Education | Southwest | TransportationWith few school buses, Lower Kuskokwim School District turns to Kusko Cab to transport studentsAugust 15, 2018 by Teresa Cotsirilos, KYUK-Bethel Share:For the time being, the Lower Kuskokwim School District does not have enough school buses to transport its Bethel students. (Photo by Dean Swope/KYUK)As school starts in Bethel, some parents still are not entirely sure how their children are getting there.After parting ways with a long-time contractor, the Lower Kuskokwim School District doesn’t have nearly enough school buses for the city’s students.Administrators are scrambling to find transportation for them, and they’re proposing that many children take taxis to school instead.Audio Playerhttps://cpa.ds.npr.org/kyuk/audio/2018/08/180813_lksd_buses_pkg.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Bethel’s public schools don’t have much of a bus system right now, but they do have a deal with Kusko Cab.The taxi company’s owner Naim Shabani said that this could be difficult to pull off.“Let me put it to you this way,” he said. “If anyone could, it’s us.”Kusko Cab is the larger of Bethel’s two cab operators, and Shabani already has talked through some of the logistics with school officials.LKSD has offered to give children cab vouchers, and Kusko Cab will pick the students up at designated stops throughout town.“We’re trying to mirror the bus system as closely as possible,” said Shabani. “Think of it as like a shuttle service, where folks going in the same direction hang out, and the shuttle comes by and picks up as many as they can.”LKSD finalized their deal with Shabani about 36 hours before the first day of school.This last minute scramble is the result of a months-long contract negotiation process between the school district and Golden Eagle Unlimited, a Bethel-based company that’s provided student transportation in town for more than 20 years.Golden Eagle and LKSD left the table without a deal, and they have somewhat different stories about what happened.In early 2018, the district issued a request for proposals, inviting companies to bid on a one-year contract to transport Bethel’s students to and from their schools.Former state legislator Bob Herron, who co-owns Golden Eagle, says that the contract was only a year long because the district actually planned to get into the busing business themselves as a “belt-tightening” measure.LKSD’s Superintendent Dan Walker strongly disputes this.After plenty of back and forth, Golden Eagle declined to bid on that one-year contract. Superintendent Walker says that Golden Eagle didn’t walk away from the deal until May.“We were still negotiating with Golden Eagle,” he said. “I know what we did, and I know we were negotiating with Golden Eagle right up until the very day that we knew we had to order buses.”Now, LKSD is buying its own fleet of school buses.According to Walker, the new fleet will cost about $600,000, or about $100,000 per 65-passenger bus.But those buses won’t arrive in town for another six weeks.Walker defended his district’s stop-gap solution.“It is absolutely routine for kids to take cabs [here],” he said. “We do it at KLA all the time, we do it at our Ready Program all the time.”Parents have expressed concerns about LKSD’s use of taxis.Some are worried about younger students riding to school alone in cabs. In general, taxi drivers do not undergo the same background checks that school bus drivers do.Other community members, including Bethel Police Chief Burke Waldron, have expressed concerns about the traffic that all these Kusko Cabs might cause.In addition to LKSD’s deal with Kusko Cab, the district also is offering to reimburse parents for driving their children to school; the rate varies by distance.LKSD also purchased three special education “short buses” from Golden Eagle, though those won’t be enough for the city’s students.Golden Eagle said in a statement that it offered to provide LKSD with bus service while they wait for their new bus fleet to arrive, but LKSD declined to hire them.Bob Herron added that the district “would not use the bus company they’d been using for 22 years to do a six-week stint.”While the first few days of school could be rocky, Walker assured parents that LKSD’s new bus system will be better in the long term.“This is going to work out,” he said. “And it’s going to be a good system.”In the meantime, Kusko Cab’s Naim Shabani plans to write a detailed Facebook post that lists when and where his taxi drivers will pick up Bethel’s students.Share this story:
