As a ‘New Writer’ in Oxford, what do you feel are the obligations of the modern playwright?Obligations…I think the obvious ones are firstly to entertain and secondly through entertaining bring the audience into contact with ideas and viewpoints that they wouldn’t necessarily have considered otherwise. The way theatre is now, it’s never going to change the world, but it can act in more subtle ways, and I believe it’s about presenting ideas and getting them into the public eye, getting the audience to consider them, rather than simply hammering home one point of view. I’m not sure I’ve fulfilled either of them yet. But I’m trying.Which pieces of New Writing have you particularly enjoyed this year?There are a number of writers I admire. I think the my highlight was Kathryn Rickson’s Bare Feet on a Cold Floor, which was the most assured piece of student writing I think I’ve ever seen, and the best thing to grace the Moser. I really enjoyed the 24 hour plays last week, it was fascinating to see what people came up with. Ben Arnold is definitely a writer to watch – he’s got a unique style and some great ideas. And Tom Crawshaw’s NWF winner was great fun, too.Are you working on anything at the moment?I’m working on a couple of things – I’ve got a show going up to Edinburgh called I’m a Lab Rat, Get Me Out of Here! and a play hopefully on next term which is a little darker called Knuckles in her Heart, both of which I’m really looking forward to. Should we move on from the Past Masters?It’ll always depend on what the audience wants to see. I personally want to see new ideas and interesting takes on old conflicts. If that’s done through reinterpreting classics or through brand new plays then so be it. I like watching new plays because it’s like meeting new people – it’s exciting, it can lead to more than what it starts as and it’s always got the potential to make you feel something completely different.What place should New Writing take in the future of the theatre? ‘New Writing’ seems like a rather grand title. Obviously people will continue to write plays, and some of them will have the potential to define an era or capture a moment in history. I think writing is becoming more and more accessible, so hopefully we’ll see a bigger diversity of playwrights and new plays – it’s all about expanding the horizons of the audience (without them noticing, because then they usually get scared and run away).
A series of lectures and events hosted by Harvard University from April 24 – 28 will explore the multiple dimensions of climate change, as well as its impact on people and the planet. The week-long program will give the Harvard community, as well as the interested public, exposure to some of the best scholarship and thinking related to climate change across the University’s Schools“Climate Week” is hosted by the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE), in cooperation with a wide variety of partner institutions across the Harvard campus. Lectures will feature faculty and outside experts exploring a wide range of topics from the human health and ecosystem impacts of climate change to the social cost of carbon, agriculture in a warming world, regional resiliency planning, and bringing climate data into the classroom.For more detailed information on events visit: environment.harvard.edu/climateweekIn coordination with the announcement of Climate Week, HUCE has launched the “Harvard Speaks on Climate” website where visitors can hear from a multi-disciplinary group of faculty discussing the complexities of climate change from the varied perspectives of law, business, and public policy, to the sciences and engineering, public health, design, and the humanities.Each video in the collection leads to an individual faculty page with more resources for those who want to dig deeper: additional videos from that faculty member, a selection of their publications, as well as faculty bios and links to their webpages. Read Full Story
Source: NBT. NORWICH, N.Y. (JANUARY 26, 2010) –# # # In a December 30, 2009, article titled “America’s Best And Worst Banks,” Forbes.com ranked NBT Bancorp as the ninth-best bank in the nation. NBT recently opened a branch in Burlington.Forbes ranked the 100 largest banks, thrifts and holding companies on “eight financial measures that gauge asset quality, capital adequacy and profitability.” These financial institutions each have $5 billion or more in assets. The website ranked the institutions on each measure and added up the individual rankings.Forbes noted that NBT Bancorp’s reserves as a percentage of nonperforming loans was 165 percent, the “fifth-highest among big banks.” NBT Bancorp was one of only two institutions from the East Coast to make the top 10. More information on the rankings can be found at www.forbes.com/bank-ratings(link is external).In an article accompanying the rankings, Forbes stated that it wanted to “drill a little deeper into the health” of the nation’s largest banks, especially since some observers may assume that the “banking crisis is just about over.” Based on its findings, the website said those observers “would be wrong.”NBT Bancorp President and Chief Executive Officer Martin Dietrich said, “This recognition helps validate our efforts to be a high-performing financial company while remaining safe, sound and secure. The U.S. economy and banking industry face continuing challenges, but we will keep our focus on taking care of our customers and delivering long-term value to our shareholders.”Forbes is one of the world’s leading providers of business information. Its magazines and other media reach 50 million businesspeople around the globe.NBT Bancorp Inc. is a financial holding company headquartered in Norwich, N.Y. The company had assets of $5.5 billion as of December 31, 2009. The company primarily operates through two full-service community bank divisions and two financial services companies. NBT Bank, based in Norwich, N.Y., has 84 offices in upstate New York and one office in Burlington, Vt. Pennstar Bank, based in Scranton, Pa., has 38 offices in northeastern Pennsylvania. EPIC Advisors, Inc., based in Rochester, N.Y., is a full-service 401(k) plan recordkeeping firm. Mang Insurance Agency, LLC, based in Norwich, N.Y., is a full-service insurance agency.
