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first_imgFrench bakers or ’boulangers’ number around 33,000 in France, says Jean-Pierre Crouzet, president of UIB, the French craft bakers and confectioners association. This does not mirror the decline seen in some other countries, but is still fewer than a decade ago.However, given current economic problems the French body has leapt into action. “We have initiated a programme to go into all the schools; kids just love baking and want to know how things are made,” says Crouzet.French craft breads are certainly one of the delights of visiting France, but how is the recession hitting bakers? “The main problem is the average basket is smaller,” says Crouzet. “We have 15 million consumers a day and they are spending a few cents less; that adds up to a lot per day and makes a difference to cash flow for individual bakers.”But in other ways, boulangers are flourishing. So how exactly is the association proactive for its members? “We are always lobbying,” explains Crouzet. “Every business belongs to a chamber of commerce. There are several chambers in a region and they listen to us.”It is their job to represent commerce and the livelihoods of members to government; we make sure the bakers’ voice is clearly heard. We are a vital part of the business community and we make that known and heard.”It is certainly a different set-up to the UK. Indeed, French boulangers took to the streets a few years ago to protest about the retention of standards and their identity in the face of growing supermarkets and frozen dough.When he hears that, in the UK, most of the lobbying takes place through the British Retail Consortium, whose primary activity is for supermarkets, Crouzet says: “The supermarkets [in France] have no special concessions.You need special planning permission for anything over 1,000sq m and councils look at other shops in the area and the impact of a large outlet,” says Crouzet.What about frozen bread? The question is hardly out, before Crouzet responds: “It’s forbidden! No craft baker who calls himself a boulanger can make or sell frozen bread or bread with additives.” He explains that ’Article 121’ permits boulangers to use only wheat, water, salt and natural yeast. “There is a fashion now for cereals, nuts and seeds, so bakers have a set brief on other components.”Bakers are designers,” says Crouzet. “The success of French bakers stems from the starter dough; it needs to be slow in development at least 24 hours, but usually much longer. We really value good bread and remind everyone politicians, the people, the schools of its value.”In the second week in May, we have a Fête du Pain (Festival of Bread) and on 16 May, we plan events in schools, churches, everywhere to celebrate St Honoré, the patron saint of bakers. We heavily involve children and tell them ’all kids are bakers’.”He continues: “Our contribution is also at point-of-sale and on posters. We have produced leaflets for every boulanger, which says: ’You buy me on a daily basis, but do you really know me?’ But as a trade we have had to adapt. Our members’ turnover is 60% bread and 40% pastries, sandwiches, biscuits and chocolates. We are starting to experience the problem of not having enough bakers, so we are particularly targeting girls. In the towns, our bakers open at 6.30am and, in the country, at 7.30am. They also close later, so shoppers can pick up a fresh loaf on the way home.”Lobbying councils and government, setting strict rules for breadmaking, being proactive with publicity, adapting to new products and opening hours this is the evolving face of craft bakery in France and forms an identity and heritage they manage to protect.But it does help to have planners and governments that listen. Protecting the craft In French law, Article 121 states that professionals who are not involved in the kneading, fermenting and shaping of their own dough from chosen raw ingredients or in the baking process for the sale of bread to consumers must not use the term ’baker’. Neither can their commercial premises be called a ’bakery’. Neither may they use any other term or advertising that could be confusing in a retail environment. Products can at no stage of their production or sale be frozen or part-baked.last_img read more

first_img Today the Prime Minister called Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki to discuss the use in Salisbury of a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia. The Prime Minister said this was another example of an unacceptable pattern of aggressive Russian behaviour, and Prime Minister Morawiecki expressed his full solidarity with the UK in its response to this reckless act. The Prime Minister thanked Prime Minister Morawiecki for his strong support and they agreed on the importance of a determined response from the European Union and the wider international community. They looked forward to meeting and holding further discussions on this matter at this week’s European Council. A Downing Street spokesperson said:last_img read more

