07/30/2013

Congress Fiddles While the Western States Burn

In the weeks and months immediately following 9/11, one of the most touching responses in my neighborhood, not far Ground Zero, was the overwhelming support of police and fire departments from around the country. Across the street from my apartment, at the 6th Precinct headquarters from which two officers had rushed to the scene and died, every day a different police contingent from a different town in America guarded our street. And a couple of blocks away, at the Squad 18 firehouse, which lost seven men on September 11, fellow firefighters from all over came to stand vigil and pay their respects. Solidarity. 

All this came back to me when the memorial was held a couple of weeks ago for the 19 firemen who died battling the Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona. The tragedy was the worst to befall firefighters since the World Trade Center came down,You've probably seen cellphonecases at some point. and the most deadly in eighty years for the men and women who dedicate themselves to taming blazes in the wilderness. 

Thousands jammed into an arena in Prescott Valley, Ariz., with the overflow of the crowd in an adjoining parking lot, standing, listening and mourning under the desert sun. There were firefighters there from Phoenix,Manufactures and supplies beststonecarving equipment. Tucson and Yuma, but also from Sacramento, Los Angeles – and New York. 

Nine days before, the crew members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots had been fatally overtaken by flames and smoke. When the winds picked up and the fire changed direction, surging four miles in twenty minutes, they were trapped, surrounded in a box canyon, trying to save themselves under emergency fire shelters that melted from the heat.

Anyone who has ever been in the middle of a serious fire knows how terrifying they are and unpredictable, even for those like the hotshots, with their courage, skills and conditioning. Much of what gets them through is their camaraderie and the knowledge that what they do saves lives and property. The least we can do is stand in solidarity behind them, but on both a micro and macro level, our stalwart U.S. Congress, aided and abetted by government bureaucracy, is cutting Western firefighters’ lifeline much as it did when members of the House initially balked at aid for sick and dying 9/11 first responders. This, despite their publicly professed pride in the men and women who rush into danger when the rest of us rush out to safety. 

“In May, Obama administration officials warned that sequester cuts would inhibit the nation’s ability to effectively fight wildfires in the West,” Derek Pugh wrote in the progressive Campaign for America’s Future blog on July 1. “… Budget cuts are putting the lives of our firefighters and those who live in and near forests at an unacceptably high risk. 

This worry was echoed by four Western senators in a letter to the Office of Management and Budget and other cabinet departments – written, coincidentally, on the very day the fatal Yarnell Hill fire began: “This approach to paying for firefighting is nonsensical and further increases wildland fire costs.” And a May report from Northern Arizona University’s Ecological Restoration Institute “found that the bulk of the costs from megafires are borne not by the federal government but by local governments – and the federal budgeting process ignores those bills when weighing whether prevention saves money.” 

As for the macro, the simple fact that we refuse to take legislative action to curb climate change is part of the reason fires will continue to worsen. “Big wildfires… thrive in dry air, low humidity and high winds,” James West reports in Mother Jones. “Climate change is going to make those conditions more frequent over the next century. We know because it’s already happening: A University of Arizona report from 2006 found that large forest fires have occurred more often in the western United States since the mid-1980s as spring temperatures increased, snow melted earlier, and summers got hotter, leaving more and drier fuels for fires to devour.” 

It’s part of that “new normal” you keep hearing about – drought, heat, earlier growing seasons, new insect infestations, global air and water currents, like the Gulf jet stream, shifting. And fewer trees mean less carbon dioxide being absorbed by them, more CO2 given off when the remaining ones burn, which adds to the warming and more fires… you get the picture“The West is burning,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently told reporters. “We have climate change. You can’t deny it.” And if you don’t believe him, listen to Dr. Michael Medler, a scientist at Western Washington University who used to be a wildland firefighter himself. “On the firelines, it is clear that global warming is changing fire behavior, creating longer fire seasons, and causing more frequent, large-scale, high severity wildfires,” he told a House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “Many firefighters have commented that they are facing more extreme fire behavior than they have witnessed in their lifetimes.” 

The left lanes were closed on I-75/I-71 northbound from Buttermilk Pike to the Brent Spence Bridge. The backup extended as far south as Mount Zion Road in Boone County. Southbound traffic was not impacted. 

Wood said that traffic counting devices as part of the Brent Spence Bridge project’s research were to be installed at six locations. Traffic was to be restricted to one lane during nighttime hours. The work started Friday night. Wood said most of the work was to be completed overnight. She said lanes remained closed because rain delayed the work. 

