What a Grand Rabbi’s request might teach us about combating vaccine hesitancy

first_img But there was a twist. The characteristics of ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities that might potentially make them vulnerable to the spread of vaccine hesitancy — being tight-knit, distrustful of outside authority — are the same ones that members have used to encourage other families to vaccinate.An ultra-Orthodox oncology nurse in Brooklyn heard, from her cousin in New Jersey, that some neighbors weren’t vaccinating their kids. So she started texting with parents, refuting misinformation, explaining the science and safety of immunization, and, eventually, lugging reams of research to meetings in homes around the tri-state area.Rabbis have stated that vaccines are kosher and urged their congregations to protect themselves and their children by getting immunized.The email that Brown received was a similar effort from within the community — but the interventions that ensued weren’t just meant for families. They were also designed to help doctors.The request started with none other than Grand Rabbi David Twersky, a spiritual leader — the rebbe — of the Skver Hasidic sect. Descended from a long line of revered religious teachers, Twersky guides his ultra-Orthodox community from New Square, a patch of former farmland 20 minutes west of the Hudson River.“There are thousands and thousands of people over the years who are going to the rebbe for blessings — or if they have a problem, to ask advice,” explained Victor Ostreicher, a businessman who’d grown up close to the rabbi.The questions that these visitors ask can be about almost anything. But in October, when the measles outbreak began, more and more of them had to do with vaccines. “Some people were scared,” Ostreicher went on: So-and-so had told them they shouldn’t vaccinate, somebody else told them they should, and some doctor had said something that raised questions in their minds. They wanted to know what the rebbe advised. Please enter a valid email address. The Refuah Health Center in Rockland County, N.Y. Erica Yoon for STAT Leave this field empty if you’re human: “Not that the rebbe had the question if vaccinations should be given,” Ostreicher said. “He was 100% sure.” But Rabbi Twersky thought it might be useful to have a document from some medical authority that he could show visitors, to help convince them that immunizations would not only protect their children, but also that the injections were safe.Over the years, when congregants came to him with serious health problems, he often recommended that they go to the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. And Ostreicher — a founder of Rockland County’s Refuah Health Center, where many members of the community get health care — has often accompanied them as a patient advocate. In the last seven years, he estimates, he’s made the trip around 10 times.“Mr. Ostreicher is our founder and our board treasurer, he’s also in many businesses, and has an ability to interact with and navigate very difficult things,” explained Chanie Sternberg, president and CEO of Refuah. “Going to Mayo is two sides of one coin: It’s helping the patient understand the system, and helping the doctor understand the patient.” Eric Boodman By Eric Boodman May 10, 2019 Reprints About the Author Reprints Newsletters Sign up for STAT Health Tech Your weekly guide to how tech is transforming health care and life sciences. When the illness began to spread in the last seven months, it brought tension with it, as contagion often does. About two-thirds of the cases were occurring within outbreaks in New York: one in Brooklyn, the other in Rockland County, both places with substantial ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. Apparently, measles took off when some travelers returned stateside from Israel, and its spread was aided by an anti-vaccine tract circulating among some religious families. But some in these communities felt that, because of a small minority within their ranks, attention was unfairly focused on the group as a whole.As Aron Wieder, a Rockland County legislator, put it, “The misrepresentation of the Orthodox community as not being vaccinated — it’s spreading like the measles disease.”advertisement HealthWhat a Grand Rabbi’s request might teach us about combating vaccine hesitancy [email protected] center_img Related: Can officials require vaccinations against measles? A century-old case may give them a foothold In a religious N.Y. community, an unprecedented response to measles puts trust in government to the test While volunteering in this way, Ostreicher had encountered a number of practitioners specializing in a bunch of organs, but he’d become especially friendly with Brown. That wasn’t entirely a coincidence. Brown makes a point of getting to know the friends and family who come to his patients’ appointments. He enjoys it, and it can be a useful diagnostic tool; the hangers-on are often best-equipped to tell him about what he calls “those transient symptoms that … may not come across in a 90-minute neurological observation.”So, when Grand Rabbi Twersky asked for a letter stressing the importance of vaccines, Ostreicher reached out to Brown, who in turn got in touch with his Mayo Clinic colleague, pediatrician and vaccine researcher Dr. Robert Jacobson, who sat down to write. He wrote about the hospitalizations that happen in a quarter of measles cases, about the brain swellings that can occur, about the chances of death. He wrote about how the measles-mumps-rubella shot prevents the disease.