Alaska Native Arts & Culture | Alaska Native Government & Policy | Coronavirus | Subsistence‘We need you for the future’: Elders and Youth Conference goes virtualOctober 14, 2020 by Wesley Early, KOTZ – Kotzebue Share:Kiley Kanat’s Burton (left) of Cordova and Rev. Traditional Chief Trimble Gilbert (pictured with his wife Mary) of Arctic Village were the keynote speakers for the 2020 Elders and Youth Conference. (Diana Riedel and Crystal Dzehgak Frank / Courtesy of First Alaskans Institute)This year, the Elders and Youth Conference went virtual for the first time, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.This year’s meeting was a little different, conducted mostly through pre-recorded messages and live Zoom calls. However, both keynote addresses highlighted the desire to keep thousands of years of Native culture moving forward, pandemic or not.The four-day annual meeting seeks to strengthen the bonds between the oldest and youngest generations of Indigenous people, with Alaska Native people from around the state participating.Speaking over a Zoom call, Arctic Village elder Rev. Traditional Chief Trimble Gilbert, who is Gwich’in, spoke of lessons he’d learned from elders throughout his life. In his roughly 35-minute keynote, he touched on his love of Native food, the importance of being prepared for winter and the importance of keeping Native languages alive.He says it is vital to make sure that younger Alaska Natives can continue to experience their cultures and ways of life.“We are very lucky to have all the resources we have in Alaska, but this summer there’s no fish in the Yukon,” Gilbert said. “Slowly, we get into a lot of change. I know it, since the last maybe two years.”This year’s commercial salmon runs in the Yukon River, Kotzebue and Bering Straits regions were all considerably lower than in past years. While there’s no definitive reason why, some have speculated it may be due to a warming Arctic climate.Additionally, Gilbert discussed the importance of safety in the face of the pandemic.“I hope young people listen to me when you go home, a lot of them going to cities,” Gilbert said. “We need you for the future. Make sure you take care of yourself. Wash your hands.”Gilbert says he’s eager for the day when the virus blows over.“So we want someday, hopefully, we might get together again to talk to each other face to face,” Gilbert said.While the Elder keynote address focused on passing down traditional knowledge, the Youth address took aim at blood quantum. Blood quantum is an imposed standard of measuring “Indian blood,” often used to denote whether someone is eligible for tribal enrollment. Some tribes and federal agencies use blood quantum to also determine eligibility to participate in some cultural activities.Fifteen-year-old Kiley Kanat’s Burton is Eyak, Aleut, Inupiaq and Koyukon Athabascan and is from Cordova.Since she was 5, she grew up beading and sewing seal skin, learning from her mother and aunt. However, under some blood quantum standards, Burton says she’s less than a quarter Native and unable to participate in some cultural activities.“Many members of the Alaska Native community are deeply concerned with the growing numbers of young tribal members who are unable to hunt or utilize marine mammals,” Burton said. “Hunting marine mammals, proper hide preparation and skin sewing are essential components to Alaska Native culture.”The Marine Mammal Protection Act limits hunting and harvesting of marine mammals to only Indigenous people with at least one-quarter Native blood quantum. Additionally, most regional shareholder corporations require a one-quarter blood quantum to enroll and receive shares.There are estimates that roughly 60 percent of Alaska Natives living in and around the Gulf of Alaska don’t meet that criteria. Burton says that she’s worried for the future for herself and other Native descendants.“With blood quantum still used as an identifier of Native people, they will one day lose their status and recognition,” Burton said. “The moment when tribal members are no longer Native enough, based on colonial tactics that were used to assimilate, is the moment Indigenous people are bred out of existence.”Burton ended her speech by urging others to speak out against regulations that limit who can identify as Native. For her part, she says she plans on educating her children one day about where they came from.The 37th Annual Elders and Youth Conference will wrap up on Wednesday with the reading and passing of several resolutions. This year’s Alaska Federation of Natives Convention will take place starting Thursday, and is also virtual this year.Tripp Crouse with KNBA helped with this report.Share this story:
UK PROFIT warnings fell to a near two-year low last quarter after May’s decisive general election result spurred better earnings for corporates, figures out today show. FTSE-listed companies issued 57 profit warnings between the start of April and the end of June – down 26 per cent on the prior quarter. Profit warnings hit a six-year high at the end of last year, underscoring the impact volatile currency moves have on UK corporate earnings. With just four per cent of listed companies warning shareholders of lower-than-expected profits, the quarter is the best period for profit warnings since the third quarter of 2013, said EY, publisher of the stats. “This period was a quarter of two halves. In April, UK profit warnings again hit a seven-year high; however, in May an improving global economic outlook and an unexpectedly decisive General Election result appeared to set the ball rolling