Servers Under The Sun Tue, 24 May 2022 11:41:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Servers Under The Sun 32 32 As remote work persists, cities struggle to adapt Tue, 24 May 2022 11:41:38 +0000

Lily Stateline coverage of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrew Challenger’s urban neighborhood in Chicago is buzzing, but no office workers.

“I live a 15-minute walk from my office building, and every restaurant, bar, gym, and store is 100% full,” Challenger said recently. “When I arrive in my building, it is still practically empty. Much of normal life has returned, but not that.

Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc., an executive coaching and outplacement company, said company surveys show that people want the extra time and flexibility of remote working, and companies facing labor shortages aren’t able to turn them down.

“HR [human resources] teams are so overwhelmed with recruiting. They need to put workers in place, and if they need to offer remote work, they will,” Challenger said. “Companies keep coming up with plans to get back to the office and then they keep backing off those plans. People will just stop and go somewhere else if they do that.

Nationally, people were working remotely about 39% of the time in April, after peaking at around 62% in mid-2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic-related shutdowns, according to a national survey conducted by the University of Chicago and three other universities.

New realities will likely force cities and states to shift their focus away from mass transit and the dense housing that surrounds it, to promoting shared workspaces, broadband availability, and more competitive tax rates as they fight for workers who can live anywhere.

States and smaller cities are also likely to respond with new zoning policies, which Chicago-Kent College law professor Stephanie Stern calls “untransit.” in a paper published in April by the Stanford Law and Policy Review.

Instead of focusing on building dense housing near commuter transportation, as cities have done recently, many will focus on broadband access and larger housing, Stern writes. They should also plan remote public work sites, she writes, citing studies showing that remote workers want the social interaction and break from home distractions that such centers can provide.

“Remote work is poised to transform land use law by detaching labor from centralized workplaces and blurring the lines between work and home,” Stern writes.

There are variations in working from home across states, however, according to the University of Chicago survey. The rate was below 25% in states with fewer white-collar workers like New Hampshire, Iowa, South Dakota and Wyoming.

But workers are staying home more than 45% of the time in California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Oregon and Vermont. Authors of the survey on working conditions and attitudes provided Stateline with detailed data to make state breakdowns.

Most companies expect workers to be away about 30% of the time after the pandemic, although the national rate has been “stuck” at around 40% since last fall, economist José María Barrero said. head of the investigation at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. in Mexico City, one of universities that have collaborated with the University of Chicago.

The percentage of people working from home in major cities like Chicago is higher than the national average. Ten of the largest metropolitan areas have workers who still spend about 57% of their workdays outside of the office as of May 11, according to building access card swipe data from Castle systemsranging from 41% in Austin to 66% in San Jose, Silicon Valley, California.

Downtown businesses are affected as workers spend less money near jobs. Typically, a single worker spends up to $15,000 a year on food, shopping and entertainment near work in New York City, or $12,000 in Alaska and California, according to the Working Conditions Survey. .

The shift to remote working is also driving down the value of commercial properties, reducing property tax revenues for cities. “Cities are doing their best to get people back into the office” to combat revenue losses, said Lucy Dadayan, senior research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

In New York alone, the market value of office buildings fell $28.6 billion in 2022, resulting in the first drop in assessed values ​​in more than 20 years and causing more than half of the city’s $1.7 billion drop in property tax revenue from the previous year.

Apple’s headquarters in the San Jose area was one of the places that pulled out of a back-to-office plan under pressure from employees. Apple postponed several times his plans to bring employees back three days a week. The company cited outbreaks of COVID-19, but employee resistance was also a factor.

“Working in the office is a technology of the last century”, say Apple employees written in an open letter signed by 1,445 current and former employees. “Coming to the office, without having to be there, is a huge waste of time. … Many of us spend several hours every day commuting to and from the office, only to find ourselves in an environment where we can do our jobs less well or be on a video call anyway.

Apple’s office rules for now remain at two days a week, allowing employees to spend 60% of their time working from home, which a group of workers protested online as flexibility “still far from sufficient”.

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The shift in Silicon Valley’s office work culture has been shocking, said Christian D. Malesic, president of the Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce.

“These were places that said, ‘You never have to leave our campus to do personal business.’ It was their business model. They have foosball tables and Slurpee machines and dentist appointments,” Malesic said. Traffic in the area is much lighter now and plans to expand tech campuses are on hold, hurting local construction companies, he added.

Austin, the big city with the most office work according to map swipe data, has a lot in common with Silicon Valley on the surface: It’s a drive-through area with liberal politics and a booming tech sector. boom.

But many new businesses in the region appreciate working in the office. Austin and other cities in Texas saw influxes of new people from California, New York and other coastal states, and some may be looking for work in “adjacent technology” jobs such as sales and marketing that require more face-to-face interaction, or in legal and finance companies that are increasingly reminiscent of near-full-time office workers.

Over the past year, companies such as Charles Schwab, MOCA Financial, Peak6 and Shop LLC have added hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space to the Austin area, said House spokesperson Bryce Bencivengo. of Commerce of Austin. Even tech companies such as Facebook, TikTok and Amazon have more than a million square feet of office space in the area, he said.

Law firms are also well ahead of others when it comes to returning to offices. Card reading data shows rates of work from home for the legal sector to 25% nationally and as low as 19% in Chicago as of May 5.

As working from home encourages more office workers to live in small towns, service workers in big cities could lose their jobs if their employers depend on office workers traveling to city centers, according to a Princeton University study published in March.

To combat economic damage, city centers may need to attract more employers who typically require employees to show up in person, such as energy, construction and transportation companies, the study found.

Town centers that emptied out at night as commuters left for their suburban homes could end up attracting more full-time residents, who could support an array of businesses, the study concluded. If cities create a high quality of life for residents, he said, “big consumer-rich cities like New York will likely continue to thrive.”

