The deliverers are among the culprits in package thefts

first_imgDear Editor:Your article on package thefts hit home for us–literally. We have been the victims of package thefts on multiple occasions and the problem seems to be increasing. I blame the major delivery services–USPS, UPS and Fed Ex–for making it easy for thieves to help themselves. Although the police chief said that most of the thefts occur in multi-unit apartment buildings, we own a single-family home with a front door that faces the street. If no one is home, more and more often the couriers will choose to leave a delivery outside rather than take it back with them and try again the next day.When a delivery person leaves a package in plain view like that, only three short steps separate our purchases from anyone who wants to take something that isn’t theirs. And what’s worse is sometimes we ARE actually home at the time, waiting for the delivery, and they STILL choose to leave packages outside rather than ring the doorbell and wait the 30 seconds it would take for us to get it. Not long ago I happened to be leaving the house and as I opened my door a delivery man was standing outside leaving. He had just left a large, very visible box on our stoop and was heading back to his truck. I asked him why he didn’t ring the doorbell. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sorry, dude.”I have called the three main services to complain and I’ve also called some of the large companies we buy goods from, including Amazon. Their response is always something like, “It’s up to the discretion of the courier.” While Amazon and some of the others will resend the stolen item or give a refund, it’s a huge inconvenience and an invasion of privacy to have to deal with stolen merchandise. This epidemic of thefts from multi-resident dwellings and private homes is out of control (not just in Hoboken but it is definitely easier here) and neither merchants nor the delivery services seem to care. If I treated people that way in my business I’d be unemployed. Anonymouslast_img read more

Thorntons’ high street woe continues

first_imgThorntons, the high street chocolatier, has marked its centenary year with record sales figures – but posted a loss of £1.1m after it was hit by £5.4m in impairment charges, such as high rents.Revenues increased by 1.7% to £218.3m in the year to 25 June after strong sales through supermarkets and other commercial channels offset an 8.2% drop in sales via its own stores.Pre-tax profits before exceptional items dropped to £4.3m from £6.9m.Commercial sales jumped 26% to £78.8m in the full year, as Thorntons continued to develop distribution deals with supermarkets, while it took its share of the chocolate box market to around 34%.The market share of Thorntons branded products increased by 7.7% , up from 7.4% in 2010.The chain, which plans to close up to 180 stores over the next three years as it grows sales through the internet and other retailers, is working on revitalising the brand by creating a “theatre of the senses” in its stores, and will look to rely less on seasonal events.John von Spreckelsen, Thorntons’ chairrman, said: “We anticipate that the weakness in footfall and consumer sentiment experienced through our own store and franchise channels during the first half of 2011 will continue at least into 2012. We are, however, looking forward to another strong year of growth in our commercial channel”.>> Thorntons plays it cool with bakery and dessertslast_img read more

In pictures: Europain 2012, Paris

first_imgEuropain 2012, held in Paris this week, saw 770 exhibitors and more than 30,000 people descend on the bi-annual bakery exhibition.British Baker was on hand at the exhibition and expect to see a full report in the magazine on March 23.last_img

