Continental shift

first_imgA high-street shop with a retail front-end and any of a variety of eat-in options could be dismissed as ’neither fish nor fowl’. It can also prove to be something of a phoenix for a business that is marking time.High-profile examples of bakery-led retail with eat-in tend to be in London, with its higher-spending tourist custom. But the combination is also working with principally residential clientele from Cornwall to the Clyde. As London’s Milanese-style café Princi and French-inspired Paul chain demonstrate, basing a business around specific national cultures in baked goods can help build a strong identity. The Italian piadina has also been used as the basis for takeaway and eat-in outlets.For a chain busy establishing new outlets, the business model may not be an obvious one. Boulangerie-patisserie outfit Apostrõphe has a thriving takeaway business, explains MD Amir Chen. But from breakfast to early evening, it also functions as a café, offering everything from porridge to soups, salads and exotic sandwiches on organic bread. So far, he has snubbed night opening.As Chen points out: “If you don’t sell alcohol, late opening is of marginal interest. And a licence would have a lot of implications for planning our sites, staff training and so on.” Because Apostrõphe’s products, baked from scratch in each shop, can largely be defined as “daytime goods”, he adds, late opening is doubly inappropriate.For another chain, Le Pain Quotidien (LPQ), eat-in and evening offerings have become more important as the business has developed. Today, the direction taken by the UK franchise-holder Village du Pain differs markedly from that followed in the original Belgian business, by offering hot meal options.”At first, the plan was not about having hot food,” says Clare Sheppard, who has helped manage the UK business since it launched just three years ago. “It was about supplementing the bread, as in Belgium, with tartines, soup and quiches. But we found that, in England, that wasn’t enough.”That ’not enough’ is double-edged. As she explains, sites in central London, in particular, are so expensive that turnover needs to be maximised. But at the same time, for the evening trade, there is a widespread expectation that a hot menu will be available.That said, each site has its own peculiarities and limitations. Village du Pain targets upmarket residential, business or tourist areas, with different customer profiles and patterns of demand in each. The idea is that the various types of location balance each other out over the course of the day and the year.At LPQ’s original Marylebone store, the business is limited by A1 planning use (see panel), offering small meals such as soup and quiche. But the Royal Festival Hall and Wimbledon branches (both with A3 use), for instance, offer full evening menus. The shops are licensed, and even where the menu is more limited, wine-and-bread can offer an alternative evening trade, she adds.Available space is another factor determining the type of operation, with the company putting its ideal size at 80-100 seats.Apostrõphe underlines the benefits of opening cafés rather than full restaurants. “Rents are typically much higher for restaurant-type sites,” says Chen. The busy takeaway business means that the additional income that larger meals would provide is not so important. The size of the kitchen can be another concern. “We’re not cooking, so we don’t have issues with huge extraction systems,” he says.Rather than seeing operational issues or even space as the primary potential obstacle to the development of eat-in, LPQ brings the entire question back much closer to home. Sheppard singles out the quality of the bread as the single most important criterion. As she puts it: “Our whole concept hangs on that.”For the UK franchise, this means bread part-baked (65%) in the Belgian central bakery, shipped over frozen up to twice a week and then baked-off in each branch for the remaining 35%, says Sheppard. Loaves range from rye, multigrain and walnut to baguettes.Of course, a small, single-site business making its first move into eat-in may be limited by use or licensing restrictions. It is also likely to be looking for growth in manageable stages. This is the case with Glasgow-based Tapa, an operation that includes both the Tapa Bakehouse and the Tapa Coffeehouse, founded by husband-and-wife team Robert Winter and Virginia Webb.As with LPQ’s Belgian founder, the bakery base for Tapa began with frustration at the quality of baked goods available, and a determination to do better by bringing production in-house. Says Winter: “Our key selling point is that everything is organic. We even make our own buns for our veggie burgers.” Tapa is also part of the Slow Bread campaign. But he adds: “Demand for organic baked goods soon went well beyond our own needs. And the fact that we were out to make the best coffee in Scotland got lost.”The bakery has a café attached, but when the couple set up their separate Coffeehouse a few months ago, they had bigger ideas. “We provide a wide range of meal options, from light snacks to as big a meal as you can eat,” says Winter.The menu stretches from sweet potato gratin to linguini with seafood and smoked haddock fishcakes. “But there’s always going to be bread of some sort on the side,” he adds. Tapa is currently applying for a licence for the Coffeehouse, although for now it is bring-your-own.The business has ’organic’ credentials in more senses than one: the Bakehouse swallowed up the shop on one side, then on the other – though this second wall could not come down.The café can seat around 35 including outdoor seating, while the Coffeehouse has 65 covers. There are no immediate plans for expanding the seven-year-old business further. “We don’t believe in running before we can walk,” says Winter. Currently, the couple employ around 30 staff, including managers.Could we see more shops twinning over-the-counter sales with all-day dining, based on German or Polish bakery, for instance? If so, it would be good to think that high-quality, distinctive bread could, as Tapa and LPQ say, be the crucial factor in their success.—-=== Business use ===The 1987 Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order sets out the following classes of use for business premises in England:l A1 Shops – including sandwich barsl A2 Financial and professional servicesl A3 Restaurants and cafés – restaurants, snack bars and cafés selling food and drink for on-premises consumptionl A4 Drinking establishments – pubs, wine bars and so onl A5 Hot food takeaways – selling hot food for consumption off the premises.A1 businesses will always need to apply for planning permission to convert to any other type of use, while conversion in the opposite direction does not usually require permission.last_img read more