Thursday, the new Friday as the UK returns to duty for midweek ‘basic’ days | Business Tue, 24 May 2022 05:00:00 +0000

On mild Thursday evening, workers in office clothes take to the sidewalks of bars, pubs and restaurants in central London. They are part of a new trend in the world of flexible working: Thursday is the new Friday.

Office staff are increasingly returning to their downtown office, but only for part of the week. Many choose to travel to their place of work during the “core” days in the middle of the week – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – reserving the working week at home.

The popularity of Thursday night socializing with colleagues has not gone unnoticed by hotel business bosses.

“In terms of the pattern in cities, Mondays tend to be quieter, Fridays tend to be quieter, Thursdays very loud,” said Phil Urban, managing director of pub and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers. “While suburban trade is still doing well, people who would have had a meal or a pint closer to home are doing so in London.”

The Mitchells & Butlers group of pubs and restaurants, which includes the O’Neill’s chain, says its downtown locations are gradually becoming busier. Photograph: May James/Reuters

The company’s downtown locations — which include the O’Neill’s and All Bar One chains — are gradually getting busier, Urban said, which he attributed to the slow but steady return of workers.

“It continues to strengthen, and it is partly the offices that are shrinking. I think the services will continue to go from three days to four days. I travel inside and outside [of London], and at my station, I have trouble parking again. This is the first time I can say that in two years,” he said.

Covid-19 has caused two years of shutdown restrictions for office-based businesses and their employees, who have been repeatedly told by the government to work from home and then urged to return to their desks.

After lockdowns were lifted, many companies advertised perks to entice their employees to return, including unlimited hot drinks, free breakfasts or company-branded products.

Despite these incentives, the return to the office has been a trickle rather than a flood. Midweek tube passenger numbers remain at 70 per cent of pre-Covid levels, according to Transport for London.

However, Thursday is shaping up to be the most popular day to work alongside colleagues, according to TfL figures. Nearly 3 million metro journeys were made on Thursday, May 12, the highest number since the start of the pandemic.

work graph

The trickle rather than the influx of people means the bakery chain Greggs, for example, is still seeing sales 10% below pre-Covid levels at its city center outlets as well as those near offices .

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for more investment in the capital’s public transport to bring office workers back on the go.

The slow return can be partly attributed to the success of remote working during the pandemic. Since the lifting of restrictions, many of the UK’s largest office occupants – including accountancy firm Deloitte and its 20,000 UK staff, and most of the NatWest Group banking firm’s 64,000 staff – have moved to a hybrid model, allowing staff to divide their time between their corporate building and another location.

work graph

It increasingly looks like hybrid working is here to stay. A quarter of workers (24%) split their time between home and the office in May, according to the latest Office for National Statistics survey, up from 13% in early February.

Workers reported that a improved work-life balance was the main benefit working from home to some degree, while around half of hybrid workers said they had fewer distractions at home, and a similar number said working from home improved their well-being.

A tight labor market, in which workers can choose jobs, has given employees more leverage in this negotiation. Employers who offer hybrid work to their teams are also likely to enjoy higher returns, according to Heejung Chung, professor of sociology and social policy at the University of Kent.

“We’re seeing more and more evidence that working from home will be helpful for productivity,” she said, adding that workers particularly valued the ability to ditch the commute at a time of rising costs.

Not having to go to the office every day “saves workers time and money, which shows that they are giving back to their employers productivity gains when working from home”, he said. she declared.

Chung, author of The Paradox of Flexibility, a book on flexible working, believes that some degree of remote working is here to stay.

“We will see companies asking workers to come back more often, but will the office five days a week be normal again? Absolutely not,” she said. “The genie is out of the bottle and it will not go back.”

Yet this newfound flexibility poses challenges for downtown businesses, from sandwich shops to dry cleaners, whose business previously depended on a steady stream of office workers five days a week.

This may partly explain the recent political interventions in the debate on working from home. Boris Johnson recently called on workers to return to the office, saying it made people “more productive”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the efficiency minister, drew criticism after leaving what were seen as passive-aggressive notes on the desks of officials who were out of office when he visited.

Ministerial demands notwithstanding, the return of offices appears to be accelerating as workers attend more in-person meetings. Office occupancy in the UK hit its highest level since the start of the pandemic in the week ending May 13, according to the latest data from Remit Consulting, a management consultancy specializing in office space. real estate.

The average weekly office occupancy rate reached almost 28% in the UK and exceeded 29% in London that week, the highest recorded in the past year, according to data from the systems of entrance to big city office buildings.

However, this means that office occupancy remains at around half the average level seen before the pandemic. Again, the busiest days of the week remain Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Remit found.

Despite concerns about what this means for the future of offices, rental in London is booming, according to recent updates from office owners Land Securities and British Land.

“We’ve had the best year for lettings in London in 10 years,” said British Land chief executive Simon Carter, adding that companies were looking for office space with natural light and outdoor terraces, and were demanding sustainable energy. – efficient buildings.

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Location is also important, Carter said: “I think there has been a trend towards more central locations because if people are going to come into the office three or four days a week but live more spread out across the UK , they want an office that’s closer to a major transportation hub.

British Land has three ‘campuses’ in London which include office buildings, surrounding retail and hospitality facilities and account for two-thirds of its property portfolio. Even he admits that the post-pandemic world of work will be different from what came before.

“Our general view is that London will need less space due to working from home, but it will need better space,” Carter said. “And that’s what we see in our rental business.”

Caldwell opens offices in Annapolis and Tysons Corner Mon, 23 May 2022 13:56:26 +0000

May 23, 2022 – Toronto-based Caldwell has expanded with the opening of new locations in Annapolis, MD and Tysons Corner, VA in the Washington, DC area. At the same time, the firm added Byron Marchant as a partner and Tiffany Faucette as a partner. The moves expand the company’s capabilities and focus on the sports and entertainment industry, federal and state public sector and utility space. “This is an exciting next step for Caldwell,” said Chris Beck, Chairman. “We are thrilled to have such exceptional people join our outstanding team and lead our continued growth in the Mid-Atlantic market and our business.”

