2020 Rose Parade Co-Grand Marshal Laurie Hernandez Withdraws From U.S. Gymnastics Championships After Injury

first_img Make a comment Community News Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Community News 2020 Rose Parade Co-Grand Marshal Laurie Hernandez Withdraws From U.S. Gymnastics Championships After Injury By ANDY VITALICIO Published on Monday, June 7, 2021 | 5:03 pm STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy 17 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. HerbeautyA Mental Health Chatbot Which Helps People With DepressionHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyFinding The Right Type Of Workout For You According AstrologyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHe Is Totally In Love With You If He Does These 7 ThingsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyZac Efron Is Dating A New Hottie?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty8 Easy Exotic Meals Anyone Can MakeHerbeautyHerbeauty Subscribecenter_img STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Community News EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Top of the News Business News More Cool Stuff Courtesy: Laurie Hernandez Twitter AccountLaurie Hernandez, the 20-year-old gymnast from Old Bridge Township, New Jersey who was one of three celebrities announced as grand marshals of the 2020 Rose Parade, has withdrawn from the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after injuring her left knee during balance beam warm-ups on Friday, USA Gymnastics said.On Twitter last Friday, Hernandez tweeted:“Hey guys, was doing a dismount during meet warm-ups and hyperextended my knee. Unfortunately, we had to pull out of day 1, but we’re still keeping an open mind about day 2 and playing it by ear. not the way I thought this would go, but thank you for all the love and support.”When USA Gymnastics released the starting list for the second night of competition Sunday, Hernandez was not on it.“Due to Laurie’s recent knee injury, she and the medical team made the decision to withdraw from the competition,” USA Gymnastics said.Hernandez can petition for a spot in the U.S. Olympic Trials in three weeks.Hernandez earned Olympic Gold and Silver medals as a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team. A second-generation American, her grandparents are from Puerto Rico, making her the first U.S. born Latina to make the U.S. team since 1984.Following her win at the Summer Olympics, she earned another title: champion on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” In 2017, Hernandez became an inductee into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame and was recognized as the 2018 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Sports Biggest Kid.Along with Hernandez, who turns 21 on Wednesday, Academy Award winner Rita Moreno and actress Gina Gomez were also named co-grand marshals of the 2020 Rose Parade.last_img read more

9.9 Million Americans May Miss Housing Payments

first_img The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 1 day ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 1 day ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 1 day ago Related Articles Sign up for DS News Daily Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Share Save About Author: Christina Hughes Babb Home / Daily Dose / 9.9 Million Americans May Miss Housing Payments 2020-11-02 Christina Hughes Babb  Print This Post “There’s real, there’s real harm done, to individual people, to families, to kids to communities, and really to our whole country, when we allow homelessness and housing poverty to persist,” she told CNN, which used the survey data as a catalyst for providing a list of resources for anyone facing housing-related struggles (as part of its national disaster-related coverage “Impact The World”).center_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 1 day ago On the cusp of November, the United States Census Household Pulse Survey, which deploys real-time data on a range of ways in which people’s lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, showed some 9.9 million Americans had little to no confidence that their household would be able to afford next month’s mortgage or rent payment.The Census’ survey breaks down COVID-related struggles by “expected employment loss,” “food scarcity,” housing insecurity,” “likelihood of foreclosure or eviction,” household expenses, and more. And it breaks down the data by state. So, for example, a glance at the most recent numbers show that likelihood of eviction and foreclosures are highest in the following regions: District of Columbia, Indiana, Florida, Iowa, Texas, Wyoming, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Arizona.As for unpaid mortgages and rent, the states with the highest numbers are: Mississippi, Louisiana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Connecticut, Missouri, and West Virginia.The study also shows that homeowners in certain states—Mississippi, Louisiana, and Nevada, to name the top three—are having more trouble than others keeping up with household expenses beyond the mortgage or rent payment.The purpose of the census study is to inform federal and state response and recovery planning. It is informing policymakers, journalists, and thereby the public as well, in a way that might lead to some measure of solution.Housing advocates say that in order to understand the looming eviction crisis our country is facing, we must examine the state of the housing market before COVID-19 emerged.Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) told CNN we were “in the midst of a severe affordable housing crisis.”The NLIHC Reports a shortage of 7 million affordable rental homes available to low-income renters. Yental explained that people struggling to pay for housing, or who have been evicted, suffer health wise. The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 1 day ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 1 day ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago 9.9 Million Americans May Miss Housing Payments November 2, 2020 14,659 Views Previous: Zeta Intensifies ‘Record-Breaking’ Hurricane Season Next: The Election and Housing: What You Need to Know Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Subscribelast_img read more