Credit unions can talk all they want about data analytics, but putting those tools in place won’t mean much without an analytics culture.That’s the word from two former credit union executives – Brewster Knowlton, principal of the Knowlton Group and Rich Jones, principal of Leading2Leadership – who spoke during the Analytics and Financial Innovation conference here.“Technology is the easy part of the process,” explained Knowlton. “When we say analytics or data, people think IT. The last thing that comes to their mind is change of management or cultural transformation.”Too often, Knowlton explained, credit unions build a data warehouse and consider the work done. “That doesn’t solve the rest of the organization’s challenges,” he said. “How do we actually get that adoption? It starts with establishing stakeholder needs [and] getting to the point where you’re getting collaboration between departments.” 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
176SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Brandy Bruyere Brandy Bruyere, NCCO was named vice president of regulatory compliance in February 2017. In her role, Bruyere oversees NAFCU’s regulatory compliance team who help credit unions with a variety of … Web: www.nafcu.org Details Credit unions are facing a series of upcoming regulatory compliance deadlines right now – two of the big ones are under Military Lending Act (MLA) rules, just days away; and another looms for revised Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) rules, effective the first of the year. While right now may not seem like an ideal time to talk about training and education needs, learning can be key to staying on top of the latest changes to the regulatory environment.The continued growth in regulatory compliance requirements affects just about every aspect of credit union operations. When new recordkeeping and reporting rules come out, what systems need to be upgraded or enhanced? How are vendor contracts affected? What are your staffing needs? Which regulations are going to have an impact on how you market, disclose and deliver your products and services?Here are eight key things credit unions need to be ready for, and when:Equifax – ongoing: The recent news of the Equifax hack, affecting potentially as many as 143 million consumers, has every financial institution on alert for credit card and other types of fraud affecting account holders. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and NCUA rules set out specific requirements for protecting your members’ data (although there are not specific obligations for addressing third-party breaches).MLA and credit cards, Oct. 3: Credit unions need to be in compliance with the Department of Defense’s MLA rules for credit cards, including the rule’s 36 percent Military Annual Percentage (MAPR) cap, what fees can be excluded from the MAPR calculation and how the credit union’s fees compare with fees charged elsewhere.Mortgage servicing – Phase 1, Oct. 19: This is the effective date of the first phase of the CFPB’s mortgage servicing rule changes under Regulations Z (Truth in Lending Act, or TILA) and X (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA). These provisions clarify and amend requirements for force-placed insurance notices, policies and procedures, early intervention, loss mitigation and more. HMDA and new reporting requirements, Jan. 1, 2018: Most mortgage lenders must begin collecting more records on mortgage applicants – some 38 data points – and begin collecting data for home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). (The CFPB raised the 100-loan HELOC threshold for compliance to 500 in 2018 and 2019.)Prepaids, April 1: The CFPB’s 2016 revisions to Regulations Z and E (Electronic Funds Transfer Act, or EFTA) impose rules on prepaid products addressing disclosures, error resolution, consumer liability limits for unauthorized transactions, fee limits and more. (This effective date, originally set for Oct. 1, was extended this spring.)Mortgage servicing – Phase 2, April 19: Some of the CFPB’s new requirements will apply to a borrower’s successors in interest and the servicing of mortgages for borrowers in bankruptcy.Customer due diligence, May 18: A final rule on customer due diligence from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) kicks in. It affects the way credit unions must identify and verify beneficial owners of “legal entity” accounts and codifies anti-money laundering (AML) procedures previously issued under the Bank Secrecy Act.Funds availability and check collection, July 1: Changes from the Federal Reserve Board to Regulation CC (Expedited Funds Availability Act) kick in. The final rule modifies check collection and return requirements to reflect today’s virtually all-electronic environment and to drive electronic check return.These requirements are substantial, but they don’t come close to addressing the full range of credit union regulatory compliance burdens. While some credit unions are fortunate enough to have a deep bench for regulatory compliance, others are not. The need for training and education on these matters, however, is universally shared. As you juggle the management of your credit union’s compliance obligations with the coming year’s budget plan, carve out some time to consider the training that your staff – and volunteers – will need to keep your institution on the right side of the rules.NAFCU offers a rich array of educational programs and resources to help credit union professionals train and learn in the regulatory compliance areas that affect their operations and members. The association’s 2018 educational conference lineup is online now. You can also learn about the NAFCU Certified Compliance Officer program, which this year won the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Power of A Gold Award. And there is always NAFCU’s Online Training Center, which allows staff and volunteers to get “anywhere, anytime” compliance training.Credit union compliance burdens are ever-present and growing. These resources and more can help you stay abreast and promote that culture of compliance that will place you, your team and your credit union in good stead with regulators.