Beyond the Basic Transformation: How Business and Workforce Evolves

first_imgIn other words, it’s not just technology for the sake of technology – it’s about operational excellence.But that is where Dell Technologies comes in — we can help with this transformation from the inside-out. So where does this transformation start?In this series of blogs, we will further explore how Dell Technologies can help Telecom Service Providers meet the challenges of transformation by focusing on people first. This is a journey, much like many others today, but the destination is the Digital Workforce. Having an employee base that thrives within a cloud first model will be the true engine for industry growth. Workforce Transformation is a theme discussed across all organizations. Companies must transform with technology, even if technology is not what they do.Even companies that have consistently demonstrated excellence in delivering technology-based solutions are at-risk, as the underlying architectures that they have built their businesses on change. The competitive pace of change creates internal pressure to adapt systems and processes. This often leads to unintended skill gaps. Many of these organizations feel like they are behind and cannot keep up.Let’s consider Telecommunications Service Providers as one segment representative of this change. They provide the backbone of the Internet, and the critical access and mobile infrastructure so the rest of the world can continue on their transformation journey. All businesses today are built on the Internet and cloud technologies. Industries have embraced this mobility as a critical means of connecting to services, customers and partners. While 3G and 4G/LTE technologies were designed and used as an enabler of high-speed mobile data to the eventual smartphone and tablet, with the advent of 5G, vertical industries will look towards a new age of mobility as a foundation for their future success. To capitalize on this trend organizations must transform operational and organizational models to maximize the full potential of 5G. This is especially true with new opportunities at the edge.Organizations must focus on aligning technology and organizational strategy. This will ensure they not only exist in the next 5 years, but also grow.Dell EMC sees 4 pillars of Telecom Transformation:Network ModernizationIT & BSS/OSS TransformationDigital Growth & TransformationWorkforce InitiativesTo place this into context, it is worth considering what has shaped existing organizations. The scale, composition and structure of telecom organizations represents one of the defining features of the industry. This legacy has been shaped over time by diverse physical network functions, hierarchical systems management, regulatory & compliance restrictions and other industry specific issues. The telecommunications industry has continually endured massive technology shifts and adapted to new business models; however, the rate of change and the pace of disruption only continue to accelerate.Stepping back and examining the larger picture reveals a multitude of technology disruptions taking shape simultaneously within the industry. Network virtualization, OSS & BSS modernization, real-time analytics and advanced telemetry have been underway for some time. To this, planners and strategists must add 5G, other radio technologies (such as WiFi 6 and CBRS), new IoT paradigms and further disaggregation of access and edge networks. Underpinning all these changes are the ever-present currents of openness and open source. Taken together, these present challenges to any organization striving to adapt and reinvent itself.In particular, the widespread belief is that public cloud operating models (massively-scaled within centralized data centers) have solved the challenges facing the Telco Cloud. However, the industry continues to identify requirements at all layers – from facilities to infrastructure to skill sets to processes – that are unique. This learning is important – Public Cloud is not a “lift-and-shift” to Telco Cloud. Public cloud has solved the challenge of deploying tens of thousands of things at single-digit facilities – expanding those to hundreds of things at thousands of disparate facilities is a different problem space. Remote management, automation, orchestration, and operations are unique problems to Telco Cloud.Furthermore, Public Cloud is built on standardization of a single resource building block. Standardized servers are made available in standardized racks, replicated across data center rows. Those rows are replicated across the data center. This homogeneous architecture meets the needs of the majority of tenants. The Telco Cloud, especially closer to the edge, is more heterogeneous, and the difficulty of reaching facilities requires that the right architectures and right capabilities are made available in as few iterations as possible.With this in mind, implementing workforce programs designed to acquire new skills, change the culture and embrace innovation is critical for success. Returning to our themes of transformation, it is worth pointing out that the first 3 pillars all have in common the workforce consideration. This is pervasive throughout the entire company and as such, must be a top priority for the leadership team.For example, traditional job roles may no longer align to business driven technology adoption. The ability to redefine roles and offer training programs designed for these new challenges should be leadership initiated. Today many organizations are focused on career skills that encompass web development, data science and analysis, advanced programming, cloud computing and API design, all within the construct of dev ops and agile methodology.While this may seem at face value to be an internal set of challenges, the reality is that the problem statement can be recast to reflect a rapidly shifting external world that to some extent must be embraced, harnessed and brought within the organization in a meaningful way.Dynamics at play between external and internal forces (see graphic) can be characterized as follows:New technologies, communities and ecosystems are driving an innovation wave throughout the industry.Maximizing this potential requires new models of interacting, adopting and embracing these currents of opportunity.A variety of traditional modes of operation can impede or create pressure on acquiring innovation.An implicit acceptance of mismatched operating models introduces paralysis.last_img read more