Importance of play for pre-school children being highlighted by BCCN

first_img Google+ Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published By News Highland – May 28, 2012 WhatsApp Twitter Previous articleSoccer – FAI Senior Cup RecapNext articleAthletics – English Smashes His 800 Irish Junior Record News Highland Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Need for issues with Mica redress scheme to be addressed raised in Seanad also Google+ Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH center_img Pinterest Pinterest Facebook Thousands of pre-school children across the Border counties are taking part in the Border Child Care Network’s Play Awareness Week which starts today.The BCCN says play is often seen as a trivial pursuit, yet it is one of the most important activities that children will engage in throughout their early years.BCCN CEO Denise Mc Cormilla says it’s very important……….[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/denis1pm.mp3[/podcast] WhatsApp Importance of play for pre-school children being highlighted by BCCN Newsx Adverts Business Matters Ep 45 – Boyd Robinson, Annette Houston & Michael Margey Twitter Facebooklast_img read more

Positive meeting held over Donegal animal welfare concerns

first_img 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire By admin – April 6, 2016 Pinterest Twitter WhatsApp WhatsApp Positive meeting held over Donegal animal welfare concerns Pinterest Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Homepage BannerNewscenter_img Google+ Facebook Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Twitter Facebook Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Google+ 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North A public meeting has taken place over the future of animal welfare in Donegal following the closure of Donegal Pet Rescue.Issues discussed during the meeting included the need for a re-homing centre to be set up in the county and the need to organise a co-op to act as the umbrella for all the animal rescue groups in Donegal.Gary Cooney, one of the founding members of Donegal Pet Rescue said the meeting has given more hope for those aspirations to become a reality:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/gary1pm.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Previous articleBuncrana’s Maginn Park to host Derry City home gamesNext articleRuaille Buaille le Colm Feiritéar 05/04/16 admin last_img read more

Storm Ciara: 1,300 homes & businesses without power in Donegal

first_img WhatsApp Storm Ciara: 1,300 homes & businesses without power in Donegal Around 1,300 homes and businesses in Donegal are currently without power with this morning.Areas around Milford, Stranorlar and Derrybeg are the worst affected with crews tasked to carry out repair works.It’s estimated that power will be restored to all properties at around 4pm.Donegal County Council’s Severe Weather Assessment Team is continuing to monitor the progression of Storm Ciara.A status yellow wind warning is in place until 8pm this evening while a status yellow snow and ice warning remains in effect until midnight.The Council says all services are in a state of readiness. Community Enhancement Programme open for applications Previous articleTeen & man due in court over arson attack in TyroneNext articlePat the Cope Gallagher reaction after losing seat News Highland Facebook Google+ Facebook WhatsApp Homepage BannerNews Twitter Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA center_img Pinterest Pinterest News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Google+ Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Twitter By News Highland – February 11, 2020 Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme last_img read more