“Here at Mayo Clinic we not only make sure all of our children get this vaccine on a timely basis,” he wrote, “but we make sure all of our medical staff get the vaccine as well.”Then he pressed send.The Grand Rabbi wasn’t the only authority in Rockland County who wanted some backup.The doctors and nurses at Refuah had already been doing everything they could to stop the outbreak. “We’ve been working in lockstep with the Department of Health to offer vaccinations to anyone willing to receive them. We did robocalls, banners, town hall meetings. Word of mouth is a big one,” said Dr. Corinna Manini, the center’s chief medical officer. “We have automated ways for people to call in 24/7 and determine their measles vaccination status.”But they still had questions about how best to deal with patients hesitant to get vaccines.They’re hardly the only ones. “Physicians sometimes feel overwhelmed about these vaccine-hesitant parents,” said Eve Dubé, a medical anthropologist who studies vaccine hesitancy at the Québec National Institute of Public Health, in Canada. “They feel their own expertise is being criticized. For physicians to be told, ‘I don’t trust what you’re saying’ — that can be very emotional.”So, as the Grand Rabbi began circulating Jacobson’s letter, and as the measles outbreak continued, the leaders at Refuah decided to fly the doctor in from Minnesota. “It was important for our providers to hear from someone who had done the research — what works and what doesn’t work,” said Sternberg, the president and CEO.The training was planned for March 25 — one day before the Rockland County executive declared a month-long state of emergency, in which all unvaccinated children were banned from indoor public spaces such as houses of worship, malls, and schools. So many Refuah practitioners wanted to listen to Jacobson they couldn’t all fit in the conference room, and he had to give his talk twice.He began the way he would in his own practice: with the presumption that parents will vaccinate their children. “Say, ‘Your child’s due for the MMR vaccine, I’ll have the nurse come in and do it,’ … with the assumption, you came to see me, this is what we do as part of the visit,” he explained in an interview this month. It’s the same thing he does for other routine procedures. “I don’t get into a long discussion about the benefits and risks of a stethoscope exam. I just say, ‘Now I’m going to take a listen to your heart.’”It was a technique that had worked in a 2013 study, when researchers filmed 111 discussions in which physicians brought up vaccines and found that those who asked parents about vaccines were more likely to face hesitancy than those who assumed the shots would take place.But there will be some parents who continue to express worry. As tempting as it might be to simply hand them some pamphlets to read, Jacobson explained, this is the moment for the physician to start asking questions. “You step back, and you say, ‘So I understand you don’t want to do the MMR vaccine. Can you tell me why?” he said. “This is really important because clinicians who might just jump into it and start giving advice on the vaccine without knowing what the parent’s concern is may completely miss the boat and have really failed to connect with the parent.”After all, he said, the parent and the pediatrician are after the same thing: To protect the child. Only once that sense of trust and shared purpose is established — one built on hearing out the parent’s questions and concerns — only then might the practitioner have a chance at changing someone’s mind with evidence and advice. “The clinician’s effectiveness will be in that room and in that relationship of caring one on one,” he said.It’s hard to say, once Jacobson flew back to Minnesota and the Refuah practitioners dispersed back to their exam rooms, whether his words had a direct effect on the local measles numbers themselves. After all, the training coincided with other public health measures. Last week, the Rockland County executive announced that “19,661 safe and effective MMR vaccinations have been given since the outbreak began; clearly illustrating that the combined outreach and education efforts have had a significant effect.”Yet there’s long been a fraught relationship between the county administration and the area’s ultra-Orthodox communities.  Though the reasons might be different from place to place, similar sentiments are felt in various communities across the U.S. and abroad. As Dubé put it, “We’re in an era of lower trust — in elites, in medical authorities, in experts. … It’s larger than just vaccines.”In her work as an anthropologist, interviewing mothers of new babies, Dubé has heard it again and again, how beliefs are rooted in relationships, with concerns about vaccines spreading from friend to friend, family member to family member, beloved leader to congregant.We listen to the people we know. Often, they have more power than statistics in a flyer or advisories on a website. So this long chain in defense of immunization — from rebbe to community leader, community leader to trusted doctor, trusted doctor to expert colleague, expert colleague to practitioners in the rebbe’s own backyard — might be less circuitous than it sounds. As a neurologist whose patients return to see him year after year, Dr. Robert Brown Jr., of Mayo Clinic, hears about plenty besides strokes and aneurysms. His older patients pull up smartphone photos of grandkids and great-grandkids; his farmer patients talk of rough winters, rainy spells, fluctuations in the price of corn. While investigating memory loss and personality change, he hears about dogs, football games, vacations, and funerals.But in November, someone he’d met in the clinic sent him a question he wasn’t expecting. The man was in Rockland County, N.Y., a leader in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. He was concerned about a measles outbreak there, and was wondering how to address parents’ hesitations about vaccines.The question is an important one, puzzled over by pediatricians and psychologists alike, and it’s taken on a new urgency in 2019, when the number of confirmed measles cases in the United States — 764, as of last week — is the highest it’s been in 25 years. How that question arrived in Brown’s inbox, it turns out, might just help inform the answer.advertisement @ericboodman Related: General Assignment Reporter Eric focuses on narrative features, exploring the startling ways that science and medicine affect people’s lives. Tags infectious diseasepublic healthVaccineslast_img read more

