Australian Defence Teams Mark International Women’s Day

first_img View post tag: International Six Defence teams drawn from Navy, Army, Air Force and the Australian Public Service competed yesterday in a ‘tug of war’ competition to celebrate International Women’s Day.The event was held at the Department of Defence headquarters at Russell Offices, and featured six teams: Navy, Army, Air Force, Royal Military College – Duntroon, the Australian Defence Force Academy and Defence People Group.Event organiser Group Captain Dee Gibbon said the event was a light-hearted tribute to military fitness with teams encouraged to dress in costume. “There is healthy competition between the three services. Each team had equal numbers of men and women and showcased how everyone in Defence, whether military or civilian, works together towards common goals,” said GPCAPT Gibbon.“Today was a lot of fun but also highlights the importance Defence places on days like International Women’s Day and the teamwork inherent within our working environment.”Two prizes were presented after the event: one to the winners, and one to the best-dressed team. The overall winner was the Royal Military College team, and the best-dressed prize awarded to a mixed team of public servants and military members representing the Defence People Group. Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, presented the prizes to the teams. “This was a great event to mark International Women’s Day. I congratulate the winners on their skill and participation, and for making time to recognise this great cause,” General Hurley said.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, March 8, 2013; Image: Australian Navy Australian Defence Teams Mark International Women’s Day View post tag: teams View post tag: Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today Australian Defence Teams Mark International Women’s Day View post tag: News by topic Share this article View post tag: day View post tag: Defence View post tag: mark View post tag: Australian View post tag: Australia Training & Education March 8, 2013 View post tag: Women View post tag: Navallast_img read more

Sign of the Times: Sifting Sands Turns Back the Clock on its Vintage Neon

first_imgBy Tim KellyA slice of 1950s Ocean City is making a comeback on the prominent corner of 9th Street and Ocean Avenue.A complete restoration of the rooftop neon sign advertising the Sifting Sands Motel is making progress and is expected to be complete in time for the start of the summer season.“We see this as part of the improvement of Ninth Street, the gateway to Ocean City,” Manager Arnie Thornton said of the sign’s restoration.Wildwood has capitalized on its 50s era “DooWop Architecture”, a collection of hotels, motels and other buildings designed and constructed in the 1950s and lovingly preserved as a tourist attraction. In Ocean City, the architecture is much more diverse, but the Sifting Sands, a 49-unit “condotel” definitely qualifies. Though more muted in tone from many of its Wildwood cousins,  the landmark’s neon sign is clearly the cherry on top of the vintage structure.The sign –actually seven steel pieces linked together with the top two containing the words “Sifting” and “Sands” and the bottom five spelling out “M-O-T-E-L” – had seen better days. The neon no longer worked and the vibrant background color of the steel had been painted over in drab off-white.But that all changed earlier this year when work crews sandblasted the paint off the sign, revealing the original blue background of the “Sifting Sands” portion and the bright red, green, and purple of the letters spelling out “M-O-T-E-L.” Fresh paint reflecting the original colors has been added and the sign segments have been anchored together and to the building roof using steel wires.A view of the motel and sign from Ocean Avenue.Passers-by patronizing the Ocean City Post Office across the street have been watching the progress of the sign restoration, Thornton said. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive comments about it,” Thornton said.  Similar rooftop signs are banned in Ocean City under current city regulations, he added, but existing ones are grandfathered.He said that when guests are expected to check in to the 37-room capacity on Memorial Day (12 condo units are individually owned) the sign should be back in all its glory.“The neon itself still has to be installed” and the electrical component is not yet complete, said Thornton, who declined to reveal the total cost of fixing the sign. However, he did not deny an estimate in the mid-five figures.“It better work for (what it cost),” he said with a laugh.Workers sandblast the iconic neon sign of the Sifting Sands Motel on 9th St last November. Work nears completion on the neon sign atop the Sifting Sands Motel.last_img read more