Be sure to follow the hashtag #CUNAGAC for all the latest from the Washington Convention Center! Platon onstage delivering the ED (Filene) Talk on Sunday at #CUNAGAC 2020. The 2020 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference is finally here! 5,000 credit union advocates from all over have once again arrived in Washington D.C., gathering together to celebrate credit unions at “the industry’s largest advocacy event.” This morning, CUNA president Jim Nussle will deliver a keynote address that will once again be available for live streaming on CUNA’s Facebook page at 9:30 a.m. (ET).After a message from Nussle, Monday’s featured keynote will be delivered by author, consultant, and speaker, Marcus Buckingham. The former senior researcher with Gallup Organization will challenge credit unions to find the best ways to leverage their employees.In the afternoon, numerous breakout sessions will be available to attendees, with topics including: the economy, litigation risk, the CU difference, diversity, regulations, and Google Pay.On Sunday afternoon, the annual ED (Filene) Talk featured photographer Platon. The world-renowned artist regaled the captivated crowd with stories of encounters with photo subjects ranging from world leaders (both noble and corrupt) to celebrities (both famous and infamous).With the crowd hanging on his every word, Platon spoke on the the power of storytelling and challenged credit unions to “rise up and rekindle the spirit of optimism.” 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details
1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kerala Taylor Kerala Taylor is a Digital Strategist at PixelSpoke, an award-winning certified B Corp that works with credit unions to create delightful online experiences. See case studies and contact us to … Web: https://www.pixelspoke.com Details So your credit union has a blog. Great! But . . . is anybody reading it?We all know blogs are supposed to be good for business — when you continually create industry-specific content, your site will appear higher in search results and more external websites will link to yours, which means more prospective members find your website.That said, blogging is time consuming. Even bad blog posts take time to compose and publish. To maximize your ROI, why not create a blog that people actually want to read? Don’t waste your time on dull company updates, overzealous self-promotion, or generic financial advice that anyone can find on Google.Here are five tips to help you craft a unique, useful, relevant blog that will get your readers talking:Tip #1: Provide a unique angle on a subject that everyone is already talking aboutPay attention to stories trending in the news and see if there’s a way you can incorporate your own unique perspective. Commonly known as “newsjacking,” this practice keeps your blog relevant and draws readers in simply because you’re addressing what’s already on their minds.To be clear, this is not about exploiting tragedies to get more traffic to your blog or to push a thinly veiled promotion. It’s about offering an angle on a topic that might help ease your members’ top-of-mind frustrations or concerns. See Ellevest’s Managing Your Financial Health During Coronavirus post for a timely example.Tip #2: Offer useful, specialized informationEveryone would like to take more control over their finances, but finances can be scary. They are full of cryptic percentages, obscure acronyms, and dense jargon that sometimes only vaguely resembles English.How can your blog help put your members in the driver’s seat?Here’s a great example from Simple Bank that not only provides helpful tips for getting out debt, but does so in a way that’s both personal and specific. It tells a story from one its clients and walks the reader through the steps he took—using Simple’s online tools—to eventually conquer $24,000 of debt.Tip #3: Make ‘em laugh. (Or cry. Or say, WOW.)People respond to content that spurs an emotional reaction. Do your blog posts read like press releases? Do they lack flair? Most company blogs succeed only in putting their readers to sleep. How can you not only wake your readers up, but also give them something to chuckle about?Tapping into human emotion isn’t as daunting as it might seem. Tap into your own community for inspiration. What are the top five most bizarre questions your tellers have been asked? The three most interesting projects funded by your loans? 10 questions your CEO would ask if s/he were stuck in an elevator with the CEO of Goldman Sachs?Or, you can follow the CDC’s lead and prepare your readers for the zombie apocalypse. Alas, if the CDC had prepared us as thoroughly for the coronavirus, we might have more to laugh about now.Tip #4: Give your members a peek under the hoodEveryone appreciates a behind-the-scenes look at the companies with which they interact. It helps your clients feel connected to the real people who are handling their finances.Sure, you can post occasional staff profiles, but why not get a little creative and capture the quirks and idiosyncrasies of your office culture and team? Photos and video are great media for personalizing your business. Linn Area Credit Union’s video, “Pie Meets Face,” is a great example.Tip #5: Connect your members to their credit union communityYour blog is an opportunity to personalize both your business and your broader community. Storytelling is a popular buzzword these days, but that doesn’t mean all stories are interesting; at its core, a story requires a narrative arc that includes a seemingly insurmountable challenge and a journey that leads to its resolution.How do you find the best stories from your community? Ask for them! Give your members a forum, whether via email, social media, or an online form, to share the financial hurdles they’ve faced and the steps they took to overcome them.Montana-based Clearwater Credit Union demonstrates impact by sharing member stories, often including videos, like this one about a business member with a goal of a zero-waste Missoula by 2050.Key TakeawayYou’re not competing with Forbes. Use your company blog to own your little corner of the internet. Shelve the PR talk and the marketing lingo. Inspire your readers to share your posts and keep them coming back, simply by being authentic, useful, personal, and maybe even funny.The best way to generate leads and promote your products through your blog? Stop thinking about your blog as a mechanism for generating leads or promoting your products. Start thinking about zombies instead.
