The Board of Education members discuss the early success of the school district’s hybrid learning model amid the coronavirus pandemic during a meeting in September. (Photo courtesy Martin Fiedler, Just Right TV Productions) By MADDY VITALEWith two weeks into the start of the 2020-21 school year, Ocean City school officials said students are working hard as they navigate new ways to learn during the COVID-19 pandemic.And they are doing it well, Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor noted during a Board of Education meeting Wednesday night.“Just in speaking to a number of teachers over two and a half weeks, every teacher commented about how motivated the students are this year and how much they miss school, the teachers, their friends and the school routine,” Dr. Taylor said. “We have not had another issue with the students not complying. Whether social distancing, everyone has adhered to what they need to. Kudos to the students.”The first day of school was Sept. 8. The district offers in its “Return to School Plan” a blend of remote learning and in-person instruction or the option of all-virtual instruction.In the hybrid model of learning, the students have been broken into two groups to ensure social distancing. They attend school two days a week and learn remotely for three days. The Virtual Academy option is for those who do not attend in-person instruction.Board of Education members agreed at Wednesday’s meeting that there have been and will be challenges. However, they emphasized that the students, faculty and the community continue to work together, with the students always put first.Educators are coming up with ideas of how to better help parents and students through the new ways of teaching and learning, School Board Vice President Jacqueline McAlister said.McAlister said Intermediate School Principal Mike Mattina brought ideas to the Board of Education to help parents with teaching their children.Intermediate School Principal Michael Mattina is helping parents with the new learning models.Since the pandemic, parents have had to act as teachers at times with the virtual learning models.“Principal Mattina had two big ideas to provide extra support for students and parents. It is very helpful to hear what the teachers say before you try to help your child. It is intended for teachers and parents so that parents could more effectively teach,” McAlister explained. “It is really a wonderful idea. The Intermediate School will track the success.”School officials stressed how the community has really come together to help the district.The Ocean City Gardens Civic Association donated more than $4,000 to the Primary and Intermediate School for tents, mask clips and mats.It was an example of people outside of the schools who are making a difference, School Board President Joseph Clark said.“I want to thank the Gardens Civic Association for helping us fill in the gaps. We can’t do this without a community like this,” Clark said.He added that in a year of uncertainty, when teachers, parents and students have to do so many things different, there will be “bumps along the way.”But overall, he said, the district will be a success.“I think we are on the right track and we will continue to move forward. There will be bumps along the way,” Clark emphasized. “I want to thank all who really put everything they can into this to make this a success. We polled everyone. We are doing the best we can. Thank you for a great start to the 2020-21 school year.”Board member Cecilia Gallelli-Keyes commended the city for a program that helps with childcare. The city is doing the program in partnership with the Ocean City Tabernacle Son Club.“I think it is wonderful that Ocean City is offering childcare for our community,” Gallelli-Keyes pointed out.She also spoke about how the district has had to overcome many hurdles with the new learning models.“Our faculty and staff — I want to commend them,” Gallelli-Keyes added. “Dr. Taylor has led with compassion. Thank you to all of the parents who have stepped up as we work together to provide safe schools. Thank you to all who have dedicated their time in a community that leads by example.”For more information on Ocean City schools, visit www.oceancityschools.org.
Greggs, the high street bakery chain, suffered a sharp drop in share price as it reported a slowdown in its like-for-like (LFL) sales growth.The share price fell by 15% between 4.30pm on 11 January to 4.30pm on 12 January from 1,230p to 1,049p in the wake of the trading update for the year, which showed LFL sales had only grown 2.7% in Q4, behind the annual average of 4.7%The price showed some signs of recovery today, rising to 1,071p at 12pm, but is still well below its pre-update level.Greggs blamed the slowdown in growth on coming up against “stronger comparatives and the impact of weaker footfall in some shopping locations” over the festive period, but chief executive Roger Whiteside was generally positive about the company’s 2015 results.The futureHe said: “2015 saw us deliver another excellent year of progress as we continue to transform Greggs into a modern, well-invested food-on-the-go retailer.“We anticipate that we will report full-year results for 2015 in line with our previous expectations. In the year ahead we will continue with the implementation of our strategic plan to enable the business to compete more effectively in the food-on-the-go market.”