Jamaican Senator Matthew Samuda Sworn In As Cabinet Minister

first_imgNewly appointed Cabinet Minister, Senator Matthew Samuda, displays his Instrument of Appointment at the swearing-in ceremony at King’s House on Monday. Photo credit: Donald De La Haye/JIS. KINGSTON, Jamaica — Government Senator, Matthew Samuda, is now a Cabinet Minister. He was sworn in at King’s House, on February 17, by Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen, on the advice of Prime Minister, Andrew Holness.Senator Samuda will fill the vacancy, left in the Cabinet by the resignation of former Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Pearnel Charles Jr.Charles Jr. resigned to contest the Clarendon South Eastern parliamentary by-election, scheduled for March 2.The Governor-General congratulated Senator Samuda, noting that his contribution will help in the realisation of the policy programs and objectives of the government, particularly as they relate to the youth.Minister Samuda told JIS News that he is looking forward to his new role in government.“It’s an awesome responsibility to be entrusted to serve in the Cabinet. I’m excited at the opportunity. I pledge to give my best. All that I know, all that I can do, I will give to the people of Jamaica in service,” he said.“I thank the Prime Minister for the confidence he has placed in me,” he added.With the appointment, 35-year-old Samuda becomes the youngest minister in the Holness administration.last_img read more

Red Bank Charter School Proposes Expansion

first_imgImpact on public schools is a concernBy John BurtonRED BANK –  A plan to double the size of Red Bank Charter School is necessary in order to meet the needs of the entire community, said Meredith Pennotti, the charter school’s principal.But some traditional public schools supporters fear the increased size would compromise the budgets, resources and extracurricular activities for Red Bank’s diverse school population.And there are the taxpayers, who wonder what it would mean for their property tax bills – should the plan move forward.“The reality is this is not good for the children of Red Bank. It’s not good for the taxpayers of Red Bank. It’s not good for Red Bank,” stressed Jared Rumage, Red Bank superintendent of schools.“We feel we have a model that can be shared more in Red Bank,” for the educational community’s betterment, Pennotti said of the plans.In December, The Red Bank Charter School, 58 Oakland St., submitted a proposal to state Department of Education (DOE) Commissioner David Hespe in Trenton to increase enrollment and facility.Hespe is expected to make his determination toward the end of February, according to DOE spokesman David Saenz.The plan calls for doubling the school’s current student population to 400 from its current 200. That would be done over a three-year period period. In essence, it means adding an additional class of students per grade for the pre-K-8th grade school, according to Pennotti.For the past three years, Pennotti said the wait list for students has been “robust,” roughly 112 students, believing that filling the additional 200 seats is an easy call.The “clincher” for school officials in favor of seeking the expansion, according to Pennotti, was the availability of an adjacent property, 135 Monmouth Street, which the school would use for its S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) lab and additional classroom and activity space.Another deciding factor for the school is recent changes in state education policy that allow other factors to be considered when evaluating students’ and families’ socio-economic status as part of admission.Charter school students are selected by an annual lottery, but siblings are accepted without submitting to the lottery. Last year, however, DOE officials changed the lottery to give more weight to family income and other factors, to give those students a better chance to be selected.“This will increase our ability to serve the economically disadvantaged,” Pennotti said.The charter school is increasing its community outreach by mailing a bilingual application to every residence in the community that also makes families aware of the changes in the lottery system, according to Pennotti.Concern about how a proposed expansion of the Red Bank Charter School could impact public schools drew people to the borough’s middle school auditorium Wednesday. They marched to the Borough Council meeting at Borough Hall. Photo: Tina ColellaThe fact that the charter school population is significantly less diverse than the public school population and the community at large has long been a source of contention. Early in the charter school’s history, which was established in 1998, the district Board of Education waged a lengthy and rather bitter legal battle arguing the school allowed for creating a segregated school district, providing for “white flight” from the public school – on the taxpayer’s dime. The lawsuit was eventually unsuccessful and the two entities had entered into a sort of separate peace, letting live and let live, until this development.Increasing the enrollment, fears Rumage, “It is fairly accurate to say that funding would double over that period.” And given the state finances, no one expects funding from Trenton to increase in an appreciable way, he added.The public school district is currently required to provide $1.67 million for the 2015-2016 school year to cover 90 percent of the cost to provide under state guidelines what is determined to be a “thorough and efficient education.” It is up to the charter schools to find the additional 10 percent of the cost and provide and upkeep a facility.Should the state education commissioner allow this plan, departing students will result in less state education aid to the district. And that Rumage maintained, would mean having to raise property taxes, likely to the maximum 5 percent cap, to cover some of the shortfall. And given those limitations, he said, the likely scenario would mean cuts to programs, possibly eliminating positions and abandoning some programs.