Mr. Marchant will serve on the CEO’s Board and practice. He joins Caldwell from the US Naval Academy Alumni and Foundation, where he served as president and CEO for more than 13 years. His tenure was highlighted by his consistent strategic leadership for the organization throughout the 2009 recession and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Caldwell said. Mr. Marchant oversaw the most successful campaign in the organization’s history, raising more than $541 million in support of the Naval Academy’s 2020 Strategic Plan.

Previously, Mr. Marchant served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of Black Entertainment Television (BET). In this role, he was the lead representative in executing Viacom’s acquisition of BET. He was a partner at the law firm Patton Boggs LLP and was previously senior vice president and general counsel at Annapolis-based Telecommunications Systems Inc. He was also senior legal counsel to Federal Communications Commissioner Andrew Barrett and an attorney at Sidley Austin. .

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Mr. Marchant holds a bachelor’s degree in American political systems from the US Naval Academy and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He was in the submarine service before transferring to the Naval Reserve in 1984, where he served numerous assignments in the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program and rose to the rank of Commander in the United States Naval Reserves.

“Byron has a successful track record that spans a wide range of areas – from his impressive tenure as head of the US Naval Academy Alumni and Foundation to his role in Viacom’s $3 billion acquisition of BET to his experience with technology and nuclear submarines in the Navy and everything,” said Jay Millen, managing partner of Caldwell’s board and CEO firm. “He’s an incredibly accomplished individual with a network of exceptionally broad content, which makes him a real asset to the team.”

Mr. Marchant said he was delighted to join the Caldwell team and looked forward to helping expand the company’s markets in the sports and entertainment industry, federal and state public sector and public service space. “The human capital challenges ahead for these sectors are significant and impacted by rapid technological change, energy shortages, supply chain risks and national security concerns,” he said. he declares. “I look forward to adding value in this market space for our customers.”

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Ms. Faucette has a highly successful 30-year track record in professional sports as an award-winning LPGA instructor, competitor, entrepreneur and author, offering a rare combination of sports and business acumen, Caldwell said. Additionally, she launched FG Enterprises, which designed, developed, patented and marketed products available worldwide, as well as an instruction book. She has made numerous television and radio appearances including The Golf Channel, NBC, ABC and Fox. Ms. Faucette holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Florida State University.

A New Covenant

Earlier this year, Caldwell forged an international alliance partnership with Johnson Partners, an advisory firm working in board search, executive search and executive succession with offices across Australia. As part of the alliance, Johnson Partners acquired the New Zealand licensee business not owned by Caldwell and integrated Caldwell’s Australian team. Johnson Partners will become Caldwell’s external research partner for Australia and New Zealand, and Caldwell will become Johnson Partners’ external research partner for North America and the United Kingdom

Caldwell has also recently expanded its private equity and technology recruiting capabilities with the addition of Gordon Berridge as a partner in the private equity, venture capital and technology practices and based in the London office of the society. Mr. Berridge joins Caldwell from N2Growth in London where, as a senior partner, he played a key role in developing the firm’s European business.

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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor; Dale M. Zupsansky, editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

In a new book, Kellyanne Conway takes aim at many targets – except Donald Trump Mon, 23 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000
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In 2015, Kellyanne Conway found herself on her way to pick up her children from elementary school, simultaneously fending off an attempt by Michael Cohen – then Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and fixator – to rig the Conference’s annual buzzing straw poll. of conservative political action, which she ran, in favor of Trump.

“‘Mr. Trump’ had to come first in the mock PAC poll,” Conway recounted that Cohen told him in a phone call. “He repeated himself. Mr. Trump had to come first.”

Four years later, firmly ensconced in the White House as Trump’s top adviser as president, Conway said she found herself faced with surrealism again, when Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, handed her a post-it with “the names of two local doctors specializing in couples therapy.

The marriage between Conway and her husband had burst into public view when George T. Conway III began attacking Trump on Twitter, and Conway said Ivanka was responding to her own openness about seeking professional support.

“I noticed she avoided putting that in a text or email. I appreciated the information and her thoughtfulness and wanted to pursue it,” Conway recalled. “After showing the names to George , he rejected one and said a half-hearted “ok” to the other while looking at his phone. We never went.

These and other scenes are part of Conway’s nearly 500-page new memoir, “Here’s the Deal,” which The Washington Post obtained ahead of publication Tuesday.

Part personal chronicle and part political journey, Conway’s book is filled with the kind of barbed one-liners and witticisms she spewed out on cable news on Trump’s behalf, becoming – from one’s perspective – more and more famous or infamous.

Unlike many other Trump-focused tomes in the post-presidency era, Conway did not seek to write a scathing narrative, in which she distances herself from the president or the administration she once served.

Her memoir is peppered with references to ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ – a term she uses to refer to the media and the political left, which she says were unable to come to terms with the reality that Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016. Conway is also among the relatively small group of staffers who managed to leave the White House still in Trump’s inner circle.

Her book goes along the same lines, offering what she sees as a frank assessment of some of her colleagues in the White House and the media — both positive and negative — but never confusing Trump himself.

Conway reserves some of her harshest criticism for Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband and a senior Trump adviser, whom she describes as “shrewd and calculating”; “a man of knowledgeable nods, questioning looks and parallel inquiries”; and someone who, as the president’s son-in-law, knew that “no matter how disastrous a personnel change or legislative attempt may be, he was unlikely to be held responsible.”

“There was no subject he considered beyond his expertise. Criminal justice reform. Peace in the Middle East. The southern and northern borders. Veterans and opioids. Big Tech and Small Business,” she writes. “If any Martian attacks had fallen on the radar, he would gladly have added them to his ever-bulky portfolio. He allegedly made sure you knew he exiled the Martians to Uranus and insisted he didn’t care who was credited with it. He misinterpreted the Constitution on a crucial point, thinking that any power not granted to the federal government was reserved for him.”