Fast food chain Leon has added a new sourdough loaf to its retail range in Sainsbury’s.The brown seeded sourdough comprises golden and dark linseeds, as well as pumpkin seeds and is available with an rsp of £2.85.It joins the rest of the brand’s bakery line-up, which was launched as part of a wider retail range in October 2019, in Sainsbury’s in-store bakeries. The loaves, including a superwhite sourdough and quinoa sourdough, have now been rolled out to a further 62 stores, expanding their reach from 32 sites to 94.Like the rest of Leon’s sourdough loaves, the brown seeded variant is made using a 15-year-old starter and is fermented for 20 hours. It also contains 7% courgette which baked into the dough to keep the loaf moist, said Leon, while the addition of rye and malt flour creates a ‘sweet, nutty loaf with a mild tangy taste’.“We’re excited to be rolling out across an extra 62 in-store bakeries within Sainsbury’s stores. It’s been our mission to make food that tastes and does good, more widely available and this expansion will allow even more customers to access Leon’s delicious bakery products,” said Charlotte Di Cello, chief commercial officer and MD of Leon Grocery.Known for its ‘naturally fast food’, Leon is a British restaurant chain serving seasonal, Mediterranean-inspired and free-from food.In April, the brand transformed 12 of its restaurants into mini-supermarkets to alleviate the strain on supermarkets during the Covid-19 crisis.
[Video: Elbphilharmonie Hamburg][H/T Wired] Back in January, Hamburg, Germany’s Elbphilharmonie re-opened its doors to the public, marking the end of a ten-year-long remodeling process and making it one of the most advanced concert complexes in the world. Elbphilharmonie’s remodel ended up costing ten times more than originally planned, ringing in at a whopping $843 million USD, though the price tag and long construction process were not all for naught. Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron designed the largest of the three concert halls within the complex, the auditorium, using special algorithms to ensure a more perfectly balanced sound.The auditorium’s walls are lined with 10,000 specially designed, gypsum fiber acoustic panels that Herzog and de Meuron designed together with Benjamin Koren, founder of One to One, and famed acoustician, Yashuhisa Toyota. Each of these panels has a unique shape generated by a special algorithm, and together, the panels lock together to shape how sounds are heard within the 2,150-seat auditorium based off an optimal sound map designed by Toyota. Each panel is texturized with “cells”—small divots ranging from four to sixteen centimeters across that either absorb or scatter sound waves when hit. No two panels are alike, meaning each’s effect on sound waves is similarly unique. Now, all 10,000 panels have been individually placed to create a balanced reverberation within the concert hall.When designing the sound map of the venue, Toyota considered the venue as a whole. As Wired noted, “Based on the room’s geometry, Toyota figured certain panels, like the ones lining the back wall of the auditorium, would need deeper, bigger grooves to absorb echoes. While other areas, like the ceiling surfaces behind the reflector and the top parts of the balustrades, would require shallower cells.”From there, the architects added their own parameters to each acoustic panel—for example, Herzog and de Meuron wanted to ensure that the panels are beautiful to look at, appear consistent, and consider the needs of audience members (e.g., any panel that can be touched by an attendee has softer divets). Using Toyota’s sound map and Herzog and de Meuron’s specifications, Koren used parametric design to create an algorithm that automatically designed the 10,000 panels and their placement within the hall. As he noted, “That’s the power of parametric design,” he says. “Once all of that is in place, I hit play and it creates a million cells, all different and all based on these parameters. I have 100 percent control over setting up the algorithm, and then I have no more control.”Check out the video below to see what the completed auditorium within the Elbphilharmonie looks like.