Jobs in Laois: All of the recent job vacancies, as advertised on LaoisToday

first_img Pinterest Home Jobs Jobs in Laois: All of the recent job vacancies, as advertised on… Jobs Twitter Twitter Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory Facebook Previous article100 not out as Barrowhouse GAA set to celebrate their centenaryNext articleBracken’s Portlaoise to celebrate 21st anniversary as a Gala store with a family fun day LaoisToday Reporter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Enva – Industrial Services Driver/Operative and Industrial Services Co-OrdinatorEnva are seeking to fill a number of vacancies at their base in Portlaoise.The two roles are – Industrial Services Co-Ordinator and an Industrial Services Driver.You can check out the full job descriptions here.  Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results GAA By LaoisToday Reporter – 18th August 2019 There are a number of jobs in Laois being advertised on LaoisToday at the moment.Below we have listed all of the roles advertised on LaoisToday in the last two weeks. In each instance you can click through to the full job description to read more. WhatsAppcenter_img Facebook Jobs in Laois: All of the recent job vacancies, as advertised on LaoisToday GAA RSM Midlands looking for accountants in Birr and PortlaoiseRsm are looking to recruit a Manager to join their Audit and Advisory team in our Portlaoise office.RSM are also recruiting for qualified and part qualified accountants to join their local team.See full job description here.SEE ALSO – Check out the dedicated LaoisToday jobs section here First Ireland Spirits – QC Laboratory TechnicianFirst Ireland Spirits is Ireland’s largest independent producer of Irish cream liqueur, Irish country cream and Irish whiskey liqueur, exporting to over 40 countries worldwide. We’re part ofWorking on a shift basis this role will focus on routine batch analysis on a range of alcoholic beverages, Bottle and Process Line checks and Plant Hygiene inspection to ensure the quality of a wide range of premium drink products.See full job description here WhatsApp Pinterest Laois Transport Company – Office AdministratorA busy transport company in the Laois area are looking for an office administrator to join their team.Candidate should have good computer skillsHours are 3.30pm to 8.30pmSee full job description here. GAA Legal Aid Board – Temporary Clerical OfficerThe LEGAL AID BOARD is an independent state agency which provides legal aid and advice in civil cases to persons of modest means at little cost.Applications are invited for the position of Temporary Clerical Officer in Portlaoise Law Centre.See full job description here.  TAGSJobs in Laois 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshinlast_img read more

Courts’ COVID-19 List has been expanded to assist families quickly resolve their disputes