As an example of what she calls Kushner’s “plans and dreams,” she recounts later in the book a scuttled immigration deployment plan in which Kushner suggested Trump “go to Ellis Island, where he would stand at the foot of the Statue of Liberty to conduct a naturalization ceremony.

Conway says her tension with Kushner came, in part, because he accused her of leaking to the media a way to undermine his credibility with Trump — a charge she denies.

A Kushner ally said his portfolio includes some of the administration’s biggest hits: a criminal justice reform bill, the USMCA trade deal, the Abraham Accords in the Middle East and the Operation Warp Speed ​​coronavirus vaccination effort.

Conway also fleetingly takes aim at Paul Manafort, the short-lived chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Manafort, she writes, “literally fell asleep during my PowerPoint on how to close the gender gap with Hillary.” (It must have been on Ukrainian time.).

And Conway describes Reince Priebus, the former Republican National Committee chairman who served as Trump’s first chief of staff, as “completely conservative but not remotely MAGA,” a reference to Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign slogan.

Conway portrays Priebus as fundamentally misunderstanding the Trump movement; When Conway pressed a skeptical Priebus to allow a number of administration officials to address CPAC, the annual conservative gathering, he told her, “It’s because you like crazy people, Kellyanne, and they love you,” she wrote.

Priebus had spoken at CPAC nearly every year since he became RNC chairman, including in 2017, when he and Stephen K. Bannon, a former top adviser to Trump, addressed the assembly. Priebus declined to comment.

She also isn’t pulling any punches at much of Trump’s White House team of coronavirus experts — especially Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. – which she describes as slow to grasp the scale of the virus in its early stages. days, as well as wear masks in public but not always in private.

“No mask was standard fare in the White House Situation Room, where Dr. Fauci was more likely to wear ‘Dr. Fauci’ socks than a mask,” she wrote. “Then, like magic, when D. Myles Cullen, the vice president’s photographer, walked into the room, masks suddenly appeared.”

Fauci did not respond to a request for comment.

The book also offers a more personal side to Conway, as well as his relationship with Trump. She writes that she grew up in a household of Italian Catholic women, after her father left when she was 3, without providing alimony or alimony.

“I would be raised by strong women,” she wrote, explaining her reaction when Kushner, Priebus and Bannon gave a chilly reception after learning that Trump had asked her to join his administration as an adviser to the president. “As long as I can remember, I’ve bullied jealous little boys.”

Later in the book — in a section on Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s controversial confirmation hearings, and without going into detail — Conway also shares that, “unbeknownst to the public,” she was “victim of sexual assault”.

Trump has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by more than a dozen women. During his 2016 campaign, an “Access Hollywood” video emerged of him bragging about groping women against their will.

Conway, however, portrays Trump as a feminist who repeatedly supported and promoted her, allowing her to go down in history as the first woman to manage a winning presidential campaign.

“Donald Trump lifted me up and empowered me at the top of his campaign, helping me break glass ceilings that had never even been touched before,” she wrote, adding that “feminists in anger” should “have at least once in their life a daughter”. boss as generous, respectful, engaging and empowering as Donald Trump was to me and my other female colleagues.

Themes of family and motherhood also run through the book, with Conway writing about becoming a woman in a male-dominated industry and – with chapters like “Cheerful Chaos”, “Kid Power” and “Mom Guilt” – both the joys and challenges of being a working parent and a working mother, in particular.

Nevertheless, Conway manages to ascend to the White House with Trump. And in the spring of 2020, Conway recalls sitting in the Oval Office with Trump, who thinks that without Twitter he wouldn’t have been elected: “That’s true, but as I reminded him, regarding social media, ‘Make sure he doesn’t make you unelected.’

Later, after losing his re-election bid, Conway observes, “Trump was more shocked to lose in 2020, I think, than he was to win in 2016.”

In the final days of his presidency, Conway also writes that, in a discussion with Trump about pardons and clemency, he turned to her and asked, “Do you want one?

“Do you know something I don’t?” Kellyanne asked Trump, she wrote. “Why would I need a pardon?”

“Because they go after everyone, honey.” It doesn’t matter,” Trump replied, according to the book.

“I politely declined,” she concludes.

Some of the more raw elements of his book deal with his marriage, which became a source of fascination inside the Beltway – and media coverage – as George Conway escalated his Twitter attacks on his wife’s boss.

Kellyanne Conway devotes portions at the beginning of her book to her husband’s romantic courtship with her, as well as his full support for his role as Trump’s campaign manager and even Trump himself. Which made her all the more confused, she says, when he started criticizing Trump publicly.

“For the first time since George and I got serious, I considered the possibility that the man who had always had my back might one day stab me in it,” she wrote.

As George’s tweets escalate, Conway writes that she ‘didn’t want to be stuck in a cable news segment in the master bedroom’, and the growing reality that she had ‘two men’ in her life .

“One was my husband. One was my boss, who happened to be President of the United States,” she wrote. “One of these men was defending me. And it wasn’t George Conway. It was Donald Trump.”

In the afterword, Conway describes competing with Twitter for her husband’s time and attention and asks, “And why should I even try?” she wrote, likening Twitter to another woman. “She has no personality and she’s not even sexy.”

She ends the book on an optimistic note – except, perhaps, for her marriage.

“Democracy will survive. America will survive,” she wrote. “George and I may not survive.”

]]> A thug with a fake beard sprayed ammonia at postal workers in a terrifying £15,000 raid Sun, 22 May 2022 13:00:01 +0000

Three postal workers were doused with ammonia during a terrifying robbery in Accrington.

Serial criminal Daniel Burtak, 35, held up the Abbey Street branch wearing a fake beard and scarf and armed with a bottle of Fairy Liquid containing the dangerous chemical. He smashed the three employees in the face as he emptied the safe and boxes to take away £15,000 before meeting driver Colin Naylor, 51, outside a nearby pub. As he left the building, he turned to inject more ammonia into one of his helpless victims.