Rainfall from Hurricane Matthew has left soil in coastal south Georgia completely saturated. Rainy conditions like these wreak havoc on gardeners and farmers who need to do yard or field work. In many cases, the best way to deal with the situation is to wait for drier conditions.Attempting to work the soil when it is too wet can result in soil structural issues that can take years to resolve. As a UGA Cooperative Extension county agent, I have seen firsthand some of the messes created by fields being plowed when the soil is too wet. Even small amounts of red clay can become big clods of soil that will torment growers for years.Remember not to drive off of hard-packed or paved roads during these conditions either. Someone driving, or trying to drive, across a waterlogged lawn will ruin it. If this mistake is made and a car gets stuck, the driver should immediately stop and call for help. Attempting to drive out by going backward and forward only creates ruts that will take a lot of effort to repair. To remove the stuck vehicle, have another vehicle on hard ground pull the vehicle out to avoid additional damage to the lawn.Finally, don’t pull off onto the side of the road anywhere unless there is an emergency situation. If you do, you will most likely be walking to get help. Many newer cars have traction control, but older cars without traction control can be removed with the help of the emergency brake. Don’t apply the brake so tight that the back wheels can’t turn; instead, apply just enough resistance to equalize the torque across the differential, causing both tires to turn. Often this additional traction will be just enough to get the vehicle back on solid ground.
Source: Communications Coordinator at the College of St Joseph 6.29.2010 College of St Joseph in Rutland, VT, has received a grant of $122,749 from the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund for upgrades to the college’s residence halls, specifically to install Sto Exterior insulation in the college’s two dorm buildings. The funds from this grant come from monies received by Vermont from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and are distributed by CEDF.The college will combine the CEDF grant with funding formerly received from the Department of Energy through the work of Congressman Peter Welch to rehabilitate the exteriors of both Roncalli and Medaille residence halls. Both halls will have four inches of foam insulation and a stucco surface applied to their exteriors that will address several major issues, including energy efficiency and the need for ongoing exterior maintenance. By the end of the summer, the construction in both halls should be complete.In addition to this major overhaul of the exteriors of both buildings, all of the carpeting in both halls will be removed and replaced with laminate flooring. The college’s maintenance crew will also be doing some rehab work in the bathrooms in each suite.When residents return in the fall, they will find two very different housing facilities. The halls will have a new look outside and in, more stable interior temperature, limited to no interior moisture problems, and brighter and cleaner interiors.
November 1, 2003 Regular News Workers’ CompAmendments to Ch. 440, the workers’ compensation law, went into effect on October 1. Those of us who represent injured workers predict that the responsibility for medical care and lost income from injuries on the job will be shifted from the industry served to the taxpayers in general.Fewer and fewer injuries related to employment will be covered by the act. An unintended consequence will be more and more situations where injured workers will be able to escape from under the thumb of the “exclusive remedy” and bring their grievances into the court system. This will shift the cost of adjudication from the Administrative Trust Fund set up under Ch. 440 to pay the cost of the administration of the system from a premium tax on carriers and self-insurers, to the taxpayers. Court funding will need an increase, not a decrease, if the predictions come true. Mark Zientz Miami Legal Needs of ChildrenI am a retired attorney and a volunteer guardian ad litem in Brevard County. I have been following all the letters and articles in the recent issues of the News, and am pleased to see that so much interest has been generated on the problems of underrepresented children.I agree that something is very wrong with a system that takes seven attorneys two years (and countless appeals) to effect the adoption of one child. How many of these children will ever find themselves in the serendipitous circumstances of this little boy? And what are the rest of them supposed to do?Here in Brevard County we have only enough GALs to appoint one in approximately 50 percent of the cases.Mr. Dutkiewicz’s letter in the October 1 News points out several of the problems, but, as he himself admits, most people would find his solutions too draconian. It’s the age-old problem of finding a balance between the “rights” of the parents to “possession” of their children, and protecting those innocent children.Oftentimes (sometimes justifiably) parents who have been caught up in the “system,” and have had their children removed, accuse DCF of Gestapo tactics. But at the same time, children are returned to their parents prematurely and end up dead. Even though the legislature