The Senate’s dumbest member is at it again. Sen. Ron “Genius” Johnson of Wisconsin apparently just got wind of the whole Project Veritas fiasco and decided there was gold there. Because he is that stupid.xMy committee has jurisdiction over USPS and the federal workforce. I’m asking anyone who knows of irregularities related to mail-in or absentee ballots to contact our confidential whistleblower hotline: [email protected]— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) November 12, 2020- Advertisement – There actually was U.S. Postal Service (USPS) chicanery at the very top with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Remember this pronouncement from Judge Emmet Sullivan after he ordered broad sweeps of postal facilities on Election Day, an order that was ignored by the USPS: “Someone may have a price to pay for that.” He was clear who he meant when he told the Justice Department lawyers who broke the news that his order was disregarded: “It’s your clients. Each and every one of them, starting at the top of the food chain. […] I don’t want you to keep falling on the sword. […] The postmaster’s going to have to be deposed or appear before me,” Sullivan said, adding, “I’m not going to forget it.” – Advertisement –
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Blitar knocking on woodWoodcarver Burdi, 41, has seen his income drop by more than half since January as the drum workshop he works for struggles to survive the COVID-19 outbreak.He used to earn at least Rp 900,000 (US$63.09) a week for carving djembe drums in Blitar City, Central Java, but barely makes Rp 400,000 a week since mid-January. With Chinese buyers normally accounting for more than 90 percent of their sales, the region’s djembe drum workshops are operating at 10 percent of their production capacity to meet local demand. Four of six woodcarvers who also work for Burdi’s employer went back to their hometown of Jepara in Central Java in late January because the workshop was unable to provide enough work for all of them.”Now there are only two of us with that small income. There is not much money we can save for our families because we still have to spend some of it for our living expenses,” Burdi said.COVID-19 has affected thousands of people like Burdi who work for hundreds of traditional djembe drum makers in at least five districts of Blitar regency, East Java.Djembe drums (Shutterstock/File)Jambi farmers’ woesOil palm growers in Jambi were struggling to turn a profit from fresh fruit bunches (TBS) exports as pegged prices dropped from 1,754 per kilogram to Rp 1,658 per kg between March 6 and March 12, the lowest this year, Jambi Plantation Agency head Agusrizal said.Farmer Yuk Ning has experienced this firsthand. She now gets only Rp 3 million in profit from each oil palm fruit harvest, a sharp decline from the usual Rp 10 million. Prices had dropped all the way to Rp 1,525 per kg during the last two harvests after hovering around Rp 1,930 last month, she said.Yet she needs to spend about Rp 10 million every four months on plant nutrients and fertilizer and much more to pay workers for cultivation and harvests. On top of that, half of her plantation has failed to bear fruit in the last six months.“The TBS price drop is forcing us to think twice about continuing the oil palm plantation, but we don’t have any other commodity that could be worth selling in the market,” said Yuk.Rubber factories close in North SumatraAlready battered by extremely low market prices, rubber businesses in North Sumatra are closing down as their business environment has turned yet more hostile because of falling demand from Japan and China, the region’s top export destinations for the commodity.“Several rubber factories in Tebing Tinggi and Labuhan Batu are closing down because of the impact of the coronavirus. As a consequence, many workers in the factories are losing their jobs,” said Setiawan Khoe, chairman of the Indonesian Rubber Producers Association’s (Gapkindo) North Sumatra chapter.North Sumatra exported 410,000 tons of rubber in 2019, 20 percent of which went to Japan, followed by 18 percent to the US, 11 percent to China and 7 percent to India.Topics : With COVID-19 expected to shave 0.6 percentage points off this year’s economic growth rate in Indonesia, according to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani’s Feb. 19 statement, The Jakarta Post spoke with workers and industry players in various regions, whose businesses are affected by the virus. Here are their stories: Vacant malls, few boats in Singapore neighbor BatamWithin walking distance from the Batam Center ferry port, which connects Indonesia and Singapore through a one-hour boat ride, the Mega Mall Batam Center looks a lot quieter than usual.Shipowner business representative Asmadi said four ferry operators serving the Batam-Singapore route had reduced the number of trips in response to low demand. The same is apparent on the route to Johor Bahru, Malaysia.Read also: In Singapore’s neighbor Batam, malls empty, ferry trips reduced as virus fears lurkUnless conditions improve within a month or two, the ferry operators are likely to lay off some of their roughly 1,000 workers, including ferry crews and onshore staff.