Why the disappearance of paid family leave this time could fuel it later

WASHINGTON – In late 2019, with bipartisan support, including from iconoclastic Senate Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, President Donald J. Trump’s daughter Ivanka hosted a White House summit to promote his vision of family leave and paid medical.

As with many national initiatives of the Trump years, the effort came to naught, in part thanks to the former president’s lack of interest in legislating. But he also stalled in part because of opposition from Democrats like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, which saw the plan not as a real federal benefit but as a “payday loan” on future Social Security benefits.

Mme Gillibrand believed that she could do much better.

Last week it was the Democrats’ turn to fail. A 12-week paid family and medical leave program, costing $ 500 billion over 10 years, was supposed to be a centerpiece of President Biden’s social safety net legislation. But he came out of his framework of compromise, victim of the centrists who opposed his ambition and his cost.

The failure of the effort, even amid bipartisan interest, partly reflected the polarization surrounding the Democrats’ renowned national legislation, which Republicans en masse oppose.

Some business groups and GOP supporters of a paid vacation program believe that if it had been broken up and negotiated with Republicans, in the same way that a trillion dollar infrastructure package would have been in demand. Mr. Biden asks, he could have survived, and some believe he could still be resurrected. as a bipartisan initiative.

They said the problem lay with Democrats’ decision to include paid family leave in the sweeping social policy and climate bill – a multibillion-dollar package funded by major tax increases on the corporations and the wealthy – which they knew the Republicans and mainstream business groups would never stand for.

“In all the important areas, when members sit down to determine whether or not we can make good legislation, there are possibilities,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska. “We are not encouraged to work together to solve problems. What we are encouraged to do is align with the team so that we can get the political message. “

At least for now, however, the United States is almost certain to remain one of six countries without paid national leave.

“Fundamentally, to offer paid time off, you have to value women and their work,” Ms. Gillibrand lamented, “and valuing women and their work is a difficult thing for the United States.”

The last-minute termination of the paid vacation program has highlighted long-standing questions about how it may be that, while 186 other countries have such a program, the United States does not. .

Ms Gillibrand was very skeptical of the possibility of a bipartite agreement to resolve the problem. She said she had drafted paid family and medical leave legislation for nearly a decade, sought out many Republican and business partners, and always found the parties too ideologically divided.

But the problem that is attracting interest from both sides – getting more women into the workforce and keeping them there – has only worsened since the coronavirus pandemic struck.

White House officials say 95 percent of the lowest paid workers do not have paid time off, and they are mostly women and people of color. Some five million women lost their jobs during the pandemic, and many of them struggling with access to child care services and plagued by intermittent school closures and periodic outbreaks of Covid -19, have chosen not to return.

Mr. Trump campaigned on the issue and included six weeks of paid federal time off in his budgets, which were ignored by Republican leaders. Republicans in Congress had their own ideas. Legislation introduced in 2019 by Senators Sinema and Bill Cassidy, Republican of Louisiana, and Rep. Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, and Colin Allred, Democrat of Texas, would offer new parents $ 5,000 in the first year of their baby’s life , which they would pay back over the decade by reducing their child tax credit.

Republican Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Mitt Romney of Utah, Joni Ernst of Iowa and Mike Lee of Utah have also proposed offering workers parental leave benefits that should be repaid – with interest – by through cuts to their Social Security retirement benefits.

Nebraska Republican Senator Deb Fischer defended and won more modest legislation – part of the Republican tax cuts of 2017 – that gave small businesses a tax credit to fund family leave. She opposed broader versions because many companies already offer paid leave to employees.

“If you have two or three employees, you can’t afford to take paid family leave because you can’t afford to hire someone to replace them, which is why I think the credit for The tax that we have provided for in the law is really advantageous, ”said Ms. Fischer.

According to the White House, less than a third of small businesses with 100 or more employees offer paid time off. Only 14% of employees with less than 50 employees do so. Ms Fischer admitted that few small businesses have taken advantage of her credit, but she criticized the Treasury Department, under Mr Trump and Mr Biden, for dragging its feet to publish detailed regulations and promote them.