“It will lead to cuts here that will be devastating,” Rumage said. “I can’t emphasize that enough.”Pennotti countered, saying state aid dollars follow the student, so that money wouldn’t have gone to the district anyway and any decision the charter school makes has no impact on the public school budget.“What happens to the tax rate is the decision the borough makes in its spending,” Pennotti argued, referring to the borough board of education. “We have no input in the school budget.”The charter school was established by activist parents in the late 1990s when Gov. Christine Todd Whitman signed the legislation allowing for such schools to operate. In Red Bank the school was in response to a failing public school district, with rundown facilities and dismal test scores.Charter schools are public schools but have greater freedom and are exempt from much of the bureaucracy that critics say bogs down traditional public education. This freedom, charter school supporters argue, allows for more creative and effective education and gives families a choice.Families braved bitter cold Wednesday night to express concern about proposed plans for a charter school expansion. Photo: Tina ColellaRumage insisted, “I’m not anti-charter school. I’m just anti-expansion,” at this point. He hoped the charter school would postpone the expansion to give the district time to evaluate its situation.Pennotti dismisses the idea of waiting. “Waiting for what?” she asked. “We waited for a promise of a new day from five superintendents,” to turn around the public schools in the 18 years the charter school has been operating. Pennotti maintained her school’s standardized test scores far exceed the public schools’ and “for the sake of the children we have to move forward.”Rumage, who has been in the district for less than two years, fired back that Pennotti and others have mischaracterized the public school students’ achievements. “The big issue here is that people don’t know the full story,” and the strides the public district has been making over the years.The public school disproportionately faces more challenges than the charter school population. Ninety percent of the 1,410 students at the middle and primary schools qualify for (mostly) free and reduced cost lunch, a traditional measure of family income levels. The population also includes 33 percent of students who are limited English language proficient.By contrast, 52 percent of charter school are white (as compared to the 8 percent in the public schools), with a 4 percent population that is limited English-language proficient. The charter school population is 34 percent Hispanic; the public school population is 78 percent Hispanic. The number of charter school students who qualify for the free and reduced cost lunch is currently 38 percent.And some sources indicate that the per pupil funding results in the charter school receiving $2,000 more per student, per year.Julia Sass Rubin, an associate professor at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and an adjunct professor at Princeton University, has been studying Red Bank and its Charter School as part of her research on state funding of charter schools. Her analysis indicates the charter school has yet to live up to its potential even with its additional resources and continues to contribute to a segregated school district. “The data is pretty straightforward,” she said. “The district is underfunded relative to the charter school, under the current formula.”And when factoring in other variables, the larger percent of special needs students, among others, the divide is closer to $5,000 more per charter school student. And taking all of that into consideration, Rubin said, “if you look at all of those considerations, the charter school is really underperforming,” she said.In her final analysis, this expansion, “would either be devastating for the district or devastating for the taxpayers.”It should be noted Rubin has her detractors. In response to a report on charter school funding, enrollment and demographics she did with a doctoral candidate Mark Weber last year, the New Jersey Charter School Association, a charter school advocacy group, took Rubin to task. The association accused Rubin of having a personal agenda against charter schools.Rubin, this week denied that, offering, “Am I pro-public schools? Absolutely. But I’m not anti-charter school,” noting her daughter had attended a charter school for couple of years and Rubin had served on a nonprofit board that provided charter school facility funding.Rubin planned on providing her research to local educational and elected officials on Friday.This debate has spilled over into the political arena, as well. Mayor Pasquale Menna at this year’s annual reorganization meeting called it “The elephant in the room.”While the borough council has no formal say in the matter or decision, Menna plans to form a “blue ribbon committee,” of objective educational and financial professionals to evaluate the plan’s impact. Their report will be submitted to the DOE for consideration.In addition, on Wednesday evening the borough council was expected to vote on a nonbinding resolution asking the charter school to delay any actions until more information can be collected.Council sources said there was unanimous and bipartisan support for the resolution.last_img read more