News story: Photocentric: company wins Queen’s Award for International Trade

first_imgAward-winning innovationThe Queen’s Awards for Enterprise recognise the contributions and outstanding achievement of UK businesses in innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.The founder of Photocentric, Paul Holt, said: A grant from Innovate UK in 2014 helped us to develop a prototype and employ a new chemist. A few months later – and much to my amazement – the chemist created a 3D printed rook. It was a very bad one, but it was the most significant object we will ever print. The impact on our business has been completely transformative. This year, we will invest over £1 million in R&D and we are working with some of the best universities and biggest companies in the world. Kalvis Gredzens and Richard Wenborn, 3D Development Engineers at Photocentric, developing the next generation of Liquid Crystal 3D Printers.A growth in sales and scientific staffHolt said: In March this year, Photocentric also received the Manufacturing Innovation Award at the Made in Central and East England Awards. Earlier, in February, the company was selected as a CommonwealthFirst Export Champion by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.This isn’t the first time the company has won a Queen’s Award. In 2016 Photocentric received the award for Enterprise: Innovation.Photocentric leads development in 3D printingPhotocentric began in 2002 with the aim of making the creation of business stamps simpler and cheaper. Since then, the company has evolved into manufacturing 3D printers and patented photopolymer packs for making stamps. It is now the largest clear stamp manufacturer outside China.The 3D printers developed by Photocentric operate using patented technology to create a 3D object from a 2D image on a screen. They use the light emitted from an LCD screen that was originally intended for use in a mobile, tablet or TV to harden a special polymer made to react in daylight. The printers make both extremely high-resolution objects and very large format ones.Photocentric has been able to produce the printers at lower costs than alternative methods because the screens are made for mass-market applications. This has widened the scope of possible applications, including prototype building and small-scale manufacturing. Manufacturing and materials of the future is a core area in the government’s Industrial Strategy. Through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund it is seeking new, affordable, light-weight composite materials.Find out more about the manufacturing and materials challenge. This is wonderful news for our business and we are very proud to be a winner of this prestigious award. We have always tried to innovate with new product ideas and being in a niche sector has meant that we have had to export to gain sales growth. This year we expect to sell over £2.3 million of 3D printers and photopolymers, rising to over £8 million by 2020 – all from an invention in 2014 which was a consequence of an Innovate UK grant. More than 74% of our sales are to overseas markets. Apply for innovation funding. The company’s strategy is based on product development and innovation, together with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.Over the last 5 years, sales have grown from £2.5 million to £5.7 million, with exports rising from £1.7 million to over £4 million. Their US subsidiary has further sales of over $3 million.Photocentric has also created 35 new jobs – almost doubling its workforce to 80. The company has a distribution network covering more than 50 countries worldwide. See how other companies have benefited from funding and support from Innovate UK.last_img read more

Former Saint Mary’s professor Dionne Irving Bremyer shares two works of creative fiction

first_imgThe Visiting Writers Series of Spring hosted by Saint Mary’s opened with a visit from writer and former Saint Mary’s English professor Dionne Irving Bremyer on Thursday in Stapleton Lounge.The event began with an introduction from English professor Rebecca Lehmann.“The power of [Bremyer’s] writing is to take the thing we thought we knew and turn it on its head,” Lehmann said in her preface to the reading. Bremyer presented two pieces of creative nonfiction to the Saint Mary’s community. The first, a work in progress started while Bremyer was at Saint Mary’s, described Bremyer’s experiences on her trip to famed entertainer Josephine Baker’s home in France, the Château des Milandes. “I feel as if I have known [Baker] always,” Bremyer said. “Of course, I wanted to be like Josephine … her performances were a testament to the way she loved herself.” The piece also reflected Bremyer’s experiences as a woman of color and contrasted them with Baker’s life in France, she said.“There were no other people of color working or staying at the inn,” Bremyer said. “I wondered: did [Baker] just fall in love with herself?” Bremyer finished her reading with a description of a bird show put on by the Château for guests. “It was equal parts beauty and violence,” she said. The second piece, “Do You Like to Hurt” is one of Bremyer’s finished works, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. “Do You Like to Hurt” depicts Bremyer’s experience with a murder committed by one of her high school classmates in the same summer as the OJ Simpson trial. She begins with a description of her life in Florida over the summer. “In midday Florida summer, life in all ways was quieter,” she said. “There was a sort of preternatural calm.” Then life speeds up as Bremyer extends her narrative into the circumstances of her classmate, parallel to the trial of OJ Simpson and the story of Nicole Simpson. “My mother read the paper every morning,” she said. “She seemed on the lookout for violence or maybe she could sense it.” The work shared the story of Bremyer’s classmate, a senior student who killed his mother shortly after graduation. At the time, Bremyer would watch the OJ Simpson trial on TV with her family. “My mother insisted OJ was innocent,” Bremyer said. “She said they wanted to get him because he was a successful black man.” Bremyer said she couldn’t understand her mother’s opinion. “I can’t make this make any sense,” she said in her piece. “My mother had personal experience with battered women.” Bremyer said her mother experienced domestic abuse, but worked to keep that part of her life from her children. “My mother believed she was too clever to be killed,” she said. “But the seed of domestic violence begins in the home.”Bremyer also explored her personal experience with domestic abuse. “The seed begins in the home,” she said. “When I got home from my honeymoon, my first search was ‘marital rape.’ I didn’t click on any of the links. I didn’t want to see my story, at least a version of it, in the stories of other women.”  In the question and answer session after the reading, Breymer encouraged students to express themselves in their writing.“In order to be personal and candid you just have to write it,” she said. “Put the reaction of others to the back of your mind and write what you need to write.” Bremyer said she escaped her domestic abuse situation, but her experience greatly shaped her writing. “I hope that we can change the culture this way,” Bremyer said. “The only way we can understand these things is through stories. They speak to us better than any picture or chart does.” Tags: creative nonfiction, Dionne Bremyer, Do You Like to Hurt, Rebecca Lehmann, Visiting Writers Series of Springlast_img read more