Former CDC director talks leadership with HSPH students

first_imgAlways have a goal and know where you are headed, Julie Gerberding, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) students October 27, 2011. She shared leadership tips at the Division of Policy Translation and Leadership Development’s lecture series, “Decision-making: Voices from the Field.”Watch the video of Gerberding’s talk.Whether managing a public health crisis or an organization, setting goals is key to getting things done. “I haven’t spent a day in my life since age 4 without a goal. I knew I wanted to be a physician every day,” Gerberding said.Raised in a small South Dakota town, Gerberding achieved her career goal and became a physician specializing in infectious diseases. In 2002 she was appointed the first female CDC director. As head of the agency, she was responsible for coordinating emergency response initiatives for anthrax bioterrorism, SARS, avian influenza, natural disasters, and other public health crises. She left the CDC in 2009 and last year became president of Merck’s vaccine division.last_img read more

Gut microbes eat our medication

first_img Ph.D. students explore the culture and science of food in the Veritalk podcast Microbes by the mile Related Exhibit shows the beauty, utility of microscopic universe around us Study unravels how microbes produce key compound used to fight cancer Microbial manufacturing The first time a young Vayu Maini Rekdal manipulated microbes, he made a decent sourdough bread, even if he gave little thought to the crucial chemical reactions involved.More crucial, he would later learn, is the role microbes play in helping our bodies break down foods so they can absorb the nutrients. Since we cannot digest certain substances — all-important fiber, for example — microbes step up to perform chemistry no human can.“But this kind of microbial metabolism can also be detrimental,” said Maini Rekdal, a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Ph.D. student in the lab of Professor Emily Balskus, and first author on their new study published June 14 in Science.According to Maini Rekdal, gut microbes can chew up medications with often hazardous side effects. “Maybe the drug is not going to reach its target in the body; maybe it’s going to be toxic all of a sudden; maybe it’s going to be less helpful,” he said.In their study, Balskus, Maini Rekdal, and their collaborators at the University of California, San Francisco, describe one of the first concrete examples of how the microbiome can interfere with a drug’s intended path through the body. Focusing on levodopa (L-dopa), the primary treatment for Parkinson’s disease, they identified which bacteria out of the trillions of species is responsible for degrading the drug, and how to stop it.Parkinson’s disease globally affects more than 1 percent of those age 60 and above. The neurological disorder attacks nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine, without which the body can suffer tremors, muscle rigidity, and problems with balance and coordination. The cause of the disease is unknown.The primary treatment for Parkinson’s symptoms is L-dopa, a drug taken orally that delivers dopamine to the brain. To do so, it must first cross the blood-brain barrier. For most patients, only about 1 to 5 percent of the drug actually reaches the brain.,This number — and the drug’s efficacy — varies widely from patient to patient. Since the introduction of L-dopa in the late 1960s, researchers have known that the body’s enzymes (tools that perform necessary chemistry) can break down L-dopa in the gut, preventing the drug from reaching the brain. The pharmaceutical industry introduced aneffective supplemental drug, carbidopa, to block unwanted L-dopa metabolism.