× SOUPER BOWL DAY – Mrs. Lomuscio and second graders at Midtown Community School have a SOUPer bowl Day where students donated canned foods and wore their favorite team shirt!
× SOUPER BOWL DAY – Mrs. Lomuscio and second graders at Midtown Community School have a SOUPer bowl Day where students donated canned foods and wore their favorite team shirt!
Following the success of its pop-up outlet, The Bertinet Bakery has announced the opening of a permanent shop in Bath.The new shop, which opened last week, will be open six days a week in January and then seven days a week from February. It will sell an extensive range of breads, tarts, cakes and pastries.The Bertinet Bakery pop-up shop, located in The Podium shopping centre in Bath, opened from October until Christmas 2011. It had opened in the wake of disruption to the company’s wholesale operation during the summer of 2011, when a joint-venture partner, which had been providing production space, went into administration. The Bertinet business was unaffected, but had to move quickly to set up its own production bakery to maintain its supply to delis and restaurants in the area.Baker Richard Bertinet has also announced he will be bringing out a new book – Pastry – in May 2012.It will focus on the methods of four different types of pastry: salted, sweet, puff and choux. Recipes range from savouries – such as Chicken and Tarragon Tart, Duck Pie and Sausage Rolls – to sweet suggestions, such as Peach and Rosemary Almond Tarts, Tarte Tatin, Pear Bourdaloue and Raspberry and Pistachio tarts.Richard Bertinet was named BBC Food Champion of the Year 2010 for his work on bread, and is already the author of two award-winning books on baking, Dough and Crust. He runs regular bread classes at his cookery school, The Bertinet Kitchen, in Bath.
Load remaining images On Saturday, Umphrey’s McGee returned to Brooklyn, NY’s Brooklyn Steel for the third and final show of their weekend run. The six-piece rock outfit delivered two heavy-hitter sets, which featured a guest appearance from vocalist Kanika Moore.Umphrey’s McGee opened up their first set with “40’s Theme” before immediately launching into a improv-heavy segue with “Preamble” > “Mantis” > “Cemetery Walk”. Kris Myers, Ryan Stasik, and Andy Farag locked into a tight rhythmic pocket, as Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger traded off smoking hot guitar solos. Next up was “Cemetery Walk II”, followed by a smoothly segued combination of “Deeper” > “Kabump”. Following a brief pause, Umphrey’s McGee hopped back into to “Mantis” to properly finish off the tune. The sextet invited up vocalist Kanika Moore to assist on a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”, as the Brooklyn venue exploded with an uncontainable energy in the air. Moore performs with Ryan Stasik in his Doom Flamingo side project, who played an official after-party at the nearby Brooklyn Bowl following Umphrey’s two-set performance last night.Umphrey’s McGee ft. Kanika Moore – “Kashmir”[Video: Gregory Marcus]Following a brief setbreak, Umphrey’s McGee came back out to open their second set with a massive “Hurt Bird Bath” sandwich, which featured an incomplete take on “Tomorrow Never Knows” tossed in the middle. “Half Delayed” off of 2018’s it’s not us, before moving forward with a jammed-out “Attachments” > “The Floor”. The highlight of the second set came next with a monstrous “Puppet String”, which featured teases of Pee Wee Ellis’ “The Chicken” and Men Without Hats’ “The Safety Dance”. Joel Cummins let it all hangout with some funky licks on the organ, before Jake Cinninger moved over to the keys with Umphrey’s moving into “The Triple Wide”. Umphrey’s McGee jumped back into “Puppet String” to bring their heater of a second set to a close. “Remind Me” served as the evening’s encore, with Bayliss taking the lead and flexing his vocals chops for the final time of the night.Check out a gallery of photos from last night’s show courtesy of photographer Chris Capaci, as well as full-show audio below.Umphrey’s McGee – 2/16/2019 (Full-Show Audio)[Audio: opsopcopolis]For a full list of Umphrey’s McGee’s upcoming tour dates and ticketing information, head to the band’s website.Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Brooklyn Steel | Brooklyn, NY | 2/16/2019Set One: 40’s Theme, Preamble > Mantis > Cemetery Walk, Cemetery Walk II, Deeper > Kabump, Mantis, KashmirSet Two: Hurt Bird Bath -> Tomorrow Never Knows > Hurt Bird Bath, Half Delayed, Attachments > The Floor, Puppet String > The Triple Wide > Puppet StringEncore: Remind Me with Kanika Moore on vocals incomplete with The Chicken (Pee Wee Ellis) and The Safety Dance (Men Without Hats) teases with Jake on keysUmphrey’s McGee | Brooklyn Steel | Brooklyn, NY | 2/16/2019 | Photos: Chris Capaci