first_imgCourts’ COVID-19 List has been expanded to assist families quickly resolve their disputes The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (the Courts) remind family law practitioners and clients that the criteria for the highly successful national COVID-19 list has recently been expanded, to provide for a broader range of circumstances.The Courts anticipate that the vaccination of children against COVID-19 may become an issue of dispute between separated parents and may require priority attention. In addition, families may be experiencing relatively sudden changes to their financial position as government support measures change.These, and other types of issues that have arisen as a direct or indirect result of the pandemic, can be assessed and dealt with quickly through the Courts’ COVID-19 list. In fact, of the 488 applications that have been made to the list since commencement in April 2020, the overwhelming majority have been accepted and heard by a Registrar or Judge within three business days of being assessed.One of the benefits of the national list has been the ability to have them heard electronically from any location. Applications have been received from every major Registry, as well as from regional locations such as Albury, Dubbo, Mackay and Wollongong.The Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Hon Will Alstergren said that the COVID-19 list has received wide-spread support and praise from community legal and support services, advocates for victims of domestic violence, and the legal profession.“The continuation and expansion of the COVID-19 list will provide families that are experiencing family law disputes that relate to the pandemic, with an avenue to have that specific issue heard and resolved quickly.“This initiative is one of a number of critical projects that have and will continue to be implemented that aim to reduce waiting times for litigants, and in the coming months, I look forward to announcing further measures to simplify the process and better assist litigants,” Chief Justice Alstergren said.Applications that meet the expanded COVID-19 criteria will be given a first return date before a National Registrar, Senior Registrar or a Judge within 3 business days of being considered by the National Registrar if assessed as urgent, or otherwise within 7 business days if priority but not urgent. Government funding has enabled the continuation of this initiative. The funding provides for Senior Registrar resources (that were not previously available) dedicated to hear interim contested issues in a more-timely manner. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Albury, Australia, children, community, Courts, domestic violence, Dubbo, family court, family law, Federal, Government, Mackay, resources, vaccination, violence, Wollongonglast_img read more

2004 Election Sources At CU-Boulder

first_imgNEWS TIP SHEET Note to Editors: CU-Boulder political experts Ken Bickers and Michael Kanner, along with constitutional law expert Richard Collins, are available for comment on the election throughout the day and evening on Nov. 2nd. Congressional and Presidential Elections. Ken Bickers, professor of political science, can address congressional races nationally, as well as the presidential election. Bickers also can discuss the politics of workforce development and “welfare to work” transitions. He can be reached at (303) 492-2363 (office), (303) 774-1923 (home) or by email at [email protected] Colorado and National Issues. Michael Kanner, instructor of political science, can address Colorado legislative and statewide issues including proposed changes to TABOR, and Amendments 23 and 36, ideological diversity and free speech on college campuses. He also can discuss terrorism, American foreign policy and government ethics. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Kanner served in the U.S. Army for 16 years in Germany, Latin America and the United States. He can be reached at (303) 492-7138 (office), (303) 478-4339 (cell) or by email at [email protected] Amendment 36 Legal Questions. Richard Collins, professor of constitutional law, can address legal issues facing Amendment 36. He can be reached at (303) 492-5493 (office), (303) 440-6040 (home) or by email at [email protected] For assistance contact Dirk Martin in the CU-Boulder Office of News Services at (303) 492-3140. Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: Oct. 25, 2004 last_img read more

Fact Sheet: CU-Boulder Community-Associated MRSA Cases, Status And Campus Response