“Even so,” Maini Rekdal said, “there’s a lot of metabolism that’s unexplained, and it’s very variable between people.” That sets the stage for another problem: Not only is the drug less effective for some patients, but when L-dopa is transformed into dopamine outside the brain, the compound can cause side effects, including severe gastrointestinal distress and cardiac arrhythmias. If less of the drug reaches the brain, patients are often given more to manage their symptoms, potentially worsening the side effects.Maini Rekdal suspected microbes might be behind the L-dopa disappearance. Previous research showed that antibiotics improve a patient’s response to L-dopa, but scientists could only speculate that bacteria might be to blame. Still, no one identified which bacterial species might be culpable or how and why they eat the drug.So the Balskus team launched an investigation. The unusual chemistry — L-dopa to dopamine — was their first clue. Few bacterial enzymes can perform this conversion. But a good number bind to tyrosine — an amino acid similar to L-dopa. And one, from a food microbe often found in milk and pickles (Lactobacillus brevis), can accept both tyrosine and L-dopa.,Using the Human Microbiome Project as a reference, Maini Rekdal and his team hunted through bacterial DNA to identify which gut microbes had genes to encode a similar enzyme. Several fit their criteria, but only one strain, Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis), ate all the L-dopa every time.With this discovery, the team provided the first strong evidence connecting E. faecalis and the bacteria’s enzyme (PLP-dependent tyrosine decarboxylase, or TyrDC) to L-dopa metabolism. Yet a human enzyme can and does convert L-dopa to dopamine in the gut, the same reaction carbidopa is designed to stop. Then why, the team wondered, does the E. faecalis enzyme escape carbidopa’s reach?Even though the human and bacterial enzymes perform the exact same chemical reaction, the bacterial one looks just a little different. Maini Rekdal speculated that carbidopa may not be able to penetrate the microbial cells, or the slight structural variance could prevent the drug from interacting with the bacterial enzyme. If true, other host-targeted treatments may be just as ineffective as carbidopa against similar microbial machinations.But the cause may not matter. Balskus and her team already discovered a molecule capable of inhibiting the bacterial enzyme.“The molecule turns off this unwanted bacterial metabolism without killing the bacteria; it’s just targeting a nonessential enzyme,” Maini Rekdal said. This and similar compounds could provide a starting place for the development of new drugs to improve L-dopa therapy for Parkinson’s patients.The team might have stopped there. Instead, they unraveled a second step in the microbial metabolism of L-dopa. After E. faecalis converts the drug into dopamine, a second organism converts dopamine into another compound, meta-tyramine.To find the second organism, Maini Rekdal experimented with a fecal sample. He subjected its diverse microbial community to a Darwinian game, feeding dopamine to hordes of microbes to see which prospered.Eggerthella lenta won. These bacteria eat dopamine and make meta-tyramine as a byproduct, a challenging reaction even for chemists. “There’s no way to do it on the bench top,” Maini Rekdal said, “and previously no enzymes were known that did this exact reaction.”Knowing the microbial meals end with meta-tyramine, Maini Rekdal decided to test whether he could predict how a fecal sample’s bacteria would interact with L-dopa. What we eat and why we eat it He could. Based on meta-tyramine levels, Maini Rekdal determined how much of the drug a sample would consume. With this in mind, doctors could individualize Parkinson’s treatment based on a patient’s specific microbes and their byproducts.Meta-tyramine may also contribute to L-dopa’s noxious side effects, but until now, there was no reason to investigate the compound’s role.“All of this suggests that gut microbes may contribute to the dramatic variability that is observed in side effects and efficacy between different patients taking L-dopa,” said Balskus. Her work could help decrease this variability and allow the drug to work as intended, without microbial interference.last_img read more