Music, painting, and storytelling came together at the Ed Portal during “At the Still Point: medicine from the inside,” an event co-sponsored with the Harvard Medical School‘s Arts & Humanities Initiative that was the latest in an ongoing series of Ed Portal programming on the intersection of art and science. Dreamed up by musician and graduating medical student Ben Robison and physician artist Matthew Wetschler, this multimedia program promotes creative reflection and stillness as a way to connect to the vulnerability, intimacy, and wonder found within healthcare. The facilitators shared their own stories and the experiences of patients to explore issues including burnout and empathy. They invited the audience to recreate the sonic landscape of a hospital through a group musical exercise that reinforced the connections between the arts and healing. Appealing to physicians, caregivers, and anyone who has had experience with illness, Ben and Matthew offered up an evening as thought-provoking as it was moving.
Hacktivism and the Attack Surface – Per my earlier comment, as cyberattack tools and services become increasingly commoditized, the cost of attacking an organization is dropping dramatically. This enables more attacks that do not have financial gain as the primary focus. Sophisticated hacktivist collectives like Anonymous have been joined by relatively unsophisticated cyber vigilantes. Organizations need to realize that financial gain is no longer the only or even the biggest driver of some of their adversaries. Security operations and risk managers should evolve their understanding not only of the threat, but also of what, why, where, and how they are being targeted. Shakeout of the Security Industry – Our industry has been awash in venture capital and as a result, foolish investments have been made in strategies and technologies that are little more than snake oil. As organizations’ security programs continue to mature, they are learning that claims of being able to prevent advanced threat breaches are nothing more than fantasy. Expect to see a shakeout in the security industry as organizations maturing understanding of advanced threats increasingly drives their security investment decisions. This year marked a strategic shift from a maniacal focus on prevention, toward greater balance on monitoring, detection, and response capabilities. It’s become cliché to say that breaches are inevitable and that faster detection and more accurate incident scoping are the way forward.2015 saw continued acceleration of threat evolution. What was considered an “advanced” threat in years past has become a commodity today, with sophisticated malware and exploits available for the price of a movie ticket. As troublesome as these observations seem, the most impactful evolution goes almost entirely unreported and misunderstood. The threats that matter most, today’s pervasive threat actors are now conducting attack campaigns comprised of multiple exploit methods and multiple backdoors to assure persistence. Incomplete incident scoping has become a critical and consistent mistake made by security teams.This year was also notably characterized by security vendors claiming to be able to prevent advanced threat breaches when the reality is they can’t. It was characterized by organizations recognizing the need to monitor and defend their digital environments differently, but continuing to center their security programs on the same technologies and approaches they have been using – hoping for a different outcome, but not acting differently.Here are some of the emerging trends that our industry and organizations need to be ready for in 2016:Strategic Data Manipulation and Disruption – Organizations will begin to realize that not only is their data being accessed inappropriately, but that it is being tampered with. Data drives decision-making for people and computer systems. When that data is unknowingly manipulated, those decisions will be made based on false data. Consider the potentially devastating consequences of misrepresented data on the mixing of compounds, control systems, and manufacturing processes. Increasing Attacks on Application Service Providers – As organizations become more comfortable with the “as-a-service” model, many of their most sensitive applications and data reside in the cloud. The aggregation of this valuable data from many companies creates an incredibly lucrative target for cybercriminals and cyber espionage. A deeper appreciation of third party risk is needed. ICS (Industrial Control Systems) Pushed to the Breaking Point – Intrusions into systems that control operations in the chemical, electrical, water, and transport sectors have increased 17-fold over the last three years. The advent of connected and automated sensors aggressively exacerbates these issues. The growth in the use of cyber technology for terrorism, hacktivists and other actors, combined with the weakness of ICS security generally and the potential impact of bringing down a power facility or water treatment plant (hello, California), makes the critical breach of an ICS in 2016 extremely concerning and increasingly likely.