The pair appeared to be planning a second robbery at another post office branch in town, but their suspicious activity caught the attention of two witnesses. The couple denied any involvement in the crime but were found guilty after the trial. They returned for a sentencing hearing at Burnley Crown Court on Friday.

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Continuing, Peter Gilmour said the theft took place on May 10, 2019 and CCTV showed Naylor’s van driving through the area around 4.30am. About 50 minutes later, cameras showed Burtak arriving at the post office on a bicycle and wearing the bizarre disguise.

During the raid, three post office workers were sprayed with ammonia in the face, causing varying levels of injury. A man said he was in “agony” and still felt anxious about strangers entering the post office and a woman who had worked there for 16 years felt unable to return to her job.

Mr Gilmour said when Burtak fled the store he sprayed more ammonia on a worker ‘for free’, even though he was already incapacitated. He jumped on the bike and went to meet Naylor outside a nearby pub. Three days later, Payday appeared to target the Blackburn Road branch in the same way and caught the attention of two suspicious bystanders, which ultimately led to their arrest.

At around 11am Naylor’s lorry was again seen on CCTV driving into Accrington after leaving his home in Bolton and at a similar time Burtak was seen outside the post office. This time he decided not to go in but a Post Office worker who was in a van outside thought he looked suspicious and decided to follow him. He saw Burtak meet Naylor and get into his vehicle and an annoyed Burtak threw a bottle at his van. All of this was captured on the van’s dashcam.

A box that had been thrown away by Burtak was found on China Street and its contents included a yellow snood with DNA evidence. Police later found gloves and a wig along with further DNA evidence and the pair had also been filmed by a witness who believed they were acting strangely.

Both denied any involvement in the theft, but were eventually charged and convicted of conspiracy to commit theft. Burtak, of HMP Wymott, was also found guilty of three counts of administering a noxious substance.

Mr Gilmour said the pair had extensive criminal records with Burtak, including several robberies in 2019. Defending Burtak, Michael Scholes said he now accepts responsibility for what he did. He said he had been under the pressure of “threats to his life” which led him to be involved in such a high profile crime,

Mr Scholes strongly criticized a pre-sentence report that had been prepared for the hearing, saying his good work in prison was overlooked, including achieving improved status in maths, English and vocational learning.

He said Burtak had barely seen his three-year-old daughter following her imprisonment for a crime around the same time, adding, “The person who committed these offenses in 2019 no longer exists.”

Defending Naylor, Keith Harrison said the offense was committed by “twisted logic” that he had to provide more financially to the family. He said a brain injury had made him more impulsive than he had been before and the injuries meant he was struggling to find work. As a result, he wanted to contribute more to the family as his business owner wife.

Mr Harrison said: ‘He was unable to find work due to his physical condition. It’s twisted logic, but he felt unequal contributing nothing when his wife earned so much. He added that Naylor was caring for his daughter full time and the family would suffer during her inevitable time in prison.

During sentencing, Judge Sara Dodd said she needed more time than was available to sentence and adjourned the hearing until Thursday. Both men were taken into custody.

]]> Carroll County Commissioners Accepting Nominations for Police Accountability Board and Administrative Billing Committee – Baltimore Sun Sat, 21 May 2022 21:21:44 +0000

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners is now accepting applications from residents to serve on the new Police Accountability Board and County Administrative Billing Committee. Online applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on June 17.

Commissioners on May 5 approved a resolution to create a local police accountability committee and an administrative charging committee, stipulating that members must not have charges pending, or have been found guilty, in court. federal or state, of a felony punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and received a term of imprisonment for more than one year, except for a pardon.

In 2021, the Maryland General Assembly directed each county in the state to create a local police accountability board and an administrative charging board to adjudicate police disciplinary matters.

Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees said he doesn’t believe the county needs a police accountability board, but the state has asked commissioners to create one by July 1 .

“I disagree with the whole concept,” DeWees said during an April 21 meeting of commissioners. “We have no police misconduct in Carroll County. We receive very few complaints per year.

DeWees said if there were to be a board of directors, members would have to be carefully vetted and anyone who had an adverse interaction with law enforcement should not be eligible to participate.

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The commissioners will select five county residents to serve on the accountability board. Up to two members may be former law enforcement officers who have retired in good standing and two members will be selected from a list of names from the county chapter of the Maryland Municipal League.

The county must also create an administrative charge committee, which will be responsible for reviewing internal police investigations into alleged officer misconduct and determining whether an administrative charge is appropriate. If a charge is appropriate, the committee will hold a public hearing and make a recommendation.

The Chairman of the Police Accountability Board will be a member of the Administrative Charges Committee. The Commissioners will appoint two civilian members to this committee and the Police Accountability Board will appoint two additional civilian members by majority vote.

Details of the new groups are available in the Boards and Commissions section of the county website.

Interested individuals can apply online at or contact the Boards and Commissions Coordinator at or 410-386-2043.

Questions can be directed to County Attorney Tim Burke at

How to Find a Community of Support Online When Freezing Your Eggs Sat, 21 May 2022 12:00:00 +0000

For those not yet ready to start a family or want to ensure they have the option in the future, egg freezing is on the rise.

The process, in which eggs are harvested, frozen, and stored for later use, is even offered as a fertility benefit by some companies. Facebook and Apple began covering employee egg freezing in 2014, followed by other big Silicon Valley companies. Pinterest announced in December 2021 that two cycles of IVF and egg freezing would be available to every employee globally. Financial institutions have also jumped on the bandwagon.

This trend is part of the growing and growing demand for egg freezing, which has only been accentuated by the pandemic. Clinics across the US and UK have seen a surge of patients freezing their eggs in recent years.

The process of freezing eggs is complicated, and online conversations about the topic sometimes lack nuance. On the internet, there is tons of information about freezing eggs. But the amount of information available is vast, which sometimes makes it difficult to navigate.