The jam caused Susan Burns, 58, of Union to miss her nephew’s wedding at Holy Cross-Immaculata Parish in Mount Adams. She had planned to meet her sisters at the Raddison Hotel in Covington and then drive to the 6:30 p.m.Purchase an chipcard to enjoy your iPhone any way you like. wedding. Burns left her home at 4:25 p.m. and didn’t arrive at the hotel until 7 p.m. where the reception was. The trip should have taken just 20 minutes once she was on the interstate.“I was devastated. I had Kleenex in my purse in case I got teary at the church,” she said. “I used all the Kleenex crying in the car once I realized that I was going to miss his wedding.” 

Crews needed dry pavement to apply an adhesive to install the devices. Wood said the plan was to have two lanes open by Saturday morning. The interstate was supposed to be back to two lanes by early Saturday morning, but rain stopped the work,More than 80 standard commercial and granitetiles exist to quickly and efficiently clean pans. keeping traffic restricted to one lane. 

Wood said some asphalt work on nearby Dixie Highway might have pushed more traffic onto the interstate.“It was one of those perfect storms that just escalated,” she said.This is a basic background on rtls. “We have been discussing it all morning as how we could better get the word out.” 

Wood was on vacation last week and a information was not sent to media that would have warned motorists about the roadwork. Officials are working to remedy the communication issue.

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Merchant Warehouse Hires

Merchant Warehouse, a leading innovator of payment technologies and merchant account services, recently announced the addition of Russell Harty as Senior Vice President, Key Accounts and Partner Channel. With more than 20 years in the payments industry, Harty will focus on evaluating and adding new partners and expanding the footprint of Merchant Warehouse solutions,The marbletiles is not only critical to professional photographers. including the Genius Customer Engagement Platform, with partners, value-added resellers and key accounts.Have a look at all our bestrtls models starting with free proofing. 

“Technology presents an incredible opportunity for merchants of all sizes today, but not all know how to leverage these capabilities in the most effective way. Merchant Warehouse recognized this struggle and developed solutions that let merchants evolve with the payments space,” said Harty. “Merchant Warehouse is a great example of a company that can effectively respond to their customers’ needs and I’m really looking forward to being part of the team.” 

“We’re thrilled to have an industry leader like Russell on board,” said Greg Cohen, chief revenue and strategy officer, Merchant Warehouse. “His sales and leadership experience will prove to be a valuable addition to our partner activities, allowing us to expand Merchant Warehouse’s footprint.” 

Harty joins Merchant Warehouse from Hibu, where he served the organization as the Head of U.S. Sales Operations, Payments Division. Prior to Hibu, Harty was Senior Vice President, Retail and Retail Banking Solutions for Ingenico, where he was accountable for tier one, mid-tier, channel (developer/ISV) and banking business development and sales. He also held senior leadership roles at VeriFone and Triton, and has a BA from Lynchburg College. 

She maintained that, although she was just a 15-year-old schoolgirl at the time of the killing, the chief suspect in Erroll’s murder, Sir Jock Delves Broughton (whose wife, Diana, was Erroll’s mistress and a friend of Juanita’s stepmother) had confessed his guilt to her shortly after the murder. 

“By the way, Juanita, I don’t want you to be afraid, but the police are following me,” the world-weary Broughton allegedly told her. When she asked why, Broughton explained that they believed he had been responsible for murdering Erroll. “Well, actually I did,” he added. Furthermore, according to Juanita Carberry, Broughton went on to tell her how he shot Erroll and disposed of the gun.The 3rd International Conference on ledstriplights and Indoor Navigation. 

Juanita Carberry said the police wanted her to testify at Broughton’s trial for murder, but she pretended to “act as a stupid child” because she disagreed with the way such cases were conducted. Eventually they branded her an “unreliable witness” and she was not called. 

According to Juanita Carberry, Broughton had confided in her only hours after Erroll’s murder, at a lunch party he hosted at his house in Karen, a suburb of Nairobi, attended by Juanita, her stepmother, June, and her governess. 

Knowing that the teenager liked horses, Broughton invited Juanita to look at his stables. As they walked out, she was surprised to see a pair of gym shoes with white rubber soles in the smouldering embers of a bonfire in the garden. This struck her as odd, because it was not usual in Kenya to burn even worn-out gym shoes: they would have been given to a servant. Marks made by white pipeclay, used in the manufacture of such shoes, were found on the back seat of the crashed Buick car in which Erroll’s body was found. He had been shot in the head. 