Children waiting

first_img “I’m adopted and so is my sister who is 10 years older,” Yessick said. “I wanted to do something that related to adoption or foster care and I needed an outlet where I could focus all of my attention. So, I talked with a DHR representative in Tuscaloosa, where I’m from, and she suggested Heart Gallery, which is a private, non-profit organization. Professional photographers volunteer their time to take photographs of the foster children so these photographs can be displayed in galleries across the state.“Prospective parents are invited to view the exhibit and to hear audio interviews with these children so they can know something about a child before they ever sit down and talk to him or her.”Sara Jo Burks, a director of the Miss Troy University pageant, said Yessick is an outstanding advocate for the children in Alabama’s foster care system. Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day A closing reception for the Heart Gallery’s “Alabama’s Waiting Children” exhibit will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 16, at the Cultural Arts Studio at the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Complex. The public is invited to view this heart-touching exhibition.Miss Troy University Marjorie Yessick will speak about her platform to help Heart Gallery Alabama find permanent, loving families for the children in Alabama’s foster care system.When Yessick decided to compete in the Miss Alabama preliminary, she began to look for a platform that was close to her heart. Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Book Nook to reopen Children waiting Latest Stories Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Skip Published 7:37 pm Monday, April 13, 2009 Sponsored Content “Her platform is to help Heart Gallery Alabama find permanent, loving families for children in Alabama’s foster care system,” Burks said. “The ‘Alabama’s Waiting Children’ exhibit is a way to bring these children to public attention.”Potential families or families who just want to know more about the children in Alabama’s foster care system are invited to attend the closing reception and hear Yessick’s remarks.“Those who attend the event will be invited to browse the exhibit of about 40 photographs and see if any of the waiting children look like they might be a fit for their families,” Burks said. “They may also call on their cell phone and hear a recording of that child’s voice telling about himself or herself. This exhibit is a great way to learn more about these children and about Heart Gallery of Alabama.”Michelle Bearman-Wolnek, Heart Gallery co-founder and executive director, said the exhibit is geared for anyone who is interested in adoption, foster care or for any who would like to help with the cause. Print Article You Might Like GES principal search under way Goshen Elementary School may have a new principal as soon as the end of May or beginning of June, Pike… read more “I’m looking forward to this event as it will provide much needed awareness to adoption and foster care in Alabama,” Bearman-Wolnek said.“I hope this exhibit will increase interest in adoption and/or fostering, which will provide more children with homes and loving families.”Heart Gallery of Alabama was started by local child advocates in February 2005. Its purpose is to promote adoption and foster care for more than 6,000 children who are currently in Alabama’s foster care system. Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies Are… By Jaine Treadwell By The Penny Hoarder Email the author Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Acid Reflux (Watch Now)Healthy LifestyleIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthMost 10 Rarest Skins for FortniteTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

Courthouse security guard killed in crash

first_img Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Skip Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day You Might Like Christmas at the Center Students from around Pike County created ornaments to help decorate 10 trees inside the Johnson Center. The trees were lit… read more “We were devastated when we heard about Lige’s death. He was a favorite around here,” Fayson said. “Lige loved to entertain and we loved for him to entertain us. He’d come out dressed as Elvis and we all got a kick out of that. He could sing any kind of music. We didn’t pay him much so he didn’t come for the money. He got a lot of pleasure out of doing for others. Lige was an all around good person. He had a big heart and we are going to miss him because he was a part of the Colley Senior Complex.”Randy Ross, Pike County veteran’s affairs officer, said he had an opportunity to see and talk with Hester almost every day at the courthouse.“He was friendly and upbeat and just a good person to be around,” Ross said. “He was involved in the community through is music. He performed several times at the Peanut Butter Festival and at other venues around the county. He always put on a good show.”Hester and his band performed at a charity event at the Pike County Fairgrounds Saturday.“Lige was on top of the world Saturday,” said Ross, the leader of the American Legion Line Dancers that also performed at the event. “He had a good time. We all did. You never know when it’s the last time that you’ll see anybody. Saturday will be a great memory of a good friend.”Hester, 65, was born in Pike County and was a graduate of Charles Henderson High School. He worked at the shirt factory in Troy after graduating from high school and he worked with the highway department before going into law enforcement.According to State Troopers, Hester was part of a three-vehicle crash about 10:48 Monday morning on U.S. Highway 231 near the 170-mile marker. Hester was killed when the 2005 Ford Escape he was driving northbound left the roadway, crossed the median and collided with a southbound 2012 Kenworth tractor-trailer. A third vehicle, a 2011 Kia Optima, struck debris from the wreckage. Hester was not wearing his seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene. The other drivers were uninjured. The crash caused the closure of the roadway until about 6 p.m. State Troopers continue to investigate. Dillard said Hester was known throughout the county for his music.“Lige loved two things, working at the courthouse and playing his music,” Dillard said.“He played country music and the old rock ’n roll music. He played Ray Charles and Pat Boone, all the early ’60s music. Music was important to him and he was willing to share his talent with others.”Glenda Fayson, office manager at the Colley Senior Complex, said Hester was a regular performer at the seniors’ Saturday night dances. The mood at the Pike County Courthouse was somber Tuesday as the courthouse “family” mourned the lost of one of its own.Lige Hester, a courthouse security guard for three years, lost his life in an automobile wreck on Monday morning.Lige Hester, a courthouse security guard for three years, lost his life in an automobile wreck on Monday morning.Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen said that everyone at the courthouse was deeply saddened by the news of Hester’s death. Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies Are… Sponsored Content Courthouse security guard killed in crash Print Article Book Nook to reopen Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, December 4, 2012 By Jaine Treadwell “Lige was a good man and he was well liked,” Allen said. “He cared about the security of the county and he was committed to public service. He was dedicated to his work. He will be greatly missed.”John Dillard, a courthouse security guard and longtime friend of Hester, said that everybody at the courthouse was walking around Monday with tears in their eyes.We’re all still in shock, stunned,” Dillard said. “Lige was a good friend to all of us and he is going to be missed.” By The Penny Hoarder Email the author Latest Stories Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthGet Fortnite SkinsTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