The process itself can also evoke complicated feelings. Dr Cesar Diaz-Garcia, medical director of fertility clinic IVI London, said the egg freezing procedure can “cause unexpected emotions”.

“It’s important to recognize that freezing eggs is a big decision for many people, so it’s a good idea to have a partner, friend or family member who supports you through the process,” he said.

Social media can also create a sense of community. In some online spaces, people who freeze their eggs can find support, comfort and advice from those who are undergoing or have gone through the process themselves.

Explore a variety of platforms

As Mashable’s Rachel Kraus explored, social media is full of advertisements for egg freezing. However, these advertisements may not be the best resource for finding answers. They are more about promoting a business rather than helping the individual, glossing over the cost, process, etc.

Instead, there are forums and groups that facilitate community-led conversations. On Facebook, for example, several private support groups exist for this purpose. The questions and answers here are niche and led by people who have gone through the process themselves.

Egg Freezing Support Community, for example, is a Facebook group designed for those interested in egg freezing. “If you’re wondering if egg freezing is right for you, or when is the right time to freeze your eggs, or how the egg freezing process goes, then this is the right place for you!” reads the description of the band.

Chloe Quinn, the group’s founder and administrator, tells Mashable that the group has grown “exponentially” since its inception: “I only dreamed it would be as helpful and supportive as it is today. .”

“Freezing eggs is a lonely, scary and expensive process. It can drain emotions and sanity, which is why support from women who understand what you’re going through is so important,” said Quinn, who is a advanced nurse practitioner. , said. “We aim to keep it as positive and supportive as possible without giving false hopes and unattainable expectations.”

Members of the group (or “Egg Tribe” as they like to call themselves”) value their privacy, Quinn says. The group has strict guidelines against harassment, abuse and spam. Its nature privacy also allows for open conversations.

Another option is Reddit, where threads about egg freezing often get high engagement. Like Facebook, it offers a space to anonymously and openly ask for advice.

Take r/AskWomenOver30, a popular subreddit with 130,000 members. Here, people have asked a number of questions about freezing eggs, including How stressful is freezing eggs? and How much should it cost to freeze my eggs? / Should I do it?

Likewise, groups like r/IVF and r/SingleMothersbyChoice, also provide the space to ask such questions or share personal experiences on the subject of egg freezing. Conversations include browsing dating while freezing your eggs or freezing eggs when your period is irregular.

On Twitter and Instagram, people who froze their eggs also shared their stories; there are multiple threads and posts, sharing the emotional nuances that go along with freezing eggs. Maxime Billick, resident physician at the University of Toronto, chose to freeze his eggs in January of this year. She took to Twitter to share her experience, in an honest and comprehensive thread. She included resources from medical journals, photos of herself undergoing the process, and why she chose to do it.

Billick said the response to his thread was “incredible”.

“A lot of people opened up to me after this post, or asked questions, or showed interest,” she says.

Dr. Safina Adatia also shared her personal egg freezing journey on a Twitter thread that garnered an equally positive response.

“I wanted to talk about my experience to hopefully help and inspire other young women to do the same,” she told Mashable. “I can’t tell you how many women have messaged me saying they were thinking about it and were so happy that I shared because my message gave them the push they needed to pursue it on their own- same.”

The two women who shared these threads said they did so because they felt like they hadn’t heard about each other’s experiences during the process. And they wish they had.

On Instagram, such conversations also appear under the hashtag #eggfreezing, which has over 54,000 posts and counts. Other communities on Instagram exist under #eggfreezingjourney, #fertilitypreservation and #eggretrieval. Here, there are posts from individuals, charities and organizations, each united in sharing the complexities of the fertility journey. Doctors share bright infographics on egg retrieval process; the women post photos of the procedure, describing in their caption what it took to get to this place. Posts are thoughtful and empowering, transparently explaining personal motivation to prolong fertility.

Writer Seetal Savla chose to share her own egg retrieval and fertility story online in 2019, but before that she watched other people’s communities and resources on Instagram. “At first, I just absorbed their experiences without engaging with them in any way. Reading stories about people (mostly women) struggling with similar issues made me feel finally seen. ”

Ask yourself the right questions

Freezing eggs can be a confusing time, with all sorts of questions arising depending on the individual. If you join a support group or contact people online, asking the right questions can be crucial.

Kayleigh Hartigan, founder of Fertility Mapper (a website that aims to provide clear information about fertility clinics), says that “there is a lot of information out there” and navigating through that information requires some thought.

“As you begin this process, ask: what do I want to know? ” she says. “Everyone will have things that are more or less important to them.” She says writing down such questions can help ease the feeling of overwhelm that accompanies the egg freezing process.

Hartigan encourages people to find a community suited to the individual and their questions before embarking on the adventure of egg freezing. These questions can range from the right clinic or nutritional advice to how to balance the process with work and a social life.

“These questions can be anything: how do they find a clinic, how much will it cost, how will the process work, how will it feel, do they need to do anything to prepare to the process, such as getting in shape or changing nutritional behavior. she explains.

She recommends that this practice can then help uncover the right communities and information. “The fertility journey can be extremely emotionally draining and physically challenging. When you’re in this process, you want the right care,” she says. “It’s just very complicated: it involves finances, emotions, health care.”

Beware of misinformation

There is, however, a disclaimer: there is a risk of misinformation and false advertising when looking at such hashtags on Instagram or exploring private groups. Eliminating these messages is important, and asking questions along the way is essential. Dr. Adatia said that if there is any hesitation, consult your personal physician or medical professional.

“I would advise reading everything with caution and checking the sources of your information to make sure it is reliable,” she recommends. “This type of procedure can be difficult and [if] you are paying out of pocket, it is important that you speak with your doctor to ensure that the person helping you with fertility is reliable and safe.”

Billick says the same thing, telling Mashable, “Go see a doctor you trust, someone who knows medicine, someone who has experience.”