first_img Published: Oct. 21, 2007 o Eight cases of community-associated MRSA, or Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, have been diagnosed in students at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Two of the students live in residence halls and the remainder live off campus.o All of the CU-Boulder students have been treated at Wardenburg Health Center, have responded well to treatment and have been able to attend classes and function normally, showing no signs of side effects from the infection or their treatment, according to Dr. Pam Talley of the Wardenburg medical clinic. In some cases students have received follow-up treatment.o Health officials advise anyone who has a persistent or recurring skin lesion to see a health care provider. Skin infections may look like a pimple or boil and can be mistaken for “spider bites.”o The eight cases among CU-Boulder students, though not a high number, are higher than usual for the academic year to date. The eight student cases have been treated at Wardenburg Health Center since Aug. 17. o The CU-Boulder cases do not represent an “outbreak” and the majority of the eight cases do not appear to be related to each other. The case histories do not suggest a common source.o Typically the CU-Boulder health center treats about six cases in a year, Dr. Talley said. The increase at CU-Boulder appears to be part of state and national increases in reported cases of community-associated MRSA. Reported cases of community-associated MRSA are on the rise throughout the country.o The campus has taken steps to educate CU-Boulder students, faculty and staff about community-associated MRSA including the following:o Advisories are being posted in residence halls to educate students about community-associated MRSA infections and prevention methods. Similar warnings have been posted in all athletic facilities and common areas on campus.o A fact sheet has been posted on the main CU-Boulder home page and on the CU Connect student Web portal. Information also is posted on the Wardenburg Health Center’s Web site. A Q&A with Dr. Talley has been posted on the front page of Wardenburg’s Web site at www.colorado.edu/healthcenter/.o All residence hall restrooms are being cleaned with a hospital-grade disinfectant. All public and community restrooms in residence halls have two cleaning/disinfectant products: a hand-soap product recommended by Wardenburg Health Center and a hand sanitizer.o In the CU Recreation Center and in the team facilities used by student-athletes, advisories are being posted in workout areas advising more frequent cleaning of equipment. Some recreation center sports equipment thought to be conducive to transmitting infection, such as speed-bag gloves, is being withdrawn. Items that cannot be discontinued — such as racquet handles — will be sprayed with disinfectant after each use. Hockey equipment is already disinfected regularly but a stronger product will be used.o Training, education and cleanliness procedures are being stepped up among staff in appropriate areas. Custodians are reviewing cleaning protocols and disinfecting surfaces such as door knobs, phones and multiuser athletic equipment with warm water and soap, diluted bleach, Lysol, Original Pine Sol or other strong disinfectants. o In addition to advising all students, staff and faculty to follow good hand-washing and hygiene practices, health experts are advising people not to share personal items such as towels, razors, soap bars, washcloths and clothing.o Community-associated MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a strain of staph infection that occurs in otherwise healthy people who have not been hospitalized or had an invasive medical procedure, such as surgery or dialysis, in the past year. Community-associated MRSA infections usually occur as skin infections, such as abscesses, boils and other pus-filled lesions that may appear to be ‘spider bites’ (see community-associated MRSA on the CDC Web site at: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca.html).o News reports last week focused on health care-associated MRSA, which occurs among patients who have undergone invasive medical procedures or who have weakened immune systems and are being treated in hospitals and health care facilities such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. For more information on health care-associated MRSA go to: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_MRSA_spotlight_2006.html.o Factors that have been associated with the spread of community-acquired MRSA skin infections include close skin-to-skin contact, openings in the skin such as cuts or abrasions, contaminated items and surfaces, crowded living conditions and poor hygiene.o For more information on MRSA infections, please call the Wardenburg Health Center information line at (303) 492-8741 or visit the following links:Wardenburg Health Center Web page: www.colorado.edu/healthcenter/The Centers for Disease Control Web page:www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca_public.html – 8. Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more

Telia set for Finland hit, proposes shareholder payout

first_img Author Telia announced plans to book a SEK7.8 billion ($931.8 million) impairment charge on its Finland business covering Q4 2020, as it also revealed higher than expected group cashflow for 2020 and dividend details.In a stock market statement, the operator group said the non-cash impairment in Finland followed an annual review of the value of its assets across the company.Telia added the unit had been impacted by matters around the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, “slightly weaker underlying performance” compared with previous years and the need for higher than expected network investment.Alongside the impairment, Telia plans to recommend a dividend of SEK2 per share for 2020, due to reaching the upper-end of its operational free cashflow outlook for the year.When the pandemic hit, Telia warned of an expected impact on its TV and broadcast business, and cut its 2019 dividend to improve cash available.In December 2020, it paid an additional dividend following the sales of its stake in Turkcell and the operator’s carrier business.The company is due to issue Q4 and full-year 2020 results on 29 January. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 20 JAN 2021 Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved… Read more Home Telia set for Finland hit, proposes shareholder payout Chris Donkin Telia targets cost cuts with new enterprise IoT play Related Tags Telia reveals revamp to boost infrastructure assets Telia Telia claims positive start to strategy revamp Previous ArticleIntelligence Brief: What does CES tell us about enterprise IoT?Next ArticleVodafone, MTS extend partnership to 2023 last_img read more