For Democrats, these proposals are not real vacation. They are either loans on other necessary benefits or too limited to tell the difference. Ms Gillibrand said that, optimally, a stable and generous family and medical leave plan would be an ‘earned benefit’ like Social Security and Medicare: workers would contribute to the system and claim the allowance when they need it, regardless of where they how much they earned.

But, she said, taxing workers has become politically difficult. His 2013 bill provided for family and medical leave insurance, funded by a small contribution from employers to each paycheck.

This year, the Biden administration and Democratic leaders have chosen to fund paid vacations out of general revenue, bolstered by tax increases on the rich and on corporations. They said the program was part of a larger “human infrastructure” effort to help children and young parents, which included child care assistance, a child tax credit and a preschool. universal – and therefore did not need a dedicated funding source.

The House proposal would have guaranteed 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave per year to all workers, in the private or public sector, in work like Uber and Lyft, or self-employment. The benefit would have replaced 85 percent of wages or earnings for the lowest-paid workers, declining from there.

This generosity is why the plan ran into a roadblock in the Senate. West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin III saw a costly new benefit without a stable source of income that he said would end up draining an already stressed social security system.

Ms. Gillibrand and Senator Patty Murray, Democrat from Washington, pleaded, cajoled and negotiated with him. They said a paid vacation plan would bolster Social Security finances by helping women return to work, where they would pay Social Security taxes, and helping young families have more children, which would strengthen the workforce of the future. Democrats have proposed reducing a 12-week leave plan to four weeks and then limiting it to time off for new babies, not medical emergencies.

Mr Manchin has vowed to review the offers, but few are optimistic. Ms. Gillibrand sees the social issues at work. While it is true that virtually every country in the world has a paid vacation program, this is somewhat misleading, she said.

Most of these countries can afford to offer paid time off because they don’t expect women to work once they start having children. Long-term leave plans help couples start having children, but most countries then do not help with childcare because they assume women will stay at home.

The American workforce relies on women. Mr Biden’s compromise framework includes generous grants for child care from birth and universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds. Now she is missing the first step: helping parents during pregnancy and childbirth.

“What we are trying to achieve here is the ability of women to work efficiently and be more productive at work,” Ms. Gillibrand said.

Lawyers say lawmakers shouldn’t give up just yet. Marc Freedman, U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president for employment policy, said the business group met with congressional offices ahead of the pandemic, pushing for a national paid vacation plan to replace the patchwork of state and local government plans.

The government would create a minimum benefit that companies would be allowed to exceed for recruitment and retention, funded by a payroll tax paid by employees. Such a plan would help small businesses compete for the workforce with larger companies, while offloading some of the burden on companies that already offer time off plans.

“We really want to resume these conversations,” he said.

Some Republicans, especially Republican women, say they are ready to join these talks.

“This is an issue that we need to solve as a nation and look at and get creative,” said West Virginia Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who helped secure paid time off for federal workers.

But like the infrastructure deal struck this summer, Democrats probably wouldn’t get everything they want. Ms Capito, for example, said the plan Mr Manchin killed was too generous, with time off beyond care for new babies and sick family members.

Ms. Gillibrand said she had already started raising awareness. She told Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine about a middle step of helping small states band together with larger ones to create regional leave programs. She pointed to the flexibility on funding the type of insurance mechanism that Mr. Freedman said the Chamber of Commerce favors.

But none of those ideas would happen as quickly as the broad agenda Mr Manchin opposes, she said.

“There is work I can do over the next six months to a year, of course, but it will take time,” Ms. Gillibrand concluded. “And it won’t be easy.


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Charles Billings obituary (2021) – Loudonville, NY