She also said that many of her friends have come across misinformation online: “I suspect that if there’s a lot of information that’s incorrect. I’ve had friends who were told to buy supplements worth thousands of dollars to ‘improve the quality of their eggs,'” she says.

However, many people in these online spaces are simply looking to inspire or support others.

“It’s a privilege to comfort others online and to be entrusted with their personal stories,” as Savla says.

Hartigan says many people who share their experiences online are “desperate to help others”, while thinking for themselves.

“It’s a virtuous circle,” she says. “And some people aren’t comfortable sharing their stories with friends/family IRL, so going online means you can connect and hear from people going through the process, which might not be possible offline. .”

Support for hybrid work models in law practice management software Sat, 21 May 2022 01:57:59 +0000

As law firms navigate our post-pandemic world, it’s important that we have more conversations about the need for hybrid work models and law practice management software. In many cases, law firms were forced to adopt a new work environment overnight at the onset of the pandemic. During this fight or flight period, some law firms were able to navigate this transition with little downtime or disruption to their business. However, many law firms are still struggling with hybrid work models and creating operational efficiencies that allow staff to succeed while increasing profits.

In this webinar, PracticePanther VP of Marketing Mayowa Oyebadejo and Senior Account Manager Brian Gomez discuss how to leverage hybrid work models, legal practice management platforms, and innovative processes to deliver leading customer experiences that retain and attract new business. while simplifying your operations.

What are the different types of hybrid working models? (3:34)

Unlike traditional work models, hybrid work models are designed to be flexible and can adapt to any business. From sole proprietorships and small firms to large attorneys, there are 5 different hybrid working models you can start implementing in your practice.

Types of hybrid working models:

  • Office first: it’s the most traditional and resilient to where the industry is heading right now. Staff would be required to be in the office most of the time, with remote working being the exception or a benefit.

  • Split week: By far the most common type of hybrid work model, it allows for a specific amount of time when all staff are in the office or working remotely. An example of this would be a Tuesday-Thursday office schedule with staff working remotely on Monday and Friday.

  • Week by week: This model allows staff to alternate weeks when they are in the office or remote throughout the month. Law firms using this model typically use business needs or busy seasons as a guide to assess where staff are assigned.

  • Designated hybrid teams: depending on the composition of the staff (administrative assistants, finance, IT, etc.), some teams would have the possibility of working remotely while others, depending on the sensitivity of the tasks, would work in the office.

  • At will and remotely first: this is another common hybrid working model that some law firms are likely moving towards. This would allow coworking spaces, but staff would prioritize working remotely.

How do I choose the best hybrid working model for my business? (7:42)

Now that we’ve identified the different types of hybrid work models, the real work is deciding which is best for your business. It will take some planning, but it’s important to start by assessing the condition of your office. This can be achieved by asking yourself a few simple questions about your people and how the model would benefit their success while creating processes that improve business efficiency. Here are some questions you will want to address in your assessment:

  • What are your staff comfortable with?

  • What aspects of your business could be affected or improved?

  • What are the financial implications for your business?

Once you have an idea of ​​your business and staff needs, you can start experimenting with the model. As we mentioned earlier, hybrid working models are designed to be adaptable. It is important to test the model and then evaluate the performance. Integrating this experimental period from the start will allow your company to create a more sustainable hybrid work environment in the long term.

In a recent study conducted by the American Bar Association, 76% of lawyers responded that they favor remote or hybrid work models. That’s over 30% compared to pre-pandemic responses. This indicates that while lawyers have been forced to embrace remote and hybrid working due to the pandemic, they have realized substantial benefits and longevity in these types of work models. The top benefits noted by lawyers include increased productivity, work-life balance, labor demand, and client satisfaction.

It is important to note that these benefits could not be achieved without the use of technology, such as law practice management software or LPMs. Lawyers can work freely from anywhere, creating a better work-life balance, which is often a concern in the fast-paced legal industry.

This advantage also serves as a tactic when it comes to hiring and competing for talent. With 49% of Millennials and Gen Z responding they would quit their job if remote work is not permitted, it is imperative that law firms begin to consider hybrid working models as a tool to retain and attract staff or risk losing valuable talent. The same goes for retention and generating new business. Client demand for legal services and digital processes has increased due to the resources available online. Law firms reluctant to expand into the digital space may experience a decline in business.

Why are some law firms struggling with hybrid working models? (21:06)

The risk associated with not adopting a hybrid working model that we often see is business disruption, competition in the labor market and a decrease in new business. Despite these risks, law firms still have these common concerns:

  • Security Risks and Maintaining Compliance

  • Onboarding staff to new processes/systems

  • Effectively manage staff

  • Collaboration between departments

  • Workplace culture

Many of these concerns stem from a lack of understanding of technology and the power of law practice management software.

Clackamas County Clerk unclear how Schrader’s campaign gained access to election office before it opened Fri, 20 May 2022 21:19:01 +0000

Election results from Oregon’s third-largest county continue to come slowly, as Clackamas County election officials scramble with a voting error that left a major race up in the air.

A misprint on thousands of ballots in the county has left the Democratic primary for the 5th congressional district in limbo. In that race, incumbent U.S. Representative Kurt Schrader is currently losing to progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner. But the results cannot be finalized without votes from Clackamas County.

On Thursday, McLeod-Skinner filed a formal complaint with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, as reported Willamette Week – alleging that someone from Schrader’s campaign was allowed to observe the ballot counting process before the polls opened.

Hall told reporters that a Schrader campaign representative was admitted to the building around 7 a.m., but they shouldn’t have entered the building until it opened at 8:30 a.m. Someone of McLeod-Skinner’s campaign was not allowed into the observers’ area until after 8:30 a.m.

“It’s possible someone used their badge to get in and someone else followed,” Hall said. “It could have been someone who doesn’t work in the elections office.”

Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall speaks at a press conference Wednesday.

