotton and soybeans, according to UGA Extension weed specialist Stanley Culpepper.From 2015 to 2017, UGA Extension agents and specialists coordinated classroom trainings in an effort to share their research-based results and, ultimately, to help Georgia cotton and soybean producers make wise decisions in safely and effectively implementing this technology. To date, 33 of these meetings have reached almost 3,000 participants.“Understanding the sensitivity of the plants that surround the field when an applicator is ready to make an application is the No. 1 factor that helps us continue to reduce off-target movement of all pesticides,” Culpepper said. “These educational trainings help make applicators and farmers more aware and are a big reason why we haven’t had any complaints to the (Georgia) Department of Agriculture this year.”Approximately 1.3 million acres of Georgia land planted with tolerant cotton or soybeans were treated with auxin herbicides, such as dicamba, during the growing season.“Although we had a great year in regard to weed control and stewarding the new auxin technologies, we have much more to do if we want to preserve these weed management tools,” Culpepper said.UGA Extension personnel will expand educational trainings through one-on-one meetings with producers and applicators statewide to further improve information delivery. Training sessions will continue until 2020.UGA Extension county agents who have already started meeting with farmers and applicators believe the trainings have been, and will continue to be, worthwhile.“What (the trainings) have pointed out for me is the level of understanding of the new technology. Even among those who are solid farmers, the level of understanding is low as far as how the chemistry is formulated and how it truly works,” Burke County Extension Coordinator Peyton Sapp said. “The whole approach that Georgia and UGA Extension has taken, embracing the new technology, has heightened the awareness of what’s going on around a particular field.”Individual trainings involve county Extension agents visiting farms to teach growers and applicators about safe use of pesticides. Research identified 15 factors that applicators need to consider when managing off-target pesticide movement, including the spray nozzle, spray pressure, spray speed and the height of the boom above the target.“We just want folks to realize that when they get to a field, they need to see what’s going on before they make a decision about whether they need to spray or not,” Irwin County Extension Coordinator Phillip Edwards said. “Make sure there aren’t any sensitive crops nearby. Make sure of the wind speed and the lay of the land. A lot of it is common sense, but these trainings serve as a reminder.”Georgia farmers produce more than 50 high-value vegetable and fruit crops at the same time and sometimes around the same location that agronomic crops like auxin-tolerant cotton and soybeans are produced. All of these crops are vulnerable to pesticide drift.Empowering growers and producers to keep pesticides on target and away from neighboring fields and gardens is one of UGA Extension’s top priorities.Pierce County Extension Coordinator James Jacobs has met with the majority of the farmers in his county. He said that all of those farmers who have been trained have been very receptive to the lessons taught and appreciate the time and resources that specialists and agents have shared.“Taking it to the farm — that’s what we’re doing. It gives farmers, and even those who work for them, an opportunity to ask questions. If we don’t know the answer, we get the answer and get it back to them. That’s the good thing because this is the time to ask questions and put some thought in some things,” Jacobs said.last_img read more

Northwestern Medical Center honored with Leadership in Quality Award

first_imgNorthwestern Medical Center, Inc,Quorum Health Resources (QHR), the nation’s largest hospital management company and the seventh largest healthcare consulting firm in the United States, recently announced the winners of its 2011 Excellence in Leadership awards. Jill Berry Bowen, CEO of Northwestern Medical Center accepted the award for Leadership in Quality Initiatives on behalf of the hospital. Northwestern Medical Center has ‘taken leadership in Quality programs,’ said QHR President and CEO James L. Horrar, ‘In addition to achieving excellent quantitative results, this hospital has been an early adopter of Quality Improvement initiatives implementing; A “Quiet Culture Awareness” program in 2010; participating in a state Quality Program to reduce the number of avoidable admissions to the Emergency Room; and developing a Medical Home Model for Primary Care Services in conjunction with the state’s Blue Print for Health.’ ‘I feel very honored to have received this award on behalf of our staff,’ said Bowen. ‘This award recognizes all of the big and small initiatives we have going on here, and the combination of efforts that are making an impact on the clinical outcomes for our patients. Many of our initiatives have come directly from our staff, who truly care about the patient as a whole.’ The Quiet Culture Awareness program is an example of an initiative that came directly from staff, according to Bowen. The Quiet Culture program aims to raise awareness of noises in the hospital that may interfere with patients’ ability to rest. With greater awareness of sources of noise, staff now takes greater care when using noisy equipment, wearing loud shoes, talking near patient rooms, etc., in order to create a healing environment to patients to recover from illness, surgery, or injury. Reducing the number of avoidable admissions to the Emergency Department (ED) has been another quality initiative at NMC, in cooperation with the State of Vermont’s Act 49 Utilization Review efforts. This project is designed to decrease inappropriate or preventable visits to the ED. After a thorough assessment of ED visits over a twelve month period, the quality improvement team’s initial focus is working with a cohort of patients who each experienced between 16 and 71 ED visits within the past year. The Blueprint for Health is a state led program dedicated to achieving well coordinated and seamless health services, with an emphasis on prevention and wellness, for all Vermonters. The foundation of the Blueprint model is Advanced Primary Care that meets patients and families needs by coordinating seamlessly with a broad range of health and human services. NMC’s role in this initiative is to serve as the lead administrative entity, facilitating the work of committees and participation in the Blueprint at the local level. ‘Our quality initiatives exist not only within the walls of the hospital, but also in the community,’ said Bowen. ‘With initiatives like the Blueprint, we are bringing together teams to focus on the entire patient experience. As long as we are focused on quality care with the patient at the center of our decision making and our initiatives, it will continue to set us apart. We have an incredible team who are focused on making a difference.’ Northwestern Medical Center was one of four QHR hospitals receiving honors for Leadership in Quality Initiatives this year, and one of thirteen QHR hospitals receiving Excellence in Leadership honors, out of 150 QHR hospitals nationwide. For more information about Northwestern Medical Center, visit is external).last_img read more