Charles (“Chuck”) Orin Billings passed away peacefully under the loving care of his family on October 26, 2021 at the Albany Medical Center Hospital. He was born on October 21, 1930 in Niskayuna, New York. He was a dedicated and loving husband and father who enjoyed playing the drums, fishing and curling. Charles was the son of James and Eleanor (Gowdy) Billings. Charles was predeceased by his beloved 58-year-old wife, Dorothy May (Coon) Billings. He is survived by his beloved twins Lisa (Bob) Reepmeyer and Lori (David) Cucciarre and his four grandchildren James (Robyn) Reepmeyer, Christopher Reepmeyer, Matthew and Daniel Cucciarre and two great grandchildren Olivia and Charles (James & Robyn) Reepmeyer. He is also survived by his two sisters, Joan (Al) Anderson and Mildred Renaud and his nieces Sarah (Jorge) Torres and Jody (John) Van Voris, Susan (John) Anderson and a nephew Francios (Kate) Renaud and 3 small nieces. Charles was also predeceased by his nephew John Anderson. Charles grew up in Schenectady NY, graduated from Draper High School in 1948, and received a BS in Economics, Accounting, and Mathematics from West Virginia Wesleyan in 1952 and earned a scholarship to Carnegie Mellon for his first year of industrial administration. Charles entered the United States Navy in 1953 where he completed his medical training and received the rank of Petty Officer 3rd Class. Charles was honorably released in 1955. He continued his education with the National Banking Association, accounting at SUNY Albany, and real estate appraisal at Siena College. Charles was very active in the Fisher Methodist Church throughout high school. On his return from the Navy, he became active again and joined many religious committees. He also became a consultant for Explorer Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America. Charles was a member of the Jr. Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion Post 0471, and the American Federation of Musicians union # 14. After Charles’ release from the Navy, he worked for Trust Co. Bank in the Schenectady store and Montgomery Wards Dept. He began teaching at Hudson Valley Community College in 1961 and became chairman of the Banking Insurance and Real Estate department. Charles took part in setting up the real estate program. He retired in 1991 after 30 years of dedicated teaching. Charles began his music career at the age of 11 as a drummer and tap dancer. Charles has played drums for Draper High School, varsity bands, the Navy performing band with Johnny Mays, the Pat Formichelli band at Ford’s Tavern in Albany, the Yankee Doodle band in Rensselear (52+), the German band by Harry Vincent, Bud Bryer and later Greg Nazarian now led by Jim Rockstroh Dance Band with whom he continued to perform until 2020, playing drums for 79 years in total. Friends and family are invited to join the Billings family for a short celebration of Charles’ life at Gerald B. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery on November 12, 2021 at 2:30 PM AND THE TIME CONTINUES…. The arrangements were left by the family at Gordon C. Emerick Funeral Home 1550 Route 9 Clifton Park, New York 12065, 518-371-5454. For online condolences, please visit Gordoncemerickfuneralhome.com.

Published by The Daily Gazette Co. on October 31, 2021.


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Offender walks away from reintegration program in San Diego

San Diego – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are looking for Antonio Antunez, Jr. who left the Men’s Community Reintegration Program (MCRP) facility in San Diego on October 29, 2021.

An emergency search began around 10 p.m. Friday evening after Antunez’s GPS monitor alerted it had been tampered with, and he was seen leaving the MCRP without permission. The GPS device has been found.

Local law enforcement agencies were notified and officers from the Correctional Security Bureau of the CDCR were dispatched to locate and apprehend Antunez.

Antunez, 28, is 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs around 176 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. He was received from San Diego County in August 2021 to serve a two-year sentence for first-degree burglary, and transferred to the MCRP in October. He was due to be released under county supervision in March 2022.

The MCRP enables eligible participants engaged in a state prison to serve the end of their sentence in the rehabilitation center and provides them with the programs and tools necessary to move from detention to the community. The program connects offenders to a range of community-based rehabilitation services that help address substance use disorders, mental health care, medical care, employment, education, housing, reunification family and social support.

Since 1977, 99 percent of all offenders who have left an adult facility, camp or community program without authorization have been apprehended.

Contact: CDCR press office, [email protected]


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Kingman Cancer Care Unit Arts & Crafts Fair Begins Saturday, November 13 | Kingman Daily Miner

KINGMAN – The 46th annual Kingman Cancer Care Unit Arts and Crafts Fair is scheduled for November 13-14 at the Mohave County Fairgrounds, 2600 Fairgrounds Blvd.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 14.

“Many vendors are listing their handmade crafts,” the organizers wrote in a press release. “It’s a great place to do your Christmas shopping.”

The Kingman Cancer Care Unit, a non-profit organization, was formed by a “group of dedicated and compassionate citizens” to help residents of Kingman and surrounding areas in their fight against cancer, the organizers wrote.

“This group of dedicated volunteers has been helping their neighbors for over 46 years,” the statement continued. “Most of our volunteers have been touched by cancer in their personal lives, whether with a spouse, sibling, child or loved one. We know firsthand the devastating effect cancer can have on the patient and their family.