has acted to change the language of the statutes to emphasize “the best interests of the child,” all too often there still seems to be an inexorable push to return the child to the parents at any cost. It seems the “rights” of the parents have to be protected at all costs, much like in the criminal system where the alleged criminal’s rights take precedence over the innocent victim.I guess if we want to be truly draconian, we could just scrap the entire dependency process altogether. (Getting rid of DCF would make a lot of people happy, and balance the budget overnight.) We could just apply property law, since it seems that these children are viewed as the rightful property of their parents anyway.Finding a solution is going to require the involvement of every concerned citizen. New laws are not the answer, as the laws we have aren’t being properly applied. We need education and awareness so that we can find a workable process for balancing these ever-conflicting interests. Marjorie S. Green Satellite Beach Family LawThe Family Law Section is seeking comments on whether there should be a presumption that children of divorcing couples should spend equal time with each parent.The answer is obviously no. We are all different. Children are all different. There should be no presumption whatsoever regarding anything to do with children.The presumption that children of divorcing couples should spend equal time with each parent is intrusive, not in the best interest of the children, not in the best interest of the parents, et cetera. The presumption would negatively impact upon all of those parents who work five days per week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Do they have to leave work early to pick up the children at school? Do they have to hire a stranger to pick up the children at school while they finish their work day? What about parents who travel, such as airline pilots, professional athletes, entertainers, and the like? Should they look for another career because they have to spend 50 percent of their time with their children? If there is a presumption and they don’t spend 50 percent of their time with their children, are they bad parents? Stephen H. Buttler Aventura Conflict CounselAs part of Revision 7 to Article V of the Florida Constitution, in July the state will assume responsibility for funding “conflict defense legal services.”The Article V Indigent Services Advisory Board, created by the legislature to help guide this transition, is currently preparing its recommendations, including which “due process services for indigents. . . should be. . . bid competitively on a circuit, region, or statewide basis.”Cutting through the legislative jargon, the state is considering whether to assign “conflict defense counsel” on a “low bid” selection process.As a criminal defense attorney with 22 years experience, I find this proposal highly inconsistent with Florida’s constitutional obligation to provide “effective assistance of counsel.”The “low bid” selection process is a bad idea, giving the appearance of fiscal responsibility while hiding significant costs — wasted court time, expenditure of finite court resources, additional delays, and larger court dockets.Implementing a statewide “low bid” selection process would institutionalize a practice, presently only in limited use, that is designed to assign too many cases and clients to too few (and sometimes the least experienced) attorneys.For the system to function optimally, the accused individual’s choice to enter a plea, exercise the right to a jury trial, or to assert a particular defense must be a knowing and voluntary decision, a decision that the accused must acknowledge as his own and accept its consequences completely. For that decision to be sufficiently “knowing,” the accused must have adequate time to consult with the assigned conflict attorney. The “low bid” approach negates the attorney’s most precious asset, the time he or she has available to consult with and advise their client.The most frequent complaint by an accused individual is the lack of opportunity to consult with their appointed attorney. When this complaint arises, the trial court judge must devote valuable courtroom time allowing the accused individual to state his complaint.Implementing a “conflict defense counsel” system that emphasizes the appointed attorney’s qualifications and maximizes that attorney’s time available for clients will reduce the most common complaint that diminishes the effectiveness of the criminal court system.A second related problem is that the board, and probably the legislature, will likely attach only minimal qualifications for conflict defense counsel. Presently, only “participation” in five criminal trials and being a member of The Florida Bar will allow an attorney to “bid competitively” for conflict cases. A conflict defense attorney with no felony trial experience might be assigned to a serious and complex case involving life felonies.There is another option: a registry of qualified attorneys who accept cases on a rotation basis. This proposal increases the number of private attorneys available to accept conflict assignments and maximizes the time those attorneys have for clients. In the “registry” option, more emphasis can be placed on the qualifications of the attorneys and fiscal responsibility is maintained by legislating fair hourly