LONGSHOT STREET MAVEN PULLS OFF GATE TO WIRE HEIST IN $58,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE; BAZE, O’NEILL TEAM TO WIN AT 1 ¼ MILES ON TURF

first_img–30– ARCADIA, Calif. (April 2, 2015)–In a major departure from recent tactics, longshot Street Maven was gunned to the lead by Tyler Baze and he responded with a gate to wire triumph in Thursday’s $58,000 allowance feature at Santa Anita, winning by a length and a quarter while covering 1 ¼ miles on turf in 1:59.94.Trained by Doug O’Neill and off at 9-1 in a field of eight older horses, Street Maven, who broke slowly in his most recent start going 1 1/8 miles on turf and was some 15 lengths off the lead after the first quarter, paid $21.40, $8.00 and $4.60.“That was all Tyler today, putting him on the lead,” said O’Neill. “With the rails being out (30 feet), we thought he’d be more forwardly placed but to have him on the front end with the fractions they were going…we were cussing him mid-race, but we were lovin’ him at the wire.”Owned by R3 Racing and Calara Farms, Street Maven, a 5-year-old gelding by Street Hero, sailed through fractions of 22.88, 46.44, 1:10.85 and 1:34.98 en route to his third win from 10 career starts. With the winner’s share of $34,800, he increased his earnings to $93,670.“I was going fast the first quarter mile, but he was doing it so easy,” said Baze. “When they’re doing it that easy you can go that fast and get away with it. He’s a nice horse.”Although 8-5 favorite Wanstead Gardens made a big run through the lane with Victor Espinoza, he was unable to threaten the winner and paid $3.00 and $2.80.Crucero, who was off at 13-1 with Kent Desormeaux, checked in third and paid $4.80 to show.First post time on Friday at Santa Anita is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.last_img read more

VALE DORI REPELS STIFF CHALLENGE FROM FINEST CITY TO TAKE GRADE I, $400,000 SANTA MARGARITA STAKES BY 1 ½ LENGTHS; BAFFERT & BEJARANO TEAM FOR 1 1/8 MILES SCORE IN 1:48.81

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 18, 2017)–Challenged from the opening bell, Argentine-bred Vale Dori repelled a serious challenge from Finest City to take Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Santa Margarita Stakes by 1 ½ lengths under Rafael Bejarano.  Trained by Bob Baffert, Vale Dori made every pole a winning one as she got a mile and one eighth in 1:48.81.Breaking from post position two in a field of eight older fillies and mares, Vale Dori had a neck on Finest City a half mile from home and finally shook loose approaching the sixteenth pole.“Today was the first time I think that she was pressured almost the whole race,” said Bejarano. “She showed me a lot of power, a lot of heart.  I don’t think she minds coming from behind, but having a clean break, I just took it from there.”A winner of five straight races, the last four graded stakes, Vale Dori, a 5-year-old mare who was a Group I winner in her native Argentina at age three, was off as the 6-5 favorite and paid $4.60, $2.60 and $2.60.Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, she is now 13-8-3-1 and with the winner’s share of $240,000, she increased her earnings to $934,943.Finest City, America’s reigning Eclipse Champion Female Sprinter, who finished some 9 ½ lengths clear of Autumn Flower, was stretching out off a big win here in the Grade II, seven furlong Santa Monica Stakes on Jan. 21, which followed her signature moment in winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint two starts back on Nov. 5.“She ran great,” said Baze, who was aboard for the first time as regular rider Mike Smith was out of town to ride at Oaklawn Park.  “This is probably a little too far for her but she ran really well.  I give the winner credit, she’d never been headed before and we were head and head the whole way.”The second choice at 8-5, Finest City paid $3.00 and $2.80.“My filly ran her eyeballs out,” said Kruljac.  “Running second in a Grade I isn’t all bad.  I’m happy with how she ran.”Ridden by Martin Pedroza, Autumn Flower held off Lady Tapit by a head for third money.  The longest shot in the field at 59-1, Autumn Flower paid $10.20 to show.Fractions on the race were 23.50, 48.23, 1:12.21 and 1:36.37.Note: Bob Baffert was away, en route to Dubai, while his primary assistant, Jimmy Barnes was at Oaklawn Park.  Vale Dori was saddled today by Baffert assistant, Mike Marlow.last_img read more