The unit’s mission is to provide financial assistance and moral support to the patient and their family “during their hour of need”.

“We provide transportation to medical appointments and treatment. Financial assistance is available for patients with travel, food and hotel accommodation expenses, to name a few, ”the organizers wrote. “Health equipment – wheelchairs, walkers, etc., and personal equipment, wigs, prostheses, etc. – are also items that we help deliver. “

All money raised is used to help patients in the area, as well as an annual cancer research donation to the University of Arizona.

“We invite you to attend the fair and patronize our suppliers,” the unit wrote. “We appreciate your support for our organization. “


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It’s Your Business news – recently hired, retired, promoted to Topeka

Retirement and hiring

Stormont Vail Health announced Timothy A. Shultz will join the regional healthcare organization as Deputy Advocate General, Risks and Safety. He will take up his new role in December 2021. Shultz is a lawyer with over 28 years of experience in business, banking, insurance, healthcare, long-term care and retirement homes, company law and litigation. He has been a lawyer with Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds & Palmer, LLP, since 2015, and was appointed managing partner in 2020. He previously served as a lawyer in several law firms in Topeka; Kansas City, Missouri; Manhattan; and Dodge City. Shultz is a member of the Bars of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Minnesota, the Kansas Association of Defense Counsel, and the Defense Research Institute. A graduate of Washburn University Law School, Shultz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in History and Political Science, from Washburn and an Associate’s degree from Dodge City Community College. He has served as chairman and commissioner of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, is the current chairman of the board of the Kansas Children’s Service League, served on the board and as a volunteer for Haiti Lifeline Ministries Inc., and is a member of the Greater Topeka Leadership Class of 2018.

Stormont Vail Health announced that Kelly stumpff, MD, will join his team to practice as an orthopedic surgeon at Cotton O’Neil Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, 2660 SW 3rd St. As a former athlete, Stumpff has a passion for sports. Combined with his love for science and math, becoming an orthopedic surgeon was almost inevitable. Stumpff uses a team-oriented approach to patient care, involving his patients in their plan of care. Watching his patients recover and return to normal, active lives is a great motivator for Stumpff. “A lot of the patients I see are at their worst,” she said. “Traumatic injuries are unpredictable and can happen so quickly. It’s amazing to have a calling that allows me to help others heal. Stumpff is a Magna cum laude graduate from the University of Saint Louis with a BA in Biology and Theology. She then attended the University of Kansas Medical School in Kansas City, Kansas, where she received her MD. She continued her education with a residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Kansas and a residency in orthopedic trauma at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Jocelyn Mattoon

Stormont Vail Health announced that Jocelyn Mattoon, MD, joins his team to practice as a family physician at Cotton O’Neil Manhattan, 1133 College Ave., Manhattan. Mattoon is thrilled to be returning home to Flint Hills to practice medicine. “I haven’t heard anything positive about Stormont Vail Health,” Mattoon said. “I am delighted to join this organization and to start helping patients. As a family physician, Mattoon is dedicated to treating the whole patient. She gets to know her patients on a personal level and understands them as a person. “I try to always be honest with my patients,” Mattoon said. “I want to give my patients as much time and attention as possible. Mattoon looks forward to serving the Stormont Vail community in a variety of ways, while working specifically with children, women’s health, LGBTQ care, medication-assisted treatment, and behavioral health. Mattoon graduated from Kansas State University with a BA in Anthropology. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Counseling and Student Development at Kansas State University. She received her MD from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita. Mattoon completed his IU Health Ball Memorial family medicine residency in Muncie, Indiana on June 30.

Community update

Michel bell, of the Central Topeka Grocery Oasis, said the organization is involved in discussions with the Greater Topeka Partnership about a new grocery store and its place as not only economic but community development. GTP Chief Equity and Opportunity Officer Glenda Washington, who has been a CTGO consultant for some time, is involved in those discussions, Bell said. Washburn University Karl Klein, who is the regional director of the Kansas Small Business Development Center, is working with CTGO to finalize a formal business plan. Bell said intern William evans, in consultation with the CTGO Board of Directors, is finalizing a survey to better understand public attitudes towards re-establishing a new grocery store in downtown Topeka. The survey will first be distributed to churches in the area.