Creepy Crawlers

first_imgThey have a thousand legs and are often considered to be among the most disliked insects. But millipedes and centipedes aren’t even insects. In fact, millipedes are more closely related to lobsters, crayfish and shrimp.I have recently received calls concerning “a small, worm-like insect.” These worm-like pests can be seen crawling around on carports, the sides of homes and around the edges of structures by the hundreds. You may also occasionally find them dead inside your home.   These callers are actually referring to millipedes or centipedes. Millipedes are often called “thousand-legged worms.” Their counterpart, the centipede, is often known as the “hundred-legged worm.” Neither the millipede nor the centipede carries diseases that affect people, animals or plants. They are most active at night, when the house centipede searches for cockroaches and other insects.Millipedes aren’t poisonous, but some species are capable of secreting chemicals that can irritate the skin and eyes and cause allergic reactions. It is not advisable to handle these pests with your bare hands. Some millipedes have a defensive spray that contains hydrochloric acid, which can burn the skin. Centipedes seldom bite, and their jaws contain poison glands.Millipede species vary in length from less than 1 inch to 2 or more inches and range in color from light brown to black. Depending on the species, centipedes vary in length from 1 to 12 or more inches, but the most common species found in Georgia is less than 5 inches long. Centipedes vary in color from light yellow to dark and reddish brown.Both the millipede and the centipede like similar cool, dark, moist environments, like under stones and logs, in the soil, wood piles, leaf litter and debris, and rotting materials.University of Georgia Cooperative Extension recommends control of these pests through habitat removal (wood piles, leaf litter and piles of trash). Moving mulch at least 3 feet away from the sides of buildings will reduce millipede breeding. Next, physically prevent them from entering your home. Make sure that doors and windows fit tightly and ensure there are no cracks or crevices available as entry points. Pesticides can also be applied. If you spray insecticides on wood piles, do not burn the wood for at least two weeks following application.For more information about millipedes or centipedes, see the UGA Extension publication “Millipedes and Centipedes” at www.extension.uga.edu/publications.last_img read more

Vermont Life Magazine Wins International Honors

first_img-30- Vermont Life magazine, the state publication that explores Vermont’s dynamic culture, has won three awards from an international association of regional publications. The magazine won a Silver medal in the Historic Feature category; a Bronze medal in the Most Improved Magazine category; and an Award of Merit in the General Feature category at the International Regional Magazine Association’s annual conference earlier this week in New Mexico.“These awards really reflect on the dedication and hard work of the staff,” said Vermont Life Managing Editor Mary Hegarty Nowlan. “They have done a tremendous job in moving the publication forward, and the fact that we have been honored in the Most Improved category two years in a row shows that the changes we are making have been recognized by our peers.”The Historic Feature award was for Enosburg Falls resident Leif Tillotson’s essay, “Earl’s Barn,” which chronicled the life lessons he learned growing up in the barn and how its recent destruction in a lightning-sparked fire affected him.The essay won the 2008 Ralph Nading Hill, Jr. Literary Prize awarded annually by Vermont Life and Green Mountain Power.Leslie Wright’s “Killington at a Crossroads” General Feature award winner detailed the changes at the venerable ski area as it turns 50 and moves in a new direction.“These two stories really exemplify how Vermont Life is staying true to its historical roots while expanding its vision to include contemporary topics like outdoor recreation, food, and not just living in but making a living in Vermont,” Nowlan said.Founded in 1946, Vermont Life is published quarterly and is considered one of the nation’s premier regional magazines. It has won over 95 national and international magazine awards since 1990.Vermont Life’s mission is to create an engaging online presence and publish a premier-quality magazine filled with the best writing, illustration, art and photography Vermont has to offer. For more information please visit www.VermontLife.com(link is external) or http://regionalmagazines.org(link is external)Source: Vermont Commerce Agency.last_img read more