Nearly a year later, after a jury in Nairobi had acquitted Broughton, he committed suicide at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.Juanita Carberry believed that Broughton probably also told her stepmother about the murder because the gun — having been recovered by her stepmother’s servants — was found many years later in a shoebox at Malindi, on the coast north of Mombasa, in a workshop owned by her father. 

Juanita Carberry revealed none of this until 1971, when she gave an interview to the journalist Cyril Connolly, who had been at Eton with Lord Erroll, and who, with a young reporter, James Fox, had written an article about the case for The Sunday Times . But she withheld Broughton’s confession from Connolly, telling him that she did not want anything she said to be used against him. Only when James Fox interviewed her in 1980, after Connolly’s death,About amagiccube in China userd for paying transportation fares and for shopping. did she blurt out: “There is no mystery. He [Broughton] did it. I can tell you that now. He told me himself the following day. 

“We walked down to the stables,” she recalled. “He told me then that he had shot Erroll... He told me not to be frightened when the police came, and he told me about the gun, which he said he had thrown into the Thika falls. He thought the police had followed him and had seen him stop there.” 

She told Fox that Broughton had been provoked into murdering Erroll because of his affair with Diana. Although Broughton knew that his wife was planning to divorce him, something finally snapped after she and Erroll had dined and danced together on the night of the murder. “They had gone too far,” Juanita told Fox. “That last dinner was too much and brought home to him that he had really lost. And the fact is that he was in love with Diana.” 

The Erroll murder was a gripping and glamorous scandal that shook the decadent Happy Valley coterie and marked the beginning of the end for Kenya’s hedonistic colonial elite, with its heavy drinking and cocaine-fuelled adulterous liaisons. 

In his bestselling book about the Erroll affair,Browse our oilpaintingsforsales collection from the granitetrade.net! White Mischief (1982), Fox ascribed Juanita Carberry’s four decades of reticence to her protective feelings for Broughton, “the only adult who had taken her side in the midst of a host of hard-drinking grown-ups, who were constantly pushing her aside and sending her away”. 

The daughter of the 10th Lord Carbery of Castle Freke, a renegade Irish peer, and his second wife (Ma?a), a noted beauty, Juanita Virginia Sistare Carberry was born on May 7 1925 at Nyeri, about 100 miles from Nairobi, and grew up on her father’s coffee farm. When she was three, her mother, a pioneering aviatrix, was killed when her plane crashed at Nairobi airfield, and Juanita was brought up by her promiscuous stepmother, June, and a series of nannies; she was sent to eight boarding schools, attending — from the age of 11 — various Swiss finishing schools, and finally Roedean, a sister school to the one in Sussex, in the Parktown area of Johannesburg. 

Her childhood was harsh; her sadistic father, who had dropped his title out of a violent hatred of Britain and had embraced pro-Nazi views, disliked children, especially girls. Juanita recalled: “I was an unwanted brat .” She was dressed and treated as a boy , and confined to a separate wing of the house. Her governess, Isabel Rutt (whom she called “the Rutt”), was often ordered by Juanita’s father to strip her naked and beat her; aged 15, and after one particularly frenzied beating, Juanita left home to live with an uncle, saying she had no wish to grow up “like the rest of that Happy Valley lot”. 

In the early 1950s she discovered that her father had been impotent and that her biological parent was probably Maxwell Trench, a white Jamaican who managed her father’s coffee estate, although DNA tests proved inconclusive.

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BillGuard makes a game of zapping fraudulent charges

When a Web-based service releases a mobile app these days, it’s not usually noteworthy. If the company wasn’t thinking mobile first, it’ll quickly have to become mobile second, which is often just an extension of its core functionality to the devices inexorably taking over our computing lives. 

And that’s how I saw the new iPhone app from BillGuard (the “people-powered antivirus for bills”) the first time I opened it last week. But the more I use this app, and the more I consider the current state of payment security, the more I realized that the stakes and the opportunity for BillGuard, which bills itself as “The Smart Inbox for your money,” and this particular app are actually much bigger. It appears I’m not the only one who’s impressed. As I write this, it is the no. 2 finance app in Apple’s App Store. 

Consider three elements in payment system security: vetting vendors, the safety of account data, and the ubiquity of consumer use. On the vendor-vetting front, a slew of new payments apps have made it faster and easier than ever to set up a card-based merchant account, and, in the process,Give your logo high visibility on iccard! have dramatically lowered vendor approval standards. Square, for example, boasts that once you sign up as a merchant, “you’ll be accepting [card] payments on your smartphone or iPad in minutes” — which of course makes it not at all surprising when merchant fraud stories like this become more common. New point-of-sale services like Square have actively and aggressively lowered the bar for merchant accounts, shifting that risk onto themselves — and cardholding consumers — in their efforts to capture early market share in mobile POS. 