April Ehrlich / OPB

At Friday’s press conference, reporters asked Hall if it raised any security concerns with the vote count. Hall said all rooms in the building can only be accessed with security badges, and not all badges can access all rooms. Hall also said the room where the votes are counted was only accessible to her, the election officer and a third person, whose job title she could not recall.

The Observer Room is a long hallway where visitors can watch the ballot counting process through glass windows. Observers can only enter the building with a badge; a security protocol that appeared lax on Wednesday, the day after Election Day. OPB staff and other visitors were able to enter the observer room without badges, and no one required visitors to fill out an attendance sheet.

Still, Hall said observers should not be able to access the room where ballots are being processed.

More than half of the county’s ballots were printed with smudged barcodes, making them unreadable by counting machines. Clackamas County has redirected about 200 employees from other departments to help process them. The process requires people from different political parties to duplicate votes from bad ballots onto new ones and then run the new ballots through counting machines.

Election offices normally perform a “logic and accuracy” test with ballots to ensure they are machine-readable before Election Day. Hall said his office conducted the test on May 3, but did not test ballots run by a third-party printing company. Instead, his office printed the ballots in-house and tested them.

“Basically, we’ve always done this in the office,” Hall said. “So those ballots were good and the test came out perfect, but it was after that the same morning that we started running the ballots through the scanners, into the printer, and that’s that’s when we noticed the problem.”

Ballots wait to be processed at the Clackamas County Elections Office, May 18, 2022. A printing error on Clackamas County primary election ballots has caused unrest that will likely take weeks to to resolve.

Ballots wait to be processed at the Clackamas County Elections Office, May 18, 2022. A printing error on Clackamas County primary election ballots has caused unrest that will likely take weeks to to resolve.

Kristyna Wentz-Graff/OPB

State and county political leaders criticized Hall for knowing about the ballot printing error two weeks before Election Day and not acting quickly enough to resolve the issue.

“I didn’t respond to that with the urgency I should have had and I realize that, but I still know we’ll get the count in time,” Hall said.

The county has until Certification Day, June 13, to fully reprocess the misprinted ballots and close the election results.

On Friday morning, Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan asked the county provide a detailed Hall plan and schedule by Monday. Later that day, Hall said she would “maybe” meet that deadline.

“There could be things that could interrupt that,” Hall said.

These errors have collectively added to some voters’ distrust of the Clackamas County electoral process, and some fear that these errors were intentional. Hall said most of the affected ballots are likely Democratic ballots. Hall is an elected independent and she has shown a proclivity for conservative ideals. In 2014, in response to Oregon’s legalization of same-sex marriage, Hall refused to hold wedding ceremonies of any kind.

room Facebook page also “likes” a slew of conservative-leaning pages, including one titled “Donald Trump is my President,” a page that promotes Trump’s bogus claim that the 2020 election was rigged against him.

Power Rangers star Austin St John faces 20 years in prison charged with ‘stimulus loan fraud’ as fans fear for a cast reunion Fri, 20 May 2022 09:12:00 +0000

POWER Rangers star Austin St. John faces a 20-year sentence after being accused of participating in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.

The actor – real name Jason Lawrence Geiger – is one of 18 people named in a federal indictment charged with violations of the Texas wire fraud conspiracy.


Actor Austin St. John could be jailed for up to 20 years on fraud chargesPhoto credit: Getty
He rose to fame as the original Red Power Ranger


He rose to fame as the original Red Power RangerCredit: Alamy

According to the indictment, St. John allegedly conspired to create or use existing businesses to fraudulently submit applications to the Small Business Administration to obtain funding from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The defendants are alleged to have managed to obtain 16 or more loans and at least $3.5 million.

Fans fear plans for a 30th anniversary reunion of the original Power Rangers will have to be scrapped as the 47-year-old could face 20 years in prison if convicted.

All of the show’s actors were asked by Hasbro to come together, but St. John’s legal troubles have cast doubt on whether it will go ahead.

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Prosecutors allege St. John — best known for playing the show’s original Red Power Ranger — and his co-defendants paid the program’s ringleaders and spent cash on personal purchases.

A press release from the Eastern District of Texas Department of Justice says 18 defendants have either been arrested or summoned to appear before a federal judge

According to the indictment, the defendants, led by Michael Hill and Andrew Moran, allegedly carried out a scheme to defraud lenders and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

“Hill is said to have recruited co-conspirators to use an existing company or set up a company to submit requests for PPP funding.

“Once he was drafted, Moran is said to have helped his co-conspirators with the application paperwork, including preparing supporting documentation and submitting the application through the online portals.

“The motions allege that the defendants misrepresented essential information such as the true nature of their business, the number of employees and the amount of payroll.”

According to the indictment, the SBA and other institutions approved and granted loans to the accused based on the “material representations”.

It continues: “Once the defendants received the fraudulently obtained funds, they used the funds for purposes other than those intended, such as paying employee salaries, covering fixed debt or pension benefits, or continuing to provide health care benefits to employees.

“Instead, the defendants typically paid Hill and Moran, transferred money to their personal accounts, and spent the money on various personal purchases.”

The government set up the Paycheck Protection Program to use taxpayers’ money to lend to support small businesses and their workers who are being handicapped by the coronavirus pandemic.

More than $349 billion worth of forgivable loans have been provided by the US Treasury Department to help small businesses pay their employees during the crisis.

St. John rose to fame when he was cast as teenage superhero Jason Lee Scott in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – the first installment in the franchise that debuted on Fox Kids in 1993.

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He left the show mid-season with two other co-stars before reprising the role in season four and the second film.

He has also appeared in films such as A Walk with Grace and Monsters At Large.

The show debuted on Fox Kids in 1993


The show debuted on Fox Kids in 1993Credit: Alamy
St. John - real name Jason Lawrence Geiger - was cast for the role when he was just a teenager


St. John – real name Jason Lawrence Geiger – was cast for the role when he was just a teenagerPhoto credit: Getty

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