on many contracts and investment decisions,” EY’s Alan Hudson said. April saw shares hit in firms such as French Connection, which forecast lower earnings.The software and computer services sector has been the most prolific issuer of profit warnings this year, issuing 17 in total. General retailers issued five profit warnings in the quarter, taking their total for the year to 11 – the highest for four years. Show Comments ▼ whatsapp whatsapp Sunday 26 July 2015 10:43 pm Share Express KCS Tags: NULL Second quarter profit warnings fizzle out as confidence picks up Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe Wrap’Drake & Josh’ Star Drake Bell Arrested in Ohio on Attempted ChildThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe Wrap’Black Widow’ First Reactions: ‘This Is Like the MCU’s Bond Movie’The WrapWatch President Biden Do Battle With a Cicada: ‘It Got Me’ (Video)The WrapNew England Patriots’ Cam Newton says no extra motivation from Mac Jones’SportsnautPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The Wrap
By Mike Wackett 13/12/2019 Container spot rates to the Mediterranean rocketed by more than 40% this week, according to today’s Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI).Rates from Asia to Mediterranean ports increased by $312, to $1,083 per teu, and are now some 30% higher than a year ago.Carriers on the route have not only succeeded in getting their low-sulphur fuel surcharges to stick, but also managed to drive through rate increases, underpinned by stronger-than-expected demand as westbound sailings run full.And the North Europe component of the SCFI saw a more modest, but nonetheless impressive, 11.6% increase in spot rates to $893 per teu this week.The SCFI commentary on the Europe route said “the market had come out of the trough” and “vessels were fully loaded” ahead of Chinese New Year on 25 January.Flexport head of ocean for Europe Martin Holst-Mikkelsen said he expected “the upward trend in the rates to continue in the coming weeks”, adding that there were reports of an increase of “rolling pools” across the Chinese base ports as European ocean carriers prioritised shipments according to customer importance.Tight supply and strong demand on both European routes has come at the perfect time for carriers in the middle of annual contract negotiations with their biggest shippers.Moreover, carriers are not taking any chances on a rate slump after the CNY, with the Ocean Alliance yesterday following THE Alliance last week in blanking headhaul voyages to North Europe and the Mediterranean during and after the holiday.Meanwhile, on the transpacific, spot rates eased back as the SCFI recorded losses for both Asia to US west and east coast tradelanes.Rates for the west coast took a 9.2% hit, shedding $139 to $1,370 per 40ft, while for the east coast, rates were down 4.8%, or $126, to $2,512 per 40ft.But forward bookings for the coming weeks are reported to be “strong” and carriers still expect to be able push through GRIs and recover 100% of their low-sulphur fuel surcharges.In comparison with the same week a year ago, transpacific spot rates are 29% and 13% below for the west and east coast ports, respectively. However, at this time last year, the trade was in the midst of a front-loading surge as shippers rushed to beat impending tariffs on Chinese imports to the US.A new round of US import tariffs are due to be levied on some $160bn of Chinese consumer goods on Sunday, but reports today suggest a last-minute trade deal has been reached.Meanwhile, carriers hope there is no significant shipper backlash to the wide variation of low-sulphur surcharges they rolled out ahead of IMO 2020, which shipper councils suggest could be an indirect ploy to hike freight rates.These range from MSC’s $71 per teu to the $135 per teu by Hapag-Lloyd and George Griffiths, editor, global container freight market, at S&P Global Platts, believes the container lines will need to recover every dollar of the surcharges.“At a current spread of around $250 per ton between HFO and LSFO, the difference in fuel prices is unlikely to narrow before IMO 2020, with the bunker element of container shipping likely to rise in January,” he said. © Alexey Novikov
Twitter Electric Picnic Death occurs of Portarlington man who was a much-loved publican in English town WhatsApp TAGSCambridgeshireChatterisPortarlingtonRobbie Lyons Council Twitter Previous articleExplained: The path out of lockdown as Government set to relax restrictionsNext articlePortlaoise College announce 100k in May fundraiser for two very worthy causes Steven Millerhttp://www.laoistoday.ieSteven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he’s happiest when he’s telling stories or kicking a point. Pinterest Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date WhatsApp Only last December he was among the recipients of a national long-service award to mark his contribution to the industry as well as his contribution to local life in the Chatteris community.A tribute posted by The George Hotel on social media reads: “It is with much sadness and a heavy heart that we have said goodbye to Robbie Lyons.