Population: 775,202Public lands: Lake Norman, McDowell Nature Center and Preserve, Latta Plantation Nature PreserveOutdoor Highlights: US National Whitewater Center, Freedom Park, Renaissance Park, Little Sugar Creek Greenway, McAlpine Creek Greenway
Paddlers, filmmakers, and local citizens team up to nominate the Nolichucky as a Wild & Scenic River.That the Nolichucky River is both wild and scenic seemed obvious enough on a brilliantly clear day last fall when I walked into its namesake gorge east of Poplar, N.C. The water level, which fluctuates widely in this dam-free stretch of the Nolichucky, was ideal for paddling, the water surging powerfully but remaining a clear, beer-bottle green in the channels between boulders. And though the landing at Poplar is little more than an hour’s drive from downtown Asheville, and this was the kind of sun-drenched afternoon that beckons paddlers, I counted precisely one small party of kayakers.“The Nolichucky Gorge is as remote a place as some people will ever get to in their lives,” said Matt Moses, owner of Mountain River Guides & USA Rafts near Erwin, Tenn. “We see a remarkable amount of wildlife. One trip not too long ago witnessed an osprey pulling a fish out of the river, a mama bear and two cubs on the bank and a deer swimming, probably to get away from the bears. And right at the end, as if that wasn’t enough, we had an eagle fly right over.”More than just Wild and ScenicAlong with checking essential boxes for federal designation as a Wild and Scenic River: beauty, pristine surroundings and unhindered flow-the upper Nolichucky claims other qualities that justify its listing. It generates more than $12 million in tourism revenue for the local economy, a figure that with a few tweaks to accommodate visitors could easily climb to nearly $17 million, a consultant recently found. Among the many cultural resources along its banks is the site of a classic moonshine-making, government-averse mountain settlement, the now-abandoned Lost Cove.In fact, the U.S. Forest Service confirmed the Nolichucky’s worthiness for listing more than two decades ago, in 1994, when it named the stretch through the gorge as eligible for Wild and Scenic status, said Kevin Colburn, American Whitewater’s national stewardship director.The only remaining gap, one that paddlers and local businesses have recently been working hard to fill, is political action.“Eligibility is based on the river’s physical attributes, while designation is based on public and political will to see the river protected,” Colburn said. “It’s really all about public enthusiasm.”Public Enthusiasm and Political ActionThat has been growing for about two years, starting with conversations among guides and spreading to local business and political leaders. A petition on Change.org has been signed by more than 20,000 supporters, and a Facebook page links to a short film, This Is the Nolichucky, that highlights the river’s distinctive qualities. Entrepreneurs in Erwin, Tenn., a former railroad hub near the lower end of the gorge, have jumped on board, seeing listing as a crucial step in their effort to refashion their town as a center of outdoor tourism. The mayor of Erwin and leaders of surrounding Unicoi County have sent letters backing Wild and Scenic designation to federal lawmakers who must introduce a bill to make it happen.“This all sprung organically,” Colburn said. “It was just a good idea that started resonating.”That those federal lawmakers remain noncommittal is the main obstacle to securing Wild and Scenic status. But the job of convincing them has been made easier by the disappearance of traditional opposition from mining, agricultural and railroad industries, said Tyler Engle, executive director of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board of Unicoi County, home to the western portion of the gorge.“We have presented this idea for the last couple of years,” he said, “and, really, we have not heard of any opposition.”Lobbying for the Nolichucky is easy because the river is so distinctive, so stunning.Its tributaries, including the North Toe and Cane rivers, drain the slopes of two of the highest points in the East, Mount Mitchell and Roan Mountain. Near Huntdale, N.C., these tributaries join to form the Nolichucky, which flows west into the gorge— a deep gash in the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the North Carolina-Tennessee border that could only have been created in an area with unique geology, said Philip Prince, a geologist with the state of Virginia and an avid paddler.