One-armed worker builds own business

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Yet Groman still thrived. Over the past 21 years, he has built a $200 investment in a portable carpet steamer into his own business – J&M Carpet Care – and established a warm home with his wife and two children. “When it’s dirty, you just scrub it till it’s clean,” he said. Groman arrived, tubing in hand, at 9 a.m. sharp for his first job on a recent Saturday – cleaning 73-year-old Joan Chenoweth’s one-bedroom apartment, which she shares with her pet Chihuahua, Jesse. “You got to be regimented about it,” Groman said. “You’ve got to show up when you say you will. … Never go up empty-handed. I always carry a couple lengths of hose. It saves you a couple of trips.” Chenoweth welcomed Groman in, then left for breakfast and took Jesse with her. She said a neighbor had recommended the carpet man as quick, with an eye for detail. VALENCIA – For Jim Groman, steel nerves and perseverance can overcome anything – a life-altering accident that took his right forearm, homelessness or just a tough carpet stain. The 44-year-old Canyon Country carpet cleaner had faced more adversity in his teens than most people are likely to see in a lifetime. When he was 18, a motorbike accident left him with third- and fourth-degree burns over 85 percent of his body and claimed the arm and his left pinkie. He was discharged from the hospital in about four months, only to drift into homelessness. His parents had separated and sold the family home. “The house was in escrow when I got out,” he said. “As teenagers, you don’t really know what could happen.” “I’m sure he could do the job,” Chenoweth said. Groman jumped into action, connecting the water line and unraveling a hose and attachments. Within 15 minutes, he was sweeping. Asked if customers ever hesitate to hire someone disabled, he said: “At first, I think some of them will be skeptical. They see me work for two minutes; that’s the end of that.” Groman said he has always worked – for money since he was about 14 and growing up in Chatsworth with his identical twin brother, Dan. He worked in landscaping and as a furniture mover – physically tough and sweaty jobs. “We grew up poor,” he said. Larry Buckler, 44, grew up with the Groman twins, hanging out in the canyons and a cul-de-sac in Chatsworth. “That whole neighborhood – it was the baby boomers there, and there were a lot of kids the same age,” said Buckler, who now lives in Arkansas, but spends his summers in California, working with Jim. “It was a lot of fun, but it was not so fun. There were a lot of hard times. I was in and out of my house at about 14. “You’ve never met two nicer guys,” he said about the Groman brothers. “I trust them with my life.” Then came the accident. The twins were riding double in Brown Canyon on a motorbike that took a spill. The bike had a faulty gas cap, and a spark ignited the fuel, engulfing both brothers in flames. When Jim Groman arrived at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, he had burns on 85 percent of his body. His right arm had to be amputated at the elbow, along with a left finger, as doctors attempted to reconstruct the surviving hand. He recovered, partly thanks to a skin graft from his twin brother, who suffered third-degree burns only to his legs. “Of course, I fought like hell, too,” he said about his will to live. But little awaited him outside the hospital. His parents were in the midst of a divorce even before the accident, and the family home was sold months after he was discharged. He briefly stayed with his mother in a guest house, but the owner did not want Jim there. Dan Groman took charge of his brother and moved into a camping trailer with Buckler and three other friends, some as young as 15. They formed a family and survived for for some 10 months on Groman’s disability checks and the meager earnings from those old enough to work. “Teenage throwaways – it was the thing to do then,” Jim Groman said. “We were just young,” said Dan Groman in a phone interview from his home in Surprise, Ariz. “If we were really serious about it, we could have done it quicker. We were young men. We didn’t know what to do.” The boys took turns looking after Jim. His body had shriveled from the burn injuries, so even using the bathroom was tough. It took him years to learn to move again. “We all worked at different times, so there was at least someone with him, normally,” Dan Groman said. “Jim wasn’t a wuss, but he had it tough.” “We weren’t in contact with our families back then,” Buckler said. “We were kind of a family. We were really close. We relied on each other, especially with Jim and the condition he was in. “He could hardly stand for a period of time. There was a lot of stuff he couldn’t do for himself. And rehabilitation? It was us.” After about eight months of camping at local parks, the friends pooled enough money to move into a two-bedroom apartment. They haven’t looked back since. “It was on De Soto,” Jim Groman said. “You never forget your first one.” Still, it took him two more years to rehabilitate a body with skin taut from burns. He soon returned to work, delivering auto parts and learning the carpet-cleaning trade from a business owner he met at church. “I probably would’ve been doing something like this (even without the accident),” Groman said of carpet cleaning. “I was always physical. … I like it. Going in and beautifying someone’s home, it gives me a pretty good feeling.” “You’re surprised what you can do when you’re thrown into a situation,” Buckler said. “The thing about Jim: I don’t look at him as handicapped. It’s pretty amazing the things he went through, the things he overcame, but I don’t look at him as handicapped. He’s a remarkable person.” By chance, Groman came across a used portable carpet cleaner and purchased it for $200 – his share of the month’s rent. With a few modifications on the unit, he was in business. “It was a risk,” he said. “If I didn’t hustle enough work that month I would have been out.” Groman built his company through two decades of cold calls, late nights and weekends away from home. He gained clients through word-of-mouth, one stain at a time. “Starvation is a good motivator,” he said. “If you don’t work, you’re homeless.” Groman wants this work ethic instilled in his children – Chris, 16, and Julia, 14. They join him on jobs occasionally, and he hopes to save enough to send them to college. “I want them to have a good life,” he said. “But I don’t want them to think everything’s lollipops and sunshine.” Still, life turned out well for Groman and lifelong friends. All six managed to remain off the streets. “At least four are homeowners,” he said. “It’s the circumstances,” Dan Groman said. “You either rise above it – it’s a conscious decision – or you let them sink you.” Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 [email protected] center_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Tears, pride evident at vets plaza event