“You will be sadly missed for your kindness, your sense of humour, your bad language and just being you.“Sleep tight, we will miss you xxx.”SEE ALSO – Explained: The path out of lockdown as Government set to relax restrictions Mary Sweeney elected Cathaoirleach of Portlaoise Municipal District for next 12 months By Steven Miller – 29th April 2021 Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR The death has occurred of Robbie Lyons, a native of Portarlington but a well-known publican in an Chatteris in Cambridgeshire for the past number of decades.Mr Lyons, who was aged in his mid 60s, was from a well-known Portarlington family and grew up in St Patrick’s Terrace in the town.According to the Cambs Times, he took over the George Hotel in the town in 2000 and “transformed the over 250-year-old building in a modern community hub”.“Robbie transformed the pub from a little used, unloved local into a hub of the community employing 15 staff.“As well as investing in a major refurbishment, Robbie has created an 80-seat garden with space for children to play, revamped the letting rooms, introduced entertainment and fundraisers for local charities and brought in homemade food featuring Irish stew and Sunday roasts as specialties. Pinterest Electric Picnic Electric Picnic apply to Laois County Council for new date for this year’s festival Facebook Home News Community Death occurs of Portarlington man who was a much-loved publican in English… NewsCommunity
Reading Project Launched UncategorizedFebruary 21, 2008 RelatedReading Project Launched RelatedReading Project Launched RelatedReading Project Launched Advertisements FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, yesterday (February 19), launched the ‘Reading the Bottomline’ project, at the St. Michael’s Primary School in Kingston.This initiative seeks to increase the literacy level of students at the primary school level.The project was also launched simultaneously in four other schools in Kingston and St. Andrew and one in St. Mary. They are the St. Anne’s Primary, John Mills Primary and Junior High, Greenwich Primary and Maxfield Park Primary in Kingston, and Epsom Primary in St. Mary.Wife of the Governor-General, Her Excellency the Most Hon. Lady Rheima Holding-Hall, and the Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, took part in the launch at St. Michael’s, by reading to the students of grades one and four, respectively. The project was launched at St. Anne’s by Mrs. Lorna Golding, wife of the Prime Minister.The programme is in partnership with the Expanding Educational Horizons (EEH) project, put in place with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which focuses on enhancing teaching methods to promote child-centred learning for improved results in literacy and numeracy.Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PSOJ, Sandra Glasgow, said that the ‘Reading the Bottomline’ project is one of the major programmes of the organisation’s Education Committee. “The idea is that our member companies will adopt primary schools that are part of the project and will have their CEOs and their staff come to the schools regularly to read to the students,” she said.“After this, we’ll just be working quietly with the schools to ensure that children understand the importance of reading and that they have role models that can encourage them to read more. The companies will also be donating books to the libraries of the schools and we are working very closely with the Ministry of Education on this,” Mrs. Glasgow said.Meanwhile, Minister Holness lauded the PSOJ for the move, adding that he was grateful to the PSOJ for organising such an exercise. “It coincides very well with our national goal of 100 per cent literacy at grade four,” he said.The Minister said that the emphasis should now be on teaching literacy, that is, “to have teachers understand how to teach children to read and write, comprehend, and of course numeracy is equally important. It cannot be that we turn our children out of the primary school system without having that final level of education.”Deeming some students as having ‘multiple intelligences,’ meaning there are some students who learn in different ways, Mr. Holness said that, “it is not our intention to deprive those students of developing their other innate skills, but we are saying that every child can learn, and every child must learn.”