“That is a steepness and a magnitude of relief that’s only going to occur with a very quartz-rich bedrock, and it’s not a topography that you’re going to find anywhere else in Appalachia,” Prince said.This hard rock also creates the erosion-resistant ledges and chutes that provide some of the most challenging rafting and kayaking in the East. The river descends an average of 31 feet per mile through the gorge, cascading down runs such as On the Rocks and Quarter Mile.Unlike some of the Southeast’s most famously harrowing rivers—the dam-controlled Gauley, for example—the Nolichucky claims no Class V rapids. But its roughest passages can seem at least that treacherous in high water.“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been plenty scared on the Gauley,” said Chris Lennon, a USA Raft paddling and fishing guide who has extensive experience leading trips on both rivers. “But when the (Nolichucky) is erupting and it’s chaotic and there is all this debris and root balls floating by, I’ve definitely been more puckered up here.”“That’s the beauty of a free-flowing river like the Nolichucky, it’s always changing. That and there’s no houses on the ridge tops. There’s no horns honking. There’s no cell service.”The unspoiled conditionis a result not only of a topography that prohibits road building and limits trail construction—even the nearby Appalachian Trail skirts the gorge—but also, ironically, its most visible mark of civilization: the railroad that runs next to the river for the length of the gorge.This stretch was part of the original 242-mile Clinchfield Railroad, a marvel of mountain-traversing engineering that connected Spartanburg, S.C. with Dante, Va. in 1909. The route was chosen because the gorge presented builders with a natural gap through the Blue Ridge and, said railroad historian Martha Erwin, because steam engines of the era needed a reliable water source for the frequent refilling of their tanks.The Tennessee Valley Authority once identified the towns of Erwin and Poplar as prime sites for hydroelectric dams, according to Forest Service documents. These dams were never built, Lennon said, because by the time of the TVA’s formation in 1933 the rail line was well established as an economic powerhouse.“The railroad took precedence over the TVA,” Lennon said. “It saved this gorge.”And as the years passed and traffic on the line steadily decreased, paddlers and Forest Service employees came to see the tracks less as a man-made blight and more as a landmark.In 1980, a federal study declined to recommend the Nolichucky for Wild and Scenic statuspartly because the report stated, the railroad “significantly diminished” the river’s “scenic values.” In 1994, the Forest Service reversed this finding, determining that “the railroad is well-screened from the river by vegetation,” and that the railroad trestle crossing the river near Poplar “does not appreciably detract from the river’s outstandingly remarkable values.”The tracks tucked into the base of the gorge’s southern wall, the rumble of occasional freights, the whistle blasts sounded by friendly engineers—all these sights and sounds have become highlights of rafting trips through the gorge, Moses said.“The only sign of human intrusion is the railroad tracks, and who doesn’t love trains?”The railroad—or at least its near demise—is also the reason business leaders who once seemed indifferent to the idea of Wild and Scenic listing are now all for it.For decades, the city of 6,000 was home to one of the region’s largest rail terminals, said Jamie Rice, the city’s communications specialist: “Erwin really hung its hat on being a railroad town until three years ago.”That was when CSX, the railroad giant that had absorbed the historic railroad in 1983, abruptly closed the terminal due to decreased demand for its primary cargo, coal.The company immediately laid off 400 workers, most of them highly skilled and well-paid union members, Rice said. Another 200 CSX employees moved to take other jobs with the company.