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“What can you do?” she asked, wiping her eyes with a tissue. “All you can do is cry.” Saturday’s ceremony paid tribute to all veterans of the past, present and future. There are up to 900 Santa Clarita residents serving in the military today. The day also brought the unveiling of a statue of Willie, a Civil War drummer boy who was 11 when he earned the congressional Medal of Honor. The statue stands less than 5 feet tall and portrays the boy walking and playing his drum, as if captured in time. Visitors sauntered through the park reading hundreds of names of veterans and their families inscribed on layers of bricks that encircled the lawn. Three of those bricks were named for Janine Schulenburg’s husband, father and twin brother. Her brother was 19 when he was killed during the Korean War. “It was such a loss. My brother and I were very close. We knew each other’s thoughts,” said Schulenburg, a Canyon Country resident. “You just have to expect those things when you are serving your country.” Schulenburg belongs to the Historical Veterans Memorial Committee, which has worked for years for this day to come. Members played a role in the park’s development, from theme to design. The park was unveiled last year and is still coming into its own. The 50 trees planted there are still small; the climbing roses and wisteria have yet to fill out. But eventually they will, and the park will provide shade for those looking for a quiet place of repose. Robert Yribe, who drove to the ceremony from Sylmar, has noticed a change in the way he and other Vietnam veterans are perceived compared to when they first returned from the war. He had served on a Navy search-and-rescue ship. He attributes the new-found regard for all vets to the national attention that’s focused on the war with Iraq and the support of troops fighting there. He feels some of that recognition has spilled over to veterans who fought previous wars, including Vietnam. “They are honoring us more,” the 59-year-old said. “Before, we had no respect.” [email protected] (661)257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEWHALL – Eighty-four-year-old Amelia Ysais watched as her Vietnam-veteran son held his cowboy hat over his heart during a Memorial Day weekend ceremony. Then she burst into tears. She has watched her disabled son wrestle with seizures and other ailments incurred as a combat soldier in a war he was drafted into a week after his older brother Richard came home. The Valencia mother, whose husband Chris fought in World War II, was moved like other residents, veterans and city council members at Saturday’s Veterans Plaza tribute. last_img read more

DONEGAL WOMAN SCARRED BY BREAST SURGERY LOSES BID TO SUE POLISH FIRM IN IRELAND

first_imgA COUNTY Donegal woman left scarred by breast reduction surgery has been told she can’t sue the Polish surgeon here in Ireland.Mary Rose Harkin, from Cranford, underwent unsuccessful breast reduction surgery performed by Dr Towpik at Klinika Latros in July 2009.The 32-year-old special needs assistant had her case struck out at the High Court in Dublin after a judge ruled that the court had no jurisdiction over the claim. The operation had been advertised on a UK website and the operation had been carried out in Poland.Ms Harkin had also signed the consent forms in Poland.She planned to sue plastic surgeon Edward Towpik, the Warsaw-based cosmetic clinic, Klinika Latros, and its alleged UK based agent, Denise Bird.She claimed she could do this as an EU citizen and the operation had been carried out in an EU country.But Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns struck out the case, saying there was no evidence that the clinic or the UK agent had directed their services towards the Irish market.Ms Harkin will now have to take a case in England or Poland, or both.DONEGAL WOMAN SCARRED BY BREAST SURGERY LOSES BID TO SUE POLISH FIRM IN IRELAND was last modified: July 23rd, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CranfordDONEGAL WOMAN SCARRED BY BREAST SURGERY LOSES BID TO SUE POLISH FIRM IN IRELANDharkinKlinika LatrosWarsawlast_img read more