“So, if it means that we have to adjust our teaching methods in order to suit the learning patterns of the children we have in our classrooms, then that is what we have to do. In the world that these children will know in 20 years, they will not be able to articulate themselves in society without being able to read and write. In effect, if they are illiterate they will remain poor,” he said.The Minister also pointed out that a grade four literacy test will be nationalized this year. “This essentially means that the grade four test will be your literacy test. It is what will certify that you are now able to read and write and that you have developed the basics upon which you can further build,” he added.Principal of the St. Michael’s Primary School, Easton Seaton, admitted that while literacy is a burning issue, there are outside factors that can influence students’ literacy levels, such as lack of parental supervision and support, the unavailability of books and other material they may need.He commended the Ministry of Education in its efforts to deal with the problem of the low literacy and numeracy levels of primary school children.”I think literacy is something that is very important in today’s 21st Century and the Ministry (of Education) itself has launched a number of programmes, one of which is ‘Literacy 123’ and as the name suggests, it is focusing on grades 1, 2 and 3. The idea behind this is that if we can get the grades 1, 2 and 3 to its optimum in terms of reading, then the other problems that might occur in the upper grades would have more or less been solved, and that is where a great emphasis is being placed at this time,” Mr. Seaton said.
NPTAJ to Expand Training UncategorizedNovember 28, 2008 RelatedNPTAJ to Expand Training RelatedNPTAJ to Expand Training RelatedNPTAJ to Expand Training FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The National Parent Teachers’ Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ), will be expanding its training programmes, in an effort to have at least 50 trained parents in each parish by next year.This was disclosed by President of the NPTAJ, Miranda Sutherland, in an interview with JIS News.“We have, in the past, provided training in conflict resolution and parenting skills. In 2009 we will continue to focus on training and not just the parents who have been trained, as we also want to train more trainers, so we can have this spread across the island,” she explained.“We are saying that within each parish, you have at least 100 schools, and we need to have at least 50 persons trained within each parish as trainers, so they can be equipped to go out there and train the different schools PTAs, so we are inviting support for this kind of training,” she said.The President is therefore appealing to service clubs and members of the private sector, to support the cause.“If we can come together and provide a holistic approach to training, then this will be very effective.Support the NPTAJ with the requisite funding, and get parents to see the importance of attending PTAs, and being trained. We believe that their service activities will be greater enhanced,” she emphasised.“Private sector bodies, you have a responsibility to give support to these families by allowing them to go off for PTA meetings. Some of the parents complain that they can’t go off to these meetings, because they are afraid they will lose their jobs, Mrs. Sutherland stressed.The President pointed out that the organisation provides guidance to PTAs in some 900 schools islandwide.The schools registered under the NPTAJ include Basic, Primary, All- age, Junior High and High, and they are encouraged to pay a registration fee to be part of the organisation.“There is a fee that each group pays, depending on the category, and through that registration we provide monitoring support, leadership and training,” she noted.Mrs. Sutherland also announced that the inaugural All President PTA seminar will take place on January 17 next year, and all PTA Presidents are expected to attend.“The Presidents are expected to attend an all day leadership, social etiquette and HIV awareness seminar, because many times you find persons who are willing to become leaders of these organisations, but they are not equipped with the requisite skills to carry out their responsibilities, and so we have taken responsibility for that, through this seminar,” she explained. Advertisements
Intelligent Design Darwin Is on the Roof — New Book from Michael Behe, Available NowDavid KlinghofferNovember 18, 2020, 6:24 AM An Independent Audit But wait… Actually, the cat’s fate has advanced a step beyond that. Behe writes: All Is Still Well? Photo credit: Bruce Gendler via Unsplash.There is a joke about a cat on a roof: This giant book is among the strongest indicators yet that the cat is dead. The public hasn’t been informed yet and evolution theory’s loyal defenders are in denial. It’s just a matter of time, though. Michael Behe demonstrates as much in A Mousetrap for Darwin. Order your copy now! Share Since the turn of the millennium a raft of distinguished biologists have written books critically evaluating evolutionary theory. None of them think that Darwin’s mechanism is the main driver of life. It may surprise people who get their information about the state of science from gee-whiz puff pieces in the mainstream media, but, although strong partisans still hold out, the eclipse of Darwinism in the scientific community is well-advanced. A few years ago the journal Nature published an exchange between two groups of scientists, one defending Darwin and the other saying it’s time to move on. It’s nice to have defenders, but