“Normally, a ferryboat carries at least 50 people per trip; now it’s only 20 people,” Asmadi, chairman of the Indonesian National Shipowners Association’s (INSA) Batam chapter, told The Jakarta Post. “All ferry operators are reducing their trips. Operational costs are high while passenger numbers have dropped drastically.”In Batam, a spa, massage and reflexology center that would serve 30 to 50 Singaporean and other foreign customers a day is now lucky to serve one a day, a Batam local. Industrial parks are complaining about disrupted supplies of imported goods. Singapore has so far detected 160 cases of COVID-19 infection. Ninety-three people have been discharged after recovering from the disease, and no deaths have been reported to date. The city-state is intensifying efforts in prevention, testing and treatment to step the further spread of the virus, including by barring people from China, South Korea, Iran and Italy to enter the country.Harbor Bay shopping center and international ferry port looks a lot quieter than usual on March 7 as visitors from Singapore are dwindling because the COVID-19 coronavirus makes them afraid of travel. The shopping center is within walking distance of the Harbor Bay International Ferry Port Batam, which takes passengers on a one-hour trip to Singapore. (JP/Fadli)Quietness in super-priority tourist destination Labuan Bajo Tourism practitioner Maria Oktaviani Simonita Budjen said the COVID-19 impact on tourism was palpable in Labuan Bajo in West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara, especially since the regent issued a circular banning Chinese visitors from entering the town.“I don’t have the data, but I can see it through conditions in Labuan Bajo. Usually, there are many tourists going back and forth, but now I can count them on my fingers,” Maria said. Labuan Bajo is among the government’s top five destinations prioritized to jack up tourism’s contribution to the economy.The head of the West Manggarai chapter of the Indonesian Tour and Travel Agency (ASITA), Donatus Matur, said tourists from all over the world had canceled travel plans to Indonesia as a result of the outbreak.However, the head of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) in West Manggarai, Silvester Wangge, attributed the decline in tourist arrivals to the usual low season, adding that several hotels were still able to ensure occupancy with domestic visitors.Read also: Labuan Bajo ramps up screening of tourists after Indonesia confirms COVID-19 cases From empty malls to factories disruption, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is dealing a hard blow to Indonesia’s regional economy and small and medium enterprises around the archipelago.Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Association (Akumindo) chairman Ikhsan Ingratubun estimates that MSME sales dropped 30 to 35 percent across Indonesia from February until March 9. He predicted that the sector would continue to feel the virus impact for the next three months.”There needs to be concrete action from the government,” he said, “so that the economy can recover as fast as possible.” Indonesia announced a Rp 10.3 trillion (US$742 million) incentive package on Feb. 26 to boost consumer spending and prevent a steep drop in the tourism industry through tax incentives and fund transfers to the most-affected regions. A second stimulus package is for the manufacturing industry, importers and exporters faced with severe supply chain disruption.Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Tenten Masduki downplayed the concerns on Monday, claiming that the coronavirus presented an “opportunity” for MSME to supply domestic industries and consumers amid scarcity of some imported products, citing local fruits and vegetables as potential substitutions.”We actually already have the market inside the country. Now is the time [for MSME to perform],” Teten told reporters after a press conference on Monday.Small businesses are defined as those that have annual sales between Rp 300 million and Rp 2.5 billion, while medium businesses have sales of up to Rp 50 billion, according to Law No. 20/2008 on micro, small and medium businesses.