rates and realistic caps on attorneys’ fees.To the Article V Indigent Services Advisory Board and the Florida Legislature, I say, “I am more than a ‘due process service provider,’ ” a term that implies only a passive role in the criminal justice system deserving a mere pittance in compensation. I am an advocate, actively representing my client and ensuring that the criminal justice system operates within constitutional and statutory bounds. Most important, I am the legal advisor to my client. I, and other private practice conflict defense counsel, must be given the time to properly advise our clients. Otherwise, recurring litigation over “ineffective assistance of counsel” complaints will further tax an already overburdened and underfunded criminal justice system. Without time to advise our clients, “justice for all” can never be achieved.Joe D’Achille Titusville Inventory AttorneyThe August 15 News article “When lawyers die are the clients protected?” makes valid points for the requirement of each attorney to designate an inventory attorney. However, the Bar should recognize that a requirement for designation of an inventory attorney for each and every attorney is unnecessary.From my own recent experience, where an attorney died unexpectedly, and I was appointed as the inventory attorney to reconcile the firm, I appreciate the desirability for pre-designation of an inventory attorney as recommended by the Bar. I suggest that this requirement should be limited to those attorneys whose position, practice structure, or business designation makes him or her solely and directly responsible for his or her clients’ interests.A lawyer employed at a large incorporated firm, partnership, or in the public sector would necessarily have a framework to assure the lawyer’s obligations to its clients are protected with competence and care. Indeed, depending on the category of the practitioner (sole practitioner, sole shareholder in an incorporated firm) the mandatory requirement for inventory attorney designation is not only desirable, but a must. The circumstances where this designation should be required would be determined by the information identified in each attorney’s membership dues form because of the predictability and/or presumption that client protection issues would be built-in based on the attorney’s form of practice. Those in public employment, large firms, or partnerships would presumably have an inherent framework to deal with client protection issues upon the death, disability, or disbarment of a lawyer in such practice structures.While the requirement for inventory attorney designation is a legitimate and effective means to protect the paramount interests of an attorney’s clients, the preferred course would be to decide this requirement’s applicability, based on the attorney’s practice designation on any membership dues form, membership records change of address form, etc., based on the type and ownership of the practice.The mandatory requirement for inventory attorney designation should be limited to those lawyers whose practice structure makes him or her the only lawyer responsible for his or her clients.Hopefully, the Bar will recognize the appropriate circumstances where lawyers would be required to designate their inventory attorney. Andrew M. Bragg Tallahassee November 1, 2003 Letters
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sylvestro LiottaA Central Islip man wanted for killing a 38-year-old man in a hit-and-run crash two months ago has been apprehended at the Canadian border last week.Sylvestro Liotta was indicted on charges of leaving the scene of an accident, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and other counts.Prosecutors said the 45-year-old man ran over Orlando Marquez on Caleb’s Path near the victim’s Brentwood home on Feb. 18 and fled the scene.Border patrol officers discovered Liotta had a warrant for his arrest during a routine check of passengers traveling to Canada on a Trailways bus.He was removed from the bus Wednesday at a checkpoint on a bridge to Fort Erie, Ontario.He will be arraigned Tuesday before Judge Fernando Camacho at First District court in Central Islip.
“Make sure your vehicle is checked over, tire pressure, battery, just allow extra time, be flexible,” said Davidson. Planning for poor weather and knowing the route you’ll be travelling are just a few steps you can take before you even leave the driveway. “Drowsy driving or tiredness can lead to accidents. Every two, three hours, pull over, stretch your legs, hydrate, switch drivers if you have the opportunity or ability to, and try to travel not during hours you’d be normally sleeping,” said Davidson. “Prepare ahead of time. Check the weather, allow more time for travel as there’s heavier traffic volume and congestion,” said Sergeant Josh Davidson with the Broome County Sheriff’s Office. While you probably want to get to your destination as quickly as possible, authorities want to make sure you don’t stay behind the wheel for too long. (WBNG) — Millions of Americans will be hitting the roads this holiday season to spend time with their families. Before heading out like everyone else, you’ll want to make sure you’re safe and ready for the trip. Authorities also would like to remind drivers to practice defensive driving, and in the event there is heavy traffic, give other drivers their space.