Best Mountain Town Video Series: Part II

first_imgBest Mountain Towns of the Blue Ridge – Part II from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.The city of Roanoke, Va., killed it this year in our 2013 Best Mountain Town poll. Also among the top three for Best Beer Town, our readers voted Roanoke Best Trail Town. Some local riders met me just outside the city at Carvins Cove to show me what the trails around town have to offer.To read more about the other mountain towns check out our November issue in print or online here. Soundtrack: Garden Gate, by Jared Bartman.last_img

Colombian Government to Seek Peace Talks with FARC

first_img I agree with President Juan Manuel Santos that it is necessary to seek peace for Colombia It is good for the Colombian people that their authorities and the guerrillas took the decision, as intelligent beings, of beginning peace talks, because this war causes delays in their economic and social development, and I am happy about the Colombian brothers. Al result of the internal conflict, they seek refuge in other countries, especially Ecuador, causing more problem to other countries and to themselves. Hopefully it is a dialogue of consensus and not of popularity and sensationalism but of truth and at heart. On August 27, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed that his government conducted “exploratory conversations” ahead of possible peace talks with the FARC communist guerrillas, in arms for almost 50 years, and the results will be known in the coming days. “From the first day in my government I have complied with the constitutional obligation to seek peace. Exploratory conversations with the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] to seek an end to the conflict have been developed”, Santos said in a televised address to the nation. The president pointed out that the Colombian Military Forces would not cease their operations nor will they reduce their presence in the national territory while carrying out contacts with the guerrillas. Also, he said he knew the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla was interested in participating in these “conversations aimed at ending the violence” and were open to participating in a possible dialogue. Santos said one of the basic premises is that “any process must lead to the end of the conflict, not its extension.” The president did not specify the location of the conversations or who participated in them. He simply said, “In the coming days the results of the rapprochement with the FARC will be announced.” Versions leaked by the press indicated that contacts have taken place in Cuba, with Venezuelan participation, and that they would continue the next stage in Norway beginning in October. Meanwhile, Attorney General Eduardo Montealegre, said that Colombia “must move toward a peace process.” In recent years, the guerrilla has lost territorial control and has seen the fall of its top leaders, Mono Jojoy and Alfonso Cano, but it is still very active in certain areas of Colombia, with new strategies of bomb attacks and causing havoc among the civilian population. Daniel García Peña, former Peace Commissioner from 1995 to 1998, said, “Both the government and the FARC have realized that continuing the war is meaningless.” The last peace talks, which ended in a guerrilla demobilization, was the April 19 Movement (M-19) in 1990, while the latest process with the FARC was developed for nearly four years until their breakup in February 2002. By Dialogo August 29, 2012last_img read more

Security forces with Operation MARTILLO seize 14 tons of cocaine and capture 55 alleged drug traffickers