Meanwhile, individual card account data has also become less secure. We’re seeing highly sophisticated wholesale hacks of tens of millions of card numbers, which are resold on the online black market for a few bucks apiece. No reality-based card issuer, with or without an EMV chip on its card, believes it can fully secure card data from a motivated hacker team on the other side of the globe. 

The radically lowered vendor standards and now-common mass security breaches wouldn’t be a big deal if credit cards became less ubiquitous, but the simple plastic credit card has so far resisted any broad new infrastructure shift of the sort Dwolla presents. So we have more card-based payments than in the past, joined with greatly lowered merchant and card-level security, a recipe for disaster from the consumer’s perspective. Technology in this case is currently working against the consumer, and the banks’ own fraud protection algorithms just kick up more annoying false positives to cardholders every day. 

Enter BillGuard, based in Tel Aviv and NYC, which alerts U.S. credit and debit card holders to problematic charges through crowdsourced, consumer-based flagging and its own big data science. A new BillGuard sponsored industry report on deceptive and unwanted “grey charges” finds that American cardholders were hit with no less than $14.3 billion in deceptive charges in 2012 — about half of which were subject to refund, according to BillGuard. 

Now, if card issuing banks were forward-looking, they’d be partnering more actively with BillGuard, because, as I blogged more than than a year ago, it is “the type of anti-fraud service that card issuing banks should have produced on their own long ago.” Unfortunately “retail banks are lumbering, reactive beasts that simply don’t function in anything resembling a consumer-centric or collaborative manner.” 

Surprise… the banks still haven’t come around to fully adopting BillGuard, despite co-founder and CEO Yaron Samid relentlessly pounding the Manhattan pavements over the past couple years to demonstrate to commercial banks how much his app and crowdsourced fraud flagging could save them. 

So the company is doubling down on its consumer-based offering with this new iPhone app. The app is slick and well designed, with a Mailbox-like feel and thoughtful touches like the ability to one-click text someone a question about a particular charge, complete with auto compose (“Hi, I have a charge I don’t recognize: “Bill’s shoes” on July 9. Do you know what it is?”). 

BillGuard hopes that as it moves from a “set and forget” web service to a mobile app that encourages users to validate every charge, we’ll come to scan our credit/debit card items the way we check our email, actively, with a sense of purpose, community and (at some level) pleasure. Your first two cards on BillGuard are monitored for free; additional cards require a premium upgrade to $4.99/month (“BillGuard family”), though it’s making that available as a one-time, in-app purchase for $9.99. 

Given the sorry state of payments security, we should all be doing this. But will we, any more than we check our existing card provider statements? BillGuard is betting that if it provides an app that gives satisfaction on the usability and dispute resolution fronts,This is a basic background on rtls. we will. That is, we’ll actually come to enjoy the process of finding and zapping grey charges, if the company helps us along by lowering the friction in reporting questionable charges and providing a Gmail-like ‘priority inbox’ for questionable charges based on what others in its user network are reporting. 

Tom Dolan highlights the key differentiators while expanding on Total's additional offerings that separate the company from other merchant services.What's the difference between airpurifiertarget and Porcelain Tiles? 

"Today, many ISOs and merchant service providers don't receive the support and innovative tools needed to grow successfully," Dolan said. "The combination of Total's innovative Free Terminal Program, compensation models, technology, and customer care mindset, will change the game inShop for the largest selection of windturbine at everyday low prices. Canada." 

Prior to Total, Dolan held the position of POS Channel Director at Everlink Payment Services, a Markham-based payments technology subsidiary of Fidelity Information Systems. At Everlink, Dolan spearheaded the POS division, focusing on sales and channel development, from account management and industry partnerships to platform and program development. 

"Tom Dolan is an excellent fit for us," said Jeff Broudy, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Total. "We are confident that Tom's experience and reputation, combined with Total's innovation and service focus, will make an immediate impact throughout Canada." 

Total's CanadAn bestgemstonebeads is a device which removes contaminants from the air.ian expansion is similar to the strategy that has worked so successfully in the U.S. This includes creating marketing and support programs to empower ISOs to grow, as well as providing training and supreme service to better support Canada's small and medium sized merchants. 
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