A Big and Beautiful Cherry Harvest

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Email In 1866, Thomas W. Harris is thought to have planted Montana’s first cherry trees in the Bitterroot Valley. Orchards then popped up around Flathead Lake in the 1880s and 1890s.By the time cherry orchards faded from the Bitterroot’s agricultural landscape in the first decades of the 20th century, the Flathead had become the cherry capital of the state. Today, growers in the Flathead harvest millions of pounds of cherries each summer. And this year looks to be particularly fruitful for one of Montana’s most unique and historic crops.Dale Nelson, president of the Flathead Lake Cherry Growers co-op, said he expects his 102 members to harvest at least 3 million pounds of cherries this year, up from a yearly average of 2.5 million. And demand is high.“All of the rain helped,” Nelson said. “It’s not just more cherries, but also bigger fruit too.” Rain isn’t always beneficial, however. While the moisture of late spring and early summer provided optimal growing conditions, the recent rains have slowed the harvest. Nelson said cherry growers wait 24 hours after a rain to begin picking again. That meant there was about a two- to three-day delay in the middle of the harvest. Some growers began picking fruit the last week of July. By the end of last week, pickers “were definitely at the peak” of activity, Nelson said. Nelson expects the harvest to start slowing down by the end of this week.Cherry orchards line both the west and east shores of Flathead Lake, though the majority are on the east side between Bigfork and Polson. While 102 of the farms are members of the co-op, there are independent operations as well.Flathead Lake Cherry Growers was established in the 1930s, making it “one of the oldest agricultural co-ops in Montana,” Nelson said. During harvest, the co-op collects members’ cherries at a Finley Point facility, where they’re kept cool and then loaded into semi-trucks.The trucks take the cherries to Selah, Wash., to be processed at the Monson Fruit Company. A Yakima-based company called Domex Inc. handles sales and marketing for the co-op.“We’ve had 10 to 11 semis per day leaving here,” Nelson said. “They’re hungry for the fruit.” Among the largest buyers of Flathead’s cherries, Nelson said, are Costco, Walmart, Kroger and Sam’s Club – “pretty much the companies that can buy a whole semi load of cherries.” Local sales account for about 10-15 percent of the market, Nelson said. Roadside stands are a major component of the local market. This year, perhaps buoyed by the Glacier National Park centennial, Nelson said the stands have been exceptionally busy. At the stands, customers buy directly from the growers. “I haven’t seen traffic like this in four or five years,” Nelson said. “Roadside sales have been fantastic.”Lambert and Lapin cherries are the predominant crop on Flathead Lake, but Nelson said varieties such as Rainier are also grown. Because of agricultural advances and the savvy of local growers, Nelson said the quality of cherries is constantly improving.“Every year the cherries are getting better,” Nelson said. “Bigger and sweeter means more pounds. And we’ve definitely got that. We’ve got some really beautiful fruit coming off the trees right now.”last_img read more

Economic Update: Still Going Strong

first_imgThe economy is still booming, a fact that when paired with the rapid aging of the Montana population could make an already tight job market even tighter for employers.That was the main message behind the annual Economic Update from the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) and the Montana Chamber of Commerce (MCC) on Aug. 1 in Kalispell.“It’s an issue that we’re hearing (from businesses) across the state,” said MCC President and CEO Todd O’Hair. “We are going to need to be more creative and innovative on hiring.”The good news, Patrick Barkey of BBER said, is that the national economy continues a 10-year growth streak, without inflation in sight. Interest rates have fallen, in what Barkey said was the “longest growth streak in post-war history.”Nationally, manufacturing growth is down after years of growing rapidly, and the service economy is “in charge.” International trade has what Barkey called “stormclouds” looming, with the recent trade war in China and increased tariffs. When tariffs on China’s steel increase, Barkey said, then China’s tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods go up, affecting Montanans.In Montana, the state’s economic growth since 2016 has continued; high tech remains a growing sector, whereas the potential for Powder River basin coal has decreased.The state’s economic earnings slowed in 2018, growing by less than 2 percent. Most of that recent growth has been in construction and manufacturing, as well as financial and business services. Mining had a slight comeback, and health care continues steady growth.Wage increases in Gallatin County outpaced the rest of the state, with the Flathead seeing the fifth highest growth of the 56 counties since 2018.Despite the gains, Montana’s earnings growth of 1.5 percent in 2018 is low compared to other Western states, with Washington at 5.7 percent, Idaho at 3.9 percent, Wyoming at 2 percent, and North Dakota at 1.9 percent.But while growth continues, the labor market continues to tighten. What was an already tough hiring season last summer has gotten even harder on employers this year, Barkey said.More than 2,800 Montanans turned 66 years old in 2018, while at the same time the state only added 2,712 18-year-olds. Projections show the gap widening in 2024, when 3,146 Montanan will turn 66 compared to 3,042 new 18-year-olds. Current projections show the pattern reversing in 2030, with slightly more 18-year-olds aging into the working age population than those retiring.The median age in Montana is 39.8, making it the oldest of the Western states, and the median age in Flathead County is 42.3. The county’s population growth has continued since dipping in 2011.Barkey said population trends show people leaving the largest U.S. cities, while counties with under 500,000 people are seeing population increases. This will likely affect the continuing labor shortage, requiring employers to get creative with solutions. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Emaillast_img read more