Disaster in motion: Where flights from coronavirus-ravaged countries landed in US

first_imgiStock/onlyyouqj(WASHINGTON) — An ABC News joint investigation with its owned television stations sheds new light on the likely flow of the coronavirus from global hotspots into the U.S. and provides a glimpse the toll the virus has taken on some of the first Americans to interact with international travelers: airport workers.From December through March, as the outbreak ravaged China, more than 3,200 flights left the Asian nation on direct routes to at least 20 cities across the U.S., according to an ABC News analysis of more than 20 million flight records obtained from the tracking service Flightradar-24.While it is unclear the precise number of passengers into the U.S. who were infected with the coronavirus, medical experts told ABC News such a huge pool of people virtually assures that a number had the highly contagious disease.“In the case of coronavirus, you have the interface of a virus that spreads this quickly,” Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and ABC News contributor said.Brownstein said that such massive travel meant that the flow of the virus into the U.S. and other countries probably came quickly after it began spreading quickly in China. “So our view is that even as early as January, we were seeing introductions of cases happening globally and specifically in the U.S.,” he said.According to travel data previously obtained by ABC News, those flights translate to more than 761,000 Chinese nationals entering the U.S. and Americans returning home from the People’s Republic during that critical period.The analysis of every individual flight record shows that more than 1,000 flights went to Los Angeles and nearly 500 each landed in San Francisco and New York – all three among the eventual hot spots of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. More than 100 flights from China arrived in each of six other American cities: Chicago, Seattle, Detroit, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Newark, N.J.The flow of these passengers into these key cities, offer a window on how the virus may have quickly spread across the U.S.Among the flights were 50 direct from Wuhan, the Chinese metropolis where the outbreak is believed to have started. Twenty-seven of those flights went to San Francisco and 23 to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The last flights from Wuhan came in early February, when the Trump Administration imposed restrictions on flights from China to the U.S.But this new passenger and travel data obtained by ABC News revealed by the time the president took his action – which administration officials say saved lives – some of the damage had already been done.The first coronavirus case in the U.S. was reported in Washington state in late January, before cases followed days later in Arizona and California. In each of those cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the infected individuals had been in Wuhan recently.But the spread of the virus person-to-person domestically since has made tracing the origin of particular outbreaks in many American cities more difficult.“The United States banned travel to China 12 days after the world heard there was an outbreak of severe pneumonia in Wuhan. … The problem was, it was too late,” said Dr. Todd Ellerin, chief of Infectious Disease at South Shore Health and an ABC News consultant. “Even though there had only been 12 confirmed cases in the U.S. on the day President Trump announces the travel ban, the reality was there were many more unconfirmed cases.”The flights from China weren’t the only ones coming from airports in international hotspots for the COVID-19 outbreak. ABC News also analyzed thousands more flights during the period from Italy and Spain, which had the highest numbers of cases outside the U.S. by the end of March.From December through March 30, 353,000 foreign nationals and Americans entered the U.S. from Italy. Another 456,547 came from Spain.“Clearly, some portion of those were infected either with mild symptoms or asymptomatic. We were seeding this epidemic in many places, but flying blind because we weren’t doing the adequate testing that was needed,” Brownstein said.More than 1,400 direct flights from Italy landed in U.S. cities from December to March, including more than 500 in February and March as that country was becoming an international focal point for the worldwide pandemic. Another 2,255 flights from Spain landed in U.S. cities.The federal government shut down most flights from Europe in mid-March, but by then hundreds of flights from Italy had gone into New York and Miami. Nearly 100 of the Italy-to-Miami flights happened over six weeks in February and early March before the U.S. imposed restrictions. March’s flights from Italy also went to large airports in Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Newark, Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio.Also in March, more than 400 flights left Spain for 12 American cities. Close to half of those flights landed at two New York City region airports: JFK and Newark Liberty. More than 100 went to Miami. Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles each took in at least two dozen direct flights from Spain in March.The flights directly from China, Italy and Spain reached at least 15 states. Additionally, during the same period, the cities that took in at least 100 flights from China, Italy and Spain were the starting point for flights to every state in the country — potentially exasperating the domestic spread.And there is evidence that the travel flow may have had direct impact on the country’s airport personnel.More than 320 Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection personnel have tested positive for coronavirus, according to data obtained by ABC News. The number of affected airport security workers corresponds with hotspots, though it’s unclear if the workers contracted the virus from their duties or from other person-to-person contact.Of the Customs and Border protection personnel that tested positive, 52, were from New York ports of entry, 20 were from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale airports and facilities, 10 from Los Angeles work sites and 10 from New Jersey.The analysis of international flights excluded more than 1,000 routes by cargo haulers and hundreds of additional flights into Alaska, where it could not be determined with certainty whether the flights – mostly from China – carried cargo, passengers or both. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Tipping the balance