“I thought, well, here we are, a railroad town without a railroad,” Erwin said.To respond to the crisis, Rice, 36, who had recently moved from Asheville to her hometown of Erwin and invested in downtown property, teamed up with other like-minded business people to form an economic development group, RISE Erwin.Casting about for a new economic identity,“we looked out our windows and realized, my goodness, we are so blessed with all these natural assets that really, up to now, nobody has supported,” said Rice, who was later hired by the city of Erwin to promote the town.The group started hosting events such a spring festival timed to accommodate thru-hikers on the nearby Appalachian Trail, offering beer, music, food trucks, podiatrists and massage therapists. Maybe the area’s biggest economic coup has been attracting Pyranha Kayaks, which recently relocated from Weaverville, N.C. to a site west of Erwin.By the time CSX closed its terminal, Colburn had already begun quietly pursuing Wild and Scenic designation—an idea that had also been percolating in the mind of Curtis England, the manager of a Nantahala Outdoor Center outpost formerly based on the Nolichucky. He had learned of the Nolichucky’s eligibility status while studying for a degree in outdoor recreation. He had guided scientists on the river researching the endangered elktoe mussel, which can only live in clean, free-flowing rivers.“It was a cumulative thing … a lot of different events that got me thinking that (permanent designation) is really a no-brainer,” he said.England launched the Change.org petition in early 2017 and enlisted the support of other guides, including Lennon. One of Lennon’s first steps was to reach out to his well-connected boss, Moses, who took the idea to RISE.Moses’s pitch to RISE—that Wild and Scenic status for the Nolichucky could cement the region’s identity as a destination for paddlers and anglers—was persuasive partly because Congressional listing is such a rare distinction, Colburn said. Only four streams have been designated in western North Carolina, which, on the other hand, is home to 390 dams. Membership in the exclusive club of listed, free-flowing rivers, he said, “can definitely raise awareness as a point of pride for the area.”But he and Moses added they don’t necessarily want to attract hordes of paddlers to the Nolichucky. A better outcome might be a sustainable flow, Colburn said, more like “drip irrigation,” less like “turning open a firehose of dollars.”Many advocates of Wild and Scenic designation for the Nolichucky don’t even mention economic development. They just want to see the river preserved, and the bad news here is that listing can only do so much.It won’t stop riverside subdivisions from sprouting on the private land upstream from the gorge, Colburn said. It won’t doom factories or intensive agricultural operations, he said. “It does not restrict industry or development and it is not a watershed-wide limiting piece of legislation.”Though It would require the Forest Service to manage its land to preserve the river’s outstanding qualities and prohibit the construction of dams on this property.Though the river’s eligibility status already offers some protection, Colburn said, Congressional action would make this firmer. And permanent.“Otherwise, in 10 years, this (eligibility) could just go away.”One other benefit of designation, he said: it encourages the kind of cooperative conservation efforts that have already greatly improved water quality.Jeff Stanley, a guide who owns Wahoo’s Adventures, which is based in Boone, N.C., and operates an outpost in Poplar, remembers the Nolichucky as a different river when he started leading trips on it in the 1970s.“It was like the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon—chocolate milky, real silty,” he said. “After you swam in it you’d have to hose down because you’d have these little bits of mica on you. You’d kind of shine.”This poor water quality was another reason the river was not recommended for listing in 1980.In 1994, however, the Service reported that the river had become much cleaner due to the decrease in a once-dominant upstream industry, mica mining, and the work of local, state and federal agencies to reclaim old mines. In 2002, North Carolina upgraded its rating of the Nolichucky.So far, none of this has spurred action from U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, a Republican whose district includes Unicoi County and whose position on designation mirrors that of other federal lawmakers from the region.“I will be interested to hear from local stakeholders about how to best ensure future generations can continue to enjoy this river,” he said in a statement from his legislative office.Colburn is not surprised. One of his major challenges, he said, is to remind energized activists that building the required support for designations often takes years.But he and others are sure it will happen. Once Moses leads people down the clear river and past the glistening white cliffs, “we’re hard pressed to find anyone who would say it doesn’t deserve to be designated,” he said. “One trip is enough to convince most people that this is a very special place that needs to stay that way.”