first_imgIt’s been just over a year since beloved singer-songwriter Chris Cornell took his own life, and his death still feels just as shocking and perplexing as the day it happened. The emotional knife was twisted once again on July 20th of last year, as we passed what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday, but also received the heartbreaking news that Cornell’s longtime friend and Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington had also committed suicide, in the same fashion his friend had back in May. Neither man left a note, only creating more uncertainty around the apparent connection between the two men’s deaths. The two had developed a kinship over the years, as they both balanced their brooding creative visions as songwriters and performers against struggles with addiction and depression.Bennington had publicly struggled with the loss of Cornell. As his Linkin Park cohort Mike Shinoda explained in a interview after Cornell’s death, the band had been booked for a TV performance to promote their new single, but when they head the news they decided to play a different, more somber track about the loss of a friend:When we were doing a sound check Chester couldn’t even make it through the song, he was getting halfway through and getting choked up. And even when we did play the whole song, and it was live on TV, or taped for film for TV, he kind of just stopped towards the end…he missed the last couple lines, just couldn’t finish the song.Watch that performance below:Bennington later performed Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s funeral following the singer’s death. You can listen to a clip of that performance below via thejohnreaperTV:Over a year before Cornell’s death, he had also been publicly devastated by the sudden and shocking death of music and pop culture icon Prince. Prince, too, dealt with inner turmoil that he kept shielded from the public, as an addiction to opiates contributed to his deteriorated health and eventual death. You can read Cornell’s written tribute to The Purple One from his Facebook page, and listen to his live cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U” below. You can also watch a live, in-studio video of Cornell playing “Nothing Compares 2 U” as part of a 2015 Sirius XM interview and performance: It is heartbreaking to see so many amazing, emotionally and artistically raw musicians meeting such tragic ends. All we can do is appreciate the artists and the people in our lives today, help each other, and share life’s load to make sure no one person is crushed under its weight. Rest in peace, Prince, Chris, and Chester.last_img read more

first_imgThroughout April, Don Quixote’s Ventures at Notre Dame will encompass several cultural events to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the publication of Miguel de Cervantes’s widely-known novel. According to the Nanovic Institute’s website, Notre Dame will be celebrating the anniversary with a series of events “exploring the impact of this influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age.”Emily Danaher | The Observer Throughout the month, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures will be hosting a variety of events including readings, films and an academic symposium. Encarnación Juárez-Almendros, associate professor of early modern Spanish literature, said the events are important for promoting Hispanic culture on campus.“These events bring awareness of the literary and cultural importance of the best-known Spanish author and work to the greater Notre Dame community,” she said. “This intellectual undertaking underlines the relevance of the Hispanic cultural tradition as part of the University of Notre Dame’s global and multicultural commitment.”On Friday, undergraduate students in beginning Spanish courses will participate in QuijoteaND — Becoming Quixote. According to the Nanovic Institute website, starting at 2 p.m. the students will be reciting key passages from “Don Quixote” at various locations around campus, ultimately meeting up at the Grotto at 3 p.m.The Quixote Film Series will have showings of Jorge Alí Triana’s film, “Bolívar soy yo,” on April 20 and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Oscar winning film, “Birdman” on April 28, according to the Nanovic website. Both films will be shown at Andrews Auditorium in Geddes Hall at 7 p.m. and are open and free to the public.Students from Juárez-Almendros’s graduate seminar will present papers in 118 O’Shaughnessy Hall on April 23, 3:30 p.m. Students presenting include senior Mayra Almeida-Trejo, graduate students Alejandro Castrillon, Laura Fernández, Thomas Mann, Paola Uparela-Reyes and Leila Vieira de Jesus Gemelli, and Ph.D. candidates Marisol Fonseca-Malavasi and Natalia Rios-Puras.The final event is an academic symposium April 24, sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.“Four invited internationally recognized early modern Spanish scholars will lecture on diverse aspects of this complex novel,” Juárez-Almendros said. These scholars include Frederick de Armas of the University of Chicago, Anne Cruz of the University of Miami (Fla.), Edward Friedman of Vanderbilt University and Luciano Garcia-Lorenzo of the Board of Governors of Scientific Research in Madrid.The symposium will take place at Gillsepie Conference Center at Saint Mary’s College from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.Tags: department of romance languages, don quixotelast_img read more