Nassau GOP Maintains Majority in County Legislature

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York It was a good night for incumbents in the Nassau County Legislature as Democrats and Republicans alike walked away from Tuesday’s elections unscathed.Victories by sitting legislators across the board means the 19-member body will essentially look the same come January as Republicans managed to hold on to their 12-7 majority led by Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow).The results weren’t unexpected, but Republicans had hoped to steal at least one seat from the Democrats to give them a supermajority, which would’ve allowed the GOP to approve bonding without the Democrats’ approval.Only one seat is changing hands and that’s because Francis Becker (R-Lynbrook) is retiring at the end of the year. Republican C. William Gaylor of Lynbrook defeated his challenger James Paymar, a Democrat from Rockville Centre, to keep Becker’s seat in the hands of Republicans.Shortly after Democrat Madeline Singas claimed victory in the race for Nassau County District Attorney, Nassau Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs called all the legislative incumbents up to the stage to be recognized.Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) spent his brief time at the microphone congratulating Singas on her resounding victory over Republican Kate Murray.,Alure cube,Alure cubelast_img read more

Empower your staff to create memorable member experiences

first_imgIf you have ten staff in a branch, chances are two of them will be working somewhere else next year. Bank industry turnover is 19%, a major red flag that employee experiences aren’t what they could be. If your staff aren’t content with their roles and looking elsewhere, what quality of member experiences are they going to deliver?Great member experiences aren’t delivered from the top down, they need to be driven by motivated front-line staff who are bought into your mission and feel a sense of ownership over branching strategy. Wellness and compensation are important aspects of the employee experience, but they don’t make up the whole picture. It’s also important to consider how employees fit into your organization, and to empower them with a greater level of responsibility and a stronger skill set.Elevate Your StaffA traditional top-down approach to branching strategy can leave front-line staff feeling like cogs in a machine rather than valued team members driving the mission forward. Rather than just telling your staff how to do their jobs, embrace the dynamic nature of their roles and train them on your mission, values, and how to work autonomously – making decisions based off of that mission and set of values. They should also be included in branching strategy discussions, not only to gain their insights but also to give them a sense of ownership over the work they are doing. This radically transforms the employee experience, and ultimately their self-perception, from that of a lower-level employee to a valued professional. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Taking off on a global learning experience

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Sometimes the best classroom is the one that’s found on another continent.A delegation of 14 credit union representatives will spend next week in Brazil as part of theWorld Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) Young Professional Exchange. It’s an opportunity for the delegates to share information and learn from others in the credit union movement.“One of our greatest resources is our willingness to share positive and negative experiences,” says Thom Belekevich, WOCCU program manager. “We’ve created a platform that encourages credit union professionals to connect with people in other countries and share what has gone well with their credit unions or, conversely, what they’ve learned through an experience that can help others avoid some of the same challenges.”last_img read more

Young creators of Camp KID hope to create normalcy for Town of Binghamton kids

first_imgTOWN OF BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — When life hands you a pandemic, sometimes, you just have to make the best of it. Ariana and Lydia are two friends who wanted to make this summer a memorable one. After seeing all of the cancellations because of the coronavirus, the two wanted to do something about it. They decided to host a summer camp called Camp KID for some of the younger girls in their neighborhood. Friday was the last day of the two week summer camp; the first week’s theme was summer fun, while this past week was all about Disney. “Their intent this summer with everything being cancelled due to the pandemic, they really wanted to make memories for these girls,” said Jessica Isaacs, whose oldest daughter started the camp. “They wanted them to have time together, to end their summer off on a note that was a little bit better than when it started.” Isaacs’ two younger daughters also attended the camp; a chance for their big sister to be a role model.center_img Ariana and Lydia’s moms said the camp took place at the perfect time. “It’s kind of your responsibility to watch over them and make sure they’re safe,” said Ariana Isaacs, who started the camp with her friend Lydia. The girls told 12 News no matter what happens next year, they hope to host Camp KID once more.last_img read more

Criticism of Trump is off base, unfair

first_imgMarty Shanty’s opinion on impeachment of Trump is way off base. Impeach him on what? Is he crude? Yes. Does he say what a lot of us are thinking? Yes. How is your 401K? Economy? GDP? Stock market?  Corporations giving employees a share of their tax breaks. The negative bashing of our president needs to stop. Russia collusion? Nope. The queen of corruption, Hillary, gets that honor. We the people spoke on Election Day. Is the United States that the writer knows, which has been full of corruption this past eight years, fine with her? Fast and furious? Red line in the sand? If you like your plan you can keep it? You can keep your doctor? Every family will save on health care. Uranium one? Millions to Iran. On and on.Michael P. Croce Sr.Ballston SpaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGuilderland girls’ soccer team hands BH-BL first league loss Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Thirty-Seven State Employees Earn Governor’s Awards for Excellence