By Dialogo March 28, 2012 Panama will continue engaging in dialogue with the remaining Central American countries in order to reach consensus on the fight against drug trafficking, although it opposes decriminalizing drugs, Foreign Minister Roberto Henríquez announced on March 26. “We’re always going to continue to be a part of the dialogue,” because in Central America, “concerns are arising in terms of how to tackle this fight and to what extent the fight against drug trafficking is being effective and whether we’re winning it or not,” Henríquez said. The Central American presidents will meet again in Guatemala on April 11 and 12 in order to continue discussing new strategies to combat the drug trafficking that is plaguing the region, according to Honduran President Porfirio Lobo. A presidential-level meeting called for that purpose by the Guatemalan head of state, Otto Pérez, in his country Saturday, was attended only by the host and his counterparts from Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, and Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla. At the meeting, Pérez put forward a position in favor of decriminalizing drugs in order to reduce crimes linked to drug trafficking, which was not supported by his peers. On March 26, Henríquez reiterated that Panama “does not believe in decriminalizing drugs, neither their use nor much less their trafficking,” although he acknowledged that “it’s necessary to really evaluate the issue and see whether there are other options that might enable us to be more efficient and successful in this difficult fight against drug trafficking.” In Guatemala, the Central American presidents will seek a consensus position to take to the Summit of the Americas that will be held in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) on April 14 and 15. “Never talking about issues that are important for the region, whether agreement or consensus is reached or not, is going to be a failure. Those attempts are always valuable,” Henríquez said.
By Guillermo Saavedra/Diálogo September 28, 2018 For almost two weeks, the port region of Antofagasta in northern Chile was the scene of a joint and combined exercise for Chilean and U.S. special forces. The Southern Star 2018 exercise coordinated by the Chilean Joint Chiefs of Staff (EMCO, in Spanish) with the support of U.S. Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH), tested participating units in air, sea, and land simulated operations. Southern Star 2018 gathered 1,023 Chilean and 53 U.S. service members, August 20th-29th. Chile participated with the Army Special Operations Brigade, the Navy Special Forces Command, and the Air Force Special Forces Group, while the U.S. counted on SOCSOUTH, the Army 7th Special Forces Group, troops of the Naval Special Warfare Command, and units of the Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Control, among others. Officers from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Spain, and the United Kingdom participated as observers. The biannual exercise seeks to assess the planning, management, and command processes of participants in simulated joint and combined scenarios. The goal is to strengthen Chilean and U.S. special forces’ interoperability and operational capabilities. “The training was very relevant for those who participated,” U.S. Sergeant Fist Class Alexis Ramos, Public Affairs, noncommissioned officer in charge, SOCSOUTH, told Diálogo. “Anytime we are able to rub elbows with our partners and exchange ideas is a great thing for both nations, because opportunities like these allow us to increase our capacities and interoperability.” International intervention In the Atacama Desert and on the Pacific coast of Antofagasta, Chilean and U.S. officers joined forces to neutralize terrorist cells and put an end to internal conflicts affecting the fictitious island of Chiland. In a simulated scenario, the United Nations ordered an international intervention with the deployment of combined forces to restore peace on the island. “One of the advantages [of the location] is that there are military flight zones that allow for 24-hour operations, night flights, and with less restrictions on the use of weapons and real ammunition,” Major General Pablo Müller Barbería, commander of the Chilean Army Special Operations Task Force and leader of the joint and combined forces of Southern Star 2018, told Diálogo. “There are also landing sites to carry out amphibious and insertion operations. Finally, the specific characteristics of the Chilean desert, with its different landscapes similar to Iraq and Afghanistan, makes it appealing for service members of partner nations who take part in the exercise.” The scenarios included infiltration and extraction maneuvers in hostile territory, terrorist confrontations, hostage liberation, and rescue