when an idea has been around for 150 years — wished well by all right-thinking people, investigated to death by the scientific community — and a piece appears in the world’s leading science journal saying it’s time to move on, then it’s time to move on. The question of course is, move on to what? Those books by scientists dissing Darwin offer their own clever ideas, but so far the scientific community isn’t buying any of them. All the new ideas — self-organization, facilitated variation, symbiosis, complexity theory, and more — are quickly concluded to be nonstarters, to have the same problems as Darwin’s theory, or both. In the absence of an acceptable replacement — and because of its usefulness as a defensive talking point in fending off skepticism from the public — intellectual inertia maintains Darwinism as textbook orthodoxy. Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Billions of Missing Links: Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain Actually, for Darwinism, the situation is even worse than that. Books by Behe, and other ID theorists doing an independent of audit of evolutionary thinking, find devastating faults in the theory. Jokes when analyzed lose their humor. At the risking of my bludgeoning this particular joke, the premise here is that people more readily accept shocking news when it’s given to them in partial steps. Not, “The cat is dead,” but first, “The cat is on the roof.” Something like that is going on in the debate about evolution. As biochemist Michael Behe explains in the Introduction to his new book, out today — A Mousetrap for Darwin: Michael J. Behe Answers His Critics — the public is being prepared very slowly for the demise of Darwinian evolutionary theory. It wasn’t planned that way, but it is how things are playing out. A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All “Behe…ignores the fact that some of his prior arguments have been dismantled.” “Behe doubles down on his claim that the evolution of chloroquine resistance in malaria by random mutations is exceedingly unlikely because at least two mutations are required, neither of which is beneficial without the other. His calculations have already been refuted.” “Ultimately, Darwin Devolves fails to challenge modern evolutionary science because, once again, Behe does not fully engage with it.” As popular media and biology textbooks present the matter, all is still well with Darwin. He is on the roof, but safe. ID scientists, such as that scoundrel Michael Behe, may pose their “anti-science” challenges. However, it is merely a gentle breeze on a cat’s fur. That sounds pretty bad. He “ignores” critics. He “double down on his claims” that “have already been refuted.” He fails to “engage.” Behe’s purported unresponsiveness was one of the main themes of the attack by Lents et al. Surely the cat is safe after all. It is on the operating table. It may be under veterinary anesthesia but is expected to recover just fine. Right? TagsA Mousetrap for Darwinbiochemistrybiology textbookscatCharles Darwinchloroquine resistancecomplexity theoryDarwin DevolvesDarwin’s DoubtEvolution Newsevolutionary theoryfacilitated variationintelligent designjokesJoshua Swamidassmainstream mediamalariaMichael BehemutationsNathan LentsNature (journal)operating tablepopular mediaRichard LenskiroofScience (journal)self-organizationsymbiosisveterinary anesthesia,Trending Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Evolution But hold on, the critics have their responses to the ID proponents. They say Behe never answers their rebuttals! As a trio of prominent scientist authors, Nathan Lents, Joshua Swamidass, and Richard Lenski, wrote in the journal Science last year in reply Dr. Behe’s book Darwin Devolves (emphasis added): Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Unfortunately for Darwin’s partisans, no. Dear Sir or Madam, we regret to inform you of the passing of your pet theory. Claims that Mike Behe doesn’t answer critics are massively refuted now with the publication of his new book. It is 556 pages of answers to critics, all written with Behe’s customary wit and rigor. The chapters cover the range of criticisms that have been aimed at his books. Some, including devastating answers to Lents, Swamidass, and Lenski, were published first by us here at Evolution News. Recommended A man left his cat with his brother while he went on vacation for a week. When he came back, he called his brother to see when he could pick the cat up. The brother hesitated, then said, “I’m so sorry, but while you were away, the cat died.” The man was very upset and yelled, “You know, you could have broken the news to me better than that. When I called today, you could have said he was on the roof and wouldn’t come down. Then when I called the next day, you could have said that he had fallen off and the vet was working on patching him up. Then when I called the third day, you could have said he had passed away.” The brother thought about it and apologized. “So how’s Mom?” asked the man. “She’s on the roof and won’t come down.”