Finance Dept rejects call for Udaras expenses investigation

first_img Twitter Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Pinterest Facebook Pregnant women can receive Covid vaccine at LYIT’s vaccination centre Pinterest Google+ Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Google+ Facebook Twitter Previous articleDeputy Pearse Doherty makes maiden speech in DailNext articleWoman and children forgotten victims of the Troubles News Highland center_img 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North WhatsApp Newsx Adverts RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By News Highland – December 1, 2010 Finance Dept rejects call for Udaras expenses investigation The Department  of Finance has rejected a request from the Public Accounts Committee to investigate Údarás na Gaeltachta travel expenses.Secretary general of the department Kevin Cardiff declined to provide a note stating he was satisfied all trips carried out by Údarás na Gaeltachta personnel adhered to public service travel guidelines.Four Donegal members of the board each received in excess of 100 thousand euro each, over a four year period, in travel expenses.Figures published earlier this year showed that the board’s Chairman Liam O Cuinneagain from Glencolumbcille, was paid more than €155,000 in fees and expenses since 2005.Several Donegal members were among the highest recipients of expenses and feeBurtonport Fianna Fáil member Daithi Alcorn earned nearly €120,000 between 2005 and 2009,  Donegal Senator Brian O Domhnaill received €115,000 while independent Donegal member Padraig O Dochartaigh received €105,000.Rejecting a request for an investigation into travel expensesKevin Cardiff of the Finance Department said it would not be either feasible or appropriate for the Department  to undertake an exercise of this kind in relation to an individual State body.Údarás na Gaeltachta strongly disputed what it called “misinformation on travel by Údarás executives”.It has insisted its expenditure on travel complies fully with department guidelines. WhatsApp Lárionad Acmhainní Nádúrtha CTR to take part in new research project LUH still not ready to restore IT systemslast_img read more

News / Yang Ming losses continue to mount after 2016 revenue slump

first_img“To put the result into perspective, Maersk Line lost $384m and CMA CGM lost $452m. But it should be noted that CMA CGM is almost four times larger than Yang Ming in terms of capacity and Maersk Line is almost six times larger.”Hapag-Lloyd, approximately twice the size of Yang Ming, had “only” lost $103m in the same period, he added.“It is clear that major changes must be implemented in Yang Ming if the recapitalisation plan is to be more than temporary salvation in the face of competition from the very large carriers,” said Mr Jensen.In January, Yang Ming sought to reassure customers and suppliers of its solvency after being identified by Drewry Financial Research Services (DFRS) as a “red flag risk”.A research paper published by DFRS suggested that Yang Ming, the world’s eighth-largest carrier, had “taken the slot left vacant by Hanjin Shipping” as “the company with the most leveraged balance sheet in the industry”.However, the carrier published a robust response and said: “Yang Ming has never approached its creditors with any demands to restructure any part of its debt, and has no intention to do so going forward.”it continued: “Yang Ming has never failed to deliver in difficult times, even in the wake of the largest carrier bankruptcy.”It advised that it was to raise $54.4m through a privately placed rights issue with six Taiwanese investors, including the state-owned National Development Fund of Taiwan. This increased government-owned stock to 36.6%.Yang Ming alluded to a bigger stake being held by the Taiwan government as being part of “the company’s financial recovery plan”.In November the Ministry of Transportation and Communications created a $1.9bn fund, available to the country’s shipping groups in case of financial hardship. © Jason Row Taiwanese ocean carrier Yang Ming has added a 2016 US$492m loss to the net deficit of $258m the previous year.Revenue plunged to TWD115.4bn, from TWD127.6bn in 2015.Lars Jensen, chief executive and partner at SeaIntelligence Consulting, today described Yang Ming’s financial performance as “very negative”.Although all deepsea carriers had suffered a “bad year” in 2016, Mr Jensen said Yang Ming’s result compared unfavourably with its peers. Since then, in an attempt to cut overheads and help make the container line more competitive, Yang Ming has slashed the pay of its senior executives by 50% and the salary of its line managers by up to 30%.But shippers remain nervous after the sudden crash of Hanjin Shipping last year – not least because that carrier’s biggest creditor was also a state-owned bank. Indeed, several shippers have told The Loadstar  they had decided not to book with Yang Ming, due to its perceived dire financial position.Nonetheless, Yang Ming will now need to regroup again as it prepares its exit from the CKYE alliance to join THE Alliance from Saturday.THE Alliance has set up an independently managed trust fund to safeguard cargo operations should a member go bankrupt. It said customers had shown “a clear demand for such a safety net”. By Mike Wackett 30/03/2017last_img read more