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Despite the growing case for industry and commerce to offer some form offlexible working, there remain a number of barriers to individual employersimplementing a policy successfully. Caroline Horn reports on how these barrierscan be overcomeThe Government’s campaign to promote a better work-home balance foremployees suggests that a sea change could be under way in how flexible workingpractices are viewed. While there are strong business arguments for theadoption of flexible working practices, all the time that it is perceivedpurely as a tool for working mothers, or as an option for those who do not taketheir career seriously, its wider adoption won’t happen. The new governmentinitiative, which includes research on flexible working practices, could helpto change that perception.There are many good reasons why employers should be prepared to offerflexible working practices. Nigel Crouch, an industrialist working with the DTIInnovations Unit, says, “There are potentially massive benefits fromintroducing flexible working. If you look at the skills shortages in the marketnow, as an employer you are going to be much more attractive if you can showyou can provide a work/life balance for your employers. So flexible working canhelp to attract new staff, as well as with the retention of existingstaff.”A recent report by John Knell at the Industrial Society and Carol Savage atthe Resource Connection – Flexible working and male professionals: Can’tchange, won’t change? – showed that most of the respondents, 84 per cent,believe that organisations should offer flexible working. However, the reportalso suggests that they believe that flexibility at work is a route to careerdeath.There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that acceptance of flexibleworking is one thing, but actual adoption is a very different issue. CharlieMonkcom, communications manager at New Ways to Work, an organisation which aimsto encourage employers to develop more work-life balance schemes, says, “Alot of demand is latent, which is why the government initiative is soimportant.”There are a lot of men who would like to reorganise their working dayand feel they can’t even ask because the workplace is so resistant to theseideas. It’s a taboo area.”There are a number of barriers to the successful implementation of flexibleworking practices in individual companies. Crouch says, “One of thegreatest barriers to the introduction of flexible working practices is the lackof trust between colleagues. While people seem to think that flexible workingis a great idea, a high proportion think that people will abuse it.” Thisis again borne out in the Can’t Change, Won’t Change report, in which 66 percent of the sample questioned suggested that flexibility would be open toabuse. It was the major problem identified by the sample respondents tooffering flexible working.There are other problems, too, says Crouch. “In the UK, we are veryinput driven rather than output driven and you have to be seen to be at work.People worry that if you are not there quite as much, an employer will loseconfidence in you.”Even where flexible working policies do exist, often they are based onimplicit gender stereotyping – the assumption that it is more acceptable forwomen to work flexible hours than men. Again, the report highlights that manymen share this view. The Industrial Society recently announced it would rejectthe term “family-friendly”, believing it gives the impression it isonly of concern to women with young children (Personnel Today, 18 January,2000).John Knell, head of research at the Industrial Society, says, “Themessage is that there is a good business case for offering flexible workingpractices, and we know that there is growing demand for it from employees, butthat they don’t feel that they have the support from the top or the skills toimplement it.”Crouch, a strong advocate of Partnership with People programmes, suggeststhat the company culture that PwP programmes generate could help in theadoption of flexible practices. “If you have the right culture of listeningto people’s opinions, honesty and trust, it will be the greatest way toovercome the distrust among colleagues,” he says. “Equally,Partnerships with People focuses on doing what you do in the most efficientway, so if you are not at your station continuously, it is still recognisedthat the work is being done efficiently.”The adoption of flexible working practices will often require a fundamentalshift in company culture. As Crouch points out, this could be the first step inmuch wider changes in corporate attitudes. And it requires senior management toactively support the change. As the report states: “While individuals in senior positions continueto work very long hours and choose not to personally pursue, or implement,flexible work options, it will remain much harder in reality for flexibleworkers to reach senior management positions, unless they work to the same paceas their colleagues.”It is also essential to be sure what is flexible working is about. Crouchsees the definition of flexible practices as one of the key problems in termsof its implementation. “Everyone who talks about it says it’s a good ideabut in reality, there are probably misconceptions about what it means,” hesays. “There is a strong onus on management to make that clear.Flexibility does not mean part time work but full time work done otherways.” The Industrial Society and The Resource Connection define flexible workingas “a choice driven by an employee’s circumstances, which meets theemployer’s business need”. In other words, “the pursuit offlexibility should not be driven solely by the operational imperatives ofemployers.”However, the demands of the employer still need to be met and flexibleworking demands rigorous planning to ensure they are met outside the standardnine to five hours. Knell comments: “It is very difficult to dabble inflexible working practices if you want to do it properly. It affects a wholerange of issues including rewards, communication processes, work flow, andthere are implications for how you manage teams. So you have to consider howyou manage flexibility as an organisation, before you can think aboutimplementing it piecemeal.”Consultant Ceridian Performance Partners specialises in helpingorganisations to develop strategies that will better balance life and workcommitments among their workforce. Flexible working practices forms part ofthat. Managing director Penny de Valk says, “Flexible working looks reallyeasy – it could be seen as a kind of job share. Then companies try to