first_imgThe Boutwell’s crew will receive ribbons for their successful interdictions and stickers recognizing the cocaine seizures will be affixed to ship’s bridge wing, in keeping with Coast Guard tradition. By Dialogo October 14, 2014 The operations, conducted by U.S. Coast Guard and Navy patrols in cooperation with Latin American partner nations, seized the drugs and captured 55 suspects during 18 separate interdictions off the coasts of Central and South America. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell brought the seized drugs to Naval Base San Diego, in the state of California, on October 6. U.S. authorities offloaded the drugs at the base. “You’ve made a tremendous difference in this work to combat the criminal networks that operate to transport illicit drugs and to bring great evil to this region and this hemisphere,” Vice Adm. Charles Ray, commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, said during a ceremony aboard the Boutwell on October. 6. “Your work with these seizures made a big dent in their operations, and I couldn’t be prouder.” “Our crew used their unique capabilities and authorities as a military service, law enforcement agency, and member of the U.S. intelligence community to disrupt transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific and keep drugs from making it to the U.S.,” said Capt. Edward A. Westfall, the Boutwell’s commanding officer. “These illegal drug networks are dangerous breeding grounds for all types of trafficking and their immense profits fuel violence and instability.” The Boutwell’s crew will receive ribbons for their successful interdictions and stickers recognizing the cocaine seizures will be affixed to ship’s bridge wing, in keeping with Coast Guard tradition. “Our crew used their unique capabilities and authorities as a military service, law enforcement agency, and member of the U.S. intelligence community to disrupt transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific and keep drugs from making it to the U.S.,” said Capt. Edward A. Westfall, the Boutwell’s commanding officer. “These illegal drug networks are dangerous breeding grounds for all types of trafficking and their immense profits fuel violence and instability.” The Boutwell made six interdictions, seizing more than 2,267 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $75 million (USD), and its crew captured 19 alleged drug smugglers. The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, the USS McClusky, the USS Vandergrift, the USS Ingraham, the Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team South from Miami, Fla., and Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron from Jacksonville, Fla., also made seizures and detained 36 additional alleged smugglers in the Eastern Pacific. “You’ve made a tremendous difference in this work to combat the criminal networks that operate to transport illicit drugs and to bring great evil to this region and this hemisphere,” Vice Adm. Charles Ray, commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, said during a ceremony aboard the Boutwell on October. 6. “Your work with these seizures made a big dent in their operations, and I couldn’t be prouder.” Security forces working as part of Operation MARTILLO have between July and October seized about 14 tons of cocaine, worth an estimated $423 million (USD). The Boutwell made six interdictions, seizing more than 2,267 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $75 million (USD), and its crew captured 19 alleged drug smugglers. The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, the USS McClusky, the USS Vandergrift, the USS Ingraham, the Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team South from Miami, Fla., and Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron from Jacksonville, Fla., also made seizures and detained 36 additional alleged smugglers in the Eastern Pacific. “The success of the crew of Cutter Boutwell, and of all our U.S. forces deployed throughout the Eastern Pacific Ocean, showcase the resolve of the Coast Guard, our interagency partners, and the international community to combat transnational organized crime networks operating in the Western Hemisphere. These Coast Guard men and women successfully confronted the risks brought on by the rising threat of transnational organized crime networks, which must be confronted to ensure maritime safety, efficiency, and security in the Western Hemisphere.” In 2013, security forces with Operation MARTILLO seized 131metric tons of cocaine, more than 32,000 pounds of marijuana, and 4,000 grams of heroin. Security forces with Operation MARTILLO also captured 295 suspects. The countries participating in Operation MARTILLO include Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panamá, Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. The countries participating in Operation MARTILLO include Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panamá, Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Security forces working as part of Operation MARTILLO have between July and October seized about 14 tons of cocaine, worth an estimated $423 million (USD). The operations, conducted by U.S. Coast Guard and Navy patrols in cooperation with Latin American partner nations, seized the drugs and captured 55 suspects during 18 separate interdictions off the coasts of Central and South America. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell brought the seized drugs to Naval Base San Diego, in the state of California, on October 6. U.S. authorities offloaded the drugs at the base. “The success of the crew of Cutter Boutwell, and of all our U.S. forces deployed throughout the Eastern Pacific Ocean, showcase the resolve of the Coast Guard, our interagency partners, and the international community to combat transnational organized crime networks operating in the Western Hemisphere. These Coast Guard men and women successfully confronted the risks brought on by the rising threat of transnational organized crime networks, which must be confronted to ensure maritime safety, efficiency, and security in the Western Hemisphere.” In 2013, security forces with Operation MARTILLO seized 131metric tons of cocaine, more than 32,000 pounds of marijuana, and 4,000 grams of heroin. Security forces with Operation MARTILLO also captured 295 suspects.last_img read more