first_imgHomemade jams and jellies can be a delicious way to extend the summer bounty, but a University of Georgia food preservation expert urges people to follow the rules when canning at home. “Even though sugar has a preservative action in jams and jellies, molds can still grow and spoil these products,” said Elizabeth Andress, a UGA Cooperative Extension specialist. “USDA and UGA Cooperative Extension endorse a boiling water canning process for jams and jellies, which will make the potential for mold spoilage as small as possible.” Use the following steps, Andress says, to preserve food safely at home: Start with boiling water. Before cooking the jam, fill a boiling water canner with enough warm water to cover filled jars one to two inches above the lids. The canner needs to be centered over the stove’s burner and should be level. Add the jars before bringing the water to a boil to sterilize them. Empty jars need to be submerged in boiling water for 10 minutes for sterilization. If no sterilization is needed, heat the water in the canner to 180 degrees, simmering, to process filled jars. Wash pint or half-pint canning jars in hot water with dishwashing detergent or in a dishwasher. Sterilize jars if needed. Sterilized or not, keep jars hot until ready to be filled. Prepare canning jar lids according to manufacturers directions. Cook jam or jelly according to recipe directions. Skim off foam if present. Fill jars. If the jars were pre-sterilized, remove them from the canner when it is time to fill them and tilt them to quickly empty any water inside them into the canner. Fill jars with the hot jelly or jam mixture, leaving a fourth-inch headspace. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean paper towel and seal the jars with lids. Adjust the ring bands as needed. Work quickly to insure the filled jars stay as hot as possible until they are ready to be loaded into the canner for processing. Load the filled jars, using a jar lifter, into the canner. Keep the jars upright at all times to prevent jelly or jam from spilling into the sealed area of the lid. The canner should be simmering when jars are added, not boiling.Boil filled containers. Turn the burner under the canner to its highest setting and place a lid on the canner. Return the water to a boil. If the jars were sterilized, boil the filled jars for five minutes. If hot, clean jars were used, process for 10 minutes. Keep a lid on the canner while processing to keep water boiling. Turn off the heat once the jars have processed, and remove the canner lid. Wait five minutes before removing jars from the canner. Use a jar lifter to remove the hot jars from the canner. Place the jars on a towel or cake cooling rack. Leave at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Cool jars upright for 12 to 24 hours while the vacuum seal is drawn and the jam or jelly sets. When using two-piece metal canning lids, do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled. Remove ring bands from sealed jars. Label and store in a cool, dry place out of direct light. Follow these UGA and USDA recommendations will help limit the risk of mold growth and spoilage of homemade jams and jellies. “There is some evidence that molds growing on fruit products could produce mycotoxins, or mold poisons,” Andress said. “A few other organisms could also spoil jams and jellies. It is best to take steps to prevent molding and spoilage, and thereby also protecting your investment of fruit, time and money by not having to throw away spoiled jams and jellies.”For more information from the National Center for Home Food Preservation on making jams and jellies, visit read more

first_imgWeek 5 is now over, which means here is week 6! For the next 3 weeks we will be giving away lift passes to Wintergreen Resort!Each week we will give away 2 weekday lift passes (valid Monday-Thursday) to one lucky individual, so 16 in total over 8 weeks.To sweeten the deal, we are also giving away a pair of Bolle goggles (a $40 value) with the tickets!This giveaway is now over, but week 7 of the Wintergreen Lift Tickets giveaway is up and running!Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning  date. Entries must be received by mail or through the contest sign-up page by 12:00 noon EST on February 15th, 2013. One entry per person. One winner per household.  Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United  States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older.  Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge  Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No  liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate,  non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled,  mistranscribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for  technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable  network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer  transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of  processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the  sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and Wintergreen Resort reserve  the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information  and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their  sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry  process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes.  Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating  sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies  shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from  acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash,  or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of  the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to  allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion.  Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater  value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply.  Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors  office on or before March 1st, 6:00 PM EST 2013. Winners will be contacted by  the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7  days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of  winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received.last_img read more

first_imgRecently, I had a conversation with a couple of large credit union CTOs.  I brought up the idea of a credit union using a chat bot and was surprised at the almost violent reaction that ensued.   The credit unions were furious at the concept, which I found fascinating, and decided to look at in more depth.First – What is a Chatbot?According to Wikipedia, a chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.How would a credit union use a chatbot?Imagine a world where the credit union had a chatbot so that when a member asked routine questions – the chatbot responded with real answers simulating the experience of chatting with a human.  The positives would be that members would get consistent information and service 24/7 in an automated fashion.  The chatbot can even be programmed to inject a real human on exception items or when a member is getting frustrated.  Consequently, it is entirely possible that the member would never know whether they were chatting with a human or a chatbot.  In addition, the cost of delivering the member service would be substantially lower and would solve some big hiring, staffing and technology challenges for the credit union.On the flip side, the credit unions I discussed the issue with,felt strongly that this concept flew in the face of “good member service” and of the people aspect of credit unions.  Ultimately it seemed that there was a philosophical issue with the idea that you could automate service using technology.   Fundamentally I think it gets at the broader issue credit unions struggle with – how do you define good member service and deliver it consistently?In order for a chatbot to work and provide good service, it would fundamentally have to be setup in a way that allowed it to handle the gray areas of member service.  For example, not all fee reversals are equal.  A member who is in good standing that had their first overdraft fee in 5 years – might be an easy reversal vs. the one that has had 1 a month for 3 straight months.   Consequently, to setup a chatbot, a credit union would have to muddle through all of the small gray area decisions that its employees are empowered to make small judgements on today.Ironically, I would argue that a credit union should probably do this anyway to be able to provide consistent guidance and advice to its employees around A) defining good service B) defining bad service C) and defining the myriad of use cases that might be good service to one person but not to another.  This is an arduous task – but if successful – the credit union would see a lot more consistency and better service scores. In addition, the credit union could plan options for when the credit union makes a mistake and have a matrix of canned answers for member service or call center representatives. Management’s role in articulating, defining, documenting and creating a playbook for employees would have some very positive impacts on the credit unions brand, service, and membership.  Once that was done by humans – it doesn’t seem a big leap to have a chatbot do the heavy lifting and enable the existing staff to elevate their delivery and focus on the next tier of member enhancing services.Ultimately, a modern fintech startup would probably just start with a chatbot and build their service library along with the success of their business. They wouldn’t have a high cost structure or staffing issues and would look to avoid them on day one. The real challenge in my mind is not whether we will use chatbots but when.Interested in more credit union technology news? Visit our blog at or contact us at [email protected] to discuss your credit union’s technology strategy in more detail. 45SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kirk Drake Kirk Drake is founder and CEO of Ongoing Operations, LLC, a rapidly growing CUSO that provides complete business continuity and technology solutions. With its recent acquisition of Cloudworks, Ongoing Operations … Web: Detailslast_img read more