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Warzone Gods lead players to Verdansk’s first victories before Vanguard

Before Warzone’s Verdansk map is gone for good, players are offering their services to those still desperate for their first victory after two years.

With Call of Duty: Vanguard integration looming on the horizon and an accompanying new Warzone map, some players are gearing up to say their final farewells to the original battle royale map, Verdansk.

Over the past few seasons, the map has undergone a little facelift, even switching to a 1980s-inspired theme and adding new points of interest for players.

Although the map has been around for two years, some players have in fact never achieved a victory over Verdansk, and before it is gone for good, the community is rallying to change that fact.

Activision

Verdansk has been the home ground for Warzone’s top talent since day one.

As players count until Verdansk’s last moments, some have started to offer their services on social media to help players without a win finally get a W on the map.

Redditor GaryLFC93 put the spotlight on the healthy movement after some players pointed out that they would never taste like victory in Verdansk. “I would love nothing more than to spend my last month on the game trying to help those who have never won a victory before they get their first victory,” they said.

They even encouraged other players to join the movement and bring good vibes to the card’s final weeks. “I’m here to help with that,” said several players, all posting that they have racked up countless victories in Verdansk.

To people who have never won at Verdansk BR – I want to try to help you win! of COD war zone

Others have suggested that if players are desperate to win but also want to improve before the launch of the new Pacific map, they should find a group on social media who can coach them.

At the end of the day, some players just want to blame others and lead them to victory, and we can only applaud their efforts.


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after-school program for girls aims to inspire confidence and strength | News, Sports, Jobs

News Photo by Darby Hinkley Salvation Army Alpena Major Prezza Morrison shows off one of the diaries young girls receive as part of a girls’ after-school program.

NAFTA – A new program for girls in grades 6 to 12 aims to give them the tools they need to be successful.

Called “BU… Under Construction”, the program takes place at the Salvation Army in Alpena, 2nd Avenue North, on the first Wednesday of each month. The Salvation Army van picks up the girls at 2:30 p.m. from high school and takes them to the Salvation Army office, where snacks, program and dinner are held from 2:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. The pickup from parents / guardians is at 5 pm. : 30 pm, or the Salvation Army will bring the girls home.

The program’s mission statement is “To Help Empower Young Women to Create a Healthy Mind, Body and Soul.” Use these abilities to reach out to others and the community through service. Help them see who they were created for and understand that it is a lifetime experience. “

“We want young women to recognize who they really are and understand that they are special, and we hope that if they understand that they are special and unique, they will make better choices based on who they are. Said Major Prezza Morrison of the Salvation Army Alpena. “Not based on the people around them and the people who are trying to encourage them to do things that are not who they are.”

She explained that each young girl is given a journal to write down how she feels, and that the journals are safely locked in the Salvation Army office so that they don’t have to worry about anyone picking them up. read.

“And then the next time we meet, we’ll open up the possibility for them to write other feelings,” Morrison said. “It’s a safe place where they can come and talk and know that they won’t be judged or ridiculed. “

She, Bronwyn Woolman and Nancy McClung started the program, with the first meeting on October 6.

McClung said the three would act as mentors for the young girls.

“The kids don’t have heroes anymore,” she said, adding that they needed role models and mentors. “It’s open to all girls who want to get involved.”

Woolman said he cared about the program. She is also responsible for Girl Scouts at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

Years ago, she volunteered in a girls’ program at The Salvation Army, and she said some of these young women will come back to volunteer in that program.

The girls will participate in crafts, listen to speakers, keep a journal, socialize and volunteer in the community.

“It’s very important for them to be able to give back,” said Woolman.

Morrison said bringing the girls into the community to do good works would help instill in them a sense of purpose and realize that they are needed.

She said the world today is so different from the world she grew up in.

“The three of us can say that if I was a teenager now, I don’t know if I would be where I am today,” Morrison said. “There is so much pressure. It is so scary.

She added that social media perpetuates issues such as bullying.

“And what they don’t realize is that whatever they put out there is there forever,” McClung said of the internet.

Organizers hope to meet weekly in the winter or spring, as the program continues to grow. They would be happy to accept volunteers who want to help with the program, as well as speakers from community organizations.