implementa policy and start to fall down on who is eligible for what. It is better forcompanies to have a broad menu of options but they need to have a rigorousimplementation policy.”She says that it is rare for companies to have no flexible working policies– often they form part of an equal opportunities package, or a diversityprogramme. But she adds, “The companies we see tend to have greatpolicies, but no practice. Flexible working tends to be a marginalised processthat staff and managers are afraid to do anything about.”When a company is serious about implementing flexible working practices, thefirst question Ceridian asks is, why are they doing this? “We need toknow, where does flexible working integrate with the rest of their HRstrategy?” explains de Valk. Companies need to consider whether it isaimed at reducing staff turnover, attracting women back from maternity leave,helping to reduce high levels of stress or because they want to become anemployer of choice.”Then they need to start putting numbers to it,” says de Valk.”Training costs and workplace costs have to be weighed against the cost oflosing staff through maternity or to a more flexible employer.” Researchin the US also indicates that, in areas such as retailing, where flexibleworking can contribute to an employee’s sense of control over their workinglife, that has a positive effect on their performance, and therefore on thefirm’s profitability. The classic case study at Sears, Roebuck & Co found a5 per cent rise in staff attitude boosted sales by 0.5 per cent.Before flexible working practices are implemented, HR departments andmanagers need to be trained in how best to do so. “Managers fear doing itbecause they fear setting a precedent,” says de Valk. “It isimportant to design a rigorous process that everyone has to go through, toemphasise that it’s not an entitlement but the result of transparent discussionbetween an individual and a company’s needs. Employees need to show that thisis how it can work so that the work will get done, but in a different way. Thatway, they show that they are still motivated, but want to do their workdifferently.” Having a flexible working policy in place also means that anemployee is not driven to standing outside the manager’s door because of direpersonal problems, which have to be aired.New Ways to Work provides advice for individuals on how to best approachtheir employers on this issue, as well as offering training consultancy forcorporates. Monkcom says, “Evidence from a number of surveys suggests thatpeople would be willing to trade some of their income for time, at certainperiods of their life.”The organisation provides employees with information such as case studies,or advice on what competitors are doing. “The fundamental principle weoperate is that both employers and employees can gain from flexiblepractices.” It does, however, warn individuals to expect resistance and beprepared to negotiate.Having a flexible policy in place takes the issue away from the reason forchanging working practices, to how the work will get done, says de Valk.”An employee will be able to say, these are the details of how it willimpact on my work, this is how we will be able to judge if it’s working or not,and this is a suggested trial period. It gives managers a sense of comfort thatthe work can be done. And instead of coming with problems to your manager andhaving to feel grateful for changes to your hours, it puts two adults on anequal footing.”At this stage, the reason for employees requesting changes to their workingrequirements remains caring commitments, particularly women with youngchildren, says Monkcom. “But that has changed in the past few years. Thereare more people taking training and further education courses, for example, andothers who simply do not want the traditional idea of a five-day week. Tenyears ago, the idea of a chief executive working part-time, or job-sharing,would have been unthinkable but there are increasing examples of that.”Ceridian agrees that there is growing interest in the adoption of flexibleworking practices. De Valk comments: “Over the past 18 months there hasbeen more interest in work-life balance, especially around flexible workingbecause the labour market has tightened so employers want to positionthemselves as an employer of choice. It is also considered as best practice fora corporate to be able to offer a range of working options.”She adds, “The Government initiative will hopefully raise the profileof the whole issue and show the way forward in thinking about it differently.It is a buzzword but there is confusion about how to do it and how to do itwell.”It is difficult to get exact figures on how many employees are currentlyworking flexibly. Knell comments: “Flexible working is often lumped inwith reduced hours working, and that is viewed as part-time working. Part-timeworking is not synonymous with flexible working.” He feels the extent of change is probably ahead of the official statistics,which pick up both self-employed and part time workers. “Self-employedfigures remain fairly static but there might be a number of people working foremployers full-time but working two days from home, or doing 30 hours over twodays,” says Knell.”We also know that there is huge growth in out-sourcing of coreactivities, which suggests that there is more growth in flexible working ascompanies providing sub-contracted resources often have to offer moreflexibility.”Increasingly, some employers – particularly those in the service sector –have to offer flexible working because they are based on 24-hour operation.”There is a debate about the trend towards a 24-hour society, especiallyin the service sector. Some companies are phone-based, offering 24-hour banking,or retail, or advice/guidance. They need to cover unsociable hours andtherefore to work on a flexible basis,” adds Knell.Few, though, want to see flexible working practices confined to specificsectors. De Valk suggests that all employers will come under increasingpressure to implement some form of flexible practice: “The employers weare talking to are looking at three to four year projections regarding wherethey need to be and a number are building in flexible working practices,”she says. “The change will happen over the next few years, partly becauseof the tight labour market but also because people will simply not be preparedto do more and more, and to continue paying high family costs.” Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Tipping the balanceOn 14 Mar 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Favourite Geoffrey Hill elected Professor of Poetry