first_img May 22, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Government That Works,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf today announced the recipients of the Governor’s Awards for Excellence and praised all state employees for their dedication to public service. The awards were presented today at a ceremony in Harrisburg.“The employees being recognized have gone above and beyond their job requirements to provide outstanding service and make government more responsive and effective,” said Governor Wolf. “Their accomplishments are truly exemplary and inspiring. We are fortunate to have such outstanding public servants working for the people of Pennsylvania.”“The Governor’s Awards for Excellence celebrate the best among us as state employees,” said Secretary of Administration Sharon Minnich. “I want to congratulate all of our nominees for their noteworthy contributions.”Thirty state agencies submitted a total of 82 nominations prepared by their employees, with five individual and four group nominations selected as winners for this year’s awards.Denise Getgen – Department of Aging   For her efforts to coordinate and collaborate with programs across state agencies to prevent and assist victims of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation, including the Department of Human Services, Department of Health, Department of Banking and Securities and Commission on Crime and Delinquency.Dr. Aliza Simeone – Department of AgricultureFor preventing and containing outbreaks of serious diseases with potentially devastating consequences for Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry. This includes a multi-state influenza strain that threatened poultry and a fatal, incurable illness affecting horses. She has also stepped into numerous acting and interim leadership positions in her department, helping to ensure both animal and public health.Erich Loych – Department of Community and Economic DevelopmentFor overseeing the expansion of the IT system used to manage the department’s grants, loans and tax credits for use by other state agencies, allowing them to abandon inefficient paper-based processes without having to buy or build their own systems. The Department of Environmental Protection was the first to adopt the system and other agencies are preparing to come on board.Michael Becker, John Hecker, Gerald Hoy, Marcus Kaiser, Daniel Lecrone, Robert Martynowych, Joseph Miller, Chad Northcraft, Hope Reser and James Stiteler – Department of Conservation & Natural ResourcesFor volunteering to join firefighters from 16 states in the battle against two large wildfires in Monroe and Pike Counties that scorched close to 9,000 acres and threatened over 250 homes and businesses. The team filled key positions and worked long shifts over numerous days to extinguish the flames before any loss of life or significant property damage occurred.Susan Dent – Department of CorrectionsFor leading the creation of a program for inmates to provide care and training to puppies to become service dogs for veterans, active service members and first responders. She partnered with a charitable organization, researched programs at other prisons and secured funding from inmate organizations for equipment and supplies. She also personally interviews inmates who apply to be dog handlers.Jane Andrzejewski, Steve Calkins, Marcie Carr, Jeff Gensemer, David McCloskey, Ryan McHugh, Robert Minium and Elizabeth Schehr – Department of General ServicesFor saving over $2 million per year by “insourcing” presort and outgoing mail services for 35 state agencies. The initiative has expedited mail delivery, generated cost savings for taxpayers and productivity gains for agencies without the need for additional staff. The department plans to build on its success in the future by also processing incoming mail.Terry Calloway, Jennifer Dugan, Ashley Parsons, Meghna Patel, Jared Shinabery, Norman Spotts and Dr. Carrie Thomas – Department of HealthFor building the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program from the ground up in less than five months, providing an essential tool in the fight against opioid abuse. To date, over 71,000 health care professionals have accessed the database over 3 million times to check for other prescriptions for controlled substances for patients, helping them to identify potential cases of addiction and connect individuals with treatment.Corporal Samantha Minnucci – Pennsylvania State PoliceFor spearheading the creation of a program to promote good relations between police and individuals with special needs and disabilities. Inspiration for the program came from her brother Gabriel, who has special needs. The Sunny Day Camp program is now an annual event in Chester County and several other State Police command posts are planning to organize their own camps for individuals with special needs.Autumn Kelley, Larry Lineman, Marc Rickard, Chris Wolfgong, Jeanette Uhl and Antonia Zawisa – PennDOT;   Jordan Allison – Fish & Boat Commission   For safely relocating over 130,000 freshwater mussels, many of them endangered or threatened species, living in the area of a bridge replacement project, when the largest prior relocation of its kind was just 7,000. The move prevented a 44-mile detour for over 1,100 vehicles each day and gave the species opportunities to re-establish populations in areas where they have not existed in over a century.center_img Thirty-Seven State Employees Earn Governor’s Awards for Excellencelast_img read more