For a registration form, or more information, contact Morrison at the Salvation Army office at 989-358-2769, ext. 12.

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Why shisha bars in France are attracting dedicated Gen Z customers

Hookah, water pipe, shisha … whatever you call it, its use has increased dramatically over the past 15-20 years, to the point of becoming a particularly popular practice for many Gen Zers.

According to a 2006 World Health Organization report, 100 million people around the world use shisha daily, mostly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. But since the 2000s, the hookah has made its way among young Westerners.

In 2014, a survey conducted in the United States by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control noted that the use of alternative tobacco products, such as shisha, increased by 123% among adolescents in the United States.

Meanwhile, cigarette consumption among young Americans has declined in recent years.

A similar observation can be made among young French people. Santé Publique France noted in 2017 in its study on smoking behavior at the end of adolescence, that at least one in two 17-year-olds had already tried to smoke shisha.

In 2007, a hookah union was formed in the country in response to the smoking ban in public establishments. At the time, the union had 800 establishments listed throughout France. No new information is available on its numbers today.

However, shisha bars and the use of hookah have become more and more prevalent in the country in recent years, not least thanks to the rap culture as it is presented in this genre – essentially almost private performances by artists. – are hot tickets in these establishments.

This has helped a large portion of the country’s youth embrace these spaces, much like bistros of the last century were meeting places where groups gathered to chat over food and drink.

Friendly meetings

When not consumed in a private space, shisha is smoked in dedicated bars – mostly dark spaces, with comfortable seating. Smoking shisha is a time to relax, discuss and share stories, because smoking shisha takes time. And so these spaces often become a kind of second home for regulars who come to exchange, discuss, debate.

In an article published in The conversation, the researcher Samy Mansouri underlines that the preparation of the hookah requires a long “space-time”, because the hookah does not correspond to the same codes as the cigarette break.

According to the Public Health France study on hookah consumption patterns dating from 2007, consumers spend between 30 and 50 minutes around a hookah object.

And according to the same study, 80% of shisha consumers smoke in groups, and in 84.6% of cases, they mainly smoke in groups in the evening or on weekends. The researcher underlines that the long duration of tobacco combustion allows to launch many debates, on many subjects.

Stereotype of a generation?

In France, there are certain stereotypes associated with shisha bar customers. In Lille, the 22 Club shisha bar refuses entry to anyone wearing jogging, reports the regional daily The voice of the North, to break with clichés and change the image of the hookah bar in the minds of many who associate it with jogging young people from working-class neighborhoods.

Mehdi Meklat, who co-organizes an artistic festival called “The Chichas of Thought”, wants to deconstruct stereotypes about suburbs and their inhabitants, both often associated with shisha bars.

For Meklat, the hookah bar is more of a space for a generation where meetings, discussions and games take place. A sort of bistro for 2021 in a society where urban culture is essential for young people. – AFP Relaxnews


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Former Waterville City Manager Roy to Receive Top Mid-Maine Chamber Award

Former Waterville City Manager Michael Roy, presented at City Hall in 2019, will receive the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will hold its annual awards ceremony on Thursday. Michael G. Seamans / Morning Sentinel File

WATERVILLE – Michael Roy, who served as municipal manager of Waterville for 16 years, will receive the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s highest honor on Thursday at his 58th annual awards ceremony.

Roy, who retired at the end of 2020 but stayed with the city part-time until June to help with the city’s downtown revitalization project, will receive the chamber’s 2020 Distinguished Community Service Award. . The ceremony will take place at Enchanted Gables in Oakland.

The award is presented to an individual who meets several criteria, including demonstrating community leadership and being involved in improving the city for at least 10 years.

Nine companies and individuals will also be honored at the ceremony, which will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $ 55 per person and can be reserved at www.midmainechamber.com or by calling the room at 873-3315. All participants are required to wear masks.

Roy was Waterville’s first city manager, as the city’s leadership position prior to 2004 was that of city administrator. During his tenure, Roy saw the sale of the former CF Hathaway Co. building which was transformed into upscale offices, businesses and apartments overlooking the Kennebec River.