first_imgKeble College alumnus, Geoffrey Hill has been appointed to the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry. Hill was favourite for the position and secured more than three times the votes of his nearest rival, Michael Horovitz. Following the introduction of new online voting procedures, over 2,500 votes were cast by Oxford graduates and tutors between 21 May and 26 June to elect a successor to Christopher Ricks. The last poet to hold the position, Ruth Padel, resigned last May after less than a fortnight when it emerged that she had alerted journalists to allegations of sexual harassment made against front-runner Derek Walcott. However, this year’s contest also descended into controversy when the only woman candidate, Paula Claire pulled out of the race, complaining that Hill benefited from obsequious coverage in the Oxford Gazette, the university’s official journal. The University denied any favouritism. Hill will start his five year term this autumn on an annual stipend of £6,901. As well as giving a public lecture every term, Professors must also “encourage the art of poetry in the University”, according to the University’s regulations. An award-winning writer, Hill follows in the footsteps of W H Auden, Paul Muldoon and Seamus Heaney who served as Professor of Poetry since the post was created in 1708. As well as his collections of poetry, notably King Log and Speech! Speech!, Hill has published several books of essays and taught at universities in the UK, US and Nigeria. “Besides being a great poet, he is also a critic and lecturer of great distinction and we look forward to his lectures over the next few years as the 44th Professor of Poetry.” Dr Seamus Perry, deputy chair of Oxford’s English faculty board, which hosts the chair, said: “We are glad that so many people wanted to vote under the new arrangements for the election of the Professor of Poetry; and are simply delighted that a poet of Geoffrey Hill’s eminence has emerged victorious.last_img read more