Hawaiian Electric plans for 2022 closing of Oahu coal plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Honolulu Star Advertiser:Wanted: More sources of alternative energy to power Hawaii.In an effort to prepare for the closure of two fossil-fuel plants in the state — the coal-fired AES Hawaii plant on Oahu and the oil-fired Kahului Power Plant on Maui — Hawaiian Electric Companies is seeking more renewable energy projects.The companies, which provide power to residents on Oahu and Hawaii island and in Maui County, are seeking an array of solar, wind, storage and other projects to help generate electricity in place of the two plants.The 180-megawatt AES Hawaii power plant at Campbell Industrial Park is currently the largest single generator on the Hawaiian Electric system, providing 16 percent of the peak demand on Oahu. It is slated to close by September 2022. On Maui, the Kahului Power Plant is expected to close by the end of 2024.Both plants have been around for more than 20 years and have been good partners, but times have changed, according to [Hawaiian Electric Companies spokesman Peter] Rosegg.“The AES contract is expiring, and no one’s interested in renewing it,” said Rosegg. “It’s coal, dirtiest of all our power plants in the system. There’s no question we’ve known for a while it would retire at the end of the contract. Kahului has been more flexible, but it’s an old plant. We’ve looked at closing it before. Now we’re committed to doing it.”More: HEI seeks renewable options as end nears for 2 plants Hawaiian Electric plans for 2022 closing of Oahu coal plantlast_img read more

Go Outside and Play in Clarksville, Tenn. Fun FactFrank Sutton, who played Sgt. Carter in the sitcom, Gomer Plye, USMC, is a Clarksville native. Take a selfie with his statue downtown. MorningStart your day with a mouthwatering French pastry from Madeleine’s Bakery then take in some local history and switchback trails at Fort Defiance Civil War Park overlooking the confluence of the rivers. Next, find permanent and rotating exhibits, plus plenty of interactive play spaces for children, at the Customs House Museum. The iconic architecture outside and massive model train exhibit inside are thrills for all ages. If you’re a fan of good sushi, enjoy lunch at Yellowtail or Kohana just outside downtown. MorningDunbar Cave State Park is one of Clarksville’s most popular outdoor spots in every season. This 144-acre natural playground in the middle of the city includes almost four miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, wildlife, and guided cave tours May-October. Enjoy breakfast or lunch at The Wonderland Café with divine pastries, as well as breakfast and lunch entrees. Strawberry Alley Ale Works, photo by Lucas Chambers Christmas lights on franklin street, photo by Ron Jackson Day One AfternoonThe nine-mile Clarksville Greenway is a paved walking and biking trail along two waterways where you’ll enjoy native species, bluff walls, tree canopies, overlooks, and a 600-foot pedestrian bridge. The nearby North Ford Mountain Biking Trail is the perfect spot for riders of all skill levels. Day Twocenter_img EveningYou’ll want to time your evening activities around a vivid Cumberland River sunset. A romantic stroll along the RiverWalk is an ideal way to soak up the last of the daylight. Dinner at Liberty Park Grill overlooking the marina is another prime location for a fantastic view. EveningEnjoy an evening downtown where you’ll be captivated by historic architecture at every turn. The city offers several choices for dinner along with pubs, breweries, and a meadery. Explore a variety of local shops and check the schedule at the Roxy Regional Theatre for live professional productions. If you’re looking for a fall or winter getaway that’s off the beaten path but convenient, affordable with plenty to do, loaded with scenic outdoor recreation but not too crowded, Clarksville, Tenn., checks all your boxes. You can best enjoy Clarksville’s outdoors by following recommended safety precautions like wearing a mask, staying six feet apart, and washing your hands frequently. AfternoonSchedule a tour and tasting at Beachaven Winery or Old Glory Distilling. You’ll meet people who are passionate about their craft and have been working many years to perfect it. With a driving tour and short walk in Liberty Park, you’ll be inspired by two Clarksville trailblazers and legends, Wilma Rudolph and Pat Head Summitt, whose bronze likEnesses anchor both ends of the park. Cover Photo: River walk, photo by Lucas Chamberslast_img read more