He helped secure ownership of what would become the Quarry Road Recreation Area and helped raise funds to develop the $ 1.5 million RiverWalk in Head of Falls. He also worked with partners, including Colby College, to launch the $ 11.2 million Downtown Revitalization Project and completed other projects including the City Hall renovation, Waterville Opera House and Waterville Public Library, as well as the construction of the Police Station and Trafton Road. exchange.

Roy said he was surprised to learn of the recognition of the room.

“When I look at the names of the people who have received it previously, I am very, very humble and honored to be in their company as well,” he said. “I am so happy to be a part of this company.

Roy said he believes people should get involved in a community, whether that is by serving on a board or committee or volunteering in some other capacity. Real heroes, he said, are those who do little things every day without expecting recognition or compensation.

“I think our form of government works best when people participate, even if it just means voting,” he said. “People need to get involved. They have to play a role.

Kimberly N. Lindlof, President and CEO of the chamber, said Roy’s faith in a regional approach to his working life and volunteering has been instrumental in advancing several initiatives.

“His collaborative efforts with First Park / Kennebec Regional Development Authority, High Hopes Clubhouse, Waterville Rotary, Central Maine Growth Council and Central Maine Youth Hockey, to name a few, have not only advanced Waterville and its residents, “she said,” but those from across the region. The Mid-Maine Chamber was delighted to select Mike for their highest honor and were delighted that he was nominated by more than one anybody.

Roy, a Colby graduate, supported a plan by the Alfond Youth & Community Center and Central Maine Youth Hockey to build an indoor community rink on town property on North Street and pledged to continue helping to l community rink effort after retiring.

Roy has been involved for many years with Waterville Rotary, High Hopes, Youth Hockey Program, United Way of Mid-Maine, Friends of Quarry Road, Growth Council, Maine Municipal Association and Maine Development Foundation, among others. groups and organizations.

His municipal career began in Fairfield, where he was director of community development for seven years. He became Director of the City of Vassalboro in 1984 and Director of the City of Oakland in 1994. While in Oakland, he helped form FirstPark and the Kennebec Regional Development Authority, which developed the Offshore Technology Park. Kennedy Memorial Drive. He was also instrumental in the development of the Central Maine Growth Council.

Roy and his wife Shari have two daughters, Caroline and Molly, as well as two grandchildren.

The Distinguished Community Service Award is one of the many awards that will be presented on Thursday:

GREAT COMPANY OF THE YEAR

The 65-year-old New Dimensions Federal Credit Union, headed by CEO Ryan Poulin, last year built a state-of-the-art main office at 94 Silver Street in Waterville, where it employs 35 people. It has renovated its old location on Grove Street into an operations and call center that handles over 350 calls per day. The award is presented to a company with more than 50 employees who exemplifies the commitment to growth within the community through a workforce expansion or major renovation, and who have contributed to the overall well-being of the community. the community.

SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Selah Tea Cafe on Main Street in downtown Waterville was opened in 2011 by Rachel and Bobby McGee. The family business serves loose tea, specialty coffee, pastries, breakfast and lunch options. The award is presented to a business with fewer than 50 employees who demonstrates a commitment to growth within the community through a workforce expansion or major renovation, and who has contributed to the overall well-being of the community. the community.

MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR

Jean Poulin was an accountant for the town of Vassalboro for 16 years before retiring on July 2. In addition to her bookkeeping responsibilities, she assisted at the front desk as needed. The award is presented to an individual who demonstrates leadership by supporting the positive direction of a municipality, surpasses himself in his mission or in the realization of projects, and demonstrates positive support for business initiatives.

EXCEPTIONAL PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

Kristina Cannon is the Executive Director of Main Street Skowhegan, where she is the Central Strategic Projects Coordinator, manages and fundraising for the Run of the River Whitewater Recreation Area, manages the Skowhegan Outdoors AmeriCorps program and leads efforts to increase supporting businesses and strengthening Skowhegan’s entrepreneurial efforts through a new initiative called Scale Up Skowhegan. The award is given to an individual who demonstrates leadership and excellence in their profession and who gives back to the community.

CUSTOMER SERVICE STARDOM

Josh Hamel is Creative Director at Mix Maine Media, where over the past nine years he has shared his knowledge and experience with many local businesses, organizations, political candidates and nonprofits. He has designed, written and produced radio commercials for over 1,300 clients and made hundreds of audio recordings with local business people. The award is presented to someone who exemplifies pride in their work and demonstrates exceptional customer service, and is not a business owner or executive officer.