first_img This post is currently collecting data… ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr This is placeholder text continue reading »center_img The members of a credit union’s board of directors are often referred to as volunteers, and for good reason. The FCU Act and NCUA regulations – specifically section 701.33 – prohibit federal credit unions (FCUs) from compensating their directors, which means credit union directors are not paid for the work they do. There is one exception to this prohibition: one director may be compensated if provided for in the credit union’s bylaws.Section 701.33(b)(2) provides some items that are not considered to be compensation, and which therefore can be provided to the directors without violating the “no compensation” rule. The provision we’ll focus on today is found in section 701.33(b)(2)(i), which allows a credit union to pay or reimburse “reasonable and proper costs”  incurred by a director “in carrying out the responsibilities of the position.” Such expenses may be covered for any “official,” which includes associate directors and committee members.The regulation states that, for such costs to be paid, they should be “in accordance with written policies and procedures, including documentation requirements, established by the board of directors” (emphasis added). The NCUA has stated that FCUs are given “the flexibility to establish reimbursement programs that meet an FCU’s unique needs.” Once the policy is in place, it will be up to the board to determine if specific expenses fit the policy and procedures. The NCUA discussed the process in this 1991 legal opinion letter and this 1996 legal opinion letter. According to those letters, the first step is to determine if the costs were incurred during official business. Then, the board should consider whether the costs were “reasonable and proper.” Finally, the board should determine if payment would be “necessary and appropriate.”last_img read more

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Statement Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf released the following statement on the failure of the Senate to act on HB 2375:“The Senate’s inaction on HB 2375 is incredibly disappointing and frustrating for so many Pennsylvanians.“Just weeks after Republicans and Democrats came together to pass fiscally responsible and comprehensive unemployment insurance reform that would provide benefits to 44,000 Pennsylvanians, the failure to move this critical legislation leaves the system’s staffing and operations in upheaval.“The failure to pass this bill now also means that the unemployment insurance system will be forced to lay off workers and close centers who process claims for the very people who are newly eligible to receive benefits because they are out of work and looking for a new job.“Though these impacts will be real and immediate, I will continue to provide workers with additional training opportunities and resources to help them get back to work.”Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: November 16, 2016center_img Governor Wolf Statement on the Senate’s Failure to Act on HB 2375last_img read more

first_img December 02, 2016 Press Release,  Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the federal government has granted his request for federal disaster assistance to reimburse state agencies, county and municipal governments and other eligible private non-profits for costs associated with significant flash flooding in Bradford, Centre, Lycoming and Sullivan counties on Oct. 21, 2016.“This flooding caused considerable damage to state and local infrastructure, and the financial impact would have caused significant strain on the communities and their economies,” said Governor Wolf. “This assistance will make a big difference in these communities that simply cannot absorb the cost of repairs.”The overall estimated total costs associated with this major disaster declaration are $33.2 million, which exceeds the commonwealth’s federally-established threshold of $18.1 million. Federal reimbursement will cover up to 75 percent of county costs incurred on eligible expenses, such as costs associated with paying overtime, repairs to damaged public infrastructure, equipment rentals, materials, search and rescue operations, and opening and operating shelters. It is important to note that total costs may fluctuate as applications for assistance are reviewed at both the state and federal levels.Over the coming weeks, staff from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will hold meetings with applicants to thoroughly review all application documentation before forwarding it to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The process is expected to take several weeks, and all reimbursements are handled electronically.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Governor Wolf Announces Federal Disaster Funding for October Floodingcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more