Created Designs for Good Health

first_imgScience keeps finding that good health is built into the Master Plan.The Outdoors Is Our EnvironmentSpending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing (Nature Scientific Reports). Civilization has been a long process of insulating us from the outdoors. Much of it is for good reason, understandably (during blizzards and heat waves, for instance), but on good days, why bury your face in a computer screen or smartphone? Researchers monitored the well-being of almost 20,000 participants in the UK and found a peak value of about 2-3 hours per week of outdoor exposure was a significant contributing factor:Creation Safaris and other outdoor ministries help people escape to reality.Weekly contact was categorised using 60 min blocks. Analyses controlled for residential greenspace and other neighbourhood and individual factors. Compared to no nature contact last week, the likelihood of reporting good health or high well-being became significantly greater with contact ≥120 mins…. Positive associations peaked between 200–300 mins per week with no further gain. The pattern was consistent across key groups including older adults and those with long-term health issues. It did not matter how 120 mins of contact a week was achieved (e.g. one long vs. several shorter visits/week). Prospective longitudinal and intervention studies are a critical next step in developing possible weekly nature exposure guidelines comparable to those for physical activity.Our bodies are well designed for interaction with the environment. It’s a shame to deprive them of what they were made for. At The Conversation, lead author Matthew White stresses that the benefits are free to all. “Access to most parks and green spaces is free, so even the poorest, and often the least healthy, members of communities have equal access for their health and well-being, he says. “We hope that evidence such as ours will help keep them that way.”Sleep Is Vital to Our Mental HealthSleep increases chromosome dynamics to enable reduction of accumulating DNA damage in single neurons (Zada et al, Nature Communications). This technical paper answers a simple question: Why do we need to sleep? Everyone has probably wondered about that. It’s not just because of the dark at night, because many work late shifts. No, the answer is much more interesting and important: brain activity in waking hours puts a lot of strain on our neurons, and the sleep shift gives the repair crews time to work. Mourrain and Wang explain in a commentary on this paper in Current Biology:While most of our body cells are renewed during the course of our lives, we die with much of the neuronal cells we are born with. Thus, in contrast to a skin, blood or liver cells, which live from days to months, a neuron may need to preserve its integrity while maintaining its capacity to connect to other neurons in an ever-changing environment across decades. While it is unclear how neuronal tissues achieve such a feat, a recurring period of our lives may be critical for the survival and maintenance of our brain cells, including their genome — sleep. A recent study from Zada et al. shows at the single cell level that sleep increases chromosome dynamics in neuronal nuclei to repair DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) accumulated in the genome during wake.Double-stranded breaks are among the most dangerous of DNA injuries. They can lead to cell death or cancer. Complex molecular machines have to grab both loose ends and stitch them back together. The scientists found that genes for DSB repair proteins are up-regulated during sleep. As you lie down in sleep, think about those teams going to work to save your brain!Lack of sleep takes a severe toll on the body and mind. Another study reported by Medical Xpress showed that sleep-deprived firefighters risk exhaustion and mental health problems. About half of firefighters are affected, the study says; most fire stations require 24-hour shifts, sometimes for days in a row, and alarms can go off at any time. Researchers in Australia “suggest that reducing sleep and mental health disturbances should be a focus of fire departments’ occupational health screening programs, along with trialling interventions designed to maximise sleep.”Without enough sleep, the brain can also accumulate damaging molecules. Science Daily reported on another paper in the Journal of Neuroscience that found an association between lack of sleep and accumulation of beta-amyloid and tau proteins, the molecules that are diagnostic of Alzheimer’s Disease. For your protection in your old age, be sure you get enough sleep. Sleeping on your side is best, says Medical Xpress. That posture not only helps your repair machinery eliminate “brain waste” most efficiently, it also helps prevent neck and back strain.Your life will be richer if you live in harmony with the way your body and brain were designed. The Creator thought of everything. Even though the world is fallen from its original perfection, we have ample testimony of God’s design for our joy, peace and health, if we will learn from God’s word and obey it. Learn to love what is good for you, and be grateful. Gratitude increases as we learn about God’s designs, such as DNA repair during sleep and the benefits of natural environments for our eyes and minds. Our greatest need, however, is not bodily health. We need to be “born again” to have spiritual health and a proper relationship with our Maker. Even the most disabled person can have that greatest need fulfilled in his or her spirit. See our Site Map for trail markers on how to get on the straight and narrow path to the joy of the Lord.(Visited 245 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more