operations. The units also carried out boarding missions, air and land assault, and cybersecurity operations to counter terrorist actions. Among the exercises carried out, Chilean Air Force F-16 fighters overflew the steep hills of the desert and destroyed targets on land, allowing armored vehicles to move in and secure the area. Special Forces of the Chilean Army and their U.S. counterparts supported the operation on the ground with fast-rope insertion from helicopters. On another occasion, the special forces captured a merchant ship that refused to cooperate on the coast. Chilean Navy tactical divers boarded the ship from the Naval Aviation AS365 Dauphin helicopter, while a U.S. Navy SEAL team boarded from a Defender speedboat. The teams searched the ship with the support of air snipers. “The simulated scenarios were designed to challenge the joint staff to think critically and work through the military decision-making process,” Sgt. 1st Class Ramos said. “The exercise provided an opportunity to exercise planning, execution, support, and command and control procedures in a combined and joint environment at the operational and tactical level, helping us improve our shared understanding and capabilities.” Commitment to regional security “[Southern Star 2018] was very positive. We verified, under high standards, the efficiency and deployment of capabilities of this type of special units that interoperated without any problem,” said Maj. Gen. Müller. “However, there are always lessons learned that allow us to improve integration processes and complement capabilities.” Coordinated by EMCO and SOCSOUTH, Southern Star is carried out jointly in Chile since 2007. In 2009, troops from Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay joined the Chilean-U.S. training for the first and only time. Since 2015, the exercise alternates each year with the U.S.-based Northern Star exercise. The next edition of Southern Star will be in 2020. “As we move forward, you will see Chile continue to lead [Southern Star] with the U.S. being there for support,” Sgt. 1st. Class Ramos concluded. “Both the U.S. and Chile are committed to regional security, and [Southern Star] is one way we improve together.”
12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bo McDonald Bo McDonald is president of Your Marketing Co. A marketing firm that started serving credit unions nearly a decade ago, offering a wide range of services including web design, branding, … Web: yourmarketing.co Details “What are your most successful credit unions doing, that we’re not?” I routinely get that question when I speak with credit union leaders. Sometimes it’s asked in a conference breakout session, and other times it comes up during one-on-one conversations. Either way, my answer is the same. Successful credit unions build teams of dreamers. Our most successful clients imagine what the future of their credit union could be, and then they work toward that goal every single day.These qualities routinely become clear when I review our clients’ results from the previous year. Last year continued the trend. As I scoured our Q4 call reports and year-end numbers, all I could think was “Wow!” In terms of loan growth, our top five credit unions, which ranged in asset size from $20 million to $253 million, achieved increases from 18.11% to 38.02%.Membership growth didn’t disappoint either. With asset sizes ranging from $20 million to $180 million, our top five credit unions saw membership growth anywhere from 4.82% to 12.92%. In addition to these loan and membership growth numbers, many of our clients also saw remarkable year-over-year gains in net income, net worth, and ROA.I’ll pat our team on the back. Our graphic designers, copywriters, social media experts, and relationship development specialists work hard every day. They understand that their mission isn’t to make these numbers happen. They work knowing they can make a positive impact in the lives of members, which, in turn, helps our credit unions grow. In a recent meeting, one of our creative team members shared, “It’s not just about checking boxes. It’s about creating content that stands out, gets noticed, and creates action.” They’re exactly right. A willingness to take action—that’s one more thing our growing and thriving credit unions have in common.They dream big. They balance risk with reward. They hold their teams accountable and take the small steps that lead to big wins. They work with a strategic mission that results in consistent improvement. They don’t just love what they do; they’re obsessed with solving problems. They challenge the status quo and stretch themselves—and everyone around them—to embrace uncomfortable situations, because that’s where growth takes place. In the wise words of Sir-Mix-a-Lot, “Successful people jump at opportunity and take advantage of it.”