It’s easy to compare the differences between train and air travel.Speed and cost are the obvious ones, which reminds me of the old consultant’s saw: “Quality, Speed or Price, choose any two.”Meaning that you can choose two of those, but the third is likely to suffer.When it comes to long-distance public transportation, most people tend to choose speed, unless they’re going from NW Montana to Salt Lake, Seattle or Portland with a car-sized group of staff members.Making the speed / quality / price choiceRecently I had that choice to make and decided to try Amtrak. My wife and I recently became empty nesters and had wondered about taking the train the next time we went somewhere.Being the family guinea pig, I took Amtrak’s Empire Builder home from Portland after driving with my youngest (in his rig) to drop him off at college.Returning on Amtrak wasn’t just the slow, cheap choice – it was the obvious one: Board at 5:00 pm in Portland, avoid a 12 hour drive after three long days, spend less on train fare than on gas and do all of that without any effort on my part (ie: get on the train and ride home vs. flog my rig all the way home, get tired, get a room and end up using up a decent chunk of two days traveling.I wasn’t too worried about being on time to the minute. I was on a train *because* my schedule was a little flexible. I’d heard a fair share of horror stories about late trains from folks in the Midwest and East, so I wasn’t exactly ready for the seriously-on-time that I experienced.The Amtrak ExperienceWhat I was really interested in was comparing the customer / passenger experience between Amtrak and the last few airline trips I’ve taken.On an airplane, you get “beat up”, annoyed, hot, cramped, belittled and so on. By the time you get in your seat, you’ll often find passengers in a detached, staring-at-nothing, “how many minutes till it ends” state of mind.It’s not that the people are bad, I think a lot of it is the series of annoyances and inconveniences that people are submitted to prior to takeoff.On the train, it’s like another planet. It’s like a big traveling party and a sleepover rolled into one – and the seats are bigger. The big traveling party is in the observation car, where you might see people playing Uno, Scrabble, Texas Hold-Em, or just talking with a crowd of people they just met. The dining car is like a cafe with too few seats, so you sit where the empty chairs are – even if someone’s in mid-meal – and it’s ok.The cattle car isn’t the cattle carIf you didn’t know better, you’d think someone hired the “Evil Captain Kirk” version of Temple Grandin to design the process of getting people from their cars, through ticketing, past security and onto a plane.It’s not the speed, it’s the how and the what.On Amtrak, it’s given that everything (and I mean *everything*) is slower – yet on time, in my limited experience.The experience is far less tense and there is none of the “We just need to get through it, so you’re just gonna take it” that you get when flying. My impression is that you’re far less likely to run into the Evil Kirk.Why?Sure, there are some folks in the airline business who are pleasant, friendly and happy to help. On Amtrak, almost everyone seems that way.Both groups are obviously under pressure to produce. Neither is raking in the profits. Neither has excuses. They just do what they do.The process is what makes the difference between the experience found by your customers vs. your competitors’.Take nothing for granted about your processes.Want to learn more about Mark or ask him to write about a business, operations or marketing problem? See Mark’s site or contact him via email at mriffey at flatheadbeacon.com. Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Email Flathead Valley lawmakers have put forth a wide range of bills at the 63rd Legislative Session, dealing with everything from staple issues like education funding and the business equipment tax to more obscure matters like canned food and beehives.Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell, is the primary sponsor of a critical joint resolution that establishes an official estimate of the state’s general fund revenue for fiscal year 2013. The Senate and House taxation committees met Jan. 10 to discuss the resolution and are scheduled to hold another hearing on Jan. 17. The legislative session began on Jan. 7.Tutvedt, a farmer, is also introducing a bill to revise apiary laws and eliminate classifications for apiary sites, while revising registration procedures and fees. Senate Bill 95 also provides rulemaking authority.As of Jan. 14, Tutvedt had over a dozen other pieces of legislation at various points in the bill draft process, including measures to revise tort reform laws, lower the business equipment tax and revise election laws.Veteran lawmaker Dee Brown, a Republican senator from Hungry Horse, had a bill scheduled for hearing on Jan. 15 that revises laws on exchanges involving home canners and gardeners. Senate Bill 94 seeks to exempt certain foods and beverages from food safety regulations.Brown is also the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 100, which stipulates that 25 percent of new natural resource development revenue goes to fund education. She is also requesting measures to establish a workers’ compensation holiday for employers with new hires and establish a Canada trade center.Rep. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, had four bills as of Jan. 14 slated for hearings. On Jan. 23, the state administration committee will take a look at Regier’s House Bill 78 clarifying break-in-service requirements for post-retirement employment under the teachers’ retirement system and House Bill 159 revising the Montana administrative procedure act.There were also hearings scheduled for Regier’s House Bill 188 that revises laws for small power-production facilities and House Bill 104 that creates criminal offenses for the “death of an unborn child.”Freshman legislator Rep. Ed Lieser, the Flathead’s only Democrat from Whitefish, has come out of the gates with a heavy slate of bill requests, including House Bill 52, which received a Jan. 11 hearing in the education committee. It renames “agriculture” in the Montana schools program account as “agriculture literacy.”Lieser is also the primary sponsor of House Bill 94, which recognizes naturopathic physicians as licensed and practicing health care providers for unemployment insurance purposes. Among his other requested bills are measures requiring a septic inspection before a property transfer, providing tax incentives for landowner fire fuels reduction and revising fines for lakeshore protection violations.Rep. Steve Lavin, R-Kalispell, is the primary sponsor of seven bills, including three that have received hearings. House Bill 80 authorizes the Department of Corrections to appoint criminal investigators as peace officers. House Bill 45 requires a copy of the Environmental Quality Council’s eminent domain handbook to be included in a condemnation complaint. And House Bill 43 requires the Department of Public Health and Human Services to establish a jail suicide prevention program.Sen. Jon Sonju, R-Kalispell, is introducing a measure – Senate Bill 117 – ensuring that federally qualified higher education savings plans from other states have the same tax advantages as allowed for the Montana family education savings plan.Sonju’s other requested bills include revising automobile dealer franchise laws and clarifying which parties are entitled to protest additional franchise locations.Rep. Scott Reichner, R-Bigfork, has requested 20 bills and is the sponsor of House Bill 82 that clarifies workers’ compensation extraterritorial applicability in regards to other states, specifically applying to the construction industry. He has also requested bills to revise campaign finance laws, repeal same-day voter registration, revise property tax laws and revise Medicaid laws.Rep. Mark Blasdel, R-Somers, the newly elected speaker of the house, has requested a number of bills, including revisions to motor carrier laws, state land cabin site laws, aquatic species laws and workers’ compensation laws.Sen. Verdell Jackson, R-Kalispell, has requested measures to revise water planning laws, provide funding for water planning, extend the Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission and authorize a Montana state bank, among others.Rep. Carl Glimm, R-Kila, is seeking to establish a “one-stop-shop” process for permits and revise workforce drug testing laws.Among the bills requested by Rep. Randy Brodehl are measures prohibiting state employee testimony on policy matters before legislative committees, revising laws related to public employee unions and revising laws related to pawn shop stolen-gun procedures.Sen. Jerry O’Neil, R-Columbia Falls, has requested measures to eliminate minimum wage for high school dropouts, allow defendants to bargain for corporal punishment and provide immunity to solid waste managers from civil action related to salvaging by the public.O’Neil is the primary sponsor of House Joint Resolution 3, urging a U.S. constitutional amendment limiting Congress’ power to regulate commerce.