ELIAS A. JOSEPH PRIZE

Lynn Fish, Becky Getchell and Diane Joseph were chosen for the award in honor of Elias A. Joseph for her dedication over 28 years of volunteer service to the Mid-Maine Chamber and for her professional accomplishments and selfless dedication to his community. He donated over 10,000 hours to the chamber.

RISING STAR OF THE YEAR AWARD

Samantha Burdick works for the Hight Family of Dealerships where she has worked to improve the brand of her products, develop a social media program, coordinate with Bigelow Brewing on Hight’s Tin Can Sailor beer and help raise over $ 5,000 for various organizations, while strengthening a partnership with Saddleback Mountain. She is notably president of the Waterville Planning Board and president of the Waterville Sunrise Rotary Club. The award is presented to an individual under the age of 40 in a managerial or other managerial capacity who demonstrates a combination of business success and community involvement.

EXCEPTIONAL VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

Scott McAdoo is President of Kennebec Messalonskee Trails, Co-Chair of the Central Maine Gleaners Group of the Healthy Northern Kennebec Coalition, sits on the July 4th Board of Directors, and volunteers for the Chamber’s Business to Business Showcase and Waterville Taste. He is secretary and founding member of the Waterville Community Land Trust, a member of the South End Neighborhood Association, and a volunteer at the Parade of Lights and Kringleville. The award is presented to an individual who volunteers with at least one chamber member organization and exemplifies service above self in support of the organization’s mission and the community.


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Yelp Knowledge’s Offering Expands to Sales, Markets and Risk Intelligence | Bark

When we first presented Yelp Knowledge in 2016, it served as a trusted platform for brands to better understand consumer sentiment at scale, and easily monitor and respond to reviews through Yelp’s partner platforms such as Sprinklr and Yext. Since its inception, we have focused on expanding this program to generate even more value for licensees in the form of sales, market and risk information.

Today we are happy to share that Yelp Knowledge now supports a number of new use cases to drive value for licensees operating in the SMB market across various industries including insurance. , points of sale, SaaS, financial services, CPG, social analytics, consulting and private equity.

Improve Efficiency to Drive Business Results Using Yelp Knowledge

With millions of annual updates to U.S. business listings, along with significant investments to help keep our data up to date and mitigate misinformation, Yelp is a trusted local data source for large businesses. Our team works with each licensee to deliver real-time data through an API or JSON feed that can be seamlessly integrated into existing workflows. By merging Yelp data with their own unique data sets, licensees can strengthen their business, sales, and geographic intelligence to inform their strategy and increase scalability.

As businesses of all sizes adapt to the changing business landscape, having access to the latest data on market trends and consumer engagement can help drive better results by helping businesses understand where to focus their business. teams.

As part of Yelp Knowledge, we’re excited to partner with one of the world’s largest food distributors, Sysco, a global leader in the sale, marketing and distribution of food products, and Verisk, one of the world’s leading providers of data analytics serving clients in the insurance, energy, specialty markets and financial services industries.

Sysco leverages Yelp data as part of its strong sales operations. According to Elizabeth Ubell, vice president of strategy and analytics at Sysco, “Yelp’s data is accurate, consistent and structured to integrate with our existing systems. Our partnership with Yelp helps us identify relevant information to inform our operations in a dynamic market.

Likewise, to help insurers serve the changing marketplace, Verisk is leveraging its artificial intelligence and image analytics to generate insights from more than 224 million reviews on Yelp. Insurers can use this information to inform coverage discussions with potential clients, see how employees are mitigating risk, and make underwriting decisions more quickly and accurately.

“Finding current, solid information online for purchasing insurance for small businesses can take a lot of time and effort,” said Tracey Waller, director of small business underwriting at Verisk. “By working directly with Yelp, Verisk augments its consistent, high-quality analytics on millions of small businesses with up-to-date, organized, and easy-to-digest information.

We know how valuable and accurate information is in helping businesses thrive in a variety of different industries, and it’s exciting to see more and more businesses leveraging the power of Yelp to generate information that helps them. to achieve their goals.


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